Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

to the yeas and pays, to show who sustained by | wealth's bank, to the amount of upwards of their votes this system of internal improvements $2,100,000, and we sustained the gorernment by and the contraction of this debt. It is sufficient the interest upon our credit added to our taxes. for me to know that there was a majority of the Thus we drew from the necessities of the peo. representatives of the people who voted for it; ple, by loaning our credit, the means of susand that those men have never forfeited the con- taining the government; and from the Green fidence of their constituents for their participa- river country, that portion of our lands, in re. tion in the creation and carrying on of that sys- lief of the taxation of the richer portion of the tem. Some of them have been elevated to high state. And when they came and said that they and distinguished stations, notwithstanding were shut out from all the advantages of navi. those votes. And it is a matter of some pride gation, by the interior location of their country, and some credit to Kentucky, that notwithstand and could only get to market with their produce ing she contracted these debts, in carrying on when the river was high-and year after year, these internal improvements, she carried on that for want of a freshet, their produce was rotting system, so far as it went, with much more pru- in their barns and on their plantations, and dence, and with greater economy, than many of asked for an appropriation to lock and dam her sister states; and that whilst they were driv. Green river, the representatives of the people en to repudiate their debts, either from inability of Kentucky voted for it, and designed and into pay, or unwillingness to sustain the burden tended by the accomplishment of that work, to of taxation, Kentucky has always been able to give them the advantages of navigation, as well pay the interest, and as I believe, is now able as to give to that section of country some equiv. and willing to provide for the payment of the alent for the immense sums drawn from it, in principal of her indebtedness. I do not know of relief of the balance of the state. And although but one gentleman now on this floor--the honor- the work does not now yield any thing like an able gentleman from Henderson, (Mr. Dixon,)- interest on the sum expended--and perhaps this who is entirely guiltless upon this subject. He year will not pay expenses, on account of the was uniform and consistent in his opposition to extraordinary repairs that have been mademstill the system of internal improvements. But if I I believe that the sum expended there was wiserecollect aright, though there are a great many ly and beneficially expended ; and that that others who voted against it, still, whenever they section of the country draws an adequate com. could draw any little bonus to their section of pensation from it; and that the state of Kenthe state, they always accepted it. Why, the tucky, by the increased valne of the lands, lands west of the Tennessee river were given up draws a sum in increased taxation equal to into that section of the country, to be there expen- terest on the expenditure. Next we undertook ded for internal improvements; and the statutes to lock and dam Kentucky river, and that worked show that they received and used them. To the so far as we have proceeded with it--well, and mountain region we gave but little; but we gave has effected and accomplished the object had in them the unappropriated public domain; and view. It has made Kentucky river, so far as they received and used it. A pitiful gift it cer- improved, a better navigation than that of the tainly was, yet they took it.

Ohio; and it has given to the section of country, The first appropriation that was made for within reach of it, the benefit and advantage of slackwater navigation, was for the benefit of the steamboat navigation, which, without it, they Green river country—to lock and dam Green never could have enjoyed. And though it does river. Now those who will look back to the not yield a revenue to the state a sum equal to early stages of this country, will find that the the interest on the sum expended, it yields a lands south of Green river except the military benefit to the people of the state more than equal surveys-helonged to the commonwealth of Ken- to the amount of money appropriated to the imtucky. They were sold out to the citizens who provement. True it does not yield what was settled there, under "head-right claims,” as they calculated and expected, because it is a work were called, to be paid into the treasury of the pot accomplished. Kentucky was paying from commonwealth by instalments. Thus the set- $500,000 to $600,000, annually, to other states tlers in that portion of the country were indebt- for lumber and fuel--for the lumber of New ed to the commonwealth for the lands on which York and the coal of Pennsylvania--and it was they lived; and the interest on that indebted the design and intention of those who under. ness, for a long period of years, drew from that took to lock and slam Kentucky river, to reach country into the treasury considerable sums of the coal, iron, and lumber region of the state, money, although the legislature granted them, and thus to save to Kentucky the annual sums from time to time, indulgences.

