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of the State, and thence seeks a land transportation to the interior. A vast quantity of the produce and manufac. tures of the interior is brought to this place, to be shipped for New Orleans; and when the Ohio canal shall be completed, the quantity will be much greater, as much prot will be sent to the North through that canal and the e8. All the groceries used above Louisville are landed at that city and Maysville, and from those places seek a conveyance to the interior along this route; and the produce and manufactures of a very rich country are shipped at Louisville for this lower market. In truth, sir, the quantity of produce and goods transported upon this road, and the travelling thereon, equal those on any road in the western States; I might say in the United States. I furnished my colleague [Mr. LETCHER) on the Committee on Roads and Canals, an accurate estimate of the travelling on this road, near Maysville, for thirty days, several of which were unfavorable, in consequence of inclemency of the weather. This table shows that, in that period of time, the uumber of persons that passed was nine thousand four hundred; of horses, twelve thousand eight hundred; and wagons and carts, one thousand five hundred and seventy —making an average per day of three hundred and seventeen persons, four hundred and twenty-seven horses, and fifty-two wagons, besides stock, carriages, &c. I refer gentlemen to the report of the United States' engineers, (Long and Trimble,) made during the session of 1827–28; in which they say that the road from Maysville to Lexington is more travelled than any other of the same extent in the State of Kentucky. These facts are evidences that the stock of this company must be good. From the best information which I have been able to obtain, it must yield six or eight per cent, clear of all contingent and current expenses for repair. It will be borne in mind that the report of Mr. Williams, which I have laid on some of your tables, as well as that of the United States' engineers, shows that the abundance, convenience, and durability of materials for constructing a road, justify the idea that the work can be effected at comparatively little cost, and that, when constructed, it will require but a trifling expense to keep it in repair for many years. If these facts do not incontestibly evince the commercial importance of this road, I acknowledge my disability to comprehend what is entitled to these appellations; and they show that these advantages may be obtained at a very inconsiderable comparative expense. If Congress have not the power to create for this nation such commercial facilities as are contemplated by the bill, then am I at a loss to know what rights were designed to be given, under the power to regulate commerce among the States. This road is the great national mail route from the East to Kentucky, and all the States west and northwest of us. But, sir, what is your mail? Is it a national or a State concern or is it of any consequence to either ? I may differ with gentlemen on this subject, when I suppose the mail establishment appertains to the General Government, and that it is the most valuable department of the Government. It cannot be denied that whatever contributes largely to diffuse information among the people, on the interesting Bubject of manufactures, arts, literature, commerce, agriculture, and our political relations, is richly worth the attention of this House, wise as it may be, or be supposed to be. In a country where the Government depends upon the will of the people for its efficiency, and their intelligence for its beneficial influences, is it not a consideration of deep magnitude, to liberalize that will, and enlarge that intelligence, to the greatest extent of which they are susceptible { In my humble conception, nothing can so largely conduce to the accomplishment of these ends, as the constant, I may say daily, intercourse which takes places among all parts of the United States, through the agency of our mail

