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[Mar 24, 1836.
ted action, because it has more material at cheaper rates it were terminated; and he had been somewhat surprised to work upon. How deeply interested, then, are all at the observations of the honorable and distinguished laborers in internal improvement! How anxious ought Senator from Massachusetts, (Mr. Davis,] who had just they to be to advance them! With these views, I have taken bis seat. He felt reluctant to detain the Senate, felt a most anxious solicitude to prevent the public mo. or to renew this debate, yet could not forbear to notice ney from being lavished away on objects that will yield some of the remarks of the Senator, as he felt bound to little lasting benefit to the public, when it may be dis- do this in justice to himself and those with whom he tributed among the States, and be made instrumental in acted. The honorable Senator, if not in direct terms, advancing the interests and prosperity of the people. at least by fair inference from his remarks, has assigned Sure I am, if the States should bave a little aid in this way, to the friends of this bill positions which they do not, great lines of rapid and cheap communication would I apprehend, assume themselves, and the justice of soon penetrate them, infusing fresh vigor into agricul- which they by no means acknowledge. So far as reture, manufactures, and all the multifarious objects upon spected himself, he disavowed the positions in which which labor acts. If you give to a man two acres of fer- the Senator seemed disposed to place the friends of the tile land to cultivate, instead of one, it will be his fault bill. The gentleman can select what ground he pleases if he does not produce more, and make his situation bet. for opposing this measure; but he could not assent to ter. I must, therefore, be permitted to say that the in-his assigning to him, as one of its friends, a position terests of the people demand, imperiously demand, the which he had not taken, and which he did not approve. distribution of the surplus in the Treasury, to be ex- The Senator seems to charge those who support this pended for their benefit, instead of being lavished upon bill, as not having proper confidence in the navy, and as unnecessary measures of defence.
not placing a sufficient reliance on that as a means of Sir, in the course of this debate I have heard the sur defending the maritime frontier. Sir, said Mr. N., so plus heavily and bitterly denounced, and fortifications far as I know the sentiments of the friends of this measrecommended in its stead. The people themselves have ure, this is entirely incorrect and unjust. Fortifications, been barshly characterized as scrambling after the pub- to the extent that they may be necessary for the defence lic money. The people scrambling after it; after their and security of our towns and harbors, are not only not own property! You took it from them, have no need of incompatible with a main reliance on the naval force for it, and now they call on you to return it. This is de the protection of the maritime frontier, but they form nominated scrambling! Sir, the people are not scram. an essential part of that system of defence. Fortificą. bling; but the scramble is here, in these halls, and tions at proper points are not only required to defend among the pet banks, to keep the people's money from our towns, but equally so for the shelter and security of them by devising new schemes of defending the country, our ships. In case of war, we cannot expect at all times and by making appropriations years in advance. The and in all places to have a naval force superior to that scramble is to keep what does not belong to you; and, of the enemy on our coast. sir, the public are not so blind as not to comprehend ! But I pass from this point, as my principal object was this. They understand to whom this money belongs to notice what the honorable Senator said concerning the and will not be satisfied to have a few favored individuals militia. He remarked that Senators seemed to forget enjoy the use of it. There must, sir, either be a sur. | that our principal reliance in war, and our sole reliance plus, or such a profligate and wasteful expenditure as in peace, was on the militia; on an armed body of citihas never been witnessed. This cannot be disguised. zens. In this opinion be fully concurred. It was a noble It must be met, and gentlemen must choose the alterna- | sentiment, correct, just, and patriotic; and he congratutive they mean to take. On this point I join issue with lated the Senate and the country on this evidence of the all who favor lavish schemes, to waste the public money progress of sound doctrine, and in a quarter where he under guise of defending the country. It is to keep the least expected it. He rejoiced to hear sentiments so just money from the people, to prevent their being benefited and correct, from so distinguished a gentleman, who bas by it. It is declaring to them they cannot be trusted occupied so prominent a position, and possessed such with their own property; but the Government, ay, the commanding influence, in a leading State in the eastern Government, as their guardians, must hold it and waste section of the Union. But he feared that the gentleman it, to advance selfish schemes, and to enlarge its influ was somewhat singular in his views, or somewhat in adence, by the all-subduing and corrupting power of mo vance of his political associates. Sir, said Mr. N., I had ney. What stockholder of all these banks, when his supposed that the party to which that Senator belongs property has been advanced from par to thirty per cent. had for many years, and particularly since the last war, advance by the public deposites, will not be silenced in endeavored to degrade, disorganize, and break up the his opposition to all abuses of power? Talk of corrupt. l entire militia system. Such, he knew, had been the case ing the people, and their scrambling after the money! | in his own State; and although he could not speak with It is now employed in a more effectual way than to the same confidence of others, yet he believed such had diffuse its benefits among the whole public. Its seduct- been the tendency of their influence generally. That ive power is now felt, for it works out certain conver- / party, in his own State, had for many years, individually sion: and the question is, shall it perform this corrupting and collectively, exerted a steady influence, unfriendly office, or shall the people have it? Let this be the issue; and injurious to the militia; they had passed numerous let the people understand that this is the reason for dou laws calculated to derange the system, destroy its effi. ble and triple appropriations in advance, and for pre ciency, and bring it into disrepute. These laws, in many venting the distribution under the land bill.
