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Jus E 16, 1834.]

lions of dollars. Anoyet, in the face of this statement,

the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means is found opposing his own bills, and withholding from the Government the sums required for the public service, lest there should be a deficit in the treasury. He was at a loss to conceive why this large surplus was to be retained. What benefit was it to the people to have their money ille, when it could be put into profitable circulation? To retain it could profit no one except the stockholders of the deposite banks; but would the people be satisfied to see four millions of their money in the hands of rich bankers and stockjobbers to speculate on, without paying one cent for the use of it? Yet such would be the effect of the gentleman’s course. It was to give this money to the deposite banks, instead of giving it to the people, by expending it for their benefit on this great road, on which the mails and travel from this city and the seaboard to nine western States were daily in motion. Much had been said about the enormous cost of this road; it was always selected as the theme for economical speeches. Why were gentlemen silent when other appropriations, much more useless and extravagant, were considered? If gentlemen would look to the facts, they would find that this road, from its commencement, twenty-eight years ago, had cost less, repairs and all, than the House in which we are now sitting; less than a single fortification now erecting a few miles below this city, still unfinished, and to which annual appropriations are granteil without objection. Compare these objects in point of utility, and how do they stand? The road, even in time of war, for the transportation of troops, was more impor. tant than those forts; and in time of peace, the road is in. valuable; while the forts are not only useless, but a constant burden on the treasury. Why did not the honoraable chairman think of economy and the condition of the treasury when the fortification and other appropriation bills were under consideration? Why is the interior and the West to be forever excluded from all participation in the benefits of public expenditure? It was a fact worthy of special notice, and he callel the attention of the House to it, that in the whole volume of annual estimates of appropriations for the public service, amounting to upwards of twenty-three millions of dollars, there were but two objects embraced in all the interior and western States; the one was the Cumberland road, the other the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Not another object could be found. He stated it as a fact, and he challenged contradiction; and it was a fact to which he wished to call the a'tention of the American people, that the whole annual expenditures of this Government, in all the interior por. tion of the Union, did not amount, annually, to half the stin expended on a single fortification! Yes, sir, draw a Ione one mile from the flow of the tides, one mile from the external boundary of the whole Union, and he affirmed that the whole expenditures within this circle, on public works of every description, did not amount, annually, to one million of dollars; not one million out of twenty-four; not onc-third part of the cost of this splendid colifice went to all the interior and the West. which they paid their full proportion) was disburscol on the seaboard and the lakcs, in the crection of forts and fortifications, harbors, light-houses, buoys and beacons, sea-walls, breakwaters; custom-houses, navy yards, dockyards, and a thousand such objects; while the whole interior and West are put off with a reluctant appropriation of a few thousand dollars for the Cumberland road and the (hid and Mississippi. Arc we to be doomed forever to be mere tax-payers, “hewcts of wood and drawers of water” for the seaboard? Is our money, like our rivers, to flow in perpetual streams to the ocean, no portion of it returning? He hoped not; he hoped a sense of justice and liberality would prevail; if not, a spirit of retaliation might be crgendered, productive of the most injurious eflects.

