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tercourse is the true remedy to this weakness; and the means by which this is to be effected, are roads, canals, and the coasting trade. On these, combined with domestic manufactures, does the monied capacity of this country, in war, depend. Without them, not only will we be unable to raise the necessary supplies, but the currency of the country must necessarily fall into the greatest disorder; such as we lately experienced.

But on this subject of national power, what, said Mr. Calhoun, can be more important than a perfect unity in erory part, in feelings and sentiments? And what can tend more powerfully to produce it, than overcoming the effects of distance? No country, enjoying freedom, every occupied any thing like as great an extent of country as this republic. One hundred years ago, the most profound philosophers did not believe it to be even possible. They did not suppose it possible that a pure republic could exist on as great a scale even as the island of Great Britain. What then was considered as chimerical, said Mr. C. we now have the felicity to enjoy; and, what is most remarkable, such is the happy mould of our government, so well are the state and general powers blended, that much of our political happiness draws its origin from the extent of our republic. It has exempted us from most of the causes which distracted the small republics of antiquity. Let it not, however, be forgotten; let it, said he, be for ever kept in mind, that it exposes us to the greatest of all calamities, next to the loss of liberty, and even to that in its consequence-disunion. We are great, and rapidly, he was about to say fearfully, growing. This is our pride and danger-our weakness and strength. Little, said Mr. C., does he deserve to be entrusted with the liberties of his people, who does not raise his mind to these truths. We are under the most imperious obligation to counteract every tendency to disunion. The strongest of all cements is, undoubtedly, the wisdom, justice, and, above all, the moderation of this house; yet the great subject on which we are now deliberating, in this respect, deserves the most serious consideration. Whatever impedes the intercourse of the extremes with this, the centre of the republic, weakens the union. The more enlarged the sphere of commercial circulation, the more extended that of social intercourse; the more strongly are we bound together; the more inseparable are our destinies. Those who understand the human heart best, know how powerfully distance tends to break the sympathies of our nature. Nothing, not even the dissimilarity of language, tends more to estrange man from man. Let us then, said Mr. C., bind the republic together with a perfect system of roads and canals. Let us conquer space: It is thus the most distant parts of the republic will be brought within a few days travel of the centre; it is thus that a citizen of the west will read the

our

news of Boston still moist from the press. The mail and the press, said he, are the nerves of the body politic. By them, the slightest impression made on the most remote parts, is communicated to the whole system; and the more perfect the means of transportation, the more rapid and true the vibration. To aid us in this great work, to maintain the integrity of this re. public, we inhabit a country presenting the most admirable ad. vantages. Belted around, as it is, by lakes and oceans, intersected in every direction by bays and rivers, the hand of indus. try and art is tempted to improvement. So situated, blessed with a form of government at once combining liberty and strength, we may reasonably raise our eyes to a most splendid future, if we only act in a manner worthy of our advantages. If, however, neglecting them, we permit á low, sordid, selfish, sectional spirit to take possession of this house, this happy scene will vanish. We will divide, and as consequences will follow misery and despotism.

To legislate for our country, said Mr. Calhoun, requires not only the most enlarged views, but a species of self-devotion, not exacted in any other. In a country so extensive, and so various in its interests, what is necessary for the common good, may apparently be opposed to the interest of particular sections. This must be submitted to as the condition of our greatness. But were we a small republic; were we confined to the ten miles' square, the selfish instincts of our nature might in most cases be relied on for the management of public affairs.

Though he was unwilling to incorporate details in the bill, yet he was not adverse to presenting his views on that point. The first great object was to perfect the communication from Maine to Louisiana. This might be fairly considered as the principal artery of the whole system. The next was the connexion of the lakes with the Hudson river. In a political, commercial, and military point of view, few objects could be more important. The next object of chief importance was to connect all the great commercial points on the Atlantic, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Richmond, Charleston, and Savannah, with the western states; and finally, to perfect the intercourse between the west and New Orleans. These seemed to be the great objects. There were others no doubt of high importance which would receive the aid of government. The fund proposed to be set apart in this bill was about 650,000 dollars a year, which was, doubtless, too small to effect such great objects of itself; but it would be a good beginning; and he had no doubt when it was once begun, the great work would be finished. Uninfluenced by an other considerations than love of country and duty, said he, let us add this to the many useful measures already adopted. The money cannot be appropriated to a more exalted use. Every portion of the community, the farmer, methanic, and merchant, will feel its good effects; and, what is of the greatest importance, the strength of the community will be auginented, and its political prosperity rendered more secure.

MR. CLAY, (speaker) observed, that it was not his intention to enter into the general discussion of the subject: he wished only to say, that he had long thought that there were no two subjects which could engage the attention of the national legislature, more worthy of its deliberate consideration, than those of internal improvements and domestic manufactures.

Mr. C. said, that, as to the constitutional point which had been made, he had not a doubt on his mind; but it was not necessary, in his judgment, to embarrass the passage of the bill with the argument of that point at this time. It was a sufficient answer to say, that the power was not now to be exercised. It was proposed merely to designate the fund, and, from time to time, as the proceeds of it came in, to invest them in the funded debt of the United States. It would thus be accumulating; and congress could at some future day examine into the constitutionality of the question, and if it has the power it would exercise it; if it has not, the constitution, there could be very little doubt, would be so amended as to confer it. It was quite obvious, however, that congress might so direct the application of the fund, as not to interfere with the jurisdiction of the several states, and thus avoid the difficulty which had been started. It might distribute it among those objects of private enterprize which called for national patronage, in the form of subscriptions to the capital stock of incorporated companies, such as that of the Delaware and Chesapeake canal, and other similar institutions. Perhaps that might be the best way to employ the fund; but he repeated that this was not the time to go into this in- ' quiry.

