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21st Cong. Ist Sess.]
On Removal of Indians.
has been, to present and discuss some of the defects of the the State of Alabama, and the greater part of the State existing laws; and to propose the new regulations which of Mississippi, have been since formed. And now, it so are requisite to supply those defecls. These regulations happens, that a part of the Cherokees still reside within are conceived not only to be amendments important in the States of North Carolina and Georgia, according to themselves, as sound principles of a permanent system, their present boundaries, as-well as within the limits of but also to be urgently required by the actual state of the Tennessee and of Alabama. Latterly, Georgia, in the cuios now in use.
exercise, as she supposes, of her sovereign powers, bas The general effects of these regulations will be, to pro- extended her laws over the whole of the State, and submote the coinage of the precious metals ; to increase jected the Indians to her jurisdiction. Meantime, the the quantity of our own coins, and especially of some of Cherokees have formed a civil government of their own, our coius, which now scarcely enter into our circulation : entirely independent of any State, claiming to bave a to diffuse our different coins throughout the United States; right to do so in virtue of their original title to the lands and to retain them in the circulatiun and the use of the on which they reside, and relying, likewise, upon the community.
guarantee of their country, in several of their treaties The propositions now submitted, are these :
formed with the United States. They have called upon 1. That our copper coins shall be a legal tender for pay. the Executive to make good this guarantee, by preventment of any sum pot exceeding teu cents, and for no greater ing the operation of the laws of either Georgia or Alaba
ma, within those limits secured to them by the said tres2. That our silver coins less than a dollar, shall not be ties. To this application the President has replied, tbat a legal tender, for payment of any sum exceeding ten be has no power to check the operation of the laws of dollars.
those States, within their respective limits; that the Cob3. That when our coins of gold or silver are diminished stitution of the United States forbids the formation of any in weight, more than a twenty-fifth part of their full new State within the limits of ap old one, without its conweight, they shall not be legal money.
sent; therefore, the Cherokees cannot be recognized as 4. That no foreign coin whatever shall be a legal ten- a separate State, within those limits were they dow reder.
side; and that, if they cbrose to romain there, they sball 6. That the first and third of these regulations shall be be protected in doing so, but that they must submit to in force immediately; that the fourth sball take effect on the laws of the respective States, at the same time they the fourth day of July, 1831 ; and that the second sball are protected by them, and earnestly recommends to take effect on the fourth day of July, 1833.
them to consent to exchange the country where they A bill containing these provisions, is also submitted. now reside, for one West of the Mississippi, owned by
the United States, and not yet included withio the bounds
of any state or Territory, where they can be again united IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,
with that portion of their nation which has already emiFEBRUARY 22, 1830.
grated, and wbere the United States can, and will, make Mr. WHITE made the following report:
them forever secure from any interruption from the
whites, or from any other pation or people whatever. The Committee on Indian Affairs, to whom was referred
To this proposition the Indians have given an absoluto that part of the President's Message, dated the eighth refusal, still insisting on a fulfilment of their treaty stipuday of December last, which relates to Iudian Affairs, lations. have bad the same under consideration, and ask leave
The laws of Georgia will commence their operation in to submit the following report:
the month of Jupe next. It is easy to foresee the painEverything
which relates to those Indian tribes or na- ful consequences which will probably follow, from laws tions, with which we have political relations, created or operating over the same territory, at one and the same regulated by treaties, is becoming, every year, inure and time, and flowing from jurisdictions or sovereigns, indemore interesting : especially those relating to such as re- pendent of each other, side within any of the States of the Union, or of the terri The evil will not stop here; already we are advised that tories belongiog to it. The matters communicated by the Mississippi has passed a law, incorporating ber Indian President, in his Message, relative to the Cherokees, are of population with her citizens ; that Alabama bas extendthe most delicate and interesting character, whethered her laws over the Creek Indians within her limits : and considered in relation to the United States, to the States before long, we may anticipate that the like policy will of Georgia and Alabama, or to the Cherokee Nation. The be pursued by several other States. committee have employed themselves assiduously in their From the information before the committee, do hope investigation, with an anxious wish to avail themselves of need be entertained that either of those States will change all the information within their reach, and are desirous to their policy, and repeal those laws; a period has arrived, recommend something to the Senate, which, if produc. when the Upited States have a duty to perform, which tive of do positive good, will at least have the merit of pot must be discharged, in good faith, to the States concerned, farther embarrassing questions, already sufficiently com- to the Indians, and with a sacred regard to their own high plicated.