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besides some three or so or millions in ore, for the support of the navy and its appendages, dock-yards, &c. Thus, while we are granting, annually, some six or eight millions to be expended on the seaboard, without objection, is it reasonable or just for gentlemen from that quarter to refuse this pittance to preserve a great public road, necessary to enable us to come here, and mingle our voices with theirs in favor of these liberal, not to say lavish, expenditures on the seaboard, every one of which could be defeated by the votes of the friends of this road? Under these circumstances, he submitted whether opposition from the seaboard to this appropriation could be justified or defended ? Ile regretted to find some of his own colleagues opposed to this appropriation, but trusted their opposition would be withdrawn when they reflected that many of the honest citizens of Pennsylvania, who had taken contracts on this road, and to whom large sums were due, would be ruined by the failure of this bill; and the more especially when they reflected that this money went, not from Pennsylvania, but from the nation, to relieve a portion of the people of that State, who, while they sustain their full share of the burden, had no share in the benefits of an expenditure of more than twenty millions of dollars for improvements in that State. He expressed his astonishment that western gentlemen who travelled on this road should be opposed to it. The destruction of this road would be a non-intercourse between this city and the West; or, if gentlemen ventured upon it at all, it would be at the hazard of their limbs and lives. If this portion of the road is to become impassable, why continue it further west? Why continue to appropriate money to extend the road through O'lio, Indiana, and Illinois? This road was made under a compact with the new States. It was made in consideration that they should exempt the public lands from taxation. They had complied; they had paid the consideration, and fulfilled the compact. But these States had no power to legislate for the preservation of this road, . It was not within their jurisdiction; and it would be a violation of good faith and the spirit of the compact for this Government now to sosier this road, made for the benefit of the new States, an ; for an adequate consideration, to go to destruction. Gentlemen had seized on this as a suitable occasion to raise the constitutional question, and denounce the general policy of internal improvement as unwise, as leading to extravagant and unequal cypenditures, and to unjust and oppressive taxation. The constitutional power of Congress over the go neral subject, he said, was not involved in this question. . This was not a proposition to construct an original work, but merely to preserve a work already constructed, and that, too, under a compact with the States. As to cxtravagant expenditures sor internal improvements, about which so much had been said, he utterly denied it. Where or when had such expenditures occurred? Let gentlemen point out a case of uscless or wasteful cxpenditure. This had not—it could not be done. Congress had legislated for internal improvements for forty years, and the whole expenditure for roads and canals throughout the Union did not amount to more than half as much as had been expended by the single state of Pennsylvania! It did not average half a million a year. Yet, to hear gentlemen declaim upon this subject, a stranger would suppose that

this was almost the only source of public expenditure,

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threatening the subversion of the Government. Who ever thought of incurring a debt or borrowing money te promote internal improvements? No one; the idea was never suggested. Its most ardent friends never claimed more than the mere surplus, after satisfying all the other wants of Government; and what injury or danger could result from this? None. He declared it to be his opinion that, if the tariff of 1824 had not been sacrificed to the spirit of party, the surplus revenue would now amount to at least twelve millions a year. It had averaged this sum for the last eight years. In 1832, more than eighteen millions had been applied to the public debt; and, had this tariff been continued, instead of fears of a deficiency in the treasury, we would now have at least twelve millions to distribute among the States for internal improvement. In ten years, this would amount to one hundred and twenty millions. And what would be the effect of such an expenditure? Would not this soon become one of the most beautiful and prosperous countries under heaven? united and bound together by indissoluble bonds; new sources of national wealth every where opened; new activity and life imparted to every department of industry; agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, all prosperous; in short, making our country what it ought to be, and what it would be, the wonder and admiration of the world. And all this accomplished, too, without imposing one cent of internal taxation. This immense revenue would be paid by foreigners, levied on foreign goods, and paid by the foreigner, or his agent, for the privilege of importing and selling them bere. And, whether the duties were on or off, all experience proved that the price to the American consumer was the same. When we reduce the duty, the foreigner adds it to the price. He puts the duty into his own pocket, instead of our treasury. He appealed to experience for the truth of this position. Last year we repealed the duty on some hundred articles, amounting, in many cases, to fifty or sixty per cent,; the duty on tea, coffee, spices of all kinds, fine linens, silks, &c. They now come in free of duty; and are they any cheaper? Not a cent. On the contrary, some of them have risen in price. Thus our treasury and our people lose fifteen millions of dollars, heretofore paid annually by foreigners into our treasury; lost, too, without advantage to any portion of the American people; but, on the contrary, with positive injury, by destroying domestic industry, and facilitating the introduction of millions of foreign goods, which ought to be manufactured at home. He declared it to be his honest and firm conviction that the late repeal of the tariff, to appease nullification, would, if not soon corrected, destroy our manufactures, agriculture, revenue, and internal improvements, without benefiting, in the slightest degree, any individual in the United States. It would throw back this nation more than half a century in its late rapid and onward march to a condition of unrivalled prosperity and power. He would pursue this subject no further, but return to the immediate question before the House; and, in conclusion, would state, in a few words, what he conceived to be the true and only question presented by the motion of the gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. Polk.] It was simply whether the House would concur with the Senate in granting the whole sum at once to complete the repairs, or whether they would appropriate a part now, and the balance hereafter. Let the gentleman restrict it as he pleased, it would come to this in the end: the whole sum would be granted. ...The States have agreed to erect gates; but when? Not till the road was put in “complete repair.” To this Congress has assented. A plan has been adopted and partly completed; it cannot be changed; $652, 130 is required to complete it. The commissioners appointed by the States are not authorized, by law, to

