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April 21, 1834.]
speaks of the Secretaries generally as his Secretaries; such removal. All admit we were bound to examine and using, in three instances, the possessive pronoun, and thus pronounce upon the sufficiency of those reasons. We appropriating those high officers of the law to himself as did so, and found them wanting. But they did not conhis sole and exclusive property. That circumstance was tain the whole reason for the act. The President's mes. not passed over in silence here: something was said in this sage, a paper which he read to his cabinet, and publishdebate of his Secretaries and his Government, and in the ed'in his official Journal, and which was in the hands of printed pamphlet we find the more modest term, the Sec- every body, and bearing his own signature, showed that retaries, in two cases out of the three, supplying the it was by virtue of his mandate that the act was done, and place of his Secretaries. Such is the fact, if the paper that in truth, there was no discretion exercised by the was correctly read from your desk. But, since I came Secretary; that no controling reason actuated him, except into the Senate chamber this morning, prepared to discuss the will of the President. Our first resolution, therefore, the motion, or rather the paper that is before you, anoth. did not cover the whole case; the act of the Secretary was, er change has came over the spirit of our dream; a coli- as it stood before the people, sheltered behind another cil
, or a supplement, or a gloss, or a recantation, in part, power, the mandate of the President; and it was our right, of this paper, is presented us. On the whole, we do not and I hold it was our duty, to determine whether that reaknow well what it is, or where to find it.
son, if it be worthy of the name, were sufficient to justify “It Aits ere you can point its place;” but I trust now it it. In other words, whether, in the exercise of the diswill remain without further change, until I can say the cretion vested in him by law, the Secretary of the Treasfew things which I wish to say concerning it.
ury was bound to conform to the will of the Executive, By what I could gather from the reading of the adden- and yield that discretion to bis will? Such are my views of dum, or supplemental paper, I do not think it at all varies that resolution, so far as relates to its quasi legislative the original, unless it be to cover up, and give room to character; for neither of the resolutions are, strictly speakexplain away, some assertions of power too flagrant foring, legislative acts, but they are required to be passed the present times to bear, and too openly and boldly upon by the provisions of a law which has also the soexpressed, to admit of equivocation or denial. But this lemnity of a compact. The honorable Senator from Ala. amendment will do; it gives sea-room; there is space now bama (Mr. King) said, the other day, that this resolution for turning and tacking, so that there is no danger of proposed no legislation, and that no man, except the Senbeing run down by any one who takes the trouble of pur- ator from New Jersey (Mr. SOUTHARD] would say that he suing the point. The explanation will set it all right; for meant it as the basis of a legislative act. Now, I cannot it is one of those incomprehensible mysticisms which no one allow that Senator to answer for me on this subject. I can exactly comprehend, and therefore no one can refute. have my own views upon it, and would prefer expound
But the original paper-what is it, and by what authori. ing them for myself.' I considered those resolutions as ty does the President send it here? It is not a message legislative in their character, and that the very passage of under the constitution, giving the Senate information of them would require of the Secretary of the Treasury to the state of the Union, or recommending any legislation; restore the public funds to their proper and legal deposiand it responds to no call of the Senate. We once, by a tory; for, inasmuch as they were placed there by law, resolution, asked the President for bis argument on the nothing less than the sanction of the law-making power, subject to which this paper relates. While the resolu- in all its branches, could permanently remove them. tion which is the subject of complaint was pending be. Thus far I considered both the resolutions legislative in fore the Senate, you have not forgotten, sir, that we, by a their character. formal resolution, asked him to send us an authenticated But, to warrant us in their adoption, it is wholly imma. copy of the paper which he read to his cabinet, recom- terial whether they were legislative, or whether they mending the removal of the deposites, taking the responsi
