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26Th Cong....1st Sess.
Cumberland RoadMr. Pickens.
Ho. OF REPS.
amount first estimated. Well may the gentle || All that we ask is a strict construction of the out the same only by confining its full exercise to man from Indiana [Mr. Howard) speak of this | Constitution as it regards all portions of the objects specially enumerated in that instrument, as a magnificent enterprise. Well may the gen- | Union, and that the local interests of all may and which are thereby declared to be national; tleman from New York (Mr. Hoffman) call it remain untouched by Federal legislation. We that it was not intended to apply to sectional obthe Appian way. It may be the Appian way; it desire that nothing shall embarrass the free inter- | jects or local interests in any particular State, but may be a magnificent enterprise-but who is to pay | nal intercourse of the States, and that no sectional to those great national objects which were spefor it? Is it an enterprise within the provisions interests may be touched so as to disturb their | cially declared by grants of power to be within of the Constitution? 'Is it an enterprise within harmony: We ask that the Government shall be the jurisdiction of the Government. It is not conthe limits of a republican and economical Govern- || external in its operations, conducting our inter- | tended but that the Government is one of limited menx, involving, as it does, in all human proba- || course with foreign nations so as to command powers, and that the Constitution is intended to bility, appropriations to the amount of twenty their respect and regard. These, nir. may be define those powers. The gentleman (Mr. Howor thirty millions of dollars? And if the gentle southern views, but they are views which I hope || ARD) claims that the Government should be naman from Indiana is right in the bright prospects are not confined to us alone, for they justly tional-I say so too. But it is national only on which he drew of the future; if that road is finally belong to a free republican people in every portion those objects specifically defined and granted in to lead, as he says, to the shores of the Pacific, of this Union, who are interested in preserving the Constitution. By merely assuming that it is then two hundred millions of dollars will not cover our Government what it was designed to be-a national, you cannot effect objects not enumerthe expenditures. And this is the species of Government of limited powers, all to be exercised | ated, or essentially necessary to those that are. argument which is employed to induce a repub- for the benefit of equal and independent States. The convention has precisely defined the objects liean Government to adopt measures that are to This may be anything but a national view; or powers that are national, and Congress surely involve the country in such enormous extrava but I tell the gentleman from Indiana, that the cannot legally undertake to declare that we shali gance! It may be an Appian way, as the gen- speech which he has made on this oceasion will also be national for other purposes. To do so is tleman from New York says, but I would remind hereafter be held up to him as containing doc- to do nothing more nor less than claim, that Conhim that the Appian way which led from Rome trines by which it is proposed to set up prece- || gress shall set up its own discretion as to the obto Brandusium, became the great highway of dents as law; and, in his own language, the mere jects of “general welfare," instead of confining emperors who marched along it, waving imperial "beaten track of legislation" as the Constitution its action to the specific, enumerated powers of eagles over prostrate slaves and an oppressed and of the land. I warn the gentleman that it will the Constitution itself. If the general welfare" ruined country. Is the Appian way to be cited be so; and that it is reserved for him, if he ex be the only limitation to the discretion of Conhere as an example to us? First go and make | pects to remain a republican, to realize the pro- | gress, why, then, any enumeration of powers at your Government as splendid and despotic as found wisdom of that wise man, who exclaimed, all? All power was at once given, and the judgthat of imperial Rome became in the progress of "Oh, that mine enemy would write a book!" ment of Congress was thereby declared to be the time. What was it that broke down republican To say the least of it, sir, the gentleman can
Constitution of the land. What right have we Rome? It was this very system of partial, unjust, never again lay claim to the title of a strict con to set asi the judgment of the convention? and corrupting legislation; a system in which structionist.
They chose, by enumerating the powers, to show conquering generals brought back spoils from
Mr. Speaker, I was rejoiced to hear the re
what were intended to be national objects; and saeked cities and devastated provinces, to be di- || marks which fell the other day from the gentle | the very enumeration executes
the idea of legisvided among “Roman citizens,” and to pamper
man from Maine, [Mr. Parris;] and if proof lation upon objects not enumerated. The taxing an arrogant and agrarian people. That was the cause of the downfall of Rome | the South alone opposes, and that our opposition collect revenues from
the States, and not
from the were wanting that this is not a proposition which
power is what gave vitality to the Constitution.
Under the Confederation, Congress had power to it struck a deep blow at her purity and freedom. | does not rest upon exclusive sectional feelings, And when the gentleman asks us to follow examples of that kind, let him first go to the banks tleman made. He comes from the extreme we may find it in the argument which that gen- || people of the States. The great object of the
Constitution was to change this power, so as to of the Ohio and Mississippi, and establish gran- North; and I listened to him as if it were to the
enable this Government to collect directly from aries for the collection of public corn, that it may voice of one from the tomb of the Constitution, individuals instead of States. Congress may be given to the people. Let him spread out his proclaiming its life and regeneration, in regions have power to “ lay and collect taxes for the banner, and call upon his followers to come in where it has been permitted too long to slumber
“ general welfare,''as intended to be defined by and divide the plunder. Make this Government uncherished and unnoticed. I return the gentle- || the enumerated grants; but it can only, appropriwhat Rome was, agrarian in all its principles, and
man my most cordial thanks. He has placed ate money thus raised upon the specific objects bring the country down to the same level of ruin, this question where it ought to be placed, on the defined by the instrument itself. It was wisely the Roman Republic. You may make this Appian heat principles of the Constitution, and he has agreed upon in convention, that the subjects for
legislative action should be specifically settled. way-you may make this great Government road, deeply interested in maintaining a limited as well Discretion in the powers of Government, whether but it will be a road that will pass through the as an economical Government.
