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title: 'Salt River journal. (Bowling Green, Mo.) 1833-1841, August 08, 1840, Image 1',
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A. H. BUCKNER, Suitor and Proprietor. 'power ,s ever stealing from the mast 'to the few." G. B. TRICE, Ppbush
VOL. 7 NUMBER 43. BOWUNG " WHOLE NUMBER 355.
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From the Indiana Sentinel.
THE CRY OP HARD TIMES.
Its injlutmce. Times in 1 824, vnder a United
Stales Bank, by Henry Clay's showing.
Ifagesin 1824. Times under John Quincy
Adams; at Jirst artificial excitement, then
great suffering. Speculations in the spring
of 1 825. Rnrulsion in the winter of
1825-6. Swindling by moneyed institu
tions in spite of the Gicat Regulator.
What is the great cause of hard limes?
Mr. Biddle sumonei as a witness. His
. tcisc decison in 1 823. Which of the two
parties encourages over-banking and over
bading f The Whigs; who therfore en
courage the true cause of hard times.
Prices of produce in 1821, 1C2S and
One of the expedients to which the Whig
I'artv now greatly trusts for success and t
which they have never failed to resort on
ihe eve of an election, if they had any ex
cuse for it, is the old cry of
They calculate, shrewdly enough, that
what touches a man's pocket is very likely
to awaken his attention, and influence his
And if it coul J lc shown, that the policy
of the Administration or the measures of the
Democratic Party caused, or had a direct
tendency to cause national distress and
pecuniary emliarrassmcnt, it would be a pood
reason why "the Goths should be driven from
But is this so? The Whigs say it is.
They tell us, that the recent "experiments
on the currency," the specie circular, the
veto of the United States Bank, the subse
quent encouragement given totheSta'e Banks,
and the prospect of passing an Independent
Treasury Kill wih a specie clause, are the
direct and all sufficient causes that have pro
duced, and are producing, the present hard
They must surely imasinc that we have
verv short memories. What was the state
of matters in 1824? Every old politician
remembers it well. What "experiments
with the currency had then been made by
the administration? None. Had any specie
circular been issued? No. Had the United
States Bank been vetoed? On the contrary,
it was in full operation, had been chartered
eight years and had twelve years still to go
on. Had the Pet Banks then bepn made
despositores? No, the deposites were made
in the United States Bank alone. Was an
Independent Treasury Bill with .1 specie
clause then about to pass? No; such a
measure had not even been talked or thought
Well, then, at that time, aided by the Great j
. ... . r t j i
Regulator, the United antes nan., ana pos
sessed of the "best currency in the world,
with no loco-foco President to carry on war
against commerce and banking and credit,
what was the State of the country? We
repeat to our Whis opponents, the question,
WHAT WAS THE STATE OF THE
COUNTRY IN 1824?
' Have they forgotten? If they have, let
them permit me to refresh their r. emories;
and I shall do so from a source to which they,
at least, can make no objection.
At page 182 of Henry Clay's life byj
G D. Prentice; or if that be not nt hand, at
page 487 of volume 2G of Niles' Register fori
the year 1824, will be found a Tariff speech
of Mr. Clay's, delivered in that year, from
which the following is an extract. I hope
both Whigs and Democrats will read every
word ol it: !
"In catting oor eyes aionnd u the most prominent
circumctancc which files onr attention and challen
'ges deepert regret, is the general distress tchitk per
cede the whole country. It is indicated by the di
minished exports of native produce; bv the depressed
nad redaoed state of our foreign navigation; by our
diminished commerce; BV SUCCESSIVE UN
THRASHED CROPS OF GRAIN, PERISHING
IN OUR BARNS AND YARDS FOR WANTOF A
MARKET; by the alarming diminution of onr cir
culating mediom ; by the numerous bsokraptcies not
limited to the trading classses, bat extending to all
classes of society s by aa universal complaint of want
f employment, and a consequent reduction of the
wages of labor; by tbe ravlnous pursuit after public
situations, not tor the sake of the honors and tbe per
formance of their duties, but as a meaas of private
subsistence by the reluctant resoit to tbe perilous
osa of paper money; by the intervention of legisla.
bed in tbe delicate relation between debtor and cred
itors and above all by the U "- depreutdttaU of
almost every description nf the whole matt of properly
of the nation: WHICH HAS, on an svernr:e, SUNK
NOT IEM THAN FIFTY" TER f EST WITHIN
A FEW YEARS." . .
