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together in support of the bill; a report drawn up, no doubt, with great care and deliberation. I shall endeavor to examine that report, and show that it is both fallacious and inconclusive. The committee assume in their report that there is a vast surplus of revenue in the Treasury; that this state of things is not desirable, because its natural tendency is to produce extravagance in appropriation, and wastefulness in the expenditure of the public money. This is a truism in part, not to be controverted; but if it be true that this surplus actually exists, it is strange that the committee, after having discovered this wasteful disease and its cause, instead of recommending a radical cure, should propose to extract the infectious matter from this Government, and diffuse it into the State Governments, and thus innoculate the entire body politic. To prevent its effects here, this political empiricism would be productive of the most fatal results. The reduction of the customs, which would be a complete and effectual cure, the committee believe cannot, or rather ought not, to be resorted to, because it would awaken, as they say, feelings dangerous to the peace and harmony of the country. And the reason assigned for this strange conclusion is, that the tariff law now in force is the result of compromise of the opinions of citizens in different sections of the Union, and ought not to be disturbed, unless a strong political necessity calls for some new modification. The first position assumed by the committee I believe to be founded in error, and calculated to mislead the public mind. The tariff, as it now exists, is not the compromise of the opinions of the citizens in the different sections of the country, because it is too evident to require proof that the citizens of the United States have constantly been opposed to a protective tariff, and to the collection of taxes, either directly or indirectly, to a greater amount than would be necessary for the support of the Government; and on this ground have they constantly opposed the whole doctrine of internal improvements by Con. gress. The present tariff law is rather the result of a compromise between individual members of Congress, representing different sectional interests of the country, and was entered into for the advancement of those interests, independent of any consideration of results, as ope rating upon the citizens, generally, in each and every section of the Union. The measure was a soul conception, and produced an unnatural offspring. Its firstborn was an attempt to bind the hands of any future Congress from legislation on the subject, for a given term of years; its next has been to accumulate money in the Treasury, which may be used to corrupt this Government, or be used for corrupting the Governments of the States, as may best suit the interest or convenience of those who have for the time being the power of its disposal. And under this unnatural state of things, it is said that the present rate of duties must be continued, and kept up for the proper regulation of commerce, and may be necessary for the ordinary wants of Government. If this last be true, then indeed ought not the customs to be reduced; and if sufficient for the ordinary wants of the Government is to be raised by the customs, then the public lands ought no longer to be considered as a source of revenue; but I confess I am unable to see either the truth or force of the former part of the argument. Duties for the proper regulation of commerce do not depend on the amount, but on their equality in the different ports of entry in the United States. If this be correct, (and I deem it an undeniable position,) then the whole argument, on this point, falls to the ground; for surely the customs can be so lessened as to reduce entirely the whole surplus revenue in the Treasury. The attempt to tie up the hands of a future Congress, by the mere operation of a law, is a still more palpa
ble error. The legislative power of the country is at all times equal; it has no bounds but the constitution, and ought to have no other guide than the public will: where that leads, it ought always to follow. It is essential to the welfare of the country, as well as the maintenance of equal rights, that the legislative power should constantly be free and unincumbered, except as has been mentioned; but this never would be the case if its deliberations could be prevented from being had on any subject by existing laws, over which it ought not to exercise any control. It would establish this dangerous principle, that the power of the people is not always competent for the maintenance of their rights. The proposed measure of increasing the appropriations for fortifications, the navy, and general defence of the country, is not by the committee attempted to be directly negatived; but it is said that large and liberal appropriations of money for these purposes, though just and proper in itself, cannot be well applied, and ought not to be made; because it is not in our power to supply proper materials and skilful engineers for this purpose. This is, at least, the force of the argument; and on account of this exigency, no more than ordinary appropriations ought to be made. I am at a loss for words to express my surprise at this argument; nor can I for a moment admit its correctness; I can view it in no other light than a libel upon the American people, and an imputation on their skill and industry—that people, whose inventive faculties and mechanical genius have not only surpassed former ages, but are the wonder of our own, and who have subjected the very elements to the condition of a laborer in their employ; that this people should be told by their representatives that they have not sufficient knowledge to erect forts, build ships, and other public works to any extent, and in the best possible manner, is