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ordinary meaning, and resort to precedents. But, unfor-, This subject comes more nearly home to me, and to the tunately, and very strangely, precedents never seem to be people I represent; and I am about to resort to high auof any use, but for operating against some long establish- thority--the very highest, in the estimation of some-even ed rule of action, under which a thousand previous acts the sovereign power, in their estimation; but not quite so are not permitted to have as much force as one new act in high, in my opinion, as that. No, sir; pot quite the soveopposition to that rule. I know not how many precedents reign power, but yet very high and respectable authority. in favor of the practical use of the word establish to count. I mean the Supreme Court. In the case of Gibbons vs. But we know, from the foundation of the Government Ogden, the Chief Justice, in delivering the opinion of the until within a few years, establishing a post road meant court, after some preliminary observations, says: “We the designation by law of some road already made as a are now arrived at the inquiry-what is this power! It is mail route, This has, in many thousand cases, which the power to regulate, that is, to prescribe the rule by ought to have the force of precedent, been the evident which commerce is to be governed. This power, like wil meaning of the acts of the Government establishing post others vested io Congress, is complete in itself

, may be exerroads. And I give a strong illustration in the case of the eised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations celebrated Cumberland road, which, if I am rightly in other than are prescribed in the constitution." He con

formed, was first made, or caused to be made, by Congress, tinues: “If, as bas always been understood, the sovereign1 and afterwards, by a separate and distiuct act, made, or ty of Congress, though limited to specified objects, is pleestablished, that is

, designated by law a post road, and nary as to those objects, the power over commerce with the mail directed to be carried on it as a mail route, and foreign nations, and among the several States, is vested in 80 of any other road. Some seem to have a difficulty, be- Congress as absolutely as it would be in a single Governcause the same word establish is used in regard to post ment, having in its constitution the same restrictions on offices. But this will, upon a moment's reflection, be the exercise of the power as are found in the constitution shown to be only prescribing by law the official duties or of the United States.". The word sovereignty, applied character of some individual appointed postmaster. Con bere to Congress, if understood as it frequently is, I do not gress, by establishing the office, neither makes the map, approve of. Congress is not the sovereign power of the nor the place where the duties are performed. In gene country, but a mere agency, with powers plenary quoad hoc

ral, it does not require a great deal of room, and most of over particular subjects; and in this sense the word should i those who are willing to perforın the duties have some be understood here. I perfectly agree with the opinion

place to perform the duty in, or furnish it. The word es- of the court in the doctrine bere laid down of the plenary

tablish has been therefore properly interpreted by the acts nature and completeness of all the legitimate constitution . of the Government from its commencement; and, if right- al powers of this Government. Apd sir, I, for one, would

ly informed, I believe it is so used in that country (Eng- not diminish one iota, por in the smallest degree take from land) from which we received our idea of post office sys- or dimiuish the powers either of the general or State autem. The more modern, and evidently erroneous inter- thorities; but, keeping each within its proper sphere, I pretation, that establish means to make post roads and post would adopt the old adage of suum cuique iributo. But, offices, must be considered an interpolation.

does not every one perceive that this doctrine, being sound The appropriating power, the most convenient for all and truly drawn, as I say it is

, from one of the plainest 1 purposes, is not a new one. It is the opinion of Mr. Ha- parts of the constitution, is at once destructive of the

miltop revived, I think, in 1823, or '4, because it was per- claim of this Government to make internal improvebaps thought more to the purpose by some. lu bis reportments within the States ? The Chief Justice proceeds, afon manufactures,' page fifty-fourth, Mr. Hamilton remarks : ter some other remarks: "The appellant, conceding " It is therefore of necessity left to the discretion of the these postulates, except the last, contends that full power National Legislature to pronounce upon the objects which to regulate a particular subject implies the whole power concern the general welfare, and for which, under that and leaves no residuum ; that a grant of the whole is indescription, an appropriation of money is requisite and compatible with the existence of a right in another to any proper. And there seems to be po room for a doubt that part of it.” On the margin we have the following conwbatever concerns the general interests of learning, of densation of the context to which it is connected; " The agriculture, of manufactures, and of con merce, is withiu power to regulate commerce, so far as it extends, is exthe sphere of the national councils, so far dis regards an clusively vested in Congress, and no part of it can be exerapplication for money.”

