« AnteriorContinuar »
H. of R.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
(March 30, 1830.
Since the general peace in Europe, a large portion of country, this meed belongs to them. Are we wiser than the people of this country have been suffering under hea- they were? Are we more patriotic? Do we better unvy embarrassment, in consequence of having contracted derstand the policy of free government than they underdebts when the nominal value of all property was at a high stood it? There is no system of policy that the General rate. This embarrassment is the necessary effect of the Government can ever pursue, without giving offence to general depression of the nominal value of property. It some parts of the Union. I would have the individual has borne most severely on the inhabitants in the interior States retain and exercise every particle of their rightful of our country, who have a few facilities to obtain a mar- power. But, sir, I maintain that allegiance to the Union ket for their produce to pay their debts; and of course they is essential to the preservation of the liberties of all the incease, to a great extent, to be purchasers of the products dividual States. Mr. Madison remarks on this principle of the industry and enterprise of others. Malthus lays of paramount power, which is distinctly asserted in the down this sound proposition--that “whenever the pro- constitution of the United States, that if this has not been duce of a country, estimated in the labor which it will com- adopted, “the world would have seen, for the first time, a mand, falls in value, it is evident that with it the power system of government founded on an inversion of the funand will to purchase the same quantity of labor must be damental principles of all government; it would have seen diminished, and the effect we demand for an increase of the authority of the whole society every where subordiproduce must, for a time, be checked.” P. 32.
pate to the authority of the parts; it would have seen a Facilities for transportation, then, are facilities for pro- monster, in which the head was under the direction of the duction. What gives to the great State of New York, and members."--Fed. No. 44, p. 286. to her city of that name, their pre-eminence in this Union? It must ever be painful to the friends of the Union on Sir, it is their enterprise by nieans of the facilities for trans- such occasions as the construction of a road, the passage portation they have created and extended--facilities for of a tariff act, or even of a law declaring war, to hear the internal commerce. Without these, their external com- language of revolt from any portion of the citizens. The merce would rapidly decline. And, sir, I hope the en-following remarks by Mr. Madison in the forty-fifth mumlightened delegation from that State will not oppose the ber of the Federalist, are too pertinent and monitory to be attempt of the General Government to do for the Union omitted here: what she has so wisely and successfully done for herself. “If the Union, (he says) as has been shown, be essenMuch as she has done, the interior of that State would be tial to the security of the people of America against fogreatly improved by more good roads, and the value of her reign danger;if it be essential to their security against conown canals would be augmented. But gentlemen seem to tentions and wars among the different States; if it be esbe alarmed at this proposed exercise of power by the Ge- sential to guard them against the violent and oppressive neral Government, as tending to a consolidation of the factions which embitter the blessings of liberty, and against powers of the State Governments into one sovereignty. I those military establishments which must gradually poison have not been able to discover this tendency.
its very fountain; if, in a word, the Union be essential to But, sir, I have seen cause for the most solemn alarm at the happiness of the people of America, is it not prepusthe apprehension of an opposite tendency--a tendency to terous to urge as an objection to a Government, without insubordination and disunion, with all their attendant hor- which the objects of the Union cannot be attained, that rors. The period is but just passed, when the evident such a Government may derogate from the importance of weakness of the bonds of this Union, and the want of na- the Governments of the individual States? tional sympathy and national character, filled the hearts of “ Was, then, the American revolution effected, was the the most devoted and intelligent friends of the Union with American confederacy formed, was the precious blood of deep consternation. Had the period of trial been pro- thousands spilt, and the hard earned substance of millions longed, no man can calculate what might have been the lavished--not that the people of America should enjoy consequences. Now, sir, is the favorable time to strength- peace, liberty, and safety; but that the Governments of en the bonds of the Union, by interests that will identify the individual States, that particular municipal establishus as one people; that each citizen in either extreme of ments, might enjoy a certain extent of power, and be array. this Union may feel that in each citizen in the opposite ex-ed with certain dignities and attributes of sovereignty? We treme he has a brother. Will the construction of a road have heard of the impious doctrine in the old world, that encroach upon State sovereignties? Will they contend the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. for the exclusive right to promote their own interests? Is the same doctrine to be revived in the new, in another
