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he be willing that the money of his constituents should be expended to construct it on any other than his own route I shrewdly suspect he would not. If it so happens that it should not cross Cumberland mountain at all, his constituents will be apt to think they have been badly treated, and that it would be inexpedient to make the road on any other route. And if it does cross Cumberland mountain, New Philadelphia and the people on that route will be dissatisfied. If gentlemen are determined to construct this road, I submit to them whether it would not be better to have the precise route fixed with certainty, by previous survey, and then consider of the expediency of passing a law to construct it. But that is objected to; and why? I know of no reason, except that the bill would lose some of its present support, by locating the road to any one route definitely, All those routes which did not get it would fly off and vote against it. I shall vote against this bill, let the route be where it may. I have brought to the notice of the committee the conflicting interests of different sections, and large masses of your population arrayed against each other, for the purpose of showing the corrupting tendency of this whole system, by addressing itself to the sordid ihterests of sections and localities. I speak of the tendencies and certain effects of the system. I do not wish to be misunderstood by my colleagues, or any one else, upon this subject. I do not intend to impute to them or their constituents anything which does not equally apply to my own, and to the constituents of every other gentleman upon this floor. There are but few districts that will resist the lure of local gain, in the shape of a road or a canal, if ou will hold it out to them. I have seen something of its effects in my own district. This same national road was mounted as a political hobby, three or four years ago, in that district. For a time, the people seemed to be carried away with the prospect of having millions of public money expended among them. We were to have a main route and cross routes intersecting the district in every direction. It was to run down every creek, and pass through almost every neighborhood in the district. As soon as there was time for reason to assume her seat, the delusion passed off. The people, very properly reflected that the money to build the road was collected by taxes paid in part by them. o reflected, too, that the nation owed a debt of many millions, upon which a large annual interest was paid. Their better judgment taught them that it was time enough, if ever, to enter upon these splendid and extravagant schemes of internal improvement when the public debt was paid. And, sir, this is the conclusion to which the people of every district must and will finally come, when they properly understand the practical operations of the system. The delusion may, and o; will, continue as long as localities and sections are flattered with the immediate prospect of gain to themselves, at the cost of all the rest of the people of the Union. But, sooner or later, the veil which obscures the vision will be rent asunder; they will see the evil effect of this system, and put it down. There is one remarkable fact attending the discussion of this bill, which illustrates the tendency of which I have spoken. Every gentleman who has advocated it, with the single exception of the honorable chairman who reported it, represents districts through which some one or other of the many routes of this mammoth road is expected to pass. Each advocates his particular part of the road, and seems to have but little care for any other. The gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. RAMSEY] advocates the Buf. falo end of the road; that passes through his district. He says he leaves the New Orleans end of the road to other gentlemen who are interested in it. My two colleagues, and the two gentlemen from Virginia, who have addressed the committee, argue to prove the importance of the New Orleans end of the road; they leave the Buffalo end to

