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Oct. 6, 1837.]
controlled. I listened with pain and regret to the uncalled for and unqualified abuse of him. “I heard much declamation without argument,” and the foulest charges without proof, and especially by one from whom it was but little expected. I mean the gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. Cushing,) who spoke in relation to the Florida war, and who pronounced that war as one of the damning sins of the Government, and a foul blot on the American character; this, too, before an investigation was had, thereby prejudging the case, and charging it home upon General Jackson. Better things were expected from that quarter. For my part, I have always listened to him with the greatest pleasure. His arguments have generally been respectful and able, and free from personal abuse; but, in the present case, he has wandered from his usual course, and I envy him not the position he occupied on that occasion. Many others have been lavish of their abuse of the ex-President and of his measures; but I shall not stop specially to reply to them. I feel no disposition to do so, as it will be an unnecessary consumption of the time of this House, but must invoke the pardon of the House for making a general fire at the whole flock, and tell them that the numerous squibs they have fired will have about as much effect upon the character of Andrew Jackson before the people of this nation, as the firing of pop-guns would have upon the rigging of the splendid l’ennsylvania. Sir, (said Mr. G.,) that venerable patriot never expected, and never asked, forgiveness at the hands of his enemies. He knew he had incurred their eternal displeasure. He never expected quarters from those whose pride and pleasure had been to embitter his declining years, whose objects were to thwart the views of his administration in every prominent measure, to triumph in the misfortunes of their Government, to rejoice in the distresses of the people, and to prevent, as far as possible, the relief of those distresses, with a view to the overthrow of the administration, and to ride themselves into power in the midst of those distresses. In conclusion, sir, and as the time advances when it is expected he will make his final exit “to that bourn from whence no traveller returns,” and as the time approaches when we may expect to hear “ that he has slept the sleep of death,” and closed his earthly career, I wish to be permitted to say to those influenced by such feelings, and controlled by such motives, looking as he does to his country’s good, he has never been inclined to hold communion with, or extend to them the hand of fellowship. Mr. CAMBRELENG here called for the orders of the day. Mr. ADAMS asked the gentleman from New York to postpone that call for the present, at the same time intimating his wish to speak on the resolution before the House. [Cries of “Go on go on!” from all quarters.] Mr. CAMBRELENG refused to withdraw the call for the orders of the day, as the morning hour had more than elapsed. The call for the orders was not sustained, (the vote being 92 to 84,) and Mr. ADAMS resumed the floor and said: I tender to the House my thanks for their indulgence in permitting me to address them, and I promise not to abuse their kindness by trespassing long upon their time. Mr. Speaker, referring to the clegant classical allusion of the gentleman from Maryland, [Mr. How Anu, ) who proposes to refer this investigation to the Military Committee, I hail with joy this reappearance of the sweet fountain Arethusa. But I must say, with the Roman poet, “Sic tibi, cum fluctus, subterlabere Sicanos “Doris amara suam, non intermisceat undam.” Let not the bitter waters of the Doris be mingled with the mellifluous stream of Arethusa—and the Doris, in this case, I must frankly admit is—the Military Committee. Sir, how is that committee constituted 1 The gentle
man from Virginia, the mover of this resolution has told the House in one point of view there are on this committee eight friends of power—an honorable denomination which I take from the gentleman from Virginia, who told the House the other day that he first came to this House, himself one of that number——eight friends of power, and one friend to what shall I say ? friend to his country No! That would imply that the others are not friends to their country, which I ain bound not to believe; shall I say friend to liberty No! for the same reason—I suppose them all friends to liberty—well, I will say, a friend of his country, who is not the friend of power. This, sir, is the objection of the gentleman from Virginia, in my judgment a very valid objection. But I have the same objection, in another point of view deeply interesting to my own immediate constituents. How is that committee constituted with reference to the different sections of the country There are eight gentlemen upon that committee from regions south and west of the Potomac, and but one member alone from Maine to Virginia; eleven States; and that is my honorable friend [Mr. KEM H LE] from New York, who is as worthy as any individual gentleman can possibly be of such a position on that committee. He, alone, represents thereon his own “empire State,” as well as all the New England States, and those of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. Why, Mr. ADAMs would ask, was the Military Committee thus constituted Why are not the different sections of the country represented in that committee ? Have they no interest in the subjects which are the peculiar topics of inquiry and action there? Upon what principle are committees of this House constituted ' Mr. A. said his constituents had certainly a deep interest in those topics. A vast amount of their money had been expended on the recommendation of that committee. Now, the gentleman from Maryland [Mr. How