« ZurückWeiter »
Kent County (Del.) Memorial.- Rhode Island Memorials.
[APRIL 24, 1834.
upon which he claims the uncontrolled possession of the man in the country shall be valued-in a word, to contract sword. They will now learn that he has actually charged the sound and to expand the unsound currency, whenever the Senate with usurpation, because it bas dared faith a single man shall will it. It is a claim which no British fully to represent the very sentiments which they them- monarch, since the English revolution, has ever dared to selves have directed us to express. They will remon- maintain; and its exercise by the President has resulted strate in future only through the medium of the ballot in the establishment of that very Government bank; yes, boxes.
sir, in the consummation, by Executive action alone, of It is true, sir, that the offence for which my colleague that very plan, for the accomplishment of which, in the and myself, in common with other members of this body, first year of his administration, he invoked the aid of Conare impeached by the Presidential manifesto, is precisely gress. I now demand of any man on this floor, who thinks that of truly representing both the Legislature and the himself competent to the task, to point out one shade of people of Delaware. We have spoken the very language difference between the dangers of that engine of power, which the freemen who sent lis here have taught us. which we all condemned a year ago, and those dangers to The Chief Magistrate complains that this is not to be en- public liberty which must inevitably attend this confederdured, and appeals to the people, of whom these are a ation of so many State banks, under the control of the part. He denies to us the poor privilege of even express- President. I invite any Senator here to debate the coming their opinions as to his conduct, because, he says, in parative power of the present affiliation of State banks a possible event, but which he knows will never happen, established by Executive action alone, and that of the very (that of his impeachment,) we may be his judges: Sir, Government bank which, less than twelve months since, when the people of this country shall become so ignorant every body seemed to agree was an institution so frightful as to be incapable of discriminating between a charge and pregnant with danger to civil freedom. against the President, of having been wilfully and corrupt. In the House of Commons, on this very day last year, ly guilty of violating the constitution, and a vote of the Lord Althorp, the British minister, thus expressed him. Senate simply declaring an executive act unconstitutional, self, on this subject of a Government bank: and carefully abstaining from the slightest imputation of “It is, certainly, a question of great importance whether bad motives or wilful corruption, then we may be in dan- it is desirable to trust such a power in the hands of per ger from his appeal. Until that period, it will probably sons not legally responsible, or in the hands of a Governshare the fate of other electioneering appeals to the igno- ment which is responsible; and another point is, whether rance rather than the intelligence of the country.
the profits necessarily to be derived should belong to the The President, in his first message to Congress, an- Government, or be allowed to the company. The advannounced his preference for a Government bank. This tages, and the only advantages, I have been able to disannunciation has been repeated in his succeeding com-cover in a Government bank, instead of a private communications, yet so monstrous was it ever deemed, by Ipany, are the responsibility of the managers and the profit men of all parties, that no man would defend it. His to be derived from the undertaking. It seems to me that warmest partisans revolted at the enormous accumulation they are much more than counterbalanced by the pracof executive power in the bands of one man, which such tical evils of such a system. I think the effect of liaving a proposition contemplated. Yet, what do we see now? the Government the great bankers of the state, having An affiliation of some fifiy State banks under one head, the command of the circulating medium in their lands, depending every moment for existence on his will, and might be most mischievous. In the first place, I refer to deprecating his vengeance! In many instances the pub. the temptations of the Government to abuse its power, lic deposites exceed the amount of the capital of the se- and to the impossibility, or to the extreme impolicy, in lected bank. Many of these corporations have discounted, that case, of permitting any assistance to be given to the by order of the President, on the faith of the deposites, to commercial interests of the country in periods of diffithe whole amount of those deposites, and should he, at any culty—a course hitherto frequently pursued by the Bank moment, in a sudden fit of passion, withdraw from any of England. If once Government were at liberty to assist one bank so circumstanced, the public money in its vaults, those whom they thought fit in times of difficulty and disthat bank is inevitably ruined. Under such circumstan-tress, it appears to me that it would be such an enormous ces, is it possible that it can escape a thinking intellect, power in the hands of the minister of the day as would be that it is in his power to control these banks, and the dis-alınost destructive of the constitution." position of the millions, not of public revenue, but of bank Such, sir, were the sentiments of a minister of Enging capital, they possess? Is it not entirely within his land--the servant of a crowned head-the organ of a monpower to direct any one of them to lend or not to lend arch. Yei, in this boasted land of freedom, we have been money to particular individuals? May he not actually actually reduced to a condition in which the Executive wreak his vengeance on any city or district of country magistrate is at liberty to assist those whom he ihinks tit, which may fall under his displeasure, in consequence of and is in the habit of ordering transfer drafts to meet the its political or other conduct, by removing the public de wants of particular institutions which are the objects of posites from it at any moment, and compelling the banks bis favoritism. I repeat it, sir, we have now fastened of deposite there, with a view to meet the call, to spread upon us what is, to all intents and purposes, a Government ruin and distress among the people, by the curtailment of bank. To this complexion we have come at last! their accommodations and the collection of their debts?! I concur, therefore, with my friends and neighbors, who Nay, has it not been actually proposed to pursue this very bave honored me with the presentation of this their mecourse towards at least one city of this Union?
