« AnteriorContinuar »
Oct. 10, 1837.]
Express Mail Postage.
(11. of R.
tracts;" he had taken them in the shape in which they another to get only a part? If there was a good reason for came to the House from the State Depariment. He had printing the first 10,000 copies, there was equal reason for made no interpolations or curtailments : all he wanted was printing ile second. that the information sought should go extensively into the Mr. BRIGGS reminded the House that the gentleman possession of the American public. He had accepted the from South Carolina (Mr. Elmonx) had said that he had modification proposed by the gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. no objection to the adoption of Mr. Anams's amendment; Owens,] and thus met any reasonable objection which ani, if so, why all this waste of discussion ? He hoped the could be urged hy the gentleman from Massachusetts. If gentleman woulil accept it as a modification. there was any one question in regard to which the public Mr. ELMORE accepted the amendment. were deeply interested, it was this. The argument of the Mr. THOMPSON said he bad risen w ask his colleague gentleman from Pennsylvania was out of place. His col to accept the amendinent of the gentleman from Massachuleague had no mean, narrow, miserable design of making seits, and print all the papers. He had not read them himan issue ad hominem before the public. No: he had sell. There was no man in whose judgment or fairness he higher, nobler oljects in view. His call looked to those would more confide to make the selection than his friend great and weighty questions which were agitating the and colleague. But it was enough for him that the genwhole country, and which must ultimately come before the tleman from Massachusetts, whose consistency and feelings House for decision. Was it wrong lo desire that the peo were involved, desired the whole to be published. He ple should be fully informed in regard to them? and that would not, under such circunstances, refuse to print any the deep sentinient entertained by freemen on such a sub-| thing which he (Mr. Adams) thought necessary to his deject should come back in all its power, and act on their re fence, however voluminous the matter might be. Nay, presentatives on that floor? These were the objects of his more, he would not that the slightest suspicion of trick colleague; and it appeared to bim that, in its amended should attach to his colleague, nor any other friend of form, there ought not to be the slightest objection to this Texas. No: he would have more respect for the opinion of resolution.
any one member of Congress, even although that one memMr. ADAMS said, the gentleman from South Carolina ber should be the gentleman from Vermont, (Mr. SLADE,] thinks the amendment moved by the gentleman from Geor- and that is surely stating a strong case. gia (Mr. Owens) is identical with mine, and proposes to Mr. T. was not a little surprised to hear the gentleman me to accept it. This circumstance furnishes such an ex from Maryland object that it was appealing from the Presample of the discriminative powers of the gentleman from ident to the people. Mr. T. had seen so many strange South Carolina, that it is an additional warning to me to things of late, as almost to have attained the nil admirari, adbere to my own amendinent. He imputes to ine the in politics at least. But it did sound strangely in his ear amendment of the gentleman from Georgia. I must dis to hear a leader of the great democratic republican party claim it.
oliject to an appeal from the Executive upon a great quesMr. SLADE said he wus unable to discover any ade tion to the democracy itself. It was still more strange, quate, or at least any justifiable motive on the part of the coming from a friend of " the illustrious chief,” who daily gentleman from South Carolina in desiring to discriminate made such appeals from Congress to the people: one good in this motion to print a particular part of this correspond turn deserves another. It was now our lurn to appeal from ence from the residue. The answer of the President cor the President to the people. responded to the call of the House. The House had al The question was then taken upon the resolution, and ready ordered the printing of 10,000 copies of the commu- it was agreed to without a division. nication. What good motive could there now be in reprint
EXPRESS MAIL POSTAGE. ing only a part of it? Why did gentlemen, after calling on the Executive for certain information, desire to with The joint resolution from the Senate requiring postages hold a part of it from the people? If there was a good rea to be paid in advance on all letters sent by the express mail, son for the call, why was not the whole answer to be pub was read a first and second time. lished ? Mr. S. was compelled to conclude that there must Mr. ADAMS oljected to the form in which the measure be some special reason for so extraordinary a course. It came to the House, contending that it ought, regularly, to was said that the modification suggested by the gentlenian be the subject of a bill, and not of a joint resolution. It from Georgia, and accepted by the mover, included all that was a matter of legislation, and laws were to be enacted in related to the Texian question, and what more