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MARCH 30, 1830.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

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kept in ignorance of the true cause of some of their suf- or travelling? No, sir. Then, is not your project useless, ferings. These servants, after the people entrust them and will it not prove an improper expenditure of the pubwith their confidence, too often forget the interest of their lic funds to attempt to carry the road beyond Memphis? employers, and are led away by some designing gentlemen, New Orleans has local advantages which nothing can take who, to gratify some wild notion, are almost willing to en- from her; it cannot injure her to have the road terminate slave the poorer class at least. I am one of those who are at Memphis; and if the road should so terminate, it would called self-taught men; by the kindness of my neighbors, be on the direct route from this city to the province of and some exertion of my own, I have been raised from Texas, which I hope will one day belong to the United obscurity without an education. I am therefore compelled States, and that at no great distance of time. to address the committee in the language of a farmer, These considerations, I think, are entitled to the notice which, I hope, will be understood. I do not mean to op- of the committee. If we must burden the people by a pose internal improvements--my votes on that subject will great expenditure, let us endeavor to do it with a view to show that I am an internal improvement man, though the general good of the country. As to the defence of cannot go, as the Kentuckian says, "the whole hog." the country, every man must know that the valley of I will only go as far as the situation of the country will the Mississippi can produce a sufficient number of troops admit, so far as not to oppress. I will not say that I will to meet any enemy who may have the audacity or vanivote against the bill under all circumstances, yet, at this ty to attack our western frontiers or New Orleans→→→ moment, I consider it a wild notion to carry the road to that noted battle ground, where, a few years since, the extent contemplated, from Buffalo to this city, and we made the most powerful enemy on earth tremble; from this to New Orleans. Adopt my amendment, and you where the proud troops of England, headed by their will shorten the distance five hundred miles, which will save, haughty Lord Packenham, so soon became tired of our in the outset, upwards of seven hundred and fifty thou-present Chief Magistrate and his brave little band. We sand dollars to the country. Is not this worthy the con- are at present much stronger than during the last war; and sideration of the committee? Besides, it would, in a mea- if we desire to transport an army to New Orleans, or any sure, be useless to open the road as contemplated by the thing else, nature has furnished us with the best road in bill. I recollect there was a road opened by the army, the world, the importance of which we have once expefrom the lower end of the Muscle shoals, on the Tennes-rienced. Should it ever happen that your brave soldiers, see river, to Lake Pontchartrain, and thence to New who fought so gallantly at Bladensburg, should be called Orleans, and now it is grown up, except about one hun-on to render us assistance, I should be in favor of their dred and twenty miles, so that it is impassable; this is taking a water passage at Memphis; a ride on the water, according to information I have received from gentlemen and a pleasant nap or two, might recruit their strength, who are acquainted with the road. and sustain their natural bravery. I do not anticipate that

