« AnteriorContinuar »
FEB. 2, 1831. )
Bank of the United States.
all the federal judges, their marshals and district attor- killed in battle, but of American citizens fecced at home. neys, and the cost of their court rooms; the expense of This is a grievous aggravation of the amount of the tax. missions abroad, and of territorial governments at home. It is the aggravation which renders taxation insupportable. These were the items of the civil list; comprehending the It is absenteeism” in a new and legalized form. It is the whole expenditure of the administration for all objects, whole mischief of that system of absenteeism, which except the army; there being at that time no navy. The drains off the wealth of Ireland to fertilize England, administration of the bank, therefore, actually involves an France, and Italy, leaving Ireland itself the most distressexpenditure, rivalling that of the Federal Government in ed and exhausted country in Europe, instead of remaining, 1792, '93, 94 and '95; omitting the single item of the as God created it, one of the richest and most flourishing. army, which was then on a war establishment. The next Eternal drawing out, and no bringing back, is a process item of bank tax, is that of the profits, in the shape of an- which no people, or country, can endure. It is a process nual dividends. These profits are now seven per cent; which would exhaust the resources of nature herself. The but have been less; and at one time, owing to an explosion earth would be deprived of its moisture, and changed produced by stock jobbing, were nothing. Assuming six into a desert, if the exhalations of the day did not return per cent. for the average of twenty years, and the aggre- in de's at night. The vast ocean itself, with all its deep gate will be $42,000,000. In the third place, the contin- and boundless waters, would be sucked up and dried gent fund, reserved to cover losses, is near 5,000,000 dol- away, if the vapors drawn up by the sun did not form inlars. Fourthly, the real estate, including banking houses, to clouds, and descend in rain and snow.
So will any is above 4,000,000 dollars. Fifthly, bonus, reimbursed to people be exhausted of their wealth, no matter how great the bank, is 1,500,000 dollars. Sixthly, the interest on the that wealth may be, whose miserable destiny shall subject public deposites, which the bank was receiving from the them to a system of taxation which is forever levying, and . United States or individuals, while the United States were never refunding: a system whose cry is that of the horsepaying interest on the same amount to the bank or to leech, more! more! more!-whose voice is that of the others, was six millions of dollars on the standing deposite grave, give! give! give!--whose attribute is that of the of about five millions. The aggregate is sixty-six millions grave also, never to render back!--and, such precisely is of dollars; to say nothing of the profit on the stock itself, the system of taxation to which the people of these States which is now twenty-six per cent., equal to $9,000,000 are now subjected by the federal bank. addition to the original capital. The annual average of Of the three great divisions, Mr. President, into which this aggregate levy of sixty six millions, is above three this question divides itself, I have touched but one. millions and a quarter of dollars; be very nearly as have left ntouched the constitutional difficulty, and the much as the whole expenditure of the Federal Govern- former mismanagement of the bank. I have handled the ment in the second year of Mr. Jefferson's administration, question as if the constitutional authority for the bank was which was but 3,737,000 dollars, the army included, and express, and as if its whole administration had been free the navy also, which had then sprung into existence. Will from reproach. I have looked to the nature of the instiSenators reflect upon the largeness of this levy, and con- tution alone; and, finding in its very nature insurmountasider how much it adds to the multiplied burdens of our ble objections to its existence, I have come to the conclucomplicated system of taxation? say complicated: for, sion that the public good requires the institution to cease. under our duplicate form of government, every