Abbildungen der Seite

March 18, 1896.)

Expunging Resolution.


a separate and secret reason of his own, and leaving United States, without the instructions of the President the ground of the Senate's judgment to be guessed at 1 of the United States." by the public, and to be differently and diversely inter. Here all is open, manly, and intelligible. Mr. Giles preted by individual Senators, according to the private tells what he means, and commits himself upon the issue. and particular understanding of each; contrary to all the General Hamilton knows what he is charged with; the ends of justice, and to all the forms of legal and judi House knows what to proceed upon; and the public cial proceedings; to the great prejudice of the accused, knows for what to hold the accused to his defence, the who could not know against what to defend himself; and accuser to his proofs, the House to its justice, and all the to the loss of senatorial responsibility, by shielding Sena parties to their official accountability to their con. tors from public accountability, for making up a judg. stituents. Compare this resolve against President Jackment upon grounds which the public cannot know, and son with the resolve of Mr. Giles, and see how difwhich, if known, might prove to be insufficient in law, ferent in the essential particulars of criminal accusation. or unfounded in fact."

The general charge is the same in both cases, that of When he had read this proposition, Mr. B. said, is violating law, and acting without authority; yet the this a true description of the Senate's judgment? Can resolves are totally different; one all precision, the it be possible that this elevated body, intended by the other all ambiguity. In one, every word a declaration constitution to be the gravest assembly on earth, could of fact or law, on which precise issues might be taken; have so far sported with its own responsibility, and within the other, every word a problem, and susceptible of the rights of an accused person, as to deliver a sentence as many meanings as there were tongues to debate it. of condemnation so void of form as this description an. Like the oracular responses of the Pythian Apollo, they nounces? The question is a grave one, and the answer seemed to be selected for their amphibology, and be. should be the best which the nature of the case can pos. | cause any meaning and every meaning which might be sibly admit of. Inspection is the best answer which the required or forbid, might be affirmed or denied under case admits of. It is a case for the inspection of the them. Try them by their sense and import. “Late record; for trying the record by itself. Here it is; read, executive proceedings." Here are three words, and listen, and judge:

three ambiguities. i. “Late.” How late? one year, Resolved, That the President, in the late executive two years, five or ten years ago? 2. “Executive." proceedings in relation to the revenue, has assumed What part of the executive! the Chief Magistrate, or upon himself authority and power not conferred by the one of the heads of Departments? 3. “The public constitution and laws, but in derogation of both."

revenue." What part of it? That in the Bank of the Vague, vague, vague, uncertain, ambiguous, decep United States, or in the deposite banks, or in a state of tive, amphibological, and the highest illustration of that | collection in South Carolina? I defy any man to affix Cynic's sarcasm, who defined language to be an art con any definite idea to either of these terms, or to take any ferred upon man to enable his tongue to conceal his issue upon them. All is uncertain, ambiguous, proble. thoughts. Surely the very thing is concealed here which matical; nothing is clear but the abandonment of all that is the only thing that ought to be known, namely, the related to Mr. Duane, Mr. Taney, the removal of the specific act which constitutes the violation of law and deposites, the responsibility of removing them, the danconstitution intended to be fastened on the President. ger to the liberties of the people, and the complete

I do not dilate upon the use and necessity of precise cutting loose from all connexion with the Bank of the allegation in criminal accusation. The time, the place, United States, whose wrongs had solely occupied the and the act, are the essence of the charge, and can never two previous forms of the resolution, and had figured be dispensed with. The instinct of justice in every hu so incontinently in the speeches of all its friends. All man bosom recognises this; the forms of criminal pro. this is abandoned; all mention of the bank is dropped. ceeding in all countries of law and order prescribe it; Instead of it, the vague charge is substituted, which has and the mover of this condemnation admitted it, by his been so often pointed out to the notice of the Senate; repeated attempts to give specifications, and by his tardy and, under this general denunciation, a general verdict abandonment of that attempt at the last moment, at the was procured by a new species of individual contribuend of one hundred days' debate, when the sentence of tion, something like a subscription list, or pony purse condemnation could no longer be delayed, without losing of accusation, in which each one put in according to his the benefit of it at the impending elections, and when it will and his means. was indisputably known that no majority, not even the Mr. B. said he had adduced this instance of criminal party majority which then prevailed in this chamber, accusation, this charge against General Hamilton, for could be brought to unite in any act of illegal conduct the purpose of showing that precise allegations were which the genius of the mover could impute to the indispensable in such cases; but it was also available and President. I will not dilate upon this plain point, but I eminently applicable for another purpose; for the purwill produce an example from our own history to show pose of showing that corrupt, wicked, or improper with what precise allegation of time, place, and act, | motives were not necessary to be alleged in proceeding violations of law were charged upon executive officers against an officer for an impeachable offence. The in the earlier age of our republic.

