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APRIL 23, 1836.)
tive at once exercised the power to select and appoint gives the control over it to Congress, yet Congress is as many banks as he pleased, and to place the public allowed to do nothing. Congress, and not the States, moneys in their hands on just such terms and conditions had the coining power; yet the States issue paper as a as he pleased.
substitute for coin, and Congress is not supposed to be There is not a more palpable evidence of the constant able to regulaie, control, or redeem it. We have the bias of this Government to a wrong tendency, than this sole power over the currency; but we possess no means continued attempt to make legislative power yield to of exercising that power. Congress can create no bank, that of the Executive. The restriction of the just au- regulated by law, but the Executive can appoint twenty thority of Congress is followed in every case by the in or fifty banks, without any law whatever.
A very pecrease of the power of the Executive. What was it that culiar state of things exists in this country at this mocaused the destruction of the United States Bank, and ment-a country in the highest state of prosperity; more put the whole moneyed power of the country into the bountifully blest by Providence in all things than any hands of one man? Constitutional doubts of the power other nation on earth, and yet in the midst of great peof Congress! What has produced this superabundance cuniary distress, its finances deranged, and an increasing of money in the Treasury? Constitutional doubts of the want of confidence felt in its circulation. But the expower of Congress! In ihe whole history of this admin. periment was to cure all this. A few select and favorite istration, doctrines had obtained, whose direct tendency banks were to give us a secure currency, one better and was to detract from the settled and long-practised power more practically beneficial than that of the United States of Congress, and to give, in full measure, hand over Bank. And here is the result, or, rather, to use the exhand, every thing into the control of the Executive pression of Monsieur Talleyrand, here is "the beginning Did gentlemen wish him to exemplify the truth of this? of the end." Let them look at the bank bill, the land bill, and the We were told that these banks would do as well, if various bills which have been negatived respecting in. not a great deal better, for all the purposes of exchange, ternal improvements.
than the United States Bank; thai they could negotiate Gentlemen now speak of returning to a specie basis. as cheaply and with as much safety; and yet the late is Did any man suppose it practicable? The resolution now one and a half, if not two per cent between Cinnow under consideration contemplated that, after the cinnati and New York. Indeed, exchanges are all de current year, all payments for the public lands were 10 ranged, and in confusion. Sometimes they are at high be made in specie. Now, if he (Mi'. W.) had brought rates, both ways, between two points. Looking, then, forward a proposition like this, he would at once have to the state of the currency, the insecurity of the public been accused of being opposed to the settlement of the pioney, and the rates of exchange, let me ask any honest new States. It would have been urged that speculators and intelligent man, of whatever party, what has been and capitalists could easily carry gold and silver to the the result of these experiments? Does any gentleman West, by sea or land, while the cultivator, who wished still doubt? Let him look to the disclosures made by to purchase a small farm, would be compelled to give the circular of one of the deposite banks of Ohio, which the former bis own price for the land, because he could was read by an honorable Senator here a day or two visit large cities, or other places where it was to be since. That bank would not receive the noies of the found, and procure the specie. These arguments would specie paying banks of that State from the land office, have met him, he was sure, had he introduced a meas as I understand the circular, or, at any rate, it tells the ure like this. If specie payments were to be made for lanci office that it will not. llere are thirty or forty public dues, he should suppose it best to begin with tlie specie paying banks in Ohio, all of good credit, and out customs, which were payable in large cities, where gold of the whole number three were to be selected, entitled and silver could be more easily procured than on the to no more confidence than the olliers, whose notes frontiers. But whether from speculators, or settlers, to be taken for public lands. If gentlemen what was the use of these specie payments? The money from the West and Southwest are satisfied with this ar. was dragged over the mountains to be dragged back rangement, I certainly commend greatly their quiescent again: that was all. The purchaser of public lands temperament. would buy gold by bills on the eastern cities; it would As be said in the commencement of his remarks, lie go across the country in panniers or wagons; the land knew of nothing he could do in regard to the resolution office would send it back agiin by the return carriage, except to sit still and see how far gentlemen would go, and thus create the useless expense of transportation. and what this state of things would end in. Here was
He had from the very first looked upon all these this vast surplus revenue wder no control whalever, schemes as totally idle and illusory; not in accordance and, from appearances, though the session was nearly with the practice of other nations, or suited to our own over, likely to remain so. Two measures of the highest policy, or our own active condition. But the effect of importance had been proposed: one to diminish this this resolution: what would it be? Let then try it. Let fund; another to secure its safety. He wished to unthem go on. Let them add to the catalogue of projects. derstand, and the country to know, whether any thing Let them cause every man in the West, who has a five was to be done with either of these propositions. For dollar bank note in his pocket, to set off, post haste, to the his own part, he believed that a national bank was the bank, lest somebody else should get there before, and only security for the national treasure; but, as there was get out all the money, and then buy land. How long no such institution, a more extended use should be would the western banks stand this!' Yet, if gentlemen made of this treasure, and in its distribution 110 preferplease, let them go on.
