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Oct. 5, 1837.]
[H. OF R.
came here his impression was, that the only practicable same set-off; because the assignee of a bond would take it relief was the creation of a Government loan, by which subject to all the equity which attached to it in the hands our account with Europe could be speedily closed, or to of the obligce. What would these bonds sell for at the issue such kinds of Treasury notes as would be useful to risk of being paid off in this manner? It was true that we the people ; and he thought that the payment of the fourth might direct otherwise by law; but then it would be a harsh instalinent of the deposites would be the means of distrib measure, deprive the bank of a privilege which belonged to uting these notes to the country. But that measure had every body else that of paying its debts to the Governfailed, and with it a great portion of the ground for issuing ment in such paper as was received from all other persons. these notes.
If this course had been recommended by the Committee of It was his opinion that specie payments would not be Ways and Means, might it not have been deemed severe, resumed for the present, if the measures now before the and tending to embarrass the operations of the bank ?. But House were adopted ; and he also wished it to be known to consider it strictly as a financial measure, what did it that, in his opinion, the period of distress had not passed amount to? When we had to choose between using the
It still existed, and, under the present state of credit of the Government and the credit of the bank, why things, must increase. Some gentlemen had attributed should we prefer the latter ? He admitted that the credit of the distress to over-trading; but, although he would admit that institution stood high, both in our own country and that might have had some influence, yet the great evil Europe, and he had not the slightest wish to impair that which they were called on to remedy was that of obstruc- credit. But it was not equal to that of the Government. tion to our credit, both at home and abroad, and to restore Would the gentleman from Massachusetts contend for this? the currency to its former state, and the banks to that con- He apprehended not. But let us follow out the operation. fidence they enjoyed before the suspension of specie pay- Suppose the bonds put up for sale in New York. In mente. It was desirable that they should make the notes what money would payment be required? In specie or of the banks receivable for public dues; and, when they notes of non-specie paying banks? The existing laws forhad done that, they would have done all that was expect- bade the reception of the latter, and specie must therefore ed from Government ; for, when such notes were so re be required. Where would six milions of dollars in specie ceivable, confidence would be restored, and nothing more come from? It would be unwise to tempt the banks to would be wanting. He could not vote for the bill to its bring it out of their vaults, in order to purchase these bonds, present amount ; and, if Treasury notes were issued at all, because the abstraction of such a quantity would retard a he would suggest the expediency of issuing them without, resumption of specie payments, which all agreed in wishing rather than with interest.
to hasten. Would the hoards of individuals be brought out, Mr. HOWARD said he would make a few remarks in and vested in these bonds? Perhaps they might, but they reply to the gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. Phillips,] might more reasonably be expected to be enticed from their upon the point which had been very zealously pressed up hiding places by Government securities. Even if the bonds on the House by him. It was proposed to raise the money should be thus sold, the currency of the country would rewhich the Treasury wanted, by a sale of the bonds of the main just as it now is, and no facility be afforded for domesBank of the United States, instead of issuing Treasury lic exchanges, which was one great object of the present notes. As a financial measure, Mr. H. said, his under- bill. Treasury notes would be a valuable addition to the standing was not convinced of its propriety, although he existing circulating medium, because they would enable freely admitted that the gentleman from Massachusetts was remittances to be made from one part of the country to much more conversant with such subjects than himself. It another. The plan of the gentleman from Massachusetts, seemed to him that this plan of selling the bonds of the on the contrary, just left things as they were without moving bank was urged upon the House with great pertinacity. a single inch towards the relief of the mercantile commuDuring the discussion of the bill to postpone the fourth in- nity. But it had been said that these bonds might be sent stalment, it was the policy of the opponents of that meas to England and sold there, and the specie brought here. ure to show that the Treasury had ample resources at com This might be true. He would pass over the delay which mand, and the conversion of those bonds into cash was di- must be experienced in the remittance, sale, and importarectly in the track of the argument. But that inatter had tion of the specie, in order to call the attention of the genbeen decided, and the question now was merely whether tleman from Massachusetts to the singular situation in which the Government should use its own credit, or that of the this proposal placed bin. Gen. Jackson had been severely bank, in order to raise funds.
