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This House had made two calls on the President for information upon subjects connected with Texas. The first was for the correspondence between the authorities of Texas and the United States, concerning the annexation of Texas. The second was for the correspondence with the authorities of Mexico, concerning the boundary line between the two countries, and the propositions for the purchase of any portion of the Mexican territory by the United States. Both calls had been responded to ; and, in answer to the first, a communication from the Texian minister to this Government proposing the annexation of Texas; a reply from the Secretary of State; and a rejoinder from the Texian minister, had been laid before this House, and ten thousand copies were ordered to be printed. In reply to the second call, a voluminous correspondence between the proper agents of the Governments of the United States and Mexico had been communicated, and ten thousand copies of it ordered to be printed. Upon looking into the last documents, (said Mr. E.,) I find they are divided into two classes, the first class consisting of those named in the resolution now under consideration, and consisting mainly of instructions given by the different Presidents wielding the executive power of the United States, from 1824 to 1837, to our ministers resident in Mexico, directing them to propose for the purchase of Texas, and giving the reasons why such a purchase was desirable and important for the United States. These constituted but a small portion of the documents communicated under the second call; the rest, comprising nine-tenths, or probably nineteen-twentieths, of those sent by the President, relating almost entirely to a treaty of boundary which was negotiated at an early period of the negotiations between the two countries, and which recognised the boundary fixed for Mexico in 1819, in the treaty of Washington, between Spain and the United States; and in which the latter yielded Texas, and consented to make the Sabine and Red rives the boundary. This treaty, recognising this line as the true one between Mexico and the United States, was three times negotiated and signed in almost the same terms, having twice failed in consequence of not being ratified by Mexico in the time prescribed by one of its articles. The various forms and shapes which these negotiations assumed, the several propositions to vary them, the causes which produced the failure to ratify—from frequent revolutions, changes in the executive departments charged with this subject, propositions to change the place of negotiation from Mexico to Washington—the formation of a commercial treaty between the countries, and tedious details of all its beginnings, interruptions, and progress; and the urgent requisitions of this Government for the appointment of commissioners to run the line of boundary as fixed in 1819, constitute a mass of diplomatic notes, correspondence, and instructions on these points, which have no bearing on the great subject, the annexation of Texas, which now engrosses the public attention. Ten thousand copies of these are already ordered to be printed; enough to diffuse all the information required. But, sir, it is hot so as regards those mentioned in the resolution. They relate especially to the acquisition of Texas; they consist of instructions from the various Presidents who have been in power since 1824, showing, in the arguments and views they suggest to our ministers charged with these important negotiations, the reasons why it has always been deemed important to the welfare of the United States that they should possess Texas. Sir, the House will remember that, some days ago, the gentleman from Massachusetts made the pregnant and startling declaration, that this was a question of union or disunion. He presented this issue to the people of the United States. Now, sir, I wish my constituents and the people of the South to have all the information on this subject concentrated in this document, which will show them the official action and opinions of this Government, from 1824
to the present day. I wish them to see, by the instructions given our ministers in every administration since 1824, that it has always been considered essential to the safety and interests of these States, and that the sound wisdom and prudence of the reasons assigned in these able papers may be submitted to their solemn deliberation, before they return their answer to the issue tendered by the gentleman from Massachusetts. It may be, sir, as the gentleman from Massachusetts says, that these documents are “garbled,” and only such extracts furnished the House as suit one side of the question. If garbled, it has been done by the President or his Secretary of State. I propose to publish them exactly as they have been furnished to the House. If these documents, and especially the opinions of the distinguished statesman who was President in 1825, shall place any gentleman on this floor in the position of having entertained opinions on this subject not exactly consistent, of having favored and urged the acquisition of Texas at one time, as an important national object, and of having opposed and denounced it at another, it is a matter he must settle as best he can with the country. I have no further concern in the affair than that I want the benefit of the arguments of the then President, contained in these instructions, to aid the people in forming a correct estimate of the importance of Texas to the United States. I do not now propose to argue the merits of this great question, but I desire to spread before the people