gentlemen who are more particularly interested in it. What does this prove, sir? Why, that we are each repre: senting our own local interest; and to what will it lead, and to what has it led upon this very bill? To combina: tions of local interests, to effect that which no one local interest by itself could effect. Why was it that the road from Washington to Buffalo, and the road from Washington to New Orleans, were united in one bill Was there any necessary connexion between them Were they ever united before the present session Was such a union ever dreamt of before ? Am I at liberty to suppose that they were united for the purpose of combining local interests enough to carry the whole, but which neither, standing independent of the other, could effect? I put it to my colleagues, and to the two gentlemen from Virginia, to know if they would vote, if their constituents would justify them in voting away so large a sum of the people's money, to construct the road from Washington to #. if the New Orleans end of the road was struck out of this bill. Would the gentlemen residing on the Buffalo end deem it expedient to vote for the New Orleans end, if that to Buffalo was struck out Sir, I beg gentle: men to trace the operations of these combinations of local interests a little further. I hold in my hand an amend. ment laid upon the table by a gentleman from Massachu. setts, [Mr. Richandson] a few days ago, and printed H order of the House, which he intends to offer to this bil as soon as he can get the floor. I will read it. . Sir, it pro. poses to extend the road “from Buffalo, in the State of New York, to the head of Lake Champlain, in Vermont, and thence to Boston, in the State of assachusetts." If this amendment should be adopted, we shall have a gigantic, a tremendous road, indeed. A road from Boston to New Orleans. If this does not give strength enough to the bill to pass, add more to it. Extend it to Hartford, if you please; we may need a military road in that direction, in the event of another war. If this is not still sufficient, I see a bill reported, and now upon our tables, proposing to appropriate forty-four thousand dollars “to improve Back creek;" and where Back creek is, I am again at fault, no doubt from my want of knowledge of the geo: graphy of the country; but it must, of course, be a great national work. Add this to one end of this road; put on it “Conneaut creek” and “Cunningham creek," and divers other creeks, which I see have been surveyed by the United States' engineers as great national objects, and be sure that you unite local interests enough to carry the bill. This is the magnificent and beautiful system that is now in the full tide of experiment. Can we close our eyes, if we would, upon its unequal, unjust, and pernicious operation, both here and upon the community, if it is persisted in I have spoken of conflicts between sections of country, and between different masses of people arrayed against each other, and I have spoken of combinations of inte: rests to effect a common purpose. These conflicts and combinations will exist, not only out of this House, but in it. They will exist here; and, by saying this, I do not wish to i. understood as imputing any thing wrong to any one. It is the natural and almost inevitable consequence, if this system goes on. The combinations of the strong sections of the Union represented in this House will over: shadow and overpower the weak; and in this general scramble for the public money, (for I can callit by no other name,) the weak will get no portion of the spoil. I have taken this road as one out of the many objects of improvement which have been projected, to illustrate the evil tendencies and pernicious effects of this system generally. From a report of the Board of Topographical Engineers, communicated to Congress at its last session, I find that, on the 8th of December, 1828, there had been projected and surveyed one hundred and twenty-eight distinct objects national internal improvement. Since that time we have no report showing the increased number. No one knows


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how many more there are. All, of course, great national works. The power to construct each and all of them according to the doctrines of the advocates of this system, is derived either from the war-making, the commercial, or the post office powers. In this document we find, among other equally national works, the following truly important projects; “survey of Conneaut creek, with a view to its improvement;" removing obstructions at the mouth of Ashtabula creek;” “survey at the mouth of Sandy creek,” &c.; and how many other creeks of great national importance, have been surveyed and examined, I will uot fatigue the committee by reciting. Each gentleman can examine this very interesting document for himself. One or two others, however, I must mention, before I pass from this document. I find, sir, a “survey of the Cobboseconte canal route,” a “survey of the Winnepiseogee canal route.” (I do not know that I pronounce these names right. The learned gentleman before me [Mr. EveRETr] says I do. . I am glad of it. I believe it is the first time I ever saw the words in my life.) But no doubt they are great national works. I find, too, there has been a “survey of the Sunapee canal route,” a “survey of the levels of the Androscoggin river,” a “survey of the Ammonoosack canal route,” and many other such great national works. Every creek, and mill path, and corner of the country, at which a United States' engineer touches, assumes, as if by magic, nationality of character. It is at once dubbed a great public improvement, and its construction by Congress clearly authorized, according to the doctrines of the advocates of this system, under the war, the commercial or the post office powers. Whatever the President, or his engineers, or Congress, in their discretion, choose to denominate national works, become so ipso facto; but there is no security that what is national this year will continue to be so the next. I have no means of calculating what the probable cost of constructing all the works contained in the long catalogue of projects contained in this document would be. I have o: that some general estimate has been made, by which it is calculated that it will require the revenue which we may have to spare for more than half a century to come, to complete them. All cannot be constructed at once, and presently we will see conflicts between the friends of different objects for precedence in point of time. When we contemplate the illimitable extent of these visionary and wild schemes; when we see the abuses to which it has been, and may be, subject, in scattering and wasting the public money; when we see that it has been, and may again be, used as a powerful branch of Executive patronage, to buy up whole sections of country to the support of the “powers that be,” even if there was an express grant of power in the constitution, ought we not to stop in our wild career, and pause and hesitate before we push it further ? I beg leave now to notice some of the arguments which have been urged in support of this bill, and to inquire what advantages would result in a national point of view, from the construction of this road. I admit that good roads are an advantage to a neighborhood, or county, or State, or the nation; and if made by the proper authority, and if they do not cost too much, I do not object to them. But all roads are not national ; and some of the benefits which my colleagues suppose would be derived from the construction of this road, in the manner proposed, I am sure are rather ideal than real. One of my colleagues [Mr. Isacks] urged, with much earnestness, that it would be a saving of thirty-nine thousand dollars per annum in the transportation of the mail. A very short examination, in a more financial view, will show the fallacy of this argument. I understand that the average cost of transporting the mail in stages, on the present roads, from Buffalo to New Orleans, is fifty-two dollars per mile. The distance is fifteen hundred miles. At this rate, the amount paid annually is seventy-eight thousand dollars. This bill pro