censured by the opposition with interrupting the course of If the proposition to sell had been brought forward by commerce and forcing exchange, by causing large importathe adversaries of the bank, and sustained upon the ground tions of specie; and here was a proposition to do the same that it would be wise to part with the honds for whatever thing, except as to amount. The only difference was, that they might bring, because the bank had not paid the first Gen. Jackson imported thirty millions, and the gentleman bond at maturity, it would have been an argument that he proposed to import six, He was actually treading in the could understand. Mr. H. said he begged to inquire fuotsteps of General Jackson. But what would be the froin the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means consequence of such an importation? The Bank of Engwhether the first bond, which was due on the first of Oc- | land had becoine alarmed before, when it found its bullion tober, had been paid ?
reduced from eight millions sterling to between three and four, (Mr. CAMBRELENG replied, that no notice of its pay- and had taken vigorous measures to prevent further loss, luy ment bad been received, and that the Secretary of the discountenancing American bills and lowering the price of Treasury had been obliged to write to the president of the cotton, the consequence of which was a necessity of shipbank about it. )
ping specie from the United States. It had now regained Mr. H. said it was generally reported that the bank its usual amount, and the price of exchange was g adually intended to set off certain Treasury warrants or drafts falling. But the sudden abstraction of a million sterling which had been issued, in payment of the third instalment, from London could not do otherwise than reproduce the to some State under the deposite act, into the correctness alarm which had now subsided, or was subsiding, and of which step he would not now enter, as it would lead thus we sbould have fresh trouble. But the gentleman hip out of his way.
from Massachusetts had also said that the Secretary might The reason why he mentioned it at all was to show, that draw bills of exchange upon the proceeds of these bonds, if the bank thought itself entitled to discharge the first bond and thus bring down exchange. True, this could be done; in this way, it might think it just to pay the others by the and he would concur cheerfully with the gentleman in any
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measure which could restore the par of exchange, and at a proposition of this kind, when, on a late occasion, at the the same time relieve our people from their domestic diffi-| time a war with France was expected, that gentleman had culties. But when the bills were sold, the same question brought forward a proposition to sell the stock in the Bank arose as about the bonds. In what was payment to be re of the United States. Now, however, the gentleman had ceived ? It must of course be in specie, and nothing would left this proposition to be brought forward by a friend of be added to the currency as a means of making remittances the Bank of the United States. He went into an argufrom one State to another. This was the great advantage ment of some length in support of the proposition he had which the present bill possessed over the amendment, and brought to the notice of the House. he should therefore adhere to the bill.
Mr. UNDERWOOD accepted of the gentleman's Mr. TOUCEY contended that the bill under considera- amendment as a modification. tion was well adapted to the wants of the country, and Mr. CAMBRELENG. The gentleman from Virginia well calculated to afford relief to the Government and the [Mr. Patron] had referred to a period some years since, people; and that, if we attempted to draw the money from when the country was upon the eve, or supposed by some The deposite banks while they owe the Government, it will of us to be on the eve, of a French war, when an amount force them to press their creditors, and add to the distress of money was due from the Bank of the United States, and of the community. The country stood in the relation of which money the Committee on Foreign Affairs at that creditor to the banks and the merchants, and it was its time (the same being actually due, and not then converted duty to deal with them in such manner as to afford the into bonds) supposed might be applied to the public emergreatest relief to them. In relation to sending bonds gency. abroad, he must say that he felt a great repugnance to The gentleman had expressed great surprise that a sending them into a foreign market, to raise money upon
friend of that bank should make this proposition now, and them to carry on the operations of the Government; be that Mr. C. and others, who were so much opposed to the sides, if they were sent abroad, it would have the effect of bank, should oppose it. Now he had attributed to that increasing our foreign debt, which now presses so heavily gentleman a litile more sagacity. He did not suppose upon us. He supported the bill at some length, and that any gentleman opposed to the Bank of the United answered the arguments of the gentleman from Massachu- States would wish to adopt a proposition which, if adoptsetts in relation to the constitutionality of the measure. ed, would compel them to alter the title of the bill under
Mr. BELL said he had some remarks to make upon the consideration, and make it read, “a bill for the benefit of bill, but he would decline doing so, if gentlemen were dis the Bank of the United States." posed now to take the question on the amendinents; he What was the proposition but to sell the bonds of the would not stand in the way of the question being taken. bank, with the endorsement of the United States upon After that, however, he desired to have the opportunity of their back; thereby making them, in effect, the bonds of addressing the House on the merits of the bill, and would the United States ? And that the gentleman called “a then nove to strike out the enacting clause for that divorce and separation of this Government from the Bank purpose.
of the United States !” They were to endorse the bonds Mr. CAMBRELENG suggested to the gentleman to al- of that bank, and then go into the market as merchants low the question to be taken on the amendment, and on and sell them, with the endorsement of the United States thre engrossment of the bill; and then he would have the upon them. We might with equal propriety dispose of opportunity of discussing the whole merits of the bill on its the merchants' bonds in the same manner. third reading.
