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vorce, than to mar it by any present case it would have had his cheerful supexpedients or compromises. Some ani- port;) but there remained the intermedimated debating ensued, the principal ate acts of the resolution of 1816, authorspeakers in favor of the bill, and against izing the reception of bank notes, and also the substitute, being Messrs. Webster, the repeal of the specie circular at the Clay of Kentucky, Rives, and Tallmadge. present session. That these authorizing

After several amendments had been the use of and connection with banks, he unsuccessfully offered, the vote being ta- thought it wrong to cast upon the Execuken as between the bill and the substitute, tive the responsibility of determining the the latter was adopted by Yeas 26, Nays system to be adopted. If, in accordance 24. (See Table of Yeas and Nays, No. with the principles of his messages, he 26.) But on taking the question upon should take the responsibility of re-estathe passage of the Bill

, thus amended, it blishing the Independent Constitutional was rejected by Yeas 21, Nays 29. (See Treasury contemplated by the law of Table of Yeas and Nays, No. 27.) 1789, he should have his cordial support

Immediately after which (June twenty- and admiration; but he thought it wrong, ninth, Friday,) Mr. Wright gave notice and contrary to one of his fixed princithat he would the next day introduce a bill ples to impose such a responsibility. He to modify the last clause of the fifth sec- feared that it was a question between a tion of the Deposite Act of 1836. deposite bank system with law, and a de

posite bank system without law; and 2. Mr. Wright's Bill.

therefore, however reluctant to differ so On the following day, accordingly, Mr. often from the friends with whom he had Wright introduced a bill to modify the acted in relation to this great question of the last clause of the fifth section of the De- Independent Treasury, he felt obliged to posite Act of 1836, which prohibits the oppose the bill. It was however, passed reception, by the Government, of the notes by the vote of Yeas 27, Nays 22, (See of such banks as may have issued notes Table of Yeas and Nays, No. 28,) and of less denomination than $5; which gave sent to the other House for concurrence. rise to some spirited debating, and to some The action had upon it, and the amendnice parliamentary maneuvring; ments adopted in that body, will be re

Mr. Webster moved to amend the bill lated in its proper place. On the return by adding to it the following clause as a of the Bill to the Senate, the amendments second section:

of the House were concurred in by Yeas “That it shall be lawful for the Secretary 29, Nays 17. (See Table of Yeas and of the Treasury hereafter to select and em- Nays, No. 29.) ploy as depositories of the public money, according to the provisions of said act, any bank TIIE BANKS AND CURRENCY OF THE DISTRICT which shall redeem its notes and bills on de. mand in specie, notwithstanding it may have, since the fourth of July, 1836, issued or paid

1. Small Note Bill. out notes or bills of a less denomination than five dollars ; provided, however, that this

The earliest action had in the Senate vision shall not extend to any bank which bearing on the subject which most of all shall issue or pay out any note or bill of less interested and engaged the public attendenomination than five dollars, after the time tion, was on a bill introduced on the mentioned in the last clause of the preceding 13th December, by Mr. Wright, from the section of this act."

Committee on Finance, to restrain the isWhich was advocated by Messrs. Clay, suing of small notes within the District of of Kentucky, Rives and Tallmadge, and Colembia. The bill was identical with opposed by Mr. Strange. This move- the one which had passed the Senate at ment Mr. Wright met by offering, as a the late Extra Session, but which had substitute for this amendment, a clause to not been acted upon by the House of repeal entirely the first twelve sections of Representatives. the Deposite Act of June twenty-third, It was not taken up for consideration 1836; which, after a warm debate, was till the 20th, when it was debated with adopted by Yeas 26, Nays 21. And the much animation by Messrs. Wright, Benbill thus amended, was ordered to be en- ton, Niles, Hubbard, Grundy and Buchangrossed. On coming up for its third read- an, in favor of, and by Messrs. Clay, of ing (July second) the debate was renewed, Kentucky, Tipton, Smith, of Indiana, and Messrs. Webster, Preston, Smith, of In- Preston in opposition to it. diana, and Calhoun, opposing it. The It was argued by those in favor of the opposition of Mr. Calhoun was upon this bill, that the District Banks were never ground: that, by repealing the Deposite authorized by their charters to issue notes Act, we were not thrown directly and of a less denomination than five dollars. solely back upon the law of 1789, which es. It had, however, became common for them tablished the Independent Treasury, to be to issue notes from 25 to 64 cents," shin administered through the constitutional plasters,” occasioned by the suspension of currency of gold and silver (in which specie payments by the banks. It was


