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solation in being the means of arresting the progress of a measure so fraught with disastrous consequences. The subject was referred to the President, who was directed to investigate into the cases of fraud. From the character of the agent employed by the President, (General Hogan, ) I feel confident, from my knowledge of the man, that the duty has been faithfully attended to; and if, as the honorable member suggests, he has received the collectorship of Mobile, it cannot have been conferred upon a more deserving or more intelligent citizen, or one who has more gallantly defended his country during the gloomiest period of the late war.” The honorable member has also referred to the Secretary of the Treasury as being embraced in the general allegation of corruption. Sir, the lofty character of Levi Woodbury is too well known to this House and to this nation to require any comment from me. Born, reared, and educated, amidst the granite mountains of my native State, his stern and sterling virtues had already carried him to the highest honors of New Hampshire, when, in the midst of the panic battle, he was called to the arduous duties of the Treasury of the United States. New England may justly feel proud of the high character which he has reflected back upon his native land. And let me ask, what inducement to corruption can there be on the part of Levi Woodbury? There has been no specific charge against him; not a whisper of prejudice that he has done any thing to forfeit his exalted character. He is affluent in his personal situation, with every thing to make him happy in domestic life; and, above all, principles of the most stern and unbending integrity are interwoven with his nature. The only allegation insinuated against him is, that in the exercise of his duty, imposed by a law passed by this House, he is compelled to transact official business with the agent of the deposite banks. That agent is no officer of this Government; we have no constitutional power over him. He has been assailed by the severest epithets of party. He has been employed by the deposite banks, many of them in opposition to the administration, to attend to their business with the Treasury. For my own part, I do not learn any specific charges with which he is accused. And I have no doubt that the President, when he gave him the character which the honorable member states that he did at Jonesborough, came to the honest and conscientious conviction that such a torrent of anathemas from the opposition in this House, assailing the character of this man for more than four years, would have annihilated him had not his reputation been founded upon the rock of integrity. High-sounding epithets and bold denunciations cannot, thank God, blast the character of any American citizen, unless they are accompanied with specific allegations and specific proofs. On the contrary, they raise in the generous minds of the American people that spirit of sympathy for unmerited persecution which is sure to protect its intended victim, and roll back the current upon the author. I feel, sir, that I should have but unworthily discharged, my duty as a Representative of Louisiana, had I not raised my voice in opposition to this resolution. Whatever may be the personal or political predilections of my constituents, gratitude to Andrew Jackson for the inestimable benefits he has conferred upon the citizens of our State is an almost pervading sentiment. It is, like the vestal flame, guarded with intense care, and faithfully transmitted from one generation to another. As the 8th of January revolves its annual rounds, so often does the hoary veteran who shared in the memorable o *Pair to the grass-grown hillock which marks the battle field, and recite, the eventful story to his chil.

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dren. Often are time and space annihilated, and the years of his pilgrimage recalled to the desperate conflict; and in those rural fetes, which none knows better how to grace with refinement and beauty than the gallant Frank of our sunny clime, the revered name of Andrew Jackson is never forgotten, and the choicest of Heaven's blessings are invoked upon the patriot's head.

