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MARch 1, 1831.] the present amendment. If these commissioners were to be paid at all, it should be out of the secret service fund. They had been appointed by the President, under that power of the Executive which gives him control over this fund, and, if so, they ought to be paid in that way. Mr. I. said he thought he perceived where the difficulty of the gentleman lay; the gentleman was apprehensive that the secret service fund had been exhausted. How that may be, Mr. 1. said, he did not know; the gentleman no doubt, knew better than he did. All that he could say was, that he thought the House ought to take a question on the point now before it, and thereby settle the question of the disputed power of the Executive. Mr. STORRS, of New York, professed not to understand the debate. He did not know what gentlemen meant when they talked about the secret service fund being exhausted; he was completely in the dark. His colleague, from the Committee of Ways and Means, [Mr. Vrhp LANck,) told the House that that committee had no information—another gentleman told them that the commissioners had been appointed by somebody, and that some provision would be made for them by somebody, nobody knew who. For himself, he was not in the secrets of the cabinet; neither was the House in those secrets. If any public ministers or chargés were to be provided for, let the Government send the House some information—let it send the treaties that had been made— let it tell the House who the commissioners are. For his own part, he did not find such persons enumerated among our diplomatic agents. The House was asked to act in the dark—somebody said they wanted money, but the Government had not condescended to tell the people of the United States what it was wanted for. The House had received no estimate, no report: the Government gave it no information but this—that it wanted money. The House had no facts to go upon, and he therefore hoped it would strike out the whole appropriation. The item of $25,000 for contingent expenses was intended for some other purpose, he did not know what; he hoped that would be stricken out, too, unless some further information was given. When he voted away money, he liked to do it understandingly. This sum was not for the ordinary contingent fund; if it was to be spent in presents to the Gra;;d Turk, he should like to know the fact. He wished to know what he was doing. Were these $25,000 to be paid for gold snuffboxes, diamond headed daggers, horses, urns, or what was it for? Mr. VERPLANCK asked his colleague, [Mr. Stonits,) whether the object of his inquiry was to tobtain a list of the special contingent expenses of the Turkish legation. The present sum of $15,000 was proposed to be added to the sum of $25,000, provided for general contingent expenses. It was not usual to lay the particulars of foreign intercourse directly or indirectly before the House. Mr. WAYNE asked gentlemen to state whether, if this article was stricken out, certain persons who had rendered public service would not be left to take their chance for being paid before next Congress; and he again asked whether there was not any other part of the bill on which an amendment could be grafted to secure the payment of agents, the value of whose public services had been acknowledged by the highest act which any Government could perform, viz. the ratification of the treaty which they had made. Mr. McDUFFIE observed that the question now was only as to one portion of the Senate’s amendment—to the remainder the gentleman might add what he pleased. Mr. WILLIAMS inquired whether, if the House should agree to the amendment recommended by the Committee of Ways and Means, and thus strike out a part of the Senate’s amendment, the residue might not afterwards be: stricken out. The SPEAKER replied in the assirmative.
The Turkish Mission.