Ay! there it stands? Such was the state
of things in 1824! Successive unthrashed
crops of grain pei ishing in the barns for
want of a market! Universal bankruptcies!
No employment to be had ! Hungry office
seekers prowling over the land! Stay laws
passed! and property reduced, in a few years
observe to half its fomnr value. Yet
during these fewyears, and for years before,
the U. S. Bank had existed and acted and
regulated. Eight years was a prety fair
trial. And yet commerce was prostrated,
the farmer ruined, relief laws required, and
property sunk to the lowest ebb. How can
modern Whig logic explain this? No "tink
ering with the currency, no Jackson or Van
Buren. with their hard money humbug, or
their Sub-Treasury notions, to scare pros
perity from the land! Not one of the causes
in existence, which they say are no reduc
ing wages to the level of those obtained by
the peasantry of Europe. But let us read a
little further from the same speech, and hear
what Mr. Clay says on this very subject of
"The truth is, lint no class of society suffers more
in the tta-uation of business than tbe laboring dsn.
That is a necessary effect of the depret'iou of agri
culture, Ibe principal business of the community.
The waces of able-bodied men vnrv FROM FIVE
TO EIGHT DOLLARS PER MONTH: snd inch
has been the want of employment, in some parts
of the Union, that intnnee linve not been unfrequent
of mm working merely for the meant of suhsislcnee.
If the wages of lalor here and in England are com
pared, Ihev will befonod NOT TO BE ESSENTIAL
If I had not pointed to day and date, book
and pae, I should expect the Whig Party
stoutly to deny, that these were Henry Clay's
words in 1824. Wagesreio eight dollars
a month! Many men working for a bare
subsistence-! And hnrdlv anv difference
between the wanes of the working man of
America and the English labor! And all this
in the very hey-day of the I'nited States
Bank, that panacea for the cure of the pres
ent hard times!
Let them twist Mr. Buchanan's speech as
they will, and add Mr. Davis's comments
until they arc weary; and what results, even
then, can they prophecy from the Indeend
ent Treasury Bill, that were not actually
produced in 1324, by Clay's own showing,
under a United States Bank?
At what loop-hole will they creep out
now? Perhaps they will argue, that 4hs
hard times in 1324 were produced by bad
crops and unfavorable seasons, of which we
have not now to complain. If this be their
argument, Henry Clay shall set them right
npain. In the same speerh (prizes 123 and
184 of Prentice's Work) Mr. Clay beautiful
"All our ditUetsei Latetrura finu human caus
es. The showers nf heaven fell upon our fields as
bountifully as ever; the morning sun nnd cveniu;
lew visited bill anil valley with their quicknin- pow
er; the yraily ofTertrg which the huibandman csl
upon the earth was touched with the blessings nf
Heaven at visibly as the sacrifi.-e of the prophet of
oM, which was crowned by tbe fire st the hill of Car
met; no "scourge of God" was passing among us,
to blast our plains with fi'e nnd mil pie blood in the
fountains of which we drink. And therefore, what
ever might be tbe ciu'rs of the distress that pervaded
Ibe land, they were lobe sonant fur ia erents within
our an control."
So that the seasons and the harvests were
not the cause. It was "within our oirn con
fro." Now, if a United States Bank were char
tered tomorrow; nay even if, by granting
liberal accommodations all over the country,
it caused an appearance of easy times for a
season, who shall assure us that in a few years
Irom now Ihe very same commercial desola
tion which swept over the land in 1824,may
not, even under the fiscal rule of the" Great
Regulator." visit us again?
Some have argued, plausibly enough, that
the panic of 1824, was chiefly a politicial
trick, employed to aid the election of John
Quincy Adams, who took his seat as Presi
dent on the fourth of March following.
This may have had some effect; but we
should probably do wronz to consider that
the chief cause of these hard times; for they
continued, with greater or less severity,
through the whole four years when John
Quincy Adams was President; a proof, by
the way, how little the success of the Whig
Party of those days, with their United States
Bank to aid them, improved the hard times.
