Imagens das páginas

Fen. 7, 1837.]

Public Lands.


Nars—Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Mouton, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Sevier, Strange, Walker, Wright—25. Mr. EWING, of Ohio, moved to amend the 3d section so as to require a residence of two years, instead of one year. The Senate had agreed to this amendment by a decided vote before. Mr. GRUNDY said that that had been done when the bill contained the feature of prospective pre-emption. Mr. EWING replied that this had nothing to do with pre-emption, but referred to the regular entry of land by actual settlers. The amendment was rejected, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clayton, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Morris, Prentiss, Robbins, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, White—17. NAys—Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, Dana, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Mouton, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Sevier, Strange, Walker, Wright—26. Mr. WALKER moved to correct a mistake in the bill, as printed, by inserting within the year 1836, instead of during the year 1836. It was carried, as follows: Yeas—Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Mouton, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Sevier, Strange, Walker, Wright—25. Nars—Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clayton, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Prentiss, Robbins, Southard, Swift, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster, White-16. The question now recurring on agreeing, as in Committee of the Whole, to the amendment of the Committee on Public Lands, as it had been amended-Mr. CALHOUN said that the bill, especially since it had been reduced to its present shape, was beneficial neither to the new nor to the old States, and very oppressive to actual settlers. He should infinitely prefer ceding the lands entirely to the States in which they lie; and, with that view, he had prepared an amendment in the shape of a substitute for the present bill, and which he now moved. It was sent to the Secretary's table, and read, as follows: Strike out all after the word “ that,” in the first line, and insert-All the public lands within the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Qhio, and Michigan, with the exceptions of the sites of fortifications, navy and dock yards, arsenals, magazines, and all other public buildings, be ceded to the States - within the limits of which they are respectively situated, on the following conditions: First. That the said States shall severally pass acts, to be irrevocable, that they will annually pay to the United States thirty-three and one third per cent. on the gross amount of the sales of such lands, on or before the first day of February of each succeeding year. Secondly. That the minimum price, as now fixed by law, shall remain unchanged until the first day of Janua. ry, eighteen hundred and forty-two; after which time the Price of all lands heretofore offered at public sale, and then remaining unsold ten years or upwards, preceding the first day of January aforesaid, may be reduced by said States to a price not less than one dollar per acre; *no all lands that may have been offered at public sale, *d remaining unsold fifteen years or upwards, preceding the first day of January, eighteen hundred and forty-sev

en, may thereafter be reduced by said States to a price not less than seventy-five cents per acre; and all lands that may have been offered at public sale, and remaining unsold twenty years or upwards, preceding the first day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-two, may then be reduced by said States to a price not less than fifty cents per acre; and all lands that may have been offered at public sale, and remaining unsold twenty years or upwards, preceding the first day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-seven, may thereafter be reduced by said States to a price not less than thirty-five cents per acre; and all lands that may have been offered at public sale, and remaining unsold thirty years or upwards, preceding the first day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-two, may thereaster be reduced by said States to a price not less than twenty cents per acre; and all lands that shall have been offered at public sale, and remaining unsold thirty-five years or upwards, shall be ceded immediately to the States in which said lands are situated: Provided, That all lands which shall remain unsold, after having been offered at public sale for ten years, and which do not come under the above provisions, shall be subject to the provisions of graduation and cession aforesaid, at the respective periods of ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five, thirty, and thirty-five years, after said sale, commencing from the expiration of ten years after the same had been offered at public sale. Thirdly. That the lands shall be subject to the same legal subdivisions, in the sale and survey, as is now provided by law, reserving for each township the sixteenth section, or the substitute, as heretofore provided by law; and the land not yet offered for sale shall be first offered by the State, at public auction, and be sold, for cash only, in the manner now provided by law; and any land now or hereafter remaining unsold, after the same shall have been offered at public auction, shall be subject to entry, for cash only, according to the graduation which may be fixed by the States, respectively, under the provisions of this act. Fourthly. This cession, together with the portion of the sales to be retained by the States, respectively, under the provisions of this act, shall be in full of the five per cent. fund, or any part thereof, not already advanced to any State; and the said States shall be exclusively liable for all charges that may hereafter accrue from the surveys, sales, and management of the public lands and extinguishment of Indian title within the limits of said States, respectively. Fifthly. That on a failure to comply with any of the above conditions, or a violation of the same on the part of any of the said States, the cession herein made to the State failing to comply with or violating said conditions shall be thereby rendered null and void; and all grants or titles thereafter made by said State, for any portion of the public lands within the limits of the same, ceded by this act, shall be and is hereby declared to be null and void, and of no effect whatever. Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That whenever the President of the United States shall be officially notified that any of the said States has passed an act in compliance with the above conditions, it shall be his duty to adopt such measures as he shall think proper to close the land offices, including the surveying department, within the limits of said State; and that the commissions of all officers connected there with shall expire on a day to be fixed by him, but which day shall not be beyond six months from the day he received the official notification of the passage of said act. Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That on such notification being made, the said States shall be relieved from all compacts, acts, or ordinance, imposing restrictions on the right of said State to tax any lands by her authority, subsequent to the sale thereof, ceded by this act; and SENATE.]

