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Oct. 11, 1837.)

Sub-Treasury Bill.

[H. OF R.

The ar

right to do this none will question : they have a deep in- All agree, Mr. Chairman, that a national bank, at this terest in their respective banking institutions. The State time, is inexpedient and unattainable. Yet no one can be represented by myself and colleagues has invested in them so blind as not tu see that the friends of such an instilution her funds for education and internal improvement. Un- have it in full prospect. The whole course of the debate der these circumstances, it is not in our place to read during the present session, proves that they by no means homilies to the State governments on the impolicy of despair of its ultimate establishment. Elaborate arguments banks, nor to do any thing here in our representative charac- have been urged with a view to forestal public opinion. I ter, with the view of crippling or destroying them. On must, therefore, sir, ask the indulgence of the committee, the contrary, within our constitutional power, we should not to enter at length into the examination of a subject so rather endeavor to restore their credit and stability. thoroughly investigated by the ablest statesmen, that an

As for that part of the bill which directs in what cur- idea can scarcely be presented that has not been repeatedly rency the public dues shall be paid in all time to conne, it presented before ; but to glance at the grounds upon which seems to me unnecessary and premature. We need not it is urged, and the reasons which render it the object with legislate in this matter for posterity; nor even for the next me of apprehension and aversion. three or four years. The present state of the currency is The power to establish a national bank is deduced from such, that we should act more wisely to leave this ques- various clauses in the constitution. No one pretends that lion to those who will come after us, and content our. it is granted in express terms; and the variety of sources selves with providing for the present emergency. But, from whence it is inferred, is a strong argument against the sir, I waive ihe subject of currency, as one in regard to pretension. We are referred to the clause which autho. which the Government has already settled ils policy, and rizes Congress to regulate cominerce with foreign nations pass on to the other very interesting question presented by and among the several States. The term regulate, is exthe bill—that relating to the custody of the public money. pounded as synonymous with facilitate, and then the grant

The plan which I have had the honor of suggesting- of power is made out without difficulty; for banks, none by no means, however, of originating—that of specially will deny, facilitate commerce; and so, it may be asserted depositing the public funds in the local banks, is essentials with equal truth, do ships, and canals, and roails; and the ly different, not only from the bill, but also from the conclusion to which we arrive that Congress inay incoramendment of my colleague, (Mr. GARLAND.] It main-porate a bank, is equally strong in favor of the right to tains the principle of separating this Government, both in build ships or incorporate companies for constructing roads its pecuniary and political concerns, from banking corpora and canals ; and this conclusion, accordingly, Mr. Hamilton tions, which my colleague's amendment, providing for a and the federalists have always adopted. It leads us still general deposite, does not, and at the same time secures farther : for it would justify, as indeed Mr. Hainilton asthe public ireasure from the risk to which the bill subjects serts, the power to incorporate companies to carry on a it, by leaving it in the custody of individuals. We have foreign trade, and, as may upon the same principles be already experienced the ruinous consequences of leaving maintained, to incorporate companies to carry on agriculthe vast revenues of the Government in the banks as a tural pursuits—for commerce is essentially dependent upon basis for banking operations. The plan of special depos- agriculture, and, indeed, cannot exist without it. ites, if adopted, will prevent their recurrence for the future; gument that proves all this, proves too much ; and, prov. and prevent, too, the no less serious evils which may be ing too much, proves nothing. anticipated from suffering these immense treasures to re- But Congress may coin money and regulate its value, main in the hanıls of our revenue officers. There is every and, therefore, may establish a bank. Making bank notes reason to fear that those officers will themselves use the is not, in the sense of the constitution, or in any sense, money, as the deposite banks have done, by way of loan coining money." It would be a reflection upon the unand discount, or be tempted to employ it in private specu- derstanding of those who framed the constitution, to suplations. The instances of such abuses are, unfortunately, pose they did not know the meaning of the terms they used. but wo frequent. I must say, however, that those alluded if to issue paper be to coin money, then cvery State bank to by my colleague, (Mr. GARLAND, ) as having occurred has exercised this high prerogative of sovereignty, and in Virginia, do not justify the use he has made of them to usurped the power exclusively conferred upon Congress. show that his plan of general deposite in bank is exempt Printing or stamping paper is not coining, more than a bit froin danger; for they occurred under that very system, of worthless paper so printed or stamped, is really what the and not, as he seems to have supposed, under a system re- gentleman from Maryland terms it, gold and silver. I will sembling what is called the sub-Treasury. The same

