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21st Coxg. 2d sess.)
Report on Internal Improvement,
ed, in the strongest manner imaginable, the propriety of "Ill health prevented the Secretary of the Treasury this policy. It was seen from actual experience, that ile from acting on the subject ; but the Secretary of War
, money wasted in consequence of the want of national on the 7th of January, 1819, made an interesting report: improvements, would liave been sufficient to construct| A juclicious system (he saidl) of roads and canals, conthe chief of those of the most prominent character. structed for the convenience of commerce and the irans
After the war, the spirit of internal improvement portation of the mail only, without reference to military again revived. It rose up in the South ; and on the 16th operations, is itself among the most efficient means for of December, 1816, on motion of Mr. Calhoun, a com- the more complete defence of the United States. With mittee was appointed to inquire into the expediency of out adverting to the fact that the roads and canals which setting apart the bonus and nett annual profiis of the Na- such a system would require, are, with a few exceptions, tional Bank, as a permanent fund for internal improve- precisely those which would be required for the operaments. On the 230 of the same month, a bill to this ef- tions of war, such a system, by consolidating our Union, fect was reported.
increasing our wealih and fiscal capacity, would add On the 6th of February following, a motion was made greatly to our resources in war. It is in a state of war, to strike out all the first section after the enacting clause, when a nation is compelled to put all of its resources in and insert a bill differently expressed, "for the construc. men, money, and skill, and devotion to country, into retion of roads and canals, and improving the navigation of quisition, that its govern inent realizes, in its security, the water courses, in order to facilitate, promote, and give beneficial effects from a people made prosperous and sccurity to internal cominerce among the several States, happy by a wise direction of its resources in peace.” and to render more easy and less expensive the means “But I forbear to pursue this subject, though so inte and provisions necessary for the common defence ;” the resting, and which, the farther it is pursued, will the fund to be applied to such objects as Congress, with the more clearly establish the intimate connexion between assent of the States, might direct.
the defence and safety of the country, and its improve Mr. Calhoun moved to amend the amendment, by strik- ment and prosperity, as I do not conceive that it constiing out the words “ with the ussent of the States," which tutes the immediate object of this repori." being lost, the amendment was carried ; and, on the 8th After many appropriations for the repairs of the Cumof February, 1817, the bill, as amended, possed the berland road, and other acts of Congress manifesting House of Representatives. After being agreed to in the their steady pursuit of this subject, a select committee, Senate, it was sent for the approbation of Mr. Madison, in 1822, was raised, which, on the 20 of January, who, on the 3d of March, 1817, rejected it on constitu- brought in a report, accompanied with a bill to procure tional grounds.
the necessary surveys, plans, and estimates, tu be made, On the re-consideration, there was still a majority of of the routes of such roads and canals as the President the representatives of the people in favor of the bill.
might deem of national importance, in a commercial This was the last act of Mr "Madison's administration. or military point of view, for the transportation of the Mr. Monroe being then Secretary of State, and President mail. elect, probably accorded with his predecessor in the re In 1823, it was partially acted on, and, on the 30th of jection of the bill, as, at the next session, the first of his April, 1824, it became a law. The object of this bill administration, he gave his concurrent opinion in advance, was to obtain information, and lay a solid foundation for without waiting to hear the arguments of the new Con- the improvement of the country by the aid and direct gress. On the 3d of December, 1817, this part of the action of the General Government. message was referred to a committee, and on the 15th of
Mr. Monroe signed the bill; and, in the same session; December a report was made, in direct contradiction of be approved of the act authorizing a subscription to the the sentiments of the President. The resolution which stock of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company: closed it resting the power in question on the assent of the Wat this period, Mr. Monroe seems to have yielded 10 States, it was stricken out, and the House finally resolved, the current of public opinion, as far as is necessary for by a majority of 90 to 75, that Congress bad power, un most practical purposes. der the Constitution, to appropriate money for the con. The survey bill was considered as the precursor to all struction of post roads, military and other roads, and for future improvements. Its design was to obtain an accuthe improvement of water courses. Motions to amend, rate knowledge of the topography of the country, by the by inserting “ with the assent of the States,” were nega- examination of scientific men, under the direction of the tived. Thus, it appears that, on the first opportunity, President, who were to make plans, &c. of such objects after the opinions of two Presidents were declared, the as the Presilent should direct, reserving to Congress to representatives of the people independently expressed select in succession the routes which they might deem their own sentiments to the country.
