JAN. 17, 1825.]

popular side. It is that side on which many things may be said handsomely, and in a manner to please the public ear. It is easy to call a creditor “Shylock,” and rattle the chains of the unfortunate victim of hard-hearted rapacity. This can be understood and felt by all. I shall not, therefore, enter the lists upon this topic, or dispute the palm of eloquence with that gentleman. But I will combat this bill with the weapons of calm reason; and, in answer to all the glowing descriptions of hardships and oppressions to which we have listened with deep and fixed attention, I ask, in what region of this free and happy land are those Shylocks found Sir, my observation has convinced me, that a “Shylock,” demanding the pound of flesh, or any character beating the faintest resemblance to him, does not exist in this republic I know, on the contrary, that imprisonment of an honest debtor is of very rare occurrence. The man who would wantonly exercise his power to oppress an upright poor man, would be frowned down by the moral sentiments and humane feelings which pervade the community. No man who regards reputation will dare so to of. send against the general feeling of the public. On the contrary, sir, I know, in some districts, an insolvent debtor must often tax the humanity of his friends to get into prison; and he generally effects his object the day be. fore the meeting of the state court, to obtain a discharge as an insolvent debtor, which always follows in a few days, unless he be guilty of fraud. I do not differ with the honorable gentleman in his admiration of the moral precept inculcated by the divine Author of our faith, in the striking parable of the debtor, to which he has alluded. I differ from him only in his application of it to this bill, with which, in my view, it has no sort of connection. I have acted so frequently with the gentleman from Kentucky on this subject, said Mr. VAN Dyke, that his object is quite familiar to me... I know his humane feelings on this subject. He undoubtedly wishes to legislate the honest debtor out of his difficulties, and punish severely all attempts at fraud on the part of the debtor. I appreciate fully his good wishes to creditors, and his strong impressions in favor of debtors; but I cannot refrain from expressing surprise that such a bill should be so strenuously urged as a remedy for the evils of which he complains. Its great effect will be to increase litigation, and to embarrass creditors; and the execution of the system will create unnecessary delay and grievous expense to the parties. Mr. MACON, of North Carolina, said that he should oppose any bill that deprived any man in the United States of a right; but did not understand how this bill would have that effect. This bill would be well understood, and would be taken into consideration in all contracts made after the 4th of July next; therefore, he could not understand that any right was touched by the bill. The law gave notice, and all persons making contracts after the time fixed by the law, would do so with their eyes open. They would know the remedy they must apply, and, therefore, on this point, no difficulty could possibly occur. Every body was agreed upon the abstract principle, that an honest man should not be imprisoned for debt, but objections were made to the details of this bill for its accomplishment. The real question, Mr. M. said, was, whether this bill was better than the existing system The gentleman said that there were not many persecuting creditors; but if there were only ten in the nation, who thought they had a right to persecute, not to prosecute, he would endeavor to deprive them of that power. Creditors, somehow or other, generally contrived to find out the condtion of debtors. There would be no more difficulty after this bill was passed, in ascertaining their condition, than there is now. No difficulty could, in his opinion, possibly arise. Mr. Macon concluded by saying, that he did not know what those, who were not professional

men, were to do on this occasion, when the gentlemen

Imprisonment for Debt.—Columbian College.


of the bar differed in opinion on the subject of tur de-
tails of the bill. For his pat, approving of the princi-
ple of the bill, he should vote with those who were in
its favor.
On the question “shall this bill pass f" the yeas and
nays were then taken as follows:
YEAS-Messrs. Barbour, Benton, Bouligny, Branch,
Eaton, Elliot, Findlay, Holmes, of Miss. Jackson, John.
son, of Ken. Johnston, of Lou. King, of Ala. Lloyd, of
Mass. Lowrie, Macon, Smith, Talbot, Taylor, Thomas,
Van Buren—20.
NAYS-Messrs. Barton, Bell, Brown, Chandler, Clay-
ton, Cobb, D’Wolf, pickerson, Edwards, Gaillard, Hayne,
King, of N. Y. Knight, Lloyd, of Md. M'Lean, Mills,
Noble, Palmer, Parrot, Ruggles, Seymour, Tazewell,
Van Dyke—23
So the bill was Rejected.

