« AnteriorContinuar »
Mar 26, 1836.]
with his friend from Georgia, (Mr. King,] in the princi- opposition, they have pictured our whole coast as ples advanced by them in regard to a general system of frowning with ramparts and blackened with cannon. fortifications; but he differed from them as to the appli- They have told us of the mischiefs and dangerous imcation of those principles to the measure under consider-policy of extravagant appropriations for such objects. ation. lle believed that the idea of defending a seacoast in all this (said Mr. R.) I heartily concur. But is this of more than three thousand miles in extent, by fortifi-bill such a measure! it does not provide for a general cations, was wholly visionary and impracticable; and that system of fortifications upon our seaboard. It selects a the attempt to do so would involve the country in end-dozen points only, of peculiar importance, or peculiar less expense, and saddle the nation with burdens, in one exposure, and proposes to furnish them with suitable form or another, which they would never be content to defences. It has not been alleged by any gentleman, in bear. But, while this was so, there were particular po- l the progress of the debate, that the appropriations made sitions which, from their, peculiar importance, as com- | by the bill for these fortifications are beyond their promercial towns, or as naval stations and depois, all admit- / bable and necessary cost. What ground is there, then, ted, stood in need of special defences, and ought to be for the imputation of extravagance? Gentlemen seem fortified. The question upon the present occasion, then, to have forgotten the important changes which this bill is not whether a general system of fortifications along bas undergone since its presentation to the Senate. Of our extended line of seacoast is judicious and proper; the nineteen fortifications originally embraced in the but whether the particular points provided for in this bill, seven have been stricken out. From the aggregaie. bill ought to be fortified. He understood his friend from 1 of its original appropriations, more than a million of Georgia distinctly to admit that the places proposed to ) dollars bave been subducted, leaving the measure, in be fortified by the present bill, are such as ought to be its present shape, conformed to those maxis of necesprovided with adequate defences; but his objection to sary and practical defence, and of wise and economical the measure was one of time--that these places were expenditure, which, I trust, will ever be observed in exposed to no immediate danger, and that we should the operations of this Government. proceed with more deliberation.
Mr. R. declared his utter opposition to those vision. But surely, sir, (said Mr. R.,) a period of peace is the ary and extravagant schemes of fortifications which had only time in which we can suitably prepare for the exi. | been concocted by the engineer bureau. He had great gencies of war. We ought not to wait until war has ac respect for the patriotism as well as the talent of that tually burst upon us, before we put ourselves in a pos- | corps; but they had been deluded by their professional ture to meet it. We have now an overflowing Treasury, enthusiasm, and an exclusive devotion to a favorite and every day brings forth some project for the distribu science. When they gravely talked of “shutting out tion or absorption of our surplus. The dangers, too, war, and all its more serious evils, from our territory," which we have recently escaped, (for all admit if war by a chain of fortresses of more than three thousand had unhappily been the issue of our late difficulties with miles in extent, and thus rendering our coast impervi. a foreign Power, we should have found ourselves in a ous to an enemy, he must look upon their plans as the very unprepared condition for it, both as to our land and offspring of theoretic enthusiasm, however patriotic, naval defences,) admonish us impressively to repair, with ratlier than the result of safe calculation and of sound pracas little delay as possible, the error of our past improvi-l tical judgment. Happily for the country, the enthusidence.
asm of professional science had found a check in the If, then, the fortifications provided for by this bill vigorous common sense and the cool and sagacious inought ever to be made, no time can be more appropri- | tellect which preside over the War Department. The ate or more convenient for the commencement of the Secretary, in his admirable report of the 7th of April work than the present. As to the propriety of these last, had established the landmarks of a sound and rafortifications, they are justified even by the principles of tional policy on this subject. That report, he trusted, the honorable Senator from Kentucky, (Mr. CRITTEN would be the chart by which our legislation would be DEN:] for, strongly opposed as he is to a general system governed. It was a recurrence to the principles of of fortifications, he yet admitted that places rendered Washington and Jefferson; and eminently seasonable at important by their commerce, or as stations or building the present moment for arresting schemes of plausible yards for our navy, ought to be fortified.
