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H, OF R.]
(JUNE 23, 1834.
ment had given their time and labor to objects of a pub- acted in a spirit of hostility to the bill. He had reported lic nature; were they to be refused their pay? Would certain amendments by order of the committee, and in the House say, though we required this work to be done, express accordance with the recommendations of the we will not pay for it? Would the gentleman from War Department. And though he disapproved of many Maine (Mr. SMITH] hold this language to axe-men and things the bill contained, he never could have moved, chain-bearers who had labored for the public? But the himself, to lay it upon the table. Yet when such a mogentleman apprehended that this appropriation was going tion was made by an avowed friend of the system of into open a door for the perpetuation of the system of in- ternal improvements, what was he to do? Must be vote ternal improvements. The appropriation was asked under against it because he belonged to the Committee of Ways a law which had been passed ten years ago; which had and Means? He could not. He thought his course was been approved and sanctioned by subsequent acts, by such as good sense would dictate and the House approve; every successive Congress from that time to this; which nor was there any thing in it to justify the very extraordihad received the signature of every President to whom nary and most unlooked for attack of the gentleman from they had been presented. What, then, was there of New York behind him, [Mr. BŁANDSLEY]-an attack novelty in this measure? Was it not the established which he should remember so long as memory held her usage, the settled policy of the country? If the system seat. The gentleman bad said that he could convince was now to be overturned, the best way would be to re- the House in a moment that he (Mr. H.)was in the wrong; peal the original law, and not to do the same thing in the gentleman was mistaken; he would find it a more formally and consequentially, by withholding the appro- difficult task than he imagined. Mr. H. said that although priations necessary to carry it into effect. Let the corps he had been assailed in a very rude and uncourteous manof scientific men whom the Government had raised up for ner, and had in consequence determined not to speak anthis important work be dismissed; not starved out. Mr. other word about the bill, he could not refrain from S. would not enter on the constitutional question; it was making a remark on what had fallen from the gentleman settled; it had long been settled. The question now was, from Pennsylvania, (Mr. STEWART.] He would read to whether the House would appropriate money to provide the House a report from the Secretary of War, which for expenses incurred according to law?
would go to show how far the gentleman was out of the Mr. HAWES said he understood this item was in part way in his statements, and in what an extremely loose to cover expenses already incurred, here called arrears. manner that gentleman was in the habit of speaking. (Mr. Mr. H. appealed to the House to say whether they would H. here quoted the report.] sanction such a principle. He asked them to reflect for The Department had incurred no expenditure under
Would they authorize a Secretary of War to the act of 1824, except $7,000. Mr. H. concluded by expend money in a inanner unauthorized by Congress? declaring that it was his wish to do strictly his duty, and Might he go on, and at pleasure exceed the orders given nothing more than was his duty. What the Department him? And when he came back with a demand for "ar- wished, and what the committee had considered and rerears,” would the House, by allowing the demand, en- commended, that he should support. And in all his courage him to repeat the same course the next year? course on this occasion, and on all others, he should conThe gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. STEWART) had sult his own views and feelings, and not the will of others. told them that these arrears were for expenses incurred Mr. LANE was astonished at what he saw and heard. according to law. He denied the position. There was He was amazed on looking at this bill, and seeing items no law which allowed any such thing. He called upon of 20, 30, 50, 100, ay, and some of 270,000 dollars for the gentleman to produce a single law to justify it. He objects upon the seaboard, that a petty appropriation of denied the right of any officer to expend more money $29,000 for surveys should cause such excitement. Esthan Congress bad appropriated, and he called upon the pecially was he surprised at the ire of the gentleman from House to put a stop to such a practice. Suppose, after Maine, (Mr. SMITH:) for that gentleman had a pretty little the House had given $300,000 for the repairs of the item in this bill for his own State. Surely,a stranger would Cumberland road, the Department should go on and ex- consider the present debate a ry extraordinary ope, pend the whole $602,000 they had asked for; was the when he found that there were items in the bill for all House next year to allow the balance as arrears? Would parts of the Union, which had successively been passed they not be as much bound to allow those arrears as without raising the slightest breeze, that now such a storm these? To pass such an item would be virtually to pro- should be conjured up by this little harmless clause for a claim to the Secretary of War, and every other Secretary, few surveys. Here was an item for Salt river; he believed and every other officer of the Government, that they it was in the district of the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. might exceed at pleasure the limits fixed by the acts of Hawes,) and the gentleman's voice was not once heard in Congress. Mr. H. could not do this. He would tell the opposition to it. Yet now the gentleman was calling Secretary that he had exceeded his authority; that he had loudly for help against this nefarious item for surveys. It violated his duty; that he had insulted that House. He was no more than the ordinary clause which had passed should vote against the amendment, and he demanded the every year for years past. It was not for any local interyeas and nays, that he might record his vote against all est; it' was of a character strictly general, perfectly na. such proceedings.
