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MARCH 25, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
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is no necessity which demands at our hands the applica- | man, if I did not believe that a remedy is within his reach; tion of the public funds for purposes of this kind. Neither that is, to give up his exploded canal system, and embrace the "common defence," nor the "general welfare,” demands it. And if the security of either of the points, to which this road is contemplated to be constructed, did demand the exercise of those powers, and the application of our treasure, I ask in the name of common sense, sir, if this road, a mere paltry earthen way, would afford the security desired?
But, four general considerations have been urged in support of the bill, and they may truly be said to be most pliant considerations; for they are brought to bear upon all subjects of internal improvement, requiring the public lands or the public money.
It shall be my object to show that not one of those considerations requires that this road should be made. I shall take them up in the order in which I find them in the report of the engineers made to this House at the first session of the nineteenth Congress. And the first in order is its commercial advantage.
the railroad plan; and a most happy opportunity now awaits him. Let him unite the interest of the company over which he now presides, with that of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, and, by a unity of action and community of feeling, they will find their interests mutually advanced, and the most happy results growing out of the arrangement. I hope I shall be pardoned for this digression. But let me ask the honorable chairman who introduced this bill, [Mr. HEMPHILL] how he can reconcile it to his vast notions of grand and magnificent internal improvements, and the resources and capacity of this Government to prosecute them, to an indefinite extent, as he set forth in his speech! But what is more, how can he reconcile it to himself, to fall so far behind the advance of the age in improvements, as to propose an "earthen" road as a means to facilitate commerce, and promote the "common defence and the general welfare?" Now, if the gentleman had proposed a plan for the construction of a railroad, on some plan commensurate with the greatness and resources of this nation, there would have been some plausibility in his arguments. But, upon what have we heard his beautiful theories and high wrought figures exhausted? Why, upon an earthen road a road of mud, liable to be washed by every shower, and subject to the vicissitudes and casualties incident to every season.
It has been gravely maintained that this road is all important as a line of intercommunication between distant points for the facilities of commercial intercourse, and the transportation of produce and merchandise. Now, sir, admitting the constitutionality and the propriety of making roads for commercial purposes, is there any one who seriously believes that this, or any other road, can possibly be brought to compete, successfully, with the mighty father of rivers, and its tributary streams! What, Before I take leave of this branch of the subject, I ask sir? change the channel of produce from the finest rivers leave to read a brief passage from the report of the engi in the world, with the powerful agency of steam, propel-neers; we shall then be able to judge of their views as to ling boats hundreds of miles in the twenty-four hours, the commercial importance of this road. with a mere "earthen" road! When the mighty Missouri shall turn her current back upon her source, and force a passage through the Rocky Mountains, and empty her vast tribute of waters into the Pacific, and the beautiful Ohio shall be brought through the tunnel proposed to be cut by the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. MERCER] and pour her waters into the Chesapeake, then, and not till then, let the gentleman propose the construction of roads through that region of country for commercial purposes.
But what kind of road have we proposed to us by this bill?" An earthen road," sir. Yes, sir, a miserable, paltry, earthen road. The honorable chairman and his com mittee have not only fallen far in the rear of the march of science and the arts in road making, but they have gone entirely back to olden times. Earthen roads were the first system of intercommunication known to man. They were superseded by turnpikes, as they are called, which consisted in the application of stone, gravel, and other materials, which improved the foundation, and made it capable of bearing greater weight. Mr. McAdam has improved upon those roads, by a peculiar and regular method of preparing and applying the stone; and from his celebrity in his improvements, has arisen the name of McAdamized roads.
But, above all, is that highest effort of the human intellect, in perfecting a system of road intercommunication, which, for ease, safety, and expedition, challenges the astonishment and admiration of the world.
I read from the report of the engineers, which may be found in the 9th volume of Executive papers, session of 1825-1826, document 156, page 22. "In relation to external commerce," say the engineers, "it appears to us that a road from Washington city to New Orleans will not afford, as to transportation, advantages of national importance; for the road will cross generally all the main watercourses perpendicular to the coast; and in the directions and by means of which all the transportations are effective which relate to operations of external commerce."
