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JONE 6, 1834. ]
(H. OF R.
perity of the mining district, he hoped the bill would The question was taken on laying the bill aside, and pass.
negatived. Mr. WILLIAMS moved to amend the bill by inserting Mr. VINTON then addressed the committee in support a proviso, that six months' notice should be given before of the bill. The ordinance of 1785 had required that, the sale; which was agreed to.
when the public lands should be sold, a reservation Mr. PARKER remonstrated with warmth against the should be made of mines and salt springs. This was unidea of forcing a sale of these valuable mineral lands at ler the idea that, if sold, they would become immense $1 25 an acre. The gentleman stated that the miners individual monopolies; for it was not then known that had remonstrated against it. Mr. P. should like to hear both salt springs and lead ore abounded through large their remonstrances read; he wanted to hear what these i portions of our territory. But since this bad been dispeople had to say. Why should the debate be reserved covered, the whole original ground was changed; and, in for the House, and not be bad in committee? He had consequence the salt springs had been sold, and a part always thought that it was the very purpose of going of the lead mines. He thought the residue should be into Committee of the Whole that discussion might be sold in like manner. While lead ore was abundant, fuel more full and free. The House was very thin, doubtless was comparatively scarce; for most of the ore was in the because gentlemen had had no idea that a proposition to prairie land, where there was no timber. The present sell the lead mines would be brought up as Territorial bu- system wasted what timber there was. The ore was dus siness.
out and piled up in heaps, and melted by a great waste Mr. ASHLEY explained. In Missouri, the lead lands of fuel, owing to the slovenly manner in which the prowere of the second quality; yet, bad they been sold be cess was conducted. The timber would soon be gone, fore the mines were opened, they would probably have and then the ore would be of no more value than so brought $10 an acre; now, they would hardly sell at all. much stone. But if the land was sold, the process would
Mr. LYON observed that, if these mines were as valu- be conducted with all the care and calculation which able as some gentlemen seemed to think, surely, if six marked individual interest; the fuel would be husband. monibs' notice of sale should be given, they could not ed, and applied in the best manner. Under such a sysbe sacrificed as gentlemen seemed to fear. Certain ittem, the value of these lands would be preserved and in. was, that, under the present plan of leasing, the timber creased. But six months' notice of sale would be insufh. was daily destroyed, and the lands ruined; nor would it cient; for the capitalists, who alone could engage extenever be otherwise until the holders should have a perma- sively in such undertakings, resided chiefly in the East, nent interest in the property.
and it required more time than that to make the necessaMr. WARDWELL inquired whether the 'pre-emption ry preliminary inquiries, and change the investment of acts would not give the lessors of these mining lands a large sums of money. He should move to increase the right to them at the minimum price?
notice to twelve months. As to selling the lands at pres. Mr. REED wanted further light. He thought the ent, while under lease, it was out of the question. No United States had better hold on to the lands for the pres- one would purchase, under such an incumbrance, lands ent, even if they were badly managed.
from which the lessee would strip as much of the timber dr. LYON said he should not press the bill; lie was as he could, and spoil the soil by his shallow diggings. willing it should be postponed. ?
Mr. V. accordingly moved a proviso that the lands Mr. GAMBLE, of Georgia, said he had had little ex- should not be sold till the present leases should have experience in lead mines, but had had some in gold mines; pired, and that twelve months' notice should be given of and, from what he knew on the subject, his impression the sale. was, that the sooner the Government' could get rid of Both which provisoes were agreed to by the committee. these lands the better. As long as they were leased out, The bill was then laid aside to be reported. the miners would combine to desiroy their character and On motion of Mr. LYON, the committee then rose, depress their value. Nothing was ea ver. In respect to and reported all the bills to the House. gold mines, it had been reduced to a regular system, in
Mr. L. endeavored to have the “ bill to grant a certain somuch that he had personally bad offers made to him by quantity of land to the Territory of Michigan, for the miners, to either raise or depress the reputation of a purpose of aiding said Territory in opening a canal, or given mine, as it might best suit his purpose. It has be- constructing a rail or Macadamized road, to connect come a regular business. These lands were, at present, Lake Erie, or the Detroit river, with Lake Michigan,' of no value to the Government. If they were valuable, taken up in Committee of the Whole on the state of the competition would soon find it out, and, on due notice, the Union; but opposition being made by Mr. Parks, of price would rise.