establishment. Sir, as your population presses onward and onward, the same wise policy which first induced the institution of this department, will require its extension. You must keep up that intercourse among all parts of our vast country, especially in the new ; because, in a social, commercial, andM.". point of view, it is essential to our existence. Much has been done in this respect. In 1795, we had seventy-five post offices, and eighteen hundred miles of post road. Now we have eight thousand four hundred post offices, and one hundred Aj fifteen thousand miles of post road. An immense improvement in the system Yet, more may be done with ease and advantage. We can yet aid the Postmaster General to render his department still more useful, by improving the condition of our great mail routes; thereby expediting its progress, and diminishing the cost of its transportation. These, of course, leave more time and means to supply those parts of our common country which are now totally without, or if supplied at all, to a very partial extent. I feel authorized to say that the saving on the transportation of the mail between Lexington and Maysville would approximate very nearly the interest on the sum now asked, independent of the increased celerity, and all its consequences. And it should be recollected that the chief advantage which the Government proposes to derive from the post-office establishment, is not the saving in dollars and cents, but such advantages as would have induced its adoption, if it had been a dead expense to us to the extent of its income, which, I believe, is adequate to defray its vast expenses; advantages which, like our health and our freedom, we are not apt duly to appreciate, until we are deprived of them. Let #. countl §: deprived of this great engine of intercommunion, and we shall, by the contrast, be able to place a proper estimate upon its value, and the high nationalimportance of its utmost extension. In relation to this particular road, let me say to you, that for several months in the year it is impassable...Your stages are obliged to leave it, and seek a passage through farms, and along unfrequented ways; thereby subjected to innumerable delays, difficulties, and dangers. Convinced of this marked inconvenience, the Legislature of Kentucky, aiming at a removal of the evil, has subscribed for stock in this company. Will this Government, infinitely more able, to whom the regulation of the mail particularly belongs, refuse to contribute her portion to this work, when, in its accomplishment, more benefit will accrue to the General Government than to the State, or to individuals through whose landed estates it may chance to pass : ... It cannot be that this Government will use the road daily, contribute to render it impassable, and withhold its mite to repair and amend its condition. Sir, the sum now asked is but a mite, when compared to the immense sum annually expended on that road in the labor of our peasantry. Let me present another view of this subject. We have repeatedly heard that the public lands were pledged to pay the public debt, and that the debt was burdensome. I infer from that fact, that the lands are relied on as a source of revenue. It is not necessary for my purpose to discuss the propriety of throwing them more rapidly into market, reserving them, or pursuing the present system. Suffice it for me to know that the Government is converting them into money as fast as practicable, to extinguish the national debt, and to aid in defraying our current expenditures. It must be important, with this object in view, that the value of our lands should be augmented in the increase of the price, or in the inducement to a prompt, and ready sale. They are now a dead capital on our hands, since the millions of acres which are unsold yield nothing to the Government, and are free from taxes. If they were immediately sold, not only could {..". national i. be paid off romptly, but a sum would be left in your treasury, which, if properly funded, would accomplish very desirable objects.

Can any plan be devised to effect this more certainly

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than to remove the obstacles in reaching those lands? Make it easy, convenient, and cheap, to visit your new countries, to remove families to them, and you present new and powerful inducements to purchasers. Recollect that many of our fellow-citizens are r, and in the North and East earn a precarious livelihood by daily labor. Such men will become purchasers of your lands—domiciliated citizens beyond the mountains, independent cultivators of the soil, if you will make it practicable to get to those lands. But, in the present condition of the roads which lead in that direction, the expense of removing a family is so great that it forbids emigration to the poor. Here another view of this subject, distinct in its importance, yet intimately connected with the sale of our public lands, suggests itself to my mind. It is the encouragement of western population. Warm has been the contest whether the North or the South, by general legislation. has contributed most to the population and prosperity of the western States. If western population ever was a subject of national importance, I presume it has never lost it, and that it still is a subject of general legislation. Every writer on political economy—every politician, theoretical or practical, has treated the increase of population as a matter of primary magnitude. It will not do at this advanced period to resort to argument to prove that the opulation of a country is its wealth; its population, en#. liberal, brave, and intelligent, its chief defence, its greatest honor. These are political axioms, which do not require either argument or illustration to force them upon the mind. They are taken as self-evident, and used to elucidate other positions; and allow me to use them for that purpose on this occasion... I take for granted that this Government does not look with an eye of indifference on western population; but that whatever will promote it, will be considered natural in its aspect. What inquiry is left None which involves the power of the Government to act; but simply one of expediency. I trust that our friends from the North and the South will embrace this favored opportunity to evince the sincerity of their attachment, and the earnestness of their professions of kindness. • The whole West is looking to this measure, small as it may seem to some gentlemen, with intense interest, because it will be the spring to a new era there. Our object is to encourage population, and to dispose of our public lands ; and the question is, how shall these be accomplished # I have endeavored to show that the most efficient plan will be to afford facilities in the progress to your fertile and productive lands in the West; in other words, improve the great highways which lead in that direction. I shall have done with this part of my subject, when I present one illustration of its constitutionality and policy. e have a right to set apart every twentieth section of our public lands for opening and improving roads to and through them, for the convenience of the settlers. Because that amount, expended in this way, enhances the value of the residue, of course, operates as a bounty upon the putchaser, and increases our population and wealth. This would be an authorized exercise of power, and no doubt can exist as to the wisdom of such a measure. Let us then suppose that the twentieth sections are sold—the proceeds in the treasury, having the same objects in view—population and sales of Fo i.". it not be equally au. thorized, and equally wise, to appropriate the proceeds of the sales to the same purposes : From the consideration of lands, I pass to their productions. Important as are our manufacturing and commercial interests, they must yield to the agricultural interest of this country. I assume this position, not having time to illustrate and demonstrate its correctness ; and propose to deduce from it some evidences favorable to a system of internal improvements west of the mountains. The inducements to an agricultural life are manifold—ease and inde

