Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, September 16, 1789, Page 178, Image 2

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    poled on the latter. On this account therefore have little
reason to expect that the Patowmac is more unhealthy. If we
conlider their comparatiVe fuuation with refpett to the weft, the
Patowm-c is almost ?s much farther weft, arit is distant from the
oulquehanna—nnd we well know that generally speaking as we
retire towards the western and high country, we are generally re
moved from the caiifes of those diseases to which lower situations
a /" e ej JP°j* ed - Asalfothetwo places are nearly in the fame latitude,
the ojjectiou which holds with refpe&to southern climes cannot
apply to one more than the other. It is only their western or eaft
crn position, their remove from or proximity to the lower coun
try, and to frefh or stagnant water which can properly be brought
into view. It is not because we advance so much to the south that
we advance to the centrc, it is because we go more to the weft.
I do not know that there isa different of more than a degree and
five or fix minutes between the latitudeof New-York and the pro
posed place on the Patowmac. The advantage the Patowmac
lias from its centrality, is derived more from its western than
itsfoiithern position.
1 will not at present go farther in this argument, and flatter
mylelt that the considerations which have been suggested will
have their proper weight, and if they (hould becontradiaed, that
we (hall he able further to support them. [Daily AJv ]
Mr. Ames after some introductory observations, remarked that
a certral fuuation is to be taken. He offered many reasons to shew
that the centre of a fca coast line is to be regarded—ln substance
they were because, it is more conveniently acce/fiHe, has more
wealth and more people than an equal area of inland country. Be
ing wore liable to inuajion, government (hould be near to protest it.
It is the interr/l ol the back country to have the government near the
lea, to mfpeft and encourage trade ; by which their abundant pro
duce will find an export.—And lastly, he said the contingency of
thejeparation of the western country was a reason for preferin- the
lea coast. °
He proceeded next to fay There will not be any contest
where this centre of the sea coast line is to be found. It falls be
tween the rivers Patowmac and Sufquehanna. It will be found that
there are good reasons why we should rather moveeaft than south
If the sea coast line is to be prefered, it will follow, that the
back lands weftof which the gentleman from Virginia
has lo often taken into his calculations, will be excluded Thev
are not peopled. They do not affect the sea coast line. And that
line has already been voted to be the proper one by the committee
•As it is true that the sea coast has more wealth and people than the
inlandl country in propoition to the extent, it is equally true that
the eaftcrn half of the sea coast has more of both than thefouthern
11 we reckon Maryland, which will be as well accommodated
by the Sufquehanna as by the Patowmac, we lhallfind the popu
lation of the eastern part nearly two millions and that of the
louthcrn only one million. And the population of free inhabi
tants itill less in favor of the latter.
But, Sir infteadof seeking a centre geographically, we (hould
conlider the centre of common convenience. That place is the
proper one, where the greatest number of persons will be belt ac
commodated. I will endeavor to lhew,that that will be on the
Sufquehanna. Is the zeal of gentlemen who oppose this design
influenced by their despair of removing the feat of government af
terwards ? I believe the people of America will iiot complain of
i • It fixed there, I think it will be found convenient and will
remain there.
Hie Sufquehanna is the centre of common convenience. At
this moment, there ismore wealth and more inhabitants east than
Jouth of it. But the future population of America is calculated,
and it is pretended that the balance of population isreceding from
the eall. Surely, the present inhabitants may be allowed princi
pally to consult their own convenience. Weftofthe Ohiois an
almost immeafureable wildemefs. When it will be fettled.or how
it will be pofiible to govern it, is past calculation. Gentlemen
■will pardon me, if I think it perfectly romantic to make this de
c on depend upon that circumstance. Probably it will be near
a century before those people will be considerable. If we fix the
national feat in the proper place now, it would give me no inquie
tude to know that an hundred years hence it may be liable to be
removed. But in fafl, the principle which is aflumed by the
committee, and which I have attempted to juftify, of takinn- the
centre of the sea coast line, will even in the event of that vast tract
being fettled, furnilh abundant reason for its remaining on the
oulquehanna. I will not recapitulate those reasons. We mull
take some principle to guide u. : And though some inequalities
will appear, yet let gentlemen remember, that in so vast a coun
try, great inconveniences will attend the communications of the
people with the government, be the feat of it where it may • And
by taking the centre of the sea cost line they will be less than up
on any_other principle. It will be found beftto accommodate the
greatest number : Or in other words to be the centre of common
convenience. Indeed this is not denied to be true at this moment.
