« ZurückWeiter »
(H. OF R. try shall be developed and brought into full positively injurious to the whole. It might activity, we are content to follow the path happen, too, that distant streams and States which the statesmen of the revolution have could be united by roads and canals, by which, sketched, convinced that, by steadily pursuing from peculiar localities, the greater part of each it, we shall best attain the objects of the social State through which they were designed to compact.
pass, would not feel interested, rather looking The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. BARBOUR) upon injury than benefit as the result, while to says that the bill under consideration contains the nation at large the connection would be of a new principle, not known before in this the highest importance. For these and other House, and that we are about to take
reasons which might be mentioned, no opinion latitude and departure.” He considered the appeared to be better founded than Mr. MonCumberland road as affording no precedent, roe's, that the power to make roads and canals, because it was the result of an agreement be- with jurisdiction over them, should reside in tween the States of which the Northwestern the Government. But the gentleman from Territory was composed and this Government, Virginia has come to a different conclusion, and by which two per cent. arising from the sales seems alarmed at the consequences of encroachof the public lands was to be employed in making upon State rights, and the accumulation of ing roads leading to and through those States. power in the General Government. Yet it will be recollected that the gentleman (said Mr. I.,) this feverish excitement about distinctly admitted a position taken by my State rights and Executive patronage seems friend and colleague, (Mr. HEMPHILL,) that the altogether chimerical. Look into the papers consent of the States was not to be regarded, published, and to the speeches made in certain as they could not confer any power on Con- conventions before the adoption of the constigress, except in the cases mentioned in the con- tution, and you will find the same evil forebodstitution, and that every other compact between ings, and the same alarming apprehensions. them was a nullity. With this admission, I can- And yet we have gone on prosperously in not understand how he can attach any impor- peace, and successfully in war, for more than tance to the agreement respecting the Cumber- forty years, without one of those being imland road. By his own showing, it is evident paired. How, indeed, could it be otherwise, that this Government did not derive its right when every member of this Government, exfrom that source. How, then, does this bill cept such as compose the judiciary, returns at differ from the bill authorizing the construction short intervals to his respective State? The of the Cumberland road ? and how does it dif- members of Congress, in which reside all the fer from Mr. Madison's bill? But the gentle- high powers of sovereignty, bring with them man, while he professes to be fully aware of here-State attachments and State pride; they the value of good roads and canals, contends act under a sense of high responsibility to their not only that the power to make them does not constituents and to their State; they remain belong to this Government, but that it ought here but for a few months, return, and mix not to belong to it—that they had better be left with their fellow-citizens; with them every to the enterprise of individuals or to the States. motive conspires to urge them to resist, not to The gentleman will find but few to go with suffer, an invasion of State rights. Usage and him on that broad ground, even in his own public opinion have limited the term of the Ex. State. It will be recollected that when the at- ecutive to eight years, at the expiration of tention of Congress was called to this subject, which he returns to his State. Your judges by Mr. Monroe and others, while they admitted are scattered over the Union, citizens of their that the right already existed to appropriate respective States. All of them, presidents, legmoney in aid of incorporated companies, denied islators, and judges, have their families, friends, that it extended further; but as it was deemed endearments, and attachments in their respecof essential importance to the welfare of the tive States—their homes—where they find their people that roads and canals should be con- earthly resting places. Gentlemen talk of our structed under the authority of this Govern- National and State Governments, as if the forment, they strongly recommended an amend- mer were a distinct people, to whom certain ment of the constitution, so that it should be powers were conceded, but, not content with expressly granted.
their enjoyment, are constantly aiming to enIt was apparent that great national works, large them at the expense of the rights of the extending to remote parts of this Union, could latter. But view them as the same people, a not be executed by companies or by States, portion of whom at stated periods exercise even if their resources were adequate to them; certain delegated trusts which a common feelthat rival interests existed everywhere, each ing of interest urges them to restrict rather State exerting itself to divert commerce to its than enlarge, and the suggestion will cease to own commercial emporium, or to some other have any force. Equally illusory are the fears point least advantageous to its neighbor State. of Executive patronage, which the gentleman And even in case of the union of two or more from Virginia so strongly deprecated. It is States for this purpose, the common good of common to speak of this; but I ask for proof the whole Union would be the least object of of its having been exerted under any administheir thoughts; nay, routes might be chosen, Itration, and, if exerted, with what effect? Do