all maps, titles, records, books, documents, and papers, in the General Land Office at Washington, relative to said lands, shall be subject to the order and disposition of the Executive of said State. Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That all lands of the United States within the limits of the State of Tennessee, with the exceptions enumerated in the first section of this act, shall be, and the same are hereby, ceded to said State. Mr. BENTON objected to any arrangement which extended so far as was proposed by the amendment. We were near another census, when the representation of the new States would be greatly augmented, and they might come into Congress, and write their own terms. Mr. BUCHANAN had heard a great deal said about bribing the people with their own money; arguments of that kind had been reiterated, but they had never had much effect on him. But speaking on the same principles on which this had been said, and without intending any thing personal toward the honorable Senator from South Carolina, he would say this was the most splendid bribe that had ever yet been offered. It was to give the entire public domain to the people of the new States, without fee or reward, and on the single condition that they should not bring all the land into market at once. It was the first time such a proposition had been brought forward for legislation; and he solemnly protested against the principle that Congress had any right, in equity or justice, to give what belonged to the entire people of the Union to the inhabitants of any State or States whatever. After warmly expressing his dissent to the amendment, Mr. B. said he hoped it would not receive the sanction of any considerable portion of the Senate. Mr. BLACK was willing to take up the amendment as a substantive measure, independently of the present bill, but not as an amendment to it. He was not prepared to say whether it proposed a good bargain to Mississippi or not; but however that might be, he could not vote for it now. If the pending bill was to fall, it should be by some other means than the interposition of a proposal of this character. Mr. KING, of Georgia, would vote for the substitute now proposed, in preference to the bill before the Senate. He believed it would be a hundred thousand times better for the people of the United States. He recognised the principles stated by the Senator from Pennsylvania, and he only regretted that that gentleman had not thought of them a little sooner, so as to apply them to the present bill. Mr. WALKER said he should vote for the amendment with pleasure: the object it proposed was dear to every new State. It would put them on an equal footing with the other States of the Union; and, much as he was in favor of the pending bill, he should infinitely prefer the substitute. Come from friend of foe, it should have his most decided support, and he returned his thanks to the Senator from South Carolina for having introduced it. Mr. LINN said he should be sorry if a majority were found to substitute the amendment for the pending bill, for he was well persuaded that then both would be lost. He might probably vote for it as an independent proposition, but could not as it now stood. He had set out with the determination to vote against every amendment which should be proposed, as the bill had once been nearly lost by the multiplication of them. If this amendment should be received, the residue of the session would be taken up in discussing it, and nothing would be done for his constituents. He wanted them to know that he had done his utmost, which was but little, to carry into effect their wishes, and to secure their best interests in the settlement of the new country. He was anxious to obtain the passage of an equitable pre-emption law,