poses to appropriate two and a quarter millions of dollars to make a mud road. The interest for a year . this sum, at six per cent, per annum, is one hundred and thirtyfive thousand dollars. So that the simple interest per annum, upon the amount now proposed to be expended to commence this road, will be fifty-seven thousand dollars more than the whole amount now paid for transporting the mail on the present roads. Now the money, if left in the pockets of the people, and especially in the Western States, is always worth simple interest, and more; and will my colleague tell me where the saving, in a pecuuiary point of view, upon which he dwelt with so much confidence, would be? If we estimate the value of this improvement by a calculation of dollars and cents, will there not be a clear loss instead of a saving But the two and a quarter millions, to be expended under the provisions of this bill, will be but a small portion of the amount which will be required to complete it. This is only intended by the advocates of the bill to make it a mud road. It will not be more than sufficient to locate it, to clear out the brush, to throw up the earth, and graduate it. To eonstruct it upon the McAdam plan, the engineers, in their report, estimate that it will cost:

From Buffalo to Washington, - -
From Washington to New Orleans, -

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Making a total of - - - $7,874,866 22

This immense sum, as all other estimates for similar works have proved to be, will doubtless fall much below the real cost. - But suppose this sum to be sufficient to construct it, the annual interest upon it, at six per cent. per annum, will be four hundred and seventy-two thousand four hundred and ninety-one dollars and ninety-six cents. The interest upon the cost of construction will be more than six-times the whole amount now paid per annum for transporting the mail. Where, then, will be the saving of which my colleague speaks : . If we take the actual cost of the Cumberland road as the criterion by which to estimate the probable cost of this, it will amount to more than twenty-one millions of dollars; and the annual interest upon the cost will be more than a million of dollars. The road when made will have to be kept in repair; and if we take our experience upon the Cumberland road as any evidence of what is to occur upon this road when made, we shall be called upon annually to make large *F. ations to keep it up. And if we do not make them, it will dilapidate and go to ruin. The States through which it will pass will have the humiliating honor of being annual beggars for life at your door, asking for appropriations to keep it in repair. This, sir, is the saving we will witness. his great road, according to the arguments of my colleague, §: BLAIR) is to constitute a great artery from the southern extremity of the Union to the northern border; is to afford facilities for the marching of troops and the transportation of the means of defence from the interior to the extremes, in the event of war. He insists that the munitions of war could be transported, the troops from Kentucky and Tennessee could be marched upon it in a much shorter time, to the defence of the southern frontier. Now, sir, all who will examine the map of these two States will at once perceive that it would require more time for an army from Kentucky and some portions of Tennessee to march across the country to get to this road, than it would to go on board a steamboat on the Ohio or Tennessee river, go to the South, fight the battle, and almost get home again. From Knoxville, by land, through Alabama to New Orleans, the way this road is to go, is more than seven hundred miles. If this road is to be constructed, either for military or commercial purposes, or for the transportation of the mail, any one who looks upon the map will perceive that the proper route would be direct from Knoxville to Memphis, or some other

