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April 6, 1830.] Military Pensions.—Steamboat Accidents.-Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union; let *hem be printed, and let all the members have an opportunity to examine them. If the House should then deeide that articles of impeachment should be drawn up, all zold have been done that the accused could rightfully ask.
The House resumed the consideration of the following resolution, reported by Mr. BATES, from the Committee on Military Pensions, on the 8th of January last: “Resolved. That the Committee on Military Pensions be instructed, agreeably to the President's recommendation, in his message of the 6th December last, to review the pension law, for the so of extending its benefits to every soldier who aided in establishing our liberties, and who is unable to maintain himself in comfort, and to report to the House a bill for that purpose; and, also, that said committee be further instructed, agreeably to said recommendation, to report a bill for the relief of all those who were, during the last war, disabled from supporting themselves by manual labor.” Mr. o moved to amend the resolution by striking out the latter clause, expressing his willingness to rovide for those who served in the revolution, but not or those of the late war. Mr. J. W. TAYLOR expressed his sentiments in favor of the motion to amend, and gave an estimate of the number of soldiers of the late war already on the pension list, j. with some reasons which induced him to feel an indisposition to extend the provisions of this resolution in relation to that class. The question was then taken on Mr. WILLIAMS'S amendment, and decided in the affirmative, as follows: yeas, 145—nays, 29. Mr. BURGES then moved to amend the resolution by adding the following proviso: “Provided that any aid thereby intended shall comprehend only such part of the militia as served in the revolutionary, war, and were engaged in some distinguished body of volunteers, or were draughted to fill up the continental army and served therein, and that in either for not less than nine months.” Mr. BURGES stated that it was his object to make the bill definite and practicable. MR WILLIAMS made some remarks in reply to Mr. BURGES, and in opposition to the motion to amend; and asked for the yeas and nays on the question, which were ordered. Mr. DE WITT moved the following modification of the amendment, which was accepted by the mover: “Whether such service was so during one uninterrupted series of nine months, or at different periods of the war, amounting in the aggregate to nine months.” Mr. BURGES then made some observations, which were cut short by the lapse of the hour.
TUESDAY, APRIL 6, 1830.
The House having resumed the consideration of the resolution respecting military pensions, ... ... **
Mr. BURGES rose, and withdrew his amendment, not wishing she said] to appear opposed to giving any thing to the militia of the revolution, though, for the reasons he had already assigned, he thought the plan impracticable.
The question was then taken on the original resolution, as modified by Mr. WILLIAMS, and decided in the affirmative by yeas and nays–110 to 89.
Mr. WICKLIFFE submitted a resolution, instructing a
committee to inquire into and report some regulation by
which accidents on board of steamboats, from the explosion of the boilers, may be prevented. a
Mr. W. said, he offered this resolution, because he believed the House possessed the power, and might, by a proper enactment, greatly diminish, if not altogether prevent, the recurrence of the distressing accidents which now so often take place on board of steamboats. Whoever [he said] had read the account of the late dreadful calamity on board the Helen Macgregor, must be satisfied that it was owing to the negligence of some officer of that boat. Mr. W. wished to be understood, that the committee would be glad to receive suggestions from any person, or from any quarter, which would assist it in framing an efficient bill on the subject. As exemplifying his object, [said Mr. W.] he would mention one idea: it was to require, that whenever a boat stops for any purpose, the j valve should be raised. At present it was the practice, for the purpose of saving fuel, to refrain from letting off the steam, regardless of human life.
Mr. WHITTLESEY had no doubt that all the cases of such accidents on the Ohio originated as Mr. WickLIFFE had suggested, and he approved of the object of the resolution.
The resolution was agreed to, mem. con.
BUFFALO AND NEW ORLEANS ROAD.
The House then again resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole, Mr. HAYNEs in the chair, and resumed the consideration of the Buffalo and New Orleans road bill.