though unprofitable expenditure, which, by an invariNow, sir, bring this bill to the test of these principles. able law of nature, spring up in the hotbed of a redunIs not Portsmouth the seat of one of our most important dant Treasury. It was a monument of the wisdom and naval depots at the North? Is not New York a place of patriotism of the Secretary, and entitled him to the sufficient commercial importance to merit the care of thanks of the country. the Government in providing for the defence of the im-/ Mr. R. said his friend from Georgia, (Mr. King,] conmense interests, private and public, collected there? scious of the weight of this high authority, had sought to Would not the honorable gentleman also, in the liberal bring it to his aid by reading a passage of the report, patriotism with wbich I know he is animated, compre. ) in which the Secretary speaks of the propriety of hend Baltimore, standing among the first commercial previous surveys to determine the plan and the extowns of the Atlantic; New Orleans, the emporium of tent of the proposed fortifications, in every case, before the West; and Pensacola, our great naval station on the the commencement of the work. But the Senate will Gulf of Mexico, within the scope of that degree of remark that the survey is spoken of there as a condition commercial and naval importance which entitles them to precedent to the expenditure, not to the appropriation, the protection of fortifications? I mention these places of the money. On the contrary, the Secretary express(said Mr. R.) as a specinien of those provided for in the ly recommends that the appropriations be made now for bill. The others, if not sustained in their claims by all the fortifications embraced in this bill, as a season precisely the same considerations, have yet in their fa- will be thereby saved in the prosecution of the work; vor special military reasons, which have secured to but adds that, “before any expenditure be incurred, them the full sanction of the Secretary of War in that an examination should be made" by a board of officers, able and judicious report which has been appealed to in order to adapt the plan of the work to the principles on all sides as the standard of a sound and rational policy laid down in his report. Now, sir, (said Mr. R.,) this on this subject.
is precisely what I think ought to be done. He attach. Gentlemen have indulged in general denunciations ed, he said, great importance to these surveys, and against a system of fortifications. In the zeal of their I to precise and definite plans founded on them. They SENATE.)
[MAY 26, 1836.
served as checks on wasteful or injudicious expenditure, ed? The object was to secure such fortified places and to fix responsibility. He relied on the declaration against a sudden attack, even by a small force; for the of the Secretary, that they would in every case be made; greatest army and navy in the world could not give the and we had by this very bill, in pursuance of the rec assurance that a single ship would not enter into a harommendation of the Secretary, appropriated thirty thou bor and destroy all the property there. He knew no sand dollars for the expense of a special board of engi other object for which fortifications should be constructneers, to enable liim to have these surveys satisfactorily | ed. Take, for instance, Penobscot. The object was executed. He relied, moreover, that the plans of the to defend that place, not against an invading army or engineers would, in every case, be subjected to the navy, but against any sudden attack that might be made careful revision of the Secretary, that they would be on it. He was willing to give $100,000 for that object; brought to the arbitrament of a stern, practical common and would do the same for Kennebec, which had a dense sense, proportioning the magnitude of the works to such population, and contained a vast amount of property probable contingencies of sudden attack or surprise as liable to sudden destruction by a small force. So also they might be exposed to in the event of war, but with with respect to other places provided for in tbe bill. out any reference to the extremely improbable hypothesis He did not therefore think the bill deserved the charof a regular and protracted siege, which had already acter given to it by his friends from Georgia and Kencaused several fortifications (of which there was a stri. tucky, as a bill intended to defend the country against the king example in his own State) to be projected on a aggressions of an invading enemy. He viewed it as pro. scale of vastly disproportionate magnitude and expense. viding defences for commercial places which could not
It was with this understanding of the measure, that he be defended by the militia, however well organized, would cheerfully give his vote for the bill under con because of their situation on the seaboard, against the sideration. He believed it, in its present shape, entirely sudden attacks of a naval or military force. consistent with the maxims of a wise economy, appro One word more in reply to the gentleman who had priat e to th
e abundant means now afforded by the na- spoken with such propriety against the increase of the tional Treasury, demanded by a provident and patriotic standing army for the purpose of manning these fortificaregard to the public safety, and especially due, in some tions. He thought that it by no means followed that of its provisions, to a portion of the country (alluding the commencement of this system of fortifications drew to the ports of Maine and New Hampshire) which is pe- after it an increase of the army to man them; because if culiarly exposed by its position, and has been heretofore the fortifications be there, and their armaments there destitute of protection. At the same time, he hoped he also, they might be defended by the militia. It was but would not be considered by any one as relaxing in his a question of expediency, after all, that they then had determined adherence to those principles of democratic
erence to those principles of democratic to consider. They had fortified New York, Boston, policy alluded to by his friend from Georgia, which in Charleston, and other commercial cities; and the ques. culcate frugality and simplicity in the administration of tion was, whether it was not proper, in the present fi. the Government, and a paramount reliance on the body nancial condition of the country, to extend the system of its citizens for the defence of the country--principles, still farther. He agreed that there was no immediate on the rational observance of which, he firmly believed, necessity for making the appropriations at this time; with that gentleman, the success of our institutions vi- |
but, as it was to be done some time or other, the situatally depended.
