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times to be illimitable, which the supporters of the administration, and the President himself, now despatch in a very summary way. I allude, of course, to the exclusive metallic currency. The struggle now is, who shall most effectually clear his skirts of that doctrine—who shall most strenuously deny his master. No one now aspires to play the part of Midas. That personage, we are told, was for some time successful in concealing his long ears. They were at length, however, detected, and rendered him the object of derision. Mr. Chairman, I will not soil my own mind, or disgust the House, by hunting up proof, from a thousaud polluted sources, that this is the cry with which the country has so long rung from side to side. Sir, the task would be as nauseating as it is superfluous. However the attempt may be made by alarmed politicians to veil and qualify their projects, the people—the people, always honest, but sometimes led astray—have not forgotten the process of delusion. They well know that this cry was the Marseilles hymn of the promised revolution. Sir, the people are not so stupid as is thought by those who calculate on an inexhaustible fund of gullibility. They see not only that their pockets have been picked, but their understandings outraged. Sir, I draw the happiest augury for the future, from the shame and indignatien of many who have been the farthest misled—shame at their own folly; indignation at the desertion of their leaders. No class of men is now better prepared to follow where patriotism may lead than those who have been thus turned upon and rebuked for the very phrases so recently put into their mouths, and blazoned upon their banners. Yes, sir! All eyes are now opened to the mingled wickedness and folly which would attempt to abolish credit, and to denounce all those who trade upon it, or in any shape take advantage of it. What but this talismanic word has carried forward our young nation, with unparalleled rapidity, in the career of greatness What else has enabled those whose sole possessions were stout limbs, steadiness, sobriety, a fair moral character, to mortgage all these in the struggle to advance themselves, and to swell thereby the general prosperity ? Sir, it is not a little curious to those familiar with our colonial history, to revert to the early warfare upon that system. Whilst we were in subjection to Great Britain, it was the settled policy of the manufacturers and merchants of that country to repress the adventurous spirit of America, and to render our labor strictly subordinate to their immediate and narrow purposes. Let me, at the hazard of proving tedious, illustrate what I mean by a few references. As early as 1717, you will find on the journals of the House of Commons the following entry : “A petition of ironmasters, ironmongers, cutlers, free. holders, nailors, smiths, and artificers, in the iron manufacture, living in the town of Birmingham, in the county of Warwick, was presented to the House and read, setting forth that, should there be encouragement given to the making and manufacture of iron in any plantation belonging to his Majesty's dominions, it will certainly tend to the ruin of the iron trade of this kingdom, which employs great numbers of people. The greatest consumption of our iron manufactures is now sent abroad to the plantations, which, if they have encouragement, will have no occasion for our assistance; and the iron works of the nation must be totally ruined for want of employment for the poor.” Again, in the year 1736, is the following entry : “A petition of sundry ironmasters and ironmongers, in behalf of themselves and many others, trading to his Majesty's plantations in America, was presented to the House and read, setting forth that the inhabitants of New England have, within these four years, erected several forges and slitting mills, and do annually make a great deal of bar

iron, and manufacture the said iron into axes, nails, and sundry other species; and do now not only supply themselves with great part of their nails and iron ware, but export great quantities to many other of his Majesty's plantations, to the great decay and prejudice of the iron trade in this kingdom, which at this time employs more people, especially of the poor laborious sort, than any other trade, that of the woollen manufacture only excepted; and that, unless their slitting mills are destroyed, and also some stop put to their manufacturing, our trade must soon be utterly ruined, and great numbers of people employed in the making and manufacturing of iron will be unavoidably deprived of the means of their subsistence.” In the same year is another petition: “A petition of sundry ironmasters and ironmongers, concerned in the iron manufactory, of the county of Worcester, in behalf of themselves and others, was presented to the House and read, setting forth that, in that and other adjacent counties, there has long been established the greatest manufactory of iron in this kingdom ; and that their manufactory owes its origin as well to the several forges erected in the neighborhood, for making bar iron suitable to particular purposes, as to the great plenty of pit coal, and the conveniency of the Severn for exportation ; and that their trade has always increased and flourished till lately in proportion to the American plantations, but now greatly declines for want of its usual demands; and they can ascribe this to nothing but the making of iron and iron ware in that part of the world; and