Page images
PDF
EPUB

APRIL 15, 1830.]

The Indians.

(SENATE.

I have before me satisfactory proof that General Wash- sured in either, was in us a crime. The judgments of ington thought, as we think, that the management of In- Heaven were threatened for our crying sins. We are dian affairs was a matter of discretion. Contracts or le- told here, that, should we persist, a tone of moral feeling gislation, purchase or coercion, were equally at the plea- will be roused that will make Georgia tremble. Little sure of the United States, and one or the other to be adopt. does the Senator know the character of the State. It is ed, as policy and justice should require. In laying before not made of such frail materials. We tremble no at the the Senate of the United States, on the 25th of May, 1789, approach of danger. Empty sounds do not affect our the Indian contracts made by order of the old Congress, nerves. Why should we tremble, sir? What can be anGen. Washington sent with them a report from the Secre- ticipated that we have not already endured? Falsehood? tary of War, General Knox, of course approved by him. Ossa and Pelion have been piled upon us. Calumny? This report contains these sentences: “That it may be It has been rolled over us in volumes black as the smoke proper to observe, that the Indians are tenacious of their that rises from the pit of Acheron. Threats of the force lands, and generally do not relinquish them, excepting on of the United States? The bayonets of the regular army the principle of a specific consideration expressly given have been flashed in our faces, and pointed at our throats. for the purchase of the same. That the practice of the We have endured all, without shrinking, and with no late English Colonies and Government, in purchasing the other emotion than contempt for our calumniators, and Indian claims, has finally established the habit in this re- pity for the weakness of those who menaced, without the spect, so that it cannot be violated but with difficulty, and courage or the power to execute their idle threats. at an expense greatly exceeding the value of the object.” Responsible to no earthly tribunal for the exercise of (Executive Journal, pp. 1, 2.] This is not the language her sovereign authority, Georgia is not to be questioned of a Chief Magistrate who felt that treaties only could be in this body, composed of the Representatives of the made with Indians. It is the language of a person who States, for the wisdom, the justice, or equity of her laws. recommends contracts as the best of several modes of ef- I have heretofore challenged a comparison of our Indian fecting an object-best, because the cheapest, and con- legislation with that of any other State. This challenge formable to the habits of the people of whom he speaks-- has not been accepted. I am under no obligation to join habits not to be violated without difficulty, and at an ex- issue with the Senator from New Jersey, who chooses to pense greatly exceedling the value of the object. The complain of our act as oppressive to his favorite CheroSenate will perceive that the doctrines expressed at Alba- kees. As a mark of my respect, I will, however, endeany, in 1754, which I have quoted, are advanced by Gene- vor to correct his errors of misapprehension and of fact. ral Knox. The opinions of the two periods of time are The act of 1828 having been intended merely to give fair the same. Purchase from the Indians, not because it is warning to the Cherokees and to the United States of the the only or the just mode of managing them, but as the determination of the State, its provisions were not carecheapest and most convenient.