the information contained in the arguments of far abler men, which I here find prepared to my hand. But, sir, I apprehend the gentleman from Massachusetts is mistaken in the course he has proposed, if his object is to have all the correspondence relating to the annexation or purchase of Texas, printed on this occasion. He complains that the correspondence is garbled. Let him then call, by a resolution, on the President for that which he says is suppressed. He cannot, by his motion, if he succeed in carrying it, have that printed which is not furnished the House. Mr. ADAMS observed that that would best appear by showing the House these documents. He wanted all or none. He was opposed to sending forth garbled extracts as the basis of opinions on a subject so momentous. The gentleman from South Carolina had proposed to print extracts from the documents favorable to his own peculiar views on the great question at issue, and not the entire documents. The President of the United States, in obedience to the call of the House, sends certain papers. The gentleman from South Carolina proposes to print a part of them. Mr. A. said his proposition was to print the whole. He had a right to argue that the gentlenian proposed to print such extracts as favored one side of the question rather than the other. No conclusion could possibly be drawn from what had already been communicated, and the people had a right to all the light that could be shed upon the subject. Sir, (said Mr. A.,) I say on my authority that, if such a proposition was ever made on the part of the United States to the Government of Mexico, it was received in such a manner as to show that it was offensive in the highest degree to that Government. If, as the gentleman from South Carolina intimates, some parts of those documents prove one thing, there may be other parts of them which go to prove directly the contrary. If any inference is to be drawn from the instructions referred to against the interests of my constituents, or against those of that gentleman's constituents, we ought to have also the answers to the propositions referred to, and not draw inferences from that which is communicated to us, which might be entirely refuted by that which has not been communicated. I repeat that, if there ever was such a proposition made to Mexico, it was received in such a manner that it never was repeated, and never ought to be repeated. I have very strong reason to believe, further, (said Mr. A.,) that at one time the late: H. of R.] Executive of the United States was deluded into an expectation that the Mexican Government were ready to make a cession of territory to the United States; and, indeed, in one of the documents lately communicated to this House, the minister from Texas affirms to the Secretary of State, that the late Executive of the United States was so confident of the acquisition of Texas, that he offered to Mr. Hutchins G. Burton, of North Carolina, the commission of governor of that territory. [Mr. An AMs was here reminded by the Speaker that he was transcending the proper limit of debate upon a mere question of printing papers.] Well, (Mr. A. said,) he must then fall back upon the ground of natural justice, which he said would sufficiently sustain his argument that all the papers, if any, ought to go together to the American people. Mr. A. having demanded the yeas and nays on the motion to amend the resolution, and they having been ordered to be taken— Mr. CAMBRELENG moved 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.”
The question pending being the amendment of Mr. UNnkhwood, to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to issue only three millions and a half of Treasury notes, until the bonds of the Bank of the United States had been of. fered for sale for three months, exclusive of interest—
Mr. CAMBRELENG appealed to the members on all sides of the House to bring this measure to a conclusion. He did not suppose the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. UNDER wood] really meant to embarrass the Treasury of the United States; but his amendment, if adopted, would be the most extraordinary proposition ever adopted by Congress. His proposition was to authorize the sale of three bonds, amounting each to about two millions of interest. Now there was not a capitalist on the face of the earth who would bid for them. Even the Bank of the United States, with all its capital, could not raise the means to do it, without the aid of the Bank of England, for the simple reason that the bonds could not be divided.
Now, what would be the effect of this proposition? Here was a bill before the House taking from the Secretary of the Treasury the power to draw drafts, which destroyed, in one single instant, the power to draw for one single dollar to pay the public creditors, who were now waiting for these Treasury notes. By the amendment, he had the right to issue only three millions and a half of notes in the last quarter of the year, thus tying up his hands for three months, except so far as his reliance upon these three millions and a half only for the expenses of the Government during that time, when, according to the estimates, at least ten millions will be required for the same period. This would, in effect, bankrupt the Treasury.
Mr. C. said he wished, too, to reach another bill of primary importance, the divorce bill, before they adjourned, for he was anxious not to leave the Treasury and the finances in their present unregulated condition. In a New York paper he was made to say that he never intended to bring that bill up. He must have been mistaken in what he said, since he argued quite the reverse.