that many of their artificers and workmen have of late gone off, and have removed themselves thither, as it is to be feared.” And mark, sir, how the British Parliament seconded this policy. I take instances at random. In the year 1732 an act was passed with the following preamble: “Whereas the art and mystery of making hats in Great Britain hath arrived to great perfection, and considerable quantities of hats manufactured in this kingdom have heretofore been exported to his Majesty's plantations or colonies in America, who have been wholly supplied with hats from Great Britain; and whereas great quantities of hats have of late years been made, and the said manufacture is daily increasing the British plantations in America, and is from thence exported to foreign markets, which were heretofore supplied from Great Britain.” It then proceeds to enact that, after the 29th of September, 1736, no hat, dyed or undyed, finished or unfinished, shall be put on board any vessel or wagon, with a view of its being exported out of the province, on penalty of forfeiture, and of a fine of £500. No hat maker in the provinces shall have more than two apprentices at a time, nor shall he employ a journeyman who had not served an apprenticeship of seven years. Another act of Parliament, of 1750, provides: that “no mill or other engine, for slitting or rolling of iron, or any plating forge to work with a tilt-hammer, or any furnace for making steel, shall be erected or continued; and every such mill, engine, forge, or furnace, shall be deemed a common nuisance, to be abated by the Governor or the commander-in-chief of the forces, within thirty days after information given.” The colonies were compelled to maintain expensive agencies in London to guard against unceasing efforts to strike at their advancing prosperity, by insisting on an exclusive metallic currency. Take an example from the journal of the House of Commons of 1751. “A petition of Robert Charles, Esq., agent for his Majesty's colony of New York in America, was presented to the House and read, setting forth that the said colony, and several others of his Majesty's colonies in the continent in America, have enjoyed for many years past, and do now enjoy, the benefit of a paper credit rendered absolutely necessary from the want of gold and silver sufficient for the trade and circumstances of such colonies.”

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The petition states that this paper credit has “excited industry, has proved a necessary and useful medium of trade, and has enabled the said colonies to provide for the defence of widely extended frontiers.” It adds: “that the said bill depending in the House, should the same pass into a law, will essentially alter the nature and quality of the paper credit of America, to the grievous hurt of individuals, the disappointment of the public service, and confusion in all manner of dealings.” Thus, sir, you see that eighty-six years ago a prayer was wafted across the Atlantic from that city, whose memorial to a like effect has just been laid upon your table by the honorable gentleman on my right, [Mr. Hoff MAN.) The supplication then was addressed to a foreign Legislature sitting at Westminster. It was successful in averting the threatened calamity. The same entreaties addressed to an American Congress at Washington seem to be received with coldness, perhaps with derision. The exertions of Doctor Franklin, in the same cause, whilst agent for Pennsylvania, are sufficiently disclosed in the well-known remonstrance which he prepared and published at London in the year 1764. He remarks: “In Pennsylvania, paper money was first made in 1723, which gave new life to business, promoted greatly the settlement of new lands, whereby the province has so greatly increased in inhabitants,” &c. Alluding to the argument that New England had been restrained by act of Parliament, and that no dissatisfaction existed thereat, he gives this explanation: “In New England there are four distinct Governments; but, having much mutual intercourse of dealings, the money of each used to pass current in all; but the whole of this common currency, not being under one common direction, was not so easily kept within due bounds; the prudent reserve of one colony, in its emissions, being rendered useless by excess in another.” Mr. Chairman, from this retrospect two things are apparent— First. That to denounce credit, and insist on an exclusive metallic currency, is not an ingenious novelty of the present day, but a servile attempt to follow in the footsteps of those who, from the earliest settlement, have watched, with jealous alarm, the expansive tendencies of an ingenious, energetic, and indefatigable people. The wreath of glory belongs not to any living brow. You must seek the great original amidst the ancient tombs of Birmingham or Worcester. A second, and not less striking fact, is disclosed to us, that the sagacious mind of Doctor Franklin, seventy-three years ago, discerned the necessity, wherever intimate commercial relations existed between the colonies, of some central controlling power, as a check upon extravagant issues of paper. Since he wrote, how have the relations of the States been multiplied And how painfully has the truth been forced upon us, that, in this condition of things, it is vain for one State to attempt to guard against the improvidence of others' Sir, the convictions of Dr. Franklin, in 1764, are those which come to us in 1837, from the East, the West, the North, and the South; not from the counting-house and and the factory only, but from the plough and the mattock—from every form of industry, now cheated out of its honest earnings by a spurious and depreciated currency. These convictions, Mr. Chairman, may, I know, be baffled and eluded. There are at work, amongst the politicians of our wide-spread country, motives the most powerful that can actuate the human bosom to stifle or decry the Plainest lessons of experience. The love of place—the pride of opinion—the maintenance of party ascendency—the hate of political rivals—all these will insure a desperate war to the knife, in preference to the admission of error. You cannot supply with foregn missions one out of a thousand of those who believe that they must either mystify and con

