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Pay of Members.
[MARCH 29, 1830.
their pay, without deserving it by nerit. The best way, ry motives, and that while they remain bere they are influtherefore, seems to be, for a statesman to leave the matter ! enced by a sense of public duty, and sustain an actual peas he finds it, until the people complain. They know how cuniary loss. But to them money is not the primary mowe stand; and if we are entitled by law to more than we tive to action. Other and more exalted motives actuate deserve, they will demand that we shall set the matter them. To them absence from kind friends, from their acright. I have heard of no voice of complaint among custumed scenes, from the domestic bearth, which I them. Their minds are tranquil, and have settled down trust comes home to the bosoms of all who are entrusted for many years with contentment upon the present rate of with a seat on this floor, is sufficiently painful-spring recompensation. They know that we are the nearest power turns, but not to them return its accustomed joys-daily of the Government to themselves the representatives of and bourly they are recalled to the scenes of their hometheir wisdom, their virtue, their feelings, and their patri- their hearts yearn after their wives, children, and friends, otism-and they have not demanded of us to cut down our but public duty, their obligations to their constituents, compensation below that of clerks in the public offices; keep them bere. When they have accepted the honor pay, even below that of the humblest messenger employ. conferred on them, they will remain here so long as duty ed about this ball. Under these circumstances, I regret requires them. To such men this resolution only offers that this measure has been brought forward at a period of insult—it is addressed to them in rain. But it seems to be the session when it can produce no practical result, except addressed to men of different mould, with whom it may that of displacing business well matured, and delaying be supposed the gentleman from South Carolina bas the action of the House upon measures, the progress of " sounded the depths and shoals of honor;" and I would which the public eye is watching, and in relation to the ask the geutleman whether even as to them it is not bottomfate of which the public feeling is now engaged. Sir, it ed on a wrong estimate of human nature. Upon the prioappears to me that an economist of time could hardly bave ciple of the resolution they are selfish. They have do been less fortunate in the selection of an occasion, or a mode care for, and pay no regard to the public interest. Their of doing public service. The question of compensation, feelings and passions are absorbed in speechifying, as the að presented in the resolution, comes in a forin as vox- word goes, for their own aggrandizement. They will
, of ious and offensive as could possibly have been given to it. course, go on in their usual course until the period when So far as my recollection ranges over the history of re- the eight dollars per diem shall cease, and, after having presentative governments and deliberate assemblies, whe: picked up the crumbs and offal of every debate, to make ther in free or monarchical countries, I can bring to mind themselves notorious, will go home at the end of the four do example or precedent, no proceeding that bears any months, and leave the public business undone. The old likeness or parallel to this. It has at least one merit, that adage, that "you cannot bring blood out of a turnip,” is of originality of invention. Of what character is it Is its too true to be overturned by this resolution. I do not object to produce deeds of patriotism, of honor—to ad- wish to be understood as believing that this is the true cha. vance the interests and extend the renown of our country, racter of this House, or any very large portion of it. I by appealing to our nobler feelings? No—but by address- believe the inembers generally to be actuated by as bigh ing itself to the base and sordid passions—to those feels and honorable motives as any former Congress. "It is not ings which actuate the most degraded and worst of man. requisite I should, in candor, say that they possess the kind. Looking at the ancient republics, we find that they, same amount of talent. I know that in this session, as in when they wished to elicit deeds worthy of a free people, all former ones, time has been consumed in what has been addressed themselves to the higher feelings, to the patri- often called frivolous debate, but still I am eatisfied, from the otism, the love of country—the bonor and integrity of information of those sufficiently qualified to know, from their public functionaries. That is the mode in which I correct and official sources, that we are not bebiud any should like to see the lagging integrity, the slow. atten- preceding Congress in the amount of business actually tion, the wandering thoughts, of this assembly, if such done, and that we are much ahead of them in important things be urged into concentration and quickened into