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FEB. 2, 1831.)
Bank of the United States.
the Bank of the United States, if re-chartered, act in the 5. It tends to aggravate the inequality of fortunes; to same way? It certainly can, and just as certainly will, make the rich richer, and the poor poorer; to multiply when time and opportunity shall serve, and interest may nabobs and paupers; and to deepen and widen the gulf prompt. It is to no purpose that gentlemen may come which separates Dives from Lazarus. A great moneyed forward, airel vaunt the character of the United States' power is favorable to great capitalists; for it is the princi. Bank, and proclaim it too just and merciful to oppress ple of money to favor money. It is unfavorable to small the State. I must be permitted to repucliate both the capitalists; for it is the principle of money to eschew the pledge and the praise. . The security is insufficient, and needy and unfortunate. It is injurious to the laboring the encomium belongs to Constantinople. There were classes; because they receive no favors, and have the enough such in the British Parliament the year before, price of the property they wish to acquire raised to the nay, the day before the bank stopped; yet their pledges paper maximum, while wages remain at the silver miniand praises neither prevented the stoppage, nor made mum. good the damage that ensued. There were gentlemen in 6. It tends to make and to break fortunes, by the flux our Congress to pledge themselves in 1810 for the then and reflux of paper. Profuse issues, and sudden conexpiring bank, of which the one now existing is a second tractions, perform this operation, which can be repeated, and deteriorated edition; and if their securityship had like planetary and pestilential visitations, in every cycle been accepted, and the old bank re.chartered, we should of so many years; at every periodical return, transferring have seen this Government greeted with a note, about Au- millions from the actual possessors of property to the gust, 1814--about the time the British were burning this Neptunes who preside over the flux and reflux of paper. capitol--of the same tenor with the one received by the The last operation of this kind performed by the Bank of younger Pitt in the year 1795; for, it is incontestable, that England, about five years ago, was described by Mr. that bank was owned by men who would have glorified Alexander Baring, in the House of Commons, in terms in arresting the Government, and the war itself, for want which are entitled to the knowledge and remembrance of of money. Happily, the wisdom and patriotism of Jef- American citizens. I will read his description, which is ferson, under the providence of God, prevented that in- brics but impressive. After describing the profuse issues famy and ruin, by preventing the renewal of the old bank of 1823–24, he painted the re-action in the following charter.
Secondly. I object to the continuance of this bank, be “ They, therefore, all at once, gave a sudden jerk to the cause its tendencies are dangerous anel pernicious to the horse on whose neck they had before suffered the reins to Government and the people.
hang loose. They contracted their issues to a consideraWhat are the tenciencies of a great moneyed power, ble extent. The change was at once felt throughout the connected with the Government, and controlling its fiscal country. A few days before that, no one knew what to do operations? Are they not dangerous to every interest, with his money: now, no one knew where to get it. public and private--political as well as pecuniary? I say
The London bankers found it necessary to they are; and briefly enumerate the beads of each mis- follow the same course towards their country corresponchief.
dents, and these again towards their customers, and each 1. Such a bank tends to subjugate the Government, as individual towards his debtor. The consequence was obI have already shown in the history of what happened to vious, in the late panic. Every one, desirous to obtain the British minister in the year 1795.
what was due to him, ran to his banker, or to any other 2. It tends to collusions between the Government and on whom he had a claim; and even those who had no imthe bank in the terms of the loans, as bas been fully ex-mediate use for their money, took it back, and let it lie unperienced in England in those frauds npon the people, employed in their pockets, thinking it unsafe in others' and insults upon the understanding, called three per cent. hands. The effect of this alarm was, that houses which loans, in which the Government, for about £50 borrowed, were weak went immediately. Then went second rate became liable to pay £100.
