Imagens das páginas

Jax. 5, 1831.)

Ilinois Canal.

(H. OF R.

as he would be on all others, to give a part to save the that, according to the pretensions set up by Illinois, we whole.

had no security (so far as her principles are to afford a Mr. BARRINGER said, if he were to be influenced by barrier) that, when we shall have paid her for this land, the very sincere regard he had for the honorable member by scrip, to be redeemed in the sale of other lands, from Illinois, and a desire he ever felt to oblige that gen- she will not attempt to seize upon the very land we are tleman in any matter in which he appeared to take so now taking by purchase, and appropriate it to herself. deep an interest as he evidently did in the subject now He would not, therefore, move one inch, until she disaunder discussion, he should pursue a very different course vowed the extravagant pretensions of her late and present on the present occasion, from that which he felt prescribed Executive. to him by the most obvious sense of duty. But he could So far, said Mr. B., as this bill may affect us, in a pecunot surrender his principles to his private sentiments. niary point of view, he so generally accorded with the

Mr. B. said he had the honor of a seat in this House at honorable gentleman from Virginia [Mr. McCor] in the the time of the grant of land in question to the State of remarks he had made, that he would not reiterate them. Illinois, and that he had no motive to conceal his having Mr. RENCHER said he should vote for the bill. The voted against the grant. But he took occasion now to work proposed was one of great importance, not only to say, that, if he had originally supported the measure, the State of Illinois, but also to the whole valley of the there were circumstances connected with our relations Mississippi, and to the National Government. All such with that State, in regard to the public lands, not to be over- works of internal improvement were calculated to enhance looked; nay, such as required from this House an expres- the value of the public domain. It should not be oversion not to be misapprehended. Not that the work was looked, that the General Government owned four-fifths of not one of great national importance; that was a point he all the lands in the State of Illinois; and, consequently, was ready to concede, and he would readily admit that few if the canal was constructed, the nation would be the objects of internal improvement could rank higher in the gainer, in the increased value of the public lands, of a scale of nationality than the connexion of the waters of the proportion of four-fifths. Would it, then, he asked, be Mississippi with Lake Michigan by a canal from that lake just, to throw upon that State the burden of construction, to the Illinois river. But, said Mr. B., though I am pre- when not more than one-fifth of the benefit of the conpared to make these concessions, and the further one, templated improvement would accrue to her? He had no that the measure may not injuriously affect our pecuniary intention of entering into a discussion of the propriety of interests, yet there is a respect due to ourselves, and to the passage of the bill which originally granted the lands the national interests, which should utterly avoid any in question to the State of Illinois; nor would he say movement of this House, at this time, upon this subject. whether he should have voted for the measure, if he had The State of Illinois has, on former occasions, as well as been here: the question now was, whether the House will very recently, through the medium of her Executive, ad give value to the appropriation of lands then made, by vanced her claim to the entire and undivided possession of passing the bill on the table. He begged leave to say, the public lands within her limits, by virtue of State sove-lihat much of the lands in the vicinity of the proposed reignty. Yes, sir, her State sovereignty! And, what canal was of little value, and would so remain for a numever other gentlemen might be disposed to do, he would ber of years, unless that canal should be completed. If not grant favors where they were not asked as such, but that were accomplished, the lands would rise in value, claimed as matter of right; nor would he, in any instance, and the benefit to the Treasury of the United States would grant one foot of the public domain to any State, for any increase in proportion. The State of Illinois was not able, purpose, whilst these' high pretensions were advanced, at present, to perform the work—the General Governnor until they were promptly disavowed. Mr. B. said he, ment was; and the nation would receive a tenfold indemtoo, was for State rights not those rights, however, wity from the success of the measure now proposed. Pass which wrested fiom the nation its property-acquired by this bill, sir, said Mr. R., and that part of the country that the common blood and common treasure of a united peo is now a wilderness-á desert- will become the most ple-to be appropriated to the individual use of the State flourishing part of the State. in which it may chance to be located. Mr. B. said he