morial, that the recent acts of the President are not only Sir, the claim of Executive power now, is to control most disastrous in their operation on the industry of the the whole monetary system of the nation; to regulate its people, but dangerous to the liberties of the country. I currency; to increase or depreciate, at pleasure, the value therefore move, sir, that these resolutions and this memoof money; and to prostrate, at discretion, the whole struc- rial be read, printed, and referred to the Committee on ture on which the contracts of the country depend. It Finance; that they may receive the earnest attention and is a claim to confiscate the property of the landed inter consideration of that committee. est; to break down every man trading on credit; to in- They were ordered accordingly. crease or diminishi, by the operations of a fluctuating currency, the duties on foreign importations; to work a
RHODE ISLAND MEMORIALS. general transfer of property from one class of men to ano. Mr. ROBBINS presented memorials from the counties
• to fix the siandard by which the property of every of Bristol and Providence, in the State of Rhode Island, April 24, 1834.]
Rhode Island Memorials.
upon the subject of the present embarrassments of those their common mart, in all directions thronged with the counties.
business of transportation, to and fro, resembling, at On presenting these memorials, Mr. R. addressed the times, and in places, the throng of a crowded city. In the Senate as follows: I am again charged with the presenta- single county of Providence, at these several falls, they tion of memorials to Congress, coming from the people have over seventy different manufacturing establishments; of the State of Rhode Island. They are preferred by they have over three millions of fixed capital in these esmore than four thousand petitioners, nearly all of them tablishments; they have (I should have said they had) over freeholders-all business men—that class of men by which five thousand manual laborers employed in them. Already all other classes are sustained-that class to which society over seventy thousand spindles have suspended operation, owes all its prosperity. They come to complain of the and their operatives are thrown out of daily employ, and wide-spread ruin that has prostrated all business in all its lof course out of daily bread. These laborers were repursuits; of the causes which have produced that ruin; ceiving, for wages, as the rate of eight hundred thousand and with prayers for relief.
dollars per annum. These memorials are from the two counties of Bristol! What a spectacle in a free country! To see these noand Providence, both located on the head waters of Nar- ble works of human hands, and noble means of human ragansett bay, and possessing great natural advantages for happiness, struck down at once, as has been the case, by commerce, foreign and comestic. The small but inter- the arbitrary hand of one man-and he, rending the conesting county of Bristol, (the more interesting from early Istitution and the laws, and breaking through all their rehistorical associations: there was the memorable seat of a straints, to strike the fatal blow! The effects of that blow, mighty warrior among the native tribes, known to tra-lits ruinous, its disastrous, its distressing effects, are deditionary fame as King Philiphis seat, now called Mount tailed in these memorials, which, therefore, it is unnecesHaup, still overlooking, as then, one of the most varied sary for me to describe. I will only say, that if there be and magnificent scenes that eye has ever beheld)—this a man who could inflict all these calamities, knowingly, county is commercial. Of its three towns, two are emi- or, if unknowingly, could contemplate, without remorse, nently commercial, embracing more than four-fifths of the the sufferings he had caused and was causing, and could county population. Their canvass has been spread on refuse relief, when relief depended on his nod--that, if every sea, in every quarter of the globe, and success has there be such a man, he could attended their persevering industry and hardy enterprise.
