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Negotiated by Mr. Poinsett during the late administration. with Turkey and Mexico, (for which this administration Ratification delayed by the Mexican Government until has claimed the entire credit,) it negotiated two informal after the time limited in the treaty. Re-negotiated by this arrangements for indemnities, and eleven treaties, one of administration.
which extended for ten years an important commercial 6. France.--Treaty of indemnity for spoliations, amount convention with Great Britain, and seven of which were $4,885,000. Allowed to France the long contested and treaties permanently regulating the commerce and navigadoubtful claim of Beaumarchais, of $281,000.
tion of the United States with some of the most important Full credit to the minister who negotiated this treaty nations in the world. What, sir, are the boasted results (Mr. Rives) is cheerfully accorded. Yet, I am fully war- of the diplomacy of the present administration, when comranted in saying that the man who fired the first gun pared with this? in the French revolution of July, 1830, is entitled to as But there is one consideration connected with the sucmuch credit for his treaty as the able diplomatist who cessful negotiations of the last administration, which ought negotiated it. That revolution placed upon the throne not to pass unnoticed. While the general treaties which of France the present king, who, in addition to his favor- it formed constitute the basis and the security of the exable regard for the United States, resulting from a pre-tended and extending commerce of our country with a vious residence here, felt the force of additional motives, large portion of the world, and are, every day, silently arising from the fact that our just claims had been long dispensing to us their blessings, they were negotiated and stubbornly resisted by the prince whom his elevation without parade, or the sounding of trumpets. It was all had dethroned and sent into banishment. None could in perfect keeping with the peculiar character of the dismore ably or faithfully urge our claims than did the pre- tinguished head of that administration, whose whole cadecessor of Mr. Rives upon Charles the Tenth, whose con- reer has been marked with one unbroken effort, not to tmuance upon the throne of France would probably have court momentary applause, but to make himself useful to rendered as ineffectual the efforts of our present minister. his country, and to rear a monument of enduring fame
These remarks, however just, would not have been upon the basis of her permanent prosperity and glory. made, but for the extraordinary credit for this treaty, I have thus attempted, Mr. Speaker, to present some claimed by the present administration.
of the evidences of the violation of the pledges on which 7. Great Britain.-- Arrangement concerning the West General Jackson was brought into power. And now, before India trade. I have not time to examine the merits of this I leave this branch of the subject, permit me, in review, arrangement. It lias been sufficiently discussed elsewhere. to ask, what has the President been doing these three I will leave the gentleman from Mississippi, who has echoed years in regard to the promised reform in the Executive the praises which have been lavished upon the present ad. Departments, which have been immediately under his eye, aninistration for negotiating this treaty, to settle the ques- and over which the people have been made to believe he tion with the commercial and navigating interests, and the has exercised the most searching supervision? Why have insulted and wounded honor of his country!
not the number of the officers in these departments been reHere, then, Mr. Speaker, we have seven treaties, or duced, as it was confidently affirmed they might be, to the informal arrangements, in which are summed up the extent of one-third of their number? Or why, I may more whole of the boasted diplomacy of the present adminis- properly ask, has there been a constant effort to augment tration
them? Where is the “new distribution of office hours," Allow me now, sir, to detain you a few moments, while and the increased efficiency of officers, and the simplified I glance rapidly at the treaties negotiated by the last ad- modes of doing business, by which this reduction was to be ministration.
aided, and a substantial and permanent retrenchment of ex1. Colombia.--Informalarrangement. Indemnity to in- penditures effected? Wherefore, let me add, has the dividual claimants. Amount $72,658.
country been subjected to an enormous increase in the ex2. Russia. --Informal arrangement. Indemnity to indi- penses of managing its foreign relations, resulting, as we xidual claimants. Amount $16,994.
have seen, in beneñts in no wise to be compared with those 3. Great Britain.-- Treaty providing indemnity for slaves connected with the negotiations of the last administration? carried off during the late war. Amount $1,204,960. And who can account, consistently with the professions of
4. Great Britain.--Treaty providing for the submission economy and retrenchment which brought General Jackof the Northeastern boundary question to the arbitration son into power, for the great increase in the general exof the King of the Netherlands.
penditures of the Government? What, in a word, has 5. Great Britain.--Treaty renewing the third article of become of the "comprehensive scheme" of retrenchment, the convention of 1818, relative to the territory on the which was to emanate from the mind of the great reNorthwest coast of America, west of the Rocky Mountains. former?