of their provisions, had been in direct conflict with the policy is to return to the old and safe course act of Congress of 1795, providing for organizing the of policy. Give up the double and triple appropriations. militia of the States. The last fatal blow in this work of Keep the expenditures on a reasonable footing, and let degrading and destroying the militia, was given during the people have the benefit of the great balance wbich the panic session of 1834. Then it was, sir, that, with will remain. It is theirs, and they know how to spend an Executive fresh from this ball, where for six years he it; and, allow me to say, they will see and understand had been instructed and enlightened in the true theory of where the scramble is.
our Government, and the great principles of civil liberty, Mr. NILES said that as the Senate had been occupied the Legislature gave the finishing stroke, and completely one week or more with the debate on this bill, he had | prostrated the militia system. And this was done in a supposed that the discussion of the general principles of I way, and under circumstances, that I hardly dare to menMAY 24, 1836.]
tion, lest I should expose myself to the imputation of I must again, said Mr. N., express my gratification casting discredit on my own State.
that the militia system--that system of popular military [Here Mr. BENTON requested Mr. N. to state the facts power-had found so able and distinguished an advocate to which he alluded.]
as was the Senator from Massachusetts, in the banks of Sir, said Mr. N., I will state them, for the discredit the old federal party; a party which it had often been cannot be in the relation, but in the acts themselves. said was honest, but mistaken. He bad never doubted Whilst tbe Legislature was in session, some of those pa- that it was mistaken; and had sometimes half believed triotic citizens who had been long engaged in attempting that, in its better days, it was honest. It was mistaken to degrade the militia, got up a mock military company, in many of its principles; but its greatest and most fatal composed of boys and young men, dressed in the most mistake was, the want of confidence in the people. He fantastic mock uniforms, and with arms of every descrip could well remember the time when that party, if willing tion, both wonderful and strange, and music like the to trust the people with arms in their hands, were not sounds of rains' horns. This company of patriots, after willing to trust them with yotes in their pockets--when being marehed about the streets, was paraded before nothing short of a freehold was believed to be sufficient to the State-house, where the grave and wise legislators, render it safe for those who were intrusted with the who had been deputed to take care of the interests and defence of the country to have a voice in its political honor of the State, so far lost sight of both, so far forgot affairs. There was one other remark of the honorable what was due to themselves and to their constituents, as Senator which he could not forbear to notice. It was to leave their places to witness this contemptible and with surprise and astonishment that he heard this bill ridiculous spectacle. But this was not all, nor ihe worst. characterized as presenting a bribe to the people of the The same day, and apparently under the influences of State represented by the Senator, and which, he thought, this mock military exhibition, they pass the act to which they would indignantly spurn. A bribe! What have I have referred a law to disorganize and degrade the we here that deserves to be viewed in so odious a light? militia of the State. But in this instance, as in many Is a proposition to defend the population in our seaports, others, the people were in advance of their representa to be regarded as an attempt to bribe them? The detives. This unworthy proceeding aroused a spirit which fence of the country is the first, most important, and contributed, with other causes, to produce a change in most sacred duty of this Government. It was this wbich the councils of the State; and at the very next session of led to the formation of the old confederacy; and, from the Legislature the obnoxious act was repealed, and the that day to the present moment, it has constituted the militia re-established on tbat basis on which they were strength of the bond of our union. Sir, said Mr. N., placed by the act of Congress passed in 1795. Among this charge, harsh enough, let it proceed from whom it the consequences of the proceedings referred to, was may, is peculiarly so when coming from the quarter it one (whether advantageous to the State or not, he would | has. Are the advocates of that extraordinary measure, not say) which had been of some importance to himself. the distribution scheme-a measure which bears upon its
Sir, said Mr. N., I have long believed, and many | very face the design of bribery and corruption--tocharge years' experience has added to the strength of the con- the friends of this bill with attempting to bribe the peoviction, that the militia system-the system of armed ple, because they propose to defend them? Such impu. citizens, of combining citizens and soldiers--the system tations come with an ill grace from that quarter. Sir, which unites not the sword and the purse, but the mus- no measure, which is clearly witdi