Maine, and others, he withdrew the motion. Mr. FILLMORE inquired if the mines were leased for
The amendments to most of the bills were concurred a term of years?
in by the House, and they were ordered to their engross. Mr. LYON stated that they were on three years' leases. ment for a third reading, with the exception of the bill to Mr. ADAMS inquired whether there were no returns sell the lead mir.es, the bill to run the Florida line, and of the avails of these lands? If there were not, there that to run the line of Missouri; which were postponed ought to be. The idea that they were an expense to the to Friday. United States, was new to him. If it were so, it must The House then adjourned. be because the rent was not paid. Mr. DUNCAN said he had not ascertained with preci
Friday, June 6. son what were the actual expenses to the Government in
TERRITORIAL BILLS. Carrying on these mines; he knew there were several The unfinished business for yesterday being the hill agents employed, and presumed there were other charges from the Senate making appropriations for the construcnearly if not quite equal in all to the value of the rent tion of certain roads in Michigan, which was on its third received, which, he said, (if he, was understood cor readingrectly,) was 604,828 pounds of lead in the year 1833, Mr. WILLIAMS said he was not willing to throw any the value of which, at three dollars per hundred, was only embarrassment in the way of passing the bill, but he deabout eighteen thousand dollars.
sired to have some explanation as to the necessity for He referred to a report from the War Department, these roads. rade to Congress in 1830, which recommends the survey Mr. MERCER, in the accidental absence of the Dele. add sale of these mines.
gate from the Territory, would state, for the information
H. OF R.).
[JUNE 6, 1834.
of the honorable member, that the applications for these ever, on the subject of internal improvements, had been roads having been referred to the Committee on Roads and made for the last fourteen years; but it was some consolaCanals, they had duly considered them, and the bill, as tion that, in reply to them, the vote of the House genereported, liad been approved of by them. The question rally went to sustain them. It was asked by one honorafor the House, then, to decide would, he said, simply ble member, was not the Chicago road formerly vetoed? be, whether it was just that the United States, who have and it was said, if so, why now make an appropriation for the greatest interest in the public domains in that Territo-it? But he trusted that Congress never had, never should ry, or the people, who have not that interest, should be at come to such a state of servility, as, for such a reason, to the expense of making roads; the effect of which, when decline voting and acting as it thought proper. The Chi made, would be, by increasing the value of the public cago road, however, was not vetoed. lands, to increase, in a great degree, the receipts there The opposition to this bill, on the ground that Alabama from into the treasury of the United States.
got no benefit by the system of internal improvements, Mr. McKINLEY said that, after much examination of was, he thought, peculiarly unfortunate, because the this subject, he really could not discover upon what largest appropriation that ever had been made by Con. ground ihe burden of making these roads in this Terri- gress to promote internal improvements was for that tory was to be incurred by Congress. He could see no State. reason why they should have the support of the House. Mr. McKINLEY said he bad meant to state that, No report having, as he believed, been made by any of whilst Alabama was a Territory, she had received nothing, their committees upon the subject, nor had there been Mr. MERCER resumed, and said that Alabama could any information or estimates laid before them, as was not with any grace complain, if she derived benefit from usually the case, by any of the United States' engineers. the system, in common with other parts of the Union, He could not see with what consistency gentlemen, who when she became a State; but it was yet to be proved opposed appropriations for offices not previously estab- ibat, even whilst she was a Territory, she had asked lished by law, could yet reconcile to themselves making for any thing, or been refused. He could assure the honappropriations for roads' not previously sanctioned by orable member that he would feel ashamed of himself if Congress. But so it was always when appropriations he could be infuenced in withholding any appropriation were made connected with the subject of internal in- from bis, or any other State, simply because ihat State would provement. He complained tijat Alabama, which he not acknowledge the jurisdiction of the United States to had the honor to represent, had not received, although make internal improvements