"Wade through slaughter to a throne, But now, the career of their prosperity has been sud
“ And shut the gates of mercy on mankind.' cienly checked, in common with that of the whole country, These memorials contain two prayers to Congressby the causes which have so often been alluded to, and one, that they would adopt the vecessary measures to rewhich are well stated, and properly reprobated, in their store and secure to the country a stable currency; the memorial.
other, to take the necessary measures to vindicate the vioTave said that these two counties are located on the lated constitution. head waters of Narragansett bay. That spacious bay ex. Concurring with the memorialists in opinion and sentitends inland thirty miles from the ocean-an archipelago, ment, as I heartily do, I beg the indulgence of the Senate interspersed with various islands, vying in beauty, and while I explain my views on both questions. I will ensurpassing in salubrity, the islands of the Grecian archi-deavor to do it in a very few words. pelago; and though less known to fame, not less deser- These memorialists think a national bank indispensable ying to be known. At the head of this archipelagolto a sound and stable national currency. In this opinion stands the city of Providence, on Providence river, al. I concur with them. ready surpassing the ancient Byzantium, on the Bospho! Such is now the state and nature of things around us, rus, and bidding fair, from the rapidity of its growth, (if and in which we are placed, that the currency of this it be not repressed by the iron hand of arbitrary power,) country must be a paper currency. This is imposed upon to rival, at no very distant day, the modern Constantinople. Jus by a necessity which controls, and cannot be control
Providence, fortunately, has always had one resource, led; for it is imposed by circumstances which do, and will without which all other resources are vain, and which exist, and over which the Government can have no congoes far to account for the difference in the growth of trol. I allude to the power of the States to create banks— different places, though possessing equal natural advan- a power which they have exercised, and will exercise, ad tages--namely, a succession of minds, from race to race, \libitum. The paper of each of these banks will have a full of the spirit of enterprise; enlightened on all the local currency, more or less extensive, and together, will subjects and as to all the fields of commerce; and precover the whole country with a paper currency. Now, I pared to encounter the hazards for the chances of success suppose, no one pretends that Congress can deprive the in all. All our vast trade beyond the Cape of Good Hope States of this power, or control its exercise. was begun by a distinguished gentleman of that city, now Congress, it is true, have the constitutional power, or no more. He led the way, and others followed, till it right, to establish a national currency, to consist of gold has grown up to wbat it now is. And their success has and silver; but they have not the physical power to attain been equal to their enterprise.
this object. For what can Congress do? They can reAt the north, and on the west, the land rises on the quire all the dues to the Government to be paid in gold shores of that bay into a broken, hilly country-a granite and silver; and they can require all the disbursements of region, presenting a soil generally not inviting, nor prom the Government to be made in gold and silver; and when ising for cultivation, but abounding in living streams, and they have done this, they have exhausted all their power these abounding in precipitous falls.
Jupon the subject. Between the receipt and the disbursellere, in these barren streams, amidst these barren ment, this gold and silver will make no part of the currocks, lay, as it had laid for ages, the secret power of rency; for then it will be locked up. When it is diswealth untold. But the mind and enterprise of this peo- bursed, what will the claimant or creditor do with it? He ple, when once taken under the fostering wing of the na- will immediately place it in some State bank, in which he tional policy, at once called forth this secret power; con- has confidence, on deposite, for safe keeping, and to check verted their barren streams into streams of silver, and out as he wants it; and these checks will be paid in bank their barren rocks into rocks of gold. You might have paper. Common prudence will dictate this course to the seen, rising as it were by enchantment, at each of these specie-holder. The effect will be, that the specie capital numerous falls, a populous village. You might have seen of the State banks will be augmented by this operation the numerous roads leading to them from Providence, lof the Government, but the currency will still remain a
Rhode Island Memorials.
[Arnil 24, 1834.