cised by a State.” Now sir, what is the commerce, the ir Congress cao, at its discretion, provounce upon the ob- regulation of which has been given to Congress! It is jects which concern the general welfare, and apply, ad li commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, bitum, the money of the public to their accomplishment, and with the Indian tribes." This is the commerce to be what is to prevent their exercise of any power whatever, regulated, constituting one subject whole and entire, totus which it may please them to say is for the general welfare, teres atque rotundus. The power of Congress over it is is a national object? They may select any end or object, commensurate with the subject : it is full and complete, and use any amount of means to arrive at or accomplish and consequently exclusive, as I say all the appropriate the purpose. The people intended this to be a Goveru- powers of Congress are. It follows from the very nature ment of limited powers; but if, really, Congress is left to of things, that, if the power is plenary, it is necessarily exite own discretion as to the objects, with unlimited use of clusive, and canoot of necessity be concurrent, or particithe means, the Government becomes as sovereign and im- pant, or conjoiutly with another. I have once before adperial as the autocracy of Russia or Turkey. I ask, what vanced the doctrine here, and I think truly, that, properly is the difference between unlimited power, and an unlimit- speaking, there are no concurrent powers between the ed use of the means to accomplish wbatever objects the General and State Legislatures or Governments. Even discretion of the Governmeot may select or point out the power of taxation, which seems to be so considered by What is power but the use of the means to accomplish some, I find no difficulty with. There are powers to be any thing Means in use are power de facto, real, practi- exercised by both very similar, but this may be remarked eal power.

in regard to other Gorernments. Take, for instance, the The power to regulate commerce is one of the main subject of taxation : it is not only similar in its mode of apsources from which the power to make internal improve- plication and exercise in this country and Great Britain, ments within the jurisdictional limits of the States, by mak- but it is a known fact, that some of the very identical aring roads and canals, improving, or, 1 suppose, making ticles which yield a tax in England, afterwards also yield harbors, breakwaters, improving rivers, &c., is claimed. la tax here; but would any one undertake to say, there

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fore, that the two Governments are joint agencies? The ple of this State ought to have the sole and exclusive right two Governments exercise similar powers, each within its of regulating the internal government and police thereof." own sphere, but not as copartners, or concurrent agen- I will trouble the House no longer. cies. Congress is authorized to lay and collect taxes, Mr. MARTIN, avowing his disapprobation of the bill, &c., to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence but his unwillingness to take up the time of the House in and general welfare of the United States." But the court an argument against it, moved to lay the bill on the table. says: "This does not interfere with the power of the This motion was decided in the negative by yeas and Days: States to tax for the support of their own Governments, For the motion

85 for is the exercise of that power by the States an exercise Against it

101 of any portion of the power that is granted to the United Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, rose to address the House, States.' In imposing taxes for State purposes, they are and said that he was aware of the danger to this bill, which not doing what Congress is empowered to do. Congress was incurred by occupying too much of the time of the is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are House in making speeches in its behalf; but he trusted within the exclusive province of the States. When gentlemen would pardon him, when they considered the then, each Government exercises the power of taxation, immediate and deep interest his constituents felt in the neither is exercising the power of the other." No, sir; success of the bill. ' He knew the state of exhaustion in but exercising distinct and separate, though similar pow. which the minds of the members were, after the protracters; and so of the power to regulate commerce, that is

