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Was it not their duty now to unite and to act in cont cert? and, so long as the present policy shall prevail, to insist that tide-water improvement shall be carried by tidewater votes? He regretted to find himself obliged to take this course, in self-defence. He was as much as ever the friend of internal improvement, and all he asked was, that equal justice should be extended to the interior and to the seaboard. As he had no expectation that the amendment now moved would prevail, he did hope the country would unite against the passage of the bill, as the only means left them to obtain what he believed to be their just rights. Mr. LOVE agreed that it was become particularly necessary for the people of the West to stand by each other, as he avowed he meant to do, and not support a single proposition for improvement elsewhere, if the members from the other parts of the Union, for whose appropriations he had uniformly voted, would not extend their aid to those introduced for the benefit of the West. He replied to the argument of the honorable member from South Carolina [Mr. FELDER] with much spirit; not, however, blaming him, supposing that, as a disciple of the school of nullification, it was perfectly natural for him to oppose improvements by the General Government. He particularly adverted to the argument in relation to the riots on the railroad as being a result to be condemnatory of the whole system. This argument, he thought, could only be equalled by that objection raised by a Kentuckian to turnpike roads, viz.: “that he feared they might wear out his horses' shoes more than the good old clay roads.” He, Mr. L., would, however, treated as the people of the West had recently been, now warn the members representing it, not to vote for a single improvement more, unless the eastern members would, in turn, support those in which the West was interested. Mr. ASHLEY considered that the vote of yesterday, rejecting the appropriation for surveys, was certainly the forerunner of an endeavor to be made to put down internal improvements, particularly in the West. It was his opinion that, if Congress persisted in any course in reference to internal improvements, that should be considered partial and prejudicial to the West, thereby creating, in any degree, a barrier between the East and West, itiprobably would ultimately beget a feeling that might endanger the Jnion. The members from the West had been consenting, from the beginning of the Government, to make appro priatons for the seaboard, to the amount of millions annual. ly, whilst everything for the benefit of the West was to be opposed. Was this fair? No. He considered that his State (Missouri) especially, had been very indifferently treated. Mr. A. stated the capabilities of the Missouri and Yellow Stone rivers to become navigable up to the very base of the Rocky nountains, with but a little aid to remove obstructions from them. He referred to the extent of waters already navigated by steamboats, and called upon the House to anticipate what would soon be the commerce of that part of the Union. Mr. EWING said that the part of the country from which he came would hold him recreant to his duty should he listen in silence to remarks such as had been made on this measure. He was aware that his friends at the South considered this whole matter of the construction of roads and canals by the General Government as unconstitutional, and were consequently opposed to continuing a system of surveys by way of preparation for it. He had hoped that time and circumstances would have operated to soften these prejudices; but, from what he saw and heard, he was induced to fear that no hopeful change had yet taken place, or, if it had, it was only in a few solitary instances. He could not agree in the assertion that this system of surveys was a matter of a sec. tional character. He considered it as a measure of gen
would view it as merely a mode of scattering the money
eral and strictly national concern. But, if gentlemen
which so much was said. Let the West supply her with
provisions; let the North furnish her with manufactures. Both contributed to the general prosperity. He wished her nothing but ease, comfort, and affluence. Yet, while gentlemen were surrounded by the pleasures of wealth, they thought but little of the hardships encountered by the people of the West, and seemed to grudge them any participation in the common benefit of the Government. Why this should be, he knew not; probably it was the effect of habit, and had grown by time. But, surely, if gentlemen would look at the noble streams of the West, and at that noble people which inhabited their banks, and duly considered the fraternal relation which existed between them, they would lay aside their narrow scruples, their false and contracted interpretations of the constitution—notions which could no more find a place in the minds of the people of the West than it would be possible to recal the clouds of yesterday. But when the day should come that the West must be thrown on its own resources, the southern gentlemen might find that they were as ready for action, their resources as good, and their arms as strong, as those who held a different construction of the constitution. Mr. E. had always thought that the constitution provided for the enjoyment of equal rights by all the citizens of this republic. He had o: thought that the power to provide for the public welfare, to regulate commerce between the States, and to establish post offices and post roads, meant something. It was time that a doctrine should be exploded, which effectually debarred the Government from promoting the good and providing for the happiness of those who had established it. It was time that gentlemen should give up their dread of phantoms, and their fearful apprehensions of “light-houses in the