dance and contentment. But the master spirit which sti. mulates to this, as to most other pursuits, is profit. Cer. tainly it is, of all other employments, most favorable to vir. tue, independence, and to freedom; therefore should com: mand a }. consideration. If the prices of produce do not justify cultivation to a greater extent than will sus. fice for the wants and necessaries of life, no more will be roduced; and farming, as an occupation, must decline. f, however, the prices promise to pay a rich reward for his labor, the farmer will not be content to grow merely what may supply the necessaries of life. He has an incentive to extraordinary exertion, and, in obedience to it, calls all his energies into action. The first consequence is increas. ed industry, which is followed by increased productions and a bountiful augmentation of profits. But your most fertile soil is remote from your sea coasts and from your navigable streams. High prices cannot ope rate as a stimulant upon the cultivator of the interior, The cost of land transportation to market, or to a naviga. ble water, consumes his profits. He cannot come in competition with those more favorably situated for market; and he abandons the idea of cultivation for market, and not unfrequently altogether. In this way, your very best lands lie uncultivated and neglected. If you progress in the system of which this bill is a part, an important part to the western States of the Union, you o diminish the cost of transportation, and, to that extent, increase the profits of the agriculturist, and bestow a bounty to the pursuits of husbandry. , You will extend to the interior regions some of the advantages enjoyed by those who reside near the sea coast and igo. streams; you will develop the productive energies of all portions of the United States; you will increase the amount of your exto: and distribute with the hand of equality the nefits of diffused wealth to every portion of your fellowcitizens; and, as a consequence of the whole, you elevate the character of that class of the community in national estimation, upon whom, in part, the country depends for the permanency of its political institutions. Here I am led, by a very natural association, to pay a passing notice to a work of internal improvement, the most brilliant of the age. I cannot be particular; but if I were called upon to select the work which is most useful to the United States, now in execution, I would select the Baltimore and Ohio railroad. Its utility, in two respects, is very striking to my mind. First, as a means of transportation between the ocean and the western waters, with all its commercial advantages, and then, sir, as a bond of union between the East and the West. I have no doubt, and I judge from what mine own eyes have seen, that this work is to be accomplished, and that its realities are to be entirely equal to all the anticipations of its most sanguine friends and patrons. In this event, the productions of the valley of the Ohio are to be brought into successful competition with those of Frederick, Prince George's, and Anne Arundel, immediately around the flourishing and enterprising city of Baltimore. ... Not only will the cost of transportation be surprisingly diminished, but, what is very important to the cultivator, the time of sending his produce to market may be selected to suit his convenience, and the particular demand of the article he may produce for sale. Whilst the main object I have in view is to induce a subscription of stock in the Maysville road, peculiarly as a western improvement, I cannot omit (as this may be the only opportunity I may have) to express a sincere hope that the Baltimore road may receive that attention here, which a great republic ought to bestow upon a public work, whose magnificence is equalled only by its utility. Before I resume my seat, allow me to take another view of this subject. I have been educated to place a high estimate upon the union of our States, and to desire its per

pendence, freedom from turmoil and excitement, abun

petuation. The impressions of this my early instruc.

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tion, proceeding from a source which, in every way,