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point on the Mississippi river, from which steamboats run at all seasons of the year. It would pass, on this route, through a portion of the country upon which New Orleans must depend for defence in the event of war; the land travel would be shortened from two to four hundred miles; and at the Mississippi you would be within two or three days of New Orleans. If any road is to be made for national or for any other purposes, this is the direction it ought to take. The Legislature of Tennessee, at its late session, have said that the State contemplates making a road from the Virginia line to the Mississippi river; they have asked the co-operation of Virginia to extend the road through that State; and she has said further, that the only manner in which this Government could give any aid, in the construction of such S works, “ consistent with the sovereignty of the States, and the legitimate powers of the United States,” was by subscription for stocks in companies incorporated by the States. I do not mention this to raise the constitutional question; I only mention it to show, if the friends of this system are determined to make this road, regardless of all consequences, they ought to make it in the most useful direction. I understand that an amendment will be offered to change the route to the Mississippi river; for that I shall vote, but will finally vote against the bill on any route. To East Tennessee, whether in a military or commercial point of view, if improvements must be made, I submit to my colleagues and to the committee, whether it would not be of infinitely more advantage, and at less than a fourth of the cost of this road, to remove the obstructions in the Tennessee river, and connect the waters of the Tennessee with the rivers flowing into the bay of Mobile by a short canal. Could not troops and the products exported reach the points of destination much earlier and much easier by water than by this road As to military purposes, no enemy is likely to invade our southern border at any other season than in the winter, and at that season our rivers are always navigable. East of the Alleghany mountain, from Western Virginia, the road to market, or to the defence of Virginia, is to Richmond or Norfolk. There are already good roads made by State authority from Staunton and Charlottesville to Richmond. From this city to Buffalo, how a road was ever conceived to be of importance in a national point of view, I do not know. The gentleman from Virginia, near me, [Mr. MERCER) formerly at the head of the Committee on Roads and Canals, no doubt can tell. He has a peculiar felicity in nationalizing every object of improvement, whether it be the mouth of a creek, or a neighborhood canal or road. ... If that gentleman shall be blessed with a continuance of life and health for twenty years more, and continues in the service of this House, I have no doubt he will be the most voluminous writer of the age upon the subject of roads and canals. He will leave a posthumous reputation behind him that will live in the documentary history of the country. And it will be fortunate for him if that reputation sustains no injury; from the fact that he has largely contributed to fasten upon the country a system that will embarrass the finances, oppress the people with unnecessary taxation, and distract the harmony of the Union. - I cannot ū. express my utter astonishment and deep regret at the argument that fell from another gentleman [Mr. ŠMyth, of Virginia] in support of this bill. It is true this road is expected to pass through his district, and addresses itself to the local interests of his constituents; but he is the last man in the House that I should have expected to see shake and falter in his long settled opinions. It is the strongest evidence we could have of the effects of this system, when it addresses itself to the local interests of sections. In the course of a long service here, the gentleman has uniformly denied the power of this Government to prosecute this system. In 1824, his lo. mind operated upon this great subject, and he delivered an ar

gument upon this floor, which gained him a reputation which I am sorry to see him about to impair. In his argument upon this bill, he still denies the power, not only to construct, but to appropriate money to construct, roads and canals within the }. of the States. He ". his vote for this bill upon a ground which no one before had thought of. He places it upon the ground of compact with the States of Alabama and Mississippi, and says it rests upon the same ground that the power to construct the Cumberland road rested. Will the gentleman inform the committee, if the constitution does not confer the power upon Congress, (and he says it does not,) how it is that a compact or a bargain with a territory about to be admitted into the Union, or how it is that an agreement with a single State can confer it. What is the compact with Alabama and Mississippi; Nothing more than that which has been made with most of the new States, upon their admission into the Union. It is, that five per cent of the nett proceeds of the sales of the public lands within their res tive limits shall be reserved, three-fifths of which shall be applied by the legislature of that State to make roads within the State, and two-fifths to the “making a road or roads to the said State, under the direction of Congress 1" What is the compact with Ohio? It is, that one-twentieth, or five |. cent of the nett proceeds of the sales of the public ands within that State “shall be applied to the laying out and making public roads, leading from the navigable waters emptying into the Atlantic, to the Ohio, to the said State, and through the same, such roads to be laid out under the authority of Congress, with the consent of the several States through which the road shall pass.” Although the consent of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, through whose territory the Cumberland road passed, from the navigable waters of the Atlantic to the Ohio, was given, yet, so strong have the gentleman's opinions heretofore been against the exercise of this power by Congress, that he has uniformly voted against all appropriations to construct or repair the Cumberland road. At the first session of the last Congress, at the very last session, he voted against an appropriation for this object. He now says that, under the compact with Alabama and Mississippi, if the road passes through any part of the territory of those States, we have the power to construct it, and as there is no point of beginning designated in the compact, we may begin it at Buffalo, or any other point, op. it through the territory of several intermediate States, whose consent has not been given. The consent of the gentleman's own State has not been given, and I shrewdly suspect will not be. The gentleman's argument amounts to this: that although in his opinion the constitution does not confer the power, yet, if you think proper to begin a road in one corner of, Alabama or Mississippi, you may extend and ramify it all over the Union, and that, too, without the consent of the other States, upon the ground of compact. Surely the gentleman, upon further reflection, will not attempt to maintain this position. But, if he could, we are not authorized or bound, by the compact itself, to appropriate more than the five per cent of the nett proceeds of the sales of the lands within those States. This bill appropriates much more. Suppose it could be placed on this ground; are Alabama and Mississippi asking for the execution of this compact, by passing this bill, or making this gigantic road They are not. You have no memorials upon your table from those States for any such purpose. The representative from Mississippi upon this floor is opposed to the bill; the delegation from Alabama are divided; I understand a majority of them will vote against the bill. The gentleman must look out for some other ground—this certainly cannot be maintained. The constitutional question I shall not argue or touch. It has long since been exhausted. But I beg to look at some of the details of this bill, and inquire of its advocates how they are to avoid some of the inherent difficulties