therein. Such was not his they had the promise of it, any benefit by the outlay of course, beirig always determined to support those propomoney for internal improvements; and yet the Territory sitions that would appear likely to prove generally benefi. of Michigan), which did not contain one.fourth as much cial. Mr. M. detailed at lengih the method and costs of public lands as his State did, had received appropria. constructing roads suitable to the progressive wants of tions, in the aggregate, to possibly half a million, cer- the new States and 'Territories generally. After which, tainly to 300,000 or 400,000 dollars. On what ground, he he defended the course taken by the committee on the must ask, was this unequal outluy to be maintained?subject of internal improvements, maintaining that there Why, he would also ask, was it that Florida got more was not one appropriation recommended by them for any than Michigan? The answer might be, that we had full object that they could not sustain, by referring to the pris. power over the Territories. But the power of Congress ciple on which they had uniformly actedl, viz: its general to make internal improvements was claimed to exist all utility to the Union. Persecuted as the committee had over the Union. It was time, however, this system been for their opinions, he believed he might, in conclushould be arrested, when they had propositions, as in the sion, take leave on this head to say, for himself, with Job, case of the road through Illinois, Missouri, and other States "Oh that mine enemy would write a book.” in the West, which would, he thought, go altogether to Mr. WHITE, of Florida, said, as there was evident the exhaustion of the funds levied on the sales of all symptoms that there was to be opposition to the appropublic lands. He was not disposed to sustain the system, priations contemplated for the Territory which he had the doubting the power of the United States to make im- honor to represent, he would, in reply to the statement provements where they had no jurisdiction, although he made by the member fro:n Alabama, that Florida had rehad no doubt Congress had power to aid the States by ceived more than Michigan, beg to refer bim to the laws appropriations for such purposes. He would now, there- of the United States for better information than the houfore, call upon those members who were formerly so anxious orable member seemed to have upon that subject. There on the subject of economy, and who supported the prop- he would find that Florida had not, in the aggregate, re. osition so successfully for the reduction of the salaries ceived, ever since her connexion with the United States, of the custom-house officers, &c., to show their regard as much for roads and canals as was now proposed to be for the public money by voting against this bill, which given to the Territory of Michigan by the present bill. But afforded io them so fair an opportunity; it being one, too, one appropriation of any consequence had been made for in which there would be no difficulty of finding persons a road, and that was at the special recommendation of on bis side to join them.
General Jackson, in 1824, from St. Augustine lo PensaMr. MERCER explained, and justified at length the cola; and what, he asked, was the result? Why, it manner in which the Committee on Roads and Canals act. would appear, from the reports in the Land Office, that ed, with reference to all appropriations for roads recom- the public lands which, owing to its being constructed, mended by them, advocating the present bill on the had been brought to market, were sold at five and five and ground that making the roads contemplated by it would a quarter dollars per acre, whilst lands of equal value had prove of ultimate benefit to the United States. He de. previously been there sold at one and one dollar and a nied, however, that so much had been done for Michigan quarter per acre. The reason for this was too obvious to as was asserted by the honorable member from Alabama, make it necessary for him to dwell upon the advantages by the Committee on Roads and Canals. The present arising to the United States by continuing that system, by bill was one granting about $60,000 for certain roads, which their forests were enabled to be penetrated, and which must, when constructed, evidently increase the their lands brought into connexion with the busy haunts value of the public lands. It should, therefore, stand or of men. This was the result, according to his own obserfall on its own merits. He could not see any force in the vation, in Florida, and he had no doubt it would be the objections raised to improvements that had the object of same in other parts of the Union similarly circumstanced. benefiting the public property. These objections, how. In answer to the outcry that was now to be raised, ilist
JOSE 6, 1834.]
District of Columbia.
[H. OF R.
