Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

H. of R.)

Bufulo and New Orleans Road.

(Manca 23, 1830.

Caraccas; and we conveyed General Lafayette to his native them; and the only want of harmony that exists, is a con. bome, in a national ship of the line. By: mere implication test as to the route of the road. In all the cases of susthrough the treaty making power, territories have been ac- frey's, with a view to internal improvements, no interrupquirer!, which are larger than European empires, and, under tion las been interposed in a single instance. On the floor the same constructive powers, the inhabitants have been re of Congress, the subject has undergone generous and aniceived into the American family, and made citizens. Even mated debates; and the power has always been sustaincd inow every day affairs, we see the same thing; we do not en- from the date of the Cumberland road!, in 1806, to the prejoy our library, maps, or stationery, by any express power. sent time; and rords have been frequently made to and in

We are not only in the practice of making laws, which the new States, which could not be done if the power did are the mere offspring of constructive power, but we en not exist. Congress has no power, nor can have any, that force those laws by the liighest penalties, and inflict the is not derived from the constitution. sanguinary punishment of death.

In 1818, a resolution passed this Hlouse, asserting the The ginilemen wlio oppose the power, fall, as I think, power 10 construct post roads, military roads, and other into a capital error. They suppose that a jurisdiction over roads, and to improve watercourses. And a resolution the ground occupied by the road, would be acquired by passed, directing the Secretary of War and the Secretathe General Government; this is not the case. Any crime ry of the Treasury to report plans for internal improvecommitted on it would remain, as before, cognizable in the ments. The Secretary of War did report on the subject State courts. Congress would only have a protecting at the next session, and the Secretary of the Treasury power over its own law, as in every other case. When-wonkl also have reported, if he had not been prevented ever Congress has a constitutional power to make a law, by indisposition. it has the power to prevent the object of the law from be Congress las solemnly acted on this power on two ocing defeatedl

. Congress pass laws to inflict punishments casions. First, in the pass::ge of a law in both Houses, to for olsstructing the mail; still a larceny committed in the set apart the bones and dividends of the Bank of the Unitmail coaclı, or in a United States' court-house, woulded States as a fund for internal improvements. Anel, again, only be of State cognizance. We are familiar with these in the passage of a law in both Houses, for the erection protecting laws; the sea, for a certain distance, belongs to of toll gates on the Cumberland road. It is the genius of the adjacent States, as a part of their domain; but such all our institutions, that the will of the majority is to preparts of the sea and the mouths of rivers are covered with vail. An instability in construing the constitution by Conrevenue cutters, possessing high and arbitrary powers, gress, would produce as bad effects as if the same should such as boarding a vessel by force, and nailing down the occur in the Supreme Court of the United States. hatches; yet these acts, which are merely protect a If the construction put on the constitution is a glaring United States' law, have never been considered as any in- mistake, or the ofispring of party violence, and dangerous fringement of State rights. President Monroe, in his to liberty, let it be disregarded. But when it leads to the views, agrees that Congress can appropriate money to prosperity of the country, and the arguments in its favor make a road, but this, he thinks, would exhaust their pow- are respectable, we are justifiable in adhering to the preer. They cannot put a toll gate upon it, and inflict penal. ccdent as the cridence of a genuine construction. I will, ties for any injury donc, as this would give jurisdiction. however, examine this part of the sulijeet, while I am up,

Here consists the grani fallacy, this idcal fancy of jui- a little more minutely. risdiction. What jurisdiction, I will ask, attends such a Congress possesses power to regulaie commerce with dw, that docs not follow every act passed by Congress, a foreign nations, and among the several States, and with mere power of protecting constitutional legislation Con- the Indian tribes; to establish post offices and post roads: gress cannot pass a single law which may not increase the to declare war, and to raise and support armies. The business of the United States' counts; but it is no new spe word regulate, as employed in the constitution, nccessacies of jurisdiction-it is a mere right to interpret the main rily means to embrace any act that will benefit coinmerce part of the act, and of the provisions designed to enforce among the sereral States. Nothing can be of higher imit. if the law itself is constitutional, it is too much to say portance to this nation than its internal trade; and the that it cannot be protected by the usual penalties. greatest embarrassment it call over labor under, is the dis

