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Trial of Judge Peck.
[Jan. 29, 1831.
that all the memorials on the subject of drawbacks were on Manufactures had pre-judged the question proposed now before the last named committee. The first appli- to be referred to it. This, as one of the members of the cation for a reduction of the duties on salt came from the committee, he felt bound to deny. He contended that agricultural interest of the country, and the subject had all the efforts of that committee had tended to the probeen referred to the Committee on Agriculture, who, motion of commerce as well as other interests. He was years since, reported the first bill for a reduction of the in favor of the reference of this memorial to the Com. duties on that article. How was it at this session of Con- mittee on Manufactures, whom he believed would make gress? A bill to reduce the duty on a peculiar kind of a favorable report upon the prayer of the petitioners. blankets, manufactured for the use of the Indians, had Mr. WEBSTER said, that, if this was a mere question been referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs; be- to consider the expediency of allowing a drawback on cause the measure had been introduced for the purpose imported articles used in ship building, he should incline of relieving that branch of our trade from the burthens to the opinion of his colleague, that the most proper reunder which it labored, although, from the argument of ference would be to the Committee on Commerce. He the gentleman from New Jersey, the Committee on Ma- should incline to think, also, that, in judging of the pronufactures would have been the most proper reference. priety of the reference of a subject to any particular This memorial, then, which looked solely to the reliev- committee, the Senate ought to be influenced more by ing of our commerce from its present state of depres- the purpose for which the committee had been created sion, ought, with equal justice, to be sent to that com- than by the opinions of its members. This memorial mittee which had the subject under its peculiar care. (Mr. W. added] came from a State not much interested
Mr. SILSBEE said he conceived the Committee on in shipbuilding, and treated of matters unconnected Commerce most competent to decide upon the subject with the subject of drawback. It had something to say in question, and he hoped it would be submitted to that in relation to internal improvements, and something to committee.
say with regard to the constitutional propriety of laying Mr. HAYNE observed, that the application of the protecting duties on imported articles. Now, as he (Mr. memorialists was for the purpose of relieving the ship. w.) wished to give to these other topics embraced in ping interest of the United States from embarrassments the memorial some little consideration, and as he had no of such a character as threatened its existence. It was desire to hear from the Committee on Commerce a report now, he said, proposed to refer the memorial to the Com- on the subject of internal improvements and the Ameri. mittee on Manufactures, over which the gentleman from can system, he would move to lay it on the table. New Jersey presided, who was confessedly hostile to all The memorial was then laid on the table: yeas, 19– its objects. Now, he would ask, would not such a re- nays, 17. ference be consigning it to the tomb of all the Capulets?
TRIAL OF JUDGE PECK. Report after report had been made by that committee, all showing the utmost hostility to the interests whose pro
The Senate then again resolved itself into a Court of tection was prayed for by the memorial, and yet the Impeachment. chairman of that committee wished it to be consigned to of the impeachment
. He took the further position, that
Nr. BUCHANAN concluded his argument in support his care, for the purpose of crushing it at a blow. would ask if it was right, reasonable, or proper, that the publication of Mr. Lawless, under the signature of this memorial should be consigned to a committee who libel, be established to be libellous, according to the con
“ A Citizen," could not, in a trial upon an indictment for had already predetermined to destroy it? The views of
stitution and laws of the land; that the paper was, on its the gentleman in relation to iron manufactures and iron face, perfectly harmless in itself; and that, so far as it mines were well known; and, if the commerce of the went, it was not an unfair representation of the opinion of country depended on him, God save the commerce! Mr. H. concluded by asking for the yeas and nays on the gally analyzed the nine last specifications in the publica
Judge Pc The honorable manager critically and lequestion.
