« AnteriorContinuar »
Jan. 26, 1829.
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Who can expect to throw any new light on a sub- it is wholly derived from one simple element, the will of ject so often and so ably discussed as this? Yet I feel the people ; but as it was impossible to bring this will to that the view I have of it has not been presented by any bear on the various circumstances requiring its exercises, one who has spoken; and, however unwilling to add to our ancestors happily fell on the plan of delegating this the fatigue produced by the attention given to this pro- power to proper agents. No one has denied the authority tracted debate, I crave the attention of the Committee, of the constitution of the United States ; nor, so far as I while I shall briefly attempt to disclose the opinions I en- know, has any denied the obligation of individuals to contertain on the subject.
form to its laws; but the difficnlty is, how far it may bind This question, like all others of great importance, the States, without destroying that sovereignty reserved ought to be discussed dispassionately. I feel that I can to them by the people. That we may not wander in this meet it calmly; but I am well aware that it will be impos- discussion, let us look a little into the history of the formasible to present my view of it, without running into that tion of this Government. disputed ground, so loudly defended by those who, it would The Governments of most of the States existed before appear, are the guardians of the rights of :he States. the establishment of this. The war of the Revolution Sir, I have attended patiently to this discussion ; I have left these States united by a compact, whose obligation, heard much of the growing powers of this Government, under the patriotic feeling prevailing during the conflict, and of the imminent danger impending over the States
to preserve them through the arduous strug. and over the people ; yet I never in my life felt more gle. But the experience of a few years demonstrated thoroughly convinced that these opinions are illusory, and that this compact was insufficient to perform the duties of the fears entertained entirely groundless. This Govern a Government in time of peace. A heavy debt existed, ment cannot exist a single day after the Governments of which each State felt itself bound to see discharged, and the States are destroyed ; nor can it deprive the people of this required something like a National Government. their liberties unless they shall become tired of the precious It is obvious, through all the stages of the proceedings inheritance, and, like a famous nation of old, who enjoyed had towards the establishment of the constitution of the a government established by the Most High, cry aloud United States, that its founders deemed it invalid till ratiagainst it, and, destroying its powers, bury themselves and fied by the people themselves. The convention who their liberties in the mighty ruin. May our nation profit framed it, therefore, returned it to the people for their by the example of the punishment which they have suffer- sanction; and by whom was the sanction given? By the ed and yet continue to suffer.
State Governments? By no means. The people chose Three questions present themselves for discussion under delegates to meet in convention for this particular purthe bill on your table :
pose ; and by these conventions was this sacred insiru1. Has the Government of the United States power to ment ratified and confirmed; and from that day till the construct roads within the States?
present has it been considered as binding equally on all 2. Has it power to levy toll on roads thus constructed ? the States, and on all the people, deriving its powers from
the highest authority known in this country—the people. 3. Is it expedient to exercise this power in the present True, this sanction was not obtained through popular asinstance ?
semblies; the People met in their geographical divisions ; Having risen to deliver my opinion in support of the and in the only practicable way, I repeat it, gave to this bill reported by the Committee on Roads and Canals, it is Government the impress of their sovereignty. obvious that I answer all these questions in the affirmative. I take it as granted, that the constitution of the United To sustain these opinions, I deern it best first to notice, States was ratified, and consequently enacted by the people what I think the principal errors lying at the root of this of the United States, and not by the State Governments. subject ; and from which have sprung the arguments But let us look a little closer into this matter. deemed so conclusive against us. These are
pose the convention who framed it convened for the pur1. That this Government is a compact between the Go pose ; what can we suppose was the first object of their vernments of the States.
desire? To forin a Government qualified to secure the 2. That its powers are derived from the State Govern- happiness of the people. This is acknowledged by all the
world to be the only true object of Government. No mat3. That it properly exists only within the ten miles ter with what despotism or what fanaticism the liberties of square, composing this District. And,
the people are destroyed, whether it be by the cruel Auto4. That the sovereignty of each State over its soil, is crat, the infatuated Turk, or the bigoted Spaniard-all paramount and exclusive.
