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(APRIL 4, 1836.
demeanor, which the House of Representatives alone too strong) expressions of disapprobation or censure has the power to prefer; that we impeached the Presi. which fall from gentlemen in the ardor of extemporary dent, tried him without a hearing, prejudicated his debate, which, perhaps, in cooler moments they would cause, convicted him, and only abstained form passing have left unsaid--shall these be treasured up in memory, sentence of incapacitation upon him. This argument and urged as a censure, not only against them, but all was first suggested to my mind by a gentleman from that vote with them upon the question in debate? What New York, (Mr. Wright,] in a speech in the debate on is this sanctity in the office of President of the United the resolution; and I then weighed it well. It was re- States, which all men should have for ever before their peated in the President's protest against our proceed. eyes, present in their thoughts, inviolable in their ings, and in the debate which ensued; I re-examined it; speech? No such sanctity hedges the impeachable minI expected to hear it reiterated on this occasion; but if isters of the British Government. Lord Chatham once it be well considered, I am persuaded it will never be said, in the House of Lords, that the minister (the repeated again.
prime minister) had advised the King to tell a deliberate The resolution declares that the President, in the falsehood. The gentleman from Missouri says, “we late executive proceedings in relation to the revenue, have borrowed largely from our English ancestors; and, had assumed upon himself authority and power not con because we have so borrowed, results the precious and ferred by the constitution and laws, but in derogation of proud gratification that our America now ranks among both." The words cannot be tortured into an allegation the great and liberal Powers of the world;" and he that the President wilfully assumed and exercised illegal traces our dearest institutions to English origin. I hope and unconstitutional power; no criminal intent is charged, we have not forgotten to borrow from them freedom of expressly or by implication; the language is (and was, parliamentary debate. That high encomium which the in fact, intended to be carefully confined to the acts of gentleman pronounced upon our English ancestors is the President, without impugning or touching bis mo- just and true, and, therefore, I was pleased to hear it tives at all. If this is not plain upon the face of the res. fall from his lips; but if it had come from me, it would olution itself, no argument can make it plainer.
have been regarded as a proof of my aristocracy; for it The gentleman from Missouri, as if sensible that the has often been imputed as aristocracy in me, that I make resolution itself imported no criminal charge, has, in the frequent reference to English history, (which, in truth, preamble to the resolution he has now offered us, recited | I have read more of than any other, but only because it the resolution which was first proposed concerning the | has been more accessible to me;) that I have studied the removal of the public deposites from the Bank of the history of the English Government and laws, and imagine United Stales, as a key, I suppose, to unlock the mean. that instruction may be found in them applicable to our ing of the resolution that was adopted; and, in his own. I am content to bear the imputation; if the fact, speech, he has referred to speeches made in the debate without any criminal intent, constitutes guill, I must be on the subject, in order to ascertain from them that convicted: I know no method of acquiring a thorough criminal motives and design were intended to be imputed knowledge of our own institutions, but by cultivating a to the President. Sir, to my mind, the first resolution | knowledge of English institutions. proposed, concerning the removal of the deposites, .does In all impeachments that I have ever seen, the facts not vary, in this particular, from the resolucion that was of misconduct are specifically alleged, and some crimfinally adopted: There is no charge of criminal intent, inal intent, more or less heinous, expressly imputed no imputation on the President's motives, in the first any to the accused. We have seen that in the articles of more than in the last. But suppose there were, with impeachment against Sir Robert Berkley, for his extra. what color of reason or justice can the gentleman from judicial opinions, and his concurrence in the judgment Missouri, in order to ascertain the meaning of the lan-against Mr. Hampden, in the case of ship-money, the guage which the Senate used, have recourse to language opinions and the judgment are set out at large; the fact which it did not use resort to a resolution which the that he gave them, and the gross illegality of them, are Senate did not adopt, to find a reason for reprobation of distinctly alleged; and then it is charged that all those that which it did adopt? As to the speeches that were “words, opinions, and actions, were so done and spoken made on this floor, which, in the genileman's apprelien by the said Sir Robert Berkley, traitorously and wicksion, distinctly imputed wilful guilt to the President, i edly, to alienate the hearts of his Majesty's liege people cannot take upon me to contradict him, for I was not from him, and to set a division betwixt them, and to then here, and did not hear them; the debate was subvert the fundamental laws and established Govern. drawing to a close when I took my seat in the Senate.ment of bis Majesty's realm of England.” And who. I can only say:hat I read no reported speech containing ever will search the numerous precedents of articles of any violent denunciations of guilt and crime, at all impeachment in England, I will answer for it that he answering the description he has givell. But here, will find this precedent substantially complied with, in