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had been treated on this subject, and altogether or public reputation. Hence my determination no language would be objected to by him on acfor political effect. Almost as soon as it was known to preserve silence, as his friend.
count of its barshness. His principal and his that the President intended to visit New York This occasion calls also for an explanation as only object was to prevent personalities, which there were murmurings in the Whig ranks that to my own course. I need not ask the Senate to must always tend, in a greater or less degree, to there would be no enthusiasm in his reception; wieness for me the reluctance I have manifested produce disorder and unpleasant feelings among that it would be cold, and confined to a few office here upon all occasions to enter into these angry the members. holders and devoted partisans. His response at discussions with my colleague. That reluctance the Battery lo the address made him was seized | has become so evident to himself that it has been
CUMBERLAND ROAD. upon as a pretext to execute what had been long made matter of charge against me upon this floor, predetermined. li was said he had avowed him and he calls it lecturing him upon forbearance, self the President of a party by responding to
DEBATE IN THE SENATE, good temper, and good feeling. There are limits hiss Democratic"fellow-citizens. Had any other beyond which even such lectures should not be
TUESDAY, March 31, 1840. class of citizens addressed him, and thus entitled delivered, and I cannot disguise from myself that The bill for the continuation of the Cumberland themselves to a response? Did not the orator who that limit, as between that Senator and me, is road in the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, addressed him speak in behalf of his “ Democratic nearer than even he may suspect.
was taken up for consideration; and the question fellow-citizens?” Was the President to deny to I shall not, however, follow him now a single || being on the amendment proposed by Mr. Clay, the orator the character he had assumed? And, if || step. My original purpose as to him, so far as of Alabama, to strike out theiwo per cent. clause, allowing him the character, could he do otherwise this debate is concerned, shall be fully and faith Mr. WRIGHT said he did not rise to debate than respond to it. Suppose an orator had ad- || fully preserved. I have not risen to reply to him, the merits of the Cumberland road bill. That dressed inim in behalf of his Masonic fellow-citi but to justify myself to you, sir, and to the body. || duty he left to those who, from local position and zens, could the Presideni do otherwise than re You referred in your remarks to the epithet of more extensive acquaintance with the utility of spond to his Masonic fellow-citizens? If his Whig | iraitor applied by him to the President. He an the work, could beiter discharge it. Still he had fellow-citizens really designed to show respect to swers by saying that the words were not his, but
for some years now last past given his vote for the President, would they not have selected an a quotation from Shakspeare. How far he can these appropriations, and he desired to do so now. orator to address him, or have united with the exempt himself from your strictures by such an He was anxious that the bill should retain its Democracy in the selection of a common spokes- | apology I am not disposed to examine. How far usual form, the characteristics which had disman? Not having done either of these, could an ingenuous mind would feel relieved, after hav- tinguished appropriations for this road from those they reasonably expect a response addressed to ing applied offensive and unmerited epithets to for internal improvements generally. This work thein from one to whom they had said nothing? ward an individual, epithets confessed to be un was thus distinguished from the peculiar circumThe expectation would have been unreasonable. merited by the apology that the words were stances which had led Congress to undertake it, It was never entertained; and an event which quoted, and not original with the speaker, I will and appropriations to continue it could have his every one must have foreseen, has been spoken of not inquire. It is enough for me to know and
support only upon the conditions that these diswith affected amazement, and perverted to the in feel that I would never make such an apology tinctions were carefully and fully preserved. jury of one who does honor to his State and coun for such an offense, where personal or public From these remarks it would be seen that his try, for party purposes. character and honor are concerned.
object was to discuss, not the general merits of Mr. WRIGHT. Mr. President, I cannot but There was one other remark, sir, which you the bill, but the particular motion of the Senator feel the remarks which have fallen from the Chair did not notice, and which I thought not less ex from Alabama,[Mr. Clay.) If that motion preas implying a reproof upon myself; a reproof, | ceptionable. It related to the statement of a fact vailed, the bill would be placed beyond the reach sir, I know, not intended, but necessarily follow in the last annual message of the President, and of his vote, and, as he had learned, of the votes of ing from the discharge of that unpleasant duty the charge was that the statement was untrue, and several other Senators. He hoped the motion. which the Chair has felt itself left to perform, to that the President knew it to be untrue. Here,
would not prevail, and he must ask a small porprotect the absent from the consequences of lan however, Mr. President, there was an apology tion of the time of the body for an attempt to show guage used in debate in the Senate. As a per for the assertion, by the way of a qualification to to the friends of the measure that it should not sonal and political friend of the President of the it; and what was that? It was that if the Pres
prevail. United States I thank you, sir, for the manifesta ident did not know his statement to be untrue, he What was the motion ? It was to strike out tion of friendly feeling toward thut officer which proved himself disqualified for the station he holds
from the bill the following words: you have now given; and my self-reproach arises by making it. My reply to this omission of
Which said appropriations are made upon the same from the conviction that you must have felt it to yours, sir, is, that when the President of the Uni
terms, and shall be subject to all the provisions, condibe much more the duty of the friends of that in ted States shall be under the necessity of appeal tions, restrictions, and limitations, touching appropriadividual upon this floor than of yourself to inter ing to the source of these remarks, either to es
tions for the Cumberland road, contained in the act entipose that interference against harsh and unparlia tablish his character for truth, or his capacity for
uled "An act to provide for continuing the construction
and for the repair of the Cumberland road," approved the mentary remarks aimed at him which you have his present office, he will be beyond my reach 3d day of March, 1837. found yourself constrained to make. As a Sen for defense or justification.