tion of the 'Treasury well justified its being done now. Mr. WEBSTER observed that no charge could be The question was then taken on the final passage of more unjust than that which ascribed to the Senate any / the bill, and it was passed by the following vote: delay in the fortification bills. He must say that, what. Yeas-Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Buchanan, ever had been recommended for the defences of the Cuthbert, Davis, Ewing of Illinois, Goldsborough, Gruncountry, had received the utmost degree of the at- dy, Hendricks, Hill, Hubbard, Kent, King of Alabama, tention of the Senate. With respect to this bill, the Linn, Morris, Naudain, Nicholas, Niles, Porter, Prentiss, question was not one of strict principle, but of expe- Rives, Robbins, Robinson, Ruggles, Shepley, Tallmadge, diency. Every man must see that the project of forti Tomlinson, Walker, Webster, Wright-31. fications migbt be carried out to an unreasonable extent; 1 NAYS-Messrs. Calhoun, Crittenden, Ewing of Ohio, but this bill could not be considered in that light. They King of Georgia, Leigh, Mangum, Moore, Preston, came to its consideration, not as it was when first pre- | White 9. sented to them, but as the Senate bad now made it; and the question was, was it liable to the strong objections
ALABAMA. that had been urged against it by the Senator from Ken The amendment of the House to the joint resolution tucky and the Senator from Georgia. He was inclined
authorizing the President of the United States to cause to think that the great objections expressed to-day had to be issued rations from the public stores to those desbeen imbibed against it in its general form. What were titute sufferers who bave been driven from their homes the provisions of the bill, as it now stood? It was said by the hostilities of the Crcek Indians, was taken up, that it created no fortifications at points not beretofore and considered. fortified. This was not a true state of the case. It pro. Mr. KING, of Alabama, moved that the Senate conposed some new works, it was true; but in more than 1 cur in the amendment. one half of the instances, it proposed to fortify points at Mr. EWING, of Ohio, moved to amend the amendwhich fortifications had heretofore existed.
ment by adding the words,“ provided that those homes Before considering this bill further, he wished to no were not on the unceded Indian lands." Mr. E. said tice the grounds on which the policy of fortifications he had understood, from what had been said in the other rested. For what purpose should fortifications be made? House, that there were many of the refugees who had To keep an invading army out of the country? Cer- been intruders on Indian lands, and had been partly tainly not. He looked for no other defences against an instrumental in creating the present disturbances. invading army than those contemplated by the Senators Mr. KING, of Alabama, said that there were no such from Georgia and Kentucky-the armed freemen of the class of persons in that country. He would not, howcountry, and the navy of the United States. He did ever, object to the amendment, believing that it would not look upon fortifications as defences against an inva not apply to any of those to be relieved by the resoluding army or navy. If these, then, were not the objects of tion. fortifications, for what purpose should they be construct. This amendment was lost without a division; and Mar 27, 1836.)
after some remarks from Mr. PRESTON and Mr. from time to time, if such journal bad not been kept and KING, of Georgia, in opposition to the resolution, and preserved.” from Mr. KING, of Alabama, and Mr. PORTER, in its Here is an admission that the journal is to be preserysupport,
ed only for the purpose of being published. What is Mr. KING, of Georgia, moved to say the whole sub | the inference? it can be no other than that, when thus ject on the table; which motion was agreed to: Ayes 18, kept, the whole purpose of the constitution has been noes 15.
complied with. I will hereafter make inquiry for what The Senate then adjourned.
other purpose the journal can be kept. In relation to
the keeping of the journal of the House of RepresentaFRIDAY, Mar 27.
tives for thirty-five years, I have received information
from the Clerk, in the following letters: EXPUNGING RESOLUTION.
