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June 24, 1834.)
[H. OF R.
THE DEPOSITE BILL. from Massachusetts, that there is not time to give the
The Ilouse resumed the consideration of the “bill regsubject due consideration, need not alarm us. And I ulating the deposites in the local banks,” wben should have supposed he would have no apprehension on
Mr. COULTER obtained the floor, but yielded it to the subject, if he would only recall to mind the scenes Mr. DUNCAN, who offered an amendment, to come in which took place here about this time two years ago, after the enacting clause of the bill, by way of substitute when the bill for the recharter of the Bank of the United for its provisions. [The amendment of Mr. Duncan proStates was forced through the House by him and his posed to continue the act incorporating the present Bank friends, in the course of one day, I think, by the aid of of the United States for twenty years, with certain limitathe parliamentary instrument now so odious to him, and tions and regulations.] which he denominates the “screws." All the important
Mr. COULTER then took the floor and addressed the questions then proposed—the amount of bonus to be House as follows: paid; the obligation to pay interest on the deposites; the Mr. Speaker: The object which every member of this right of the States to tax the branches; the time of the House pursues is the public good, and the guide which charter; and perhaps other questions, were discussed as he adopts to conduct his steps, is the constitution of the long as the majority, in its discretion, thought to be ju-country. But, unfortunately, the imperfection of the dicious and proper; and then the disposition to prolong understanding is so great, and the influence of passion debate unnecessarily was corrected by the exercise of and prejudice so prevailing, that, like the pursuit for that parliamentary privilege which majorities always ex- the prize of a higher and more glorious calling, we are ercise, and minorities always endeavor to render odious. found in different paths. It is admitted on all hands that
(Mr. Reed, of Massachusetts, called Mr. P. to order, there has fallen upon the country a disturbed state of and said it was not in order to discuss the bank bill. public opinion, and that the late measures of the Execu
The SPEAKER said the gentleman from Virginia uvas tive have put the revenues and the currency of the counnot out of order: he was replying to arguments made by try to a new and hazardous experiment. Something like others. ]
consternation and dismay is manifested on one side at the Mr. Patron said he was under obligation to the gen-progress and probable result of this experiment, whilst tleman from Massachusetts for his admonition, as he was on the other there is nothing but hope and exultation. I very unwilling at any time to transgress the bounds of bave always believed that the dangers supposed to lurk order. He was pleased, however, to find that the gen. in what is called the marble palace of the bank were tleman's admonition was uncalled for. There need be greately magnified by the somewhat hysterical apprehennu apprehension that the bill will not be sufficiently con. sions, real or affected, of the anti-bank politicians, and I sidered. All its provisions may be fully examined, and have not doubted but the fears of the zealous friends of dispassionately and deliberately decided. The example the institution were much exaggerated in their calculaI have referred to, in relation to the bank charter, ought tions about the ruin of the country from its sudden and to satisfy those gentlemen at least who have expressed unwise destruction. The exacerbation of the fever is, I the apprehensions alluded to.
hope, passed, and the country will soon look with calm. Mr. POLK said that, to prevent the whole day being ness at its own condition, and adopt the suitable remedy. taken up in discussing the order of the business, and, at The various propositions which the crisis has introduced, the same time, to test the sense of the House whether they and which are now on the Clerk's table, show that all were disposed to entertain the deposite bill, he would sides of this House think some legislation necessary in withdraw his motion to postpone the fortification bill, and the present attitude of public affairs. Although they are simply move to lay it on the table; pledging himself, the all fairly opened to discussion by the present motion, I moment the deposite bill (if taken up) should be gone shall remark upon two of them only. For no one here through, that he would himself call it up.
is more sensible than I am of the value of time at presMr. REED called for the yeas and nays on the motion ent; and as my sole object is to throw out some considto lay on the table; which were ordered.
erations explanatory of my votes on these two proposiMr. DICKSON wished to know, if the motion to lay the tions. I voted, some days since, to lay one of these propother on the table prevailed, how the deposite bill came ositions on the table. The rule of proceedings did not next in order?