, ed debate; and that no gentleman, however transcendent the power, as properly dofined by the court to make legal his talents might be, (he was aware of the very small prerules and regulations by wbich commerce with foreigo da- tensions he could himself urge,) could expect from them a tions, among the several States, and with the Indian very patient hearing. Indeed, he felt it as the next doty tribes, is to be governed. I see before me many talented to fidelity to his constituents to observe perfect silence in lawyers—I would ask them whether the idea of two agen- the House, except in cases where he could not avoid de cies, both with powers plenary quoad hoc over the same livering his sentimenis as to the constitutional question in subject, is not a legal and political absurdity. And, sir, relation to the subject of internal improvements ; it had is there a man here who will have the bardihood to say been so often and 80 thoroughly discussed, that it was imthat the States bave not the right to make internal im- possible by argument to shed any new light upon it. He provements within their jurisdictional limits! And, if so, did not believe a single new idea could be advanced by does it not follow, from the very nature of the powers of any one. Instead of constitutional argument, he wished this Government, that Congress cannot ! The thing is to substitute facts, examples, and legislative action. And Belf-evident. The truth is, that both Governments are he should feel happy, and consider himself fortuvate, when agencies, with powers plenary in relation to each other, over a proposition was presented for the benefit of Maine, or the subjects appropriately and constitutionally to them Georgia, or of New York, if he could lend it any aid. For committed by the sovereign power of the country-the this was a great federal Union, one and indivieible; and he people. Neither Government is itself the covereigo should extend at all times, equal and exact justice to all power, they are both subordinate to the actual sovereigoty, its parts, so far as bis judgment and his attachment to all which is in the people. If the power to regulate, means would guide him. Wherever the salutary power of this the power to make commerce, or any of its parts or ad- Government was involved in the question, so long as it was junets, we shall ultimately arrive at very strange results. regulated by discretion, he would vote for it. He never And if, under this power, we are to make roads, canals, could or would consent to put so rigid a construction on barbors, &c., we must go on, and, by the same rule, make the constitution, as to restrain the beneficial action of this wharves, piers, drays, wheelbarrows, and merchants' Government when applied to the judicious system of io. warehouses, as well as boats and large vessels to facilitate ternal improvements. Roads and canals were strong links

Commerce, in ite narrowest siguification, in the chain of affection which bound this Union together means an exchange of equivalents; but there are many as a band of brothers, and made our fellow.citizens rich, things and circumstances so closely aud inseparably con- and happy, and independent

. He knew that many honornected with it, that they become, as it were, parts of it, able gentlemen iu that House, far more intelligent than be, or, at least, adjuncts, without which it could not get on, applied a strictness to all parts of the constitution which and they also become subjects for regulatiop; but regula- applied to those clauses only which guarded personal lition bas been shown not to mean fabrication or construc- berty-the freedom of speech and the rights of conscience. tion. The Chief Justice says, speaking of the inspection He should vote just as freely for this road if it were in laws: “They form a portion of that immense mass of le- Georgia, as in his own State. He had always acted on these gislation which embraces every thing within the territory principles; and bis constituents, with a full knowledge of of a State not surrendered to the General Government : ibat fact, had hopored him with a seat in that and in the all which can be most advantageously exercised by the other House for twenty-three years. Thus be had lived, States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, and thus he hoped to die. He could truly say that it caused health laws of every description, as well as laws for regu- anguish in his very soul when he heard gentlemen on bis lating the internal commerce of a State, and those which right hand and on his left get up and say, “ this part of respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c.

, are component parts the Union bas been favored, and this part of the Union has of this mass. I believe, sir, this road we are upod now, been oppressed." He should be thankful to Providence is to be a turopike road.

if it were possible to distribute the taxes of this country I think this power has been misunderstood. The exer- with perfect and absolute equality-aye, to a cent, or to cise of the power of this Government, in regard to internal the millionth part of a cent. Then they might lie down, improvements, has been evidently to me pushed beyond perhaps, on their pillow in peace, and not hear the same its proper bounds and authority: I am against extremes, strain of complaint continually resounding in their ears, modus est in rebus. I do not think Congress has the right He hoped his friend from Georgia, should be bring forto go into the States to exercise those municipal rights ward any project for the benefit of his own State, would which the people reserved to themselves or their local le- find him as good as his word, and always happy to lend him gislatures. I will only trouble the House with one other bis aid. As to the gentlemen from Virginia, (Mr. HALL] evidence, which is directly to the point. This is from the be could assure him that he had no wish to take his money declaration of rigbts of North Carolina, which is a part of away from him. the constitution of that State. “That all political power [Here Mr. HALL interposed, and explained.] is vested and derived from the people only. That the peo-] Mr. JOHNSON resumed. If my friend suspects that I


APRIL 29, 1830.]