an assertion as new as it is unjust. But the committee, as if they felt the full weight of the objections that could be rightfully urged against this proposition, and the fallacy of their own argument in its support, endeavor to sustain themselves by another, and, as they suppose, a serious objection to the appropriation of liberal sums for the protection of the country; and that is, that the appropriations, or the larger portion thereof, would be expended upon the seacoast, or in our great commercial cities; and the committee seem to claim, as a matter of right, the expenditure of money by this Government in a general distribution over the whole surface of the United States. This again is a delusive argument, addressed to the selfish passions of men, and more particularly to western citizens; and it is well calculated to ensnare public opinion, and draw it aside from the real merits of the case. To object to the application of the public revenue in the erection of fortifications and building of ships, because it does not at once scatter the money over the whole United States, is an argument in itself a perfect solecism. As well might an objection be urged, that food is conveyed into the stomach alone, and that the other members of the body are neglected, as complain of the erection of defences upon the seaboard, or in our commercial cities. It is the fitness of the place for sustaining the body politic that should require our care, and not any partiality for its inhabitants. The protection and safety of our large commercial cities, as well as the seaboard, are essentially connected with the welfare of the interior country, and the interest and prosperity of the far west; a blow struck there, would vibrate through the whole Union. It is the safety of the outposts that gives peace and security to the country. We of the West ought to feel as deep an interest in the safety and security from foreign aggression of New York or Philadelphia, as any of our own cities; and this would be the case, could we divest ourselves of that selfishness to which all men are more or less liable. There is nothing,
then, in this argument, when rightfully considered, that we ought not to make large, liberal, and extensive appropriations of money for the defence of the country, because the greater part thereof will be expended in our great commercial cities, or upon the seaboard. Many, and I have no doubt most of our constituents, have never seen this Capitol, with all its gaudy and expensive decorations; and a goodly number, it is highly probable, have never seen the hall of legislation in their own States, or even the court-houses in their own counties: nor have they felt any direct influence or gain arising from the expenditures of money in the erection of either; yet they have contributed, and cheerfully too, for the erection of all those objects, because they are necessary.jn the due and regular administration of justice, as well as for the safety and security of individual rights; and they have done this without a complaining murmur that no part of the money was disbursed on their own farms. The reducing the price of the public lands, or the ceding them to the States in which they lie, is next considered by the committee. The first objection to a reduction of price is, that it would tend to reduce the price of real estate generally. . This objection is not well founded; the price of an article is a relative term, wanting both stability and uniformity: it is the effect not of reason or justice, but frequently of caprice or whim; and not unfrequently of taste, convenience, or necessity. But as to the public lands, justice, reason, convenience, and necessity, all seem to unite in requiring Congress to reduce the price; and if this argument of the committee be valid, it applies with equal force against the introduction or erection of any new machinery, or the establishment of any new trading-house, for those now in existence will be lessened in value thereby—a position which I believe the committee themselves would not contend for. The next objection to a reduction of the price of the public lands, is, that it would operate to the injury, not the benefit, of the country in which the lands, are situated. This argument is attempted to be sustained on the same ground as the former, by making its application more local, by the assertion that it would reduce the price of all land in the neighborhood pro rata with that of the public land. In reply to this argument, I beg leave to remind the committee that the united voice and almost unanimous opinion of the people, in all the States in which the public lands are situated, is against them as well as the opinion of every intelligent and unbiased citizen who has any correct knowledge of the new countries. They all well know that the Govern
ment, which secures the greatest quantity of happiness
and comfort to the people is unquestionably the best; and that the surest means to accomplish this desirable end is to enable every man to become a freeholder, so that he can have the satisfaction of saying that some spot, however small, is his own; that the Government of his country is bound to protect him in its quiet enjoyment; and that, when he shall return from his daily labor to his hearth and his fireside, none shall be suffered to make him afraid: the sleep of such a man will be quiet, and his repose sweet; and, no matter how coarse his fare may be, his love of country will never fade nor languish. Such men as these are the true riches of government, and will always be found ready to defend their country for their country’s sake. It ought to be our most ardent wish and constant policy to provide means by which every man in the United States might become a freeholder, if that freehold did not consist of more than twenty-five acres; indeed, it matters not so much as to quantity, if a right to the sale be the lot of every citizen.
