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H. of R.]
[Jan. 14, 1830.
the existing laws, as will confer upon the people of Ohio, citizens of a republic are worshippers of power, as well as Kentucky, and Tennessee, and of the six new Western the subjects of a monarchy. Would you think it wise to States, the same benefits from the judiciary, as those which bring the justices of the Supreme Court from their resi. the people of the other States now enjoy.
dence in the States, where they breathe the pure air of The great question, then, which remains for discussion the country, and assemble them here within the very vor. is, does the present bill present the best plan for accom- tex of Executive influence? Instead of being indepen. plishing this purpose, which, under all circumstances, can dert judges, scattered over the surface of the Union, be devised? It is incumbent upon me to sustain the af- their feelings identified with the States of which they are firmative of this proposition. There have been but two citizens, is there no danger, that, in the lapse of time, plans proposed to the Committee on the Judiciary, and but you would convert them into minions of the Executive?, two can be proposed, with the least hope of success. The I am far, very far, from supposing that any man, who cione an extension of the present system, which the bill now ther is or who will be a justice of the Supreme Court, before the committee contemplates, and the other a resort could be actually corrupted; but if you place them in a to the system which was adopted in the days of the elder situation where they or their relatives would naturally be. Adams, of detaching the justices of the Supreme Court come candidates for Executive patronage, you place them, from the performance of circuit duties, and appointing cir- in some degree, under the control of Executive influence. cuit judges to take their places. After much reflection If there should now exist any just cause for the comupon this subject, I do not think that the two systems can plaints against the Supreme Court, that in their decisions be compared, without producing a conviction in favor of they are partial to federal rather than to State authority, that which has long been established. The system of de- and I do not say that there is,) that which at present may taching the judges of the Supreme Court from the circuits be but an imaginary fear might soon become a substantial has been already tried, and it has already met the decided reality. I would place them beyond the reach of temphostility of the people of this country. No act passed tation. I would suffer them to remain, as they are at preduring the stormy and turbulent administration of the el. sent, citizens of their respective States, visiting this city der Adams, which excited more general indignation among annually to discharge their high duties, as members of the the people. The courts which it established were then, Supreme Court. This single view of the subject, if there and have been ever since, branded with the name of the were no other, ought in my judgment to be conclusive. “midnight judiciary.” I am far from being one of thuse Let us now suppose, for the sake of the argument, that the who believe the people to be infallible. They are often withdrawal of the justices of the Supreme Court from their deceived by the arts of demagogues: but this deception circuit duties, and their residence in this city, would produce endures only for
They are always honest, and no such effects, as I apprehend, upon the judges themselves; possess much sagacity. If, therefore, they get wrong, what would be the probable effect upon public opinion. It it is almost certain they will speedily return to correct has been said, and wisely said, that the first object of every opinions. They have long since done justice to other acts judicial tribunal ought to be to do justice; the second, to of that administration, which at the time they condemned, satisfy the people that justice has been done. It is of the but the feeling against the judiciary established under it utmost importance in this country that the judges of the remains the same. Indeed, many now condemn that sys- Supreme Court should possess the confidence of the pubtem, who were formerly its advocates. In 1826, when a lic. This they now do in an eminent degree. How have bill, similar in its provisions to the bill now before the com- they acquired it? By travelling over their circuits, and mittee, was under discussion in this House, a motion was personally showing themselves to the people of the counmade by a gentleman from Virginia (Mr. MERCER) to re-try, in the able and honest discharge of their high duties, commit it to the Committee on the Judiciary, with an in- and by their extensive intercourse with the members of struction so to amend it, as to discharge the judges of the the profession on the circuits in each State, who after all Supreme Court from attendance on the circuit courts, and are the best judges of judicial merit, and whose opinions to provide a uniform system for the administration of jus. upon this subject have a powerful influence upon the comtice in the inferior courts of the United States. Although munity. Elevated above the storms of faction and of
this motion was sustained with zeal and eloquence and party which have sometimes lowered over us, like the . ability by the mover, and by several other gentlemen, yet, sun, they have pursued their steady course, unawed by when it came to the vote, it was placed in a lean minority, threats, unseduced by flattery. They have thus acquired and, I believe, was negatived without a division. It is moral that public confidence, which never fails to follow the ly certain that such a bill could not now be carried. It would performance of great and good actions, when brought therefore have been vain and idle in the Committee on the home to the personal observation of the people. Judiciary to have reported such a bill. If the Western Would they continue to enjoy this extensive public States should be doomed to wait for a redress of their confidence, should they no longer be seen by the people grievances, until public opinion shall change upon this of the States, in the discharge of their high and important subject, it will, probably, be a long time before they will duties, but be confined, in the exercise of them, to the obtain relief.
