« AnteriorContinuar »
APRIL 13, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
(H. of R.
fect of their kinds, within the legitimate spheres of their enlargement, when there is no necessity for doing so. action, but utterly void when exteoded further; and that, There is no vecessity for it in this case--and I put this if we have the power to make roads, the assent of indivi- point home to every member of this committee. We are dual States is wholly unnecessary; but that, if we have not told that this Government is to go on making internal imsuch power, we cannot confer it on the several States provements all over the Union and that, after the pay. which have it already. On the question whether this Go-ment of the national debt, millions on millions, every year, vernment has such power, we have had much of argument are to be expended in this way. If so, what will the paand of authority. I have enough to do, on this occasion, tronage of the Executive come to! Or rather, what will without entering ninutely into a discussion of that point, it not be? Can the opponents of any administration ever which has been, however, and will incidentally be touched wish to see it possessed of such power? And no friend of in the course of my remarks. But I could not fail to notice his country ought ever to desire it for a President of his the pleasure with which the chairman of the Committee on own choice. But the gentleman over the way [Mr. MERRoads and Canals, and other gentlemen, have pressed on CER) has told us that there is no danger at all on the score our attention the sayings of certain great men (Jefferson, of patronage-and he says, that this system will give us Madison, and Monroe) concerning the advantages which opportunities of doing some good while we enjoy our might attend the exercise of such a power by this Govero- places on this floor, and tend to prevent members of ment. Yes, which might attend it, if not abused; but Congress from rupping to Executive bureaux in search of there is the danger. I have lived long enough, however, offices. I confess that I am at some lors to comprehend the to know how easy it is for the greatest men to throw out honorable gentleman's meaning. But I am apprised of obitur dicta, either as judges or politicians, not much to be his profitable experience on this subject, and doubt not regarded, even, by themselves, and often repudiated after that he might be able, from that, to inform us more fully more reflection aud greater experience. But if these say, how to provide for ourselves, so as effectually to prevent ings are of high authority as to expediency, I would ask the necessity of running to the bureau. It may be that gentlemen to reflect, if the argument as to power is not there are ways and means for getting such things done proportionally stronger against them, when these same in- and, possibly, that gentleman may understand, better than dividuals, and sometimes in the most solemo manner, with any other, how a member of Congress, by using extraorall their partiality for the power, have felt themselves con- dinary exertions to obtain from this Government a million strained to deny its constitutional existence, as claimed in of dollars or more for some project of internal improvethis bill. We bave no evidence that any of them ever ment, might get bimself into a berth worth fifteen hunchanged his opinion as to the power; but it is well known dred or two thousand dollars a year, in addition to his pay that Mr. Jefferson, at least, became perfectly satisfied here and thus be freed from the necessity of running to that the evils from exercising such a power would far over- a bureau to get au office worth less than the double busibalance the advantages. If no such power exists, this Go- dess of President of a Canal Board and member of Convernment ought to seek some other mode of attaining its gress. I am not satisfied, however, that such successful ends, continuing to act in its own sphere, and attending to adventures of members of Congress would tend much to its own business, without interfering with that of others, diminish the patronage, or any other evils which may have even by permission. But, whether it exists or not, it is a been apprehended. mistake to suppose that there are not very important dif Economy is another consideration which ought never to ferences, both in principles and details, between the plan be overlooked. No proposition, I take it, is better estaof the amendment and that of the bill.
