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May 21, 1836.]
then, is in favor of the measure; and, so far as reason and propriety are concerned, and the practice of the Government has gone, the argument is entirely in its favor. When the appropriation is made for two years together, the work continues without interruption during the winter; and the winter is the time to advance with this kind of work, and that both in the North and in the South. In the South, it is the season of doing the work; in the North, it is the season for collecting materials and making contracts. The practice of Congress sanctions this mode of appropriations. The annual appropriation of $200,000 for arming the militia is one instance, and has stood for thirty or forty years. The appropriation of a million a year, for eight years, in 1816, for the gradual increase of the navy, is another instance; and these appropriations, though made for a term of years, are always under the control of Congress, and may be reduced or discontinued when it pleases. Of this, the naval appropriation was a signal instance; for the million per annum voted in 1816, when the Treasury was full, was reduced to half a million in 1821, when it was empty. Independent of these general and permanent reasons in favor of double appropriations for forts, Mr. B. said there were special and peculiar reasons for them at this time. We were now going on two years without money for this object. The present year might be considered as lost. The length of time which the bill had been delayed, and the time that it might yet be delayed, extinguished the hope of doing much work this year. It was rather for the next year than the present that he was attempting to provide; or, to speak more accurately, it was for the winter of 1836–37, and for the spring 9f 1837, that he was attempting to get an appropriation. It was to prevent the stoppage of the work; at the end of this year, and a new delay of three or four months next spring, that he was now struggling; for every person knew that the appropriations for the year 1857'will not be made until the third day of March; after which, time would be necessary to advertise for work and ma'. terials, to collect hands, and to allow a reasonable period for competition among bidders, which economy'required. . Mr. B. could not take leave of this part of the subject without recurring to the opinions of the secretary of War, notwithstanding the singular fate which seemed to attend that gentleman's reports and recommendations. All Senators praised them. Both sides of the chamber united, in applauding them. There seemed to be an emulation of applause in favor of all that he said; but the moment we come to action, the scene shifts. The moment we want a vote, there is a division; one side is off. The opposition gentlemen are against the vote; they array their deeds against their words; and, having given their applause, they withhold their help. This had been witnessed on many occasions besides the pres. ent one; still he would make the experiment again, and try the Secretary's recommendation on the particular point now under consideration. Mr. B. then read from the Secretary's report of April 8th: “I think that, when the plan of a work has been approved by Congress, and its construction authorized, the whole appropriation should be made at once, to be drawn from the Treasury in annual instalments, to be fixed by the law. This mode of appropriation would remedy much of the inconvenience which has been felt for years in this branch of the public service. The uncertainty respecting the appropriations annually deranges the business; and the delay which biennially takes place in the passage of the necessary law, reduces the alternate season of operations to a comparatively short period. An exact inquiry into the effect which the present system of making the appropriations has had upon
the expense of the works, would probably exhibit an amount far greater than is generally anticipated.” Mr. B. then turned to another part of his subject, and claimed the benefit of an ancient maxim which inculcates the wholesome advice, to wonder at nothing! He was greatly addicted to that maxim, and acted upon it both from habit and from reason. It was good for him that he did so; otherwise, he should be seized with a paroxysm of wonder at the present moment. For what more wonderful than the contradictory exhibitions upon fortifications which this chamber and this session display? Two months ago, it was a question of sharp debate to know who had occasioned the loss of the fortification bill at the last session; and both sides of the chamber, repulsing the blame from themselves, and throwing it on their adversaries, contended for the palm of pre-eminence to devotion to fortifications. Then came certain resolutions of his own, importing that the surplus revenue ought to be set apart as a conservative fund, sacred to the defence of the country, until all defences, military and naval, were on the scale of strength and respectability which the honor and independence of a great people required. On the discussion of these resolutions, he found himself left behind by opposition gentlemen. They darted ahead of him! They went beyond the surplus! They