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member, fairly up for discussion in Congress, Mr. T. would undertake to examine how far the several States can limit and restrain the Government, in the exercise of an undoubted power, expressed clearly in the constitution, by grants of privileges and immunities to their citizens, incompatible with that which may be made the supreme law of the land. But, at present, it was not necessary to enter upon what is well known to be debatable ground. The suggestions of the message can be readily carried out without trenching upon the privileges secured to incorporated bankers by the laws of the several States. The condition of the country, at this noment, furnishes an opportunity for an apt illustration of this opinion. The charters of nearly all the banks of the country have been forfeited, by a suspension of specie payments. Until this occurred, the evils of our banking system, although known to be great, were not generally esteemed to be intolerable. Since that event, speculators and shavers are out like hawks upon the wing, preying without restraint upon the community, by buying and selling a depreciated and fluctuating paper currency. In many cases, those who are interested in fallen banks may, and probably will, amass fortunes, at the expense of the producing classes, by purchasing at a discount the liabilities of the institutions with which they are identified. It will be confessed that this state of things aggravates essentially the calainities incident to a suspension of specie payments. If the States do not, could not Congress effectually interpose to correct this revolting spectacle 1 Could not Congress, aster a specified delay in the payment of their notes and other liabilities, which they are required by their charters to redeem in specie, provide, by a general law, that the creditors of such banks may apply to the courts of the United States for adequate process It would not be requisite to inflict upon the contractors, or their agents, personal penalties; but commissioners might be appointed to take into custody their effects for the benefit of their creditors. Such a proceeding towards an insolvent corporation would produce measurable relief against some of the mischiefs often complained of. The acts and doings of such a commissioner would be public. All parties interested would have access to his papers, and thereby be able to estimate correctly the value of the liabilities of the corporation. At present, under the existing systems of many of the States, the managers of banks that have failed continue to direct secretly their operations. They, and they alone, know minutely their condition, and can ascertain clearly the value of their engagements. The directors may, too, give improper preferences to creditors, or transfer the whole funds of the banks to trustees, instead of making a fair and speedy distribution of them for the benefit of all concerned. Would not all these mischiefs be prevented by a transfer of the papers and effects of a bankrupt corporation to a public officer, to whose proceedings all parties interested could have unrestrained access' And would not a measure of this character operate to restrain the issues and business of banks within reasonable bounds ! If the stockholders were applized that, on the happening of a certain event, the assets of the bank were to be disposed of for the benefit of all concerned, it is not unreasonable to believe that they would take care to guard against the occurence of such a contingency, by precautions better than those which have been generally used. This being true, here is a simple mode in which the suggestions of the message can be responded to, not inconsistent with the constitution of the United States, which does not in the slightest degrec encroach upon the authority of the States to grant bank charters, or interfere with the personal immunities intended to be secured by such grants; and it has none of the attributes of the measure proposed by Mr. Branch, and opposed by Mr. Van Buren, in 1827. There are other modes in which the great object of the
message—a remedy against depreciated currency—could be furthered through the instrumentality of a bankrupt law, not inconsistent with the doctrines contended for in 1827. But it is unnecessary to dwell longer on the subject. Enough has been said to show that the President has not exposed himself to just censure or denunciation, and that the Committee on the Judiciary has discharged faithfully the duty imposed on it by the House. Mr. T. had arisen to establish those two positions, and not to enter into the debate at large; and having said all that he thought needful for that purpose, he concluded. [The hour of half past two having arrived, the House took its usual recess till four o'clock.]
