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and by so doing increases the value of the Government lands one hundred per cent., is that a gift of the lands? Is it a donation? Is it a waste of the lands? No sensible man will say that it is a gift, or a donation, or a waste. It is a sensible investment; just such investments as this Government is in the habit of making.
be subsisted by charity, but to labor. We seek laborers there. We can feed and clothe half a million men and women in that country. The difficulty is to get them there. If this road were built it would teem with emigrants to the western shore, where they would find happy homes and could secure an independence for themselves and their children instead of subsisting on charity in a state of pauperism.
Mr. Speaker, I have not said anything in regard to the magnificent gold mines that are there in our country. I leave that part of the subject to others. I feel less concerned as to that particular matter than I do in that of homes for men and women now destitute. I see no objection to this bill, and I believe that if we were to sit here and talk for six months there would be the same quibbling objections made to it that we have heard here. I believe that the bill is about as nearly perfect as we can make one, and that it is a safe bill both for the Government and for the company.
It has been intimated here that this company has sold out once and may do it again. All I have to say about that is that if they do sell out I hope their successors will be better prepared to execute this great work than they are, and if so let them do it; we want this work done, and we do not care who does it so that it is done, and well done.
Gentlemen talk about wasting the public lands. I am not surprised that some of my friends from the Atlantic coast, who have never seen much of the wilds of the West, think these lands would be worth from one hundred to three hundred dollars an acre; but the fact is, that these lands have remained unsold for thousands of years, and we to-day are offering them at $1 25 per acre, and cannot get any price for them. And that state of things will continue until a road is built by which immigration can go to that region, and the country be secured from the savages.
Again, I say that the Government will not have to pay a dime of interest. The Government only lends its credit. Let us illustrate this point, also. Suppose that a father desires to assist his son to commence business, but, from misfortunes, has no ready money on hand, but has credit at the bank. He draws his notes for $10,000, and hands them to his son, and says to him, "Here are the notes; you can put them in the bank and do business upon them, but you must refund the money by the proceeds of your sales as rapidly as may be."
Now, suppose the son to be successful; he meets his father's notes when due: is there any money paid; is the father called upon to pay that $10,000? Not at all. He had no $10,000 to pay; but he had credit, and that credit enabled the son to go successfully into business. And, sir, this company does not ask the Government to advance $60,000 or any other sum, but simply to guaranty interest at six per cent., which would only become due when twenty-five miles of the road are completed. Then the interest on that amount is due; but one fourth of the gross receipts of the road are to be immediately applied to paying that interest. Another provision is, that the company can refund that money by transporting the mails and munitions of war of the Government; and there is no doubt that in a very few years the Government would get back in transportation all that it advanced.
But there is a third resource. The proceeds of the sales of the one half of these lands, all the lands lying on the south side of the road, would refund to the Government all the money it had paid.
Mr. Speaker, I have seen no man who has passed over this route to the Pacific coast, either going or returning, who opposes this measure. Every man who has viewed the Pacific coast, from San Francisco bay to Puget sound, understands the nature and necessity of this road. I know that many men seem to think that Puget sound and San Francisco bay are almost immediately together, and I wish to say that those two points are one thousand miles apart. There we have a coast of near two thousand miles. We have there an agricultural country that is unsurpassed in the world; we have a grazing country that is unsurpassed in the world; we have manufacturing facilities that are unsurpassed in the world; we have one of the healthiest climates and one of the loveliest countries in the world, and it will necessarily settle up very rapidly and when this railroad shall span from the lakes to the Pacific shores you will then have sources of trade, travel, and commerce that will astonish the world. There will not only be a grand increase in the tide of commerce and travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but it will also increase the wealth of the Atlantic coast, for the trade from Asia to Europe must pass through their cities. I am, therefore, in favor of this bill. I want this road built in order that the starving men, women, and children upon the Atlantic shore may have the privilege of emigrating to the western shore of the Republic. We want them there, not to
I have heard advanced in this House at this session many arguments in favor of another railroad to the city of New York. It is said that we want two roads from Washington to New York, both to run almost on the same line. And why do they want two roads? In order to secure competition.
So we want two roads to the Pacific coast; we want competition on that line. And I firmly believe that within five years of the time when these roads will be completed each of them will be compelled to lay down a double track in order to accommodate the business they will have to perform. And let us have this road, and the Southern road, and just as many roads as men will build, without involving the Government in expense. And that is the character of this bill.
to virtually exonerate this company from the duty of commencing this road until it shall be the pleasure of the company to commence it, by providing that the institution of surveys, &c., shall be considered equivalent to the commencement of the work.
Mr. DELANO. Mr. Speaker, I regard the subject now before the House as one of very great importance. The measure itself has intrinsic merit; that is to say, the construction of this road would be important and valuable as regards the interests of the country.
But this bill is important independent of that consideration. It is important because, if passed, it will establish a policy which is to have upon the nation an influence that I fear will be disastrous to the country; an influence and a power that the country is not able to endure in the present condition of our finances. I therefore propose to call the attention of the House to some of the important features of this subject, for I think it necessary, and I deem it important that we all should, without reference to any interest except the overriding interest of the country, bring our minds to the consideration of this question.
