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works, demanded of it by the strongest principles of duty, interest, and equality, an opportunity is offered to us, in common with others, of getting a return of something like the interest upon our taxes. And if no adequate return is made in this way, in what other way can it be made? There is no other. This, sir, is the only method by which any approach to equality and fairness in the disbursement of the revenue can be gained in practice. The principle of equal distribution is in its nature general. An exact application of it cannot always be made; but it has found in the system of internal improvement the best means of attaining the end, and under the prudent operations of that system it will be a powerful auxiliary in working out the salvation of this country.
[H. of R.
the shackles of high, disproportionate, and prohibitory duties, we will see the agricultural interest springing forward to meet it with redoubled animation and vigor, and these improvements will be the highways of their communications.
If any one branch of industry or enterprise can have more at stake in these improvements than another, it is the great farming interest of the interior. That is closely connected with, yet primary to all others. Who would toil through the summer's sun for more than a subsistence, without the means, either by land or water, of carrying bis surplus to a market? Or who would tug the heavy produce of his land, through the mud and mire and rains of winter, to a distant market, without the prospect of bringI do not mean to say that everything done upon the tide ing something back that should more than repay the cost water is wrong: very far from it. I might confidently ap- and drudgery of taking it there? Let but the truth be told peal to the recollection of those with whom I have acted the deplorable condition of this neglected part of the for the last seven years, to bear me out in saying that I community be known, and I envy no man the heart that have generally voted for such appropriations. I would cannot feel for it, nor the hand that will not relieve it. not now stop them if I could; I say to gentlemen go on; We have heard urged against this, as all other measures finish your fortifications and other national works with rea of the kind, the effects of expending the public resources in sonable despatch, and, as heretofore, I will go with you. the improvement of the country. These effects are fanciBut while you are making all safe and covenient without, fully, and I think falsely, described as pernicious to moraI beg of you to turn your eyes within, examine the region lity, and dangerous to liberty. What, sir? is it immoral or of the interior, and extend to it the benefits of your equal unjust to lay out a portion of the money paid by the people care. Allow even to the West a share of the surplus mil-in accomplishing something that shall be permanently uselions, for an annual surplus, with proper economy, there will be, which might likely be increased by some diminution safely made from objects which have received more than equal munificence.
ful to themselves and the nation? Is it wrong to encourage industry by removing the impediments that lie in its way to the comfortable enjoyment of life, and the education of rising generations? No, sir; morality is not to suffer in this cause, unless, indeed, the virtue of this people is only to be preserved in a state of wretchedness and ignorance. And how is liberty to be in danger from this system! Phi
liberty which the mass of mankind understand, the free institutions which they love, and would die to defend, must, with its other blessings, afford the security of equal laws, and the full participations of equal benefits.
Again: It is said that any improvement at one place will produce dissatisfaction at others, because that or something else is not done there. I tell you, sir, the dissatisfaction will be much deeper, and more universal, if they are not done somewhere. It is no objection to this, or any other course of profitable legislation, that every thing cannot be done at once; nor is it any excuse for not doing all we can, and doing it as fast as we can. These, with the whole class of forced objections to which they belong, should rather stimulate to exertion and uniformity in our progress to ultimate success.