COLUMBIAN COLLEGE. The Senate then proceeded to consider, as in committee of the whole, the bill “ for the relief of the columbian College, in the District of Columbia.” Mr., LLOYD, of Maryland, in a few remarks, stated his objections to this bill. A statement of the facts by which the college had become debtor to the Govern. ment for the amount (25,900) proposed to be remitted by this bill had been made. By this it appeared, that the managers of the institution, for purposes not connected with the advancement of literature, intered into a speculation in which they were disappointed, and by which they incurred this debt. He, for one, would not make the Government underwriters for any speculators; and he therefore could not consent to release the institution, however friendly he was to it, and to the cause of edu. cation generally, nor did he think the Government could reasonably be asked for this donation in favor of an institution over which it had no control whatever, except the power of abrogating the charter, should the institution fail to be managed for the objects of its incorporation, &c. Mr. JOHNSON, of Kentucky, defended, at considerable length, and with much earnestness, the reasonableness and expediency of the remission proposed by the bill; to shew that the purchase of the property was for the early operations of the institution, before its incorporation, &c. He, however, to satisfy the objections of others, moved so to modify the bill that the Government should retain the property for which the college incurred $14,000 of the debt, remit that amount, and leave the remainder of the $25,900 to be recovered from Thomas L. M'Kenny, whose debt the college had assumed. Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, intimated some amendments which he wished to propose to the bill, and moved its postponement until to-morrow. Mr. J.LOYD, of Maryland, vindicated the course he had pursued in relation to this bill, in answer to Mr. JOHNSON'S remarks. Mr. LOWRIE said, the session had now half expired, and the Senate went on every day postponing unimpor. tant subjects until they would come to those which must be acted on. He hoped, therefore, as every member's mind was, no doubt, made up on this bill, which had been before the Senate now about ten times, that it would be finally acted on without further delay. As to the bill, he had been in favor of it; but, after the exposition of the facts which had been reported by the committee, his opinion had changed, and he must vote against it. At the same time, however, he avowed that, if the institution were to come forward with a simple request for assistance, he would grant it, as he thought it deserved aid, and could look for it no where but to Congress. The question being put, the bill was postponed until to-morrow.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES–sAME DAY. The House went into committee of the whole, on the bill to provide for the continuation of the Cumberland road, Mr. STERLING in the chair. The question being for filling the blank for an appropriation with 150,000 dollars Mr. CLAY, (Speaker,) rose, and observed, that, from his attachment to that system of internal policy, of which the measure now before the committee formed a part, he had entertained a wish to offer to their consideration some views in relation to it which had forcibly impressed his own mind ; but had he anticipated the state of expectation which it would be needless for him to affect not to perceive, or that debilitated state in which he now appeared before the committee, he should have contented himself with giving his silent vote in favor of the bill. The object proposed, he said, involved a question which had often been debated in that House, and the general views of which were already so familiar to the minds of those whom headlressed, that he despaired of adding any thing to that knowledge of it which they already possessed. Indeed, he considered the views of policy which he held on this subject as having been vindicated and maintained by the votes of the House at the last session. Yet he would say thus much : that he considered the question, as to the existence and the exercise of a power in the General Government to carry into effect a system of internal improvements, as amounting to the question whether the union of these states should be preserved or not—a question which involved the dearest hopes and brightest prospects of our country. As to the opinion, that the carrying on of these improvements belonged to the states in their individual and separate character, it might as well be expected that the states should perform any other duty which appertained to the General Government. You have no more right, observed Mr. C. to ask the individual states to make internal improvements for the general welfare, than you have to ask them to make war for the general welfare, or to build fortifications for the general defence, because some of them may happen to have a peculiar local interest in either. They are no more bound to do any one of the duties which pertain to the General Government,than to do any other one of the duties which pertain to it. Sir, it is our provinee, not theirs. It is, indeed, true, that the interests of the whole and of one of the parts may be coincident, and sometimes to a very remarkable degree—nay, to such a degree as may induce a State Government to undertake a duty which more properly belongs to Congress. But such cases are rare, and such an effect has seldom happened. One instance, indeed, may be pointed out—that of the great Canal in the state of New York. When that state applied to this House for aid in her great and spirited undertaking, it was my opinion that she ought to receive it—and it is now my opinion that, for what she has advanced in the completion of that noble enterprise, she has at this hour a just claim upon the General Government. But cases of this kind always will be rare—it is vain to expect that any state will feel a sufficient interest in any object or improvement (unless such as are purely local in their character) as to induce her to make an appropriation of her indivi. dual resources for its accomplishment. With these preliminary observations on the great policy of measures of the kind of that now proposed, he would go on to inquire in the first place, is the object in the present bill of sufficient magnitude to authorize an application to it of the resources of the nation 2 To answer this inquiry, the object must be considered, not as standing isolated and alone—but as constituting one link in the great chain of the Internal Improvement of the Union. What, said he, is the actual state of the facts There now exists from the city of Baltimore to Wheeling, in the state of Virginia, an uninterrupted