skies.” This system of narrow construction was one which reflected but little credit upon its authors, by many of whom it was certainly never heartily believed. Mr. E. did not mean to charge all those with insincerity who now professed to hold these sentiments, yet certainly the questions which they so delighted to raise were questions long since settled and put at rest, if any thing could be said to be settled under this form of Government. If they were not settled by this time, they never would be. But what, he asked, would be the practical effect of rejecting this provision for surveys? It would distinctly show the people of the West that they had nothing more to expect from this Government: that the Government intended to pocket the proceeds of the public lands and then to cut off those who had purchased them from all access to their relatives and former friends. Gentlemen might talk of their constitutional difficulties, and of the result of the last election, but he could assure them that ten presidential elections in succession would never be sufficient to put down this system of internal improvements. It was a question which depended not on constitutional lawyers, but upon the people of the United States. It was for the people to say how their own constitution was to be interpreted. It was for the people to say whether the Government should have power to tax them, but none to dispense the benefits of taxation; and when the people once uttered the words, it shall be so, so it would be. . Why did gentlemen tell the people of the South that this was a system intended to hunt them down? They often boasted that their opposition to the system was disinterested, and it seemed to give them pleasure to speak of it as of a daring character. It was so. It certainly would be considered daring in the highest degree in that part of the Union from which he came. Mr. E. had understood, and most assuredly the people of the West had believed, that the presidential doctrine on this subject differed widely from that advanceed by gentlemen of the South, and the journals of Congress were publicly read at the polls, to prove, by votes given, that
Bill. [June 19, 1834.
this was so. Yet the nation had witnessed what was the result; the nation had witnessed, what he and his constituents had discovered to their cost, that great men could say one thing and do another. Such was not the course which had been promised and held up to the people of the West. Here the course of Mr. Ew ING’s remarks became nearly inaudible, from the confusion in the hall. When he was again heard more distinctly by the reporter, he proceeded to observe that when, at the commencement of the session, he had made an appeal to the House for aid in behalf of the West, and had adverted to the magnanimous course pursued by the honorable chairman of the Committee of Roads and Canals, [Mr. MenceR,) he had been reproved and chid for showing too much earnestness. It might have been so; but when he considered what a noble fame this Congress might have acquired, and when he thought of the sanction which would have been put upon its deeds by an approving people, he could not but wish that he possessed the power of impressing others, as he was himself impressed, with the importance of the present measure to the improvement and prosperity of the country. He trusted that, when this Government was to cease, this system of investigation would cease also, and never till then. He trusted the House would revise the vote of yesterday, and that they would continue to maintain this policy, and give it their repeated sanction, till anything in the form and semblance of opposition to it should be frowned out of existence. Mr. BYNUM, of North Carolina, said that he should have left the task of defending the character and principles of the South to others who possessed more influence than so young a member as himself, had not gentlemen referred in a particular manner to his own State. Before presenting such remarks as suggested themselves to his mind, he begged leave to return his thanks to the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. HAwes] for the honorable stand he had taken in behalf of the constitution: it did him honor. He must also present his acknowledgments to the honorable gentleman from South Carolina, [Mr. Davis, who had, in so forcible and convincing a manner demonstrated the unfitness and utter incompetency of the General Government to carry on a general system of internal improvements. It was an object such a Government never could accomplish, and the attempt was, and always must be, attended with a most prodigal waste of the public money. The House was now called upon to appropriate $29,000 for the continuance of the surveys of roads and canals, rivers and harbors. And what was the object of making these surveys? That the Department might be able to point out particular works of internal improvement, and recommend them for the adoption of Congress. It was true that the House retained the option whether they would order the works or not. But in this whole business the Government was subjected to every species of importunity. Those engaged in making the survey had an interest that the works should be undertaken and carried on: and little did they care for the national character or public expediency of the works, provided their own pockets were well lined with the public money. If this system should stop, these people would at once be thown out of employment. The House ought, therefore, to be very distrustful of the reports and opinions of these surveyors and engineers. And all this was carried on from year to year in the very face of the uncertainty of its being constitutional, or rather the certainty of the contrary. The result of the late presidential election proved that, in the view of the people, the system was against the constitution. Indeed, when the question was put to any man of common sense, there could be but one opinion in the case. In Mr. B.'s opinion, the entire system was in the very teeth of the constitution. He agreed with his honorable
