Imagens das páginas

March 23, 1830.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[H. of R.

will be imminently exposed in the event of a war, cannot "In the present situation of things, the citizens of the be otherwise than of the highest importance. The bad- western part of New York are almost as effectually sepaness of the road from hence to Buffalo, during the last rated from their neighbors of Pennsylvania, as if an imwar, protracted intelligence, and prevented a quick con- passable barrier were interposed between them.” centration of troops and of the munitions of war to the The highway proposed in the bill will open lucrative parts required. If there had been good roads, the mili- communications between these interesting sections of our tary disasters at the commencement of the war never country. The location of the road from Washington to would have occurred. The badness of the roads swelled Buffalo, is left to the discretion of the commissioners, as the expenses of the country to a prodigious degree. the committee could not, satisfactorily to themselves, deA single cannon transported from the founderies on the sea- signate the route. board to the frontiers of the lakes, costs about two thou The committee have decmed it sufficient to have the sand dollars, and every article necessary in war bore the road located, graduated, and bridged, and to form the same wasteful and extravagant proportion. The waste bed of the road, as an earthen turnpike, except in such which the necessity of the times, and state of the roads, cases where it will be indispensable to use gravel. On exposed us to, would more than make the road contem- examination of the estimates of the engineers for making plated in the bill. Our country is large; and the frontiers turnpike roads on the several routes from Washington and exposed points being at great distances from each to New Orleans, they state so much for location, so much other, render the necessity of good roads (in a time of war) for graduation and bridges, and so much for turnpiking all essential. The military power of a nation, in all ages, with stone. The committee, by deducting the latter, and consists not more in a numerous population and great re- taking the best pains they could upon the subject, came sources, than its capacity to concentrate its forces with to the conclusion that fifteen hundred dollars per mile rapidity to the exposed points on the frontier liable to be would make an excellent common road, graduated at an assailed. Good communications increase the military arm elevation of three degrees in the mile. in a due proportion to the population and resources of a From this city to Buffalo, a considerable distance is nation or country. On a single day, sooner or later in the turnpiked; and, whenever that is the case, it is not to be arrival of troops or intelligence, may altogether depend affected by this bill. The whole road to be made will be, the fate of the most important places in the country, as near as the committee could judge, about fifteen hun

This road to Buffalo presents advantages peculiarly na- dred miles, which will cost two million two hundred and tional in their character. It opens a country abounding fifty thousand dollars, to be drawn in instalments of not in iron, fuel, and water power; and, in the event of our more in one year than about five hundred thousand dolfounderies and armories on the seaboard being destroyed lars; which sum the country will scarcely feel, and it will by an enemy, it would afford the means of establishing be distributed along the whole line among architects, the others in the interior, secure from attack, where cannon, owners of the adjacent lands for materials, and to the shot, small arms, &c. might be manufactured, which, by poor and industrious laborers. means of this road, and other means of transportation, The great national advantages of a road from the seat could be taken to any point wherever the nation should of Government to New Orleans, will scarcely, I should require. It would also open to the seaboard, as well as suppose, be denied by any one. Soon after the acquisito the lakes, an extensive and fertile country, increasing tion of Louisiana, Mr. Jefferson, as I have understood, in population and in the production of provisions of every bad a reconnoissance of a road to New Orleans taken at description, and which could be made available at either his private expense. It has been deemed of such magniextremity of the road.

tude by the General Government, that three general The proposed road would derive additional importance, routes have been surveyed, under the act of 30th April, in a military view, from the character of the population 1824; many of the reasons assigned in favor of the Bufof the country through which it will pass. In the moun- falo part of the road will equally apply to this part. Its tain regions, it is said that there is scarcely an individuai importance in time of war cannot be overrated; the difwho is not well acquainted with firearms, and expert in Siculty of transporting men and arms to this exposed point, horsemanship; the whole population in the mountain re- (during the last war) is well known to us all. I will not gions (as well as in the plain country) are distinguished descend to particulars: I appeal to the recollection of this for their physical energies, which will always render them honorable committee. among the best materials for military purposes. In time The routes surveyed are an eastern, a middle, and a of peace, cannon and munitions of war might be con- western route. The committee, after a careful examinaveyed by sea and the New York canal to the frontiers on tion of the report of the engineers of 8th April, 1826, the lakes. But, in time of war, the maritime power of the selected the western route. The Committee on Roads enemy would render this communication too uncertain, and Canals, at the last session of Congress, did the same; and in the winter time the canal would be frozen. (Here and I am persuaded the Committee of the Whole House Mr. HEMPHILL read the report of Doctor Howard, one will be of opinion that it is, upon the whole, the most of the United States' engineers.)