tion, to establish these points. He then proceeded to sum Mr. DICKERSON said he bad entertained no idea that
up this memorial was to be sent to a committee who could before the Court of Impeachment, in order to show the
and descant upon the testimony produced in the case make a final decision upon it. It was a new construction arbitrary and cruel conduct of Judge Peck; and, in a perto the powers of committees. If the Senate should not oration, marked by its ardent eloquence, he declared, concur in the report of a committee, they were not bound that if this man escaped, the declaration of a distinguished to accept it. A committee surely had no power to crush politician of this country, that the power of impeachment any thing--to conceal any thing—to destroy any thing: was but the scarecrow of the constitution, would be fully Mr. D. said, he deemed it proper that the views of all verified; that when this trial commenced, he recoiled with parties should be fairly developed. He had no doubt horror from the idea of limiting, and rendering precarious thc Committee on Commerce was fully competent to pass and dependent, the tenure of the judicial office, but that upon the memorial, but he conceived that there were the acquittal of the respondent would reconcile him to that other interests more directly involved in it. For his own evil, as one less than a hopeless and remediless submission part, he felt no ambition to have charge of this matter. to judicial usurpation and tyranny, at least so far as reMr. D. said he thanked the gentleman who last addressed spected the inferior courts. God forbid that the limitation the Senate for the allusion that delicacy should have pre- should ever be extended to the Supreme Court! Mercy vented him from asking that this subject should be re- to the respondent would be cruelty to the American peoferred to the committee of which he had the honor of ple. In the name, therefore, of the people of the United being chairman. Such a delicacy he might have felt States, whose liberties he had violated--in the name of the many years ago; but that time bad long since gone by. Ljudiciary, whose character he had injured and tarnished-Ilis delicacy must now yield to his duty.
be respectfully asked of this honorable court the convic. Mr. BENTON read the rule of proceedings on the tion of the respondent. subject, and argued that no bill or memorial should be The argument being concluded on both sides, on motion referred to a committee hostile to its objects.
of Mr. WEBSTER, the court then resolved to meet again Mr. KNIGHT said he would not have addressed the at 12 o'clock on Monday morning next, in order to proSenate on this subject, had it not been for the remark of ceed further in the consideration of this impeachment. an honorable Senator, (Mr. Harne,) that the Committee
Jax. 31, Feb. 1, 2, 1831.]
Trial of Judge Peck.-- Bank of the United States.
Monday, Jan. 31.
WEDNESDAY, FE). 2. The Senate again resolved itself into a Court of Im
BANK OF THE UNITED STATES. peachment; and The House of Representatives, with their managers, and
Mr. BENTON, in pursuance of notice given yesterday, the counsel for the respondent, having come into court,
rose to ask leave to introduce the following resolution:
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of Mr. TAZEWELL moved the following resolution:
the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Resolved, That this court will now pronounce judgment the charter of the Bank of the United States ought not to upon James H. Peck, Judge of the District Court of the be renewed. United States for the District of Missouri.
Mr. BENTON commenced his speech in support of the Mr. TAZEWELL observed, that if there were one application for the leave he was about to ask, with a jusmember of the court unprepared for a decision on this im- tification of himself for bringing forward the question of peachment at this time, or preferred any other mode of renewal at this time, when the charter had still five years proceeding to pronounce judgment, lie would cheerfully to run; and bottomed his vindication chiefly on the right he withdraw the resolution.
possessed, and the necessity he was under to answer cer: No objection having been made, the resolution was unan- tain reports of one of the committees of the Senate, imously adoptel.
made in opposition to certain resolutions relative to the The names of the Senators were then called over by the bank, which he had submitted to the Senate at former ses. Secretary.
sions, and which reports he had not had an opportunity of The Secretary of the Senate, under the direction of the answering. He said it had been his fortune, or chance, VICE-PRESIDENT, read the article of impeachment exhi- some three years ago, to submit a resolution in relation to bited by the House of Representatives against James H. the undrawn balances of public money in the hands of Peck, Judge of the District Court of the United States for the bank, and to accompany it with some poor remarks of the District of Missouri.
unfavorable implication to the future existence of that inThe VICE-PRESIDENT rose and said-SENATORS: You have heard the article of impeachment the Committee on Finance, who made a report decidedly
stitution. My resolution said Mr. B.] was referred to read: you have heard the evidence and the arguments for adverse to all my views, and eminently favorable to the and against the respondent: when your names are called, bank, both as a present and future institution. This reyou will rise from your seats, and distinctly pronounce port came in on ihe 13th of May, just fourteen days before whether he is guilty or not guilty, as charged by the House the conclusion of a six months' session, when all was hurof Representatives.
ry and precipitation to terminate the business on hand, The VICE-PRESIDENT then, in an audible voice, put and when there was not the least chance to engage the the following question to each of the Senators in alpha- attention of the Senate in the consideration of any new betical order:
subject. The report was, therefore, laid upon the table Mr. Senator : What say you: Is James H. Peck, unanswered, but was printed by order of the Senate, and Judge of the District Court of the United States for the that in extra numbers, and widely diffused over the coun
District of Missouris guilty or not guilty of the high mis- try by means of the newspaper press. At the commence: demeanor charged in the article of impeachment exhibited ment of the next session, it being irregular to call for the against him by the House of Representatives?
