Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

H. or R.)

Abolition of Slavery.

(Jar. 16, 1837.

care.

ble was taken into consideration.

Cases may be found ought to be recognised in all legislation towards the where there was a want of proof of vigilance and ordi. mercantile community. These are the principles laid nary care, or where the property was insurable in the down in this report of the Committee of Ways and ordinary way, or where it has been exposed to new Means. And let it be established that, in those cases, and risks, against which the Government could not properly in those cases only, will Congress remit duties on goods be made a partner with the importers or owners. Such destroyed, where cases have been, and very properly, too, rejected. The 1st. The goods were, when destroyed, in their ori. last case of this kind, I believe, which was acted on by ginal state as imported, and had not entered into the Congress, was that of George and William Bangs, in mass of commodities destined for the immediate conJanuary, 1830. It was a case of goods destroyed by sumption of the country. fire. But, sir, on turning to the proceedings of the 20. Where the circumstances of the loss are such as House upon this case, I find it to bave been one clearly not only to excite no suspicion of fraud, but as expressly excluded by the principles of the report of the Com. and directly to exclude the possibility of it. millee of Ways and Means in the case before us. The 3d. Where the loss could not have been covered by case of Bangs* was one of neglect and want of ordinary ordinary insurance, or guarded against by the caution

The gentleman who is now the oldest Repre. and diligence of a vigilant and prudent man of business; sentative of Rhode Island upon this floor (Mr. Peance) and where the evidence to all these points is full, direct, was among the number who opposed the bill, and he unquestionable, and of the highest nature the case will opposed it on the ground that the argument urged in its permit. support "would establish a bad precedent"-"would Sir, I ask the allowance of this Dana case only upon lead to the conclusion that Government would guaran!y all those principles, as a case justified in every requirement goods imported, which, through neglect, might be des of those principles beyond any controversy or question. stroyed in the store, or which might be exported by I can conceive of no danger or possible injustice to the coastwise navigation from the North to the South.” He Treasury of the Government by adopting these fundamen. denied that there was any analogy between this case and ial rules of remission. I can conceive of no sound arguthat of the goods destroyed by fire at Savannah, and ment that can be adduced on the opposite side, that will upon which ihe duties were remitted.

not do injustice to the commercial interests of the country. The honorable chairman of the Committee of Ways Surely Government cannot desire to pursue a policy that and Means of the present House was also among the shall work injustice to the vigilant importing merchant, number who opposed the bill in favor of the Bangs. He nor to speculate upon bis inevitable misfortunes. If the did it expressly on the ground that "the effect of the merchant, under any case that can be conceived of as passage of the bill would be to encourage the importing coming within the principles I have adverted to as the merchants to neglect their business. He attributed the just ones to control this case, can starid up against the fact of this claim being made to the remissness of the loss incurred, without any fault on his part, of the ori. importer, who ought, as every merchant who knows his ginal cost and expenses of importation of the goods so business does, to have insured his property. This was a destroyed, surely the Government may well abstain from case, he contended, of gross and palpable negligence; exacting of him the payment of duties upon the propand if the House should adopt the principle of the bill, erly; and surely, moreover, the Government that is un. we would have our tables crowded with memorials willing to relax its demands upon the unfortunate mer. whenever a fire takes place in the United States. The chants in a case of such extreme hardship must be remerchants in the interior of the country bad as good garded as slow indeed in the encouragement of honest right to claim a remission of duties on goods destroyed enterprise. I trust such is not the character of our by fire as the importers."

Government. Be that as it may, I have discharged my Sir, I accord most fully with these views, and the duty towards the claimants in this, and every similar principles upon which they are founded. Bui, sir, a broad, marked, and manifest principle distinguishes the After further debate, and before any question was case now before the House from the Bangs case, as thus taken upon the bill, represented. In a case not only deficient in proof of The House adjourned. ordinary vigilance on the part of the importer, but thus marked by proof of “gross and palpable negligence," I should feel it my duty, as every oiher member of this

Monday, JANUARY 16. body would feel it to be bis duty, to reject the claim. Sir, the argument of such a case does not touch or affect

ABOLITION OF SLAVERY. the merits of the present one.

