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FEB. 17, 1831.)
(H. OF R.
wants; but he could not consent to give away millions to be told, in the evening of their days, that they were less those who did not stand in need of it. The idea of men patriotic, that their services were less valuable, and they who were rolling in affluence and indulging in all the luxu- less deserving, than the regular soldiers? Such an invidi. ries of civilized life being sustained and supported at the ous distinction was unfeeling and cruel. Mr. T. said, we public expense, in a country and under a Government owe them a debt: we are their debtors, and they our where we boast of equal rights, was to him odious in the creditors. Justice demands that we should pay them. extreme, and would be so considered by the people. He By our acts of legislation, we had made provision for a must bescech gentlemen again to weigh well the conse class of officers and solliers, to which class belong many quences of this measure. Sixty thousand pensioners to who are in easy circumstances. (He alluded to the act be maintained from your treasury by the annual expendi- of 1828, which provided for all those who enlisted for and ture of an amount that must arrest for some time the pay- served during the war, without reference to their pecu. ment of the public debt, and fasten upon the people, for niary situation.) He could see no ground for distinction, an indefinite period, a system of taxation under which, nor could he discover any good reason for paying that even now, they are justly restless and dissatisfied, must class in preference to the militia. The distinction, he present a consideration that the prudent and discreet said, was odious and unjust. It evinced a partiality on the would not cast aside..
part of the Government, not warranted by the circumMr. T. said that he had designedly confined the re-stances of the case. He hacl never been the friend of the marks which he had made upon this subject to those points pensioning system; but as it had been adopted, and would to which, in support of his motion, he had felt it his duty be kept up by the Government, he insisted that evenchiefly to call the attention of the House; but, before he handed justice should be awarded to all. Would any took leave of the subject, he would say that he felt op. gentleman say to him that such men as the immortal Sumpposed to the pensioning system, upon other grounds. He ter and Marion, with their devoted compatriots, were less believed it was better calculated to demoralize the com- worthy or less deserving than those attached to the regular munity than almost any other kind of legislation. It service? South Carolina held them in the most grateful weakens those ties which, in all well regulated commun:- remembrance. Their venerated names shed a lustre of ties, should be sedulously cherished as the strongest liga- glory upon that State, and their patriotic devotion adorned ments which bind man to the performance of his social the pages of American history. Shall we, said he, suffer duties. The aged parent, who has a moral right to lean upon the brave followers of these brave men to pine in want his offspring for support in the decline of life, will be told and die in poverty, while we are awarding our bounty to that that obligation no longer exists, as the Government those who are not more deserving? Justice was all that he has undertaken to provide for bim. The brother will be desired; and, in giving his vote for paying the militia, he denied the hospitality of a brother's roof, or a place at his considered that he should act in strict conformity to hier board, and turned out of doors to live upon the charity of requirements. He had named Sumpter and Marion--be Government. Those affections, which constituted the might add, Butler, Williams, Pickens, Hill, and a host of chief enjoyment of life, will be put to hazard by the in- others, who rendered services unequalled in the bisiotroduction of such an extended system of governmental ry of the revolution. Could any American read the charity: Mr. T. said that he regretted he had occupied record of their patriotic deeds, and lay his hand upon his so much time in presenting his views upon this subject to heart, and say, they were less deserving than those for the House, especially as he was satisfied his efforts would whom provision has been made? He repeated that it was be unsuccessful; yet he should have the cousolation to not only a debt of gratitude which we owed to these men; know that he had attempted to discharge his duty to his but we were under a pecuniary obligation to them, which constituents and to the country, and at the same time that had never been discharged. As the representative of he had obeyed the dictates of his own conscience in sub- honest constituents, willing to discharge their honest mitting what he had said.
debts, he should venture to give his assent to paying Mr. TUCKER, of South Carolina, said he was in favor these men. of doing something for the State troops, volunteers, and It is but a few days, said Mr. T., since we voted a large militia. These men had rendered services as important, amount as a donation to a distinguished individual of this had endured hardships as great, and suffered privations country. He alluded to Mr. Monroe, late President of as distressing, as the regular soldiers. The time was, du- the United States. Why was that sưm voted to him? ring the revolution, that every thing depended upon them; Because his fame had been shed abroad, and the splen. they were subject to daily alarms, and daily calls to resist dor of the gift was to make a flourish in the world. Will the devastating progress of the enemy--they met these this Government be generous and refuse to be just? Shall calls with alacrity, and a patriotism inferior to none--ex- the poor militia man be denied his honest due, and posed their lives and shed their blood in defence of their kept from his scanty pittance, while we lavish our thoucountry's freedom; and were they now to be forgotten? sands and tens of thousands upon those who hare no legal Was Congress to legislate for the benefit of the regular claim upon us? Let the American people avoid the re. soldier only? Those in the regular service stipulated to proach which such a course of legislation would bring upon serve for a sum certain, and most of them had been paid them. Justice was equally due to the high, the low, the agreeably to the contract.
