« AnteriorContinuar »
APRIL 12, 1830.)
Kentucky Deaf and Dumb Asylum.
(H. of R.
officer, after a careful examination of the law, was of opi- and to which reference had been made by the gentleman, nion that it permitted the location of the land in tracts of I had nothing to do with the present bill. The land bad a smaller size than an entire township, and they made i been granted them under condition that it should be sold their locations accordingly. But still within some of the within five years. For reasons which had been very fully sections, there were settlements which had indeed been explained, the trustees would not be able to comply with abandoned, but whose owners, not having removed from this condition. The gentleman had contended that a furthe territory, were entitled to pre-emption. Finding such ther delay would be injurious to the territory; and bad to be the case, the trustees were under the necessity of affirmed, that, at the end of another five years, the land, applying to Congress; and, in 1827, a law was passed pro- instead of being worth five dollars, as at present, would viding that the incorporated Deaf and Dumb Asylum probably be worth twenty. Now, if Congress, iu its beof Kentucky shall have the power, under the direction of nevolence, bad seen fit to grant a tract of land to the most the Secretary of the Treasury, of locating so much of the unfortunate of the human race, would any gentleman op township of land granted to the said institution, as has that floor say that the guardians of these deaf and dumb been taken by the claims of those who are entitled to the children should be compelled to sell their land for five right of pre-emption in the Territory of Florida, under dollars, when they might get twenty? Surely not. The the provisions of the act aforesaid, which shall be located fact, if it was as the gentleman supposed, was the very in sections upon any unappropriated and upreserved lands best reason, not against, but in favor of the bill. It would in either of the Territories of Florida or Arkansas." not take long, however, to prove that, if compelled to sell Leave to re-locate being thus obtained, they located once now, they could not get five dollars an acre, or any thing more; but the true position of the boundary live between like it. What individual, sir, ever received an adequate Florida and Alabama not being then accurately known, price for his property, if compelled to sell within a limited it happened, as he was informed, that a considerable part period? Is he not forced to sacrifice it himself, or allow of the land bad unintentionally been located within the the officer of the law to do it? My observation through State of Alabama. The mistake being discovered, a new life points out at this moment no exception. The speculalocation had to be made. In the mean time, to add yet tor, always heartless and vigilant, is waiting with impa. further to the impediments and difficulties they had to tience for one thus embarrassed and pressed. He listeus contend with, their ngent died; by which several months' to no argument addressed to bis sympathy or bis justicefurthe delay was occasioned. At length, however, the Du appeal that necessity compels the sale, and therefore be entire amount of the land granted was located in such a ought to give a fair consideration. No, sir, that is the very manner, lie believed, as not to interfere with any improve- kind of case he has been anxiously looking for; and, prompt. ments of the settlers. Sales were effected as before re-ed by his cupidity, he will ruin the seller for the sake of marked, until all that portion of the land, or nearly so, his own gain. And would not this be the fact in reference which lay within the limits of the settlement, was disposed to the lauds given to the Kentucky Deaf and Dumb Asyof; but, for the residue lying without the settlement, there lum, if forced into the market ? Would they uot be sacriWas at present no demand.
