Imágenes de páginas

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Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

(March 25, 1830.

your table.


committee, and to offer the amendment which is on whatever. It is utterly impossible, after having collected

by taxation a sum of money from the people, ever to reMr. CRAIG said, he should play the hypocrite were he turn it to them again individually, in the proportion in to attempt to disguise the interest he felt in the bill under which it was taken from them. The nearest approach that consideration. Many of the people whom I represent (said can be made to such a distribution is to be effected by Mr. C.) have a deep and direct interest in the road which throwing it into general circulation, and leaving it to the it proposes to establish; and if, under existing circum- influence of individual enterprise to control its particular stances, 1 did not give it my humble support, I should feel destination. It seems to me, then, that we cannot adopt a a conscious conviction of misrepresenting their interests, better policy, at this time, than to put into general circulaand of betraying the trust with which they have honored tion a few hundred thousand dollars annually of the peo

ple's money, by constructing with it, for their acconimoThe representative, according to my political creed, is dation, this great national road. You will then have the bound, in all cases, except where the constitution inter- pleasure of reflecting that you have returned to them poses barriers, in this or any other body, to reflect the not only their money, but, along with it, a great national wishes and interests of his constituents, and not his own improvement. And here, sir, the question is not unwor. individual views. To do this is happily felt by me not to thy your most serious reflection, how far this capital, thus be less a duty than a pleasure.

collected and thus expended, will have suffered! diminuAlthough I am one of those who construe the constitu- tion when it returns again to its legitimate channels of circution as denying to Congress a general right to make roads, lation among the people. Will it have suffered any diminueven though their extent invests them with the character-tion? As 1 view the subject, it will not. Then, if it will istics of nationality, yet the peculiar combination of cir- not have suffered any diminution, is it not a fair deduction cumstances which exists in relation to this subject, at this that the road will be a clear gain to the people? time, rids my niind of all scruples upon this point. The policy of a nation, in regard to its pecuniary funds,

The constitutionality of the measure, as I conceive it, is very different, in some important particulars, from that is not now involved. The question is not whether Con- of an individual person. It is the policy of a nation to gress possesses, under the constitution, power to make have on hand no greater capital than is sufficient for the this road; but it is, more properly, has Congress a right emergencies of the time—it is the policy of individual perto re-distribute the surplus money in its treasury, be- sons to augment their funds as much as possible. The yond what may be necessary to defray the ordinary ex- wealth of an individual depends upon himself--the wealth penses of the Government, and what may be applied to of a nation depends upon the wealth of its citizens; and the extinguishment of the national debt, among the people whether capital be in the private pockets of the citizens, of the Union?

or in the public treasury, it is alike the capital of the naA little reflection will satisfy you, sir, that the appro- tion. Now, if, without occasioning any sensible inconvepriation of money involved in this bill is an evil (if it be nience or distress to the people composing the body polian evil, as some apprehend it to be) which has its root tic, a sum of money can be drawn from them in the in the existing revenue system. So long as the present course of a few years, sufficient to produce a work of tariff of duties is maintained, it is manifest that we shall great national benefit, a work of the advantages of which find in our treasury a large annual residuum, after all ordi- thousands of your citizens will be highly sensible, what nary appropriations have been made. And who can doubt, sound objection, upon the score of policy, can be urged after what has occurred here, in this session of Congress, against the execution of such a plan? that it is the fixed determination of a majority of this body, There have been, for many years past, large annual and, by inference, the determination of a majority of the balances in the treasury, which have been, to the nation people of the United States, to persist in the existing tariff and the people, dead capital. On the first day of Janusystem? The question, then, unavoidably occurs, what ary, 1828, there was in the treasury an unexpended badisposition ought to be made of this surplus money? Surely lance of six million six hundred and sixty-eight thousand no one will contend that it ought to lie rusting in our cof-two hundred and eighty-six dollars and ten cents; on the fers; none will contend that, after it has gotten there, first day of January, 1829, there was a balance of five the constitution will require it to remain there. And to million nine hundred and seventy-two thousand four hunwhat use shall we appropriate it? Can we appropriate it dred and thirty-five dollars and eighty-one cents; on the first to any more valuable use than to internal improvements? day of January, 1830, there was a balance of four million