erect the gates till the repairs are completed. The sum

now proposed by the amendment is obviously insufficient for this purpose; and, consequently, the gates cannot be legally erected. Hence, the question at the next session will be presented, whether the road shall fall back on the Treasury, to be kept free, as heretofore, or whether the compact with the States to “complete the repairs,” shall be fulfilled, the gates erected, and this Government for ever relieved from this perplexing subject? This was the true state of the question. He repeated, he felt no great solicitude as to the decision, whether the whole or a part should be now appropriated; he thought, however, the object would be sooner and better accomplished, and at less expense, by appropriating the whole sum to complete the work. If so, he would pledge himself never again to ask for another cent; and all the gentlemen immediately interested were, he believed, prepared to concur in this pledge. But if only a part of the sum required by the Department to complete the work and erect the gates was now granted, no such pledge could or would be given. Mr. CHILTON proposed that the further consideration of the bill be postponed to Thursday next. On this motion Mr. VANCE demanded the yeas and nays; but the House refused to order them. Mr. MERCER opposed the postponement. Mr. VANCE said that no bill had suffered so much by frequent postponement as this had. Let the House decide as it pleased; all the friends of the bill asked was a vote. Mr. SELDEN advocated the postponement, on the ground of the difference of opinion which seemed to prevail among the friends of the bill. If they could agree, he was ready to vote for the bill. Mr. EWING replied that, if the House must wait till there should be no difference of opinion on such a measure as this, it must wait till this Government should crumble into ruins. And, should that event happen, this road would remain a surviving monument of the wisdom it once possessed. To postpone the bill would be to lose it. Mr. CHILTON now consented to withdraw his motion to postpone. Mr. CHAMBERS read an amendment, which, he said, he would offer at a proper time. [The amendment requires the States to whom the road shall be ceded, to erect gates upon it before any part of the appropriation shall be expended.] Mr. POUK reminded the House that this appropriation of $600,000 was not the plan recommended by the Department. He again referred to the several plans submitted, of which this was the most expensive. Mr. MERCER observed, in reply, that the two cheaper plans had been tried and rejected. He had personally examined the state of this road, and observation had satisfied him that neither of the other plans was of any value. Mr. M. here described the manner in which the road had been heretofore constructed, and the evils of the plan. He advocated the propriety of Macadamizing the whole anew with limestone, some of which must be brought as much as twenty miles, other portions fourteen miles, &c. The errors heretofore had arisen from no desigu to deceive or impose upon the House, but simply from want of knowledge. Mr. THOMAS insisted that the report of the Department did virtually, though not expressly, recommend the plan contemplated by the bill; for, after stating the three modes of construction, it condemned the first two, leaving the third as the only proper mode to be adopted. [Mr. T. read from the report.] He argued to show that the plan of taking up the large stones at the foundation of the old road, and Macadamizing with limestone, was the only effectual mode of repairing the road, and putting it into a fit state to be surrendered to the States. Mr. CHAMBERS considered the appropriation in the