gloomy and vaulted apartment which they now occupy in But, sir, there are most powerful reasons for believing this capitol? Would they not be considered as a distant that public opinion upon this subject is correct. What and dangerous tribunal? Would the people, when er. would be the natural consequences of detaching the citer by strong feeling, patiently submit to have the most judges of the Supreme Court from circuit duties? It solemn acts of their State Legislatures swept from the would bring them and their families from the circuits in statute book, by the decision of judges whoin they never which they now reside; and this city would become their saw, and whom they had been taught to consider with permanent residence. They would naturally come here; jealousy and suspicion? At present, even in those States because here, and no where else, would they then bave where their decisions have been most violently opposed, official business to transact. What would be the proba- the highest respect has been felt for the judges by whom ble effect of such a charge of residence? The tendency they were pronounced; because the people have had an of every thing within the ten miles square is towards opportunity of personally knowing that they were both the Executive of the Union. He is here the centre of at- great and good men. Look at the illustrious individual traction. No matter what political revolutions may take who is now the Chief Justice of the United States. place, no matter who may be up or who may be clown, decisions upon constitutional questions have ever been the proposition is equally true. Human nature is not hostile to the opinions of a vast majority of the people of changed under a republican Government. We find that his own State; and yet with what respect and veneration
Jan. 14, 1830.)
[H. of R.
has he been viewed by Virginia? Is there a Virginian, ples to the decision of cases, as they arise upon the cirwhose heart does not beat with honest pride when the cuits, is at the same time qualifying himself in the best just fame of the Chief Justice is the subject of conversa- manner for the duties of his station on the bench of the tion? They consider him, as he truly is, one of the great- Supreme Court. est and best men which this country has ever produced. Is it probable that the long literary leisure of the judges Think ye that such would have been the case, had he been in this city, during ten months of the year, would be deconfined to the city of Washington, and never known to voted to searching the two hundred volumes of jarring dethe people, except in pronouncing judgments in this ca- cisions of State courts, or in studying the acts of twentypitol, annulling their State laws, and calculated to humble four State Legislatures? The man must have a singular their State pride? Whilst I continue to be a member of taste and a firm resolution, who, in his closet, could travel this House, I shall never incur the odium of giving a vote over this barren waste. And even if he should, what for any change in the judiciary system, the effect of which would be the consequence? The truth is, such knowwould, in my opinion, diminish the respect in which the ledge cannot be obtained; and after it has been acquired, Supreme Court is now held by the people of this country. it cannot be preserved, except by constant practice.
The judges whom you would appoint to perform the There are subjects which, when the memory has once circuit duties, if able and honest men, would soon take grasped, it retains for ever. It has no such attachment the place which the judges of the Supreme Court now for acts of Assembly, acts of Congress, and reports of adoccupy in the affections of the people; and the reversal judged cases, fixing their construction. This species of of their judgments, when they happened to be in accorrl- knowledge, under the present system, will always be posance with strong public feeling, would naturally increase sessed by the judges of the Supreme Court; because, in the mass of discontent against the Supreme Court. the performance of their circuit duties, they are placed
There are other reasons, equally powerful, against the in a situation in which it is daily expounded to them, and withdrawal of the judges froni the circuits. What ef. in which they are daily compelled to decide questions fect would 'such a measure probably produce upon the arising upon it. Change this system, make them excluability of the judges themselves to perform their duties? sively judges of an appellate court, and you render it Would it not be very unfortunate?