nut admit, sir, that bank paper or Treasury paper is a inay be said of the almost innumerable defaults in the coinage ; but I fear that in establishing this manufactory of Post Office. Still, they prove the difficulty of resisting paper money the friends of State rights have done the very temptation, and the danger to which the public treasure act which they denounce. They have established a bankmust be always exposed under the most guarded regula. | the worst of all banks—a Government bank. Let gentletiun; and, it must be acknowledged, apply with increased men turn to the able argument of Mr. Hamilton--for alle force tu the scheme contained in the bill.

it unquestionably is--and they will find that one of his There are but three modes suggested of providing for strongest reasons in favor of the right to incorporate a nathe custody of the public money ; loy placing it in bank as tional bank is deduced from the power, which he contends a general deposite, or as a special deposite; or leaving it they possess, to establish just such a manufactory of Treasin the hands of individuals. I prefer the plan of special ury notes as that which we have recently created. Asdeposite ; but if compelled to select between the bill upon suming that power, which he considers in essence the your table, and the amendment, imperfect and exception- power to engage in banking operations, he readily and able as it is, I must say, unequivocally, I will take that plausibly at lease contends, that if to create a bank be lawwhich insures a separation rather than ihat which perpet-ful, it cannot be unlawful to incorporate it. Sir, I will uates the union between the Government and the banks- not say that; but I will say, if it be lawful to create a bank, between political power and inoneyed capital. I hope, sir, it is wholly immaterial whether the poiver to incorporate it the measure in its present shape will not be forced upon exist or not. It is the banking principle to which I am us. It is because I wish the principle to be successfully opposed, not the mode in which it shall be carried into carried into practice, that I object 10 a plan almost certain, practice; or rather, I would say, this power to engage in hy its failure, to give a triumph to its enemies, and pave banking operations, is more odious when exercised directly the way for a national bank.

ly the Government, than when exercised through the inH. or R.]

Sub-Treasury Bill.

[Oct. 11, 1837.



strumentality of a corporate body. One man may be a relative prosperity of the North, and depress the South. banker, as well as a corporate body; a Government as well | But the result is most striking. Virginia, with one of the as an individual. Gentlemen war against the power of in- finest harbors in the Union-with three large rivers leading corporation; but the real danger is in the power of banking; to the interior; rich as she is in vegetable and mineral and of all the modes of which that power can be exercised, wealth-is tribu:ary to the North for most of the foreign the most odious, I repeat, and the most dangerous, is that goods she consumes. And is it not reasonable to suppose by its own direct agency ; in other words, a Government or that much of this may be attributable to the cause I have Treasury bank, ruch as we have just created.

mentioned? Would not the necessary effect of such an Gentlemen tell us again, that all duties must be uniform, | institution be to afford superior facilities to those among and that this provision presupposes the right to establish a whom its capital was principally divided, and render it imnational bank. No, sir, it requires nothing more than to possible that the Southern merchant could come in compeexert the power vested in Congress to coin money and re- tition with the Northern ? gulate its value.

When this is done, all duties are easily There is another and obvious injury which a national made uniform by requiring them to be paid in the same bank may inflict upon the South. The able man who precurrency, or in other equivalents. It requires no bank to sided over the last, has boasted, it is said, of his power, do that.

whenever he pleased, to crush the banking institutions of There is yet another ground: the plea which justifies the States. This power--the power inaterially to affect every usurpation-the plea of necessity. Congress may our prosperity, by sudden expansions or contractions of its make all laws necessary and proper to carry into effect its loans-may never be exerted. But it is one loo dangerous granted powers; and we are told that a bank is necessary to to be entrusted with those whose interests are not indenti. enable the Government to collect and disburse its reverue. fied with our own.

