« ZurückWeiter »
APRIL 29, 1834.]
Signers to Bank Memorials.-Polish Exiles.- Hanover ( Pa.) Proceedings.
to relieve the country from the evils which it has produ
HANOVER (PA.) PROCEEDINGS. ced. Those who believe that the existing distress is con
Mr. WILKINS moved that the Senate take up the confined to the cities, and that it will soon subside without sideration of the proceedings and resolutions from Hanolegislative interference, will in due time discover the fal- ver, Pa., presented to the Senate by Mr. Clay on the lacy of that opinion. The cities are indeed the first to 25th instant, which, on Mr. Wilkins's motion, were then suffer from such causes, but the solvent city merchant (after debate) laid on the table. soon relieves himself by contracting his business, and by
The motion having been agreed tocalling upon the country trader, to whom he has given
Mr. Wilkins said, that, when these resolutions had credit, for payment. The country trader calls upon the been presented to the Senate, his attention was attracted by agriculturalist, the inechanic, the laborer, and the manu- the peculiar harshness of the censure cast upon the Gove facturer, to whom he had given credit, to furnish him the ernor of Pennsylvania, in the first branch of the resolumeans of paying his city creditor. The agriculturalist, tion read, and which, it was presumed, had led the Senfrom the lessened demand for and reduced price of his ator from Kentucky into a misapprehension of his charproduce, the mechanic and the laborer from diminished acter and popularity. He had no disposition to say ? employment and reduced wages, and the manufacturer word in relation to the right of the people to express from the entire suspension or reduced profits of his busi- their opinions on all public men and public measures; but ness, are unable to respond to his calls, without making on this occasion, he deemed it proper to correct the ruinous sacrifices. Thus that which brings partial relief to errors into which the gentleman (Mr. Clay) had fallen, the city, transfers the distress to the country. Evils like when he undertook to comment on the public character this are never of short duration. Years will probably pass of Governor Wolf. The political adversaries of this genaway before the country will be restored to that prosperi- tleman charge him with no errors in the administration of ty from wbich this unjustifiable and vindictive act of the the Government of the State; and in the absence of facts, Ésecutive has precipitated it. This Executive experi- which might be supposed to bear on questions of public ment has alrea.ly thrown thousands of families out of those policy, the sweeping denunciation of vacillating and employments which afforded their only means of obtain: time-serving” was pronounced against him. Now every ing a comfortable support, and if persisted in will extend trait in the public and private character of that officer, to the remotest districts of the country, and bring distress gives a negative to the charge preferred against him in and ruin apon all classes excepting the rich moneyed the resolution from Hanover. He is neither "vacillating" capitalist and the salaried office-holder.
in policy on measures deeply affecting our interest, nor The memorial was then read, referred to the Committee time-serving” as a statesman on questions which involved on Finance, and ordered to be printed.
differences of opinion throughout a vast portion of our SIGNERS TO BANK MEMORIALS,
country. Those who know him, cannot but in candor Mr. CLAY moved to take up the report containing an award him the merit of being firm and persevering in his account of the aggregate number of individuals who had patriotic career. And to the unwavering purposes of signed memorials for and against the United States Bank. Governor Wolf, in these respects, is Pennsylvania much By the report, it appeared that 114,914 persons had pe indebted for the early completion of a system of internal titioned for relief from the distress consequent upon the improvement, so justly the pride of an intelligent and inlate act of the Executive, and 8,721 had presented me- dustrious people. Ai one time the expediency of our morials of an opposite character. Mr. C. moved that the improvements, and the whole canal policy, involved report be printed, with 1,000 additional copies.
doubts, and for a while the action of Government was arMr. FORSYTH would like to know how many persons rested—it was even believed a majority of the Legislahad signed memorials from the city of Philadelphia. ture would make an impression unfavorable to measures
The SECRETARI intimated that he could not immediately recommended by the Executive. Was is at this peculiar give this information. The account of the meetings in crisis that Mr. Wolf manifested a "vacillating and timePhiladelpbia was not in a condensed form-was scattered serving" conduct in the administration of our affairs? over the report.
