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ation of a law which was capable of producing the most disastrous results, General Jackson, had he understood the subject, would have abstained from any active participation in rendering it more mischievous and fatal than the ordinary operations of commerce would have rendered it. But not so. Carried away, in the pursuit of his ignis fatuus— his ‘constitutional currency’—he arrogated to himself the right, by the arbitrary exercise of his executive authority, of imposing a tax upon the owners of the French indemnity. Those citizens were entitled by treaty to the full amount of the sun stipulated to be paid by France, without any deduction whatever, either for the purpose of glorifying General Jackson, or for the purpose of enabling him to pursue his favorite Jack o’ Lantern. They were also entitled to their money without a moment's unnecessary delay, and the manifestly plain course which Justice demanded to be pursued was, to have given each claimant a bill upon France for the amount of his claim, to be negotiated or collected in the mode which best might suit him. This course was urged upon the Secretary of the Treasury by some of the claimants, who proved it to be the cheapest and most prompt mode by which they could be placed in possession of their property; and it is evident that, had any of the claimants wished gold for his share, he could have imported it upon quite as favorable terms as the Government." But no. The demands of justice weighed nothing in the scale, when opposed to the glory of ‘the constitutional currency.” Orders were sent to France to transmit the amount of the four instalments of the indemnity paid in February, 1836, amounting to near four millions of dollars, in gold. To procure this quantity of gold, a draft was made upon the London market, which, if it did not create, at least assisted to augment, that pressure upon the British currency which commenced in April, and which every one knows has been continued, with occasional fluctuations, up to the 11th March, 1837, the date of the last advices, and which has been latterly augmented by the additional demand for nearly another million of dollars, the amount of the fifth instalment of the indemnity paid by France in February last. It is not pretended that the whole pressure on the English money market within the last year has been occa

“* Exchange on Paris at New York, for a bill at 60 days' sight, between the 2, of March, and the 15th of June, 1336, iluctuated from what is callel 525 to 5 st), making, an average of 5.32}. The par ex change on Paris is about 5.35} : that is, one dollar of American currency is equivalent to 5 francs and 353 centimes, or one-hundredth arts of a franc. The exchange then was, at the period mentioned, }.} per cent. atrove par; which, added to one per cent, which a bill at sight, such as the Government had a right to draw, and perhaps half er cent. for the superior security of a Government bill over a private {. , would make about toro per cent, that the claimants would have re. ceived beyond the amount of their claims. It is true that the exchange upon France might have fallen something in consequence of the increased supply of bills, but this could not have equalled the loss which the claimants sustained by the delay to receive their money, which was not paid until July, and which was then subject to a deduction for the expenses of freight, insurance, and commissions incident to the im: portation of the gold. “The best commontary, however, upon the folly of these importations is to be found in th; following article, which is copied from the Washington Gl be of the 1st of April : “‘NEApoll I AN INDEMN1TY.—The last New York American con. tained the following: “‘The Bank of America will also draw their bills on the Rothschills, of Paris, for upwards of a suillion of srancs.” “‘The above sum, which the Bank of America proposes to draw for, is, we, presume, on account of the next installment falling due under the Neapolitan treaty. “‘The bank having. as we learn, an op n credit to a large amonnt upon the Rothschilds, but being unwilling to avail of it, under existisig circumstances, suggested that the next instal ment, to be paid in May or June, might be anticipated under that credit, “”. The Secretary of the Treasury, we are informed, finding that the interest of the claimants, in the present state of things, would be proinoted by availing of the present high rate of exchange, over any other mode of loringing home the funds, and that, to the extent of the sane, they might be used to relieve the coln nunity, unhesitatingly assented to the suggestion, and directed the Messrs. Welles, the agents for receiving the indemnity, to hay it over to the Mossrs Rothschills as s on as received, to reimburse them for the bills drawn in anticipation of its receipt. “. It is for this sum, and upon this arrangement, we presume, the Bank of America proposed to pass the hills on Paris.’ ”