citizen is I believe it to be an institution of too much power; of ten. many times taxed, and by various authorities. First, his dencies too dangerous; of privileges too odious; of exState tax, then his county tax, then his corporation tas, pense too enormous, to be safely tolerated under any Go(if he live in a city,) then his federal tax, and, since 1816, vernment of free and equal laws. My mind is made up his bank tax. The amount of each is considerable, of the that the present charter ought to be allowed to expire on whole, is excessive; of the bank tax, in addition to the others, its own limitation; and, that no other, or subsequent one, intolerable. The direct tax of 1798, which contributed should ever after be granted. This is my opinion; I may so much to the overthrow of the men then at the head of add, my belief: for I have the consolation to believe that affairs, was an inconsiderable burden compared to this the event will not deceive my hopes. bank levy. Not so much as one million was ever paid in I am willing to sce the charter expire, without providany one year under the direct tax; while the annual levy ing any substitute for the present bank. I am willing to of the bank tax is three millions and a quarter. The one see the currency of the Federal Government left to the is as truly a tax as the other, and as certainly paid by the hard money mentioned and intended in the constitution; people; and, as the reduction of taxes is now the policy I am willing to have a hard money Government, as that of of the country, I present this contribution to the federal France has been since the time of assigncts and mandats. bank, as the fit and eminent item to head and grace the list Every species of paper might be left to the State authoriof abolition. I say, to head and grace the list! For it is ties, unrecognized by the Federal Government, and only a tax not only great in itself, and levied to support a most touched by it for its own convenience when equivalent to dangerous and invidious institution, but doubly and pecu- gold and silver. Such a currency filled France with the liarly oppressive upon the people, because no part of it is precious metals, when England, with her overgrown bank, ever refunded to them in the shape of beneficent expen- was a prey to all the evils of unconvertible paper. It diture. In the case of every other tax, in all the contri- furnished '
money cuough for the imperial Government butions levied for the purposes of Government, there is when the population of the empire was three times more some alleviation of the burden--some restitution of the numerous, and the expenses of Government twelve times abducted treasure--some return to the people—some re- greater, than the population and expenses of the United infusion of strength into their ranks--in the customary re- States; and, when France possessed no mines of gold or imbursement of the revenue. The Government usually pays silver, and was destitute of the exports which command it back, or a portion of it, for salaries, services, and supplies. the specie of other countries. Thic United States posBut, in the case of the bank tax, there is nothing of this re- sess gold mines, now yielding half a million per annum, imbursement. The bank refunds nothing; but all the mo- with every prospect of equalling those of Peru.
But this ney
it makes out of the people is gone from them forever. is not the best dependence. We have what is superior to It goes into a corner of the Union, and remains there: it mines, namely, the exports which command the money of goes into private hands, and becomes individual property. the world; that is to say, the food which sustains life, and The stockholders divide it among themselves. Twice, in the raw materials which sustain manufactures. Gold and every year, they make the division of these modern spolia silver is the best currency for a republic; it suits the men opima--these dearest spoils not of the enemy's general of middle property and the working people best; and if I
Bank of the United States.
(FEB. 2, 1831.
was going to establish a working man's party, it should be and the reduced expenditures of the Government will be on the basis of hard money; a hard money party against a made where the money is collected. The army and the paper party.
