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slaves of Government—that they are now required to labor, and would only be compelled to do the same in the penitentiary. In answer to this argument, Mr. P. observed that the suffering of a penitentiary felon depended not only upon his moral and physical sensibility, but upon the comforts and enjoyments of life to which he had been accustomed, and of which imprisonment had deprived him. Upon these principles, he submitted the question to the House with confidence, whether the slaves here would not suffer more than the class of criminals coming from the free -blacks and whites. In truth, [said Mr. †: the princi. ples he contended for, that there should be but one rule of punishment for all those classes, were objectionable, it must be upon the ground that slaves would suffer most; and hence that the law would operate unequally. It is claimed by gentlemen, that while they are opposed to slavery in the abstract, and justly consider it an evil entailed upon them by their ancestors, from which it is difficult, if not impossible, to escape, yet that their slaves are surrounded by numerous enjoyments—that they are honest, industrious, contented, {:}; attached to their masters, and to each other. This is not only undisputed, but the facts already stated seem to confirm it—so far as relates to this District. What punishment then could be more severe upon such slaves, than to incarcerate them in a penitentiary, where they would be cut off from all domestic enjoyments and social intercourse, confined at night to a dark and solitary cell, compelled to labor through the day in silence; and this labor and solitude continued, with unbroken monotony, for months or years, without even being permitted to receive the slightest intelligence from their homes, their families, or their masters? Would not this slavery to the Government be less endurable, than that condition of domestic slavery, which, by the principles of humanity and the force of public opinion, had become so greatly ameliorated, and of which we have heard such interesting accounts?

It was proposed [said Mr. P.] in a former debate to ex-|.

empt slaves from the punishments proposed by this bill, and extend over them the existing penal laws of Maryland and Virginia, under a mistaken belief, at least so far as relates to Virginia, that those laws, since the jurisdiction of Congress was assumed over the District, had become greatly ameliorated. It was then intimated to him, [Mr. P.] by a gentleman from Virginia, that the laws of that State, in regard to slaves, which had been enacted for the last twenty or thirty years, were more severe than they had been previously, and which had been occasioned by some actual or threatened commotion among that class of people. This had led him [Mr. P.] to examine those laws; and he must say, that, if the laws of this District, regarding slaves, as had been justly remarked, were written in blood, the present laws of Virginia on that subject were of a still more sanguinary character. By this, he meant no disrespect to that patriotic State, with whose constitutional laws the General Government had no concern, whether they be wise or unwise; of that each State is the best and only judge. But when it is proposed to adopt those laws in this District, they become a fit subject of remark. It will be found by the present penal code of Virginia, that in most, if not all the offences for which free persons are punishable by confinement in the penitentiary, slaves are made punishable with death. Mr. P. named several of those offences, such as horse stealing and other larcenies; maliciously setting fire to any bridge, barn, shop, stable, stack of wheat or corn, feloniously breaking open any storehouse or warehouse, forgery, counterfeit. ing, and embezzling property; but he would not detain the House with going over the whole catalogue. But in framing and executing any system of criminal jurispru. dence, [said Mr. P.] the great and, leading object should be public security. The second section of this bill relates


