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ordinary meaning, and resort to precedents. But, unfor-1This subject comes more nearly home to me, and to the tunately, and very strangely, precedents never seem to be people I represent; and I am about to resort to high auof any use, but for operating against some iong establish- thority—the very highest, in the estimation of some—even

ed rule of action, under which a thousand previous acts

are not permitted to have as much force as one new act in

opposition to that rule.
in favor of the practical use of the word establish to count.
But we know, from the foundation of the Government
until within a few years, establishing a post road meant
the designation by law of some road already made as a
mail route. This has, in many thousand cases, which
ought to have the force of precedent, been the evident
meaning of the acts of the Government establishing post
roads. And I give a strong illustration in the case of the
celebrated Cumberland road, which, if I am rightly in-
formed, was first made, or caused to be made, by Congress,
and afterwards, by a separate and distinct act, made, or
established, that is, designated by law a post road, and
the mail directed to be carried on it as a mail route, and
so of any other road. Some seem to have a difficulty, be-
cause the same word establish is used in regard to post
offices. But this will, upon a moment's reflection, be
shown to be only prescribing by law the official duties or
character of some individual appointed postmaster. Con-
gress, by establishing-the office, neither makes the man,
nor the place where the duties are performed. In gene-
ral, it does not require a great deal of room, and most of
those who are willing to perform the duties have some
place to perform the duty in, or furnish it. The word es-
tablish has been therefore properly interpreted by the acts
of the Government from its commencement; and, if right-
ly informed, I believe it is so used in that country (Eng-
land) from which we received our idea of post office sys-
tem. The more modern, and evidently erroneous inter-
pretation, that establish means to make post roads and post
offices, must be considered an interpolation.
The appropriating power, the most convenient for all
purposes, is not a new one. It is the opinion of Mr. Ha-
milton revived, I think, in 1823, or '4, because it was per-
haps thought more to the purpose by some. ... In his report
on manufactures, page fifty-fourth, Mr. Hamilton remarks :
“It is therefore of necessity left to the discretion of the
National Legislature to pronounce upon the objects which
concern the general welfare, and for which, under that
deseription, an appropriation of money is requisite and
proper. And there seems to be no room for a doubt that
whatever concerns the general interests of learning, of
agriculture, of manufactures, and of conjmerce, is within
the sphere of the national councils, so far is regards an
application for money.”
f Congress can, at its discretion, pronounce upon the ob-
jects which concern the general welfare, and apply, ad li-
bitum, the money of the public to their accomplishment,
what is to prevent their exercise of ... whatever,
which it may please them to say is for the general welfare,
is a national j They may select any end or object,
and use any amount of means to arrive at or accomplish
the purpose. The people intended this to be a Goveru-
ment of limited powers; but if, really, Congress is left to
its own discretion as to the objects, with unlimited use of
the means, the Government becomes as sovereign and im-
perial as the autocracy of Russia or Turkey. I ask, what
is the difference between unlimited power, and an unlimit.
ed use of the means to accomplish whatever objects the
discretion of the Government may select or point out?
What is power but the use of the means to accomplish
anything # Means in use are power de facto, real, practi.
cal power. - -
The power to regulate commerce is one of the main
sources from which the power to make internal improve-
ments within the jurisdictional limits of the States, by mak-
ing roads and canals, improving, or, I suppose, making

the sovereign power, in their estimation; but not quite so high, in my opinion, as that. No, sir; not quite the sove

I know not how many precedents (reign power, but yet very high and respectable authority.

