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Jl.iIEL4 RD AD TSERr E 1 E XTR
T HUTRSDAY, SEPTE~MEER 14, 1854. (From the Edgetivid Adveriser, 15th r-b.) Ma. Earroa,-Sir:-By a recent Act of the Legislature of this State, granting to two individuals the right to collect tolls from all persons passing over the Augusta Bridge, no ordinary degree of excitement has been crea ted, not only on the other side of the river, but also amongst a large and respectable portion of our own. citizens, WhosL interest has been seriouily affected by such extraor dinary legislation. And, as I perceive by the Adecrtiser of the 25th ultimo, that our Honorable Senator has deemed it necessary that lie should appear before the public, in an article of considera. ble length, in vindicationi of his course upon the subject; and as I felt compelled, by a high sense of duty, to oppose an Act which I regarded as unwise, inexpedient and un ealled for, it is but just to myself, as well as dlue to my constituents, that I should state the facts and give the reasons which govern ed me upon that occasion. In so doing, I shall notice some of the arguments of our Senator, who endeavors to prove that, by the striet law, the one-half of the Augusta Bridge reverted to the Stato, at the expira. lion of the Charter granted to the City Coun. cil of Augusta, by this State. While I will not prestitn to argue the legal question, as I am riot a lawyer, I am satisfied to learn from, the argument of the Senator, that while. w law did not exact and require a g.t. Messrs. JoNsu & KNssNm-1v, thero w.. imy view, ma nv considerat ionis of ju - good policy igaiiist it. Onr own - have always re: pre't.-d the title of the &: Council of'A : to their Bridge ; for in every case tl:at ': -in between them anl the other pnt:: ciaiiiming the Bridge, our Courts, as well as the Stjprene Court of the United States, have invariab!y derided in fa. vor of the City Conneil of Angiusta : mlnd it will be seen that the .egidature -of Sout h Carolina has heretofore reg,.arded the whole Bridge as beonging to that Cormtniion; hence in the act of I 815, granting the Char ter to the South Caroina Rail Rond Com. panly, it is provided, that that Company should make compensation to the City Coun cil of Augti3a, for that portion of the Bridge within the jurisdiction of this Sta.te. Again: in 1818, a Charter nas grmnted to SHULTZ & MCAlNNI:, in the event that tile suit then pending should be deid-.d ag:.in-t the City Coaneil of Auigu sta ; but the ti:e of i the City Council was so.tined by tho de. eision of the Supreme Court of the Uni- ed States, and, conseq'ienldv, SucLr & Mc Krts:'s Charter fill to the gromnd. . In 1849, it was enaictedl thiat, *::'-rz & Mel<i wmi, Ehonhil be aunthnried to tai( tolN fanno ii all personis passing uver the r iige fI) South Carolina to Georgia, prcde, quehl collecting of toils did not suIject thet cma munitv and the Rail Road Conpatnv to doin. ble tolls. Now, it w'ill be perceived, that in every one of these A et,, provisos are in-ei t. ed, bv which the rights o0 the City Counl are respected, and t1he interes of the plic pre protected. Col. Caninm. vda-ilt that the Charter gramited to the Rail hRoad (-o.I pany was only intendei to streigthen th-it Company in their negotiatimn with the Ci'y Council of Augusta; but it seems !hat sileh legidlation eily tended to weak~ecn thie poi tin of thu Coinpany. For in 1!41, the Ciiy Council paid one hundred thousndi dol lars (or the Bridge, anl soon after offered it to the Rail Road Copilan y for the saime sum, wbich they refused to give; anid thus mat. ters stocd until 14~>, n hen tle Legislntre, as alreadyv stated, granted the Chi ter ti the Rail R oad Comaptmy as. a coercive, hut uin ,'necessfuh tneasure. .N r were these nsego tiationis fairly entertatiined until the tint ofI - the City Council hadl been tested anid im pliedly recognized byv a decision of our own Court, enjoining Messis. J1omc:s & Kn:Nmnu from collecting toll-but leavingz the. to! is to be collected by the City Conneil excnsively, where it was thought the matter hatd ended. All the former ditiieulties having been re moved by this decisiocn of the Court, ini the action of the Rail Roadh Company who hnid brought the suit, the City Council soon mean ifested at disposition to makie ain arracngemient with that Comnicy biy which th'eir purposes might be accomiplished. Accordingly an agreement was entered into, to) the elTect, that the Rail Road Company, by payving to the City Cobuncil of Augusta $100,030, weie to have the privilege of crossing the river upon a Buidge to lie erected by tiemsolves. 