to the crime of assault and battery, with intent to kill. Here the amendment is first proposed to exclude slaves from its operation, and this very section illustrates the above principle. When any person, whether bond or free, evinces such a violent temper, or malignant, heart, as to lead them to the commission of desperate and danger ous offences, public security forbids their running at large; they should be withdrawn from society, either by confine. ment or death. Such cases are referred to in this section, and also such as attempts to poison, and like cases, which show a malicious and reprobate mind. In many of the least aggravated of these cases, the public feeling would revolt at inflicting the punishment of death; and, there: fore, if the amendment prevails, slaves committing those crimes would go unpunished and unrestrained, ready for the perpetration of other offences, as revenge, malice, or passion might prompt them. And does not public security and individual safety forbid this? As regards the wishes of the people of the District, to which reference had been made, he could not undertake to speak with certainty. The bill, as originally reported, has long since been published in the newspapers, as well as the previous discussion on this very question, and no ob. jections to the original bill had come to his knowledge, from this, and also from the fact that frequent expressions in its favor had been made to him, [Mr. P.] he was led to believe that a majority of the people in this District were in favor of the principles of the bill. He regretted that any excitement should grow out of this discussion, and dreaded protracted debate at this stage of the session, which he hoped might be avoided, and the question taken. The bill was of great importance to the District, and there were various other bills also, which its interests called loudly upon Congress to pass, and which could not be done till this was disposed of Mr. P. said, he would not further trespass upon the attention of the House, and oc. cupy that time which he had expressed a hope would not be done by others. Mr. POLK thought that the matter should be viewed as one of expediency only, as one for the punishment prevention of crime alone. In all the States in the Union, where slavery existed, instances could be found where the slave was punished by imprisonment; and that fact spoke more to the purpose than a long argument upon the subject. A slave dreads the punishment of stripes more than he does imprisonment; and that description of punishment has, besides, a beneficial effect upon his fellowslaves. Mr. P. went on to take a review of the offences designated, and the punishments prescribed, by the bill, and contended that its provisions did not amount, and could not be considered as amounting, in these particulars, to such an efficient restraint as was necessary under the peculiar circumstances of such cases. Mr. BUCHANAN observed that the citizens of the District had had the bill before them for some time, and had not complained of its provisions. Formerly, cases had occurred in which crimes had been committed with a design on the part of the perpetrators to be sent to the penitentiary; but such was not the case now. Solitary confinement and hard labor were punishments sufficiently severe, to deter even slaves from the commission of offences which would subject them to such inflictions. Mr. PEARCE said, he did not rise to protract the debate, and regretted the necessity which existed, requiring him to trouble the House with any remarks whatever. It will be recollected [said Mr. P.] that the committee who reported this bill, (and a majority of them are from slaveholding States) were opposed to this amendment. The chairman of the committee [Mr. Powers] informs us it did not receive his sanction, and does not come here under his auspices. But the Committee of the Whole House have adopted it, and we must now either adopt or reject it. The amendment prefixes the word free to the word

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Persons, so as to make the bill read all free persons, instead of all persons, as the same was reported, who shall be liable to penitentiary punishments. What will be the 9peration of the amendment Sir, the slaves of the Dis. trict will be left to the same punishments, after this bill, with the proposed amendment, becomes a law, they are now liable to Yes, sir, to the sanguinary codes of Wir|. and Maryland, not as they now exist, but as they

id exist thirty years ago, when the ten miles square were ceded by those States to the General Government we learn from the annual report of the trustees of the penitentiary in the District of Columbia, that there are in the Sounty of Washington fourteen capital offences, and in the county of Alexandria they are still more numerous. I shill, not stop to inquire whether any state of things would have called for such a code. It is sufficient for my Purpose, if we legislate at all, that our acts should be in reference to a general amelioration of the people here, And not a portion of them. Within the last thirty years, the laws of both Virginia and Maryland have been alter.

ed, and tendered less severe than they were thirty years

ago; and the consequences of this amendment will be, to leave, the slaves of the District of Columbia liable to the punishments under the laws as they now exist; laws not now in force in any State in this Union. This I will not agree to ; and my opposition is not only to the manifest injustice to a portion of the people here, but to the free people who may, and who have a right to, visit this District, whether prompted by curiosity or considerations of business, which here they have a right to carry on. What is the situation of the free black? and what are his liabili. ties when he visits the city of Washington The free black of the State of New York, free there, not only be: cause he treads the soil of freedom, was born free, and has those characteristics by which man differs from the rest of the animated race, his eyes turned towards heaven, living in a land where the legal presumptions in favor of freedom are as great and as generally acknowledged as are those presumptions in favor of innocence; the moment he reaches this city, he is nigra facie a slave. Yes, sir, the complexion which “an African sun might have burnt upon him” is in this land of freedom evidence of his owing service to some one, and creates such a presumption against him, as authorizes the magistrates and officers of the city to seize and commit him to jail. If he has friends, he need only lay in jail until he sends home, and by the aid of those friends procure such testimony as will be sufficient to satisfy the authorities here that he is a free man. If he is without friends, he must remain in jail forever, or be taken out and sold for his expenses, and sent wherever his purchaser may reside. This is not all. If he proves to the satisfaction of those in authority that he is a free man, he is still liable to be sold for jail fees and expenses incurred during the period of his confinement. These are the present operations of the laws of this District. All that I have supposed might take place, a very few years ago did take place, in relation to a free man of West Chester county, New York, one of the independent electors of that State, and a constituent of my friend over the ...; Cowles], That county at that time appeared to be not insensible to this outrage upon one of its citizens, and the attention of Congress was called to the case. The Committee on the District of Columbia were instructed to inquire into it; but I am now under the impression that the investigation was postponed, under an assurance that, when a criminal code was offered for the District, existing evils would be remedied. Sir, another evil will follow this amendment. The advocates of it will agree that free blacks should be punished under the proposed law, the same as whites; but will this be the case ? The free black is a slave until the contrary is shown. As a slave, then, he must be tried; as a slave he will be convicted; and as a slave he will be punished, consequently, under the existWol. WI.-104.