Maysville Road Bill.

(H. OF. R.

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look for his vote when he thioks the constitution forbide it, the original thirteen ; that she has been with you in seven he is greatly mistaken. I know the uprightness of his mo- troubles, aod will not leave you in seventy times seven; betives. I spoke of the effect of them only; and as to the cause she presented no request when hundreds of millions effect, while he is willing to give me but a stone, I am will. were spent (and well spent) upon the seaboard, in the ing to give him bread. I will go with him so far as I can erection of fortifications to defend your coast, and millions do it on principles of magnanimity and equality; in the more in protecting your commerce from foreign aggrescourse I purste, my conscience is at rest. But let any pro- sion: I do not urge that Kentucky, although far inland, and positiou be brought forward which violates the rights of secure from all danger of invasion, joined boldly in the

couscience, the freedom of speech, or the liberty of the cry,“ do not give up the ship:" No; I call on you to pass 1

press, that gentleman will find me, I trust, among the fore- this bill, because the object in view is such a one as you must to defend the constitution, whether with body or ought to patronize. Surely this is as much a national obmiod; and give it a construction which shall guard that ject as the railroad from Baltimore to the mountains, and liberty for which we have all struggled, and for which our as the Obio and Chesapeake canal; yet I voted in favor of fathers pobly fought, and freely bled. Then my friend and that. I went home, and said to my constituents, this is a myself will be found, I hope, in giving the same construc- upited country; we are all one family. I have voted thoution, although we may differ as to making roads and cnoals. sands away, not for you, my constituents, but for your But to the question. Is this road not a National work! I brethren in other parts of the Uniou. They needed the say, that if the Delaware and Chesapeake canal is national aid, and I knew you would never wish to withhold it from in its character, then this road is national; but if it çnu be them. Now, sir, I ask for my State, and I expect help in

shown that this was a private concern only, in which the our time of need. It is not the only appropriation I intend ni nation had no interest, then I nay give up this bill. So, I to ask for. My constituents are very deeply interested in

bay, if the Chesapeake and Ohio canal is a national work, other ronds and bighways passing directly through my dis

this road is such. Does it follow, that because you are now trict. We have no incorporated companies yet; and the u going to appropriate for sixty miles of a great connecting time has not arrived when their claini can be presented. i averiue between several States, that that aveoue loses its When that period arrives, the grant, in this case, will not

nationality? Does it cease to be national because you can- at all interfere with the strong and irresistible claim they not make it all at one time? I say that the Dismal Swamp bave upon your justice; and I shall not be wanting in my canal was a national work, and we granted our aid to it duty, and you will not be unjust or ubgrateful. agaiust the will of that ancient State which is the mother of Sir, we inhabit a fertile region-a fair and delightful Kentucky. Yes, sir; we made her take the boon, whether habitation for man; it is surrounded not with water, but she would or not. Has Virginia been injured by our ap- land, land in all directions, and to a vast extent. The pleapropriating money to finish the Dismal Swamp canal; just sant Obio rolls along its borders, bearing on its bosom the as we are going to do to South Carolina ; 'for the citizens of wealth of ten States. We wish to get at this great national South Carolina have petitioned Congress to aid them in a highway, that we may carry the products of our industry railroad; and a bill has been reported to give the money. to a market. The request is most reasonable, and you, I I hope we shall pass on that bill, and that we shall pass it