I mean the Supreme Court. In the case of Gibbons vs. Ogden, the Chief Justice, in delivering the opinion of the court, after some preliminary observations, says: “We are now arrived at the inquiry—what is this power? It is the power to regulate, that is, to prescribe the rule by which commerce is to be governed. This power, like all others vested in Congress, is complete in itself, may be exer. cised to its utmost extent, and acknowledges no limitations other than are prescribed in the constitution." He con tinues: “If, as has always been understood, the sovereign. ty of Congress, though limited to specified objects, is plenary as to those objects, the power over commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States, is vested in Congress as absolutely as it would be in a single Government, having in its constitution the same restrictions on the exercise of the power as are found in the constitution of the United States." The word sovereignty, applied here to Congress, if understood as it frequently is, I do not approve of Congress is not the sovereign power of the country, but a mere agency, with powers plenary quoad hoe over particular subjects; and in this sense the word should be understood here. I perfectly agree with the opinion of the court in the doctrine here laid down of the plenary nature and completeness of all the legitimate constitution al powers of this Government. And sir, I, for one, would not diminish one iota, nor in the smallest degree take from or diminish the powers either of the general or State authorities; but, keeping, each within its proper sphere, I would adopt the . adage of suum cuique tributo. But, does not every one perceive that this doctrine, being sound and truly drawn, as I say it is, from one of the plainest parts of the constitution, is at once destructive of the claim of this, Government to make internal improvements within the States ? The Chief Justice proceeds, af. ter some other remarks: “The appellant, conceding these postulates, except the last, contends that full power to regulate a particular subject implies the whole power and leaves no residuum ; that a grant of the whole is incompatible with the existence of a right in another to any part of it.” . On the margin we have the following condensation of the context to which it is connected; “The power to regulate commerce, so far as it extends, is exclusively vested in Congress, and no part of it can be exercised by a State.” Now sir, what is the commerce, the regulation of which has been given to Congress It is commerce “with foreign nations, among the several States, and with the Indian tribes.” This is the commerce to be regulated, constituting one subject whole and entire, totus teres atque rotundus. The power of Congress over it is commensurate with the subject: it is full and complete, and consequently exclusive, as I say all the appropriate powers of Congress are. It follows from the very nature of things, that, if the power is plenary, it is necessarily exclusive, and cannot of necessity be concurrent, or participant, or conjointly with another. I have once before advanced the doctrine here, and I think truly, that, properly speaking, there are no concurrent powers between the General and State Legislatures or Governments. Even the power of taxation, which seems to be so considered by some, I find no difficulty with. There are powers to be exercised by both very similar, but this may be remarked in regard to other Governments. Take, for instance, the subject of taxation: it is not only similar in its mode of ap[... and exercise in this country and Great Britain, ut it is a known fact, that some of the very identical ar. ticles which

harbors, breakwaters, improving rivers, &c., is claimed.

{.. a tax in England, afterwards also yield

a tax here; but would any one undertake to say, there

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fore, that the two Governments are joint agencies : . The two Governments exercise similar powers, each within its own sphere, but not as copartners, or concurrent agencies. “Congress is authorized to lay and collect taxes, &c., to pay the debts, and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States.” But the court says: “This does not interfere with the power of the States to tax for the support of their own Governments, nor is the exercise of that power by the States an exercise of any portion of the power that is granted to the United States. In imposing taxes for State purposes, they are not doing what Congress is empowered to do. Congress is not empowered to tax for those purposes which are within the exclusive province of the States. When then, each Government exercises the power of taxation, neither is exercising the power of the other." No, sir; but exercising distinct and separate, though similar powers; and so of the power to regulate commerce, that is, the power, as properly defined by the court to make legal rules and regulations by which commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, and with the Indian tribes, is to be governed. I see before me many talented lawyers—I would ask them whether the idea of two ageneies, both with powers plenary quoad hoc over the same subject, is not a legal and political absurdity. And, sir, is there a man here who will have the hardihood to say that the States have not the right to make internal improvements within their jurisdictional limits And, if so, does it not follow, from the very nature of the powers of this Government, that Congress cannot The thing is self-evident. The truth is, that both Governments are agencies, with powers plenary in relation to each other, over the subjects appropriately and constitutionally to them committed by the sovereign power of the country—the people. , Neither Government is itself the sovereign power, they are both subordinate to the actual sovereignty, which is in the people. If the power to regulate, means the power to make commerce, or any of its parts or adjuncts, we shall ultimately arrive at very strange results. And if, under this power, we are to make roads, canals, harbors, &c., we must go on, and, by the same rule, make wharves, piers, drays, wheelbarrows, and merchants' warehouses, as well as boats and large vessels to facilitate commerce. Commerce, in its narrowest signification, means an exchange of equivalents; but there are many things and circumstances so closely and inseparably connected with it, that they become, as it were, parts of it, or, at least, adjuncts, without which it could not get on, and they also become subjects for regulation; but regula. tion has been shown not to mean fabrication or construction. The Chief Justice says, speaking of the inspection laws: “They form a portion of that immense mass of legislation which embraces every thing within the territory of a State not surrendered to the General Government: all which can be most advantageously exercised by the States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, health laws of every description, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c., are component parts of this mass. I believe, sir, this road we are upon now, is to be a turnpike road. I think this power has been misunderstood. . The exer. cise of the power of this Government, in regard to internal improvements, has been evidently to me pushed beyond its proper bounds and authority. , I am against extremes, on est in rebus. I do not think Congress has the right to go into the States to exercise those municipal rights which the people reserved to themselves or their local le. gislatures. I will only trouble the House with one other evidence, which is directly to the point. This is from the declaration of rights of North Carolina, which is a part of the constitution of that State. “That all political power is vested and derived from the people only. That the peo