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line of turnpike road, extending to a total distance of
two hundred and seventy miles; and there also exists a
like line of road from this city to the same place, with
the exception of one small gap between Montgomery
Court House and Fredericktown. Taking its origin at
the foot of the Alleghany Mountains,the Cumberland Road
extends to the Eastern Bank of the Ohio a distance of
one hundred and thirty-five miles. Of this distance
eighty-five miles lie in Pennsylvania, thirty or thirty-
five in Maryland, and the residue in Virginia – the en-
tire work, from one end to the other, and through its
whole extent, lying exclusively in the states East of
the Ohio river. The proposition now presented to the
committee is to extend this road from the West bank of
that river to Zanesville, in the state of Ohio, a distance of
eighty miles. If the proposition shall meet with the
favor of Congress, the whole length of road from Balti-
more to Zanesville will be 350 miles.
Mr. C. then remarked on the character of the coun-
try through which the contemplated road is to pass,
which he described as containing a succession of hills,
some of which might perhaps have been called moun-
tains, but for the altitude of the neighboring Allegha-
nies—and which continue as far west as the Muskin-
gum River, on the bank of which Zanesville is situated.
There, or a little to the west of it, commences a level
plain of an alluvial character, extending from the Mus:
kingum to the Mississippi, a distance of four hundred
and twenty miles.
The present proposition, Mr. C. said, was to be con-
sidered in reference, first, to what had been done, and
second, to what remained to be done. The proposed
part of the road must be viewed, first, in respect to one
termination of the entire line which is at Cumberland,
and then in respect to the other termination of it, which
he trusted would one day be on the Missouri. It
must also be viewed in reference to that branch of it,
which he hoped, at no distant day, would pass through
Kentucky and Tennessee, to Natchez and New Orleans,
intersecting the great road, now proposed from the lat-
ter place to this city. It must be remembered, said he,
that it is a part of a road which is to traverse nine
States and two Territories; so that whether we look to
the right or to the left, we find the interests of nine en-
tire States and two Territories, all concentrated in the
present design.
Here Mr. C. wished to be permitted to state one fact
with which, perhaps, but few members of the commit-
tee were acquainted. A distinguished member of the
other House had lately travelled in company with the
Delegate from Florida, now on this floor, over the very
route which was contemplated in this bill for the road
proposed. They had found it, though somewhat hilly,
free from any mountainous obstructions, and abounding
in all the materials which would be required for con-
Mr. C. next proceeded to inquire, whether the object,
such as he had now described it, was not justly entitled
to be considered a national object. Look, said be, at
the effect produced upon the convenience of the whole
country, from what has been already done. The usual
space of time formerly required to go from Baltimore to
Wheeling, was from eight to ten days—the time now
occupied is three days. The effect of such a saving of
time would readily be conceived. To this considera-
tion might be added the advantage resulting from the
investment of so much capital, and the expenditure of
so much public money, in a region of country where
both were so much needed. Settlements had been
multiplied—buildings of all kinds erected—villages
had sprung up as if by enchantment; and, to use
the language of one of the gentlemen who had ably ad-
vocated the bill, the road resembled one continued
street, almost the whole way from Cumberland to Wheel-
ing. The effect had been a great addition to the value