fuse the people—make up false issues—astound and bewilder by the very audacity of party tactics—or disappear from public life. I am not sanguine, then, that the time has yet arrived for the complete triumph of the truth. But I believe in the final good sense, as well as in the sovereignty of the people; and to that good sense I look for the achievement, in the end, of a thorough reformation. In the attempt, Mr. Chairman, to ascertain the state of the country, and of the currency before the outbreak of the seven years war upon the bank, I avail myself of the testimony of a witness to whom exception will hardly be taken by the friends of the administration. I allude to the gentleman who was recently a candidate for Congress in the county of Philadelphia, and in whose behalf we saw officers of the General Government arrayed, in a manner that Mr. Jefferson and General Jackson have denounced as so indecent, as well as perilous to our free institutions. In September, 1828, two months before the election of General Jackson, I find Mr. Charles J. Ingersoll on a committee, appointed by the stockholders of the Bank of the United States, to examine into the state of its affairs. The report of the committee, bearing Mr. Ingersoll's signature, is dated 2d September, 1828. It met my eye, for the first time, in Europe, where its exhibit was a matter of congratulation to Americans and the friends of America. I have since turned to it, as preserved in Hazard's Register. After alluding to the difficulty, supposed to arise from the universal receivability of the notes in payment of duties, which it was feared would compel the bank to provide funds in many places to pay the same note, Mr. Ingersoll thus proceeds: “But the second measure alluded to by the committee, which wrought the most important change in the situation of the bank—that which may be considered as decisive of its usefulness and prosperity—relates to the nature and extent of the circulation of its notes. The board of directors adopted a course, the success of which has, in the view of this committee, laid the foundation of the present prosperity of the institution. It would lead the committee beyond the proper limits of a report to state in detail the reason of this course; but the principle on which it was founded was briefly this: that the universal receivability of the notes of the bank was of no disadvantage, if the local currency of the place were the notes where issued was sound; and it was the duty of the Bank of the United States, and within its power, to make it sound. Accordingly they pursued the system of issuing freely and exclusively their own notes; of receiving, generally, the notes of solvent State banks, and making frequent settlements with them ; thus improving the currency, by introducing the notes of the Bank of the United States, and by preventing the overissues of the State banks. By a gradual and judicious execution of this plan, the effect followed, that, without private or general suffering, without causing the failure of any bank or any individual, and without inconvenience to the Bank of the United States, the banking operations of the country have been brought under an efficient control, and a large amount of the notes of the Bank of the United States have been gradually substituted for the depreciated or doubtsul currency which was so injurious to the Southern and Western States. This signal triumph over the greatest of all the difficultics of the bank, for the achicvement of which a debt of lasting gratitude is due to the able officer who presides over the institution, has dissipated all the doubts entertained of its power to supply the necessary amount of notes, and has permanently fixed the basis of a wide extended and profitable usefulness. The means thus derived from the increase of notes, and the sale of stock, were devoted to discounts and loans, particularly to that class of loans which are at once the safest and the most useful—the discount of bills of exchange. With these