What, then, would be the next operation? Why, that After a few remarks by Mr. WISE, the question was the Bank of the United States would itself indirectly buy taken on the amendment of Mr. Ruert, and it was re them. Where were six millions of dollars to be raised? jected.
Was there any capitalists in this country, or any associaMr. UNDERWOOD then moved to strike out all after tion of capitalists, or any institution, except the Bank of the enacting clause, and insert :
the United States, that could, at the present crisis, pur" That the Secretary of the Treasury be authorized to chase this stock ? There was not. The bank would have sell and transfer to the purchaser or purchasers the bonds no competitor, and would itself purchase her bonds, not or evidences of debt executed by the president, directors, directly, but by an agent, who would pay for them and company of the Bank of the United States of Pennsyl- by drafts on some banker in London, aided, perhaps, by vania, for and in consideration of the stock held by the the Bank of England. They would be transmited to United States, in the late Bank of the United States, and London, and the bank would realize an immense profit by to apply the money arising from such sale and transfer in the operation. Mr. C. had no doubt that every friend of payment of any demands upon the Treasury': Provided, the bank upon that floor would vote for the proposition, however, That no sale and transfer of said bonds or evi- since it would put at least $100,000 (more, probably half dences of debt shall be made for a less sum than the nomi a million) into the pockets of the stockholders of that innal amount of said bonds or evidences of debt exclusive of stitution. But how is it proposed to realize this amount? interest.
When is it to be paid--where, and in what description of Mr::WHITTLESEY, of Ohio, called for the yeas and money? In the mean time, where were the Government nays on the adoption of this amendment; which were debtors to procure money to pay their debts to the Governorllered.
ment? Or where was the Government itself to get the Mr. PATTON then scggested au amendment to the means of paying its current expenses in every quarter of gentieman from Kentucky, which he hoped the gentleman the Union ? Was any body to be benefited by such an would accept as a inodification, which was a provision din operation ? Nobody, but the Bank of the United States. recting the Secretary of the Treasury to draw drafts on the Mr. C. said there were two extremes to this proposition deposite banks, for the balances due the Government, in for supplying the Treasury with means. Before he would favor of public creditors ; directing the Secretary also to re consent to put forth the bonds of the Bank of the United ceive such drafts in payment of all dues to the Government. States with the endorsement of the Government upon them, He explained his object to he to prevent the issue of Treas. and then send them through the agency of the bank itself ury notes, except in cases of very great emergency. He to England for disposal, he would infinitely prefer at onco thought this to be the proper course of proceeding, and an issile of Government stock. It would be degrading to took it to be extraordinary that the chairman of the Com this country to issue its credit in the form of an endorsemittee of Ways and Means should not have brought forward ment. Their credit was amply sufficient without any con
Oct. 5, 1837.)
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nexion with that of the Bank of the United States. The Mr. THOMAS thought it extraordinary that gentlemen proposition for stock was the extreme on one side. It should bring forward proposition after proposition to auwould suit very well the gentleman from Massachusetts, thorize the Secretary of the Treasury to issue drafts on the [Mr. FLETCHER.] It would suit very well the great capi- banks, which would be bought up and thrown back on the talists of this country who wanted to make investments. hands of the Secretary immediately. It was well known To them it would give relief, very great relief, and profit that we must borrow money in some way or other, and too; but let him tell the gentleman from Massachusetts, this being the case, he took it that the better plan would that the merchants who owe their bonds to the custom be to have as many bidders as possible. The bank bonds house, and others who have debts due them from other could not be bought by any but large capitalists, while the States, would not thank the gentleman. Neither would Treasury notes could be taken up by every merchant; so merchants in the West and Southwest, and in the interior, that the simple question was, whether we should put those thank the gentleman for substituting a stock in place of bonds in the market, which would command but few bidsupplying them with a medium of remittance to their cre ders, or whether we should put in the market the notea ditors in the Atlantic cities. An issue of stock was one which every merchant in the country could take. 'Ho extreme of the proposition.
