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MA 7, 1834.]
all founded upon the baseless fabric of a vision!” He as an adjunct, subaltern, fiduciary dependency of its own accuses Mr. Taney of liaving appointed an officer to su- paramount self! The Senate of the United States was perintend the deposite banks; of having allowed that offi- not expected to have been the theatre of this exbibition. cer a salary; and of having caused that salary to be paid Yet it has been! And America will look for that reparaout of moneys due to the United States; and he speaks of tion to the character of a patriot President, which Engsome official report to prove all this grave and serious land has often seen rendered to the memory of her illusmatter. Sir, said Mr. B., this is a charge against Mr. trious sons, whose attainders, pronounced in times of facTaney, not only without evidence, but against evidence; tious misrule, have been reversed by the power of the not only not proved, but disproved, and that by the people, at the overthrow of faction, and the re-establishvery document referred to. No, sir, no such officer has ment of law and order. been appointed; no such salary has been allowed; no such Judges, said Mr. B., who stimulate prosecutions, espemoney has been paid. The whole charge is a child of the cially prosecutions to be tried at their own bar, are themimagination, a figment of the brain! one of the litter of selves guilty of impeachable conduct. It was for such inventions which are daily spawned upon the floor of the conduct that one of the articles of impeachment, on which Senate, and bruited to the world, to destroy the character Judge Chase was tried, was preferred against him. The of the man, and to prepare the public for the rejection of seventh of the articles recited “that, descending from the officer, who has had the fidelity to stand by the Pres- the dignity of a judge, and stooping to the level of an inident in his hour of greatest trial, and the courage to in- former," he had endeavored to lay the ground-work for cur the vengeance of the Bank of the United States. the prosecution of a printer, to be tried before himself;
Mr. B. took a rapid view of the deplorable and disas- "thereby degrading bis high judicial functions." Judge trous effects resulting from the Senate's conduct in joining Chase, said Mr. B., plead not guilty to this charge; and the Bank of the United States, and in becoming the ally to his own honor, and that of the bench, was acquitted and instrument of that great moneyed power, in its at- upon the facts. But what would become of this Senate, tempt to destroy and to ostracise the President of the if
, like Judge Chase, they were liable to be impeached people. The deposite of the resolution upon the table for stimulating an impeachment which they themselves of the Senate, which condemned the President for a vio- were to try? Could they plead not guilty? Could they lation of the laws and the constitution of the country, for say that the House of Representatives had not been stimdismissing Mr. Duane because he would not remove the ulated from this floor to begin the impeachment, and republic deposites, and appointing Mr. Taney to make the proached for not doing it? Could they go to trial, as remova), and for exercising ungranted power over the Judge Chase did, upon an issue of fact? Certainly not! Treasury--a resolution couched in the precise terms and the safety of this august body lies, not in its innowhich the bank press had indicated before the meeting cence, but in its exemption from liability to be held to of the Senate—the deposite of that resolution upon the the same accountability that Judge Chase was.
But can table of the Senate, and the first sentence in the first it escape the judgment of the public, and of posterity? speech in support of it, was the opening of the Pandora's It cannot escape that judgment! The Senate itself will box, from which issued forth every imaginable evil to af- be judged, and is already beginning to feel the sentence Alict and alarm the people, and to wound and degrade the of condemnation. A voice from the ranks of the people institutions of the country. Violation of the constitution, demands a change in its organization, a diminished duinsult, outrage, and ex parte condemnation of the Presi- ration of term, and an increased responsibility to the dent; neglect of all the proper business of the Senate; States; and in that voice he, Mr. B., most hieartily contotal change and perversion of its character; a new and curred. Six years was too long for a Senator to trample furious spirit of aitack and crimination in this chamber; with impunity upon the will and the interests of his State! agitation and alarm of the country; assaults upon all the aware of its danger, the Senate--Mr. B. spoke of the State banks; the overthrow of some, and a relentless war body collectively, as the least invidious mode of stating a upon the New York banks, the safety fund, and the re- disagreeable truth-aware of its danger, the Senate seeks gency. Such were the fruits of that Hagrant and unjusti- to avoid its impending fate, by raising an affected cry of fiable proceeding, to carry out in the Senate, without the alarm; proclaiming themselves to be standing in a breach, forms of law, that vindictive impeachment of the Presi- and charging the President with a design to overthrow it! dent which the bank bad vainly demanded according to as if any Senate was ever overthrown by a military chiefthe forms of law, from any member of the legitimate tri- tain, until its own conduct had made it odious and conbunal, the House of Representatives.
