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cost of a single frigate—not twice the sum which will build those ten sloops of war which are now called for, and which I apprehend will be required for the defence of our commerce against the depredations of piracy— this is all that is asked. Yet we are told of the ravenous voracity of the West! Will Pennsylvania decline an appeal, not to her generosity, but to her Justice 2 Is it fair—is it generous—is it just—after she has enjoyed the expenditure of more than a million of the public money, on the Cumberland road—after houses have sprung up, and villages been formed, and settlements multiplied upon her soil, in consequence of that expenditure—I ask, is it generous, to say, the moment the road leaves the limit of that territory, that she will oppose its farther progress?. But, if neither, justice, nor generosity will prevail with her, let me remind her delegation of the interest of that state. What is this road but an extension of the road from Philadelphia to Pittsburg And whither will its branches lead but to Bedford, to Carlisle, and downward, from thence, through all the neighboring towns? Sir, I do hope that the gentleman from Pennsylvania will not oppose this bill. I know, indeed, that there did once exist a prejudice against the Cumberland road, in one city of that state; but I feel satisfied that ere now the good sense which so eminently distinguishes that city, has prevailed against the prejudice arising from a local interest, by which, for a moment, it was clouded. May I not appeal to the whole House * We have a great trust—we have also a great duty to perform. Let us lend our hearty co-operation for the common good of those who sent us. What shall we, from the West, say to our constituents when we return home, and they ask us, what have you done for the Cumberland road Must we answer, “No money, no money.” If they can ask us what was done for the Delaware and Chesapeake canal, must we say, “of there was some money for that—about twice the sum we asked for the Cumberland road f" Sir, we are men, and we have the feelings of men. But I will not longer detain the committee on an object so simple and a proposition so self evident as the expediency of this measure. Let me, rather anticipate your parental kindness—your paternal feelings, in promoting a design so intimately connected, I will say, with the safety and the best interests of our country. The question was then taken on filling the blank with 150,000 dollars, and decided in the affirmative—ayes 96, noes 86. The committee then rose and reported the bill; and the amendments made in committee of the whole, havbeen concurred inMr. BRELK, of Pennsylvania, said, he had no objection to voting money towards, the accomplishment of the object proposed by this bill. But as the ground of compact had been taken away, he had prepared an amendment to the bill, by the adoption of which, the bill would better meet his views than it would in its present shape. There were, he said, three ways in which money might be advantageously appropriated by the Government for the purpose of internal improvement: the first, by adopting a general system, founded on a survey of the whole wants of the country; the second, by the appropriation of money for the purpose, leaving the selection of objects and the application of the money, to the states respectively; the other, by subscriptions to the stock of companies already created by the authority of the states. The last Mr. B. thought the preferable mode of doing this thing, and the object of his amendment was to aid the funds of every company which the state of Ohio should incorporate for the pur
pose of making this road, by a subscription to the stock - - - the seats of Government of the states of Ohio, Indiana.
of the company.
