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Mar 23, 1836.]
[H. OF R.
oil off the distribution bill comes in conflict with the
solved, as between us and our public enemies, to stand ditional sum of unappropriated surplus of the revenue by the country. I would have the country right, in all of 1836, to be added to the balance of credit from the its controversies: “Thrice is he armed, that hath his quarrel just.”
I demand of the members of this House what is to be
done with this great treasure! Shall it continue in the But I would not suffer my own personal impression of hands of the deposite banks, safe or unsafe, to be loaned the right or wrong of its cause to impel me to the aban. by them for the benefit of individuals, yielding no ad. donment of that cause. I shall give my vote, and if need vantage to the people of the United States? be my voice, as I have hitherto done, to every appro- We propose to you, on the one hand, the distribution priation which is asked for in good faith, and sustained bill. We say that, in principle, it is a just, wise, and by reasonable evidence of its propriety. And it matters proper measure. If it contemplates too large a distribunot to me whether the money is to be expended on the tion, diminish the sum. Leave in the Treasury all that banks of the Merrimac of the East or the Merrimac of is needed for the common defence and general welfare the West. Still it is my country.
of the Union. Of that I would not touch a dollar. But Entertaining these general views of the public service, the residue place in the hands of the States; restore it acting upon them in the votes I give in this House, I to the people themselves; let it be applied to the objects aver that, even upon the liberal rules of appropriation of local improvement, which may or may not fall within which I advocate and observe, there will remain in the the scope of the constitutional power of Congress, but Treasury, at the expiration of the present year, a surplus which are all-important to the prosperity and the strength equal to the whole revenue of ordinary years. To illus. of the United States. trate the fact, I subjoin the following estimate of the appropriations, probable or certain, of the present year, graduation bill, cannot the two objects be combined, made conformably to the opinions I have declared: thus reconciling and conciliating the rights of the old Appropriations proposed by the Secretary
States and the interest of the new ones? of the Treasury, ..
$17,515,933 If neither of these things may be done, if it does not Appropriations in addition to the above, in
comport with the political views of the majority of this the bill for the civil and diplomatic ser
House to make an absolute donation of the surplus treasvice,
607,250 ure to the several States-if there be a constitutional Appropriations in the navy bill,
587,521 ingredient of this Legislature, not a member of the House, Appropriations in the bill for the Indian
not a member of the Senate, whose possible action upon service,
1,165,332 this subject gentlemen can suffer themselves to anticiAppropriations in the army bill,
97,239 pate, so as to be affected thereby-then I ask the House Advance to the cities in the District of Co
whether this surplus treasure may not be placed in the lumbia, amount payable the present year,
70,883 (respective State treasuries in the form of a deposite or Appropriation for hostilities among the
loan? Such a measure would be infinitely less excepSeminoles,
2,120,000 tionable than to have the Government of the United States Appropriation for hostilities among the
come into the market as a great speculator in stocks, Creeks,
500,000 less than to retain the public treasure in the deposite Appropriation for raising volunteers and
banks at a clear loss of two or three millions of interest, dragoons,
300,000 | perhaps in part of the principal; less than to squander it Bill for the defence of the Western frontier, 1,000,000 l in mere idle wastefulness. House bill, additional for fortifications,
200,000 I believe in my conscience that a distribution of the Appropriations for other objects in same
surplus revenue ought to be made. The country re
882,053 quires it. The public interest demands it. I do not House bill, additional for civil service, 52,684 urge any plan for the disposition of the public money in Private claims,
100,000 the spirit of party agitation. Nay, if I sought a topic of Miscellaneous works of various kinds, light.
party agitation out of this House, a means of rousing the houses, beacons, Cumberland road, pub.
just indignation of the people, I should wish for nothing lic buildings, say
2,000,000 better than to have Congress adjourn, by the will of the Add for other possible appropriations not
majority, leaving the public treasure dispensed among enumerated,
2,801,105 | favored persons or corporations, to be used or abused at
the discretion of the administration. Will the majority Total, exclusive of new Indian treaties, $30,000,000 of the House give to the opposition such a manifest ad.
vantage? Will they not rather consult their interest and of tbis sum, there will remain at the end of the year, their public duty, by consenting to the passage of some unexpended, not less than twelve millions of dollars. it law, either of grant or of deposite, which may place a exceeded eight millions the last year. It will increase portion of the surplus revenue in the control or custody in proportion to the increase of appropriations.
