Page images
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

States of the West.

Population 3,205,597.

[ocr errors]

States of the South.

Population 3,838,697.

But the most interesting points of comparison as to this are between the States of the East and the West. Manifestly, the sum expended in the ten States of the North and East is much less than the sum expended in the eight States and two Territories of the West. I have omitted to reckon the subscription of $233,500 to the Louisville and Portland canal, because of the value of the stock; but if the contemplated appropriation to render that canal public should pass both Houses, it will add a mil. lion of dollars to the sum total of the column of the West. And shall we say nothing of the Cumberland road?

Down to the close of 1833, the cost of the Cumberland road was 3,723,530 dollars. To the same period, the total cost of internal improvements, fortifications, and light-houses, all together, in all New England, was but 3,506,751 dollars. Am I told that the Cumberland road unites the Atlantic and the West? So do the admirable public works constructed at her own expense by the State of Pennsylvania. So do the series of canals and railways, constructed or undertaken at the sole expense of the States of New York and Massachusetts, from the Lakes to Albany, and thence diverging to the cities of New York and of Boston. That it adds to the value of the public lands. So do these. That it is beneficial to the whole country. So are these. That it is a national work. Be it so, if you will. And are not the fortifica. tions and other public works on the maritime frontier, by tenfold greater force of reasoning, national in every element that goes to constitute nationality?

To enter into every one of the details of this extensive subject would be irksome to myself and to the House. I abstain from doing it. The more you investigate the question, the more conclusively will you make it appear that all these complaints are fallacious in principle and unfounded in fact. It is the inside of a house, the seat of ease and comfort, finding fault that money is expended on the exposed outside, for the common benefit of the whole edifice and all its inmates. It is impossible, with. out some pretty radical change in the nature of things,

to have a country which is all interior and no part frontier. Several additions to and comments upon these tables That frontier has the advantage, if advantage it be, of are necessary to the full understanding of the facts.

the money employed in frontier expenses. And it bears Though Delaware lies almost wholly south of Mason

the first brunt of battle. Would it not be immeasurably and Dixon's line, I place it in the first column, because

ridiculous for me to complain that the inhabitants of the money expended upon it has been quite as much for Massachusetts, peaceably pursuing their accustomed the benefit of New Jersey and Pennsylvania as Dela. avocations, do not enjoy the privilege of seeing some ware. I place Louisiana in the third column, because millions of public money spent among them in the very much of the expenditures of the West have been for the pleasant way it now circulates in Florida? In a word, improvement of rivers; and, in regard to this point, the the expenditures of the frontier of the United States, interest of Louisiana cannot be separated from that of whether applied on the Ocean, the Gulf, or the interior, the great valley of the Mississippi.

are nevertheless expenditures for and of the heart of the It would seem, at first impression, that the proportion country which they cover and protect. of public money expended in this way south of Mason

Men of high public estimation have soberly affirmed and Dixon's line, as compared with the money expended in Congress, chat so many millions, drawn from the West, at the North, was in the proportion of one to three, or,

are expended on other parts of the Union. Self-delusion measuring it by the ratio to the gross population on each

can hardly go beyond this point. I have shown how and

A word as to side of the line, one to two; that nothing had been expend where the public money is disbursed. ed in Maryland, next to nothing in Virginia. If it were

how and where it is obtained. so, it would be pertinent to refer to the constitutional

Our revenue from customs is a voluntary tax paid by opinions of the South in elucidation of the circumstance.

the consumer of dutiable merchandise. In proportion to But it is not the fact. To the sum of 573,917 dollars the general diffusion of wealth and competency, and to directly expended, we have to add, of subscriptions the habits of expense, characteristic of any part of the prior to 1834, the sum of 200,000 dollars to the Dismal country, will be its contribution to this branch of the Swamp canal, in Virginia, which stock is at a discount; public taxes. It is obvious to perceive that the section $999,000to the Chesapeake and Ohio canal, in Maryland, of the North and East consumes far more of commodities at a loss of more than a half a million, without reckoning subject to duty than either that of the South or that of later sums, appropriated to the same object; and $450,000 the West. to the Chesapeake and Delaware canal, partly in Dela

Our revenue from the public lands has the appearance ware, and partly in Maryland, which has no market val. of coming from the West. It is notorious, however, that ue. If these things be taken into consideration, and

far the larger part of the purchase-money is provided especially if the calculation on both sides be brought by emigrants or capitalists of the Atlantic States. We down to the present time, the difference in favor of the are every day pouring out our population and our riches Nortb yaoishes.

into the capacious lap of the West.