temptible to the people! If the President entertained the The Senate, said Mr. B., was intended to be the con- belief, (a point on which he, Mr. B., had no information,) servative tribunal of the constitution—the peculiar guard but if he entertained the opinion that the duration of Senof its inviolability—the impregnable citadel of its strength atorial terins should be shortened, or that Senatorial com-and the holy temple of its sanctity. The age of the missions should be made revocable by State Legislatures, Senators-intended to exclude the intemperance and the be certainly was neither singular, nor novel, in entertainturbulence of youth; the presumed moderation their ing such sentiments, for they were doctrines of the revo. passions, and the gravity of their characters; the long du lutionary school, and belong to the fatliers of the republic. ration of their terms of service, exceeding that of the By the articles of the confederation, each State had the President by one-half; their high functions, and extraor- right, through its Legislature, to recall its depuiły, at any dinary participation in the executive, judicial, and legis- time, from the Federal Congress, and to appoint another lative characters of the Government, all combined to pro- in his stead; and this right to recall resulted from the idea mise, for the constitution, in this chamber, an inviolate of State representation; an idea peculiarly applicable to respect and sacred regard. It was not to have been ex- the Senate of the United States! Mr. B. considered himpected that, in this chamber, in the first half century of self to be standing on Virginia ground, as well as on revthe age of the constitution, an attempt should be made to olutionary ground, when he professed himself to be in ostracise an eminent citizen, the first magistrate of the favor of such modifications of the Senatorial tenure as republic, whose sole offence consists in baving been three would shorten the duration of the appointment, and intimes preferred by the people to the bighest office in crease the responsibility of the Senator. He believed their gift, and to his now standing the impassable barrier that the Legislature of Virginia bad recommended such to the march of a new power, which aspires to the con- alterations in the Federal constitution. trol of the republic; aiming to install its pensioners into all (Mr. LEIGH rose and asked leave to assure Mr. B. that offices, and to hold the administration of this Government he was mistaken.]
Mr. Benton was unwilling to admit a mistake, though against the pet banks, the safety-fund, and the regencyready to acknowledge that the accuracy and extent of always a tripod for vaticinating wo, and chanting jereinformation possessed by the Senalor from Virginia, (Mr. miads over the desolation of the land, and the ruin of LEIGH,] especially on every point connected with the America. history, politics, and legislation of bis own State, was such Is not this picture, said Mr. B., revolting as it may be, as to leave the fair inference, that what was unknown to and bumiliating as it must be is it not too truly and too him, did not exist. Ile would certainly submit to the faithfully drawn? Ask that multitude wbich fills our correction of the Senator from Virginia, (Mr. LEIGH,] circling galleries. Ask this assembled multitude if they the next day; after there should have been time to look come here to listen to the dry details of legislative labors, into the point, and to examine the sources of his own be- or to amuse themselves with 'scenes of attack and defence; lief; but, for the present he must be permitted to retain of forensic legislation and parliamentary warfare; of thehis belief that he was standing on Virginia ground in ad. atrical display and scenic representation, in which the vocating such an alteration in the organization of the player that pleases them most, is sure to be rewarded Senate as would shorten the terms of the Senators, and with a clap in the galleries, if not with a treat in the celmake their commissions revocable at the will of their Le- lar. Ask them if they do not come here as to a cockgislatures.*
fight, or a milling-match; to a race-field, or a bear-garden; Mr. B. continued his remarks upon the lamentable ef to a circus, or a theatre; to a court-house, or a clubfects resulting from the Senate's attempt to ostracise the room; and where they are sure to be entertained to the President. To the President himself it was a deep and full extent of our theatrical powers. real injury, and intended to injure him, notwithstanding Mr. B. continued: The effect upon the public mind, the modest disclaimer of an imputation of motives. A all over the country, has been prodigious and deplorable. President of ihe United States is presumed to know the It is the first time that the American Senate has underlaws and the constitution, and to violate them with wick- taken