eligible route--each liave their advantages and disadvan“The importance of such a road as that now proposed, tages. The report says, " that the eastern and middle in a military point of view, is so strongly marked, that it routes will accommodate directly more States than the will not be necessary to dwell on them in detail, but western; but, by anticipating the increase of the populamerely to point thein out. It will afford a ready commu- tion on the western route, that the three, in this respect, nication to the northern frontier, from the central part of ought to be placed on the same footing. In comparing Pennsylvania, from Maryland, and froin the eastern part the western route with the eastern route, we find that on of the State of Virginia, giving facilities for the transpor- the eastern route the soil is inferior, the bridges and tation not only of men, but also of many of the supplies causeways will be greater, the advantages to internal comand munitions of war, which are the productions of these merce will be less, and that this route would not be so three States. During the last war, the route by the Paint- useful in war; that the carrying of the mail and the exed Post was found so necessary for this purpose, that it penses of travelling would be greater, and, on the whole, was extensively used; and, notwithstanding the badness it will be more costly. Its advantages over the western of the roads, supplies of all kinds were carried on it, at route are, that the graduation will be less, that it would, an expense which it is satisfactorily estimated would have in a greater degree, facilitate correspondence between been sufficient (in a single campaign) to have defrayed our inland importing and exporting marts, and also diffuse the cost of the work.

political information between the General Government

H. of R.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[MARCH 23, 1830.

and the capitals of the South, as this route would pass “ That the route on which the mail is carried from the seat through many of them. In comparing the western with of Government to New Orleans, is estimated at one thousand the middle route, we find the materials for a road about three bundred and eighty miles, and requires a travel of the same. The soil on the western route is the best; the twenty-four days in the winter and spring seasons of the causeways will be less, and the graduation greater. The year. The mail on this route is sometimes entirely obbridges on the western route will be in length only three structed by high waters; and, when this is not the case, it miles and nine hundred and fifty-three yards. On the is frequently much injured by the mail horses swimming middle route, the length of the bridges will be six miles creeks and through swamps, by which newspapers are and one thousand two hundred and thirty-nine yards. The frequently destroyed, and letters obliterated.”. distance of the middle route is eleven hundred and forty In this report, it is further remarked that “the route miles. On one course of the western route, the distance by the way of Warrenton, Abington, and Knoxville, af. is exactly the same; but on Snicker's Gap routė, it is fords great facilities for the construction of a mail road. eleven hundred and sixty-three miles. The expense of Through Virginia and Tennessee, the materials are abun. labor is rather less on the western route. For carrying dant for the formation of a turnpike; and through the States the mail, the report gives preference to the middle route, (of Alabama and Mississippi, it is believed, from informa. but at the same time remarks, that, as to time, it does not tion which has been obtained, that in no part of the Union suffice that it should be travelled over in the shortest time, can an artificial road of the same length be constructed at and at the least possible expense; but it must also accommo- less expense; on this part of the route the face of the date laterally to its direction the greatest extent possible country is level, and the soil well adapted for the formaof territory. In this point of view, it is said, if the west- tion of a solid road. If a substantial road were made in ern route is not as central as the others, in relation to the this direction to New Orleans, the mail could be transportStates it traverses, it has the advantage of being more ed to that place, from this city, in eleven days; if the central in relation to the States taken together, and com- roads were to pass through the capitals of Virginia, North prehended between the Atlantic on the east, and the Ohio Carolina, and Georgia, it could be conveyed in less than and the Mississippi on the west.

twelve days. The department now pays at the rate of But, in relation to such a road as this will be, extending fifty-six dollars and seventy-six cents a mile for the transfrom the seat of Government to two exposed and extreme portation of the mail, three times in each week, to New frontiers of the country, and which is calculated to remain Orleans, when, on a good turnpike road, it could be cona great highway for ages, a little difference in expense or veyed in a stage, as often, and in less than half the time, distance ought not to be viewed as of much importance. at the same expense, with the utmost security, and with a

