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Pay of Members.
[MARCH 29, 1830.
their pay, without deserving it by merit. The best way, ry motives, and that while they remain here they are influ. therefore, seems to be, for a statesinan to leave the ir.atter enced by a sense of public duty, and sustain an actual peas he finds it, until the people complain. They know how cuniary loss. But to them money is not the primary mowe stand; and if we are entitled by law to more than we tive to action. Other and more exalted motives actuate deserve, they will demand that we shall set the matter them. To them absence from kind friends, from their acright. I have heard of no voice of complai:t among customed scenes, from the domesiic hearth, which I them. Their minds are tranquil, and have settled down trust comes home to the bosoms of all who are entrusted for many years with contentment upon the present rate of with a seat on this floor, is sufficiently painful--spring recompensation. They know that we are the nearest power turns, but not to them returns its accustomed joys-daily of the Government to themselves--the representatives of and hourly they are recalled to the scenes of their home-their wisdom, their virtue, their feelings, and their patri- their hearts yearn after their wives, children, and friends, otism--and they have not demanded of us to cut down our but public duty, their obligations to their constituents, compensation below that of clerks in the public offices; keep them here. When they have accepted the honor nay, even below that of the humblest messenger employ- conferred on thein, they will remain here so long as duty ed about this hall. Under these circumstances, I regret requires them. To such men this resolution only offers that this measure has been brought forward at a period of insult--it is addressed to them in vain. But it seems to be the session when it can produce no practical result, except addressed to men of different mould, with whom it may that of displacing business well matured, and delaying be supposed the gentleman from South Carolina has the action of the House upon measures, the progress of “sounded the depths and shoals of honor;” and I would which the public eye is watching, and in relation to the ask the gentleman whether even as to them it is not bottomfate of which the public feeling is now engaged. Sir, it ap-ed on a wrong estimate of human nature. Upon the prinpears to me that an economist of time could hardly have ciple of the resolution they are selfish. They have no been less fortunate in the selection of an occasion, or å mode care for, and pay no regard to, the public interest. Their of doing public service. The question of compensation, feelings and passions are absorbed in speechifying, as the as presented in the resolution, comes in a form as nox- word goes, for their own aggrandizement. They will, of ious and offensive as could possibly have been given to it. course, go ou in their usual course until the period when So far as my recollection ranges over the history of re- the eight dollars per diem shall cease, and, after having presentative governments and deliberate assemblies, whc. picked up the crumbs and oftal of every debate, to make ther in free or monarchical countries, I can bring to mind themselves notorious, will go home at the end of the four no example or precedent, no proceeding that bears any monthis, and leave the public business undone. The old likeness or parallel to this. It has at least one merit, that adage, that "you cannot bring blood out of a turnip,” is of originality of invention. Of what character is it? Is its too true to be overturned by this resolution. I do not object to produce deeds of patriotism, of honor--to ad- wish to be understood as believing that this is the true chavance the interests and extend the renown of our country, racter of this House, or any very large portion of it. I by appealing to our nobler feelings? No--but by address- believe the members generally to be actuated by as high ing itself to the base and sordid passions—to those feel and honorable motives as any former Congress. It is not ings which actuate the most degraded and worst of man-requisite I should, in candor, say that they possess the kind. Looking to the ancient republics, we find that they, same amount of talent. I know that in this session, as in when they wished to elicit deeds worthy of a free people, all former ones, time has been consues in what has been addressed themselves to the higher feelings, to the patri- often called frivolous debate, but still I am satisfied, from the otism, the love of country--the honor and integrity of information of those sufficiently qualified to know, from their public functionaries. That is the mode in which 1 correct and official sources, that we are not behind any should like to see the lagging integrity, the slow atten- preceding Congress in the amount of business actually tion, the wandering thoughts, of this assembly, if such done, and that we are much ahead of them in important things be urged into concentration and quickened into