paper currency; and there will be no more gold and sil. How would a court of law get on without the “stare ver in circulation than enough for exchanges below the decisis” of the lawyers? They could not get on at all. lowest denomination of bank bills that pass in exchange. Without it, in every case, the very foundations of juris
Such, then, is our situation, amid circumstances which, prudence would be to be settled, and then would only be as I said, we cannot control, and which must control us, settled for that case. In the very next, if they ever should whether we will or not; which make it a physical impos- get to the next, the very same battles would have to be sibility to establish a currency to consist of gold and sil- fought over again, with the same uncertainties as to the ver; and which constrain us, whether we will or no, to issue. No case would be settled by any precedent; no submit to the necessity of a bank paper currency: principle would be settled by any adjudication; no statute
Then, can it be a question, whether a national bank be would be settled by any judicial interpretation. expedient? Is it expedient to have a national currency, Why the maxim of “ stare decisis," so expedient, so though paper, yet equivalent to gold and silver? We necessary, as well as so admirable in the administration have that, by means of a national bank, and cannot have of the law, should be repudiated in the administration of it without. "Is it expedient for the Government to have our constitution, I never could understand. all the public moneys received and disbursed, wherever But waiving this topic, too, I would say to gentlemen wanted to be disbursed, without risk and without expense? who, admitting the expediency of a national bank, yet This the Government has, by means of a national bank, doubt its constitutionality, among whom are great names, and cannot have without. Is it expedient for the people and of these not the least on this foor-(I say doubt, beof this country to have a medium, in which they can cause, even they, I presume, admit the question to be make all their exchanges at the par value of that medium? doubtful, if they admit themselves to be fallible, as they This they can bave by means of a national bank, and can- differ in this opinion from names also great; indeed, it is not bave without. But above all, is it expedient for the impossible that a question should be without its difficulpeople of this country to have a stable measure of value ties and doubts, which has divided the opinions of great to all property, the same at all times, and in all places? minds after mature deliberation)_1 would say to these This they can have by a national bank, and cannot have gentlemen, “Here, in one scale, you have the good, and without. Now, that a national bank is recommended by well-being, and prosperity, of the country, to be had by all these three great national advantages-to be had by means of a national bank, and not to be had without one; one, and not to be had without one-has been proved and, in the other scale, you have a constitutional scruple by all our experience, both of a national bank, and of be. as to the use of a bank; but connected with that scruple, ing witliout one.
if indulged, and it govern, the ruin of the country, so far But a national bank is unconstitutional. This is not the as its being destitute of a sound and stable currency can time nor the occasion for a full discussion of that ques work its ruin. Now, I ask you, which scale would you tion. I will content myself, therefore, with only saying, have to preponderate? I put it to you as patriots: Shall that, as by the constitution, Congress are to collect and it be the ruin of the country, for the sake of the triumph to appropriate all the public moneys, they must have an of this constitutional scruple? And that scruple, too, agent for keeping and disbursing those moneys; and that predicated upon a philological controversy, as to which I see in this necessity a full vindication of Congress in meaning of ihe several different meanings of the same creating a bank for this agency. And if this agency be word in the constitution, is the true constitutional mean. incidental to the bank, as some hold, (though I cannot ing, namely, the word “ necessary.' see how it is more incidental than every other function of Necessity baving in it degrees, as all admit, the dis. the bank,) I cannot see how that makes any difference, if pute is, whether the constitution mean, or does nut that mode of agency be imposed by the same law of ne- mean, the absolute degree, to the exclusion of every cessity, as it obviously is. At least I cannot conceive of inferior degree of necessity. Now, would you have any other mode of constituting that agency by that agent. the great interests of the country, involved as they are But I waive that whole question; for I do not consider in a sound national currency, sacrificed to this verbal it an open question, unless it be so, indeed, from the dispute! fact that nothing is to be considered as settled under this Moreover, would you have sacrificed to it the constituconstitution.
tion itself, as to one of its great leading and acknowlI admit, as I suppose all do, that the good of the coun- edged objects, for this would be a necessary consequence? try, or what the constitution denominates "the general For all undoubtedly acknowledge, that to establish a stawelfare,” is to be pursued by constitutional means. But ble, national currency, was a great and leading object of who is to judge of and decide upon that constitutionality, the constitution, intended, if you please, to consist of and put the question at rest? Is it the Legislature? They the precious metals; still, a stable currency was the end have decided a bank to be constitutional. Is it the Judi- in view, and the precious metals but as means to that end. ciary, whose peculiar province it is to decide and settle Now, if it has become a physical impossibility, by a state all constitutional questions? They have decided a bank to of things since arisen, and not then foreseen, to establish a be constitutional. Is it the people? They, too, bave de- national currency, to consist only of the precious metals, cided the question, by their acquiescence now, for nearly and it is possible to establish a national currency, equiva. forty years out of forty-five, of our national existence, lent to that of the precious metals, by means of a national under the present constitution; and that acquiescence not bank, answering all the same purposes equally well, and tacit, but expressed by the voices of three-fourths of more conveniently; and, if you refuse to adopt those their Legislatures, and manifested by their own elections; means, do you not sacrifice the constitution itself as to not one of the representatives, to my knowledge, ever one of its most important objects, and your country with having lost his election for baving voted for a national it, to a verbal controversy, whether this shade of meanbank. Or is there to be no final decision of the question, ing, in preference to that shade, is to be given to a given in any way, by any authority?
