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Duty on Coal-Burning of the Post Office - Mr. Clay's Land Bill.
(Dec. 19, 1836.
Mr. BROWN the credentials of ROBERT STRANGE, rate on the excess of revenue that may be received this Senator elect from North Carolina.
year. Messrs. STRANGE and Parker appeared, were quali. While up, Mr. C. said he would put a question to the fied and took their seats.
chairman of the Committee on Finance, (Mr. WRIGHT.]
He wished to be informed by that gentleman whether DUTY ON COAL.
his motion of Thursday to refer so much of the Presi. Mr. WEBSTER presented two petitions; one from dent's message as relates to finance to the Finance ComJohn Haskell, and a great number of other persons; and mittee, included that part of the message wbich relates the other from N. D. Snelling and others, of Boston, to the reduction of the revenue to the wants of the Govpraying for a reduction of the duty on coal.
ernment? Mr. W. said these petitions were very numerously and Mr. WRIGHT replied that he was unable to answer respectably signed, and be boped the subject would the question precisely. In making his motion, he had attract the serious attention of Congress. The duty on intended to refer all parts of the message relating to coal, like that on salt, wheat, and wool, though not a finance to the Committee on Finance. He had had no duty on manufactured articles, was yet either originally consultation with his colleagues as to how far they con. Jaid, or is now continued, for purposes of protection. In- sidered that portion of the message referred to by the deed, coal was one of the articles first brought forward, gentleman from South Carolina, as coming under their after the establishment of this Government, as requiring consideration. Whether or not they consi lered it as and deserving protection. As these petitions, therefore, more properly belonging to the Committee on Manumight be thought to affect a part of the general system factures than to the Committee on Finance, he knew not. of protection, he thought it proper to refer them to the Mr. CALHOUN said that he would then move, in Committee on Manufactures. Coal was a necessary of order to remove all doubts on the question, that that life; it was now very bigh, the price being nearly twice
portion of the message to which he had alluded, be reas great now, he believed, as when the duty was laid. ferred to the Committee on Finance. He made the moHe was of opinion that, unless this duty on coal was to tion, because of its probably having a stronger bearing be considered as a part of the general system of protec. on the action of this body, and on political events here. tion, it ought to be reduced, or perhaps repealed alto. after, than any other question which might be brought gether. He hoped the committee would examine the before the Sena'e. subject and bring it to the consideration of the Senate at an early day. At the present price of fuel in the
Mr. CLAY'S LAND BILL. larger cities, a reduction in the price of coal is most de. Mr. CLAY, in pursuance of the notice which he had sirable, if there exist against it no insurmountable ob- given, rose to ask leave to introduce the land bill. He jection.
felt it due to the occasion to make some explanations. The memorials were referred, as moved by Mr. WEB- The operation of the bill which had heretofore sev. STER, to the Committee on Manufactures.
eral times passed the Senate, and once the House, comBURNING OF THE POST OFFICE.
menced on the last of December, 1822, and was to con
tinue five years. It provided for a distribution of the Mr. ROBINSON presented the following resolution, nett proceeds of the public lands during that period, and moved its immediate consideration:
upon well-known principles. But the deposite act of Resolved, that the Committee on the Post Office and the last session had disposed of so large a part of the di. Post Roads be instructed to inquire into the cause of the visible fund under the land bill, that he did not think it destruction by fire of the building in which were kept right, in the present state of the Treasury, to give the the General Post Office, the city post office, and the bill--which he was about to apply for leave to intropatent office.
duce—that retrospective character. He had according. Mr. CLAY suggested whether it would not be expe. ly, in the draught which he was going to submit, made dient to invest the committee with power to send for the last day of the present month its commencement, persons and papers, so far as there might be any papers and the last day of the year 1841 its termination. If it remaining.
should pass, therefore, in this shape, the period of its Mr. ROBINSON said the idea of the committee was duration will be the same as that prescribed in the forthat the proposed committee of inquiry should proceed mer bills. The Senate will readily comprehend the in the duty assigned them till they should find it neces- motive for fixing the end of the year 1841, as it is at that sary to send for persons and papers, when they could time that the biennial reductions of ten per cent. upon readily ask and obtain the requisite power.
the existing duties cease, according to the act of the 20 The resolution was unanimously adopted.
