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self gradually, according as its resources increased; which policy greatly enhanced their burdens. In the meanwhile, the gratuity which had been conferred upon themselves was held and enjoyed without taxation of any kind. Mr. S. insisted it was a case of sheer justice, of obvious, imperative duty. Congress had received property in trust, and they were bound to fulfil their trust. He would even go further. He did not regard this District as constituting a distinct community, like the States; nor were its relations to Government exactly like those of the Territories. The framers of the constitution had intended to provide for the people of the whole United States a certain exclusive portion of territory, for the general ad. vantage of the whole Union; and they had therefore conferred upon Congress the power of exclusive legislation, in all cases whatever, over its inhabitants. IIere, then, was no possible conflict of authority; the power had been vested expressly, to the end that money might be expended here for the use and convenience of the representatives of the people. Hence the costly buildings erected by the Government; hence the beautifying of the public grounds; hence the improvement of the avenue connecting the Capitol with the President's house; and would, it be consistent with this policy, that Congress should suffer the very city which it inhabited to be overwhelmed with debt, and fall into a heap of ruins? Every State in the Union had an interest in the prosperity of this their common city; yet such was its present situation, that either the city must sink under its hopeless embarrassments, or Congress must extend a helping hand to its relief. Mr. MERCER had never, he said, known any subject to be discussed here relating to the city of Washington, without an attempt on the part of some members to build up a popularity elsewhere, by abusing and making a sport of the unfortunate citizens of the District. Mr. M. went on to argue, that every capital in Europe had been built up at the expense of the Government. The policy which was proposed in regard to the District was, there. fore, neither new nor extraordinary. The Chesapeake and Ohio canal, for which the city had contracted a heavy debt, was a work which was every way entitled to the aid of the Government. He would refer the gentleman from New York to the example of his own State. The Delaware and Hudson canal stock was, at one time, worth little or nothing. The company applied to the State for relief. The State loaned to the company its credit; the canal was completed; and now its stock is greatly above par. Mr. M. went into many statements to prove that for Chesapeake and Ohio canal, when completed, would be more productive than any similar work in the United States cr in Europe; and that, in reference to the perpetuity of the Union, it was more important than any other work in the Union. Mr. STEWART said that, as the grounds on which he would give his vote for this bill were essentially different from those assumed by other gentlemen on the same side, he would state them as briefly as he could. The relief proposed by the bill had been represented as a mere gratuity—as a grant without consideration He did not view it in this light. The question was, whether this Government, the proprietor of half the lots in this city, together with lands and buildings valued at six millions of dollars, benefited and enhanced in value by every dollar expended in it, would, because they had the power as the local Legislature, exempt their property from taxa. tion, and continue to throw the whole burden of opening and improving forty miles of magnificent streets, in this national city, on the few people who had came and settled in it, to minister to the wants of the Government and its public officers located here. The sixty thousand dollars now proposed to be granted for three years would not exceed one per cent, on the valuation of the public property in this city, while that assessed on individual prop
erty was perhaps double that amount; and in some cases amounted, according to the report of the committee, to four and a half per cent.; more, in fact. than the property would rent for. The public property had been exempted from taxation for thirty-four years; in that time we had sold lots to the amount of seven hundred and thirty-four thousand dollars. Property held by the United States within the States was liable to taxation; and why should it not be here, especially when its expenditure promoted our personal comfort, and the improvement of the public property? It is now proposed by this bill, to pay a proportionable tax for three years only, to relieve the people of this city, who are no longer able to bear up under their burdens; and the question is, will we do it? or will we see the people of this city, and the city itself, sink under it? Surely not. This pittance will not be withheld. It was due to the national honor, to the national pride, to avoid the deep disgrace, in the eyes of foreigners, of beholding this national city, the City of Washington, founded by and bearing the name of the father of his country, become bankrupt, and bankrupt, too, in a noble and patriotic effort to advance the national interest and glory, by the accomplishment of a great national improvement. But justice required the passage of this bill upon another ground. For the last five or six years, this city, in addition to its other burdens, paid about $60,000 as interest on a million of dollars expended on the Chesapeake and Ohio canal; a work not local, but eminently national in all its aspects, connecting, by the nearest and best route, the Atlantic seaboard and the seat of Government with the vast valley of the Mississippi. This work, being national, ought to have been accomplished by national means. As its benefits are national, it was but reasonable that the nation should take the burden for three years off the shoulders of this city, and enable it to stand up until the work reached its great source of revenue, the coal mines at Cumberland. This would be accomplished in three years, when Congress, and the city, too, would be forever relieved from this burden. But it is said by gentlemen that this is but an entering wedge—that this burden would become permanent--that this canal would be unproductive. Now, so far from this being true, he had no doubt that, from the moment the canal reached the coal mines, its revenue would not only pay the interest accruing on the Holland loan, but also all the ordinary expenses of the city. This was an opinion not hastily formed; it was formed upon a minute and careful comparison of the advantages of this canal, as to distance, lockage, sources of revenue, and every other material consideration, with similar works in this and other countries, and the result was a firm and settled conviction that, after this canal reached the coal mines at Cumber land, taxation in this city would cease. He pronounced the opinion with confidence, that the proceeds of this stock would be equal to the whole amount required to defray the expenses of this corporation, which was stated at $117,000. He would not, at this late hour, detain the House by a reference to all the evidence upon which this opinion was sounded; but he would state, in a few words, what had been the result of several canals lately completed in Pennsylvania, leading to coal mines, from which gentlemen might draw their own conclusions. The facts were derived from the report of a committee of the Senate of Pennsylvania, who had given a whole year’s attention to the subject. In that State numerous canals had been conducted to coal mines, and they had all been attended with similar results. While those works were in progress, as here. the stocks were depressed, and the canals unproductives but, as soon as they had reached their destination at the coal mines, the stock had risen from one hundred to three hundred per cent., yielding from ten to fifteen per cent. on the
cost of their construction. As an example, he mentioned the Schuylkill canal. When this canal was completed to the vicinity of the coal banks, in 1825, the whole tonmage upon it amounted to only 5,306 tons per annum; the stock was worth little or nothing. In a few years after, when the mines were opened and a railroad made to carry the coal to the canal, the tonnage increased to 250,588 tons, yielding a revenue of about fifteen per cent. on its original costs, and the stock rose from below par to $130 for $50 paid in...Like results had attended the completion of numerous other coal canals, both in this country and Europe, and similar and even more favorable results we had a just right to expect from the extension of the Chesapeake and Ohio canal to the inexhaustible coal mines at Cumberland, especially when we consider the great advantages enjoyed by this work in many respects over any other in the Union. Near Cumberland the Potomac cuts its way through coal banks twenty feet in thickness, which can be thrown from the banks into boats with a shovel. This was bituminous coal of superior quality, found no where else east of the Alleghany mountains. In Pennsylvania, the anthracite coal was found less than 100 miles from Philadelphia, and was there sold at $5 per ton, or 18 cents per bushel. The bituminous coal they had to carry 287 miles, by the Susquehannah, Union, and Schuylkill canals, and cost $9 perton, or 30 cents per bushel. Now, it was susceptible of mathematical demonstration, taking the cost of transportation and the rate of toll charged on other canals as the basis of calculation, that the fine bituminous coal at Cumberland could be delivered on tide-water, at this city,
for 124 cents a bushel, or $3 50 per ton. Thus— Cents, Cost at the mines, per bushel, - - - 2 Transportation, at the usual rate, - - 1 Tolls, at 3 cent per ton, per mile, being the usual charge, - - - - 6
This was an estimate surnished by a gentleman of the highest respectability, familiar with the subject, and living on the spot; but let it be doubled, and you have 12 cents per bushel. This being established, it was clear that, although it might not displace, in a material degree, the anthracite coal of Pennsylvania, yet it would certainly supply the whole sea-board, Boston, New York, Phila. delphia, Baltimore, &c., with the bituminous coal, required for many uses to which the anthracite coal could not be appfied—the working of iron, propelling steamboats, manufacturing of gas, coke, &c. Gentlemen ask, where will be found a market for this cóal? The demand would only be limited by the ability of the canal to supply it; the felling of the forests and the progress of the arts were daily creating new demands for coal. The coal trade would soon be one of the most extensive and profitable branches of our foreign as well as internal commerce; considerable quantitics of coal had already been exported; and when, by the means of these canals, it could be brought, at a reduced rate, to the sea-board, its exportation abroad would be greatly increased. To show the increasing importance of this trade, it was stated, in the report just referred to, that the amount paid for coal in Philadelphia was about $3,000,000 per annum; and that, if the demand continued to increase for ten years to come as it had for ten years past, the amount in 1843 required there would be $52,544,450 worth. Do but furnish the means to complete this great work, now more than twothirds done, to the coal mines at Cumberland, and he would guaranty that there would not only be an ample tarket, but gentlemen might dismiss all apprehensions about being burdened with the payment of the interest on this city debt. The work would realize a higher in
terest than any similar work in the United States, or, perhaps, in the world, and enable the Government to dis. pose of the stock which they might invest in it greatly above par. Such had been the result on all other canals' conducted to coal mines, and why not on this? The advantages of this work, in reference to climate, position, and sources of revenue, are greater than any other. It has inexhaustible supplies of coal, lumber, iron, lime, and marble, superadded to all the usual supplies of travel, commerce, and agriculture. He therefore contended that the relief sought by this bill was but temporary; and that there was no kind of foundation for the allegations made by the gentleman from New York and the gentleman from Kentucky, that this was but an entering wedge, and that the canal, after it reached the coal mines, would continue unproductive. Until it reached that point, no one ever pretended that it would be profitable. The coal of Cumberland and the commerce of the West were the great and productive sources of revenue to which its friends had always looked to remunerate those who patronised this great national undertaking, on which there had already been expended $4,000,000, more than two-thirds of the whole sum required to complete it to Cumberland, where he hoped to see it soon conducted by the passage of another bill, reported early in the session, granting a second million of dollars to this noble enterprise; and when it reached this point, and the stock is raised in the market, as in the case of the Pennsylvania coal canals, all further difficulty to the progress of this great bond of national union to its ultimate destination, at the Ohio river and the lakes, will be completely removed. Public spirit and patriotism aside, show capital that it is profitable, and the object is achieved reach Cumberland, and, my word for it, the difficulty is overcome, the great object is secured. The East and the West will be united by a bond of union, which, even should all others be sundered, will remain firm and unbroken forever. After some further debate, in which the bill was opposed by Messrs. HARDIN and MANN, and supported by Messrs. CHINN, and WAR n w ELL, Mr. WINTON moved the committee rise; which was carried: Ayes 62, noes 60. a • The committee accordingly rose, and the bills passed through the committee were reported to the House, and progress made on the last bill. * The House then adjourned.
SATURDAY, JUNE 7.
On motion of Mr. HUBBARD, the consideration of the reports of the committee on the Kentucky contested election, which was the unfinished morning business, was postponed until Tuesday next.
THE PUBLIC DEPOSITES.
Mr. J. Q. ADAMS remarked that he believed the time had come, for which he had been waiting nearly two months, when the resolution, formerly submitted by him, calling for information as to the State banks, was then next in order to be considered. The SPEAKER having ascertained that it was so, Mr. ADAMS said he would modify the resolution to read as follows: Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury be directed to lay before this House, the names of the presidents, cashiers, directors, stockholders, lawyers, and solicitors of all the banks selected by him as depositories of the public moneys in the place of the Bank of the United States and its branches; together with the amount
of stock in said banks held by each stockholder, and the amount of debt due by each president, cashier, and
director of each of the banks to the said bank, at the time
public funds committed to their charge, were in the sit.
whether any of these trustees, who had the control of the
States itself. This it was particularly necessary to know, Just 7, 1834.]
as there was an act passed in 1789, by the provisions of
purpose of substituting one of their own—of filthy rags.
ther the President of the United States, heads of Depart
in the shape of bank fees, and who it was that were en-ments, and Treasurer, have been in the habit of keeping gaged in crying down the Bank of the United States, their private accounts in the Branch Bank of the United with the view of upsetting a sounder currency for the States, in the City of Washington; and at what time did
they, or either them, cease to keep their accounts in said branch bank.” Mr. SELDEN suggested some alteration in the phraseology of the amendments, which he thought might obviate some difficulties in procuring that information from the State banks, as well as from the Bank of the United States, of which gentlemen on all sides of the House seemed now desirous. Mr. J. Q. ADAMS said he would accept of the amend. ment suggested by the bonorable member from New York, as a modification. He presumed that it was not the object of the honorable member from Tennessee to introduce matter, as necessary to be inquired into, with any view of defeating the object he had proposed by the resolution. He (Mr. A.) could not expect that the honorable member would take such a course, and he hoped, therefore, that he would not persist in requiring the inquiry, which he had originally proposed, to be extended further as to the Bank of the United States than he had proposed to extend it to the State banks. Besides, he must recollect that the information he now asked for had been several times communicated to Congress. The only thing that was not in possession of the House, he believed, was the information called for, to which he did not object, being the debts due by the president and directors, respectively, to the institution, which there could not be any difficulty in having procured. Mr. POLK said, as the question before the House was on the amendment proposed by the member from Kentucky, [Mir. BEAtx,] for an inquiry of a still more extended character than that contemplated by the resolution, he must now advert to it, and say that he was perfectly ready to meet it. But, whilst that honorable gentleman proposed to inquire into the private bank accounts of the President, heads of Departments, and Executive officers, he (Mr. P.) would go still further, and include along with them the members of the Judiciary, of the Legisla. tive branch, and all others connected with the Government. This inquiry it was, in fairness, due to have made into the affairs of all public officers, if of any; and, when such was proposed, as he was himself from a whole-bog country, he could not be unwilling to be met on a whole