no measure, which is clearly within the regular, legitiket and the ballot, was a fundamental part of our politi-mate, and constitutional sphere of the action of this Govcal institutions. And when he had witnessed the prece-ernment, can be justly regarded in the odious light of a dence of sentiments hostile to it, and the tendency of in- proffered bribe. It may be impolitic, unwise, and even fluences calculated to degrade and subvert it, he had wasteful; but it cannot partake in any degree of the trembled for the liberties of his country; believing, as he character of bribery. No, sir, it is only when we overdid, that this part of the system could not be destroyed, step the bounds of the constitution; when, departing without endangering the whole fabric. He had felt it á from our prescribed limits, and penetrating into those of duty to say what he had on this subject, because he could the States, we attempt to accomplish objects over which not consent to be placed in a position unfriendly to the we have no rightful control, by applying the revenues militia, or to silently suffer an inference to be deduced, 1 of this Government, that our measures become justly unsupported and unfounded as he believed it to be, that obnoxious to the charge of bribery. It is not difficult those who supported this bill did not rely mainly on the to perceive that it is schemes like these which have militia for the defence of the country. This objection called forth the opposition to the measure now before of the Senator could have no force as applicable to this us. Their corrupting and pernicious influence is already bill; although he would admit that it would apply with felt on every measure that comes up for consideration. great weight to a comprehensive plan of fortifications, That the Senator from Massachusetts is under this influbased on the principle of its combining in itself the means ence, he has furnished sufficient evidence. He asks if of a complete defence of the maritime frontier. Such the public funds could not be more usefully employed a system might seem to exclude a reliance on the militia, in developing the resources of the country, and seems and to be intimately connected with a standing army, or to suppose that railroads will be more efficient than fora large military force. But this bill only provides for tifications for the defence of the country. This, he bedefending cities and harbors from floating batteries; and | lieved, was a new advantage claimed for railroads, but as much confidence as he had in the militia, he could I thought it might not be more unfounded than some other not believe that the native courage and muscular arm public benefits, which were anticipated from them. But of the ploughman and mechanic were a safe reliance, or whatever other results may follow their introduction, the proper kind of force, with which to defend our towns he (Mr. N.) thought that railroads would not entirely against naval batteries. But if the honorable Senator | supersede the necessity of fortifications. He had seen from Massachusetts (Mr. Davis) thinks the militia a enough to satisfy him that it is the disposition to seize better force for the defence of seaports than fortifica. | upon the surplus as the means of carrying on works of tions, and his distinguished colleague should concur in this kind, which produced the objections to this bill and the same views, he should be willing, and presumed the embarrassed our entire legislation. The mischievous majority of the Senate would consent, to strike out the influence, which was foreseen and foretold by the oppofortifications for the State they represent, merely to nents of that scheme, we now witness. We ought, peroblige the honorable gentlemen,
| haps, to feel under obligations to the gentlemen for their SENATE.]
Louisville and Portland Canal.
(MAY 25, 1836.
readiness to verify our predictions; they seem resolved Mr. HENDRICKS said, that, having reported this bill that we shall have the reputation of prophets, and to to the Senate, it would no doubt be expected that he leave notbing for us to do to acquire this reputation. I should give an explanation of it, and he would ask the have read, said Mr. N., of two brothers in England, who attention of the Senate a short time for that purpose. became fanatics, and imagined that they had the gift of This bill (said Mr. H.) is based on a memorial of the prophecy; among other predictions, they foretold the death Louisville and Portland Canal Company, referred by the of their mother on a certain day; but as the good lady Senate to the Committee on Roads and Canals. The did not value the reputation of her sons as prophets suf. memorialists state the whole cost of the canal, the interest ficiently to be willing to establish it at so great a sacrifice, the Government has in it, the dividends it has declared she obstinately refused to die; and, to avoid the imputation and is declaring, and the present and increasing producof being false prophets, they were obliged to murder tiveness of the stock; and go on to say that, notwithher. But the advocates of the distribution scheme, who standing all this, much remains yet to be done to make now talk about defending the country by railroads, im- the canal what it is capable of being made, and what it pose no such bard terms on the opponents of that scheme; must be made, before it will be capable of accommodaand, although they may not be willing to sacrifice their ting the immense and rapidly increasing trade of the lives, they volunteer their declarations and votes, to western country, and that the individual stockholders confirm our predictions and establish our reputation as do not think it a duty incumbent on them to make ad. true prophets.
