« AnteriorContinuar »
March 24, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
(H. OF R.
works, demanded of it by the strongest principles of du- the shackles of high, disproportionate, and prohibitory ty, interest, and equality, an opportunity is offered to us, duties, we will see the agricultural interest springing forin common with others, of getting a return of something ward to meet it with redoubled animation and vigor, and like the interest upon our taxes. And if no adequate re- these improvements will be the highways of their commuturn is made in this way, in what other way can it be nications. made? There is no other. This, sir, is the only method If any one branch of industry or enterprise can have by which any approach to equality and fairness in the dis- more at stake in these improvements than another, it is bursement of the revenue can be gained in practice. The the great farıning interest of the interior. That is closely principle of equal distribution is in its nature general. connected with, yet primary to all others. Who would An exact application of it cannot always be made; but it toil through the summer's sun for more than a subsistence, has found in the system of interval improvement the best without the means, either by land or water, of carrying means of attaining the end, and under the prudent opera- bis surplus to a market? Or who would tug the heavy protions of that system it will be a powerful auxiliary is work- duce of his land, through the mud and mire and rains of ing out the salvation of this country:
winter, to a distant market, without the prospect of bring. I do not mean to say that everything done upon the tide ing something back that should more than repay the cost water is wrong: very far from it. I might confidently np. and drudgery of taking it there ! Let but the truth be told peal to the recollection of those with whom I bave acted -the deplorable condition of this neglected part of the for the last seven years, to bear ine out in saying that I community be known, and I envy do man the beart that have generally voted for such appropriations. I would cannot feel for it, nor the band that will not relieve it. not now stop them if I could; I say to gentlemen go on; We have beard urged against this, as all other measures finish your fortifications and other national works with rea of the kind, the effects of expendiug the public resources in sonable despatch, and, as heretofore, I will go with you. the improvement of the country. These effects are fanciBat while you are makiug all safe and covenient without, fully, and I think falsely, described as peruicious to moraI beg of you to turn your eyes within, examine the region lity, and dangerous to liberty. What, sir ? is it immoral or of the interior, and extend to it the benefits of your equal unjust to lay out a portion of the money paid by the people care. Allow even to the West a share of the surplus mil. in accomplishing something that shall be permanently uselions, for an annual surplus, with proper economy, there ful to themselves and the nation! Is it wrong to encourage will be, which might likely be increased by some diminu- industry by removing the impediments that lie in its way tion safely made from objects which bave received more to the comfortable enjoyment of life, and the education of than equal munificence.
rising generationis ? No, sir; morality is not to suffer in The gentleman from Virginia says, he would take care this cause, unless, indeed, the virtue of this people is only that there sbould be no surplus revenue. That when the to be preserved iu a state of wretchedness and ignorance. pational debt shall be paid, which we are alike desirous of And how is liberty to be in danger from this system Phibastening, and which this bill cannot delay, he would re- losophers may admire liberty for its owo sake; but that duce the revenue to the annual expenditure. But could liberty which the mass of mankind understand, the free inwe do it I Would it not baffle the skill and experience of stitutions which they love, and would die to defend, must, even that gentlemao, great as they are, to draught a revenge with its other blessings, afford the security of equal laws, law that they should exactly meet the annual expenditure ! and the full participations of equal benefits. On reflection be must adınit that it would, for it is impos Again: It is said that any improvement at one place will bible to foresee either the amount of imposts or appropri produce dissatisfaction at others, because that or something ations, and graduate the one with the other. They both else is not done there. I tell you, sir, the dissatisfaction depend on too many contingencies. And to avoid the will be much deeper, and more universal, if they are not danger of suffering your revenue to fall below the de- done somewhere. It is no objection to this, or any other mands upon it, you must necessarily make it go above. In course of profitable legislation, that every thing cannot be reducing and equalizing the tariff, I would go a great way done at once; nor is it any excuse for not doing all we can, with that gentleman; but I would stop considerably short and doing it as fast as we can. These, with the whole class of the point to which his theory would lead him, and of forced objections to which they belong, should rather which I'must think he has pushed faster and further than stimulate to exertion and uniformity in our progress to ulpractical convenience and real safety will warrant. If the timate success. public debt were