ficed? Could any gentleman seriously suppose, that, if it Mr. K. said that the trustees had no wish to impose op was known to all the buyers, that the land must be sold or the people of Florida, nor did they ask to retard the settle forfeited within a given time, they would offer five dollars meat of the territory; but, on the other hand, they were an acre for it? One would underbid, and another would
unwilling to be forced into the bands of speculators. The underbid, and finally the object of the benevolence of the i question for the House now to determine was, whether Government would be completely defeated. The institu
these unfortuuute deaf and dunb childreu, to wbom the tion is going on prosperously; it sustained a high characGoverument had extended the band of beneficence, should ter, and promised very extensive utility. All it asked, was be defrauded of the boou by a sacrifice of the land intend- for a little time. Its property was rising, and would soon ed for their benefit. The institutive was of a highly inte-command a respectable price. If the sale were compelled resting character, and had a stroug claim on the hunianity at present, the land must necessarily fall into the hands of of all who could pity the destitute. It was at present in a speculators; and how would the Territory of Florida be prosperous condition, supplied with instructors of the first benefited by the change? The speculators would not be abilitier, and in circumstances to receive and educate per- compelled to settle the land, and would be sure to keep haps all the deaf and dumb children in the western States. it up for higher prices. Florida would not be settled any He trusted the House would intepose its aid, and shield sooner in the one case than in the other. If, however, the children of its own benefactor from so great an injury, gentlemen were desirous of defeating their own bepevoby rejecting the motion for postponement, and putting the leuce, all they. bad to do, was to vote for the motion of bill in a train for its final passage, by ordering it to its postponement, and then the greedy speculator would third reading.
carry away the patrimony of these poor deaf and dumb Mr. VINTON having made a few remarks in support of children. Why should the House refuse to extend the the bill,
time for sale? If ten years instead of five, bad been asked Mr. SPEIGHT, of North Carolina, moved to lay it upon in the first instance, the ove period would have been as the table.
readily granted as the other. The trustees had proved Mr. LETCHER begged the gentleman to withdraw that their willingness to sell for they bad actually sold twomotion, as it was highly important to the prosperity of the thirds of the land. Why not allow them the requisite institution that no further delay should occur. He hoped time to dispose of the residue it was not the wish of any gentleman to do it an irrepara Mr. L. said, he had no personal motive in supporting the ble injury. The bill must pass now or never. It would bill; the institution was not within his district; but he was occupy the time of the House but a very few minutes. acquainted with its condition, he kuew it to be well conMr. SPEIGHT withdrew his motion.
ducted, and to enjoy a high reputation. It was filled with inMr. LETCHER then said that he regretted to see his teresting youth, whose unfortunate privation bespoke for friend from Florida making such strenuous opposition to them the compassion of every benevolent heart. Thę this small bill; and he was persuaded that the source of gentleman from Florida, however, was unwilling to pass that gentleman's hostility was to be attributed to feeling this bill, because there were other bills on the table conand to over-anxiety, lest some injury might happen to his taining grants of a similar character. But if that were the territory, rather than to any solid reasons. The difficulties case, when those bills should come up, the gentleman which had occurred beretofore in the location and sale of could oppose them if he felt it to be his duty, but ought the land granted by Congress to the Kentucky institution, not to urge bis expectation of other, bills as an argument
H. OF R.)
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
(APRIL 12, 1830.
against this one. A more reasonable and unexceptionable I lation within the last fifteen years of our history. Instead request than that of the trustees of this institution could of now being confined to an equitable adjustment of our not be made, and he felt perfectly confident it would be exterior relations—instead of now being confined to the unhesitatingly granted by the House.
