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32D CONG.....20 Sess.
Railroad to the Pacific-Mr. Cooper.
as to ability to resist further applications. Help: company, those who are under the control of the stitutional objection; but it certainly does give to less, absolutely helpless; tied hand and foot, and company, and who have managed in India all the those States advantages which the other States driven perforce to all such expenditures as may be concerns of the British Government
with power cannot enjoy. By the provisions of the bill, as necessary to the completion of the road. This
to make war at their pleasure, always dictated by you are aware, you are io commence the road at te nplation, as my friend from Connecticut called the company, and also to establish the terms of each end; and when fifty miles are completed, so it-and it was an admirable word in the shape peace. That is what I alluded to.
much money and so much land are to be delivered of $20,000,000 in money, and $20,000,000 in land, These were my principal objections: first, that over to those who have built it. We may very with the profits in the distance, will glitter in their a preparatory survey ought to be made; in the well suppose that they will proceed at any rate eyes, and great companies will be congregated for second place, that the powers conferred upon this | until the money and the land, or the principal part the purpose of carrying out this vast project. All company were of a character to induce apprehen- of the money and the land is exhausted; and by portions of the country will rival each other in en sion in the eyes of those who have looked to his. that time they will have finished the road through deavoring to reap the advantages of this magnifi tory to see how such power has been exercised | Texas, and finished it through California. Thus cent temptation which is held out. And, sir, and abused. We have been asked to point out those two Slates will have this magnificent boon when Maine and Florida—when Pennsylvania how a power of this kind could be abused. Sir, accorded to them at the expense of the other and the other sea-board States unite with the far it would be very hard to point to the specific States, and without the slightest benefit to any of West, through those who will embark in this en measures that a corporation might pursue; that them. Now, sir, that, if not unconstitutional, is terprise, in pressing Congress to make new appro would be very difficult, but it is not difficult to see unequal and unjust, and I trust that Senators all priations, do you think Congress will have the that, having such a power as this, it would exer around me will see it in that point of view. This, power to stop it? No, sir.
cise it, as all companies founded upon pecuniary || sir, is the third objection to the bill in my mind. I say, then, that there is no certain limit to the considerations do. Is it not natural, that possess Sir, I shall not detain the Senate much longer; expenditure in this bill. There is no knowing, ing power to coerce the Government into such and I will only advert now to some of the arguaccording to it, what expenditure Congress may measures as would be necessary for the increase ments used by the various Senators who are ad. not be called upon to make. Then, when it is of its grandeur, its wealth, and its dignity, it vocates of the bill. probable that in the end all will be shouldered upon should exercise it. All other companies that have The Senator from Tennessee (Mr. Bell) tells us, ought we not to know in advance, from a pre-existed in the world have done so.
us that there can be no difficulty about this road liminary survey, what is the probable amount Sir, our friends on the other side of the Cham at all that there are some twenty-five passes, which we shall be finally compelled to pay? It ber used to be terrified by a monster which had through each of which a road might be constructed. seems to me that statesmanship, the commonest its den in my own good Stale-the bank of the If there be so many, we ought certainly to select wisdom that actuates individuals even in relation United States—and they supposed that with its the best. We ought to send out companies for to their domestic economy, should induce us to capital of $35,000,000 it had it in its power to the purposes of exploration, and to ascertain which look at least for information to satisfy us upon break down and trample under foot the liberties of those twenty-five passes is the best. That I this point. I do not know what others think, but of the country. Have men grown better than they think would be the part of wisdom and judicious I know that is my impression.
formerly were? Are there any indications in the statesmanship; certainly we ought not to go blindI have stated that there has been no corporation || moral world that men would now be less likely to fold into a work of such immense magnitude as in any country which would possess such powers abuse great power conferred upon them than they this. My honorable friend from Connecticut (Mr. as these under this bill. Gentlemen have told us would ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago? No, sir; SMITH) told us yesterday that he did not apprenot to deal in round assertions, and I will try to see no signs abroad, in the political or moral hend there was any difficulty from the snowsdeal as little as possible in them. I said in the heavens, that indicate a change for the better in that he had learned that on the route between this course of the remarks which I formerly submit- || that respect. Sir, are the powers that are con and California, the snows were not much deeper, ted-and they were exceedingly brief-ihat Fox's ferred here of a character which would be likely and the winter not much longer than in correspondEast India Company did not possess powers and to permit of an unwholesome exercise, such as in ing latitudes in the States. That is true, to a very influence so enormous as would be conferred by the case of a bank? In my judgment they permit considerable extent; but in the gorges of those this vast amount of money and appropriation of of greater abuse. I have seen, in a neighboring | mountains through which the road must pass, in lands upon this company. 'I was somewhat called State, the influence of these railroad corporations. all the northern latitudes, there will be found in to task about my historical knowledge on that | There are two or three railroads, not, perhaps, | those snows an insurmountable barrier during six point. The Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. more than four hundred or five hundred miles in or seven months of the year. I have it from auDavis) told me there was no similitude between extent, and yet they control, politically, socially, thority not to be questioned at all, that very often, the one and the other-between that corporation and morally, the whole population of that State. || during the winter and spring months, the snows and this. I did not say they were alike. 'I should They make and they unmake at pleasure. And are found in those gorges and valleys between the have been a fool to have said so. Their objects | let a railroad of this kind be built across the con mountains, to a depth of fifty or sixty feet, and were entirely different; they were not at all the tinent; let the company have at its command the Jie to a very great depth until the latter end of May same; nor did I say that they were the same. I transportation of ihe commodities of the whole or June. That is not true of the southern lati. only spoke of the character of the powers, and eastern world, as you are told it will supposing tudes; and in all probability this road will take a said that the powers here given were greater, and that fuel and everything else can be found in suf southern route. 'I will state here that I do not that the influence which the company would be | ficient abundance to make the communication be care a fig which way the road goes, or rather from able to exert would be greater than that company, tween the East and the West in this way practica- what point it starts, north or south. It is entirely under the provisions of Fox's bill, would have ble and easy-and what kind of powers will it | immaterial to me. I only desire that the best route been able to exert. The gentleman himself, or possess? Unexampled in the history of the world. shall be selected, and that over that route, if found from the promptings, I believe, of a gentleman repeat, I cannot particularize in what way it practicable, and to contain all the conditions newho sat by him at the time, said that Fox's bill might affect the public interests; how it might cessary to the safety of such an enterprise, in adgave to the East India Company the power to eventually be used to the danger of the public lib vance, a road shall be constructed. make war and conclude peace. Sir, the Senator erties. There are things in the future which wis Now, Mr. President, I think the arguments • was entirely mistaken; Fox's bill did no such | dom cannot foresee. It is not necessary that I made use of against my colleague's amendment thing. Long before Fox's bill was thought of should particularize, that I should, in short, do are not just, and that they condemn themselves. war had been made by the company, and it had that which is impossible to be done; but it is | Yesterday, we were told by the Senator from conquered provinces extending from Cape Com- enough to repeat, that possessing such powers as Connecticut, that a hundred thousand dollars was orin to the Himalaya mountains an extent of it will possess, and such vast pecuniary resources, nothing like sufficient for the purpose-that even territory larger than all the British possessions | it will use them as other corporations have used a million of dollars would not be sufficient for this elsewhere in the world up to that moment. Ori- || theirs, and it will abuse them as other corporations | reconnoissance, and that it would take as long to ginally the East India Company was a mere com have abused them. There is nothing more certain make the reconnoissance as to make the road. It pany of traders; but powers were conferred upon than this.