From East Tennessee to New Orleans it must be up-those heroes will ever be called on to protect us; if there wards of eight hundred miles; from that place to Mem- is a call, it will be on the other side; and it is now to be phis, I mean from where the road would pass, between regretted that you had not been aided here by a few Kentwo and three hundred. I am well acquainted with the tucky and Tennessee boys, in your brave exertions to prelocal situation of East Tennessee, and do not doubt that it vent the disgraceful burning of the capitol. would be of great use to make a good road from Memphis In the district which I represent, there are eighteen to this city. The contemplated road is to commence at counties, in the whole of which there is not a spot of Buffalo, come to this city, and go thence to New Orleans. ground twenty-five miles from a navigable stream; and, But suppose we should say it were best to begin at for my part, I would much rather see the public money Memphis, and come to this place? Will this be opposed? expended in clearing out those rivers, than in opening Will the rule not work both ways? If not, it is a bad con-roads. By the bill, fifteen hundred dollars per mile is to cern. I am astonished that certain of our eastern friends be expended. This, I fear, would be but an entering have become so kind to us. They are quite willing to aid wedge. But we will suppose the road to be fifteen hunin distributing a portion of the national funds among us of dred miles in length; at this rate it would cost two million the West. This was not so once. And, if I am not de- two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. But I believe the ceived, their present kindness is merely a bait to cover the distance to be farther than gentlemen have calculated, and book which is intended to haul in the western and south- the expense will be greater. ern people; and when we are hooked over the barb, we There is another objection to carrying the road to the will have to yield. Their policy reminds me of a certain extent contemplated by the bill. I think many gentlemen man in the State of Ohio, who, having caught a racoon, have a very erroneous idea about the nature of the counplaced it in a bag, and, as he was on his way home, he met try through which they mean to make the road; they, pera neighbor, who was anxious to know what he had in his haps, do not know that a considerable portion of it will bag. He was told to put his hand in and feel, and in doing pass through a low, flat, and marshy country, entirely desso he was bit through the fingers; he then asked what it titute of rock, gravel, or stone. These low grounds are, was, and was told that it was only a bite. I fear that our in many instances, a perfect swamp; and I cannot be congood eastern friends have a hook and a bite for us; and, if vinced, by any gentleman, that a mud road can be of any we are once fastened, it will close the concern. We may use after it is made. Gentlemen are much mistaken if then despair of paying the national debt; we may bid farewell they think the country bordering on the Mississippi to be to all other internal improvements; and, finally, we may like this. My opinion is, that if you were to have the road bid farewell to all hopes of ever reducing duties on any thrown up as contemplated by the bill, it would be im thing. This is honestly my opinion; and again I say, I passable the whole of the winter season; neither wagons cannot consent to "go the whole hog." But I will go as nor horses could travel on it during the time when it would far as Memphis. There let this great road strike the Mis-be most wanted. If an attack is made on New Orleans, it sissippi, where the steamboats are passing every hour in will be in the winter, because troops, on account of liabilithe day and night; where you can board a steamboat, and, ty to sickness, will not be taken there during the summer; in seven or eight days, go to New Orleans and back; and in the winter your road would be of no use. The Miswhere there is no obstruction at any time of the year. Isissippi gives to New Orleans the advantage over any other would thank any man to show this committee the use point on the continent, so far as regards the facility with of a road which will run parallel with the Mississippi for which she can be furnished with a force and the materials five or six hundred miles. Will any man say that the road of war. At a few days' notice, a sufficient force can be would be preferred to the river either for transportation collected at that place, to contend with any foe; but I do

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Pay of Members.

[MARCH 31, 1830.

not expect that we shall ever again be called on to defend scruples as to the rightful power of Congress-having that point. always voted for internal improvements--and I will even

I am reminded that I have, in several of my speeches to support this bill if you will adopt my amendment, and carmy constituents, given it as my opinion that General Jack-ry the road direct to Memphis. By this, Memphis would son would diminish the national debt faster than any Pre- soon become an important point; and certainly the other sident who has preceded him. I would be pleased to see route can be of no essential benefit to New Orleans, that I him effect what I have anticipated; and I think it would can discover.

be equally pleasing to the country at large. We boast of 1 have endeavored to be candid in giving my views on our freedom; let us also place ourselves in a state in which the subject. I thought it right to give a fair statement of we can boast of our unembarrassed situation. I am one facts. Gentlemen may now think that I am pledged to of those who feel willing to give the present administra-vote against the bill, but I wish not to be misunderstood. tion a fair opportunity to pay all the public debts, if pos- I repeat, that I will vote for the bill with my amendment. sible, during its existence." I wish not to embarrass it by And if you will take into consideration the fact, that the creating large public expenditures-let it have a chance Legislature of Tennessee have directed their Senators and to do its best. I heard a few days since on this floor, that Representatives here, to ask the Government to subscribe we were about to bankrupt the nation by bestowing a por- half a million of dollars to make a turnpike road from the tion of the public funds upon the remaining few of that Virginia line to Memphis, and that the road contemplated glorious band of revolutionary worthies, whose blood and in the bill, if carried to Memphis, will supersede the one toil have purchased for us our boasted liberties; who have which the Tennessee Legislature has in view, I think you been knocking at the door of Congress so long, that but will see the importance of the amendment, which, if adopta meagre group remain-the rest having tottered to their ed, will secure my support of the bill; but no consideragraves. If we wait a little longer, the few left will also tion will induce me to vote for the southern route. be out of the reach of our slow charity. Yet gentlemen With these views I will submit the question to the comwill talk of bankrupting the nation, when these aged he-mittee, to whom I return my thanks for their polite atroes, who gained our independence, extend their hands; tention. and still find excuses for large expenditures, the expediency of which is doubtful. My vote will always be given for the aid of our revolutionary heroes, in preference to your Buffalo road, or any other road.