blished, both by reason and experience, than that, with The bill proposes that this Government shall exercise equal means to accomplish a given work, the General Goentire and absolute control and jurisdiction over the whole verpment would be less economical than the State Governsubject. On the other band, the amendment contemplates, ments, and they, less than corporate companies, and they that when the General Government, for its own legitimate less than individuals. What the difference would be, can, purposes, shall desire an improved road in a particular di- of course, be only matter of conjecture, as the means of rection, it will indicate its wish to the State authorities, calculation are vague and contingent; but it is fair to supand offer the necessary funds on terms advantageous to pose that a third or a fourth would be saved by expending all. In this way neither Government would confer any the money under State authority, instead of this Governnew powers on the other. The State would not give its ment; or that the road would be in that proportion better, assent for the General Government to do that which was if any particular sum by the mile were applied to the to be done by itself; nor would this Government confer un work. But there is one feature of the amendment wbich the State any authority to do that which the State had an I consider peculiarly felicitous, in its tendency to economy, undoubted right to do before. In making and preserving security, and faithfulness generally, in the disbursement : such a road, any State would exercise precisely the same and that is the power of the President to withhold the powers as are in operation every day, and would use the subsequent instalmente, if the former should not be promoney from this Government precisely as if it had been perly applied. While the money would be expended upderived from any other source. On the other hand, this der the superior economy of State authorities, on an object Government would use the road as it now uses all the desirable to have accomplisbed, a resonable security for roads made by the States throughout the Union; and, in this Government, and restraint on others, would exist in its lawful operations, instead of using bad roads without the salutary supervision and conditional control of the pay, or improved ones by paying tolls as it now does, would President have given so much money for the free use forever of a It seems to me that, on the great points of jurisdiction, good road. As to jurisdiction, the whole community and patronage, and economy, the plan of the amendment is the respective Governments would stand precisely as they unquestionably preferable to that of the bill, and that, if do at this day, without any controversy whatever ou that the road is to be made, it had better be done under State subject, while the object of all would have been attained. authority. But as some gentleman still think, no doubt, Not only would all collisions
and difficulties as to jurisdic- that this bill may answer the purpose, I must ask their tion be obviated by the plan of the amendment, but that attention to sorns further particulars. This bill is a legispatronage, which is inseparable from the subject, would lative curiosits: It must be kept in mind that the Presiremain scattered in the hands of the State authorities, in- dent is directed to take “prompt and effectual measures" stead of being transferred and concentrated here. All to have the road made from one end of the United States agree that the patronage of the President is great, as it to the other. I beg to know what measures he is to take. now is; and I know of none, who ayowedly advocate its I cannot see; the bill does not tell us. Yet they are to be
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Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
[APRIL 13, 1830.
“prompt,” and such as shall be “effectual.”. We are to present road! In either way, the company's charter would pass the bill into a law; it is not to be controlled—its ope- be virtually repealed--a resort would be made to Virginis rations must not be stopped—the work must go on, regard to maintain those vested rights wbich she had given-and, lees alike of States, corporations, and individuals. A road let me tell gentlemen, she would maintain them. But, supmust be had by some means. But how? It is easy to make pose all other parts of this road should be completed, and one on paper ; but what is to be the process in praetice and ibe turnpikes not interfered with, then they might coureality? It is time to think of things as they are and will tipue to be in very inferior covdition, while their owners be in fact
. Can the President do any thing that we may would receive an enormous amount of tolls, in consequence choose to direct him, without our providing any of the or- of the general improvement of the road. dinary means ! Let me ask gentlemen how he will manage None of these consequences could be tolerated; and to condemn the lands of individuals for this road? How every gentleman will perceive at once how desirable it is be to call a jury to assess damages ! Not a syllable do would be to have those charters modified to suit the occawe find on this subject. All is to be done by the fiat of sion, as to the kind of road and the rate of tolls. But the President, who to go on, it would seem, and take the bow could it be done? Tbe General Government has no property without judge or jury. But the commissioners, right to grant such ebarters, and, of course, none to modify forsooth, are to make contracts with the owners of the them. The power to do so is not only omitted in the conlands. This is all very well, as far as it goes--but how far stitution, but it was expressly proposed in the convention, is that? It is said that the road will be about fifteen hud- and positively refused. Such a refusal to grant power bag dred miles long—and does any practical map suppose that always been regarded as conclusive against its exercise
, in the commissioners will be able to find all the owners of the the opinion of every sound expositor of the constitution, various tracts of land over which the road ought to run ? I am aware, sir, that this argument, as applied to various Most of the owners are, doubtless, near to the route of the parts of the proceedings of the convention, militates road; but who can tell where many others may be in dif- against the power of the General Government over the ferent parts of the Union, and in other parts of the world! subject of roads, far more than is necessary for my present If, however, they could all be found, I would next inquire purpose, which is to show that this Government cannot who they are, and what powers they have to make the interfere with these road charters, and that the State Go, contracts desired. Many of them, probably, would be vernments must be resorted to for such a purpose. ! laboring under some legal disability, of infancy, or cover would persuade gentlemen to leave the adjustment of ture, or insanity. Some of these difficulties might be ob these thropike charters to the State legislatures that made viated; but others might be absolutely insurmountable. Of them, and could modify them, according to such uh those who could be found, and would be capable of making derstandings with the compauies as might be easily obcontracts, there might be some inclined to charge exor- tained, with the means at command, if those legislatures bitant damages, and especially when no means were pro- bad the management of the road. There is a clause in vided for condemping the land at a fair price.