It is true that, for a short time after the
election of Mr. Adams, things seemed to
improve with marvellous rapidity. In 'Gouge's
history of banking," (page 179) the follow
ing facts are recorded:
"Three million dollart were subscribed in one day
(in January 18555) to tbo stock of the New Jersey
Lombard and Protection Company thongh its capital as
fixed by law was only three hundred tbousaad dallars.
Aine million dollart were subscribed in April to the
New York Water Campaoy ; and by some contriv
ance its scrip was raised is the market to thirty per
cent, above par. Thirteen millions were subscribed
in May to tbe Delaware and Raritan Canal Compa
ny. Between tbe 5th and 6th of February, tbe stock
of tbe New York Gas Company, advanced 23 per
cent, and was sold at 178.
" It wss not only in dealings inue stocks of chat
tered companies that great activity prevailed. More
commercial buiinesswas said to have been done in
Philadelphia in tbe month of Febrnary than in any
one month of the preceding ten yean. The Banks
were liberal in their discounts, and spirit of specula
tion showed itself in various form'.
" While tbe public mind was in this state, seven
expresses arrived at Philadelphia from New York in
one day (April 9) with news of a great rise nf prices
in the markets of Liverpool and London. The effect
was electric. Twenty-seven cents were ofieied for
upland Cotton, and refused, though tbe holders a
week before, would have been happy to obtain twen
ty cents. Cotton yarn. No 15, rose from 35 to 45
cents. Muscovado Sugars advanced a dollar a hun
dred. St. Domingo Coffee rose from 17 1 to 12 cents
a lb, &.c.
"Every body was io haste to grow rich; and the
Cotton dealers were regarded with special envy. It
was currently rumored, that such a man had made,
in one day, $20,000; snch another $:10.000; such
such another $40,000; and such another $ 50,000.
Some firm if reports were to be believed bad realised
$100,000; while tbe computed or prospective agains
of others were swelled to nearly half million.
" It was in this year, that the growing crop of
ran, in some parts of the Southern States, ores rooted
up, to make room far the new plantation of Cotton.
" The Cotton mania continued to rage, with more
or less violence, throngh the months of .May and
Jnno. But in July was recorded a decline of three
pence per pound in the price of Cotton at Liverpool ;
and a pressure for money was soon felt in New York.
In the next month the presuie increased, and be
tween August and December there where 50 failures
in New York and 30 in tbe Southern cities. To
wards the close of the year the pressure for money
in lioston was very alarming.
" Many of the Banks were in great difficulties.
Several of them broke. And snch were tbe strait
of the United States Bank, that one of the Directors
talked puliely on Ihe exchange at PhilaJelphia of
Vie expediency of suspending specie payment"
Documents of the most authentic descrip
tion might be indefinitely multiplied, showing
the hard times then experienced nnd their
true cause excessive speculation.
Mr. Biddle, then the President of the U.
Stales Bank, says, in a communication pub
lished sometime afterwards:
"The fall of 1525 was probably the most disas
trous peril in the financial history of England. It
was then that the wild specalalioos in Aincricau
mines and the still wilder speculation in American
Cotton, recoiled upon Eurjand, and spread over it
extensive ruin. In the midst of this suffering, it re
quited little to produce a panic, and accordingly
there entued a state of dismay which, for a time,
threatened to involve all interests in coufu
ion. There was probably, at no period of Kniflislt
kistory to intense and general m diltrttt as there was
in December 162."),
" Now, the very same storm which thus broke on
England pawed over this country a few weeks before:
it was on the eve of producing exactly the same
remits: and certainly I never felt any unciine
about the Banks of this country except on tbatocca
A few other items may complete the pic
ture. In the session of 1 835-C, the legis
lature of New York incorporated twenty
two banks and loan offices, and twenty-six
insurance companies. The fate of a few of
these is worth recording:
" In April, 1S2C, the Marble .Vioofacluring Com
panv, aevlv instituted, bond-ioiurin; concern became
bankrupt. This was fo.1 iwe 1 in Jnly by tbe bankruptcy
of the Duudaff ard New Hope Bank of Pennsylva
nia, the Jersey City Bank and Patterson Bank of
New Jrrtey, the Green fonnty Bank of New York
the I'nited States Lombard, the Frinklin Macs
facntrinp Company, and the New York Life Insur
ance Company; and those were s-nio followed in
Auj?nt and September, by the bankruptcies of the
New York Mount Hope Loan, the Sun rue Insur
ance, the Greenwich Insurance and the Protection
Fire Insurance." Gouge, p. 185-0.