March, 1833, commonly called the compromise act, and On motion of Mr. WRIGHT, so much of the Presi- a reduction of one half of the excess beyond twenty dent's annual message as relates to finances was referred
per cent. of any duty then remaining is to take effect. to the Committee on Finance,
By that time, a fair experiment of the land bill will have After disposing of various petitions, resolutions, and been made, and Congress can then determine whether bills,
the proceeds of the national domain shall continue to be On motion of Mr. GRUNDY, the Senate proceeded to equitably divided, or shall be applied to the current exthe consideration of executive business; and, when the penses of the Government. doors were opened,
The bill in his band assigns to the new State of ArAdjourned till Monday.
kansas her just proportion of the fund, and grants to her
500,000 acres of land as proposed to other States. A MONDAY, DECEMBER 19.
similar assignment and grant are not made to Michigan,
because her admission into the Union is not yet comThe CHAIR presented the credentials of Mr. Buchar. plete. But when that event occurs, provision is made An, elected a Senator by the Legislature of Pennsylvania, by which that State will receive its fair dividend. for six years from the 4th of March next.
He had restored, in this draught, the provision con. After the reception and disposal of various petitions, tained in the original plan for the distribution of the
Mr. CALHOUN gave notice that he would, to-mor. public lands, which he had presented to the Senate, by row, ask leave to introduce a bill to continue the opera. which the States, in the application of the fund, are retions of the deposite act of the last session, so as to ope. stricted to the great objects of education, internal imDec. 19, 1836.)
Patent Office-Treasury Circular.
It is a
provement, and colonization. Such a restriction would, of the Treasury to use or employ it, it seemed to him he believed, relieve the Legislatures of the several that the whole revenues of the Government might be States from embarrassing controversies about the dispo made receivable in paper money. Funds is the word sition of the fund, and would secure the application of used in the resolution, a word which had no place in our what was common in its origin, to common benefits in constitution, nor in our legislation, previous to the imits ultimate destination. But it was scarcely necessary position of the paper system upon us, and which had no for him to say that this provision, as well as the fate of definite or legal meaning. It is a paper system phrase, the whole bill, depended upon the superior wisdom of and, in the jargon of that system, is understood to comthe Senate and of the House.
prehend all sorts of paper credits and securities, and all In all respects, other than those now particularly men- sorts of currencies, which can be made available in the tioned, the bill is exactly as it passed this body at the payment of debts, or in the support of credit. last session.
wretched phrase to come into legislation, and ought to The bill was read first time, and passed to a second be substituted by something of clear and precise import, reading
Gold and silver is the language of our constitution, and PATENT OFFICE.
to supersede them by the word “funds," is to banish
them from our financial system, and to open the 'Treas. Ma. RUGGLES submitted the following resolution, ury to the inundation of paper money, which was considered and agreed to:
In the observations which he should make upon these Resolved, That a committee of five be appointed to ex- resolutions, Mr. B. said he should not confine himself amine and report the extent of the loss sustained by the merely to the remarks of the Senator from Ohio, (Mr. burning of the Patent Office, and to consider whether EWING,] but looking further back and all around, and any and what measures ought to be adopted to repair having due regard to what had preceded this motion, and the loss, and to establish such evidences of property in which was indissolubly connected with it, he should treat patented inventions, as the destruction of the records the whole subject as it appeared before him, and as it and drawings may have rendered necessary for its se. had been exhibited to the public. He had especially in curity; and to report by bill or otherwise.
his eye a certain speech, delivered in Kentucky in SepOn motion of Mr. BÉNTON, the committee was ap. Jtember last, and a certain letter written in Philadelphia, pointed by the Chair, and consists of the following gen. in November last. Passages from each of these would tlemen: Messrs. RUGGLES, PRENTISS, STRANGE, Paker, be referred to at proper places; and paying due attention and BAYAND.
to these givings out, and to all the signs which had been The remaining portions of the President's annual mes. visible for some months past in the political zodiac, he sage were appropriately referred to the variouis standing could see distinctly that two great objects were proposed committees.