relation to her roads, as other states had done, there could be no objection to giving her aid by a subscription to the stock of her Turnpike Companies. By such a provision as that, said he, you invite individuals to make exertious to effect public works, and you get something for your money. You get tolls from the road, which are exceedingly important to keep the roads in order, and place the Government roads on an equality, as to their condition, with the Turnpike Roads made and kept in repair by individual associations. Mr. B. proposed, by this amendment, whenever 80 per cent. of the capital stock of any company should be subscribed and secured to be paid, to authorize the Executive to subscribe the remaining 20 per cent, which, in the road now in question would require about the same amount of money as the bill proposed to appropriate. . B. then submitted the following as a substitute for the bill : “Sec. 1. Be it enacted, &c. That whenever a company, with a competent capital, shall be incorporated by the state of Ohio, for the purpose of opening and making an artificial road, with proper corporate powers to take toll and keep the same in repair, from the town of Canton, in the state of Ohio, on the right bank of the Qhio river, opposite to the town of wheeling, to the Muskingum river, at Zanesville, in said state, the Secretary of the Treasury, shall be, and he is hereby, authorized to subscribe in the capital stock of said company, in the name and for the use of the United States, as many shares as shall amount to twenty per cent, on the whole capital stock thereof: Provided, the amount so subscribed shall not exceed — dollars. Sec. 2. ..And be it further enacted, That the said Secretary shall pay the said subscription at such times and in such proportions as may be required by the said company, out of any unappropriated money in the Treasury, whenever it shall be satisfactorily shewn to the President that funds sufficient to finish said road, including the subscription hereby authorized, have been raised in the state of Ohio, under the act of incorporation as aforesaid. Sec. 3...?nd be it further enacted, That the said Secretary shall vote for President and Directors of said company, according to such number of shares thus subscribed, and shall receive upon the stock, the proportion of tolls which shall, from time to time, be due to the United States for the shares aforesaid.” The question being taken, without debate, on agreeing to this amendment, it was decided in the negative, by a considerable majority. Mr. JENNINGS, of Indiana, rose to propose an amendment to the bill. He did not wish to detain the House by any remarks upon it, but conceiving its provisions necessary to just legislation on the subject, if the House should adopt it, he would vote for this bill ; if not, he should vote againstit. Mr. J. then proposed the following: “Be it enacted, &c. That the President of the United States be, and he is hereby, authorized and empowered to appoint one in partial and judicious person, not being a citizen of either of the states through which the road hereinafter mentioned shall pass, to be a commissioner; and, in case of the death, resignation, refusal to act, or disability of any such commissioner, to appoint another in his stead, who shall have power according to the provisions of the act, entitled “An act to authorize the appointment of commissioners thereinafter mentioned,” approved, May the 15th, 1820, to complete the examination and survey heretofore commenced by virtue of the provisions of said act, and to extend the same to the permanent seat of Government of the state of Missouri; the said road to conform, in all respects, to the provisons of the said recited act, except that it shall pass by
it, he said, Ohio were to go upon the same plan, in and Illinois; and the said commissioner, and the persons JAN. 17, 18, 1825.]
employed under him, shall receive the same compensation for their services, respectively, as is allowed by the said recited act: Provided, however, That the said road shall commence at Zanesville, in the state of Ohio, and, to defray the expense thereof, the sum of $10,000 is hereby appropriated out of the appropriations made by the first section of this act. Mr. COOK, of Illinois, said, that, in what he should say on the subject of this amendment, he hoped neither the friends nor the enemies of this bill would think him obtrusive. But, whilst the gentleman from Indiana and Mr. C. himself, consider that proposition a just and rightful one, he could not consent to vote for the bill without endeavoring at least to procure this amendment to it. Whilst the pledge was retained in the bill—a pledge not coming up to the expectation or meaning of the parties to the compact on which it is professed to be founded, the House ought to allow these ten thousand dollars, of the money appropriated by the bill, to be applied to the location of the road from Zanesville to the Mississippi. After some further observations, he said he hoped every friend to this bill would give his support to it. We ask it of you, said he, as a matter of sheer justice, and we have a right to expect it. Mr. CALL, of Indiana, said, after the great talent and eloquence which had been elicited, it was with much reluctance that he now rose to express his views on the subject under consideration. But, said he, I feel it a duty which I owe to the people whom I have the honor to represent, to urge the amendment just offered. It asks but a small allowance for the location of a road through three of the new states of the West. Although it may have been said that the people of the Western states are clamorous in their demands on Congress, yet, when we take into consideration the great sums of money which they, for the last thirty years, have been constantly paying into the Public Treasury, for the purchase of lands, and