Is it possible that Congress can Macada.nize a road, and tance of the places between which it is carried on; and build splendid bridges, and that the first set of disorderly this can only be subdued by good roads and canals. They men who may pass along, can, with impunty, defeat the will regulate and lessen the cost of transportation; it will whole, by tearing up the stones and demolishing the regulate and make the prices of similar articles more unbridges?

form in the different parts of the country. That other I confess that I cannot understand the doctrine, which law or regulation could you make, that woull be of the goes to say that money in the treasury may be appropri. same advantage to inland trade? To regulate commerce ated to a particular object, when we would have no right with foreign nations, consuls are appointed to ass st merto send a tax gatherer to collect money for the same ob- chants abroad--and we have erected lighthouse's, piers, ject.

buoys, and beacons. To regulate commerce with the InThe power to lay and collect taxes is co-extensive with friani tribes, roads bave been male in the Indian territory, the power to appropriats. But it is said that the more and trading-houses bave been established. appropriation imposes rio burden on the people. This is What is the object of these light-houses, and light-ships, ani cvidunt mistake. The money in the ircisury belongs and all this class of powers constantly exercised by Conto the people as well as the money in their pockets, and gress? Is it not 10 lessen the price of transportation, by Congress cannot touch a cent of cither, unless it is to car-removing dangers, and rindering the navigation more safe ry into effect some espressed or implice provision of the anel secure? constitution. I feel a clear and full confidence that there In these laws, no mention is made of a single article of is not the slightest foundation for the distinction; and I am merchandise--nothing is said about duties, or about buying persuaded that every candid mind, on reflection, however or selling, or of drawbacks or debentures--the sole obdazzled at first, will abandon it. I holl it to be universal-ject is to lessen the price of transportation. And when ly true, that whenever Congress can make an appropria- we find the power to regulate commerce among the States, tion, it can prevent the law from being defeated by the given by the same sentence, and expressed in the same 11strul penalties, when necessary

vords, why can we not apply the samic principle to the reThe people wish the exercise of this power; they wel gulations of commerce among the States. Why can vre come the engincers and surveyors; they rejoice to see noi lissen the price of transportation? Can any one male

[ocr errors]

MARCH 23, 1830.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[H. of R.

a sensible (listinction? We do not stop with mere statutory it is expressly given; as the word establish must mean to provisions--the agency of the mind and hands are employ- make a road wherever required; otherwise, any State ed; stone and mortar are used; and the allodial soil is fre could shut up their roads, and prevent the United States quently called into requisition. Do you not purchase sites, from carrying the mail. When a fortification is made, will and build custom-houses?

any one deny that a road can be made to it? And if ConBefore the adoption of the constitution, the several gress can make a road for a mile, they can make one for a States could bave regulated the commerce between them- thousand miles, whenever the same necessity exists. Supselves by the means of roads and canals, or in any other pose an insurrection should break out, and a State through way; but the constitution has restricted the States from which it would be necessary to pass shoukl so far favor the entering into treaties or contracts, and now they have no insurgents as to close her roads in that clirection, could not direct means of regulating commerce among themselves. Congress open them? Or, in the case of a war with a fo. It seems to follow, as a necessary consequence, that the reign nation, if it should become necessary to construct new whole power which previously existed on this subject roads to carry on the war, could not Congress make them? among the States, as entire sovereignties, is carried to the I mean constitutionally. And whatever can be done agreegeneral head, where it can be exercised to so much great- ahly to the provisions of the constitution, in a state of war, er advantage.