rich, and the poor; and so long as he had a tongue to utter It would be recollected, he said, that most of those in a sentence, he would advocate this principle. the South, who took an active part in achieving the liber Mr. T. said, you have expended moncy enough in ties of the country, belonged to the militia; but it made your unconstitutional works of internal improvement-in no difference with him to what section of country that class the construction of your big and little roads, your canals, of soldiers belonged. They had rendered essential services: and your surveys, to have paid those poor men what was without them the war could not have been successfully their due. In your anxiety to prosecute a splendid na. carried on, and, but for their patriotic exertions, we tional scheme, and to dazzle the world with the glory of might have been at this day groaning under the yoke of a great American system, you have forgotten the debts a foreign despot. They had never received their pay in you owed, and the sufferings of those to whom they were any thing but a depreciated paper currency of nominal due, Pursue this policy a little longer--lavish your movalue. But few of them now remain, and a large portion ney upon some who are not entitled to it--withheld it of these were borne down by age and infirmities, and from others to whom it is due, and squander your trca: lingering out a miserable existence under the blighiting sure according to the policy of your misnamed Ainerican intiuence of a cheerless poverty. Should these men now system, and your liberties are gone fmerer,
I H. or R.]
[Feb. 17, 1831.
Mr. CARSON was against the bill, as at present ad-give his reasons at large upon the proposed amendment, vised, (having been detained from the House by indispo. but he would state, in a few words, the ground upon sition yesterday, during the discussion,) and was in favor which he thought it ought to be adopted. The improveof the commitment, to ascertain, as near as practicable, ment of the navigation of the Ohio river was, in truth, what it would cost.
nothing more than an extension of the canals of Ohio and Mr. RICHARDSON said the session now drew very Pennsylvania. These two States were incurring an exnear to its close; there were many subjects of great im- pense of ten or fifteen millions of dollars; the one in portance yet to be acted on; and as, after the full discus-opening a canal from Philadelphia to Pittsburg, and the sion and the decisive vote of yesterday, further debate other between Lake Erie and the Ohio river; thus opencould answer no purpose, he felt it a duty to the House ing a continued communication from Philadelphia to New and the country to move the previous question; but he Orleans by the Pennsylvania canal, and from New York withdrew the motion at the request of
to New Orleans through the Erie and Ohio canal. Owing Mr. VERPLANCK, on a promise that Mr. V. would to certain shoals in the Ohio river, its navigation was renew it when he had made an explanation in reply to almost wholly suspended for about two months every ausome of the statements of Mr. Trezyant, which Mr. v. tumn; and that, too, at the very best season of the year proceeded to do, giving it as his opinion, from the best for business on these canals. The loss of business on data in possession of the committee, which he stated in this account must be very great. It is of little consedetail, that the bill would require an additional expendi- quence that the Ohio canal enters the Ohio river, unless ture of not more than from 800,000 to $1,000,000, and the produce of the interior can descend to New Orleans, this rapidly decreasing, and soon, in the course of nature, or other place of destination. So of the Pennsylvania to be entirely discontinued. He concluded, according to canal; it is in vain for that State to think of participating promise, with moving the previous question.
to any considerable extent in the tradle of the Western The motion was sustained; and the question being put country at that season of the year, unless the navigation on the passage of the bill, it was decided in the affirma- of the Ohio is opened to Pittsburg, so that produce may tive--yeas 132, nays 52.
ascend and merchandise descend the river, on their way So the bill was passed, and sent to the Senate for con- to and from Philadelphia. The making of these canals,
which will now be finished in a year or two, renders it of APPROPRIATION BILLS.
vast importance to keep the navigation of that river always
open while business can be done upon them. We have The House then went into Committee of the Whole on a report lying upon the table, showing that the shoals in - the several remaining appropriation bills.