The unfinished business of the morning hour was the Thus much, Mr. Speaker, have I felt it my duty to petition presented on Monday last by Mr. Adams, from say in relation to precedents. I will venture to affirm, forty inhabitants of the town of Dover, in the county of that while numerous precedents of remission can be Norfolk, in the State of Massachuse!!s, praying for the adduced, covering all of the principles of the present abolition of slavery and the slave trade in the District of case, and stretching even far beyond it, not one case Columbia; the pending question being on the motion of will be found rejected, wherein the facts set forth are Mr. LAWLER that the petition be not received. not distinguishable in point of strength and merit from Mr. BYNUM was entitled to the floor. this case, and therefore not deserving of weight as au Mr. HOWARD requested the gentleman from North thority against it, even with those gentlemen who wish Carolina (Mr. Bynum] to yield the floor, with a view to to be governed by precedent.

enable him (Mr. H.) to make another effort to give the But, sir, I appeal now to those naked principles of States a chance of getting in their petitions. There justice and policy, which this House and Congress ought were more than half the States in the Union that could and may safely adopt, as decisive of all cases,

I ask not

not have the opportunity. He proposed to suspend the to have this Dana case regarded as an excep:ion to all rule, to enable him to offer a resolution that the States general principles of legislation, but as coming fairly be called for petitions in reverse order. and rightfully within those general principles which Mr. BYNUM said he would have great pleasure in

yielding the floor for that purpose, if it should be under. * See Gales & Seaton's Register of Debales, vol. 6, stood that he would be entitled to the floor when this part 1, p. 622.

petition should next come up. He thought the llouse

case.

Jan. 17, 1837.)

Memorial from District of Columbia Protection to Commerce, &c.

(H. OF R.

should suspend the rule, to enable the member from The SPEAKER said the effect of the motion would Maryland to submit bis resolution.

be to suspend all action, and to leave the petition exactly Mr. ADAMS said he hoped the rule would not be where it was. suspended. He begged the House and the Speaker to And the question was taken, and decided in the afa recollect that this state of things

firmative: Yeas 89, nays 37. Mr. W. B. SHEPARD rose to a question of order. So the preliminary question was laid on the table. A motion to suspend the rule he understood not to be debateable, and he hoped the Chair would enforce the

PROTECTION TO COMMERCE. rule.

Mr. LAWRENCE presented the memorial of George The SPEAKER said the motion could not be de. Halleti, and four hundred merchants of the city of Bos. bated.

ton, praying Congress to establish steam and other veg. Mr. ADAMS called for the yeas and nays on the mo. sels for i he protection of the navigation of ships of the tion to suspend the rule; which were ordered, and were: United Stales coming on our coast in the winter. Yeas 123, nays 58.

Mr. L. adverted briefly to the fearful loss of life and So the rule was suspended.

property wbich bad taken place on our coast during Mr. HOWARD then offered the following resolution: the last year, lo an extent unprecedented in our history,

Resolved, That in calling the States for petitions on This loss was to be attributed in part to the want of this day, the Speaker do call in the reverse order, be a good system of pilotage, but mainly to the fact that ginning with the youngest Territory.

vessels coming, after very long voyages, on a bleak and Mr. ADAMS called for the yeas and nays on the wintry coast, and short of provisions, required some pro. adoption of the resolution; which the House refused to tection and assistance which their own crews were not order.

able to render. He moved that the petition be refer. And the question was then taken, and decided in the red to the Committee on Commerce, and expressed a asfirmative: Yeas 125, nays 33.

hope that some action would be speedily had upon the So the resolution was adopted.

subject. Petitions and memorials were then called for in the The petition was referred accordingly. reverse order of States and Territories.