the small sums which have been expended among them by this Government, their claims assume the character of equity, and your compact gives it that of Justice. The inhabitants of that tract of country, once known as the North Western Territory, for the purchase of lands, have paid into th Public Treasury about twenty millions of dollars. Strange as this statement may sound to many who hear it, yet such is the fact. Upwards of eighteen millions of dollars have been received since the first land offices were established in that section of the country, and more than one million of acres of land were sold previous to that period. During the last five years of peace and national prosperity, Congress has appropriated upwards of three millions and a half of dollars, in the execution of light houses, improvements of harbors, surveying coasts, and making fortifications, and half a million is now annually appropriated to building ships of war. These are but small items in the national expenditure, yet they are immensely large when compared with the limited appropriations for the Western states. The resources of their inhabitants are very feeble indeed; the money which they procure for purchasing lands is obtained in small quantities, from emigrants, and the sacrifice of property in an uncertain southern market; this money is immediately deposited in the land Offices, and from thence transported in wagons or steam boats, to the National Treasury, to return to the West no more. I would ask Mr. Chairman, who are these Western people who are preferring their claims Are they not your fathers, brothers, and neighbors, driven by misfortune, and led by enterprize to seek a competency, or improve their condition in life, by contending with every difficulty and privation attendant on a frontier settlement? They have cut down the wide forests ririch they there found, and brought several flourishing
young states into the great American family, and this I conceive of some political importance. They now ask a road to connect them more closely to you, and afford a more speedy communication between them and the old states. If this were sought and granted as a matter of favor instead of right, the Government would not, in my opinion, lose any thing by it. In the contemplated route the road would pass through much land still owned by the United States, the value of which would be much increased, and more speedily sold; so that in a short time the amount appropriated would be refunded. Towns, villages,” and farms, would immediately appear on its borders, and their inhabitants and owners contribute much to the opening and improving the road. As regards the compact made between the United States and these states on their admission into the Union, I conceive Congress as much bound to appropriate the two per cent. fund to making roads which shall touch or pass through those states, (and that their contract is not performed until this is done) as it was to pay the three per cent, fund when demanded; this last has never been refused, but advanced as a matter of right, and as matter of right the appropriation of the two per cent. fund, according to promise, is now demanded; both funds stand on the same principle, and are embraced in the same compact. I must, therefore, hope, sir, the proposed amendment will succeed. The question was then taken on agreeing to the amendment proposed by Mr. JENNINGS, and decided in the negative, by 73 negative to 54 affirmative votes. The question being about to be put on ordering the bill to be engrossed and read a third time, Mr. COCKE demanded that it be taken by yeas and nays, and it was so ordered. The question was not taken, however, today, being postponed by an adjournn.ent.
IN SENATE–Tuesday, JANUAnr 18, 1825. Mr. FINDLAY presented the petition of William Brandt & Co. merchants of the town of Archangel, in Russia, owners of two vessels, and subjects of Russia, by S. Chew, of Philadelphia, their attorney in fact, praying that certain additional tonnage and discriminating duties paid into the custom-house, at New York, by their agent, on the said ships and their cargoes, may be refunded. Mr. EATON objected to the petition being received, on the ground that the subject of another power was not permitted to approach Congress by petition. A foreigner who had any claim to bring forward against the United States, ought to apply to the Secretary of State, and if he believed that it was correct, but had not sufficient authority to act, then it should be brought before Congress; and this was the course the petitioner ought to have pursued. Mr. FINDLAY, in answer, observed that, although the Constitution only recognized the right of petitioning in citizens, yet there was nothing prohibiting receiving petitions from foreigners. There was at this time a bill on the table granting the benefit of the patent laws to an alien ; and, if petitions of one kind were rec, ived from aliens, and others rejected, he did not see how the distinction was to be made. Must a committee be formed for the purpose . This petitioner had been informed by the Secretary of the Treasury there was no other remedy but to apply to Congress. A similar petition had been received last year, but had not been acted on for want of time—and why was it to be rejected this year * Mr. KING, of N. Y. said that the Government of this country was for the people of this country, and if for reigners had any communication to make, the minister or consul of their nation, was the proper person from whom it was to cone. With regard to the case men. tioned, in which the patent law had been extended to an alien, that application might be made by any gentleman whatever. The intercourse between Itussia and this