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of property, and an important increase of the wealth of three states through which this great public work had been constructed. It has been called,by some gentlemen, a Western road, but how could it be a Western road, wher. not one foot of it lay within any one of the Western states, but the entire road, in all its parts, lay wholly in the Eastern states ? The direct benefit, and much that was collateral, was felt by the three Eastern states where the road lay; the only benefit to the Western states was a mere right of way. All they enjoyed in the road was the right to pass over it to visit their brethren in the East, and to come to this Metropolis to mingle their counsels with their fellow citizens of the South and East—important benefits no doubt—but not such as ought to designate this road as a Western road. In fact, Mr. C. said, it was neither an Eastern nor a Western road, but partly the one and partly the other. The benefits derived from it were strictly mutual. Mr. C. asked, if the United States were not under a F. obligation to extend this road 2 What was the history of this undertaking 1t arose out of a compact between the United States and the state of Ohio, at the time that state was admitted into the Union, by which two per cent. of the nett proceeds of the sales of the public lands was to be applied to the making of a road leading to the state of Ohio. A similar provision was also made in the compacts, by which Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Mississippi, and, he believed, Alabama, were admitted as states. It had been contended by some gentlemen, that the construction of the Cumberland road was a fulfilment of this compact on the part of the United States. This, said Mr. C. I deny utterly. I grant, indeed, that it is a fulfilment of the compact with the state of Ohio. The United States covenanted to make a road leading to that state. They have done so ; and Ohio has no right to demand that the road should be carried one foot further. But the case is entirely different with the states beyond Ohio. They have a right, under their respective compacts, to demand a road which shall terminate at their limits—a road which shall be brought up to the boundary line of those states respectively. It is very true, that Congress may begin the road wherever they please, but it must terminate at the state to which Congress has covenanted that the road shall lead. Am I not, said Mr. Clay, arguing a question which is too plain to be illustrated Can it be said, that Government has made a road to Missouri, when it has made a road which no where approaches Missouri within 500 miles 2 or, that it has made a road to the other Western states, when it has made one to a point 250, 300, or 500 miles from them Gentlemen say, that a road has been made in that direction. It might as well be said, that the making of Pennsylvania avenue, in this city, was a fulfilment of the contract, or that the Government might begin a road in the remotest part of the East, and end it there, provided it had a western direction. He repeated., Government was not bound to spend more than the two per cent. under the contract—but the road must end at the limit of the states with whom the compact was made. And here, said Mr. C. let me ask my worthy friend from Mississippi, (Mr. RANKIN,) whether he would consider a road ending at Wheeling as a road to Mississippi, because it leads, though obliquely, toward that state : I am sure he would not. He would say Congress had fulfilled its bargain only when the road terminated at the Mississippi. It has been said, that the provision which pledges the two percent, fund of the several Western states for defraying the expense of the Cumberland road, had been inserted in all the former bills on that subject. I admit this, said Mr. C. but I should never have given my consent to its insertion, had I not thought that it was under

stood and agreed upon, as a part of the plan, that Congress should go on with the road, and carry it to all the states whose funds have been thus pledged. On the question of the utility of the present undertaking, Mr. C. trusted he need say no more. He was happy, he said, to find that the worthy gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. P. P. BAR boun,) who, to his great regret, could not, with his views of the constitution, support the bill, had declared, with that honorable frankness for which he was so eminently distinguished, that, apart from that view of the question, he should be in favor of the measure now proposed. Mr. C. thought that the principle of preservation itself afforded sufficient argument in support of the measure now under consideration. He knew, indeed, that all questions which glanced at the union of the states, and the possibility of its severance, should be touched lightly, and with a cautious hand. But, if they were not to be discussed in that august assembly, where might they be 2 I, said Mr. CLAY, am not one of those who are in favor of covering our eyes, and concealing from ourselves the dangers to which we may be exposed. Danger, of whatever kind, is best guarded against when it is deliberately contemplated, and fully understood. It is not to be averted by shutting our eyes and ears against the possibility of its approach. Happily, there exist among us many great and powerful principles of cohesion-a common origin—common language—a common law—common liberty—common recollection of national glory. But, asked Mr. C. have we not seen, in at least one instance in history, that all these have not been strong enough to prevent a total and lasting separation. And, though causes of the opposite kind may not in our case go all the length of producing this, yet they operate on every natural tendency to separation. That such tendencies do exist, will not be denied by any candid and reflecting man, and they call on us to look far a-head, and to prevent if possible, the disastrous evil which they threaten. Among the causes which go to increase the tendencies to separation, in such a system as ours, may be enumerated the lofty mountains which separates different parts of our country—the extended space over which our population and government are spread, together with the different scenes to which commercial pursuits lead the citizens of different districts of the Union. Some of these are, indeed, beyond human control, but the effect of many of them may be, in a certain degree, corrected, if not wholly removed. The mountains may be cutthrough: we will teach the lofty Alleghany to bow its proud head to the interest and repose of our country. As to space and distance, they are terms wholly relative, and they have relation as much to the facility of intercourse as to actual distance of place. It will be the business of wise legislation, to correct the evils to which a sparse population exposes us. We have already seen what may be effected. A distance which formerly consumed nine days, (and in this I speak from personal knowledge, having passed the route in all conditions of the road,) can now be done in three. Wheeling is thus six days’ travel nearer to Washington. So is St. Louis, So is every place West of Wheeling. If two places are twenty miles apart, and two other places are eighty miles asunder, and yet the distance between both occupies but one day, the two latter places, for every practical purpose, are as near to each other as the two former. And is it not the solemn duty of this House, to strengthen, by every means in its power, the principles of cohesion which bind us together—to perpetuate the union of these states, and to weaken and diminish, to the utmost of its ability, whatever has an opposite tendency Can the imagination of man conceive a policy better calculated than that of which the present measure forms a part, to bring the opposite extremities of our country together —to bind its various parts to each other, and to multi