to alarm and agitate the country. The people ed intents when he violates them at all. Why else his oath were unprepared for the assault, and staggered under its to preserve and maintain them? To his present feelings force. The cry of revolution was startling. Hitherto it is an outrage; in the minds of his contemporaries it is bloodless, was an appalling intimation of the near ap: an injury; to posterity, if permitted to remain on the proach of the fatal moment when the flow of blood could Journal, it works all the effect upon his memory of an old no longer be restrained. Peaceful and quiet citizens English attainder. The power of attainting, said Mr. B., were alarmed; the land was filled with terror; and the is forbid to our Congress by the constitution; and forbid boding apprehension took place that the verdant spring from a full knowledge of the lamentable uses which fac- would open, not with the joyful tasks of the husbandman, tious Parliaments in England had made of that engine of but with the clangor of arms, the storm of battle, and persecution to destroy the best of patriots. Our Con- all the woes of fraternal strife and domestic war. In this gress is wisely forbid to exercise a power so susceptible gloomy state of the public feeling, the New York and of abuse; yet the Senate alone exercises it, and inflicts, Virginia elections came on, and the results bore witness by this lawless condemnation, all the consequences of a to the extent of the panic which had been gotten up-rereal attainder upon President Jackson; for what has he sults which were received in this cbamber with an excess to suffer from a real atlainder but the attaint of his memo. of exultation, and a show of frantic exbibition, worthy to ry? He has no chillren to inherit corrupted blood; none grace the feast of the Lapilliæ and Centaurs, or the nocto lament the loss of forfeited estates. He has nothing turnal orgies of a Saturalian celebration. It was then but bis name, his character, and the fame of his great that there was daily witnessed in this Senale that detailed actions, to go down to posterity; and shall that memory succession of Senators rising in their places, es cry morngo down lawlessly attainted? Shall the Journals of this ing, the instant the Journal was read, grief on the iongue, Senate bear, to the remotest age, the record of that out- joy in the eye, triumpla in the heart, to announce some rage, inflicted by those who should have found in the calamity just happened a merchant failed, a factory state of their own feelings, and in the impulsions of an stopped, å bank broke, and to foretel greater calamities honorable lieart, the most powerful motives for absenting to come. It was then that the distress orators immortalthemselves from a lawful trial, on which they miglit law fized themselves, diurnally, on the presentation of a disfully have sat.
tress memorial. It was then that the chaste and classic The changed character, the metamorphosis, and the metaphor, worthy to charm the ears of a Roman or degradation of the Senate itself, was another of those Athenian auditory, was lieard, that the last lick on the deplorable consequences. It no longer wore the aspect head of the last nail in the coffin of Jacksonism, had been of a Senate! A stranger coming in, would, at one time, struck. A figure of speech in which congruity of imatake it for a club-room, where partisan politicians assem-ges, beauty of diction, elevation of sentiment, and historbled to lay plans for the elevation of themselves and the ical truth, vied for pre-eminence, and revived the recprostration of their enemies. At another time, he would ollection of those immortal productions--the coffin handsuppose it to be a hustings, for the delivery of election- bills. eering harangues. At another, an areopagus, for the Upon the property of the country, great mischief was condemnation of all eminent :nen. Then a theatre, for for some time cone. Stocks of all kinds were made to the entertainment of a most diverted auditory. Then a fall—the price of produce sunk-the rent of money rose temple, for celebrating te deums over village elections, -real and personal estate lost a sensible proportion of even those of Negro-foot, Hell-town, and Long-and-Hun- their value. Many merchants were ruined-several banks gry; always a laboratory, for the manufacture of alarms stopped payments—but the pet banks, and the safetyand panics always a forum for the delivery of tirades fund system, these selected objects of persevering attack
- these marked and devoted victims of Senatorial and * The following entry on the Journals of the Senate of the United United States Bank denunciation—they rode out the States, las since been re-examined by Mr. B., and is given as the authority for the opinions expressed by him, with respect to the Virginia storm, and live to expose to the world the source of the doctrine on this point.