now paid, the books balanced, and closed, Let me say, in conclusion, that this is no new experiand sealed with seven seals, I wonld not if I could to-day ment. It commenced a few years after the adoption of reduce the duties to the point of current expenditure. And the constitution, and has been gaining ground ever since. why? To do that suddenly, to do it otherwise than by the But its principles, as now maintained by a great majority gradual indications of time and experience, perhaps to do of the nation, were not firmly settled 'till the eighteenth it at all, would convulse this nation through all its essential Congress. Thien (without going farther from home) the interests. I would not reduce the revenue to that point, Representatives of Kentucky and Tennessee were found because extrordinary occurrences in the world, and the acting together with equal unanimity in both Houses; of exigencies of the Government, may often render it a mat Congress, in support of this great measure. And whatter of the first necessity to have a surplus at command. ever Kentucky may have expected from it, a little help at And I would not do it for another, and to my mind a bet- the Louisville canal is all the immediate advantage she has ter reason. I would have a surplus to expend in the gra- yet achieved. As for Tennessee, these dispensing showers dual insprovement of the country. For that improvement have all passed her by. The first dew has not yet reI would tax its commerce, because that tax is in a great freshed her fields. But our time has now come, and it bemeasure voluntary ; because it will relieve the property hooves us to be consistent with ourselves, true to our own of the citizens of the State from a direct and indiscrimi- principles, and alive to the prosperity of our country; pate levy of contribution for these purposes ; and, above and not ours oply, but every other where the hand of imall
, because it is the very interest which, acting io unison provement should be laid. That country and this cause with the great farming interest of the community, is to deserve higher efforts than I can exert; yet, whatever on reap the benefits of these works. It ought to bear the my part can be supplied by devotion and perseverance, charge of making them, and it can do it without feeling shall be continued, regardless of intervening obstacles, as the pressure. If we can look forward to the time when long as there is hope of success. commerce sball again raise its languid head, freed from [Here the debate closed for this day.)
H. OF R.]
Pay of Members.
(MARCH 25, 1830.
THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 1830.
in accomplishing it, in this or any other mode. But he The House resumed the consideration of the resolution would suggest to the gentleman whether his, object would offered by Mr. SWIFT on the 18th instant-the question not be more certainly attained by accepting a modification being on the amendment offered by Mr. DRAYTON. that he would mention. The gentleman from South Caro
The said resolution, at the instance of Mr. WICKLIFFE, lioa bas given it as bis opinion that the business of Conand by copseat of Mr. SWIFT, was modified so as to read gress may be done in four months, take one session with as follows:
another. Mr. W. said, be thought if members would faith. Resolved, That the Secretary of War be requested to fully discharge the trust reposed in them, that it might be cause the necessary survey to be made op or at the outlet dove in three months. We bave heard much said of orof Lake Champlain, near the Canada line, in order to as- ganizing a business party in this House, and gentlemen certain the expediency of erecting a fortification for the have patriotically tendered their services as privates ; but defence of that frontier of the United States, and report there appears to exist a great reluctance against officering & plad and estimate at the next session of Congress.
the corps. He said be was one wbo was disposed to put Mr. DRAYTON withdrew his amendment, and the re- the party under complete organization. And he would solution as modified was agreed to.
propose that forty-five members enter into a solemn sti
pulation that they will sustain a call for the yeas and nays PAY OF MEMBERS.
whenever a motion shall be made to adjourn before four The following resolution, laid on the table some days o'clock. He would have this corps persevere in keepiog since by Mr. McDUFFIE, was taken up:
the House in session, and if one should prove treacherous “ Resolved, That the Committee on Retrenchment be and desert, he would have him tried and shot. Notinstructed to report a bill providing that whenever the withstandiug what we have heard said about a business first session of Congress shall continue for a longer period party, it was no longer than last Saturday that a motion than one hundred and twenty days, the pay of the mem. was made to adjourn at about two o'cloek, and, on a mobers shall be reduced to two dollars per day from and after tion to call the yeas and days, only thirteen were found the termination of the said one bundred and twenty days; to sustain the call, when it was known to gentlemen that and that whenever the second session of Congress shall there was public business of great importance to be acted continue for a longer period than ninety days, the pay of on, and it was also known that there are claimants here, the members shall be reduced to two dollars per day from who will be inevitably ruined unless bills for their relief and after the termination of said pipety days."