I shall dissent; I shall protest; ence should be given, as was the fact in the instance of I shall speak my opinions; but I shall still say, go on, the banks of Ohio, to which he had just alluded. In gentlemen, and let us see the upshot of your experi some way or other this fund must be distributed. It is mental policy.
absolutely necessary. The provisions of the land bill The currency of the country was, to a great degree, seemed io him eminently calculated to effect this ob. in the power of all the banking companies in the great ject; but that measure should not be adopted, he cities. He was as much opposed to the increase of these would give his vote to any proper and equitable measinstitutions as any one; but the evil had begun, and could ure which might be brought forward, let it come from not be resisted. What one State does, another will do also. what quarter it migh. lin all probability, there would Danger and misfortunes appear to be threatening the be a dimination in the amount of land sales for some currency of the country; and although the constitution time to come. The purchases of the last year, le sup
(Arril 23, 1836.
posed, had exceeded the demands of emigration. They ator, proclaimed with great confidence, and how have were made by speculators for the purpose of holding they been fulfilled? up lands for increased prices. The spirit of specula Why, we are now told that our affairs are in a very tion, indeed, seemed to be very much directed to the alarming situation, and that the country is threatened acquisition of the public lands. He could not say what with the most serious calamities; not from an exbausted would be the further progress, or where the end, of treasury, as was then said, but from an overflowing one; these things; but he thought one thing quite clear, and from an excess in the revenue, unprecedented and alarmthat was, that the existing surplus ought to be dis- ing. From whence has the surplus in the treasury protributerl.
ceeded? Is it not the result of ihe activity of business, He repeated, that he intended no detailed opposition and the unexampled prosperity of the country? There to the measure now before the Senate; and had he been has, no doubt, been an improper espansion given to in his seat, he should not have opposed the amendment the credit system; and, as a consequence of that, the to the pension bill. Let the experiments, one and all, spirit of over-trading and speculation has prevailed, have their course. He should do nothing except to which have contributed, in part, to the uprecedented vote against all these visionary projects, until the coun
increase of revenue. But what measures of this Govern. try should become convinced that a sound currency, ment have produced these results? We are told it is all and with it a general security for property, and the owing to the schemes and experiments of those who have earnings of honest labor, were things of too much im. directed public affairs. What schemes and experiments portance to be sacrificed to mere projects, whether po. does the gentleman allude to? I know of none, I belitical or financial.
lieve there have been none; the schemes and experiMr. NILES said there were two subjects which were ments have been on the other side. The administration drawn into almost every debate, whatever the particular has proposed no new schemes, has tried no experiments, question may be before the Senate. The distribution but bas rather sought to get rid of the schemes of of the proceeds of the public lands and the surplus l'ev others, who, by the questionable excrcise of the power's enue were topics which certain Senators, on almost all of this Governinent, had created agents to manage ils occasions, brought under consideration.
fiscal concerns. The administration has sought to reOn a question recently before us, no way connected turn to the natural and ordinary course of things, and to with that subject, the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. disconnect the treasury with a powerful and dangerous Clar) favored the Senate with a speech in support of moneyed corporation. They have preferred to employ his land bill; and the resolution offered by the gentle. such agents, so far as any are necessary, in the manageman from Missouri (Mr. BENTON) has furnished an occa ment of the finances, whether natural or artificial, as thie sion for the speech we have just heard from the Senator country afforded, without creating them by the exercise from Massachusetts (Mr. Websten) in relation to the of doubtful powers. surplus revenue, the state of the finances, the deposite The present state of things is said to be unexampled; banks, the Bank of the United States, and other mat. that, in the midst of apparent prosperity, when proper. ters.