Mr. CONDICT asked for a division of the question, so that it might be put first on the appropriation, and then on the proviso. The SPEAKER replied, that, if the appropriation should be stricken out, there would remain nothing to which the proviso could adhere—the division, therefore, could not take place. Mr. BURGES observed that he could not see why persons who had been in the service of the country should not be paid. Why ought the appropriation to be stricken out? Did gentlemen intend that the agents of the Government should not be paid? Why not paid? Had they rendered no service? or was the service which they had rendered illegal? If they had not rendered any service, how came this clause in the bill, if the service had been re:dered in an illegal or unconstitutional manner? Yet, so far as the country was bound in equity, why should not this House say, with the Senate, this does not justify us in withholding their pay? Why was the clause to be stricken out? Was any gentleman prepared to say that the President had the right, without consulting the Senate, to send abroad envoys to negotiate treaties, unless under the pressing exigencies of war? Can he consummate this act without consulting the Senate? Are we going to say that the President may not only fill a vacancy which occurs during the recess of the Senate, but that he oy, without the Senate, originate any mission he pleases? Mr. B. said he had no doubt that the President could send out an agent for the purpose of examining the state of our relations with a foreign Power, but this must be done secretly. Such agents never were accredited. The President might, in this manner, discover by what means our relations with a foreign Power might be improved; but he might not appoint and send abroad high public envoys without first consulting the Senate. Mr. B. called upon all who heard him to say whether they were prepared to sanction such a power in the President of the United States. He trusted there were none. Did the House then intend to deprive these agents of their pay? Were they to be left to chance for their remuneration? Would the House indulge a disposition to employ services when they were needed, and then leave the servants to get their pay how they could? No, sir, said Mr. B.; the laborer's wages shall never sleep with me. I trust there is no man here who will vote to put these agents off to another Congress. Mr. Rhind was our consul to Odessa—he is known to be poor, and to possess nothing but what the Government gives him. He believed himsehs to be employed by a competent power—let us pay him for the serviees he performed—but let us, at the same time, take care to say that the power which employed him was not competent. Mr. McDUFFIE said that the Committee of Ways and Means had no intention of being understood as saying that these agents were not entitled to compensation for their services—the committee were unanimous in the contrary opinion; but they had failed in accomplishing the object they had in view in recommending that this item be stricken out, which was to avoid debate. They desired to present the question in such a way as might conciliate all. He agreed that the simple striking out of this appropriation might, at first view, appear like the expression of an opinion that the individuals in question are not entitled to compensation; but such was not his opinion, nor that of the committee. They were, doubtless, entitled to compensation; and if the House could provide a fund out of which they might be paid, he should be gladHe had no wish to appear as if avoiding a vote on the principle contained in the Senate’s amendment, but he did wish to avoid discussion. His opinion was, and he presamed there were few but would agree with him that the President did not posscss power to appoint ministers plenipotentiary during a recess ef the Senate, without
nominating them to the Senate at its next succeeding session. But, if he was compelled to vote, he should not hesitate to say that he was unwilling to give a vote which might be construed into a censure of the President for what he had done. He was satisfied that the affair had happened through mere oversight, without any bad intent. The Senate had deemed it proper to vindicate its own powers, by inserting the proviso. The House had no such object, and no such obligation. The Senate had now done what they desired, and what they had a perfect right to do, and he hoped that further debate would be avoided. Mr. ELLSWORTH observed that the House was now brought back to the question which had been stated by the gentleman from Rhode Island, [Mr. Bunges.) Certain public agents had performed important services; they had the fairest claim to be indemnified, and indemnified at this time; and, unless the House intended to compensate them in some other mode, they ought not to strike out this appropriation. If gentlemen did not like the proviso, let them strike it out; but the claim to compensation was certainly just and fair, and he could never consent to strike out a just appropriation because of the proviso that was attached to it. Mr. DRAYTON said that he deprecated argument as much as any gentleman, and he should make none, unless he felt bound in duty to do so—he should not vote for striking out the clause, even if he thought that the appointment of the commissioners was illegal or unconstitutional. But he thought it was the exercise of a constitutional power, so far as any construction of the constitution could derive force from precedent. This was supported by numerous examples. He was not for striking out the proviso. He considered these agents as entitled to salaries. There was a fund out of which they might be paid, and therefore there was not the smallest objection to the amendment. Mr. McDUFFIE, in reply to Mr. Ellsworth, observed, that if that gentleman's vote to