navy, after the extinction of the debt, will be the chief I would prefer to see the charter expire without any objects of expenditure; and they will require the money, substitute; but I am willing to vote for the substitute re- either on the frontiers, convenient to the land office, or commended by the President, stripped as it is of all power on the seaboard, convenient to the custom-houses. Thus to make loans and discounts. Divested of that power, it will transfers of revenue become unnecessary. 3. “To loses the essential feature, and had as well lose the name, make loans to the Federal Government.” That is nothing: of a bank. It becomes an office in the treasury, limited for the Federal Government will want no loans in time of to the issue of a species of exchequer bills, differing from peace, not even out of its own deposites; and the prosthe English bills of that name in the vital particular of a pect of war is rather too distant at present to make new prompt and universal convertibility into coin. Such bills loans on that account. 4. “To pay the pensioners.” would be in fact, as well as in name, the promissory notes That is something now, I admit, when the pensioners are of the United States of America. They would be paya- still fifteen thousand, and the payments exceed a million ble at every land office, custom-house, and post office, per annum. But what will it be after 1836? When the and by every collector of public moneys, in the Union. hand of death, and the scythe of time, shall have commitPayable every where, they would be at par every where. ted five years more of ravages in their senile ranks. The Equal to gold and silver on the spot, they would be supe- mass of these heroical monuments are the men of the Rerior to it for travelling and remittances. This is not volution. They are far advanced upon that allegorical opinion, but history. Our own country, this Federal Go- bridge so beautifully described in the vision of Mirza. vernment, has proved it; and that on a scale sufficiently They have passed the seventy arches which are sound and large to test its operation, and recent enough to be re. entire, and are now treading upon the broken ones, where membered by every citizen. I allude to the Mississippi the bridge is full of holes, and the clouds and darkness scrip, issued from the Treasury some fifteen years ago. setting in. At every step some one stumbles and falls This scrip was no way equal to the proposed exchequer through, and is lost in the ocean beneath. In a few steps bills: for its reception was limited to a single branch of more the last will be gone. Surely it cannot be necessary the revenue, namely, lands, and to a small part of them; to keep up for twenty years, the vast establishment of the and the quantity of scrip, five millions of dollars, was federal bank to pay the brief stipends of these fleeting excessive, compared to the fund for its redemption; yet, shadows. Their country can do it--can pay the pensions as soon as the land offices of Alabama and Mississippi as well as give them--and do it for the little time that reopened, the scrip was at par, and currently exchanged for mains, with no other regret than that the grateful task is gold and silver, dollar for dollar. Such, and better, would to cease so soon.
5. "To regulate the currency. I be the proposed bills. To the amount of the revenues, answer, the joint resolution of 1816 will do that, and will they would be founded on silver. This amount, after the effect the regulation without destroying on one hand, and payment of the public debt, (post office included, ) may without raising up a new power, above regulation, on the be about fifteen millions of dollars. They would supply other. Besides, there is some mistake in this phrase curthe place of the United States notes as they retired; and, rency. The word in the constitution is coin. It is the issuing from the Treasury only in payments, or exchange value of coin which Congress is to regulate; and to include for hard money, all room for favoritism, or undue influ- bank notes under that term, is to assume a power, not of ence, would be completely cut off. If the Federal Go-construction--for no construction can be wild and boundvernment is to recognise any paper, let it be this. Let it less enough to construe coin, that is to say, metallic mobe its own.
ney, melted, cast, and stamped, into paper notes printed I have said that the charter of the Bank of the United and written--but it is to assume a power of life and death States cannot be renewed. And in saying this, I wish to over the constitution; a power to dethrone and murder be considered, not as a hecdless denunciator, supplying one of its true and lawful words, and to set up a bastard the place of argument by empty menace, but as a Sena- pretender in its place. I invoke the spirit of America tor, considering well what he says, after having attentively upon the daring attempt! 6. "To equalize exchanges, surveyed his subject. I repeat, then, that the charter and sell bills of exchange for the half of one per cent. cannot be renewed! And, in coming to the conclusion of This is a broker's argument; very fit and proper to deterthis peremptory opinion, I acknowledge no necessity to mine a question of brokerage; but very insufficient to look beyond the walls of this Capitol--bright as may be determine a question of great national policy, of State the consolation which rises on the vision from the other rights, of constitutional difficulty, of grievous taxation, end of the avenue!--I confine my view to the halls of and of public and private subjugation to the beck and nod Congress, and joyfully exclaim, it is no longer the year of a great moneyed oligarchy: 7. “A bonus of a million 1816! Fifteen years have gone by; times have changed; and a half of dollars." This, Mr. President, is Esau's and former arguments have lost their application. We view of the subject; a very seductive view to an improviwere then fresh from war, loaded with debt, and with all dent young man, who is willing to give up the remainder the embarrassments which follow in the train of war. We of his life to chains and poverty, provided he can be soare now settled down in peace and tranquillity, with all laced for the present with a momentary and insignificant the blessings attendant upon quiet and repose. There is gratification. But what is it to the United States? --to the no longer a single consideration urged in favor of charter- United States of 1836! without a shilling of debt, and ing the bank in 1816, which can have the least weight or mainly occupied with the reduction of taxes! Still this application, in favor of rechartering it now. This is my bonus is the only consideration that can now be offered, assertion! a bold one it may be; but no less true than bold and surely it is the last one that ought to be accepted. Let us see! What were the arguments of 1816? Why, We do not want the money; and, if we did, the recourse first, “to pay the public creditors.” I answer this is no to a bonus would be the most execrable form in which we longer any thing: for before 1836, that function will cease: could raise it. What is a bonus? Why, in monarchies, it is there will be no more creditors to pay. 2. “To transfer a price paid to the King for the privilege of extorting money the public moneys.” That will be nothing: for after the out of his subjects; with us, it is a price paid to ourselves payment of the public debt, we shall have no moneys to for the privilege of extorting money out of ourselves. transfer. The twelve millions of dollars which are now The more of it the worse; for it all has to be paid back transferred annually to the Northeast, to pay the public to the extortioners, with a great interest upon it. It is recreditors, will then remain in the pockets of the people, |lated by the English historian, Clarendon, who cannot be
FEB. 3, 1831.]
suspected of overstating any fact to the prejudice of the avail themselves of their intelligences, and their means, Stuart Kings, that for £1,500 advanced to Charles the to buy out the small stockholders on the eve of the reFirst in bonuses, not less than £200,000 were extorted newal. These would be the owners. And where would from his subjects: being at the rate of £133 taken from all this power and money centre? In the great cities the subject for £1 advanced to the King: What the Bank to the northeast, which have been for forty years, and of the United States will have made out of the people of the that by force of federal legislation, the lion's den of United States, in twenty years, in return for its bonus of Southern and Western money—that den into which all the $1,500,000, (which, I must repeat, has been advanced to tracks point inwards; from which the returning track of us out of our own money,) has been shown to be about a solitary dollar has never yet been seen. And, this is sixty-six millions of dollars. What it would make in the the institution for which a renewed existence is soughtnext twenty years, when secuire possession of the renewed for which the votes of the people's representatives are charter should free the institution from every restraint, claimed! But, no! Impossible! It cannot be! The bank and leave it at full liberty to pursue the money, goods, is done. The arguments of 1816 will no longer apply. and lands of the people in every direction, cannot be as- Times have changed; and the policy of the Republic certained. Enough can be ascertained, however, to show changes with the times. The war made the bank; peace that it must be infinitely beyond what it has been. There will unmake it. The baleful planet of fire, and blood, are some data upon which some partial and imperfect cal- and every human woe, did bring that pestilence upon us; culations can be made, and let us essay them. In the first the benignant star of peace shall chase it away. Having place, the rise of the stock, which cannot be less than that concluded of the Bank of England, in its flourishing days, (probably Mr. WEBSTER demanded the yeas and nays on the more, as all Europe is now seeking investments here,) question to grant leave for the introduction of the resolumay reach 250 per cent., or 150 above par. This, upon tion; and the vote being taken, was decided, without fura capital of 35 millions, would give a profit of $42,500,000; ther debate, as follows: a very pretty sum to be cleared by operation of law!