in one or many, is the law of tyrants. In all civilvery vitals of the Constitution. I say, you may The gentleman from Indiana, (Mr. HOWARD, 1 || Government, is the line that defines enlightened
ized countries, the line which limits the power of make such a road; you may make another in the spoke of making this a National Government. South, and another in the North, and you may should be glad to know what the gentleman
liberty. call them by what names you choose; but rest means by a National Government. If by the
But the power to make these appropriations assured that the principle upon which you act strikes at that equal justice which should ever be term he means that discretion which would give has been claimed under that clause in the
Cona majority in Congress the right and power,
stitution which declares that Congress shall have the basis of a republic. It not only strikes at that, but at the Union of these States. There under the broad shield of “the general welfare,"
power "to regulate commerce with foreign nacan be no permanent union except by generating of money for any and every object that a majority to which he had alluded, to make appropriations | tions, and among the several States, and with
Indian tribes." Let us examine this for a mothose kind and cordial feelings between the various seetions of this Confederacy, which can alone welfare, then it is precisely the doctrine of Alexmay decide to be within the scope of the general | absolute grant of power; but when we reflect as
ment. At first it would seem to be a general and result from a Government dispensing equal benefits ander Hamilton, and comes within the range of
to its nature, we find it is not such. It does not and equal burdens. You cannot preserve twenty- those vast constructive powers advanced by I say that Congress shall have power to regulate
commerce, but "commerce with foreign nations." of a Government which does actually dispense Chief Justice Marshall
—a man whose name is
The other part of the clause, "and among the equal burdens and equal favors. And when it is and veneration for the purity of his
several States," would seem also to be absolute supposed that we oppose such appropriations || and the simple dignity and power of his intel
and uncontrolled; but this is not the fact; for I from mere sectional prejudices, injustice is done
lect. Let us see
will demonstrate that the instrument itself has two to the people of that persecuted region which stretches from the Patapsco to the Mississippi, "general welfare."
express limitations upon this very power. First, and which has been denounced as particularly the Constitution, thus:
The words are first used in the preamble to
in section 9, it is said, “no tax or duty shall be
laid on articles exported from any State," and seetional in its views of public policy, I say it
“no preference shall be given by any regulation is unjust to that people. In taking the ground
“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic
of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State which they have taken in opposition to such tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the
over those of another; nor shall vessels bound measures, they have planted themselves on the general welfare,” üc.
to or from one State be obliged to enter, clear, great principle of the Constitution, and sound
We next find the term in the clause which de
or pay duties in another.” Now, it is clear that national policy. They ask that your Governclares that,
that which at first appeared to be absolute, is ment shall be equal. They do not come and ask
“ Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes,
positively a restricted and limited power; and the at your hands favor or bounty; they ask for a
duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide wisdom of the instrument can only be appreciated Government that may be just and forbearing in for the common defense and general welfare of the United by reading all the parts, and blending them in peace, so that it may be strong in war, because
harmony. The whole scope and meaning of the strong in the affections of a devoted and loyal It is very clear that the term, thus used and | clause were, that there should be free and unrepeople. These views are no southern views twice repeated, was designed as a mere declara- || stricted commerce between the States. It was a alone, but views affecting deeply the permanenttion of extreme caution, and that the true intent limitation upon the power of this Government, liberties of a republican people everywhere, in the and meaning of those who used it was, that it and in favor of perfect freedom in trade, and run North and the South, in the East and the West. should be a limitation to the apparently absolute | ning in the same spirit with that clause which We do not ask for particular favors or appropri- | and uncontrolled power given in the same clause declares that “the citizens of each State shall be ations to us. Yet we are denounced as sectional “ to lay and collect taxes;” that they should not entitled to all the privileges and immunities of because southern interests are spoken of. But use this power wantonly or in caprice, but should citizens in the several States.' If a State were let us reflect what these southern interests are. strictly consult the "general welfare," and carry Il to monopolize, as a State, any branch of trade,
26TH CONG....1st Sess.
Cumberland Road-Mr. Pickens.
HO. OF REPS.
so as to appropriate it to herself under restrictions || that they will do it by force of law, and the tri States to tax our lands within their several limits, operating upon others, then Congress would have umphant power of numbers.
and for five years after their purchase from Govpower to regulate such
For in Is this appropriation to be made for the pur ernment. This was done at the solicitation of the stance, if Virginia were to monopolize for herself | pose of facilitating commerce? What was the States themselves, because it was supposed that the tobacco trade, or if Pennsylvania were to state of the country in the years 1802, 1803, and it would hold out additional inducements to emimonopolize her coal mines, and control their 1806? They were then a scattered, weak, and gration and settlement, to be exempt from taxes; exportations, then the power of Congress would remote people, with no means of communication. and what was supposed to be for their interests, attach. Barter, trade, intercommunication be- || They had not felt the glorious and quickening is now said to affect their resources. I will repeal, tween citizens of different States, were intended influences of the noble invention of steam power the exemption to-morrow, if they will take it as to be free and unembarrassed. Commerce, as a -that power which has given life and wealth an equivalent. The true resources of a State public matter between State and State, might be and greatness to a slumbering wilderness; and for consist in the income of its citizens in their regulated; but trade private,
between individual the blessings of which Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, capacity to meet public demands upon that inand individual, was to be beyond the interference Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee, ought to It is population, labor, income, that give of Congress. Yet, under this general power, erect a monument to its inventor. Yes, sir! true resources to a State. having a plain and palpable object, it is claimed || Columbus may have discovered a continent, but The taxing power of a State extends without to create works of internal improvement. Under the genius of Rumsey has made it a fit inheritance limit over its citizens. If they have cheap lands, the limited power “ to regulate commerce with for freemen. They ought to raise a monument and exempt from taxes, their income ought to be foreign nations, and among the several States,” to his memory at the junction of the Ohio and
The aggregate income of the people of you claim a separate, positive, and substantive || Mississippi, before which, all who pass might Ohio constitutes the true resources of the State. power. That which is clearly an independent || bow with respect, in remembrance of the man And, as far as capacity to bear taxation is conpower, you claim as incidental. Under the power || who subdued the mother of waters.