Mr. CLAY, of Alabama, said he had not intended to feared there was a disposition abroad to define and fritter participate in the discussion of this bill, nor should he down all general into separate and individual rights; and now have risen, but to take notice of some remarks which the mode of its accomplishment was so plainly indicated had fallen from two gentlemen who had preceded him, by so many circumstances, in daily development, that he having reference to the State which he, in part, had the who runs might read. And let not gentlemen Hatter them- honor to represent. selves that, whatever may be the alternate fate of the The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. McCoy) had remarkpowers rightfully claimed by the General Government, ed, that, if this bill passed, we should have applications its property at least is safe! Hug not the delusion! Its from Ohio, Indiana, Alabama, &c., (to all of whom similar seizure is deterinined, and the mode is in preparation. grants had been made,) to change the terms of their Destroy but the supervisory powers of the Federal Su- grants--to take back the lands granted, &c. To relieve preme Court, and the object is effected with a certainty, the gentleman's apprehensions, so far as Alabama was equalled only by the simplicity of the operation. The concerned, Mr. C. said the State had already sold and disState seizes upon and grants your public domain; the issue posed of the lands, or, at least, much the greater part, is between your grantee and the grantee of the State. The which had been granted for a like improvement, and they State judges, deeply imbued in the learning of State rights were now in the hands of individual proprietors. Hence and state sovereignty, decide that it is inconsistent with there was no probability that any similar measure would the rights of sovereignty that the General Government be proposed by the Legislature, or the people of that State. should bold lands within the limits of the respective States; The State of onio had no doubt also disposed of her or, reversing the proposition, that the State should not grant; and no apprehensions were to be entertained of be the sovereign of the unappropriated lands within her any similar proposition from that quarter. borders, and the work is accomplished! Your grantee is But the gentleman from Tennessee (Mr. Bell) had alstripped of the benefit of his writ of error, and you of luded to certain rumors which had been afloat, that Alayour property:

bama had mismanaged the grant of 400,000 acres, which Mr. B. said he had risen to say a few words only in op- had been made to that State for the improvement of the position to the engrossment of the bill. He had occupied Tennessee and other rivers. Mr. C. said he was not dismore time than he had intended. He would only repeat pleased at the opportunity which had thus been afforded,

H. or R.]

Illinois Canal.

[JAN. 5, 1831.