character. With this nation, the United States have formed a dum In the view which the cotomittee bave of this subject, ber of treaties, commenciag as early as the year 1786, they believe it would be undecessary, if not improper, and ending in the year 1819. At the formation of the for them to offer any opinion upon the points in dispute first, the Indians occupied portions of territory within the between the coutepiling parties, because there can be chartered limits of the States of North Carolina, South no reason to suppose any additional enactments by CopCarolina, and of Georgia. Since that period, North Car- gress are necessary to put in the power of the Executive olios ceded a part of her territory, on which a portion of to make good the guaranties contained in the treaties, is, these Indians resided, to the United States; and that ter- in his judgment, they ought to have the construction for ritory, according to the terms of the deed of cession, has been which the Cherokees insist, and his duty, according to since formed into the State of Tennessee. South Caro- the constitution, would autborizo him to oppose the op lina and Georgia amicably settled the boundary between eration of the State laws. them; and by an agreement between the United States In 1802, Congress passed an act to regulate trade and and Georgia, dated in the year 1802, the United States intercourse with the Indians, the provisions of which acquired the title to a portion of territory, out of which, I connected with the treation, are sufficiently broad to au
On Removal of Indians.
[21st Cong. 1st Sess.
thorize tie Executive to give effect to every stipulation, the purpose, and threats, when persuasion is likely to wbich it is the duty of the United States to perform. fail. The committee are well satisfied, that every hu
The failure to comply with the wisbes of the Chero- mane and benevolent individual, who is anxious for the kees, as it appears to the Committee, proceeded not from welfare of the great body of the Cherokees, and is cora defect in the law, but because, in the opinion of the rectly informed of their true condition, must feel desirous Executive, constitutional objections exist, which it is not for their removal, provided it can be effected with their in the power of Congress to remove, by any law wbich consent. they could evact,
Olher strong inducements for this desire, must be found The difficulties which have actually occurred were in the condition to which they are now brought, by the colforeseen suine years since, and successive Administrations lision between tbem and the laws of the States in which seem to have been anxiously endeavoring to avoid them; they reside. and the ouly remedy suggested by any, appears to bave Although the committee, for the reasons before given, been, to provide a country West of ihe Mississippi, be consider it upvecessary, if pot improper, in them, to of. yood the limits of any State or organized Territory; to fer any opinion upon the validity of the conflicting claims have it laid off and divided into as many districts as would of the parties; yet, it may not be without its use to call accomm date all the Indians residing within any of the the attention of the Senate to some of the leading facts, States or Territories ; to bave those districts so described, and main points, upon which the controversy bas dependby natural or artificial marks, that each could be knowned, and must hereafter depend. from every other; and then, by fair and peaceable means, The title of the Cherokees must rest upon their original to induce the Indians to exchange the lands where they right of occupancy, and upon the treaties formed with the live, for some of those thus described, and to emigrate. United Sintes. A suitable country, as is believed, has been procured, but. As to the first, “ their title by occupancy.” the answer owing to some cause or other, the districts bave not, as would be, when the country was discovered, they were yet, been laid off, and properly described. Exchanges, savages ; and that this discovery, of itself, gave a right to however, to a considerable extent, have been made, and form settlements, and to exclude all other civilized naconsequent emigrations from various tribes have taken tions. That it conferred upon the nation of the discovplace. A portion of the Cherokees, equal, as is believed, erer and settler, the right to acquire the usufructuary into from one third to one balf of the whole, bas actually terest which the oatives bad. It would be added, that, removed to, and settled in, a country well situated to at a very early period, the Cherokees formed a treaty wib their wants and wishes, West of the Mississippi
