Imagens das páginas

May 28, 1830.]

Pay of the Marine Corps.-Salt.--- Molasses and Rum.--Secret Sitting.

[H. of R.


table, wbich being taken, the motion for a call of the The joint resolution for continuing the pay of the officers House was ordered to lie on the table. The question was of the marine corps, as heretofore allowed, until otherwise then taken on laying the bill on the table, and negatived: ordered, was read a third time.

yens, 84, naye, 97. Oo the question of its passage, the previous question was The previous question was then seconded by a majority demanded by Mr. CARSON, but not seconded by the House of the House; and the previous question was carried by

The merits of the resolution were then debated by Mr. veas and pays—108 to 78. So that WICKLIFFE, Mr. McDUFFIE, Mr. DRAYTON, Mr. The main question was at last put on the passage of the CARSON, Mr. SUTHERLAND, and Mr. YANCEY.

bill, and carried in the affirmative: yeas, 105-pays, 83. Mr. BARRINGER then, to prevent the consumption of

So the bill was passed, and ordered to be sent to the the remaining time of the session upon this bill, demanded Senate for concurrence. the previvus question.

[When the roll on the passage of the bill was calling, The demanit was seconded by the House, and the main and the Clerk reached the name of Mr. Yancey, of Kenquestion being orlered to be put, was put accordingly; tucky, Mr. Y. rose, and said, he knew he was out of order, and the bill was passed by vote of 85 to 64, and sent to but still he wished to state the reason which governed his the Senate for concurrence.

vote, as he was going to change the vote be had formerly

given on this bill. We are in possession of intelligence SALT.

(said Mr. Y.] that the West India trade will now be opened; The House proceeded to the consideration of the en- and as the West Indies have snlt in abundance, and the grossed bill entitled “ Au act to reduce the duty on salt;" / western country bas provisions in abundance, one being and the question was stated, Sball the bill pass ? wbio exchanged for the other, will reduce the price of salt in

A mtion was made by Mr. STORRS, of New York, the West to the poor man. It was that he felt interested that the said bill be recommitted to the Committee of for, and this induced him to change his vote. Mr. Y. did Ways and Means, with instructions so to amend the same, not of course make these remarks without being called to as to pustpone any reduction of the duty on salt until the order repeatedly, both by the House and the Chair, but 30th September, 1831.

he persisted in saying thus much before he voted.] Mr. S. alleged, as a reason for his motion, that he wished

MOLASSES AND RUM. to give the State of New York time to alleviate by her legislation the effect of this measure on her interest, and to s to allow a drawback on rum distilled from foreign mo

The engrossed bill to reduce the duty on molasses, and adapt her policy to a change which would inflict so grent lasses, was next read the third time, and put on its pa-Bage. an evil op her pecuniary interest. Mr. P. P. BARBOUR moved the previous question.

Mr. BARRINGER moved the previous question, fearMr. STAN BERY moved to lay the bill on the table; op

ing that debate might arise on the bill, and endanger it by which motion Mr. VINTON demanded the yeas and pays,

delay. and they were ordered.

Mr. VANCE moved to lay the bill on the table, which Mr. POTTER moved a call of the House.

was negatived; and [At this momeut a number of the Seuators coming into the question was put on the passage of the bill, and de

The previous question being seconded and agreed to, the Hall, it was ascertained that the Senate had auljourned; cided in the affirmative by yeas and nays—117 to 60. and as the joint rules of the two Houses provide that “ DO

So this bill was passed, and ordered to be sent to the bill that sball bave passed ope House, shall be sent for con

Senate for concurrence. currence to the other on either of the three last days of the session," it became a question whether it would be

SECRET SITTING. worth while to pass the bill under consideration, in as much The SPEAKER announced to the House that he had as this was the last day on which a bill could be sent to the received a message in writing from the President of the Senate for concurrence, and the Senate had now adjourn- United States, of a confidential nature; whereupon, ed.)