friend from Kentucky, [Mr. Hawks,) that the first law which sanctioned it was a stab at the vitals of the constitution. What had experience shown? What benefit had accrued to the country from these surveys and their consequences? Instead of any benefit, the House had heard enough from the friends of the plan themselves to convince any man of its impolicy. It had been stated by an honorable gentleman near him, that, notwithstanding four millions of dollars had been expended on the Cumberland road, it was, after all, nothing but a quagmire. This one fact spoke a volume against such undertakings. Four millions of dollars to make a road 130 miles long, and, after all, it was a quagmire! Who could guaranty that, after the expenditure of four millions, or of eight millions more, it would not still remain a quagmire? Some people there were, however, who were determined to remain ignorant, notwithstanding all the experience in the world. This Cumberland road had turned out a total failure, and now the House were modestly asked to appropriate 600,000 dollars more, by way of a finishing stroke, and then to give up the road to the States in perfect despair. The Government could not think of carrying it on any longer. As to the question of constitutionality, although high authority was quoted on both sides of the question, and, therefore, it might not become so young a gentleman to undertake to decide, yet for himself he had no doubt upon the matter. He believed Congress had no power to pass any such a law. In deference, however, to great names, and in fairness to those who differed from his judgment, it must be admitted that the constitutional power was still a mooted point. Let him turn, then, to the question of expediency. What had this project realized? The Cumberland road was one of the most conspicuous examples, and that was a quagmire, given up in despair to the management of the States. Mr. B. admitted that no man had stronger prejudices as a partisan than himself; but he trusted there was no man in that House who would sooner relinquish his prejudices for the interest of the country at large. He regretted greatly to hear such frequent appeals to sectional feelings and sectional interests. Legislation, on such a basis, was not calculated to perpetuate the blessings of our free and happy institutions. To broach such distinctions was to scatter firebrands through the country: it was to promote schism, and weaken the nation by dividing its population. As to the people of the West, Mr. B. said that his acquaintance with them was but of a partial kind; but if there were a people on earth which he truly respected, it was the people of the Western States. if he felt one emotion of patriotic interest for any portion of the earth, it was for that fine region of our country. Such jealousies had no place in his bosom; they were foreign to his nature; and, therefore, such appeals would never have any effect upon him. Several gentlemen had invoked the aid of the Eastern States, and seemed to consider it as a matter of course that, because some of these projects were located in the eastern part of the Union, that consideration must be a sufficient motive with them to support the bill in all its parts. But, as for himself, no matter where an improvement might be proposed, if it was to be carried on by the General Government and not by the States, he should oppose it on the principle that all such undertakings had a tendency to corruption. The gentleman from Indiana [Mr. Fw1Ng] had adverted to a small item of appropriation for North Carolina. that kind, but Mr. B. had not voted for it. He had not, to be sure, objected to its passage, nor was he bound to do so in consistency to his own principles; for, if the country must have the system, why should not North Carolina have her share of the disbursements it occasioned? But, whatever his own State might or might not receive,
It was true that the bill did contain an item of
he considered the system as most impolitic and most unwarrantable. But it had been said by a gentleman from Missouri, [Mr. AshLEY, that, whoever struck at this system, struck at the union of the States. Now, Mr. B. would aver that there was no man in this country, whether on that floor or off it, more heartily and unalienably attached to the union of these States than he was; but let entlemen's conclusions be governed by experience, and or himself he declared, so help him God, that if this system were to prevail, it would, as he believed, be ipso facto a dissolution of the confederacy. And why? Need he call upon gentlemen to reflect upon a period not more than a year ago, when the entire South had been convulsed to its very centre. And why? Because this system of internal improvements, together with other kindred measures of a like character, had been drawn so tight, and urged so relentlessly, that one portion of the Union had become resolved to endure it no longer, but had determined to resist it even at the point of the bayonet. What had been the consequence? Their brethren had become convinced of the error, had magnanimously met them in the spirit of compromise, and had loosened the fatal grasp? But let this system of internal improvements be persevered in, and what must be the inevitable consequence? What but a continuance of its sister, the tariff? Yes, the tariff, at the very name of which every southern bosom was convulsed; at the mere mention of which every southern man felt his rights to have been violated; rights which, to every true American, were dearer than life. Yes, he warned his southern brethren that this Government would have to return to the tariff system; it must re-enforce the American system, in other