sioned by the last mentioned “humble efforts' to restore ‘the constitutional currency.” Other demands for gold have existed, amongst them one by the Bank of America, the principal deposite bank in New York, and one by the Bank of the United States, rendered expedient by the rapid return of her notes for payment in the early part of 1836, owing to the substitution in their place, throughout the Western and Southwestern country, of the notes of some of Gen. Jackson's three hundred and fifty-seven new banks. “Of the practical operations of these two “humble efforts' upon the immediate interests of the citizens of the United States, it behooves us now to speak. “The contraction of the British currency, as every intelligent observer knows, has been to create a pressure for money in England, which has produced the following results: “1. The market rate of interest has been advanced from 2% to 5 per cent. per annum on first rate commercial paper, which has had a tendency to keep money in England which would otherwise have sought investment in the United States. “2. British merchants are prevented from accepting, with their accustomed freedom, the bills of exchange drawn upon shipments of American produce. “3. British cpital.sts are less able than before to make advances, or loans on the security of American stocks, which cuts off a large source from which capital has been heretofore supplied for our various internal improvements. “4. British manufacturers are less able than heretofore to give credit to such of our importing merchants as require it. “5. The price of cotton has fallen, since the first of January last, four or five cents a pound, in England, by which American shippers will lose twenty or twenty-five per cent. upon the stocks gone forward, and by which our cotton planters will be deprived of a corresponding or a greater amount, as the fall of prices at the South has already made evident. “And now it only remains for us to inquire how have these ‘humble efforts' tended to restore ‘the constitutional currency to Has the importation of thirty millions of gold and silver pushed any paper out of circulation ? So far from it, the amount of paper has augmented, as we have shown, to an incredible amount. The banks all seem to have acted upon the principle that their power to emit and keep their notes in profitable circulation was just in proportion to the specie they had on hand, and accordingly we have seen that, just in the measure that General Jackson supplied them with one million of dollars in coin, they supplied the public with three millions of dollars in paper. So much for the soundness of this ‘constitutional currency;' and now for its uniformity. “On the 2d of Janury, 1830, when General Jackson, in his message to Congress, in reference to the Bank of the United States, said that “it must be admitted by all that it has sailed in the great end of establishing a uniform and sound currency,' the rates of domestic exchange were as follows, as apppears from the New York shipping and coinmercial list:

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Oct. 13, 1837.]

“Let these two tables speak for themselves. “And now, reader, with all these proofs before you, of the total failure of all General Jackson's schemes of finance can you read the following passage in his farewell address, without asking yourself whether he was really in earnest “. “My humble efforts have not been spared during my administration of the Government to restore the constitutional currency of gold and silver, and something, I trust, has been done towards the accomplishment of this most desirable object.” AN EXAMINER.” In addition to these causes, set in operation by the Government, came the celebrated Treasury order or circular of July 11, 1836. This circular enacted, by Executive order, that after the 15th day of August, 1836, the receivers of Public money and the deposite banks should receive in payonent of the public lands nothing but gold and silver, and in the proper places Virginia land scrip. Frauds, speculations, and monopolies, in the purchase of the public lands, and excessive bank credits, were made the pretext of this extraordinary measure, when these frauds, speculations, monopolies, and excesses of every description, had been known for a long time to the administration, and particiPoted in particularly by “the party,” from the removal of the deposites to the moment when General Jackson was aroused vindictively to prevent the deposites with the States, directed by the deposite act of June, 1836. Whatever other difference of opinion there may be as to the effects of this order, all will agree that it removed the specie of the country from the large importing cities and the most important places of trade, and placed it in the “far West,” where it was locked up in the land offices or Western dePosite banks, and rendered unavailable to commerce and to the wants of trade in an anomalous period of unexampled plenty and pressure | The gentleman from South Carolina, [Mr. Leoans,] as I understand, admits this effect of the circular, and that it accelerated a revulsion, the scarcity of which the President says none had correctly anticipated. Had the specie of the country been permitted by the Government to remain where trade required it to be, none can say that the same extent of ruin would have been felt, or that it would have been felt so soon. Such sir, are some of the “ antecedent causes" whence “overaction” derived “its first,” and I may add, its last “impulses!” Forsooth, I had nearly omitted one cause, enumerated by Mr. Secretary Woodbury, which the President, in his wisdom, entirely overlooked—the over-production of cotton The over-production of cotton —there is an example of a financier for you! Oh! rare Levi' Much more wisely had he spoken, if he had, in ascribing the causes of our disasters, enumerated the potent reason that we had at the head of the Treasury Department a financier who regards the products of labor and industry as causes of national poverty and bankruptcy A head that has not been wool gathering, but picking cotton : In the comparison of our condition with that of other countries, the President admits that “the most material difference between the results in the two countries (United States and Great Britain) has only been, that, with us, there has also occurred an extensive derangement in the fiscal affairs of the Federal and State Governments.” Ay, sir, there is the rub Why has there not been in England and in France the same extensive derangement in fiscal affairs as in the United States, whilst there has been, according to the message, “the same redundancy of paper money and other facilities of credit; the same spirit of speculation; the same partial successes; the same difficulties and reverses; and, at length, nearly the same overwhelming catastroPhe " Is it because our finances have not been managed so well, that we have had Levi at the helm, or that we had not, as France and England had, the great conservator, the life-preserver, a national bank 1 Sir, this “material difference” is owing to both reasons. We deprived our

