candidates for popular favor, would engender mutual harmony and good will. Above all, I cannot adopt what I consider the cant of the day, against the danger of corporate bodies. have said before that I held them to be not only harmless creations, but the instruments of great and permanent good to the country. I think it time that this false and undeserved vituperation should be brought to public discussion, and that the country should be invited to a more impartial and calm survey of the question than, in the hurry of our busy legislation, it has yet obtained.

I believe, moreover, steadfastly and unfalteringly believe, in the integrity of the great body of the American people; in their attachment to the true principles of rational liberty; in their intelligence and wisdom: and, therefore, amidst all the fearful signs of the present day, the rage of innovation, the censure of fundamental law, the invective against established custom; amidst all the pranks of low ambition, the wiles of demagogues, the allurements of radicalism and the misrepresentations of party, I still trust that, no less than in 1792, we shall continue to deserve the panegyric pronounced by Erskine, and which I have prefixed as the motto of this imperfect essay.

"I aver that at this moment, there is as sacred a regard for property, as inviolable a security to all the rights of individuals, lower taxes, fewer grievances, less to deplore, and more to admire, in the Constitution of America, than that of any other country under heaven. ”

December 24, 1836.






R. CHAIRMAN:-I did not believe, until within a few days past, that the gentlemen who have taken charge of this bill, would have again pressed its consideration on the House. I thought, sir, that under the admonition of public sentiment which has recently, through so many channels, been conveyed to the ear of the administration, this Sub-Treasury Scheme would be regarded as a doomed and foregone expedient, stamped in advance with the reprobation of the country, and no longer to be entertained in discussion here. Never, in the history of this Government, has there been presented a public measure, in reference to which the wishes of the constituent body have been more explicitly communicated to the representative; it has been canvassed by the people with a scrupulous deliberation; it has been investigated by them with all that care which a painful sense of present evil could suggest, and they have expressed their disapprobation of it in every form in which they were able to find a voice. I did not suppose that with the principles by which the friends of the administration in this body affect to be governed, they could have brought themselves so far to resist that voice as again to propose the bill. I thought indeed, sir, that the late action of Congress, in the almost unanimous and even eager repeal of the Treasury order of July, 1836, would be construed as a decisive sentence against this measure. I cannot understand

how that repeal and this bill may consist with each other, and I should be glad to hear some intelligible reconcilement of the two. It is true that the joint resolution to which I refer does not in express terms repeal the Treasury circular; but it accomplishes the same end, quite as effectually, by forbidding the secretary to discriminate in the moneys he receives for public dues; and as he has kindly volunteered to say that he will not refuse good bank paper for the customs, he is no longer at liberty to refuse it for public lands, and so we have in fact repealed that noxious treasury order which has so long annoyed the country.

That order being out of the way, I would ask to what elements may all this machinery of the Sub-Treasury apply? Is it necessary to build vaults, and construct safes, and create all the agencies designated in this bill to guard a few rolls of bank paper? The apparatus of this scheme essentially belongs to the gold and silver reign, it deals only in coin, and has its existence and daily continuance in the phantasmagoria of the hard-money system. The moment you abandon the absolute coined metal, your Treasury System becomes a system of credit in account, impalpable to the guardianship of stone and iron, unamenable to lock and key; it rests upon the personal fidelity and integrity of your agents. How shall the details of this bill apply to it?

Mr. Chairman, I especially regret that this bill has been brought forward at this time, because I know that a most happy conviction began to gain ground with the public, that it was now the purpose of the administration to bring itself within the range of the business and wants of the community, to take a position in which it might sympathize with the people, and if not actually extend its aid, at least abandon its indifference to their distresses; that it meant now to give up its war against the currency; to cast aside its experiments, devices and jejune expedients, and to address itself honestly, with the lights of past experience, to the actual need of the nation. This hope was vivified by the lat repeal of the cir

cular, it had gained gradual strength by the long slumber of this Sub-Treasury bill, it was corroborated by the unwonted tone of toleration in which many of the friends of the administration, in both Houses of Congress, have lately spoken of the banks, and by the awakening good sense with which they have derided and renounced the singular folly of the hardmoney imposture. The people had therefore begun to turn their faces towards the dawn of happier times, and to promise themselves a speedy restoration of that prosperity which had been denied them only by the unwise action of their own government. The very agitation of this measure, in the midst of these joyful hopes, has struck despondency deep into the bosom of the trading classes, and the people now watch your proceedings here with renewed alarm and anxious suspense: they daily ask in a tone of wonder, can it be true that you design to perpetrate the enormity of putting this odious system upon the country?

The zeal with which the bill is urged leaves no room to doubt the sincere desire of its projectors to carry it into effect, and I have heard that its friends entertain hopes of its pas sage. Such a result may possibly demonstrate the power of a majority on this floor, and show that here, at least, notwithstanding the general revolt of the nation, the banner of the administration, torn as it has been in recent conflicts, is still upheld by men bold enough to defy the almost universal popular voice. That struggle will yield but a worthless triumph whose greatest success can have no better end than to continue, for a brief space, the oppressions of a power against which public judgment is accumulating its censure, with fresh and still fresher indignation, and which is surely doomed to be prostrated by those overwhelming bursts of indignation of which the administration have already had a foretaste.

Mr. Chairman, this bill assumes to be remedial in its character. It arises out of the suggestion of the President, made at a time when he had called Congress together, to deliberate upon a great national convulsion which had brought

disaster into every class of society. It may be said to have been the only topic of consideration at that moment: it was the only relief proposed. Although the afflictions of that day are passing away, still they are yet severely felt, and this measure is again presented, as at first it was, as a measure of relief. In that view I mean to discuss it, and to test its adequacy to its proposed object, by calling the attention of the committee to the origin and nature of the evils which it is designed to remedy.

Sir, I was somewhat curious to know upon what grounds it would be advocated here, as a measure of relief, and I have therefore listened to the debate with eager attention. On one side of the house I have found the Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, the foster-parent of the bill, a thorough-going State-bank advocate-even carrying his predictions for banking to what I should call a point of ultraism. But a few weeks ago, when the Treasury-note bill was under discussion, he opened that debate with congratulations upon the returning prosperity of the country, and with the declaration that the great license of free banking, which had just been granted by the legislature of New York, marked an era in the history of our country from which we were to derive a permanent and solid restoration of health and strength. This new free banking with its expected millions-even fifty or a hundred—was now to be superadded to the present banking system of New York, and the country, in his opinion, was to thrive under that impulse beyond all former example. Such, sir, was the tone of feeling with which the gentleman from the city of New York entered upon the discussion of this Sub-Treasury bill. He is a bank man, sir, an ultra State-bank advocate. He is emphatically for the paper system, even greatly enlarged beyond its present amount. He sees in this system the maintenance of the superiority of New York and the great aid of commerce. Indeed, from his remarks upon this bill, he has persuaded himself, oddly enough I think, that its tendency and purpose are, in fact, to aid and sustain the banks. He defends and

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