design of Mr. Giles was to impeach General Hamilton, I read from the journals of the House of Representa- , and for that purpose he charges him with a naked viola. tives in 1793. They are the resolutions submitted by tion of law, without the slightest imputation of an improp. Mr. Giles, of Virginia, for the purpose of impeaching er motive, and without the smallest allegation of injury the Secretary of the Treasury, General Hamilton, and to the public. It is a case in point; and, added to the are in these words:

cases of the judges Chase and Pickering, is conclusive « Resolved, That the Secretary of the Treasury has to show, that even where a regular and, formal impeachviolated the law passed the 4th of August, 1790, making ment is intended, no averment, under our constitution, appropriation of certain muneys authorized to be borrow- of criminal motives, or public detriment, need be al. ed by the same law, in the following particulars, to wit: leged.

"1. By applying a certain portion of the principal Mr. President, the public, and even the Senate, have borrowed to the payment of interest falling due upon heard much, of late years, of a certain doctrine in politics the principal, which was not authorized by that or any called non-committal, and it has generally been present. other law.

ed in a very unenviable and undesirable point of view. "2. By drawing a part of the same moneys into the I Some have even gone so far as to say that they scorned

Vol. X11.-58


Expunging Resolution.

(March 18, 1896.

the character of an uncommitted man; and a certain gen. conduct in public speeches in Philadelphia, meaning all tleman that you and I wot of has been conspicuously the while his conduct in relation to the revenue in South paraded, in speeches and gozeltes, as the founder of the Carolina, that the friends of the bank, who had previousnon-committal school, and the original of the portrait ly applauded the President for that conduct, clapped, which has been drawn of an uncommitted man. of the and shouted, and flung their caps into the air in a delijustice, the propriety, the truth, and the decency, of rium of exultation, under the delusion that all this dewhat has beed said and published of that gentleman, on nunciation found its inuendo in the wrongs of the bank, that point, it is not my purpose, in this place, to make and not in the wrongs of South Carolina? Certain it is, a question, nor would it, I presume, be your pleasure that the criminating resolve, which in its first and second to decide. I pretermit that labor; and, proceeding upon | form was all bank, in its third form cut loose from the assumption of his opponents, that the aforesaid gen- | the bank entirely! toat Mr. Duane, Mr. Taney, the re. tleman was actually the founder of the aforesaid school, sponsibility, the deposites, the mother bank and its I have to remark that it seems to me that, like other branches, which figured exclusively in the first and great inventors, he is in danger of being robbed of the second forms, were all expunged in the third form! and glory of his discovery by the improvements which are not one word retained which could commit the sup. made by others upon his invention. So far as I under.! porters of the resolve to the name, to the cause, or to stand the institutes of the original school, the right of the complaints of the bank! non-committal extended no further than to problems in I have described the scene, faintly describ politics: it did not embrace cases of law and morality, I took place in this Senate, in the face of all then present, nor extend to the conduct of judges and Senators! But and while the call for the yeas and nays was delayed to who can stop the march of improvement? Who can give time for making up the phraseology of the resolulimit the genius of the scholar? Who can baffle the art sion. It now becomes my duty to explain the reason of the cunning imitator? Already the doctrine of non wliy it came to pass that this business of fixing the noncommittal has made its way to the judginent seal-to committal phrases of the resolve was postponed to the this chamber, and to this very case. The Senate refuses last moment, and then had to be transacted by consulta. to commit itself upon the question, of what it is that they tions and whisperings in the Senate. The reason, sir, was have condemned President Jackson for! They not only this: at the commencement of the session of 1833 - 34, refuse to commit themselves for the grounds of that the Bank of the United States and the Senate of the judgment, but they revoke the committal which they United States appear to have commenced an attack had partly made. They withdraw everything upon upon the people, the property, and the Government which they could be held to their accountability. They of the United States. The bank created a pressure; haul in, back out, cut loose, and run a way, from their the Senate excited a panic; and the spring elections own attempt to specify the guilt of President Jackson; in New York and Virginia were the first and prin. and then condemn him in a general verdict, made up by / cipal objects of both. The bauk sent oul ber orders to compromise, and unable to bear the test of any one call in debts and break up exchanges; the Senate brought specification whatever. Yes, sir, made up by com. / in its resolution to condemn President Jackson for a viopromise! for who of us that were then in this chamber lation of the laws and constitution; and, under the comthat does not remember the extraordinary circumstances bined action of this double process, the price of all propof the closing scene? the peripatetic movements which erty was sunk, and the public mind agitated and alartook place among members? the crossing to and fro on ed, until a fictitious panic was produced. The operathis floor? the consultations and the whisperings the tion was kept up, the bank screwing lighter and tight. fixing and altering, the writing and rubbing out, the er, and ihe alarm guns firing, and the locsin ringing fastoffering and withdrawing, the tearing up and beginning er and louder in the Senate, until the pressure had anew, which went on in this chamber, to the delay of reached its low