consideration of the past report, I was under the necessiEach Senator rose from his seat, as this question was ty to begin anew, and accordingly submitted my resolupropounded to him, and answered as follows:
tion a second time, and that quite carly in the session; say GUILTY.---Messrs. Barnard, Brown, Clayton, Dicker- on the first day of January; It was my wish and request son, Dudley, Ellis, Forsyth, Hayne, Iredell, Kane, King, that this resolution might be discussed in the Senate, but Livingston, M.Kinley, Poindexter, Robbins, Sanford, the sentiment of the majority was different, and a second Smith, of Maryland, Smith, of South C: lina, Troup, Ty-reference of it was made to the Finance Committee. ler, Woodbury.--21.
second report of the same purport with the first was a NOT GUILTY.--Messrs. Barton, Bell, Burnet, Chase, matter of course; but what did not seem to me to be a Foot, Frelinghuysen, Grundy, Hendricks, Holmes, John matter of course was this; that this second report should ston, Knight, Marks, Naudain, Noble, Ruggles, Seymour, not come in until the 20th day of February, just fourteen SiJsbee, Sprague, Tazewell, Webster, White, Ruggles days again before the end of the session, for it was then -22.
the short session, and the Senate as much pinched as beMr. Bextox and Mr. Robinson were excused from vot. fore for time to finish the business on hand. No answer ing. Mr. B:9B, Mr. CHAMBERS, and Mr. Rowan were ab- could be made to it, but the report was printed, with the
former report appended to it; and thus, united like the The VICE PRESIDENT again rose, and observed-- Siamese twins, and with the apparent, but not real sanc
tion of the Senate, they went forth together to make the SENATORS: Twenty-one Senators laving voted that the
tour of the Union in the columns of the newspaper press. respondent is guilty, and twenty-two that he is not guilty; Thus, I was a second time out of court; a second time and two-thirds of the Senate not having voted for liis con- non-suited for want of a replication, when there was no viction, it becomes the duty of the Chair to pronounce, time to file one. I bad intended to begin de novo, and for that James Il. Peck, the Judge of the Disirict Court of
the third time, at the opening of the ensuing session; but, the United States for tlie District of Missouri, stands acquitted of the charge exhibited against him by the House happily, was anticipated and prevented by the annual mes?
sage of Representatives.
of the new President, (General JACKSON,) which The VICE PRESIDENT then directed the Marshal to brought this question of renewing the bank charter diadjoarn the Court of Impeachment; and it was accord-rectly before Congress. A reference of this part of the
message was made, of course, to the Finance Committee: ingly adjourned sine die.
the committee, of course, again reported, and with in
creased ardor, in favor of the bank. Unhappily this third TUESDAY, FEB. 1.
report, which was an amplification and reiteration of the
two former, diel not come in until the session was four The whole of this day's sitting was consumed in the rc- inonthis advanced, and when the time of the Senate had ception of petitions and resolutions, and with closed doors become engrosseil, and its attention absorbed, by the nuva Executive bus ness.
merous and important subjects which had accumukited
Bank of the United States.
(Feb. 2, 1831.