carried to a greater extent here than any Finance reported a bill to revoke the where else. It was insisted that the Banks charters of such banks in the District of should be compelled to resume specie pay- Columbia as shall not resume specie-payment by the 1st of the coming May, or be ments by the 1st May, 1838. After varimade to suspend altogether; that there ous postponements, however, it was on was no reason why a resumption should the 7th of May, on motion of Mr. Wright, be longer deferred. A postponement was laid upon the table, on the ground that objected to, it being the object of the bill the charters of these banks would expire to coerce the Banks of the District to their within a very short time, and that the subduty, to stimulate public opinion, and to ject would come up on the question of set an example.

their renewal. It was held that there was no necessity for these spurious issues—that the Senate 3d. Bill for the Recharter of the Banks. received alone more hard money for com- The charters of all the banks in the pensation, than the District required for District expiring on the 4th of July, Mr. change-that the Senate and House re- Roane, the Chairman of the Committee ceived two-thirds of their pay in specie on the District of Columbia, reported a and one-third in Treasury notes—that bill as early as the 14th of March for their the expenditures of Congress were $3,000 renewal, which was conditional on their per day, which caused $2,000 per day in resumption simultaneously with the banks hard coin to be circulated in the District; of Baltimore and Richmond. The rebut that this specie was bought up by newal was for twenty years, with capiagents for exportation, while the District tals not to exceed $500,000 each, and on was fooded with their miserable rays. terms of which the details need not be The prohibition of this pestiferous cir- stated here, but can be learned on referculation would be eminently beneficial to ence to the bill. Col. Benton opposed the poorer classes of citizens of the Dis- strenuously the renewal of the charters of trict, while it would enable the Banks of these banks. The bill, which was not the District to resume specie payments taken up till May 10th, (Thursday,) met the sooner. Congress should act at once with a strenuous opposition from the outin this matter, on account of the moral ef- set; it being maintained that Congress fect it would have in setting a good ex- ought not, by such a recharter, give a ample to the States. There was no disposi- viriual sanction to the illegal state of sustion to oppress the banks of the District, pension, in which they were at the very but they in common with others had for- time of their application for a long refeited all claim to public favor.

newal of their legal existence. T'he deOn the other hand, it was considered bates, which arose out of the bill and the inexpedient to force the District banks to several amendments introduced, being resume at a period of such uncertainty. rather of a miscellaneous character, it is It was idle for the District banks to at- deemed unnecessary to give here a partitempt such a resumption when those so cular account of them. The principal intimately connected with them did not subject of interest, in relation to the bill, do so; that the whole matter should be consists in the different amendments propostponed until early in January, when posed, with the action of the Senate therether might be a similar movement on the on. part of the banks of Richmond and Bal- Mr. Benton moved a substitute for the timore. If the small bills were suppress- bill, extending the charters of the several ed, it was said that there would be no banks for two years on the following consmall change for the thousand daily con- ditions: veniences of life, to supply the vacuum. First. To cease receiving or paying

An ineffectual attempt was made by out all paper currency of less denominaMr. Clay, of Kentucky, to postpone the tion than five dollars, on or before the day bill until the second week in January, of the promulgation of this act. which was defeated by the vote of Yeas Second. To cease paying out the notes 14, Nays 27, (see Table

of Yeas and Nays, of non-specie-paying banks, bankers or No. 30) The bill was amended in some corporations, on or before the fourth day of its détails, the summary application of of July in the present year. its penalties, and the requisition of an Third. To redeem all their notes of the oath of self-crimination, being modified. denomination of five dollars in gold or The time at which it was to be operative silver, from and after the fourth day of was fixed on the “ 10th April next;" and July, in the present year. the bill was finally passed, after having Fourth. To resume specie payments in been made the opportunity for a great deal full, on or before the first Monday in Deof miscellaneous party attack and defence, cember, of the present year. by the vote of 37 to one (Mr. Swift.) These conditions he afterwards modi

fied, in the dates to which they referred, 2d. Bill for revoking the Bank Charters. as follows:

On December 19th, the Committee on 1. That they should cease receiving or

paying out all paper for currency of a less ties to all the bill holders and depositors; denomination than five dollars, on or be- and in case of inability of said corporafore the promulgation of this act. tion, or expiration of its charter, or in case

2. That they should cease paying out its charter shall be annulled, the said prethe notes of other banks from and after sident and directors shall be liable in their the lst of October next.

individual capacities to each and every 3. That they should redeem in specie creditor of said corporation.” The amendall their notes of five dollars and under, ment was, however, lost without a divifrom and after the 1st of August next. sion.