strike out this clause depended on the House providing some other mode of compensation, his difficulty might easily be removed; for as soon as the House should vote to strike out this amendment, the gentleman from Georgia [Mr. WAYNE] would introduce another clause to cover the same object. The question was then taken on agreeing with the Committee of Ways and Means in their proposed amendment, going to strike out the amendment of the Senate, and it was carried in the affirmative. Mr. STORRS, of New York, then moved to amend the amendment of the Senate, by striking out the $25,000 for the contingent expenses of the mission, and substituting $5,000. Mr. S. said that this $25,000, was intended to provide the tribute customarily given to the Grand Seignior, as he understood it. The old Governments of Europe may feel it their interest to procure, by these means, the friendship of the Sublime Porte. Turkey lays under tribute every nation with which she has intercourse, by her policy of requiring presents. He asked if it was proper for us, while keeping up friendly relations with Russia, without any minister at St. Petersburg, to acquiesce in this course. He considered it unsound policy, after keeping ourselves, for half a century, without associating with the politicians at Constantinople, to send a chargé, when a consul would be as efficient to secure our interests. He stated that in sending a chargé we shall only make our country appear ridiculous, because, while the plenipotentiaries of other courts are admitted to the “brightness of the sublime presence,” our chargé will be compelled to stand at the door among the servants and understrappers, and thus would the majesty of the American people be represented. He took a view of the accumulating expenses of the diplomatic corps, since the present administration came into power, and asked if this
was a redemption of the pledges given by them before they were in office. We are called on to send a chargé to disgrace the American people before all Europe, and to pay $25,000 out of our treasury for this privilege. There has been no information communicated to this House to call for this appropriation; and he would not consent to make any appropriation, without sufficient knowledge communicated in a proper manner. He had heard much of this treaty out of doors. He had heard that parts of it are very exceptionable; and it was rumored that it had not been ratified. We had been told by the President, in his opening message, of a liberal treaty with Turkey. He did not understand the term. Was it not a reciprocal treaty? He had heard that Captain Biddle had written a long letter reprobating.some parts of the treaty. He had also heard of Mr. Rhind and his acts. But he desired that the treaty should be communicated to the House before the appropriation is given. He thought it necessary that we should know for what we are called on to give this money. Mr. CARSON said it always gave him pleasure to listen to the gentleman from New York, who had just taken his seat, because of the ability which he always manifested when addressing that House. It was matter of deep regret that talents of so high an order should be enlisted on the wrong side. The powers of that gentleman were admitted by all, insomuch that he was admitted to be capable of making any cause which he chose to adopt appear to be right, by the exertion of his elevated abilities. But, on the present occasion, Mr. C. was constrained to confess that he never heard the gentleman from New York make a speech on that floor which he himself scemed less to feel. The honorable gentleman had set out with telling the House that he was perfectly in the dark; that he could not at all understand the debate; but what a development had the House witnessed, and on what authority had it been made? The first thing the gentleman had discovered was the establishment of a new mission, which was to cost the country God knows how much. Each new minister, it seemed, was to be furnished with new snuffboxes, and every subsequent Congress was to be bound to make new and further appropriations. The ministers, too, were to make themselves ridiculous, by appearing in an inferior grade; and the gentleman's motion would go to render them still more ridiculous. The President had submitted the treaty to the Senate, and Mr. C. had understood that the treaty had been ratified with an amendment which went to strike out one offensive article. He was not sure that this was the case, but he had been so informed. . In the discharge of his executive duty, the President had submitted to the Senate the propriety of establishing a diplomatic mission to the Ottoman Porte. The bill at first provided for the outfit of a full minister, but the committee (consisting of the gentleman’s friends) had reduced the minister to a chargé, and had thereby afforded the gentleman an opportunity of holding up to the House a very entertaining spectacle, where our minister appeared dancing attendance out of doors among servants and drogomen, but never admitted to the brightness of the Sultan’s sublime presence. The gentleman appeared to have thought a good deal on the subject, and he was sorry he had not obtained any information as to the political consequences arising from this difference of grade in our minister. Probably another agent might be needed; but that was the business of the Senate, as they had the exclusive appointment of new ministers. The gentleman from New York, if he recollected right, had advocated the Panama mission. Did the gentleman at that time ask for the instructions given to our minister? Far from it. All then was to be confidence in the Executive. The House was to repose an official confidence in the Executive. It was not its duty to ask too many questions. All was to be submitted to the Executive. Why did not MAnch 1, 1831.]