to be accomplished by the instrumentality of this joint Several bills were introduced and appropriately re. resolution: first, the condemnation of President Jackson ferred, as also a number of resolutions submitted for con for a violation of the laws and constitution, and the desideration.
struction of the prosperity of the country; and, secondly, TREASURY CIRCULAR.
the overthrow of the federal constitutional currency, and
the imposition of the paper money system of the States The Senate proceeded to the further consideration of upon the Government and people of ihe Union. the joint resolutions, introduced by Mr. Ewing, of Ohio, In the first of these objects the present movement is in the following words, being at their second reading, twin brother to the famous resolution of 1833, but withas follows:
out its boldness; for that resolution declared its object " Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, upon its face, while this one eschews specification, and &c. That the Treasury order of the 11th day of July, insidiously seeks a judgment of condemnation by interanno Domini one thousand eight hundred and thirty- ence and argument. In the second of these objects every six, designating the funds which should be receivable in body will recognise the great design of the second branch payment for public lands, be, and the same is hereby, of the same famous resolution of 1833, which, in the res. rescinded.
toration of the deposites to the Bank of the United “ Resolved, also, That it shall not be lawful for the Sec States, clearly went to the establishment of the paper retary of the Treasury to delegate to any person, or to any system, and its supremacy over the Federal Government. corporation, the power of directing what funds shall be The present movement, therefore, is a second edition of receivable for customs, or for the public lands; nor shall the old one, but a lame and impotent affair compared to he make any discrimination in the funds so receivable, that. Then, we had a magnificent panic; now, nothing between different individuals, or between the different but a miserable starveling! For though the letter of the branches of the public revenue.”
President of the Bank of the United States announced, Mr. BENTON said it was unusual to oppose joint early in November, that the meeting of Congress was resolutions at their second reading, but he had given the time for the new distress to become intense, yet we notice of his intention to oppose this resolution, not for are two weeks deep in the session, and no distress me. the purpose of attempting to arrest its course, but to morial, no distress deputation, no distress committees, to excite attention and discussion, and to lay the foundation this hour! Nothing, in fact, in that line, but the distress for a motion which he intended to make, namely, to send speech of the gentleman from Ohio, (Mr. EWING;) so the subject to a committee, and to make it the duty of that the new panic of 1836 has all the signs of being a that committee to inquire into the operation and effects lean and slender affair--a mere church-mouse concern-of the Treasury order proposed to be rescinded and into a sort of dwarfish, impish imitation of the gigantic specthe conduct of the banks which affected to be crippled tre which stalked through the land in 1833. by it. This motion, and the scope and details of the in. That every thing might appear in its proper order, and quiry, will be brought forward in due time.
every actor in this drama bave his proper place, Mr. B. The resolution consists of two clauses, the first clear, would now introduce passages from the speech and let. the second ambiguous. The recision of the Treasury
ter to which he bad referred, reserving other passages order, excluding paper from the land offices, was the for introduction in other stages of the proceedings. And object of the first clause; but the second was without first, from the speech: specification, and making no allusion to the constitution- “ Mr. Clay proceeded to speak of the constant tam. al currency, and imposing no obligation on the Secretary pering with the currency, which marked the conduct of SENATE.)
(Dec. 19, 1836.
this administration. One rash, lawless, and crude ex- complication of accounts, the lands were sold for what periment succeeds another. He considered the late is termed cash. But this was only another form of cred. Treasury order, by which all payments for public lands it; for the banks, by lending to those who purchased were to be made in specie, with one exception, for a lands, took the place of the Government as creditors, short duration, a most ill advised, illegal, and pernicious and the Government received their notes as equivalent measure. In principle it was wrong; in practice it will to specie, because always convertible into specie. This favor the very speculation which it professes to endeavor was the usage; this may be regarded as the law of the to suppress. The officer who issued it, as if conscious country. By the resolution of Congress, passed on the of its obnoxious character, shelters himself behind the 30th of April, 1816, it was declared that no duties, name of the President.