transaction of our public business, and to the liquidation Mr. VINTON said that he hoped the bill would pass. of private claims against the Government-instead of be. He could not think with the gentleman from Florida, that ing limited exclusively to measures designed for the comthere was reason to apprehend the institution to which the mon defence, or for the advancement of the general welland in question belongs would attempt to hold up its land fare-instead of having the legislative action of Congress from sale, so as to avail itself of an enhanced price by that confined to objects of this character-instead of giving meaus. It must be recollected, this was a charitable insti- heed to those things which shall, in effect, advance the tution, and, like all such institutions in this country, pre great interests of the republic of this wbole republicsumed to be in want money. The land was in a state instead of providing ways and means to extinguish our of nature, and situated in advance of the settlements; it is, national debt, and to secure a revenue, for the further therefore, quite apparent that the institution can never purpose of defraying the necessary expenditures of the clear up and cultivate this land, so as to make it produc-Government-it would seem that, within the period named, tive of revenue. As long the land remained unsold, it the legislation of Congress has, to an alarming extent, must be dead and unproductive property. It will, there been directed to local and limited objects. It would seem fore, always be the interest of the institution to sell this that the course of our modern legislation has been for the land, when and as fast as it can be disposed of at its fair protection of the few, to the injury of the many; and from * value, and for less than that it ought not to be compelled the numerous avd multifarious applications which have to part with its property. It can never be the interest of flooded in upon us since the commencement of the pre & the institution to bold up the land, and pay the taxes that sent session, to appropriate portions of the common fund 2 would be assessed upon it: as I uuderstand the gentleman to objects of local and internal improvement, it would like from Kentucky, [Mr. Kincaid) the grant will be forfeited, seem to be the order of the day, that we should sit here, unless the residue op band is disposed of within a twelve- as session justices--receive petitions for new highways, month from now; and that about eight thousand acres -hear the reasons for and against-pass judgment there the remain unsold. Now, sir, every day, and every hour, on; and should the contemplated improvement begin in diminishes the value of this land to its present owners. one, and end in another State, we are at once to give it a There are millions of acres of land, both public and pri- the name of national-send forth our brigade of engineers, vate, beyond any present demand for settlement, in mar- to mark and survey, and to return to us a profile of the ket, in Florida and every part of the westeru and south improvement. western sections of the United States. Many gentlemen Such proceedings are not unfrequent in my own region on this floor, from those sections, who are proprietors of of country: tbey in truth, constitute almost exclusively uncultivated lands, very well know that an individual who the jurisdiction of the session courts in New England." at was obliged to dispose of eight thousand acres of wild land But, in my judgment, they illy comport with the dignity, in the short period of a year, would necessarily be com or accord with the legitimnate action of Congress. The pelled to sacrifice nearly the full value of his property. little excitement which was manifested the other morning This institution can do no more than an individual, to effect while this bill was under discussion, when it was proposed sales op fair terms. It is therefore obvious, that, unless by one gentleman to change the route so as to pass the we grant the time proposed by the bill, which he thought other side of the mountain; by another, to confine the course quite little enough, the property of this charitable and to the metropolitau route; and, when it was suggested by humane institution would fall a prey to speculators, who a third that he could not, as much as he loved bis constituwould buy on their own terms, perhaps for one or two enla, through whose territory the road was intended to dollars per acre, laud which, from the remarks of the pass, “go for the whole hog," that he must stop at gentleman from Florida, there is reason to think may be Memphis-it could not fail to bring to mind the events worth ter or twenty times that amount.
which ordinarily happen whenever applications are made Mr. WHITE briefly replied to Mr. LETCHER and Mr. for the laying out of new roads, especially when such col VINTON,
templated improvements would, in effect, divert the pubMr. ISACKS was in favor of the bill, but thought the lic travel from the doors of our early settlers; on this subtime naked was longer than necessary; and moved to re-ject, more than on any other, the people are peculiarly duce the proposed extension to three, instead of five years. sensitive; and the scramble over the way satisfied my mind,
Mr. DANIEL opposed the amendment, and supported most conclusively, of this fact, that each of the parties litithe bill.
gant conscientiously believed that this great national road, The question was put successively on the amendment to give it a more perfect national character, should pass and the indefinite postponement, and both motions were directly through his own national district. The gentlenegatived by large majorities.
men were not prepared to go quite so far as a very honest Mr. WHITE then moved an amendment, to provide but zealous yankee did on a certain occasion, when an apthat the lands should be liable to taxation as private lands; plication had been presented to the propery authority for which motion was also negatived; and
à new road, and which if established, would divert the traThe bill was ordered to a third reading, by a large ma. vel from his own door: he declared its impolicy in the most jority.
emphatic manner, by alleging that, starting from the given The House again went into Committee of the Whole; point, and travelling either north or south, east or wost, Mr. Haynes in the cbair, on the
you must pass his own habitation. No, the gentlemen who
were engaged in asserting the clainis of their favorite BUFFALO AND NEW ORLEANS ROAD BILL.