can be done in peace, as preparatory to other wars. Can it be supposed that the framers of the constitution, Whatever can be accomplished at one moment, can be eflooking forward to the future glory of the nation, and be- fected at all moments. The constitution does not accoming acquainted with the benefit of roads and canals to in- modate itself to times or circumstances; it remains fixed ternal trade in other countries, could have intended to pros. and unchangeable. trate all power over this subject in a national point of view? The objection to the power of Congress, I trust, will The framers of the constitution were too wise to attempt soon entirely disappear. There has been a mist øver the to particularize any of the incidental powers. They well subject-a kind of political charm, leading many into the knew the impracticability of it. To mention one might be strongest inconsistency. For instance, if the owner of a considered as the exclusion of others; and they left them few barren acres should rob the mail, by mere implication, all to the sound discretion of Congress. They may or may you can consign the proprietor of the soil to the disgracenot have thought of light-houses; but, if they did, it was ful punishment of death under the gallows; but as to the safest to say nothing about them, and if such in amend. bit of land he leaves behind, however necessary for the ment had been moved, I presume it would have been re- carrying of that very mail, and for war and inland trade jected. It was their study, in those cases, to be general, besides, you cannot exercise over it the most imperfect of and not particular. The objects which clothe Congress all rights, the mere right of a way, and to put a toll gate on with power must be national, and reaching in their consi. it to raise a little money to keep it in repair. derations beyond State sovereignty:

A harmonious union of the various interests of the counI will detain the committee a little longer, with their in- try can liave no tendency to a consolidation of political dulgence, on the subject of post roads. It is said that this power. The highways will be open to all; and I sincereclause of the constitution gives the power only to select a ly believe that the preservation of the Union depends less road in being, and not the right to create or make a road. on the stord than in a kind feeling, which is only to be We do not resort to a dictionary on these occasions; but nourished by beneficial intercommunications. For my own it is of importance to know the acceptation of the word in part, I have no fears; I think the Government will last for State papers, in legislative acts, and in other parts of the a great many ages; but, at the same time, we should guard same instrument. From these sources we shall discover as much against a dismemberment as a consolidation. The that the word establish means to create, and not merely to doctrine of State rights will always be the popular side of designate a thing in being. In the first treaty we had with the question; but great care is to be taken lest the General France, it is stated to be the desire of the parties to esta- Government should be too much imporеrished. What blish suitable regulations between the two countries. A dreadl is to be apprehended from the General Government? similar expression is used in our treaty with England. 1 What can it effect against the wishes of the States? Nohave not taken much pains to scarch for the word in le-thing. The arm of the General Government cannot move gislative acts; but the committee will recollect the phrase- in opposition to the will of the States. Twenty-four States, ology in many of our acts of Congress. There is an act organized and possessed of the power to raise money and to establish navy hospitals. Here land is to be purchased, to equip troops, an:l being composed of the saine people work done, and a building erected. There is another to that form the Union, what have they to fear? Nothing: es'ablish trading-houses to trade with the Indians. The word The sovereign power in this country is in the people; and is used in the same sense in the articks of confederation. while they remain true to themselves, and preserve the, It speaks of the regulations to be established by Congress. purity of the elective franchise, all the carth cannot take The word is used in no othersrose in any part of the con- their liberties from them. stitution. It begins with the words, ordain and establish The cause I am advocating did not originate in the cabithis constitution. It speaks of such courts as shall be es- net at Washington; it sprang from the people, and hithertablished from time to time, and that the ratification of to has been borne on their voice, and on that alone. The nine States shall be sufficient for the establishment of this expediency of cxercising the power under the General constitution. It gives Congress a power to establish a Government has been frequently recommended; but these uniform rule of naturalization, and it is evidently used in recommendations have been accompanied with doubts or the suine sense in the very clause now in question, to es- insuperable difficulties. There has been no checring countablish post offices and post roads. As to offices, it means tenance throughout from any President. Still the cause to create; why change the words from those uscel in the is in full life---it has not been repressed. It is a cause of as articles of confederation, if it was not to cnlarge the pow-high importance, and equal in purity to any that has ever er? In that instrument nothing is said concerning roads. been debated in the national councils. li is a noble and The words, to establish post roads, must mean to make virtuous cause; it does not seek to gratify aspiring ambithem, when necessary; or they are valueless. If Congress tion, por to exhibit any useless show of pomp and splendor'; are obliged to use the State roads, they can have no inte. its sole aim is good of country. rest in the route. The mail is not to be opened between It is a cause that is not allied to any political party, old or the two oflices, and the mail contractors would take care new; it hias been espoused by political partisans of every to scicct the best route for themselves.

