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Louisville and Portland Canal.
(Mar 25, 1836.
readiness to verify our predictions; they seem resolved Mr. HENDRICKS said, that, having reported this bill that we shall have the reputation of prophets, and to to the Senate, it would no doubt be expected that he leave nothing for us to do to acquire this reputation. I should give an explanation of it, and he would ask the have read, said Mr. N., of two brothers in England, who attention of the Senate a short time for that purpose. became fanatics, and imagined that they had the gift of This bill (said Mr. H.) is based on a memorial of the prophecy; among other predictions, they foretold the death Louisville and Portland Canal Company, referred by the of their mother on a certain day; but as the good lady Senate to the Committee on Roads and Canals. The did not value the reputation of her sons as prophets suf- memorialists state the whole cost of the canal, the interest ficiently to be willing to establish it at so great a sacrifice, the Government has in it, the dividends it has declared she obstinately refused to die; and, to avoid the imputation and is declaring, and the present and increasing produce of being false prophets, they were obliged to murder tiveness of the stock; and go on to say that, notwithher. But the advocates of the distribution scheme, who standing all this, much remains yet to be done to make now talk about defending the country by railroads, im- the canal.what it is capable of being made, and what it pose no such hard terms on the opponents of that scheme; must be made, before it will be capable of accommodaand, although they may not be willing to sacrifice their ting the immense and rapidly increasing trade of the lives, they volunteer their declarations and votes, to western country; and that the individual stockholders confirm our predictions and establish our reputation as do not think it a duty incumbent on them to make adtrue prophets.
ditional expenditures pro rata with the federal GovernTo this and every measure involving expenditure, the ment. They pray that the tolls accruing on the stock distributors discover serious objections; they complain, owned by the United States in the canal may be approthey remonstrate, they cannot be satisfied; and although priated to improving the canal, until it shall be renderthey do not tell us in so many words the true source of ed as capable as may be required to give all proper their objections, it is sufficiently manifest it is the sur. facilities to the trade passing through it, or that the tolls plus, which they want for other purposes. Sir, said Mr. belonging to the United States may be relinquished for -N., we are informed of an ancient people, for whom the benefit of those who pay toll. much was done, and great exertions made for their The memorialists declare their object to be to relieve benefit; they were led out from a land of bondage, and the commerce of the West from the burden of the tolls : conducted safely through the wilderness to a goodly land; which now go into the Treasury of the United States, yet they were not satisfied; they murmured; they com either by causing those tolls to be expended in improvplained; they found fault with their leader; they could ing the work, or by reducing the tolls in favor of those not be satisfied with the manna of the wilderness, whose business requires them to use the canal. They, although sent down from Heaven; but when the true therefore, pray that an act of Congress may be passed, cause of their complaint was discovered, it was found authorizing the Louisville and Portland Canal Company that they all sprang from a longing and hankering after to retain the dividends that may be declared on the the “fleshipots of Egypt.” So it is with those who mur. Government stock, and to disburse the same in improvemur against this bill; the true secret of their opposition ment on the canal; or that an act may he passed authoris, a longing after the surplus, a hankering after the izing the company to retain the dividends on the stock Aleshpots of Egypt. That the honorable Senator from belonging to the United States, and appropriate them to Massachusetts is under this infuence, is perfectly mani. their own use, on condition that they reduce the present fest; he is thinking about the fleshpots; he wants a part
rates of toll twenty per cent. of the surplus to complete the western railroad his State The committee, however, have not adopled either of is constructing. But the citizens of that enterprising these propositions. They have not been able to see and wealthy State are abundantly able to accomplish how the commerce of the West can be materially relieved that work without looking here for aid. It is within the by expending the Government dividends in enlarging means of individuals, and certainly within those of the and improving the canal--if, indeed, the work be already State. Let them go ahead, then, with the work, and what it has heretofore been represented to be, and what rely on their own resources; he wished them success, the committee supposes it to be, capable of answering although rather skeptical as to the benefits and influence fully the purposes for which it was intended. Nor has of railroads on the general prosperity. He hoped the it been perceived how the commerce of the West can gentleman would think no more of the surplus, nor be permanently benefited by permitting the company longer cherish a bankering after the leeks and onions of to appropriate to their own use the Government diviEgypt, but rely on the ample resources of his State; and dends, on condition that they reduce the present rates in that he trusted that the objection to this measure will of toll twenty per cent.; for the time will soon came not appear so insurmountable.