6. Great Britain. — 'Treaty renewing the commercial Sir, the people have been deceived, deluded, mocked. convention of 1815.
The man whom they honored with their confidence has 7. Denmark.--General treaty, regulating the commerce kept the word of promise to their ear, but broke it to and navigation between the two countries.
their hope.” They expected retrenchment, and they 8. Sweden and Norway.---Treaty of commerce and have extravagance: they asked bread, and he has given navigation.
them a stone; a fish, and he has given them a serpent. 9. Free Hanseatic Republics of Bremen, Hamburg, and To the falsification of professions, and violation of Lubec.-- Treaty of friendship, commerce, and navigation. pledges, which I have thus attempted to describe, I might
10. Prussia.--Treaty of commerce and navigation. add numerous others. I might especially advert to Gen11. Austria.---Treaty of commerce and navigation. eral Jackson's communication to the Legislature of Ten
12. Brazil. -- Treaty of friendship, commerce, and navi- nessee in the year 1825, in which he deprecates, as an gation.
alarming evil, the practice of appointing to office members 13.--Guatemala.--Treaty of commerce and navigation of Congress, and in which he makes the memorable decla
This last treaty is one of distinguished importance; pre- ration, "It is due to myself to practise upon the maxims senting a perfect model of a treaty enibracing, in its full recommended to others;" in connexion with which, I extent, the great principle of reciprocity of commercial might present a list of near twenty members of Congress privileges, which this Government has long sought to make appointed by him to important offices within one year the basis of its commercial relations with foreign Powers. after his elevation to power. 'I might, also, read to you
It thus appears, Mr. Speaker, that, independent of the his messages to Congress, in every one of which he has agency of the last administration in concluding the treaties declared that the public good requires that the service of
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May 5, 1832.
the President of the United States should be limited to a lineated, I shall endeavor to select men whose diligence single term of four years: and I could then read the com- and talents will ensure, in their respective stations, able munication of his private secretary, sent from his mansion, and faithful co-operation; depending for the advancement and franked by his own hand, to a distinguished Senator of the public service, more on the integrity and zeal of of Pennsylvania, in January, 1831, expressing his desire the public officers, than on their numbers. A diffidence, to be nominated by the Legislature of that State for a se. perhaps too just, in my own qualifications, will teach me cond election to the Presidency! But, Mr. Speaker, time to look, with reverence, to the examples of public virtue would fail me, and I forbear.
left by my illustrious predecessors, and with veneration I come now, sir, to violations of pledges of a very dif- to the lights that flow from the mind that founded, ferent character. General Jackson was elected to the and the mind that reformed our system. The same diffioffice of President of the United States, and on the 4th of|dence induces me to hope for instruction and aid from March, 1829, stood up in the face of the nation, and so the co-ordinate branches of the Government.” lemnly proclaimed, in bis inaugural address, the princi. The clause which I have read contains, in substance, ples upon which he would conduct his administration. the following promises:
Before I proceed, however, to consider that address, 1. To correct the abuses that have brought the patronpermit me, Mr. Speaker, to advert, for a moment, to the age of the Government into conflict with the freedom of oath which preceded it. Accompanied by the assembled elections. representatives of the nation, he proceeded to the eastern I will not now inquire how far this promise has been portico of this capitol, and there, laying bis hand on that fulfilled. Some light may, perhaps, be thrown upon it in holy book which enjoins that “rulers should be just men, the course of the remarks I intend to make upon the sysruling in the fear of God,” he swore, in the face of Hea- tem adopted by this administration in the dispensing of its ven and his country, that he would preserve, protect, patronage. I cannot, however, pass over this part of the and defend the constitution of the United States." That inaugural without adverting to the insinuation which it constitution declares that “ treaties made under the makes, and the circumstances under which that insinuaauthority of the United States shall be the supreme law tion was conceived and uttered. of the land;" and makes it the duty of the President to General Jackson assumed, as the grand basis of the re“take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” And form which he promised, that his predecessor bxad athow has he fulfilled the obligation of his oath, as touching tempted to control the freedom of elections, by the pathis part of his duty? Sir, he has violated it.