the most urgent, and of the highest national importance, “ During the same session, two resolutions were adopt to be first executed. ed-one directed to the Secretary of War, and the other In virtue of this act, many important parts of the coun to the Secretary of the Treasury, of nearly the same im- try have been explored, of whose capacities for improve port
, requiring them to report to the next session a plan for ment we were ignorant. The spirit of this act accorded the application of such means as are within the power of with the practice of France and other countries, where Congress to the purpose of opening and improving roads, every information of this kind is considered valuable, and and making canals, together with a statement of the un collected and deposited in their respective bureaux. dertakings of that nature, which, as objects of public improvement, may require and deserve the aid of the Go- acted
on immediately; many years, it was known, would
It was not expected that every survey made should be vernment; and, also, a statement of works, of the nature pass away, before all could be effected. Still, the in above mentioned, which have been commenced; the formation was desirable, and advantageous to the Union
, progress which has been made in them, the means and the States, and individual enterprise; it affor led a store prospect of their being completed; the public improve- of knowledge, at all times accessible, and free of er: ments carried on by States, or by companies or incorpo. pense. rations which have been associated for such purposes, to which it may be deemed expedient to subscribe or afford salulary importance. They were every where welcome
The proceedings of the engineers produced effects of assistance ; the terms and cunditions of such associations, ed: States were awakened trom their lethargy; and, ai and the state of their funds; and such information as, in ed by the science of which they were in possession,cort
of , 1 to the objects of this resolution.”
isistance, and the people hecame inspired with a desire The committee are aware of no instance in which Con
of enjoying the natural advantages of their country,and, gress can distribute money generally among the States, in accordance with this spirit, were acting with increas- unless it be in the case of education, which is clearly dised animation in the promotion of its best interests. tirguishable from that of internal improvements. The assistance given by the General Government to
Congress has established the military academy ; it has the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, deserves here es- also agreed with the land purchasers in the new States to pecial notice. It had been in contemplation for more than allow a certain proportion of the soil in each township for half a century. The first attempt failed; the second had the benefit of schools, without indicating the mode and to content with unforeseen embarrassments; and, not manner of instruction. Education in every stage is dewithstanding the boldness and energy of those conducting signed to qualify the rising generation for all the ends of it, to say the least, it is probable that individual enter citizenship. In the improvement of the mind, whether prise would have sunk under the many obstacles which by common schools or the elevated seminaries of learnwere presented, and the work have been abandoned, had ing, there can be no departure from nationality. not the United States interposer!, and aided, by their li The committee will quote the words of the present Exberal subscription, for stock in the Company. The va-ecutive, from his message, to show its equal application lue of this noble improvement to the nation, as a link of to the power of the United States oyer internal improvethe Atlantic canal along the sea coast, cannot be tov bigh- ments. ly appreciated.
“ The power to impose duties originally belonged to The Louisville and Portland canal, and the Dismal the several States. The right to adjust those duties with Swamp canal, were equally indebted to the countenance a view to the encouragement of domestic branches of inand protection of the Federal Government.
dustry is so completely incidental to that power, that it is President Monroe deemed an avenue over the Allegany difficult to suppose the existence of the one without the mountains of such national magnitude that the route of other. The States have delegated their whole authority the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal was the first which he over imports to the General Government, without limita. caused to be surveyed under the act of the 30th of April, tion or restriction, saving the very inconsiderable reserva1824. This magnificent undertaking has likewise re- tion relating to the inspection laws. This authority havceived the countenance of the United States, by the suboing thus entirely passed from the States, the right to ex. scription to its stock of a million of dollars.