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which must present themselves in the construction of this road through the States. Commissioners are to be appointed to receive releases from the owners of lands over which the road is to pass. But, suppose the owners are minors, non-residents, or beyond seas, how are you to procure the release ? Suppose the owner is unwilling to give it to you, will you extend the arm of the federal power, and coerce him You have not ventured to put such a provision in the bill. That would be too bold. It might alarm the State sovereignties, and create resistance–constitutional resistance, I mean. It might produce collisions, difficult to manage, between the federal and State authorities. The same power that would enable you, by force, and against the consent of the owner and the State, to run your road through a man's plantation, would enable you to cut down his orchard, to demolish his houses, or to tear down court-houses if they stood in your way. Will you assume ...so over the road, and punish offences committed upon it, by the federal judiciary These are weighty considerations, worthy of much deliberation. If this road crosses the mountains at Rockfish Gap, it will intersect a State turnpike road, constructed by a company incorporated by the State of Virginia. Can this Govern. ment and the State of Virginia both exercise exclusive jurisdiction, at one and the same time, over the same space, and on the same subject matter? This turnpike company have vested rights under their charter, and the State of Virginia is pledged to guaranty them; and if their private interest should be affected by the construction of this road, and they should appeal to Virginia to make good her guaranty, is there no danger of serious collision ? I merely throw out these things for the consideration of gentlemen, without intending to enter into the argument. But my colleague [Mr. BLAIR) says that the question is settled; the constitutional question, I suppose, he means. Without admitting the fact, suppose, for the purposes of the present argument, that it was, is that any reason why we should vote for every visionary and extravagant proposition which shall be so under the guise and livery and name of internal improvement? Is it any reason why we should beggar the treasury, or postpone the payment of the public debt? But my colleague says that he would have the Government to do as he himself would do as an individual. If he had plenty of money, he says, he would buy a new coat; but if he had not, he would do without it. And if the Government has a full treasury, he would make a road. Let me ask him if he had plenty of money, as he calls it, and was indebted, if it would not be the part of prudence first to pay the debt, and then consider whether he could afford to get the coat? And if the nation is indebted, let me ask him if it is not the part of prudence first to pay the national debt, and then consi. der of the propriety of making the road Î I would next call the attention of the committee to an argument of an extraordinary character, used in support of this bill by a gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. CâAIG.] The gentleman, if I understood him, i. the power of Congress to make roads through the States; without the consent of the States; but, as this road passed through his district, and addressed itself to the local interests of his constituents, he concluded to vote for this bill, without the consent of the States. The reasons assigned for the vote were singular enough. They were, that the money was already in the treasury; and whether it got there constitutionally or unconstitutionally, it was the people's money, and we should not keep it on hand, useless and idle, but should distribute it amongst the people. The gentle. man takes for granted a fact which does not exist. We have not a dollar on hand but what we have immediate use for either in defraying the expenses of the Government, * in paying the debt. He seemed to suppose that the treasury was overflowing; that it was laboring under a dropsical affection; and he proposes to relieve it by tapVoI. VI.-88.