plunged into the integral revenue! Nothing would content their incontinent zeal, but a resolve to pledge all the revenue, and taxes besides, if necessary, to this great object; and so the vote passed, and that unanimously. This was in March, about two months ago; and now, when we come forward with a list of a few forts—twelve small ones at points of acknowledged importance—and want a small part of that mass of money in the Treasury, the magnitude of which is so afflicting to gentlemen, behold there is a decided opposition to the scheme! A systematic opposition is displayed: some objecting to forts altogether; others to those in this bill; others to those not in it; others, again, agreeing to forts in the abstract, but refusing to take them in any form in which they can be presented. This was the singular exhibition which would excite his wonder, if he permitted himself to wonder at any thing. But he did not so permit himself, and less on this occasion than any other; for he saw and knew perfectly well the cause and source of this whole contradiction. It was the division of the money in the Treasury which was at the bottom of all! That division—that fatal scheme of dividing money— which was now delaying, obstructing, and defeating so many measures for the good of the country; and this one among others! It was a conflict between distribution and defence; it was a contest between antagonist schemes— between the schemes of taking the public money for the defence of the country, and taking it for spoil and distribution among political partisans. Mr. B. wished to fix the attention of the Senate and of the country upon the true nature of this contest; for it was portentous and alarming when a contest of such a nature could be got up, and much more when it could be maintained in the Senate. What was the true nature of this contest for the application of the public money? and what was the relative merit of the two schemes? Defence is an object known to the constitution; and not only known to, but is the first and highest object of the confederacy. To establish the common defence—to enable all to give that defence to each which no one could give to itself—was the first and paramount object of the confederacy. The means of accomplishing that object, are set forth by name in the constitution—navies, armies, forts, arsenals, docks, and all the accessories of military and naval power. Congress is the instrument designated by the constitution to provide these means for the purpose of accomplishing the great object; and for this purpose has power to raise money by loans or SENATE.]
taxes. This is the aspect under which the defence scheme presents itself to the Senate. Under what aspect does the distribution scheme come forth * Without name or warrant in the constitution! Nowhere can the name of the land bill be found in that instrument; nowhere can a word be found which by any construction—by any interpretation—by any torture of the sense—can be made to countenance the idea of distribution, or any rule by which to make it. Authority is given in the constitution to raise money for the common defence; and fortifications are one of the means of defence specified in the constitution; yet this unconstitutional scheme of distribution now contends with the first object of the constitution; it contends with the means of establishing the common defence, and, so far as the Senate is concerned, it contends successfully and victoriously. Defence is delayed, diminished, beaten off, trampled down in the Senate; | while distribution, triumphant and exulting, has long since floated through. Yes, sir, distribution—distribution—distribution, is the absorbing and predominant feeling in the Senate. All other feelings seem to be shut out. Florida overrun with the Indians; Georgia and Alabama reeking with blood and resounding with cries; the whole West and Northwest destitute of troops, and open to Indian incursion; the ranks of the army empty; fortifications stopped for two years; the ordinary appropriation bills delayed beyond all example; voluntary movements of the people everywhere to protect themselves from danger; yet the Senate, the American Senate, deaf and blind to all, can see nothing, can hear nothing, can talk of nothing, can dream of nothing, but the division of the spoil. The surplus, the surplus, the surplus, is the engrossing theme; and the moment a dollar is proposed for the service of the country, they cry out for their dear beloved surplus! and call it a war upon the surplus, and a wicked design to lessen the fund for distribution! Mr. B. said that he had taken occasion a month ago, when the defence bills were postponed to make room for the passage of the distribution bill, to announce its future fate, and to claim for that scheme the distinction of the most odious notoriety that ever befell any bill which had received the sanction of the Senate. That judgment was in a rapid state of verification; and as far as public sentiment had been developed, the odious bill, with all its seductive, alluring, and tempting offers of money, was nothing but a stench in the nostrils of the people. In vain had the large dividends been figured out in numbers by our land committee, and offered to the States. All