The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Seventeenth Congress, Second Session Page: 91
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91 HISTORY OF CONGRESS. 92
Senate. Cumberland Road BiU. January, 1823.
happy Union, is such a mean of communication ! tains, to attend my humble duties in this place,
between the two great leading divisions of our ; that I never do so without feeling a swell of gen-
widely extended but happy regions? In this, its : erous and proud emotion at the reflection that the
political point of view, highways like this, Mr. road I pass on is, in its design and construction,
President, present benefits to the nation, inappre- ! worthy the character of the nation to whom it ap-
ciable in the extent of their future happy conse- j pertains; was the work of the nation amongst
quences. In this respect, such highways become i whose citizens I am proud to count myself; and
One of the strongest bands—one of the firmest ce- ! that such a work is not the work or property of
meats of union, which the. wisdom and benevo- any one State, however great, or rich, or pow-
lence of the enlightened and philosophical states- 1 erful, of our immense Confederacy, hut of the
man can invent, or conceive. It is by their agency nation. j
in furnishing the means and the inducements to This road, Mr. President, is, indeed, a work j
frequent, cheap, and easy communication, between ■ worthy the nation by whom it was made, and to |
the different and distant parts of these United I whom it appertains, and, after the enormous sums |
States, the freedom of social and commercial in- ■ which have been expended from its coffers in the |
tercourse brings together individuals from the dif- j construction of such a monument to its wisdom j
ferent. portions of our empire ; gradually wears off j and its glory, I can never persuade myself that the J
those asperities and peculiarities of manner and j Congress of the United States will incur the re- j
temper, 011 either side, by which harmony and i proach of permitting such a work to go to decay j
good feelings are produced, cherished, and culti- ! and ruin, for want of the small sum required by %
vated between citizens of different portions of the ! the bill to place it once more in complete repair,
Union, who, but for such approximation, are
brought by slight and unessential differences in
customs, manners, or habits, to despise and to hate
and make it what it was intended to be by those i
to whom we owe its origin and completion. . \
When Mr. Talbot had concluded— , ■;
each other; and by thus inculcating the new sen-1 Mr. Smith, of Maryland, followed on the same f
timents ol brothers of the same great family, the i sjde. He urged particularly the breach of faith j
members which compose our great political so- ; which, if the Cumberland road were allowed to ;
ciety are taught to cherish such sentiments of har-j fan into decay, would ensue with the State of
mony and good will towards each other, and j Maryland, which had given her consent to make
towards the Union, as must tend, more strongly the road through that Slate, and had subsequently
than any other cause, to the perpetuation of the taxed her citizens to make connecting roads. He
blessings of our Union—the only safeguard for the j aiso contended for the constitutionality and the ;
protection and perpetuation of our inestimable lib- i expediency of internal improvements by the Gen- j
erties. Such, Mr. President, are the advantages, ; cra[ Government, and replied to Mr. Taylor, on t
feebly portrayed or hastily glanced at, to be at- j t]lat point.
tained by the opening of roads and canals for the . j,jr_ Macon merely remarked, in reference to an
improvement and facility of internal commerce—: argument used in the debate, that, as this road
measures so much and so ardently to be desired, j was authorized originally to be made through the '
and of which this Cumberland road stands as yet ; respective States, with their consent, there had j
a solitary specimen. ... ! not been, so faras theConstitutionalquestion went, i
i' J-i? vencra°'e gentleman not only objects : any broad Constitutional question settled by the.
to the bill on your table, on the grounds of want ; makiufj of the road.
of Constitutional power to make appropriation for j Mr. Van Buken offered a few observations on
the object contemplated, and the expediency of j an incidental point touched by Mr. Taylor ; ad-
making such appropriation, were the right to do | jjpg t|le opinion, that the large expenditure in
so fully conceded to Congress, but lie takes strong j making this road will have been worse than use- ;
offence at the phraseology ol the bill m which this | iessj ;f jt were nowsufTered to go to decay, and his :
Cumberland road is designated as national. I j cjesire to see it preserved.
must confess. Mr. President, whatever may be the j m, ... , ,
feelings or sentiments excited in the gentleman by The question being then taken on the passage .
this designation, to me it seems entirely appropri- I of the blll> " was camed> by the f°"°wing vote:
ate, not only as descriptive of the road thus indi- ' ^ eas—-Messrs. Barton, Benton. Boardman, Brown
cated, but as an attribute to which this highway!0*" I-,ouis'ana> Brown of Ohio, D'Wolf, Dickcrson,
has the fairest and the most unquestioned claim, i Edwards, Holmes, of Maine, Holmes of Mississippi,
And that to me it is a subject of pride as well as ' ^°"nson' of Kentucky, Johnson of Louisiana, Knight,
pleasure, to use a word so trulv characteristic of Lanman Parrot, Ruggles, Seymour, Sm.lh of Mory-
this road as regards its origin, its construction, |"n ' vti w-,7 .Th.omnt,^°
+ , ?■ r> ? i l • i I Buren, Vail Dyke, Wi ianis of Mississippi, and Wil-
and its designation. Projected by the wisdom of ]ialng of TcnnLee-26.
its counsels, executed with the nation's means. B
and destined, in all times to come, lor the nation's ! f a*ATS J* ®' Chandler, Findiay, CTaiIlard, Lloyd
use, and constituting one of its proudest inonu- I o Lownc, Macon, Mills Smith of ,
mcnts, it is in every sense truly and emphatically SofU|h 0arol,n*' and 1 a>",or of V
national, and one every way entitled to that proud The bill was then ordered to be sent to the
denomination. And I can assure you, Mr. Presi- . House of Representatives for concurrence.
dent, that often as it has been my destiny to travel ; The Senate then, on motion, adjourned unt'il
on this highway from the region beyond the moon- to morrow.
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Gales and Seaton. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States, Seventeenth Congress, Second Session, book, 1855; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30367/m1/44/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.