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES U. S.? Mr. BENTON rose and said that there was a Senator
April 6, 1836. who would leave the body to-morrow, in consequence of having been called to fill a high station in one of the
DEAN SIR: In answer to the inquiry contained in your States; and that this Senator wished to have an oppor
letter of this morning, I have to state that the original tunity, before his departure, of addressing the Senate
rough manuscript journal of the House of Representa
tives of the United States, (those read on the mornings) on a subject in which he took a great interest, and re. specting wbich he had been instructed by his Legisla
bave not been preserved to a period anterior to the comture. The subject to which he alluded was the ex
mencement of the first session, eighteenth Congress,
(1823-4.) punging resolution, and he asked the Senate to take it
For your further information, I enclose you a copy of a up. It would be laid down again, Mr. B. said, as soon as the Senator should finish his address.
communication from Mr. Burch on the subject. The resolution was accordingly taken up for con
With very great respect, I am, sir, your obedient sersideration; when
W. S. FRANKLIN, Mr. HILL rose and addressed the Chair, as follows:
Clerk House of Representatives U. S. Mr. President, the preamble and resolution of the
Hon. Isaac Hill, United Stales Senate. Senator from Tennessee, (Mr. Wurte,] which have been
OFFICE, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES U. S. 2 introduced as a substitute, are of that hermaphrodite
April 6, 1836. character that pleases neither side, and, being abandoned SIR: I entered this office a youth, under John Beckley, on all hands, must fall to the ground. They are only who was the first Clerk of the House of Representatives important so far as they countenance the principal argu under the present constitution of the United States, and ment that has been urged against expunging the record; / who died in the year 1807. and it is remarkable that the burden of the song has During the recess of Congress, he put me at what was been, not that the condemnatory resolution was right, termed “recording the journal of the preceding ses. but that it was a violation of the constitution to expunge sion, which was to write it off from the printed copy into what was clearly wrong from the journal. “Each House a large bound volume. I inquired of him why it was shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to that it was copied, when there were so many printed time publish the same." Here is a positive act to be copies? He answered that the printed copies would performed; and, when the act is done, the injunction is probably, in time, disappear from use, &c.; the large fully complied with. If it were intended to apply to all manuscript volume would not. journals, as relating to this or that particular session of The "rough journal," as it was then termed, and is the Senate, the language would have been so definite as still termed, being the original rough draught read in the not to be mistaken. If it had been intended to keep House on the morning after the day of which it narrates and preserve the original manuscript journal, language the proceedings, was not, and had not, from the beginconveying that idea would have been used. The man- ning, been preserved. I inquired the reason, and was date of the constitution has been fully complied with answered, ihat the printed copy was the official copy, when the journal has been kept a sufficient time to "pub- as it was printed under the official order of the House; lish the same.” Copies are then multiplied; so there and, as errors, which were sometimes discovered in the can be no mistake as to what the journal contained; and rough journal, were corrected in the proofs of the any subsequent vote of either flouse to expunge any printed copy, the printed copy was the most correct, particular part of any single copy of the journal, is no and that, therefore, there was no use in lumbering more a violation of the injunction to keep a journal, than the office with the 's rough journal," after it bad been it is of that part of the constitution which authorizes the printed. people to elect members of the House of Representa Two of Mr. Beckley's immediate successors in office, tives.