ac-national affairs, well matured by our committees, and now tion. We have fallen on evil times indeed, if our busons awaiting the action of the House. In addition to this, it can respond to nothing but such a call as this. We have ought to be recollected, by experienced gentlemen, that experienced a rapid and premature decay, if, at the end we have had three contested elections, each of which was of fifty years after the declaration of independence, and the subject of warm excitement and debate, and which for before the last, lingering, and almost hallowed footsteps the time entirely excluded ordinary legislative business. I of one of those who proclaimed it, have left the earth, we know that many “wise saws" have been uttered about a have so lost its spirit, become so 'degenerate in purpose, debate of two days on a small Indian memorial. I do not as to be urged to duty and honor by, no other incentive set myself up as a censor upon any gentlemen who may than a small pecuniary penalty hanging over our heads! think proper to enter a debate upon any question before Sir, we are required to perform an undefined and unde- this House. They are all of age, and act upon their refinable amount and extent of legislation, to provide for sponsibility to their constituents, and are amenable to the the interests, wants, and exigencies of twelve millions of high bar of public taste. But, as I did not enter into that people, and a vast extent of country, in a specified time, debate, and bave been generally “a looker on in Verona, or be fined for it. Knowledge and wisdom are thus to be I may be permitted to say that it involved an important measured by hours, and patriotism by dollars. The iron principle. It ought to be supposed that gentlemen from bed of Procrustes is the only thing I know, to which the various quarters of this Union, meeting together here, resolution bears a resemblance.
somewhat strangers, debate for mutual and public instrucThe reproach which the resolution conveys, (not de- tion. For my part, I listen with pleasure and delight to signed, I am sure, by the gentleman who offered it,) may the effusions of genius, talent, and experience, on any be correct or not. I will not undertake to say that the subject, and bear with patience its concomitant evil, garmajority of gentlemen on this fluor are induced to waste rulity without wisdom. The public never said that the the time, and lengthen out the session, for the purpose of time so consumed was wasted, until some gentlemen here, receiving their per diem allowance. There are many perhaps with a view of building up their own reputation members, of whose character, standing, and virtue, I am at the expense of others, made some stir about it. If we unacquainted, (the gentleman from South Carolina has could all see ourselves as others see us, it might, perhaps, more experience than I have,) but there are many with be considered that the best way to build up a reputation whom I am acquainted; of these last I can say with confi- for business habits, is to attend diligently to the matters dence and candor, that they are not influenced by mercena- before us, without making a parade about it. A close
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mouth is not only the sign but often the very perfection of days. Sir, it may do very well for the gentleman from wisdom. The discussions of the early part of this session South Carolina, but it will not do for me. But, if we canmay have led to no practical measure, still they may have not trust the National Legislature of primitive times for an awakened public attention, and sharpened public inquiry. example, let us look to the State Legislatures. There the I believe there is no valuable institution in this world with members stand in close affinity and contact with the people, out some alloy; assembled here from the different sections under the eye of their constituents; yet it will be found of a mighty empire-the representatives of a free and in- that they consume as much and more time than we do, telligent people--overlooking the multitudinous interests making allowances for the difference of circumstances unof this great republic--exercising the right of free discus- der which we operate, and the magnitude and variety of sion--that great and glorious right--can we expect to have interests for which we provide. I speak with knowledge it without some alloy? It is impossible--discussion would of the State from which I have the honor to come. The not be valuable if it were so controlled as to exempt it Legislature of that State met one month before Congress, from being abused. We cannot have that beau ideal in le- and has not yet adjourned. If the members have done gislative proceedings which gentlemen seem to desire, and wisely, they will hear, when they return home, the words we should be careful lest, in attempting to take away what “well done” from their constituents; because that people may seem objectionable in debate, we do not destroy the look more to the worthiness and value of legislation, than value of the right of discussion altogether.