The galleries were cleared, and all but the members and Mr. TAYLOR was of opinion that as the Senate had ad- officers of the House were excluded, and the doors closed journed, it would be useless to pass the bill, as it could not from five o'clock till about half after eight; when be sent there for concurrence.

The doors were opened, and it appeared (the injunction Mr. McDUFFIE said, it was evident that the Senate bad of secrecy having been removed from the proceedings, by inadvertence, overlooked the rule, and bad adjourned though not from the President's message) that the bill “ to without being aware of the effect; therefore, doubtless, amend the acts to regulate the commercial intercouse something would be done to remove the difficulty, as there between the United States and Great Britain," had been were several bills which it was indispensable to pass. He under consideration, and was ordered to be engrossed for a hoped, therefore, the House would go on with this bill and third reading to-day.

This bill being subsequently reported correctly engrossMr. P. P. BARBOUR thought the bill could be sent to ed, it was read a third time, the Senate, notwithstanding it had adjourved. Suppose Mr. STRONG said, be did not rise to discuss the bill ; the Senate were pot to sit two of the four last days of the but wishing the responsibility for it should rest on those session, could that deprive the House of the benefit of all to whom it belonged, be moved the yeas and pays, which the bills which might be passed by it? Sir, [said Mr. B.] were ordered; and the question being taken, the Clerk of this House can deliver this bill to-day, if it The bill was passed-yeas 105, nays 28°; and was orderpass, to the Secretary of the Senate, and the Senate can ed to be sent to the Senate for concurrence. to-morrow take it up and act ou it, although it be not in session to-day when the bill goes there.

Friday, May 28, 1830. Mr. VANCE now moved that the House adjourn; and Mr. McDUFFIE, from the Committee of Ways and the yeas and pays being demanded by Mr. LAMAR, they Means, reported a joint resolution, proposing to suspend were taken, and the motion was negatived: yeas, 54-Days, the joint rule wbich prevents the sending of original bills 127.

from one House to the other during the three last days of Mr. DRAYTON moved to lay the motion for a call of the session ; 80 as to allow the House of Representatives to the House on the table; and Mr. RAMSEY demandiug the send to the Senate certain bills therein specified. yeas and nays on the motion, Mr. D. withdrew it; but The resolution having been twice read,

Mr. STERIGERE renewed the motion to lay on the Mr. HOFFMAN moved to strike from the schedule the

pass it.

H. OF R.]

The Veto.

MAY 28, 1830.


bill to reduce the duty on salt, but withdrew his motion on out of respect to them and the President, to give them an the suggestion that a division might be required so as to opportunity. If they decide he is correct, then it is the take the question on that separately.

duty of the representatives to obey; if they decide he is A call of the House was moved, and carried, and, having wrong, then their representatives will carry into effect progressed for some time, was suspended.

their will. The message coincided mainly with his views Mr. POLK moved the previous questivn, which was se on constitutional power; bowever, he did not agree, in conded, and the main question ordered.

every particular, with the doctrine contained in it. Mr. STORRS, of New York, here made a point of order, Mr. D. said he was in favor of internal improvement, which produced some discussion in regard to an applica- but the system, as it has heretofore been carried on and tion of the rule respecting the reception of resolutions, but pursued, was better calculated to destroy than to promote which Mr. S. afterwards waived.

The House bad been admonished, on a former occaMr. TAYLOR moved a division of the question, 80 as sion, by the gentleman from New York, [Mr. Stores] to take it separately on the salt bill. ·

that the friends of the system were breaking it down by The SPEAKER decided that as the bill referred to form their extravagance and folly. It was clear from the mesed a part of the schedule appended to, and was not of the sage, that if the system was pursued, as it had been atmatter of the resolution itself, it was indivisible.

tempted at the present session, this Dation would soon be Mr. TAYLOR appealed from the decision of the Chair, involved in a large and immense national debt. Tbe memand stated his reasons for differing from the Speaker. bers of Congress would understand each other—if not