"However, we have remarked in the foregoing part of this report, that the main watercourses were crossed by the eastern route at the head of sloop navigation, and by the middle route at the head of boat navigation, therefore a road in the direction of either will accommodate the districts through which it passes, for the transportation of their products to the navigable streams. Under this local (mark the words, gentlemen, local, not general) point of view, the external commerce will become benefited to a certain extent," &c.
Thus we see that, in the view of the engineers, this road would not insure benefits general in their character, but such as are merely local; and even that, no further than to afford districts through which it may pass the advantage of transporting their produce to the navigable streams.
This being the case, is there any one who will press the application of the national treasure (which should never be disbursed only with a view to national objects, wherein all the parts are equally benefited) to purposes local in their character, and that to a limited extent? It would be merging the "general welfare" into local welfare, and, against all principle, the greater into the lesser.
That system which has outstripped canals, and ruined their stocks in England; and that system which will supersede canals here, as well as all other systems of the kind, which have been devised by human ingenuity-yes, Next in order are "political considerations." I shall be sir, the honorable gentleman from Virginia [Mr. MERCER] brief upon this branch of the subject, as there is only one must hear the appalling, the heart-rending fact, that this prominent consideration, in a political point of view, which mighty monument, (Chesapeake and Ohio Canal,) which, can be urged, which is, that roads and canals will operate for years, he has been laboring with a zeal and exertion to as bonds of union, and more strongly cement us together, erect to his memory, and which, no doubt, he had fondly and prevent a falling off of the parts. Without stopping hoped would transmit his name down to the latest posteri- to controvert the correctness of the position, it certainly ty, must fall, and must give place to the superior improve- presupposes one of two things: either that there is a disment of railroads. I could sympathize with that gentle-position in the States to fly off from the centre, or a re
pulsive action at the centre to throw them off, and hence the necessity of these additional bonds of union.
Nothing, in my opinion, is to be apprehended from the former; would to God I could say so much for the latter If ever the calamities of disunion should be experienced by this nation, the causes, proximate and remote, will be traced to the action of the Federal Government.
[MARCH 25, 1830.
So far from New Orleans being in an exposed situation, I do say, and I say it without the fear of contradiction, that it is the most strougly fortified place in the nation. Every pass leading from the Gulf of Mexico to the city, is well secured by the best and the most costly fortifications. There are no less than five forts (I believe I am not mistaken in the number; if I am, the gentleman from Louisiana [Mr. WHITE] will correct me) erected for the security of that city against maritime or other invasion from the Gulf. These forts are capable of mounting some hundred pieces of ordonance, at least enough to sink any fleet that would ever attempt a passage up the Mississippi to the city. We have already expended near two millions of dollars in defending the territory of Louisiana by permanent fortifica. tions, and estimates are now before us for a continuation of those works.
The mismanagement of this central machinery, so beautiful in its conception, and so perfect in its structure, and which worked so harmoniously whilst kept within the legitimate sphere prescribed by those rules expressly laid down for the government of its action, will alone produce those fatal consequences. By overleaping here the constitutional boundaries so clearly defined, by throwing the whole machinery out of gear, and giving a looseness to our operations, propelled on by the force of combined in terests, composing a majority, against a minority, the latter The following is a statement of those expenditures, powill be compelled to take refuge under the old relation litely furnished at my request by a gentleman of the Enin which the States stood to each other; that of separate, gineer Department. (Mr. C. then read the following distinct, and independent sovereignty. The States them-letter :) selves will cling to the Union whilst there is a hope left to rest on; the oppressions of this Federal Government can alone drive them off.