the proposed amendment, to save the rights of these corpo The ternis of this bill would require of the President to rations, and to give opportunity for an adjustment of them, do that which it might be impossible for him to perforin, beneficial to all; but no such provision either is or can be and would, probably, accumulate difficulties and expenses in the bill, on the principles involved in making the road utterly intolerable. But those which I have just suggested by this Government. would all be removed at once by adopting the amendment. If the plan of the amendment be so decidedly preferaThe State authorities are in the babit, as occasion may re- ble on the great points of jurisdiction, patronage, econo: quire, of condemping the lands of any person whatever my, the rights of individuals and of corporations, I would for the purposes of roads, and of paying the fair value, ask why it ought not to be adopted ! Will any gentleman without being imposed on—and they would exercise the say that it is not a practical plan! Why not? If any power for this road, as in any other case. It might be State has a right now to make a road, in its own territory, useful for the commissioners, as far as practicable, to re- where this Goverument desires one, as well as any where ceive from the owners, respectively, such statements
, i else, surely the right or power to do so will not be dimiwriting, as would show the amount of damages which dished by the aid of money from this Government; and, as they would be willing to receive ; and those statements, as far as the respective
States might be willing to perform far as they were reasonable, would be data for the
State the work, it is morally certain that it would be well done authorities.
in a reasonable time. The claims of individual owners of land,
however, are I have occasionally heard it suggested, however, that not all that must be adjusted on this road. Turnpike com- some one or more of the States might not be willing to panies bave
rights of peculiar and embarrassing character. accept of the proposition, and parts of the road might not How many there may be on the whole route . I do not know, be made. In the first place. I would
say, if the whole but enough to make fact supersede speculation, as there road would be worth the money advanced, part of it ought are certainly some at important places in the State of Vir- to be worth its proportional share. ginia on the route proposed in the bill
, at and near the of the road, I would ask the objector this plain question, Blue Ridge and the Allegbany mountain. Have gentle if he is prepared to vote for making it, by the direct acmen examined the extent of the duties and rights of these tion of this Government, through any State of this Union
, companies, what they are bound to perform, how much that might be opposed to the exercise of such a powerf they have expended,
to It might be well to reflect, too, that Virginia has a standing him with how much greater plausibility he could urge law for the State to subscribe part of the stock in such that it was “necessary and proper" to do so, after the recompanies--two-fifths, I think, after individuals shall have fusal of such State to execute the work under a fair pro taken three-fifths—and I am well informed
that she has position from this Government. But, if any State would such an interest in some of the very tropikes to which I refuse to accept the money, and make its own
part of the allude. Their roads are not in conformity with the one road, can it be supposed that the
same State would quiet proposed, and, in some respects, may be very inferior. ly acquiesce in its being done by this Government? The Of course, they would not come within the exceptions, or chances are certainly the other way, and I speak, escape the operations of this bill. How is the President degree, advisedly on this point. To this view of the mat to manage these parts of the concern! Shall be fix up an ter, sustained by facts which cannot be overlooked
, I opposition road hard by, at unnecessary and enormous ex- ask gentlemen, who really desire
this road, to reflect on pense ? Or shall be assume jurisdiction and control of the the choice which it will be most prudent for them to
As to the residue
APRIL 13, 1830.)
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
(H. OF R.
! make. On which side lies the probability of success road might be retarded by having it done under State au! And on which the strongest apprehension of danger ? thority, and that the President might begio the work up
To pass such a bill as that now under consideration der the bill before the legislatures could act on the subject, I would be nothing less, sir, than invoking a direct collision so as to make a material difference as to time, I have pro1 with some of the States of this Union. Have gentlemen cured authentic information to remove such an apprehenI forgot the quarters from which we have been admonished sion. If any gentleman supposes that this work would | not to exercise this power? Or are they determined to push be done in either way, in a few months, or even years, he ! on to extremities, regardless of the admonitions, and with is much mistaken ; aod it is proper to know the truth ou
out necessity? If they "love power and forget right," this point, whatever may be the effect. For that purpose, ! let them at least remember prudence. Sir, I will name I beg leave to read a note which I have received from the I no other State than my own-and I admit that her legis- Engineer Department. lature has not been entirely uniform in its resolutions; but
“ TopoGRAPHICAL BUREAU, į my colleagues cannot bave forgot that the very last one it I adopted on this subject, denies, most empbatically and
March 29, 1830. unequivocally, the power assumed in this bill. Tennessee Sir : In answer to Mr. Lea's letter of the 25th instant, 1 did right to deny ii, sir; and it will be for ber to determine which you referred to me, I have the honor to state, that, i when occasion may require her to maintain the position. taking into consideration the distance, the necessity that
As the constitution of this Union now stands, she onght the level should accompany the compass throughout, the I never to surrender the jurisdiction and control of her roads time lost by Sundays, wet weather, and accidents, the 1 to any Government on earth.