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selves of the means of preserving credit, disabled the ship before the storm came on, shipped an incompetent crew, and a worse pilot; and when the hurricane came—as hurricanes in trade will come as certainly as storms on the ocean—it swept over us at mercy—struck the ship of State down on her beam ends—dismasted, and leaking—and there she will lie, with hope only to aid her until the despairing mariners, now standing on her sides with spy-glass in hand, shall discover far out upon the “dim distant sea" a speek of sail sent by Providence alone to right ship, and save all hands from a watery grave! Strong canvass, new rigging, ballast and compass, and skilful crew and pilot, will not prevent the storm, but they alone can save the ship from the tempest when it blows. So with a national bank and other means of regulating finance and currency—they cannot prevent the vicissitudes of trade and commerce, or wholly arrest their ravages and disasters, but they can save us from despair and death ! The report of the Bank of France proves this at this moment. That nation was not only guarded from death and despair, but restored to health, and sustained in actual prosperity, by sustaining a national bank, whilst we have been nearly destroyed by destroying one. But, why trace the causes of this revulsion in our affairs' Sir, the administration knew from the first that the State banks were unsound. In proof of this I refer you to the letter of Mr. Taney, of the 15th of April, 1834, pages 4 and 5. He says: “If the estimate I have made of the proportion between the paper circulation and the specie in possession of the banks be correct, or nearly so, the condition of the currency is obviously such that the nation should not be content with it, nor desire to continue it in its present state. It is an immense superstructure of paper, resting on a metallic foundation too narrow to support it. It has never been sustained by its own inherent strength, but by public confidence. When every one firmly believes that the notes of the banks will, on demand, be paid in coin, they will readily circulate, and answer all the purposes of money. But the moment that confidence is impaired, they lose their value as a part of the circulating medium, and are returned upon the banks for a redemption in specie, and the disproportion between the paper circulation and the coin prepared to redeem it is so great, that it is constantly liable to have its chief support, public confidence, withdrawn from it.” I refer, also, to a statement of the condition of the local banks, furnished about the same time by the Hon. R. H. Wilde, of Georgia, and printed by order of the House of Representatives in the session of 1833-34. Thus, sir, the administration knew from the beginning that these agents, the local banks, could not stand the shocks of trade. The President himself says, “that the prospect of revulsion was present to the minds of considerate men before it actually came.” Why was no warning given, no preparation made 1 Were our rulers not “considerate men o' Is it not true, as I have shown, that up to the fourth day of March last they were still crying in the night-watch, “all is well ?” Sir, they knew of these causes, and they intended their effects' No matter what are the causes, the ruin is here ! and the administration designed to bring it upon the country for the diabolical purpose of establishing upon this ruin a Treasury bank' Yes, sir, the very result of all these causes of mischief, whatever they may be, is now proposed as the second system—another experiment: This result is what has bee aimed at all the time—the final triumph of Executive power—the total ruin of the liberties of the country—the complete union of the “purse and sword!" In the very midst of our calamities and misfortune, we are told to take up the very condition of distress into which we have been thrown by mismanagement and corruption, and to organize it into a permanent system of finance—ay, sir, from