Perhaps if there were ever a crisis in the affairs of our Government which required additional bonds to hold us together, that crisis is now at hand. But if this road is to be the remedy, the committee have certainly mistaken its proper location. Western Virginia and Eastern Tennessee are not about to fly off from the Union, and therefore do not require this work; if danger is to be apprehended, it is from another quarter. The South is the point to which we should direct our attention. Certainly every political consideration would direct us to the metropolitan route. We must encircle South Carolina with some band, or she, from report, will be off at a "tangent," and that suddenly. But let me seriously ask of every member of this committee, what stronger bonds of union do freemen need, or the States require, than those forged out, wrought, and put in order by the master workmen of the revolution Link connecting link, forming a chain of Government more beautiful in its principles, and beneficial in its results, (whilst acting within the limits of the original design) than any ever devised by the wisdom of man. What was this design? It was, that all the parts should share in equal proportion the benefits or injuries resulting from the compact; a perfect reciprocity was to be observed and preserv. ed Under a strict observance of those sacred principles, sir, what have we to fear? I answer nothing, either from external or internal causes. If fears are to be entertained, they are upon the other side of the question; and let me here admonish gentlemen who are seeking to provide additional bonds of union, by cutting canals and constructing roads, to beware lest they by their operations cut the ligaments of the constitution which now binds us together, and which forms the only sure and certain ties by which we can remain united. No political consideration, therefore, in my opinion, does require the construction of this road; but, on the contrary, eminently demands the rejection of the bill. Military considerations" are the next in order, and to which I shall ask the attention of the committee.
The honorable chairman [Mr. HEMPHILL] set out by telling us that the two points to which this road is contemplated to be run, are dangercusly situated, and eminently exposed in case of invasion, &c., and that this is important as a military road for the transportation of troops and munitions of war. With regard to the exposed situation of New Orleans, I beg leave to differ entirely with the honor able chairman. As to Buffalo, I know but very little about it, nor have I sought to know, because I looked upon that end of the road as having been tacked on by the committee, merely as a means of buying up votes, and not that the necessity of the nation required the work. I shall leave that end, therefore, in the hands of others.
"To the Hon. S. P. CARSON,
House of Representatives :
DEAR SIR: The following statement will show you pretty nearly the cost of defending the territory of Louisiana by permanent fortifications, viz.
Fort Wood, at the Chef Menteur
Fort Pike, at the Rigolets Pass, Fort Jackson, Plaquemine Bend, Battery at Bayou Bienvenue, Tower at Bayou Dupre,
Add for a fort on Grand Terre,
The estimate' for one of those works, (Fort Jackson,) for the present year, is eighty-five thousands dollars. Thus we see, sir, that the attention of the Government has been directed to the defence and protection of that point, and that the fact, as stated by the honorable chairman who introduced this bill, with regard to the "exposed situation" of that city, does not exist. Now, as regards the necessity of this road for the transportation of troops and munitions of war, I here take upon myself the responsibility of pronouncing, although in contradiction to the position of the gentleman who introduced the bill, [Mr. HEMPHILL] that no such necessity exists; and 1 further say, that it would not only be idle, but the extreme of folly, to expend money upon this road with a view to military advantages.
What say gentlemen who urge this branch of the subject? Why," that New Orleans must always look to Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, &c. for men and provisions to protect and feed them in time of war." Well, I grant this; but what further do they urge? Why," that this road must be made to transport these troops and provisions upon." Now can it be possible that any man, in his sober senses, and under the influence of reason, can, for one moment, entertain the belief that, if this road werc made, even one soldier or solitary barrel of provisions, from Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, or any other State north of those, would travel over it? What! bring men from the State of Ohio across the States of Kentucky and Tennessee! Aye, and across the Ohio river, too, with its current teeming with steamboats, ready to waft the soldiers and provisions to the point of destination. But no, they must trudge through the muds of Kentucky and Tennessee, by marches of from ten to fifteen miles per day, till they in
MARCH 25, 1830.]
Buffalo and New Orleans Road.
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tersect this road (after crossing navigable and inviting | by roads, for they might lead to defeat as well as victory. rivers) at Florence, Alabama; and then they will have the peculiar advantage of travelling this superb national earth en road from thence to New Orleans.
I invite gentlemen who think despatch and saving of time important in military operations, to calculate how long it would take troops to get to New Orleans by this "national road" from Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, &c., and compare it with the ease, convenience, and despatch, afforded by steam power on the navigable rivers which pass through those States and empty into the Mississippi. It cannot be denied that troops from any part of Kentucky or Ohio could get to New Orleans by steamboat conveyance before they could reach Florence, in Alabama, the point of intersection with this road. Under this view of the case, the positions laid down by the honorable chair man, [Mr. HEMPHILL] with regard to the "exposed condition" of New Orleans, and the necessity of this road as affording means of defence, fall to the ground, and the whole superstructure of argument based upon them falls
And here let me remark that those facilities to military operations are always occupied by the strongest; and such a work might prove a curse, instead of a blessing, (as was proven, said a gentleman standing near Mr. CARSON [Mr. DAVIS, of South Carolina] upon the Bladensburg course last war.) Yes, [resumed Mr. C.] but I would rather lose the argument afforded by the mention of that disagreeable subject, than wound the pride of the House by recalling their recollection to it.