again, I ask, what right has he thus to take the senti. charging the facts and laying the criminal intent. The ments of particular members expressed in debate, as a gentleman from Missouri says that no criminal intent is certain exponent of the sentiments of every other Sena | charged in three of the articles of impeachment against tor who, in the result, votes with him? Does he sup-| Judge Chase, and (as I understand lim) in one of the pose that every gentleman who votes with him, on any articles against Judge Pickering. The gentleman is question which he debates, citers into all the feelings, certainly mistaken. The criminal intent is distinctly motives, and sentiments, adopt all arguments that influ charged in all of the eight acticles against Judge Chase ence his judgment an! conduct, and makes them his except one; that, namely in which it is alleged that, in own? But I recall the attention of the Senate to this Callender's case, he did not conform with a statute of singular method of detecting offence in the resolution of Virginia regulating the process in prosecutions for mig. March, 1834, chiefly for the purpose of showing the demeanor. That article alleges the departure from manner in which it effects the freedom of speech in this the law, but omits to allege that he did so wilfully, or body, and the reverential awe with which it supposes even that he was aware of the provisions of the statute; and we ought to examine the official acts of the President upon that charge he was, of course, unanimously acquit. All proper decorum and respect ought to be preserved ted. The article of impeachment against Judge Picktowards him, I agree-for his sake, for our sake, out of ering, in which the gentleman supposes no criminal inrespect to the public-out of a just sense of the dignity tent was laid, impuies to the judge the grossest intemperof the Government: but shall those strong (if you picase, ance and indecency in the judgment seat; nor could the
April 4, 1836.)
criminality of such conduct (than which hardly any offi. I probably will always continue to be, my firm, undoubt. cial misconduct could be more clearly criminal, however ing opinion, I have no hesitation in saying that, if the it might be more heinous) have been more strongly and President had been regularly impeached for that con. expressly charged. He was convicted upon this charge. duct, and I had been called upon to decide his cause as The gentleman says that, in fact, the judge was insane, one of his judges, upon all the evidence then (or, inand was incapable of crime. How the gentleman got deed, yet) known to me, touching the motives of his bis information I do not know, he certainly did not get conduct, my voice must have been for his acquittal. I it from the record. (Here Mr. Leigh referred to the could not have found the wilful criminal intent essential record of the impeachments and trials of Judge Picker. to constitute guilt. ing and Judge Chase, in the journals of the Senate, and The gentleman from Missouri loudly reprobates the showed the exact state of the facts.]
resolution in question, on the ground that its allegations The resolution of the 28th of March, 1834, declares are vague and indefinite; not perceiving that that very that the President's conduct in relation to the revenue circumstance furnishes the strongest proof that criminal was illegal and inconstitutional, without more. Gen. accusation was not made or intended. The idea of im. tlemen say that the fact alleged implies crime; that it peaching the President of crime or misdemeanor never implies a violation of bis official oath “to preserve, entered into the thoughts of any Senator who voted for protect, and defend the constitution of the United the resolution; and there was not a human being, I am States.” Now, in the first place, let us advert once quite sure, who so much as imagined the possibility of more to the proceedings in the ship-money case, which an act of impeachment by the House of Representatives; my colleague has quoted with so much approbation, the case of such impeachment was only supposed in arwhere the House of Lords declared the extra-judicial | gument, never apprehended in fact. opinions of the julges, and the judgment against Mr. It is said that the resolution of March, 1834, cannot Hampden, illegal and unconstitutional, in the strongest be regarded as a proceeding in our legislative capacity; terms, without imagining that that declaration was a ) and, in proof of this, it has been observed that no legisprejudication of the impeachment against one of the lative measure was founded upon it, and that none was judges then pending, which the Lords, as the high court intended. This appears to my mind the most gratuitous of impeachment, were to try; in other words, that it assumption that ever was made. It was the opinion of did not occur to them that ihe fact of extra-judicial | the mover in those proceedings, that the public depos. illegal conduct implied crime. In the next place, let ites, at least of the revenue which should afterwards acme ask gentlemen whether they suppose that, in main- crue, ought to be restored to the Bank of the United taining that this expunging process, they are so intent States; and it was proper to ascertain the sense of the upon, is inconstitutional; in declaring my opinion (as I Senate on the question, whether (for the reasons as. do most conscientiously) that it is a plain violation of the signed by the Executive) they had been constitutionally constitution, I mean to charge them with a wilful viola. and legally withdrawn or not; for, if the Senate had tion of the constitution, and of their official oaths? U held the affirmative on that point, it would have been know mankind too well. It has been said that, if men's | vain and idle to prepare and bring in a bill for the purpassions could be made to enter into the question, pose. The course pursued is usual in all legislative they would differ and dispute upon the plainest propo.