thought it perfectly plain that the notes would answer the The other extreme was the proposition of the gentleman | best purpose. from South Carolina, (Mr. Rhett,) to issue Treasury Mr. BOUIDIN rose and addressed the House as folnotes without interest. Mr. C. spoke not iben of the lows: character of notes of that description ; but in effect it was Mr. Speaker: I will not detain the House with apologies best for our internal circulation, We had, however, bills for doing that which is the duty of every member of this before us, which would undoubtedly pass, postponing al-House, as well as his privilege-I mean, to express his most all our Treasury receipts till the next year. There opinions to the House and to his constituents. I would was danger, therefore, that such notes would become de- not, however, trouble the House with any remarks of mine, preciated. As Mr. C. said, when up before, he did not were it not for what the honorable gentleman from New wish this Government to issue Treasury notes of any de York, the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, scription, in any form whatsoever, liable to depreciation. (Mr. CAMBRELENG, ) had said in regard to those who might There was already an outcry throughout the country vote for this amendnient. He said, sir, if I understood against depreciated paper. We had too inuch of it now; him, that any man who might vote for it, at the same and the evil would be augmented, if the credit of the Gov-time being a hearty opponent of the Bank of the United ernment should become depreciated. He was anxious to States, was wanting in sagacity. Sir, I mean to vote for guard against that event. For this reason, among others, the amendment of the gentleman from Kentucky, and also he had therefore come to the conclusion that it was better, for the addition to that amendment offered by my colleague; taking all interests into consideration, to adopt the issue of and I thought I had sagacity enough to know that it will Treasury notes bearing a moderate rate of interest.
have no tendency to recharter that bank. If it has any The beneficial effect of these notes would be felt from such tendency, I would be glad to be informed how, and one end of the Union to the other. Take the south west- will go against it. The gentleman from New York has ern country alone. They would be paid out for the ex. not shown how. He has shown that if any profit can be penses of ihe Florida war, and for other expenditures in made, the Bank of the United States of Pennsylvania will ihe interior. This would enable the merchants, through make it. This I knew. If there be any profit to be made them, to liquidate their debts in the Atlantic cities. When, of consequence, that bank, or some bank, or some capitalin the form of remittances, they reached these points, they ist, or some association of capitalists, will make it. But would be paid into the custom-houses, or reinitted abroad. that is not a recharter of the bank. The amount issued in the northeast, either for expenditures Sir, I am against a bank of the Unitel States, from or to raise means for the Treasury, would also be in part the heart outward. I am not one of those who would have purchased for remittances abroad. But the two gentlemen the constitution altered to allow one. I am not one of from Massachusetts, Messrs FLETCHER and PHILLIPS, ) or those who, while they are against a bank of the United at least one of them, tell us that they will not be sent abroad; States, will ransack new and old-heaven and earth-o and why? Because the certificates were not in duplicate! find reasons to show we cannot do without one. Why, sir, are certificates of bank and State stocks, of which posed to it on the ground of unconstitutionality, for reamillions are remitted to Europe, issued in duplicate? But sons often urged, familiar, and not necessary to be repeated these Treasury notes were payable in twelve months, and here. I am against it, because I am against privileged orcould not therefore be negotiated. Sir, what have we seen ders in this country. I am not willing to give any heartwithin a few months past? Have we not seen the twelve less corporation the right and the power to raise the price months' bonds of the United States Bank remitted to Lon- of property to what it pleases, and depress it to what it don and sold there? Nay, have we not even seen the pleases, without the consent, or even the knowledge of the bonds of the Morris Canal Company-an institution, by
This corporation, the Bank of the United States, the way, not of the most unquestionable credit-have we certainly had this power, and as certainly exercised it, by not seen even the bonds of that company remitted and sold expanding or contracting its issues. Issue a great deal, abroad? Yet, sir, gentlemen tell us that five per cent. Treas- property sells high; contract a great deal, property sells for ury nutes, issued by the Government ofthe United States, can- nothing, or next to nothing. Sir, I listened with the at. not be remitted to discharge any portion of our foreign debt! tention due to talent and character to the gentleman from
In conclusion, Mr. C. said he hoped the House would Pennsylvania, [Mr. SERGEANT,) as I had opportunity for adopt such a measure as would go to maintain the credit several days. I did so, with that pleasure that a display of this Government, by authorizing the issue of 'Treasury of talent always gives me. He spok with great earnestness notes with interest. 'i'he eale of the bonds might be very of the condition of his constituents, who, it seems, are profilable to the Bank of the United States. The issue of mostly merchants, and it made me feel more sensibly for a stock might be advantageous to our banks and capitalists. my own. The Treasury nutes without interest would relieve our in He spoke of their enterprise and perseverance, skill and ternal trade from much embarrassment; but Treasury notes siiccess in trade, and I feel a pride in their character as citwith interest would essentially afford relief to every part of izens of my own country. Sir, I knew that they had tathe Union, and aid in equalizing our internal and external ken to themselves wings and flown to the uttermost parts exchanges.