ditional expenditures pro rata with the federal GovernTo this and every measure involving expenditure, the ment. They pray that the tolls accruing on the stock distributors discover serious objections; they complain, owned by the United States in the canal may be approthey remonstrate, they cannot be satisfied; and althougla priated to improving the canal, until it shall be renderthey do not tell us in so many words the true source of ed as capable as may be required to give all proper their objections, it is sufficiently manifest it is the sur facilities to the trade passing through it, or that the tolls plus, which they want for other purposes. Sir, said Mr. belonging to the United States may be relinquished for N., we are informed of an ancient people, for whom the benefit of those who pay toll. much was done, and great exertions made for their ! The memorialists declare their object to be to relieve benefit; they were led out from a land of bondage, and the commerce of the West from the burden of the tolls conducted safely through the wilderness to a goodly land; which now go into the Treasury of the United States, yet they were not satisfied; they murmured; they com- either by causing those tolls to be expended in improv. plained; they found fault with their leader; they could ing the work, or by reducing the tolls in favor of those not be satisfied with the manna of the wilderness, whose business requires them to use the canal. They, although sent down from Heaven; but when the true therefore, pray that an act of Congress may be passed, cause of their complaint was discovered, it was found authorizing the Louisville and Portland Canal Company that they all sprang from a longing and hankering after to retain the dividends that may be declared on the the “fleshpots of Egypt." So it is with those who mur-Government stock, and to disburse the same in improvemur against this bill; the true secret of their opposition ment on the canal; or that an act may he passed authoris, a longing after the surplus, a hankering after the izing the company to retain the dividends on the stock fleshpots of Egypt. That the honorable Senator from belonging to the United States, and appropriate them to Massachusetts is under this influence, is perfectly mani. | their own use, on condition that they reduce the present fest; he is thinking about the fleshpots; he wants a part rates of toll twenty per cent. of the surplus to complete the western railroad his State | The committee, however, have not adopted either of is constructing. But the citizens of that enterprising these propositions. They have not been able to see and wealthy State are abundantly able to accomplish how the commerce of the West can be materially relieved that work without looking here for aid. It is within the by expending the Government dividends in enlarging means of individuals, and certainly within those of the and improving the canal--if, indeed, the work be already State. Let them go ahead, then, with the work, and what it has heretofore been represented to be, and what rely on their own resources; he wished them success, the committee supposes it to be, capable of answering although rather skeptical as to the benefits and influence fully the purposes for which it was intended. Nor bas of railroads on the general prosperity. He hoped the it been perceived how the commerce of the West can gentleman would think no more of the surplus, nor be permanently benefited by permitting the company longer cherish a bankering after the leeks and onions of to appropriate to their own use the Government diviEgypt, but rely on the ample resources of his State; and dends, on condition that they reduce the present-rates in that he trusted that the objection to this measure will of toll twenty per cent.; for the time will soon come not appear so insurmountable.
in which the commerce of the West will swell the diviMr. DAVIS said there seemed to be no great disa dends of the company to the maximum of their charter, greement between the Senator from Connecticut [Mr. or a tariff of tolls twenty per cent. below the present NILES) and himself. The gentleman, said Mr. D., | rates; and whenever that time shall come, the company seemed to have been so great a lover of these “flesha would, if this proposition were adopted, be receiving pots," that he is not willing to let us have any. He was the tolls on Government stock, without giving any conglad to have the Senator going along with bim, and that sideration therefor; and western commerce could not be he would not raise an army to eat up the militia. He benefited by such arrangement between the company hoped that as the gentleman had seemed to consider the and the Government. standing army not the proper means of defence, in ac- ! The committee believe that the great commerce of cordance with the spirit of our constitution, he would the West ought not to be in the hands, or subjected to not go for these fortifications, that would require an army the control, of any company; but that the canal should to maintain them.
