March 29, 1830.]

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cle shoals of the Tennessee. Here it must cross the river; but by what means its passage is intended to be effected, the report does not inform us; it is thence, through many difficulties, conveyed to the Mississippi, at or near Baton Rouge; from thence it follows the banks of that river to New Orleans. This is emphatically the western route, the one particularly recommended by the gentleman from Virginia; [Mr. SMyTH] yet, sir, notwithstanding the engineers report the distance of this line of road from Washington to New Orleans to be twelve hundred and eightytwo miles, and that of the middle route, through North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, only eleven hundred and six miles, the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. BLAir] has roundly asserted that the western had the adYantage in point of distance. [Mr. B. explained—he referred to that through East Tennessee..] I certainly should have understood the gentleman as he now explains himself, but he is still unsustained in his position; for the same report makes even his favorite direction longer than that of the middle survey; the difference is indeed inconsider. able; but it is decidedly in favor of my side of the moun. tains; but the other gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Isacks] will, no doubt, admit me to be correct, when I state that I understand him as joining the gentleman from Virginia, in recommending the road through West Tennessee. Taking this, therefore, as the western project, I will assume it as the standard of the comparison Pintend to institute between the different lines surveyed. I have already shown that distance, a very important consideration, is decidedly in favor of the middle route; and I am equally confident that the facilities for constructing a good and durable road are also on my side of the question. It is true that the report exhibits little or no difference in this respect; but the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Isacks] has himself furnished the proof that corrects the error of the engineers in this particular. He has shown the entire unfitness of his country for the making of even a tolerable way, according to the plan proposed by the bill; and it is so for the best of reasons—the great depth and richness of the soil of that favorite and highly favored region render it unfit for the construction of a road composed of earth only. This is a partial inconvenience that we have all understood to apply to the gentleman's country; but which needs only to be stated, to convince us that its very existence implies an incalculably greater benefit in the abundant fertility of their lands. Then, sir, whilst the bill proposes a road constructed of earth only, it is through the comparatively poor region of my State, and a large extent of the survey still farther south, that a soil will be found most happily adapted to its construction; it would not only be more cheaply made, but, when done, would be of a much more durable character. But, in a commercial aspect, it is contended that the Western direction possesses very decided advantages; yet, if I rightly understand the report upon this subject, even that authority will be found in favor of the middle route, for all purposes of internal commerce. By casting the eye over the surveys through East and West Tennessee, it will be seen that they are carried for many miles in a direction parallel to the course of the Tennessee, and other Hol. streams, aud often upon their very banks, or at the distance of but a few miles. Instead, then, of this improvement being called for by the absence of water communication, the road, if of as proposed by the ill, can only be regarded as an auxiliary or substitute for the navigable streams every where to be met with in its neighborhood, and running in the same direction. This is not only true in the State of Tennessee, but is remarkably so through a portion of the country still farther south; for not only are smaller streams to be accommodated with this road, but for at least three hundred miles it is found tra. versing the very banks of the Mississippi. Then, is it not

