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for the present in our impost rates, the effect of the gradual reduction now in progress in many of them not being sufficiently tested to guide us in determining the precise amount of revenue which they will produce.

Free from public debt, at peace with all the world, and with no complicated interests to consult in our intercourse with foreign Powers, the present may be hailed as that epoch in our history the most favorable for the settlement of those principles in our domestic policy, which shall be best calculated to give stability to our republic, and secure the blessings of freedom to our citizens. Among these principles, from our past experience, it cannot be doubted that simplicity in the character of the Federal Government, and a rigid economy in its administration, should be regarded as fundamental and sacred. All must be sensible that the existence of the public debt, by rendering taxation necessary for its extinguishment, has increased the difficulties which are inseparable from any exercise of the taxing power; and that it was, in this respect, a remote agent in producing those disturbing questions which grew out of the discussions relating to the tariff. If such has been the tendency of a debt incurred in the acquisition and maintenance of our national rights and liberties, the obligation of which all portions of the Union cheerfully acknowledged, it must be obvious, that whatever is calculated to increase the burdens of Government without necessity, must be fatal to all our hopes of preserving its true character. While we are felicitating ourselves, therefore, upon the extinguishment of the national debt, and the prosperous state of our finances, let us not be tempted to depart from those sound maxims of public policy, which enjoin a just adaptation of the revenue to the expenditures that are consistent with a rigid economy, and an entire abstinence from all topics of legislation that are not clearly within the constitutional powers of the Government, and suggested by the wants of the country. Properly regarded, under such a policy, every diminution of the public burdens, arising from taxation, gives to individual enterprise increased power, and furnishes to all the members of our happy confederacy new motives for patriotic affection and support. But, above all, its most important effect will be found in its influence upon the character of the Government, by confining its action to those objects which will be sure to secure to it the attachment and support of our fellow-citizens.

Circumstances make it my duty to call the attention of Congress to the Bank of the United States. Created for the convenience of the Government, that institution has become the scourge of the people. Its interference to postpone the payment of a portion of the national debt, that it might retain the public money appropriated for that purpose, to strengthen it in a political contest; the extraordinary extension and contraction of its accommodations to the community; its corrupt and partisan loans; its exclusion of the public directors from a knowledge of its most important proceedings; the unlimited authority conferred on the president to expend its funds in hiring writers, and procuring the execution of printing, and the use made of that authority; the retention of the pension money and books after the selection of new agents; the groundless claim to heavy damages, in consequence of the protest of the bill drawn on the French Government, have, through various channels, been laid before Congress. Immediately after the close of the last ses

sion, the Bank, through its president, announced its ability and readiness to abandon the system of unparalleled curtailment, and the interruption of domestic exchanges, which it had practised upon from the 1st of August, 1833, to the 30th of June, 1834, and to extend its accommodations to the community. The grounds assumed in this annunciation amounted to an acknowledgment that the curtailment, in the extent to which it had been carried, was not necessary to the safety of the Bank, and had been persisted in merely to induce Congress to grant the prayer of the Bank in its memorial relative to the removal of the deposites, and to give it a new charter. They were substantially a confession that all. the real distresses which individuals and the country had endured for the preceding six or eight months, had been needlessly produced by it, with the view of affecting, through the sufferings of the people, the legislative action of Congress. It is a subject of congratulation that Congress and the country had the virtue and firmness to bear the infliction; that the energies of our people soon found relief from this wanton tyranny, in vast importations of the precious metals from almost every part of the world; and that, at the close of this tremendous effort to control our Government, the Bank found itself powerless, and no longer able to loan out its surplus means. The community had learned to manage its affairs without its assistance, and trade had already found new auxiliaries; so that, on the 1st of October last, the extraordinary spectacle was presented of a National Bank, more than one-half of whose capital was either lying unproductive in its vaults, or in the hands of foreign bankers.

To the needless distresses brought on the country during the last session of Congress, has since been added the open seizure of the dividends on the public stock, to the amount of one hundred and seventy thousand and forty-one dollars, under pretence of paying damages, cost, and interest, upon the protested French bill. This sum constituted a portion of the estimated revenues for the year 1834, upon which the appropriations made by Congress were based. It would as soon have been expected that our collectors would seize on the customs, or the receivers of our land offices on the moneys arising from the sale of public lands, under pretences of claims against the United States, as that the Bank would have retained the dividends. Indeed, if the principle be established that any one who chooses to set up a claim against the United States may, without authority of law, seize on the public property or money wherever he can find it, to pay such claim, there will remain no assurance that our revenue will reach the Treasury, or that it will be applied after the appropriation to the purposes designated in the law. The paymasters of our army, and the pursers of our navy, may, under like pretences, apply to their own use moneys appropriated to set in motion the public force, and in time of war leave the country without defence. This measure, resorted to by the Bank, is disorganizing and revolutionary, and, if generally resorted to by private citizens in like cases, would fill the land with anarchy and violence.

It is a constitutional provision, that "no money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law." The palpable object of this provision is to prevent the expenditure of the public money, for any purpose whatsoever, which shall not have been first approved by the representatives of the people and the States in

Congress assembled. It vests the power of declaring for what purposes the public money shall be expended, in the Legislative Department of the Government, to the exclusion of the Executive and Judicial, and it is not within the constitutional authority of either of those departments to pay it away without law, or to sanction its payment. According to this plain constitutional provision, the claim of the Bank can never be paid without an appropriation by act of Congress. But the Bank has never asked for an appropriation. It attempts to defeat the provision of the constitution, and obtain payment without an act of Congress. Instead of awaiting an appropriation passed by both Houses, and approved by the President, it makes an appropriation for itself, and invites an appeal to the Judiciary to sanction it. That the money had not technically been paid into the Treasury, does not affect the principle intended to be established by the constitution. The Executive and Judiciary have as little right to appropriate and expend the public money without authority of law, before it is placed to the credit of the Treasurer, as to take it from the Treasury. In the annual report of the Secretary of the Treasury, and in his correspondence with the president of the Bank, and the opinions of the Attorney General accompanying it, you will find a further examination of the claims of the Bank, and the course it has pursued.

It seems due to the safety of the public funds remaining in that Bank, and to the honor of the American people, that measures be taken to separate the Government entirely from an institution so mischievous to the public prosperity, and so regardless of the constitution and laws. By transferring the public deposites, by appointing other pension agents, as far as it had the power, by ordering the discontinuance of the receipt of bank checks in payment of the public dues after the first day of January next, the Executive has exerted all its lawful authority to sever the connexion between the Government and this faithless corporation.

The high-handed career of this institution imposes upon the constitutional functionaries of this Government, duties of the gravest and most imperative character-duties which they cannot avoid, and from which I trust there will be no inclination on the part of any of them to shrink. My own sense of them is most clear, as is also my readiness to discharge those which may rightfully fall on me. To continue any business relations with the Bank of the United States, that may be avoided without a violation of the national faith, after that institution has set at open defiance the conceded right of the Government to examine its affairs; after it has done all in its power to deride the public authority in other respects, and to bring it into disrepute at home and abroad; after it has attempted to defeat the clearly expressed will of the people, by turning against them the immense power entrusted to its hands, and by involving a country otherwise peaceful, flourishing, and happy, in dissension, embarrassment, and distress, would make the nation itself a party to the degradation so sedulously prepared for its public agents, and do much to destroy the confidence of mankind in popular Governments, and to bring into contempt their authority and efficiency. In guarding against an evil of such magnitude, considerations of temporary convenience should be thrown out of the question, and we should be influenced by such motives only as look to the honor and preservation of the republican system. Deeply and solemnly impressed with the justice of these views,

I feel it to be my duty to recommend to you that a law be passed authorizing the sale of the public stock; that the provision of the charter requiring the receipt of notes of the Bank in payment of public dues, shall, in accordance with the power reserved to Congress in the 14th section of the charter, be suspended until the Bank pays to the Treasury the dividends withheld; and that all laws connecting the Government or its officers with the Bank, directly or indirectly, be repealed; and that the institution be left hereafter to its own resources and means.

Events have satisfied my mind, and I think the minds of the American people, that the mischiefs and dangers which flow from a National Bank far overbalance all its advantages. The bold effort the present Bank has made to control the Government, the distresses it has wantonly produced, the violence of which it has been the occasion in one of our cities famed for its observance of law and order, are but premonitions of the fate which awaits the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution, or the establishment of another like it. It is fervently hoped that, thus admonished, those who have heretofore favored the establishment of a substitute for the present Bank, will be induced to abandon it, as it is evidently better to incur any inconvenience that may be reasonably expected, than to concentrate the whole moneyed power of the republic, in any form whatsoever, or under any restrictions.

Happily it is already illustrated that the agency of such an institution is not necessary to the fiscal operations of the Government. The State banks are found fully adequate to the performance of all services which were required of the Bank of the United States, quite as promptly, and with the same cheapness. They have maintained themselves, and discharged all these duties, while the Bank of the United States was still powerful, and in the field as an open enemy; and it is not possible to conceive that they will find greater difficulties in their operations, when that enemy shall cease to exist.

The attention of Congress is earnestly invited to the regulation of the deposites in the State banks, by law. Although the power now exercised by the Executive Department in this behalf is only such as was uniformly exerted through every administration from the origin of the Government up to the establishment of the present Bank, yet it is one which is susceptible of regulation by law, and, therefore, ought so to be regulated. The power of Congress to direct in what places the Treasurer shall keep the moneys in the Treasury, and to impose restrictions upon the Executive authority, in relation to their custody and removal, is unlimited, and its exercise will rather be courted than discouraged by those public officers and agents on whom rests the responsibility for their safety. It is desirable that as little power as possible should be left to the President or Secretary of the Treasury over those institutions, which, being thus freed from Executive influence, and without a common head to direct their operations, would have neither the temptation nor the ability to interfere in the political conflicts of the country. Not deriving their charters from the national authorities, they would never have those inducements to meddle in general elections, which have led the Bank of the United States to agitate and convulse the country for upwards of two years. The progress of our gold coinage is creditable to the officers of the mint, and promises in a short period to furnish the country with a sound

and portable currency, which will much diminish the inconvenience to travelers of the want of a general paper currency, should the State banks be ir capable of furnishing it. Those institutions have already shown them selve s competent to purchase and furnish domestic exchange for the convenier ice of trade, at reasonable rates, and not a doubt is entertained that in a short period, all the wants of the country, in bank accommodatior is and in exchange, will be supplied as promptly and cheaply as they have heretofore been by the Bank of the United States. If the several States s' hall be induced gradually to reform their banking systems, and P cohibit the issue of all small notes, we shall, in a few years, have a curency is sound, and as little liable to fluctuations, as any other commercial country.

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'The report of the Secretary of War, together with the accompanying documents from the several bureaux of that department, will exhibit the situati on of the various objects committed to its administration.


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No event has occurred since your last session, rendering necessary any move ments of the army, with the exception of the expedition of the regiment of dragoons into the territory of the wandering and predatory tribe s inhabiting the western frontier, and living adjacent to the Mexican bour dary. These tribes have been heretofore known to us principally other Indians entitled to by their attacks upon our own citizens, and upon ry for the peace the protection of the United States. It became necess. of the frontiers to check these habitual inroads, and I am you that the object has been effected without the commission of au of hostility. Col. Dodge, and the troops under his command, have acteu with equal firmness and humanity, and an arrangement has been made with those Indians, which it is hoped will assure their permanent pacific relations with the United States, and the other tribes of Indians upon that border. It is to be regretted that the prevalence of sickness in that quarter has deprived the country of a number of valuable lives, and particularly that Gen. Leavenworth, an officer well known and esteemed for his gallant services during the late war, and for subsequent good conduct, has fallen a victim to his zeal and exertions in the discharge of his duty.

The army is in a high state of discipline. Its moral condition, so far as that is known here, is good, and the various branches of the public service are carefully attended to. It is amply sufficient, under its present organization, for providing the necessary garrisons for the seaboard, and for the defence of the internal frontier, and also for preserving the elements of military knowledge, and for keeping pace with those improvements which modern experience is continually making. And these objects appear to me to embrace all the legitimate purposes for which a permanent military force should be maintained in our country. The lessons of history teach us its danger, and the tendency which exists to an increase. This can be best met and averted by a just caution on the part of the public itself, and of those who represent them in Congress.

From the duties which devolve on the Engineer Department, and upon the topographical engineers, a different organization seems to be demanded by the public interest, and I recommend the subject to your consideration.

No important change has, during this season, taken place in the con


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