usual average of miles per day in doing such work in the I am willing that this Government shall always exercise field, in which a sufficient number of details will have to 1 fully and perfectly its lawful authority; but more than that be collected to form a correct basis for estimates and plans ! I cannot knowingly either assume or agree to, without of construction, and the usual time required in composing #detractiog from those rights which belong to that State the drawings of the survey and the reports, and tbat there
which has been my home through life. However much may be but three parties employed on the entire distance ! I may love the true Government of this Union, I yet have between Buffalo and New Orleans, I do not think it would 1 a stronger attachment to that of my own State. I take be safe to estimate, for the completion of this labor, less #pride in the name of American, but I glory more in the time than two years. name of Tennessean.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant, This General Government is well while acting as out
JOHN J. ABERT, posts to guard and defend our liberties; but my State is an
Lieutenant Col. and T. E.. important apartment in the citadel itself; and to that I am Gen. GRATIot, Chief Engineer U. S. A.” to retire in the last extremity, whenever the outposts shall From this letter it appears that, with three companies
yield to a foreign force, or shall turn themselves, and be of commissioners, the surveys and estimates would rei come assailanta.
quire two years. The bill proposes but one company : In the politics of this great Federal Republic, Tennessee and so, I presume, it would be six years before the work 19 my first love, and my last hope !
would begin, as the whole would have to be first survey I call on the friends of harmony and good order, gene-ed. It is said, however, that, in this particular, the bill is rally, to beware. I show them a plan of conciliation-a to be amended, so as to allow three companies. It seems way in which the object may be attained, without sending to me that it might be better to have niore. Wby not a our President on the Quixotic adventure of a tournament dozen ! The money would be scattered along the road so with some of the States. I am not disposed to engage the much the sooner ; and that, after all, I take to be the most
President of my choice in any such unnecessary and ha- persuasive argumeut in favor of the nationality of this and szardous business. His enemies may do so, if they choose. Other roads. I hope, however, that the surveys might be
I ask gentlemen why they are so pertinaciously opposed completed in time for the legislatures of 1832 to act on the Hi to altering this bill. There must be something more in- subject.
volved than the particular road in question. They go for I have a few words to say concerning the kind of road principle, forsooth; but they ought to remember that contemplated. It will be obsefved that my amendment others, also, have some regard for principle, and cannot adopts the same kind, and same price, proposed in the go with their neighbors beyond certain' bounds, while bill. I was desirous that the principle should be fairly
those neighbors bave no necessity for going so far. They tested, and was unwilling that the amendment should caren contend for the right of this Goverument to make roads, ry heavier weight in the race. But I would not, there
and seem determined to exercise it, even without necessi- fore, have it understood that I am satisfied with that sort ty, and in defiance of the supposed rights of others. It of road or that price. No, the inequality is too great. might be well for gentlemen not to forget the moral of our while others are to have railroads, and Macadamized own revolutionary struggle. Great Britain contended for roads, with stone aqueducts and magnificent bridges, 1 principle, and insisted on the right of taxation. She would want something better for my country than a mudpike and
not listen to the remonstrances of the colonies. She corduroy causeways. The refinement of some gentlemen 3 claimed the right, and would exercise it. Nor would she bere perhaps may not apprehend the meaning of these
be admonished by the fable of the madnian, wbo would terms, but no matter can assure them that we of the shear the wolf, simply because he claimed the right to do backwoods have experienced enough to understand them 80. Some gentlemen seem to think lightly of any oppo- perfectly. My people are poor, I admit; and gentlesition to their career; but let me tell ibem, that no com- men seem to take it for granted that they will be thankmunity of freemen will patiently endure to be continually ful for small favors. Fifteen bundred dollars a mile, at intruded upon, when they believe that every intrusion tends most! And this is to pay for all damages to laod, for grato affect, and eventually to destroy, their rights and liber- duating and shaping the road, for materials
, for gravelling ties. While those, who feel their own power, are display. where necessary, and for making culverts and bridges 1 irg it wantonly and tauntiogly, they are sometimes but How can any gentleman believe that such a bum will anhttle aware of the consequences of their own conduct. swer all tbese purposes ? It is not balf enough to do the And if a majority are determined to force this bill through, work as it ought to be ; and less than three thousand dolI wash my hands of it, and shall be under po obligation to lars a mile ought never to have been proposed, if a good maiotain the usurpation,
road was intended, even of second rate. . Yet, the gentleLest any one should suppose that the completion of the man from Virginia (Mr. MERCER] has said that, if he had
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Buffalo and New Orleans Road. .