-to YEAS--Messrs. Barnard, Benton, Bibb, Brown, Dickbe added to the fortunes of some individuals, aliens as well erson, Dudley, Forsyth, Grundy, Hayne, Iredell, King, as citizens, by the mere passage of an act of Congress! In M'Kinley, Poindexter, Sanford, Smith, of S. C., Tazethe next place, the regular dividends, assuming them to well, Troup, Tyler, White, Woodbury-20. equal those of the Bank of England in its mericlian, would NAYS- Alessis. Barton, Bell, Burnet, Chase, Clayton, be ten per cent per annum. This would give $3,500,000 Foot, Frelinghuysen, Hendricks, Holmes, Johnston, for the annual dividend; and $70,000,000 for the aggre- Knight, Livingston, Marks, Noble, Robbins, Robinson, gate of twenty years. In the third place, the direct ex- Ruggles, Seymour, Silsbee, Smith, of Md., Sprague, penses of the institution, now less than $400,000 per an- Webster, Willey--23. num, would, under the new and magnificent expansion So the Senate refused leave for the introduction of the which the operations of the bank would take, probably resolution. excecd half a million per annum; say $10,000,000 for the Mr. GRUNDY said, that, in the select committee apwhole terin. Putting these three items together, which is pointed to examine into the condition of the Post Office as far as data in hanci will enable us to calculate, and we Department, a serious difference of opinion existed in have $122,500,000 of profits made out of the people, relation to the description of testimony to be brought equal to a tax of $6,000,000 per annum. How much more before them; and that he, for one, was unwilling that may follow is wholly unascertainable, and would depend the opinions of part of that committee should prevail, upon the moderation, the justice, the clemency, the mercy without the concurrence of the Senate. He, therefore, and forbearance of the supreme central clirectory, who, submitted the following resolution: sitting on their tripods, and shaking their tridents over Resolved, That the select comunittee appointed on the the moneyed ocean, are able to raise, and repress, the 15th day of December last, to inquire into the condition golden wares at pleasure; who, being chief purchasers of of the Post Office Department, are not authorized to real estate, may take in towns and cities, and the whole call before them the persons who have been dismissed country round, at one fell swoop; who, being sole lenders from office, for the purpose of ascertaining the reasons of money, may take usury, not only at 46, but at 460 per or causes of their removal. cent.; who, being masters of all other banks, and of the
Adjourned. Federal Government itself, may compel these tributary establishments to ransom their servile existences with the heavy, and repeated, exactions of Algerine cupidity. The
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 3. gains of such an institution defy calcuation. There is no The resolution of Mr. GRUNDY, on the subject of example on earth to which to compare it. The bank of certain witnesses proposed to be examined in relation to England, in its proudest days, would afford but an inade the causes of their removal from the Post Office Departquate and imperfect exemplar; for the power of that bank ment, was taken up, and again, in consequence of the was counterpoised, and its exactions limited, by the wealth absence of the honorable Senator, laid on the table. of the landed aristocracy, and the princely revenues of
INDIAN ANNUITY. great merchants and private bankers. But with us, there would be no counterpoise, no limit, no boundary, to the
On motion of Mr. DUDLEY, the bill from the Ilouse extent of exactions. All would depend upon the will of granting an annuity of $6,000 to the Seneca tribe of Inthe supreme central directory. The nearest approach cans was taken up, together with the amendments of to the value of this terrific stock, which my reading has Mr. Smith, of Mi., and considered as in Committee of suggested, would be found in the history of the famous the Whole. South Sea Company of the last century, whose shares Mr. SMITII, of Mal., said, that, when this will was rose in leaps from 100 to 500, and from 500 to 1,000 per laid on the table, some days ago, he had addressed a letcent.; but, with this immeasurable and lamentable differ- ter to the Secretary of War, asking information on the ence that that was a bubble! this, a reality! And who subject, and, in consequence, he had received an answer would be the owners of this imperial stock? Widows from the Secretary, enclosing a letter from a Mr. Nourse, and orphans, think you? as ostentatiously set forth in the one of the clerks in the Register's Office, addressed to report of last session? No, sir! a few great capitalists; him, containing all the facts that were necessary for a aliens, denizens, naturalized subjects, and some native proper understanding of the matter. There would be citizens, already the richest of the land, and who would some little confusion, Air. S. said, in the accounts be
(FEB. 3, 1831.