that had voted had scornfully rejected the wretched seduction. In vain has the exaggerated sum of $1,765,554 been proffered to the State of Virginia; in vain has the tempting bait of $513,472 been extended to Connecticut; in vain has $167,655 been held out to Rhode Island. The elections are over in all these States, and prove that if these States have a price, that price is not yet attained in the land bill. The elections prove that the constitution and defence of the country are superior to sordid money temptations; for in all these States the men and the party opposed to an unconstitutional, debauching, and demoralizing scheme of dividing money, and in favor of constitutional objects by constitutional means, are successful in the elections; and successful by increased majorities, and under the very guns and fire of the distribution bill; for the elections took place while the bill was impending here, while the report of the Senate's committee was circulating through the States, and while the table of distribution was exhibited to every voter, to show him how much his State was to get. In each of the States, the triumph of the constitution and of defence was gratifying and complete, and particularly in Connecticut. In that State, the Senator by Executive appointment, [Mr. NILEs, ) who distinguished himself by opposi
tion to the bill, is confirmed in his place by a legislative election and an overwhelming majority. The Governor of that State (Mr. Edwards) also received a triumphant . majority, and in his message to the Legislature has spoken upon this subject with so much wisdom and patriotism, that he (Mr. B.) could not deny himself the gratification of reading the passage to the Senate. “It appears that there is an unprecedented accumulation of funds in the United States Treasury; and this circumstance has given rise to various speculations and plans for its distribution. The present, in this respect, is a novel state of things. Never before, since the establishment of our Government, could it be said that we were out of debt, and had at command more money than we felt immediate occasion for. We have had a debt hanging at times rather heavily upon us, and we have been compelled by it to limit all our views and all our expenditures. At the close of the last war a military peace establishment was arranged; and such a force, and such only, was retained, as the exigencies of the country were supposed to require. Military works were projected for our defence, and the erection of them commenced. The state of the Treasury soon became such, that a reduction of the peace establishment was deemed necessary, and the expenditures for the fortifications were curtailed. “The common defence was the principal object of our confederacy, and for this the United States are bound to provide; and this is a work which should be entered upon, and completed, with as little delay as possible. The sufferings of the last war are not yet forgotten, and should not be obliterated from our memories until ample provision is made for their recurrence. Our sounds, our bays, our rivers, and even many of our harbors, were destitute of the means of defence. Nearly the whole of our seaboard was exposed to the ravages of the enemy, and we suffered much from their depredations, and still more from the constant state of alarm and agitation in which we were kept. When the United States Government has fulfilled its office and duty with respect to national defence and all other things within its province, it is time enough to talk of some other disposition of the public revenue; but, until this is accomplished, projects on this subject are, to say the least, premature.” These (said Mr. B.) are wise and patriotic sentiments; they are constitutional doctrines; they deserve applause and imitation. They soar above all sordid and mercenary considerations. They repulse the gilded bait. They despise the seduction of money. They go for the country and the constitution; they scorn the unconstitutional distribution bill, and its tempting array of dollars and cents. Yes! Virginia refuses the $1,765,554; Connecticut refuses the $513,472; Rhode Island refuses the $167,655; and when other States come to vote, let them contemplate and imitate the elevated, constitutional, patriotic, and wise course of these States. Having shown that the distribution bill was at the bottom of all the opposition to the fortification bill, and all the other bills for the service of the country, Mr. B. proceeded to take a brief view of the particular bill before the Senate, and of the objections to it. He said that every work proposed in the bill was contained in the reports of the board of engineers for 1821 and 1826, and was, besides, especially recommended by the present Secretary of War. Mr. B. here referred to those reports of the board of engineers as recommended to Congress by the Secretary of War in 1821, [Mr. CALhou N,1 and showed that they were not only necessary works, but small ones; the whole twelve proposed in the bill not amounting to $3,000,000, while two only of those forts heretofore constructed cost nearly $4,000,000. He alluded to Fort Monroe and Fort Calhoun in the Chesapeake bay. The former of these was estimated to cost
May 21, 1836.]