And] had urged the reference of this resolution to that committee, and he (Mr. A.) was giving his reasons why that reference should not be made. And this was a good argument, too, he contended, against the use of the ordinary mode of appointing committees in this House, in the present case. He alluded to the observation of Mr. Wise, who had said that the Speaker of the House could not be impartial in appointing such committees. They must all have a preponderance of the “friends of power.” He had some experience of the truth of this remark for some sessions past; and with reference, too, to these very matters. And he called the attention of the House to what had taken place there not quite two years ago. He showed from the journal that, on the 15th January, 1836, Mr. BELL, chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, moved for a similar inquiry with that proposed by the resolution under consideration, with power to the committee to send for persons and papers. The resolution was agreed to. It gave the committee power to investigate this very same subject, because the Florida campaigns were legitimate and proper matters of inquiry, in all their details, by the Committee on Indian Affairs. What followed And here Mr. ADAMs read again from the journal, and showed that, on the 1st of July, 1836, Mr. BELL, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, reported a resolution to the effect that that committee have power to sit in the recess, for the purpose of completing the investigation. What were the proceedings of the House on this resolution 1 First, there was a motion to lay it on the table. This did not succeed. Then the previous question was moved, and not sustained. Afterwards that motion was renewed, and on the main question (upon the resolution) being put to the House, the vote was 87 to 87. The Speaker voted in the negative, and the resolution was sent to “ the tomb of the Capulets!” Then there was a memorial presented here by Mr. Lewis, of Alabama, complaining of certain alleged abuses in the
management of these wars. That gentleman proposed its reference to the Committee on Indian Affairs, with power to sit in the recess, and to authorize three or four of their number to act upon it. What then A member from Louisiana, not now in his place, [Mr. Ripley, moved to refer the memorial to the President of the United States. No sooner said than done ! And now, sir, asked Mr. A., has any gentleman of this House ever heard from the President of the United States, from that day to this, a single word in relation to the matter! a single word, as to the investigation of frauds, alleged by citizens of the United States, in a memorial to their representatives 1 frauds and abuses in the carrying on of campaigns costing so many millions of money ! - He paused for a reply. Had the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means heard any thing from the quarter to which it had been referred, upon that subject Had the Speaker of the House done so Had there ever been a message from the Executive sent to this House on the subject He heard no answer to these inquiries; and he was warranted in saying that there had been nothing, nothing whatever, done upon the matter. And with these examples before him, with the uniform course of action on the part of the Speaker, in similar cases, before him, how could he be in favor of the ordinary mode of appointing committees of that House? . It was mockery to refer such subjects to such committees. He much preferred the election of the proposed committee by ballot, for these reasons. Now, Mr. An Axis admitted it is in the power of the majority of the House to put a majority of the “friends of power” upon a committee thus chosen. And it was possible that the majority would even fill the committee with nine “friends of power,” instead of eight, and one who was not; while, if the Speaker were to appoint it, he might, at all events, place one, perhaps two; and, in an extreme and unusual moment of liberality, might even place three friends to the investigation on the committee. In making these allusions to the Speaker, Mr. A. said it was his intention to be perfectly respectful as a member of the House. Mr. A. further contended that, in the appointment of committees of investigation, the same parliamentary rule which regulates the appointment of standing and ordinary committees does not apply. And he referred to the constant usage of the British Parliament, in which it was universally the practice to place on committees of inquiry a majority of members in favor of the proposed investigation. It was certainly a mockery of common sense that it should be otherwise. Mr. An AMs went into an examination of the reason why investigating committees hitherto appointed by this House had never discharged the duties assigned them. He referred to the liberal mode of proceeding in these committees. When any specific point was to be inquired into, the question was always forbidden to be put by the majority, and the investigation was smothered, upon the ground that there should be “specific charges,” before the action of the committee should be proper : “Specific charges" and here, this morning, a gentleman read to us letters from good authority containing such charges; and now what are we told 1 That that is prejudging the cases to be investigated ' And this is the two-edged sword, of too much specification on the one side, and none at all on the other, which is wielded against the friends of investigation' Mr. A. concluded by again hoping that the proposed committee would be appointed by ballot; and that that committee might not be the Committee on Military Affairs, the majority of whom the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means is in the habit of calling on so successfully to “toe the mark 1" Mr. CAMBRELENG called for the orders of the day.
