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acter, it could only have been executed so far parts of the constitution which appear to me to by the application of federative means. Again, convey the power in question, I hope I shall be the contemplated canal through New Jersey; allowed to disclaim, for my part, several sources that to connect the waters of the Chesapeake whence others have deduced the authority. and Delaware; that to unite the Ohio and the The gentleman from Virginia seemed to think Potomac, are all objects of a general and fede- it remarkable that the friends of the power rative nature, in which the States, through should disagree so much among themselves; which they might severally pass, could not be and to draw a conclusion against its existence expected to feel any such special interest as from the fact of this discrepancy. But I can would lead to their execution. Tending, as see nothing extraordinary in this diversity of undoubtedly they would do, to promote the views. What is more common than for differgood of the whole, the power and the treasure ent men to contemplate the same subject under. of the whole must be applied to their execution, various aspects ? Such is the nature of the huif they are ever consummated.

man mind, that enlightened men, perfectly upI do not think, then, that we shall be at all right in their intentions, differ in their opinions assisted in expounding the Constitution of the on almost every topic that could be mentioned. United States, by the principle which the gen- It is rather a presumption in favor of the cause tleman from Virginia has suggested in respect which I am humbly maintaining, that the same to municipal powers. The powers of both gov- result should be attained by so many various ernments are undoubtedly municipal, often op- modes of reasoning. But, if contrariety of erating upon the same subject. I think a better views may be pleaded with any effect against rule than that which the gentleman furnished the advocates of the disputed power, it equally for interpreting the constitution, might be de- avails against their opponents. There is, for duced from an attentive consideration of the example, not a very exact coincidence in opinpeculiar character of the articles of confedera- ion between the President of the United States tion, as contrasted with that of the present con- and the gentleman from Virginia. The Presistitution. By those articles, the powers of the dent says, (page 25 of his book,) " the use of thirteen United States were exerted collaterally. the existing road, by the stage, mail carrier, or They operated through an intermediary. They post boy, in passing over it, as others do, is all were addressed to the several States, and their that would be thought of; the jurisdiction and execution depended upon the pleasure and the soil remaining to the State, with a right in the co-operation of the States individually. The State, or those authorized by its legislature, to States seldom fulfilled the expectations of the change the road at pleasure.” Again, page 27, general government in regard to its requisitions, the President asks, “if the United States posand often wholly disappointed them. Languor sessed the power, contended for under this grant, and debility, in the movement of the old con- might they not, in adopting the roads of the infederation, were the inevitable consequence of dividnal States, for the carriage of the mail, as that arrangement of power. By the existing luas been done, assume jurisdiction over them, constitution, the powers of the general govern- and preclude a right to interfere with or alter ment act directly on the persons and things them?” They both agree that the general govwithin its scope, without the intervention or ernment does not possess the power. The genimpediments incident to any intermediary. In tleman from Virginia admits, if I understood executing the great trust which the Constitu- him correctly, that the designation of a State tion of the United States creates, we must, road as a post road, so far withdraws it from therefore, reject that interpretation of its provi- the jurisdiction of the State, that it cannot be sions which would make the general govern- afterwards put down or closed by the State; ment dependent upon those of the States for the and in this he claims for the general governexecution of any of its powers; and may safely ment more power than the President concedes conclude that the only genuine construction to it. The President, on the contrary, prowould be that which should enable this govern- nounces that “the absurdity of such a pretenment to execute the great purposes of its insti- sion,” (that is, preventing, by the designation tution, without the co-operation, and, if indis- of a post road, the power of the State from pensably necessary, even against the will, of any altering or changing it,)“ must be apparent to particular State. This is the characteristic all who examine it!"" The gentleman thinks difference between the two systems of govern- that the designation of a post road withdraws it ment, of which we should never lose sight. entirely, so far as it is used for that purpose, Interpreted in the one way, we shall relapse from the power of the whole State; whilst the into the feebleness and debility of the old con- President thinks it absurd to assert that a mere federacy. In the other, we shall escape from county court may not defeat the execution of a its evils, and fulfil the great purposes which the law of the United States! The President enlightened framers of the existing constitution thinks that, under the power of appropriating intended to effectuate. The importance of this the money of the United States, Congress may essential difference in the two forms of govern- apply it to any object of internal improvement, ment, will be shown in the future progress of provided it does not assume any territorial jathe argument.