pass. We bave been in session one hundred and nine Mr. McDUFFIE said that the resolution spoke its own days, during wbich time the House has met only seventy. importance, and superseded the necessity of any argu- nine days. We have enacted thirty four laws, where the ments in its support He would, however, say one or two bills originated in the House, and five where they origiwords on the subject. The adoption of the resolution, nated in the Senate ; sixty-one bills are before the Seoate while it would not impair the legislative efficiency of the that bave passed the House, and fifty-four are before the House, would save at least one month of the time now House that have passed the Senate. The whole number consumed by Congress at every loog session. He had of bills reported io the House is three hundred and sevenmade an estiinate of the saving which this would produce, ty-nine, and the number of resolutions adopted is four bun. and had ascertained that it would save the sum of seventy-dred and eighty; and this mass of busivess is to be left unfive thousand dollars each year of its operation; and at the acted on, or so hastened through, that very few members same time the public business would be well done. He had will know what provisions the bills contain. The correct made another estimate--that if Congress sat five months, mode of legislating is to commence the session with a de the average pay of the members would be seven dollars a termination to attend to business-to prolong the daily sesday; this was an adequate compensation; but, if the mem; sion of the House, and not adjourn from Friday to Monbers chose to attend assiduously to the public business, and day. The excuse offered by gentlemen for adjourning complete it within the time prescribed, they would still has been that they have business at the departments
. Mr. receive eight dollars. The effect of this resolution, he W. said he came from a section of the country where some was confident, would be to increase the attention to the claims remained upsettled, and that he found he could discharge of public business, without diminishing the pay generally transact the business confided to him better by while here. "It was universally agreed [said Mr. McD.] writing than by a personal attendance. The business of that the " compensation law” contained at least one wise the departments was interrupted by the calling of the principle--that of a salary compensation instead of a per members, and the officers, he did not believe, bad any dediem ode. The only objection urged against it, and the sire to see them. It was very rare that an answer could cause of its unpopularity, was, that it was enacted by be given at once, and it was geverally transmitted through those who were to receive its benefit. He, however, dif- the post office. He said he considered the excuse for adfered from the general opinion on the advantage of the journing over as groundless, and that the time was spent Balary principle. He thought it would operate as too in amusement. The proposition of the gentleman from powerful a stimulus on members to get through the public South Carolina will punish
the industrious with the neglibusiness, and that it would be done, too bastily. His pro- gent and ipattentive. He was one who believed, with the position combined both principles, and the advantages of Aourishing condition of the treasury, that eight dollars a both without their defects, i lo every view of the subject, day was not too much for a member to receive for his sertherefore, he conceived it would be one of the most effectvices, if his time was faithfully bestowed on the business ive measures of economy ever proposed by Congress, in of the House. He knew there were members who de
voted day and night to mature business, and to attend to it Mr. DWIGHT concurred most cordially io the principle in its progress through the House. He was unwilling that and expediency of the proposition. The business of these should be curtailed in their daily allowance because Congress could be as well done by the first of April as the others were remiss in their duties. The modification he first of June, and when once the limit was fixed for the would suggest to the gentleman is this : that no member earlier day, there would be no difficulty in completing all who is not in attendance on the House when it is called to the business which it was proper to perform, He hoped order in the morning, or who shall be absent during the resolution would PASE.
the calling of the yeas and nays, without rendering a satisMr. WHITTLESEY said, the object of the gentleman factory excuse for his absence, shall be entitled to per diem from South Carolina was to hasten the business before the pay for that day. Gentlemen need not apprehend that House, and that he would most cheerfully unite with him! there is any thing bumiliating in rendering an excuse to
regard to itself.
March 25, 1830.)
Pay of Members.