Certainly not. He persevered with our friends of the Mr. FORSYTH then, with the permission of the Senator system, until completion has at length united all parties from Kentucky, would move to lay the report on the table in the pleasing anticipations that the welfare and prosuntil tomorrow. He would examine it in the mean time, perity of the State, by means so zealously pursued under and procure the information he required.
his auspices, must be onward and triumphant. Neither Mr. CLAY had no objection.
the censure contained in the resolution read, nor the POLISH EXILES.
comments of the gentleman by whom the proceedings
froin Hanover were presented, can be sustained in referMr. POINDEXTER, with the leave of the Senator from ence to the measures of Governor Wolf's administration. Pennsylvania, would make a report. The Committee on Mr. W. said the presumption was, that the proceedings Public Lands, to whom was referred the petition of 235 referred to, and the honorable Senator's erroneous opinPoles, recently arrived in this country, had intrusted him ions growing out of the same, had been predicated on a to make a report, accompanied with a bill. The commit- message from the Executive sent to the Legislature on lee did not recognise the policy of granting land, gener- the 26th February last, in which he considered the deally, to foreigners who sought refuge on these shores; plorable condition into which the financial concerns of but were of opinion than an exception should be made in Pennsylvania had been brought. The attention of the favor of the gallant and unfortunate strangers, in the pres. Senate be would call to the opinion of the Chief Magis. ent case. After passing a eulogium upon Poland and trate of his State: it was clear, manly, and unequivocal; her noble sons, the report went on to describe the pecu- and was delivered under a deep conviction from the best lar case of the petitioners, and concluded by recommend- evidence, that the Bank of the United States had improping that a portion of land be granted to them in Michi-erly and wantonly interfered to injure and depress the gan, or some other suitable Territory. Mr. P. said he credit of Pennsylvania. The following was read from would ask that the bill he had presented be made a spe- Governor Wolf's message of the 26th February last: cial order for Thursday week. "If any thing were done in "Various causes have been assigned for this alarming this matter, it was necessary that it should be done quick- state of things, all more or less plausible. Among others, ly. The early attention of the Senate would enable the it is said that the removal of the deposites from the Bank House to act upon the subject during the present session. of the United States by the General Government, has been The proposition was agreed to.
the means of producing all the mischief and pressure
Hanover (Pa.) Proceedings.
(April 29, 1834.
under which the country is now laboring; and yet many In 1829, said Mr. W., when the country was not agiof the friends of that institution admit that a restoration tated by the removal of the public deposites, the credit of of the deposites is not necessary to a relief of the money my State was seriously affected by the combination of a market.
moneyed power, connected with ihe Bank of PennsylvaWhatever other causes may exist, it cannot be dis- nia, at that time seeking a renewal of its charter. The guised that we have among us a powerful moneyed insti. fiscal embarrassments and momentary depression of our tution, which is at this time seeking, by all the means of credit, interestedly and artfully produced, although they which it is capable, to accomplish certain objects indis- succeeded, he might say, in coercing a renewal of the pensable to its existence; and, having an energetic, a firm, charter, yet not without stipulations advantageous to the und unbending antagonist to contend against, all its ener-public interests. Mr. W. was desirous to detail a stategies and all its powers (and they are of no ordinary char-ment of a particular fact, not generally known, and bear. acter) have been put in motion to defeat his measures, and ing on this case. How far the bank has had an agency to frustrate his designs in relation to it.