The power of the General Government to construct a shape, that the solid happiness of the people is to be saroad in any individual State, I consider as not necessarily crificed to the views of political institutions of a different a supreme power, but as a concurrent power. Hence there form? It is too early for politicians to presume on our for. is no cause for alarm to State authorities. The power of getting that the public good, the real welfare of the peoCongress to construct roads in an individual State, implies ple, is the supreme object to be pursued, and that no form no denial of power to that State to construct roads. Much of government whatever has any other value than as it may of the legislation of Congress, and of the several States, be fitted for the attainment of this object. Were the has been concurrent legislation. The militia laws of the plan of the convention (that formed our present constitu. United States, and of the several States, are acts of con- tion) adverse to the public happiness, my voice would be, current legislation. By concurrent legislation I do not reject the plan. In like manner, as far as the sovereignty mean that the action of one party is necessary to the ac- of the States cannot be reconciled to the happiness of the tion of the other, as in the case of two branches of the people, the voice of every good citizen must be, let the same legislature. The power I speak of is, the power former be sacrificed to the latter." which either the General Government or a State Govern- The same counsels were repeated by the illustrious and ment may exercise without encroaching upon the proper venerated father of his country, in the parting blessing he right of the other. It is a power that belongs not exclu- pronounced on his retirement from the Presidency, sively to either. If the distinguished statesmen whose In my opinion, sir, whatever may be said or done by names have been mentioned, who have received the ho-political aspirants to the contrary, the people, and a large mage of all hearts, had imagined that a system of internal majority of them, too, will sustain the General Governimprovements would lead to consolidation, or tu an undue ment in measures to strengthen the bonds of the Union. ascendency of the General over the State Governments, They have no pleasure in contemplating that either they they never would have recommended that system. or their children may be involved in strifes between State
If any men ever lived for the cause of liberty and their sovereignties, or in civil war from any cause.
March 30, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
[H. of R.
From some quarters in this House, it has been said that reward their labor in the construction of the proposed the money to construct this road ought not to be taken from road. It will not be lost to the country nor to the Governthe treasury; that it would be better to repeal the tariff, to ment. The true capital of a country consists not in moabolish the system of duties, and let the people keep their ney, but in its amount of productive industry. Good roads money in their own pockets. By such a course, sir, the are of more value to the country than money in either the Union itself would soon be abandoned. Instead of the pockets of the people or in the national treasury, Malthus present burdens, each State, if she would have commerce, justly remarks, that, “amongst abundance of other causes must maintain her own navy. If she would guard her of the misery and weakness of the countries subjected to rights, she must support her own armies. The great States the Ottoman dominion, it cannot be doubted that one of would soon conquer the small States, and then would re- the principal is the vast quantity of capital remaining in a sult a consolidation of most fearful character. Would it state of inactivity.” Vol. ii, p. 87. be wise to abolish the revenue system, and cut off the re- Construct this national road, and, from the eastern exsources that replenish the treasury? Soon would our navy tremity of our Atlantic coast, through the interior of the be reduced, and our commerce every where would become country, to the Mississippi, there will soon be a line of vil. the prey of freebooters. War, or disgrace and ruin, must lages and towns of greater value to the Union than would follow. Sir, if the duties be too high, let them be reduced, be a chain of mountains of the richest ore. When this but let not the General Government be stripped of its si- road is completed, if the prosperity of the country connews to save a little money in the pockets of the people. tinues, let there be branches extended from this road into
During Mr. Jefferson's administration, in one of his mes- other sections of the Union. By a policy like this, the sages to Congress, he took into consideration the question citizens of this republic may be more firmly attached to of the expediency of abolishing a part of the revenue. their Government, and better satisfied that its designs are He came to this conclusion, which I will give in his own words. “Patriotism would certainly prefer the continu
“Lofty and pure, and meant for general good.” ance of impost, and its application to the great purposes of The gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Polk] is alarmed public education, roads, rivers, canals, and such other ob- at the cost of this road. If the road be extended as projects of public improvement as it may be thought proper to posed by the amendment I intend to offer, according to add to the constitutional enumeration of federal powers.” the estimate of the committee who reported the bill, it will
In reviewing the history of this Government during cost three millions of dollars. The gentleman from Tennearly half the period of its existence, and the principles nessee says seven millions. The truth may prove to be and measures which have been warmly advocated by the between the extremes, visest and most distinguished of its founders, I come to In the treasury, on the first of January, 1830, was a ba. the conclusion that the system of internal improvements is lance of six million six hundred and sixty-eight thousand destined to go forward, and that fidelity to my constituents, two hundred and eighty-six dollars, a surplus beyond what and to "the general welfare," demands my efforts, though the service of that year required. On the 1st of January, humble, to equalize the benefits of it as nearly as practica- 1829, there was a surplus of five million nine hundred ble to all parts of the country.