tronage which the constitution had placed in his hands! [Here Mr. Slade was called to order by Mr. CARSON, I will not consume the time of this House with a serious on the ground that it was not in order for a member on attempt to expose the glaring falsity of this assumption. the floor of Congress to charge a co-ordinate branch of Sir, I need not do it. The time was, indeed, when, backthe Government with the commission of a crime.) ed by the authority of the present Chief Magistrate, it
Mr. SLADE explained: Mr. Speaker, I have told you commanded the belief of, at least, a portion of his devoted that I must speak plainly of the men in power. When friends. That time has gone by: Even now, the delutheir official misconduct involves a plain violation of their sion is dispelled, and the last administration stands reoath, I must say so. But when I say that the President deemed, in the view of the great body of the American has violated his oath, I am, of course, not understood to people, from this foul imputation. Even the gentleman charge him with the legal crime of perjury. But, sir, 1 from Mississippi is forced to admit, as he has done on this do mean to say, and I have a right to say, that he has four, that the very man thus scandalized is “ an bonest violated the obligations imposed on him by his oath of of- man"--ay, an honest man. Think of that, sir--an hofice; which I regard as a high moral offence, for which nest man! he is responsible to his country and his God.
But there is a circumstance connected with the concepTo one of the most important aboriginal nations of this tion and utterance of this slander upon the late Chief country, bave the United States, by numerous treaties, Magistrate, which places the author of it in a most exsolemnly pledged their faith, in the guaranty of its terri-traordinary light. In the order of arrangements of the tory from all intrusion. And who has not seen the rights ceremonies of the inauguration, agreed upon by a comof that ill-fated people--rights derived directly from the mittee of the Senate, and published, it was provided that Great Fountain of all right, and solemnly guarantied by the President elect should enter the chamber of the Sethis Government-trampled under foot by the State of nate at half past eleven, and take bis seat, with the exGeorgia--their territory parcelled out--their laws abro- President (Adams) on bis right; and that they should progated--and their regularly constituted authorities pro- ceed at twelve o'clock to the east portico of the capitol
, hibited from the exercise of their appropriate functions, where the oath was to be administered and the inaugural on pain of punishment in a penitentiary! And who has address delivered.
Who can contemplate, with orinascen the President of the United States redeeming, as ry emotions, the fact that this very inaugural was written, he was bound to do, the plighted faith of this Govern- and put into the President's pocket, with a knowledge of ment, by executing its laws, and extending protection to the arrangements which might place before him, during this feeble, yet noble, remnant of a noble race, who raised its delivery, the very man upon whom it pronounced a their imploring cry for relief from oppression!
Mr. Speaker, I cannot dwell upon this: I now turn to the inaugural address, and ask the in- and I envy the feelings of no man who can. dulgence of the House while I examine, for a few mo- the other promises of the inaugural. ments, that part of it which relates to the subject now 2. To adopt a rightful course of appointment, and under discussion.
"place and continue power" in faithful and competent “The recent demonstration of public sentiment (says hands. Mark that, Mr. Speaker, "faithful and compethe President) inscribes on the list of Executive duties, in tent hands.” characters too legible to be overlooked, the task of re 3. To make diligence-talents--faithfulness--integrity, form; which will require, particularly, the correction of and zeal in the public service, the test of qualification for those abuses that have brought the patronage of the Fe- office. deral Government into conflict with the freedom of elec 4. To depend more on these qualifications, than on tions; and the counteraction of those causes which have numbers. And, finally-disturbed the rightful course of appointment, and have 5. To look for instruction and aid to the co-ordinate placed or continued power in unfaithful or incompetent branches of the Government. hands. In the perforinance of a task thus generally de- Now, sir, of all the deceptions crer practised upon bu
I proceed to
May 5, 1832.)
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man credulity, I think I may safely affirm that few have War in relation to the employment of agents among the exceeded this. No American, it seems to me, can look at Indians for their removal,”' &c., recently laid on my table, it, in connexion with the policy of General Jackson which that the same Wharton Rector has been appointed by the was soon after developed, and which must then have President one of the agents for the above purpose, at a been in contemplation, without the deepest humiliation. compensation of four dollars a day; in which agency he is I must, however, do a vast majority of his supporters the at this moment employed. I say nothing, because I know justice to say that they honestly believed in the existence nothing, of the private character of Mr. Rector, only so of abuses, and that General Jackson was about to reform far as it is affected by the conviction in question. After them. They did not suspect--they could not--that all a full examination before the Senate, he was twice rejectthis was a disguise to cover the grossest abuses. They ed on the ground of that conviction. That the President did not discern the subtle operations of the men who had, should, after this, have committed to him so important a unfortunately for the country, gained the confidence of public trust as the one he now holds, evinces a disregard the Chief Magistrate, and succeeded in giving direction of the deliberate decision of the Senate, and of the pubto his movements.