of the respective states? I exhort them by every con. On the other hand, the execution of new treaties with sideration of interest, I adjure them by every considerathe Indians will call for an appropriation to the amount tion of duty, not to suffer this session of Congress to terof $6,239,241, which, for reasons beretofore stated, i minate, leaving the public treasure unguarded, neglected, do not consider it necessary to charge to the income of abandoned. Let us beware of this great wrong to the the current year.
people and the States we represent. Such is the result of my reflections on this important
With these remarks, it would have given me satisfacsubject. I bave treated it in good faith, actuated by a tion to be able to close what I might wish to say on the sincere wish to arrive at the truth, and especially to subject of these resolutions. But there is one other avoid all exaggeration as to the available surplus in the topic which shows itself in the speeches of prominent Treasury. The sum is large. It cannot be disguised or friends of the land bill, and which I cannot pass unnoticed. denied. No part of the surplus of 1835 can be reached
I mean the suggestion that the North enjoys more than by the expenditure of 1836. On the contrary, there is a due share of the advantages of the Union. It was very abundant reason to believe that, without speaking of un- distinctly averred by the gentleman from Kentucky, who expended appropriations, which cannot fall short at the preceded me, (Mr. Graves,] as an argument in favor of end of this year of twelve millions, there will be an ad. I the distribution bill, that the State of New York had re
H. OF R.]
[Mar 23, 1836.
ceived more of the public revenue than I know not how ever the Government of a country disburses money, it many of the States of the South and West, which he must be disbursed somewhere. Certain expenditures enumerated; that the North and Northeast were made are, upon the face of them, absolutely and unequivorich by the public expenditures; in contrast with which cally national; as the charges of foreign intercourse, was arrayed the liberality of the State of Kentucky to- drawn and spent abroad. Others are apparently secwards the manufactures and commerce of the Atlantic tional; as the expenses of a land office in the West, or a States. The gentleman frankly admitted that he had light-house in the East. Now, it is natural that a not made any exact calculations on the subject. It would measure local in name should be brought forward by have been well, I think, had he looked into the figures local interests. It must be so, in the operation of local carefully; because, had he done so, he would bave as. necessities, feelings, and knowledge. I cannot admit certained that there is no foundation in fact for such that because the members from a particular Slate, or grave charges in denial of the general and impartial | tier of States, support a measure unanimously, the fact value of the Union of these States.
affords ground of presumption against a measure. Who I take leave to say we have heard something too much should understand and advocate a thing, if not the memof the same tenor from the State of Kentucky, through bers from the State most immediately concerned with it? out the present session of Congress; and, if it were in As a member of this House, I lie under particular obliorder, I should say, in both ils chambers. To me, a gation to see to the welfare of my State. That is one new member of the House, little versed, of course, in thing for which we are severally sent here. Shall not the details of its debates, few things have seemed stranger the Representatives from the State of Ohio feel and act than the idea, so pertinaciously insisted on, that appro- unitedly in the defence of their northern frontier? Shall priations are to be made, not where the public service not the Representatives from Alabama, Georgia, and requires them, but in shares to the several States. At Florida, take a deep interest in the measures necessary an early period of the session, after having heard such for the protection of their constituents against the hosthings more than once, a strong sense of their injustice tilities of the Creeks and Seminoles! Surely. They drew from me a few observations, somewhat warmer, it support locally: we must not reject locally. Our decision may be, than gentlemen were accustomed to hear from should be national in its motives and scope, not sectional. the North. If I could suppose that, under the impulses This whole doctrine of allotting out the public exof the moment, I overstepped the limits of manly con- penditures in shares is rotten to the core. Try it practroversy, I should be sorry of it. Certain I am, on ample tically: strip it of all disguise, and apply it to any familiar reflection, and after deliberate investigation of the de fact.' Suppose a bill before this House, proposing to tails of the question, that I did not go one hair's breadth appropriate money for the defence of the Southern fronbeyond the truth, in the terms of condemnation which tier; and suppose members from the North to rise, under I applied to these reproaches on the States of the At- such circumstances, with the avowal on their lips: We lantic, and especially the East. I spoke, to be sure, cannot gainsay the propriety of this appropriation; there strongly, as I felt. Doubtless, members from other States is flagrant war before our eyes, for the prosecution of are attached to their homes. So am I to mine. I can which this money is indispensably necessary; but we will conceive that gentlemen should feel indignant, if they not grant it, unless you give us a corresponding sum of thought their State unjustly assailed: cannot they con- money to aid in the construction of such a canal or such ceive that I should, also, if my State be unjustly assailed? a railway in our particular neighborhood. What would Or is it imagined that members from the East are to be said of !his? What ought to be said? There is no kiss the rod that is raised to strike? Do so they who language of censure, in the infinite combinations of list. 1 desire friendship with every member of this human speech, which would be considered blasting House. But I have rights to maintain here, my own enough for such a proposition. Yet the case put is but and those of my constituents; and I shall not shrink from an obvious illustration of the doctrine, presented in the any issue which their vindication may involve.