belong to the Government, and be made free; and they [The Senate adjourned without the vote being taken.] have adopted a proposition, made by the company some
three years ago, to purchase the stock of individuals, WEDNESDAY, MAY 25.
take the control of the canal, and take off all the tolls, LOUISVILLE AND PORTLAND CANAL
except so much as shall be necessary to keep it in a state The bill to authorize the purchase, on the part of the
of preservation and repair; enlarging it, also, as the busiUnited States, of the private stock in the Louisville and
ness of commerce shall require.
The committee have therefore reported a bill author*Portland canal, was taken up as the general order,
izing the Secretary of the Treasury to purchase up the upon western commerce and river-faring men would be individual stock, provided so much of it can be procured lightly felt and cheerfully borne. But the fact is far at par value as will give the United States the control of otherwise. The company inform us that so great has the company; leaving the regulation of the tolls, and the been the capital expended in this work, and so heavy whole matter afterwards, for the future legislation of the necessary tolls upon it, that it imposes a tax on west. Congress. The object of the bill is the purchase of the ern commerce, which, in many instances, it is unable to stock, the control of the canal, and that it be thrown bear. This has given rise to the great and general dis. open to the free navigation of the commerce of the content which exists in relation to this work, and to the West, charging such tolls only as will be necessary to pressing and importunate demand of the western counpreserve it and keep it in repair.
try that the canal may be niade free. To give some The second section of the bill authorizes the Secre idea of the condition of this public work, the Senate will tary of the Treasury, in the event of his being unable to indulge me in giving a short history of it. It was first purchase in the individual stock, to dispose of the Goy.authorized by a charter granted to the stockholders by ernment stock, on the principle that it is useless to re- tbe Legislature of Kentucky, in January, 1825, with a tain a quantum of stock which will give no control what.capital of $600,000. The company were required to ever of the canal, and in the expectation that, if tbe in commence the work in eighteen months, and finish it in dividual stock cannot be purchased at par, the public three years. But the work was so much procrastinated stock can readily be sold at par. The stock, however, by unforeseen difficulties, and probably by the want of is above par in market, and has been sold as high as experience in those who had the management of it, that seventeen and a half per cent. advance; and that which additional legislation, giving further time, was asked for the committee hesitated most about was, the price which and granted. The same, and perhaps other special causes, ought to be offered for the stock. Par value has been also conspired in greatly increasing the expenditure and adopted, in the belief that the stock ought not to be cost of the work; and the company contracted heavy considered as valuable as the present price in market debts, in addition to the capital originally chartered, for would indicate. Various reasons might be given for the progress of the work. Of the stock first chartered, this opinion, such as the reasonable demand of the west- Congress subscribed $233,500, and became to ern people that this canal should be made free; the tent interested in the concern. Finally, by act of the adverse interest of the whole country to the company Kentucky Legislature, the company were authorized to monopoly there; the unceasing war of western com- issue stock, or to sell stock sufficient to pay the debts merce upon this company-a conflict so permanent and | contracted by the company, to finish the construction of so unequal, that the interests of the company must ne. the canal, and to pay the interest which had accrued cessarily yield, and that at no distant day; and, if on no | upon loans, and upon moneys advanced by the stockother principle, upon the principle that private proper. holders. In this process the stock of the United States ty may be appropriated to public use, giving remune was increased to $290, 200, the present amount of Goy. ration therefor. But this remuneration ought to be ernment stock. And the whole cost of the canal, from based on liberal justice, instead of the power of the its commencement to its completion in November, 1832, one party, or the weakness of the other. The stock, is upwards of $950,000. The charter is unlimited in its then, ought not to be considered of value equal to the duration, and the company are authorized to charge a current market price, which has perhaps no reference toll of eighteen per cent. upon the whole cost of the to the suggestions just made. The amount authorized construction. to be paid to the stockholders ought to be liberal. We The present tariff of tolls is forty cents per ton, Uniought, if we err, to err on the right side; to give more ted States measure, on the boats passing through it, no than the true value, rather than less; and 1, for one, matter whether empty or loaded; and this is a charge would be willing to give considerably above par. Í upon boats and commerce which cannot be sustained. speak, however, the sense of the committee, when I say It stops much of the upward bound trade, and causes par; which is perhaps not far wrong, and which, as I be delays, transhipments, and porterage at Louisville and lieve, it will be for the interest of the stockholders to Portland, injurious to commerce, and onerous upon the take. Another reason why it is the interest of the com consumers of articles thus improperly taxed. A steampany to sell at par is, that a canal of equal value--in. boat, for instance, employed in the trade between deed, of greater value-of any capacity, however great, Louisville and St. Louis, measuring one hundred tons, can be constructed on the Indiana side of the river; pre will pay $80 per trip; and suppose she makes a trip a venting in this way the undisturbed enjoyment of the week, she will pay to the canal, in one year, about monopoly in the Louisville and Portland canal.