, am confident, will not refuse it. If any State has been too. Aye, sir, and there is another bill, interesting to the more liberal in her course toward the general interest of ☆ South, I hope we shall pass. I mean the Indian bill. Yes, this Union, let her stand forth a monument of patriotism sir , I am prepared to vote millions upon millions to remove and public spirit

. You have lent your aid to the Portland 9 those venerable relics of nations, if they voluntarily choose canal, to the Dismal Swamp canal, to the Chesapeake and

to go, to a region where they may remain at peace, unmo- Delaware canal. You bave granted Ohio a million acres lested by the intrusions, and uncorrupted by the vices of of land. You have given to illinois, to Indiana, to all the their white neighbors. In this, too, I have the advantage new States. The donation to the Louisville and Portland of my friends to the South. Although their principles will canal was not a Kentucky boon; it was a gift to ten States pot enable them to aid my native State to open a road, I of this Union, all equally interested in the navigation of feel free, aud able, nod willing to aid them in this great the Obio river. This road is the first object which Kensouthern measure, as beneficial to the red man as it will be tucky has presented to you. It is a great and important to our brethreo of the South. Here, sir, is the request of thoroughfare; not a road in the Union (except those between the Legislature of my State that I will use my efforts to ob- the great seaports) more travelled, and none of the same tain the subscription of the Government to this road; she extent, by which you can more promote the public good. has directed ber Senators and requested ber Representa- Unuer these circumstances, I trust you will not reject our tives to exert themselves for an object so important to the bill. State. I ask you to grant us this little boon ; it will set our Mr. STORRS, of New York, replied to some remarks whole State machinery in motion. The House is acquaint- of Mr. Hall, relative to the cost, productiveness, and aded with the causes which have produced the embarrass- vantages of the New York canals. ments under which we labor; they know that these embar- Mr. HALL said, in reply, that, as the remarks of the rasmeuts have been incurred by exertions in the coinmon gentleman were directed to the report emanating from the cause of our country. They deprive us of the means of Legislature of New York, and not in answer to what he carrying into effect the improvement of the State by great bad said, he left the subject between them. and expensive works. Yet, sir, whenever similar aid was Mr. POLK next addressed the House, and renewed the asked by other States, I and my colleagues have stood for- argument advanced by him on a preceding day against the ward the constant supporters of their request. Kentucky bill

. He was opposed altogether to this system of approhas ever been found voting for the construction of roads priations for sectional purposes. It was a more easy matand of canals, in which she had no direct interest, or local ter, it appeared, to vote profuse sums in the Congress of interest, except as a State, and component part of the the United States. He repeated that it was more easy to Union. Did her neighbor, Ohio, ask our aid in advancing vote ten thousand dollars in Congress, than ten dollars in a ber interval prosperity, do petty spirit of rivalry, no mean State Legislature. What would be the result of this lavish and contemptible jealousy of the rising greatness of that mode of expending the public money-what its cause ? State, induced Kentucky to withhold her influence and The country looked to the present Executive for the adopvotes. The same remark will apply equally to Tennessee, tion of a system of economy and retrenchment; and how her neighbor on the south. And, in the last place, permit could this be effected, but by the most vigilant attention ? me to remark, that I do not press this claim of Kentucky The practical operation of the system now prevalent, was on the ground of her being the oldest of the States, after directly the reverse. The engineers entrusted with the

VOL. VI.-106.

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surveys would not report adverse to a project, the adoption and protection, I will now proceed to offer some con tion of which benefited themselves. The road in question siderations to the committee, which, I trust, they will find received the sanction of the State Legislature in January not unworthy of their grave and solemn consideration. I last; so recently, he begged it to be observed, as January sball pass over, with a bare allusion to them, many of the last; and yet an application was made to Congress for pe- topica which have been heretofore urged on this foor, to cuniary aid towards its completion. Where [he asked) was show the inexpediency of the system we are considering, this system to stop! He conceived the whole of these ap- The inevitable tendency of this system to destroy foreign plications to be most pernicious in their tendencies, and commerce, and consequently our commercial marine and unconstitutional in principle.