the House now hear from him the same language? The gentleman had professed great ignorance; but, whatever might be his disclaimers, the House all knew full well that the gentleman was acquainted with the manner in which Turkish treaties were usually negotiated. He knew perfectly well that presents were always made by every nation who wished to maintain diplomatic relations, or obtain commercial advantages, or hold any intercourse with the Turkish court. The commercial benefits to be obtained by the present arrangement the gentleman had taken great care to throw into the shade; yet, if any commercial advantage was to be derived to the country, what city or what State of the Union was so likely to share in it as that from which the gentleman came? The city of New York, to which he understood the gentleman had lately removed his resi. dence, being the great commercial emporium of the country, had the deepest interest in a question of this kind. The gentleman had said a great deal about paying tribute, and presenting diamond snuffboxes to an infidel Power. This language might, perhaps, take with the Dutch of New York, É. use a phrase which he had heard the gentleman employ,) and it showed the gentleman's great deference for the sense and information of his constituents. But, if the gentleman could impose upon his own constituents, it did not follow that he could, with equal ease, deceive the American people. They possess too much intelligence for such an operation. Mr. C. said that Andrew Jackson had discharged his duty. The House could not yet have the treaty laid before it, but it opened a prospect of great pecuniary advantage to the nation, from a participation in the commerce of the Black Sea. All this the gentleman well understood; and if, with the full understanding of it, he chose to take the responsibility of defeating such a measure, on him, and on those who acted with him, let it rest, and not upon Andrew Jackson, or the Senate of the United States. Mr. WHITTLESEY now moved that the committee rise, report progress, and have leave to sit again. The motion was negatived—yeas 61, nays 75. Mr. ARCHER said that he had at first meant to go into a full answer to the speech of the gentleman from New York, but he relinquished this purpose, believing that the gentleman's chief object had been to discharge a feeling; he would, therefore, confine himself to two or three remarks, by way of explanation. The gentleman had commenced by supposing that the object of this treaty was to put the country in a degrading attitude—to grant a tribute, to buy a treaty of the Sublime Porte. But such had been no part of the object. The treaty was made. It had been ratified, with the exception of one article. So far from soliciting or begging a treaty, the treaty had been made and ratified, and the object was to open commercial connexions between the United States and some of the richest countries of the old world; and the present appropriation was asked in order that our country might realize these benefits. Our interest in those seas was great and extended, and the question was, whether we ought not to have commercial agents to supervise the intercsts of the United States. But gentlemen ask, why not entrust this duty to our consuls? If the bill had done so, the expense would have been the same. The Government now pays our consul at Algiers $4,000; and the salary of a chargé was but $4,500. Nothing would be gained, therefore, by substituting the consul; the only difference would be, that the latter appointment would not be productive of such good effects. But to show that the gentleman would be satisfied with no conduct of the administration, and that he held it a duty to find fault, the gentleman had told the House, that, if we were to have any mission to Turkey, it ought to be an embassy extraordinary. That was what the Executive had asked for, and what the Senate had refused. If the present plan was wrong, the fault was not with the President. The
gentleman had endeavored to cast ridicule on the proposition, and upon the Government of his own country. The offering of presents appeared to him an unworthy object of expenditure, and calculated to degrade the nation. But why should we be degraded by doing that which had been done, at all times, by all Governments that had any connexion with the Ottoman Porte? If it was good that we should hold commercial relations with the boundless territories of the Turk, (relations which had heretofore extended but a short distance around Smyrna,) was the country to refuse this advantage, because the gentleman from New York thought it degrading to make presents to the Grand Seignior, to the amount of $25,000? If we held such an opinion, we should be the only Power who thought so; all other nations have acted otherwise. If the country was to have political and commercial relations with the Porte at all, it could no more have them without presents than without ministers. No minister would have been received, nor permitted to open his credentials, till he had offered the customary presents. This Government once received a mission from a Turkish Power, and we paid the ambassador a regular stipend every week, although he