(APRIL 13, 1830.
been on the Committee on Roads and Canals, he would that it cannot afterwards exercise jurisdiction over them, not have been willing to report the bill with more than so as to keep them in repair. . It would seem to be a pity, a thousand dollars a mile, as that was as much as we ought indeed, that a fine road should have to be abandoned to to have, and that fifteen bundred dollars a mile was very chance as soon as made. This concession is full of argu. extravagant, indeed! And this, too, is from the same gen- ment in favor of all the views which I have presented, and tleman, (but not the only one,) who stated that gentlemen must lead that gentleman to adopt them, if he will pre from other quarters ought to vote for this bill, to show serve his own consistency. Let the powers to make and their liberality and generosity towards the West! I will to preserve be in the same Government. not deny that I feel indignant when I hear such insulting I have endeavored to give a practical view of the bill, mockery. In one breath we are told that the road will and of the contemplated amendment, in relation both to enrich the country, and, in the next, that a few dollars the making and the preservation of this road. I have will make it.
compared the two plaus, on the points of jurisdiction, paI have another objection to this bill. It neither makes tropage, and economy; the condemoation of lands and the any provision for the preservation of the road, after it shall riglyts of turnpike companies; practicability and probahave been made, nor gives us any intimation of the mode bility of success; the time of execution, and kind of road; that is to be hereafter resorted to for that purpose. If this tolls and repairs. In exercising my own opinion, I cannot road is to be made, I wish to understand the whole con doubt that the amendment is decidedly preferable, in cern, from the beginning. Are we to have appropriations every particular wherein it differs from the bill; but every made from year to year? Or shall we hereafter establish gentleman will judge and decide for himself, and I have a system of toll gates? Or will a surrender be made to the done with this comparison. States ? I ask gentlemen to tell us, if they please, which I beg leave now to make a few remarks concerning the of these modes is to be adopted. Are they afraid to do route of this road; but I am sensible that it would be a 80I am afraid to risk it without. This physic, which waste of time to detain the committee long on this point, is to cure the body politic, may be vitally dangerous, if we after so much has been so ably urged concerning it by take it thus in broken doses. Sir
, the manner in which others. In estimating the geueral as well as comparative this measure and its policy is to operate hereafter, is importance of the road, I think gentleman have gone to of its essence at present. If any gentleman is opposed extremes on both sides. But I confess that my know: to annual appropriations, how can be know but that ledge is very limited indeed as to the part of the road from mode may be adopted ? If any one is in favor of a sur- this city to Buffalo; and, I must, in some degree, follow render to the States, has he any assurance that it will be the example of others, by attending chiefly to my own done! If another is adverse to a toll gate system, by this end of it. These two projects, wbich have heretofore Government, as most odious and dangerous, has be not been separate, are this year linked together. Ooe genevidence enough before bis eyes to make him fear that tleman gets up and tells us all about the ways froin here this will be the favorite plan? How many are prepared to to Buffalo; but as to the other end of the concern, he lenp in the dark? Sir, if I had no other objection to this koows very little. Another can make us a speech for bill, I would scoru to vote for it with such deception hours concerning the various routes from here to Newstamped on its face. You offer me a road for the benefit Orleans, while he admits that he scarcely knows any of my people; and what then? You fix a system of tolls thing of the opposite end. Tbus we see that the interests at what rate you please, and send your federal officers and motives connected with the one, bave no sort of datathere to collect them the federal courts, from any body ral association with the other. And yet these two oppo and every body, if you choose, without regard to persons sites are united in the same picture, “a horse's head and or business. And these tolls, for any thing we know, may fish's tail.” be applied to making roads in other parts of the Union. How is it, then, from here to New Orleans? What is Sir, I desire the Legislature of Tennessee to judge of the the best route ? tolls which her citizens are to pay within her borders ; and, It is said that more people will be accommodated by with that precaution, they will never complain of moderate either the middle or southeru route, than by the western. tolls to keep up the road after it shall have been made. I admit that it must be so, if you take either the southera