fully considered, as a session of the Legislature was to inIt is not in this body that it is necessary to pursue this tervene before it could take effect. In 1829, it being apinquiry. The Senate have decided that contracts made parent that some, if not all, the Cherokees in the State with Indians (on the treaty sent last year from New York) would remain, at least for a time; after June, 1830, it was within a State, for their lands, were not such instruments necessary to make matured and permanent provision for as required the sanction of the Senate. The contract sent governing and protecting them. The law of 1829 was for ratification as a treaty, was returned to the President, adopted: it puts them, in every respect, save one, on the neither ratified nor rejected. Within a few months the footing of white persons, entitled to all the benefits and Governor of New York has, uncer a law of the State, subject to all the penalties of civil and criminal laws. called together the Oneidas, and made a treaty with The laws and ordinances, of the Cherokee tribe are necesthem, as it is called, in open day, and utterly disregarding sarily annulled. This annulment, the learned Senator the pretensions of the United States, under the treaty- calls, by a strange perversion of the word, an outlawry of making power, and the provisions of the laws regulating the Cherokces. The substitution of bad for good laws is intercourse with Indians. The Indians not in the States certainly censurable; but I do not understand the Senator are reached by the legislation of the United States; va- as pronouncing judgment of condemnation upon our code. rious provisions are applicable to them. The Supreme We enjoy a comfortable state of society under it. Our Court of the United States has pronounced upon the con- friends from the North and East--from Jersey, too-find dition of the Indians and the Indian lands--the Indians protection under it for their persons and their property, are subject to the United States or the States--the In-grow rich, and enjoy themselves, although outlawed, like dian lands owned in fee simple by the Government of the the Cherokees. "The gentleman complains that it is, in United States, or by State Governments. The depend- Georgia, an offence punishable by an imprisonment in the ence of the Indians was asserted and maintained in our penitentiary, for any person to prevent, by threats, menadiplomatic correspondence at Ghent. By the judgment ces, or other means, or endeavor to prevent, any Cheroof all the authorities of the country, according to all law kee Indian from emigrating or enrolling as an emigrant; and all usage, the Indians are in the condition of the per- and an offence, punishable in like manner, if any person petual inhabitants described by Vattel as sometimes unit- shall deter, or offer to deter, any Indian, head man, chief, ed to a social system without enjoying all its advantages, or warrior of said nation, from selling or ceding to the partaking only of those given by law or custom; the sove. United States, for the use of Georgia, the whole or any reign having always the power to improve that condition, part of their land; or prevent, or offer to prevent, any as time and circumstances may permit.

such persons from meeting in council, &c. any commisThe State of Georgia, after a fair investigation of her sioner of the United States, for any purpose whatsoever, position, was confident that, never having surrendered Now, sir, this is not so: no such crime is known to the to the United States her power over the Indians within law of Georgia. To fulfil their compact of 1802, the her eminent domain, that the exercise of that power not United States, by act of Congress, offered to the Cherobeing in any manner prohibited to her by the constitu- kees in Georgia inducements to emigrate. Among others, tion of the United States, proceeded to follow the ex- payment for improvements on the land occupied by them ample of the other States; and the act of 1828 was pass. was promised to all who enrolled their names, and comed, subjecting, after the 30th June, 1830, all the Indians missioners were appointed to fix a value upon those imin the State to the regular operation of the State laws. provements. The Cherokee government having forbid. We were not permitted, unmolested, to follow in the den, under the penalty of death, any Indian from selling footsteps of New York or Maine. What was not cen- land to the United States, and ordered a confiscation of

Vol. VI.-43

SENATE.]

The Indians.

[Arnil 15, 1830. the property of those who should enrol themselves for is a rule of the Virginia law--a rule adopted by North Ca. emigration, the act of Georgia was intended to counteract rolina and Tennessee. The principle upon which it rests, these provisions; to secure to the head men the right to is found in the laws of Massachusetts and Connecticut; they meet the commissioners of the United States whenever permit a white man to purge himself, by his own oath, they think proper, and to secure to the individual Indians from a charge made against him by Indians. But, sir, the right to consult their own will, the right inherent to this act of Georgia was not necessary to exclude Indians every freeman, of choosing the place of his residence, and as witnesses from our courts of justice. By the common changing it at his pleasure. The sections of the act of which law of the States they are not witnesses. Prior to 1770, the Senator complained as offensive are in these words: the testimony of an Indian was not admitted against a slave.

“Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, 'That it shall not be By a statute of that date they were. As witnesses against lawful for any person, or body of persons, by arbitrary poweven free persons of color, they could not be heard, from er, or by virtue of any pretended rule, ordinance, law, or the settlement of Georgia to the present hour. Nor is this custom, of said Cherokee nation, to prevent, by threats, the prejudice of Georgia only. Indians not converted to menaces, or other means, to endeavor to prevent any In- Christianity are not witnesses in any court of justice in eithdian of said nation, residing within the chartered limits of er of the states, unless specially admitted as such by statute. this State, from enrolling as an emigrant, or actually emi I bazard this assertion on the presumption that the rule grating, or removing from said nation; nor shall it be law- of the English common law prerails in all the States. The ful for any person or body of persons, by arbitrary power, rule of the common law is, any person who believes in a or by virtue of any pretended rule, ordinance, law, or cus- future state of rewards and punishn ents, understands the tom, of said nation, to punish in any manner, or to molest nature of an oath, knows the temporal, and believes in the either the person or property, or to abridge the rights or future punishment of perjury, and to whom an cath can privileges of any Indian for enrolling his or her name as an be administered, is a competent witness in a court of jusemigrant, or for emigrating, or intending to emigrate from tice in causes civil and criminal. I will suppose a case to said nation.