1 have not alluded to these facts for the pur pose of dlefendinig the City Council of Au gusta:, but to disabuse the public iniind, and remove as far as piossile those prejoudices which, in my view, are unjustly excited against a neigihboring City: and more par icula' y to show that all these efforts tupon the part of our Legidlature to frighteni, or to force that City into terms, have proved un-. availing, and have recoiled upon our own Mruch has been said about the gras~ping rapacity of tho City of Angusta; and the price the Rail Road Company had to pay -for crossing the river, is often adduced as evidence against her. Now, if that Comnpa. my refused the liberal offer which wvas made to themi by the City Council of Angusta, abortly after they purchased the Bridge, it was certainly their own fault, for then they had an opportunity of purchasing the Bridge for $ 100,000, the sum which they eventual. ly had to pay, merely for the privilege oh building a. Bridge upon which to cross-and that the City Council of A uignsta were thus exacting, may justly h.. r~ imu:tod to the un wtse action of the Legv e:.r-of South Caro ?gnt~ which induced th~cem to believe that the State was eneavoring to drive tivmn into mewasuires ; aud yet tisk Samle R.uil !.(ad Company have e-q:resse'i themselves is per. fvctlv si isfied with thle hf:rd iargain, which it is s:iid thev hall to drir. mi here i tI.t a fact which is highly creditb:le to the City Of Augusta: she has two exellent Free Sclhok, within whose wa'lk ab.;ut twVinly poor children, who reside in l1amburg, have bien receiving instruction for severi y:r:, free of ali eharges. So much for the rWpKici ty and illiberaity of the City of Auguna. But, let us admit, fonr the- sake of brevity, that the one-half of the material structure of the Bridge, and the soil upon which it rests, belong to this State, and even then I con tend that it was unwise, inexpedient and impolitie, on the part of the Legislainre, to grant the franchise to two individdus, for their so!e benefit, to the great detriment of the public generally. Believing, as I do, that it is the duty of the Legis!ator to protect the Iights and interests of his constituents, a tr as he may be enabled, and believing as I didi, that such grant would confer. in its practical operation, upon Messes. Jo.NES & KuCNUDY a private.benefit, at the znerice of the. ybdie good, I felt con:.* Tained to oppose their appli. cation, tiotwtithstandi'ig my regard and es. tes i -I !: U za i b d as eS i h 1652, when - pre. ..\: Raiorial of .Messrs. Jo.m & ,:aymtg an amendment tf their u..ur the Augnsta lrilgv, I imi)nediale. ..eineid to give the subliject ali the de "iteatin in my power. I atertivelv 1itii td to the arguinmt nrvi' by the urened Council, by wh'.iom the partie., vre ah!y re presented, before the Committee to whom tiih- .Memorial was referred ; I hil regett conversations with diinguished1 Lawgers and gentieiien of inforantion, ad, %% ith 'i the Ihht thus atforded, I conuld not arrive at anv other concluiin, than tiat the praver of he nmnt ialists should not he gi anted ; mn it seems that the .oinit Coniittee oft both looses cani to the same con:iin, is they un animoiusly repmted again-t it; and I re. member distincdy, that, the report of the l ionse Comiiiiii tteu was un.ailimilv sstain. Od by that hodv. The City 'Council of Au gusta were thero also as pu.1110er praymg - the Legi-lature to re-gi nit ite Chartr to th'im, u. bhich was reprtel upon f.-vraly by the Conuiittve. And ll n :uienuldmeni to t he geierd it.:il Billi, grainting 'ne ftanschi-ue to tne City Council of AniguSt, was pa.Vd through the liause ukaiiit a dk: oi' in' voice, bit ws mu sken st i me ese, by a votc of 10 to I0. I h;ve b'ten thus par tienulir in gil:ig the hi-tle y ofth.- :ction of tLO L--gi-iuie :-%! this subjet, that the pullde.ulay be p:it ii posewin of all the ~acts conecut'dC'.i theru'.. filh, and lie the h-vtt-r ena;ibled t1 fori a correct juidgient. At the last .-ion of the Li.;iture !desirm s.::. & KN KI:U:oV IprhiuedIi a1g:in as pt"''iniirs, md the;r i.moiii al wa refeiid to thie up. proprimito Commnittee, but wvas not reprt,1[1d ipi p by the liise Colr.mtniie ; conseqliuit Jy;the til was not aiisedl tipon by that body, until the ee Road Bill was retujr:iwd fmn the Senate, ai was taken ni fir a third readinsg, at a laite hour (if the night, when nearly hIlf of the .'lmbers we're al ent. 1:;i!er all t- c fiavor l-1e circu-ti .staier-s, it nily pssed by a miijoity ouf five. the vote .taJing 31 to 31. In the disens %ion which sprnog up fin this Bill, I took the poitiiin, that the Legisiature shi-Id newer, under :iny circumsitanees, grant a franchi. uless it was for the public henlit: that :he parties- apin ig for siuch grant. hiIiud shoiw to the Leg-'i-lh uire thait thr-y would fur ni he publi. with a safeIr, cih'.'ner anil more conveniient pa :nssage.u cross the river thu:m -,t present exists, uinch position was nt con troveted. Did these parities maike any su1b hwig ? Thley certaily diid not to rni saLtsfaction, and irediered that thuey would not furnzi Ah a safer, cheaper, or nmnre conve. nient pasrage across thu tiver, hut that all pesn crossing uipoin the Auigusta Bidug, would be required to pay more than they did before. Ilow has the prediction been veirifiedl? Let all those citizens of this State who hav'.e beenu in the habit of selling ltumbeur and other marketable produce in the City of Angusta,1 answer the question -and the answ'.er will sustain me in the fldlowiing statement. Re-~ fore this Act of our .Legislatnre, lumber and wood wagons were only required to pay fity cents pier load, for the privilegeu of passing~ over t he Augusta Brid ge, in which Cnty t hey found a nun ket aund readly sale foir their varii ous comnmodities ; but now it costs a dlollar and ten cents, pe lnad; sixty cents bieing required at this end of the Brdg, and fifty cents at the other ; and, let it lbe observeid, that notwithstanding so much has been said about the illiberazlity of the City, Council of Augusta, they charge tenl cents more, per wagon load, at the Carolina end of the Bridge, thaui is charged at the Georgia end. By this odious tax upon wood, an immense revenue is cut offir:)m tihe citizens of this Distriet: a revenue amounlting to at least thirty thousand dollars annltually, tile greater part of w.'hich is broug'it fromi the City of Augnsta, and distributed ::m.ongv the people of this District. . Th'. heeis the lumber trade, whi:ch i .. ,.,i mpotanOO to many of th: c itizern. c. I. 1i, as well as those ofi tL: Dis ic , ".M h- re entirely dlependent I: h Br>.i-. ~s a highway, over which * :rmp. t r luraber to mrket. I will m.*d wni round numbers, the soIm of mo1 ny r-nig to the citizens of this Stato from fire. -n'od, lumbe~r and other marketablo pro. ductions, at $103,000annually: all of whic-h mu t o t to r cit-mus. unless ther sub mlit to oule tuils. In fmet, muoy artie of pIolice arC taxed to pruhibition. The Town .,f iamburg is also injured to a verv conbd'rabitie e-teiit, by thi.s Act; for (i). j! (1ou cfiizns woli founid a ready cash ; t over the river, for the varions com woelieits which the'v had for sah.', were inl thu halitt Uf puliaing their supplieS in Ham). huir. thereby makiing Auugl pay tribute to 111ithurg. It is, perhiaps, niot genetrrally fimwn, jihat three thousnid hoiles of Cotton wetre netnally " draved " across the river, the past Year, and stored in Hiamburg. Thia was Cotton belonigiig to Carolina Planters, who shipped it by way of the Canal to An. gust:, but prefering the Hamburg marker. were willing to pay twenty-fivo cents per Ile, to reach their favorite market ; but I am authorized to say, that the4y now have to pay ifty.cents per hile, and the consequenea is. that all this Cotton will be driven from (Mrown Town. and our citizens deprived of :ai important privilege-that of trading where they please. What becomes or those cherished Free Tr::de principles, in the inaintenance of which South Carolina once threatened to dissolve thu U nion, and imbrue lier hand in her broth er's blood ? Are these principles ahout To he abandoned ? Or are they only to lie a&. sorted wheni our intercourse with foreign ni tions is the least trainimelled ? uid repudiated and ig:ored wheun it is propoied to shackle our tidie and tndllic witi IL neighboig City ! L the Congress of the United States hns wit the constitutional power to tax one purtim of the States for the benefit of.the others, then I cuntend, that the Legislature l.,f a State las not the ritht, either legai or moral, to Lax a lirge portion of her citizens, for the private betictilt of two individuals. If the CoIgre.s of the United States has not 11e power to paOss prohibitory tariff la s, by whicha the inile betveen this iand foreign Hi tionis is to be materially affeeted, thenl I con. ten.d, that the Legislature of a State has not tIho right to talx, to proihibition, the productA oft her citizens, when they wikh to trade with it City of a siztrr State. But vet the facts dio show thatt tiis hits beeni done by the Lug ilaure uit' South Cnrolini. And fur wha 1t, le.t me as:k, must this great public bacrifice e miae It it said Ilit thi rights of the StatA ara udrieigivid. I ow? In wlhait wIy ? Is she :.1IoLt to be de-poile of he.r ten itory I iy w hom ? [3y the City Cwn :it of A 'gt'tn ! What aI -2tai ding nnneeen A .ingh!k City ii the Stte of Georgiia ia ahont to de. AlEd the Statt ot iouth (i'rohina ,f an i o, tai part of her territory "! This iiO iter 'm (1:1 cantdUl argumtelt, in which. i mist coin"is, i c:tin't see, any fuce. Dt - ring the iOf 185Z, the Legihiture it f thi :State passed a series of Resolutions, i, - anet iLng t1e overnur, ili COlixlne\it wg:" the A ttLriey Geieral, to openi a corrnpJ'Oa ncev L ith Ohe Goveriinr of (Georgia, up o hik quw.eition of bmidary : anl :lIso p-led; ii athe State to butain thm it lily iction fl, m1ight !binkt propper to takev. Goverrnor Maill his 1:Iht annual1 Mesange, upe-1 he following languapg: " I perevive by the L.ite Es:;o ol li.s L celley Goverm-lr Coun, that he recommeins to the Logisla tor'e of Gogia, to submelit the qjuestion of bomuli!ary 1 i-etn ti" t't;ates, for tinal yettlo m.-lit, to [lhe Su1premel Cur oil(f the Uniitoid :tates, in (ompliancle with a proposition from te Attorney General of this Mtate. I sg re*st to yoE the propriety of assentiing to such a referen~ce as the miost compl~iE'te modo by' wichi a rinal settlement Elf this question cant hecid." Now, it really seemsq to mie, that aft.'r R' :hs had passed between'i the LwEo Statei, it was iimpolitic,'to say the leaist, Lto tako any stp that might have the app, earrance of ras~h ness5, and therebyv prejninol our own cauise. lut thlel nigain, the interest of' the public, muiist be snerifieed l)beenuSe, as5 it is alieged,. Messrs. JONVs & I1:sst~o, had " out of their not abiuundan t meaniis adinricedl to [Ilex ar Sntl:rtz mloineys to a lar'ge amount." 'hen, I ask, wAhyV ini the name11 of commlionl betwen the e-editors of lina~r StvrLrz ? Liik at thme wiidow. and orphans who have benm maide pennyless by the nets of this IEN urv SutIrTz-why should not the State con sieir their claims also ? A rid ifit were deemeid nees-iry to payV SuTtr'si diebts, in consid rationm of his~ distiniguishied piublic services. whyv shouild not the Leogi.-atur'e have nmad. an aippropr:iation for that purpo~ee, aind h.t thec pLele (of the wholde State he taxed to raise the niecessary; sum ;rand give the invi tationi, without distinction, to aill te creditors~ Ef Sur'rs' to coime forward with their claims, duly attested, and receive their pay i in my humbihl judgment, such a course would have been less obijectionatble than that wh'ich has been pursued. Now, Mr. EmIron, one word more and I stall have dotne. T[hot the Honorable Mem ers who sapported this measure were actu ated by pure and disitnterested motives, f have no doubt. Far be it fiom me to im pugn any man's motives; but, ini my owni bh~faf, I must be allowed to say, that with' al these facts in my possession1, andi with the viewvs which I entertain upon this sub,. jet, had I not acted as I did, I should hove beet, in my viewv, gnilty of a reckless idisre gard of those considerationis of sound policy', of common justice, and of the general we!. fare, by which I have beetn actuated as otne of the Representatives of Edgefield District. A. 3. H A.DON D, 7Mbreryn l'; 165,4.