word in the constitution Is every constitutional question to be held a matter of I remember that Demosthenes, on one occasion, warned eternal debate? Is the constitution never to have any his countrymen against undertaking a war, in which they steady and certain execution? Is it to be one tbing to-day, might have all Greece combined against them, for what and another to-morrow? Are we, is our posterity, never he termed “a shadow in Delphos.” Is it not equally to know what our constitution is, or is to be? Is there to imprudlent in us to risk the experiment to the country be no plain sailing by the constitution? Is it to be at sea, of getting on without a national bank, and for as mere forever agitated, and vcxed with one eternal tempest? a shadow?
APRIL 24, 1834.]
(SENATE. Suppose the venerable, but now departed sages, who corruption will have done her work, and American liberframed the constitution, were to descend from their saint- ties will, thereafter, be among the things that have passed ed abodes to counsel and advise us, with Washington away. Then, of those glorious liberties it may be said, at their head, and he should say to us: “ We saw, and as was said when the victorious forces of Greece were had felt
, that the great desideratum of this country was a consuming the glorious city of Troy, and in the pathetic stable currency, and this object we labored anxiously tones of her deploring patriotprovide for. 'The means we prescribed to this end we
“ Ilium fuit et ingens thought necessary to this end, as being the only efficient
“Gloria Teucrorum." means. But, if these means have become impracticable, The fearful and momentous struggle has already comand other means are practicable, and no less efficient, menced, and is now going on in the several States, bewhy should you abandon an object so vital to the coun- tween liberty on the one side, and despotism on the other; try, when the thing intended may be effected, though and God only knows what the issue will be. Should libnot in the way intended? You supplied to the country erty be doomed to fall in the struggle, (which God forthis great desideratum by means of a bank. Why de- bid!) it will be her last struggle—at least the last of her prive yourselves of this resource, and thereby destroy bloodless struggles—for the people will then (seeing and your country? We see no wisdom in this.” Who among feeling the tyranny) have been not the deluded, but the us would rise and venture to reply in opposition to this conscious, the willing, and the active instruments of their address, and in disapprobation of this counsel?
own servitude. But then, and after that, what will folSo much for the first question arising on these memo- low? Certainly not the calm of despotism. Civil comrials. These memorialists also denounce the act of the motions must follow, blood must flow, and the fortunes Executive, which, by its consequences, has involved the of civil war will dispose of the fortunes of this country. country in so much ruin and distress, as an act of lawless But how, He only knows in whose almighty hands are the power; as an act in direct violation of the constitution. destinies of nations. And is it not so? Suppose now, it had not taken place; Mr. Robbins having concluded suppose it had not been thought of—and this question Mr. FORSYTH inquired what was the date of the mehad been put to any gentleman on this floor: " Has the morials, and whether they had been got up prior to or Executive of this country a right to make himself trustee since the elections in Rhode Island. He also wished to of all the public moneys?" I think he would have smiled know how these elections had terminated. at the simplicity of the inquiry, but would have said to Mr. ROBBINS replied, that he had received the methe simpleton, if he answered him at all, “Certainly not. morials ten days ago, and prior to the Rhode Island elecBy the constitution, you see that Congress is to collect tions; and that the elections had terminated in a victory in and appropriate all the public moneys. Congress, there- favor of the memorialists. fore, must be the trustee of those moneys."
The memorials were then read, referred, and ordered to Now, I ask, has not the Executive of this country made be printed. himself that trustee? Has he not claimed the right to
PRESIDENT'S PROTEST. control the keeper of those moneys, as to those moneys? The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of the And has he not so controlled him? If he control the keep-special order, being the resolutions offered by Mr. Poiner as to the trust-fund, does he not control the trust-fund? Dexten, as modified by Mr. CLAY. I do not see how he could make himself more the trustee, The question being on the amendment proposed by if he had taken the key of the Treasury from the keeper Mr. BiBB~ to keep it himself in his own pocket.
