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June 21, 1834.)
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coin. To demonstrate this, the present aspect of our much to say on that and other questions, but he believed paper currency, with the fact that gold is the most port. he should follow the example of the gentleman from able metal of value, and the large remittances (required Massachusetts, (Mr. Adams,] and publish what he might to meet engagements in Eastern cities) from that section have said in the House in some other form. He rose now, of country, should satisfy every member. The people however, merely to say a word or two in reply to what of the West have long prayed for the adoption of had fallen from gentlemen in the course of to-day's debate, measures founded upon reciprocity and equality; they seek and upon the bill as now presented. To the bill originalnothing more; but it seems they seek in vain. If this ly reported by his colleague (Mr. White] he had deciamendment of the chairman prevails, will not banks and ded objections. He felt certain that a majority of the money holders be gainers to a large amount! And the House would never consent to authorize the circulation of South, opposed to a tariff to protect our farmers and me. a strictly local and depreciated currency; however, the chanics, are here to join in enacting a tariff to operate policy has been, and continues to be, sustained by enlightto the benefit of their mining district. Be it so; but let ened nations. He felt sure that the House would not it be founded upon fair and upright principles. The adopt a system by which two halves and four quarters of amendment of the chairman he did not conceive to be so the eagle were not intrinsically worth an eagle by some founded: the trade of the West would be taxed by it, four or five per cent. But the object of his colleague and (until the value of silver shall be changed) the was what we all desired, to secure the permanent circula. trade of every portion of the country will be indirectly tion of a gold currency; and the plan now proposed would subjected to a portion of the same tax. He contended accomplish the purpose by less exceptionable means. it would impair existing contracts, by lessening their value The question was, what ratio should be established beas the value of a tender is increased; and the laborer, tween gold and silver? His colleague [Mr. WHITE] and mechanic, and consumer, would all feel their several proposed one to sixteen; another colleague [Mr. Selproportions of the injurious effect. We all know that Den] proposed one to fifteen and five-eighths. The latthe ability of our country can only sustain a certain quan- ter ratio had been strenuously supported by that gentletity of metallic coin; because it has an intrinsic value, and man and by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Bix. cannot be procured or retained advantageously, unless NEY;] it had also been recommended by the president our surplus produce may command and preserve it. and directors of every bank in New York but one, and Now, destroy the uniform paper currency, which is by Mr. Gallatin. He was bound, by every consideration, mainly founded upon credit, and which costs little to to treat these authorities with great respect. But, sir, the create, and will four surplus command gold and silver basis of this calculation of the relative value of gold and sufficient to answer the purposes of our constituents? He silver is wholly illusory. The average ratio of gold to apprehended the contrary. And if we increase the relative silver for ten years past in this country, and the present value of gold, and thus entice its increased circulation, low value of gold here, should never govern us in permamust not such increase of unequal value produce a very nently adjusting the ratio go as to secure an equal, if not unequal tax? Ile thought so. The value of the metal is a greater, quantity of gold. It was the ratio best suited not increased abroad, and the labor and products of the to the customary (not mint) but current valuations of the agriculturist and the mechanic at home remain, as here- world, which would ultimately best adapt itself to ihe curtofore, regulated by the market prices, which are always rency of the country and the commerce of the world. affected by foreign demand.
