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u the same. Now, sir, let us carry this argument out; and no man is more capable than the ingenious gentleman from Virginia, of tracing an argument to its utmost consequences. The locale of the collection of the public revenue is the pocket of the citizen; and, to abstain from the violation of the principle of equality adverted to by the gentleman, we should restore back into each man's pocket precisely what was taken from it. If the principle contended for be true, we are habitually violating it. We raise about twenty millions of dollars, a very large revenue, considering the actual distresses of the country. And, sir, notwithstanding all the puffing, flourishing statements of its prosperity, emanating from printers who are fed upon the pap of the public treasury, the whole country is in a condition of
very great distress. Where is this vast revenue expended ? Boston, New York, the great capitals of the north, are the theatres of its disbursement. There the interest upon the public debt is paid. There the expenditure in the building, equipment, and repair of the national vessels takes place. There all the great expenditures of the government necessarily concentrate. This is no cause of just complaint. It is inevitable, resulting from the accumulation of capital, the state of the arts, and other circumstances belonging to our great cities. But, sir, if there be a section of this Union having more right than any other to complain of this transfer of the circulating medium from one quarter of the Union to another, the west, the poor west
[Here Mr. Barbour explained. He had meant that the constitution limited Congress as to the proportions of revenue to be drawn from the several States; but the principle of this provision would be vacated by internal improvements of immense expense, and yet of a local character. Our public ships, to be sure, are built at the seaports, but they do not remain there. Their home is the mountain wave; but internal improvements are essentially local; they touch the soil of the States, and their benefits, at least the largest part of them, are confined to the States where they exist.]
The explanation of the gentleman has not materially varied the argument. He
says the home of our ships is the mountain wave. Sir, if the ships go to sea, the money with which they are built, or refitted, remains on shore, and the cities where the equipment takes place derive the benefit of the expenditure. It requires no stretch of the imagination to conceive the profitable industry—the axes, the hammers, the saws—the mechanic arts, which are put in motion by this expenditure. And all these, and other collateral advantages, are enjoyed by the seaports. The navy is built for the interest of the
whole Internal improvements of that general, federative character, for which we contend, would also be for the interest of the whole. And I should think their abiding with us, and not going abroad on the vast deep, was rather cause of recommendation than objection.
But, Mr. Chairman, if there be any part of this Union more likely than all others to be benefited by the adoption of the gentleman's principle, regulating the public expenditure, it is the west. There is a perpetual drain, from that embarrassed and highly distressed portion of our country, of its circulating medium to the east. There, but few and inconsiderable expenditures of the public money take place. There we have none of those public works, no magnificent edifices, forts, armories, arsenals, dockyards, &c., which, more or less, are to be found in every Atlantic State. In at least seven States beyond the Alleghany, not one solitary public work of this government is to be found. If, by one of those awful and terrible dispensations of Providence which sometimes occur, this government should be annihilated, everywhere on the seaboard traces of its former existence would be found; whilst we should not have, in the west, a single monument remaining, on which to pour out our affections and our regrets. Yet, sir, we do not complain. No portion of your population is more loyal to the Union, than the hardy freemen of the west. Nothing can weaken or eradicate their ardent desire for its lasting preservation. None are
more prompt to vindicate the interests and rights of the nation from all foreign aggression. Need I remind you of the glorious scenes in which they participated during the late war—a war in which they had no peculiar or direct interest, waged for no commerce, no seamen of theirs. But it was enough for them that it was a war demanded by the character and the honor of the nation. They did not stop to calculate its cost of blood or of treasure. They flew to arms; they rushed down the valley of the Mississippi, with all the impetuosity of that noble river. They sought the enemy. They found him at the beach. They fought; they bled; they covered themselves and their country with immortal glory. They enthusiastically shared in all the transports occasioned by our victories, whether won on the ocean or on the land. They felt, with the keenest distress, whatever disaster befell us. No, sir, I repeat it, neglect, injury itself, cannot alienate the affections of the west from this government. They cling to it, as to their best, their greatest, their last hope. You may impoverish them, reduce them to ruin, by
the mistakes of your policy, and you cannot drive them from you. They do not complain of the expenditure of the public money where the public exigencies require its disbursement. But, I put it to your candor, if you ought not, by a generous and national policy, to mitigate, if not prevent, the evils resulting from the perpetual transfer of the circulating medium from the west to the east. One million and a half of dollars annually is transferred for the public lands alone; and almost every dollar goes, like him who goes to death-to a bourne from which no traveller returns. In ten years it will amount to fifteen millions; in twenty, to—but I will not pursue the appalling results of arithmetic. Gentlemen who believe that these vast sums are supplied by emigrants from the east, labor under great
There was a time when the tide of emigration from the east bore along with it the means to effect the purchase of the public domain. But that tide has, in a great measure, now stopped. And, as population advances farther and farther west, it will entirely cease. The greatest migrating States in the Union, at this time, are Kentucky first, Ohio next, and Tennessee. The emigrants from those States carry with them, to the States and Territories lying beyond them, the circulating medium, which, being invested in the purchase of the public land, is transmitted to the points where the wants of government require it. If this debilitating and exhausting process were inevitable, it must be borne with manly fortitude. think that a fit exertion of the powers of this government would mitigate the evil. We believe that the government incontestably possesses the constitutional power to execute such internal improvements as are called for by the good of the whole. And we appeal to your equity, to your parental regard, to your enlightened policy, to perform the high and beneficial trust thus sacredly reposed. I am sensible of the delicacy of the topic to which I have reluctantly adverted, in consequence of the observations of the honorable gentleman from Virginia. And I hope there will be no misconception of my motives in dwelling upon it. A wise and considerate government should anticipate and prevent, rather than wait for the operation of causes of discontent.