There are considerations which give a decided prefer considerable increase of the receipts of the department.” ence to the western route. The first is its superior ad. The committee have introduced this bill, without any vantages in time of war. The Southern States will have reference to the consent of the States, deeming it to be their own borders to defend, and this they will be always entirely immaterial. Mr. Madison, in his rejection of the capable of doing. They are contiguous to each other, a bill, to set apart, &c. says, " That if the power is not vest. condensed population, and nearer to the seat of Govern- ed in Congress, the assent of the States cannot confer it." ment, and to the military and naval establishments. They In the first session of the fifteenth Congress, this House, by will seldom, if ever, be called across the mountains. The a vote of ninety to seventy-five, asserted the power to make States on the Gulf of Mexico, being in the vicinity of the post roads, military roads, and other roads, without the con. West Indies, will be exposed to imminent danger; and their sent of the States. By the act of the 30th April, 1802, own forces being incolisiderable, they must look for assist- by which Ohio was admitted into the Union, certain conance from remote inland States. "Tennessee and ken- ditions were annexed, for the free acceptance or rejection tucky, having no frontiers to defend, and being more in- of the convention, among which was the application of a terested than the South in the regions of the gulf, would part of the nett proceeds of the lands lying within the be their natural allies, and always ready to aid the States State to the laying out and making of public roads leadof Louisiana and Alabama, and to defend the naval esta-ing from the navigable waters emptying into the Atlantic, blishments at Pensacola. This road, in case of an emer- to the Ohio, to the said State, and through the samegency, would afford to the Western States the most signal such roads to be laid out, under the authority of Congress, advantages. They could then march their troops to the with the consent of the several States through which such field of battle. The western route will connect different roads shall pass. In compliance with this act, the law of sections of the country, which are separated by natural the 29th March, 1806, for the construction of the Cumobstacles. This is one of the great advantages of in-berland road, requested the President to obtain the conternal improvements. It will form a communication be sent of the States through which the road was to pass. tween the West and the Atlantic Ocean, and augment in- At this early period, it does not appear that the subject ternal trade; the people of the West could bring their had been much reflected on. Mr. Monroe's views, pre. produce to it and along it, in either direction, to the most sented to Congress on the 4th of May, 1822, contain this convenient avenue to a market.

passage-" The States, individually, cannot transfer the There is another consideration; it is miraculous to see, power to the United States, nor can the United States reas we now do, the rising country in the West--the ima-ceive it. The constitution forms an equal, and the sole gination of no man could have foreseen it. The enter-relation, between the General Government and the seve. prise of the West has greatly enlarged the importance ral States, and it recognises no changes in it which should and power of the nation; and, as the Western States have not in like manner apply to all.” In addition, I will read no lands to form a public fund, it cannot be expected an extract from the report of the Comunittee on Roads that they will make many leading roads for a long time, and Canals, in the first session of the eighteenth Congress. by a direct taxation on the people: the nett proceeds from Here Mr. HEMPhill read the following:) the sale of the public lands will always be inadequate for “ The General Government cannot acquire exclusive the roads which their rapidly increasing population will jurisdiction, except over all places purchased by the conrequire. This road would highly benefit a portion of the sent of the Legislature of the State in which the same West: but, if it should run to the east of the mountains, may be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, the people of the West would reap no advantage from it. dockyards, and other needful buildings. The States can,

I will close this part of the subject, by reading an ex- in no other instance, give jurisdiction to the United States. tract from the report of the Postitaster General, in 1824. The General Government derives its whole power from It is as follows:

the constitution, and it can neither be increased nor di

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

MARCH 23, 1830.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

(H. of R.

minished, in the slightest particular, by any other means tion itself has providently pointed out.” Again, in his than by an amendment of the constitution.

message of the 3d March, 1817, he says, “I am not una" The General Government and the States are to act in ware of the great importance of roads and canals, and the their own proper spheres on the powers they respectively improved navigation of water streams, and that a power possess; they cannot exchange power, or, by any consent in the National Legislature to provide for them might be or combination of power, give or take jurisdiction from exercised with signal advantage to the general prosperity.” each other."