I would myself have preferred that this surplus of reve- four hundred and ten thousand and seventy-one dollars and nue should have been apportioned out amongst the several sixty-nine cents; and, on the first of January, 1831, accord. States, according to their population, for purposes of inter- ing to the estimates of the Secretary of the Treasury, nal improvement; but in this we, who construe the consti- there will be a balance of four million four hundred and tution rigidly, are opposed by a majority. Congress now, ninety-four thousand five hundred and forty-five dollars as to all practical effects, possesses the power to appro- and two cents. Now, sir, it strikes my mind, if Congress priate the money of the public treasury to objects of in- had commenced this road four, five, or six years ago, it ternal improvement, as fully as if the constitution, in so might, before now, have been finished; and yet no portion many words, gave that power. Nor has this power heen of the people would have been sensible of the least pecudormant. It has been exerted in a variety of instances. niary loss or pressure. And now, sir, if you proceed to

The money collected into the public treasury from im- its construction, what pecuniary embarrassments can you posts, &c. belongs to the people in the mass; and it be expect to encounter? The whole sum estimated as neces. comes cur duty to return it to them by that mode that will sary to complete the road is considerably short of the most equally distribute it among them, and, at the same balance which, it is believed, will be in the treasury on time, effect for them the greatest general good. In no way, the first of January next, and which must be regarded as does it seem to me, can this end be more advantageously dead capital, if not employed. What mischief, 1 ask, will attained, than by expending it upon a work like that pro- you do? What injury to the people, or any portion of the posed in the bill under consideration. The road will ex- people, will you do, by appropriating a part, or even the tend from the northern to the southern extremity of the whole, of this balance to the construction of an improveUnion, and, as a road, will accommodate a vast proportion ment so valuable as that proposent by this bill will be? of its citizens; besides, the money expended in making it But, sir, I have not yet presented this subject in its most will be as generally scattered among the people as it could flattering point of view, in reference to the resources of be by being appropriated any object or improvement the nation. It should not escape reflection, that iu fire or

MARCH 25, 1830.)

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[H. of R.

six years from this time at most, the annual balance in the hy appropriating three, four, or six millions of dollars to treasury will rise from four, fivé, or six millions, to ten or this road; because, it cannot be denied, that, if the surtwelve, or, if the tariffof duties should be reduced to such a plus money of the treasury be not appropriated to this standard as that no one could complain of it as oppressive, object, it will be appropriated to some other, perhaps, toa steady balance, as I believe, of from five to eight millions of less national value; so that, at last, the whole effect of When our revenue shall thus overflow, which will certainly voting for this bill will but tend to decide the choice of be the case after the extinguishinent of the national debt, Congress in favor of this over many objects, some of what course of policy shall be pursued? Will it be consti- which are destined inevitably to absorb your surplus funds. tutional or expedient that a portion of the people should If we, in the South, will not take your offered favor, sit still and obstinately refuse to participate in the excess others, less fastidious, in other sections, will. of revenue, because it was collected in a manner they did I am not disposed, because the world will not go on not approve?

precisely as I could wish, to fall out with it, and turn cynic. But gentlemen say, let us prevent this unnecessary ac- On the contrary, I find it to be the easiest and the best cumulation of revenue, by a reduction of the tariff of im- policy, generally, to conform in some degree to that port duties, &c. Sir, it should be remembered that this uncontrollable state of things which I find around me. I tariff is suspended upon another interest, the manufactur- have no idea of denying myself a fair participation in the ing interest, which influences a majority of the people of blessings of this Government, because every thing is not the United States to continue it as a system of protection done according to my notions of sound policy and constito manufactures; and!, I confess, I do not see any symptoms tutionality. It would be too much to expect that my to justify the opinion that it will be abandoned. This pro- opinions should rule in all things. I can estimate the retecting system may, from its over-tension and consequent spect which I owe to the opinions of other gentlemen, by inaptitude to an infant and agricultural community, break the respect which I would claim for my own. down; but I am persuadel, from what I have seen here Whenever a people become so dissatisfied with their this session, that it is the determination of a large majority Government as to refuse to accept its benefits when ten. of the people of the United States to adhere toit. dered to them, they or their Government must be in gross

