« AnteriorContinuar »
[JAN. 23, 1828.
couragement given by it to agriculture, increased the wealth of the country to an amount far greater than the sums that had been expended in its construction. Mr. COBB said, that he believed it had been admitted yesterday that the expenditures had overgone the estimates, and that sufficient had not been granted. I asked, said Mr. C., why gentlemen did not go the whole, and, if they could make the road, why they did not also erect toll gates ? The gentleman from Indiana replies to me, and says that a bill for that purpose is now before the Committee on Roads and Canals. He also calls on me to say whether I will support the bill. Why, said Mr. C., I told the gentleman yesterday that I would not. I said, then, that I was entirely opposed to the system on constitutional scruples; and I now inform the gentleman that he will find in me a steady opponent, whether to measures for the construction of the road, or measures for its repair. Mr. HENDRICKS said a few words in reply. Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, was unfortunately oposed to appropriations for this road, and not only this, E. to appropriations by Congress for all roads, not excepting military roads, the constitutionality of which he doubted. The gentleman from Indiana says that we have repeatedly settled the question ; and that it need no longer be agitated. But I think not. It is true that Congress has appropriated for these objects from year to year, under one pretext or another ; but I never supposed it was designed that we should continue, from year's end to year's end, to give large sums for these objects. 180,000 dollars was given towards this road ; and 30,000 dollars for surveys. I know that the road is very convenient for people coming from the West, and do not doubt its great advantages to the States through which it runs. But my principle is, let every State make its own roads; and, if they reap advantages, let it be from their own industry and perseverance. This would be far more consistent and creditable than to ask, from session to scssion, appropriations of money from Congress. It is a little curious, said Mr. S., to observe the grounds upon which these repeated demands are supported. The friends of the road tell us, with very grave aspect, that we have made the road so far, and now it would be unjust not to make it a little farther. They argue as if our having gone thus far entalled upon us the obligation of still proceeding ad infinitum. Their reasoning seems to be, that, having put “our hands to the plough,” we must, on no consideration, look back, but that the whole Western country must be intersected by this road at the expense of the whole country. It is true that two per cent. was granted towards making a road of this description : but I ask if there is anything in the compact with these States which stipulates that the road shall be 80 feet wide, or that it shall cost 14,000 dollars per mile ! The gentleman from Tennessee said, in the course of his remarks, that, in a body like the Senate, he should depend upon facts. ... That is just what I have always endeavored to do. Well, sir, it is said that the two per cent. will pay for the completion of the road. I ask, will it be possible that it can defray the expense to which the Government has already gone Will it pay 14,000 dollars er mile, and 636 dollars per mile as salary to the superintendent * I believe not. I believe that, at the time the road was first P.", had it been proposed to pay 636 dollars per mile to the superintendent, it would have prevented its construction. I know not what the superintendent does, or what he has done, but I know that the pay appears to me enormous. Of all public objects, perhaps none are more efficient in promoting the expendi. ture of public money than such a work as this. And that seems to be its o recommendation. It is said, in the report of the superintendent, Mr. Caspar W. Wever, that it is a very bad policy to build roads
and let them go to decay. And he goes on to state that that great monument of the munificence of the Government—the Cumberland Road—had nearly gone to decay. The appropriation of money, he says, has been made, but little good has been effected in making repairs. 1 should like to know whether the money appropriated has ever been applied effectually. I should think not ; for every year we have applications for the repair or the improve. ment of this road. Such are the declarations of your engineer. He tells you that your great and splendid road is in ruins. Look at the papers on your table, and any one will easily be convinced that a quick decay has come upon this road be: fore the plans of its advocates are half completed. Dif. ferent methods have been recommended to keep it in re. pair. It has been recommended to build it with stone, and cover it with gravel ; but all will not do. It is swept away by the torrent. And it is now proposed to cover it with iron. Gentlemen smile ; but it is so. [Mr. Ruggles said not iron but metal.] Well, sir, I will look at the report. It is there recommended that the road be grad. ed at an angle of five degrees, and covered with metal of a good quality. It is true, it is not