Mr. KANE rose and said: Mr. President, I am amongst It is astonishing to me that it should be denied, that the those who believe that this session has been already sufExecutive has thus made himself the trustee of the pub- ficiently extended; and that the time for action upon the lic moneys; yet this has been denied by many. It is necessary business of the country has arrived. My sen. yet more astonishing to me that the fact should be admit-timents upon the present subject will be therefore deted and yet be defended, as it is, by a still greater number. livered as briefly as possible. The proposition first made,
This I consider as the symptom of danger to the libero in baste and without due consideration, not to receive ties of the country, by far the most portentous of any in she communication of the President, has, in some measour alarming situation, or that has ever occurred in our ure, given way to more sagacious counsels; more sagahistory. Flere now has been the assumption of a lawless cious, because formed upon more reflection. Gentlemen power by the Executive of this country-and what pow. in the opposition have trodden back their steps, and have ep? That power, which rides over all others; that pow- consented to present their reasons upon record, in the er, which, like Aaron's rod, swallows up all the rest; that shape of the resolutions now before you. It will not surpower, which, when united to the physical force given prise me if our further progress should lead to further by the constitution to the Executive, becomes irresisti- recessions. I take no pleasure in retorting upon Senable. By that union, absolute despotism is at once con-tors who have charged retraction of opinions upon the summated. And then how assumed? By an act that, in President, because of his supplemental explanations, the its immediate operation, has brought distress and ruin fact that their propositions have been thrice altered, and upon the whole country.
that down to this moment they have not agreed upon the Yet what have we seen? We have seen the act de course to be pursued. fended here in the councils of the nation; and by the The more generous, just, and manly ground to take, presses in all parts of the country. We have scen the is to allow every gentleman, in public or private life, to Executive sustained in the assumption of this arbitrary explain his own language in his own way, to avoid either and absolute power by a majority of the immediate rep- misapprehension or misrepresentation. I must say, howresentatives of the people in Congress. Now, what does ever, that the notes I took before the appearance of the this in«licate? It indicates that, as to them, the noble President's explanation, will show that I had come to the spirit of freedom is extinct—that spirit, without which same conclusions. Great surprise was manifested upon all the forms of liberty, as they exist in models of con. the first presentation of the protest. One Senator alter stitutions, are but idle things—but the lifeless body with another rose in his place and declared it an extraordinary out the soul. And if that majority shall be sustained paper-most extraordinary indeed. This feeling of won. (which is yet to be seen) by a majority of the people, it der grew stronger and stronger, until it was augmented will not only indicate, but demonstrate, that the spirit of to such a degree, as to impel one gentleman to pronounce liberty no longer animates and actuates the people. Then lit an impertinent interference with the affairs of the Sen
[APRIL 24, 1834.
What produced this surprise? The paper had Notwithstanding, Mr. President, the matters of grare been but once hastily read by the Secretary, had not been import contained in the several resolutions submitted by examined, and its doctrines and arguments could not have the Senator from Mississippi, the first question presented been accurately understood by any one. Where, then, for decision will be upon the amendment offered by the is the reason for all this petrifying astonishment to be honorable Senator from Kentucky, (Mr. B/BB.] That found? Is the fact which gentlemen saw before their question is, Shall the paper be rejected?. eyes, and about which there could be no mistake, that Before we give an affirmative answer, it would be well human being had, perhaps for the first time in the history to consider that the President of the United States repreof our proceedings, ventured to remonstrate and defend sents an authority, under the constitution, conferred upon himself against the injustice which the Senate had done him by twelve millions of people—that they have lodged him, without constitutional warrant? 1! this be the first in his hands the Executive power of this Governmentincident of its kind, it is first only, because no necessary that it is the duty of the incumbent to guard that power occasion for such a procedure on the part of the Execu- from violation, that it may neither be diminished ror cartive was ever before furnished by the Senate.