A reference to the act of 1837 would show the ator from the same Stale from which the President Will you, Mr. President, permit me to address
effect of this proposed amendment, by showing comes, you must have considered it my especial one word to you in conclusion? I pretend to no duty to shield him from such assaults emanating | learning in the rules and orders of a legislative
the provisions, conditions, restrictions, and lim
itations" contained in that act subject to which from a Senator from his own State.
assembly; but when the President of the United I may, sir, have mistaken my duty. I have
the bill in its present shape proposes to make these States shall be concerned, and my colleague shall not been insensible to the delicacy of my position. || be the accuser, 1 entreat of you, so far as you can
appropriations, but from which the amendment Had my own feelings permitted that insensibility, possibly make it consistent with your sense of the
if adopted will free them and leave the approprithe best of friends to the President and myself duties of your position, not to interfere upon any
ations open, general, and unconditional. He was here have not suffered me to rest in unconscious future occasion. Leave to the friends of the Preg
satisfied, too, that this examination would prove ness of the impressions produced upon others. ident here his protection from assaults of this
that the proposition to amend was even broader
than the honorable mover intended or desired; They have given me repeated admonitions, while character and from that quarter. these remarks have been in the course of utterance,
that there were "conditions and limitations" in The VICE PRESIDENT asked leave to sub
that act which even he did not desire to remove; that it was my imperious duty to correct the errors mit a single remark. Although he was decidedly
from which he would not wish to relieve these and repel the imputations with which they were of the impression that it was unparliamentary and so plentifully interspersed.
out of order to make personal attacks on the Presi- || appropriations in case they were to be made. Even against these strong exterior influences, dent of the United States in debate, as having a
What, then, were the conditions, restric
tions, and limitations” in the act of 1837 referred and, I must be permitted to say, against the || tendency to bring members into collision and pro
to? The first was found in the first section of the stronger impulses of my own feelings toward a duce crimination and recrimination, he should not most valued and esteemed and abused friend, I hereafter feel it his duty to call any member to
act, in the following words:
" That the said road within the State of Illinois shall not must confess, Mr. President, I had made up my order, whatever might be the character of his re
be stoned or graveled, unless it can be done at a cost not mind to preserve perfect silence. Your inter marks. He had discharged what he had consid
greater than the average cost of stoning or raveling said ference has unsealed my lips, and I now owe it ered to be his duty in submitting the subject to
." to the Senate, to the respectable auditory present, the consideration of the members of the Senate,
This, he presumed, was a "limitation" which and to the country, to explain the grounds upon who were equally interested in the preservation
the honorable mover of the amendment and those which my determination io be silent was rested. of its decorum and harmony. In answer to the
who would vote with him did not desire to repeal. I doubt not, sir, that I treated the debate, in suggestion that the rules of the Senate should not
The second was in the same section, and in the my own mind, too much as a State matter, as the interfere with the freedom and latitude of debate, | following words: course of remark of the speaker was calculated || he would state that he fully coincided in the
" That in all cases where it can be done, it shall be the to induce me to do. In that sense I felt a confi- || sentiment; and members might, if they thought duty of the superintending officers to cause the work on dence which amounted to unconcern. I could proper, resort to the Greek, the Latin, the French, said road to be laid off in sections, and let uut to the lowest not bring myself to believe that the individual or the English, for phrases to add to the pungency
substantial bidders after due notice." who now occupies the presidential chair required or strength of their animadversions, and however
Here, again, was a " restriction" which he did defense from accusations made in the tone and harsh they might be, he would not interfere. In temper to which the Senate was compelled to his opinion, however, it was of very little impor- | anxious to remove.
not suppose the opponents of the bill would be listen, and resting on the authority which brought tance, when you inflicted a stab on the person or The third "condition" was found in the secthem before the body. The standing and char- | reputation of your neighbor, whether you inflicted ond section of this act of 1837, in the following acter and public course of the President during it with your own weapon or one borrowed for the
words: a long life of public services were too well known purpose from another. In speaking of measures
“That the second section of an act for the continuation to me lo permit me to feel alarm for his personal wbose tendencies were despotic and tyrannical, of the Cumberland road in the States of Ohio, ludiana, and
Illinois, approved the 24 day of July, 1836, shall not be laid out under the authority of Congress, with the consent In all other substantial particulars the compact applicable to expenditures hereafter to be made on said of the several States through hich the said road shall pass :
with Indiana was similar to that with Ohio. road."
Provided, always, That the three foregoing propositions
The State of Illinois came next in the order of The section of the act of 1836 here referred to
the said State shall provide by an ordinance, irrevocable admission, the act of Congress for the purpose requires that the moneys appropriated shall be so without the consent of the United States, that every and having been approved on the 18th of April, 1818. expended as to complete the greatest possible con cach tract of land sold by Congress, from and after the 30th day of June next, shall be and remainexempt from any tax
The compacts with this Stale differed, in some tinuous portions of the road," so that such finished laid by order or under the authority of the Suite, whether
respects, from both the former, but a short stateparts thereof may be surrendered to the said
for Slate, county, township, or any other purpose whatever, ment should relieve the Senate from reading the States respectively.” Should the amendment pre for the terın of five years from and atier the day of sale."
propositions, which were long. vail, this section of the act of 1836 would be again Here was a compact between this new State 1. The two per cent.fund is reserved, as in the restored and made one of the “ limitations" upon and this Government, for the convention of Ohio case of Indiana, to make roads to, not through, these appropriations, from which the second sec
did freely accept the propositions and conform to the State; but, as in the other two cases, is to be tion of the act of 1837 had relieved them. This
their terms and requirements; and here was the expended for that purpose " under the direction would be in no way objectionable to him, though
compact which gave existence to the Cumberland of Congress." he supposed it would be to the more immediate
road, and threw it upon the hands of the United 2. The three per cent. is reserved for, and to friends of the work, inasmuch as the limitation, States.
be paid 10, the State, but is to be "appropriated having been imposed in 1836, had been removed A single step further will show the origin of the by the Legislature of the State for the encouragein 1837 at their instance
two per cent. fund, as contradistinguished from ment of learning, of which one sixth part shall These were the “conditions, restrictions, and that live per cent. fund, or "one twentieth part of be exclusively bestowed on a college or univerlimitations" which he supposed the honorable the net proceeds of the lands," constituted by the || sity.” mover of the amendment had not considered, and compact last referred to, and devoted to the con
3. The equivalents are an exemption of milisome of which, at least, he presumed he would struction of roads from the Atlantic waters“ to the
tary bounty lands from taxation for three years not desire to remove. He felt sure that some Ohio, to the said State, and through the same.' after patents issue, if they continue to be the propother Senators would be unwilling to part with On the 30 day of March, 1803, about eleven
erty of the patentee, or his heirs, and a stipulathe first two, as he well recollected they had been months after the passage of the act containing the tion that lands belonging to citizens of the United inserted in the act of 1837, after a severe struggle, || propositions tendered to the convention of the States not residing in the State shall never be and were then relied upon by the honorable Sen people of Ohio, and which propositions that con taxed higher than the lands of resident citizens, ator who moved them, [Mr. Clay, of Kentucky,] vention accepied and complied with, Congress in addition to the exemption from taxes of all and those who acted with him, as highly essen passed an act entitled “An act in addition to, and
Government lands for five years after a sale. tial.