$4,000--almost her whole value. A large boat leaving This bill is based on the principle that the canal should New Orleans with full freight, and discharging at Natbe made free, and that it is the duty of the federal Gov. chez and other ports as she ascends the river, a fourth, ernment to remove the obstruction to the navigation at a half, or perhaps three-fourths of her load, before she the falls of the Obio. This has been a serious and soli. reaches Portland, cannot afford to pay the toll on her tary obstruction to the navigation of the western coun whole admeasurement, and has to terminate ber voyage try ever since its first settlement. It is a fall of twenty below the falls, however much she may desire to visit four feet in a distance of two miles, where the river is the ports above. This state of things is so greatly inbroad and interspersed with islands, rocks, and crooked jurious to the commerce and prosperity of the whole channels, making the navigation for light boats extreme. I country, that it cannot much longer be borne. The ly dangerous, and prohibiting the passage of heavy boats representatives of the western country are imperiously altogether, during the low stages of water in the summer required to look to this state of things, and to have it and fall seasons. This has, to a certain extent, destroyed l changed. They are, or their constituents are, all inthe navigation of the river altogether, and produced terested in this matter. There is not one congressional great delays and heavy expenses in drayage around the district in the valley of the Mississippi, but has a direct falls; which, perhaps, never costs less than one dollar and positive interest in this affair. The people will reper ton.
quire us to do our duty, and the subject cannot any To remove these obstructions, the Louisville and longer sleep. The expenditure necessary for all this Portland canal was made. It was expected, when un- is about $700,000, less than three-fourths of a million; dertaken by the stockholders, that the work would not while millions almost without number have been excost more than half a million, and that its assessment pended, and are expending, upon the seaboard, for the SENATE.)
Louisville and Portland Canal.
[Mar 25, 1836.
benefit of commerce, in breakwaters, and harbors, and the damages of goods, or the still heavier tax of port. piers, and sea-walls, all along the coast; and where, too, age around the falls, forever to be endured? For the it is now proposed to expend the whole surplus reve- continuance of such parsimonious policy as this, it is benue on such like objects, together with fortifications lieved that no adequate reason or good excuse can be and ships of war.
given. The federal Government have the protection, The remaining inquiry of importance, and the only as well as the regulation, of all the commerce of the one, seems to be, is this canal such a work as can be country, domestic as well as foreign, assigned to its care; expected to accommodate the interests of western com and surely the more remote from the tide-water and the merce and navigation, or not? The description given ocean it is, and the greater its difficulties of tedious and by the board of directors is believed to be correct. It dangerous river navigation, the more does it need the accords with other opinions on the same subject. It is protection of this Government. When the domestic represented as being entirely capable of answering all commerce of the country shall have passed the dangers the purposes for which it was intended; abundantly suf- of a long and tedious river navigation, and arrived at ficient to meet all the demands of business which can the safe harbors and depots of the Atlantic ocean or the reasonably be expected for years to come. This canal Gulf of Mexico, it will much less need the aid and prois about two miles in length, constructed for the largest tection of this Government. What, Mr. President, is steamboats, and to overcome a fall of twenty-four feet in the commerce of many of the noblest rivers of the At. the Obio river. Its substratum is a ledge of limestone lantic States--the Delaware, for instance-when com. rock in its whole length, through which it is cut at va pared with that of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers? And rious depths, averaging eight feet; and this is overlaid yet we see millions expended in the Delaware, in a with a stratum of earth, in depth about twenty feet. splendid breakwater, besides vast sums in almost every These, with the embankments of earth, make the canal Atlantic barbor, and bay, and river, all around the coast, forty-two feet deep. It is fifty feet wide at the bottom, saying nothing about the magnificent fortifications on and two hundred feet wide at the top; the sides being the whole line of seaboard, from the British dominions well sloped and walled. The height of water in the on the northeast, to the mouth of the Sabine. In this canal varies from four to forty feet, according to the view of the matter, will it then seem unreasonable that stage of water in the river. When the river is very the States and the people in the great valley of the Mis. low, there is more water in the canal than in the river; sissippi should expect and demand, at the hands of the for instance, when there is but ten inches of water in federal Government, this single, solitary commercial fa. the falls, and eighteen inches on the bars above and be- cility at the falls of the Ohio? low them, there is four feet of water in the canal; and And how much, Mr. President, is it proposed to exthe canal has the greatest depth until there is seven pend for the benefit of foreign commerce, and for the feet water upon the bars. After that depth, there is advantage of the seaboard, according to official propogreater depth in the river on the bars than in the canal. sitions, in various shapes and forms, now before the Sen.