seems to me that that is no good argument against it from time to time, and it made war, conquered But let us look at the question in another aspect; my colleague's amendment. If $100,000 be not provinces, and when it was called to an account and in this view there is a strong objection in my sufficient, amend it and make it sufficient by infor it by Parliament-and that was why I pro- mind. Let the eastern terminus of this road be creasing the sum. duced this measure for the purpose of comparison | Texas; let it commence in Texas, and be made We have been asked over and over again, if we -it had power and influence enough in the coun across Texas. Let the other end commence, as the were afraid to intrust the incoming President with try to scout at the objections which had been made bill requires it shall commence, in California. Let the selection of the route? No, sir, I am not. I to the policy which it had pursued. Warren it run eastward across California. You have was not a supporter of that gentleman for the disHastings was impeached, as you, sir, very well then a road made through these two States, at the tinguished seat which he is soon to fill, but, sir, I know, for his conduct; and although he had vio expense of the General Government. Sır, is that never doubted his integrity; and thank God, E lated all the laws of his country and humanity, to be doubted? What good would the forfeiture never, without doubting,
assail the integrity of any. the company had influence enough to screen him be? You are told that if the road be not completed | body. I believe his integrity would be sufficient from punishment. I believe he deserved well of | there will be a forfeiture; yet there is nothing in for this, and I trust, for all the exigencies of the England in many respects, and I never found fault the bill providing for the way or the means in public service which he will be called upon to perwith the British House of Lords for their decision which this forfeiture is to be brought about. But, form. But, sir, he has other duties than those of in that case. I was only referring to the great | sir, forfeiture or no forfeiture, the road would be a surveyor. He has his Executive functions, powers that such great companies possess. It there, and the States through which it passed | which will require all his time and all his attenwas with this view that I referred to Fox's East would have the advantage of this great outlay of tion. And, sir, how is he to judge? Is he to India bill. The East India Company had extrav money. Now, I call the attention of my south traverse those in hospitable wastes which exist beagant powers conferred upon it by the act of 1773. ern friends, those gentlemen who are strict in their tween the States of the Mississippi valley and It has gone on under those powers making war, construction of the Constitution, to this. I do not the Pacific ocean? It must be done through the until finally it has become clothed-or, if not the I think, I must say in all candor, that it forms a con medium of engineers sent out for the purpose.
321 CONG.... 2n Sess.
Railroad to the Pacific-Mr. Geyer.
He cannot guess at it. He would not do it if he tial to their highest interests, political, social, and power when it intrusted to the President of the could. No, sir. I have confidence in him, if it religious. Hau Congress then seconded the voice United States the selection of the plan for the ad. were a duty pertinent to his position, and if he of the people, one road would now be nearly or ditions to the Capitol? Whether Congress abdicates had information to enable him to act judiciously quite completed, and we should be ready to com its power to raise and support a Navy when it on the subject; but he has not. The mere books mence a second instead of spending our time in commits to the President the construction of vegof travels, of which we have published so many debating how long it shall be postponed.
sels for the public service under his superintendo in this body, form very poor criteria for the com With the acquisition of California came upon ence? Are we, under the power to authorize the mencement of such a work as this. To acquire the us new difficulties. Our line was extended to jiear construction of this road, to superintend as a body information necessary to the commencement of the thirty-second degree of latitude. Several of contractors composed of two branches, the ensuch a work as this, he musi have something more passes were ascertained to exist that were per tire operations on the road? certain than these books, by which he will be en fectly practicable, and then came up the difficulty Bui it is said we cannot proceed without a preabled to judge as to which route to select. We which stands in the way of the execution of the liminary survey; that we have not knowledge are told ihat he must indicate the points in the work to this hour. Difference of opinion arose as enough upon the subject; that it is necessary that mountains. All require the same kind of exam to the pass that should be selected. The South a detailed survey of the line and grades of the ination and exploration precedently
by engineers, Pass, which before had been approved by the al road should be reported to Congress, and that whether you begin at El Paso, or further north. most unanimous voice of the people, is now in the Congress should then fix the termini and locate It would not be very convenient to change, if it judyment of some gentlemen unfit; and we are the route by an act. The honorable Senator inshould be found out afterwards to be wrong. You divided in opinion, according to the section of quires if Congress cannot now locate the road ought, as is the case in every wisely-managed en country in which we happen to reside, and from bow shall the President do it? Sir, if Congress terprise of the kind, to have a complete survey which we come. Every town on the Mississip- il has not been able to locate the road in ten years, from one point to the other before commencing | pi, from St. Paul to the Gulf, is contending for is it to be expected that it would be very prompt, the work. Then, sir, if any incidental advantages the terminus of the road. Every principal town when the bone of contention will be presented to which due experience furnishes during the prog- || supposes that it is entitled to thai favor, and im them in the form of surveys of the different ress of the work occurred, they can be made use agines that the evidences are conclusive in favor of passes of the mountains and the grades of the of. But, sir, it cannot be that a work of this its point as a terminus. The Senator from Cali- road, to the different points on the river? Shall we magnitude is to be commenced in this way in the fornia (Mr. Gwin) attempted to meet these diffi not encounter the same difficulties that we have dark.