TREASURY NOTE BILL. The House met after the recess. The bill authorizing an issue of Treasury notes being under consideration in Committee of the Whole, Mr. DUNN, of Indiana, moved to amend the bill by adding a clause declaring, in substance, that the banks or merchants indebted to the Government might settle their respective balances in Treasury notes before they fell due. But it was ruled not to be in order at this time. The question was then put on the amendment offered by Mr. Rhett, of South Carolina, and decided in the negatlvc. Mr. WILLIAMS, of North Carolina, said he observed that, by the bill as it stood, the Secretary of the Treasury was vested with an unlimited power of employing as many clerks as he pleased, and at whatever salary he chose to fix; and he inquired of Mr. CAM h RELENG how many clerks were contemplated as necessary, and what was to be their compensation ? Mr. CAMBRELENG expressed great surprise that such a question should have been put by the father of the House, who had been in Congress all through the last war, and had voted for just such a bill to issue Treasury notes, with a similar discretion as to clerks. Mr. WILLIAMS denied that he had voted for the bill alluded to. Mr. CAMBRELENG said he was sorry to hear it. He then referred to a bill passed two years ago, respecting Virginia land warrants, where many clerks were necessary, and in which a similar discretion was entrusted with the Department. He thought the inquiry the most absurd that could be imagined. Mr. WILLIAMS replied with some warmth to this remark, and a long conversation ensued, in which reference was had to the days of Mr. Crawford, the history of the Bank of the United States, Mr. Willi AMs's votes for President, and the general politics of the country, in the course of which there was some sharp retort. Mr. CaxiBRELENG declining to answer Mr. Willi AMs's query, he moved that the committee rise; but withdrew the motion at the request of Mr. DAWSON, of Georgia, who offered an amendment, restricting the number of clerks to four, and the amount of the salary of each at the rate of $1,200 per annu in. Mr. CAMBRELENG expressed his assent to this amendment; and after some reinarks from Mr. HArs Es, not heard by our reporter, the amendment was agreed to. Mr. RIVES, of Virginia, proposed to strike out the 2d section of the ainendment moved by Mr. CAM briele Ng, the effect of which would be to provide for the issuing of Treasury notes without interest. Mr. R. supported his amendment by a speech, in which he insisted that notes of the description he desired, while they met and relieved the wants of the Government, would equally meet the great want of the people, by giving them a uniform circulating inclium. He contended that no obOct. 4, 1837.]
jection could be urged to this measure, save by the advocates of the Bank of the United States, or by persons desirous of speculating on the necessities of the community; these notes would at once reduce the balance of exchange with England; and this would operate to prevent their depreciation. Treasury notes would circulate better without bearing an interest than with a low rate of interest; and were the amount $40,000,000 instead of $10,000,000, it would be a safe and salutary measure, and the very best thing Congress could do. Mr. HAYNES suggested that it was of little consequence whether these notes should circulate, or should be hoarded ; for, if they were hoarded, the effect would be to force out an equal amount into active circulation. Mr. SN YDER said he would vote for the amendment of the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, if we were under the necessity of issuing ten millions of paper money; for one, he thought it important that the paper should be of equal value with specie; unless it is, the consequences will be that the issue of this paper will add to, in place of diminishing, the evil which at present exists; for, disguise this as you may, it is a debt which we are involving the nation in to the amount of ten millions of dollars. I have been in the habit of always legislating in a manner that my constituents could understand my acts; hence I would much prefer a loan of ten millions to the present proposed mode of issuing warrants to that amount, redeemable in one year; for, depend upon it, if we keep our faith with the States, we have ten millions to pay thein in 1839. There is now a deficit in the Treasury of two inillions and upwards; this, together with the ordinary expenditure of the Government, will consume all the contemplated revenue of the next year ; and, at the end of that time, the money must be raised to redeem the warrants, and rest assured that the people will understand it when they are called upon to pay it. It is objected, too, that if these warrants bear interest, they will be anxiously sought for, and, being more valuable than specie, they will be locked up, and withheld from circulation. Admit this, it will take ten millions of specie or its equivalent to withdraw from circulation the warrants, thus adding to the means of the banks to resume specie payment. Not only the wants of the people, but the character of our Government, imperiously demands that we should issue none other than a circulating medium which would relieve the deranged state of the currency, and have an equal value with specie. I repeat, sir, I would prefer a loan to the odium of issuing a paper currency, not based on a specie capital, and which the taxes of our constituents must in the end pay. Mr. CAMBRELENG thought it desirable to get this bill into the House without delay ; gentlemen need not dread the previous question, because, as the body of the bill was in the form of an amendment to the bill originally reported, the previous question could not be taken before the amendment was voted on. He explained the reason why, though at first in favor of Treasury notes without interest, he had since changed his opinion. When he proposed notes without interest, a large amount was expected to flow into the Treasury; this was now to be deferred ; and it was safest to add an interest to guard against depreciation. Gentlemen ought to remember that one million of these notes bought up and sent abroad was equal, in its beneficial effects upon the state of the currency, to ten inillions circulating at home. Mr. CHAMBERS, of Kentucky, moved that the committee rise ; but the motion did not prevail. Mr. BELL suggested it would be best to pass at once upon the amendments that should be offered, then lay this bill aside, and take up the others, and go through with them in committee, and report the whole to the House without delay. He considered this as the most important