. There Great Britain, by which they gave up their independence is good reason to believe many more would have removed and put themselves under the protection of His Britannic before this time, except for various causes, which, as yet, Majesty. That they took a part with the British Crown the United States bave pot been able to overcome. The in the war of the Revolution." That the American arms principal one is, the idea of a separate and independent were employed against them, and they conquered, when State of their own, where they now live. This is the Independence was acknowledged, and the treaty of peace work, principally, of comparatively a few, yho are either made with Great Britain. That this conquest conferred white mea connected with the nation by marriage; or of upon the r-spective States, within whose liinits they were, those of mixed blood, born in the nation, wbo are well all the rights, and gave them all the powers which the educated and intelligent, who bave acquired considerable Crown bad, prior to the Revolution. That this right still property, and, through the annuities paid by the United continued in the States, and never was yielded to the States, and by other means, are yearly adding to it. This United States. That, in securing these rights, they seveclass of people, it is believed, do not altogether equal one rally exercised these powers, from the year 1777 up to hundred in number. A very small portion of full blood- the year 1785, in such manner, as, in their sovereign will, ed Jodians can be damed, who are in the like circum- they believid to be wise and just, without any control from stances, or wbo have much agency in their public affairs. the United States,
Those who ure in public employ, have an influence al That, although, in the Articles of Confederation, there most unbounded over the nation. They fill all the offi. is a power given to the United States to make treaties ces created by their laws, and have the entire manage- with Indians residing out of their limits, yet there is, in ment of the funds derived from every source. The rest the ninth article, an express saving to each State, of all of the nation may be divided into two classes. The one its legislative rights, within ils chartered limits. owning some small property, and having settlements of As to the second point, the political condition of the their owo, upon which they make a sufficiency to support Indiads, as established by treaties between them and the themselves and their families, and but littlo surplus.- United States. The first and only treaty with the CheroThose of the other, comprehending, as is believed, the kees, during the Articles of Confederation, was coucluded mass of the population, are as poor and degraded as can in November, 1785. well be imagined. They may be said to live without
By that treaty, a boundary is established, which allots bope of better circumstances ; they have almost no pro- to the Indians a great extent of country within the acperty, and seem destitute of the means or prospect of ac knowledged limits of both North Carolina and Georgia, quiriog any. There is very little game in their country. and over which those States bad actually legislated ; had They are without industry, without information, uplet- previously authorized by law the sales of land therein ; a tered, and subsisting chiefy upon what they can beg, considerable quantity bad in fact been sold to individuals, and upon the birds and fish they can procure. A stranger and the consideration money paid to the State. who travels along a leading road through the nation, or makes but a short stay in it , will form a very erroneous
Against this treaty both Georgia and North Carolida enopinion of the true condition of the great mass of the tered their solemn protests
, it being, as they alleged, in population. He has intercourse ouly with those of the violation of their legislative rights. first or second class, before mentioned, and forms his Not very long after this treaty, the Cherokees waged a opinions of all, from the condition of those with whom he war against the citizens of those States, wbicb continued associates. It may then be asked, why do these people until some short time prior to the treaty of Holston, coorefuse to emigrate ? The answer is, those who have included iu the year 1791. fluence over hem, use every means in their power to pre This was the first trenty made with those Indians under vent them. They mirepresent the country offered, West The authority of the present constitution of the United of the Mississippi. Tiey use persuasion, while it answers States, and by it a new boundary is agreed upon by
21st Cong. 1st Sess.)
On Removal of Indians.
which the limits before allotted to the Indians are reduced as it related to the rights and powers of the United States to a smaller com pass.
only, then it is true, they are, and ought to be, a commuBy the seventh article, " the United States solemnly nity sovereign, in all respects, those only excepted in guaranty to the Cherokee nation, all their lands hereby which they had by the treaties expressly surrendered ceded."
their independence, and still contend that Georgia was On the 7th day of February, 1797, an additional article a sovereign and independent State, from the 4th day of to this last mentioned treaty, is agreed upon, by which an July, 1776, a period anterior to the Union of the States, addition of five hundred dollars is made to the aonuity stip- under either the Articles of Confederation, or of the preulated in the former treaty.
sent Constitution. That, as a sovereign State, she had a lo June, 1794, another treaty is made between the par- right to govern every human being within ber limits, acties, by which the provisions of the treaty, of 1791, are cording to her own will, and to dispose of all the vacant revived, an addition made to their annuity, and provision lauds, when, to whom, and for what consideration, she for running and marking the boundary live.