then allow me to state my reasons, which I will do now. Mr. POLK explained; after which,
You understand, of course, that I allude to the second res. Mr. PATTON rose to state that he wished to prevent olution of the Senate, which proposed to restore the any misapprehension as to his vote on this motion, for he deposites to the Bank of the United States after the first was not opposed to the fortification bill, although he de- of July, 1834, according to the terms of the charter. Alsired the deposite bill to be taken up immediately. though I was in favor of continuing the United States
Mr. E. EVERETT also desired to state that he was not Bank as the depository of the public treasure, until by against the deposite bill, although he was against its being its recent course it placed itself in an attitude of direct taken up at a period of the session when there was no hostility to the legislative authority of the country in relikelibood that it could be passed into a law.
lation to that treasure, I never would bave adopted this
H. OP R.]
The Deposite Bill.
[JUNE 24, 1834.
mode of effecting that object, as either adequate to reme- ly, and more dishonorably to this body, withholds the dy the evils complained of, or calculated to allay the ap- public treasure from the custody and dominion of the leprehensions of the country. By the sixteenth section of gislative power, than the President has attempted to do. The charter, it is enacted that the moneys of the United It is a matter of no import with me, that specious preStates shall be deposited in the bank, unless the Secretary tences have been set forth to justify this line of conduct
. shall otherwise direct. The great evil complained of, was The argument of the President to justify his interference that this discretion of the Secretary had been abused with the treasury, is more imposing than the excuses that he had removed the deposites unwisely, and without and evasions of the bank. The transcendental and absosufficient reasons; which impaired the confidence of the lute control which Congress has, by the constitution, country in the stability of the paper currency.
must not be permitted to be frittered away by any proThis opinion was in my judgment correct, and a discre- cess of reasoning, however subtle. Let us examine brieftion, liable to be controlled by a power superior to the ly the positions taken by the bank. It alleges that its Secretary, in a mode not amenable to the law, and capa- charter is a contract with the Government, and that, as ble of effecting the commercial interest, and deranging one of the parties, it has a right to put its own constructhe currency of the country, ought not, in my opinion, tion on its provisions, and, in such case, that the judicial to have been restored. The manner in which the 16th tribunals are the only power which can rightfully detersection of the bank charter was constructed introduced mine between it and the Government. It is certainly true all the existing evils. It was the original sin from which that acts of the legislative power, creating private or eleeproceeded all our present wo. The forbidden fruit hav- mosynary corporations, have been regarded, both in Enging been once plucked, should never have been placed land and in this country, in the light of contracts between by me in the same situation to tempt again buman ambi- the Government and those to whom the private franchise tion and human love of power. The resolution to which was granted. But not so in relation to public corporaI allude, when put into plain English, is this, and no more: tions, in which the wbole community is concerned, and that the deposites shall be made in the United States especially corporations for the purpose of executing the Bank after the first of July, unless the Secretary of the powers of Government. That the interests, finances, and Treasury shall otherwise direct, which, if not a mere nulli- prosperity of a great people could be converted into a ty, would only invite a repetition of occurrences which private franchise, and subject to judicial control, is a have disturbed the country. I would have sought a rem- proposition sufficiently absurd on its face. The law never edy, and found it, on the statute book, among the last was so in England, and never will be so here. The lanacts of a class of men, whose enlarged political sagacity, guage of Chief Justice Marshall, in the case of Dartmouth and whose patriotism, have been too much forgotten, college, is sufficiently distinct. “If the act of incorporawhilst their faults have been too grievously remembered. tion be a grant of political power, if it creates a civil inI allude to the act of 10th May, 1800, which operated up-stitution to be employed in the administration of the Govon the collectors of public moneys, and makes it their ernment,” it does not partake of the nature of a contract. duty to pay them into the Bank of the United States, In the case of McCullough and the State of Maryland, it where they were to remain, subject to the control of Con- was determined that the State could not tax the bank, gress alone, until they were appropriated by law. Every because it was an instrument of the federal Government onc here knows that