cerned, these new States have as complete power to "regulate" one thing, you claim the power to It is said of an ancient king, that surrounded and as great resources, according to their popucreate another. Regulation of commerce does not as he was by servility and flattery, and as if to lation, as has the States of Kentucky, Tennessee, give the power to create commerce or destroy | illustrate its allusion, he attempted to chain the other State in the Union. Their capacity
To demand that Government shall ocean, and said to the waters, “ Thus far shalt to raise taxes is in exact proportion to their increate internal improvements, and force commerce thou come, and no further." Vain and idle as come and the number of their citizens. This upon them, under the power to regulate convnerce, this was, in the days of mere physical power, objection, then, that we have forbidden the exeris the same thing as to claim that Government yet, sir, we have literally seen, in our day, the cise of the power of taxation over our own lands, shall build our steamboats and ships to transport | genius of man giving to the world an invention is nothing more than theoretical; and, therefore, our produce across the Atlantic. If you can do which intellect has been made to triumph over the position assumed that we are bound to apthe thing in the one case, you can in the other. the waves of the ocean and the winds of heaven. propriate this money, because we have crippled It is the same thing as to power,
It is that invention which has changed the the resources of these States, cannot be mainI know that this appropriation has been claimed | whole commerce of the West; which has brought tained. It is idle to talk of our cramping the under the inducement to favor commerce, and the into existence, as it were, a nation from the wil resources of States that have outstripped the Atpower maintained under the clause to which I derness, and quickened it with sudden life and lantic frontier; that are almost able to purchase have referred. But has not the day passed, when vigor. We have seen State after State spring out their richest Atlantic sisters. Sir, there is no such an argument can have weight? Those who into existence, as powerful and perfect as one justice in demanding this appropriation. first projected this national road had two great || divinity sprung from the brain of another, in I proceed now, Mr. Speaker, to present a few objects in view: the first was, to promote com ancient days. And yet they come in and claim views upon this question, considered merely as a merce between the States—to promote union and this appropriation, for the purpose of facilitating fiscal question, and with reference to the resources intercourse; the second was, national defense, and commerce and tell us that if we do not grant it, of the country at the present time. According to the protection of our remote and frontier settle- || they will be deprived of the advantages to which the estimates received from the Treasury Departments, which were subject to imminent danger. || they are entitled, and will be crippled in their ment, it will be seen that our resources for the
These, I say, were the great objects which in resources! Sir, you might as well attempt to next year will probably amount to about twentyduced Congress to make the first appropriations. || bind down the lion in his strength, by throwing two millions of dollars; and, as a part of this Now, I submit to gentlemen, whether the circum- || cobwebs over his mane, as to cripple the energies estimate, we must take into the calculation a debt stances of the country are not so entirely changed, || of the West. The journey from Pittsburg to of about two and a half millions that will be due as to render these great intentions no longer of New Orleans may be performed in as many days, from the Bank of the United States, and about weight. What was the situation of the West in under the operation of the steam-power, as, in one million due from the deposit banks. And the year 1802? It was comparatively an unknown | 1806, it took months. And yet the appropria then we have the estimate of what appropriations region; a region surrounded by Indian tribes, and tion is claimed to facilitate commerce! Look for are necessary, and from which it will be seen that, in imminent danger of invasion from Great Brit a moment at the map of this country. On one with very great prudence and economy, we will ain. They then looked to the old States for pro- | side you have the Ohio, running for five hundred be barely able to meet just demands upon the tection and defense. But is such the state of miles parallel to this road; and on the other you Treasury. I doubt whether the income will not things now! The western country, which at have those great inland seas, furnishing on both be, in fact, short of the demands. Now, I put that time was an infant colony, has now sprung sides the finest commercial intercourse of any it to those who have rallied themselves upon the up into national existence; and the talented gentle- || inland country upon the face of the globe. What late able message of the President in favor of man from Indiana, spoke to us of the day, when more can be done? The puny efforts of this Gov economy and retrenchment; I put it to them they of the West would dictate their own terms ernment sink into contempt before the majestic whether it is proper, under the existing circumto this Union; when they would have command works that nature herself has thrown around this stances and embarrassments of the country, to of this, and of all other great questions affecting | magnificent country. If you must do something, vote an appropriation of four hundred and fifty the condition and welfare of the Republic. And do it for a country that needs yourappropriation. thousand dollars for this road? I put it to them is it right for us now to say, that this appropria- || Sir, the great objects for which this appropria whether it is proper to vote this amount, with tion is to be made to keep up the defense and tion was originally made, of facilitating com the certainty that you must either borrow money protection of the West? Suppose a war were to merce, binding the Union, and for the purposes or issue Treasury, notes? Is the country prebreak out with Great Britain to-morrow. The of defense, no longer exist. If the Congress of pared for this? Where will you borrow money? first tocsin that sounded would proclaim the Can 1806 had good inducements to make these appro How will you raise the funds? It is reported adas emancipated from colonial vassalage. Could || priations, the Congress of 1840 have none, and that there is a universal derangement, a general we be invaded through that section? Have we it is the height of folly and of madness to con pressure, in the money market, from one end of not already a yeomanry force settled on the Ohio
tinue to make appropriations originally based on the country to the other; and I take it for granted and the Mississippi, capable of meeting the legions a different state of circumstances in the country, that the idea is not to be entertained that the of England without any assistance from us? Do when the whole country itself has changed. Government is to borrow money to meet its exthey ask this as an appropriation to a weak, in- | Does Ohio, or Indiana, or Illinois, ask this ap igencies. Well, are you prepared to issue Treasfani colony, just in the first stages of its settle- || propriation because the Government has been a ury notes? Here let me say that last session I ment? That great Northwestern Territory, which hard parent to them, or because we have neglected voted against the issue of these notes. I did so in the year 1802 had less than one hundred thou their interests? We have given them the richest on the ground of expediency; not because I had sand people, has now nearly three millions; a soil on the globe for little or nothing-cheaper constitutional objections against the measure, but population equal to that of the whole Union, at than it could be purchased in any part of the because I regarded it as a dangerous precedent, ihe commencement of the Revolution. And for || civilized world. We have given them all the and because its tendency was to profligacy in them now to come and claim an appropriation, || fostering care of a kind and indulgent Govern expenditures. There ought never to be an issue under the original objects of the first grant, re ment. I know nothing that they have asked of such notes, except it be upon ASCERTAINED minds me of a full-grown boy, just stepping into which we have ever refused; and yet they come FUNDS, belonging to the Treasury, but not immanhood, with ruddy cheeks and joyous eye, and demand these extra appropriations. I know mediately available at the moment, although cerasking to be dandled on his mother's knee, and they seem to think that what they have paid for tain at a future time. It ought, then, to be done whining to draw milk from his mother's ex land is a naked tax. Has it been a tax wrung under extreme caution and guards, and only when hausted breast. Such is the state of things. The from labor? Do they receive nothing in return absolutely necessary. The Government has unreason for the original appropriation exists no Have we not given them a full equivalent? Is doubtedly a right to borrow, and to use the form louger. Instead of being weak, powerless, sub the purchase of property a tax? Have we not of Treasury notes instead of bonds. But when jeci to invasion, the people of the West come given them a quid pro quo? Is there a man gentlemen come and ask me to vote four hundred here now, and through their Representatives tell among them who will now sell his land for the and fifty thousand dollars for an object which I you, that after the next census, they will defy | price at which he bought it?
