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Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

(MARCH 25, 1830.


committee, and to offer the amendment which is on your, whatever. It is utterly impossible, after having collected table.

by taxation a sum of money from the people, ever to reMr. CRAIG said, he should play the hypocrite were he turn it to them again individually, in the portion in to attempt to disguise the interest he felt in the bill under which it was taken from them. The nearest approach that consideration. Many of the people whom I represent (said can be made to such a distribution, is to be effected by Mr. C ] have a deep and direct interest in the road which throwing it into general circulatiou, and leaving it to the it proposes to establish; and if, under existing circum- influence of individual enterprise to control its particular stances, I did not give it my humble support, I should feel destination. It seems to me, then, that we cannot adopt a a conscious conviction of misrepresenting their interests, better policy, at this time, than to put into general circulaand of betraying the trust with which they bave honored tion a few bundred thousand dollars appually of the peo

ple's money, by constructing with it, for their accommodaThe representative, according to my political creed, is tion, this great national road. You will then have the bound, in all cases, except where the constitution inter- pleasure of reflecting that you have returned to them not poses barriers, in this or any other body, to reflect the only their money, but, along with it, a great national imwishes and interests of his constituents, and not his own provement. And bere, sir, the question is not unworthy individual views. To do this is happily felt by me not to your most serious reflection, how far this capital, thus colbe less a duty than a pleasure.

lected and thus expended, will have suffered diminution Although I am one of those who construe the constitution when it returus again to its legitimate channels of circulaas denying to Congress a general right to make roads, even tion among the people. Will it have suffered any diminu. though their extent invests them with the characteristics of tion? As I view the eubject, it will not. Then, if it will pationality, yet the peculiar combination of circumstances not have suffered any diminution, is it not a fair deduction which exists in relation to this subject, at this time, rids that the road will be a clear gain to the people ? my mind of all scruples upon this point.

The policy of a nation, in regard to its pecuniary funds, The constitutionality of the measure, as I conceive it, is very different, in some important particulars, from that is not now involved. The question is not whether Con- of an individual person. It is the policy of a nation to gress possesses, under the constitution, power to make bave on hand no greater capital than is sufficient for the this road; but it is, more properly, bas Congress a right emergencies of the time—it is the policy of individual perto re-distribute the surplus money in its treasury, be- sons to augment their funds as much as possible. The wealth yond what may be necessary to defray the ordinary ex- of an individual depends upon himself—the wealth of a penses of the Government, and what may be applied to pation depends upon the wealth of its citizens; and whether the extinguishment of the national debt, among the people capital be in the private pockets of the citizens, or in the of the Union

public treasury, it is alike the capital of the nation. Now, A little reflection will satisfy you, sir, that the appro- if, without occasioning any sensible inconvenience or dispriation of money involved in this bill is an evil (if it be tress to the people composing the body politic, a sum of an evil, as some apprehend it to be) which has its root money can be drawn from them in the course of a few in the existing revenue system. So' long as the present years, sufficient to produce a work of great national benetariff of duties is maintained, it is manifest that we shall fit, a work of the advantages of which thousands of your find in our treasury a large annual residuum, after all ordi- citizens will be bighly sensible, wbat sound objection, upon nary appropriations have been made. And who can doubt, the score of policy, can be urged against the execution of after what has occurred here, in this session of Congress, such a plan that it is the fixed determination of a majority of this body, There bave been, for many years past, large appual and, by inference, the determinatiou of a majority of the balances in the treasury, wbich have been, to the pation people of the United States, to persist in the existing tariff and the people, dead capital. On the first day of Januasystem! The question, then, unavoidably occurs, what ry, 1828, there was in the treasury an unexpended bal. disposition ought to be made of this surplus money ? Surely ance of six mill six hundred and sixty-eight thousand no one will contend that it ought to lie rusting in our cof two hundred and eighty-six dollars and ten cents ; on the fers ; none will contend that, after it has gotten there, first day of January, 1829, there was a balance of five the constitution will require it to remain there. And to million nine hundred and seventy-two thousand four hunwhat use shall we appropriate it! Can we appropriate it dred and thirty-five dollars and eighty-one cents ; on the first to any more valuable use than to internal improvements ? day of January, 1830, there was a balance of four million