blow, and the instrument of its infliction. The safetyMONDAY, APRIL 11, 1818. " Mr. Giles communicated the instructions of the Legislature of the instrument of the Bank of the United States in wa
fund especially, saw in the Senate of the United States, deavor to obtain an amendment to the constitution, respecting the ging that ignoble war upon their character and credit, remuval from office, by a vote of a majority of the whole number of which the bank, through its servile periodical, called a the members of the respective State Legislatures, their Senators who Review, had marked out as far back as March, 1831, and bave bec), or inay be, appointed to Congress."
MAY 7, 1834.]
(SENATE. again in March, 1832. Mr. B. deemed it due to the cause proclaimed. For some time these deplorable labors of truth and justice to present to the Senate, and through seemed to be but too successful. Consternation pervaded it to the public, some extracts from the bank periodical the country; terror invaded the stoutest hearts; agitation alluded to, that all America should see and know that the shook cities and States. The work seemed to be accomSenate of the United States, in arraigning the Albany re-plished, and the encouraging whisper was heard in this gency-in attacking the credit of the safety-fund banks, chamber, Revolutions never go backwards! But, hapascribing the origin of their system to political motives, pily words cannot make revolutions. They break no and holding up the Bank of the United States as the bones, however hard they are; they spill no blood, howcorrector of that system of banks—the preserver of the ever sharp. Catastrophies, and especially bloody catasproperty of the people--the guardian of the political trophies, can alone make revolutions; and the nineteenth purity of the State of New York, and the frustrator of century is not the age in which people kill themselves, the safety-fund scheme, was only following a lead that or get others to do it, to fulfil predictions. The catastrohad been given it, and was, in fact, acting under the au-phies would not come. The elections went over-the juspices, obeying the impulsion, and promoting the de- bilees passed by; the tocsin orators had sounded their last signs, political and pecuniary, of the Bank of the United peal; and no blood was shed. A few banks broken; States. The following are the extracts:
some merchants ruined; the Sabbath abolished; and that From the March No., 1831.
was the sum total of the incidents and trophies of that re“Let us, for example, suppose that a system of bank. doubtable revolution which had been proclaimed from the ing was adopted for a state, by which, under the color of Senate floor, and which was to end in the destruction of guarding the public against their insolvency, those insti- every thing sacred and valuable. tutions were subjected to a surveillance and control which Two incidents in this drama, Mr. B. said, deserved the were calculated to make them feel their dependance on distinction of a particular notice; namely, the manner in the State Governments; and when this plan was matured, which the Senate received the news of the abolition of to make them obsequious to its will. Would not every the Christian Sabbath, and of the President's intention to friend of the political purity of the State, and the inde- attack the Senate with an armed force. A Senator from pendent spirit of its citizens, wish to see a scheme of this one of the oldest States, rising in his place, and evidentcharacter frustrated? And, what means so conducive as ly much affected by the awful occurrence which he was the Bank of the United States?"
about to communicate, related what had happened to the From the March No., 1832.