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which should secure to them their homes, and not throw the country into the hands of great capitalists, as had been done in the case of the Holland Land company, and thus retard the settlement of the West. As to the evasions of previous pre-emption laws, of which so much had been said, he believed they either had no existence in Missouri, or had been grossly exaggerated. In the course of his professional duty [Mr. LIN N is a physician, in large practice] he had occasion to become extensively acquainted with the people concerning whom these things had been asserted, (he referred to the emigrants who had settled in that State under the pre-emption law of 1814,) and he could say nothing of the kind had fallen under his observation. They had come there, in the most cases, poor, surrounded by all the evils and disadvantages of emigration to a new country; he had attended many of them in sickness; and he could truly aver that they were, as a whole, the best and most upright body of people he had ever known. Mr. SEVIER said that, like the Senator from Missis. sippi, [Mr. WAlken,) he here returned his thanks to the honorable Senator from South Carolina for the proposi. tion he had brought forward. It had been from the beginning well known to all the friends of the bill now be. fore the Senate that that bill had never been a favorite of his. The only feature in it concerning which he felt any solicitude had been stricken out; and though he had promised its friends that he would lend them his help in making it as persect as they could, (and to the very last hour he had kept that promise,) he had hones ly apprized them that, when the bill came to the final vote, he should vote against it. He was prepared to go for the substitute proposed by the Senator from South Carolina. Nor did he consider that substitute as being at all at war with the principles of the bill. He regretted that the amendment had not been printed in time, so that its provisions might have been better understood. He was very sure, from what had been said by the Senator srom Pennsylvania, [Mr. Bucha NAN,) that that gentleman had misapprehended the nature of the bill.

It did not propose, as he seemed to imagine, to give

away the public lands to any body, but it pointed out a way in which the General Government would get clear of all the embarrassment connected with those lands, and would realize thirty-three and a third per cent. of their entire value. It was a proposition very different from those which had preceded it, and it was the only measure which would give full and final satisfaction to the people of the West. There was a spirit there which even the bill now before the Senate could never satisfy. They wanted the control of the soil within their own limits, and with nothing short of this could they ever rest content. They did not come here, and demand it as a right, but they earnestly desired it, and would most heartily rejoice should any mode be devised by which they could lawfully obtain it. They were freemen, and desired the exercise of sovereignty over their own soil. This was the object they set before them, and for it Mr. S. should never cease to exert himself, so long as he retained a seat on that floor. What did the amendment propose? To throw away the public lands? By no means. But to get clear of all the cumbersome machinery and complicated and expensive system which at present existed, and which had been accompanied with so much vexation and dispute in both Houses of Congress, and to give up the land, for a fair equivalent, to the States within which it lay, that they might dispose of it for themselves, and in their own way. They would of course be concerned to see that the land brought a good price, for they were in themselves to realize two thirds of the proceeds. The remaining third they were to pay to Government, in clear money, and it would be more than the Government had ever netted since they held the domain. Fen. 7, 1837.]

Public Lands.


The amendment proposed that which had long been a favorite subject with his constituents. He referred to the principle of graduation. This system had first been started by the honorable Senator from Missouri, [Mr. BEston.] To that gentleman belonged the honor of having first proposed it; and, for having done so, Mr. S. here returned to him his most heartfelt acknowledgments. It had endeared that Senator to multitudes in the West. They called their counties aster him; they called their towns after him; they gave his name to their children; and it had secured to him an influence which nothing else could have obtained for him. The Western people had gazed upon his proposition with admiration and delight. They had the terms of it by heart. But the measure now proposed went even beyond this. The Senator from Mississippi, however, was apprehensive that it would endanger the bill. To Mr. S. this was no very formidable objection. But he would here say to that Senator, that if, when a proposal of this kind was brought forward, the men of the West refused to put their shoulders to the wheel, they never need expect to get the benefit, especially when it was brought forward by those who represented the older States. They had surely a right to calculate on the votes of the new States in its favor. Come from what quarter it might, he, for one, stood ready to advocate it. It was as good for the General Government as it was for the West. It got that Government at once clear of all its difficulties with the Indians, and it forever delivered it from squatters, pre-emption rights, and all. If the terms of this arrangement, when they should become known to the American people, would not be found acceptable, as well to the people of the old as the new States, he was greatly mistaken, indeed. He was for the amendment. Let who would vote against it, he would vote for it.

