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they operate The motive is too mean for avowal and concert, and a general indolence would be counteracted by the heads of committees, who control the business of this House, and no one of whom can be supposed to be of the number of the delinquents. Can there be among them any who, by mind, education, or character, are fitted to take an active part in our proceedings, and I trust I may say, without being suspected of spreading a general unction of flattery over ourselves, that a very large majority of such are here, to countervail the sordid selfishness of any of our associates. The insinuation includes more than is supposed by those who indulge in it, or who believe that its existence has any influence upon our proceedings. It is not that a small number are so mercenary, but either that a majority are so, or that a large portion of the majority are the auxiliaries of its influence. But, sir, neither this House nor any part of it is liable to the charge; and I invoke the feelings of human nature in its vindication. Of whom is Congress composed ? Of fathers and husbands, used to the quietudes and sweets of domestic life. When deprived of them for a few months, our hearts burn with a fondness to partake again of their enjoyment, which even avarice cannot control. The affections trample down every impediment in the way of their gratification; nor is their restlessness appeased until we are in possession of the objects of our love. The resolution has also been recommended to us upon the ground that it will lessen the expense of each Congress seventy-five thousand dollars. I think a more certain way of doing it has been shown, and, I repeat, the only difference between the gentleman and myself is as to the best way of doing it. It is certainly worth considering; but I would also remark that all saving is not economy. An investment is often made by individuals and nations, which brings a moral and political return far beyond the value of the expenditure. And, unnecessarily spent as this seems to have been, has it been productive of no good Is the information spread abroad by our debates no credit to which Congress is entitled Or, is it seriously believed, as gentlemen have impatiently declared, that our great evil and cause of delay is the prevalence of debate. Sir, much of our legislation is private, strictly so—much local; both involving a knowledge of many particulars which we should have, and can only acquire by patient listening, to enable us to vote understandingly. We have two things to do: first, to convince ourselves that we are acting right, and, by telling our reasons, to convince our constituents that we have done so. And uninteresting as the greater number of speeches may be that are spoken here, they are instructive to the people. Cut off this source of information—close your doors against your reporters, or, what will be the same, pass everything because your committees have recommended it, or reported a bill—reduce the reasons for all your measures to plain narrative, divested of all the charm, collision, and acuteness produced by debate, and half of the dignity of your Government will have been sacrificed, and our responsibility be lost sight of, in a general indifference to our proceedings. It is this indulgence of debate which tells the constituent of the real attitude and woight, here, of his representative; and it is the expectation, upon the part of the people, that it will be indulged and exhibited, which throws into the House so many possessing the talent. They know that our nation was spoken and written, as well as fought, into existence; and that, in many perilous |. of our history, the soldier's arm was nerved, and his heart warmed, with a hero's patriotism, by the animation of the orator. But, sir, I dismiss the subject, because, as yet, we are the only complainers, and our constituents have not admonished us that they think it an evil. There is a remaining consideration upon which the adoption of this resolution has been urged, and which is entitled to a remark. It is, that the compensation of mem