the Territories were getting more than the States, he would removed. For this an expense of $143 73 had been assert that they had stronger claims than any of the States, incurred; to which sum he would move the reduction of because they were, in fact, the property of the nation, and the appropriation. to them would, in the end, accrue, as he had shown actu Mr. PARKER would not say that the removal of the ally did, all the benefit of the improvements made there. mud or dust was not a convenience in itself; but he would
The gentleman from Alabama talked about the large say that the United States ought not to be called on to quantity of public lands in his State-they amounted, he pay for it. He had no idea that Congress should take believed, to 27,000,000 acres, of which only 1,000,000 had upon themselves the functions of scavengers to the good been sold. But had not that State grants given them for City of Washington. Was it, he inquired, necessarily to various purposes, of 600,000 or 800,000 acres. Then follow, that because they had, at an expense of one hunthey had, in addition, a law passed in their favor, releasing dred and fifty thousand dollars, made a Macadamized road, purchasers of public lands from the payment of their bonds they were to have this duty entailed upon them? If so, io the amount of 600,000 or $800,000. Under such cir- it was better they had not directed it to be constructed at cumstances he would protest against any such argument all
. He thought the people of Washington should do as being raised in opposition to the just claims of the Terri- the people of other cities did, namely: keep their own tories. He, in conclusion, repeated that all grants made streets in repair, and keep the dust out of their own eyes. by the General Government to them was, in reality, for Mr. WARDWELL suggested that, as the expense had the ultimate benefit of their own property, just as much been incurred, it was necessary to alter the phraseology as the improvements made by a farmer would add to of the appropriation from “to remove," and insert in. the value of his own farm. Nothing, he said, had been stead, “ for removing." given to the Floridas for some five or six years; and he Mr. CHINN assented, and modified his amendment ac. defied the honorable member to make good his assertions, cordingly. that they had obtained more than Michigan.
Mr. STODDERT contended that the same Tbe debate was arrested at 12 o'clock by
which existed for making the road originally would apply Mr. CHINN, who rose to call for the special order of for making the appropriations in this bill; the original the day; which was set apart for the consideration of busi-object in making it being not so much for the benefit of ness in relation to
the people of Washington as it was for the benefit of the THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
Government and of the country at large. If, then, it
was a good reason to expend one hundred and fifty thou. Mr. POLK appealed to the House whether it was sand dollars, he thought that the House could not well not of more importance to dispose finally of the appro refuse the small amount of one hundred and seventy-three priation bills before they should enter into the business dollars, which was laid out to make it answer that pur. of the District, to which he would be willing to attend
pose. on Friday or Saturday next. He moved that the rule Mr. HARPER desired to have the amendment so be suspended for the purpose of taking up the appro- worded as that this appropriation should not serve as a priation bills.
precedent for future expenses of the same kind. He Mr. WHITTLESEY remarked that it might be possi- observed that there was another of four hundred dol. ble for the House to dispose of both.
lars, to keep the avenue in repair; but he was opposed air. WILLIAMS opposed the motion to suspend, as he to Congress having the duty, thus self-imposed, of keepbelieved the members generally came prepared to act on ing the road in repair; conceiving that, if this was once the business of the District.
sanctioned, neither that amount, nor double that, would Mr. CHINN said he had no idea, unless the business of be found sufficient for it. He desired, as the expense the District was then taken up, that there could be any had been incurred, that it should be paid; but, to avoid action on the bills in relation to it, before the adjournment the danger which he had stated, that the amendment of Congress. He loped the motion would not prevail. should have inserted in it, “ that it was for money already
The flouse refused to suspend the rule, and went into expended.” Committee of the Whole (Mr. Briggs in the chair) on The amendment being modified, in accordance to this sundry bills.
suggestion, the question thereon was put, and it was On motion of Mr. CHINN, the bill to complete the im- agreed 10. provements on Pennsylvania avenue was taken up.
Mr. PARKER remarked that it seemed to hin the Mr. PARKER desired to be informed what was the na- honorable member from Pennsylvania had gained nothing ture of the outstanding claims for work done on the ave- by the change made in the amendment; for he contended nae, for which he observedan appropriation was proposed that, if it was adopted in its present shape, Congress must of $3,720. He had some objection to another item, not construe it into a worse precedent than it was before its Lo much on account of its amount, as that he feared, if phraseology was altered. In its present shape it went to it was sanctioned, it might prove an entering wedge to sanction and expenditure ordered by a committee of the future demands upon Congress. He alluded to the ap- House. The money was first expended, and then the propriation of $200 for removing the dust and mud from House were asked to pay it. What authority was there, the surface of the avenue. He objected to Congress, hav. he would ask, in any committee, to make such an expening caused the road to be made, now taking upon them- diture? If Congress acceded to it, would not the certain selves the charge of it, believing it would lead them to an result be to establish a stronger precedent? He must, Expense hereafter, the extent of which no person could therefore, move to have it stricken out; and, if that moguess. His objection was on account of the principle, tion should succeed, it was his intention, he said, to move not to the amount; and he would move to have this, at all to have the succeeding item of four hundred dullars fur events, stricken out.