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of giving some explanation of the manner in which that scrip therefor, at the rate of one dollar and twenty-fivo
land had been disposed of. The Legislature had passed a cents per acre, to be received in payment for other lands of
law for the valuation of those lands, by commissioners ap- the United States, in Illinois alone. It amounts, at most, to
pointed and sworn for that purpose, having due regard to a mere exchange of lands heretofore granted for other lands.
the quality of soil, locality, &c. Those commissioners Not one dollar of the public treasury is proposed to be ap.
were citizens of the country in which the lands were, and propriated, nor one acre of the public land to be granted.
fully competent to assess a fair and adequate value. They It had been intimated, in debate, that the land proposed
had assessed the value of each particular tract, and for to be relinquished was probably inferior, and, on that
the prices so ascertained and fixed, the land had been account, could not be sold. But the gentleman from
sold, and had doubtless produced an average price above Illinois (Mr. Duncan] had placed that matter beyond
that for which the United States had sold like quantities doubt, (as Mr. C. conceived,) by the evidence of one of
of land before and since. Mr. C. was aware, he said, that the engineers, whose statement had been read, showing,
rumors, as the gentleman from Tennessee remarked, had satisfactorily, that the land was of as good quality, gene-
been in circulation, unfavorable to the conduct of the rally, as perhaps any other like quantity of land in the
commissioners; and, in consequence of impressions pro- State. The completion of the canal would, unquestion-
duced by these rumors, more than twelve months ago, the ably, enhance the value of the land proposed to be re.
then Chief Magistrate of Alabama had noticed them in linquished, as well as the public domain in that State,
his communication to the Legislature. Upon that com- generally, and thus ensure to the Government a most
munication (as Mr. C. understood it) a committee had ample indemnity. The only inconvenience that could
been appointed, with power to send for persons and pa- arise to the United States, would be the possible delay of
pers, and an inquiry into the grounds of these rumors in- receiving the money for which the land for which the
stituted. The cominittee was composed of high-minded, scrip would be paid, might sell, for a few months, or
honorable, and intelligent gentiemen. Many witnesses perhaps longer. ' The scrip was not, in any event, to be
had been examined, and a laborious investigation had taken redeemed with money, but land, and only acre for acre.
place, which resulted in a report wholly exculpating and Not more than fifty thousand dollars of scrip could, under
acquitting the cominissioners from the censure which ru- the provisions of the bill, be issued at once; and the in-
mor had bestowed upon them. Copies of this report had vestiture of that sum, in conformity with the conditions of
been forwarded, during the last session, to several gentle- the grant, must be shown to the satisfaction of the Secre-
men of this House, and could, no doubt, now be had for tary of the Treasury, before any more could issue. Indeed,
examination, if desired. Mr. C. added that it was true, every interest of the General Government, contemplated
having the honor of a seat in the Legislature of Alabama in making the grant, is carefully guarded and preserved.
at the time the disposal of these 400,000 acres of land was The work intended is admitted, Mr. C. believed, on all
under consideration, he had preferred another mode, and hands, to be one of national importance, as it proposed a
felt it his duty to oppose the one adopted in the law which connexion between Lake Michigan and the navigable
passed. But he nevertheless thought, when the facts he waters of the Mississippi. The benefits likely to result
had mentioned were taken into view, and considered, the from it, if completed, would be almost incalculable, not
imputations against the Legislature of that State, which only to Illinois, but to the whole Western country. Shall
had been alluded to, would be considered unfounded and we not then aid, when we do not sacrifice a single dollar
unjust. The important work contemplated by this grant of money, or a foot of the public domain?
is now in progress, and will, no doubt, be accomplished in The question of engrossment being stated from the
the manner, and within the time, designated by the act of Chair, Mr. ANGEL called for the yeas and nays on the

question, and they were ordered by the House.
While up, MI;. C. said, as he intended to vote for the Mr. STRONG made some remarks in favor of the bill,
bill under consideration, he would make a few remarks considering that, particularly in a military point of view,
upon that subject. The bill contemplates, as its title its passage would be of great importance--it would also
purports, to change the mode of disposing of the lands tend to promote the rapid settlement of that section of the
heretofore granted to Illinois, to enable her to construct country; and the proposed work was, in his view, alto-
the canal in question. No question of constitutionality, gether of a national character. He then submitted the
or perhaps of policy, which might be involved, if the following amendment, to come in at the end of the fifth
original measure were now presented, could arise on this section, and said a few words in its favor.
occasion. Indeed, he did not understand that the ques Provided, and it is further enacted, That no land, as
tion of constitutionality had been raised by the opponents aforesaid, shall be received in exchange for the scrip
of the bill. And Mr. C. said he would take this occasion aforesaid, at a less price than one dollar and twenty-five
to remark, that he concurred, most cordially, in the sen-cents an acre.
timent, that all further appropriations of money for pur The amendment was agreed to.
poses of internal improvement should cease, at least until The question being finally put on the engrossment of
the public debt was paid--however willing he might have the bill for a third reading, it was decided in the negative,
been, while the system prevailed, that his State should by yeas and nays, as follows:
receive a liberal dividend.

YEAS.--Messrs. Bailey, Bartley, Bates, Baylor, BeekBut, Mr. C. repeated, no question of that nature arose man, Bell, John Blair, Boon, Brown, Butman, Clay, in this case.