description; and it gives me pleasure to know that the late The power to be exercised in this case is not implicil-- | most amable Mr. Lowndes, of South Carolina, was the

H. of R.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

(March 23, 1830.

friend of national improvements. Hc discerned the power There are some positions which have been assumed by in the constitution, and was convinced of the expediency the gentleman, which I do not mean to contest; with a of exercising it. Than this distinguished citizen, none view, therefore, to present to the committee, and through in the Union was more admired for integrity of character them to the community, the great questions at issue beand clearness of intellect. It gives me pleasure, too, to tween us, I will first state those points in which we do know that his Excellency the Governor of Pennsylvania, agree, and then proceed to the discussion of those in in his official character, has recognised the power. which we do not agree, but differ toto cælo. He first told

On the fate of this bill, in my humble judgment, de- us, that this bill, which proposes to construct a road pends a large portion of the prosperity and glory of this through several of the States, does not provide for procountry for a long time to come.

curing their assent, because he, supposing that we have From this point we are destined to advance or to retro-power to legislate on the subject, considered it unnecesgrade; and I most solemnly invoke the friends of the cause sary. As to the truth of this proposition, my mind canto act from a spirit of conciliation, and not to suffer the not for a moment entertain a doubt; indeed, it seems to bill to be entangled with other objects of improvements, carry with it almost the force of self-evidence. or to be separated into parts.

There are some few of the powers of Congress, requirI made a similar and successful appeal on a former oc- ing the assent of the States, in the very terms in which casion; it was in the case of the Chesapeake and Delaware they are granted; with the exception of these, (and the canal. That interesting and highly national object had one in question is not one of them,) every power which undergone the ordeal of congressional inquiry fortwenty is granted operates by its own intrinsic force; it must, in years, succeeding alternately, in one House or the other, the nature of things, so operate, or it would cease to be a but always defeated in the end by a connexion with other power. That which I have not a right to do, but by the subjects.

assent of another, derives its authority, not from my will, Many objects of a national character have been present. but from that assent. The proposition may be put thus: ed to the committee; but all cannot be acted on at once. If Congress possess the power, then the assent of the When the question is fairly settled, the different sections States is not necessary; if they possess it not, then that of the country will know that their turn will come as soon assent cannot impart it, but by the concurrence of threeas practicable. In the meantime, the state of the public fourths of the States, in the manner prescribed in the mind will be in readiness for more enlarged operations, as constitution: for, to give a new power, is, in effect, to soon as the national debt shall be extinguished. We have alter or amend the constitution, and the concurrence of selected the road in question, as the fittest for the peculiar three-fourths is required for the purpose of amendment. moment; it combines in a high degree the objects of war, Exemplify the argument, if you please, by the case of the intelligence, and inland trade--the three fountains from war-making power; would it not excite a smile to talk which the power of Congress flows. It commences in the of Congress asking the assent of one or more States to a regions where the last war began; it passes by the seat of declaration of war? I will not waste the time of the comthe General Government, and it ends where the liberties mittee by another remark upon this point. and independence of our country were so gallantly main The gentleman tells us that the public debt will soon tained, in the person of our present Chief Magistrate and be extinguished; that there will be, then, a large surplus his brave little army.