TREASURY NOTE BILL. The House then resumed the consideration of the “bill to authorize the issuing of Treasury notes,” as reported from the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union. The question pending was on agreeing to the amendment of Mr. UN penwoon, as modified by the amendment of Mr. PATTo N. Mr. BOND addressed the House in support of the amendment, and in opposition to the bill. Mr. McKIM denied that the sale of the United States Bank bonds would bring an immediate supply of money into the Treasury; for, in the first place, there must, at least, be a delay of four or five months expended in the negotiation, at a probable loss too of from four to six per cent, and then the Government would be likely to get in return only bank notes. He was not unfriendly towards any banks; but it should be borne in mind that the Secretary of the Treasury could not pay out bank notes; they would be useless to the Treasury. Another consideration was, that the bonds given by the bank were for two millions each, an amount that would be inconvenient to negotiate in London, and how did they know that the bank would consent to divide them up into bonds of a smaller size, say for a thousand dollars each 1 He apprehended that it would not only interfere with the arrangements of the bank, both here and in London, but that it would be found to be against their interest to do so. Again, in point of economy, there would be saving by the issue of Treasury notes. How Why, the United States Bank bonds bore an interest of six per cent., whereas the Treasury notes would not probably bear a higher rate than three or four, or, at the most, five por cent. The saving would be the difference between those two rates of interest on several millions of dollars—no slight consideration. Again, there would be a probable loss on the sale of the bonds from their par value, of from five to six per cent.; for, by the latest advices from the English money market, United States Bank bonds were at 94 or 95 there. This, too, was independent of the exchange, whatever it might be, and the commission or expenses of negotiation. Another objection he had to the amendment was, that it would be disreputable to the character and credit of the Government to be selling its securities in the market. The same objection would also apply on the part of the bank itself; for she, no more than merchants, would like to see hersliabilities hawked for sale. Moreover, the United States would have to endorse the bonds before they could be negotiated at all; and he was indisposed to place the Government in so disreputable a position. Now, what would be the effect of the Treasury notes ? Why, they would be equal to so much gold and silver thrown out among the community, for they would, when out, be received by the Government, in payment of dues, as gold and silver, and the creditors of the Government would gladly take them as such, as they could readily pass them as such, because they would be sought after by the importing merchant to pay his bonds. Moreover, the Secretary of the Treasury would not attempt to issue more than were applied for. It was then, in effect, putting so much gold and silver into circulation the moment the bill assed. Mr. BOND inquired if he was to understand the gentleman to say that paper could be made equal to gold and silver. Mr. McKIM. Certainly not. He meant only to convey the idea that the Treasury notes would answer in the place of gold and silver, being receivable for the dues of the Government, and its claimants being glad to get hold of them. After a few further remarks of the same tenor, Mr. McK. concluded by hoping the House would pass the bill
The House resumed the consideration of the bill reported from the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, “to authorize the issuing of Treasury notes.” The question being on the following amendment, moved on Thursday by Mr. UNDER wood, viz: “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 bjnited 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 nomimal amount of said bonds or evidences of debt, exclusive of interest.” Mr. CAMBRELENG stated that upon this amendment depended the fate of this bill; because, if it should be adopted, the Treasury of the United States would be in the power of the Bank of the United States. He should therefore ask for a full attendance of the House, and should move for a call, [the House was still thin,) unless some gentleman wished to address the House. Mr. HOPKINS, for one, was inclined to vote for the . amendment. He could not see how its adoption would place the Government in the power of the United States Bank. The object in selling them was to command an amount of gold and silver to meet the wants of the Treasury ; and admitting the bank would become the purchaser, so much specie would be drawn from its vaults, and he did not see how Government could be injured by having a debt thus paid in advance. Mr. CAMBRELENG wished to state that he had not said the United States Bank would be the direct purchaser, but that the bonds would be bought up by the agents of the bank. Mr. HOPKINS then addressed the Chair as follows: Mr. Speaker: I have not risen, sir, to take part in this already protracted debate, but to reply very