Mr. UNDERWOOD, in support of his amendment, and in reply to the gentleman from New York, [Mr. CAM an ELFNG, J said that that gentleman had done him but justice in saying that he (Mr. U.) did not wish to embarrass the operations of the Treasury. He begged leave to make one or two remarks, however, in defence do his amendment. That gentleman had said that the whole ten millions demanded would be wanted during the balance of the current year. This certainly did not appear to be the opinion of the Sec
retary of the Treasury himself, if there was any truth in
Including $16,000,000 appropriated last year, the whole charge on the Treasury amounts to - $48,000,000 Of this there has been paid $24,000,000 Of this there has been suspended 15,000,000 — 39,009,000 Which leaves the difference at - - $9,000,000 if there is any truth in figures. And now, what means, Mr. U. would ask, was there to meet this $9,000,000? The proceeds of the public lands, and the cash duties accruing, would not fall short of $6,000,000, which, with the three millions proposed by this amendment, would suffice for the balance of the year. These statements were too plain to be controverted. Mr. U. also wanted the question taken speedily, and modified his amendment by striking out “exclusive of interest.” Mr. LEGARE proposed to insert an interest of two per centum. This proposition, he thought, would be a compromise which would obtain very generally, Mr. SERGEANT also remarked, that the Secretary of the Treasury had taken a view of this bill not warranted either by the language of the bill or by the views of members of that House, so far as those views had been disclosed. That gentleman had written to brokers and others, all over the country, to inquire of them at what rate they would purchase those notes; whereas there was no authority in the bill to sell the notes at all. The authority or power of the Secretary of the Treasury was confined to two points. In the first place, he could only issue them to creditors of the Government, in satisfaction of debts, on their nominal amount, with the interest that may then have accrued. The next power was the power to borrow upon the hypothecation of the notes. On these points Mr. S. dwelt at some length. As to the constitutional power of the Government to issue these bills he had no doubt in the world. It had as much constitutional power to do that as to charter a national bank. With reference to the wants of the Treasury, he preferred that they should borrow money of that description, which would answer the purposes of the Treasury. Mr. CAMBRELENG said a few words in reply to Mr. S., and gave notice of his intention to enter more at large on the subject of the gentleman's present and late speech in support of a national bank, when the divorce bill came up. The gentleman's argument about the people's money and the Government's money, was a merely ad captandum one, designed to produce an effect upon the elections in Pennsylvania. Mr. C. agreed with the gentleman that the Secretary of the Treasury had not properly construed the act now under consideration; for, if he had construed it properly, there never could be any depreciation whatever of these notes. There was no power given in the bill to sell the notes, but to borrow money upon them. Mr. PICKENS made an urgent appeal to the House, that, considering the lateness of the session, and the important measures behind, they would vote on all the propositions now before it on this bill. He declared his intention of voting against the bill himself if it embraced interest. Mr. MERCER opposed the bill. Mr. UNDERWOOD again modified his amendment, so as to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to exchange the bonds with the Bank of the United States for smaller bonds. Mr. GHOLSON replied principally to the remarks of Mr. Bell on Saturday last, and spoke in opposition to the establishment of a national bank, and in support of the bill, without the amendment under consideration. He insisted that the bill was opposed, and was intended, if possible, to be defeated, for the express purpose of promoting the object to charter a national bank.