ple of this State ought to have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof." I will trouble the House no longer. Mr. MARTIN, avowing his disapprobation of the bill, but his unwillingness to take up the time of the House in an argument against it, moved to lay the bill on the table, This motion was decided in the negative by yeas and Days: For the motion - - - - 85 Against it - - - - - 101 Mr.JOHNSON, of Kentucky, rose to address the House, and said that he was aware of the danger to this bill, which was incurred by occupying too much of the time of the House in making speeches in its behalf; but he trusted gentlemen would pardon him, when they considered the immediate and deep interest his constituents felt in the success of the bill. He knew the state of exhaustion in which the minds of the members were, after the protract. ed debate; and that no gentleman, however transcendent his talents might be, (he was aware of the very small pretensions he could himself urge) could expect from them a .# patient hearing. Indeed, he felt it as the next duty to fidelity to his constituents to observe perfect silence in the House, except in cases where he could not avoid delivering his sentiments as to the constitutional question in relation to the subject of internal improvements; it had been so often and so thoroughly discussed, that it was im: possible by argument to shed any new light upon it. . He did not believe a single new idea could be advanced by any one. Instead of constitutional argument, he wished to substitute facts, examples, and legislative action. And he should feel happy, and consider himself fortunate, when a proposition was presented for the benefit of Maine, or Georgia, or of New York, if he could lend it any mid. For this was a great federal Union, one and indivisible; and be should extend at all times, equal and exact justice to all its parts, so far as his judgment and his attachment to all would guide him. W. the salutary power of this Government was involved in the question, so long as it was regulated by discretion, he would vote for it. He never could or would consent to put so rigid a construction on the constitution, as to restrain the beneficial action of this Government when applied to the judicious system of internal improvements. Roads and canals were strong links in the chain of affection which bound this Union together as a band of brothers, and made our fellow-citizens rich, and happy, and independent. He knew that many honorable gentlemen in that House, far more intelligent than he, applied a strictness to all parts of the constitution which applied to those clauses only which guarded personal liberty—the freedom of speech and the rights of conscience. He should vote just as freely for this road if it were in Georgia, as in his own State. He had always acted on these rinciples; and his constituents, with a full knowledge of that fact, had honored him with a seat in that and in the other House for twenty-three years. Thus he had lived, , and thus he hoped to die. He could truly say that it caused anguish in his very soul when he heard gentlemen on his right hand and on his left get up and say," this part of the Union has been favored, and this part of the Union has been oppressed.” He should be thankful to Providence if it were possible to distribute the taxes of this country with perfect and absolute equality—aye, to a cent, or to the millionth part of a cent. Then they might lie down, perhaps, on their pillow in peace, and not hear the same strain of complaint continually resounding in their ears. He hoped his friend from Georgia, should he bring forward any project for the benefit of his own State, would find him as good as his word, and always happy to lend him his aid. As to the gentlemen from Virginia, [Mr. HALL] he could assure him that he had no wish to take his money away from him. o Mr. HALL interposed, and explained.] r. JOHNSON resumed. If my friend suspects that I

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look for his vote when he thinks the constitution forbids it, the original thirteen; that she has been with you in seven he is greatly mistaken. I know the uprightness of his mo: troubles, and will not leave you in seventy times seven; betives. I spoke of the effect of them only; and as to the 'cause she presented no request when hundreds of millions effect, while he is willing to give me but a stone, I am will- were spent (and well spent) upon the seaboard, in the