revenue, which he thinks ought not to be distributed The cause is magnifying every day in importance; and amongst the States; and that the best disposition which can if the railroad system does succeed, as its friends antici- be made of it, is to apply it to the purposes of internal pate, and the power of steam can be applied, as many ima- improvement. gine, and as some experiments scem to prove, the most com I shall not now stop to discuss our power to distribute prehensive mind cannot foresee the prodigiously improved the surplus revenue amongst the States, nor to inquire condition of the country which may be effected in the next whether, if we had the power, that would be a judicious twenty years.

appropriation. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil there. Distances will become mere slight inconveniences to the of.” Whenever these questions shall arise, I shall be prepleasure and industry of the country, and the modes of pared to examine them, with all the deliberation due to their conveyances over the whole civilized world will be changed. importance; the view which I have taken of the subject,

Patriotic excitements are salutary to a sociery of people. renders such an inquiry, at present, wholly unnecessary. They delight in noble achievements; the example of the The gentleman's argument upon this point proceeds United States may produce an influence on the rest of the upon the hypothesis, that a large amount of surplus reworld. When we are known to be inclined to reconcile venue will certainly exist. Now, sir, it is matter of astonnational differences, rather than to excite wars, and are ishment to me, that this idea did not occur to the saga. seen devoting ourselves to the happiness of the people, cious mind of the gentleman, that it depends upon our will in the promotion of such public undertakings as will ad- whether there shall, or shall not, be such a surplus. I vance their interest, and go down to posterity as the best offer to him a solution of his difficulties, a relief from his evidence of our solicitude for the permanency of our re- cmbarrassment, by the simplest, the easiest of all remedies public, we can never expect to see a fairer moment than a diminution of the revenue. This idea may be forcibly the present to commence the internal improvements of the illustrated by an example drawn from the common princicountry on a scale worthy of their importance, and of the ples of household economy. What would be thought of a public spirit and enterprise of this great nation.

man, in private life, who was about to build, and whose Mr. P. P. BARBOUR said that the gentleman from family required but six apartments for their accommodaPennsylvania, [Mr. HEMPHILL] who had led the van in tion, who should erect å house containing double that this discussion, set out with the declaration, that the sub- number, feeling, at the same time, great difficulty as to ject was one of great importance; in this opinion he fully the purposes to which he should apply the useless apartconcurred; but the gentleman and himself differed in this ments? Surely, if his own mind did not suggest the idea, interesting particuar. He thought it important in relation some friendly adviser would tell him that he might obvito the good effects which it was calculated to produce; whilst ate the difficulty by building upon no larger a scale than I said Mr. B.) think it is part of a system fraught with in the comfort of his family required. So, sir, I offer to jurious consequences to the well-being of the country. the gentleman this advice: let us so regulate our revenue, Some of the most prominent of these consequences) pro- as to suit it for the wants of the Government, and we shall pose, in the progress of the remarks which I am about to be thus bappily relieved from the perplexing question, make, to develop to the committee.

what shall we do with the surplus?

MARCH 23, 1830.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

[H. of R.

Let us, for a moment, examine the principles which without materially affecting any manufacturing interest. ought to govern us in relation to revenue. Taxes are that To this extent, then, I have a right to expect the aid, even portion of the substance of a people which they are re- of the tariff members of this House. quired to contribute to the support of Government. True, The gentleman has deemed it proper to discuss the consir, the money power confided to Congress is, as it ought to stitutional power of Congress over this subject. In this be, indefinite in its extent. But why is it so? Simply be- particular, I have determined not to imitate his example, cause, as the exigencies of Government cannot be fore- but purposely and studiously to avoid it.