in the transaction, every man will decide for himself. “It can scarcely be doubted, from the course of opera. Mr. W. would draw no conclusion, nor should he undertions that institution has been pursuing for some time past, take to ascribe any sinister motive to the directors of the (whether justifiable or not, I will not undertake to deter- bank. In the act for the renewal of the charter of the mine,) that the State is indebted in a great measure for Bank of Pennsylvania, it is stipulated that the bank, if its disappointments heretofore, and for the failure to ob- called on, is to loan to the Commonwealth one million of tain its loans of Saturday last. Whether by bringing in- dollars annually, at an interest of 5 per cent., for the term discriminate ruin and distress upon an unoffending com- of three years, after the 1st of January, 1831. But the munity by the bank, is the most certain mode of obtaining State was obliged to demand or give notice of the requi. a return of the public deposites, or a renewal of its char- sition by the first of January, in each year. Of course, it ter, or an extension of time to wind up its business, is a will be perceived, the right of the State of Pennsylvania question for those who have the direction and manage to make the call for one million of dollars ceased on the ment of its affairs to determine. The State of Pennsyl- 1st of January, 1834, by limitation in the charter. On vania may be crippled and embarrassed in her pecuniary the 16th of December preceding, the Messrs. Allens, who arrangements, and paralyzed, for a time, in her efforts had contracted for our loans, paid the usual monthly into complete her great chain of improvements, by the de- stalment, and no intimation was given of their inability to pressing policy of the bank, but that is no reason why we meet their subsequent monthly engagements. Now, let should despair of the commonwealth. Our public works it be distinctly marked, that it was in their letter dated on may languish for a season, but will not be suffered to lan- the third day of January, addressed to the Governor, that guish long. The resources of the State are ample; her they first communicated their disastrous news of “prescredit is unimpaired; her public stocks, although under a sure” in the money market, and first intimated their want momentary pressure at home, are highly acceptable of means to meet future engagements. abroad, and will, before long, be as eagerly sought after Mr. W. would ask, why was this important in Sarmaby the capitalist as ever; the crisis of our pecuniary af- tion withheld until after the critical day of the first of fairs must soon arrive, if we have not already reached it; January bad irrevocably passed, when the State might the clouds of despondency and distress which have been, have demanded of the Bank of Pennsylvania one million in my humble estimation, inconsiderately and heedlessly of dollars, at an interest of five per cent., under the char. brought upon us, must soon be removed, and a happy ter to aid in the completion of the public works? The change and a more prosperous era must inevitably await interest of the Messrs. Allens, connected with their liabili
ties to the State, could not have been injured by frankly Mr. W., in continuation, observed, that, from the best imparting the intelligence at an earlier day. The agensources of information in possession of the Executive of cy of the Bank of the United States in this transaction Pennsylvania, the Governor was deeply impressed with Mr. W. did not pretend to understand. Those who the conviction that the Bank of the United States had heard him must form their own judgments. But it must i:nproperly pursued a course, for some time previous to never be lost sight of, and can never be forgotten by this message, calculated to bring “indiscriminate ruin Pennsylvania, that the Allens have acknowledged the cuand distress upon an unoffending community," and that rious and striking fact, that the kind interference of the the power of the bank to do mischief, and oppress the Bank of the United States had enabled them to pay the country, became apparent from the efforts ascribed to instalment on the 16th of December, 1833, only two that institution, wlicther justifiable or not, in relation to weeks before the expiration of that month, with the end the public loans.