and serenty-two thousand four hundred and thirty-five dol. In this system I consider the people of the United States lars not required for the service of that year. The estias having a more direct and important interest than in any mated balance in the year 1830 falls somewhat below five other that can be devised, excepting that of education, millions of dollars. This, I have no doubt, is a very safe which may carry its benefits to erery family and every in- calculation. The amount of the public debt redeemable dividual.
is rapidly diminishing. The amount paid in 1828 was above Is there any thing of imposing splendor in the plan of twelve millions of dollars. Nearly the same amount of a free road, extending a distance of two thousand miles public debt was paid in 1829. But the statement of the through the interior of this country? From one end to Secretary of the Treasury shows that the amount of pubthe other, where now are fens, and caverns, and forests, lic debt redeemable is rapidly sinking. The amount rewill be a highway for the march of civilization, and of the deemable in 1830 is set at eight million seventeen thousand prosperity of the people; an extended line of communica- six hundred and ninety-five dollars. The amount of pubtion to the eye of the patriot and the philanthropist, beau- lic debt to be paid, that is, to fulfil the engagements of the tifully studded with fourishing villages and towns. To a Government, vast number of our citizens it will hold up new encourage- For 1831, is estimated at
$7,705,960 ments and new means to throw off their almost hopeless For 1832, at
8,413,479 embarrassments, new encouragements and means to sup- For 1833, at
3,313,247 port schools and seminaries for the education of their youth, For 1834, at
5,720,948 and in numerous ways to add to the general wealth and Thus the gradual diminution of the public debt, as reprosperity of our country.
deemable, would leave a sum sufficient to build, every Does this proposed measure threaten to the country an year, a road such as this bill proposes. But those sums oppressive burden? If it were so, I would not advocate stated by the Secretary will not discharge the whole debt. it. This road may cost three, or even six millions of dol- The Secretary of the Treasury proposes the sum of twelve lars. During a number of years past, after disbursing the millions to be paid annually. "This, he says, will complete ordinary expenses for the support of Government, and the the payment of the whole public debt within the year appropriations, a balance has been left in the treasury of 1834, without applying the bank shares.” Why, then, more than three millions of dollars, and amounting, in some this alarm at a proposition to construct a road that will cost instances, to more than six millions of dollars. The duties three, or even six, millions of dollars? on sereral articles of necessity may then be reduced, and, Another objection. This road will be a subject of conin a short time, the public debt will have been discharged, troversy. Will this be a good reason against the measure? and the revenue will be equal to all probable demands Every measure requiring appropriations is contested. It opon the Government. In a few years the appropriations will ever be so. In all parts of our country, in every town for the payment of military pensions must almost entirely and district where there are roads, there are controversies. cease.
And, generally, where are the most controversies, there Sir, the revenue, amounting to twenty-six or twenty- are the best roads. eight millions of dollars, is drawn from the people of the The opposition to this bill has been powerful and inge. interior as well as from the rest. For the improvement nious, but, to my mind, far from being convincing. I hope of that part of the country, let a few millions go back to the bill, in an amended form, may pass--that the road may
H. of R.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
(March 30, 1830.
be truly national, or, I would rather say, republican in its value of the rights and liberties enjoyed by the people of a character, equalizing and extending its benefits as far as republic consists in every citizen's keeping his dollars and practicable. For the permanent benefit of so great a porcents in his own pocket, whilst those around him are illitetion of the population of the United States, in my judg- rate, idle, and denied the facilities for convenient interment there is no instance in which the money of the trea- course, a republic has no charms for my mind.. The chasury has ever been better applied. In no instance have racter of a people under its influence must sink into a state the people of the interior of this country, to an equal ex- of imbecility and degradation. In many parts of this countent, received from the many millions paid by them and try, good roads cannot for a long time be obtained, unless expended, benefits so substantial as is proposed by this bill. the General Government constructs them, or they are conIt is on this ground, and for reasons I have now offered, I structed by what are called private corporations, with support it. I ask only that it may have a national charac. power to tax every passenger. It is incumbent on the ter, or at least that it may have something of the proper- friends of liberty to consider well the probable consetions of a system adapted to the claims of the country. quences that may result from placing the great roads of For appropriations to carry forward internal improvements this country under the control of such corporations. The in various parts of the Union, other than the eastern gentleman from Virginia might be pointed to a bridge States, I have uniformly voted since I have had the honor corporation, that, on the ground of its pretended vested of a seat here. For the part of the Union from which I rights, to the subversion of the rights of the public, have come, I should be false to my trust if I did not claim a share wrung from a great and enterprising community a vast in the benefits of this system. If this claim be not allow- amount of their hard earnings. This was the necessary ed, I shall consider myself under no obligation to vote for consequence of neglect on the part of the public authorithe bill. If it be allowed, I shall hold myself bound to ty to make provision at the public expense for facilities devote for it. This course I have determined on for myself, manded for the convenience of that community. There as fair and consistent, and no more than just to my con. is no portion of a community exposed to suffer more than stituents and to the eastern section of this Union.
