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JAN. 29, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
[H. OF R.
is regarded as an incidental consideration." It is not, facturing British woollens out of Southern cotton, they however, necessary to go so far back in our history for a ought, as a reward for their ingenuity, be permitted to legislative recognition of this principle. The present carry these articles to market in an untaxed vessel.* President of the United States, in his message to this Did I believe it essential to the prosperity or welfare of House, of December 8, 1829, said: “Looking forward the Southern States, that the manufactories of the North to the period, ot far distant, when a sinking fund will should be levelled with the dust, it would be an unpleasant no longer be required, the duties on those articles of im- duty to vote a benefit to myself which would be the enportation which cannot come in competition with our tire ruin of another. A few summers ago, while flying productions, are the first that should engage the atten- from the demon of ill health, I visited New England. I tion of Congress in the modification of the tariff. Of found her towns and villages crowded with an industrious these, tea and coffee are the most prominent; they enter and enterprising population; her hills and valleys redolent largely into the consumption of the country, and have with health, prosperity, and contentment. Every mind become articles of necessity to all classes. A reduction, seemed to be intent; every hand was occupied. The therefore, of the existing duties will be felt as a common world does not contain a more flourishing community. benefit; but, like all other legislation connected with There the advantages of education are extended to the commerce, to be efficacious and not injurious, it should poorest individual in society, and that society receives its be gradual and certain.” In compliance with this Exe- remuneration in its sober, industrious, and economical cutive recommendation, the chairman of the Committee habits. If the divine Plato were alive, he would no of Ways and Means of that day (Mr. McDuffie) reported longer draw upon his imagination for a specimen of a a bill to this House reducing the duty on tea and coffee, perfect republic; he would there find a community in which became a law, and which I voted for with great which the humblest individual had the same voice with pleasure.
his more wealthy neighbor in laying the public burdens The address of the anti-tariff convention of Southern for the public welfare. I asked myself if it were possipeople, assembled in Philadelphia, in 1831, likewise ad- ble that the prosperity of this people could be the hotmits the constitutionality of a tariff for incidental protec- bed production of an artificial system, or rather if it were tion. That address, said to have been written by one of not the result of long continued toil, of an industry that the gentlemen who signs this Georgia manifesto against never tired, of an economy that never slept. I looked the act of July, 1832, (Mr. Berrien,) contains these upon the scene around me with no feeling of murmuring words: “They admit the power of Congress (speaking discontent; I felt the more rejoiced that it was a part of of the opinion of the South) to lay and collect such duties my country. as they may deem necessary for the purposes of revenue, “ Homo sum humani nil a me alierium puto" was said and within these limits so to arrange these duties as inci. by a freed Roman slave. Those persons who will study dentally, and to that extent, to give protection to the the mode of assessing taxes in New England for schools manufacturer."