is already provided with a much better means of transportation than would be afforded by the proposed improvement? Not so, sir, in the direction of the middle route; there we do not propose the absurdity of making a national road that cannot be needed; but, on the other hand, its' construction in a direction different from that of the streams flowing to the Atlantic, must afford a very extended accommodation to the inhabitants of the intermediate sections of country, by facilitating the transportation of their produce, if not to the destined market, at least to some point from which they would have the advantage of water conveyance. ... A preference founded on this view of the situation of the country east of the mountains, is clearly intimated in the report of the engineers; and although it may not be found to obtain with equal force throughout the entire line of survey, yet its general existence affords a sufficient reason why it should weigh much with the committee in fixing the direction of this road. But there is in my part of North Carolina a description of trade that would be peculiarly benefited by this measure. We have much intercourse with South Carolina and Georgia in one direction, and Virginia in the other. To these States the farmers of my district of country are much in the habit of wagoning their productions, either for the urpose of exchange or barter, or with the more desira. object of effecting a sale for cash. I will not say, sir, that this trade exhibits the numerous caravans of wagons that we are told are seen crowding along the western road; but I will say, it is far from being inconsiderable, and is much increasing, especially in the southern direction, and is of sufficient importance to claim our attention in the consideration of this part of the subject. The military advantages of this western road have been heightened and embellished by frequent allusions to the city of New Orleans, as not only the scene of military operations, but as the theatre on which imperishable renown was obtained. Every idea of defence connected with this road seems irresistibly to terminate at this memorable point. My colleague [Mr. CARson] was certainly very happy on this part of the subject; and although Y. but regard some portion of his argument as underrating the importance of improvements in time of peace, tending to security in time of war, yet the reasons offered by him were quite sufficient to show the utter inutility of taking this road out of its natural course solely with a view to the defence of New Orleans: for, whatever possible necessity there may be, at some future day, to muster the sons of the West at this far-famed theatre of war, I can but believe that they will find their way thither more cheaply and expeditiously through other modes of conveyance than that which this military road would afford; and, sir, I have not heard it contended in argument, that any other point on the line of this western road was likely to present a field for military operations—no necessity is intimated of saving us from ourselves in the West; for, whatever may be thought of the South, all is peace and quiet in that quarter—there the spirit of insubordination is not thought to threaten disunion, or endanger our repose— the only possible cause of apprehension arises from their assertion of claim to the lands of the Government; and, for one, I hope, ere long, we shall remove this source of contention and apprehended danger, by making distribution of them among the several States of the Union. But, sir, should I even be disappointed in this favorite measure, they do not threaten the Government with a military array in the field of battle; but it is here, sir, in this hall of legislation, that we are told the Western States will soon embody themselves in such numbers as no longer to petition for, and receive as a boon, that which they will then claim and obtain under the semblance of right. With a view, sir, still further to diminish the claims of the route east of the mountains, the gentleman from Penn

evident that much of the country through which it will pass Vol. VI.-87.

sylvannia [Mr. HEMPHILL] has said that we have on that

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side a dense population, and are consequently capable of defending ourselves. Admit, for the sake of argument, that this is now so; that, though presenting an extensive sea coast, assailable at numerous points by an invading foe, we require no interior preparations with a view to a state of war. I say, sir, admit the gentleman to be correct in this, yet I wouid ask him how long will this be so? Deny us this, and continue to withhold other benefits to which we are entitled; persist in a course of legislation imposing on us unequal burdens, and the already increasing tide of emigration will, in a little while, have so far diminished our population, as no longer to leave any pretence for the gentleman's assertion. We shall then be so insignificant, when compared with the population of the new States, as to cease, in their estimation, to be objects worthy of national interest or concern. Yet the gentleman from Penn. sylvania, for a moment, seemed to present some faint hope of escaping from this melancholy fate: for, while inviting us to support this bill, we were assured that other portions of the country should hereafter partake of equal benefit: but this delusion lasted but for a day; for the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Isacks] has explained what was meant by “other portions of the country:” he defines it to be the rich regions of West Tennessee, Ohio, and Kentucky; they are to be provided for by the gentleman's plans, but in none of their beneficent designs is my immediate section of the Union embraced. Relying, then, while we may, upon the important fact of our yet possessing the superiority in point of population, I feel myself justified in using it as a powerful reason in favor of my side of the question. With us, sir, Government is necessarily the creature of those over whom it is established. Made and upheld by the will of the people, their adherence and attachment to it must ever be in proportion to the measure of benefit they receive in return for their contributions to its support. And, although, as has been happily said by a o from Rhode Island, [Mr. Bungks] we cannot expect these governmental blessings to be o: among us with the perfect equality of the dew of heaven, yet it is but just that, in our acts of legislation, we keep an eye towards the attainment of so desirable an object. In relation to the subject before us, we shall certainly consult that principle, by accommodating the greatest possible number of our citizens. It is, therefore, desirable to see whether the bill, as now before the committee, conforms to this important end and design of legislation. By reference to the report of the engineers upon this part of the subject, we learn that, by the census of 1820, the [... of the counties and districts of country ac. tually traversed by the western route, is at least one hundred thousand less than that of the middle route; and the entire population of the States through which these surveys are carried is at least one million more, by pursuing the middle or eastern direction, than it is along the west. ern. Here, then, is a difference of no small amount, upon the score of population only; but, sir, when you add to this the very important fact, that this greater amount of population divides itself into a greater number of independent States, united with and acting politically upon the General Government, is there not a twofold reason presented in favor of the route I propose By going west you pass through Virginia. Tennessee, and Alaba. ma; in the eastern direction, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. Thus, by the westera proposition, as contained in the bill, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia are wholly omitted, for the alone purpose of embracing the State of Tennessee. And, sir, friendly as are my feelings towards that State, and every other member of our Union, I cannot, I ought not to be expected to forget the superior claims of my own State: and, sir, let me not be charged with selfish and contracted views on this subject; for, whilst I readily