believe to be beyond the Constitution, and unneyour power and trample upon your authority: Now, it is said that we have forbidden these cessary, and with the certainty that, according to
26TH CONG....1st Sess.
Cumberland Road-Mr. Pickens.
Ho. of Reps.
the estimates on our table, we will be called upon ville road bill, appropriations for internal improve this particular appropriation. The only feeling I to appropriate nearly eight millions more to the ment have taken that direction; but if the true have towards it is, that it is connected with a syssame object, I, for one, raise my protest ngainst || intention is to protect and "regulate” our com tem of measures--with a precedent, which is hereit; and when gentlemen shall ask me to give them
where commerce exists, then such objects after to be quoted, as it now is, as being a part of support for Treasury notes, I say to them that, come directly within the provision of the Con- the Constitution-a precedent, upon the strength if they pass such appropriations as this, I will stitution, which declares that “ Congress shall of which eight millions of dollars are hereafter to trample upon the ties of party with contempt, and have power to regulate commerce with foreign be asked, and probably eight millions upon that. refuse my vote. I know my duty to the country : nations." The perversion of this power, of late || You will be asked to run the road into Arkansas; and to my constituents betier than to submit to years, has produced appropriations to dig out you will be asked to run it into Louisiana. It the sympathies of party, so far as to give my
and make harbors where there were no towns will be demanded, as the gentleman from Indiana vote for an issue of Treasury notes to meet ap and no commerce, and where nature never in- | [Mr. Howard) intimated yesterday, that it shall propriations which are both unconstitutional and tended there should be any. To protect a har run to the waves of the Pacific, even at the cost unnecessary. Are gentlemen prepared to make bor connected with the national defense is a of $100,000,000. It is to avert this thing in its such disbursements at present. It is probable different thing from this. But the gentleman || progress-it is on account of the future consethat the income of the first two quarters of the asks why appropriations " are constitutional quences to the country, that I enter my protest year will fall behind, and that the Treasury will upon salt water and not upon fresh?” I will tell here. Sir, I have no hostility to the particular not be able to meet the appropriate and necessary the gentleman: it may be because they are con States interested. On the contrary, I am in demands upon it. I very much believe this may
nected with the national defense of the country. favor of a measure that will redeem that whole be the case; and I believe that the income of the It is upon salt water that we are to be attacked. | region of country from its colonial vassalage 10 last two quarters, with proper care, will rather | The next great contest that is to come-and I be this Government. Rather than be harassed exceed the necessary expenditures; that is to say, lieve it will come, sooner or later-will be decided year after year--rather than have the whole if Congress is prepared to come down to eco on the ocean, and decided, too, by steam power. system of corrupting patronage which is connomical and necessary expenditures only And But appropriations, under existing circumstances, nected with the public lands, through public if a Treasury note bill is introduced here with a considering the great change in the world, and agencies of all kinds, remain as it now is-rather view to render these expenditures commensurate the prospect of almost a total change in modern than see such power and patronage wielded under with the income, and to equalize the demands warfare, even to fortifications; which, in the executive influence and dictation, I will vote to with the revenues for the whole year, and with years 1816, 1818, and 1820, were deemed neces cede the public lands to the States in which they that view only, placing out of sight all unneces sary and proper, I consider at present useless and | lie, on certain conditions, reserving a portion of sary or unconstitutional appropriations, I might, inexpedient. Appropriations for fortifications at the net proceeds, at least equal to what they under the necessity of the case, give such a bill leading points, where they may be necessary for have yielded us heretofore, and let the State incur my support. But pass such appropriations as the protection of the Navy, I entirely approve of; the expense of sales, &c., and control all the these, sir; pass appropriations in the teeth of the these, however, ought to be confined to a few patronage incident to their management-the Constitution, and of the pressing interests of great points. Naval power, connected with steam, minimum price to be fixed by this Government. the country, and that, too, at a time, when we will hereafter decide the fate of empire among || I would do this, because I anticipate the result are so deeply embarrassed, embarrassed as in- civilized nations. Appropriations to protect com which the gentleman from Indiana has spoken žividuals, embarrassed as States, embarrassed as merce, to prevent the invasion of territory, to of, when the overflowing population of the West a national Government, and I pronounce it here, defend those places where our battles are to be will come here, asking no favors, but dictating as I will do everywhere, the height of profligacy, | fought; all these things are included under a terms by force of habitual legislation. Under the madness, and tyranny.
general class of appropriations for national de- | existing system, the executive chair of the GoySir, I confess that some of the remarks which fense. But the interior West does not require ernment is to be put up and bid for every four fell from the able gentleman from Indiana (Mr. such appropriations. And why? Because, by years. The power is to be conferred on hiin who HOWARD) made my blood run warm. I confess the blessings of nature, they are removed from will make the greatest promises to local and secthat I felt a deeper emotion of the heart when he all danger of invasion; they inhabit a country
tional interests; and the remarks of the gentleman spoke of the rising strength of the West-of the remote from any foreign nation. The day is from New York (Mr. HOFFMAN) presented to numbers they would include under the next passed when Great Britain is to invade us suc my mind conclusive objections against the whole census; when he spoke of their power and as cessfully through the lakes. If, unfortunately, I system of executive influences as connected with cendency; and when he said that they would a rupture should ever take place between us, internal improvements, and other local objects. “ remember their friends, and visit their enemies." Canada could never be retained in colonial sub But this executive influence never can be conSir, this remark of the gentleman may have been jugation.