Mr. PEYTON rose and said:

Mr. Speaker. The gentleman from Louisiana has charged me with assailing the President’s measures, and to that cause he ascribes the excited state of feeling under which he spoke while in Tennessee. My opposition to the measures of the President! I defy that gentleman to point to one of the great measures of General Jackson's administration which I had not supported, unless he claims the election of Mr. Van Buren as one of those measures. If so, I did oppose that measure, and will ever be found in opposition to such an executive measure. But, sir, has any man the boldness, the hardihood, whatever may have been his motives of action, to avow such a doctrine upon this floor? The gentleman speaks of Tennessee in connexion with “the ingratitude of republics,” and expresses a “hope that the people of that State will yet learn to appreciate the character and ser. vices of General Jackson.” This charge against Ten: nessee, of ingratitude to the President, is not original with the gentleman, [General Riplex.] . It has been adopted by him from the lowest source—it issued from the dark caverns of the Globe. What, sir! the people of Tennessee learn to appreciate the character and services of Andrew Jackson! Look at his history—when he first crossed the Alleghanies, a beardless stranger, with his knapsack upon his back, his rifle on his shoulder; no power, no patronage then, sir, with nothing to recommend him to our pioneer fathers but a congenial spirit. How did they receive him? With open arms they took him to their bosoms. They conferred upon him all the honors, all the offices known to their laws and constitution. And, sir, their sons have stood by him in every crisis, in every peril of his subsequent life. Look back, sir, upon the highway of his fame, and you will find the bones of a Tennesseean mouldering upon every field of his glory. And the gentleman hopes that Tennessee will learn to appreciate his character! It is true, sir, that in the late presidential election Tennessee early took her stand. She planted herself upon those principles for which she had battled by the side of Gen. eral Jackson; and there she proudly stands yet, firm, fixed, and immoveable. She was not to be driven from the ballot-box. She could not, she dare not, yield her principles, and surrender up her liberty, at the command of any man. But, sir, I wish to set the gentleman right upon another point. He contends that the House, in adopting this resolution, will do. General Jackson injus: tice; that we who advocate it have already done him great injustice. Is it in this manner that every inquiry, every investigation, is to be strangled in its infancy, under the pretext of inflicting injury upen General jackson' why, sir, we have to legislate upon this subject under the terrors of “expunge.” Yes, sir, the gentleman has announced to the House that if this resolution is passe it will be expunged. ...The Lord save me from an expunging House, as well as an expunging senate. I havo witnessed, with loathing and disgust, the operation of that process in the Senate. I have seen the great to punger, [colonel Benton,] in the grim majesty of his expunging power, lashing, with the whip of scorpions, abler and honester men than himself to the work; flog ging them on to make war upon the constitution of their country and the journals of the Senate; and I have shud. dered when I saw it. But I saw, sir, last winter, a dio position manifested by the party, I am sure I did by some {f its leaders, to encourage him in his mad scheme 0s Dec. 15, 1836.]

wasting the surplus revenue, that he might batter out his brains against the walls of his own fortification system, and thereby save them the trouble of knocking him on the head. Sir, he will never rise, under the weight of that stone and mortar, from the mud and quicksands into which they have plunged him. Sir, I hope never to see this House scourged by so rude and barbarous a despotism. I hope that Heaven has for us in store a better fate. “Expunge,” sir! expunge what? We propose to look into the conduct of your “hirelings”——to examine the dark deeds of your Whitneys and your Kendalls, and have “expunge” flung in our faces. But are we, the representatives of the American people, to falter in our duty, and cower under the iron sceptre of some expunging hero who is to rise up amongst us? And, sir, if we but touch one little twig of this great Jackson tree, which overshadows the land, and stretches its branches throughout the continent, we are charged with an assault upon its trunk, and expunge is instantly proclaimed. No, sir; we wish to brush off these sap suckers, who have been drawing from that body its vitality. We have to approach them as boys kill woodcocks, by whipping round Old Hickory; and I have always advised the mildest measures, the use of limber switches, so as not to hurt him. There was something in the gentleman's manner, and the tenor of his remarks, which seemed to appeal from me to the people of Tennessee, and to threaten me with their displeasure. Sir, the boldest representative upon this floor is far behind the spirit of that people in their unshaken purpose of asserting their rights and maintaining their freedom. A cruel war has been waged against Tennessee, but she has met the crisis as became her character; she has met the mercenary le.gions unawed; she may be crushed, but not conquered; she may fall, but if she does, it will be at the shrine of the constitution, in the grave of public liberty. And, sir, I will go down with her; I would not survive her fate. I am willing to go home and meet my people; I have nothing to fear from them; their kindness and partiality towards me have always been far beyond my merits. But, sir, the injustice done to General Jackson by supporting this measure; what is it? We demand an investigation into the agency of l'euben