words, the national republican system. That object of southern hatred must be revived; and he warned his northern and his western brethren that, however the people of the South night love them, and be disposed to cleave to them, yet this was a point which they never could or would yield; and, if it were attempted to be forced upon them, they would meet it with bayonets in their hands. No man in this land was more determined than he to stand against all rebellion or nullification; but let that system be brought back again, and gentlemen would hear but one voice to the south of the Potomac. On this point the whole South had but one mind; and, though they differed among themselves, it was not on the question of resistance, but only as to the mode in which resistance was to be effected. Mr. BEATY, of Kentucky, now inquired whether the gentleman had had allusion to him, or to any thing he had said, in the remarks which he had just dropped’ Mr. BYNUM disclaimed any allusion to that gentleman's remarks. He had reference to what had fallen from a gentleman in a different quarter of the House. He reminded gentlemen of the stand which had been taken on that floor by a highly distingnished citizen of Virginia. He alluded to Philip P. Barbour, when the system had first been avowed. That acute politician and virtuous statesman had seen its tendency, and resisted it at the threshold; and subsequent experience had convinced him of the correctness of the position he had then assumed. The gentleman from Indiana, [Mr. Ewing, however, comforted himself with the thought that, after some years more, the people of the South would become convinced of their error, and would advocate the system as warmly as they now opposed it. But, for himself, he was a southern man, and the longer he lived, the more firmly he was convinced that it was impossible, in the nature of things, that such a system could ever be advantageously carried on by the General Government. These undertakings ought to be accomplished by the States. This sentiment was confirmed by southern experience. In Virginia, for instance, every part of the system which had proved beneficial to the State, had been effected by the State itself. But, for the United States to carry on such works, even laying aside all constitutional scruples on the subject, was in itself preposterous. What oppor.
good of all alike. He trusted to hear no more appeals to prejudice, or to sectional feelings; but that the measure
tunity of superintendence was possessed by a central gov- would be placed on common ground, and receive the
ernment? The very idea was utterly inconsistent with any system of human reason. He hoped the amendment would not prevail; he hoped and trusted that, henceforth, no appropriation would ever again be made by Congress to survey one yard of earth. So far as the system had been now commenced again, he, at least, should throw himself in the way of its progress. It could only end in pauperism and prodigality, and necessarily involved a renewal of that tariff system, to which he well knew that one portion of this Union would never submit, and which he trusted the other portion would never attempt to enforce. Mr. LANE regretted exceedingly that any allusion should have been made to sectional, or to political, or party feeling, on an item of appropriation such as was now under the consideration of the House. Such feelings had nothing to do with the matter. He did not believe that it had had any agency, or would have any, in deciding the policy to be pursued. He had a better opinion of gentlemen on that floor. He did not perceive that the West was any more interested in this appropriation than other sections of the country; nor did he believe that western members had any such view in supporting the measure. The House had been liberal to the Western States; it had passed item after item, and bill aster bill, for their benefit. It had passed the pre-emption bill. It had given all that could reasonably be asked towards completing the Cumberland road. Indiana had got her $150,000. Was it for the West to complain of their brethren from the South, the East, or the North? For one, he was of opinion the West had been liberally dealt with. He insisted that this was no sectional bill; it was a bill in which all parts of the United States were equally interested. All it proposed was, that the Government should be empowered to employ its body of scientific officers in exploring the country and ascertaining its capabilities for improvement. When they had ascertained that a certain work for improvement was practicable, it did not follow that the General Government was to construct the work proposed. When a State or a company contemplated forming a railroad, they often made application to the General Government for the aid of competent engineers to examine the ground, and determine the site of the road. When this was done, they went on to complete it from their own resources. All that th's item did, was to enable the Government to afford facilities of this kind when they were needed. And they were continually in requisition. Was not every State in the Union calling for surveys of this description? Was not Carolina among the rest? All the Northern and all the Eastern States were applying continually for this sort of aid. He could not believe that there existed in the House any jealousy towards the improvement and advance of the Western country. He had discovered no such spirit. This he did know, perfectly, that, in the West, no such jealousy existed towards their eastern "brethren. The people of that part of the Union were animated with one kind and generous feeling toward all their fellow-citizens. But a young gentleman from North Carolina had assured the House that, if this system of internal improvement was to proceed, the Union must be dashed into fragments. Such was the gentleman’s opinion, and such his prediction. Just about as reasonable would it be to af. firm that putting hoops round a barrel would separate the staves. The more facilities were given to the mutual intercourse of the citizens of different States and opposite extremities of the Union, the more firmly would they be bound together by common interest and feeling. Ile