$1,259,792; it is not yet finished, and has cost $1,739,046, and it is estimated to cost $210,000 more. The latter was estimated to cost $904,355; it has already cost $1,388,731, and it is estimated will yet cost $531,188 to finish it. Here are about four millions of dollars for two forts, and these two in the neighborhood of each other; while the sum of three millions for twelve, scattered from Passamaquoddy bay to the mouth of the Mississippi, has been resisted for so many months. Mr. B. reviewed the objections which were made to this appropriation. It was said the money could not be expended if it was voted, and he was sorry to have to admit that this was an objection which gentlemen seemed to have it in their own power to make good. The year was certainly half gone, and, if gentlemen can have their way, it will be weeks or months yet before a dollar for fortifications can be voted, if at all. It will be autumn before the work can begin; but in the South the work will proceed all the winter; and in the North the winter is the time for collecting materials. If the bill was delayed till the year was half gone, it was the fault of the opposition, and gentlemen cannot be permitted to take advantage of their own wrong. They cannot now be allowed to plead the delay to defeat the bill, which delay they have themselves occasioned. It is said there are not engineers enough to superintend the works; but the answer was ready to that objection. A bill had long since passed the Senate to increase the corps of engineers; that bill was now in the House of Representatives, and it was to be presumed that the House would do what the service of the country reź. and not suffer necessary defences to be lost r want of officers to superintend them. The Secretary of War earnestly recommends it, not only with a view to the new works, but because an increase of the corps is necessary for the performance of their current duties. Here is his recommendation. “That the corps of engineers should be increased. The reasons for this measure have been heretofore submitted, and the proposition has been recommended by you to Congress. I will merely add, upon the present occasion, that the officers of this corps are not sufficiently numerous for the performance of the duties commit. ted to them; and that, if an augmentation does not take place, the public interest will susser in a degree far beyond the value of any pecuniary consideration connected with this increase.” It is objected that men of science in engineering cannot be created by a bill. That is granted. They cannot be created by a mere act. But, in constructing for. tifications, a few skilful engineers are sufficient—a few to locate and plan the works. The superintendence of the execution requires fidelity and attention, with such knowledge as is readily obtained. With respect to locations for forts, they have been nearly all selected; all in this bill were selected fifteen years ago; are detailed in the report of the board of engineers for 1821—the same which the then Secretary of War [Mr. CALitous] recommended to Congress. It is objected that we have not plans and estimates for all these works; but I answer, that there are plans and detailed estimates for most of them, and conjectural estimates for the remainder, with the statement of the number of guns they would require; which is the only essential part of the estimate, for the number of guns governs everything else; it governs the size of the fort, the number of the men to garrison it, and consequently the whole expense. Mr. B. said the question of fortifying a port was partly a political question, to be decided by Congress; partly a military one, to be decided by professional men. Congress decides whether the place is sufficiently im. portant to merit national defence; military men decide
whether it can be defended; and, if so, by how many guns; of what calibre, and how to be placed. Each must decide within their sphere; and when the number of guns is given which will defend a place, the cost of the fort is, for all practical purposes, ascertained. • Now, in all these cases, the number of guns and their calibre is given; that decides the size of the fort, for each gun, according to its calibre, must have so many feet for its platform and so many men to work it—from five to seven in time of seige; in time of peace, enough only to keep the fort. Mr. B. said an excessive and overwrought anxiety had been displayed here for plans and estimates, as if they were the most infallible and unerring guides upon earth. Nothing, he said, could be more mistaken. The estimates heretofore furnished, and that by the board of engineers under the administration of Mr. Monroe, when the Senator from South Carolina [Mr. CALhou N] was Secretary of War, were generally and exceedingly erroneous. Out of eleven forts constructed upon those estimates, and thirteen more in a course of construction, not one had kept within the estimate; not a fort had been built for what it had been estimated to cost; but generally a quarter more, or in some instances half as much more; and sometimes double as much. Nothing had kept within the estimate but two little works, not forts—a battery at Bienvenu, and a tower at Bayou Dupre, Louisiana. Mr. B. then turned to Senate Document, No. 203, of this session, pages 12 and 13, to verify this statement; and read the list of forts, and the cost of their construction, which had been finished, or were still under construction. The following is the list:
Statement of the forts on the seaboard of the United States under construction.
