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confidence and friendship which have for so many years subsisted between us. No length of time or change of circumstances will ever efface from my mind the recollections growing out of these associations; and I shall always rejoice to hear of your prosperity and happiness, and of that of every member of the Senate. WALTER LOW R1E. Hon. MARTIN VAN BUREN, Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate. On motion of Mr. BENTON, it was Ordered, That the Chief Clerk of the Senate perform the duties of Secretary till a Secretary shall be appointed. Mr. Mach EN accordingly took the usual requisite oath. The Senate then adjourned till 12 o'clock to-morrow.
Mr. KENT rose, and addressed the Chair as follows: Mr. President: Yonder vacant seat, heretofore so ably and so faithfully filled, but too significantly indicates the object of my addressing you at this time. I rise, sir, for the purpose of announcing to you and to the Senate the melancholy intelligence of the death of my very worthy and excellent colleague, the late Rob ERT H. Golnshonough. He departed this life during the late recess, aster a short illness, in the midst of his usefulness, and at a period when we should have been justifiable in alloting to him many years of vigorous health, But few individuals have occupied a greater space in public estimation in his native State than Mr. Goinsnonovgh. He filled, from an early period of his life, with no inconsiderable degree of reputation, various public stations, and was twice elected to a seat in this body. Possessing the advantages of a liberal education, which had been well improved, with the most polished address, he was ever sound a ready and officient debater, remarkable for his courtesy and politeness. He was truly said to have been “a man of manners and of letters too,” Mr. Golusuonough's exertions for the benefit of his fellow men were not confined to public life. He was prominent as an agriculturist, making frequent and judicious experiments, enforcing his views by very able - *
* * * *
Death of Mr. Goldsborough—Madison's Writings, &c.
[01.c. 6, 7, 1836,
essays, thereby directing the attention of the agriculturists to such objects as were calculated to a meliorate and improve the condition of his exhausted lands. Truly exemplary in all the relations of private life, as a friend, neighbor, and in the domestic circle, he was unrivalled. To me, personally, his loss is truly afflicting. A severe hoarseness, under which l have labored for some time, obliges me to be thus brief. I beg leave to offer the following resolution: “Resolved, That the members of the Senate, from a sincere desire of showing every mark of respect due to the memory of the Honorable Ron Enr 11. GolnshaRough, deceased, late a member thereof, will go into mourning for him one month, by the usual mode of wearing crape round the left arm.” 'The resolution was unanimously adoptedOn motion of Mr. KENT, the Senate then adjourned.
The sollowing message was received from the President of the United States, by the hands of ANDnew Jacksos, Jr. Esq. his private secretary : 1 orne Senate and Iłouse of Representatives: I transmit, here with, copies of my correspondence with Mrs. Madison, produced by the resolution adopted at the last session by the Senate and House of Representatives, on the decease of her venerated husband. The occasion seems to be appropriate to present a letter from her on the subject of the publication of a work of great political interest and ability, carefully prepared by Mr. Madison's own hand, under circumstances that give it claims to be considered as little less than official. Congress has already, at considerable expense, published, in a variety of forms, the naked journals of the revolutionary Congress, and of the conventions that formed the constitution of the United States. I am persuaded that the work of Mr. Madison, considering the author, the subject-matter of it, and the circumstances under which it was prepared--long withheld from the public as it has been by those motives of personal kindness and delicacy that gave tone to his intercourse with his fellow men, until he and all who had been participators with him in the scenes he describes, I have passed away—well deserves to become the prop| erty of the nation; and cannot sail if published and dis. seminated at the public charge, to confer the most important of all benefits on the present and every succeeding generation—accurate knowledge of the principles of their Government, at d the circumstances under which they were recommended, and embodied in the constitution for adoption.
Dec. 8, 12, 1836.)
lution might be disposed of by the Senate, before the other important business of the session commenced.
After transacting some other business the Senate adjourned.
Thunso Ay, DEcEM B En S.
STATEMENTS OF COMMERCE AND NAVIGATION.