and other purposes, her town meetings, in fact, the whole It seems to me, if we were to raise a revenue by imposts, organization of society in that community, must have a it is a matter of but little consequence to the community, strange misapprehension of things if they can discover generally, upon what articles it is raised. Take, for ex- any aristocratic principle. They will find, however, ample, sugar and coffee. Can it make any difference to an elasticity of character, of facility of adapting their situathe consumer of these two articles (I take it for granted tion to the times, great moral energies which will enable he is the only person concerned) whether he pays two them, should your legislation prostrate them to the earth, and a half cents a pound on sugar, and a half a cent on to rise, like Antæus, with new vigor from the fall. coffee, or three cents on sugar, and nothing on coffee? It is contended by some of those persons who complain I contend it does not; the drinker of a cup of coffee nei- the most of the operation of the General Government, ther feels nor cares upon which of the two articles he pays (Mr. McDuffie's speech, May, 1852,)“ that it could no the duty. It makes, however, a vast difference to a large longer be disguised that, under the unjust legislation of and valuable interest in the nation; for by one process Congress, and without any agency of Providence, a radiyou injure the sugar planter, without communicating a cal hostility of interests existed between the two great benefit to any interest whatever. If it really makes any difference to the mass of the community, of such vast
* This allusion will be unintelligible to those persons magnitude, upon what articles the revenue of the coun- who have not attended to the discoveries which have try is raised, I confess I cannot perceive it, and I pre- been made in political science within the last three years sume it is only visible to our political metaphysicians, who at Washington. It is very gravely contended in the report “ Have optics keen, full well I weer,
of the Committee of Ways and Means, above mentioned,
“that whether the duty be laid on the export or the import, One assertion, I presume, is as good as another in this it is equally laid, in both cases, upon the production of matter; have, therefore, no hesitation in saying that, the planter. There cannot be a more palpable and deunder all the circumstances of the case, and considering lusive error than the vulgar notion that imported manuthe situation of the country, the act of 1832 was a great factures, which have been purchased by the agricultural and valuable concession of the majority of this House to staples of this country, are foreign productions. They the alleged grievances of the minority. For if there is a are as strictly and exclusively the productions of domesprinciple which should be held sacred in the legislation tic industry as if they were manufactured in the United of this wountry, it is, that an interest created by the law States. Looking, then, at the planting and manufacshould not be wantonly destroyed by the law. If, more- turing States with the eye of an enlightened philosophy, over, the bill of July was not as beneficial to the South these two great divisions of the Union must be regarded as it might have been, it was, in some measure, the fault as devoting their capital and labor to the production of of the South. The bill, as originally reported, contained the same articles for the very same market. The Southa clause giving partial relief to the shipping interest ofern States manufacture by the agency of ploughs, and the country, from the excessive burden laid on that inte-hoes, and horses, what the Northern States manufacture rest by the tariff of 1828: this clause was struck out by by the agency of machinery,” &c. The whole ingenuity Southern votes.
It requires, I should suppose, no argu- of this argument consists in confounding the meaning of ment to prove that a free trade people ought to encou- two very plain words, viz. property and production-an rage the shipping interest; and if the people of the South indistinctuess of perception, which is occasionally the ruin are, as we have been told, industriously engaged in manu-lof many ingenious gentlemen,
" To see what is not to be seen."
H. OF R.)
The Tariff Bill.
[Jan. 29, 1833.
subdivisions of this confederacy.” Now, sir, I deny that tried; the country has paid part of the cost of the experisuch hostility does exist, or that there is any fair reason ment. It is now admitted that we manufacture some arfor presuming it can be made by any legislation of Con-ticles as cheap in this country as in any other, and we have gress to exist. The great father of our institutions, fore- been informed by documents laid on our tables, that seeing this state of things, has told us that upon this rock $250,000,000 are invested in the different manufactories we were likely to split. He has implored us, in his last of the country. Can this amount of capital be destroyed advice, to resist such an impression; to scout such an idea. in any part of our country without producing distress and
We are daily becoming more and more the same peo- embarrassment throughout its wide border? I should supple in our habits, pursuits, and interests; and travellers pose no political economist could for a moment doubt uphave already remarked the sameness of American life and on such a proposition; at all events, I am satisfied it would