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means the bank has been enabled to extend its operations, in both foreign and domestic exchange, in such a manner as greatly to enhance the profits of its business, at the same time that it has afforded facility and security to the commercial transactions of the country.” The report proceeds to exhibit the operations of the bank, and winds up as follows: , “This exhibition is calculated to show that the stockholders of the bank are deriving important advantages from the successful prosecution of a system of measures which not only produces profit to the stockholders, but furnishes to the community a convenient, sound, and highly useful currency. And the committee, at the same time that they approve the system which has been practically shown to be wise, feel it to be proper to notice and commend the activity and energy which have been exercised by the officers of the bank to preserve the purity of this currency, and to save the community from the evils of its being counterfeited. “The committee deem themselves justified in stating, as the general result of their examination, that the affairs of the institution are in a highly prosperous condition ; conducted upon proper banking principles, in the general scheme of its administration, and in the details of its management.” Such, Mr. Chairman, was the deliberate representation made on the eve of General Jacksen's administration. But the message of the President, in 1829, declared that the bank had failed to provide a sound and uniform currency, and suggested the project of an exchequer bank. A committee of the Senate, having at its head the venerable General Smith of Maryland, a warm political friend of General Jackson, was appointed to take the whole subject into consideration. The report of that committee, going into details, the accuracy and force of which have never been questioned, is familiar to all. It is there said: “As every bank which desires to maintain its character, must be ready to make settlements with the Bank of the United States, as the agent of the Government, or be immediately discredited, and must therefore keep its notes equal to gold or silver, there can be little danger to the community, while the issues of the banks are restrained from running to excess, by the salutary control of the Bank of the United States, whose own circulation is extremely moderate, compared with the amount of its capital. Accordingly, the fact is, that the general credit of the banks is good, and that their paper is always convertible into gold or silver, and for all local purposes forms a local currency equivalent to gold and silver. There is, however, superadded to this currency, a general currency, more known, more trusted, and more valuable than the local currency, which is employed in the exchanges between different parts of the country. These are the notes of the national bank. These notes are receivable for the Government, by the 9,000 receivers, scattered throughout every part of the country. They are, in fact, in the course of business, paid in gold or silver, though they are not legally or necessarily so paid, by the branches of the bank, in every section of the Union. In all commercial places they are received, in all transactions, without any reduction in value; and never, under any circumstances, does the paper, from the remotest branches, vary beyond a quarter of one per cent. in its actual exchange for silver. Here, then, is a currency as safe as silver; more convenient, and more valuable than silver; which, through the whole western and southern, and interior parts of the Union, is eagerly sought in exchange for silver; which, in those sections, often bears a premium paid in silver; which is, throughout the Union, equal to silver in payment to the Government and payments to individuals in business; and with which, whenever silver is needed, in any part of the country, will command it, without the

charge of the slightest fraction of a per centage. By means of this currency, funds are transmitted at an expense less than in any other country. In no other country can a merchant do what every citizen of the United States can do—deposite, for instance, his silver at St. Louis, or Nashville, or New Orleans, and receive notes, which he can carry with him 1,000 or 1,500 miles, to the Atlantic cities, and there receive for them an equivalent amount of silver, without any expense whatever; and in no possible

event, an expense beyond a quarter of one per cent. If,

however, a citizen does not wish to incur the anxiety of carrying these notes with him, or to run the hazard of the mail, he may, instead of them, receive a drast, payable to himself or his agent alone, so as to insure the receipt of an equal amount, at an expense of not one-half, and often not one-fourth, of the actual cost of carrying the silver. The owner os funds, for instance, at St. Louis or Nashville, can transfer them to Philadelphia sor one-half per cent.: from New Orleans, generally, without any charge at all– at most, one-half per cent.; from Mobile, from par to onehalf per cent.; from Savannah, at one-half per cent.; and from Charleston, at from par to one-quarter per cent. “This seems to present a state of currency approaching as near to perfection as could be desired : for here is a currency issued at twenty-four different parts of the Union, obtainable by any citizen who has money or credit. When in his possession, it is equivalent to silver in all his dealings with all the 9,000 agents of the Government, throughout the Union. In all his dealings with the interior, it is better than silver; in all his dealings with the commercial cities, equal to silver; and if, for any purpose, he desires the silver with which he bought it, it is at his disposal, almost universally, without any diminution, and never more than a diminution of one-quarter per cent. It is not easy to imagine, it is scarcely necessary to desire, any currency better than this, “It is not among its least advantages, that it bears a proper relation to the real business and exchanges of the country, being issued only to those whose credit entitles them to it, increasing with the wants of the active operations of society, and diminishing, as these subside, into comparative inactivity; while it is the