in modification of, the propositions contained in Two remarks seem to be called for from the Yet it was not his object to discuss these points. the act entitled," &c., being the act of the 30th
compacts with the last two named States. The He had simply referred to them that Senators of April, 1802, before referred to. This act con first was that the two per cent. fund, to be exmight not unwittingly adopt an amendment which ferred upon the new Slate many other and further
pended by the authority of Congress,"or“unshould relieve these appropriations from condi- || advantages beyond those covered by the three der the direction of Congress, was reserved in tions and limitations to which they had, upon propositions tendered to the convention in the both. The second was that the three per cent. former occasions, been strongly attached, former act; but the only one of its provisions af reserved for and to be paid to the State was not He was aware that the honorable mover of the
fecting this discussion is that found in its second amendment had another object, namely, to get
reserved, in the last two cases, with any refersection. It was unnecessary to read the section, ence to the continuation of any road "leading rid of the fourth section of the act of 1837, which which was long. The substance of it was, that from the navigable waters entering the Atlantic" was in the following words: three per cent. of the five per cent, reserved in
to either of the said States, and consequently not " That the several sums hereby appropriated for the con
the ordinance which has been read was directed to the Cumberland road; because, as io Indiana, struction of the Cumberland road iu the States of Ohio, to be paid over to the State, to be applied “ to the Indiana, and Illinois, shall be replaced by said States re
the fund might be applied to the making of roads spectively out of the fund reserved to each for laying out
laying out, opening, and making roads within or canals within the State, at its option; and as and making roads under the direction of Congress, by the
the said State, and to no other purpose whatever,' to Illinois, the Legislature was compelled, by the several acis passed for the adınission of said Sutes into thus leaving but two per cent. of the net proceeds || very terms of the ordinance, to apply it “ for the the Union on an equal footing with the original States." of the lands to be expended“ under the authority encouragement of learning.'
The two per cent. This is the real point of controversy involved of Congress," in " laying out and making pub- | fund, therefore, was relied upon for the roads in the amendment; this is the “ condition” which
lic roads leading from the navigable waters emp mentioned in the various ordinances to be made it is the object of the honorable mover to test by tying into the Atlantic, to the Ohio, to the said under the direction of Congress, whether they a vote; and this is the distinctive feature of these State, and through the same. This act consti
were to be continued to or through the States appropriations which he (Mr. W.) wished to re tuted the two per cent. fund, by taking from the
which were parties, and not the three per cent. tain. To this point, therefore, this two per cent. hands of Congress, and giving to the State for which was to be reserved for the States, was to fund, and the propriety of continuing to pledge || expenditure, three per cent. of the five reserved
be expended by them at their pleasure, or for these appropriations upon it, he should direct his to Congress by the original ordinance.
works or objects of a character different from remarks. He would be as brief as possible; but
Still the obligation upon Congress remained of these roads. an examination of the origin of thai fund, of the expending the two per cent. in the “laying out
lle was now prepared to go back in point of appropriations for the Cumberland road, and the and making public roads, leading from the nav
time and examine the appropriations for the Cumpresent state of facts as to both, would be neces. igable waters emptying into the Atlantic, to the
berland road, to see how far the action of Consary to make his argument clear and intelligible. || Ohio, to the said Slate, and through the same;'
gress hitherto had conformed to the basis of these The cession by the State of Virginia to the Uni and to discharge that obligation this great and
appropriations laid in the ordinances which adted States of the territory north west of the river troublesome and expensive work, the Cumber mitted the three States into the Union. Ohio contained, among others, the condition that land road, was commenced.
On the 29th of March, 1806, the President of the of that territory there should be formed not less The chronological order of events would here
United States, Mr.Jefferson, approved an act of than three nor more than five free republican
call upon him to examine the first appropriations | Congress entitled "An act to regulate the laying States, which, under certain limitations pre for the road; but he thought he should be able out and making a road from Cumberland, in the scribed, should be admitted into the Union upon to accomplish the task he had undertaken with
State of Maryland, to the State of Ohio." This an equal footing in all respects with the original | greater brevity and make himself more perfectly
act gave existence to the Cumberland road, and States.
understood by following first the admission of the an examination of its provisions will show, what The State of Ohio first made application for | States, as far as that should be necessary for the its title so well imports, that it was an earnest bethis admission, and on the 30th day of April, question presented.
ginning of the fulállment, on the part of the Uni1802, Congress passed an act entitled "An act to The next free republican State admitted into
ted States, of that compact with ihe new State of enable the people of the eastern division of the the Union from the territory north west of the Ohio which has been before recited; that it was territory northwest of the river Ohio to form a Ohio was Indiana, and the act of Congress for
the commencement of a road “leading from the constitution and State government, and for the
her admission was approved on the 19th day of navigable waters emptying into the Atlantic, to admission of such State into the Union on an
April, 1816. The course pursued by Congress the Ohio, to the said Státe." It was not material equal footing with the original States, and for was very similar to that finally adopted with the
for his purpose to review the provisions of the act other purposes." Among other provisions in this
State of Ohio, and it will not, therefore, be ne any further than to examine the appropriating secact, Congress, by the seventh section thereof, cessary to detain the Senate by the reading of | tion and see whether it kept to the terms of the offered to the convention of the people of Ohio, either of the propositions submitted to the con ordinances and to the fund thereby reserved for “ for their free acceptance or rejection,”three sev vention of the people of this State. It will suf
the object. The sixth section of the act was this eral propositions, intended for the mutual benefit fice to say that upon this point they varied from
one, and was in the following words: of the State and the United States, and declared the original propositions submitted to the conventhat if accepted by the convention they "shall be tion of Ohio in three particulars:
“Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the sum of
$30,000 be, and the same is hereby, appropriated to defray obligatory upon the United States." The third 1. Two per cent. of the net proceeds of the the expense of laying out and making said rond. And the of these propositions is the one material to this lands only are reserved to be expended under the President is hereby autorized lo draw, from time to time, discussion, and is in the following words: authority of Congress, and that fund is to be ex on the Treasury, for such parts, or at any one time for the
whole, of said sam, as he shall judge the service requires. « Third. That one twentieth part of the net proceeds of pended in laying out and making roads to and
Which sum of $30.000 shall be paid, first, out of the fund the lands lying within the said State, sold by Congress, not through ihe State.