houses; and, lastly, houses which were solvent went, be3. It tends to create public debt, by facilitating public cause their securities were unavailable. The daily calls loans, and substituting unlimited supplies of paper, for to which cach individual was subject put it out of his powlimited supplies of coin. The British debt is born of the er to assist his neighbor. Men were known to seek for Bank of England. That bank was chartered in 1694, and assistance, and, that, too, without finding it, who, on examwas 'nothing more nor less in the beginning than an act of ination of their affairs, were proved to be worth 200,000 Parliament for the incorporation of a company of sub- pounds, --inen, too, who held themselves so secure, that, scribers to a Government loan. The loan was £1,200,000; if askel six monthis before whether they could contemthe interest £80,000; and the expenses of management plate such an event, they would have said it would be im£4,09). And this is the birth and origin, the germ and possible, unless the sky should fall, or some other event nucleus of that debt, which is now £900,000,000, (the equally improbable should occur.” unfunded items included) which bears an interest of This is what was done in England five years ago; it is £30,000,000, and costs £260,000 for annual management. what may be done here in every five years to come, if the
4. It ten is to beget and prolong unnecessary wars, by bank charter is renewed. Sole dispenser of money, it canfurnishing the means of carrying them on without recur- not omit the oldest and most obvious means of amassing rence to the people. England is the ready example for wealth by the flux and reflux of paper. The game will this calamity.' Her wars for the restoration of the Capet be in its own hands, and the only answer to be given is Bourbons were kept up by loans and subsidies created out that to which I have alluded: “The Sultan is too just and of bank paper. The people of England had no interest merciful to abuse his power.” in these wars, which jcost them about £600,000,000 of Thirdly. I object to the renewal of the charter, on acdebt in twenty-five years, in addition to the supplies count of the exclusive privileges, and anti-republican moraised within the year. The Kirgs she put back upon the nopoly, which it gives to the stockholders. It gives, and French throne were not able to sit on it. Twice she put that by an act of Congress, to a company of individuals, them on; twice they tumbled off in the mud; and all that the exclusive legal privileges: now remains of so much sacrifice of life and money is, 1. To carry on the trade of banking upon the revenue the debt, which is eternal, the taxes, which are intolerable, and credit, and in the name, of the United States of Ame. the pensions and titles of some warriors, and the keeping rica. of the Capet Bourbons, who are returned upon their 2. To pay the revenues of the Union in their own prohandls.
Bank of the United States.
[Feb. 2, 1831.
To 30th June, 1830,
3. To hold the moneys of the United States in deposite, upon the interest of the community: and, in the first place, without making compensation for the undrawn balances. let us have a full and accurate view of the amount of these
4. To discredit and disparage the notes of other banks, undrawn balances, from the establishment of the bank to by excluding them from the collection of the federal re- the present day. Here it is! Look! Read!
5. To hold real estate, receive rents, and retain a body of tenantry.
6. To dealin pawns, merchandise, and bills of exchange.
7. To establish branches in the States without their consent.
8. To be exempt from liability on the failure of the bank.
9. To have the United States for a partner. 10. To have foreigners for partners.
11. To be exempt from the regular administration of justice for the violations of their charter.
12. To have all these exclusive privileges secured to them as a monopoly, in a pledge of the public faith not to grant the like privileges to any other company.
These are the privileges, and this the monopoly, of the bank. Now, let us examine them, and ascertain their effect and bearing: Let us contemplate the magnitude of the power which they create; and ascertain the compatibility of this power with the safety of this republican Government, and the rights and interests of its free and equal constituents.
1. The name, the credit, and the revenues of the United States, are given up to the use of this company, and constitute in themselves an immense capital to bank upon.The name of the United States, like that of the King, is a tower of strength; and this strong tower is now an outwork to defend the citadel of a moneyed corporation. The credit of the Union is incalculable; and, of this credit, as going with the name, and being in partnership with the United States, the same corporation now has possession. The revenues of the Union are twenty-six millions of dollars, including the Post Office; and all this is so much capiin the hands of the bank, because the revenue is received by it, and is payable in its promissory notes.