I would myself bave preferred that this surplus of reve- four hundred and ten thousand and seventy-one dollars and nue should have been apportioned out amongst the several sixty-vine cents; and, on the first of January, 1831, accordStates, according to their population, for purposes of inter- ing to the estimates of the Secretary of the Treasury, there nal improvement; but in this we, who construe the consti- will be a balance of four million four hundred and tution rigidly, are opposed by a majority. Congress now, ninety-four thousand five hundred and forty-five dollars as to all practical effects, possesses the power to appro- and two cents. Now, sir, it strikes my mind, if Congress priate the money of the public treasury to' objects of in- had commenced this road four, five, or six years ago, it ternal improvement, as fully as if the constitution, in 80 might, before now, have been finished; and yet no portion many words, gave that power

. Nor has this power been of the people would have been sensible of the least pecudormant. It has been exerted in a variety of instances. niary loss or pressure. And now, sir, if you proceed to its

The money collected into the public treasury from im- construction, what pecuniary embarrassments can you exposts, &c. belongs to the people in the mass; and it be pect to encounterThe whole sum estimated as necescomes our duty to return it to them by that mode that will sary to complete the road, is considerably short of the most equally distribute it among them, and, at the same balance which, it is believed, will be in the treasury on time, effect for them the greatest general good. In no way, the first of January next, and which must be regarded as does it seem to me, can this end be more advantageously dead capital, if not employed. What mischief, ask, will attained, than by expending it upon a work like that pro- you do? What injury to the people, or any portion of the posed in the bill under consideration. The road will ex people, will you do, by appropriating a part

, or even the tend from the northern to the southern extremity of the whole, of this balance to the construction of an improveUnion, and, as a will accommodate a vast proportion ment so valuable as that proposed by this bill will be ? of its citizens; besides, the money expended in making it But, sir, I bave not yet presented this subject in its most will be as generally scattered among the people as it could flattering point of view, in reference to the resources of be by being appropriated to any object or improvement the nation. It should not escape reflection, that in five or

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March 25, 1830.)

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

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six years from this time at most, the apnual balance in the by appropriating three, four, or six millions of dollars to treasury will rise from four, five, or six millions, to ten or this road; because, it cannot be denied, that, if the surtwelve, or, if the tariff of duties should be reduced to such a plus money of the treasury be not appropriated to this standard as that do one could complain of it as oppressive, object

, it will be appropriated to some other, perhaps, to a steady balance, as I believe, of from five to eight mil. of less patioual value; so that, at last, the whole effect of lions. When our revenue shall thus overflow, wbich will voting for this bill will but tend to decide the choice of certainly be the case after the extinguishment of the na- Congress in favor of this over many objects, some of which tional debt, what course of policy shall be pursued? Will are destined inevitably to absorb your surplus funds. If it be constitutional or expedient that a portion of the people we, in the South, will not take your offered favor, others, should sit still and obstinately refuse to participate in the less fastidious, in other sections, will. excess of revenue, because it was collected in a manner I am not disposed, because the world will not go on they did not approve ?