in which the commerce of the West will swell the divin Mr. DAVIS said there seemed to be no great disa dends of the company to the maximum of their charter, greement between the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. or a tariff of tolls twenty per cent. below the present NILES) and himself. The gentleman, said Mr. D., rates; and whenever that time shall come, the company seemed to have been so great a lover of these “ flesh- would, if this proposition were adopted, be receiving pots,” that he is not willing to let us have any. He was the tolls on Government stock, without giving any conglad to have the Senator going along with bim, and that sideration therefor; and western commerce could not be he would not raise an army to eat up the militia. He benefited by such arrangement between the company hoped that as the gentleman had seemed to consider the and the Government. standing army not the proper means of defence, in ac The comimittee believe that the great commerce of cordance with the spirit of our constitution, he would the West ought not to be in the hands, or subjected to not go for these fortifications, that would require an army the control, of any company; but that the canal should to maintain them.
belong to the Government, and he made free; and they (The Senate adjourned without the vote being taken.] bave adopted a proposition, made by the company some
three years ago, to purchase the stock of individuals, WEDNESDAY, MAY 25.
take the control of the canal, and take off all the tolls, LOUISVILLE AND PORTLAND CANAL.
except so much as shall be necessary to keep it in a state The bill to authorize the purchase, on the part of the
of preservation and repair; enlarging it, also, as the busi
ness of commerce shall require. United States, of the private stuck in the Louisville and Portland canal, was taken up as the general order.
The committee have therefore reported a bill author.
Mar 23, 1836.)
Louisville and Portland Canal.
izing the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase up the upon western commerce and river-faring men would be individual stock, provided so much of it can be procured lightly felt and cheerfully borne. But the fact is far at par value as will give the United States the control of otherwise. The company inform us that so great has the company; leaving the regulation of the tolls, and the been the capital expended in this work, and so heavy whole raatter afterwards, for the future legislation of the necessary tolls upon it, that it imposes a tax on westCongress. The object of the bill is the purchase of the ern commerce, wbich, in many instances, it is unable to stock, the control of the canal, and that it be thrown bear. This has given rise to the great and general disopen to the free navigation of the commerce of the content which exists in relation to this work, and to the West, charging such tolls only as will be necessary to pressing and importunate demand of the western counpreserve it and keep it in repair.
try that the canal may be made free. To give some The second section of the bill authorizes the Secre. idea of the condition of this public work, the Senate will tary of the Treasury, in the event of his being unable to indulge me in giving a short history of it. It was first purchase in the individual stock, to dispose of the Gov. authorized by a charter granted to the stockholders by ernment stock, on the principle that it is useless to re the Legislature of Kentucky, in January, 1825, with a tain a quantum of stock which will give no control what. capital of $600,000. The company were required to erer of the canal, and in the expectation that, if the in commence the work in eighteen months, and finish it in dividual stock cannot be purchased at par, the public three years. But the work was so much procrastinated stock can readily be sold at par. The stock, however, by unforeseen difficulties, and probably by the want of is above par in market, and has been sold as high as experience in those who had the management of it, that seventeen and a half per cent. advance; and that which additional legislation, giving further time, was asked for the committee hesitated most about was, the price which and granted. The same, and perhaps other special causes, ought to be offered for the stock. Par value has been also conspired in greatly increasing the expenditure and adopted, in the belief that the stock ought not to be cost of the work; and the company contracted heavy considered as valuable as the present price in market debts, in addition to the capital originally chartered, for would indicate. Various reasons might be given for the progress of the work. of the stock first chartered, this opinion, such as the reasonable demand of the west Congress subscribed $233,500, and became to that exern people that this canal should be made free; the tent interested in the concern. Finally, by act of the adverse interest of the whole country to the company Kentucky Legislature, the company were authorized to monopoly there; the unceasing war of western com issue stock, or to sell stock sufficient to pay the debts merce upon this company-a