illustrate the application of this rule to Indians, and will, Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That any person, or with the permission of the Senator, lay the scene in New body of persons, offending against the provisions of the Jersey.. Imagine, sir, a crime of the decpest dye commitforegoing section, shall be guilty of a high misdemeanor, |ted in sight of Trenton or Princeton. The perpetrator is subject to indictment, and, on conviction, shall be punish- unseen by mortal eye--is about to escape suspicion, when ed by confinement in the common gaol of any county of Providence brings upon him one hundred Cherokees, who this State, or by confinement at hard labor in the peniten seize and deliver hini up to justice. His criminality can tiary, for a term not exceeding four years, at the discre- be established by the Cherokees, and by them only. He tion of the court.

is indicted-arraigned--pleads--and a jury is charged with Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That it shall not be his cause. The Cherokees, in succession, are presented lawful for any person or body of persons, by arbitrary pow. to testify. The counsel for the accused demands the preer, or under color of any pretended rule, ordinance, law, vious inquiry into their religious opinions. The judge in. or custom, of said nation, to prevent, or offer to prevent, terrogates each: “Do you believe that you will be punor deter any Indian, head man, chief, or warrior, of said ished or rewarded after you die, for the acts done in this nation, residing within the chartered limits of this State, life?” “I don't know, I hope so.” “Do you underfrom selling or cedig to the United States, for the use of stand the obligations of an oath?” “I don't know any Georgia, the whole or any part of said territory, or to pre- thing about an oath--what is it?" “Do you know that vent, or offer to prevent, any Indian, head man, chief, or you will be punished by us if you do not tell the truth warrior, of said nation, residing as aforesaid, from meet- about that man?” “I do not understand your customs.” ing in council or treaty, any commissioner or commissioners Admitting the examination to be sufficient, the creed of on the part of the United States, for any purpose whatever. the party, his belief in a Great Spirit, and his hope of fu

“Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That any person ture life strong enough to permit him to testify, by what or body of persons offending against the provisions of the sign will you require him to call down upon him the venforegoing section, shall be guilty of high misdemeanor, geance of Heaven, if he swerves from the truth? He must subject to indictment, and, on conviction, shall be confin- be sworn. The manner of pledging himself to Heaven is ed at hard labor in the penitentiary, for not less than four, indifferent, but it must be done in some form. Desire the nor longer than six years, at the discretion of the court. Cherokee to raise his hard before God and affirmhe is

With due deference to the gentleman, I must be permit. unconscious of your meaning, and feels no solemnity in the ted to say, that he gives color to his complaint of this part act: Present him the sacred volume; he docs not beliere of our act, by omitting in his quotation, all the words ne in it. Offer him the cross: he has no reneration for it. cessary to a true description of the offences denounced. Lay before him the Koran: he sees it for the first time. The threats, or other means, used to prevent emigration, Even the oath of the Highlander, upon the naked dirk, the prevention, or offer to prevent, or deter, any chief, has no power over the savage mind. With some diligence &c. from selling land to the United States, for the use of I have sought to learn how the sanction of the wild belief Georgia, or meeting commissioners to hold a treaty, or for of the Indians could be obtained to the statements made any other purpose, must be by arbitrary power, or by vir- by them. The late Colonel Hawkins gave all the infortue of some pretended rule, ordinance, law, or custom, of nation he possessed--it was imperfect and unsatisfactory the Cherokee nation. Indictments must contain these to his own inind. When Indian councils are to be held, words as descriptive of the offences charged, and if the the chiefs who are called to it prepare themselves by fast. proof does not correspond with the allegations, the acquiting, and the use of the black drink, for the solemn meet. tal of persons accused necessarily follows. A profligate ing. After due preparation, the council fire is lit up, and attorney, anxious to extend the sphere of profitable pro- the business of the meeting is transacted. What is said in secutions, might attempt to put the gentleman's construc- council is supposed to be in the immediate presence of the tion on the act: no judicial tribunal could sustain it--every Great Spirit, who will punish those who forget their oblistatesman must condemn it.