precisely as I could wish, to fall out with it, and turn cynic. But gentlemen say, let us prevent this unnecessary ac- On the contrary, I find it to be the easiest and the best cumulation of revenue, by a reduction of the tariff of im- policy, generally, to conform in some degree to that port duties, &c. Sir, it should be remembered that this uucoutrollable state of things which I find around me. I tariff is suspended upon another interest, the manufactur- have no idea of denying myself a fair participation in the ing interest, which influences a majority of the people of blessings of this Government, because every thing is pot the United States to continue it as a system of protection done according to my notions of sound policy and constito manufactures; and, I confess, I do not see any symptoms tutionality. It would be too much to expect that my to justify the opinion that it will be abandoned. This pro- opinions should rule in all things. I can estimate the retecting system may, from its over-tension and consequent spect which I owe to the opinions of other gentlemen, by inaptitude to an infant and agricultural community, break the respect which I would claim for my own. down; but I am persuaded, from what I have seen here Whenever a people become so dissatisfied with their this session, that it is the determination of a large majority Government as to refuse to accept its benefits when tenof the people of the United States to adhere to it. dered to them, they or their Government must be in gross

There is another reflection which intrudes itself here, error. If the Government be in such error, (a condition and is not to be disregarded. It is this: However justly which cannot be induced without corruption, it should the people of the South may hope for an amelioration of be reformed at all hazards. If the people, or a part of the present tariff, it were too much to expect a total aban- them, be tbus in error, the cure is to be expected from donment by the Government of those interests which were their own sobered reflections. brought into existence and nurtured by its own patronage. It has been intimated bere, and elsewhere, that the To abandon them suddenly to the storm of foreign compe- people are, in some sections of the country, in such a state tition, would be an act alike marked with cruelty and injus- of inquietudo as to endanger the Union. In relation to tice, and might be justly reprobated as an act of bad faith this intimation, I can only epeak for those whom I know, on the part of the Government. Do not understand me or think I know. I cannot believe that there is any here as advocating the tariff system to the extent to which portion of the Virginians, much as I have heard since I it has been carried. By no means; I mean only to say came here of the nullifying doctrine, who meditate a disthat the Goveroment, having induced the citizen, by hold solution of the Union, or who would not deprecate it as ing out protection to such investment, to invest his capital the severest calamity. Sir, I think I know the temper of in manufacturiog operations, is bound in good faith, if it Virginia upon this subject. I have had many opportushall find it expedient to abandon the policy, to recede pities to know it; and I may say, that, so far from barborfrom it gradually, at least so gradually as to give the capi- ing any wish adverse to the Union, her sons would be tal thus employed time to seek new and more advantage- anong the first, if danger threatened, to rally round its ous channels.

sacred standard. Nor can I do my fellow-citizens of South For my own part, I have always thought that the cod- Carolina, to whom allusion bas been made in this debate, stitution was never intended to confer upou Congress the the injustice to believe that her sons eberish any such deright to protect manufactures by revenue regulations, sign. It may be thought extravagant, after what we have further than that protection might be incidentally afford- witnessed in the other branch of Congress during the preed by the operation of a tariff of duties intended to raise sent session, but I do not hesitate to say it, as my opinion, a revenue for the purposes specified in the constitution. that the approach of danger to the Union-the common But I find myself, in relation to the tariff and internal im- palladium of their liberties--would again upite even old provements, in the situation of a' mariner who is borne Massachusetts and South Carolina in those strong bonds away by a storm which he cannot resist. Although be of affection which beld them together in the struggle for may be driving with the speed of the wind in a direction independence. exactly opposite to that to which he should go to gain bis Go among the common people, who form the body and destined port; yet, if he be skilful, he will not be found strength of your community, and I shall be much deceived idly fighting against the wind and tide, but he will yield if you do not hear another than the language of disunion, to the power, and thus acquire a velocity greater than the even in the South. The hot-headed politician is not at all current ; by which means his bark is made obedient to her times to be regarded as affording fair indications of the helm, and he is enabled, in some nieasure, to direct her temper of even the people among whom he resides. His course. Here, sir, although I cannot control the circum- inflammation is very often personal

, and therefore does stances and eveuts which surround and pass me, yet, by not threaten imminent danger to the Union. Iodeed, I falling into the current with them, and yielding myself in believe much less is meant, generally, in relation to this some degree to their control, I may, possibly, aided by subject, than the language used would seem to import. otbers of similar views, give them another and better di- it may be, and I think sometimes is, intended merely to rection, in my opinion, than they would otherwise bave deter from the prosecution of disagreeable measures. taken.