Mr. Jefferson was more thoroughly to carry on its fiscal operations. opposed to the old Bank of the United States than the It is not contended by any class of politicians that the present Executive is to the existing one. Yet this law, Government of the United States have power to create simple in its enactments, and stable in its operations, car- private franchises for any purpose. The bank can exist ried the financial operations and fiscal concerns of the only by the constitution, because it is a public fiscal country tranquilly through his administration, and until agent of the Government for the purpose of collecting the expiration of its charter. With whatever intent this and disbursing the public revenue. And is it to be alfatal 16th section of the present charter was framed, its lowed that an institution, so created and existing, can set effects may teach even great men how much safer it is to up its charter as a contract, and say to the legislative aurely upon experience, than trust to new experiments, thority of the country, thus far shalt though go and no however seducing,
further? Congress cannot contract away its power over But candor requires me to say that I have stronger ob- the public treasure. If it ever had done so, the act would jections to the resolution. They are found in the fact of be utterly void. By the charter of the bank, its notes the refusal of the bank to submit itself to legislative scru- are made a legal tender to the Government for all taxes tiny. The constitution vests in Congress the power of and debts. It is not, therefore, the safety of the funds of imposing taxes, the highest function of sovereignty. The the Government in its vaults, but the entire revenue of custody and care of the amount, when levied, is part of the country, which depends upon this institution. And the same power. Indeed, the power to create public yet the legislative authority of the country shall not be treasure would be useless, and only oppressive, without allowed to overlook its proceedings and its books, except the power to preserve it. It is not only the business but in the mode and for the purpose determined upon by the absolute duty of Congress to look after its safety. It the bank itself. Sir, the osition is monstrous, and was for this reason that so great an outcry was raised could never be tolerated except in a moment of excited against the President for taking it into his keeping. Even political feeling. But it is said that private interests are ry form of denunciation, and every mode of imprecation, mingled with those of the Government. Such is the conhas been used, which might designate him as a tyrant, dition of our nature that it can never be otherwise. The because he directed the public money to be placed where public officer cannot be separated from the individual Congress cannot inspect it. Now, without adopting all man. His feelings, his fame, his character, and reputathe extravagancies on this subject, I agree that the Pres- tion, are blended with his official functions, and although ident acted unwisely and improperly. But can the bank tbey may all be wounded by a legislative scrutiny, the lawfully, and wisely, and meritoriously, take from Con- imperious interest of the public demands that they must gress this highest of all its rights, when it amounted al- be subjected to the ordeal. No individual, I presume, most to treason in the President of the United States to ever supposed that the Legislature was about to purloin do it? It need not be alleged that the bank will squan- the books or privaie treasure of the corporation or of its der the public money. All may be right, and I hope is. directors, or subject them to a forcible search or seizure, But it has refused the evidence of it; and while it contin- as the directors seemed to apprehend. It was civil inues in this state of contumacy, it much more effectual- quiry merely, without the array or power of criminal
JUNE 24, 1834.]
The Deposite Bill.
(H. OF R.
prosecution. The pure in heart and conduct would they might contract away the whole. The regulations of have done well to answer to such inquiry. Investigation the charter are directorial and obligatory upon the officers always honors the guiltless. I know not, and I care not, of Government; but, as a contract, are utterly incompewhat the views of others were in voting for the inquiry. tent to bind the legislative power, and control the prosMine were that those in whose integrity and usefulness 1 perity of the country. The issuing of the scire facias, had full confidence should bave an opportunity of wiping spoken of in the charter, was never designed, certainly, all dishonorable imputations from their proceedings and for the protection of the Government; for no one will their characters. The directors have chosen differently pretend that, if the bank had suspended specic payments, -perhaps chosen well, but they must abide the result or been guilty of any act tending to show insolvency, before that public tribunal which will be too apt to say still it must remain the custodian of the public treasure, "they chose darkness rather than light, because their until the charter was forfeited, on a trial at law. The deeds are evil."