2. To pay the revenues of the United States in their own notes, until Congress, by law, shall otherwise direct. This is a part of the charter, incredible and extraordinary as it may appear. The promissory notes of the bank are to be received in payment of every thing the United States may have to sell-in discharge of every debt due to her, until Congress,, by law, shall otherwise direct; so that, if this bank, like its prototype in England, should stop payment, its promissory notes would still be receivable at every custom house, land office, post office, and by every collector of public moneys, throughout the Union, until Congress shall meet, pass a repcaling law, and promulgate the repeal. Other banks depend upon their credit for the receivability of their notes; but this favored institution has law on its side, and a chartered right to compel the reception of its paper by the Federal Government. The immediate consequence of this extraordinary privilege is, that the United States becomes virtually bound to stand See, Mr. President, what masses of money, and always security for the bank, as much so as if she had signed a on hand. The paper is covered all over with millions: bond to that effect; and must stand forward to sustain the and yet, for all these vast sums, no interest is allowed; institution in all emergencies, in order to save her own re-no compensation is made to the United States. The Bank venue. This is what has already happened, some ten years of England, for the undrawn balances of the public money, ago, in the early progress of the bank, and when the im- has made an equitable compensation to the British Govmense aid given it by the Federal Government enabled ernment; namely, a permanent loan of half a million sterit to survive the crisis of its own overwhelming mismanage-ling, and a temporary loan of three millions for twenty
years, without interest. Yet, when I moved for a like 3. To hold the moneys of the United States in deposite, compensation to the United States, the proposition was without making compensation for the use of the undrawn utterly rejected by the Finance Committee, and treated balances.-- This is a right which I deny; but, as the bank as an attempt to violate the charter of the bank. At the claims it, and, what is more material, enjoys it; and as the same time it is incontestable, that the United States have people of the United States have suffered to a vast extent been borrowing these undrawn balances from the bank, in consequence of this claim and enjoyment, I shall not and paying an interest upon their own money. I think hesitate to set it down to the account of the bank. Let us we can identify one of these loans. Let us try. In May, then examine the value of this privilege, and its effects 1824, Congress authorized a loan of five millions of dollars
1817, to 30th June, 1830. A statement of public money in the Bank of the United States and its branches at the end of each quarter, from the year
FEB. 2, 1831.]
Bank of the United States.
to pay the awards under the treaty with Spain, com- might be kept in the treasury, to two millions of dollars; monly called the Florida treaty: The Bank of the United but, by the power of construction, was made to authorize States took that loan, and paid the money for the United the keeping of two millions in addition to the surplus. I States in January and March, 1825. In looking over the wished to repeal this section, which had thus been constatement of undrawn balances, it will be seen that they strued into the reverse of its intention, and to revive the amounted to ncar four millions at the end of the first, and first section of the Sinking Fund act of 1790, which disix millions at the end of the second quarter of that year. rected the whole of the surplus on hand to be applied, at The inference is irresistible, and I leave every Senator to the end of each year, to the payment of the public debt. make it; only adding, that we have paid $1,469,375 in My argument was this: that there was no necessity to keep interest upon that loan, either to the bank or its trans- any surplus; that the revenue, coming in as fast as it went ferees. This is a strong case, but I have a stronger one. out, was like a perennial fountain, which you might drain It is known to every body that the United States sub- to the last drop, and not exhaust; for the place of the last scribed seven millions to the capital stock of the bank, for drop would be supplied the instant it was out. And I which she gave her stock note, bearing an interest of five supported this reasoning by a reference to the annual per cent. per annum. I have a statement from the Regis- treasury reports, which always exhibit a surplus of four ter of the Treasury, from which it appears that, up to the or five millions; and which were equally in the treasury 30th day of June last, the United States had paid four the whole year round, as on the last day of every year. millions seven hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars This was the argument, which, in fact, availed nothing; in interest upon that note; when it is proved by the state- but now I have mathematical proof of the truth of my poment of balances exhibited, that the United States, for the sition. Look at this statement of balances; look for the whole period in which that interest was accruing, had the year 1819, and you will find but three hundred thousand half, or the whole, and once the double, of these seven dollars on hand for that year; look still lower for 1821, millions in the hands of the bank. This is a stronger case and you will find this balance but one hundred and eightythan