Permit me bere to bespeak your reflections upon

these By voting for this bill, it may happen that an expendi- questions. If the Government, at any time, shall have 'ture of money will be made, advantageous to the coun- engaged in a system of measures which some of us may, try, in the welfare of which I am more directly interested, perchance, think impolitic or unconstitutional, will we, and that an improvement will be effected, which will di- who think thus of that system, be justified in thwarting rectly diffuse its benefits through it. And I know that, all its operations, and in rendering it, as much as possible, to the nation, nothing in the form of money will be lost, productive of bad instead of good effects i or will it beH. of R.)

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[MARCH 25, 1830.

come our duty, when we, being the minority, can do / upon the policy of confiding to the General Goverument longer, with any hope of success, resist the establishment the power to construct works of national improvement of that system, to give it such a direction and such an Although I cannot, as I have already said, see in the operation, as to make it productive of the greatest public language of the constitution any satisfactory authority for good! I do not, myself, hesitate about the answer which, the exercise of this power, yet I am unable to discover in my humble judgment, ought to be giveu to these ques- apy good reason why this power, under well defined limittions. Certainly, if, 29 I believe to be true upou our ations, sbould not be confided to it. The mere power to principles of government, the majority bave the right to make roads, canals, &c., bas in it, as I conceive, no dangerrule, and, consequently, a right to settle the policy of the ous tendency whatever. The probability that such a power Goveroment, the minority are bound to lend their aid in would benefit the States is a thousand fold that of the proproducing the best results from any system which the bability that it would injure them. The danger consists majority may adopt. I do not mean to include extreme in the retention of jurisdiction over these works after they cases such as can only exist under the influence of are made, not in making them. With this view of the corruption. It is, I admit

, right enough that the opponent subject, it is my present impression, that, if I were now of any system should, upon every occasion involving its sitting in convention, for the purpose of amending the conpropriety, directly vote to abandon it. But this, it seems stitution, I would vote to confer this power, limiting it to to me, does not imply that it is prudent or proper to op- the making of the work. I would do so, as at present perpose every incidental measure which may grow out of it. suaded, for another, and perhaps more powerful reason. To illustrate my idea by the very, case under discus- It consists in this : the States have, for obvious and imsiop: if the internal improvement system is to be main-perious reasons, surrendered the entire regulation of their tained, it is proper that ihose who oppose it should aid in commerce to this Government; and thus have surrenderselecting the most advantageous objects of its action, and, ed the richest and by far the most convenient and least of course, keep back those less advantageous.

oppressive sources of revenue. I should not, therefore, I hold, sir, that the adoption of an error may make that think it at all unwise to require of the General Governright, which would otherwise have been wrong; or, to ment, in times, like the present, of extraordinary prosperispeak perhaps with more precision, that may be right ty, that a fair proportion of the means derived from these fully done, as resulting out of a previous error, which, if sources should be made available to the States in internal that error had not been committed, would never have improvements, or in education, where the preference might arisen to be done.

be given to that object. I bave nothing to do, in this argument, with the ulterior The States, being dependent for their means upon direct and unalienable right of any people to resist oppression, taxation, can never effect great improvements but by prowhen they may choose no longer to endure it.