lic feeling, which nothing, it seems to me, can justify. But the mask was soon thrown off, and a system com S. c. Stambaugh was nominated to an Indian agency, menced which defies a parallel in the history of our coun- and rejected by the Senate. By the report to which I try: The Senate remained in session from the 4th to the have referred, it appears that the same individual has been 17th of March, for the purpose of acting upon the nomi- since appointed an agent among the Indians at Green Bay, nations submitted to them by the President. On that day at a compensation of one thousand five hundred dollars he sent them a message, informing them that he had no per annum! more business to lay before them; whereupon they ad James B. Gardner was nominated to the Senate as rejourned. Now, sir, mark what followed. On the 20th of ceiver of public moneys, and rejected, unanimously--evethe same month, the President removed the Second Comp- ry friend of the President voting against him. And what troller, and the Second and Fourth Auditors, and ap- do we next hear of him? The same report to which I pointed Isaac Hill, William B. Lewis, and Amos Kendall, have alluded tells us that he has been since appointed as to fill the vacancies thus created. He soon after recalled an agent to treat with the Ohio Indians for their removal, the ministers to Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Spain, at a compensation of eight dollars per day, and his traveland filled their places with his friends; besides vacating, ling expenses! An individual, unanimously decided by and filling, in like manner, the offices of Treasurer, Re- the Senate to be unfit for the office of receiver of public gister of the Treasury, and numerous collectors, naval moneys at a land office, is, in the superior wisdom of the officers, registers and receivers, marshals, district attor- President, adjudged worthy the higher trust of conductneys, &c.
Most of the removals to which I have al- ing an important negotiation with the Ohio Indians! luded, especially the first six, must have been in con I might refer to other cases of this description, but time templation when the Senate were dismissed. I hazard will not permit. nothing in saying that patronage to the amount of more Do you want a further illustration of the “diffidence" than one hundred thousand dollars was dispensed in ap- which'induced the President, in his inaugural, “ to hope pointments which were in contemplation at the moment for instruction and aid from the co-ordinate branches?” that the Senate, whose “advice and consent" it was the Look at his well-known violent denunciations of the SePresident's duty to ask, were dismissed, with the declara- nate, for refusing to ratify his nomination of the late Setion that there was no further business to be laid before cretary of State as minister to Great Britain, followed up. them!*
by the deliberate declaration, in his reply to a letter of It was thus, sir, that the President redeemed one of the republican” members of the Legislature of New the implied pledges of his inaugural, and furnished an il. York, that he regarded the rejection of that nomination as lustration of the “ diffidence” which induced him “ to an “indignity” offered to himself. hope for instruction and aid from the co-ordinate branches [Here Mr. S. was interrupted by Mr. SPEIGHT, who , of the Government!” of a kindred character with this, was suggested that such a declaration was not to be found in his renomination to the Senate, at the following session of the President's reply to which Mr. S. alluded. ) Congress, of individuals who had been rejected by that Mr. S. resumed. Mr. Speaker, I can assure the genbody. Thus, in the case of Mordecai M. Noah: he had been tleman that if he will examine that reply, he will find the nominated for the office of surveyor and inspector at the declaration there, in language too plain to be misunderport of New York, and rejected. The President waited stood--language which, if it does not mean this, means a few days, when, availing himself of the temporary ab- nothing. sence of some of the Senators who had voted for the re It is worthy of special notice, Mr. Speaker, how remark. jection, he renominated Mr. Noah, who was thereupon ably this declaration of the President corresponds with confirmed.
