Imágenes de páginas

MARCH 31, 1830.]

Pay of Members.

[H. of R.

sessions of Congress had averaged one hundred and sixty with this resolution, let it become the law of the land that seven days; and all experience proved that one hundred and the first session of each Congress shall be limited to four seventy days, per session, were necessary. It should be months, and beyond which the pay of members shall not considered that the business of Congress was continually exceed two dollars per day; and, sir, my impression is, there increasing, on account of the great national questions would not be many days consumed after the four months arising before them--the pension system, the internal im- expired. Considerable pains (said Mr. S.) has been taken provement system, &c.

by the gentlemen opposed to this resolution, to show Mr. S. said, he did not believe it was the wish of the that the present session will not exceed those heretofore, people that their representatives should legislate for them on account of time and expense. We have been told that without pay after they have been in session one hundred every long session has lasted five months; and, as a matter and twenty days, should they find iť necessary to remain of course, this must do so too. This, sir, is the very realonger. He also contended that, should this proposition son why I am for the new order of things. Sir, “old be adopted, the members in ordinary circumstances, who things are to be done away, and all things are to become represented the true interests of the people, would be com- new.” These are the hallowed days of “retrenchment and pelled, in justice to their own interest, to go home as soon reform;" and, for the very reasons which gentlemen oppose as their pay was reduced; and there would consequently the resolution, he would support it. The people expect be none but the aristocracy left to do the business of legis- at our hands a correction of all those abuses which have lation. He held it bad policy to render the representatives crept into the Government; and he could assure the House, of the people at all dependant by a curtailment of their that there was none which they were more disposed to pay. Ii drove them to seek relief in Executive patronage; work at, than the one now complained of. Sir, if this and he could refer to hundreds who had gone into post abuse of trust--this profligate waste of public money, has offices, Indian agencies, &c.; and he deemed this an evi- existed coeval with the formation of this Government, it dence that they were insufficiently provided for. Mr. S. is high time the evil was arrested; “now is the accepted said, if the pay of other officers of Government were re. time, and day of salvation.” It is high time, indeed, that duced in the same ratio, he would consent to reduce the the laborer should be made to render an equivalent for his pay of members to six dollars a day; but not otherwise. hire. He did not mean to impugn the members of Con.

Mr. S. then went into an examination of the business gress who had preceded him, but he would say, if he were which has been done this session, in comparison with that to judge of the past by the present, abuses had existed. We transacted during former sessions. He concluded by re- sir, commenced our session on the 7th day of December; marking that he believed the only remedy for the evil com- almost four months have elapsed, and what have we done? plained of, was to be found in short speeches and long If there is a bill which has been passed of a public nature, days' sessions; and he moved an amendment to the amend. save a few appropriations, they have escaped my mement, providing that, during the remainder of the session, mory. And, sir, how many private ones have we passed? a motion to adjourn should not be in order until half past Some forty or fifty; and here, sir, is our indefatigable exfour o'clock.

ertion which gentlemen boast of. Sir, I will state one This proposition, involving an amendment of the rules fact which, in my opinion, carries condemnation with it. of the House, and consequently requiring to be laid one day During the first month, and until after the Christmas holion the table, was decided by the Speaker not to be in order. days, we met at twelve, and adjourned between two and