(H. OF R.
the Speaker, if they are detained from the House by busi-, we are surrounded, that have goaded on the people to a ness that could not be dispensed with ; much less is there state of desperation. This Government, from having been any thing objectionable to the most delicate sensibility in confined to our external relations ebiefly, and a few intermaking such excuse, if the detention arises from sickness. val regulations, bas undertaken to regulate the whole la. He would go further he would have a list of the absen. bor and industry of the country, and thereby drawn withtees published in the papers that published the laws, so that in its vortex a sum of legislative powers properly belong. the constituents of any member might know how he spent ing to State jurisdiction. bis time here. If the people were apprised of our neg; The great evil of this Goverument, as of every other, lect of duty, they would correct the evil
. The object of and of wbich the people are convinced more and more having the House composed of two hundred and thirteen every day, baving experienced it in a greater degree, promembers, is to unite the intelligence of that number on bably, than any nation under the sun, is the immense mass every proposition that is acted on; but whoever will take of legislation with which they are afflicted. Besides four the pains to examine the list of yeas and pays, will find and twenty State Governments, acting directly upon them that in most cases, unless it be on a political or some once a year, they bave an annual Federal Legislature, great national question, we rarely have more than a with all its ramifications and corruptions, preying upon bare majority for doing business. He would throw the them with a cormorant's appetite, to a degree beyond huresponsibility ou every member, and instire bis constant man endurance. While I admit in theory it is perhaps attendance. He said he was willing to unite in any meas the most beautiful in the world, when confined within its sure that would dispatch the business; but he feared the proper limits, id practice, I am not sure, without reform, present resolution would not accomplish that object that it will prove the most tyrannical and oppressive that the we should waste the time of the session until we came to ingenuity of man could have devised. What does it matthe allowance of two dollars a day, and then that we ter, whether the people are taxed io a republic or a desshould leave the business undone; and for that reason he potism. It is all the same to them: and it seems that inexpressed a hope that the modification euggested, would be justice; violence, and rapide can be as well exercised in accepted by the mover of the resolution.
the one asl the other. Nay, more securely, because it Mr. TUCKER said, it had been his object to fix the day works by stealth under a false denomination. Now, sir, as of adjournment. He was gratified with the resolution offered I have do well grounded hope of an amendment in their by bis colleague. The gentleman from Obio said be be- coodition-as I perceive the same legislative course which liered the business of the House could be done in three bas been pursued for several years past, is likely to be conmouths. Why, then, did not the gentleman vote for the tinued—the same system of taxation and unequal distribuproposition, and introduce his owo plan afterwards ? tion of the funds of the nation to be kept up as hereto
Mr. GOODENOW made some remarks, which he con- fore, I must look out for the best protection for them that eluded by moving the previous question-yeas, 42. So I can, against what I conceive to be their own worst enethe bill was not seconded.
my-too much legislation. And this, I think, will be found Mr. ALEXANDER said, that from his experience here, in the reduction of the pay of the members. I know it to and after much reflection upon the subject, his mind bad be a delicate subject, which touches the nervous sensibility been brought to the conclusion that some such principle of every one. But if we are in earnest in the professions as the one proposed in the resolution was necessary to be that were given to the people at the coming day of a readopted by Coogress to enable us to do justice to the in- form in the abuses and extravagance of the administration terests of the nation with which we are charged. When of affairs, and which they have so much right to expect at [said Mr. A.) I first bad the honor of a seat here, I was of our hands, let us go into the good work, and show à devoan opinion that the compensation allowed, was but a rea. tion wortby the cause in which we are engaged. After sonable pay, considering the extravagance at that day, the example set 'us by the Executive head of this dation, and the depreciation of money. But the case is Duw dif- who has gone forward