Mr. Monroe, in his message of 1817, observed, that, Congress became so well convinced of the inutility of When we consider the vast extent of territory within obtaining the consent of the States, that, by the act of the the United States, the great amount and value of its pro3d March, 1825, for the continuation of the Cumberland ductions, the connexion of its parts, and other circumroad to Zanesville, and to lay out a road from thence, by the stances on which their prosperity and happiness depend, seats of the Governments of the States of Ohio, Indiana, we cannot fail to entertain a high sense of the advantages and Illinois, to the seat of Government in the State of Mis- to be derived from the facility which may be afforded in souri, they omitted the clause entirely. Indeel, every one, the intercourse between thiem, by means of good roads on the slightest reflection, will see that power cannot be ac- and canals. Never did a country of such vast extent ofquired in this way, and to exercise it in this modified form fer equal inducements to improvements of this kind, nor might lead to delays and inconveniences: some States may ever were consequences of such magnitude involved in assent and others decline, and the consent may be given them,” &c. on conditions concerning which disputes might afterwards In relation to the preservation of the Un'on, the subject arise.

presents itself in the strongest possible light. The chaI am fully convinced that, where either Government racter of the face of the country, the variety of soils and possesses jurisilietion, it had better act on its own autho-climates, necessarily give powerful impulses to sectional rity: where there is a concurrent jurisdiction, there can interests and feelings; and, in the absence of great and nanever be a necessity for both to act; for, if one acts, both tional improvements, these different interests will be encan enjoy the benefit of it. Tam speaking of internal im- tirely regulated by the mountains, waters, soil, and climate; provements; in such cases there can be no danger of any and the stronger these interests grow in their natural confliction, for it is unnatural to suppose that one would channels, uncomected and independent of each other, the desire to expend money on an object which the other had more will the affections for the General Government dicomunenced, and was willing to accomplish of its own ac- minish. cord. I will here be allowed, Mr. Chairman, to make a A people, speaking one common language, and being in few general observations on the subject of internal im- substance the same people, can have no inducements to provements; and I wil begin with calling to the recollec- separate, while their interests can be interchanged to the tion of the committee extracts from tive messages of seve- advantage of the whole. But this highly interesting, poral of the Presidents.

litical, and commercial state of society can only be attainMr. Jefferson, in anticipation of a surplus revenue, ed and secured by internal improvements of a national made suggestions as to its application, le asked, “Shall character. There is no other choice. All the wisdom it lay unproductive in the vaults. Shall the revenue be and experience of man can contrive nothing else. It is 10 reduced or shall it not rather be appropriated to the im- internal improvements, and to those only, that the people provement of roads and canals, rivers, education, and are to look for these high and permanent blessings. other great foundations of prosperity and union, under A thorough and juclicious execution of internal improvethe powers which Congress may already possess, or by ments would enliven the whole country. The advantages sich amendments of the constitution as may be approved of such public works are so universally acknowledged, of by the States. While uncertain of the course of things, that it would be time misspent to go into any reasoning on the time may be advantageously employed in obtaining the subject. The results have been the same in all ages the powers necessary for a system of improvements, and nations. It is enough to say that it will promote the should that be thought best.”

landed interest to its highest tide of prosperity, and that Mr. Madison, in bis message of 1815, refers to this sub- it will always be the leading interest of this country. ject, and says, that, “ among the means of advancing the Where there is no carrying trade to a great extent, compublic interests, the occasion is a proper one for recalling verce, cannot lead; it must follow the prosperity of the the attention of Congress to the great importance of esta- land: and whenever that flourishes, commerce, manublishing, throughout our country, the roads and canals factures, and the various vocations of society, will particiwhich can best be executed under the national authority. pate in the general good. Congress can do no act which No objects within the circle of political economy so rich will so effectually remove the necessity of a high tariff. ly repay the expenses bestowed on them; there are none The raw materials will be more abundant, and consequentthe itility of which is more universally ascertained and ly cheaper. They can be transported to the manufactoacknowledged; none that do more honor to the Govern-ly, and the manufactured articles from thence to the inarments, whose wise and enlarged patriotism duly appre. ket places, at a less expense. No policy ever was, or ciate them; nor is there any country which presents a field ever can be, presented to the national councils, which where nature invites more the art of man, to complete her would be more purely American. It benefits the whole, own work, for his accommodation and benefit. These and oppresses none. considerations are strengthened, moreover, by the politi. There is no country more susceptible of improvements cal effects of these facilities for intercommunication, in than our own. It comprehends so many degrees of latibringing and binding more closely together the various tude on the ocean, and also of longitude in the interior, parts of an extended confederacy. Whilst the States, abounding with mountains, lakes, and rivers, and em. individually, and with a laudable enterprise and emulation, bracing almost every climate and variety of soil. I will avail themselves of their local advantages by new roads, not fatigue the committee by any enumeration of the ca. by navigable canals, and by improving the streams sus- pacities of the country for improvements. I will barely ceptiblc of navigation, the General Government is the allude to one, which, I think, ought never to be lost sight more urged to similar undertakings, requiring a national of--I mean the Atlantic canal, from the extreme North to jurisdiction and national means, by the prospect of thus St. Mary's, and one to connect the waters of the Atlantic systematically completing so inestimable a work; and it is with the Gulf of Mexico, and from thence to New Orleans. a happy reflection, that any defect of the constitutional This once effected, would connect itself with all the landauthority can be supplied in a mode which the constitu- ings and valuable streams, from the Mississippi to the ex