Mr. ARCHER, of Virginia, rose, and addressed the committee in opposition to the bill. He was by no means surprised at the manifestation on the part of the eommittee, on a former day, of indisposition to bear with further debate. He believed he might truly say that there was no gentle. man on that floor, who, having been so long a member of the House, had been found more abstemious in debate than himself. Old a member as he was, his voice had scarcely been heard during the present session, save in matters connected with the committee to which he belonged. He felt, at all times, indisposition to address even willing ears, much more such as were unwilling. There were occasions, however, on which a public man ought not to be restrained, by minor considerations, from expressing his views of important public questions. He considered the present as an occasion of this description. It was his sincere belief that there lay at the root of the present discussion considerations which ought to be stated—to be stated freely—more, to be stated boldly. His capacities for public services in any mode, he estimated as humbly as any man could do; but, as regarded its responsibilities—in these, whilst taking a part in this service, he could permit no man to go before him. He should feel as representing unworthily the State from which he came, if he did so. That State had been accustomed to claim a place behind no other, in the necessary assertion of truth here. He feared that, on the present occasion, however, the palm must be yielded to another fitate—to New York. He had been both struck and gration by the tone exhibited by several gentlemen from that State, [Mr. MoMELL, Mr. ANGEL, and Mr. StoRRs] on the last day of the discus. sion. New York had only to exhibit, on all occasions, a similar spirit of uncompromising disinterestedness, in reference to the legislation of this Government, and she would indeed deserve the appellation of great, which it was becoming fashionable to bestow on her: for a State, like an individual, could be truly great but by one modethe practice of a real public spirit. More than one gentle: man from that State had given, on the occasion alluded to, what he [Mr. A.] feared was a just view of the question. The committee had been told truly, that the question was not of the construction of a road, but of the erection of a great policy, of which the bill was designed as the foundation. Of this policy, the road had been called
| the pioneer; and the appropriation demanded for it, the
earnest-money of a wide extending plan of wasteful and selfish dilapidation of the public treasury. Into the justice of these representations, he meant presently to inquire. He must be indulged, in the mean time, in a word of exhortation to the gentlemen from New York, to whom he had allusion; and that was to remain of good heart, even though their apprehensions should be verified. A redatory and privateering legislation might unfurl the g of this system of internal improvement, and all would still be well, if their great state would ride by the side of the South in the battle, and partake cordially in the war, for the preservation of the resources and purity of the Government. The question, then, was on the foundation of an extensive system of the construction of roads by this Government. Not on the system in its fullest extent, however. It was admitted to be confined by a character of nationality in the works to be adopted. Mr. A. had no intention of going into the constitutional question brought to view by this remark. He hoped he had too just a taste to allude to any subject out of place; and it would be out of place to allude to the constitutional question in this place. Till some force of eloquence, like the fabled power of music in ancient times, could be found to awaken the stones around, and bring the dead from the regions of darkness to light, let no chord of that discussion be struck. Till that time, let it lie by the wall. The General Government was empowered to make roads of a national character. This was the ground assumed. This requisite of nationality, it was impossible, in speculative reasoning. to deny. How far the condition had been heretofore, or was likely to be observed in practice, every man was aware. Let it be supposed there were no constitution in this Government, and yet the complete system of State Governments subsisting with it. "Would its jurisdiction even then extend to a concurrence in every function of the State Governments? Who could be so absurd as to suppose it? Who did not perceive that the States were, at the same time, separate jurisdictions, and parts of a general jurisdiction; and that there must be functions appropriate to each, and exclusive respectively of either, or why the superfluity of a double establishment of authorities, and, worse than the superfluity, the mischief, as they must be perpetually in conflict with no line of demarca. tion? It would be the inevitable conclusion, therefore, that there was an o: province of jurisdiction for the nation, as for the States; and when any function was presented for exercise, or act to be performed, the proper inquiry would be, to which of these must it be assigned By what test was this to be decided ? Obviously by the purpose and use of the act or function. If the results and use were to be national, then the function belonged to the authority of the nation, and not otherwise. The use, then, was the test. The application of this test neutralized the entire force of the argument of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. HEMPHILL] by whom the bill had been introduced. That gentleman had contended that the extension of a road into more States than one, of itself, conferred on the road the character of nationality. But if it was the use which gave its nationality, then the mere extent of the road was entirely immaterial. A road of half a mile from a fort might have this character. A road passing through every State in the Union might want it. The truth of this remark was apparent. If the mere extension of a road made it into as no road passed to the frontier of a State without the certainty of finding another there to meet it, every road to a frontier must be national; the principle, from which this conclusion was fair, proved too much, and must therefore be rejected. It was equally a mistake to maintain, as the same gentleman had done, that, in order to the construction of an extensive line of road by the States, it was necessary there should be compacts between the States engaged in the construction.