ply and strengthen the various and imumerable ties of

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commercial, social, and literary intercourse—in a word, to stion, but did not give any authority to use or apply it in

make of the various and wide-spread population of these confederated Republics one united people It is true, that no efforts of the Government can altogether remove one effect of our local situation, which causes one part of our country to find its commercial vent in one ocean, and another in another. Yet, even this may be in part corrected, and one great advantage attending the proposed national highway—the formation of a part of which is contemplated in the present bill—will be its effect upon the commerce of the country. And here, said Mr C. let me state one fact. If, at this moment, the alternative were presented to me, of a total exclusion of my state from all use of the Mississippi river for commercial purposes, or the same exclusion from the Atlantic states, I would, without hesitation, prefer the former, and 1 behieve that the commerce, that now passes the mountains from the West, to seek its outlet on the Athantic coast, is of greater value than that which passes down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico—and this will be increasingly the case, if, as I hope, we are to have several different outlets like that which is now proposed. I beg gentsemen not to be alarmed. It is not my intention to ask for any further appropriations for this purpose, at least for some time to come, but we shall live, I hope, as a nation, as long as any other nation. I speak not of the works of one year, or of twenty years, but of those to which we may look forward, should our present state of peace continue. An appropriation of half a million of dollars annually would not be felt by a country like this, and yet it would effect every object which the friends of internal improvement propose to themselves or to this House. But it may be said, Why should the General Government make a road for the state of Ohio 2 Sir, if this were a road for the benefit of Ohio, I would not ask an approriation of a single dollar. Ohio has no such peculiar interest in this measure as would ever induce her to undertake to make this road. It is not a state road, but a national road, that is contemplated. It is not the duty of the state, it is your duty to make it. The route for the road passes through one of the poorest parts of the state of Ohio. Indeed, for sixty miles, it runs through as poor a country as I ever saw. Let me ask of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, Had this argument been used with respect to the Cumberland Road, would Pennsylvania have made that part of the road which now passes through her territory Or would varyland or Virginia have made what passes through theirs? No, sir! So far from it, that I am well satisfied, if that road were destroyed to-morrow, a part of the population of these states would heartily rejoice. The resources of Ohio are scanty, and she will not do that which you ought to do. Ohio will certainly be benefitted by this road, just as Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland, are now benefitted by the Cumberland road. But these incidental advantages, resulting to Ohio, are not to deter you from performing your duty to the Union, any more than the incidental benefits of a fortification in any particular state should prevent the General Government from making the fortification. Without troubling the committee with any further observations on the first branch of the subject, Mr. C. trusted he was authorized to say, that the present is an ob. ject of such importance as to be worthy of the application of the national resources. He then proceeded to the second branch of the subject, and inquired, is this object a fit one to be pursued at this time * As an objection, it had been said, that this was an anticipation of a part of the system of Internal Improvement devised at the last session, and that the execution of that system ought not to be begun till the whole has been considered. But, in the first place, said Mr. C. I do not know that any general system of inter

mal improvement has as yet been devised. The act of the last session was intended mcrely to collect informa