gations to truth and to the tribe. No Indian council fire One of the complaints of the Senator is founded in fact. can be lit up in our courts of justice: no purification be or. The law of Georgia does not admit the testimony of Indians dered to prepare Indians to testify under the sanctions of against white persons, except those white persons who re. their wild belief. Their testimony must be rejected, beside amongst them. This is the head and front of our of cause it is impossible to present io them any symbol by fending. The exclusion of Indian testimony against whites which they feel themselves dercted to eternal punishment,

April 15, 1830.]

The Indians.

(SENAT

ATE

if their evidence should be falsely given. The one hun- usages, laws, and ordinances, with which the Senator dred Cherokees, in the case supposed, present when the seems to be so desperately enamoured, for the preservacrime was committed in New Jersey, would, in succes. tion of which he is ready to hazard the safety of the Union, sion, be rejected, and the criminal acquitted for want of by a trial of strength between the United States and all evidence of his guilt. Yet, sir, the Senator from New Jer- the Southern and some of the Western States, where sey considers the Georgia law as the ne plus ultra of in- there are Indians, might serve to give him clear views of justice-as oppressive and grinding, and intended to drive the civilization of the Indians, and the wisdom of the Che. the Cherokees from the State. That we desire the In- rokee government. Some of these usages, laws, and dians to remove, is certain. We believe their removal ordinances, merit a brief notice. will be beneficial to us and to themselves. Thiat we dc Polygamy is allowed by usage--by ordinance, white sign to compel them by unjust legislation is not true-- men are forbidden to bave but one wife, and it is recomthere is not a shadow of evidence of such intention. This mended that all others should also have but one. A proprovision of our law, as it now stands, proves the contrary. hibition to an Indian of more than one wife would have Excluded by the existing law of the State from being wit- shocked their prejudices too much; a recommendation nesses, when the act of 1829 was passed, abrogating the was, therefore, substituted. Does the usage, corrected as Cherokee government and usages, it was thought just to it is, meet the Senator's approbation? pyrotect the Indians by changing that law.

As little ap

"If a man overtakes a horse thief, and his anger is very prehension was entertained of the necessity of Indian tes great, he may put the thief to death--the death is to retimony against any white persons, but those residing main on the conscience of the murderer—no satisfaction is amongst them, the excluding law was altered only as it to be claimed for the offence.” Is this provision suited related to the white residents in the nation. The law, as to the gentleman's ideas of the regular administration of it is, is a relaxation of the former rule. As such, it de- public justice? monstrates the folly of the charge, that it was intended to “An assault, with intent to commit murder, rape, or roboppress the Indians. Horrible sufferings by the Indians bery, is punished by such fire as shall be assessed by a froin the atrocities of the whites, without the possibility of jury, not exceeding fifty dollars, and by such corporeal punishing the offenders, are anticipated from this law. punishment as the jury may inflict, not exceeding fifty These gloomy anticipations need not torture the Senator's stripes, on the bare back." Are the penalties awarded mind. Such atrocities have not been committed by the adequate to the atrocity of these offences? whites upon their red neighbors under the old, there is not The moral discriminations in the Cherokee laws will the most remote danger to the Indians under the new rule. be fully understood, by comparing these with ordinances