The relative prices in this country for ten years past had Now, if we give an undue value to gold, at the moment nothing to do with the permanent ratio between gold and a uniform paper currency is about to be withdrawn, the silver, no more than it had between silver and any other consumers of the West must suffer. If the standard we commodity which was prohibited by our laws from circufix be one or two per cent. more than the importing mer- lation or consumption. Ours was merely a market chant of dry goods or shipper can expect, although where prohibited gold might be purchased for the use of bound to receive it at par value within the United States, the mints of Europe, whenever it could be procured lowhe will levy that sum, whatever it be, on the consumers, er here than in othe markets. At fifteen and fiveas a necessary addition to the cost, and the consequence eighths it could be sent to Europe at a profit, as fast as is evident: the citizens of the West, using gold of neces- it was coined at our mint or brought in the course of sity, on account of transportation, will suffer most severe- trade from other countries. The tendency of our ancient ly. Why should such inequality be enacted? The ratio of one to fifteen was constantly to keep down the country cannot gain, because, if the quantity be increased, price of gold in this country, when gold was not only erit will only fill the place of a safer article, and the cost, ported to Europe, but to the countries south of us. The danger, and delay of transportation, would add to the ratio existing under such laws, and in such a condition of loss. It is, said Mr. E., the internal trade that mainly twde, was not the just medium between the two metals. enriches the country; the amount of that trade, and the Raise your ratio, restore your gold currency, enable coasting trade, and the effect of a total revolution of the those who are employed in our foreign trade to dispose of currency upon these, should be narrowly watched. their gold for the consumption and circulation of their
Mr. E. contended that the effect of the amendment own country, and your ratio of fifteen and five-eighths last offered [Mr. SELDEN's] would be the most salutary would vanish at once, and the price of gold would soon of the two-mil would be at least subject to the vicissitudes approximate to your proposed mint valuation. Our pat of trade. He then adverted to the effect of a currency prices for gold form no just criterion--the prices of golu of unequal value, the principles involved in a bill, now abroad should be our guide. lying upon the table, he had presented. Ile contended, There has been, Mr. Speaker, too much refinement and under existing circumstances, that the adoption of some speculation on this question of the relative value of gold thing like his bank plan, to afford a sound paper curren- and silver and of currency. I am persuaded that the curcy, and equalizing the relative legal value of gold and rency of every country would bave been infinitely more silver, were measures necessary at this time to give vigor sound, if less speculation and refinement had been intro. to the moral and political union of these States, and to duced into legislation through the agency of mint direcplace the trade and enterprise and industry of the lors and bankers. We are now endeavoring to adjust this country upon a just basis.
question permanently, to aid in reforming the currency of Mr. CAMBRELENG assured the House that he did not the country, and what do we find? Why, sir, after all rise, late in June, to make a speech, more especially one this legislative wisdom, after altering and realtering the upon the subject of the currency. He had, to be sure, ratio, after alternately adopting gold or silver as a curren.
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[JUNE 21, 1834.
cy, we find the most enlightened nations of Europe with and both be made a lawful tender, is, I know, general; debased currencies, for the purpose of keeping at home but it is rather speculative than sound. It may be logicthat which should be the medium of the world; and that, ally proved in theory; but, like many other theories, it after all their inquiries and refinements, no two of them is contradicted by experience. It is extraordinary that agree in establishing the relative value of gold and silver. we should indulge these alarms in the face of the examNow, sir, with great deference to these authorities, in ples of France and of all the nations south of us, where establishing a permanent ratio, I prefer following a less both metals circulate, and are received in the payment of fluctuating example. prefer looking to the South-to debts, without inconvenience or any derangement of the our own neighbors, where the same unvarying ratio has currency. continued for generations--to those mining countries Those, sir, who go for a low value for gold, overlook where the ratio is established which will influence and the object of this bill, and we should be left, upon their control the relative value of gold and silver, notwithstand- plan, precisely where we are now, without a gold curing all our laws and the temporary fluctuations at differ- rency: Looking upon this measure, as I do, to be the ent times and in particular countries. We all, sir, have most important that has been presented to us during the our particular speculations upon this subject. One gen- present session, in its ultimate effects upon the currency tleman proposes fifteen and five-eighths; the gentleman of the country, I cannot think it an injury to give a trifrom Massachusetts (Mr. GORHAM] would go as high as fling advantage to gold over silver. It will tend to give fifteen and three-quarters; and, sir, I have my own specu- us a broader basis for our paper circulations, and modelation about it; the just average, according to the best calo rate the too rapid growth of corporations, which are culation I can make, is fifteen, eighty-six and a half. The overshadowing the land. Put your gold coins in circularatio proposed by my colleague (Mr. Wurte) is a fraction tion, and the effect on public opinion, the only salutary less than one per cent. higher than the result of my cal-corrective of bad legislation, whether State or federal, culations. Independent of these calculations, I have would be more powerful than thousands of our speeches. always thought that, in establishing a ratio for our coins Every man would see the fallacy of the supposed neces(situated, as we are, intermediately between the mining sity for our small-note circulations, and of granting to countries and Europe) we should go higher than most of corporations the power to flood the country with bank the European regulations, and fall a lillle below the an- notes. Those who would come here, as well as those cient Spanish ratio, which is still the regulator in most who would be sent to our four-and-twenty Legislatures, countries where there are no controlling laws. But, sir, would entertain very different opinions upon the ques.