routes, were not quite so extravagant as my own country. Mr. MERCER rose, and spoke two hours in continua. man. But, from what was then heard, from what was tion and conclusion of the speech which he commenced then seen, from what is invariably beard and seen on simiin support of the bill when it was last under consideration. lar occasions, we are forced to say, “0, judgment, thou
Mr. HUBBARD said, it must have occurred to every art fled." The various plans of the parties concerned individual who had observed the course of proceedings in could not fail to impress our minds, that, starting from the Congress of the United States since the adoption of our Buffalo, going east, southeast, southwest, or south, or, constitution, that a most important and somewhat extraor. according to the mighty project of my friend ]Mr. Richdinary change had taken place in the character of its legis- | ARDSON] from Massachusetts, going northeast to the waters
APRIL 12, 1830.]
[H. or R. of Champlain, still we should be conducted on the great from Massachusetts, he can never expect the co-operation national road from the northern and the western lakes to of the intelligent yeomapry of New England. They will the Gulf of Mexico, from Buffalo to New Orleans. Yes, not be deceived. They can never yield their assent to a it does seein, from what has transpired, that we are here measure of so great and so gross injustice as the one now after to be constituted as the great road court of the coun- under consideration. They never will voluntarily agree try; and whenever a new highway shall be wanted in any to such an inequitable distribution of the common fund, oue of the States of this Union, which may, by chance, as is provided by the present bill, or even as would be accommodate an itinerant eitizen from another State, it is at provided by the bill with the gentleman's amendment. once to receive the baptismal Dame of natiounl, and thus Let us examine with some minuteness the plan of the be presented to our consideration; and with such an im- gentleman from Massachusetts, and see whether New Eng. posing character, (judging from what has taken place,), it land should give her aid for the road from Buffalo to will not fail to receive the deliberate and successful atten- New Orleans, with the belief that this contemplated addition of Congress. I should not have submitted any re- tion would be of the least practical advantage to a single marks to the committee on this subject, did I not feel con- State within her borders. Whether, in truth, if the whole strained by a sense of duty, a duty which I owe to my plan of the gentleman could be perfected, it would not constituents, to state, most distinctly, the reasons which hereafter operate to our detriment, at some future period have induced ine, and I presume my colleagues
, to vote of our history, when our surplus revenue shall be divided agaiost the bill which has already passed, making appro. among the several States upon principles of justice and priations for the Cumberland road ; and which will iuduce equity--will it not then be said, that the national road of me to vote against the bill now under consideration. Be- the gentleman from Massachusetts has swallowed up the fore. I proceed to state my objections to this bill, I must portion of New England ? Believing, as I do, that for no ask the indulgence of the committee for a few minutes. national purpose whatever can a new and independent while I advert to some of the reasons which were urged way be wanted from Buffalo to Boston-believing, as I do, by my worthy friend from Massachusetts (Mr. RICHARD that the constructiou of such a road would not add to the SON] in favor of the measure, If I rightly understood that existing facilities of communication in any point of view gentleman, this project had his support; that his feelings I cannot consent to tax my constituents with such an unwere warmly eulisted in its favor, not on account of its necessary expenditure of the public treasure, even within own intrinsic merits, but for the reason that it might and the territorial limits of New England. It would be a mea
would lead to other improvements nearer and of more iv. sure of great inexpediency, and to New England herself i terest to him and his constituents, and wbich could not fail the height of impolicy. Her doctrine now is, ever bas
to secure New England influence in favor of this system been, and ever will be-waste not the common fund, of internal improvements. And the gentleman, with great but mete out to her and to every section of the Union the sagacity, and with his usual force, for the purpose of get- measure of equal justice. She asks no more at your ting op a New England excitement favorable to this pro- bands ; with less she ought not to be, and vever will be, ject, and for the purpose of securing the votes of her dele- willingly satisfied. I could not bave supposed it possible gation in favor of this measure, proposes to connect with that any individual, with a knowledge of the existing facilithe project now under consideration, a plan for extending lies of communication between the interior and the marthe road from Buffalo to the waters of Champlain, and ket of New England, could have conceived the idea of from thence to the great market town in New England. constructiug a new national road at the cost and charge And the gentleman has gravely told us that a road of such of the United States, from Boston to Lake Champlain,
extensive dimensions, passing from New Orleans, by the and from Champlain to Buffalo. It looks to me like one i vay of Buffalo and Champlain, to the city of Boston, of the most extravagant fantasies that ever entered the
through not less than twelve States of this Union, would head of the most extravagant enthusiast. The present exibe so national in its character, so grand in its object, of gency of the country for any national purposes does not such vast importance in a commercial and in a military call for such a road. If such a road was at this moment
point of view to the country, that it would be so conducive well constructed and made, it could not, in the nature of á to the counmou defence and the general welfare of the re things, tend to increase the commercial intercourse, or to
public, that he should feel constrained with all his heart, augment the facilities of communication between those two strength and mind, to give to such a mighty measure his points. There is but little difference between the latitudes most unqualified support.