The "transportation of the mail" is the next and last consideration to which I shall ask the attention of the committee.
I feel that my strength is failing me too much to go into this branch of the subject to the extent I had desired. I will lay it down as my opinion, however, that the framers of the constitution did not intend, by the words "establish post offices and post roads," to confer the power to construct roads, &c., but only meant that Congress should designate the roads over which the mails should be carried, and the points at which it should be opened. I shall not attempt an argument, sir, to prove the correctness of this construction, but it being mine, it is sufficient to govern me.
The first inquiry which suggests itself with regard to the expediency of constructing this road for the transportation of the mail, is, does any necessity or impediment exist to the transportation of the mail, which requires the application of this sum of money to remove or remedy!
Has the Post Office Department complained of a want of facilities in this particular, and asked the construction of a road at our hands? Or have they even suggested the propriety of the appropriation of any sum of money for purposes of the kind!
They have not; but, upon the contrary, we are informed by the very able report of the distinguished gentleman who presides over that department, that the facilities are now ample, and will be increased as the means of the department will justify, or the public interest shall require. I ask the attention of the committee while I read part of that report, which treats of the very subject now under consideration.
[Mr. C. read the following extract from the report of the Postmaster General:]
If further arguments were necessary to show the impropriety, nay, the excessive folly, of making this road for military purposes, they would be found by a recurrence to the history of our last war, particularly in the operations in the southern section of the Union. There was a time when New Orleans " was dangerously situated and eminently exposed;" there was a time, sir, when that city was invaded by a powerful and well disciplined army; an army, too, stimulated to action by the "booty and beauty" which were promised them. This was a case of great emergency-this was a time of deep and dreadful anxiety, but sufficient for the occasion were the spirits convened, and hastily convened, for the defence of the city. Yes, an army was convened, defeated the enemy, and saved New Orleans. What military road, made at vast expense of time and treasure, were those troops transported over None; yet they got to New Orleans, fought the battles of their country, and got home again; and thus will it be ever; this country will always find security in the strong arm of her "citizen soldiers." Dangers may stand thick around them; they only stimulate to exertion. The noblest deeds are done upon the most dangerous emergencies, and the glory of achieving them is the strongest incentive to action. Need I say more? Does the history of all ages that have gone before us, present a solitary example of a nation, at peace with the world, and whose policy it is to cultivate and maintain those pacific relations, preparing for the transportation of troops by large expenditures of public money for the construction of roads in this time of profound peace! But, on the contrary, does not all history prove that the first generals the world has produced, ask- "Lines of four-horse post coaches will also be established not roads over which to transport troops for the advance- ed, from the first day of January next, to run three times ment of their military operations? Let me ask, what engi- a week, both ways, between Nashville and Memphis, in neers designated the route, or what nation appropriated Tennessee. This improvement was deemed important to the funds, to construct a passage over the Alps for Hanni-keep a regular and certain intercourse between the Westbal and his Carthaginiaus, when he pushed his conquests to ern States and New Orleans-Memphis being a point on the very walls of Rome! Or who directed Cæsar to the the Mississippi to which steamboats can come at all seasons point at which to pass the Rubicon, when he pronounced of the year; it being contemplated to extend this line to that "the die was cast," and struck the fatal blow at the New Orleans by steamboats, so soon as the means of the liberties of his country? department will justify, and the public interest shall require it. To give greater utility to this improvement, a weekly line of coaches will also be established at the same time from Florence, in Alabama, (where it will connect with the line from Huntsville,) to Bolivar, in Tennessee, at which point it will form a junction with the line from Nashville to Memphis."