Mr. SPEIGHT said, he had hoped that, when this three o'clock, and, every weck, adjourn over from Thurssubject was first brought forward by the gentleman from day till Monday. Two months, sir, of the first of this South Carolina, (Mr. McDuffie) it would have met with session were spent without doing any thing but undergoing little or no objection. He thought the evil complained of the mere formalities of meeting and adjourning. These was one obviously plain to the view of any person; and, are some of the evils which the gentleman from South be would venture to say, if gentleman in this House were Carolina proposes to remedy. And yet we are gravely disposed to shut them up, and refuse to apply the remedy, told by gentlemen, that to pass this resolution would the people of the country would not long submit to the imply censure on our own conduct. Sir, for one, I am impositions that were practised on them. Mr. S. said, he willing to risk it. If public servants fail to do their mashad scarcely heard a single gentleman open his mouth in ter's will, they deserve punishment. He wondered that this debate, who had not conceded the point that much gentlemen, in the scope of their extraordinary imaginatime was unnecessarily consumed here in legislation. Yet, tions, had not thought of another censure, the fatal and when a remedy is proposed, there is such an apparent pernicious consequences of which, in his opinion, were as sensitiveness manifested, as almost to preclude the possibi. much to be dreaded as the one before mentioned. It is lity of even acting on the subject, much more of effecting this, there is an old adage, which said, “touch a galled any thing like a remedy. Sir, the further this debate has horse, and he will finch.” Now, sir, [said he] what will progressed, the more I have been convinced there is not be the imaginations of our constituents, when they come the least shadow of hope of effecting any thing like re- to hear that there is so much sensitiveness exercised about trenchment in this House. We hear it resounded from all reducing the pay of members? Why, sir, they will supsides, that the effect of this resolution will be to cast an pose, that, indeed, with us, the public good is a matter but imputation on our own conduct. That it is impliedly say- of secondary consideration; and the opinion will at least ing, we do not render an equivalent for the time we con- be as national to suppose that we came here for pecuniary sume here in legislation. Sir, I care not what the impu- considerations, as that the adoption of this resolution imtation might be, I am convinced something ought to be plies a censure on our conduct. Sir, it is true as gospel, done to stop the progress of an evil which, in its tendency, that none under heaven are so apt to feel the lash of centhreatens evils of no ordinary magnitude.

sure as those who are guilty. . Sir, far be it from me to He would repeat again, that he cared not what might impute dishonorable motives to any member of this House, be the effect it might have on public opinion; he asserted I am only speaking of the effect the course of gentlemuch unnecessary time was consumed here. Our sessions men will have on public opinion. Sir, I am truly sorry are too long; and, sir, without intending to cast imputation that gentlemen have thought proper to oppose this resoluon the character of any gentleman, my own opinion is, if tion with such violence. The opinions of Mr. Jetierson our wages were curtailed, it would shorten the sessions. have been quoted by the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Sir, do you confine Congress within its legitimate sphere, SMYTH.] It is said that he recommended long sessions and and three months in each year is more than sufficient for short speeches. Mr. S. said lie thought the gentleman the legislation of this country. Pass a law commensurate from Virginia was amongst the last wlio should complain

H. of R.]

Pay of Members.-- Topographical Surveys.

(MARCH 31, 1830.

of long speeches. When the Register of Debates for this order on its discussion. This, too, (said Mr. S.) is the session shall be published, the gentleman will not be be-day on which the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. BELI) hind in size or number. The fact was, this session, it had was to have introduced his bill upon the subject of our been long speeches and short session, and so it would con- Indian relations. Mr. s. concluded by expressing his tinue to be unless something was done to check the evil; conviction that, if gentlemen would come to the resolution for if we are to judge from the former conduct evinced in to cut short these interminable debates, lop off the first the debates, this is to be a speaking session. On account month of the session, assemble on the first Monday in of some strange fatality or other, we are doomed to do January, and look forward to the first of May as the denothing this session. Sir, my honest opinion is, that un- sirable period to return to their domestic affairs, the publess some such measure as the one proposed by the resu: lic business would be more faithfully performed, and the lution or amendment is adopted, we shall always labor deprecated evil corrected. under the difficulty we do now. Gentlemen had railed Mr. CAMBRELENG said, he agreed with his colleague out against the original resolution, because it would de- (Mr. Storrs) that the proper mode of shortening the sesprive them of a month to stay here. Why, sir, if the sion was to take from the first part of it; but he could not amendment of the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. join in the charge which had so frequently been made EVERETT) should be adopted, in the two years we should against this House, particularly of a want of energy and stay as long as we do now.

