The General Assembly of the State of Tennessee resolved to instruct their congressmen to gather appropriations for the leveeing of the Mississippi on the Tennessee side. Previously federal lands had gone to Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana for levees, and as a result the Tennessee side had aquired a greater amount of overflow to the manifest injury of the people and the State of Tennessee'. Appropriations were requested either in the form of money, land, or land warrants.
Politicans by no means spent all their time worrying about the national issues that were at stake, such as disagreement over slavery or the crisis in Kansas. Rather, much of their time was occupied by the concerns of their constituents, as can be seen in this request for internal improvements in the state of Tennessee. Congressmen were still responsible to the people in their districts and had to keep them contented by their actions with smaller, more regional issues in addition to the broader national issues.
"Mississippi River Levee," Nashville Union and American, November 17, 1857.