I loved to regard, have grown into fixed and unalterable

principles: My judgment confirms them, and my expe. rience and observation here have taught me that our ablest and best statesmen may be well employed in devising'means to ward off all indirect attempts to weaken the . which unite us together. If I mistake not, this government will find it prudent to encourage and appropriate funds to promote a more easy and expeditious intercourse between the capital of the United States and the capitals and commercial depots of the several States; and, further, to eneourage a similar system among the several States, to connect more intimately their capitals and commercial cities; all, sir, with a view to the perpetuity of the Union. By in. creasing the facilities of intercourse, you bring about a contiguity which cannot otherwise exist. This contiguity and constant intercourse are followed up by a community of feeling, and, what is equally powerful over the human mind, a community of interests, accompanied by a conviction of mutual dependence, and an . necessity to promote mutual and reciprocal prosperity. This system of advancing internal intercourse, with consequences so hapPy and important to the Union, will not be deserted, because experience will never teach us that the people of the United States will be more free, more secure, or more happy, under any other form of government than under this, established by the wisdom of patriots hitherto unequalled, and consecrated by some of the best blood of the revolution. A question involving the sovereignty of the States can. not arise or be made to bear upon this measure. The Legislature of Kentucky, by a solemn act of sovereign power, has invited the General Government to unite with them and with individuals in the accomplishment of this work. I trust, sir, that this Government will not be so disrespectful to that sovereign State, as to defend her sovereignty against her own encroachments. Having endeavored to show that this subject is worthy the attention of Congress, and to prove that the objects which it is the intention of this bill to accomplish are national in their character and aspect, and that it is due to Kentucky and the whole West that this measure should be promptly adopted, I hasten to conclude. I come not here to eulogize Kentucky; but I am proud of my native country. She has contributed to fill the treasury of the United States by consuming those articles which bear a duty, and has received none of the public funds. She has been liberal in promoting internal improvements in other quarters of the Union, É. has never felt jealous of the prosperity of other States, or complained of a neglect of her condition and her interests. She has not withheld her vote, in the appropriation of thousands for the erection of light-houses, the improvement of harbors, and other objects on the seaboard, from Maine to Geor. gia. And while these immense sums are cheerfully given by Congress to other parts of the country, will it be generous, will it be just, to refuse to the West this pittance, which is to give new life and energy to those States and the people, on this subject vitally interesting to them The West, sir, is not the least valuable part of our country, nor is it the least extensive. It will sustain an immense population. Sooner or later, it will have it; and then, sir, it will wield in this capitol an influence which the North and the South may be willing to conciliate. , Not only in these respects has Kentucky been a faithful sister in the republic; she has, under all circumstances, promptly obeyed the country's call. Her hardy sons have felled the proudest forests in North America. They have converted the land of blood into beautiful and variegated gardens of cultivation. When few, they took a savage wilderness, and have given you, after indescribable privations and sufferings, a rich and productive State, full of citizens and soldiers. When seamen's rights were invaded, and the