The amendment proposes to industry. He would defy any member, no matter how limit the long session to four months, and that the short long he might have held a seat on that floor, to point to session shall commence the 1st of November; thus allow any former session when twenty and thirty bills had been ing, in the two years, eight months for legislation--one- passed in a day in the middle of a session, as was the case third of our time; and I have no hesitation in saying that on Friday and Saturday last. It seemed to be the parti. that is two months more than we should, in justice to the cular desire of some members most unjustifiably to find country, appropriate. Sir, my own opinion is, that three fault with this Congress in distinction of all others. While months is long enough for each session, and will afford he was up, he would ask the gentleman from Massachuample time for the legislation of this country. Considera-setts (Mr. EvenetT) to modify his amendment so as to fix ble had been said during this debate about the compensa- the termination of the first session, hereafter, at the 15th tion of members. Sir, I ain of the same opinion now of April; which was accepted. that I was when this subject was before the House in the Mr. EVERETT accepted the modification. fore part of the session. Six dollars per day is enough The previous question was then demanded, and the for any man to receive for his services. But he had not House ordered the main question to be put. understood that this was the object of the gentleman from The main question, being on the passage of the resoluSouth Carolina, but to shorten the session; and, if we staid tion, was then put, and decided in the negative as follows: longer than the time presented in the resolution, to re- YEAS.--Messrs. Alston, Angel, Bailey, P. P. Barbour, duce it to two dollars per day. Now, sir, suppose the Barnwell, Baylor, James Blair, John Blair, Boon, Brown, long session to last six months; why, by the alteration pro- Cahoon, Campbell, Chilton, Claiborne, Clay, Conner, posed, each member would receive six dollars per day on Crawford, Daniel, Desha, Doddridge, Drayton, Dudley, an average, which, in his opinion, would be sufficient to Dwight, Earll

, Ellsworth, Foster, Gilmore, Gordon, Hall, compensate any man for his services.

He continued, he Halsey, Hammons, Harvey, Haynes, Hubbard, R. M. sorry to hear one objection which was raised to the Johnson, P. King, Lamar, Lewis, Loyall, Lumpkin, Lyon, passage of the resolution.

It was this, that its effect Magee, Marlin, McCoy, McDuffie, Mitchell, Nuckolls, would strike at the root of the great plans of internal im- Powers, Richardson, Roane, Shepard, Speight, Standifer, provement and the protection of home industry. In con- Thompson, of Georgia, Tracy, Trezvant, Tucker, Verclusion, he would answer that by saying, that recent de planck, Weeks, White, of New York, Wickliffe.-61. monstrations of sentiment in this House had evinced that NAYS.-Messrs. Anderson, Arnold, Barber, J. S. Barwhatever was left undone, the tariff and appropriations bour, Barringer, Bates, Beekman, Bell, Bockee, Borst, would be attended to--any proposition which takes money Bouldin, Brodhead, Buchanan, Burges, Butman, Camout of the treasury will be attended to.

breleng, Chandler, Clark, Coke, Coleman, Condict, CocMr. STORRS, of New York, understood the object of per, Coulter, Cowles, Craig, of Virginia, Crane, Crockett, the resolution to be the correction of a moral evil, the ex. Creighton, Crocheron, Crowninshield, Davenport, Davis, istence of which was evident. He thought it would be a of Massachusetts, Deberry, Denny, De Witt, Dickinson, reflection on the House to contend that it could not trans- Duncan, Evans, of Maine, Everett, of Vermont, Findlay, act all the essential business which came before it in four Finch, Ford, Forward, Fry, Gaither, Goodenow, Gorbam, months. The number of bills which were passed at the Green, Grennell, Hemphill, Hinds, Hodges, Howard, long sessions, he believed, did not exceed those passed at Hughes, Hunt, Huntington, Ingersoll, T. Irwin, W. W. the short sessions. He referred to the haste with which Irvin, Isacks, Johns, Johnson, of Tennessee, Kendall, bills were urged through on the last ten or twelve days Kincaid, King, of New York, Lea, Lecompte, Leiper, of the session. Of this system of legislation he contended Lent, Letcher, Mallary, Martindale, Thomas Maxwell, there was no necessity, as bills could as well be passed Lewis Maxwell, McCreery, McIntire, Monell, Muhlenexpeditiously in the middle of the session as at its close. berg, Norton, Overton, Pearce, Pettis, Pierson, Polk, He warned new members that they would witness the Potter, Ramsey, Randolph, Reed, Rencher, Rose, Russel, same scene that old ones had become accustomed to. He Scott, Shepperd, Shields, Semmes, Sill, S. A. Smith, believed that the first month of the session, on account of A. Smyth, Spencer, of New York, Sprigg, Stanbery, the holidays, was rendered nearly or quite useless; and if Sterigere, Stephens, Storrs, of New York, Storrs, of the session was to be shortened, it should be by meeting Connecticut, Strong, Sutherland, Swift, Taliaferro, Tayon the first Monday in January, instead of the first Mon- lor, Test, Thomson, of Ohio, Vance, Varnum, Vinton, day in December.' The rules of the House did not pro- Washington, Wayne, Whittlesey, White, of Louisiana, perly regulate its proceedings. They continued to make Wilson, Yancey, Young. -122. the bills the order of the day for to-morrow, while that The resolution which they were

TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEYS. now discussing, for instance, still occupied the hour de- The bill making appropriations for certain surveys, &c. voted to resolutions, to the exclusion of all other business. was then taken up for a third reading. The judiciary bill had been throw'n aside for so long a Mr. WICKLIFFE moved to amend the bill in the clause period, that he really had forgotten what question was in appropriating money for surveys, by adding a proviso,


to-morrow never came.

MARCA 31, 1830.)

Topographical Surveys.

(H. of R.

that the sum appropriated should be expended on works Mr. TREZVANT said a few words in explanation. heretofore directed, or which may be directed, by either Mr. TUCKER moved to strike out the enacting words, House of Congress,

and called for the yeas and nays, which were ordered. Mr. CLAY expressed a hope that the limitation would not At the suggestion of Mr. McDUFFIE, Mr. TUCKER be adopted, and asked for the yeas and nays on the question. withdrew his motion to amend.

At the suggestion of Mr. McDUFFIE, Mr. CLAY with- The amendment moved by Mr. MARTIN to the amenddrew his call for the yeas and nays, which was immedi- ment was then negatived. ately renewed by Mr. WICKLIFFE.

Mr. P. P. BARBOUR suggested a modification of the The yeas and nays were then ordered.

amendment so as to strike out the words “either House Mr. ÉLLSWORTH expressed his hope that the amend-of,” so as to read--shall be directed by Congress. ment would not be adopted. He reminded the House that Mr. WICKLIFFE declined to accept the modification. it had been customary to pass an appropriation of this kind Mr. P. P. BARBOUR then moved his proposiiton as an annually; and he desired that it be applied on the usual amendment. principle—that the same discretion which had been hither- Mr. DRAYON stated that his opinion had always been to given to the proper department in the disbursement of that the act of 1824, authorizing this expenditure for surthis money, should still be given to them. He argued veys, was unconstitutional. He consequently was opposagainst the proposed change as inexpedient, unjust, and ed to all appropriations for these objects; but he was in unreasonable.

favor of the amendment for reasons he stated--the chief Mr. McDUFFIE repeated the objections he had urged of which was, that it would tend to prevent abuses in the against this limitation at the last session, when a similar execution of the act, and contending that works beginning proposition was negatived by a vote of four to one. If and ending in the same State could not be deemed nationthis limitation should be adopted, every member will have al, but many such under the present system had been unhis own peculiar project carried through, or no proposi. dertaken. tions will pass. Complaint had been made that the works Mr. P. P. BARBOUR enforced the propriety of the begun were not national, yet it was proposed to compel amendment he had offered. The vote of this House is the the Government to complete them instead of taking up vote of the representatives of the people, while that of the others which might be national. It was therefore an un- Senate is the vote of the representatives of the States; and reasonable proposition, and he hoped it would not be he wished to unite both. He declared himself utterly opadopted.

