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stances warrant me in the belief, that you mean to violate the laiv; but, if an innocent man, the security you must give will not injure you. We know, that if a man lay before a magistrate, on oath, just grounds to suspect harm, personal or otherwise, the officer is bound to require bond for the observance of the peace. The party accused could not say, whom have I injured? when I injure any one, it will then be time enough to punish me. No; it is the policy of every nation rather to endeavour to prevent than punish offences.
Though a citizen might sell his lumber, &c. to whomsoever he pleased, it was fair to enquire whether it was for unlawful purposes, with a knowledge of its improper use; and whether, in exercising this right of sale, he was not injuring others. I think, said Mr. H., when vessels are seen going out equipped, even to the powder horn, they can only be supposed going to engage in hostilities.
Mr. H. avowed himself opposed to giving large powers of discretion to subordinate officers-we had had enough of itbut under the provisions of this bill, the cases provided for are of so suspicious a character, that he thought there was little danger of mistake, and that the officer would be very careful not to seize the vessel without good grounds, &c. being on his own responsibility. Mr. H. stated the characteristics required by the bill to justify the officer to proceed; the difference in the number of men, and other appearances, necessary to authorize a seizure, and that the cases contemplated by the bill were such, as to leave no doubt on the mind, and which, if not overlooked by the government, would make it a party in the fraudulent procedure.
The law of 1794, Mr. H. said, instead of providing guards to prevent the offence, only punished the act when committed; in this bill the reverse is the case.
That the evil exists; that these degrading and dangerous practices are carried on, almost openly, in defiance of the ex. isting law, is satisfactory evidence that the existing law is not sufficient to prévent or restrain them.
BILL FOR INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT.
February 4th, 1817. The house having resolved itself into a committee of the whole, Mr. Smith of Maryland in the chair, on the bill to set apart and pledge, as a fund for internal improvement, the bonus
and United States' share of the dividends of the national bank; and the bill having been read:
Mr. CALHOÙN. At peace with all the world; abounding in pecuniary means; and, what was of the most importance, and at what he rejoiced, as most favourable to the country, party and sectional feeling immerged in a liberal and enlightened regard to the general concerns of the nation: Such, said he, are the favourable circumstances under which we are now deliberating. Thus situated, to what can we direct our resources and attention more important than internal improvements? What can add more to the wealth, the strength, and the political prosperity of our country? The manner in which facility and cheapness of intercourse added to the wealth of a nation, had been so often and ably discussed by writers on political economy, that he presumed the house to be perfectly acquainted with the subject. It was sufficient to observe, that every branch of national industry, agricultural, manufacturing, and commercial, was greatly stimulated and rendered by it more productive. The result is, that it tends to diffuse universal opulence. It gives to the interior the advantages possessed by the parts most eligibly situated for trade. It makes the country price, whether in the sale of the raw product, or in the purchase of the articles for consumption, approximate to that of the commercial towns. In fact, if we look into the nature of wealth we shall find, that nothing can be more favourable to its growth than good roads and canals. An article, to command a price, must not only be useful, but must be the subjrct of demand; and the better the means of commercial intercourse, the larger is the sphere of demand. The truth of these positions, said Mr. Calhoun, is obvious; and has been tested by all countries where the experiment has been made. It has in particular been strikingly exemplified in England, and if the result there, in a country so limited and so similar in its products, has been to produce a most uncommon state of opulence, what may we not expect from the same cause in our country, abounding as it does in the greatest variety of products, and presenting the greatest facility for improvements? Let it not be said that internal improvements may be wholly left to the enterprize of the states and of individuals. He knew, he said, that much might justly be expected to be done by them; but in a country so new,
and so extensive as ours, there is room enough, said he, for all the general and state governments and individuals, in which to exert their resources. But many of the improvements contemplated, are on too great a scale for the resources of the states or individuals; and many of such a nature, that the jealousy of the states, if left alone, might prevent. They require the resources and the general superintendance of this government to effect and complete them. VOL. II.
But, said Mr. Calhoun, there are higher and more powerful considerations why congress ought to take charge of this subject. If we were only to consider the pecuniary advantages of a good system of roads and canals, it might indeed admit of some doubt whether they ought not to be left wholly to individual exertions; but when we come to consider how intimately the strength and political prosperity of the republic are connected with this subject, we find the most urgent reasons why we should apply our resources to them. In many respects, no country of equal population and wealth, possesses equal materials of power with ours. The people, in muscular vigor, in hardy and enterprising habits, and in a lofty and gallant courage, are surpassed by none. In one respect, and, in my opinion, in one only, are we materially weak. We occupy a surface prodigiously great in proportion to our numbers. The common strength is brought to bear with difficulty on the point that may be menaced by an enemy. It is our duty, then, as far as in the nature of things it can be effected, to counteract this weakness. Good roads and canals judiciously laid out, are the proper remedy. In the recent war, how much did we suffer for the want of them! Besides the tardiness and the consequent inefficiency of our military movements, to what an increased ex. pense was the country put for the article of transportation alone! In the event of another war, the saving in this particular would go far towards indemnifying us for the expense of constructing the means of transportation.
