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In relation to the Senatorial election, about which my friend Mr. Field has just spoken, like him I gave my vote to Maj. Eaton; not because his respected and talented opponents might not have deserved such an appointment, but because I believed that in voting for him I was sustaining the wishes of a majority of those whom I had the honor to represent. I had voted for him in two former elections, to the same office, and no complaint was ever made of my having done so. For ten years he had served as the Senator of Tennessee. He had proved himself worthy of the high trust. General Jackson had taken him from the Senate, as I knew, expressly against Maj. Eaton's repeated objections and remonstrances. In this situation he had been assailed and persecuted by the enemies of the administration, and with a bitterness, and, as I think all must admit, to an extent far beyond what there could have been any reason or necessity for. Believing him to be a pure patriot and a sound statesman, I felt disposed, by my vote, to show to the world that Tennessee retained undiminished confidence in him, and as was the case with Hill, Van Buren and others, rebuke the enemies of the administration for assailing the President, through his most intimate and confidential friends.
There are other subjects of importance on which, as your representative, I have had to act; but the time allotted for ad. dressing you admonishes me not to trespass too long on your patience. The present is a fearful crisis in your national affairs; but I believe I can safely say that our State concerns are, in the general, in a safe and prosperous condition. If I have contributed in any degrees to that prosperity, it amply compensates me for all the privations of ten or twelve years of public service. Tennessee has taken decided grounds on the great question of nullification, now agitated, and expected shortly to disturb the integrity and union of the States. At this very moment, the convention of one of the heretofore most patriotic States of the Union, is in session, and in solemn deliberation whether or not to oppose one of the public laws of the general government. None of us can doubt but that they will attempt to effect that fearful and desperate measure. If so, and the powers of the State should be brought in open resistance against the laws of Congress, the consequences must
long be deplored by the friends of freedom all over the world.
Tennessee has uniformly protested against the oppressions of the Protective Tariff system, but she has equally raised her voice against the rash and unconstitutional measures proposed by South Carolina; she abhors oppression, but will never give up the Union. She will cling to that whilst there is hope in the world and as long as liberty has a friend upon earth. Let us, however, indulge a hope, that the State who gave birth to a Sumpter and a Marion, to the Hugers, Rutledges, and Middletons of the revolution, will not be the first to sever a Union, reared by the wisdom and cemented by the blood of the noblest martyrs that ever lived or died in the cause of freedom.
Your members of Congress, as national statesmen, must take charge of these high concerns. The times demand that they should be men of known prudence, of acknowledged wisdom, and unsuspected patriotism. With such men as these, to be co-workers with your venerable President, the Republic may yet be safe. The clouds that now hover dark and portentous over the Union, may be dispelled, and our national banner may yet wave in the breeze, with no star eclipsed and no stripe erased from its majestic folds.
LETTER To the South IVestern, or New Orleans Railroad Convention.
I congratulate you and the whole country on the assemblage of your honorable body. I regard it as a commencement of a series of measures destined to exert a most salutary influence on our future destiny. The place selected is the proper one in all respects, and the time eminently propitious. New Orleans has so many natural advantages, that she must always be exempt from much of the suspicion of undue selfishness, to which many other places might be exposed. With or without railroads, her majestic river and its mighty tributaries must always supply her with all the elements of boundless wealth and prosperity. What if other cities should occasionally penetrate a few interior valleys, and here and there make a few encroachments on her former commerce, the impression would be too slightly felt to impede her onward progress. The insig. nificant loss would be more than compensated by the increased stimulus which a general railroad system would impart to the productive energies of the country.
But the place is not more favorable than the time is auspicious. The southern and western mind is now ripe, thoroughly ripe, on all the subjects which I suppose will occupy your attention. These, I expect, will be chiefly the devising of a proper railroad, system for the South and West; the introduction and encouragement of a more extensive system of manufacturing into the same region, and the encouragement of importations into our southern cities, and a direct trade between them and
foreign countries. On all these subjects, I repeat, the public mind is thoroughly ripe for action.
As to railroads, who that ever made one distant journey by water, that did not prefer dry land for the next?
With or without cause for it, the universal passion of the age has become, to desert the water and to fly to the land—not only to fly to it, but to fly on it, at the rate of forty or sixty miles to the hour. Even here in Tennessee, we who have been heretofore a patient and slow-moving people, (except in war times,) have been so quickened up that nothing but the iron horse and the telegraph will now do us. We are giving a hearty welcome to every railroad that approaches our borders—our legislature is now granting charters to the Louisville and Cincinnati roads to Nashville, and from that point to the Great Bend of Tennessee, in a suitable direction, to meet with the New Orleans and Mobile roads, when extended to that river. We are, in fact, reaching out our arms in every direction, proffering an affectionate embrace to all. To none a more fraternal one than to our sister cities of the South-Mobile and New Orleans. Let them come by their own ways to the Tennessee river, a little above or below where our State-line crosses it, and where all obstructions to navigation will be avoided, and we will shake hands across the stream with a cordiality that shall know no discrimination. But our legislature is not content with simply granting charters, and then leaving the projects to linger and perish, with no other than a mere statutory existence; she is proposing for all of our great (or as the technical word now is) our tidal lines, to advance to the companies her bonds at the rate of seven thousand or eight thousand dollars per mile, for the purchase of iron-rails, locomotives, and other fixtures of the roads. There is every probability that such liberal provisions will be made for them at the present session of that body. We are, therefore, profoundly in earnest; and Tennessee tenders to Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, a generous rivalry as to who shall first reach the proposed point on the Ten. nessee river with the roads in question. I need not take time to point out the great advantages of such a line of road both to Mobile and New Orleans. The Vicksburgh, Jackson, Brandon, and Montgomery road will be the first tributary. In
northern Mississippi, I suppose not far from Jacinto, the Memphis and Charleston road would cross, which would be the second ; at Nashville, the Chattanooga will be the third, swollen as it will be by the junction at the latter place of the Charleston and Savannah, and of the Virginia and East Tennessee roads. A connection between New Orleans and Mobile with the Ohio at Louisville and Cincinnati, with such tributaries as these, must be of the highest importance to the cities at their respective termini, and to the whole region of country through which the road would pass.
But it is obvious that a connection between Louisville and Cincinnati, however important, is not the only purpose of these two southern cities. They see with what steadiness of purpose South Carolina and Georgia are 'pushing forward their road, to some point on the Mississippi, at or near the mouth of the Ohio. They cannot be insensible to the consequences. If Charleston is determined to stand at the mouth of the Ohio, bidding for the amazing commerce of the North-west, New Orleans and Mobile will be compelled to stand there also, her rivals and competitors for the noble prize. I speak of competition and rivalry, of course, in no sense unworthy of those enlightened cities. That they may be there in good time to secure their just and fair proportion of advantages, I respectfully beg leave to make a few suggestions to both of them.
It is evidently impossible to make the important roads contemplated by them, and which it is essential to each should be made, without a heavy draft on the resources of both cities, and on those of the towns and people along the respective routes. Is it not, therefore, the part of wisdom and just economy in both, to avoid the construction of parallel and contiguous lines, such as would be two roads from any point of approximation in Northern Mississippi to the mouth of the Ohio. To avoid doing so, I would suggest that the New Orleans road from Jackson, Mississippi, to the Great Bend of the Tennessee, should be so located as to pass the point where the Mobile road to the mouth of the Ohio crosses the Memphis and Charleston road by Tuscumbia. This point, I believe, is near Jacinto, in Mississippi. Now, from that point to the Tennessee River, in order to form a connection with the Louisville and Cincin