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bill as extravagant in the extreme. It was sufficient, of itself, to construct an entirely new road. The road passed through a country where the materials for a good road were abundant, and the bridges were already made. All the States asked was, that the road should be put in a reasonable state of repair, such as was the usual condition of their own turnpike roads. He contended there was no need of hauling limestone such a great distance, (which formed the chief item of expense,) as the material on the spot was sufficient. No doubt the workmen, if left to themselves, would choose the softest and most friable stone, as that was the most easily broken; but there were various kinds of stone in the mountains, and much of it was very fit and sufficient. In illustration of which position he referred to the road from Cumberland to Hagerstown. The Pennsylvania turnpikes were usually made in this manner. He considered $300,000 as not only sufficient, but more than was required. The States had long since passed their acts, accepting the cession of the road, and yet not a gate was yet erected. His amendment went to require the erection of gates before this money should be expended. Mr. BEARDSLEY considered it desirable that Congress should get rid of this road, if possible. But, from the manner in which Congress had given its assent to the acts of Pennsylvania and Maryland, those States were not bound at all. Congress, instead of making its assent absolute and final, had inserted a reservation, which left it at liberty to withdraw its assent at pleasure. This bound nothing and pledged nothing. He wished an amendment introduced, declaring the assent of Congress to be given filly and finally, and without qualification. Let, then, the whole sum of $600,000 be appropriated, on condition that only $200,000 should be expended in a year; and that the States should bind themselves to take the road as soon as the whole sum should have been expended. In this way, Congress might finally rid itself of the charge of the road, which had been the source of so much dispute and expense. Mr. DAVIS, of South Carolina, said that any one, to listen to the language and tone of this debate, would receive from it a wrong impression. He heard much about ceding this road to the States. He asked what right the General Government had to this road? How came it theirs? Had Pennsylvania ceded one foot of her soil to the Government? Not an atom of it. Whence did Government derive its claim? The Government could not take it, even if the States had ceded it. The constitution would not admit of it. Yet it was said that we must purchase the consent of the States to receive the road from the General Government. Now, were it not that he did not desire to use language that might be deemed offensive, he should say that this was sheer impudence. To talk about spending money to coax the States to take their own road! It was monstrous; it was preposterous. The cool indif. ference with which gentlemen brought forward such a proposition was not exceeded by the Kentucky farmer, who, when his neighbor offered him his corn for nothing, replied, “I cannot take your corn unless you consent to haul it.” One gentleman had said that this road had received the assent of all our Présidents, beginning with Mr. Jefferson. This was true, and he believed that Mr. Jefferson had been, to the very day of his death, sorry for the assent he had given. It had even been proposed to establish gates upon the road. What power had this Government to establish turnpike gates on any road in the states? What right had it to interfere with their domestic concerns? If such a thing should be attempted, he should consider it the duty of the Legislature of Pennsylvania to abate the nuisance. As he wished to test the matter at once, he would now move to strike out the enacting clause of the bill. Mr. MANN, of New York, said that, from what he had

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heard in this debate, it would seem that this road was an old acquaintance in the House, and, indeed, he believed that there were few persons in the Union who read the newspapers, but must be aware that such was the case. For himself, he could not vote for any of these appropriations. What was it? Here had the Government expended four millions of dollars to make a road, and now they could neither give it, sell it, or lose it, unless they would consent to lose with it $1,120,000. As to the $652,000 which was asked for repairing the road on this side of the Ohio, he would agree to give the money if he could be certain that there would be an end of it, and that the friends of the project would not come back to Congress and ask for four millions more. If any body would bring in a proposition, to give that money to the States concerned, on condition they would take the road and keep it, he would go for the measure. At present he should vote first to reduce the amount to 300,000 dollars, and then he should vote to strike out the enacting clause of the bill, and so he should proceed resisting every plan in its favor, till the Government finally got rid of the encumbrance. Mr. VANCE said, he had been anxious that the question should be taken; but since gentlemen seemed to want a discussion, they should have it. And, in the first place, he would suggest to the gentlemen the importance of retaining this road, because, if they should get rid of it by passing such a bill as was now proposed, they would have nothing left to quarrel about; they would lose a fine topic on which to declaim and show their patriotism, and boast of the care they were taking of the public money. If this road should be out of the way, what would gentlemen do to show their constituents how they were here on their posts watching the treasury day and night? He knew that much money had been spent, but this measure stood at the head of the system of internal improvements. Out of it had sprung almost all the works which had since been constructed. But for the construction of this road over the Alleghany, the design of the great Erie canal would have slumbered to this day. It was the construction of this road which had first roused the attention of the country, and had directed it to the importance of securing an avenue to the great valley of the Mississippi. Hence all the roads and the different canals which were at this day crossing the whole Union, that they might obtain a portion of the trade and travel of the great West. They had all been brought into existence by the impulse which this first parent measure had given to the public mind. Yet it was a good thing that gentlemen should have this road as a subject upon which to make speeches. Were it not for their zeal in resisting appropriations for this Cumberland road, their constituents might, perhaps, look at the $600,000 for a custom-house in New York, and the more than a million of dollars for the repair of navy yards, and for the wear and tear of the navy. Yet, whén a measure was brought forward in which every man and woman throughout the whole valley of the Mississippi had a direct concern, gentlemen from New York must rise and talk about extravagance. Mr. V. said he had examined this whole subject with care, and though it was true that this great national road had cost the country nearly three millions of dollars, yet its expense would not average three cents a pound on the merchandise which had been transported over it. He well remembered the time when, as a western merchant, he had paid $13 per hundred for the transportation of goods from Philadelphia to Pittsburg; , And what was it now? The whole amount which had been spent upon this object, if compared with what must have otherwise been paid by the people of the West, was but as a drop in the bucket. This expenditure was all which they had been able to obtain for the nine or ten Western States,

