Imagens das páginas

JAN, 27, 1837.]

Treasury Circular.


advantages resulting from the reduction in the prices of the raw materials and labor, have compelled the banks to withdraw from them a portion of the capital heretofore advanced to them. That aid which has been refused by the banks has not been obtained from other sources, owing to the loss of individual confidence, from the frequent failures which have recently occurred in some of our principal commercial cities.” And recommends encouragement to manufactures.

Ertract from President Monroe's annual message at the meeting of Congress, December, 1820. “The receipts into the Treasury from every source (including a loan of three millions) to the 30th of September last, amount to $16,794, 107; whilst the public expenditures to the same period amount to $16,871,534. The sum of three millions, authorized to be raised by loan, by act of the last session of Congress, has been ob. tained on terms advantageous to the Government. It is proper to add, that there is now due to the Treasury, for the sale of the public lands, $22,996,545. In bring. ing this subject to view, I consider it my duty to submit to Congress whether it may not be advisable to extend to the purchasers of these lands, in consideration of the unfavorable change which has occurred since the sales, a reasonable indulgence. It is known that the purchases were made when the price of every article had risen to its greatest height, and that the instalments are becoming due at a period of great depression. It is presumed that some plan may be devised by the wisdom of Congress, compatible with the public interest, which would afford great relief to these purchasers.”

What a change of language, (said Mr. B.) It looks like enchantment! and all to take place between the mceting of one session of Congress and the meeting of the next. What a change! No more forty-seven millions of income; no more surpluses; no more seventeen millions from public lands; no more propositions to raise their price; no more of all this glowing picture! But the income from customs fallen down to thirteen millions; the income from lands to less than one million; a loan of three millions authorized to carry on the Gov£rnment; all the public expenditures cut down to the lowest point; universal distress; banks sailing; currency deranged; prices depressed; manufactures sinking, and calling for a new tariff; relief to them recommended; the purchasers of the public lands twenty-three millions in debt to the Government, unable to pay, calling for relief, and relief recommended, and granted; the twenty-three millions of debt for lands either released, or payment deferred on extended credit; and the minimum price, instead of being raised to five dollars per acre, reduced to one dollar and twenty-five cents. Such was the change of picture which it was the fate of the same President to present in the short interval which elapsed between two sessions of Congress! and what is the instruction which we should derive from it? Certainly, that similar effects follow similar causes, and that the past should be a lesson and a warning for the future. We are now in the circumstances of 1816, ’17, '18; overflowing Treasury, large surpluses, great sales of the public lands, the price of every thing high. And what made that state of things? Bank issues, bank expansions, bank loans, bank facilities! And what made the cruel reverse which took place in 1818–192 Contraction of bank issues, contraction of expansions, curtailment of loans, withdrawal of facilities, and the explosion of innumerable banks! The paper system, the paper system was the real and sole cause of the illusive and deceptive prosperity which, for a while, smiled treacherously upon the country, and was so suddenly followed by **ad and real distress. And are we not at this moment, *nd from the same cause, realizing the first part, the de.