radical vice of all Government paper to be issued without regard to the business of the community, and to be governed wholly by considerations of convenience to the Government.” I will trouble the House further only with the closing paragraph: “On the whole, the committee are of opinion, that the present state of the currency is safe for the community, and eminently useful to the Government; that, for some years past, it has been improving, by the infusion into the circulating medium of a larger portion of coin, and the substitution of the paper of more solvent banks, in lieu of those of inferior credit; and that, if left to the progress of existing laws and institutions, the partial inconveniences which still remain of the paper currency of the last war, will be wholly and insensibly remedied. Under these circumstances, they deem it prudent to abstain from all legislation, to abide by the practical good which the country enjoys, and to put nothing to hazard by doubtsul experiments.” Such was the currency when the Bank of the United States was responsible for its soundness and uniformity. What is it now, when the responsibility has been assumed by others? Alas! sir, it is as superfluous as it would be painful, to depict what is forced every hour upon our attention. At the end of seven years, we are summoned here to be told that the “experiments” upon which the Government decided to precipitate itself are no longer “doubtful." They are admitted to be utter failures. But we are, at the same time, informed that it is not open to the country

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to profit by the lessons of experience. There is an insuperable obstacle in the way. The President is trammelled by a letter he wrote to Mr. Sherrod Williams, and by another addressed to a Cincinnati dinner-party Will the people be satisfied with this answer 1 I think not. Let politicians who have attained notoriety by clamor on this subject, struggle as they may to repress the roused spirit of the nation—to disguise from the people their own strength—to induce despair as to the possibility of attaining the only practicable remedy—their triumph will, I believe, be short-lived. Gentlemen tauntingly call upon us for our plans—to exhibit the schemes from which we purpose to make a choice; as if novelty were an indispensable ingredient to any proposition for relief; and as if a successful experience of forty years were an insuperable argument against a recurrence to the wisdom of former days. Sir, what my constituents ask is, that you will give back to them the state of things which existed in 1829. They ask of patriotism to restore what party has snatched from them. They ask that this Government may not be known and felt only as an engine of mischief—as a thing to be execrated. I had occasion, Mr. Chairman, in considering another bill of the present series, to review the manner in which the first experiment was carried into effect through the agency of Mr. Kendall. I will not repeat what was then said, but I will advert to another fact, which is now placed beyond dispute, and which displays the reckless and unprincipled spirit of this warfare. It is now conceded that the employment of State banks was with a full knowledge that they would prove incompetent to the purpose, and that the attempt would break them down. They were enlisted into the service of the United States, to be crushed in their hour of exhaustion. The same policy is here visible as led to overtures to the western Indians to take part in the Florida war. Sir, we are not left, on this point, to presumptive evidence, or even to the testimony of Judge White. We have a direct revelation. The Globe of 31st July last has an elaborate essay, evidently drawn up by one who had been admitted behind the scenes, if not himself a principal actor. It appears in a journal, too, whose editor could not but know whether the statement made was true or false. Congress, at its session previous to the removal, had declared the deposites safe in the United States Bank. That body would reassemble in a few weeks. It was resolved, therefore, to strike an immediate blow, for the reasons thus set forth by the correspondent of the official paper, not two months ago. “It was deemed essential to force the bank into the field prematurely, and cripple her in anticipation. This could be done only by a removal of the deposites early in General Jackson's second term. It was believed that, if she submitted to the measure in peace, she would be quietly stripped of her power; a new system would be in full and successful operation before the expiration of her charter, and she would glide out of existence almost unobserved. If she resisted, it was not doubted that she would be vanquished by the ever-victorious chieftain.” In reference to a complaint by some, that General Jackson had not disclosed, at the outset, his purpose of putting down all banks, but, on the contrary, had insidiously affected to foster them, and to enlist their co-operation, this writer says: “Let those who now inveigh against the employment of State banks at that time, look back, and ask themselves whether it was possible for General Jackson to accomplish his olject by any other means. If he had proposed a separation from all banks, he would have found all the State banks and their friends in full and effective alliance with the Bank of the United States—a league which it was not desirable to encounter. Neither the public mind nor the opinions of members of Congress were then prepared,” &c.