The House met aster recess. Mr. GHOLSON resumed and concluded his remarks in reply to Mr. Bell, the whole of which are given entire, as follows: Mr. Speaker: If, by remaining in my seat, I believed the vote on the amendment proposed by the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. UN men wood,) or on the bill itself, would be taken at an earlier period, I surely would content inyself with giving a silent vote, however anxious I may be, or may have been, to express my views. I am in bad health, worn down with previous labor, and find myself but illy calculated for the effort of debate. The course of the whigs on this floor, ever since the commencement of the session, has assured me that their object is, and has been, that this House shall not act on any bill likely to relieve the embarrassments of the country. Sir, I am justified in saying that the object of the whigs is, and has been, to keep up excitement in the country, and add embarrassment to the already embarrassed condition of the Government and the people. When this session first commenced, we were told by the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. BELL] and the gentleman from Virginia, [Mr. Wise,] who are regarded by me and by the country as the oracles of the whig party, that they had no measures of their own to bring forward to relieve the Union. The gentleman from Virginia went further. He requested or directed his whig allies to bring forward no measure to relieve the country. He said that, for one, he would let the country groan on ; that it was not the intention of the administration party here to carry out the recommendations of the President; and even went so far as to warn my friend from South Carolina [Mr. Picki:Ns] to be on his guard, lest he were arrested and shot down as a deserter. Being now hard pressed in this quarter, and this bill (which has been so bitterly denounced) being likely to be finally voted on before the close of the session, he calls in the aid of his ally from Tennessee, [Mr. Bell,) and solicits that gentleman to aid him in occupying the time of the House with fruitless dicussion and vapid denunciation until the close of this extraordinary session; and thus prevent, what is so much dreaded by both gentlemen, that relief which the country so imperiously demands, and which, if we possess the power, we are bound to afford to it. Well, sir, the gentleman from Tennessee has not been unmindful of the appeal of the gentleman from Virginia. He has promptly obeyed the mandate, and has gone to his aid ; and, with the skill and management of a political grimalkin, he consumed the whole of Saturday in discussing a motion that he never intended should be voted on ; and after a day and a part of the night had been consumed by descanting on that time-killing motion, the gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Whittles Ex] came forward, and asked the gentleman from Tennessee to withdraw his motion. The request was instantly complied with, thus conclusively proving, to my mind, that the whole design and object of the gentleman was, and is, confusion, excitement, embarrassment, not action or relief to the Government or the people. Sir, we have now progressed on this legislative journey till we have reached the last week of the session. And what, Mr. Speaker, let me ask, have we, the administration party, been permitted to do? By our untiring exer
tions we have got one little bill through the House ! The suffering people have a right to know to whom this delay, this waste of time, of money, this trifling with their rights and interests, is to be ascribed. Sir, this remissness, this flagrant injustice, and wanton dereliction of duty, cannot, and must not, be charged to the administration party; for if the whigs, as they avow, have no projects or plans of relief of their own, why have they not permitted us to carry out those plans of the administration which we stand ready to execute Is it because they fear the country will be relieved 4 What, sir, said the gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. Bell,) when he came forward, on Saturday, with his time-killing project ' He said he had told the people, “the dear people,” just before the election—at a time when he undoubtedly cherished a very warm and tender feeling of regard for the people—that it would be in the power of the administration to relieve the country in sixty days at furthest Well, sir, why does not the gentleman bring forward the plan that he suggested to his constituents' Is he not bound to do so, if he believes what he has said in relation to the plans set forth in the President's message Surely he is. When he undertakes to say that the schemes suggested in the President's message are wild and visionary, and impracticable, have we not a right to expect from him some plan that will, according to his own views, afford relief, practical relief—a plan that is in itself practicable and reasonable ! What was the vast and wonderful scheme that the honorable gentleman suggested to the people of his district He says that it was a scheme to force the Government to take up the $100,000,000 of irredeemable bank paper now afloat in the country Indeed, sir! Mr. Speaker, common sense, the commonest reasoning, and the teachings of every day's experience and observation, all go to prove the utter impracticability of the proposition. I have too high a regard for the gentleman's intelligence, to believe, for a single moment, that he believes in the practicability of any such project. Those banks which have flooded the country with a redundant paper circulation, have failed, and their paper become worthless in the hands of the people, at the very time when they were sustained by all the resources of this