In the first place, I desire to say to this House that in July, 1864, an act was passed incorporating certain persons under the name of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company. By the terms prescribed in the eighth section of that act the company was required to commence the work on said road within two years from the approval of the act. They have not done so, (for what reason I am unable to say.) And now it is proposed, I will not say invidiously, but I will say ingeniously,
Now, the original corporators, or at least a large portion of them, probably never knew that they were named in the act of incorporation. But their names were used, as the names of men who are in public life are often used, to give influence and character to what I regard as from beginning to end a scheme of public plunder. It is time to meet these questions, and to treat them as they deserve to be treated if we would save this nation from overthrow in its finances by those who are seeking to deplete and to bleed the nation at every pore and at every point where they can get their hands into the Treasury. The name of my friend and colleague, [Mr. BINGHAM,] was inserted in this charter, and yet I will venture to say he never knew it; I know he never knew it. And I suppose others are in a like situation in that respect.
As the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. WENT WORTH] says, there were some parties, however, whose names were used, who did know it, and knew for what purpose they were used. They went on, and progressing a little way they found it necessary to sell out to a new band of speculators. It is admitted here, I believe, by the friends of the bill that the persons who originally organized under this charter have parted with their interest; and a new swarm are now pressing Congress for a new appropriation.
That is the attitude in which this thing is now presented. I do not know any of the men concerned; I do not know who they were who originally organized. But I undertake to say that the fact is that those who originally organized this company have transferred it to another set of men. And that is what I mean by the new swarm that is here for more appropriations, for more money. With their arms already in the public Treasury, they want to run them in further; nothing short of the elbow will answer their purpose.
That is the way in which I view this transaction; and if I did not deem the condition of the country's finances such as to call upon us to defeat this scheme of plunder, I do not know but that I should have remained silent. I do feel, however, that it is time that we should pause for consideration and should stop this continual squandering of the nation's resources; for we need them, and we may need them hereafter more than we do at present.
I have said that the first organization have sold out, receiving as a bonus for the charter $150,000, as I am informed, and the purchasers are here for more plunder. This is the "new swarm" to which I have already alluded. Now, I want to show the House what the company received originally. By the original charter there were granted to the company forty sections per mile for all the distance of this road through the Territories and twenty sections per mile for all the distance through the States. Now, for the purpose of showing this House what these gentlemen themselves think is the value of their original charter, I ask the Clerk to read a paragraph from a pamphlet which I send to the desk, entitled "An appeal to Congress in behalf of the Northwest, in connection with the construction of the Northern Pacific railroad and telegraph, by A. Ramsey, D. S. Norton, G. H. Williams," and others. The Clerk read as follows:
"The company's lands amount to forty sections per mile in the Territories, and twenty sections per mile in the States. On the supposition that the latter are worth twice as much as the former, it may be said that the equivalent of twenty sections per mile (on the southerly side) the entire length of the line, is to be set apart for the security of the Government. This gives twelve thousand eight hundred acres per mile, which at $2 50 per acre, amounts to $32,000, about the average sum per mile on which the proposed guarantee is to take effect. Supposing, therefore, that the company should sell six per cent. annually of these lands, the proceeds of which are to be paid into the Treasury, sixty per cent. would be sold during the ten years of the construction of the road, and this per
a mile. If this estimate is correct, you have already donated to this company lands of the value of $64,000 per mile; but if you have only given to this company $32,000 a mile in lands, how much more shall it have? Can its appetite for plunder ever be satiated? I say that, in my opinion, the grant already made is sufficient to build the road. I do not suppose the estimate is overdrawn to the extent of one half. I suppose it was overdrawn to some extent, because they wanted to delude this House again, because they wanted to get more, and therefore wanted to make as strong a showing as possible to induce us to give the road a larger bounty.
It has been suggested to me that more faith is due to this estimate, because it was made by members of Congress. I will say to my honorable friend, who sits near me, that I do not see exactly how that can be. [Laughter.]
centage of the whole is believed to be available for sale and for settlement. On this supposition the Government will not come under advances at all."
Mr. DELANO. It will be observed, Mr. Speaker, that these gentlemen estimate the twenty sections in the States as being worth actually and intrinsically as much as the forty sections in the Territories. They estimate the twenty sections in the States as worth $2 50 per acre. And then they show, by their own estimate, which is put before us to induce us to give further aid to this road, that the value of the grant already made by the Government to the company is $32,000 per mile. They have estimated this land with the view of getting us to give them something more on the faith of this estimate. But, sir, if the estimate be true, will any man tell me that the company is not now able to go on and build that road?
Mr. FARNSWORTH. The gentleman will allow me to suggest, in support of his argument, that they compute only the land on one side of the road in arriving at the estimate of $32,000 per mile. They state that the land on the south side of the road is worth $32,000 per mile.
Mr. DELANO. Then, according to their estimate, the land granted to them is worth $64,000 per mile.
Mr. FARNSWORTH. Exactly.
Mr. DELANO. Yet, sir, with amazing assurance they now come here and tell us that with this munificent grant, this princely donation, they cannot go on and build that road. Why, sir, capital throughout the country is now waiting honest and secure investments. If this company have anything like the pecuniary strength which they profess to have under the grant already made they can get anywhere advances of money sufficient for the completion of the road, and to pretend that it is necessary for Congress to give the company more in order to secure the completion of a road from the Atlantic to the Pacific is a false pretense, and if money is obtained from the Treasury by such a pretense it is simply obtaining money by false pretenses, which in Ohio is an indictable offense.
Mr. GRINNELL. Will the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?
Mr. DELANO. Yes, sir; as many as the gentleman desires. This is a school of cate chism.
Mr. GRINNELL. I desire to inquire of the gentleman whether he believes that this estimate of the value of the land granted by Congress to this company is a correct estimate.
Mr. DELANO. Now, I want to make a Yankee contract with the gentleman. If I answer his question categorically, will he answer me a question?
Mr. GRINNELL. Yes, sir.