that of the five million loan, but it is not the strongest. two thousand dollars. And what was the consequence? The strongest case is this: In the year 1817, when the Did the Government stop? Did the wheels of the state bank went into operation, the United States owed, among chariot cease to turn round in those years for want of other debts, a sum of about fourteen millions and three treasury oil? Not at all. Every thing went on as well as quarters, bearing an interest of three per cent. In the before; the operations of the treasury were as perfect and same year, the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund were regular in those two years of insignificant balances, as in authorized by an act of Congress to purchase that stock 1817 and 1818, when five and ten millions were on hand. at sixty-five per cent., which was then its market price. This is proof; this is demonstration: it is the indựbitable Under this authority, the amount of about one million and evidence of the senses which concludes argument, and a half was purchased; the remainder, amounting to about dispels uncertainty; and, as my proposal for the repeal of thirteen millions and a quarter, has continued unpurchased the 4th section of the Sinking Fund act of 1817 was enactto this day; and, after costing the United States about six ed into a law at the last session of Congress, upon the remillions in interest since 1817, the stock has risen about commendation of the Secretary of the Treasury, a vigilant four millions in value; that is to say, from sixty-five to and exemplary officer, I trust that the repeal will be acted nearly ninety-five. Now, here is a clear loss of ten mil- upon, and that the bank platter will be wiped as clean of lions of dollars to the United States. In 1817 she could federal money in 1831, as it was in 1821. Such clean. have paid off thirteen millions and a quarter of debt, with taking from that dish, will allow two or three millions eight millions and a half of dollars; now, after paying six more to go to the reduction of the public debt; and there millions of interest, it would require twelve millions and a can be no danger in taking the last dollar, as reason and half to pay off the same debt. "By referring to the state-experience both prove. But, to quiet every apprehension ment of undrawn balances, it will be seen that the United on this point, to silence the last suggestion of a possibility States had, during the whole year 1817, an average sum of any temporary deficit, I recur to a provision contained of above ten millions of dollars in the hands of the bank, in two different clauses in the bank charter, copied from being a million and a half more than enough to have an amendment in the charter of the Bank of England, and bought in the whole of the three per cent. stock. The expressly made, at the instance of the ministry, to meet question, therefore, naturally comes up, why was it not the contingency of a temporary deficiency in the annual applied to the redemption of these thirteen millions and a revenue. The English provision is this: that the Governquarter, according to the authority contained in the act of ment may borrow of the bank half a million sterling, at Congress of that year? Certainly the bank needed the any time, without a special act of Parliament to authorize money; for it was just getting into operation, and was as it.' The provision in our charter is the same, with the hard run to escape bankruptcy about that time, as any single substitution of dollars for pounds. It is, in words bank that ever was saved from the brink of destruction, and intention, a standing authority to borrow that limited This is the largest injury which we have sustained, on ac- sum, for the obvious purpose of preventing a constant count of accommodating the bank with the gratuitous use keeping of a sum of money in hand as a reserve, to meet of these vast deposites. But, to show myself impartial, I contingencies which hardly ever occur* This contingent will now state the smallest case of injury that has come authority to effect a small loan, has often been used in within my knowledge: It is the case of the bonus of fifteen England in the United States, never; possibly, because hundred thousand dollars which the bank was to pay to there has been no occasion for it
; probably, because the the United States, in three equal instalments, for the pur- clause was copied mechanically from the English charter, chase of its charter. Nominally, this bonus has been paid, and without the perception of its practical bearing: Be but out of what moneys? Certainly out of our own; for this as it may, it is certainly a wise and prudent provision, the statement shows our money was there, and further, such as all Governments should, at all times, be clothed shows that it is still there; for, on the 30th day of June with. last, which is the latest return, there was still $2,550,664 If any Senator thinks that I have exaggerated the injury in the hands of the bank, which is above $750,000 more suffered by the United States, on account of the uncomthan the amount of the bonus.
pensated masses of public money in the hands of the bank, One word more upon the subject of these balances. It I am now going to convince him that he is wrong. Tam is now two years since I made an effort to repeal the 4th going to prove to him that I have understated the case; section of the Sinking Fund act of 1817; a section which that I have purposely kept back a large part of it; and was intended to limit the amount of surplus money which that justice requires a further development. The fact is,
Bank of the United States.
[FEB. 2, 1831.
that there are two different deposites of public money in revenue payments, are discredited and disparaged, and the bank; one in the name of the Treasurer of the United fall into the hands of brokers at all places where they are States, the others in the name of disbursing officers. The not issued and payable. They cease to insulate at all the annual average of the former has been about three and a points to which the exclusion extends. I am informed half millions of dollars, and of this I have said not a word. that the notes of the banks south of the Potomac and But the essential character of both deposites is the same; Ohio, even those of the lower Mississippi, are generally they are both the property of the United States; both per- refused at the United States' Branch Bank in St. Louis, manent; both available as so much capital to the bank; and and, in consequence, are expelled from circulation in both uncompensated. Here is the statement of the month- Missouri and Illinois, and the neighboring districts. This ly amount of these secondary deposites, as I find them on exclusion of the Southern notes from the northwest quarthe bank returns; and to it I appeal for the verification of ter of the Union, is injurious to both parties, as our trawhat I allege:
vellers and emigrants chiefly come from the South, and 1825. 1826.
1830. the whole of our trade gees there to find a cash market. January, $1,543,618 $1,393,805 $855,691 The exclusion, as I am told, (for I have not looked into February, 1,888,764 1,434,800 1,562,841 the matter myself,) is general, and extends to the banks March,
2,185,930 2,250,113 1,554,969 in Virginia, the two Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, MissisApril,
1,489,934 1,638,146 1,652,841 sippi, and Louisiana. If this be the fact, the joint resoMay,
1,428,025 1,637,519 1,323,661 lution of 181 is violated: for, under the term of that June,
1,532,258 2,301,787 1,346,206 resolution, there are several banks in each of the States July,
1,264,758 1,678,274 1,129,990 mentioned whose notes are receivable in the collection of August, 1,575,492 2,032,684 875,459 federal revenue; that is to say, specie paying banks September, 1,585,401 2,593,606 1,346,206 whose notes are payable, and paid, in specie, on demand. October, 2,042,345 1,753,621 1,354,081 Yet, in consequence of exclusion from the United States' November, 1,558,873 1,683,717 1,194,682 Branch Bank, they are excluded from all the land offices, December, 1,576,997 2,112,097 1,616,656 eleven in number, which deposite in that branch; and,
I have not ascertained the average of these deposites being excluded from the land offices, they cease to be since 1817, but presume it may equal the amount of that current money among the people. If a traveller, or emibonus of one million five hundred thousand dollars for grant, brings these notes to the country, or receives them which we sold the charter, and which the Finance Com- in remittance; if a trader accepts them in exchange for mittee of the Senate compliments the bank for paying in produce, they are “ shaved” out of their hands, and sent three, instead of seventeen, annual instalments; and shows out of the country. This is a pecuniary injury done to how much interest they lost by doing so. Certainly, this the North west; it may be more--it may be a political inwas a disadvantage to the bank. It would have been bet- jury also; for it contributes to break the communication ter for it to have dribbled out to us one hundred thousand between the two quarters of the Union, and encourages dollars, instead of five hundred thousand dollars of our own the idea that nothing good can come from the South--not money, at a time.
But there are three considerations even money! This power to disparage the notes of all which should prevent her from complaining: first, that it other banks, is a power to injure them; and, added to all, was the bargain to pay in three years; secondly, that we the other privileges of the Bank of the United States, is a furnished the money; thirdly, that we kept up the amount power to destroy them! If any one doubts this assertion, in her hand. Finally, these montbly returns show that let him read the answers of the President of the bank to the overdrawings, for permitting which the bank has been the questions put to him by the Chairman of the Finance so much lauded, were overdrawings in name, not in fact; Committee. These answers are appended to the committhe amount of the money being only transferred to another tee's report of the last session in favor of the bank, and deposite, and the money itself remaining in the hands of expressly declare the capacity of the federal bank to de. the bank.