Money, sir, it has been often and well I deny the necessity or propriety of such an institution for said, is power. We should not be satisfied to look at the such a purpose. That institution cannot be regarded as mere expediency of the moment! We should look to the necessary or proper, in the contemplation of the constitution, future, as well as to the past. In all free States, collisions which did not exist for years after it was adopted; without may be expected to arise. An oppressive tariff' bas once, wisich we conducted our fiscal operations from 1811 to already, nearly shaken our confederacy to its centre, and 1816, and from 18:32 to the present moment. We have brought us to the very verge of civil war. A restless band the authority, too, of Mr. Madison, recently after its at the North are even now plotting the destruction of our adoption, uncontradicted, that the power to grant corpora- domestic institutions. We have heard of a Pennsylvania tions was applied for, and refused: It would be a reflection legion of ten thousand ready to draw the sword at the comupon the understanding of the sages who framed that in- mand of the Executive. Such threats should not disturb strument, to hold that the incorporation of a bank was ne- us; but for one, sir, I frankly declare that I should be uncessary and proper, and yet that all power of incorporating willing the South should contribute the means which may such an institution was denied.

be employed for her own destruction. A national bank Sir, to assert the necessity of such an institution is to was never a favorite measure in Virginia. Even in 1816, fly in the face of facts, and to endow Congress with a dis- though many yielded to the pressure of the times, a macretionary power to do whatever they may choose to de. jority of her delegation voted against it, and in 1791, clare necessary. It is to assume absolute and unlimited when the original sin was committed, it received the suppower.

port of but three members of the entire representation If the constitutional right of Congress, however, sir, from the south side of the Potomac. I trust the attempt were undisputed, I should still oppose a national bank as will never again succeed. inexpedient. I concur, sir, most fully, with my colleague, I say not this, sir, in an invidious spirit, or with any [Mr. HUNTER,] that the credit system needs no artificial unkind feeling to the orth. But the common treasstimulus; or, if it does, that it has no claim to derive its ure—the credit of the Government should not be made aliment from the public treasure. I am no enemy to the the means of aggrandizing one section of the Union exclucredit system within its legitimate bounds: that credit which sively, still less made the instrument of oppression to rests upon anticipated returns of capital or labor will de- another. It is for these reasons, Mr. Chairman, I have serve aid and encouragement; but a credit having no such no desire to see a national bank ever re-established. Sinsolid foundations leads to far diferent results. The facili- cerely approving the principle which the bill upon your tics afforded by an un-lue increase of banking capital, often table proposes to carry into practice, I would have it as te:npt those who rest solely on borrowed means to engage free as possible from all serious objection; that this Govin wild and reckless adventures; speculations in fancy ernment may be once again, and forever, separated from any stocks, in lands yielding no produce, in cities without a direct interest in the business of banking corporations, and house, harbors without a ship. If the gambler in these they cease to have any influence over the political movelotteries should fail, the loss falls on the laborer or the ments of the Government. That principle, assailed as it capitalist. If he succeed, it is often at their expense. His has been by argument and ridicule, every friend of our palaces rise like exhalations, and he lolls in his magnificent free institutions should wish to see successfully adopted. coach, while the farmer or the mechanic, often with ten It is not, as my colleague [Mr. Wisk] supposes, à novel times his substantial capital, can scarcely afford an humble one, originating in an agrarian spirit. It claims a much dwelling or a one-horse chaise.