bers will be reduced, even if the session shall be extended

to its ordinary length, to still an ample allowance. I donot intend to dispute the sufficiency of the sum which will be received under such circumstances; but, without intending now to compromit myself to any course when the subject shall be directly presented to us, I cannot refrain from observing, if the reason given for it be correct, that it should be applied to the compensation of every officer in the Government, at least to all whose salaries have been increased in the last ten years, and which were not before absolutely insufficient. Such a work of reduction must be carried on in the gross; and when begun, though it may be an evidence of our sincerity and disinterestedness to become the first victims ourselves, it will not be esteemed abroad a proof of our sagacity, if we do not give to others a chance for the honors of such martyrdom. What, sir! money more valuable to us now, by fifty per cent, than it was twelve years since, when the question of compensation was settled between this House and the people, by the repeal of the salary law and the enactment of the present allowance. If our purchases were confined to the actual sustenance of life, as the same sum now will buy half as much of food again as it would have done then, and the consumption of men not having increased, the proposition would have the aspect of correctness. But if it be tested by the endless expenses required and forced upon us by our social condition, by the comparative prices of labor then and now, by the reduction, in our country, of every agricultural product, and the enhancement, by our tariff of almost all that we use, it will be found we have already paid a full price for this nominal appreciation of money. If invested in stock, does it give a larger interest than it did then? In the purchase of property, though it may get double the quantity . metes and bounds, will it yield a greater revenue, or is the prospective increase in the value of property, in any part of our country, at a given time to come, more than will be its present price with legal interest? Money is in value what it was, though paper is not so plentiful. It is fortunate that paper does not circulate to the same extent that it did twelve years since, by which an artificial value had been given to all kinds of produce and property; but though, by its withdrawal, we have been restored to a wholesome condition, a painful reaction was produced, from which the people of this nation are not yet relieved, far outweighing to them any additional value which the circumstances may seem to have given to money. Sir, money is the same in value that it was then, and will always, in commercial countries dealing extensively with others, be liable to be affected by causes which cannot be foreseen, and the products which it buys and itself reciprocally act upon each other. Things may be less in priee, without money being more valuable to a community at large. • Money is on more than an exchangeable medium for commerce, forced into use from its being a material more convenient than any other we have, as an index of value for other things; and the fluctuation in the quantity of produce which portions of it will buy at different times, is neither a certain evidence of general prosperity or declension—a proof that it is more or less valuable to the laborer, nor any criterion for altering the allowance of such as are in the public service. A word, sir, upon the amendment of the honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. EveRETT.] It is obi. because it will in effect produce the same imitation to the first session of Congress as the original resolution; and, by a comparison of the time of meeting which it proposes, with the ordinary periods, it will produce so little saving, either in time or money, that it may be viewed only as a question of convenience whether Congress shall commence its session in November or December. In my opinion, the present arrangement is more suitable to our employments as a nation. The inclement weather of the North puts a stop to all agricultural field

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work, and drives its inhabitants to in-door Öccupation. The professional man retires to his books, to prepare for spring and summer labors; and, in the South and West, from our times of harvest, the planter and farmer need the month of November to make arrangements for the transportation and sale of their produce. At no time can we come to the business of the nation, so little burdened with cares of our own, as that which has been fixed for the beginning of our sessions. A word more, sir, and I shall have concluded. I know there are gentlemen here with whom I am politically associated, who will vote for this resolution, because they believe the nation already oppressed by too much legislation, and that, by limiting the session, there will be a greater probability of being relieved from much which is intended to bear upon foreign commerce and southern interests. I warn those gentlemen to beware of doing an act which will permit our adversaries to augment our grievances, and, at the same time, to take from us the privilege of complaint, and of exposing their principles. Limit your sessions, without abridging the subjects of your jurisdiction, and the pressure of business will give a plausible excuse for stopping debate. And, from his experience this ses: sion, does not the honorable gentleman [Mr. *...] know that it will be done Sir, if my friends, dispirite by frequent discomfiture, believe no good can be done by entering again the battle ground of their distinction, let them remember we need time to undo some of what has been done; that it is by the discussion of our principles in this House, that they are to become triumphant and national. And let them be persuaded that they have recruits here from the so ready to aid in a renewal of the controversy, and who are not willing to be cut off from sharing the honors of victory or defeat. Mr. SMYTH, of Wirginia, next took the floor; but the hour having expired, the debate was arrested for the day.


The House then went into Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, Mr. HAynes in the chair, and resumed the consideration of a bill making an appropriation for the construction of the road from Buffalo, in New York, to New Orleans, in Louisiana, via Washington city.

Mr. CRAWFORD rose, and remarked that the bill now before the committee was one of very grave character, involving most important considerations of expediency, apart from the constitutional difficulty with which some gentlemen avowing no disposition to do so, had, involuntarily, he presumed, invested it. The power to construct roads and canals might once perhaps have admitted of great doubt, but [said Mr. C.] I defer to the decision of more experienced and wiser men, whose opinions for the last five and twenty years, expressed in legislative acts, have fixed the construction of the constitution too firmly to be now shaken—upon a basis on which this body constantly acts. Not an appropriation bill passes, that does not, in some shape or other, recognise the principle. ... A few days ago we acted affirmatively on a bill providing for an expenditure incurred by the removal of obstructions from the channels of several rivers, and within five minutes have approved of one of similar character. Putting aside this question as rem judicatam, as one passed upon, and so considered on almost every side, and not from the alarm which the gentleman from Virginia. [Mr. P. P. BARBoUR] was so kindly desirous of quieting, let us proceed. . What is the duty of a Government, or, rather, for what is any Government instituted To promote the happiness of those who establish it, by the proper exercise of all the powers confided. To develop the resources of a country, and of every part of it, by holding out the inducements which facilities of transportation furnish to increased in: dustry in o them, the experience of the world