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one quarter, not the most inconsiderable and uninfluential source of these mischiefs, we have heard boasting and exultation at the calamities of the country. A letter written from St. Louis, August 11, 1837, signed by Big Bully Bottom, Tom Benton, “congratulates” the party in Ohio “on the success of General Jackson's endeavors to improve the condition of the currency " Sir, that man is misunderstood—that letter does not embody impudence and ef. frontery so much as it sets forth the real feelings, and shadows the designs of those in power—he knows their secrets— to force upon us now the execrable end of policy which they have always aimed at—to make the Government a bank, and the President of the United States and “the party” its “President, Directors, and Co.!” This is not the desperate courage or bravado of a ruffian, who is forced to brave every danger in the last extremity, but it is the chuckling of a fiend who has really reached the diabolical end he aimed at over the distresses and sufferings and ruin of a whole people: He knows that the danger now is not the re-establishment of a national bank, but that a revolution in the Government is already effected by forcing a “scourged country” and an “humbled democracy” into a system of sub-treasuries which will subvert all our ancient institutions, and laugh this republic to scorn! Above all the passages in the message—except one, which I shall presently notice—the most pharisaical and insincere, is that in which the President says he is “sensible that adequate provisions for these unexpected exigencies could only be made by Congress; convinced that some of them would be indispensably necessary to the public service, before the regular period of your meeting; and desirous, also, to enable you to exercise, at the earliest moment, your full constitutional powers for the relief of the country, I could not, with propriety, avoid subjecting you to the inconvenience of assembling at as early a day as the state of the popular representation would permit. I am sure that I have done but justice to your feelings in believing that this inconvenience will be cheerfully encountered, in the hope of rendering your meeting conducive to the good of the country.” Sir, why was Congress called at all ! Does it matter whether we act at all ! Has the President not put the system in operation, and is it not in full blast ! Yes, sir, by the fiat of the Executive, by a single “circular” from the Secretary's pen, is the sub-Treasury system called into being, full formed and perfect. See, sir, see with what despatch, with what unity and simplicity of action, one will controls already the destiny of this nation. See this circular, and know the will of your master:

“Circular to receivers of public moneys.

“TREAsuny DEPARTMENT, May 12, 1837. “If the bank where you deposite should suspend specie payments, you will keep in your own hands safely the public money you have in possession, or may hereafter receive, till further directions are given to you by this Department

how to deposite, transfer, or pay it, or any portion of it. “You will report to this Department weekly the amount

on hand. LEVI WOODBURY, “Secretary of the Treasury.”

By this simple instrument—a circular !—have magic changes been wrought in the form and policy of our Government: it has, by such means, been truly made a “simple machine !” After having done the deed, and put the system into full operation, then Congress is called, not to deliberate, not for consultation, but to register Executive edicts, or to adjourn! He proceeds:

“For the deposite, transfer, and disbursement of the revenue, national and State banks have always, with temporary and limited exceptions, been heretofore employed; but, although advocates of each system are still to be found, it is apparent that the events of the last few months have greatly augmented the desire, long existing among the peo

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ple of the United States, to separate the fiscal operations of the Government from those of individuals or corporations.” How long, I would inquire, sir, has this desire “to separate the fiscal operations of the Government from those of individuals or corporations” existed 1 Not longer, surely, than since the 4th day of March last. Sir, what said Mr. Taney, on the 15th of April, 1834 (See his letter to the Committee of Ways and Means, pp. 9, 10.) After saying “ the State banks are now so numerous, and are so intimately connected with our habits and pursuits, that it is impossible to suppose that the system can ever be entirely abandoned—nor is it desirable that it should be.”—he proceeds: “If there were no State banks, the profitable business of banking and exchange would be monopolized by the great capitalists. Operations of this sort require capital and credit to a large extent, and a private individual, in moderate circumstances, would be unable to conduct them with any advantage. Yet there is, perhaps, no business which yields a profit so certain and liberal as the business of banking and exchanges; and it is proper that it should be open as far as practicable to the most free competition, and its advantages shared by all classes of society. Individuals of moderate means cannot participate in them, unless they combine together, and by the union of many small sums create a large capital, and establish an extensive credit. It is impossible to accomplish this object without the aid of acts of incorporation, so as to give to the company the security of unity of action, and save it from the disadvan'ages in the frequent changes in the partnership, by the death or retirement of some one of the numerous partners. The incorporated banks, moreover, under proper regulations, will offer a safe and convenient investment of small sums to persons whose situations and pursuits disable them from employing the money profitably in any other mode. It is not more liable to be lost when vested in the stock of a bank, than when it is loaned to individuals. The interest on it is paid with more punctuality, and it can be sold and converted into cash, whenever the owner desires to employ it in some other way. And if a larger portion of the metal is infused into the circulation, the business of banking will become more sound and wholesome, and less liable to the disasters from which it has suffered, under our extravagant and ill-organized system of paper issues. It will render investments in banking companies entirely safe and secure to the holders, and afford them the almost absolute certainty of a reasonable profit, without endangering the capital invested in it. “For these reasons, it is neither practicable nor desirable to discountenance the continuance of the State banks. They are convenient and useful also for the purposes of commerce. No commercial or manufacturing community could conduct its business to any advantage without a liberal system of credits, and a facility of obtaining money on loan when the exigencies of their business may require it. This cannot be obtained without the aid of a paper circulation founded on credit. It is, therefore, not the interest of this country to put down the paper currency altogether. The great object should be to give it a foundation on which it will safely stand. A circulating medium composed of paper, and gold and silver, in just proportions, would not be liable to be constantly disordered by the accidental embarrassments or imprudences of trade, nor by a combination of the moneyed interest for political purposes. The value of the metals in circulation would remain the same whether there was a panic or not, and the proportion of paper being less, the credit of the banks could not be so readily impaired or endangered.” * What said Mr. Woodbury in December of the same year ! (See the report of the Secretary of the Treasury