tional. Every State had an equal interest in it. Nor Mr: HUBBARD said that, after the very extraordinary was it necessarily connected with the system of internal attack of the two gentlemen from New York (Mr. Manx improvement by the General Government. Private comand Mr. BeANDSLEY) on the Committee of Ways and panies were continually projecting canals and railroads, Means, and especially upon himself, he could not remain and applying for U. S. Engineers to lay them out. Why perfectly silent in relation to this bill. He must say that must they commit the General Government to engage in gentlemen Jad taken a very, extraordinary liberty of the projects? This bill contained nothing which gave animadverting upon his course in respect to various items several of the Western States any interest in it, save this of this bill. And he must ask the indulgence of the general item for surveys: if this should be stricken out, a House to submit some words of reply. The grounds he large part of the Western country must be cut off from had taken had been uniformly in strict accordance with the benefits of the bill entirely. It seemed strange to him the bill as reported by the committee. He denied and that gentlemen should be so extremely sensitive about a repelled the charge which had been made upon him, of mere ordinary commonplace appropriation, which bad opposing bills which he had reported. He asked the received the sanction of every Executive since it was first House to bear witness whether he had, in a single instance, introduced.
JUNE 23, 1834.)
[II, OF R.
It was true the Department had somewhat exceeded acter. The first sum appropriated under it carried the the appropriation of last year for these objects. But was law into effect, and left it without further force. Mr. M. this so striking a novelty? Was the word “arrears" so said that he did not wish to occupy the time of the House, great a stranger to gentlemen's ears? How many bills as he was fully sensible of the truth of the remark, that had passed this very session, and passed at all other ses- they were not likely to be much enlightened by the desions, which contained the clause "for arrearages of the bate. He therefore should not attempt to amplify the year 1833 or 1832?" The thing was unavoidable. The argument, but would merely refer gentlemen to the lanexact expense of every thing could not be calculated to a guage of the bill, and to the great weight of appropriahair's breadth beforehand. And when the House had tions which had since been made under it. He did not confidence in an officer, as it eminently had in the present assent to the doctrine that the House ought not to pay Secretary of War, when had it ever refused to cover una- for arrears. On the contrary, he was of opinion that, voidable arrearages?
under the circumstances of the present case, arrears were Mr. L. said he was a friend to this bill in toto; and he all that the House ought to pay. Beyond that he would had voted to lay it on the table only because he had ap- not consent to go; and he therefore moved to amend the prehended that the West had been treated unfairly. He bill by striking out 29,000 dollars and inserting 7,000 dol. must repeat his astonishment at the course of the gentle- lars, or whatever was the true amount of arrears. He ob. man over the way, (Mr. Hawes,] when his own Salt river-jected to any new surveys, because he would not consent
(Mr. Hawes.' The gentleman must not attempt to row to make an appropriation out of which farther and greater me up Salt river; it was Green river, not Salt river, for appropriations were certain to grow. which I moved an amendment.)
Mr. MERCER said that he hoped the motion of his Mr. LANE. Well, be it so. Green water is often salt, colleague would not succeed. If it should, he must vole and perhaps the gentleman's Green river might, from its against the bill. He never would give his sanction to a name, be included in the salt-water rivers, to which some partial one-sided system of internal improvements. gentlemen were for confining their constitutional assent. Mr. SMITH said that he hoped the gentleman from Well, the gentleman had got his Green river turned into Virginia (Mr. Mason] would so modify his amendment as the bill; and now why would he oppose the only item in to make it express the fact that the appropriation was to wbich all his brethren of the West had a common interest? cover arrears.
Mr. SUTHERLAND expressed impatience for the (Mr. Mason. Certainly; such was my intention.] question. God knew, he said, that the House could not be Mr. S. then said that he wished to be indulged with a enlightened by such a debate; the time was short at best, word or two, in reply to some of the remarks which had and grew shorter every hour. He trusted they should fallen from gentlemen on the other side.