upon the calendar. Printing in extra numbers, general private, political and pecuniary, general and particular, circulation through the newspaper press, and no answer, full discussion, and seasonable decision, is just and proper. was the catastrophe of this third reference to the Finance I hold myself justified, Mr. President, upon the reasons Committee. Thus was I non-suited for the third time. given, for proceeding in my present application; bui, as The fourth session has now come round; the same subject example is sometimes more authoritative than reason, I is again before the same committee on the reference of will take the liberty to produce one, which is as high in the part of the President's second annual message which point of authority as it is appropriate in point of applicarelates to the bank; and, doubtless, a fourth report of the tion, and which happens to fit the case before the Senate same import with the three preceding ones, may be ex- as completely as if it had been made for it. I speak of pected. But when is the question. And, as I cannot what has lately been done in the Parliament of Great Brianswer that question, and the session is now two-thirds tain. It so happens, that the charter of the Bank of advanced, and as I have no diposition to be cut off for the England is to expire, upon its own limitation, nearly about fourth time, I have thought proper to create an occasion the same time with the charter of the Bank of the United to deliver my own sentiments, by asking leave to intro- States, namely, in the year 1833; and as far back as 1824, duce a joint resolution, adverse to the tenor of all the re- no less than nine years before its expiration, the question ports, and to give my reasons against them, while support- of its renewal was debated, and that with great freedom, ing my application for the leave demanded; a course of in the British House of Commons. I will read some exproceeding which is just to myself, and unjust to no one, tracts from that debate, as the fairest way of presenting since all are at liberty to answer me. These are my per- the example to the Senate, and the most effectual mode of sonal reasons for this step, and a part of my answer to the securing to myself the advantage of the sentiments exobjection that I have begun too soon. The conduct of pressed by British statesmen. the bank, and its friends, constitutes the second branch of
THE EXTRACTS.] my justification. It is certainly not "too soon” for them,
Sir Henry Parnell.--" The House should no longer de. judging by their conduct, to engage in the question of renewing the bank charter.
In and out of Congress, the charter of the Bank of England. lleretofore, it had
lay to turn its attention to the expediency of renewing they all seem to be of one accord on this point. Three been the regular custom to renew the charter several reports of committees in the Senate, and one from a committee of the House of Representatives, have been made years before the existing charter hud expired. The last in favor of the renewal; and all these reports, instead of renewal was made when the existing charter had eleven being laid away for future use--instead of being stuck in years to run: the present charter had nine years only to pigeon holes, and labeled for future attention, as things of any agreement between the Government and the bank
continue, and he felt very anxious to prevent the making coming forth prematurely, and not wanted for present for a renewal, without a full examination of the policy of service--have, on the contrary, been universally received again conferring upon the bank of England any exclusive by the bank and its friends, in one great tempest of ap. privilege. The practice had been for Government to make plause; greeted with every species of acclamation; reprinted in most of the papers, and every effort made to
a secret arrangement with the Bank; to submit it imme
cliately to the proprietors of the bank for their approbagive the widest diffusion, and the highest effect, to the arguments they contain. In addition to this, and at the pre- it, without affording any opportunity of fair deliberation.
tion, and to call upon the House the next day to confirm sent session, within a few days past, three thousand copies So much information had been obtained upon the banking of the exposition of the affairs of the Bank have been trade, and upon the nature of currency in the last fifteen printed by order of the two Houses, a thing never before done, and now intended to blazon the merits of the bank. years, that it was particularly necessary to enter upon a [Mr. Smith, of Maryland, here expressed some dissent to
full investigation of the policy of renewing the bank char
ter before any negotiation should be entered upon bethis statement; but Mr. B. affirmed its correctness in substance if not to the letter, and continued.] This does tween the Government and the bank; and he trusted the not look as if the bank advocates thought it was too soon until the sense of Parliament had been taken on this im
Government would not commence any such negotiation to discuss the question of renewing the charter; and, upon this exibition of their sentiments, I shall rest the assertion portant subject.”
“ Mr. Hume said it was of very great importance that and the proof, that they do not think so. branch of my justification rests upon a sense of public free themselves from the trammels in which they had long
The third bis majesty's ministers should take immediate steps to duty; upon a sense of what is just and advantageous to
As the interest of money was the people in general, and to the debtors and stockholders been held by the bank. of the bank in particular. The renewal of the charter is now nearly on a level with what it was when the bank a question which concerns the people at large; and if they lent a large sum to Government, he hoped the Chanare to have any hand in the decision of this question--if cellor of the Exchequer would not listen to any applicathey are even to know what is done before it is done, it is tion for a renewal of the bank charter, but would pay off high time that they and their Representatives in Congress every shilling that had been borrowed from the bank. should understand each other's mind upon it. The charter
Let the country gentlemen recollect has but five years to run; and if renewed at all
, will pro- that the bank was now acting as pawn-broker on a large bably be at some short period, say two or three years, scale, and lending money on estates, a system entirely before the time is out, and at any time sooner that a chance contrary to the original intention of that institution. can be seen to gallop the renewal through Congress.