Mr. WAYNE, while he entertained the u most reve- corruptly, the effect would be the same; they would vote rence for the sabbath, expressed the opinion that it ought fur each other's projects without regard to the public good. to be considered one of the days of the session, as business A host of federal officers would be created to superiotend might be transacted on it, and, therefore, that three days the collection of tolls, and the repairing and amending yet remained after to-day, which would render the resolu- tbose improvements. The tax on the people would be tion unnecessary.

increased, until their lenders would be as great as they Mr. RAMSEY was in favor of euspending the operation are in any despotic Goverument on earth. Besides, it of the rule so far as related to certain bills, and was pro- would end in corruption beyond control. The members ceeding to give his reasons for being opposed to suspend of this House cannot now read all the documents printed ing it in regard to other measures, which would have the and laid on our tables. This system will produce a swarm effect to diminish the revenue ; when

of officers and accounts without end. The representatives The SPEAKER reminded Mr. R. that the question was of the people can never examine them—the officers beon the poiut of order involved in the appeal, and not on come irresponsible and corrupt, and it will produce consothe merits of the division moved for.

lidation of the Government. If the system is to be perseMr. RAMSEY was sorry it was not in order for him to vered in, let us adopt one that will not be productive of state bis reasons for objecting to some of the bills which this evil. would affect the revenue, as be would, if permitted to go on, It is true the rejection of this bill will deprive the peofix a mark on a gentleman not far off. I will soon bring ple of Kentucky of this appropriation, still, ultimately, I him out of bis petticoais.

hope, they will be benefited; their liberty will not be Mr. TUCKER moved the previous question on the ap- placed on such a doubtful issue. peal

, which being seconded, the main question was order The best consideration I have been able to give this subed, and put, and the decision of the Chair was affirmed by ject, induces me to suspend the decision, and permit the the House-97 to 67.

people to act on it. The resolution was then passed, and sent to the Senate. Mr. CHILTON next made some observations. THE VETO.

Mr. STANBERY said, tbat, in the view he took of the

matter, he considered the communication which had been The House then, according to order, proceeded to the just received, as the voice of the President's ministry rather consideration of the message of the President of the Unit- than of the President bimself; or, to speak more correctly, ed States, refusing bis assent to the bill for a subscription the voice of his chief minister. The band of the “great of stock in the Maysville Road Company—the question magician” was visible in every line of the message. There being, “ Will the House pass the bill, the objections of the was nothing candid, pothing open, pothing honest, in it. President notwithstanding ?"

As one reason why the Executive rejects the bill, be asMr. DANIEL said, the House would permit bim to signs the extravagance of this Congress as baving been so make a few remarks before the vote was taken. He had great that there will not be money enough in the trensury examined the message of the President of the United to meet the small appropriatiou contained in the rejected States, and be was constrained to say it was an able State bill. And, as an evidence of the correctness of such an paper, well worthy the consideration of the American apprehension, the appendix contains a list of all the bills people. He had supported the measure condemned by which have been reported in the Senate and in this House, the message; but as a co-ordinate branch of the Govern- but not passed. These are relied upon in the argument as ment bas called on this body to stop their career, be, for if they bad passed, and become laws; when it is well one, was disposed to give the people of the nation an op- known to all of us, the most of these bills are only evidence portunity to consider, coolly and dispassionately, the ob of the opinions of the committees by whom they were rejections urged by the President against the mode of apported ; and there is not even a probability that they will propriating money to objects not vational. It is the first ever become laws. Among the bills of this description, time in the bistory of the world, that the Executive of a contained in the appendix, is the bill reported in the Senate, dation has interposed bis authority to stop extravagant providing for the amount of French spoliations; which, of and ruinous appropriations. He was elected on the prio- itself, makes an item of five millions of dollars. There is ciple of economy and reform; and if the representatives of also included in the appendix the bill for the relief of the pec ple refuse to him a proper support, (as it must be Susan Decatur; and that for the Beaumarchais claim, and admitted they have,) it is impossible that the object for the claim of Richard W. Meade. There is added, also, the which he was elected can be obtained. In the discbarge bill for the Colonization Society, proposing to pay twentyof bis duty as the servant of a free and independent peo five dollars for each negro in the United States. And, to ple, and in obedience to what he believes to be their will, swell the amount, the claim of President Monroe is also he has laid this subject before them. They will bave to added. All of these amounts, put together, give to the pass upon the correctness of his views; and I feel disposed I proceedings of this Congress an appearance of extrava-.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