of which also expired the provisions of an act which had On the memorable 26th of February last, all eyes were prudently been made to meet any wants in our financial turned towards (larrisburg. An expression of opinion concerns! If this condemning fact be true, the Bank of by the Legislature or Executive respecting the bank, at the United States (during the distress in the money this peculiar period of momentary embarrassment in the market, and after the diminution of their own means) financial operations of our State Government, was a sub- aided the Allens to pass the critical day of the first of ject of no inconsiderable solicitude and deep interest January, and the moment that hour had passed, and our with the friends and adversaries of that moneyed institu- embarrassments were sealed, they slipped the plank tion every where. Harrisburg appeared to be regarded from under the Allens, and suffered them to sink! 'It is as the scene of action at this momentous crisis, where the enough to repeat, that the aid given just before, was allied armies of the bank intended to rally. It was evi- withheld immediately after the first of January! Whether dent, that in this political warfare Pennsylvania was view. this was a scheme or a combination between these broed as the “Belgium” of the continent, and that the bat- kers and the Bank of the United States, I do not pretend tle of “Waterloo" was to be fought at the seat of Gov- to determine, said Mr. W. But it is true, that our credit ernment. Every effort was exerted to procure an ex- was destroyed; our financial concerns so embarrassed as pression favorable to the renewal of the charter, and a to threaten, if not entirely to overthrow, our whole restoration of the deposites; but the course of policy scheme of State policy and internal improvement. Not which had marked the directory of that institution for a dollar could be borrowed, nor even a bid obtained for some time previous, had sealed its condemnation with the temporary loan of $300,000. Our five per cent. the Executive, Legislature, and a vast portion of the peo- loans, which had been up at 114 and 1141, sunk down to ple of Pennsylvania.
I par. All was dismay. Our Executive and Legislature,
APRIL 29, 1834.]
Hanover (Pa.) Proceedings.
deeply impressed with this appalling state of public af- of that election, not to political considerations, but to the fairs, it became necessary for the Chief Magistrate to act. circumstance that it was the place that gave birth to a son He did not proceed rashly-he was at the source of in- so distinguished, and of whom she had every reason to be formation, and had continued intercourse with the friends so proud. Had the election terminated otherwise, and and adversaries of the bank. And after vicwing the had not the good people of Hanover given their votes for whole ground, and ascertaining all the facts bearing upon their native son, I would then say they ought to suffer the existing state of things, he honestly formed his own Long-and-Hungry," to be trampled under “Negroopinion, and, under all the solemnity and responsibility foot," and to have the name of their county changed to of his high office, on the 26th February last, in the per- that of “ Hell-town.” formance of his duty, made a communication to the Le Mr. CLAY said, that he thought the Senator from gislature, on the disordered state of their financial con- Pennsylvania (Mr. Wilkins) should have imitated the cerns. At this time, the Governor, Executive officers, more prudent example of his colleague, and silently left Legislature, and a great portion of the people of Penn- the conduct of Governor Wolf to its own vindication. sylvania, took their stand, and assumed their present atti- | The explanation of the Senator has not justified it. The tude, in reference to the conduct of the Bank of the people of Hanover district, in York county, charge their United States.
Chief Magistrate, in resolutions which relate to the deNow, Mr. President, I do not pretend to ascribe to that posites and the Bank of the United States, with a vacilmessage or that attitude, the success and prosperity which iating and time-serving course. The charge must be unimmediately followed; but, sir, it is very certain that, im- derstood as referring to the subject of the deposites and mediately after this frank but modest expression of opin- of the Bank. And what is the defence of the Senator? ion, our credit revived; the temporary loan of $300,000 That the Governor is very firm and uniform in respect to was presently taken; the larger loan of $729,000 at five the internal improvements of Pennsylvania! But he ex. per cent. was also contracted for; and the whole amount pressly admits the alleged vacillation, when he acknowlof money necessary for the prosecution of our admirable edges that the Governor has recently been for the bank, policy is offered to us, and for which there will, no doubt, ard is now against it. be considerable competition. From the moment of which Mr. President, when the Governor's unexpected megI speak, when we assumed this position adverse to the sage arrived here, it was felt by all parties that he had Bank of the United States, Pennsylvania stocks began to thrown his great weight into the scale of the President. rise, and they are already up at 108, and are ascending. It was blazoned forth by the administration party and The Senator from Kentucky asks me from wbat quarter prints, that the Governor had come out in favor of the comes this money? I answer, from the other side of the removal of the deposites, and against the bank. It was Atlantic, where our credit never has been impaired. Gov- felt bere, as the Senator from Georgia expressed it, as a ersor Wolf was right when he intimated that the im- damper. It was believed that several votes in another proper conduct and machinations of the bank might part of the Capitol, which had been doubtful, were deembarrass us at home, but could not affect us abroad, cided by it. where our vast resources, and our punctuality in comply And on what evidence does the Governor, in his very ing with our engagements were well known and properly modest charge against the bank of carrying ruin into an appreciated. Surely, the Senator from Kentucky will unoffending community, rely? We have it officially, in not complain that our character stands so high with Eu- a document dated eight days after the date of the Governropean capitalists, and that they are willing to send their or's message, that, although about nine millions of public money, at a low interest, across the ocean, to build up our deposites had been withdrawn, the bank had only lessendomestic improvements, and to complete a policy upon ed'its accommodations to the public about four millions. which Pennsylvania believes the happiness and prosperity Instead, therefore, of the bank withdrawing its accomof her citizens depend.