Mr. DELANO. Well, then, does the gentleman believe that these men are guilty of misrepresentations, either willfully or by negligence?
Mr. GRINNELL. I desire first to have an answer to my question.
Mr. DELANO. My opinion, then, is that this is an overestimate. Now, I ask the gentleman, if that is the case, why those gentlemen made that estimate?
Mr. GRINNELL. They are perhaps men of romantic ideas, and I think have set the value of the land too high.
Mr. DELANO. I think so, too.
Mr. GRINNELL. But the gentleman's admission as to the value of the land destroys his own argument. I now desire to ask the gentleman another question.
Mr. DELANO. Oh, no; I decline to answer any more. Our contract is closed.
Grant there is an over-estimate. It only shows how we are imposed upon by these men who come here to ask us for this grand and magnificent donation. It shows how we have always been imposed upon. But I will allude to this again in a few moments.
Let me say here, if this estimate exceeds the actual value of the grant to the extent of fifty per cent., still you have a grant worth $32,000
When we made the grant to this road what did they agree to? I call attention to the conclusion of section three of the charter. Let us see what bargain they then made. I propose to hold them to the contract unless they made a contract so manifestly unjust to themselves that we ought to relieve them.
What is the contract? It is provided in section three "that no money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the United States in aid of the construction of the Northern Pacific railroad." They agreed, if we would give them this land, amounting in the gross to eighty-eight million acres, if we would open our hearts and confer upon them this munificent grant, that they would bind themselves not to come back and call for money. Yet, sir, here they are to-day—a fresh and thirsty swarm, for that is what they are; they are here to-day, in violation of this contract, asking this Government to pay them a large sum of money.
Mr. LOAN. I would like the gentleman from Ohio to tell this House who it was that made this transfer-who it was that sold out, and to whom they sold out. What evidence is there of any such transfer?
Mr. DELANO. I understand it is not denied. I have it from a friend of the bill and a member of this House; and I have it from an acquaintance of my own from Vermont, who is à credible man. I heard it stated by my honorable colleague [Mr. SHELLABARGER] today. It comes to me from a reliable source. It comes upon the wings of the atmosphere, that this transfer has been made. Does the gentleman deny it?
Mr. LOAN. I have no information of the fact.
Mr. DELANO. If we can ever get this project into the hands of the Committee on Public Lands, I hope to get a report that will probe this sore to the bottom, and draw out of it the feculent corruption which it seems to me lies there, so that it may be exposed to the public eye and receive the condemnation which it
It is proper, I presume, as the world goes, if these men can get a further grant from the Government, for them to do so; but I say that it is a plunder of the nation which ought not to be endured. I am speaking for my country, at a time and period of its existence when it is necessary to speak boldly and plainly, hit whom it may, strike where it will. The nation demands it.
What do these gentlemen want more, these men who made a contract with the Government and who have got this munificent grant? What further do they demand of us? I will show the House in a few minutes. They demand of us to guaranty $57,000,000 of stock for a period of twenty years at the rate of six per cent. interest. It is stock to the average amount of $31,000 per mile the entire length of the road, some eighteen hundred miles. A portion of it is to be issued at the rate of $20,000 per mile, a portion at $25,000, a portion at $30,000 and a portion at the rate of $50,000; and the average on eighteen hundred miles of the road is $31,000 per mile, making in the aggregate $57,000,000. And we are asked to agree that
we will pay six per cent. interest on that stock for twenty years, if necessary.
And what will it be, provided we have to pay it for the whole period of time? It will cost this nation $68,000,000 simply to pay the interest on this stock during that period of time. They want us to guaranty $31,000 a mile, and with that they will build the road and have the land with all its accretive value, made more valuable with our money.
Mr. PRICE. Will the gentleman allow me to interrupt him?
Mr. DELANO. Yes, sir.
Mr. PRICE. I wish to know whether the gentleman believes honestly, from the history of other railroads, in a dollar and cent point of view, that the Government will not get back all it pays in the shape of interest in this twentyfive per cent. of the receipts.
Mr. DELANO. I answer the gentleman, no; most emphatically and decidedly, no.
Mr. PRICE. Then, one more question. What are the data upon which you make that answer?
Mr. DELANO. I will give them. You say it will be paid by the proceeds of lands sold and the income of the road. When you obtained. the grant for these lands you said you would never ask for an appropriation of money. In less than two years the company is here asking for $68,000,000. I know how Governments are plundered. The entering wedge is in, and then Congress is asked for more; the demand for more is persistently made, inside and outside of Congress, until it is granted. And my opinion is now, that if you violate the original contract and let the parties in the upon present application, you will never get any of the money back, but will lose it all. That is why I propose to keep my hand out of this trap, and why I desire this House to keep the nation's foot out of it also.
I sincerely believe that the result will be the complete loss of this money. These men will take this stock and go into the market with it, go to eastern capitalists, men whose vaults groan with idle capital, and sell the stock at a discount. If they do it at the rate of fifty per cent., what of it? It will pay an interest to the purchaser of twelve per cent. on the money paid for it, and they have land enough left to make the stock valuable independent of this, as I have shown you already, by the grant. And if they have any ingenuity by the issue of this stock, or upon the supposition that the Government will issue it, they can employ any quantity of lobbyists by offering to sell it at a moderate discount.
Sir, what right have we now in the present position of the country to lay hold on the Treasury and subject the people to the danger of this additional taxation? You tell me, however, that the road is necessary, and that if we do not build it Canada will. Sir, if your grant is worth anything in comparison to your estimate of it, or what it is estimated at, there are capitalists that are desirous to take and complete the road, and what you ask for now is only another needless donation to men who do not merit and do not deserve it, and to whom it is not necessary to offer it in order to secure the construction of the road.