During the day, a number of petitions, praying for Mr. E. WHITTLESEY said, it baving been the sense the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, were of the House that petitions relating to the abolition of presented; which were, in every instance, met by the slavery should not be discussed to-day, he begged to motion to lay the preliminary motion of reception on the state that he had several such in his possession, but that table, and which motion prevailed. he refrained from offering them, under the hope that, After the reception and disposal of several resolutions when he did offer them, he might be heard for a few mo- of inquiry, ments in relation to the direction which he thought The House adjourned. should be given to them by the House. MEMORIAL FROM DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 17. The SPEAKER presented a memorial from the grand

KEEPING THE JOURNALS. jurors of the county of Washington, in the District of Mr. UNDERWOOD asked the consent of the House Columbia, soliciting that hereafter no petitions may be to submit a resolution, which he desired might be read received or entertained by Congress, from societies or for the information of the House. inhabitants of the non-slaveholding States, for the abo. Mr. JARVIS objected to the reception of the resolulition of slavery in the District of Columbia.

tion and to its reading. Mr. PINCKNEY moved to lay the momorial on the Mr. UNDERWOOD said, if the Clerk would return table.

the resolution, he (Mr. U.) would state briefly its sub. Mr. WASHINGTON called for the reading; and it stance to the House. was read accordingly.

Mr. ADAMS said, if the gentleman from Kentucky Mr. GRAHAM called for the yeas and nays on the was permitted to read the resolution, he (Mr. A.) hoped mution of Mr. PinCKNEY; but the House refused to order no more objection would be made to members reading them.

papers in their places. And the question was then taken, and decided in the The SPEAKER said the question could not be de. affirmative.

bated. So the memorial was ordered to lie on the table. Mr. UNDERWOOD inquired if it was in order to Mr. JENIFER moved that the same be printed. make a brief statement of the contents of the resolu.

The SPEAKER said the motion was not now in tion. order.

The SPEAKER said it was in order so to do, but it Mr. HIESTER presented the petition of 240 females was not in order to read the resolution itself. of his congressional district, praying for the abolition of Mr. UNDERWOOD said his object was to submit a slavery in the District of Columbia, and moved that the series of resolutions, declaring the sense of this House same be referred to the Committee on the said District. that it was not competent, under the constitution of the

Mr. W. B. SHEPARD objected to its reception. Mr. United States, to change, alter, expunge, mutilate, or S. said that, whenever a proper opportunity presented destroy, the journals of either House of Congress; that itself, it was his intention to offer a few remarks on this the preservation of the journals of either House of Con. subject. He did not feel disposed now to violate the gress was a subject of national importance, and a fit agreement which had been made with his colleague, subject of national legislation; that, after these journals [Mr. Bynum,] that this discussion should lie over; and he had been faithfully kept and preserved-moved, therefore, that the further consideration of the Mr. CUSHMAN called the gentleman from Kentucky petition be postponed until Monday next.

to order. Mr. DAVIS moved to lay the preliminary motion of Mr. UNDERWOOD declared that he had not yet reception on the table.

completed the brief statement of the contents of the Mi. STORER inquired if the effect of the motion 10 resolution, though he had nearly done so. Jay on the table, should it prevail, would not be to re The CHAIR said he must request the gentleman froin ject the petition for the time being,

Kentucky to submit his motion to the House.

H. OF R.)

Public Lands-Executive Administration.

(Jan. 17, 1837.

Mr. UNDERWOOD said his motion was to suspend ferred to a select committee, to consist of nine members, the rule to enable him to offer this resolution. Could with power to send for persons and papers, and with he not read what was the purport of that resolution? instructions to inquire into the condition of the various

The CHAIR said he thought not, the reading of the executive departments, the ability and integrity with resolution having been specially objec'ed to. A mem which they have been conducted, into tlie manner in ber could not himself read what the Clerk was not per which the public business has been discharged in all of mitted to read.

them, and into all causes of complaint, from any quarAfter a few further remarks on the point of order, ter, at the manner in which said departments, or their Mr. JARVIS, with a view to save the time of the House, bureaus or offices, or any of their officers or agents, of withdrew bis objection to the reading of the resolution. every description whatever, directly or indirectly con