clear intention of that provision was, that, whenever a Mr. Speaker, I derive strong confirmation in these committee of Congress was of opinion, from an examinaviews from the proceedings of the British Parliament in tion of its proceedings, that the bank had violated its relation to the Bank of England. In the charler of that charter, the scire fucias should issue, for the protection of bank there is, or rather there was, (for I have not been the citizens-of the community. These views are not of able to get the renewed charter of last year,) no res- recent origin in my mind. I voted for the inquiry, in ervation of the right of parliamentary investigation, and pursuance of long-settled principles. Two years ago, the institution has no material connexion with the Gov- when the renewal of the charter was before Congress, ernment, except in the loans it makes. But it exercises offered an amendment, providing for the appointment of an important influence on the currency, and both Houses a joint committee of both Houses annually, to make the of Parliament institute the most rigid inquiry into its pro- most thorough examination of the bank and its proceedceedings and affairs. In 1797 an order of council was ings, upon whose report Congress might alter, modify, or issued by the ministry, authorizing the bank to suspend annul the charter. This amendment, like all others offer. specie payments. The matter was immediately taken up ed in this House, was rejected; but that did not alter my in both Houses, and committees of inquiry appointed. opinion of the necessity or usefulness of the measure. In the House of Lords the inquiry was resisted, by one The power of control, examination, and correction of individual alone, on the ground that Parliament “ bad abuses, must abide in every well-regulated Government no right to pry into the affairs of the bark," but he re- somewbere. By our constitution, it undoubtedly belongs ceived no countenance whatever. The inquiry was voted to Congress. How or where does the other branch of in both Houses by overwhelming majorities. The great the Legislature derive its authority for making the close statesmen of the time~Mr. Fox, Mr. Pitt, Mr. Windham, and searching inquiry into the Post Office establishment, and Mr. Wilberforce-all concurring: The resolutions and the proceedings of contractors, that is now going on? of inquiry were all without stint or limit; and in the pro- Not in any reservations in the law creating that establishgress of it, the governor, deputy governor, and direct- ment; and yet the whole fortunes of contractors are emors, were examined separately upon oath; they were barked in their contracts with the Government, and their ordered to produce such books and papers as the commit- private interest and dealings connected with them: not tees thought proper, and they were ordered to produce, in the power of that branch of Congress to institute any and did produce, the letters to and from the chancellor criminal proceeding against peculators and offenders, for of the exchequer. This inquiry was instituted and pro- it has no such power: but it is found in the high transsecuted with rigor, although it might have resulted much cendental legislative power to examine into abuses in the to the injury of the directors, because, by the statute of concerns of Government, in order that it may be enabled William III., a heavy penalty is imposed upon lending to correct then. Let me ask what the opinion and feel. money to the Government without parliamentary security ings of the country would have been, if the officers of and authority. Now it does not appear where the com- the Department had refused an inspection of their books mittees sat, whether at the Crown and Anchor, or at to the committee of the Senate, on the ground that the the bank; but, I presume, in the committee rooms of St. Senate had no right to institute an impeachment against Stephen's. It is not my purpose to examine the con. them? And if contractors had refused to answer, upon tested ground between the majority and the minority of the ground that their private interest and affairs were the committee of inquiry. It is not necessary for my concerned, and that they were not bound to answer, as purpose. It is sufficient for me that the bank resisted they might perhaps criminate themselves, and jeopard the inquiry, unless it was conducted according to the their own private rights, the whole country would have terms of the charter, as construed by the directors. I cried shame upon them. And if it had happened, as it will not examine whether their interpretation of that in- might have happened in the course of human affairs, that strument is plausible or not. In voting for the inquiry, I too close an intimacy existed between the bank and some looked to the constitution alone, and to the right and of the executive officers of the Government, the Secreduty of Congress to look after the security of the public tary of the Treasury, for instance, and that it was rumored
The authority of Congress, within the scope and suspected that the money of the bank was used to of its delegated powers, is as transcendental as that of obtain improper advantages for this functionary or from the British Parliament. All public agents, whether.cor. the Treasurer, and an inquiry had been instituted by this porations or individuals, must be subject to its plenary House to examine whether any such corruption existed, and full power of examination. Whenever it shall cease sir, I will not offend this House by asking what would be to be so, not only the finances, but every branch of the its feelings and that of the country, if the bank had, in public service, will become the refuge of peculators, such case, set up its corporate privileges, as interpreted blood-suckers, and oppressors.
by itself, to prevent disclosures, and its president and The charter granted to the bank cannot control, or directors had refused to answer on oath. limit, or qualify, the right of legislative inquiry. It might The bank, then, in my judgment, having declined leas well be said that the courts could not compel the pro- gislative scrutiny, and withdrawn the finances from the duction of the books of the bank where they would be inspection of Congress, first, by the refusal of the prescompetent evidence, except in the single case specified ident and cashier, in whose legal custody the books in the charter. But no lawyer, I apprehend, would risk were of right, to produce these books to the committee his reputation upon such an assertion. If Congress could for examination, when demanded in the business-room of contract away one essential right under the constitution, the bank: secondly, in the president and directors re
H. OF R.]
The Deposite Bill.