of the earth, and orer the most dreary and dangerous reVol. XIV.-80
I am op
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gions of the sea. He said they were in great distress, and debt in gold and silver, for a debt contracted as security for I was sorrowful to the heart that they should be so. I some prudent man possibly some twenty years since; and have inquired into the cause of that distress, and under which debt, when contracted, was contracted in paper. Or stand that, in a regular course of trade, they endeavored to it might possibly be, as security for some guardian of an purchase the produce of the farmer and planter-of my infant, having the utmost confidence in the prudence of the constituents, who are farmers and planters—at a price at guardian, as well as of his solvency and integrity, who which they could make a profit, and behold they made a might be himself a money lender, and who, with the conloss, and were obliged to sell for half what they gave. If | sent of the security, had received the sales of produce on they had made a profit, as they anticipated, we should have properly, all at paper prices; and, however worthless and heard nothing of their afflictions; they have made a hard extravagant the ward might be, the guardian and security, bed for themselves, and their faithful and talented repre- both money lenders, both prudent men, might be sold out sentative argues, as I understand the effect of his proposi- to raise specie, if suddenly called upon, to make a better tion, to have a United States bank, or, rather, the same currency, or, for other reasons, just as this ward came of one rechartered, to take his constituents off that hard bed A public creditor, in order to get his money in Uniand put mine on. Now, sir, I have regard for the mer. ted States Bank notes, liable neither to discount nor overchants, as I have for all the citizens of the United States : burden a man, to the amount of a thousand dollars, may but when the question is simply, whether his constituents and will find, in many instances, liis bed sold from under shall lie on this hard bed of their own making, or mine him to pay some other contract, made perhaps yea rs ago, shall; when the question is simply between his constituenis either his own, or as security for some one, who, let things and mine, which shall be in affliction, I prefer mine should go on gradually, could pay. Many a man, to save five or not be.
ten per cent. discount on the transfer of a note from one Sir, I have listened to the various arguments coming from distant State to another, would have me vote for a United a certain large portion of this House, friends of a bank of States bank, when, were I to do it, and mine were the castthe United States, and they appear to resolve themselves ing vote, it would, for other contracts made at paper prices into this, “there is no other name given under heaven and resolved into specie settlements, now when there is a whereby a man might be saved,” excepting only by and great debt beyond the seas, sell the bread out of the mouths through a bank of the United States! Sir, if I believed of his children. I think i know a case of this sort. Sir, that it would relieve the people, or even the merchants, and I am against selling the people out in this way, either by the not hurt the other people, and was not unconstitutional, I help of a bank of the United States, or without it, in order should be greatly tempted to go for it; for it gives me pain to make a better currency for merchants and travellers, or to see any suffer. But, sir, I cannot believe it will relieve for the next generation. the people in general, or fail to ruin a vast proportion of As to banks, I never would have originated them, and them-whatever it may do with the merchants.