and were they to stand there and hear themselves charged

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with wasting and squandering the public money? Look at what had been done on the seaboard? Look at the $40,000 expended on the navy yard at this place. Look at the $180,000 in Newport. Look at the coast, from one end to the other, and at the sums which were every year voted for navy yards, and dockyards, and harbors, and customhouses. But, as soon as it was proposed to penetrate the interior, and open a market for the great valley of the West, then it was a most profligate expenditure. Mr. V. remembered exceedingly well when they used to carry all their iron and salt upon packhorses from Hagerstown to Winchester. . If gentlemen wished to fasten down on the people of the Western country a state of perpetual privation, and to keep them for ever hewers of wood and drawers of water, let them speak out and say so. Then the West would know how to understand them. If they were not to receive a pittance from the treasury, to keep up an avenue to unite the East with the West, let it be understood; but let not gentlemen profess that the people of this country stood upon one level before the Government, and then keep eternally harping on this Cumberland road, and pouring out invectives about extravagance. This road had remained from 1818 to 1826 without the expenditure of one dollar upon it for repairs, and this was the true and main reason of all the expense which it had occasioned since. Had gates been put upon it at that time, Congress would never liave heard of it again; but every man of common sense must know that any great public highway, especially one so perpetually travelled, if left for eight years without lifting a tool upon it for repairs, (and some portions of the road had been left fif. teen years in that condition,) it must go to ruin. The large sums, of which gentlemen had made so much in their speeches, had been appropriated towards the repair of the road; but it had already been suffered to go so far that these sums, instead of putting it in thorough repair, were barely sufficient to keep it in a state capable of use from year to year. Gentlemen had said that this road had been thirty years in constructing. Divide the total sum expended by that length of time, and the annual average would not be more than had been expended by this Government for the repair of navy yards: $449,000 had been applied for the repair of navy yards, and $590,000 for the repair of ves. seis in ordinary. All these sums were expended east of the mountains, while the people of the West had received, in all, a sum not greater than was thus spent in keeping our ships from rotting to pieces at the wharves, and preserving the navy yards from dilapidation. The State of Ohio, now represented by nineteen members on that floor, had received, in the last thirteen years, but about $600,000 or $700,000. Mr. BEARDSLEY said that, in his last remarks, he had not professed to speak from knowledge, and he was glad now to learn that his impressions had been, in part, erroneous. Mr. GHOLSON rose mainly for the purpose of relieving Virginia from the censure of the gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Davis]—a censure which, in his (Mr. G.'s) judgment, the legislation of Maryland and Pennsylvania, in relation to this road, justly merited. It cannot be denied but that those States have shown a willing disposition to receive this improvement as the mere tenants at will of the General Government, if not its agents: but a reference to the act of Virginia, passed the 7th day of February, 1832, “concerning the Cumberland road,” will vindicate her from such a charge. He was a member of the Virginia Legislature at the time, and, if his memory was correct, the bill originally proposed was similar to the acts passed by Maryland and Pennsylvania, and proposed that Virginia would take charge of the road whenever it was defivered by the General Government, in good repair; but