to the ordinary time expended 'in maturing it. I think, The resolution is founded upon an assumed fact, the then, I may safely say, deriving my information from that contrary of which is proved by experience. It would great source of political knowledge, experience, and we doubtless be a wise measure, if it was satisfactorily esta- should always pursue our path into fiturity by the light blished, that the legislative business could be transacted in which beams from the past--looking to this authority, I may four months. If not, the resolution ought to be abandon- safely say that the resolution of the gentleman from South ed. How are we to ascertain that the business can be done Carolina is bottomed upon a presumed fact, the converse in one hundred and twenty days, not only now, but in fu- of which is established by experience. Shall we, then, ture time? Are we to resort to experience, the sure guide who are entrusted with the concerns of a great nation, be which statesmen ought always to follow, or draw upon our guided by experience, or follow the imaginings of the genimaginations? We must consult the records of our countleman' I choose to follow in the path of those wise and try, and they will admonish us that it is a gratuitous sup-patriotic men of our early days, with whom the spirit of position, a mere fancy, to say that our business can be the revolution abided, who were honored in their lives, transacted in four months. i have looked at the sessions and, in their deaths, were embalmed in the recollections of Congress from the commencement of the Government, of our people. and I find that, at no period, has the first session of any Con- At the close of the hour on Saturday I was about to regress been less than five months, not even when the popu-ply to some observations of the gentleman from Virginia lation of the country did not much exceed three millions (Mr. ALEXANDER) which introduced the tariff, and the of souls; at times, too, when men of the purest patriotism peculiar feelings of gentlemen from the South, into this and most distinguished talents appeared in the councils of debate. I will forbear, because I feel that I shall trespass the nation; men whose briglit escutcheons were never long enough on the time of the House by adverting to stained with the imputation of eking out a session for the the topics that more properly belong to this resolution. I love of their per diem allowance. The first Congress sat, hope to have some more fit occasion to express all my in the two years, five hundred and nineteen days. I admit, feelings and opinions on the subjects which the gentleman that putting the new machinery into operation required from Virginia bas touched. They are like those of the more than ordinary time; but in the years ’93 and '94, when people from whom I am sent, decided and emphatic. The the whole machinery of Government was in harmonious gentleman from Virginia spoke of the rapine and plunder operation, Congress sat three hundred and eleven days; committed on the people by an army of legislators. I do in '99 and 1800, it sat two hundred and seventy-two days. not know but those might have been the sentiments of At that period the population was five million three hun- Robespierre, when he undertook to regulate every thing dred and nineteen thousand and thirteen souls, less than by the jacobin club. Bonaparte dispensed witli the reone-half of our present population, and the great States in presentatives of the people in a summary mode--and so did the valley of the Mississippi have since grown up, as if by Croinwell. As long as liberty dwells in this land, its brightnagic, claiming the paternal care of this Legislature. But est, purest, and most secure abode must be in these halls. I have turned to another period of our history, in the hope I do not wish to see the power of the people, as here unthat its example would be more prevalent here. Mr. Jef. folded and exemplified, curtailed or straitened. The ferson came into power upon the basis of economy and re- gentleman from South Carolina has devoted liis energies form, and I believe he had a sincere desire to promote hitherto, to what he considered some improveinent in the both. But I have looked in vain to find that the first ses constitution. But I would ask him whether the practical sion of any Congress, during that administration, was effect of his proposition would not be to weaken the popubrought to a close in less than five months. The first ses- lar representative branch of this Government, and to sion of his administration lasted one hundred and forty- strengthen unreasonably the Executive arm. The constitight days, and the second eighty-eight. Supposing, how-tution provides that neither House shall adjourn without ever, to humor the fashion of the times, that they had some the consent of the other, for more than three days. The trouble in clearing away the rubbish left by General notion and view of the convention in this provision is eviWashington and Mr. Adams, in the first Congress, yet the dent. The aristocratic branch, or, as some will have it, second Congress of that administration, influenced by the the representatives of State sovereignties, (if that expresstrictest economy, conducted by the purest republicans, sion can be used without a solecism in lexicography and sat two hundred and eighty-two days. Is it to be expect- common sense,) might choose to adjourn so long, in times ed that this Congress, legislating for more than double of public excitementor public apathy, as to leave the Exthe number of people, covering a much wider extent fecutive authority in perfect control of the Government. of territory, and embracing six additional States, with Now they cannot do it without the consent of the popular less of political experience and wisdom, can do the busi- branch. Sir, every despot who has arisen in the world, ness in two-thirds the time? The gentleman from South commenced by encroachments on the voice and privilege Carolina would task us too hard, be would fix a badge of of the people, first limiting, and then suppressing it. The disgrace upon us, unless we far surpass the Roger Sher- freedom of the press, which is entirely analogous to that mans, the Albert Gallatins, the James Madisons, of other of debate, is liable to abuse; and there is a class of gentle
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men who are constantly engaged in fastidiously bewailing saved to this people the amount mentioned by the gentleits corruption.