The following resolution, moved by Mr. BENton, of Missouri, being under consideration— “Resolved, that the annual statement of the commerce and navigation of the United States be hereafter printed under the direction of the Secretary of the Treasury, and be communicated in a printed form as soon as possi. ble after the commencement of each stated session of Congress.” In supporting the resolution, Mr. B. observed that this document being always a very extensive one, consisting almost entirely of figures, great delay was unavoidably incurred in the printing of it, insomuch that, under the existing practice, it was seldom obtained in time, and the Senate was usually a year in arrear in its reception. To remedy this inconvenience an order had been passed some sessions since requiring its earlier preparation; but this had not answered the end. The measure proposed in the resolution would, he believed, be the only effectual means of putting congress in possession of this important document as early as was desirable. Mr. KNIGHT said it was not his design to make an objection to the resolution, but to inquire whether any extra copies are to be printed under it? This document, said he, is an important one, and an extra number of copies are always ordered to be printed by the Senate. It is one of the most profitable to the printer among all the documents printed—containing mostly rule work and figures. If the usual extra copies are printed by order of the Secretary of the Treasury, distributed in the usual manner, and at the same price, I do not know as I have any objection; but the number of copies and the price of printing should be stated in the resolution. Mr. BENTON called for the reading of the original order under which the document was prepared; but some delay occurring in turning to it, the subject was for the present laid upon the table. Several bills were introduced on leave and passed to the second reading. After fixing upon next Monday for the appointment of the standing committees and the election of a Secretary of the Senate, the Senate adjourned over to Monday. Mox DAY, December 12. Mr. BLAck, Senator from Mississippi, Mr. TALLMAuge, Senator from New York, and Mr. WEastER, Senator
from Massachusetts, appeared to-day, and took their Seats.
STATEMENTS OF COMMERCE AND NAVIGATION.
Mr. BENTON called up the resolution he had offered on Thursday last, respecting an alteration in the mode of printing the annual report from the Treasury on commerce and navigation.
Mr. KNIGHT moved to amend the resolution by striking out all after the word “resolved,” and inserting—
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, That the annual statement of the commerce and navigation of the United States be hereafter printed under the direction of the Secretary of the treasury, and communicated as soon as possible after the commencement of each stated session of Congress, and that said statement be printed in the same form and at the same price as the
Statements of Commerce and Navigation, &c.
ordinary printing of the two Houses of Congress; that the same number of copies as are usually printed be furnished for the purpose of binding and distribution, and that five thousand additional copies be equally distributed to the members of the Senate and House of Representatives. Mr. BENTON said that, on looking further into the existing law providing for the printing of this document, he had become convinced that some such modification of the resolution was necessary as had now been proposed. The only objection he had to it related to the five thousand additional copies to be printed for the Senate; he thought this number larger than necessary, and proposed that it be reduced to three thousand. Mr. KNIGHT assenting, the resolution was so modified accordingly, and in this form it was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading. SECRETARY OF THE SENATE. On motion of Mr. KING, and in accordance with the Senate order of Thursday last, the Senate proceeded to ballot for a Secretary of the Senate, in place of WALTER Low R1e, Esq. resigned. On the first ballot, Mr. As Buily DickINs received 20 votes; Hon. A RNoLD NAUDAIN, late of the Senate, 18; scattering 3; 21 being necessary to a choice. On the second ballot, Mr. Dicki Ns received 21; Mr. NAUDAIN 18; Mr. BRY AN 1; 21 being necessary to a choice. Mr. Dicki Ns was accordingly declared to be duly elected Sceretary of the Senate.
The Senate proceeded to ballot for the chairmen of their several standing committees. The several elections resulted as follows: Mr. Buch ANAN, chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, by 21 votes. Mr. Waight, chairman of the Committee on Finance, by 20 votes. Mr. KING, of Alabama, chairman of the Committee on Commerce, by 20 votes. Mr. NILEs, chairman of the Committee on Manufac
tures, by 22 votes.