American flag insulted, they stopped not to quibble about the nationality of the injury or of the insult, but dropped their peacefu . of husbandry; and though no hostile foot trampled their then blooming fields, they seized their swords and rifles, quit their happy homes, and rushed to scenes of strife, *} blood, ...? death. None fought more boldly, none bled more freely, none died more nobly, than the generous sons of Kentucky, in defence of national rights and of national honor. But I need not dwell upon this theme, so gratifying to a native of that patriotic State. The part my countrymen have borne, is well known to the nation. It will be admired, if not appreciated, in this assembly. I have now said what it was my duty to say on this question, so vitally interesting to Kentucky. I have performed the duty with much pleasure, arising out of the concern I myself feel in its success. More I should have experienced, if I could have believed that I did not trespass on the patience of the House. Conscious of my inability to edify or to instruct, even to a tolerable degree, I feel grateful to those who have kindly heard me through. As the representative of a populous and patriotic district, I appeal to the justice and generosity of Congress—impressed with the belief that both will be extended, if the case made out will justify. I feel convinced that my course is a correct one, else I should not have uttered one word on this occasion. I disclaim any system of legislation which the constitution does not authorize, and which, in my humble opinion, will not advance the honor and welfare of my country, Mr. POLK addressed the House. It is [said he] with some reluctance, that I feel myself constrained, by a sense of duty, to call the attention of the House more closely than it has been done, to this bill, and to the facts connected with the road which it proposes to aid in constructing, and then to submit to the friends of internal improvements themselves, whether even they, according to the principles which they profess, can give it their support. I am not about to detain the House with a speech upon the subject of internal improvements generally. A few days ago, pending the discussion of the Buffalo and New Orleans road bill, I had the honor to present to the House iny views at some length upon this subject. I shall not now repeat what I then said. The friends of this system profess to apply the means of this Government only to objects of national importance. Is this road national in its character? What is the proposition before usi. It is that Congress shall subscribe one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in the stock of a private company, to construct a road sixty miles in length, ieading from one town to another in Kentucky. Every foot of the road lies within the interior of Kentucky. I put it to the friends of this system to say if it is a national work. If it is, then every road from one court-house to another, in Kentucky or in any other State, would be equally national. Since this discussion was commenced this morning, I obtained from a gentleman from Kentucky a copy of an act of the Kentucky Legislature, incorporating the company to construct this road. What do I find? On the 29th of January, 1829, a company was incorporated by that State, to make a road from Maysville to Washington, a distance of five miles, and the capitol stock of the company was twenty thousand dollars. That portion of the road, I understand, is completed, and toll gates erected on it. On the 14th of January, 1830, but little more than three months ago, and since we have been in session, another act was passed by the Legislature of that State, extending the charter of the company, so as to enable them to continue the road from Washington to Lexington, with an increased capital stock of three hundred thousand dollars. That act is brought direct to Washington; and now, sir, in less than four months from its date, we are very modestly asked to pay out of the public trea: sury one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, being one-half of the whole capital stock required to build the road. And for what purpose shall we do this? Does any man pretend; will any man insult our understanding, by telling us that we are to accomplish any national object by it! What, sir, a road sixty miles long, in the interior of one of the States, a national object, indispensable to enable the Government to carry on its operations in peace, or for defence in war ! Does any one so contend ? Can they so contend ? Yes, sir, strange as it may seem, it has been so contended by a gentleman from Kentucky, through whose district it is to ass. He informed us that it was a national work. because he said] internal improvements are so many ligaments which bind the States together in union. Sir, there is no more ardent advocate here for the Union, and for its perpetual preservation, than the individual who now addresses you; but let me tell the gentleman that if we have no stronger ties to bind us together, as brethren of the same family, than such schemes as this, then the Union is, indeed, but “a rope of sand.” A little road, sixty miles long, in the interior of one of the States, important to ; us together in the Union? The idea is really amusing. But this road must be national and important, it is said, because it is to constitute a middle section or link in a much longer road—one from Zanesville, in Ohio, to Florence, in Alabama; a part of a great cross route, of which we heard so much in the discussion of the Buffalo road bill. Now, sir, from Maysville to Zanesville, exceeds one hundred and thirty miles; and from Lexington (the other end of this section) to Florence, exceeds three hundred miles. Now, what great nationality of character would this great road, of which this bill before us constitutes, as it is said, a link, possess What important points would it connect for the purposes of war, for that is the standard argument always urged by the advocates of this system : Does it connect any military posts, or any points of military defence?. At Maysville you are on the bank of the Ohio river, where there is steamboat navigation; and at Florence you are on the bank of the Tennessee river, where there is likewise steamboat navigation: and you propose to run a road on its whole length, parallel, or nearly so, with these rivers. It is idle any longer to talk about nationality as applicable to this system. Anything is national that gentlemen think proper to deem expedient. A road from a neighborhood tavern to a neighborhood mill is just as national, according to the doctrine we hear every day, as any thing else. The truth is, that any thing, and every thing, according to the modern doctrines, is national by which the public money can be profusely expended and extravagantly wasted. That seems to be the only object important to be effected. The payment of the public debt is the last thing that some gentlemen seem to think of, when they are making indiscriminate appropriations of the public funds for improvements. Another gentleman, from Kentucky, informs us that this road is very important, and national, too; and, to prove it, he reads to us from a letter from a correspondent, the number of persons who have travelled upon it in a given time. The gentleman did not inform us how often the same person passed and repassed the point at which the enumeration was taken, on his neighborhood business. He did not tell us how many were going to mill, to church, or to the blacksmith shop. Are there not, I would ask the gentleman, twenty roads in Kentucky; that are much travelled, and equally important, and equally national, too, with this? Are not the roads from Lexington to Louisville, to Frankfort, or to Harrodsburg, much travelled and, if that constitutes nationality, are they not national, too? And where, sir, will this doctrine stop, short of naking all the roads in the Union out of the national treasury; I think I hazard nothing in saying that if there was no division of opinion in this House, upon principle, upon subjects like this; if there was an express grant of power in the constitution; if all were in. ternal improvement men, and each project was examined