culties by furnishing a branch to each one of the encountered all along? Do we not see it apparent I agree in many of the suggestions which have States on the west of the Mississippi. That did now, that one of the sources of opposition to this been made as to the value of this great enterprise
bill is an apprehension that the President may of the Pacific railroad. I think it will be one of lect Committee was appointed to take into consid select a point which is not the first choice of honthe most magnificent that human genius and hu eration the whole subject. It had before it the orable Senators? Is there not a trembling anxiety man skill have carried out and perfected. But this various plans that had been suggested. One of i upon that subject to which much of this opposiis nothing to the purpose. It can only be thus them, which seems to find favor with the Senator tion may be traced ? niagnificent, it can only add to the character and from Pennsylvania, looked towards the construc - ! It is said that we propose the same sort of surthe grandeur of this country, by being what it tion of this road out of the National Treasury, vey and examination by the bill that is proposed ought to be-as perfect as possible. I therefore, | under the superintendence of the National Gov in the amendment. That may or may not be. in view of the character of the country, desire ernment; another proposed to make a road by the What we propose is, that there shall be a sufficient that this enterprise shall be undertaken upon such intervention of a private company, to whom was examination, and that sufficient information shall principles as will insure as much perfection as to be granted a bonus in money; and still another be obtained by the President to enable him to fix possible
. If it be completed, it will be, as has proposed to make a road entirely out of the pub- the termini and the passage through the mountbeen stated by my honorable friend from Con- | lic lands. The committee has reconciled these ains. That is all the survey that is required. necticut, a grand and magnificent project--not a difficulties by the proposition now before the The amendment does not propose to limit the project, for it will have ceased to be a project-but Senate.
survey or the inquiry to particular points, but it a grand and magnificent work, placing us in that It proposes not to increase the patronage of the asks for a survey and an examination which shall respect above all nations which have preceded, or Government, or the duties which now devolve enable Congress to exercise its power so as to which exist with us at present. I admit it; but I upon it, by committing to it the management of control the location of the road. But suppose that desire that we shall not disgrace American genius this railroad, organizing the Government into a the surveys are to be of the same character and by hurrying forward into a great enterprise of sort of railroad corporation, for the pụrpose of the require the same time; we shall by the bill gain this kind, and making it a miserable patchwork transportation of merchandise across the continent. this advantage: that a question which we have thing, when it ought to be one grand and magnifi. That plan it rejected. At the same time the com found ourselves unequal to, will be decided. On cent whole, honorable to the skill and genius of mittee was aware that the work could not be exe all hands it is said that the incoming President the country, as it will be beneficent to the world. cuted exclusively by private enterprise and private may be trusted with a subject so momentous as Sir, for this reason, as well as for others, I am
It has, therefore, combined lands and this; and in my judgment without intending any
always hope to succeed in carrying a favorite plan. of the United States will have enough to do in the
to the location of railroads; he will not have time
The multiplication of the difficulties has not de to make an examination for himself, and he must SPEECH OF HON. H. S. GEYER,
creased in the least the intense anxiety of the pub- depend upon the reports which are made by the
lic that the road should be built; and now that it engineers. And, I pray you, Mr. President, will OF MISSOURI,
seems to be admitted on all hands that it is prac-Congress have time to examine the road for themIN THE SENATE, February 18, 1853,
ricable, that it is essential to the public interests, selves? Will the members of either House feel
that it is necessary to the national defenses, and it a part of their duty, or consistent with their On the bill for the protection of the emigrant route indispensable in the time of war, I cannot forbear high obligations, to absent themselves for the purand a telegraphic line, and for an overland mail
to express my astonishment that there is a propo pose of making a personal inspection? Congress between the Missouri river and the settlements sition before us to postpone the execution of the will have to rely, as the President must,
upon the in California and Oregon.
work until some future day. If this work is found surveys and reports that are made. Congress, Mr.GEYER said: Mr. President, the construc to be impracticable, it is because of the impracti- then, will have more to do than the President. tion of a railroad to connect the valley of the Mis- | cability of Congress, and not because the work | Congress will be embarrassed, as I have already sissippi with the Pacific ocean has attracted the cannot be accomplished.
remarked, by the conflicting interests of various attention and commanded the approbation of the But it is said to be indispensably necessary that sections of the country bordering on the Missispeople of the United States for a number of years. we should have preliminary surveys. The hon- / sippi, nay, sir, the conflicting interests on the seaLong before the acquisition of California, when orable Senator from Ohio tells us that the billitself board, and those who are interested in the lines our possessions upon the Pacific were bounded by provides for that; and he states, and states truly, of roads which now take a particular direction, the forty second degree of latitude, the popular the question to be whether the location of the ter whether north or south. mind had been earnestly directed to this great mini and general route of the road shall be made Another objection taken by the honorable Sensubject. At that time there was no division of by the President or by Congress; but he says that ator from Pennsylvania, is to the cost, which he opinion as to the pass of the mountains through by transferring it to the President, we abdicate the estimates at $40,000,000. It is not $40,000,000 which it should go. The South Pass being within power of Congress. I was at a loss to understand given away without an interest in, or control over half a degree upon our southern boundary line, his meaning until I heard the speech of the honor the road; but it is $40,000,000 advanced in lands was the only one deemed practicable, then within | able Senator from Pennsylvania. He requires a and money, to execute the work, retaining a conour territory. The will of the people was almost survey in order that the grades of the road may trol over the use of the road for public purposes. unanimously expressed, sometimes represented in be ascertained, and its exact line laid down, and But, Mr. President, I imagine that the honorable primary assemblies, sometimes expressed through then that there shall be a specific direction as to Senator is entirely mistaken. He has described the medium of the Legislatures. Congress was the mode of construction; and unless Congress the country through which the road will probably implored to take the subject up. The people then maintains its power over that subject, we shall be pass, as a sterile waste, and yet he estimates it at noi only believed in the necessity for the construc held to have abdicated it. Sir, I would ask that à price for which choice lands will not sell within tion of such a road, but they felt that it was essen honorable Senator whether Congress abdicated its the organized States. He estimates it, at least, at
321 CONG..... 20 Sess.
Railroad to the Pacific-Mr. Geyer.