But the cafe is said to be changing. On the one hand, I think it
is Utopian to calculate upon the population of the United States a
century hence : And on the other, I admit that it is impolitic at
lean, perhaps unjust, to confine our attention to the present popu
lation : A quarter of a century may be a medium. Will gentle
men deny that tradeand manufaflures will accumulate people in
trie eastern States in the proportion of 5 to 3 compared with the
iouthern ? Thedifproportion will doubtlefscontinue to be much
greater than I have calculated. It is actually greater at present.
', c ' ,ma te and negro slavery are acknowleged to be unfa
vorable to population. So that hulbandry as well as commerce
and manufaaures will give more people in the eaftcrn than the
southern State-. The very circumstance that gentlemen found
tncir reasonings upon is pretty strongly against their calculation.
ine> tell us olthevaft quantities ofgood land ftillunfettledm their
itates. That will produce a thin population. For the old lands
will not be crouded so longas new lands are to be had.
, n j ' h r crtfore ' as we may be allowed to look forward, the
eastern half from this central feat will be far more populous than
the ether. In New-England the fettfed parts are laid to contain
aoout 45 to a square mile.
Much is said of the reparation of the western territory
At a remote period, the jnnaion of the Britith colonies with the
Union might be taken into view.
The feat of government on the Sufquehanna will be nearly ac
°y water to all the people near the sea coast. By Dela
ware river on one fide and Chefapt ak Bay on the other.
Let us next consider the inland navigation of this river. Pittf
burg on the Ohio may be considered as the key of those waters •
at least to the northward. It is a kind of common centre. Let
, "s lee how we {hall approach it by the Sufquehanna.
From Havre de Grace, at the mouth of Sufquehanna, )
and at the head of the Chefapeak to Wright's ferry is C 4° miles
(And here the federal town propably will be.)
To Harris' ferry, - . -20
To the month of Juniata river, t
l'p Juniata river to the Standing Stone,
Portageto Conimac, Old town, _
Down the Kilkiminetas river to the Allegany river 60
Down that river to Pitfburg, _ - ' 30
And from the supposed feat of government at Wright's ) '' °
ferry only - _ ° > 230
Let us compare this route to Pittlburg.with that by thePatowmac.
From the tide water on Patowmac to Fort )
Cumberland, > 200 miles
Portage to the three forks of Turkey Foot, . ,o
Water carriage, and portage one mile, at the falls of >
Yohiogany, - - _ > 9
Down the Yohiogany to the Ohio, .
I'p to Pufburg, .
I have rcafon to confide in tliefe calculations.
The latter is said to be made by a distinguished
person whose authority no man will difpure. If
it is true, or any thing near true, it will destroy
the whole argument in favor of the Patowmac.
I have consulted the bell informed persons out of
the House, and believe the statement to be true,
as it respects both rivers. If it is, the pondrous
edifice which the gentleman from Virginia has
erected with so much labor crumbles to powder.
For it will appear, that it is more than 70 miles
nearer by the Sufquehanna and Juniata to Pitfburtr
than by way of the Patowmac. Neither should
we forget that from the tidewater onthe Patow
mac to Chefapeak is near 200 miles. Of course,
the access by water is less convenient and direct!
The eastern branch of the Sufquehanna is na.
vigable to the head, at lake Otfego. A detach
ment of Gen. Sullivan's troops came in boats
from that lake quite down the river. This river
flretches it's long arms and embraces a vast
country, comprehending not less than twenty
millions of acres.