of Buffalo and Boston. And establish railroads, or any If the gentleman had been a little more comprehensive other facilities of communication, from Lake Erie to Bosin bis extended plan, he might possibly bave hushed, in ton; give thein, if you please, the imposing name of naevery part of New England, the silent murmur of discon- tional ways, and you could not then induce the farmer, tent. If, after winding through Vermont, he had passed destined to market with the produce of his farm, to cross down the banks of the Connecticut, by Hartford, to say the Hudson. No; when he arrives there, he well kuows brook, and from thence had continued a metropolitap route that, in twelve hours, be can be conveyed to the largest by Newport and Providence to Boston; if the gentleman and to the best market in our country, by the safest, most had enlarged his plan by establishing one other branch, direct, and most expeditious way and mode. And as soon passing from the lake to the Connecticut, thence through would you find fire in ice, as find the farmer of Buffalo the White Hills to Portland, and from thence on a metro- travelling on the gentleman's national road, with his pigs politan route through Portsmouth to Boston, he would and his poultry, to the market of New England. Men have added three more States of the Union to his number, never will voluntarily act against their own interest. The
and the plan would have been so national in its character Erie and the Champlain canals, and the waters of the Hud✓ and in its object, would so much increase the facilities for son, have brought the market of New York near to the
commercial intercourse, would so essentially aid the mili- farmers of the northern and the western lakes; and it tary operations of the country, would so directly contri- would not happen, that such an intelligent and sagacious bute to expediting the conveyance of the public mail, that, body of people as.com pose the farming interests in those if the gentleman is not mistaken in his doctrine, every regions of country, would ever transport their produce Yaokee voice io New England would be loud and clamor- from the Hudson, two hundred miles, either over railoos in favor of this mighty scheme. But, if the gentle- roads or national roads, to the market of New England. man has erected his superstructure op a sandy foundation, But this is not all. The gentleman must, according to his it will ultimately fall. If reason and if fact stand oppos- scheme. leave the westem canals the great bighway of ed to the improvement contemplated by the gentleman the western country--and wind his way through the inte
H. or R.)
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
[APRIL 12, 1830.
rior of New York; and, if he designs to find the waters ; If a portion is to be dealt out to my own State, New of Champlain at Plattsburg, he would carry us in a north- Hampshire should direct and control its expenditure. It eastern direction, into the northeast county, and almost to is not in her heart to desire any unnecessary, any useless the northeast corner of that State. In such an excursive expenditure of the common property, even if that expenrange, he would assuredly lose his point of compass ;' he diture should be made within her own territory. No such would find himself two degrees, at least, north of his line. sentiment, no such feeling exists among the people of that But the gentleman, probably, goes on this principle, that granite State. The general welfare is ber text and her the more circuitous the route, the more national the object. commentary. It is perfectly true that the country cangot From Plattsburg the gentleman would undoubtedly traps, boast of better roads, roads wrought with her own hands, port us across the lake, od floating bridges, to Burlington; than are now to be found in the very route and over the from thepce, on bis national road, by Onion river, to Mont- very ground hereinbefore described; and which route pelier; from thence, by White river, to Hartford, in Ver- must have entered the imagination of the gentleman, when mont; and from thence, by Concord, in New Hampshire, he conceived his grand national project. to Boston.