H. OF R.]
(APRIL, 1830. your officers of the army and navy interfere in years. My constituents have no immediate inelections ? or have you seen the judges of your terest in the road mentioned in the bill; from courts canvassing for votes to subserve the pur- the nearest part of my district it is at least one poses of the Executive? The most powerful hundred and eighty miles. But I advocate it motives that could animate the human heart, because it is part of a great system which I existed to sustain the administrations of the consider this Government under the most solelder and younger Adams; but with what ef-emn obligations bound to persevere in. The fect? What did patronage do in these cases ? road, from this city to New Orleans, is not a Sir, it is a mere phantom, which has no terrors new project; it was earnestly brought into for a free and vigilant people. Take one of the view by Mr. Calhoun in 1818, in support of a eight thousand postmasters that the gentleman bill which he introduced into Congress, to set from Virginia Las spoken of, and see what in- apart, and pledge as a fund for internal imfluence he is able to exercise in any city or provement, the bonus and United States share town. It will be found, in most instances, that of the dividends of the National Bank. In a the person so situated can effect less, at any report which the same gentleman made while election, than if he had not an office. There is Secretary of War, it is noticed as one of the a watchful jealousy among the people, which prominent national objects, and it has never repels any undue or even active exertions of since been lost sight of by the Committees on men in official stations to control or sway the Internal Improvements of this House. By elections. We have nothing to fear from them. cherishing a spirit of concession, and merging As to the unequal distribution of the revenue, all minor considerations in the great one of which, it is said, the system of internal im- making a beginning upon the principle containprovement gives rise to, I answer, that the ed in the bill, its friends cannot fail to effect its same may be said of every other branch of pub- passage. When we reflect upon the amazing lic expenditure: fortifications are erected on extent of our country, the diversity of interour coasts and frontiers most exposed to at- ests and occupations of its inhabitants, and extacks; light-houses, breakwaters, &c., on the amine the barriers which its geographical feaseacoast. These, and many other works, do tures present to direct and easy intercourse, we not immediately benefit the interior; but in must come to the conclusion that it is impossithese and all other erections and improvements, ble to bind the different parts together in any regard is had the general welfare. What- other manner than by good roads and canals ever gives life and vigor to the whole system, extending from the centre to the extremities of must be beneficial to its parts; in like manner, the Union. By these means we shall be able the healthful action of the heart communicates to preserve the sympathies of our nature, which its tone to the extremities. We have been told, distance is too apt to sunder. too, that, by the reduction of duties upon tea But we will realize their advantages chiefly and coffee, and certain luxuries of life which during war, when the Government is compelled do not interfere with our domestic industry, as to rely for most of its revenue upon a system is proposed by a bill on our table, the revenue of internal taxation, its ordinary fiscal resources will be so much reduced as to leave no surplus being in a great measure cut off. The effect of beyond the ordinary demands of the Govern- this system is to drain the interior of the counment. But it should be considered that the bills try of its currency, and to direct it to the seaalluded to are prospective in their operation; board, or to places where troops are collected and even if it were otherwise, I do not appre- for the defence of exposed situations on the hend any very great diminution from the pro- frontiers. It will be recollected that no part posed measures. The great increase of popula- of the interior of the United States was, during tion must create a proportionate demand. In the late war, exempted from this evil; it operaid of this, there is a law of political economy ated peculiarly hard in the western part of which is universally true, that the capacity to Pennsylvania; specie in fact disappeared, and buy, from the comparative cheapness of the a miserable paper currency was substituted for commodity, increases its consumption; in other it, flooding the country, and with its natural words, the reduction of a duty will, in a corre- tendency for depreciation, ruining thousands of sponding ratio, increase the demand. After the best part of our population—the farmers, paying all the ordinary expenses of Govern- the honest yeomanry of the country, who, in ment for the current year, and applying eleven such a state of things, are always the greatest millions five hundred thousand dollars to the sufferers. It is the part of prudence to guard, public debt, the Secretary of the Treasury esti- as far as practicable, against a recurrence of so mates that there will be a balance in the Treas- much suffering and calamity. We cannot, it is ury on the first day of January, 1831, of four true, prevent the drain of our currency, that is millions four hundred and ninety-four thousand the inevitable effect of direct taxation ; but we five hundred and forty-five dollars. It is, can, in a great degree, mitigate its effects, by therefore, apparent that two millions of dollars giving to our people cheap and easy means of may, with perfect safety, be applied annually transporting their produce and stock to marto internal improvements, leaving enough from ket; to that market where troops may be asall the sources of revenue, and the operation of sembled, and where there is the greatest public the sinking fund, to extinguish the debt in five expenditure. If you deny them these means,
