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Cu. II.]



27th of December, the committee of seemed like to perish in a perfect flood ways and means reported, by Mr. Ver- of amendments and debates. The ex planck, of New York; and a bill pro- citement in the country was intense, for posing a diminution of the duties on all the state legislatures were almost all in protected articles, but leaving from fif- session, and each felt bound to deliver teen to twenty per cent. for protective itself upon the question of the day purposes, and to take effect immediate New England called to mind the Hartly, with a further reduction to follow, ford Convention, and what was said was laid before the House; and this then; whilst the south was anxious to seems to have been in effect the reply see the tariff lowered to the revenue to the resolution of the Senate.

scale, anxious to see the supremacy of At the commencement of the new state sovereignty demonstrated, yet year, 1833, the discussion of this scheme anxious for the maintenance of the was entered upon; but it had

but it had gone on Union; for, however much talk may only a week, when the president, on have been indulged in on this subject, January. the 16th, by a message, com- neither at the south nor anywhere else municated information respecting the has there ever been wanting a convicordinance and nullifying laws of South tion, that the dissolution of the Union Carolina, and his own proclamation would prove fatal to the state which thereupon, accompanied by his views of should bring about such a result. what Congress should do; and on the Mr. Calhoun, for the purpose (as he 21st of the month, a bill to enforce the observed) of testing the principles of

collection of the revenue accord- the “force” bill, proposed a series of

ing to the law was reported by resolutions to the Senate, which were the judiciary committee of the Senate. no more than expansions of the old Thus there were two bills of primary view of the state-sovereignty principle, importance on the same subject, but and yet they involved the whole prinlooking in precisely opposite directions, ciple of “nullification.” Starting from under discussion in the Houses of Con- the definition of the Constitution, as a gress at the same time,—this enforcing “compact” uniting “the people of the or force bill in the Senate, to compel several states;" and of the Union, as "a South Carolina to submit to the tariff union between the states” which ratified of 1828, and the new tariff bill in the “ the constitutional compact;" he proHouse of Representatives, to abolish ceeded to the assertions, that whilst that

very tariff which the enforcing bill “certain definite powers” were delewas to uphold.

gated to the general government, “to be The enforcing bill, which had, with executed jointly,” each state reserved to great judgment, been drawn in a gen- itself “the residuary mass of powers to eral form, so as not to wear an invidi- be exercised by its own separate gov. ously hostile aspect towards the nulli- ernment;" and that in the assumption fying state, made slow progress in the by the general government of powers Senate. But the tariff bill in the House not delegated to it, its acts are “unau


thorized, void, and of no effect," each pendent sovereignty to any;" “ that the state having “an equal right to judge Supreme Court of the United States for itself, as well of the infraction as of is the proper and only tribunal in the the mode and measure of redress," all last resort for the decision of all cases

being “sovereign parties, with in law and equity, arising under the 1833.

out any common judge.” Last- Constitution, the laws of the United ly, he distinctly denied the opposite al States, and treaties made under their legations, that the Union was based on authority;" and further, that the Senate a social compact of the people, “taken " would not fail in the faithful discharge collectively, as individuals,” and “that of its most solemn duty to support the they have not the right of judging, in executive in the just administration of the last resort, as to the extent of pow. the government, and clothe it with all ers reserved, and, of consequence, of constitutional power necessary to the those delegated;" because the tend- faithful execution of the laws and the ency of those opinions was to “subvert preservation of the Union.” the sovereignty of the states, to de Matters were making but slow prostroy the federal character of the Union, gress, notwithstanding the session was and to rear on its ruins a consolidat- drawing to its close. South Carolina ed government, without constitutional hesitated to proceed to actual resistcheck or limitation, and which must ance,

and the government was reluctant necessarily terminate in the loss of lib- to press its determination further than erty itself."