taxes, debts, or sums of money accruing or becoming “But the President and Secretary had no right to payable to the United States as aforesaid, ought to be promulgate any such order. The law admits of no such collected or received otherwise than in the legai currendiscrimination. If the resolution of the 30th of April, cy of the United States, or Treasury notes, or notes of 1816, continued in operation, and the administration on the Bank of the United States, or in noies of banks the occasion of the removal of the deposites, and on the which are payable and paid on demand in the said legal present occasion, relies upon it as in full force,) it gave currency of the United States.' ihe Secretary no such discretion as he has exercised. “This resolution presents various alternatives—the That resolution required and directed the Secretary of legal currency or Treasury notes, or notes of the Bank the Treasury to adopt such measures as he might deem of the United States, or notes of specie.paying banks. A necessary, 'to cause, as soon as may be, all duties, taxes, citizen had a right to choose any one of these modes of debts, or sums of money, accruing or becoming payable payment. He had as much right to pay for land with to the United States, to be collected and paid in the le. the note of a specie-paying bank, as to pay it for duties gal currency of the United States, or Treasury notes, or at the custom-house. If this be denied, certainly any notes of the Bank of the United States, as by law pro- one of them might be accepted by the Treasury; but to vided and declared, or in notes of banks which are pay. proscribe all but one--to refuse every thing but the most able and paid on demand, in said legal currency of the difficult thing—to do this without notice of the approachUnited States.' This resolution was restrictive and pro. ing change in the fundamental system of our dealings-hibitory upon the Secretary only as to the notes of banks is an act of gratuitous oppression. not redeemable in specie on demand. As to all such “If he prohibits the receipt of any thing but specie, to notes, he was forbidden to receive them from and after correct land speculations, he may make the same prothe 20th of February, 1817. As to the notes of banks hibition as to the duties on hardware, or broadcloth, or which were payable and paid on demand in specie, the wines, whenever his paternal wisdom shall see us buying resolution was not merely permissive, it was compulsory too many shovels, or too many coats, or too much chamand mandatory. He was bound, and is yet bound, to re- pagne; and thus bring the entire industry of the country ceive them, until Congress interfere.”
under bis control. From the letter of Mr. Biddle to Mr. J. Q. Adams, “It remains to speak of the remedy of these evils. Mr. B. read as follows:
They follow obviously the causes of them. The causes
are the injudicious transfers of the public moneys, and the “PHILADELPHIA, November 11, 1836.
Treasury order about specie. “My Dear Sir: I proceed to the second subject of “ The first measure of relief, therefore, should be the our conversation--the present state of the currency- instant repeal of the Treasury order requiring specie for which I shall treat dispassionately, as an abstract ques. | lands; the second, the adoption of a proper system to tion of mere finance.
execute the distribution law. “Our pecuniary condition seems to be a strange an- “These measures would restore confidence in twentyomaly. When Congress adjourned, it left the country four hours, and repose in at least as many days. If the with abundant crops, and high prices for them- with Treasury will not adopt them voluntarily, Congress every branch of industry flourishing, and with more should immediately command it." specie than we ever possessed before, with all the ele. From these documents, said Mr. B., and from the ments of universal prosperity. Not one of these has un- speech of the gentleman from Ohio, (Mr. Ewing,] the dergone the slightest change; yet, after a few months, charges which are made against President Jackson, and Congress will reassemble, and find the whole country on which this resolution is supported, and for which the suffering intense pecuniary distress. The occasion of recision of the Treasury order is demanded, are, first, this, and the remedy for it, may well occupy our thoughts. a violation of the laws; secondly, a violation of the con
“ In my judgment, the main cause of it is the misman. stitution; thirdly, a destruction of the prosperity of the agement of the revenue-mismanagement in two re. country. Mr. B. would join issue upon each of these spects: the mode of executing the distribution law, and charges, and take each by itself, and all in their turn; and the order requiring specie for the public lands.
first of the illegality. This charge was bottomed upon “Such a measure was of itself sufficient to disorganize the alleged contravention of the joint resolution of the currency. But it was accompanied by another, April, 1816, for the better collection of the public revewhich armed it with a tenfold power of mischief. This nue, and although partly set out both in the Kentucky was the Treasury order prohibiting the receipt at the speech, and in the Philadelphia letter, he preferred to land offices of any thing but specie; an act which seems read it entire, as the first part, though merely directory, 10 me a most wanton abuse of power, if not a flagrant yet was directory in the essential particular of showing usurpation.