4. That they should redeem all their Mr. Allen opposed himself strenuously notes in full, in specie, from and after the to the renewal of the charters, without a 1st of January, 1839, or sooner, if the very rigid inquiry into the business and principal banks of Richmond and Balti- conduct of the banks. For that purpose more should sooner resume.

he introduced the following resolution: Another amendment was a substitute Resolved, That the Committee for the offered by Mr. Hubbard, extending their District of Columbia procure and report present charters, during the pleasure of to the Senate statemenis of the condition Congress, provided that they should re- of the several banks in the District of sume specie payments for their circula- Columbia that have applied for an extention and other liabilities, on or before the sion of their charters, in regard to the first day of January next, or simultane- following particulars: ously with the banks of the cities of Bal- 1. The names of the officers and directimore and Richmond, should those banks tors of the banks, the amount of stock resume at an earlier day.

owned by each, and the debts due from This principle of indefinite recharter each to the banks respectively, discrimiwas so strongly opposed by Mr. Hub- nating between the executive, legislative, bard's friends, and by both the friends and judicial officers of the Government and the enemies of the bill, that towards among them, and also between residents the close of the debates on the subject he and non-residents. withdrew it. It was regarded as equiva

2. The strckholders of the banks relent to a perpetual recharter, and as open- spectively, the amount of stock owned by ing a very improper and dangerous rela- each, and of debts due from each, discrition between members of Congress and

minating as above. the banks. Mr. Buchanan moved two amendments

3. The debtors to the banks respectively, the first, to restrict the capitals to $335,- and the amount due from each, discrimi000, instead of allowing them to be in- nating as above. creased to $500,000, as proposed by the

4. The number of suits that the banks bill, which amendment prevailed, by yeas respectively have instituted against their 29, nays 12, (see Table of Yeas and Nays, debtors since the suspension of specie payNo. 31.); and the other, to insert, in the ments, and the amount due from each, dissection which required them to keep on criminating as above. hand an amount of specie equal to one- This resolution was opposed, as unfourth of their circulation, the words “and justly harsh and severe-as contrary to private deposites,” so as to require specie the views and wishes of the people of the to the amount of one-fourth of their aggre- District—as calculated to cause a delay, gate circulation and private deposites, and at the same time an excitement, inju(excluding special deposites.)

rious to the public and to all the interests This amendment was advocated by involved—and as an improper inquisition Messrs. Buchanan, Clay of Alabama, into private affairs; and it was laid on Benton, Hubbard and Niles, and opposed the table by the vote of yeas 31, nays 10, by Messrs. Rives, Crittenden and Davis. (see Table of Yeas and Nays, No. 34.) It was not successful, being rejected by The question was finally taken on Mr. the vote of yeas 19, nays 22, (see Table Benton's substitute, as given above, on of Yeas and Nays, No. 32.)

Monday, May 21st-the bill having been Mr. Hubbard then moved to amend about a week under discussion, though the same section by substituting one-third more than once interrupted by the interinstead of one-fourth, as the proportion of vention of other business. The substispecie to circulation to be kept on hand; tute was adopted (the second clause of the which prevailed by yeas 32, nays 10, (see proviso, relating to the notes of other Table of Yeas and Nays, No. 33.) banks,'having been striken out on the mo

Mr. Niles moved a further amendment, tion of Mr. Buchanan) by the vote of by striking

out in the same section, all af- yeas 24, nays 16 (see Table of Yeas and ter the word " circulation,” and inserting Nays, No. 35)-the original bill of the " and should the amount in any one quar- committee being thus rejected; and the ter fall short of that proportion, the presi- bill thus amended was passed and sent dent and directors for the time being shall to the other House, by which it was conbe responsible in their individual capaci- curred in.