If I am mistaken in the contemplated plan of my friend This looks well on paper, it sounds well in story; it may from Massachusetts—if it is his purpose to strike the waters bave entered the imaginations of some of the most zealous of Champlain at Whitehall
, and wind his way through friends of internal improvement within the limits of New Vermont to the banks of Connecticut, near my own native England. It may, for aught I know, be among the nu- village, and from thence to the market of New England, merous plans in contemplation, upon which the surplus I would merely suggest that all that I have said in relation revenue, the property of all, the common fund of the da- to the inexpediency and impolicy of the measure, on the tion, is hereafter to be expended. But, mark my word : porthern route, will apply with equal force to the course the warmest supporters of these measures will never live last alluded to. It is well known that, from the Connecto see a road constructed and supported by this Govern- ticut river, through this section of New Hampshire and ment from Buffalo to Boston. Some New England gen. Massachusetts, every facility is already furnished, at the tlemen may honestly believe that it may take place; some exclusive charge of those States, for the transportation of gentlemen may sincerely wish it. But for one I am incre. the farmer's produce, for the accommodation and comfort dulous. The jofluence of New England never bas, and of the traveller, as far as the construction and completion never can be successfully exerted in obtaining appropri- of good roads can furnish such facilities. The present exiations from the common fund for the purpose of accom- gencies of the country do not call for this improvement plishing local objects of internal improvement within her through those sections of New England. And her influown limits. If considerations of interest should control my ence should not be enlisted in favor of the bill before us, vote on this question, as one of the delegation from New from the idea that the contemplated amendment of the Evgland, as one disposed to look to ber interest, I should gentleman from Massachusetts will be adopted. The true feel constrained to oppose, in every shape, the appropriation policy of those in New England who are the devoted of the public money for local purposes. But other consid- friends of a system of internal improvements, most clearly erations in connexion, which I shall take the liberty soon is, a just and equal distribution of the common fund, upon to suggest, have produced on my mind the conviction that the principle of representation, to be expended under the I have no right to put my hand into the public treasury, direction of the States. This would give to her equal rights. and draw from thence, for particular and local objects, any Without this, New England never can, and never will
, portion of the public fund, the property of all, without the bave meted out to her a full measure of justice. The existconsent of all.
ing state of her roads, and the existing facilities for internal I have said that the expectations, the bopes of the gen- communication, forbid tbe idea ; and her delegation, look. tleman from Massachusetts would never be realized. And ing solely to her interests, would do well, in my judgment, why! For this plain, this forcible reason : there does not to oppuse every appropriation for improvements in any exist any necessity for this great and contemplated im-one State, without an equitable appropriation, upon the provement. The condition of the highways from the lakes principle just stated, to the other mensbers of the Union. to the ocean forbids the idea that millions of the public In New Hampshire, not a dollar of the common fund has treasure will be expended in effecting improvements not ever beeu expended in the construction of her public absolutely required by the exigencies of the country. No, roads. The people of that State have, by their own voif we can, and if we will, go on in appropriating money, or luntary contributions, established and made every road parts of the public domain, for local and particular objects, within her limits. I have said that these roads are wrought the West and the Southwest will be ready, with open arms by the voluntary contribution of the people. The remark and with irresistible claims, for years yet to come, to re- needs explanation. ceive all that can be spared from your public treasury: The members of the town corporations in New HampIt will be said, and be said with effect, wben the proposed shire-the purest democracies in the known world—assemamendment of my friend from Massachusetts shall be under ble at stated periods, with equal rights and equal priviconsideration, that Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massa- leges. The man who has attained the age of twenty-one chusetts have already anticipated the Government, that years, whether he be or not the owner of property, has their roads are already well made.