ofiwo per cent reserved for laying out and making roads from and after the 30th day of june hest, [1802.) atter de 2. Three per cent. is reserved in the ordinance to the stale of Olho, by virtue of the seventh section ofan ducting all expenses incident to the rame, shall be applied for and to be paid to the State.
act passed on the 30th day of April, 1802, entitled 'An act to the laying out and making public roads, leading from the
to enable the people of the eastern division of the territory navigable wuters emptying into the Atlantic, to the Ohio, 3. The three per cent. is to be expended by the northwest of the river Olio to form a constitution and State in the said Staie, and ihrough the sainc; sucli roads to be Slate in making roads or canals within it.
government, and for the admission of such State into the
26th Cong....1st SESS.
Cumberland Road-Mr. Clay.
Union on an equal fonting with the original States, and present it as an exception to the rule for which he acres. Even at the present minimum price of the for other purposes;' three per cent of the appropriation was contending.
public lands, the two per ceni, from this quantity contained in the said seventh section being directed by a The second and only other exception which his || would, if he had made no error in the calculation, subsequent law to the laying out, opening, and making roads within the said State of Ohio. And secondly,out of
research had enabled lim discover was a billap yield to this fund more than $670,000. If, as some any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, I proved on the 2d of March, 1833, at the close of suppose, the State of Missouri should be embraced chargeable upon and reimbursable at the Treasury by said General Jackson's first term. This was a plain in the estimate of future revenue to the fund, it fund of two per cent as the same shall accrue,"
case of departure from the rule of charging these would be more than doubled. There are 32,154,Here we are shown fully the origin of this appropriations upon the two per cent. fund, as the | 897 acres of unsold land in that State, and at the work called the Cumberland road, the basis upon appropriations made in this law for continuing minimum price that quantity will pay more than which its adoption by Congress rested, and the the construction of the road in the three States, || $800,000 to this fund. But when it is considered fund from which the expenditures were to be de separate from the appropriations for repairs, were That ihe unsold land in all these States must befrayed. In every respect the work was peculiar | direct in manner and heavy in amouni. He was
come more valuable as settlements increase and as a work of internal improvement prosecuted by happy, however, to be able to destroy the force improvements in its vicinity are extended, who the authority and under the direction of Congress. I of this exception as a precedent upon the author- || shall say what limit shall be fixed to this contin
This very first act, too, as its terms fully show, I icy of the then President himself. 'He spoke from gent fund ? In any event it seemed to him a plain adopted the principle of anticipating the avails of personal information from that distinguished in- || dictate of duty to secure whatever it is to yield to this two per cent. fund by a general appropriation | dividual when he said that his approbation of that reimburse the Treasury for this expensive work. from the Treasury, charged upon the fund, and to bill was an oversight, suffered in the hurry of busi Shall we do this if we pass the amendment now be reimbursable out of it. li was not necessary ness at the close of a short session of Congress, | proposed, and thus by our own act release the for him to defend the wisdom of this policy at that when all who have been here know that a great | pledge for the future? What is our daily expeearly day. It was sufficient that it was then
majority of the bills of the session go to the Pres rience now as to the other States? But a few days adopted, and was one of the expositions, by the ident during the last evening. All who were here since the Senate passed a bill to pay this fund to then fathers, of the powers and duties of Congress at the session of 1832–33 will remember that it the State of Mississippi. Another bill is now upon growing out of these new and peculiar compacts was one of the most exciting periods of our his its passage, or has already gone to the House of with the new States. It was too late for him now
tory, and that an unusual number of bills of the Representatives, to make the same paynient to the to question the soundness of the principles upon deepest interest finally passed the two Houses State of Alabama. These States have come here which they acted, or the wisdom of the policy and reached the President within the last few with demands for the money which we have not which guided their course. Nearly every Con hours of the session which closed on Saturday found ourselves able to resist. To Michigan and gress from 1806 to the present time had followed the 24 of March.
Arkansas, the whole five per cent. was yielded in their footsteps, and every President of the An examination of this bill will present a fur as one of the terms of their admission into the United States, from Mr. Jefferson to the pres ther and strong apology for the oversight of the Union. Other new States will come after these ent incumbent, had approved bills appropriating President. Instead of being the usual and ordi- || examples, and who can make himself believe that money for this road.
nary appropriation bill for the Cumberland road, if we strike out this clause, and thus release our Had these bills followed the form of appro it is an appropriation bill of an anomalous char- || hold upon the future accruing revenue to the fund priation found in the law of 1806 above quoted? || acter, coupling harbors, rivers, roads, and a vari from the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and He had taken great pains to answer this inquiry | ety of other subjects in the same bill. lis title is Missouri, those States will not come, when their correctly and truly, and with two single excep a very imperfece index of its contents, and yet it | road shall have been completed, and tell us, up to tions, upon which he would particularly remark, is evidently made up of the substance of the titles 1840 you held and expended this portion of our he believed that every appropriation for the sur of
It two per cent. fund, but in that year you, by your vey and construction of the road had been ex is “An act making appropriations for carrying own express act, refused longer to pledge it for pressly, in the law making it, charged upon the on certain works heretofore commenced for the the Cumberland road, and the money which has iwo per cent. fund, and made reimbursable out
improvement of harbors and rivers, and also for come into your Treasury since that period is ours, of it. He had found some bills appropriating continuing and repairing the Cumberland road upon the principles which have governed your money for the repairs of those portions of the and certain territorial roads." It embraces more conduct toward ihe other new States. Who can road which had been once called completed which than thirty separate and independent appropria- | convince himself that our successors will be able did not contain this pledge, as he thought they | lions, which take from the Treasury more than to resist such an application from these States? should not. These were mere appropriations for one million dollars. In such a bill, and reaching To the unconditional opponents of this bill he the preservation and security of the property of the President at such a period, it was not in the was aware that this reasoning would be unavailthe United States, as this road when finished least surprising to him that the absence of this ling, nay, that his very declaration of the imporclearly was, until transferred to the States, or qualification to the Cumberland road appropria tance of the provision to him would add to their otherwise disposed of. It was barely possible Lions was not noticed.