declare themselves the guardians of the happiness of the It is obvious, if these propositions are not founded on a just people. How much more are we justified in thinking that view of the constitution, but are, on the contray, wholly this was the ruling desire of our glorious convention. Foluntrue, a great part of the argument which has been advanc- low them a little further; the objects deemed necessary to ed on this question must fall to the ground. I shall, there. this great end gradually develop themselves; the instrufore, bestow some attention on each of them. In the first ment, intended to be invalid till sanctioned by the people, place, let us inquire whether this Government is a con- speaks in their name. federation of independent sovereign Governments. Every Government is, in some sense, sovereign ; and the States,
“We, the People of the United States, in order to form within their limits of power and territory, are as truly so
a more perfect union ; to establish justice ; ensure domesas any Government on earth. But the people of the the general welfare ; and, above all, to secure the blessings
tic tranquillity ; provide for the common defence ; promote United States live under no Government having boundless authority; and, although the term sovereignty is of fre- of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” quent use amongst us, it invariably means no more than These are the great ends to be accomplished, and they the sovereign power known under the Government we are worthy of the statesman and the sage. It was requi. live in. Nothing has contributed more to darken this site to point out the means necessary to accomplish these subject, than the obstinacy with which the definitions of great ends, and this is done in that wonderful instrument, sovereign powers, drawn from foreign countries, whose equally distinguished for brevity and comprehensiveness Governments have not a principle in common with ours, the constitution of the United States. The power to are brought in and applied in the States and to this Go- construct roads is no where mentioned in the constitution, vernment. This subject cannot be thus explained or un ae belonging to the United States. If it exists at all, it is derstood: our form of Government is too complex. True, I as an incident to the powers specially granted. The spe.
Let us sup
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Jan. 26, 1*29.
cial grants of means or power, to this Government, which they have nothing to fear from it True, it may itselt
they might happen to be in, he discovers a way to save the 2. Are the powers of this Government derived from maxim about sovereignty, and yet maintain the law. Let the State Governments? I think I have shown that its him speak for himself : “ The property, and all the instipowers are derived from a higher source.
That the so tutions of the United States, are constructively," yes, convereignty it exercises is from an authority as much great- siructively. “ without the local territorial jurisdiction of the er than that of a State, as the whole of the people are individual States, in every respect, and for every purpose, greater than a part; and that it is not only so from ihe rea- including that of taxation." What! the forts, arsenals sonableness of the thing, but has been uniformly so receiv- public dock yards, arms, and other property of this Goed from the foundation of the Government. It may, how- vernment, while within the States, have no protection from ever, be proper here to notice the many frightful pictures the grasp of such States, except by construction, and that drawn of the decaying powers of the States, and of the construction in the face of common sense! Now can any rapid strides making by ihis Government towards absolute thing be more absurd than this? And how could such an power, and unlimited dominion. Nothing can present it- absurdity maintain its ground in so powerful a mind? Beself to my mind more idle than this fear, or more unfound cause the States of this Union are declared sovereign ! ed than these opinions. Have gentlemen failed to notice and no thousand facts can do away the notions infused into that this Government ceases to exist with those of the the mind by this magic word. Give me matter of fact, not States? Have they failed to notice that the people them- fiction. If we have no Government, let the people know selves not only control us through returning elections, but it at once, and provide one. But how stands the fact here? the State Governments can decree our annihilation at Is this Government really alien to the States? Or, is it their pleasure ? No doubts exist on this subject. Let the equally at home in every State or Territory in this Union, State Legislatures cease to elect Senators, and soon the claiming an exemption from taxation on its means of carrySenate ceases its existence ; let them fail to provide for ing on its operations through that paramount sovereigniy, the election of electors, and where is your President? derived from the people themselves ? Why resort to ficLet them repeal their laws providing for the election of tion? Are we afraid that the people should know the fact members to Congress, and where is your Government ? that we attempt to blind ihem with fiction ? True, this Dead, to all intents and purposes. Sir, this Government District is a