reached its lowest point of depression, and the panic its the call for the yeas and nays, until a set of phrases highest point of culmination, and the important elections, were collected, by contribution from different parts of of New York and Virginia were just at hand, and evethis floor, sufficiently non-committal to embrace all who I ry thing was ripe for the final blow. The condem. were willing to condemn the President, without being nation of the President before those elections, and able to tell for what? I speak as an eye witness, when and at the moment of their commencement, was this I describe the closing scene in these terms; and I appeal finalblow, and the exact moment for striking it bad art. to forty Senators then and now present to affirm my ved on Friday, the 28th day of March. That was the statement. And wbat say the laws of the land to thie day, for it was the last day that it could be done in time to verdicts obtained by compromise? Utterly reprobated: I have its effect. Monday was the first day of April, and the jury reprimanded who gives them; their verdict set the great elec

the great elections were to begin; it was therefore inaside, and a new trial ordered.

dispensable that the news of the condemnation of the Sir, said Mr. B., examine this sentence of condemna. President should leave Washington a few days before tion as it stands. Examine it word by word. and see if the hrst of April, in order to reach in lime the more re. it is located to any one place, limited to any time, or mote election grounds in the great States of New York confined to any one act? Will it not cover the slate" and Virginia, and to have its effect upon those elections. executive proceedings relative to the revenue in South This is the reason why the debate on the condemnatory Carolina, as well as the late's executive proceedings | resolution was delayed, protracted, prolonged, and spun relative to the deposites in Philadelphia? Will it not

out from the 26th of December to the 28ih of March, cover the orders to Commodore Elliott to proceed to

and then passed in the hurry and precipitation which Charleston just as well as it will cover the order to Mr.

produced that scene of consultation and of whispering, Duane to quit the cabinet? Would it not cover the

of running to and fro, of putting in, and striking out, of removal of troops to the South, to ensure the collection offering and withdrawing, which was then witnessed in of the revenue, just as well as it would cover the removal | the Senate, and which ended in the engendering of that of the deposites from the bank to prevent the mischiefs unrivalled specimen, that ne plus ultra production, that of their remaining there? Were not the two measures / chef d'æuvre, and everlasting masterpiece of the nonequally complained of at Charleston and in Philadelphia? | commiital policy, which now stands upon your jour. and is it not notorious, that when distinguished sons of nal as a judgment of condemnation against President South Carolina, immediately after the condemnation of Jackson. the Presiderit, denounced the lawless tyranny of his ! Mr. B. said he was an enemy to monopolies, and must

March 18, 1836.)

Expunging Resolution.


express his dissatisfaction to them, in whatsoever shape illegal and unconstitutional conduct were all withdrawn; they were presented to his view. Here was a monopo- and the remainder of it, namely, that they were with. ly, a new and strange monopoly; it was a monopoly of drawn because no majority, not even a party one, could non-committal and of irresponsibility, and that by friends be got to vote for them, can be proved by the Senators present to the prejudice of their friends absent. The then and now present. The rule of law is too clear for Kentucky legislative resolve, all the State legislative re.