ing to give him bread. I will go with him so far as I can do it on principles of magnanimity and equality; in the course I pursue, my conscience is at rest. But let any proposition be brought forward which violates the rights of conscience, the freedom of speech, or the liberty of the press, that gentleman will find me, I trust, among the foremost to defend the constitution, whether with body or mind; and give it a construction which shall guard that liberty for which we have all struggled, and for which our fathers nobly fought, and freely bled. Then my friend and myself will be found, I hope, in giving the same construction, although we may differ as to making roads and canals. But to the question. Is this road not a national work? I say, that if the Delaware and Chesapeake canal is national in its character, then this road is national; but if it enn be shown that this was a private concern only, in which the nation had no interest, then I may give up this bill. So, I say, if the Chesapeake and Ohio canal is a 'national work, this road is such. Does it follow, that because you are now going to appropriate for sixty miles of a great connecting avenue between several States, that that avenue loses its nationality ? Does it cease to be national because you cannot make it all at one time I say that the Dismal Swamp canal was a national work, and we granted our aid to it §. the will of that ancient State which is the mother of

entucky. Yes, sir; we made her take the boon, whether she would or not. Has Virginia been injured by our appropriating money to finish the Dismal Swamp canal; just as we are going to do to South Carolina; for the citizens of South Carolina have petitioned Congress to aid them in a railroad; and a bill has been reported to give the money. I hope we shall pass on that bill, and that we shall pass it, too. Aye, sir, and there is another bill, interesting to the South, I hope we shall pass. I mean the Indian i Yes, sir, I am prepared to vote millions upon millions to remove those venerable relics of nations, if they voluntarily choose to go, to a region where they may remain at peace, unmolested by the intrusions, and uncorrupted by the vices of their white neighbors. In this, too, I have the advantage of my friends to the South. Although their principles will not enable them to aid my native State to open a road, I feel free, anci able, and willing to aid them in this great southern measure, as beneficial to the red man as it will be to our brethren of the South. Here, sir, is the request of the Legislature of my State that I will use my efforts to obtain the subscription of the Government to this road; she has directed her Senators and requested her Representatives to exert themselves for an object so important to the State. I ask you to grant us this little boon; it will set our whole State machinery in motion. The House is acquainted with the causes which have produced the embarrassments under which we labor; they know that these embarrassments have been incurred by exertions in the common cause of our country. They deprive us of the means of carrying into effect the improvement of the State by great and expensive works. Yet, sir, whenever similar aid was asked by other States, I and my colleagues have stood forward the constant supporters of their request. Kentucky has ever been found voting for the construction of roads and of canals, in which she had no direct interest, or local interest, except as a State, and component part of the Union. Did her neighbor, Ohio, ask our aid in advancing her internal prosperity, no petty spirit of rivalry, no mean and contemptible jealousy of the rising greatness of that State, induced Kentucky to withhold her influence and votes. The same remark will apply equally to Tennessee, her neighbor on the south. And, in the last place, permit me to remark, that I do not press this claim of Kentucky on the ground of her being *. oldest of the States, after

Vol. VI.-106.

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erection of fortifications to defend your coast, and millions more in protecting your commerce from foreign aggression: I do not urge that Kentucky, although far inland, and secure from all danger of invasion, joined boldly in the cry, “do not give up the ship.” No; I call on you to pass this bill, because the object in view is such a one as you ought to patronize. Surely this is as much a national object as the railroad from Baltimore to the mountains, and as the Ohio and Chesapeake canal; yet I voted in favor of that. , I went home, and said to my constituents, this is a united country; we are all one family. I have voted thousands away, not for you, my constituents, but for your brethren in other parts of the Union. They needed the aid, and I knew you would never wish to withhold it from them. Now, sir, I ask for my State, and I expect help in our time of need. It is not the only appropriation I intend to ask for. My constituents are very deeply interested in other roads and highways passing directly through my district. We have no incorporated companies yet; and the time has not arrived when their claim can be presented. When that period arrives, the grant, in this case, will not at all interfere with the strong and irresistible claim they have upon your justice; and I shall not be wanting in my duty, and you will not be unjust or ungrateful. Sir, we inhabit a fertile region—a fair and delightful habitation for man; it is surrounded not with water, but land, land in all directions, and to a vast extent. The pleasant Ohio rolls along its borders, bearing on its bosom the wealth of ten States. We wish to get at this great national highway, that we may carry the products of our industry to a market. The request is most reasonable, and you, I am confident, will not refuse it. If any State has been more liberal in her course toward the general interest of this Union, let her stand forth a monument of patriotism and public spirit. You have lent your aid to the Portland canal, to the Dismal Swamp canal, to the Chesapeake and Delaware canal. You have granted Ohio a million acres of land. You have given to Illinois, to Indiana, to all the new States. The donation to the Louisville and Portland canal was not a Kentucky boon; it was a gift to ten States of this Union, all equally interested in the navigation of the Ohio river. This road is the first object which Kentucky has presented to you. It is a great and important thoroughfare; not a road in the Union for: those between the great seaports) more travelled, and none of the same extent, by which you can more promote the public good. Under these circumstances, I trust you will not reject our bill. Mr. STORRS, of New York, replied to some remarks of Mr. HALL, relative to the cost, productiveness, and advantages of the New York canals. Mr. HALL said, in reply, that, as the remarks of the gentleman were directed to the report emanating from the Legislature of New York, and not in answer to what he had said, he left the subject between them. Mr. POLK next addressed the House, and renewed the argument advanced by him on a preceding day against the bill... He was opposed altogether to this system of appropriations for sectional purposes. It was a more easy matter, it appeared, to vote profuse sums in the Congress of the United States. . He repeated that it was more easy to vote ten thousand dollars in Congress, than ten dollars in a State Legislature. What would be the result of this lavish mode of expending the public money—what its cause? The country looked to the present Executive for the adoption of a system of economy and retrenchment; and how could this be effected, but by the most vigilant attention? The practical operation of the system now prevalent, was directly the reverse. The engineers entrusted with the