Let us next consider the connection through
this water with the lakes. Its branches approach
the Allegany river very near, and by a portage
of only three miles communicate with the waters
of Lake Erie.
Reckoning from Fort Pitt, Lake Erie and its
waters, and the several branches of the Sufque
hanna,it will be found that more than fifty thous
and square miles are accommodated with water
carriage. Perhaps, out of America, there is
not such ancther instance in the world. Yet
this is not all. The water communication by
the Patowmac is fubfervienc to the argument for
the Sufquehanna. For if the western country
is (o wonderfully accommodated by its waters
that it is an high-way, then it is only 60 miles
travel, a mere portage, to Wright's ferry.
They will be on a footing wich those who come
by sea, and they will have still greater advantages
over many of those who travel by land.
However, Mr. Jefferfon's account of the Pa
towmac does notcorrefpond with the praises now
bellowed upon it. He fays the fallsare fifteen miles
long, and speaks very unfavorably of the interior
navigation. In the i'ummer it's waters are very
fubje<ft to fail. My informants prefer the waters
of the Sufquehanna. Admiting, however, that
the Patowmac is as commodious as the other' still
there are weighty reasons in favor of it's rival.
The advantage to the neighboring country in
point of trade, resulting from the federal town
is very unefl'ential in a national view. The peo
ple on the Patowmac will not be injured in the
conveyance or sale of their produce by having
it fixed on the Sufquehanna. For the influence
of the federal town in this refpeit will not ex
tend far. And as to the convenient access to the
government: It will make only sixty miles differ
ence which surely is not an obje<ft. But the
great national point is, to fix the feat of govern
ment in that place, where it will best secure the
The Patowmac is in some degree exposed to two
dangers : By sea, and from the mountains : Large
vellels can go to Georgetown. The events of the
late war have proved that there is a foundation
for this apprehension. The western country is
to be viewed under different circumstances. From
Lake Erie, byPitfburg, to the head of the Chefa
peak, the people are naturally connected with us.
They must fend their produce through the States
But lower down the Ohio, and on the MifTifmpi'
the people have their export by the latter river.
It the latter should separate from the Union, they
will not be willing to leave thefouthern states in
the Union. The separation will not take place
by the mountains, which are far from being im
paflable. The capital, if imprudently placed so
far foutliweft will furnifli a temptation to this
cuvilion, and strength and resources to maintain
it. I will not dilate on this idea, tho I think it an
importantone. The more it is weighed,the more
hazardous and preposterous it will place
the capital in a situation, where gentlemen's own
arguments admit, when they speak of the contin
gency of losing the western country, that we may
need all our strength, and yet, where we should
be able to command buta small part of it.
Contrail this with the Sufquehanna. Thecoun
try is perfectly fafe from both dangers of inva
lion by lea and from the mountains. If a division
lould happen, the feat of government will fall
° n t u C n ng ,de of " the dividing line—and so
much strength on the frontier of that line will
prevent a division. For the country from Lake
trip to ort Pitt, and from thence to Lake Cham
plain, vaftm its extent, its foil fruitful, itsclimate
favorable to the production of an hardy race of
men, and to sustain a vast multitude of them-Hrhis
yaft country will be benefited in some decree, and
in a greater attached to the Union by fitino- the
feat of government in this place. Besides nature
has united them by indiflbluble ties to the States
—unless a feeble government should engender
the anarchy of many separate fovereigntie S g ft is
a pleasing refledhon to trace the effect of the
strength of this part of the western territory to
wards fecurmg the remaining western in
the Union. In every event, the country, eall of
a line drawn from Lake Erie to the ri -
will be fafe from the force of any
America—will that other part be faf P r P of
eastern part ? Tho national iuiHceand rK -, his
policy iliould direct our counsels vet a J
men will find a motive and a pretex'f or f„ Ui
ing a division. Butthofe near the line Tf
ealtern half will be unwilling to be a f •
Those farther south will be eqfally f 0 ' j , er '
terrier in cafe „f a »• «
pole to their northern neighbors ? The moYrl P '
furnifh none, and both parties live beyond them
The great rivers will expose them to hofti !'