naval power, has been so repeatedly urged, and, on a very Mr. TUCKER reprobated the system upon wbieb this recent occasion, with such conclusive proofs and triumphbill, and numerous others of a similar nature, were founded. ant argument, by my friend from New York. (Mr. CAMIn his judgment, all such appropriations, besides being un- BRELENG) that I will not attempt to add anything to what just and unconstitutional, were pregnant with the most he has said on the subject. Neither, sir, do I propose to

1 disastrous consequences.

go into an investigation of those abstract principles of poMr. POWERS opposed the measure. He deemed it litical economy to which we have so often and so vainly, objectionable in every constitutional point of view. He appealed, for the purpose of convincing the majority of spoke of the various ingenious arguments urged in favor the inexpediency and injustice of the conrse they have of this project, and of others of a similar nature. The been pursuing. That it is equally unwise and unjust to Buffalo Road bill had been objected to, because it was too attempt to direct the course of national industry by Golorg; and this one might be so objected to, because it was vernment restrictions that individual sagacity and interest too short. This circumstance reminded him of the lady will infallibly find out and pursue those employments that (and ladies were sometimes fond of complaining) whose are most profitable--are positions in which the enlightened busband was stated to find the bread occasionally burnt, writers on the science of political economy, in every part and occasionally mere dough. The road bad been called of the world, almost unanimously concur. Yes, sir, it is national in its object, because it led from one point of the a singular and striking proof of the soundness of the doc. Union to another. Now, be asked whether every road trines for which we are contending, that, for the last ball throughout the United States might not be said, by a century, almost all the philosophers and political econoparity of reasoning, to be a national road; for all of them mists of Great Britain and Frauce, in the midst of commer led from one point of the country to another. This argucial restrictions imposed by their own Governments, have ment, therefore, was utterly fallacious. He concluded by boldly maintained the folly and injustice of those restriean earnest deprecation of the passage of the bill. tions. Theirs is the disinterested testimony of enlightened

Mr. CARSON objected to the bill. He was opposed to minds, seeking only for truth, and having no motive to 2 'system which went to make the Governinent of the pervert it. But I pass that over. Nor shall I now enter into Union a stockholder, from sordid views of interest, in pub- any argument (as I have done in former discussions of this lic companies incorporated by a State.

subject) to prove to gentlemen from other parts of the Mr. CROCKETT said that be did not rise to make a Union, that the interest of a majority of their own constispeech upon the subject. Indeed, he was convinced in his tuents would be better promoted by reducing the duties own mind, that, if they were to speak for five days upon it, they have been so anxious to increase. I will barely state, pot a single vote would be changed. Every one, he that I do most sincerely and conscientiously believe that

, thought, had already made up their minds with respect to even in those parts of the Union for whose exclusive adit. He should therefore call for the previous question. vantage the existing high duties have been imposed, the

The call was seconded by a vote of yeas 101; pays not interests of nine men are sacrificed where that of one is counted.

promoted by them. Nothing can be more clearly demosThe main question, on the passage of the bill, was then strated, in my opinion, than that, even in Massachusetts

, put, and decided in the affirmative by the following vote : and Vermont, and Pennsylvania, the great mass of the yeas, 102Days, 86.

community, the small farmers, and the persons engaged So the bill was passed, and sent to the Senate for con- in bandicraft employmente, are subjected to unjust and in

jurious burdens, to promote the interests of a comparatively THE TARIFF LAWS.

small pumber of large capitalists. But, sir, it is now too

late to urge this view of the subject; and perhaps it would The House then again went into Committee of the not be very becoming in me to attempt to school gentleWhole, Mr. Polk in the chair, on the bill “altering the men from other parts of the Union in what relates to the several aets laying duties on imports," and the amendment peculiar interests of their own constituents. I shall, there proposed thereto by Mr. MoDUFFIE.

fore, take it for granted that the existing system of coni, Mr. McDUFFIE resumed, and spoke nearly two hours mercial restrictions has been established by the majority of in continuation of his argument.