The same was accordingly read, and is as follows: nected with ihem in any manner, officially or unofficial. Resolved by the House of Representatives, That the ly, in duties pertaining to the public interest, have ful3d clause of the 5:11 section of the 1st article of the con filled or failed to accomplish the objects of their creation, stitution, in the following words, to wit: “Each House or have violated their duties, or have injured and imshall keep a journal of its proceedings, and, from time paired the public service and interest; and that said to time, publish the same, excepling such parts as may, committee, in its inquiries, may refer to such periods of in their judgment, require secrecy; and the yeas and time as to them may seem expedient and proper." nays of the members of either House on any question To which resolution Mr. D. J. PEARCE bad offered an shall, at the desire of one fifth of those pre-ent, be en amendment, for which Mr. French had offered a subtered on the journal," confers no power whatever on stitule. either House of Congress, at a subsequent session, to Mr. McKEON said the reading of the resolution must change, alter, de face, expunge, or destroy, its journal, bring to the altention of the House the fact that a large or any part thereof, when the same has been regularly portion of its time had been expended upon the discusand faithfully kept during a previous session, and duly sion of the various topics which had been introduced in. published.

to the debate. He was deeply impressed with the neResolved, further, that the journals of both Houses of cessity of confining any remarks he might offer within a Congress, kept and published as aforesaid, after the ad. narrow compass. He assured the House that nothing journment sine die, become national archives; and that would bave induced him to prolong a debate already too all attempts and acts of either House separately, or of much extended, except that justice to those with whom both by joint resolution, to change, alter, deface, ex he acted, and to himself, required bim to notice some of punge, or destroy, either journal, or any part thereof, the observations made in the course of the debate. are violations of the constitution.

When the resolution of the gentleman from Virginia Resolved, that the preservation of the national ar. (Mr. W188) was introduced, 1 viewed it (said Mr. McK.) chives from mulilation, disfiguration, and destruction, is as a measure novel in its character, and one calculated to a fit subject of legislation. Wherefore,

establish a precedent which might hereafter be perverted. Resolved, That the Committee on the Judiciary be di- In the phraseology of the resolution I saw a power of unrected to report a bill providing for the deposite of the limited extent intrusted to a committee of this House. original journals of each House, after their adjournment I am not of that school which insists upon a search war. sine die, in the office of the Secretary of State; and for rant to authorize you to examine your public offices, the punishment of every and all persons, their aiders but I cannot but believe that, if you intend to examine and abettors, who shall altcr, change, deface, expunge, any matter beyond the manner in which your public or destroy, any part of either journal after sucli adjourn. agents discharge the duties of their appointment, you ment.

will require something more than a resolution of This Mr. MORGAN called for the yeas and nays on the House." What does the original resolution propose? motion to suspend; which were ordered, and were: Yeas To examine into the official and unofficial conduct of 77, nays 118.

those who are directly or indirectly connected with the So the rule was not suspended.

public departments. This is the task which is to be al

lotted to a committee of this House. This is the inquisiTHE PUBLIC LANDS.

torial tribunal you propose to create. If we appoint the The unfinished business of the morning hour was the

committee, how can it proceed in the discharge of its resolution of Mr. C. ALLAN, providing that certain grants

duty? The power of this House can go no further than of the public domain be made to such States as have not

to examine into the official conduct of those who are in yet received them, together with the several amend

office, who receive their compensation at your hands, ments thereto proposed.

and who are liable to censure and removal for any breach The pending question was on the motion heretofore

of duty. In every point connected with your public of. submitted by Mr. Boyd, to lay the resolution and amend.

fices, in every matter of an official character, you have ments on the table.

the right and the power to exact a rigid, strict examinaOn which motion the yeas and nays had been hereto

tion; but when you will attempt to inquire into the unoffore ordered; and having been now taken, were: Yeas

ficial conduct of a public officer, or to make the wide. 114, nays 82.

spread investigation proposed by the resolution, the suc. So the resolution and amendments were laid on the

cess of your investigation will depend more upon the distable,

position of those who may be called before the commit. EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATION.

tee than on any power of this House to compel them to

satisfy your inquiries. You will search in vain for a preThe House proceeded to the consideration of the fol. cedent for this movement in parliamentary history; but lowing resolution, heretofore offered by Mr. WISE: you may find one elsewhere. There can be found one

Resolved, That so much of the President's message direction to which it bears a strict resemblance. The as relates to the condition of the various executive de command of this House to the committee may be found partments, the ability and integrity with which they have in that of Dogberry to the watch, a sweeping resolution been conducted, the vigilant and faithful discharge of to “comprehend all vagrom men," and to let all go who the public business in all of them, and the causes of will not stand according to order. Let it be considered complaint, from any quarter, at the manner in which that we have several standing committees, whose duly it they bave fulfilled the objects of their creation,' be re is to investigate the affairs of your departments. Let it

Jax. 17, 1837.)

Executive Administration.

[H. of R.

be considered, also, that, but a few days since, we appoint l rights of any branch of the Government, why is he not ed a committee, at the head of which is the gentleman from placed in a situation where he will be required to deVirginia, (Mr. GARLAND, ) which committee is daily en fend his public character from these accusations? If we gaged in the examination of one of the subjects referred to have watchful sentinels on the ramparts of constitutional in this resolution. Yes, sir, the very point which, I be liberty, let them not only sound the alarm, but let them lieve, according to the mover of this proposition, gave rise seize upon him whom they represent to be an enemy of to this proposed investigation. But in addition to these the country. That country has a right to demand this means which are within our power, the amendment of movement at the hands of those who are so desirous of the gentleman from Rhode Island is offered. That preserving its interests from violation. Nothing is easier amendment is, in my opinion, not open to the objections than to denounce. We ask for the evidences to support which may be made to the original proposition. It is in the charges they make-we ask for action. The Execaccordance with parliamentry practice. It is no part of utive has been represented as a violator of his plighted the duty of a Legislature 10 un'lertake an exploring ex faith, as one who had broken every pledge. Let us look pedition in search of abuses; but if abuses are charged, it to his inaugural address, which ought to be considered as becomes a solemn duty to investigate them. The amend. an exposition of the policy which would characterize his ment proposes to create a tribunal before which charges administration. In regard to your foreign policy, he bad can be made, and to examine into the truth of those stated that he would endeavor to preserve peace and culticharges. Suppose a petition was presented to this House, vate friendship with all nations on honorable terms, and and referred to one of the appropriate committees, pray to adjust our differences in the forbearing spirit becoming an examination into the manner in which your public ing a powerful nation, rather than the sensibility belongofficers discharge their duties, and setting forth that abu. ing to a gallant people. Has this been fulfilled? Do ses existed. Your committee would ask the petitioners you find the violation of this pledge in the elevated posifor specific charges, and if they were produced the ex. tion which our country sustains amongst the nations of amination would be made. I doubt very much whether the earth? He pledged bimself to a spirit of comprothey would inquire of your different departments and mise, equity, and caution, in regard to your tarist, by bureaus for something to sustain the allegation of the the promotion of agriculture, commerce, and manufacpetitioners.

tures; and if any encouragement should be given, it was But, sir, it appears that your standing committees, only to those articles which might be found essential to your select committee, the amendment, will not be satis. our national independence. Let his messages to Confactory. Nothing will give sufficient latitude but the gress show how far be has labored to discharge this original resolution. I prefer sustaining the amendment, pledge. He avowed his determination to reform abuses, believing it cannot be perverted hereafter into a danger by depending for the promotion of the public service ous precedent; but if that cannot be adopted, I shall not not on the number, but on the efficiency, the integrity, be found denying investigation. I am willing to give the zeal, of public officers. Let the consequences of the every facility, and to afford ample means, to pursue the toils of those agents, visible in the negotiation of foreign desired examination; to have the official transactions treaties, and in the happy results of the faithful discharge and correspondence of your public offices laid open. As of duties within our country, be his defence on this point. the representatives of the people, we are bound io guard He promised to facilitate the extinguishment of the public every department. We are bound to pour light into | debt. Has that been discharged? Does not the contest every portion of this Government. It is due not only to here for the division of an immense surplus in your the country, but to the incumbents, to those on this foor Treasury speak for him on this subject? Hlas not, duwho wish the examination, that some decision should be ring this administration, the novel spectacle been prehad on this subject, and that without delay. The de sented to the world of an immense republic, unshackled bate which has arisen upon this resolution has resusci with a national debt? When the violence of political tated the denunciations and charges which we had rea feeling shall have subsided, but one opinion, sir, will be son to believe were long since buried. I have been sur. given of the present administration; and if, as some gen. prised to observe the course of the present discussion. ilemen insist, the coming administration will be but a con

