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H. of R.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[Here Mr. S. offered his amendment, proposing to strike out the western, and to insert the middle or eastern route, leaving the selection to the commissioners to be appointed under the provisions of the bill.]

[MARCH 29, 1830. exercise all or any of its high functions, even in oppo- dresses itself, have urged that that is the best route; that sition to the will of all the States. It is not all that this it is the national route; and, if it does not pass that way, Government can constitutionally do, that the harmony and they will vote against the bill. Nine-tenths, ninety-nineprosperity of the States require to be continually called hundredths of their constituents, if it does not pass on the into action; but when emergencies of great national mo- middle route, will think it wholly inexpedient, if not unment arise, or some general interest is proposed to be ad-constitutional, to make the read at all. One of the gentlevanced, a liberal interpretation of its powers will often men from North Carolina, [Mr. CARSON] I believe, said be found necessary to subserve the end and object of its that he would vote against the bill upon any route, but hack creation. If, sir, we look within the limits of the mere warmly urged, if the road was made, that the middle was letter of the constitution for the charter of our legislative the only true route. Here is a conflect between sections privileges, there is scarce a page of our legislation that--between masses of your population, whose local intewill not be found to have passed the pale of our authority. rests come in collision; and how are this Congress to deWhat words of that instrument give us the right to pen-cide between them? My two colleagues have stated in their sion our citizens, and to appropriate thousands for their places, that, in their opinion, the western is the only true support? How have we relieved the sufferings of foreign-route, and they think it would be inexpedient to make ers, when visited by any sudden calamity? How do we the road on any other. The two gentlemen from North repair the ravages of fire in any of our own cities or towns? Carolina have stated in their places, that, in their opinion, How will we sustain the long list of appropriations of the the middle is the only true route, and that it would be inpublic lands to institutions for the promotion of science expedient to make the road on any other route; and, doubtand objects of benevolence? These, and many other acts less, there are gentlemen here residing on the southern sanctioned by every Congress, and approved by all our route, who think that the best and only expedient route. Chief Magistrates, are, like the power to make roads and The engineers, in their report, have cautiously left the canals, not authorized by the express cnumeration of them scales equally balanced between these respective main in the constitution; but do, in my humble judgment, con-routes and their several subordinate branches; and how form to the spirit, scope, and design of those powers that are we to decide? are enumerated. But, sir, I do not intend a discussion of I know, sir, it is exceedingly popular to tell the people this subject, and will conclude by moving the following of any section of the country that the Government is amendment to the bill: about to expend large amounts of public money amongst them for improvements. But when you tell them that it is their own money, that they are taxed to pay it, and that there is a national debt to pay, will the people of any one section or district agree that it shall be expended in anMr. POLK next rose, and said, that two of the delega- other, and for the local advantage of another? No, if they tion from my own State having given their views in sup-get it themselves, it is well; if it goes to their neighbors, port of this bill, I ask the indulgence of the committee it is unjust and all wrong. Sir, this is, perhaps, natural; whilst I endeavor, in a plain and practical manner, to as- we are selfish beings; and I beg my colleagues to undersign the reasons of the vote which I feel constrained to stand me, when I speak of local interests, as not intending give. My two colleagues and myself have been in the to apply my remarks to their districts exclusively; their habit, during our service together here, of thinking and constituents are like the constituents of other gentlemen, acting together upon most important subjects. Upon this and equally operated upon by their local interests. we differ in opinion, and are compelled to separate. mean to show the effect generally, and upon all sections, of My colleague, who first addressed the committee, [Mr. these splendid schemes of internal improvement which have BLAIR] dealt with his usual candor. He informed us that been projected; of the hundreds of reconnoissances and the road contemplated to be made by this bill, addressed surveys of roads and canals which have been made. I itself to the local interests of his constituents; that they mean to show the delusion practised upon whole comwere in favor of the road; and that his skirts should be munities, whereby they are bought up to the support of clear of the imputation of disobeying their will. Yes, these splendid schemes, by the lure of local advantages sir, the road addresses itself to the local interests of his held out to them; by the promise to scatter and squander constituents, and this is the evil of this and all similar pro- the public money in the construction of a road or canal, positions; it is the iniquity of this whole system of internal leading through their immediate neighborhoods, and, improvement; it does address itself to the local interests of thereby, addressing itself to their local interests. sections; it deludes, and deceives, and misleads whole sec- This bill, and the discussion we have had upon it, furtions and communities; whole masses are bought up, and nishes the best practical commentary we could possibly have become advocates of this system, with the prospect of lo-had upon this system; and I beg leave to exemplify, by a cal advantage to themselves. They look only to their particular examination of its details, the tendency and inown local interests, and to the prospect of having disburs- evitable consequences of persisting in it. You are about ed, in their own immediate neighborhoods, large amounts to construct a mammoth road, fifteen hundred miles in of the people's money. Let me ask either of my col-length, from Buffalo, in the State of New York, to New leagues, through whose respective districts one branch of Orleans, passing by this city; and you propose, by this bill, road has been surveyed, if it were to pass on either of the to appropriate two millions and a quarter of dollars, to be other routes, if they would vote for it? If it were to pass applied to this object. From this city to New Orleans, on either the middle or the metropolitan route, would not the bill provides that the road shall pursue the general nine-tenths, would not ninety-nine-hundredths of their own course of one of the branches of the western route. This constituents, whose local interests would not then be ad- end of the road I will examine presently. From this city dressed, think it wholly inexpedient, if not unconstitution to Buffalo the road is not located to any particular route al, to make the road at all? I repeat it: would either of my by the bill. It is to go from here to Buffalo, and that is colleagues deem it a national work? Would they vote for the only designation. The particular locality is to be deit? They would not. And why would they not? Be-cided by commissioners. Now, how many reconnoiscause, in their opinion, the western route is the best route, sances have been made between these two points, and how and the only national route. They think the western many routes surveyed in this age of engineering? I route the only true route. But the two gentlemen from hold a document in my hand, sir, from the Engineer DeNorth Carolina, [Mr. CARSON and Mr. SHEPPERD] to the partment, which is a perfect anomaly, and furnishes the local interests of whose constituents the middle route ad-best practical illustration of the practical operations of his

