One of the Senators from Wisconsin was on this committee. When Smith learned the reference of his bill in the Senate, he sought the Senator from Wisconsin, with whom he had considerable, acquaintance; had a conference with him in regard to its merits, and reported the action of the House Committees and the House in detail. Some of Smith's lobby friends also interviewed the Senator from Wisconsin, and favorably impressed him with the merits of the enterprise.

In the afternoon of the following day, Smith's bill was brought up in the committee. Smith was not present, nor was it necessary. He had fully explained matters to the Senator from his State. When the bill had been read by the clerk of the committee, the members of the "committee naturally turned to the Senator from Wisconsin, with gentlemanly deference, and he briefly and comprehensively expressed a favorable opinion of it. Smith could not have done better. The State would really derive benefit from the passage of the bill. He would not deprecate the value of any other public work authorized by Congress, but this comparatively insignificant appropriation would have an effect upon the interests of inter-State commerce far outside of Wisconsin. The whole Union was more or less benefited, frequently, by these little aids to commerce.

One of the committee objected to the largeness of the amount of the appropriation. In his opinion the dam and dykes ought not to cost more than the amount named in the bill, but the parties to be benefited directly by this appropria-tion and improvement ought to pay at least one-third of the expense out of their own pockets. He proposed to amend the bill by striking out "$15,000," and substituting therefor "$10,000." The Senator from Wisconsin was on his feet in a moment. Only the week before he had assisted the objecting Senator to increase the appropria-tion in a bill of a similar character, but of no more merit than this. He made a little speech, in which he denounced the niggardly spirit in public enterprises, under a senseless cry of " retrenchment and reform." He begged permission to introduce a witness to show that $15,000 was the smallest possible sum that could be beneficially expended in making the Nippewisset river navigable for boats. The parties who requested the passage of the bill had asked nothing for the erection of the necessary wharves and piers at Poppleton or Smithtown. They were willing to bear the burden of this expense themselves. He sent a messenger for one of Smith's lobby, a gentleman familiar with the entire county mentioned in the bill. The committee questioned him in reference to the amount of work that $15,000 would accomplish. He said it might possibly build the dam, and, perhaps, most of the dykes, yet he thought that $20,000 would be none too much to finish the work proposed; but the county would willingly make up any deficiency remaining after the expenditure of the appropriation.