common support. Mr. EVANS, of Maine, concurred in the views taken by the gentlemen from Kentucky and Vermont. [Mr. MARsh ALL and Mr. H. EveRETT] yesterday, that, if this amendment was refused, the bill ought not to pass. Under that impression he should, in that case, move to lay the bill on the table; and, if that motion failed, he should vote against the bill, and against all other appropriations of similar character. He considered the rejection of this item as a declaration that henceforth all internal improvements by the General Government were to cease, and that no appropriations were to be made in future, save for works now begun. If there were no new surveys, there would, of course, be no new works. . He had voted for the other items of the bill, but he had always voted against every project which had not been preceded by a survey. But now it seemed no further surveys were to be made; and so all money hereafter appropriated for works of internal improvement must be confined to works already in progress. But was the House satisfied that no other parts of our country needed improvement than those which had already been examinéd? Surely, no gentleman would maintain such a position. Yet there were to be no more plans, no more estimates, no more examinations. If such was the decision of Congress, Mr. E. must of course acquiesce in it; and in that case he should be for carrying the decision into immediate effect by stopping where they were. . He would not vote a dollar if it was to be given exclusively where works had already commenced. "What could be more partial? To give all to a few favored spots, and shut their eyes against the wants and wishes of every other part of the country. The gentleman from North Carolina [Mr. By Num] was of opinion that these surveys only misled the Government. The gentleman considered the surveyors and engineers as interested hirelings, who, against their better judgments, would make favorable reports for the sake of bread. Mr. E. had not been accustomed to view that body of officers in such a light: They were a corps of scientific men, of honorable and unspotted character, and did not merit any such imputation. Could the gentleman put his finger upon any fact to justify the charge? Could he produce one instance in which they had returned false statements and false estimates? Any such case was totally unknown to Mr. E.; and, till it was produced, he must consider the assertion as gratuitous and unfounded. If these surveys were to be arrested, in what would these officers occupy their time? They must remain idle or be disbanded. . The gentleman, however, had a yet more formidable subject of apprehension. If this item of 29,000 dollars should be inserted in the bill, the country must again be subjected to the tariff. Now, Mr. E. had supposed that that question was settled by compromise. But the gentleman insisted that, if this system of surveying the country should be persevered in, the Union would be dissolved. Mr. E. had heard the same thing said ever since he had been in Congress. According to the gentleman. bayonets were to be drawn. Now, the people of his part of the country were not accustomed to make threats. neither were they very apt to be intimidated by them The Government, he trusted, would go on and do its duty; and, if it met with bayonets, it would know what to do. The member had told the House that a large majority of the people of the United States were oppose.<i to the system. ... on what evidence did this assertion rest? Was the proof to be found in the fact that, for the last twenty years, a majority had been found in both Houses
trusted these surveys would proceed as they had hitherto;
of Congress in sayor of the system? Such was the fact
And was that the proof on which the gentleman ventured such an assertion? Or was it because, after the whole subject had been long, and fully, and ably discussed be-, fore the people, they had sent large majorities to represent them in Congress who were decided friends of the system? Was this the proof? Mr. E. had not understood that the present administration was opposed to the system, but only to its abuse. The President had vetoed only on the ground of certain objects being of a local character. But the objects in this bill were of a national character—certainly these surveys were. As to the constitutional question, one of the first speeches Mr. E. had ever heard on that subject in Congress was by a gentleman from Virginia, who declared that it was then too late to discuss the abstract question, because it had been settled by the public will. He had admitted that the people, by acquiescing in the system for such a course of years, had given it their sanction as constitutional. Mr. E. was himself of that opinion. The question was settled. It had long been settled. The President himself had given the sanction of his signature to this very item in former bills. If ever a question ought to be considered as at rest, this question should be so considered. Mr. MANN, expressing his concurrence in the views expressed, and being of opinion that the session was too far advanced to admit of a protraction of the present debate, moved the previous question. The motion was not seconded: Ayes 50, noes 58. no quorum having voted, Mr. JONES moved for a call of the House; which being carried, the House was called. The call was soon after suspended, on notion of Mr. VANCE: Ayes 76, noes 56. The question was then again put on seconding the call for the previous question, and decided in the negative: Ayes 62, noes 