loftier origin. It received the sanction, many years ago, But the gentleman from New York [Mr. HOFFMAN] of Mr. Jefferson. Sir, it is my habit to lean upon the auinfurins us that the credit system works well; not, I believe, thority of great names; but it may be regarded as among sir, just at present. Doubtless it has worked well, through the evil auguries of the times, that the opinions of Mr. the aid of the Bank of the United States; at least in the Jefferson are made the theme of ridicule, while the ultra North, and so it may again. But what has been its federal doctrines of Mr. Hamilton are quoted with appro. effects at the South? Upon this suliject, my friend from bation in this hall. No man was ever more ardently deSouth Carolina (Mr. Pickens) has given us some inter- voted to the cause of liberty than Mr. Jefferson ; few ever esting details. Look back, sir, to the condition of the possessed a more vigorous or original mind, or more indeSouth before and since the establishment of the first national | pendentiy expressed the opinions he entertained. It is to bank, and you will not fail to be struck with the rapid ad-him, as much at least as to any of the great statesmen of vance of the Northern States compared with the Southern. his day, that we are indebted for what is most valuable in It may be that other causes have conspired to increase the 'the free institutions under which we live.

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But, sir, we need not the aid of bis name to vindicate public treasure. We cannot justify ourselves if we abanthe principle we maintain. Our own history gives us don it to the control of the Executive. I. is a power never proofs that it is neither a new idea, nor had its birth in a safely entrusted to any but the immediate representatives factious spirit. We need only go back to the session of of the people. Yet our legislation is almost wholly shaped, 1834 to find it supporied by men whose patriotism and so far as concerns the revenue, by the other House, or by sound republican principles will not be questioned. Early the Executive. We have even received bills for raising in that session, Mr. Gamble, of Georgia, moved an inqui- supplies from the Senate almost without a murmur. The ry into the practicability of dispensing with banks in our bill for depositing the surplus with the States; it has been fiscal operations. Subsequently, when the deposite bill said, was amended at the White House, so as 'o meet the was before the House, General Gordon, then my colleague, views of the President. Look, sir, to the history of the proposed his plan for what is now called the sub-Treasury. Treasury circular-a measure adopted in known opposition Approving the principle, but believing it imperfect in de- to the will of Congress, and the act repealing it pocketed tails, I had the honor of submitting a motion to recommit by the President, and, for aught we know, now at ihe Herthe bill, with instructions to amend it so as to dispense mitage. Look to the course pursued for years past, in rewith bank agency. On this motion the yeas and nays gard to the custody of the public money-removed from were called : ninety-one members, including General Gor- the place where you had appointed it to be kept, to places don himself, and the opposition party almost to a man, you had never authorized to receive it. Yes, sir, you had voted in favor of the motion ; one hundred and fifteen, al- ordained a union between the Government and the namost exclusively the friends of the administration, voted tional bank; not, perhaps, strictly in the bonds of lawful against it. Were those who sustained it agrarians, or ac- matriinony. This union lasted for years; it was severed tuated by a spirit of factious opposition ? None will assert by the Executive fiat ; our Chief Magistrate cut the knot it. For myself, I can truly say the motion was made in with as little ceremony as Henry VIII, and then took up good faith. It was placed upon the ground of the insecu- with almost as many wives as surrounded King Solomonrity and danger, both in a pecuniary and political view, of forty or more-eighty, sir, it is said around me. The State & connexion between this Government and banking corpo- banks came into favor. It was an illicit connexion; the rations. On the contrary, the auministration party derided banns had nover been celebrated. We were called upon the proposition ; those particularly who have since occu- to sanction both acts—the divorce, and the new union, and pied conspicuous stations in the House.