explained what kind of metal this is to be. But, if I understand the English language, it may be gold or silver, as it is pretty clear it cannot allude to lead. [Some one here remarked, that, by the word “metal," was meant “limestone.”) Mr. SMITH. This is the first time I ever heard that limestone was a metal. However, it may be so in the Western country. The new projects of the engineers were continually occupying the attention of Congress. These engineers are also taking a large proportion of the money of the United States (whether metal or not.) Up. wards of sixty of these gentlemen are now in employ. ment. And any Senator who will look at the documents on his table, will be convinced that it is money thrown away. And we still go on, laying stone upon stone, and heaping metal upon metal, as I sincerely believe to no practical effect beyond the distribution of the public money to men who want it. I am not disposed to deprive the People of the West of any of their rights, or interfere in their convenience. More especially would I avoid interfering in the peculiar public benefit to which the gentleman from Ohio so gallantly alluded in the debate of yesterday. He said that alliances were formed by means of the convenience af. forded by the Cumberland Road, between the young peo: ple of the different sections of the country; and that it was the happy instrument in causing many happy mar: riages. But, I would ask, if we are to pay so dear for these alliances Poets have surg to us that bolts and bars can. not confine, true love—and yet, forsooth, our modern lovers must have a smooth road paved with “metal of a good quality,” to bring them together. This was a cold and phlegmatic kind of love, and he believed no lady would consent to give her vote for it. I believe that the road has been as injurious as it has been expensive. But gentlemen also tell us that it is a war road. . I hope not. I hope that, although we do not show much love towards each other, we shall not go to war. I have heard of no alarming enmity existing be: tween the East and the West. Yet you have been expending the money of the Government on a war measure. Sir, we suffered sufficiently during the last war; and yet you are no sooner comfortably settled in the enjoyment of peace, than you prepare for war at a great expense. This is a principle which is continually cried up in this country, but 1 do not agree to it. But, again : it is said that the making of this road was guarantied by a compact between the United States and the Western States; and the gentleman from Tennessee has read us the act. Well, sir, admitting this is the kaw;
if its operation is injurious or inexpedient, why is it a solemn compact more than any other law and why may it not be repealed if it is an improper law . In relation to Ohio, it seems that the compact is already fulfilled. The road has not only gone through the State, but surveys have been made as far as the State of Indiana. I recollect, also, that, having authorized a survey, it was com: pleted, but not happening to hit the seat of Government if Indiana or Missouri, (I have forgotten which,) it was abolished, and a new survey ordered. If there was a compact by which Congress was obliged to make a road to ind through the State of Ohio, I do not mean to go far. ther, so far as depends upon me. Nor do I believe that the continuance of this road into Missouri, Indiana, or Ilinois, is incumbent on Congress, or is authorized by the Constitution. I said I would not touch on this Constitutional question; nor need I to do so. There is yet another point of defence, in which the friends of the bill flatter themselves they are well sustained. It is, that this road is made under the power given by the Constitution to regulate commerce. Some of the gentlemen seem to go entirely upon this supposition. If this argument be admitted, where will the system stop 2 Will it not branch off to the Northwest Territory, or go to Santa Fe In either case, it could be doubly defended by its friends, as a war road and a commercial road. How fallacious, however, is the policy, if we take it on the former ground, of opening a road of eighty feet in width into an enemy's country: for, if it is a war road, I presume we are going to fight Mexico. But, I ask, are they a warlike people * are we not in profound peace with them at the present time’ To these questions I presume it will be answered, that we are not in hostility with Mexico, but that the road is to be a commercial one. And so we see that, whether one way or another, the friends of the road have always a ready defence. We are to have a road eighty feet in width from Cumberland to Santa Fe, built of stone and paved with metal ; that part, I presume, nearest the Mexican frontier, with gold from the mines of Mexico. And then, sir, do you suppose these gentlemen are going to be satisfied Not at all. New projects will start up, and new inventions be seized upon, to keep up the flow of money your Treasury into the pockets of engineers, contractors, &c. But, suppose that, at some future period, the work should stop ; then Congress must turn about and expend twenty millions to repair what they have already done. On every consideration