The constant and daily communication among very seriously affect that section of the country whose inour people is wearing away by the friction of social inter- terests are confided to my care. course, the petty prejudices of situation. “Mountains If there are any two sections of this country designed interposed, no longer make enemies of nations." I knew by nature for a close political and commercial union, they that there was a party in this country dating their origin are the southern part of the Chesapeake bay, the seacoast from the adoption of the constitution, who have always of North - Carolina, and the New England States. Our been endeavoring to persuade the people of the different earliest colonial history contains the most satisfactory eviStates that they have contrariant interests-a party com-dence of this connexion; the cheap navigators of the posed of restless, ambitious spirits, who had “ rather be North then formed, and yet form, our principal means of ihe first man of an Alpine village than the second man at intercourse with the markets of the world; while, at the Rome." I did, however, hope that this sect was gradu- same time, New England is becoming a great and growally dwindling into insignificance. I firmly believe the ing consumer of our products. Of the article of Southinterests of the different sections of this country so deern corn, alone, the towns of Boston and Providence conpendent on each other, that it is impossible for one part sumed, in 1831, 897,793 bushels. Would it not then be permanently to flourish without communicating its pros- madness to destroy this market, without some positive and perity to those around it: this fact has been satisfactorily certain assurance of bettering the condition of the counattested by the astonishing results of the internal improve-try? As gentlemen tell us, therefore, this is entirely a ment of the country. Who has not heard of a new cent. per cent. question, let the corn planter ask himself world brought into existence in the western part of New if he is not willing to pay a higher duty on broadcloth York by the genius of Clinton? With a mind soaring than on coffee, for a few years, sooner than prostrate his above the miserable economists of his day, he penetrated best customer, and drive him to the fertile lands of Mithe mysteries of nature, dissipated the prejudices of the chigan and Indiana for a maintenance. weak, the fears of the timid, and, like Columbus, opened I said that the bill on your table carried out the princia new world to the enterprise of his countrymen. Why, ple of the act of 1832, and reduced the revenue of the then, should I, or any man, wish to cripple the prosperity country nearer the wants of the Government. It does so, of two-thirds of this Union with the vain or illusory idea with a few exceptions. Where those exceptions propose of benefiting the other third?
to impose a duty, I shall vote against them. I sball, thereThis question of the tariff bas been discussed repeat- fore, vote for the amendment before us, for striking out edly, and very properly as one peculiarly interesting to the duty on tea and coffee. I cannot, in January, vote to the South. I will consider it, for a few moments, as it put on a duty which, July preceding, I voted to take affects that portion of the country. In doing so, I shall off, when no sufficient reason has been assigned for doing consider it entirely as a question of compromise: I have so inconsistent an act. Were I to give such a vote, I not that contempt for compromise which some gentlemen should in truth suppose I deserved some of the epithets seem to entertain. If we were legislating for a horde of which have been so liberally bestowed upon the Congress savages who chased their daily food over the neighboring of the United States that passed the act of July, 1832. hills, and, in case of accident, depended upon plunder or the duty on tea and coffee is likewise a violation of the the roots of the forest for subsistence, we might despise principle on which the bill is reported, which, if I underall compromise; but in legislating for a highly refined and stand it, is to reduce the revenue to the wants of the artificial state of society, we should remember that civi-Government, committing as little violence as possible to lization is the result of compromise. Our constitution is the existing interests of the country. This is the princiitself the result of compromise; and the history of the very ple contained in the President's annual message, where clauses under which we are now acting (with whigh I will he says, “ the soundest maxims of public policy, and the not trouble the House) is a strong illustration of its gene- principles upon which our republican institutions are ral character.
founded, recommend a better adaptation of the revenue It is very common, in the political manquvring of this to the expenditure; and they also require that the ex. country, to start a theory, and, by way of giving it cur. penditure should be limited to what, by an economical rency and enlisting the prejudices of an ardent people, administration, shall be consistent with the simplicity of to call it the Southern doctrine. On "argument alone the Government, and necessary to an efficient public sermy faith is founded," and I shall support no doctrines vice. In effecting this adjustment, it is due, in justice and no theories my understanding does not teach me are to the interests of the different States, and even of the correct and proper. Although I am opposed to the tarif preservation of the Union itself, that the protection af, system in general, I do not think it that “ monstrum hor- forded by existing laws to any branches of the national rendum” some gentlemen seem to suppose it. I neither industry should not exceed what may be necessary to think it produces the bilious fever at Charleston, nor the counteract the regulations of foreign nations, and to se. yellow fever at New Orleans: it has sins enough of its cure a supply of those articles of manufacture essential to own to bear; I will not saddle it with those of the ima- the national independence and safety in time of war. If, gination.