admit that, in acting here, we should, in the language of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. Hemphill] regard ourselves, on all general questions, as merely citizens of the United States, I do believe I shall certainly sustain that character most essentially, not by seeking a benefit for North Carolina at the expense of Tennessee, merely because it is the State from which I come, but frosh the consideration, that, in the present instanee, her accommodation is connected with a still higher object-the attainment of a greater national benefit than would be accomplished by omitting her interest. This view of the subject is offered, not in connexion with the idea that, under the constitution, we have not the power to do what we propose, but is intended to apply to this or ony other subject of legislation, considered as a mere question of expediency and right among the several States; and, in this view of the matter, it cannot be urged that there is a corrupting tendency in this or any other measure, because it has the effect of improving the condition and increasing the prosperity of the P. of the different States; for such an objection would deny all right of beneficence to the Government, and ...] give to it alone the odious power of taxation and oppression. By such an administration of this Government, the people of the States would soon become aliens in feeling to the Union, and would regard the constitution as not tending to promote the general good, but merely calculayed to inflict upon them the evils, without the benefit of Government. Then, sir, while objects of improvement, similar to that now under consideration, have heretofore been undertaken and completed in other parts of our country, it is but just, and in conformity with the principles of equality, that some portion of the benefits resulting from such measures, ...}. distributed in that from which I come; but, independent of this consideration, I think, in relation to the present, subject, the line of survey through my State presents advantages superior to those west of the mountains. As a further argument in favor of our claim, I might advert to the peculiar hardships and afflictions of the people of that ill-starred section of the Union, arising, as they believe, mainly from the unwise and ungenerous legislation of Congress upon subjects vitally affecting their interests. But, sir, while I forbear doling out a list of our oft repeated wrongs, I confess. I was but illy prepared to hear with patience the imaginary sufferings and privations of the West. The gentleman from Tennessee, §. Isacks] in his petition for the establishment of this road, occupied much time in describing the forlorn condition of the people of his country; he complained bitterly because there had been so small a portion of Government money expended among them; he spoke of the vast amount paid by that people for the purchase of their lands, the large proportion of taxes paid by them through the medium ...P consumption, and concluded by exhibiting the inhabitants of the extensive West as the eighth wonder of the world, in the fact that, though thus afflicted and oppressed, they yet lived —they yet survived 1, Now, sir, I cannot perceive any cause for the gentleman's admiration, and can but think that all he has said, when rightly understood, is not only compatible with their bare existence, but is just that state of things from which we might expect to find all that comfort and growing prosperity which I believe to be more truly descriptive of their real condition. It is true that, in most instances, they have had to purchase their lands, but at a price most abundantly repaid by their amazing fertility, producing not only what is required for their own con. sumption, but affording a large supply for the wants of others. That a people thus #. should be able to subsist, is, to my mind, no cause of wonder or astonishment; and, sir, though it be true that the General Governiment yet, maintains its dominion over the unappropriated lands in all that region, our statutebook abounds with almost innumerable instances of donations made to States, com