the feelings entertained by him, two years ago, upon the The case of Wharton Rector furnishes another exam- rejection by the Senate of the nomination of Isaac Hill to ple. His nomination to an Indian agency was rejected the office of Second Comptroller of the Treasury. I state by the Senate. In the face of this, the President renomi- this upon authority which no one will, probably, question. nated him, and he was again rejected. The ground of I find it in a letter from a correspondent of the New his rejection was the fact that he had been indicted and Hampshire Patriot, dated in this city, soon after the rejecconvicted, in the State of Missouri, of the crime of stab-tion of Mr. Hill's nomination. The writer says--" I as. bing, with intent to murder. He avoided the process sure you, sir, on my own personal knowledge, that the which was issued for the purpose of carrying the judg. President has entire confidence in Mr. Hill, and looks ment into execution, and went into the Territory of Ar- upon his rejection as a blow aimed at himself.” kansas, where he now resides. But the worst of this re Thus the Senate, whenever, in the exercise of their mains to be told. Notwithstanding the conviction, and constitutional power, they happen to reject the nominanotwithstanding the repeated rejections by the Senate, 1 tion of a distinguished Presidential favorite, must have find, by, reference to a report from the Secretary of their decision tortured into an act of "indignity" to the
President, “a blow aimed at himself !” What President, * The compensations to the following officers, alone, a mount to about before General Jackson, ever thought of this? ters, fifty-four thousand dollars; and salaries of the Second Comptrollen President promised to place, and continue, power in
I turn now to the other points in the inaugural. The the two Auditors, and the Register of the Treasury, fifteen thousand
faithful and competent hands; and he adds the qualifica
H. OF R.]
[May 5, 1832.
tion of diligence and zeal in the public service. Now, The country is filled with evidence of it. You might as sir, let it be remembered that it was the Chief Magistrate well deny that the sun shines in the midst of a cloudless of the United States who made this promise; from whom day. Sir, the late open avowal* that the offices are “ spoils the country had a right to expect no “paltering in a dou- of the enemy," to be distributed among the followers of ble sense,” but a plain, straightforward fulfilment of his the victor chief, tells us nothing new. engagements. Would it not have been thought great in And now, let me look, a moment, at the extent to which justice to him to have indulged, in the face of such a pro- this has been carried. It is, of course, difficult, as all must mise, the supposition that he would make devotion to a see, to ascertain the precise number of the removals from party--much more, devotion to himself--the only, or the office. The Executive knows, but takes care to conceal leading qualification for office? But there existed, if pos- his knowledge from the public. And we are left, with - sible, a higher pledge than this, of fairness and impartiali- the exception of a report, which has been drawn from ty. That pledge had long been before the country, in the Postmaster General, to collect the information from General Jackson's celebrated advice to Mr. Monroe, on the columns of the public journals, as they have, from liis entrance upon the duties of the Presidency. It may time to time, presented it to the public. It was stated, in be summed up as follows:
a debate in the Senate, about one year after this adminis. To "avoid party feelings" in his “selections to office.”tration came into power, and was not contradicted, that To "exterminate the monster, party spirit.
there bad then been about one thousand five hundred To "select characters most conspicuous for probity, removals. Of these, four hundred and ninety-one were virtue, capacity, and firmness; and finally,
postmasters, as appeared from the report of the PostmasThat the conduct of the Chief Magistrate of a great ter General, to which I have alluded. This, it will be oband powerful nation should be liberal and disinterested, served, was two years ago. The work has been regularly (mark that!) bearing in mind that he acts for the whole, going on ever since, though somewhat diminished, of and not a part of the community.”
course, by the diminished number of subjects on which General Jackson having, upon another very important it could operate. That the number of all officers and occasion, said, “It is due to myself to practise upon the agents of the Government, removed, amounts, at this maxims recommended to others," nobody had a right to time, to more than two thousand, admits, scarcely, of a doubt that we should have an administration, at least of the doubt. Even the Globe, the official organ of the admiappointing power, framed upon the excellent model which nistration, has just admitted that, in October, 1830, more he had presented to Mr. Monroe. But the result has added than a year and a half ago, the number amounted to nine another to the thousand proofs, which the history of hu- hundred and nineteen. Of the number removed since man weakness and wickedness has furnished, that it is that time, it is careful to say nothing. Five hundred and much easier to preach than to practise. It must be admit- forty-three of these removals are stated to be postmasters. ted to be unfortunate for the fame of General Jackson, that of the remainder, the proportion of removals in the va. the art of printing was ever invented. The chain of tra- rious departments, compared with the whole number of dition may become broken. But here are records. They officers in those departments, in March 1829, is as follows: forin the materials of written history, whose parallel Keepers of lighthouses,
one-twelfth. columns will exhibit, in glaring contrast, an array of Executive departments in this city, more pledges and promises made on one side, and pledges and than
one-sixth. promises forfeited and broken on the other.