risdiction; and, in this respect, he claims for Before I proceed to comment upon those the general government more power than the

gentleman from Virginia assigns to it. And I cannot see what other human power is needed. must own, that I so far coincide with the gen- It has been said, by Cæsar or Bonaparte, no tleman from Virginia. If the power can be doubt thought by both, that, with soldiers traced to no more legitimate source than to that enough, they could get money enough ; and, of appropriating the public treasure, I yield the with money enough, they could command solquestion,

diers enough. According to the President's inThe truth is, that there is no specific grant, terpretation of the constitution, one of these in the constitution, of the power of appropria- great levers of public force and power is postion; nor was any such requisite. It is a re- sessed by this government. The President sulting power. The constitution vests in Con- seems to contemplate, as fraught with much gress the power of taxation, with but few lim- danger, the power, humbly as it is claimed, to itations, to raise a public revenue. It then enu- effect the internal improvement of the country. merates the powers of Congress. And it And, in his attempt to overthrow it, sets up one follows, of necessity, that Congress has the of infinitely greater magnitude. The quantum right to apply the money, so raised, to the exe- of power which we claim over the subject of cation of the powers so granted. The clause, internal improvement, is, it is true, of greater which concludes the enumeration of the granted amount and force than that which results from powers, by authorizing the passage of all laws, the President's view of the constitution ; but * necessary and proper" to effectuate them, then it is limited to the object of internal imcomprehends the power of appropriation. And provements; whilst the power set up by the the framers of the constitution recognize it by President has no such limitation; and, in effect, the restriction, that no money shall be drawn as I conceive, has no limitation whatever, but from the treasury but in virtue of a previous that of the ability of the people to bear taxation. appropriation by law. It is to me wonderful With the most profound respect for the Presihow the President should have brought his dent, and after the most deliberate consideration mind to the conclusion, that, under the power of his argument, I cannot agree with him. I of appropriation, thus incidentally existing, a cannot think that any political power accrues to right could be set up, in its nature almost with this government, from the mere authority which out limitation, to employ the public money. it possesses to appropriate the public revenue. He combats with great success and much abil. The power to make internal improvements ity, any deduction of power from the clause re- draws after it most certainly the right to aplating to the general welfare. He shows that propriate money to consummate the object. But the etfect of it would be to overturn, or render I cannot conceive that this right of appropria useless and nugatory, the careful enumeration tion draws after it the power of internal imof our powers; and that it would convert a provements. The appropriation of money is concautiously limited government into one without sequence, not cause. It follows, it does not prelimitation. The same process of reasoning by cede. According to the order of nature, we first which his mind was brought to this just con- determine upon the object to be accomplished, clusion, one would have thought, should have and then appropriate the money necessary to its warned him against his claiming, under the consummation. According to the order of the power of appropriation, such a vast latitude of constitution, the power is defined, and the apauthority. He reasons strongly against the plication, that is, the appropriation of the money power, as claimed by us, harmless and beneficent requisite to its effectuation, follows as a necesand limited, as it must be admitted to be, and sary and proper means. The practice of conyet he sets up a power boundless in its extent, gressional legislation is conformable to both. unrestrained to the object of internal improve- We first inquire what we may do, and provide ments, and comprehending the whole scope by law for its being done, and we then approof human affairs ! For, if the power exists, priate, by another act of legislation, the money as he asserts it, what human restraint is necessary to accomplish the specified object. there upon it? He does, indeed, say, that it The error of the argument lies in its beginning cannot be exerted so as to interfere with the too soon. It supposes the money to be in the territorial jurisdiction of the States. But this treasury, and then seeks to disburse it. But is a restriction altogether gratuitous, flowing how came it there? Congress cannot impose from the bounty of the President, and not found taxes without an object. Their imposition must in the prescriptions of the constitution. If we be in reference to the whole mass of our powers, have a right, indefinitely, to apply the money to the general purposes of government, or with of the government to internal improvements, or the view to the fulfilment of some one of those to any other object, what is to prevent the ap- powers, or to the attainment of some one of plication of it to the purchase of the sovereign- those purposes. In either case, we consult the ty itself, of a State, if a State were mean constitution, and ascertain the extent of the auenough to sell its sovereignty-to the purchase thority which is confided to us. We cannot, of kingdoms, empires, the globe itself? With constitutionally lay the taxes without regard to an almost unlimited power of taxation; and, the extent of our powers; and then, having after the revenue is raised, with a right to ap- acquired the money of the public, appropriate ply it under no other limitations than those it, because we have got it, to any object indewhich the President's caution has suggested, I finitely.