subject, and recollecting that, in the opinion of many, it was construed to foreclose her constitutional objections, embraced that opportunity to declare and reassert them. Hence, all requirement on the General Government to repair the road was carefully avoided, and the fourth section of the act expressly provided “that the General Assembly reserved to itself, at any future session thereof, without the consent of Congress, to change, alter, or amend the act.” It is in this provision of the Virginia law that the gentleman from New York [Mr. BEARnsley] may find a solution of his difficulty in understanding the motive of the act of Congress approved March 2, 1833. The two acts are irreconcilable; and it was designed by Congress that it should be so: she was very willing that Virginia should take the road, provided it was taken as by a tenant at will from his landlord. The United States gave assent to the act of Virginia: “but such assent is to remain in force during the pleasure of Congress,” and “provided the act shall not be construed as preventing the United States from resuming whatever jurisdiction it may now have over the said road, whenever, in its discretion, it shall deem it proper so to do.” Mr. G. would conclude by submitting an inquiry. He was curious to know on what principle gentlemen, who maintained that the act of March, 1833, closed a compact with Virginia, were now proposing to intermeddle with and repair a road within her limits, and that, too, surrendered to her by law? Of those who concurred with him in opinion that the acts referred to conflicted with each other, he would ask how they could sustain a proposition to put this road upon Virginia with a reserved jurisdiction and control which she has expressly repudiated? Sir, she will not touch this road with such conditions; and the States which do, are but strengthening the unconstitutional assumptions of this Government, and providing the probable means for future collision. Mr. WILSON, of Virginia, said that the act of Virginia could not be rightly understood, unless it was considered as referring to a proposal, which had first been made to her by the General Government, to take this road when completed and put in good repair. His colleague had said that a clause in the act to this effect had been stricken out. What, then, was the purport of the act? Simply, that Virginia would take the road whenever the United States should agree to surrender it. She had assented to the construction of the road through her territory; and now she simply said she would take it back. Mr. W. contended that the act had some meaning. The reservation by Congress had arisen, not out of the act of Virginia, as his colleague seemed to suppose, but from the fact that the road ran along the borders of States which, having little or no interest in its preservation, might neglect it. And the intent of the reservation was that, if the States should neglect to put up gates, collect tolls, and keep the road in repair, Congress might resume it into its own hands. Mr. GHOLSON inquired whether his colleague could believe that Virginia would ever accept the road on any such terms? Mr. WILSON replied that he could not say. He, as one of her delegates, should have no hesitation cither in making the appropriation now asked for, or in surrendering the road. Mr. GILLET said that he could not consent to give a silent vote, after listening to the remarks of the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. VANce.] He had not learned the constitution as that gentleman seemed to have done; and he should vote against the sum originally reported. He thought, nevertheless, that there was good ground to vote in favor of the bill. That ground was to be found in the contract made by the United States with the new States, to the North and West, to furnish them with a road to their re

the Legislature, not unmindful of the early history of the

spective boundary lities, as far as to Missouri. So far as Jus E 16, 1834.]

the provision of the bill came within the scope of that law, he should go in favor of it, and no farther. He hoped that there would now be a final end to applications in favor of this road. He had ever been opposed to the carrying on of works of internal improvement by the General Government. He thought the constitution contained no authority for it, and the same latitude of construction which had been held to authorize such works had given to the country the Bank of the United States, and the alien and sedition laws. The people had interfered at the great civil revolution, in the time of Mr. Jefferson, to put down such an interpretation. Things had then gone on quietly till the year 1824, when this new scheme was devised. But the people, in 1828, had again interfered, and condemned it in the most emphatic manner. The issue had been made more distinctly on the question of the Maysville road and the Bank of the United States; and the people had, in both cases, sustained the views of the Executive. Mr. G. should vote for the limited appropriation on the ground of contract, and not on the general principles of internal improvements. Mr. VINTON had not intended to enter into this debate, but as a claim had been set up to the property of this road, and as the silence of the western delegation might be construed into an acquiescence in such a claim, it was his duty to reply to the positions taken by the honorable gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. Gholson.] Mr. V. then went on to contend that the United States could not, without the express assent of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, cede away this road to any body. Mr. V. here went into a detailed history of the origin and progress of the road, and the stipulations of the General Government to construct, out of the proceeds of the public lands, a road to those States, and the covenant of those States to have the public lands free from taxation for a limited time. He insisted that the road was a mutual benefit, as much to the Atlantic as to the Western States; although, to obtain it, the States of the West had been obliged to throw the whole burden of their taxation on but a small portion of their territory. They had been desirous of having gates erected on the road, and were willing to pay the toils to keep it in order. If this was refused by the States through which the road passed, the contract still renained, and bound the United States to keep up the road as they had covenanted to do. The road never could be abandoned by the people of the West. They looked to the General Government to see that it was kept up, and, whoever obtained possession of the road, they shutild continue to do so. Mr. POLK, after expressing his regret that the present doctrine of internal improvements should have been introduced into debate, requested Mr. DAV is to withdraw his motion to strike out the enacting clause. Mr. DAVIS assented, and withdrew his motion accordingly. Air. POLIX then again insisted on the expediency of leaving the foundation of the old road untouched, and covering it with a coating of stone, such as was found in the immediate vicinity. He referred to a report of the war Department in support of this view. Mr. Mick ENNAN asked what was the date of the reort p Mr. POLK replied that it was made in 1827. Mr. THOMAS, of Maryland, said the interests of his immediate constituents forbid he should remain silent and permit the House to decide on the pending amendment, under the erroneous impression which the remarks of the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means were well calculated to produce. That gentleman had read an extract from the documents on our file from the War Department. The House ought to know that this extract did not appear in the report of the Secretary of War made to this House at the commencement of the session; nor in