came only to make an apology for a threat which had been uttered by his country against ours. We paid all the expenses of his embassy, and allowed him $200 per week during his stay. Was that expenditure considered extravagant then? Was the country, for such a reason, to refuse the apology of a foreign Power, and thereby to avert the necessity of a war? Mr. Jefferson was wiser than that. The long and the short of this matter was, that here were presented to us real and great commercial advantages. Extensive regions, amon some of the richest on the globe, were about to be opene to the United States. We were to hold commercial relations with all the countries round the Black Sea; and we were to have this advantage in the most economical form —at the expense of maintaining a single chargé. As to the other items, they were merely the necessary appendages of such a mission. A drogoman and presents were matters of course at the court ; Turkey. If the House thought with the gentleman from New York, let them abolish the treaty; if not, let them make the appropriation. Mr. STORRS replied; when The question was taken on the amendment of Mr. Sto Rns, and decided in the negative by a large majority. Mr. WAYNE then moved the amendment he had before proposed, viz. to insert after the item of $25,000, the following: “And $15,000 for defraying the expenses of foreign intercourse heretofore incurred.” The amendment was adopted—yeas 70, nays 65. Mr. WILLIAMS now moved to insert the proviso, but the motion was rejected—yeas 62, nays 100. Mr. DRAYTON moved an item of $1,500 dollars for the salary of a student of languages, but the amendment was rejected. The amendment of the Senate, as amended on motion of Mr. WAYNE, was then agreed to, and the debate closed. The committee then rose, and reported the amendments to the House. Mr. VANCE moved for a division of the question on the amendment which had been so long debated in committee. Mr. WICKLIFFE explained the state of the question, and showed that, as an appropriation to the same amount, and for the same object, had been inserted in another part of the bill, unless the present clause should be stricken out, the bill would have two appropriations, of $15,000 each, for the pay of the same persons. Mr. VANCE said that his object in having the question divided was, that a separate vote might be taken, by yeas and nays, upon the proviso. The SPEAKER said that the question should be di
vided, inasmuch as the proviso was so worded as to relate
to the whole bill, and there would, therefore, be something for it to stand on, should the appropriating clause be stricken out. Mr. MERCER explained, and, adverting to the course which had been pursued in Committee of the Whole, insisted that the amendment which had been inserted was different from that in view of which the appropriation and proviso were stricken out; so that gentlemen could not vote in the House as they had voted in committee. The CHAIR replied that the House had adopted the amendment, and had no power to retrace the step. The question was accordingly divided, and, being put on the appropriating clause, it passed in the affirmative. The question then recurring on striking out the proviso of the Senate, Mr. MERCER failed in an attempt to modify it. And the yeas and nays, having been demanded by Mr. VANCE, and ordered by the House, were taken, and stood as follows: YEAS.–Messrs. Alexander, Alston, Anderson, Angel, Archer, Barringer, James Blair, Bockee, Boon, Borst, Brodhead, Brown, Cambreleng, Carson, Claiborne, Clay, Conner, Crawford, Crocheron, Daniel, Davenport, Deberry, Denny, Drayton, Dudley, Earll, Findlay, Ford, Gilmore, Gordon, Hall, Halsey, Harvey, Haynes, Holland, Hoffman, Howard, Hubbard, Thomas Irwin, William W. Irvin, Jarvis, Richard M. Johnson, Cave Johnson, Kennon, Perkins King, Lamar, Lea, Leavitt, Lent, Lewis, Loyall, Lumpkin, Magee, Thomas Maxwell, McCreery, McCoy, McDuffie, McIntire, Miller, Mitchell, Muhlenberg, Patton, Pearce, Pettis, Polk, Potter, Sanford, Scott, Wm. B. Shepard, Aug. H. Shepperd, Shields, Smith, Speight, Ambrose Spencer, Richard Spencer, Stephens, Sutherland, Taylor, John Thomson, Trezvant, Tucker, Wayne, Wilde.—83. NAYS.–Messrs. Allen, Armstrong, Arnold, Barnwell, Baylor, Beekman, Butman, Campbell, Childs, Chilton, Coke, Cooper, Coulter, Cowles, Craig, Crane, Crockett, Creighton, Desha, Draper, Eager, Ellsworth, George Evans, Horace Everett, Finch, Gaither, Gurley, Hawkins, Hodges, Hughes, Hunt, Huntington, Johns, Lecompte, Lyon, Martindale, Lewis Maxwell, Mercer, Nuckolls, Overton, Pierson, Reed, Rencher, Richardson, Russel, Stanbery, Swift, Taliaferro, Test, Vance, Varnum, Vinton, Washington, Whittlesey, Edward D. White, Williams, Yancey.—57. So the House agreed with the Committee of the Whole in striking out the proviso which the Senate had inserted, and which is in the words following: “Provided always, That nothing in this act contained shall be construed as sanctioning, or in any way approving, the appointment of these persons, by the Président alone, during the recess of the Senate, and without their advice and consent, as commissioners to negotiate a treaty with the Ottoman Porte.”
THE CUMBERLAND ROAD.