could be helped. At this point Mr. Mr. Grundy, on behalf of the admin- Clay again stood forward as the supistration, offered a series of counter res- porter of some measure of compromise, olutions, asserting the power of the which should enable both parties to United States to lay duties on imports, agree upon steps whereby a collision and denying that any state has the might be prevented, and conflicting right to attempt to obstruct the execu claims and theories be allowed to rest. tion of

any acts of Congress. Mr. Clay On the 11th of February, Mr. Clay ton, one of the opposition Senators, de rose and gave notice, that he should claring that these resolutions “ tacitly ask leave of the Senate to introduce a yielded the whole doctrine of nullifica- bill to modify the acts impostion;" submitted an additional resolu- ing duties on imports. Next tion, setting forth the real reply to day he did ask leave, and after a brief Calhoun's statement. It was to this discussion obtained it: This was the effect, -" That the people of these Compromise Tariff” bill; it provided United States are, for the purposes enu- that, at the end of the year then curmerated in their Constitution, one peo- rent, all ad valorem duties of more than ple and a single nation;" "that while twenty per cent. should be reduced onethe Constitution does provide for the tenth, and at the end of each alternate interest and safety of all the states, it year afterwards till 1839, an equal redoes not secure all the rights of inde- | duction; and that at the end of 1841,


Ca. II.)




and half a year after that term, the voting for it, and only one, John Tyler, residue of the excess should be taken afterwards president, in opposition to off in two equal portions, leaving a it. On the 28th, it passed the House, maximum of twenty per cent. It also by a majority of a hundred and fifty provided for the abolition of credit for against thirty-five; and received the duties, and the assessment of the value president's approval at the same time of imports at the ports of entry, or as the tariff bill.* home valuation, after the 30th of June, In close connection with the

compro1842. Thus he thought, that the pro- | mise tariff was Mr. Clay's land bill, which tective tariff would be preserved for was re-introduced by him early in Dea sufficient length of time, whilst the cember. Discussed at intervals during country would be tranquillized and good the three months of the session, but feeling restored.*

with no accession of light respecting After a full discussion, in the course any of its obscure points, it passed the of which Mr. Calhoun expressed his ap- Senate near the end of January, probation of the measure, it reached a by a majority of four. The third reading; and then it was stated House took it up only on the 1st of by Mr. Clay, that a bill of precisely the March, but passed it then by ninetysame character had passed the House, six against forty, with some trifling aand would most probably be presented mendment, which the Senate agreed to at once, for the approval of the Senate. by a vote of twenty-three against five, In effect, the administration measure and it was sent to the president. The Wis shelved, Robert P. Letcher, of Ken- lateness of the day on which it was sent tucky, moving its recommittal, with in- gave the executive good opportunity structions to the committee to report to decline to return it, which was the Mr. Clay's bill in its place; which was course he pursued, and the bill was acdone, and it was accepted by a major-cordingly defeated. ity of a hundred and nineteen against The president, as we have noted, eighty-five. This was on the 26th of threw out doubts in his message, reFebruary; on the next day it was sent specting the safety of the deposits of to the Senate, passed that body on the public money which were in the keep1st of March, twenty-nine voting for it, ing of the United States Bank, and recand sixteen against; and on the follow- ommended to sell the stock in the ing day (which this year was the last in hands of the government. The comthe session,) received the approval of mittee of ways and means reported the president.

through Mr. James K. Polk, the desiraThe enforcing bill passed the Senate bleness of the latter step; but the meason the 20th of February; thirty-two

* Mr. Webster's position on the subject of the tariff

and the federal revenue, according to Mr. Benton, ac* For Senator Benton's "secret history of the com corded very nearly with the standard recommended promise of 1833," see his “ Thirty Years' Vier," vol. by General Jackson in his message at the opening of .., pp. 342-44.

Vol. N. 50

the session.

ure was immediately rejected, though by seemed to have quieted down, in great a small majority, a hundred and two measure, and the president, deeming it against ninety-one. The same commit a favorable opportunity, determined to tee soon afterwards, by Mr. Verplanck, make a tour through the middle and presented a resolution to the House, to eastern states during the summer. He the effect that the public deposits were was every where received as the chief quite safe whilst in the bank, and it was magistrate of the Union, and was greatadopted by the large vote of a hundred | ly gratified by the evident marks of and nine to forty-six. An agent, ap- affectionate confidence manifested by pointed by the secretary of the treas so many thousands towards his person ury, had previously reported, that the and principles.* bank had an excess of funds of more Notwithstanding

the decisive exthan $7,000,000 over its liabilities, be pression of sentiment on the part of sides its capital of $35,000,000. Congress, General Jackson did not re