Sabbath, precisely as he had heard it at Baltimore, in “Besides these contrivances to consolidate the banking stepping out of a steamboat, in presence of a multitude, system of that State into one great machine, a further such as no man could count." An elder of the Pres. concentration of power is obtained, and vested in a few byterian church was his informant; and the fact admitted individuals (regency) around the seat of Government, by of no doubt; "for in times of revolution there are no means of that portion of the public revenue appropriated Sabbaths;" and this was a revolution, the actuality of to the redemption of the canal loans.
which having been vouched on the Senate floor, could This institution is in the hands of a few leading men of not be doubted in the body of the Senate; so that in this the prevailing party in that State; and in the incorporating nineteenth century, and in this America, the Christian of the new banks, for several years past, efforts have been Sabbath seemed to be as clean gone as it was in France made to provide, in the distribution of stock, for such as during the sad revolution in that country, and when the fraternize with them in political sentiment in the places architects of ruin, as Edmund Burke called them, abolwbere the new banks are located; so as, in general, to ished the seventh day, and established their decadi the give them (the regency) a control over them. The con- tenth. The annunciation of the Senator was heard with sequence has been, that an undue share of banking influ- profound emotion in this chamber; and instantly few ence has been concentrated in the hands of the dominant across the empire of the Christian world upon the black party, and they now stand ready to control the banking wings of horror and amazement. Another Senator ansystem of the State, or in case the United States Bank nounced the approach of the military force which was to be not re-chartered, to take upon themselves the transac- disperse this august body. The force was to consist of tion of the exchange business,” &c.
infantry and marines; the latter, doubtless, intended to We have, indeed, said Mr. B., passed through a strange, cut off all retreat from the capital by water; while the eventful scene, so checkered with unreal and illusive rep- land forces would do business on the terra firma of the resentations, that the shadowy figures of the magic lan. Senate floor. Upon this intelligence, the defensive gethorn, or the phantasmagoria of bewildered senses, could nius of the Senate was immediately put into requisition. not leave a more confused sensation of mock and mimic To arm our first door-keeper with the rod and the mace, images upon the mind. We constantly saw and heard while the second should lead on the boys and messengers, things so extravagant and incredible, that it required an with sticks and staves, was the plan of defence which it effort of the reason to convince ourselves that we did see was the prerogative of genius to present to the fearful and hear them. At the opening of the session, in the emergency; Individual Senators took noble resolutions. midst of calm and tranquillity, when patriots and sages Some decided that they would be killed, as they sat, like would have labored to maintain the quiet and happiness real Romans, in their curule chairs; and it was observed that prevailed, we were saluted with the cry of a revolution that those who took this resolution began to let their and the immediate impending ruin of every thing sacred beards grow, that its length and venerableness might pro. and valuable. The first sentence of the first speech, in voke, upon some rash soldier, the sudden fate of the sacrifavor of the impeachment resolutions, proclaimed the legious Gaul. Others, more impatient, determined to sally country to be in the midst of a revolution with the por-forth; to meet the daring host at the front gate; and there tentous declaration, “hitherto bloodless!” as if the shed-to fall, like Constantine Palzologus, the last of the Greek ding of blood had with difficulty been restrained up to emperors, under a mountain of dead, the useless carnage that time, and its fatal commencement was then to begin. of his own remorseless sword. Happily the Senate was Such was the opening of the session of the Senate of the not put to this direful test of its fortitude and heroism. United States; of that body which ought to be the most The day was fixed for the arrival of the armed force: the grave and sober upon the face of the earth. Such was day came, but the troops did not! and from that hour the the opening; and from that moment the whole action of revolution lost its march, fell backwards, and vanished! the body seemed to be directed to produce the revolu- and the Christian Sabbath, recovering its place in the lution, and the bloodshed, and the ruin, which had been Icalendar, survives its imminent danger, continues to solace
President's Protest. ---Memorial from Boston.