tween the Indians and the United States, in passing the the President of the Unitad States, to settle the disposibill in its original shape, as it came from the House, inas- tion of it. The same authority that constituted him a much as it would be giving an annuity of $6,000 without trustee, and enabled him to invest or transfer that stock, any equivalent for it. He had, therefore, introduced the would also authorize him to sell it, and make such disamendment to transfer the stock, which was now held posal of it as might be deemed expedient. for the use of the Indians, to the United States, inasmuch But there is another view of this subject, said Mr. F. as they required nothing more than the annuity, and the The letter from the War Department, just now submitted United States would be justly entitled to the stock for to us by the gentleman from Maryland, [Mr. SMITH,] guarantying it to them. Upon the tribe's becoming ex- informs us that the Holland Land Company, looking fortinct, the stock would, of course, revert to the United ward to the extinguishment of this tribe, contemplated, States; and it would therefore be better to transfer it at on the consummation of that event, setting up a claim to once than pursue the course originally pointed out in the this $100,000 of stock. · They say it then belongs to bill. It would be simplifying what was complex; the them. Suppose, after our making this compulsory consubject would be put an end to; and the Indians and tract with the Senecas to pay them $6,000 annually, the the Government would be relieved from any further diffi- Holland Land Company should establish their claim to culties in relation to it.
the reversion of this $100,000; in what light would the Mr. FORSYTH said he could not perceive the neces- proposed measure be viewed, if adopted? sity of any legislation upon this subject. It is now, said Mr. F. concluded by repeating, he saw no sort of neMr. F., well understood that the Government of the cessity for further legislation upon this subject. If the United States bas never received any benefit from the Indians were willing to take the product of their stock, Seneca tribe of Indians, for which this claim is made. as it is, in the three per cents., let them, in Heaven's The President of the United States has been made their name, have it. The matter, according to his views, laid trustec-has assumed a guardianship, in which the Con- just where it should lay, and he hoped it might remain gress of the United States has no concern; and all he so. He, therefore, moved an indefinite postponement of has to do with it is to see that the stock entrusted to him the bill. is vested in the best possible manner, and that they duly Mr. SANFORD said the gentleman from Georgia supreceive the amount accruing from it. There was a time posed that there was no obligation on the part of the Gowhen these Indians received more than six thousand dol-vernment of the United States to do justice to the Senelars per annum for their hundred thousand dollars worth ca Indians; that the fund belonging to them had been of stock; that is, when their fund was invested in Bank placed in the hands of the President, as trustee, in his of the United States' stock, when they received seven per individual, and not in his official, capacity. Pray, sir,
When their stock produced more than six thou- said Mr. S., how comes it, then, that this subject has sand dollars, the whole amount was paid to them; but, been brought before us by the President himself? Is it since that stock had been less productive, since it had not to be found in his message of the last session, in been invested in three percents, all that had been done had which he says he cannot do justice to these Indians withtended to impose on the United States a pecuniary bur- out the intervention of Congress? If the gentleman then. The terms of the contract were not, that the Pre-would please to refer to the message of the President, sident of the United States should see that the fund al- and the report of the Secretary of war, he would find ways yielded six per cent. per annum; but that he should that those officers of the Government deemed it a matmake the best disposition of it in his power; and this, it ter in which the United States was concerned. was admitted, had been done. There was then no fur The gentleman was mistaken in supposing that the ther obligation on him, or on the Government. But it trusteeship of the President imposed no obligation on seemed the United States were considered as bound to the Government. The President, as the official organ these Indians, because the President of the United States of the Government, became the voluntary trustee. The had become the trustee of funds paid by the Holland Indians sold their lands to Robert Morris, with the conLand Company for lands sold by the Indians to that sent and approbation of the Government, and the GoCompany.