bill for the administration of all that had been reported. This was the money bill: pass this, and these ten millions could be converted by the Government into specie, and it had already thirteen or fourteen millions in the deposite banks which this bill would render permanently unavailable; so that they would be enabled to do all they desired, with or without the sub-Treasury bill. The Treasury could securely hoard up the avails of these notes, and then circulate its own drafts. Mr. UNDERWOOD said he had an annendment which he was desirous to offer as a substitute for the present bill; the substance of which he stated to be, that the Secretary of the Treasury authorize the sale of the bonds due from the Bank of the United States, (other than those for the first instalment,) provided they should not sell below par, which would amount to about six millions and a half; and if that should be impracticable, then that he borrow, on those bonds, six and a half millions, at an interest not exceeding six per cent., payable at any time after two years. He made a few remarks to show the probability that these bonds could be sold at par. As to the question of the constitutionality of Treasury notes, he held that it depended on the fact whether any fund was provided in hand on which to found their payment; without this, he contended they were but mere paper money, and, as such, unconstitutional. Mr. RIVES now modified his amendment, so as to insert the words “not bearing interest.” Mr. HOLSEY, of Georgia, opposed the amendment, and argued the danger, or at least the possibility, of such notes going below par, and dwelt on the mischievous consequences to the country and to the Government. Mr. McKIM said he was in favor of Treasury notes bearing interest, though he considered the security of the United States better than any other in the world. He had seen them, at one period of the late war, at a discount of 11 per cent. ; but he did not believe that such would be the case now. He preferred notes to a loan, as it would be but for a year, and nobody would want to invest their money in stock which had so short a time to run. He thought it not right to offer to pay the public creditors in paper not bearing interest, nor did he desire the Government to encounter the odium of issuing paper money. Mr. PHILLIPS reminded the committee that they were to look at all these several bills as but different parts of one connected system, and that the entire system was, in like manner, connected with and involved in each bill. The question was not put on Mr. Rivks's amendment, to add the words “not bearing interest,” and negatived : Ayes 56, noes 91. The question was then taken on the amendment of Mr. UN ornwoon, which he now offered in the following words : That the Secretary of the Treasury be authorized to sell and transfer to the purchaser or purchasers the bonds or evidences of debt executed by the president, directors, and company of the Bank of the United States of Pennsylvania, for and in consideration of the stock held by the United States in the late Bank of the United States, and to apply the money arising from such sale and transfer, in payment of any demands upon the Treasury: Provided, however, That no sale and transfer of said bonds or evidences of debt shall be made for a less sum than the nominal amount of said bonds or evidences of debt, exclusive of interest. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That if it be impracticable to sell said bonds, or evidences of debt, in the manner provided in the first section of this act, it shall be lawful for the Secretary of the Treasury, and he is hereby authorized, to borrow six million five hundred thousand dollars, on the credit of the United States, at an interest not exceeding the rate of six per cent. per annum, and to
apply the money so borrowed in payment of any demands upon the Treasury; and all money borrowed under the provisions of this section shall and may be repaid at the pleasure of the Government of the United States at any time after the lapse of two years from the time it shall have been borrowed. When it was negatived : Ayes 80, noes 91. Mr. DUNN, of Indiana, offered now the amendment he had before proposed, as follows: “Including all balances owing by the late deposite banks, and all sums owing on duty bonds, whether such balances on bonds or Treasury notes shall, at the time of any such offer to pay, be due or not.” Mr. CAMBRELENG opposed this amendment. The Government might as well allow a merchant now to anticipate his bonds, by buying up depreciated paper and taking them up before they fell due. Let the notes be received when the debt fell due, and not before. The other arrangement might embarrass the Treasury. Mr. ROBERTSON, of Virginia, suggested that if this amendment should be adopted, the United States Bank of Pennsylvania might pay the whole amount of their bonds to Government in that way. Mr. FILLMORE supported the amendment, contending that it was the right of the creditor to set off Treasury