ac- vational affairs, well matured by our committees, and Duw tion. We have fallen on evil times indeed, if our bosoms awaiting the action of the House. In addition to this, it can respond to nothing but such a call as this. We bave ought to be recollected, by experienced gentlemen, that experienced a rapid and premature decay, if, at the end of we have had three contested elections, each of which was fifty years after the declaration of independence, and be the subject of warm excitement and debate, and which for fore the last, lingering, and almost hallowed footsteps of the time entirely excluded ordinary legislative business. I one of those who proclaimed it, have left the earth, we know that many “ wise saws," have been uttered about a have so lost its spirit, become so degenerate in purpose, debate of two days on a small Indian memorial. I do not as to be urged to duty and honor by no other incentive set myself up as a censor upon any gentlemen who may than a small pecuniary penalty banging over our heads! think proper to enter a debate upon any question before Sir, we are required to perform an undefined and undefiu. this House. They are all of age, and act upon their reable amount and extent of legislation, to provide for the sponsibility to their coustituents, and are amenable to the interests, wants, and exigencies of twelve millions of peo- high bar of public taste. But, as I did not enter into that ple, and a vast extent of country, in a specified time, or be debate, and have been generally " a looker on in Verona," fined for it. Knowledge and wisdom are thus to be mea: I may be permitted to say that it involved an important sured by hours, and patriotism by dollars. The iron bed pripciple. It ought to be supposed that gentlemen from of Procrustes is the only thing I know, to which the reso various quarters of this Union, meeting together here, lution bears a resemblance.
somewhat strangers, debate for mutual and public instrucThe reproach which the resolution conveys, (pot de- tion. For my part, I listen with pleasure and delight to signed, I am sure, by the gentleman who offered it,) may the effusions of genius, talent, and experience, on any be correct or not. I will not undertake to say that the subject, and bear with patience its concomitant evil, garmajority of gentlemen on this floor are induced to waste rulity without wisdom. The public vever said that the the time, and lengthen out the session, for the purpose of time so consumed was wasted; until some gentlemen here, receiving their per diem allowance. There are many perhaps with a view of building up their own reputation members, of whose character, standing, and virtue, I am at the expense of others, made some stir about it. If we unacquainted, (the gentleman from South Carolina has could all see ourselves as others see us, it might, perhaps more experience than I bare) but there are many with be considered that the best way to build up a reputation whom I am acquainted; of these last I can say with confi- for business habits, is to attend diligently to the matters dence and candor, that they are not influenced by mercena- | before us, without making a parade about it. A close
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mouth is not only the sign but often the very perfection of days. Sir, it may do very well for the gentleman from wisdom. The discussions of the early part of this session South Carolina, but it will not do for me.
But, if we can may have led to no practical measure, still they may bave not trust the National Legislature of primitive times for an awakened public attention, and sharpened public inquiry. example, let us look to the State Legislatures. There the I believe there is no valuable institution in this world with members staud in close affinity and contact with the people, out some alloy; assembled here from the different sections under the eye of their constituents; yet it will be found of a mighty empire-the representatives of a free and in that they consume as much and more time than we de, telligent people-overlooking the multitudinous interests making allowances for the difference of circumstances uvof this great republic-exercising the right of free discus- der which we operate, and the magnitude and variety of sion---that great and glorious right-can we expect to have interests for which we provide. I speak with kuowledge it without some alloy It is impossible—discussion would of the State from which I have the honor to come. The not be valuable if it were so controlled as to exempt it Legislature of that State met one month before Congress, from being abused. We cannot bave that benu ideal io le- and has not yet adjourned. If the members haye done gislative proceedings which gentlemen seem to desire, and wisely, they will hear, when they return home, the words we should be careful lest, in attempting to take away what well done” from their constituents; because that people may seem objectionable in debate, we do not destroy the look more to the worthiness and value of legislation, than value of the right of discussion altogether.