Mr. BENTON made some remarks, which were very impersectly heard at our reporter's station in the chamber. He was, however, understood to say that he had brought forward a proposition of this general character some years ago; and it appeared, from what had just been stated, that the population of the West approved of the exertions he had made to carry it through; and if there were any votes or voices more decidedly against it than the rest, it was the vote and the voice of the gentleman from South Carolina. We were now within less than three years of the period for taking the new census, and after that time the State of Arkansas would enjoy three or four times her present weight in the councils of the nation. By that time we should probably have three new States: two on the Mississippi, and one on the Gulf of Mexico; while the representation of the new States already in the Union would be greatly enlarged. If the

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Senator from Arkansas would but restrain his impa.

tience until that period should arrive, the West would settle this question of the public lands just as it pleased. They would settle this matter as they would settle the presidency; and the older States must look to them for both. He was not going to surrender advantages like these for thirty years to come, for the sake of the propo. sition now advanced. He he who had introduced this measure; he who had originated it; he who had fought it up, was not going to suffer himself to be forestalled by any thirty years bargain. In three years more, they could write their own terms, and lay them on the table of the Senate. They would be bid for, and bid deeply for, by Every candidate for the presidency; and no gentleman, by casting reproaches on him, should cause him, in the least degree, to swerve from his course. He had thus far been able to make himself intelligible to his own People, and he hoped still to be able to do so; and he should retain his position in patience, until Missouri, in*!ead of having two, would have fourt, en members in the other House,

Mr. SEVIER said that, if he could get better terms for the West than those now proposed, he would gladly do so. But he thought the Senator from Missouri misapprehended the terms that had been offered. The graduation clause in the amendment did indeed speak of terms of twenty and thirty years; but not of twenty or thirty years from the present time, but from the time the land had been proclaimed for sale. Now, in respect to some of them, that period had already elapsed; and, in regard to others, it was near at hand. It might be very true that presidential candidates would bid deep for the favor of the West, but that was no reason why the West should refuse a good offer when it was made. The present bill, he repeated it, would not satisfy the West; nor would the West ever be satisfied until the lands within their limits were, on terms of some sort, actually ceded to them. Here was a proposition to cede them, and he should vote for it.

Mr. LINN observed that, while the process of forming new States was going on, and the representation in Congress of new States already existing was rapidly augmenting, it ought not to be forgotten that the number of old States was also increasing, and that, consequently, the representatives who were in favor of the interests of the old States were becoming more numerous. Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and others, would soon be among the list of old States, and their influence would be exerted ac. cordingly. Mr. L. said he was a practical man, though his temperament might be somewhat warm. He looked to things which were attainable, and in the near pros. pect of being obtained, rather than at those contingent and distant. Here was a bill, far advanced in the Senate, and, as he hoped, on the eve of passing. He believed it would secure a great good to his constituents; and he could not consent to risk that bill by accepting the amendment proposed by the Senator from South Caro. lina. . If the Senator from Arkansas would let this go, he might possibly find that it was a better thing than he could ever get again. He wanted that Congress should so regulate the public lands, and so arrange the terms on which it was disposed of, as to surnish in the West an opportunity, for poor men to become rich, and every worthy and industrious man prosperous and happy.