man from South Carolina, by the adoption of this measure; It is most undoubtedly liable to abuse. More, much but what will that signify? The expense of the army is more than the privilege of free debate. Yet who would annually about five millions of dollars, and that of the wish to see it trammelled or circumscribed? The con- navy is nearly of the same amount, whilst the whole civil stitution provides that Congress shall pass no law "abridg- department of the Government does not much exceed half ing the freedom of speech or of the press.” Now, wbat of one million. Now if Congress did nothing, its value freedom of speech was it that they intended to place be- would be felt. It is something like the eye of a master yond the reach of legislation? That which takes place watching the labor of his workmen. If gentlemen speak in the market place or in the public streets? One would over again, in the “stock debates,” the same speeches that think not, because that is provided for by the common have been spoken, to use the language of the gentleman law, on the subjects of suits for slander. Once there from Virginia, (Mr. BARBOUR] “ de die en diem,” it is unwas a sedition law-a sin, in a degree as fatal as the original doubtedly an evil, and is only to be remedied in the firm sin of Adam--because the crime of the father is visited good taste which resides in this House. It must come to upon their children. But, on the whole, considering the that at last: gentlemen must learn that they will be tolerat. provision as a general political guaranty, it is hardly to be ed in speaking only when they have something valuable doubted but that it was intended to guard the freedom of to communicate. If ever I set up for a pedagogue to lecdebate in the national assembly as well as in private cir- ture the House, I will strike at these standing debates, not cles or the bar rooms of a tavern. And is not the national at the occasional flashes which bring fire from the eye
and representative of this people possessed of sufficient dis- eloquence from the lips of some gentlemen. cretion to confine within reasonable bounds the privilege of Sir, in the beauty and repose of yesterday evening, I debate? In the Roman Senate, a consul was not permitted strolled, in company with others of this House, to the to interrupt a senator, but, if the debate was unreasonably neighboring city of the dead, where some of the fathers prolonged, the senators interrupted it and stopped it by of the republic repose quietly side by side. Their bones their clamor. Cannot the representatives of this people, lie where the bones of their kindred and people do not the most enlightened and patriotic that ever existed on the lie. There is the tomb of George Clinton, upon which it earth, be entrusted with the same privilege? No, sir, is recorded that his children performed that pious office upon the principle of this motion, our controlling motive which was due to his remains from his country. There is is avarice. It cannot be disguised or forgotten that this also the tomb of Elbridge Gerry, upon which his own Government is the first hope of liberty, and, if it fails, the memorable saying is engraved, “Government has a claim last prop of enlightened humanity and justice will have upon the time of every citizen, and, if he had but one day left the earth. We are entrusted with a sacred deposit
. to live, that day ought to be employed in doing good to The eyes of the friends of liberty and justice in all quarters his country.” It was refreshing to my spirit to read this of the world are directed towards us. We have proclaimed memorial of his devotedness to his country, by one of its that virtue is the foundation of a republic, and knowledge fathers and benefactors. But my heart fell within me, when its surest support. It seems that we have been going on up- I recollected that it was my humble office to oppose this on a mistake. If so, we ought to undeceive the world. day a resolution, which seems to imply that public spirit