highly probable that their knowledge of the general No judges upon earth ever had such various and im- principles of the laws of their country will become more portant duties to perform, as the justices of the Supreme and more faint, and that they will finally almost lose the Court. In England, whence we have derived our laws, recollection of the peculiar local systems of the different they have distinct courts of equity, courts of common States. “Practice makes perfect,” is a maxim applicalaw, courts of admiralty, and courts in which the civil ble to every pursuit in life. It applies with peculiar force law is administered. in each of these courts, they have to that of a judge. I think I might appeal for the truth distinct judges; and perfection in any of these branches of this position to the long experience of the distinguishis certain to be rewarded by the honors of that country. ed gentleman from New York, now by my side, [Mr. The judges of our Supreme Court, both on their circuits SPENCER.) A man, by study, may become a profound and in bank, are called upon to adjudicate on all these lawyer in theory, but nothing except practice can make codes. But this is not all. Our Union consists of twen- him an able judge. I call upon every member of the ty-four sovereign States, in all of which there are differ- profession in this House to say whether he does not feel ent laws and peculiar custoins. The common and equity himself to be a better lawyer at the end of a long term, law have thus been changed and inflected into a hundred than at the beginning. It is the circuit employment, imdifferent shapes, and a lapted to the various wants and posed upon the judges of England and the United States, opinions of the different members of our confederacy. which bas rendered them what they are. In my opinion, The judicial act of 1789 declares “that the laws of the both the usefulness and the character of the Supreme several States, except where the constitution, treaties, or Court depend much upon its continuance. statutes of the United States shall otherwise require or I now approach what I know will be urged as the provide,” shall be regarded as rules of decision in the greatest objection to the passage of this bill-that it will courts of the United States. The justices of the Supreme extend the number of the judges of the Supreme Court Court ought, therefore, to be acquainted with the ever- to nine. If the necessities of the country required that varying codes of the different States.
their number should be increased to ten, I would feel no 'There is still anot!ier branch of their jurisdiction, of a objection to such a measure. The time has not yet argrand and imposing character, which places them far rived, however, when, in my opinion, such a necessity above the celebrated Amphyctionic council. The Con-exists. Gentlemen, in considering this subject, ought to stitution of the United States has made them the arbi- take those extended views which belong to statesmen. ters between conflicting sovereigns. They decide whether When we reflect upon the vast extent of our country, and the sovereign power of the States has been exercised in the various systems of law under which the people of the conformity with the constitution and laws of the United different States are governed, I cannot conceive that nine States; and, if this has not been done, they declare the or even ten judges are too great a number to compose laws of the State Legislatures to be void. Their deci- our appellate tribunal. That number would afford a jusiops this control the exercise of sovereign power. No dicial representation upon the bench of each large portribunal ever existed, possessing the same, or even similar tion of the Union. Not, sir, a representation of sectional authority. Now, sir, suppose you bring these judges to feelings or of the party excitements of the day, but of that Washington, and employ them in bank but six weeks or peculiar species of legal knowledge necessary to adjuditwo months in the year, is it not certain that they will cate wisely upon the laws of the different States.
Fur gradually become less and less fit to decido upon these example, I ask what judge now upon the bench possessdifferent codes, and that they will at length nearly lose es, or can possess, a practical knowledge of the laws of all recollection of the peculiar local laws of the different Louisiana Their system is so peculiar, that it is almost States? Every judicial duty which each of them would impossible for a man to decide correctly upon all cases then be required to perforin, would be to prepare and arising under it, who has never been practically acquaintdeliver a few opinions annually in bank.
ed with the practice of their courts. Increase the numThe judgment, like every other faculty of the mind, ber of judges to nine, and you will then have them scatrequires exercise to preserve its vigor. That judge who tered throughout all the various portions of the Union. decides the most causes, is likely to decide them the best. The streams of legal knowledge peculiar to the different He who is in the daily habit of applying general princi- States will then flow to the bench of the Supreme Court
H. of R.]
[Jan. 14, 1830.