anxiety to press the motion, that they might force that there might be some further exceptions of ap Still, whether the apology should be deemed him and others who held similar opinions to vole propriations for survey and construction, but he sufficient or noi, he was able to state the fact that || against the whole measure. Such he knew to could not think there were, as he had intended this omission was not noticed, and that the bill be the condition of the honorable mover of the to make his examination full and accurate. would not have received the approbation of the amendment. He was conscientiously opposed to
How, then, did the two exceptions stand? The then President, however important these and the the bill in any shape; and its defeat is the object first is an act of Congress, approved on the 15th other appropriations it contained, if the omission of his motion. This was fair, and gave no ground of May, 1820, when Mr. Monroe was President.
had been observed-so important did he consider of complaint. Any fair and open and manly opIt is peculiar in itself, and perhaps ought not to the retention of the two per cent. clause, as it is position he had a right to practice; indeed, with be considered an exception to the rule under dis called, as a principle upon which the appropria his opinions, it was his duty to practice; and such cussion. Its title is "An act to authorize the ap tions for this road rest, and a marked character. was his present proposition for amendment. pointment of commissioners to lay out the road istic to distinguish them from open and unre To those, however, who were the friends of therein mentioned." This will show that the stricted appropriations for internal improvements. this road, who desired appropriations for it, he whole object of the act was a survey. The act He was aware it had been said, and would again | felt that he had a right to appeal with success has a preamble, which is in these words:
be said, that the expenditures already made upon upon this question. To them the pledge of this “ Whereas by the continuation of the Cumberland road the road had more than consumed the two per cent. fund could not be objectionable, even if they did from Wheeling, in the State of Virginia, through the Stales fund reserved and applicable to its construction, of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, the lands of the United
not consider it any longer useful. It could do no States may become more valuable."
and therefore that the clause in the present bills harm, if it was of no substantial service to the Thus placing the legislation upon a ground sep: || jection to the clause, as he did all other points of
was wholly useless. He wished to meet this ob Treasury, and they certainly would indulge those arate from and independent of the compacts with
who consider it essential, so long as they ask the States and the fund therein provided. The
this argument, fairly. He was, therefore, willing nothing more than what is looked upon as a nu
to admit that he did not expect the two per cent. acl then goes on lo provide for the survey of a
gatory provision. They will not bring the fale fund of the three States would be sufficient to reroad from Wheeling to some point on the left
of the bill into jeopardy rather than not disimburse the Treasury for all past expenses upon bank of the Mississippi river, between St. Louis
charge it from what they consider, at the worst, this work; but that did not, to him, constitute a and the mouth of the Illinois river, and appro• good reason for separating this essential feature
but harmless surplusage, and that, too, after they priates $10,000 generally, to be paid out of any
know that others, equally friendly, consider the unappropriated money in the Treasury, lo defray
from the bill, and passing it without it. The prac provision proposed to be stricken out one of es
tice commenced with the commencement of the sential, of vital importance. the expense of the survey. The second section of this act contains this emphatic proviso:
work, to anticipate the moneys which this fund He must be permitted to believe, therefore, that
was to yield, and if those anticipations had been however far he may have fallen short of produ“ Provided always, and it is hereby enacted and declared, pushed too far, it was no reason, to his mind, why Tbat nothing in this act contained, or that shall be done in
cing conviction upon the minds of either the foes or pursuance thereof, shall be deemed or construed to imply
we should abandon our hold upon that portion of the friends of the measure as to the importance any obligation on the part of the United States to make, the fund which remains.
of retaining the pledge of this two per cent. fund, or to defray the expeuse of making, the road hereby au All the three Stales yet embraced within their the simple information that he and others so held thorized to be laid out, or of any part thereof."
limits unsold lands, and consequently portions of it would induce every friend to the Cumberland Such was the first exception he had been able this fund are yet to be collected from all. The road to vote against the proposed amendment. to discover, and he remarked again that it was amount, too, is considerable. He had been fa Mr. CLAY, of Alabama, claimed the indula very doubtful how far it could fairly be consid vored with an official statement from the General | gence of the Senate that he might reply to some ered an exception within the proper limits of the Land Office, brought down to the close of the of the remarks which had fallen from the Senator discussion. The act was certainly sui generis, as third quarter of the last year, which showed that from New York. He said the Senator from New a piece of legislation relating to the Cumberland the unsold lands in the States of Onio, Indiana, York, (Mr. WRIGHT,) with that adroitness for road; but such as it was, he had felt bound to and Illinois, at that time amounted to 26,835,234 which he was distinguished in debate, had called
26TH Cong..., 1 st SESS.
Cumberland Road-Mr. Clay.
the attention of the Senate to other conditions con motion prevails (said Mr. C.) and the obnoxious So it would have been with the long list of bills tained in the act of March 3, 1837, than that which clause is stricken out, let him move to fill the blank making appropriations for the same road, which had been the chief subject of his (Mr. C.'s) re with the restrictions and conditions alluded to, the gentleman paraded before the Senate as have marks in the previous part of this discussion, the and he will encounter no opposition.