“On the present system of keeping and disbursing the pub

lic money.” 19ecember 12, 1834.)

Oct. 13, 1837.)

“With the causes of these last and most important failures happening from time to time, as the table shows, to the very last year, this branch of our inquiry has no particular concern except to discriminate them from others, and from any special connexion with the system that prevailed from 1811 to 1816. Whether they arose from an unsound policy pursued by the United States Bank, or from circumstances which, under the paper system, neither legislation nor caution can always avert, or from less justifiable reasons, and in spite of all the salutary influence the national bank could exercise, it is a singular fact, in praise of this description of public debtors, the selected banks, that there is not now due on deposites, from the whole of them which have ever stopped payinent, from the establishment of the constitution to the present moment, a sum much beyond what is now due to the United States from one mercantile firm that stopped payment in 1825 or 1826, and of whom ample security was required and supposed to be taken under the responsibility of an oath.”

“If we include the whole present dues to the Government from discredited balks, at all times and of all kinds, whether as depositories or not, and embrace even counterfeit bills, and every other species of unavailable funds in the Treasury, they will not exceed what is due from two such firms. Of almost one hundred banks, not depositories, which, during all our wars and commercial embarrassments, have heretofore failed in any part of the Union, in debt to the Government, on their bills or otherwise, it will be seen, by the above table, that the whole of them, except seventeen, have adjusted every thing which they owed, and that the balance due from those, without interest, is less than $82,000. Justice to the State banking institutions, as a body, whose conduct in particular cases has certainly been objectionable, but whose injuries to the Government have been almost incredibly exaggerated, and whose great benefits to it, both during the existence of our two national banks, and while neither of them existed, have been almost entirely overlooked, has led me to make this scrutiny, and submit its results, under a hope that it will, in some degree, not only vindicate them from much unmerited censure, but justify this Department for the confidence it formerly, and, in the great improvement of their condition and of the financial affairs of the Government, has recently reposed in them. Under these circumstances, so very favorable, with the new security and examinations provided for, if our former small losses by them, in keeping and paying over the public revenue, under circumstances so very adverse, are compared with our large losses, either in collecting or disbursing that revenue, their present safety seems to be as great as is consistent with the usual operations of the paper system, or with the credit which must always be intrusted by Government, in some way or other, to agents of some kind in keeping the public money. In considering their safety, it should be constantly recollected that the owners and managers of banks, when properly regulated by legislative provisions in their charters, are, like other individuals, interested to transact business securely ; are desirous of making, and not losing, money; and that these circumstances, with the preference in case of failure belonging to depositors and holders of their bills over the stockholders, unied with the security, if not priority, given to the Government, render them, in point of safety, generally much superior to individual agents of the United States. It is to be further remembered that many of the former losses occurred indirectly and remotely from war and embarrassments, aftecting deeply the whole community as well as banking institutions, and from the injurious influence of which calamities, banks, whether of State or United States origin, can never claim a full exemption; that the correct principles of banking were at that time less gen: erally understood and practised than at the present tino; that the selected banks, by the course of our expenditures