willingly surrender all my speculations on this subject; tions of currency and banks. We should not then proIt is much more safe to establish a valuation of gold too pose to sustain the currency or the Government by an high than too low; by adopting a higher ratio, we shall be abuse of power and an abuse of credit. These are the more certain of accomplishing our object, which is to se- remote consequences of the measure cure for our own country the permanent circulation of about to adopt, which would be entirely defeated by gold coins.
accepting the amendment proposing too low a valuation Some objections have been stated which I do not be- of gold. lieve well founded. We are alarmed at a mere fractional Mr. GORHAM observed that the House was going to variation. Of the importance of this objection we may make gold cheaper than silver, and the necessary result judge by the facts stated in this debate. We are told must be, that the gold would be retained and the silver that the mint valuation in France is fifteen and a balf, sent abroad. The cost of carrying the two kinds of spewhile the current value is fifteen and seven-tenths; that cie being the same, a man going abroad would, of course, in England, fifteen and a fiftli, or less by another calcu- take that kind in preference which would bring him the lation; while the actual ratio is about fifteen and eighty- most where he was going; and if there was even a small three hundredths. Sir, the current ratio between gold difference, it would be sufficient to determine his choice. and silver bullion may, as it does, fluctuate with the in- He had offered a proposition which he believed would creased or diminished demand for either for temporary meet and obviate ihe difficulty, and keep both metals
But, with a just ratio, your currency will not be among us. Unless some such expedient should be adoptaffected by such fluctuations. Great fears have been ex-ed, he was very certain that the silver would shortly dispressed, too, about driving silver out of the country. I appear, and nothing but gold would get into circulation; cannot believe, sir, that the trifling advantage given to and then just the same difficulty would occur with gold gold, an advantage not equal to one per cent., will pro- as did now respecting silver. duce any such effect. Neither of them would go out, Mr. McKIM opposed the amendment suggested by Mr. unless to pay temporary balances, and under the pro- Gonham, wbich, he said, would, in practice, derange all posed regulations for our coin. If the Mexican and Pe. the commercial affairs of the community. It required ruvian dollars were exported, the fractions of the dollars that all payments must be made one-half iv gold. What of every kind, and the gold, would remain. I cannot if the gold was not in the country? and such was notoriperceive how this result would injure the country. ously the fact. The low standard which had long preAnother apprehension is indulged, as i think, equally un- vailed in this country for that metal had driven it all away. founded. Calculating erroneously upon the existing rel. The amount of gold coin in the United States had been ative value of gold and silver in this country as the true regularly diminishing for years past. Gold alone was a and proper value, and forgetting that it is altogether the legal tender in Great Britain, and this caused all the gold artificial work of our own laws, we are gravely told of to centre there. Such an arrangement as was suggested the danger of authorizing the circulation of both metals by the gentleman last up would, if insisted upon, give an together, and particularly when you value gold two or entirely new train to our commercial business. Every three per cent. higher than it ought to be. The error is man would be set to hunting about to find where any gold in assuming that fifteen and five-eighths is the just aver- was to be found, and the use of notes would, in a great age ratio of gold and silver in the markets of the world, degree, be discontinued. He thought the ratio of 16 to wirile thet average is within a fraction of one per cent. of 1 certainly too high; he believed 15.825 would be a bela that proposed by my colleague, [Mr. White.] Pass the ter standard; but if it was found that they had gone a bill, and gold would immediately assume its just relative little over the mark, it was a matter that might be easily value, and whatever small difference might exist, would regulated. The effect, in the mean while, would be to be immediately controlled by law and custom. The extend some encouragement to our gold mines at the opinion that the two metals cannot circulate together, South. The exportation of gold, at present, was a regu
JUXE 23, 1834.]
Rhode Island Resolutions.