trolled, if you give to him disbursements upon full of Christian charity and forgiveness; but if There is a bold and hardy population on the sectional interests-if you give to him power it was, it created different feelings in my bosom. lake frontier always capable of defending itself over local objects-if, in short, you divert the I felt that the gentleman had arrayed these in from the remote possibility of any impotent inva- | Constitution from the great ends which it was creasing numbers on one side to show to the am sion. They are not in a situation to be attacked. intended to accomplish. Under unjust and illegal bitious and the aspiring of this House the tempta But if our country is to be invaded it will be legislation, the Executive becomes omnipotent. tions which lay in the future. The people of the either in the northeast or the southwest. It will All usurpation of power by Congress over and West would " remember their friends, and visit be in the Gulf of Mexico or in some part of the above the grants of the Constitution, necessarily their enemies !” Sir, I know not how I am to be southern Atlantic that you will be called upon to accrues, in the progress of events, to executive visited. I know not whether am to be viewed defend the honor and rights of the country. There influence. It is that power which your Exeo tive as a friend or an enemy; but I know my duty to your coast is extensive and unprotected, and open holds over the new States which has always the Constitution; I know my devotion to the to the intercourse of the world; there your com sustained him, and which will continue to do so great interests of the country-not to the interests merce is richest and presents the greatest tempta as long as a majority here vote such appropriaof a particular section, or of a few States—but to tions to invasion. Appropriations upon such tions. I would prefer to make the Executive the interests of the whole country; and, knowing points are strictly national, under enumerated | independent of these things-to place him upon my duty, the language of the gentleman has grants of power in the Constitution. And here the high grounds of the Constitution, and to neither ierror nor temptation for me. I have no lies the reason why appropriations are constitu- make him look to the true and solid interests aspiration higher than that of a conscientious dis tional in one case and not so for roads or canals of his country. He would then be prompted to charge of my duty to the Constitution; and I in the interior. Surely the people of the interior court fame, rather than power; and it is with that know of no temptation, either from power on the West want no appropriations for their defense view I would vote to-morrow that the unsold one hand or flattery on the other, which can ever except upon the Indian frontier.
lands should be ceded to the States in which they swerve me from the direct path of honor and in I know that their proud spirit and independence | lie. I believe it is a measure that would regenerdependence. I have opposed this appropriation would repudiate the idea of asking anything for ate this Government; and I prefer the independbecause it is unnecessary, particularly in the protection. Do they want a gratuity-a bounty? ence of those States, and the independence and present emergency of the country; and because Are appropriations claimed for the States of Ohio, | purity to this Government, to any imaginary the great objects which induced Congress origin- | Indiana, and Illinois, because we have been an profit which might accrue by a different course. ally to make the appropriation exist no longer. | unkind and hard parent to them, and they need Besides, the Treasury might, under such a It is inexpedient, because it will array against appropriations?
system, receive a greater net revenue than under each other sectional interests and feelings. Go and see what you have done for Kentucky. | the present, with its drawbacks and expenses.
The gentleman from Indiana, (Mr. Howard] | How was she settled? By the hardy enterprise Sir, I am not the opponent of the West. I asked, significantly, why appropriations are con and courage of her own citizens, who went on rejoice in its true prosperity; but I abhor the stitutional on the Atlantic frontier, and not in the conquering and to conquer” the wilderness, || idea of dragging here, before us, high-minded interior? I do not exactly know what class of amid blood and the universal cries of murder. / and brave men as annual mendicants upon your appropriations the gentleman may refer to; but | She has made herself a great State without ap- || Treasury; it is a subservient spectacle at which if he alludes to that profligate class embraced propriations from this Government; and this is my mind revolts. I desire that their interests under the general “ harbor bill," by which Con one great cause of her spirit of independence. She should be promoted on proper principles. Fix gress has appropriated money under the power does not come here and bend her knee for favor. upon a comprehensive and enlightened system, to regulate commerce where none existed, but to But, sir, it is said that Ohio, Indiana, and compatible with the genius of our institutions, make and create commerce, I hold all such to be Illinois, need this to facilitate commerce and to and the interests of separate and independent against the genius of the Constitution, a gross give them national defense! On these points in States—not a policy suited to the infancy and and profligate perversion. It is a fraudulent per what do they differ from Kentucky and Ten weakness of the new States, but suited to their version of the internal improvement power to nessee? There is no justice in this system? growth, their wealth, and their numbers-a polmake such appropriations under a bill nominally It may be supposed, Mr. Speaker, that I have | icy which will harmonize the new with the old for harbors. Since the famous veto on the Mays-Il a particular feeling of opposition in regard to States, and produce a more perfect and perma
26th Cong....1st Sess.
Assumption of State Debts-Mr. Calhoun.
nent Union-and such a system shall receive my mode, and given power to this Government to col serted it to be in effect, to that extent, an assumpcordial support. Connected with your sectional lect revenue directly from the people of the whole tion of their debts. appropriations, your whole system towards the Union, instead of States. She has thereby created Here, then, we have the real question at issue, new States is one of temporary and miserable a general treasury, in common, from all the people, which has caused all this excitement and zeal-a expedients. Its tendency is to engender ill-will, And if there be any change in the powers and question pregnant with the most important conhostility, and bitter feeling, and is fast destroy- duties of this Government she herself has assented sequences, immediate and remote.