country was through the Executive power. He wished to know if it was customary for Americans to go England, and present petitions there? No. They could not be sustained for a moment there. Mr. HOLMES, of Maine, recollected one such case, and a very recent one too. A citizen of the United States, General Boyd, applied to the British Parliament, by petition, for relief, for a certain cargo which had been confiscated at the Cape of Good Hope. Much discussion took place on the subject, but finally a bill passed Parliament for his relief, and hf received a considerable sum of money. The d.of was not a British subject He was an American citizen, and fought in the Revolutionary War. They often heard of petitions from foreigners; and if the statement of these petitioners was found correct, he did not see why they should not be relieved. Mr. SMITH did not recollect any case directly in point. The Secretary of the Treasury might have given the advice mentioned by the petitioner, and he was not at all wrong in so doing. The money had been paid into the Treasury, and, if so, could not be returned to the petitioners by any authority of the President or officers of the Government. An act must be passed for the purpose. This memorial was not a memorial from the merchants in Russia, but came regularly before the House from a citizen, the agent of a foreigner, and ought to be received. Mr. LANMAN was in favor of committing the petition, but not in consequence of the precedent of Gen. Boyd. It would be found that the General presented himself before the king in council, or parliament—the petition was presented in the character of a British subject serving in a military capacity in India, claiming certain immunities granted him to export saltpetre. He thought the dignity of the Government and their own dignity, sense of duty and self-respect, required that they should accept this petition. He was aware of many petitions having been received from foreigners, among others that of Col. Calava, of Florida. Mr. LLOYD, of Mass. did not attach much importance to the precedent of General Boyd, because he thought they were capable of judging for themselves. Gen. B. did come before Parliament as a petitioner, but it was in the character of a Mahratta chieftain—he could not have presented a petition as a citizen of the United States—he did not believe there was any law existing in the United States requiring that an alien should be naturalized before he acquired the right of petitioning. This petitioner had pursued the proper course, and ought to be heard. Mr. TAZEWELL submitted somewhat at large his views of the proper course to be pursued by foreigners in seeking favors or redress from an alien government; the true distinction to be made between citizens and aliens by Government in receiving their complaints; what was due to courtesy on the one hand, and to right on the other, &c. But Mr. T. was heard by the Reporter too indistinctly to venture a more particular statement of his remarks. The petition was received, 21 rising in favor to 12 against; and the petition referred to the Committee on Finance.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES-SAME pay. WESTERN NATIONAL ROAD.
The House passed to the order of the day, and took up the unfinished business of yesterday; which was the bill for the continuance of the Cumberland road.
Mr. MILLER, of Pennsylvania, moved a reconsidera
to appoint one-impartial and judicious person, not being a citizen of either of the states through which the road hereinafter mentioned shall pass, to be a Commissioner; and, in case of the death, resignation, refusal to act, or disability of any such Commissioner, to appoint another in his stead, who shall have power, according to the provisions of the act, entitled “An act to authorize the appointment of commissioners therein mentioned,” approved May the 15th, 1820, to complete the examination and survey heretofore commenced by virtue of the provisions of said act, and to extend the same to the permanent seat of Government of the state of Missouri; the said road to conform, in all respects, to the provisions of the said recited act, except that it shall pass by the seats of Government of the states of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; and the said commissioner, and the persons employed under him, shall receive the same compensation for their services, respectively, as is allowed by the said recited act: Provided, however, That the said road shall commence at Zanesville, in the state of Ohio, and, to defray the expense thereof, the sum of $10,000 is hereby appropriated out of the appropriations made by the first section of this act.” Mr. MARWIN observed, in support of this motion, that the amendment offered by the gentleman from Indiana was one of the first importance; that the House was very thin at the time it had been brought forward, and as it had been near the hour of adjournment, and members had been somewhat exhausted by the previous debate, it had not received all that consideration to which it was entitled. The bill, as reported by the Committee, provides for the extension of the Cumberland Road from Wheeling to Zanesville. The amendment proposes to devote a small part of the an ount appropriated to the purpose of locating and marking out the remainder of the road from Zanesville to the Mississippi. It is asked as a benefit for the people of the West, and it is certainly important that all the great roads in a new country should be located as early as possible, in order that persons intending to settle in the country may have an opportunity to purchase land, and to commence improvements in reference to these roads. The Secretary of War, in a luminous report, lately