Cumberland road, 3,723,530
200,000 Nav. Obio and Miss. 394,513


Illinois, .
169,978 | Tennessee,
17,914 Michigan,


188,372 Missouri,



35,529 North Carolina,
230 | South Carolina,

Dis. Swamp can.,

Ohio Canal,


$1,699,933 Chesapeake and
New Hampshire,
Rhode Island,
New York,
New Jersey,

States of the North.

Population 5,619,129.

H. OF R.]

Public Lands.

[Mar 23, 1836.

There is one other topic which it would be unjust, in Ay, but the still-reproached East, the ever-patient view of both sides of the question, to pass over. I have East! We, it seems, grow rich by the expenditure submitted authentic details in regard to most of the fixed among us of the money of the United States. Absurd! public works. Our marine bospitals on the seaboard are We prosper, as we did before this Government existed, paid for by our seamen out of their own hard earnings, and as we should if it were to cease to exist in this hour, and have nothing to do with the subject. Some appro. by the energies that are within us; by the properties of priations have been made latterly for the construction of character which our sect and our fathers displayed in custom-houses. The commerce of the country demands the overthrow of the monarchy of England, which it. I can find many an offset for the cost of them, by brought them hither to this New World, and which looking into the disposition of the public lands. But marshalled them forward into the van of the battles of our navy yards, and the current expenses of the naval the Revolution. service, which are of course on the seaboard, call for I aver that the Government expenditures in the States consideration. I suppose it must be through these current of the East are not sufficient to exert any sensible effect expenditures of the naval service that the gentleman | upon their general industry or prosperity: Take an ex: from Kentucky (Mr. GRAVES] imagines that the section ample, to show the truth of the case in the clearest of the North and East is growing rich by the disburse light. Suppose you are to expend half a million of dol. ments of the public money.

lars in the construction and equipment of a ship of the It is true enough that our navy yards are on the coast, line. What portion of the materials of that ship is fureither of the Atlantic or the Gulf. I suppose they would nished by the States of the East? Timber? No, that be of very little use on a mountain of the interior, very comes from Florida, and elsewhere at the South Sails little in the midst of a prairie. What slight inequality and cordage? Cotton is from the South, and hemp there is in the fact that four of our seven yards are situ- from Russia, or from the State of Kentucky. Copper, ated at the North, and only three at the South, has been iron, lead? These are from Pennsylvania, from Wisthe natural consequence of circumstances wholly inde-consin, or from foreign countries, except now and then pendent of the action of the Government. Where is the a little iron smelted from bog-ore at the North Flour? mercantile marine built, owned, and manned? Who finds We import corn and wheat in vast quantities for our the ships which convey to market the vast productions of own consumption; we have none to sell to the Navy Dethe South and West? It is the North, simply because partment. Molasses, sugar, rice? None of these are the South has a local advantage in the character of its produced in Yankee land. Pork and beef? They come soil, which as it were extinguishes other branches of in. to us from the great pastures of the interior, from the dustry by its superior productiveness, as the sun does the banks of the Ohio, from the State of Kentucky itself. light of the stars. Cotton-planting is so profitable, that To scarce any thing of all the costly materials and equipship-building and other manufactures, or even the pro- ments of that ship can New England lay claim, unless duction of the necessaries of life, are comparatively nego) it be a few white-pine spars and locust treenails, which lected by the people of the South. Besides, every

are among the most insignificant of the items in the thing connected with ship-building is done cheaper at the charges of her construction. Some things, however, North. It is not Government patronage which enables our soil has contributed to the composition of the navy, me to build a merchant ship at the North, and employ | We have given you the skill and science to shape and her at the South.