Mr. PAGE, chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, by 21 votes. Mr. BEN to N, chairman of the Committee on Military Affairs, by 26 votes. Mr. WALL, chairman of the Committee on the Militia, by 19 votes. Mr. Rives, chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, by 20 votes. Mr. WALKER, chairman of the Committee on Public Lands, by 21 votes. Mr. LINN, chairman of the Committee on Private Land Claims, by 21 votes. Mr. White, chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs, by 29 votes. Mr. Huan And, chairman of the Committee of Claims, by 19 votes. Mr. Brown, chairman of the Committee on Revolutionary Claims, by 18 votes. Mr. Gnu Noy, chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, by 21 votes. Mir. Ron Insow, chairman of the Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads, by 22 votes. Mr. HENntorcks, chairman of the Committee on Roads and Canals, by 21 votes. Mr. ToM LINson, chairman of the Committtee on Pensions, by 31 votes. Mr. KENT, chairman of the Committee for the District of Columbia, by 19 votes. Mr. Monnis, chairman of the Committee on Engrossed Bills, by 25 votes.
Mr. CALHou N, Senator from South Carolina, appeared to-day in his seat. On motion of Mr. RIVES, the message of the Presi. dent on the subject of the proposed publication of Mr. Madison's History of the Convention, was, with the accompanying documents, referred to the Committee on the Library. When the morning business had been disposed ofThe Senate resumed the balloting for the remaining members of standing committees not yet filled up, and the result was as follows: Committee on the Post Office and Post Roads.--Messrs. Robinson, (chairman, ) Knight, Grundy, Brown, Niles. Committee on Roads and Canals.--Messrs. Hendricks, (chairman,) McKean, Robinson, Nicholas, Page. Committee on Pensions.—Messrs. Tomlinson, (chairman,) Prentiss, Hubbard, Morris, Sevier. Committee on the District of Columbia.--Messrs. Kent, (chairman,) King of Alabama, King, of Georgia, Buchanan, Nicholas.
Memory of Mr. Kinnard–The Treasury Circular.
[DEc. 13, 14, 1836.
Committee on Engrossed Bills.--Messrs. Morris, (chairman,) Page, Fulton.
Joint Committee on the Library.--Messrs. Robbins, Preston, Wall.
THE TREASURY CIRCULAR,
The following resolutions, introduced by Mr. Ewing, of Ohio, being at their second reading: “Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, &c., That the Treasury order of the eleventh day of July, Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, designating the funds which should be receivable in payment for public lands, be, and the same is hereby, rescinded. “Resolved, also, That it shall not be lawful for the Secretary of the Treasury to delegate to any person, or to any corporation, the power of directing what funds shall be receivable for customs, or for the public lands; nor shall he make any discrimination in the funds so receivable, between different individuals, or between the different branches of the public revenue.” The resolutions having been read— Mr. EWING, of Ohio, spoke as follows: Mr. President: When l presented these resolutions, a few days since, it was suggested by the Senator from Missouri, over the way, [Mr. BEN to N, ) that he would oppose them at their second reading, for the purpose of being early heard in support of the order which it is their principal office to rescind. With this I am entirely satisfied. I also wish to be heard on a subject which is of vital interest to the State which I represent, and to the whole West; and I concur with him most heartily in this expedient to avoid delay in bringing before the Senate, and sending abroad to the nation, the opinions of members of this body on this important subject. I, therefore, in accordance with that suggestion, which seemed to meet the sanction of the Senate, will now proceed to give my views upon the order which these resolutions propose to rescind. This extraordinary paper was issued by the Secretary of the Treasury on the 11th of July last, in the form of a circular to the receivers of public money in the several land offices in the United States, directing them, after the 15th of August then next, to receive in payment for public lands nothing but gold and silver and certificates of deposites, signed by the Treasurer of the United States, with a saving in savor of actual settlers, and bonafide residents in the State in which the land happened to lie. This saving was for a limited time, and expires, I think, to-morrow. The professed object of this order was to check the speculations in public lands; to check excessive issues of bank paper in the West, and to increase the specie currency of the country; and the necessity of the measure was supported, or pretended to be supported, by the opinions of members of this body and the other branch of Congress. But, before I proceed to examine in detail this paper, its character, and its consequences, I will briefly advert to the state of things out of which it grew. I am confident, and I believe I can make the thing manifest, that the avowed objects were not the only, nor even the leading objects for which this order was framed; they may have influenced the minds of some who advised it, but those who planned, and those who at last virtually executed it, were governed by other and different motives, which I shall proceed to explain. It was foreseen, prior to the commencement of the last session of Congress, that there would be a very large surplus of money in the public Treasury beyond the wants of the country for all their reasonable expenditures. It was also well understood that the land bill, or some other measure for the distribution of this fund, would be again presented to Congress; and, if the true Dec. 14, 1836.]