vernment voluntarily assumed the office of trustee for This matter had already cost the Government a very the safe investment of the purchase money. It was well considerable amount over and above the product of the known that it never was the practice of the Government stock, and now the question arises, are we bound to do to suffer any treaty to be held with the Indians without more, after doing all we have already gratuitously per- becoming a party to it; and, in the treaty held for the formed? But it is said the Indians have been given to sale of these lands, the agent of the Government attendunderstand that the full amount of six thousand dollarsed and sanctioned the whole proceedings. The gentleshould be paid to them. Who gave them to understand man from Georgia remarked, that the President might this? Who had a right to do so! And yet it was on sell the stock, pay the Indians their $100,000, and get such ljose declarations that the whole merits of this claim rid of the business. Mr. S. did not know, but he beseemed to rest. It is contended that the Government is lieved the Indians would be as glad to get their bound to realize to these Indians any expectations they $100,000, and get rid of the business, as the gentleman may have been induced to entertain. It is true, it is said from Georgia; that is, if they were to have no income, that the late President of the United States, when the they would rather have their money. But this could not subject was before him, had given them these assurances. be done without legislation. The President had preThis, however, did not establish the justice of the de. sented the subject to the consideration of Congress; and, mand. He could see no sort of obligation on the part of even if the Indians were to be paid back their money, the Government to pay them more than the amount pro- the action of Congress would be necessary. But it had duced by their stock. The original arrangement (which, been urged that various changes had been made; the by the way, he considered a very foolish one, though it money had first been invested in stock of the Bank of was made by the authority of Congress,) was to create the United States, then in six per cents., and lastly in three the President of the United States a trustee or guardian per cents. Suppose we refuse to pay the Indians, befor the safe keeping of this fund of one hundred thou- cause of these changes; would that be just? Who made sand dollars, which they had undoubted right to-it was those changes? Not the Indians, but ourselves. The theirs; and it remained between them and their trustec, investinents were made by the trustee, according to his
Feb. 3, 1831.]
(SENATE. hest judgment, without the knowledge or consent of the ment of the Indian title to these lands.' A treaty was en. Indians; and they were always contented as long as they tered into, and the lands were soll to Robert Morris for received what they considered a sufficient interest on one hundred thousand dollars, which was invested in the their money.
Mr. «S. then urged that the amendment stock of the old Bank of the United States. The whole was unnecessary; he hoped it would not be persisted in, natter was reported to Congress, and approved of by that inasmuch as it would again change the relations between body. By the terms of the treaty itself, the guardianship the United States and the Indians without their consent. of this money was invested in the political personage de.
After some further arguments in favor of the bill, and nominated by the constitution, the President of the United against the amendment, Mr. S. concluded, by expressing States. The arrangement did not contemplate entrusting his hope that the Senate would do full justice to the Sen- the money to a Washington and Adams, or to any other eca Indians, and not leave them in a situation to receive individual. It was, therefore, an act of the Government, only two or three thousand dollars interest on their capital, and an officer of that Government was made, ex officio, the when they had always been taught to believe themselves repository of the fund in question. And are we, the Gofairly entitled to an interest of six thousand dollars. vernment of the United States, to lead these poor savages
Mr. FORSYTII said, perhaps he did not understand astray? Shall we take advantage of their ignorance, simthis subject so well as the gentleman from New York, ply because we have them in our power? Now, if there (Mr. Sanford;] but he must repeat, that he did not yet is a principle on earth, said Mr. B., that I hold more sasee a necessity for any legislation on this subject. The cred than another, it is that the Government should act stock is invested at the discretion of the President, as the with magnanimity, justice, and equity, towards these savatrustee of the Indians. He is bound to render them an ges. The Government make treaties with them, in their account of it, and is ready to do so. He has the power to own form; they write them down, in their own way; and sell out the stock, and return them their money, if they shall we write articles of agreement with them in our own wish it. This would, probably, be the most simple and language, and interpret them to suit our own purposes? equitable method that could be adopted. At all events, God forbid! This stock, to be sure, was first invested in said Mr. F., we have nothing to do with it. He con- the stock of the Bank of the United States; but what did demned the foolish plan by which the President was in- they know of the nature of the Bank of the United States? volved in such guardianships. It was imposing upon him They supposed that, by the terms of their treaty, they had duties and responsibilities which did not rightfully pertain secured to themselves, and their tribe, a permanent fund to his station. The gentleman from New York supposes of six thousand dollars per annum.