combine its inanimale materials, the productions of your In the country, or section of country, where, the forests, your fields, and your mines, and to form these mercantile marine flourishes, there will the military ma- into noble fabrics, which walk on the water at our com. rine flourish. You may transfer it to other localities, mand as things of life. We have given you the brave for great considerations of public good; you may creale sailors, who man your gun-decks, and who, in the dark. ports to receive it, where suitable ones were not provi- est liour of doubtful warfare, threw themselves into the ded by nature. Still, it is an exotic, sustained by cost strife, summoned back victory to your standard, and and care; not a hardy plant, springing up spontaneously caused its star-spangled folds to fling themselves out in in its native soil.

triumph once again to the breezes of their own blue Now, as to the current expenditures for the service of heaven. These are the things which the East contri

All articles of merchandise tend towards butes to the navy of the Union. some great market, within the sphere of which they In these remarks, I act wholly on the defensive. I are produced. Their price bas reference to that mar- deny the alleged fact of inequality in the distribution of ket. To obtain them on advantageous terms, a pur- the public expenditures; 1 deny the alleged causes or chaser will go, as a matter of course, either to the place motives of the supposed inequality. There are two of production or to the place of market. This law of sides to this question. If I chose to do it, I could easily trade regulates the actions of private individuals, look- turn the tables on gentlemen, and from defence proceed ing only to their owa business. It applies to the pur to attack. Hundreds of times I have heard it complain. chases made by the United States, with this additional ingly said at the North-We pay for our lands, without circumstance, that the Government buys on advertised any favors as to time, or reduction as to price, on the proposals of contract. It does not go io the seller. It part of Government. No millions have been expended makes known its wants, and invites offers. It is imma- among us in the extinguishment of Indian titles. We terial to the Government where the contractor lives, have no profitable pre-emption speculations. No money where he collects the supplies that he furnishes, or by millions of dollars, no land by millions of acres, has where the profits he makes are to be invested or spent. been bestowed on us for aid in the construction of canals, The Government looks only to the quality of the article | roads, and railways. Our country is filled with common and the price; except that, as in duty bound, it seeks schools and the higher institutions of instruction, with for things of the growih or manufacture of the United no thanks to the rest of the Union; for not to us, as to States, in preference to imported merchandise. It opens the States of the West, has Congress given 9,030,469 a free competition to every inhabitant of the country, acres of public land for the uses of education. whether he be of the North or the South, the East or I denounce all such murmurs against the West, when the West. If the people of any State-South Carolina, | I hear them in the mouths of my constituents at home; for instance-do not put in for contracts, we are to pre- and I denounce all such murmurs against the North, sume it is because they do not produce the article want when I hear them in the mouths of the members of this ed, or have other business that is more profi'able. House. To the North I say: The five millions expend.

the navy.

Mar 23, 1836.)

Public Lands.

(H. Or R.


ed on the Cumberland road, the two millions of acres of must sacrifice some civil liberties for the advantages to public land, and the two or three millions of dollars in be derived from the communion and fellowship of a money, appropriated to similar objects, have been car. great empire." This consideration lies at the very ried by the votes of your own representatives in Con. foundation of a Union which, in its beautiful system, gress; that vast donation of lands to the new States of the realizes the dreams of St. Pierre and Rousseau, of a con. West for the aid of education, like the perpetual pro- tinent confederated in the cause of civilization and hibition of slavery in a part of the same region, was the peace. large and enlightened idea of your own Nathan Dane; In conclusion of all the statistical details with which I and I honor and applaud the patriotic forecast, and the have troubled the House, I have these further facts to generous liberality, which looked to the good of the present. The electoral colleges of New England have whole nation, instead of shutting up the mind in the nar. supported Southern men for the chief magistracy of this row limits of a single Stale. I am sorry that the same nation three times unanimously, once with but one nego lawgiver did not possess a yet wider field for the opera- ative, again by large majorities--but from the organization of his ordinance.

tion of ihe Government to this day, only nine votes bave • To the West, in general, I say: You are mistaken as been thrown by all the States south of the Potomac for to the facts, when you suppose there is partiality in the presidential candidates north of that river. Add to action of the Federal Congress to your prejudice. It is which, the corresponding fact of one or the other of quite the other way, as mathematical demonstration will two candidates for the presidency, presented by the show.

