Abbildungen der Seite

APRIL 25, 1834.]
President's Protest.

[SENATE. would equally apply to each individual member who might in the person for doing the act, were both within the in debate disapprove the conduct of an officer. Such a proper powers and deliberations of the Senate. The fact construction would convert the power of deciding im- was notorious, by the manifesto of the President, and the peachments, which is a power superadded to their other publication thereof by his authority, that the removal powers, enjoyed in common with the House of Represent was ordered by him; that proclamation of the President is atives, into a curtailment and crippling of the powers acknowledged by his response to the Senate; the fact of expressly delegated to the Senate. When sitting as a removal by the President's command is confessed. The court of impeachment, a new and particular oath of office resolution of the Senate belonged to their legislative is prescribed by the constitution. No challenge of a Sen-power; it looked to legislative action; it looked to the ator is allowed because of opinions before expressed, restoration of the law to its proper vigor—to its unreany more than a challenge of a judge on the bench for pealed and existing authority; and if the executive and opinions before delivered. As a court of impeachment, administrative faculties of the Government had been in the Senate pass a judicial opinion, and if the accused is sound and healthy action, the deposites would have been convicted of an impeachable offence, a judicial sentence restored in consequence of the resolution of either House of punishment is pronounced. A legal and effective con- disapproving the removal. For the act of 1816 is not resequence follows the judgment. But the expression of pealed-it could not be repealed, but by the assent of both an opinion upon the conduct of an officer not impeached, branches of the Legislature. The refusal of either branch can have only a moral effect and consequence. This to repeal, would leave the enacted law in force. So the moral effect to restrain public officers within proper refusal of either House of Congress to approve the reasons bounds, properly belongs to the powers of the Senate. for suspending this law, left that law in force, and ought The House of Representatives are under no obligation to to have awakened the Secretary of the Treasury to the impeach for every departure from the line of duty. Ev-restoration and observance of the law. ery aberration from duty, every assumption of power, by The resolution of the Senate does assert the legislative an officer, does not necessarily amount to a high crime, or power of the Congress over the public Treasury, by dehigh misdemeanor in office. The Senate, as a part of the nying to the Presideut the custody, control, and manageLegislative department, have a right to guard their own ment, as exercised and asserted in his late proceedings, powers of legislation from encroachment by the Execu- in relation to the public revenue. It cannot be admitted, tive, by interposing a moral effect and restraint; by exert- as the theory of the constitution, that the President of the ing their political powers, by declaring their sense of the United States can take into his custody and management boundaries of the Legislative, Executive, or Judicial de. the public money, devise a system of financial operapartments; although their judicial power is not called into tions and agencies, and liold on until, by a concurrent vote action. Such political action, short of their judicial pow. of the two Houses of the Legislature, a limitation upon er, is one of the checks and guards against disorders and his system and a dispossession of his agents shall be deaggression properly resulting from the structure of our vised, in a form which shall meet his approbation; or, if Government, and so intended.

not, shall command the concurrence of two-thirds of both As the act of Congress giving a discretionary power to Houses to overrule his veto. The powers over the puberder the deposites not to be made in the Bank of the lic Treasury are expressly delegated to the Congress. United States required the reasons to be reported to Con- The Senate of the United States is one branch of that de. gress in case that discretionary power was exercised, the pository of power-one of the trustees and guardians of message of the President and the report of the Secretary the public purse. The constitution has distributed the assigning the reasons for the removal, necessarily called powers of the Government between three departments, upon each House of Congress to approve or disapprove. Legislative, Executive, and Judicial; and has delegated to The general command of the law was, that the public each its appropriate powers by enumeration. If the moneys should be deposited in the Bank of the United |Chief Magistrate endeavors to subvert this distribution, if States; but a special authority to suspend the execution of he overstrains his powers, and trenches upon the powers this general command, has been delegated by the Con- delegated to the Legislature, the Senate, as a component gress to the Secretary of the Treasury, the financial agent branch of that Legislature, have the right and are in of Congress. The message of the President and the re- duty bound to resist such encroachment, and to maintain port of the Secretary, informed us that the execution of their powers and authority. To be supine, to throw the the general command of this law had, in the recess of whole watch upon the House of Representatives, would Congress, been suspended. Whether the special author- be unworthy of the Senate, an abandonment of their trust, ity to suspend the execution of this law, delegated by a disregard of their oaths, and treachery to the constituCongress to another, had been pursued, or transcended, tion. When the distribution of the powers of the Govwas presented for the consideration of the Senate. Such ernment is assailed by the Chief Executive Magistratesuspension of the execution of law, made, not by the Le- when the public faith is brought into question-when the gislature, but by another power, necessarily involved three essential principles of free government are assaulted, considerations. First: the person to whom the special shall the Senate look on the conflict, connive by slothful authority to suspend had been committed. Secondly: indifference, and be silent as if turned to stone? Whether that special authority had been exercised by the When Great Britain overleaped the boundaries of the person or officer to whom it was delegated, or by some constitution, when the King stretched and abused his other, to whom it had not been intrusted. Thirdly: The powers and prerogative, to the detriment of the rights of existence or non-existence of the reasons for suspending the colonies, our forefathers did not remain silent and inthe execution of the law contemplated by the Legislature active in their colonial assemblies. They declared their in the delegation of the authority.