As to the snug get the question.
little appropriation for Maine, to which the gentleman Mr. BEARDSLEY observed that this appropriation from Indiana (Mr. Lang] had referred, he presumed the was professedly to carry into effect the act of 1824. When gentleman had reference to an item of 10,000 dollars for he had last addressed the House he had not particularly piers at the mouth of Kennebunk river. Now, had this examined that act; he had, since then, read the law; and amount been appropriated to pay the officers of Govern. he still doubted, as he bad before done. The law direct- ment for work done without authority of law, the gentle. ed the President to have such surveys made as he might man would have found him just as ready to vote against regard as of real importance. The law conferred the au- it as he was now to refuse this appropriation for surveys. thority and it imposed the duty; and he supposed a law On this ground he must also oppose the amendment of bound the President of the United States as it did other the gentleman from Virginia, because the adoption of officers of the Government. This he conceived to be a that amendment went to give the sanction of the House sufficient answer to what the gentleman from Maine [Mr. to a course of expenditure which he condemned. It had Smith) had said about the impropriety of incurring debt been said that many other bills contained clauses for arto fulfil an act of Congress. The President was not in rears. This was true, but it did not change the case: fault, nor the Secretary. If gentlemen held the expen- there was now a bill before the House which contained an diture to be improper, the remedy was to repeal the law, item of 22,000 dollars for arrearages in the expenditures and not to refuse to pay for expenses which had been ac- upon our public buildings. He considered both alike; tually incurred. This appropriation had nothing to do they rested on the same principles; and if the House with what the gentleman had called the repudiated system should sanction the one, he did not see how it could resist of internal improvements. The money, as he understood the other. If they went for the 7,000 dollars they must the matter, was to be expended upon works of a national go for the 22,000 dollars, and for all other arrears that character. If the President bad disbursed 7,000 dollars might be asked for. For his own part, he should resist more than had been appropriated upon works of this char- the whole. acter, Congress was bound to pay, because the money Mr. BEATY said that, in order to afford all his western was expended upon works sanctioned by law. If the friends the opportunity of giving a correct vote on this House ordered the President to do a certain thing, surely bill, he renewed the motion to lay it upon the table. it was bound to enable him to do it. This extricated gen On this question Mr. E. WHITTLESEY demanded the tlemen from all difficulty on the subject of arrears. As to yeas and nays. the honorable gentleman from New Hampshire, (Mr. Hub. Mr. MERCER expressed a hope that the honorable BARD, ] Mr. B. said he had not been conscious of saying gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. BETY) would consent to any thing that would be unpleasing to that honorable withdraw his motion until the present item should have gentleman; and if he had unwittingly done so, he regret. been passed upon. ted it. He had not intended to reflect upon that gentle. Mr. BEATÝ consenting, withdrew it accordingly. man's course. All he bad meant to advance was, that, ac The question being on the amendment proposed by cording to the old-fashioned course of legislation, when a Mr. Mason, bill was reported to the House from a committee, and not Mr. GARLAND) demanded the yeas and nays. altered in the House, it was always taken as a matter of Mr. BOON said that, when the bill had been up the course that a majority of the committee would act in fa- other day, he had voted to lay it upon the table; and be vor of the bill. If they did not do so in this case, it was on now apprized gentlemen that, if this amendment should ly an exception to the general rule.
be adopted, he should go against the bill. If that part of Mr. MASON said that, if the law of 1824 was examined, the country in which he resided was to be refused its it would be seen to have been only of a temporary char- Islare, he should go against the whole system.