These failures attracted attention to the
causes which produced them, and led to a
legal investigation, and to the punishment of
some of the parties concerned. Judge I,d-
wards, in passing sentence, made the follow
" During the trials which have taken place at the
promt term of this court, we have witnessed dis
plays of depravity nn the part of the a;ent of mon
eyed institution, of the mot nppalliiie nature. As
common a crimes are in nil great cities, yet this
community was not prepared to expect from the
class of society to which the perpetrators nf these
crimes belong, a burst of such iniquity."
"From combinations of men of so much talent, avail
in); themselves of their high standing, it is not sur
prising that they should have swept society witb the
besom of destruction."
Here was one cause of the hard times in
1C26, the swindling manner in which some
moneyed institutions are managed. It is,
notoriously, one of the causes of the hard
times now. It existed then, under a Whig
President, with a United States Bank that
had been ten years established and was as
sured of existence for ten years more. Vet
the election of Harrison and the dcreat of
the Sub Treasury scheme, are to regulate
and keep honest all the moocyed institutions
of the country, and to flood the land with
But the great and chief cause of the pre
sent hard times, as it has been of almost all
hard times, lor half a century past, in this
country, is over-trading, over-borrowing,
over-speculating; causing a temporary rise
in prices and wages, and a consequent in
crease of imported goods; then producing a
re-action, throwing the balance of trade a
gainst us, causing the exportation of 6pecie,
and making times hard, just in proportion to
the unnatural and inflated prosperity which
It will not do for the Whigs to deny this.
If they do, I shall call up their favorite, Nich
olas Biddle, (a man, by the way, of much
common sense and unquestionable financial
experience) as a witness against them. Mr.
Biddle published in the (Philadelphia) Na
tional Gazette of the 10th of April 1828, an
essay, in which he well explains the causes
of the commercial difficulties under which
the community was then suffering.
" Tbe question is, what it the cause and the na
ture of the present scarcity of money t
" The answer is easy.
"Tbe currency of the United States consists of
coin, and nf bank-notes promising to pay coin. As
long as tbe banks can always pay tbe coin they prom-
ise, tbey are uselul. Decease, in a country wnere me
moneved caoitul is diSDronertioned to tbe menns nf
employing capital, the substitution of credits for
coins enables the nation to make its exchanges with
less coin; and, of course saves the expense of coin.
But this advantage hat, by its side, a rrat danger.
Banksareofteodireeted by needypersons, wbo borrow
too much, or by sanguine persons, anxious only to in
crease tbe profits, without much pecuniary interest or
personal repoosibility in tbe administration. Tus cox
start Tt.xnr.NCT or Banks, therefore, it to lend
too much and to put too maxt hotes is cibccls
Tion. Now, the addition of many roles, even white
they are as good as coin by being always exchange
able for coin, snav irinmrioui becanse the increase
of the mix-d mast of money generally occasions m
rise in Ihe price of all commodities. The conse
quences is, that the high price of foreign produc
tions tempts foreigners to send a large amount of their
commodities, while the high price of domestic pro
ductions prevents these foreigners from taking in ex
change a large amount of our eommoditis. Wben,
therefore, you buy from fureignert more than thtyhuy
from you, as they cannot take the paper part of
your currency, they mutt take Ute com part. If this
is done to a considerable extent, the danger i, that
the Banks will be obliged to pay snmnch of their
coin as not to leave tbem a sotficicnt quantity to an
swer the demand for it, in which case the banks
fail, and the community is defrauded."
Thank you. Mr. Biddle. This was well
and fairly and honestly said; and the lesson
it teaches us should never be forgotten. Let
us sum it up. Bmks have a constant ten
dency to over-i'sue. They do over-issue.