West, having been warmly supported by nearly the enTo Kentucky I say: The inequalities of which you tire mass of the population of New England. "I do not complain are State inequalities, not sectional ones. speak of this in reproach of the South or the West, Thus, we bave spent in New Hampshire for internal im- but simply in vindication of the justice and fairness of provements 35,529 dollars, in Vermont nothing; in the North. North Carolina 197,573 dollars, in South Carolina noth- Our country, with all its sectional diversity of views ing; in Kentucky nothing, and 859,124 dollars in Ohio. and feelings, is one. It is one in the rich, manly, vigorThe simple juxtaposition of these examples of inequality ous, expressive language we speak, which is become proves that there is nothing sectional in the fact, unless the vernacular tongue as it were of parliamentary eloyou mean to hand over Ohio and Louisiana to the East, quence, the very dialect of constitutional freedom.' It is in the same deed, and by the same rule of transfer, one in the fame of our fathers, and in the historical remi. which carry Virginia.

niscences which belong to us as a nation. It is one in the To every member of this House, whatever spot of the political principles of republicanism which we feel and Union be represents, I say: Away with these local com- profess in common, no matter in what spot of earth our plaints; I am ashamed of them; they are unworthy of an portion be cast. It is one in the substantial basis of our American Congress. I have three sufficient answers manners, in the warp, at least, of which the web is wofor all such complaints. In the first place, it is immate. It is one in the ties of friendship, affinity, and rial to me where the money of an appropriation is to be blood, binding us together throughout the whole extent expended. Is the appropriation constitutional? Is it of the land, in the associations of trade, of emigration, required by the public service! These are the ques- and of marriage. It is one in the general balance of intions to be asked.' In the second place, there is no just terests and of business, arising from our mutual wants foundation for the complaints. i concur to the letter and the reciprocal interchanges of the products of our in the sentiment of the gentleman from South Carolina, industry. It is one in our exterior relations, protected [Mr. Tæompson,] that a union of States, such as ours, as these are by the honored flag of the Union. It is like the relations of private friendship, to be lasting, one in that glorious constitution, the best inheritance must be one of perfect equality. I say this equality ex. transmitted to us by our fathers, the monument of their ists to all practical purposes, on a fair and general view wisdom and their virtue, under whose shelter we live of the great sections of the Union. And if a State were and flourish as a people. to come here and say it could not be loyal without One we are in fact, one should we be in sentiment. money, I would sooner spend money on it needlessly, to this great republic, union is peace, union is grandlavishly, wastefully, ay, throw money away on it, than eur, union is power, union is honor, union is every see it disaffected for want of expenditures within it, thing which a free-spirited and mighty nation should under the impression that it is unfairly treated by Con- glory to possess. To us all, next to independence, next to gress or the sister States. Finally, whatever inequali- liberty, next to honor, be we persuaded that a cordial and ties of this kind there might be, I say they would be abiding confederacy of the American people is the greatcounterbalanced a thousand-fold by the general benefits est of earthly goods. We, the several States which com. of the Union-the exemption of the States from domes- pose it, entered into it with conciliation to the people of tic wars, border differences, impediments of intercourse- our sister States in our hearts, and compromise of all and their unity of force in foreign affairs. It is fre. secondary interests in our acts. Thus let us persevere, quently said by gentlemen from the West, that the cost with the same emotions, fresh and bright as in the first of Louisiana and Florida should not be charged to the conception, and welling forth in exhaustless abundance receipts of the public lands, because of the political ad. from our bosoms; feeling that, like the fabled fountains vantages of the acquisition to the whole Union. Be it of Florida, they are capable to communicate matchless so, but let the same rule be applied to other public ex- beauty and everlasting youth to this our beloved republic. penditures. Remember that great objects cannot be That, unlike other political societies, this will endure attained except by the compromise and sacrifice of unchangeable forever, I cannot hope; but I pray to God, minor objects. Call to mind the strikingly pertinent if, in the decrees of his providence, he have any mercy in observations of a celebrated statesman in reference to store for me, not to suffer me to behold the hour of its dis. this subject: "All government, indeed every human solution: its glory extinct; the banner of its pride rent benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent and trampled in the dust; its nationality a moral of hisact, is founded on compromise and barter. We balance tory; its grandeur, a lustrous vision of the morning sluminconveniences; we give and take; we remit some rights, ber, vanished; its liberty, a disembodied spirit, brooding, that we may enjoy others; and we choose rather to be like the genius of the past, amid the prostrate monuhappy citizens than subtle disputants. As we must give ments of its old magnificence. some natural liberty to enjoy civil advantages, so we And there is, in the burning chambers of the dread

H. OF R.)

Public Lands.