pleased. That she is still in the possession of all those In October
, 1798, an additional treaty 18 concluded, by rights and powers, excepting only such as she lias exwhich former treaties are revived, the boundary of lodian pressly surrendered. That she never bas surrendered to lands curtailed by another cession to the United States, ihe United States, either by a treaty, or by any other for an additional compensation.
means, the power to dispose of her vacant territory, or In October, 1804, another treaty is concluded, by which to authorize the establishment of a Government within more land is ceded by the Indians, for a consideration ber limits, without ber consent. So far from it, that the agreed upon and specified in the treaty.
9th article of the Confederation forbids any violation of In October, 1805, two treaties are made, by which the her legislative rights, and expressly provides that no State Indiaus cede an additional quantity of land.
shall be deprived of territory for the benefit of the United On the seventh day of January, 1806, another treaty States ; and that the 3d section of the 4th article of the is concluded, in which more land is ceded to the United Constitution expressly says: No new State shall be formed States; and in September, 1807, an explanation is agreed within the limits of one or more of the old, without their upon of the boundary line intended in the treaty last consent. And the 10th amendment of the Constitution mentioned.
declares, that even "private property shall not be taken On the 22d day of March, 1818, another treaty is con- for public use, without making just compensation." That, cluded, by which the Indians relinquish their title to if private property cappot be taken without compensation, lands in South Carolina, for which the United States ev- the conclusion is very strong, that it was pot intended to gage, South Carolida' will make payment; and on the give a power to take the property which belonged to a same day, another treaty is made, in which the Indians sovereign State, under any circumstances whatever. That relinquish to the United States their claim to more lanıls, she never did give ber consent to this disposition of either and agree to allow the use of the water courses in their her jurisdiction or of her territory : 80 tar from it, she enremaining country, and also to permit roads to be made tered her solemn protest against the first treaty formed in through the same.
the year 1785, as violative of her rights, and that no inOn the 14th of September, 1816, another treaty is marle, ference cau be drawn to her disadvantage, from her Biby which án additional quantity of lands is ceded to the leoce, or from any thing she may have said in relation to United States.:
any subsequent treaty; because, in each of them, a On the 8th day of July, 1817, another treaty is con change was made, hy which a purtion of her territory and cluded, by which an exchange of lands is agreed on, and jurisdiction was restored to her, and thus ber condition rena plan for dividing the Cherokees settled. One part to dered better than it was under the treaty of 1785, against renain East of the Mississippi; another to emigrate West which she had protested. of the Mississippi, to a country desiguated in the treaty; She may further insist, that the second section of the And those who might bappen to fall within the territory second article of the Constitutico, wbicb gives to the ceded, to have an election to become citizens of the United President, with the advice and consent of two-thirds of States, and each head of an Indian family to have a reser- the Senate, power to make treaties, has do application to vation of six huodred and forty acres of land, to include his Indians within the chartered limits of any of the States ; improvements.
nor the eigbth section of the first article, which gives And on the 27th February, 1819, another treaty is con- Congress power to regulate commerce with the Indian cluded, intended to be in execu:ion of the stipulations, tribes. That if Indians can be treated with, it must be contained in that of 1817, in several particulars, and in thuge only who reside out of the limits of the States, and which an additional tract of country is ceded to the United those with whom commerce may be regulated, must be States.
similarly situated; otherwise, that part of the second secThese, as the committee believe, are all the treaties be- tion of the first article, which forbids the enumeration of tween the United States and the Cherokce nation on the lodians residivg within the States, and not taxed," will East side of the Mississippi, and within the limits of any be without any. appropriate meaning. That, although of the United States.
the United States may have contracted obligations with In several of them there are stipulations for roads, the the Cberokee nation, yet they bad previously contracted navigation of rivers, and the establishment of ferries with those equally as solemn with each of the States. That in in the bounds reserved by the Cherokees to themselves, and the 4th secrion of the 4th article of the Copetitution, the guarantied to them by the United States.