ol. VI.-89.

has proved to be more effectual than any other policy which can be devised. A nation may flourish in every stage of improvement from, adventitious causes—by the misfortunes of ‘others, or some special good fortune that may attend her own condition. Such was our auspicious situation, from the formation of the present constitution until eighteen hundred and sixteen or seventeen. We had just emerged from provincial inferiority—the heavy hand of an oppressive Government had been not long before removed, and we felt the buoyancy and elasticity of youth: the change of our internal and relative political position, and the adoption of our new frame of Government, placed before us an extended and ol. Was not only enlivened and enriched in all its most beautiful tints, but over which was thrown every charm that could gratify the beholder, by the situation of the Eastern world, whose food we supplied, and whose trade we carried. But, sir, except under these favorable external circumstances, no nation never did prosper, no nation ever can prosper, nor even then to the extent of which she is capable, that is not supplied with the roads and means of transportation which a discreet and sober judgment shall assign to her condition. It is in vain that your manufacturers exercise their ingenuity and industry; that your farmers, as respectable and honored as any portion of your community, make you and themselves intrinsically richer, by drawing from the earth, annually, wealth which did not before exist, and that your merchants establish themselves as purchasers of their several commodities, if they cannot carry them to market, except at a sacrifice which blunts enterprise. Not to open these avenues, is to bury the talent entrusted to us. For what has a most indulgent and beneficent Providence spread before us, with the most liberal hand, all the bounties of nature? Is it that we shall use them as they are furnished, or, by the exercise of the intelligence that belongs to us, bring them into the most advantageous and productive activity? To maintain the affirmative of the first branch of the proposition, might accord with the opinions of the individual who opposed the making of a canal, because God had placed a river near its contemplated route, and he thought it would be sinful to aid his works. Not so is my view. I would assist the industry and enterprise of the country, in its various branchea . I would lend accommodation to its convenience, and I would, by every means in my power, place her in the best attitude for defence, if hostilities should arise between her and other powers. I would not have a splendid Government, any more than the honorable gentleman from Wirginia, [Mr. P. P. BARBour] but I am in great, very great error, if that which is intended for the benefit of the ple—which is designed exclusively for the advancement of their interest, and which is expected, by those who advocate this bill, to contribute largely to it, can make a gorgeous Government. I had supposed there was more of utility than splendor in the scheme; that comfort, competence, and ease would be found in greater abundance in the country it traverses; but I never imagined, until the ingenious gentleman stated it, that the Government would be more imposing. But, sir, if this be splendor, I favor it. I wish to see the country, from Buffalo to New Orleans, gladdened by this channel of communication, which shall enrich the land that it passes through—diffusing pleasure and wealth, and inciting to the industrious production of that which can be advantageously disposed of. Even Virginia, in her four hundred miles that it covers, will yet rejoice, I trust, that this bill has passed—not on a magnificent scale, with triple rows of elms, in imitation of the French minister, but on the moderate plan proposed by a very respectable committee of this House, through its honorable chairman, my colleague and friend, [Mr. HEMP HILL] on a plan destined, I hope, to be approved by the Congress of the United States. In advocating this measure. I wish it distinctly under