There is another rcfcction which intrudes itself here, error. If the Government be in such error, (a condition and is not to be disregarded. It is this: However justly which cannot be induced without corruption,) it should the people of the South may hope for an amelioration of be reformed at all hazards. If the people, or a part of the present tariff, it were too much to expect a total aban-them, be thus in error, the cure is to be expected from donment by the Government of those interests which were their own sobered reflections. brought into existence and nurtured by its own patronage. It has been intimated here, and elsewhere, that the To abandon them suddenly to the storm of foreign compe- people are, in some sections of the country, in such a state tition, would be an act alike marked with cruelty and injus- of inquietude as to endanger the Union. In relation to tice, and might be justly reprobated as an act of bad faith this intimation, I can only speak for those whom I know, on the part of the Government. Do not understand me or think I know. I cannot believe that there is any here as adrocating the tariff system to the extent to which portion of the Virginians, much as I have heard since I it has been carried. By no means; I mean only to say came here of the nullifying doctrine, who meditate a disthat the Government, having induced the citizen, by hold- solution of the Union, or who would not deprecate it as ing out protection to such investment, to invest his capital the severest calamity. Sir, I think I know the temper of in manufacturing operations, is bound, in good faith, if it Virginia upon this subject. I have had many opportushall find it expedient to abandon the policy, to recede nities to know it; and I may say, that, so far from harborfrom it gradually, at least so gradually as to give the capi-ing any wish adverse to the Union, her sons would be tal thus employed time to seek new and more advantageous among the first, if danger threatened, to rally round its channels.

sacred standard. Nor can I do my fellow-citizens of South For my own part, I have always thought that the con Carolina, to whom allusion has been made in this debate, stitution was never intended to confer upon Congress the the injustice to believe that her sons cherish any such deright to protect manufactures by revenue regulations, sign. "It may be thought extravagant, after what we have further than that protection mighi be incidentally affori- witnessed in the other branch of Congress during the preed by the operation of a tariff of duties intended to raise sent session, but I do not hesitate to say it, as my opinion, a revenue for the purposes specified in the constitution. that the approach of danger to the Union--the common But I find myself, in relation to the tariff and internal im- palladium of their liberties--would again unite even old provements, in the situation of a mariner who is borne Massachusetts and South Carolina in those strong bonds away by a storm which he cannot resist. Although he of affection which held them together in the struggle for may be alriving with the speed of the wind in a direction independence. exactly opposite to that to which he should go to gain his Go among the common people, who form the body and destined port; yet, if he be skilful, he will not be found strength of your community, and I shall be much deceived iliy fighting against the wind and tide, but he will yield if you do not hear another than the language of disunion, to tie power, and thus acquire a velocity greater than the even in the South. The hotheated politician is not at all current; by which means his bark is made obedient to her times to be regarded as affording fair indications of the helin, and he is enabled, in some measure, to direct her temper of even the people among whom he resides. His

Here, sir, althougiı I cannot control the circum-inflammation is very often personal, and therefore does stances and events which surround and pass me, yet, by not threaten imminent danger to the Union. Indeed, I falling into the current with them, and yielding myself in believe much less is meant, generally, in relation to this sone degree to their control, I mas, possibly, ailed by subject, than the language used would seem to import. others of similar views, give thein another and better di- It may be, and I think sometimes is, intended merely to rection, in my opinion, than they would otherwise have deter from the prosecution of disagreeable measures. taken.

Permit me here to bespeak your reflections upon these By voting for this bill, it may happen that an expendi- questions. If the Government, at any time, shall have ture of money will be maile, advantageous to the coun- engaged in a system of measures which some of us may, try, in the welfare of which I am more directly interested, perchance, think impolitic or unconstitutional, will we, and that an improvement will be effected, which will cli- who think thus of that system, be justified in thwarting rectly diffuse iis benefits through it. And I know that, all its operations, and in rendering it, as much as possible, to the nation, nothing in the form of money will be lost, productive of bad instead of good effects? or will it be