Mr. H. EVERETT observed, in reply to Mr. Smith, by a general law. After such a law should have been passthat they had passed many bills containing provisions for ed, the appropriation would be a mere thing of course. arrearages. lle would take the liberty of reminding the It was for the interest of the country that the question gentleman of one which seemed to have escaped him. should be settled and not left open to everlasting dispute. He alluded to the appropriation of 6,000 dollars for ar- Then all would look up to it as the fixed policy of the rearages on the furnishing of the President's bouse. Government; the habits and wishes of the people would When these arrears were to be paid, the gentleman had gradually settle down upon it. There was another connothing to object. Mr. E. said that he wished the House sideration, which had satisfied Mr. C. of the impropriety could bring back the expenditures of the Departments of this appropriation. Gentlemen might say what they exactly to the sums appropriated. He could not agree with pleased, it certainly did produce a bargaining between the gentleman from New York (Mr. BEARDSLEY) in the different portions of the House. It naturally and inevita. doctrine that, when the House had ordered an object to be bly led to the practice generally designated as “log-rolleffected, the Executive might expend upon it what he ing." One set of gentlemen had one object at heart; pleased, and the House was bound to refund. He be- another disapproved of it, but had another measure equal. lieved that the expenditures ought to be limited by the ly desirable to them; a bargain was forthwith struck appropriations. There was, however, some excuse for up between them; if you vote for our object, we will the Secretary of War. If there was any class of expend- vote for yours; the result of which was an act of legislation itures in which occasional excess was excusable, it was in in favor of objects which a majority of the House actually works of internal improvement; because, from the nature disapproved of. The legislation of the House was not, of the case, the exact sum required could not always be what it should ever be, the aot of the general consent of previously ascertained. The Department was conducting a majority. Were there no other objection but this, Mr. 40 or 50 different works at the same time, and it was im- C. must oppose the amendment. He was ready and wil. practicable to make the expenditures upon each always ling to vote for any object that was proper and consistent correspond precisely to the appropriations. If any offi- with the views of any large portion of the country; but be cer of the Government was excusable for transgressing was opposed to this matter of log-rolling and bargaining the line, it certainly was the Secretary of War, and Mr. away the public money. E. could not but feel sorry for the severity of remark in Mr. VINTON, of Ohio, said he desired to throw him. which the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Hawes] had self upon the attention of the House for one minute, to indulged himself towards that officer. As to the objec- notice the construction put upon the act of 1824, commontion that these surveys went practically to sustain the sys- ly called the survey act, by the gentleman from Pennsyltem of internal improvements, it was on that very ground Vania (Mr. Coulten] who has just taken his seat; which that Mr. E. voted for it, and he would conclude by te would be likely to have an influence on the House, on marking, with the gentleman from Indiana, (Mr. Boor,] account of the respectable source from which it came. that he, too, had voted to lay the bill on the table; and, if he gentleman avows himself in favor of internal improvethis item for surveys should not be adopted, he should do ments, but finds himself unable to vote for the proposition so again.
to appropriate the sum of $29,000, to prosecute surveys Mr. WISE, of Virginia, moved to, lay the bill on the for roads and canals; because he thinks the act of 1824 is table; but withdrew his motion as the request of át an end, and there is no law to justify the appropriation,
Mr. COULTER, of Pennsylvania, who said that he had without further legislation antecedent to the appropriavoted against this section of the bill when it was last up tion, and requiring, it; to be made. Mr. V. said he was before the House; not that he was opposed to internal im- sure the genileman had fallen into an error, by considerprovements, as such; he had no constitutional scruples, ing the surh appropriated by the act of 1824 as the object none whatever; he was always disposed to go for what he of the law, instead of the means of executing the act. considered as just and proper objects of internal improve that act authorized the President of the United States ment; but he must vote against the present appropriation. to cause the necessary surveys, plans, and estimatęs, to He had been desirous of obtaining the floor, that he might be made of such roads and canals as he may deem of nastate the reasons of his vole; but standing on the north side tional importance in a commercial or military point of of the House, it had not been his good fortune to catch view, or necessary for the transportation of the public the light of the Speaker's countenance.
mail.” These are the objects of the act, and, to execute Mr. C. said that, if he interpreted the act of 1824 in the these objects, the sum of $30,000 was appropriated by same manner as the gentleman from New York, (Mr. the act. It would seem to be very apparent, that a true BEARDSLEY,) he should have no difficulty; but he consid- construction of the act would require that, if that sum ered that act as satisfied; its force expended; it was were insufficient to execute its objects, a further approfunclus officio. But what principle had the House estab- priation may be made for that purpose in the same manner lished this very session? On the motion of the honorable we are in the constant habit of making additional approgentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. Adams,] the House priations for other objects, where the first appropriation had decided that it was improper to put any thing into an was found insufficient. Such has been the practical conappropriation bill which had not previously been sanction-struction of the act of 1824, as additional annual approed by some other law. was the true function of an ap- priations have been made in execution of the act for the propriation bill to apply the public money to objects or- last ten years. Mr. V. said he was here when the act of dained by law. So it had been understood by the coun. 1824 was passed, and he well remembered objection was try. But what had been the course of things in relation made against the passage of the bill, on the ground that it to these appropriations for surveys? Ever since Mr. C. would be followed up by further indefinite appropriahad been in Congress, the subjcct had every year under. tions to execute the objects of the bill. The bill was disgone a new discussion, whenever the survey clause was tinctly advocated by its friends, on the ground that it was under consideration; insomuch that other objects of genc. to be the foundation of a system of internal improvements, ral appropriation had often been defeated by the debate and that the sum of $30,000 named in the bill was intend on this topic. But if the law of '24 was not expended, ed only to indicate the sum which could be economically and functus officio, why was the discussion renewed every expended by the engineer corps that year, in the proseyear? If it had been admitted to be a currnet law, there cution of surveys. The act was regarded as a permanent would have been an end of the dispute. But it was al. act, requiring much time to accomplish its objects; not a ways good to correct a bad habit. it was better to stop temporary law, to have an existence for a single year only, this annual appropriation till the object was provided for as the gentleman from Pennsylvania supposes; and as he
JOXE 23, 1834.]