did gentle- the form of bills and not of joint resolutions. tions of this correspondence did relate to the question ? reason for the passage of this joint resolution. There had The Clerk of the House? Mr. S. would not trust that se been no report on the subject from the Postmaster General, lection with him. Was a committee to be appointed to do who, on the contrary, had expressly stated, in his report to it? That course would be very unusual. There must be Congress, that there was no need of any legislation in his some motive for the pertinacity manifested in this matter Department. There would le a great deal of inconvenience which did not meet the eye. It might be personal towards in carrying the resolution into effect; and it would be atthe gentleman from Massachusetts, (Mr. Adams;] if so, tended with very vexatious results. It would not be inMr. S. would stand by him and fighi for him to the last stantly known to be the law, and meantime great e:ubarThe whule correspondence, for what he could tell, might rassments would arise. And it would familiarize the post relate to the annexation question. He knew nothing about | officers with the detention of letters and prying into them, it. This he knew: the whole correspondence, embracing in order to ascertain from whom they came. Upless there the questions of boundlary, of treaty, and of annexation, were good and satisfactory reasons given for the adoption were all contemporaneous; and he could not tell how they of ihis resolution, he really hoped it would not be passed. might be interlocked togelber. He asked gentlemen lo Mr. BRIGGS answered some of these objections. The consider how the honorable gentleman from Massachuselts letters, if dropped in, not paid, and inarked express mail, stood in relation to this matter; and to gratify his wishes would of course be forwarded by the common mail. There by giving a view of the whole case. Were gentlemen de could be no such detention as had been alluded to. The sirous of sending to the people two distinct versions of the resolution, if adopted, would save a great many dollars in subject? Was this to be done for the pitiful saving of the the payment of letter postage by persons not at all intermoney it would cost to print a few more pages? Was one
ested in what they pay for. Members of Congress, parof Mr. S's neighbors to get the whole correspondence, and 'ticularly, suffered by the present state of things. Not many
ve a satisfactory
H. of R.]
(Oct. 10, 1837.
days ago : Senator had told him that his daily postage by
THE SUB-TREASURY BILL; express mail was often larger in amount than his
diem And the House went into Coinmittee of the Whole on pay.
the state of the Union, (Mr. SMITH, of Maine, in the Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, moved to refer chair.) the joint resolution to the Committee on the Post Office and Mr. PICKENS moved to take up, first, the Senate bill, Post Roads.
for imposing additional duties as depositaries, in certain The SPEAKER remarked that, by a rule of the House, cases, on public officers. all action by any other committees than those of the Judi. Mr. LEGARE strongly objected to taking up this bill in ciary, the Ways and Means, and Elections, had been sus preference to other bills on the table, as being likely to obpended for the present session.
struct and impede the transaction of business which it was Mr. CONNOR alluded to some of the troubles at preso necessary for the House at once to act upon. ent experienced by the mistake of people as to the exten- | The House divided upon Mr. Pickess's motion, which sion of the franking privilege to letters by express mail, was carried, 100 votes tv 80. &c. Ho thvught the revenue arising to the Department The bill was then read through. would be benefited, rather than impaired, by the adoption Mr. PICKENS rose and said, that notwithstanding he of this resolution.
labored under painful indisposition, yet he felt hound to Mr. PHILLIPS hoped the subject would not be acted present his views upon the interesting and absorbing ques upon without due investigation. The adoption of the res lions conriected with the bill on the table : but he could asolution would produce great enibarrassment in the business sure the committee that he would economize its time as arrangements of mercantile men, as to the opening of post- much as possible. age accounts in certain cases. If there was any necessity Sir, (said Mr. P.,) we have heard much declamation for acting on the subject at the present session, he thought upon the distresses and embarrassinents that pervade large it should be referred to the Committee on the Post Office classes of our community, and I confess I nave heard these and Post Roads, even if the rule alluled to should be sus complaints with the deepest and most profound emotions of pended, to permit such a reference. If not, Mr. P. was syinpathy. I trust I have felt as an American ought lo in favor of laying the resolution on the table.
feel on such an occasion. A stranger, unacquainted with Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, modified his mo our peculiar form of Government, might be led to believe, tion so as to propose a reference of the bill to a Comınittee on bearing the cries for relief that have come up to us from of the Whole.