MARCH 29, 1830.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[H. of R.

system. By this document it appears that twenty-one dis- might be lost. Why are not the friends and advocates of tinct routes have been examined; and, take my word for it, this bill willing to designate in the bill the precise route of every town, and village, and hamlet, and every mill, cross the road to Buffalo Evidently from the conviction, on road, and tavern house, on each and every one of these their part, that they would lose the support of the repretwenty-one routes, expect this road; and each has no sentatives of all the other routes. I appeal to gentlemen doubt that this is the only national way; and that on either themselves, who support this bill, if this is a fair and statesof the others the road would be utterly useless and inex-man-like legislation. If the road must be made, why not pedient. Yes, sir, there have been surveyed five grand fix the route in the law which authorizes its construction? routes, and fifteen subordinate or collateral routes, from this city to Buffalo, a distance of about three hundred and seventy-five miles. The five grand routes are designated in the report of the engineers:

The Eastern route,

The Western route,
The Painted Post route,

The Pine creek route,

The Direct route.

Sir, we all understand how it happened that these several routes, twenty-one in number, came to be examined by brigades of topographical engineers. The examinations were made through portions of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the western part of New York, during the last administration, and during the heat of the canvass for the last Presidential election. Some hopes were, likely, entertained, that these respective portions of the country might give their support to the then administration in the ensuing