1 here are one guard lock and three lift locks, all com- ate? It is proposed to expend not only the whole surplus bined; and the line of lock wall exceeds nine hundred revenue now on hand, and the Secretary of the Treasufeet. The guard lock is 190 feet long in the clear, 42 ry tells us that this is about thirty-eight millions,) but it feet bigh, and 50 feet wide. The lift locks are each is proposed to mortgage the revenue of years to come, 185 feet long in the clear, 50 feet wide, and 20 feet in increasing the navy; in constructing floating steam high; all based on solid rock. The stone masonry in batteries; in building fortifications on land and in the these locks is said to be equal to that of thirty common water; and in furnishing ordnance, arsenals, and munilocks on the Ohio and New York canals; and the tions of war. All this for the benefit of foreign comamount of labor on this canal is said to be equal to that merce, for without foreign commerce we should bave on seventy or seventy-five miles of ordinary canals. no need of a navy; but for this, we should not hoist a flag The canal is a valuable and substantial work; and, how upon the ocean; but for foreign commerce, we should ever costly its construction may have been, it is no not be in danger of collision with any trans-Atlantic na. doubt justly entitled to public confidence, and capabletion. Commerce and navigation were the cause of the of accommodating, for many years to come, the great war in 1812; and these interests will, in all probability, and growing commerce of the Ohio river. It is sus be the cause of all the wars with civilized nations which ceptible, also, of enlargement to any extent which that we shall ever be engaged in. We must, however, have commerce may hereafter require.
commerce with distant nations, and that commerce must The land belonging to the company is 350 feet wide, be protected. For this purpose we must have a navy; and two miles long, with some additional lots; in all, and 1, for one, am willing to vote the means of an effiabout one hundred acres; containing favorable sites for cient one; of one that shall be able to cope with any water power and dockyards. The canal, then, is a val- hostile fleet that can be expected ever to hover upon uable and permanent work--a work well calculated to our coast. But I wish, at the same time, to urge the remove, in the hands of the federal Government, the claims of domestic commerce, and call to its protection, obstructions to the navigation at the falls of the Ohio. also, the aid of this Government. What, sir, are the It ought to be purchased up and made free, levying amounts proposed for the military and naval defences of such tolls only as may be necessary for its preservation the country, or for the protection of foreign commerce? and repair. Public opinion and public justice demand which is the same thing. This amount I take from the this at our bands; and Congress will surely not hesitate official documents on our tables. For ordnance, small to do this, unless, indeed, it be determined to abandon | arms, and munitions of war, a fraction less than thirty western commerce to struggle with its own difficulties, | millions; for increase of the navy, seventeen million and to withhold entirely from its aid and protection the seven hundred and sixty thousand dollars; for fortificaarm of the federal Government. And is ihe commerce tions, thirty-one million five hundred and sixty-one of the West in all time to come to be taxed more than thousand two hundred and sixty-eight dollars; amountmany of its articles are able to bear? Are the bulky | ing, in all, to about eighty millions of dollars. Can it, and low-priced agricultural productions of the country then, be possible that Congress will hesitate about this to be excluded from the markets of the South in all fu-l expenditure of a fraction of a million for the benefit of ture time, because of the heavy tolis they are subjected domestic commerce in the West? Let it be remember. to at the Louisville and Portland canal, or at any othered, too, that the foreign commerce of this country is, to canal? Are expenses of transhipments, delays, and its domestic commerce, small and diminutiye; and that