ercise it for the purpose of protection does not exist in Acis passed to improve the navigation of theOhio river, them ; and consequently if it be not possessed by the by removing bars and other impediments; to free the General Government, it must be extinct. Mississippi from the danger of snags and sawyers, and for “Our political system would tlius present the anomaly the clearing of many other rivers. In accordance with of a People stripped of the right to foster their own in. the same spirit, the Cumberland road, without reference dustry, and to counteract the most selfish and destructive to the assent of the State, was continued from Canton, in policy which might be adopted by foreign nations. This Ohio, to the Muskingum river, at Zanesville, in that surely can.not be the case : this indispensable power, thus State; and additional provisions were occasionally made surrendered by the States, must be within the scope of for the repairs of this road, and its further extension; a the authority on the subject expressly delegated." variety of roads in the territories, and for military purpo To apply the above where the object of any internai ses, had been effected; and at the last session, Congress improvement embraces two or more States, the commit. passed laws to subscribe for stock in the Maysville and tee will observe, that, antecedent to the Union, the States, Lexington Turnpike Company, by a vote in the House as separate sovereignties, could have entered into negoof Representatives of 96 to 87; for stock in the Washingtiations and treaties to execute any extended line of road or ton and Frederick Turnpike Company, by a vote of 74 to canal ; but, after its adoption, they were excluded from 39; and for stock in the Louisville and Portland Canal forming any compact with each without the consent of Company, by a vote of 80 to 37.
Congress. The Stales, then, have wholly surrendered the In the two last cases, there was little if any doubt as to
power under which alone they could have effected great the nationality or expecliency of the object; and the prin leading and permanent roads or canals, for their mutual ciple of the policy alone governed the members. They accommodation, and cannot regain it by the mere exerpresent the fairest test of the opinion entertained by the cise of their own wills. If the power be not extinct it is representatives of the people, concerning the propriety wholly within the control of the United States ; anul must of subscribing for stock in private companies. Wherein, fall within the scope of the authority over the subject then, it is most respecifully asked, consists evidence of expressly delegated to Congress, and be directly incidena change in the public mind on this interesting subject'tal to them. It may be presumed that the message alludes to those Again : the power to regulate commerce among the public prints which justified the veto on the Maysville States is granted in the same words with that to regulale road bill? Is it not a fair answer, that the opinion, thus commerce with foreign nations. In the one case, it is partially ascertained, was founded on a belief that the agreed that imports can be cheapened by public works ; road was of a local, and not a national character. Whe. the same reason will apply to the power to cheapen the ther it was or was not, is iminaterial at the present mo- transportation of inland trade, that being of importance ment; because it never was pretended, by the friends of equal to foreign commerce; and the power must be as internal improvements, that Congress had power over necessarily incidental to the express power. mere local and State objects; and, for this reason, they This directly incidental power carries with it the full have always disputed the right to distribute money, ge- means of execution and protection, and does not rest on nerally, among the States, for internal improvements, as the undefined tenor of continued and uninterrupted the money, in tha: case, might be expended on local ob usage, which is said to have been employed " at the ex. jects, over which Congress aad no authoriiy. The act pense of harmony." to set apart the bonus and dividends of the Bank of the
The committee will pursue this subject ro farther United States, to be livided among the States accord- than to say that, in their opinion, the same constitution ing to the ratio of their representation, retained in Con. which legalizes the removal of brambles for the free pas. gress the control over the objects on which the money sage of the surveyor's chain, gives equal right to con. was to be expended. This, alone, sustained its consti. struct the contemplated work. That there is no partitutionality. Lands have also been granted for the same tion of power. It Congress can act at all, it can act with purpose for specified objects.
effect; if it can make a road or a canal, it can employ the
accustomed means of the country to keep the work in corporated companies, in which a sovereign State is inrepair.
terested. The traveller gains an equivalent, and is not in relation to the subject of internal improvements, heard to complain. To say nothing of the consequent that there is a line between national and merely State ob- ruin of State enterprises, if the citizens should be treated jects, of a sound and practical meaning, is generally ad. better by any mode of internal improvement, under the mitted ; and where this line is, the wisdom of Congress auspices of the General Government, than by the laws must decide in each case as it arises.