: looked to future legislation, or not. It is a right inherent bility on himself, and giving his reasons for the act-and in all men, and in all bodies, to express their opinions he refused us. But now, when the Senate has passed concerning matters of great import to themselves, and to upon the matter, he sends us this paper, which he calls a the community of which they may form a part, or of which protest, and asks us to enter it upon our Journals. Well, they are the organs. Those opinions may approve, cona protest be it-for, as it is a nondescript, and he is the in- demn, or advise; and this, although there be no constituventor, he has a right to give it what name he pleases. He tional provision securing them that right. . The opinion tells us, also, that he has caused it to be entered on the of a single individual may be expressed by his own simple Executive Journal. As to the propriety of this I have assertion; but that of a numerous body can only be exnothing to say—if the Executive have a Journal, and this pressed in the form of enactment or of resolutions. Look be the kind of matter which is usually inserted there, why at the whole practice of the country upon the subject; be it so. We entered our protest (in the form of a reso- the resolutions of our legislative bodies, not as acts of lelution) against executive usurpation on our Journals, and if gislation; the resolutions of Virginia of 1798; and those the Executive thinks we have usurped any powers belong. resolutions of instruction from various State legislatures ing to him, he certainly should have the right to enter his which the President has imbodied in this very message; protest on his Journal. These seem to be common and none of them warranted by the constitution of the Uniequal rights. But the President goes further; he sends us ted States, or the constitution of any of the States.
And his protest, and wishes us to give it a place among our rec. what does the President tell us? That a legislature, or a ords thing which I am by no means inclined to do. legislative branch, may pass no resolutions, except those Had the Senate sent him their resolution, with a request which are to be the basis of legislation, or which the consimilar to this, he would have treated it, without hesita-stitution expressly warrants; and, at the saine time, sends tion, as I trust we shall treat this paper, refused it a rest. us transcripts of numerous resolutions, according to his ing place within his doors. And what was the resolution doctrine, so unconstitutionally passed; and, at the same which called forth this singular document, and wlıy was it time, indirectly censures some of us because we did not resolved on by the Senate? The event is too recent for obey them. But, sir, the right of those legislatures to the state of things under which it took place to be forgot- pass these resolutions was, under the practice of our ten.
Government, undoubted; so is our right also, it is admil. The public deposites had been removed by the Presi- ted, fully admitted, by the Senator from Georgia, (Mr. dent from the Bank of the United States, where the law Forsynii,) the strongest and most thorough defender of had placed them, and the Secretary of the Treasury sent executive claims upon this floor. to us a report containing, what he called, his reasons for But the discussion bas again called up certain resolli.
[APRIL 21, 1834.
tions of the Senate, moved by an honorable Senator from In order to give the semblance of propriety to the emaMississippi, [Mr. POINDEXTER,) which declare that it is nation of this protest,” the President says:
« But inexpedient, except in cases of necessity, to appoint when the Chief Executive is, by one of the most imindividuals, resident in one State, to fill offices in another. portant branches of the Government, in its official capaci.