(H. OF R.
declares himself to be in favor of the object of the appro- ted to the House from any Department of the Governpriation, and places his opposition to it wholly on the ment. If such were the estimates on which that gentle. ground that the act of 1824 has expired, he could not but man relied, he was entirely welcome to them, and to all hope the gentleman would review his opinion in that par- the impression they could produce. The inattention of ticular, and that the friends of the motion would yet have gentlemen to facts on this subject, their ignorance of the the aid of his vote.
most familiar knowledge in relation to it, was truly surMr. WISE now again moved to lay the bill upon the table. prising. A gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. COULTER,] The CHAIR now stated that the amendment formerly for example, had said that every time this appropriation offered by Mr. Mason had not been strictly in order, in- for surveys had come up in the House, it had occasioned asmuch as the motion of Mr. MERCER was, in fact, an a long and earnest debate; and on this supposed fact the amendment to an amendment.
gentleman 'had mainly rested his argument. So far was MF. WISE now moved a call of the House; which was the gentleman from being correct, that Mr. M. affirmed, ordered. And the House was called accordingly. The in his place, that the present was the very first debate call having, after some time, been suspended,
which had ever taken place in relation to this appropria. Mr. W. withdrew his motion to lay the bill on the table. tion, since it had first been introduced in 1824. And of
Mr. CLAY, of Alabama, read a report from the War what did the debate mainly consist? Of loose statements, Department, stating that to complete the construction of unsupported by facts, of extended amplification, and fine all works of internal improvement for which surveys had Aourishes of rhetoric. But few gentlemen looked at the been made, and which were in progress, would cost figures, the stubborn statistics of the subject, They con$52, 153,000, besides $48,600,000 for works not commen- tented themselves with generalities; they skimmed over ced. He read this statement twice, laying great empha- the surface, and then went into declamation about lavish sis upon it, and then asked whether it was worth while and useless expenditures. Mr. M. forbore entering into for the House to go on appropriating, from year to year, a particular reply to what had been said. He would not for new surveys, when the surveys already made overran, dwell upon the value of a correct knowledge of our own by millions, the appropriations for completing the objects? country, and an acquaintance with the best mode of enaHe adverted to the excess of appropriation the last year. bling its inhabitants fully and speedily to develop its re
Mr. BEATY inquired of Mr. CLAY, what had been the sources. But he would remind the gentleman from Alestimate for the improvement of the Muscle shoals, in his abama, after his long parade of estimates, so eminent for State of Alabama; and what amount of the public lands their sober accuracy and accordance with fact, that, of had been appropriated to provide for it? And whether the all the long list of objects surveyed, the Government had gentleman was satisfied with the appropriations made for embarked in but four only. For the Pennsylvania canals that river, and was determined that none should be made and the Ohio canals not a dollar of the money of this Gov. for any other river in the country?
ernment had been expended; and the largest grant ever Mr. MERCER said the gentleman from Alabama had made by it to any work of internal improvement had amused the House with extracts from a report made in been made for removing obstructions in the Tennessee January, 1831, one of the most extraordinary documents river, in the gentleman's own State.