The land which had been granted to Illinois Clark, Coleman, Crawford, Crockett, Creighton, Dodwas situated along the proposed line of the canal--in a dridge, Dorsey, Duncan, Eager, George Evans, Edward tract of country altogether unsettled, and remote from Everett, Findlay, Finch, Ford, Grennell, Hawkins, those parts which were settled; consequently, it would Hemphill, Howard, Hunt, Ihrie, Ingersoll, Thomas Irwin, not now sell for a fair price, when other lands of the W. W. Irvin, Johns, Richard M. Johnson, Kennon, Kinsame State, and in others, afforded faciliti's so much caid, Leavitt, Lecompte, Leiper, Letcher, Lyon, Martingreater. No man would go into the midst of a wilderness dale, Mercer, Norton, Pearce, Pierson, Rencher, Richardto make a settlement, so inconvenient to the means of son, Rose, Shields, Semmes, Sprigg, Stanbury, Standefer, subsistence, when he could get land of nearly equal quali. Strong, Swann, Taylor, Test, John Thomson, Vance, Washty in the neighborhood of abundant supplies. What does ington, Whittlesey, Wilson, Yancey, Young:--67. the Legislature of Illinois propose, and what does this bill NAYS.--Messrs. Alexander, Allen, Alston, Anderson, contemplate? Merely that she may be permitted to re- Angel, Armstrong, Arnold, Noyes Barber, J. S. Barbour, linquishi a portion of this land, so situated, and receive Barnwell, Barringer, James Blair, Bockee, Borst, Boul.

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Jan. 6, 1831.]

Illinois and Michigan Canal.--Lateral Railroad.

[H. of R.

din, Brodhead, Cahoon, Cambreleng, Campbell, Carson, he was at a loss for one. Mr. D. said he had no doubt, Chandler, Chilton, Claiborne, Coke, Conner, Cooper, and it was a general opinion, that the speech of the memCoulter, Cowles, Crane, Crocheron, Crowninshield, ber from North Carolina, (Mr. BARRINGER,) against the Daniel, Davenport, John Davis, Warren R. Davis, Desha, bill

, yesterday, was the cause of its rejection. He said De Witt, Dickinson, Draper, Drayton, Dudley, Dwight, that the objection urged in the speech of Mr. B. was Earll, Ellsworth, Horace Everett, Forward, Foster, chiefly on account of the claim made in the messages of Gaither, Gilmore, Gordon, Green, Hall, Halsey, Ham- the late and present Governor of Illinois to all the mons, Harvey, Haynes, Hinds, Hodges, Holland, Hoffman, public lands. He said, it would be remembered that that Hubbard, Huntington, Jarvis, Cave Johnson, Kendall, gentleman had warned the House against giving money Perkins King, Adam King, Lamar, Lea, Lent, Lewis, for land which the State was claiming, and would hereLoyall, Lumpkin, Magee, Marr, Martin, Thomas Max- after claim, as her own. Mr. D. remarked that the well, Lewis Maxwell, McCreery, McCoy, McIntire, Mo- Legislature of the State was now in session, and, by the nell, Muhlenberg, Nuckolls, Patton, Pettis, Polk, Potter, day fixed, we shall see whether it sanctions or adopts the Ramsey, Roane, Russel, Sanford, Scott, William B. recommendations of the Governors. He did not think, Shepard, Augustine H. Shepperd, sill, Smith, Speight, however, that the question of the right of the State, or Richard Spencer, Sterigere, William L. Storrs, Swift, the claim set up by the Governors, ought to be introduced Taliaferro, Wiley Thompson, Tracy, Trezvant, Tucker, into the debate on this bill, or in this House; as it was Varnum, Verplanck, Vinton, Wayne, Weeks, Campbell strictly a legal question, that must, if seriously entertain. P. White, Wilde, Williams.--115.

ed, be settled by another tribunal. Mr. D. had other So the bill was rejected.

reasons for wishing time; many of the friends to the

measure were opposed to the details of the bill, which he TACRSDAY, JANUARY 6.

hoped might be obviated by a little consultation.

