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Mr. McDUFFIE replied to Mr. S. with equal warmth, and vindicated his resolution against the objections urged by others.

[H. of R.

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 pared 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 ceive 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 sufficient" for a long resolution, I would vote it a libel on the House. session, it is equally so for a shorter one; and, if gentlemen are in earnest, and have any desire to reduce the wages of members, I shall go with them most cheerfully 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 tleman 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 hall? 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 have 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 honormay befall us. Yes, sir, there is a possibility, though, I able colleague [Mr. COULTER] 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 flag 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 gentleman 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 sued, 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 EVERETT] because I believe that either of them is at 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

H. of R.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[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 might 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 foul intrusion. We have been informed that our names will have to appear on this question. I am willing and prepared to record my name, both against the amendment of the gentleman from Massachusetts, and the original resolution, not fearing the consequences, when I am in the conscientious discharge of my duty.

Mr. WAYNE next rose, but the debate was discontinued, the hour for considering resolutions having expired. Mr. WICKLIFFE, in order [he said] to have the sense of the House ascertained on the resolution, as he presumed members had made up their minds on the question, moved to suspend the rule which confines the discussion of resolutions to one hour of the day. The motion was negatived.

ment officers had nothing to fear-they were there, at least, on neutral ground. Not that the people of that State are indifferent to, or united in their opinions as to the powers of the General Government upon this and other subjects, but, influenced by that spirit of concession and compromise which gave existence to the constitution, they are prepared to yield much; yes, sir, they would pause long before they uttered even a gasconading threat of opposition to this or any similar act of authority on the part of the General Government; and though they may believe that, in many acts of legislation here, a due regard has not been paid to their interests, their complaints will be found to mingle with them no spirit of resistance-no sentiment of disunion. This is a subject that they have not been taught to think or talk about; and I, sir, am the very last man on earth that would attempt to teach them so fearful a lesson. But I return to the immediate question before the committee. The gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. HEMPHILL] asserts that the western route, the one embraced in the bill, has decided advantages over any other; but he has not told us to which of the routes his assertion is intended to apply; or, is he ignorant of the fact that two directions and 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 has said, but from the fact that the gentleman from Tenwish that my colleague [Mr. CARSON] should have an op-nessee [Mr. BLAIR] 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 giv. laid on our tables; but as he has twice had the floor, and twice been induced to withhold his proposition, I now feel myself at liberty to present my own; the effect of which will be, as I intimated when I obtained the floor, to make up an issue different from that already pending, by pre

BUFFALO AND NEW ORLEANS ROAD. The previous orders of the day were, on the motion of Mr. HEMPHILL, postponed; and the House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, Mr. HAYNES in the chair, and took up the bill making an appropriation for a road from Buffalo, in New York, to New Orleans, by Washington city.

ing the only western direction indicated by the engineers; but, sir, I have procured from the Engineer Department, and now have before me, a map of a route which diverges from the first a few miles beyond Knoxville, Tennessee, crosses the Clinch river at Kingston, is then found winding its way through the Cumberland mountains, and toilMr. Coulter described his visit to the public burying ground, and ing up Spencer's hill, and, after a fatiguing journey of the inscription on Elbridge Gerry's monument, nately, If a man many miles west of a direct line, it reaches Huntsville, in has but one day to live, that day ought to be devoted to the service of Alabama; and from thence it is seen to encounter the Mushis country."-Note by Mr. S.

MARCH 29, 1830.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[II. of R.