The House then took up, in Committee of the Whole, the bill from the Senate for the continuation of the Cumberland road in the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Mr. IRWIN, of Pennsylvania, proposed the following section as an amendment thereto: “..?nd be it further enacted, That the sum of one hundred thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated, out of any money in the treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the purpose of repairing the Cumberland road east of Wheeling.” Mr. CRAW FORD, of Pennsylvania, rose in opposition to the amendment. He said the amendment proposed was of general concern, as regarded the preservation of the great public work to which it related. This, said Mr. C., must be a desirable object with all; no gentleman surely wish s the destruction of this monument, at once
The Cumberland Road.
[MAlich 1, 1831.
of the liberality of his Government, and of the fidelity with which its engagements are fulfilled. But, important as the proposition is conceded to be, in this view of it, as well as from the large amount, its real magnitude is only perceived when we look at it in reference to its effect on the future internal improvement of the country, as it may be decided the one way or the other.
Do you believe, sir, that if toads and canals are to be sustained at the expense of the treasury, they will be extended or long continued?
If the United States are to repair as well as to make, my word for it, they will soon cease to make. If this Cumberland road system is to be persevered in, and annual calls are to be made upon the treasury for the repair of public works, we shall soon have funds for no other purpose. How many of these projects have been already submitted for consideration? How many are cvery day originating and bringing forth? They can scarcely be reckoned; but if you take one in many of them, as advisable or fit, and calling for the exercise of the United States’ power, you will soon have as many as your treasury can sustain, and the funds which should be applicd to the extension of their benefits, by laying down and constructing others, will be exhausted in preserving those which have been already made. Is any forecast required to see that this course will be destructive to the whole system of internal improvement, and that those opposed to it will find it more effectual in checking and finally arresting this country in her rapid strides to the most prosperous condition, than any other legislation likely to take place here? The road from Cumberland to Wheeling is one hundred and thirty miles long. What will be required for its repair when it shall have reached Jefferson? that is, I believe, its name—the seat of Government of Missouri, however, is the place I mean. If I were the enemy, as I am the friend of internal improvement, I would desire no surer mode of undermining the system—no more, ultimately, and at no distant day, fatal course, to be pursued in relation to it. This policy is now popular with a large proportion of this nation; I mean when properly pursued; when the power that has been consecrated by time, and the opinions of the fathers of whatever is valuable in this Government, its history or administration, is put forth for great, leading, and national purposes, and judiciously drawn into operation even for them. But popular as this policy, so pursued, undoubtedly is with a majority of those by whose authority we stand here, it must, it will soon cease to be so if fun ds are continually demanded, not to construct roads and canals, but to preserve from ruin and decay those which have been, or those which shall have been made, at an immense expense of treasure, instead of drawing the means of support from the accommodation which they afford the traveller. Already has this system of treasury depletion been pursued too far; even now it is the subject of complaint. What will be the fect of it, when you shall have communications from north to south, and not one, but many avenues from east to west? It will require the revenue of the Government beyond its necessary and ordinary wants, if dissatisfaction is not created with, and a consequent abandonment does not take place of this wise and hitherto popular policy. Nothing that its enemies can do will half so much endanger it, as these preserving and repairing appropriations. I call upon the friends of internal improvement to take their stand now, unless they wish to retard or prevent its further progress. So long as you continue to grant these appropriations for repair, so long will the erection of gates upon any plan be declined or refused.
I have been informed by honorable gentleman, whose service here has been of some length, that repeated plcdges have been given that each of several appropriations should be the last; and that of the appropriation of one hundred thousand dollars, granted on the 3d day of MARch 1, 1831.]
March, 1829, it was particularly said it should be the last; and yet, within a shorter time than one year, and at the very next session of Congress, we are asked for another one hundred thousand dollars, and a bill reported for them. ... And here I will ask, why has this bill, reported at the last session, not been acted on Why has it been suffered to sleep upon this table? Is it because it was too weak to stand alone? I do not affirm that this was the consideration which governed those who had it in charge; but, now and forever, I protest against the practice of attaching to appropriations that are deemed indispensable, propositions of weak or doubtful policy—of making a nucleus of what almost all approve, to which to append measures that cannot sustain themselves. Are we thus to proceed forever?
It may not be amiss to take a retrospect, and see what the repair of this Cumberland road has cost within the seven years preceding 1830. No less a sum than one hundred and seventy one thousand two hundred and fiftynine dollars.