notes, if he could get them, against his debt to the Government. This would hold out a strong inducement to all creditors of Government to take these notes, and they would thus be sooner brought into circulation. Mr. DUNN insisted that the terms of his amendment excluded the United States Bank from availing itself of it, as suggested by Mr. Robertson. The effect of his amendment would be to prevent the depreciation of these notes. Mr. CAMBRELENG said the merchants would be left just as they were now; they could buy those notes and hold them till the time their debts to Government fell due. It would leave both the banks and the merchants precisely where they were now. Mr. CHAMBERS, of Kentucky, went into a speech of some length, in which he animadverted, with severity, on the financial measures proposed by the administration, and insisted that it was very manifest that the object was to place the banks at the mercy of the Secretary of the Treasury, and eventually to crush them. He did not wish the bill to leave the hands of the committee till some security was provided against such a result. ! He therefore moved to lay this bill and amendment aside for the present, and take up the bill to provide for the final settlement of accounts with the late deposite banks. A question of order was raised by Mr. CAMBRELENG, but the motion, after some discussion, was decided to be in order. The motion, however, was negatived : Ayes 78, noes 96. The question was then put on Mr. DuNN's amendment, and decided in the negative without a count. The question then recurring on the amendment of Mr. CAMBRELENG, (in fact upon the whole bill,) Mr. WISE said he wished to take a “woodpecker's tap” on this “hollow beech tree;” he accordingly moved the following amendments to the bill: That the President of the United States is hereby authorized to cause Treasury notes for such sum or sums as [he may think expedient] the exigencies of the Government may require, but not exceeding, in the whole amount of notes issued, the sum of ten millions of dollars, and of denominations not less than one hundred dollars for any one note, to be prepared, signed, and issued, in the manner hereinafter provided. ..Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said Trea
sury notes, authorized to be issued by the first section of this act, shall be reimbursed and redeemed by the
United States, at the Treasury thereof, after the expiration of one year from the dates of the said notes respectively; [from which said dates, for the term of one year, and no longer, they shall bear such interest as shall be expressed upon the face of the said notes; which rate of interest, upon each several issue of the said notes, shall be fixed by the Secretary of the Treasury, by and with the advice and approbation of the President; but shall in no case exceed the rate of interest of six per centum per annum.] The reimbursement herein provided for shall be made at the Treasury of the United States to the holders of the said notes respectively, upon presentment, [and shall include the principal of each note, and the interest which may be due thereon at the time of payment.] For this reimbursement, at the time and times herein specified, the faith of the United States is hereby solemnly pledged. Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said Treasury notes shall be prepared under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, and shall be signed on behalf of the United States by the Treasurer thereof, and countersigned by the Register of the Treasury; and that those officers respectively shall, as checks upon each other, and to secure the public safety, keep separate, full, and accurate accounts of the number, date, denomination, and amount of all the notes signed and countersigned by them respectively; which said accounts shall be carefully preserved and placed on file in the Treasury Department; and, also, similar accounts, kept and preserved in the same manner, of all the said notes redeemed, as the same shall be returned and cancelled ; and the Treasurer shall further account quarterly for all such notes delivered to him for signature or issue by the Register. The Treasurer and Register of the Treasury are hereby authorized, by and with the consent and approbation of the Secretary of the Treasury, to employ such additional temporary clerks as the duties enjoined upon them by this section may render necessary : the compensation of each clerk so employed to be fixed by the Secretary. Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized, with the approbation of the President of the United States, to cause to be issued such portion of the said Treasury notes as the President may think expedient, in payment of debts due by the United States, to such public creditors or other persons as may choose to receive such notes in payment, as aforesaid, [at par, on the face. [And the Secretary of the Treasury is further authorized, with the approbation of the President of the United States, to borrow, from time to time, not under par, such sums as the President may think expedient, on the credit of such notes.) Provided, That it shall not be lawful for the Secretary of the Treasury, or any disbursing officer of the Government, to pay out or circulate any Treasury note or notes, so long as there remains in the hands of such disbursing officer, or the Treasurer of the United States, any specie or other available funds : And provided further, That the whole amount, or so much of the five millions of dollars as by law is to remain in the Treasury for contingencies, %; be kept on hand in Treasury notes, until the exigencies of the Government shall render their use or circulation necessary. Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the said Treas. ury notes shall be transferable, by delivery and assignment endorsed thereon, by the person to whom the same shall, on the face thereof, have been made payable. Sec. 6 And be it further enacted, That the said Treasury notes shall be received in payment of all duties and taxes laid by the authority of the United States; of all the public lands sold by the said authority, and of all debts due to the United States, of any character whatsoever. And on every such payment credit shall be given for the amount [of the principal and interest, which, on the day of such