But how are their exthat there was an obligation on the part of the United pectations realized? I call it an act of the Government, States to guaranty that the stock yield perpetually the said Mr. B., as it undoubtedly is. The President is the annual sum of six thousand dollars.' Where did the gen- agent, ex officio, and the fund is vested, in good faith, in tleman get that idea? He, Mr. F., could find nothing of the bands of the Government. Inasmuch as they have it in the documents belonging to the case. If the original done all this, shall we not preserve our faith towards them? contract was that the Indians should receive six per cent., What do they know of five or six per cent. stocks? It is why did they for so many years get seven per cent.? On utterly beyond their comprehension. Mr. B. said he the reasoning of the gentleman, the Government was as looked upon it as a mere matter of equity, that the Go. much bound to give seven as six per cent. But the honor-/vernment should be willing to abide by the rules which able gentleman says the subject has been brought to the she metes out to others. It was no more than just that notice of Congress by the President himself! Well, sir, she should allow the same rate of interest for debts due in so doing, the President has but done his duty. He from her, as she demands from those indebted to her. found, on coming into oflice, that his predecessor had From public debtors she exacts an interest of six per cent., been paying out of the coffers of the treasury $6,000, in- and I know of no better rule to be applied to the present stead of $3,190, without the shadow of authority; and case. Mr. B. also disapproved of the attempt on the part finding that the Indians espected a continuance of a prac- of the gentleman from Maryland, [Mr. SMITH,) to de. tice he could not sanction,' he very properly brought the crease the amount to be paid to the Indians, as this seemaffair before Congress. Does any one, said Mr. F., ques- ed to be the purport of his amendment. He contended tion the correctness of the course pursued by the Presi- that the Government had already received this money. It dent in this matter? No one did. It had been admitted was already paid into the treasury, and he trusted that a on all hands to be perfectly correct. Well, sir, shall we, majority of the Senate would come to the just conclusion by legislation, sanction a proceeding which the President of guarantying to the Senecas a permanent annuity of six condemns? It is not pretended that the Government is in per cent. on their stock, or six thousand dollars per anany way bound, except by the guardianship of the fund so num, and thus preserve that justice, good faith, and scruthoughtlessly undertaken. Bui, at that time, these Indians pulous integrity towards them, which it was so essential were the wards of the United States; that wardship has to the national honor should be preserved. ceased, and they are now, with the exception of those Mr. WHITE observed, that he did not think it made going to Green Bay, under the guardianship of the State much difference to the parties, whether the bill passed as of New York. Mr. F. was for leaving the matter as it it came from the House of Representatives, or as amended stood. If the Indians were dissatisfied, it was not the fault by the gentleman from Maryland, (Mr. Smith.] He, for of the Government. The same authority that vested the his part, would prefer the original bill, inasmuch as it stock in the President's hands, could authorize him to sell would, if it passed here with the amendment, be embarit. It would now bring one hundred and four thousand rassed, by having to undergo the revision of the other dollars. If they preferred the money to the stock, let House. It had been stated that, when the treaty was them have it. He did not know whether this would be held with the Seneca Indians for the sale of their lands, proper, but, for his own part, he would willingly vote for the agent of the United States was present, and sanctioned an appropriation for the purchase of the stock. If they the agreement by which the President became the trustee wish to sell, the Government has as much a right to buy for the disposition of the purchase money. This, he be. as any other individual.
lieved, was correct. The Indians being about to sell, and Mr. BiBB said, he conceived this to be a most just and wishing to make some permanent arrangement by which equitable claim. It accrued under the superintendence of the sum to be paid them should be safely invested, agreed the Government, by its agents, in the purchase of the In- that the President of the United States, not as an indidian lands.
Massachusetts, New York, and the General vidual, but describing him in his official character, should, Government, were severally anxious for the extinguish- as their trustee, invest this money in stock of the D.::ik of