submitted to this House, has recommended the construction of a national road from this city to New Orleans, and already we perceive that the citizens all along the route proposed, are alive on the subject. Wherever it passes, a long train of evils, as well as of benefits, must unavoidably result from its being located in one or in another direction. But, with respect to the great national road now in prospect, the evils may be avoided, while all the benefits are secured, simply by having its course ascertained before the settlements are made. By doing it now, Congress will also consult public economy; because, should it be deferred to four or five years hence, it will then have to be carried through a wilder. ness, with great labor and expense. But, if its course is marked now, the road, when it comes to be made, will be found to pass through a succession of farms and improvements. The men who are to make it, and the provisions which are to support them, will both be already on the spot." Every facility will be afforded in its construction; the bone and sinew will be there, on which its formation must depend. It can be laid out in small contracts, which experience has proved to be the best of all modes for conducting undertakings of this description. But, if we defer it, the country will then began to be settled, villages will be growing up, improvements will be making, a part of the country will claim the road here, another part will demand that it shall go there, and Congress will be distracted by their conflicting preten
tion of the vote of yesterday, by which an amendment
sions; whereas, if it is located now, the villages and settlements will be formed with respect to it, and the road itself will do much toward forming them. But, ever, suppose that this road will never be made by the Gene
rai Government, still, if we mark out its course, immense
benefits will follow even this measure; for then, the states, knowing where the road is to pass, may accomplish the completing of it on their own resources. He hoped the question of reconsideration would prevail. The question on reconsidering was accordingly put and carried. Ayes 107. The question being then on adopting the amendment, Mr. JENNINGS called for the Yeas and Nays, but the House refused to order them. The amendment was carried by a large majority. The question then recurring on ordering the bill, as amended, to be engrossed for a third reading, Mr. M*DUFFIE, of S. C. rose, and said he wished to say a few words on this bill, both from the interest which he took in the success of a general system of internal improvements, and to show that his opposition to this bill did not involve him, in reference to his views of the general subject, in any inconsistency. Of all the considerations in favor of a system of Internal Improvement, no member, he said, was more sensible than he was, and it was hardly necessary for him, he trusted, to state the fact to induce the House to believe it. But he thought that he could satisfy at least some portion of the House, that, if a due appreciation of the great national objects to be attained by the completion of a system of internal improvement, was with them as a motive of conduct, they ought carefully to abstain from appropriating any money for any object of that description, until, after a patient and deliberate investigation, a general system should be devised. And herr, said he, let me make a remark, for the truth of which I appeal to the members from every state in the Union which has embarked in a system of internal improvements, that, notwithstanding the obvious benefits which have resulted from it, it is a fact, even in those states in which internal improvement has been most successfully prosecuted, it has had to encounter the most violent opposition that could be waged against any measure. When the work is commenced, and whilst it is in progress, those who do not look to the result, the great mass of the community—can hardly be brought to support it. Was it not a fact, he said, that the great canal of New York—that most honorable monument of public spirit, enterprize, and industry—would not that work have failed if the fund from which it was executed had not been previously pledged 2 If, then, a system of internal improvement by a state of great wealth and condensed population, cannot be prosecuted but with the utmost caution, and with something like a previous pledge, by an absolute investment of money, requiring the consent of all the branches of the Government to repeal it, he asked whether it would not be better for us, commencing such a system over so extensive a sphere, to act with double caution ? We ought, said he, to look to the great whole of a system of internal improvement, and act upon the subject with reference to its ultimate completion. For, if we are to stop at any point in the execution, to break it off or to resume it according to the variation of public opinion upon its merits or expediency, we must act inefficiantly and unsatisfactorily. We ought, therefore, on commencing it, to avail ourselves of those means most likely to ensure its final completion, What then is the question now to be determined 2 The question is not, whether it be wise to continue this road. On that question, there is, I believe, no difference of opinion, except on the part of those who object to it on constitutional grounds. But, I ask, what great national consideration calls upon us to adopt this system now, rather than three years hence 2 Are we, by continuing this road, to preserve this Union * Yes, we are But, without this road, will the Union be at an end in three years? What reason is there for alarm on that score, though this work may not be undertaken for five, six, or ten years to come ? All those future evils which we are required to guard against by making this road,