the agricultural, by the want of facilities to transport their Note by Mr. R.
produce to market. Why is corn worth only from twelve
and a half to twenty-five cents per busliel in the interior Mr. P. P. BARBOUR has subjoined to his speech on the of Virginia, and at the same moment worth from fifty to proposed national road, a note, containing some statements seventy-five cents per bushel in Boston? The want of fa. of the revenue derived from the New York canals, and of cilities for transportation accounts for this difference of the balance against them in expenses. He shows that the from one hundred to five hundred per cent. This is an ilinterest on the original cost of the canals, and the expenses lustration which, with many others, puts to a severe test for superintendence, repairs, &c. in 1826, exceeded the the notions of political economy advanced by the very able amount of revenue accruing from them in the sum of four and eloquent member from Virginia in his speech against hundred and six thousand one hundred and forty-three the proposed national road. dollars and seven cents. Is it inferrible from this fact that Mr. CROCKETT, of Tennessee, submitted an amendthe canals are unprofitable to the State of New York? 1 ment, providing that the road should run from the city of put this question to the gentleman as a fair one. I am not Washington, in a direct route, to Memphis, on the Missisaware that the gentleman could have had any other object sippi river, in the western district of Tennessee. in his note, than to lead the public to this inference. But In support of his amendment, Mr. CROCKETT said, he is this inference authorized by the premises? Would the was truly sorry, under existing circumstances, to trouble gentleman deny that, by the facilities created by the canals, the committee with any remarks upon the subject, espethe amount of millions of dollars in the products of the cially as a considerable portion of time had already been State is annually transported to market? It may be confi- consumed by the Representatives from his State, no less dently asserted that the facilities for obtaining a market than four gentlemen from Tennessee having addressed the actually increase to an almost incredible degree the pro- committee, ( Messrs. Blair, Isacks, Polk, and STANDIFER) ducts of a country. If the question rest on the principles all of whom (said Mr. C.) are much better qualified to of loss and gain, then the canals are profitable to the State. give light on this subject than myself. They give a spring to industry and enterprise, and greatly When (he continued] I consider the few opportunities augment the power of production. This to any people is which I have had to obtain information on this important wealth, and the procuring cause of their prosperity and topic, I shrink at the idea of addressing so intelligent a their happiness. On what principle are county or State hody as this, upon matters relating to it. My lips would roads constructed? Are they constructed for purposes of be sealed in silence, were I not fully convinced that there public revenue! Surely not. In towns or counties all the has been, in some instances, a partial and improper legis. citizens are taxed for the purpose of making and repairing lation resorted to during the present session. I was elected one or more principal roads passing through them. The from the western district of Tennessee, after declaring principal road does not go by every man's dwelling; but myself a friend to this measure; and I came here quite hot all are taxed for roads, which some of the citizens seldom for the road yes, the fever was upon me; but I confess I or never pass. By a good road through the centre of a am getting quite cool on the subject of expending money town or county, the value of every estate in that town or for the gratification of certain gentlemen who happen to county is augmented. Yet it is impossible, in the nature have different views from those I entertain. Let us inof things, that all the citizens in a town, county, or State, quire where this money comes from. It will be found should derive equal advantages from the principal roads. that even our poor citizens have to contribute towards the To resist the construction of roads because the facilities supply. I have not forgotten how I first found my way to afforded by them would be unequal, would be entirely this House; I pledged myself to the good people who sent preposterous. Would the author of the note insist that me here, that I would oppose certain tariff measures, and appropriations ought not to be made except for purposes strive to remove the duties upon salt, sugar, coffee, and of revenue? This doctrine would abolish, not only our other articles, which the poor, as well as the rich, are, roads and canals, whether constructed by towns or States, from necessity compelled to consume. The duties on but the whole system of public schools and colleges these articles are felt to be oppressive by my fellow-citiwherever they exist. They yield no revenue into the trea- zens; and, as long as I can raise my voice, I will oppose sury; but they yield that which is infinitely more valuable the odious system which sanctions them. to communities--intelligence, the blessings of civilization, Those who sustain the Government, and furnish the the thousand varied delights of social intercourse. If the means, have, by the illiberality of their servants, been
MARCH 30, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road,
(H. of R.