Congrese, from a deliberate convietion that it is calculated [The following is a full report of the remarks of Mr. to promote the interests of their constituents, and that MOD.)

there is no probability that the opinion of that majority Mr. McDUFFIE said that he entirely concurred with will undergo a change. Now, sir, however much I may the chairman of the Committee on Manufactures as to the be disposed to question the rights and the powers of the expedienoy of providing for the faithful collection of the majority in some other respects, I agree that they have

I revenue; but, differing very widely with that gentleman the undoubted and exelusive right to determine for themas to the best practical mode of effecting the object, he selves what will best promote their own interests. How begged leave to submit the amendment which he had pre- far they have a right to decide upon the interests and rights pared for that purpose. I propose [said Mr. McD.) to of others, is quite another question. I shall assume, thell, secure a strict and honest observance of the revenue laws, as the basis of the remarks I intend to offer, that the sysDot by arbitrary penalties imposed at the discretion of the tem of probibitory duties, which aims at the ultimate excluofficers of the customs, but by rendering the laws them- sion of all those artieles of foreign merchandise which the selves so just; and moderate, and equitable that the great southern States have an interest in importing, is the fixed temptation to evade them, which is now held out by the and walterable policy of Congress. I sincerely deplore high rate of the duties, will be in a great measure, re- the fact; but I should be guilty of exciting false and delomoved. As the amendment I have offered obviously opens sive hopes in my constituents, if I did not declare it. Sir

, for discussion the policy of the entire system of prohibi- no man who will reflect upon the progress of this system


APRIL 29, 1836.)

The Tariff.

[H. OF B.

for the last twelve years, cau indulge the slightest hope which it is obtained ; and every imposition of duties upon that it will ever be abandoned by those who have imposed that commerce is a burden of taxation thrown upon the it upon us. From year to year the duties have been in- domestic industry by which it is sustained. If, therefore, creased and the system extended, and, at each successive you would know what stake any particular portion of the enlargement of the circle of monopoly, the majority in Union has in the foreigo commerce of the country, you Congress has uniformly increased. So far from perceiving bave only to ascertain what proportion the exports of do any indications of a reaction here, it seems obvious to me mestic productions from that part of the Union bear to that the more odious, and oppressive, and intolerable the the whole amount of foreign merchandise imported for system is rendered to the people of that portion of the consumption. How, then, are the burdens imposed by Union whose rights it grossly violates, and whose interests this Government, regarding the impost duties as a mere it is calculated to destroy, the more determined and obsti system of revenue, distributed among the various States nate are the majority in adhering to it, and extending and sections of this Union! If I shall succeed in showing its operation. Placing the question then upon the footing that the States engaged in the production of cotton, toon which it is placed by the advocates the this system-cop-bacco, and rice, are taxed by the Federal Government in

eeding to them the right and the eapacity to judge of their proportion to the amount of their exports, it will follow 1 own interests yielding the point, as I am compelled to that those States pay very nearly two-thirds of the whole I do, that the prohibitory system does really promote what amount of the federal revenue. It will also follow that

they regard as their true interests, I shall proceed to de- the States engaged in the production of cotton and rice ! monstrate, as I think I can most conclusively, that the inte alone, with a population of little more than two millione, | rest of the majority thus to be promoted consists in the pay more than one-half of that revenue. I am aware, I absolute annibilation of the rights and interests of the mi- sir, that these propositions are calculated to startle those i nority

who have not examined the subject attentively. Gentle In this state of facts, a very grave and momentous ques- men will think it scarcely possible that any population in tion irresistibly forces itself upon the consideration of this the world could have existed, in tolerable comfort, under 1 body: how far it is the right of the majority to destroy the such a weight of taxes. I will proceed, then, to the proof

separate and peculiar interests of the minority: and bow of the proposition, that the exports of the planting States

far the minority are under any constitutional or moral obli- indicate the proportion of federal taxes paid by these ition to submit to so monstrous au outrage.