He hoped, before the expiration of The people, therefore, have no time to lose, if they mean the charter, that a regular inquiry would be made into to have any hand in the decision of this great question. the whole subject.” To the bank itself, it must be advantageous, at least, if
Mr. Edward Ellice. “It (the Bank of England) is a not desirable, to know its fate at once, that it may avoid, great monopolizing body, enjoying privileges which (if there is to be no renewal,) the trouble and expense of belonged to no other corporation, and no other class of multiplying branches upon the eve of dissolution, and the his majesty's subjects. risk and inconvenience of extending loans beyond the that the exclusive charter would never again be grantterm of its existence. To the debtors upon mortgages, and ed; and that the conduct of the bank during the last indefinite accommodations, it must be also advantageous, ten or twelve years would make Government very cauif not desirable, 10 be notified in advance of the end of tious how they entertained any such propositions. The their indulgences: so that, to every interest, public and right honorable Chancellor of the Exchequer (Mr. Rob.
Feb. 2, 1831.]
Bank of the United Statcs.
inson] had protested against the idea of straining any be apparent to all who will reflect upon the great privipoint to the prejudice of the bank; he thought, how- leges which these stockholders will have enjoyed for ever, that the bank had very little to complain of, when twenty years, and the large profits they have already de. their stock, after all their past profits, was at 238. rived from their charter. They have been dividing se.
The Chancellor of the Eschequer " deprecated the ven per cent. per annum, unless when prevented by their discussion, as leading to no practical result."
own mismanagement; and have laid up a real estate of Mr. Alexander Baring “objected to it as premature three millions of dollars for future division; and the moand unnecessary.”
ney which has done these handsome things, instead of Sir William Pulteney (in another debate.) “The pre- being diminished or impaired in the process, is still worth judices in favor of the present bank have proceeded largely upwards of one hundred cents to the dollar: say, from the long habit of considering it as a sort of pillar one hundred and twenty-five cents. For the peculiar which nothing can shake.
The bank privileges which enabled them to make these profits, the has been supported, and is still supported, by the fear stockholders ought to be grateful; but, like all persons and terror of which, by means of its monopoly, it has who have been highly favored with undue benefits, they had the power to inspire. It is well known, that there mistake a privilege for a right--a favor for a duty-and is hardly an extensive trader, a manufacturer, or a bank- resent, as an attack upon their property, a refusal to proer, either in London, or at a distance from it, to whom the long theirundue advantages. There is no ground for these bank could not do a serious injury, and could often complaints, but for thanks and benedictions rather, for bring on even insolvency.
I consi- permitting the bank to live out its numbered days! That der the power given by the monopoly to be of the na-institution has forfeited its charter. It may be shut up ture of all other despotic power, which corrupts the des- at any hour. It lives from day to day by the indulgence pot as much as it corrupts the slave.
* of those whom it daily attacks; and, if any one is ignoit is in the nature of man, that a monopoly must neces- rant of this fact, let him look at the case of the Bank of sarily be ill-conducted.
Whatever the United States against Owens and others, decided in language the (private] bankers may feel themselves the Supreme Court, and reported in the 2d Peters. obliged to holl, yet no one can believe that they have [llere Mr. B. read a part of this case, showing that it any satisfaction in being, and continuing, under a domin- was a case of usury at the rate of forty-six per cent. and ion which has proved so grievous and so disastrous. that Mr. Sergeant, counsel for the bank, resisted the de
I can never believe that the merchants and cision of the Supreme Court, upon the ground that it bankers of this country will prove unwilling to emanci- would expose the charter of the bank to forfeiture; and pate themselves, if they can do it without risking the re- that the decision was, nevertheless, given upon that sentment of the bank. No man in France was heard to ground; so that the bank, being convicted of taking usucomplain, openly, of the Bastile while it existed. The ry, in violation of its charter, was liable to be deprived merchants and bankers of this country have the blood of of its charter, at any time that a scire facias should issue English men, and will be happy to relieve themselves against it. ] from a situation of perpetual terror, if they could do it Mr. B. l'esumed. Before I proceed to the consideraconsistently with a due regard to their own interest.” tion of the resolution, I wish to be indulged in adverting
liere is authority added to reason--the force of a great to a rule or principle of parliamentary practice, which example added to the weight of unanswerable reasons, it is only necessary to read now in order to avoid the posin favor of early discussion; so that, I trust, I have efsibility of any necessity for recurring to it hereafter. It fectually put aside that old and convenient objection to is the rule which forbids any member to be presentthe “time;" that most flexible and accommodating ob- which, in fact, requires him to withdraw---during the jection, which applies to all seasons, and all subjects, and discussion of any question in which his private interest is just as available for cutting off a late (lebate, because may be concerned; and authorizes the expurgation from it is too late, as it is for stilling an early one, because it the Journal of any vote which may have been given un. is too early.