residence for the functionaries of this Governwas not made for tyranny, but for liberty. True, it is ment, and the seat of its legislation. But the people know strong: for how else, in this day, could it exist without that no part of its power is derived from the ten miles strength? But let it be observed, and I say it without fear square. Every member of both branches of Congress of refutation, that, although the United States possess the are citizens of the States, and subject to their laws. Every power to defy the greatest Power on earth who should President and every Head of Department, have, so far as I dare to invade us, yet they are nerveless, yea, dead, know, been likewise citizens of some of the States. They that instant they lose the confidence of the people. Far are taken from among the people, to enact and execute different is it with the State Governments: they hove a laws operating to the whole extent of our territory, and self-existing principle, and may in the sad day of our disso- this Goverument is, in fact, equally at home in all the Jution, survive our fall. True, they ought to be watchful; States and Territories of this Union. liberty flies from the sluggard , but let them not think of 4. I come now to consider what seems most insisted on, finding liberty by the destruction of this Government and is, 1 believe, declared to admit of neither doubt or ex
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ception. Do the States enjoy a paramount and exclusive panding nation. They knew that it would be equally vain jurisdiction over the soil they cover ? So long as this Go- and pernicious to attempt to fetter society with a code like verment exists, its enactments are nothing, unless of force that of the Locrians, or the more renowned laws of Lyin the States. They are worse than nothing, if subject to curgus No, sir: the march of knowledge, and the spread be repealed, directly or indirectly, by the individual States. of institutions, beneficial to mankind, forbade it. A form And how, let me ask, can this Government carry on its in- of Government they gave for our acceptance ; and, wondispensable operations, without exerrising sovereignty derfully comprehensive as it is, few, very few of our laws over the soil ? True, this sovereignty, although paramount are founded directly on the powers granted to Congress. for its purposes, is not exclusive, even for forts, arsenals, The whole post office code, extending to punishment of &c., unless by the consent of the States in which they lie, the people for every hinderance or injury to the mail, and so abundantly guarded are the rights of the States. But, even forbidding the reasonable liberty of carrying letters for all the necessary purposes of its institutions, this Go- for hire on private account, are passed by powers incivernment, by the declaration of the people themselves, the dental to the right to “ establish post offices and post uniform decision of its courts, and the legislative enact- roads." The revenue laws, and the tariff among them, menis of every administration, from its commencement, is are incidental to a right “ to regulate commerce. Nor declared 10 have a paramount jurisdiction over the whole is this the most remote incident to this power which has Union. The powers of this Government are co-equal with been exercised. Buoys, beacons, light houses, dock yards, its duties. It must establish post roads, regulate internal and sea walls, have risen under it, and a tax on all who commerce, defend us against our enemies, have fortifi use this light is exacted on the same principles. cations, march its armies, and occupy so much space as The treaty-making power appears to carry incidents these operations require. Suppose a State were to refuse still more wonderful. The power to make treaties has her consent to each and every one of these operations ; by carried with it that to buy those invaluable possessions what right would this Government enter her territory for Lonisiana and Florida, and not only to pay for them twenty either purpose, if the State sovereignty over the soil is ex millions of the people's money, but to bind this Union to clusive?
accept of them as States, equal every way to those who I have used freely the term sovereignty. I am apprised made the purchase. Where is the authority granted to that it is at the risk of being misunderstood or misrepre- this nation to have passed these laws? I venture to say sented. I disclaim all definitions of this term, which sig. they are no where to be found, except in the incidental nify a power unknown to the constitution. I have used it powers granted by the people in the constitution. And because it is so liberally and exclusively applied to the shall we acknowledge all these powers—the right to take States, by those in opposition to my views. I grant that a way the lives of our citizens, to consume millions of our each Government is equally entitled to the term, but must money, to open to foreign nations the door of union and again repeat, that the people of this country acknowledge equal sovereignty with ourselves, and yet shrink back no sovereignty inconsistent with that liberty which they from the power to make a road, which is equally an obhave again and again declared to be dearer than life, and vious incident to granted power? which he who surrenders is unworthy to live.