That makes money appear plentiful. Wages
and prices rise rapidly. Foreign merchants,
as soon as they hear of it, crowd their good,
by millions of dollars worth, into our mar
kets. The spirit of speculation is up, and
they are eagerly bought. But these for
eigners, finding everv thinjj high, will not
purchase in return, except the indispensable
staples. They want their money. They
must be paid in gold and silver. They are
paid. They take our good money and leave
us rajs which are no longer redeemable, be
cause the specie basis on which they were
issued, is exported to Europe. And then
comes distress, suspension, bankruptcy, a
disordered currency, relief laws, and the
thousand items of commercial embarrass
ment, which periodically blast the fair pros
pects of our country
Behold the short but faithful history of
wild speculation, succeeded by hard times!
1 nat which was true in 1 823 is true now.
But then, at the close of John Quincy Ad
am's administration, while the second can
vass was pending between him and Andrew
Jackson, there was no temptation for a Whig
to charge the hard times on the government.
They were charged by Nicholas Biddle, and
truly charged, on the temptations offered by
Banks, operating on the sanguine and over
enterprising spirit of our people.
In the same essay, Mr. Biddle thus sums
up his arguments:
"These simple elements explain the present situation
of the country. Its disorder is, OVER-TR DING
brought on bit OVER-BANKING. The remedy it,
to TRADE LESS end Io BANK LE.S."
There, as in a mirror, may we see the true
aiica nl.inlw efotajl lit.- n hit, nn.l n finr.lY
Ir .t.. : . "k..-e.i t..
perimrnts, and the doings and projects of the
It retrains to be seen which ofthetwo!no ouue oanK w,ln lne Puo,,c posiiea.
political parties has, by fostering the cause,
increased the suffering.
W. . , ii-i .t ta
ni.h norlv tlin lurra nr tlis I litmnprnlii
. f . thev turned round and defented the tery
especially favors banks and would add to w formerly attacked! Whil
the.r privileges and extend the sphere of the State deposite banks had given no proof
their action. The very title of Henry Clay s tha t, unWorthy of trnsU, the whig
speech made in the . nate of the Limed deDounced them. As soon as these same
States. February 1 9th, 1 833, and published banks rea djd show their unworthiness, the
by Gales and sSeaton, charges the adm.n.stra-. whj took'them, as it were, to their bosom
una with deadly hostility Uiese inrtitu- and have f ,ered and def.ndcd them ever
lions. The title-page declares ,t to be a smce 0ne half the whig papers in the U.
"Speech of the Hon. Henry C ay of Ken- Stal at (his mPmcnU (fearjV that it is un
lucky, establishing a deliberate design on the ,ar tQ ,,ke a 9tand r a vjfs. Bank) are
part of the late and present executive. (Jack- .j hat State d ite
son and an buren) to break down the " hole which four ' th Q
banking system :of the Ln. ted States com- which has idj
menc.ng with the Bank of the L nite.j States , anting. Admirable consistency!
No such design ever existed or now exists.
The policy of the present administration is,
to let banks alone; neithei to favor or tlisfa-1
vor them; but to decline all connexion with
them as dangerous and inexdienf. AS;from their ' remaining intrenchments. It
commercial ngcins, uu mm-ii, in ins mes
sage of 1833 9, expresslvsavs,he "has never
doubted their utility, when properly man-
ascd." But vet, in the face of inch an ac
cusation as that made by Henry Clay, the
great chief and favorite of the pirty, the
Whigs will hardly contend that tho Demo
cratic pnrtv especially favor and foster
banks. That would be blowing hot and cold
fiom the same mouth.
Again, who desire to connect banks with
government, to grant to them the public de
posites, and thus increase their optiortunities
of ovct banking? Nut the Democrats cer
But yet again, which party contends for
an extensive system of credit, the founda
tion of speculation and the original cause, as
Nicholas Biddle tells us, of hard times? Let
us once more take whig authority in replv
The ."Alhany (X. Y.) Morning Mail" pub
lished, last fall, the following paragraph,
which w.-i re-copied, with approbation, by
the whig Press;
" There sis two aad only tsro jieal moral age nts
existing io aland like this aad applicable to tbe social
relations of man, that can elevate without depressing;
j and eqnalixe without destroying; the One is knomt-
, eage, tne outer create. Against mm m sawan saw
, arms of onr political opioneats are raised hs fsiee
; hostility. For both of the Ae JTkig Party it
Here we are told, on whig authority, that
the Democrats are opposed to credU and the?