Where was the necessity If a road made to the frontier of one State met another passing to the frontier of the State adjoining, there was no need of State compacts; yet it was upon this supposed necessity that the argument alluded to rested for its support. It was the use of a road which constituted the test of its nationality. What were the uses supposed to be of this character? Three were claimed—war, the mail, and commerce between the States. The conduct of war, the transport of the mail, and the regulation of commerce between the States, were uncontested national functions. Subservience to either of these, therefore, constituted a national use of a road. The question now, it was to be remembered, was, not on the authority to construct roads for these uses—that, as belonging to the constitutional inquiry, was a point passed by ; it was on the J. the advantage of instituting a general system of roads, or of the construction of this particular road in the bill. Did either of the national uses mentioned, or all of them, demand either the general system or this road These were the points to be considered. And, first, of war. This was a national use. The nation might make roads for war, if, and so far as, their exigency ão. And what was the character of this exigency? Its extent t . The exigency was to measure the policy, to determine the propriety, of the J. cular road. Did this exigency demand a wide spread system of roads—(not in time of peace only—even in time of war. The particular road would be noticed presently.) The exigencies of war, in this respect, were not only ex
tremely limited as to space, but occasional only, and of un
certain and temporary duration. Could such exigencies found an extended system of roads—sustain a general licy in this respect? The exigencies of war, in particular circumstances, demanded the condemnation of private Woo". the suburbs of towns should be burnt. ould this justify a general policy of condemnation of property and burning the suburbs of towns in time of peace, or even in time of war, before a special case of the exigency arose 1 The argument was the same as to roads for war. The function was limited to the concurrence of the exigency, and measured by its extent. Then, as to the mail and commerce. Was any man found affirming that roads ought to be made for the mail, merely, supposing this is the only use for them No one asserted this proposition. Every one would disclaim it. Then there was an end to the suggestion of the moil ex: clusively furnishing the foundation of a general policy of making roads. Next, as to commerce. The function claimed for the general authority in this respect, was to regulate commerce. Was not the construction violent, which converted a power to regulate, into a necessity to make roads for commerce : , Pass this by, however, as approaching the constitutional question. Subserviency to commerce between the States was a national use. Did it require the construction, in policy, (for that was the question) of roads for this object, where there were none previously to be found; that is to say, were this fact proved, there was no occasion for them If there were occasion for roads, there would have been roads; or, if there were none in particular directions, no evidence could be better, that they were not demanded by the exigencies of commerce—the discussion now turning, not on the improvement of roads, but the policy of constructing them. The system found them, not a real warrant, but a color and a name only under commerce. Mr. A. would now advert, [he said] in the way of illustration principally, (the question engaging real interest relating to the general policy,) to the character of the particular road which the bill presented. He should touch this point very briefly, as that which had been most discussed. ... If, as the opponent of the general policy, he had been called upon to state a case to expose it, he did not
know that he could have selected one more favorable than the present. A road from the city of Washington to Buffalo, national and necessaryl Why? Because the mail has its centre of emanation at the seat of Government, does it follow, that munitions of war, and troops, and the course of commerce, must emanate from the same point? Commerce demanding the construction of a road from Washington to Buffalo l What proposition could be stated more ludicrous? The course of such a road would be transverse to all the commerce intervening between these points. Gentlemen designed to take from us all merit in defeating their system, when they rested it on such projects. Where were the terminating points, and of course the tracts and directions of war and commerce : Along, and at every part of the seaboard frontier and the northern 1 Every road leading to either of these destinations, was, or might be. subservient to these uses. Had either branch of the road in discussion a termination in one of these frontiers i Both branches had; but both at points the most remote from the centre whence they were made to emanate, by routes the most indirect; diagonal to the tracts which commerce does, or war or commerce may be expected to pursue. Desirous to avoid detail, Mr. A. rested on the statement of the general incontrovertible proposition on this point. If the mere fact of a road ter. minating on a frontier made it national, all roads with that termination were of this character. How many points were there in the northern frontier, of less importance than Buffalo 7 Was Buffalo, the chief point in relation to military operations during the late war? Were there not points of