bodies. As it was, I have not the least doubt that the sition in Euclid; and there is no passion so apt and so known state of opinion in the House of Representatives potential to influence and determine the judgments of upon the subject alone prevented the Senate from passpublic men as party spirit. Gentlemen, in both Houses / ing a bill for the restoration of the deposites. The Sene of Congress, are daily alleging that measures strenu. | ate did take measures, some time after, to ascertain the ously maintained by others are unconstitutional, plainly sense of the House: on the 4th of June, 1834, it passed unconstitutional; yet no one ever thinks of giving or a joint resolution directing the deposite of the public taking offence, which, surely, all would do if they | moneys to be made with the Bank of the United States thought that to allege unconstitutional conduct is to and its branches. The House never acted upon it. charge wilful guilt. The President has often put his ! But let us examine more closely the reason a veto on acts passed by both Houses of Congress, on the tion of this opinion, tha: the Senate cannot, in its legislaground that he thought them unconstitutional. I cantive capacity, discuss and determine upon the constitutionhardly believe that he meant to charge the majority of ality or legality of any act of the President; and let us see, both Houses with an intentional violation of the consti- too, the extent of the principle. It is supposed that the tution and breach of their official oaths. I have heard judicial power vested in the Senate, as the court for the the judgments of the Supreme Court publicly in trial of impeachments, operates as a limitation upon the pugned, as being contrary to the constitution. I have action of the Senate in its legislative capacity; that the heard Chief Justice Marshall's opinions so impugned by Senate cannot, in its legislative capacity, express any men who entertained the highest respect for his abilities | opinion impugning the constitutionality or legality of and integrity, and would have considered it a reproach any official act of the President, because it may be called to themselves if they had been gravely told that they | upon to decide the same question judicially, upon an imimputed to the court a wilful departure from right, I peachment against him for the same act. Now, it is truth, and justice. Sir, there is but one hypothesis obvious that if the Senate is, for this reason, incompetent upon which the allegation made in the resolution of to pass any resolution impugning the conduct of the Pres. March, 1834, that the President's conduct was illegal / ident as unconstitutional, neither is it competent to pass and unconstitutional, can imply crime, and that is, that a resolution approving his conduct as constitutional and bis judgment is infallible, and that it is morally impossi- / proper; for it can be no more within the competency of ble for him to do an illegal and unconstitutional act, the Senate to prejudge the President's cause, and acquit through error of judgment. That is very far from my him, than to prejudge and condemn. Partiality in judges opinion. There is no man whose judgment I should towards the accused is as vicious as prejudice against esteem infallible on such a subject, and the President | him. Nay, more: it is the duty of every Senator to is one of the last men to whom I should attribute any avoid the forming, and expression of, an opinion on the such infallibility. And, though I believed at the time constitutionality of the President's conduct; to close his I gave my vote on the resolution of March, 1834, that mind against all information on the subject; to hold his the conduct of the President therein referred to was judgment in suspense. Nor is this all. The Senate and illegal and unconstitutional, and though that is still, and House of Representatives are made by the constitution
(APRIL 4, 1836.
co-ordinate branches of the Legislature, and their legis. | Office Department, without authority given by any law lative powers are co.equal, too, with the single excep. of Congress; and that, as Congress alone possesses the tion that money bills can only be originated in the power to borrow money on the credit of the United House; and then a distinct judicial function is assigned States, all such contracts for loans by the Postmaster to each. The House is the grand inquest of the nation General are illegal and void." This was at least as to accuse and impeach; the Senate is the court to ry strong a condemnation of the conduct of the Postmaster and determine. As to all matters of criminal accusation General as the resolution concerning the conduct of the and impeachment, the action of the House is just as President in relation to the public revenue contained. I much judicial in its nature as the action of the Senale; should certainly have voted for it myself, had I been the only difference is, that their judicial functions are in my place at the time, because the proposition it as. different. If the Senate, in its legislative capacity, is į serted was true in fact, and just in law; but, in giving incompetent to examine the constitutionality of the Pres. that vote, I should not have been influenced by any ident's conduct, and express its opinion upon it, the | opinion that the illegal conduct of the Postmaster GenHouse, also, in its legislative capacity, is incompetent to eral was imputable to criminal motives and designs. do so.