The present

we complied most obediently. The State banks, in turn, Speaker, then chairman of the Committee of Ways and have given offence, by too faithfully obeying the orders of Means, warmly commended the State banks as every way

their lord and master; and now the royal edict has gone competent, and worthy of all confidence. The present forth, and the cry is “off with their beads." The chamchairman of the Committee of Ways and Means (Mr. Cam. ber of Blue Beard never exhibited a more bloody spectacle. BRELENG] also opposed it. He has reminded us of his Yes, sir, in little more than two years, these new favorites speech, in which he said he concurred with me in the prin- are discarded ; and, after the flattering picture drawn of the ciple, but did not think that the proper time to assert it. entire security of the State banks, we now behold upon Yes, sir, I remember it well. He approved the principle, our table a bill to settle up our accounts with the late debut refused to carry it into practice. He spoke in favor of positories of the public money. The Executive has again the proposition, and voted against it. The bill providing taken the public treasure into its keeping, or, rather, has for a general deposite of public money in the State banks scattered it throughout the land, without the authority of was passed. It was the favorite measure of the party in law, in the hands of thousands of individuals. I repeat, power. But, sir, strange to say, those who, seemingly at sir, it does not become us to leave it in that condition. least, favored the principle of separation, now denounce it We may avoid the danger to which it is exposel, in my as factious and chimerical; and its opponents have become humble judgment, by placing it as a special deposite in the its warmest advocates. It is not for me to question the local banks, and, in making that deposite preserve, subsincerity of either party. That is between them and their stantially, the principle which the sub-Treasury scheme is consciences. We have to do here with measures, not mo- designed to assert. Special deposites no more imply any tives. I think now, as I thought then ; and will not change pecuniary or political union between the Government and my course, because the administration party, or the oppo- ine banks, than such a union would spring from employing sition party, may think fit to change theirs. I have never a railroad or steamboat company to transport the mail or so far enlisted under the banners of either, as to give up munitions of war. I trust, therefore, sir, we shall have the exercise of my own judgment, nor consented to sub- the aid of the chairman of the Committee of Ways and init to the dictation of any party, or of any man in this Nieans to amend the bill in the way I have had the honor House, or in the other House, or in the White House. to suggest. It would be the most effectual means of renStill less will I yield up the convictions of my own mind, dering the measure successful, and putting an end to the because my political adversarjes have acknowledged their hopes of those who look to its failure as resulting in the truth. The experience of the last two years has been establishment of a national bank. enough to open their eyes; and I will hope, sir, they have Mr. GARLAND, of Virginia, thought it his duty to make seen ibeir error. To adhere to an opinion, when renson some remarks on the amendment he had proposed. After and experience show it to be erroneous, is to be a bigot or replying to some arguments of his colleague in relation to a hypocrite. It is equally true that those who desert their the Virginia banks, he adverted to the present bill. He was own principles, and act in opposition to their own judg- sure the Government would never prosper when divorced ment, are slaves, mere puppets, moved by the will of an- from the banks, between whom and the people there still exother. Maelzel could construct a House of Representatives isted a matrimonial connexion. It was his opinion that, in as fit to exercise the functions of legislators-yes, sir, speak- less than eighteen months after the passage of this measure, er, orators, and all, down to the previous question.

the Government would seek to reunite itself with the banks. But it is asked, why legislate upon the subject now? The relief now proposed to the people in lieu of the Stato The separation has taken place, and the sub-Treasury banks, reminded him of a certain criminal, who, when on scheme is in full operation. True, sir, but how has this his way to the gallows, was offered a reprieve on condition been effected? By the simple mandate of the Executive. of his marrying an ugly, wrinkled old woman. Is it not obvious, too, that this plan itself, as now practised, after a moment's reflection, exclaimed, is insecure, and stands in need of legislative provisions ?

" A gentence hard you do impart; It is the duty of Congress to provide for the safety of the

The woman's worse --drive on the cart,"
VOL. XIV,-90

The man,

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H. of R.]

Florida War-Sub-Treasury Bill.

(Oct. 12, 1837.