the river can be deepened at a very moderate expense. The committee spent three hours in discussing various The improvement of its navigation properly belongs to amendments to these bills, as they successively came under the General Government. And he hoped, considering consideration, and on motions to fill blanks with particular the vast expense the States of Pennsylvania and Ohio sums, or to reduce appropriations. The following were were incurring in opening avenues of trade to the Ohio, the chief questions decided:
that the comparatively small sum of $150,000 would not To the navy appropriation bill, Mr. DRAYTON moved be denied in aid of their great efforts. an amendment to restore the pay and emoluments of the Mr. DENNY said, as I come from the borders of the officers of the marine corps to what they had been prior Ohio, I may be permitted to say a word or two on this to 1829, when they were reduced by the construction of subject. It is one of great importance to the Western the Fourth Auditor; and, after some opposition by Mr. country. The Ohio river may with great propriety be WICKLIFFE, and remarks by Messrs. DRAYTON and considered a great national highway; it forms the bounMcDUFFIE in its favor, the amendinent was adopted. dary between several of the States; it is the great chan
in the military appropriation bill, Mr. DRAYTON nel of their commerce, and, to some portions, the only moved to increase the appropriation for fortifications from outlet for their trade; and, in my opinion, is as descrying 100,000 to $200,000. The motion was very strenuously of the attention of the Government as any portion of the opposed by Mr. YANCEY, and was negatived.
seaboard. Much has been done to facilitate our commer. Mr. McDUFFIE made an unsuccessful motion to ap-cial intercourse along the Atlantic; large sums of money propriate $2,000 for the purchase of medals to be distri- have been expended for improvements in the bays, buted to Indian chiefs; and
clearing the harbors, opening channels, and removing obMr. BATES made an unsuccessful motion to insert an structions to navigation, along our extensive seacoast, amendment directing that the Indian annuities be hereafter wherever the tide flows, from north to south. But, paid in the manner which had been pursued previously sir, it seems to me that some gentlemen are seized with a to the last year--the yeas being 53, nays 61.
kind of hydrophobia so soon as we leave the salt and proMr. VERPLANCK moved to insert an appropriation pose improvements in the fresh water region. I am will, in the harbor bill (conformable to an existing law) of ing with them to vote millions for the improvement and $50,000, for improving the navigation of the Ohio and protection of our harbors and seaports, because it is for Mississippi; and the motion was agreed to.
the benefit of the commerce of our couniry. The whole Mr. WICKLIFFE moved an amendment to appropriate Union is benefited by such expenditures, because the an additional sum of $150,000, to be expended, under whole Union has an interest in the commerce of every the direction of the present superintendent, in the im- port; and certainly to facilitate our internal commercial provement of the navigation of the Ohio river, from its communication, particularly among the great and Hourishmouth to Pittsburg, in rem
emoving the obstructions in the ing Western States, is equally worthy our attention, in a channels at the shoal places and ripples, and by the erec-national point of view. I can perceive no difference betion of wing dams, or such other means as, in the opinion tween this commerce and our coasting trade, which enjoys of said superintendent, will best answer the purpose of so largely the farorable consideration of the Government. deepening the channels of said river.
To the Western States, the Ohio is the most important Some debate arose, in which Mr. CARSON opposed channel of their intercourse; and it is truc, as remarked the appropriatio:i. Messrs. WILDE and McDUFFIE by the gentleman from North Carolina, (Mr. Canson,] objected to inserting it in the present bill, which was in- they will be immediately benefited by the proposed aptended only to appropriate for objects already authorized propriation. But, sir, the advantages to be derived from by law; and Mr. WICKLIFFE defended it.
the improvements under this appropriation will not be Mr. VINTON said that he would not, at that latc hour, telt exclusively in those States; the whole nation will ex
FEB. 18, 1831.]
Inland Ports of Entry - Appropriation Bills.