The eastern route has been surveyed in nine different di-election. And, in order to stimulate the people, and ensure rections. One of these is to pass "Fredericktown, Gettys. (as it was supposed) their support the more certainly, burg, Carlisle, Millerstown, Lewistown, Karthaus, Drift-brigades of engineers were sent out in twenty different wood creek, Port Alleghany, Olean, Aurora." The people directions, to survey a great road. This powerful and on this route, and in these towns, if they are like all others delusive branch of Executive patronage was employed to whose local interests are addressed, will have no doubt but induce whole sections, whose local interests were addressthat this is the only proper route, that is, the only national ed, to believe, that, if they wanted this road, the best route; and they will be greatly dissatisfied if they do not get way to secure it was, to support the then administration. the road. But on eight other branches of the grand "east- We have all seen and known the powerful effect of these ern route," each passing through other towns and other reconnoissances of the United States' engineers through neighborhoods, the people will have as little doubt that the country. I speak not of this project alone. Why theirs is the national route, and that they are entitled to was it that this road to Buffalo, all of a sudden, should the road. The grand "western route" has been sur-have been deemed of so much national importance? Why veyed in three different directions; one of these is to pass should the delusion be kept up any longer? The certain Hagerstown, Loudon, Huntington, Philipsburg, Trout effect of this system, as exemplified by this road, is, first, Run, Instantur, Ellicottsville, Barton. In the estimation to excite hopes; second, to produce conflicts of section of the people on this route, this would be the national arrayed against section; and, lastly, dissatisfaction and heartway, and they would be entitled to this great road. But burnings amongst all who are not accommodated. the grand "Painted Post route," (and I frankly acknow I come now to examine the southern portion of this road, ledge that my limited knowledge of the topography of that from this city to New Orleans. Three grand routes the country does not inform me where the "Painted Post" have been projected: the eastern, the middle, and the is,) with its four distinct branches, are, no doubt, exceed-western, each with its subordinate and collateral routes. ingly national; and each branch of it exclusively so, in the The distance between the extreme points of the westopinion, at least, of those whose local interests are address-ern and eastern routes is near six hundred miles; and ed by it. One of the four branches of this route would the first thing that forcibly strikes the mind is, that here is pass Westminster, Siddonstown, Valley of Susquehannah, an immense country, the extreme lateral points of which Williamsport, Peters's Camp, Bath, Mount Morris. But are six hundred miles apart, each and every portion of the grand "Pine creek route;" aye, sir, the grand "Pine which has been flattered with the hope, excited by the creek route," with its four distinct subordinate branches, visit or reconnoissances of the United States' engineers, must not be overlooked. Doubtless that will be the most that each would have this great road to pass through each national route of all, at all events in the opinion of the respective section of country. This bill provides that it settlers on Pine creek, (I suppose there is such a creek shall be taken upon the general direction of the western from the name of the route,) and by the people in the route, as surveyed by the United States' engineers; but neighborhood whose local interests are addressed by it. does any one know, can either of my colleagues tell me, One of the four branches of this grand route will pass where its precise locality will be? On the western route, through Wormleysburg, Uniontown, Jersey shore, Cow- from Washingion as far as Lexington, in Virginia, we are dersport, Oswego creek, Olean, Aurora. And, lastly, in informed, by the report of the engineers, that "two dithis document, comes the "direct route," which would pass rections have been examined in relation to the western Weedsborough, Shippensburg, Valley of Driftwood creek, route, one through Rock Fish Gap, the other through Barton. Here, then, sir, in the rage for engineering, sur-Snicker's Gap." The people on both doubtless expect, veying, reconnoitering, and electioneering, during the last but both cannot get it. From Lexington it passes Abingadministration, the hopes and expectations of a whole don to Knoxville. At Knoxville the route forks. The Scope of country near a hundred miles in width, filled, main route, first surveyed, diverges from that point to the I admit, with as virtuous and respectable a population as left, passes New Philadelphia, Athens, enters Alabama, any in the Union, on twenty-one distinct routes for this passes Centreville, Demopolis, and thence to New Orroad, have been raised on tiptoe. Each expects, and leans. The other branch from Knoxville passes the Crab each has no doubt that it is entitled to the road. The Orchard, Sparta, Winchester, Huntsville, in Alabama, hopes of all are kept up. The representatives of each and thence to Baton Rouge, to New Orleans. The bill does all these routes vote for this bill. But all cannot be grati-not determine which of these routes it is to go. If it fied. Twenty of the twenty-one routes must be disap-should be located on the New Philadelphia route from pointed; and if this bill located the road to some one of Knoxville, as one of my colleagues, [Mr. BLAIR] if I unthe routes definitely, I have my doubts whether the re-derstood him, contends it ought, it will not touch the dispresentatives here of all the other routes would not vote trict represented by my other colleague; [Mr. ISACKS] it against it. It is not the policy of the friends of this pro- will not then address itself to the local interests of his conject to locate the road definitely in the bill, for they might stituents; and, in that event, I desire to know whether he thereby lose votes from the other routes, and the bill will consider it sufficiently national to vote for it; would