[JUNE 24, 1834.
fusing, in a body, to produce certain books, because they of State law alone. They owe and they bear you no alwere not in their custody, individually and severally re- legiance. Pass statute upon statute, and you cannot bind fusing to be sworn: thirdly, in demanding specifications them. Artificial beings, without bodies and without from the committee, when the only specification neces- souls, and not of your creation, you cannot command sary, or which they could give, was the resolution of the them. Like the viewless spirits of the air in the olden House-I cannot, consistently with my judgment, make it time, they obey only the wand of their own master. the custodian of the public treasure. No man regretted Deriving their organic existence from the State law, they its course more than I did, because I considered it a obey its dictates; and if any of you have examined the valuable public institution. But it has no dominion over charters of the five hundred State banks, any of which me, politically or otherwise; and whilst I oppose, on the your officer may contract with under this law, you have one hand, what I believe to be executive invasions of le- been more diligent than I. You can do nothing by a law gislative rights, I will not, on the other, surrender them of this kind, but remove a just responsibility from your to a moneyed corporation.
officers, and take it, hoodwinked, upon yourselves. One Having now, Mr. Speaker, stated why I did not vote salutary provision which runs through the provisions of for the resolution of the Senate, I shall proceed to state the Treasury law of '89, is, that persons employed in the the reasons of my opposition to the bill making the State custody of the public money shall not, under the most banks the depositories of the public money. The 16th severe penalties, deal in stock of the United States, or of section of the United States Bank charter, so fatally vague the several States. The same prohibition exists in the in its provisions, did not give to the Secretary of the Treasu- charter of the United States Bank. The policy of this ry absolute dominion over the public money. He might provision is obvious. It was to prevent the money of the direct that it should not be put in the bank; this was the Government from being employed in speculation upon extent of his power. The moment he did so, the law of public stocks. The persons having the control of the '89, still in full force, attached to it. The whole Treasury public purse might effectually, by various ways, depress establishment is the creation of that law, and by its pro- those stocks, and then buy them up. One evil of this bill visions the Treasurer is the keeper of the public moneys. is, that this salutary principle in our policy will be entireHe gives bond, with sureties, for their safe-keeping. ly lost or obliterated; for you cannot prevent the State The collectors of the customs and the receivers of mo- banks from doing any thing they are authorized to do by ney for the public lands, are directed to pay him, and their charters. Many of them, I know from examination, to receive their acquittances from him. The money is di- are not prohibited from dealing in Government stocks. rected to be paid out by him on warrants drawn upon him, By enacting this bill into a law, you will establish an as provided by law, and he is bound “at all times to sub- anomaly in the history of financial legislation. A Governmit to the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Comp- ment, with an annual revenue of more than twenty miltroller, or either of them, the inspection of the money in lions, incapable of employing or using agents or officers his hands." This law, in all its parts, has been continuing of its own as the keepers and disbursers of it; resorting and unrepealed; and when the Secretary, under the 16th to creatures of other sovereignties by contract; for all section of the charter, directed otherwise, that is, that that you can do is to authorize your officers to farm out the money should not be put into the bank, it of necessity your revenue by contract to the State banks. You might went into the hands of the Treasurer, he being the on- as well farm it to the Rothschilds; they are not more ly other custodian appointed by law. It is true that he alien to your Government than State banks are. I would might deposite it in any place for safety; but still he is re- prefer the amendment proposed by the gentleman from sponsible, for one of the conditions of his bond is “for the Virginia, (Mr. Gondon,) with all its practical inconvenifidelity of the persons to be by him employed.” Gen. ence, in the present state of the currency, to this bill. But Hamilton, I admit, upon a question put to him by a com- I prefer leaving things as they are for the present. Our mittee of Congress, gave it as his opinion that, when the time is now too short and hurried to do any thing of this Treasurer deposited money in the State banks, they magnitude wisely. The tone of excitement in these were first accountable to the Treasurer, and ultimately halls is unpropitious. I wait for calmer times and graver accountable to the United States. But highly as I respect deliberation, when I hope the wisdom of Congress will his authority, I doubt whether the United States could devise a financial agent for the custody and disbursement maintain any suit upon a contract by its agent or officer, of the public money, of its own creation, subject to its which was not authorized by law. The State banks, under inspection and control. Before settling this great matter such circumstances, are, in my opinion, the depositories permanently, I bope there will be brought to its considof the Treasurer, accountable to