The gentleman from Virginia says, he would take care that there should be no surplus revenue. That when the national debt shall be paid, which we are alike desirous of hastening, and which this bill cannot delay, he would re-losophers may admire liberty for its own sake; but that duce the revenue to the annual expenditure. But could we do it! Would it not baffle the skill and experience of even that gentleman, great as they are, to draught a revenue law that they should exactly meet the annual expenditure On reflection he must admit that it would, for it is impossible to foresee either the amount of imposts or appropriations, and graduate the one with the other. They both depend on too many contingencies. And to avoid the danger of suffering your revenue to fall below the demands upon it, you must necessarily make it go above. In reducing and equalizing the tariff, I would go a great way with that gentleman; but I would stop considerably short of the point to which his theory would lead him, and which I must think he has pushed faster and further than practical convenience and real safety will warrant. If the public debt were now paid, the books balanced, and closed, and sealed with seven seals, I would not if I could to-day reduce the duties to the point of current expenditure. And why? To do that suddenly, to do it otherwise than by the gradual indications of time and experience, perhaps to do it at all, would convulse this nation through all its essential interests. I would not reduce the revenue to that point, because extrordinary occurrences in the world, and the exigencies of the Government, may often render it a matter of the first necessity to have a surplus at command. And I would not do it for another, and to my mind a better reason. I would have a surplus to expend in the gradual improvement of the country. For that improvement I would tax its commerce, because that tax is in a great measure voluntary; because it will relieve the property of the citizens of the State from a direct and indiscriminate levy of contribution for these purposes; and, above all, because it is the very interest which, acting in unison with the great farming interest of the community, is to reap the benefits of these works. It ought to bear the charge of making them, and it can do it without feeling the pressure. If we can look forward to the time when commerce shall again raise its languid head, freed from
Let me say, in conclusion, that this is no new experiment. It commenced a few years after the adoption of the constitution, and has been gaining ground ever since. But its principles, as now maintained by a great majority of the nation, were not firmly settled till the eighteenth Congress. Then (without going farther from home) the Representatives of Kentucky and Tennessee were found acting together with equal unanimity in both Houses; of Congress, in support of this great measure, And whatever Kentucky may have expected from it, a little help at the Louisville canal is all the immediate advantage she has yet achieved. As for Tennessee, these dispensing showers have all passed her by. The first dew has not yet refreshed her fields. But our time has now come, and it behooves us to be consistent with ourselves, true to our own principles, and alive to the prosperity of our country; and not ours only, but every other where the hand of improvement should be laid. That country and this cause deserve higher efforts than I can exert; yet, whatever on my part can be supplied by devotion and perseverance, shall be continued, regardless of intervening obstacles, as long as there is hope of success.
[Here the debate closed for this day.]
H. OF R.]
THURSDAY, MARCH 25, 1830.
Pay of Members.
The House resumed the consideration of the resolution offered by Mr. SWIFT on the 18th instant-the question being on the amendment offered by Mr. DRAYTON. The said resolution, at the instance of Mr. WICKLIFFE, and by consent of Mr. SWIFT, was modified so as to read as follows:
[MARCH 25, 1830.
in accomplishing it, in this or any other mode. But he would suggest to the gentleman whether his object would not be more certainly attained by accepting a modification that he would mention. The gentleman from South Carolina has given it as his opinion that the business of Congress may be done in four months, take one session with another. Mr. W. said, he thought if members would faithResolved, That the Secretary of War be requested to fully discharge the trust reposed in them, that it might be cause the necessary survey to be made on or at the outlet done in three months. We have heard much said of orof Lake Champlain, near the Canada line, in order to as-ganizing a business party in this House, and gentlemen certain the expediency of erecting a fortification for the defence of that frontier of the United States, and report a plan and estimate at the next session of Congress. Mr. DRAYTON withdrew his amendment, and the re-t party under complete organization. And he would solution as modified was agreed to.
PAY OF MEMBERS.
The following resolution, laid on the table some days since by Mr. McDUFFIE, was taken up:
"Resolved, That the Committee on Retrenchment be instructed to report a bill providing that whenever the first session of Congress shall continue for a longer period than one hundred and twenty days, the pay of the members shall be reduced to two dollars per day from and after the termination of the said one hundred and twenty days; and that whenever the second session of Congress shall continue for a longer period than ninety days, the pay of the members shall be reduced to two dollars per day from and after the termination of said ninety days."