States, taking fairly into view the entire operation of our Sir, I am well convinced that the people of the United fiscal system. And I beg that those gentlemen who are in States bave not realized, even in a partial degree, the pa- favor of the existing policy, will examine my argument ture and extent of the oppression under which the people critically, and, if they can detect apy fallacy in it

, that they of the Southern states are laboring. I shall proceed, will expose it to this committee: 'My sincere desire is to

therefore, to inquire, in the first place, what is the opera- arrive at the truth. If I am in error, it is my anxious wish li tion of our system of innpost duties upon the various that it may be clearly pointed out, as very important issues il portions of the Union, regarding it merely as a system of may probably bang upon it. revenue.

If ihe southern planters were to export their own pro1 Has it any pretensions to be regarded as a just and equal ductions in their own ships, and import

, in the same way, y system of taxation! Is not the fact undeniable, that almost the merchandise obtained in exchange for it, would any

the whole burden of federal taxation is thrown upon those doubt exist that they actually paid into the treasury an branches of productive industry which furnish the ex- amount of taxes proportioned to their exports ! Export

changes of our foreign commerce, while all the other ing productions to the amount of thirty-seven millions of i branches of domestic production are free from taxation, dollars, they would pay, assuming the average rate of the

and a large portion of them derive considerable bounties, duties even at forty per cent, fourteen millions eight hun indirectly, from the very burdens imposed upon those dred thousand dollars, while the States producing cotton productions which constitute the staples of foreign com- and rice would pay twelve millions. Now, as the importmerce! If I have not entirely mistaken the true operation ing merchant is nothing more than the agent of the planter,

of the revenue laws of the United States, there never was the true operation of impost duties will be much more í a more unequal and unjust system of taxation devised by clearly perceived by dispeusing with this agency. It tends any Government, of ancient or modern times.

lo confuse the inquirer, by keeping out of view the real 1 À reference to the treasury statements of the com- parties to the proceeding. The merchant certainly bears

merce of the United States will show that the whole his owo share of the burdens of federal taxation; but the amount of the domestic productions annually exported to burdens of the planter are in do degree diminished by that foreign countries, taking an average of years, is something fact. I assume, then, that the planter is subjected to preless than fifty-eight millions of dollars. Taking this to be cisely the same burden, as a planter, that be would be if the aggregate value of the domestic exports of the whole be bad no factor or commercial agent, but exported bis own Union, it may be estimated that those portions of the produce himself, and imported what be obtained for it southern and southwestern Slates which are engaged in abroad. Wby, then, is it denied that he is taxed in prothe production of the great agricultural staples of cotton, portion to the amount of his exports It is denied, upon tobacco and rice, constituting less than one-third part of the assumed ground that the producer pays no part of the the Union, export to the amount of thirty-seven millions tax, as a producer, but that the whole burden falls upon of dollars ; and those portions of the States just mentioned, the consumer of the articles subjected to impost duties. which are engaged in the production of cotton and rice, Now, although, as I shall bereafter attempt to show, the constituting less than one-fifth part of the Union, export condition of the planter would be very little better, even to the amount of thirty millions of dollars. Now, sir, it if it were true that the consumer paid the whole tax; yet would be difficult to imagine a proposition in political I deem it important to refute the common error, that indi

economy more undeniable, than that the amount of im- rect taxes, laid upon produetion, fall ultimately and exclow posts which belong to each respective portion of the Union, sively on consumption. I know, sir, that indirect taxes

must be proportioned to their exports. It is wholly im- do not exclusively rest upon those classes from whom they material who are the carriers and importers of the mer. are actually levied. But upon what principle of reason or chandise received in exchange for domestic productions, common sense can it be maintained that so part of them or through what custom-house it happens to pass ; it must rests there? still be regarded as constituting the commerce of that por. Such an idea never would have been indulged for a motion of the country, in exchange for the productions of ment, but for the disguised form in which indirect taxation

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