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sententiis," nor even “ totidem verbis," they were at least to be discovered totidem litteris." There is no longer any limit imposed on the expenditures of the government, no longer any claim, we might almost say, any pretence to an economical administration. The boast and the triumph latterly have been derived froin the magnitude of the sums which have been lavished away; the struggle from many portions of the country is, to persuade the government to expend, heedlessly and profusely, only taking care to secure to their own neighbourhoods as great a portion as possible of these expenditures. In this struggle, all who have thought this system improper, or who could not patiently persevere in soliciting favours, have been laughed at for their simplicity, and rewarded accordingly.
A very short examination of the operation of the government under this system will shew us not only how liable it will be, if not corrected, to abuse, but how certainly it will and must be abused. We must recal a few facts, and exhibit a few statements before we enter into any argument on the subject.
It will probably surprise those who have become accustomed to the enormous and inqualified grants of modern days to be informed that the miscellaneous expenditures of the government from the year 1799 to 1811, inclusive, did not exceed four hundred and twenty-six thousand dollars—and this sum was distributed so strictly, according to the exigencies of the country, that more than one half (two hundred and forty-four thousand dolJars) was expended to the south of the Potomac. But the fixed and steady expenditures were otherwise applied. The navy yards, as far as established, the armories, the military school, were all placed to the north of the Potomac, or on its banks, and the annual expense of these institutions was not inconsiderable.t The Cumberland road, the unfortunate prototype of so many fantastic projects, the first, we believe the only instance in which Mr. Jefferson, (led by his anxiety to give new value to the recently acquired territory of Louisiana, and perhaps to con
* To those who wish to study the canons of interpretation, we would recommend a careful perusal of the 2d section of that grave and erudite work, the “ Tale of a Tub." It will there be seen how easily discreet and ingenious men can remove obstacles, arising either from the presence or absence of words. We cannot follow the heirs in this Tale through all the difficulties their father's Will presented, but referring to the debates themselves, only add, that after having been sorely perplexed they came finally to the conclusion that “they, as heirs-general of their father, had power to make and add certain clauses for public emolument, though not deducible, totidem verbis, from the letter of the Will, or else multa absurda sequerentur."
+ We have nothing but the acts of Congress within our reach, and in them the appropriations are made in general terms for the naval or military service, &c. The reports of the different departments and of the Committees of Congress, contained the different specifications, and to them we have not, at present, the power of refer:
ciliate the Western States) departed from his principles in regard to the construction of the Constitution, is on the dividing line between the two great sections of our country, and although certainly more useful to the States north of the Ohio than to those on the south, will, as regards this question, be considered as on neutral ground. After the termination, however, of the war with Great Britain, when the feelings of the country were in a state of excitement, and great appropriations were made to fortify our sea-coasts, and increase our navy, it unfortunately becaine also fashionable to advocate schemes of internal improvement. These were, at first, considered as speculative questions, but private interests soon became enlisted in the discussion, and after the judicial construction given to the Constitution in 1819, by the Supreme Court of the United States, which favoured the extension of power, projects, without number, have burst forth under the united influence of policy and interest, and have, without regard to any fixed principle or just or liberal apportionment, been pressed upon the country by every one who wished to be conspicuous in a particular district, or in a limited circle. Under some such malign influence, schemes have sprung upon us like the plagues from Pandora's box, and have scarcely left behind them the hope that our union can eventually survive these evils.
Even the system which was projected for our protection and defence, was permitted to assume this partial and sectional character-while the great appropriations for fortifications were apparently distributed in equal proportions to the north, the east, the south and the west, yet, great inequalities actually existed. The great expenditures in that which is termed the southern division, were at Norfolk, by which the country, connected with the Chesapeake on the northern side of the Potomac was equally protected, and in which it is as much interested as that in the south. In the western division, the great appropriations were for New Orleans, and it can be no heresy to state, that these appropriations would never have been so great if the Western States, and particularly those to the northwest of the Ohio, had not considered themselves deeply interested in the security of that city. On examining the latest reports from the War Department, this inequality becomes more conspicuous, as local interests have acquired new strength.
In the documents accompanying the President's Message to Congress on the 4th of December, 1827, the military works projected by the Board of Engineers which had not been commenced are separated into three classes.
Of those contained in the first class, to be commenced as soon as possible
Those situated to the North of the Potomac
77,810 79 In the second class, to be commenced at a later
205,602 33 Those South of do.
429,872 34 In the third class, to be commenced at a remote period, the objects are, comparatively, unimportant; and as we are unable to locate one or two of the works specified, we have not extended the estimates, indeed the works in this class scarcely merit notice in the present comparison, for the execution of them is postponed to a remote period, and before that period arrives other objects may arise to supersede or be connected with them, that may vary altogether the proportional scale of expense. It is to the first and second class that the public attention is immediately directed, and for which appropriations are required.