repairs, also stricken out. Mr. CHINN, in explanation, said it would be in the Mr. FILLMORE maintained, bowever, (anxious as he recollection of the House how much inconvenience was was-equally with the honorable member from New Jerlelt from the state the avenue was in not long since, and sey, (Mr. Pånken]—to avoid creating a bad precedent,) fer which various propositions had been suggested to ob- that Congress were perfectly justified in causing the inFiate it. The House having refused to act upon the convenience resulting to them in the transaction of jot resolution to direct the Committee on the Public their public duties from the state of the road to be Buildings to have the street watered, the Committee on removed, and to make an appropriation for the expense the District had thought it necessary to have the dust incurred by that removal. For their contenicuito the
H. OF R.)
(JUNE 6, 1834. streets had been cleaned, and he was disposed to have it The motion was negatived: Yeas 42, says not counted. paid for.
Mr. McKINLEY then said, as he could not conceive Mr. EWING said it might be worthy of inquiry, whe-that twelve hundred dollars was wanted for the repairs of ther the appropriation was intended to cover the expenses the north end of the Tiber bridge, &c., he would more which would accrue whilst Congress was in session? to reduce the amount to six hundred dollars.
Mr. CHINN said it was intended for expenses already Mr. WARDWELL remarked that he was only astonincurred, and which had become necessary in preference ished that three thousand dollars was not required, instead to the proposition to have the street watered, which of twelve hundred dollars; and thought they were getting would have cost at least eight hundred Collars.
off cheap to have so low an estimate presented for what Mr. McKINLEY would vote for the payment of the was necessary to be done. If they did not grant sufficient expenses already incurred, but could not support the at once, it must be evident that they would be called on other, to keep the avenue in repair.
(as the honorable member must see had been the case in M: WATNOUGH advocaled the amendment, as work this bill for another object) to make it up by an appro. had been done for the convenience of members, which priation, hereafter, for arrearages. could not otherwise be paid for, and a number of persons Mr. MERCER regretted to find the honorable member would be thus prevented obtaining what was justly due from Alabama (Mr. McKinler) was so querulous in op: to them.
position to all the appropriations that had been proposed The motion to strike out was negatived; thereupon, that day. Works of this nature were required to be done Mr. PARKER said that, as he desired to avoid the pos- in a permanent manner, and he did not suppose that this sibility of this being cited hereafter as a precedent, he work could be done permanently at a less rate than was would move to have inserted in it, that it was for expenses proposed. incurred under the direction of the Committee on the Mr. CIIINN said the committee bad various estimates District.
on the subject, and they were convinced it could not be Mr. WARDWELL hoped he would withdraw this done cheaper. They had adopted this estimate in prefamendment; for, if it was inserted, however willing to erence to another which had been suggested, the cutting vote for the expenses of removal, he could not vote for of a new channel and the erection of a new bridge, on it if worded as the honorable member proposed-that account of the great expense that must have been created amendment, if adopted, giving power to a committee of if they had not less, probably, than ten or eleven thouthe House to direct money to be expended, when in fact sand dollars. they had no such power.
The question on the motion of Mr. McKINLEY, to strike Mr. WATMOUGH remarked that the expenditure had out twelve hundred and insert six hundred, having been been under the direction of the Commissioner of the then put, and the votes thereon being yeas 43, nays 68Public Buildings.
no quorum Mr. PARKER said it was for Uiat very reason he de Mr. McKINLEY, to save the time of the House, withsired to have the amendment which he proposed inserted, drew bis amendment; thereupon, feeling much more disposed to sanction an outlay under Mr. McKAY rose to inquire as to the nature of the the authority of one of their own committees than he outstanding claims, for the payment of which there was would the act of any commissioner.