condition of the public Treasury were known and understood, that its distribution, in some form or other, would be demanded by the country. On the other hand, it seems to have been determined by the party, and some of those who act with it thoroughly, that the money should remain where it was, in the deposite banks, so that it could be wielded at pleasure by the Executive. Hence the report of the Secretary of the Treasury made to the two Houses of Congress on the 8th day of l'ecember, 1835, (doc. 2, page 2,) makes the aggregate balance in the Treasury, on the 1st day of January, 1836, no more than $19,147,000; but now the controversy is ended, he shows, in his report of the 6th of December, 1836, that the true amount of that balance was $26,749,803, making an error of $7,602,803. There enters into this, and thence arises the egregious error, an estimate of the receipts for the last quarter of the then current year. After three quarters of that quarter had elapsed; after this was in the hands of inferior officers, and, in the ordinary course of business, within the knowledge of his several bureaus at Washington, receipts within that quarter of about seven millions, he estimates the aggregate receipts for the whole quarter at $4,950,000, whereas the true amount, as now reported, was $11,950,000, making a difference in the receipts of that single quarter of seven millions. I think I am very safe in saying that this most extraordinary error never would have occurred in this report if it had been the wish of the Executive to parade before the nation a very prosperous state of the public Treasury, and a large re: ceipt for the year 1835. If nothing had been feared about the land bill or distribution project, the estimate for that quarter would probably have equalled the actual receipts.
The statement of the Secretary, however, showed a surplus; but he proceeds to calculate it away in the year 1836. He conjectures that the receipts of that year will amount to $19,750,000, and of this he allows the public lands to produce $4,000,000. The whole receipt being less, by about $4,000,000, than sufficient to sustain the estimated expenses of the year. But in his report of December 6, 1836, he gives the receipts of the same year at $47,691,898; more, by about $28,000,000, than his estimate; and of this the public lands yield $24,000,000, six times the amount of that estimate. . .
These facts are striking; and is the errors originate on mere mistake, which I am willing to believe, they indicate a most extraordinary degree of ignorange as to the business of the country, and the direction of its capital, or a mind easily biased and led into error by Precon: ceived opinions.
But Senators, in the course of the debate which afterwards, sprung up on the land bill, went much. farther than the secretary of the Treasury. They denied, and most unequivocally, that there was any surplus, or that there would be any; and, when some of us offered an estimate of what would be the receipts into the Treasury in the current year, we were told that it would be very difficult to fastén that estimate upon us at this session of Congress. I, however, for one, determined to relieve gentlemen from all trouble on that score, as far as regarded myself. on the 15th of March, 1836, I submitted my estimate of the revenues and expenditures of the current year, in a speech which I caused to be printed in pamphlet form." In this is estimated the receipts from customs for the year at - - - $19,000,000 The public lands at more than - - 20,000,000 And I made the whole amount on hand, and
. and receivable, in that year, in
round numbers, wi - expen
ditures - without deducung p 77,000,000
The customs, it seems, have produced $23,999.9% which is $4,000,000 more than my estimate. The public
The Treasury Circular.