Whitney; we ask for an inquiry into the condition of the Treasury. We require that there shall be a full investigation into all the departments, and into the conduct of the whole army of public officers, who have been engaged in this business of the succession——this trampling under foot of laws and constitutions. We wish to know from whence came this money. Where is the source of their corruption? Where is the mint from which they can send their hireling editors through the country, poisoning the fountains of intelligence amongst the people? How is it that our army in Florida has been neglected, and left to suffer for want of supplies, while it was within a few days’ sail of New Orleans? Men starving, horses sinking under them in the swamps—all, all, sir, in consequence of gross and criminal neglect somewhere. Was it that our high functionaries were too busily engaged to think of the army— too full of Mr. Van Buren to cast a thought on 6)ceola-too busily engaged in electioneering to think of the galJant men who were sighting the battles of their country? It is in behalf of men whose conduct has been such as this that the message volunteers a laudatory certificate. Sir, I deny the authenticity of this message. General Jackson never gave that certificate. They have written it themselves, and obtained the signature of his name. And yet, with such a testimonial in their favor, they shrink from the proos--they shrink from inquiry. Let its have the proof, sir, and then we will see whether they are honest or venal, corrupt or immaculate. Sir, I do not say they are corrupt; that is just what I wish to find out. I want a strict and impartial investigation. It

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is lawful, it is usual, to make such inquiries. It is surely right to investigate our own affairs--to examine into the deeds of our own agents. This is our right, it is our duty, and cannot do “injustice” to any one. I protest against the issue which the gentleman from Louisiana has joined. It is not a question between General Jackson and this House; his person and conduct is one thing, and the persons and conduct of these officers is another. I hope that no attempt to crush this investigation on such an issue will succeed; and, sir, let us hope that no American Congress will ever be found ready to expunge an order directing an investigation into the departments. No, sir; this will never be the case, so long as a shadow of our liberties remains. Mr. A. MANN said that, of all the debates to which he had ever listened, this was the most useless. The cry of corruption had been raised against the heads of these departments for two or three years, without there ever having been any specific charge of corruption or maleadministration. He, for one, should be well pleased to see the accuser come face to face with the accused. If there was corruption any where, let it come out. But these general charges were made to extend to every nook and corner of our Government. Why was this? The cry of corruption was raised, but why did not the gentlemen show the act and point to the man who was guilty of it? Who was he in whom corruption had been found? He (Mr. M.) would assert, on behalf of the executive departments of this administration, that their of. ficers courted investigation, and were desirous that your committees should be sent amongst them. He was in fovor of investigation, but the resolution of the gentleman from Virginia contained merely general charges of corruption. He was in favor of Mr. PEAnck's amendment, and would give power to a committee to investigate any specific charge which any member might make on this floor, or which any individual of a respectable " character might make elsewhere. But let the investigation of the committee be confined to the particular charge which might be made. If there was corruption, let it be made known; if not, let not gentlemen be convicted upon mere general charges, having no proof to sustain them. In reply to a question from Mr. UNDER woon, Mr. MANN explained, that he did not say that he should vote against the original resolution, if the amendment be not adopted, but that he preferred the latter. Mr. UNDERWOOD said that the remarks first made by the gentleman from New York [Mr. MANN] had asforded him a great deal of pleasure, for it seemed from them that the gentleman was in favor of the fullest and most thorough examination of the departments which could be made; and it also seemed that the heads of the departments, conscious of having discharged their duty, courted investigation, because they knew it would result to their credit, and confirm their claim to public considence. But, sir, (said Mr. U.,) the concluding remarks of the gentleman from New York, in which he preferred the amendment offered by the member from Rhode Island to the original resolution, appeared to me inconsistent with those declarations, favorable to that full and latitudinous investigation, which were made in the first part of his speech. What, I ask, is the difference between the original resolution, adopted by the Cominittee of the Whole, and the proposed amendment? The original allows an unrestricted examination; the amend. ment would confine it to specified charges, to be made before the examination is commenced. The committee will not be tied down to any particular charge, or to any narrow course of inquiry, by the original resolution. This would be to permit that full and untrammelled examination which could not fail to expose the hidden things of darkness and corruption, if the departments

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are guilty, and to which I thought the member from New York had fully assented. [Here Mr. MANN asked leave to explain, and said that he was in favor of a full and thorough examination; but his objection consisted in the generality of the investigation without specifications; a course which seemed to him too much like a general search warrant, and therefore inconsistent with sound constitutional principles; and he hoped the gentleman from Kentucky would take his idea.] I think (said Mr. UNI, Enwood) I comprehend the gentleman from New York, and will not pervert his meaning. If we were in pursuit of stolen goods, and desired to search for them, the gentleman's idea is correct. We should then be bound to specify the article lost, and the place where we expected to find it; and, before subjecting a citizen to the humiliating process of having his private apartments searched, the constitutions of the United States and State of Kentucky, and probably of every other State in this Union, would require an oath or affirmation in support of the facts before the magistrate issues the warrant, and then the warrant should specify the place to be searched and the thing to be taken. But, sir, who ever heard these well-settled constitutional principles, until now, applied to political investigations, to the examination of the departments of this or any other Government? Has it come to this: that, when we ask for the appointment of a committee to ascertain whether our affairs have been properly managed and conducted by the servants of the people, gentlemen consider the proceeding analogous to the pursuit of thieves and stolen property, and contend that we ought to proceed with the same caution and formality? sir, such a suggestion can result from nothing less than inconsiderate zeal in support of men who may be pure, and who ought to court, rather than shun, investigation, if their conduct fears no scrutiny. The idea that there is something wrong in a general commission or warrant to search and examine the political movements and official conduct of the departments of this Government seems to me totally at variance with the genius of all our institutions. What are the departments of this Government? Nothing but executive trusts, confided to agents, to be exercised according to the will and for the benefit of the people. . The trustee or agent is amenable and responsible to the people; and how can that responsibility be enforced, unless the people, whenever they choose, and at all times, can look into and examine as they please the records and official acts of every public functionary” And how, sir, can the people do this, unless it be through their Representatives on this floor? I demand it as a right, in the name of my constituents; and in their behalf I call for the practical exercise of that right, which will enable a committee of this house to lay before them the official correspondence of every Secretary, the condition of their offices, and the whose evidences of their official conduct, whether it be good or whether it be evil. If such an examination be not legitimate, if we have no such power, then indeed are the officers of Govern. ment placed above the reach of the people, and from nominal servants have become practical masters. The ample investigation tolerated by the gentleman from New York is coupled with the condition that we shall first charge some specific offence, and then he would allow us to examine the records, without restriction, for evidence in support of it. Now, sir, such a proceeding would be well calculated to turn the investigation into ridicule. It would be necessary, if that be the appropriate course, to form charges and specifications by §."...oless we happened to guess right, (i. whole investigation would amount to nothing; fo * ose no one will C - - - ; for I supp *tend that conviction under impeach

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ment, or public condemnation, would be the result, where the prosecutors had wholly mistaken the nature and character of the offence, and had exhibited charges totally variant from those sustained by the proof. Sir, I am not disposed to commence the investigation by guessing; but I am truly anxious to have an inspection of all the records of the several departments, for the purpose of ascertaining whether there has been any mis. feasance or malfeasance committed. If any can be found, then it is time to bring forward the accusation. If none exist, then an honest committee should proclaim to the nation that all is well; and those who, from illfounded suspicions, have insisted upon the investigation, would feel the blush of shame for having done injustice, in their thoughts, to the virtuous patriots who, uninflu. enced by selfish and corrupt motives, have only labored to promote the great interests of the country. The true question is, whether we have a right to make the examination before charging any offence; or must we specisy offences at random, and then call for a committee to ascertain their truth? If it was a mere copartnership between the heads of the departments and the representatives of the people, we should have the right to inspect their books and papers; and a refusal on their part to let us do it would be just cause for dissolving the concern. But, sir, it is not a copartnership in political trade, where each member of the firm shares the profits according to the capital of intrigue and management he contributes. Such a doctrine is only current with those whose motto is, “to the victors belong the spoils.” The people of this nation, in whose place we stand, do not admit the existence of any partnership with their rulers. It is no joint-stock company. Those who rule in the executive departments are the mere agents of the people, the trustees for their use; and we, temporarily clothed with the power of the people, as their representa: tives, have the same right to call upon those agents and trustees to exhibit all their books, records, and accounts, touching the affairs of the Government, that the mer. chant has to call upon his factor, or the landlord upon his steward. Sir, this right is the true basis of American liberty; it is the essence of responsibility; and if it be not practically exercised, the people can never settle their accounts, or know how they stand with their ruJers; and when the gentleman from Louisiana [Mr. Rif. LEx) seemed to deny the very existence of such a right, I felt that he was uttering sentiments and opinions more congenial to the monarchical atmosphere of Europe than the republican expanse which encircles the States of this Union. If there is no such right, liberty is dead, and despotism reigns. But, sir, the abstract right has not been positively denied, although it has been treated as if it did not exist; and the manner proposed for its exercise, by the amendment of the gentleman from Rhode Island, rather im: plies a want of right or authority to send out a com: mittee to make a general examination. The gentleman from Rhode Island is an astute lawyer; and, if he will reflect a moment, he must be sensible that the course indicated by his amendment is a departure from the set. tled paactice in courts of justice, designed to bring the violators of the penal code to punishment. By their practice, the grand jury is first empannelled and sworn to inquire; and, sir, the grand jury is unrestricted in its inquiries. It has no limits, but may take a range of inves: tigation coextensive with the penal laws of the land. The grand jury indicts and presents, and gives shape and form to the charge. After the grand jury has specified the . time, place, circumstances, and manner of the crime, then comes the venire, and the accused is put upon his trial. The gentleman's amond. ment reverses the order of things. He would have the prosecutor to state the charge by guessing, and without

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the examination of any witness before the grand jury, or a court of inquiry, and then he would forthwith enter upon the trial. Only indulge the gentleman in such a course—a course which subverts the settled wisdom of the country, growing out of the experience of ages— and I will venture to say that no culprit ever could be convicted, with the gentleman's talents employed in the defence. This House is the grand inquest of this nation, and I, for one, Mr. Speaker, will never consent to trammel its investigations by adopting a limited rule, such as the amendment proposes. The gentleman from Louisiana, [Mr. Ripley] seems to consider the original resolution, which contemplates an examination of the departments in all their ramifications, as an insinuation against the integrity of the President. He [Mr. R.] will not look into the condition of the departments, because the President has certified that all is well; and to look for himself and his constituents after that would be to suspect the truth and honesty of the President. I was astonished to hear such sentiments avowed on this floor. They are, in my opinion, exotic, plants which should never be permitted to take root in American soil. It is the doctrine of passive obedience, of | quiet acquiescence in the will of a master. Sir, the gentleman forgets that eternal vigilance is the condition upon which public liberty depends. We should receive nothing without examination, without sifting it thoroughly, and ascertaining for ourselves and our constituents all its properties and qualities.. If we are to take things on trust, our presence here might as well be dispensed with, and we had better surrender at once all the powers of government into the hands of a truthful and honest President. Sir, I have nothing to do with the truth or honesty of the President. I shall neither concede nor deny him these qualities upon this occasion. By his “fruits.” I know him. But as he is soon to retire from his station, and as it does not affect the principles for which I am contending, whether he is truthful and honest or otherwise, I shall not stop to inquire into such personal qualities. But suppose it were conceded that his character for truth and honesty stands as high as his warmest admirers would place it, are we to abstain from an examination into the conduct of our public functionaries, and the situation of their offices, merely because the President is of opinion they have done their duty? The President's certificate in their behalf is nothing more than his opinion; he does not inform us that he has made a minute and personal examination into the condition of the departments, and that his opinion is the result of such examination. We know that the President's official duties have required a great deal of his time. His absence last summer, and his recent illness, connected with his official engagements, have allowed him very little time to devote to the examination of the departments; and hence, sir, this House and this nation may form a very different opinion in regard to the heads of the departments and their conduct, from that expressed by the President; and all this may be done without assaulting his personal character. The gentleman from Rhode Island [Mr. PEARce] seemed to oppose the proposed investigation, because he apprehended there was a lurking purpose to depreciate, if not slander, the characters of those who are at the head of the executive departments. I am equally sensible, with that gentleman, of the value to this nation of the reputation of our public men, and I have had cause to regret the unmerited reproaches and vile calumnies which are often cast upon them by a corrupt partisan press; but I cannot perceive any good reason for opposing the original resolution, iest the characters of those high in office might suffer by its adoption. We must take, it for granted that the committee will report

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nothing but facts. If the facts are of such a nature as to produce censure, degradation of character, and expulsion from office, it will be much more creditable to the nation and its institutions to expose the base motives and bad acts of exalted functionaries, than to leave them unmolested in their high places, presenting a fair exterior to dupe the world, while all is disgusting filth and rottenness within. I admit there is a diminution of national character whenever any of our high officers are shown to be unworthy of their stations; but we had better lose in this respect than to wink at corruption for the sake of appearances. By detecting, exposing, and punishing political criminals, those who offend against the statutes and principles of liberty, there is a national gain of reputation, which more than counterbalances the loss I have mentioned. The gain consists in the manifestation of a sound state of moral and political sentiment, which will not allow offenders to escape with impunity; and the assurance we find in the stern political virtue which condemns the official knave, that our free institutions are destined to last forever. Now, sir, let us test those principles of loss and gain, by instituting the fullest and most unlimited inquiry; and if the result is, as some predict, that the characters of our cabinet ministers will shine the brighter from having passed the ordeal, the nation will gain much by the conviction that existing suspicions are not well founded, and by the increase of the reputations of those high functionaries. It has been said that the original resolution proposes a new thing, for which there is no precedent in the history of this Government. Grant it, and what of that? Is not the President’s laudatory certificate in behalf of all the executive departments and their officers a new thing in the history of this Government? What former President ever did the like? If the President introduces a new practice, may we not meet it by an appropriate novelty? If the original resolution is amended, it should be done by providing for the appointment of a separate committee to examine each department. One committee, I fear, cannot go through the whole. If such a practice had prevailed, as I think it ought to have done, from the commencement of the Government, I have no doubt that many things which have been improperly done would not have taken place. Early impressions, Mr. Speaker, are never forgotten. The first iesson taught me, as a member of the Kentucky Legislature, many years since, was the propriety of appointing annually a committee to examine each department of the Government of that State, and to report upon its condition. The offices of our State—Auditor, Treasurer, Register, &c., are annually examined by a separate committee, and reported on. We do not take the Governor’s word that all things are going on well; but the representatives of the people investigate for themselves and their constituents; and the same practice should prevail in this Government, henceforth and forever. If, Mr. Speaker, I have satisfied the House that we possess the power to make a general examination into the condition of the departments, without stating beforehand any specific abuse or malfeasance as the object of inquiry; if such power necessarily results from the legislative powers vested in us by the constitution, and from the power of impeachment, then there is nothing left to be considered but the propriety of exercising the power at this thme. . It is nothing more nor less than an exercise of the right to examine a department when this House calls for a report. We have as much right to appoint a committee to ascertain a fact by inspecting the records of a department, as to require the head of the same department, or the chief of any bureau, to report as to the particular fact, upon his inspection. Suppose a question should arise whether the fact is truly reported,

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how can you decide unless you have the power to examine? I dismiss the argument in regard to the right of a general examination, and will proceed to show the propriety of its exercise. will it interest the people of this country, and of the whole civilized world, to know whether there are corrupt combinations existing among the officers of this Government, to aid and assist each other in procuring and retaining for themselves and their relatives offices and the emoluments thereof.” Is it advisable to ascertain, in this the freest Government on earth, how far the spirit of despotism can or has obtained power to proscribe and punish those who dare to assert with boldness, and to maintain with independence, their principles of policy, and their opinions in regard to men? Will it have a salutary influence among the lovers of justice and votaries of freedom, to expose the wicked schemes of selfaggrandizement, which sometimes corrupt the wholesome administration of the laws, and infuse a deadly poison into the legislation of a country? If these questions are affirmatively answered, then, sir, we ought now to raise a committee and require an examination according to the original resolution. Whether the committee would find, by their investigation, facts to alarm the nation, or to cheer it on its forward march to greatness in population, in wealth, in resources, need not be anticipated. The committee would certainly find facts of the one kind or the other; and the investigation would necessarily result in pointing out dangers which threaten our destruction, or in confirming our hopes of the durability of our institutions. Either result is desirable, and hence we should not hesitate to adopt the original resolution. I will suggest some things which could be done, and which could not fail to be deeply interesting to the public. Shortly after the election of General Jackson as President, the postmaster at Glasgow, Kentucky, was removed from office. He did not vote for General Jackson. A