What I now ing the equilibrium of the Confederacy. Stop to it. As to the territory purchased by treaty, the propose is, to trace rapidly and briefly some of these sectional appropriations, and pursue a just frechold is in the States conjointly, and this Gov the more prominent which would result from and liberal policy, and there can be nothing to ernment is their common trustee, and there can this scheme, should it ever become a law, reiard the triumphal progress of this Republic to be no question as to power. There can be no free The first, and most immediate, would be to future greatness and power. I confuss I feel my hold in this Government, and grants run from it subtract from the Treasury a sum equal to the heart glow with a warmer emotion when I.look
It has no sovereignty itself, but is annual proceeds of the sales of the public lands. forward to the day when State after State shall used to exercise the conjoined sovereignty of the I do not intend to examine the constitutional rise from the unknown regions of the “far States. I forbear to open up these great ques- || question whether Congress has or has not the West," and add star after star to the banner of tions. They will form a chapter in the future. right to make the subtraction, and to divide the our Union. I rejoice to think of the day when The time is coming when they will be pressed proceeds among the States. It is not necessary. the cotlager upon the banks of the Rio Roxo, for decision. The time is coming when we must The committee has conclusively shown that it has and the fisherman who casts his net even upon pass over these local appropriations of $450,000 no such power; that it holds the public domain in the waters of Arabasca, shall feel and know this year and $500,000 the next. The people will trust for the States in their Federal capacity as that they are brethren--citizens of one common no longer bear it. The West itself will demand, ll members of the Union, in aid of their contribution and united Republic.
to Treasury; arrives, we can then, in truth, say that the star
to the instructions moved of empire casts its blaze westward. Then will your table, ordering positively the Committee of | buting it among the States for their separate and the American eagle exultingly snuff the distant | Ways and Means to bring in a bill appropriating individual uses, would be a manifest violation of Pacific, and take a higher and a bolder flight, | $450,000 for this road, I have only to say, that if the trust, and wholly unwarranted by the Conwith redoubled vigor in his wing, and brighter they are carried, it will change the mode and stitution. Passing, then, by the constitutional glory beaming from his eye.
manner of doing business in this House. You question, I intend to restrict my inquiry to what But pursue a contrary system, and you will will have instructions moved upon all other sec. would be its fiscal and moneyed effects. reduce this people to heari-burnings, hostility, tional subjects, and the consequence will be, we Thus regarded, the first effect of the subtracand jealousy. You never can satisfy them. They shall be forced into a vote upon propositions tion would be to cause an equal deficit in the revwill look upon you as a hard and close Govern which ought to be moved first in Committee of
I need not inform the Senate that there ment, and, finally, they will defy your power and the Whole. I have moved my amendment with is not a surplus cent in the Treasury; that the trample upon your laws.
a view to allow the committee merely to inquire most rigid economy will be necessary to meet Our relations to the new States and Territories into the expediency of reporting a bill. And if the demands on it during the current year; that constitute our quasi colonial system. I would my amendment prevails over the positive in the revenue, so far from being on the increase, rather adopt a mild and benignant policy towards || structions, then I can vote against the proposition must be rapidly reduced, under existing laws, in them, such as the ancient Governments adopted cven as amended. This course is perfectly par the next two years; and that every dollar withtowards their colonies. Their policy was to settle liamentary. It is a mere matter of expediency, drawn, by subtracting the proceeds of the public them, to see them prosperous, and to rejoice in and does not commit me to anything except a lands, must make a corresponding deficit. We their prosperity-to have a fostering care towards preference of mine over positive instructions. I are thus brought to the question, what would be them; not to levy taxes--not to make them shall vote, finally, against all instructions. the probable annual amount of the deficit, and sources of permanent revenue--but to make them
how is it to be supplied ? friends in peace and allies in war. This was the
ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS.
The receipts from the sales of the public lands, wise system of antiquity. Modern nations have
I would suppose, may be safely estimated at substituted a despotic, avaricious, grinding, and base system, in the place of this generous and SPEECH OF HON. J. C. CALHOUN, | $5,000,000 at least, on an average, for the next
ten or fifteen years. They were about $6,000,000 enlightened policy; and the consequence has been
OF SOUTH CAROLINA,
the last year. The first three quarters gave within that England, France, Spain, and Portugal, are
IN SENATE, February 5, 1840,
a fraction of $5,500,000. The estimate for this in a sure way to lose entirely their colonial posses
year, is $3,500,000; making the average of the sions, simply because they have made them the On Mr. Grundy's Report in relation to the as iwo years but little short of $5,000,000. If, with objects of taxation, the sources of revenue to the sumption of the Debts of the States by the these data, we cast our eyes back on the last ten mother country. It is this which has deprived
or fifteen years, we shall come to the conclusion, them of their colonies, and which must finally Mr. CALHOUN said: When I have heard it || taking into consideration our great increase of result in a loss of all, with engendered feelings of asserted, again and again, in this discussion, that population and wealth, and the vast quantity of bitterness and hostility.
this report was uncalled for; that there was no public lands held by the Government, that the I am in favor of pursuing an enlightened and one in favor of the assumption of State debts, average I have estimated is not too high. Assumgenerous system, adapted to the condition of the and that the resolutions were mere idle, abstract | ing, then, that the deficit would be $5,000,000, State, and the palpable and pressing emergencies of negatives, of no sort of importance, I could not the next inquiry is, how shall it be supplied? a rising and powerful country. Be sure, whatever but ask myself, if all this be so, why this deep There is but one way; a corresponding increase you do, to make them friends in peace and allies in excitemeni? why this ardent zeal to make collat of the duties on imports. We have no other war. Any other course will be fatal. You will cral issucs? and, above all, why the great anxiety source of revenue but the Post Office. No one lose more than you will gain.
to avoid a direct vote on the resolutions? To would think of laying it on that, or to raise the If the public domain is to be used as an object these inquiries I could find but one solution; and amount by internal taxes. The result, then, of an eternal revenue, and you are, to calculate that is, disguise it as you may, there is, in real thus far, would be to withdraw from the Treasonly how much you can force from a reluctant ity, at the bottom, a deep and agitating question. ury $5,000,000 of the proceeds of the sales of the people, it is vain to disguise it, you will produce Yes, there is such a question. The scheme of public lands, to be distributed among the States, ill-will, rivalship, deep and bitter hatred; and all assuming the debts of the States is no idle fiction. and to impose an equal amount of duty on imthe Cumberland road, or other roads, which you The evidence of its reality, and that it is now in ports, to make good the deficit. Now I would can run from here to the Rocky mountains, will agitalion, bursts from every quarter, within and ask, what is the difference, regarded as a fiscal never keep us a united and happy people. without these walls, on this side and the other transaction, between withdrawing, that amount Mr. Speaker, these views, which I have barely side of the Atlantic; not, indeed, a direct as for distribution, and imposing
similar amount glanced at, when the proper time arrives will sumption, for that would be too absurd; and of duties on the imports, to supply its place, and give rise to some of the most complicated and harmless, because too absurd; but in form far that of leaving the proceeds of the sales of the beautiful questions of constitutional law that be more plausible and dangerous-an assumption, in land in the Treasury, and imposing an equal long to our philosophical system of Government. effect, by dividing the proceeds of the sales of amount of duties for distribution? It is clearly I may admit that Virginia constructively holds the public lands among the States.