had operated favorably against duels, and This Bill, which was introduced by that a similar enactment in the District of Mr. Prentiss, of Vermont, on the second Columbia would produce a similar effect. of March, grew out of the excitement to That the sentiments of the people in the which the death of Mr. Cilley, of the District were in unison with the tenor of House of Representatives, gave rise. Its the bill, judging from their actions during object was to prevent and punish, not only the past melancholy month. It was furduelling within the limits of the District ther contended that this biil secured the of Columbia, but also any evasion of its independence of Congress, without which provisions by going beyond the limits of the confidence of the nation could not the District to fighť a duel, or send a chal- much longer be preserved; that the late lenge, on a quarrel originating within lamented death of Mr. Cilley gave birth them. The Judiciary Committe to which to the bill, and that the public feeling of it was referred reported it back to the Se- the country would not be satisfied withnate on the sixth, with several amend- out the passage of such an enactment. ments, the most important of which

That the examples of other countries,

was, the substitution of imprisonment in the cited against the bill, proved nothing, for penitentiary for a term of from ten to in England—which had been quoted as a twenty years, for the original penalty of country where the laws against duelling death.

had produced no good effect—there were The Bill (which was taken up on the many other crimes among the higher orthirtieth of March, and engaged the at- ders, which were equally atrocious and tention of the Senate, for the most part, equally prevalent; but the existence of till the sixth of April) was supported crimes was no argument against the laws principally by Messrs. Prentiss, Smith, of the country which forbade them, alof Connecticut, Grundy, Niles, Smith, of though it spoke but little in favor of the Indiana, Hubbard, Clayton and Clay, of manner in which those laws were execuKentucky, and was opposed in whole or

ted. It was held that to punish the duelin part by Messrs. Preston, Sevier and list who should leave the District for the Linn, but at the final vote Mr. Sevier was purpose of challenging was right and the only one whose vote stood recorded proper, and had no tendency to interfere against it.

with the jurisdiction of any State. It was argued by the supporters of the The crime consisted in leaving the District Bill, that the practice of duelling was con

for the purpose of challenging and fighting demned by all laws, human and divine, being morally wrong, to leave the District

an individual elsewhere. To fight a duel that it was regarded as a crime by every for the purpose of fighting was morally government in Christendom, was subversive of the great principles of the Chris- wrong, also, and might be made equally tian religion, and ought not to be tolerated wrong by prohibition of statute, and, esby any civilized people. It was stated pecially when in concert between more that as much was to be expected from the individuals than one, constituted a conmoral power of this law, if it passed, as spiracy, of which the District was the from its penal enactments, and that no man of honor could fight a duel after the

It was averred, that if Congress did its passage of such an act; that the people duty, the law would not be violated with, demanded and expected some prohibition the freedom of debate, secured to that body of this odious and sinful practice.

It was contended that all.enactments by the Constitution, were for the wisest against crime had grown out of some act ed; and that no man, directly or indi

purposes, and should sacredly be observof villany, and that no distinction could be drawn between a murder in a duel and rectly, should become the instrument of

their violation. a murder out of it, the effects being the same in either case; and that a punish- measures best calculated to suppress duel

In conclusion it was argued, that the ment of the severest dye should be meted ling were, of course, the most proper; out to the criminal.

that the seconds and surgeons might be It was further contended that the peo- exempted from punishment, upon their ple who sent their Representatives to Con- becoming witnesses in the case; that this gress would have to accompany them. Bill left the Common Law in full force, with a body guard for their personal pro, neither interfering with its offence or puntection,unless there was some harrier placed ishment; it punished all the preliminaries between them and the liability to the to a duel, and left the remainder to the formal murder of the duel for words Common Law. spoken in debate.

It was further proposed to render perIt was argued that duelling had no ad- sons offending under the act incapable vocates in the abstract, and if any diffi- ever after of holding any office or apculty should arise in carrying this law pointment under the authority of the Uniinto effect it would be in obtaining proof ted States. But this was rejected. to convict. That the State enactments



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the House of Representatives, January 17th and 19th, 1839, on

the subject of the defalcations of Samuel Swartwout and others,

and the correctness of the returns of collectors and receivers of

the public money.

VII. A REVERIE. By S. W. Cone.



X. ODE. For the Fiftieth Anniversary of Washington's Inauguration.

By William Cullen Bryant.



Photogenic Drawing.--Father Hennepin. - Notice.









* NOTICE TO THE BINDER.-In some copies a mistake occurs in the paging of the
first half sheet of this signature; reading 469, &c. instead of 489.

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