ducing uneasiness amongst their citizens. The United I have said that I gave such a construction to the con States, through their custom-houses, can collect from the stitution, as denies to Congress the right to make internal people millions, by a process so magical, that the people improvements; and have endeavored to justify myself for will be wholly insensible of having paid them. And thus voting for this bill, upon the ground that that power exists it would seem that, as the means of the United States are in fact, (a large majority of this House, and, by ipference, much more ample than those of the individual States, the of the people, being for it) and, as to all practical effects, Upited States ought to have the power of employing them as fully as if the constitution was without the sbadow of a for the good of the States. doubt upon the subject; and because, by so voting, I do Indirect taxation, as a mode of raising revenue, is prenothing more, and intend to do nothing more, than to give ferable to direct taxation, not only because all classes of a preference to this object over the many that are pro citizens feel the operatiou of the former less than the latposed; not doubting, as there is no room to doubt, that ter, but because, under the former mode, the rich citizens whether this bill pass or not, internal improvements will be are sure to pay their just proportion of the revenue. They, carried op under this Government commensurate with its having the ability to do so, will consume vastly more of means. In this operation of my judgment, I assume to those articles which bear heavy duties than the poorer be my own casuist. My conscience is quiet.

citizens, The policy of protectiog manufactures by high duties Uoder a system of indirect taxation, a person may reon imports, begets the necessity of creating some system sort to his prudence to abstinence--for an amelioration of policy for the consumption of the money arising from of its burdens. He may, if he choose, abstain wholly from that source. I am not chargeable with the tariff system. the use of wine, cogniac, tea, and various other articles in I found it fully established when I came here; and have which the rich may choose to iodulge, without materially since leut the aid of my vote, at three different times, for impairiog bis comforts

, and thus avoid subjection to a large a modification of its provisions. We all know the result. proportion of indirect tax. I, and those who voted with me, found ourselves in a mi. The proposition is geuerally true, that actual consumpdority. What, under such circunstances, ought we to do ? tion is measured by the ability to consume; and as the We cannot, reasonably, expect the majority to sacrifice ability is enlarged or diminished, actual consumption is their opinions to ours. It would be the merest arrogance increased or diminished. in me to assume infallibility for my opinions. I can see Having made these remarks, I will now endeavor to no just line of conduct but to acquiesce. I am, as I have anewer some of the arguments used by my colleague [Mr. said, opposed to the tariff of 1828; but I cannot see, in P. P. BARBOUR] for the purpose of showing that it is injustice, in reason, in conscience, why the people whom I expedient to make the proposed road. I am sorry that represent, as they bear their share of its burdens, should {this gentleman, and that other gentlemen should, op acnot bave their share of its profits. I do not see the line count of their opposition to it, have thought it necessary between submission to the majority, and what tends to a to undervalue this road. Sir, if we are to give full credit dissolution of the Government.

to their arguments, we could not resist the conclusion, A disposition has been manifested, in this discussion, that, if this road would not be indeed a national evil, it to waive the question of constitutionality, and to rest the would be, at least, useless. The warmth of opposition, I claims of this bill upon the grounds of expediency. Such must think, has carried gentlemen too far. The utility of has been the course pursued by my intelligent and eloquent this road is not to be seriously denied by any whose situacolleague, (Mr. P. P. BARBOUR]

tion enables them properly to estimate it. And here, sir, before I meet my colleague upon this The honorable gentleman from North Carolina (Mr. ground, I request to be indulged in a few brief reflections Carson] has advanced the opinion that it will not be

March 25, 1830.]

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even an indirect accommodation to the people of Kentucky. you please, rather as many roads all united, than as une My situation enables me to correct this misapprehension. road: for, whilst the various sections of it will be crowded I live directly upon the track along which it is proposed with travellers, you will rarely find one destined to pass to construct this road; and I do know that many keutuck- along the whole line. This view of the subject will obviians do, yearly, use this track, and that great quantities of ate, I think, many objections which are made to the bill. stock are taken along it from that State to the interior of Who would think, says the gentleman, of transporting Virginia, and sometimes to Pennsylvapia.

ordnance from here to Buffalo by land, when it might be My colleague (Mr. BARBOUR] asked, will this road be of carried by water ? Where is the grand canal of New York ? any commercial advantage i It will run, (said he] a great Sir, these questions produce no difficulty. No one would part of its way, between the waters which flow to the East be so foolish, I suppose, as to think of conveying ordnance and the waters which flow to the West, crossing some of by land wben he could convey it by water. But, supprising them near their head spriogs, at right angles: and almost your waters to be blockaded by your enemy, would you in the same breath said, tbat if the road ran parallel with then deem it foolish to prefer a transportation by land to any of these navigable waters, it would be still of less a transportation by water i I should ihink not. commercial importance.