payment, may be] due on the note or notes thus given in payinent. Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to cause to be reimbursed and paid [the principal and interest of] the Treasury notes which may be issued by virtue of this act, at the several time and times when the same, according to the provisions of this act, should be thus reimbursed and paid. [And the said Secretary is further authorized to make purchases of the said notes at par, for the amount of the principal and interest due at the time of purchase on such notes. And so much of any unappropriated moneys in the Treasury as may be necessary for that purpose, is hereby appropriated for paying the principal and interest of said notes.] Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That a sum not exceeding twenty thousand dollars, to be paid out of any unappropriated money in the Treasury, be, and the same is hereby, appropriated, for defraying the expense of preparing, printing, engraving, signing, and otherwise incident to the issuing of the Treasury notes authorized by this act. Mr. WISE remarked with severity upon the bill, as being but the commencement of the system of a Treasury bank. The system was to be presented not at once, but piecemeal. The first, and the largest stride was to familiar. ize the minds of the people with Treasury issues. The plea urged for this was the necessities of the Government; but an honorable gentleman from South Carolina had come out boldly the other day, and avowed his opinion that the Government ought to have a permanent paper circulation. Mr. W. entered his protest against a new public debt, and a Treasury bank. He compared the conduct of the administration to that of the famous Fanny Wright, who, after denouncing matrimony in the most unmeasured terms, was next heard of as Mad. Darusmont. So this Government was for a divorce from all banks; but the next thing heard of would be its marriage to the worst bank on the face of God's earth—a Treasury bank. Mr. W. concluded a short, but animated speech, by moving that the committee rise. The motion was negatived : Ayes 82, noes 89. The question was then put on his amendment, and it was rejected. Mr. CAMBRELENG, with a view to prevent the Bank of the United States from availing itself of Treasury notes to purchase its bonds to the United States, (which it would, if possible, certainly do, as it would be a profitable operation,) modified his amendment by adding, after the word banks “due when said Treasury notes shall be offered in payment.” Mr. DUNN moved as an additional section to the bill, a provision that the power of the Secretary of the Treasury to issue Treasury notes do cease on the 1st Monday of May, 1838; but it was rejected without a count. Mr. FILLMORE wished to amend the bill by striking out the clause which provides a penalty for having in a man's possession paper similar to that used for the Treasury notes, with intent to counterfeit; but his motion was negatived after a short discussion. Mr. DUNN offered to amend the bill by adding the following proviso: Provided, however, That the late deposite banks, and persons indebted for duties on extended bonds, may pay the same at any time in Treasury notes, whether said debts, or such Treasury notes, are due or not at the time of such offer to pay. Mr. W. C. JOHNSON moved to insert a provision that the power to issue Treasury notes cease on the second Monday of June, 1839, and seconded the motion by a short speech urging the importance of testing the question whether the measure proposed in this bill was temporary
and remedial only, or was to be a fixed and permanent system. Mr. DUNCAN complained of the many occasions on which the friends of the administration were compelled to sit and listen to the taunts of the opposition, who were continually charging them with being under Executive influence, and so forth. He would admit that they acted together, and what of that? The friends of the Government had come here for the very purpose of acting together, to relieve the country from its present distress. But the oppositiou were continually raising the panic note, and yet did nothing towards relief. They not only refuse to act themselves, but they endeavor to embarrass and prevent others from so doing. Was it not but the other day, that one who claims to be a leader of the other side, [Mr. Wise,] told them “that he would offer nothing, and he hoped that none of the opposition would offer any proposition for relief ?” Mr. D. then referred to the various measures now proposed, and contended that they were all calculated to afford relief to the banks and country at large. He referred to the short period remaining of the session, and earnestly entreated the opposition, that if they would not act themselves, at least to permit others to act for the benefit of the people. Mr. W. C. JOHNSON rejoined with animation; when the question was taken and his amendment rejected. Mr. GRENNELI, moved to amend the penal section of the bill, by supplying a manifest omission of the case of a man's having in his possession counterfeit Treasury notes, with the intent to pass them; but (owing, as was believed, to a misapprehension of the vote) it was declared to be negatived. The amendment of Mr. CAM an ELENG, as amended, was then agreed to, and the committee. rose, and reported the bill to the House; whereupon The House adjourned.