(Mar 23, 1836.

hereafter, no infinite of wrath vast enough for him, who, federation. Nor can it be for a moment apprehended Eratostratus-like, to be remembered only for infamy, that any attempt will be made to evade or deny the agshall apply the torch of destruction to this fair Ephesian sertion that such a claim was made to these lands, as the temple of our Union. That time, in some long, long common property of the Union, on the ground that they future age, and that person may come, for the overthrow bad been acquired by the common efforts and expendiof our country. Accursed be the traitor, whensoever tures of that Union. Every one conversant with the his. and wheresoever shall be his advent among us, like the tory of revolutionary times knows that the ratification spirit of evil, issuing from his realms of darkness to of the articles of confederation was postponed and sustrouble the pure bliss of Paradise. To bim that shall / pended by several of the States, in the hope of coercing compass or plot the dissolution of this Union, I would this concession from such States as possessed waste and apply language resembling what I remember to have unappropriated lands. Such were the apprehensions seen of an old anathema: Wherever fire burns or water entertained of the effects to be expecled from the delay runs; wherever ship foats or land is tilled; wherever of their ratification, as to call into exercise the efforts of the skies vault themselves, or the lark carols to the dawn, our generous and powerful ally, the King of France, to or sun shines, or earth greens in his ray; wherever God induce the States which insisted most obstinately upon is worshipped in temples or heard in thunder; wherever this prerequisite to waive their objections, and perfect man is honored or woman loved—there, from thence the Union by ratifying the articles of confederation. forth and forever, shall there be to him no part or lot in Congress, from time to time, both for the purpose of the honor of man or the love of woman. Ixion's revolv. satisfying the claims of the dissatisfied States, and for ing wheel, the overmantling cup at which Tantalus may the further purpose of providing a fund for the payment not slake his unquenchable thirst, the insatiable vulture of the debt of the Revolution, and for bounty to the offi. gnawing at the immortal heart of Prometheus, the rebel cers and soldiers who entered the service for and during giants writhing in the volcanic fires of Ætna, are but faint the war, urged the States to cede these waste and unaptypes of his doom.

propriated lands. It may be true that a majority of the I speak plainly and strongly, as I feel, and without states never did recognise the claim thus set up for the mincing my words, because I believe it to be the duty Union, but it is equally certain that such claim operated of every man, and especially of us, who are among the powerfully to induce the several States which owned un. appointed sentinels of the constitution, to look well to appropriated lands to cede them, or a portion of them, these the issues of life and death to this nation. I do not, to the Union. I cannot, I will not, believe that opinions, adverse here. In the preamble to the act of cession from the State to, exist any where within the bounds of the republic; of New York, of the 9th of March, 1780, the motives reand I would forestall their possible future up-springing. ferred to are distinctly expresssd in the following terms: I would have our allegiance to the Union unshaken and “ Whereas nothing under Divine Providence can more unshakeable; our constancy in the public cause, fixed as effectually contribute to the tranquillity and safety of the the north star in the firmament; our dedication to its in. United States of America than a federal alliance, on such terests, a vestal fire burning on with an unexlinguishable liberal principles as will give satisfaction to its respective flame forever. Here, in the eyes of our countrymen members; and whereas the articles of confederation and and of the world, with the muse of history before us to perpetual union recommended by the honorable Con. record our deeds and our words, let us, like Hannibal at gress of the United States of America have not proved the altar of his gods, swear eternal faithfulness to our acceptable to all the States, it having been conceived country, eternal hatred to its foes. Show we that we that a portion of the waste and uncultivated territory are wedded to the Union for weal and for wo, as the within the limits or claims of certain States ought to be fondest lover would hug to his heart the bride bound to appropriated as a common fund for the expenses of the him in the first bright ardor of young possession. We war; and the people of this State of New York being, have not purposed to embark in this venture only to on all occasions, disposed to manifest their regard for sail over the smooth surface of a summer sea, with hope their sister States:" "Be it further enacted by the au, and pleasure to waft us joyously along, but with resolved thority aforesaid, that the territory which may be ceded spirits, ready to meet, like true men, whatever of dan. or relinquished by virtue of this act shall be and enure ger and vicissitude may descend upon our voyage, and for the use and benefit of such of the United States as to stand up gallantly for the treasure of honor and faith shall become members of the federal alliance of the said intrusted to our charge. Rally we, then, to the stripes States, and for no other use or purpose whatsoever." and stars, as the symbol of glory to us, and the harbinger Whether this cession from the state of New York con. of liberty to all the nations of the world. So long as a veyed anything or nothing to the Union, the motives shred of that sacred standard remains to us, let us cling which influenced it are alone to be considered, to into it with such undying devotion as the Christian pil. duce the dissatisfied States to ratify the articles of con. grims of the middle age cherished the least fragment of federation, which was not finally done until the 1st of the cross; and let us fly to its rescue, when periled, March, 1781, and to provide a common fund for the whether by foreign or domestic assault, as they did to benefit of the Union. snatch the holy sepulchre from the desecration of the Lifidel.