H. of R.] Maysville Road Bill.

upon its own merits in a national point of view: there would not be found in this house twenty individuals who would vote for this bill. I doubt whether any but the in: mediate representatives of the districts through which it passes would vote for it; and I doubt whether even they would. But what do we see here every day? Whenever a proposition for internal improvement comes up, no mak ter what it be, visionary, extravagant, or ridiculous as you can conceive, an appeal is immediately made to the friend. of the system, as it is called, and they are told, “you must vote for this; for if you do not, the system fails, and you cannot get an appropriation for some other projects, in which your section of country is interested.". The com: bination is complete; and this is what you call a system. Do I speak too strongly Am I not borne out by the facts which have come under the observation of every gentleman here? It is almost useless to say to these gentle. men, if you are in favor of internal improvements, is that any reason why you should vote for every and all the vi. sionary schemes that are presented here? Do we not see the friends of the system, in an almost unbroken body voting for every proposition that comes before us? Why is this so? Each gentleman here, who has a road or a canal, or expects one, in his section of country, votes for every other, however useless it may be, for the purpose of keeping up the alliance, so that all others may, in like manner, support his favorite project when it comes up. And this is what you call a system. Can any one deny that this is the practical operation of this thing, as we see it every day ? Whenever the combinations of sectional in: terests of this kind, thus united in action together, shall constitute a majority, can any one fail to see the inevitable consequences? The treasury will be drained of its last dollar, and every project will be carried by means of a settled majority, each individual of that majority acting upon interested sectional feelings, and all voting for every proposition, whether it be useful or national in its charac. ter or not. There is another consideration connected with this particular bill, to which I would call the attention of its friends and of the House. Ordinarily, before Congress are called upon to engage in works of this sort, a minute survey and report upon the proposed work is required to be made by engineers of the É. States. Has even that been done in this instance? Two or three years ago, some gentlemen of the engineer corps rode through the country from Zanesville to Florence, and

made to us a report of what they call a preliminary ex:

amination. That there may be no mistake about this, I beg leave to read from their report a single passage. It is as follows: “It cannot be supposed, nor was it intended, neither indeed was it necessary, that the details furnished by a preliminary examination, like that in which we have been engaged, should be attended with undeviating accuracy; nor were we supplied with the means of attaining it, in reference to any of the items contained in the tables connected with this essay. Nevertheless, the mode of exhibiting the characteristics of the several routes therein exemplified, is deemed more appropriate, and better calculated to give a clear and satisfactory view of their com: Fo advantages and disadvantages, than any other that as been suggested. To prevent the possibility.of being misunderstood, we add, that the statements contained in the tables are to be regarded as mere approximations to the truth, rather than as facts; as the results of the most careful and attentive observation, rather than of actual surveys and measurements. In this report, of the preliminary examination, several routes and subdivisions of routes, as many as eight in number, I believe, are presented, all, of course, national. It is to have as many ramifications almost as the Buffalo road had. As a matter of course, these gentlemen of the engineer corps, who have done nothing more than ride through the country, and take general observations, con

[April 28, 1830.

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sider each route as exceedingly national. And when, sir,
did the engineer corps ever report against the national-
ity and expediency of any P. that they have ever
been sent out to examine ! I mean no personal disrespect
to the gentlemen who compose this corps; but I must say,
I have no confidence in any report they make. They are
as much to be relied upon, as a body of men, as others:
but their employment, their very living, depends upon a
continuance of these surveys. They, perhaps, think it
their duty to report favorably upon every project, to the
Government which employs them. This fact we know,
that they never report unfavorably, at least I remember
no instance, to any project, however visionary or ridicu-
lous. They have an admirable facility, too, of ramifying
every object they examine into as many routes as possible,
always taking i. care to leave the advantages and dis-
advantages of the respective routes as exactly poised as
possible, leaving the inhabitants upon every route to hope,
and each section to expect, to obtain the work. I cannot,
therefore, but say, that however much personal respect I
may have for some of them, I have no sort of confidence
in any report they make. But in this instance, if confi.
dence were to be reposed in their reports, you are about
to dispense even with this form, usually observed. The
engineers themselves inform you that their examination
has been preliminary; that they have made no actual sur-
vey; and they admit it, to be imperfect. The gentleman
from Kentucky, [Mr. LetchER] aware of this difficulty,
has exhibited #: the House, with an air of great ap-
parent confidence, a map of a survey of this section of
sixty miles of road, which, he says, was made by a private
individual employed by the company. We are asked
then, to subscribe stock to a large amount in a road which
has never been minutely surveyed by an officer of the
United States. You are about to dispense with this pre
requisite, usually required by the advocates of the system,
in such projects. I mention this to show the extent to
which the advocates of this system are disposed to carry
these projects.
Sir, I beg the gentleman from Kentucky to be assured
that I have no feelings hostile to the interests of that State.
It always affords me pleasure to promote her interests by
my vote, when I can consistently with my public duty
here. And I am persuaded, if the whole people of Ken-