to the ordinary time expended in maturing it. I think, The resolutiou is founded upon an assumed fact, the then, I may safely say, deriving my information from that contrary of which is proved by experience. It would great source of political knowledge, experience, and we doubtless be a wise measure, if it was satisfactorily esta- should always pursue our path into futurity by the light blished, that the legislative business could be transacted in which beams from the past-looking to this authority, I may four months. If not, the resolution ought to be abandoned. safely say that the resolution of the gentleman from South How are we to ascertain that the business can be done in Carolina is bottomed upon a presumed fact, the converse one hundred and twenty days, not only now, but in future of which is established by experience. Shall we, then, time? Are we to resort to experience, the sure guide who are entrusted with the concerns of a great nation, be which statesmen vught always to follow, or draw upon our guided by experience, or follow the imaginings of the genimaginations? We must consult the records of our countleman?' I choose to follow in the path of those wise and try, and they will admonish us that it is a gratuitous sup. patriotic men of our early days, with whom the spirit of position, a mere fancy, to say that our business can be the revolution abided, who were honored in their lives, and, trapsacted in four months. I have looked at the sessions in their deatbs, were embalmed in the recollections of our of Congress from the commencement of the Government, people. and I find that, at no period, has the first session of any At the close of the hour on Saturday I was about to reCongress been less than five months, not even when the ply to some observations of the gentleman from Virginia population of the country did not much exceed three millions (Mr. ALEXANDER] which introduced the tariff
, and the of souls; at times, too, when men of the purest patriotism peculiar feelings of gentlemeu from the South, into this and most distinguished talents appeared in the
councils of debate. I will forbear, because I feel that I shall trespass the untion; men whose bright escutcheons were never long enough on the time of the House by adverting to stained with the imputation of eking out a session for the the topics that more properly belong to this resolution. I love of their per diem allowance. The first Congress sat, hope to bave some more fit occasion to
my in the two years, five hundred and pineteeu days. I admit, feelings and opinions on the subjects wbich the gentleman that putting the new machinery into operation required from Virginia bas touched. They are like those of the more than ordinary time; but in the years '93 aud '94, when people from whom I am sent, decided and emphatic. The the whole macbivery of Governmeut was in harmonious gentleman from Virginia spoke of the rapine and plunder operation, Congress sat three hundred and eleven days; committed on the people by an army of legislators
. I do in '99 and 1800, it sat two hundred and seventy-two days. pot koow but those might have been the sentiments of At that period the population was five million three huu- Robespierre, when he undertook to regulate everything dred and vineteen thousand and thirteen souls, less than by the jacobin club. Bonaparte dispensed with the reone-half of our present population, and the great States in presentatives of the people in a summary mode--and so did the valley of the Mississippi have since grown up, as if by Cromwell
. As loug as liberty dwells in this land, its brightmagic, claiming the paterunl care of this Legislature. But est, purest, and most secure abode must be in these balle. I have turned to another period of our history, in the hope I do not wish to see the power of the people, as here upthat its example would be more prevalent bere. Mr. Jef- folded and exemplified, curtailed or straitened. Tbe ferson came into power upon the basis of economy and re- gentleman from South Carolina has devoted his energies form, and I believe he had a sincere desire to promote hitherto, to what be considered some improvement in the both. But I have looked in vain to find that the first ses constitution. But I would ask him whether the practical bion of any Congress, during that administration, was effect of his proposition would not be to weaked the popubrougbt to a close in less than five months. The first ses. lar representative branch of this Government, avd'to Biod of his adninistration lasted one hundred and forty- strengthen unreasonably the Executive arm. The constieight days, and the second eighty-eight. Supposing, how- tution provides that peither House sball adjourn without ever, to humor the fashion of the times, that they had some the covsent of the other, for more than three days. The trouble in clearing away the rubbish left by General notion and view of the couvention in this provision is evig Washington and Mr. Adams, in the first Congress, yet the dent. The aristocratic branch, or, as some will bave it, second Congress of that administration, influenced by the the representatives of State sovereigoties, (if that expresstrictest economy, conducted by the purest republicans, sion can be used without a solecism in lexicography and sat two hundred and eighty-two days. "Is it to be expect- common sense,) might choose to adjourn so long, in times ed that this Congress, legislating for more than double of public excitement or public apathy, as to leave the Exthe number of people, covering a much wider extent ecutive authority in perfect control of the Government. of territory, and embracing six additional States, with Now they cannot do it without the consent of the popular less of political experience and wisdom, can do the busi- branch. Sir, every despot who bas arisen in the world, ness in two-thirds the time? The gentleman from South commenced by encroachments on the voice and privilege Carolina would task us too hard, he would fix a badge of of the people, first limiting and then suppressing it. The disgrace upon us, unless we far surpass the Roger Sher- freedom of the press, wbich is entirely analogous to that mans, the Albert Gallatins, the James Madisulis, of other ! of debate, is liable to abuse ; and there is a class of gentle
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men who are constantly engaged in fastidiously be wailing , saved to this people the amount mentioned by the gentle its corruption.