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Mr. Chairman, is not all this most humiliating to our national pride : Does it not almost sicken us with the forms of popular Government How often have we listened to professions of unbounded faith in the intelligence and virtue of the people And yet it is undeniable that the dear people—the cherished people—the profound and infallible people—so far from having had their judgment consulted on great public measures, have been anxiously kept in profound ignorance of what was meditated. They could not be trusted with the secret. They have been seated, like children at a circus, gazing with bewilderment at adroit equestrians, as they cast off into the ring successive trappings of disguise ! Yes, sir! It is now avowed that all the movements we have witnessed were only preliminary—mere feints—a series of masterly stratagems upon the people ! We are almost forced to believe that the plan of operations devised for the war upon the Seminoles was, in the rapid shiftings of the Department, adopted, perhaps by mistake, for the war upon the currency. Mr. Chairman, there is a paragraph in the President's message, to which I could not listen without pain at the light in which it must place the Chief Magistrate of the country before all those who have watched the course of events. I allude to the passage in which he adverts to a prophecy that, under a State charter, the Pennsylvania Bank of the United States would prove stronger than ever. Sir, I think that such anticipations were justifiable. It might well be supposed that, on escaping from the constitutional scruples which clogged her former existence, and from the party contests which perpetually sought to involve her in their vortex, there would be no longer a motive for persecution. It was, doubtless, believed that many even of the politicians who had joined in a cry against the bank, in order to keep abreast of a supposed popular current, would gladly atone to their own consciences by, at least, an amnesty. Was it not rational to presume that the States would cordially welcome the advantages to be derived from its career of quiet usefulness? And, when the State of Pennsylvania had thrown round it her agis, was it to be apprehended that those, at least, who had been so long indulging in sentimental regrets over “the lost rights of the States,” would be the first to trample upon such as are unquestionable 1 And yet, sir, how was it? You well know the subsequent history. The topic was too precious for demagogues to be abandoned. Party fires had begun to wane and languish for want of the accustomed blast and aliment. The war assumed a character of unprecedented fierceness. Before the wax of the charter was cold, you saw the great State of Ohio, under the influence of party excitement, passing a law to inflict the heaviest penalties upon any one of her citizens or corporations who should dare to act as the agent of that bank. We of Pittsburg well know that the result of this single blow was to paralyze, in a great measure, the western business of the bank. There was denied even a right of way, and it became almost perilous to open in Ohio a letter connected with her affairs. You saw, also, under the same impulses, the branch expelled, on a few days' notice, from Missouri. And in other quarters, so far from being permitted to take the position of a regulator, she has been compelled to pass an obscure and uneasy existence, constantly assailed by party clamor, and with the Government and its minions ready and eager, at any moment, to second a blow at her interests. And who, sir, took the lead in that crusade 1 The writer of this very message. You saw him, with astonishment, arraigning the sovereign State of Pennsylvania for a high misdemeanor, before a Cincinnati dinner-table. You saw him addressing to that dinner-party an inflammatory letter, urging them, amidst their orgies, to lift high the wine-cup in pledge of eternal hostility to our Pennsyl

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vania institution. And yet, sir, he who has successfully employed the influence of his high station as Vice President in efforts to cripple that institution—to baffle all her exertions to be diffusively useful—now sneers in this high state paper at the sanguine hopes with which she entered on her new career It has been a subject of complaint here that, amidst the falling to pieces of the system of over-banking, to which your policy gave unrestricted scope, the Pennsylvania institution did not continue to pay specie. From whom is this heard From those who had destroyed her national character, and with it all accountability to the nation; from those who had broken down the only barrier against overissues of paper, which then, “like to an entered tide,” had rushed by and flooded the country; from those who had compelled her to wind up and to dispose of her resources at a long credit; from those who, in 1833, declared that she was “a reptile beneath the feet of the Secretary of the Treasury,” and that she had been “brought to her knees at the first blow of the State banks!” Surely, it is of the essence of modesty and consistency that such complaints should proceed from such a quarter. But, forsooth, she might, as she asserts, have continued specie payments. Be it so. The fact cannot well be questioned by those who ring in our ears her tremendous power and resources. But would such a course, if practicable, have relieved the country Every candid man must admit that exactly the reverse would have been the case. If she continued to pay out specie, she must resort to measures to compel a similar course on the part of others. And who does not see the wide-spread ruin that must have ensued Look at the bill upon your table for the adjustment of claims upon the deposite banks. Before a resort to suit, you provide for the offer to receive payment in protracted instalments. This is already pronounced, by gentlemen from the quarters in which they are located, to be