upon investigation, it shall be found, as it is believed it The great doubt originally entertained upon the capa- will be, that the legislative protection granted to any city of this country to manufacture for itself, 'caused many particular interest is greater than is indispensably requipersons to oppose the system. It was thought premature; site for these objects, I recommend that it be gradually that the country was too young; that we had too much diminished, and that, as far as may be consistent with waste land, offering a healthier and better occupation for these objects, the whole scheme of duties be reduced to our population. The experiment has, however, been the revenue standard as soon as a just regard to the faith
Jax. 29, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
[H. OF R.
of the Government, and to the preservation of the large in foreign markets." Why then disturb it? Is it not the capital invested in establishments of domestic industry, part of wisdom to let well enough alone! will permit.”
The amount of cotton made in the United States, in the That the revenue should be reduced to the wants of the year ending in October, 1831, was 375,925,303 lbs.; in Government, is one of those plain and palpable truths 1819, 87,397,645 lbs. There is now manufactured in this which I suppose would be assented to on all sides. In country more than one-fifth of the whole production, about fact, this proposition has been admitted by several gentle one-third of what Great Britain manufactures at the premen who are opposed to all the provisions of this bill. I sent time. The manufacture of cotton has increased 100 would, therefore, observe to the gentlemen, that, as they per cent. in the last four years, an increase greater than have the majority on this floor, if this bill is injudicious ever took place in Great Britain in the same space of time. they ought to amend it in such a way as to reduce the re- These facts manifest, beyond all doubt, that this country venue six millions of dollars, the surplus mentioned by is well adapted, both by situation and capacity, to sustain the Secretary of the Treasury, with as little injury as pos- such a manufacture, as well as any other country; and, sible to themselves. For it never can be expected that therefore, it deserves the attention of the Legislature. We the people of this country will consent to pay more mo- now produce 150,000,000 lbs. more of cotton than Great ney than is necessary for the ordinary wants of the Go. Britain consumes, of all sorts. Where is this large survernment, either for the protection of manufactures, in- plus to find a purchaser? Shall we prefer to build up the ternal improvements, or any other purposes.
manufactures of all other countries to our own? I think And yet, sir, I would not narrow down the Government when it is so very convenient and advantageous to ourto a mean and niggardly economy.
selves, there is no great sin in permitting charity to begin That a duty on imports is necessarily a tax on any part at home. The cotton manufactured in this country amounts of the community, although the converse of the proposi- to about 214,882 bales; capital employed, 44,914,984 tion is paradoxical at first sight, I do not think has been dollars; annual value, 32,056,760 dollars; aggregate of satisfactorily maintained. Take, for example, the arti- wages of hands employed, $12,155,723; employing about cles of salt, coffee, and mola ses: on these three articles 50,000 men and women. Does not this benefit the grower the Congress of the United States have been reducing the of cotton? I have heard it so very vehemently denied, duties, with the view of reducing the price of them to the that I am indisposed to hazard any opinion of my own. I country; and yet such has not been the result. We find will, therefore, quote one that will be respected by all that when we took the duty off of salt in this country, parties. During the summer of 1831, a convention was the article rose in the West Indies; the truth is, the pos held in Philadelphia, of persons opposed to the tariff; session of the American market is essential to the pro- that convention was composed principally of Southern clucers of these articles, that they are obliged to have it men; they appointed a committee to drauglit a memorial to at all hazards, and, consequently, whenever Congress Congress, pointing out the burdens of the tariff laws. lays a heavy duty, their profits are reduced down to the That memorial was written by Mr. Gallatin, and, as might lowest ebb'that will sustain the business their situation be expected, is incomparably the ablest exposition of the compels them to follow.