posed to the whole system, and every scheme, survey, and Mr. WICKLIFFE defended his amendment, on the appropriation under it. ground generally of the abuse which the present mode Mr. MERCER advocated the power of the Government led to, the unimportant nature of the works which it ena- to make these surveys, and the practice which had prebled members to be procuired to be undertaken, &c. vailed under that power, denying peremptorily that it had

Mr. MARTIN stated, that, although opposed to the sys- led to any abuses, although the allegation was so often retem, he was still more opposed to the amendment, in its peated, and arguing that a work commencing and ending present form. If the system was to be continued, he was in a State might be, and often was, strictly national; many for leaving its exercise where it was now, to the Execu- cases of which he cited: amongst others, he maintained tive, and to keep this House as clear as possible of the that if a line of canals from Maine to Georgia was a nacontention and the agitation which it was calculated to tional work, any part of that line, however small, is naproduce here. He then moved to amend the amendment, tional. The whole work cannot be completed at once; it by striking out “or such as may hereafter be directed by must be constructed in detail, and in parts. The Buffalo either House of Congress.”

and New Orleans road he considered as national, whether Mr. ELLSWORTH thought this proposition was ex- it was cut up in decimal parts, or viewed as a whole. He ceptionable. It seemed to contemplate that whenever a said he had carefully investigated the practice of the deproposition for any appropriation for any particular work partment, and he believed it to be free from abuse. Even is made, the subject is to undergo a discussion in this in a case which he had four years ago considered the most House; and members are to be called on to decide, with doubtful, he had subsequently satisfied himself that there the superficial knowledge they must be supposed to pos- was no ground for doubt. To objections on the score of sess, on the preference of making a survey for a route local interests being too influential," he replied that in time here, over that for a route there. He hoped, therefore, of war it was as important a power which regulated the that the amendment would not prevail.

direction of an army, as that which gives the direction of Mr. TREZVANT made some remarks against the com- a road. The western part of the State of New York had mitment of a discretion to the departments as to the direc- entirely sprung up under the fostering influence of the tion of any surveys. He wished to confine the appropria- late war, as millions had been expended there in conse. tion to such surveys as have been commenced, and that quence of the march of troops there. Yet no one con. the House should afterwards decide on the propriety of tended that, in that case, the Government should be connew ones. He argued at some length in explanation of his trolled, lest the local interests of one section should be views, and hoped the amendment of the gentleman from preferred to those of another. South Carolina would not be adopted.

Mr. AMBROSE SPENCER stated that the question as Mr. TEST here called for the previous question, but to the power of the Government to make these surveys the call was not seconded.

was settled by the act of 1824, and that it was useless now Mr. MARTIN explained his own views, so as to remove to make it a subject of discussion. He was opposed to a misconception which be thought seemed to prevail as to imposing upon the present administration a limitation his course.

which had not been imposed on their predecessors. He Mr. HALL opposed the whole system, the amendment, declared himself adverse to the amendment to the amendas well as the bill itself. If he took the amendment of ment, as well as to the amendment. He expressed his Mr. Martiy, the remainder of Mr. Wickliffe's amend- concurrence in the views which had fallen from the last ment would contain enough to involve all his principles. speaker, and controverted the idea that works confined He could vote for none of the questions proposed. entirely to particular States were necessarily not national,

Mr. MERCER suggested that many surveys had been cases of which he cited. ordered by Congress, which have not yet been commenced; Mr. IRWIN, of Pennsylvania, expressed his hope that and the effect of the amendment would be to relieve the both the ainendment of the gentleman from Kentucky, Executive of all responsibility whatever.

and that of the gentleman from Virginia, would be rejected. VOL. VI.--91

H of R.]

Fortifications, Barracks, &c.District of Columbia.

(April 1, 1830.

nays, 111.