I make the point here that if they have $32,000 per mile in land when the land is estimated at $1 25 an acre, they have money enough now to build the road; and if they cannot build it with that they are not the proper parties to go on, and there is no reason why this Government should be asked to make this additional donation.
Mr. Speaker, I know very well that there are reasons why these considerations should be expressed. Our nation now groans with the weight of public debt and necessary taxation, and our credit must be maintained. I know that there are now floating claims against this nation not less in amount than $4,000,000,000, according to my estimate; and these claims, if admitted at all, will never be settled with less than $2,000,000,000. I do not believe they will be settled for that. The great private losses
of only loyal men sustained during this war for the nation's life will be pressed, and pressed, and pressed upon this nation; and, sir, by and by, in some form or other, when we have reconstructed the Government, when all the States shall move again in their accustomed spheres in harmony with each other, when we are again a united people, not only by law, but in heart, then the time will come when this country must decide what shall be done for such claimants, and we must, in order to act prudently, husband our resources as an upright man would who was resolved to be just before he was generous, and to pay his debts before he made a settlement upon his children, or an endowment upon his wife. You must husband your resources now for the financial trial that is before you. Do not let the world see you going into the gigantic schemes of plunder for the benefit of corporations, thereby shaking your credit before the nations of the world. Husband your resources and proceed with caution, deliberation, and frugality.
I know, sir, that we all by nature and education admire the grand, the beautiful, and the sublime. We look out upon the thunder storm and we behold the majesty and power of the Almighty with pleasure and interest. We stand before the great cataract of Niagara and behold the wondrous workings of the divine power in awe; and it seems to me that from this love of the great and sublime, when in this Hall of Representatives, as we look upon schemes of public plunder, the larger, the more magnificent, the more sublime they are, the more are we likely to fall into their support. It is time that we should fall back to a more sensible and rational view of things.
Mr. BOUTWELL. Will the gentleman let me ask him a question?
Mr. DELANO. Certainly, sir.
Mr. BOUTWELL. I would ask the gentleman whether, when he refers to this floating debt which cannot be liquidated without an expenditure of $2,000,000,000, he refers to claims that may be brought by persons in the eleven States lately in rebellion?
Mr. DELANO. I refer only to claims of loyal persons.
Mr. BOUTWELL. I would ask him whether he includes claims that may be brought by persons in the eleven States recently in rebellion?
Mr. HENDERSON. Will the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?
Mr. DELANO. I will hear the question. Mr. HENDERSON. I would ask the gentleman if he means that the Government is not to undertake any enterprise until the public debt is all paid off. Is that the doctrine of the gentleman?
Mr. DELANO. I refer to such claims as will be made by loyal people in all the States, and none others. When I say that it will take $2,000,000,000, I do it on the assumption that we shall compound these claims in some manner without settling up to the full amount.
Mr. BOUTWELL. Is that to be one of the effects of reconstruction?
Mr. DELANO. I did not say so; but the nation will ultimately have to meet this question, and settle it, in some form, either by compounding or refusing to pay. I do not know that it will necessarily follow reconstruction. I have not got that disease upon the brain.
Mr. BOUTWELL. Nor upon the heart either.
Mr. DELANO. What did the gentleman say "nor upon the heart?"
Mr. BOUTWELL. I understood the gentleman to say that when the Government was reconstructed, and we were one people, not in law merely, but in sentiment, then this debt would be paid. I would as lief spend the money on the Niagara ship-canal.
Mr. DELANO. I have no doubt the gentleman would rather spend it upon the Niagara ship-canal, because that will perhaps open up a way to where he lives, or promote in some way the interests of his constituents.
Mr. BOUTWELL. It opens up a way from the great West to the Atlantic.
Mr. DELANO. I am from the great West, and although my friend thinks I have not reconstruction in my heart, I have in my heart the interests of the western country, and I profess to understand them. Certain it is that I am not afflicted with ossification of the heart if I have not reconstruction in that organ.
Mr. DELANO. I have not said that, nor have I said anything that will lead to that inference. I have said that after the large grant already made to this company, there is no justice in our making the additional grant that is now proposed to be made to them.
But I alluded to the condition of the country and the state of the national finances for the purpose of showing that we should not now go into this enterprise. I do it in the conviction that the system now proposed will at once shock our credit at home and abroad; that it will have a bad influence upon the nation's credit, at the very moment when we are straining every nerve and making every exertion to bring this country back to a system of specie payments; when we should economize our resources and expenditures for the purpose of accomplishing that great work as one of the necessities before us.
Without discussing this subject further, I will yield the remainder of my time to my colleague, [Mr. SPALDING.]
Mr. SPALDING. I well recollect, Mr. Speaker, when the act was passed, which has been alluded to in this discussion, conferring upon an association of gentlemen, mainly from New England, I think some forty-seven million acres of land for the construction of a railroad called the Northern Pacific railroad; and I recollect as well that I then entered my protestation against that grant, as I do now against charging upon the Government liabilities for moneys in the shape of interest upon stocks to be issued by this organization. I considered it an association contrived for stock-jobbing purposes. But my words of admonition were not heeded; that bill became a law, and thereby the United States, in the language of my friend who has just taken his seat, [Mr. DELANO,] were virtually robbed of forty-seven million acres of land.
But it is said on the one side that this grant consisted of poor land; while on the other, when it suits the parties better, it is said that these lands were the most fertile of the West, and of a value almost incalculable.