stroy the State banks. The worthy Chairman [Mr. Smity, Mr. President, it does seem to me that there is some of wid.) puts this question: "Has the bank at any time thing ominous to the bank in this contest for compensa- oppressed any of the State banks?” The President, (Mr. tion on the undrawn balances. It is the very way in Biddle,] answers, as the wliole world would answer to a which the struggle began in the British Parliament which question of oppression, that it never had; and this res. has ended in the overthrow of the Bank of England. It is ponse was as much as the interrogatory required. But it the way in which the struggle is beginning here. My re- did not content the President of the bank; he chose to go solutions of two and three years ago are the causes of the further, and to do honor to the institution over which he speech which you now hear; and, as I have reason to be presided, by showing that it was as just and generous as it lieve, some others more worthy of your hearing, which was rich and powerful. He, therefore, adds the followwill come at the proper time. The question of compen- ing words, for which, as a seeker after evidence, to show sation for balances is now mixing itself up here, as in the alarming and dangerous character of the bank, I reEngland, with the question of renewing the charter; and turn him my unfeigned and pardonable thanks: “ There the two, acting together, will fall with combined weight are very few banks which might not have been destroyed upon the public mind, and certainly eventuate here as by an exertion of the power of the bank. they did thiere.
This is enough! proof enough! not for me alone, but 4. To discredit and disparage the notes of all other for all who are unwilling to see a moneyed domination set banks, by excluding them from the collection of the fe- up--a moneyed oligarchy established in this land, and the cleral revenue.--This results from the collection--no, not entire Cnion subjected to its sovereign will. The power the collection, but the receipt of the revenue having been to destroy all other banks is admitted and declared; the committed to the bank, and along with it the virtual exe- inclination to do so is known to all rational beings to reside cution of the joint resolution of 1816, to regulate the col- with the power! Policy may restrain the destroying falection of the federal revenue. The execution of that re- culties for the present; but they exist; and will come forth solution was intended to be vested in the Secretary of the when interest prompts and policy permits. They have Treasury-a disinterested arbiter between rival banks; been exercised; and the general prostration of the Southbut it may be considered as virtually devolved upon the ern and Western banks attests the fact. They will be Bank of the United States, and powerfully increases the sercised, (the charter being renewed,) and the remaincapacity of that institution to destroy, or subjugate, all ing State banks will be swept with the besom of destrucother banks. The notes of the State banks excluded from ition. Not that all will have their signs knocked down,
FEB. 2, 1831.]
(SENATE. and their doors closed up. Far worse than that to many applied for a loan; the President of the bank, nothing of them. Subjugation, in preference to destruction, will loth to make a loan to that great State, for twenty year's be the fate of many. Every planet must have its satel- longer than the charter has to exist, expresses his regret lites; every tyranny must have its instruments; every that he cannot lend but a limited and inadequate sum. 'The knight is followed by his squire; even the king of beasts, funds of the institution, he says, will not permit it to adthe royal quadruped, whose roar subdues the forest, must vance more than eight millions of dollars. And why? behave a small, subservient animal to spring his prey. Just cause it has invested three millions in real estate! To this so of this imperial bank, when installed anew in its formi- power to hold real estate, is superadded the means to acdable and lasting power. The State banks, spared by the quire it. The bank is now the greatest moneyed power sword, will be passed under the yoke. They will become in the Union; in the event of the renewal of its charter, it subordinate parts in the great machine. Their place, in will soon be the sole one. Sole dispenser of money, it will the scale of subordination will be one degree below the soon be the chief owner of property. To unlimited means rank of the legitimate branches; their business, to per- of acquisition, woull be united perpetuity of tenure; for form the work which it would be too disreputable for the a corporation never dies, and is free from the operation legitimate branches to perform. This will be the fate of of the laws which govern the descent and distribution of the State banks which are allowed to keep up their signs, real estate in the hands of individuals. The limitations in and to set open their doors; and thus the entire moneyed the charter are vain and illusory. They insult the underpower of the Union would fall into the hands of one sin- standing, and mock the credulity of foolish believers. gle institution, whose inexorable and invisible mandates, The bank is first limited to such acquisitions of real estate emanating from a centre, would pervade the Union, giv-as are necessary to its own accommodation; then comes a ing or withholding money according to its own sove