have patriotically tendered their services as privates; but there appears to exist a great reluctance against officering the corps. He said he was one who was disposed to put
propose that forty-five members enter into a solemn stipulation that they will sustain a call for the yeas and nays whenever a motion shall be made to adjourn before four o'clock. He would have this corps persevere in keeping the House in session; and if one should prove treacherous and desert, he would have him tried and shot. Notwithstanding what we have heard said about a business party, it was no longer than last Saturday that a motion was made to adjourn at about two o'clock, and, on a motion to call the yeas and nays, only thirteen were found to sustain the call, when it was known to gentlemen that there was public business of great importance to be acted on, and it was also known that there are claimants here, who will be inevitably ruined unless bills for their relief pass. We have been in session one hundred and nine Mr. McDUFFIE said that the resolution spoke its own days, during which time the House has met only seventyimportance, and superseded the necessity of any argu- nine days. We have enacted thirty four laws, where the ments in its support. He would, however, say one or two bills originated in the House, and five where they origiwords on the subject. The adoption of the resolution, nated in the Senate; sixty-one bills are before the Senate while it would not impair the legislative efficiency of the that have passed the House, and fifty-four are before the House, would save at least one month of the time now House that have passed the Senate. The whole number consumed by Congress at every long session. He had of bills reported to the House is three hundred and sevenmade an estimate of the saving which this would produce, ty-nine, and the number of resolutions adopted is four bunand had ascertained that it would save the sum of seventy-dred and eighty; and this mass of business is to be left unfive thousand dollars each year of its operation; and at the acted on, or so hastened through, that very few members same time the public business would be well done. He had will know what provisions the bills contain. The correct made another estimate that if Congress sat five months, mode of legislating is to commence the session with a dethe average pay of the members would be seven dollars a termination to attend to business-to prolong the daily sesday; this was an adequate compensation; but, if the mem- sion of the House, and not adjourn from Friday to Monbers chose to attend assiduously to the public business, and day. The excuse offered by gentlemen for adjourning complete it within the time prescribed, they would still has been that they have business at the departments. Mr. receive eight dollars. The effect of this resolution, he W. said he came from a section of the country where some was confident, would be to increase the attention to the claims remained unsettled, and that he found he could discharge of public business, without diminishing the pay generally transact the business confided to him better by while here. It was universally agreed [said Mr. McD.] writing than by a personal attendance. The business of that the "compensation law" contained at least one wise the departments was interrupted by the calling of the principle-that of a salary compensation instead of a per members, and the officers, he did not believe, had any dediem one. The only objection urged against it, and the sire to see them. It was very rare that an answer could cause of its unpopularity, was, that it was enacted by be given at once, and it was generally transmitted through those who were to receive its benefit. He, however, dif- the post office. He said he considered the excuse for adfered from the general opinion on the advantage of the journing over as groundless, and that the time was spent salary principle. He thought it would operate as too in amusement. The proposition of the gentleman from powerful a stimulus on members to get through the public South Carolina will punish the industrious with the neglibusiness, and that it would be done too hastily. His pro- gent and inattentive. He was one who believed, with the position combined both principles, and the advantages of flourishing condition of the treasury, that eight dollars a both without their defects. In every view of the subject, day was not too much for a member to receive for his sertherefore, he conceived it would be one of the most effect-vices, if his time was faithfully bestowed on the business ive measures of economy ever proposed by Congress, in of the House. He knew there were members who deregard to itself. voted day and night to mature business, and to attend to it Mr. DWIGHT concurred most cordially in the principle in its progress through the House. He was unwilling that and expediency of the proposition. The business of these should be curtailed in their daily allowance because Congress could be as well done by the first of April as the others were remiss in their duties. The modification he first of June, and when once the limit was fixed for the would suggest to the gentleman is this: that no member earlier day, there would be no difficulty in completing all who is not in attendance on the House when it is called to the business which it was proper to perform, He hoped order in the morning, or who shall be absent during the resolution would pass, the calling of the yeas and nays, without rendering a satisfactory excuse for his absence, shall be entitled to per diem pay for that day. Gentlemen need not apprehend that there is any thing humiliating in rendering an excuse to
Mr. WHITTLESEY said, the object of the gentleman from South Carolina was to hasten the business before the House, and that he would most cheerfully unite with him
Mr. TUCKER said, it had been his object to fix the day of adjournment. He was gratified with the resolution offered by his colleague. The gentleman from Ohio said he believed the business of the House could be done in three months. Why, then, did not the gentleman vote for the proposition, and introduce his own plan afterwards?