$1 25 per acre. Permit me to tell him if the land roads across the Isthmus. There is the influence least of it, within the Territories. I will not enter is worth anything to the Treasury, its value will of the Atlantic cities, which want the ocean trans at large into the argument of the power of Conbe given to it by the construction of the road, by portation, and which would be somewhat reluctant gress to incorporate a body of men employed by the outlay of the capital of the company to make to erect a rival road. Why, even now we are so them to do a work,under an ackpowledged power it, and it will not yield a dollar until the road is very solicitous to get a means of transportation under the Constitution; but I would ask the honmade. As the road progresses there will be set across Tehuantepec that there is a threai of war. orable Senator what is a territorial government tlements, and demand for the lands; but if you We are to seize it per fus el nefas, to get a line of but a municipal corporation? You have two bills abandon the road, you have the lands worth no transportation between the Atlantic sea-ports and now on your table, one to incorporate the inhabitthing at all to the Treasury. But twenty millions,
the Pacific. · We would prefer to go to war, and ants of the Territory of Washington, so called, it is said, are to be appropriated. Twenty millions hazard all the expenditure of blood and money to
and the other of Nebraska-municipal corporais the maximum. No more can be given under which it would lead, and the calamities which it | tions with general legislative powers—an " abdicathe bill. I would inquire of the honorable Sena would bring upon us, than to give it up.
tion," in the language of the Senator from Ohio, of tor whether he has ever estimated what is the cost Another objection is, that we have not knowl- the power of Congress to legislate. Sir, if it be of the transportation of troops and supplies in time edge enough to commence the work; that we do an • abdication ” to intrust any person with the of peace? It appears by the report of the Quar not know enough of the country through which execution of a work for which it is in the power of termaster General, that there were expended du the road will pass. Sir, we know to a certainty Congress to provide, the Constitution has been ring the last fiscal year more than $2,500,000 in that on this side of the Rocky Mountains there is broken at almost every session of Congress, from his Department. If he will compare that expendi. no difficulty in the way. You may pass upon the the time it was first signed down to the present ture with that of years before the Mexican war, line of the Red river, or the Canadian, or the day: he will find that an addition is made in conse Arkansas, or the Kansas, or the Platte, and that Mr. President, I did intend, when the subject quence of the posts that are not accessible by the either of them will afford an easy grade is ascer was first introduced into the Senate, to have gone ordinary means of transportation. Sir, before tained beyond all doubt. The only difficulty, and somewhat at large into the question; but I regret that war, all our posts on the frontiers were either the only important fact to inquire into, is as to the that we have spent so much time in the discusupon navigable streams, on which transportation passage of the Rocky Mountains, for the Sierra sion of measures of less importance, that we have was easy, or within very short distances of them. Madre is merely un extension of the Rocky Mount very little time to bestow upon this. I will not, Nów, that which was a point of delivery before ains or the Sierra Nevada. We have to ascertain therefore, at this late period of the session, tresthe war, is the point of shipment inland for eight that, and when that is ascertained, we know that pass further upon the time and attention of the hundred, or one thousand, and sometimes fifteen the road is practicable. We know that it can be Senate but to explain some amendments which I hundred miles. If we estimate the expenses of made of easy grade, except at the points I have intend to offer when I shall have the opportuntransportation in time of peace, we find that the mentioned; and therefore we are under no neces ity: Government will be indemnified for its money, if sity for further information upon the subject, ex I propose to confine the operation of the bill, the road shall be completed, by the facilities of cept to know what passes shall be taken, and except as to the survey of the road and the tertransportation. One million of dollars may be where shall be the termini of the road, neither of mini; to the Territories; in other words, if the bill saved per annum, and a much larger sum in time which Congress is prepared to decide, or will be is amended, as I propose, the termini will be fixed of war, when you will have the regulation of the prepared to decide when they have the surveys. by the President of the United States; but the transportation by the terms of the bill. The bonds Another objection to the bill is, that the work is || provisions of the bill for the construction of the are to be at five per cent., yielding an annual in to be committed to individuals, who, in conse road shall be confined to the Territories. I then come of $1,000,000. That sum, I will venture to quence of its magnitude, will have a fearful power. propose, that where the road is located through say, will be saved in the single article
of the trans Sir, when we look at the thirteenth section of the any Siate, there shall be a grant of alternate secportation of troops and supplies. To that must bill—which is all thạt it contains about a corpora tions of land for the purposes of the construction, be added, as was said by the Senator from tion—we shall see that its powers are very limited; under the authority of the Slace, by some persons, Tennessee, (Mr. Bell,) the transportation of the more so than those of any railroad corporation in or corporation if you please, authorized by the mail, which can by this means be afforded daily the State of Pennsylvania. The thirteenth sec State. I propose to subject that road to the same for a much less sum than it is now afforded semi tion of the bill provides:
conditions as are in the bill in relation to the gauge monthly.
" That for the purpose of this act, the contractors, their
of the road, and to the regulations contained in But the Senator from Pennsylvania is mistaken associates and successors, are hereby created and consti
the eighth section of the bill, which secures for in another view of the bill. He supposes that it tuted a body-politic and corporale by the name of The the United States the transportation of its supplies either contains no limitation, or if it does, that Con Pacific Railroad and Telegraph Company,' by which name upon the road. If this amendment shall prevail, gress may be practiced upon at some future day to they may sue and be suedo
it will strip the bill of the difficulties which bave abrogate it. That argument does not cohere very That, I take it, is not among the fearful powers been made by some honorable Senators, and I hope well with that of the honorable Senator from Ohio, which are so much apprehended
will facilitate its passage. I propose to strike out for he has informed us that there is more danger, "plead and be impleaded, and have and enjoy all proper
all that part which relates to the action of a corin regard to that point, in the President than in reinedies at law, and in equity, may organize and elect
poration within the Slates, and leave therein the Congress. We have the counter argument of the such officers as they may deem necessary, and have and management to the States. I will own here, Mr. Senator from Pennsylvania, that although Con use a common seal; they may also open books and issue President, that in making this proposition, there
certificates of stock" gress can be trusted in the location of the road,
may be a little difficulty in that part of the State and in the bargain which it will make for the con These are the specific powers; then comes a of Texas which projects west of Arkansas, but struction of it, when it is made, influences may general one
there will be no greater difficulty under the amendbe brought to bear upon them hereafter, by which "and perforin all other acts necessary to carry into effect ment than is under the bill. The bill provides a much larger and unlimited expenditure may be the provisions herein contained."
for a grant of the alternate sections of the United made. If the Senator had looked at the bill care There is the limitaton of the power of the cor States lands, of course, but there are three degrees fully he would have seen that that contingency || poration. To contend that that power may be of longitude belonging to Texas through which was not likely to arise, because the bonds are to abused, is to contend that no corporation should the southern route will pass, as it is laid down be issued as the road is built by sections; and if ever be created; nay, sir, that no trust shall be upon the map furnished by the Senator from Calthere is a failure to construct any section of fifty confided to any individual, for it is liable to be ifornia, (Mr. Gwin.] Under the provisions of miles, there is a forfeiture of all the work that has alused. But in this country we have no reason the bill, the company can get no land there. They been done, and not another dollar, or another to apprehend any great abuse of power. If the must apply the money to the construction of that acre of land will go into the hands of the com- || corporation should exceed its powers, we have a road unless they obtain a grant from the State of pany.
judicial tribunal that will rebuke it. Its powers Texas; and so it will be if the amendment is Mr. COOPER. The Senator misconstrues my may be tested by the same law and by the same adopted. The road there must be constructed by argument. My argument is, that although the tribunal that our rights of property are inquired the means of the State of Texas. She will proamount of twenty millions was fixed in the bill, into. But it is to have these general powers only vide for her own grant of land, for she owns it, and the number of acres, though not fixed, is as to carry into effect the provisions of the act. What and the benefits resulting from ihe construction of certainable by calculation, yet, if it became neces are they? To construct a railroad of a gauge to be the road will be hers, so far as it operates in an sary, this company would have it in its power, by approved by the President of the United States; 10 augmentation of the value of the land. But in a its pressure upon Congress, to obtain as much construct it from one point fixed on the Pacific to State through which the road may pass where more as was necessary. It does not matter at all another point on the Mississippi, it having not even there are United States lands, I propose to inwhether Congress is subject to such influences or the power conclusively to locate the road between crease the appropriation, as some compensation not; it does not affect my argument at all. I may the points. The location of the road is to be with for the burdens which will be imposed upon those have been wrong, but if I was right in supposing the approval of the President of the United States. who construct the road by the terms of the bill. that Congress was subject to such influences, my | It is then limited as to the mode of construction, They must conform their gauge to that which is argument was good.
and the weight of the iron that it is to use. It is approved by the President. They must use iron Mr. GEYER. The argument is one in favor limited by the act itself to the objects contemplated of the same weight, and they must be regulated of a dissolution of this Union, or at least of the by that act, and it has no powers but those which by the general rules which are adopted for the reg. incompetency of Congress. If a great and benefi
are necessary to carry the provisions of the act ulation of the road through the Territories. cent measure cannot be compassed, because we into effect.
When I have the proper opportunity I will precannot trust Congress, we had better cease to legis But the alarm is in the name “corporation." sent my amendments. I have made these few late. Sir, I do not believe that any influences can The honorable Senator from South Carolina (Mr. remarks now to present my views upon the subbe brought to bear upon a future Congress which BUTLER) intimated that within the States it was ject, and shall not occupy further the attention of cannot be brought to bear upon this. There are clearly unconstitutional, though with their con the Senate. influences adverse to this measure. There are the il sent, and of doubtful constitutionality, to say the
32D CONG..... 20 Sess.
Lands to Railroads—Mr. Sibley.
Ho. OF REPs.
LANDS TO RAILROADS.
and others of the older States, towards the West | liarly auspicious for railroad enterprises. Capital
in the early days of the Republic? Then there will seek investments in the great lines of commuSPEECH OF HON. H. H. SIBLEY, were no apprehensions expressed lest the great | nication between the remote points in our Con. OF MINNESOTA,
valley of the Mississippi should advance too rap- || federacy: California and Australia continue to
idly in all the elements of wealth and power. With pour their golden tribute into the money circulaIN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
expanded and patriotic views that embraced all tion of the world, until there threatens to be a February 10, 1853,
portions of the country, every concession that plethora of wealth everywhere. All kinds of stocks In favor of the policy of grants of land for railroad could reasonably be required to enable the sparse are unprecedentedly high in the market, and milpurposes in the West.
settlements west of the Alleganies, to work out the lions of treasure lies dormant in the banking estabMr. SIBLEY said:
high destinies of that rich and fertile region, was lishments of the large cities, ready to be employed I have made several attempts, Mr. Chairman, | of so liberal a policy, those infant settlements have
cheerfully granted. Under the benign influences whenever opportunity offers. I repeat, therefore, during the last few weeks to introduce for proper extended and increased, until more than ten millions | ating the great railroad projects which are to bind
that the present time is most propitious for originreference and examination, “ A bill granting the
of freemen now in habit the land which three quar- | together the different portions of the Union. right of way and a portion of the public lands, to
ters of a century since was a wilderness. It has With these few remarks in connection with the the States of Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and
been left for the older States in these latter times to • lowa, and to the Territory of Minnesota, to aid
general subject, I beg leave to dwell for a short in the construction of a railroad from a point op
discover that the General Government has hereto- time upon the features of a Pacific railway proposite the city of New Orleans, to the northern
fore manifested too liberal a spirit towards the posed to be constructed, also of the bill I seek to
West. Now the fiat -seems to have gone forth, introduce, and of another upon your calendar, the boundary of Minnesota, with a branch to the
that henceforward Congress must not aid in making three being intimately connected with each other. • Falls of St. Anthony.” Owing to the arbitrary || roads through its own domain, unless the Atlantic I have perused with much pleasure, Mr. Chairrules of this body, I have as yet been unsuccessful in my endeavors to place that bill in a posi- of such measure, in the shape of public lands. States receive an equivalent for their votes in favor man, the details of the scheme introduced by an
honorable Senator from California, (Mr. Gwin,] tion where it could be reported upon by the Committee on Public Lands, and it is with a view to
Now, if a new State asks that the proprietor of for uniting the waters of the Pacific ocean and the discuss the
merits of the proposition, and others of large tracts of untaxed land within its limits shall Mississippi river by means of a railroad. That a kindred character, that I now ask the attention
contribute a fair proportion of the expense to make such a communication must be made very soon,
them accessible to the seuler, it is met with the cry no one can doubt who reflects upon the necessity of the House.
of “more land stealing.” Now, if a grant of land that exists for its immediate construction, and the While the new States lying east of the Mississippi have received more or less aid from the Gen- | i8 perchance obtained for purposes formerly ad- favor with which the project is received in all parts eral Government in land grants for the construc
mitted as right and proper in ihemselves, it must of the country. The integrity of the Republic
undergo the ordeal of ihe most bitter and unretion of railroads, the immense region on the west
may depend upon that great link in the chain which
is now wanting to complete the union of our eastof that river has been comparatively neglected. I lenting opposition from the Representatives not
ern and western extremes. There may well exist am aware that Arkansas, Missouri, and lowa, only of the original thirteen, but of other States
which have heretofore profited by cessions of a an honest difference of opinion in Congress as to have severally been assisted in the same manner; like kind.
the best mode to effect that desirable object, but it but when the remote position of those States from the Atlantic is taken into consideration, is well as time banded themselves together to defeat appro- tion may be devoted to bring the work to a speedy
Have the members from the land States at any is to be hoped that the whole energies of the nathe fact that these newly-settled regions are necessarily less able than older and more wealthy com
priations from the public Treasury for the benefit conclusion, and in a manner the least calculated to munities to open great lines of communication an
of the Atlantic sea board? Have they refused to entail future evils upon us, by the creation of huge aided, it must be conceded that these grants are
vote for measures because they had reason to be- || landed monopolies. not commensurate with the requirements, either of || in their success? No one, Mr. Chairman, can lieve that the old States were particularly interested The proposition of the Hon. Mr. Gwin em
braces several branches of railroad connected with the people themselves, or of the Government.
justly charge any such ungenerous proceeding on the main trunk from Memphis, Tennessee, to San I'shall very briefly advert to the argument so often and so triumphantly advanced, as well by the part of western Representatives. If they op- || Francisco; these branches to terminate severally
pose the tariff system, which eastern manufaceastern as by western men, in support of the gen
at St. Louis, Missouri; Dubuque, lowa; New Orturers so fervently advocate, it is because the || leans, and at Matagorda Bay, Texas, and a wests eral policy of granting lands for building railroads and canals through the public domain, as my prin- | overwhelmingly in favor of the doctrines of free
democratic sentiment of the agricultural States is ern branch to terminate at Fort Nisqually, in Orecipal object is to attempi to show that artificial lines
gon. _He estimates the distance from Memphis to trade. When they record their votes against the | San Francisco, by the valley of the Red river and of commerce in the distant west are absolutely re
system of coast fortifications, they but act in ac- Walker's Pass, at two thousand miles; and the quisite, not only to develop the wealth of those vast mineral and agricultural regions, but as a measure
cordance with the public sentiment of the country, aggregate length of the branches at three thousand
which has emphatically pronounced against further one hundred and fifteen miles--in all, five thousand of strict economy on the part of the General Gov
one hundred and fifteen miles; and that an approernment itself, taking into view the state of the great expenditures for such purposes, as antiquated frontier, which it is the duty of that Government | posed to any measure introduced into Congress, thirty-six thousand acres of land, which, at the
and absurd. In short, you do not find them op- priation of ninety-seven millions five hundred and to protect and defend.
minimum price of the public lands, would be equal It is not only in the power of Congress under simply because their own particular constituenthe Constitution, but it is binding on that body, as cies are not immediately interested.
to $121,900,000, be made by the Government to the custodian of the public property, to dispose of | ficulties between the East and the West, unless
This land question bids fair to create serious dif- construct these four thousand four hundred miles the public lands in such a manner as may directly Congress shall devise some equitable and just ing that the cost would not exceed $27,700 per
of railroad, (excluding the Texas branch,) assumor indirectly inure to the benefit of the greatest || method for its settlement. The embarrassments mile, which, according to Mr. Gwin's statement, number of its citizens, so far as that can be accomplished without injury to any portion of the coun
involved in this subject should be met in a manner has hitherto been the average of the railways al
satisfactory to both parties or sections, by wise ready built. This is indeed a gigantic project, and try: Mr. Calhoun gave the weight of his great authority in favor of grants of land by the Gov- legislation, before they become, as they certainly requires to be weighed well before it becomes a law ernment to aid in works of internal improvement || bittered in their character. The West will now be
of the land. In my judgment, the main trunk through the public domain in these words, in a de- || satisfied with grants of the alternate sections upon
should first be constructed, (the termini to be at the bate in the Senate in 1848:
most favorable and convenient points,) without emthe great thoroughfares through the public domain barrassing the scheme with the Proposed lateral " And I doubt whether, in any case, either of a canal or railroad through the public lands, the United States would
to aid in the construction of railways and other branches. These will follow in course of time, not be a gainer. To that extent I am prepared to go, be the
works of internal improvement. Should these be when the requirements of commerce and of travel road long or sljort. If it be long, you gain the more; if it | denied, it needs no prophetic spirit to foretell, that I shall demand these additional aids. be short, you gain the less; and you contribute in propor; in a very few years that concession will not be re- Another route to the Pacific, which seems not to tion to your gain."
“Long since it was agreed ceived as a sufficient indemnification to the people have received much attention in the discussion of that the grant of alternate sections was a fair contribution on the part of the United States, considered as a proprietor,
of the West, for all the toils and sacrifices they the question, and which must sooner or later be and from which the United States would be a very greai have endured in reclaiming the wilderness, and resorted to for a railway communication, is that
converting it into a fruitful field, and for protect- from the head of Lake Superior to Puget's Sound, Again:
ing and rendering valuable your lands, without in Oregon. The distance between those places, « The Government, in my opinion, onght to be ashamed imposing any tax upon them. They will then in- diverging at one point to avoid the North Fork of to allow their lands to be entianced in value by the exertions sist upon more, and they will have the power, in the Missouri river, is only one thousand four hun. And at the cost of a State, without contributing in some de- both branches of Congress, to make good their de- dred and ten miles, while the country, so far as it gree to bring about this result.”
mands. As a matter of public policy, therefore, is known, is remarkably favorable for railroads. Surely, if the strict constructionist and eminent no less than of justice, this vexed question of the Two single ranges of mountains are alone to be trastatesman, whose opinions I have quoted, deemed public lands should be definitely disposed of by versed, and the passes through them are probably it incumbent upon this Governmeni to aid its citi- | the enactment of a law by Congress, embodying more practicable than those by any other route. zens in constructing roads and canals through its || the main features of those railroad grants which The lower extremity of Puget's Sound, and the public domain, on the score of propriety as well have lately been made, and which shall have a gen- head of Lake Superior, are in almost precisely the as economy, we may reasonably expect those general application, whenever, in the opinion of the same parallel of latitude, not far from 4610 north, tlemen who represent the Atlantic States to pause constituted authorities of a State or Territory, the so that the course between them is directly east before they commit themselves against that policy. wants of the people require new avenues of com- and west, save where the curve would be required, And may we not also appeal to those Representa- ||munication therein.
as I have before stated, to avoid two crossings of tives to emulate, to some extent at least, the liberal The financial affairs of the country are in a the North Fork of the Missouri river. The passentiments of Virginia, New York, Connecticut, I fourishing condition, and the present time pecu- Bage of the first mountains once effected, the val.
320 CONG.....20 Sess.
Lands to Railroads--Mr. Sibley.
Ho. or REPS.
ley of Clark's Fork of the Columbia river pre the soil through which the road must pass, it may I know that many regard that as an almost im. Bents the most eligible track for a railroad, down safely be presumed that three dollars per acre possible event. I am not one of that number, for to the defile through the western range nearest to would be received for the granted sections, as a I can well imagine that we may be forced to resort Fort Nisqually, on Puget's Sound, which is general average, so that the sum of $36,096,000 to that, so much to be deprecated, alternative, at doubtless the best terminus on the waters of the would be the yield from that source. Thus far any time, to defend the honor or the rights of the
Pacific in the Territory of Oregon. It may be ob the cost of railroads in the United States has been nation. Grave Senators have assured us that jected that the snow in those high latitudes will $27,300 per mile, which would make the whole our foreign relations are in a delicate position; and impede or prevent the passage of railroad cars cost of construction of the main trunk, and the St. I am bound to believe that they are not alarmisis, for some months in the year. To what extent Anthony branch, $51,324,000. But from this may or actuated by any vain spirit of boasuing, when this is well founded, I do not pretend to know, but well be deducted i wenty-five per cent., if not more, I they make that declaration. I am not in favor of as the snow decreases as we proceed westward, in consideration of the peculiarly favorable char-li filibustering expeditions, but I do trust that the there is, in my judgment, no more reason to ap acter of the country, (precluding the necessity for high position of this Republic will be sustained prehend difficulties from that source than on the deep and expensive excavations, unless at a very | and vindicated, and the Monroe doctrine strictly other proposed routes to California, which must few points,) and the abundance of materials to be adhered to, even at the hazard of a war with necessarily traverse the Rocky Mountains proper, found everywhere along the line. It is true, that France, England, or any other Power. And I the Sierra Nevada, and the Coast Range, some of the item of bridges over the numerous tributaries | feel assured that the incoroing Administration will which are covered with perpetual snows. What of the Mississippi, should not be overlooked in the enforce this cardinal policy of the Democratic ever may be the facts in the case, a glance at the calculation of the cost.
party, indeed I might say, of the whole American map must convince every man that the route on Imagination can hardly depict the magical effect people. Should hostilities follow, we ought to the parallel of 460 north is far less mountainous which the completion of this work would have, in be prepared to repel the intrusion upon our soil in its character, and the distance at least five hun developing the resources of the West, and in add of an enemy's force, with the whole power of the dred miles shorter, than by either of the others ing to the aggregate wealth of the nation. The country. If the projected railway from north to contemplated. It should be borne in mind, also, valuable fisheries of Lake Superior would be in- | south was completed, il would enable the Govern. that ships bound from San Francisco to the Easy creased in a lenfold ratio, if a market was thus ment to concentrale in a very few days thousands Indies run up the Oregon coast for several hun. opened to the South. The pineries of Minnesota of the best marksmen in the world, at any point dred miles, that being the most direct course, so and Wisconsin would send forth, annually, their on our southern coast that might be threatened that so much of distance would be saved by en inexhaustible supply of building materials to the by a foreign soe. abling those ships, on their return trips, to dis valley below. The iron, salt, and coal, of Mis Mr. Chairman, I have already trespassed too charge their cargoes at Fort Nisqually. The souri, and the copper and lead of Wisconsin, long upon the atiention of the House, and yet I overland trade will naturally seek the most direct | lowa, and Minnesota, could be thereby exchanged beg its indulgence while I bring before it the other route from New York, the commercial metropolis with advantage, for the products of the “rich and railroad project to which I have previously alof the Union, to the Pacific ocean, and the one sunny South.”. The immense tracts of public | luded, upon which I hope to secure an affirmative which will diminish the distance between that land for scores of miles on each side of this pro vote to-day. There was a bill reported by the city and the great ports of commerce in Asia, a posed railroad, now without a purchaser because Committee on Public Lands at the last session, lo thousand miles or more, must eventually, if in of their remote position from ihe water courses, grant to Minnesota alternate sections of lands for anywise practicable, be preferred above all others. would be taken up at once by an industrious and the construction of a railway from the Falls of St. It is highly desirable that proper explorations of enterprising class of settlers, admirably calculated Louis river, on Lake Superior, to St. Paul, on the a scientific character should determine the relative as the whole of that region is for the support of Mississippi, with branches to St. Anthony and merits and demerits of each of the proposed routes, a dense population.
Stillwater. That bill is now on your calendar, and and I trust that Congress will at this session au There are other considerations involved, Mr. I wish to state very briefly the necessity that exists thorize such to be made.
Chairman, in favor of the speedy completion of for its passage. The distance between the termini The line of railroad from Pembina, in Minne this contemplated work. The magnificent Mis is about two hundred and sixty miles, and much sota, to New Orleans, will, when constructed, sissippi and ils principal: western tributaries, are of the country through which the road would pass bisect any or all of the contemplated routes from not to be depended on for purposes of navigation is very favorable for settlement. The great olject the Mississippi to the Pacific, and add much to throughout the year. Ai the north, during the is, to open a communication between the waiers the commerce which will be carried on by their winter months, we are ice-bound, while in the of the St. Lawrence and the Mississippi, at the instrumentality. The region to be traversed is, of summer, except in extraordinary seasons, the low most eligible and proper points, and it is one of all others on this continent, the most favorable for stage of water embarrasses us in our intercourse immediate interest to every Slate bordering upon such an enterprise. There, you have neither with the southern Mississippi States. The ob the latter river, and upon the lakes. Congress mountains nor hills to penetrate, but a continuous, structions in the Mississippi river, judging from granted seven hundred and fifty thousand acres to level prairie, with few interruptions, invites you to the niggardly policy of the past, are not likely to the State of Michigan, at the last session, lo enable open a line of communication north and south, be removed for many years to come.
The tax it to make a canal around the Falls of St. Mary, through nearly twenty degrees of latitude of your annually levied upon the people of the States and on the score that it was not a local benefit, but own territory, which, in point of fertility and min- Territory living above the rapids, in the shape of one in which several States would share, and that eral wealth, has no equal in the world.' This im extra freight for the transportation of goods and was true. I rejoice that the appropriation was mense region is now accessible to the settler only provisons over them, is already enormous, and made, especially as my own Territory will necesat a few points, remote from each other, where the acts as a serious drawback upon the prosperity of sarily profit by it. Complete the measure of your western rivers pass through it to join the Missis that region; so much so, that unless a remedy is liberality, and I may say of your justice, by consippi. The distance from Pembina, in 490 north applied, the Upper Mississippi valley must aban. tributing to the infant but enierprising Minnesota, lalitude, situated on the Red river of the north, to don the present natural channel of commerce, and from your ample resources, your proportion of a point opposite New Orleans, by a direct course,
seek a market at the East for its products. the means necessary to build a railway between is fifteen hundred miles. By adding twenty per The average distance of the proposed northern the northern and southern portions of our Terricent. for necessary deviations and deflections, ihe and southern railroad from the Mississippi, istory, through what is now but liule better than a length of the line of railroad between them would probably somewhat more than one hundred miles. trackless wilderness, be increased to eighteen hundred miles, of which
I care little where the northern terminus may be Minnesota Territory comprises in its limits all five hundred and ten would be in Minnesota, two designated, whether at Pembina, or some other the northern shore of Lake Superior up to the hundred and seventy in lowa, three hundred and point. I fixed upon that place in my bill, because British line. We have reliable informalion that fifty in Missouri, three hundred in Arkansas, and its location is better known than any other spot on copper, interspersed with silver, abounds in that three hundred and seventy in Louisiana. The that part of the boundary of 490, and because it is region. I have already mentioned the fisheries and contemplated branch to St. Anthony may be safely in the valley of the Red river of the north, which pineries as of immense value, and that they must estimated at eighty miles-thus making the course
is more favorable for a railroad than any other necessarily constitute a large item in the commerce of the railroad in Minnesota five hundred and nine- || line in that region. The necessity for the com with the Lower Mississippi valley. We who live ty miles long, and the whole distance one thousand pletion of the work beyond the Falls of St. An on the waters of the Mississippi are now abso-, eight hundred and eighty miles. To aid in the thony, will depend upon certain contingencies, one lutely cut off from communication with our own construction of this great work, my bill proposes of which is the adoption of the parallel of 46; for lake coast, for want of a railroad. To reach that that there shall be granted the alternate sections a l'acific railway, the expediency of which I have part of our Territory, without resorting 10 the for ten miles on each side of the road, which would already adverted to. Still, as the whole of that || primitive mode of conveyance by bark canoes and give to
country is now comprised within the public do- | portages, we must descend the Mississippi nearly
main, if a grant is to be made, it should be for the four hundred miles to Galena, thence to Chicago, Minnesota...
entire length, that it may be rendered available and through the whole length of Lakes Michigan Iowa....
when required. You have now an extensive In- | and Superior, and a part of Lake Huron. In other
dian frontier, which you are obliged to defend at words, we must travel more than fiflen hundred Arkansas
a vast annual expense. If the longitudinal line of | miles to visit a portion of our own Territory, noc Louisiana..
communication along that border was perfected by more than two hundred and fifty miles distant in
means of a railway, the Governmeni might con a direct line. In the transportation of troops for Making together........12,032,000 acres, trol the savage tribes with much greater facility, frontier defense, the Government is put to the which, at the present price of the public lands, | than can now be done, and with less than one half same inconvenience and expense. If the railroad would be $15,040,000, the amount of the contri- the force at present requisite for that purpose. was made, a very small force of regular troops bution of the Government towards the accomplish- Troops could be transported rapidly to any point would suffice for keeping the peace with the savment of this grand object, second in importance that was menaced. The same reasons might be oges on that extensive border, as they could move only to the Pacific railroad enterprise.
urged as one of the necessary preparations against with celerity to any place where their presence Taking into view, however, the fine quality of ll the occurrence of a foreign war.
might be required. For supplying yourgarrisons