rights by resolutions; and the spirit and courage of the The delegation of the authority was confided especially people maintained those rights. to the Secretary of the Treasury. If the suspension of The liberty now enjoyed in England has been prethe law by the removal of the deposites, had been effect- served by the House of Commons in resisting the ened by the Attorney General, that suspension of the com- croachments of the powers and prerogatives of the monmand of the law would have been palpably contrary to arch by spirited resolves, and by refusing to vote the monthe authority delegated by the Legislature; and it would eys to support government, until power was in the hands have been within the power of the Senate, and its duty, of persons acceptable to the people, or while factions

to disapprove the removal for that cause. The insuth- predominated in the court. Out of the many examples , ciency of the reasons, and the want of competent power lwhich parliamentary history furnishes, I shall content 'my

Vol. X.-96


President's Protest.

[APRIL 25, 1834.

self with reference to two: In 1604 the Commons voted Washington, nominating a collector of Charleston. The that they were free to guard against the encroachments Senate rejected the person first nominated; the President of arbitrary power-free to preserve the liberties and nominated another, (not a re-nomination of the person reproperty of the subject. In 1621 the Commons resolved, ljected,) and gave his reasons for the former nomination, " that redress of mischiefs and grievances which daily with kind suggestions, that he supposed the Senate rehappen in this land, are proper subjects and matter of fused their assent for the want of information of the per. counsel and debate in Parliament; and that in the hand son and his character; and it might conduce lo mutual ling and proceeding of those businesses, every member of convenience, and the ends of justice, if the Senate would the House hath of right, and ought to have, freedom of in future ask the President for information where the per. speech, to propound, treat, reason, and bring to conclu. sons nominated were unknown to them. This suggestion sion the same; and that the Commons in Parliament have has been followed ever since. President Washington did like liberty and freedom to treat of those matters in such not rebuke the Senate; he did not persist in his first nomorder as in their judgment shall seem fittest,” &c. This ination; he acquiesced in the authority and decision of the resolve was highly offensive to the King, and he sent his Senate, manifesting his respect for that decision by nomi. letter missive to the Commons. All such like resolutions nating promptly a different person for the office. It is to condemning the acts of the ministry, and censuring the be regretted that this example of President Washington encroachments of executive power, were taken in ill part has not been imitated by President Jackson. by the King, but the Commons and the people ultimately The example of the House of Representatives of Penn prevailed.

sylvania has been cited in receiving a communication from The two Houses of the Congress, and the members in- Governor McKean. Articles of impeachment against the dividually and collectively of each House, are sentinels Governor bad been reported by a committee. The House placed by the constitution in the watchtowers of liberty, refused to concur with the committee, and rejected the to sound the alarm when the ramparts are assaulted, and articles of impeachment. The response of the Governor to summon the people to the defence.

to the articles reported against him was received by the To receive and record the protest of the President House. This act of that body in receiving the message of would be to countenance, in a degree, the dangerous doc- the Governor, in accordance with their own decision, bas trines it is intended to inculcate. It would be establishing been cited to induce the Senate to record a message rea precedent in favor of the Executive interference with buking them for their decision, and persisting in the conthe freedom of the proceedings of the two Houses of Con- duct and assertion of powers complained of in the resolugress.