argument. It is known to every apprentice to the law, solves, all the resolves of all the public meetings, and / that what is given up upon the face of the record canall the petitions of the 120,000 petitioners sent into the not be retained, as a part of the case, by any fiction of Senate, were direct and specific in their charges against pleading, legal intendment, constructive implication, the President. They all charged in direct terms the

mental reservation, or supposititious reintegration whatviolation of the laws and constitution, and all grounded soever. The issue is open and bold, that, if the specifi. their charges upon the dismissal of Mr. Duane, the ap

cations can be saved by implication, they are insuffi. pointment of Mr. Taney, the assumption of the respon cient to justify the condemnation; and to the trial of sibility, the removal of the deposites, and the danger to this issue we challenge and defy the whole power of the liberties of the people. They all specified these the opposition. acts, and therefore fully committed themselves, and now V. My fifth proposition affirms the total impropriety stand committed upon them. So did their friends and and the particular unconstitutionality of the Senate's leaders on this floor. All were even at the start. All proceeding against President Jackson. It is in these were in the same predicament up to the memorable words: 28h day of March, 1834. Up to that day all were too. “And whereas the Senate being the constitutional gether in the Caudine Forks; but now the leaders and

tribunal for the trial of the President when charged by the followers are divided. The leaders extricated the House of Representatives with offences against the themselves; they uncommitted themselves; they cut laws and the constitution, the adoption of the said reloose from the bank and all its griefs and complaints. / solve before any impeachment was preferred by the They dropped every thing which could connect them

House was a breach of the privileges of the House, a upon the record with the bank and its cause; en- | violation of the constitution, a subversion of justice, a sconced themselves in the mystification of amphibologi- | prejudication of a question which might legally come cal phrases; and now stand untrammeled, unpledged, un- before the Senate, and a disqualification of that body to tied, uncommitted and non-committed upon one single perform its constitutional duty with fairness and impar. allegation of law or fact on which responsibility can tiality, if the President should thereafier be regularly be incurred, or an issữe can be taken. This is

impeached by the House of Representatives for the same wrong. The leaders should never desert their follow. offence." ers; they should never leave their deluded associates in

In this proposition, said Mr. B., I take my stand upon the lurch. The military man shares the fate of his solo

the same ground which I took in the case of Mr. Barry diers; he saves them, or dies with them! The politician in February, 1831, and in the case of President Jackson should do the same. No monopoly of escape is allow in January, 1834. What I said in the case of Mr. Barry, ed to one any more than to the other. Here is a case five years ago, has been read; what I said in the case of for sympathy and relief, for interposition and help. The President Jackson, two years ago, will be read now. It followers should be allowed to escape with the leaders; is done for two purposes: first, to show that we stand they should be allowed to cut loose from the bank; they upon the same ground now which we occupied then; should be permitted to uncommit themselves! and for and next, to let it be seen that the expunging process that purpose should have leave to withdraw and amend! is no after-thought with us; and that gentlemen are not to amend, by striking out every thing that relates to the allowed to take a distinction between expunging now deposites, the Secretaries, the liberties of the people, and expunging then; their power alone having prevented the responsibility, &c., and float at large upon the un. the expurgation at the same session, the same day, and definable and intangible denunciation of “the late ex. the same instant, at which the unjust and unrighteous ecutive proceedings in relation to the revenue!”

sentence was passed. IV. My fourth proposition applies to the doctrine of Mr. B. here read from the debate of February, 1834: legal implications, and affirms that what has been with " Mr. Benton said that the first of these resolutions drawn upon objection, cannot afterwards be understood, contained impeachable matter, and was in fact, though by implication, to remain a part of the record. The not in form, a direct impeachment of the President. He proposition, for its better understanding, will be read. recited the constitutional provision, that the President is in these words:

might be impeached, 1, for treason; 2, for bribery; 3, "And whereas the specifications contained in the first for other high crimes; 4, for misdemeanors; and said and second forms of the resolve, having been objected that the first resolution charged both a high crime and a to in debate, and shown to be insufficient to sustain the misdemeanor; the crime, in violating the laws and concharges they were adduced to support, and it being well stitution, in seizing upon illegal and ungranted power believed that no majority could be obtained to vote for over the public treasury, to ihe danger of the liberties the said specifications, and the same having been actual of the people; the misdemeanor, in dismissing the late ly withdrawn by the mover in the face of the whole Sen. Secretary of the Treasury from office. Mr. B. said that ate, in consequence of such objection and belief, and the terms of the resolution were sufficiently explicit to before any vote taken thereupon, the said specifications define a high crime within the meaning of the constitucould not afterwards be admitted by any rule of parlia- tion, without having recourse to the arguments and decmentary practice, or by any principle of legal implica larations used by the mover of the resolution in illustration, secret intendment, or mental reservation, to remain tion of his meaning; but if any doubt remained on that and continue a part of the written and public resolve head, it would be removed by the whole tenor of the from which they were thus withdrawn; and, if they could argument, and especially that part of it which compared be so admitted, they would not be sufficient to sustain the President's conduct to that of Cæsar in seizing the the charges therein contained.”