[MAY 8, 1834.
the pious, to refresh the weary, and to attest to the whole So the resolutions were agreed to, in the following world the respect which American Senators bear to it. form:
The greatest mistake, said Mr. B., which a politician Resolved, That the protest communicated to the Senate can make, is to underrate the intelligence of the body of on the 17th instant, by the President of the United States, the people. It is also the most common and reiterated asserts powers as belonging to the President, which are mistake into which they fall. It was particularly the mis- inconsistent with the just authority of the two Houses of take of the present day, and of the present Senate. The Congress, and inconsistent with the constitution of the public intelligence had been manifestly and grossly un- United States. derrated in the great experiment which had been made Resolved, That while the Senate is, and ever will be, upon it. The credulity and the ignorance of the people ready to receive from the President all such messages is not what such an experiment presumes. Few among and communications as the constitution and laws, and the them who will not see, eventually see, and that with shame usual course of business authorize him to transmit to it, and resentment, the theatrical efforts made on this floor yet it cannot recognise any right in him to make a formal to alarm and agitate them. The time is at hand when protest against votes and proceedings of the Senate, dethis long list of “gorgon's heads and chimeras dire"-Claring such votes and proceedings to be illegal and unrevolution, bloodshed, seizure of the Treasury, union of constitutional, and requesting the Senate to enter such the purse and sword, invasion of privileges, overthrow of protest on its Journals. the Senate, war upon the bank, alarming doctrines of the Resolved, That the aforesaid protest is a breach of the protest—which bave been conjured up, by the madness privileges of the Senate, and that it be not entered on of ambition, to deceive and distract the public mind, will the Journal. be viewed by the people at a distance with the same con- Resolved, that the President of the United States bas tempt and indifference with which they are now witness- no right to send a protest to the Senate against any of ed here. At a distance, our theatrical exhibitions have its proceedings. been formidable; to those present, they were nothing but Mr. POINDEXTER gave notice that he should, on Fria grand farce, amusing some, flattering the hopes of day, call up the report of the Committee on the Rhode others; but deceiving nobody! not even the little misses Island Election. who came here with their matron mothers, and bearded The Senate then adjourned. sires, to witness the performances of the American Senate.
THURSDAY, May 8. But enough, said Mr. B., enough of this mortifying retrospect. I close the debate on the protest message,
PRESIDENT'S PROTEST. and the deposite question, with announcing to the Senate After the Journal bad been readthe judgment of the age, and of posterity, which will Mr. KANE rose and said, he had been unexpectedly consign to the most inglorious page of American history, absent when the vote was taken yesterday on the resoluthe whole subject which has occupied our deliberations tions submitted by the Senators from Mississippi and for the last four months.
Kentucky, with the amendment of the Senator from When Mr. Benton had concluded
South Carolina. He asked to be permitted to record his Mr. POINDEXTER said he had desired to deliver his vote on these resolutions; and at the same time remarksentiments on the subject, but that his desire to proceed ed, that, whenever a similar indulgence should be reto the legislative business was such that he should for- quested by any Senator, provided the question should rebear. He was willing to rest his vote on the arguments main unchanged, he, for one, would cheerfully accede which had been already offered, and on none with more confidence than on the argument the Senate had to-day
Mr. CLAYTON observed, that he should have no obheard from the gentleman from Massachusetts, for which jection to indulging the Senator from Ilinois, were it not he accorded that gentleman bis sincere thanks. lle for the violation of an established rule. When the bill should therefore show his desire to expedite the legisla- commonly called the Force Bill was passed, two or three tive business of the Senate, by refraining from any obser- gentlemen were absent, who, the next morning, asked vations.
leave to record their votes in opposition to it. He sug. The yeas and nays were then ordered on the resolu- gested these reasons for not according to the gentleman's tions.
request, though he did not believe it to be a matter of Mr. FORSYTH asked for a division of the question, importance, as the vote could not vary the result. and expressed a desire to make some remarks.