Mr. Magruder and Mr. Dougherty, viewed the matter The Senator from Virginia, (Mr. LEIGH,) probably as as Mr. Beckley viewed it. I know the fact, from hay. an offset to the resolutions recently passed by the Le- ing called their attention to the subject. I often reflectgislature of his State, directing the Senators from that ed upon the subject; and it appeared to me to be proper State to present and vote for expunging the condemna that the “rough journal” should be preserved, although tory resolution from the journal, a few days ago pre I could not see any purpose whatever to be answered sented a memorial from John Timberlake and others, of by doing so. I often conversed with the clerks of the that State, against expunging. These memorialists con. office upon the subject; but, as we were only subordi. sider the proposition to expunge to be a plain and pal- | nates, the practice was not changed till the first session pable violation of the constitution;" and it is remarkable of the eighteenth Congress, (1823-4,) when I determinthat they offer the following as the only reason against ed, without consulting my superior, that the “rough its constitutionality:
journal" should no longer be thrown away, but be pre"Suffice it to say, that to their humble understand. served, and bound in volumes; and.it has been regularly ings, 'to keep,' as here used by the constitution, means preserved and bound since. to preserve; and that the latter clause of the constitu With great respect, I am, sir, your obedient servant, tional provision, as previously quoted, furnishes a key
S. BURCH. to the interpretation of that which precedes it; since it Col. WALTER S. FRANKLIN, . would be obviously impossible to publish the journal, 1 Clerk House of Representatives U, S.
[Mar 27, 1836.
By these letters it appears that the original manuscript court how he gained an important land cause in that journal, the journal which is read on the morning of State. He created, he said, a false or feigned issue beevery day succeeding that of the proceedings, was kept fore the sitting of the court, and led the antagonist party and preserved precisely long enough to answer the pur to confine his attention exclusively to the taking of tes. pose designated by the memorial from Virginia. It was timony in relation to that feigned issue. Keeping the kept long enough to be published, when the original real point a secret from the adverse party, be carried journal was destroyed or laid aside, and a new manu. his case at the trial by surprise. Marshall and Bushscript copy was taken from the printed published jour rod Washington, then on the bench, smiled at the frank nal. Here are facts in relation to the journal that can expression of the blunt attorney, who told the story as not be gainsaid; facts which prove that even the de if he really thought he deserved credit for the trick. struction of the original manuscript journal, after that There are many feigned issues, Mr. President; but few journal has been printed and published, was never dream who practise them are as candid as was this Kentucky ed to be a violation of that clause of the constitution lawyer before the Supreme Court. When the idea which requires each House of Congress to keep a jour was first broached, that a resolution having no necessary nal of its proceedings. For the first thirty-five years, in reference to any existing laws could not be expunged construing the constitution, plain common sense had not from the legislative journal of the Senate, because the been driven from our legislative halls by the refinement constitution requires the Senate to keep a journal of its ef sophistry; the world of argument had not then been proceedings, I would not have believed that such a turned upside down; ingenuity had not then contrived feigned issue could be entertained so long as really to to turn a plain duty of the representative to obey his / have assumed the appearance of settled seriousness. constituents into a violation of his oath and his cou. Surely, in all the expunging that heretofore bas taken science.
place, it never before entered into the heart of man to In the year 1823, the Senate of Massachusetts passed conceive such an objection as this. a resolution to expunge another resolution from their It is said the constitution requires a journal to be kept; journal, passed in 1813, which the public sentiment had and therefore no part of this journal can be mutilated, condemned. A member of the Legislature of that State struck out, or destroyed. If it be an imperative confor the present year informed me that he recently ex-stitutional injunction to preserve, there must be some amined the manuscript journal, containing both the ex. object to be gained by the preservation. The journal punged and expunging resolutions. Both of them were can be useful for no other purpose than the preservapsssed by an exact vote of the two political parties. tion of evidence of proceedings. The old federal party had the ascendancy in the Massa- All those parts of the journal relating to laws that chusetts Senate in 1813, and the resolution, that it was have become obsolete, or to proceedings that are of no unbecoming a moral and religious people to rejoice in | consequence, are valuable only as objects of curiosity, the success of our army and navy, was passed by the or as matters of history: the public interest could not votes of that party alone; and in ten years afterwards, suffer, if such parts were utterly destroyed. The jourthe first time the democratic party bad the full ascen- nal of the Senate is kept and preserved for no other dancy, that party voted to expunge the resolution from purpose than to show when and how laws are passed, the journal. The constitution of Massachusetts requires and it is of as much consequence to preserve the engrossthe keeping of a journal, and directs that the ayes and ed bill or resolution in that branch of the Legislature noes of each branch of the Legislature shall be entered in which such engrossed bill or resolution originated, as on that journal; but it does not require that this journal it is to preserve the