To what does this argument The honorable chairman of the coinmittee which reportamount, except to this: tbat although the road is most ju.ed this bill, baving, in the course of the very interesting diciously located, in reference to the interior Davigation of views which be presented to this committee, alluded to the the country, yet it is wholly useless. Who can believe state of internal improvements in England and France, this! What country was ever so situated as uot to feel my colleague, (Mr. P. P. BARBOUR) as if determined to the advantage of good roads! The gentleman here, as iv. strip improvements everywhere of all claim to public fadeed throughout, seems to bave been under the iufluence vor, asked, in what countries do you fiod a poorer and of feelings excited by the warmth of his opposition more oppressed people, than in these? Surely, the gentle.

The gentleman bext intimated that the estimate of ex- man will not seriously contend that the internal improvepepse iu the bill was far too low; that the road would, ments of a country are disadvantageous to it. And yet, more probably, cost ten or twelve millions of dollars, than sir, what other inference can you deduce from this questwo and a quarter millions.. Now, iu answer to this remark, tion! Immediately after putting this question, in the I have only to sny, that, whilst it is undeniably true that manner 1 bave represented, the gentleman expressed his ten or twelve millions will make a better rond thun two willingness, day, anxiety, that the improvement of the and a quarter millions, it is equally true that two and a country should go on. He was willing to bring roads and quarter millions will make a very good road. Again, the canals to every hamlet-lo every door; but by the States expenditure of two and a quarter millions upon this road themselves, and not by this Government. Now, how does - will not, as insinuated, lay Congress under any obligation this declaration comport with the question which the gento expend a further sum upon it. But if the prosperous tleman put to the committee relative to the pauperism of stale of the treasury bereafter, combining with other cir England and France ! How much less, I will ask the gencumstances, should make it expedient, Congress may, in tleman, will this road, or any other piece of improvement, its discretion, appropriate additional funds to that object. be worth, having been made by the General Government, I capuot see that Congress may not, as I cannot foresee than if it had been made by the State Governments i i that it will be wrong to do so, at some future time, say never before heard it insinuated that improvements pro fifty years hence, if you choose, cause the whole line of moted pauperism. I cannot avoid thinking that the vio. this road to be Macadamized.

lence of the opposition which the gentleman feels to the The gentleman further said, that the interest upon the assertion of jurisdiction over the soil of the States, by the sum proposed to be expended upon this roud is more than General Government, sharpens in a high degree the opthe whole cost of transporting the mail throughout the position which he feels to this measure, on the grouud of whole of its distance, and then drew the conclusiou, that it expediency; else, why such strong efforts to undervalue, was inexpedient to make it for the accommodation of the to disparage, the proposed road. mail. This arguinent, though the conclusion may be just, is, The gentleman has said, that, in proportion as you recertainly, not quite fair. If the accommodation of the move the expenditure of money from the influence and mail were the sole object of its construction, then the ar-control of self-interest