any general system of measures; and, it gentlemen are to wait till all the objects which may be proposed go on together, I will venture to say that the system of inter. naï improvements will be postponed indefinitely. If anything is to be done, we must select some object on which to begin. But, ev, n on gentlemen's own ground, I contend that this measure is not in the least inconsistent with the act of last session. What was the object of that act To obtain facts and collect information respecting objects of improvements where that knowledge was not yet obtained. But, with respect to this object, the information is obtained, the facts are known. Surveys and estimates have been made. The length of the road propos. d by this bill is eighty miles. Its estimated cost is 450,000 dollars. The work is already begun—it is still in progress. A momentary pause has indeed taken place, but it is ready to proceed, and to be continued on the other side of the Ohio, as it has been finished on this side. But we have been told that it is to be the policy of the next administration to pay the public debt; that it must be paid with as much expedition as is at all practicable, and that no part of the public resources are to be liverted to any other object. Sir, there is no member of this House more desirous to see the national debt paid than I am. I never was one of those who believe that a public debt is a public blessing. I have always consideredit as a mortgage, dragging on our finances, and one which it was our duty to foreclose and pay off as soon as possible. Yet, we have also other duties. There are, indeed, some debts which we may not devolve on posterity—debts which spring from wasteful and ambitious wars—debts which have their origin in national luxury and extravagance. But there are debts of another description, which I feel no hesitation in devolving on posterity. I refer to a debt which carries the benefit with the burden. When we bequeath both together, posterity cannot equitably reproach our memory, because, while they bear the burden, they cannot but recollect that they are, at the same time, enjoying the benefit. But, sir, is there any proposition before you to create a national debt for internal improvements? What is the scheme proposed in the report lately laid before this House, by the officer who presides with so much ability over the ijepartment of the Treasury, and which has received the approbation of the Committee of Ways and Means of this House? That officer tells you, that the public debt may be completely extinguished in ten years; that, by the year 1835, the last dollar of it will have been paid, and that all this time there will remain in the Treasury a surplus of three millions, applicable to any object within the constitutional powers of the General Government. The present bill cannot, therefore, be rejected from any want of means to carry it into effect. There is another view of the subject, not, indeed, contained in any public document, and which ought not to be, since it has not that entire degree of certainty which ought to accompany all documentary information. What is your source of revenue It is consumption. And what are the sources of consumption ? Population and wealth. Then, in a course of ten years, starting on any given tariff of duties, the increase of population will occasion an increase of the revenue of 40 per cent. at a ratio of four per cent. per annum. These truths are sufficiently obvious. . It is said, indeed, that the policy that has been adopted for the encouragement of industry will diminish the revenue. But, when that subject was under consideration last session, I endeavored to show and I now repeat, that this cannot be the case. Different years will vary. In some, the revenue may fall short, but the r dundance of others will supply the deficiency. The measure of our export trade will always be the mea: sure of our imports, and the measure of our imports will be the measure of our revenue. I hope, therefore, that

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the policy which was, at the last session, fixed upon, will ever be adhered to by this nation, as long as the course pursued by foreign nations shall render it necessary. On the whole, I think that gentlemen may calm their fears about the extent of the public debt. That debt is melting away before us faster, perhaps, than, for some of our financial interests, it might be wished. We have the prospect that it will be extinguished in ten years, and when we have paid this, we shall have fulfilled the whole of our duty in that respect. But, if we are invited to the present measure by the abundance of our means, are we not less so by a variety of other considerations One of these is the cheapness of labor, greater, perhaps, at this time than ever before. Some gentlemen, indeed, spoke in the language of alarm about the vast expense of the Cumberland road But, it must be remembered, that there were peculiar causes to produce that effect. The general aspect of the times, when it was constructed; the nature of the materials which were required for it; the difficulty in some cases of obtaining them ; and the unnecessary number and extravagant price, of the bridges on tha road, several of which cost forty thousand dollars each, and which are so numerous, that, upon one single creek, in a course of ten miles, ther are eleven bridges, some of which cost $20,000 a-piece. These, indeed, are beautiful specimens of architecture, surpassed by nothing which I ever saw, unless it be the bridge of Jena at Paris: but they have been also very costly. Under the circumstances, this was certainly a useless expense. I pledge myselt, however, said Mr. C. that if Congress shall grant the one hundred and fifty thousand dollars estimated as the total expense of the road from Wheeling to Zanesville, nothing more shall be asked for bridges, or any other expenses, on that road. An additional consideration in favor of this measure, Mr. C. said, was te be found in the pecuniary distresses of the West, which would in part be alleviated by the expenditure of the public money in that quarter, and which was certainly entitled to the parental consideration of this body. Its being, then, a national object—an object which has been commenced—an object due by compact to the Western states—all these considerations united to call for the passage of the present bill. As to commencing a general system of internal im. provement, said he, if gentlemen can shew us any road beginning at the heart of the confederacy, of equal national importance, I for one, will heartily support it; but I believe there is not another object in which all these considerations unite. Why pause for what we do not want 2. For plans, estimates, and surveys, which we have already got 2 Why pause in prosecuting this object, more than in another—(the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal) a bill which I was delighted to see pass the committee to its third reading; and which I cannot doubt will continue its progress through the House with a still increasing majority. It has been said by some gentlemen in conversation, though not of a confidential kind, that the West ought not to have this bill, until other portions of this Union receive a simultaneous benefit. But I can assure gentlemen, there is no danger of undue appropriation in favor of the West. In a late report from the Department of War, a document consistent with the high character of that Department, and which bore the impress of the mind of its author, rapid yet correct, we are informed what objects are indicated by the Secretary of War, as more immediately calling for the attention of the General Government. They are only four. The canal to unite the Potomac with the Ohio, the canal round the Falls at Louisville, the canal round the Muscle Shoals, and the Cumberland Road. It is possible that for some, at least, of these objects, the National resources will never be appealed to. The state which I in part represent, said Mr. C., lately passed