all quarters of this land, that we bad nothing to do but to Mr. CUSHING alluded to yet another practical difficul speak and to proclaim peace, prosperity, and contentment, ty in the proposed scheme. It happened frequently that the to an excited and divided community; but, sir, I am in. express mail started at unseasonable hours, when it would duced to believe that that Governmeni is the freest which is Le impossible to pay the postage of letters, for the want of the farthest removed from those individual pursuits, and clerks' attendance at such hours. The object of the express those individual occupations, that belong either to sections mail was expedition, and this object would be defeated by or to classes ; and that the less we interfere with those conthe resolution; and the revenue accruing from the express cerns, the more contented and the more prosperous will mail would be materially diminished.
the people be. Mr. BRIGGS was opposed to the reference to the Com I have also been induced to believe that it is one of the mittee of the Whole. if refered at all, he hoped the rule peculiar features of the federal constitution, that this would be suspended, and the reference be made to the Government was formed principally to conduct our forCommittee on the Post Office and Post Roads.
eign intercourse with the nations of the earth, and to pre. Mr. Williams's motion to commit it was lost.
pare us to defend ourselves tiom foreign invasion, and to Mr. GRENNELL said the House was legislating with resist foreign aggression; and that local interests and local out that sort of information on the subject which should be pursuits, whether connected with commerce, manufactures, the basis of all legislation. No petition had come up from or agriculture, were almost entirely left to those territorial the people on the subject, nor any communication from the divisions over which separate and independent Governments public officers. The House was legislating for itself ; the hold their sway. I protest against this modern doctrine, principal argument in favor of the resolution under debate which has been introduced so extensively into this country being the imposition of triple postage on letters received within the last fifteen years, and which teaches classes and occasionally by members of Congress. The express mail sections of this como unity to lunk up to the bounties and had not been long enough established to have fair play, i favors of this Government with more eagerness and anxiety and be fully understood. It had better be tested yet fur. than do the farmers of our land, under a burning noonday ther.
sun, look for the coming shower to bless and refresh their Mr G. oljected to the arguments in support of the reso- parched and withering fields of grain. The consequence lution. He thought the troubles that would arise from its of all this is to introduce that servile dependence upon this adoption were more than enough to counterbalance those Government which is utterly at war with the nature of our springing from the present state of things. There was no institutions and the integrity of man. Sir, I feel for the proper information on the subject, and legislation was not distresses of my country, and I trust I shall ever feel as I called for in relation to it. Mr. G. moved to postpone the ought; but there are constitutional limitations to this Govfurther consideration of the joint resolution until the first erninent That forbid the idea of carrying out those sympaMonday in December next.
thies which, though they ever belung perhaps to genere Mr. CAMBRELENG said that there was not now time ous natures, yet, it habitually put into practice, produce as to go off upon other subjects than those pertaining to the much injustice and pressure, and not unfrequently more, financial concerns of the country. He therefore demanded than they ever avoidl. Any other doctrine would substithe previous question.
tute our poor and frajl judynients in place of that inlerest This motion was seconded by a vote of 88 to 53, and the and instinct which belong to every individual in society, main question. [ron ordering the bill to a third reading] and prompt him to pursue whatever is liest and most suitwas carried without a division; and the joint resolution able for his happiness and prosperity. Bu' let the Governbeing then read a third time, was passed, and returned to ment attempt with one hand to dispense favor and bounty, the Senate.
and the inevitable con:equence is, that the other will be Mr. CAMBRELENG now moved for the orders of the stretched out but to be felt in its pressure and the burden it Jay,
imposes. Such reckless and miserable policy as this would
Oct. 10, 1837.]
[II. Or R.
convert the Government into one great insurance office for but the bills, checks, and other substitutes for money which all those who chose to engage in the mad and giddy ca these banks brought into circulation This produced a reer of speculation and extravagance, instead of waiting the bloated system of credit, which, with the apparent prosperslow but certain rewards of honest industry. Government ity of the times, seemed to expand and place unbounded has no magic power by which to create wealth or to bestow means within the grasp of almost every individual member its bounty upon one class or one section, unless at the ex of society. He seemed to breathe a new atmosphere, and pense of others.