Cumberland Road.

the annual report from the Engineer department. n It was to be found in the estimates of the War Departm t for the expenditures of the year 1834. In that paper the Secretary of War requires an appropriation of $300,000 for the continuation of the repairs of the Cumberland road east of the Ohio river, provided the mode in which the Department prefers these repairs should be made meets the approbation of Congress. Now, the House will perceive that this estimate for the year 1834 must not be its guide in deciding on the propriety of passing the bill from the Senate under consideration. That bill proposes an appropriation of $652,000, not to be expended in 1834, but to complete the repairs of the Cumberland road now in progress. It is well known that the Senate refused to make an appropriation for prosecuting these repairs until an estimate had been furnished from the Engineer department, showing the whole sum which would be required to complete them. In so doing, Mr. T. thought the Senate had acted wisely. The experience of the past ought to satisfy every member that these partial appropriations were inexpedient. At the first session of the last Congress, the laws of Maryland and Pennsylvania, relating to this road, had been assented to by the United States. They proposed that this Government should repair the Cumberland road within the limits of those States, and then surrender all claim to jurisdiction over it to them: in which event, they agreed to appoint superintendents to collect a sum sufficient in toll, from travellers thereon, to keep that road ever thereafter in good repair. In pursuance of this compact between the United States and the States of Maryland and Pennsylvania, to which Virginia subsequently assented in part, two other appropriations were made by the last Congress at its several sittings to prosecute this improvement. In November last, those appropriations were exhausted; and, from that time to the present, the officers of this Government employed to superintend these repairs, had been idle, although they had a right to expect their salaries would be continued. The road, too, had been left in such a condition that it would now cost several thousand dollars more to repair it than would have been necessary if the work had progressed without interruption. These facts were made known to the Senate; and, to avoid such a state of things hereafter, that body had rightly determined to appropriate a sum sufficient to exempt this Government from all further demands for this object. The sum proposed to be given is that which is demanded by the War Department, if the first of these several plans of repair mentioned in the annual report of the chief of the Engineer department meets our approbation. Mr. T. here read extracts from the report, in coufirmation of his views. He then invited the House to turn its attention to the only question which ought to be agitated in connexion with this bill: Are the estimates of the War Department unreasonable? Is the mode of improvement on which those estimates are predicated, the one which Congress ought to sanction? Mr. T. said, from his personal knowledge of the country, he had no difficulty in answering both these questions in the affirmative. It would, he thought, be useless, worse, than useless, to make a defective or partial repair of this great highway. lf it is to be done, let it be well done, and in a manner creditable to the United States, and beneficial to the people of the great valley of the Mississippi, for whose particular accommodation it was originally designed. Mr. T. made some statements concerning the nature of the chief material which had been used in the original construction of the road, to show that we ought to profit by experience, and now use, the limestone, which alone was calculated to make the road permanent. He also explained the defective manner in which the road had been originally constructed, and insisted that the Macadam

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