briefly to the extraordinary declaration this moment uttered by the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, [Mr. CAMB RELENG.] He said, sir, “that upon this amendment depended the fate of the bill; because, if it should be adopted, the Treasury of the United States would be in the power of the Bank of the United States.” For one, sir, I was favorably inclined to the amendment offered by the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. UNDER wood ;] but if the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means can convince me of the truth of his remark, I will most cheerfully relińuish my determination to support the amendment. But, Mr. Speaker, I must beg leave to say that such cannot in my judgment be the operation of the amendment under consideration. Nor do I believe that any unprejudiced mind in this Hall can come to such a conclusion. What does the bill propose, sir? To authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to issue Treasury notes to the amount of ten millions of dollars, for the redemption of which the faith of the United States is solemnly pledged. And why is this measure proposed, but to supply the Treasury with the means of meeting the various demands upon it ! Well,
sir, what does the amendment which has thus been denounced propose 1 Nothing more than to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to negotiate a sale of the bonds held by the Government upon the Pennsylvania Bank of the United States, provided they can be sold for the nomimal amount of them, and apply the funds thus obtained to the uses of the Treasury. If, then, this object, the first contemplated by the amendment, can thus be attained by the use of means belonging to the Government, why, I ask, sir, shall we not adopt it? Why hold up these bonds, if we can convert them without loss into available funds ! Sir, it will be difficult to furnish any one good reason against the adoption of the amendment, if in other respects it be free from the objections urged against it, and which I will now briefly notice. It is contended, sir, that the amounts of the bonds in question are so large as to exclude from competition individual or private capitalists; and hence they will be purchased in Chestnut or Wall street by the agents of the bank. I am willing, for the sake of argument, to admit that such may be the case, but still I deny the truth of the declaration that the Government will thereby be placed under the control of the “defunct monster,” which so constantly haunts the imagination of the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means. Nor can the Government lose a dollar by thus throwing into the market a fund unsuited to the investment of private capital, and which it cannot divide to suit the means and capacities of purchasers, because the same amendment contains another provision which puts this argument to rest, by expressly prohibiting the Secretary from selling the bonds for any thing less than the nominal amount of them. Let us, then, suppose that the bonds are purchased by the agents of the banks upon the terms proposed in the amendment, and what is the necessary and inevitable result 1 Why, sir, according to my understanding, so far from placing the Government under the control of the bank, we should realize in advance the payment of a debt due in one, two, and three years, and that, too, in the gold and silver of the frightful monster itself.
Mr. Speaker, I have always entertained great respect for the opinions of the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, [Mr. CAM an elong,) but upon this subject I must be permitted to think that he is under a strange and most palpable delusion. Sir, can it be that I mistake the true operation of this amendment? Can it be that the withdrawal of six millions and a half of specie from the vaults of the bank, and transferring it to the Treasury, will increase the dependence of the latter, or the power of the former ? No, sir, the proposition is absurd in the extreme, and I cannot and will not assent to it.
But another objection has been made to the amendment, to which, whilst I am up, I will reply. It is apprehended that these bonds, with the endorsement of the Government, might find their way to Europe, and thus increase the foreign balance against us. I am willing, again, for the sake of the argument, to admit the truth of this objection; but I beg those who give to it any consideration, to bear in mind that, under the amendment, we must receive for the bonds their nominal amount in available funds, and whether we receive it from our own capitalists or those abroad, we shall be upon safe ground, so long as we receive in return the same amount in gold and silver. But gentlemen forget to remember that this objection applies with equal force to the bill, without the amendment, because your Treasury notes, issued by the authority and upon the faith of this Government, will be just as likely to cross the great waters, and increase the foreign balance against us, as the bonds which we propose to sell, with this difference in favor of the amendment, that the bill without it may increase that balance against the Government, whilst the amendment would only increase the balance against the “ the monster.”