principle of New York, the General Assembly of Vir. When Mr. Cushing had concluded,

ginia, with certain reservations, did, on the 20th of Oc. Mr. HAYNES rose and addressed the House as fol. tober, 1783, pass an act ceding her territory northwest lows:

of the Obio to the United States, upon condition “ that Whatever opinions may be entertained upon the sub. all the lands witbin the territory so ceded to the United ject now under consideration, it cannot be thoroughly States, and not reserved for, or appropriated to, any of and correctly understood without reference to the early the aforesaid purposes, or disposed of in bounties to ihe legislation of the country, and the claims, so pertina. officers and soldiers of the American army, shall be con. ciously set up on the part of some of the States, that the sidered a common fund, for the use and benefit of such waste lands held by certain other States were the com- of the United States as have become, or shall become, mon property of the Union. It is not here necessary to members of the confederation or federal alliance of the inquire at what period or by what State this claim was said States, Virginia, inclusive, according to their usual setup, as these facts may be readily ascertained by an respective proportions in the general charge and exexamination of the journals of the Congress of the Con. 'penditure, and shall be faithfully and bonafide disposed

he De Following up the example, and in furtherance of the

Mar 23, 1836.]

Public Lands.

(H. Or R.

of for that purpose, and for no other use or purpose which, it is contended, conveys the power to distribute whatsoever."

the money arising from the sale of the public land, conThe terms of the cession made by Massachusetts, on veys that land to the United States as a common fund." the 19th April, 1785, are "transfer, quit claim, cede, The article of confederation above quoted declares that and convey to the United States of America, for their “all charges of war, and all other expenses that shall benefit, Massachusetts inclusive, all right, title, and es- be incurred for the common defence and general wel. tate, of and in, as well the soil as the jurisdiction,” &c. fare, and allowed by the United States, shall be defrayed Connecticut, by her act bearing date the 14th October, out of a common Treasury.” The Virginia cession pro1786, cedes“ to the United States in Congress assem- vides that the land ceded shall be a common fund, for bled, for the common use and benefit of the said States, the benefit of the States, “according to their usual reConnecticut inclusive.” North Carolina, by lier act of spective proportions in the general charge and expendi. cession of 20 April, 1790, cedes her waste lands, with ture," and for no other purpose. The article of con. certain reservations, “as a common fund, for the use federation provides that the “common Treasury shall and benefit of the l'nited States of North America, be supplied by the several States,” according to the North Carolina inclusive, according to their respective standard therein directed. Both instruments provide and usual proportion in the general charge and expend the same means for the accomplishment of the same obiture, and shall be faithfully disposed of for that purjects: a “common fund," a "common Treasury,” to pose, and for no other use or purpose whatever." In meet "the general charge and expenditure, which shall like manner, Georgia, by her compact of cession, en. be incurred for the common defence and general wel. tered into with the United States on the 2d of April