VOL. 11.-19

Nor do I claim the power in question, from that kind of process of reasoning in which the the consent or grant of any particular State or gentleman from Virginia is so skilful, by tracing States, through which an object of internal im- it to its remotest effects, you may make it ab provement may pass. It may, indeed, be pru- sorb the powers of the State governments. dent to consult a State through which such an Pursue the opposite course; take any incontesimprovement may happen to be carried, from table power belonging to the State governments, considerations of deference and respect to its and follow it out into all its possible ramificasovereign power; and from a disposition to tions, and you may make it thwart and defeat maintain those relations of perfect amity which the great operations of the government of the are ever desirable between the general and State whole. This is the consequence of our systems. governments. But the power to establish the Their harmony is to be preserved only by forimprovement, nrust be found in the constitution, bearance, liberality, practical good sense, and or it does not exist. And what is granted by mutual concession. Bring these dispositions all, it cannot be necessary to obtain the consent into the administrations of our various instituof some to perform.

tions, and all the dreaded conflicts of authorities The gentleman from Virginia, in speaking of will be found to be perfectly imaginary. incidental powers, used a species of argument I disclaim, for myself, several sources to which which I entreat him candidly to reconsider. others have ascended, to arrive at the power in He said, that the chain of cause and effect was question. In making this disclaimer, I mean to without end; that if we argued from a power cast no imputation on them. I am glad to meet expressly granted to all others, which might be them by whatever road they travel, at the point convenient or necessary to its execution, there of a constitutional conclusion. Nor do their were no bounds to the power of this govern- positions weaken mine; on the contrary, if corment; that, for example, under the power "to rectly taken, and mine also are justified by fair provide and maintain a navy,” the right night interpretation, they add strength to mine. But be assumed to the timber necessary to its con- I feel it my duty, frankly and sincerely, to state struction, and the soil on which it grew. The my own views of the constitution. In coming gentleman might have added, the acorns from to the ground on which I make my stand to which it sprung. What, upon the gentleman's maintain the power, and where I am ready to own hypothesis, ought to have been his conclu- meet its antagonist, I am happy, in the outset, sion? That Congress possessed no power to to state my hearty concurrence with the gentleprovide and maintain a navy. Such a conclu- man from Virginia, in the old 1798 republican sion would have been quite as logical, as that principles (now become federal also), by which Congress has no power over internal improve the constitution is to be interpreted. I agree ments, from the possible lengths to which this with him, that this is a limited government; power may be pushed. No one ever has, or can that it has no powers but the granted powers; controvert the existence of incidental powers. and that the granted powers are those which We may apply different rules for their extrac- are expressly enumerated, or such as, being imtion, but all must concur in the necessity of their plied, are necessary and proper to effectuate the actual existence. They result from the imper. enumerated powers. And, if I do not show the fections of our nature, and from the utter im- power over federative, national, internal impossibility of foreseeing all the turns and vi-provements, to be fairly deducible, after the cissitudes in human affairs. They cannot be strictest application of these principles, I entreat defined. Much is attained when the power, the the committee unanimously to reject the bill. end, is specified and guarded. Keeping that The gentleman from Virginia has rightly anticiconstantly in view, the means necessary to its pated, that, in regard to roads, I claim the attainment must be left to the sound and re- power, under the grant, to establish post offices sponsible discretion of the public functionary. and post roads. The whole question, on this Intrench him as you please, employ what lan- part of the subject, turns upon the true meaning guage you may, in the constitutional instrument, of this clause, and that again upon the genuine

necessary and proper, " " indispensably neces- signification of the word “establish.” According sary,” or any other, and the question is still left to my understanding of it, the meaning of it is open—does the proposed measure fall within to fix, to make firm, to build. According to the scope of the incidental power, circumscribed that of the gentleman from Virginia, it is to as it may be ? Your safety against abuse must designate, to adopt. Grammatical criticisni was rest in his interest, his integrity, his responsi- to me always unpleasant, and I do not profess bility to the exercise of the elective franchise; to be any proficient in it. But I will confidently finally, in the ultimate right, when all other appeal, in support of my definition, to any vo redress fails, of an appeal to the remedy, to be cabulary whatever, of respectable authority, and used only in extreme cases, of forcible resistance to the common use of the word. That it canagainst intolerable oppression.

not mean only adoption, is to me evident; for Doubtless, by an extravagant and abusive en adoption pre-supposes establishment, which is largement of incidental powers, the State gov- precedent in its very nature. That which does ernments may be reduced within too narrow not exist, which is not established, cannot be limits. Take any power, however incontestably adopted.' There is, then, an essential difference granted to the general government, and employ l between the gentleman from Virginia and me.