ing been approved by the same distinguished benefit of which he said would be lost if the amend Mr. C. said the Senator from New York had Chief Magistrate, if they had wanted the clause ment prevailed. Seizing upon those other con again brought to the attention of the Senate the promising reimbursement. And so it would doubeditions and limitations which no one who had several compacts between the United States and less be with the present Chief Magistrate if a bill before participated in the debate had deemed of Ohio, Indiana, and Minois, which hud been so were to pass for the same object and be presented sufficient importance to be noticed, the Senator ofien read or referred to in the course of this de without such a clause; he, loo, professing the same had apparenily endeavored to deter other gentle- || bate. He would not agnin read them or pursue views of constirutional power, would feel bound men from supporting the amendment, by remark very closely the Senator's comments upon them. to return it with his veto. To avoid this result ing with portentous solemnity that it went much He certainly had not given any new views upon
shall we send him a bill masked in fraud ? Shall further than the mover (Mr. C.) or others sup their proper construction, nor had he proved that we send it to him with the assertion on its face posed. So far as related to himself, the Senator by the terms of those compacts the General Gov that the money “shall be replaced by the States from New York was wholly mistaken; he knew ernment wus bound to give those States more than | respectively"out of a fund which has long ceased perfectly all the conditions and limitations in the the amount of the two per cent. of the net pro
to exist? act referred to, and he presumed other gentlemen ceeds of the public lands sold in each after their Mr. C. contended that nothing favorable to the were not so uninformed as seemed to be supposed. admission into the Union. On the contrary, he general power of making appropriations by this He said the difficulty suggested by the gentleman understood the Senator from New York to ad Government, for the construction of roads or was not so embarrassing or formidable as he mit, distinctly, that we were bound for no more canals within the limits of the States, was to be seemed to imagine, as he would presently show. by those compacts, for laying out roads leading inferred from Mr. Jefferson's approval of the bills
The most obnoxious condition in the act of to the several States, and that the fund reserved which had been alluded to by the Senator from March 3, 1837, proposed to be revived and con for that purpose had long since been entirely ex New York for the construction of the Cumbertinued by that portion of the bill which he had hausted.
land road. That venerated man never gave an moved to strike out, was that which held out to But the Senator had dwelt with much emphasis opinion that any delegated power of the kind was the President and the country the false idea and upon the surrender by those States of the right to be found in the Constitution. All his princidelusive hope that the amount appropriated was to tax the lands of the United States until tive ples were opposed to such a doctrine. The only "to be replaced by the said States respectively out years after the day of sale. He was not accus provision of the Constitution to which such a of the fund reserved to each for laying out and iomed to deny that such surrender of one of the power could be considered incidental was to be making roads under the direction of Congress, | rights of sovereignty by the new States (for the found in the last paragraph of the third section of when no Senator had asserted or could assert that
same had been required of and assented to by the fourth article, which declared: any such fund existed or ever would exist. The
all of them) was a great sacrifice; nor should he «The Congress shall have powerto dispose of and make Senator from New York himself had distinctly on this occasion. It was true that the General all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or admitted with his usual candor that the whole two Government had offered, and given to the new
other property belonging to the United States." per cent. fund which had accrued or ever could States in exchange, and on the condition they This, with the exemption of the domain of the accrue on the sale of lands in the four States of || would yield this right of taxing the public domain United States from taxation, justified the clause Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, was al. || until five years after its sale, the section numbered to be found in each of the compacts with the new ready exhausted. A knowledge of this fact and sixteen in every lownship for the use of schools; || States upon their admission, that five per cent. of a' repugnance to see a bill passed through the the salt springs within them, with certain por- | the net proceeds of the public lands afterward Senate containing a promise of reimbursement tions of the public land to aid in the use of work- | sold should be applied toward making roads from a mere fictitious fund, and of course deceptive || ing the same; three per cent. of the net proceeds within, and leading to, the States. It is very obaud fraudulent, had induced him, as he had before of public lands for making roads or canals in the vious that the construction of such roads would explained, to move to strike it out. If an indi- | States, and two per cent. for roads leading to encourage and facilitate emigration, and accelerate vidual were to draw a bill of exchange or check || them; two entire townships of land for the en the sale of the public domain. It might almost be in favor of another person on a banker with whom dowment and support of a seminary of learning; | regarded as proper, on the same principle that rehe had no funds deposited, and with no pledge besides land for seats of the State governments; l quired the lands to be surveyed, and designated that it should be accepted or paid, it would be but it was very questionable whether all these lo by sections, townships, and ranges. Mr. C. said held dishonorable. The pretense that the Gen- | gether would furnish an equivalent for the sur he could suppose this a very justifiable and expeeral Government was to be reimbursed the amount render of that single great right of sovereignty. | dient exercise of power while the public domain of this appropriation when we knew it could not, Yet, he said, the new States had assented to these was a wilderness and the means of access to in he said, was in principle the same with the case conditions, and made the several compacts, and dividual enterprise very difficult or altogether imhe had supposed. We were taking the money were bound by them, however hard they might possible; but when those States had been settled of the people, and to reimburse them drawing in operate where the public land remained long un from twenty to forty years, were in a high state their favor on a fund upon which we know we have sold. But he thought it was not just or proper of cultivation and improvement, with millions of already overdrawn. He appealed to Senators to that three or four of those new States should be inhabitants, and with numerous roads leading to say whether such a course was compatible with the the continual and exclusive recipients of the na and through them, how could it longer be prefairness, candor, and dignity which should ever tional bounty and munificence. If the General tended to have any necessary connection with be manifest in the proceedings of this body. Government had not been liberal enough to the the settlenient of the country or the sale of the
But, sir, (said Mr. C.,) what are the other con new States—and Mr. C. frankly believed it had public lands? ditions, limitations, and restrictions of the act of not, especially in refusing to graduate and reduce The Senator from New York had also urged, 1837, referred to in the clause embraced by my the price of the inferior qualities of land, in con as an objection to his motion, that, by striking motion? They are," that the said road, within sequence of which they had not been sold for out the clause of the bill, as proposed, we should the State of Illinois, shall not be stoned or grav many years, and never would-let the Senator release the two per cent. fund. The gentleman eled, unless it can be done at a cost' not greater from New York bring in a bill. to make up for might dismiss his apprehensions on thui score than the average cost of stoning or graveling till deficiencies, and placing all on an equal foot when it had been, again and again, shown that we said road within the States of Ohio and India ing. Let Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Ar had already appropriated money and taken liens ana," and "that in all cases when it can be done, | kansas, and Michigan first be placed on an equal on the fund to che aniount of more than four milit shall be the duty of the superintending officers ity with the other four new States by expending | lions above the largest sum that could ever possibly to cause the work on said road to be laid off for their benefit as many million dollars as had accrue. And the Senator from New York asks, sections and let out to the lowest substantial bid beeina literally poured out of the Treasury on the what was the objection to this clause with those der after due notice." The act also contains a Cumberland road; and let your liberality be ap who would vote for the bill without it? Mr. C. further provision," that the second section of an portioned among the several States in proportion | expressed his surprise at this question. He asked, act for the continuation of the Cumberland road to the amount which each has paid into the Treas in turn, is it no objection to å bill which is to be in the States of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, ap ury for public lands, and we shall have less cause sent to the President, to tell him, in effect, that this proved the 2d'of July, 1836, shall not be appli to complain of injustice in your exercise of un money is due by the compacts with Onio, Indiana, cable to expenditures hereafter to be made on authorized power.