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surveys would not report adverse to a project, the adoption of which benefited themselves. The road in question received the sanction of the State Legislature in January last; so recently, he begged it to be observed, as January last; and yet an application was made to Congress for peeuniary aid towards its completion. Where [he asked] was this system to stop? He conceived the whole of these applications to be most pernicious in their tendencies, and unconstitutional in principle. Mr. TUCKER reprobated the system upon which this bill, and numerous others of a similar nature, were founded. In his judgment, all such appropriations, besides being unjust and unconstitutional, were pregnant with the most disastrous consequences. Mr. POWERS opposed the measure. He deemed it objectionable in every constitutional point of view. He spoke of the various ingenious arguments urged in favor of this project, and of others of a similar nature. The Buffalo Road bill had been objected to, because it was too long; and this one might be so objected to, because it was too short. This circumstance reminded him of the lady (and ladies were sometimes fond of complaining) whose husband was stated to find the bread occasionally burnt, and occasionally mere dough. The road had been called national in its object, because it led from one point of the Union to another. Now, he asked whether every road throughout the United States might not be said, by a Fo of reasoning, to be a national road; for all of them d from one point of the country to another. This argument, therefore, was utterly fallacious. He concluded by an earnest deprecation of the passage of the bill. Mr. CARSON objected to the bill. He was opposed to a system which went to make the Government of the Union a stockholder. from sordid views of interest, in public companies incorporated by a State. " Mr. CROCKETT said that he did not rise to make a speech upon the subject. Indeed, he was convinced in his own mind, that, if they were to speak for five days upon it, not a single vote would be changed. Every one, he thought, had already made up their minds with respect to it. He should therefore call for the previous question. The call was seconded by a vote of yeas 101; nays not counted. The main question, on the passage of the bill, was then put, and decided in the affirmative by the following vote: yeas, 102-nays, 86. So the bill was passed, and sent to the Senate for eoncurrence.


The House then again went into Committee of the Whole, Mr. Polk in the chair, on the bill “altering the several acts laying duties on imports,” and the amendment proposed thereto by Mr. McDuffix.

Mr. McDUFFIE resumed, and spoke nearly two hours in continuation of his argument. o The following is a full report of the remarks of Mr.

C. L. § McDUFFIE said that he entirely concurred with the chairman of the Committee on Manufactures as to the expediency of providing for the faithful collection of the 'revenue; but, differing very widely with that gentleman as to the best practical mode of effecting the object, he begged leave to submit the amendment which he had prepared for that purpose. I propose [said Mr. McDJ to secure a strict and honest observance of the revenue laws, not by arbitrary penalties imposed at the discretion of the officers of the customs, but by rendering the laws themselves so just, and moderate, and equitable, that the great temptation to evade them, which is now held out by the high rate of the duties, will be, in a great measure, removed. As the amendment I have offered obviously opens for discussion the policy of the entire system of :