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lar trade, and the effect was to injure men of small capi
MONDAY, JUNE 23. tal. Another result of the bill would be to drive out the circulation of bank notes, to a certain degree, which, per: Columbia, reported the following resolution; which was
Mr. CHINN, from the Committee on the District of haps, would not be a bad thing. But he hoped the half. disagreed to by the House: and-balf plan of the gentleman from Massachusetts would
Resolved, that the bills on the Speaker's table, reportnot be adopted.
ed by the Committee on the District of Columbia, shall Mr. GORHAM now withdrew his amendment. The question being now loudly demanded, it was put o'clock.
be the special order for this day, from and after twelve upon Mr. SELDEN's amendment to the amendment pro
Mr. POLK rose to move that the rule by which this posed by Mr. Waite, (fixing the ratio of gold to silver at day was set apart for the presentation of memorials and 15.625 to 1,) and decided by yeas and nays: Yeas 52, petitions should be suspended at two o'clock, at which
hour the House should resume the consideration of the Mr. GORHAM, observing that he felt much anxiety as bill to regulate the terms by which the deposites are to be to the practical effect of the bill in driving out the silver held by the State banks. from our country, proposed an amendment altering the
Mr. DENNY wished to have the harbor and fortificarelative proportions of fine and standard gold in the eagle, tion bills taken up, and with that view called for a divias follows: instead of 232 grains of pure gold to 258 sion of the question, and for the yeas and nays on the grains of standard gold, he proposed 234 grains of the motion to suspend the rule; which having been ordered, one to 260 grains of the other; in the half eagle, to
Mr. J. Q. ADAMS moved, as an amendment, that change 116 to 117 grains of fine gold, and 129 to 130 of " five" o'clock should be inserted as the hour at which standard gold; and in the quarter eagle, 58 to 58}, and the House should take up the deposite bill. This being 645 to 65.
the last day for the presentation of petitions, it was, he Mr. WILDE said that this was the very highest ratio to said, due to the people that they should have the benefit which he could bring his mind. If it should be set high; of it. After that hour, he was willing to remain until er, the inevitable effect would be to banish silver, and midnight for the disposition of the other business. substitute gold in its place.
The amendment was rejected, and the question as to The question being put, Mr. Gornam’s amendment was the suspension of the rule having been divided, so as to rejected: Yeas 69, nays 112.
be taken on the suspension simply-The question then recurring on the amendment offer.
The House agreed to suspend the rule: Yeas 127, nays ed by Mr. WHITE,
61. Mr. BINNEY offered an amendment, providing that a certain number of the pieces coined in each year should the business which was entitled to precedence, in which
A desultory and lengthened discussion then arose as to be reserved and assayed, to ascertain whether they were Mr. Selden, Mr. HUBBARD, Mr. HUNTINGTON, Mr. Dickof the proper fineness. This, he said, was recommended by the director of the mint; and he offered it in the form son, Mr. Evans, Mr. Clay, and Mr. Denny, participa
ted, after which, of a new section to the bill.
The House finally negatived the other part of the moMr. WHITE accepted this as a modification of his tion, viz: to take up the deposite bill at 2 o'clock: Yeas amendment; and the amendment thus modified was agreed 124, nays 65—not two-thirds. to without a division. The bill was then ordered to its third reading, and read being the presentation of memorials, &c.
The House then proceeded to the orders of the day, a third time; and the question being “Shall this bill
RHODE ISLAND RESOLUTIONS. Mr. ADAMS said he should vote in the affirmative, The resolutions from the Legislature of Rhode Island, though he did it very reluctantly, and in the hope that the presented by Mr. Burges, for the restoration of the deratio would be amended elsewhere. He considered it as posites and recharter of the bank, coming up as the undecidedly too; high; but as the bill was a very important finished business, one, he should not oppose its passage.
Mr. PEARCE, who was entitled to the floor on this Mr. ARCHER said he hoped that the House would be question, addressed the House at length on the subject. influenced by this suggestion of his friend from Massachu- Having spoken of the delay which had occurred in the setts to vote for the bill.
presentation of these memorials, he said his object was to Mr. GORHAM said that if the House should vote, by correct some mistakes which, in his opinion, prevailed, any very large majority, for the bill, he was assured the as to these resolutions. The report was, that they were Senate would not alter it. He hoped all who were oppo. resolutions of the popular branch of the Legislature of sed to the bill would vote against it, without any view to Rhode Island. They were understood to be such from amendments bereafter.