and similar works, are somewhat distant. If this road should not be commenced for ten years, the Union would not be dissolved by the delay. But I am not for postponing the work for ten years. I am for commencing it as soon as we have made our surveys--as soon as we have determined what shall be the general system established for the prosecution of these objects. As soon as we commence, sir, I am for going on as rapidly as the funds of the nation will allow. No one can be more anxious than I am that this work should not only be done, but done speedily. We shall accomplish it, however, by acting systematically on the general subject, sooner than by a partial appropriation, without previous examination, tending to hazard the final success, and at least retard the completion of the work. With regard to the arguments in favor of this particular road, they may be either national or partly national only. That this road might be a part of a system of Internal Improvement, Mr. McD. said he would readily admit. In that view, he should cheerfully support it whenever a general system should be established, and had no objection to its having priority in the execution of the parts of such a system. But, so far as national considerations called for it, there had been no argument to shew why this road ought to be undertaken now, without those previous inquiries and investigations which must precede the establishment of a general system. In a word, said he, all the arguments that can be used in favor of undertaking this work now, are sectional arguments. It is not worth while to disguise it. If they are not, why are they urged from a particular part of the country The whole nation does not call for the present undertaking of the work, but two, three, or four of the Western States. Mr. McD. here replied to the argument that the Western States are not to be considered as more interested in this road than some of the Eastern. It was an erroneous idea, he argued, that a road was only valuable, or most valuable, to the particular state through which it runs. The Cumberland Road runs through three States which derive no advantage from it. The right of way over this road is its only value. A few individuals residing directly on the road may be benefitted by its passing through their lands; but the great benefit is to those who reside beyond its two extremes. Are not the Western States particularly benefitted by the Cumberland Road It is the Western States, and the City of Baltimore—the points to and from which the road passes, that are benefitted by it, and not the States through which the road runs; and, regarded in this light, the continuation of that road would be a road for the benefit of the Western States, of Maryland, and a very small proportion of the State of Pennsylvania. And, what is the state of the fact as to the Western country and the United States with regard to the appropriations heretofore made for the purposes of Internal Improvement 2. Why, sir, with the exception of this road, and other public improvements in different parts of the Western Country, the United States has never appropriated one cent, worth noticing, for internal improvement in any part of the United States. The idea which had been put forth, that the navies of the United States, or the other institutions for the defence of the United States, are to be regarded as improvements analogous to those of Roads and Canals, seemed to be founded on an entire misconception. Mr. McD. traced this argument to its results. We are told, said he, that commerce benefits the Atlantic States, and that, wars for commerce are wars for the benefit of the Atlantic States. Because commerce is transacted in the Atlantic cities, is it for the benefit of the States in which they are situated Not more than the Cumberland Road is for the benefit of the three States through which it passes. And, if we are to regard those only as benefitted by any particular incident who are in contact with it, then the Atlantic Cities only, and not the Atlantic
States, are benefitted by commerce. 1s this argument correct? Certainly not. It is not those who prosecute commerce who alone are interested in it. For if it were, how far would its influence extend beyond the limits of our seaports The man who lives a hundred miles from a seaport has no more interest in the com: merce carried on there, than if he were a thousand miles distant. Sir, the back country of South Carolina has no more interest in commerce than every gentleman in the Western country has. Commerce, from its universal diffusion and influence, s exclusively national in its nature, benefitting equally every part of the country. Mr. McL. marked the further progress of the argument. We were told yesterday, said he, that the patriotism and devotion of the people of the Western country, in the last war, was not surpassed by that of any other portion of the people of the United States. Of the flood of honor which resulted from the late war, I have pleasure in acknowledging that the Western country was entitled to more than an equal portion. But, sir, had she no interest in the causes of that war? If we look at the public documents which belong to that day, we shall find that the blood which flowed from the savage tomahawk was one of the causes of that war. It was not a war for commerce merely. The outrages of the savages on our borders was one of the causes avowed for it, and not without foundation—for the agents of the adversary power were stimulating the Indians on our borders to hostility against our citizens, whose situation invited and received the attention of the Government. They were protected. All the military movements and operations on the Northwestern frontier were directed to the great object of protecting that frontier from the havoc and desolation of savage warfare. In addition, have we not, ever since the foundation of the Government, been prosecuting wars for the protection of our frontiers against Indian hostilities Has it not cost more, during the times of general peace in Europe, for the protection of that frontier, than for that of the Atlantic frontier? The whole expense of the Navy, in those periods, will not be found to be greater