following pledge is given : “The United States shall sol. In virtue of these treaties, the Cherokees contend they emnly guaranty to every State in this Union a republican bave a valid and complete title to the lands of which they form of Government, and shall protect ench of them against are in possession ; and that they have a right to establish invasion, and, on application of the Legislature, or of the guch government, as, in their own opinion, is best suited to Executive, (when the Legislature cannot be convened) their condition ; aod that such goverument is independent against domestic violence.” of any of the States within the limits of which any por She may ask, how can Georgia have'a republican tions of their territory may happen to be; and that the form of government,” co-extensive with her limits, unUnited States stand solemnly pledged to protect them in the less a majority of her citizens are permitted to prescribe peaceable enjoyment of it, against all the world.
rules, to which all must conform ? How will the United On the other side, the States may admit, that, if the States have made good.the "guarantee against domestic political condition of the Oberokees was to be considered, violence," if they permit a portion of the population
[21st CONG. 1st Sess. within her limits to establish a Government, contrary to the intrusion of any other people; where, under the proher will; with authority to prescribe rules inconsistent tection of the United States, and with their aid, they can with those prescribed by herself? She may add, that it pursue their plan of civilization, and, ere long, be in the was in the confidence that this "solemo guarantee” would peaceable enjoyment of a civil government of their own be sacredly kept, that she consented to give up any choice, and where Christian and philanthropist can have portion of her sovereignty, and become a member of the ample scope for their labors of love and benevolence. Union.
Your Committee are of opioion, that ample means In addition, she may urge, that, in 1802, upwards of should be placed, by Congress, in the power of the Presitwenty-seven years ago, she made a contract with the dent of the United States, to authorize and enable him to United States, by which they became bound to purchase have the country West of the Mississippi, out of the limits any claim which the Cherokee nation, or any other of all the States, laid off into as many districts as may be might set up to lands within her limits, as soon as such deemed necessary for the residence of the Indians, now purchase could be made upou reasonable terms. That, within the respective States, with which the United for this stipulation, she paid at the time a valuable con- States have treaties ; to have those districts accurately sideration in lands wbich she cooveyed. That, after described ; and, also, to make exchanges and purchases waiting thus long, and seeing for several years ,past, the with such tribes, or parts of them, as may choose to reprospect of a compliance on the part of the United States move; to give aid in the removal, and to contribute for a decreasing, she had determined to exert her own sover- season, to their support, at their new places of residence. eigo, powers over her whole territory, in such manner as For which purpose the Committee ask" leave to report a she believes will be just to ber whole population. That bill. the object of this agreement was to obtain a benefit for herseli within her reserved limits, and that if she should IN SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES, fail to receive the benefit she expected, she will take care
MARCH 29, 1830.
Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, made the following report : exteot she was when she became a member of the Union, The Committee on Finance, to which was referred a resoluexcept so far as she expressly surrendered her sovereignty
tion of the 30th December, 1829, directing the committee by the terms of the constitution. That, although she
to inquire into the expediency of establishing a uniform is determined to use her power within her limits, yet
National Currency for the United States, and to report she owes it to ber owo charaeter 80 to exert it as most to
thereon to the Senate, report: promote the happiness of every rational being who may That nothing short of the imperative order of the Se remain subject to her control, no matter what may be nate could induce the Committee to enter on a subject his color, or in what language he may make known his so surrounded with difficulty. They undertake it with wants.
diffidence and a distrust of their capacity to elucidate a Alabama and Mississippi may say they were a part of subject that has engaged many nations, and the pens of the State of Georgia, up to the time of the compact and the ablest writers, without, as yet, coming to any definite cession in 1802, and that they have been erected upon conclusion. It still remains to be determined, what is parts of the territory then ceded to the United States; the soundest and most uniform currency. One nation and that, with the exception of the difference, produced assumes one system, another a different plan.. In one daby not owning the soil within their limits, they are enti- tion, a plan is devised, and succeeds for a time by prutled to the benefit of every argument which Georgia could dent and restrictive emissions. Elated with success, larurge in this controversy.