Enough had appeared to satisfy my mind that the gross. If, therefore, the President shall, upon any occasion, i est abuses and corruptions had crept into the administraadopt any measure questionable on constitutional tion of the Department; enough to convince me that grounds, no matter how mischievous the measure may Mr. Barry was wholly unfit for his office; but the very be in its operation--no matter how urgent the necessity circumstance of his unfitness, and much more besides, for prompt and decisive legislative action, to correct that came to my knowledge, inclined me to take a charthe procedure and arrest the progress of the evil- itable view of his conduct and character; and I more neither branch of the Legislature can examine, or than once publicly intimated this sentiment. And, now even inquire into, the subject in its legislative char- | that he has gone to his grave, I find a real pleasure in acter, much more pass an act to remedy the mis. saying that I saw no evidence to implicate him in any chief. The House of Representatives must first re intentional guilt. The resolution concerning his consolve itself into a grand inquest; examine the President's / duct was adopted by the unanimous votes of the Sena. conduct in that character; impeach bim, if it find just tors present. It is manifestly upon its face liable to ex. cause for impeachment; prosecule him before the Sen. | actly the same objection now made to the resolution of ate, and prosecute him to conviction by the judgment of March, 1834; namely, that it imported a criminal charge two-thirds of the Senators sitting on the trial; and then, against the Postmaster General, an impeachable officer; and not till then, the two Houses may set about devising and, therefore, it was not within the competency of the measures to counteract the unconstitutional and illegal i Senate in its legislative capacity to entertain and act measures of the Executive. And furthermore, as the upon it. The gentleman from Missouri voted for it; Senate cannot convict the President, without being satis- | and, to avoid the charge of inconsistency, he now says, fied in its conscientious judgment that his linconstitu. | the “proceeding against Mr. Barry was objected to, and tional proceedings are justly imputable to criminal mo. that in the first stages of it, upon the same grounds on tives and designs, no unconstitutional acts of the President which we now stand in the case of the President," and can be corrected by any legislative measures of Con of this he adduces proof, “and the vote which was gress, if the President's violation of the constitution and given by me and my friends was a vote forced on us by laws shall appear to be justly imputable to an innocent the majority of the Senate, and, being so forced upon error of judgment as to the extent of his own powers- | us, was given, as we believed, according to the truth an error into which (of all others that can be conceived) and the fact. I well recollect that vote, and the con. men in power are most apt to fall. Meanwhile, the versation among us to which it gave rise. Some thought measures of the Executive continue in operation, and we should vote against it, on the ground that the properhaps work their full effect, unchecked, inembarrass- ceeding was unconstitutional, and ihat a vote in its favor ed, by any manner of counteraction which the Legisla. I would commit us on that point; others, of whom I was ture can constitutionally devise and provide. Sir, if this one, objected to the negative vote, because it would be doctrine that the Senate, and, by parity of reasoning, | against evidence, and would subject is to the imputathe House of Representatives also, are incompetent, in tion of voting as partisans and not as Senators, and be. their legislative capacity, to examine and determine cause a negative vote admitted the jurisdiction just as upon the constitutionality or legality of executive acts, much as an affirmative one." shall be establisbed, then I say that the Executive is, Now, I ask, if a negative vote admitted the jurisdicreally and truly, the Government, and the whole Gov. tion just as much as an affirmative one, in Mr. Barry's ernment; that the President is, in every practical view, case, how is it that the negative vote which the gentle. absolutely irresponsible; that he is a more absolute man gave in the President's case had no effect to admit potentate than any prince, king, or emperor, in Europe, the jurisdiction of the Senate to entertain and pass the except, perhaps, the autocrat of all the Russias, and resolution of March, 1834? But this may be thought an the grand seignior of Turkey. And this process of ex. argumentum ad hominem, which is never quite fair. I punction of our resolution of March, 1834, is to be re am afraid myself that it is not fair; because, though this sorted to on the supposition that this doctrine is just and is one reason which the gentleman assigns for his course, true, and to establish it as a constitutional principle of it is not the only reason; and because he has vindicated this federal republican Government!