that has presented itself to me, I am opposed to this system of expense. Are the Representatives of the People willing to pay, in the time of Peace, a subsidy for the purposes of war A subsidy for the encouragement of commerce, or a subsidy for the establishment of post roads I believe they are not. These wentiments I have offered to the Senate as the ground upon which I opposed the bill. Mr. NOBLE said he would bear testimony to the hunor with which the speech of the gentleman from South Carolina had been characterized ; although, at the same time, he must differ from him in point of fact, and in many of the arguments upon which his witticisms had been sounded. He did not know what kind of love it was with which the gentleman from South Carolina would look "Pon the people of the Western States. Love, he had *ys understood, regarded the happiness of its object; ind he did not know how the gentleman could suppose at the people of the West could be happy, or even comonable, without roads. But, if the gentleman had any * to promote that love which teaches to do justice to * follow citizens, he thought his course upon this bill *ld have been a different one. I have read somewhere, *Mr. N., that all poets were fools, but that all tools * not poets; and I begin to believe it is true. If we
speak of poetical affairs, please to allow me to have my own ideas. I believe poetry and novels to be the most injurious things in the world. If the gentleman from South Carolina wishes to increase that love which would induce us to give to each other whatever rights we are entitled to, he would see this measure in a very different light. If you will do away the designs of the sage of Monticello, then you will strike at the root of that love and fellow feeling upon which the prosperity of this country depends. It was under the auspices of that great man, the father of Virginia—although the gentleman from Virginia, who spoke yesterday, says that he had rather wade in the mud than make good roads to travel upon—that this great work was first set a-going. He was no violator of the Constitution, and understood its construction probably as well as men of the present day. Now, sir, by a compact with these Western States, Congress is bound to do this work. The Government cannot avoid it its pledge has been given, and it must be done. Mr. Jefferson saw how those States were situated. He saw that there was no outlet towards the East to that country lying on the Western waters, and that, in case of a war, the two sections of country would not be in a situation to help each other. If Mr. Jefferson had not set on foot this plan, those rugged rocks which I clambered over when a youth, would have remained, and the face of the country would still have been darkened by those endless forests through which I used to follow the paths of the Indians; for we never should have settled that country—we could not have done it—if it had not been for this road. Now, sir, will any man pretend that Congress shall not agree to the compacts which it has made with those States ? Does any man believe that such a compact was unconstitutional 2 If he does, I will refer him to the fourth article of the second section of the Constitution, where it is laid down that new States may be admitted into the Union, and that Congress may make rules to regulate their admission. Is there any thing clearer than that While those States were yet territories, the United States had the sovereign power over them : but when they were admitted into the Union, sovereignty over their territory vested in them. And when you offered to make a road through those new States, what would have been the effect if we had refused to accede to the conditions.” But what did we do We agreed to the compact, sir. We gave you a consideration for the benefit you were to bestow upon us. We got nothing ; nor do we want any thing gratuitously. No time is fixed for the fulfilment of this compact; and, consequently, the present time is the only proper one. Will you, then, after making a compact, refuse to do what you promised to those States who have been struggling for years in the forest, extending your dominions, and guarding your frontiers against the depredations of the savages Why did Congress originally make this agreement I'll tell you why, sir. It was, that we might have all the communication with the commercial cities that our talent, our wealth, and our enterprise, entitled us to. Sir, you can’t stop the progress of civilization. Do all you can, the Western world has got the start of you, and will defy illiberality to overtake it or stop its progress. You may make us wade in the mud, and swim our rivers and creeks, by refusing to aid us in making roads and canals ; but it will not do. It is out of your power to keep down the enterprise of our citizens. I ask you to pass this bill, the principle of which was advocated by the Sage of Monticello, and defended in the councils of the country by Mr. Madison. I have also a resolution in my hand, offered by a gentleman who was late a member of this body, the honorable Mr. RANDolph, in the House of Representatives, on the 10th January, 1812, which I will read to the Senate,
[JAN. 23, 1828.