I have said that all the powers of this Government must If I have been so fortunate as to have conveyed my ideas be sovereign. No State can add to them, except in the intelligibly, in what I have said, little more will be neces instances pointed out in the constitution. I, therefore, sary to point out the opinions I entertain on this subject. think it unnecessary to say much on the subject of comI think I have shown that the United States is a Govern- pacis made with the States, on the subject of this road. ment of the people, and that its powers are all sovereign If we had not the right to make this road, before these and paramount, ihough, in many instances, not exclusive. compacts, we have never had the right But if we have That, if it can make a road, it must do so as a sovereign that right, certainly an obligation to exercise it might power, and, if so, a power to tax for the use, is necessa grow out of the compacts alluded to. This view of the ry and proper incident. But this power, although suffi matter seems the only rational account of it. The road cient for its objects, can be extended no farther. It can in question is beneficial to the States through which it runs; never be extended to forbid a State from making as many but it is invaluable to the States lying beyond it to the roads as it thinks proper, nor can it claim from the citizen West. To grant power to make it is a strange way of any tax excepi he travels the road. And it is equally un- asking a favor of such magnitude ; to have made a comtrue that the legislation of Congress, on this subject, is in- pact requiring its construction, was a regular and ordinary tended to be exclusive. The sovereignty of the States exercise of that attention to our interest, so indispensable over this road remains uninterrupted for all the purposes in all the transactions of life. of her civil and criminal jurisdiction, and Congress is re No road is more important for many purposes of this stricted in its legislation to those measures which may be Government, than that for the repair and preservation of necessary and proper to construct. preserve, and keep it which the bill on your table is intended. None can be for the purposes of the nation. Nor have the individuals more strictly national, and not one which has yet been on this road been invaded without a strict observance of constructed is so widely beneficial in its effects. Yet it is that clause of the constitution requiring compensation to so located, with regard to the States through which it pasbe made to them for every damage they have sustained. ses, ihat I think I hazard little in saying, that, if it was not
Sir, it was obvious that a successful opposition to this constructed, the States of themselves would never think bill required that the force of legislative precedent should of entering into such an undertaking, The question bebe destroyed. I confess this forms no conclusive argu fore us is, whether this work is so important to the operament; but, in spite of what has been said to decry its intiu. tions of this Government as to come within that provision ence, I must still point to your statute book. If the ex of the constitution authorizing it to pass all laws necessary ercise of incidental powers, from the establishment of the and proper to carry into execution its powers. This work Government to this day, has not developed proofs of the is necessary to carry on the commerce of the nation, to absolute necessity of the frequent use of those powers to facilitate the transportation of the mails, and to provide the existence of this Government, then I think the argu for the general defence: for it cannot be maintained ment must be yielded to our adversaries. The framers of that the constitution requires that absolute necessity which the constitution did not attempt a code of laws, but a con- excludes all choice of means. No: the discretion of a stilution. They knew the age they lived in, and had they legislative body must attach to us; and in selecting the been required to do so, it was beyond the wisdom of man means allowed by this clause, we can be required to do to devise laws suited to the progressive wants of this ex no more than to avoid entering into a measure of this kind
without obvious and strong necessity. Let us view this that its repairs must, if performed by this Government, be road only as a means of national defence.
a perpetual and large draught on the Treasury. If it is forts on the coast would be worth as much? And what is 10 remain a perpetual charge on us; if those who are the value of forts, without roads leading to them, to ensure benefited by it, and, in the prosecution of their lawful their being manned and supplied? Can any one believe occupation wear it out, are still to pay no more for its prethe defence of our coast is provided for, while the great servation and repair than I, who never saw it, then, I regrowing States of the West are shut out by impassable peat it, let it go down. We who live on the Atlantic coast mountains? Or would our flag have been humbled in the will contrive to defend ourselves without this unjust tax; dust in this District, had the Cumberland road been finish- and if the people of the West do not desire this road to be ed during the late war?