lands $24,000,000—about the sum which I had supposed. And the footing of the column in the report of the Sec. retary of the Treasury, which answers to my estimate of $77,000,000, is $74,441,702, being two and a half millions less than I conjectured. More than this deficit, however, is accounted for by the fact that the bank stock which I had supposed would fall in, within the current year, has not yet been sold, or the avails of it received into the Treasury. When the true state of things became too obvious to be any longer successfully contested; when it became apparent to every one here and to the public that there was a large amount of public money lying in the deposite banks, and likely to remain there for years, an injury to the public, and beneficial to nobody, except bankers and brokers; and when no other means seemed to offer of resisting a distribution of this fund, the country became suddenly threatened with a foreign war—and, at one time, the walls of our Capitol were actually threatened with demolition by the great guns of the French navy— we were in imminent danger of invasion, and appropriations to the amount of more than $80,000,000 were called for by gentlemen who are in favor of economy and reform, to enable the Executive to prepare for defence. But this spectre vanished. Then we were threatened with Indian invasion and Indian massacre on our whole Northwestern frontier. The squabble with a miserable horde of naked savages in the swamps of Florida, which has engaged the attention of this warlike administration for the last year, was magnified into a general and formidable rising of all the tribes east of the Rocky mountains, and military preparations were called for that we might be in armor to do battle with them. At last a report of the Secretary of War, sanctioned by the President, put an end to all this absurdity; the deposite bill passed, after a desperate struggle, and then came this measure—the Treasury order—intended to destroy its effect. This order grew out of the contest to which I have referred. It was issued not by the advice of Congress or under the sanction of any law. It was delayed until Con%. was fairly out of the city, and all possibility of intererence by legislation was removed, and then came forth this new and last expedient. It was known that these funds, received for public lands, had become a chief source of revenue, and it may have occurred to some that the passage of a Treasury, order of this kind would have a tendency to embarrass the country; and as the bill for the regulation of the deposites had just passed, the public might be brought to believe that all the mischief occasioned by the order was the effect of the distribution bill. It has, indeed, happened, that this scheme has failed; the public understand it rightly, but that was not by any means certain at the time the measure was devised. It was not then foreseen that the people would as generally see through the contrivance as it has since been found that they do. There may have been various other motives which led to the measure. Many minds were probably to be consulted, for it is not to be presumed that a step like this was taken without consultation, and guided by the will of a single individual alone. That is not the way in which these things are done. No doubt one effect hoped for by some was, that a check would be given to the sales of the public lands. The operation of the order would naturally be, to raise the price of land by raising the price of the currency in which it was to be paid for. But, while this would be the effect on small buyers, those who purchased on a large scale would be enabled to sell at an advance of ten or fifteen per cent. over what would have been given if the United States lands had been open to purchasers in the ordinary way. Those who had borrowed money of the deposite banks and paid SENATE.]
it cut for lands, would thus be enabled to make sale to advantage, and by means of such sales make payment to the banks who found it necessary to call in their large loans, in order to meet the provisions of the deposite bill. The order, therefore, was likely to operate to the common benefit of the deposite banks and the great land dealers, while it counteracted the efforts of the obnoxious deposite bill. There may have been yet another motive actuating some of those who devised this order. There was danger that the deposite banks, when called upon to refund the public treasure, would be unable to do it: indeed, it was said on this floor that the immediate effect of the distribution bill would be to break those banks. Now this Treasury order would operate to collect the specie of the country into the land offices, whence it would immediately go into the deposite banks, and would prove an acceptable aid to them while making the transfers required by law. These seem to me to have been among the real motives which led to the adoption of that order. But one of the good effects which it was said this order would produce was, that it would prevent overissues of the banks, especially in the West. Such an opinion, however, if sincerely held, must have grown out of a very narrow view of our commerce and currency. There were no overissues, save by the deposite banks only, and with respect to them the order would have no such effect. They had made very great loans to land speculators; but that business was cut off by the distribution bill. That bill straitened those banks, and forced them to draw in their loans; and it was strongly resisted on that very ground; so strongly, indeed, that it was not until within two days before the passage of the bill that the opposition could be brought to believe that they could succeed in passing it. Some of the deposite banks had in their vaults public money to the amount of three times their nominal capital. The regular commerce and