Mr. Speaker, I prefer the amendment for another reason. I regard these bonds as a legitimate fund belonging to the Government, and am willing to make them available if I can to the Treasury, rather than saddle the nation with another public debt, as we must do, by the passage of the bill upon your table. Much, however, as I deplore that evil, I would, if no other alternative was at hand, adopt it to save the Treasury of the nation from bankruptcy. But, by adopting the amendment, you supply the wants of your Government, and, at the saine time, avoid the necessity of creating a debt, which must be paid under your unjust and unequal system of taxation. And why, Mr. Speaker, permit me to ask, should we reject the amendment, if the only object be to replenish an exhausted Treasury with a hard-money constitutional currency Sir, I confess that the strong repugnance manifested from a certain quarter, for every proposition to replenish the Treasury save one, and the pertinacity with which that one is supported, has awakened my suspicion as to the true character and object of the measure. If we propose to sell our bank debt, it is objected to, although warmly recommended by General Jackson in 1834, in whose footsteps gentlemen were once wont to tread. If we propose to authorize the Secretary to borrow money upon the faith of the Government, the measure is objected to. If it is proposed to prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury, and subordinate disbursing officers of the Government, from circulating their notes in payment of public dues, whilst they have on hand and in their custody gold and silver sufficient for the purpose, that measure, too, is objected to. And I repeat, sir, with none other than feelings of profound regret, that the discussion which has taken place upon these several amendments has excited my suspicion, and I now declare it. I have heard, sir, in the progress of this debate, sentiments advanced upon this floor, by some of my political friends, against which I must enter my most solemn protest. An honorable and esteemed colleague of mine upon my left [Mr. Rives] took occasion yesterday to propose an amendment to this bill, the object of which seemed to be to facilitate the circulation of the Treasury notes as a paper currency. He is reported to have said that, “while they (Treasury notes) met and relieved the wants of the Government, they would equally meet the great wants of the people by giving them a uniform circulating medium.” And again he is reported to have said that “these notes (Trea'sury) would at once reduce the balance of exchange with England; and this would operate to prevent their depreciation. Treasury notes, he says, would circulate better without bearing interest than with a low rate of interest, and were th eamount $40,000,000, instead of $10,000,000, it would be a safe and salutary measure, and the very best thing Congress could do.” Now, sir, these are sentiments which I was not prepared to expect, and to which I can never subscribe. Sir, at the time that these remarks were made by my colleague, in favor of his amendment, I was gratified to believe that the chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means dissented from them. But that gentleman has since assumed grounds in debate, which satisfies my mind that, he too looks to and advocates this bill as something more than a means of furnishing an embarrassed Treasury with hard money to meet the demands upon it. Mr. Speaker, I pray gentlemen to pause, and review the sentiments they have avowed. I implore them to pause before they give their consent to a measure fraught with consequences so dangerous as the emission of a Treasury paper currency, based upon the public faith, and controlled by the will of one man, already clothed with extraordinary powers. Our present Executive may be honest and trustworthy. I hope and sincerely believe he is—but even to him, sir, I will not consent to surrender a power of such a fearful character. But, sir, it is not the part of prudence, or a wise forecast, to legislate in reference alone to the
present incumbent of the Executive chair; but we should look to the future with a jealous eye, and guard with care and circumspection the liberties of the people from the grasp of unhallowed ambition. I will not stop now to dilate upon the evils, or dwell upon the ruinous consequences, which must follow the establishment of a system which, once matured, will, in my humble judgment, be far more dangerous to the institutions of our country and to the liberties of the people, than that “defunct monster,” whose ghost seems to be constantly flitting before the affrighted imaginations of gentlemen here who support this measure, which I fear is the precursor of a system of Government paper currency, which, in the list of “monsters,” might well be called “legion.” The amendment, however, does not propose a sale of the bank bonds, as the only means of relief to the Treasury, but goes further, and in the event that this measure shall fail, then the Secretary of the Treasury is authorized to borrow an amount of money upon the faith of the Government equal to the nominal value of the bonds. And, sir, the honorable mover of the amendment has signified his willingness so to modify the second section of his amendment as to leave it to the House to say what sum may thus be borrowed for the use of the Treasury; and still