Mr. Speaker, I hold in my hand a report made to the Boston Board of Trade last autumn, at the instance of these corporators, to show the extent and quality of the grant which the Thirty-Eighth Congress made to this corporation. And it consists of a certificate over the signature of a gentleman who for a long time administered the duties of the General Land Office, who was for a time one of the active managers of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, and who is now the efficient Third Auditor of the national Treasury. I send to the Clerk and ask him to read for the benefit of this House in his audible tones of voice the
opinions of Hon. John Wilson in regard to the value of the land grant now held by this association.
The Clerk read as follows:
"I have not the figures, nor would I be able to work them up if I had; but comparing this with the Illinois Central railroad grant, I think it would be a small estimate to say, that if this grant is properly managed it will build the entire road, connecting with the present terminus of the Grand Trunk, through to Puget sound and head of navigation on the Columbia; fit out an entire fleet for the China, East India, and coasting trade, of sailing vessels and steamers; and leave a surplus that will roll up to millions."
Mr. LATHAM. That was made for another purpose.
Mr. SPALDING. It was made for another purpose; the gentleman is correct in that. It was made for the purpose of inducing confidence by capitalists in the stock of this company, and induce them to invest their money in it.
Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. That pamphlet is put out in the interest of the company.
Mr. SPALDING. Yes, sir; it was made for the purpose of obtaining stock in Boston at the hands of the capitalists of that city. Mr. LYNCH. Will the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?
Mr. SPALDING. Not now.
Now, I do not design to impute any improper motives to the Third Auditor of the Treasury; far from it. I believe he was expending his best judgment upon the question then submitted to him for his opinion, for he proceeds in a portion of his letter to describe these lands, their quality, their location, and everything about them. And he thus concludes by giving his estimate of the value of the grant made by the Thirty-Eighth Congress assuring the capitalists that if these lands are judiciously managed, they will provide the means to construct this road from the Grand Trunk in Canada to Puget sound and the navigable waters of the Columbia, and in addition to that, fit out a fleet of merchant vessels and steamers for China and East Indies, with a margin left of "mil
lions of dollars."
Upon this munificent grant a company springs up-reorganized, they tell us and asks us to do, what? Why, in the face of a present ascertained indebtedness on the part of our Government of nearly four thousand million dollars; in the face of the taxation now imposed upon our people to pay current national expenses and the interest upon the public debt, we are asked to pay interest upon the bonds of this company. To what extent, sir? The sum total of the amount upon which the Government is to bind itself to pay interest at six per cent. per annum is $57,420,000. One year's interest upon this amount is $3,445,200.
But, say the advocates of this measure, the Government never will be called upon to pay the whole sum. When the first twenty-five miles of the road shall be completed, then the amount will be estimated at an average rate, as stated here, of $31,900 per mile, making for the twenty-five miles $797,500, on which the Government is expected to pay interest. When the first twenty-five miles are completed the bonds are to be issued and the indemnity by the Government is to go into effect. At that time the interest upon this sum for the first twenty-five miles will amount to $47,850, which is to be paid out of the Treasury; and so on from the first twenty-five miles to another twenty-five miles, and another, and another, until the road is completed.
But it is claimed by the advocates of this bill that the Government is here offered complete security for assuming this liability. Security in what way? The company will give us, they say, as security one half of their lands-all their lands lying on one side of the road. The other half they reserve for their own purposes, speculative or otherwise. One half of our liberal gift to this company they give us back as security for the further advancement in the shape of a loan of the national credit, upon which we are to pay interest, as upon bonds, for twenty years. Now, I am willing to take the chairman of the Pacific Railroad Company at his word. For the sake of argument, I will admit all the great practical benefits which it is claimed are to result from the construction of this road. I will admit that a portion of these benefits will flow in upon my own people, for it is claimed that all along the route from Minnesota through Lake Superior and all the great chain of lakes, even to New England, the benefits resulting from this great national work must flow in most copiously. I admit it all. I will go further and admit, if you please, that so soon as the first twenty-five miles of road shall have been completed, and it shall be ascertained that the company can stand upon its own feet, they will not call upon the Treasury for a dollar. I say that, even admitting that not one single dollar may ever be taken from the national Treasury by reason of this undertaking, still I say the weight of the argument is against any such proposition as that contained in this bill.
Sir, we cannot assume at this moment, in behalf of the Government, a liability of $57,000,000 without shaking faith in its responsi bility and integrity. Why, sir, one of the first lessons which we learn in our school-boy days is that "money is credit" and "credit is money.' So long as our nation preserves its credit it can command money. But, sir, if you heap upon the Government, the organ of the nation, liability upon liability, even though ultimately the payment of those liabilities may never be exacted, still the bare fact that the nation is liable for such immense sums shakes the faith of capitalists, not only here, but in Europe, in our capacity to meet our liabilities and pay punctually the principal and interest of our public debt. No man should doubt this. It is common sense. It is predicated upon ordinary business experience. No individual who has any regard for his credit will suffer his liabilities to exceed greatly his ability to pay; and although a man may not be called upon to pay, yet, if he in a reckless manner assumes liabilities, men of prudence and sagacity will distrust him. As this principle applies to individuals, so does it also to Governments; and it is a principle which we should never disregard in our legislation.
I say, then, Mr. Speaker, I would object to passing this bill into a law on the simple proposition that it is not sound policy to make this Government liable for this large sum of money even though it may never be called upon to pay a dollar of it. When I say this, I do not admit that such will be the result. I rather agree with my honorable friend and colleague who has made so able an argument on this subject, that the prospect would be the other way, that the Government would have to pay all rather than none of the liabilities it is thus called upon to assume.