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(March 25, 1830,

come our duty, when we, being the minority, can no upon the policy of confiding to the General Government longer, with any hope of success, resist the establishment the power to construct works of national improvement. of that system, to give it such a direction and such an Although I cannot, as I have already said, see in the operation, as to make it productive of the greatest public language of the constitution any satisfactory authority for good? I do not, myself, hesitate about the answer which, the exercise of this power, yet I am unable to discover in my luumble judgment, ought to be given to these ques. any good reason why this power, under well defined himittions. Certainly, if, as I believe to be true upon our ations, should not be confided to it. The mere power to principles of government, the majority have the right to make roads, canals, &c. has in it, as I conceive, no dan. rule, and, consequently, a right to settle the policy of the gerous tendency whatever. The probability that such a Government, the minority are bound to lend their aid in power would benefit the States is a thousand fold that of producing the best results from any system which the the probability that it would injure them. The danger inajority may adopt. I do not mean to inclucle extreme consists in the retention of jurisdiction over these works cases-such as can only exist under the influence of after they are made, not in making them. With this view corruption. It is, I admit, right enough that the opponent of the subject, it is my present impression, that, if I were of any system should, upon every occasion involving its now sitting in convention, for the purpose of amending propriety, directly vote to abandon it. But this, it seems the constitution, I would vote to confer this power, limitto me, does not imply that it is prudent or proper to op- ing it to the making of the work. I woukł do so, as at pose every incidental measure which may grow out of it. present persuaded, for another, and perhaps more powTo illustrate my idea by the very case under discus. erful reason. It consists in this: the States have, for obsion: if the internal improvement system is to be main- vious and imperious reasons, surrendered the entire regutained, it is proper that those who oppose it should aid in lation of their commerce to this Government; and thus selecting the most advantageous objects of its action, and, have surrendered the richest and by far the most conveof course, keep back those less advantageous.

nient and least oppressive sources of revenue. I should I hold, sir, that the adoption of an error may make that not, therefore, think it at all unwise to require of the right, which would otherwise have been wrong; or, to General Government, in times, like the present, of extraorspeak perhaps with more precision, that may be right-dinary prosperity, that a fair proportion of the means deFully done, as resulting out of a previous error, which, it rived from these sources should be made available to the thať error had not been committed, would never have States in internal improvements, or in education, where arisen to be done.

the preference might be given to that object. I have nothing to do, in this argument, with the ulterior The States, being dependant for their means upon diand unalienable right of any people to resist oppression, rect taxation, can never effect great improvements but by when they may choose no longer to endure it.

producing uneasiness amongst their citizens. The United I have said that I gave such a construction to the con- States, through their custom-houses, can collect from the stitution, as denies to Congress the right to make internal people millions, by a process so magical, that the people improvements; and have endeavored to justify myself for will be wholly insensible of having paid them. And thus voting for this bill, upon the ground that that power exists it would seem that, as the means of the United States are in fact, (a large majority of this House, and, by inference, much more ample than those of the individual States, the of the people, being for it,) and, as to all practical effects, United States ought to have the power of emplozing them as fully as if the constitution was without the shadow of a for the good of the States. doubt upon the subject; and because, by so voting, I do Indirect taxation, as a mode of ruising revenue, nothing more, and intend to do nothing more, than to give ferable to direct taxation, not only because all classes of a preference to this object over the many that are pro- citizens feel the operation of the former less than the latposed; not doubting, as there is no room to doubt, that ter, but because, under the former mode, the rich citizens whether this bill pass or not, internal improvements will are sure to pay their just proportion of the revenue. They, be carried on under this Government commensurate with having the ability to do so, will consume vastly more of its means. In this operation of my judgment, I assume to those articles which bear heavy duties than the poorer be my own casuist. My conscience is quiet.

citizens. The policy of protecting manufactures by high duties Under a system of inlirect taxation, a person may resort on imports, begets the necessity of creating some system to his prudence--to abstinence-for an amelioration of its of policy for the consumption of the money arising from burdens. He may, if he choose, abstain wholly from the that source.

I am not chargeable with the tariff' system. use of wine, cogniac, tea, and various other articles in I found it fully established when I came here; and have which the rich may choose to indulge, without materially since lent the aid of my vote, at three different times, for impairing his comforts, and thus avoid subjection to a a modification of its provisions. We all know the result. large proportion of indirect tax. I, and those who voted with me, found ourselves in a mi- The proposition is generally true, that actual consumpnority. What, under such circumstances, ought we to do? tion is measured by the ability to consume; and as the We cannot, reasonably, expect the majority to sacrifice ability is enlarged or diminished, actual consumption is their opinions to ours. It would be the merest arrogance increased or diminished. in me to assume infallibility for my opinions. I can see Having made these remarks, I will now endeavor to no just line of conduct but to acquiesce. I I am, as I have answer some of the arguments used by my colleague (Mr. said, opposed to the tariff of 1828; but I cannot see, in P. P. BARBOUR) for the purpose of showing that it is injustice, in reason, in conscience, why the people whom I expedient to make the proposed road. I am sorry that represent, as they bear their share of its burdens, should this gentleman, and that other gentlemen should, on acnot have their share of its profits. I do not see the line count of their opposition to it, have thought it necessary between submission to the majority, and what tends to a to undervalue this road. Sir, if we are to give full credit dissolution of the Government.