ger and more extensive emissions are risked ; a rapid Should there arguments, or any others in favor of the nominal rise of all property takes place; the people are States, have the effect of proving that the United States not aware that such pominal rise is the effect of depreciahave not the power to comply with the stipulations, cou- tion ; the bubble bursts, and ruin to the unsuspecting is tained in their treaties with the Cherokees, on account of the consequence. All history shows such a result in reprior and superior obligations which they had contracted, veral nations, and particularly in that of the United it could not, in the opinion of the Committee, take any States. The Committee, engaged on a variety of subthing from that cbaracter for integrity and good faith to jects, cannot devote so much time on the resolution as which they are so justly entitled. None could suspect the mover must believe would be Gecessary to develop that the obligation was contracted with a design to mis- fully the question before them, to wit: A sound and unilead or to deceive; and while the United States are both form National Currency. Presuming, from the tenor of able and willing to make a full and adequate compensa- the resolution, that the uniform national currency protion for all that may be lost for want of a specific perform- posed, must be prepared by the National Government, ance of their agreement, their faith is preserved as invio circulated under its anthority, and maintained by its crelate as it would be if all their stipulations were specifical- dit, the Committee bave complied with the instruction of ly complied with. Should the Indians continue determined the Senate, by endeavoring to devise some plap, through to reside where they now are, and become subject to the which the agency of the Government, in such a measure, laws of the respective States in which they "reside, no could be safe, or useful; but, after giving to it all the difficulty can occur, as your Committee see no reason to consideration they could' bestow, their reflections have apprehend that either of the States have it in contempla- resulted in a belief that any such measure must resolve tion to force them to abandon the country in which they itself
, at last, into & mere system of paper money, issued dwell; but, if they determine to remain, and continue to by the Government. The resort to the issue of a paper insist on a separate and independent government, and re- money has been often the desperate expedient of the fuse obedience to the laws of the States, the consequences wants of a nation. It has then found its justification only which must inevitably ensue, are such as the humane and in the necessity which created it; yet such are its inevibenevolent cannot reflect upon without feelings of the table evils, that every, prudent Government has, the deepest sorrow and distress.
moment its pressing, exigencies permitted, returned to Il
, on the contrary, they should consent to exchange the only safe basis of a circulating medium, the precious their present places of residence for a country West of metals, and the private credits attached to the use of the Mississippi, it is in the power of the United States to them. Such were the expedients of the Government of furnish one, suited, as the Committee believe, to their the United States during its two wars ; such its immewants and condition; where they can be secured against diate abandonment of them at the return of peace. But,
21st Cong. Ist Sess.]
On the Currency.
in the present condition of the Treasury of the United can learn, of a single dollar, and without the expense of States, with a revenue far beyond its wants, with a debt a single dollar to the Government. That a currency, by almost nominal, and bastening to its entire extinguish- which the Government has been thus enabled to collect ment, such a measure is not needed by the interests of and transfer such an amount of revenue to pay its army Government, por is there the slightest indication of its and navy, and all its expenses, and the national debt, is being demanded by the wants of the country. Of such unsafe and unsound, caunot readily be believed ; for there an issue of paper money, the Executive at Washington can be no burer test of its sufficiency, than the simple would be the natural fountain—the agents of the Execu- fact that every dollar, received in the form of a bank tive, the natural chappels. The individuals, and corpora- pote, in the remotest parts of the interior, is, without tius and States, who borrowed it, must become debtors charge, couverted into a silver dollar, at every one of to the Guveroment; and the inevitable consequence would the vast number of places where the service of the Go be, the creation of a moneyed engine of direct de verament requires iis disbursement. The Secretary of peodence on the officers of Government, at variance with the Treasury, in bis report of the 6th of December, 1828, the wbule scheme of our iustitutions. The limit to declares that, during the four years preceding, the rewhich this currency should be issued, the persons to whom ceipts of the Government bad amounted to more than it would be lent, the securities taken for its repayment, ninety-seven millions of dollars, and that “all payments the places where it should be redeemed, involve great on aecount of the public debt, whether for interest or complication and great huzard, regarding it merely is a principal; all op account of pensions; all for the civil financial point of view, while, on more enlarged consi- list; for the army, for the pavy: or for whatever purderations of political expediency, the objections to it are, pose wanted, in any part of the Union, have been puncin the opinion of the Committee, iosuperable and tually met." The same officer states, that it is the fatal.