him, and he and his eration less anxiety about who shall be President, and sureties accountable to the United States. This gives the more concern for what is wise and just; and for the Government not only the security of the banks, but the good of the republic—when our legislation shall have assurrance of the increased diligence and watchfulness of impressed upon its liberal and beneficent front, in characthe officers of the Government, arising from their ulti-ters shining like sapphire and gold, for our country, mate accountability. I prefer this state of things to the instead of for our party and our man. provision of the bill reported by the Committee of Ways When Mr. Coulten had concluded, and Means. The executive authority voluntarily assumed Mr. LANE obtained the floor, and said, this responsibility. I prefer holding them to it, until Mr. Speaker: The few remaining days for the action of the great question between a fiscal agent of this Govern- the House upon the numerous bills yet upon your table, ment, and the employment of State banks, shall be de- admonishes me that no portion of that time should be decided by the people, who must at last decide all such voted to preliminary observations. I shall, therefore, questions.
without preface or apology, submit to the House some of There are other reasons why I cannot vote for the bill. the reasons which induce me to support the bill under A citizen of each State is also a citizen of the United consideration. My opinions upon the general question, States; and the laws of the Union, operating upon him as expressed repeatedly to my constituents during the in that character, are obligatory. When he is an officer last canvass, remain unaltered. I thought then, and still of the Government, or its agent, you can punish bim for think, that a United States Bank furnishes the readiest official negligence or default. And as it respects the means for the collection, safe-keeping, and distribution of Bank the United States, you can terminate its existence the revenue, and that its notes, discounts, and exchange and control its action, when the public good requires it. agency, are important conveniences to the community. I But what are these state incorporations? The creatures believe, also, that its influence in checking excessive is
JUNE 24, 1834.]
The Deposite Bill.
(H. OF R.
sues by other banks, thouglı sometimes arbitrarily and un-vidual whose signature could be obtained to a memorial. equally exercised, had a happy effect upon our currency. Hence the countless devices to swell the list, and enrol on In as far at it is beneficial, it is of course desirable; but it all who could be prevailed upon to enlist in the new under the present organization these benefits are coupled party. But the grand experiment of recruiting has failed. with evils, enough of which are already known to con- With a new name and new associates, they hoped to demn--utterly condemn, the existing bank. As its agency drown all memory of their former condition.' But it will was deemed essential in conducting the operations of the not do. The play has been played out, most injuriously Government, I felt, in common with many others, a strong to the people, and has failed of its effect. Enough has desire to reorganize it in such manner as, whilst it pre- been done to please them with the delusion of hope. The served its usefulness, would lop off the evils which expe- penance is to follow. The masks are even now being rience had made manifest. The standard by which I torn off. And, however late the decision may come, it measured the institution remains unchanged, and subse- will rest heavily and darkly upon the memories of those quent occurrences have only shown that the evils were who have dared to use the influence of elevated station more numerous than I supposed. Recent events have and acknowledged abilities to create suffering among the annihilated the hope that the bank, or any of its ultra people, as the means of perpetuating an institution, for supporters, will assent to any arrangement which will political and selfish purposes. Even now, if I mistake quiet the public mind and restore public confidence. not, there are some of the supporters of the bank who Whatever may be their professions, their acts demonstrate recoil from the course they have pursued, as its consethat relief must come, not from them, but in spite of quences unveil themselves. They were urged on in this them. The last few months furnish an instructive and crusade against the public interest, rather by their habit. remarkable history. We have seen the bank, on the eve ual party sympathies than by any preconceived interest of its charter's expiration, building up a vast system of to inflict suffering upon the country. They cannot fail to credits, on which were founded commercial transactions regard the arguments of their excited leaders, which im. involving the trading interest of the whole country. We pute this suffering to the removal of the deposites, as have seen a party rush to its standard, composed of indi- flimsy and almost wicked sophisms. viduals of every variety of political complexion. We may For one, Mr. Speaker, my opinion as to the removal of well suppose that a witching charm was needed to unite the deposites has been formed since I entered this House. in harmonious co-operation such opposing elements. I did not express my opinions when it was before us for
discussion, because I then thought it our duty to allay the “Black spirits and white, Blue spirits and gray,
public excitement by legislative action, rather than to irri
tate it by angry and useless discussion. I have always Mingle, mingle, mingle,
been, and hope I shall ever be, opposed to the unnecesYe that mingle may.'