it is objected to, not because it will not meet the emergencies of the Treasury, but because it supersedes the issue of ten millions of inconvertible Treasury paper currency, which the Government cannot, and will not, redeem upon presentation. Mr. Speaker, I am in principle a hard-money man, and I have the satisfaction to believe that the patriotic people whom I have the distinguished honor to represent upon this floor prefer the constitutional currency of our fathers to any paper money, your Treasury notes included. But, whilst I say this, I desire that it shall be distinctly understood that I am not to be enlisted in the contemplated crusade against the existing institutions of Virginia and her sister States, to accomplish the narrow object of supplying the Government alone with the constitutional currency; and I now admonish gentlemen that, until they propose a measure broad and comprehensive enough to separate the great body of the people from the banks, I will not co-operate with then in giving effect to a partial restricted measure, which furnishes a hard-money currency only to them, who, in the better days of our republic, were regarded as the mere servants of the people, and considered amenable to them. Now, sir, I am not the man to advocate here, in my representative capacity, any measure which will provide gold and silver for myself, and other functionaries of the Government, whilst the people are left to endure all the evils of a depreciated paper money. But I have another objection to the details of this measure, growing out of the palpable injustice which must result, from the denominations of these Treasury notes, to the poorer classes of the community. If, sir, as is now too obvious for the most incredulous to doubt, these notes are to circulate and perform all the functions of a paper currency, they cannot reach the pocket of the poor man, but must serve alone the purpose of the wealthy, who alone can command the benefit of a currency in denominations of one hundred dollars. Another effect of this measure, I fear, will be to cripple still more the State banks, now rapidly recovering from the shock by which the whole monetary system of the community has been so recently convulsed to its centre; and, whilst it may relieve the Government, may at the same time embarrass still more the great body of the people. But, Mr. Speaker, in every aspect of this question, looking to it not as a party question, but one purely financial, my mind still inclines me to the amendment, as the most safe, wise, and salutary, and certainly most compatible with the constitution. Sir, there is another feature in the Oct. 6, 1837.]
amendment which commands my approbation, and it is
this: it proposes a plain, direct, and unequivocal mode of accomplishing the very object which gentlemen profess to have in view—the relief of the Treasury. And, for one, I prefer, sir, to plant myself upon that plain provision of the constitution which authorizes Congress “to borrow money upon the faith of the United States,” and thus to meet and provide for the exigencies of the Treasury, rather than adopt the measure proposed by the Committee of Ways and Means, which, if not of doubtful legality, is in every way exceptionable in policy. But, Mr. Speaker, I fear that this Treasury currency is relied upon to give life and vigor to the new scheme, now for the first time recommended, of separating the Government from the banks, whilst the people are left to struggle with all the evils of a paper currency. If so, sir, I, for one, shall hesitate, as one of the administration party, before I can take to my embrace a bantling which, I fear, is the mere precursor of a bank and a paper currency far more formidable and dangerous than any to be found in the history of this country. Sir, I am opposed to that indirect, ambiguous, and equivocal system of legislation which characterizes the measure under consideration, as calculated to destroy that check upon our conduct here which will ever result from an effective and practical responsibility to our constituents; and hence, in my poor judgment, we should always provide by an actual appropriation for every loan which we authorize, and which is not done in the bill upon your table. I know, sir, that in these times such sentiments are likely to be regarded as old fashioned or radical; but the time will come, must come, when they will be appreciated. That system of indirect legislation, which seeks to avoid a just and full responsibility to the people, may be submitted to for a time, but will in the end receive its merited condemnation by an abused and indignant community of intelligent freemen. I am not, I hope, sir, mistaken or misunderstood upon this subject. I am willing to extend to the Treasury immediate and ample relief, by any means compatible with the constitution and my convictions of public duty; nor will I be drawn from this determination by any doubt which may be cntertained as to the real amount necessary, nor by the asperities of party intolerance, the prominent bane of our deliberations and councils here. Yes, sir, I am willing, and stand ready, to vote any sum, in the bounds of reason, which the Secretary of the Treasury may consider necessary to meet the most liberal wants of the Government; and if he asks more than is necessary, I leave him to his just responsibility to the country. Sir, I am opposed to this measure, not