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stood, that the conceded power should, in my judgment, be confined to great, leading national objects; that it should not be exerted frequently, or on ordinary occasions, but on those only which would seem to o: a great common effort for a great common good. Such I regard the present . to be. Is it expedient? I think so. The seat of the General Government is the heart of the body politie. From it must flow to every part of the country, in peace or in war, the regulations, laws, orders, and instructions it was organized to furnish and give. By a speedy diffusion of intelligence and information among the people of what the Government does or does not do, of the course of policy it adopts or abandons, you can alone preserve attachment to it. That every facility should be afforded for that purpose, is of vital and engrossing interest. And here let me ask, sir, in the language of my friend and immediate colleague, [Mr. RAMSEY] have you a single passage out of Washington provided by the General Government? By what means are you to place the citizens of this very extensive empire upon a footing of equality, so fully and effectually, as by the expeditious dissemination of information ? Can those on its remote borders form so correct an opinion of the merits and demerits of their public agents, as those whose locality places them nearer, unless you transmit to them the materials of which alone opinion must be made up? I am acquainted with no arrangement by which those who administer the public affairs can be brought so immediately under the view and observation of their constituents, either for approbation, or for censure, as by the rapid diffusion of useful knowledge. This Government depends essentially, both for the most beneficial results and for durability, upon the intelligence and virtue of those who have the happiness to live under it. Give them the first, and the last will be strengthened; and both will be, to the noble structure we have reared, a foundation and support that must secure its perpetuity. To commence with the northern part of this road: What are its anticipated mail advantages? Very great. The travel from Washington to Buffalo, by way of Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, is about six hundred and seventy miles. On this route the mail can be carried between the extremes, when steamboats are in operation on a part of it, in six days; at other times, seven days are occupied. Stage lines were established, some two or three years ago, from Harrisburg to the western part of New York, by which the distance on the shortest stage route was reduced to about three hundred and ninety miles, over which the mail is conveyed in seven days. If a road were made from this city to Buffalo, by the nearest racticable route, it could be transported between them in less than four days. (Postmaster General's letter of 28th December, 1827.) o an immense saving of time Will gentlementell me that it is no advantage to have the mail carried in half the time Is not despatch the life of your post office t . Here have we been, during the session, receiving petitions from a very large number of our constituents, larger, P. by many to one, than those who have expressed their views on any other subject, requesting us to stay the mail only for one day, and that the most holy one; and by our committee we turn a deafear to their entreaties, insisting that great inconvenience will result from the delay—that if we grant their request it will be felt throughout all the mail ramifications of our extended domain. For the sake of the argument admit it. How great, then, must be the advantage we would have by gaining half the time; by the transmission of intelligence in four—in less than four—instead of seven days l Will it not pervade, sir, the most remote districts of our northern and northwestern borders? To enlarge upon this topic appears to me to be unnecessary. ur attention is next drawn to the commercial considerations which bear upon this question. The bed of the

road must be carried, for the first one hundred to one hundred and twenty miles, north and northwest of this city, through a country fertile and beautiful as the heart of man could desire—a region under the highest cultivation, and studded with the homes of an industrious and happy population. It will afford them a channel of direct communication with the capital. They will have a choice of markets, at which they can dispose of the products of their farms, that embrace all the varieties proper to the climate. It will cross, at various points, the several turnpikes leading to Baltimore and Philadelphia, and will enable many who choose to direct their course towards those cities, to do so with increased ease. In its more western course, it must likewise strike two, at least, of the Pennsylvania canals, and will facilitate an approach to, or departure from, them. Where the country through which it passes is not eminently fertile, it abounds in coal and iron, which will probably make the resources of Pennsylvania, unfolded and opened as they soon will be, greater than those of any of her sister States. For military purposes, what are its advantages? Many and commanding. ... As has been wisely said by my very much respected colleague, [Mr. HEMPHILL] the strength of a country rests not so much in the number of its population, as in the facility with which masses of its defenders can be thrown together. This road will not only afford every advantage for sending the earliest instruction to your northern and northwestern frontiers, and enable you, if need be, to transport the munitions of war and provisions, at a small cost, to your army, but it will meet, at every turn, some line of communication from an Atlantic point, which shall be either endangered, or which can furnish information of any enemy that may be on the seaboard. The roads and canals which irrigate and fertilize that whole section of country, do not run parallel with the proposed road, but will be crossed by it at as many centres as this famed city contains. If we had had such a road during the late war, we should have saved more money, several times told, than the entire improvement from Buffalo to New Orleans will cost, if it shall be authorized. So much for the northern end. Are there sufficient reasons to justify the making of the road from Washington to New Orleans ? It appears to me there are. It holds out to you great facilities and increased despatch in the conveyance of the mail. It was carried in December, 1827, (Postmaster General's letter) between the two cities in nineteen days, over twelve hundred and fifty-nine miles, along the metropolitan route— certain improvements in bridges, and the removal of obstructions, it was thought, would enable the Government to transport it in seventeen days, and it was believed a good turnpike, on the shortest line, would put it in the power of the Postmaster General to carry it through in eleven days; add, if you please, three days for difference between the contemplated road and a turnpike, and you have a saving in time of at least three, perhaps five days. In a commercial point of view, many advantages must result from it. It traverses a country abundant to overflowing in everything that can contribute to the comfort and enjoyment of life. The surplus products can be carried on it to those streams which it strikes at right angles, and down which they can be cheaply floated to the seaboard, or some intermediate mart. The great Cumberland valley, and many parts of the southern country, will yet be busy and happy in the establishment of manufactories, to and from which this road will afford facilities for carrying the raw material and the manufactured article. For war, it will enable you to convey your troops and their provisions, not along its whole distance, but, as the honorable gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. BLAIR) remarked, on particular [. of it, and on all parts of it at different times. Perhaps troops will never be marched from Buffalo to New Orleans, or the reverse, but they will be moved from