Mr. STERIGERE said that, in his opinion, the reasons ILLINOIS AND MICHIGAN CANAL.

assigned by the gentleman from Alabama for postponeMr. VINTON rose, and said he had yesterday voted ment were the very ones which should induce the House with the majority in the rejection of the bill “authorizing at this time to decide the question of reconsideration. If a change in the disposal of land granted for the Illinois the remarks of gentlemen were fresh in the recollection and Michigan canal.” Understanding that, if the vote of the House, they certainly now had it in their power to was reconsidered, the gentleman from Illinois would act understandingly on the subject; whereas, if the quesmove such a modification of the bill as would make it more tion was postponed, they would be very likely to orget acceptable to the House, he had risen for the purpose of them. making that motion.

Mr. CLAY said, in reply, that he had not made the moMr. CLAY moved to postpone the consideration of the tion to postpone, with a view that gentlemen might forget motion till the 20th instant.

the facts which had been stated to the House, but simply Mr. HAYNES moved to postpone it indefinitely. to give time for reflection, so that the House might come

The SPEAKER said the motion was not in order--a to a proper conclusion. motion to postpone to a day certain had the preference. The question was then put on the motion to postpone

Mr. HAYNES then moved to postpone the motion of the consideration of the motion of Mr. Vixton to the Mr. Vinton to the 3d day of March.

20th instant, and decided in the negative--yeas 70, The SPEAKER said that this motion was not in order; nays 86. it was not a privileged question.

Mr. HAYNES then moved to postpone the bill till the Mr. DRAYTON moved that the motion lie on the table. 4th of March next.

The question being put on this motion, it was decided Mr. CLAY moved to postpone the motion for reconin the negative-yeas 65, nays 84.

sideration to the 13th instant, which took preference of Mr. POTTER renewed the motion for indefinite post- the motion of Nir. HAYNES. ponement.

Mr. DRAPER called for the previous question; but the The SPEAKER again decided that the motion was not House did not sustain the call. in order.

Mr. VANCE said he saw no reason for thus destroying Mr. HAYNES again moved to postpone the motion to the bill. It was one of great importance to the Western the 3d of March; it was his opinion that the question country, and one which it was desirable to pass; but, if should be first put on the longest time proposed. gentlemen would force a vote upon it at this time, withThe SPEAKER said-It is not mine.

out giving time for consultation, and an opportunity of so Mr. McCoy hoped the motion would not be postponed; modifying it as to suit the views of members, he should but that the House would immediately decide upon the call for the yeas and nays on the postponement, so that question of reconsideration.

the people of that section of the country, interested in its Mr. MARTIN said, if any good reason could be assigned passage, might be enabled to learn how their representa. for reconsideration, he did not know that he should tives had voted. He demanded the yeas and nays, and oppose it; for instance, if the vote of yesterday, on re they were ordered by the House. jecting the bill, which was nearly two to one, had been The question was then put on the postponement of the taken prematurely. No good reasons had been offered, reconsideration of the bill till the 13th'instant, and decided that he had heard, for the course that had been proposed; in the affirmative--yeas 94, nays 87. and the House might in this way be constantly discussing Mr. CROCKETT made another ineffectual attempt to what they would and what they would not do, and in the get up the Tennessee land bill. He called for the yeas end do nothing

and nays on his motion, and they were ordered by the Mr. CLAY said he had made the motion with a view House; and, being taken, it was decided in the negative-to avoid discussion at the present time. The bill had been yeas 89, nays 92. so recently debated, that the remarks made upon it must

LATERAL RAILROAD. be fresh in the minds of gentlemen, and the object of postponement was the better to mature the bill, and give Mr. DODDRIDGE said he had a motion to make, which time for reflection.

was necessary to facilitate the action of the House on a Mir. DUNCAN hoped the postponement to a day cer- bill now pending before it. He meant the bill to alltain would take place. He would give the gentleman thorize the Baltimore Railroad Company to extend a from South Carolina a reason for wishing it postponed, as branch from their road to and within this District. I he

VOL. VII.-- 27

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Lateral Railroad.

[Jan. 6, 1831.