These resolutions were passed before I had the lionor ty, in a public manner, and by its recorded sentence, of a seat on this floor, and they were passed by an al- but without precedent, competent authority, or just most unanimous vote of the Senate, of which a clear ma-cause, declared guilty of a breach of the laws and constijority were supporters of the present administration; but tution, it is due to his station, to public opinion, and to a they crossed -somewhat the purposes of the Executive; proper self-respect, that the officer thus denounced and the Senator from Alabama (Mr. King] soon discover- should promptly expose the wrong which had been ed that they were a violation of the constitution; and, done." though they had his vote on their passage, so strong is Now, I ask you, sir, if the same rule would not, in like that argument in his mind, that he now says no man, di- manner, apply to the Senate, if this body, its motives, vested of passion, can doubt that they are unconstitution- and its acts, were attacked by the President in his official al. Here, again, I must beg the honorable Senator not character, “in a public manner, and by his recorded to decide a constitutional question for me. The fact that sentence, but without precedent, competent authority, or weighs so strongly on his mind to prove it unconstitution- just cause,” and “declared guilty of a breach" of a al, namely, that it thwarts executive purpose, has little solemn compact, “and of the constitution?” And such weight with mine; and I, sir, was first called to reflect has been the case within the present session. on that subject in the utmost calmness, and without the At the last session of Congress the two Houses passed least movement of passion. My conclusion was wholly a bill, entitled “An act appropriating for a limited time different from that of the honorable Senator. I thought the proceeds of the sales of the public lands.” This bill that he and those who voted with him had not violated was retained by the President, and not returned to the the constitution, or encroached upon any of the execu- House in which it originated within the session. If he tive powers. The resolution did not restrain the Presi- had returned it within ten days without his assent, it was dent in his right of nomination; it merely settled a rule his duty, by the constitution, to accompany it with his by which Senators proposed to be guided, save in reasons for refusing that assent. If he did not return it cases of necessity, in their co-ordinate duty of appoint within ten days, its return, and any message he might re
Suppose the Senate had passed a resolution, turn with it, were irregular and void as an official act. But, generally, that it was inexpedient to confirm the nomi- on the 5th of December last, he returned us that bill, nation of a convicted felon, or a fugitive from justice, or with a message, in which he says that it is “in direct and a man of base and infamous character, if nominated to undisguised violation of the pledge given by Congress to any honorable or responsible station; would any man the States before a single cession was made;" and, in the have thought that this body was infringing on the just next paragraph, he says: "In the apportionment of the rights of the Executive? And would it not have been remaining seven-eights of the proceeds, this bill, in a just as well to have done so, as it was to reject such nom- manner equally undisguised, violates the conditions on inations when they were sent before us for confirmation. which Congress obtained title to the ceded lands;" and, The resolution referred to was, in fact, respectful to the in another paragraph, he says, in substance, (and in this President: it gave him information of the general views I agree with him,) that “a violation of that pledge is a of the Senate on the subject to which it referred, and violation of the constitution.” It would lead me too far was a course far more conciliatory towards him, and more out of the course of my argument to show, what I am at regardful to the character and feelings of a nominee, any time prepared to show, that these charges against us than the simple rejection, which no man doubts we had a were utterly unfounded. But where was our spirit, right to make for that cause. The Senator spoke of the Senators, when we not only received and recorded this repeal of those resolutions. I remember the circum- illegal paper, this gratuitous insult upon our body, but stances well.
made ourselves the vehicle for spreading it abroad On the last night of the session, at about 3 o'clock in among the States and the people? Sir, your Journal will the night, after nearly half the Senators had retired, ex- show that, on motion, I think of a Senator from Alabama, hausted and overcome with fatigue and watching, the five thousand copies were printed, by our order, for dismotion to rescind this resolution was brought forward tribution. If we are chargeable with any departure from and carried by, I think, sixteen to fourteen votes. So duty, it has been for tameness and submission. As a the resolution was thus rescinded, and its recision, un- body, this Senate is "more sinned against than sinning.” der these circumstances, is produced as evidence of the But it is insinuated, though not expressly averred, that opinion of the Senate that it was unconstitutional. One because the Senate are the triers of impeachments, they word more, in reply to the Senator from Alabama. He may not pass any resolutions which directly or indirectsaid, in answer to some remark of the Senator from ly inculpate an officer subject to impeachment. I say Maine, near me, [Mr. SPRAGUE,] that that gentleman this doctrine is not distinctly asserted, but the course and was not very obedient to any body; and this, in allusion, purport of the argument go to this point. as I understood him, to the instructions sent to that Sen. Now, I had supposed, and indeed had believed, that ator from the legislature of Maine; and it was spoken in no one doubted, or could doubt, the position that the jua tone of reproach or accusation. I stand, sir, in precise- dicial power of the Senate was cumulative and not rely the same predicament, and am willing to believe a strictive on its other powers; that its power, as a legislashare of the reproof was intended for myself. But what tive body, is, in all ihings, as full and perfect as it would is the accusation thus made on this floor against us? We be, if it possessed no other powers. So, also, with its
to support the constitution of the United executive functions; and so with its judicial; that in each States, and we are charged with disobeying instruc. and all its respective duties, it is as unrestrained and effitions, which require us to support acts in violation of cient as if it were confined and limited to the performthat constitution. On subjects of this kind, when I am ance of that single duty alone. Such must necessarily bound to the performance of my duty by the solemni. be the case, unless its powers be somewhere restrained ties of an official oath, the Senator from Alabama will in these respects by the constitution; and I find no such excuse me, if I am not very ready to obey those who restriction. The only limitation to its powers, as a branch have no right to command, but who do command me to of the legislature, is, that it may not originate revenue disregard and to violate that oath.