his general consis:ency in relation to this question, by During the same session of 1833-'34, at which the res showing that he maintained the same opinion he now olution concerning the President's conduct in relation contends for in February, 1831. I did not myself per. to the revenue was adopted, there was an inquiry into ceive the inconsistency between the vote against the the state of the Post Office Department, and the admin- resolution of the 28th March, 1834, and the vote for that istration of its affairs by the then Postmaster General, l of the 27th June, until it was pointed out to me; and my Mr. Barry; and that proceeding of the Senate resulted impression was, that it miglit be accounted for by the in the following resolution, passed on the 27th June, hurry of business when the last vote was given, and the 1834: “ That it is proved and admitted that large sums little importance of the subject of that vote, compared of money had been borrowed at different banks by the with the vast importance of the subject of the first; so Postmaster General, in order to make up the deficiency that the principle involved escaped attention wlien the of the means of carrying on the business of the Post I last resolution was adopted. The only question at all
APRIL 5, 1836.]
Bull.on for the Mint.
material is, whether the opinion the gentleman now ad- babe shall suck the spirit of vengeance with his mother's vances concerning Mr. Barry's case is right or wrong. milk, what deeds he may perform in his mature manI have no wish or care to convict the gentleman of in-hood it is revolting to reflect. But none of the young consistency, nor was that my purpose 111 adverting to mothers are going to take this advice; that I am sure of. this topic. My purpose lies much deeper. I pray the And if the democracy of America shall be willing to acSenate to observe that it is now admitted, nay, contend. | cept the leracy which the rentleman from Missouri is so eil, that the same principle which should interdict the bountifully desirous of bequeathing to them, and to imSenate, in its legislative capacity, from examining and
prove it to the degree of which it is susceptible, I fear determining on the constitutionality of the acts of the
some future advocate of monarchy may find cause to President, should interdict it also from examining and
remember and apply to us the contemptuous language determining on the acts of every impeachable executive
which the toryism of Swift has applied io all democratic officer; and then all the consequences follow: the un
States: “that a usurping populace is its own dupe; a constitutional acts of all exccutive officers can only be | mere underworker, and a
's can only be | mere underworker, and a purchaser in trust for some examined by the House of Representatives, in its judi
single tyrant, whose state and power they advance to cial character, as the grand inquest of the nation; can
their own ruin, with as blind an instinct as those worms only be examined by the Senate, in its judicial charac
that die with weaving magnificent habits for beings of a ter, as a court of impeachment; can never be corrected
nature superior to their own." And, sir, I venture to by legislative action, until the impeachment is deter
warn my countrymen that, if they would avoid the remined; cannot be correcte: even then, if the Senate,
proach of being dupes, they must never indulge the convinced of the innocence of the accused of all criminal
vain-glorious imagination that they are incapable of bemotive and intent, should feel itself bound in conscience
ing deluded; that they must distrust and watch their to acquit him of guilt; and meantime the unconstitutional
agents, distrust and watch themselves, watch over their measure will have been in full operation. And thus
constitution, their laws, and especially their public this process of expunction will have tive effect of estab.
treasure, upon which the rights they so dearly value Jishing a principle vitally affecting the competency of
essentially depend. the two Houses of Congress in their legislative charac
Before Mr. LEIGI had finished his speech, at about ter; and a principle that will protect not only the uncon
twenty minutes before 4 o'clock, he gave way, and stitutional acts of the President, but those of all his sub Mr. MANGUM moved to adjourn, but withdrew the ordinate executive officers, from legislative inquiry, I
motion; and the subject being informally laid on the examination, counteraction, and correction.