the statements of his colleague, (Mr. BURGES,] on a former Mr. WILDE admitted that, by the existing law, gold day. Mr. P. said, his object was to satisfy the House was undervalued; but by this bill it would be so greatly that they were not the resolutions of the Legislature of overvalued that of the two he should prefer the old law. Rhode Island—not the resolutions of the popular branch The question being put, the bill was passed: Yeas 145, of that Legislature. For this purpose, he would call their
attention to what these resolutions really were. And, Another coin bill, regulating the value of certain foreign first, he would call attention to their caption; from which gold coins within the United States, was then taken up, it would appear that they were not the joint action of the and having, on motion of Mr. WHITE, been so amended Senate and House of Representatives of Rhode Island. It as to conform it to the ratio established in the preceding did not appear, from the resolutions themselves, what was bill, it was in like manner read a third time, passed, and the action of the Senate with regard to them. His colsent to the Senate for concurrence.
league, indeed, had said that two of these resolutions did Two private bills having been carried through Commit- receive the authority and sanction of the Senate. tee of the Whole and passed, the House spent a short He (Mr. P.) did not know on what authority his coltime on the bill from the Senate, granting double pensions league made this statement. According to all that apto the surviving relatives of the sailors killed on board the peared, these acts of the House of Representatives were French frigate Suffren, in the bay of Toulon; when the dead, even as acts of the House of Representatives of farther consideration of the bill having been postponed the State of Rhode Island. For the moment the Senate, till Monday, the House, at 8 o'clock, Adjourned. in a committee of conference, refused to agree to these
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Rhode Island Resolutions.
[JUNE 23, 1834.
resolutions, they became a mere nullity. All that House contemplated an existence too prolonged for any such had had was a transcript of the proceedings of the rep- institution. It would, in his opinion, be better to submit resentatives of Rhode Island, previously to their being to the evils arising from the fluctuations of temporary inratified by the Senate of that State. But, further, he stitutions, and from their winding up of their affairs, than would ask, what bad they heard said, in relation to these to establish an institution for a lengthened time. He resolutions? For he wished to put these proceedings in would not agree to give to any such institution a longer their proper light, before that House and the nation; and term than ten or twelve years; and, instead of a capital of to prove that, as yet, they had not heard the voice of thirty millions of dollars, he would not allow it more than either House of the Legislature of Rhode Island, relative twenty millions; perhaps ten or fifteen millions would anto that subject, which had engaged the attention of the swer all purposes. whole country for the last six or eight months. And Mr. P. further urged his objection to a bank, incorpohere he would call on the House to remark, that the sub-rated under such provisions, for so long a time, and with sequent proceedings, after the Senate had disagreed, had so large a capital and extended powers, as the Bank of been neither read nor commented on by his colleague. the United States; and controverted the opinion put forth, Perhaps they had escaped his attention. It was for the that the President had been guilty of an act of despotism purpose of putting this matter in the right light that he in the removal of the deposites. These cries of terror had risen that morning. His colleague, in speaking of were put forth for effect. Hence the statement of his this popular branch of the Legislature, as he had termed colleague about the chambers of death, and the picture it, represented it as a band of heroes and patriots. Now, of horror he had drawn, until they could all but see the he (Mr. P.) would take upon himself to say, that at no bats flying about, and the foxes looking in at the win. time does the House of Representatives of Rhode Island dows. The occasion he alluded to was the prosing speech speak truly the popular voice. He would tell them the of his colleague, which had been subsequently published,
They had in that State the rotten-borough sys- and made a pamphlet of eighty-two pages. He discred.
Mr. P. here detailed the population and number ited these evil predictions. He believed that none of of representatives, in Newport, Portsmouth, Easton, &c. these consequences would ensue. It might be that, for the purpose of showing the unequal apportionment of by improvident conduct, persons in various cities bad representatives to the population in that State. He brought distress on themselves; but this was not the conmight, he said, go through the whole State, but he had sequence of any act of the Executive; and he believed stated enough to show that these resolutions were not the that our trade generally was as good as usual. They had voice of what might be properly called the popular branch heard no complaints from the people of Rhode Island, of their Legislature.
with the exception of the memorial presented some time But it seemed the Senate did not concur in these reso- since, from the little village of Wolsoccet, by his colo lutions. Now, how was this Senate constituted? Its league; and in regard to which he wished merely to state members were voted for by the people at large; the Gov- to the House that, since that presentation, there had been ernor and the Senate were elected by a general ticket; an appeal to the ballot-boxes, and a majority found in the Senate, then, was more justly entitled to be designa- favor of the present administration. ted as the popular branch; and if there had been any Mr. P. said he was free to confess that the winding up expression of the opinion of the people of Rhode Island, of a "great concern like this must necessarily produce that expression had well been let alone.