, you increase extravagance. I subgument would be fair. But it should not be forgotten that scribe most beartily to this proposition. Self-interest this is but one of three objects to be effected by making when it can be brought to bear upon the subject, is the the road. In addition to the advantages which are to be surest guaranty of economy in the expenditure of money. derived from the superior facilities in the transportation of But how will the gentleman apply the principle, with any the mail wbich this road will afford, are to be considered advantage, to the case under discussion 1 Can a State, the advantages which it will afford to internal commerce, any betler than the United States, dispense with agents in and the advantages it will afford, as a military road, in time executing its schemes of internal improvement! If it can of war. The aggregate of advantages, resulting from these pot, I should think the argument was without force. There three sources, constitutes the reason of the committee for are no means, in reference to this subject, it seems to me, reporting this bill We all know of how much importance which can be employed by a State, that cannot, with equal the despatch of the mail is, at any time, but particularly in facility and advantage, be employed by the United States. time of war. The delay of a day may cost a city and many The plan adopted in Virginia, and referred to by the genlives. The battle of the 8th of January, 1815, at New Or- tieman, of requiring the subscription of three-fifths of the leans, was fought because despatches, which were on their stock necessary to complete a work of this character by way, had not reached their destioation. The value of this private individuals, as a condition upon which the State road, in a military point of view. I admit to be, chiefly, will subscribe the remaining two-fifths, is wisely accommocontingent. It may, in this relation, be incalculably valu- dated to the limited means of the State. But I apprehend able, or not, according to circumstances,

the adoption of a similar principle here would amount to Again: The gentleman asks, will troops ever pass from an abandopment of some of the most important objects, in the Northern frontier to the Southern, or from the South- a national point of view. I have already intimated that erd to the Northern I answer, I have no expectation the wealth and prosperity of a nation does not always conthat they ever will. Nor have I any expectation that many sist in the amount of money which it may bave in its cofpersons will, either in times of peace or war, travel through fers; and that the wealth of its citizens was the wealth the entire line of this road. But this, I cooceive, is no of the nation. Every convenience, every commercial facidrawback from its value. This road is to be regarded, if lity enjoyed by the citizen, adds to the general stock of

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[MARCH 25, 1830.

national wealth. Why, then, I would ask should conve- There is, I confess, a good deal of ludicrousness in the diences, commercial or personal, be witbbeld, when they idea of Congress roaming over the country in search of obcan be so easily supplied by the Government The gen- jects of this kind; but that they should be brought to its tleman himself admitted, if I rightly understood bim, tbat view by applicants or petitioners, is a mode of proceeding the money of the treasury was collected imperceptibly quite too common to excite risibility. from the people: if so, the complaint upon this score is The gentleman thinks that, upon a fair division of ten rather imaginary than real

. I will venture toaffirm that millions of dollars among the States, the share of Virginia the advantages of this road, should it be constructed, will would be one million; yet, he says some portion of its inbe something more than a phantom of the imagination. habitants (the people of Norfolk) felt great joy when the Besides this view of the subject, I repeat, that funds far United States subscribed one hundred and fifty thousaud more than necessary for the ordinary purposes of the Go- dollars to the Dismal Swamp canal stock, as if they had, vernment will flow is upon us, and that we must make through the mere bounty of Congress, got something that some disposition of them.

did not belong to them. The gentleman agaia said, that this system of distribut- Now, upon looking over the ideas here conveyed by my ing the public money was unequal in its operation, and collengue, the inference is to be drawn, that, instead of one therefore unjust. Now, it would appear to me that if this ob- hundred and fifty thousand dollars, one million ought to jection be sound, a system of internal improvements could have gone to Virginia. The idea seems not to have been not be sustained, either by the State, this, or any other Go- present in his mind when this train of reflection entered, vernment, for the objection certainly lies as strongly against that from ten to twelve millions, and upwards, have been it in one place as another. Sir, all civilized nations admit annually consumed by the national debt. He seems to the importance of internal improvements. An have prac bave proceeded upon the idea that there bad been an antised, to some extent, under the principle of their import- nual fund of ten millions to be distributed among the peo: ance; and shall we now be told, that, because in construet- ple. If this had been the case, the people of Norfolk would ing them we cannot distribute the money ernployed upon have been miserable dupes indeed, to have exulted because them with perfect equality among the people, we must their State had got ope lundred and fifty thousand dollars, abandon thiem altogether?

when it was in fact eptitled to ove million. Such, however, Sound policy requires that the most important improve was not the fact. The people got a hundred and fifty ment should be selected, with due regard to national ad- thousand dollars through the favor of Congress, rather than vantage, including equality of distribution of money, 80 because, at that time, Virginia bad any particular claim to far as practicable, as well as every other fair consideration, a dividend from the treasury. and nothing more.