I invite attention particularly to the provisions of the or middle route, and give to it all the people east of the amendment in relation to tolls, as containing a plan quite Blue Ridge; but if you divide them, and give to each of practical and safe. The commissioners, who will have so those routes only its own share, then, I suppose, neither much else to do with this matter, and will therefore be would have more than properly belongs to the westero able to perform this duty to great advantage, are, first, to route at this time. We ought, however, to look to the report a rate of tolls to the President. He will have the future; and I have no doubt that, by the time the road different reports compared and made uniform, profitiog could be completed, the population to be accounmodated by the suggestions of all, before he gives his sanction. The by the western would exceed that of either of the other Siate Legislatures are afterwards to judge of these tolls, routes, and, in time, might be nearly or quite equal to as a part of the proposition for them to accept. Approved both of the others. But the.people on the westero route by the commissioners, the President, and the State Legis- would be more accommodated,' in proportion to their latures, these tolls may be collected from any part of the pumbers, whatever that might be, than the people east of road, as soon as it may be fit for use, and shall be entirely the Blue Ridge, for various reasons. The western route applied to the preservation and improvement of the road. lies through a newer country, in which it is natural to supThey will also be uniform, and cannot be changed, without pose that the roads are not as good as in an older ode, if all the assent of Congress
, so that no State may impose unrea- other things were equal. The southern country also is dasonable tolls, or speculate on any other. What better plan turally more advantageous for common roads, though less for repairing the road can any gentleman devise or desire ? so for making well improved ones ; and thus, while the And why might it not be adopted at once, and thus pre- western route labors under great disadvantages at present, vent all future controversies on this part of the subject ? and would, of course, be proportionally benefited, it preThis Government would have the use of the road, toll sents greater facilities for making a first rate road. The free ; and wbat more could it desire ?
western route would afford greater accommodatious, more One of my honorable colleagues, [Mr. ISACKS) for whom oper, op account of the great land carriage of merchanI have much respect, seems to "halt between two opi- dise, which has long existed and must continue, from the nions," and while he contends most mapfully for the power cities north of this place, along that route as far as Alaof this Government to make roads, nevertheless admits bama. If this road were made south of the Blue Ridge,
APRIL 13, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
[H. or R.
it bas not been pretended that it would be used for such a suit the faucy or purposes of that gentleman thus unjustly purpose, as merchavdise would continue to pass coastwise, to tear laurels from the brows of brave men; but I am by water, to the southern ports, and thence, by rivers and unwilling to tarnish the reputation of even an enemy, by roads, into the interior. But it has been said i hat the road such a ridiculous and wanton error. It is matter of higwould answer well in the South, for carrying surplus pro- tory, notorious to the very schoolboys of the country, that ductions to the navigable rivers. If such neighborhood Commodore Patterson spiked those very cappon, when he dationality is to be regarded in this case, it would answer was compelled to abandon lis position; and yet be is to be a similar purpose on the western route, perhaps to a greater charged with the bigh criminality of neglecting his duty to extent. The western route would be fairly commercial, do so, and the British colonel with the gross blunder of from this vicinity to Alabama; but no southern route not turning one of them on his adversary, and the would be so regarded.
countervailiug measures of the American commander-inFor military purposes, I cannot see that a southern chief are to be forgotten. Even if that gentleman bas such route would afford any very valuable facility. The natural a desire, he need not expect thus to extinguish or darken course for supplies of troops and provisions is from the the glories of that day. upper country to the seaboard, and not parallel with it, at If the comparison of routes, which others bave made a very respectful distance in the interior. That chivalry more at large, and I have briefly presented, be not very which really belongs to the South, would not, I am per- erroneous, (and I think it will puzzle gentlemen to show suaded, recognise this as a military road, which would not that it is so in any particular,) then the inference is easy, lead towards the enemy. But how would the westeru that the western route is preferable to any southern route,
route be is a military point of view From the Tennessee on all the three great points of commerce, war, and the ! line, upper Virginia might send down supplies of troops mail.