H. of R.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[MARCH 29, 1830. he be willing that the money of his constituents should gentlemen who are more particularly interested in it. be expended to construct it on any other than his own What does this prove, sir? Why, that we are each repreroute? I shrewdly suspect he would not. If it so hap-senting our own local interest; and to what will it lead, pens that it should not cross Cumberland mountain at and to what has it led upon this very bill? To combinaall, his constituents will be apt to think they have been tions of local interests, to effect that which no one local badly treated, and that it would be inexpedient to make interest by itself could effect. Why was it that the road the road on any other route. And if it does cross from Washington to Buffalo, and the road from WashingCumberland mountain, New Philadelphia and the peo-ton to New Orleans, were united in one bill? Was there ple on that route will be dissatisfied. If gentlemen any necessary connexion between them? Were they ever are determined to construct this road, I submit to them united before the present session? Was such a union whether it would not be better to have the precise ever dreamt of before? Am I at liberty to suppose that route fixed with certainty, by previous survey, and then they were united for the purpose of combining local inconsider of the expediency of passing a law to construct terests enough to carry the whole, but which neither, it. But that is objected to; and why? I know of no rea-standing independent of the other, could effect? I put son, except that the bill would lose some of its present it to my colleagues, and to the two gentlemen from Virsupport, by locating the road to any one route definitely, ginia, to know if they would vote, if their constituents All those routes which did not get it would fly off and would justify them in voting away so large a sum of the vote against it. I shall vote against this bill, let the route people's money, to construct the road from Washington be where it may. I have brought to the notice of the to Buffalo, if the New Orleans end of the road was struck committee the conflicting interests of different sections, out of this bill. Would the gentlemen residing on the and large masses of your population arrayed against each Buffalo end deem it expedient to vote for the New Orleans other, for the purpose of showing the corrupting tendency end, if that to Buffalo was struck out? Sir, I beg gentleof this whole system, by addressing itself to the sordid in- men to trace the operations of these combinations of local terests of sections and localities. I speak of the tenden- interests a little further. I hold in my hand an amendcies and certain effects of the system. I do not wish to be ment laid upon the table by a gentleman from Massachumisunderstood by my colleagues, or any one else, upon setts, [Mr. RICHARDSON] a few days ago, and printed by this subject. I do not intend to impute to them or their order of the House, which he intends to offer to this bill, constituents any thing which does not equally apply to my as soon as he can get the floor. I will read it. Sir, it proown, and to the constituents of every other gentleman up- poses to extend the road "from Buffalo, in the State of on this floor. There are but few districts that will resist New York, to the head of Lake Champlain, in Vermont, the lure of local gain, in the shape of a road or a canal, if and thence to Boston, in the State of Massachusetts." If you will hold it out to them. I have seen something of this amendment should be adopted, we shall have a giganits effects in my own district. This same national road was tic, a tremendous road, indeed. A road from Boston to mounted as a political hobby, three or four years ago, in New Orleans. If this does not give strength enough to that district. For a time, the people seemed to be carried the bill to pass, add more to it. Extend it to Hartford, if away with the prospect of having millions of public money you please; we may need a military road in that direction, expended among them. We were to have a main route in the event of another war. If this is not still sufficient, and cross routes intersecting the district in every direc- I see a bill reported, and now upon our tables, proposing tion. It was to run down every creek, and pass through to appropriate forty-four thousand dollars "to improve almost every neighborhood in the district. As soon as Back creek;" and where Back creek is, I am again at there was time for reason to assume her seat, the delusion fault, no doubt from my want of knowledge of the geopassed off. The people very properly reflected that the graphy of the country; but it must, of course, be a great money to build the road was collected by taxes paid in national work. Add this to one end of this road; put on part by them. They reflected, too, that the nation owed it "Conneaut creek” and “ Cunningham creek," and dia debt of many millions, upon which a large annual inte-vers other creeks, which I see have been surveyed by the rest was paid. Their better judgment taught them that it United States' engineers as great national objects, and be was time enough, if ever, to enter upon these splendid sure that you unite local interests enough to carry the bill. and extravagant schemes of internal improvement when This is the magnificent and beautiful system that is now in the public debt was paid. And, sir, this is the conclusion the full tide of experiment. Can we close our eyes, if we to which the people of every district must and will finally would, upon its unequal, unjust, and pernicious operation, come, when they properly understand the practical ope- both here and upon the community, if it is persisted in? rations of the system. The delusion may, and probably I have spoken of conflicts between sections of country, will, continue as long as localities and sections are flattered with the immediate prospect of gain to themselves, at the cost of all the rest of the people of the Union. But, sooner or later, the veil which obscures the vision will be rent asunder; they will see the evil effect of this system, and put it down.