and institutions of their respective States, their affections With no pretension of describing the precise line, the might be unwarily weaned from the one and bestowed committee will suggest that an object of national improve upon the other. As yet, such favor has not been ex. ment may be entirely within a state, as a road to a forti- tended, even to American genius The inventor of the fication, such as that from New Orleans to Fort St. Philip, most valuable discovery has to pay for his patent. in Louisiana ; or perhaps a better illustration is supplied With reference to the rule of revenue, it is provided by by the Delaware and Raritan canal, lying wholly in the the Constitution that all duties, imposts, and excises, shall State of New Jersey. The object may embrace parts of be uniform throughout the U. States; but the paying of two States, as a bridge over a river dividing the States; tolls is clearly a tax of no description. A valuable consiin this instance, Congress could erect the bridge, if ne. deration being received, it is no collection of revenue. It cessary for any national purpose, In every case where is only a profit on the revenue on hand. It is as much a the improvement is to take a wide range through many contract as the purchase of public land, in which case the States ; in instances within a State where an object is buyer is to pay for the value he receives; and in like man. considered as a link of an extended line ; and in all cases ner the scientific inventor has to purchase his patent. where its end is to connect, by artificial means, the grand respecting the impropriety of subscribing for stock in geographical divisions of the country ; to draw the line, private companies, this committee, and former commitit must be expected, will sometimes give rise to debate, tees, and both Mouses of Congress, have deemed that but not more frequently, nor of a more perplexing na- the most eligible and least objectionable mode of effect. lure, than will occur in attempting to draw the line of ing many of the improvements of the country. The correct legislation on various other subjects.
opinion has been as generally entertained, that the diThe tariff' to protect American industry is declared by rect agency of the Government should be resorted to the President constitutional, but does he prescribe the only in cases where States or private companies had not exact limit required for this object ? Congress can im sufficient interest or means to induce them to embark in pose direct taxes, yet, in the exercise of this power, ex. their execution. cesses would be real grievances.
The committee cannot discover how any deception But a road or canal, even of a doubtful character as to could be practised in this mode of expenditure, more its nationality, would benefit the country; so it would than in the direct application of the public money. No seem that no federal power can be exercised with less circumstance respecting the former can be better concause of alarm.
cealed. The United States' engineers can give as aocu. In adverting to the message, the committee will not ex. rate information the one case as in the other. In each, anine it by paragraphs, for fear of committing any error. the same inducements will exist for additional appropriaA particular part of it can be better interpreted in con- tions, when the first have proved inadequate. Besides, nexion with the whole ; they will only make allusion to when subscriptions are made, Congress will have the some of the ideas conveyed by it, concerning which opinion of State Legislatures, and the guarantee of prithere can be no mistake ; leaving the application of their vate subscriptions of stock, as to the importance of the general observations, where they come in collision with undertaking, before they are begun; and in conducting any part of it, to the judgment of the House, to be con- them afterwards, the advantage of the vigilance and zeal sizlered as an answer.
of interested and enterprising individuals. In what manThe President, after carefully revolving in his mind ner disguise could be practised, the committee are at a the whole subject, has formed these opinions—that it is lost to conjecture. It must be admitted that unforeseen improper and inexpedient to subscribe for stock in pri obstacles will occasionally obstruct the progress of such vale associations; that, unless an entire stop be put to improvements, and call for additional aid, in defiance of the practice, certain bad consequences will follow; and the skill, foresight, and honesty of man. The Chesa that the course heretofore pursued to advance the inter peake and Delaware Canal, and the Louisville and Portnal improvements of the country, is the worst, perhaps, land Canal, afford instances of uncommon occurrence. that could exist.
In the first, the embankment for a considerable disAmong the reasons for these opinions, it is asserted, tance, sunk about one hundred feet; and the latter had that, when an improvement is effected by the funds of to be excavated through a solid rock of unusual and unthe Union, the citizens ought to enjoy it without being expected hardness. compelled to pay tolls; that money so raised ought to In ordinary cases, the construction of roads and canals be subject to the rule of revenue ; that discredit inight is reduced to strict rules, and contracts can be formed result from the Government's embarking with its consti- with reasonable certainty. Throughout the Union, such tuents in joint stock associations, and that, in certain in- works are now executed by such contracts; which in. stances, the control of a portion of the public funds corporated companies are as capable of making as the would be delegated to an authority unknown to the Con Government, and much more likely to execute with sistitution.