we were giving for the products of the mines was placed in the old Bank of the common and forests of other states, and with those sums wealth, and constituted its capital stock, and to stimulate the industry, prosperity and wealth amounted at last to upwards of $500,000. În of our own commonwealth. If that work should relief of the taxation of the richer portion of be accomplished-as I hope and trust in time it the state, we took the dividends, drawn from a will be it will save this half million of dollars part of those public lands, and assigned them to annually to the people, and by that sum paid the government, together with the revenue drawn out to the industry and enterprise of our own citifrom the southern portion of the state. Then zens, will increase the prosperity of all. I have we made the commonwealth's bank, a mere pa- nothing, therefore, to regret in the votes I gave per machine. We provided to turn into that for that work, nor the debts which are the conbank the proceeds of our stock in the bank of sequence of it. I believe that the increased valKentucky; and we loaned the credit of the state, ue of the lands in all the neighborhood around in the shape of bank notes on the common lit, Kentucky, in her revenue, does now, and will

That money

in all time to come, derive a fair avd full equiv. I find that I differed with a large portion of my alent for the expenditure.

own political friends; and was there found rots The project to lock and dam Licking river was ing generally, in the ranks of our opponents, undertaken for the same principles and with the and often have I met the charge, that in author. same views; and it must be acknowledged that izing that expenditure, under their management, the work is a total failure; and the money there as it generally was, I bad aided and assisted invested a total loss. The difficulty was clearly them in procuring the means to strengthen and perceived by those engaged in the enterpris of perpetuate their power in the state. I believed that day; and the effect of the distraction of the that great advantages were to be derived by the efforts of the state in the accomplishment of these state, from that system of internal improvements, works, by being engaged in the prosecution of My constituents wanted this system; and I find three of them at one and the same time, was then that they sustained me from time to time, in the upprehended as of dangerous consequences, and votes that I gave ; and I am content. The pub. now we see that it was fatal to the system. If lic mind has changed, and public sentiment is we had combined all our purpose, all our money, for leaving this thing to private enterprise. The and all our energies upon one of them, we would people now desire to provide for the payment of have effected our objects and the benefits and this debt, and to limit the power of the legislaadvantages flowing from it, would have enabled ture to contract debts; and I am willing to go us in time to have accomplished the others. The with them. But I see in the report of this com: change of times-the bursting of the bubble mittee, nothing that provides for the payment of brought a period to the labors of Kentucky upon the present debt, and cnly a restriction as to the system of internal improvements. And al. borrowing money. If we do not provide for though we did not sell our bonds below par, to the payment of the present debt; and we restrict meet the balances against us, we gave them to the legislature in the power of borrowing, when coutractors at par, in payment of what was due the debt falls due, how is it to be paid? Is it to them, when we knew they would have to sell to be met inmediately and directly by taxation? them at a discount and in many iustances they Or is the loan to be extended ? in the section did sell them at a discount of from ten to fifteen that I offer, I propose, that the first general assem. per cent. That was just as much repudiation bly which shall meet, under the new constitu. on the part of the state, inasmuch as it took tion, shall set apart from the revenue of the that sum from men who were fairly entitled to commonwenlth, $50,000 annually ; to be appro. it, as was the refusal of other states to pay their priated to the withdrawal of the evidences of debts; and we need not claim that we are entire this debt; and if that is not sufficient to meet ly free from it. I felt it my duty to say this those debts, as they fall due, that then the legis. much in relation to this matter.

lature shall have power to contract loans to ful. The system of turnpike roads has been refer- fil the faith of the state. And this $50,000, apred to. When we commenced that system, there propriated annually, will in time pay off, and was but one turnpike road in the conimonwealth, discharge the whole debt. I believe the senti. and that was an old road leading from Louisville ment of the people is ripe for it; that they de. to Middletown, not exceeding eleven miles in sire, and will sustain it--that our duty to the length. Through the enterprise of individuals commonwealth, is thus to provide for it. Then and by the assistance of the state, considerable I will go with gentlenied to restrict the legislawas done upon that subject. And here let me ture beyoud what may be considered a fair sum, add, I differ with the elder gentleman from Nel. for deficiencies that may arise in the annual son, (Mr. Hardin.) I believe that there has been revenue ; also to restrict them in the power to as much, or even greater loss, upon the sums ex contract debts for internal improvements, unless pended for turnpike roads, than on the amounts it shall be subunitted to the whole people. expended for the improvenient of rivers. In the In reviewing this matter, I will say, that the progress of internal improvements, I believe that benefits and advantages from the sums that we since the adaptation of railroads to the wants of bave laid out, fall immediately and directly to the commercial and traveling commucity, that particular sections of country, and although it both turnpike roads and river navigation will has increased the general wealth, prosperity, and yield measurably to railroads. I have had vcs revenue of the state, yet all sections are obliged casion to review thie system of interval improve to bear the burden of taxation, to pay the intermentgits effects and its consequences--and I est, and will bave to bear it, to pay the princi. am free to confess, that so far as I am concerned, pal of these debts. Thus, to some extent, the I greatly prefer that it should be done by private benefits and avantages of these improvements, enterprise, than for the public to have anything carried on by the state, as they were, or as any to do with it. I believe that a system of inter other will be, full particularly on the sections nal improvements by the general government. where the works are located; while the whole where immense sums of money are paid out state must equally contribute to defraying their through commissioners and officers, bestowed on costs. Therefore there will be very little likelione section of the country, in order to increase hood of public debt being contracted for such the power and influence of the government in works, unless they shall be of such general im. that'section; and denied to other portions, in portance as to interest a large portion of the order to punish them for political opinions, or commonwealth. any other thing, is one of the most dangerous All the revenue that goes to the sinking fund, powers that can be exercised by the general gove is not derived from direct taxation on the counernment. I favor that strict construction which try. We have a tax of fifty cents on the hunyields to it nothing but conceded powers. dred dollars, on $1,250,000 stock in the Bank of

Looking over the acts of the state, the records, I Louisville; on 93,700,000 stock in the Bank of

!

Kentucky, and on $2,250,000 in the Northern In changing our opinions, let us not put our Bank; and these sums constitute a part of the reve- condemnation upon the system, without honestnue of the state. In addition to that, we have the ly and fairly providing for the payment of the dividends on—I do not know the exact sum be. debt to the last dollar, and it can be certainly longing to the state-I believe about $1,250,000 and easily paid by an annual sum appropriated bank stock—the greater portion in the Northern for that purpose. I believe that was the object Bank, paying eight or nine per cent., in the Bank of the elder gentleman from Nelson, (Mr. Har. of Louisville, paying eight per cent., and in the din,) when he asked for a committee on this sub. Bank of Kentucky, paying eight per cent., and jeet; and I hope and trust we shall have his aid which will pay an extraordinary per cent., when and assistance, in passing this provision, or they get in the proceeds of recovery from the something like it, that will provide

for the paySchuylkill Bank, exceeding $500,000—to aid ment of this debt. This is all I have to say on and assist the sinking fund, or to assist in pay. the subject. ing the interest on the internal improvement debt. The capital stock of the Bank of Kentuc

Mr. BRADLEY. I desire to make a stateky, was recently increased to $5,000,000-$3, ment, which the remarks of the president has viduals, and $2,000,000 by the commonwealth, never

had the honor
of serving in the

legislature
which she was to pay in by bonds bearing five with him; but I did have the honor of a seat in
per cent. interest; and in consideration of that, the legislature the year after the system of inter-
she was to draw a tax of half per cent., and in nal improvements was commenced, and I served
addition to that, the increase of the dividends. here for four years successively. The president
The same thing was done in relation to the of this convention was, I think, a member of the
Northern Bank. Thus, a sum exceeding $100,- senate at that time; and I presume he is not well
000 annually, was derived through these institu- he had no allusion to me when he referred to the
tions, in aid of the revenue of the common-
wealth of Kentucky, and more than that sum is gentlemen from Henderson, (Mr. Dixon,) as be-
now derived to the

sinking fund, from the stock ing the only gentleman on this floor who had in, and the tax on these banks. It was hoped the system from the beginning; and I believe my that with these additional aids, and the profits votes stand recorded upon the journals against that might be derived from the public works, borrowing about $4,000,000 of this debt. The that we should be able to provide for the

pay: gentleman from Henderson then represented the ing to taxation. But the fraud upon the Schuyl- county in which I live, in the senate; and we kill Bank, and

the change of times, made it ne- understood the course that each other pursued at tions of those engaged in the system of internal that time I have made this explanation, as due improvements, of being able to carry it on with to myself, after the remarks of the president on out taxation, by these means, were rendered as

this subject. are the calculations of many men, futile. But With regard to the effect of these internal im. since that time, with an improvidence that is re- provements on the portion of country where I remarkable, upon the mere boon that the Northern side, I differ with the president. I do not think Bank and the Bank of Kentucky should loan to they have been beneficial or advantageous to that the people at six per cent.--to be divided among particular region, except to a very small portion the counties-of some $500,000 or $600,000, to be of the country lying on the margin of the river. paid back on small calls-and I believe every And these improvements generally have been dollar of it was paid back in about eighteen more or less local in their effects. I have not armontas-the state cancelled the obligations of raigned the course of any gentleman in this matthose banks, and thus was lost the annual sum ter. I have differed in opinion with them in reto the sinking fard formerly derived from those gard to the policy of these measures, and I still sources, and which has now to be supplied by differ with them in regard to its results. I am, taxation. It was not a very wise or prudent to come to the question more directly, in favor system of financiering, and it was based on a of restricting the power of the legislature heremere desire to induce the banks to loan; which after to contract debts; and I believe such to be they would have done, because they must loan now, almost unanimously, the public sentiment their money to make a profit. They are very of Kentucky. I came here under pledges, so far keen at making good bargains, and they inade as my vote would go, to place a restriction in an immense bargain out of the state on that oc- the constitution on the power of the legislature casion. I desire to throw no imputation on any to contract debts in the future, except to a very man, or set of men, in regard to this matter; for limited extent. I agree in sentiment with the I believe the sentiments of the people are chang. president with regard to the payment of the debt ed in regard to it. But there is no reason that already contracted; and I shall be in favor of we should brand as profligate or extravagant, a taking some mild step, that looks to the accomsystem of internal improvement, that has the plishment of that end. sanction and support of the people, and which Mr. MAYES. I was in the lower house of the was carried on in accordance with their wishes legislature at the session of '36, 37, when the and sentiments. I believe the action of those question of internal improvement was in full who participated in that system was in accord- blast. I do not suppose it is a matter of conseance with the wishes of their constituents; and I quence, whether I voted for or against it; if it is, think that when we have changed our opinions gentlemen can ascertain the fact by a reference to in relation to it, it is useless to stigmatise them. the journals of that session. I therefore move

[graphic]

that the committee rise, and report tbe bill to the , were led on to send representatives to the legis. house.

lative halls to make an appropriation, and did The motion was withdrawn, by general re do it in obedience to the will of the people, I quest, in order that the question might be taken still feel authorized to say that these appropria. on the amendment.

tions were wild and reckless, because they never Mr. CLARKE. When I explained the mo- have, and never will, carry out the expectations tives which influenced the cominittee in adopt. of those in favor of the iinprovements. Hence, ing this section of the report, I took occasion to the people now denounce that system of internal remark, that I thought a large majority of the improvements, and of pledging the labor of the people of the state concurred in the opinion, state to the payment of large debts incurred in that the legislature should be restricted in con making these sectional improvements. Having tracting debts, and in the wild and extravagant denounced it, they have sent us to this conven. use of the public money and public credit ex- tion to frame a constitution that will withhold hibited in its history for the last twenty years. such power from the legislature in future. In making the statement I did, I denounced that Mr. HARDIN. I comprehend what the Presspecies of legislation as wild and reckless. I ident means, and his amendment, with a slight have not arraigned, and I see no reason now to addition, will do exactly. That is, I suppose he arraign, the votes or motives which were given intends that the sinking fund shall be kept up by, or influenced any gentleman in his partici- to what it now is, and then this other $50,000 pation in bygone legislation. I have no doubt shall be added to it. that every gentleman, in voting for the adoption

The PRESIDENT. Yes sir. of that system, honestly and fairly represented

Mr. HARDIN. Then it will do exactly, and his constituents. But while I concede this much, will provide for the payment of every dollar of I will add that I well remember—though I was the debt. I have a table, showing how this debt but a boy at the time—that the people were told was created, which may be interesting to the in both branches of the legislature that all the convention. Three or four years since it was money they were borrowing for those internal im- correct, and is nearly so now. It is as follows: provements would be re-paid by the profits 5 per cent. bonds, payable 35 of those works, and that the people would never years after date,

$165,000 00 be called upon to pay a dollar of it. They were 5 per cent. bonds, payable 30 told that these improvements would yield a di.

years after date,

450,000 00 vidend sufficient to pay not only the aceruing 6 per cent. bonds, payable 30 interest, but the principal of the debt, and also

years after date,

3,579,000 00 aid in lessening the taxes of the people. Well 6 per cent. bonds, payable 6 the people, by sad experience, have found out

years after date,

100,000 00 that these gentlemen were mistaken upon the 6 per cent. bonds, for repair of subject? Not only that, but they find saddled railroad, payable 6 years afupon them a debt between 5 and $7,000,000, and ter date,

54,000 00 that the taxes have been increased to a burden. Money borrowed from the Bank some extent, to meet the interest upon that debt. of Louisville,

30,000 00 And they find now, and I think properly and Due to United States goverment, 1,433,757 39 correctly, a proposition niade to meet the princi. Due School Fund,

1,115,430 00 pal. Hence it was, that with a knowledge of To Northern Bank of Kentucky, 250,000 00 these facts, that the people in almost every county Craddock Fund,

3,000 00 in the state called upon the candidates for seats here to declare whether they were or were not in Total,

$7,210,157 39 favor of restricting the debt-creating power of the legislature. The people have been deceived in the accumulation of a mighty and ponderous

The amount of the debt has been somewhat of the state, and abstracting from the proceeds house, a paper I could not before find : debt, that is now weighing down the energies changed since this report was made out. While

I am up, I will read, for the information of the of their labor and property large amounts annually in taxation to pay the interest on that debt. There has been paid, on the KenThese evils have all been brought upon them by

tucky river navigation, for legislation, and now we are called upon in this the building of locks and convention to throw shackles upon the power of

dams, &c.,

$901,932 70 the legislature to subject the labor of the country There has been paid for the same to the payment of debts thus contracted. In purpose, on the Licking riv. speaking of that legislation, I characterized it er navigation,

372,520 70 as wild and reckless, and its sequel proves that There has been paid for the same it is so. Take, as an instance of it, the two purpose, on Green and Barturnpike roads running from Louisville to the ren river navigation,

859,126 79 state line in the direction of Nashville. There they run, scarcely separating for forty miles, Total expended for navigation, $2,133,580 19 and at some points coming so close together as almost to enable a man to stand in one and There has been expended for railroads, as jump on to the other. Was it remarkable then, follows: that works thus carried out should not yield a Amount expended on Green river raildividend on the amount expended in their con- road,

$1,903 struction, much less to extinguish the principal on the debt incurred? Then, even if the people Amount carried forward,

$1,903

.

Amount brought forward, - $1,903 Deduct from this, the expenses of this slack. Amount expended on Lexington and

water narigation, as follows: Ohio railroad, between Frankfort

Kentucky river navigation,

$26,600 00 and Louisville,

220,000 Green and Barren river navigation, 12,532 06 Amount expended on Lexington and Ohio railroad, between Frankfort

$39,132 06 and Lexington,

100,650

And thus, there is left a balance of $10,969 38, Total expended for railroads, $322,553 which is all these improvements contribute to

pay the interest on the public debt, amounting There has also been paid for turnpike roads, io $271,287 35. as follows:

Here, also, is a statement of the amount of Maysville, Washington, Paris,

bank stock we own, or did own, in 1846: and Lexington road,

$213,200 00 7,000 shares of stock in Bank Ky., $700,000 Franklin county, road to Louis

2,000 shares of stock in Northern ville,

20,000 00
Bank Kentucky,

250,000 Shelby co., road to Louisville, 45,000 00 In the name of the commissioners Muldrow's Hill road,

55,145 46 of the sinking fund 406 shares Mercer co., Crab Orchard road, 71,800 00 stock in Bank of Louisville, 40,600 Frankfort, Lexington, and Ver

2,399 shares stock in Bank Ky., 239,900 sailles road,

78,122 00 400 shares stock in Northern Bank Danville, Lancaster, and Nicho

Kentucky,

40,000 lasville road,

151,382 00 Scott co., road to Frankfort, 42,325 00 Total,

$1,270,500 Franklin co., road to Frankfort, 15,400 00 Winchester and Lexington road, 45,100 00 In relation to the lands west of the Tennessee Lincoln co., Crab Orchard road. 51,299 00 river, to which reference has been made here, I Covington and Georgetown road, 170,135 77 will only say, that it was the paper of the ComRichmond and Lexington road, 75,383 00 monwealth Bank that was received in payment Georgetown and Lexington road, 31,270 00 of them, and as fast as it was received, it was Anderson county, Crab Orchard

burned. Very little of the proceeds were exroad,

42,950 00 pended for the expense of government, and a Louisville to mouth Salt river, 65,340 99 great deal of it was taken to cover bad debts. I Mouth Salt river to Elizabeth.

will further remark, that I have not voted for town,

84,581 16 any part of this system of internal improveElizabethtown to Bell's tavern, 118,778 24 ments. I was chairman of the committee on Bell's tavern to Bowlinggreen, 85,488 70 finance of the state senate for six years, and I Bowlinggreen to Tennessee line, 87,194 16 checked the system up to the time I left that Franklin county, Crab Orchard

body, the eighth day of February, 1833, the last road,

17,064 00 time I served in the legislature. What has taken Bardstown and Springfield road, 65,190 60 place there since that time, I know not particuLexington, Harrodsburg and Per

larly, but I doubt not that every gentleman acted ryville road,

109,646 00 honestly and for the interests of the state. But Bardstown and Louisville road, 100,000 00 one thing is certain, and that is, the system of Bardstown and Green river road, 209,825 19 slackwater navigation has failed entirely. The Glasgow and Scottsvill road, 110,385 38 system of turnpike roads does not yield so much Mount Sterling and Maysville

as was expected, but they have been of great road,

88,072 59 benefit to the country. The whole amount they Versailles to Kentucky river, 20,000 00 yielded during the past year, is $34,095 67– Logan, Todd, and Christian, 149,428 91 while the whole amount expended on them is Maysville and Bracken road, 25,948 00 $2,525,456 15.

1 regret, extremely, that I have not made a Total, on turnpike roads, $2,525,456 15 regular report on this subject, as chairman of the

committee on the subject of state debts, but other

coinmittees had reported on the same subject, Amount expended for slack-wa

and I had no desire to aid in bringing before the ter navigation,

$2,133,580 19 convention two reports on the same subject. Amount expended for railroads, 322,553 00 There is a table in the report of the secretary of Amount expended for turnpike

state, four years ago, showing how our sta roads,

2,525,456 15 debt can be paid off. It was prepared by Mr.

John Sharpe, Austin P. Cox, and myself, as fol. Total am’t. paid for Int. Imp., $4,981,589 34 lows:

1st Jan. '47, invested, $50,000 00 The whole amount the slackwater now yields, 1st year's interest, 3,000 00 is this.

2nd year's investment, 50,000 00 Kentucky river tolls, gross, $41,688 38 Green and Barren river tolls, gross,

7,932 06

103,000 00 Jan. 1, 1848 Rent of water power on Ky. river, 480 00 2nd year's interest, 6,180 00

3rd year's investment, 50,000 00 $50,101 44

159,180 00 Jan. 1, 1849

[ocr errors]

RECAPITULATION,

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »