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DEBATES IN CONGRESS,
COMPRISING THE LEADING DEBATES AND INCIDENTS
OF THE SECOND SESSION OF THE TWENTIETH CONGRESS:
IMPORTANT STATE PAPERS AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS,
THE LAWS ENACTED DURING THE SESSION:
WITH A COPIOUS INDEX TO THE WHOLE.
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY GALES AND SEATON.
GALES & SEATON'S
Register of Debates
Of Debates in Congress. .
TWENTIETH CONGRESS...SECOND SESSION:
FROM DECEMBER 1, 1828, To MARCH 3, 1829.
DEBATES IN THE SENATE.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 1828.
sand dollars of the people's money, and then say, by their At 12 o'clock M. the Hon. SAMUEL SMITH, Presi- neglect of the road, that they had been prodigal upon a
useless matter. dent of the Senate pro tempore, took the chair.
He had, at a former time, introduced a Thirty-two members appeared, and answered to their motion, which passed both Houses, providing for the erec
tion of toll-gates upon this road, which had afterwards The usual messages were interchanged between the two been defeated upon constitutional principles. At an earHouses relative to the formation of a quorum, &c. and a
ly day in the last session, he had introduced a bill, which committee appointed to wait upon the President of the was referred; but, from the pressure ofother more important United States.
business, it was not possible to act upon it until the close of the session. The road had now become so bad that it
was almost impossible to travel it, either upon horseback TUESDAY, DEC. 2, 1828.
or in carriages, and it must soon be abandoned by the mail Mr. JOHNSTON, of Louisiana, from the Committee ap- carriers: for they would not be able to travel upon it, and pointed yesterday to wait upon the President of the fulfil their contracts. The State of Maryland, he believed, United States, and inform him that a quorum of the two (and if he was mistaken the President would be able to Houses had assembled, &c. reported that they had per correct him) had given up to the United States all juformed the duty assigned them, and that the PRESIDENT risdiction over such part of the road as went through their would make a communication to the two Houses to-day at sovereignty. The State of Pennsylvania had also given 12 o'clock.
the General Government power to erect toll-gates within A message was shortly after received from the Presi- their limits. The State of Virginia now only retained any dent of the United States, by Mr. John Adams, his Se- authority over the road: and as it was only fifteen miles cretary, (which will be found in the Appendix.] from Alexandria where it left that State, he did not think
The message was read; and three thousand copies of that it was essential to have the privilege; for it was the message, and fifteen hundred of the documents accom- not necessary to have a gate within their limits; and even if panying it, were ordered to be printed for the use of the Virginia should withhold such liberties as might be desiraSenate.
ble, still the road might be preserved.
It was important, not only to the interest of the West. WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3, 1828.
ern States, but to the character of this country. It was
not possible that the Senate would allow its wisdom to be THE CUMBERLAND ROAD, &c.
impeached, by saying, that we can expend the people's Mr. JOHNSON, of Ky. gave notice that he should, to- money upon this object, but we cannot improve and premorrow,or on some subsequent day, move for leave to intro- serve it after it is completed. It was not of much conseduce a bill, entitled “ A bill for the preservation and repair quence to him, but he called solemnly upon the Senate to of the Cumberland Road.” He said, the subject had call. consider the subject; to know if it was not their duty, ed for and received the attention of Congress for the last either to abandon the road to the States through which it twenty years, and that one million seven hundred thou- passed, or to exert the power given to them, for its preser. sand dollars had been expended upon the road, and that vation. The road was the grand thoroughfare between at this time the road from Cumberland to Wheeling was the East and the West, by which goods and travellers from going rapidly to destruction. The road which has been all the Atlantic cities approached the Western country; and the boast of the United States, and a credit to the country, yet this leading communication would soon be abandoned would not, in a few years, be worth a single cent. It by the traveller, by the mail-contractor, and by the naseemed to him, that it was the duty of Congress to act up- tion. on this subject, and to dispose of the road in some man- We might as well have thrown the bills into the fire, ner; and not let it be said to the American people that or have melted the silver and thrown it to the four winds Congress could expend one million seven hundred thou- 1 of heaven, as have expended one million seven hundred