to their arguments, we could not resist the conclusion, A disposition has been manifested, in this discussion, that, if this road would not be indeed a national evil, it to waive the question of constitutionality, and to rest the would be, at least, useless. The warmth of opposition, I claims of this bill upon the grounds of expediency. Such must tbink, has carried gentlemen too far. The utility of has been the course pursued by my intelligent and eloquent this road is not to be seriously denied by any whose situation colleague, (Mr. P. P. BARBOUR.)

enables them properly to estimate it. And here, sir, hefore I meet my colleague upon this The honorable gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. ground, I request to be indulged in a few brief reflections Carson) has advanced the opinion that it will not be

is preMARCA 25, 1830.]

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even an indirect accommodation to the people of Ken- you please, rather as many roads all united, than as one lucky. My situation enables me to correct this misappre-road: for, whilst the various sections of it will be crowded hension. I live directly upon the track along which it is with travellers, you will rarely find one destined to pass proposed to construct this road; and I do know that many along the whole line. This view of the subject will obvi. Kentuckians do, yearly, use this track, and that great ate, I think, many objections which are made to the bill. quantities of stock are taken along it from that State to Who would think, says the gentleman, of transporting the interior of Virginia, and sometimes to Pennsylvania. ordnance from here to Buffalo by land, when it might be

My colleague [Mr. BARBOUR] asked, will this road be carried by water? Where is the grand canal of New York? of any commercial advantage? It will run, (said he) a Sir, these questions produce no difficulty. No one would great part of its way, between the waters which flow to be so foolish, I suppose, as to think of conveying ordnance the East and the waters which flow to the West, crossing by land when he could convey it by water. But, supposing some of them near their head springs, at right angles: your waters to be blockaded by your enemy, would you and almost in the same breath said, that if the road ran then deem it foolish to prefer a transportation by land to parallel with any of these navigable waters, it would be fa transportation by water? I should think not. still of less commercial importance. To what does this The honorable chairman of the committee which reargument amount, except to this: that although the road ported this bill, having, in the course of the very interestis most judiciously located, in reference to the interior ing views which he presented to this committee, alluded navigation of the country, yet it is wholly useless. Who to the state of internal improvements in England and can believe this? What country was ever so situated as not France, my colleague, (Mr. P. P. BARBOUR) as if deterto feel the advantage of good roads. The gentleman here, mined to strip improvements every where of all claim to as indeed throughout, seems to have been under the influ- public favor, asked, in what countries do you find a poorer ence of feelings excited by the warmth of his opposition, and more oppressed people, than in these? Surely, the

The gentleman next intimated that the estimate of ex- gentleman will not seriously contend that the internal pense in the bill was far too low; that the road would, improvements of a country are disadvantageous to it. And more probably, cost ten or twelve millions of dollars, than yet, sir, what other inference can you deduce from this two and a quarter millions. Now, in answer to this remark, question? Immediately after putting this question, in the I have only to say, that, whilst it is undeniably true that manner I have represented, the gentleman expressed his ten or twelve millions will make a better road than two willingness, nay, anxiety, that the improvement of the and a quarter millions, it is equally true that two and a country should go on. He was willing to bring roads and quarter millions will make a very good road. Again, the canals to every hamlet--to every door; but by the States expenditure of two and a quarter millions upon this road themselves, and not by this Government. Now, how does will not, as insinuated, lay Congress under any obligation this declaration comport with the question which the gento expend a further sum upon it. But if the prosperous tleman put to the committee relative to the pauperism of state of the treasury hereafter, combining with other cir- England and France? How much less, I will ask the cumstances, should make it expedient, Congress may, in gentleman, will this road, or any other piece of improveits discretion, appropriate additional funds to that object. ment, be worth, having been made by the General GovernI cannot see that Congress may not, as I cannot foresee ment, than if it had been made by the State Governments? that it will be wrong to do so, at some future time, say I never before heard it insinuated that improvements profifty years hence, if you choose, cause the whole line of moted pauperism. I cannot avoid thinking that the viothis road to be Macadamized.