table, I shall not now enter upon a discussion of the question The Senate, on motion of Mr. WHITE, proceeded to whether it was true, in point of fact and in point of law, the consideration of executive business; and, after reas the resolution of March, 1834, declared, that the maining for some time with closed doors, President's proceedings therein referred to were illegal The Senate adjourned. and unconstitutional; because, supposing that declaration not just and true, yet, if the Senate had competency to
TUESDAY, April 5. act upon the subject, its action did not begin in wrong; and the remedy is to correct our error by rescinding,
BULLION FOR THE MINT. not by expunging, the resolution. Surely, the present Agreeably to the notice which he had given, Mr. majority of the Senate are not going the length of ex. BENTON asked leave to bring in his bill for the better punging every proceeding of the then majority which it supply of the mint with bullion and metals for coining. shall considler erroneous in principle and in fact. The Not being a member of the Finance Committee, to which question of the competency of the Senate lo pass the res- the bill would be referred, Mr. B. said he must claim olution of March, 1834, lies at the bottom of the argu. the indulgence of the Senate to state the reasons which ment of the gentleman from Missouri in support of his induced bim to bring it forward. It was framed, he motion to expunge, in preference to rescinding. That said, upon the supposition that the mint was not ade. question I have now discussed. I wish to confine myself to quately supplied with bullion and metals for coining, what affects the question of expunging only. If a motion and that it was necessary to take legislative measures shall be made to rescind, though I shall bave no new argu. to ensure its better supply. Both these suppositions ment of my own to offer, I may find it my duty to reca- were realities, and he had taken care to provide himself pitulate the conclusive arguments of others to show that with evidence to that effect. He had two letters from the resolution of March, 1834, is just and true in all re- the director of the mint, which he would send to the spects, and that the principle it asserts is essential to committee with the bill, and which would verify the the maintenance of our free institutions.
statements which he made. These letters showed the The gentleman from Missouri said that to "expunge present capacity of the mint to be equal to the coinage is a severe remedy, but it is a just one. Il reflects of a million a month, or twelve millions per annum, the reproach; but the fault is not ours, but of those who coiuage to consist of gold and silver and the usual pro. compelled us to it. Let us go on, then, and neither portions of small coins; and they also showed the coincompromise for difficulties, nor despair for failures. If age of the last year to be about five millions and a half we fail now, let us try again. If we continue to of dollars-that is to say, about half as much as the mint fail, and have to retire before the good work is ac. could have done if adequately supplied with bullion. complished, let is transinit and bequeath it to the de. But the letters also state that improvements were now mocracy of America. Let us give it to the aged sire, in progress by which steam power would be substituted that he may hand it down to bis heir; to the matron, that for manual labor in several parts of the machinery, and she may deliver it to her manly son; to the young the effect of which would be to increase the capacity mother, that she may teach hier infant babe to suck in of the mint three fold- that is to say, to make it equal the avenging word expunge, with the life-sustaining milk to three millions a month, or thirty-six millions per anwhich it draws from her bosom.” As to that young num. When these improvements were completed, and mother who shall be willing to mix the bitterness of that a part of them were already in operation, the mint, “ avenging word expunge," or any other vengeance, unless better supplied, would have stood idle five sixths with the milk which, with the sweetness of maternal of its time, as it could execute in two months the whole love, she should minister to her babe, it is to be hoped coinage of the last year. This, said Mr. B., must doubtshe will have no more offspring; and if the unhappy I less result from some great fault in our legislation, and
Sufferers by Fire in New York-- Incendiary Publications.
[APRIL 5, 1836.
naturally leads to the inquiry, How is the mint now sup-1 Second. As to coining the revenues. plied with bullion and metals for coining? Pursuing this 1 This must have a good effect in a great variety of inquiry, he found that the great business of supplying ways. this national establishment was virtually devolved upon 1. The revenues of the Union are now received in individuals and upon banks; and that these individuals paper, and there is little or no national check upon the and banks were charged a tax of one half of one per l amount of this paper received. Its transfer to the mint centum on the amount coined, either in a direct charge, will supply a check, and that a serious one; for even or in a delay equivalent in loss of interest to the same now a million a monih of the revenues might be sent amount. This, he said, accounted for the lamentable to the mint; and, with the improvements going on, and result, that in forty years our coinage had amounted to the completion of the branch mints, the whole amount no more than forty millions; that our mint was but hall of the annual revenue, if necessary, miglot be coined supplied now, and would soon be not one fifth supplied. anew, for the mining establishments will be sufficient Such a result was incompatible with the idea of estab. ) to coin forty millions, at leasi, per annom. lishing a mint and of creating a specie currency; and 2. It will keep the mint fully