Mr. N. then read the following : “Resolved, That the President of the United States be authorized to employ the regular Army of the United States, when not engaged in actual service, and when, in his judgment, the public interest will not thereby be injured, in the construction or repair of fortifications, roads, canals, or other works of public utility " Whether the author of this resolution still adheres to his former opinions or not, said Mr. N., I do not pretend to say. And I would ask the Senate, if the statesmen of Virginia, of the present day, need be referred to as a standard of faith on this subject. I could also allude to the great report of Henry St. George Tucker, but I need go no farther. Every part of the country, at that time, seemed to think that the Western States had a right to this road. We are told now, however, that it is an unjust and unconstitutional project ; that a great deal of money has been spent ; that the road is good for nothing ; that it is out of repair, and all this. The gentleman from Vir. ginia has been particularly warm in his attack upon the constitutionality of the work. But, when we come to the idea that Virginia is the only safekeeper of the Constitution, let me tell the gentleman that the whole of the western part of the State of Virginia is in favor of it. I only ask you to assist those who were struggling in the forests during the last war, without reads and without assistance. I ask you to fulfil the compact you have deliberately entered into, that you may keep your faith and your consciences clear, and that the West may not have cause to complain of the injustice of the Government. Mr. RIDGELY said, that the argument, in his opinion, had gone farther than the subject warranted. He thought, that, when the Senate considered coolly the objects of this bill, they could find no reasonable ground upon which to oppose it. He saw no reason why it had become a constitutional question. In support of this, he referred to the acts of admission of the Western States, and quoted that portion of the law by which the United States obli
gated itself to give up a twentieth part of the proceeds of
the public lands for the purpose of making roads, with the consent of the States through which they were to pass. Another act was passed, in the year 1893, which provided that the Secretary of the Treasury should pay three per cent. of the proceeds of the sales of the public lands to such person as was appointed by the Legislature of each State, to be applied, under their direction, to making roads within the States: and that the remaining two per cent. should be applied, under the direction of Congress, to making roads to and through the said States. Thus we ascertain what has been done with the five per cent. originally granted. Afterwards, a bill passed, during the Administration of Mr. Jefferson, and which was approved by him, appropriating thirty thousand dollars for laying out a road from Cumberland, in Maryland, to some point on the Ohio river, in compliance with the compact. Another section of that law authorized the President to obtain the consent of the States of Pennsylvania and Maryland to the passing the road through their respective territories. This law provided that the sum appropriated should be paid out of the two per cent, fund; and, if that were not enough, out of other moneys in the Treasury, not otherwise appropriated. This was done : and thus, by repeated laws of the same nature, the road has been made to the State of Ohio. Then came the State of Indiana; and I will ask gentlemen to look at the law admitting her into the Union. It will be found that the same provision is made as in the case of Ohio. Five per cent. is granted for the purpose of making roads to and through the State ; and the same compact, it will be found, has been acceded to by the other States subsequently admitted into the Union. What, then, is the object of the bill now before the Senate It is not, solely, to complete the road through the State of Ohio, but gra
dually to progress with the surveys, and lay out the road,
in compliance with the compact with Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. How can there be any objection to complying with these terms? How can gentlemen reconcile a failure, on the part of the United States, to justice or to public faith 2 The compacts were entered into with those States while they were yet Territories: they were submitted to the Territorial Conventions, and were agreed to. It was no hasty piece of work ; it was done deliberately, and repeated to each State, so as to show that the policy of the measure was deemed worthy of being followed up from year to year. I ask, then, what objection can we offer to the fulfilment of these agreements I ask more—if the faith of the United States is not pledged I do not know but the two per cent, on the lands sold has been expend. ed ; but, at any rate, that fund is to be applied by Congress. The bill first passed was to locate a road from Cumberland to Wheeling. The bill now before us has nothing to do with that. It is grounded upon the act of 1825, entitled “An act for continuing the Cumberland Road from the town of Canton, on the Ohio, opposite
Wheeling, to the Muskingum, at Zanesville.” In pursu
ance of the compact entered into on the admission into the Union of the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Mis: souri, the bill of 1825 was framed. The second section
provides for the appointment of a commissioner, and the
third for the appointment of an impartial person, who
shall, together, complete the examination and surveys to
the Seat of Government of the State of Missouri. Subsequently to that act, an act of the 28th March, 1826, appropriated one hundred and fifty thousand dollars towards the work, and last year another act appropriating one hundred and thirty thousand was passed. The several appropriations to this part of the work amounted to four hundred and thirty thousand dollars. 'This might look like a large sum of money. We will admit that fact. But it is to comply with a contract in which the Government
have entered, and he doubted not, that, even were it not
so, it would be more than paid for by its beneficial effects
upon the country at large. And, let me ask, said Mr. R.,
if, by these roads through the unsettled parts of the coun.