Mr. MOORE said, be remembered that he was one of Mr. BROWN moved that the Senate now adjourn.
those Senators who, having been accidentally absent Mr. CLAY asked for the yeas and nays, which were when the vote was taken on the Force Bill, were anxious ordered.
to record their votes against it, and were refused the The question was then taken, on the motion to adjourn, privilege of doing so. He was, however, not particular and decided in the negative-Yeas 12, nays 27.
about the matter, though he thought the request ought Mr. FORSYTH then spoke at length, in reply to Mr. not to be granted, as it would be a violation of an estabWEBSTER.
lished rule. If the Senate adopted the motion of the Mr. WEBSTER briefly replied.
Senator from Illinois, be should make a similar motion to The question was then taken on the resolutions sepa- record his vote on a question taken when he was unexrately, when they were decided in the affirmative, as fol. pectedly absent. lows, the vote being the same on each of the four resolu- The motion of Mr. Kane was then rejected without a tions:
division. YEAS.-Messrs. Bell, Bibb, Black, Calhoun, Clay,
MEMORIAL FROM BOSTON. Clayton, Ewing, Frelinghuysen, Kent, Knight, Leigh, Mr. BENTON presented a memorial from the city of Moore, Naudain, Porter, Poindexter, Prentiss, Preston, Boston against re-chartering the Bank of the United States, Robbins, Silsbee, Smith, Southard, Sprague, Swift, Tom- and against the restoration of the deposites, and expressing linson, Tyler, Waggaman, Webster.-27.
the opinion that the affairs of the bank might be wound up NAYS.-Messrs. Benton, Brown, Forsyth, Grundy, without necessarily producing general embarrassment, or Hendricks, Hill, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Linn, any evils the apprehension of which should prevent the NaMcKean, Shepley, T'allmadge, Tipton, White, Wilkins, tional Legislature from discharging a great debt to the pres. Wright.-16.
ent age, and to posterity, by permitting that institution to
Mar 8, 1834.]
(SENAT expire upon the limitation of its charter. He said that the April. These importations for that brief period amountmemorial was very numerously signed, the letter which ac- ed to near eight millions of dollars. Upon this point, he companied it stating the nuinber at upwards of three (Mr. B.) had the satisfaction to speak with certainty and thousand, and from his information and belief, comprised precision; for the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Taney, a mass of intelligence and respectability which entitled with a view to ascertain the specie resources of the countie opinions expressed to the highest regard. Mr. B. try, had given orders for the weekly returns of specie said that he fully concurred in all the sentiments expressed imported and exported since the first of December last. by the memorialists, but that he would only avail himself These returns presented the gratifying result of about of the present occasion to present some considerations in seven millions eight bundred thousand dollars imported, favor of the concluding sentiment expressed by them. and less tban a quarter of a million, to wit, $229,918 ex
That sentiment was the expression of a belief that the ported. Here, then, was the void filled at once, or rathaffairs of the bank might be wound up, upon the expira- er provided for, before it occurred; and long before the tion of its charter, without necessarily producing any expiration of the charter, the importations of specie, and general embarrassment to the community. The belief, the product of our own gold mines, now estimated at thus expressed, by a body of citizens so numerous, so in- two millions per annum, will make up the deficiency, telligent, so respectable, inbabiting a great city, and pos- not once, but three or four times over. Mr. B. said that sessing ample means to judge of the subject, and solemn- a brief measure of legislation from Congress, if Congress ly aldressed to the National Legislature, was itself an ar- could only find time to legislate, would supply the coungument, and a very strong one, in favor of the truth of try with an adequate currency of gold and silver; lic their position. It was, however, susceptible of being alluded to the palpable object of raising the standard of sustained by extrinsic arguments; and of these, he would gold, and making foreign coins current at their fair present one or two to the consideration of the Senate. money value. These measures, the work of a few days'