some difficulties, but little of it would have reached his But, for the sake of argument, he would call the atten. State. He denied that the men who were really distion of the House to the resolutions themselves. Admit- tressed or broken down by pressure came there. No, ting that the House had in them the expression of the they were the broken-winded and disappointed politicians, opinion of the popular branch of the Legislature, wbat disappointed aspirants, and hence arose such a multi
plicity of distress meetings, and distress memorials. The (Mr. P. here read the resolution, stating the removal issue was fairly tried in Rhode Island, and the result of the deposites to have been a measure unwarrantable, proved this fact. If the mechanics, merchants, and farm, ill-advised, &c.)
ers came before us, and knocked at our door, and told He thought that this was not the proper language for us what they suffered and what they wanted, he would that body to use; and, further, he stated to the House pay the highest regard to their memorial; but such was that one of these gentlemen, whose opinion was expres- I not the description of persons who came there. He sed in this resolution, was member of the Hartford con- denied, also, that the country was in distress, since it vention.
With regard to the next resolution, he objected would be found that the revenue would, in this very year, to it because it was founded on the assumption that the far exceed the estimates; within the last year and a half, bank had done what was required of it by its charter. more than fifteen millions had been brought into the This he denied; and, until this issue was settled, he should country. With these facts staring us in the face, who reject this resolution, as founded on a mere presumption. could say we were approaching a despotism. Mr. P. [Mr. P. then read the next resolution.] So far as regard- said he thought it due to himself and to the country that ed that resolution, which related simply to the existence he should have presented his views on this subject; he of a national bank- not a monster, to arise out of the ashes had not troubled the Ilouse much, and had it not been of the present one, but a bank with a less capital, and for imperious necessity, he would not have taken up so much a more limited time-if this was its meaning, he was in tine as he had. favor of it, and he believed nine-tenths of the people of Mr. BURGES denied that he had husbanded these Rhode Island would be in favor of it. But he every day resolutions to make a display; he had written to his colbecame more and more convinced that there was in that league on the subject, who had declined presenting State a majority of two to one against the present bank; them, and the only reason why they had been delayed at the same time, he believed there was a large majority was from the pressure of business before the House, It in favor of a national bank. The only thing against this would be found that the people of Rhode Island had not being the universal feeling was, that the conduct of the ceased to complain, and be held in his hands another Bank of the United States had been so bad that it preju- memorial from Ghent county on the same subject. When diced people against any bank. He hoped such would it was reflected how memorials were received there, with not be the case, but it might have this effect. (Mr. P. that scowl with which they were received by the British read the next resolution, proposing the establishment of Parliament in the reign of George the Third, it was not a national bank.] He was opposed to this, because it surprising that more had not been sent.
He would tell
JUNE 23, 1834. ]
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the gentleman, his colleague, that their little State would treat memorials, whether they came from friend or foe, lose the last ounce of its treasure, its last cent, its last with respect. Still he maintained that they had been got sword, its last drop of blood, ere it would agree to sus- up by disappointed and broken-winded politicians. He tain the conduct of the present administration.