thus preserved, let its fate be written in the rejection of The gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. BUCHANAN] this bill. has discovered that this question involves principles which One argument in reply to a suggestion of the two genhas long been a matter of contest between the Federal tlemen, (Mr. ARCHER and Mr. P. P. BARBOUR] that this tax and Republican parties of this country; and predicts that would be unconstitutional, because not equal throughout the parties dividing on the strict and liberal construction of the United States. What tax, let me ask, can be equally paid constitution will be perpetual among us. With great def- in every part of the United States ? Not one. It is suference to his better judgment of the opinions of the Fede- ficient that it is equal to every citizen who uses the thing ral party, I must be permitted to differ with him as to the taxed, and who will be exempted on this road? Suppase principle of difference existing between that party and the a tax were laid on woollen factories, no matter how heavy, Republican. The Federal party lost the confidence of the what part of it would Georgia pay? Not one cent: for people and its power, not from the exercise of doubtful there are no factories of this description there-sorry am I powers. No one doubts the power of this Government to to say it. It is useless to enlarge on this subject, and I impose taxes, imposts, and excises, and to raise and sup know the Committee are fatigued with the discussion. port armies and navies. But the people thought these I have given several votes in this body in favor of appowers were abused
They thought the taxes and excises propriations for works of Internal Improvement. I have wrung from them, were intended to support armies to keep until now remained silent under the responsibility of votthem in awe of this Government. This it was which ing different from every other Representative from the kindled their anger against the Federal party, and pros Siate I represent. I have no doubt that those I represent trated it at their feet. True, the sedition law was uncon here will give me credit for a faithiul discharge of duty ; stitucional, and came in for its share of the odium poured whether they will approve of what I have done it is imposout on its authors. But I venture to affirm, that the re sible for me to know. Nothing would be more painful to sentment of the people against that administration rested | my feelings than a consciousness of having misrepresented mainly on the taxes they paid, and the objects to be pro their views; for I hold that they have a right to be repremoted by them. Sir, the people of this country, favorable sented by those who coincide with them in opinion. Sir, to the policy of the measure on your table, are not of the whatever appearances to the contrary may have indicated, Federal party, and it must be regarded as a violent I venture to say this subject has never been presented to presumption on the part of the gentleman of Pennsyl their consideration in a way to admit of an exercise of vania to have attempted to identify them with it in this judgment. Had it been so, and decided contrary to the
votes I have given, I should have felt bound to have abI have rested my argument thus far on the powers of stained from voting, as I have done ; but, while I have the this Government to construct this road, independent of the honor to serve the people in a deliberative body, they may compacts entered into with the States for that purpose. rest assured that I never will give a vote which has not the To those who deny that power, the right to levy tolls can sanction of my own judgment. But, whatever course the not be inade appear; but, is what I have said on that sub- tide of public opinion at the South may set on this imporject is at all satisfactory, the right to demand tolls follows tant question, there is one thing of which I have not a single as an incidental power. Congress appropriated money, doubt. No part of the United States is so deeply interestand ordered the construction of this road: they have, in ed in maintaining the policy and practice of carrying on conformily with the constitution, satisfied individuals for works of Internal Improvement, by aids from this Governthe damage done them by the road, and it is theirs, now, inent; nor is there within the whole range of our populanot only as sovereigns, but as proprietors. The right to tion, a section of country more completely shut out from tax, and the justice of the exaction, are both clear. Sir, the advantages of a convenient trade, than the most valuathis power has been discussed too much, as an invasion of ble part of the State of Georgia. Could it be believed that the States for hostile purposes. Yet nothing contributes the inhabitants of the banks of the Mississippi, and its more to the prosperity of the States than works of this kind. branches, two thousand miles from the Gulf of Mexico, If the people feel that they suffer any wrong, let them are more convenient to trade than those I represent here? abandon the road, and use others made by the States. If