Mr. MOORE said that, having heard the bill but im. perfectly once read, he did not know as much of it as he wished to know previous to acting upon it. So far as he understood the amendment, he was for it. It seem. ed strange to him that the two Senators from Missouri should entertain such different views as to the prospects of the West. The Senator nearest him [Mr. Bestos) had very confidently predicted that, in three years, the people of the West would be able to make their own terms; while his colleague, on the contrary, seemed to think that the West would never again get as good a bill as that now before the Senate. He could not reconcile these two prophecies. IIowever, he was not much in the habit of being governed by prophecies uttered in Congress. He thought the amendment offered better terms than had ever been presented to the West before. It was no new doctrine, however, that the new States were entitled to the jurisdiction of their own soil; and the constitution certainly looked to the time when those States would be free indecd, and no longer vassals und, r the control of this Government, through the public lands. This happy emancipation the amendment proposed im. mediately to accomplish. As to the payment of thirtythree and a third per cent. of the proceeds, it might, so far as money was concer med, turn out to be no vely good bargain for the new States. But it would certainly be a very good one for the General Government, in a pecuniary as well as every other view. It would give that Government more money for the public lands than they would ever be able to realize on any other plan. SENATE.]

Besides which, it would most effectually put down the system of speculation so much complained of. Mr. NILES made a short speech in opposition to the amendment, which he considered as a grand new land scheme, thrown into the Senate like the golden apple of discord. It was an extraordinary proposition in itself, and still more extraordinary as proceeding from the quarter whence it came—from a Senator who had been the very champion of the rights of the whole American people in the public domain. Had not the country had enough of land hobbies? He regretted that it should be deemed necessary to stimulate the spirit of cupidity and agrarianism. He hoped the proposition would be put down; but if it must prevail, away with your 33% per cent. Let not the Government become a broker, but give up the whole domain, out and out. If the sceptre must depart from the old States, it would at least pass over to men of the same blood and of a common origin. Mr. NORVELL said that the proposition of the Senator from South Carolina, if presented under any other circumstances, would be extremely acceptable to him, as a representative of the State of Michigan; but before he could vote for it he must have some guarantee that it would pass the Senate and House of Representatives, The prospect, indeed, was beautiful; it was most fair and inviting; and he, as an humble representative from one of the new States, should hail it with delight. But as the bill now before the Senate did not interfere with the principle of the substitute proposed, let this first be passed; then let the other be taken up as a distinct proposition, and, if it proved acceptable, a clause could easily be added at the close, repealing the previous bill. Mr. ROBINSON moved that the amendment be printed. Mr. BLACK and Mr. LINN remonstrated; referrred to the previous course of the debate, and deprecated the risk of the present bill. The question on printing was then taken, and decided in the negative: Ayes 16, noes 17. Mr. CALHOUN then said that he wished the Senate to be assured that, in offering the proposition he had presented, he had no indirect or concealed purpose. He was perfectly sincere in proposing and advocating it, and that on the highest possible ground. When the Senate had entered upon the present discussion, he had had little thought of offering a proposition like this. He had, indeed, always seen that there was a period coming when this Government must cede to the new States the possession of their own soil; but he had never thought till now that period was so near. What he had seen this session, however, and especially the nature and char. acter of the bill which was now likely to pass, had fully satisfied him that the time had arrived. There were at present eighteen Senators from the new States. In four years there would be six more, which would make twenty-four. All, therefore, must see that in a very short period those States would have this question in their own hands. And it had been openly said that they ought not to accept of the present proposition, because they would soon be able to get better terms. He thought, there. fore, that, instead of attempting to resist any longer what must eventually happen, it would be better for all concerned that Congress should yield at once to the force of circumstances, and cede the public domain. His objects in this movement were high and solemn objects. He wished to break down the vassalage of the new States. Ile desired that this Government should cease to hold the relation of a landlord. He wished, surther, to draw this great sund out of the vortex of the presi. dential contest, with which it had openly been announced to the Senate there was an avowed design to connect it. He thought the country had been sufficiently agitated, corrupted, and debased, by the influence of that contest;

Public Lands.