The winding up of the affairs of the bank, Mr. B. said, legislation-if we could only spare a few days to the would affect the community at two points, namely: the business of the people would fill the country with collection of debts due the bank, and the retirement of gold and with silver. They would increase the imits notes from circulation. He spoke first of the collec- portations, great as the importations now were, anil tion of these debts, and said, that in addition to the two would retain in the country a great part of what was years allowed by the charter for the bank to use its cor- imported; they would also detain for circulation the porate faculties in collecting its debts, and closing its af- mass of our native gold, the whole of which was now fairs, the institution might take as much more time as it exported. Mr. B. therefore held that the memorialists pleased, by having recourse to the ordinary and well- from Boston were well justified in expressing the opinknown alternative of all corporations on the eve of disso-ion, that the d ssolution of the bank, and the winding lution, that of creating trustees, and putting its affairs up of its affairs, would not, necessarily, produce any into their hands. All corporations acted in this way, that general embarrassment to the people of the United States. choose to do so. The first Bank of the United States After a few more remarks to show that the Bank of the had done so, and had not finished the collection of its United States had diminished the quantity of circulating notes in a dozen years after its dissolution. The present medium, especially in the South and West, by collecting bank might act in the same manner, and was certainly and carrying off more specie than she furnished notes, bound to do so after the extraordinary manner in which Mr. B. concluded by the usual motion to read, print, and that institution had increased its loans after it began refer the memorial. to have reason to believe that its charter might not be re Mr. EWING did not concur with the Senator from newed. There could, therefore, be no necessity for Missouri, in regard to the exportation and importation of oppressing the debtors to the bank by forcing them to specie. He had made the charge that the whole exportpay up their loans at the expiration of the charter. The ation of specie had been macle by the bank; but the spcavailable means of the bank would enable it to pay up its cie had not been exported without something returning deposites, and redeem its circulation, and the debts would in its place, and specie itself was an article of commerce. chiefly be used for the reimbursement of capital to the As to regulating this commerce in specie, by law, stockholders; and as these debts, when secured, would Mr. E. thought that no laws could prevent it. They might be bringing an interest to the stockholders, they would cause the importation of silver to be greater than that have no other inducement than other creditors have, to of gold, or vice versa; but they could not prevent ex: proceed harshly and rigorously against its debtors. portation; it had been attempted in other countries,
On the next point, the withdrawal of the notes of the and wherever it had been attempted, it had failed. The bank from circulation, he, Mr. B., believed that the exportation of specie would have taken place, if the community need not fear any necessary embarrassment Bank of the United States had not existed. "If there was from that measure. The amount withdrawn would prob- no bank, the merchants would export specie to pay their ably be much less than was generally imagined, and the debts. Now, the bank gave drafts on Europe to pay void, if any, might be filled-ought to be filled and those debts, and had exerted an equalizing power; but probably would be filled, with something very prefera- the amount of gold and silver exported in a long series ble to any description of bank notes whatsoever. The of years would be exactly the same, whether or not the bank had about seventeen millions of notes in circulation; bank existed. The bank, however, had collected and and it had about eleven millions specie in its vaults. The exported cheaper, and on better terms, than would be difference was about six millions; so that a diminution of done by private merchants. Did the gentleman suppose, six millions was all that the community had to apprehend, if the bank did not exist, that specie would have remainas the eleven millions of specie now in the bank would alled and circulated in a greater degree in the Western be paid out, either in refunding deposites, taking up notes, country. Ilow was it before the Bank of the United or returning the capital to the stockholders. °A'diminu- States existed? Why, the specie was carried up the countion of six millions is all then that will have to be provi- try from New Orleans on pack-horses. It found its way ded for; and we have the facts in hand, said Mr. B., which eastward, and would do so again. The only difference authorize us to affirm that this diminution will be far more between the period to which he had referred and the than provided for by importations of foreign specie. present, was, that now it reached the East by a cheaper These importations, in the last five months—he 'might mode of transportation. It went there, and would consay four months, for some of the custom-house returns, tinue to go there. But the Bank of the United States Especially that of New Orleans, were only to the first of had not exported all the specie. The Slate banks had