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House had already, on his motion, as the chairman of the thought, would enable the chairman of the District com-
District committee, referred to that committee the memo- mittee to give the subject all possible attention and exam-
rial of one of the corporations of the District, having re-ination, and he hoped he would not press his motion for
ference to that bill, on the supposition that, if it passed in recommitment.
its present shape, it might jeopardize their rights.

Mr. DODDRIDGE said that he could not yield to the Mr. BROWN asked to have some reason assigned for wish of the gentleman from Maryland; nor could he unthe reference proposed.

derstand by what reason gentlemen assumed to say that a Mr. DODDRIDGE said, that this morning he had been reference would defeat the bill. Such was not his desire, waited on by an agent, to state that the Council of the nor could it be that of the Committee for the District, or city of Washington wished to be heard on the same sub- its inhabitants. So far from this, he intended to propose ject; and, as the people of this District can nowhere be to ask leave of the House to sit during its sitting on Monheard on subjects affecting them so vitally, except before day next, and to devote that day to an examination of the the Committee for the District of Columbia, he moved subject, and to a hearing of the parties. that the bill in question, together with the amendments He thought he could comprehend another suggestion proposed to it, be referred to the appropriate committee. made by a gentleman from Maryland, without much diffi

This bill, Mr. D. said, had got on to the present stage culty. He has said that, unless the bill shall pass soon, with much speed and good fortune, without ever having and nearly in its present shape, the road cannot be made. been seen by the committee to which its consideration of In reply to this remark, he would say, that, in its present right belonged. To put this in a plain point of view, it shape, he did not see how any man who properly rewas necessary to observe, that nothing was asked of Con- spected the interests of this city, or who would pay a progress in their character of a National Legislature, but only per regard for the public property in it, could vote for it. as the Legislature of the District. The company had Mr. BROWN said he was opposed to both motions. He been incorporated by a charter of the State of Maryland, viewed the matter in this light: there was a struggle bewith certain immunities and privileges, one of which was tween two sections of the county of Washington, to see a power to extend from the main road as many lateral rail. which could reap the greatest benefit from the construcways as they please. By virtue of their Maryland charter, tion of the proposed road. The fact was, if the road was they may extend the contemplated branch to this District, not speedily constructel, it would not be made at all, but without our consent they cannot enter it. This con- and thus the citizens of the District would lose the benefit sent they wish to obtain by the bill, and nothing more-- of it. The corporation chartered by Maryland was willing they ask no funds nor aid whatever. It is evident, there to make the road; they had the means to do it, and would fore, that the consideration of this subject exclusively, in do it without any expense, or any injury to the property the first instance, belonged to that committee whose duty of the inhabitants of the District. If it was desirable to it was to guard, not only the rights and interests of this the people of the metropolis to have the road constructed, people, who have no representative here, but also to take now was the time for the action of Congress, as their care of the property of the nation in the city of Washing- legislators. Pass the present bill, and do it speedily,

He hoped, therefore, no objection would be made arid the citizens would soon reap the benefits of the proto the reference he asked.

posed measure. Mr. HOWARD said he had no objection that the Com. Mr. SEMMES opposed the motion for commitment. mittee for the District of Columbia should throw as There was great necessity, he said, for acting on the bill strong a guard around the people of the District as it as speedily as possible, not only on account of the importwas in their power to do. It was certainly the right and ance of the proposed work, but there was danger that, if the duty of Congress, as the Legislature for the District, the bill was taken from the tables of the House, it would to do so. But, while he admitted this, he must be par- be a long time before it would regain its present situation. doned for suggesting another course, which was more There were a number of subjects likely to come before agreeable to his views of expediency. If the bill were to the House--the proposed amendment to the constitution; be taken from the tables of the House, it was impossible the bill to apportion the representation under the fifth to say when it would find its way back again. . It was an census; perhaps the tariff question, and no doubt others, unusual course, to say the least of it, to recommit a bill the discussion of which would be likely to retard the acwhen it had arrived at the stage of the one now referred tion of the Ilouse on this bill, if it was recommitted. For to. He saw no difficulty in the way of modifying the bill, his pari, he should prefer to make it the special order for if it was desirable. One amendment had already been some day certain, and, in the mean time, by consultation, offered by his colleague, and others could be by gentle and examination of the various interests concerned, genmen, if it was desirable, without a recommitment.