Mr. MALLARY contended that it was due to the Presi- the purchase of one-quarter of an acre of the land. The dent, who is at the head of the military force, to give to motion was negatived. him an entire command over those works which are con- There was a discussian also on a motion by Mr. McCOY nected with the military defence of the country. He to strike out the appropriation for arming fortifications, could, in the exercise of that power, lead to more full which adds one hundred and fifty thousand dollars per and more satisfactory results than we can ever be brought annum to the usual sum of one hundred thousand dollars to by listening to the contending claims of conflicting in which is annually appropriated for that purpose. terests in the House. There was no reason for imposing Mr. DRAYTON explained the necessity for this approthis limitation on the present Executive.

priation. Mr. BARRINGER said, the adoption of the amendment Mr. MERCER also made some observations on the necould only lead to a multiplication of surveys; and he ar- cessity for the adoption of the original item in the bill. gued briefly to show the inexpediency of the amendments. He argued to show the necessity of accelerating the preDeeming it useless, however, to consume more time in parations for arming the fortifications now rapidly apa debate, he demanded the previous question--yeas, 66. The proaching to completion. It would be better to blow them number was insufficient.

up than leave them unarmed, to the possibility of their beMr. TUCKER asked for the yeas and nays on the amend- ing scized by an enemy, armed, and turned against us. ment of Mr. BARBOUR, but they were refused.

Mr. BUCIIANAN opposed the original motion, and supThe amendment to the amendment was then negatived: ported the amendment, on the ground that it was an unyeas, 72--nays, 96.

usual mode of legislation to introduce a new and import. The question was then taken on the amendment of Mr. ant appropriation into a bill embracing appropriations only WICKLIFFE, and decided in the negative: yeas, 75,- for carrying into effect the settled policy and authorized

objects of the Government; and that this rapid arming of So the amendment was rejected.

our fortifications must render necessary an increase of our Mr. WILLIAMS asked for the yeas and nays on the standing army. third reading of the bill, which were ordered, and were as After an explanation from Mr. DRAYTON, the amendfollows: yeas, 121--nays, 64.

ment was agreed to: ycas, 58--nays, 56. FORTIFICATIONS, BARRACKS, &c.

Mr. DRAYTON then moved to insert an appropriation

of one hundred thousand dollars. The House then went into Committee of the Whole, This motion was opposed by Mr. McCOY and Mr. BUCHMr. Wickliffe in the chair, on the bill making appro- ANAN, and was supported by Mr. DRAYTON and Mr. priations for expenditures in the Engineer, Ordnance, and MERCER, and was finally negatived: yeas, 63—pays, 67. Quartermaster's Departments.

Mr. DRAYTON then moved to fill the blank with sixty Mr. DRAYTON moved to insert an appropriation of thousand dollars; which motion was also negatived. forty-seven thousand dollars, for the completion of the Mr. CROCKETT moved to strike out the item of apmilitary road in the State of Maine; which motion was ex- propriation for erecting workshops at West Point, two plained by Mr. D., and was agreed to.

thousand five hundred dollars, which was rejected-yeas, 51. On motion of Mr. DRAYTON, also, (made as well as Mr. SEVIER moved to amend the bill by adding an apthe preceding by direction of the Military Committee,) an propriation for a military road from Arkansas to Missouri; appropriation of ten thousand two hundred dollars was in- which motion was negatived. serted, for the erection of barracks at Fortress Monroe. Mr. McDUFFIE moved an amendment, appropriating

Mr. VERPLANCK moved to strike out the appropriation six hundred dollars for a lithographic press, &c. for the of twenty thousand two hundred dollars, for the purchase of use of the topographical bureau in the War Department; five and a half acres of land, adjoining the armory at Spring- which was likewise negatived. field, in Massachusetts, deeming the price extravagant. The committee then rose, and reported the bill and

The motion was opposed by Mr. DRAYTON and Mr. amendments. BATES, the latter of whom stated facts to show that the price was moderate, considering the general prices and value of land in that village; and the motion was negatived.