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perience the beneficial effects in the additional facilities involved in it, in the first instance; and, in the next place, afforded to commerce; and this is the great basis upon if we should unfortunately become entangled in the comwhich the advocates of internal improvement rest their plex web of European politics, to be prepared with the cause. Clearing away the obstructions from the harbor necessary means of extricating ourselves from the entanof one of our towns on the seacoast, is for the immediate glement? Surely so; and the only means of enabling us benefit of the town; it gives security to the trade, and to do so, in the event of such a disastrous occurrence, promotes its prosperity, and the commerce is increased would be to prepare for war in time of peace; at least 80 and protected; the work is not, therefore, to be considered far as to provide for the arming of those fortifications merely a local matter. No, sir, commerce is a national upon which alone the nation could rely for the security of object; we all participate in its benefits, and have an its seaboard. The defence of the coast of the country interest in its prosperity.
was, it would be admitted by all, necessary for the preIt is well known that, at this late period of the session, servation of public liberty; and how could the coast be with a mass of business before us, it would be impossible defended, without the fortifications being put in an effito pass a bill through this House the usual mode. I cient state? cannot perceive any weight in the objections made to this Mr. D. referred next to the expression of Mr. Canning, proposition; it violates no rule of this House. What prin in the British Parliament, as to the probable results of the ciple of legislation does it outrage? None, sir. I trust, next war in Europe. That able statesman, that eloquent therefore, that the amendment will be adopted.
orator, that accomplished man, said, a few years ago, that Mr. DODDRIDGE also made a few remarks in favor of the war which might next occur would probably be a war the amendment; after which,
of opinion—a war of liberal principles against despotic The question was taken, and the amendment was Governments--in the contest of which, the victors would agreed to--yeas 79.
be, in the end, the vanquished. The clouds which lowOn motion of Mr. LETCHER, an appropriation was ered at present over Europe threatened to involve all inserted of $15,000 for making a road in Arkansas. civilized countries in the storm which it was apparent was
After an ineffectual attempi by Mr. DODDRIDGE to gathering. No portion of it could be exempt; and how, get up the Cumberland road bill, (it being near 4 o'clock,) then, could the United States keep aloof in such a contest!
The comınittee rose, reported the amendments, and Great Britain owed its existence to its naval strength; it
had declared that its power depended on its maritime
supremacy; and how, asked Mr. D., could that supremacy FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18.
be sustained, should a war ensue, but by the renewed er
ercise on her part of the system of impressment? INLAND PORTS OF ENTRY.
After some further remarks on this subject, as conMr. CAMBRELENG, from the Committee on Com- nected with the rejection of a former treaty by President merce, reported a bill allowing the duties on foreign mer- Jefferson, on account of its not containing a provision chandise imported into Pittsburg, Wheeling, Cincinnati, against the impressment of American seamen, and some Louisville, St. Louis, Nashville, and Natchez, to be se- observations on the inadequacy of the present means
of cured and paid at those places; which was twice read, and national defence in the fortifications on the seaboard, Mr. Mr. C. moved that it be ordered to a third reading. D. concluded.
Mr. McDUFFIE opposed the motion, because it was a Mr. McDUFFIE trusted that, if a war should unhappily subject which belonged to the revenue, and ought to have occur in Europe, this country would adopt the system been before the Committee of Ways and Means. It, more which was called in England that of non-interference, over, was a novel principle-one involving
a great ex. God forbid, said he, that the settled policy of the United penditure, in the number of custom-house officers which States should be so entirely changed, as to lead to the would have to be appointed; and if the principle were entanglement of this nation with the politics of the other adopted, every large town in the Union situated on a river hemisphere! Let us finish the fortifications which we would be entitled to the same privilege. He moved the have begun to construct. This is all that the bill provides, reference of the bill to the Committee of Ways and Means. no more; and, let me ask, of what use are the shells of
Mr. WICKLIFFE and Mr. PETTIS defended the bill these buildings, erected at a great expense for the pure against the objections urged, and argued to show its ne. poses of national defence, unless they are finished and cessity to the convenience of the large and thriving com- properly armed? mercial places comprised in the bill. Before the question Mr. HOFFMAN opposed the amendment, conceiving was taken, the hour elapsed.
the navy perfectly competent for the purposes of defenda APPROPRIATION BILLS.