Another objection made to a reduction of the price of
the public lands by the committee is, that it would encourage speculation, and throw the whole of the public
domain into the hands of sharp-sighted capitalists, who would be enabled to retail it at advanced prices to actual settlers. This objection is more showy than solid, for every day's experience teaches us that speculation in articles of high value is more common than in those of low; when the Government lands were sold at two dollars per acre, speculation was as much complained of then as now. It is the relative, not the actual value of an article, that induces speculation. But this objection is easily obviated by providing for the sale of the public land to actual settlers only, and in limited quantities. The last, and which the committee consider the most important, objection to the reduction of prices in the sale of the public lands, or ceding them to the States in which they are situated, is, that the several States, by their deeds of cession to the United States, vested only a trust power; and that the Government of the United States is only the mere trustee of the several States, bound to carry into effect the grants made by the States for the specific purposes intended by the grantors; and when those purposes are fulfilled, the residue of the grant does, and of right ought, to revert to the States; and, extending the trust power further than I believe it has ever been extended in equity, they give the trus: tee the power to change the nature of the trust, and convert the land into money, and distribute that among the States. And one further stretch of the imagination leads the committee to conclude that lands acquired by the United States, by virtue of treaties made since the adoption of the constitution, have been paid for by money had from the sale of lands ceded by the States, and, according to the rule laid down, they subject the proceeds of these lands to the like disposition. My first objection to this fine-spun and subtle theory is, that I have serious doubts that the sovereign power of a country, at least the sovereign power of this Government as vested in Congress by virtue of the constitution of the United States, can, in any case, become a mere and naked trustee; though it may be said the idea is borrowed from monarchical power, yet it is no less correct, that the sovereign power of a country, be it vested in whom it may, is supposed to be constantly employed for the public good, and that no partial care. can enter into its composition. It cannot subject itself to control by any part of those over whom its constant duty is to watch for the welfare of all; nor can it act in subordination to any other power; for, in either case, it would be an abrogation of sovereignty. But it is not absolutely necessary to sustain the argument that, I should rely exclusively on the general doctrine that the sovereign power, where it is primary, original, and confined in its operation only by constitutional limits, as is the case with the legislative power of the States, cannot be a trustee; yet in a Government like that of the United States, where its whole action exists and is brought into operation by grants, the exercise of its power must be limited and brought expressly within those grants; and I contend that in no part or clause of the constitution of the United States is the power granted to Congress to become a trustee in any case; no, not even for the purpose of diffusing knowledge amongst men. But if such power can be inferred from the constitution, it must be from some general grant, in that instrument; and, if so, by virtue thereof, the United States can not only act as trustee for the several States, but may be the trustee of any foreign gentleman or State whatever. This Government, if this position be correct, can become the trustee of the Barings or Rothschilds in the management of any money concerns they may, think proper to establish in this country, whether it be for the diffusion of knowledge amongst men, or of buying men for political purposes without knowledge, or, at least, without virtue. Under this general trust power, SENATE.]APRIL 29, 1836.]