would get rid of them all, if I could do so without ruining Its paper, truly, might enable the merchants to pay their the people or greatly injuring them. They came on graddebts in Europe. But how? By restoring specie pay- / ually. Let them go off gradually, If one lose five per
And how is this to be done when there is, propor- cent., and another the like, until the bank note is lost, it tionally to the engagements now due, or to become due short- does not press as hard as for one to lose all and be sold out. ly, from the banks and their customers, scarcely any specie Let them go off by depreciation by degrees, as it came on in the country ? Sir, it must be by substituting the paper by appreciation by degrees. of the United States Bank for that now in circulation. Sir, I view a bank of the United States, compared to a How can they pay specie without reducing the quantity of State bank, as a royal Asiatic liger to a cat. The same in paper circulation ? This might enable the merchants to species, nature, and manner of doing mischief; differing pay their debts in bank notes of the Bank of the United only in the power. They have, generally, as far as I have States; and probably would, if they be prudent, without looked into their charters, this other odious exclusive privitrouble. But what would become of my constituents? Sir, lege. The property of the stockholders is exempt from exthey would be put upon the hard bed, and those of the ecution by a creditor or a bank, while a co-partner of a inergentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. SERGEANT] be taken cantile company, or an individual, is liable in his property off it. Mine would be sold out, instead of his, to raise to the last cent, and his body liable to be incarcerated, put this specie—to make a currency to pay debts abroad. To in prison. This, then, may happen : a stockholder in one make a fit currency for a man to travel from one end of the of these banks may buy your whole estate, worth one hunworld to the other without suffering discount, wearing their dred thousand dollars, and take possession of it and hold, pockets out with specie, or be troubled with changing notes. and, together with his brethren who may have done the Sir, my constituents owe no debts abroad beyond seas, and like with others, declare the bank broken, taking care to few of them travel beyond their own credit; much fewer bave no tangible property, and leave you with their notes. beyond the credit of their own bank paper. Why, then, You cannot touch them or their property. Nay, worse, should they, or I for them, take steps that will reduce all the one that bought your property and holds it in defiance their paper contracts to specie settlements, and thus sell of you, may, with one of the notes of this bank, have themselves out? Sir, it was against the wish and will of bought your bond for a thousand dollars, more or less, and the people ibat banks, such as we have them, were created. put you in jail for it, and, sir, walk at large himself. Sir, They were made by their agenis, and they with their love they have, at this time, the hitch upon us : not we upon of peace and order submitted, and submit to it.
them. Much as I dislike such exclusive privileges and The people were then compelled, by the laws of the monopolies, and unjust advantages, I am not willing to United States, to make their contracts, in effect contrary to sell the people's beds from under them for the benefit of the constitution of the United States, and to that of every one of them, to the exclusion of all the rest, or to spite State, in paper. Sir, the contracts, whether cash or cre them all by requiring settlements of paper contracts now dit, are all in paper prices. If you have your gold, and I in existence, at specie prices, now when there is none in have my paper, and you bid and I bid, my paper fixes the the country, or next to none. Sir, I understand that, in price, unless the paper is above par with the gold. All a very short time past, forty millions have been laid out contracts, executors' bonds, guardians' bonds, and all, are in land in the wilderness ; that, clear of interest on the in paper valuation; and, while a man has money out on purchase money, will not yield forty cents profit to the preloan, and thinks himself safe, he may be sold out; his bed sent holders in forty years to come. That something like may be sold from under his wife, to pay off some security fifty millions are lost on the last crop of cotton, and pro
Oct. 5, 1837.)
(H. of R.
portionally in tobacco and rice, amounting, in the whole, currency for travellers and merchants, the relief I obtained to something like one hundred millions. This, of itself, was that I found infinite difficulty of getting either specie has created a great debt abroad, and a consequent demand or paper to meet these engagements. Others of my friends, for specie at this time, and must put our banking institu- prudent but less fortunate, had their property sold out entions to much difficulty, in relation to specie, without any tirely to meet engagements which were as prudent and thing else. Authorized as they are to issue three or four, circumspect, but for this relief, as coule! well be. Then it or more times as much in notes as they have specie in their was that a vast proportion of the land owners on the Roanvaults, it is obvious, if they do any profitable business, and oke, from the mountains to the ocean, were relieved of the are tried by their ability to pay debts on demand in specie, further trouble of their estates which had been in the hands they are broken from the first. Their solvency, in that of them and their forefathers for ages before. Soine had view, depends on the accidental circumstances of their bought an advancement for a child; some owed a small creditors all coniing at once. If too many do not call at store debt; some one small matter and some another, nothan unlucky time they can pay in specie ; otherwise not : ing unusual; when this relief came and they enjoyed the so that our security depends wholly, in good times or bad whole benefit of it by being, with their families, turned times, upon the accidental circumstance of all their credi- adrift upon the world, to make a good currency for others. tors, or even of less than a moiety of them, calling upon the Sir, a traveller is a good deal plagued to change