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intermediate points to either, or to Washington. proposed route is about equidistant from the seaboard and the Mississippi; they will be auxiliary to each other, or, if gentlemen prefer it, I have no objection that the road be considered ancillary to the river. I may be asked why I favor the western route. And it may be thought, perhaps with some propriety, that, as this matter “does not belong to my parish,” I should not interfere. Having, however, expressed a preference, I will say why. It lies generally through a better country— will require less bridging, not much more than half that either of the others demands—will not have more than two-thirds as much causeway—and, lastly, although it does not now, will, in my opinion, very soon, and in all time thereafter, have a larger population. At present its white inhabitants exceed in number those of the eastern line, with all its advantage of being dotted with towns and eities, which have given it the name of the metropolitan route. What are the objections to this bill? They are very numerous, but, in my mind, not well founded. The honorable gentleman from Virginia [Mr. P. P. BARBouh] stated, that although the General Government was a great whole, each State, each individual, would feel his own individuality, and pursue his own interest, though willing to do somethiug for the public. I admit it and hold it to be a strong argument for appropriations, such as that contemplated by the measure under debate. . It is according to the most deliberate judgment I can form, the solemn duty of statesmen, of gentlemen on this floor, to exert themselves to the uttermost, preserving their principles and a rigid regard to duty, to maintain and increase the harmony of the nation. Climate, diversity of habits and pursuits arising out of it, contrariety of interest and difference of sentiment proceeding from these and other causes, open the chasm already too wide. Let it be the leasing duty of those who are now together, in the enjoyment of the public confidence, to repose upon the integrity and purity of each other, and to make a common effort to smooth the asperities which grow out of our several conditions—to level the inequalities which must be met with on so wide a surface. To contribute in the smallest degree, to this, the most desirable of all political ends, would give me a pleasure that no other public agency of mine could possibly yield. Is not the bill calculated to aid this consummation! Let us have something in common, and not look with cold and heartless indifference upon this Government, as if we had no interest in it. If we cannot be bound by some cord of regard, let us at least see some evidence that we are connected. Again, we are informed o the same honorable gentleman, rightly, I think, that the consumers pay the duties on imports; and that, as the money in the public treasury is raised equally off the people, it should be equally dis. tributed, or rather that it should be distributed in the same proportion in which it was contributed. Sir, this looks well in theory, but it cannot be carried into practice. The Government was constituted for the common benefit, and to promote, the interest of the whole. Some portions of the empire will require the expenditure of more money than others, and it will not answer to give one district more than it needs, because it contributed it, or another less, because it paid not so much as its necessities require. The harbor of one city may call for an iminense expenditure—nature has made another perfect; very large fortifieations may be esteemed necessary at one position, as in the utleman's own State, at Old Point Comfort, or Fortress j and Castle Calhoun; but who complains of that? No one, that I am aware of; and no one should. I think, therefore, instead of supposing that he and another person were weighing one hundred pounds of gold in separate scales, designing each to contribute equally, and that his partner, by putting his fingers into his (the gentle