and between different masses of people arrayed against each other, and I have spoken of combinations of interests to effect a common purpose. These conflicts and combinations will exist, not only out of this House, but in it. They will exist here; and, by saying this, I do not wish to be understood as imputing any thing wrong to There is one remarkable fact attending the discussion of any one. It is the natural and almost inevitable consethis bill, which illustrates the tendency of which I have quence, if this system goes on. The combinations of the spoken. Every gentleman who has advocated it, with the strong sections of the Union represented in this House single exception of the honorable chairman who reported will overshadow and overpower the weak; and in this geneit, represents districts through which some one or other of ral scramble for the public money, (for I can call it by no the many routes of this mammoth road is expected to other name,) the weak will get no portion of the spoil. pass. Each advocates his particular part of the road, and I have taken this road as one out of the many objects of seems to have but little care for any other. The gentle-improvement which have been projected, to illustrate the man from Pennsylvania [Mr. RAMSEY] advocates the Buf- evil tendencies and pernicious effects of this system generalfalo end of the road; that passes through his district. Hely. From a report of the Board of Topographical Engineers, says he leaves the New Orleans end of the road to other communicated to Congress at its last session, I find that, on gentlemen who are interested in it. My two colleagues, the 8th of December, 1828, there had been projected and and the two gentlemen from Virginia, who have addressed surveyed one hundred and twenty-eight distinct objects of the committee, argue to prove the importance of the New national internal improvement. Since that time we have Orleans end of the road; they leave the Buffalo end to no report showing the increased number. No one knows

MARCH 29, 1830.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[H. of R.