[H. OF R. you expose them to incalculable injuries, it will The perseverance in this system of internal be impossible to satisfy the tax gatherer; judg- improvements
, it has been said, will give rise ments and executions will speedily follow ; but to a claim of jurisdiction by the United States all are nearly in the same situation; and where over the roads they make, which will end in are the purchasers to be found ? The earnings the erection of toll-gates, and the enforcing of of years of honest industry will be swept off penalties, not by State authority. Claiming, as in a moment, for a sum sometimes insufficient I do, for this Government, the right to make to pay the cost of collection—always vastly roads and canals without the consent of the disproportioned to the value of the property, States, it must follow that, after they are coneither to enrich the cunning speculator, or to structed, it has a complete right to preserve add to the already overgrown wealth of some them by such means as it chooses to select. If nabob, or to increase the public lands and stock I am right in assuming, for I have already said to remain unproductive, until better times shall that I do not mean to argue it, that the constienable them to sell for sums equal to their tution has given to Congress the principal powclaims. A Government expressly instituted to er, the incident must follow; nor is it at all promote the happiness and welfare of all its probable that any injurious consequences are citizens, should provide in a time of peace, likely to arise from the exercise of it. The anwhen its resources are abundant, against such thority to establish post offices and post roads ruinous consequences. In this way it will best impliedly confers the right to protect the transsecure the lasting attachment of the people. portation of the mail by the imposing of penal
The gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. COKE,) in ties. For this purpose various laws have been speaking of the probable expense of the pro- passed, and punishments have been inflicted, posed road, said that the Cumberland road cost without any complaint from a State, and, as I the Government fifteen thousand dollars per trust, without injury to it. Nor would any mile. He has fallen into an error. The whole greater evil happen by punishing a man in the distance of the road is one hundred and thirty- United States courts for an injury done to the five miles; its aggregate cost one million seven road. Offences of this kind would be of rare hundred and two thousand three hundred and occurrence : when it was known that the presninety-five dollars, which is equal to twelve ence of vigilant gate keepers would probably thousand six hundred and ten dollars a mile. prevent escape, and that speedy punishment At a proper time, I will, I trust, be able to would inevitably follow, little mischief would show to the House that no sum of inoney of be done. There is scarcely an instance of an equal amount has ever been expended with indictment in our State courts for injuries done greater advantage to the country. But it is to roads belonging to corporations, and the proper to say that at the time this road was reason that prevents their occurrence would commenced, this Government had no expe- apply to a road laid out under the authority of rience in the business ; few possessed the re- the United States. Besides, there could be no quisite skill for it; then, and for many years valid objection to conferring jurisdiction on the afterwards, provisions were dear, and the State courts to punish transgressors. Congress Wages of labor near one hundred per cent. be- gave them power to entertain suits, to collect yond its present amount. What added greatly the internal revenue, and to enforce penalties to the cost of this road, is the number of bridges, under a clause in the constitution, declariug it some of which are built in a style of superior the supreme law of the land, and that the and expensive workmanship, exhibiting monu- judges of the State courts should be bound ments of architectural skill not surpassed in thereby. This power, I admit, was by some of any part of the Union. The continuation of the States disputed; but surely it would be the Cumberland road from Wheeling to Zanes- going too far to say that evils were likely to ville, which is made upon the McAdam plan, arise from the exercise of it. And if there and is said to be the best road in the United should be a disposition in any State to refuse States, cost, I am informed, about six thousand the jurisdiction, offenders would have no right dollars a mile. But the expenditure upon to complain if they were sent to the United works of this nature is of secondary conse- State ourt for trial. Seldom, indeed, would quence. If a harbor is found necessary for the there be occasion for such a proceeding; but if safety and convenience of our shipping, if a a case should arise, demanding it, is it likely fortification is wanting for our defence, the ex- the criminal would talk of its hardship? And, pense of constructing them would not be re- if not, who would be quixotic enough to comgarded. There is a paramount duty which the plain for him? The jurisdiction of the United Government owes to its citizens, compared to States over their roads, whether they should which, gold and silver should weigh but as cxert it by direct appropriations to keep them dast in the balance. They claim from it pro- in repair, or by the erection of toll-gates, cantection at any price; and they ask the same not be a cause of the least apprehension to the measure of justice, I will not call it liberality, States, no more than they now feel from the in making such improvements as the situation punishment of a mail robber. It is impossible of the country admits of and requires, which that injury can arise from it. State and individual enterprise is unequal to, The gentlemen from Virginia who have and which are strictly of a national character. spoken on the other side of the question, have.