try, the United States does not greatly enhance the value
of its public domain The very road itself has such an effect. The work has been progressing beyond the Ohio river for four years, and he neither considered it just or proper to break off frem a work that had been progressed in thus far, and the obstructions to which had been mostly removed. The first section of the road, between the Ohio and Zanesville, might be considered as finished. On the second section it was but partially made ; and he thought that, if the road was to be stopped at all, it should not be done until that portion of it upon which money had been expended, should be completed. He thought the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. SM1th] had mis. quoted and misunderstood the letter of the Superintendent of the road, Mr. Wever. [Mr. R. then read some passages of Mr. Wever's letter, in order to support the opinion which he had just expressed.] It was to be sup: posed that Mr. Wever understood his subject ; and he estimated the cost of the completion of the road to Zanes' ville, at one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. The bill appropriated the sum of one hundred and eighty thousand dollars, in order to enable the engineers to go on with the surveys beyond the Muskingum river. And now, sir, said Mr. R., after the United States, considering them. selves bound by the contract with the Western States, have done so much towards this great work, I will ask if they are to close their hands, and, to a certain extent, render useless all that they have already done I hope not : I hope the work will progress. I own not a foot o' ground in any of these States, and reside in a different quarter. I look upon the laws passed on the admission of those States into the Union, as comprising a pledge on Jas. 24, 1828.]
the part of the United States which, by withdrawing the work, at present would be violated in a most unjustifiable manner. Mr. HARRISON said, he had intended to reply to his friend from South Carolina, [Mr. SM1th,) but it had been so ably done by the Senator from Delaware, that he would not at that late hour trespass upon the Senate, further than to ask the yeas and nays on the question of engrossing the bill. The call being sustained, the question was taken, when the bill was ordered to be engrossed, by the following vote : WEAS–Messrs. Barnard, Barton, Bateman, Benton, Bouligny, Chambers, Chase, Eaton, Harrison, Hendricks, Johnson of Kentucky, Johnston of Louisiana, Kane, Knight, McKinley, McLane, Marks, Noble, Ridgely, Robbins, Ruggles, Seymour, Silsbee, Smith of Maryland, Thomas—25. NAYS-Messrs. Bell, Berrien, Branch, Chandler, Cobb, Dickerson, Ellis, Foot, Hayne, King, Macon, Parris, Sanford, Smith of South Carolina, Tyler, Van Buren, White, Woodbury–18. Mr. MACON then rose, and offered the following resolution, remarking that it was his object to give up the road to the several states through which it had been con*ructed; and also to give up all the product of the two Per cent. as well as the money that had been advanced, ** to get rid of the disputes which annually occupied Congress on this subject : **d, That the Committee on the Judiciary inquire "the expediency of relinquishing to the states through *h the Cumberland Road passes to the ohio river, whatever claim, if any, the United States may have to the *; and that the said committee also inquire into the *dency of relinquishing to the States concerned, the *m of the United states to the whole of the five per
ofeserved from the sale of the public lands in the United States.
Thursday, JANu Aur 24, 1828.
The resolution submitted yesterday by Mr. MACON, authorizing an inquiry into the expediency of relinquish"şthe Cumberland Road to the States through which it Poe, was taken up. .* CHANDLER suggested to the gentleman from *th Carolina, whether it would not be better to amend the resolution, so as to provide for the giving up of the ontract on the part of the States, should Congress relinguish the Road;
Mr. MACON said, that his object, in offering the resolution, was to cover the whole ground, and allow the "mmittee to decide upon the details. His design was "Kotrid of the whole subject, and the debates that so "olently occurred upon it. The inquiry of the Com** would be directed to the manner in which this would be done. Mr. HENDRICKS said, that he rose merely to remark “the Western States would hardly be averse to doing **, unconditionally, the compacts, because their inter. *Would be greatly promoted by it. Without saying a *d on the subject of the five per cent, or the two per **, of which so much had been said, the compacts which this resolution proposed to modify, were the only impediment in the way of the right of soil, and of taxaon by the States, in reference to the public lands within their limits. There was an inquiry, however, suggested lo his mind, which he would . to the mover of the reolution, and which might save the Judiciary Committee the trouble of its investigation. It was thus : If the com*clamade by Congress with the States are valid at all, *they be changed by Congress without the consent of * Slates’ As a single member, regarding no other