had stated nothing but facts in relation to those persons These resolutions (said Mr. B.) were passed by the who had got up those petitions, and he should continue popular branch of the Legislature, and the reason why to do so. they had not passed the Senate was because that body, The gentleman had charged him with changing his or certain leading members of ji, wished to display its opinions during the last two years. What was the truth? loyalty to the present Executive. They were influenced Two years ago he represented the views and opinions of by a gentleman who had great executive patronage and the people of Rhode Island; he did so still. The people expectation there. In the popular branch nineteen towns had changed, and he was still with them. He denied, out of thirty-two had voted for the resolutions, comprising also, that he was a hunter for office. He neither sought, more than three-fifths of the population. And it would be desired, or expected office, and if it came, it would come found that five-sevenths of the whole constituency of the unexpectedly. Mr. P. made a few further remarks in State were in favor of most of the resolutions, and one- defence of the Senate. He had not sought a controversy third more in favor of the remainder. Mr. B. defended with his colleague, nor ever would, but he should never the conduct of the members of the Hartford convention, shrink from an open avowal of his opinions. in reply to the charge made by his honorable colleague Mr. DENNY moved to lay the resolutions and restric that the framer of these resolutions had been a member tions on the table; which was agreed to without a division. thereof. Even had the men of that convention acted Mr. WHITTLESEY now called for the orders of the wrong, were there not others who had done the same? day. He could point out persons who had changed their opin. After some discussion as to precedence of business, the ions very suddenly; and, if their course were right now, House took up must have been wrong once. The gentleman had said
THE HARBOR BILL. that the deposites ought not to be restored to the Bank The question being on the amendment of Mr. MENCER, of the United States till the issue between that institution appropriating $29,000 for surveys, including arrearsand the administration had been settled. Let him ask, Mir. HAWES moved a call of the House; but the call was there a gentleman present who could point to a was refused. single fact in which the bank had not performed all the Mr. SMITH, of Maine, inquired whether a portion of duties assigned to it? The truth was, that the outcry this appropriation for surveys was not to meet arrears? against the bank had originated among the stock-jobbers Mr. POLK replied in the affirmative. in Wall street-miscreants who fattened upon the indus. Mr. SMITH then wished to call the attention of the try of the people. He denied that the resolutions had House to the fact that they were now asked to pay money been sent there by broken-down and broken-winded poli- which had been expended without authority by one of the ticians, but by as upright, respectable, and honorable officers of Government. Would the House sanction this men as any in the State. Mr. B. concluded by moving course on the part of public officers? If, after a specific that the resolutions be referred to the Committee of the sum had been appropriated for certain objects, the offiWhole on the state of the Union, with instructions to cers of Government were to go on expending still more, report that the reasons of the Secretary for removing the and then come to the House and ask for the surplus, under deposites from the Bank of the Visited States were and the name of arrears, where was such a course of expenare insufficient.
diture to stop? or what was to limit it? This course of Mr. PEARCE was happy to find his colleague come things seemed now to be expected and counted upon. out as the open advocate of the Hartford convention. He Congress had so often sanctioned demands of the kind had read the history of that event; and he remembered that it seemed to be calculated upon as a matter of course. something of the circumstances connected with it, though Officers would at length come to the conclusion that they lie was young at the time. Their object was a separation might exceed the amount appropriated at pleasure. If of the union of the United States, and he had seen a letter they might do it one year, they might another; and if from Mr. Lowell, of Massachusetts, proving that to be so; they could exceed by $17,000, why not by 100,000 or and these were the men supported and advocated by his 1,000,000? Ought not the House to put a stop to such colleague. At what period was this convention organized? a practice? Ought they to agree to the amendment, if this At a most critical period of the country, when exchequer was involved in it? Such items." for arrears" were exbills were at a discount of thirty-five per cent.; and what cellent contrivances to cover up these excesses of expendid they do? Go among the soldiers and sailors and ad- diture. This was his objection to a part of the amount; vise them to decline serving their country,
and as to the residue, it only went to open a track to new Mr. MARSHALL rose to a question of order. This works of internal improvement by the General Govern. subject had no connexion with the resolutions.
ment-a thing on which the people had put their most Mr. PEARCE was replying to his colleague. It was emphatic veto. On that ground he should vote against in his (Mr. P.'s) recollection that when the news of war the whole appropriation. arrived in the town where his colleague resided, the bells Mr. STEWART rose to state a fact, viz: that the arwere set ringing; and this was the place where those pat- rearages in this item were not for voluntary excesses of riotic men lived who sent their complaints to that House. expenditure by the War Department, but expenses inHe would refer to the language and conduct of the friends curred unavoidably in executing the express orders of the of that convention in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He House. Laws were passed requiring the Department to bad always thought his colleague was a friend to it; but execute certain surveys; and it often would liappen that he had never expected to have heard any one enter upon either the order of the House must remain unexecuted, or its defence on the floor of that House.
some excess of expenditure beyond the amount appropriWith regard to thie'sėšolutions, Mr. P. said, they were ated be unavoidably incurred. And would the House, not sent there for presentation. Let him ask why they after imposing this necessity, tura round and say they had been so long postponed? It was agreed by his col. would not indemnify the Department for expenditures league and a Senator from Rhode Island that they should actually made; or, what was the same thing, would refuse be presented to both branches of the Legislature on the to pay for work actually done? Engineers had been ensame day, in order that greater effect might be produ- gaged, and chain-bearers and other assistants hired; they
Mr. P, repudiated the charge that he had failed to had gone into the field, and on the faith of the Govern