"The mail communication between New Orleans and the seat of the General Government, by way of Mobile and Montgomery, in Alabama, and Augusta, in Georgia, will, from the commencement of the ensuing year, be effected three times a week, affording comfortable conveyances for travellers, and the whole trip performed in the period of two weeks, each way, through the capitals of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
But to come down to the present time-to things which transpired but yesterday, on the other side of the water. Did Nicholas tax his subjects to raise a revenue to open those passes through the Balkan, over which Diebitsch led that army which shook the Ottoman empire to its centre and which, had they not been stopped by pacific measures, and, I might add, by the interposition of other European Now, what more can be required? Does not this report powers, jealous of the rising greatness and resources of the also prove that steam navigation will supercede roads for Russian empire, the christian flag would this day have all purposes, wherever it can find water for the boats to run been waving on the walls of Constantinople? It is by the on! The dispatch and quickness of steamboat passage energy of powerful minds and capable commanders, that from Memphis to New Orleans has drawn the attention of armies are led to victory and glorious achievements; not the Postmaster General to that point; and it is already
viewed as the route which can be travelled with most expedition, because of the advantages of steam power. Does not this speak volumes against the expenditure of public money upon roads, when it must be manifest that they never would be travelled for the purposes pretended here as the strong reasons for constructing them! It may be possible that, with regard to despatch and saving of time, a direct road from this place to the Mississippi river, thence by steamboats to New Orleans, would be the best. But, taking this as granted, it does not prove the necessity of our constructing a road for the purpose. Roads are already made. The mail is now transported from this to Nashville, Tennessee, seven times a week, in post coaches, at a cost of upwards of thirty-four thousand dollars per annum; and this line, sir, as we see from the report just read, is to be continued three times a week to Memphis, and from thence to New Orleans by steamboats. What more is wanting or what more, in modesty, can be asked ?
I shall now turn my attention to the relative merits of the different routes; and, if this road is to be made, I think I can show the propriety of selecting the most direct, practicable route.
For all purposes, connected with the transportation of the mail, the saving of time, cost of construction, distance, &c., the most "direct, practicable route," as proposed by the amendment, I had the honor to lay upon your table some days since, and which was printed by order of the House, and which I shall offer to the committee before I take my seat, is certainly the preferable one.
I lay down, then, as incontrovertible facts, that the route I propose will be better, the cost of construction less, the distance less, and the number of inhabitants accommodated much greater.
Now, if I establish these positions, what member can refuse to vote for the amendment, whether he be for or against the bill?
The gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. ISACKS] has clearly established the correctness of my three first positions, (as to the goodness, cost, and distance,) and the engineers who made the reconnoissance of the different routes have proven the fourth, (the number of inhabitants to be accommodated.) The gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. ISACKS] said (and I truly thank him for the argument) that on the east of the mountains we had a fine level surface; that nature, in her works, had been kind to us; we had nothing to do but throw up a little sand, and we had fine roads, &c. With him, [he said] and his constituents, and the people along the route selected, it was very different; they had mountains and limestone to contend with, and natural obstructions, which required the hand of art to alter, and render them in a condition for the use and advantage of the country, &c. &c., and therefore the western route was the proper one. In answer to this argument, I have nothing to offer; the gentleman has granted all I ask -nay, more, sir, I did not intend to disparage his route, by portraying the lofty mountains and the quantities of limestone, which it would cost millions to make a road over, but only meant to urge, what cannot be denied, that the direct route is unquestionably the nearest; that the east side of the mountains afforded abundant materials for the construction of a road; that the surface was better, and the graduation more easy, than on the west side of the mounfains; and that the cost of construction would be much less. The engineers support me in these positions; and what they have failed to do, has been abundantly supplied by the gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. ISACKS.] With regard to the population, sir, to be accomodated by this road, I beg leave to read from the report of the engineers, (the same as before récited,) page 22:
"Leaving out the States (say the engineers) of Louisiana and Mississippi, and the District of Columbia, the States accommodated directly by the eastern and middle (or direct, as I propose) route will be (census of 1820)-
[MARCH 25, 1830
directly accommodated by the western
This shows a difference in favor of the direct route, of one million fifty-nine thousand seven hundred and forty-six of a population to be accommodated by this road.
[Here Mr. BLAIR, of Tennessee, requested Mr. C. to read further from the report, with regard to the States that would be indirectly as well as directly accommodated.]