superior importance higher up, and a large extent of frontier lower down the lakes and the St. Lawrence? Why not all the roads on this frontier be comprehended in the of: set up? Mr.A. insisted that they might. He affirmed the principle in its full extent. The only advantage of Buffalo, in relation to supplies of military munition or commerce, was, that it constituted the point of termination of the longest of the New York cahals, forming the obvious and best channel of communieation through the States from the seaboard; and of course superseding the necessity for a road terminating at the same point. Take the southern section of the road. Having its course through the centre and heart of the interior, it could have relation to war at its extreme point only, New Orleans; to which the proper and most available channel of supply of every kind was found in the never-failing and rapid current of the great stream on which it stood. Where tributary streams did not present themselves, or were deficient in water, the roads of the superior and supplying country determined principally to this natural channel. Were other points of the seaboard threatened, the course of transportation would be across the route of the proposed road, which approached the maritime fron: tier in a line converging, and not direct. The error of ascribing to either section of the road an important office in regard to war or commerce, proceeded from considering Washington as as issuing point of either, as of the mail. This was a fallacy, yet the sustaining principle of both branches of the road. The streams of defence or commerce had Washington for their source, no more than routes transverse to the direct approaches of the northern frontier or seaboard for their tracts, or single points, on these borders for their termination. The supplies of either would have reached their destination, in time to have accomplished their purposes, before the laggard course of this road could be traced. His purpose to this point had been [said Mr. A.] to strip the system he was combating of unfounded pretensions. The value of internal improvement by roads, it was to be remembered, formed no part of the question. The question was, whether this Government should assume the function of making them. If it did, the benefit repre
sented was, that another agent, with its funds, would be added to the States. But this benefit would be realized to a very partial extent only. Why should the States apply their funds to the object, after it had been settled that the General Government had taken on itself the office? Would not the States, in prudence, wait for the action of the General Government, and expect their improvements from its funds? There was but one consideration to prevent—that the General Government was to be limited to works national in their character. But that this limitation would be nominal merely, we were already instructed by the highest information of experience. The question was, therefore, not so much whether the General Government was to be added, as to whether it was to take the place of the States in the office. The inquiry. was not of a gain, but a substitution of an agency |. others. And which of these functionaries, the General or State Governments, was the better fitted for the conduct of operations of this kind Why was it admitted universally that an individual, or body of individuals, were better qualified than any Government, or than any corporation even 3 And a corporation better than a Government? All consent to the fact; and why? The proposition is established in reason, as well as experience. The more general and remote au authority, the less its qualification for an executive function of complication or detail. It must be so, in the nature of things. The superiority of the resources of the General Government was suggested, however, as the counterpoise to the admitted force of this objection to its energies in the policy of internal improvement. But why and whence this superiority ? The common fountain of resource is the pockets of the people. If the General Government had any superiority of resource, then it had only to remit taxation beyond the demand of its peculiar and proper occasions, and the superiority disapared. po advantage not inferior was claimed for the General Government, as regarded the modes of raising money from its exclusive control over imposts, which were considered at once the most prolific and accessible of the sources of revenue. What was the real advantage of this, over the modes of direct taxation ? It would be found to consist in the operations being covert, and the contributors not knowing what they paid. That is to say, the recommendation of this mode of raising revenue was its delusion—that it cheated those it fleeced. He would not [said Mr. A.] affirm it to be desirable that the General Government should be divested of this resource. It might be indispensable in war, when all resources were demanded; or in debt of large amount, which war might leave behind it; or occasionally as an arm of defensive, countervailing, commercial regulation. But when demanded by no imperious consideration of one of these classes, he did affirm, as his deliberate opinion, that the suspension of its exercise would be attended with decisive advantages. A federal Government was too remote from the people, and wore to their view too much the aspect of an unrelated Government, to be supervised with the rigor which, more than any other, it demanded. It was of peculiar importance from this eause—that, as regarded its modes of raising money, there should be no disguise; and of application of it, no extraordinary liability to abuse. Duties were a disguised mode of raising money, and internal improvements a mode of application of it, in the highest degree open to abuse. Why this last? Because works of this class demanded large disbursements, continued for long periods, and in complicated forms. Disbursements in these circumstances invited the attempt at abuse, and facilitated success. Because the operations which works of internal improvement required, were of a nature which, from their difficulties, removal from common knowledge, complexity, and the number of persons and extent of agency demanded, did not rea