Illinois, and Missouri, and that it is to be reimsuid road." Now, sir, these several provisions But the Senator has made the remarkable dis bursed from a particular fund, when we know it may be necessary and important, and I have no covery that the first bill which ever appropriated is not so due, and, moreover, know that we never objection whatever to them if the bill should pass. money for the Cumberland road was approved by can be reimbursed ? Sir, such are the facts; and Neither of them comes in collision with my ob Mr. Jefferson, and that even that anticipated the the Senator from New York has admitted them by ject; and I am perfectly willing, if the money is accruement of the two per cent. fund. He then || telling us he knew that we had already approprito be appropriated, that it shall be applied under goes through the various bills making appropria- || ated more money to the Cumberland road than all those restrictions, and any others the Senate tions for this road, all of which, excepi pne, an. had or ever would accrue from the two per cent. may deem salutary. Mr. C. said, if his amend- ticipated the fund and contained a clause for re fund of the four States. Let gentlemen decide for ment prevailed, a part of the bill would merely imbursement out of it. The excepted bill which themselves whether, because they believe an apbe stricken out; and how easy would it be, if the wanted this clause was approved by President propriation constitutional, they can consistently other provisions brought to the attention of the Jackson; but the Senator does that distinguished || attach to the bill an unfounded assurance to the Senate were necessary, to have them inserted. patriot the justice to say that he alluded to it after- | Executive and to the country that the amount is This seemed to him to obviate the supposed dif ward, and said the want of the reimbursing clause due to us by contract, and will be refunded, when ficulty entirely, and none would coöperate with had escaped his attention, in the hurry of busi they know it is not due and will not be refunded. the Senator from New York in effeciuating that ness, perhaps on the last night of the session, or 1. Mr. C. expressed his profound regret that any object more cordially than himself, he should haye withheld his approval.
of those who supported the present Administra
tion, and with whom he usually agreed, should support a measure of the character of the bill before the Senale. Having shown, as he confidently believed he had, that there was no existing fund of either of the States for whose benefit this road was to be made, out of which we could be reimbursed; and having established, beyond contradiction from any quarter, that no sufficient amount could ever accrue from sales of the public lands hereafter to be made in those States, it followed conclusively that the bill could not be sustained or justified under the compacts to which there had been such frequent reference. Under such circumstances, what was the naked question presented to the Senate? It was simply whether the General Government could make appropriations for the construction of roads within the States consistently with the Constitution or principles of sound policy. That was a question he had thought settled by the last Auministration, and he was sorry to see it disturbed by any of those who professed to be friendly to its principles.
It would be recollected that President Jackson, in his veto message on the Maysville road bill, and in his subsequent messages on similar measures, had laid down principles entirely unfavorable to the exercise of such power as that now contemplated. The Cumberland road, he thought, had been sufficiently shown to be a mere local improvement in the proper sense of those terms. Although it ran through several of the States, it was wholly unconnected with any national object; it was entirely in the interior of the country, and could not be said to be necessary to or even to facilitate its defense. Not being national in its character, it was without and beyond the constitutional power of Congress; for all must admit that this Government was instituted for national and not for Slate purposes.
This was one of the great questions, of most vital interest in the quarter of the Union whence he came. It was well understood that his constituents, with the people of the southern States generally, were in favor of a strict construction of the Constitution of the United States, and a rigid limitation of the powers of this Government to its legitimate functions. During the last presidential canvass, when the present Chief Magistrate was a prominent candidate before the people of the Union, among the strongest objections urged against him in the South was that he was latitudinous in his constitutional opinions, and would favor internal improvements by the General Government. This objection was met by his friends and supporters with his pledge that he would“ follow in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor,” by the resolution he offered in the Senate of the United States in December, 1825, declaring that “Congress does not possess the power to make roads and canals within the States,” and by his remarks, on various occasions, expressive of his opinion that Congress could not constitutionally exercise any such power. He was among those who then and still believed the President a strict constructionist, and opposed to
the exercise of the power in question. It was • under this confident belief that the present Chief Magistrate had received such a generous support in the Democratic States of the South. The Republicans of that quarter of the Union thought they were coöperating with brethren of the same political principles, and that, when successful, the administration would be conducted accordingly. He now entertained no doubt that whenever a question involving and coming in conflict with those principles might be presented to the President it would be met in a proper manner; he was firm and consistent, and would do his duty. He asked, was it fair, then, toward the President and many of his friends, for another portion of them to unite with those who were opposed to us in constitutional opinions in throwing around an appropriation (which could otherwise never meet his sanction) such masks and disguises that he could not see its true character? Were not those who pursued this course, in truth, opposing the acknowledged principles on which the Administration came into power, and bringing it into discredit with the Democratic party?