I consider the power as original and creative; | its own inherent force and energy, without he as derivative, adoptive. But I will show, necessary dependence upon the State governout of the mouth of the President himself, who ments. If my construction secures this object; agrees with the gentleman from Virginia, as to and if that of my opponents places the executhe sense of this word, that what I contend for tion of this trust at the pleasure and mercy of is its genuine meaning. The President, in al- the State governments, we must reject theirs most the first lines of his message to this House, and assume mine. But the construction of the of the fourth of May, 1822, returning the Oum- President does not make it so dependent. He' berland bill with his veto, says, “a power to contends that we can only use, as post-roads, establish turnpikes, with gates and tolls, &c., those which the States shall have previously implies a power to adopt and execute a complete established ; that they are at liberty to alter, system of internal improvement.” What is the to change, and of course to shut them up at sense in which the word “establish” is here pleasure. It results from this viow of the Presused ? Is it not creative ? Did the President ident that any of the great mail routes now mean to adopt or designate some pre-existing existing, that, for example, from south to north, turnpikes, with gates, &c., or, for the first time, may be closed at pleasure or by caprice, by any to set them up, under the authority of Congress ? one of the States, or its authorities, through Again, the President says, "if it exist as to one which it passes—by that of Delaware or any road (that is, the power to lay duties of transit, other. Is it possible that that construction of and to take the land on a valuation), it exists as the constitution can be correct, which allows a to any other, and to as many roads as Congress law of the United States, enacted for the good may think proper to establish.' In what of the whole, to be obstructed or defeated in its sense does he here employ the word? The operation by any one of twenty-four sovereigntruth is, that the President could employ no ties? The gentleman from Virginia, it is true, better than the constitutional word, and he is denies the right of a State to close a road which obliged to use it in the precise sense for which has been designated as a post road. But supI contend. But I go to a higher authority than pose the State, no longer having occasion to use that of the chief magistrate-to that of the con- it for its own separate and peculiar purposes, stitution itself. In expounding that instrument, withdraws all care and attention from its preswe must look at all its parts; and if we find a ervation. Can the State be compelled to repair word, the meaning of which it is desirable to it? Nol the gentleman from Virginia must say, obtain, we may sately rest upon the use which and I will say-may not the general governhas been made of the same word in other parts ment repair this road which is abandoned by of the instrument. The word "establish" is the State power? May it not repair it in the one of frequent recurrence in the constitution; most efficacious manner? And may it not proand I venture to say, that it will be found uni- tect and defend that which it has thus repaired, formly to express the same idea. In the clause and which there is no longer an interest or inenumerating our powers, Congress has power clination in the State to protect and defend ? “ to establish a uniform rule of naturalization," Or does the gentleman mean to contend that a &c. In the preamble, “We, the people of the road may exist in the statute book, which a United States, in order to form a more perfect State will not, and the general government canunion, establish justice, &c., do ordain and es- not, repair and improve? And what sort of an tablish this constitution,” &c. What pre-exist- account should we render to the people of the ing code of justice was adopted? Did not the United States, of the execution of the high trust people of the United States, in this high, sov- confided, for their benefit, to us, if we were to ereign act, contemplate the construction of a tell them that we had failed to execute it, becode adapted to their federal condition? The cause a State would not make a road for us? sense of the word, as contended for, is self-evi The roads, and other internal improvements dent, when applied to the constitution. of States, are made in reference to their indi

But let us look at the nature, object and pur- vidual interests. It is the eye only of the whole, poses of the power. The trust confided to Con- and the power of the whole, that can look to gress was one of the most beneficial character. the interests of all. In the infancy of the govIt was the diffusion of information among all ernment, and the actual state of the public treasthe parts of this republic. It was the transmis- ury, it may be the only alternative left us to use sion and circulation of intelligence; it was to those roads which are made for State purposes, communicate knowledge of the laws and acts of to promote the national object, ill as they may government; and to promote the great business be adapted to it. It may never be necessary to of society in all its relations. This was a great make more than a few great national arteries of trust, capable of being executed in a highly communication, leaving to the States the lateral salutary manner. It could be executed only by and minor ramifications. Even these should Congress, and it should be as well performed as only be executed, without pressure upon the it could be, considering the wants and exigen- resources of the country, and according to the cies of government. And here I beg leave to convenience and ability of government. But, advert to the principle which I some time ago surely, in the performance of a great national laid down, that the powers granted to this duty imposed upon this government, which has government are to be carried into execution by for its object the distribution of intelligence,

civil, commercial, literary and social, we ought | selves to the accomplishment of what is most to perform the substance of the trust, and not practicable and immediately necessary. content ourselves with a mere inefficient paper But what most staggers my honorable friend, execution of it. If I am right in these views, is the jurisdiction over the sites of roads and the power to establish post roads being in its other internal improvements which he supposes nature original and creative, and the govern-Congress might assume; and he considers the ment having adopted the roads made by State exercise of such a jurisdiction as furnishing the means, only from its inability to exert the whole just occasion for serious alarm. Let us analyze extent of its authority, the controverted power the subject. Prior to the erection of a road is expressly granted to Congress, and there is under the authority of the general government, an end of the question.