vereign proviso to undo the limitation, so far as it concerns purwill and absolute pleasure. To a favored State, to an in- chases upon its own mortgages and executions! This is dividual, or a class of individuals, favored by the central the limitation upon the capacity of such an institution to power, the golden stream of Pactolus would flow direct. acquire real estate. As if it had any thing to do but to To all such the munificent mandates of the High Directory make loans upon mortgages, and push executions upon would come, as the fabled god made his terrestrial visit of judgments! Having all the money, it would be the sole love and desire, enveloped in a shower of gold. But to lender; mortgages being the road to loans, all borrowers others--to those not favored--and to those hated--the must travel that road. When birds enough are in the net, mandates of this same directory would be as “the plane. the fowler draws his string, and the heads are wrung off. tary plague which hangs its poison in the sick air:" death So when mortgages enough are taken, the loans are called to them! death to all who minister to their wants! What in; discounts cease; curtailments are made; failures to a state of things! What a condition for a confederacy of pay ensue; writs i-sue; judgments and executions follow; States! What grounds for alarm and terrible apprehen- all the mortgaged premises are for sale at once; and the sion, when, in a confederacy of such vast extent, so many attorney of the bank appears at the elbow of the marshal, independent States, so many rival commercial cities, so sole bidder, and sole purchaser. much sectional jealousy, such violent political parties, What is the legal effect of this vast capacity to acquire, such fierce contests for power, there should be but one and this legal power to retain, real estate? Is it not the moneyed tribunal before which all the rival and contend- creation of a new species of mortmain? And of a kind ing elements must appear! but one single dispenser of more odious and dangerous than that mortmain of the money, to which every citizen, every trader, every mer- church which it baffled the English Parliament so many chant, every manufacturer, every planter, cvery corpora- ages to abolish. The mortmain of the church was a power tion, every city, every State, and the Federal Government in an ecclesiastical corporation to hold real estate, indeitself, must apply, in every emergency, for the most indis- pendent of the laws of distribution and descent: the mortpensable loan! and this, in the face of the fact, that, in main of the bank is a power in a lay corporation to do every contest for human rights, the great moneyed insti- the same thing: The evil of the two tenures is identical; tutions of the world have uniformly been found on the side the difference between the two corporations is no more of kings and nobles, against the lives and liberties of the than the difference between parsons and money changers; people.
the capacity to do mischief incomparably the greatest on 5. To hold real estate, receive rents, and retain a body the part of the lay corporators. The church could only of tenantry:—This privilege is hostile to the nature of our operate upon the few who were thinking of the other republican Government, and inconsistent with the nature world; the bank, upon all who are immersed in the busiand design of a banking institution. Republics want free- uess or the pleasures of this. The means of the church holders, mot landlords and tenants; and, except the cor- were nothing but prayers; the means of the bank is moporators in this bank, and in the British East India Com- ney! The church received what it could beg from dying pany, there is not an incorporated body of landlords in sinners; the bank may extort what it pleases from the any country upon the face of the earth whose laws em- whole living generation of the just and unjust. Such is anate from a legislative body. Banks are instituted to pro- the parallel between the mortmain of the two corporations. mote trade and industry, and to aid the Government and they both end in monopoly of estates, and perpetuity of its citizens with loans of money. The whole argument in succession; anci the bank is the greatest monopolizer of the favor of banking--every argument in favor of this bank-- two. Monopolies and perpetual succession are the bane rests upon that idea. No one, when this charter was of republics. Our ancestors took care to provide against granted, presumed to speak in favor of incorporating a them, by abolishing entails and primogeniture. Even society of landlords, especially foreign landlords, to buy the glebes of the church, lean and few as they were in lands, build houses, rent tenements, and retain tenantry. most of the States, fell under the republican principle Loans of money was the object in view, and the purchase of limited tenures. All the States abolished the antiof real estate is incompatible with that object. Instead of republican tenures; but Congress re-establishes them, remaining bankers, the corporators may turn land specu- and in a manner more dangerous and offensive than belators: instead of having money to lend, they may turn fore the revolution. They are now given, not generally, you out tenants to vote. To an application for a loan, but to few; not to natives only, but to foreigners also; they may answer, and answer truly, that they have no for foreigners are large owners of this bank. And thus, money on hand; and the reason may be, that they have the principles of the revolution sink before the privileges Jaid it out in land. This seems to be the case at present. of an incorporated company. The laws of the States fall A committee of the Legislature of Pennsylvania has just before the mandates of a central directory in Philadel