journal of proceeding, to show the shall be published. In this it differs from the consti | progress and bistory of the same bill or resolution. If tution of the United States, in relation to the journals both the engrossed bill and the journal were destroyed, of Congress; but the distinction makes altogether in fa. the enrolled bill on parchment would remain, which vor of the doctrine of expunging. In the case of Massa-, would be evidence of the existence of the law; and even chusetts, the resolution was expunged, but the manu- if that enrolled bill were destroyed, the law would still script journal (the only official copy in existence) was be in existence, if there remained anywhere published not touched. In our case, the condemnatory resolution copies, wbich had been certified as from the original. may be expunged; and either the manuscript record may The object of possessing an official copy of the jour. remain unmolested, or it may be ring-marked and cross nal of legislative proceedings, is simply to preserve ed, or it may be entirely obliterated; and in neither case collateral evidence that existing laws passed in due can it be considered a violation of the constitution, be-course of legislation: other evidence than these journals, cause, from the time the journal has been kept long such as petitions on which laws are predicated, reports enough to be published, every printed copy of that jour. of committees on those petitions, minutes of reference, nal is an official copy; so that no vote to expunge, nor original draughts of bills or resolutions or amendments, even any act of defacing the manuscript journal, can may be equally important; and yet it will not be urged militale with the mandate of the constitution, which re that the destruction or obstruction of these either quires each House of Congress “ to keep a journal of weakens the force of the law, or violates the constitution. its proceedings, and from time to time publish the There are various ways in which the manuscript joursame," after the journal shall have been kept a sufficient nal of the Senate may be obliterated or destroyed. The length of time to be published.
building may take fire; and that, with the journal, may Some thirteen years ago, I first visited the city of be accidentally burnt: a thief may steal it, and carry it Washington, during the sitting of Congress. The Su- off, or bury it in the water or in the earth: the minutes preme Court of the United States was at the same time may take fire during an evening session, and thus prein session. A gentleman of the bar, now of the Senate, vent the Secretary from copying the proceedings at from Kentucky, (Mr. CLAY,] was engaged before the length. The constitution requires a journal to be kept: court on one side of a case; and another gentleman from would all these casualties or acts by which the journal the same State, (Kentucky,) then, and now, a member shall be destroyed, be so many violations of the constituof the Flouse of Representatives, of somewhat rougher / tion? aspect, (Mr. Hardin,) argued the case on the other side. Even if the resolution now under consideration, withiI listened attentively to both. The rougher gentleman, out reciting it, went so far as entirely to obliterate a in the course of his argument, talked of the practice in former resolution that should be deemed improper to be Kentucky, and with great nonchalance informed the retained on the journal, I cannot concede that the act of MAY 27, 1836.]
obliteration would be inconstitutional. If that resolu refractory Senate; to command it to record his solemn tion were an existing law, still intended to be kept in protest; to chastise it for disobedience." force, the act of obliteration would not nullify the law: Concluding: applied to a simple declaratory resolution that was never " The Senator (Mr. GRUNDY, of Tennessee) thinks intended to have the force of a law, the obliteration can- that there is no coverlet large enough to protect all the not harm the people for whose benefit all laws are made; various elements of the opposition. He is mistaken; and if it does not harm them, it can be no infringement there is one of sufficiently capacious dimensions, recently of the constitution, such as is worthy of reprobation.
wove at a Jackson loom, called a protest, on which is I marvel much at the pertinacity with which this ques- marked a violation of the constitution, and an assump. tion is attempted to be discussed as an infringement of tion of enormous executive power; and the honorable the constitution. It seems to me that, by taking the
Senator had better hasten to place himself under the ground they do, the opponents of the expunging resolu banners of those who are contending against power and tion blink the real question: it has all the appearance of prerogative for free institutions and civil liberty. And a mere subterfuge. The horns of this altar will not
he had better lose no time, for the protest is the last protect them--the cry of a violated constitution," as
stroke upon the last nail driven into the coffin (not of it is a virtual confession that the people are right in de Jackson--may he live a thousand years! but) of Jackmanding the obliteration of an infamous record, so it sonism!” furnishes strong presumptive evidence of consciousness
Mr. Hill here closed his remarks in regard to the that the resolution to be expunged was wrong in itself.
expunging resolution, and proceeded to a detailed exMy object is not, Mr. President, so much to argue the
| position of various alleged transactions of the Bank of question of power in the Senate to expunge, as to show the United States; embracing the private accounts of that the sentence of condemnation passed on the Presi.
numerous individuals, a bistory of the management of dent of the United States was not only extra-judicial, the branch of the bank at Portsmouth, &c., which oce but unjust; for I conceive it to be a most inglorious
cupied between two and three hours in the delivery. evasion that Senators now say this sentence of condem
After he had finished, nation imputed to the President no crime. If the Sena.