ty of all descriptions is in demand, and prices at the We have been told by the honorable Senator that the highest point, there is an unprecedented pressure for present evils, which he represenis to be very alarining, money, and much distress in the commercial community. have all arisen from putting down the Bank of the Uni- This is not a stale of things so extraordinary as the Senated States, and changing the deposite of the public rev. tor seems to suppose; the history of our country aflords enue from that bank to certain State banks. But he many examples of this kind. It is only necessary to go has not informeil us how these evils have arisen from a back to 1818, when it will be found that the condivion of cause which has no necessary tendency to produce such affairs was remarkably similar. Then properly was in results. We have the naked, unsustained assertion of demand, and prices were high; yet the pressure for the gentleman, in strong and emphatic language, but money was great, and the embarrassment and distress of we have no reasons or explanations.
the whole trading community was severe, and almost He says he foresaw these alarming consequences at
unexampled. This pressure and distress continued for the time, when he raised his warning voice against the three years, and the evil could only be corrected by that experiments about to be introduced in regard to the severe but necessary remedy, the long and distressing currency and the finances. lle not only claims credit reaction which followed over-trading, over-banking, and for his sagacity and wisdom, but for the gist of prophe- ruinous speculation. Such were the causes which procy. Whatever claims the Senator may have for judg. duced the distress at that time; and it is similar causes ment and sigacity, I think his pretensions to be a pro. which have produced similar results at this time. And pliet will liardly be admitted. What (said Mr. N.) among the causes which occasioned the ruinous speculawere the Senator's predictions two years ago? Did he lions, and gave such a dangerous expansion to credit, not then repeatedly, and with all that power of expres- and the undue extension of all kinds of business, was the sion and emphalic manner which belongs to him, de conduct of the Bank of the United States. That insti. clare that the money pressure and distress whicli then tution, which, we are now told, as the country has so prevailed, must continuie, and would continue, until the often been heretofore, was a regulator of the currency, public deposites were restored, and the Bank of the exerted the most pernicious agency in infating the United States was rechartered? This was then asserted whole credit system. I have, said Mr. N., some facts in to be the only remedy for the existing evils, both in re relation to this subject before me, which I had collected gard to private credit, the general interest of ihe coun for a different purpose, to which I will beg to call the try, and the condition of the national finances. It was attention of the Senate. The bank, in its intancy, when then emphatically said that the interruption of the con but a small portion of its capital had been paid in, ennexion between ihe Treasury and the Bank of the Uni- gendered a spirit of speculation, which it intused into ted States, the refusal to employ that institution as the the whole trading community. From July, 1817, to fiscal agent of the Government, would derange the February, 1818, a period of about eight months, the currency, impair public and private credit, and impov.
bank increased its loans from four millions to forly-two erish the Treasury; that the revenue would rapidly' fall millions; an increase of thirty-eight millions in 'eight off, and that the finances of the country could not be months, and at a period when the currency and bankmanaged without the aid of the United States Bank, as ing capital of the count:y were not one half what they a fiscal agent. These were the predictions of the Sen. are at this time. This was equal 10 a sudden expansion
April 23, 1836.]
of credit, at the present period, of seventy or eighty Sir, (said Mr. N.,) the Senator tells us that the veto millions. This was necessarily followed by a corre of the land bill has occasioned the present surplus, and sponding enlargement of discounts by the State banks. given the Executive the control over it. This may be The consequence was, that money became plenty, and true; but does it prove that the veto was wrongfully exproperly appreciated in value. But this state of things ercised? If that bill had passed, and the money had could not continue; a reaction speedily followed, and been distributed among the States, it is very clear that the bank became an efficient agent in producing the it would not now be in your treasury. But the great reaction, as it had been in causing the expansion. To question then was, and is now pending before Congress, save itself, it was obliged to commence a rapid system of whether that was a constitutional, rightful, and proper curtailment, anı?, in July, 1818, ordered the reduction disposition of the revenue of the United States--of the of five millions of the line of its discounts; in October, common fund of the people of the United States. The two millions more; and by December, its loans to indi President thought it was not; and, as the representative viduals had been reduced twelve millions. But, with of the people in one department of the Government, he these rapid reductions, the bank was scarcely able to exercised ihe power which the constitution had confersave itself from destruction, and came very near being red upon him, in opposition to the will of a majority of forced to suspend payment. This sudden expansion both Houses of Congress. The President, as the Chief and contraction of the currency and of credit brought on Executive Magistrate, and the representative of the the country a state of embarrassment and distress sel. people, exercised a power which they had conferred dom equalled, and which continued for three years; upon him, to check what he regarded as an unconstithousands were ruined, and the whole community suffer. tutional and dangerous exercise of power on the part of ed severely. This was when the bank was in its infancy, this Government. He assumed a bigh responsibility, before it had assumed a political character, and when a because he believed that the interests of the country respirit of gain and speculation alone controlled its action. quired it; he opposed himself to the majority of both Such were the early and bitter fruits of this corporation, Houses of Congress; he looked beyond the representawhich, we are told, is necessary to regulate the currency, tives of the people here; he looked to the people themand give stability to public and private credit. Similar selves; he threw himself on public opinion, and was Auctuations have marked its course at subsequent periods. triumphantly sustained. He assumed, it is true, a fear
Sir, (said Mr. N.,) the bonorable Senator from Massa ful responsibility; for that law, more than any other that chusetts [ Mr. WEBSTER]informs us that, in every instance, ever emanated from Congress, appealed directly to the the exercise of !he veto has operated to swell the accu. interests, to all the passions calculated to warp and mulating power of the Executive. He says the veto on sway the judgment; upon its very face it was little short the bill for rechartering the bank gave the President of a bribe to the people of all the States; but their inentire control over the public revenue; and that his veto tegrity, good sense, and sound judgment, had hitherto of the land bill tended to the same result, as it prevent. stood firm, erect as a tower of strength, unseduced, uned the distribution of the revenue, which has occasion. | corrupted; but how long they may be able to withstand ed the present surplus, which the Executive now uses the influences of such a measure remains to be known. and controls. A declaration like this, (said Mr. N.,) Sir, (said Mr. N.,) I have a great confidence in the coming from such a source—from the Senator who has people, and the longer I live, and the more I become assumed a sort of guardianship over the constitution-- acquainted with public affairs, the stronger does this con. he heard with astonishment. llow does the refusal of fidence become, while my confidence in the agents they the President to approve of the act of Congress operate are obliged to employ to execute the public trusts is to augment his own power, and especially when the re proportionally diminished. He spoke generally, withi. refusal is on the ground that the act is not within the out any reference to parties or individuals. The popconstitutional competency of this Government? lle ular will, if we look to its source, will always be found should like to hear the honorable Senator, who is re. honest and pure; but, like the stream flowing from a garded by many as the great expounder of the constitu- / pure fountain, which becomes turbid in its course, the tion, explain this point. The Executive is a co-ordinate popular will, before it reaches the point to become branch of this Government, and, in this respect, is on consummated in action, is, in a greater or less degree, an equality with Congress. No power granted, or adulterated and corrupted. If the will of the people claimed to be granted, can be exercised without the could be carried out; if they could speak for themselves concurrence of the legislative and executive depart from the plantations, farms, and workshops; if their ments of the Government. If either refuse to act, and voicc could be heard and heeded in the balls of legisladeny or doubt the existence of the power, it appeareil | tion, whether here or in the States, not only the Bank to him that the necessary result was the non-user of the of the United States, which the Senator from Massachu. power, and if the power is not exercised, or is denied to setts seems still to regard as so essential to the public this Government, it of course remains among the re interests, but all the State banks, and all other corpornserved powers, and belongs to the States or the people. tions calculated to interrupt the natural diffusion of The action of Congress, by two thirds of both Houises, wealth, and to concentrate it in the hands of a few; all would be an exception to the general principle here corporations, the object of which is to advance the genlaid down. It was a strange doctrine to him, that the de. eral interests of society, through the special interests of nial of any power to this Government, by either of the a few, which confer power and wealth on the few as three co-ordinate departments, would operate to trans means of benefiting the whole, should be swept away fer that power to either of the other branches of the as with the besom of destruction. Government. He had supposed that directly the con The distribution bill belongs to this class of measures; trary was the result; that the exercise of any power it proposes to divide among the Sta!es the funds which required the concurrence of the three co-ordinale belong to the people of the Union, and which it is the branches, and that the denial by one destroyed the power, duty of this Government to apply to constitutional and or at least prevented its exercise altogether, and left it proper objects, beneficial to the whole country, within amung the reserved powers in the States, or in the peo the sphere of our own action, and without stepping over ple. It is not the non-uiser, but the exercise of doubt. those limits presented to us. If this surplus be dangerful powers by Congress, with the concurrence of the ous and corrupting here, will it be less so in the States? President, by which the sphere of executive action and If there be a scramble for it here, will there be less elseauthority is enlarged.
where? But he would not pursue this subject. Vol. XII.-80
(APRIL 23, 1836.
Mr. BENTON said he did not expect, when he offer Nothing could be more appropriate for a historian ed this resolution, that it would give rise to any debate, than to revicw the doctrines which had been advanced and he had no intention now to prolong the discussion; with regard to executive power, and the means by which he was too well satisfied with the declaration of the Sen it was sought to increase it. The President himself first ator from Massachusetts, that he would not oppose the advanced the doctrine, and it had been repeated there, resolution, to reply to some other observations he had that the President of the United States was the sole repmade. He well remembered a proposition made by that resentative of the people of the United States. Did gentleman, which was much stronger than the measure the constitution make him so? Did the constitution now contemplated, and which was hailed with approbation acknowledge any other representative of the people throughout every portion of the country. He was cer than the members of the other House? But it had tainly too well satisfied with the declaration of the gen. been found extremely convenient to those who wished tleman to make any reply to his remarks. All that he to increase the President's power to give him this would now say would be comprehended in few words. title. This claim of the President reminded him of He wished to get back to the currency spoken of in the a remark he heard made many years ago by a member act of 1789 for the Government—this was the constitu. of the House of Representatives. That gentleman had tional currency for the Government. With that of the voted against the first Bank of the United States, and States he had nothing to do. All his movements (Mr. had changed his mind, and was about to vote for the B. said) tended to this one point-to get back to a con. second. if, said the gentleman, the people have given stitutional currency.
us the power to make a bank, we can do it; and if they Mr. WEBSTER said the gentleman from Missouri had | bave not, we are the representatives of the people, and referred to the resolution of 1816; and he would beg can take the power. And this was the doctrine applied leave to make a brief explanation in reference to the to the President as the peculiar representative of the part he bore in it. The events of the war had greatly people. The constitution gave bim a modicum of power, deranged the currency of the country, and a great pecu. and he, claiming the lion's part, took all the rest. This niary pressure was felt from one end of the continent to was the result of that overwhelming personal popularity the other. The war took place in 1812, and not two which led men to disregard all the ancient maxims of the months of it had passed before there was a cessation of founders of this Government, and to yield up all power specie payments by at least two thirds of all the banks into the hands of one man. They could not now even of the country. So strong was the pressure, that although quote the doctrines of Mr. Jefferson without being the enemy blockaked the Chesapeake, so that not a bar. scouted, and they could not resist any power claimed by rel of pork or flour could be sent to market, yet the the Executive, however arbitrary, but must yield up prices of these articles rose fifty per cent. This state of every thing to him by one universal confidence, because things continued; the collectors of the customs every he was the representative of the people. where received the notes of their own local banks for Mr. NILES said, in reply to the Senator from Massa duties payable at their own places, but would not receive chusetts, (Mr. Webster,] that in one particular, and one the bills of the banks of the other cities. And what was only, the refusal to recharter the Bank of the United the consequence? Why, at the close of the session of States, and the withdrawal of the deposites from that in. Congress, a member, if he had been fortunate enough stitution, had increased the power of the Executive over to preserve any of his pay, bad to give twenty-five per the revenue. The Secretary of the Treasury, or the cent. to get the money received here exchanged for President, if the gentleman pleases so to have it, had money that he could carry home. Another effect of this the selecting of the banks in which the public revenues state of the currency was this: The constitution pro. were deposited. But, in all other respects, his author. vided that, in the regulation of commerce or revenue, ity over the revenue was the same as before; and in this no preference should be given to the ports of one State particular is the same as it was before the incorporation over those of another. Yet Baltimore, for instance, of the Bank of the United States. It was only a prowhich had the exchange against her, had an advantage, vision in the charter of a private corporation which conby the payment of her duties in the bills of her banks, trolled the action of the Secretary, and that charter bad and had the advantage of at least twenty-five per cent. now expired. But if there had been no law to regulate over some northern cities. The resolution then intro- and direct the Secretary in the discharge of his duty in duced by him was to provide that the revenue should be relation to the revenue, he did not know that it was the equally paid in all parts of the United States; and what fault of the President. To show that he had assumed was the effect of it? The bank bill had just passed, power in this matter, it must be shown that he had veand the resolution was, that all debts due ibe Govern- ioed a law regulating the deposites, or opposed the ac. ment should be paid in the legal coin, in notes of the tion of Congress. But (said Mr. N.) the honorable Bank of the United States, or in notes of banks that Senator seems to ridicule the idea that the President is paid coin on demand. That was the operation of the law the representative of the people. Perhaps, in a limof 1816, rendered ahsolutely necessary by the existing ited sense of the expression, he is not strictly correct, state of things.
as, in that sense of the term, it means a member of a The gentleman from Connecticut inquired whether legislative body; but in a more general sense, and in the omission to use the powers of Congress necessarily the way he (Mr. N.) had used the expression, it was increased that of the Executive? He would put a poser strictly correct to call the President the representative to the gentleman. The President himself admitted that of the people. He was the Chief Executive Magistrate, it was the appropriate duty of Congress to take the pub- chosen directly by the people; for the electoral body lic treasure into its hands, and appoint agents to take was, in practice, only useless machinery. The Presicare of it. The gentleman bimself must admit this; for dent was chosen by the people to execute the executive he supposed that he did not go the lengths of the Sena powers of the Government; his appointment was a poptor from Tennessee in being willing that things should ular one, and he was the representative of the people to remain as they were. Then, if it was their duty to take execute those powers of the Government which the care of the national treasure, and they did not do it, it constitution confided to him. He was the representawould go into the hands of the Executive. Was not the tive of the people for certain purposes as much as the custody of the national treasure power? and if they members of Congress were for other purposes. neglected to use this power, did they not augment the The Senator says that the Executive, as President of power of the Executive
The United States, exercises those powers conferred on
APRIL 23, 1836.)
him by the constitution; and as the representative of the would ensue, was what I did apprehend, and no one people, he exercises such powers as he sees fit, on his will now contend that that apprehension was groundless. assumed powers. This observation was entirely gratui Such, too, I believe, was the general opinion on this tous, and not authorized by any thing he (Mr. N.) had
side of the Senate at that time; and some gentleman said. In speaking of the President as the representative may have gone further, and spoken of a deficient treas. of the people, he did not use the term in reference to ury; but I recollect no such thing, and I am well aware his powers, but solely in reference to his responsi. that such was not the general opinion of the party with bility, to his relation to the people, as a popular officer. whom I acted. The yearly receipts into the treasury Whether he was regarded rightfully and properly as the from all sources, for two or three years prior to the representative of the people or not, would neither en. time of the discussion, had been more than thirty mil. large nor diminish his powers; for, if it was correct, as
lions—the wants of the Government did not, in our eshe (Mr. N.) believed it to be, to regard the President as timation, exceed half that sum; we therefore did not (at the representative of the people, he was their repre
least I did not,) after reflecting on the subject fully, supsentative, under the constitution, clothed with the au• pose that any tampering with the finances and the busithority which that conferred upon him; it was for that ness of the country, whatever private distres it might purpose that the people elected him, and in that sense occasion, would leave the treasury without a sum large he was their representative.