th * & v . C - co- $2 9.9 c -: Names and where lo- .# ă ‘s 3 * + cated. *...of E : E t; 'T t- c - c C 5 * C Fort Independence, Boston harbor, - $255,575 §52,723 $202,852 Fort Warren, George's island, Boston harbor, 800,000 104,586 695,414 Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island, - 730,166 962,369| 350,000 Fort Schuyler, Throg's neck, New York, - 577,000 66,822. 510, 178 Fort Columbus and other works on Governor’s island, N. Y., - 157,769 20,000 Fort Delaware, Delaware river, - - - 107,136 Fort Monroe, Virginia, 1,259,792 1,739,046 210,000 Fort Calhoun, Virginia, 904,355. 1,388,731|| 531,188 Fort Caswell, Oak island, North Carolina, - - - 119,000. 411,485 60,000 Fortifications, harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, - - - 324,426. 500,000 Fort Pulaski, Cockspur island, Georgia, 375,000 286,184] 246, 183 Fort Pickens, Pensa- || 4 cola, Florida, - 65,300) 629,283 50,000 Fort on Foster’s Bank, Florida, - . 163,34S 75,189 160,000 Total dollars, 5,649,531|6,305,7493,535,815
After this exhibition, Mr. B. hoped that there would be less pertinacity about these plans and estimates. He believed the conjectural estimates, made by the engineer department, and sounded upon the number of guns, to be as safe a guide as the detailed estimate, sounded upon calculations made by the engineer board; for, in one case, there was a judgment upon the whole, founded upon the size of the work and the cost of labor and materials at the place; in the other, there was an arithmetical calculation, founded upon assumed data, and in which the smallest error in the basis of calculation led to great errors in the result. Finally, Mr. B. had one further view to present of the utility of these famous estimates, which he hoped would give the quietus to these incessant demands for them; it was this: that we made no use of the plans and estimates which we have! We do not look at them! We do not call for them! We do not mention them! We do not allude to them! In every case in which we have the plans and estimates for the sort, no call is made for it! In the few instances in which there are none, an incessant cry is set up for them! Now, why not use those that we have? Simply because it would be of no use to do so! Because no practical benefit could flow from it. What is a plan? Nothing but a diagram on paper—a figure of sides and angles—with dots and marks for guns and batteries. Very pretty to look at; but which no legislator can remark upon, or criticise, or in any way presume to alter. None but professional men, and they upon the spot, could presume to give an opinion, upon the plan of a fort; and, therefore, it was useless for Congress to view the plan. The number of guns was the essential thing for them to know; for that governed every thing else, and enabled them to say whether they would defend the place or not.
Mr. B. said the fortifications seemed to have a hard fate, and to be incapable of being brought sorward at any time, or in any form, to escape opposition. At the last session, the three million appropriation was lost because it was not specific, and because it was not officially recommended by the President; now, the appropriations for the same object are opposed again, and by the same gentlemen, although they are specific and are recommended by the President. The President has expressly recommended these works, and that in writing. The Secretary of War has also recommended them, and
[May 21, 1836.
- - - -------------------------
that in repeated instances. Here is his latest recommendation, in his report of April 8th: “There are two bills for fortifications now pending before Congress. One, before the House, amounting to $2,180,000, and intended to prosecute works already actually commenced. The estimates for this bill may therefore be considered necessary in themselves, under, any view of the general subject, and not unreasonable. in amount for the present year, because they inchude the operations of two years. The incidental expenses, however, may be safely reduced one-half, as it will not be necessary to make such extensive repairs as were considered requisite when the estimates were prepared. “The bill pending before the Senate contains appropriations for nineteen new works, and for the sum of $600,000 to be expended for steam batteries. The estimates on which this bill was founded were prepared at a time when prudence required that arrangements should be made for a different state of things from that which now exists. An examination of the general system of desence was not then expedient; and the means of protecting the most exposed points, agreeably to information previously collected, was asked of Congress. It was no time then to stop, and, instead of prosecuting established plans vigorously, to lose the period of action by surveys, and examinations, and discussions. But the opportunity is now afforded, without danger to the public interest, of applying the principles suggested to the works under consideration. “It cannot be doubted but that fortifications at the following places, enumerated in this bill, will be neces
“At New Bedford.