With regard to the general importance of the propositionthe effect of internal improvements in cementing the unionin facilitating internal trade-in augmenting the wealth and the population of the country, he would not consume the time of the committee in discussing those interesting topics, after the able manner in which they had been treated by his friend from South Carolina. In reply to those who thought that internal improvements had better be left to the several states, he would ask, he would put it to the candour of every one, if there were not various objects in which many states were interested, and which, requiring therefore their joint co-operation, would, if not taken up by the general government, be neglected, either for the want of resources, or from the difficulty of regulating their respective contributions. Such was the case with the improvement of the navigation of the Ohio at the rapids; the canal from the Hudson to the lakes; the great turnpike road, parallel with the coast from Maine to Louisiana. These, and

similar objects were stamped with a national character; and they required the wisdom and the resources of the nation to accomplish them. No particular state felt an individual interest sufficient to execute improvements of such magnitude. They must be patronised, efficaciously patronised, by the general government, or they never would be accomplished.

The practical effect of turnpike roads in correcting the evil, if it be one, of the great expansion of our republic, and in conquering space itself, as was expressed by the gentleman from South Carolina, is about to be demonstrated by the great turnpike road from Cumberland to Wheeling. That road is partially executed, and will probably be completed in about three years. In the me? a time, Maryland is extending a line of turnpike roads from Baltimore to Cumberland, which is also partially finished, and will be completed in the same period. Three years from the present time, we shall have a continued line of turnpike roads from Baltimore to Ohio. The ordinary time requisite to travel from Wheeling to Baltimore, prior to the erection of these roads, was eight days. When the roads are completed, the same journey may be performed in three days. The distance, in effect, between those two points, will be diminished in the proportion of five-eighths, or, in other words, they will be brought five days nearer to each other. Similar results will follow wherever this species of improvement is effected.

Mr. C. owned that he felt anxiously desirous for the success of this measure. He was anxious, from its intrinsic merits, from his sincere conviction of its tendency greatly to promote the welfare of our common country. He was anxious, from other, perhaps more selfish, considerations. He wished the Fourteenth Congress to have the merit of laying the foundations of this great work. He wished this congress, who, in his opinion, had so many other just grounds for the national approbation, notwithstanding the obloquy which had attended a single unfortunate measure, to add this new claim to the public gratitude.

MR. GOLD, of New York, observed, that the constitution was interposed as an obstacle to the appropriation. When, he said, shall we have any principle settled and at rest in this government? Is every thing to be kept in fluctuation and uncertainty in all future time, and the fruits of experience, the benefit of example, of precedent, which is admitted in every thing else, to find no place here?

It is now twenty-five years since this great constitutional question was argued before the people of the United States: it was argued by the ablest of men, and decided under the most favourable auspices. It was decided shortly after the adoption of the constitution, while the objects of the instru.

ment, and the views of its authors, were well understood; and Washington yielded to the decision his deliberate sanction.

Most important measures of the government have been adopted in conformity with this decision. It is time, I must think, to apply the principle of “ Res judicata,and put the question at rest. It may be truly said, that there has been as general an acquiescence of the community in the decision, as could be expected in a case on which the great parties of the country divided in violent hostility. I may add further, the case was rightly decided.

The express power delegated by the constitution over commerce, applies equally, and in the same terms, to internal, to

commerce among the states," as to foreign commerce; and the authority of congress is as plenary, as absolute over one as the other: it is all the power which any sovereign, integral government could or ought to exercise upon broad principles of legislation. This power is most essential. In war, a superior naval force may lock up the coasting trade of the country; the effects of which can be obviated only by a chain of canals from bay to bay, along the line of the sea-board. Improved roads may contribute to the same purpose. Interior facilities of communication may be added to enliven industry, and mitigate the pressure of war.

From another specified power, to provide for the “ common defence," this constitutional question derives great support. The rapid movement of troops from one point of attack to another, as well on the sea board as the inland frontier, to meet the varying attacks of an enemy; the speedy transport of ordnance and heavy naval equipments, to points of assault and de-fence, will often become indispensable. The experience of the last war places the subject in the strongest light. The dangerous delays in the transportation of ordnance and naval equipments, will be remembered by all. Weeks, nay, I may say months, elapsed in the forwarding of ordnance, anchors, &c. from the sea-board to the northern frontier of New York. I am not certain that the anchor of the last great ship, built at Sackett's Harbour, has yet reached that place. A military road, as well as a canal, is highly necessary between the Hudson and the lakes; and this for the defence of the country.

On general principles, as applicable to the territory of the United

States; a territory extending from the frozen region of the north to the climate of the sugar cane and the vine; from the Atlantic to the setting sun in the west, it is impossible not to see the fairest theatre for internal commerce, that was ever presented to any government, ancient or modern. To overlook these advantages to stay the hand of improvement, is to do the greatest injustice to the community; is to be wanting in the highest duty of legislation. What, sir, have we recently seen?

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