consideration than the interest of the State he represented, he might be in favor of relinquishing the compacts altogether ; because, without the compacts, they would be entitled to the public lands; but the case presented was one in which he had no power to act. If the resolution had any object, it appeared to him that it was to dispense with the exercise of the power of Congress to made roads and canals, because such power was not found in the Constitution. But if the Constitution gave to Congress the right of making compacts with the several States, and of stipulating to expend two per cent. of the sales of public lands, in making roads and canals in the States, for the benefit of the new States, surely the constitutional power to make roads and canals cannot be denied. . If such compacts could be made according to the provisions of the Constitution, how can it be argued that Congress has not the power to fulfil their conditions As a member of one of the new States, he would not agree to any modification of these compacts; because he maintained that such modification could not be made without the consent of both of the contracting parties— the States and the Union. What, said Mr. H., is the whole case ? You have engaged to make, for the new States, roads and canals, on condition that they will neither tax nor sell the public lands within their limits. The Senator from North Carolina, and others, say, We have undertaken to do what we have no constitutional power to do, and the resolution proposes to release Conress from that obligation, without releasing the States rom their prohibitions against sale and taxation. If you wish to be released from your obligations in reference to the compacts, release the States also. Do the compacts entirely away. You either have no constitutional power to make the compacts, or you have power to fulfil them— have power to make roads and canals. Mr. FOOT remarked that, if any thing could have convinced him of the propriety of agreeing to the reso. lution, it was what the gentleman from Indiana had just said. He was more and more convinced of the necessity of an inquiry into the whole subject, more particularly into the amount of the five per centum and the two per centum, devoted to this object. It was a matter of investigation and inquiry only, for the Committee, and the importance of the subject entitled it to that notice. Mr. MACON said a few words, which the Reporter could not distincly hear. Mr. SMITH, of South Carolina, said, he thought he could name a case in which the gentleman from Indiana gave his vote for a similar measure. He alluded to the bill allowing the State of Ohio to sell the sixteenth sections of land reserved for the benefit of schools. The same authority had also been given to the State of Alabama Now here was an infraction of a compact ; but he had heard of no complaint in regard to it. If Congress could break a contract in one instance, was it bound to adhere to it in another He believed that no part of our compact with the new States ought to be more religiously observed, than that by which we granted the sixteenth sections of land to the use and benefit of schools. Yet Congress had passed a law giving the right to the States of selling them. On the compact now under consideration, he thought that gentlemen had packed a great deal more than it could bear. Was it not far more im. portant, in the new States, to provide for education, than to make roads Every body knew the necessity of roads; but education was of far greater importance. And so much so was it considered by the Government that the provision of land for that object had the effect, in a manner, to coerce them into a sufficient encouragenent of schools. This provision had, however, been deserted in some of the States where the lands had been sold, and the proceeds converted into bank stock. These were instances where the compacts of Congress with the States SENATE.]
Surviving Officers of the Revolution.
[JAN. 24, 1828,
had not been considered so difficult to break as gentlemen now seemed to think them. Mr. HENDRICKS had not risen for the purpose of opposing the consideration of the resolution. It merely authorized inquiry, and to that he could have no objection. He had merely intended to answer the questions put by the gentleman from Maine, and to propound the question to the Senate, whether, if the compacts were constitutionally made, Congress could be wanting in constitutional power to fulfil them. The great difficulty seemed to be— and upon this the arguments of gentlemen against Internal Improvement seemed to be founded—that Congress had no right to make roads and canals. No one, however, attempted to deny that they had the power of making compacts. And he would remark again, that, if they had the constitutional power to enter into compacts for the construction of roads and canals, they, as a natural consequence, had the constitutional power to make those roads and canals. In what he had said, he did not wish to be understood as entering at all into the argument of constitutional power. That might be necessary on another occasion, but was not on this. Mr. KANE said, that the argument on this question had extended, in his opinion, beyond any reasonable limit. He would briefly state what he thought was the true light in which this proposition appeared. The compacts between Congress and the States could be dispensed with and set aside only by the consent of Congress and the States assembled in convention. The conditions of the agreement had been acceded to in Territorial conventions, and an alteration could only be ordered in a similar meeting. One word to the gentleman, from South Carolina [Mr. SM1th..] . He supposed that the compact had been broken by authorizing the sale of the School Reserves in Ohio. But this was not the case. The subject was argued in this body and it was argued that the interests of education would be advanced, if the State was allowed to sell the lands. Ilow was the compact violated by this sale The worth of the lands was not the less devoted to the objects of