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ceptive, the illusive, the treacherous part, of this picture? and must not the other part, the sad and real sequel, inev. itably follow? Mr. B. said it must follow, and went over several reasons to show it to be more certain now than in 1818-19. In the first place, there were three times more banks now than then, and increasing much saster now than they did then, and dealing in millions now for hundreds of thousands then. In the next place, there is now a great political party, confederated with a powerful moneyed institution, to produce derangements of the currency, and pecuniary distress in the country, and to lay it upon the Government, when no such party existed in 1816, ’17, 18. In the third place, the business of banking is now carried on in a more complex and critical form than formerly, by institutions using each other's notes as cash; issuing notes at one place payable at another and a distant place, and entering into temporary and voluntary arrangements for keeping up the credit and circulation of their notes at places where payments of them are not exigible by law. These are points in which the present trade of banking is more dangerously exposed, and more critically situated, than it was twenty years ago. On the other hand, there are some safeguards now which did not exist then; first, the great amount of specie, now near eighty millions of dollars, which the wisdom of President Jackson's administration has accumulated in the country; secondly, the avoid. ance, thus far, of the error of former administrations in using local paper for a national currency; thirdly, the Treasury order of 11th July, 1836, which saved the Western banks last fall, and which it is the object of this bill to rescind and supersede. Two of these safeguards are in danger of being removed by law—the second and the third of them. The first will remove itself whenever the premium on foreign exchange rises to 10%, (at which point it is profitable to export specie,) and that premium is now at near 10, and rising; and it will remove itself whenever the Federal Government, relapsing into the fatal error of receiving and paying out paper money, shall cease to create a home demand for the employment of gold and silver. The day of revulsion (said Mr. B.) may come sooner or later, and its effects may be more or less disastrous; but come it must, and disastrous, to some degree, it must be. The present bloat in the paper system cannot continue; the present depreciation of money, exemplified in the high price of every thing dependent upon the home market, cannot last. The revulsion will come, as surely as it did in 1819–20. But it will come with force if the Treasury order is maintained, and if paper money shall be excluded from the sederal Treasury. But, let these things go as they may, and let reckless or mischievous banks do what they please, there is still a refuge for the wise and good; there is still an ark of safety for every honest bank and for every prudent man; it is in the mass of gold and silver now in the country—the seventy odd millions which the wisdom of President Jackson's administration has accumulated—and by getting their share of which, all who are so disposed can take care of themselves. Sir, (said Mr. B.,) I have performed a duty to myself, not pleasant, but necessary. This bill is to be an era in our legislation and in our political history. It is to be a point upon which the future age will be thrown back, and from which future consequences will be traced. I separate myself from it; I wash my hands of it; 1 oppose it. I am one of thcse who promised gold, not paper. I promised the currency of the constitution, not the currency of corporations. I did not join in putting down the Bank of the United States, to put up a wilderness of local banks. I did not join in putting down the paper currency of a national bank, to put up a national paper currency of a thousand local banks.

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But, Mr. President, so important is this object, that I think that, far from diminishing, we ought rather to increase and multiply, our securities; and I am not prepared to say that, even with the continuance of the bank charter, and under its wisest administration, 1 regard the state of our currency as entirely safe. It is evident to me that the general paper circulation has been extended too far for the specie basis on which it rests. Our system, as a system, dispenses too far, in my judgment, with the use of gold and silver. Having learned the use of paper as a substitute, we use that substitute, I fear, too freely. It is true that our circulating paper is all redeemable in gold or silver. Legally speaking, it is all convertible into specie at the will of the holder. But a mere legal convertibility is not sufficient. There must be an actual, practical, never-ceasing convertibility. This, I think, is not, at present, sufficiently secured; and it is a matter that well deserves the serious consideration of the Senate. The paper circulation of the country is, at this time, probably 75 or 80,000,000 of dollars. Of specie we may have 20 or 22,000,000, and this, principally, in masses in the vaults of the banks. A circulation, consisting in so great a degree of paper, is

Treasury Circular.

casily expanded, to furnish temporary capital to such as

wish to adventure on new enterprises in trade; and the collection in the banks of most of what specie there is in the country affords all possible facility for its exportatation. Hence, over-trading does frequently occur, and is always followed by an inconvenient, sometimes by a dangerous, reduction of specie. It is in vain that we look to the prudence of banks for an effectual security against over-trading. The directors of such institutions will generally go the length of their means in cashing good notes, and leave the borrower to judge for himself of the useful employment of his money. Nor would a competent security exist against over-trading, if the banks were to

confine their discounts strictly to business paper, so de

nominated; that is, to notes and bills which represent real transactions, having been given and received on the actual purchase and sale of merchandise, because these transactions themselves may be too far extended. Men naturally have a good opinion of their own sagacity. He who believes merchandise is about to rise in price will purchase merchandise if he has money or can obtain credit. . The fact of actual purchase, therefore, is not a proof of really, subsisting want; and of course the amount of all purchases does not correspond always with

the entire wants of the community. Too frequently it by refusing to receive all such small notes, and all notes

very much exceeds that measure. if, then, the discretion

of the banks, exercised in deciding the amount of their discounts, is not a proper security against overtrading; if fa. cility in obtaining bank credits naturally fosters that spirit; if the desire of gain and love of enterprise constantly cherish it; and if it finds specie collected in the banks, inciting exportation, what is the remedy suited and adequate to the case? Now, I think, sir, that a closer inquiry into the direct source of the evil will suggest a remedy. why have we so small an amount of specie in circulation? Certainly the reason is, we do not require more. We have but to ask its presence, and it would return. But we voluntarily banish it, by the great amount of small bank notes. In most of the States, the banks issue notes of all low denominations, down even to a single dollar. How is “Possible, under such circumstance, to retain specie, in **ncy? All-experience shows it to be im. possible. The paper will take the place of the gold and silver. When Mr. Pitt, in the year 1797, proposed in

[JAN. 27, 1837.