modations and preparing to wind up, as the President inI have no right to speak of the private sentiments of tended, and thereby inflicting distress upon the commuGovernor Wolf, in relation to the Bank of the United nity, it had actually forborne to call in a sum equal to States, not having had the honor of any correspondence one-half of the withdrawn deposites. with him this winter; but, if I am permitted to throw out But it seems, and he (Mr. c.) was glad of it, that before the Senate any presumption upon the subject, I Pennsylvania had obtained foreign capital to aid in the might say, I think it likely he is opposed to the re-charter completion of their laudable works of internal improve. of the present bank. What his opinion upon the ulti- ment—that foreign capital, the acquisition of which is mate question of a national bank may be, I cannot tell. reprobated by the President of the United States! He
Mr. W. concluded by saying: Mr. President, I ascribe (Mr. C.) would admit the great advantage to a young and what I will not call by the harsh name of an attack upon growing people of such acquisitions. But he would inthe Governor of Pennsylvania, but the error into which quire how the Bank of the United States did ever prethe Senator from Kentucky has fallen, in reference to his vent, or could prevent, at any time, the Governor of character, to the circumstance or curious coincidence of Pennsylvania from negotiating loans abroad? aanes which seems to have given him unusual animation With respect to the message of the Governor, Mr. C. of spirits on Friday last. It appears that upon that morn- believed it susceptible of proof that, not three days being he received the news of the result of the elections in fore the message was sent in, the Governor expressed Hanover, Virginia, and, at the same time, these proceed- different sentiments, and avowed himself in favor of a ings from Hanover, Pennsylvania, were put into his hands. re-charter of the Bank of the United States. The SenaThis coincidence appears to have fushed the gentleman tor admits his change of opinion about the bank. What with certain victory, and his manner of communicating has produced it? Although the President asserts, in his the intelligence induced me, for a moment, to suppose we cabinet paper, that new facts had been disclosed since the were all prostrated, and, for a while, I was overcome by large majority of the House of Representatives declared, great political depression. I took my seat under great at the last session, the safety of the bank, not one solita“pressure" and "distress,” not knowing that I possessed ry new fact of any importance has come out. As to the sufficient philosophy to bear me up under the overwhelm- circulation of printed documents by the bank, that fact, ing tidings of such political adversity. But I was imme- and all other charges made by the Executive against it, diately relieved and cheered when this Hanover, in Vir- were as well known at the last session of Congress, and ginia, was announced as the birth-place of the Senator as well known to the Governor at Harrisburg, when he from Kentucky. I then immediately ascribed the result expressed an official opinion in favor of the re-charter, as
Hanover (Pa.) Proceedings.- President's Protest.