«ler the predicament of an interested motive. I demand But, it is said that the debate will injure tlie stockhold, that the Secretary of the Senate may read the rule to ers; that it depreciates the value of their property, and which I allude. that it is vrong to sport with the vested rights of individ- [The Secretary road the following rule:] uals. This complaint, supposing it to come from the stock- is Where the private interests of a member are conholders themselves, is both absurd and ungrateful. It is cerned in a billor question, he is to withdraw. And absurd, because the stockholders, at least so many of where such an interest has appeared, his voice has been them as are not foreigners, must have known when they cisallowed, even after a division. In a case so contrary, accepted a charter of limited duration, that the approach not only to the laws of decency, but to the fundamental of iis expiration would renew the debate upon the pro- principles of the social compact, which denies to any man priety of its existence; that every citizen had a right, to be a judge in his own cause, it is for the honor of the and every public man was under an obligation, to declare House that this rule, of immemorial observance, should his sentiments freely; that there was nothing in the char- be strictly adhered to." ter, numerous as its peculiar privileges were, to exempt First: Mr. President, I object to the renewal of the the bank from that freedom of speech and writing, which charter of the Bank of the United States, because I look extends to all our public affairs; and that the chaiter was upon the bank as an institution too great and powot to be renewed here, as the Bank of England charter erful to be tolerated in a Government of free and equal had formerly been renewed, by a private arrangement laws. Its power is that of a purse; a power more potent among its friends, suddenly produced in Congress, and than that of the sword; and this power it possesses to a Balloped through without the knowledge of the coun- degree and extent that will enable this bank to draw to try. The American part of the stockholders (for 1 itself too much of the political power of this Union; and would not reply to the complaints of the foreigners) too much of the individual property of the citizens of must have known all this; and known it when they ac- these States. The money power of the bank is both dirapted the charter. They acceptedit, subject to this known rect and indirect. consequence; anıl, therefore, the complaint about injur. [The Vice Present here intimated to Mr. B. that in their property is absurd. That it is ungrateful, mut he was out of order, and had not a right to go into the
Bank of the United States.
(FEB. 2, 1831.
merits of the bank upon the motion upon which he had the great cities, corporate bodies, merchants, traders, made. Mr. B. begged pardon of the Vice President, and every private citizen, must, of necessity apply, for and respectfully insisted that he was in order, and had a every loan which their exigencies may demand. ** The right to proceed. Ile said he was proceerling upon the rich ruleth the poor, and the borrower is the servant of parliamentary rule of asking leave to bring in a joint re-the lender.” such are the the words of holy writ; and solution, and, in doing whiclı, he had a right to state his if the authority of the Bible admitted of corroborareasons, which reasons constituted his speech; that the tion, the history of the world is at hand to give it. But motion was debateable, and the whole Senate might an- I will not cite the history of the world, but one eminent swer him. The Vice PRESIDENT then directed Mr. B. to example only, and that of a nature so high and commandproceed.]