TAURSDAY, APRIL 1, 1830. Mr. MARTIN made an ineffectual motion to strike out

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. the appropriation of sixteen thousand dollars for a fire

The resolution for setting apart one day in each alternaproof armory at Springfield.

tive week for the consideration of business concerning A motion was made by Mr. McDUFFIE to strike out an the District of Columbia, moved some days ago, was taken appropriation of five thousand dollars for an acre of land up for consideration. adjoining the armory at Harper's ferry, deeming the Mr. POWERS, chairman of the Committee on the Disprice an imposition, which he, for one, would not submittrict of Columbia, rose, and rapidly sketched off the re

That he would rather, if the land was indispensable, forms wanted in the legislation of Congress for this Disresort to the power of the Government to have the land trict. He stated, in few words, the object of each of the valued and condemned, but he would do without it sooner bills which have been reported by the Committee on the than submit to such an imposition.

District of Columbia, reviewing them in succession, viz. Mr. DRAYTON explained, that the land had on it vari- the bill providing for the appointment of commissioners ous wooden buildings, which rented for above three hun, to revise the laws generally; the bill for putting the penidred dollars a year, were occupied as grog-shops, and tentiary principle in operation in our criminal laws; the were resorted to by negroes by day and night. These bill authorizing the election, by the people of the District, were the reasons which induced a majority of the Commit-fof a Delegate to Congress; ankl the bill for such reorganitee on Military Affairs to withdraw their original objection zation of the courts of justice, as the committee think to to the appropriation.

be immediately necessary.

All these seemed to him to be Mr. MERCER also opposed the motion, and stated, in matters of pressing necessity, and such as Congress were addition, the value of property at Harper's ferry, from bound to attend to at the present session. Ulider these its peculiar situation, to show that the price was not extra- circumstances, as this separate Government of this District, vagant.

having no government but Congress, had not, so far, at this The amendment was agreed to--yeas, 100.

session, occupied one moment of the time of the House, the Mr. DRAYTON then moved to insert a clause, making committee did not think it unreasonable that two days in each an appropriation of twelve hundred and fifty dollars for monthi should be devoted to the concerns of the District.


APRIL 1, 1830.)

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

(H. of R.

If the House should adjourn at the time now proposed, it Mr. INGERSOLL demanded the yeas and nays. They would, under such a rule, have given but three days of its were taken accordingly, and were, yeas, 47-nays, 120. time to these important concerns. Three days, it was be. Here the hour elapsed, and Mr. MALLARY moved to lieved, would be sufficient, in this session, if properly used, suspend the rule, but the House refused, for the transaction of all its important concerns. Unless The House then went into Committee of the Whole, some portion of the time of the House was thus set apart, Mr. Harxes in the chair, and took up the bill for the conit was doubtful whether a single measure, out of the instruction of the portant ones proposed, would be acted upon at all during

BUFFALO AND NEW ORLEANS ROAD. the session. He concluded by expressing the hope that, under these views of the subject, the House would con. Mr. COKE, of Virginia, delivered his views in opposisent to the proposition.

tion to the bill. Mr. PETTIS said, he was as well disposed towards the Mr. IRWIN, of Pennsylvania, said, that the remarks people of this District as any member in the House, but which had been made by several gentlemen who had he was opposed to this partial legislation. One-twelfth taken part in the debate, had induced him to depart from part of the time of the House was asked, at this pressing a resolution he had formed, of merely giving a silent vote part of the session, and to the exclusion of all other busi- in favor of the bill. But (said Mr. I.] as I am not willing ness, to act on bills introduced by the committee for the that any portion of the people of my native State shall benefit of the District of Columbia alone. This Mr. P. remain under the imputation of being influenced solely could not consent to. He was she said) somewhat pecu- by local considerations, regardless of principle and the liarly situated. For several years there had been no legis- true interests of the country, in the support which they or lation here for Missouri at all; the business of that State their representatives give to the bill, I will ask the indulhad been overlooked, and he had hoped to get something gence of the committee while I submit some of the views done this session; but the manner in which the business which have been impressed on my mind in relation to it. of the House was performed weakened his hopes, and, if the constitutional question, which has been so frequently the proposition to give a twelfth of its time to District discussed in this House on former occasions, it is not my concerns prevailed, the chance would be still inore dimi- intention to notice. I consider it deliberately established nished. We go on, (said Mr. P.) day after day, ploughing by successive acts of legislation for a series of years, and with the buffalo, to the neglect of all other business; and by public opinion, by which I do not wish to be underif the bills introduced by the gentleman (Mr. POWERS) stood to mean the opinion of a single congressional diswere to have the preference he required, each of which trict, nor of a State, but that great and abiding opinion of would take much time, little else would be done. He mov- a majority of the people of most of the States of the Union, ed to lay the resolution on the table, but withdrew his mo- repeatedly expressed after long deliberation, resulting in tion at the request of