It

Mr. CHILTON gave his reasons against the measure, although friendly to the system of internal improvement. The debate was continued by Messrs. COKE, CARSON, CRAIG, of Virginia, SPEIGHT, PETTIS, and BARRINGER; but, before a vote was taken on the final question, The committee rose, and reported progress.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 1830.

PAY OF MEMBERS.

The House then resumed the consideration of the following resolution, offered by Mr. McDUFFIE:

To be honest, I must lay this matter before the people in a plain manner. I must say that there is but one reason by which I could justify myself for voting for the bill. is this: I discover a determination to squander the public funds in some way; and, therefore, I should strive to "come in for snacks." There is a bill on your table which will take from your treasury about six hundred thousand dollars for erecting light-houses, and making surveys along the seaboard. Some money, certainly, ought to be distributed to the West; and, to effect this, I must "Resolved, That the Committee on Retrenchment be vote for the road bill. I have seen three attempts made, instructed to report a bill providing that whenever the during this session, to reduce duties, and all to no effect. first session of Congress shall continue for a longer period If, then, high duties are to be kept up, should I not try to than one hundred and twenty days, the pay of the mem extend a portion of their avails to the people of the West, bers shall be reduced to two dollars per day from and who have to pay their proportion? I would much rather, after the termination of the said one hundred and twenty however, let the people keep the money in their own days; and that whenever the second session of Congress pockets, than to have it expended in paying high salaries shall continue for a longer period than ninety days, the to the men who gather the money into the treasury, and pay of the members shall be reduced to two dollars per in paying ourselves high wages for squandering it to the day from and after the termination of the said ninety days." four winds. These are evils which should be remedied; a The question being on the motion of Mr. EVERETT host of those who subsist on treasury pap should be dis- to amend, by striking out the whole resolution after the missed, or their wages lessened; and much of the money word Resolved, and inserting the following words: which is now required for our various appropriations, "That provision ought to be made, by law, that the should be left in the pockets of the people. This doctrine first session of Congress shall be limited to the 15th day will suit our western and southern people, but it may not of April; and that the second session of Congress shall be acceptable to some eastern gentlemen, who are so commence on the first Monday of November, except when anxious to encourage manufactures of all kinds at any otherwise provided by law." sacrifice. It is my firm belief that our eastern brethren Mr. SMYTH, of Virginia, spoke at some length, in opwish to place us of the South and West in such a dilemma, position to the resolution. He said the object of the gen that we shall be compelled to keep up the duties to their tleman from South Carolina, who had introduced the resohighest extent. They well know that, if we commence this lution, seemed to him to be the application of a forfeiture work, fifty millions of dollars will be asked to complete it. of the pay of members for the purpose of curtailing the If we but once commence, they will have us bound to main-length of the session of Congress. It also contemplated tain a high tariff for many years; and I would not be sur- an indirect reduction of the per diem allowance of memprised if we should finally be obliged to resort to a system bers. He confidently believed it was no part of the policy of direct taxation. This will be a tough morsel for the of that gentleman (Mr. McDUFFIE) to seek popularity by people in my part of the country to swallow. I hope never his proposition; but he believed him mistaken in relation to see it offered to them--but I confess I am getting some- to the effect which would result from its adoption. He what alarmed. believed its effect would be to leave the business of legis