tucky could witness our deliberations, and see the practi

cal operations of this system, and its consequences, that
they themselves, being an exporting people, and paying
their portion of the taxes, would not approve it. , My only
object when I rose, was to call the attention of the House
to this bill, and to submit to the friends of this system
themselves, whether they can vote for it. I have done
my duty; other gentlemen will do theirs.
Mr. LETCHER, in reply to Mr. Polk, observed, that
considering the gentleman was taken unawares, that he
did not comprehend the subject, under discussion very
well, and only intended to offer a few suggestions, he had
made a pretty long speech. He did not himself know
how it happened, yet such was the fact, that the most
ingenious, labored, loud, and powerful efforts in that
House were usually presented by gentlemen wholly un-
prepared. They came into the debate suddenly, felt a
deep regret that duty compelled them to offer a few re.
marks, and by sudden and unexpected bursts of eloquence
(as in the present instance) directed a most furious blow
at some highly meritorious bill.
Sir, this mode of attack is becoming so very common,
that it creates no sort of surprise, and no alarm. It ought
to be received for what it is worth, and no more. The
bill, I trust, sir, is not to be defeated by this or any other
mode of attack. Let it be examined coolly and deliber-
ately; let it be understood, and the result is not feared.
Sir, I had indulged in the fond hope, that, after the long
and vehement speeches, by which gentlemen had obtained
Vol. WI-105.

so much eclat, and self-satisfaction, and glory, in meeting and defeating the bill for the New Orleans road, their rage in some degree would have been satiated; but it seems, sir, I was mistaken; they come forth again to the charge flushed with victory, in pursuit of new honors, and armed, if not with new arguments, at least with increased zeal. Sir, they are unceasing and untiring in their efforts to prostrate every thing that looks like internal improvement. It is true, sir, they have displayed much ingenuity in their opposition, but, perhaps, at the same time, a little inconsistency. Let us see how that matter stands. The New Orleans road was too long. The gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Polk] said, in most emphatic language, we would find it a long and a lonesome road. What does he say to this? Why, that it is too short. I should [said Mr. L.] really like to know the gentleman's true measure. How long must a road be, to secure his patronage The New Orleans rond was a mud road. What! said the gentleman, after withholding your favors so long, do you intend to insult the West, by proposing to give them a mud road ; Well, sir, here is one not too long, not of mud, (we have too much of that already,) but of hard, durable rock, upon the McAdam plan, and still he objects to this. Again: When the other bill was under discussion, said the gentleman, why do you not first attempt to accomplish your end by individual enterprise? First put your own shoulder to the wheel, obtain the consent of the States, and thereby avoid all difficulties of a constitutional nature. All that is done, sir, and our shoulder is at the wheel, and we now call upon you to help us. Seventy-five thousand dollars have been subscribed by our citizens; and now the idea of the Government subscribing to aid a company of individuals, in making a road, is scouted, and indeed, sir, severely ridiculed by that honorable gentleman. He appears to think it not only dangerous, but ruinous. The State of Kentucky, sir, did not think so. . She has gone as far as her limited resources will allow, by taking stock to the amount of seventy-five thousand dollars, as I have informed the House upon a former occasion. The bill takes particular care to guard against all imposition, by declaring that no money shall be advanced by the United States, until assessments and payments are first made by the State, and the individual stockholders. Where, then, is the danger, and the ruin, or even the possibility of a risk Sir, the whole scheme has been laid before you; there is nothing concealed. It is fair, and honest, and P". in every respect. The gentleman has been pleased to say, this is a little short road, and that it is not more travelled than many others in the State. Sir, if any confidence is to be reposed in the official reports of able engineers, independent of the statements and the facts which my colleague [Mr. ColoMAN] and myself have had the honor of submitting to the House, this road is not only exceedingly important, but more travelled, perhaps, than any other road of its length, west of the Alleghany mountains. It is very true, as the gentleman has alleged, that the report of the engineers of 1827, commences with an apology, by professing a want of time and opportunity to be entirely accurate in all its parts; but this is nothing more nor less than the expression of that diffidence and modesty which usually accompanies true merit... It is the same mode the gentleman himself has adopted in the commence: ment of his remarks; and, upon the striotest scrutiny and the closest examination it turns out in the end to be a production of great ability, evidencing a thorough acquaintance with the subject in all its practical bearings, and most undeniably must be acknowledged to be in every particular highly satisfactory. , Can any gentleman Point, one aingle instance in which it is deficient He cannot. what more is required? Why has not the gentleman long since

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