VOL. VI.--81

H. of R.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

(MARCH 23, 1830

treme North, and by the Erie and Champlain canals with His public works were, indeed, extensive and splendid. the lakes and the St. Lawrence.

In a period, from 1800 to 1813, in which lie had to conThe spirit of improvement has advanced in this country, tend with all the nations of Europe, and was deprived of and is still advancing: In the local and limited sphere of commerce on the ocean, he executed improvements on most of the States, the opinion in favor of this policy has the most expanded scale. He macle a thorough repair of gained the ascendancy.

twenty-five thousand miles of turnpike roads, which had It is in the General Government, which alone can plan gone to ruin in the preceding years of political anarchy: and execute for the welfare of the whole, where the great- He projected eighty bridges of large dimensions, forty of est gloom exists; it is here, where old-fashioned prejudices which were finished, and the remainder partially exeand impediments of every description seem to combine. cuted. He planned thirty distinct canals, seven of which

The history of public undertakings discloses the fact, were completed. Among the unfinished, were several that, although in the beginning, discouragements and very important ones; such as the canal de St. Guentin, to frowns always await them, still, in the end, thanks can connect the river Somme with the Scheldt; the canal de never be too bountifully bestowed.

St. Ourcy, to supply the whole city of Paris trith water: The first important turnpike road made in America was the canal of the Meuse and the Rhine, to connect the opposed with the most active violence.

Baltic with the channel; and the canal of the Rhone and The State of New York had to wage a warfare against the Rhine, to connect Marseilles, on the Mediterranean, the prejudices of the times. Their grand projects were with Amsterdam, on the German Ocean. He improved believed, by many, to be romantic, impracticable, and far the navigation of fifteen rivers, and reclaimed extensive beyond the resources of a single State.

marshes. At Antwerp and Cherbourg, he constructed The execution of improvements met with similar resist. great basins for ships of war or commerce; and he also ance in England. When a turnpike road was projected improved extensively eighteen or twenty other ports. He from London to the interior of the country, the landlords almost re-made the roads in Italy; and ihc excavations at near the town became alarmed, as they feared that, by Pompeii were prosecuted under his auspices, until it csbringing the heart of the country so nčar to the London bibited one of the most interesting curiosities in the unimarket, it would cause a fall in their rents; but, to their verse. He compelled the Alps to bow to his genius, which, surprise, they discovered that rents rose along the whole from the creation, had looked down on the rest of the distance of the road. Still, it is a remarkable fact, that world. Over the most frightful and precipitous parts of England, as a nation so enterprising, and so celebrated these and the adjacent mountains, le constructed fourteen for her anxiety to promote her own interest, should not hundred miles of good turnpike roads. This is a mere have prosecuted internal improvement for ages after her outline of the grand works which he executed in the shert means were ample. She had read of the water commu- period of thirteen years. nications in China; she was fainiliar with the fame of the If the surplus revenue, after the extinguishment of the Romans, in the construction of their stupendous aque. public debt, does not disappoint our expectations, this ducts, and their costly and magnificent roads; she had country, in the space of twenty years, may be made io witnessed extensive improvements on the Continent, and rank with any on the globe. We have labor and skill was acquainted with the utility of the canals in Holland--enougla--we have no wars, or prospect of wars--we seem still, she was not awakened until a hundred years after the invited to the execution of public works, to give to the existence of the canal of the two seas in France, when an country that artificial finish, which our interest and polit:enterprising individual, in a private undertaking, roused cal considerations require, the nation, and infused among the people a spirit in favor To effect this great end, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madison, of internal improvements, which becaine irresistible, and and Mr. Monroe proposed a change in the constitution, pervades the kingdom to the present day. Fine roads to invest Congress with an explicit and complete power. superseded the common roads. Canals are so numerous, The latter has more especially described the extent of his that they approach within fifteen miles of almost every meaning. It is to give the General Goverr.ment power to spot in England. Breakwaters are crected at their dan- execute a system of internal improvements, and to erect gerous harbors. Streams are every where improved, and toll gates on national roads, with an authority to punish superbly bridged. They are now engaged in the grand individuals who shall do any injury to the public works. experiment of the railroad system. The Darlington and Let us cxamine, for a moment, the practical operation Stockton railroad shed suchi light on the subject, that it of the system thus proposed by these gentlemen. Will called into action the enterprise of the large cities of the exercise of the power to make a road produce any Manchester and Liverpool. A railroad, with four tracks, bad effects? Private property can be taken for public use", is now nearly completed between these two towns; and, on paying a just compensation. Will a State be pruju to avoid the inconvenience of a long train of coal wagons diced by a good road passing through it, which will inin the streets, a tunnel is made under the large city of crease its population and wealth, and cause busy villages Liverpool. It would be difficult for any nation to surpass to rise up, and industry to be excited on the whole line English enterprise. To accommodate the lower part of Will it make any difference to the owner of land, whether London, on both sides of the river, a tunnel (under the he is paid by a State or by the United States? Will the Thames) is now nearly executed.