But let us lay aside these inilitary appropriations, and grant that into the consideration of measures adopted for the defence of the country, no such strict or scrutinizing spirit should be carried. That wherever exposed, our frontier requires and is entitled to protection, even if that defence, as in the case of the Valley of the Mississippi, should be concentered at one point. Let us in this argument lay out of the question the unequal distribution of expense, and consequently of protection, although we feel it as a subject of regret, if not of complaint, that fourteen hundred miles of coast between Norfolk and Pensacola, the greater part of which is weak and exposed, should be entirely defenceless, and turn to those objects which are peculiarly considered as measures of internal improvement, where no defence of this nature, no plea of necessity can be interposed, where no motives but views of “national welfare," or the influence of particular States, or of particular individuals, can have swayed the decision of the government. We can then fairly ascertain what prevalent spirit has governed and directed these “national projects."
From the message of the President of the United States, transmitting the information required by a resolution of the House of Representatives, in relation to expenditures incident or relating to internal improvement for the years 1824-1825," (Doc. No. 149, Ho. of Rep.) it appears that the sums expended
in those two years, on internal improvement, were thus distributed North of the Potomac,
$323,603 47 South of do.
27,398 28 Common to the two sections,
33,713 00 In the report made to the House of Representatives from the Engineer's Department on the 17th of February, 1827 (Doc. No. 106, Ho. of Rep.) there is exhibited an abstract of the applications, filed in the department, for the surveys of roads and canals, which have not been surveyed. These are divided into two tables, the first containing those which it is the intention of the department to have surveyed; the second, those which are not to be surveyed. In the first table, the works to be surveyed are situated as follows: North of the Potomac,
13 South of do.
6 On the Dividing Line,
1 In the very able speech of Mr. Smith, which we have no ticed at the head of this article, a speech which merits more attention than it has received, not only on account of the strong facts and striking illustrations of the abuses to which this system will lead, to which indeed it has already led; but also of the total want of economy which is beginning to distinguish these operations—there is a detailed enumeration of no less than sixty-nine, not mere projects, but actual surveys of roads, eanals, rivers, creeks and harbours. Of these were located North of the Potomac,
54 South of do.
12* Common to the two sections of the Union,
3 The Report made to the House of Representatives on the 28th of April, 1828, (Doc. No. 261, Ho. of Rep.) appears to give a more complete statement of this subject than the document from which Mr. Smith derived his information, and made the enumeration to which we have above alluded. This report contains “a list of the different works of internal improvement, comprising routes for roads and canals, attempts to improve the navigation of rivers, lakes, creeks and bays, and to protect coasts and islands that have been undertaken or projected by the Federal Government, within the different States and Territories,
* Of these twelve, the Canal across the Peninsula of Florida, was altogether a Northern enterprise, intended to facilitate the navigation to New-Orleans. For, as soon as it was ascertained that a canal for ships could not easily be constructed, but only one for boats, which, to the inhabitants of the Peninsula, would probably be the most useful, the scheme was immediately abandoned, and now sleeps most quietly among the archives of the department.
from the year 1824 to the year 1828, inclusive, shewing how many works, and of what kinds have been undertaken or projected in each State or Territory within that time; the amount intended or deemed necessary to be expended in the execution of each work, so far as the same has been estimated; and the time which each will probably require for its completion, as far as practicable, from the information in possession of this department."
The works specified in this report, are situated as follow :North of the Potomac,
68 South of
19 Seven that may be called common-but four of these relate to the Cumberland Road and Chesapeake Canal, that have much more relation to the north-west than to the south.
The estimates are incomplete, and it is probable that when all are finished, the cost in each section of the country may bear some proportion to the contemplated number of works. To shew, however, how much more attention is paid to those in one quarter than to those in the other, it may be proper to state that the sum necessary to be expended, so far as the same has been estimated, is
For the Ohio and Chesapeake Canal, with which the South has nothing to do,
$22,375,427 69 For works North of the Potomac,
10,291,069 96 For works South of do.
33,500 00" And such, if we reason from the past, will be the practical operation of this system, such the complexion it will wear, until some fixed principle shall be established to regulate these expenditures, if the constitutional objections continue to be overruled by a majority-and, in accordance with these statements are the apparent views and feelings of those who govern, the South seems never to enter into their consideration. The States that urge this system on, virtually combine to apportion the benefits of it among themselves; sometimes, we blush to say it, to purchase the acquiescence or co-operation of States that have hitherto resisted these claims of power by the Federal Government. The evils that are approaching under the cover of this doctrine are already of sufficient magnitude to alarm every considerate man. Schemes, within a few years, have been forced into notice, sufficient to cost from fifty to one hundred millions of dollars. Every season must bring forth a new litter. Every man who wishes to be great in a small circle, must form and fashion some project to attract the admiration of his followers. Every member of Congress who wishes to be extremely popular in his own district, must labour to make it the theatre and focus of extensive