dily admit economy, and did readily admit infidelity as regarded both their execution and management. The General Government derived, therefore, no recommendation for the office of internal improvement from its peculiar control over imposts, more than from the nature of the function to be exercised. A further recommendation of the prosecution of internal improvements by the General Government, had been urged, from the supposed tendency of this policy to introduce af. finities of intercourse and interest between quarters not otherwise intimately related; and, in this manner, to exert an influence conducive to the harmony and cement of the Union. There could be no higher recommendation if it were well founded, certainly. But was any influence of this auspicious character to be justly ascribed to the operations of the policy Was not the real influence exactly the reverse? The different quarters of the Union had very unequal occasions and demands for works of internal improvement. Some had accomplished, or nearly so, their whole occasions of this description. Would a spirit of concord be diffused in these quarters, by the spectacle of large and continued appropriations in modes in relation to which they had no participation of interest in the objects or in the disbursements? Was a patient condition of feeling in these circumstances to be expected Jealousies and discontent—would not the occurrences of these be inevitable This was in the supposition of honest administration of the system. But how strong were the inducements to administration of an opposite character Discontent would have to be appeased or repressed By what methods? By gratifications to lull, or interested combinations to stifle, their expression. Where, too, was the limit to this evil in degree or time 3 Such a system prove a source of harmony A cement to the Union I This was estimating the operation of scrambles of interest very strangely s Not harmony, but excitement, open or concealed distrust; and under outside amity, smothered hostility—these were the fruits. An extensive system of internal improvement in the name of harmony The cry would indeed be “peace, peace, when there was no peace.” No 1 . Such a system would prove, eventually, as fatal to the harmony as the purity of the Government. The Union would not break—that would imply a remaining solidity of consistenee—it would dissolve under this influence; for rottenness does not break, but loses its coherence of parts from loss of the principles which cemented them 1 But waiving other objections, supposing the policy good and wise, have gentlemen familiarized their minds—he might say, their nerves—to the complication of parts the system will involve : If this Government have roads, it must have supervisors of them. . This very road will demand a number. The thousands which will be made to connect with it—the tens of thousands of which the principle which gave this birth, will be prolific, what armies of officers must they call into being? Where is the complication of this system to have its end ? Where the patronage, to call it by no harsher name Were Congress converted to a board of public works, where would room be found for this new office : The Executive employed in its function of appointment, would not his hands be filled ! But, furthermore, the roads constructed, must have provision for their protection. They cannot be left destitute in this respect, as the history of all roads of expensive construction proved. But the office of protection, it could not be confided to State regulation. This might be inadequate, or in its exercise remiss. A State might have no interest opposed to a road being placed in a condition to demand repair, or even a direct interest of reverse character. It might be jealous, moreover, of the competition of federal roads with those constructed by its own citizens or authority. There must be safeguards against all these contingencies. It had been decided in the courts that
State authorities could not be compelled to give effect to the laws of the United States. They might assume and exercise this office, but it was optional. This option, however, had reference to laws of civil character only. As regarded those of penal character, it was uncontested, that the State courts could not have jurisdiction given to them, though they should be willing to exercise it. It would be an anomaly, said the lawyers, for one political authority to execute the penal laws of another. But the regu: lations required for the protection of roads demanded penalties. They could consist of little else than the denunciation and enforcement of penalties. In proportion to the multiplication of roads, these would have to be augmented, not in number only, but severity also. The States were precluded from the office of their enforcement. What remained 1 This Government must have a system of road police of its own, courts, and officers, and force. Its present