Mr. C. resumed. I am requested by my honorable friend from Tennessee, [Mr. B.] I say my friend, sir, because I know him to be so, to read further from this report. I will do so, and I assure my friend that due deference shall be paid to his route, (western route.)
But (say the engineers) if we add Kentucky and Georgia, which will be indirectly accommodated by the western route, we shall have for the population accommodated, both directly and indirectly, by this route, Virginia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Georgia,
Now, even with the addition of the population of the State of Kentucky, which they say is to be indirectly acaccommodated, there is a balance still in favor of the direct route, of a population directly accommodated, of one hundred and fifty-four thousand four hundred and forty.
But why does my friend from Tennessee [Mr. BLAIR] press this indirect consideration upon the House? Does he not know, sir, that Kentucky cannot be benefited, either directly or indirectly, by this road? And does he not further know that the State of Kentucky would never have been mentioned, if it had not been to effect political results, favorable to the men in power when this report was made? Does my friend recollect who was Secretary of State at that time? and the exertions made to continue his influence and control over the State of Kentucky? Was not every branch of the "American system" brought to bear upon her, and particularly this branch of internal improvement ?
Those were the causes which produced this report, or the name of Kentucky would never have been mentioned. But the times were dangerous, the "line of safe precedent" was threatened, and every nerve was exerted to arrest the blow; but all, all would not do; the line was broken, and it is matter of deep surprise to see those who gave their aid in producing the result, now using the same flimsy, futile, and disingenuous arguments which were resorted to by those persons, with a hope of continuing their power, merely to effect sectional objects, or with a view of producing benefits to themselves and their constituents.
The gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. BLAIR] also said that nothing had ever been done to advance the interests of his constituents, or his State, by this Government. The gentleman has surely forgotten that four hundred thousand acres of land in Alabama, equal to six hundred thousand dollars, were appropriated by this Government for the opening of a canal round the Muscle shoals, on the Ten
nessee river; and that the completion of that work would admit steam navigation into East Tennessee. One steamboat has already been (as I am informed) so high up the Holston as a place called the Boat Yard, which is the district of my honorable friend, [Mr. BLAIR.]
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ceeded in my feeble effort, I must leave to be decided by those who have been so indulgent as to favor me with a hearing.
But, above all the reasons which have been urged against the expenditure of public money at this time, is there not [Mr. B. here corrected Mr. C. and said the boat had only yet another, which should sink deep upon the minds of the ascended as high as Knoxville.] friends and supporters of our present illustrious Chief MagI thank the gentleman for the correction. I had mistak-istrate? Does he not stand pledged to this nation to pay off en the point, but it does not weaken the argument; for the public debt, and to exhibit the proud and sublime specthe streams leading from the district represented by that tacle to the world, of a nation out of debt; which, indeed, gentleman to Knoxville are navigable, and boats are daily sir, would be "something new under the sun"-and was passing them. I heard a fact stated the other day, by a he not pledged by his friends, in anticipation, to effect this highly intelligent gentleman who resides near Abingdon, desirable, this important object? What said they, sir? Virginia, while conversing with the Vice President and Why, elect the plain, old republican, Andrew Jackson; he some other gentlemen, "that he had started at one time will bring "order out of chaos" he will restore republiforty boats, each containing one hundred barrels of salt, can simplicity, will pay off the national debt, and relieve from a point on the north fork of the Holston river, fifteen us from the necessities of high tariffs, &c. And what are miles above Abingdon, which salt was probably to supply those very men doing, who were foremost in exciting North Alabama, and part of Tennessee. I mention this those expectations, and pledging him for those results? fact, as an answer to that part of the argument of the gen Why, sir, we now see them willing, nay, urgent, to squantleman from Tennessee, which related to the transporta- der millions of money, because, perchance, their immediate tion of salt from the salt wells in Virginia. Certainly, if districts may receive some little benefit. In my opinion, this road were made, no one would think of transporting if ever there was a man anxiously desirous to fulfil the salt by wagons, incurring the expense of teams, &c., which just expectations of his friends, and to advance the general could not haul more than ten barrels at most, when they interest of this nation, Andrew Jackson is that man. But, could