(APRIL 29, 1834.
they now are. What, then, has changed the opinion of a principle can be found. The language of this commuthis firm, consistent, and uniform magistrate?
nication is certainly respectful, decorous, and courteous Mr. President, our systems, Federal and State, are so to this body. Not one barsh expression is used by the interwoven and blended; the public acts of one system Chiet Magistrate. This, even the gentleman from Virexert such influence upon the other; that I feel myself ginia, (Mr. LEIGH,] who does not view this paper, or any fully authorized in commenting upon the official conduct other act of the President, with too favorable an eye, ad. of any public man; especially when I feel that it has pow- mits; therefore, no exception to its reception, in respect erfully operated on the public councils of which I am an to the language employed, can be maintained. humble member; and more especially when the people It is said, however, that some of the principles and of Pennsylvania had, without any solicitation, devolved doctrines it contains are unsound. Even if this were so, on me the duty of presenting resolutions, in which they which I by no means admit, it would constitute no obbring forward in bold relief the conduct of their Gov. jection to its reception; because the Senate, by receive
ing it, gives no sanction to them. They are the Presi. The honorable Senator says, the great battle of Wa. dent's views and opinions, not the views and opinions of terloo was fought at Harrisburg. ii'it were, Governor the Senate, more than the sentiments contained in an anWolf was the Marshal Grouchy of the day, who failed to (nual message, which may be entirely at variance with the bring up his corps on the side of the constitution, laws, opinions entertained by the Senate. Still, such commuand prosperity of his country.
nications, and all others, made in the progress of the ses. After some further remarks, by Mr. Mangun and Mr. sion by the Chief Magistrate, are always received, entered Clay, the motion to refer the memorial was agreed to. upon the Journals, and printed by order of the Senate.
Mr. WEBSTER gave notice that he would to-morrow If, then, a well-founded objection exists, it must be in call up the military appropriation bill from the other this: that the President should not have addressed the House, now lying on the table; and that he should move Senate at all upon this subject. Gentlemen on the other to suspend the debate on the special order, for the pur-side say that such a message has never been transmitted pose of going into the consideration of Executive business. by any President of the United States to this body. To
this I answer, that the Senate, at no former period, has PRESIDENT'S PROTEST.
done an act which called for such a message. This body The Senate then proceeded to the consideration of the never, until this session, has passed a vote of censure special order, being the resolutions offered by Mr. Poin. upon a Chief Magistrate. Was Washington ever accu. Dexter, as modified by Mr. CLAY.
sed of crime by this body? Was the elder Adams, Jef. The question being on the motion of Mr. BIBB to ferson, Madison, Monroe, or the younger Adams, ever amend
condemned by a vote of the Senate? Were either of Mr. GRUNDY addressed the Chair as follows: them ever formally accused of usurping power not
Mr. President: Men are never so much exposed 10 er- granted by the constitution or the laws, and by a deliberror as when called on to decide upon the propriety of ate vote of this body pronounced to be guilty? No, their own conduct, or the extent of their own rights and never! privileges; and the danger is greatly increased when the If, then, there be any thing of novelty in this proceed. decision is to be made amidst high public excitement, ing of the Executive, it has its origin and justification in produced by the contests of political parties. This is at the conduct of the Senate; and in every controversy of this moment the condition of the American Senate. This this kind, it is material to ascertain which party is the as. body has done an act, the propriety of which is gravely sailant, and which merely stands on its defence, in order called in question by the head of another independent de- to determine who should be answerable for the consepartment of the Government, who considers himself deep- quences that may follow. Hy implicated, and much injured, by the proceedings of The power of the Senate, and the propriety of adopt. the Senate.
ing the resolution complained of by the President, is deIt is a controversy of no ordinary character. The par- fended upon the ground that it is preparatory to a legis. ties to it are high public functionaries—as high as any lative act. The history of this proceeding will best test known to our Government or constitution. This contro- the correctness of this allegation. The resolution was versy, if carried out to the extent contemplated by some introduced on the 26th of December last, in company with gentlemen, may even shake the pillars of the fairest polit- another, declaring that the reasons assigned by the Secreical fabric ever erected by the wisdom of man.