“At New London.
“Upon Staten island.
“At Soller’s flats.
“A redoubt on Federal point.
** For the Barrancas
“For Fort St. Philip.
“These proposed works all commanui the approach to places sufficiently important to justify their construction under any circumstances that will probably exist. I think, therefore, that the public interest would be promoted by the passage of the necessary appropriations for them. As soon as these are made, such of the positions as may appear to require it can be examined, and the form and extent of the works adapted to existing circumstances, if any change be desirable. The construction of those not needing examination can com. mence immediately, and that of the others, as soon as the plans are determined upon. By this proceeding, therefore, a season may be saved in the operations.”
Another objection to forts is, that they are to lead to a standing army in time of peace. Nothing can be more erroneous. A few regulars to keep them in order in time of peace, is all that is wanting; in war, they are expressly intended to be garrisoned by militia and volunteers. The body of the garrison is to be the yeomanry of the country, with a few artillerists and regulars. The peculiar recommendation of forts in our country is their adaptation to defence by militia and volunteers; and upon that ground they have been constantly advocated and defended. It is a panic at nothing, to take fright at a standing army, thus conjured up to defeat the bill. It is to dispense with regulars, and to provide positions for the yeomanry to defend, that forts are wanted in our country.
Mr. B, wished to impress upon the Senate that the May 21, 1836.]
forts proposed in this bill were but a continuation of a system commenced forty years ago, recommended under every administration, and partly executed. The limitations proposed by the Secretary of War, and approved by the President, would affect the size of some of the large forts, but would not much diminish their number. Forts in open roadsteads are objected to; forts of large size are objected to, on account of their size. In this, the President and Secretary strike the main objection which was taken to the system of fortifications fifteen years ago by those who were then styled radicals. Fort Monroe covers sixty-four acres of ground; it covers nearly as much ground, and costs nearly as much money, as the twelve forts put together, which are contained in this bill. Fort Calhoun, built near it, is nearly as large; the two together cost nearly four millions of dollars. They were objected to fifteen years ago by those who were then stigmatized as radicals; they are objected to now by the President and Secretary of War, and everybody applauds the objection. No more such are proposed. No more such will be built on this continent, theugh a powerful fort will be wanted at Key West, or the Dry Tortugas. The forts proposed in the bill, and those which will be proposed hereafter, are the moderate sized works contended for by the reproached radicals, in 1821, and applauded now by everybody. Mr. B. read an extract from the message of Governor Everett of Massachusetts to the General Assembly of that State, at its last session, and relied upon it, not only to sustain the propriety of erecting some of the forts enu. merated in the bill, but also to show the necessity of early appropriations, and to make it manifest that the public service had already suffered by the delay which had taken place. The following is the extract read: “In the course of the last winter, resolutions were adopted by the Legislature, instructing our Senators and requesting our Representatives in Congress to use all Proper means to obtain the requisite appropriations for the repair of the fortification on Castle island, and the vigorous prosecution of the works commenced on George's island, in Boston harbor. Their exertions were so far successful, that the requisite appropriations introduced into the fortification bill, in the Senate of the United States, by way of amendment, received the sanction of the committees of the other branch of Congress to which they were referred, and passed through all but the last stage of legislation in the House of Representatives. The entire bill was unfortunately lost, in consequence of the introduction of another amendment in the House of Representatives, on which the two Houses disagreed. Notwithstanding the failure of the new appropriations, some progress was made on both the works, particularly on that upon George's island, during the past season, by means of the unexpended balance of the appropriations of the year 1834. I have the satisfaction to inform you, that, for the present year, large appropriations have been recommended for both objects by the Department of War. The