map from South Carolina, by the adoption of this measure ; It is most undoubtedly liable to abuse. More, much but wbat will that signify? The expense of the army is more than the privilege of free debate. Yet who would annually about five millions of dollars, and that of the wish to see it trammelled or circumscribed? The con- navy is nearly of the same amount, wbilet the whole civil stitution provides that Congress shall pass no law, “abridg. department of the Government does not much exceed half ing the freedom of speech or of the press.” Now, what of one million. Now if Congress did nothing, its value freedom of speech was it that they intended to place be would be felt. It is something like the eye of a master you the reach of legislation ? That which takes place watching the labor of his workmen. If gentlemen speak in the market place or in the public streets? One would over again, in the “stock debates," the same speeches that think not, because that is provided for by the common have been spoken, to use the langunge of the gentleman law, on the subjects of suits for slander. Once there from Virginia, (Mr. Barbour] “ de die in diem," it is unwas a sedition law-a sin, in a degree as fatal as the original doubtedly an evil, and is only to be remedied in the firm sin of Adam—because the crime of the fatbers is visited good taste which resides in this House. It must come to upon their children. But, on the whole, considering the that at last: gentlemen must learn that they will be tolerprovision as a general political guaranty, it is bardly to be ated in speaking only when they have something valuable doubted but that it was inteuded to guard the freedom of to communicate. If I ever set up for a pedagogue to lecdebate in the national Assembly as well as in private cir- ture the House, I will strike at these standing debates, pot cles or the bar rooms of a tavern. And is not the national at the occasional flashes wbich bring fire from the eye representative of this people possessed of sufficient dis- and eloquence from the lips of some gentlemen. cretion to confine within reasonable bounds the privilege of Sir, in the beauty and repose of yesterday evening, I debate! In the Roman Senate, a consul was not permitted strolled, in company with others of this House, to the to ioterrupt a sepator, but, if the debate was unreasonably neighboring city of the dead, where some of the fathers prolonged, the senators interrupted it and stopped it by of the republic repose quietly side by side. Their bones their clamor. Cannot the representatives of this people, lie where the bones of their kindred and people do not the most enlightened and patriotic that ever existed on the lie. There is the tomb of George Clinton, upon which it is earth, be entrusted with the same privilege! No, sir, recorded that his children performed that pious office upon the principle of this motion, our controlling motive which was due to bis remains from his country. There is is avarice.' It cannot be dieguised or forgotten that this also the tomb of Elbridge Gerry, upon which bis own Government is the first bope of liberty, and, if it fails, the memorable saying is engraved, “ Government has a claim last prop of enlightened humanity and justice will have upon the time of every citizen, and, if he bad but one day left ihe earth. . We are entrusted with a sacred deposit. 10 live, that day ought to be employed in doing good to The eyes of the friends of liberty and justice in all quarters bis country.” It was refreshing to my spirit to read this of the world are directed towards us. We bave proclaimed memorial of his devotedness to bis country, by one of its that virtue is the foundation of a republic, and knowledge fathers and bepefactors. But my heart fell within me, when its surest support. It seems that we have been going on up. I recollected that it was my humble office to oppose this on a mistake. If so, we ought to undeceive the world. day a resolution, which seems to imply that public spirit