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and collections, were then exposed to more onerous duties and hazards; and that less full information of their true condition was then possessed by this Department.” Such were the views of both Secretaries, and the only heads of the Treasury Department since the removal of the public deposites in 1833. In 1835, General Gordon, of Virginia, made his celebrated proposition in the House of Representatives, to receive nothing but gold and silver in payment of the public dues, and to make the receivers of public money its depositaries. Sir, it becomes me to give the history of that proposition. At the time it was made, the bill to regulate the deposite and safe-keeping of the public money was before the House, and then, too, the din of jingling promises to give us a hard-money Government, a metallic currency, and a circulation of gold, was almost deafening. I knew the promises were false and the professions were hollow then. I knew that the administration could not, if it would, do what it professed, and I was anxious only that its inability and weakness and “humbuggery” might be made manifest before its measures brought upon the country this present crisis which I then foresaw. With my colleague, General Gordon, the proposition was sincerely made. He was opposed to the constitutionality of the Bank of the United States, and distrusted the system of employing the local banks as depositories. He came to me with his scheme, and asked if I would vote for it. I told him, at first, that I would not; that it was as objectionable to me, even more so, than the other measure; that I had no scruples about the constitutionality of a national bank: and I thought then, as I think now, that it alone could insure the safety of the public money, and restore our finances and currency to a healthy and sound condition. But there was no prospect of a recharter of a United States bank, and I was forced to vote for or against the only other two measures to be adopted. He asked me, as an act of courtesy to him, to vote to let his proposition in. I consented to vote for its introduction into the House, warning him that I should finally vote against its passage if it was likely to succeed. I voted afterwards for it, on the main proposition, as many of the opposition members did, simply to show that the administration did not desire what they then professed, as now, to separate the fiscal operations of the Government from those of individuals or corporations ! I knew that “the party” and that the then powers would not sustain the proposition, or I should have voted against it. It then required but few administration votes to carry the measure; but behold! as I calculated, they voted against it to a man The vote on the proposition of General Gordon then proves, if it proves anything, that there was no such desire, as the President says, has existed for a long time on the part of the Government, in the spring of 1835 ! It would be as easy to show, sir, that there was no such desire expressed as late as the 4th of March, 1837. The gentleman from South Carolina, [Mr. Pick Exs,) however, is right; the proposition to separate the Government from the banks, and to destroy all banking institutions, is not new; it originated with Fanny Wright; but the desire which the President describes has continued for a long time only with that part of “the Government” ycleped Thomas Hart Benton. The great expunger and humbugger was the first to introduce the locofoco doctrines into Congress, and to give them character before the nation; and let me tell my friend from South Carolina, [Mr. Pickess, that he will be deceived who thinks to deprive Benton of his hobby—that if these destructive doctrines are to come into vogue and in favor with a majority of the people, Benton is as much identified with them as Thomas Jefferson was with the doctrines of '98, and he, (Benton,) and no other man under the sun, will ride into power on their popularity But, sir, however old this proposition to divorce the Government from all banking corporations may be, there is a

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doctrine new under the sun contained in this notable message. The President expressly refrains from suggesting to Congress “any specific plan for regulating the exchanges of the country, relieving mercantile embarrassments, or interfering with the ordinary operations of foreign or domestic commerce, from a conviction that such measures are not within the constitutional province of the General Government, and that their adoption would not promote the real and permanent welfare of those they might be designed to aid.” He says the accommodation to dometic exchanges “is now, indeed, after the lapse of not many years, demanded from it (the Government) as among its first duties,” &c. When was this accommodation not demanded of the Government as among its first duties 1 Certainly, to afford this very accommodation was among the most oftrepeated, though oftener violated promises of General Jackson's administration, from the removal of the public deposites, in 1833, up to the 4th day of March last. Every message of President Jackson, from the one period to the other, and every report of his respective Secretaries, as well as the numerous circulars.of the Treasury Department, the reports of the Committees of Ways and Means in this House, and other documents, will show that the currency of the country at large, its domestic exchanges, its commerce, and all its monetary interests, were taken especially under the guardian care and protection of this same most beneficent Government, which then promised us a better currency, and now tells us we must not look to the Government “for too much '' Surely, sir, the present incumbent is not about to falsify his promise to “follow generally in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessor;” or does he mean to follow them as my young friend from Tennessee [Mr. Cnockett] felicitously expresses it, “by taking the back tracks 1” Sir, it is profitable now to recur to the wholesome doctrines of the preceding administration respecting the duties and powers of this Government in relation to a sound and uniform currency. (See Executive documents, 1833–34, No. 2, pages 5, 6, 10, 11.) In this report of Mr. Taney, after insisting “that the interests of the country would not be promoted by permitting the deposites of the public money to continue in the bank until its charter expired,” he says: “Besides, the principal circulating medium now in the hands of the people, and the one most commonly used in the exchange between distant places, consists of the notes of the United States Bank and its numerous branches. The sudden withdrawal of its present amount of circulation, or its sudden depreciation before any other sound and convenient currency was substituted for it, would certainly produce extensive evils, and be sensibly felt among all classes of society. It is well understood that the superior credit heretofore enjoyed by the notes of the Bank of the United States was not founded on any particular confidence in its management or solidity. It was occasioned altogether by the agreement on behalf of the public, in the act of incorporation, to receive them in all payinents to the United States; and it was this pledge on the part of the Government which gave general currency to the notes payable at remote branches. The same engagement in lavor of any other moneyed institution would give its notes equal credit, and make them equally convenient for the purposes of commerce. But this obligation on the part of the United States will cease on the 3d of March, 1836, when the charter expires; and, as soon as this happens, all the outstanding notes of the bank will lose the peculiar value they now possess; and the notes payable at distant places become as much depreciated as the notes of local banks. And if, in the mean time, no other currency is substituted in its place by common consent, it is easy to foresee the extent of the embarrassment which would be caused by the sudden derangement of the circulating medium.” He then promises that “the State banks can furnish a