He tlemen would be prepared to offer such amendments as asked if the purpose of the chairman of the District com- were necessary, when the bill came up for the action of mittee would not be as well answered, if the bill were the House. made the order for some particular day; and in the mean Mr. WHITTLESEY regretted very much the oppositime he could prepare such amendments as he considered tion which had been made to the motion of the gentleman desirable, which could be offered when the bill caine up from Virginia, by the gentleman from Maryland. He for consideration. Mr. H. said he was for the road, and thought that the course proposed by the chairman of the nothing else. He consulted the interest of no particular District committee was the best. The course pursued by company or corporation, nor did he care by whom it was the gentleman from Maryland who had spoken on the subconstructed. He earnestly desired to see the work com-ject, was, in his opinion, incorrect. He thought this was pleted. The reason why he was opposed to taking the a fair subject for the investigation of the District commitbill from the table was, because of its great importance, tee. The bill was now in the possession of the House, and the necessity there was for its being acted upon at an and such disposition could be made of it as gentlemen early day. A great deal was to be done before operations chose. If the House was determined to give it the go-by, could be commenced upon the road, and It was highly it could be done now; but, if it was referred to the Comexpedient that it should be commenced by the latter mittee for the District of Columbia, when reported by them, end of the winter, or early part of the spring. If the ope- it could be made the order for a day certain, and receive ration was delayed till the summer season, there was the early action of the House. The present was a case in reason to fear that the work would be retarded for a whole which the friends of internal improvement should unite to year. The suggestion he had made, if the House should ensure the success of the proposed measure; and if there concur in the propriety of a motion to that effect, he ever was a subject calling for their united exertion, this

Jax. 6, 1831.]


[H. OF R.

was one.

If the gentlemen from Maryland wished for the to him to be presented to the House, he had searched the success of the proposed measure, he was firmly of the be- records to know to what committee he should propose its lief that they should concur in the proposed reference to reference. He had found two cases of a similar nature, the District committee.

(which he stated,) one of which had been referred to the Mr. HOFFMAN expressed himself in favor of the mo-Committee on Roads and Canals, and the other to the tion. He should be glad to have the whole matter refer- Committee for the District of Columbia. He was consered to the District committee. This he considered by far quently at a loss to know what direction to give it. The the better course; they would become acquainted with gentleman who had just addressed the House had said that the sentiments of the people of the District, and obtain all it was not right to pass laws having relation to the District, the necessary information to enable the House to act un- without consulting with the people thereof. He concurderstandingly on the subject. The House would thus red with him in this opinion. When the petition was pre. have it in its power to get along with the more ease, and sented, it was noticed in the public papers, and was pub. the subject would undoubtedly be the sooner disposed of. lished at large in one of them the next day. If the peo

Mr. CAMBRELENG was of opinion that, if the motion ple here had any objections to the proposed measure, why prerailed, the bill would be lost." He should oppose eve. did they not appear before the Standing Committee for ry motion that tended to give an opportunity for the inter- the District, and state them. That committee had been ference of the people of the District in the legislation of in session on many days since, and thus gave the citizens the House relative to the proposed road. If they were an opportunity to be heard, if they had any remonstrance allowed to interfere as it suited their particular interests, to offer; but no one had appeared before it. It was inconwe should consume years in acting on this or any other sistent to say, therefore, that an opportunity had not been subject. The question was a simple one—the company given them to be heard. The committee was at all times asked for no aid, but simply to be allowed the privilege of accessible, and no complaint could be made to the conmaking the road. It was not proper to put it in the power trary. of any individual or corporation to say where the road Mr. H. would remark, that no injury could possibly should be located. There was no engineer wanted to ex- arise to the citizens, or the corporations of the District, amine and mark out the route of the road. The Balti- by the passage of the bill on the table. It was carefully more company offered to make it free of expense, and worded the road was not to interfere with or obstruct they should be allowed to locate and carry it where their the travel or transportation on any street; and all private interest would be most promoted.