as one of financial relief, but one for the emission of ten millions of paper currency, obnoxious, as I conceive it to be, to all the objections of an executive bank, based not upon the means of immediate convertibility, but upon the plighted faith of the nation, which I maintain can be pledged only for a loan. In my humble judgment, sir, this project is fraught with mischief; and I look to it with the deepest distrust and alarm. Admonished as I am, by a short experience in the practical administration of this Government, that its tendency is to enlarge its powers by gradual and imperceptible innovations upon the rights of the States and of the people, I look to the future with all the forebodings of one fully impressed with the solemn conviction that, if not resisted, and successfully resisted, at the threshold, it will end in consoldidation, and consolidation in the overthrow of our institutions and the downfall of our libegies. Sir, it has been well remarked, in the progress of this debate, that money is power; than which none is more mercenary in its inflictions, or more difficult to resist. It connects itself with every class, and every interest, and addresses itself to every passion of human nature, and constitutes, in the hands of ambition, the most potent engine for mischief and oppression. Pardon me then, sir, in view
of the extraordinary powers already vested in the Executive, if I pause when asked to go another step—to arm that branch of the Federal Government with a power to convert the public faith into a banking capital for the emission of an inconvertible paper medium, subject to no other law than the uncontrolled will of one man In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I beg leave to repeat my most perfect willingness and anxiety to replenish, by any lawful means, the national Treasury. I prefer first to apply the means already on hand, as contemplated in the amendment offered by the honorable gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. UN penwoon..] If that proposition shall fail, then I shall prefer a direct loan, to be redeemed by the bank debt, when it shall be received by the Government; and I would set it apart by law for that specific purpose. If that proposition be also negatived, and the House determine to authorize the proposed emission of Treasury notes, then I shall be in favor of these notes bearing interest, under the hope that their circulation, as a currency, may in that way be prevented, and the Government compelled to convert them into money. If these several propositions be rejected, I shall find myself placed in a situation of extreme solicitude, anxious to extend relief to the Treasury by any and every mode sanctioned by the constitution and the long-established usage of the Government, but compelled to withhold relief, only because an unrelenting majority in this House will have no other measure of relief, than one which I am constrained to regard as dangerous to the stability of our free institutions, and subversive of the liberty and prosperity of the people. Mr. Speaker, I will not detain the House longer by the expression of any apprehensions of my own, as to the objects of this measure, or the danger of its ripening into a permanent system. I feel as sensibly as any man can do, the magnitude of the consequences which such a system cannot fail to produce. I hope, sir, most devoutly, that my fears may never be realized; but I should be unfaithful to my constituents and my country, if I did not declare, fearlessly, that I look to the present measure as laying the foundation 'of a system which, if ever established, must end in revolution or despotism. I will not detain the House either, sir, by inquiring into the causes of our pecuniary embarrassment. I am content to leave that to others, who deem it a fit subject for present discussion. I will act the humbler part in this emergency, of one who might chance to see the Treasury on fire, that would not stop to inquire into the cause or manner of the conflagration, but aid in the immediate extinguishment of the flame. I will say, however, that, great as the real distress may be, I am satisfied it has been greatly magnified; I am, nevertheless, ready and willing to afford any relief, within the power of Congress, to all classes and to every interest in our common country. I am one of those, sir, who look more to the energies of the people, and resources of the country, for permanent and substantial relief than to any measure which we can devise. Excuse me, sir, for this day declaring in my place, that my sympathies do not incline me so much to minister to the insatiable appetites of federal officeholders, as to the amelioration of the condition of the great body of the people, upon whose honest contributions we all depend. And let me now say to my political associates, that no party considerations shall ever enlist my humble aid in the co-operation of a measure which looks only to the advancement of the few, to the injury and oppression of the many. There are, sir, occasions fit and proper, in my judgment, for the exercise of party preference and party feelings, but these occasions are always secondary, and ought to be made subordinate to the higher considerations of the country and the furtherance of sound political principles, which constitute the only ligament which ought to connect and unite us in our party associations.