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And thus preferred hanging to a wedding on such terms. to show that the committees to which the several subjects
So the sentence was more preferable to the people than the of investigation had been formerly referred, were not likely
system now proposed. The object of the divorce bill was to prosecute the inquiry with any practical efficiency. In.
to take the money from banks and to deposite it with sub- deed, he was of opinion that no standing committee of the
agents. But, in his opinion, taking into consideration the House ever would conduct a scrutiny of this nature with
frailties of human nature, it would be a dangerous scheme. eflect, and insisted that none but a select committee, and
He did not mean to say that the officers of Government that appointed by ballot; would be likely to do any thing
had less integrity than nther men ; but when the lamenta- to the purpose in the matter.
ble instances were called to mind where individuals of high In reply to remarks of Mr. McKay, on the composition
Etanding had sacrificed an unblemished character for a mere of committees, and especially of the Committee on Manu-
paltry amount, it ought to teach a lesson to guide them in factures, Mr. A. went into a history of that committee,
the present instance. He would repeat the words of his from the time when he had entered Congress, and had,
colleague this morning, who had said even the words of contrary to his own earnest remonstrance, been placed at
our Saviour were, “ lead us not into temptation.” He its head. He gave an account of the circumstances which
advocated the plan of keeping the money in the vaults of bad attended the report by that committee of the tariff
the banks, as more secure, and particularly if the amend. bill of 1832 ; went into a history of the manner in which
ment last offered were adopted, which provides that the the celebrated compromise bill had been introduced into
banks shall receive the money as a special deposite, and the House, and passed without debate by force of the pre-
without using it in any way whatever. He denied that vious question. He made some general observations on
the banks were insolveit, aš had been stated. He hud the practice of appointing, on all the important committees
been informed on unquestionable authority, that they were of the House, a majority of members in favor of the ad.
as sound now as before they suspended specie payment. ministration; to which he did not object; but stated that,
As regarded the proposed separation, he had always under- until the late era of reform, the opposite practice had pre-
stood that our system of Government, although necessarily vaileil. He olijected to the postponement, as the committee
divided into many branches, was all one. But now they would want all its time, and much useful progress might be
talked of a separation from those institutions of vhich the made during the recess.
States had laid the foundation, and which they had cher. Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, demanded the
ished to this time. How fearful would be that time, should yeas and nays on the question of postponement, and they
it ever occur, when this Government should consider it as

were ordered by the House. its duty to make its action independent of the States ! He Some conversation took place between Messrs. BOND, did not say that gentlemen designed this, but he would en- MCKAY, and REED, as to the necessity of the investitreat them to reflect whether the present measure would gation proposed, and as to the abuses which exist in the not pave the way for such a state of things. The true indian relations of the country. policy of Government was to cement itself more closely Mr. BOND took occasion to introduce a statement of with the States, and he had no doubt but that the issue of appropriations, within the last two years, for the suppres. Treasury notes would speedily afford relief, and enable the sion of Indian hostilities, all these expenditures being 50 banks to resume specie payments. It had been said that much in addition to the ordinary expenses of the military these notes would lay the foundation of a Treasury bank, establishment. but he had no apprehension of that kind, for the restric- Mr WHITTLESEY, of Olio, hoped if the motion for tions to that bill would render such a result impossible. postponement prevailed, one good result would follow : He contended that the bank note system had not had a fair that the Committee on Expenditures would discharge the trial, and referred to the Bank of France, and other insti- duties assigned them. He animadverted with much partutions, in support of bis position. At the conclusion of ticularity upon the neglect of duty which characterizes so his remarks,

many of the standing committees of the House, and the On motion of Mr. HAYNES, the committee rose and difficulty even of procuring meetings for the perforinance reported the bill to the House, without coming to any res- of their duties. olution thereon ; when,

Mr. A. H. SHEPPERD, of North Carolina, mado On motion of Mr. BRIGGS, the House adjourned. some remarks to a similar purpose, and gave an account of

the manner in which he had performed his duty as chairTHURSDAY, OCTOBER 12.

man of the Committee on Expenditures in the Department

of State ; stating some facis going to show the necessity FLORIDA WAR.

of vigilance in the discharge of their duty by the Commit The House proceeded to the unfinished business of yes- tees on Expenditures in the the several Departments. terday morning, which was the motion of Mr. McKar to