bills. And it cannot exercise its judicial power of irving
APRIL 21, 1834.]
an impeachment, until articles be preferred by the House. ing it to the Legislative department of the Government, But in no respect is it deprived of its natural and inhe- to which it is granted in express terms, they assert it to rent rights, as a deliberative assembly, of collecting and belong to the Executive, to which it is no where grantexpressing the aggregate of the opinion of its members ed. “This is a course of reasoning which, I confess, I do by resolution, or of the right to speak, in its quasi legis- not well comprehend; but I will leave it, and pass for a lative character, by resolutions, as in the case of the moment to the practical operation of this power in the two resolutions passed on the subject of the deposites. hands which at present wield it.
It is not true that the President has been tried by the And here I wish to bring some of his opinions in as Senate in their capacity of a high court of impeachment; close connexion as possible with much of his practice, it is not true that criminal charges have been by us pre- that we may see how far he has observed the golden ferred against him. I will not say that there was not rule, “Do‘unto others as you would they should do crime in the acts which he admits he has done, and unto you.” Speaking of the censire cast, or alleged which we say were against the constitution and the law, to be cast upon him, by the resolution of the Senate, but we have not accused him of crime, nor have we he says: “And it is not too much to say of the whole of thought proper to acquit him. We have done neither; these proceedings, that if they shall be approved and for the plain reason that we have not passed judgment sustained by an intelligent people, then will that great upon him. Nor is it true that in the species of inquiry contest with arbitrary power, which had established in which we did institute, as to the legality of the act-in our statutes, in bills of rights, in sacred charters, and in coninquiry into the law and the constitution on the admitted stitutions of government, the right of every citizen to a facts-it is not true that he had no notice of the inquiry, notice before trial, to a hearing before conviction, and to and no opportunity to be heard. His Secretary of the an impartial tribunal for deciding on the charge, have Treasury, (and in this particular instance he is, perhaps, been waged in vain.” right in calling him his, for the Senate had neither Recollect, it is not an accusation in point of law, where part nor lot in his appointment)-his Secretary of the judgment follows conviction, of which he speaks; but it Treasury sent us, at an early day in the session, his rea- is a solemn opinion of the Senate as to an executive act, sons for the act which our resolutions disapprove. and it is the moral influence of that opinion of which he
At a subsequent day a further document was sent to, speaks, and which he deprecates in such solemn terms. and received by us, from the same quarter, containing But how has it been with the hundreds and thousands further reasons for the same act, and an official answer whom he has dismissed from office without accusation, to arguments delivered by Senators on this floor. Not without a hearing, without even the shadow of a charge; satisfied yet with the opportunity which we had given the dismissed them to want and beggary; their hopes blastExecutive to be heard, we called upon him by a reso-ed, and their characters assailed, by his vile " official,” lution of the Senate, for an authentic copy of a certain and its still viler echoes? Did he duly appreciate the other paper which he had read to his cabinet, and which moral effect of an official judgment upon them, which was published in his official gazette, giving more especi- he now feels, or professes to feel so deeply, when it ally his individual reasons for the act, and taking upon touches his own person? Other and better men, in other himself its whole responsibility. This he denied us. Now, and more quiet times, have thought of this, in reference who can say, after all this, that the President was tried to this very subject of removal. I read from the speech and condemned unheard!' For, as it is the moral effect of Mr. Page, of Virginia, (the same, I believe, whose of the decision of the Senate he deprecates, it is only the name honors one of the new counties in that State,) demoral and rational privilege of notice and defence that he livered in the House of Representatives in 1789, on a can ask for, or could claim-such as consists with his own clause in the bill creating the Department of Foreign dignity and that of this body, and with the nature and Affairs, which recognised the power of removal in the character of the inquiry that was before us.
President. But the writer of the protest mistakes or misstates the “I venture to assert,” said Mr. Page, “that this point on which we beld the act of the President uncon-clause of the bill contains in it the seeds of royal prerogastitutional and illegal. The Senate did not deny bis tive. If gentlemen lay such stress on the energy of Govpower to remove the Secretary of the Treasury; no one ernment, I beg them to consider how far this doctrine Senator denied it in argument; but we did deny his con- may go. Every thing which has been said in favor of stitutional power to touch the public treasure by means energy in the Executive, may go to the destruction of of that power of removal. The weapon which he wield- freedom, and establish despotism. The very energy so ed was, we admitted, a lawful weapon; but the use he much talked of has led many patriots to the Bastile, to made of it was, as we contended, unlawful. This was the block, and to the halter. If the Chief Magistrate the argument; this the distinction; intelligible, it would can take a man away from the head of a department seem, to any ordinary intellect. No member of this Sen- without assigning any reason, he may as well be invested ate can fail to comprehend it. But we did also deny that with power, on certain occasions, to take away his exthe power of removal was an independent power granted istence. But will you contend that this idea is consoto the President by the constitution. We held it to be a nant with the principles of a free government, where no power which was necessary to carry into effect other man ought to be condemned unheard, nor until after a powers granted by the constitution; and, being so, was solemn conviction of guilt, on a fair and impartial trial?” properly at the disposal of Congress, under the eighth Such was the opinion of an honest and intelligent man, section of the first article of that instrument, and that the more than forty years ago, on the subject of removal act of 1789 vested it in the President. But the Presi- without cause, without accusation, and without a heardent, claiming it as an implied power arising out of the ing. If these things had been done towards the Presiconstitution, asserts his right to exercise it, for any and dent, which he avers, but which in fact have not been for every purpose, independent of legislative authority. done; if he had been tried by the Senate in this matter, And where, I ask, is his warrant? Senators here con- and condemned unheard; and if all the moral consequentend for a strict construction of all the powers granted by ces of an actual conviction were to follow, it were only the constitution to this Federal Government, and yet con- teaching him to feel what he has made a thousand others lend, also, for a liberal construction of the powers of the feel as keenly; it were, indeed, a simple act of retribuExecutive; and that he should have, by implication, with-tive justice. But, in truth, the complaint is without a out a grant in the constitution, all the powers necessary shadow of foundation. The Senate has not tried, nor to carry into effect his expressly granted powers. Deny-Iconvicted him; and, in our proceedings and judgment
Vol. X. -89
[APRIL 21, 1834.
on this constitutional question of power and privilege, he was it not at once disclosed to the nation, that public ven. has been heard whenever he chose to communicate with, geance might have fallen, with all its weight, upon the or would deign to answer us.