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panies, and individuals in the West, for purposes of internal improvement, the establishment ..? schools, and for various other objects tending to improve their condition and advance their f. To objects of this description, at least ten millions of acres have been appropriated; and so liberal has been the policy of the Government on these subjects, that applications from this quarter are seldom rejected; and but the other day, with a near apProach to unanimity, we passed a law relieving the purchosers of the public lands from a large amount of their debt, contracted under the credit system. Admit then, that it is true, as stated by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. Howrhill] that the new States have not any funds in lands for making public improvements, who can believe that, if they had been the owners of the soil, they would, under their own policy and legislation, have apPlied so large a portion to these objects as has been done for them by this Government? Do not understand me, sir, as objecting to these instances of liberality, for many of them received my support, and, in giving it, I was uninfluenced with the hope thereby of obtaining any boon for my own State; (no, I disdain the sordid idea ;) but I acted from the conviction that the rosperity of the West, or any other large section of our Union was, in some degree, the prosperity of the nation. But, sir, if this and every other measure of internal improvement is to have a west. eru, direction-if the Southern States are to be wholly neglected under the operation of this system, and if we are again and again to hear the affected lauguage of comF. from the West, then, sir, I am prepared to withold my assent to any further appropriations in that quar. ter; justice to my constituents will require it—a regard to the principles of equality will demand it. We have also been entertained by the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. |sacks] with a sort of begging argument, founded upon the great expenditure of public money along our sea coast in the erection of fortifications, dock yards, and other works connected with the defence and commerce of the nation; and the gentleman has even objected to the contributious of the West in the building up of our navy—a measure in which he seems to think they have a very re. mote interest. Perhaps, sir, when more, and still more of the public lands shall be appropriated towards the improvement of the Tennessee at the Muscle shoals and other points of that river, the gentleman may be accommodated with a little navy of his own—one that shall be peculiarly westera; and, therefore, unobjectionable to that gentleman. I was surprised to hear the illiberal and mistaken views contained in this part of the gentleman's argument; for, can it be said, with the least plausibility, that fortifications erected and designed along our extended and exposed Atlantic border, are other than measures of strength and precaution, looking to the security of the nation generally In cousonance with this anti-national sentiment would be an objection on my part to the increasing expenditure of our military posts designed for the protection of our western frontier. These objects are alike in principle, and are both equally entitled to the support of those who consult the peace and safety of every portion of this Union. Nor should the gentleman decline a common interest in our naval armament, intimately connected as it is with the defence and commerce of the nation. He has told us that the people of the West are great consumers of imports, and, consequently, pay much indirectly to the General Government; and we are assured that this road is greatly needed to facilitate their supplies from Baltimore and Philadelphia; yet their arrivas at those ports is intimately connected with these maritime expenditures of which the gentleman seems to complain: and, whatever comment or construction of the constitution may be necessary to sustain many other acts claimed on the part of the Government, these of which I have just spoken are conspicuously Provided for in that instrument, and should be regarded

as not only national in their character, but indispensably necessary to the well-being, and even the very existence of the nation. I might here, sir, conclude my remarks, having said all that I intend upon the mere question which I proposed to discuss; but I have alluded to an amendment, which, in conclusion, I intend to offer; and as I propose (should it be adopted) to vote for the bill, I hope I may be permitted, not to enter into an argument in support of my opinion, but simply to say that I believe the power to do the act proposed does rightfully belong to the Government; and, in conformity to this opinion, I have, on former occacasions, voted for measures not differing in principle from the one now under consideration. But, while sustaini this power of the Government, and acting upon the hig conviction of its great importance, I have felt no little embarrassment for the want of the countenance and co-operation of yourself, and many other of our southern politicians; and though I cannot surrender my judgment on account of this discouraging reflection, yet I will not withhold the tribute of my respect, and even admiration, for the unshaken firmness and distinguished ability with which your opinions have been sustained. They have not yielded to those nice shades of distinction, which, in the opinion of some, may have been sufficient to obviate all constitutional objections, when the measure proposed happened to look towards their immediate constituents. But, sir, were I to attempt an argument in support of my opinion, I could not rest it upon the distinction taken by the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. SMyth.] That gentleman denies the right of the Government to make the road, yet he says we may appropriate the money for that object; Congress may give the essential means for constructing, but have not the power actually to constructor make; but, in yielding his assent to this bill, he virtually concedes the latter power, unless he intends to do the very idle thing of giving the money merely to be wasted and expended for no particular purpose; for if the road is to be made at all, the bill proposes that it shall be done under the authority of this Government, without the agency or superintendence of any other power. Perceiving this difficulty, he takes a distinction in Å. of this road, and seems to admit that we may make it, not under the general powers conferred by the constitution, but under the compact entered into with Ohio, Alabama, and other new States, by which it is stipulated that five per cent of the sales of the public lands shall be applied to the making of roads in or ieading to those States; but certainly a compact with a State cannot enlarge the constitution, and thereby confer a power which did not exist independent of such agreement; this would be making the powers of the Government either greater or less, according to the terms of the bargain it might happen to make with the people of any of our territories, when applying for admission into the Union. Nor can I perceive, according to the opinions of some, how the assent of a State could confer upon the General Government the power of acting upon a subject prohibited by the constitution. This Government, sir, with all its attributes, must exist independent of the will of any State; and while its powers cannot be curtailed by opposition, neither can they be enlarged by consent, except in the way pointed out for an amendment of the constitution itself. But, sir, while I deny the necessity of this assent, and its utter inability to confer power, it might, often be prudent and wise, in many instances, to abstain from the exercise of federal authority, without the assent of the State or States to be affected by it; for, upon ordinary occasions, I would pause long, and consider much, before I would run counter even to the prejudices of the smallest member of this Union. This I would do in the spirit of conciliation and forbearance, and without yielding the right of this Govern