A gentleman briugs in a motion, bottomed on the sup- no longer remains among us, and that our most appropriposition that we are governed by noney. Even Walpole, ate motive to action is love of money, in the pride of his power, never broached so bold a poiion; Mr. EVERETT expressed bimself as friendly to the he thought, to be sure, that every man bad bis price, but objeot of the resolution, so far as regarded an abridgment he thought that public men were to be bought by some of the sessions, but not disposed to employ the means which thing maguiricent, pot by the paltry sum of six dollars the resolution proposed to attain this object. He moved a day. If we adopt this resolution, the people will take us to amend the resolution so as to limit each session to a fix. at our word; they will say that we have fixed the mark of ed term, wbich, he thought, would obviate the objections Cain on our foreheads. I never yet knew any man who which had been urged against the resolution in debate, acknowledged himself to be a mean fellow, who was not and suggested to bim by many of bis friends. believed. If we condemn ourselves, the people will be. Mr. STANBERY said that he did not like the resolulieve us. No man can gather “golden opinions” by tion, and he lamented that it came before the House from branding himself with iniquity. If the resolution passes, the so respectable a source. It proceeded upon the supposition people will perform a solemn lustration, they will purify that a majority of the members of this House procrastinthis hall; and I trust in beaven, that no man who has been ate the session, for the purpose of increasing their own present at the degradation of his country's honor, will compensation. If gentlemen can persuade the people to ever again be returned. Sir, the people of the old cod- believe this, it will have a manifest tendency to bring us tinent bave looked upon us with something of wonder and into contempt and disrepute with them, and prepare their admiration. They have not exactly comprehended the minds for certain irregular movements against this Union, spirit of public virtue which urged us op to prosperity with which we bave been threatened. T'he truth cannot and happiness. Sir, the proposition of the gentleman be disguised, that the people have a deep-rooted attachfrom South Carolina will meet all their wishes. If it is ment for the Union. I'bis attachment is much stronger adoptel, as quick as the ocean can bear it, wiods will was than a certain class of politicians among us perhaps may it to the old world; royn! presses will proclaim it; and the wish. Not all our measures for the protection of the intottering and decaying institutious of despotism will be dustry of the country, and for its internal improvement, stimulated into fresh vigor by the sound.
complained of as so oppressive by some, will, I am persuThe decline of republics is traced from the first moment aded, have the effect of stimulating the people in any of the decline of public virtue and public spirit. I need quarter to sanction any of the irregular movements to not run over the history of ancient times to prove this. which I have alluded. Those who may wish to prepare Every gentleman in this House is sufficiently informed the minds of the people to look with approbation on any to koow it. Shall we not bring disgrace upon representa. measures of this kind, have yet a great work to perform. tive government, if we establish, by our law, that we They must first bring this Goverument into contempt; noshall accomplish all our legislation in a given period, or thing would so effectually do this as the passage of this rehave a brand of diegrace upon us ! I do not agree to it. solution, which would proclaim to the world that we, the It may suit the views of gentlemen who wish to weaken Congress of the United States, the immediate representathe popular branch of this Government. There may bel tives of this great people, are public robbers.