tary of the Treasury were insufficient and unsatisfactory. Under this view of the subject, can it be right that Sen. After a discussion of some months, the other resolution ators sbould act under the impulse of angry passions? So was referred to the Committee on Finance. This refer. far from it, it seems to me that cool deliberation, sober ence was with a view to legislative action. This every reflection, and, I will add, extreme caution, befit the oc- Senator knew; it was so avowed and understood by all. casion. I will not, therefore, obey the invocation of the But this resolution remained upon the table of the Senate, Senator from Mississippi, [Mr. POINDexter,] when he because it was apparent that no lcgislative act could be asks Senators to bring their indignant feelings into action predicated upon it. If gentlemen designed that legislain the consideration of this subject. So far from it, ex- tion should spring out of this resolution, why was it not cept that agitation which the importance of the occasion referred also to the appropriate committee? The conclu. produces, I will be calm, and command every turbulent sion is irresistible; none was designed by this body, what. and violent feeling to be still. Others may contend for ever may have been the expectation of particular memvictory. My bumble labors shall be directed to the bers. The other resolution contains fit matters for Consafety of the republic, and the tranquillity of the country. gress to act upon. They can provide for the safe keep
For the first time in the history of this Government, ing of the public moneys in any depositories they please, now in operation 45 years, a motion is made to reject, or and they ought to do so; nor shall we have discbarged not to receive, a message from the President of the our duty to the country without making suitable provis. United States. This step can derive no aid or sanction ions upon that subject at the present session. Congress from precedent. It has never been done before. No can also prescribe the terms and conditions upon which such proposition is to be found on the records of the the public inoneys shall be drawn from these depositories. proceedings of this body. If it can be justified, it must They can throw what safeguards they please around the be upon some principle existing in the case itself. public treasure; and the President and all other officers
I propose, in a brief manner, to examine whether such lwill be bound to conform to the regulations thus pre.
APRIL 29, 1834. )
scribed; and, in failure to do so, they will be guilty of the estimation of all men, he would be a traitor and an misconduct in the discharge of their public duties. enemy to his country. In case of homicide, the unlawful
Upon the resolution respecting the insufficiency of the killing being proved, the law presumes the evil intent reasons of the Secretary of the Treasury, which was re- from the unlawful act. This Senate has found the Chief ported upon favorably by the Committee on Finance, all| Magistrate guilty of an unlawful act, which, if done with and every act of legislation can be founded which may an evil intent, makes him a high culprit. The law, acbe deemed necessary in relation to the safe keeping and cording to the principle I have laid down, accompanies preservation of the public money. But I should be glad the act with the criminal intent, unless he shall show the to hear what provision, in the form of law, can be based absence of any evil design on his part. upon the resolution now under consideration. If gentle. [Here Mr. Leigu asked Mr. GRUNDY to yield the floor men shall say, they mean to legislate so as to prohibit re. to him; and remarked, that he wholly disagreed to the mosals from office without the consent of the Senate, in positions laid down by him.] order to prevent a recurrence of such circumstances as Mr. Grundy replied: This shows how fallible we are. have lately taken place, my answer is, that the constitu- We can't agree—such is the nature of our positions upon tion gives the power of removal in the unqualified man- the plainest and best established principles. The princi. ner in which it has been exercised, and Congress cannot ple I have laid down can be found even in Blackstone's take it away by law. Further, if the Senator from Ken. Commentaries; can be found in every elementary treatise tucky (Mr. Clar) originally intended to proceed in this on criminal law. So familiar is it to my mind, that I can way, he abandoned that intention by the introduction of state it almost verbatim from memory, as found in East's another resolution now pending before the Senate, in Crown Law. The principle is, the implication of malice which it is declared expressly that this power of removal arises in every instance of homicide, amounting, in point is not given to the Executive by the constitution. of law, to murder; and in every charge of murder, the