lence of the opposition which the gentleman feels to the The gentleman further said, that the interest upon the assertion of jurisdiction over the soil of the States, by the sum proposed to be expended upon this road is more than General Government, sharpens in a high degree the opthe whole cost of transporting the mail throughout the whole position which he feels to this measure, on the ground of of its distance, and then drew the conclusion, that it was expediency; else, why such strong efforts to undervalue, inexpedient to make it for the accommodation of the mail. to disparage, the proposed road? This argument, though the conclusion may be just, is, The gentleman has said, that, in proportion as you certainly, not quite fair. If the accommodation of the remove the expenditure of money from the influence and mail were the sole object of its construction, then the ar-control of self-interest, you increase extravagance. I gument would be fair. But it should not be forgotten that subscribe most heartily to this proposition. Self-interest, this is but one of three objects to be effected by making when it can be brought to bear upoir the subject, is the the road. In addition to the advantages which are to be surest guaranty of economy in the expenditure of money. derived from the superior facilities in the transportation of But how will the gentleman apply the principle, with any the mail which this road will afford, are to be considered advantage, to the case under discussion? Can a State, the advantages which it will afford to internal commerce, any better than the United States, dispense with agents in and the advantages it will afford, as a military road, in time executing its schemes of internal improvement? If it canof war. The aggregate of advantages, resulting from these not, I should think the argument was without force. There three sources, constitutes the reason of the committee for are no means, in reference to this subject, it seems to me, reporting this bill. We all know of how much importance which can be employed by a State, that cannot, with equal the despatch of the mail is, at any time, but particularly in facility and advantage, be employed by the United States. time of war. The delay of a day may cost a city and many The plan adopted in Virginia, and referred to by the genlives. The battle of the 8th of January, 1815, at New tleman, of requiring the subscription of three-fifths of the Orleans, was fought becalise despatches, which were on stock necessary to complete a work of this character by their way, had not reached their destination. The value private individuals, as a condition upon which the State of this road, in a military point of view, I admit to be, will subscribe the remaining two-fifths, is wisely accommochiefly, contingent. It may, in this relation, be incalcu- dated to the limited means of the State. But I apprehend lably valuable, or not, according to circumstances. the adoption of a similar principle here would amount to

Again: The gentleman asks, will troops ever pass from an abandonment of some of the most important objects, in the Northern frontier to the Southern, or from the South- a national point of view. I have already intimated that ern to the Northern? I answer, I have no expectation the wealth and prosperity of a nation does not always conthat they ever will. Nor have I any expectation that many sist in the amount of money which it may have in its cofpersons will, either in times of peace or war, travel through fers; and that the wealth of its citizens was the wealth the entire Ime of this road. But this, I conceive, is no of the nation. Every convenience, every commercial facidrawback from its value. This road is to be regarded, iflity enjoyed by the citizen, adds to the general stock of

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[March 25, 1830.

national wealth. Why, then, I would ask, should conve- There is, I confess, a good deal of ludicrousness in the niences, commercial or personal

, be withheld, when they idea of Congress roaming over the country in search of can be so easily supplied by the Government? The gen-objects of this kind; but that they should be brought to tleman himself admitted, if I rightly understood him, that its view by applicants or petitioners, is a mode of proceedthe money of the treasury was collected imperceptibly ing quite too common to excite risibility. from the people: if so, the complaint upon this score is The gentleman thinks that, upon a fair division of ten rather imaginary than real. I will venture to aflirm that millions of dollars among the States, the share of Virginia the advantages of tiuis road, should it be constructed, will would be one million; yet, he says some portion of its inbe someth ng more than a phantom of the imagination. habitants (the people of Norfolk) felt great joy when the Besides this view of the subject, I repeat, that funds far United States subscribed one hundred and fifty thousand more than necessary for the ordinary purposes of the Go- dollars to the Dismal Swamp canal stock, as if they had, vernment will flow in upon us, and that we must make through the mere bounty of Congress, got something that some disposition of them.

did not belong to them. The gentleman again said, that this system of distribut. Now, upon looking over the ideas here conveyed by my ing the public money was upequal in its operation, and colleague, the inference is to be drawn, that, instead of therefore unjust. Now, it would appear to me that if this ob- one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, one million ought jection be sound, a system of internal improvements could to have gone to Virginia. The idea seems not to have not be sustained, either by the State, this, or any other Go-been present in his mind when this train of refiection envernment, for the objection certainly lies as strongly against tered, that from ten to twelve millions, and upwards, have it in one place as another. Sir, all civilized nations admit been annually consumed by the national debi. He seems the importance of internal improvements. All have prac. to have proceeded upon the idea that there had been an tised, to some extent, under the principle of their import- annual fund of ten millions to be distributed among the ance; and shall we now be told, that, because in construct- people. If this had been the case, the people of Norfolk ing them we cannot distribute the money employed upon would have been miserable dupes indeed, to have exulted them with perfect equality among the people; we must because their State had got one hundred and fifty thouabandon them altogether?