H. OF R.)
(APRIL, 1830. indulged themselves in a warmth of feeling from the State I have the honor, in part, to and an asperity of remark, not warranted, in represent, I have, reluctantly, obtruded myself my judgment, by the occasion. If the purposes upon the attention of the committee. of the bill should be answered, or if the sys- As I am the warm friend of internal imtem, of which it is part, should be pursued, the provement by the States, and have at all times, design is of the most laudable character, and and on all occasions, whether in public or prientitled to no common praise; the end, the de- vate life, supported every measure which I velopment of national resources, the promotion believed would benefit the citizens of my native of social intercourse, the diffusion of substan- State, it is necessary that I should give the tial benefits in a word, the prosperity of the reasons that will influence my vote on the presconfederacy. Yet it has been received as if ent bill. Sir, the State of New York, unaided some signal calamity was about to be inflicted, by the General Government, has advanced far carrying in its train famine and pestilence and in this system. She has connected her northdesolation. Are they afraid that the march ofern and western lakes with the majestic Hudthe system will realize all we hope and all we son, and I trust will continue to progress until predict for it; and that “their occupation will she extends its blessings to every portion of be gone?” If, sir, I mistake not the signs of her citizens. Although she has advanced far, the times,” a great revolution is going on in and elevated her character to a prominent stapublic opinion, in the South, on this question; tion among her sister States, she has not done and the day is not very remote, when Virginia half that the wants of her citizens require, or will concede to this Government all that the the means she possesses will authorize. My most sanguino friends of internal improvement immediate constituents are now anxiously lookcould desire. One of her distinguished states- ing to their legislature for that justice they bemen, now a member of this House, has for lieve themselves entitled to—an improvement years devoted his time and talents to the along their lovely valley, which will place them cause. Every day furnishes new evidence that on the level with other portions of the State. his patriotic fellow-citizens are yielding the I trust they will not be disappointed. prejudices that would lock up the bounties Soon after this nation passed through a second which a beneficent Providence has so profusely war of independence with honor and renown, scattered over our land. He merits the lasting the State of New York, suffering as she had in gratitude of his countrymen, the richest reward that contest in blood and treasure, and believing of a public benefactor.
herself entitled to the favorable notice of ConThe productions of our country which soil gress, from the aid and support she had given to and climate have already made so various, are strengthen the arm of the General Government, becoming daily more diversified, ensuring, at applied for aid to enable her to prosecute the no distant day, a home supply of most of the great works of internal improvement he had luxuries as well as the necessaries of life. An long conceived, but which were retarded by important advantage which this view of our the breaking out and continuing of that war. condition and prospects gives rise to, is, that the What was she told by this Government ? Aldifferent parts of our Union will be made de- though her good and faithful service was ad pendent on each other—an invariable effect of mitted, her losses and privations appreciated, mutual wants. Nothing, therefore demands yet it was unconstitutional to aid in the confrom us higher regard or more deliberate construction of roads and canals. She subunitted sideration, than the means of uniting our whole to the decision, and, nothing daunted, rested people into one great commercial family. upon her own resources to accomplish that
But it is unnecessary to dwell longer upon which her citizens had willed should be accomthe beneficial consequences of an extended sys- plished. For one, I rejoice that she is not intem of internal improvements; they must be debted to this Government for aid. By your familiar to the members of this committee. I refusal, the resources of the State have been have endeavored to avoid noticing the points developed ; the patriotism of the people exhibwhich have been urged by others in support ited; the sound hearts and willing hands of her of the bill; and having reason to fear that the citizens enlisted to elevate her character, and committee is already fatigued by a long discus- place her upon an eminence that her extensive sion, I will conclude with thanking them for possessions and fertile soil intended she should their attention.