cle shoals of the Tennessee. Here it must cross the river; is already provided with a much better means of transportbut by what means its passage is intended to be effected, ation than would be afforded by the proposed improvethe report does not inform us; it is thence, through many ment? Not so, sir, in the direction of the middle route; difficulties, conveyed to the Mississippi, at or near Baton there we do not propose the absurdity of making a nationRouge; from thence it follows the banks of that river to al road that cannot be needed; but, on the other hand, its New Orleans. This is emphatically the western route, construction in a direction different from that of the the one particularly recommended by the gentleman from streams flowing to the Atlantic, must afford a very extendVirginia; [Mr. SЯrra] yet, sir, notwithstanding the_en-ed accommodation to the inhabitants of the intermediate gineers report the distance of this line of road from Wash-sections of country, by facilitating the transportation of ington to New Orleans to be twelve hundred and eighty-their produce, if not to the destined market, at least to two miles, and that of the middle route, through North some point from which they would have the advantage of Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, only eleven hun-water conveyance. A preference founded on this view dred and six miles, the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. of the situation of the country cast of the mountains, is BLAIR] has roundly asserted that the western had the ad- clearly intimated in the report of the engineers; and alvantage in point of distance. [Mr. B. explained-he re- though it may not be found to obtain with equal force ferred to that through East Tennessee.] I certainly should throughout the entire line of survey, yet its general existhave understood the gentleman as he now explains him-ence affords a sufficient reason why it should weigh much self, but he is still unsustained in his position; for the same with the committee in fixing the direction of this road. report makes even his favorite direction longer than that But there is in my part of North Carolina a description of of the middle survey: the difference is indeed inconsider-trade that would be peculiarly benefited by this measure. able; but it is decidedly in favor of my side of the moun-We have much intercourse with South Carolina and Geortains; but the other gentleman from Tennessee [Mr.gia in one direction, and Virginia in the other. To these ISACKS} will, no doubt, admit me to be correct, when States the farmers of my district of country are much in state that I understand him as joining the gentleman from the habit of wagoning their productions, either for the Virginia, in recommending the road through West Ten-purpose of exchange or barter, or with the more desiranessee. Taking this, therefore, as the western project, ble object of effecting a sale for cash. I will not say, sir, I will assume it as the standard of the comparison I intend that this trade exhibits the numerous caravans of wagons to institute between the different lines surveyed. I have that we are told are seen crowding along the western road; already shown that distance, a very important considera- but I will say, it is far from being inconsiderable, and is tion, is decidedly in favor of the middle route; and I am much increasing, especially in the southern direction, and equally confident that the facilities for constructing a good is of sufficient importance to claim our attention in the and durable road are also on my side of the question. It consideration of this part of the subject. is true that the report exhibits little or no difference in The military advantages of this western road have been this respect; but the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. heightened and embellished by frequent allusions to the HACKS] has himself furnished the proof that corrects the city of New Orleans, as not only the scene of military opeerror of the engineers in this particular. He has shown rations, but as the theatre on which imperishable renown the entire unfitness of his country for the making of even was obtained. Every idea of defence connected with this a tolerable way, according to the plan proposed by the road seems irresistibly to terminate at this memorable bill; and it is so for the best of reasons-the great depth point. My colleague [Mr. CARSON] was certainly very and richness of the soil of that favorite and highly favored happy on this part of the subject; and although I could region render it unfit for the construction of a road com- but regard some portion of his argument as underrating posed of earth only. This is a partial inconvenience that the importanceof improvements in time of peace, tending we have all understood to apply to the gentleman's coun- to security in time of war, yet the reasons offered by him try; but which need only to be stated, to convince us that were quite sufficient to show the utter inutility of taking its very existence implies an incalculably greater bencfit in the abundant fertility of their lands.

this road out of its natural course solely with a view to the defence of New Orleans: for, whatever possible neThen, sir, whilst the bill proposes a road constructed of cessity there may be, at some future day, to muster the earth only, it is through the comparatively poor region of sons of the West at this far-famed theatre of war, I can but my State, and a large extent of the survey still farther believe that they will find their way thither more cheaply south, that a soil will be found most happily adapted to its and expeditiously through other modes of conveyance than construction; it would not only be more cheaply made, but, than that which this military road would afford; and, sir, when done, would be of a much more durable character. I have not heard it contended in argument, that any other But, in a commercial aspect, it is contended that the point on the line of this western road was likely to prewestern direction possesses very decided advantages; yet, sent a field for military operations-no necessity is intiif I rightly understand the report upon this subject, even mated of saving us from ourselves in the West; for, whatthat authority will be found in favor of the middle route, ever may be thought of the South, all is peace and quiet for all purposes of internal commerce. By casting the in that quarter--there the spirit of insubordination is not eye over the surveys through East and West Tennessee, thought to threaten disunion, or endanger our repose-it will be seen that they are carried for many miles in a di- the only possible cause of apprehension arises from their rection parallel to the course of the Tennessee, and other assertion of claim to the lands of the Government; and, for navigable streams, and often upon their very banks, or at one, I hope, ere long, we shall remove this source of the distance of but a few miles. Instead, then, of this im-contention and apprehended danger, by making distribuprovement being called for by the absence of water com-tion of them among the several States of the Union. munication, the road, if established as proposed by the But, sir, should I even be disappointed in this favorite bill, can only be regarded as an auxiliary or substitute for measure, they do not threaten the Government with a the navigable streams every where to be met with in its military array in the field of battle; but it is here, sir, in neighborhood, and running in the same direction. This is this hall of legislation, that we are told the Western States not only true in the State of Tennessee, but is remarkably will soon embody themselves in such numbers as no longer so through a portion of the country still farther south; for to petition for, and receive as a boon, that which they not only are smaller streams to be accommodated with this will then claim and obtain under the semblance of right. road, but for at least three hundred miles it is found tra- With a view, sir, still further to diminish the claims of versing the very banks of the Mississippi. Then, is it not the route east of the mountains, the gentleman from Pennevident that much of the country through which it will pass sylvania [Mr. HEMPHILL] has said that we have on that