ping. Now, I would say to the gentleman, that he ouglé to be certain, in the first place, that the disease exists. In my opinion, he has mistaken the symptoms. But, if it does exist, I have understood that tapping is a very dangerous operation, and ought never to be undertaken but by senior physicians, and then not until all other means to save the patient had failed. The honorable chairman of the committee, [Mr. HEMPHILL] who reported this bill, is a senior; but even he should not hazard so perilous an operation, without a regular consultation of political doctors. There is, I believe, in some of the colleges, such a degree as bachelor of medicine, and those who take it are accounted junior members of the profession. The gentleman from Virginia, and my two colleagues, have taken this degree, but are not yet entitled to be ranked as seniors. §. junior members of the profession ordinarily enter upon the practice by dealing in simples. They commence by drawing teeth, blood-letting, and administering simple sudorifics; but it is contrary to all rule for them to use the knife in difficult surgical operations. And I would say to my two colleagues, and to the gentleman from Virginia, that they ought to be exceedingly cautious how they enter upon the operation which they are about to perform; should take care that they do not draw off from the body politic too much of its substance, and thereby leave the patient in an enfeebled and sickly state. It might linger and die on their hands. Sir, to be serious, you are about to tap the treasury with a vengeance. I have taken some pains to ascertain the amount proposed to be appropriated at this session of Congress for objects of internal improvement. The amount proposed to be appropriated by the bills already reported upon this subject, and now upon the table, including the two and a quarter millions contained in this bill, amount to four million two hundred and thirty-nine thousand dollars for the present year. How many more projects are under examination in the Committee on Internal Improvements, I do not know, but we know that we have a new bill reported to us every day. Have gentlemen looked to the state of the treasury to see whether it will bear these heavy appropriations? Will they invade the sinking fund, and check the payment of the national debt? We all know, that, besides the annual sinking fund of ten millions, whatever surplus may at any time remain in the treasury, over two millions, is applicable, by the act of 1817, to the o of the interest and extinguishment of the principal of the national debt. And whatever appropriations are made for objects of internal improvement, or for any other purpose other than the necessary expenses of the Government, is so much subtracted from the payment of the debt. I was sorry to hear the sentiment fall from my worthy colleague, o: BrAIR..] In his zeal to pass this bill, he said he need not be told that the public debt must be paid before we go into this system. I differ from my colleague in opinion. We owe a debt of more than forty-eight millions of dollars upon which we pay an annual interest. And although our public debt is small, and indeed very trifling, when compared with the British debt, and perhaps that of every other civilized nation in the world—I look to its total and speedy extinguishment as an event devoutly to be wished for. A part of it is a debt, not only of obligation, but of gratitude; a debt of the revolution; a part of the price of the liberty we enjoy. I am gratified that it is a part of the policy of the present administration speedily to pay it... I would make none but the necessary appropriations for the support of Government, and thus leave in the hands of the Executive all the means which the receipts into the treasury would furnish, to enable him to accomplish it. H. by large and extravagant appropriations, we absorb a large

rtion of the revenue in objects of internal improvements, its payment, pro tanto, must be retarded. I wish to see this nation exhibit to the world the rare spectacle of a great and a powerful people freed from her pecuniary

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£bligations; of a nation possessing vast resources, without a debt of a dollar. My colleague complains that large disbursements are made on tide water in fortifications, in building ships, in supporting a navy and army, in preparing the means of defence, and in protecting commerce, and he wishes to distribute a portion of the public money in other quarters of the Union. He does not expect an equal distribution under the operation of this favorite system of his, but he would have it so as nearly as may be. It is idle to talk about equality in this general scramble for the public crumbs. We o never get it. The system itself, if it goes on, is unequal and unjust, and we can never expect to receive, our due proportion. We had better pay off the debt first, and then reduce the taxes, modify the tariff, and leave in the pockets of the people all that is not absolutely necessary for the support of Government. My colleague candidly admitted, in the course of argument, that if the money was collected by a direct tax upon the people, he would not vote to appropriate it for this or any other object of internal improvement. Now what is the difference? Do not the people now pay every dollar of the revenue by a tax imposed upon them, and paid by them, in a different mode 1 The tax collector, it is true, does not go to their doors, and demand and receive the portion of each. Each individual does not see the amount of tax which he pays go into the hands of the collector; but, notwithstanding, he pays the tax in the increased price that he pays upon almost every article of necessity which he eats, drinks, or wears. He pays it upon every bushel of salt he uses, upon every pound of iron, upon coffee, tea, sugar; upon every blanket and great coat that protects him from the inclemency of the season in winter. In short, every head of a family, whether rich or, poor, pays a tax, and a heavy tax, in the increased price he pays upon every article himself or his family buys or are compelled to use, and which he does not furnish himself by his own labor or the domestic industry of his family. The revenue of the country is collected by a tax upon the people of the country. The tax is an indirect one . It is a tax on consumption; but it is as much a tax, and is as oppressive upon the people, as if it was a direct tax. According to the admission of my colleague, if the tax was paid directly by the people, so that each indivi. dual could see, and feel, and know, the precise amount which he did pay, he would not vote for this or any other appro riation for similar objects; but as the tax, although paid by the people, is collected in a different mode, and the people do not so well see and know the amount the do pay, he will vote for this and all other similar propositions; the argument is, in fact, this: If the mass of the people saw and understood the amount of taxes they pay, my colleague, and others who favor this system, would not, and dare not, vote to waste and squander public money in projects like this. There are not a dozen members upon this floor—I doubt whether there is a single individual, who would dare to support this system in the wild and vi. sionary extent to which it has been pushed, if the revenue was collected by a direct tax, or if the amount of taxation actually paid under the present mode of collection, by imposts and duties, could be brought home to the knowledge of each gentleman's constituents. The whole annual revenue of the United States, paid by the people in the shape of indirect taxation, may be ut down in round numbers at twenty-four millions of doli. it is about that amount. The aggregate of federal population, including three-fifths of the slaves, taken into the enumeration by the constitution, is about twelve millions of souls. Double the number of dollars, then, are collected than there are souls in the United States; so that every man, woman, and child, in the country, pays an average tax of two dollars per head. Each head of a family probably pays, upon an average, an annual tax of fifteen or twenty dollars. About half the annual revenue,