tion and protection, I will now proceed to offer some con: siderations to the committee, which, I trust, they will find not unworthy of their grave and solemn consideration. I shall pass over, with a bare allusion to them, many of the topics which have been heretofore urged on this floor, w show the inexpediency of the system we are considering. The inevitable tendency of this system to destroy foreign commerce, and consequently our commercial marine and naval power, has been so repeatedly urged, and, on a very recent occasion, with such conclusive proofs and triumph. ant argument, by my friend from New York...[Mr. CAM: bar:Long] that I will not attempt to add anything to what he has said on the subject. Neither, sir, do I propose to go into an investigation of those abstract principles of po litical economy to which we have so often and so vainly appealed, for the purpose of convincing the majority of the inexpediency and injustice of the course they have been pursuing. That it is equally unwise and unjust to attempt to direct the course of national industry by Go: vernment restrictions—that individual sagacity and interest will infallibly find out and pursue those employments that are most profitable—are positions in which the enlightened writers on the science of political economy, in every part of the world, almost unanimously concur. Yes, sir, it is a singular and striking proof of the soundness of the doo. trines for which we are contending, that, for the last half century, almost all the philosophers and political econd. mists of Great Britain and France, in the midst of commer cial restrictions imposed by their own Governments, have boldly maintained the folly and injustice of those restrio, tions. Theirs is the disinterested testimony of enlightened minds, seeking only for truth, and having no motive to pervert it. But I pass that over. Nor shall Inow enterinto any argument (as I have done in former discussions of this subject) to prove to gentlemen from other parts of the Union, that the interest of a majority of their own eonstituents would be better promoted by reducing the duties they have been so anxious to increase. I will barely stale, that I do most sincerely and conscientiously believe that even in those parts of the Union for whose exclusive ad. vantage the existing high duties have been imposed, the interests of nine men are sacrificed where that of one is promoted by them. . Nothing can be more clearly demon. strated, in my opinion, than that, even in Massachusetts and Vermont, and Pennsylvania, the great mass of the community, the small farmers, and the persons

in handicraft employments, are subjected to unjust and injurious burdens, to promote the interests of a comparatively small number of large capitalists. But, sir, it is now to late to urge this view of the subject; and perhaps it would not be very beeoming in me to attempt to school gentlemen from other parts of the Union in what relates to the peculiar interests of their own constituents. I shall, there. fore, take.it for granted that the existing system of com: mercial restrictions has been established by the majority of Congress, from a deliberate conviction that it is calculated to promote the interests of their constituents, and that there is no probability that the opinion of that majority will undergo a change. Now, sir, however much I may be disposed to question the rights and the powers of the majority in some other respects, I agree that they have the undoubted and exclusive right to determine for them: selves what will best promote their own interests. How far they have a right to decide upon the interests and rights of others, is quite another question. I shall assume, then, as the basis of the remarks I intend to offer, that the sys" tem of prohibitory duties, which aims at the ultimate exclusion of all those articles of foreign merchandise which th: southern States have an interestin importing, is the fixed and unalterable policy of Congress. I sincerely deplore the fact; but I should be guilty of exciting false and delo sive hopes in my constituents, if I did not declare it. Sir, no man who will reflect upon the progress of this system

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for the last twelve years, can indulge the slightest hope that it will ever be abandoned by those who have imposed it upon us... From year to year the duties have been increased and the system extended, and, at each successive enlargement of the circle of monopoly, the majority in Congress has uniformly increased. So far from perceiving any indications of a reaction here, it seems obvious to me that the more odious, and oppressive, and intolerable the system is rendered to the people of that portion of the Union whose rights it grossly violates, and whose interests it is calculated to destroy, the more determined and obsti. nate are the majority in adhering to it, and extending its operation. Placing the question then upon the footing on which it is placed by the advocates of this system—coneeding to them the right and the eapacity to judge of their own interests—yielding the point, as I am compelled to do, that the prohibitory system does really promote what they regard as their true interests, I ...s. proceed to demonstrate, as I think I can most conclusively, that the interest of the majority thus to be promoted consists in the absolute o of the rights and interests of the minority. In this state of facts, a very grave and momentous question irresistibly forces itself upon the consideration of this body: how far it is the right of the majority to destroy the separate and peculiar interests of the minority; and how far the minority are under any constitutional or moral oblition to submit to so monstrous an outrage. Sir, I am well convinced that the people of the United States have not realized, even in a partial degree, the nature and extent of the oppression under which the people of the Southern states are laboring. I shall proceed, therefore, to inquire, in the first place, what is the operation of our system of impost duties upon the various portions of the Union, regarding it merely as a system of trevenue. Has it any pretensions to be regarded as a just and equal system of taxation Is not the fact undeniable, that almost the whole burden of federal taxation is thrown upon those branches of productive industry which furnish the exchanges of our foreign commerce, while all the other branehes of domestic production are free from taxation, and a large portion of them derive considerable bounties, indirectly, from the very burdens imposed upon those productions which constitute the staples of foreign commerce? If I have not entirely mistaken the true operation of the revenue laws of the United States, there never was a more unequal and unjust system of taxation devised by any Government, of ancient or modern times. A reference to the treasury statements of the commerce of the United States will show that the whole amount of the domestic productions annually exported to foreign countries, taking an average of years, is something less than fifty-eight millions of dollars. Taking this to be the aggregate value of the domestic exports of the whole Union, it may be estimated that those portions of the southern and southwestern States which are engaged in the production of the great agricultural staples of cotton, tobacco and rice, constituting less than one-third part of the Union, export to the amount of thirty-seven millions of dollars; and those portions of the States just mentioned, which are engaged in the production of cotton and rice, constituting less than one-fifth part of the Union, export to the amount of thirty millions of dollars. Now, sir, it would be difficult to imagine a proposition in political economy more undeniable, than that the amount of imposts which belong to each respective portion of the Union, must be proportioned to their exports. It is wholly immaterial who are the carriers and importers of the merchandise received in exchange for domestic productions, or through what custom-house it happens to pass; it must still be regarded as constituting the commerce of that por.