a bill through one branch of the Legislature, to cut the canal round the Falls at Louisville, entirely from the state resources, and it is highly probable that that bill will pass the other House, and become a law. The number of objects, then, claiming immediate attention will be reduced to three. Of these the Cumberland road is certainly not a Western object, any more than the canal uniting the Ohio and Potomac. That canal is not located in the West, nor, on the other hand, is it exclusively an Eastern improvement. Like the National road, it is neither an Eastern nor a Western object, but one which belongs to the whole nation, and is calculated, in its effects, to cement the East and the West in bonds of an affectionate kind. Let me advert to one other topic, to which l refer, not for the purpose of exciting, but of allaying jealousy. It is to the small comparative amount of the public expenditures beyond the mountains. I do not say an equivalent is to be given to the West for the vast sums expended on this side upon the navy, fortifications, &c. No such thing. I know the disproportion results from local circumstances, not in the control of Government. Yet, am I wrong to say, that it forms an equitable consideration which addresses itself strongly to the feeling, to the justice, and to the generosity of Congress; all which cannot but induce them to correct, as far as possible, such a state of things, and make the balance of public benefits more equal whenever the opportunity is presented to them I may ask with confidence, has the West ever acted on this narrow policy Did it ever hesitate when the public wants required its aid Did you ask for navies —The moneys for building and equipping them were freely granted; and here I must be permitted to say, that, when the navy was friendless and forlorn, and I well knew that my vote in its favor would be no sooner given than denounced, anticipating the triumphs which have since wreathed with laurels the national brow, I personally risked every thing in giving my vote in favor of it. No, sir, there was no hesitation ever manifested by the West, in granting any appropriation, the object of which is clearly shewn to be the public good. Enquiry, it is true, is sometimes called for, but as soon as gentlemen from the West are convinced that the object is a good one, they give without hesitation. Do you call for war A war to protect commerce What was the conduct of the West ? No seamen sprang from her bosom. They were dear to her indeed, as the sons of our own common country. Yes, they were not peculiarly hers—her interest in them was collateral, not direct——sympathetic, not selfish. The West rushed manfully on—but what they bore, what they suffered, and what they did, it does not belong to me here to say. With respect to the hon. member from South Carolina, (Mr. McDuffir,) whom I was delighted, on a former occasion, to find co-operating with the friends of internal improvement, I must say that my delight was only equalled by the regret I now feel at his opposition to the present bill. He tells us that the West is filled with emigrants from the Eastern states; that her inhabitants are but one part of the same family, spread on the eastern and western side of the mountains; that all the various and fond recollections which belong to the birth-place of these emigrants, constitute so many ties and safeguards to cement the common union. But, need I remind that gentleman, that other generations are hereafter to spring up—generations who will find the tombs of their ancestry, not upon the shores of the Atlantic, but in the valley of the Mississippi and the Ohio. On them no such ties will exert their power—no such recollections spread their healing influence. Is it not then the duty of the General Government to bind our population by other and more lasting ties And, after all, what is it that is asked from Congress, not only at this session, but at all future sessions, for these eighty miles of the great National highway 2 Less than the

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