ing the coast. The power and strength of our nary
were, it would be borne in mind, very different from their The several appropriation bills, which yesterday passed condition ten or fifteen years ago; and besides, he, for his through the Committee of the Whole, were taken up, and own part, if he might be permitted to express an opinion, the several amendments agreed to by the House. saw no prospect that we should be engaged in a war with
Mr. DRAYTON renewed his amendment, proposed yes- Great Britain. terday in Committee of the Whole, for the appropriation of two hundred thousand dollars, instead of one hundred after the vote of yesterday rejecting the appropriation of
Mr. YANCEY, of Kentucky, said he had not expected, thousand dollars, for the armaments of fortifications. He an additional hundred thousand dollars for fortifications on supported his proposition at length, referring, in the the seaboard, that there would have been a proposition course of his argument, to the defenceless condition of to-day to reinstate the item in the bill, and he regretted many of the fortifications on the seacoast. Should the that it was made. I, said he, am a plain farmer, and revast continent of Europe, he remarked, be involved in present constituents, a majority of whom are farmers, and, the flame of war which at present there were too many of course, make their living in that highly laudable moule, reasons for apprehending, the United States might, and by the sweat of their brow; and when I address them, and in all probability would, be drawn into the vortex. should am amongst them, I advocate frugality and economy in a contest ensue, (and, considering the combustion which the public expenditure, in order that labor may be lightly at present prevailed amongst the great powers of the old burdened. Although I have to encounter eloquent law. world, who would say that it was not daily expected?) yers here, sir, yet i do and will fearlessly advocate the would not the consequences be of so tremendous a nature, same principles, and make every practicable exertion that as to require the utmost caution on our part to avoid being the bread which labor has earned shall not be taken from
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indian Medals.---- Internal Improvements.
[Feb. 18, 1831.
its mouth to support exorbitant and extravagant appropri- ble to avoid an involvement in them. He said, after some ations. Sir, the poor laboring men, who are, in fact, the further remarks, that he was therefore in favor of the very main pillars of society, ought not to be burdened proposition, conceiving it to be absolutely necessary for with these exorbitant appropriations; and little do they the defence of the seacoast, and the security of our milithink, when they are bedewing the earth with the sweat tary and naval forces. of their brow, and when night comes, and they go to bed, The amendment was lost by yeas and nays-yeas 69, they are so fatigued with their daily labor to support their nays 90. families that they frequently cannot sleep-I say, sir,
INDIAN MEDALS. little do they think that such profuse and lavish appropriations of money are made, as frequently are; and I
Mr. McDUFFIE moved to insert an appropriation of should consider myself unworthy of their confidence, if I $3,000 for the purchase of medals, to be distributed did not boldly and fearlessly exert my best faculties here amongst Indian chiefs. to keep off the oppressive hand of taxation from them and
Mr. VANCE said the object was a proper one, as it was their families. They are that to society that a main spring well known that such presents to the Indians were very is to a gun lock; and I am resolved to let them see that i useful, and had been always customary. He could not am not less their advocate here than at home. Sir, I will forbear, however, reminding those gentlemen who now look to the influence, the salutary maxims, policy, and saw the
expediency of the measure so clearly, that an ex. advice of the iHustrious Jefferson, who was in favor of the penditure under the late administration of one-third of sacred preservation of the public faith, and the honest the sum now proposed, filled about a page of the famous performance of our duties, of frugality and economy in report of the Committee on Retrenchment, in setting forth our public expenditure. Sir, I most cordially unite with its enormity. that great and patriotic sage, and hope that we shall be
The appropriation was agreed to; yeas 85, nays not frugal and economical in our public expenditures, and not
counted. imitate the magnificent pomp, splendor, and profusion of
INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS. Eastern monarchs and potentates; but that we shail zeal The bill making appropriations for improving the naviously and ardently endeavor to realize our professions, and gation of rivers, removing obstructions from the mouths bring the ship of State back to its republican and Jefferso- of rivers and harbors, &c. next coming up, nian principles; that we shall thoroughly cleanse the Au Mr. LEA wished to know the sense of the House on gean stable, and get back to the good old whig principles of this measure. He wished to know what was meant by
76, and the promotion of the equal interest and inalien- this sort of external internal improvement. He wished able rights of man. And, sir, I regret to see some of those to know how high up a river it was considered constitu
gentlemen, who are such strong advocates of this appro- tional to go without coming in conflict with the objectionop priation, opposing an appropriation of one hundred and able principle, and how far the House could carry a dis
fifty thousand dollars for clearing out obstructions and tinction which he himself could not see or approve. He otherwise improving the navigation of the Mississippi and could see no difference between appropriations for har. Ohio rivers-those two great streams which traverse such bors and the mouths of rivers, and appropriations for the a vast extent of country in the great valley of the Missis-improvement of the interior of the country. He there. sippi, and on which the surplus produce of one of the fore asked for the yeas and nays on the engrossment of greatest countries on earth is wafted to New Orleans, the this bill. grand emporium of the West.