The honorable Senator professes to believe, and no doubt of a recent date. is sincere, that the preservation of the Cherokee govern, All persons who shall leave their houses, farms, or other ment is important to the improvement of the tribe, and improvements, and bind themselves to emigrate, by enrolthat the advancement of the Indians in the arts of civilized ment or otherwise, with intent to remove out of the nation, life will be more rapid under their own usages than under as emigrants to another country, forfeit all right to the the laws of a State. The present condition of the tribe is houses, farms, or other improvements, so left. not well understood. All agree that, by the combined ef. All persons who enrol for emigration, under the aufect of intermarriages with the whites and of slavery, the thority of the United States, forfeit their citizenship. Cherokces in the South and those in the West are in ad- The sale of improvements to any person so enrolled, is yance of all the other tribes in their progress towards re punished by fine, not less than one, or more than two finement. The Arkansas Cherokees claim to be first, thousand dollars, and by one hundred lashes, the con. That claim is contested by their brethren. The great man victed person being thereafter ineligible to any office of of the tribe, the inventor of their alphabet, Guess-the Caci honor, profit, or trust, in the nation. Indians enrolled yous of his day --and people, have emigrated to the West. for emigration, were declared to be intruders, and liable So strong is the desire of other Cherokees to follow, that to punishment, at the discretion of the principal Chief, expatriation is forbidden under severe penalties, by the if they did not remove within fifteen days after the 31st of nes government of Echola. These circumstances must October, 1829. create some doubts in the mind of the Senator of the pru For the preservation of ordinances, thus marked, the dence of his efforts to keep the Cherokces on this side of honorable gentleman invokes the agency of the Senate; the Mississippi. By what process of reasoning he per. condemns the State of Georgia, and, without having sutades himself that the Cherokee laws are more civilizing clearly comprehended, censures her laws. It is for a Gothan the laws of a State he has not explained.

vernment interfering, by severe penalties, with the perHis zeal cannot be exerted in favor of the Indian go sonal rights of its people, to remain or to remove at their vernment: it is for the benefit of the race. Their gor pleasure; to sell or to retain their improvements at discreTernment is of no consequence, except as it operates to tion, that his unabated zeal has been exerted. It is for improve their condition--moral, physical, and intellec- this Government, he desires to compel the President to tual. Birt, sir, the gentleman is dcccived by the too fa- make war upon a State. For disputing its authority and vorable representations of the missionaries, and other in- annulling its laws, he calls down upon Georgia the thunterested persons, as to the true condition of the Indians, ders of Divine wrath. Verily, sir, it requires the exerand as to the effects of their new government. He becise of some forbearance, to dismiss this subject without licves every thing stated by the persons favorable to the further remarks upon the opinions and sentiments which Cherokees, and distrusts all statements, by whom or the gentleman has expressed. For his misapplied, and, whenever macie, unfavorable to them. In addition to the if successful, mischievous efforts, I trust he will receive printed evidence that the fiattering accounts of the civil- the appropriate reward; that not the poor Cherokees who ization of the tribe are exaggerated, and too highly co- remove to the West, only, may look back to bless him, tored, I hold in my hand a letter from a most respectable but that he may receive the blessings of all the Cherokees, citizen of Alabama, to the chairman of the Committee on of those who remain and those who remove,

For his preIndian Affairs. I will not read it; it is too strong to be judiced examination, and unjust condemnation of our read aloud before this assembly. I will send it to the cause, our curses will not follow him. Charitably believing Senator, with this warning: if he is determined, in defi- in the purity of his motives, giving him credit for honest sice of reason, to hold fast to his faith in Cherokee civili- but inistaken zeal, if unable to correct, we can at ļeast zation and Christianity, he must cover his eyes with an pardon his errors. indian flap. Independent of this evidence, the Cherokeel' (Here the debate closed for this day.]

SENATE.]
Internal Improvement.