Parliament to authorize the Bank of England to issue one-pound notes, Mr. Burke lay sick at Bath, of an ill. ness from which he never recovered; and he is said to have written to the late Mr. Canning, “Tell Mr. Pitt, if he consents to the issuing of one-pound notes, he must never expect to see a guinea again.” The one-pound notes were issued, and the guineas disappeared. A similar cause is now producing a precisely similar effect with us. Small notes have expelled dollars and half dollars from circulation in all the States in which such notes are issued. On the other hand, dol. lars and half dollars abound in those States which have adopted a wiser policy. Virginia, Pennsylvania, Mary. land, Louisiana, and some others, I think seven in all, do not allow their banks to issue notes under five dollars. Every traveller notices the difference, when he passes from one of these States into one where small notes are allowed. The evil, then, is the issuing of small notes by State banks. Of these notes, that is to say, notes under five dollars, the amount now in circulation is eight or ten millions of dollars. Can these notes be with. drawn? If they can, their place will be immediately supplied by a specie circulation of equal amount. The object is a great one, as it is connected with the safety and stability of the currency, and may well justify a serious reflection on the means of accomplishing it. May not Congress and the State Governments, acting, not unitedly, but severally, to the same end, easily and quietly attain it? I think they may. It is but for other States to follow the good example of those which I have mentioned, and the work is done. As an inducement to the States to do this, I propose, in the present bill, to reserve

to Congress a power of withdrawing from circulation a

pretty large part of the issues of the United States Bank. I propose this, so that the State banks may withdraw their small notes, and find their compensation in a lar. ger circulation of a higher denomination. My proposition will be, that, at any time after the expiration of the existing charter of the bank, that is, after 1836, Congress may, if it see fit, restrain the bank from issuing for circulation notes or bills under a certain sum—say ten or twenty dollars. This will diminish the circulation, and consequently the profits of the bank; but it is of less importance to make a bank a highly profitable institution to stockholders, than that it should be safe and useful to the community. It ought not, certainly, to be restrained from the enjoyment of all the fair advantages to be derived from the discreet use of its capital, in banking transactions; but the leading object, after all, in its continuance, is, and ought to be, not private emolument, but public benefit. It may perhaps strike some gentlemen that the circulation of small notes might be effectually discouraged,

of such banks as issued them, at the custom-houses, land offices, post offices, and other places of public receipt, and by causing them to be refused, also, either in payment or deposite at the Bank of the United States. But the effect of such refusal may be doubtful. . It would certainly in some degree discredit such notes, but probably it would not drive them out of circulation altogether; and if it did not do this, it might increase their circulation. If in some degree they become discredited, they would become cheaper than other notes; and experience proves that of two things which may be cur. rent, the cheaper will always expel the other. Thus silver, because it is proportionally cheaper with us than gold, has driven the gold out of the country. Thus, as we can pay our debts cheaper in silver than in gold, we use nothing but silver, and the gold goes where it is more highly valued. The same thing always happens between two sorts of paper which are found at the same time in circulation. That which is cheapest, or of less value

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Jan. 27, 1837.]

Treasury Circular.


than the other, always drives its more respectable associate out of its company.

No. 2.