who was to be the active agent in carrying the resolution “The whole pecuniary system of this country, that to into effect. which, next to its freedom, it owes its prosperity, is the system of credit. Our ancestors came here with no mo
The joint resolution of 1816. ney; but with far better things--with courage and indus. " That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he heretry; and the want of capital was supplied by their mutual by is, required and directed to adopt such measures as confidence. This is the basis of our whole commercial he may deem necessary, to cause, as soon as may be, and internal industry. The Government received its all duties, taxes, debts, or sums of money, accruing duties on credit, and sold its lands on credit. When the or becoming payable to the United States, to be collect. sales of land on credit became inconvenient, from the led and paid in the legal currency of the United States or
Dec. 19, 1836.)
Treasury notes, or notes of the Bank of the United the Secretary of the Treasury required others to be reStates as by law provided and declared, or in notes of ceived, they would not be taken in payment, but merely banks which are payable and paid on demand, in the noted as a special deposite at the instance of the Gov. said legal currency of the United States; and that, from ernment. This is the article: and after the 20th day of February next, no such duties, " Article 24. The offices of discount and deposite taxes, debts, or sums of money, accruing or becoming shall receive in payment of the revenue of the United payable to the United States as aforesaid, ought to be Slates the notes of such State banks as redeemed their collected or received otherwise than in the legal cur. engagements with specie, and provided they are the rency of the United States, or Treasury notes, or notes notes of banks located in the city or place where the of the Bank of the United States, or in notes of banks office receiving them is established. And also the notes which are payable and paid on demand in the said legal of such other banks, as a special deposite on behalf of currency of the United States."
the Government, as the Secretary of the Treasury may This is the law, continued Mr. B., and nothing can be require." plainer than the right of selection which it gives to the Here (said Mr. B.) is selection--a selection by which Secretary of the Treasury. Four different media are a few State banks, in no event exceeding those in twentymentioned in which the revenue may be collected, and l five places, for there were never more than twenty-five the Secretary is made the actor, the agent, and the branches, would have their notes received, while the power, by which the collection is to be effected. He is mass of the State banks, amounting to many hundreds, to do it in one, or in another. He may choose several, were entirely cut off. The legality of this selection and or all, or two, or one. All are in the disjunctive. No exclusion has never been questioned; yet there are per. two are joined together, but all are disjoined, and pre- sons who deny to President Jackson the right of making sented to him individually and separately. It is clearly the same selection; and who must stand before the pubthe right of the Secretary to order the collections to be lic as denying to the President of the United States the made in either of the four media mentioned. That the power over the execution of the laws which they conresolution is not mandatory in favor of any one of the cede to the President of the Bank of the United States. four, is obvious from the manner in which the notes of Mr. B. said that it might well be supposed that he had the Bank of the United States are mentioned. They now sufficiently repelled this charge of illegality. He were to be received as then provided for by law; for the certainly deemed the charge sufficiently answered; but bank charter had then just passed; and the 14th section he had other arguments yet to use-arguments belong. had provided for the reception of the notes of this in- ing to that authoritative class to which he had alluded, stitution until Congress, by law, should direct otherwise. and from which the gentlemen making the charge canThe right of the institution to deliver its notes in pay- not be allowed to appeal. It would be recollected, he ment of the revenue, was anterior to this resolution, and said, that, about a dozen years ago, a committee of the always held under that 14th section, never under this House of Representatives had been raised to investigate joint resolution; and when that section was repealed at certain charges against the then Secretary of the Treag. the last session of this Congress, that right was admitted ury, that hunted-down and persecuted citizen, William to be gone, and has never been claimed since.