sary exercise of even acknowledged power. In this coun. Casting their political creeds into the cauldron, and try, the very basis of all our institutions is, that power lashing themselves into excitement, we bave seen them should be neither created nor exercised unless it is abso. turn from the business of legislation, and convert the halls lutely necessary. Does the constitution delegate more of Congress into rostrums for the delivery of inflamma- power to the Government than is required? I would curtory harangues against that credit system whose excessive tail the excess. Are there any power's granted, whose , growth was the creation of their own artful management. exercise in ordinary times is not essential?" Let them rest, They knew that the giddy superstructure was supported The broad and well-defined basis of society is the plainest by public confidence alone; their cries were long and test. All laws are restraints on individuals for the mutual loud that public confidence was destroyed; and the or general good. A grant of power to the Government groundless assertion was the father of the unhappy truth. is a negation of power to individuals. Disguise it with The vehement clamors here acted on public opinion what sophisms you may, there is no considerable advanelsewhere, and public confidence and mutual credit were tage, power, privilege, that does not, in its exercise or instantly shaken, and for a time even destroyed. With operation, injuriously affect some members of the comwhal purpose was this destruction attempted and consum- munity. It is a universal law, and one whose strict obmated? The answer is inevitable. The excess of credits servancs can alone preserve our Government from the was created, to be destroyed. The people would suffer; certain pollution of too much power. but that very suffering was calculated upon as the means At this period it is peculiarly important that we should of forcing the people to support the bank. The same keep this principle constantly before us.
The filmy powart that governed ihe preparations, directed the execu- ers that scarcely held together the infant States, may tion. A pretext was wanting for this ruinous attack upon strengthen and harden with the increase of numbers and the people. The removal of the deposites was seized wealth, into the bonds of despotism. I am ready to lend upon; and the panic-makers exerted themselves to the my humble aid to the eloquent gentleman from South Car. utmost to cast upon the President the blame of that olina, (Mr. Mclcrrie,) in pruning the tree as it grows. suffering which it had been their sole object to create and on the general question of construction, my opinions continue. Neither principal nor ally has flinched or faul- agree very nearly with those so powerfully urged by that tered. The approaching distress was announced in this gentleman. I cannot repress the hope that I may have Capitol with vehement exaggerations. The bank strain, the pleasure of acting with him at some future day, when ed every nerve, by breaking up the entire system of do- time shall have abated the violence of his prejudices and mestic exchanges, and by skilfully withdrawing its dis- the vividness of his imagination. count accommodations, to keep pace with the prophecy. I concur fully in the opinion, thai the powers possessed Soon a faint echo arose to the cry of distress that had and exercised by the various Departments of the General gone forth. Redoubled clamors, artfully supported by Government, and especially by the Executive, are greater, bank intrigues, shook public confidence, and distress much greater, than a sincere wisher for the permanency spread like wildfire over the whole country. The vast of our institutions would desire; and I wish to God the fabric of credits, which the bank had built, was, by the Daniel of our day (pointing towards the Senate,) would bank and its political allies, pulled down upon the heads of propose some plan to diminish its powers, yet preserve the people. To this moment of confusion and suffering its efficiency and usefulness. I concur also in the repro. they had eagerly looked forward as the harvest of all their bation that has been pronounced against corrupt and irreexertions. They fondly hoped to break up the great con- sponsible authority; whether it be domiciled in the kitchstitutional party, and to lure from its ranks every indi- en of the President or in the vaults of the bank.