F- when the public good imperiously demanded it, to *

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exercise all or any of its high functions, even in opposition to the will of all the States. It is not all that this Government can constitutionally do, that the harmony and prosperity of the States require to be continually called into action; but when emergencies of great national moment arise, or some general interest is proposed to be advanced, a liberal interpretation of its powers will often be found necessary to subserve the end and object of its creation. If, sir, we look within the limits of the mere letter of the constitution for the charter of our legislative privileges, there is scarce a page of our legislation that will not be found to have passed the pale of our authority. What words of that instrument give us the right to pension our citizens, and to appropriate thousands for their support? How have we relieved the sufferings of foreigners, when visited by any sudden calamity 1 . How do we repair the ravages of fire in any of our own cities or towns? How will we sustain the long list of appropriations of the public lands to institutions for the promotion of science and objects of benevolence : These, and many other acts sanctioned by every Congress, and approved by all our Chief Magistrates, are, like the power to make roads and canals, not authorized by the express enumeration of them in the constitution; but do, in my humble judgment, conform to the spirit, scope, and design of those powers that are enumerated. But, sir, I do not intend a discussion of this subject, and will conclude by moving the following amendment to the bill : [Here Mr. S. offered his amendment, proposing to strike out the western, and to insert the .. or eastern route, leaving the selection to the commissioners to be appointed under the #. of the bill.] Mr. POLK next rose, and said, that two of the delegation from my own State having given their views in support of this bill, I ask the indulgence of the committee whilst I endeavor, in a plain and practical manner, to assign the reasons of the vote which I feel constrained to give. My two colleagues and myself have been in the habit, during our service together here, of thinking and acting together upon most important subjects. Upon this we differ in opinion, and are compelled to separate. My colleague, who first addressed the committee, [Mr. BLAIR) dealt with his usual candor. He informed us that the road contemplated to be made by this bill, addressed itself to the local interests of his constituents; that they were in favor of the road; and that his skirts should be clear of the imputation of disobeying their will. Yes, sir, the road addresses itself to the local interests of his constituents, and this is the evil of this and all similar prositions; it is the o of this whole system of internal improvement; it does address itself to the local interests of sections; it deludes, and deceives, and misleads whole sections and communities; whole masses are bought up, and become advocates of this system, with the prospect of local advantage to themselves. They look only to their own local interests, and to the prospect of having disbursed, in their own immediate neighborhoods, large amounts of the people's money. Let me ask either of my colleagues, through whose respective districts one branch of road has been surveyed, if it were to pass on either of the other routes, if they would vote for it? If it were to pass on either the middle or the metropolitan route, would not nine-tenths, would not ninety-nine-hundreths of their own constituents, whose local interests would not then be addressed, think it wholly inexpedient, if not unconstitutional, to make the road at all? I repeat it: would either of my colleagues deem it a national work? Would they vote for it? They would not. And why would they not? Because, in their opinion, the western route is the best route, and the only national route. They think the western route the only true route. But the two gentlemen from North Carolina, [Mr. CARson, and Mr. SHEPPERD) to the local interests of yhose constituents the middle route ad

