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Speech in Congress.

Internal Improvements.

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nowhere intimates when the President expects the war to terminate. At its beginning, General Scott was, by this same President driven into disfavor, if not disgrace, for intimating that peace could not be conquered in less than three or four months. But now at the end of about twenty months, during which time our arms have given us the most splendid successes—every department, and every part, land and water, oflicers and privates, regulars and volunteers, doing all that

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SPEECH ON INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.

(In Committee of the Whole House, June 20, 1848.)

Mr. Lincoln said :

“MR. CHAIRMAN :-) wish at all times in no way to practice any fraud upon the House or the Committee, and I also desire to do nothing which may be very disagreeable to any of the members. I therefore state, in advance, that my object in taking the floor is to make a speech on the general subject of internal improvements; and if I am out of order in doing so, I give the Chair an opportunity of so deciding, and I will take my seat.”

The Chair.—"I will not undertake to anticipate what the entleman may say on the subject of internal improvements.

will, therefore, proceed in his remarks, and if any question rder shall be made, the Chair will then decide it”

Speech in Congress.

The Mexican War.

President's Position Unsatisfactory

or make slaves of them, or even confiscate their property? How, then, can we make much out of this part of the territory? If the prosecution of the war has, in expenses, already equalled the better half of the country, how long its future prosecution will be in equalling the less valuable half is not a speculative but a practical question, pressing closely upon us; and yet it is a question which the President seems never to have thought of.

“As to the mode of terminating the war and securing peace, the President is equally wandering and indefinite. First, it is to be done by a more vigorous prosecution of the war in the vital parts of the enemy's country; and, after apparently talking himself tired on this point, the President drops down into a half despairing tone, and tells us, that 'with a people distracted and divided by contending factions, and a government subject to constant changes, by successive revolutions, the continued success of our arms may fail to obtain a satisfactory peace.' Then he suggests the propriety of wheedling the Mexican people to desert the counsels of their own leaders, and, trusting in our protection, to set up a government from which we can secure a satisfactory peace, telling us that this may become the only mode of obtaining such a peace.' But soon he falls into doubt of this too, and then drops back on to the already half abandoned ground of more vigorous prosecution.' All this shows that the Presi. dent is in no wise satisfied with his own positions. First, be takes up one, and, in attempting to argue us into it, he argues himself out of it; then seizes another, and goes through the same process; and then, confused at being able to think of nothing new, he spatches up the old one again, which he has some time before cast off. His mind, tasked beyond its power, is running hither and thither, like some tortured creature on a burning surface, finding no such position on which it can Hettle down and be at ease.

“ Again, it is a singular omission in this message, that it

Speech in Congress.

Internal Improvements.

nowhere intimates when the President expects the war to terminate. At its beginning, General Scott was, by this same President driven into disfavor, if not disgrace, for intimating that peace could not be conquered in less than three or four months. But now at the end of about twenty months, during which time our arms have given us the most splendid successes-every department, and every part, land and water, officers and privates, regulars and volunteers, doing all that men could do, and hundreds of things which it had ever before been thought that men could not do; after all tbis, this same President gives us a long message without showing us that as to the end, he has himself even an imaginary conception. As I have before said, he knows not where he is. He is a bewildered, confounded, and miserably-perplexed man. God grant he may be able to show that there is not something about his conscience more painful than all bis mental perplexity.

SPEECH ON INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS.

(In Committee of the Whole House, June 20, 1848.) Mr. Lincoln said :

“ MR. CHAIRMAN :-) wish at all times in no way to practice any fraud upon the House or the Committee, and I also desire to do nothing which may be very disagreeable to any of the members. I therefore state, in advance, that my object in taking the floor is to make a speech on the general subject of internal improvements; and if I am out of order in doing so, I give the Chair an opportunity of so deciding, and I will take my seat."

The Chair.—“I will not undertake to anticipate what the gentleman may say on the subject of internal improvements. He will, therefore, proceed in his remarks, and if any question of order shall be made, the Chair will then decide it”

Speech in Congress.

Internal Improvements.

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Mr. Lincoln.-—"At an early day of this session the President sent to us what may properly be termed an internal improvement veto message. The late Democratic Convention which sat at Baltimore, and wbich nominated General Cass for the Presidency, adopted a set of resolutions, now called the Democratic platform, among which is one in these words :

" " That the Constitution does not confer upon the General Government the power to commence and carry on a general system of internal improvements.'

"General Cass, in his letter accepting the nomination, holds this language :

“I have carefully read the resolutions of the Democratic National Convention, laying down the platform of our political faith, and I adhere to them as firmly as I approve them cordially.'

“These things, taken together, show that the question of internal improvements is now more distinctly made-bas become more intense, than at any former period. It can no longer be avoided. The veto message and the Baltimore resolution I understand to be, in substance, the same thing; the latter being the more general statement, of which the former is the amplification-the bill of particulars. While I know there are many Democrats, on this floor and elsewhere, who disapprove that message, I understand that all who shall vote for General Cass will thereafter be considered as having approved it, as having indorsed all its doctrines. I suppose all, or nearly all, the Democrats will vote for him. Many of them will do so, not because they like his position on this question, but because they prefer bim, being wrong in this, to another, whom they consider further wrong on other questions. In this way the internal improvement Democrats are to be, by a sort of forced consent, carried over, and arrayed against themselves on this measure of policy. General Cass, once elected, will not trouble bimself to make a

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