sand dollars, wlien it was in fact entitled to one onillion. Sound policy requires that the most important improve. Such, however, was not the fact. The people got a hunments should be selected, with due regard to national ad- dred and fifty thousand clollars through the favor of Convantage, including equality of distribution of money, so gress, rather than because, at that time, Virginia had any far as practicable, as well as every other fair consideration, particular claim to a dividend from the treasury. and nothing more.

My honorable colleague was pleased, in the course of Perfect equality in the distribution of the public money his eloquent speech, amongst other things, to direct our is not expected--is not possiblc.

attention to old Rome, once the proudest city of the world. I do not feel the force of this remark of my colleague, He asked, where is Rome, with all its splendid aqueducts, that exactions and contributions shouli be equal. towers, and temples-- Rome, that once urged its conquests

How equal? Literally and arithmeticahy? If he mean almost to the Ganges? Aye, and where are the Romans that they shall be literally and arithmetically equal, then I themselves, who built these splendid works? They, too, take issue with him, and without an argument will submit are gone. They were the workmanship of the Deity, yet the question to the decision of this House. If he mean, they have perished. Could mortality impart immortality? as I presume he does, that the constitution requires only No. Athens, Rome, and Carthage once were, but now practicable equality in public exactions and contributions, they are not. The reflection is melancholy, but it is irreihen I will contend that in the construction of no work sistible. The time will come when our beloved republic which can be selected, would a more cqual distribution of will live only in history. It is the common fate of all things the people's money be made among them, than in the con- beneath the sun. But I do trust, that, under the blessings struction of the proposed roal. Exaction--as that is a of a kind Providence, ages upon ages will run their ample term which belongs to the tariff, a matter which the gen- round ere it will be asked, where, now, is the once splenileman declined to discuss--I shall permit it to sleep un- did republic of North America? disturbed.

As the downfall of no Government, heretofore, is to be The gentleman said it would be unjust, after he and an- ascribed to its improvements, there can be no just cause other had, with great nicety, weighed out each one hun to apprehend such a consequence from such a cause in fudred pounds, in gold scales, as contributions to the Go-ture. Sir, let gentlemen say what they may, it will, neververnment, that that other person should take the whole theless, remain an unshaken truth, that internal improvesum, and appropriate it to his exclusive use.

ments are a source of wealth and prosperity to a nation. I should certainly not differ with my colleague in opi- A well regulated system of internal improvements will, nion here. I will, however, ask the gentleman how he ap- I doubt not, be found to be one of the inost efficient ligaplies the remark to this bill? It may mean something, if ments of our Union, whilst it will give no just ground for it be taken as referring to the tariit; but I do not under the apprehension of consolidation, and a destruction of the stand it in its bearing upon the proposed road. The two state sovereignties. or three millions which will be expended upon this road, If destruction shall come upon our Union, (which God should it be made, will, instead of going into the hands of forbid!) it will be alike to me whether the fault shall have one or a few, be scattered amongst thousands.

been with the Federal Government, or the State GovernThe gentleman, as if willing to defeat this bill by any ments. Disunion is the dreaded result. It may as readihonorable means, here ridiculed the idea of applicants ly happen from the ill-devised measures and ill-timed oppocoming before Congress from all quarters of the Union, sition of the State Governments, as from similar causes for internal improvements--some with propositions for na- springing out of the action of the General Government. tional improvements--some with propositions for more Both sides should be alike careful to avoid this result-national improvements, and--some with propositions for both animated with a spirit of concilation and forbearance. most national improvements. Sir, there is nothing in Mr. RAMSEY said, he did not mean to detain the comthis conceit at all ludicrous or ridiculous in my mind. Im-mittee long, nor did he intend to enter upon the constituprovernents of all these several degrees of nationality be- rionality of the power of Congress to make the road coning submitted to Congress, from which to make selections, templated by the bill. I said Mr. R.) consider that quesit is to be inferred that the selections will be made from tion settled long since. I go upon the expediency of the that class denominated most national.

measure. The road proposed by the bill runs about mid

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