evils of the tariff these very prolific times have produced. And yet these facts, curious as they appear, are but fal- in it are these words: “Whatever impulse may have been lacious grounds for a Government to lay heavy duties; al- given to the production of American cotton by the dothough the consumers of the country, as such, may be but mestic manufactures of that material, is therefore a clear little interested in the matter, the commerce of the coun- gain to the community. This, for the very reason that try is vitally interested. In proportion as we cultivate an the amount cannot be calculated with precision, has, unintercourse with those nations, who, by position or by na- doubtedly, been greatly exaggerated. But it cannot be tural advantages in the production of such articles as are doubted that the cons
nsumption of cotton goods in the Unitnecessary for our comfort or pleasure, are disposed to ed States has, to a certain extent, been increased by the trade with us on fair terms of reciprocity, we promote the establishment of domestic manufactures, and that the fucgeneral welfare of society, and give a stimulus to the tuations of price are lessened by having a greater number commerce of the country, which, next to agriculture, of markets; in this case one nearer, and so considerable, should be the favorite of the nation. Should it be true, even though the aggregate of sales was not materially intherefore, that the consumer of coffee would be no wise creased.” The cause of the fall of the price of raw cotinterested, whether there is a duty on it or not, still, the ton is thus accounted for: “The reduction of the price ship owner, who transports the article, the corn planter of the raw material was solely due to the increased supply and the lumber getter, whose productions are exchanged compared with the demand.” These admissions of the for it, are interested that the trade should be on the most convention are very ungenerous; they are the “unkindliberal footing. I will not, therefore, as a representative est cuts of all;" the greatest of known rebukes is, “out of a portion of this interest, assist in laying a burden on it, of thine own mouth I will condemn thee.” If, therefore, not required by the policy of the Government, or essential we are to believe the cotton planters' memorial, and not to its revevue.
their advocates on this floor, they are decidedly benefited I have no doubt, sir, this tariff matter can be adjusted, by the tariff. It is not the least curious part of this matif we will approach it candidly and fairly, divesting it ofter that, while this House was listening, day after day, to its political bearings, without producing injury or showing the most pathetic descriptions of the miseries and sufferunjust partiality towards any portion of the country. In ings of the cotton planters, from the tariff, a memorial laying a revenue duty so as to give incidental protection, was laying on our tables emanating almost exclusively let us select those manufactures whose interests are deep- from this interest, admitting themselves benefited. jy rooted and widely spread throughout the country, viz. Let us now examine what claims the article of sugar has cottons, woollens, and sugar.
to a slow death. When Louisiana was purchased from It is said and admitted here, generally, that we manufac- France, the cultivation of sugar had commenced in that ture coarse cottons in this country as cheaply as in any country; common justice requires that we should not unpart of the world; the price being less than the duty, the necessarily cause the planter to regret that he had ever duty, therefore, cannot possibly be a burden on any one. exchanged the yoke of the Spanish or French monarchies The memorial of the anti-tariff convention says, “the duty for the free government of America. is nominal in reference to most goods under fifteen cents, At the close of the war in 1816, Congress added half a which not only are afforded as cheap by the American cent to the duty as a part of a general system, which duty manufacturer as the foreign article, but compete with this has given a great stimulus to the cultivation of sugar in
H. OF R.]
The Tarif Bill.
[Jan. 29, 1833.
Louisiana; which country now produces two-thirds of the human wants so essential to man as jron, nor one that so sugar consumed in the United States. I presume it will immediately contributes to his wellbeing; its use marks not be doubted that the duty is essential to the prosperity the first step from barbarity to civilization; and yet it is of the plantations, and, without it, the cultivation of sugar more favored by this bill than any thing else. Why is this?