The twenty-second Congress expired cede from his determination on the on the 2d of March, (the 3d being subject of removing the deposits from Sunday,) and at the same time, Gene- the United States Bank. Mr. Livingral Jackson's first term of service reach-ston having been sent as minister to ed its close. He had been re-elected France, Mr. M'Lane, at the end of May, by a large vote, in the preceding au was appointed secretary of state, in his tumn, and Mr. Van Buren, had also, place, and in the treasury, vacated by by the same vote, been elevated to the him, William J. Duane was placed vice-president's chair. Jackson receiv- The president probably expected that ed two hundred and nineteen votes, and this gentleman would proceed, without Van Buren one hundred and eighty-nine. hesitation, to carry out the views and Henry Clay and John Sergeant received purposes of the executive. But he only forty-nine votes each ; which clear had mistaken the man. Duane was ly demonstrated the strength of the de- not willing to act without authority mocracy, in their support of the views from Congress, and only assented at and measures of Andrew Jackson.*

length to the commissioning of Amos On Monday, the 4th of March, the Kendall, to inquire into the terms upon ceremonies connected with the inaugu- which the state banks would take the ration of the president, were again gone money upon the basis of mutual guarthrough with, and Andrew Jackson de- antee.

livered his second Inaugural, The president having made up his

and a second time took the mind to assume the responsibility, called oath of office. Political excitements his cabinet together on the 18th of


* In the latter part of June, 1830, John Randolph sailed for Europe, as minister to Russia. In the autumn of 1831, he returned to the United States; and died in Philadelphia, on the 24th of June, 1833.

* In the autumn of this same year, 1833, Mr. Clay went over pretty much the same ground, and was received with even greater enthusiasm and marks of personal attachment, than had been bestowed upon the president.

CH. II.]




September, and laid before it a state-commercial excitement and distress ment of his views on the question at which ensued upon the course adopted issue. Not much impression appears to by General Jackson. At the time, the have been produced by the elaborate business of the country was unusually

document which was then read active. The capitalists, and the mer.

to the gentlemen present, and chants, and mechanics, had unlimited Senator Benton admits, that “the major confidence in each other, and all the part of them dissented from his design."* moneyed institutions in the country had Mr. Duane agreed to remove the de- extended their loans to the utmost posits, if Congress directed him to do bounds of their ability. At such a so; but the president insisted upon his juncture, great and rigid retrenchment, right to act without the intervention attended with want of confidence, was of Congress. Accordingly, on the sec- necessarily productive of ominous conretary's refusal to do as the president sequences; private credit was deeply directed, he removed him from his post, affected; the business of the country and on the 23d of September, appoint- was interrupted; and, in short, a comed Roger B. Taney, then attorney-gen- plete and terrible panic was produced, eral, in his room. The new secretary which seemed to be at its height when had no scruples on the subject, and on Congress met, but which was destined the 1st of October, the deposits were to last, with many fluctuations in its removed, and placed in certain selected" symptoms and violence, for some ten banks in different parts of the country. years. It would require much larger space

The first session of the twenty-third than we have at command, to give any. Congress commenced on the 2d of De thing of an adequate description of the cember, 1833. Mr. Stevenson was re

elected speaker of the House by a

large majority, and Mr. Van Buren took * A day or two afterwards, this paper was printed mine “Globe," and is well worth tha Teaver's exam

mis seat as presiding officer in ination. General Jackson concludes in the following the Senate. The administrawords :—“The president again repeats, that he begs tion, however, though so strong in the his cabinet to consider the proposed measure as his own, in support of which, he shall require no one of House, were in a minority in the Senate. them to make a sacrifice of opinion or principle. Its

The president's message was a long responsibility has been assumed, after the most mature and carefully prepared document, setdeliberation and reflection, as necessary to preserve the morals of the people, the freedom of the press, and ting forth the views of the executive the purity of the elective franchise; without which all quite at large on the various topics then will unite in saying, that the blood and treasure ex agitating the community. Its recompended by our forefathers, in the establishment of our

mendations received due attention from happy system of government, will have been vain and fruitless. Under these convictions, he feels that a

Congress, and

of them


rise measure so important to the American people cannot to long and animated debates. The be commenced too soon; and he therefore names the first day of October next, as a period proper for the

principal business of the session was, change of the deposits, or sooner, provided the neces necessarily, the removal of the deposits ; sary arrangements with the state banks can be made.” | and the opposition derived no little



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