as to a great reservoir, from whence they will be distribut. But is there not a striking difference between the cases? ed throughout the Union. There will then always be It does not follow that because four or five may be a suffisufficient local information upon the bench, if I may use cient number in a single State where one uniform systhe expression, to detect all the ingenious fallacies of the tem of laws prevails, nine or ten would be too many on bar, and to enable them to decide correctly upon local the bench of the Supreme Court, which administers the questions. J admit, if the judges were confined to ap- laws of twenty-four States, and decides questions arising pellate duties alone, nine or ten would probably be too under all the codes in use in the civilized world. Indeed, great a number. Then there might be danger that some if four or five judges be not too many for the court of of them would become mere non-entities, contenting them- appeals in a State, it is a strong argument that nine or ten selves simply with voting aye or no in the majority or mi- are not too great a number for the court of appeals of the nority. There would then also be danger that the Ex- Union. Upon the whole, I ask, would it be wise in this ecutive might select inefficient men for this high station, committee, disregarding the voice of experience, to de. who were his personal favorites, expecting their incapa-stroy a system which has worked well in practice for forty city to be shielded from public observation by the splen- years, and resort to a dangerous and untried experiment, did talents of some of the other judges upon the bench. merely from a vague apprehension that nine judges will Under the present system we have no such danger to ap- destroy the usefulness and character of that court, which prehend. Each judge must now feel his own personal has been raised by seven to its present exalted elevation? responsibility. He is obliged to preside in the courts It will, no doubt, be objected to this bill, as it has been throughout his circuit, and to bring home the law and the upon a former occasion, that the present system cannot be justice of his country to his fellow-citizens in each of the permanent, and that, ere long, the judges of the Supreme districts of which it is composed. Much is expected Courts must, from necessity, be withdrawn from their cir from a judge placed in his exalted station; and he must cuits. To this objection there is a conclusive answer. attain to the high standard of public opinion by which he We know that the system is now sufficient for the wants is judged, or incur the reproach of holding an office to of the country, and let posterity provide for themselves. which he is not entitled. "No man in any station in this Iet us not establish courts which are unnecessary in the country can place himself above public opinion.
present day, because we believe that hereafter they may Upon the subject of judicial appointments, public opi-be required to do the business of the country: nion has always been correct. No factious demagogue, But, if it were necessary, I believe it might be demonno man, merely because he has sung hosannas to the pow-strated that ten justices of the Supreme Court will be ers that be, can arrive at the bench of the Supreme Court. sufficient to do all the judicial business of the country, The Executive himself will always be constrained by the which is required of them under the present system, until force of public sentiment, whilst the present system con- the youngest member of this House shall be sleeping with tinues, to select judges for that court from the ablest and his fathers. Six judges have done all the business of the best men of the circuit; and such has been the course States east of the Alleghany mountains, from the adoption which he has hitherto almost invariably pursued. Were of the federal constitution up till this day; and still their he to pursue any other, he would inevitably incur popular duties are not laborious. If it should be deemed proper odium. Under the existing system, there can be no dan- by Congress, these fifteen Eastern States might be arrang: ger in increasing the number of the judges to nine. But ed into five circuits instead of six, upon the occurrence of take them from their circuits, destroy their feeling of the next vacancy in any of them, without the least inconpersonal responsibility by removing them from the inde- venience either to the judges or to the people; and thus pendent courts over which they now preside, and make it would be rendered unnecessary to increase the bench them merely an appellate tribunal, and I admit there of the Supreme Court beyond nine, even after the admiswould be danger, not only of improper appointments, but sion of Michigan and Arkansas into the Union. The busithat a portion of them, in the lapse of time, might beness of the federal courts, except in a few States, will come incompetent to discharge the duties of their station. probably increase but little for a long time to come. One
But, sir, have we no examples of appellate courts con- branch of it must, before many years, be entirely lopped sisting of a greater number than either nine or ten judges, away. I allude to the controversies between citizens of which have been approved by experience? The Senate of the same State claiming lands under grants from different the State of New York has always been their court of States. This will greatly diminish their business both in appeals; and, notwithstanding they changed their consti- Tennessee and Kentucky. Besides, the State tribunals tution a few years ago, so much were the people attached will generally be preferred by aliens and by citizens of to this court, that it remains unchanged. In England, the other States for the mere recovery of debts, on account twelve judges, in fact, compose the court of appeals. of their superior expedition. Whenever the House of Lords sits in a judicial character, I should here close my remarks, if it were not necessary they are summoned to attend, and their opinions are de- to direct the attention of the committee for a few minutes cisive of almost every question. I do not pretend to to the details of the bill. And here permit me to express speak accurately, but I doubt whether the House of Lords my regret that my friend from Kentucky [Mr. Wick: have decided two cases, in opposition to the opinion of the LIFFE) has thought proper to propose an amendment to judges, for the last fifty years. In England, there is also add three, instead of two, judges to the Supreme Court
. the court of excheqner chamber, consisting of the twelve Had a majority of the Committee on the Judiciary believ; judges, and sometimes of the lord chancellor also, into ed ten judges, instead of nine, to be necessary, I should which such causes may be adjourned from the three supe- have yielded my opinion, as I did upon a former occasion, rior courts, as the judges find to be difficult of decision, and given the bill my support in the House. This I should before any judgment is given upon them in the court in have done, to prevent division among its friends, believing which they originated. The court of exchequer cham- it to be a mere question of time: for ten will become neber is also a court of appeals, in the strictest sense of the cessary in a few years, unless the number of the Eastern word, in many cases which I shall not take time to enu- circuits should be reduced to five.