tion. This message falls within no description of powers In furtherance of the Presidential rebuke and threat. given by the constitution or the laws to the President, forening of the Senate with the chastisement of the people, his intercourse with the Congress. It communicates no the case of Mr. Wilkes's expulsion by the House of Comnomination to office, no treaty, no measure for legislative mons of England, and his support by the people, have action, no information touching the state of the Union, re- been alluded to. In this I do see some analogy between commends no measure judged necessary or expedient for that which has happened in England, and what has hap: Congress to legislate for the general welfare, but it is in pened, and may happen, in the United States. I will name, face, and character, a protest against a proceeding state the case. Mr. Wilkes was a member of Parliament, of the Senate, and a Presidential rebuke of the body. i and in opposition to the administration. The ministry can neither consent to enlarge the prerogative of the prosecuted and convicted him in the King's bench, for President, nor to give the message a place on the Jour-printing and publishing what they called, and they ad. nals, to be quoted in after times, either as a precedent for judged, a seditious libel, and three obscene libels, and interference with the deliberations of either of the two outlawed him. "The ministry, no doubt, did this “as neHouses of Congress, or by his successors in favor of the cessary to preserve the morals of the people” and “the all-absorbing powers of the Executive.

freedom of the press.” On the eve of a general election Precedents are seized with avidity to support Execu- for the next Parliament, Mr. Wilkes appeared in public, tive power, but weigh nothing when opposed to arbitrary the outlawry notwithstanding, and was elected a member will. Junius has given an impressive warning never to of Parliament by the votes of the county of Middlesex. suffer an invasion of the constitution, however minute That Parliament, by the ministerial majority, expelled the instance may appear, to pass by without a determined, him for the seditious libel and the three obscene libels persevering resistance. One precedent creates another. for which the King's bench had convicted him, and also They soon accumulate, and constitute law. What yester, for having written a preface to a letter which had been day was fact, to-day is doctrine. Examples are supposed printed in the public papers, which they also called "an to justify the most dangerous measures, and where they insolent, scandalous, and seditious libel-and thereupon do not suit exactly, the defect is supplied by analogy." a writ of election issued. No doubt the ministerial party The disposition to justify the workings of arbitrary power did all this “as necessary to preserve the morals of the by precedents and forced analogies, is exemplified in the people, the freedom of the press, and the purity of the quotations resorted to by the President, and the support-elective franchise!” The voters of Middlesex, however, ers of his measures. The example of a former Secretary unanimously re-elected Mr. Wilkes. The ministerial of the Treasury, (Mr. Crawford,) in relation to the de- party voted that the former expulsion rendered him incaposites of the public moneys, has been referred to as jus pable of being elected a member of that Parliament, and tifying the removal of the deposites in the case under con- another writ of election issued. sideration. But even in this instance, the authority con The voters of Middlesex again unanimously re-elected ferred on Mr. Crawford by a joint resolution of both Mr. Wilkes. The ministerial majority again declared the Houses, for the purpose of inducing the State banks to election void, and issued another writ of election. The resume payments in specie, is overlooked. The actings voters of Middlesex again unanimously re-elected Mr. of the former Secretary, in cases which did not depend Wilkes. The ministerial party again declared the elecupon his sole will, but requiring the concurrent acts and tion void, and ordered another election. Notwithstanding volition of the banks, are by forced analogy made to jus- the various resolutions of the House, Mr. Wilkes was tify the act of the Secretary in a case depending upon his elected the fourth time to the same Parliament, by a very sole will. An act done in pursuance of authority, is cited large majority. The King's party again declared the to justify an act done by breach of law.

election of Mr. Wilkes void; but Mr. Lutterell, the mioAnother example cited, is the message of President listerial candidate, in this last election, had received some

[ocr errors]

APRIL 25, 1834.]

President's Protest.


