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express power that is 'necessary and proper' to carry that power into effect. The alarming dangers of the power of such a corporation (vast and irresponsible as experience has shown it to be) to the public liberty, it does not fall within the scope of
my present purpose fully to examine. We have seen the power of associated wealth in the late Bank of the United States, wrestling with a giant's strength with the government itself—and although finally overthrown, it was not until after a long and doubtful contest. During the struggle, it manifested a power for mischief which it would be dangerous to permit to exist in a free country. The panic and alarm, the distress and extensive suffering which, in its convulsive struggle to perpetuate its power, it inflicted on the country, will not soon be forgotten. Its notorious alliance with leading politicians, and its open interference, by means of the corrupting power of money, in the political contests of the times, had converted it into a political engine, used to control elections and the course of public affairs. No restraints of law could prevent any similar institution from being the willing instrument used for similar purposes. The state of Tennessee, through her legislature, has repeatedly declared her settled opinions against the existence of such an institution, and at no time in its favour. She has instructed her senators and requested her representatives in Congress to vote against the establishment of such an institution. In these opinions, heretofore expressed by the state, I entirely concur.
ABOLITION OF SLAVERY.
“It becomes the duty of all the states, and especially of those whose constitutions recognize the existence of domestic slavery, to look with watchfulness to the attempts which have been recently made to disturb the rights secured to them by the constitution of the United States. The agitation of the abolitionists can by no possibility produce good to any portion of the Union, and must, if persisted in, lead to incalculable mischief. The institution of domestic slavery, as it existed at the adoption of the constitution of the United States, and as it still exists in some of the states, formed the subject of one of the compromises of opinion and of interest upon the settlement of which all the old states became parties to the compact, and agreed to enter the Union. The new states were admitted into the Union upon an equal footing with the old states, and are equally bound by the terms of
the compact. Any attempt on the part of the Federal Government to act upon the subject of slavery, as it exists within the states, would be a clear infraction of the constitution : and to disturb it within the District of Columbia would be a palpable violation of the public faith, as well as of the clear meaning and obvious intention of the framers of the constitution. They intended to leave, as they did in fact leave, the subject to the exclusive regulation and action of the states and territories within which slavery existed or might exist. They intended to place, and they did in fact place it beyond the pale of action within the constitutional power of the Federal Government. No power has been conferred upon the general government, either by express grant or necessary implication, to take cognizance of, or in any manner or to any extent to interfere with, or to act upon the subject of domestic slavery, the existence of which in many of the states is expressly recognized by the constitution of the United States.'
THE HONOURABLE JAMES BUCHANAN,
SECRETARY OF STATE AT WASHINGTON.
It was at the annual ball given at Washington, on the 8th of January, in commemoration of the battle of New Orleans, that I was first presented to Mr. Buchanan, and at once I knew that I had looked upon a friend. During my residence in that city I frequently appealed to him for advice, and never in vain; he heard me with patience, entered into the various considerations attendant upon my happiness and comfort, granted me every indulgence, and accorded my every wish. Occasionally mistrust came over me, and the dread of an unholy war, and the long animosity which it would entail upon the rival countries, became intolerable; at these times I have sought consolation from Mr. Buchanan. At the department of state, at his own residence, I was at all times instantly admitted, and received with welcome, and I ever left his presence with a light and happy heart.
The Secretary is tall and well proportioned ; his manners are gentle and composed, and his articulation peculiarly
slow and distinct. He looks like an English nobleman of thirty or forty years ago, when the grave and dignified bearing of men in power was regarded as an essential attribute of their office. This aristocratic address and manner, however, are natural, not acquired, in Mr. Buchanan, the result of an elevated character and urbanity of disposition, united with the long practice of office, and the habit of command. I have had the honour of being admitted to his presence when business of an arduous and responsible kind awaited his attention, when circumstances of vexatious and important tendency required his care; but I have never, for one instant, seen the least departure from that perfect self-possession which bestows so peculiar a grace on him who can practise it, and which has ever so singular an influence on him who witnesses it. The fair and delicate, though fresh, complexion of Mr. Buchanan, his eye of light blue, and full-blooded system, attest unequivocally his Anglo-Saxon descent, and by this description I hope I have clearly established my claim upon the outward man as one of my country. But here I must be content; the heart and soul of Buchanan, each hour of life, each energy of mind, are given to America. Cautious and deliberating, thoroughly appreciating the extent of his power, and the responsibility of his position, this noble-minded man twice tendered his resignation when his opinions conscientiously differed from those of the administration. He is unquestionably the first man in the existing government, and there is no doubt that had he quitted office, the relations between England and the United States would have worn a much more hostile aspect, for though Buchanan regarded the 54° 40' parallel as the indisputable right of America, his humane and sagacious policy yielded this right rather than rush upon a war fraught with doubtsul good and certain evil. For this moderation he will be applauded by every true lover of his country, both in England and America. It
may be gratifying to Mr. Buchanan to learn that since the publication of the correspondence between the British Minister and hinself, many persons on this side of the Atlantic have adopted his opinions, and consider that the Americans showed the better claim. I have heard these convictions acknowledged even by men of the high Tory régime. Mr. Gallatin expressed personally to me his high opinion of the merits of Mr. Buchanan's letters.