head of him who dared the deed? But, sir, I do not be. Some of the closing paragraphs of this protest are of lieve it. I do not believe that the bank, or any individual a character so singular, that I cannot refrain, though it on behalf of the bank, ever offered to bribe the Presiis stepping out of the way of sober argument, to notice dent, or that it would have purchased, if he had offered them. He says, “The resolution of ihe Senate con himself for sale. But enough of this. I turn from it tains an imputation upon my private as well as upon with feelings which I cannot, and whichi, perhaps, 1 ought my public character." 'Does ihis assertion merit an'an- not, to attempt to express. In enumerating the personal swer? What does he complain of? The resolution of motives which should have induced him to desist from the the Senate pronounces certain acts, which he admits he attack upon the bank, and in attempting to show that has done, to be in violation of the constitution: it is a none but the most patriotic moved him onward, he whol. question arising from a construction of that instrument, ly vmits to notice one-revenge, that darling passion, whether it be so; and that construction involves, it seems,
“Sweet to the soul, as honey to the taste"an imputation on his private character. And he adds, which the nation believes did, more than all other consid“I have lived in vain, if it be necessary to enter into a erations, actuate and impel him. formal vindication of my character and purposes from I will now trouble the Senate for a few moments, willi such an imputation. In vain do I bear upon my person a subject in which I may be allowed to feel some individenduring memorials of that contest in which American ual interest. It is that part of the protest which the liberty was achieved.” Now, if this be true-and it is President has presented us “as a matter of history," with to me, as well as to the rest of this body, a new matter of a copy of certain resolutions passed by the legislature of history-if it be true that, boy or lad, be got hurt any the State of Ohio, instructing me--for my colleague where, or any how, at any time, or by any accident, needed no instruction, to sustain the Executive in his act during the revolutionary war, what effect ought it to of the removal of the deposites. have, or should it have bail, if urged in time, in the I was aware of the existence of those resolutions before grave judgment of the Senate, upon their construction the President saw proper to recite them. My colleague of the constitution? The Senate say to the President, laid them upon your table in the early part of the ses. You had no right to seize the public purse; the constitu. sion, that they might be a subject of easy reference, and tion intrusts its custody to Congress; pray restore it. that we might have the line of duty which they marked Hear the reply: You are mistaken in your construction out for us constantly before our eyes. As I, and certain of the constitution; I got hurt when I was a boy, in the other friends near me similarly situated, did not conform time of the Revolution, and I have the scar on me yet. exactly to these and similar mandates, we were singled This argument, if it be worth any thing, must be de- out as a mark at which some of the light-armed troops cisive of the question; for no man can answer it. If it be should aim their missiles. There was occasionally a handnot, the next in its order is: I commanded an army, and grenade cast from the other side of the House amongst won a battle, in the late war. These, sir, are in sub- us, and some arrows were discharged from a Parthian stance a part of the arguments by which the constitution bow, which were intended to quiver in our sides. But I, of our country is, it seems to be settled between the sir, did not think fit to put myself upon my defence, or great departments of our Government!
even to regard or notice the attacks. I looked upon this “ 'Tis true 'tis pity; pity 'ris 'lis true.”
as a matter between my constituents, the people of my But, in proceeding to prove the purity of his conduct State, and myself; and I did not think it in good taste, if and his motives, the President says, in this his protest: it could be avoided, to bring up in discussion here, any “If I had been ambitious, I should have sought an alli- matter of division, or difficulty, or misunderstanding there. ance with that powerful institution which even now as. But the President of the United States has seen fit to copy pires to no divided empire.” He seek an alliance with into the paper which he calls his protest, and send to us ihat institution, to gratify his ambition! Why, sir, one of here, and send abroad to the nation, these resolutions, his first acts was, through one of his humble instruments, which, he says, “deliberately approve those very measto command the obedience of that institution, and attempt ures” which i, by my vote, have condemned. Thus to compel it to submission; and another agent has since personally assailed by the Chief Magistrate of the nation, boasted that he would bring it, as a reptile, to the feet of it is a duty which I owe to myself and to the people of the the Executive. Does this look like seeking power through State which I represent, that I should give my views puban alliance with that institution, or like riding over and licly on this floor upon this subject. crushing it? But, if the kind of alliance that he means, The Senale represents the States in the Congress of the is that which would make the bank subservient to the Union. The Senators are chosen by the legislatures, or Executive, submissive to his will, and an instrument in appointed by the Governors in the recess; but it is the State his hands, then he did, in fact, seek that alliance; but the which each, however selected, represents, and not the bank refused to come into the compact. Hence this legislature or the Governor, who was the mere instruwar-"war to the knife”-against it. But he adds-and ment used by the people and the constitution for his se. this is the most extraordinary of all-“If i had been ve. lection. Then, as he is the representative of the State, nal, I should have sold myself to its designs.” Is this in order to determine to whom he is responsible for the possible? Is it the President of the United States that due performance of his duty, as representative to constit. speaks this language, who makes a merit of having for- uent, we must next determine what is the State. Is it borne to sell himself for money?