nakedness of its odious deformity. And I desire to Deeming this question of the last importance, in its tender to the gentleman from Ohio, (Mr. HAMER,) my general bearing on the stability and tranquil action of the grateful estimation of the patriotic nationality of senti. Government of the Union, I have taken some pains to ment which he has manifested, in occasional reference probe the matter to the bottom. If the result of my heretofore to this topic of debate. inquiries were other than what it is, it would not be stated We legislate for a vast country, with its long ocean to the House. Some time since, a gentleman from South frontier, and its immense interior expansion. In that Carolina (Mr. Thompson) presented a variety of calcu- stupendous valley of the Mississippi and its tributary lations, tending to show that the North was favored, to waiers, the far-western city of St. Louis is, it may be, the injury of the South. That gentleman was answered, the geographical centre of the territory of the United and he will permit me to say, with all due respect, tri-States. Our country is destined, possibly, to become umphantly answered, by the gentleman from Maine, coextensive with the continent. I do not speak of this (Mr. Evans,] the gentleman from Virginia, (Mr. Gar. as what I wish; but as what, in the expansive progress LAND,) and another gentleman from Maine, (Mr. JARVIS.) of our institutions, it may be impossible to avert. Nature My view of the subject covers the whole United States. has impressed geographical differences on this wide. I shall demonstrate, by a detailed examination of the spread surface of the United States. Part of it lies on public expenditures in its various branches, and upon the Atlantic ocean; part on the Gulf of Mexico; part on authentic documents, that there exists a striking equality the inland seas of the North; and part on the thou. in its distribution. How could it be otherwise?' Wit- sand offsprings of the great Father of Waters. Our ness the zeal and vigilance of members for the cause of country embraces every diversity of climate, of soil, of their particular constituents. Bear in recollection the location, of productions, which the terraqueous globe interest and the will of every administration to keep affords. Our occupations differ, as our lines are cast well, so far as it may, with all sections of the country. here or there within it. The manufacturing and com. At any rate the fact exists. I shall show it, in terms mercial industry of the East, the agriculture and mines courteous, but positive, as befits the consciousness of of the North and centre, the planting of the South and truth;
and, sectional matter as it all is, I cannot but hope the West, all contribute to swell the sum of our greatthe effect will be to strengthen, rather than weaken, our We differ in the quality of the labor we respec. common attachment to the Union.
tively employ. So many multitudinous causes go to All things done by man must bave a locality. When I complicate the interests with which Congress has to
MAY 23, 1836.)
(H. OF R.
deal. Our legislation is to be founded on all these facts, olina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, combined, compared, compromised, with reference to Louisiana, Florida--nine; and I proceed to show in the parmount value of the Union.
what sums and proportions the public money has gone Times have occurred, in which one or another of the to each of these great sections of the Union. States thought the power of the confederacy pressed By a calculation which I have before me, covering heavily on her interests or her principles. It has hap. the period from 1789 to 1829, inclusive, it appears that pened to Pennsylvania, to Virginia, to Massachusetts, to there can be traced into the different States and Terri. South Carolina. Times have occurred, in which some tories, excluding the District of Columbia, the sum of of the States have thought they had not their due pro. | $119,455,187. of this sum, $43,567,522, more than one portion of the benefits of the confederacy. I freely' ad- third, went into Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South mit that in two of the States of the West, especially, Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and there has been comparatively little of the public money Florida--one third in number, greatly less than one third expended in improvements or public works of any kind, in population, of all the United States. The plain fact comparatively little advantage received under the land needs no comment. system of the United States. I mean Kentucky and This calculation does not include the diplomatic Tennessee. It is equally true of one of the States of charges of the Government, nor such portion of the the East, to wit, Vermont. So far as regards Kentucky charges belonging to war as evidently have no locality of and Tennessee, the fact is owing partly to their being expenditure. Nor does it include expenditures on acintermediate, historically speaking, between the old and count of the public debt; for the repayment of money to new States; partly to their felicitous geographical posi. the public creditor, wherever he may dwell, is not an tion, and other natural advantages; and not least to the act of local partiality. Nor does it include pensions, faci that neither of them is a frontier State. It is not, I which are the recompense of personal services and sacriam sure, ascribable to any sectionality of feeling or ac fices, the debts of honor superinduced by war. tion on the part of the East towards the West. No sions were to treated as local expenditures, it would give such feeling ever did exist; no such action ever did occur. occasion to inquire how it happens that so large a pro. We of the Atlantic States may safely challenge a scrutiny portion of the persons entitled to pensions reside in par. of the political and legislative records of the country, ticular regions of the country; a course of inquiry which upon such a controversy. It will distinctly appear, in a Northern man need feel no unwillingness to pursue. the sequel of my remarks, that it is not the West as a For the rest, the calculation is conclusive as to the section, in any grouping or aggregation of which the whole question, so far as it is a question between North States are susceptible, but simply the two States of and South; unless, indeed, we adopt the idea of the genKentucky and Tennessee, which have thus failed to tleman from South Carolina, (Mr. Thompson, who, to partake in the direct local expenditures of the Union. arrive at a different result, reckons Maryland and Vir. And the error, committed by the gentleman from Ken- ginia among the States of the North. Such a position is tucky, consists in putting the question sectionally, when evidently untenable. The doctrine would act fatally there is no tincture of sectionalism, as between East and against itself, by the undue weight of relative population West, in the facts of the case.