mighty and munificent Government daily pourcd into their vaults. They failed, sir, when they were sustained, not only by the Government, but by the considence of the whole American people, and by that still stronger power, public opinion. If they failed under the existence of such props and such patronage—if they could not exist as organic bodies, and perform the functions required of them by law and by their charters, under the existence of circumstances so favorable—and if their paper, as we all know to be the fact, has depreciated fifteen per cent. how much more signal and complete must be their failure, when they do not and cannot obtain the confidence of the people? . Sir, I defy the Government to give the people confidence in these banking institutions. They have already failed, and without the confidence of the people they cannot be resuscitated ; they cannot sustain themselves. Mr. Speaker, who, let me inquire, ever heard of a Government like ours, in a time of profound peace, dealing in paper known to be depreciated, and attempting to make that paper the circulating medium of the country : Do we not all know that this plan is wild, visionary, impracticalle and unheard of . I know, sir, the gentleman from Tunnessee does not believe it practicable; if he did, he would bring it forward in a tangible shape. I have too much coufidence in his ability as a statesman, too much confidence in his intelligence as a financier, to do him the injustice of believing him at all in favor of the plan go which he has
spoken. The causes that have moved the gentleman from Ten
nessee in this matter, are easily divined; nay, they cannot be misunderstood. He had said something on this subject to the people of his district, to his constituency if you please, and he wished to consume the time of this House, above all, he wished to aid the federal bank party in this House, and to attain his ends, he came out with the plans on which I have animadverted, and hoped to impose on the country. I say this, for this further reason, that the whole course of the opposition, with whom the gentleman from Tennessee is acting, has been directed to the single and sole purpose of preventing any thing being done by the administration to relieve the country. They are influenced in their course by the belief that, if they can keep up the present excitement in the country, they can force from the necessities of the people the recharter of the United States Bank, or a national bank subservient to their wishes. They know that this question has been again and again submitted to the people, and the people, after calm deliberation and reflection, have decided that they will not have a bank. But, not satisfied with the unqualified expression of the people's voice, they still cling with tenacity to the desperate hope that has been made to tell its “flattering tale,” by the present unnatural excitement and derangement that now pervade every section of the country. They know that if the country is relieved and the present excitement can be quelled, their hopes of a national bank will be laid prostrate. And this is the reason, Mr. Speaker, this struggle has been so desperate; this, sir, is the reason that the cry of Executive bank, has been sounded through this hall; this is the reason that we have been so often boastingly told, that unless a national bank were incorporated, the country would be convulscd. This is the true and only reason that exists for the cry we have so often heard, that this bill will sap the liborties of the country; that by means of this Executive bank, the President would be enabled to place his foot on the necks of the people. This cry has been raised because gentle. men know that a bank is yet unpopular; and they hope to prejudice the country against this bill before it passes, by calling it an Executive bank bill. Sir, they seek to frighten us by telling us that when we give our assent to this bill we give our assent to a measure that is to convulse the country. For one, Mr. Speaker, let me tell gentle. men, that names have no terror for me. I have no fear that this bill will enable the President to place himself above the constitution and the people; I am not so timid that I can be alarmed by such bug-bear appeals to my courage. But why, let me ask, have we this constant cry of bank, bank, from the known bank party on this floor It has been said that this bill was intended to defeat a national bank. I am willing to place it on that issue before the American people; I will, and do, hereby declare my assent to this measure, humble as gentlemen say it is, and at the same time I avow my decided opposition to any national bank. And, sir, if convulsions, anarchy, and consusion are to be the consequences of our refusal to charter a national bank, let them come, and I shall be prepared to meet them. Sir, I have stated that names have no terror for me. I am in favor of this bill. I wish these Treasury notes to enter into the circulation of the country, and if they do get into circulation, depend upon it, sir, the one-half of your embarrassments will be removed at the instant they find their way from the hands of the Secretary. This bill has no similtude to a bank, Mr. Speaker, and if gentlemen attempt to distort it into any thing of the kind, they will get their labor for the pains. The Treasurer, under it, has no power to issue bills, except as the creditors of the Government may require them. The passage of the bill will foot enable the Secretary of the Treasury to throw thousands and millions of paper into circulation in a day, by which the price of property, and of labor, and