question sor the House, then, to consider was, as to the power and obligation upon Congress to appropriate it. In the course of the debate, he said, much stress had been laid, that the claims of the city were strong upon Government, because much of the embarrassments under which it labored arose from circumstances connected with the original cession of the land where it was situate, and upon the plan and extreme length with which the streets of the city had been laid out, which rendered it necessary for the corporation to level hills, fill up hollows, &c., at considerable expense. He must, however, contend, anxious as he was, nevertheless, to afford them relief, that, for the parts ceded to the Government, the city had received a fair equivalent, and more than that, from the General Government. For what was the situation of the land, and what was its value, comparatively speaking, to what it then was, from having been selected by the father of his country as the seat of the General Government? He denied, as was contended by the advocates of the city, that it was any thing unusual or any hardship that it should be deemed that this Government should be exempted from paying taxes to the city, conceiving that there was no instance to be found of a Government taxing itself. Mr. P. here read several statements, to show that the expenditures by the Government, in the erection of the various buildings, amounted, up to 1826, to $3,674,849, which he said would rebut the statements, that much detriment had occurred to the city, because, as was alleged, the Government had not improved the property that had been given to them; and, on account of which it had been also said they were partaking in all the benefits arising from the outlay for the improvement of the city, whilst they did not contribute a fair share, or any thing like it, to the benefits derived from the lots given to it. Mr. P. made several other statements to show that the value of those lots was generally exaggerated; arguing that if, in fact, they could find purchasers for them, it would be good policy, to dispose of them and take up, with the proceeds, the stock of the corporation. He, however, begged to be understood that, in making these remarks as to the expenditures of the Goyernment in the erection of buildings, and as to the advanta
hog principle. If examination was to take place, he desired it should not be into isolated facts, from which the country might be drawn to infer that, with respect to them, which might not be true. The member from Indiana [Mr. Ewing] had let out the secret, that it was intended to ascertain whether the Secretary of the Treas. ury might have been an attorney of a deposite bank. Mr. EWING appealed to the House to say whether he had used the Secretary's name at all. Mr. POLK. Well, then, I am corrected. I find it was from another honorable member this came, and was avowed as a reason for inquiry. But, if inferences were to be drawn, (Mr. P. said,) the House should have the facts all spread at large before the public. The debate was here arrested by Mr. STE WART, who called for the special orders of the day, being the consideration of bills in relation to the
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.
The House then went into Committee of the Whole thereon, (Mr. Bhiggs in the chair,) and resumed the consideration of the bill for the benefit of Washington city.
Mr. PARKER, having the floor from the previous day, rose and said he felt every disposition to relieve the city from the burdens under which it must, if that relief was not given, evidently break down, provided that they could agree upon the means and manner in which that relief could be accomplished. The committee, in the report presented by them, went into statistical statements, basing their application for relief, first on the benevolence of Government, and then upon other grounds. The
ges derived by the Government from the lots given to it, he was not actuated by a desire to prevent relief being given, but he made them rather in vindication of the General Government from what he considered to be unjust charges preferred against it on this head. He was not for abandoning the city, believing that, if the debt, at present so onerous upon it, was removed, the city must eventually prosper. It was then for the committee, knowing that the city was insolvent, could not pay her debts or the interest upon them, now to say what was to be done. For something must be done, and speedily, or matters would be worse and worse.
This he thought it was the bounden duty of Congress, under the peculiar circumstances in which the city and District were placed, to attend to forth with, without any reference to the question of right, (which he did not acknowledge,) in order to avert from it total ruin. He said he had no faith in the great advantages that honorable members said were likely to arise from the revenues of the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, when completed. The history of other canals throughout the Union showed how little reliance was to be placed on revenues from such a source. At all events, nothing could be expected —if even then—from this canal, unless the Government who, as well as the corporation, was so largely interested in it, as holders of its stock, should, as he hoped they would, take its management into their own hands, for the purpose of being completed. On the whole, he prosessed his willingness to join in any reasonable plan that should be proposed, in order to extricate the city from her embarrassincrits,