VOL. VI.--87

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of war.

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[MARCH 29, 1830. side a dense population, and are consequently capable of admit that, in acting here, we should, in the language of defending ourselves. Admit, for the sake of argument, the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. HEMPHILL] rethat this is now so; that, though presenting an extensive gard ourselves, on all general questions, as merely citisea coast, assailable at numerous points by an invading foe, zens of the United States, I do believe I shall certainly we require no interior preparations with a view to a state sustain that character most essentially, not by seeking a I say, sir, admit the gentleman to be correct in benefit for North Carolina at the expense of Tennessee, this, yet I would ask him how long will this be so? Deny merely because it is the State from which I come, but us this, and continue to withhold other benefits to which from the consideration, that, in the present instance, her we are entitled; persist in a course of legislation imposing accommodation is connected with a still higher object--the on us unequal burdens, and the already increasing tide attainment of a greater national benefit than would be of emigration will, in a little while, have so far diminished accomplished by omitting her interest. This view of the our population, as no longer to leave any pretence for the subject is offered, not in connexion with the idea that, gentleman's assertion. We shall then be so insignificant, under the constitution, we have not the power to do what when compared with the population of the new States, as we propose, but is intended to apply to this or any other to cease, in their estimation, to be objects worthy of na-subject of legislation, considered as a mere question of tional interest or concern. Yet the gentleman from Penn-expediency and right among the several States: and, in sylvania, for a moment, seemed to present some faint hope this view of the matter, it cannot be urged that there of escaping from this melancholy fate: for, while inviting is a corrupting tendency in this or any other measure, us to support this bill, we were assured that other portions because it has the effect of improving the condition and of the country should hereafter partake of equal benefit: increasing the prosperity of the people of the different but this delusion lasted but for a day; for the gentleman States; for such an objection would deny all right of benefrom Tennessee [Mr. ISACKS] has explained what was ficence to the Government, and would give to it alone meant by "other portions of the country:" he defines it to the odious power of taxation and oppression. By such an be the rich regions of West Tennessee, Ohio, and Ken- administration of this Government, the people of the States tucky; they are to be provided for by the gentleman's would soon become aliens in feeling to the Union, and plans, but in none of their beneficent designs is my imme- would regard the constitution as not tending to promote diate section of the Union embraced. Relying, then, while the general good, but merely calculated to inflict upon we may, upon the important fact of our yet possessing the them the evils, without the benefit of Government. Then, superiority in point of population, I feel myself justified sir, while objects of improvement, similar to that now unin using it as a powerful reason in favor of my side of the der consideration, have heretofore been undertaken and question. completed in other parts of our country, it is but just, With us, sir, Government is necessarily the creature of and in conformity with the principles of equality, that those over whom it is established. Made and upheld by some portion of the benefits resulting from such measures the will of the people, their adherence and attachment to should be distributed in that from which I come; but, init must ever be in proportion to the measure of benefit|dependent of this consideration, I think, in relation to the they receive in return for their contributions to its support. present subject, the line of survey through my State presents And although, as has been happily said by a gentleman advantages superior to those west of the mountains. As a from Rhode Island, [Mr. BURGES] we cannot expect these further argument in favor of our claim, I might advert to the governmental blessings to be dispensed among us with the peculiar hardships and afflictions of the people of that illperfect equality of the dew of heaven, yet it is but just starred section of the Union, arising, as they believe, mainly that, in our acts of legislation, we keep an eye towards from the unwise and ungenerous legislation of Congress the attainment of so desirable an object. In relation to upon subjects vitally affecting their interests. But, sir, the subject before us, we shall certainly consult that prin- while I forbear doling out a list of our oft repeated wrongs, ciple, by accommodating the greatest possible number of I confess I was but illy prepared to hear with patience our citizens. It is, therefore, desirable to see whether the imaginary sufferings and privations of the West. The the bill, as now before the committee, conforms to this gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. ISACKS] in his petition important end and design of legislation. for the establishment of this road, occupied much time in By reference to the report of the engineers upon this describing the forlorn condition of the people of his counpart of the subject, we learn that, by the census of 1820, try; he complained bitterly because there had been so the population of the counties and districts of country ac- small a portion of Government money expended among tually traversed by the western route, is at least one hun- them; he spoke of the vast amount paid by that people for dred thousand less than that of the middle route; and the the purchase of their lands, the large proportion of taxes entire population of the States through which these sur- paid by them through the medium of consumption, and veys are carried is at least one million more, by pursuing concluded by exhibiting the inhabitants of the extensive the middle or eastern direction, than it is along the west- West as the eighth wonder of the world, in the fact that, ern. Here, then, is a difference of no small amount, upon though thus afflicted and oppressed, they yet lived! they the score of population only; but, sir, when you add to yet survived! Now, sir, I cannot perceive any cause for this the very important fact, that this greater amount of the gentleman's admiration, and can but think that all he population divides itself into a greater number of inde- has said, when rightly understood, is not only compatible pendent States, united with and acting politically upon with their bare existence, but is just that state of things the General Government, is there not a twofold reason from which we might expect to find all that comfort and presented in favor of the route I propose? By going growing prosperity which I believe to be more truly dewest, you pass through Virginia, Tennessee, and Alaba- scriptive of their real condition. It is true that, in most ma; in the castern direction, Virginia, North Carolina, instances, they have had to purchase their lands, but at a South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. Thus, by the west price most abundantly repaid by their amazing fertility, ern proposition, as contained in the bill, North Carolina, producing not only what is required for their own conSouth Carolina, and Georgia are wholly omitted, for the sumption, but affording a large supply for the wants of alone purpose of embracing the State of Tennessee. And, others. That a people thus situated should be able to sir, friendly as are my feelings towards that State, and subsist, is, to my mind, no cause of wonder or astonishevery other member of our Union, I cannot, I ought not ment; and, sir, though it be true that the General Governto be expected to forget the superior claims of my own ment yet maintains its dominion over the unappropriated State: and, sir, let me not be charged with selfish and lands in all that region, our statute book abounds with almost contracted views on this subject; for, whilst I readily innumerable instances of donations made to States, com

MARCH 29, 1830.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[H. of R.

panies, and individuals in the West, for purposes of inter- as not only national in their character, but indispensably nal improvement, the establishment of schools, and for necessary to the well-being, and even the very existence various other objects tending to improve their condition of the nation. and advance their prosperity. To objects of this descrip

I might here, sir, conclude my remarks, having said all tion, at least ten millions of acres have been appropriated; that I intend upon the mere question which I proposed and so liberal has been the policy of the Government on to discuss; but I have alluded to an amendment, which, these subjects, that applications from this quarter are in conclusion, I intend to offer; and as I propose (should seldom rejected: and but the other day, with a near ap- it be adopted) to vote for the bill, I hope I may be perproach to unanimity, we passed a law relieving the pur-mitted, not to enter into an argument in support of my chasers of the public lands from a large amount of their opinion, but simply to say that I believe the power to debt, contracted under the credit system. Admit, then, do the act proposed does rightfully belong to the Governthat it is true, as stated by the gentleman from Pennsylva- ment; and, in conformity to this opinion, I have, on former nia, [Mr. HEMPHILL] that the new States have not any occasions, voted for measures not differing in principle funds in lands for making public improvements, who can from the one now under consideration. But, while susbelieve that, if they had been the owners of the soil, they taining this power of the Government, and acting upon would, under their own policy and legislation, have ap- the high conviction of its great importance, I have felt plied so large a portion to these objects as has been done no little embarrassment for the want of the countenance for them by this Government? Do not understand me, sir, and co-operation of yourself, and many other of our southas objecting to these instances of liberality, for many of ern politicians; and though I cannot surrender my judgthem received my support, and, in giving it, I was unin- ment on account of this discouraging reflection, yet I will fluenced with the hope thereby of obtaining any boon for not withhold the tribute of my respect, and even admiramy own State; (no, I disdain the sordid idea;) but I acted tion, for the unshaken firmness and distinguished ability from the conviction that the prosperity of the West, or with which your opinions have been sustained. They have any other large section of our Union, was, in some degree, not yielded to those nice shades of distinction, which, in the prosperity of the nation. But, sir, if this and every the opinion of some, may have been sufficient to obviate other measure of internal improvement is to have a west-all constitutional objections, when the measure proposed ern direction--if the Southern States are to be wholly happened to look towards their immediate constituents. neglected under the operation of this system, and if we But, sir, were I to attempt an argument in support of my are again and again to hear the affected language of com- opinion, I could not rest it upon the distinction taken by plaint from the West, then, sir, I am prepared to with- the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. SMYTH.] That gentlehold my assent to any further appropriations in that quar- man denies the right of the Government to make the road, ter: justice to my constituents will require it-a regard to yet he says we may appropriate the money for that object; the principles of equality will demand it. We have also Congress may give the essential means for constructing, been entertained by the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. but have not the power actually to construct or make; but, ISACKS] with a sort of begging argument, founded upon in yielding his assent to this bill, he virtually concedes the the great expenditure of public money along our sea coast latter power, unless he intends to do the very idle thing in the erection of fortifications, dock yards, and other of giving the money merely to be wasted and expended works connected with the defence and commerce of the for no particular purpose; for if the road is to be made at nation; and the gentleman has even objected to the con- all, the bill proposes that it shall be done under the authotributions of the West in the building up of our navy--arity of this Government, without the agency or superinmeasure in which he seems to think they have a very re- tendence of any other power. Perceiving this difficulty, mote interest. Perhaps, sir, when more, and still more of he takes a distinction in favor of this road, and seems to adthe public lands shall be appropriated towards the improve-mit that we may make it, not under the general powers conment of the Tennessee at the Muscle shoals and other points ferred by the constitution, but under the compact entered of that river, the gentleman may be accommodated with a into with Ohio, Alabama, and other new States, by which little navy of his own--one that shall be peculiarly west-it is stipulated that five per cent. of the sales of the public ern; and, therefore, unobjectionable to that gentleman. | lands shall be applied to the making of roads in or leading I was surprised to hear the illiberal and mistaken views to those States; but certainly a compact with a State cancontained in this part of the gentleman's argument; for, not enlarge the constitution, and thereby confer a power can it be said, with the least plausibility, that fortifications which did not exist independent of such agreement; this erected and designed along our extended and exposed would be making the powers of the Government either Atlantic border are other than measures of strength and greater or less, according to the terms of the bargain it precaution, looking to the security of the nation generally? might happen to make with the people of any of our terriIn consonance with this anti-national sentiment would be tories, when applying for admission into the Union. an objection on my part to the increasing expenditure of I perceive, according to the opinions of some, how the our military posts designed for the protection of our west-assent of a State could confer upon the General Governern frontier. These objects are alike in principle, and ment the power of acting upon a subject prohibited by are both equally entitled to the support of those who con- the constitution. This Government, sir, with all its attrisult the peace and safety of every portion of this Union. butes, must exist independent of the will of any State; Nor should the gentleman decline a common interest in and while its powers cannot be curtailed by opposition, our naval armament, intimately connected as it is with the neither can they be enlarged by consent, except in the defence and commerce of the nation. He has told us that way pointed out for an amendment of the constitution itthe people of the West are great consumers of imports, self. But, sir, while I deny the necessity of this assent, and, consequently, pay much indirectly to the General and its utter inability to confer power, it might often be Government; and we are assured that this road is greatly prudent and wise, in many instances, to abstain from the needed to facilitates their supplies from Baltimore and exercise of federal authority, without the assent of the Philadelphia; yet their arrival at those ports is intimately State or States to be affected by it; for, upon ordinary occonnected with these maritime expenditures of which the casions, I would pause long, and consider much, before I gentleman seems to complain: and, whatever comment or would run counter even to the prejudices of the smallest construction of the constitution may be necessary to sus- member of this Union.

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tain many other acts claimed on the part of the Govern- This I would do in the spirit of conciliation and forment, these of which I have just spoken are conspicuously bearance, and without yielding the right of this Governprovided for in that instrument, and should be regarded ment, when the public good imperiously demanded it, to

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