[Here Mr. WICKLIFFE asked if it were in order to I cannot avoid believing that the prejudice which exists refer to his amendment, as it was not yet before the comin the minds of some gentlemen, against increasing the mittee.] number of the judges of the Supreme Court to nine, Mr. BUCHANAN said, he would not further refer to it arises from the circumstance that the appellate courts of at present. The bill proposes to create one new circuit the different States generally consist of a fewer number out of Mississippi, the eastern district of Louisiana, and
Jan. 15, 18, 1830.]
(H. of R. the southern district of Alabama. Nature has united these
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 1830. three districts. They cannot be separated without vio The House was this day chiefly occupied in the consilence. There is a communication by water, between Nat. deration of private bills. chez, New Orleans, and Mobile, the places at which the Adjourned to Monday. circuit courts will be held for the whole distance, which is always safe and expeditious. No other arrangement could
MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 1830. have been made, unless Alabama had been connected with
DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLIC LANDS. Tennessee; and that would have been extremely inconvenient. I have a certificate from the Post Office Depart The House resumed the consideration of the resolution ment in my possession, stating the distance from Nashville moved by Mr. HUNT on the 17th of December ultimo: to Mobile to be four hundrd and thirty-nine miles. The when road is not good, the streams are not bridged, and it passes Mr. HUNT modified his said resolution, so as to read threugh a new country, and part of the way through an as follows: Indian nation. In order to attend the circuit court at Mo
Resolved, That a select committee be appointed to inbile, the judge would be compelled to travel over this road, quire into the expediency of appropriating the nett annual from a healtly into a sickly climate, twice in each year, a proceeds of the
sales of the public lands among the sevetotal distance of one thousand seven hundred and fifty-six ral States and Territories for the purposes of education miles; and this, when he could reach Mobile, either from and internal improvements, in proportion to the represenNatchez or New Orleans, by water, in two or three days. tation of each in the House of Representatives; and that
The circuit court cannot be removed from Mobile, and the said committee have leave to report by bill or otherplaced nearer to Nashville. It is there that admiralty and wise. maritime causes arise and must be decided in the district
The question recurred on the motion made by Mr. court, from which an appeal is allowed to the circuit MARTIÑ, on the 17th December ultimo, to amend the court. It is at that commercial point the citizens of Ala- said resolution, by inserting after the word “Territories, baina chiefly come into contact in their commercial trans- these words, ss the amount and value of public lands given actions with the citizens of other States and with foreign- by Congress to any State, or to public and private instituers; and there the chief civil business of the circuit court tions in any State." must arise. But, above all, it is there, near the verge of the Mr. SPEIGHT said that, when this subject was first Gulf of Mexico, where offences against the United States brought to the consideration of the House, he had not incommitted upon the high seas must be tried and punished. tended to have participated in the debate; but in conse.
Kentucky and Tennessec, under this bill, compose the quence of the amendment which had been offered by the other new circuit; and however reluctant these States may gentleman from South Carolina, and the disposition which be to go together, I do not perceive how they can be sepa- gentlemen had manifested to meet the resolution at the rated, without imposing more labor upon some one of threshold, he felt it his duty to submit a few remarks exthe Western judges than he ought to be called upon to planatory of the vote he should give. It might (said Mr. perform.