property necessarily condemned was to be paid for; so Mr. IHRIE said, there were various and conflicting in- that the interests of the corporations had not been over. terests among the citizens of the District, and it was pro- looked by the committee which had reported the bill. He per that, before receiving the action of the House, the bill trusted, in conclusion, that the bill would not be thrown should go where it had never yet been, viz. to the Com- from the table, and thus lose a station which it would not, mittee for the District of Columbia. Congress was the perhaps, ever regain. sole Legislature for the District, and it was its bounden Mr. DODDRIDGE said, that, if he could rightly underduty to watch over its interests, and protect the people in stand the bill, (and he read it attentively with that view,) all their rights. Therefore, it was expedient that the bill there was nothing to prevent this road from passing through should take the course proposed. He was in favor of the the northwest corner of Georgetown, so as to meet the construction of the road, but he wished it located where Ohio and Chesapeake canal, at or above the Little Falls, it would best subserve the interests, and tend to the pros which would prostrate the value of property in this city perity of the District. He had, however, risen princi- either held under or by the United States. The other pally to draw the attention of the House to one of its rules, argument, that this bill had already been under the consiand he called for the reading of it. It was read by the deration of a committee who had attended to the interests Clerk, as follows: "It shall be the duty of the Committee of the District, and before which the inhabitants might for the District of Columbia to take into consideration all have appeared and defended their interests, he thought, such petitions, matters, or things, touching the said Dis- admitted of this reply: that the same thing might be urgtrict, as shall be presented, or shall come in question, and ed, and with the same propriety, if the former reference be referred to them by the House, and to report their had been to any other standing committee—that on Comopinion thereon, together with such propositions relative merce and Manufactures, for instance. thereto, as to them shall seem expedient."

The question was then put on referring the bill to the Mr. DRAYTON inquired whether the memorial, asking Committee for the District of Columbia, and determined for liberty to construct the road within the District, had in the affirmative--yeas 66, nays 57. been presented by citizens of the District, or by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company.

COPYRIGHTS. He was answered, by the latter.

The House took up the bill “to amend the several acts Mr. INGERSOLL expressed himself very strongly in respecting copyrights." favor of the motion before the House. It was an absurd [The last section of the bill was substantially as follows: idea that the citizens of the District should not be allowed Sec. 16. That any author or authors, &c. of any book, &c. to remonstrate against any measure that was not for their who have heretofore obtained the copyright thereof, acinterest; or that any portion of them should not be per- cording to law, should be entitled to the benefit of the act, mitted to memorialize Congress, either to obtain a benefit for such period of time as would, together with the time from any proposed act of legislation, or to prevent an in- which should have elapsed from the first entry of such jury likely to arise therefrom. The people of this Dis- copyright, make up the term of twenty-eight years, with trict were almost disfranchised; and he thought it would the same privilege to himself, or themselves, his or their be a hard case to debar them from enjoying the little widow, child, or children, of renewing the copyright at liberty that was left them. He saw nothing wrong in the expiration thereof, as is provided in relation to copyconsulting with the people before passing laws by which rights originally secured under the act, and with the benefit they were to be governed. He considered the doctrine the several provisions thereof, &c. of the gentleman from New York as a very singular one, This last section Mr. ELLSWORTH, by instruction of and should be sorry it prevailed to any great extent. the Judiciary committee, proposed to strike out, and to inHe thought the request of the chairman of the committeesert, in lieu thereof, the following: a very reasonable one, and hoped it would be granted. " And be it further enacted, That, whenever a copyright

Mr. HOWARD said, that, when the memorial was sent has been heretofore obtained by any author, or authors,

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