send one hundred barrels by one boat. But why if we go on in the manner we have started, how can he talk of those considerations which are merely sectional in discharge those obligations, and meet the expectations of their character? They should have no bearing in this the American people t case, if, indeed, the work is national. But who will say, after Is not every dollar which we appropriate beyond the witnessing the whole proceeding of the committee which current expenses of the year, so much of the money which introduced this bill, that national considerations were the would otherwise go to the payment of the debt of the causes which induced them to report this bill, and to make nation? If we appropriate these two millions and a quarthe selection they have done for the location of the road?ter, where will the surplus be, or where any money, exNational considerations have nothing to do with it; it is cept the sinking fund, to apply to the payment of our the offspring of a combination, based upon local considera public debt? Nay, the sinking fund, also, is to be broken tions for the accomodation of gentlemen who compose in upon; that sacred guaranty, pledged to the creditpart of the committee, and through whose districts this ors of the nation, must be taken also, and distributed road is to run; and the location fixed on was for their ac among the States for purposes of education. [Here Mr. commodation, not for the nation. Yet we are called on ISACKS said he was not aware of any such intention on now to appropriate millions of the public money (two mil the part of any one.] Mr. C. resumed: I allude to the lions two hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars is the resolution passed by this House, instructing a committee sum wanted for the present) to promote the interests of to bring in a bill for the distribution of the nett proceeds certain sections of the country, and to subserve the views of the sale of public lands among the States for purposes of combined interests upon this floor. I say combined; of education; and those lands were solemnly pledged by and, if any have doubted the fact before, has not the intro- this Government to its creditors, and belong to the sinking duction of this bill, for a lateral route, leading from fund, and should not be touched till every farthing of the "Zanesville, Ohio, to pass through Lexington, Kentucky, obligation is discharged. Nashville, Tennessee, and to intersect this road at Florence, Alabama," put the seal upon the arrangement, and developed the matter, in bold relief, before every eye not blinded by interest or other motive?
[Mr. ISACKS said he did not vote for the resolution.] Nor did I charge the gentleman. I only speak of what is going on, and the effect it will have upon the administration; and I must further tell the gentlemen from TenBut look who compose the committee who produced nessee [Messrs. BLAIR and ISAACKS] that if they desired these bills. See the States they are from, and the sections (which I know they do not) to ruin and blast forever the of States they represent; then couple the routes and cir-hard-earned fame of that best of men, who, upon all occa cumstances together, and tell me if there is room left to entertain a doubt as to the causes which have produced the effect. I will push this subject of combination no fur ther, lest the feelings of some personal friends might not escape unscathed. I desist therefore, not that I fear the contest, or doubt the results, but for the reason just mentioned.
I have endeavored to show that the considerations urged by the supporters of this bill did not exist, or at least did not exist to that extent which required at our hands the application of the public money. How far I have suc
The Committee on Internal Improvements is composed of Messrs. Hemphill of Pennsylvania, chairman, Blair, of Tennessee, Haynes, of Georgia, Letcher, of Kentucky, Vinton, of Ohio, Craig, of Virginia, and Butman of Maine. This route passes directly through the districts represented byCraig, of Virginia, and Blair, of Tennessee. The lateral route from Zanes ville, Ohio, and passing through Kentucky, is Messrs. Vinton and Letcher's part of the system. The Buffalo end passes through Pennsylvania, the State which the honorable chairman, Mr. Hemphill, is from.-Note by Mr. C.
sions, has proven his disinterested devotion to his country and to his friends, they could not have fallen upon a better plan than this, of appropriating money, leaving him powerless, and without the means of doing that which he stands pledged to do.
Are they prepared to hear him exclaim, as did Cæsar, (when he was struck by, as he thought, his best friend,) "and you, too, my son?" Will they bind him in fetters, and leave him, mangled and bleeding, to the mercy of his political enemies, who would glory in the spectacle ? If I believed them prepared for this, the line of separation should be eternally drawn between them and me. I supported, the election of General Jackson, because I believed him honest and meritorious, and I shall support his administration, because now I know him to be so; and be will realize the expectations of his friends throughout the nation, if his friends here, by their misguided policy, do not prevent him. My strength has failed me; I am done. I only ask leave to tender my thanks to the