Yet such is the fact ; and, what renders it more astounding, we find it worth preserving for our own use, for the trans- they not only pay far less for the transportation of articles portation of the mail, and for the keeping open a commu of production or consumption, but are but little longer in nication with the West, let the appropriation be made: but obtaining returns for shipments made at their own doors. if it is to be destroyed by the travel of individuals, and Nor have we the means of relieving ourselves of these they to pay only what other citizens pay in general taxes, heavy burthens. Nature has given us a mild and genial I say let it go down. To me there appears but one pos- climate, and a soil yielding abundantly the richest producsible doubt of the justice of this measure, and that rests tions ; but we have been denied a deep penetrating bay like on the obligation entered into for the construction of this the Chesapeake, or a river like the Mississippi. The proroad, If the people of the West have paid an equivalent, ducts of our soil reach the market, taxed to an amount it would seem that the road ought to be free to them. which renders many of those which would be valuable, But, in reply, it may be said, truly, that our contract was worthless. We are literally shut out from the Atlantic hy a performed when this road was completed, and that the sandy barren of nearly two hundred miles in width, through keeping it in repair ought surely to tall on those who use which its scattered and poor inhabitants can never be exit ; and it may be added, that the toll intended tu be im- pected to make even a tolerable road. True, this wide spread posed in the bill is only deemed sufficient to keep the road alluvion is divided by rivers, and such as, in a different counin repair. This road, short as it is, has cost an immense try, would be justly deemed noble streams. For a few months sum of money; and such is the amount of travel on it, in the year, they are navigable, and large sums of money
have been expended in attempting improvements on them. to the transfer. In the present dilapidated condition of the But, running as they do, through level valleys of various Cumberland road, in consequence of the continued neglect width, frequently shifting their channels, perpetually sub- of Congress to make adequate appropriations for its repair, ject to be choked up with fallen timber, and constantly it will require a large expenditure to put it in a condition filling up with sand thrown into them by the rains, they to erect toll gates, which, by turnpike law, are to be thrown are absolutely incapable of permanent improvement. Our open whenever it shall cease to be in good travelling efforts, it is true, have not been aided by the lighis of sci order. One hundred thousand dollars is appropriated by ence ; but no matter what science had presided over our the original bill to this object. [Mr. BUCHANAN stated disbursements, the laws of nature have decided that these that his amendment did not propose to strike it out.] streams can never answer the purposes of a prosperous Thus (said Mr. B.) the leading question presents itself; commerce and agriculture. They must be abandoned for What authority does Congress possess to delegate to the canals or rail-roads, and to effect the construction of these, States of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, a power we must look to this Government, not only for the funds, which the gentleman from Pennsylvania, and all who supbut the science. Since I have been here, I have been in port his amendment, deny she herself possesses ? If the formed that the citizens of Philadelphia are burning coal, General Government cannot erect toll gates, can she authowhich, after a transportation of one hundred miles, does rize the erection of them by the States? And conceding, not cost them five dollars a ton I doubt whether the crop as I do, her right to preserve, by the exercise of her own of cotton annually sent to market by the citizens of Geor- sovereignty, that which she has created, yet she cannot, by gia, costs them, on an average, less than six times this sumn any forced construction of the compact with Ohio, transfer for the transportation of each ton in weight ; and I well this road, or divest herself of its proprietorship, by any leknow that a greater sum is paid by many of them. Sir, gislative enactment. the agriculture of the country I represent languishes under While the Western world was almost a desert, you conthis heavy burthen. There is but one rational prospect of tracted, for a valuable consideration, to connect it with the relief from it, and that is the hope that aid may be given Atlantic border, by making, regulating, and constructing a us by this Government. And can I, looking as I do, for highway, that should create an identity of interests, by aid in these great interests, by my vote clap an extinguisher facilitating intercourse ; and the obligation to preserve it, on the efforts of this body to keep ative and extend this for che full attainment of all the objects designed by its conbeneficent policy? Never!