which it would cast upon the section of the North. It is New York, it is alleged, has received more of the contrary to the plain sense of the thing, also; since Mary. public moneys than all the States of the South or South- land and Virginia belong to the South by the character west! When this remark struck my ear, it raised be of their labor and of their productions. They are essen. fore my mind's eye the image of that great State, its tial parts of the slaveholding and planting interests. If, boundless enterprise, its magnificent canal which unites indeed, it could be admitted as a just and serious view of the waters of the lakes and those of the ocean, its nu- the subject, I should heartily welcome the Old Dominion merous lesser canals, its railroads, its liberally endowed among the States of the North. I am sure Virginia and system of public education. I began to doubt all the New England bave in the past time breasted shoulder to familiar facts of contemporaneous history. Did the
shoulder shock after shock, and should feel themselves United States subscribe any of its millions towards the cemented together by the blood of their fathers comconstruction of the Erie canal? Did the United States mingled in many a well-fought and hard-won battle-field, contribute lands, enough for the seat of an empire, to and by their common attachment to the Union. If there the public schools of the State of New York?' Some is to be a geographical line run through the constitution, such things, it seemed to me, I had heard of as falling to 1 rejoice that, after all, it is not Mason and Dixon's. the lot of other regions of country; but I had read or It would be wearisome to run over all the details of imagined that New York was the child, as the Spaniard public expenditure, in reference to the question under has it, of her own works; that by her own hands and debate. Instead of this, I shall select, for detailed with her own materials she had built up the structure of analysis, several classes of expenditure, which are those ber unrivalled prosperity; that she had herself set the chiefly discussed, and which abundantly illustrate the example, unaided and alone, of the prosecution of pub- whole subject. lic works of interior communication, on that vast scale, I begin with the fortifications of the maritime fronwhich her success came to render so common throughout tier. the United States.
All the money hitherto expended on these fortificaBut it is no question of single States. There is an ob. tions has been distributed as follows: (Sen. Doc. 24th vious fallacy in so treating it. To do justice to it, we should Cong., No. 203.) take into view sections of country, disregarding political
Northern Slates on the Atlantic. lines, and looking only to geographical relations, or lo distinct regions inhabited respectively by a population of
Maine congenial interests, occupations, and productions.
157,309 I throw together, in one group, the States of the North and East-Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachu.
962,369 setts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey,
Connecticut Delaware, and Pennsylvania--ten; the States or Terri.
1,022,132 tories of the West-Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky,
107,136 Tennessee, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, Wisconsinnine; those of the South--Maryland, Virginia, North Car.
$2,248,946 H. OF R.]
(MAY 23, 1836.
Southern States on the Atlantic.
Vergennes, Vermont; Watervliet, New York; Rome, New Maryland
454,103 | York, New York, New York; Frankford, Pennsylvania. Virginia
3,127,837 Souta.-Washington, District of Columbia; Pikesville, North Carolina
760,869 Maryland; Richmond, Virginia; Fort Monroe, Virginia; South Carolina
324,426 Augusta, Georgia; Mt. Vernon, Alabama; Appalachicola, Georgia
286,184 Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Fayetteville, North
Carolina. $4,953,419 West.c-Detroit, Michigan; Pittsburg, Pennsylvania;
Newport, Kentucky; St. Louis, Missouri; Bellefontaine, On the Gulf
Missouri; Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Two new ones, not Louisiana
1,444,529 | localed. Alabama
1,026,777 That is, seven in the section of the North and East, inFlorida
704,422 cluding Lakes Champlain and Ontario, and seventeen in
the two sections of the South and the waters of the West. $3,175,728 Leaving the article of military works, I proceed to
another local expenditure, that of light-houses. Upon this table, it is to be remarked, first, that the There have been expended on light-houses, in the entire system of which these fortifications form a part, period from the organization of the Government to the was arranged in 1821, by a commission composed of end of the year 1833, the following sums: (Ex. Doc. General Bernard, Captain Jesse D. Elliott, and Colonel 2d sess. 238 Cong., No. 89.) Totten. It was arranged under the auspices of a Secre. tary of War from the State of South Carolina, John C.