ing, as to include all others; and so ncar and recent, as Mr. B. resumed. The direct power of the bank is to be directly applicable to our own situation. I speak now prodigious, and, in the event of the renewal of the of what happened in Great Britain, in the year 1795, charter, must speedily become boundless and uncontrol. when the Bank of England, by a brief and unceremonilable. The bank is now authorized to own effects, lands ous letter to Nir. Pitt, such as a miser would write to a inclusive, to the amount of fifty-five millions of dollars, prodigal in a pinch, gave the proof of what a great moand to issue notes to the amount of thirty-five millions neved power could do, and would do, to promote its
This makes vinety millions; and, in addition to own interest, in a crisis of national alarm and difficulty. this vast sum, there is an opening for an unlimited in- I will read the letter. It is exceedingly short; for after crease: for, thure is a dispensation in the charter to issue the compliments are omitted, there are but three lines of as many more notes as Congress, by law, may permit. lit. It is, in fact, about as long as a sentence of execuThis opens the door to boundless cniissions; for what can tion, leaving out the prayer of the judge. It runs thus: be more unbounded than the will and pleasure of suc- “ It is the wish of the Court of Directors that the Chancessive Congresses? The indirect power of the bank color of the Exchequer would settle his arrangements of cannot be stated in figures; but it can be shown to be finances for the present year, in such manner as not to immense. In the first place, it has the keeping of the depend upon any further assistance from them, beyond public moneys, now amounting to twenty-six millions per what is already agreed for.” annum, (the Post Ofice Department included,) and the Such were the words of this memorable note, suffigratuitous use of the undrawn balances, large enough to ciently explicit and intelligible; but to appreciate it fully, constitute, in themselves, the capital of a great State we must know what was the condition of Great Britain at bank. In the next place, its promissory notes are re- that time? Remember it was the year 1795, and the beceivable, by law, in purchase of all property cwned by ginning of that year, than which a more portentous one the United States, and in payment of all debts due them; never opened upon the British empire. The war with the and this may increase its power to the amount of the an- French republic had been raging for two years; Spain had nual revenue, by creating a demand for its notes to that just declared war against Great Britain; Ireland was burstamount. In the third place, it wears the name of the ing into rebellion; the feet in the Nore was in open muUnited States, and lias the Federal Government for a tiny; and a cry for the reform of abuses, and the reducpartner; and this name, and this partnership, identifies tion of taxes, resounded through the land. It was a scasor. the credit of the bank with the credit of the Union. In of alarm and consternation, and of imminent actual langer the fourth place, it is arined with authority to disparinge to Great Britain; and this was the moment which the Bank and discredit the notes of other banks, by excluding selected to notify the minister that no more loans were to them from all payments to the United States; and this, be expected! What was the effect of this notification? It added to all its other powers, direct and indirect, makes vas to paralyze the Government, and to subulue the minthis institution the uncontrollable monarch of the moster to the purposes of the bank. From that day forth neyed system of the Union. To whom is all this power two years were out, he had succeeded in bringing all the de;
Mr. Pitt became tlie minister of the bank; and, before granted? To a company of private individuals, many them foreigners, and the mass of them residing in a re-partments of Government, King, Lords, and Commons, and mote and narrow corner of the Union, unconnected by any the Privy Council, to his own slavish condition. He stopped sympathy with the fertile regions of the Great Valley, in the specic payments of the bank, and made its notes the which the natural power of this Union—the power of der in council for this purpose; in the saine year an act of
lawful currency of the land. In 1797 he obtained an or. numbers--will be found to resiile long before the re- Parliament to confirm the order for a month, and afternewed term of a second charter would expire. By whom wards a scries of acts to continue it for twenty years. This is all this power to be exercised? By a directory of
was the reign of the bank. For twenty years it was a seven, (it may be,) governed by a majority, of four, (it dominant power in England, and, during that disastrous may be;) and none of these elected by the people, or
period, the public debt was increased about £400,000,000 responsible to them. Where is it to be exercised? At
sterling, equal nearly to two thousand millions of dollars, a single city, distant a thousand miles from some of and that by paper lojns from a bank which, according to the States, receiving the produce of none of them (ex- its own declarations, laud not a shilling to lend at the comcept one;) no interest in the welfare of any of them mencement of the period! I omit the rest. I say nothing (except one;) no commerce with the people; with of the general subjugation of the country banks, the rise branches in every State; and every branch subject to in the price of fooil
, the decline in wages, the increase of the secret and absolute orders of the supreme central crimes and taxes, the multiplication of lords and beggars, head: thus constituting a system of centralism, hostile and the frightful demoralization of society. Iomit all this. to the feilerative principle of our Union, encroaching I only seize the prominent figure in the picture, that of a upon the wealth and power of the States, and organized Government arrested in the midst of war and danger by upon a principle to give the highest effect to the greatest the veto of a moneyed corporation; and only permitted 10 power. This mass of power, thus concentrated, thus go on upon condition of assuming the odium of stopping ramified, and thus directed, must necessarily become, specie payments, and sustaining the promissory notes of under a prolonged existence, the absolute monopolist of an insolvent bank, as the lawful currency of the land. American money, the sole manufacturer of paper cur- This single figue sufficcs to fix the character of the times; rency, and the sole authority (for authority it will be) to for when the Government becomes the “ serrant of the which the Federal Government, the State Governments, lender,” the people themselves become its slaves. Cannot