A gentleman brings in a motion, bottomed on tlie sup- no longer remains among us, and that our most appropriposition that we are governed by money. Even Walpole, ate motive to action is love of money. in the pride of his power, never broached so bold a notion; Mr. EVERETT expressed himself as friendly to the he thought, to be sure, that every man had his price, but object of the resolution, so far as regarded an abridgment he thought that public men were to be bought by some of the sessions, but not disposed to employ the means which thing magnificent, not by the paltry sum of six dollars a the resolution proposed to attain this object. He moved day. If we adopt this resolution, the people will take us to amend the resolution so as to limit each session to a fixed at our word; they will say that we have fixed the mark of term, which, he thought, would obviate the objections Cain on our foreheads. I never yet knew any man who which had been urged against the resolution in debate, acknowledged himself to be a mean fellow, who was not and suggested to him by many of his friends. believed. If we condemn ourselves, the people will be
Mr. STANBERY said that he did not like the resolution, lieve us. No man can gather golden opinions” by and he lamented that it came before the House from so rebranding himself with iniquity. If the resolution passes, the spectable a source. It proceeded upon the supposition that people will perform a solemn lustration, they will purify a majority of the members of this House procrastinate the this hall; and I trust in heaven, that no man who has been session, for the purpose of increasing their own compenpresent at the degradation of his country's honor, will sation. If gentlemen can persuade the people to believe ever again be returned. Sir, the people of the old con- this, it will have a manifest tendency to bring us into continent have looked upon us with something of wonder and tempt and disrepute with them, and prepare their minds admiration. They have not exactly comprehended the for certain irregular movements against this Union, with spirit of public virtue which urged us on to prosperity which we have been threatened. The truth cannot be and happiness. Sir, the proposition of the gentleman disguised, that the people have a deep-rooted attachment from South Carolina will meet all their wishes. If it is for the Union. This attachment is much stronger than a adopted, as quick as the ocean can bear it, winds will waft certain class of politicians among us perhaps may wish. it to the old world; royal presses will proclaim it; and the Not all our measures for the protection of the industry of tottering and decaying institutions of despotism will be the country, and for its internal improvement, complained stimulated into fresh vigor by the sound.
of as so oppressive by some, will, I am persuaded, have The decline of republics is traced from the first moment the effect of stimulating the people in any quarter to sancof the decline of public virtue and public spirit. I need tion any of the irregular movements to which I bare alnot run over the history of ancient times to prove this. luded. Those who may wish to prepare the minds of the Every gentleman in this House is sufficiently informed people to look with approbation on any measures of this to know it. Shall we not bring disgrace upon representa- kind, have yet a great work to perform. They must first tive government, if we establish, by our law,' that we bring this Government into contempt: nothing would so shall acomplish all our legislation in a given period, or effectually do this as the passage of this resolution, which have a brand of disgrace upon us? I do not agree to it. would proclaim to the world that we, the Congress of the It may suit the views of gentlemen who wish to weaken United States, the immediate representatives of this great the popular branch of this Government. There may be people, are public robbers.