with a firmness and decision that beferent; the value of money has appreciated, and every speak bis character, holding this language on his elevation, thing become proportionably cheaper; and I believe the that “the recent demonstration of public sentiment in. only corrective against the abuse of the time of Congress scribes on the list of Executive duties, id characters too and mischievous legislation of which the people bave 80 legible to be overlooked, the task of reform;" relying upon much right to complain, will be found in the remedy pro- our co-operation, we sbould be unfaithful to the trust reposed, which carries along its own limitation as to the pe- posed in us, were we to balt and hesitate in so eventful a riod of our sessions. What (said Mr. A.] has been the crisis. What has been done in this respect after the lafact of late years in regard to the history of our proceed- borious and faithful investigation of the Committee on Reings, and of which there seems to be no prospect of a dis- trenobmet the last session, and the parting voice of the continuance? Why, the first three or four months of the able chairman who committed to his successors the charge, first session of Congress, sufficient for all the necessary with the hope that it might be prosecuted to a successful purposes of legislntion, have been usually consumed in idle issue for the benefit of the people Nothing but the disand unprofitable debate, connected with one's own personal continuance of the draughtsman of this House, while the aggrandizement, or in projecting schemes for party or po other measures rest silently on your table, or sleep the sleep litical purposes, little calculated to promote the public in- of death within the bosom of the committee itself
. This is terest. We find, during the late war, when the interest of one of the measures they recommended to our attention, the country was concerned in conducting it to a successful I take it, sir, there are two principles connected with this ? conclusion, amidst the most violent opposition, Congress subject, which must always enter into tbe character of rarely ever sat the first session beyond what is now tho every legislative body. The one of interest, the other of usual period of the termination of our labors. We are honor. If it were possible wholly to attain the latter, it necessarily led to inquire into the causes, and see if there would, do doubt, be the best and safest for the country. But exists a necessity for it or no. : I can perceive but two, as it is considered with us that the i* Jaborer is worthy of and two only, neither of which, in my judgment, will longer his bire," and it is not expected that any person can serve justify a continuance of the practice.
here without a reasonable compensation, the great object, The attention of Congress having been withdrawn from it seems to me, should be to produce the bappy combinathe theatre of war, it was thrown upon the domestic con- tion of the two, in such manner, that while the one offers a cerns and relations of the country, with many of which it sufficient inducement for talents and virtue, the other deshad nothing to do; and hence have sprung up all the unbap. troys the temptation. This, I think, will be acoomplished py differences, local divisions, and calamities, with which l by the proposition now before us.
H. OF R.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
[MARCH 25, 1830.
Moderate salaries are consistent with the spirit and prin- fident of my own opinion upon constitutional questions, to ciples of our institutions, and in proportion as the value trouble the House with the reasons upon which they are of our own pay is enhanced, does it regulate every thing founded. Yet, as I am the representative of an intelligent else connected with the operations of Government. I con and most excellent community, and as I have to act under fess that I have no faith in any improvement being made the obligations of an oath " to support the constitution of in other respects, until we direct our attention here. I do the United States"—that charter under the guaranties of not say that it will be proper to follow up this example in which we can alone act here--it is incumbeut upon me to regard to all the other officers of Government, as propos- look into that charter, and well examine the powers which ed by a resolution now ou your table, because these, in it extends to us, and to act in accordance with my own some respects, depend upon entirely distinct principles. views, however crude; for, sir, on all questions in which If they are faithful and vigilant in their respective places, conscience is involved, the decision must be made by it is but right that they should receive a just and adequate that tribunal, from which there is no appeal; and how compensation for their services.