But let not any seen, if the power of supplying them were limited, there man suppose that I decline to enter the lists with the would be a definite supply where there was an indefinite gentleman upon this ground, because I think the po. demand. But, whilst this discretion is given to us, surely sition indefensible; so far from this, sir, I feel satisfied every principle of justice and sound policy imperiously it may be maintained against all the batteries of argurequires that we should draw from the people the smallest ment which human ingenuity can level against it. The amount of contribution which will be sufficient to meet opinion which, at an early period, I entertained, has the demands upon the treasury, in the prudent and dis- never undergone the slightest change; on the contracreet management of their affairs. This is the principle ry, every additional year of my lite, every additional which has been avowed even in monarchies, especially in hour of reflection, has but added to the strength of my the country which is our parent State. It was a maxim of original conviction, that it was not within the sphere of Queen Elizabeth, acted upon by her minister, the cele. our constitutional powers. Why, then, do I decline this brated Burleigii, that she did not wishi to see her treasury part of the discussion? Because I myself have, on forlike a swoln spleen, and that her treasury was in the pock- mer occasions, in this House, exhausted myself upon it; ets of her people; and, at the present day, after the because, by others, it bas undergone repeated and elabolavish expenditure of millions, the Premier of Great Bri- raie discussions; has been so bolted down to the bran, tain has recently assurer Parliament that the taxes shall that nothing short of inspiration itself could cast a new be recluced to the lowest amount consistent with the safety ray of light upon it; because my observation has satisfied and defence of the kingilom. Why ought this to be me that constitutional discussions upon any point are in always and every where done? Because, to the extent of ill calor in this hall, and more especially this, which would the taxation of any country, money is drawn from a con- be “as tedions as a thrice-told tale;” and because the vadition where it is productive, and placed in one in which rious considerations of justice and political expediency it is unproductive; and because this process diminishes the are ample for all the purposes of my argument. productive labor of the society, and, by necessary conse I cannot, however, forbear to present to the committee quences, its wealtı

And shali we, in this respect, beless a short retrospect of the progress of opinion on this subattentive to the interests of our constituents, than mon-ject, solely with a view to show the encroaching nature and archis, and ministers of monarchs? We, who are our onward march of power. selves a part of the people, springing from them, repre In the creation of the Cumberland road, Congress acted senting them, accountable to them, and to whom they on the compact between this Government and the Northhave, with jealous caution, entrusted the care of their western Territory, stipulating that five per cent. of the purse, shall we not prefer a rich people and a poor Go- neit proceeds of the sales of public lands should be apvernment, rather than a poor people and a rich Govern- plied to making a road within, and leading to, that terment? Sir, if we pursue the policy of imposing unne- ritory; they charged the amount expended in the concessary taxation, we may call our Government a republic; struction of the road upon that fund, and procured the we may boast of the freedom of our institutions; yet the assent of the States through which it was to pass. Durinig people will have a right to say, and will sy, we go not the interval between the year 1806, when that road was for names, but for things; not for form, but for substance; commenced, and the year 1817, the public mind was in that oppression is oppression still, no matter from what much oscillation on this subject. In this last year, the quarter it comes, no matter by what political agents it subject was brought up, and underwent elaborate discusmay be exercised.

We learn from a treasury document, sion in this House, upon the following resolutions reported that the public debt will be wholly extinguished in 1834, from the Committee of the Whole: and, except the seven millions of dollars due to the bank, 1st. That Congress has power to appropriate money and the thirteen millions of dollars of three per cent stock, for the construction of post roads, military roads, and other in June, 1832. As to the debt due to the bank, it may be roads, and the improvement of watercourses.

This resoconsidered as paid, because they owe us in equal amount. lution was carried: Yeas, 90--pays, 75. With so certain and speedy an extinguishment of the pub 2d. To construct post roads and military roads.