votes; whereupon, the poll-book was ordered to be but destroyed their independence and the principles of brought. All the votes given to Mr. Wilkes were, for free government, by subjecting them to his nomination. that cause, declared null and void. As Mr. Lutterell was He pretended solemnly to restore the senate and the the next highest on the poll, they ordered the return to people to their rights: be professed to lay down all his be amended, by striking out the name of Mr. Wilkes power and authoriiy, to mingle with his fellow-citizens in and inserting the name of Mr. Lutterell; and so the min. the crowd, and " to share with them the blessings which isterial party touk Mr. Lutterell to their bosom. Now, he had obtained for his country.” Yet, by ariifice, he all this was done, no doubt, by the ministry, “as neces got it all confirmed to him by the people and the senate. sary to preserve the morals of the people, the freedom of He got into his own hands all the jurisdiction of the serthe press, and the purity of the elective franchise!” But eral officers of State, and a despotic monarchy was estabthe people of England would not believe that Mr. Wilkes lished in him by law. He would consent to receive the was so pursued and punished by the court party, for the sovereign power for ten years only, but, at the expiration iadecency of his publication, or his dissolute conduct; be of that term, accepted it for ten more, and in this manner cause they beheld persons loaded with court favor, coun- retained it all his life. His successors had the empire settenance, and patronage, who were not only generally lled on them without limitation. Power assumed, does scandalous in their lives, but guilty of similar and more not willingly relax its grasp, and is transmitted to successcandalous libels and seditions than those for which Mr. sors by a surer title. Bonaparte expelled by force of Wilkes vas punished. The point to be gained by the arms the Council of Five Hundred. He said, “ France court party was, to establish a precedent tending to make wants me more than I want France.” Many other examknown that the favor of the people was not so sure a ples might be cited from history, in which the people, by road as the favor of a court, to honors and trusts.” Thus fair pretences, have been cheated, flattered, and sootbed we see, that, as the hatred of the court party pursued into a confidence and death-like slumber, fatal to their Mr. Wilkes, the countenance of the people protected and rights and liberties. supported him. A spirited resistance to the appearance In conclusion, Mr. President, it has appeared to me, of lawless power, and an independent contempt for the that the question of the removal and restoration of the abuses and intrigues of the court, carried the voters of deposites is not a question of the bank or no bank. I am Middlesex to a degree of enthusiasm in support of Mr. no advocate of the bank, nor of the banking system. But Wilkes, enlisted the talents of Junius and others, and the it involves a question of good faith, truth, and justice. sympathies of the people. So it happened in England. To excuse the transaction, the most alarming and arbitrary In the United States, it has happened that the President doctrines have been practised upon and openly avowed. has assumed upon himself the responsibility of removing The honest opinions of the people against the constituthe deposites of the public money's from the places ap- tional power of Congress to establish ihe bank, and honpointed by law, and of taking the custody and manage est antipathies against the policy of such an institution, ment of them under his own control, “as necessary to have been seized upon to blind them to the exercise of preserve the morals of the people, the freedom of the executive powers in like manner unconstitutional and prets, and the purity of the elective franchise.” We have much more dangerous. been some men, not remarkable for purity of morals, To flatter and deceive the people into the support of nor for abstaining from bringing " the patronage of the bad faith, and injustice, and falsehood in the Government, Federal Government into conflict with the freedom of is to their ruin. In the virtues of good faith, truth, and elections," nor for the decency of their publications and justice, the whole safety of the people consists. Without presses, loaded with the patronage, favor, and counte. these, the constitution would be but wax in the hands of nance of the President and his party. We have seen his the rulers; the representatives would be but tools for protest, and his philipic against the Senate, for opposi- knaves to work with; the ligament of the representative tion to his views of his constitutional powers and duties; to the constituent would be dissolved; the people would he has threatened us with the dangers of a new modelling be subjected to the will of one man, and ine sovereign of this body; and he has appealed to the people of Amer- reason of the world and the imprescriptible rights of man ica. How the people of the States will decide upon be melted and moulded by the passions, caprices, and these matters, we are yet to learn. I cannot suspect ihat artifices of a few cunning, weak, and giddy favorites of a they will so act as to induce their representatives to be court. lieve “that the favor of the people is not so sure a road If the abuses and assumptions of authority are not to to honors and trusts as the favor of a court.” The elec- be subjects of free inquiry and resolves in both Houses tions to the Senate are established upon solid foundations; of Congress, because they may touch the Chief Magisupou the sovereign reason of the people, deliberating in trate; if the power and the will of Congress to control their respective State Legislatures.

the administration of the finances, to regulate the conduct Now, I will take occasion to refer to a few examples, of public officers, and to check the encroachments of Ex(of which many more are recorded in history,) to warn usecutive power, is lost; if the right of the Chief Executive against the insidious approaches of selfish ambition, and Magistrate to interpret the laws for all subordinate officers the march of usurpers to arbitrary power. Marius and throughout the whole executive management, and to re. Sylla made fair promises at first, but seized the despotic quire and enforce obedience, be conceded, then the espowers of Government afterwards. Julius Cæsar degra. sential principles of free government are lost, every val. des the dignity and authority of the Senate, to pave the uable part of the Government is lost, the Congress is sunk way to sovereign power. He introduced into the Senate into comparative insignificance, and the constitution not his retainers, soldiers, and followers. He harangued the worth preserving. If the claims of power in the protest Senate, said he had never affected extraordinary honors, be admitted and sanctioned, we will have a despotic Gov. or illegal powers; talked of peace, equity, and justice, ernment, under the forms of a Coinmonwealthi. Believand immediately after broke into the public treasury and ing that such doctrines as are set forth in the protest, in carried off the money to procure the men.