, fare." In the one case, the "common Treasury” is to 1802, after expressing certain other stipulations,' de be raised by requisitions upon the respective States; and clares, “ that all the lands ceded by this agreement to in the other, the “common fund" is created by the pathe United States shall, after satisfying the above-men- triotic and distinguished liberality of a single State. tioned payment of one million two hundred and fifty | Could it have been possible, without using the same thousand dollars to the State of Georgia, and the grants terms, to have expressed an entire concurrence of purrecognised by the previous conditions, be considered as

pose more perfectly than it is expressed in the article of a common fund for the use and benefit of the United

confederation referred to, and the cessions from the States, Georgia included, and shall be faithfully dis- various States, especially the State of Virginia? Other posed of for that purpose, and for no other use or pur considerations enforce ihis view of the subject as con. pose whatever.As the phraseology of the cessions clusively as if it had been established by mathematical from Virginia and North Carolina is somewhat peculiar, demonstration. it may not be improper to show what was the mode of At the time the several cessions were made, no man ascertaining the “usual respective proportions in the ever dreamed that the sale of the public lands would general charge and expenditure" of the several States ever furnish a fund for distribution among the States. of the confederation; although it may not be difficult to The country was overwhelmed with debt; the Governshow that this particular mode of expression in no re. ment had not the power to enforce the collection of respect varies the character of the cessions of North Caro- quisitions of money from the States; and the strongest lina and Virginia from those of the other States, nor fears were entertained that the pressure of common dan. can it be made the foundation for a mode of distribution ger being withdrawn, the arch of the Union would tumdiffering in the smallest degree from that established by ble into ruins. To meet the crisis-to "render the fedthe cessions from the other States.

eral constitution adequate to the exigencies of Govern. The eighth article of confederation prescribes the rule ment and the preservation of the Union"—the convenby which the requisitions upon the States for money tion was assembled in 1789, whose consultations resulted shall be regulated, and is in the following terms: " All in the formation of the admirable constitution under charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be in which we now live. What were the exigencies of Gov. curred for the common defence and general welfare, ernment for which the convention was required to proand allowed by the United States in Congress assembled, vide? The most important and pressing was the creashall be defrayed out of a common Treasury, which tion of a fund for the redemption of the public debt, by shall be supplied by the several States in proportion to the adoption of such a system of laxation as might enthe value of all land within each State, granted to, or able the Government to meet its pecuniary responsibili. surveyed for, any person, as such land, and the buildings ties without the delays, and vexations, and disappointand improvements thereon, shall be estimated according ments, and refusals, which had invariably attended the to such mode as the United States, in Congress assem. plan of raising revenue by requisitions upon the respecto bled, shall, from time to time, direct and appoint." ive States. And yet, in this state of things, when the When it is remembered that the Congress of the con- Government was bankrupt-when the States were refederation possessed no powers of taxation, properly so sorting to the extraordinary measure of creating a gen. called, either direct or indirect; that the only mode of eral central Government, and giving to it the power of crealing revenue was by requisitions upon the several direct taxation over their citizens, and the entire control States; that several of the States did, for a series of years, of their commerce, for the purpose of creating "a comcontend that the waste land, lying in any one of the mon fund” for the redemption of their common debt, States, was rightfully the property of the Union; that and when scarcely any other exigency could have in. the ratification of the articles of confederation was de duced them to make such concessions- we are now layed for the purpose of procuring, if possible, the re- gravely told that the “common fund,” created by the cognition of this principle; that the first cession was cessions of portions of their public lands by the States, made in reference to such claim, and for the purpose of for meeting “their usual respective proportions in the facilitating their ratification; and especially, when we general charge and expenditure," and "for no other collate the article above quoted with ihe language of the use or purpose whatsoever," was merely intended to various cessions, it would seem to be impossible to give enable this General Government to collect money from such a strained construction to the plain import of plain the people the United States with one hand, and dis. language, as to derive for Congress, from the terms of tribute it to the Governments severally with the other. any single cession, the power to distribule the proceeds And not only this, but that, in doing so, “their usual of the sales of the public lands among the several States. respective proportions in the general expenditure should But to be more explicit. The cession from Virginia,' be entirely disregarded.”.

Vol. XII.-242

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »