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Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) to John McLean

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01727 Author/Creator: Adams, John Quincy (1767-1848) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 6 May 1824 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Secretary of State Adams writes to McLean, Commissioner of the General Land Office, about the government responsibility for internal improvements. In response to McLean's request, he encloses a copy of an 1807 resolution he put before the senate on the topic (written on p. 3 in a secretarial hand) and indicates it can be "found in the Octavo Edition of the Journals of the Senate recently published Vol. 4, p. 155." Describes it as "the first Resolution ever offered in Congress, contemplating a general system of internal improvement." Discusses the congressional vote on it and the constitutionality of internal improvements. Argues that "The first object of human association is the improvement of the condition of the associates. Roads and canals are among the most essential means of improving the condition of Nations." Notes that the resolution was "passed in the negative."

People: Adams, John, 1735-1826.
McLean, John, 1785-1861.
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Keywords/Subjects: US Constitution, President, Government and Civics, Congress, Law, Infrastructure, Transportation, Canals

Sub Era: The First Age of Reform