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on the expunging resolution was twen- in his possession, thus preventing its be ty-four to nineteen.*
coming a law. His reasons were pubA vigorous attempt was made to re lished in the “Globe" a few days afterscind the treasury circular respecting wards. specie payments for land sales. A res Few acts of general interest having olution to this effect having been re- been passed during the session, the ferred to the committee on public lands, twenty-fourth Congress reached its tera bill was reported, purporting the des- mination on the 3d of March, 1837. ignation and limitation of the funds re- At the same time General Jackson finceivable for the revenues of the United ished his eight years of public service, States, and, in fact, providing for the and gave way to his successor. The reception of the notes of specie-paying events of these years , are too near the banks, in certain cases. Mr. Benton, day on which we are writing to be imthe “hard money” man, vehemently
man, vehemently partially viewed, and calmly judged, as opposed it, but it passed by an over they will be by the future historian of whelming majority—forty-one against our country. Hence we do not attempt five. In the House an attempt was any review of Jackson's administration, niade to amend it, so as to save the spe- being conscious that it would be of no cie circular, but it failed; a hundred avail. The ardent admirers and partiand forty-three Representatives voted zans of the hero of New Orleans wonld for the bill as it came from the Senate, be satisfied with nothing less than an and only fifty-nine against it. On the unqualified laudation; and on the other last day but one of the session it was hand, his political enemies would resent to the president, who retained it ceive as justly due no sentence short of
condemnation of his acts and his prin
ciples. Let the reader of these pages *“The gratification of General Jackson was extreme. judge, from the narrative of facts now He gave a grand dinner to the expungers (as they before him, and let him meditate upon were called) and their wives; and being too weak to sit at the table, he only met the company, placed the
the life and career of the man whom so * head expunger' in his chair, and withdrew to his many thousands of Americans have resick-chamber. That expurgation! it was the 'crown garded with an enthusiastic admira ing mercy of his civil, as New Orleans had been of his military life."--Benton's " Thirty Years' Viere," vol tion, unequalled in the annals of or
i., p. 731,
lasiguration of Martin Van Buren - His Inaugural address — Condition of the country at this date — Failures and
distress –Deputation of merchants goes to Washington - Extra session of Congress — The recommendations of the president — The sub-treasury plan proposed — Congress meet in December — The sub-treasury discussed Acts of the session - The Seminole war in Florida -Resolutions in favor of annexing Texas-Attempted revolution in Canada - Burning of the Caroline - The president's proclamation against the insurgents — Proceedings of the last session of the twenty-fifth Congress — The opposition gain strength - Opeuing of the twenty-sixth Congress — The case of the New Jersey members — Whig convention at Harrisburg - General Harrison nomi. nated for president - Van Buren nominated by the democratic convention — The president's message on the financial state of affairs — Good advice — The independent treasury established - Its chief provisions — The sixth
- The presidential election- Exciting canvass - Harrison elected - End of Van Buren's administration,
HAVING reached a point in the his- | he expected to be governed in the distory of the United States which is too charge of his duties. He renewed the nearly contemporaneous to authorize pledge which he had given before his our treating public affairs with any election, viz., “I must go into the presfulness or critical examination, we shall idential chair the inflexible and uncomnot undertake more than to present a promising opponent of every attempt, concise summary
of events during the on the part of Congress, to abolish slavlast fifteen or twenty years; leaving ery in the District of Columbia, against the just historical estimate of our era the wishes of the slave-holding states ; to the historian of a later day, when and also with a determination equally time shall have set its seal
the decided to resist the slightest interferpast, and when history can exercise its ence with it in the states where it exproper office in describing the progress
ists." And he closed his address with of our national career.
invoking the choicest of blessings upon The inauguration of Martin Van Bu- our beloved country. ren, as the eighth president of the Unit The condition of commercial and bus. ed States, took place on the 4th of iness affairs, at the beginning of Mr. March, 1837, with the usual ceremo | Van Buren's presidency, was critical nies; and, after he had delivered his and alarming. The removal of the deInaugural address, the oath of office posits, the specie circular, and the diswas administered to him by Chief-Jus-tribution of the surplus revenue, had, · tice Taney. His address was
His address was it was believed, brought about this disa well-written paper, and set tressing state of things; and mercantile forth the views and principles by which men,
general, gave expression to the
opinion, that the only effectual remedy preciated more than $40,000,000 ;* for the evils affecting the currency and that within the same period a decline commercial exchanges was to be found of $20,000,000, has occurred in our local in the establishment of a national bank. stocks; . .
that within a few weeks Failures began to occur in every quar- not less than twenty thousand individter. During the first three weeks in uals, depending upon their daily labor April, two hundred and fifty houses for their daily bread, have been disstopped payment in New York. In charged by their employers because the New Orleans, during two days' time, means of retaining them were exhausthouses stopped payment, owing an ag-ed; and that a complete blight has falgate of $27,000,000; and in other cities len upon a community heretofore so similar evidences were given of the active, enterprising and prosperous." storm that had burst over the country.
Other towns and cities followed the The demands upon the banks increased lead of New York, and sought relief at rapidly; they could not keep their the hands of the executive; but Mr. notes in circulation; the alarm grew Van Buren declined acting upon their into a panic; and a general run was petitions, and only consented, with relucmade upon the banks. On the 10th tance, to the calling an extra session of of May, all the banks in New York Congress. His proclamation to this efstopped specie payments; and on the fect was issued on the 15th of May, and 16th, the legislature authorized this step Congress was summoned to meet on the on the part of the banks, to last for one first Monday in September, on account year. The banks of other states speed of “great and weighty matters claiming ily followed the example of those of their consideration." The interval was New York; and all classes of the largely occupied in criminations and community gloomily anticipated wide- recriminations, by the opponents and spread ruin and beggary as the result upholders of the administration, as to of this distressing state of commercial where the blame rightly rested for affairs.
the deplorable state into which the On the 3d of May, a numerous meet- | currency and business of the country ing of merchants and bankers in New had fallen. York, appointed a deputation to pro The extra session was begun on the ceed to Washington and request the 4th of September, and it became evipresident to rescind the specie circular, dent at once, from the tone of the presto defer commencing suits upon unpaid ident's message, that no relief was to be bonds, and to call an extra session of looked for from the government. He
Congress; and the committee ascribed the state of things to over
stated, that, “ under a deep im- trading speculation, fostered and stim. pression of the propriety of confining our declarations within moderate limits,
* A great and destructive fire occurred in New York
in December, 1835, when five hundred and twentywe affirm, that the value of our real es
nine buildings were consumed, and property was detate has within the last six months destroyed to the amount of more than $20,000,000.