With what grace that ever had been sent to that House, or any other legis- such strenuous objections came from such a quarter, lative body. It was made out in reply to a call similar in Mr. M. would leave for others to judge. On the conits terms to one which Mr. M. had had the honor to offer stitutional question, gentlemen had taken up some ina few days since. The gentleman from Alabama had told comprehensible notions, about the distinction between the House, on the authority of that report, that the com- fresh and salt water. The motives of their argument pletion of works already surveyed would exceed fifty- Mr. M. could never understand. How improvements two millions of dollars; just as if that House, or any were constitutional where salt water flowed, and unconhuman being, contemplated the construction and comple- stitutional where fresh water flowed, was a mystery he tion of all the works which had been surveyed! The did not pretend to fathom; but, in practice, it was a gentleman'well knew that no such purpose was in the serious matter, inasmuch as on the basis of such a distinction mind of any body. The items of the report were of the it was attempted to exclude the entire West from all parmost extraordinary kind. Among them, for example, ticipation in the beneficent action of the Government, was an estimate of two millions and upwards for a canal which were freely extended 10 other portions of the from Baltimore to the Putomac! A work for which one Union. If such a doctrine was to prevail, Mr. M. must dollar of appropriation had never been asked, and all abandon the system. He was opposed to the prevailing thoughts of which had been abandoned five years ago. system of log-rolling among gentlemen who had a local The survey, indeed, had been made; and, in consequence interest in particular harbors, while all the interior of the of the results of that survey, a railroad had been resolved country was to be neglected. Mr. M. was not a western upon, which was now in progress. The next item was man; he was from the seaboard; yet he should scorn the an estimate of twenty-two millions of dollars for the thought of therefore confining his support to objects on Chesapeake and Ohio canal; of the accuracy of this the the coast. He had always acted on these principles; he House miglit judge, when they learned that twenty-two considered them alike the principles of justice and of millions of the amount was for a part of that work which sound policy. had been actually effected for little more than one million. Mr. CLAY, in reply to what Mr. BEATI had said reThis was a pretty fair measure of the fairness and truth specting his not having opposed the appropriation for reof the other estimates, to which the gentleman from Ala- moving the obstructions in Tennessee river at the Muscle bama (Mr. Clar) had called the attention of the House. shoals, could inform that gentleman that he had not It included works which had been surveyed for the State been a member of the House when that appropriation Governments; works which had been surveyed for pri- was made. He therefore had had no opportunity 'of vate companies; works which the survey had proved to opposing it, though ever so much inclined. And as to be inexpedient or impracticable; works, all thoughts of the fact that some of all the works and projects surveyed which had been relinquished for years and years. Such had turned out to be of practical utility, it did not thence was the paper the gentleman had brought forward, and follow that Congress was bound still to go on surveying on which he had based his appeal to the fears of the more from year to year. The gentleman from Virginia House. Mr. M. must be permitted to that it was the had reminded the House that there was no canal in promost erroneous, the most unfounded, and altogether the gress from Baltimore to the Potomac. It
was very most extraordinary report which had ever been submit-true; but had the railroad, which was to take its place,
H. OF R.]
[JUNE 23, 1834,
cost the Government nothing? Had there not an item Mr. PIERCE now renewed his motion for the previous been moved to give $130,000 to this railroad? And had question; but the House refused to second it: Ayes 54, not a million been very modestly asked, to aid the Chesa- noes 86. peake and Ohio canal? He should not go into the par Mr. DICKINSON, of Tennessee, referred to what had ticulars of the gentleman's speech, but he still insisted, been said when other items for surveys had been before after all that could be said, that the Government possess- under debate. Gentlemen had then given notice that ed surveys enough to occupy it for the next fifty years. it was expected that all who were opposed to continuing
Mr. BEATY admitted that the gentleman could not the system of internal improvements would vote against bave voted against appropriations before he was a mem- this appropriation. And the clause had been voted ber of the House, but he would change the inquiry, and down; on wbich the House had instantly laid the whole he now asked the gentleman whether a large appropria- bill upon the table. What, then, was the present.but a tion of the public lands had not been made for the bene- test question? The vote upon it would show who were fit of the State of Alabama since the gentleman had bad for and who were against the general system. The peoa seat upon the floor? And whether the gentleman, when ple of the West wished to know this. They wanted to he had a vote, had given it against that appropriation? know where gentlemen stood. It was manifestly imAnd he further wished to ask the gentlemar., how much possible for the South to put down this system, if the of the land given bad been surveyed and brought into North and the West united in its favor. Let it, then, be market?
clearly understood what gentlemen meant to do; and the Mr. CLAY made no reply.