[Feb. 7, 1837. and he wished to take this great engine out of the hands of power. If he were a candidate for the presidency, he would wish to leave it there. He wished to go further: he sought to remove the immense amount of patronage connected with the management of this domain– a patronage which had corrupted both the old and the new States to an enormous extent. He sought to counteract the centralism, which was the great danger of this Government, and thereby to preserve the liberties of the people much longer than would otherwise be possible. As to what was to be received for these lands, he cared nothing about it. He would have consented at once to yield the whole, and withdraw altogether the landlordship of the General Government over them, had he not believed that it would be most for the benefit of the new States themselves that it should continue somewhat longer. These were the views which had induced him to present the amendment. He offered no gilded pill. He threw in no apple of discord. He was no bidder for popularity. He prescribed to himself a more humble aim, which was simply to do his duty. He sought to counteract the corrupting tendency of the existing course of things. He sought to weaken this Government by divesting it of at least a part of the immense patronage it wielded. He held that every great landed estate required a local administration, conducted by persons more intinately acquainted with local wants and interests than the members of a central Government could possibly be. if any body asked him for a proof of the truth of his positions, he might point them to the bill now before the Senate. Such were the sentiments, shortly stated, which had governed him on this occasion. He had done his duty, and he must leave the result with God and with the new States. After a remark or BENTON, Mr. CALHOUN was understood to say that he had sincerely presented the motives of his course. lie bad in view but one object only, which was the benefit of the new States; although he believed the old States were as much interested to get rid of these lands as the new States to receive them. He thought the amendment contained provisions which would prevent any contest between the new States for this territory. But, provided the great principles of the amendment were adopted, be was not at all solicitous about the details. He should be very willing to submit them to a committee composed of individuals in part from the new and in part from the old States. The question was now taken on Mr. Calhoun's amendment, and decided in the negative, as follows: YEAs—Messrs. Calhoun, King of Georgia, Moore, Morris, Robinson, Sevier, White—7. Nars–Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan Cuthbert, Ewing of Ohio, Fulton, Grundy, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Mouton, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Prentiss, Rives, Robbins... Southaro, Strange, Swift, Tomlinson, Walker, Wall, wright—28. The question was next put on agreeing, as in Committee of the Whole, to the amendment from the Committee on Public Lands, as amended, and carried, without a count. The bill was then reported to the Senate, where the amendments were agreed to, and the bill ordered to its third reading, as follows: YEAs —Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hendricks, Hubbard, King of Alabama, Linn, Lyon, Moore, Mouton, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Rives, Robinson, Strange, Walker, Wright—24. NAys—Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Kent, King of Georgia, Knight, Prentiss, Robbins,

two from Mr. LINN and Mr.

Feb. 8, 1837.]
Sevier, Southard, Swist, Tomlinson, Wall, Webster,

The Senate then adjourned.