precept and example, are at war with the constitution Otho appealed froin the Roman senate to the prætorian and tend to uproot the foundation of all free governband-by them, and the populace whom he had courted ment, I conjure the Senate to reject such arbitrary prinand corrupted, he was proclaimed prince, triumphed for ciples, and to stand forth in support of the constitution, a while over the institutions of his country, but 'died by and in defence of the liberties of the country. his own sword.

The Senate then adjourned to Monday. Octavius, surnamed Augustus, remoddled the senate,


Proceedings in Virginia. -Ulica (N. Y.) Memorial.

[Avril 28, 1834.

MONDAY, April 28.

pains of presenting to Congress a memorial so numerous PROCEEDINGS IN VIRGINIA.

ly signed, from any improper motive, or for any groundless cause,

The evils which they state, they feel; and Mr. TYLER presented the preamble and resolutions of the young men of Richmond and Manchester, in the State they state them, in order that Congress may be prevailed of Virginia, disapproving of the measures of the Execu- it is not clamor, it is not faction, that brings the farmers,

upon to afford the proper redress. It is not party spirit, tive in relation to the transfer of the public moneys from the manufacturers, and the merchants, of the county of the Bank of the United States, and highly approving of

Oneida before the Senate. the course taken by the Senators of Virginia--John Tro brought hither by a deep sense of injury, grievous for

On the contrary, they are LER and BENJANIN Watkins Leigu.

Mr. T. observed, that the resolutions spoke for them- the present, and ihreatening to be more grievous, to their selves , and in precise terms. They manifested an ac; an impulse of patriotism, which induces them to join

pursuits, their employments, and their property; and by quaintance with the subject on which they treated, equal their own voices to the voices of others, in calling on to that possessed by any who had heretofore addressed the Congress to maintain the authority of the laws over the Senate.' He would simply remark, that these young men

The county of Oneida is, I believe, were as deeply interested in the prosperity and vital inter public treasures. ests of the country, as any other portion of its population. the largest in the State, except the county of the city of We, sir, said Mr. T., are going out they are coming in largely interested in manufactures, both of woollen and

New York. It is in the very heart of the State. to fill the places we now occupy: Without making any cotion, which were in active operation, until the Execfurther remarks, Mr. T. said he would move for the reading and printing of the resolutions, and their refer- utive began its experiment; and, as the experiment has ence to the Committee on Finance.

gone on, one of these establishments after another has They were read, referred, and ordered to be printed

stopped. accordingly.

For the close union of agricultural richness and beauty Mr. LEIGH presented a memorial on the same subject,

with manufacturing industry, I have never seen any thing from sundry citizens of Gloucester county, in the state equal to the vale of the Sauquoit. Under the eye for of Virginia. He should not, he said, accompany the many miles, in its meanderings, its banks green to the presentation of the memorial with any remarks, but pound weight of its water but what has its use, on every

water's edge by handsome cultivation, and scarcely a would content himself with moving that it be read, print. tall and ripple, in some manufacturing purpose, it preed, and referred in the usual manner. All which was

sents a most beautiful view of fine scenery, rich and naltragreed to.

ral products, and varied human employments. I believe, UTICA (N. Y.) MEMORIAL.