A fourth improvement which Mr. B. had proposed was to limit the notes issued by the banks to the minimum size of twenty dollars, and to exclude all notes under that minimum, issued by other banks, from circulation within the District. He confessed that he felt an extreme degree of mortification in making a motion in the Congress of the United States to limit the size of bank notes, when this Congress was sitting here, and held its existence by virtue of a constitution which recognised nothing for currency but gold and silver; but he feared he might be subject to a still greater mortification in witnessing the failure of his motion, and the triumph of the paper system over this small attempt to check one of its greatest abuses. The limit of twenty dollars was the lowest that conlo be taken to accomplish the great objects in view; and that limit was not assumed arbitrarily, but from a careful observation of the effect of different limits, in different countries, upon the nature and amount of the circulating medium. The great evils of a small paper currency are: 1. To banish gold and silver; 2. To encourage counterfeiting; 3. To destroy the standard of values; 4. To throw the burdens and the evils of the paper system upon the laboring and small dealing part of the community. The instinct of banks to sink their circulaticn to the lowest denomination of notes which can be forced upon the community is a trait in the system universally proved to exist wherever banks of circulation have been permitted to give a currency to a country; and the effect of that instinct has always been to banish gold and silver. When the Bank of England was chartered, in the year 1694, it could issue no note less than £100 sterling; that amount was gradually reduced, by the persevering efforts of the bank, to £50; then to £20; then to £15; then to £10; at last to £5; and, finally, to £2 and £1. These last denominations were not reached until the year 1797, or until one hundred and three years after the institution of the bank; and as the several reductions in the size of the notes, and the consequent increase of paper currency, took place, gold became more and more scarce; and with the issue of the one and two pound notes, it totally disappeared from the country. This effect was foretold by all political economists, and especially by Mr. Burke, then aged and retired from public life, who wrote from his retreat to Mr. Canning, to say to Mr. Pitt, the prime minister, these prophetic words: “If this bill for the one and two pound notes is permitted to pass, we shall never see another guinea in England.” ‘i’he bill did pass, and the prediction was fulfilled; for not another guinea, half guinea, or sovereign, was seen in England, for circulation, until the bill was repealed, two-and-twenty years asterwards! After remaining nearly a quarter of a century without a gold circulation, England abolished her one and two pound notes, limited her paper currency to £5 sterling, required all Bank of England notes to be paid in gold, and allowed four years for the act to take effect. Before the four years were out, the Bank of England reported to Parliament that it was ready to begin gold payments; and commenced accordingly, and has continued them ever since. The one and two pound notes in England correspond with the five and ten dollar notes in the United States, and the five-pound note is only four dollars above our twenty dollars; so that the analogy is perfect, and the effect must be similar upon our fives, tens, and twenties, that it was in England from the issue and supPression of the one and two pound notes, and the limitation to £5, with the compulsory obligation to pay it. The encouragement of counterfeiting was the next

great evil which Mr. B. pointed out as belonging to a small-note currency; and of all the denominations of notes, he said, those of one and two pounds in England, corresponding with fives and tens in the United States, were those to which the demoralizing business of counterfeiting was chiefly directed! They were the chosen game of the forging depredator! and that, for the obvious reasons that fives and tens were small enough to pass currently among persons not much acquainted with bank paper, and large enough to afford some profit to compensate for the expense and labor of producing the counterfeit, and the risk of passing it! Below fives, the prefit is too small for the labor and risk. Too many have to be forged and passed before an article of any value can be purchased; and the change to be got in silver, in passing one for a small article, is too little. Of twenty and upwards, though the profit is greater on passing them, yet the danger of detection is also greater. On account of its larger size, the note is not only more closely scrutinized before it is received, and the passer of it better remembered, but the circulation of them is more confined to business men and large dealers, and silver change will not be given for them in buying small articles. The fives and tens, then, in the United States, like the £1 and £2 in England, are the peculiar game of counterfeiters; and this is fully proved by the criminal statistics of the forgery department in both countries. According to returns made to the British Parliament for twenty-two years—from 1797 to 1819, the period in which the one and two pound notes were allowed to cir. culate—the whole number of prosecutions for counter. feiting, or passing counterfeit notes of the Bank of England, was 998; in that number there were 313 capital convictions, 530 inferior convictions, and 155 acquittals; and the sum of £249,900, near a million and a quarter of dollars, was expended by the bank in attending to prosecutions. Of this great number of prosecutions, the returns show that the mass of them were for offences connected with the one and two pound notes. The proportion may be distinctly seen in the number of counterfeit notes of different denominations detected at the Bank of England in a given period of time-from the 1st of January, 1812, to the 10th of April, 1818–being a pe. riod of six years and three months, out of the twenty-two years that the one and two pound notes continued to circulate. The detections were, of one-pound notes, the number of 107,238; of two-pound notes, 17,787; of fivepound notes, 5,826, of ten-pound notes, 419; of twentypound notes, 54. Of all above twenty pounds, 35. The proportion of ones and twos to the other sizes may be well seen in the tables for this brief period; but to have any idea of the mass of counterfeiting done upon these small notes, the whole period of twenty-two years must be considered, and the entire kingdom of Great Britain taken in; for the list only includes the number of counterfeits detected at the counter of the bank, a place to which the guilty never carry their forgeries, and to which a portion only of those circulating in and about London could be carried. The proportion of crime connected with the small notes is here shown to be enormously and frightfully great. The same results are found in the United Sta'es. Mr. B. had looked over the statistics of crime connected with the counterfeiting of bank notes in the United States, and found the ratio between the great and small notes to be about the same that it was in England. He had recourse to the most authentic data—Bicknell's Counterfeit Detector-and there found the editions of counterfeit notes of the local or state banks to be eight hundred and eighteen, of which seven hundred and fifty-six were of ten dollars and under; and sixty-two editions only were of twenty dollars and upwards. Of the Bank of the United States and its branches, he found eighty-two editions of five”;