WEDN Espay, FEBRUARY 8. NATIONAL IBANK. Mr. WEBSTER presented the petition of 1,400 or 1,500 persons, of the mercantile community of the city of New York, praying for the establishment of a national bank in that c ty. * . In presenting the petition, Mr. WEBSTER said: I rise, Mr. Presiden', for the purpose of presenting to the Senate a petition signed by fourteen or fifteen hundred mercantile houses in the city of New York, praying the establishment of a national bank in that city. These petitioners, sir, set forth that, in their opinion, a national bank is the only remedy, of a permanent character, for the correction of the evils now affecting the currency of the country and the commercial exchanges. The petition is accompanied by a short communication from the committee raised for the purpose of preparing the petition, in which they state, what I believe to be true, from some knowledge of my own, that the petition is subscribed without reference to political distinction; and they inform us, on the authority of their own obseryation and knowledge, that, in their opinion, on no subject did the mercantile community of New York ever address Congress with more entire unanimity than they now approach it, in favor of a national bank. Mr. President, (said Mr. W.,) my own opinions on this subject have long been known; and they remain now as they always have been. The constitutional power of Congress to create a bank is made more apparent by the acknowledged necessity which the Government is under to use some sort of banks as fiscal agents. The argument stated the other day by the member from Ohio opposite to me, [Mr. Monnis, Jand which I have suggested often heretofore, appears to me unanswerable: and that is, that, if the Government has the power to use corporations in the fiscal concerns of the country, it must have the power to create such corporations. I have always thought that, when, by law, both Houses of Congress declared the use of State banks necessary to the administration of the revenue, every argument against the constitutional power of Congress to create a Bank of the United States was thereby surrendered; that it is plain that, if Congress has the power to adopt banks for the particular use of the Government, it has the power to create such institutions also, if it deem that mode the best. No Government creates corporations o mere purpose of giving capacity to an artificial y. be applied, that decides the question, in general, whether the power exists to create such bodies. corporation as a bank be necessary to Government, if its use be, indispensable, and if, on that ground, congress may take into its service banks created by states, over which it has no control, and which are but poorly fitted for its purposes, how can it be maintained that congress may no create a bank, by its own authority, responsible . ol, and well suited to promote the ends designed y it! Mr. President, when the subject was last before the Senate. I expressed my own resolution not to make any movement towards the establishment of a national bank, till public 9pinion should call for it. In that resolution I still remain. But it gives me pleasure to have the opportunity of presenting this petition, out of respect to the signers; and I have no objection certainly to meet with a proper opportunity of renewing the expression *...*Y opinions on the subject, althougi, i know that so general has become the impression hotile to such an in. Vol. XIII,-47

National Bank--Counting Votes for President and Vice President of the U. S.

It is the end designed, the use to which it is to

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stitution, that any movement here would be vain till there is a change in public opinion. That there will be such a change 1 fully believe; it will be brought about, I think, by experience, and sober reflection among the people; and when it shall come, then will be the proper time for a movement on the subject in the public councils. Not only in New York, but from here to Maine, I believe it is now the opinion of five sixths of the whole mercantile community, that a national bank is indispensable to the steady regulation of the currency, and the facility and cheapness of exchanges. The board of trade at New York presented a memorial in favor of the same object some time ago. The Committee on Finance reported against the prayer of the petitioners, as was to have been expected srom the known sentiments of a majority of that committee. In presenting this petition now to the consideration of the Senate, I have done all that I purpose on this occasion, except to move that the petition be laid on the table and printed.

Sir, on the subjects of currency and of the exchanges of commerce experience is likely to make us wiser than we now are. These highly interesting subjects—interesting to the property, the business, and the means of support, of all classes—ought not to be connected with mere party questions and temporary politics. In the business and transactions of life men need security, steadiness, and a permanent system. This is the very last field for the exhibition of experiments, and I fervently hope that intelligent men, in and out of Congress, will co-operate in measures which may be reasonably expect: ed to accomplish these desirable objects—desirable and important alike to all classes and descriptions of people.

The petition and accompanying letter were then ordered to be printed.


A message was received from the House of Representatives, through Mr. FRANKlis, their Clerk, informing the Senate that the House were ready to proceed to count the votes for President and Vice President of the United States.

The Senate aecordingly adjourned to the hall of the House.

The Senate having returned to their chamber, and the President resumed the chair—

On motion of Mr. GRUNDY, a resolution was adopted for the appointment of a joint committee, to wait on MAR: tin VAN BUREN, and inform him of his election. And Mr. Gnu N or was appointed by the Chair to act on the part of the Senate. o

Mr. GRUNDY, then, from the joint committee on the election, reported a preamble and resolution, stating that no election of Vice President of the United States had been made by the college of electors; that Richard M. Johnson, of Kentucky, and Francis Granger, of New York, were the highest on the list of persons voted for; and resolving that the Senate do now proceed to elect one of these gentlemen vice President of the United States; and that Senators give their votes, viva toce, in their places, on the call of the Secretary:

The resolution was agreed to, and the Senate proceeded to vote accordingly, the result of which was as follows:

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