ing laws, if he is not fortunate enough to be able, on trial, from among the by-standers, to prove that he is not a slave. It is not for me to say that it would be unreasonable or arbitrary in the courts, with this strong prima facia proof of his slavery about him, to deny him time to prove the contrary, when his request for time must be unsupported by anything but his own declarations; and here let me remark, that, as he is prima facia and presumptively a slave, his declarations, cannot be received under oath. It appears to me, [said Mr. P.] that the tendency of this amendment will be such as to leave every colored person, whether bond or free, and wheresoever born, to the punishments of the existing laws, and to exclude them from the general operation of the law now under consideration. I solemnly declare, before God and man, I have no wish to interfere with the rights and obligations of master and slave; if called upon to declare my sentiments upon the abstract question of slavery, I should not be unwilling to make a declaration of my sentiments; but we are bound, in legislating for the District, to look to the effect and consequences of our acts; their bearing and operation upon all the people of the United States. Dissatisfied as I am with the present laws, I had rather further legislation should be altogether withheld, and the people of the District left to their fate, than participate in any kind of legislation that will warrant an inference that any of the criminal laws of the District meets my approbation. A few words in reply to gentlemen who have advocated the amendment, and I will cease from troubling the House with further remarks. They seem to suppose, that, because this District was carved out of States which, at the time of the cession, were, and now are, slave-holding States, it must be always treated as a slave-holding territory; that we are never to look forward to that period when slavery here is to be extinct. Sir, this District was not made a slaveholding territory by any act of the General Government; and the recognition by that Government of slavery in this District was not from any approbation of the system; it was the necessary result of that state of things which existed at the time of the cession. And because slavery did here exist at that time, (the cession having been made for the benefit of all the States,) have not all the States a common interest in the District; and, whenever it can be done without interfering with private rights here and elsewhere, will not the extinction of slavery here be an event equally desired by all? I am surprised to hear gentlemen coming from the slaveholding States, say that punishment, by confinement in the

enitentiary, will be to slaves no punishment at all ! What is the imputation which this declaration renders them liable to . That slavery has such evils, and is attended with such privations, that confinement in the penitentiary so far ameliorates its condition as to make it desirable. Softened as those evils are in every part of the country, to the eternal honor of gentlemen living in certain portions of the country be it said, I am unwilling to believe there is a gentleman in this House from any one of the slaveholding States, who is prepared to admit this to be the case—that to punish slaves, nothing short of corporal punishments can be effectual; that the slave must be maimed, burned in the hand or face, his back must be lacerated and torn, “and torn again before his wounds have cicatriced,” to be made sensible that he is punished for his crimes. Sir, on this subject I must be permitted to differ from gentlemen who have addressed the House. In my opinion some of the slaves of the District have all the tender and endearing relations that are common to our race. They have wives, children, fathers, mothers, kindred and friends, and a separation would be as heart-rending to them as to us; even a penitentiary would have its horrors. Another argument in favor of the amendment is this: send the slaves to the penitentiary, and you punish the master, not the slave, whose service he is deprived of during the slave's confinement; the same argument might as well be