the legislature? No; they are but servants of the people, Why, there is not one honorable man in a thousand that and exercise, in their behalf, but a delegated power. It would submit to the statement of the proposition, as to is the people themselves, bound together by the constituhimself, hypothetically, with the if, without feeling and tion, which is their social compact, and exercising their repelling it as a deep and degrading insult. But the powers through their appropriate agents, under that conPresident of the United States is not ashamed to couple Istitution and compact. The legislature of the State are his name and his station with such a proposition, and the trustees or servants of the people, for certain objects doubtless claims merit, (for why else should he name it?) specified in that constitution. The Senators here in Conthat lie has not yielded to bribery. One fact I would like gress are their trustees or servants, for certain other purwell to know: Did the bank, or any man in behalf of the poses, likewise specified in the constitution. Each bas its bank, directly or indirectly, offer him a bribe? If so, whylowo appropriate functions to perform; and it is not deleApril 21, 1834.)
gated to the one to control or direct the other. I do notture; strong party men, but honest men--who would stand, therefore, to the legislature of my State in the re- never have made themselves instruments in the transaclation of representative to constituent. I stand in that tion, had time been allowed them to ascertain its true relation only to the sovereign power—the people; and to purpose, and had they been aware of the juggling which them only am I bound to yield that obedience which the was practised upon them and upon the country. And representative owes to the combined and enlightened will shall I receive this, and obey it as the will of the people of his constituents.
of my State? No: if such be its origin, I spurn it with inIt is argued by some, that, because the people of a State dignation; coming from a source like that, it were a libel cannot practically assemble and instruct their Senators, upon the people; it were a foul insult to intrude it on me therefore the legislature must have the power to instruct as their will.' Why not send the instructions from the them. Singular logic, this! It supposes that public func- lower story of the palace direct, instead of giving them tionaries, charged with a bigh and sacred trust, and bound this unnecessary circuit? I would as soon receive them by the most solemn oath to discharge that trust faithfully, fresh from the limbeck in which they were originally con. must, not only in theory, but in practice, obey somebody; cocted, as now, after they have performed their seasoning that they must bave some master, who shall stand by and voyage; for that has purified them of none of the poisoncommand them; and, if you prove that those who in- ous drugs with which they were medicated. And what trusted them with the power do not stand by and direct right has the President, or whiat right has any man, to them, that somebody else must. In the present day all thrust himself between me and the people whom I repremust be in leading strings. But the assumption is not sent, and interfere with my legislative duties and my of true in point of fact. The will of the people of a State ficial responsibilities? Sir, I will not acknowledge those can, to all reasonable certainty, be ascertained by a Sena- resolutions as of any binding force whatever, or as any tor in Congress, on all great and momentous questions. evidence of the will of the people of Ohio. I believe it On questions of very great importance, they may assem- is not their will. I believe that a very large majority of ble in their primary character and instruct him. i believe the people are not only opposed to the act which those that I now know the will of a majority, and of a very resolutions direct me to sustain, but that they would large majority, of the people of my own State, and, rather trust to my judgment, on that or any other great knowing, I obey it. I may, it is truc, be mistaken; if i national question to be settled here, than to the inspiraam, the responsibility rests on myself, and I am willing to tion (for judgment it could not be called, as they had take it and bide the issue.