supplied, and will furhe had been led to pursue the inquiry further, and to nish the Union with a perfect and beautiful coinage, by ascertain whether it could ever have been the intention coining up all foreign coins, and all domestic ones which of the founders of the mint that that institution was to become imperfect by wear or by fraudulent diminution. be thrown upon individuals and corporations, and they 3. It will put the coinage under the direction of the discouraged by a tax, for the means of supplying a Government, which can then direct the denominations national coinage? Looking into the early laws, he to be coined, and can supply the country with small found the answer which the reason and propriety of the change. At present the banks and individuals chiefly case required to exist; he found that it had never been direct the denominations which suit themselves, and intended that the mint was to be limited to these preci. those are half eagles and half dollars; but the interest rious sources of supply, but that the national revenues of the country, the convenience of the people, and the were made a resource by law for that purpose. lle cultivation of a beneficial spirit of economy in small found in the act of 1793, sec. 3, this provision: All for dealings, requires a great coinage of small change. eign gold and silver coins, except Spanish milled dol 4. The transfer of part of the revenues to the mint lars, and parts of such dollars, which shall be received for coinage will show their capacity to become deposi. in payment for moneys due the United States, after the tories, with a few additional branch mints, for the pubsaid time when the coinage of gold and silver shall be lic moneys, and thus let the banks see that the United gin at the mint of the United States, shall, previously States are not dependent upon them for keeping the to their being issued in circulation, be coined anew, in public moneys, and are in a condition to dictate terms, conformity to the act establishing the mint, &c. This, l or to cut the connexion with all banking establishments. said Mr. B., establishes the intention of the founders of 5. It would cause the present surplus revenue to take the mint. That intention was to make the United States the solid and substantial form of coin, instead of remainthe supplier of bullion to the mint, and to devote the ing a light and volatile mass of paper. revenues of the Union to that object. The effect of Mr. B. concluded what he had to say at present, with this law, Mr. B. said, at the time it was enacted, was remarking that the return to a constitutional currency expected to be great and decisive, for the act of 1789, was a work of many steps, and that one step was to sup. forbidding any thing but gold and silver to be received ply the mints with metals for coinage, and this was the on account of the United States, was then in force. No | step which he now proposed to take. bank notes were then receivable for public dues; so! The bill was then read twice, and referred to the that the revenues, and those revenues in specie, were Committee on Finance. intended to pass through the mint, and a full and per
NEW YORK SUFFERERS. fect new coinage to be kept up. But this law soon lost its entire force, and has remained for forty years a dead
A bill was received from the House, amendatory of Telter on the statute book. The Buk of the United the act for the relief of the sufferers by fire in New States was chartered, and its noies became receivable in
York. lieu of coin; State banks began to grow up, and their
Mr. DAVIS stated that it was necessary to pass this paper also to be received; and eventually all the public
bill at once, owing to a misconstruction of thic bill which Joneys came to be deposited in banks, instead of any
had been previously passed by the collector, who had part going to the mint; and this is the state of things |
construed il as extending its benefits to all bonds up to at present. The deposite banks receive all the revenue;
the day of the passage of the hill. and whatever coin they receive is considered as their owi),
The bill was then, without opposition, read a first and and there is nothing for the act of 1795 to operateupon.
second time, considered as in Committee of the whole, This exposition of the evil, continued Mr. B., is in
read a third time, and passed. itself an indication of the remedy. The remedy lies in
EXPUNGING RESOLUTION. the repeal of the half per cent. tax on coinage, and in reviving and carrying into effect the original intent of the
The Senate proceeded to consider the expunging reso. founders of the mint, to make the revenues of the Union
| lution offered by Mr. Denton. the main source of supply to that establishment. For
Mr. LEIGU resumed and continued his observations, this purpose be had drawn up the bill, which he pre | as given entire in preceding pages. posed to bring in, and would say but a word in support
After Mr. LEIGH concluded his speech, of the two provisions which it contained.
On motion of Mr. BENTON, the resolution was laid Fir:t. As to the repeal of the tax and the abolition of/ on the table, and ordered to he printeri the charge for refining. The amount of the tax could
INCENDIARY PUBLICATIONS. be no object to the Government, while it was a serious Mr. CALHOUN moved to postpone the orders pre. consideration to the depositor, and no doubt often pre- lceding the bill to prevent the circulation of incendiary venteil deposites for coinage from being made. It might publications, and to take up that bill; which motion was Juave been justifiable when the mint was first establislied, lagreed to. and the national treasury was empty, but could have no The bill was then read; when Mr. WHITE exapology now, especially with those who were intent pressed a wish to go into the consideration of executive upon re-establishing the currency of the constitution. ' business; and a motion to that effect was agreed to.