an item appropriating three thousand seven hundred and The question on the amendment of Mr. PARKEN was twenty dollars! He desired to know whether an examthen put; and, having been negatived,
ination into the expenditure of the large amount voted by Mr. HARDIN inquired how it was possible the erection Congress for this road had been made by that committee of stone arches over Tiber creek, and other repairs there, whose proper province it was to have such examination could require so large an appropriation as twelve hun- made?' He could not vote, until he was satisfied about dred dollars? Ile was not aware upon what principle this, to place such large sums at the disposition of any there could be such an expenditure for this purpose public officer, who, for aught that was yet known, bad maintained, unless it was that peculiar principle on wbich this outlay to make without being under any responsibility some people of this city were known to act, namely: to for it whatever. He had another objection to making get as much money as they could, and do as little work these appropriations. The Commissioner of Public Buildfor it as possible.
ings, it had been stated, had expended money before it Mr. CHINN went into an explanation of the measures was appropriated. What authority could be pleaded for taken by the committee, who, he said, after a full inquiry such an act? Most unquestionably, none. What right, into the subject, deemed it necessary, in an economical be begged to know, had that officer to employ laborers, point of view, not only to repair the broken arch perma. as it had been stated he had done? Surely, he said, this rently, but to have it otherwise protected by a solid stone made it high time for them to know whether the commit. wall of some length, in order to protect the bridge from tee had done their duty in examining every item of the the current.
large expenditure for this road. Mr. HARDIN disapproved altogether of the manner On motion of Mr. CHINN, the committee next took up in which the road had been constructed, as the whole the bill “to organize the several fire companies in the expense that had been incurred by it, of nearly one hun- District of Columbia.” died and fifty thousand dollars, would not avail, from the Mr. CHINN moved an amendment, the effect of which species of stone used in it. He, on the ground of econo- was, that a fire company, with an apparatus worth five my, would now suggest to the chairman of the committee, hundred dollars, should not exempt from militia duty that it was necessary to have a good stratum of bard lime- more than fifty men and with an apparatus worth one stone rock, four and a half inches thick, laid on the thousand dollars, not more than seventy-five men; which present road. This would, in the outset, appear an ex-was agreed to. Travagant proposition, as it would cost, he calculated, Some other amendments of minor consequence were about fourteen thousand dollars; but he would maintain added, when the bill was laid aside, and the committee took that, unless this was done, and speedily, their former up the bill to incorporate the Washington National Mon. large outlay would be totally lost, as the road was evi-ument Society, on which a debate of much interest arose, dently wearing away, and would entirely before No- and was in full progress, when it was discovered that the vember.
committee were discussing a bill which had not been re. Mr. McKINLEY moved to strike out the item "for referred to them. The debate, of course, was immediately pairs of the avenue, four hundred dollars."
JUNE 6, 1834.)
District of Columbia
(H. of R.
The committee next considered the bill.concerning the which promised in the end to advance the prosperity of Insurance Company of Alexandria.
the city and relieve it from every embarrassment. Delays Mr. CHINN moved a proviso, reserving to Congress had occurred; and they found themselves now sinking the right to alter, modify, or repeal the charter, at pleas- under a load of debt. Was it not the duty of the Govure; which being agreed 10, the bill was laid aside. ernment to relieve them? Let gentlemen consider that
The next bill taken up was the bill " for the benefit of the Government beld real estate in this city to the value the City of Washington."
of more than a million of dollars; and that they had actuMr. STODDERT (from the District Committee) called ally received upwards of seven hundred thousand dolfor the reading of the report which accompanied the bill; lars-from what? from taxation? from putting their hands and it was read at the Clerk's table.
into the pockets of the people? No, not at all: but from Mr. MANN, of New York, declaring himself entirely the voluntary donation of private individuals; from do. hostile to the bill, moved to destroy it by striking out the nations to the United States in trust; and the question was, enacting clause. He was not prepared, he said, to adopt how it was to be administered! Mr. S. held in his hand the debt of the City of Washington, (for such would the articles of cession; and any man who would examine practically be the effect of the bill,) for the sake of ad- them would see that these lots' had been granted in trust vancing a favorite scheme of internal improvement. He for the public benefit. No man could suppose that these knew of no principle of right, justice, or public policy, individuals would so have contravened the philosophy of which required it at the hands of Congress. It was but the human heart as to give away their property to the the entering wedge, and the end would be that Congress people of the rest of the Union. It was a preposterous would bave to pay the principal of the debt. The con- idea that the people of this little district of ten miles tracting of it had been a mere private transaction, and square should become the almoners of the United States: Government could not be called upon to interfere for the They ceded their property for the benefit of the future relief of the party embarrassed by it. He knew that the city. This was the inducement; and this the only legiticorporation was insolvent, and that the taxes of the peo mate use to which their property could be applied. The ple were intolerable; but it was not for him to prescribe trust could not be administered for federal purposes. Let the remedy. Congress could not, in its public character, us, then, said Mr. S., resort to the documents, and see proceed to acts of charity; its members were sent here to how this trust stands. do justice; and it was not justice that they should assume The receipts from the sales of city lots ceded to the the debts which a corporate body bad improvidently con-Government amount to seven hundred and thirty-two tracted.