[APRIL 16, 1830. FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 1830.

just, not exceeding to cach that heretofore allowed by law INTERNAL IMPROVEMENT.

to the superintendent of the Cumberland road, in the State

of Ohio. On motion of Mr. KING, the Senate proceeded to the It was determined in the affirmative, by the following consideration of the bill making appropriations for ex-vote: aminations and surveys, and also for certain works of in YEAS--Messrs. Barnard, Barton, Benton, Bibb, Burternal improvement, with the amendments.

net, Chambers, Chase, Clayton, Dudley, Frelinghuysen, Mr. MCKINLEY then moved to amend the amendment Grundy, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnston, Kane, Knight, in the first section, in the following words: “ For com- McKinley, McLean, Marks, Naudain, Robbins, Rowan, pleting the surveys for a canal, to connect the waters of the Ruggles, Seymour, Silsbee, and Willey.-26. Atlantic with the Gulf of Mexico, ten thousand dollars,” NAYS--Messrs. Adams, Bell, Brown, Dickerson, Ellis, by adding the following words: “And it shall be the duty Foot, Hayne, Fredell, King, Smith, of South Carolina, of the Secretary of War, to cause a detailed report to Sprague, Tazewell, Troup, Tyler, White, and Woodbe made, showing the practicability or impracticability bury.--16. of making a ship or other canal, and the reasons for either, Mr. DICKERSON moved further to amend the bill, by with an estimate showing tke probable expense and ad- striking out in the first section, the words, "for completvantage of such canal as may be considered practicable.” ing the survey and estimate of a canal to connect the wa

Mr. McKINLEY said his object in moving this amend-ters of the Atlantic with the Gulf of Mexico, ten thousand ment, was to obtain some practical results from the making four bundred dollars. And it shall be the duty of the of these surveys; and that the Sccretary of War and the Secretary of War to cause a detailed report to be made Engineer officers might be given to understand, that, out, showing tbe practicability of making a ship or other when surveys were made, something was to be done in canal, and the reasons for either, with an estimate of the · consequence. He wished to know whether any practical probable expense and advantages of such canal as may good was to result from all the expense of making ex- be considered practicable." Ile thought it would be enaminations and surveys.

tirely useless; that it would be an unnecessary expense; Mr. McKINLEY'S amendment to the amendment having because it would be recollected that, on this very subject been agreed to;

a report had already been presented through the SecreAfter some remarks from Mr. JOHNSTON, the bill was tary of War, from the board of engineers, on the subject reported to the Senate as amended; when, the first and of this survey; and it appeared to him, from this report, second amendments having been concurred in,

that the work would prove utterly impracticable. His Mr. McLEAN moved to amend the third amendment by objection then was, that though this survey had already adding an appropriation of thirty-two thousand dollars been made, at a very great expense and with very great for the purpose of opening, grading, and bridging the care he had no doubt, still we had not yet obtained the continuation of the Cumberland road from St. Louis to opinion of the engineers that the experiment would prove Jefferson city, in the State of Missouri; and an appropria- successful. Until such opinion was obtained; until the tion of forty thousand dollars, instead of twenty thousand board of engineers should say whether the work was pracdollars for the purpose of opening, grading, and bridging ticable or not practicable, he must vote for the amendment the same road in the State of Illinois.

to strike out this section. On the question to concur in the third amendment, as Mr. JOHNSTON said that the appropriation now astat 'amended, as follows:

was for the express purpose of ascertaining the fact of At the end of the bill insert-

the practicability or impracticability of the contemplated “Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the sum of one canal. The object of the bill (said Mr. J.] was to get inhundred thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, ap- formation; and how then could information be obtared, propriated for the purpose of opening, grading, and mak- unless the bill passed making an appropriation to ascertain ing the Cumberland road, westwardly of Zanesville, in the practicability of opening a ship channel or a canal? the State of Obio; and that the sum of sixty thousand dol- Some progress had already been made. The engineers lars be, and the same is hereby, appropriated for the pur- had gone on the route; had ascertained the impracticability pose of opening, grading, and bridging the Cumberland of making a channel through the St. Mary's, and had then road, in the State of Indiana, commencing at Indianapo- proceeded to the St. John's, where he was satisfied that lis, and progressing with the work to the eastern and the project would be successful. The information we western boundaries of said State; and that the sum of now have said Mr. J.) is, that a channel is practicable, forty thousand dollars be, and the same is hereby, appro- though we have no information of the cost or of the chapriated for the purpose of opening, grading, and bridg- racter of the soil to be excavated. The character of the ing the Cumberland road, in the State of Illinois; that the soil itself might be such as to render the attempt imprae. sum of thirty-two thousand four hundred dollars be, and ticable. It was on these last points that information was the same is hereby; appropriated for the purpose of open- desirable. When the reports were made, the subject ing, grading, and bridging the continuation of the same would arise before Congress, whether the work would or road from St. Louis to Jefferson city, in the State of Mis- would not be worthy of cost. souri; which said sums shall be paid out of any money Mr. HOLMES considered the part of the bill propo ed not otherwise appropriated, and replaced out of the fund to be stricken out the best part of it. All the rest of the reserved for laying out and making roads, under the direc- bili was framed for the benefit of the West, while this part tion of Congress, for the several acts passed for the admis- was intended to benefit the South and the East as well as sion of the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, the West. He looked upon the measure contemplated to into the Union, on an equal footing with the original be one of the utmost importance to the Eastern Statis