The same accusations of corruption, of proscription, and tinuation of the policy of the present, the country may of abuses of every nature, which were made at the last be congratulated on the prospect of a career of brilliancy session, with a view of operating on the then approaching and prosperity. It will be a continuation of a policy political contest, are reiterated upon the present occa which seeks to enlarge the liberties of every citizen, and sion. We ought to suspect that our fate has been that to promote the welfare of the Union. of Rip Van Winkle; that we have been sleeping quietly The corruption which exists in the Government is a while the thunders of the opposition, louder far than any fruitful theme. The dictation of the Executive, and his which reverberated through the Catskill, have been interference with the elective franchise, have been blapealing over us, and we have been unconscious of the zoned forth to the world. Sir, if we have had a dictapresidential contest which has just closed. If there is tor, he bears but little resemblance to the Sylla of other to be a repetition of those charges, it is full time we days. The Roman retired when the aristocracy had should be aroused. I have sought for new statements, been armed with the sceptre, but our dictator is about but none are offered. Let it be remembered that the to surrender his trust when the democracy is triumphant. same representations which are made now were made Do gentlemen suppose that the intelligence of this counbefore the struggle commenced; that the same evidence, try is to be deceived with this outcry? May we ask sustained by the aid of the same distinguished gentle. when and where this dictation took place? Who were men, was laid before the people of this country, and that the individuals who yielded, or the states that submit. the people supported him against whom these charges ted to his commands? We hear of Tennessee! That were iniended to operate. Why do gentlemen stop even State did not vote for the individual who is said to have now? Why do they hall! Why not cross the Rubicon? obtained his election by the diclation of the Executive. There is still remedy left. If outrages upon the consti If the dictation of the President was of any avail, it must tution, if violations of the liberties of the people, have have been united not only with omnipotence but omnibeen committed, why, instead of making the accusation, presence. Its results are seen in Maine, and at the same is not the individual who is the author of these evils time in Louisiana-in the Atlantic States and in your far made liable to the consequences of impeachment? If he West. This charge (let gentlemen consider) of dicta. has violated the rights of any of your citizens, any of the tion and of corruption, reaches not only the Executive,

H. OF R.)

Executive Administration.

(Jan. 17, 1837.

but at those above that Executive. The poisoned ar. must plead guilty. It has been a contest in which we rows which are scattered strike not only those against have seen the concentrated wealth of the nation in arms whom they are aimed, but at the body of the American against the Government and the people; and we have people. If there are corrupters, where are the corrupted? seen that contest concluded with the triumph of the peoAre we to seek for them amongst the honest yeomanry of ple over an institution which had threatened to poison the land? Is this degrading character to be given to our the very fountains of your prosperity. We have carried countrymen? I trust we are not ready to look upon a ma on a war against a system which carries within the most jority of our fellow.citizens as obedient slaves, obeying alarming elements. You have seen institutions invested the edicts of an imperial master. The sin of the Execo with a power of creating a “paper currency,” starting utive has been that he moved in unison with the people, into existence in every section. You have seen a power and for this he is denounced. This is his crime, in the placed in the bands of a particular class of men to coneyes of his opponents. I cannot believe that his course trol the fortunes of their fellow-citizens. You bave will at any time be deemed un patriotic, or prejudicial to seen prices rising, values disturbed, an unsettled and the institutions of our common country.