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But, sir, it is not true that this House, or any consider that the members of this body prolong the sessions, from able portion of its members, desire to remain here with the mercenary motives of receiving their per diem allowout performing any public service, for the mere purpose ance, trifling with the business of the people by an unne. of entitling themselves to their pay; neither am I pre- cessary delay. The gentleman has himself illustrated this pored to admit that this Congress has been less industrious view of it most satisfactorily, because he insists that if such or less patriotic than any which have gone before us. An a law was in operation, there would be as much business immense mass of business has been prepared by our com- transacted in the term for which they were to receive mittees, and is now ready for the action of the House. eight dollars per day, as there is at the present time, when The passage of many of the measures before us for the the session is extended so much longer; and he has, but a internal improvement of the country, and which the state few minutes since, given it as his opinion that Congress of our finances can at present so well afford, and the pas- would not sit either at two dollars per day, or without sage of the bill on our table for the enforcement of the a compensation. When he first advocated his resolution, laws already in being for the protection of the woollen we were informed that if Congress would sit a month manufactures, are, I believe, loudly called for by a large after the eight dollars per day would expire, and then remajority of the people; and if it be one object of this ccive two dollars per day, there would be an ample comresolution to defeat all or any of these measures, by de pensation for the session, as the aggregate would be about priving us of sufficient time to act upon them, it only af- seven dollars per day. This position, I apprehend, only fords an additional reason for my opposition to it. If it goes to show that eight dollars per day is too much; bewere in my power to go any further than to vote against the cause, if seven dollars is "amply suiticient" for a long resolution, i would vote it a libel on the House.
session, it is equally so for a shorter one; and, if gentleMr. McDUFFIE replied to Mr. S. with equal warmth, men are in earnest, and have any desire to reduce the and vindicated his resolution against the objections urged wages of inembers, I shall go with them most cheerfully by others.
to reduce the daily pay to seven dollars, because I believe Mr. SCOTT said that, were it not for the imposing ap. that sum is worth as much for ordinary uses at the present pearance which the resolution now under consideration day, as eight dollars was at the time the present pay was presented to the view of the public, he would have rest- established by law; and this will be a certain saving to the ed perfectly satisfied (as he had heretofore done on other Government, and much more congenial to our republican occasions) with giving a silent vote. And now I regret institutions. (said Mr. S.) that I have to differ in opinion with the gen. In the great uncertainty of human affairs, suppose some deman from South Carolina, who offered it, because I national calamity was to befall our country, and it should believe his motives were pure, and that his only object become absolutely necessary for Congress to deliberate a was to facilitate the business of Congress; and I now dis- much greater length of time than is contemplated by the avow the most distant intention of attributing any impro- present project, they would have to sit for a sum scarcely per motives to him. But I feel well satisfied that the in- sufficient to pay their boarding. Should there, then, be troduction of a principle, such as is comprehended in the any such mercenary men who would have the honor of a resolution, would have a tendency virtually to destroy one, seat in this House, and have no more honorable and pathe most valuable co-ordinate branch of our republican Go-triotic object in view than their daily pay, would they not vernment. I mean the representative branch, which is at very soon leave your ball?
But what would be the unall times under the immediate control of the people, and pleasant situation of one (perhaps) of the most virtuous ought to be free and unrestricted in its deliberations. In and patriotic members of your body, who, under some my humble opinion, it would be imprudent, impolitic, and severe dispensation of Providence, would bave to resign unjust in us, who sit here in the time of peace and pros- his seat, or ask leave of absence? Would he not have his perity, to limit the sessions to a certain period of time, feelings wounded with frequently being stigmatized with when we know not the day that troubles and misfortunes the epithets “unworthy," "mercenary.". Sir, my honor. may befall us. Yes, sir, there is a possibility, though, 1 able colleague (Mr. Coultur] had the fortitude (and I grant, not a probability, that, previous to the end of our was much gratified to hear it) to bring into the view of present session, an indignity may be offered to our fag the House the true cause of the procrastination and deupon the ocean, which might render it absolutely neces- lay of business in this body, namely, the protracted desary for the present Congress to take the matter under bates which frequently take place on trivial and unimportheir most serious consideration. I hope a kind Providence tant questions. This I take to be the true cause of delay. may avert any such evil, as no one would deplore it more But, neither the adoption of this resolution, nor of the than myself. But this and many other circumstances may amendment before the chair, nor of their principles enoccur in future, which may require the solemn delibera- acted into a law, would, in my humble opinion, in any tions of Congress, when they may require time, and the degree, remedy the evil. The same gentlemen who retard utmost extent of their talents--whenever national safety the business in the present situation of affairs, would do may hang suspended on the lips and the wise deliberations the same provided the proposed system was adopted. of the statesmen within this hall. And, from what I have and should our country ever be so unfortunate (which I seen and experienced of the gentlem.in who is the author hope it never may) as to have unworthy and designing