gor. To these objections and reasonings the committee re The Committee on Roads and Canals, in 1825, after ply, in the firsi place, that, if it is constitutional to sub: describing what they considered improvements of the scribe for the stock of private companies, which does not first class, proceeded as follows : “ The Committee, appear to be controverted, none of the agencies there- bowever, are of opinion, that there is a secondary class of unto appertaining can be alien to the Constitution.
cases, in which the General Government and states can In regard to the idea that the citizens, respecting pub- act conjointly by the subscriplion of stock on the part of lic improvements, ought to be exempt from tolls or any the United States in companies incorporated in the reimposition of that character, this ducurine would apply to spective States for internal improvements." the States with the same force as it would to the Federal
“ The plan proposed, after much reflection, has been Union. In the States, however, it is the universal prac. deemed the most judicious of any that can be derised: tice to receive tolls from those who use the roads of inIt is a plan of encouragement, and in its operation will
Report on Internal Improvement.
[21st Cong. 2d SESS.
not interfere with objects of the first class. It will excite tion of this, the Chesapeake and Delaware canal would the States to incorporate companies for such objects as absorb the equal dist!ibution to which the State of Delawill be sufficiently national to induce Congress to coun ware would be entitled for perhaps a half century, while tenance them. It leaves Congress to decide in each this State is far less benefitted by the construction of the case, when presented, upon its own circumstances and canal than many other sections of the Union. merits. The Committee cannot conceive how the Ge. Fair and important considerations may, likewise, in. neral Government can aid in the internal improvements duce more than a proportional expenditure of money in of the country, in most cases, with greater propriety certain divisions of the country. For instance : while than by subscriptions in companies incorporated by the the erection of public works on the seaboard cheapens respective States. Congress will have the opinion of the importation, and diffuses a general benefit among consu. United States' engineers, who will make the necessary mers, whether in the exterior or interior of the country, surveys, plans, and estimates; and it will have the opi- it must be acknowledged that the expenditures on lightnion of the State in each case, and intelligent stockhold. houses, beacons, fortifications, &c. afford an additional ers, as to the importance and probable profit of each advantage to those sections of the nation wherein they work; and, finally, Congress will exercise its own judg- are erected, by the circulation of large sums, amounting, ment on the utility and national character of the work. in fact, to many millions, among the people of those disThe prosecution of the works, besides, will be conduct- tricts. ed by interested individuals, with less expense and de The new States do not enjoy corresponding advantages; lay than perhaps it could be done by the public.” and any degree of equal benefit, in this respect, cannot
The plan of subscribing for stock in companies has, be effected, unless more than the representative proporalso, the advantage of augmenting the expenditures on tion of the funds of the Union be expended among them. public works far beyond the sum invested by the Gene. As internal improvements are the only objects of magni. ral Government. Congress may adopt the principle, tude alike advantageous to the 'new' States and to the that no subscription shall be made to any incorporated Union, it is by acting on these alone that Congress can company until a certain proportion, say two-thirds, of equalize the public benefits of the country. The new the estimated expense be subscribed by a State or by inStates have no unsettled land to constitute a fund for this dividuals, By this plan, ten millions belonging to the purpose, and the nett proceeds of the sale of public lands United States would cause the expenditure of thirty mil. I will avail very little towards the execution of their lead. lions on public undertakings; and, in time, Congress ing roads. T'he rise and condition of the western States might dispose of their stock, and use the same fund to have, in an eminent degree, augmented the power and aid in other works.
consequence of the Union. The citizens of these extenThe practice of subscribing for stock in private com- sive regions have purchased our wild lands, and convertpanies by State sovereignties, has long and extensively ed them into useful farms. The intercourse between prevailed ; they have joined their constituents in crea- them and the Atlantic States is daily increasing For the ting banks, and in promoting improvements. Without mutual enjoyment of the internal commerce thence arisany disparagement to the General Government, State so- ing good roads and canals are indispensable. It is true,
vereignties, in this respect, stand on the same footing, the old States, with few exceptions, have prosecuted their s and would be equally subject to inconveniences, if such own improvements to a great extent without federal aid ;
really existed. The States of Pennsylvania, Maryland, but many of these States possessed funds derived from the mil and Delaware, subscribed for stock in the Chesapeake sales of public lands, and other sources not attainable in
and Delaware Canal Virginia and Maryland subscribed the West. It will be no more than an act of generous to the stock of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal; and the and good feeling in the Atlantic States to aid their youngpractice has been approved by four or five distinct Con- er sisters. A passage from the late message of the Gogresses. To impair a principle so long acted upon, it vernor of Pennsylvania we admire for its public spirit and would seem to the Committee to require a train of abu- truly American patriotism. It is as follows: ses and inconveniences plainly to be laid before the peo “Although extensively engaged in the construction of ple. How can any discredit result from the Govern- works of internal improvement within her own limits, and ment's embarking with its constituents in the great work at her own individual expense, Pennsylvania has uniform. of national improvements ?