SUB-TREASURY BILL. postpone the consideration of the resolution of Mr. WISE for a committee of inquiry on the Florida war till the first The House then proceeded to the orders of the day, and Monday in December next.

went again into Committee of the Whole on the state of Mr. McKAY made a brief explanation, stating, in sub- the Union, (Mr. F. 0. J. Smith in the chair,) on the stance, that he had moved the postponement because all Senate's sub-Treasury bill. the important points in the resolution were already within Mr. RICE GARLAND made an ineffectual attempt to the province of different standing committees, or had been have the bill laid aside, to take up the bill to settle with investigated before courts martial or of inquiry. As to the deposite banks, the expenses of the war, he had no objection to a strict in- Mr. HAYNES, who was entitled to the floor, address. vestigation of them; but this could be prosecuted through the committee as follows: the standing Committee on Expenditures in the Depart- Mr. Chairman : At an early stage of this discussion, ment of War, whose duty it was to report on that subject while the Committee of the Whole on the state of the at the next session.

Union was engaged in the consideration of the bill to postMr. ADAMS said he was happy to hear the explana- pone the fourth instalment of deposite with the States, so tion, and to learn that the gentleman from North Carolina extraordinary were some of the statements of fact, infer(to whose vigilance he paid a compliment) was not, as Mr. ences, and arguments, presenied by some gentlemen who A. had before understood him, of opinion that no investi- took part in it, more especially the remarks made by my gation was necessary. Mr. A. made some remarks going honorable friend from South Carolina, (Mr. Thoxpson, ]

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Oct. 12, 1837.)

Sub-Treasury Bill.

[H. or R.

The first specification against Ge:etal Jackson is, that,

that nothing but the position occupied by me could have sometimes come to be believed as truth, when at its originprevented my endeavoring to offer an immediate reply. al pronulgation it was known to contain no one single That honorable gentleman, in his zeal to throw upon the element of truth whatsoever. And in what manner has late and present administrations the burden of the present this grave charge been supported ? If it would not be disdifficulties and embarrassinents of this country, was pleased respectful to those who have made it, = would say, we to institute a comparison between the course pursued by have had “declamation without argument, and assertion the monarchies of Great Britain and France, in periods of without proof.” That the late President should have come commercial distress in those countries, for the purpose of in for a full measure of condemnation is not wonderful, concontrasting their paternal solicitude for their subjects, and sidering the tone in which the opposition have spoken of the grievous oppression of the American Government to- hiin cver since the commencement of his administration. wards its citizens. Among the extraordinary statements But, sir, I will not imitate the example of those who have sometimes ventured in this House, I was not prepared to ascribed the late commercial revulsion to Executive usurhear an honorable gentleman speak in terms of eulogy of pation, by relying on a mere contradiction of their charge, the conduct of the French Government in the memorable although, in all fairnesa, I might do so. explosion which terminated the Mississippi bubble. The honorable gentleman from South Carolina surely has not by refusing to sanction the recharter of the United States lately revived his historical recollections, or he would have Bank, he opened the field for the creation and operation of beld very different language in reference to the conduct of State banks without limitation or control; and, as a conthe French Government at the period to which he referred. sequence, that the country has been flooded with irredeem

What, Mr. Chairman, is the history of the Mississippi able paper. And here it may be proper to remark, that bubble? A foreign adventurer established a bank in Paris the opponents of the late and present administrations are in the year 1716 or '17, which, having been managed to not agreed whether the paper currency has, or has not, apparent advantage for a few months, was purchased in been extended to an unreasonable amount. If I did not the name of the King the course of the following year. greatly misunderstand the honorable gentleman from South Banking was then a novelty in France, and the scheme Carolina, a considerable portion of his remarks was inseemned to work so successfully, that an emission of paper tended to show that the local bank issues had, at no period, sufficient to redeem the public debt was issued shortly af- gone beyond their proper and healthful proportion to the ter the bank became the property of the King. It would specie in this country. If this argument be true--and for be a waste of time to recapitulate the measures which were the present I shall pass it by without further examination adopted to enable this bank to monopolize the whole exter- this grave charge of Executive influence in producing an nal commerce of France. By what means it is unneces- unsafe increase of bank capital and circulation, must fall sary to inquire, the shares, originally of the value of 500 to the ground. That the velo upon the bill to recharter livres, were raised, by a series of speculations, to the en- the United States Bank in 1832, may have had some inormous advance of 10,000. The Government having be- fluence in increasing the establishment of local banks, and