of the resolution now under consideration, I, for one, men in this hall, they would then be much better enabled would have as much confidence in his integrity, talents, to accomplish their evil ends by device and stratagem. and opinions on such an occasion, as of any member with. I am well aware that, in some instances, tedious and in these walls. But, much as I have admired the general protracted debates may be carried to too great a length; course which the gentleman from South Carolina has pur. but as all human governments must necessarily bear marks gued, since I have had the honor of observing it, I must of human frailty, and although this privilege, in large be permitted to think very differently from him on some deliberative bodies, may sometimes be carried to excess, subjects; and, at present, I feel opposed both to the re- yet, sir, it is to the enjoyment of, and a full and free exersolution, and the amendment to it, which has been offered cise of this privilege, that we must look for our freedom by the honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. and independence, and the security of every thing that is EVINETT) because I believe that either of them is ai va- most dear to us; and I apprehend much more danger riance with our republican institutions, and that, if either from legislating too precipitately, than from the tediousis adopted, and should become a law, the most perniciousness of investigation--and I think that almost every exconsequences will most inevitably follow. The very prin-perienced legislator will agree with me in this opinion. ciple implied, both in the resolution and amendment, is, | And the moment you take away or restrict the privilege
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[March 29, 1830.
of debate in your legislative halls, you strike a fatal blow senting something like an interplea in favor of the people at the whole system of representative government. Then, east of the mountains, and bringing directly before the I am not willing to place any restraint upon our succes. committee the relative claims of the different routes prosors; I hope they may be men who will represent faith- posed from this place to New Orleans. fully the true interests of a free and independent nation, These examinations and surveys were executed by orfor ages yet to come.
der of the Government, under authority of the act of April, Fallen, as the human family is, from a state of perfec- 1824, directing the survey of such objects of internal imtion, I cannot agree that if even the gentleman's propo-provement as might be considered of national importance. sition should succeed, and any calamity should befall our But while it is my purpose to show from them that the routes country, that would render it necessary for Congress to east of the mountains, as indicated by the reports of the be in session eight months, but that there would be men, engineers, and especially that termed the middle route, even in very limited circumstances, that would be willing possess advantages superior to those west of the mountains, to sacrifice their time and labor for their country's wel- I must be permitted to express my regret that these dofare. Much as I deplore the frailty of human nature, cuments do not furnish that accurate information so desirmuch as I feel the effects of it, I do most unfeignedly be-able in deciding the perplexing question of the proper lieve that it is sinking it far below its present dignity, to location of this road: they exhibit a mere outline, without suppose that there is no such thing as disinterested pa- noticing many of the prominent difficulties or peculiar adtriotism, and that mere mercenary motives are the whole vantages characteristic of the face of the country through rule of action with all public men. If such is our deplor- which these surveys are carried. I have understood, sir, able situation, our liberties will soon be at an end, and that the visit of the engineers detailed on this service was the adoption of the principles contained in the proposi- known to very few persons throughout the line of their tion now before the House, in my humble opinion, would survey in the western part of North Carolina; and that soon put it in the power of the most dangerous and mer- they neither sought nor obtained, from intelligent indivicenary to assume the control and evade the will of the duals, such local information as might have tended to a people. I trust there are no such men within this hall, full understanding of the advantages which that route preas would, from mere mercenary motives, detain the pro- sented. They seem to have travelled with the caution ceedings of Congress for the sake of daily pay; should and expedition that might have been expected to characthere be such, which I hope there is not, I will close my terize an excursion into an enemy's country. It is true remarks, by addressing them with a sentiment, which was that, at the time of the performance of this service, some suggested to my mind by a description given by my friend of our southern politicians, both here and elsewhere, had and colleague this morning: * I would say to them, that assumed a rather threatening attitude in their denial of the they ought to be afraid to tread the soil that had been en- power of this Government to exccute surveys, and conriched by the blood of the heroes of the revolution struct roads and other works of improvement, in the sevethat they ought to be afraid to visit the tombs of the pa- ral States; but whatever reason this inight have offered triots and sages who gained our liberty and founded our for a careful and unobtrusive passage through other parts Government--lest the spirits of the departed brave should of their journey, yet, in North Carolina, these Governbe aroused from their peaceful slumbers, and forbid the ment oflicers had nothing to fear,they were there, at foul intrusion. We have been informed that our names least, on neutral ground. Not that the people of that will have to appear on this question. I am willing and State are indifferent to, or united in their opinions as to prepared to record my n:ime, both against the amendment the powers of the General Government upon this and other of the gentieman from Massachusetts, and the original re. subjects, but, influenced by that spirit of concession and solution, not fearing the consequences, when I am in the conpromise which gave existence to the constitution, they conscientious discharge of my duty.