paraphernalia in this respect would not suffice. Its courts and officers were too few, at distances too remote from each other, and from the scenes in which they might be called to act. These distinct judicatures and officers must be established for this special purpose, and provision made for the maintenance of their authority. And all this complication of arrangement was to be encountered—for what? For maintaining this Government in the exercise of a function, to say the least, demanded by no necessity, as the States could perform it very well, and for which, for the very reason that it is the General Government, it was wholly unfit. - Such was the character of this policy of internal imrovement, to be executed by the Government of the F. And now the question naturally arose, [said Mr. A.] in what manner it had happened that the policy had not only been proposed, but to no inconsiderable extent adopted and carried into practice? He was brought to this view of the subject, little agreeable, but most im: portant. It had happened, by a peculiar coincidence, that the French revolution, the parent of so many important consequences, had its birth in the same year with the constitution of the United States. The agitations growing out of this event, it was known, had given the fullest employment in attention to external relations and interests to the Government with which we were most connected, and our own. Small scope remained for attention to subjects of mere interior concern. This state of things subsided with the general peace of 1813. This subsideuce, in its general character and aspect so auspicious, was attended, however, with an incidental effect of most injurious operation. It led in this, and most of the European States, to the adoption of what is known as the protective, or tariff policy. He was not going into any discussion on this point, however invited by the allusions of the debate. Why? When so many, his superiors in judgment, retained the excitement which perseverance in this policy, here, had awakened, why was he calm and at ease, though partaking entirely the reprobation of its principle and operation? It was from the conviction that, in a free State, truth and public interest must eventually vindicate themselves. He had, therefore, no question that this policy must eventually frustrate itself. His belief was undoubting, that in a period which he hoped would not be very long, many who were now most forward in pressing and maintaining this system, would be ashamed to avow they had been its friends. We had some foretaste of this result at this session, in the invincible repugnance which had been manifested over and over again to bring the practi. cal operation of the system under discussion. The time would come, and probably before the discussion would be permitted, when there would be nothing remaining to discuss. To return to the subject, however, the best and most beneficial institutions were never found exempt from a mixture of evil operation; nor was our excellent federal system exempt from this common law. The subsidence
of the excitements growing out of a general state of war, by general peace, had left Government, here as elsewhere, room for the exercise of its energies in interior operation Government could never be sufficiently imbued with the important truth, that its greatest evil was over-action; nor men get rid of the belief in which they were bred, that they were to regard its operation as the positive source, and not merely the guardian of their prosperity. Its proper beneficial province was, in preventing intrusion-keeping hands off—its own as well as the hands of others—from individual exertion and its fruits, which formed the real sources of all public as well as private prosperity. If he were called upon to state what had been pre-eminently the eurse of human society, he should say too much government; and that produced, in a great degree, by the epidemic frenzy of !. that its operation was an active principle of prosperity. Our federal system was liable, in a peculiar manner, to mischief from over-action. From the vast and varied extent of surface it supervised, it embraced necessarily an unusually great diversity of interests—so great as in instances to become inimical. This must, of course, happen in a greater degree, and there would be a greater warfare of these interests under a federative system than any other. Contiguous interests were little disjoined or easily reconciled. Not so of the remote. To what did this lead Î It had been said, in relation to religious sects, that their diversity and multiplication were the safety of the State, because, if any one aim at ascendency, the others will be in activity to arrest it. But this remark was not transferable to interests of social character. It was true of religious sects, because it be. longed to their nature to refuse coalescence, and the more violently as they approximated accordance in their tenets. The observation had held, over the whole world, in every region; but social interests observed no such law, and, least of all, under a federative system. They are widely dispersed, moderated by none of the affinities which neighborhood engenders, even among opposing interests. Each seeks its gratification. How are they to attain it? There was but one mode of any extensive success, and that was by the coalition of several, making the weak strong, and the strong safe. This mode had the advantage, besides, of extending responsibility and shame. Men were em. boldened to do what, without this principle of support, they would hesitate to avow