sooner the better. Mr. HANNEGAN declared himself in favor of the [The noise here was great. Cries for the question amendment. The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. had long been heard, whenever a gentleman who had COULTER] seemed to be under a belief that the entire been speaking resumed his seat; and not more than half system of surveys and of internal improvement was a sys- of some of the latter speeches could be intelligibly beard tem of log-rolling. Mr. H. believed no such thing; and at the reporters' seats.] he now declared, with his colleague, (Mr. Ewing,] that, Mr. MERCER rose to repel the idea that gentlemen unless this item should be adopted, he should vote to lay who voted in favor of this item would set themselves in the bill on the table. If the House, by refusing an ap- array against the presidential veto. That veto had nopropriation for new surveys, should virtually declare that thing whatever to do with the present question. It had the system of internal improvement was to stop, let it no connexion, immediate or remote, with it at all. The stop now--let it stop here; lie would not give another veto might stand unimpeached and unresisted, though dollar to continue it in the old States, when it was refused the whole country should be surveyed. to the new. Millions upon millions were voted away Mr. WISE inquired of Mr. MERCER, what amount of upon the Atlantic States; yet, when the West asked a money would be requisite to carry into effect the sursmall sum to be applied in obtaining valuable and impor-veys which had been already made? His colleague had tant information for the improvement of their portion of desired the estimates of the report read by the gentlethe Union, opposition was made, and that from a quarter man from Alabama, (Mr. CLAY.] He should be glad to he had little expected. Had not the State of Alabama hear the gentleman's own estimate. He asked the genreceived more in value, if not in money, from the general tleman to say what was the truth on that subject? fund, than any other State in the Union? And would the Mr. MERCER replied that he had objected to the esgentleman (Mr. CLAY} vote against giving her still more? timates read by the gentleman from Alabama, on (wo If he did, then he would exhibit something like consis- grounds. First, their gross inaccuracy; and, second, tency; but the gentleman would promise no such thing; because the gentleman did not understand the paper and yet, after getting immense grants of valuable lands, which he had undertaken to read to the House. The for the improvement of his own State, the gentleman had object of the surveys had not been to provide objects for the consistency to stand up in his place and violently the action of the General Government; many of them oppose even the survey of rivers or canals in other States. were for objects with which the United States bad noWhere had been the opposition, the scruples, and the thing to do. Applications had been made for the surzeal of gentlemen from the South, when the appropriation veys, because the body of officers, employed by Governfor Savannah river was under consideration?' Then the ment on that subject, were known to possess the requigentlemen were mute. Not a word, not a syllable, not site science and experience. As to the sum that would a sound escaped them. But let a measure be proposed be required to construct every work that had ever been in which the young and rising States of the West had an surveyed, it was what nobody could calculate. There interest, and not only was it resisted, but the represent- were no data for such a calculation; and, if it could be atives of these States were insulted by being called “beg- made, it would be wholly irrelevant, and had nothing to gars," and their States represented as "begging" at the do with the question before the House. door of Congress. He denied the charge. He cast it Mr. WISE said that his colleague had not answered the from himself and from his colleagues. Give us our lands, inquiry put to him. His question had been evaded, cried Mr. II. Give us our own soil, and the same rights the gentleman bad avoided any declaration of what it of sovereignty as were enjoyed by ihe other States, and would cost to complete the works already surveyed, Mr. we will ask nothing at your hands. Make us equal with w. should take the liberty of discussing the question. yourselves, make us sovereign, make us free, and we He did not care how many important bills remained unwill never ask a dollar out of your treasury.
acted upon; he did not care if it was the fag end of the Mr. PIERCE, of New Hampshire, now moved the most disgraceful session of Congress the country had previous question; but soon after consented to withdraw ever witnessed; he would not consent, after a gentleman the motion, at the request of
bad risen and declared the present to be a test vote on Mr. WAYNE, of Georgia, who explained his vote on the question of continuing the present system of internal the Savannah river. The work done there was entirely improvements, to abstain from the exercise of his prividistinct from such works as were contemplated by these lege of debate on that floor. The men of the South had surveys, or were usually included in the system of in- been challenged by northern representatives, and they ternal improvement. The work consisted simply of had not stood by their colors. He might be considered taking up out of the harbor, at the mouth of the river, as too young to enter into such a combat; especially when certain artificial obstructions which had been placed he saw that every man tripped who came in collision with there during the Revolution, as defences against British his colleague, (Mr. MERCER.] That gentleman, it seemcruisers.