The present price of sugar is about five and Has Pennsylvania deserved a better fate than any other a half cents per pound in New Orleans: the whole ex. State in the Union? Did she bring to the South in 1828, pense of producing sugar, I am informed, is about three “in her utmost need,” one solitary vote? No, she went and a half cents per pound, leaving about two cents pro- in a solid phalanx for the “bill of abominations." And fit to the planter; which two cents are his means to pur- she is to be spared- the lightning glances over her, illuchase slaves and increase his cultivation. If, therefore, minates, but never touches her. Happy Pennsylvania, she you diminish his profits one half cent, you diminish his has thirty electoral votes, and no candidate for the Presicapacity to purchase one-fourth. The consumption of dency! sugar in the United States amounts to about 150,000 hogs It is said by Mr. Gullatin, that “the iron works of West heads, the crop of Louisiana to about 100,000. An in- Pennsylvania were, and still continue to be, protected crease, therefore, of one-half the present number of slaves against foreign iron, and that made within one hundred in that country must take place before the domestic con- miles of the seashore, by the expense of transportation, sumption of sugar can be supplied. And when we take which is still forty dollars a ton." There certainly, then, into consideration the astonishing increase, both in num- can be no propriety in taxing so greatly the whole seabers, and the means of consumption of the Northern, Mid- board, from Maine to Louisiana, to sustain a manufaeture dle, and Western States, it is but fair to suppose that which cannot flourish under these natural advantages. Louisiana will, for many years to come, furnish a market. The mountains of North Carolina are full of iron ore, and for the surplus slave labor of the South. The present yet no reasonable man would think the Government jusnumber of slaves in the United States is about 2,153,370, tifiable in placing a duty upon iron, sufficient to compenworth $430,674,000; the destruction of the sugar cultiva sate the owners of those inines for making railroads and tion would, undoubtedly, depress the price of slaves in canals to bring their iron to market. - Sir, I believe, if the proportion as the impetus it has hitherto given has in- duties on iron and hemp were removed, the much abused creased it, which has been estimated, and I think very tariff of 1832 is preferable to the bill on your table. moderately, at $55 a head. An enormous depression of It requires, it has been said by an ingenious writer, a the value of property for no conceivable benefit. The bill great deal of philosophy to observe that which is seen on the table does not propose to reduce the revenue by every day; if this were not true, it would be impossible it; for it proposes to take a half cent off' of sugar, and put to account for the discrepancy of opinions upon the praca cent a pound on coffee. Now if the revenue is really tical results of this protective system. Every one sees wanting, why make this absurd exchange? If not, it must that the country is generally prosperous, for which differshare the fate of every thing. There is no State in this ent causes are assigned. I do not think the prosperity of Union whose prosperity is so closely interwoven with the this country dependent upon the action of the Govern. welfare of the others, as Louisiana; she is a great consu- ment, nor is it desirable that it should be. I believe there mer for the rest; her labor is drawn from the old Southern is an elasticity and vigor in the American character, that States to cultivate her fields; her clothing from the North, will adapt itself to any system the wisdom or folly of this and her food from the West. It is worthy attention to House may adopt. That the tariff' compels the consumers remark the gradual reduction in the price of sugar, even of many articles to pay more for them than they otherwise under the duty of three cents per pound. During the last would, is true; but that it produces one-half of the evils or twelve years sugar has been gradually declining in price, benefits charged to it, is a position that has no existence, until it has reached a depression somewhat below half its except in the heated imaginations of partisans. price in 1819 and 1820; nor is it altogether certain that, if It is said, all this may be true; but by some legerdemain the duty were entirely removed, the consumer would de- not yet explained, although we have heard repeated atrive any immediate benefit, although ultimately the article tempts, the whole burden is thrown upon the South, the would be cheaper. The price of an article is regulated tax-paying South. It is extraordinary that any section of by the proportion of supply to demand; unquestionably, the country should claim the peculiar privilege of paying therefore, if the duty were suddenly removed, prudence the taxes of the Government; the idea results from a spewould dictate to the Louisiana planter to contract imme- cies of egotism, as absurd as that of an astrologer, mendiately his operations, in order to avoid ultimate ruin. Un- tioned I think in the Spectator, who had studied ihe aspect less, therefore, the reduction of supply at home were re- of the heavens with such intensity of zeal, that he at length lieved by the increase from abroad, the price would rise; believed himself master of the winds, and would very grawhich state of things would, at all events, produce great ciously, and with extreme condescension, offer to a friend Auctuations in the market. The production of sugar is going a journey, any wind he might have a fancy for. not like that of cotton or woollen goods; this article is an. There is, however, we are told, a theory, a self-evident nually produced in a li:nited section of country, and can- proposition, that explains the matter. It has been said, not be increased or diminished at will; the winds and they (report of the Committee of Ways and Means, by Mr. rains of heaven must be consulted.