gaze alone upon the splendid fortune that glittered before Mr. Chairman, I am not disposed to trespass upon the his excited imagination. attention of this comunittee, by discussing minutely those This system has one remarkably peculiar feature. It abstruse questions connected with currency and trade. I grows up, is fostered and nourished under free institutions. too well understand the sagacity of this committee, and its But there is another remarkable principle in it, that, after profound common sense, to detain them long upon those it has spread itself into all the ramifications of society, then, subjects. I know well, sir, that for a man to discourse sir, those who depend upon it, and are deeply identifieil here upon currency, trade, and commerce, at least if he ex with it, (although at first springing up under free institupects to comnand the attention of this body, he must have tions,) soon become disposed to lean, for aid and support, a high character for experience, and be blessed also with a upon any Government, no matter how despotic, rather good old age. Yes, if he expects to entertain this House than run the risk of a shock by reform or revolution. upon those abstruse questions, he must first put on the The slightest irregular movement of the Government “powdered wig” and “fair top boots," and place bimself must necessarily produce an electric shock in this delicate on the "tripod,” and talk about trade and commerce be- and vital credit system, which would be felt, and extend yond the waters, and in another hemisphere, thirty or forty | from the centre to the circumference of all society. It can years ago. Such a man would be listened to as a sage, only live under a free Government, as far removed from it particularly if he stepped forth as the advocate of some as possible ; and, if it be once brought into contact with a peculiar theory, or if he ascribed tho pravailing embarrass- lawless Government, it must either fall all together, or lean ments to some foreign or reinote cause, or dcclared them to upon that Government for protection and support, and bebe owing to causes beyond our control; to something that come intimately identified with it. Now, I ain about to reoperated deeply upon the community, which they could fer to something which belongs to the bistory of this quesneither foresee nor avert! If one were to proclaim the doc- tion, and which has happened within the last four or five trine that our suffering and ruin bave sprung from over years. To my mind, it is an example not to be disregard speculation, over-trading, or extravagance, or a combina-ed, but presents a lesson of profound wisdom, which no tion of them all; or if he were to say that many a man had one can reflect upon without profit. The war made upon been brought to bankruptcy and poverty by dashing forth the Bank of the United States, and the seizure of the pubin a couch and four, with splended damask curtains, brus- lic deposites-ma seizure without law-caused local insiitusels carpets, and broad mirrors, upon a capital in reality tions to spring up like mushrooms, under the fostering care of but three hundred dollars, with a credit of thirty thou- of an all-powerful and here, dispensing distinction and sand dollars, he woull advance such sentiments bui to call patronage and wealth, until all society became, as it were, down upon his head the denunciations of the wise in this dependent upon his will and movements. Let no mau be enlightened age for his folly and his madness! But while induced to create the same state of things again, when a I am not disposed minutely to touch these intricate points, bold and daring genius may be tempted to run the same I cannot altogether overlook them without a passing notice. career, and bring the property and honest industry of
The immediate causes, sir, of our distress arise from that the country under the will and mercy of him who may give peculiar system of credit and currency which has, for the life and soul to this Federal Government. last five years, been enlarged so extensively both in Eng. This conflict produced a tremendous shock, and even land and in this country. In England, during the year the banking system itself, the local institutions, created for 1836 alone, no less than two hundred joint-stock banks the express purpose of sustaining the warfare against that were created; the influence of which was deeply felt, first overshadowing central institution, have been paralyzed, for in that country, and then in this. Vast facilities were ex a time at least, under its desolating effects. And here I tended to our capitalists, while, also, they received an ex. will say, that though I ever believed in the unconstitutiontension of the credit system here, connected with a pecu- ality of that institution, yet those who made war upon it liar juncture in our affairs during the same period. The never could have succeeded without raising up powerful Bank of the United States was about to wind up, or was local antagonist interests. The effect of that war was felt supposed to be about to wind up, its concerns. For twenty from one end of the country to the other, and the conseyears hal that institution held a control over the currency quence was, that sagacious capitalists in stocks, ready for and exchanges of the country, and hundreds, I might al any result, began to look elsewhere for safe investments; most say thousands of other institutions were created in and hence it was that we find such extensive investments order to supply the demand in the circulating medium in real estate, to the amount of forty millions of dollars, in which, it was supposed, would ensue upon the decease two years alone, in the public lands, besides upwards of of that bank. We all know, too, (I refer to these ibings one hundred millions in other real estate speculations, such as matters of history,) that a war at that time was carried as town and village property, &c. This conflict against on against that instiiution; and that, for the purpose of credit, deeply affecting currency, was anticipated by capicreating counter interests in society, the deposites of this talists, who preferred risking the loss of something in the Government were placed in local institutions; and that these high prices of real estate, to a probable loss of all.