oppressive and ruinous. Yet you reproach the Pennsylvania bank for not having taken the position which would have compelled a far sharper and more peremptory action on her part. It seems to be the misfortune of gentlemen, otherwise amiable and just, to catch the spirit which prevails here, and to suppose that a capacity for mischief necessarily implies the exercise of it. No, sir! If the whole force of the Government could not sustain a league of banks, the Pennsylvania institution might well decline to become an instrument for gratifying the blind and ungovernable rage with which the Executive was disposed to turn upon those who had been so long the objects of eulogy and favoritism. She did wisely, I think, not to exhaust herself in an effort to destroy them, but to reserve whatever strength she possessed to co-operate with them in an effort to relieve the country from the evils into which misgovernment had plunged it. Sir, after destroying the best currency with which any country was ever blest, the friends of the administration tell us that they have constitutional scruples about meddling further with the subject; it is no concern of theirs; they doubt their right to cure the mischief they have inflicted. Suppose, sir, one of your naval commanders should insist on taking under convoy a fleet of American merchantmen. He declares that he has the only accurate charts; that he is familiar with every shoal of the channel, and every indentation of the coast. But, in the midst of difficulty and danger—with breakers around and signals of distress every where flying—he is seen refusing the aid of a single boat or anchor, and abandoning to their fate the victims of his ignorance and presumption. Would it be sufficient for such an officer to say, as has been argued here, “mine was a national ship intended to meet the public enemy; had I rendered assistance on that occasion, the next request would be to throw overboard my guns for the more convenient transportation of merchandise 1" If such arguments would be met by universal scorn and execration,

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must not the country regard with similar feelings the course of the dominant party But, sir, (said Mr. B.,) it is contended that the nation will cheerfully sacrifice itself for a metaphor. The word divorce is to reconcile us to every evil. This seemed to him a singular notion, with regard to a people supposed to cherish, in an especial manner, all the endearing ties and sympathies of domestic life. The word has been supposed to bring up the most melancholy images; it speaks of violated faith—of ungovernable passions—of a desolated fireside. The most remarkable case on record is that of Henry VIII: on which rests the yet unmitigated execration of mankind. There, too, the talk was of State policy; and even religion was pressed into service as the handmaid of lust. The purest statesman of the age was led to the block for his opinions about the divorce. Sir, what has been the past career, and what is the present state, of the party in this matter? You have long since madly broken away from a legal connexion, sanctified by a happy and serene cohabitation of forty years. In your downward course from respectability, you next took to your pets, to the infinite shame and mortification of all decent persons who looked on. And now you are wearied of them, and wish to go upon the town at large ' This craving for novelty—this change of doxies—you dignify with the name of a divorce, which shall console us in the midst of our calamities. The man whom you have deprived of the chance of earning a dinner for his wife, is to go home and comfort her with talk about the divorce! Mr. B. said there was one topic to which, in conclusion, he could not forbear to advert, as, in his view, fixing more conclusively than any thing else the character of the message. He alluded to the subject of a bankrupt law, to which thousands had been looking with intense anxiety. In order to render himself intelligible, it would be necessary to recur to opinions which the present Executive had heretofore expressed. The most serious recent struggle for the establishment of a bankrupt law was in 1827. On the 23d of January of that year, the debate in the Senate was on a motion to strike out the 93d section of the bill, which extended its provisions, under certain circumstances, to other classes of citizens than mere traders. Mr. Van Buren strenuously supported the motion to strike out, declaring that no one but a trader could, under the constitution, be the object of such a law. He reasoned thus: “When I say I am in favor of a bankrupt system, I mean to be understood as speaking of a bankrupt system in the language of the constitution, and such as was in contemplation by the framers of that instrument. He ob. jected to the constitutional power of Congress to pass the section referred to. In his judgment, the provision contained in the 93d section was not within the reasons which induced the framers of the constitution to vest this power of establishing uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies in Congress. That it was a power which never ought to be, or to have been, vested in Congress.” Speaking of the dangers of passing the true line, he remarks, that the power to Congress being exclusive, any extension of it would trespass on the rights of the States. He adds: “if it was put to him to decide between being a party in such surrender, or the loss of the bankrupt law, he could not, as he viewed the subject, without being false to his trust, hesitate in preferring the latter.” The present Secretary of the Treasury (Mr. Woodbury) took the same ground. He said: “This grant was not to legislate on the subject of contracts generally—of descents—of suits at law; but on the subject of bankruptcy. To bankruptcies, and to bankruptcies alone, then, was the power confined. And the word “bankruptcies,' as used in the constitution, was

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