of every thing else, will receive fictitious valuations, and then by suddenly withdrawing the circulation, depress the price of the same substances and properties far beneath their intrinsic value. Mr. Speaker, I respectfully ask gentlemen to do me the favor of pointing out the resemblance that this bill bears to a bank; I ask them to particularly point out the characteristics by which they are enabled to determine that this is an Executive bank. The next direct attack made upon this bill, is the one now pending in favor of that defunct monster, the late United States Bank, offered by the gentleman from Kentucky, [Mr. UNDER wood.] This amendment, has, I believe, been already twice rejected by this House, and is now properly out of order. But as I am no stickler for points of order, I will make no question of that sort. This amendment, like the late United States Bank, is no sooner defeated in one shape than it rises in another. By this amendment, it is proposed to offer in lieu of the bill, the bonds executed by the late United States Bank to this Government, in that institution. Then it is proposed to throw into the market in these times of general depression, $6,000,000 of bank bonds due in the course of the next four years, payable by instalments of $2,000,000, bearing interest from the date of their execution. Now, sir, who are to be the purchasers? We know in these times of general distress, no individual, and scarcely any incorporation, has the ability to make such a purchase. Then if these bonds are thus untimely thrown into the market, the Government must and will sustain an immense loss. The old bank may or may not be the bidder for these bonds. The course that that institution has heretofore, and is now persuing, is this: A short time after the suspension of specie payments, that bank threw into the market $5,000,000 of bank bonds, or post notes, payable at a suture day in England. These bonds or notes were sold in the market for a premium of five per cent. The agents of the bank proceeded to the cotton growing States, and with the notes of the Pennsylvania Bank of the United States bought cotton to meet these bonds. The notes of the institution commanded a premium, owing to the immense debt due from the South and West to the eastern and northern cities. The fund upon which these $5,000,000 was first drawn having been exhausted, this is the game that is now being played off by Mr. Biddle on the South. He has his agents there, selling the notes of the old bank, which neither the United States Bank of Pennsylvania, nor any other institution, is bound to redeem. This paper, in these times of distrust and oppression, commands a premium over the local bank paper of the country. It first passes into the hands of our southern merchants, they paying a premium for it of about 15 per cent. above local bank paper. The merchants pay it over to the agents of the northern merchants, who are literally swarming like hungry locusts through the country; who, knowing its utter worthlessness, and that no one is bound to redeem it, immediately sell it for local bank paper at a premium. With this paper they buy cotton. In this way, one set of these irredeemable notes buys the cotton of the whole neighborhood at a discount of at least 15 per cent. Thus is the ghost of this institution enabled to plunder my constituents out of 15 per cent. of their labor. This system of plundering the South, so long practised by the Northern capitalists, has enabled that section of the country, through the agency of the institution of which I speak, to play a game that must be suspended, and it is to an evil so monstrous that I am anxious to apply a remedy. This can be done effectually by the rejection of the amendment and the passage of the bill. In this way, this institution will be driven out of the market; for when the notes proposed to be issued by this bill enter, as they will, into the circulation of the country, the worthless paper of this
insolvent institution referred to, will be banished from circulation. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. Bell] complains that I have no right to place the construction on his acts that I have so freely and fully expressed; and, sir, he has added that I have expressed opinions in reference to him that are not justifiable by facts. Sir, I must be allowed to tell that gentleman that the actions and conduct of public men in this hall are, and of right should be, public property. As such, I have a right to come to my own conclusions in relation to them. Having formed my opinions as to the moving cause sor the conduct of that gentleman in the present instance, I have taken the liberty to express those opinions, and I claim the right of doing so. Sir, I should be sorry to do any gentleman an act of injustice. I have misstated no matter of fact; and, if I have otherwise done the gentleman injustice, I shall be found at all times ready to render him the most prompt and adequate satisfaction. Mr. Speaker, the gentleman has taken occasion to say something in relation to the interest of my constituents. Now, sir, I will tell the gentleman that I am their representative, and that if I misrepresent them I am accountable to them for the act. Therefore, neither they nor we require any aid or advice from the gentleman from Tennessee. I know, sir, that I represent a suffering people, a people who are immensely in debt; but, thank God we have a climate, a soil, and a production, that, when added to the never-ceasing vigilance of our people, will enable us to pay, in a short time, a larger debt than can be extinguished by any other people of the globe. Much, sir, has been said about the immense debt our banks owe the Government, and not a little has been said and insinuated about the alleged insolvency of those institutions. Sir, I ask gentlemen, before they make any more assertions