than that of protecting the Western frontier from the incursions of the Indians. What, indeed, is now the fact in regard to this nation? A large portion, say one-third of the Army of the United States, is at this moment permanently established on the Western frontier, for the purpose of protecting it against the Indians. If we are to regard the expense of protecting a particular frontier of the country as exclusively incurred for the benefit of that frontier, all the middle and interior part of the Union, the heart of the Republic, has no interest in our defensive establishments, and all the appropriations for the defence of the frontier, East or West, are on their part gratuitous. Could I, residing far in the interior, remote from danger of foreign incursion, use this argument against measures necessary for defence No, sir. In fact, Mr. McD. said, if any comparison were to be instituted between the expenditures for the protection of the West, and those for the protection of the Atlantic frontier, it would be found that the former involved more of national and patriotic feeling, than the latter. For, he asked, what do we of the Atlantic states get, in return for the expenditures for the protection of the frontier of the West ? Nothing. What for the protection of the Eastern frontier? Commerce. Interest, therefore, invited measures for the protection of the maritimefrontier, whilst nothing but the most high and elevated considerations operated to influence the measures for the protection of the Western frontier. There was one topic alluded to in the course of the discussion, which, Mr. M’DuffIE said, was entitled to the most profound consideration. He referred to the distress upon the currency of the country, produced by the expenditure of the Government, in any part of the country, being less than the revenue raised in it. He acknow
ledged the truth of this observation, and expressed a doubt whether, if we had a system of direct taxation, operating equally on every part of the Union, the Government could, in the present state of things, exist under it. Take the state of Kentucky for example. How was her portion of the revenue of the General Government now paid In the price of the articles of foreign growth or manufacture which they consume: , That, he said, they could well bear, because they paid it in the currency of the State. But, suppose the same amount of money was to be raised by direct taxation, and it was to be received this year there, to be expended next year elsewhere. What would be the result of such a state of things? Fortunately, the actual operation is, under present circumstances, the reverse of this. We raise our revenue by imposts on importation from foreign countries, which are paid in the Atlantic cities. All the money raised there, or nearly all, is expended elsewhere, and much of it in the interior. So that, if any account be made of the drain of money, it is rather against the Atlantic states, than in their favor. If any state in the Union has a right to complain, said Mr. M’Duffix, it is that which I represent. A considerable amount of the revenue of the U. States is raised from the goods imported into Charleston, and not one tenth part of the revenue raised there is expended there, so that there is a constant drain upon that city, which produces the most injurious effects to its interests. The whole revenue of the country, he said, was derived from commerce, except the little derived from sales of the public lands, the full amount of which last, however, and probably more, was expended on the army, and other national establishments in the vicinities in which it was collected. With respect to the capacity of the country, as regarded the time when this general system of internal im provement should be commenced, M’Duffie thought it his duty to say a few words, because he had been mistaken before, when he said that the principal object of the next administration would be to pay off the public debt. He meant not to be understood literally, that the whole care of the Government was to be limited to the payment of the public debt. If the Secretary of the Treasury was correct in his computation, Mr. M’DuFFIE rejoiced to believe that,with all due attention to the redemption of the public debt, the Government might be able to commence a system of internal improvement within two or three years—and, he said, the sooner it can be commenced, the weaker is the argument in favor of the appropriation at this moment. What, said he, is the state of our finances now * For the question is not, what we may be able to do hereafter, but, what we may with propriety do now. The Committee of Ways and Means, aware of the necessity of such a measure, has reported a bill authorizing a loan to the extent of twelve millions for the service of the current year. An amount of public debt falls due in the year, exceeding by 12 millions, the ability of the Government to redeem. For the year after, another loan of six millions will be necessary to complete the payment of the debt which will become payable in that year. The result of all the estimates and calculations on the subject is, that our revenue will, in two or three years from this time, be abundant—a strange argument in favor of an appropriation for the road now, when the revenue is obviously defective. On this subject, said Mr. McD. sufficient for the day are the evils thereof. This Government has been heretofore led into most disastrous difficulties, by financial mistakes. No man can predict what may be the course of future events. If we go on to act upon the ground that we shall have a redundant revenue, and the course of events shall not realize the prediction, what will be the consequence 2 A re-action of public opinion, such as was seriously felt by its operation in this House, when,
in 1821-22, all the institutions in the country were put in