Lost: lic debt before us, will it not be unnecessary and oppres. Yeas, 82--nays, 84. sive taxation to continue the present amount of revenue, 3d. To construct roails and canals for carrying on comten millions of dollars of which are now annually applied merce between the States. Lost: Yeas, 71--nays, 95. to that object? Let us, then, pursue the obvious, the th. To construct roads for military purposes. Lost: just course of policy; let is graduate our revenue to cur Yeas, 81--pays, 83. demands; we shall then have no surplus to perplex us in

516. A fiú resolution was moved, that Congress has its disposition, and to lead us into a mighty scheme of ex- power to appropriate money in aid of the construction of penditure, for no better reason than that we should other roads and canals which shall be laid out and constructed unwise not know what to do with it.

der the authority of the legislatures of the States througlı If my doctrine could prevail, I would reduce so much which they pass. Negatived: Yeas and rays not taken. of the taxes as to have no surplus, even though it affected Thus, we see, that, by the solemn decision of this House the protecting policy, commonly called the American in 1817, all powerover this subject was repudiated in every systein; but let not the tarifi

' members of this llouse be form and shape, save only the power to appropriate money alarmed; for an immense recluction may be effected with for the purpose of construction. out injury to their favorite bantling. The report from the The bill now under consideration aflirms the power to treasury informs us, that duties to an amount exceeding construct, in direct contravention of the recorded opinion seven and a half millions of dollars may be repealed up. of this House in 1817. Thus it is as true of the love of on articles not at all produced or manufactured in the power as it is of another passion, “that increase of appetite United States, or in so inconsiderable degree as to be srows by the very food it feeds upen.” Under the approutterly unworthy of notice; and, indeed, I have reason to printing power, let me say to the committee, that it apbelieve that the repeal may be extended to ten millions, spears by a report made coine ime since, that, in the ses

H. of R.]

Buffalo and New Orleans Road.

(MARCH 23, 1830.

sion of 1827-28, three millions of dollars worth of public man who hears me, that the same thing may possibly haplands were given to States and individuals; and that, at pen to every road in the Union; and that, therefore, every this very session, we have applications for aid to the Port- road may be treated as being necessary for military operaland canal, the Blackstone canal, a railroad in Georgia, tions? The extent of the system, which this reasoning another in South Carolina, and a third in Maryland; for aid would justify, would be unlimited and illimitable. The to the Transylvania University, the Columbian College; gentleman alarms us with the enoi mous expense incurred and, finally, for an appropriation of forty thousand dollars during the late war in the transportation of provisions and to establish a filature of silk in Philadelphia. I might add, the materiel of war to our northern and snorthwestern deaf and dumb asylums, and a long list of other benevo- frontiers. Does he not remember that the two great ca. lent projects, including a memorial from the Colonization nals of New York and Ohio have both been constructed Society; but I forbear, from a fear of wearying the patience since that period; both leading directly to these points of the committee. And “last, but not the least," comes Does he not also remember that the frontiers of both of this bill. As we are now about to take a new latitude and these States have, since that time, been overspread with departure, it behooves us, before we weigh anchor, to con- an overflowing tide of emigration, covering the face of sider well what is the port of destination; in other words, the country with arable fiells, where the towering forests to look along the line of time into futurity, and estimate then stood, and intersecting it every where with the roads the consequences of this system, some of the most promi- necessary for their own accommodation. The difficulties nent of which it is my purpose to attempt to develop. which then existed, have sunk beneath the enterprise of