kept in ignorance of the true cause of some of their sufor travelling? No, sir. Then, is not your project useless, ferings. These servants, after the people entrust them and will it not prove an improper expenditure of the pubwith their confidence, too often forget the interest of their lic funds to attempt to carry the road beyond Memphis? employers, and are led away by some designing gentlemen, New Orleans has local advantages which nothing can take who, to gratify some wild notion, are almost willing to en- from her; it cannot injure her to have the road terminate slave the poorer class at least. I am one of those who are at Memphis; and if the road should so terminate, it would called self-taught men; by the kindness of my neighbors, be on the direct route from this city to the province of and some exertion of my own, I have been raised from Texas, which I hope will one day belong to the United obscurity without an education. I am therefore compelled States, and that at no great distance of time. to address the committee in the language of a farmer, These considerations, I think, are entitled to the notice which, I hope, will be understood. I do not mean to op- of the committee. If we must burden the people by a pose internal improvements--my votes on that subject will great expenditure, let us endeavor to do it with a view to show that I am an internal improvement man, though I the general good of the country. As to the defence of cannot go, as the Kentuckian says, " the whole hog:" the country, every man must know that the valley of I will only go as far as the situation of the country will the Mississippi can produce a sufficient number of troops admit, so far as not to oppress. I will not say that I will to meet any enemy who may have the audacity or vanivote against the bill under all circumstances, yet, at this ty to attack our western frontiers or New Orleans--moment, I consider it a wild notion to carry the road to that noted battle ground, where, a few years since, the extent contemplated, from Buffalo to this city, and we made the most powerful enemy on earth tremble; from this to New Orleans. Adopt my amendment, and you where the proud troops of England, headed by their will shorten the distance five hundred miles, which will save, haughty Lord Packenham, so soon became tired of our in the outset, upwards of seven hundred and fifty thou- present Chief Magistrate and his brave little band. We sand dollars to the country. Is not this worthy the con- are at present much stronger than during the last war; and sideration of the committee? Besides, it would, in a mea- if we desire to transport an army to New Orleans, or any sure, be useless to open the road as contemplated by the thing else, nature has furnished us with the best road in bill. I recollect there was a road opened by the army, the world, the importance of which we have once expefrom the lower end of the Muscle shoals, on the Tennes-rienced. Should it ever happen that your brave soldiers, see river, to Lake Pontchartrain, and thence to New who fought so gallantly at Bladensburg, should be called Orleans, and now it is grown up, except about one hun. on to render us assistance, I should be in favor of their dred and twenty miles, so that it is impassable; this is taking a water passage at Memphis; a ride on the water, according to information I have received from gentlemen and a pleasant nap or two, might recruit their strength, who are acquainted with the road.