the encroachments of power on the one hand, and the effervescence of popular excitement on the other. Unawed and unseduced, it should firmly maintain the constitution in its purity, and present an impregnable barrier against every attack on that sacred instrument, come it from what quarter it may. The demon of faction should find no abiding place in this chamber, but every heart and every head should be wholly occupied in ad

vancing the general welfare, and preserving, unim

paired, the national honor. To insure success, gentlemen, in the discharge of our high duties, we must command the confidence and receive the support of the people. Calm deliberation, courtesy towards each other, order and decorum in debate, will go far, very far, to inspire that confidence and command that support. It becomes my duty, gentlemen, to banish (if practicable) from this hall all personal altercation; to check, at once, every remark of a character personally offensive; to preserve order, and promote harmony. These duties, as far as my powers will permit, I shall unhesitatingly perform. I earnestly solicit your co-operation, gentlemen, in aiding my efforts promptly to put down every species of disorder. For your kindness, gentlemen, I tender you my grateful acknowledgments. On motion of Mr. GRUNDY, it was Ordered, That the Secretary of the Senate inform the President of the United States and the House of Representatives that the Senate have elected the Hon. Wi L. 11 AM. R. Ki Ma their President pro tem.


The bill designating and limiting the funds which shall be receivable in payment for the public revenues was taken up, being on its third reading. Mr. SEVIER moved to postpone the further consideration of the bill until Monday, for the purpose of going on with the land bill; which motion was lost: Ayes 13, noes not counted. Mr. WALRER then rose and said: Besore replying to the indictment preferred by the honorable Senator from Missouri, [Mr. Brxton,) against the Committee on Public Lands, it is proper to recur to the sacts and circumstances under which this controversy originated. At an early period of the session, the Senator from Ohio, [Mr. Ewing,) introduced a resolution to rescind the Treasury order. This resolution was very fully discussed, and especially by the Senator from Missouri, [Mr. Benton,] but Mr. W. had taken no part in this discussion. In the progress of the debate upon the resolution of the Senator from Ohio, a substitute was offered, as an amendment, by the Senator from Virginia, [Mr. Rives.] This substitute was advocated by that Senator, as in consonance with the President's recommendation, to render the legislation of Congress in the collection of the federal revenue auxiliary to the suppression of all notes of a smaller denomination than twenty dollars, and a consequent enlargement of the circulation of gold and silver. The Senator from Virginia had regarded the Treasury order as a temporary measure, to meet a pressing emergency, and as having in a great degree performed its office, Mr. W. had still refrained from embarking in the discussion upon this question. Several Senators, however, had expressed their opinions, and great difficulties appear. ed to be presented against any satisfactory adjustment of this question. Under these circumstances, several Senators, now within the sound of his voice, had proposed to him (Mr. W.) to refer both resolutions to the Committee on Public Lands. To this reference, Mr. W. said, he had at first objected, upon the grounds that the Commit. tee on Public Lands was engaged in the laborious examination of another question, and that the subject of des.