public treasure in Rome, to aid him in putting an end The proposition contains three points: 1st. An af. to the liberties of his country; and every Senator, in vofirmation. 20. A rule of law. 30. An issue offered. The ting upon it, would vote as directly upon the guilt or affirmation, in part, is proved by the record, namely, innocence of the President as if he was responding to the that the specifications of President Jackson's supposed question of guilty, or not guilty, in the concluding scene


Expunging Resolution.

(Marco 18, 1836.

of a formal impeachment. We are, then, said Mr. B., figure which the Senate would make in going on with trying an impeachment! But how? The constitution the consideration of this resolution. It accused the gives to the House of Representatives the sole power to President of violating the constilution, and itself commitoriginate impeachments; yet we originate this impeach-ted twenty violations of the same constitution in making ment ourselves. The constitution gives the accused a the accusation! It accused him of violating a single law, right to be present; but he is not here. It requires the and itself violated all the laws of criminal justice in prosSenate to be sworn as judges; but we are not so sworn. ecuting him for it! It charged him with conduct dan. It requires the Chief Justice of the United States to pre. gerous to the liberties of the people; and immediately side when the President is tried; but the Chief Justice trampled upon the rights of all citizens in the gratuitous is not here presiding. It gives the House of Represent assumption to protect them from that illusory danger." atives a right to be present, and to manage the prose. Mr. 8. would close this head. It was a painful one. cution; but neither the House nor its managers altend It was a pointed and severe condemnation of the Senate's this proceeding. It requires the forms of criminal jus conduct; but not more so than had been pronounced in tice to be stricily observed; yet all these forms are neg. Kentucky in a case many thousand degrees below the lected, or violated. It is a proceeding without law, | culpability of the present one. Mr. B. would confront his without justice, without precedent! in which the Chief proposition with the concluding resolve in the Kentucky Magistrate of the republic is to be tried without being case, and appeal to all candid men to say if the censure heard, and in which his accusers are to act as bis judges.. then pronounced is not many ten thousand times more

This is what I said two years ago. I choose to refer applicable to the Senate, who are the constitutional to it as then said, and to repeat it now, first, to show triers of President Jackson, than to the Kentucky Gerer. that my present opinions of the conduct of the Senate al Assembly, who were not the triers of Judge Innis. were formed, two years ago, and fully expressed then, The fifth proposition. | The Kentucky resolution. and are not the creation of subsequent events and after

"The Senate being the con. “That the constitution and thoughts; and, secondly, that the specifications then

stitutional tribunal for the trial laws of the land, securing to made were laid hold of, and expressly objected to, as of the President when charged each citizen, whether in or out showing the impeachment character of the resolution; by tbe House of Representa- of office, a fair and impartial el that the proof is clear that they were withdrawn to tives with offences against the trial, whether by impeacbmeni avoid objections which could not be answered, and on

laws and constitution, the adop- or at common law, the examwhich yotes could not be taken. I thus show that the

tion of the said resolution be-ple of a legislative body, be.

fore any impeachment was pre-fore the commencement of any opinions expressed in this fifth proposition are as old as

ferred by the House, was a prosecution, expressing an opin. tbe commencement of the Senate's proceeding against breach of the privileges of the ion upon the guilt or innocence the President; and what is, perhaps, more material, I House, a violation of the consti- of an implicated individoal have shown from the resolutions proposed in the Ken tution, a subversion of justice, would tend to subvert the funtucky Legislature, in the case of Judge Innis, that they la prejudication of a question damental principles of justice, were expressed by others long before I had any occasion which might come before the to form opinions upon such subjects. I will place my

Senate, and a disqualification of

that body to perform its constiproposition by the side of that resolution, and leave it to

tutional duty with fairness and any one to show a difference, except in the circumstance

impartiality, if the President that makes the conduct of the Senate many ten thousand

should be alterwards regularly times more censurable than the conduct of the Kentucky impeached by the House of General Assembly.