S.] at the first glance appear bighly improper to arrest In regard to the other Western circuit, consisting of the progress of a proposition so simple in its characterOhio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri, I admit that it will one which simply proposed inquiry—but he contended it embrace a large extent of territory. I am sorry for it, was the proper time for those opposed to the resolution to but it cannot be avoided. We ought, however, to con- come forward, and show to the House the impropricty of sider that, if the judge shall be compelled to travel much, the measure; but if, on the contrary, it should be deemed a great part of it will be by water. He will have but little expedient, and finally should be adopted, it would go to business to transact in any of the States of which it is the committee clothed with all the information a discuscomposed, except Ohio. It is probable, too, that ere long sion could throw on it. Mr. S. said, there was still a public convenience will suggest the removal of the circuit stronger reason why ke wished to express his sentiments courts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois from the seats of go- in regard to the resolution. He said he had seen that the vernment of those States to the Ohio rivers and I am at a Legislature of the State from which he came had been loss to conceive any good reason why the circuit court of engaged in discussing the same proposition which we have Missouri should not be held at St. Louis.
now before us; and whilst he had heard, with deep re. After all, I regret that necessity has compelled the gret, that they had had the subjeci before them, he was Committee on the Judiciary to report a bill, which, if it more than gratified to see that they had consigned it to should pass, will impose so much travel on the judge of its mother dust, where (not envying its repose) he the seventh circuit. No man would be more disposed to hoped it would sleep through a long eternity. He hoped relieve that distinguished individual from wnecessary labor that he should not be understood as speaking in the slightthan myself. I feel confident he will never complain. est degree disrespectful of that distinguished body, or The man who, by the exertion of great ability, incessant that he denied the right of instruction. By no means; Jabor, and untiring perseverance, brought the Post Office far be it from him. He had ever believed, and still beDepartment from chaos into order, will never shrink from lieved, that Congress should reserve to themselves the the performance of any duty required of him by his control of their funds; and that in all works of improvecountry:
ment in which the aid of the Government is to be given, Another remark, and I have done. This bill does not they should be the sole judges. Sir, [said Mr. S.] perprovide a circuit court for the western district of Lou- mit me for a moment to call the attention of the House to is ana, and the northern district of Alabama. In this re- the purport of this resolution. It proposes to raise a sespect, these districts are placed upon the same footing|lect committee, to inquire into the expediency of dividing with the northern district of New York, the western dis- among the States, according to the ratio of representation trict of Pennsylvania, and the western district of Virginia. in this House, a certain portion of its surplus funds, for I possess no actual information concerning the amount of education and internal improvements; and that these imbusiness in the northern district of Alabama; but from its provements be effected by the funds of the General Goposition it cannot be great. Have the best information vernment, to be placed under the control of the State that there is but little buziness in the western district of Legislatures; that we, the Representatives of the people, Louisiana. At all events, neither Louisiana nor Alabama constituting what may be said to be a part of the Federal will complain, when they are placed upon the same foot- Government, have not judgnent and discretion, yes, sir, ivg with New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. nor honesty enough, to apply these funds. That we shall
II. of R.]
[Jan. 18, 1830. not be the judges of the legitimate scope to which we are pursued by the administration was to create new loans, to privileged by the constitution to go; but that we will extinguish the foreign, and to reduce the interest of the transfer our funds to the States, and that they may go domestic debt. And to enable the United States to bor. without limit. This, sir, is the language, in substance, row this money, it absolutely became necessary to give a which this resolution is made to speak. Mr. S. said, the pledge or surety for the fortlicoming of the same; and this construction of the constitution might be classed into led to the passage of the act of Congress of the 4th Authree divisions. There was one class which, following the gust, 1789, by which the sales of the public lands were express letter of the constitution, was necessarily preclud- pledged to reduce the public debt. ed from exercising any other power than what was er Suppose there had been no cession of the public lands, pressly delegated. On the other hand, there was another, what, he asked, must bave been the consequence? Diwhich was for doing every thing not expressly prohibited. rect taxation. For, without the public lands, the United But, for my own part, whilst I would gladly avoid being States had no means whereby to redeem their loans. considered one of those who concede no power by impli- They could not have borrowed money to have redeemed cation or construction, I would carefully avoid being of the credit of the country, because they had no surety to that number who construe the constitution to answer their pledge for the forthcoming of the funds. The constituown ends. I prefer a third class, who are for giving to tion which they had adopted gives them no power to levy the constitution a liberal interpretation; concede to it inci- and collect imposts, further