It was latter, after being made the fiscal agents of this Govern at least investing in something beyond total destruction ment, with an immense surplus, were expressly encouragel, froin an arbitrary Government. day more, enjoined, to enlarge their circulation. This, Sir, when this change began, and the capitalists began connected with the extended credit system in Great Britain, to contract their credit, the banking institutions of the and the loug peace which had engendered confidence, pro- country also felt it incumbent upon them to contract too. ducing large investinents of foreign capital in our stocks, And what was the result? Why, the result was exactly had the effect of expanding our local currency and credits, wbat we now experience. and produced a gigantic system of speculation and en er Approaching this juncturc, viz. in 1836, the deposite prise never witnessed in any age or country before. I do act was passed, to be carried into effect in 1837. I was a not allude to the increased amount of mere issues alone ; 'supporter of that law, sir, but I understood it at that time,
H. OF R.]
(Oct. 10, 1837.
as I now understand it to be, in the nature of a bill for Yes, 'sir, I have heard much cleclamation upon that sabject, general account and settlement with those institutions both here and elsewhere, (better suited to newspaper poliwhich bal, up to that time, leaned upon, and been sustain tics than grave legislation,) but I confess to you that ibat ed by, the credit and fiscal action of this Government. declamation only reminds me very strongly of the descripThey were therefore compelled by that distribution or de- tion of a certain grandiloquent class of poets which a proposite act, and particularly in the peculiar manner in which found and polished ancient critic describes as swellingit was executed, to come to a general account.
"Inceptis gravihus plerumque et magna professis, per was necessarily compelled to be "convertible” paper, Purnuretis, lale qui splendeat, unus et alier or they themselves compelled to suspend specie payments.
Assuilur pannus." This circumstance, connected with our immense foreign It is not pretended that this system is perfect, because debi, and the demand thereby produced for specie, or its you cannot present any system to the people that is so. representative, abroud, brought about this result; that is, All questions upon which a practical legislator is called to brought us to the present condition of the country, under act, involve more or less a comparison of evils, and we a general suspension of specie paymenis by the bauks, must not adopt any measure as perfect, but as embracing
But, Mr. Chairman, I will say here, that the great and the lesser evil. We must go on to perfect details after the radical difficulty, and, in fact, the primary cause, that pro- establishment of great and vital principles. It is neither duced the present state of things, arises from the peculiar pretended, sir, that this will involves no patronage : it cercurrency which, in modern times, has so much extended ininly does to a degree. But the question is, whether this itself in Great Britain and in this country, and its peculiar system, or that of employing the local banks as fiscal agents capacity for expansion and contraction, in the bands and of the Government, contains or involves the most patron. under the control of banks and barikers; and particularly age? Now, upon that point, permit me here to say that I from the fact, that there, as here, the system has depended feel nyself committed, from a deep and an anxious reflec. upon and been so deeply identified with Government, and tion upon the question heretofore. The question is beits financial action, for support and extensive credit. This tween the power and influence of an individual, and the is the real and radical cause which has produced this great power and influence of an incorporated bank. To tell me shock in our modern banking and credit syslem.