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But, sir, it is not true that this House, or any consider that the members of this body prolong the sessions, from able portion of its members, desire to remain here with the mercenary motives of receiving their per diem allowout performing any public service, for the mere purpose of ance, trifling with the business of the people by an umneentitling themselves to their pay; neither am I prepared cessary delay. The gentleman bas himself illustrated this to admit that this Congress has been less industrious or less view of it most satisfactorily, because he insists that if such patriotic than any which have gone before us. An immense a law was in operation, there would be as much business mass of business has been prepared by our committees, transacted the term for which they were to receive and is now ready for the action of the House. The pas- eight dollars per day, as there is at the present time, when sage of many of the measures before us for the internal the session is extended so much longer; and he bas, but a improvement of the country, and which the state of our few minutes since, given it as his opinion that Congress finances can at present so well afford, and the passage of would not sit either at two dollars per day, or without the bill on our table for the enforcement of the laws already a compensation. When he first advocated his resolution, in being for the protection of the woollen manufactures, we were informed that if Congress would sit a month are, I believe, loudly called for by a large majority of the after the eight dollars per day would expire, and then repeople; and if it be one object of this resolution to defeatceive two dollars per day, there would be an ample comall or any of these measures, by depriving us of sufficient pensation for the session, as the aggregate would be about time to act upon them, it only affords an additional reason seven dollars per day. This position, I apprehend, only for any oppoeition to it. If it were in my power to go any goes to show that eight dollars per day is too much; befurther than to vote against the resolution, I would yote it cause, if seven dollars is “amply sufficient" for a long a libel on the House.
session, it is equally so for a shorter one; and, if gentleMr. McDUFFIE replied to Mr. S. with equal warmth, men are in earnest, and have any desire to reduce the add vindicated his resolution against the objections urged wages of members, I shall go with them most cheerfully by others.
to reduce the daily pay to seven dollars, because I believe Mr. SCOTT said that, were it not for the imposing ap- that sum is worth as much for ordinary uses at the present pearance which the resolution now under consideration day, as eight dollars was at the time the present pay was presented to the view of the public, be would bave rest- established by law; and this will be a certain saving to the ed perfectly satisfied (as he had heretofore done on other Government, and much more congenial to our republican occasions) with giving a silent vote. And now I regret institutions, (said Mr. S.) that I have to differ in opinion with the gen In the great uncertainty of human affairs, suppose some tleman from South Carolina, who offered it, because I national calamity was to befall our country, and it should believe his motives were pure, and that his only object become absolutely necessary for Congress to deliberate a was to facilitate the business of Congress ; apud I now dis much greater length of time than is contemplated by the avow the most distant intention of attributing any impro- present project, they would have to sit for a sum scarcely per motives to him - But I feel well satisfied that the insufficient to pay their boarding. Should there, then, be troduction of a principle, such as is comprehended in the any such mercenary men who would have the honor of a resolution, would have a tendency virtually to destroy one, seat in this House, and have no more honorable and pathe most valuable co-ordinate branch of our republican Go-triotic object in view than their daily pay, would they not vernment. I mean the representative branch, which is at very soon leave your ball! But what would be the unall times under the immediate control of the people, and pleasant situation of one (perhaps) of the most virtuous ought to be free and unrestricted in its deliberations. In and patriotic members of your body, who, under some my humble opinion, it would be imprudent impolitic, and severe dispensation of Providence, would have to resign unjust in us, who sit here in the time of peace and pros- his seat, or ask leave of absencel Would le not have his perity, to limit the sessions to a certain period of time, feelings wounded with frequently being stigmatized with when we know not the day that troubles and misfortunes the epithets "un Forthy," "mercenary.” Sir, my bonormay befall us. Yes, sir, there is a possibility, though, I able colleague [Mr. COULTER] had the fortitude (and I was grant, not a probability, that, previous to the end of our much gratified to hear it) to bring into the view of the present session, an indignity may be offered to our flag House the true cause of the procrastination and delay of upon the ocean, which might render it absolutely neces- business in this body, namely, the protracted debates which sary for the present Congress to