Mr. CARSON said he felt that on the subject of interSir, I most cheerfully unite with the honorable and nal improvement it was perfectly useless to say a word.
patriotic gentleman of South Carolina, in every proper The bill proposed various objects of expenditure for har-j; defence of the country, and would meet at the beach the bors, &c. What evidence was there of their necessity
enemy that should dare to pollute our republican soil with not to speak of their constitutionality, that he would not so bis tyrannical and unhallowed feet. i would dispute mention; it is scoffed at; we have no constitution—it is i every inch of ground, burn every blade of grass, and ex- dead and gone. But he knew of no evidence that the > pire in the last ditch, before I would see the foot of an improvements were needed, admitting their legality. He - invader trampling in triumph upon my native land. Yes, went throught all the items, to show that many of them
if he did enter my country as a foe, I hope it is not a use- were unworthy of legislation, and some of them conless vaimt to say that it should be over my lifeless corpse. temptible. He protested against them, and said that the Let us, I say, teach our sons--let us urge upon our friends items for his own State should not seduce him to vote for and fellow-citizens, the brave boys of the mountains, and the bill. Nothing, however, which he could say, he was of every other section of our beloved country, to exert aware, would have any influence on the House; he theretheir patriotism, and bravely defend the land in which fore called on his friend from Kentucky, (Mr. YANCEY,] they live. In that case--I mean in the event of our being to make a speech against it. attacked-we can, I doubt not, successfully resist the Messrs. IRVIN and WHITTLESEY defended the apcombined attacks of a world of despots. If we are frugal, propriation in reference to the waters of Lake Erie, virtuous, and united as with the bonds of indissoluble showing their importance to the commerce of the West, union, as I trust we are, and ever shall be, and put our the great extent of the commerce of the lake, the defifaith in the great omnipotent God of battles, we may ex- ciency of natural harbors on it, and the necessity of formpect to be free and happy, and to transmit to our latesting them, &c. posterity, pure and uncontaminated, the equal and inhe Mr. SILL, of Pennsylvania, said, the principal objec. rent rights of freemen, with which we are so eminently tions he had heard against the passage of this bill, appeared blessed. And if we do, sir, act and unite on these prin. to be directed against the appropriations for improving ciples of virtue, economy, and frugality, and trust in the the navigation and opening the harbors on the lakes. I, great sovereign Arbiter of the universe, we shall stand as said Mr. s., have had an opportunity of witnessing the a pillar of fire amidst a world of benighted despotism, improvements already made in that navigation, by means lighting the path of unborn millions to the temple of of former appropriations, and can truly state, not only as liberty.
my own opinion, but that of others, who have examined Mr. WILDE argued that, however the country might thiem, that no part of the public money has been more jube indifferent to the contests of Europe, however indlis- diciously and beneficially expended. posed the Government might be to engage in those con These appropriations are objected to because, as it is tests, yet, from the very nature of things, it was impossi- said, the objects to which they are to be applied are not
FEB. 18, 1831.)
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of a national character, and, therefore, that the National seas afford a great highway for the commerce and navigaGovernment cannot, with propriety, appropriate money tion of a very important portion of the people of these for their improvement. Some particular object of im- United States. The citizens of the northwestern parts of provement is selected and adverted to, for instance, the New York and Pennsylvania, probably one-half of the removal of a sand bar from the mouth of a certain creek State of Ohio, the whole territory of Michigan, the northor river, which falls into Lake Erie, with a view to the ern parts of Indiana and Illinois, to say nothing of the al. improvement or construction of a harbor upon the shore most illimitalyle regions bordering on the upper lakes, and of that lake; and it is said that such improvement cannot extending for towards the Mississippi, are dependent on be of general or national importance, because such stream the navigation of these waters for the transportation of or river is, of itself, so obscure and unimportant, that their produce to a market, the importation of all their even its name has scarcely before been heard of. Gentle- supplies of forcign merchandise, and, in short, for all men seem to consider that the character of an improve their commercial intercourse and transactions. Nor are ment of this kind depends on that of the particular spot the benefits of this inland navigation confined to those where it is contemplated to be made, without taking into who inhabit the interior of our country. The intercourse view the importance of the general object which each thus opened is equally beneficial to the commercial and particular improvement is calculated to advance. manufacturing interests of the Atlantic States.