how many more there are. All, of course, great national poses to appropriate two and a quarter millions of dollars works. The power to construct each and all of them, accord- to make a mud road. The interest for a year upon this ing to the doctrines of the advocates of this system, is derived sum, at six per cent. per annum, is one hundred and thirtyeither from the war-making, the commercial, or the post five thousand dollars. So that the simple interest per anoffice powers. In this document we find, among other num, upon the amount now proposed to be expended to equally national works, the following truly important pro- commence this road, will be fifty-seven thousand dollars jects: "survey of Conneaut creek, with a view to its improve- more than the whole amount now paid for transporting the ment;" removing obstructions at the mouth of Ashtabula mail on the present roads. Now the money, if left in the creek;" "survey at the mouth of Sandy creek," &c.; and pockets of the people, and especially in the Western how many other creeks, of great national importance, States, is always worth simple interest, and more; and will have been surveyed and examined, I will not fatigue the my colleague tell me where the saving, in a pecuniary point committee by reciting. Each gentleman can examine this of view, upon which he dwelt with so much confidence, very interesting document for himself. One or two others, would be? If we estimate the value of this improvement however, I must mention, before I pass from this docu- by a calculation of dollars and cents, will there not be a ment. I find, sir, a "survey of the Cobboseconte canal clear loss instead of a saving? But the two and a quarter route," a 66 survey of the Winnepiseogee canal route." (I millions, to be expended under the provisions of this bill, do not know that I pronounce these names right. The will be but a small portion of the amount which will be relearned gentleman before me [Mr. EVERETT] says I do. I quired to complete it. This is only intended by the advoam glad of it. I believe it is the first time I ever saw the cates of the bill to make it a mud road. It will not be more words in my life.). But no doubt they are great national than sufficient to locate it, to clear out the brush, to throw works. I find, too, there has been a "survey of the Suna- up the earth and graduate it. To construct it upon the pee canal route," a "survey of the levels of the Andros- McAdam plan, the engineers, in their report, estimate that coggin river," a "survey of the Ammonoosuck canal it will cost:

route," and many other such great national works. Every From Buffalo to Washington, creek, and mill path, and corner of the country, at which From Washington to New Orleans

Making a total of

- $1,877,063 92 5,997,802 30

$7,874,866 22

a United States' engineer touches, assumes, as if by magic, nationality of character. It is at once dubbed a great public improvement, and its construction by Congress clearly authorized, according to the doctrines of the advocates of This immense sum, as all other estimates for similar this system, under the war, the commercial, or the post works have proved to be, will doubtless fall much below office powers. Whatever the President, or his engineers, the real cost. But suppose this sum to be sufficient to or Congress, in their discretion, choose to denominate na- construct it, the annual interest upon it, at six per cent. tional works, become so ipso facto; but there is no security per annum, will be four hundred and seventy-two thousand that what is national this year will continue to be so the next. four hundred and ninety-one dollars and ninety-six cents. I have no means of calculating what the probable cost of The interest upon the cost of construction will be more than constructing all the works contained in the long catalogue six times the whole amount now paid per annum for transof projects contained in this document would be. I have porting the mail. Where, then, will be the saving of which understood that some general estimate has been made, by my colleague speaks? If we take the actual cost of the which it is calculated that it will require the revenue which Cumberland road as the criterion by which to estimate the we may have to spare, for more than half a century to probable cost of this, it will amount to more than twentycome, to complete them. All cannot be constructed at one millions of dollars; and the annual interest upon the once, and presently we will see conflicts between the cost will be more than a million of dollars. The road when friends of different objects for precedence in point of time. made will have to be kept in repair; and if we take our When we contemplate the illimitable extent of these visiona- experience upon the Cumberland road as any evidence of ry and wild schemes; when we see the abuses to which it what is to occur upon this road when made, we shall be callhas been, and may be, subject, in scattering and wasting ed upon annually to make large appropriations to keep it the public money; when we see that it has been, and may up. ́ And if we do not make them, it will dilapidate and again be, used as a powerful branch of Executive patron- go to ruin. The States through which it will pass will age, to buy up whole sections of country to the support of have the humiliating honor of being annual beggars for life the "powers that be," even if there was an express grant at your door, asking for appropriations to keep it in repair. of power in the constitution, ought we not to stop in our This, sir, is the saving we will witness. wild career, and pause and hesitate before we push it further?

This great road, according to the arguments of my colleague, [Mr. BLAIR] is to constitute a great artery from the southern extremity of the Union to the northern border; it is to afford facilities for the marching of troops and the transportation of the means of defence from the interior to the extremes, in the event of war.