February 28, 1823, - - - - $25,000 March 25, 1826, - - - - 749 March 2, 1827, - - - - 510 March 2, “ - - - - 30,000 March 3, 1829, - - - - 100,000 May 31, 1830, - - - - 15,000
And of this sum, fifteen thousand dollars, granted the 31st day of May, 1830, besides two smaller sums previous. ly given, were extracted from us by considerations of humanity for the contractor, whose expenditure exceeded by so much the sum placed at his disposal. I will here remark that these repairs must be most injudiciously con. ducted, for I presume the grant of one hundred thousand dollars, in 1829, must have been made on some friendly estimate; and yet, after it has been expended with fifteen thousand dollars more, we are called on for another sum of like amount. How large an expenditure within so short a period! More than one-tenth of what the road originally cost, and almost equal to one-fourth of what it should have cost, or what much better roads have been since made for; and yet this work is now in a worse condition than that in which it was before one dollar was expended in its repair, as I have learned from the best authority. It will never be in a better situation for the refusal of an appropriation. The argument of the necessity of putting it in thorough repair, before you collect tolls upon it, will be always in your way. Let those who advocate internal improvements consider how much they put the whole system to hazard by such measures, and that the adoption of this amendment will be fostering and cherishing this road, at the expense of other sections of the country having equal claims upon the notice of the Government. The fountain will afford an abundant supply, and the stream be copious and strong, diffusing fertility and exuberance throughout its course, provided you maintain its embankments, and preserve them so firm and hard that the water cannot waste and sink through fissures, and escape by rivulets; but if your inattention suffers its diversion at various points, it becomes so sluggish and weak as to be unequal to the purposes which it would otherwise answer. So if the treasury is made to bleed at every pore, for the purpose of supporting our public works, the funds which might be adequate to the embellishment and irrigation of the country by means of roads and canals, will, perhaps, be unequal, under any system of expenditure that the public agents have heretofore adopted, to the repair of those which have been made. The sums that will be asked for preservation would make much original improvement, if judiciously and economically exPended. It is worthy of note, that the sum granted in
Let us, then, at once, refuse this appropriation, and authorize the erection of gates to collect toll, for present and future repair; thus shall we oblige those who use the road to preserve it—economize funds for other, and, if not equally valuable, certainly very valuable and desirable improvements, and retain for the system the strength and support of public opinion. Is this unjust to those who are specially interested in the road or use it? Is there any other facility for travel or transportation in the country, that is not so burdened, and to a much greater extent tuan will be required here? How are your State or corporation roads and canals supported? By tolls, which must be so high as not only to preserve and repair, but to furnish funds for the payment of dividends to stockholders, or the interest of money borrowed for their construction. Here all that is required is to repair; and a reasonable toll will repair present dilapidations, and be equal to future preservation. To this you must come; you had better do it now. Pursue the course I advise, and, in addition to the other reasons that abundantly justify the step, you will do justice to the public and private avenues to the West that come into competition with this road. They are compelled to collect heavy tolls, and enter into a very unequal struggle with this favorite, and perhaps deservedly favorite structure, which so far has been free of charge.
Sir, a persistance in this course will not only paralyze and ultimately check improvement by United States' means, but its tendency is to discourage private and State effort for the extension of those communications which add so much to the beauty, so much augment the strength, and multiply the resources of any country. Can corporations or joint stock companies invest their moneys in enterprises which must compete for business and use with those that are regulated on the free trade plan? Can States even, in the ordinary condition of their revenues, engage in the constructing of roads and canals without reckoning upon interest for the sums so embarked? And what hope can they have of its receipt, if the United States shall continue to lay down as good, perhaps better, means of intercourse, to which resort can be had without expense. Justice, then, to States, to corporate bodies, and to individual interests, calls upon you to change your course. Shall my money be taken to construct a road that may be worn, out free of charge, to the destruction of an investment that I have made elsewhere under State permission? Refuse a further grant of money; erect, or allow to be erected, toll gates, and you will thus aid the great cause of internal improvement, and preserve for it the only foundation on which it can long rest—the favorable opinion of our constituents; you will at least not throw any obstacks in the way of enterprise from other quarters, and will act justly by those exertions which have been successfully made elsewhere.
I again entreat the House to pause and reflect before this appropriation for repair is granted. Those honorable gentlemen who favor the improvement of tile country