there existed, in the State through which it It ought to be borne in mind, that this power passes, no actual exercise of jurisdiction over over roads was not contained in the articles of the ground which it traverses as a road. There confederation, which limited Congress to the was only the possibility of the exercise of such establishment of post-offices; and that the a jurisdiction, when the State should, if ever, general character of the present constitution, as erect such a road. But the road is made by the contrasted with those articles, is that of an en- authority of Congress, and out of the fact of its largement of power. But, if the construction erection arises a necessity for its preservation of my opponents be correct, we are left pre- and protection. The road is some thirty or cisely where the articles of confederation left us, fifty or sixty feet in width, and with that narnotwithstanding the additional words contained row limit passes through a part of the territory in the present constitution. What, too, will of the State. The capital expended in the the gentlemen do with the first member of the making of the road incorporates itself with, and clause to establish post-offices? Must Congress becomes a part of the permanent and immovaadopt, designate, some pre-existing office, estab- ble property of the State. The jurisdiction lished' by State authority? But there is none which is claimed for the general government, is such. May it not then fix, build, create, estab- that only which relates to the necessary lish offices of its own?

defence, protection, and preservation of the The gentleman from Virginia sought to alarm road. It is of a character altogether conservaus by the awful emphasis with which he set tive. Whatever does not relate to the existence before us the total extent of post roads in the and protection of the road remains with the union. Eighty thousand miles of post roads! State. Murders, trespasses, contracts, all the exclaimed the gentleman; and will you assert occurrences and transactions of society upon for the general government jurisdiction, and the road, not affecting its actual existence, will erect turnpikes, on such an immense distance ? fall within the jurisdiction of the civil or crimiNot to-day, nor to-morrow; but this govern- nal tribunals of the State, as if the road had ment is to last, I trust, forever: we may at never been brought into existence. How much least hope it will endure until the wave of popu- remains to the State ? How little is claimed for lation, cultivation and intelligence, shall have the general government? Is it possible that a

shed the rocky mountains and mingled with jurisdiction so limited, so harmless, so unambithe Pacific. And may we not also hope that tious, can be regarded as seriously alarming to the day will arrive when the improvements and the sovereignty of the States? Congress now the comforts of social life shall spread over the asserts and exercises, without contestation, wide surface of this vast continent? All this is a power to protect the mail in its transit, by not to be suddenly done. Society must not be the sanction of all suitable penalties. The man burdened or oppressed. Things must be gradual who violates it is punished with death, or and progressive. The same species of formida- otherwise, according to the circumstances of ble array which the gentleman makes, might be the case. This power is exerted as incident to exhibited in reference to the construction of a that of establishing post-offices and post roads. navy, or any other of the great purposes of Is the protection of the thing in transitu a pow. government. We might be told of the fleets er more clearly deducible from the grant, than and vessels of great maritime powers, which that of facilitating, by means of a practicable whiten the ocean; and triumphantly asked if road, its actual transportation ? Mails certainly we should vainly attempt to cope with or rival imply roads, roads imply their own preservathat tremendous power ? And we should tion, their preservation implies the power to shrink from the effort, if we were to listen to preserve them, and the constitution tells us, in his counsels, in hopeless despair. Yes, sir, it is express terms, that we shall establish the one a subject of peculiar delight to me to look for- and the other. ward to the proud and happy period, distant as In respect to cutting canals, I admit the quesit may be, when circulation and association tion is not quite so clear as in regard to roads. between the Atlantic and Pacific and the Mexi- With respect to these, as I lave endeavored to can gulf, shall be as free and perfect as they are show, the power is expressly granted. In reat this moment in England, or in any other the gard to canals it appears to me to be fairly commost highly-improved country on the globe. prehended in, or deducible froin, certain granted In the mean time, without bearing heavily upon powers. Congress has power to regulate comany of our important interests, let us apply our merce with foreign nations and among the sev.

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