rapid progress of these works is of extreme importance; and it is much to be desired that the appropriations should be so early made, as to prevent the loss of some of the best months in the season, which frequently occurs, in this branch of the public service, in consequence of the delay in the passage of the appropriation bills. Among the documents accompanying the report from the War Department, at the commencement of the present session of Congress, is a statement of several new works, proposed by the board of engineers, for the defence of the coast, and arranged in different classes, according to their importance. Among those of ‘the first class, to be commenced as soon as possible,” I notice, with great satisfaction, five or six works, which, when executed, will complete the defences of Boston harbor; a part of the seaboard second
to no other in importance, and hitherto almost wholly neglected by the general Government.” Mr. B. deprecated the sectional tone which had pervaded a part of this debate. It seemed to be supposed that the North was to be benefited, and the South neglected. Not so the fact. The forts heretofore erected were principally in the South; and of those proposed, the South had—he would not say her share, for this was not a case for dividing out shares, but for extending defence wherever it was needed; and the South was attended to, to the full extent of its need. Besides five forts finished in the delta of the Mississippi, and a superb one in Alabama, costing about a million of dollars, there were others intended at Lake Barrataria, and on the Mississippi, at Mobile bay, Perdido bay, Pensacola bay, St. Rosa's bay, St. Joseph's bay, Apalache bay, Apalachicola bay, Espiritu Sancto bay, Charlotte harbor, Key West, and the Dry Tortugas, making near a dozen works, and costing, by estimate, near six millions of dollars; and all for the security of western commerce; all for the protection of the commerce of the western States, which, passing out of the mouth of the Mississippi, must go through the Gulf of Mexico, and pass between Key West, through a narrow passage, before it could reach the great ocean. Every fort built on the Gulf of Mexico, Mr. B. said, was a western fort; a fort for the benefit of the western States, just as much so as the forts in the Chesapeake bay were for the defence of Maryland and Virginia. Turning on the other side of the peninsula of Florida, it would be seen that the extreme southern coast was not neglected. Georgia was well attended to; , Besides the fort now under construction on Cockspur island, estimated by the board of engineers to cost $375,000, and which has cost thus far $290,000, and is expected to cost $240,000 more—besides this fine fort, other works are proposed in the Savannah river, and along the coast, at Ossabaw sound, St. Catharine's sound, Sapelo sound, Dolby inlet, Altamaha sound, St. Simon's sound, St. Andrew’s sound, Cumberland sound, to St. Augustine in Florida—mostly small works, estimated to cost nearly two millions of dollars. Continuing the view to Baltimore, and Mr. B. said it would be found that more money had been, and would be, expended on forts to the south, than to the north of that point; but the comparison was absurd, and he would not continue it. Defence Was not to be proportioned out, but to be given where it was needed, without regard to lines or latitudes. Mr. B. deprecated also the extravagant manner of opposing this bill, as a plan to line the whole coast with batteries—as a plan to shut out a foreign army from landing at any point—as a plan to raise a great standing army. All this he treated as panical, and intended to frighten weak nerves and weaker heads. The forts proposed were small in extent—confined to the defence of cities—were to be manned by a few artillerists in time of peace; and were to look to the militia and volunteers for their main garrisons in time of war. He showed the necessity of forts to prevent cities from being sacked, plundered, and bombarded; and the folly of depending upon men alone, no matter how brave, with muskets and rifles in their hands, to defend a city against thirty-six inch bombs, flying four thousand yards through the air, and bursting with a bushel of fire and shot among the dwellings of the citizens. Forts to keep off fleets and cruisers could alone do this. But it was not to defend cities only that forts were wanting. They were needed to cover navy yards and dock yards, and to serve as places of refuge to the military and commercial marine of the country. We have a great commerce, he said, and many merchant ships; these ships must have ports of refuge, places Where they can be are from pursuit and attack. We have determined to have a navy; and that determination increases the neces.