gance, which does not belong to them. Op the whole, Ijsion. He had been elected to bis seat bere by the friends consider this document artfully contrived to bring the of the President. If be was correctly informed, he came whole system of internal improvement into disrepute, and into this House upon the popularity of the venerable man as calculated to deceive the people. Such a document can whom he now so wantonly assailed. He came bere pronever have issued from the President. It is not character- fessing to give to bis administration a fair and an honest ized by that frankness which marks bis character. It has support-professing to be enumerated among his politievery appearance of a low, electioneering document, pot cal friends. Had he sustained one single measure which worthy of the eminent source lo which it is attributed. the President recommended ? Not one-and it was mat

But, sir, if extravagance bas marked the proceedings of ter of no regret that the member had at leogth thrown this Congress, it is not chargeable on the majority of this off the mask. He cannot claim this occasion, or this bill, House. The appropriations which have been made, bave as a pretext for his desertion from his former professed been asked for by the executive officers themselves; and political attachments. What was there in this occasion to they have asked for more than we bave granted. And the call førth such a tirade of abuse ! The President bas remost extravagant project this session, and oue which will, turned to this House, as it was his constitutional right, and, I fear, forever disgrace this Congress, I mean the bill for evtertaining the opinion he did, his duty to do, a bill the removal of all the southern Indians west of the Missis- wbich had passed Congress, and been presented to him for sippi, came recommended to us as the peculiar favorite of his constitutional sanction. He had, in a very temperate, the Executive.

and, he added, in a very able manuer, assigned the reasons I can eay, with truth, that many members of this House why he bad felt himself constrained, from a high sense of were induced, contrary to their consciences, to vote for public duty, to withhold bis signature and sauction from the bill, in consequence of their not having independence it. We are called upon by an imperative provision of the to resist what they supposed to be the wishes of the Exe. constitution to recousider the vote by which a majority cutive. They were literally dragooned into its support. of this House bad agreed to pass the bill. The bill and I certainly, sir, had many other reasons for my opposition the message of the President were the fair subjects of deto the bill; but not the least of my reasons was a belief liberation and discussion for this House. We were now that its passage would strike a death-blow to the whole called upon to discharge a bigh constitutional duty on our system of internal improvement. It received the support part. Had the member discussed, or even pretended to of all the enemies of internal improvement, as their only discuss,' a single principle contained in the message, or in means of destroying the system ; and it is accordingly re- the bill? No! He has chosen to make a most wanton lied upon in this message, and I will admit that it is the attack upon the President. Why was the member from only good reason assigned in it against any further ap- Olio thrown into such a rage? Was it because the syspropriations for the improvement of the country. And yet tem of which this bill is a part was so dear to bim? Does we,' who are tbe friends of this administrativo, but still he not know, will be deny it, that he has heretofore progreater friends to the bonor and prosperity of the country, fessed to be opposed to this whole systemi In the last have been threatened with denunciations by certain mem- Congress he was a member of the Committee on Manufacbers of this House, but who have no other claim for the tures. He voted for the tariff, and ostensibly supported station which they have assumed, as our leaders, than the it; but did be pot then openly say to many gentlemen, (not single circunstance of their coming from Teppessee, for in confidence, for if it bad been so, he would be the last our opposition to the Indian bill — for our contumacy in mau to betray that confidence,) that he was opposed to opposing what they were pleased to represent to us as the the whole American system; that it was nothing but a powishes of the Exective. Sır, let thein commence their litical hobby? Did he not say that he would return home denunciation I fear no bravo, upless be carries the assas- and revolutionize public opinion in his own district, and sin's knife. Against every other species of attack I am in the whole State of Ohio; tbat a delusion existed in that prepared to defend myself.