tion of the country, in exchange for the productions of

which it is obtained; and every imposition of duties upon that commerce is a burden of taxation thrown upon the domestic industry by which it is sustained. If, therefore, {}. would know what stake any particular portion of the

nion has in the foreign commerceg of the country, you have only to ascertain what proportion the exports of domestic productions from that part of the Union bear to the whole amount of foreign merchandise imported for consumption. How, then, are the burdens imposed by this Government, regarding the impost duties as a mere system of revenue, distributed among the various States and sections of this Union If I shall succeedin showing that the States engaged in the production of cotton, tobacco, and rice, are taxed by the Federal Government in proportion to the amount of their exports, it will follow that those States pay very nearly two-thirds of the whole amount of the federal revenue. It will also follow that the States engaged in the production of cotton and riee alone, with a population of little more than two millions, pay more than one-half of that revenue. I am aware, sir, that these propositions are calculated to startle those who have not examined the subject attentively. Gentles men will think it scarcely possible that any population in the world could have existed, in tolerable comfort, under such a weight of taxes. I will proceed, then, to the proof of the proposition, that the exports of the planting States indicate, the proportion of federal taxes paid by these States, taking fairly into view the entire operation of our fiscal system. And I beg that those gentlemen who are in favor of the existing policy, will examine my argument critically, and, if they can detect any fallacy in it, that they will expose it to this committee. "My sincere desire is to arrive at the truth. . If I am in error, it is my anxious wish that it may be clearly pointed out, as very important issues may probably hang upon it.

If the southern planters were to export their own productions in their own ships, and import, in the same way, the merchandise obtained in exchange for it, would any doubt exist that they actually paid into the treasury an amount of taxes proportioned to their exports? Export. ing productions to the amount of thirty-seven millions of dollars, they would pay, assuming the average rate of the duties even at forty per cent, fourteen millions eight hundred thousand dollars, while the States producing cotton and rice would pay twelve millions. Now, as the importing merchant is nothing more than the agent of the planter, the true operation of impost duties will be much more clearly perceived by dispensing with this agency. It tends to confuse the inquirer, by keeping out .# view the real parties to the proceeding. The merchant certainly bears his own share of the burdens of federal taxation; but the burdens of the planter are in no degree diminished by that fact, I assume, then, that the planter is subjected to precisely the same burden, as a planter, that he would be if he had no factor or commercial agent, but ex d his own produce himself, and imported what he obtai for it abroad. Why, then, is it denied that he is taxed in proportion to the amount of his exports? It is denied, upon the assumed ground that the producer pays no part of the tax, as a producer, but that the whole burden falls upon the consumer of the articles subjected to impost duties. Now, although, as I shall hereafter attempt to show, the condition of the planter would be very little better, even if it were true that the consumer paid the whole tax; yet I deem it important to refute the common error, that indireet taxes, laid upon production, fall ultimately and exclusively on consumption. I know, sir, that indirect taxes do not exclusively rest upon those classes from whom they are actually levied. But upon what principle of reason or common sense can it be maintained that no part of them rests there?

Such an idea never would have been indulged for a moment, but for the disguised form in which indirect taxation

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