the same political power as the richest of his neighbors. You do not, as might be imagined from the character of Apd, at these primary meetings, composed of the people, the proposition, and from the remarks of the gentleman who are most emphatically the true sovereigns of tbis part from Massachusetts, after crossing the waters of the north of our country, money is voluntarily voted, for the poreru lake, pass into a trackless wilderness. No; but you pose of making and repairing public highways, and for the find a highly cultivated country; a rich, a prosperous, and further and worthy object of instructing and educating the ao enterprising people; men who know the value of your rising generation. For these and for all other purposes neinstitutions; men who have fought for your liberties; men cessary for the well being of society, the people freely vote who are patriots, not in word but in deed; men who bave, to tax themselves. In this way, not less than two hundred by their own, pecuniary, and pbysical means, constructed thousand dollars is annually raised in New Hampshire, for as fine “pational” roads from the lake to the ocean, as the making and repairing of their public roads. In this honest hearts could desire, as faithful bands bave ever way, but little less than a like amount is annually raised wrought. And, unless I greatly misjudge, the good people for the support of her free schools. And the money is of my own State would not wish to have the common fund not only raised, but it is most faithfully applied and exappropriated in the furtherance of such a project that I pended; and,“ year following year," the people reap their
APRIL 12, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
(H. OF R.
reward, in the intproved condition of their public ways|jects. I know full well that such allusions and compariand in the improved state of those who shall come after sons should not be made on this floor; but I could not let them. In New Hampshire, the cultivators are generally the suggestion of the gentleman from Virginia pass unnothe owners of the soil. Her practical husbandmen are the ticed. I should feel unwilling to have that gentleman supyeomaury of ber State. Her citizens are not less distinc pose that New Hampshire has bad any portion of the comguished for their babits of industry thau for the purity of mon fuod meted out to her for any purpose of internal their patriotism.
improvement lo the manner I have slated, by the application of our I cannot but regard the improvement of our harbors and own means, have all the improvements in the roads and navigable rivers, the erection of light-bouses and of break.' canals in New Hampshire been made; and it cannot be waters, as 80 essentially connected with the commerce of supposed that I would be silent, with a knowledge of these the country, from wbich we derive the greater portion of facts, and see drawn, indirectly from the pockets of my our revenue, as objects falling clearly within the legitimate fellow-citizens, appually, the enormous tax of two hundred action of Congress, under the express power given by the thousand dollars, (which I will attempt soon to explain,) constitution to regulate commerce. I cannot but regard for the purpose of constructing new roads in Pennsylvania, fortifications and military roads as so essentially connected Virginia, and Carolina, three of the oldest sisters in the with the common defence, and with the general welfare, confederacy:
as objects properly claiming our consideration. For all No, I feel myself called upon most solemnly to protest such objects, I bave felt myself bound, as I would contriagainst a measure of so gross injustice. True it is, that bute to promote the common defence and advance the geVirginia has been first and foremost in opposing this en-neral welfare, to give my support. And in favor of every croachmeut on constitutional right. True it is, that a ma- auch measure, during the present session, my vote bas jority of her delegation will stand forth now in opposition freely been given. Beyond this I cannot go, consistently to the measure before us. But it is no less true, that the with my own views of the constitutional powers of Copbill contemplates the construction of this national road gress, and consistently with my regard to that sacred printhrough a portion of her territory. Whether with or with ciple of strict and impartial justice to each member of the out her consent, I know not. But my argument is, if this confederacy in the distribution of the common fund. road is wanted for any public purpose-if it is necessary
Until shall believe that general and particular--nalet Virginia follow the example of New Hampshire. Let tional and sectional-limited and unlimited-reserved and
this road, within ber limits, be made by her own pecuniary unreserved, are synonymous terms, I can never yield my 1
and physical means. And whenever such a necessity sball | assent to a construction of the constitution, by which in
exist–whenever the exigencies of the country shall require strument authority is expressly given to Congress to pro1
a new and continuous national road from the seat of Go-vide for the general welfare ; that this power is legitivernment to New Orleans—there can be no doubt, from mately exercised by Congress, io appropriating any porthe course which Virginia has heretofore taken, that she tion of the public property for local purposes.