dresses itself, have urged that that is the best route ; that it is the national route; and, if it does not pass that way, they will vote against the bill. Nine-tenths, ninety-ninehundredths of their constituents, if it does not pass on the middle route, will think it wholly inexpedient, if not unconstitutional, to make the road at all. One of the genmea from North Carolina, [Mr. Canson] I believe, said that he would vote against the bill upon any route, but had warmly urged, if the road was made, that the middle was the only true route. Here is a conflict between sections —between masses of your population, whose local interests come in collision; and how are this Congress to decide between them? My two colleagues have stated in their places, that, in their opinion, the western is the only true route, and they think it would be inexpedient to make the road on any other. The two gentlemen from North Carolina have stated in their places, that, in their opinion, the middle is the only true route, and that it would be inexpedient to make the road on any other route; and, doubtless, there are gentlemen here residing on the southern route, who think that the best and only expedient route. The engineers, in their report, have cautiously left the scales equally balanced between these respective main routes and their several subordinate branches; and how are we to decide I know, sir, it is exceedingly popular to tell the people of any section of the country that the Government is about to expend large amounts of public money amongst them for improvements. But when you tell them that it is their own money, that they are taxed to pay it, and that there is a national debt to pay, will the people of any one section or district agree that it shall be expended in another, and for the local advantage of another? No, if they get it themselves, it is well; if it goes to their neighbors, it is unjust and all wrong. Sir, this is, perhaps, natural ; we are selfish beings; and 1 beg my colleagues to understand me, when I speak of local interests, as not intending to apply my remarks to their districts exclusively : their constituents are like the constituents of other gentlemen, and equally operated upon by their local interests. I mean to show the effect generally, and upon all sections, of these splendid schemes of internal improvement which have been projected; of the hundreds of reconnoissances and surveys of roads and canals which have been made. I mean to show the delusion practised upon whole communities, whereby they are bought up to the support of these splendid schemes, by the lure of local advantages held out to them; by the promise to scatter and squander the public money in the construction of a road or canal, leading through their immediate neighborhoods, and, thereby, addressing itself to their local interests. This bill, and the discussion we have had upon it, furnishes the best practical commentary we could possibly have had upon this system; and I beg leave to exemplify, by a particular examination of its details, the tendency and inevitable consequences of persisting in it. You are about to construct a mammoth road, fifteen hundred miles in length, from Buffalo, in the State of New York, to New Orleans, passing by this city; and you propose, by this bill, to appropriate two millions and a quarter of dollars, to be applied to this object. From this city to New Orleans, the bill provides that the road shall pursue the general course of one of the branches of the western route. This end of the road I will examine presently. From this eity to Buffalo the road is not located to any particular route by the bill. It is to go from here to Buffalo, and that is the only designation. The' particular locality is to be decided by commissioners. Now, how many reconnaissances have been made between these two points, and how many routes surveyed in this age of engineering I hold a document in my hand, sir, from the Engineer Deartment, which is a perfect anomaly, and furnishes the §: practical illustration of the practical operations of his

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system. By this document it appears that twenty-one distinct routes have been examined; and, take my word for it, every town, and village, and hamlet, and every mill, cross road, and tavern house, on each and every one of these twenty-one routes, expect this road; and each has no doubt that this is the only national way; and that on either of the others the road would be utterly useless and inexpedient. Yes, sir, there have been surveyed five grand routes and fifteen subordinate or collateral routes, from this city to Buffalo, a distance of about three hundred and seventy-five miles. The five grand routes are designated in the report of the engineers: The Eastern route, The Western route," " The Painted Post route, The Pine creek route, The Direct route. The eastern route has been surveyed in nine different directions. Qne of these is to pass “Fredericktown, Gettys. burg, Carlisle, Millerstown, Lewistown, Karthaus, Drift. wood creek, Port Alleghany, Olean, Aurora.” The people on this route, and in these towns, if they are like all others whose local interests are addressed, will have no doubt but that this is the only proper route, that is, the only national route; and they .# be greatly dissatisfied if they do not get the road. But on eight other branches of the grand “eastern route,” each passing through other towns and other neighborhoods, the people will have as little doubt that theirs is the national route, and that they are entitled to the road. The grand “western route” has been surveyed in three different directions; one of these is to pass Hagerstown, Loudon, Huntington, Philipsburg, Trout Run, Instantur, Ellicottsville, Barton. In the estimation of the people on this route, this would be the national way, and they would be entitled to this great road. But the grand “Painted Post route,” (and I frankly acknow

ledge that my limited knowledge of the topography of

the country does not inform me where the “Painted Post” is,) with its four distinct branches, are, no doubt, exceedingly national; and each branch of it exclusively so, in the opinion, at least, of those whose local interests are address. ed by it. One of the four branches of this route would W. Westminster, Siddonstown. Valley of Susquehanna,