Mr. GOODENOW made some remarks, which he coneluded by moving the previous question-yeas, 42. So the bill was not seconded.
[H. of R.
we are surrounded, that have goaded on the people to a state of desperation. This Government, from having been confined to our external relations chiefly, and a few internal regulations, has undertaken to regulate the whole labor and industry of the country, and thereby drawn within its vortex a sum of legislative powers properly belonging to State jurisdiction.
the Speaker, if they are detained from the House by business that could not be dispensed with; much less is there any thing objectionable to the most delicate sensibility in making such excuse, if the detention arises from sickness. He would go further he would have a list of the absentees published in the papers that published the laws, so that the constituents of any member might know how he spent bis time here. If the people were apprised of our neg The great evil of this Government, as of every other, lect of duty, they would correct the evil. The object of and of which the people are convinced more and more having the House composed of two hundred and thirteen every day, having experienced it in a greater degree, promembers, is to unite the intelligence of that number on bably, than any nation under the sun, is the immense mass every proposition that is acted on; but whoever will take of legislation with which they are afflicted. Besides four the pains to examine the list of yeas and nays, will find and twenty State Governments, acting directly upon them that in most cases, unless it be on a political or some once a year, they have an annual Federal Legislature, great national question, we rarely have more than a with all its ramifications and corruptions, preying upon bare majority for doing business. He would throw the them with a cormorant's appetite, to a degree beyond huresponsibility on every member, and insure his constant man endurance. While I admit in theory it is perhaps attendance. He said he was willing to unite in any mea the most beautiful in the world, when confined within its sure that would dispatch the business; but he feared the proper limits, in practice, I am not sure, without reform, present resolution would not accomplish that object that it will prove the most tyrannical and oppressive that the we should waste the time of the session until we came to ingenuity of man could have devised. What does it matthe allowance of two dollars a day, and then that we ter, whether the people are taxed in a republic or a desshould leave the business undone; and for that reason hepotism It is all the same to them: and it seems that inexpressed a hope that the modification suggested, would be justice, violence, and rapine can be as well exercised in accepted by the mover of the resolution. the one as the other. Nay, more securely, because it works by stealth under a false denomination. Now, sir, as I have no well grounded hope of an amendment in their condition-as I perceive the same legislative course which has been pursued for several years past, is likely to be continued-the same system of taxation and unequal distribution of the funds of the nation to be kept up as heretofore, I must look out for the best protection for them that I can, against what I conceive to be their own worst enemy-too much legislation. And this, I think, will be found Mr. ALEXANDER said, that from his experience here, in the reduction of the pay of the members. I know it to and after much reflection upon the subject, his mind had be a delicate subject, which touches the nervous sensibility been brought to the conclusion that some such principle of every one. But if we are in earnest in the professions as the one proposed in the resolution was necessary to be that were given to the people at the coming day of a readopted by Congress to enable us to do justice to the in- form in the abuses and extravagance of the administration terests of the nation with which we are charged. When of affairs, and which they have so much right to expect at [said Mr. A.] I first had the honor of a seat here, I was of our hands, let us go into the good work, and show a devoan opinion that the compensation allowed, was but a rea- tion worthy the cause in which we are engaged. After sonable pay, considering the extravagance at that day, the example set us by the Executive head of this nation, and the depreciation of money. But the case is now dif- who has gone forward with a firmness and decision that beferent; the value of money has appreciated, and every speak his character, holding this language on his elevation, thing become proportionably cheaper; and I believe the that "the recent demonstration of public sentiment inonly corrective against the abuse of the time of Congress scribes on the list of Executive duties, in characters too and mischievous legislation of which the people have so legible to be overlooked, the task of reform;" relying upon much right to complain, will be found in the remedy pro- our co-operation, we should be unfaithful to the trust reposed, which carries along its own limitation as to the pe- posed in us, were we to halt and hesitate in so eventful a riod of our sessions. What [said Mr. A.] has been the crisis. What has been done in this respect after the lafact of late years in regard to the history of our proceed-borious and faithful investigation of the Committee on Reings, and of which there seems to be no prospect of a discontinuance? Why, the first three or four months of the first session of Congress, sufficient for all the necessary purposes of legislation, have been usually consumed in idle and unprofitable debate, connected with one's own personal aggrandizement, or in projecting schemes for party or political purposes, little calculated to promote the public interest. We find, during the late war, when the interest of the country was concerned in conducting it to a successful conclusion, amidst the most violent opposition, Congress rarely ever sat the first session beyond what is now the usual period of the termination of our labors. We are necessarily led to inquire into the causes, and see if there exists a necessity for it or no. I can perceive but two, and two only, neither of which, in my judgment, will longer justify a continuance of the practice.