take the matter under frequently take place on trivial and unimportant questions. their most serious consideration. I hope a kind Providence This I take to be the true cause of delay. But, neither the may avert any such evil, as no one would deplore it more adoption of this resolution, nor of the amendment before than myself. But this and many other circumstances may the chair, nor of their principles epacted into a law, would, occur in future, which may require the solemn delibera- in my humble opinion, in any degree, remedy the evil. tions of Congress, when they may require time, and the The same gentlemen who retard the business in the presutmost extent of their talents—whenever national safety ent situation of affairs, would do the same provided the may bang suspended on the lips and the wise deliberations proposed system was adopted. And should our country of the statesmen within this hall
. And, from what I have ever be so unfortunate (which I hope it never may) as to seen and experienced of the gentleman who is the author have unworthy and designing men in this ball, they would of the resolution now under consideration, I, for one, then be much better enabled to accomplish their evil ends would have as much confidence in his integrity, talents
, by device and stratagem. and opinions on such an occasion, as of any member with I am well aware that, in some instances, tedious avd in these walls. But, much as I have admired the general protracted debates may be carried to tuo great a length; course wbich the gentleman from South Carolina bas pur- but as all buman governments must necessarily bear marks sued, since I have had the honor of observing it, I must of human frailty, and although this privilege, in large be permitted to think very differently from him on some deliberative bodies, may sometimes be carried to excess, subjects ; and, at present, I feel opposed both to the re- yet, sir, it is to the enjoyment of, and a full and free exersolution, and the amendment to it, wbich has been offered cise of this privilege, that we must look for our freedom by the honorable gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. and independence, and the security of every thing that is EVEBETT), because I believe that either of them is at va most dear to us; and I apprehend much more danger riance with our republican institutions, and that, if either from legislating too precipitately, than from the tediousis adopted, and should become a law, the most pernicious ness of investigation--and I think that almost every exconsequences will most inevitably follow. The very prin- perienced legislator will agree with me in this opinion, ciple implied, both in the resolution and amendmeut, is, l And the moment you take away or restrict the privilege
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[MARCH 29, 1830.
of debate in your legislative halls, you strike a fatal blow senting something like an interplea in favor of the people at the whole system of representative government. Then, east of the mountains, and bringing directly before the I am not willing to place any restraint upon our succes committee the relative claims of the different routes prosors; I hope they may be men who will represent faith. posed from this place to New Orleans. fully the true interests of a free and independent nation, These examinations and surveys were executed by or for ages yet to come.
der of the Government, under authority of the act of April, Fallen, as the human family is, from a state of perfection, 1824, directing the survey of such objects of internal imI cannot agree that if even the gentleman's proposition provement as might be considered of national importance. should succeed, and any calamity should befall our country, But while it is my purpose to show from them that the that would render it necessary for Congress to be in session routes enst of the mountains, as indicated by the reports of eight months, but that there would be men, even in very the engineers, and especially that termed the middle route, limited circumstances, that would be willing to sacrifice possess advantages superior to those west of the mountains, their time and labor for their country's welfare. Much as I must be permitted to express my regret that these doI deplore the frailty of human nature, much as I feel the cuments do not furnish that accurate information so desireffects of it, I do most unfeignedly believe that it is sink able in deciding the perplexing question of the proper ing it far below its present dignity, to suppose that there location of this road: they exbibit a mere outline, without is no such thing as disinterested patriotism, and that mere noticing many of the prominent difficulties or peculiar admercenary motives are the whole rule of action with all vantages characteristic of the face of the country through public men. If such is our deplorable situation, our liber- which these surveys are carried. I have understood, sir, tics will soon be at an end, and the adoption of the prin- that the visit of the engineers detailed on this service was ciples contained in the proposition now before the House, known to very few persons throughout the line of their in my humble opinion, would soon put it in the power of survey in the western part of North Carolina ; and that the most dangerous and mercenary to assume the control they neither sought por obtained, from