conflict so permanent and contracted by the company, to finish the construction of so unequal, that the interests of the company must ne. the canal, and to pay the interest which had accrued cessarily yield, and that at no distant day; and, if on no upon loans, and upon moneys advanced by the stockother principle, upon the principle that private proper holders. In this process the stock of the United States ty may be appropriated to public use, giving remune was increased to $290, 200, the present amount of Gov. ration therefor. But this remuneration ought to be ernment stock. And the whole cost of the canal, from based on liberal justice, instead of the power of the its commencement to its completion in November, 1832, one party, or the weakness of the other.' The stock, is upwards of $950,000. The charter is unlimited in its then, ought not to be considered of value equal to the duration, and the company are authorized to charge a current market price, which has perbaps no reference toll of eighteen per cent. upon the whole cost of the to the suggestions just made. The amount authorized construction. to be paid to the stockholders ought to be liberal. We The present tariff of tolls is forty cents per ton, Uniought, if we err, to err on the right side; to give more ted States measure, on the boats passing through it, no than the true value, rather than less; and 1, for one, maiter whether empty or loaded; and this is a charge would be willing to give considerably above par. il upon boats and commerce which cannot be sustained. speak, however, the sense of the committee, when I say It stops much of the upward bound trade, and causes par; which is perhaps not far wrong, and which, as I be. delays, transhipments, and porterage at Louisville and lieve, it will be for the interest of the stockholders to Portland, injurious to.commerce, and onerous upon the take. Another reason why it is the interest of the com consumers of articles thus improperly taxed. A steampany to sell at par is, that a canal of equal value--in. boat, for instance, employed in the trade between deed, of greater value--of any capacity, however great, Louisville and St. Louis, measuring one hundred tons, can be constructed on the Indiana side of the river; pre will pay $80 per trip; and suppose she makes a trip a venting in this way the undisturbed enjoyment of the week, she will pay to the canal, in one year, about monopoly in the Louisville and Portland canal.
$4,000--almost her whole value. A large boat leaving This bill is based on the principle that the canal should New Orleans with full freight, and discharging at Natbe made free, and that it is the duty of the federal Gov chez and other ports as she ascends the river, a fourth, ernment to remove the obstruction to the navigation at a balf, or perhaps three-fourths of her load, before she the falls of the Ohio. This has been a serious and soli reaches Portland, cannot afford to pay the toll on her tary obstruction to the navigation of the western coun. whole admeasurement, and bas to terminate her voyage try ever since its first settlement. It is a fall of twenty- / below the falls, however much she may desire to visit four feet in a distance of two miles, where the river is the ports above. This state of things is so greatly in. broad and interspersed with islands, rocks, and crooked jurious to the commerce and prosperity of the whole channels, making the navigation for light boats extreme country, that it cannot much longer be borne. The ly dangerous, and prohibiting the passage of heavy boats representatives of the western country are imperiously altogether, during the low stages of water in the summer required to look to this state of things, and to have it and fall seasons. This has, to a certain extent, destroyed changed. They are, or their constituents are, all inthe navigation of the river altogether, and produced terested in this matter. There is not one congressional great delays and heavy expenses in drayage around the district in the valley of the Mississippi, but has a direct falls; which, perhaps, never costs less than one dollar and positive interest in this affair. The people will reper ton.
quire us to do our duty, and the subject cannot any To remove these obstructions, the Louisville and longer sleep. The expenditure necessary for all this Portland canal was made. It was expected, when und is about $700,000, less than three-fourths of a million; dertaken by the stockholders, that the work would not wbile millions almost without number have been ex: cost more than half a million, and that its assessment | pended, and are expending, upon the seaboard, for the
Louisville and Portland Canal.
(Mar 25, 1836.
benefit of commerce, in breakwaters, and barbors, and the damages of goods, or the still licavier tax of port. piers, and sea-walls, all along the coast; and where, too, age around the falls, forever to be endured? For the it is now proposed to expend the whole surplus reve continuance of such parsimonious policy as this, it is benue on such like objects, together with fortifications lieved that no adequate reason or good excuse can be and ships of war.