trenchment the last session, and the parting voice of the able chairman who committed to his successors the charge, with the hope that it might be prosecuted to a successful issue for the benefit of the people Nothing but the discontinuance of the draughtsman of this House, while the other measures rest silently on your table, or sleep the sleep of death within the bosom of the committee itself. This is one of the measures they recommended to our attention.
I take it, sir, there are two principles connected with this subject, which must always enter into the character of every legislative body. The one of interest, the other of honor. If it were possible wholly to attain the latter, it would, no doubt, be the best and safest for the country. But as it is considered with us that the laborer is worthy of his hire," and it is not expected that any person can serve here without a reasonable compensation, the great object, The attention of Congress having been withdrawn from it seems to me, should be to produce the happy combinathe theatre of war, it was thrown upon the domestic con- tion of the two, in such manner, that while the one offers a cerns and relations of the country, with many of which it sufficient inducement for talents and virtue, the other deshad nothing to do; and hence have sprung up all the unhap- troys the temptation. This, I think, will be accomplished py differences, local divisions, and calamities, with which I by the proposition now before us. \.
Moderate salaries are consistent with the spirit and principles of our institutions; and in proportion as the value of our own pay is enhanced, does it regulate every thing else connected with the operations of Government. I confess that I have no faith in any improvement being made in other respects, until we direct our attention here. I do not say that it will be proper to follow up this example in regard to all the other officers of Government, as proposed by a resolution now on your table, because these, in some respects, depend upon entirely distinct principles. If they are faithful and vigilant in their respective places, it is but right that they should receive a just and adequate compensation for their services.
But the nation expects, and has a right to demand, some thing at our hands, in relation to those great and important expenditures which have been so wastefully and extravagantly lavished away; and there seems no likelihood, at present, of any change for the better in this respect.
As the hope is a vain one which I entertain of any thing like a recurrence to the original principles of the Government, the only safety and security for the people, that I can see, will be in the economical administration of affairs in every department thereof. And I rather think this will at last be found the only distinction between a republican and monarchical form of Government. Whether even this shall be accomplished, we have yet to learn. From the disposition that has been manifested, the progress of measures before this House, and the character of some that have passed from before us, we are met with despair even here; in what, then, I ask, have the times differed from those that have gone by? and how can we stand justified before the people, who were led to expect important and radical changes? I say nothing of the head of this administration, from whom we have the assurance that, as far as depends upon him, he will not be behind us in the great work of reform. The defect is here, and he can do but little without our aid. It is, I conscientiously believe, sir, in the pay of the members, offering an inducement to continue here longer than is necessary for the transaction of the real business of the nation, doing, as they always must, mischief, when good is unattainable. I am, therefore, for striking at the root of the evil, and making a seat become here what it ought to be, rather the post of honor than of profit. I, therefore, shall give my cordial support to the proposition now before the House, with a hope that it may be referred and acted upon.
Mr. COULTER then rose, but the SPEAKER having announced that the hour had elapsed, the discussion was arrested.