sir, that the merchants of Utica, many of whose names Mr. WEBSTER said, that another voice, and that not are attached to this memorial, are distinguished for intela faint or feeble one, had reached the Senate from the in-ligence, liberality, enterprise, and public spirit. They terior of the State of New York. More than six thou- desire nothing from Government but good laws, well as sand of the freemen of the city of Utica, and the county ministered, and they think they have a right to expect of Oneida, have put their names to a memorial, which that their interests shall not be sacrificed, or their customthey have done me the honor to request me to present. ary pursuits broken up, for the mere purpose of introAt a season of the year when the roads in that rich soil ducing wild theories and rasla speculations into public are deep and almost impassable, and when the business measures. of the opening year naturally engrosses the a!tention of Sir, this memorial is transmitted to me by gentlemen farmers, so great a number as six thousand citizens have well known to me. I know them to be incapable of misyet come forward to make known to Congress their sen- representation, and I know them to be good judges of the timents and their sufferings. Their memorial is short; sentiments of their county. They express an earnest for they think but few words necessary, either to set hope that Congress may yet do something for the relief forth the condition of their part of the country, or to of the country, before it adjourns. But should it not, point out the causes which have produced that condition. should it remain deaf to the demands of the people, they They say that the people are distressed and alarmed; the speak with undoubting confidence of the effectual opercurrency of the country deranged; the local banks com ation of that great and sovereign remedy, which the pelled to withhold their usual loans; public and commer- people still hold in their hands, and which, in season, they cial confidence not only shaken, but alınost destroyed; will well know how to apply. They believe, sir, fully, commerce languishing, and merchants failing; many man that that great State, which has so much power, so much Tufactories ceasing their operations, and those who have intelligence, and so great a stake in all the leading inter; been employed in them deprived of the means of sub- ests of the country, will not be, cannot be, long found sistence; agricultural products much reduced in price, out of her place in the Union. They say they do not and finding any sale with difficulty; and mechanics de despair of the republic. They need not despair. As prived of employment. This, sir, is their statement of General Lafayette said of France, at the time of the three the facts.

Jays' revolution, “a salutary excitement pervades the As to the cause, they see but one, the removal of the country. deposites, and the control over the public treasures as. The people feel that their interests bave been need. sumed by the Executive.

lessly sacrificed; but, what is more, they see danger ap. Mr. President, are these and similar statements true, or proach the constitution and the laws. Tbey forget the are they not? Does this distress exist in the country, or actual loss of property, in the anticipated loss of liberty. does it not? Thousands allege that it does exist, and if it Of all other inheritances, their dearest and choicest is the do not, why do not others come forth to deny it? And if constitution and the laws; and this inheritance they mean it do exist, how long is it expected the people will be to defend. I wish, sir, I could say to the people of Oneiwilling to bear it?

da county, that there was more hope than I ihink there Sir, I have the pleasure of knowing some of the inhab- is, of any measure of relief, at this session of Congress. itants of Oneida county, and especially of the city of Uti- They see, as well as I do, what that is, which continues ca; and I bear my testimony most cheerfully and cordially to obstruct all proper measures of relief. They to their general intelligence and respectability. I believe difference of opinion between the two Houses, and they the character of the people of the whole county to be know that the concurrent action of both Houses is necesinferior to that of none other. They have not taken the Isary for any effectual measure. The Senate has pro

see the

Arril 28, 1834.]

Ulica ( N. Y.) Memorial.- Huntingdon County Proceedings.


nounced its judgment against the removal of the depos. Mr. Wilkins then asked, that the proceedings be ites: it is for their restoration, and for their being re-read, referred to the Committee on Finance, and printed. placed under the custody of the law. But the people of The proceedings were then read. Oneida will see, that the Senate can do nothing alone; Mr. CHAMBERS observed, that he had listened with that opinions, in another part of the Capitol, are different great attention to the reading of the proceedings, though from those of the Senate; and they will see, too, by the be confessed that he did not exactly understand thein. late protest especially, as well as by previous publications, He was delighted, however, to learn that the gloom was what opinions still prevail with the Executive.

passing away, and that the people of that portion of While, sir, whatever of hope does exist is not to be Pennsylvania were cheered with such increasing prospergiven up, and while every effort is to be made which may ity, and that the products of their labor found so ready promise relief and redress, at this session, yet undoubted. a market. The Senator from Pennsylvania told us, that ly it becomes the people of Oneida to act on the belief the sentiments expressed in these proceedings were dithat, in all probability, a change of public councils may rectly in opposition to those expressed in the memorial not be effected, but through the means of the will of the presented by the gentleman from Massachusetts. Well, people, expressed at the polls.

then, that memorial informed us, that every thing was deThe memorial was then read, referred to the Commit. pressed; that produce found no market, and labor no retee on Finance, and ordered to be printed.

ward. Now these proceedings say, that the products of HUNTINGDON COUNTY PROCEEDINGS.

their industry command high prices. Do they (said Mr.