given. The federal Government have the protection, The remaining inquiry of importance, and the only as well as the regulation, of all the commerce of the one, seems to be, is this canal such a work as can be country, domestic as well as foreign, assigned to its care; expected to accommodate the interests of western com and surely the more remote from the tide-water and the merce and navigation, or not? The description given ocean it is, and the greater its difficulties of tedious and by the board of directors is believed to be correct. It dangerous river navigation, the more does it need the accords with other opinions on the same subject. It is protection of this Government. When the domestic represented as being entirely capable of answering all commerce of the country shall have passed the dangers the purposes for which it was intended; abundantly suf- of a long and tedious river navigation, and arrived at ficient to meet all the demands of business which can the safe harbors and depots of the Atlantic ocean or the reasonably be expected for years to come. This canal Gulf of Mexico, it will much less need the aid and prois about two miles in length, constructed for the largest tection of this Government. What, Mr. President, is steamboats, and to overcome a fall of twenty-four feet in the commerce of many of the noblest rivers of the Atthe Ohio river. Its substratum is a ledge of limestone lantic States--the Delaware, for instance-when com. rock in its whole length, through which it is cut at va pared with that of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers? And rious depths, averaging eight feet; and this is overlaid yet we see millions expended in the Delaware, in a with a stratum of earth, in depth about twenty feet. splendid break water, besides vast sums in almost every These, with the embankments of earth, make the canal Atlantic harbor, and bay, and river, all around the coast, forty two feet deep. It is fifty feet wide at the bottom, saying nothing about the magnificent fortifications on and two bundred feet wide at the top; the sides being the whole line of seaboard, from the British dominions well sloped and walled. The height of water in the on the northeast, to the mouth of the Sabine. In this canal varies from four to forty feet, according to the view of the matter, will it then scem unreasonable that stage of water in the river. When the river is very the States and the people in the great valley of the MisJow, there is more water in the canal than in the river; sissippi should expect and demand, at the hands of the for instance, when there is but ten inches of water in federal Government, this single, solitary commercial fathe falls, and eighteen inches on the bars above and be cility at the falls of the Ohio? low them, there is four feet of water in the canal; and And how much, Mr. President, is it proposed to exthe canal has the greatest depth until there is seven pend for the benefit of foreign commerce, and for the feet water upon the bars. After that depth, there is advantage of the seaboard, according to official propogreater depth in the river on the bars than in the canal. sitions, in various shapes and forms, now before the Sen
There are one guard lock and three lift locks, all com ate? It is proposed to expend not only the whole surplus bined; and the line of lock wall exceeds nine hundred revenue now on hand, (and the Secretary of the Treasufeet. The guard lock is 190 feet long in the clear, 42 ry tells us that this is about thirty-eight millions,) but it feet bigh, and 50 feet wide. The lift locks are each is proposed to mortgage the revenue of years to come, 185 feet long in the clear, 50 feet wide, and 20 feet in increasing the pavy; in constructing Avating steam high; all based on solid rock. The stone masonry in batteries; in building fortifications on land and in the these locks is said to be equal to that of thirty common water; and in furnishing ordnance, arsenals, and munilocks on the Ohio and New York canals; and the tions of war. All this for the benefit of foreign comamount of labor on this canal is said to be equal to that merce, for without foreigo commerce we should have on seventy or seventy-five miles of ordinary canals. no need of a navy; but for this, we should not hoist a flag The canal is a valuable and substantial work; and, how upon the ocean; but for foreign commerce, we should ever costly its construction may have been, it is no not be in danger of collision with any trans-Atlantic nadoubt justly entitled to public confidence, and capable tion. Commerce and navigation were the cause of tbe of accommodating, for many years to come, the great war in 1812; and these interests will, in all probability', and growing commerce of ihe Obio river.
be the cause of all the wars with civilized nations which ceptible, also, of enlargement to any extent which that we shall ever be engaged in. We must, however, have commerce may hereafter require.
commerce with distant nations, and that commerce must The land belonging to the company is 350 feet wide, be protected. “For this purpose we must have a riavy; and two miles long, with some additional lots; in all, and ), for one, am willing to vote the means of an effiabout one hundred acres; containing favorable sites for cient one; of one that shall be able to cope with any water power and dockyards. The caval, then, is a val. | hostile fleet that can be expected ever to hover upon uable and permanent work--d work well calculated to
But I wishı, at the same time, to urge the remove, in the hands of the federal Government, the claims of domestic commerce, and call to its protection, obstructions to the navigation at the falls of the Ohio. also, the aid of this Government. What, sir, are the It ought to be purchased up and made free, levying amounts proposed for the military and naval defences of such tolls only as may be necessary for its preservation the country, or for the protection of foreign commerce? and repair. Public opinion and public justice demand which is the same thing. This amount I take from the this at our hands; and Congress will surely not hesitate official documents on our tables. For ordnance, small to do this, unless, indeed, it be determined to abandon arms, and munitions of war, a fraction less than thirty western commerce to struggle with its own difficulties, millions; for increase of the navy, seventeen million and to withhold entirely from its aid and protection the seren hundred and sixty thousand dollars; for fortificaarm of the federal Government.