Mr. MONELL next rose. He said he had What was unconstitutional when New York waited until this late period of the debate on applied for aid, has, by the change of time and the bill, in the hope and expectation that some of men, become constitutional now. By the one of his colleagues, more competent than construction given to the constitution by modhimself, would give to the committee the views ern statesmen, all power is vested in this Govwhich he knew a large majority of the delega- ernment. The doctrines contended for in fortion of New York, in unison with himself, en- mer days are exploded, new ones have taken tertained upon this question. No one (said Mr. their place; and, under them, this Government M.) has felt disposed to do so; and as I cannot is extending its influence over every part and consent that the vote on this bill should be portion of what was once considered independtaker without the expression of an opinion ent State sovereignty: the rights of the States
[H. OF R. are merged in this grand consolidated Govern- | made by the Governor of the State to procure a ment. I will not enter into the discussion of withdrawal of the order. It was countermandthe abstract constitutional right of this Gov- ed, but the right to enforce the collection of ernment to make roads and canals in the sev- duties was not surrendered; it was suspended eral States, without the consent of the States or for the time being, to be enforced whenever the people. It has been assumed, and exercised the will of this Government shall direct. You so often, that, until some express provision to have established your ports of entry in every the contrary shall be made in the constitution, part of her State--at Buffalo, Rochester, Sackit is worse than useless to question the power. ett's Harbor, and I know not how many other The advocates of the right do not claim it by places—upon every stream and rivulet-upon express grant, but by implication and construc- tide waters and inland lakes—in every city and tion of different parts of that instrument It is town that you please to consider commercial; claimed under the power to provide for the swarms of officers, to execute the laws and colcommon defence and general welfare; under lect the revenue, are stationed among the peor the power to regulate commerce among the ple. Under the power to regulate commerce, several States, and with the Indian tribes; un- and lay imposts and duties, you claim, and may, der the power to establish post offices and post at some future day, enforce, the power to colroads. I have always doubted whether this lect duties on every canal made by State auGovernment, under any or all of these powers, thority; and what is to prevent you? The could exercise the right of making roads and broad and unlimited construction of constitucanals. On more occasions than one, have Itional power claimed, will cover every act of listened to the arguments of the ablest men of oppression, and usurpation of State rights; thus the nation, on this much-disputed, nice ques- gradually, but certainly, will every vestige of tion of constitutional law. Although I will not State rights and State interests be swallowed discuss the question of abstract right, I may be up by the constructive powers of the General permitted to deny the expediency of its exer- Government. Under the power to lay imposts eise by this Government. The exercise of this, and duties, to regulate commerce, and to proand all other constructive rights, claimed by mote the general welfare, the whole revenue of this Government, should be narrowly watched State canals may be claimed. Now your Treasby the representatives of the people. Our duty ury is full, and it is not needed; but let war to our States and our constituents requires it at exhaust it, let commerce be impaired, or, what our hands; and yet it appears to me, that, is most probable, your funds squandered in when we assemble here as the Congress of the visionary schemes of internal improvement, and United States, we forget home-we forget State the particular welfare of the States must surrights, and lose State feeling. Our whole render to the general welfare of this Governthonghts are directed to the mighty power of ment. The States must stand in the relation this all-absorbing and controlling Government, to the United States that individuals do to the regardless of the feelings of our constituents, or States-bound to yield a portion of what they interests of the States; we exercise not only all have for the general welfare. Sources of revthe powers given to us by express grant, but enue, which they fondly hoped would support every other which, by implication or construc- their own Governments, and enable them to tion, can be tortured into a right. I beseech extend the blessings of internal improvement gentlemen to pause and reflect. If this Gov- by their own authority to every portion of their ernment does possess the power contended for citizens, will be diverted from their proper by its advocates, let it be discreetly exercised, channels, and poured into the Treasury of this and only on acknowledged great national ob- Government. Can New York, consistent with jects.
her honor or her interests, submit to such Under the power to regulate commerce among degradation? Is Pennsylvania, with her nuthe several States, and to lay imposts and du- merous canals, prepared to surrender all to this ties, this Government assumed the right to Government?' I trust not. Sir, where is the compel the canal boats on the New York ca- remedy? I answer here, in this hall. We nals to pay transit duty. In 1824 or 1825, or- must halt in our course—we must confine this ders were issued by the Treasury Department Government within its primeval legitimate to the collector at Buffalo, to enforce the col- bounds we must restore it to the powers that lection of duties. I well remember the feeling were exercised under it in the days of Jeffercreated in New York; her citizens from one son's administration. end of the State to the other, were prepared to It is contended that the power to construct resist what was considered as an encroachment roads and canals is given by the clause in the upon State rights; even her legislative halls re- constitution authorizing Congress to establish sounded with the language of resistance, and a post offices and post roads. Great pains have perseverance at that time, on the part of this been taken to give us the definition of the Government, would have brought that State in word establish. Dictionaries have been condireet collision with the General Government. sulted—Walker, Ainsworth, and others. It is Strong protests were entered by the represent- defined to mean “to erect, to make,” &c. We atives in Congress, from New York, against have heard labored arguments to show us, the assumed power, and great exertions were because the meaning of the word establish is