circulating medium quite as uniform in value” as that of the United States Bank—“probably more so;” and afterwards states “the condition of the mercantile classes at the time of the removal, to explain why it was impossible to postpone it even for a short period.” These views of the Secretary were confirmed and supported, of course, by the report of the Committee of Ways and Means, made to the House of Representatives, March 4, 1834, precisely as the opposite views entertained by the present Executive are in like manner echoed by the same committee now. By-theby, the question was asked in 1834, why the then Committee of Ways and Means was like a tadpole It was little at both ends (two certain gentlemen being at the two ends, the one at the head, the other at the tail) and big in the middle, (Binney and Wilde being there.) The report of that date says: “There appears also to be much force in the considerations urged by the Secretary, connected with the currency of the country and the domestic exchanges. The notes of the Bank of the United States must necessarily, in a short time, be withdrawn from circulation. That the principal currency of the country, for many years to come, will be bank notes, there is no reason to doubt; and it is certainly good policy to foster the State banks which furnish them, in measures tending to give them as general credit as has heretofore attached to the notes of the United States Bank and branches. That the natural and ascertained course of trade, circulation, and exchange, connected with the interests of banking institutions, will ultimately produce this result in relation to the notes of the principal State banks, there is every reason to anticipate; but their employment in the business of the Government, by awakening them to their capacities and interests, is calculated to hasten the consummation of so desirable an event. It was a matter of no small moment to encourage and hasten the State banks in maturing their system of circulation and exchange, so that at the termination of the charter of the Bank of the United States, the trade of the country might not encounter, at the same time the loss of a general currency, and the entire breaking up of the domestic exchanges, a partial interruption of which by that bank is now producing such serious inconvenience. By the latest returns of the banks employed by the Government, it appears that they are already rapidly taking the place of the Bank of the United States in the exchange operations.” See, also, Mr. Taney’s letter of the 15th of April, 1834, already in part quoted, passim. Mr. Secretary Woodbury, in his report to Congress, December, 1834, says: “The wealthy and commercial, for whose benefit chiefly banks were instituted, will then chiefly use their bills, and suffer by them if forged or depreciated; while the laboring classes and men of small means will, by the justice and paternal care of the Government, generally be provided with a currency of hard money, not exposed to any risk of failures, and to be used for all dealings of such an amount as their daily or weekly wants may in most cases require.” See, also, the message of President Jackson to Congress, December, 1835, and the report of Mr. Secretary Woodbury, of the same date, (already quoted.) See, also, the message of the President and the report of the Secretary of the Treasury, December, 1836, (already quoted.) In addition to these documents, I refer, sir, for conclusive proof that General Jackson took the currency, domestic exchanges, and the circulating medium, wholly under the “ paternal care of the Government,” to the report of the investigating committee, of which my colleague [Mr. GarLAND) was chairman, made to the House of Representatives, March 1, 1837. See the letter of the six deposite #. of Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, to Mr. aney, dated in October, 1833, Whitney's letter accompanying the same, and Mr. Woodbury's answer, Novem

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