And is ihe commerce tions, thirty-one million five hundred and sixty-one of the West in all time to come to be taxed more than thousand two hundred and sixty-eight dollars; amountmany of its articles are able to bear? Are the bulky ing, in all, to about eighty millions of dollars. Can it, and low-priced agricultural productions of the country then, be possible that Congress will hesitate about this to be excluded from the markets of the South in all fu- expenditure of a fraction of a million for the benefit of tore time, because of the heavy tolls they are subjected domestic commerce in the West? Let it be rememberto at the Louisville and Portland canal, or at any other ed, too, that the foreign commerce of this country is, to canal! Are expenses of transhipments, delays, and lits domestic commerce, small and diminutive; and that
It is sus
May 25, 1836.]
Louisville and Portland Canal.
the agricultural productions of the western country, petitioning of the people thus far has been but the diswhich seek the markets of the Gulf of Mexico, are al. tant murmur in the western breeze, but it will become ready much greater than those of the eastern or Allantic louder and louder, and speak in tones and accents which cities.
will command obedience of their own representatives, When speaking, Mr. President, of the propositions and attract the attention of members from all other secfor this exiraordinary expenditure of eighty millions, in tions of the Union. the military and naval defences of the country, let me I might go on, Mr. President, to swell the importance not be understood as referring to the document from the of this matter, by going into statements showing the alSecretary of War, which is sanctioned by the President. ready great and daily increasing magnitude of the comFar from it. That document, in the main, has my entire merce of the West, to show how much of western proapprobation. It is worthy of the source from which it duction entered into the foreign exports of the country, comes, and gives us opinions on these subjects which we how much into the coasting trade, and how much into shall probably all approve of, now that the excitement the consumption of the South; but I forbear. I do not and danger of a French war is over. It is agreed, how feel it necessary or proper much longer to detain the ever, on all hands, that, our means being ample, we Senate with any thing I can say about it. A glance will should look to a more perfect and permanent state of present it more fully to the mind of every Senator, than defence, as a means of avoiding war as well as of re any description I could give. On a former occasion pelling aggression. And surely the internal prosperity (said Mr. II.) I entered into a calculation of this kind, of the country, as far as that is intrusted to the care of based on the official statement of our exports of a previthe federal Government, in the regulation and protec ous year. On the present occasion, I have not gone into tion of domestic commerce, ought to be nu secondary any such calculation. Indeed, there is not anywhere sufli. object. The domestic commerce which Aoats on the cient data for such calculation. We have no means of as-, noble rivers of the West to the markets of the South, certaining the amount of our agricultural productions that supplies the consumption of the cotton and sugar which goinlothe consumption of the South, orofascertain. regions, that enters into and becomes a portion of the ing with accuracy the amount of millions which float upon esports, or that creates and enlarges the still more valua- the Gulf stream. These go into the foreign trade, the ble and important coasting trade, must not be abandon- exports of the country, or fall into the channel of the ed, or left without the protection of this Government, on coasting trade. This great amount has been variously its way to the markets of the Gulf stream.