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ignating the funds receivable for the public dues be. longed more appropriately to the Committee on Finance. Upon further consultation, however, with several Sena. tors friendly to the administration, Mr. W. had at length reluctantly assented to the proposed reference, which was accordingly made by the vote of the Senate, including that of the Senator from Missouri, [Mr. Bentos.] | No other report than that which was made, so far as Mr. | W. was concerned, could have been anticipated; for to ! every Senator with whom Mr. W. had conversed, he had expressed his concurrence in the provisions, substan. | tially, of the resolution of the Senator from Virginia, [Mr. Rives;] and at the last session, when the Senator from Missouri [Mr. BeNTos] introduced a resolution requiring payments of the public lands in gold and silver only, the Senate would well recollect that he (Mr. W.) had then expressed his opposition to that resolution, and so had a majority of the Senators now composing the Committee on Public Lands. When, then, the Senator from Missouri voted for this reference, he could not justly have anticipated any other report than that which was made by the committee. Why, then, did the Senator from Missouri vote for this reference, and then denounce the committee for making the only report which he could have expected, in conformity with their previously avowed opinions? Mr. W. said it became his duty, as chairman of this committee, and as their organ, to report a bill containing substantially the provisions of the resolution of the Senator from Virginia. Again, the subject had been discussed in the Senate, but Mr. W. had not participated in the debate; and the bill, by a large majority, was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading; and now, when, by the usual rules of parliamentary debate, the contest might well be considered as ter. minated, the Senator from Missouri, [Mr. BENton,] brfore the vote on the final passage, had made a very elaborate argument against the measure. To all this Mr. W. would make no objection; but when that Senator, having exhausted the argument, or having none to offer, had indulged in violent and intemperate denunciation i |

of the Committee on Public Lands, and of the report made by him as their organ, Mr. W. could not withhold the expression of his surprise and astonishment. Mr. W. said it was his good fortune to be upon terms of the kindest personal intercourse with every Senator, and these friendly relations should not be interrupted by any aggression upon his part. And now, Mr. W. said, he called upon the whole Senate to bear witness, as he was sure they all cheerfully would, that in this controversy he was not the aggressor, and that nothing had been done or said by him to provoke the wrath of the Senator from Missouri, unless, indeed, to differ from him in opinion upon any subject constituted an offence in the mind of that Senator. If such were the views of that gentleman, if he was prepared to immolate every Senator who would not worship the same images of gold and silver which decorated the political chapel of the honorable gentleman, Mr. W. was fearful that the Senator from Missouri would do execution upon every member of the Senate but himself, and be lest here alone in his glory. Mr. W. said he recurred to the remarks of the Senator from Missouri with feelings of regret, rather than of an: ger or excitement; and that he could not but hope, that when the Senator from Missouri had calmly reflected upon this subject, he would himself see much to regret in the course he had pursued in relation to the Commit: tee on Public Lands, and much to recall that he had uttered under feelings of temporary excitement. Sir, (said Mr. W.,) being deeply solicitous to preserve unbroken the ranks of the democratic party in this body, participating with the people in grateful recollection 9 the distinguished services rendered by the Senator from Missouri to the democracy of the Union, he would pass JAN. 28, 1837.]

rency founded upon silver. Silver is too cumbrous to hold paper in check. A person would not wish to change even a twenty-dollar note into silver to carry in his pocket, but would gladly change it into gold; and so of fifty and hundred dollar notes.

When Mr. BENTox had concluded his speech,

Mr. GRUNDY moved to lay the bill on the table, for the purpose of taking up and acting on the resolution submitted by him for the appointment of a joint committee to count the

WOTES FOR PRESIDENT AND VICE DENT. This motion having been agreed to, and Mr. Gnu NDy's resolution being before the Senate, Mr. GRUNDY said he had no objections to the inquiry proposed by the amendment; and he thought that some such provision as that proposed by the Senator from Kentucky would be very proper. He had seen in the public papers a statement charging that some of the electors who voted in the late presidential election held offices under the General Government, and had made inquiries for the purpose of ascertaining the truth of the matter. The information he had been able to collect related to two cases only; and as to these, the report had been founded altogether on a misapprehension. Mr. CLAY, after a few remarks, offered the following amendment: “And, also, to inquire into the expediency of ascertaining whether any votes were given at the recent election, contrary to the prohibition contained in the second section of the second article of the constitution. And if any such votes were given, what ought to be done with them; and whether any, and what, provision ought to be made for securing the faithful observance, in future, of that section of the constitution.” Mr. HUBBARD expressed his entire concurrence in the objects of the amendment proposed by the Senator from Kentucky. He wished a strict inquiry to be instituted, and measures to be adopted to guard against the occurrence of such a violation of the constitution as the Senator from Kentucky referred to. As it had been stated that two of the electors in his State (New Hampshire) held offices under the General Government, and were consequently ineligible, he was happy to state to the Senate that there was no foundation whatever for the report. The amendment of Mr. Clay was then adopted, and the resolution, thus amended, was agreed to. Mr. HUBBARD moved that the committee be appointed by the Chair; which, by unanimous consent, was was agreed to; and Messrs. Gaun Dr, Clay, and WRight, were selected.