that a bank which chooses to go into the politics of the Sir, under this suspension of specie payments the Go. country, with its power to extend discounts and accomvernment is found in a peculiar situation. Under the law modations to its friends, and refuse them to its enemies, has of 1816 it can receive, in payment of its dues, nothing but no more influence than an individual, is to tell me what is gold and silver, or convertible paper, or notes of the then contradicted by the daily experience of every man; even Bank of the United States; the laiter clause became, how- if that individual have millions of the public money in his ever, practically repealed when these institutions suspend- possession for safe-keeping. Sir, the one system winds ed specie payments, thereby making their paper inconvert- and spreads itself into all the secret and business recesses ible. Then, there was, in fact, under the provisions of the of society. Hundreds and thousands of honorable and law, an immediate separation of the Government from the high-minded men have been brought to degradation and banking institutions of the country. Under the law, the sycophancy by this tremendous and almost invisible power. Government could not take inconvertible paper, and con. I have seen them around their domestic firesides, with every vertible paper did not exist from one end of the country 10 thing apparently to bless and gladden the heart of man, the other, with the honorable exception, perhaps, of one or full of sadness and gloom ; while even those who were the two banks in the State of Georgia, and a single small in- confiding and devoted pariners of their joys and their sorstitution in the State of Objo. And now, sir, the great lows, were in doubt and ignorance as to the causes of ques:ion presented to this committee is, not whether you melancholy and dejection. will separate the banks from the Government, because that Sir, this system is as hidden as the air we breathe, and is already done, but the great question is, whether and how penetrales unseen, but, alas! not unfelt, into the most rewe shall reunite the Government and the banks. Under tire: scenes of society. No man can tell upon what power this view of the case, we have three alternatives presented he is depending when be looks for support, aid, and assist
ance from this system. No man can tell what the situation The first is, to reunite ourselves, or rather the Govern- of his neighbor may be--what bis obligations—his alliment, with the State institutions, in the inanner in which ances and contracts, that swerve him from the path of inThey have been connected for the last three or four years. dependence and rectitude. Then how can you say that
The second is, the proposition creating a bank of the such a system as this, allied to, and dependent upon GovUnited States, a national institution to conduct the fiscal ernment, has less patronage than that which makes an inoperations of this Government, and regulate the exchanges dividual responsible for whatever public funds he may and currency of the country:
have in bis custody, without the power of loaning, without The third is, the proposition on your tab ir, to sepa- | the power of discounting, without the power of accommorate the Government and its agents from all banks what. dating a friend, or refusing an enemy, unless he chooses
openly to incur the odium and penalty of crime and misNow, sir, as to the first proposition : if we do not sepa- demeanor ? It does seem to me that the question adnits rate the Government from the banks in this peculiar junc. of no argument so far as the question of patronage is lure of our affairs, we never can separate them. The sys- concerned. tem will be fixed upon us forever, and we compelled to run But I have said, sir, that I felt myself somewhat comthe same round we have done for the last three or four mitted on this subject. In 1833, a friend of mine from years in periodical terms, and then be in the same, or worse Virginia, (Mr. Gordon,) now not a member of this House, condition-distracted and enibarrassed from one end of the (and I will here take occasion to say of him, that he is a country to the other.
gentleman who would have done honor to Virginia in her Now, Mr. Chairman, I have heard a great deal as to the proudest days of glory and fame,) presented the very idencomparison between the State bank systein, as it is called, tical proposition to this House which is embraced in the and the peculiar policy of separating the Government and bill on your table. For that proposition, sir, I then voted. its agents from all banks whatever. I have heard too much I acted from retlection, and from a conscientious convicdeclamation and no little denunciation of that system, tion of the effects of that measure to bring about honesty that it is the most outrageous proposition ever presented to in the Government, and secure the independence of the the American people; that it is, in fact, a Treasury bank. 'people. 'True, I was then but a very young man, and
Oct. 10, 1837.)
(H. OF R.
had but for a few weeks taken my seat in this House ; different ranks of interest and influence, whilst they mar yet, sir, I had made up my opinion from observation and the peace of the country, and shake the pillars of the reflection. And although young, yet, to use the language constitution. Separate them, I beseech you, represenapplied to anotber, I was old enough
tatives of the American people, if you wish to put down " Acta parentum jamn legere, et quæ sit poterit cognoscere virtus." this fearful contest for the Presidential chair-I had alSir, I had formed my judgment then, and have not
most said Presidential throne-separate, I beseech you, yielded it since. On the contrary, the experience between banking and politics. Let the banks facilitate the exthen and now has only tended to confirm my conviction. changes of commerce, and further the interest of trade; I desire the Clerk to read the proposition and the vote but let them, I pray you, have nothing to do with the Go.