[Arril 29, 1836.
as it is presented to my mind, and as admitted, and, indeed, contended for by the committee, Congress can become the trustee of the Bank of England, the trustee of the East India Company, or of any foreign Government whatever; and thus act in the double capacity of an American Legislature, and as agent or trustee for another power, however inimical that power may be to our own. Indeed, I cannot see but Congress, by becoming trustee, can effect any object they wish, no matter what that object is, whether within the granted powers of the constitution or not. Congress may have in view a favorite object of internal improvement, for the benefit of two or more favorite States; they may bestow upon, or, in the language of the bill, distribute to these States millions of the public revenue; and it may be well understood that the States are to create Congress a trustee for the express purpose of expending this money according to their own wish. There can be no end of abuses of this kind, if Congress can act as trustee, and accomplish that which they cannot do by direct acts of legislation. I contend, in the next place, that the deeds of cession made by the States to the United States did not create a trust, nor were they so intended; they contain no words of limitation but such as are applicable to the exercise of power by Congress in every other case.
Take for example, as the committee have, the deed of cession made by Virginia. The only words of limitation mentioned by the committee, (and they are the only ones in the deed,) are, that the land ceded shall be considered a common fund for the use and benefit of all the United States, members of the federal alliance, and shall be faithfully and bona fide disposed of for that purpose, and for no other use or purpose whatever. Those words, which are now to operate as a talisman, and change of the money received for public lands from the character of revenue into that of property held by the Government in trust for the States, are nothing more, nor can they rightfully receive any other, construction, than to place the avails of the public lands on the same footing as the proceeds of taxes, duties, or customs. The money received from all or either of these sources, is the revenue of the country; and Congress is bound in good faith to consider it a common fund for the use and benefit of all the United States, as a joint confederacy, and not as a fund belonging to the States, severally;
and Congress have power only to apply the whole, or
any part thereof, to such objects as are exclusively within the power of this Government, and to no other use, intent, or purpose, whatever. But there is an inconsistency in the views of the committee, which they seem to have entirely overlooked. They contend that this Government, as trustee, ought to distribute the proceeds of the public lands to the States in severalty, while the very words of the trust which they claim are, that the land shall be a common fund for the use of the States as a joint confederacy. This very inconsistency proves the fallacy of their whole system. That the United States acquired a full and absolute title to the lands ceded by the States, I think is clearly evident, because Congress have granted portions of these lands to States, as well as individuals, without any compensation given for the same; and titles made in pur
Treasury of the United States, they assume a different character; they are revenue; and that Congress can apply the revenue of the country to internal improvements, or make a donation of it to States or individuals, has been constantly denied by a great majority of the American people. The approval by the people of the veto of the President on the Maysville and Lexington road bill is, to my mind, conclusive evidence on this point, and is in accordance with my own opinion, which has been long settled, that Congress does not possess the power to appropriate money for internal improvements in any case; though some, whose judgment I highly respect, contend that Congress have this power, if the improvement is of a national character. I have never been able to make this distinction, because I am unable to discover what gives nationality to a road or canal, or other works of a like kind; no one yet has, I believe, been able to settle the question satisfactorily to himself. Whether it be length, width, or the cost of construction, or its locality, remains yet an unsettled point. Some contend that a road or canal which has its route in two or more States, or connects with two or more large cities, is national, and ought to be constructed by Congress with the money of the United States; while others seem to think that the bare application of these funds to such works gives them their national character; and this very disagreement proves the unsoundness of the doctrine. For my own part, I have never been able to assent to any of these theories, nor can I believe that Congress can rightfully apply the money of the United States, either directly by the operation of an act of Congress, carried into effect by officers of this Government, or indirectly by or through the agency of the States, to any such objects. . But it may, and has been said, in support of this doctrine, and that too with great confidence, that Congress have power, to make military roads. I am not willing to cede even this as a permanent power to be exercised at any time, and under any circumstance, by Congress. . That Congress have power to provide means for marching the armies of the United States from one part of the country to another, is undeniable; and that they have power to order roads, made for such purpose, is equally so. But this power rests on the same foundation, and is to be governed by the same principles, as the right to quarter soldiers in the houses of citizens, or to take private property for public use. A compensation for the use is to be made the owner, in money; and so soon as the use is determined, the property reverts to its original proprietor, in all cases where such property is of a permanent nature. A military road is a mere temporary occupancy of land over which it passes; and when that is determined, the power of Congress over it ceases. In order to establish the doctrine of internal improvements by this Government, and to extend the power of Congress to making roads and canals, l have heard it urged with much earnestness, and relied on as conclusive, that the constitution declares that Congress shall have power to establish post roads. The power given to Congress