ly, with a magnanimity and a spirit of patriotism which It cannot be expected that the General Government does her honor, advocated and maintained the constitu. would ever associate itself with companies merely with a tional right of the General Government to aid in the conview of pecuniary speculation ; and by the report of the struction of works of internal improvements of a national Committee on Roads and Canals in 1825, and the bill ac- character, tending to bind, and to connect more closely companying it, a provision was introduced, allowing the together, the remote parts of our widely extended terriState or States creating the companies to purchase, attory ; to multiply the facilities of communication between pleasure, the stock of the United States in such compa- the different parts of the Union ; to diminish time and dis.
tance in the intercourse of its citizens with each other ; Congress, it is believed, will never be disposed to act to beget, by means of such intercourse, feelings of amits, without the co-operation of the States, except in a na- kindness, and friendship, instead of those sectional jeational work, in which the States or individuals, for want lousies, local prejudices, and unkind and uncharitable of interest or adequate resources, are unwilling to embark, prepossessions, which a want of free and friendly interor, if commenced, are unable to continue and complete. communication is always seen to producc; and generally Such cases, in the opinion of the committee, may be to increase the comforts and promote the prosperity and considered as of the first national class, and cannot be in- happiness of the people of the United States." cluded under any specific system..
if we descend from this elevation, and confine ourselves The action of the Government in the first class will re- to the narrow, parsimonious pursuits of gain, no policy quire other direct appropriations, to be expended under more substantial could be devised. What roads or cathe agency of the United States, or subscriptions for nals, except cross roads for neighboring purposes, can be stock in private companies. In this class, also, it is obvi- made in the west, which will not benefit the States on the ous, and by none denied, that no rule of equal distribu. Atlantic? tion can be adopted. The localities of the country will In what direction will they look for their sales and bar. require that much larger sums should be expended in ter? It must certainly be towards the seas and manufacsome parts of the country than in others. As an illustra. 'turing districts. All their national highways will be cal
21st Cong. 2d sess.)
Report on Internal linprovement. culated to meet the eastern improvements, namely, those The following passage in the President's message early of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North attracted the attention of the committee : That "thie ei. and South Carolina, and Georgia. The Cumberland road, penditures heretofore made for internal improvements the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, the canals of James river, amount to upwards of five millions of dollars," and that of Roanoke, and others, yet farther to the south, are all the estimated expense of works of which surveys have designed to conquer the mountains between these two been made, together with that of others projected and great sections of our common country.
partially surveyed, amounts to more than“ ninety-six mil. In the secondary class of cases, Congress can appro- lions of dollars." The committee, apprehending some priate money to national objects with as judicious ar- mistake on this head, directed their chairman to offer rangements among the States as the true interest of the a resolution requesting the President to transmit to Concountry will demand. They can, as in the bill of 1816, gress a statement of the expenditures heretofore made for for the gradual increase of the Navy, set apart a fund for internal improvements, specifying the several works, and the gradual improvement of the country, and appropriate the expenditures of each , also, a statement of the esti. so much per annum to be applied to national undertak. mated expense of the works of internal improvement for ings to be completed or towards the discharge of ex- which surveys have been made ; together with a like penses incurred on national objects already executed by statement of the estimated expense of other works pro. the several States. Under such a provision, States which jected and partially surveyed. have led the way in improving the face of the country In compliance with this request, the President trans. can, in part, be reimbursed for their valuable exertions. mitted a repor: from the Secretaries of War and Tres
No tribunal can be so competent to regulate these na- sury, from which it appears that the meaning of the Pre; tional concerns as Congress ; they bring intelligence from sident comprehended objects which the cornmittee, here: the various parts of the nation, and can impart to each tofore, had not included under the head of internal improre. other a knowledge of the course of trade, and of the ments. Their idea was, that the term internal improve bearings which particular improvements will have on ments did not embrace works affording facilities to foreign each other, for the good of the whole.