Maine and Massachusetts, *
82,376 Calhoun, and adopted by President Monroe. It is not
133,422 the fruit, therefore, of Northern councils or partialities. Rhode Island, Secondly, in that plan, the works to be constructed were
175, 266 divided into three classes. The works for the protection Vermont,
6,662 of Burwell's bay and of Boston roads were placed among
514,955 the first in order of execution, chiefly because Norfolk New Jersey,
33,400 and Boston were designated to be the great naval arsenals Pennsylvania, of the country; the one for the South, the other for the
324,861 North. Certain works in South Carolina were placed in the second and third classes. Yet, by some under-current
$2,237,159 of causes, fortifications at Charleston are in an active and
$3,000 efficient state, while those of the Chesapeake are still in. District of Columbia, complete, and those of Massachusetts bay almost neglected. Maryland,
155,847 A single ship of war might sail up and cannonade Boston
381,450 or New York with perfect impunity. Finally, it should North Carolina, be borne in mind that the fortifications on the Gulf are
275,513 essentially defences for the business and population of the West.
229,791 What fortifications have been completed?
199,736 whole North, with its exposed coast, its numerous and Louisiana,
18,852 wealthy cities, to tempt an invading foe, only two: Fort Mississippi, Hamilton and Fort Lafayette, at New York. _In the
$1,836,182 South, four: Fort Washington, in Maryland; Fort Macon, in North Carolina; Castle Pinckney, in South Carolina; and Fort Morgan, in Alabama. In the West, Be it remembered, in anticipation of any remark as to five: Fort Pike, Fort Wood, Fort Jackson, Battery | the excess of expenditures upon the Northern division of Bienvenu, and Tower Bayou Dupré, all in Louisiana. the Union, that it is perpetually thronged, at all seasons
We bave two armories, one at Springfield, in Massa- of the year, with coasting and fishing vessels, plying chusetts, for the North, the other at Harper's Ferry, for along shore; that the registered seamen of the one and the South. In the public expenditures at each, there the other division are in the proportion of 5,442, to has been a very near approach to equality, it having | 1,010; (Ex. Doc., 24th Cong., No. 163;) and that of been, at the former, from 1816 to 1834, inclusive, the entire tonnage of the country, about thirteen fif. $3,411,765; at the laiter, $3,230,884. (Ex. Doc., 24th teenths belong to the ten first-named States. (Ex. Cong., No. 44, p. 365.) An armory is, doubtless, re- Doc. 2d sess. 23d Cong., No. 187, p. 298.) quired at the West. The establishment of it has been Now, to the vexed question of internal improvements. under consideration for eighteen years. Why has it not This expression is a very vague one, as we all know. In been constructed? A Western man, at the head of the the action of Congress, it is applied to the improvement Committee on Military Affairs, (Mr. R. M. JOHnson,) of the means of moving from place to place, whether in himself tells us it is because of the inability of Congress bays and ports of the sea, or 'rivers, or across the land "to reconcile contending interests as to its location." by canals and roads. To what extent the constitutional (House Reports., 24th Cong., No. 373.) “Contending power of Congress in this matter reaches, and especially interests" in what quarter of the East against the what interior communications are to be deemed national West? No! in the heart of the West itself; an edifying and what not, is among the unsettled points in the conexample of the mischievous effects of this narrow local struction of the constitution. The following table will ism of spirit. I trust that, so far as regards this armory, show the amount expended within the several States on the evil will not outlive the present Congress.
this class of public works, from 1789 to 1833, inclusive: There is a like regard to the wants of the various parts (Ex. Doc. 2d sess. 23d Cong., No 89.) of the country in the distribution of arsenals and of depots for arms, as appears by the following table: (Ex. * 1 place Maine and Massachusetts together, because Doc., 24th Cong., No. 44, p. 347.)
the expenditures cover the period when they were one NORTH. -Augusta, Maine; Watertown, Massachusetts; ' State.
In the Alabama,