and provisions, inferior to none, even to this place, or to I have given you some of my views on the best mode ļothers more south, by obliquing in that direction from va- and the best route for making this road, and it remains to
rious points. Southwest from the same Tennessee line, inquire whether it ought to be made in any way, | the road would lead directly to that part of the Union There are two aspects of this part of the subject. In I most exposed and most needing assistance ; and this is the one, the particular measure may be looked to as a
true of any branch which may be selected, of the westeru means for promoting the efficient action of this Goveroi route. But it bas been said that our rivers supersede the ment in its own legitimate operations. In the other, it i necessity of this part of the road. It cannot be denied may be regarded as part of a system of raising and dis! that they do, to some extent; and that our rivers must al. bursing money.
ways be relied on as our priocipal chápnels for throwing The first view of it is strictly governmental, wbich I military aid to the defence of the Gulf frontier, as well as take to be the true meaning of the term national, as ap
for commercial purposes; and if they were properly im- plied to these subjects, as well as to all others under the 3 proved and connected, the road would be of comparative action of this Government, whose powers extend only to
ly less value, but would continue to furnish important ad. the means “ necessary and proper" to accomplish certain ditional facilities, in connexion with the rivers, and, some specified objects, with a view to general consequences. times, as a substitute for them.
We ought to look to the uses which this Government, as As to the mail, it is admitted by all that the advantages such, (and not any portion of the community,) may have would be great on any of the routes. I argue, however, for a particular work, to determine its cbaracter. It is that the advantages on the western route would be great- national or not, as this Goverument may or may not bave est, because the southern roads are now better than the use for it, in as much as the States and people can know
western, and most would be gained by making improve. Dothing of this aggregate nation, except through the acB ment where most deeded, especially where the means are tion of the General Government, in which alone consists better for making it permanent. How much might be saved the identity or pationality of this Vuion itself
. If a work in transporting the mail is uncertain, as well as the other is desired for such purposes, the extent of it is entirely inbenefits from expedition; and every gentlemad must con- different, and the whole of a long road used for governjecture and calculate for bimself. I have not considered mental purposes is no more national than any part of it it important to make a particular comparison of distances, used in the same way, as a large ship of the davy is no
not regarding the differences as great enough to influence more national than a small one. The inquiries, then, $ materially the final decision.
ought to be: First. What use will the Government have When viewing this road in its military aspect, the gentle for the work? Second. Has it a right to apply money to i man from Virginia [Mr, MERCER) adverted to some circum- such purposes ! Third. Will its advantages be equal to
stanees as counected with the defence of New Orleans. its expenditure ? All private or local concerns are out of
I omitted to notice his remarks in mine under the same the question, and every gentleman should put it to his conput head, and I would not now stop to retrace my steps for science to determine the case without regard to them;
the purpose of setting him right, if I did not think part and, at the same time, with an eye single to the particular of what he said was too unnecessary and inaccurate, in measure in question, as standing on its own intrinsic merits. the best view of it, to let it pass without some reply. Where the advantages of this Government, in all its legitiThat gentleman look occasion to step out of his way, it mate operations, could be fairly estimated as worth more seemed to me, for the purpose of giving us a fact which than the interest of the money, it might be difficult to happens to be no fact; and an opinion based on that unfor- show that it would not be a judicious, permanent investituoate foundation, that if Colonel Thornton, who com ture. Whether this bill presents such a case, depends on maoded the British forces on the opposite side of the calculations of economy and security, which every gentleMississippi from New Orleans, had not been guilty of one man must make for himself, in connexion with the ultiof the grossest military blunders, the American forces on mate extent of the work and the manner of its execution. this side of the river must have been drived from their Whenever these shall bave been ascertained and fixed, entrenchments, and compelled to retreat to the city, with then the means will be at hand for a final decision. all the consequences.
That gross blunder was in not Having said thus much of the road as a strictly governis turning against our troops, on this side of the river, some mental measure, and abstracted from others, permit me
of the cannon which had fallen into the British colonel's pow to notice it as part of a system of raising and dishands, at the post necessarily abandoned by Commodore bursing money. It has not been, and will not be, denied, Patterson, when a single piece thus turned would have that it is the policy of many gentlemen to raise a great accomplished the overthrow just mentioned. Sir, it may revenue for the purpose of expending and to devise