man's) scale, and taking thence a part of his gold, had behaved unjustly, a more apt illustration of the duty and the justice of #. Government might have been found, in likening it to a father, whose sons, having been to different markets, severally brought in their contributions to the common stock, which the old gentleman distributed among the objects of his bounty and affection, (whose industry had furnished the treasure,) not in equal proportions, but according to the wants and necessities of each. Is not this the every-day course of parental duty and affection 1 Bnt the gentleman's argument, if admitted, will not save him. I confess I have not sufficient acumen to perceive its force, but think it proves directly the reverse of that for which it was ...} The road passes over a section of country that has received little or no part of the public favor. The sums—the vast sums that have flowed into the public coffers since the peace of eighteen hundred and fifteen, amounting to upwards of three hundred millions of dollars, have been expended chiefly on the seaboard; and the interior never will get any of the country's treasure, if you do not allow them internal improvements. So much for the gentleman's equal distribution, or distribution exactly proportioned to contribution. England, we are informed from the same respectable source, is at this moment retrenching to the utmost, and deafening her King and ministry with applications for relief from wretchedness. Why that country was named, I know not, unless it was for the inference that her present condition might be traced to her manufactories, her roads and canals. If that was the purpose, I take leave to deny the justness of the conclusion, So far from her misery being attributed to her occupations and improvements, she must have long since sunk without them; they alone have sustained her under a pressure that has been borne until the world is amazed. Her national debt, that great source of her pauperism and wretchedness, has been magnifying for a very long time, but was increased seven or eight fold, by the wars that arose out of the French revolution—conflicts that derived their sharpest acrimony from the alleged secret treaty supposed to have been signed at Pilnitz, by which the parties to it were bound to impose the royal family upon France, and which attempt to interfere with their internal government, the . nation nobly and, successfully resisted. To this debt, thus incurred, is mainly to be ascribed her present unfortunate situation. But this measure, if successful, will have a tendency, say several gentlemen, to keep up a large revenue system. My sentiments on this subject are well known. I trust the resent policy will be adhered to-that no repeal of the F. imposing the tariff will take place, until a full and sair experiment has been made; which will result, I doubt not, in establishing the wisdom of the course pursued for the last two years—repealed they shall not be, if my vote, and any little influence I may possess, fairly exerted, can prevent it. Immense interests have been staked on the faith of the Government, and ruin, utter ruin, would involve a large portion of the middle and eastern States, if this faith ... be broken. Would honorable gentlemen themselves desire, if their wishes could effect it, the immediate repeal of all duties : Would they not prostrate in one common desolation the manufacturer and the merchant, and, through them, a very great proportion of the whole community ? The duties will, therefore, last long enough, at all events, for this road. Why is it, if the tariff operates unequally, if injustice is done to the South, that the opposition I am now combating comes from the complaining quarter ? Here is some little atonement— some little boony offered; but it is contemptuously rejected. We ask what we may be allowed to scatter among the very people who, by their representatives, set forth as a grievance that money is exacted from them, the identical money so collected, or a part of it, and the permis

