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tion; but it was one of the most improbable things that ever happened in the course of human events. He could not be influenced by possibilities so remote, and was therefore satisfied that the people of Michigan had consented to the terms proposed to them by Congress, to agree to a boundary and come into the Union. But some gentlemen, admitting this, insisted that the proceeding was revolutionary; that to allow the people, in primary assemblies, “to set themselves up above the legislative authority,” (to use their own language,) struck at the very foundation of our institutions. This was strange doctrine at the present day. It was the doctrine of the house of Stuart, and of Bourbon of Austria, and of Brandenburg. It was the doctrine of the holy alliance. It was the doctrine of despotism. It was a doctrine long since exploded, he had thought, by all free Governments, particularly by our own; and if he thought there were any material portion of the people of the United States who entertained such doctrines, he should feel as much real alarm as gentlemen had imagined they felt at the proposition of the committee. The whole of our institutions, both State and Federal, were based on this “monstrous principle,” and had no other right to rest on. The debate had been a most extraordinary one. Gentlemen had conjured up frightful pictures, and then got frightened at the works of their own imaginations. The Senator from Ohio had stated himself to be a plain matter-of-fact man. He certainly would not question the veracity of his friend as a man of truth; but if he would allow him to call his errors misapprehensions or mistakes, he would join issue with him on his statement that he was “a plain matter-of-fact man.” Ile (Mr. K.) had never known so many rhetorical flourishes, flights of fancy, irrelevant references, and false analogies, brought into any discussion upon any grave and important question. Something like the visions of Constantine were revived. Armies were seen marching and countermarching in the air, belted with “Bowie knives and duelling pistols.” Terrific scenes of liberty trampled under foot, bugles, bayonets, bombs, and blunderbusses, haunted the minds of gentlemen, as the sure consequences of the proposed measure. . After, these, alya many such fancies, (said Mr. K.,) which gentlemen have connected with this measure, they prove it all by what they call coming to the point, with a grave proposition— and that is, “if we establish the principle, say they, that the Federal Government can call a convention in one of the States in this Union, liberty is lost, the constitution is gone.” Despotism, they think, will stalk unopposed over the land, and all State rights will vanish like a sprite. one who had heard all this waste of eloquence on this proposition, and who knew nothing of the matter, would naturally suppose that some such proposition was sairly the subject of discussion. But, so far from this, nothing even like it had been proposed or maintained. Congress had not called any convention in one of the States of the Union, or even in Michigan, who was not in the Union. The plain truth was, that Michigan had been a Territory, and founded a constitution and State Government, somewhat irregularly, and applied for admission into the Union. Congress, after much debate, agreed to waive all previous irregularity, and allow Michigan to be a separate and independent community. But, at the same time, we virtually said to Michigan, that, under the constitution she had formed, her boundaries were uncertain and equivocal; that she would probably insist on boundaries that would include territory of which we had a right to form another State, or had already transferred to others. We did not wish to bring a quarrel into the confederacy, by her admission with unsettled boundaries, and therefore we could not admit her until her people, in convention, should agree to a boundary
proposed. This was the whole affair. A very simple matter, when plainly stated and fairly debated. There was no “call” of a convention by Congress, in a State of the Union, or any where else. There was no law to be enforced, or disobedience to be punished. No federal officer was to be sent by an executive despot to hang up the refractory. It was only a proposition made to Mich. igan, in answer to one made by her, which, if she accepted, she was to come into the Union, and if not, she remained out of it. The awful consequences existed only in the imaginations of gentlemen who exerted themselves to give a fictitious importance to this bill. But (continued Mr. K ) gentlemen ask, why did Congress refer this matter to the people of Michigan, and what right had the people to act without the anthority of the Legislature? Why, just because Congress knew, after looking at the constitution of Michigan, that the Legislature had no more power to act than it had to change the succession of the seasons, or abolish the community which it was organized to represent. If Michigan were a State, and not in the Union, this consent involved an important change in her organic law, besides a change of boundary; for, by consenting to the condition we had proposed, her people parted with all the important rights of sovereignty which were surrendered to the General Government by each of the States. An organic law could only be changed by the people in an elementary state of sceiety, above the constitution, unless the constitution provided for the change. A free constitution was only a political power of attorney, con: taining the principles on which the Government should be administered, conserring powers for the purposes named in it, until revoked by the constituent authority, The Legislature had to look for their powers in the constitution, and could not go beyond them. But to say the people, in their high sovereign capacity, had no power to change or modify, or even abolish, their constitution, when not restrained by the federal constitution, was equivalent to saying that a merchant could not revoke a power of attorney given for commercial purposes. Even where the constitution contained a provision allthorizing the Legislature to call a convention, it might still be likened to a power of substitution in commercial persons, where both the original power and power of substitution were subject to the control of the principal. States, however, should never change their constitutions for light causes; but where a necessity existed, the right was unquestionable. It was a revolutionary right, as was every right to change a constitution of Government, however slight the change. It was, he said, no less a revolutionary right, when exercised, peaceably, than when it was exercised by force, which only became necessary when the right was opposed. Mr. K. said the Legislature might call, a convention when there was no express provision in the constitution to do so; but the convention derived no additional au: thority from the call; it was only recommendatory. But if the people met, as recommended, and acted upon their organic law, the subsequent ratification would sup: ply the the previous want of authority. In whatever way they might be convened, however, their acts were not irrevocable by themselves, but it was a striking feature in the case of Michigan, that both the conventions seemed to have understood perfectly well that the Le: gislature had no right to intermeddle in the matter; and they accordingly both protested against it. This was a principle so palpable, that all classes and all parties seem to have understood it in that new State, however difficult it seemed to be for some gentlemen to understand it here. Mr. K. thought that the matter had been rightly referred to the people themselves, independent of the Legislature, as they alone were capable of making these important surrenders of sovereignty.
JAN. 6, 1837. ) Building for United States Courts at Philadelphia–Treasury Circular, &c. [SENATE.
Mr. K. then briefly noticed some remarks of the Sen. to me that there is not a more suitable place where to ator from Massachusetts, [Mr. DAvis,j who had stated commence than Philadelphia. that Michigan could not be a State, as, when she formed Mr. CALHOUN called for the reading of the memoher constitution, she had no fixed boundaries. The Sen. rial; and it having been read, Mr. C. said he had no obator from Massachusetts, Mr. K. said, had insisted that a jection to its being referred to the committee on the Jufixed boundary was inseparable with the idea of a State; diciary; but he hoped they would pause and weigh the and as the United States had claim at least to a part of question a long time before they would give their assent the territory over which Michigan claimed jurisdiction to our commencing a penitentiary system of the United when she framed her constitution, she could not be con- states. There was patronage enough exercised by the sidered as a separate State. Mr. K. said it was perfect- General Government already—its powers were great ly true that a nation must have a territory over which it and extensive, without their being introduced into a exercised jurisdiction; but an undisputed boundary was state. He objected to a State and General Government not essential to an independent State. A community acting together. He merely threw out these suggesmight be independent, and very powerful too, whose tions to the committee, in the hope that they would boundaries were not well defined. Our own boundary was pause a long time before they would give their sanction disputed in the Northeast; and who could state the pre: to the commencement of the proposed system. cise boundaries of Russia? Yet Russia and the United Mr. GRUNDY said he did not object to the reference States were none the less independent communities of of the memorial to the committee of which he was a people because their boundaries were not well settled. member. But as to pausing a long time on the subject,
Mr. K. then adverted to the preamble to the bill, he had made up his mind, and he would say that, so far which had been so strongly objected to that some gen- as he could judge of the disposition of his colleagues, tlemen were willing to vote for the bill if the preamble they would not pause for any length of time; for the were stricken out. He said, as both Michigan and Ohio committee would report in a few days, not only on the now wanted the restriction removed, and Michigan ad- subject of penitentiaries, but on court-houses also. mitted without restriction, he would certainly have no Mr. BUCHANAN remarked that he was sorry to hear objection, if no body else were concerned but Michigan that the chairman of the Judiciary committee had made and Ohio. If these States had any disinterested love of up his mind on the subject. It appeared to him (Mr. B.) fighting, if he were to consult his own feelings, he would that at some period, not very remote, it would be necessay, let them go at it and fight it out. . But a community sary for the Government of the United States to erect of States, he thought, should act on the same principle penitentiaries. How could it be avoided? As long as as a community of individuals. They should keep the the Government of the United States are a Government peace among disorderly members. it would frequently executing their own laws, and punishing offenders gratify two bullies to settle a quarrel in the public against them, they must make some provisions for their streets, surrounded by a mob, but no well-organized punishment. The States, without entertaining any hoscommunity would permit such disorder. This squab: tility to the Government of this Union, might find it very ble between Michigan and Ohio, about a few acres of inconvenient to accommodate the prisoners sentenced ground, might set the whole Union into a blaze, and by virtue of the laws of the United States...What was possibly cost the Government millions of dollars to put to be done? Were they to be set at liberty? Were it down. If the restriction were retained, he had no they not to receive the punishment inflicted by the laws? doubt Michigan would continue to observe it in good He could not suppose that any State would not show a faith, and we should hear no more about it. We should, proper comity to the United States courts. But suppose most likely, avoid the horrors of another Toledo cam- it should happen that they were unable or unwilling to paign. He had, therefore, thought it best to retain the do this, in what a situation would the Government be preamble, and not repeal the condition; and he hoped placed? He could not, he confessed, see, in this thing the bill would pass, and pass just as it was. any interference with the rights or, the liberties of the
The question was then taken on the passage of the States. He had no idea that his calling the attention of bill, and it was passed, by yeas and nays, as follows: the Judiciary Committee to the subject would have
Yeas—Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Dana, Ful- caused the least debate, or he would not have done it.
Nars--Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clay, Crittenden, having been caled home by sickness in his family,) the
Davis, Kent, Moore, Prentiss, southard, Swift–10. Senate proceeded to the further consideration of the
The Senate then adjourned. joint resolution repealing the Treasury order of July last, &c. The question being on the substitute offered - by Mr. Rives, for refusing, by the United States, the Faidar, JANUAR x 6. i paper of such banks as should issue bills under certain
BUILDING FOR UNITED STATES COURTS AT specified denominations—
PHILADELPHIA. Mr. SOUTHARD addressed the Senate on the subject
- at large, in continuation and conclusion of his former reMr. BUCHANAN presented the memorial of sundry remo; on the subject, as given entire in preceding Citizens of Philadelphia, praying that on appropriation pages. *y be made for the erection of a suitable building for the accommodation of the courts of the United States, and also for the erection of a penitentiary at that city. Mr. B. said, in presenting the petition, I recommend
THE MINT BILL.
On motion of Mr. W RIGHT, when Mr. South.ARn had concluded his remarks, this . and all the it to the conj - iciary Committee. , 1 other previous orders were postponed, and the Senate can say we to...". "...; system in ... to consider, as in Committee of the whole, Pennsylvania to peof.” or plan has become a the bill from the House of Representatives supplement. odel, not only in many parts of this country, but in ary to the act for establishing a mint and regulating the "ope. And as it will be necessary, at no remote time, coins of the United States. - or the United state. to erect penitentiaries, it appears The amendment proposed by the Committee on Fi
Treasury Circular. [JAN. 9, 1837.
nance, extending the limit of wastage allowed to the gress, when it pronounces it unconstitutional, and refuses chief coiner, from one one-thousandth part to one and to enforce it. And as well might Congress say it rea half one-thousandth part, was adopted, and the bill, peals a decision of the Supreme Court, when that deso amended, was reported to the Senate. cision, having opened its eyes to some defect in the exMr. WRiGHT entered into various explanatory de- isting law, induces it to prescribe a new rule sor future tails, showing some small changes contemplated by the action. Even when the decisions of the court are palbill. pably repugnant to the existing law, Corgress cannot reAfter which, the bill was ordered to lie upon the peal them. Congress may direct what decisions shall be table, but subsequently was taken up, and ordered to a made in suture, but cannot repeal those already pubthird reading. lished. Neither can it repeal the decisions of the ExAfter transacting some other business, the Senate spent ecutive. The Legislature prescribes rules for the gova short time in executive business. ernment of both these departments, and to each of them The Senate then adjourned. it must be left to apply them; and each must, in the first instance, judge how far its own actions square with the rules prescribed, upon its own official responsibility. A direct declaration of repeal, therefore, must be altogether inoperative, and of course an absurdity. The truth is, this Treasury order is altogether an executive act, and can only be undone by executive authority. Congress may command its repeal, and doubtless the Executive would yield such command respectful obedience. But it strikes me there is something in the mode of this On motion of Mr. CLAY, the previous orders were undertaking to effect the repeal of the Treasury order, postponed, and the Senate proceeded to the further con- not consistent with strict parliamentary propriety; at sideration of the joint resolution rescinding the Treasury least, not altogether consistent with the professed purorder of July, 1836. | pose of those who desire its repeal. It is laid down in The question being on Mr. Rives's substitute, Jefferson's Manual, the highest authority acknowledged Mr. STRANGE rose and addressed the Chair as fol. by us in such matters, that, “When the House comlows: mands any thing, it is by order. But facts, principles, Mr. President: It was not my purpose to have addres their own opinions and purposes, are expressed in the sed the Senate to-day, but as some gentlemen, who de- form of resolutions.” Now, the resolutions before us, sire to be heard on this question, have deferred their while they assume the name of resolutions, effect the preparation from an expectation that I would occupy the office of orders, and to perform more, as I think I have floor, I am unwilling that inconvenience should result to before shown, than even an order would be competent a member of this body from any misconception arising to accomplish. from intimations I may have given. Therefore, although But, again, I am opposed to the resolutions, because not prepared to my own satisfaction, I will ask the in- they propose to prescribe a rule, unnecessarily, as I condulgence of the Senate for a few moments. I could ceive, in a matter where, from its nature, a large dishave voted upon the original resolutions of the Senator cretion is desirable, being highly convenient, and in no from Ohio sub silentio, because, in so doing, my vote degree liable to dangerous use. I know it is the fashion would have explained itself; but in adopting the substi- of the day to suppose that the executive authority is the tute of the Senator from Virginia, I shall be placed in an only one liable to abuse, or in any way likely to threaten equivocal position before my constituents, and therefore the liberties of the country. Among the blessings, Mr. think it neeessary that certain explanatory comments President, for which we of the present day are debtors should accompany my vote. I will not deny, that as to Heaven, there are none, politically speaking, for thoughts flowed in upon my mind during the discussion which we have more just reason to be grateful, than that of the original question, I occasionally felt disposed to the formation of our constitution has not been left to give them utterance; but prudence, that cowardly and our own hands; that we have received it ready formed, sometimes assassin virtue, destroyed each embryo pur- in all its beautiful proportions, by men who seem to have pose as soon as it was formed. . But now she changes been commissioned by Heaven for this verything. Sursides, and whispers me that it is due to myself, and those rounded by an atmosphere just purified by the storms whom I have the honor in part to represent, to crave and convulsions of the Revolution, every one feeling the indulgence of the Senate for a few moments. more strongly than any other want that of an equal, I am opposed to the original resolutions, because they wise, and impartial Government, they addressed themproposed to rescind an executive order. I do not mean selves to the task with no faculty biased by local or by this a mere verbal criticism, for 1 suppose the honor- personal passions. They sought for truth with their able Senator really meant what his resolution contained, visual organs purged from the mists of prejudice, and and proposes to rescind or repeal an executive order by they found her. They listened to her inspired instruca vote of the National Legislature; and this, with due def. tions, and penned the happy constitution under which erence, I conceived to be a manifest solecism. The we now live, the envy of other nations, and the pride of legislative, executive, and judicial departments of this our own. They divided Government into three departGovernment are wisely separated by the constitution, ments, and prescribed the sphere in which each should and one cannot interfere with the province of another. move. Harmony and safety will ever attend its action, The legislative prescribes rules for the executive and while each strictly observes the law of its creation. But judiciary, but cannot itself perform any legislative or it is difficult to say from which the most direful results judicial function, except in the special cases set forth in are to be apprehended, should it with eccentric movethe constitution. , Congress may, if it be necessary and ment forsake its natural orbit, and invade those of its proper, command the Executive to repeal the Treasury | sister planets. Viewing this matter in the light of exorder, but cannot itself repeal it. Congress passes laws perience, we should be led to suppose that from the lefor the government of every citizen, from the highest to gislative department there was the greatest reason for the lowest, and at his own peril he yields or withholds jealousy of usurpation, or invasion of the province of *..., As well, and even with more propriety, others. The most remarkable and desolating revolutions might the Supreme Court say it repeals an act of Con. of which modern history furnishes an account are those
Mox DAY, JAN UARY 9. The CHAIR presented the credentials of the Hon. SAMUEL PR ENtiss, re-elected Senator for six additional years, from the State of Vermont. Also, the credentials of Hon. Willi A.M. C. Pakstos, re-elected Senator from the State of South Carolina.
JAN. 9, 1837.]
of England and France, and the complete prostration of the executive and judicial authorities beneath the feet of the legislative marked those sanguinary events. But to press this portion of the subject no farther, suffice it to say, that true wisdom dictates to each department great forbearance towards the others, and a no less scrupulous abstinence from infringing upon their rights, than a jealous care of its own. The collection of the revenue is strictly an executive act. The Legislature, to be sure, can alone prescribe the subjects of revenue, and the mode of its collection; but the funds, to use the language of the resolution, in which receivable, is, in the general, a fair subject to be left to the Executive, under the constitution, and the broad range of circumstances which may from time to time arise. The general principle, certainly, (from which neither common reason nor convenience will allow of any wide departure,) is, that the public revenue should be collected in what is obviously equivalent to so much gold and silver, the acknowledged standards of value both by the constitution and the usage of trade. What is so equivalent must depend greatly upon circumstances continually fluctuating—the currents of trade, and the peculiar application for which any given portion of the revenue is designed. Sometimes the ease of the citizen may be consulted to a great extent, in perfect consistency with the security of the Treasury; and at others, nothing short of the precious metals themselves will serve the purposes of the public demands. I do not mean to say that Congress has not the power of dictating even the funds in which the revenue may be paid, or that there is any thing improper in her doing so; but that, in general, the officer whose business it is to supervise the Treasury, in his turn under the supervision of the Executive, will be well capable of judging, and much more competent to act to the advantage of the public, under sudden emer. gencies, (which no human sagacity is sufficient to foresee,) when untrammelled by rigid, inflexible rules; and, therefore, unless strong considerations call for the enactment of such rules, it is far better to leave him with the responsibility upon his own shoulders, which, without such enactments, would rest there. Thus the executive class of public officers would be stimulated to more activity; feeling, in addition to their responsibility to us, the representatives of the people, a direct responsibility to them, our common masters, for the wisdom and fidelity of their action. I am further opposed to the resolutions, because they proceed upon a principle altogether unknown to custom, and directly at war with sound policy. In general, either a public or private agent is bound to collect the debts of his principal in specie, or something clearly its equivalent; his undivided attention should be directed to the interest of him whom he represents. Truly, that dispo. sition to oblige, which, with rare exceptions, characterizes all intelligent men, and still more, in public matters, that love of popularity by which alone, in our country, men are either elevated to office or suffered long to retain it, are ample guarantees that the debtor, will not be subjected to inconveniences not demanded by the agent's own responsibility to his principal; and these are all that have been heretofore thought safe to allow the debtor, or at all reasonable for him to ask. In fact, it generally happens that consultation of his own ease in making his collections with the least labor and trouble, the law of kindness, and the love of popularity, induce the agent to relax from an observance sufficiently rigid of the interests of his principal, and to receive payment in funds not the most valuable, if not, in many cases, somewhat doubtful. Such seems to have been at one time, to a very alarming extent, the fiscal experience of this Government. But these resolutions propose to spur the flying steed, to impose that as an obligation towards
which there is already a natural and dangerous proclivity. They propose essentially to change the office of the head of the Treasury Department, and, requiring him to overlook the security of the national property, compel him to receive the national dues in a class of funds from which the debtor, having the right of selection, will of course choose what will be most easily obtained, and consequently, in all probability, the least safe and valu. able. I am again opposed to the resolutions, because, as Iconceive, they are intended to censure the President of the United States. If any doubt rested upon the mind, upon the mere perusal of the resolutions themselves, that doubt must cease as soon as we listen to the comments of their advocates, and the reasons which urge them to their support. Some of the reasons upon which they are avowedly supported are the evil motives ascribed to the President, in causing the issue of the Treasury order they are designed to repeal. He is, in effect, charged with falsehood; for the Treasury order bears upon its face, doubtlessly under his own authority and direction, the motives which induced him to give it existence; and we are here publicly told that his true motives were of an altogether different kind; thus directly changing him with an attempt to deceive the public, in placing before it false motives for his official action. But this is not all. He is not only charged with falsehood, but at least one of the motives imputed to him is in itself altogether base and dishonorable. We are told that some of the land speculators alluded to in the order were his own particular sriends, whose interest he was solicitous to promote; that they have already made large investments in the public lands, and are threatened with loss, or at least a necessity of holding for an inconvenient length of time, should the United States continue to be a competitor with them in unrestricted sales; and that, while the United States is demanding specie, they, by selling for paper, would acquire a preference in the market, and be enabled to command better prices; thus making the President of the United States, in forgetfulness of his high station and his well-earned honors, to sell the latter for trash to enrich his friends, and prostitute the former to gratify their avarice. Another motive assigned is, that being in heart opposed to the deposite law of the last session, he was desirous of throwing every difficulty in the way of its execution, to verisy the evil omens ut. tered by himself and friends in relation to it, and to render it odious in the eyes of the people. To accomplish all this, the Treasury order was framed, in the hope that the pressure and embarrassments it should produce might be imputed to the deposite act. It may be that the Presi. dent of the United States was not well inclincq to the deposite act, and that in truth it is a mischievous measure, some of the evils of which are now demonstrating them. selves; that those are now feeling them who could not in any other way be brought to dream of their existence; that in fact the connexion between present difficulties and the deposite act is so intimate as to make it appear that one was got up by previous design to accompany the other. But however all this may be, it is well known the present Chief Magistrate is not a man to accomplish his views by any indirection; that a bold and manly, and, as his enemies think, a rash and reckless policy, is one of his characteristics. Yet gentlemen who advocate these resolutions ascribe to him conduct highly disingenuous, and motives exceedingly dishonorable. It is not my wish, in malice, to impugn the motives of any one; and if I should refer unfavorably to the motives of a party, i hope no gentleman within or without these walls will consider it personal to himself, or springing, in the slightest degree, from individual feeling. We are all men, and are all liable to have our judgment warped, however clear and intuitive originally, by the allurements SENATE.]
of persuasion, the fascination of affection, the delusions of prejudice, or the madness of passion, and when I find myself differing with another, I am always willing to suppose, and have it supposed, that either he or myself have fallen under subjection to one of these malign | influences. There are gentlemen still living, and on the theatre | of public action, whose fame once fired my infant soul with admiration, and whose fame I still cherish as the boast of my country. But God has given to every ra. tional and responsible being faculties by which he is bound to try the actions and opinions of others as well as his own; he must be obedient to their decisions, and not suffer himself to be led captive at the chariot wheels of authority. Tried by th’s standard, I have found those whom I once viewed as little less than demigods, men of like passions with myself, and in like manner subject to idols, as the learned Lord Bacon has been pleased to term the various delusions to which the human mind is exposed. While, therefore, I am still disposed to accord to | them the fame they so justly merit, and allow to them at the same time patriotism equal to that of Curtius, who sealed his with his life, I yet see in them motives to assail the present administration well calculated to mislead them, and find in them a practice of indiscriminate condemnation of all its measures. Like the Jews of old, their cry continually is, “can any good come out of Naza
reth?” They must be indulged in the cry, but it is the duty of every one who loves his country to answer that cry, in all its various modifications, whenever he shall believe it groundless, with instant denunciation, lest the people become deluded by it, and stimulated, as of old, to the sacrifice of their best sriend, their truest benefactor. Let me not be misunderstood. Much as I esteem and admire General Jackson as a patriot and wise statesman, let it not be said I have ever uttered the blasphemous thought that he bears the most remote comparison with the sacred personage who fell a victim to Jewish persecution. But I do insist that to these original resolutions it is a just cause of resistance that they are designed to swell the cry of disapprobation against an administration pronounced, as I understand, by Nathaniel Macon, the political patriarch of North Carolina, the best this country has ever witnessed. Iłut this objection is intimately connected with another; and that is the tendency of the adoption of these res. olutions to the re-establishment of the United States Bank. The whole of the party with whom I have the honor to act concur in the opinion that this institution cannot exist consistently with the constitution; and many who differ from us in other matters unite with us in believing it one highly dangerous to the public weal. But these are questions not now for discussion; they may be considered as settled by the verdict of the people. But, sir, a new trial is moved for, and all sorts of devices are set on foot to prepare the mind of the only tribunal which can decide whether or not it shall be granted to lend a favorable ear to the application. None is more likely to be successful than the conviction that the fiscal concerns of the country are prone to gross mismanagement without it. If, therefore, Congress shall, by the adoption of these resolutions, give color to such a belief, gentlemen have already warned us in their speeches of the bearing it is likely to have upon the question of the recharter of the United States Bank. This recharter is, in my humble opinion, the main object for the accom. plishment whereof the present administration is abused and vilified, and all the other party machinery set to work. Among other things, with the cunning characteristic of a certain little animal common in our country, the bank pretends to be dead. But it is a delusion: the monster is not dead; it does not even sleep. I owe it to the respectable gentlemen connected with that institution, some
such measures as this novel crisis
of them my highly esteemed personal friends, to say that my hostility to the bank is entirely political. To more able, and, for aught I know, more honest hands, hearts, and heads, than some who have heretofore held some control of its affairs, they could not have been committed. But, even with them, flagrant abuses have attended its administration, and the freedom of elections, that life-spring of our political system, been seriously threatened. If these things happen in the green tree, what will be done in the dry? If honest men are borne away upon the tide of human passion, what may we expect when, as in the
common course of things may well happen, mere stock
jobbers and knaves shall rule over its destinies? Every tendency, then, to its recharter ought to be resisted, even
if the problem were demonstrated that we could not
manage our fiscal concerns so well without it. These, sir, are some of the reasons that would have indisposed me a priori to support the original resolutions. But gentlemen say they ought to be adopted, and the order rescinded, because it was issued in contemptuous disregard of the opinion of the Senate, expressed at its last session. If this be so, it is a grievous fault; and that the alleg, d perpetrator hath not been called upon more grievously to answer it, is, to my mind, proof positive that the accusation is groundless. The circumstance which, as I suppose, gives color to this charge is, that at the last session of Congress it was proposed in the Senate to adopt a resolution substantially conformable to the present Treasury order, which a majority of the Senate refused to do. To test this matter, let us suppose the administration the private agent of a private individual, whom we will imagine to be Congress. In some of those moments when the mouth unconsciously pours forth the fulness of the heart, the agent overbears his principal, while casting over in his mind the large estates of which he is the proprietor, and the vast sums of money which, by way of rent, are pouring into his coffers, “I believe,” says he, “I will instruct my agent to receive nothing but gold and silver from my tenants.” he debates the matter over with himself, and finally concludes to give his agent no instructions upon ho subject. but gold and silver are the legal currency of the country, and the agent, of his own head and imagination, compels the tenants to pay in gold and, silver. They complain that it would have been far easier for the on to have paid in the notes of specie-paying banks. With what justice could the principal complain that he had been contemptuously treated by his agent, because he had not construed his not commanding him to demand
gold and silver, as an instruction not to demand gold
and silver? I confess, had I the honor to have been at the head of the Treasury Department, I should have reasoned in this way. Notwithstanding a proposal to give me special instructions upon this matter, Congress has thought it expedient to leave me to my own discretion,
- s ibility, and expects me to adopt upon my official responsibility, of affairs may, #.
ituation is difficult and deliwith statesmanlike eye, to survey the scene; and, with manly and judicious firmness, to adopt such measures **** demanded by the exigency. Puerile fears, or irresolution, "h my part, may endanger the whole national treasure. ut we are já to Executive has no right to consider the state of affairs; no right to take any no with reference to the currency of the country, 9. the disposal of the public lands. That these are ma". exclusively with Congress. Indeed, sir! and, Pro why have we any Executive at all? Why does not Congress, just Pass, laws, and place their execution in the hands of agents of their own'selection and appointment. Simply because our forefathers were too wise to adopt any such form of government. They knew that a perpetual legislative
time to time, require. Mys cate, and it behooves me,