In social life the Secretary of State is easy and hospitable, and invariably receives with cordiality the marks of artention
and respect which are paid to him. I have understood that his reading in law and history is extensive, and study has .ever formed his principal recreation. In conversation he is rather a listener than a speaker ; but he is always in advance of the subject as it proceeds, and sometimes puts a startling question when it is least expected. His opinions both of the subject and of the speaker are founded very much on the unpremedilated replies which he elicits. This peculiarity is probably the result equally of a legal education and of long official habits; but it is ever attended with courtesy, and always exhibits the earnest purpose and reasoning mind which prompt such a mode of investigation. There is one trait of Mr. Buchanan's character which cannot be too highly estimated, inasmuch as it is rare in all men, and still more rare in statesmen. He is faithful to a promise, and regards his word as a bond. His friendships are lasting, and he is said to possess the weakness (and I believe it true) that clung to Mr. Canning from youth to age, excessive and tenacious watchfulness of the affections of those to whom he is attached. Public life, with its artificial system, its selfish and worldly hopes and fears, has never chilled the heart of the minister: he finds time, through all his cares, to exercise his warm affections, his generous sympathies; to advise the unprotected, to relieve the distressed. Never has charity been asked of him in vain ; and many a daily prayer from the widow and the orphan ascends to heaven for their generous though often unknown benefactor. Though unmarried, Mr. Buchanan has the most delicate and exalted appreciation of the female character; and free from those narrow prejudices which reduce a woman to a plaything, he does not disdain to honour her worth, and to encourage her attempts at usefulness. Religion, to his honour be it spoken, is the frequent subject of this statesman's meditation. In his private cabinet at home, on the small table in daily use, and within arm's reach, are placed two volumes ;--the one Jay's Devout Exercises, the other the New Testament.
Mr. Buchanan is a constant attendant on public worship. He is a member of the Presbyterian church, but he is too enlightened for bigotry, and to his discriminating and liberal policy it is owing that a Roman Catholic Prelate, of exalted reputation for wisdom and piety, has been consulted on the aspect of affairs between the United States and Mexico.
I have frequently had the pleasure of conversing with Mr. Buchanan since the settlement of the Oregon question (the
articles of which will, I have understood, be called the Treaty of Washington.) He exhibited no narrow-minded feeling of personal vexation, but congratulated me frankly and cordially on the termination of this anxious affair. The Secretary alluded to his retirement to the Supreme Bench, as a thing contemplated, though not immediate, for he wisely judged that true magnanimity at that moment consisted in holding and not in hastily escaping from office. On the other hand, he dwelt with lingering pleasure on the charms of rural life, its leisure, its amusements, its health and independence. But though no retiring minister ever appeared in brighter colours than Buchanan, I rejoice to hear that he is still at the helm of government, and that he probably will remain in this distinguished post.
EXTRACTS FROM THE SPEECH OF MR. BUCHANAN, IN
In favor of the treaty for the annexation of Texas to the
United States, delivered in the Senate of the United States, 8th June, 1844, (the injunction of secresy removed.)
In order clearly to understand the origin and nature of the question, it may here be proper to present a brief sketch of the history of Texas. By the treaty of Louisiana of 30th April, 1803, the United States acquired this province from France. Every American statesman who has treated of the subject, from Mr. Jefferson down to the distinguished senator from Missouri (Mr. Benton) is clear and strong in this conviction. "The facts and principles which justify this conclusion,” say Messrs. Monroe and Pinckney to the Spanish commissioner, in 1805,“ are so satisfactory to our government as to convince it that the United States have not a better right to the island of New Orleans than they have to the whole district of territory west to the Del Norte." And what was the eloquent language of the senator from Missouri, in view of the negotiations pending in 1818, and which resulted in the cession of Texas to Spain? “The magnificent valley of the Mississippi is ours," says he, “with all its fountains, springs and floods; and woe to the statesman that shall undertake to surrender one drop of its water-one inch of its soil—to any foreign power.” Under this treaty of Louisiana,