struction, is binding on all succeeding generations. If you I cannot take leave of this subject without again noticing can now transier it to a State or Slates, you could, with the efforts made to represent the exercise of this policy as equal propriety, have destroyed it within a month after a sort of invading monster, armed with a dagger tatal to you had complied with the letter of your compact, by its liberty! Those in the midst of this great evil have not construction. So long as this Union shall endure--and found it fatal to them. They view these works with un may Heaven grant it perpetuity !--so long are these United mixed satisfaction, for they feel and know their invaluable States bound, by the spirit of their compact, by every prinbenefits. Nor do they cherish their liberties less than we, ciple of morality and good faith, by self-interest, which has who are never pained with the sight of a Government road. its influence in the councils of the nation as well as in the No, sir, the liberties of this nation may perish, but neither breasts of individuals, to preserve this object of general inthese roads nor this policy will effect their destruction. Sir, terest--the common property of the republic-which they I am lost in astonishment at the fear expressed by gentle cannot divest themselves of, and which they ought not, if men on this subject. Do they fear that this policy, once they could. Wherein consists the difference between exadopted, will, like the fabled Lotos, turn off the minds of acting light money and tolls on a highway? Will it be conthe people from all their former attachments ?
tended that, because a ship is borne on the wide expanse The gentleman from Virginia [Mr. ARCHER) has aston- of the Atlantic Ocean, without the limits of any individual ished us with descriptions of the consequences of giving up State, the General Government has exclusive jurisdiction ? a right to the soil for these purposes. He states that, if It must be recollected that four-fifths of all our light we can take enough soil for a road, we may, by the same houses are erected in our bays, and sounds, and rivers, means, take a whole county, if we only call it a road. Now and within the limits of the States ; consequently the cases I am willing to allow this gentleman to be an able lawyer ; are precisely parallel, and the former right having always yet, I ask him with whai face he would come into court as been fully conceded, with what propriety can the latter be ihe advocate of such a cause? Suppose a jury sworn to denied ? The Governinent being bound, in good faith, to try a man for cultivating his farm, which had been declared keep up the road, it is but reasonable that they who enjoy a road; what argument would he use to make them give the benefit of it, should contribute an indemnity adequate up the evidence of their senses? Would he tell them that to the injury sustained by the travel over it. He who the gentleman's plantation must be considered a road, and passes to-day contemplates to return to-morrow ; and it is expect a verdict on such an argument ? No, sir, no argu- his interest that it should be always kept in such a state of ment would avail any thing. It would require the argu- repair as to create the least possible delay, and enable him ment used by Prince Peter, in the Tale of a Tub, lo prove to carry the heaviest burthens; and as it must be sustained that the loat of bread was a shoulder of muiton! A black-by a tax, the principles of equiry and justice demand that smith with a pair of tongs heated red hot, ready to pinch the the remotest sections of the Union should not be required nose of him who dared to believe his own eyes! When the to contribute to an improvement which affords to them no people of this country get tired of their liberties, lose their advantage ; but that those who enjoy the benefit should understandings, and subject themselves to the yoke of a bear the burthen. Pennsylvania and Maryland, by their tyrant, such things may betal them--but not till then. respective laws, have invited you to erect toll gates thereon.
I have detained the committee longer than I had intended. Through Virginia it passes but a few miles ; and, were It is unnecessary to go into the particular objections I have the assent of that State deemed necessary, she has disto the amendment under consideration, and I conclude with played too much magnanimity in granting corporate privifeelings of gratitude for the attention which has been given leges to citizens of other States to the right of her soil, to to what I have said.
refuse it to these United States. Mr. BARNEY remarked that, as a Representative of Mr. B. attached additional importance to the decision of one of the States to which this road was to be transferred, the Committee on this amendment, as to its effect on other not as a gratuity, but clogged with onerous and oppressive improvements contemplated to be made out of the public conditions, it became him to investigate the utie, and to be funds. If it should succeed, it is not difficult to foretell well assured of its validity, before he could give his assent the fate of the great national road from Washington to