H. Crawford. These charges happened to involve the The words of the law are clear; the practice under it has point now in discussion, not as a charge, but incidentally been uniform and uninterrupted from the date of its pas. and historically; and among the members of that com. sage to the present day. For twenty years, and under mittee there happened to be a gentleman who was the three Presidents, all the Secretaries of the Treasury have author of the joini resolution of 1816, who is now a memacted alike. Each has made selections, permitting the ber of this body, (Mr. WEBSTER,) and who has signified notes of some specie-paying banks to be received, and an intention to speak in this debate. That committee forbidding others. Mr. Crawford did it in numerous in- made a report, purporting to be the unanimous opinion stances; and fierce and universal as were the attacks upon of the body; and from that report an extract will now be that eminent patriot, during the presidential canvass of read: 1824, no human being ever thought of charging him “At the time of the adoption of this resolution, (joint, with illegality in this respect. Mr. Rush twice made of 1816,) debts accruing to the United States, whether similar selections, during the administration of Mr. Ad- on account of the sales of public lands, or at the customams, and no one, either in the same cabinet with him, house, or from any other source of revenue, were in or out of the cabinet against him, ever complained of it. fact received in some parts of the country, but evident. For twenty years the practice has been uniform; and i ly in disregard of the law, in the notes of the State every citizen of the West knows that that practice was banks which did not redeem their paper by cash paythe general, though not universal, exclusion of the West
By this resolution it was obviously made the ern specie-paying bank paper from the Western land duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to correct that offices. This every man in the West knows, and knows departure from law as soon as practicable;
and it was, that that general exclusion continued down to the day as is equally obvious, imperative on the Department, that the Bank of the United States ceased to be the de. after the 20th of February, 1817, to allow nothing to be pository of the public moneys. It was that event which received in payment of debts due to the United States, opened the door to the receivability of State bank paper, but the legal money of the United States, Treasury which has since been enjoyed.
notes, notes of the Bank of the United States, or those Mr. B. then approached an argument which he of State banks, the notes of which were payable and deemed authoritive in this case; it was the 241h article of paid on demand in specie. The Bank of the United the rules and regulations of the Bank of the United States States was incorporated in April, 1816, &c. In the for the government of their branches. It was made early part of the year 1817, it is represented by the since the passage of the joint resolution of 1816, and re- Secretary, and appears to be true, that an arrangement lated to the collection of the revenue of the United was made with the Bank of the United States, by which States. It made short work with the notes of the specie. the public funds were to be deposited in the branches of paying banks of the States, excluding the notes of the that institution in all places where such branches existed; whole of them from all branches of the revenue, except and where there were no such branches, that bank was of such banks as might be situated in the same place to designate certain State banks for which it would be where the branch bank was situated. The noles of responsible, and in which such public moneys would be these branches alone were to be received in payment; if | deposited; and notes of all banks which the Bank of the
(Dec. 19, 1836.
United States would receive in deposite as cash, and excluded from all the land offices, from the establishment none other, were to be received on sales of public lands. of the Bank of the United States down to October, 1833. It is further represented that, in the execution of this During that long. interval, scarcely any thing was re: engagement, difficulties and controversies arose between ceived but specie, or United States Bank notes. Local the United States Bank and the State banks thus em- bank paper was in a state of general and permanent ex. ployed in receiving the deposites of the public moneys; clusion almost the whole time, and the whole country and ere long the Bank of the United States signified to was quiet and contented. No complaint; no charge of the Department of the Treasury that it could not con- | illegali'y; no cry of oppression; no pretext of ruin on the tinue such arrangement; and that thenceforward it could part of ine banks; no lamentations and denunciations on receive nothing in deposite, as cash, but the legal cur. the part of politicians. But the instant that President rency of the country, or its own notes. The agreement Jackson has done what the president of the bank did; with the Bank of the United States terminated, for these the moment he has restored things to their former foot. reasons, on the 30th June, 1818. About this period, ing, and put back local bank paper to the state of exclu. also, the Bank of the United States issued orders prosion in which it had rested under the administration of hibiting its Western branches from issuing any of their both his predecessors, that instant the storm of rage and own notes for circulation, even in exchange for, or on grief breaks out. A new impeachment must be got up; deposite of, specie."