McDuffie,) "as the restrictions imposed upon the proIf there is any part of the tariff system more peculiarly ductions of the Southern industry are affected by the unjust and indefensible, it is the duty on iron; this is an agency of indirect taxes, the burdens imposed upon the article absolutely indispensable to every class in society, planting States hy the protective system are not very inand yet it is more highly taxed by this bill than any thing accurately measured by the amount of taxes levied upon else, and without a corresponding benefit. Upon rolled articles exchanged for those productions,” or, in other bariron the duty is seventy-six per cent., on sheet and hoop words, a duty on imports is equivalent to a duty upon exiron ninety-three per cent. Were I disposed to appeal poris. I regard this as the most pernicious dogma that to the meanest and basest passion that actuates the human ever has been started in this country; its direct aml inevimind, the passion of avarice, a passion that regards its per- table tendency is a destruction of the Union; for if their sonal wants, its personal appetites as every thing, the suf- position be true, collect what amount of revenue you may, ferings of others, the glory and independence of the coun- whether twelve per cent. or fisty per cent., the greater try as nothing, it would be an easy matter to produce an part of the revenue must be paid by that portion of the excitement against this unjust preference of one interest country producing articles best adapted to foreign markets. to another. There is no article in the whole catalogue of| I will not say, sir, as was said by a gentleman from South
Jan. 29, 1833.]
The Tariff Bill.
(H. OF R.
Carolina, [Mr. Davis,] during the last session, “ He does not encounter a solid phalanx of hostility (with a few. doubted whether any Government, except the State Go- exceptions) from the whole Southern delegation on this vernment, was worth the taxes the people paid for it;" foor? During the last session, an honorable friend of but this I will say, that on these terms, or if this theory is mine, (Mr. Carson,] when the annual appropriation bill, true, the Federal Government never can sustain itself. for the improvement of the barbors of the country, was Could I believe, by the inevitable acts of your legislation, before the House, proclaimed it an imposition on the I was made a hewer of wood and a drawer of water for people. the rest of the Union, I should feel myself degraded were Does any one propose to appropriate a few thousand I to come here to debate the matter. "I should feel myself dollars from an abundant treasury, to open a road through impelled by every principle that ever nerved the arm or our beautiful interior, that it may communicate with the swelled the bosom of an American freeman, to resist such markets and civilization of the rest of the world, we are oppression. I am not therefore, surprised that sections immediately told of violated constitutions, and all the of our country are maddened almost to frenzy under the slang which has been current on this floor for the last operation of this doctrine. To have believed it, and borne twenty years about State rights, is repeated usque
ad it so long, is a proof of their great patriotism and most nauseam.". It seems as if some gentlemen supposed every eminent discretion. This theory, however, confines its thing which was calculated to promote the prosperity, to operation to the growers of pice, cotton, and tobacco; it enlarge the sphere of action of the mass of the people, is of course of no importance to persons not connected was a violation of the constitution. with the production of these articles, what the tariff may At the last session of Congress, a bill came to this be; their portion of the burden being thrown upon their House from the Senate, proposing to settle the policy of more substantial neighbors. I have shown, by an extract our public lands-a bill whose object was to prevent from the memorial of the cotton planters, that they con- them from being given ultimately to the West-a bill to ceive themselves benefited by the system in some mea- restore to the old Atlantic States some portion of the sure. I shall, therefore, trouble myself no more with the treasure they had so liberally spent in purchasing that subject, than to make a few remarks upon a corollary that vast region, and to remunerate theni in some measure for has been drawn from it. We have been told by the same the constant drain upon their resources, produced by document “that the fairest' portion of this great confe- emigration. Was that bill lost by Southern votes ? Let deracy, and of heaven the most favored region of the earth, your journals answer. is literally undergoing a silent but irresistible process of 'This Government may spend millions upon millions on decay, produced by the gross perversion of the very its army or its navy; it may pave the road of the Indian power which is under the highest of human obligations to beyond the Mississip with ingots of gold; it may squanprevent it.”