I therefore conclude, that no legislative act was mtend. fact of killing being first proved, all the circumstances of ed or could grow out of the resolution which has given accident, necessity, or infirmity, are to be satisfactorily rise to the protest of the President now under considera- proved by the prisoner, unless they arise out of the evi. tion. The language of the resolution is, “ That the dence produced against him. President, in the late Executive proceedings in relation I think I can say without vanity, that however defecto the public revenue, has assumed upon himself author- tive in knowledge I may be on other subjects, I have some ity and power not conferred by the constitution and laws, acquaintance with the principles of criminal law, and I but in derogation of both.” 'Upon its face, and by its am unwilling that it shall be believed that I misstate them language, it is wholly retrospective, and does not indicate here. My constituents and my colleagues of the other a design to legislate with a view to prevent repetitions of House, whom I see before me, would not have charity such infractions of the constitution and laws as are charged enough to believe that I had done it ignorantly. The in it. As I understand it, and as I believe the people will presumption with them would be, that it had been done understand it, it is wholly accusatory and condemnatory. knowingly and with an evil intent. As further evidence of this, it has been adopted for sever-, [Mr. Clay here asked Mr. Grundy, if an indictment al weeks, and no proposition to proceed further upon for treason would be good without charging that the overt the subject of its contents has been made by any Senator. act had been done traitorously.] It is a judgment against the President, pronounced by a Mr. Grundy replied, Certainly not. Nor is the indict. majority of this body, condemning him of high crimes and ment which we have found against the Chief Magistrate, misdemeanors—a judgment inoperative, so far as to de- good and sufficient in law. It is defective in form, and prive him of office or disqualify hin from holding places wants a portion of the substance, but we have found all of trust under the constitution, because the accusation the facts necessary to a conviction, and we have prowas not preferred by the House of Representatives, the nounced the law upon them. We have said by our reso). only accusers known to the constitution; because not pro- lutions that the Chief Magistrate has done particular acts, nounced by this tribunal upon a case regularly presented and we have declared also, that the acts thus done were to its consideration and decision; and because not pro- unconstitutional and unlawful. His case is adjudged. It nounced by two-thirds of this body. But for every pur- is decided, if the position assumed by me in reference to pose touching character and public standing, so far as the the criminal intent be correct. Now, what remains to be voice of twenty-six Senators can go, he stands condemned! done?.. Only that the House of Representatives present
Gentlemen say, that although the Senate has pro- their indictment or articles of impeachment drawn out in nounced the conduct of the Executive unconstitutional the usual form, stating that Andrew Jackson, President and illegal, it has not imputed to him a criminal intent. of the United States, not having the fear of God before This is true; but surely I need not argue or produce au- his eyes; but being moved and seduced by the instigation thority to prove to this tribunal, composed chiefly of of the devil, did do and perform certain acts, (specifying learned lawyers, the principle which exists in the criminal them,) upon which this resolution is based, with an evil jurisprudence of this and every other enlightened country, and wicked intent and purpose, &c. Then he stands that where an unlawful act is committed, which, if done before us for trial. with a criminal intent, would be punishable, the law. Already have we done that which will relieve us from presumes or supplies the criminal intent; and it lies upon all serious difficulty and trouble. Shoukl he deny the the party accused to show that it was committed under existence of the facts referred to by: the resolution, the circuinstances which do away or destroy that legal pre- Senate has solemnly declared that the facts do exist; they samplion. I will illustrate this. Suppose, on a day of were found before the trial commenced, before the acbattle, an American citizen shall be found in the ranks of cusation was preferred, and found by the ultimate triers Ule enemy; the law considers him a traitor; and upon of the facts, and their finding is on record. Hitherto, it proof of that fact, and that alone, he would be convicted has been understood that the law and the facts were open and executed; because the presumption of the law, arising to a full and impartial investigation upon the final trial froin the fact of his being in the ranks of the enemy, of a party accused. In this case, should the President would be, that he was there traitorously-still, he might be brought forward, and put upon his trial, and attempt prove that he had been taken captive; that he had been to show that all the powers exercised by bim were conplaced in that situation by superior force. This would ferred by the constitution and laws, there stands the be a good defence. He would be acquitted: but until judgment of the Senate on record, declaring they are not he shall make out his case, in the eye of the law and in Igiven; the law of the case is settled, as well as the facts.