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sion is withheld. Can we do more unless we destroy ourselves to gratify others? The honorable gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. Polk] is of opinion that this bill combines many local interests, which he deprecates as a great evil. Pray, is not all legislation of local operation, and the more extensive the more comprehensive but, then, this produces delusion, the delusion of whole masses of men, and entire sections of ooun I wonder if by possibility, there might not be some delusion on the other side. The gentleman reminds me of the juryman who differed with his fellows, and, upon being brought into court, said they were the most obstinate eleven men he had ever met with; he could not bring them over to his view of the case. • * \{e speaks of the number of routes that have been surveyed, which is argument against him, as it goes to prove the great anxiety of the P. mind on the subject—the great interest that is taken in this road, which we have heard represented as likely to be of no utility if made; not so think those who live near its projected course, and appreciate its value. But the people are deluded—they are blinded and lost to reason, by the offer to spend their own money among them. Where, I would ask, should it be expended, if not among those who own it? If it be a delusion, I fancy it will, unlike most other errors, abide with the people, and continue to close their eyes to what gentlemen are pleased to call their true interest. When you finally select one line, it is said you offend all those who live upon the others, and this is press. ed as a good reason for not moving further; does it not occur to gentlemen that the remark, if of force, would put an end to all improvement whatever? Of the many surveys made, or to be made, I would choose the best, and I would say they should be few. I would not, nor will I, vote for all the projects on foot, or which have been reported to this House; nor do I think the public treasury should be burdened with annual appropriations for supporting and keeping in repair any great channel of communication that has been, or hereafter may be, constructed. But this road must be turnpiked, say gentlemen; I do not know what others intend, but I do not look beyond the present bill, nor think of a turnpike. Lest however the estimate, mentioned by the honorable member from Tennessee, [Mr. Polk] of twenty-one millions of dollars should alarm, I will say that I understand the road in Ohio, equal to any in the world, to be now constructing for between five and six thousand dollars per mile; and, taking this as our datum, the whole distance from Buffalo to New Orleans would not, even if turnpiked, cost nine millions. The honorable gentleman speaks pleasantly of tapping the treasury, if it be plethorio; admonishes us that it is a dangerous operation, and that it requires a consultation of the seniors—not the bichelors of medicine, but the M. D.'s in politics. I am content to be regarded as a junior, at least for the present; but what if the seniors are timid, or mayhap unskilled, or, with a rare exception or two, adhere to the old practice, rejecting modern improvements as the innovations of heedless and incautious men; insisting that to other guide shall be followed but lectures heard or writtea, some twenty, or thirty, or forty years go? Under these circumstances, the office must be assumed by those who may be estimated lightly; nothing else is left for it, they must use the knife, or the patient will die. The last argument I shall notice, and it is one which all §: honorable jo who have spoken against the bill have urged, is, that they wish the public debt paid before we embark in the project. This bill, sir, interferes not with its discharge; if it did, I should be the last man to advocate it. What does the bill provide? The first section enacts “that the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, three disinterested citizens of the United States, to lay out a road from Buffa.

lo, in the State of New York, passing by the seat of the General Government, in the District of Columbia, to the city of New Orleans, in the State of Louisiana, whose dut it shall be, or a majority of them, to examine the ground, and lay out said road,” &c. It is provided in the second section “that the said road shall be laid out four rods in width, and designated on each side by a distinguishable mark on a tree, or by the erection of a stake or monument, sufficiently conspicuous, at every quarter of a mile of the distance, where the road pursues a straight course, and on each side where an angle occurs in its course.” The third section is as follows: “That the said commissioners, after they have laid out the said road, shall present to the President an accurate plan of the same, with its several courses and distances in each State, accompanied by a written report of their proceedings, describing the marks and monuments by which the road is designated, and the face of the country through which it passes, and the roads, or parts of roads, if any, in the course of the road so laid out by this act, which, in their opinion, shall need no alteration, which said roads, or parts thereof, so finished, shall remain unaffected by this act.” It is made the duty of the commissioners, by the fourth seetion, to “report to the President an estimate of the expenses of the said road, which, in their opinion, will be necessary for its formation, graduation, and final completion, on the most approved plan, without the application of stone or gravel, except wo: they shall be found indispensably necessary to its use; and if the same does not on an average exceed the sum of fifteen hundred dollars, including necessary bridges and causeways, per mile, the President is hereby authorized to take prompt and effectual measures to cause said road to be made throughout the whole distance.” It is believed that the preparatory steps by the commissioners, of surveying, laying out, and marking the road, and making a detailed report of their proceedings, cannot be taken in less than two, perhaps three years; and that during this period an expense will not be incurred that shall exceed ten thousand dollars per annum; and that afterwards, if the contingency happens that shall make it the duty of the President to commence the construction of the road, not more than four, or perhaps five hundréd thousand dollars will be required annually.

Let us now ascertain the state of the public debt, its

exact amount, and the probable time of its extinguishment.

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