commerce ; that the popular acceptation confined it to Internal improvements accommodate themselves to all roads and canals in the interior of the country, and to the the leading interests of the nation 3 by their facilities the clearing of rivers above tide water, farmers will be enabled to produce more and sell cheap. It appears from the Treasury documents, that the item er ; by them foreign imported articles will reach the con- of " five millions of dollars and upwards,” for internal Sumers in the interior at reduced prices. But with none | improvements, embraces not only expenditures for roads are they more intimately connected than with the manu. and canals, but also the expenditures of the Government, facturing interest, as they will cause a diminution of the since its commencement, "in building piers, improving and expenses of transportation to and from their factories; preserving ports, bays, and harbors, and removing obstrucand, in time, will enable the proprietors to bear, without tions to the navigation of rivers." injury, a reduction in the tariff. Thus, while the duties The latter objects, and others of a similar character, on imports supply, in part, the means of internal im- made up nearly one half of what is called “expendiprovement, those improvements, good roads and naviga. tures for internal improvements." ble canals, to a still greater extent, lessen the cost of In reference to the item of ninety-six millions of dol. those imports to the consumer, and, in enhancing the lars and upwards, the communication, in answer to the value of his produce, erlarge his means of comfort and call of the House, arranges the works into three distinct enjoyment.
classes-works commenced by the General Government; The opponents to the immediate execution of internal works not commenced, for which surveys and estimates improvements, speak, repeatedly, of judicious plans and have been made ; works projected and partially survey: systems, without disclosing their ideas upon any practi- ed; the estimates for the last class being conjectural. cable scheme to supplant that which they condemn. The The first class includes all the works commenced by the sincerity of their motives is not questioned, although the General Government, and amounts only to three miltendencies of their scruples cause only procrastination, lions seven hundred and thirty-two thousand dollars, einand leave us equally as unenlightened. What system bracing altogether about fifty distinct works; forty-three have the States adopted to regulate improvements be- of which are building piers, improving bays and harbors
, tween the different parts of their respective territories, and removing obstructions to the entrance and navigation better than that hitherto pursued by the United States ? of rivers. The other works contained in this class are
The wisdom and experience of the legislative bodies roads now under construction, all of which, except the constitute the tribunals which govern as the objects are Cumberland road, are in the territory of Michigan. presented.
The estimated expense of the second class is near fifty It has also been urged that the project of national im. millions. It embraces fifty-four works, of which thirty. provements with the funds of the Union creates corrupt seven are for the improvements of harbors, opening the passions and excites vicious practices. If the mere alle navigation of rivers, and the erection of piers and break gation of corruption is to check the prosecution of inter. waters. The other seventeen are surveys and estimates nal improvements, it will interpose a barrier against all of routes for roads and canals. public works ; for it is equally applicable, whether the With reference to the remaining class, estimated also improvements are to be completed by the States or by at about fifty millions, it is made up of all the variety of the Federal Government. The human heart will remain works embraced in the other two classes. It is conjecunchanged, and the motives of influence can never be tural, and founded on no ascertained data. eradicated. If a road is to be located for sixty or one The works executed or commenced for the benefit of hundred miles, the individuals interested in the route foreign commerce bave emanated from the Committee on will be actuated by the same zeal, and practice the same Commerce. means of gratifying their wishes, whether the improve As to internal improvements proper, the President is ment is to be effected by a county, by a State, or by the authorized by the act of the 30th April, 1824, to cause the United States. Whenever a State engages largely in necessary surveys and estimates to be made, and most of public undertakings, motives of interest can, with equal them have originated from this Executive source. There propriety, be ascribed to the members of the State Le are but few instances in which Congress would be exgislatures, as to the representatives of the same people in pected to bear the whole estimated expense. Under the Congress.
head of the second class, the Chesapeake and Ohio Ca.