in the constitution is in these words: “to establish post
suance of such grants are unquestionably valid in courts
of law; and the power of Congress in this particular, as being rightfully exercised, has never been questioned in public opinion. In my own mind, I am perfectly satisfied that the public lands of the United States may be granted by Congress to the individual States in which they lie, or to individual persons, with or without compensation, as the safety or security of the United States shall require; but when converted into money, and paid into the
tended by this provision of the constitution. The power to establish post offices surely does not authorize Congress to build houses for each post office in the United States. Such a construction no one, I presume, would contend for; yet I can see no difference in the two cases. Upon the whole, then, I conclude that roads, canals, and works of internal improvement of a like kind, are not such works as Congress can rightfully construct with the money of the nation. But, sir, I can readily conceive works which Congress can order; and it is from the nature and use to which the object is to be applied, and not from its extension or quantity, that gives Congress this right. A ship of war is a national work; therefore, Congress can order ships of war to be built. The casting of a cannon ball, and the making a musket, are also national works; and even the printing the journals of this body. Congress can, therefore, have all this done; and so of every other object which is absolutely necessary to carry on the operations of this Government. The quantity, as well as the time and manner of performing the work, is altogether within the discretionary power of Congress; and to all these objects, and none other, can this power cr the money of this Government be rightfully extended. I have thus far considered the report of the committee, and have shown, I trust, that the public lands of the United States are not revenue, and that they were not ceded to the United States, as trustee, for the benefit of the States severally, but for the use and benefit of the United States, as Government property; nor were the deeds of cession accepted as trustee, but as an independent sovereignty, the land to be disposed of in such manner as Congress should think expedient; but when sold and converted into money, that money becomes part of the revenue of the country, and is, to all intents and purposes, in the same condition, to be disposed of in the same manner, and none other, as moneys received into the Treasury from taxes, customs, or any other source. I am glad to be informed that I am not alone in this opinion. I find in the Debates on this question, in 1832, which has this moment been put into my hands by a friend, the same opinion expressed by an honorable Senator of exalted intellect, commanding talents, and great power in debate, and whose speeches I have read not only with admiration, but delight; and when I say this, I need hardly inform the Senate that that gentleman was from South Carolina. “Mr. Hayne moved to strike out the words which provide for the distribution of the proceeds (public lands) amongst the States. He was opposed to the introduction of the principle of distributing the revenue among the States. . He insisted that the proceeds of the public lands did constitute a part of the revenue. The clause which he moved to strike out cut off a part of the public revenue, taking it from the Treasury to divide it among the States;” and further, in reply to the Senator from Kentucky, (Mr. Clay,) Mr. Hayne contended, “that if the construction of that Senator was correct, there was no limitation to the powers of the general Government, and they might be exercised under a wild discretion, the extent of which could not be anticipated or controlled. He asserted there ought not to be any surplus money in the Treasury, but that care should be taken to regulate the taxes, so as to have no unnecessary amount in the Treasury.” It seems to me that this argument ought to have forever settled this question; but, unfortunately, it has not. It remains now that we inquire whether the money called the surplus in the Treasury, should it be admitted to be altogether the proceeds of the public lands, can constitutionally be drawn from the Treasury, and distributed to the several States, as contemplated by the bill before us. The report of the committee itself seems to doubt the unlimited power of Congress over