" That in a new panic must be excited; the Senale chamber is stitution (the Bank of the United States) is indeed bound again to become the laboratory of alarm; and a new cho. to give the necessary facilities for transferring the pub- rus must become the burden of the song-that the specie lic funds from place to place; but this can only mean order made the distress, and nothing can relieve the dis. cash funds; and it is bound also to receive money on de. tress but the rescision of the order, or the recharter of posite for the United States; but it is not bound to re
the bank! ceive in deposite, as cash, the bills of any bank wbat- Surely we have accumulated proof enough upon this ever but its own, although they may come within the point; surely there is no necessity for any thing to refute provisions of the act of 1816."
this charge, and to establish the legality of this Treasury This, Mr. President, continued Mr. B., was in 1824. order. But otlıer proof is at hand, and, though unneces. It was eight years after the joint resolution of 1816 had sary, it shall be used. High as is the authority of the repassed, and two years after the author of the letter to port of the committee of 1824, and close as it is to the Mr. Adams, which has been read, came to the presiden point, there is yet a higher authority, and still closer to cy of that institution. It is, therefore, the report of the point, yet to be adduced; for it is the authority of the transactions to wbich he was privy and a party. The
same author of the resolution, and that before the quesreport speaks historically, in reciting an agreement be.
tion was raised, and while the resolution was on its pastween the Secretary of the Treasury and the directors sage; and in which he not only understood them, as of the Bank of the United States, by which, among
shown afterwards in the report of the committee of other things, the selection of the State bank notes re- which he was a member, but in which he went farther, ceivable in payment of the public lands was to be left to and expressed his fear that the whole good effect of the the Bank of the United States, and none should be re- resolution might be lost, if the Treasury Department ceived except such as that bank would agree to credit should not execute it precisely as that Department, unas specie; that afterwards the bank receded from that der the splendid and beneficent administration of Presiagreement, and refused to receive any State bank notes dent Jackson, had done! whatever, taking nothing but gold and silver coin, and Extracts from Mr. Webster's speech in the House of Rep. its own notes; and finally refused to issue its own notes in the West, even in exchange for specie! and thus left
resentatives, April 26, 1816, on the resolution offered by nothing but specie to be received; and after making
him for the more effectual collection of the revenue in the these recitals, ihe committee conclude with the expres
lawful money of the country. sion of their own opinion of the law, that the Bank the “Mr. W. said he felt it to be his duty to call the at. United States was not bound to receive in deposite, as tention of the House once more to the subject of the cash, the bills of any State bank whatever, although collection of the revenue, and to present the resolutions they come under the provisions of the act of 1816. which he had submitted. He had been the more in
These are the recitals, and this the opinion of that clined to do this, from an apprehension that the rejeccommittee, and certainly they are correct, both in the tion, yesterday, of the bill which had been introduced, narration and in the judgment. What, then, becomes of might be construed into an abandonment, on the part of this charge of illegality in the Woodford speech, and the House, of all hope of remedying the existing evil. this letter to Mr. Adams, thus confuted and invalidated | He had had, it was true, some objections against proby the conduct of the bank itself? And what becomes ceeding by way of bill, because the case was not one in of the pretended injury of all those Western banks in which the law was deficient, but one in which the exehaving their notes excluded under an order from Presi-cution of the law was deficient. The situation of dent Jackson, when they had been previously excluded the country, (said Mr. W.,) in regard to the collection for nearly twenty years under the orders of the presie of its revenues, is most deplorable. With a perfectly dent of the Bank of the United States? Why not com- sound legal currency, the na'ional revenues are not colplain before? Why not apply to Congress to rescind the lected in this currericy, but in paper of various sorts, and order of the bank president, as they now apply for the various degrees of value. * It is quite clear that by rescision of the order of the President of the Union? And the slatute all duties and taxes are required to be paid in the politicians and presses which have lavished denunci- the legal money of the United States, or in Treasury ations upon President Jackson, and wept salt tears over notes, agreeably to a recent provision. It is just as clear the wrongs of these banks, and the oppressions of the that the law has been disregarded, and that the notes of people, on account of the specie order, where were the banks of a hundred different descriptions, and almost ihose tears and those denunciations when the president as many different values, have been received, and are of the Bank of the United States gave previously the still received, where the statute requires legal money or same order so many years before, and enforced it up to Treasury notes to be paid. There are some pothe day of the removal of the deposites? The fact is, litical evils which are seen as soon as they are dangerand all the inhabitants of the new States know it, that lo- ous, and which alarm at once as well the people as the cal bank paper, with few and stinted exceptions, was Government. Wars and invasions, therefore, are not