I came here as much authorized to vote for this measure lation, or throw it into the hands of less competent incumas any man in Congress. I had expressed my willingness bents. It went upon the hypothesis that one hundred to support the measure to all my constituents; but its ex-days were sufficient for the transaction of the public busipediency, at this time, I must confess, appears to me ex-ness. To this he could not agree; its admission would be to tremely doubtful. I do not hesitate at all on account of pass condemnation upon their predecessors. The last five

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sessions of Congress had averaged one hundred and sixty seven days; and all experience proved that one hundred and seventy days, per session, were necessary. It should be considered that the business of Congress was continually increasing, on account of the great national questions arising before them--the pension system, the internal improvement system, &c.

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with this resolution, let it become the law of the land that the first session of each Congress shall be limited to four months, and beyond which the pay of members shall not exceed two dollars per day; and, sir, my impression is, there would not be many days consumed after the four months expired. Considerable pains [said Mr. S.] has been taken 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 it 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. It 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 ConMr. 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 ment, providing that, during the remainder of the session, a motion to adjourn should not be in order until half past four o'clock.

save a few appropriations, they have escaped my memory. And, sir, how many private ones have we passed? Some forty or fifty; and here, sir, is our indefatigable exertion 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 week, 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 he 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 mas had 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 flinch." 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 initation 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. Jefferson 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 he thought the gentleman the legislation of this country. Pass a law commensurate fi om Virginia was amongst the last who should complain

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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. BELL] The fact was, this session, it had was to have introduced his bill upon the subject of our Mr. S. concluded by expressing his hind in size or number. been long speeches and short session, and so it would con- Indian relations. 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 On account month of the session, assemble on the first Monday in the debates, this is to be a speaking session. 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 reso-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.

Mr. EVERETT accepted the modification.
The previous question was then demanded, and the
House ordered the main question to be put.

Mr. CAMBRELENG said, he agreed with his colleague Gentlemen had railed 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 The amendment proposes to industry. He would defy any member, no matter how stay as long as we do now. 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 partithat 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. EVERETT] 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 am of the same opinion now of April; which was accepted. that I was when this subject was before the House in the Six dollars per day is enough fore part of the session. for any man to receive for his services. But he had not understood that this was the object of the gentleman from South Carolina, but to shorten the session; and, if we staid longer than the time presented in the resolution, to reduce it to two dollars per day. Now, sir, suppose the long session to last six months; why, by the alteration proposed, each member would receive six dollars per day on an average, which, in his opinion, would be sufficient to He continued, he compensate any man for his services. was sorry to hear one objection which was raised to the It was this, that its effect passage of the resolution. would strike at the root of the great plans of internal improvement and the protection of home industry. In conclusion, he would answer that by saying, that recent demonstrations of sentiment in this House had evinced that whatever was left undone, the tariff and appropriations would be attended to--any proposition which takes money out of the treasury will be attended to.

The main question, being on the passage of the resolution, was then put, and decided in the negative as follows: YEAS.--Messrs. Alston, Angel, Bailey, P. P. Barbour, Barnwell, Baylor, James Blair, John Blair, Boon, Brown, Cahoon, Campbell, Chilton, Claiborne, Clay, Conner, Crawford, Daniel, Desha, Doddridge, Drayton, Dudley, Dwight, Earll, Ellsworth, Foster, Gilmore, Gordon, Hall, Halsey, Hammons, Harvey, Haynes, Hubbard, R. M. Johnson, P. King, Lamar, Lewis, Loyall, Lumpkin, Lyon, Magee, Martin, McCoy, McDuffie, Mitchell, Nuckolls, Powers, Richardson, Roane, Shepard, Speight, Standifer, Thompson, of Georgia, Tracy, Trezvant, Tucker, Verplanck, Weeks, White, of New York, Wickliffe.-61.