C.) venture to tell us this, in defiance of facts well estabMr. WILKINS rose and said, he very heartily concur. lished throughout the whole country? Would the Senator red with the honorable Senator from Massachusetts, in from Pennsylvania tell us this, in spite of all the expethe principal part of the sentiments he had just present- rience he has had? The time had gone by, that even the ed to the Senate. He, himself, was laboring under no Senator from Pennsylvania denied that distress, deep dissuch excitement as that the gentleman had described, nor tress, prevailed througbout the country. Would any body did ke at all despair of the republic, though he did de- of men venture to tell us, that the products of agricuispair of any thing being done at this session of Congress, ture bore as fair prices as formerly.' The fact was, the in consequence of the lamentable contrariety of opinion proceedings said that there had been depression, but it prevailing in the other House and this, and out of doors was caused by that monster, the bank, and then they among the people at large. If it were possible (Mr. W. hurrahed for General Jackson. They told us that after said) for us to find out what the public sentiment was, on all this depression, things were a little better. Thus, the subject so continually discussed in the Senate, he when a man is in the agonies of death, if, presently, a litagreed with the Senator from Massachusetts that some- tle respiration comes, it might be said that he was better. thing could be done to relieve the public distress, and it would, most likely, be the same case with these people that all the members of the Senate would concur in ef- of Pennsylvania. The patient would die if he had no fecting that object.

more favorable symptoms than a slight respiration. He had long despaired of ascertaining, by the proceed As the Senator from Pennsylvania thought that nothing ings of public meetings and memorials, so many of wbich was to be done, at this session of Congress, to relieve the bad been presented, what the public sentiment was, as public distress, he called on him to speak with candor to to the object on which they treated. He had for a long this people, and to tell them what he really thought of time had several of them in his possession, which he did the present condition of the country. He asked him, in not think proper to present, because he did not believe candor, to say, if he had any expectation that nothing that any thing could be done by Congress, for the rea- would be done before the end of the present session. He sons he had mentioned. The Senator from Virginia bad did not pretend to say that there was any thing in our just said, on presenting the proceedings of the young present condition likely to depress the price of bread. men of Richmond and Manchester, that they were as The crops of the last year were small, and were generally deeply interested in the prosperity and vital interests of sold out before the grand experiment of the Executive the country, as any other portion of its population. This commenced; and besides, people would buy bread at was very true, and it was to be presumed, that all the pe- whatever price, to escape starvation. He should like to titioners who came bere were equally as deeply inter. know from the Senator from Pennsylvania, who had told ested in preserving the institutions of the country, in its us that the Bank of the United States was grinding down vital interests and in its prosperity, as they were. There the people, in what manner the bank could have acted was no doubt, that all ihe petitioners who came here, otherwise than it did, without sacrificing its own interest; gave us their candid sentiments; and it was to be presu- and how its proceedings could justly be charged as an med, that they were all as deeply interested in doing so. injury to the people?

He had determined to present no more of these pro. Those who had done all in their power to put down ceedings; but he had recently received one, that he felt this bank, surely would allow it to call in enough of its called upon to lay before the Senate. It was from the loans to meet the :lemands made on it by the Government. county of Huntingdon, a central county of the State, sit. If the bank o:ily called in from its debtors precisely what uated on the great canal which this spring had been put the Government called from it, how was it possible that into operation, and promised to be a source of so much this pressure could be ascribed to its proceedings? It prosperity to the industry and enterprise of that county. might as well be said that by abstracting from any given it is a rich county, extensively engaged in agricultural amount you increased its product. Now he did not depursuits and in nanufactures, and an iron region too, sire that the people should be misinformed, either by where that branch of manufacture is extensively and prof. what had been said by the people of Huntingdon county, itably conducted. This makes them peculiarly interest- or by the Senator from Pennsylvania. They admitted ed in those subjects on which the general prosperity of that there had been great pressure; but they now say the country depends.

that prices are better than before. The people, said Mr. These proceedings presented sentiments directly the c., are to believe from the evidences before them, from reverse of those in the memorial handed in by the Senator their own experience of distress, and not from the asserfrom Massachusetts. On the contrary, they say that the tions of a single set of proceedings, where even the numproducts of their industry meet with a ready' demand, bers attending are not given. and bear a good price; that they are cheered by increas. Mr. CLAY said, that if these proceedings were a spe. ing prosperity; and that their spirits are high.

cimen of the mass which the gentleman from Pennsylva

« ZurückWeiter »