on this subject, to examine into the true situation of our banks. I make the assertion, without fear of contradiction, that our banks, the banks of the State of Mississippi, have as large an amount of assets in their possession as any banks in this Union which have not a greater circulation afloat. I have no doubt they are as solvent, and will resume specie payinents as soon as any banks in the Union having at the time of the suspension as large a circulation as they had. But it is said the banks have asked for indulgence. I say it is untrue. If they have asked indulgence, I am not informed of it. I, on my own responsibility, asked indulgence for them in order that I might favor their debtors. Now, sir, if the gentleman from Tennessee, [Mr. Bell,] with his proclaimed charity for my constituents, will aid me in keeping the hands of this Government off of our banks for a short time, he will render us good service. Any attempt to force these banks to pay their debts unnaturally oppresses the debtor's interest. Whenever the Government presses the banks, it presses its own debtors, and thus the Government directly oppresses the people. If the Government continues, according to the suggestions of the gentleman from Tennessee, who is so charitable, to draw on our banks, these drafts must, for some time to come, come back protested. This will keep down
our money, and force us to pay the highest premium that:
we have heard so much talked of Sir, I care but little for those banks as mere corporations, but I have a great good feeling for the people who are in their power. You have relieved the balance of your Government debtors, and why not relieve them also I am sure they are as meritorious as your Northern merchants. Now, sir, the passage of this bill, without the amendment, appears to me to be the only means by which the country can be relieved. It is the only hope I have for our banks soon resuming specie payments; for when
this bill shall have passed, the Government will be relieved. Ten millions will be liable to be gradually thrown into circulation. You can then give our banks reasonable time; and thus the whole will be accommodated. Sir, the gentleman from Tennessee [Mr. BELL] said something about forcing the Government into terms. What terms does he mean The terms of these irresponsible banks! If these are his terms; if a submission on the part of this administration to the dictations of these banks are the terms upon which we are to buy the peace of the country, it is such a peace as I do not want. If this is the way that quiet in this land is to be kept, let us have the confusion of which we have heard so much since the commencement of the session. I think the sooner it comes the better. Sir, has it come to this, in this land of liberty and of law, that these banks can, and will, dictate to an American Congress Are we to be no longer independent Are we to be forced to ask these most soulless corporations what we shall do, and what we shall not do Surely not yet. This is the direct policy of the bank party on this floor. I am prepared to record my vote; I am prepared to meet the crisis, and share my fate. I have no fears of the result. Mr. Speaker, I had intended to have proceeded further in discussing these topics, but I find myself unable, from exhaustion and debility, to go on any further. Mr. CURTIS addressed the House in a short speech, expressive of his regret that his colleague [Mr. CAM an ElENG) had laid aside the bill originally reported by him from the Committee of Ways and Means, and had engrafted the Senate's bill upon its enacting clause as an amendment. He was in favor of the bill in its original shape, but opposed to an issue of Treasury moves bearing interest, and would prefer the amendment of the gentleman from Kentucky now under consideration, especially as recently modified. He explained how the bonds of the United States Bank might be rendered available, and sold in Europe. Mr. UNDERWOOD having altered his motion to amend the bill so as to make it read as follows: “But no Treasury notes shall be issued under the provisions of this act, except for the sum of three million five hundred thousand dollars, until after the Secretary of the Treasury shall have offered for sale the bonds executed by the president, directors, and company of the United States Bank of Pennsylvania, in consideration of the stock held by Government in the late Bank of the United States; and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and directed to sell and transfer said bonds, or any one or more of them, to the purchaser or purchasers, 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 shall be made for less than the nominal amount of said bonds respectively, with the interest which shall have accrued thereon up to the day of sale. But if said bonds cannot be sold as is herein provided, in three months from the passage of this act, then it shall be lawful to issue Treasury notes to the amount not exceeding in the whole ten millions of dollars. “It shall, moreover, be lawful for the Secretary of the Treasury to surrender any one or more of said bonds to the bank, and to take in exchange smaller bonds for the amount, to facilitate the sales and transfers herein provided for.” The question being put on the amendment of Mr. UNDER wood, in this shape, it was decided as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Adams, Alexander, H. Allen, J.W.Allen, Aycrigg, Bell, Biddle, Bond, Briggs, W. B. Calhoun, J. Calhoon, J. Campbell, W. B. Carter, Chambers, Cheatham, Childs, Clowney, Cranston, Crockett, Curtis, Cushing, Darlington, Davies, Deberry, Dennis, Dunn, Elmore, Everett, Ewing, R. Fletcher, Goode, J. Graham, Grennell, Griffin, Halsted, Harlan, Harper, Hastings, Hawes,