preservation of a good currency that can alone impart Believing such a scheme to be impracticable, the Com- stability to property, and prevent those fluctuations in its mittee were consoled with the reflection that it is unneces. Value, hurtful alike to individuals, and to pational wealth. sary, as they are satisfied that the country is in the enjoy: This advantage, the Bank has secured to the community, ment of a uniform National currency, not only sound and by copfiving within prudent limits its issues of paper uniform io itself, and perfectly adapted to all the purposes &c. &c. of the Guverument and the community, but more sound 2d. If this currency is thus souod and uniform for the and uniform than that possessed by any other country. Goverument, it is not less so to the community: The importance of this truth will justify the Committee in The basis of all good currency should be the precious statiog some details to establish it.
metals, gold and silver; and in a mixed currency of paThe currency of the United States, the only legal cur- per circulating with gold or silver, and convertible into rency, is gold and silver; all debts to the Goveroment, it, the great object to be attained is, that the paper and all debts to individuals, being received in that me should always be exchangeable for gold and silver. Such dium, and io no other. ' As, however, the amount of coin a currency is perfect, uniting the convenience of a requisite for these purposes would be upmanageable and portable material with the safety of a metallic medium. inconvenient, the United States, like other commercial Now it cannot be doubted, that throughout this whole countries, bave adopted the system of making credit sup country, the circulating bank notes are equal to specie, ply many of the cases of coio; and numerous banking and convertible into specie. There may be, and probacompanies have been established, issuing notes, promising bly are, exceptions ; because among banks, as among men, to pay on demand gold and silver. The Government of the there are some wbo make a show of unreal strength. United States has established ove of a similar character; But it is a fact, so familiar to the experience of every and for the convenience of the community, the public re citizen in the community, as to be undeniable, that
, in all venue is collected in gold and silver, the nutes of the Bank the Atlantic and commercial cities, and generally speakof the United States, and the notes of such solvent Stille ing, throughout the whole country, the notes of the Bariks as the Bank of the United States and its branches State Banks are equal to gold or silver. The committee will receive us cash,
do not mean to say that there may not be too many banks, The currency, therefore, of the United States, in its re or that insolvencies do not occasionally occur among latiou to the Government of the United States, consists of them; but as every bank which fdesires to maintaiu its gold and silver, and of notes equivalent to gold and silver. character, must be ready to make settlements with the And the inquiry which naturally presents itself is, whether Bank of the United States, as the agent of the Govero. this mixed mass of currency is sound and uniform for all ment, or be immediately discredited, and must therefore the practical purposes of the Government and the trade keep its potes equal to gold or silver, there can be little of the Union. That it is so, will appear from the follow- danger to the community, while the issues of the banks ing facts:
are restrained from running to excess. by the salalary 1st. The Government receives its revenue from control of the Bank of the United States, whose own 340 Custom Houses,
circulation is extremely moderate, compared with the 42 Land Offices,
amount of its capital. Accordingly, the fact is, that the 8004 Post Offices,
general credit of the banks is good, and that their paper 132 Receivers of Internal Revenue,
is always convertible into gold or silver, and for all local 37 Marshals,
purposes forms a local currency equivalent to gold 83 Clerks of Courts.
and silver. There is, however, superadded to this curThese, with other receiving officers, which need not be rency, a general currency more kvowo, more trusted, and specified, compose an aggregate of more than nine thous- more valuable than the local currency, which is emplog. and persons, dispersed through the whole of the Union, ed in exchanges between different parts of the counwho collect the public revenue. From these persons, try. These are the notes of the patioval bank. These the Government bas, for the ten years preceding, the potes are receivable for the Government, by the 9,000 1st of January, 1830, received 280,068,865,17 dollars. receivers, scattered throughout every part of the courThis sumn has been collected in every section of this try. They are in fact, in the course of business, paid in widely exteuded country. It has been disbursed at other gold or silver, though they are not legally, or necessarily so points, many thousand miles distant from the places paid, by the branches of the bank in every section of the where it was collected; and yet it has been so collected 'Union. In all cominercial places they are received, in all and distributed, without the loss, as far as the Committee transactions, without any reduction in value, and never, un