Indian agents and subagents,
one-fifth. Before I proceed to this new illustration of General Subordinate officers of the customs, nearly one-fifth. Jackson's inconsistency, it is due to him to say, that, in one Surveyors of ports,
one-fourth. respect, he has redeemed the pledge implied in his advice Surveyors of public lands, and registers to Mr. Monroe. He has discarded party distinctions. Al and receivers, more than
one-third. most the only deep and broad line of party, which has Public ministers,
one-third. ever existed in our country--I mean the distinction of re Collectors of the customs, appraisers, and publican and federalist-he has obliterated. But it has naval officers,
one-half. been to build up, of the fragments of all parties, a party
Marshals and district attorneys,
one-half. called by his name, and distinguished, only, by devotion And this, let it be remembered, is the admission which 10 himself. In this distinction, all others are lost. Origi- has been wrung from the Official by the discussion of this nal friends are discarded--original enemies taken into fa- subject at the present session.
No man's federalism, however honest--no man's But there is another admission which I must particularly republicanism, however pure, and disinterested, and self- notice. " It is an undoubted fact,” says the Globe," that sacrificing, is now worth any thing, unless it has been not five hundred of these (the nine hundred and nineteen melted down, and restamped with the image and super- officers admitted to have been removed previous to Octoscription of Cæsar on one side, and a rat without a tail* ber, 1830) were removed for any causes connected with on the other!
the politics of the country!” What an admission! The But to return. How has the President redeemed the gentleman from Mississippi commenced his speech with pledges of his inaugural? Why, sir, the paper on which ihe assertion that there had been no removals for opinion's it was printed was hardly dry, before they were disre. sake. I commend this admission to his special consideration. garded, forgotten. His own rule was instantly reversed; Having made this admission, the Official proceeds to say: and “fathfulness, capacity, diligence, and zeal in the pub-" It would be impracticable for us to ascertain the calises lic service,” were made to give place to faithfulness, ca- of all the removals which have been made; but, by way pacity, diligence, and zcal in his service. For the truth of example, we will give a few." By way of example! of this, I appeal to the whole liistory of the “reform.” Mark the injustice and cruelty of this.
proceeds to give, as examples of the causes of the removal Whoever has seen the celebrated caricature, publish of the remaining four hundred and nineteen officers, the ed on the dissolution of the late cabinet, which represents cases of half a dozen individuals removed, as it alleges
, the President in a large armed chair, sinking under him, for gross misconduct, which it specifics. Whether the with four rats running in various directions, and among charges against these individuals be true or false, I have them a small, fair.faced, whiskered rat, running towards no means of knowing, nor does it concern me, so far as it the ladder of promotion, without a tail, which, in the struggle to escape, he has left under the foot of the President, * In the Senate of the United States, by Mr. Marcy, of will understand the force of the allusion in the text.. New York,
The Official then
May 5, 1832.]
(H. Op R.
regards this argument, to know. But it does concern me, But whatever may be said of Mr. Jefferson's removals, and it concerns the whole country, to know wherefore the uniform practice of more than twenty years, under four hundred of the men admitted to have been removed succeeding administrations, has fully settled the policy of from office are thus made the objects of the wholesale, the Government on this point. Mr. Madison's removals indiscriminate slander implied in presenting half a dozen were five; Mr. Monroe's, nine; and Mr. Adams's, two; in cases of gross alleged misconduct as examples of the all, sixteen; and all for causes in no way connected with whole. But I will dwell no longer upon this point now, political opinions. as I shall presently exhibit a high example of this mode of Now, sir, the removal of more than one thousand offiaccounting for removals, which throws this entirely into cers, during the first year of General Jackson's administhe shade.