BUFFALO AND NEW ORLEANS ROAD. On the motion of Mr. HEMPHILL, the House resolved itself into a Committee of the whole House on the state of the Union, Mr. HAYNES in the chair, and resumed the consideration of the bill" to construct a national road from Buffalo, by Washington city, to New Orleans."
Mr. CARSON said, the supporters of this bill urged the importance of its passage upon four general considerations, to wit: Commercial, Political, Military, and the Transportation of the Mail.
[MARCH 25, 1830.
fident of my own opinion upon constitutional questions, to trouble the House with the reasons upon which they are founded. Yet, as I am the representative of an intelligent and most excellent community, and as I have to act under the obligations of an oath "to support the constitution of the United States"-that charter under the guaranties of which we can alone act here-it is incumbent upon me to look into that charter, and well examine the powers which it extends to us, and to act in accordance with my own views, however crude; for, sir, on all questions in which conscience is involved, the decision must be made by that tribunal, from which there is no appeal; and however great our respect and deference for the opinions of others, in cases of this kind, we are thrown back upon ourselves, and must alone depend upon our own views of right or wrong.
But, whatever my views may be of the constitutional powers of Congress, or however adverse to bills of this kind, I feel that it would be wholly useless to urge them here; and if I should not be suspected of an attempt at rhetorical flourish, I would say, that you might as well attempt to dissolve these marble columns which support the canopy of this hall, by blowing upon them the breath of your nostrils, as to convince, by force of argument or powers of eloquence, those who have made up their opinions, or who, from the force of circumstances, will not be convinced.
Yes, it would be worse than idle; for all the experience which I have had upon this floor but strengthens me in the conviction, that if ever constitutional arguments are argued with effect, it will be in other halls-not this. But do not infer any thing like a spirit of disunion in me, from this remark-far from it. I look upon that as the last resort, resulting from insufferable oppression, which a minority may be forced or driven to, when it would cease to be patriotism to submit. But, should that ever arrive, (which may God of his infinite mercy avert !) may we not justly fear that the world may then bid a long farewell to all republics, and to the rights of man?
But, whilst I disclaim any thing like a disposition to disunion in the remark, it may be proper here to say that it partakes something of the nullifying doctrines, which, while they are more pacific in their nature, will be found to be, in my opinion, as effectual in their results. Upon a more proper occasion, I may give my views fully upon this subject of "nullification," as it has been denominated in the other branch of this Legislature. But, as I am somewhat the creature of impulses, I shall be governed, in this particular, by subsequent feeling and reflection.
My design is to speak of the expediency, or rather inexpediency, of this measure; not that I can add any thing to the powerful argument of the justly distinguished gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. P. P. BARBOUR] for the grounds which he took were so fully and ably occupied, that he has left little to be said by others. I shall, however, take the same side of the question; not that I shall be able to shed a new ray of light upon the subject, but for the reason that the bird of more humble flight may sometimes see what the eagle overlooks.
The supporters of this bill do not claim the power under which they act, as expressly delegated by the constitution, but as an incidental power; or, in other words, as mean necessary to carry into effect some of the expressed powers.
The constitutional powers of Congress to act upon this and similar subjects, have been assumed and maintained by the supporters of the bill. Upon all subjects of this kind, [said Mr. C. involving constitutional questions, which have been discussed since I occupied a seat in this Admitting this position to be correct, and which I do House, I have studiously avoided entering into the de- to a certain but limited extent, the question then naturally bates upon them. I have done so, for the very plain rea- arises, does the exigency of the country demand at our son that my vocation is that of a farmer; and well know- hands the exercise of those incidental powers, or the use ing that it required professional science and deep re- of those means, to effect any of the objects contemplated search to elucidate and give satisfaction upon those criti- by those powers expressly delegated? And if so, another cal points upon which men of eminence, patriotism, and question will also arise: Will this road meet those exidistinction differ. Under these circumstances, I may well gencies, and effect the object? To both of these propobe permitted to be, if not without hope, at least too diff-sitions, I answer in the negative most positively. There