Thu as DAY, October 5.
After transacting some other business, the House passed to the unfinished business of yesterday, which was the consideration of the resolution reported from the Committee of Ways and Means, declaring it to be inexpedient to charter a national bank; and the question being on Mr. SERGEANT's motion to refer the resolution to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union,
Mr. BYNUM, who was entitled to the floor, said he had not risen on yesterday, so much with the intention of making a speech, as to express his hearty concurrence in the sentiments expressed by the honorable gentleman from Georgia, [Mr. GLAscock, and the honorable gentleman from New York, [Mr. Clank, ) and he exceedingly regretted that it became the duty of the Chair to interpose and arrest the remarks of those honorable gentlemen, knowing that they would have been able to place the subject in a clearer point of view than it was in his power to do. He also rose to express his astonishment at the extraordinary course pursued by the gentleman from Pennsylvania, [Mr. SERGEANT,) in moving to commit the resolution to a Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, after having been indulged by the House for three or four days in succession, in lecturing the House and administration, and eulogizing—almost delivering a funeral sermon over the corse of the dead monster—the bank. After all this, it appeared to him strange that the gentleman should conceive it to be his duty, to the prejudice of those who feel it to be their duty to oppose a recharter of the United States Bank, to move to commit the resolution to the Committee of the Whole, thereby depriving them of the opportunity of defending themselves, or replying to the arguments adduced by the gentleman, because it is well known that the rules prevent a member in Committee of the Whole from replying to arguments made in the House.
H, or R.] National Bank. [Oct. 5, 1837.
He hoped the House would not adopt the motion made by
the gentleman from Pennsylvania, for this reason: that these gentlemen had raised the hue-and-cry about the distresses under which the country was laboring; when, in his opinion, if there was any distress in this country, it had sprung from the action of that profligate and monstrous institution, the Bank of the United States. He belived it was the Pandora's box which had been the cause of all the complaints, all the evils, and all the distresses, of which we have heard so much on this floor. He hoped the question might be taken at the present session of Congress, so that the country night be put at rest in relation to it.
Let gentlemen come up to the question, and toe the mark.