and indeed to the coinmerce of the whole Union: he would “Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That, for the im- co almost any thing to avoid that dangerous passage i sund mediate accomplishment of these objects, the superinten- Cape Florida; and he hoped this part of the bill, promisdents heretofore appointed, or hereafter to be appointed, ing so desirable a result, would be permitted to remain. in the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, shall, Mr. CLAYTON said he was anxious to retain the clause under the direction of the President of the United States, of the bill which this amendment proposed to strike out. faithfully execute the work, and disburse the money, giv- He was satisfied that the work was one of great national ining bond and security as he shall direct, and receiving portance. The Senator from New Jersey (Mr. DICKER. such compensation as, in his opinion, shall be equitable and sox] wishes information as to its practicability. Mr. C.

States.

April 16, 1830.]

Internal Improvement.

[SENATE .

The engi

so.

said, for his own part, he was perfectly satisfied of its prac Mr. HENDRICKS thought it would be admitted by evticability; and the only question presented to his mind then ery Senator that the practicability of constructing this ca. was, is it expedient to carry the work into effect? On this nal was not doubted by the corps of engineers. They point he agreed perfectly with the honorable gentleman stated the data on which they had made their calculations, from Maine, (Mr. Holmes] it would connect us with our and gave the character of the substrata of earth it would Western brethren; it would afford important facilities for the be necessary to operate on. One route, the one proposed transportation of our troops and munitions in time of war; by them, required, for twenty-five miles, a supply of water it would prove a source of wealth in times of peace. The by the process of filtration, but this was for the canal, and que ton now was, is it valuable? Is it practicable? He not for lockage; the ponds at the summit level being amwas entirely willing to appropriate ten thousand dollars to ply sufficient for that purpose. The engineers say, in ascertain its practicability; of its value he had no doubt. a page of the report not read by the gentleman from

Mr. FORSYTH had always been in favor of the project Georgia, that there were two ponds sufficient to furnisa a of a canal through the Territory of Florida, and, did he supply of water for the locks, and that filtration must be believe that the passage of this bill would accomplish so depended on for water for the bed of the canal; and that desirable a result , he would give it his cordial support

. the foundation being of a rocky and sandy nature, the He had had the honor to present a petition on the subject process of filtration will be greatly facilitated. They to the National Legislature, from the town of St. Mary's moreover state that, by the sinking of shafts, it can easily in Georgia, in which the importance and utility of a canal be ascertained whether filtration will be successful. Now, through the Territory of Florida to the Gulf of Mexico in his [Mr. HENDRICKS'] opinion, the sinking of shafts were fully developed. In this bill the appropriation was absolutely necessary for ascertaining the practicabiliwas not for aseertaining the practicability of making a ca- ty of procuring the requisite supply of water. nal, but for its location; for a former appropriation had neers say they may be mistaken; but, if they are mistabeen expended in ascertaining its practicability. The re- ken, we cannot know that they are so, without making ports already received sustained one or the other of two the appropriation; for the shafts must be sunk for the facts; whether it were practicable or impracticable to make purpose of determining the substrata, and otherwise testa canal. Of the two routes examined by the engineers, one ing the practicability of the scheme. He should vote for had been pronounced suitable for a canal, the other not a farther experiment, as he was satisfied of the vast im