feverish state of public feeling. You have seen the The gentleman from Virginia (Mr. RobertsON] ob swollen lide of speculation rushing from one end of the jecled most strenuously to the proscription which had country to the other, bearing upon it every individual. been carried out during the present administration. The Purchases made, not with a view to the natural opera. opposition is distinguished, if we are to believe what we tions of trade, but regulated alone by the credits which hear, by magnanimity, by generosity, by respect for might be obtained. You have seen ibe favorable gale, freedom of opinion. Cases have been adduced to show swelling every man's sails; but now the tempest is seen, the oppression lieaped upon some of our fellow.citizens. driving before it thousands, whose fale it will be difficult I could not but observe the indignalion excited amongst to predict. You have seen in this country, and on the some of the opponents of the administration at the recital other side of the Atlantic, gathering signs in the com. of instances of removals from office. I cannot speak of mercial horizon; anxiety, intense anxiety, pervading the merits of these cases; I am ignorant of them. I can. every section of the country. When the cause of the not, however, but look upon the denunciations which excitement is examined, when it is asserted that the over. have been made against removals from office as an evi issues have been the main cause of the present state of dence of a policy which has not heretofore distinguished things, when we are told to look back to the troubles in our opponents. I suppose that hereafter, in no part of England in past years, and observe that the same stale the country where they hold the power, no man is to be of things was produced by similar causes; yet when the removed who entertains opinions in accordance with effort is made by the Government to check this evil, by those of the democracy. The guillotine which I have calling into circulation the constitutional currency of the seen ready to do its office in one city of this Union is to country, with a view to give security to your financial be removed the victims are to be released. I have, I operations, to give stability to the value of property, and confess candidly, Mr. Speaker, some misgivings. Judg. to afford labor its just reward, it is denounced as tyran. ing from the past, I can have but little hope for the fu: nical and oppressive. The question of currency, I am ture. “To know the right, and yet the wrong pursue," willing to admit, is intricate; but I do not believe it too seems to be the fate of our opponents.

intricate to be beyond the understanding of an acute and Look at the city of New York, where the opposition, intelligent people of a people whose pursuite render it during the celebrated panic session, obtained power. | necessary for them to watch every movement in the in. The process of removal was fully carried out. The dustry and finance of the country. They desire a sound lamps in our streets were not allowed to be lighted by currency, but not a currency which is given to them by those who were democrats. Look to Philadelphia; one holding their liberties at the will of any body of men. sweeping proscription, if rumor speaks truly. Look 10 I cannot omit a reference to the allusions which have Pennsylvania, when the Government of the State was been made to the President during this debate. The changed. The offices given to those who had placed gentleman from Virginia ( Mr. Wise] has traced his course the present incumbents in power, and those who thought from the period of his early obscurity to the present exwith the general administration proscribed, and their alted station which be now holds. From its rise in hum. families, depending for subsistence on the emoluments bleness, he has found the tenor of his life a broad and of their bumble offices, turned adrift upon the world. sweeping current, rolling onward uuder the living light Sir, this proscription which they denounce they prac. of day and the steady gaze of the nation. Parallels are tice. Lei not the charge be made against us until, by sought; but where?' åre they sought for amongst the their example, they can enforce their advice with more patriots whose reputations are interwoven with the bright. authority ihan they can at present. Let not their indig. est epochs of the past? Are they found in some brilliant nation be excited against the administration, or their example of devotion to country; of fidelity to her instisympathy expressed in favor of its supposed victims, so tutions, of purity of purpose, of undying patriotism; long as they have on every side an opportunity of be- amongst the Aristides, the Curtii, or the Calos? No, sir; stowing their sympathy on those who have suffered by we find them seeking for parallels in the most corrupt the exercise of the power they hold. The administra. and degraded periods of the Roman Government. They tion cannot be justly liable to this accusation. Here and find them in a Commedus or a Severus; in tbe vile, the elsewhere it bas been confidently asserted, by those who profligate, and depraved emperors of a crumbling em. have examined this subject, that a large majority of those pire. Who is your modern Commodus! Shall i sum. holding offices are opposed to the administration; and mon from his many battle fields the manes of the dead the sweeping proscription and persecution for expres. 1o be his defenders? No, sir; let the living attest his sion of opinion cannot with propriely be charged worth! Let them answer whether or not it was by col. against it,

lecting around him the abandoned Cleanders of bis time We have heard much of the war on the currency he led your country through many difficulties up to the which has been waged by the present administration. eminence on which be now is leaving her! Even in The disturbance of our financial operations, the chaos of the highest excitement of a political contest, we ought our commercial affairs, have been placed to the account not to forget the services of our public men-of those of the Executive. The party in power for the past seven who “have done the slate some service.” The petty years has been carrying on, if any, a war on the United differences of party will disappear, but the results of Stales Bank; and if that be a war on the currency, they the labor of those men never will be destroyed, For

« AnteriorContinuar »