66. So the House refused to second the call. The question still being on the adoption of Mr. MERcEa’s amendment— The yeas and nays were ordered. Mr. MERCER rose to address the House; and, afer aume words in reply to the remarks of Mr. H. Even ETT, said that he would make one more effort to obtain a deliberate decision of the question now before the House— a question as important as any which it could decide. The gentleman from South Carolina [Mr. Frin En] had intimated that there was yet behind another bill for roads and canals, from the committee to which Mr. M. belonged. It was true that that committee had been required, by probably more than a hundred resolutions of the House, to report in respect to the expediency of making improvements in different parts of the country; some consisting of roads, others of canals, and others of harbors. They had in consequence reported a bill to provide money for some of these objects; but it was very doubtful whether the House would, this session, be able to arrive at its consideration. In that bill, however, instead of adopting the usual course of providing a specific surn for each improvement, the committee had only provided for an appropriation of 20,000 dollars to cover the whole, leaving the order in which the several works should take precedence to be decided by the President. With regard to the present item for surveys, gentlemen ought to remember that 17,000 dollars of the amount proposed was for arrears, to meet the expense of work already done. The surveys had been made, and the officers who had conducted them remained still with. out their pay. As to the rest, he was absolved from any necessity of reply, because he had not yet heard a single argument in opposition to them. He had heard, indeed, much said about the Cumberland road; but was this item for a survey of the Cumberland road? Was the act of
1824 passed for that object? Or was the Cumberland Vol. X.--287
road then first commenced? So far from it, the design of that road had originated in Mr. Jefferson’s time, and the first application for carrying it into effect was made by a distinguished son of Virginia. Much, too, had been urged against the system of internal improvements by the General Government; but that system had no legitimate connexion with this appropriation. This was not an appropriation to carry on works of internal improvement by the General Government; it was for surveys merely. All the arguments, therefore, from the constitution, in opposition to the power of the Government to conduct such works, was aside from the question before the House. Whether these surveys were allowed or refused, the General Government might, if disposed, still carry on works of internal improvement as vigorously as ever. It might adopt surveys made by State authority. Did the Congress survey the Dismal Swamp canal? Did the General Government make the surveys for the Portland canal? Was the Chesapeake and Delaware canal surveyed by order of the United States?—it had been surveyed 30 years ago by a British engineer. This was a sufficient answer to the argument of the gentleman from North Carolina, [Mr. By Nuxi.j That gentleman had told the House that New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, had made their own internal improvements: every useful project had been accomplished by the States. Ay, indeed! Was the breakwater in Delaware bay no work of internal improvement? By what State was that made? Was the Dismal Swamp canal no work of internal improvement? and was it by State subscription that its stock was taken up? Was it not a Virginia and a North Carolina improvement? and would it have been made without the aid of the General Government? Was not the Delaware and Chesapeake canal, in fact, a Pennsylvania improvement? Almost all the stock was owned in Philadelphia. Had New York no interest in this matter? Had nothing been done for Bushalo or the lake harbors? Here Mr. M. Quoted many more cases, which followed each other so fast that no reporter could catch the particulars. He combated the notion of its being constitutional to improve rivers, only because the Government coilected its revenue at their mouths—and asked whether, if the Government were sustained not by revenues on commerce but by taxes on lands, the case as to constitutionality would be in the least altered? Many objects of internal improvement were beyond the reach of joint stock companies, and unless accomplished by the aid of Government must remain undone for ever. As to this very case of the Cumberland road; for what had that great highway been constructed? It was to bring into market the public lands at the West, by rendering them accessi. ble. And he now said, in defiance of all contradiction, that the road had not cost more than it would take to con. struct it now. One mile of that road had cost $30,000; nor could it be made for less—the road, in that spot, crossing the same creek a great number of times. Yet they were to be called knaves and robbers for asking for no more money than works of the greatest public utility indispensably required. Mr. M. said he could not, for want of time, go through with the subject. In their zeal against these surveys, gentlemen seemed to have forgotten that the examination of projected plans of improvement often proved them to be impracticable, and thus saved the expense which might otherwise have been incurred by commencing them. He referred to the case of the road over the St. Francis, in Arkansas, and to the result of the late survey by Dr. Howard, from which it had been ascertained that the construction of a road, over that
|ground, could not be accomplished for less than $245,000.
Was this information worth nothing? Had the Government got nothing for its money, because no road was made? The appropriation for surveys was nothing but the purchase of valuable information, which could be obtained in