tration, would seem to be such a departure from this Permit me now to go back a little, and notice the man settled policy, as to require from him a special message ner in which the President thought proper to treat the to Congress upon the subject. The constitution, moresubject of “reform" at an earlier period of its history. over, requires the President to give to Congress, from
The first thing that arrests our attention in this review is time to time, “information of the state of the Union." the fact that a specific statement of the reasons for the And has such a measure nothing to do with the state of removals was studiously withholden from the public. A the Union? specimen of this is presented in the reply which a subor Let me, then, suppose that General Jackson had atdinate in the General Post Office gave to the application tempted to draw up such a message as I have ventured to of an honorable Senator from Maine (Mr. HOLMES] for intimate that it was his duty to send to Congress. I must the cause of the removal of a clerk in that departinent. suppose that it would have been something like the fol"I am directed by the Postmaster General to inforın you lowing. It is a little incongruous, I admit. But I do not that you are not permitted to know.” A member of the see how I can better combine his duty with the facts. Senate not permitted to know! It was in the spirit of this refusal that, at the first session of Congress under the
“ To the Senate and House of present administration, when the public mind was alive to
Representatives of the United States: This subject, and loudly demanding information in regard • The constitution having required the President to to it, a resolution introduced into the Senate, calling on give to Congress, from time to time, information of the the President for the number and causes of the removals, state of the Union, and it being necessary, in discharging was successfully resisted and put down by the votes of this duty, to present the prominent measures adopted by his friends in that body. It is painful to be obliged to say the Executive during the recess of Congress, in fulfilment --but it must be said--that the President, throughout the of his high trust, I therefore deem it proper to inform you whole, has conducted the business of reform as though he that, since I entered on the duties of my office, I bave was, in fact, responsible to nobody. Hence the systema- caused to be removed, from the various departments of tic concealment, either by withholding the true reasons of the Government, one thousand officers. the removals, or suggesting false ones.
“ And forasmuch as the constitution imposes on me the Mr. Speaker, does an honest sense of accountability duty of seeing that the laws are faithfully executed,' and shun the light? Would not a President, willing fairly to as “ rotation in office constitutes a leading principle in the meet his just responsibility to the country, on taking so republican creed,' and more especially as the conduct of important a step as that involved in General Jackson's sys- the Chief Magistrate of a great and powerful nation should tem of removals, frankly lay the whole subject before be liberal and disinterested,'I have, therefore, taken care Congress and the nation? Why, sir, it was the commence to confine my removals from office exclusively to my enement of a system which changes the settled policy of the mies, and to fill their places exclusively with my friends. country upon a subject of deep and vital interest. We talk “ And inasmuch as the constitution provides that the about changing our policy in regard to the tariff, internal freedom of speech and of the press' shall not be abridged, improvements, &c., as a matter of great moment. And I have, to the intent that the spirit of this provision should so it is. But are the principles on which the Chief Magis- be preserved unimpaired, caused sixty printers of the laws trate is to exercise the high power of appointing and re-of the United States, who opposed my election, to be dismoving more than eleven thousand officers, charged with charged from that service, and employed my supporters the execution of the laws, of no importance?
in their stead. The principle on which the power of appointment and
“ And since the improvement of the press' is an obremoval should be exercised, has become too well settled ject of great national importance, I have caused fifiy of to admit of any dispute. "Is he honest, capable, and the vacancies occasioned by my removals to be filled from faithful to the constitution?” This was the basis of Mr. among the most distinguished of its conductors who advoJefferson's policy, as expressed by himself, and it has been cated my election; to the end that its purity and imparscrupulously adhered to by all his successors. I know tiality may be most effectually secured." that Mr. Jefferson has been claimed by General Jackson Mr. Speaker, I admit that this picture looks somewhat as an authority, sanctioning the miscalled system of “ re- deformed. But it is my business to paint to the life. If form.” Sir, it is a libel on Mr. Jefferson. The whole of the canvass presents a monster, it is not my fault. his removals amounted, I believe, to less than forty There is, sir, one distinguishing feature in this system more than half of which were for incapacity or official of " reform,” to which I wish to direct your special attenmisconduct. A few were made on account of the extra- tion. No honorable man, it seems to me, can look at it ordinary exercise of Executive patronage under the pre- without the strongest feelings of disapprobation. I have vious administration. And there were a few removals of before alluded to it, in speaking of the manner in which marshals and district attorneys, who had been distinguish- the official organ of the administration has recently ated by the extraordinary manner in which they had'aided tempted to account for nearly half the removals which it in the execution of the justly odious sedition law. Ex- admits to have been made previous to October, 1830. It amples of this occurred in Vermont, in the cases of the is, the systematic effort which has been made to cast the district attorney and marshal; the latter of whom con- imputation of official misconduct upon all who have been mitted the celebrated Matthew Lyon, father of the worthy placed under the ban of Executive proscription. The member of that name, now on this floor, who had been con- moment the system of “reform" was commenced, the victed of sedition, and fined a thousand dollars, to a dun- press was, every where, put in requisition to invent exgeon appropriated to common felons--offered to load bim cuses which should quiet the apprehensions, and satisfy with chains, and actually denied him the use of pen, ink, the objections of the public. « Rotation in office" was and paper!