come alarmed by the wild and reckless spirit of specula- their consequent issues, I might be disposed to admit, if . tiun produced by an immense issue of bank notes without the testimony of a distinguished financer, high in the con

a specie fund for their redemption, and fearing there might fidence of my honorable friend from South Carolina, to. be a run upon the bank, issued an edict, under severe pen- gether with considerations connected with it, did not go to alties, that no individual should have in his possession, in establish the contrary. It is well known that the advocates coin, more than the sum of 500 livres. To aid the bank of a national bank base their support of that measure on the in sustaining its credit, the livre, in coin, was reduced or ground that it can and will so regulate and control the debased to one-half its original value ; and, to cover the issues of the local banks, as to keep them in a sound and difference between the livre in coin and the livre in paper, healthy condition. For the purpose of the present arguthe latter was made to undergo such successive reductions ment, it is sufficient that I admit it. It is equally well in value as should, in the course of a few months, bring known, that after a charter had been granted to the stockit down to the standard of the debased coin of that denom- holders of the late United States bank by the State of ination. All would not do to sustain the credit of the Pennsylvania, its president congratulated them upon its bank ; and, in the course of three or four years from its severance of the connexion whịch had existed between the establishment, having afloat the enormous sum of four or Government and the old bank, because it was better for five hundred millions of dollars of irredeemable paper, the both, and the bank was stronger without it than with it. notable scheme was wound up by issuing an edict reducing Put this testimony together, and how dare any gentleman the price of shares to 5,000 livres ; which was shortly fol- to say that the circulation of the local banks has been unlowed by another, compelling its holders to fund the bills sound or excessive? They shall not discredit their own for the iniserable pittance of an annuity for fifty years' pur- witness, Mr. Biddle, for the purpose of extricating themchase, and that, so far as I can ascertain, without interest. selves from the contradictions by which they are environed. This, sir, is a statement of what the honorable gentleman What then is the result? Either that there has been nam from South Carolina has been pleased to eulogize, as show- excess of local bank paper in circulation, or a national ing the paternal care of the French Government for its bank is impotent to restrain it. I care not which horn of subjects.

the dilemma gentlemen may select-either is fatal to their How far it tallies with the history of the late and present favorite scheme of a national bank. If I understood the administrations of this Government, the committee can honorable gentleman from South Carolina, he argued, or, judge. Of the parallel the honorable gentleman was pleas- if he did not so argue, it is a fair inference from bis reed to institute between the course of the British and Ameri- marks upon the currency, that there had been no overcan Governments towards their subjects and citizens, in trading in this country. And here, too, if I am correct in periods of pressure and alarm, I shall speak hereafter. my recolection of what was said by that gentleman, he is Flat, stale, and unprofitable as it would seem to be, I was sustained by the testimony of Mr. Biddle, given in a letter not particularly surprised to hear the American Govern- addressed to the distinguished member from Alassachusetts ment charged, by almost every gentleman opposed to the [Mr. Adams] about the time Congress convened in 1836, system of measures under consideration, with having pro- in which he showed by the state of foreign exchange that duced the extraordinary state of things which has existed this country had not overtraded. for the last few months in this country. Such is the in- It is true, that in a subsequent letter, addressed by him to firmity of our nature, that what is often repeated may the same distinguished individual, he did say that we had

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