I beg leave now to notice some of the arguments which have been urged in support of this bill, and to inquire what advantages would result, in a national point of view, from the construction of this road. I admit that good roads are an advantage to a neighborhood, or county, or State, He insists that the munitions of war could be transportor the nation; and if made by the proper authority, and if ed, the troops from Kentucky and Tennessee could be they do not cost too much, I do not object to them. But marched upon it in a much shorter time, to the defence of all roads are not national; and some of the benefits which the southern frontier. Now, sir, all who will examine the my colleagues suppose would be derived from the con- map of these two States will at once perceive that it would struction of this road, in the manner proposed, I am sure require more time for an army from Kentucky and some are rather ideal than real. One of my colleagues [Mr. portions of Tennessee to march across the country to get ISACKS] urged, with much earnestness, that it would be a to this road, than it would to go on board a steamboat on saving of thirty-nine thousand dollars per annum in the the Ohio or Tennessee river, go to the South, fight the transportation of the mail. A very short examination, in battle, and almost get home again. From Knoxville, by a more financial view, will show the fallacy of this argu- land, through Alabama to New Orleans, the way this road ment. I understand that the average cost of transporting is to go is more than seven hundred miles. If this road is the mail in stages, on the present roads, from Buffalo to to be constructed, either for military or commercial purNew Orleans, is fifty-two dollars per mile. The distance poses, or for the transportation of the mail, any one who is fifteen hundred miles. At this rate, the amount paid looks upon the map will perceive that the proper route annually is seventy-eight thousand dollars. This bill pro- would be direct from Knoxville to Memphis, or some other