the same thing, in effect, to retain the proceeds the freehold in the unsold lands north west of the I shall not stop to show that such distribution, of the public lands in the Treasury and to impose Ohio. I shall maintain that she has made this under existing circumstances, with the deep in the duties for distribution, or to distribute the Government a trustee of the State, which trust debtedness and embarrassment of many of the proceeds, and thereby force the imposition of the power is to be exercised for the benefit and
States, would be, in reality, an assumption. We duties to supply the place. permanent interests of all the States. The cession all know, that without such indebtedness and It is, then, in reality, a scheme to impose from Virginia, of the 20th of October, 1783, it is embarrassment, the scheme of distribution would $5,000,000 of additional duties on the importatrue,
has the words, “ for the use and benefit” of not have the least chance for adoption, and that tions of the country, to be distributed among the the States, &c.; “ Virginia inclusive, according to it would be perfectly harmless, and cause no ex States; and I now ask where is the Senator who their usual respective proportions, in the general citement; but plunged, as the States are, in debt, will openly avow himself an advocate of such a charge and expenditure,” &c. This was passed it becomes a question truly formidable, and on scheme? I put the question home, solemnly, to under the confederation, when this Government which the future politics of the country are des those on the opposite side, do you not believe apportioned out to, and collected revenue from, tined for years to turn. If, then, the scheme that such a scheme would be unconstitutional, the States as States, when their usual respective should be adopted, it must be by the votes of the unequal, unjust, and dangerous? And can you, proportions in the general charge” could be known indebted States, in order to aid their credit, and as honest men, do that in effect, by indirect and a scortained. By the ratification of the Fed- lighten their burden; and who is so blind as not means, which, if done directly, would be clearly eral Constitution Virginia herself has changed this to see that it would be in truth, what I have as liable to every one of those objections.
26TH CONG....1st Sess.
Assumption of State Debts-Mr. Calhoun.
I have said such would be the case, regarded the leading motive for the act. Five millions an
of the question. It was under this impression as a fiscal transaction. In a political point of nually, (the amount assumed,) on a pledge of the that the South acquiesced (reluctantly) in the view, the distribution of the proceeds of the public domain, would, of itself, be a sufficient very high duties it imposed. The late General sales of the land would be the worst of the two. basis for a loan of ninety or a hundred millions Hayne, then a distinguished member of this body, It would create opposing and hostile relations of dollars, if judiciously managed. But suppose took a very active part against it; and I well rebetween the old and new States, in reference to that only one half should be applied, as the means member, after its passage, that he consoled himthe public domain. Heretofore the conduct of of negotiating loans abroad, in order to complete self with the belief that, though oppressive, it the Government has been distinguished by the the old, or to commence new, works of improve- would be the last. His expectation proved as vain greatest liberality, not to say generosity, toward ment or other objects. I ask, what would be the as mine in 1816. Before two years had passed, the new States, in the administration of the pub effect on our imports, of negotiating a loan in we were again besieged with the cry of the inlic lands. Adopt this scheme, and its conduct England, or elsewhere in Europe, of forty or fifty | adequacy of the protection; and, in the summer will be the reverse. Whatever might be granted millions, in the course of the next year or two? of 1827, a large convention of manufacturers from to them, would subtract an equal amount from Can any one doubt, from past experience? We all
parts was held at Harrisburg, in Pennsylvania, the sum to be distributed. An austere and rigid all know the process. Very little gold or silver is to devise a new and more ample scheme of proadministration would be the result, followed by ever seen in these negotiations. A credit is ob tection to be laid before Congress at the next hostile feelings on both sides, that would acceler tained, and that placed in bank there, or with session. That movement ended in the adoption ate the conflict between them in reference to the wealthy bankers. Bills are drawn on this coun of the tariff of 1828, which, in order to make sure public domain—a conflict advancing but too fast try, and then sold to merchants. These are trans work, went far beyond all its predecessors in the by the natural course of events, and which any mitted to Europe, and the proceeds returned in increase of duty. The duties were raised on the one, in the least gifted with foresight, must see, || goods, swelling the tide of imports in proportion || leading articles of consumption from forty to fifty come when it will, would shake the Union to the to the amount. The crash of our manufacturers per cent. above former duties, as high as they center, unless prevented by wise and timely con follow, and that, in turn, by denunciations against were. I speak conjecturally, without any certain cession.
over-importing and over-trading, in which those data. In less than three years, even that enorHaving shown that the scheme is, in effect, to who have been most active in causing it are sure mous rise proved to be insufficient, as I shall presimpose duties for distribution, the next question to join, but will take special care to make not the || ently show, and would certainly have been folis, on whom will they fall? I know that there least allusion to the real source whence it flows. | lowed by new demands for protection, had not is a great diversity of opinion as to who, in fact, Is not that the case at this moment? And can it | the small but gallant State I represent arrested pays the duties on imports. I do not intend to be doubted, that with the increase of the cause, its further progress-no, that is not strong discuss that point. We of the staple and ex the clamor for protection will increase, until, with enough—brought the system to the ground, porting States have long settled the question for united voices the friends of the system would de- | against the resistance of the Administration and ourselves, almost unanimously, from sad expe- || mand its renewal. If to this we add, that, under || Opposition-never, I trust, to rise again. rience. We know how ruinously high duties the compromise act, the tariff must be revived The fact disclosed by this brief historical fell on us; how they desolated our cities, and and remodeled, who can look at such a concur sketch is, that there is a constant tendency to inexhausted our section. We also know how rap rence of powerful causes without seeing that it crease in the protective system; and that every idly we have been recovering as they have been would be almost impossible to prevent the revival increase of duty, however high, requires periodígoing off, in spite of all the difficulties of the of the protective system, should the scheme of cally, after a short interval, an additional increase. times, and the distracted and disordered state of distribution be adopted ? I hazard nothing in | This, as I have stated, is not accidental, but is the currency. It is now a fixed maxim with us, | asserting that the renewal would certainly follow; || the result of causes inherent in the system itself, that there is not a whit of difference, as far as and, as this would be one of the most prominent in the present condition of our country. It originwe are concerned, between an export and import and durable consequences of that scheme, I pro ates in the fact, that every increase of protection duty-between paying toll going out, or return pose to consider it fully, in its most important is necessarily followed by an expansion of the ing in—or going down to market, or returning bearings.