vernment." “ The question recurred on the motion made by Mr. The predictions of my friend have been fulfilled to the GORDON, to amend the said bill, to strike out all thereof letter. What have we seen ? You brought into existence after the enacting words, and insert:
a system of State banks, connected froin one end of this “ That, from and after the
- day of
-, in the year Contederacy to another, receiving, disbursing, and acting the collectors of the public revenue, at places where upon those deposites, organized and controlled by, and rethe sums collected shall not exeeed the sum of dol- sponsible to one man, and then brought into overwhelming lars per annum, shall be the agents of the Treasurer to couflict, as I believe, with the freedom of elections. Sir. I keep an
disburse the same, and he subject to such rules speak plainly. I believed then, and I now believe, that this and regulations, and give such bond and security as he was the true source of power for the last three years. sha'l prescribe for the faithful execution of their office; Gentlemen may speak as they please; they may deny, and shall receive, in addition to the compensation now and say they have never seen or felt it; but who is it that allowed by law, per centum on the sums disbursed ; knows any thing of the operations of banks—who is it, 60 that it does not exceed the sum of dollars per at all acquainted with their peculiar influence, who is not
irresistibly impressed with their tremendous power? Sir, “Sec. 2. And be it further enacled, That, at all places I believe they did more than any thing else to elect the where the amount of public revenue collected shall exceed present President of the United States; and am I now to be the sum of dollars per annum, there shall be appoint- called upon, and urged to re-organize such a system, and ed by the President, by and with the advice and consent abandon the position I then assumed ? The experience of the Senate, receivers of the public revenue, to be agents of the last three years strengthens my position. It may bo of the Treasurer, who shall give such hond and security to denied, but I conscientiously believe that these institutions keep and disburse the public revenue, and be subject to have controlled, more or less, not only the destinies of this such rules and regulations as the Treasurer shall prescribe, Government, but the destinies of the people of this country and shall receive for their services per centum per during that period. Yes, we all know that at the last sesannum on the sums disbursed : provided it does not ex eion of Congress enough was developed upon this floor to ceed the sum of dollars per annum.
demonstrate that there was an organized systom, acting “ Sec. 3. And be it further enucled, That, from and through one man, giving energy to the whole, and for one after the day of the whole revenue of the Uni. and the same purpose. Yes, sir, we have seen this cordon ted States, derived from customs of lands or other sources, of leagued banks, with their various interests, raising their shall be paid in the current coins of the United States." banner from one end of the Union to the other, upon which This received 33 votes.
was inscribed the infamous motto, “To the victors belong Mr. Chairman, it was not my desire, nor have I caused the spoils ;" and calling upon their mercenary bands to the vote upon that proposition to be read, to show the con. gather in to the plunder of sacked cities and subjugated sistency or inconsistency of any honorable member of this provinces. budy. My sole and entire object was to prove that the
Again, Mr. Chairman, am I now, at this time, to change present bill was no new proposition, and that, as far as I my course because others have come to ino? No, sir, I am concerned, it is the very identical proposition upon maintain the very grounds I then maintained, and I ever which I then voted coolly and deliberately. I have no Je will maintain them till my judginent and my conviction tell sire, sir, to show that there has been any contradiction on nie they are wrong. the part of any gentleman on this floor, or that there has I cannot but believe that the signal failure of these insti. been any change in their opinions. It is with neither of tutions as fiscal agents for this Government cannot but those views that I had the proposition read. I will now believe, too, sir, that the experience of the last three years, quote a paragraph from the speech of the mover of the pro must have convincerl every one of their inefficary, and position, made at the time, as illustrating the views under the inexpediency and fully of their being selected again as which we acted, and which too truly portrays what has the depositories of the Government, except with one view. really happened since, and what, I fear, we will again see, And this is the reason why some gentlemen now acquiesce if the system be continued. Mr. Gonnon saiil:
in their reorganization; that is, that they well know that " There is another consideralion which has induced me this operation, and their reorganization, will bring us again to offer this amendinént. We may all very plainly see that into a state of anarchy and confusion, and force the counthe contest for the Executive office is the rock on which try into the adoption of a bankyof the United States. They the permanency of this republic is likely to be wrecked. know well, sir, that it tends to that, and they kuow that And the vehemence of this contest will ever be in propor- if these State banks are again selected as public depositotion to the Executive patronage. But for this, the office rics, they will be but a stepping-stone to the establishinent would have no allurements but for virtuous ambition; but of a bank of the United States. This, sir, is the real, the with this concoinitant, it exerts an influence which may true issue. It is an issue between making the fiscal agents one day prove fatal to the federal part of our system. ir of the Government separate and independent from all we do not separale the influence of the Executive from the banks, and the establishment of a bank of the Cuited interest of banking cor, orations, we shall have another States, which inevitably must be adopted eventually, and controversy on the subject of banks. The political will that not at a very remote period, if you readopt now the be united with the money power; the contest must come ; State bank system as the fiscal agency of the Government. it will come. You will witness a struggle in this Capitol As to the constitutional argument, Mr. Chairman, in hetween State banks and federal banks; and the combat. reference to the establishment of a national bank, I will ants for the President's chair will be found contending in 'not trespass upon the attention of the House to discuss it