Mr. C. thought that, for a party to act long together and remain united, they must entertain and act upon some common principles and for
common objects. He said it must be apparent for the use of the Government. lt originated, that if one portion of a political party in this coun where such measures should originate, in the poptry was in favor of a strict and the other a lati ular branch; and the bill is to be sustained, and tudinous construction of the Constitucion-one sustained, only upon that clause of the Constiruportion in favor of an economical and the other tion which gives authority to Congres "to boran extravagant and prodigal administration; one row money on the credit of the United States." portion in favor of large appropriations to a cer He should not attempt to sustain the bill upon tain class of objects in one quarter of the Union, any other principle. It was, then, in his judy. and against such appropriations for like objects mént, nothing more nor less than a bill to borrow in another quarter-ihey could not long aci to a specified sum for the use and upon the credit of gether harmoniously. He said the mass of our the United States. plain, honest, intelligent, but unsophisticated fel As the first section of this bill seeks to revive. low-citizens could never be made to understand the provisions of the act of the 12th of October, why millions of dollars could be constitutionally
1837, authorizing the issue of Treasury notes, appropriated for a road in Ohio or Indiana, 11 and ihe acts having connection therewith, which linois or Missouri, while it was held to be un were subsequently passed by Congress, he proconstitutional to do the same thing in Tennessee posed to examine those acts with much particuor Alabama, South Carolina or Georgia. They | larily, in order to show that the character of could not be made to understand-he hoped they this measure was such and such only as he had never might that the Constitution meant one
given it. thing north of the Ohio, and another thing en The art which was passed on the 12th of Octirely different on the south side of the same river. tober, 1837, was "An act to authorize the issuing They understood that the Constitution was in of Treasury notes;" was an act, in other words, tended to impose equal burdens and dispense equal authorizing the issue of certificates of public debt. benefits and blessings throughout all the States And the notes which were issued under and in of the Union. Equality of rights and privileges, pursuance of the act of October, 1837, were but: burdens and benefits, among all the free citizens ihe promises of the Government to pay the amount of this great and enlightened Republic was the of money specified. And he was unable to disgreat principle which laid at the foundation of tinguish between the issue of these notes by the all our institutions. Disregard and destroy that Government and the issue of notes for a like obdistinguishing characteristic, and you jeopard the || ject by individuals, so far as it went to give a happiness and prosperity of this great people, if | definite character to the transaction. If an indinot the existence of the Government itself. vidual wishes to raise money for his convenience
Mr. PHELPS followed in opposition to, and he issues his own written promise to pay. It is Mr. SMITH, of Indiana, in support of, the bill, ll evidence of the debt of the individual, and it is eviwhen,
dence of the engagement of the same individual On motion of Mr. CLAY, of Kentucky, the to redeem that debi. And precisely so with the Senate adjourned.
Government-it wanted money; it issued in the
mode required by law its evidences of debt and TREASURY NOTE BILL.
its promises of payment. · In both cases the want, of immediate means for the use induced the trans
action. And as no doubt could be entertained DEBATE IN THE SENATE,
that in the case of the individual it would be a MONDAY, March 30, 1840.
loan upon his credit, equally clear is it that in the The bill authorizing the issue of Treasury notes
case of the Government it would emphatically be was taken up at one o'clock, on the motion of
a loan of the $10,000,000 obtained under the acti Mr. HUBBARD, and, having been read,
of October, 1837. The issue was made upon the Mr. HUBBARD remarked that he regretted, || credit of the Government; the means were proand the Senate would regrel, that his friend, the
cured upon that issue by the faith of the Govern-' chairman of the Commitiee on Finance, was ab ment which was pledged for the redemption of the sent from his place. The charge of this bill would
debt incurred. And if it so happened that these have devolved upon him had he been present.
Treasury notes entered into the circulation of the And not until within a few hours did he suppose
country, that circumstance did not tend to change that his honorable friend would not be able to be
the character of the transaction. The negotiable in his place. He was aware that the severe in paper of an individual, upon which he may ob- : disposition of a member of his family hud occa
iain a loan, may enter into circulation; it may sioned his absence. The Committee on Finance pass from hand to hand by assignment and delivhad met this morning, and had assigned to him
ery, but the original transaction is nevertheless the care of this bill, and as they regard immedi
the same. ate action upon this measure of great importance,
By the first section of the act referred to the if not of indispensable necessity, they had in
President of the United States is authorized to structed him to press this bill upon the consider
cause Treasury notes, for such sum or sums as ation of the Senate without any delay.
the exigencies of the Government may require, to The bill, which has passed the House, and is
be prepared and issued, limiting the amount of now before the Senate, provides
issue to $10,000,000_giving to that responsible
officer of the Government, in other words, the That the regulations and provisions contained in the act passed the 12th day of October, in the year 1837, entitled
power to borrow $10,000,000, if the exigencies of 1. An act to authorize the issuing of Treasury notes," and ihe country should demand it. The notes which the subsequent acts in addition thereto, be, and the same were to be issued, signed, and countersigned, are hereby, renewed, and made in full force, excepting the
could not be regarded in any other light. And limitations concerning the times within which such notes may be issued, and restricting the amount thereof as here
if they should get into circulation, pass from one atter provided.
to another, it may be answered that the certifiAnd the same bill further provides
cates of the funded debt were alike assignable, That under the regulations and provisions contained in
and passed from one to another. By the second said act, Treasury notes may be issued in lieu of others
section of the act of the 12th of October, 1837, the hereafter or heretofore redeemed, but not to exceed in the true character is given to this transaction. It is amount of notes outstanding at any one time the aggregate there expressly provided that these notes shall be of $5,000,000, and to be redeemed sooner than one year, reimbursed and redeemed by the United States, if the means of the Treasury will permit, by giving notice sixty days of those notes which the Deparinuent is ready
at the Treasury, after the expiration of one year to redeem; no interest to be allowed thercon alter the ex
from the dates of the notes, respectively. The piration of said sixty days. And that this act shall continue same section provides that the rate of interest shall in force one year and no longer.
be fixed by the Secretary of the Treasury, with As this bill, so essential to the public service, || the approbation of the President, and that they so intimately connected with the preservation of shall not draw interest after the expiration of said the public credit, had been opposed with so much year, distinctly evincing the period of duration determination, he felt himself now called upon to for this loan, and solemnly pledging the faith of ask the candid attention of the Senate while he the Government for the reimbursement of the went into a full examination of its provisions. notes issued, or of the loan contracted. The true And in the outset he must be permitted to say | character is here given to this transaction. that this measure is no bank in disguise; that it Theexigencies of the country then required the has no directorremote relation to any such institu use of $10,000,000. The President was authortion. It is simply a measure to borrow $5,000,000 ll ized to make the loan in the mode prescribed. The