bis money, banks all at once. When, then, there is such a demand and it is very comfortable to have money that is not heavy for specie to pay this great debt abroad, and when there is and will pass any where if convenient. It is not so wonone great corporation with such vast resources, still cling- derful, considering the nature and frailty of man, that such ing to the name of Bank of the United States, endeavor men should be willing to give every thing up to the coning to convince us by all possible means I will say all trol of a bank of the United States for convenience. A proper means that she alone can keep on a good curren man goes to a certain place hereafter, which from all accy: and when there is a powerful party fully persuaded, counts is not desirable for convenience, still he cannot deny and by all laudable means endeavoring to show that this himself the present gratification to avoid the distant but administration has produced, and is producing, confusion great evil before him. Interest never carried a man there; and mischief in all our fiscal concerns, is it strange that so but what think you, sir, of a man who has no occasion to many should call at once that these banks cannot pay specie travel, no debts beyond the seas, nor out of his neighborfor their notes ? Certainly it is not; and the people do not hood, no debts at all; suffering all these privations and sacconsider it strange. Their notes, in their respective dis-rifices, availing himself of this kind of relief, and beggartricts, will buy more property than specie would have ing his whole family and his neighbors ? This may hapbought last year. This shows the people are not surprised pen to a man out of debt. There are few who have not or alarmed at the fact of their stopping payment of specie. been guardian or executor, administrator or security, for Yet, we are told by gentlemen that there is great distress, some of them who may, though ever so prudent, be called and it is intimated that there is no relief but by a bank of on to suffer this kind of relief. I cannot speak for days, the United States. Where is the distress? What is it? I leave statistics to periodicals, and details to those who These land speculators and merchants have bought at high may choose to indulge in them; but I submit to you, Mr. prices and sold at low prices. They have often bought at Speaker, whether the previous banks that have been charlow prices and sold a: high prices, and have stopped pay- tered, and especially the Bank of the United States, have ment, and the banks stopped paying specie, but not making not taken the people rather by surprise? Whether the money by sharing the people. Travellers are pestered people have not, when they were informed that one was with shin-plasters; yet, the bulk of the people are yet un contemplated, generally refused to elect men who went for hurt, except by the dread that, by a bank of the United them ? I will not assert that this is true in every case, but States being created, or in some other way, their paper con I believe it to be true generally. tracts will be forced to be adjusted in specie, and thus sell To come more closely to the amendments now under their property for little or nothing, as was done in 1818, immediate consideration. Having said enough, I hope, to 1819, and 1820, and to make a nice currency. Sir, the satisfy any one that I have not only voted and spoken bithBank of the Vinited States then made it, but how and at erto against a bank of the United States, but am against it, what expense? It was my hard fortune to taste some of I have little veneration for our banking institutions of any the bitter fruits of relief then offered and now offered, by I will now come more closely to the consideration of a bank of the United States. Having encouraged specu- the amendments immediately before us. Sir, I said, a few lation in that day, as banks have done in this day, so much days ago, that I preferred to make sale of these bonds due that the president was so disapproved of that he was dis- for the stock of the Bank of the United States, as a means of missed and another one chosen, that bank began to make raising money, but did not think there was any chance to a good currency ; such an one as is now offered us, having get it through this House. I am for it still; I am for getting less specie than almost any other bank of any credit in her clear of all the money in the Treasury not necessary. I raulis; but, backed by the Congress of the United States, want as much there as is necessary and no more. I want and the receipts of the revenue of the United States, to the the administration to have its constitutional patronage and amount of some twenty or more millions, she required all other banks, but herself, to pay specie, needling not to do Sometimes, it seems, we have millions on millions; then it herself except nominally, because she has the receipt and we have none; which is it, sir? If these bonds are of no dis! ursement of the revenue. Her stock stood at something value, let them go; do not tantalize us with them as means. like a hundred and fifty; and that of a bank, having more If our deposites in the State banks are of no value, let us specie, and under better management, sunk to sixty. Then know it; if they are, let us use them. They are certainly it was, sir, that, the State banks being called on to resume considered as of value; for the bill to withhold the payment specie payments, which could be done in no way but by of the fourth instalment put every State in the Union, as it drawing in their own notes to give place for some few in appears to me, in a state of duress but a few days ago. The. proportion of the United States Bank, I tasted the full, noney being, in any way, under the control of the Execuno, sir, not the full, for others got greater benefits and re tive to such an amount is dangerous in the extreme. The lief than I did then it was that I myself enjoyed a por mere supposition that it is there, should it not be rcally tion of the relief now offered by the Bank of the United there, is capable of producing all this duress and confusion. States and its friends, having just before purchased proper Let us in some way get clear of it if we have it, and of the ty, land, at the previous paper prices. To make a good' mischievous delusion if we have it not. If we sacrifice some