Representatives for the same It was thus, Mr. President, that I challenged the une offence." constitutionality of the Senate's proceeding on the mo- ! VI. Mr. B. took up his sixth proposition, and read it: ment of the first introduction of this fatal resolution. I “And whereas the temperate, respectful, and argudid so from a thorough conviction of its total infringe. | mentative defence and protest of the President against ment of the constitution. I knew then, and I know the aforesaid proceedings of the Senate was rejected and now, what was due to the Senate, and what was implio repulsed by that body, and was voted to be a breach of cated of myself in the expression of such an opinion. Il its privileges, and was not permitted to be entered on knew that I spoke under a just and mighty responsibilie its journal, or printed among its documents, while all ty to that enlightened discernment and high moral sense memorials, petitions, resolves, and remonstrances against of the community which no man may be permitted to the President, however violent or unfounded, and caldisregard, and which is so prompt to perceive, and so culated to inflame the people against him, were duly able to avenge, the outrage of unjust accusation. I knew and honorably received, encomiastically commented that the charge must be made good, or recoil upon its upon in speeches, read at the table, ordered to be printauthor; and I went on at that time to justify the chal. ed with the long list of names attached, referred to the lenge wbich I had made. Will the Senate indulge me Finance Committee for consideration, filed away among in the reading of a few words of what I then said, and the public archives, and now constitute a part of the which will stand for a part of my speech now? This is public documents of the Senate, to be handed down to the part which I beg leave to repeat:

the latest posterity." Mr. B. then read from the same debate:

Resuming his speech, Mr. B. went on to say that the " Mr. Benton called upon the Senate to consider well statements in this proposition were merely historical, what they did, before they proceed further in the con. and intended to preserve the memory of the manner in sideration of this resolution. He called upon them to which the defence of the President was repulsed, and consider what was due to the House of Representatives, the attacks of his assailants were received. The proof whose privilege was invaded, and who had a right, and of the main allegations will be found in the journals of which had a right, to send a message to the Senate the session of 1833-'34; but what that journal does not complaining of the proceeding and demanding its aban-show, and what no history can ever adequately tell, is donment. He conjured them to consider what was due the violence and fury with which the President was to the President, who was thus to be tried in his absence denounced, and his protest stigmatized, during all that for a most enormous crime-what was due to the Senate period. It was a period which covered the progress of itself in thus combining the incompatible characters of ihe Virginia elections, which, protracted through the accusers and judges, and which would itself be judged month of April in that State, are extended in some by Europe and America. He dwelt particularly on the l instances into the month of May. The debate in the March 18, 1836.)

Expunging Resolution.


Senate on the protest was calculated for the meridian of could make the President their prisoner, and keep him that State, and spread over the three weeks that the in confinement witbout the right to legal release. In remaining elections had to continue; and during all that England there is but one instance of the House of Com. time a daily torrent of invective was poured upon his mons having declared the King to have violated the head, and language the most furious and contumelious privileges of Parliament, and that declaration was fol. was lavished upon him, exhibiting, perhaps, a degree lowed by civil war, and the eventual death of the King. of virulence, in the breasts of those who had just been It was the case of Charles the I., going in person to de acting as julges, never before witnessed in our America, mand the arrest of the five members, Hampden, Pym, never seen in England since the time that Jeffries rode Holles, Strowd, and Haslerig. The House of Comthe western circuit, and never seen in France before or mons voted the demand to be a violation of their since the time when the revolutionary tribunal sat in privileges, and that the violation of their privileges judgment upon the noblest spirits of the country, and

was the overthrow of Parliament. Here are the called up, to be insulted at the bar, those whom it words of the resolve: "That the violating the privileges dismissed to be detruncated on the scaffold. This scene of Parliament is the overthrow of Parliament;" and ended in ihe adoption of the resolution which will be acted accordingly, for the civil war immediately began, found at page 253 of the Senate journal for the session and ended, as every body knows, in the death of the of 1833–'34: “That the aforesaid protest is a breach of King. After voting that President Jackson had violated the privileges of the Senate, and that it be not entered their privileges, why not follow up the vote to do someon the journals.”