roads, as they will afford a convenient pa(lk 2e t
troops. In fact, the weftem people will s ecure
the western people. If the separation fhoU
notwithstanding take place, it would not be
cause nature directs it. We should have the co '
folation of reflecting that we have provided !
best means of preventing its happening at all, and
from it, after it has happened, the belt security
against the effects which will result. 1
I will not pretend to fay that any one of these
arguments is conclusive—nor do I flatter myfelf
that they will immediately produce conviction
I place dependence 011 the moderation and good
lenfe of gentlemen who poflefs public spirit and
private honor. I rely upon the calm review which
they will make of my observations a week hence
when the fervor of this debate has fubfkled. '
I appeal to their candor at that time to decide
whether in point of centrality, accelfibility, pro .
tetftion to the Union, salubrity, and fafety from
insurrection and invasion, there is not solid reafou
for eftablilhing the feat of government on the
Sufquehanna. I will not fay that the Patowmac
is mlalubrious. tfut it is well known that north
ern constitutions are impaired by removing to a
more southern latitude. The air may be health
ful—but the change is found to be pernicious to
them. Whether there is any foundation for it,
or not, the eastern people would dread the experi'
1 he preservation of the Union is the wortfiieft
objeJl ofa patriot's wiffies. The world has doubt
ed our success. I feel a consolation in the opin
ion that the measure I am. contending for will best
contribute to that end. An American legislature
may seek true glory by such measures as will tend
to secure the Union, to preserve peace, and todif
fufe the blessings of science, liberty, and good
government over agreater extent of country, and
in an higher degree, than the world ever enjoy
ed them. Surely this will interest the pride of
every honest heart. It is the philosophy of am
bition—it is the religion of politics.
A meflage was received from the Senate by Mr.
Secretary Otis with the bill for eftablilhing the
compensations of the Members of the two Houses
and their respective officers, concurring in the
amendment of the House, to the amendment of
the Senate.
In committe of the whole on the bill for eftab
lilhing judicial courts.
Mr. Boudinot in the chair.
The committee proceeded in the difcuffionas
far as the 28th feition, when they role and re
ported progress ; and the House adjourned.
The committee appointed to examine the en
rolled bills, reported that the bill for eftablilh
ing the compensations of the Members of both
Houses and their respective officers, having been
examined was found correct: The Speaker then
affixed his signature to the fame.
A memorial from the Baron de STUBtNwas
read and laid on the table.
The memorial of the weighers and gaugersof
the city ofNew-York, praying that their fees
may be enhanced, was read a second time.
A meflage was received from the Senate with
the bill for suspending the operation of a claule
in the collection law, in which they have con
curred, with amendments. Also the bill forfuf
pending the operation of a clause in the tonnage
act, non-concurred.
The amendments proposed by the Senate to
the resolution of the House providing for amend
ments to the Constitution, were read, andon mo
tion it was voted that a number of copies be
struck off for the use of the Members.
I he amendments to the bill for suspending the
clause in thecolleition law, were then read, an
acceded to on the part of the House. , . *
These amendments provide for the relief o
Rhode-Island and North-Carolina, in lieu of t e
provision intended by the suspension of patt°
tonnage act.
The House then went into a committee of t e
whole onthe judicial bill.
Mr. Smith (S. C.) proposed the
amendment to the 29th section, which re /^ e r
juries, viz. That all juries which lhall be u
moned to serve in the courts of the 1 r
States, shall be formed according to the * a%vS
each State respectively. This amendment >v
adopted. . . r e
Mr.BußKr moved to insert the following o a .
in the fame feiftion, viz. In cases of f<?t° n ) '