Mr. Speaker, I have made my sentiments known in regard to this measure, and I trust they will justify my vote. I know very well how these telegraphic communications to members are brought about. The same agency that has been at work around this Hall for months, has worked over the telegraph wires and brought a monition to me as well as to the gentleman from Chicago, and no doubt to other members upon this floor, in order to induce them to sustain this bill. Sir, I can never be reached in this manner. I must, whenever I vote on an important measure in this House, be permitted to vote according to the honest convictions of my own judgment or I will not vote at all; I will abandon my position at once, and ask my. constituents to send some one in my place who will be more subservient to extraneous influ
Mr. WOODBRIDGE next addressed the House. [His remarks will be published in the Appendix.]
Mr. FARNSWORTH obtained the floor. Mr. BENJAMIN. Will the gentleman yield for a motion to adjourn?
Mr. FARNSWORTH. I will yield for that purpose.
Mr. PRICE. Allow me to say, before the motion to adjourn is put, that I propose tomorrow to call the previous question at half past three o'clock.
Several MEMBERS. Fix an earlier hour. Mr. PRICE. Well, I will say two o'clock. Mr. WENTWORTH. The understanding was that we would have a fair chance to be heard on this bill.
Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. There can be no agreement as to the time when the previous question shall be called.
The SPEAKER. The Chair does not understand that any agreement is proposed, but simply that the chairman of the committee gives notice that he will call the previous question on the bill at two o'clock to-morrow.
Mr. WASHBURNE, of Illinois. We do not agree to any arrangement of that sort. The SPEAKER. After the notice which has been given by the chairman of the committee, the Chair will feel compelled to recog nize him at the time he has indicated.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE.
On motion of Mr. DAWES, leave of absence was granted to Mr. HOOPER for one week. Mr. BENJAMIN. I move that the House do now adjourn.
The motion was agreed to; and thereupon (at twenty-five minutes past four o'clock p.m.) the House adjourned.
The following petitions, &c., were presented under the rule and referred to the appropriate committees: By Mr. BAXTER: The petition of William Brayton, and 44 others, citizens of Alburg, Grand Isle county, Vermont, praying for an increased duty on wool.
Also, the petition of A. B. Keeler, and 53 others, citizens of South Hero, Grand Isle county, Vermont, praying for an increased duty on imported wool.
Also, the petition of Linas Leavens, and others, citizens of Berkshire, Franklin county, Vermont, praying for an increased duty on imported wool.
Also, the petition of Henry S. Morse, and 40 others, citizens of Shelburn, Chittenden county, praying for an increased duty on wool.
Also, the petition of Lucius A. Isham, and others, citizens of St. George, Chittenden county, Vermont, praying for an increased duty on imported wool.
Also, the petition of David A. Murray, and 42 others, citizens of Williston, Chittenden county, Vermont, praying for an increased duty on foreign wool. Also, the petition of T. S. Rice, and 39 others, citizens of Westford, Chittenden county, Vermont, praying for an increased duty on imported wool.
Also, the petition of E. W. Trow, and 46 others, citizens of Brownington, Orleans county, Vermont, praying for an increased duty on imported wool.
By Mr. CULLOM: Two separate petitions of sundry citizens of McLean county, Illinois, praying for the passage of a law regulating inter-State insurances of all kinds.
Also, a petition of sundry citizens of Woodford county, Illinois, asking that Congress shall increase the tariff upon all imported wool.
Also, a petition of a large number of citizens of Livingston county, Illinois, asking for the passage of a law regulating inter-State insurances of all kinds.
By Mr. DIXON: The petition of officers of Westerly Savings Bank, Rhode Island, for repeal of internal revenue tax on savings institutions.
Also, the petition of Dime Savings Bank, Brooklyn, South Brooklyn Savings Institution, Emigrant Savings Bank, Brooklyn, Dime Savings of Williamsburg, Kings County Savings Bank, and East Brooklyn Savings, for repeal of internal revenue tax on savings institutions.
Also, the petition of Wickford Savings Bank, Rhode Island, for same.
By Mr. EGGLESTON: The memorial of 120 steamboat owners and underwriters of Cincinnati, Ohio, praying for the passage of a law requiring steamboat captains and mates to procure a license from a board of examiners before they enter upon the duties of their offices.
Also, the memorial of Colonel B. Eith, in regard to payment claimed by the eighth regiment of the twelfth ward in the city of Cincinnati, for thirty-one days' service in the Army of the United States near Cincinnati.
Also, a memorial and the muster-roll of Captain Bard's cavalry company, claiming one month's pay for service rendered the Government in Ohio and Kentucky, during the Kirby Smith raid.
By Mr. FERRY: The memorial of John F. Cilley, and 20 others, citizens of Boston, Michigan, praying that an ad valorem duty be levied upon foreign wool.
as the bill alluded to has been declared to be the law of the land by the action of the two Houses of Congress, and as they feel bound to regard Mr. DAVIS as standing in the attitude of an avowed enemy to the Government, as set forth in his declaration, they ask that he be expelled from the Senate. I offer this petition and ask its reference to the Committee on the Judiciary.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. That ref erence will be ordered, if there be no objec tion.
PROPOSED EXPULSION OF MR. DAVIS Mr. SUMNER. I offer a memorial from citizens of New York, in which they set forth that Mr. DAVIS, a Senator from Kentucky, declared in his speech of the 6th instant, in relation to the passage of the bill to protect citizens in the enjoyment of their civil rights, that if the bill should become a law he should feel compelled to regard himself as an enemy of the Government and to work for its overthrow; and these memorialists then proceed to say that
Mr. DAVIS. I ask the Senate to permit the Clerk to read that petition.