business of the country did not employ much beyond that capital; the residue could only be applied to extraordinary purposes. The progress of trade is steady. The commerce of the country advances in a regular manner. It would not absorb this sudden increase of banking resources, but the extra capital found an outlet in loans for the purpose of purchasing public land. Large amounts of specie were borrowed from the deposite banks and paid into the land offices, whence it was soon after returned to the banks, and loaned again for the same purpose. The distribution bill put an end to this: it went at once to cut up this business by the roots. The banks were required to pay back all the money deposited with them over and above three fourths of the amount of their capital actually paid in; of course their loans were at once cut short. The Treasury order, therefore, could not be required to do what was already done by an act of Congress. The patient had already been depleted: no sooner was the regular physician gone, but then in comes the quack doctor, and at once cuts an artery, to make the remedy persect. It has been said in the President's message, and in the report of his Secretary, that all the banks of the country were in the habit of making overissues of paper, and that this Treasury order was needed as a check upon such issues. It is a mere assumption; an entire mistake. Where is the evidence to prove it? I speak now, of course, of that part of the Union where I reside, and with which I am best acquainted, and where this order has had its chief effect, and I say that the assertion is wholly unfounded. I know, indeed, that the amount of banking capital has been increased of late years: it may, some. times, and in some places, have been too extensive, but it never was so the re. There never has been in that part of the Union too much banking capital. The banks have increased their issues, but they have not made ex
cessive issues. The course of business with us has changed of late. Four or five years ago we sent our stock alive on foot to market: our flour went to New Orleans—little or none of it went to the North. It then took us from sixty to ninety days to get our returns. But now, since the opening of our canal, we have a Northern as well as a Southern market; and, according to the present course of trade, it takes the merchant from six to ten months to make his returns. He must purchase his produce, let it lie by him till the canals open, then ship to New York, and thus in about ten months realize the proceeds. One thousand dollars turned three times is the same in the business of the country as three thousand turned but once. Of course, as the time is three times longer, we want three times the amount of money to do the same business. This has rightly increased three-fold the amount of bank issues. Besides, banks do not issue their notes upon the specie in their vaults—the notion is utterly fallacious: it is the staple produce of the country which those bank notes purchase; it is the pork and flour of the West, and the cotton and sugar of the South; that is the true capital on which the banks make these issues. The busines of the country could not be transacted if the issues of bank paper were based on the amount of gold and silver alone. Our banks at the West are solely commercial. They make loans for no other purpose than purposes of trade; at least is they know the purpose to which it is to be applied. They do not knowingly loan their money for the purpose of purchasing public land, nor even for the purpose of building or other improvements. A man, to be sure, may obtain a loan, and go and buy land with the money, but that is not the course of our bank business. A merchant buys $100,000 worth of pork or flour on acceptances in New York; he borrows the money to buy it; but it is the produce which is the capital that the bank paper represents; it is that which pays the debt. None of our banks expect that gold and silver are to be demanded for their notes. 1)rafts are demanded; these draf's meet the bills of exchange; and thus the whole transaction is settled. And who calls this overtrading? It is not overtrading. It is apportioning bank issues to the demands of commerce, and nothing more. This currency answers all the purposes of gold and silver. Gold and silver are useless save so far as they represent exchanges. It was such overtrading, however, which the Treasury order put a stop to. It did stop it most effectually. No bank in the West dare now, or has dared since the emanation of this order, to make any loans or any issues. On the contrary, the banks, as soon as it appeared, all fortified themselves against apprehended danger, and with one accord shut their doors against all loans whatever. Nor dare they open them again until that order shall be taken out of the way, unless, indeed, the course of business should unexpectedly change. Commerce, as we all know, is one of the most ductile things in the world, and it may by circumstances be forced into a new channel; and when it has just scooped out for itself a new course, then, I suppose, some other executive order will be thrown in to check or obstruct the smooth onward flow of the current. In my speech of the 15th of March last, to which I have adverted, I explained the manner in which the public funds were made to pay for the public lands— performing a circuit from the deposite banks to the speculator; from him to the land office, and from the land office to the deposite banks again—thus operating the exchange of the public lands by millions of acres to large purchasers for mere credit. I was denounced for this at the time; but the President has adopted (an honor which I duly appreciate) the very sentiment, and almost the language which 1 then used, in his recent message; and he tells us that the Treasury order was intend.