My honorable colleague was pleased, in the course of Perfect equality in the distribution of the public money bis eloquent speech, amongst other things, to direct our is not expected-is pot possible.

attention to old Rome, once the proudest city of the world. I do not feel the force of this remark of my colleague, He asked, where is Rome, with all its splendid aqueducts, that exactions and contributions should be equal. towers, and temples-Rome, tbat once urged its conquests

How equal ? Literally and arithmetically? If be mean almost to the Ganges ? Aye, and where are the Romans that they shall be literally and arithmetically equal, then I themselves, who built these splendid works! They, too, take issue with him, and without an argument will submit are gone. They were the workmanship of the Deity, yet the question to the decision of this House. If he mean, they have perished. Could mortality impart immortality? as I presume be does, that the constitution requires only No. Atbeng, Rome, and Carthage once were, but now practicable equality in public exactions and contributions, they are not. The reflection is melancholy; but it is irrethen I will content that in the construction of 10 work sistible. The time will come when our beloved republic which can be selected, would a more equal distribution of will live only in history. It is the common fate of all the people's money be made among them, than in the con- things beneath the sun. But I do trust, that, under the struction of the proposed road. Exaction-as that is a blessings of a kind Providence, ages upop ages will run term which belongs to the tariff, a matter which the gen- their ample round ere it will be asked, where, now, is the tleman declined to discuss-I shall permit it to sleep up- once splendid republic of North America ? dieturbed.

As the downfall of no Government, heretofore, is to be The gentleman said it would be unjust, after he and ad- ascribed to its improvements, there can be no just cause other had, with great nicety, weighed out each one bun- to apprehend such a consequence from such a cause in fudred pounds, in gold scales, as contributions to the Go- ture. Sir, let gentlemen say what they may, it will, neververament, that that other person should take the whole theless, remaid an unshaken truth, that internal improvesum, and appropriate it to his exclusive use.

ments are a source of wealth and prosperity to a nation. I should certainly not differ with my colleague in opi- A well regulated system of internal improvements will, nion here. I will, however, ask the gentleman how be ap I doubt not, be found to be orie of the most efficient ligaplies the remark to this bill? It may mean something, if ments of our Union, whilst it will give no just ground for it be taken as referring to the tariff; but I do not under the apprehension of consolidation, and a destruction of the stand it in its bearing upou the proposed road The two State sovereignties. or three millions which will be expended upou this road, If destruction shall come upon our Union, (which God should it be made, will, instead of going into the hands of forbid !) it will be alike to me wbether the fault shall have one or a few, be scattered amongst thousands.

been with the Federal Government, or the State GovernThe gentleman, as if willing to defeat this bill by any ments. Disunion is the dreaded result. It may as readily honorable means, bere ridiculed the idea of applieants happen from the ill-devised measures and ill-timed opposicoming before Congress from all quarters of the Union, tion of the State Governments, as from similar causes for internal improvements--some with propositions for ua springing out of the action of the General Government. tional improvements--some with propositions for more Both sides should be alike careful to avoid this resultnational improvements, and some with propositions for both animated with a spirit of conciliation and forbearance. most national improvements. Sir, there is nothing in Mr. RAMSEY suid, he did not mean to detain the comthis conceit at all ludicrous or ridiculous in my mind. Immittee long, nor did he intend to enter upon the constituprovements of all these several degrees of nationality be- tionality of the power of Congress to make the road coning submitted to Congress, from which to make selections, templated by the bill. I said Mr. R.) consider that ques. it is to be inferred that the selections will be made from tion eettled long since. I go upon the expediency of the that class devominated most oational.

measure. The road proposed by the bill runs about mid

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