Let the question be decided in the House, and not sent to the Committee of the Whole, where no vote can be taken on it, and where discussion will only add to the distresses which already exist. In his humble opinion, there could be nothing which would afford more solid and substantial relief than a decision of this House, that will show to those who make complaints of distress, and ring the changes on the word panic, that their favorite project is hopeless; that a United States Bank cannot be chartered by the Congress of the United States; and that it was in vain for them to be indulging themselves with the hope that it can. The sooner this was done the better it will be for the people of the country. In his opinion, if we intend to act in good faith to the people, and do any thing for the relief of the people of the country, and the distresses of that people, the very first thing we should do would be to determine whether the establishment of a United States Bank was to be expected by any party in the country; to settle and fix the question finally, so that the people of the country and the capitalists of the country might know what to do. He had no doubt that there was a great deal of capital now held up which would be invested in other business, if this question was determined ; and why not determine it at once, and put it at rest ? Gentlemen, in support of their motion to refer this resolution to the Committee of the Whole, say they went a discussion of the subject. Why, do they not know that it has been discussed from year to year for the last six years, throughout the whole country, and in both branches of Congress Do they not know that it has been discussed in both branches of Congress at the present session, on almost every subject which has been brought forward 4 Have we not heard the ditties which have been sung in this House by the gentlemen from Pennsylvania, in eulogy of their favorite institution ? And do gentlemen not know that this subject has been discussed until a large majority of the people of the country turn away from it with loathing and disgust 1 It has been decided at the ballot bex that a majority of the people of the country were opposed to the establishment of a national bank; and he wished to be permitted to tell gentlemen that they mistook the intelligence, virtue, and patriotism of the people of the country, if they expect, by this protracted discussion of the question, to drive them from their opposition to a bank of the United States. It was in vain for them to expect to rivet the chains which had sprung from that institution, on the necks of the people; and the sooner the matter was decided, the better for the country, as it will put at rest all agitation and turmoil. The President of the United States has been accused of taking an extraordinary course, and of endeavoring to forestall public opinion, by the very consistent gentlemen of the opposition. He has been denounced and declaimed against by those who deal in declamation, for the extraordinary and high-handed course he has pursued; and it will be recollected by every gentleman here, that those who now denounce him for throwing out his opinions in advance, denounced him two years ago because of his non-committal
ism. These gentlemen then said that he was non-committal on every thing—that he would never toe the mark– that he would never go in advance of public opinion, but always followed after it. Now, however, they say the President has introduced both reckless and extraordinary measures, and they denounce him for endeavoring to forestall public opinion. All these arguments and denunciations should be fairly met, and he would ask the gentleman from Pennsylvania, whether the friends of the administration would have the opportunity of answering him in Committee of the Whole because the gentleman well knows it is against the rule to reply to arguments made in the House. He wished to see a direct and early vote upon this subject. The people of the country require it. They want to know what prospects there are for the recharter of a national bank, so that they may know what to expect. He did not believe that there was any gentleman in this House, who was inimical to the establishment of a national bank, who desired to avoid the question by referring it to the Committee of the Whole. Every individual who was at heart hostile to a recharter of the bank, must be disposed to keep the subject in the House, and not permit it to go to the Committee of the Whole, where it may be discussed to the end of the session without coming to any conclusion thereon. Gentlemen have talked a great deal about skulking and dodging questions; but, he would ask, who ever saw such dodging as there had been on this question ? Gentlemen desired not only to dodge the question, but to dodge behind the rules of the House to save themselves from having their arguments answered, and their denunciations exposed. It was easy to make assertions, but it was not so ensy to prove them ; therefore, gentlemen endeavor to shield themselves by having the subject referred to the Committee of the Whole. Let the American people see what party support a national bank: let them see their strength, and what prospect there is for them to succeed, and they will be satisfied. The farming and mechanical interests are now satisfied. Who, then, are making all these complaints It is the bankites, the rag-barons, and the stock jobbers. These are the men who are endeavoring to render the Government unpopular with the people, and make them discontented with their country. The rapid strides which the bank is making for almost universal dominion in America, warn us of the necessity of letting the country and the world know its fate as soon as possible. We have heard but recently of this institution sending an agent to Europe, perhaps to interfere with our commerce. Every day admonishes us of the danger of the bank; and shall we longer sit by and encourage agitation, and add to its power of doing injury to the country He hoped that the democracy of this House would give it as their opinion to the democracy of the country, and to the agricultural, mechanical, and laboring interests of the country, that it was inexpedient to establish an institution which had declared war upon the country, and stood out against the sovereignty of the people themselves. Let them know this, let the world know it, and we will hear but little of this distress which has been so long sounded in our ears. If, however, this subject is kept in agitation before this House and the country, the cry of distress, and panic, and confusion, will be kept up, the President will be denounced, and a bank of the United States will be held up as the only panacea for the country. Gentlemen could not suppose we are ignorant of the game they are playing. They tell us the time has not arrived for introducing the subject of a national bank. But what do they mean by this? They mean that they do not want it condemned; they do not want the true voice of the people spoken on this subject, because they know it would be against them. He hoped that no one who was opposed to the recharter of this institution would hesitate in voting to reject the