Whics in favor of it. If bv credit it meant
an extensive credit system, the accusation is
true enough. The paragraph shows how
near the hearts of whig politicians, the Cred
it System is. There are but two "great mor
al agents, they say, which can "elevate
without derjressing," and credit is one of
these. By the way, the editor of the "Morn-,
ing Mail" had better read Mr. Biddle's essay
above quoted, and then he may chance to
discover how surely, under the credit sys
tem, the depression succeeds the elevation.
What, then, has the administration done to
produce hard times? Jackson issued a spe
cie circular. What was the effect! Every
one knows it. It checked over-speculation
in public lands, one of the original causes of
the present scarcity of money.
fin, 1 1 nl-ortn r -r.rtA 4 K a imvaFnmanl Ja.
posites in the State Banks; and the Banks
were encouraged to discount liberally. That,
according to Jackson's own opinion at this
moment, was an unwise move. In a latter
to Moses Dawson, dated in the autumn of
1 837, General Jackson, after stating that he
had confidence in the State Banks, at the
time he placed in their vaults the deposit,
" But was this confidence well foonded, aad whose)
fault is it that it was not? Let their treachery to
the Gevernment and tbe people answer. Every day
that the Directors of tbese basks met at their boards,
they knew tbeir liabilities and their assets ts asset
them. They were repeatedly aad earnestly cautioaed
by tbe Treasury department not to overissue their
charters prohibited it tbeir solemn obligations to
tbe government and the people and every principle
nf moral honesty forbade it. Still, in open violation)
of all obligations, tltey suspend ?d specie paysaeats
in a time of profound peace, robbed tbe treasury a
many millions of dollars, and cried out at the same
time, that the Treasury wat bankrupt."
Our venerable ex-president admits, then
that his confidence was misplaced, that the
Banks deceived him and violated their oWi
gations to the people. What follows? That
Jackson erred in trusting them, and that, as
soon as he discovered his error, he corrected
it. Can a man do more t Is any administra
tion perfect? Is it not much to tbe credit of
any government, that, as soon as it sees it has
made a false step, it candidly admits that it
has been misled, and instantly retraces its
But how, in the meantime, have the op
position party been acting? So long as Jack
son trusted the Banks, and deposited the
public money in their vaults, the whigs abus
ed these deposite banks, called them pets,
exclaimed against the power which the Prer
ident exercised in selecting them, and proph
ecied the losses which might result from em
ploying them as government depositories.
This was all very well. But when the Ad-
i ministration, profiling by experience, aid
listening to the objections of their opponents
soushttodo awav with tins pet bank tys-
!:m' when they proposed to deprive the Pre
,Jenj of a" power of selection, and to trust
what, then, was the course pursued by the
opposition? True to their principle to go
luuiliab liltj iuilliuiau auvui iiui vi niuuir,
. -I.e.. T
-rllB ony rcav ,
whiiin is a Um'tko S
strong ground of the
States Baks. When
ever, for the sake of popularity, they ubaxw
- .k. . ,u
would have been their wisest policy, even
during the present contest, to commit them
selves as a Party, and suffer their candidate
to commit himself, for that great measure at
But to return. What else has the govern
ment done to cause hard times? . It has pro
posed, and is about to pas, an Independent
Treasury Bill. But the very objections
made to this bill are, that its tendency is, ttr
curtail commercial enterprise and check the
banks. It cannot then favor excessive ered
it or foster over-banking; the great causes
according to Mr. Biddle, cf hnrd times.
Thus it has been proved:
First, That a United States Bank is in
capable of nreventing hard txnes.
Second, Xhat times harder than we now
experience, were felt under the rule of th
United States Bank, before a single expert-
ment on the currency had been made, before
the specie circular was passed and before an
Independent Treasury Bill was proposed.: 1
fOSTIXl'U O.N TUX StCONP Pa.