every part of the public revenue, to be disposed of as mentioned in the bill; and well may the committee doubt, for no money can be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and all appropriations must be, as the friends of the bill on a former occasion rightfully contended, made for some specific and certain purpose, and such purpose clearly within the granted power of Congress. To this doctrine I do not object; it is the only safe doctrine for this Government to pursue; and it would be far better, and more satisfactory to the country, should Congress adhere to it more strictly in future, than has been done in times that are past; but like all other sound texts in the hands of commentators, it can be construed to cover the worst of purposes. It is attempted, however, to get over this objection—the want of specific object in drawing this money from the Treasury—by endeavoring to prove that there is a difference in the exercise of the power of Congress over moneys in the Treasury, arising from the sale of public sands, and that received from other sources; but in this attempt I think the committee have entirely failed. I object, then, to the passage of this bill, because, in the first place, it makes no appropriation at all, for there is no purpose mentioned in the bill to which the money is to be applied. But should I waive this, and consider the distribution to the States a sufficient designation, I would still contend that this is no appropriation for any definite object, or for any purpose over which Congress can exercise any constitutional authority whatever. I wish to be clearly and distinctly understood on this point. The distribution of any part of the revenue to the States, whether the same be called surplus, or by any other name, will be an unauthorized act of Congress, because Congress have no power to compel the States to apply the money to any specific object; for I presume no one will contend that Congress can coerce State legislation. If the money, then, is appropriated to the States, it surely must be without constitutional authority, because it is not given for the defence, protection, or welfare of the United States; nor is any other object whatever designated, to which it is to be applied, over which Congress can have the least control. i remind gentlemen of the three million appropriation, passed by the House at the last session, and sent to the Senate for concurrence, which was strongly objected to as unconstitutional; not because the use contemplated by the bill, to which the money was to be applied, was not within the power of Congress, but because the appropriation was not sufficiently specific. Yet that appropriation was to be applied by the Presi; dent to fortifications, increase of the navy, and general expense of the country, should circumstances occur making its expenditure necessary before the next meeting of congress. But so obnoxious to the constitution was it deemed, that if an enemy was battering the very walls of the Capitol, genuemen would not vote it to save them. I think we have the right to expect their votes now, when the constitution, according to their doctrine and understanding of it, is threatened with a thousand times more deadly assault than that which they feared in the three million appropriation, and that they will step forward at once to its rescue. Here is an appropriation, or at least an application, to take from the Treasury of the United States nearly thirty millions of dollars. It is asked for without its being applied by Congress to any specific purpose under heaven; but placed under the power of men over whom Congress has no earthly control, and by whom it may be used for that purpose which we have so often heard mentioned— the dissolution of the Union itself, and the destruction of the very Government which bestows it: . But this is not all. Congress, by this act, becomes the evil genius ... to country, instead of its benefactor; because, the SENATE.]
[April 29, 1836.
money being collected of all the citizens, without object or necessity, it seems to be admitted that Congress cannot devise the means by which this ill-gotten treasure shall be returned to those from whom it was actually taken; it is, therefore, concluded to return it to a part only. This money has been collected from the poor and laboring classes, in (comparatively speaking) small quantities; it is to be returned in masses to the States, and 1 defy the ingenuity of man—at least man as he now exists--to prevent it, under this process, from passing into the hands of the more wealthy and speculating part. And we shall surely find that the appropriation by the States of money collected by this Government, and distributed to them, will be to make the rich more wealthy and to keep the laboring classes in perpetual indigence. - It is a palpable truth that the real wealth of a country must arise from the actual labor of the country. Trade is always fictitious, and in this country this fact is true to a proverb; and it is also true, that the great body of our laborers are agriculturists, and our greatest staples are the products .#. earth. All that this productive class of men ask of Government is, to provide for their security; for the earnings of their daily toil; that, when the evening sun shall go down, they may rest in quiet, and none, by force or fraud, private or public, be permitted to rob them of their labor, or disturb their repose; they ask not, they want not, gists or gratuities from the Government, because they well know that the means of bestowment must be the oppression of their own or a foreign country. If we are to consider the distribution contemplated by the bill as a mere gratuity on the part of this Government, and that Congress has no power to define the purposes to which the States shall apply it—and this principle seems to be admitted by the bill itself—I should be glad to know what could prevent Congress from distributing to twenty-four individuals, or any other number, this money, instead of a distribution among the States. 