The PRESIDENT pro tempore. It will be read, if there be no objection.
The Secretary read as follows:
To the Senate of the United States:
The undersigned, citizens of the United States, earnestly pray your honorable body: as Mr. DAVIS, Senator from Kentucky, declared in his speech of the 6th instant, in relation to the passage of the bill to protect citizens in the enjoyment of their civil rights, that "if the bill should become a law he should feel compelled to regard himself as an enemy of the Government, and to work for its overthrow," and as the bill alluded to has been declared to be a law of the land, by the action of the two Houses of Congress; and as we feel bound to regard Mr. DAVIS as standing in the attitude of an avowed enemy to the Government, as set forth in his declaration, that he be expelled from the Senate, and, with other traitors, held to answer to the law for his crime.
Mr. DAVIS. With the permission of the Senate I will make a single remark upon that petition. It is true that I used, in substance, the words that are imputed to me in that petition; but, as a part of their context, I used a great many more. As an example of garbling, the petition reminds me of a specimen that I heard when I was a young man. It was to this effect: "The Bible teaches 'that there is no God.'" When those words were read in connection with the context, the passage read in about these terms: "The fool hath said in his heart that there is no God." That specimen of the Bible was about as fair as this garbled statement is of what I said upon the matter to which it refers. This is all I have to say.
The memorial was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
PETITIONS AND MEMORIALS.
Mr. EDMUNDS presented a memorial of Joseph E. Oates and Aaron H. Bradley, in behalf of the colored people of Florida and Georgia, expressing their views on the subject of reconstruction, and praying Congress to adopt them as conditions-precedent to the admission of the late rebellious States; which was referred to the joint committee on reconstruction.
Mr. HOWE presented a memorial of the Legislature of Wisconsin, in favor of so equalizing the bounties awarded by the Government to soldiers during the late war as to make them as nearly as possible in proportion to the time of actual service; which was referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia.
He also presented a memorial of the Legislature of Wisconsin, in favor of the establishment of a mail route from Dodgeville to Avoca, via James Mills, William S. Bean's, and Booth Hollow, in that State; which was referred to the Committee on Commerce.
He also presented a memorial of the Legislature of Wisconsin, in favor of an appropriation for widening and straightening the channel of the harbor at Superior, in that State; which was referred to the Committee on Com
Mr. HOWE. I have also a long preamble and a series of resolutions passed by the Legislature of Wisconsin in reference to the votes given by my colleague in this body. The resolutions are in these words:
to report a joint resolution, providing for their acceptance.
Resolved by the Senate, (the Assembly concurring.) That the course of Senator DoOLITTLE, in Congress, in voting to sustain the President's veto of the Freedmen's Bureau bill, in persistently urging upon Congress the immediate right of the inhabitants of the southern portion of the United States, who were lately in rebellion against the Government, to be represented in both Houses of Congress as inhabitants of States, and so advocating the principle that the enemies of the Government are as fit to administer its affairs as loyal men are, and finally, in voting to sustain the President's veto of the civil rights bill, in the face of instructions from the Legislature to vote for it, fills us with pain and indignation.
Resolved, That the course of Senator JAMES R. DOOLITTLE upon the great question of the reorganization of government among the late rebels, upon the Freedmen's Bureau bill, and the civil rights bill, was a desertion of the cause of human rights and republican government, and shows him totally unworthy to occupy any position representing a free people, much less so high a one as the people of Wisconsin in other times have elevated him to; and while it is not contended that we can deprive him of his office of Senator, yet we declare it to be his duty to resign his Senatorship, in order that the loyal people of Wisconsin may no longer be misrepresented upon the grave questions which are now being decided by the American people.
Resolved, That the Governor be requested to forward to each of our Senators and Representatives in Congress a copy of the foregoing preamble and resolutions.
I move that these resolutions be laid upon the table and printed.
The motion was agreed to.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES.
Mr. HENDRICKS. The Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (S. No. 206) to quiet land titles in California, have directed me to report an amendment in the nature of a substitute, and recommend its passage. It is proper that I should say, sir, that this substitute has been prepared upon consultation with the Commissioner of the General Land Office, the chief clerk of that office, the surveyor general of California, and myself. It is prepared with a good deal of care, as it relates to a very important subject.
Mr. ANTHONY, from the Committee on Claims, to whom was referred the petition of T. S. Briscoe, praying for payment for his services in recruiting the twenty-sixth regiment of Iowa infantry, and the sixth Iowa cayalry, submitted an adverse report; which was ordered to be printed.
Mr. POMEROY, from the Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred a resolution of the Senate of the 3d instant, directing them to inquire into the expediency of establishing an additional land district in the Territory of Nebraska, asked to be discharged from its further consideration, deeming that it is unnecessary to have another land district in that Territory; and the report was agreed to.
The joint resolution (S. R. No. 74) providing for the acceptance of a collection of plants tendered to the United States by Frederick Pech, was read a first time by its title, and passed to a second reading.
Mr. HENDERSON. I ask the Senate to consider that resolution at the present time. The PRESIDENT pro tempore. It requires the unanimous consent of the Senate to consider the joint resolution on the day it is reported.
There being no objection, the joint resolution was read the second time, and considered as in Committee of the Whole. It proposes to accept the collection of plants tendered by Frederick Pech, by his memorial of March 2, 1866, and that it be deposited in the Department of Agriculture, and appropriates the sum of $300 to enable the Commissioner of Agriculture to procure suitable cases for the protection of such plants.