education. It was not supposed, when those reserves were made as a school-fund, that it was always to remain in the land, which was of but little value. The sixteenth sections were not always farmable, and it would have been useless to retain them, where they brought in no income. The only question was, at the time, whether this land-fund should be converted into a money-fund, and it was considered best that it should be so converted. Therefore no compact was violated ; whercas the object of the reserve was more fully secured. The resolution was then agreed to. The report of the Judiciary Committee, adverse to a resolution relating to the erection of proper buildings for the United States' Courts, and for the preservation of the records, was considered : on which Mr. PARRIS observed, that, had he enjoyed an opportunity of communicating to the Committee his informa tion on this subject, he thought they would have made a different decision, so far as related to one part of the subject—the preservation of the records. As to the erection of buildings for the use of the Courts, he did not know that it was absolutely necessary, but it surely was so to preserve the records. He had heard, but a short time since, of a fact in support of providing for the records, as, in one of the largest districts in the country, that of Massachusetts, the archives of the Court narrowly escaped destruction by fire. He therefore moved that the report lie on the table ; which was agreed to. The bill making appropriations for the completion of the Cumberland Road from Bridgeport to Zanesville, in Ohio, and to continue the survey of the same from Zanesville to the Capital of Missouri, was read a third time and passed. o
SURVIVING OFFICERS OF THE REVOLUTION. The bill for the relief of the surviving officers of the Revolutionary Army was taken up, when Mr. WOOD. BURY moved to fill the blank with 1,100,000 dollars. Mr. WOODBURY rose and said, it has become my du: ty, Sir, as Chairman of the Committee who reported this bill, to explain the origin and character of it. I regret that this duty has not devolved upon some abler representative of the interests of the petitioners; but I regret it the less, as my colleagues on the Committee possess every quality of both the head and heart to advance those interests, and will, no doubt, hereafter, be seconded by an indulgent attention on the part of the Senate. Who, then, Sir, are the venerable men that knock at your door 2 and for what do they ask * They are not suppliants for mere favor or charity, though we all know that nothing but the proud spirit which helped to sustain them through the distresses of our revolution, has withheld most of them from reliance for daily bread on the alms provided by the present pension act. No, Sir ; they come as petitioners for their rights. They come as the remnant of that gallant band, who enlisted your continen. tal army; who disciplined its ranks ; who planned its enterprises, and led the way to victory and independence, Confiding in the plighted faith of Congress, given in the form of a solemn compact, they adhered to your cause through evil report and good report, till the great drama closed ; and they now ask only that the faith so plighted may be redeemed. Amid the wrecks from time and dis. ease, during almost half a century, short of 250 now sur. vive, out of 2480, who existed at the close of the war. Even this small number is falling fast around us, as the leaves of autumn ; and this very morning a gentleman before me has communicated the information that another of the most faithful among them has just passed “that bourne whence no traveller returns.” It behoves us, then, if we now conclude, in our prosperity and great. ness, to extend relief, either from charity, *i. Of justice, to do it quickly. My great anxiety is, in the outset, to prevent any misapprehension of the true grounds on which the appropria. tion is founded. Throughout the whole inquiry, there is no disposition to censure the motives or policy of the old Congress. They adopted such measures as the exigen: cies and necessities of the times forced upon them ; and now, when those exigencies have ceased, it is just, as well as generous, to give such relief as the nature of the case may demand. A very great obstacle to the success of this measure heretofore has been a prevalent opinion, that these petitioners are seeking compensation merely for losses sustained, on the depreciation of continental money, and certificates received for their monthly wages; whereas, from their first memorial in A. D. 1810, to the present session, they have invariably rested on the non-performance, by Congress, of a distinct and independent contract. All the losses on their monthly wages they bore in com. mon, and are willing to forego in common with many in the walks of civil #, and with the brave soldiers under their command. This is the plain and decisive reason why none but officers are embraced in the present bill. The contract on which they rely, was made with the officers alone ; and gallant and unfortunate as were the soldiers, the officers have endured, and will continue to endure, without repining, still severer sufferings from the worthless money and certificates received for their wages; because those losses were perhaps too large, and too general, in all departments of life, ever to warrant the expectation or practicability of complete remuneration. I have said severer sufferings on this account by the officers, because the money received for wages before A. D. 1780, worth only one dollar in the hundred, was, to the officers, the only means to purchase camp equi.