It is not, however, in this respect only, that roads and canals add to the strength of the country. Our power of raising revenue, in war particularly, depends mainly on them. In peace our revenue depends principally on the imposts; in
source, a great measure, fails; and internal taxes, to a great amount, become necessary. Unless the means of commercial intercourse are rendered much more perfect than they now are, we shall never be able in war to raise the necessary supplies. If taxes were collected in kind; if, for instance, the farmer and mechanic paid in their surplus produce, then the difficulty would not exist, as, in no country on earth, is there so great a surplus, in proportion to its population, as in ours. But such a system of taxes is impossible. They must be paid in money; and, by the constitution, must be laid uniformly. What then is the effect? The taxes are raised in every part of this extensive country, uniformly; but the expenditure must, in its nature, be principally confined to the scene of military operations. This drains the circulating medium from one part, and accumulates it in another, and perhaps a very distant one. The result is obvious. Unless it can return through the operation of trade, the parts from which the constant drain takes place, must ultimately be impoverished. Commercial in
tercourse is the true remedy to this weakness; and the means by which this is to be effected, are roads, canals, and the coasting trade. On these, combined with domestic manufactures, does the monied capacity of this country, in war, depend. Without them, not only will we be unable to raise the necessary supplies, but the currency of the country must necessarily fail into the greatest disorder; such as we lately experienced.
But on this subject of national power, what, said Mr. Calhoun, can be more important than a perfect unity in every part, in feelings and sentiments? And what can tend more powerfully to produce it, than overcoming the effects of distance? No country, enjoying freedom, every occupied any thing like as great an extent of country as this republic. One hundred years ago, the most profound philosophers did not believe it to be even possible. They did not suppose it possible that a pur republic could exist on as great a scale even as the island of Great Britain. What then was considered as chimerical, said Mr. C. we now have the felicity to enjoy; and, what is most remarkable, such is the happy mould of our government, so well are the state and general powers blended, that much of our political happiness draws its origin from the extent of our republic. It has exempted us from most of the causes which distracted the small republics of antiquity. Let it not, however, be forgotten; let it, said he, be for ever kept in mind, that it exposes us to the greatest of all calamities, next to the loss of liberty, and even to that in its consequence-disunion. We are great, and rapidly, he was about to say fearfully, growing. This is our pride and danger-our weakness and our strength. Little, said Mr. C., does he deserve to be entrusted with the liberties of his people, who does not raise his mind to these truths. We are under the most imperious obligation to counteract every tendency to disunion. The strongest of all cements is, undoubtedly, the wisdom, justice, and, above all, the moderation of this house; yet the great subject on which we are now deliberating, in this respect, deserves the most serious consideration. Whatever impedes the intercourse of the extremes with this, the centre of the republic, weakens the union. The more enlarged the sphere of commercial circulation, the more extended that of social intercourse; the more strongly are we bound together; the more inseparable are our destinies. Those who understand the human heart best, know how powerfully distance tends to break the sympathies of our nature. Nothing, not even the dissimilarity of language, tends more to estrange man from man. Let us then, said Mr. C., bind the republic together with a perfect system of roads and canals. Let us conquer space: It is thus the most distant parts of the republic will be brought within a few days travel of the centre; it is thus that a citizen of the west will read the
news of Boston still moist from the press. The mail and the press, said he, are the nerves of the body politic. By them, the slightest impression made on the most remote parts, is communicated to the whole system; and the more perfect the means of transportation, the more rapid and true the vibration. To aid us in this great work, to maintain the integrity of this republic, we inhabit a country presenting the most admirable advantages. Belted around, as it is, by lakes and oceans, intersected in every direction by bays and rivers, the hand of industry and art is tempted to improvement. So situated, blessed with a form of government at once combining liberty and strength, we may reasonably raise our eyes to a most splendid future, if we only act in a manner worthy of our advantages. If, however, neglecting them, we permit a low, sordid, selfish, sectional spirit to take possession of this house, this happy scene will vanish. We will divide, and as consequences will follow misery and despotism.
To legislate for our country, said Mr. Calhoun, requires not only the most enlarged views, but a species of self-devotion, not exacted in any other. In a country so extensive, and so various in its interests, what is necessary for the common good, may apparently be opposed to the interest of particular sections. This must be submitted to as the condition of our greatness. But were we a small republic; were we confined to the ten miles' square, the selfish instincts of our nature might in most cases be relied on for the management of public affairs.
Though he was unwilling to incorporate details in the bill, yet he was not adverse to presenting his views on that point. The first great object was to perfect the communication from Maine to Louisiana. This might be fairly considered as the principal artery of the whole system. The next was the connexion of the lakes with the Hudson river. In a political, commercial, and military point of view, few objects could be more important. The next object of chief importance was to connect all the great commercial points on the Atlantic,- Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Charleston, and Savannah, with the western states; and finally, to perfect the intercourse between the west and New Orleans. These seemed to be the great objects. There were others no doubt of high importance which would receive the aid of government. The fund proposed to be set apart in this bill was about 650,000 dollars a year, which was, doubtless, too small to effect such great objects of itself; but it would be a good beginning; and he had no doubt when it was once begun, the great work would be finished. Uninfluenced by an other considerations than love of country and duty, said he, let us add this to the many useful measures already adopted. The money cannot be appropriated to a more exalted use. Every portion of the community, the farmer, me