o Peter's Camp, Bath, Mount Morris. But the grand “Pine creek route;" aye, sir, the grand “Pine creek route,” with its four distinct subordinate branches, must not be overlooked. Doubtless that will be the most national route of all, at all events in the opinion of the settlers on Pine creek. (I suppose there is such a creek from the name of the route) and by the people in the neighborhood whose local interests are addressed by it. One of the four branches of this grand route will pass through Wormleysburg, Uniontown, Jersey shore, Cowdersport, Oswego creek, Olean, Aurora. And, lastly, in this document, comes the “direct route,” which would pass Weedsborough, Shippensburg, Valley of Driftwood Creek, Barton. Here, then, sir, in the rage for engineering, surveying, reconnoitering, and electioneering, during the last administration, the hopes and expectations of a whole scope of country near a hundred miles in width, filled, I admit, with as virtuous and respectable a population as any in the Union, on twenty-one distinct routes for this road, have been raised on tiptoe. Each expects, and each has no doubt that it is entitled to the road. The hopes of all are kept up. The representatives of each and all these routes vote for this bill. But all cannot be gratified. Twenty of the twenty-one routes must be disappointed; and if this bill located the road to some one of the routes definitely, I have my doubts whether the representatives here of all the other routes would not vote against it. It is not the policy of the friends of this project to locate the road definitely in the bill, for they might thereby lose votes from the other routes, and the bill

might be lost. Why are not the friends and advocates of this bill willing to designate in the bill the precise route of the road to Buffalo Evidently from the conviction, on their part, that they would lose the support of the representatives of all the other routes. I appeal to gentlemen themselves, who support this bill, if this is a fair and states. man-like legislation. If the road must be made, why not fix the route in the law which authorizes its construction ? Sir, we all understand how it happened that these several routes, twenty-one in number, came to be examined by brigades of topographical engineers. The examinations were made through portions of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the western part of New York, during the last administration, and during the heat of the canvass for the last Presidential election. Some hopes were, likely, entertained, that these respective portions of the country might give their support to the then administration in the ensuing election. And, in order to stimulate the people, and ensure (as it was supposed) their support the more certainly, brigades of engineers were sent out in twenty different directions, to survey a great road. This powerful and delusive branch of Executive patronage was employed to induce whole sections, whose local interests were addressed, to believe, that, if they wanted this road, the best way to secure it was, to support the then administration. We have all seen and known the powerful effect of these reconnoissances of the United States' engineers through the country. I speak not of this project alone. Why was it that this road to Buffalo, all of a sudden, should have been deemed of so much national importance Why should the delusion be kepd up any longer? The certain effect of this system, as exemplified by this road, is, first, to excite hopes; second, to produce conflicts of section arrayed against section; id: lastly, dissatisfaction and heart-burn. ings amongst all who are not accommodated. I come now to examine the southern portion of this road, that from this city to New Orleans. ree grand routes have been projected : the eastern, the middle, and the western, each with its subordinate and collateral routes. The distance between the extreme points of the western and eastern routes, is near six hundred miles; and the first thing that forcibly strikes the mind is, that here is an immense country, the extreme lateral points of which are six hundred miles apart, each and every portion of which has been flattered with the hope, excited by the visit or reconnoissances of the United States' engineers, that each would have this great road to pass through each respective section of country. This bill provides that it shall be taken upon the general direction of the western route, as surveyed by the United States' engineers; but does any one know, can either of my colleagues tell me, where its precise locality will be On the western route, from Washington as far as Lexington, in Virginia, we are informed, by the report of the engineers, that “two directions have been examined in relation to the western route, one through Rock Fish Gap, the other through Snicker's Gap.” The people on both doubtless expect, but both cannot get it. From Lexington it passes Abingdon to Knoxville. At Knoxville the route forks. The main route, first surveyed, diverges from that point to the left, passes New Philadelphia, Athens, enters Alabama, passes Centreville, Demopolis, and thence to New Orleans. The other branch from Knoxville passes the Crab Orchard, Sparta, Winchester, Huntsville, in Alabama, hence to Baton Rouge, to New Orleans. The bill does not determine which of these routes it is to go. If it should be located on the New Philadelphia route from Knoxville, as one of my colleagues, [Mr. BLAIR l if I understood him, contends it ought, it will not touch the district represented by my other colleague [Mr. Isacks]; it will not then address itself to the local interests of his constituents; and, in that event, I desire to know whether he will consider it sufficiently national to vote for it; would

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