. I admit that the South is not as flourishing der the enormous amount of our public lands, to puras some portions of this confederacy; but I deny that its chase a little personal popularity in the West, and all is depression is to be attributed to the action of the General well; but if it attempts to spend one dollar of the public Government, and I am much astonished that any person treasure for the public welfare, we are told of violated could overlook the plain and palpable causes there exist- constitutions. Sir, should the South become, in the proing, sufficient (without stimulating the natural prejudices cess of decay, what one portion of it has been threatened of the people against the General Government) to ac- with, “a howling wilderness," there is scarcely a monucount for all the horrors of even warmer imaginations. ment on its wide border, of the liberality of those who
The peculiar character of the emigration alone from the have governed it, to prove to the industrious antiquarian old Southern States, an emigration which carries off both that it had ever been trod by the foot of civilized man. the labor and capital of the country, leaving nothing to There might be found some barren and blasted fields, as supply its place, is sufficient to account for many of our if the sirocco of the desert had passed over it, but there miseries. Does not that labor find the tariff as grinding would be no Appian way, resisting the efforts of the barand oppressive in the Southwest as in either of the Caro- barian, or the decay of time. I did suppose, when I first linas? Why, then, should it abandon its native soil to entered these walls, something might be done to revive waste and desolation, because a fresher and more fertile the stagnant and wasting energies of the South; but when soil invites it? There are two other causes operating un. I heard what on this floor are proclamed as Southern favorably on the Southern seaboard; one a moral, the other doctrines and Southern principles, I felt that sickness of a physical cause. I will not, however, sir, dilate on this the soul which awaits on hope deferred. Perhaps it was subject; to me it is an unpleasant one. I love the South, the result of a retired life that led me to believe that with all her misfortunes-1 love her, “'tis my own, my some higher duty was assigned a member on this floor, native land,” “ tecum vivere amem tecum obeam libens” – than a mere vote for the annual bills to pay the salaries it is from the affection I bear her, I am induced to speak of the Government officers, and it may be folly to supthus plainly to her.
pose that a legislator should be, or could be, a benefacThere is another cause operating to tlie serious disad-tor of mankind. I am, however, satisfied that a new vantage of the best portion of the South, and, I admit, generation of politicians must arise, after the present one “of heaven the most favored region," if we regard soil, has fretted its little hour upon the stage, before the climate and situation: I mean the interior of the Southern southern part of this Union can derive its full share of country, particularly of North Carolina and Virginia. Why the benefits of the liberal institutions of the country.* is it that this section is not as Hourishing as the interior of New York, and Pennsylvania? The climate is equally, if * That the Southern people bave lost much in spending not more congenial to the constitution of the white man, their time disputing about the meaning of the constitution, and the soil is more productive in every thing that can instead of devoting their energies and resources to the contribute to the prosperity of the people. Why is it improvement of the country, I think must be apparent to that a silence, as of death, pervades their thousand hills, every man who will calmly and dispassionately view the there we find no busy hum of men, no throng of flocks or whole ground. It is impossible, in this age, for any peoof herds? It is because the hostility of the South to the ple to stand still; they must either advance or recede in improvement of the country leaves every thing to nature. the scale of importance among nations. The human mind We complain that the revenue of the country is collected is now so active; so intensely bent on developing all its reat the South, and expended to the North. if this is true, sources, that those nations which, like Spkin, or Portugal, it is our own fault. 'Is there a proposition to remove a with a blind bigotry, shut out every ray of light, must sand bar or deepen a river in any part of this country, that either relapse into barbarism, the prey of military despot.