and sustain their natural bravery. I do not anticipate that From East Tennessee to New Orleans it must be up-those heroes will ever be called on to protect us; if there wards of eight hundred miles; from that place to Mem- is a call, it will be on the other side; and it is now to be phis, I mean from where the road would pass, between regretted that you had not been aided here by a few Kentwo and three hundred. I am well acquainted with the tucky and Tennessee boys, in your brave exertions to prelocal situation of East Tennessee, and do not doubt that it vent the disgraceful burning of the capitol. would be of great use to inake a good road from Memphis In the district which I represent, there are eighteen to this ci'y. The contemplated road is to commence at counties, in the whole of which there is not a spot of Buffalo, come to this city, and go thence to New Orleans, ground twenty-five miles from a navigable stream; and, But suppose we should say it were best to begin at for my part, I would much rather see the public money Memphis, and come to this place? Will this be opposed? expended in clearing out those rivers, than in opening Will the rule not work both ways? If not, it is a bad con- roads. By the bill, fifteen hundred dollars per mile is to cern. I am astonished that certain of our eastern friends be expended. This, I fear, would be but an entering have become so kind to us. They are quite willing to aid wedge. But we will suppose the road to be fifteen hunin distributing a portion of the national funds among us of dred miles in length; at this rate it would cost two million the West. This was not so once. And, if I am not de- two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. But I believe the ceived, their present kindness is merely a bait to cover the distance to be farther than gentlemen have calculated, and book which is intended to haul in the western and south- the expense will be greater. emn people; and when we are hooked over the barb, we There is another objection to carrying the road to the will have to yield. Their policy reminds me of a certain extent contemplated by the bill. I think many gentlemen man in the State of Ohio, who, having caught a racoon, have a very erroneous idea about the nature of the coun. placed it in a bag, and, as he was on his way home, he met try through which they mean to make the road; they, per. a neighbor, who was anxious to know what he had in his haps, do not know that a considerable portion of it will bag. He was told to put his hand in and feel, and in doing pass through a low, flat, and marshy country, entirely desso he was bit through the fingers; he then asked what it titute of rock, gravel, or stone. These low grounds are, was, and was told that it was only a bite. I fear that our in many instances, a perfect swamp; and I cannot be congood eastern friends have a hook and a bite for us; and, if vinced, hy any gentleman, that a mud road can be of any we are once fastened, it will close the concern. We may use after it is made. Gentlemen are much mistaken if then despair of paying the national debt; we may bid farewell they think the country bordering on the Mississippi to be to all other internal improvements; and, finally, we may like this. My opinion is, that if you were to have the road bid farewell to all hopes of ever reducing duties on any thrown up as contemplated by the bill, it would be imthing. This is honestly my opinion; and again I say, 1 passable the whole of the winter season; neither wagons cannot consent to “go the whole hog.” But I will go as nor horses could travel on it during the time when it would far as Memphis. There let this great road strike the Mis- be most wanted. If an attack is made on New Orleans, it sissippi, where the steamboats are passing every hour in will be in the winter, because troops, on account of liabilithe day and night; where you can board a steamboat, and, ty to sickness, will not be taken there during the summer; in seven or eight days, go to New Orleans and back; and in the winter your road would be of no use. The Miswhere there is no obstruction at any time of the year. 1 sissippi gives to New Orleans the advantage over any other would thank any man to show this committee the use point on the continent, so far as regards the facility with of a road which will run parallel with the Mississippi for which she can be furnished with a force and the materials five or six hundred miles. Will any man say that the road of war. At a few days' notice, a sufficient force can be would be preferred to the river either for transportation collected at that place, to contend with any foe; but I do
H. of R.]
Pay of Members.
[MARCH 31, 1830.
not expect that we shall ever again be called on to defend scruples as to the rightful power of Congress-having that point.
always voted for internal improvements--and I will even I am reminded that I have, in several of my speeches to support this bill if you will adopt my amendment, and carmy constituents, given it as my opinion that General Jack- ry the road direct to Memphis. By this, Memphis would son would diminish the national debt faster than any Pre-soon become an important point; and certainly the other sident who has preceded him. I would be pleased to see route can be of no essential benefit to New Orleans, that I him effect what I have anticipated; and I think it would can discover. be equally pleasing to the country at large. We boast of I have endeavored to be candid in giving my views on our freedom; let us also place ourselves in a state in which the subject. I thought it right to give a fair statement of we can boast of our unembarrassed situation. I am one facts. Gentlemen may now think that I am pledged to of those who feel willing to give the present administra- vote against the bill, but I wish not to be misunderstood. tion a fair opportunity to pay all the public debts, if pos- I repeat, that I will vote for the bill with my amendment. sible, during its existence. I wish not to embarrass it by And if you will take into consideration the fact, that the creating large public expenditures--let it have a chance Legislature of Tennessee have directed their Senators and to do its best. I heard a few days since on this floor, that Representatives here, to ask the Government to subscribe we were about to bankrupt the nation by bestowing a por- half a million of dollars to make a turnpike road from the tion of the public funds upon the remaining few of that Virginia line to Memphis, and that the road contemplated glorious band of revolutionary worthies, whose blood and in the bill, if carried to Memphis, will supersede the one toil have purchased for us our boasted liberties; who have which the Tennessee Legislature has in view, I think you been knocking at the door of Congress so long, that but will see the importance of the amendment, which, if adopta meagre group remain--the rest having tottered to their ed, will secure my support of the bill; but no consideragraves. if we wait a little longer, the few left will also tion will induce me to vote for the southern route. be out of the reach of our slow charity. Yet gentlemen With these views I will submit the question to the comwill talk of bankrupting the nation, when these aged he- mittee, to whom I return my thanks for their polite atroes, who gained our independence, extend their hands; tention. and still find excuses for large expenditures, the expedien- Mr. CHILTON gave his reasons against the measure, cy of which is doubtful. My vote will always be given for although friendly to the system of internal improvement. the aid of our revolutionary heroes, in preference to your The debate was continued by Messrs. COKE, CARBuffalo road, or any other road.