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used against all persons, apprentices, and others bound to service as slaves; and, if valid, would exclude from punishments one half of our population. But, sir, to my mind, the best reply to this objection is this: a greater evil to society would follow, than the one complained of to the master, if he should be paid for the services of his slaves while suffering in the penitentiary for their crimes. He would not have that interest which otherwise he would have, to superintend the morals of his slaves, watch over their conduct, and direct them to the paths of rectitude. What would be his indemnity in one case, would be the *community's loss. In all cases of conflicting interests, the lesser must yield to the greater. Partial evils must be borne for general good. We are told that the punishment of slaves by this confinement will lead to an increase of crimes on their part. In further reply, I can only add, that the whole penitentiary system is an experiment. The community is divided in regard to the expediency of penitentiary punishments; and, in making the experiment, I am not disposed to make the distinction contended for between freemen and slaves. Mr. WICKLIFFE said that he had, by the amendment which he had heretofore offered, designed to confine the operation and provisions of this bill to offences committed by free persons. The House had determined, by its vote today, that the slaves of this District, convicted of petty of fences, should be taken from their masters, and confined in the penitentiary for two years and longer, and thereby deprive the masters of their right to property. He now rose to invite the attention of the House, and particularly the committee who reported this bill, to the fourteenth section, which he read as follows: “That every other felony, misdemeanor, or offence, not provided for by this act, may and shall be punished as heretofore, except that, in all cases where whipping is part or the whole of the punishment, the court shall substitute therefor imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding six months.” o He would offer, no amendments; but would inquire of the committee if, by this section, it was intended to confine in the county jail for six months the slaves in this District, for any trivial misdemeanor which the policy of the laws of every slave-holding State or community had heretofore punished summarily with stripes, which he understood to be the laws of this District now in force. Suppose [said Mr. W.] the slave of the planter in Prince George's county shall be sent, by his master, to markets within the District, and he shall commit a riot or some misdemeanor, which by the existing law, is punished with stripes, is it right that the slave should be taken from the master, and confined six months in the county jail at the nse of the owner or the public treasury | Mr. P. P. BARBOUR said that the present bill, and the amendment which had been proposed, involved some considerations of a general character, which were more important than seemed to be thought by many gentlemen in that House. God forbid that he should for a moment advocate any system for the treatment of slaves, not only that was severe or oppressive, but which was incompatible with the utmost possible degree of lenity which the condition of those unfortunate people would admit. But legislation, in its very nature, and according to the import of the term, required that all laws should be adapted to the subject on which they were to operate. Those laws dealt with men in various situations, and under very different circumstances from each other; and both wisdom and justice required that the law should be adapted to those who were to be the subjects of it. With every disposition to practise the utmost lenity and forbearance, he could not view it as o that the slave and the free white man, should be, both subjected to precisely, the same punishment. What was the object of punishing at all? It was not the infliction of public vengeance. Its

only legitimate and proper purpose, according to the doe.

trine received by 'every civilized nation, was the preven

tion of crimes. Punishments address themselves to various

feelings and principles in man. Sometimes they were di.

rected to the dread of death, sometimes to the dread of shame, sometimes to the love of property, and at other:

to the love of freedom. In that gradual amelioration of

the penal code which distinguishes the present era of the

world, the penitentiary system had been substituted for

capital punishments; but many of its warmestfriends, men

of the mildest temper, and most compassionate disposition, after some experience of the plan, had began to entertain

strong doubts of its expediency, even as applied to whites. He might be permitted to state a fact which he had heard

had occurred in Virginia, and which had a strong bearing on this subject. Some very degraded white person who had been confined in their penitentiary, the moment the period of his imprisonment had expired, and he was libe. rated by due course of law, immediately and openly com: mitted some one of those minor offences which were pun: ishable by penitentiary discipline, and this with the avow ed intention of getting back to his old quarters. Let gen: tlemen look for a moment at the situation of a slave; as the small advantages he possessed for either intellectualor moral culture, and then say whether he was to be put up. on a par, as to the regulations of society, with those whose situation was so widely different. It was in vain to com: plain of such a state of things. Humanity, morality, even religion, might lift up their voice, but they could not re. move the evil. Slavery existed, and it was for a legisla: tor to look at things as they were. How then were slaves to be operated upon : . It was proposed to punish them by confinement at hard labor. Now, as to labor, that was the daily and almost constant occupation of a slave. It was his i. already, and to threaten him with labor was to hold up almost no threat at all. That motive was as nothing. Would gentlemen then appeal to his moral sensibilities? It was melancholy, but it was true, that the very condition of servitude itself had a powerful and invariable influence in degrading the moral sensibility of all those who endure it On that subject, he might quote the language of the poet:

“Jove fixed this certain ; that whatever day “Makes man a slave, takes half his worth away.”