State that could and should be removed ; that he had never Mr. POLK said that, whilst it had been understool, in conversed with a plain, farming man, and explained to him conversation through the House, that the friends of this the operations of this American system, but that he conmeasure were disposed, without further debate, to take vinced bim that it was against his interest to support it? the vote on reconsideration, on the veto of the President, Would the gentleman deny this ? If he would venture to according to the provisions of the constitution, he thought do it, be pledged himself to prove it upon bim by many be could speak confidently when he said that those op members of this house. It was pot, then, the attachment posed to it bad determined to pursue a similar course. of the gentleman to this system that could have induced

The debate had, however, been brought on. The violent, him to throw into the House the firebrand that he had vindictive, and unprecedented character of the remarks that pretext cannot shield him. He best knows the real which had justfallen from the member from Obio [Mr. STAN-calise of his present course. He best knows whether he BERY] had opened the whole discussion. That member took was ever, in truth and in fact, the sincere friend of the occasion, in the most violent mapuer, to say that the mess- President, or whether he found it convenient to profess to age of the Chief Magistrate was a low, undignified, elec- be his friend, in order to obtain bis election to this House. tioneering paper; that it had nothing honest in it; that it The member had formed new associations recently-assohad nothing candid or open in it; that it was the work of ciations with our old political adversaries ; and he was glad, bis ministry, and not of himself; that the band of the ma- for the future, to know who he was, and where to find gician was to be seen in every line of it.

bim. A covert, political adversary was much more insidiMr. P. said, he took the liberty to say to the member ous and dangerous than one that openly avowed himself, from Ohio, that this violent torrent of abuse, poured upon and acted upon his professions. He had to beg the parthe head of the Chief Magistrate, was gratuitous, and don of the House for any apparent warmth which bis manwholly unjustifiable, not sustained in a single particular by ver may bave indicated. It had been wholly induced by the truth, and wholly unfounded in fact.

the most unexpected torrent of abuse which fell from the The member himself did not, and could not believe member from Ohio, so uncalled for by the occasion, so one word of what be bad just uttered, in the face of the unnecessary and uncertain in its character, and which proHouse and of the nation. No man in the nation, of any duced so visible a sensation in the House, on all eides of it, party, who knows the character of the President, believed and among all parties in it. That member was wholly rev bat the gentleman bad charged upon him. He was glad sponsible for the excitement which it was apparent perthat the member had at length thrown off the cloak un- vaded the whole House. der which he had covertly acted during the present ses The message of the President, he undertook to state

H. OF R.]

The Veto.

(May 28, 1830 Ls

[ocr errors]

was emphatically his own; and the views presented for the tempted to be maintained by the Executive and by Conrejectivu of this bill, were the result of the honest con- gress. It was not until that period that its daugers were victions of his own deliberate reflection. Was it an elec- fully perceived. The Pre-ident had manifested, in the tioneering measure? No man who knows his character message bfore us, that be bad been an attentive observer will believe it. The common sense of the nation will put of its progress, and its probable, if not its inevitable conto shame the charge. What! an electioneering measure ! sequences. He could not shut his eyes to the constant a popularity bunting scheme! Why, sir, if he had been collisious, the heart-burnings, the combinations, and the 80 buse, in the discharge of a high constitutional duty, as to certain corruption to which its continual exercise would have been operated upon by such a motive, the indications tend, both in and out of Congress. In the conscientious in this Congress—the will of the people, if that will be discharge of a constitutional duty, which he was not at correctly reflected here, a majority of whose Representa- liberty to decline, he bad withheld bis signature from this tives originally voted for this bill