SON, CRAIG, of Virginia, SPEIGHT, PETTIS, and To be honest, I must lay this matter before the people BARRINGER; but, before a vote was taken on the final in a plain manner. I must say that there is but one reason question, by which I could justify myself for voting for the bill. It The committee rose, and reported progress. is this: I discover a determination to squander the public funds in some way; and, therefore, I should strive to come in for snacks." "There is a bill on your table
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 1830. which will take from your treasury about six hundred
PAY OF MEMBERS. thousand dollars for erecting light-houses, and making sur- The House then resumed the consideration of the follow. veys along the seaboard. Some money, certainly, ought ing resolution, offered by Mr. McDUFFIE: to be distributed to the West; and, to effect this, I must “ Resolved, That the Committee on Retrenchment be vote for the road bill. I have seen three attempts made, instructed to report a bill providing that whenever the during this session, to reduce duties, and all to no effect. first session of Congress shall continue for a longer period If, then, high duties are to be kept up, should I not try to than one hundred and twenty days, the pay of the memextend a portion of their avails to the people of the West, bers shall be reduced to two dollars per day from and who have to pay their proportion? I would much rather, after the termination of the said one hundred and twenty however, let the people keep the money in their own days; and that whenever the second session of Congress pockets, than to have it expended in paying high salaries shall continue for a longer period than ninety days, the to the men who gather the money into the treasury, and pay of the members shall be reduced to two dollars per in paying ourselves high wages for squandering it to the day from and after the termination of the said ninety days." four winds. These are evils which should be remedied; a The question being on the motion of Mr. EVERETT host of those who subsist on treasury pap should be dis- to amend, by striking out the whole resolution after the missed, or their wages lessened; and much of the money word Resolved, and inserting the following words: which is now required for our various appropriations, “That provision ought to be made, by law, that the should be left in the pockets of the people. This doctrine first session of Congress shall be limited to the 15th day will suit our western and southern people, but it may not (of April; and that the second session of Congress shall be acceptable to some eastern gentlemen, who are so commence on the first Monday of November, except when anxious to encourage manufactures of all kinds at any otherwise provided by law." sacrifice. It is my firm belief that our eastern brethren Mr. SMYTH, of Virginia, spoke at some length, in opwish to place us of the South and West in such a dilemma, position to the resolution. He said the object of the genthat we shall be compelled to keep up the duties to their tleman from South Carolina, who had introduced the resohighest extent. They well know that, if we commence this lution, seemed to him to be the application of a forfeiture work, fifty millions of dollars will be asked to complete it. of the pay of members for the purpose of curtailing the If we but once commence, they will have us bound to main- length of the session of Congress. It also contemplated tain a high tariff' for many years; and I would not be sur- an indirect reduction of the per diem allowance of memprised if we should finally be obliged to resort to a system bers. He confidently believed it was no part of the policy of direct taxation. This will be a tough morsel for the of that gentleman (Mr. McDUFFIE) to seek popularity by people in my part of the country to swallow. I hope never his proposition; but he believed him mistaken in relation to see it offered to them--but I confess I am getting some to the effect which would result from its adoption. He what alarmed.
believed its effect would be to leave the business of legis. I came here as much authorized to vote for this measure lation, or throw it into the hands of less competent incumas any man in Congress. I had expressed my willingness bents. It went upon the hypothesis that one hundred to support the measure to all my constituents; but its ex. days were sufficient for the transaction of the public busipediency, at this time, I must confess, appears to me ex- ness. To this he could not agree; its admission would be to tremely doubtful. I do not hesitate at all on account of pass condemnation upon their predecessors. The last five