The Senate then adjourned.



The VICE PRESIDENT, after the reading of the journal, addressed the Senate as follows:

Senators: The period is at hand which is to terminate the official relation that has existed between us, and I leave, probably never to return to it, a body with which I have been long connected; where some remain whom I found here fifteen years ago, and where, in the progress of public duties, personal associations have arisen never to be forgotten. From such scenes I cannot retire without emotion. Nor can I give to the Senate the usual opportunity of choosing another to preside for a time over their deliberations, without referring to the manner in which I have endeavored to discharge a most gratifying and honorable trust connected with the office to which my country called me.

Potes for President and Vice President—Retirement of the Vice President.


Entering upon it with unaffected diffidence, well knowing how little my studies had been directed to its peculiar duties, I was yet strengthened by the determination, then expressed, so to discharge the authority with which I was invested, as “best to protect the rights, to respect the feelings, and to guard the reputations, of all who would be affected by its exercise.” I was sure that, if successful in this, I should be pardoned for errors which I could hardly expect to avoid. In the interval that has since elapsed, it has been our lot in this assembly to pass through scenes of unusual excitement: the intense interest on absorbing topics, which has pervaded our whole community, could not be unfelt within these walls. The warmth of political parties, natural in such times, the unguarded ardor of sudden debate, and the collisions seldom to be separated from the invaluable privilege of free discussion, have not been unfrequently mingled with the more tranquil tenor of ordinary legislation. I cannot hope that, in emergencies like these, I have always been so fortunate as to satisfy every one around me; yet I permit myself to think that the extent to which my decisions have been approved by the Senate is some evidence that my efforts justly to administer their rules have not been vain; and I conscientiously cherish the conviction, that on no occasion have I departed from my early resolution, or been regardless of what was due to the rights or the feelings of the members of this body. Though I may henceforth be separated from the Senate, I can never cease to revert with peculiar interest to my Iong connexion with it. In every situation in my future life I shall remember with a just pride the evi. dences of approbation and confidence which I have here received; and as an American citizen, devotedly attached to the institutions of my country, I must always regard with becoming and sincere respect a branch of our Government invested with such extensive powers, and designed by our forefathers to accomplish such important results. Indulging an ardent wish that every success may await you in performing the exalted and honorable duties of your public trust, and offering my warmest prayers that prosperity and happiness may be constant attendants on each of you, along the future paths of life, I respectfully bid you farewell. After the Vice PREs in ENT had retired, On motion of Mr. GRUNDY, the Senate proceeded to ballot for a President pro tem. The number of votes cast was 37; necessary to a choice 19. Mr. KING of Alabama had 26, Mr. SouthAnd 7, Mr. Clay 1, Mr. Pn ENT15s 1, Mr. Fw1Ng of Ohio, 1, Mr. BUch ANAN 1. Mr. KING, of Alabama, being thus duly elected President pro tem. of the Senate, was conducted to the Chair by Mr. BExton, and addressed the Senate nearly as follows: Gentlemen of the Senate: To be again called to preside over the deliberations of this august assembly fills my heart with the liveliest emotions of gratitude. When at the last session it pleased the Senate to place me in this exalted situation, I solemnly pledged myself to discharge the duties it devolved on me, without favor and without partiality. I felt conscious that I had done so; but could any thing add to the gratesul sense I entertain of the honor you have again couferred on me, it will be found in the unequivocal testimony you have this day borne, that I had faithfully redeemed that pledge. The Senate of the United States, gentlemen, is, from its very organization, the great conservative body in this republic. Here is the strong citadel of liberty. To this body the intelligent and the virtuous, throughout our wide-spread country, look with confi. dence for an unwavering and unflinching resistance to

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