Now, notwithstanding the reports of the officers of portance and utility of the measure. the engineer corps, he [Mr. F.] was satisfied, from the Mr. JOHNSTON said, if this were an appropriation for information ) : had received, that there was no possibility commencing a canal, then the inquiry alluded to by the of making a canal through either of the routes that had gentleman from New Jersey would be highly proper and been examined. The first route, by the St. Mary's river, necessary; but, sir, said he, we have such information as had been abandoned by the engineers; and the practica- is necessary to justify the appropriation, which this amendbility of the second route, the one recommended by them, ment proposes to strike out. A farther reconnaissance of to say nothing as to distance, depended upon the solving the ground, through which this canal is to pass, is absoof the problem whether water for a canal could be supplied lutely necessary, in order to ascertain the permanent by filtration. He, for his part, did not think this could be utility of the work, after it shall have been carried into depended on; he would prefer cutting the canal a little effect. We are not [said Mr. J.) asking an appropriation bigher up, where a more plentiful supply of water could for the purpose of finding out the practicability of the be obtained, though the route would be some what longer. canal: nor yet for commencing the work; the one has alRespecting the cost, the board of engineers was not now ready been ascertained, and the other is not, at this time, prepared to make an estimate; the appropriation hereto- desired; but we want to ascertain a fact, involved in a confore made by Congress had been exhausted in examinations tingency set forth in the report of the Board of Engineers, as to the practicability of cutting a canal through a country and this fact was necessary before Congress would incur as yet but partially known; and, in their own opinions, the great expense of engaging in the work. He was not the practicability of the question had been settled. If the particular about the location of the canal, whether higher Senate agreed with them, they ought to go on: for after up or lower down; but, for his own part, he was satisfied an expenditure of so much money, the Senate ought not of the great importance of the work, and the money al. to stop, because Congress was in a manner pledged to per- ready expended in making surveys would be thrown away, form the work. As he, however, seriously doubted unless another summer was devoted to a more general rewhether a canal, of twenty-five miles in length, could be connaissance, and a more minute examination of the soil. supplied with water by filtration, he should vote against He thought that the information to be derived from these that part of the bill; though he trusted that the Senate examinations extremely desirable, before any steps were would make the appropriation, if it coincided in opinion taken to commence the work. He was of opinion, from with the corps of engineers.

the facts stated in the report of the survey that has already Mr. DICKERSON said he would be as glad to vote for been made, that the work was not only practicable, but any appropriation that would prove advantageous to the would be found of the highest utility. The great difficountry at large, as any other gentleman in that Senate; culty arose from the character of the soil; upon this, enbut, even if the canal should be found practicable, he tirely, the permanent utility of the canal depended. We doubted the expediency of cutting it, because [said Mr. have seen, in the Delaware and Chesapeake, and some D.) we all know that, when piracy raged on our south other canals, the injurious consequences of a want of inern coast to the greatest extent, insurances could be ef. formation as to the character of the soil through which fected at New York, at one and a half per cent. But, they pass. It was therefore necessary to ascertain the sir, (said Mr. D. ] the engineers who had already survey- nature of the soil of the different substrata through which ed the route of this canal, in their report to the Secretary this canal is to run. at War, say, that twenty-five miles in one route, and for. Mr. LIVINGSTON said that when the Senate came to ty-five miles in another, must depend entirely, for that consider the question of striking out this part of the bill, all-important element, water, on filtration. Why, sir, they were to determine whether they will or will not car(said Mr. D.) from the information already obtained, I am ry on a system of canals most important to our national de. fully and thoroughly convinced of the impracticability, or fence in time of war. When the system was first proposrather the uselessness, of the contemplated canal; but if gen-cil, it was argued that, for the important points of defence tlemen are disposed to make another appropriats. . for and internal commerce, in time of war, canals ought to another experiment, let thein select another route. commence at New York, and end at the Mississippi, se

« PreviousContinue »