The resolution was laid on the table. tors from Louisiana (Mr. PORTER) and Virginia (Mr. LEIGH) will look back to the criminal charges of "high
PUBLIC DEPOSITES. crimes and misdemeanors" which were almost daily made On motion of Mr. CALHOUN, the Senate then proin this body two years ago, they may well conclude that ceeded to consider the bill to regulate the deposites of the people of the United States will repose little faith in the public money. the assertion now, that the resolution of April, 1834, im- The question being on the amendment of Mr. puted to the President of the United States no criminal | WRIGHT, intention. To show that it was the intention to impute Mr. WRIGIIT modified his amendment in that part the highest criminality to the President, in the passage which requires that seven millions shall be always kept of that resolution, the speeches of more than one Sena in the Treasury, by striking out the word "i seven," so tor who voted for it might be quoted. One single ex as to leave the blank to be filled by the Senate. tract from the speech of the Senator from Kentucky, Mr. WRIGHT, in offering his amendment, said he (Mr. Clay,] after the resolution had passed, will serve rejoiced that this interesting subject had at last come to my purpose:
its discussion before the Senate; and he rejoiced still IN SENATE, April 30, 1834.- Mr. Clay rose:"Never," more to see, as he thought he did see, a disposition said he, “Mr. President, have I known or read of an upon all sides of the House to consider the bill with a administration which expires with so much agony, and sincere desire to agree upon a law which should hereso little composure and resignation, as that which now, aster regulate the deposites of the public moneys in the unfortunately, has the control of public affairs in this State banks. He would assure the Senate that he encountry. It exhibits a state of mind feverish, fretful, tered upon the discussion with the most earnest hope and fidgetty; [a beautiful alliteration!] bounding ruthless and intention that their deliberations might be brought ly from one expedient to another, without any sober or to a successful termination, and that provisions might be settled purpose. *
agreed upon which would not only meet the assent of " But I would ask in what tone, temper, and spirit a large proportion of the Senators, but be satisfactory does the President come to the Senate? Ås a great to the country, and quiet the complaints and remove state culprit, who has been arraigned at the bar of justice, the apprehensions which now surround the subject. or sentenced as guilty? Does he manisest any of those Mr. W. said he ought further to inform the Senate, compunctious visitings of conscience which a guilty viola- | before he proceeded with the remarks he had to-make, tor of the constitution and laws of the land ought to feel? / that no pride of authorship could attach to him in the Does be address himself to a high court with the res amendment he had offered. The sections which repect, to say nothing of humility, which a person accused lated to the regulation of deposites, were the bill die or convicted would naturally feel? No, no. He comes gested by the Committee of Ways and Means of the last as if the Senate were guilty; and as if he were in the House of Representatives, as he had been informed, judgment-seat, and the Senate stood accused before and supposed to be true, with the advice of the head him. He arraigns the Senate; puts it upon trial; con of the Treasury Department, and was reported to that demns it. He comes as if he felt himself elevated far House, but not acted upon. He did not himself proabove the Senate, and beyond all reach of the law, sur fess a sufficient acquaintance with the subject to be able rounded by unapproachable impunity. He who pro- to frame a safe and proper bill to regulate these defesses to be an innocent and injured man, gravely accuses posites, which would accommodate the Treasury, and at the Senate, and modestly asks it to put upon its own The same time be so far consistent with the interests of record his sentence of condemnation! When before the banks, as to induce their assent to its provisions. did the arraigned or convicted party demand of the He had not so minutely examined the provisions of court which was to try, or had condemned him, to enter these sections as to be able to pronounce the opinion upon their records a severe denunciation of their own that they were, in all respects, right in themselves, or conduct? The President presents himself before the preferable to others which might be suggested. The Senate, not in the garb of suffering innocence, but in last two sections of the proposed amendment related to imperial and royal costume, as a dictator to rebuke a a subject distinct from the regulation of the deposites