But, first, allow me to inquire what are the advantages our people, and the irresistible force of circumstances. which are to recommend this bill to ou adoption? They Let us now, for a short time, examine this question in remust be, that it is beneficial, either to commerce, or mili- lation to the transportation of the mail. tary operations, or this transportation of the mail. I will The whole length of the road, we are given to under. exrinine the subject in reference to each of these consi-stand, will be fiticen hundred miles, which, at the estiderations. And, first, as to its commercial advantages. mated cost of one thousand five hundred dollars per A glance of the eye at the map of the United States will mile, will amount to two and a quarter millions of dollars. furnishi, I think, an irrefragable answer to this argument, This, sir, is the supposed cost of making the roads of conat least in reference to the States of New York, Pennsyl. vex earth, without the use of either stone or gravel. My vania, Maryland, and Virginia, through which it is to p:iss. experience here has satisfied me that what is at first estiNature has stamped upon the territory of each of these mated at the whole cost, generally turns out to be but one States one common indelible feature. That the streams of several instalments, necessary to the completion of any of every size, whether great or small, flow from the moun- great work; let the road be constructed in the manner tains, either eastwardly into the Atlantic Ocean, or west. provided in this bill, and, at some aftertime, we shall be wardly, through the Mississippi, into the Gulf of Mexico. told that it must be finished with stone or gravel; nay, Now, sir, the road in question, at least throughout its whole possibly that it must be made a railroad; how many ad. extent, in the four states which I have mentioned, runs (itional millions that may cost, I leave it to the committee almost at right angles with these natural channels of com- to conjecture. Indeed, sir, during this session, I have mercial intercourse. Whilst, then, the produce of the seen a report, which, if I mistake not, (and I speak from country seeks its market in one direction, this road passes a doubtful memory, subject to correction,) estimates the in another; and, indeed, if it coincided with the direction cost of this road, constructed as a proper turnpike, at of commerce and these natural channels, that would be eleven and a half millions. But let us take even the sum a stronger argument against it, by all the difference be- of two and a quarter millions, the estimate of the cost of tu een the facility of water and land transportation. the plan now proposcel; the interest of that sum at six per This road, then, cannot stand upon the fact of its com. cent. is one linndred and thirty-five thousand dollars: I mercial advantages.

state the interest at six per cent., because, though the As little can it be supported upon the ground of its ne. Government could borrow at home, probably, at four and cessity for military operations. When the gentleman a ball, and in England or Holland at three, yet the legal speaks of the exposure of Buffalo and New Orleans, the interest throughout the United States varies from six to two termini of this gigantic road, I call upon him to say, cight; as the amounts will be drawn from the pockets of has he forgotten the vast and expensive system of fortifi- the people, it would be worth at least six percent. to them. cations which we have createdl, and with which we are Now, sir, I learn the average cost of transporting the surrounded, as with a wall of circumvallation? After the mail tri-weekly, in a stage couch, would not, in the more millions which we have expended in these, are they to be important parts of the country, exceed, if it equalled, abandoned as useless, for all the purposes of defence? or, fifteen dollars per mile. A report, however, of the Postwill they not be supplied with orrnance, and garrisoned master General, made in the year 1824, states the cost of in time of war for our protection? Does the gentleman thus transporting the mail from this city to Orleans, at fifty. suppose that troops are ever to be marched from Butlalo two dollars and seventy-six cents per mile:even at this exto defend Orleans, or from Orleans to defend Butlalo travagant rate, the whole transportation of the mail from Let the defence of Orleans during the late war answer Buffalo to Orleans would be less than eighty thousand dol. the question; it was successfully-nay, gloriously defended lars, while the annual interest of the cost of the road, by troops, not a man of whom was, I believe, marched without stone or gravel, has been shown to be one liun. from north of Tennessee and Kentucky; if, contr:ry to dred and thirty-five thousand dollars; thus exceeding, in every rational probability, such a thing should ever oceur, annual interest, the whole cost of transportation, by more where are all the mighty rivers and canals which surround than fifty-five thousand dollars. In this respect, then, I our borders, and penetrate our interior country? Where, put it to the candid consideration of the committee, whe. for example, is the Ohio canal? Where that of New ther the proposed expenditure can be judicious. The York? It is possible, that, in some twenty or thirty years answer must be obvious to the minds of all who hear me. hence, we may have war; say, if you please, in twenty What, let me ask, is the equivalent promised for such a years, for Ferguson, in his 'Treatise on Civil Society, think's waste of money? Why, the mail will probably pass a few that a war in every twenty year's is necessary to prevent «lays sooner between these two points. In the present a moral rust, and the dying a way of the national spirit; in condition of the road, however, if i mistake not, the mes. that event, it is also possible that troops inay be marched sage of the President to this Congress was carried from on this roadl; but if this road be constructed upon these Washington to Orleans in five and a half days; I am well two possibilities, does it not strike the mind of every aware that that extraordinary velocity was the result of a

« AnteriorContinuar »