enough, and too large, for all the legitimate purposes to Mr. WEBSTER remarked that it was the best course which it would be applied. The gentlemen who made when a gentleman replied to another, to use his very
this charge happen not to have been members of this words as far as his recollection permitted him. He had body at that time; and I agree with the Senator from noticed, on other occasions, that the Senator from Con Pennsylvania, that a foreigner who should have got his necticut gave his own language as that of the gentleman opinion of us by reading the Globe, would think us the he was replying to, put his own construction upon it, strangest and most inconsistent people on earth. and then replied to this man of straw. He hoped that What we did predict was this: that, in consequence the gentleman would, when he quoted him in future,
of the violent and illegal attack of the Executive upon use his exact language, and not put into his mouth words the Bank of the United States, that Bank would be comthat he did not use. The gentleman, in speaking of the pelled to call in its debts, and contract its issues. That President, used the term representative of the People,
these defensive measures must be taken, and that they precisely in the meaning of the term as applied to a
must be persevered in so long as the Executive continued member of the House of Representatives. Now, it was to wage his war against the bank. We predicted that impossible to believe in any idea of power pertaining to
this attack and defence would cause great pecuniary the President in this character. But he would remind pressure, and much individual distress. We predicted, the Senator that the President himself, in more than one
also, that the extension of banking capital, or rather communication, had claimed this character and power.
“the chartering of a host of new banks, with little or It would be found in the protest that he is the only sin
no increase of actual capital,” would be resorted to as gle representative of the people. Sir, (said Mr. W.,)
a remedy for the evil; that this would give rise to an exThis is the very essence of consolidation, and in the worst pansion of the paper currency; that this currency of hands. Do we not all know (said he) that the peo. | would become unsound, and unequal in value at differple have not one representative? Do we not know that ent points; that the price of exchange would become the States are divided into congressional districts, each high, and commercial transactions difficult; and those of which elects a representative, and that the States
of us who looked to the worst predicted a final crash themselves are represented by two members on that among the banks, and a return of the scenes which we floor? Do we not all know that it was carefully avoided
witnessed from 1818 to 1822. by the framers of the constitution to give him any such
These were, in fact, our predictions. Let any man power at all? He admitted that the President, in refer- who has eyes to see, and candor to acknowledge what ence to his popularity merely, was called, with great forces itself upon his vision, say how much of this has propriety, the representative of the people; but, in other
been realized, and how much is in progress towards respects, he was no more so than was the President of fulfilment. The pressure in 1834 every body felt, the old Congress. There was another false doctrine every body understood; the only question contested that was worth noticing, and that was, that every thing was, whether that pressure owed its origin to the blow which had been done by the President had been ap- of the assailant, or the struggles of the victim; but the proved of by the people, because they re-elected him. cause is immaterial; it was foretold by us when the Mr. EWING, of Ohio, said: I cannot forbear to say
blow was struck, and it is conceded that the consesomething in reply, not merely to remarks made here quence followed. The "host of local banks," with this day, but to others of some days past, which have
but little actual increase of the capital of the country, been permitted thus far to go unanswered. The Sena
has followed in its due order. Since June, 1834, the tor from Pennsylvania, near me, while speaking on an nominal banking capital in the United States bas inother subject, said " that a foreigner, who should have creased more than $100,000,000; the actual capital I heard us in 1834, and should hear us now, would think know not how much, probably not ten millions; and us the strangest people on earth; that then we were pre- the price of exchange has risen, even beyond the fears dicting bankruptcy io the treasury; now we were com.
of those who feared the worst; and as to our currency, plaining that this same treasury is full to overflowing;” | it is admitted on all sides to be in a state of extreme deand similar ideas have been thrown out to-day, in this rangement. The Senator from Missouri the other day debate, charging the former majority, now the minority very justly observed that our receipts for public lands in this body, with this inconsistency. Now, sir, a word were not of money, but of rags, almost valueless; and on that subject.
we all know why it is so. The deposite banks loan For one, I am conscious that I did not, in 1834, or at their bills to speculators, who pay it into the land offices, any other time, utter a prediction that our finances from which it is paid again into the deposite banks, and would be deficient, or our treasury, if we have any, thus perform the round of purchaser without the actual empty. I am much mistaken if I ever uttered such an accumulation of one dollar of available funds. It is but opinion. That great derangement in our finances would trash, and any man will feel it, and know it, if he look be the result of the violent and unwarranted measures of upon the statement of those banks, as laid on our tables the Executive, and that heavy losses to the treasury a few weeks since. With more than thirty-two millions