or about twelve millions of dollars, is required to pay the necessary expenses of the Government. For the nece: sary support of Government, the people, every where, will ... submit to any amount of taxation. The other half, or about twelve millions of dollars annually, is applicable to the payment of the principal and interest of the public debt, unless it is diverted from that application by appropriations such as this. After the debt is paid, as cording to the presentrates of taxation, the people will pay twelve millions of dollars per annum, or a dollar a head for every soul more than is required for the support of the Government. When the debt is paid, will the people of this country submit to pay this enormous and unnecessary tax, merely for the purpose of euabling their representatives here to scramble for it, and waste it by unequal disbursements in wild projects of internal improvements, or for any other purposes 1 or will not public opinion force you to reduce your taxes, and thus leave in the pockets of your people a great portion of what they now are compelled to pay Sir, let me apply these palpable facts to my own State, to the districts of my two colleagues, and to my own district, and see how the account stands. The constituents of my colleagues and myself, and the mass of the peo: ple of Tennessee, are agriculturists. The population of that State is about six hundred thousand souls; and upon the supposition that they pay their ratable proportion of the annual revenue, (and no one doubts the fact) they then pay annually, in the shape of indirect taxation, one million two hundred thousand dollars. Half this amount, or six hundred thousand dollars, goes to the support of the Go: vernment, leaving the other half, or six hundred thousand dollars annually, to pay the public debt, and, after the debt is paid, if the taxes are brought down to the necessities of the Government, leaving in the pockets of the people of that State six hundred thousand dollars per year, no longer required from them in the shape of taxes. Suppose this system of internal improvement should be persisted in after the debt is paid, and the people should continue to be taxed to raise money to carry it on; let me ask either of my colleagues if they believe that Tennessee, in this general scuffle, when all will be contending for as much as they can get, will ever receive six hundred thousand dollars per annum for her share Will she ever receive back as much as she pays in She will not. And if she did, upon what principle of sound political economy is it, that you will ... a tax from your people, for the mere purpose of re-distributing or returning it back to them? It will be impossible, under any system that you can adopt, to re-distribute the money to the different sections of the Union in the same proportion that it is contributed. • Is this system of excessive taxation to endure forever? And must this system of internal improvement be kept up for the mere purpose of absorbing the surplus revenue; Does any thinking man suppose it will, or can There is one point, I believe, upon which tariff men and anti-tariff men are agreed, and that is, as soon as the debt is paid, at all events, gradually to reduce, and finally to repeal, the duties on all those articles which do not come in competition with our own manufactures. taxes upon all sections from seven to eight millions per annum. The surplus would then be from four to five millions per annum. Must this excess of taxes be kept up to carry on internal improvements? Will you still keep this surplus in the treasury, to wrangle and contend about here Did any wise Government in the world ever tax its people more than the exigencies of that Government required? I know it is the policy of the friends of a certain system to keep up the high taxes; to procrastinate the payment of the public debt; and, when it is paid, to have a plausible pretext to expend the surplus that is not needed for any necessary purposes of the Government. Sir, it is as well to speak out plainly what I think of this policy. The “American system,” as it is falsely called,

This will reduce the

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