ever great our respect and deference for the opinions of But the nation expects, and has a right to demand, some others, in cases of this kind, we are thrown back upon thing at our hands, in relation to those great and import- ourselves, and must alone depend upon our own views ant expenditures which have been so wastefully and extra- of right or wrong. vagantly lavished away; and there seems no likelihood, at But, whatever my views may be of the constitutional present, of any change for the better in this respect. powers of Congress, or however adverse to bills of this As the hope is a vain one which I entertain of any thing kind, I feel that it would be wholly useless to urge
them like a recurrence to the original pricoiples of the Govern- bere; and if I should not be suspected of an attempt at ment, the only safety and security for the people, that I rhetorical flourish, I would say, that you might as well can see, will be in the economical administration of affairs attempt to dissolve these marble columns which support in every department thereof. And I rather think this will the canopy of this ball, by blowing upon them the breath at last be found the only distinction between a republican of your nostrils, as to convince, by force of argument or and monarchical form of Government. Whether even powers of eloquence, those who bave made up their opithis shall be accomplished, we have yet to learn. From nions, or who, from the force of circumstances, will not be the disposition that bas been manifested, the progress of convinced. measures before this House, and the character of some Yes, it would be worse than idle; for all the experience that have passed from before us, we are met with despair wbich I have bad upon this floor but strengthens me in even here; in what, then, I ask, have the times differed the conviction, that if ever constitutional arguments are from those that have gone by ? and how can we stand jus- argued with effect, it will be in other balls--not this. But tified before the people, who were led to expect import- do pot infer any thing like a spirit of disupion in me, from ant and radical changes ? I say nothing of the head of this this remark--far from it. I look upon that as the last re'administration, from whom we have the assurance that, as sort, resulting from insufferable oppression, wbich a mifar as depends upon him, he will not be bebind us in the pority may be forced or driven to, when it would cease great work of reform. The defect is here, and he can do to be patriotism to submit. But, should that ever arrive, but little without our aid. It is, I conscientiously believe, (which may God of bis infinite mercy avert !) may we not sir, in the pay of the members, offering an inducement to justly fear that the world may then bid a long farewell to continue here longer than is necessary for the transaction all republics, and to the rights of man of the real business of the pation, doing, as they always But, whilst I disclaim any thing like a disposition to dismust, mischief, when good is upattainable. I am, there- union in the remark, it may be proper here to say that it fore, for striking at the root of the evil
, and making a seat partakes something of the pullifying doctrines, which, become here what it ought to be, rather the post of honor while they are more pacific in their nature, will be found than of profit. I, therefore, shall give my cordial support to be, in my opinion, as effectual in their results. Upon to the proposition now before the House, with a hope that a more proper occasion, I may give my views fully upon it may be referred and acted upon.
this subject of " nullificatiou," as it bas been denominated Mr. COULTER then rose, but the SPEAKER having in the other branch of this Legislature. But, as I am announced that the hour had elapsed, the discussion was somewhat the creature of impulses, I shall be governed, arrested.
in this particular, by subsequent feeling and reflection. BUFFALO AND NEW ORLEANS ROAD.
My design is to speak of the expediency, or rather in
expediency, of this measure; not that I can add any thing On the motion of Mr. HEMPHILL, the House resolved to the powerful argument of the justly distinguished genitself into a Committee of the whole House on the state tleman from Virginia, (Mr. P. P. BARBOUR] for the grounds of the Union, Mr. Haynes in the chair, and resumed the which he took were so fully and ably occupied, that he has consideration of the bill“ to construct a national road from left little to be said by others. I shall, however, take the Buffalo, by Washiogton city, to New Orleans."
same side of the question ; not that I shall be able to sbed .: Mr. CARSON said, the supporters of this bill urged the a new ray of light upon the subject, but for the reason importance of its passage upon four general considerations, that the bird of more humble flight may sometimes see to wit: Commercial, Political, Military, and the Trans- what the eagle overlooks. portation of the Mail.
The supporters of this bill do not claim the power unThe constitutional powers of Congress to act upon this der which they act, as expressly delegated by the constiand similar subjects, have been assumed and maintained tution, but as an incidental power; or, in other words, as by the supporters of the bill. Upou all subjects of this a mean necessary to carry into effect some of the expressed kind, [said Mr. C.] involving constitutional questions, powers. which have been discussed since I occupied a seat in this Admitting this position to be correct, and which I do House, I have studiously avoided entering into the de- to a certain but limited extent, the question then naturally bates upon them. I have done so, for the very plain rea- arises, does the exigency of the country demand at our son that my vocation is that of a farmer; and well know- hands the exercise of those incidental powers, or the use ing that it required professional science and deep re of those means, to effect any of the objects contemplated search to elucidate and give satisfaction upon those criti- by those powers expressly delegated ? And if so, another cal points upon which men of eminence, patriotism, and question will also arise : Will this road meet those exidistinction differ. Under these circumstances, I may well gencies, and effect the object? To both of these propobe permitted to be, if not without hope, at] least otoo diff.sitions, I answer in the negative most positively. There