ried too far--that it is as much his right and his duty to Let us look back and see what the Senate was, and guard that power, as it is the right and duty of any other then compare it with what we now know it to be. For department of the Government to guard its rights and many years after the adoption of the Federal constitution, powers from violation. When questions of difference the Senate was composed of men of the greatest discretion, with regard to power arise between the co-ordinate of the profoundest wisdom, and of well-regulated, patriotic branches, of a nature not judicial, there is but one tribunal ambition. Impressed with a proper sense of their heavy to appeal to, and that tribunal is the people, the fountain responsibilities, they consulted the public good, the inter- and parent of all the powers of the Government. It is ests and wishes of their respective States, of the nation, the duty of the conflicting parties to present the matter of and nothing else. Satisfied with the reputations they had difference fairly, in a spirit of candor, that the points may already acquired, and that the stations they occupied had be clearly presented, and fully understood. Remember as much of dignity and consequence about them as sensi. that our duty requires us to conceal nothing from the ble men could desire, or as any which a free country great arbiter; that we have no right to treat him with concould or ought to furnish, they neither courted the ap- tempt. plause of surrounding multitudes, nor desired to exchange The reasons, then, for rejecting this paper, or refusing ibe calm, dignified occupations of the Senate chamber, for to receive it, must be overwhelming, to justify us in taking the uncomfortable, turbulent, and tempestuous employ- the course proposed, lest we subjeci ourselves to the ments of Executive office. For some time they sat with charge of treating twelve millions of people, in the perclosed doors, confined themselves to revising the business son of their President, contemptuously, and their unsent from the House of Representatives, and to their ex- doubted power with scorn. ecutive and judicial duties, always careful to preserve the Will the Senate act courteously, or consult its self-re. rights of the body from encroachment from any quarter, spect, to read this protest, dissect it, condemn it, answer it and studiously avoiding all interference with the just by speeches, and then solemnly vote not to receive it? rights of other departments of the Government. To a Would it be honorable in private life for a gentleman to course of conduct like this was the Senate indebted for its receive a communication from an individual, open it, read security from all disputes with the other branches of the it, answer it, abuse it, and condemn it by oral declaraFederal authority, and for the respect and affection which tions, and then refuse to receive it? the American people bore towards it.
Let me now ask for the reasons which will govern the I fear, sir, from the developments of a few hours past, votes of those who will not consent to receive this paper. that Senators will not always continue such a course. Is its language disrespectful, is it indecent, is it insultready have we heard more hard things said in this cham-ing in its terms or its import? None of these things are ber, than was ever heard in any public deliberative as pretended. Had the President no right to send it? If sembly under the sun. It has become the battle-ground, it be his duty to defend the powers of the Executive deupon which we daily witness the severest political strug- partment of the Government, his right is unquestionable. gles, in which are exhibited not unfrequently violent de- if he believed that the resolution of the Senate, in violanunciations of men inconnected with this Government by tion of the constitution, invaded the “Executive power,” any official station; of State functionaries, of State laws, there was no course left bim to pursue, than to protest and the policy of the States. Sometimes, too, sir, our against it, time is occupied in hearing from Senators complaints of He could not counteract the resolutions in any other their own constituents. This session, so far, has been way. If he submitted in silence, he would have acqui. signalized beyond all others for the heat and violence of esced in what he believed an unauthorized interference debate. Time was, when Senators wished to witness a with the rights of a branch of the Government confided political gladiatorial conflict, they went to the other House to him by the constitution, and he would have been justof Congress, where a younger, a more enthusiastic, and a ly condemned by the people for his acquiescence. He fiercer spirit prevailed. Now, sir, we see, day by day, would have surrendered the Executive office to a succesmembers of the llouise crowding in to witness our spas- sor, impaired, so far as his silence against his duty could modic exhibitions. Is it wonderful, Mr. President, in the accomplish such an end. He had precedent for his course exciting circumstances of party conflict, that even the in the recorded proceedings of the Senate. How often spirit of Senators should sometimes effervesce so violently have the State Legislatures sent protests here against the as to overflow the just measure of their authority, and acts of the Congress of the United States, containing poslead the Senate to the adoption of measures trenching itive charges of violations of the Federal constitution on upon the constitutional rights of others? I believe most the part of Congress? Who ever made a motion not to sincerely, that we have proceeded against the Executive receive a protest of this kind? And pray, sir, will gendepartment of the Government, and against the President tlemen tell me why a co-ordinate branch of this Govern. of the United States, in such a mode as to impair the just ment cannot protest against a resolution of this body, and constitutional powers of the one and the personal and po. wby, at the same time, he will allow a State Legislature litical rights of the other--that it was the duty of the to send a protest against the deliberate Legislative deter. President, in defence of the rights and powers of the Ex. minations of Congress. ecutive department, and his privilege as an officer and a Whatever objections have been made to the right of freeman, to send us the protest.
the President to send the paper, no one has denied the