I can will construct this road, within her own limits, unaided by never yield my assent to the doctrine, that a road from the General Government
Buffalo tu Washingtou is a national road; that a road from The gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. ARCHER] who ad- Washington to New Orleans is a national road; or that a E dressed the committee a few days since, remarked, that if continuous road from Boston, by the northern and west
any appropriations were to be made for purposes of inter- ero lakes, by the seat of Government to New Orleans, is a nal improvement, they should be given to the West. I national road. It cannot deserve such a name, unless
do not stand here to make any sectional distinctions; I do be necessary to the common defence of the country; or V not inteod to controvert that point with the gentleman unless it be clearly productive of the general welfare
from Virginia ; it is enough for me to know, that on this the welfare, not of a part, but of the whole republic. In question we shall act in unisou ; but I would wish to put my judgment, such a description of highways alone merits the gentleman right. As far as it respects the State which the name of national roads. Nor can I conceive that any I, in part, represent, the remark is unjust
. I have here partial expenditure of the common fund, for local objects, inbefore stated, what is strictly true, that not a dollar of can bave any tendency to rivet more strongly the various the public money has ever been expended in the construc- members of the confederacy-to cement more firmly the tion of her ronds. No such remark can with truth be ap- great boud of national union. No, sir, in my humble judg. plied to the western States. True, in New Hampshire, ment, a totally different effect will be the consequence of a light-house has been built near the outlet of the barbor, such partial and limited legislation. It is admitted that the at Portsmouth ; a measure which was of all importance to ingenuity of man has never yet produced a better form of the safety of our public as well as of our private ships. government than our own; and that no government could True, a navy-yard has been established within her limits, be devised, better calculated to subserve the great interests and wisely and judiciously established ; and if it were ne of the American people. And, sir, it may with great processary to show this, I think I should find little difficulty io priety and truth be said, that no people bave ever enjoyed satisfying this committee, that, notwithstanding the bewil- more real happiness—more rational liberty, than the peodering fogs which at tiines hover over our sea coast, the ple of this republic; and may it not be urged, that this eujoy. Davy-yard at Portsmouth, considering its perfect security, ment of freedom, in which the American people have bithand the entire safety of that harbor, should be sustained. erto so largely participated, has been the result of confining Yet, sir, this pittance, if reports and rumors are to be re- our legislative operations within the pale of our written con
lied upon, is soon to be denied us. These works are ex- stitution ? that we have had with us our political fathers and s clusively national; they do not materially affect the State friends, who laid the foundation of this republio-to tell us ! in which they are located; works which were established the story of olden time to remind us what was granted and
with a proper view to the general welfare. And, while what was reserved by the people to warn us of the danger the western States have been permitted to carve liberally of giving any forced construction to the charter of our liberfrom the public domaio, for their benefit, the State of New ties, and to remind us to keep within its letter i No doubt, Hampshire has, unaided, managed ber own affairs in her sir, but the seasonable admonition of these early friends own way. While appropriations, exceeding in amount of the republic have had a most salutary effect-have inseven millions of dollars, have been made for the exclusive duced those who have come after them to rally round the advantage of the western States, New England has doue constitution of the country as the grand pillar of their liberber part in paying; but, with the exception of a few thou- ties, the only sure foundation of their political peace. tands to Maine, she has not received a dollar for local ob In the virtue and intelligence of the American people I