NAYS.-Messrs. Anderson, Arnold, Barber, J. S. Barbour, Barringer, Bates, Beekman, Bell, Bockee, Borst, Bouldin, Brodhead, Buchanan, Burges, Butman, Cambreleng, Chandler, Clark, Coke, Coleman, Condict, CooMr. 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, Gorhain, 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 to-morrow never came. now discussing, for instance, still occupied the hour devoted to resolutions, to the exclusion of all other business. The judiciary bill had been thrown aside for so long a period, that he really had forgotten what question was in

TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEYS.

The bill making appropriations for certain surveys, &c. was then taken up for a third reading.

Mr. WICKLIFFE moved to amend the bill in the clause appropriating money for surveys, by adding a proviso,

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that the sum appropriated should be expended on works heretofore directed, or which may be directed, by either House of Congress.

Mr. CLAY expressed a hope that the limitation would not be adopted, and asked for the yeas and nays on the question. At the suggestion of Mr. McDUFFIE, Mr. CLAY withdrew his call for the yeas and nays, which was immediately renewed by Mr. WICKLIFFE.

The veas and nays were then ordered.

[H. of R.

Mr. TREZVANT said a few words in explanation. Mr. TUCKER moved to strike out the enacting words, and called for the yeas and nays, which were ordered. At the suggestion of Mr. McDUFFIE, Mr. TUCKER withdrew his motion to amend.

The amendment moved by Mr. MARTIN to the amendment was then negatived.

Mr. P. P. BARBOUR suggested a modification of the amendment so as to strike out the words "either House of," so as to read--shall be directed by Congress.

Mr. WICKLIFFE declined to accept the modification. Mr. P. P. BARBOUR then moved his proposiiton as an amendment.

Mr. ELLSWORTH expressed his hope that the amendment would not be adopted. He reminded the House that it had been customary to pass an appropriation of this kind annually; and he desired that it be applied on the usual 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 begun were not national, yet it was proposed to compel the Government to complete them instead of taking up others which might be national. It was therefore an unreasonable proposition, and he hoped it would not be adopted.

MP. WICKLIFFE defended his amendment, on the ground generally of the abuse which the present mode led to, the unimportant nature of the works which it enabled members to be procured to be undertaken, &c.

Mr. P. P. BARBOUR enforced the propriety of the amendment he had offered. The vote of this House is the vote of the representatives of the people, while that of the Senate is the vote of the representatives of the States; and he wished to unite both. He declared himself utterly opposed to the whole system, and every scheme, survey, and appropriation under it.

Mr. MERCER advocated the power of the Government to make these surveys, and the practice which had prevailed 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 consetion to such surveys as have been commenced, and that quence of the march of troops there. Yet no one conthe 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. TEST here called for the previous question, but the call was not seconded.

Mr. MARTIN explained his own views, so as to remove a misconception which he thought seemed to prevail as to his course.

Mr. HALL opposed the whole system, the amendment, as well as the bill itself. If he took the amendment of Mr. MARTIN, the remainder of Mr. WICKLIFFE's amendment would contain enough to involve all his principles. He could vote for none of the questions proposed.

Mr. MERCER suggested that many surveys had been ordered by Congress, which have not yet been commenced; and the effect of the amendment would be to relieve the Executive of all responsibility whatever.

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Mr. AMBROSE SPENCER stated that the question as to the power of the Government to make these surveys was settled by the act of 1824, and that it was useless now to make it a subject of discussion. He was opposed to imposing upon the present administration a limitation which had not been imposed on their predecessors. He declared himself adverse to the amendment to the amendment, as well as to the amendment. He expressed his concurrence in the views which had fallen from the last speaker, and controverted the idea that works confined entirely to particular States were necessarily not national, cases of which he cited.

Mr. IRWIN, of Pennsylvania, expressed his hope that both the amendment of the gentleman from Kentucky, and that of the gentleman from Virginia, would be rejected.

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