are prepared to yield much; yes, sir, they would pause Mr. WAYNE next rose, but the debate was discontinu- long before they uttered even a gasconading threat of oped, the hour for considering resolutions having expired. position to this or any similar act of authority on the part
Mr. WICKLIFFE, in order (he said) to have the sense of the General Government; and though they may believe of the House ascertained on the resolution, as he presum- that, in many acts of legislation here, a due regard has ed members had made up their minds on the question, not been paid to their interests, their complaints will be moved to suspend the rule which confines the discussion found to mingle with them no spirit of resistance-no senof resolutions to one hour of the day. The inotion was timent of disunion.. This is a subject that they have not negatived.
been taught to think or talk about; and I, sir, am the very last BUFFALO AND NEW ORLEANS ROAD.
man on earth that would attempt to teach them so fearful
a lesson. But I return to the immediate question before The previous orders of the day were, on the motion of the committee. The gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Mr. HEMPHILL, postponed; and the House resolver it- HEMPHILL) asserts that the western route, the one embraced self into a Committee of the Whole on the state of the in the bill, has decided advantages over any other; but he has Union, Mr. Harxes in the chair, and took up the bill mak- not told us to which of the routes his assertion is intended to ing an appropriation for a road from Buffalo, in New York, apply; or, is he ignorant of the fact that two directions and to New Orleans, by Washington city.
two distinct surveys west of the mountains have been reportMr. A. H. SHEPPERD said, he rose principally for the ed? I may well suppose the gentleman from Pennsylvapurpose of offering an amendment to the bill now under nia to have fallen into this error, not only from what he consideration. I have hitherto forborne to do so, from a bas said, but from the fact that the gentleman from Tenwish that my colleague (Mr. Carson) should have an op- nessee (Mr. Blain) has triumphantly exhibited a chart of portunity of offering one that was long since printed and the route reported in 1826, and has referred to it as givlaid on our tables; but as he has twice had the floor, and ing the only western direction indicated by the engineers; twice been induced to withhold his proposition, I now feel but, sir, I have procured from the Engineer Department, myself at liberty to present my own; the effect of which and now have before me, a map of a route which diverges will be, as I intimated when I obtained the floor, to make from the first a few miles beyond Knoxville, Tennessee, up an issue different from that already pending, by pre- crosses the Clinch river at Kingston, is then found wind
ing its way through the Cumberland mountains, and toil* Mr. Coulter described his visit to the public burying ground, ani ing úp Spencer's hill, and, after a fatiguing journey of the inscription on Elloriage Gerrys moniment, amely a man many miles west of a direct line, it reaches Huntsville, in luas but olie dlay to live, that day ought to be devoted wihe service of his country.”-Note by Mr. S.
Alabama; and from thence it is seen to encounter the Mus.