heads or hearts of the appraisers be changed by the er! I fear I may be rather tedious; examples, however, are cumstance of their acting as citizens of the United States' sometimes advantageous, and the theme itself is not bar. Will the travellers care whether the gates are erected by ren of agreeable interest. Reflections on this very subject a State or the General Governmen? Individuals who afforded consolation to the late Emperor of France, when commit any injury to the works, as in the case of those a prisoner on the rock of St. Helena. This extraordinary who obstruct the mail, would be liable to federal juris. man, among his other feats, was, in the cause of internal im- diction. This, however, formed no objection in the mine! provements, the mighty champion of the age. In speaking of Mr. Monroe; and even this can be removed by investof the treatment of the allied powers towards him, he said:ling this power in the State courts, as has been practised “At least they cannot take from me, hereafter, the great in several cases. A fugitive from justice is to be examined public works which I have executed, the roads which I before a State dge or gistrate. By a law passed in have made, and the seas which I have united. They can- 1798, “ All judges and justices of the courts of the several not place their feet to improve, where mine have not been States, having authority by the laws of the Unitel States before them. Thank God, of these they cannot deprive to take cognizance of offences against the constitution at me.”

laws thereof, shall, respectively, have the like power and

MARCH 23, 1830.]

Buffulo and New Orleans Road.

[H. of R.

authority to hold to security of the peace, and for good daily facilitated by new improvements. Roads will every heliavior, in cases arising under the constitution and where be shortened and kept in better order; accommolaws of the United States, as may or can be lawfully exer- dations for travellers will be multiplied and ameliorated. cised by any judge or justice of the peace of the respective an interior navigation on our Eastern sidle will be opened States, in cases cognizable before them.” By an act of throughout, or nearly throughout the wbole extent of the the 8th of March, 1896, the respective county courts, thirteen States. The communication between the Westwithin or next adjoining the revenue districts, shall be, ern and Atlantic districts, and the different parts of each, and are hereby, authorized to take cognizance of all will be rendered more and more easy, by those numecomplaints and prosecutions for fines, penalties, and for- rous canals with which the beneficence of nature has infeitures arising under the revenue laws. And by the act tersected our country, and which art finds it so little diffi. of the 21st April, 1808, the aforesaid act was continued cult to connect and complete." It is evident that the without limitation, and extended to additional districts. writer contemplated this to be effected by the General GoAgain, on the 10th of April, 1816, in the act chartering vernment. He was speaking of the effects of the Union, the Bank of the United States, it is declared that nothing and he never could have anticipated that the grand canal therein contained shall be construcd to deprive the courts alluded to would ever be made by the States. The States of the individual States of jurisdiction, under the laws of could make no compact with each other, for this purpose, the several States, over any offence declared punishable without the consent of Congress. The power was taken by this act. The State Legislatures can aid in the pro- from them, and it naturally went to the General Govern. tection of a United States' law; and they have generally ment, until it should be receded in the mode prescribed. passed laws to punish for counterfeiting the notes of the Can it be expected that the States will enter into comUnited States' Bank. I think there will be no difficulty pacts to make roads, calculated inore for national than lo. on this subject, when we bring our minds to reflect upon cal purposes, and then come to Congress for their con. it. These offences are rarely committed. I do not, for sent? If we place our reliance on the States, the road in the last thirty years, recollect an instance on the Phila- question will not be made for a thousand years to come. In clelphia and Lancaster turnpike, or any forfeiture for the the discussion of constitutional questions, we must consicvasion of the tolls. If gates are put on the whole of this der ourselves as citizens of the United States, as well as contemplated road, I do not suppose that more than three of the particular State to which we belong. The rights of or four cases would occur in a year, and perhaps none; each should be cherished with equal zeal. and, as I have already said, the State courts can be in. The constitution has inrested Congress with certain enuvested with a jurisdiction over them. This road would merated powers, and I have always concurred in the opinot be finished these five or six years; and hefore then, nion that the common defence and general welfare of the the country, I presume, will come to some practicable United States is to be obtained by the due exercise of result as to the inode of repairing national roads. The these powers; otherwise, there would be no limits. repairs, in my opinion, ought to be made out of the money But the framers of the constitution foresaw that Congress of those who use the roads. It cannot be expected that would frequently have to legislate on implication, in relathe General Government will annually appropriate money tion to those powers; and to remove all doubts as to the to repair roads. The best policy will be, to construct or right, they gave this general power by an express grantto aid in the construction of roads, and afterwards let them a power to make all laws which shall be necessary and inaintain themselves, which they will always be capable of proper for carrying into execution the aforegoing powers; doing.