neither time nor facts out of which to form a judgment) have thus far considered the doctrine of absolute right of that majority of the legislature which gave those inin the legislature to command, and the absolute duty of structions. The sober judgment and the intelligence of obedience in the Senator. But there is another point of that legislature were opposed to those resolutions. I hold view in which this subject requires to be considered, in in my had, as an evidence of this fact, the protest of fiforder to avoid all misapprehension arising from the gen- teen of the thirty-six Senators, all able, intelligent men, eral opinions already expressed. I admit that the State and among them the late chief justice of the State, in legislatures have a right, and, in cases of great national which they give their reasons calmly, but strongly, against importance, it is their
duty, to express their opinions, in the measure; all of wbich reasons I had the gratification the way of resolutions of request, or instructions, if you to find in accordance with the views which I, about the please, (for I will not quarrel with the forms which usage same time, urged in my place on this floor, has given us,) to their Senators and Representatives in Su much for this historical fact with which the PresiCongress. li is their righ: to do it, as a select and en-dent has favored us. I have, in the execution of a high lightened portion of the people. As such, they may in. and solemn trust confided in me by the people, and under form the judgment, strengthen the hands, and lighten the the solemn obligation of an oath, felt bound to obey the responsibility of the representative. Their opinion is en- dictates of my own judgment and conscience, and to distitled to respect, as the opinion of an intelligent portion obey, and for the causes above stated, to wholly disregard of the people, and as evidence of the public will. But these instructions. I did so when they were forwarded that opinion may be rendered valueless, and that evidence to me by the legislature. I shall do so still, now they are may be weakened or destroyed by attendant circum- revived and re-produced by the Executive. I will neither stances,
lend my aid to destroy the constitution and the liberties Such was the case here. These resolutions were the of my country, nor will I abandon my post that another result of party discipline and party organization, not of may supply my place who might join in that work of evidence, argument, deliberation, and calm judgment. destruction; and, for a judgment upon my acts, I appealThe vote upon them was strictly a party vote, and they not to Cæsar-but from Cæsar to the people of Ohio. did not pass through the usual forms of legislation. I But the reasons of the President for sending us this luare a letter on my desk, informing me that those reso paper, opens a new mine of executive power, hitherto Istions were introduced into the Senate of the State, and inexplored. It is his oath of office which justifies and passed through it in less than three hours, and almost requires of him this new and most extraordinary measure; without discussion. They were introduced and passed he has solemnly sworn that he will faithfully execute when but one side of the question had been heard, after the office of President of the United States, and will, to the receipt of the reasons of the Secretary of the Treas the best of his abilities, preserve, protect, and defend, ury, which I took care to send them, and before the re- the constitution of the United States." So the Senate port of the committee of the bank, which I sent also, hall has violated and assailed the constitution, and he is bound reached them; and, on the next morning, a member of by his oath to interfere and defend it. Perhaps liis interthe Senate who has voted with the majority, moved a re- ference may, in the first instance, prove ineffectual. This consideration, and declared, with just indignation, on the body may not yield, at once, to his remonstrance, and floor of the Senate, that those resolutions had come ready restore the constitution and conform their acts to what, in furnished to hand from Washington, and he spurned at his opinion, it legitimately warrants. What then? Having the idea of making himself the instrument of their adop- once interfered, under his oath, to protect and defend the tion. And I have no doubt of the fact. I believe that constitution, will he not make that interference effectual, they were manufactured by the kitchen cabinet here, and and protect and defend it at all hazards, and by all the forwarded throttgh their branch at Columbus; and were, means which are in his power? In speaking of the acts of through the craft of the managers there, imposed upon the Senate, in this very paper, he says: “If the Senate many honest and unsuspecting members of that legisla-I have a right to interfere with the executive powers, they