to their own thoughts. The principle itself was of inevitable operation in our system. Take that one of our public concerns which, in point of interest, had come nearly to absorb every other, as an illustration—the election to the Presidency. How much had this to do with merit in the candidates? Every body knew that was of subordinate consideration. No man, in a sphere so diffused, by personal merit or qualification, (excepting always the influence of revolutionary service, or some sigmal achievement.) could command a popularity sufficiently general to insure success 1, Why? Every quarter had its pretender, limiting the circle of pretension of every other. How was any to obtain the goal, in the jostle of movements on the common object? It was only to be achieved by combination of countervailing or separated pretensions, till a predominance was created. The lever of some powerful motive must be set at work to roll the logs together, till the pile was raised to the required elevation. Did he mention this in any way of stigma to individuals Not at all. He stated it [said Mr. A.] as an inevitable infirmity of our form of Federal Government. The thing was not so by accident or occasion, but necessi
So far from quarrelling with what was inevitable, for one, he was disposed to turn it to account; for there was no form of evil from which good might not be extracted for its alleviation. He was willing now—at any time—he avowed it—to go into coalition in relation to the election for the Presidency. Not for a man—he was done with solicitude as related to particular men. Of that folly he was
cured completely. He only wondered how he could ever have fallen into it. Individual men, with very rare exceptions, must submit to the control of circumstances. Operating for an object so alluring, what policy could they be committed to, which would not bend to that which was personal—the extension of connexions—the debilitation of rivals—the advancement of pretensions. He mentioned this as no peculiar reproach. The thing, he repeated, was inevitable—must be so. Although he was ready and ripe then for coalition, in reference to the Presidency, it should not be on the pretensions of any individual. But if a candidate who promised to bring weight to the election stood committed by position, not profession, (for that he should have little value) to vindicate interests and principles which he [Mr. A.] considered as suffering injustic8 and oppression from the present operation of the Government, for any candidate in these circumstances, he was willing to go into confederacy. If any candidate standing in this commitment promised strength to tear away this parasite tariff which wound around the trunk of the Union to suck out its vitality, for this candidate he would go into coalition. If any promised weight to sink this picaroon policy of internal improvement, for him he would go into coalition. . He had been led [said Mr. A.] into this course of incidental remark in the way of illustration. Having no personal interest to serve or injure, it was no merit that he spoke with unreserve. The proposition he wished to inculcate was this, that coalition among special interests, embraced by our wide extending system, to obtain ascendency at the expense of others, or the general interest, was an inherent evil of the system, the qualification to its otherwise transcendent excellence. In the theory, the strength and counsels of all were to be combined for the safeguard of each; but the operation did not correspond to the purity of the . It was this circumstance that furnished the key to incidents which had given so much occasion to surprise in our proceedings here. The smallest sums of money would sometimes be denied to the most essential public service, and the most prodigal grants made the same day, in lands or money, to schemes having obviously only doubtful or inconsiderable claims to favor. The solution was no secret to persons familiar with the scene. The disbursement in these cases furnished the motive, was the benefit contemplated, not the nominal object to be effected. Let the pension system be an example. This system, as regarded the selection of subjects in reference to indigence merely, was said (he believed truly) to have had its origin in a mistaken estimate of the numbers it would comprehend. Unceasing efforts were made of late, notwithstanding, to enlarge its comprehension. Had these efforts any connexion, as the aspect imported, with zeal to p. reward and relief for revolutionary service? No one was imposed on by pretence of this kind here. The real inducement was known to stand in contrast to any impulse of enthusiasm or generosity. It was a simple principle of pecuniary calculation. The purpose was to transfer a heavy poor rate to this Government, from quarters in which the burden pressed unequally, if each sustained its fair proportion; and then, by extension of principle, to augment to the utmost the benefit from the disbursement. There were, of course, exceptions, and a mixture of motive, but this was the leading.one. A bill had passed one branch of the Legislature, at this very session, to enlarge the limit of indigence entitling to relief, to one thousand dollars—a sum which would be regarded as independence for the body of the population anywhere else, though it constituted legal indigence with us. If the extension had been proposed to a larger sum, within . boundary that would not threaten counteraction from public indignation and shame, the success would have been no less unequivocal. The expenditures for fortifications illustrated the same