, would have presented bill

, and had frankly submitted to us his views upon this the most powerful motive why be should have approved important question ; and he trusted we would deliberate and signed this bill. No, sir, the President would not be upon it tenperately, as we should, and, in the vote which himself

, if he had been capable of being influenced in the we were about to give, upon the reconsideration of this slightest degree by any such considerations. Such consi- bill, according to the powers of the constitution, express derations have no place in minds of the elevated cast of the opinions which we entertain, and not make a false issue, that of the Chief Magistrate. Such considerations are only growing out of a personal assault upon the character or suited to the bent of such grovelling minds as are themselves motives of the Chief Magistrate. capable of making the charge. No, sir, on the contrary A remark, which fell from a member from Kentucky, ou the brink of a great crisis—at a period of unusual politi- [Mr. Chilton] who preceded the member from Ohio

, i cal excitement, to save his country from what he copscien- deserved a passing notice, pot because of the source from tiously believed to be a dangerous infraction of the consti- which it enanated, for, if that were considered, it would tution—to avert the evils which threatened, in its conse be wholly uncalled for, but simply because it bad been quences, the long continuance of the confederacy, upon made by a member of the House. We were asked if its original principles-be bad, with a patriotism never Congress were to be controlled by one man; and, for one, surpassed, boldly and firmly staked himself, his present the gentleman informed us be would not submit to it. and bis future popularity and fame, against what seemed The gentleman should learn, if he does not know, that to be the current of public opinion. Had he signed this the constitution had conferred upon the President the bill, the road on which he would bave travelled, would power which he had, in this instance, exercised; and if the have been a broad pavement, and his continued elevation gentleman thinks he should not exercise it, he should certaip, beyond the possibility doubt. As it was, he seek an amendment of the constitution, By depying the had planted himself upon the ramparts of the constitution, power to construct roads and canals ; by refusing to asand bad taken the high responsibility upon himself to sume the exercise of any doubtful power; aud by deemcheck the downward march in which the system, of which ing it safest to refer the question to our common constituthis bill is a part, was fast bastening us. It required justents for an amendment to the constitution, the President such a man, in such times, to restore the constitution to bad deprived himself of a powerful branch of executive its original reading. In the course of a long and eventful patronage and influence, and has thereby given the most life, he had always been equal to any emergency, how conclusive evidence of his integrity of purpose, and the ever perplexing or embarrassing his situation might be strongest refutation of the affected and stale cant of his He had never failed to assume responsibility, when he enemies, that, because he was once a leader of the armies should assume it; and, in no instance, in his public life, bad of his country, he would be disposed in the civil Govern. be displayed, in a more eminent degree, that moral courage ment to assume more powers than legitimately belonged and firmness of character, which was peculiarly character to him. The power of interposing the executive veto istic of him, than in this. He bas achieved a civil victory, upon the legislation of Congress, bad been often exerwbich will shed more lustre upon his future fame, and be cieed since the commencemeut of the Government under infinitely more durable, than many such victories as that the present constitution. It had generally been exercised of the battle of Orleans, for, by this single act, he verily upon constitutional ground. But instances were to be believed he had done more than any mau in this country, found where the power bad been exercised wholly upon for the last thirty years, to preserve the constitution and to the grounds of the inexpediency of the measure. A single perpetuate the liberties we enjoy: The constitution was, instance he would cite. On the 28th of February, 1799, he hoped, to be again considered and practised upon, as General Washington returned, with bis objections, to the it, in fact, was one of limited powers, and the States per. House in wbich it originated, a bill which had passed Conmitted to enjoy all the powers which they originally in- greas, and which had been presented to him for his signatended to reserve to themselves in that compact of Union. ture, entitled “ An act to ascertain and fix the military esThe pernicious consequences, the evil tendencies, to say tablishment of the United States." He witbbeld his signanothing of the corrupting influence of the exercise of a ture from this bill, pot because of the unconstitutionality power over internal improvements by the Federal Govern- of its provisions, but because, in bis opinion, it was inexment, were not fully developed until within a very few pedieni to pass it. Mr. Madison, during his administration, years last past. Mr. Madison, on the last day of his term had put his veto upon several bills besides the bonus bill. of office, put his veto on the bonus bill. In the following The exercise of this constitutional power by the Executive, year, Mr. Monroe rejected a bill assuming jurisdiction and had never been received with alarm; but, on the contrary, fixing tolls on the Cumberland road. The subject of the had been regarded, as it was intended to be, as a necessary power was discussed at great length, and with great ability and wholesome check upon the acts of the Legielature. in the next Congress. The House of Representatives, by Let the remark of the gentleman pass. It demands no a small majority, at that time affirmed the power to appro- more especial notice. priate money for objects of national improvement, but Mr. P. said be deemed it unnecessary to enter anew denied, and by the vote of the House negatived, the power upon the discussion of this bill. When it was originally to construct roads or canals of any character, whether on its passage before the House, he bad had the honor to military, commercial, or for the transportation of the mail. submit bis views in opposition to it, and would not then reIt was not until the last administration, that the broad peat them. Nor would he detain the House at that late power to the extent pow claimed, limited only by the period of the session, by any elaborate discussion of the arbitrary discretion of Congress, was asserted and at-1 general principles involved in its provisions, for they had