political partisan was appointed in his place. The removed postmaster had the business of the office conducted to the satisfaction of the people, so far as I am informed. During the last session, charges of malfeasance were forwarded to me against the then incumbent, so satisfactorily sustained by proof, that the Postmaster General removed the incumbent, and appointed another in his place. Now, sir, the documents by which the removal of the postmaster last session was accomplished are no doubt on file in the Post Office Department. The documents and charges upon which the first removal took place ought also to be there, and doubtless are. I would have an examining committee inspect these documents, and collect from them the principle of action with the Department, which, in the first instance, caused the removal of a competent and faithful officer, without any complaint against him, and the appointment of an individual, a political partisan, af. terwards removed for malfeasance. A similar inquiry should be had in all other like cases. In the progress of the examination, I would also examine the correspondence and documents relative to the removal of the postmaster at Stanford, Kentucky, and the appointment of Alfred Hocker in his place! I presume the House are not ignorant of one act, at least, performed by this notorious personage; and every gentleman, no doubt, has heard that when he demanded possession of the books, papers, &c. of the office to which he had been appoint. ed, the young man having charge of them refused to surrender upon the first summons; and upon a passionate inquiry from Hocker, as to his authority for withholding the papers, the youth calmly replied, “just the same which you had to withhold the Lincoln poll-book.” Sir, !, should like to know, I think it would be beneficial to this nation to ascertain, the motives and principles of one of the departments of this Government, which led to

the appointment of a man to hold a highly important of. fice, who, but for the constitutional provision againster post facto laws, would, in all human probability, have been a penitentiary convict at the date of his appoint. ment. I would have the committee examine and re-ex. amine the recommendations and correspondence relative to the appointment of Hocker. [Here a gentleman near Mr. U., suggested, in an under tone, “that they were probably burnt up by the fire last night.”] Mr. U. continued. I hope not, sir. When I reached the conflagration, that part of the building appropriated to the use of the General Post Office was so far uninjured as to ad. mit free access to the interior of it without danger, and there was ample time to have secured all important pa. pers. I trust, sir, there has been no destruction of any which relate to removals srom and appointments to office. These papers, if thoroughly scrutinized, will, I appre: hend, exhibit combinations of depravity which would startle a confiding, unsuspecting people, and call into active operation that vigilance, that perpetual vigilance, without which knavery is destined to triumph over honesty, and liberty to fall under the machinations of ty. rants. Sir, I desire that the committee should examine all the correspondence in each of the departments rela. tive to removals and appointments. I want to know whether the Jeffersonian rule, “Is he honest, is he capable, is he faithful to the constitution,” governs the departments in making appointments; or whether this be the rule now practised on: “Is he a voter, how did he vote, and how many votes can he control in all future contests for power” You may suppress this inquiry if you dare; but, sir, unless the American people have utterly lost that character which brought their fathers through the storms of the Revolution, they will ultimate. ly bring to light the hidden secrets of all your departments. There are other objects to which a committee of investigation could and should turn their attention. Du. ring the last session, a member from New York [Mr. HUNT) was placed at the head of a committee, raised by the order of this House, for the purpose of inquiring into the speculations made in the public lands by mem. bers of Congress, and the facilities afforded them for that purpose by the deposite banks. He was unable to go through with the investigation, and asked further time, which was refused. Now, sir, the committee appoint. ed, if the original resolution is adopted, can ascertain a great many facts in regard to the public lands, and the speculations carried on in them, which may have a very important influence upon the deliberations and legisla: lation of this House. They can ascertain at the Land Office the quantity of acres sold to each individual and company for the last two years, and when each sale was made. They can ascertain the names of the purchasers, and then they can ascertain what sums of money have been loaned to these purchasers by the deposite banks, and when the loans were made, provided the officers of these banks do not say to them, “that is none of your business.” Thus, sir, a committee, by going properly to work, can obtain from the records of one department and the books of the deposite banks all the information necessary to elucidate the subject of inquiry confided to the committee of which the gentleman from New York [Mr. Hunt] was chairman; and, by so doing, avoid wounding the delicate sensibility and fastidious honor of certain witnesses, who might refuse to answer certain questions, if called to testify. From the Land Office the committee might pass of to the Treasury, and ascertain how much gold and sk ver had been there deposited to pay for lands, and in whose favor Treasury certificates of deposite were * sued, and the amount of each. Thus, sir, the whole operations of our land system, for the last two ye"

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