thing in vindication of those privileges? Why not folA breach of their privileges! The attempt of the low out the judgment? If true, it ought to be enforced; President, after sentence pronounced upon him, to show if not true, it ought not to have been pronounced. that it ought not to have been pronounced, to be sol. Was it sufficient that the Virginia elections were imemnly voted to be a breach of the privileges of this pending, and that effect there would satisfy justice here? Senate! What are, then, our privileges? Is it the This was twice in the same session that the President privilege of the Senate to condemn without hearing, and was pronounced guilty of criminal offences, and twice to insult whom it condemns? In the language of the permitted to go unpunished, by

permitted to go unpunished, by the gratuitous clemKentucky resolutions, is it their privilege to arraign the ency of his judges. Yes, sir, gratuitous clemency; public officer who may have committed a violation of pardon, without petition for mercy; for the man who the laws and constitution of the Union, and to fix an does not “ stain the honor of his country by making an indelible stigma upon him, without the forms of trial or apology for speaking truth in the performance of duty,” judicial proceedings? Is it their privilege to consume does not compromise the dignity of his species by im. the public treasure and the public lime in investigating petrating pardons from judges who condemn without subjects not within their sphere? Is it their privilege hearing, and reject as insult a protestation of innoto violate the right to that fair and impartial trial which cence. the constitution and the laws of the land have secured VII. Mr. B. took up his seventh and last proposition, to every citizen, in or out of office, whether triable by and read it. It was in these words: impeachment or at common law? Is it their privilege “And whereas the said resolve was introduced, de to exhibit the example of a legislative body, before the bated, and adopted, at a time, and under circumstances, commencement of any prosecution, expressing an opin which had the effect of co-operating with the Bank of ion upon the guilt or innocence of an implicated indi the United States in the parricidal attempt which that vidual, and thus subverting the fundamental principles | institution was then making to produce a panic and of justice! More than all, is it the privilege of the pressure in the country-10 destroy the confidence of Senate to try the President of the Uniied States upon the people in President Jackson-lo paralyze his admincharges put forth by the Bank of the United States, and istration-to govern the elections to bankrupt the to use against him the fifty pages of accusation furnished State banks-ruin their currency-fill the whole Union by the bank, and not receive one word of defence offered with terror and distress, and thereby to extort from the by himself? Is it the privilege of the Senate to act as sufferings and alarms of the people the restoration of witnesses, prosecutors, and judges, in the same case? the deposites and the renewal of its charter." Is it their privilege to withdraw specifications from the In support of this proposition (said Mr. B.) I propose record, and retain them in the mind; to make a verdict to read, before I produce the direct proofs, the predicupon compromise, and to condemn the President with. tion which Mr. Jefferson made thirty years ago, and in out being able to tell for what? Is it their privilege to which he described to the life, and foretold to the let. receive petitions from one hundred and twenty thousand ter, the exact conduct of which the present Bank of the people, demanding the condemnation of the President, I United States has just been guilty. and not hear one word from himself in vindication of his - This institution is one of the most deadly hostility innocence? If these are the privileges of the Senate, existing againt the principles and the form of our constithen has the President violated those privileges by pro. tution. The nation is at this time so strong and united testing against them; if not, then has ihe Senate placed in its sentiments that it cannot be shaken at this moanother entry upon its journal which truth and justice ment; but suppose a series of untoward events to occur, would require to be taken off.

sufficient to bring into doubt the competency of a reMr. President, this condemnation of President Jack/ publican Government to meet a crisis of great danger, son, for violating the privileges of the Senate, is a much or to unhinge the confidence of the people in the public more serious affair than would seem to persons not fa- | functionaries; an institution like this, penetrating by its miliar with parliamentary law. It is a conviction for a branches every part of the Union, acting by command crime! for a crime which may affect the independence, and in phalanx, may, in a critical moment, upset the the existence, and the purity, of the body. It is a crime Government. Ideem no Government safe which is for which the Senate has a right to punish the offender! | under the vassalage of self-constituted authorities, or to take him into custody by the Sergeant-at-arms, to any other authority than that of the nation, or its reguhave him brought to the bar of the Senate, reprimand. / lar functionaries. What an obstruction could not this ed, imprisoned, or required to apologize. In cases of Bank of the United States, with all its branches, be in imprisonment, the party is not bailable, nor can he be re time of war! It might dictate to us the peace we should leased upon habeas corpus; so that here is a condemna: accept, or withdraw its aids. Ought we, then, to give tion of the President, by virtue of which the Senate I further growth to an institution so powerful, so hostile ?

« ZurückWeiter »