May 28, 1830.]

The Veto.

[H. OF R.

been often discussed, and were familiar to the House. He The constitution proceeds upon the idea that Congress, hoped the result of the vote which we were about to give composed of the Senate and House of Representatives, is in the solemn discharge of a high duty which had devolved not infallible. It has, therefore, erected the additional barupon us, upon this precise measure, in the first year of a rier of the executive veto against hasty or injudicious action, new admivistration, might resuscitate the alı forgotten It contemplates that veto as countervailing the opinion principles of the constitution, and put an end to a system of one-third of both Houses, because its interposition which cannot end jo good, and must lead to the most ruinous makes the concurrence of two-thirds of both Houses necesconsequences. The Chief Magistrate, with a disinterested sary. To complain, then, of its exercise, is to quarrel with patriutism, and regardless of the consequences to him the form of Government wder wbich we live. It is the self personally, has risked all that he is, or may be, and precise reverse of a complaint which we have often heard thrown himself into the breach, to resist the annihilation of of io a European monarchy. There, the King complained the State sovereignties, and to guard against that consolida- whenever the Parliament refused to register his edicts. tion of these States, which had once been the dread and Here, the Congress are to complain whenever the Chief the terror of the original friends of the confederacy, and Magistrate declines to register their will. their steady followers to the present hour. He was pre I rejoice, sir, that he has so declined. I congratulate pared to sustain him to the utmost of his poor ability; and my country that, in this instavce, the Chief Magistrate has he confidently believed that he would receive the hearty displayed as much of moral, as be heretofore did of physithanks of a generous country for his course, and not be cal courage-as much decision and energy in the cabinet, requited by the unjustifiable Billingsgate abuse which we as be heretofore did in the field-by which he will, in had this day heard poured upon him.

He would detain the some degree, at least, arrest the progress of a system House no longer.

which, in its uprestrained career, threatens to produce Mr. P. P. BARBOUR rose, and said, he felt impelled, more mischief than any man, either in or out of Cougress, by an imperious sense of justice, to say something in vindi can pretend even to estimate. cation and justification of the Chief Magistrate of the Uniun, I heard with surprise, day, with astonishment, the bitter, against the strong animadversion in which gentlemen bad the acrimonious, and, I must add, the unjustifiable invecindulged towards him because he had dared to do bis duty. tive, wbich the member from Obio poured forth in a tor

If, in doing this, (said Mr. B.] I shall use the language rent against the Chief Magistrate upon this occasion. of commendation, let vo man suppose that it is in the spirit The main purpose of the gentleman seemed to be to io. of personal adoration; I never have been, and I trust in culcate the opinion that tue rejection of the bill in question God I never shall be, a worshipper of men. I never have was with a view to acquiring popularity! What, sir, an felt the influence of a single ray of executive patronage. attempt at popularity! Look, for a moment, at the cir

But wben a public functionary, at a period of great po- cumstances of the case, and then tell me whether this litical exertement, like the present, has advanced, with a opinion can be sustained. firin and fearless step, to the discharge of his public duty, This bill was not only carried by a majority, as it must as the President in this case has done “uncariny conse- bave been, but by a decisive majority of both Houses of quences” as they regard himself; wben, by this mauly and Congress. Can any man suppose that a President, who independent course, he has contributed essentially to pro- set out upon an adventure in quest of popularity, would mote the happiness, the prosperity, and the best interests make his first experiment against a questioo which, by of a mighty community of States-whilst I will do no passing both Houses of Congress, seemed to carry with it homage to the man, I must, I will do justice to the rare the approbation of the States, and the people of the States ? and distinguished merit of the officer; and if this cannot Ou the contrary, if he were going for himself, rather than be done without ascribing to him even the highest degree for bis country, would he not, by approving the bill, have of praise, then that praise is a tribute which is justly due just floated down the current of apparent public opinion, to him, and which I most cheerfully pay.

without encountering the least impediment iu his course ? But let us inquire what has the President done which Instead of this, sir, what has be done? Regarding his calls forth ibis loud complaint.

country more than himself-looking with an eye that never Why, forsooth, he bas dared to put his veto upon a bill winked to the public good, and not to bis personal aggranpassed by both Houses of Congress, and bas returned it dizement—he has withholden his approval from this bill, with bis objections. And has it come to this, that it is which was a favorite bantling with a majority of both cause of complaint that the Chief Executive Magistrate, Houses of Congress. He has thus placed bimself in a posi. constitutiog, as he does, a co-ordinate branch of the Legis- tion where he bas to win his way to public approbation, in lature, has ventured to perform his constitutional function, this respect, under as adverse circumstances as the mariner in dissenting from a law, which, in bis judgment, would who has to row up stream against wiod and tide. be ruinous in its consequences ? Was it in the contempla And this is said to be seeking after popularity! Credat tion of those who framed the constitution, that the Presi. Judæus apella. Sir, it is any thing but seeking after popudent should be set up as a mere pageant, with powers lurity in the noxious sense in which that expression has possessed in theory, but never to be reduced to practice? been applied to him. But if I know any thing of the chaor was it intended that this veto upou legislation, like every racter of my countrymen--if a rare example of political inother power, should be exercised, whepsoever the occa. tegrity and firmness will constitute a claim to their esteem sion should occur to make it necessary! Dopot gentlemen if disinterestedness and self-denial be any evidence of virtue perceive that they might, with as much reason, complains in public men -then, indeed, without seeking, will he have that the Senate had negatived one of our bille; for they, found popularity—not of that mushroom kind which is too, are oply a co-ordinate branch of the Legislature, as is acquired without merit, and lost without fault, but that the Executive Magistrate !

more noble kind which is always bestowed by all good men Sir, each department, and every branch of each depart. as the just reward of virtuous actions, and is always withment of the Government, has its appropriate functions holded from those who, without deserving it, eudeavor to assigned. The country expects and requires every one to acquire it. do its duty, whether it cousists of one man, or a plurality Sir, the man who is in quest of popularity and power,

And whosoever shall fail to do so, thoughi be may would have taken a different course. By approving this hope to consult bis safety by an avoidance of responsibility, bill, and thus continuing the system of internal improvewill find that he bas forfeited the esteem and confidence ment, the President would bave commanded an immeuse which are invariably awarded by public opinion to firm- amount of patronage, as well in the disbursement of countness and fidelity in the performance of public trusts. less millions of money, as in appointment to office. And

of men.

« AnteriorContinuar »