It appears to me that this view of the subject is not a The commerce of Lake Erie is rapidly increasing, and correct one. In estimating the character and importance already of great importance and amount. Previous to of any work of public improvement, we should consider the late war, its commerce was of sniall amount. Probathe general design and object intended to be effected, and bly eight or ten small vessels were sufficient for all the not confine our views to the particular objects of an ap- transportation that was then required. During the war, propriation, which is frequently only the means of effect that commerce was entirely broken up and destroyed. ing some great national improvement, or a part of some Some of the vessels were captured by the enemy, the replan of general and public utility. The removal of a mainder were purchased by our Government, and fitted sand bar at the mouth of a river, or the shore of Lake for the purposes of naval warfare. But with the return Erie, considered solely with reference to the importance of peace, the settlement and improvement of that country, of the particular place where such improvement is to be rapidly advanced, and with it the trade and commerce of effected, may appear to be a local and unimportant ob- the lakes. The completion of the New York canal conject; but when it is considered as a means of opening or stituted a new era in the trade of that country. It gare forming a harbor, whose benefits are extended to the to those lakes the character and advantages of an inland thousands of our fellow-citizens whose lives and proper- sea, with a navigable outlet to the main ocean, and affordty are exposed on those waters, its general and nationaled the means of transportation to the seaboard, for the character at once become apparent.
agricultural products of the vast and fertile regions borNo one doubts that the Atlantic seaboard is an object of dering on and communicating with their waters. There general and national importance. The propriety of af- are now nine steamboats, and seventy or eighty vessels, fording all reasonable facilities to its commerce and navi- which during seven or eight months of the year are em. gation, by the improvement of harbors, the removal of ployed in an active commerce on Lake Erie. 'The number sand bars, and the erection of beacons, buoys, and light-of entries at the custom-house at Buffalo, up to the 30th houses, I believe, is not disputed. Now, I would ask, of September of the past season, was six hundred and why is an improvement of this kind, when made along the thirty-seven. Should we add to this the probable numseaboard, considered to be of national character and im- ber of entries during the remainder of the season, the portance? It is not on account of the local importance of aggregate number for the whole season would probably the particular point where such an improvement may be exceed eight hundred. The number of arrivals and demade, but because it is connected withi, and constituies a partures at and from the port of Presque Isle, during the part of, that great national object, the facility and securi- same period, was three hundred and sixty-six; the proty of the commerce and navigation of the Atlantic coast. bable number during the remainder of the season would It is true that both those objects, that is, those of general probably increase the total amount to upwards of five utility and local importance, may bappen to be combined hundred. The quantity of merchandise transported to in the same rule. An improvement of the harbor of a Buffalo on the New York canal, up to the 30th of Sepgreat commercial city, for instance, that of New York, tember of the past year, and shipped on the lake from that would present a case of this kind. But suppose an ex- port, amounted to fifteen thousand tons. The two retent of' barren and desert coast, without inhabitants, and maining months of navigation are the most busy season of destitute of any objects to attract attention, except the trade; and, should we include the probable quantity ship. dangers and shipwrecks wbich awaited those who sailed ped during that period, it is believed that the total amount along or approached its shores, might not the national in would not be less than twenty-five thousand tons. terests require some improvements to be made, even in It should be borne in mind that the whole of this rast such a spot as this? And if the removal of a sand bar amount consists of merchandise the produce and manufacwould afford an improvement materially promoting the ture of our own and foreign countries, for the supply of security of our commerce, would it not be proper for the northwestern sections of the United States. A great this Government to effect it? Such an object would be proportion of the country between the lakes and the strictly national; not by reason of any importance in it. Ohio, including sections of five States, and the whole of self, but by its connexion with that great national object, the Territory of Michigan, receive their supplies by this the security and facility of navigation and commerce, it route. partakes of that character, and becomes itself an object In the last annual message of the President, the proof national concern.
priety of making appropriations for increasing the facility
, The same principles apply to the improvements on our and promoting the security of commerce, is admitted. great Northwestern lakes. No one, I presume, will pro- Our revenue, it is stated, arises principally from the colless to doubt that the commerce and navigation of the lection of duties imposeil on foreign merchandise. These great chain of lakes, extending along our Northwestern duties increase the price of the article, and are ultimately borders, and forming a connected navigation of mor than drawn from the pockets of the consumer. Appropriations one thousand miles, is, of itself, an object of great na- for the improvement of our commercial intercourse are tional importance. They may be called, with much pro- paid out of the same fund. These improvements, by facipriety, the Mediterranean of America. Those inland litating the means of transportation, cheapen its price, and