Let me ask, Mr. Chairman, what has this government done on the great subject of internal improvements, after so many years of its existence, and with such an inviting field before it? You have made the Cumberland road, only. Gentiemen appear to have considered
that a western road. They ought to recollect that not one stone has yet been broken, not one spade of earth has been yet removed in any western State. The road begins in Maryland, and it terminates at Wheeling. It passes through the States of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. All the direct benefit of the expenditure of the public money on that road, has accrued to those three States; not one cent in any western State. And yet we have had to beg, entreat, supplicate you, session after session, to grant the necessary appropriations to complete the road. I have myself toiled until my powers have been exhausted and prostrated, to prevail on you to make the grant. We were actuated to make these exertions for the sake of the collateral benefit only to the west; that we might have a way by which we should be able to continue and maintain an affectionate intercourse with our friends and brethren—that we might have a way to reach the capital of our country, and to bring our counsels, humble as they may be, to consult and mingle with yours in the advancement of the national prosperity. Yes, sir, the Cumberland road has only reached the margin of a western State ; and, from some indications which have been given during this session, I should apprehend it would there pause for ever, if my confidence in you were not unbounded ; if I had not before witnessed that appeals were never unsuccessful to your justice, to your magnanimity, to your fraternal affection.
But, sir, the bill on your table is no western bill. It is emphatically a national bill, comprehending all, looking to the interests of the whole. The people of the west never thought of, never desired, never asked for, a system exclusively for their benefit. The system contemplated by this bill looks to great national objects, and proposes the ultimate application to their accomplishment of the only means by which they can be effected, the means of the nation—means which, if they be withheld from such objects, the Union, I do most solemnly believe, of these now happy and promising States, may, at some distant (I trust a far, far distant) day, be endangered and shaken at its centre.
ON THE GREEK REVOLUTION.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, JANUARY 20, 1824.
[The resolution of Mr. WEBSTER, looking to a recognition of the Independence of Greece, and making an appropriation to send thither a Political Agent, with the amendment of Mr. Poinsett, disclaiming such recognition, but proposing instead a declaration of the sympathy of the United States with the Greeks in their struggle for Independence, being under consideration, Mr. Clay said :]
In rising, let me state distinctly the substance of the original propusition of the gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. Webster,) with that of the amendment of the gentleman from South Carolina, (Mr. Poinsett.) The resolution proposes a provision of the means to defray the expense of deputing a commissioner or agent to Greece, whenever the President, who knows, or ought to know, the disposition of all the European powers, Turkish or Christian, shall deem it proper. The amendment goes to withhold any appropriation to that object, but to make a public declaration of our sympathy with the Greeks, and of our good wishes for the success of their cause. And how has this simple, unpretending, unambitious, this harmless proposition, been treated in debate ? It has been argued as if it offered aid to the Greeks; as if il proposed the recognition of the independence of their government; us a measure of unjustifiable interference in the internal affairs of a foreign state, and finally, as war.
And they who thus argue the question, whilst they absolutely surrender themselves to the illusions of their own fervid imaginations, and depict, in glowing terms, the monstrous and alarming consequences which are to spring out of a proposition so simple, impute to us, who are its humble advocates, quixotism, quixotism! Whilst they are taking the most extravagant and boundless range, and arguing anything and