estimated. On one occasion, not long since, and on the What, Mr. President, is the magnitude of the interest foor of the Senate, it was computed at sixty or seventy making this appeal to your justice? It is, sir, the whole millions. But he would no longer occupy the time of country west of the mountains; and there is no portion the Senate. of it, however remote, without an interest in the very Mr. CRITTENDEN and Mr. PORTER severally adquestion now presented to the Senate; a country almost dressed the House in support of the bill. unlimited in extent, and perhaps unparalleled and un Mr. HENDRICKS moved to amend the bill by proequalled in the salubrity of its climate, the fertility of its viding that the stock may be purchased at a price not soil, the magnificence of its rivers, its agricultural pro- exceeding 12% per cent. above par value, instead of at ductions and commercial facilities, by any region of coun- par. try on the face of the earth; a country extending from the Mr. WALKER opposed the amendment. He would Allegany to the Rocky mountains, from the Gulf of Mexi. gladly support any measure calculated to relieve the co to the great northern lakes-a circle whose diameter commerce of the West from the burdens imposed on it is more than two thousand miles; a country having many by the extravagant tolls of this pal; but he could not, thousand miles of steamboat navigation, and admirably consistently with his views of the constitution, vote for a adapted to internal improvement by roads and canals; measure which would make the United States joint parta country which half a century ago contained fifty or a ners in a stock company, and a collector of tolls. He bundred thousand inhabitants, and which at the present viewed this as a revival of the system of internal imtime contains near six millions; and one which will be provements in its worst form; and it was, in his opinion, capable of sustaining, when population and cultivation equally objectionable for the United States to collect shall have reached their maximum in it, hundreds of tolls at the locks of à canal as at the gates of the Cummillions. It is a larger country than China, and capable berland road. of sustaining as great a population. This country asks Mr. BENTON spoke in favor of the amendment; you to do what It asks you to appropriate out of your showing the great importance of purchasing out this thirty-eight millions of surplus revenue, which you do stock to relieve the commerce of the western cities from not know what to do with, less than three fourths of one the injurious burdens now imposed on it. Mr. B. spoke million in favor of its commerce and navigation, in the of the tolls on this canal as being now double as much as removal of the obstructions at the falls of the Ohio. Sir, they were at the commencement; and said they were so can it be possible that there will be any the least hesitas extravagant that he regarded them more as a fine or a tion in the present Congress in doing all that this bill penalty on the boats for passing the canal, than as an requires? Let this subject be viewed in its proper light, ordinary toll. Boats, he said, in some instances, and the principle of this bill will certainly and promptly paid as much in a year for tolls as the whole amount of be adopted. Should the details of the bill not please the their cost, and sometimes more than the amount of profit Senate, let them be amended. Is par value not enough divided among the stockholders; while the extravagant to offer to the acceptance of the siockholders, let it be charges on flat boats and keel boats were such that the increased, or let the attention of Congress be directed rough boarding put up at their sides to keep in the loose to the improvement of the other side of the river. It articles was calculated as being part of their tonnage, is easy to see that there is something in this proposition thus charging thirty or forty dollars toll on a common which can never slumber or sleep. The people inter- flat boat. ested in the navigation and commerce of the Onio river, Mr. EWING, of Ohio, said that the proposed measure, have petitioned Congress upon this subject until they or something equivalent to it, was of very great imporhave become tired of petitioning. The prevailing dis tance to the western country, and was due to them on content upon this subject is general, and deeply felt. every principle of justice and policy
We annually apo The representatives of the country in the Congress of propriate very large sums on the Atlantic seaboard io the United States will be required to do their duty. The I open harbors, to remove bars, and to erect light-bouses;
Louisville and Portland Canal.
(Mar 25, 1836.
all for the purpose of aiding the foreign commerce and price of the stock shall not be more than twelve and s the coasting trade of our country. Now, (said Mr. E.,) half per cent. above the par value. the navigation upon the Ohio river partakes of the na. After some remarks from Messrs. LINN and WALture both of foreign commerce and of coasting trade. KER, The trade which is carried on upon that river and the Mr. BENTON thought a majority could go for it, if a Mississippi, between New Orleans and Pittsburg, a dis- little time were allowed to regulate its details. He tance of two thousand miles, is as fairly a coasting trade wished, therefore, that it might lie over until to-moras that between Mobile and New York, on the Atlantic row morning. This was one thing he was in favor of. coast. The only difference is, that we have a coast on He was informed that the tolls were doubled, and be both sides of two great rivers, and on but one side of was in favor of a reduction of them. They were enorthe ocean. In a national point of view, the commerce mous at first, and they were now no longer tolls, but a in both cases is the same in character and value, and fine--a penalty; a penalty on those who went through. both alike require the aid and protection of the nation. Owners of boats had shown him how enormous the