thousand seven hundred dollars. From this sum is to be Mr. STODDERT said that he could not have believed, deducted one hundred and eighty-six thousand eight had not facts convinced him, that the District of Colum- hundred and sixty dollars, expended for the improvement bia could have been an object of such narrow jealousy to of the city: but it is to be borne in mind that, of this last the States of this Union. To relieve its inhabitants was sum, one hundred and twenty-one thousand dollars was not merely within the competence of Congress-it was for the erection of a penitentiary. And is this a mere their imperative duty. As to their power to appropriate local structure? It is for the purpose of confining those money to the benefit of any portion of this District, there who violate the criminal laws of the United States, not was no man who could deny or dispute it; they stood to only in this city, or this District, but in any part of the the inhabitants of the ten miles square in the same rela- Union. And, if it should be deemed economical to do so, tion which a State Legislature sustained towards the convicts may be sent here from any of the States. So citizens of any one of the States. And were a similar far as this goes, it is strictly a federal prison: though I application made to a State Legislature, would the peti- admit that it is for the use of the city also. As to the tioners be met with such language and such reproaches as sum expended on Pennsylvania avenue, he denied that had been thrown out with respect to the people of Wash- that was to be considered as an expenditure for the beneington? The sum of the national prosperity, Mr. S. ob. fit of the city alone. Its main object has respect to the served, was made up of its parts; and if it was the duty Government, by facilitating the passage between the Capof Congress to promote the good of the whole, it was not itol and the public offices. its duty to suffer any of the parts to perish. If they had Mr. S. went into some other statistical details, the refallen into circumstances of difficulty out of which it was sult of which was, that, even allowing four hundred and impossible for them to extricate themselves, it was surely seventy-six thousand dollars to have been expended for competent to a paternal Government to step in for their city objects alone, it still left a large balance of money relief. This had been done on former occasions: when actually received, which the Government held as a trustee Alexandria had suffered by fire, and the people of Carac. for the benefit of the ownes. What justice was there cas by an earthquake. He might, therefore, stand on in giving it any other direction? Mri s. would have the force of precedents--but he placed this bill upon thought that the State pride of every man on that floor higher grounds.
would of itself have been sufficient to induce him to reject He would first reply to the argument of the gentleman with scorn the very idea of applying such a fund to fedefrom New York, (Mr. Mann.] It was not true that the ral or State uses. The appropriation in the bill involved committee designed this bill as an entering wedge to no encroachment on the federal treasury: it was to be make way for a final adoption of the whole debt of the taken out of a fund derived exclusively from the donations city. They had expressly denied and disavowed any of private individuals. The Government had had possessuch purpose; and had provided, in so many words, thatsion of this property for years; and now they were called the payment of this interest should be continued for three upon simply to pay their debts; to advance money for years only. It never had been their purpose to assume which they had received the amplest compensation. the Holland debt: they had never thought of such a thing. Again; the Government held not only the most valuaAs to the charge of improvidence, on which the gentle ble part of the city as their own, but the property they man was for refusing this relief, he thought the act of the thus assumed to hold, as proprietors, had been exempt city, which had in a great part contributed to bring them from taxation. The Government had imposed upon the into their present situation, ought to be characterized by people of the city a new and extraordinary scheme of any other term. So from its being a measure of reck- building. They compelled them to construct their streets kus improvidence, he held it to have been one in the of three times the width of ordinary streets in other cities; bigliest degree public spirited and praiseworthy. They they obliged them at once to go upon a grand scale, and bi sabscribed largely to a great public improve nent, I not to allow the improvement of the city to develop it