The joint resolution was reported to the Senate without amendment, ordered to be engrossed for a third reading, read the third time, and passed.
COLLECTION OF THE CUSTOMS.
Mr. SHERMAN. I am directed by the Committee on Finance to report a joint resolution, and after a short explanation I desire to have it put upon its passage now.
The Secretary read the joint resolution (S. R. No. 75) making appropriations for the expenses of collecting the revenue from customs. It proposes to appropriate $2,100,000 for the expenses of collecting the revenue from customs for each half year, from and after the last day of December, 1865, and in addition thereto, such sums as may be received during the half year from fines, penalties, and forfeitures connected with the customs, and from storage, cartage, drayage, and labor; and it also proposes to repeal the first section of an act making appropriations for the expenses of collecting the revenue from customs, approved
June 14, 1858.
Mr. SHERMAN. In order to explain the matter more fully, I send to the Chair and ask to have read a letter of the Secretary of the Treasury, which has called the subject to our
The Secretary read the following letter:
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, March 24, 1866. SIR: The standing appropriation of $1,800.000 for each half year, to defray the expenses of collecting the revenue from customs, made by the first section of the act of June 14, 1858, (11 Statutes, 337,) will be inadequate to meet the expenses of the current or of succeeding years.
It is estimated that there will be required an additional sum of $300,000 each half year: that is, a total semi-annual expenditure of $2,100,000.
I have the honor, in accordance with this view, to inclose a draft of a section designed to be appended to the regular appropriation bill, amendatory of the aforesaid first section of the act of June 14, 1858, to which I would request your favorable attention. Very respectfully, H. McCULLOCH, Secretary of the Treasury.
Hon. W. P. FESSENDEN,
Chairman Committee on Finance, Senate. Mr. SHERMAN. The matter was first called to our attention by that letter; and the Committee on Finance agreed upon an amendment to the legislative appropriation bill some time ago providing for the increase. The present permanent appropriation for the collection of the revenue from customs is contained in the first section of an act "making appropriations for the expenses of collecting the revenue from customs" under date of June 14, 1858. I will read that section:
That there be, and hereby is, appropriated for the expenses of collecting the revenue from customs, for each half year, the sum of $1,800,000, payable out of any moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, together with such sums as may be received from storage, cartage, drayage, and labor for said half year.
Mr. JOHNSON. What is the relative increase in the revenue?
Mr. SHERMAN. The Senator from Maryland asks me the increase in the revenue. I can tell him generally that since the date of the law the revenue from customs has doubled. I think in 1858 the receipts from customs were about sixty million dollars. The necessity for the immediate passage of this resolution, as the legislative appropriation bill will probably not pass Congress for a month or two, is stated in a recent letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, which I send to the desk to be read. The Secretary read the following letter:
The amount of the revenue from customs has been so enormously increased that the expenses have increased, not in the same proportion but to some extent, and the estimates now require $300,000 more for the half year, $600,000 additional for the year.
TREASURY DEPARTMENT, April 24, 1866.
SIR: On the 24th of March I had the honor to submit to your committee a section, designed to be appended to the regular appropriation bill, increasing the standing semi-annual appropriation for the expenses of collecting the revenue from customs from $1,800,000 to $2,100,000, and to explain the grounds of the suggestion.
It is found that the appropriation now on the books of the Treasury will be insuflicient to meet the necessary expenses even for the month of April current, and I therefore transmit herewith the same proposition, slightly amended, in the form of a joint resolu tion, upon which I would most earnestly request an early action, it not being probable that the regular appropriation bill will be acted upon in time to meet the emergency.
I am, sir, very respectfully,
Hon. W. P. FESSENDEN,
H. McCULLOCH, Secretary of the Treasury.
Chairman Committee on Finance, Senate.
The joint resolution was read three times and passed.
PRINTING OF A BILL.
On motion of Mr. NORTON, it was
Ordered, That the bill (S. No. 263) to authorize the Winona and St. Peter Railroad Company to construct a bridge across the Mississippi river and to establish a post route, be printed.
Mr. CONNESS asked, and by unanimous consent obtained, leave to introduce a bill (S. No. 286) to provide for the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Central Pacific railroad, in California, to Portland, on the navigable waters of the Columbia river, in Oregon; which was read twice by its title, referred to the Committee on the Pacific Railroad, and ordered to be printed.
He also asked, and by unanimous consent obtained, leave to introduce a bill (S. No. 287) to provide for the construction of a wagon road from Boise City, in the Territory of Idaho, to Susanville, in California; which was read twice by its title, referred to the Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia, and ordered to be printed.
Mr. CLARK. I ask unanimous consent to introduce a bill which has been prepared by some person other than myself.
There being no objection, leave was granted to introduce a bill (S. No. 288) to provide for the payment of certain claims against the United States; which was read twice by its title.
Mr. CLARK. A bill of similar import went to the Committee on the Judiciary; I move that this take the same direction.
It was so referred.
Mr. CLARK also asked, and by unanimous consent obtained, leave to introduce a bill (S. No. 289) to provide for the probate of and for the recording of wills of real estate situated in the District of Columbia, and for other pur poses; which was read twice by its title, and referred to the Committee on the District of Columbia.
DEATH OF SENATOR FOOT.
Mr. POLAND submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Printing:
Resolved, That one thousand extra copies of the addresses and funeral sermon delivered in the Senate on the death of Hon. Solomon Foot, a Senator from the State of Vermont, heretofore ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate, be printed for the use of the widow and family of the deceased.
APPROVAL OF BILLS.
A message from the President of the United States, by Mr. COOPER, his Secretary,