1 can see no difference in the principle governing the two cases; and the exercise of power, in my view of the subject, is as clearly unconstitutional in the one case as the other, though a distribution to individuals would so shock the moral sense of every man that, with one united voice, it would be declared that Congress had most grossly violated the constitution, as well as been guilty of an act of moral turpitude. To bestow money as an act of government, and leave its application to the recipients, is one of the first, and commonly the surest, means that despots resort to, not only to gain, but secure power, and strengthen their hold in every country where despotism has existed; and it is despotism in any Government—I care not by what name it is called—to exercise the power of collecting money of the people more than sufficient to defray the necessary expenses of the country, and bestowing or dividing the surplus, according to its own pleasure, either amongst States, corporations, or individuals. If Congress has the power to divide a part of the revenue collected by this Government amongst the States, the right certainly exists to require the States to make such application of the money as Congress shall think proper. Such, indeed, was the principle of the original bill in this case, and it must be, that, under this claim of power, Congress can direct and control State legislation; can require the different State Legislatures to apply the money in payment of Governor, Judges, and other officers of the State Government; and even the payment of their own wages. Congress can still go one step further; they can direct the payment in such sums as they may think proper, and in addition to the salaries allowed by the States. If the doctrine of dividing the surplus revenue be once admitted as correct, I cannot see why Congress has not the power to apply it
directly to the payment of State officers as additional salaries, allowing to each such sum as shall be deemed just, to be paid out of the Treasury of the United States on the warrant of such officer. There is another view of this subject still more appalling. It is true that Congress, by the constitution of the United States, have no power to make any law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; but if Congress have power to create a surplus revenue, and power to make a distribution of the same, they can in effect render null and void this provision of the constitution; they can distribute this money to any church or sect they please, and thus, as far as money and the favor of the Government will answer, give such church or sect the ascendency, whether the same be Protestant or Catholic. It is said money answers all things. Congress can then, by its use, make an establishment of religion. There can be no doubt on this subject, if Congress possesses the power to make the distribution as contemplated by the bill. I feel confident that I have not extended the argument further than the premises will warrant; and I now seriously put the question to every member of this body, if he is prepared to say that, by virtue of the power vested in him by the constitution of the United States, he has the right to vote an appropriation of money to be paid out of the Treasury of the United States for any of the purposes which H have mentioned. I do not believe there is one Senator who will openly and positively avow such right. We test principles by their application to individual cases; take, then, a single case. A bill is presented making an appropriation of money for the payment of the salary of the Governor of Ohio, with the condition that it shall be in full, and that he shall not receive any other pay or emolument from the State, or without any condition whatever. Such a bill would not, I am sure, receive a single vote in this body; and yet, if we pass this bill, we are doing that indirectly, which we would not dare to do directly, by creating or appointing an agent to receive this money, who has the power to apply it to the very purpose above mentioned. The bill, as amended by the committee, is more objectionable on this account than the original, for that required an application of the money to certain specified objects; and, if Congress had power to apply money to these objects, there may be a color of right in the idea that Congress may designate the agent to make its application. The bill before us, however, opens the very flood-gates of corruption, for it establishes the doctrine that Congress may levy upon the people of the United States any sum or sums of money they may think proper, and bestow, or, to use the language of the bill, distribute any part thereof when and to whom it pleases. 1 deny the whole power of this Government to collect and distribute a surplus revenue. The next question is, can the States rightfully, and in conformity to their own constitutions, permit Congress to become their almoner, and accept this proffered bounty? This is an important consideration for the States themselves. Have they so divested themselves of power as to be made the mere and inactive recipients of the bounty of this Government, and suffer their own treasury to be replenished by whosoever is disposed to do so? Must they permit individuals, banks, or even foreign Governments, to pour into their treasuries such sums of money as shall be thought proper, as a mere and naked gratuity to the State? I am clearly of opinion that no State Government in this Union ought to open the doors of their treasury for any such purpose; for the accepting or rejecting of gifts is a private and individual power, not transferable to the representative of a State, because the act is matter of conscience, not of law. But if the States are to have any agency in this distri