Servitude, in all countries and ages, has been found to exert a powerful effect in blunting the moral sensibilities of men, so that they did not feel the same sense of degra. dation under punishment, as others do, who never were in bondage. They did know it to be a fact, that in a large majority of cases the sense of degradation was not suffi. cient to put down crime. Now, when the whole object of punishment was to prevent crimes, an appeal was to be made to one or two principles only; when no other feeling was to be consulted but the dread of labor and the dread of shame, would the House pursue a system of legislation which they had every o ground to believe was not adequate to its end? As to this colored population, it might reasonably be supposed that those who had had most to do with them understood best how they were to be man. aged. Let gentlemen go to Virginia, or to Maryland, to any slave State in the Union; was there one whose scheme of criminal policy towards slaves was based on the idea of their dread of degradation? He did not know of such a State. Experience, that surest and safest guide, where it could be reached, should ever be consulted and heedfully regarded; and all experience in this matter spoke but one and the same language. Mr. B. said that there was not a feeling in his heart, that did not revolt at the very idea of any cruelty or oppression toward those unhappy people. But if gentlemen would rely on mere speculation, even speculation itself, if based on true phildsophy, would teach any man that a state of slavery had a . necessary, and inevitable tendency to degrade the subject of it, and to efface those finer

sensibilities to which a dread of shame addressed itself. Such

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a fear would never prove, with respect to slaves, a motive of sufficient strength to restrain them when disposed to crime. Every aspect of the subject conspired to prove the expediency of adopting the amendment. After that had been adopted, Mr. B. said he should be prepared to agree to the mildest code, in respect to slaves, which the good order and safety of society would admit.


The House proceeded to the consideration of the bill authorizing the subscription of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to the stock in the Maysville, Washington, Pa. ris, and Lexington Turnpike Road Company; when

A motion was made by Mr. MALLARY, that the further consideration of the said bill be postponed until Monday next, with the view of taking up the tariff subject; but the motion was disagreed to.

Mr. FOSTER rose, and said, that, if this were the only bill of the kind to be presented to the consideration of the House, he would rather suffer it to meet its fate at once, than to delay the time of the House by any remarks of his. But there are now on our calendar nine or ten bills of the same character, and he felt it his duty to warn gentlemen against the danger of establishing the precedent—it will only be the commencement of a system which promises to have no end. The applications of this kind, which had been made during this session, showed the tendency of this system of legislation. It has only been within a few years, he believed, that Congress had ever authorized subscriptions for stock in canal and turnpike companies; but, having done so in a few instances, others have been encouraged to apply. , Sir, [said Mr. F.] some of the petitions now on your table would never have been dreamed of, had it not been for the aid you have given to the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, and a few others. But these applications having been thus countenanced by Congress, other companies think they have the same right to call on you for assistance. And have they not? Can you grant to one, and not to another? How will you discriminate You cannot. The State Legislatures is: coinpanies for objects of internal improvements, whenever applied to; and if you take stock in a company of one State, you must do so in that of another; and thus there will be no end to the appropriations necessary to meet the calls that will be ho upon you.

The road now i. consideration is to extend gely sixty miles; but we have been already told that this is only 3. middle link of the great chain that is to extend from Zanesville, in Ohio, to Florence, in Alabama. What then is to be the direct and almost necessary consequence of passing this bill? It requires no spirit of prophecy to pre

dict. In a short time, a company will be formed, and incorporated by Ohio, to extend the road from Maysville to Zanesville. Other companies will be incorporated by

Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama, to construct the portions of the road lying within those States from Lexington to Florence—and then come the applications of all those companies to take parts of their stock. And can you refuse }

But again, sir: Authorize this subscription, in a few o: the bill to aid the Baltimore and Ohio railroad will be presented for our consideration. . That is a great work— and we shall doubtless be told it is one of national importance, too. Next comes the Charleston railroad—and upon the heels of that the Ogeechee and Atamaha canal, with several others. All, he supposed, national works; and o having equal claims (some of them perhaps stronger) wi those of the road now under discussion. Do not gentlemen see [said Mr. F.] that they are embarking in a system of legislation to which there is no limit. Mr. F. had also constitutional objections to all bills of this character, but

he should not urge them, because he was satisfied that a decided majority of the House believed it was competent for Congress to make appropriations for internal improvements. He, however, understood this same majority to limit the exercise of this power to objects strictly national. Mr. F. was not certain that his mind was sufficiently discriminating to distinguish between national and local #. —but certainly if there could be a public work projected which was not national, it was this very road. A national road from Lexington to the Ohio river! A road on which no troops are to travel—no munitions of war to be transported; and which, in a word, is to answer no national purpose what. ever. The idea is absurd; and he begged the House not to be misled by the character sought to be given to this work, There was another circumstance to which Mr. F. wished to call the attention of the House. The stock of this company (in which we are now about to make the Government a partner) is divided into three thousand shares, and Congress is petitioned (and the bill so provides) to subscribe for fifteen hundred shares—just one-half of the stock. Now, if we so far yield as to sanction this application, the work will be commenced; and should there be any difficulty in disposing of the remainder of the stock, the company will again look to Congress. You will then be told, that, as you have already invested part of your funds, you certainly will not see the enterprise fail, and subject the nation to loss, when it can be so easily prevented by additional contributions: and thus in a short time compa. nies will project works of internal improvement, obtain from their State Legislatures acts of incorporation, and Congress must o the means of accomplishing the object. But we have been gravely told that the proposed subscription will be a profitable investment of our funds. Now, can any gentleman seriously believe [said Mr. F.] that the oft of this road will ever reimburse the treasury the advance it is designed to make To him the idea was visionary and extravagant—and he could not consent thus to put to hazard the funds of the nation. Mr. F. was no enemy to Kentucky—quite the reverse; he wished suecess to any work which would promote the interests and prosperity of her citizens—he hoped that this road, which was considered of so much importance to them, would be completed; and that the association under whose direction it was progressing would more than realize the great profits which were anticipated. But he repeated his protest against engaging the Government in such speculations—he hoped that the House would reject this bill, and thereby proclaim to all our, citizens that they need not project works of internal improvement, with the expectation that Congress will furnish the means of executing them. It is only by this prompt and decided course that we may hope to arrest a system, which, if long pursued, will bankrupt our treasury, and ultimately subject our people to the most grievous and oppressive taxation. Mr. COLEMAN said that the importance of this subject was deeply felt in the State of Kentucky, and particularly that part of it which he had the honor to represent. This bill was introduced [said Mr. C.] upon the petition of a very large and respectable proportion of my constituents; and the road contemplated to be improved, passes through three of the four counties of my district. A number of our patriotic and enterprising citizens have entered into an association for the purpose of acquiring and diffusing information on the subject of internal improvement in the West; and they have, at their private expense, procured the aid of one of the ablest and most experienced engineers in the Union, by whose exertions they have been enabled to lay before Congress a full and satisfactory report, and map, exhibiting the benefits to be derived from this improvement. The Legislature of the State have given an unqualified approbation of the undertaking, and have authorized a subscription of stock,

which, considering the state of the finances there, is gene

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rous and liberal. These circumstances, evidencing the intense interest of the people and the State, will, I trust, justify me in the few remarks that I may present to the consideration of the House. This is the first application which the State of Kentucky has ever made to Congress for aid in the construction of her internal improvements; and I did hope it would be permitted to pass without discussion. This violent effort to prevent the passage of this bill, by urging its unconstitu. tionality and impolicy in debate, was not necessary to show to the world what are the opinions of southern members on this subject. From the tenor of the argument, I am sure the gentleman from Georgia [Mr. Foster] did not ext to change the vote of a single member. Why has it en thought necessary to oppose so vehemently this measure, carrying great advantages to the West ? Why demand so imperiously a demonstration of its nationality ? Is it because of that peculiar kindness of feeling on the part of the South towards the West, boasted of not long since Or, is it to encourage a scrupulous investigation of all propositions which may arise here, requiring the public treasure to accomplish an object which is confined to a State in point of locality ? I trust that gentlemen may be prepared, when they may be called upon, to justify the or. diture of millions for Georgia, when they refuse one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, in profitable stock, for the aid of Kentucky. This is no new project which we have under consideration. The Congress of the United States have long since settled the principle of this measure. We have subscribed stock in the Dismal Swamp Canal Company; in the Delaware Canal, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and in the Louisville Canal Companies. But gentlemen say, every inch of the Maysville road is in the State of Kentucky. How can it be national I answer, every inch of the Delaware canal, sixteen miles in length, is in the State of New Jersey; and every inch of the Louisville canal is in one county—nay, I believe in one city. How can they be national et Congress have subscribed for stock, in both of them. I have said that this is the first application for the interest of Kentucky. I did so, sir, because the funds applied to the Louisville canal are not so much for the benefit of that State, as for that of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and other States. In truth, sir, it operates against Kentucky, because it o against Louisville, our most important commercial city. Nor does this work, now under discussion, promise exclusive advantages to Kentucky. If accomplished to the extent contemplated by this bill, it will greatly conduce to the interests of Ohio, and all the States situated westwardly of us. We claim some attention from this Government; we contribute largely to fill the public treasury; we, in other respects, perform our part as a member of the con: federacy, and can see no reason why our interests should be overlooked. Not as a gratuity, but as a right, we ask it. Not content with the establishment of the principle heretofore, gentlemen insist, upon a re-argument, of the question. I do not consider it a difficult task to evince the nationality of this measure; but I do regret the necessity of consuming the time of this House in the discussion of a question which has been repeatedly settled heretofore. Am I wrong when I suppose the States of this Union to be members of the same great family; and that to promote the interest of any one in relation to an object which is national, should be desired by all the rest? I take it, that the Federal Government is one, yet composed of various parts; and that whatever tends to ameliorate the condition of one part without oppressing another, or others, ameliorates the general condition of the whole. From this position, which appears to me to be as evident as any argument can be, which may be adduced to prove it, I infer, that a permanent improvement erected in any

one of the States, is, to a certain extent, a national benefit. For purposes which the General Government has deemed national, three great road routes have been projected. One from this city, the seat of the General Government, to pass through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and so on, until it strikes the Mississippi above the mouth of the Missouri. Another from jo. through this city, to New Orleans; and a third to connect the two former, branching at Zanesville on the one, and uniting with the other somewhere in the State of Alabama. This last mentioned route passes through Chilicothe, on the Scioto, crosses the Ohio at Maysville, passes through Lexington, through Nashville, on the Cumberland, and through Florence, on the Tennessee. These points are known to this House to be places of great importance, and situated on streams admitting of fine navigation. Perhaps, sir, the most important part of this route is that between Mays. ville and Lexington. If the main route be national, (and I do not understand that any deny it,) this part, as a part, and with an eye to its extension, must assume the aspect of nationality; and every argument in favor of these great roads is equally applicable to each and every part of them, and especially those parts which are immediately connected with our o streams. Recollect that if ever again this country shall be visited by the awful calamity of war, that war must unfurl its banners on the sea coasts, or on the shores of our northern lakes. If on the latter, as was the case in 1812, this road will again become an important military road. Your troops, I mean national troops, sir, your munitions of war, your provisions for your army and navy, must be transorted along it, at least as far as the Ohio river; and thence, y land, to the lakes, if circumstances are favorable; but if not, by ascending the Ohio a few miles, you may avail yourselves of the grand canal through the State of Ohio. Or, if attack be aimed at New Orleans, and recent occur. rences evince that that may be the case, a road from the interior of Kentucky to the Ohio river is equally im: portant, if the services and supplies of that State are im: portant to our general defence. The right to erect fortifications, in time of peace, for the common defence, is assumed, and rightly so, by southern gentlemen. Are fortifications more efficient means of self. protection than good roads, over which, with the rapidity of thought, your infantry, your cavalry, your artillery, your peasantry, in the form of militia, may be carried, from point to point, as emergency may require How many fortresses, strong and costly, have been yielded up to the enemy, be: cause of the impossibility of sending to their aid in time reinforcements of soldiers, with arms and ammunition, the best of all fortifications A right view of this subject will show us that the very best means of defence is to make your great highways good; so that in the shortest period of time, and at trifling expense to the Government, the whole energies of the country may be concentrated to any one point which may be exposed to danger from attack. And, sir, the accepted time to do this, is, when we are at peace with all the world, and when our coffers are full. We shall always be more secure in the enjoyment of the blessings of peace, when we are in fact, and when the world knows us to be, prepared at all points for a state of war. The road under consideration is a part of the road from one important commercial situation on the Ohio to another still more so, if possible. The road from Maysville to Louisville, passing through Paris and Lexington, two im: portant manufacturing towns; through Frankfort, the seal of Government, and Shelbyville, is doubtless the most im: tant road in the State of Kentucky, and perhaps equal to any of the same extent in the western country. A very great portion of the goods, salt, iron, and other articles consumed in the State of Kentucky, is landed at Maysville, or Limestone, as it was called in the early settlement

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