a settled conviction that the constitution has given to ConMr. INGERSOLL, who said he was formerly a member gress full and complete control over the subject, limited of the District Committee, and, when the affairs of that only by their discretion, in legislating for the public welDistrict were before the House, he could not keep his fare. Here it should be suffered to rest, for the mind of seat without attempting to show its condition, and the ne- man cannot give it any additional light. It has been said, cessity of some legislation for it. This spot, she said] sir, that, at a former session of Congress, it was only deover which Congress possessed exclusive legislation, had signed to make a national road from this city to New Orhad no legislation for twenty-five years. There was no leans, but that the friends of the measure, despairing of spot within the wbole Union, within which legislation was being able to pass the bill in that shape, determined to enso necessary as these ten miles square. The penal laws list other interests, and that the sectional feelings of the remained the same as they were thirty years ago, and the people of the interior of Pennsylvania could be brought report which had just been read at the clerk's table, into action, by extending the road through that State to showed that, like the laws of Draco, they were written Buffalo. It was not left merely to inference, but it was in blood. So crying was this neglect, and so great the broadly asserted that the approbation of the people of necessity of reform, that four years ago Congress ordered Pennsylvania to the measure could be obtained in no other the erection of a penitentiary, which had been completed way, and that the national interests would be the least at a cost of one hundred thousand dollars, but as yet it part of their concern. The assertion is unfounded; I was useless--r-0 law had been passed to give it effect. trust I may be excused for saying that no part of this Union The Committee on the District ħad labored diligently to is less affected by sectional considerations, more patriotic, remedy this and the other evils under which the people or more truly devoted to the welfare of their country, labored, and they deserved the thanks of Congress, and than are the people of Pennsylvania. They were among of the country, for their assiduity. At the last session, the first to maintain the true doctrine of our republican he, as a member of that committee, had labored with his institutions; they cherish them as the means of individual colleagues in maturing a system for ameliorating the penal happiness and national prosperity, and they will struggle laws here, but, though a bill was reported, they were ne- long before they will suffer them to be impaired by refined ver able to get it up. Mr. I. dwelt on the anomalous and and narrow constructions. The power to make roads cruel nature of the laws which prevail in the District-- and canals for national purposes, they have asserted to beremaining destitute of those improvements which have long to this Government in their assemblies to discuss the been made in those of the States around, because there question, by legislative enactments, and by the votes of has been no legislation for the District. They are just as their representatives on this floor. For no selfish purthey were thirty years ago at the time of the cession. pose, sir, but because they believed, and still believe, that One fact he cited as an instance: Kidnapping is not an the prosperity of the country, if not its very existence, offence in the District; stealing a slave is, under the old depends upon the exercise of this power. That State law; but stealing a free man is not punishable. He also has never asked from Congress any thing for works of referred to the evils of the slave trade as carried on internal improvement, although she was the first to emthrough the District. A bill was once reported to abate bark extensively in them; she relied on her own resources, this evil, but Congress could never be got to take it up. and has expended more money on roads, bridges, and He hoped the time asked for the affairs of the District canals, than any other State in this Union. When it is woull be granted, and this mass of corruption be swept off. recollected that she has been second only to another

Mr. PĚTTIS then renewed his motion to lay the feso- State in her contributions to the national revenue; that Iution on the table.

she has asked for nothing, and got nothing, for works of a

« AnteriorContinuar »