than to meet the contingent dental powers which necessarily belong to those expressly expenses of the Government. And [said Mş. S.] this is delegated, and without which the constitution is a perfect the precise light in which the States viewed the whole dead letter. This Government, he conceived, was one of matter. They saw that, without a cession of their territodelegated powers; its limits were marked out. But, with-ry, direct taxation would follow, and they stepped forth in these limits, its sphere of action was sovereign. It in liberal and patriotic terms, and ceded their territory; was clothed with a power to pass all laws which might be and his bosom swelled with emotions indescribable, while deemed necessary to carry its powers into effect. And recounting over the history of the cessions. It was the [said Mr. S.) a power to carry on a well digested and ju- fact, that his native State stood foremost in the rank of dicious plan of internal improvement was as necessary to liberality: Yes, sir; and what has she received? Nothing; the efficiency of the Government as any other power. A and, I will add, nothing will she receive, unless she can system which had for its object the opening of water or obtain it on just and equitable terms; while some of those land communications between the several States, for mili- States which are clamorous for a division of the public tary or commercial purposes, should, at all times, when he land funds have contributed nothing. North Carolina, had a voice, bave his support. But, [said Mr. S. ] I am in which has borne the burden and heat of the day, has refavor of the right of Congress to judge of the constitu- mained silent. She needs the funds, but she wants them tionality of the improvement. He would not trust the on honorable terms or none. North Carolina is in favor States to judge for him, for no gentleman would contend of internal improvements by the General Government, that all works of internal improvement, carried on by the but she wants the funds judiciously applied. She has, State, come within the constitutional powers of Congress. for the last ten years, had the mortification to see her funds But, (said Mr. S.] after you have given the States this mo- misapplied by unskilful managers, her funds frittered ney, what assurance have you, on their part, that they will away, by embracing too many objects at once, for the apply it as specified in your resolution? What control money on hand. And just so will be the effect of this. have you over the money after it is out of your possession?|By clivision, North Carolina will get about sixty thousand None, sir. Your money, which you have given to the dollars; and this divided on all the objects to which the States for education and internal improvement, may, attention of the State is directed, will end a miserable when out of your control, be squandered upon objects abortion, like all the rest of her enterprises. Sir, the ponot worthy the patronage of a State, much more a Genclicy which this Government ought to pursue is, in a few ral Government. But (saisi Mr. S.} there is a still strong-words, this: Improve your inlets and harbors, make milier objection to this policy. Can any gentleman be so tary roads; but when you do it, kcep the control of your blind as not to see the odious effect which this policy may funds. What, he asked, was the use of the United States have on the State Legislatures? Adopt this measure, and keeping a corps of military and topographic engineers, if you make a majority of the State Legislatures subservient they do not intend to carry on internal improvements to the will of Congress. Any measure which the General and, if you intend to carry on internal improvements, Government miglit propose, would be responded to by why give the States your money? How are you to work the States, to court their favor and patronage. Sir, the when your money is gone! Sir, you have no right to true policy, in my opinion, for this country to pursue, is touch this public land fund, until the public debt is paid. to keep the General and State Governments (I mean their To show that I am not mistaken in the position which I influence) separate and independent. Again, sir, what a have advanced, I beg leave to refer the House to the miesspectacle will this present to the world--a General Go-sage of President Washington, in 1790. vernment set up in the capacity of a tax collector, not
MESSAGE OF 1790. competent of its own judgment to carry on internal improvements, but which will furnish the states with money, lite policy with you, not merely to secure a payınent of the
“ Allow me, moreover, to hope that it will be a favorand become their guardians! Sir, I confess my objections to the mcasure are not so much on constitutional interest of the debt funded, but, as far and as fast as the grounds as on expediency, and I will proceed, in as few growing resources of the country will permit, to exonewords as possible, to explain them. I contend that the rate it of the principal itself. The appropriations you have public lands are pledged to pay the public debt, and that made of the western lands explain your dispositions on the general welfare of this country requires that this debt this subject; and I am persuaded that the sooner that vashould be paid as speedily as possible.
luable fünd can be made to contribute, along with other After the war of the Revolution, and when the present
means, to the actual reduction of the public debt, the more Government went into operation, the United States had, salutary will be the measure to cvery public interest, as for supplies and expenses incidental to the war, contracted
well as the more satisfactory to our constituents." a debi nearly to the amount of eighty millions of dollars,
Aguin, sir, his message in 1791, which speaks in lanpartly foreign and partly domestic. To reduce this cre.
guage more emphatic: dit, a plan was submitted to the then Secretary of the
MES SAGE OF 1791. Treasury, which was adopted. And a part of the policy “A provision for the sale of the vacant lands of the