and other powers vested by this constitution in the GoThe constitutional question, I think, in the language of vernment of the United States, or in any department or Mr. Madison, ought to be precluded: yet other gentlemen officer thereof. From the nature of this power, no boun. may not agree with me in this opinion; and, as this is the daries could be given. It is left on the broad ground of last time that ever I expect to speak at large on this sub- genuine construction. It is no longer an implied power; ject, I wish to comprise the whole case in my observations. It is a construction of the constitution, under an express

I will premise that the power is one which Mr. Jeffer- authority to do so; it is not restricted as to objects, nor is son, Mr. Madison, and Mr. Monroe thought ought to be. it confined to times of war or peace. Most of the express long to the General Government. They did not view it powers were acted upon in the early days of the Governas obuoxious in its character, and dangerous to liberty; ment, and the principal acts of legislation since have been but as the means of binding the Union together, and of founded on constructive powers. The promotion of the promoting the best prosperity of the country. The case public welfare, as expressed in the constitution, may be is stripped of every odious feature, and resolves itself into considered as an intimation for a liberal construction, a naked question of constitutional law. The only differ- where the object leads to the good and prosperity of the ence between the illustrious gentlemen, whose names I country. have so repeatedly mentionedl, is, that the friends of na It has always seemed strange to me that this constructional improvements belie that Congress possesses the tive power should be acquiesced in so generally, and yet power already. Thesc three Presidents were so ardent denied for the purpose of improving the country. on the subject, that they recommended a change in the We are never a week in session, without acting upon constitution. We say that no change is necessary--that these constructive powers. Our statute books are full of the constitution is a sacred instrument, and should never instances. There are the laws relating to fugitives, who be touched without fear and trembling. For my own part, are held to service or labor, in any of the States. The I think I never will vote to amend it, except to elect the laws relating to the carrying of the mail, the military acaPresident for a single term. Neither of the Presidents demy, pensions, navy hospitals, and trading-houses among alluded to were ever suspected of being unfriendly to the Indians, are all creatures of constructive power's. So State rights, or inclined to invest the General Government are the laws relating to our fortifications, light-houses, and with unreasonable power.

revenue cutters. In the same class, may be placed the Although this subject has been discussed so often, I do practice of clearing rivers, removing sand-bars, improving not recollect that a passage in the Fecleralist relating to it harbors, and erecting breakwaters. In the same class, has ever been read. In No. 14, the objection drawn also, may be considered the laws concerning vaccination, against the constitution, from the extent of country, was the cultivation of the vine, and grants of land for educa. answered. In this answer, speaking of the effects of the tion. I cannot remember but a small part of them. We do constitution, it is said: “Let it be remembered, in the third not confine ourselves at home. We have gone abroad, and place, that the intercourse throughout the Union will be have granted money to the inhabitants of St. Domingo and

« AnteriorContinuar »