H. of R.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[MARCH 29, 1830.

point on the Mississippi river, from which steamboats run gument upon this floor, which gained him a reputation at all seasons of the year. It would pass, on this route, which I am sorry to see him about to impair. In his arguthrough a portion of the country upon which New Orleans ment upon this bill, he still denies the power, not only to must depend for defence in the event of war; the land tra- construct, but to appropriate money to construct, roads and vel would be shortened from two to four hundred miles; canals within the limits of the States. He places his vote and at the Mississippi you would be within two or three for this bill upon a ground which no one before had thought days of New Orleans. of. He places it upon the ground of compact with the If any road is to be made for national or for any other States of Alabama and Mississippi, and says it rests upon purposes, this is the direction it ought to take. The Le- the same ground that the power to construct the Cumbergislature of Tennessee, at its late session, have said that land road rested. Will the gentleman inform the committhe State contemplates making a road from the Virginia tee, if the constitution does not confer the power upon line to the Mississippi river; they have asked the co-opera- Congress, (and he says it does not,) how it is that a comtion of Virginia to extend the road through that State; and pact or a bargain with a territory about to be admitted into she has said further, that the only manner in which this the Union, or how it is that an agreement with a single Government could give any aid, in the construction of such State can confer it. What is the compact with Alabama works, "consistent with the sovereignty of the States, and and Mississippi? Nothing more than that which has been the legitimate powers of the United States," was by sub-made with most of the new States, upon their admission scription for stocks in companies incorporated by the States. into the Union. It is, that five per cent. of the nett proI do not mention this to raise the constitutional question; ceeds of the sales of the public lands within their respectI only mention it to show, if the friends of this system are ive limits shall be reserved, three-fifths of which shall be determined to make this road, regardless of all conse-applied by the Legislature of that State to make roads withquences, they ought to make it in the most useful direc-in the State, and two-fifths to the "making a road or roads tion. I understand that an amendment will be offered to to the said State, under the direction of Congress!" What change the route to the Mississippi river; for that I shall is the compact with Ohio? It is, that one-twentieth, or five vote, but will finally vote against the bill on any route. To per cent. of the nett proceeds of the sales of the public East Tennessee, whether in a military or commercial point lands within that State "shall be applied to the laying out of view, if improvements must be made, I submit to my and making public roads, leading from the navigable waters colleagues and to the committee, whether it would not be emptying into the Atlantic, to the Ohio, to the said State, of infinitely more advantage, and at less than a fourth of and through the same, such roads to be laid out under the the cost of this road, to remove the obstructions in the authority of Congress, with the consent of the several Tennessee river, and connect the waters of the Tennessee States through which the road shall pass." Although the with the rivers flowing into the bay of Mobile by a short consent of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, through canal. Could not troops and the products exported reach whose territory the Cumberland road passed, from the nathe points of destination much earlier and much easier by vigable waters of the Atlantic to the Ohio, was given, yet, water than by this road? As to military purposes, no enc- so strong have the gentleman's opinions heretofore been my is likely to invade our southern border at any other against the exercise of this power by Congress, that he season than in the winter, and at that season our rivers are has uniformly voted against all appropriations to construct always navigable. East of the Alleghany mountain, from or repair the Cumberland road. At the first session of Western Virginia, the road to market, or to the defence the last Congress, at the very last session, he voted against of Virginia, is to Richmond or Norfolk. There are al- an appropriation for this object. He now says that, under ready good roads made by State authority from Staunton the compact with Alabama and Mississippi, if the road and Charlottesville to Richmond. From this city to Buffalo, passes through any part of the territory of those States, we how a road was ever conceived to be of importance in a have the power to construct it; and as there is no point of national point of view, I do not know. The gentleman beginning designated in the compact, we may begin it at from Virginia, near me, [Mr. MERCER] formerly at the Buffalo, or any other point, and run it through the terrihead of the Committee on Roads and Canals, no doubt can tory of several intermediate States, whose consent has not tell. He has a peculiar felicity in nationalizing every ob- been given. The consent of the gentleman's own State ject of improvement, whether it be the mouth of a creek, has not been given, and I shrewdly suspect will not be. or a neighborhood canal or road. If that gentleman shall The gentleman's argument amounts to this: that although be blessed with a continuance of life and health for twenty in his opinion the constitution does not confer the power, years more, and continues in the service of this House, I yet, if you think proper to begin a road in one corner of have no doubt he will be the most voluminous writer of Alabama or Mississippi, you may extend and ramify it all the age upon the subject of roads and canals. He will leave a posthumous reputation behind him that will live in the documentary history of the country. And it will be fortunate for him if that reputation sustains no injury; from the fact that he has largely contributed to fasten upon the country a system that will embarrass the finances, oppress the people with unnecessary taxation, and distract the harmony of the Union.

over the Union, and that, too, without the consent of the other States, upon the ground of compact. Surely the gentleman, upon further reflection, will not attempt to maintain this position. But, if he could, we are not authorized or bound, by the compact itself, to appropriate more than the five per cent. of the nett proceeds of the sales of the lands within those States. This bill appropriates much more. Suppose it could be placed on this ground; I cannot but express my utter astonishment and deep reare Alabama and Mississippi asking for the execution of gret at the argument that fell from another gentleman [Mr. this compact, by passing this bill, or making this gigantic SMYTH, of Virginia] in support of this bill. It is true this road? They are not. You have no memorials upon your road is expected to pass through his district, and address- table from those States for any such purpose. The reprees itself to the local interests of his constituents; but he is sentative from Mississippi upon this floor is opposed to the the last man in the House that I should have expected to bill; the delegation from Alabama are divided; I undersee shake and falter in his long settled opinions. It is stand a majority of them will vote against the bill. The the strongest evidence we could have of the effects of this gentleman must look out for some other ground--this cersystem, when it addresses itself to the local interests of tainly cannot be maintained.

sections. In the course of a long service here, the gentle- The constitutional question I shall not argue or touch. man has uniformly denied the power of this Government It has long since been exhausted. But I beg to look at to prosecute this system. In 1824, his powerful mind some of the details of this bill, and inquire of its advocates operated upon this great subject, and he delivered an ar- how they are to avoid some of the inherent difficulties

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