Those rivers are also the great channel through which amount was. There were boats that had, in two or the produce of a very large region finds its way to the three years, paid as much toll as the original amount of ocean, and thence to foreign countries. If there be an the cost of the boats themselves. And loose boards, obstruction to its navigation, that obstruction, whether that were used to keep the loading in, were actually it be a bar at the mouth of the Mississippi, which all ad-charged as tonnage in weighing the boats. He wished mit we should remove, or a fall fifteen hundred miles to obviate the imposition, as far as the United States from its mouth, it acts alike upon the foreign commerce was concerned. of that portion of the country which lies above it, and Mr. B. concluded by suggesting the following as an should, on the very same principle, be removed. amendment:
The chairman of the Committee on Roads and Canals has “And from and after the passing of this act, no tol) very fully explained the nature of this obstruction to our shall be collected on any stock owned by the United navigation, and the very large amount which the people states in the said canal.” of the western country are taxed to avoid it. I need not Mr. EWING, of Ohio, considered the yote upon the dwell on that part of the subject. But I will take this amendment as absolutely decisive of the fate of the bill, occasion to say that, heavy as the tolls are, I attach no and he had no wish to press it further; for, without the blame whatever to the enterprising individuals who con amendment, the whole measure will be idle and illusory; structed the canal, and who ought to be well indemnified The owners of that stock will not sell it to the United for their trouble and cost. But the United States ought States at par; they ought not, and it would be an act of to relieve the western country of this burden, and it crying injustice, if it be in our power, to coerce them ought to be done on terms that will compensate that to do so. And I confess (said Mr. E.) I witnessed the company fully for their enterprise, their expense, and vote on the measure with surprise and disappointment. their risk. The 124 per cent. advance on the stock There are gentlemen in this body who are of opinion proposed to be given by the amendment is certainly lit. that Congress ought not to appropriate public money ile enough, and, unless that amendment prevail, there is for the improvement of our bays, and harbors, and no prospect of procuring the stock.
rivers, under any circumstances whatever. Those gen. Messrs. HENDRICKS and CRITTENDEN also ad- Hemen have pursued consistently their course, followed dressed the Senate in favor of the amendment; after out their principles, and voted against this, with every which, the question on the amendment was taken, and other measure of the kind. But they form a small milost by the following vote:
nority in this body; and when our northern brethren Yeas–Messrs. Benton, Crittenden, Davis, Ewing of ask for an appropriation for the improvement of their Illinois, Ewing of Ohio, Goldsborough, Hendricks, Kent, harbors, the construction of breakwaters, beacons, lightLinn, Morris, Naudain, Nicholas, Porter, Robinson, houses, fortifications, any thing to facilitate or to proWebster-15.
tect their commerce, we of the West unite almost to a Nayg--Messrs. Black, Brown, Calhoun, Grundy, man in their support, and always secure them a majoriHill, Hubbard, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, ty; but now, sir, when this great western measure-a Leigh, McKean, Mangum, Moore, Niles, Rives, Rug measure in which the commerce of the whole West is gles, shepley, Swift
, Tallmadge, Tomlinson, Walker, deeply concerned--a measure entitled to more of the White, Wright-22.
favor of the nation, considering the extent of interest Mr. CRITTENDEN then moved to amend the bill involved, than any which has been agitated for years, by striking out the proviso in the first section, which is we find a large portion of the friends of these improvein the following words:
ments in the East, those with whom we have always “Provided, That so much of said stock can be pro- gone steadily, faithfully, thoroughly, when similar meas. cured at par value, within the present year, as will give ures affecting their interests have been involved--we the United States the control of the company."
find them, sir, ranged on the side of our opponents; and And also the second and third sections of the bill, this, our favorite measure, defeated by their votes, which read as follows:
This, sir, I again repeat, is painful, unexpected; it will “Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That, if it be found be deeply felt, and not soon forgotten. impracticable to purchase the stock agreeably to the Mr. 'WEBSTER next addressed the Senate, as folforegoing section of this act, then the Secretary of the lows: Treasury is hereby authorized to sell the United States Mr. President: I regret the warmth with which my stock to said company at market price, not below par friend from Ohio, [Mr. Ewing,] and my friend from value.
Louisiana, (Mr. Porter, ) have spoken on this occasion. “Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the Secre- But, while I regret it, I can hardly say I blame it. They tary of the Treasury shall vote for the president and di- bave expressed disappointment, and, I think, they may rectors of said company, according to such number of well feel disappointment. I confess, sir, I feel disapshares as shall belong to the United States at the time of pointment also. Looking to the magnitude of this obgiving such vote; and to receive upon said stock the ject-looking to its highly interesting character to the proportion of the tolls which shall from time to time be West-looking to the great concern which our westdue to the United States."
ern friends have manifested for its success--I feel, myAnd to insert at the end of the first a proviso that the self, not only disappointment, but, in some degree,