intelligent indiviand evade the will of the people. I trust there are no duals, such local information as might bave tended to a such men within this hall, as would from mere mercenary full understanding of the advantages which that route premotives, detain the proceedings of Congress for the sake sented. They seem to have travelled with the caution of daily pay; should there be such, which I hope there is and expedition that might have been expected to characnot, I will close my remarks, by addressing them with a terize an excursion into an enemy's country. It is true sentiment, which was suggested to my mind by a descrip-tbat, at the time of the performance of this service, some tion given by my friend and colleague this morning. * 'I of our southern politicians, both here and elsewhere, bad would sny to them, that they ought to be afraid to tread assumed a rather threatening attitude in their denial of the the soil that had been enriched by the blood of the heroes power of this Government to execute surveys, and conof the revolution—that they ought to be afraid to visit struct roads and other works of improvement, in the sevethe tombs of the patriots and sages who gained our liber- ral States ; but whatever reason this might bave offered ty and founded our Government-lest the spirits of the for a careful and unobtrusive passage through other parts departed brave should be aroused from their peaceful of their journey, yet, in North Carolina, these Governslumbers, and forbid the foul intrusion. We have been ment officers bad nothing to fear-they were there, at informed that our names will have to appear on this ques. least, on veutral ground. Not that the people of that tion. I am willing and prepared to record my name, both State are indifferent to, or united in their opinions as to against the amendment of the gentleman from Massachus- the powers of the General Government upon this and otber etts, and the original resolution, not fearing the couse. subjects, but, influenced by that spirit of concession and quences, when I am in the conscientious discharge of my compromise which gave existence to the constitution, they duty.
are prepared to yield much; yes, sir, they would pause Mr. WAYNE next rose, but the debate was discontinued, long before they uttered even a gasconadiog threat of opthe hour for considering resolutions having expired. position to this or any similar act of authority on the part
Mr. WICKLIFFE, in order she said) to have the sense of the General Government; and though they may believe of the House ascertained on the resolution, as he presum- that, in many acts of legislation bere, a due regard bas ed members had made up their minds on the question, not been paid to their interests, their complaints will be moved to suspend the rule which confines the discussion found to mingle with them no spirit of resistance-Do senof resolutions to one hour of the day. The motion was timent of disunion. This is a subject that they have not negatived.
been taught to think or talk about; and I, sir, am the very
last man on earth that would attempt to teach them so fearBUFFALO AND NEW ORLEANS ROAD.
ful a lesson. But I return to the immediate question before The previous orders of the day were, on the motion of the committee. The gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Mr. HEMPHILL, postponed; and the House resolved it. HEMPHILL) asserts that the western route, the one embraced self into a Committee of the Whole on the state of the in the bill, bas decided advantages over any other; but be Union, Mr. Harnes in the chair, and took up the bill mak. has not told us to which of the routes bis assertion is intended ing an appropriation for a road from Buffalo, in New York, to apply; or, is he ignorant of the fact that two directions to New Orleans, by Washington city.
and two distinct surveys west of the mountains have been Mr. A. H. SHEPPERD said, he rose principally for the reported! I may well suppose the gentleman from Pennpurpose of offering an amendment to the bill now under sylvania to have fallen into this error, not only from what consideration. I have hitherto forborne to do so, from a be has said, but from the fact that the gentleman from Tenwish that my colleague (Mr. Carson) should have an op: dessee (Mr. BLAIR) has triumphantly exhibited a chart of, portunity of offering one that was lung since printed and the route reported in 1826, and has referred to it as givlaid on our tables; but as he has twice bad the floor, and ing the only western direction indicated by the engineers ; twice been induced to with bold his proposition, I now feel but, sir, I have procured from the Engineer Department, myself at liberty to present my own; the effect of which and dow bave before me, a map of a route which diverges will be, as I intimated when I obtained the floor, to make from the first a few miles beyond Knoxville, Tennessee, up an issue different from that already pending, by pre- crosses the Clinch river at Kingston, is then found wind• Mr. Coulter described his visit to the public burving ground, ing up Spencer's hill, and, after a fatiguing journey of
ing its way through the Cumberland mountains, and toilman has but one day to live :hadar ought to be devoted to the many miles west of a direct line, it reaches Huntsville, in service of his country."- Nate ég dr. S.
Alabama; and from thence it is seen to encounter the Mue