currency, which expansion must continue to enback. If this be true, of which we have no One of the most striking features of the system large till the increased price of production in condoubt, it is a point of no little importance to us is its tendency to increase. Let it be once recog; sequence shall become equal to the increased duty, of the staple States to know what portion of the nized, and let the most moderate duties be laid and when the importation of the articles prohibduties will fall to our jot to pay. We furnish for protection; but put the system in motion, and ited may again take place with profit. That is about three fourths of the exports, with about its course would be onward, onward, by an irre the principle; and as it is essential to the peace two fifths of the whole population. Four fifths sistible impulse, as I shall presently show, from and prosperity of the country that it should be of five millions, is four millions, which would be past experience; and hence the necessity of vigi- | clearly understood, I intend to establish its truth the measure of our contribution; and two fifths lance, and a determined resistance to every course beyond doubt or cavil; and for that purpose, shall of five millions is two millions, which would be of policy that may by possibility lead to its re begin with the tariff of 1828, the last and by far our share of the distribution; that is to say, for newal. This tendency to increase results from the boldest of the series, with the view of illusevery two dollars we would receive, under this causes inherent and inseparable from the system, | trating, in its case, the operation of the principle. notable scheme, we would pay four dollars to and has evinced itself by the fact, that every tariff I entreat the Senate to give me its fixed attention the fund from which it would be derived. for protection has invariably disappointed its The principle, well understood, will shed a flood
I now ask, what does it amount to, but making friends in the protection anticipated, and has been of light on the past and present difficulties of the the income of the States, to the amount of five followed periodically, after short intervals, by a country, and guide us in safety in our future millions annually, common property to be dis- || demand for another tariff with increased duties, tributed among
them according to numbers, or to afford the protection vainly anticipated from To give a clear conception of the operation of some such ratio, without the least reference to its predecessor. Such has been the result through
the tariff of 1828, it will be necessary to premise their respective contributions? And what is that out, from 1816 to 1828, when the first and last that it comprehended all the leading articles of but rank agrarianism-agrarianism among the protective tariffs were laid, which I propose now consumption that could be manufactured in our States? To divide the annual income is as much to show by a very brief historical sketch of the country; amounting in value to not much less agrarianism as to divide property itself; and rise and progress of the system.
than one half of the whole of the imports; that would be as much so divided among twenty-six The late war, with the embargo, and other the duties on these articles were increased enorStates, as among twenty-six individuals.' Let restrictive measures that preceded it, almost ex mously, as has been stated-say not less than me admonish the members opposite, if they pelled our commerce from the ocean, and diverted | forty or fifty per cent.; that the average domesreally apprehend the spirit of agrarianism as a vast amount of capital, that had been employed tic exports at the time was not much short of much as might be inferred from their frequent in it, to manufactures. Such was the cause that $60,000,000 and the imports for consumption about declarations, not to set the fatal example here, in | led to the system. After the termination of the the same; that the revenue from the imports was their legislative capacity. Remember, there is war, there was, on the part of Congress and the about half that sum; and that of the exports, but one step between dividing the income of the country, the kindest feeling toward the manufac about three fourths consisted of the great agriStates, and that of individuals, and between a turing interest, accompanied by a strong desire cultural staples of the South. What, then, with partial and general distribution.
so to adjust the duties (indispensable to meet the these facts, must have been its necessary operaProceeding a step further, in tracing conse expenses of Government, and to pay the public tions on the currency of the manufacturing quences, another question presents itself-on debt) as to afford them ample protection. The States? We export to import. It is impossible what articles shall the duties he laid? On the free manufacturers were consulted, and the act of 1816 to continue to export for any considerable length or the dutied articles? Shall they be laid for reve. was modeled to their wishes. They regarded it of time, with a corresponding return of imports. nue or for protection? Is it not obvious that so as affording sufficient and permanent protection, it would be to give away our labor for nothing: large an amount as five millions, equal to one and I, in my then want of experience as to the Our exports, then, continuing at an average of third of the present income from that source, and nature of the system, did not dream that we $60,000,000, in what, under the operation of the probably not much less than one half what it will would hear any more of tariff, till it would be tariff of 1828, must the corresponding imports to be at the end of two years, cannot be raised with come necessary to readjust the duties, after the the same amount return? Not, certainly to the out rousing from its slumber the tariff question, discharge of the public debt. Vain expectation! same extent as before its passage, in the articles with all its distraction and danger? Should that, Two years had not passed away before the man on which it had so greatly increased the duties. however, not be the case, there is another conse ufacturers were as clamorous as ever for addi Its object in raising them, was to give our manuquence connected with this, that cannot fail to tional protection; and to meet their wishes, new factures the home market, by excluding the forrouse it, as I shall now proceed to explain. duties were laid, from time to time, with the same cign articles of the same description. If it failed
The act of distributing the sales of the public result; but the clamor still returned, till 1824, in that, it failed in accomplishing any good whatHands among the Siates, of itself, as well as the when the tariff of that year passed, which was ever, and became an unmixed evil, without benamount to be distributed, will do much to resus believed on all sides to be ample, and was con efit to any one. The return, then, of imports citate their credit. It is the desired result, and sidered, like that of 1816, tố be a final adjustment must have been principally in articles on which