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Boon's Lick times. (Fayette, Mo.) 1840-1848, April 04, 1840, Image 1

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'V ' 11 5
LETTER FROM THE
Hon. William C. Rives,
Of Virginia.
Castle Hill, Feb. 15, lS40t.
My Dear Sir, You inquire of me what .are
my siews on the snbjcct of the pending Presiden
tial election, and what course I think ought to 'be
pursued in it by those of us in general of the .Re
publican party who have been opposed to- tlie
leading measures of the prcsen' administration -
While my name was recently before the leg
islature, by the act of my friends, ns a candidate
for re-election to the Senate of the United Sta te',
I declined, in answer to various communiw" fns
from members of that body, to give any jj7 elg
oi support.., to either ol the Presidential ca imi
tates, as the condition of my election. I did ,?'),
because, while it is clear that, under the Consti
tution, a Senator of the United States, can, in no
possible contingency, be called on, as such, t-J
give any vote or perform other act in the electior
of President, I believed that the practice of i
quiring of those who might be brought forward
lor the omce of aenatoi, pledges to support ths
or that man for the Presidency, however it niv
be otherwise viewed by many honorable and jSi
triotic men, is a practice fatally calculated to d
troy the independence of the Legislative Depart. 1
mcnt, and to prostrate it at the feet of the Exec
utive power, whose inordinate growth and over
shadowing influence already threaten the very
existence of our free institutions. In regard to
all those questions of public policy and legislation
which were likely to come before the Senate of
the United States for its appropriate and legiti.
mate action, my opinions were fully It... n, or if
they were not so, 1 was ever ready to declare an !
explain them to the best of my ability, in answir
to any inquiries which might be addressed to nie.
I had, moreover, been very recently in the public
service, and my act in the discharge of the trust
confided to me, which were neither few not
equivocal, nor unattended with circumstances of
peculiar trial, were before the country, affording,
as it seemed to me, the most authentic inleipreta
tion of my principles, as well as the surest guar
ntee of my future course.
For these various roasons, I felt that I ought
not to give any pledge of support to any of the
Presidential candidates, as the condition of my
election to the Senate of the United States, and
accordingly declined to do so while my name
was recently before the Legislature, in connection
with the election for that office. Thftys motive
of reserve have now ceased. Mv-,'. j no
longer before the Legislature for that'ny oilier
office: s.id as. in time Dast. 1' has never been b
any actor solicitation of mine, so, whether it
hall at anyfime hereafter be, will depend on the
jfree will of otheis, not mine. And, in the event,
even, of my name being again presented to the
legislature, by the partiality and generous confi
dence with which iny friends and fellow-citizens
have been heretofore pleased to distinguish me,
the Presidential election will have been deter
mined, and we shall all, of necessity, have taken
our equal and responsible parts in it, before the
Legislature, according to their recent decision on
the subject will proceed to the election of Sena
tor of the United States. Under these circum
stances, I can no longer feel the slightest deli
cacy, as a private citizen, in expressing to you,
freely and without reserve, my opinions on the
interesting question you propound to me.
Your inquiry naturally divides itself into two
branches. The fm. is, can we support the re
election of the present Chief Magistrate those
of us, I n'tan, who have been in earnest in our
opposition to the leading measures and prevail
inj policy of his administration ? And this ques
tion would seem properly and plainly to resolve
itself inta-another. Has he abandoned or with
drawn any of those measures, to which we have
been, and are still thus opposed? So far from it,
we have seen that, in his recent Message to Con
gress, he has again brought forward and uiged,
with increased determination of purpose, his now
cherished Sub-treasury scheme, which, ut the
time of his election, all his political friends be
lieved to be fraught, and which we still believe
to be fraught, with the direst evils to the country.
He has not only again earnestly recommended
this scheme, but he has urged its adoption in the
most obnoxious and objectionable of all the
forms it has ever assumed. I refer, of course, to
what has been commonly called the specie clause.
or requisition of the public dues in gold and sil
ver alone. 1 his rigorous feature ol the scheme
had been pretermitted by the President, in his
more recent expositions of it, and was believed
to bo finally abandoned by him; but is now
brought forward in bold relief, it is understood
as the sine qua won of the new political alliance,
which has been announced to the country. And
the President even tells us that he "believes no
period will be more auspicious" for thi introduc
tion of this hard money policy in the operations
of the government, "than the present when we
know, that in two-thirds or three-fourths of the
Suites specie is at an average premium of ten per
cent, above the common currency 1 Most "auspi
cious," indeed, for the interests of those who aie
receipients and beneficiaries of the public contri.
butions, but surely not for the interests of the
people, who are the payers, immediate or ulti
mate, of all these contributions.
In compliance with thin recommendation of the
President, we have just seen the sub-treasury
iiil, with the obnoxious specie clause, hurried
through one branch of the National Legislature,
by a minority vole, in the absence of many mem.
bcrs, when, if that body (the Senate,) had been
full, and its members had voted in conformity to
the opinions and wishes, either expressed or un.
derstood, of their respective States, the measure
would have been defeated. And yet, in the face
f such facts as these, appeals are still mado in
the Mine of a blind and abject paily-allegiance,
to many who are truly opposed to this scheme
from a thorough conviction of its most dangerous
and fatal tendencies, to support tho re-election of
the President, by whose influence and anti-reput).
lican contumacy it is to be imposed and penua.
nently fastened upon the country. A poor at-
tsrupt is now made to give plausibility s.iJ effect
BOON'S
"ERROR CEASES TO BE DANGEROUS, WHEN REASOS IS LEFT FREE TO COMBAT IT." Jcffersov.
BY CYRIL C. CADI'. FAYETTE, MISSOl'KI, SATURDAY, APRIL 1, 1 810. ' VoT 1 Jfo. 3.
to this appeal, by representing the Sub-treasury
scheme as a mere question of expediency, on
which men mn.y agree tochllcr without any com.
promise of principle, on either side; nnd this at
tempt is made, too, by those who have themselves
but recently denounced the scheme in the strong
est tcrni3, as dangerous to the public liberty, by
eivine the President the immediate control of the
public money, putting into his hands " a fund of
corruption and alarmingly increasing the power
and influence of his office, "already too great for
a republic." Surely, when considerations such
as these are involved, the question is one of vital
and fundamental impoitance. In this aspect
as a measure alike hostile- to the public liberty,
and warnn.-r upon the prosperity ol the country,
directly and indirectly, in all its most essential in.
terests, the bub-treasury proicct has ever been
viewed by those Conservative Republicans, who
have given evidence of the sincerity of their faith
by fearlessly and unflinchingly mce': g tho do
nunciations which its profession has druwn down
upon thorn. Entertaining such opinions, can
they, as honest men, and us freemen, so far sur-
render their minds anllWSIl "wills to the slavish
discipline of party, as to support the reelection
of a President, whose policy they believed to be
fraught with consequences so calamitous to their
country? 1 humbly think not.
Another disingenuous device for entrapping
conservative voles, is founded on the bssu uption
that they dilTor with the President on but a single
Question. . Even were this so, it would bo cause
enough for tho withdrawal of their support, where
the question is one of so grave and fundamental
a character as the Conservatives honestly believe
ilia sub-treasury scheme to be. But the assump
tion is wholly untruo. The Conservative Re
publicans have differed and still differ with the
Piesident on oilier points ol the highest impoit
ance. Thoy have seen, through the whole course
of his administration and in the conduct of his
Iriends, a systematic design to build up the practi.
cal supremacy of the Executive power, at the ex
pense of the Legislative department, and of the
people themselves. They have seen this design
pursued, not only by the persevering efforts
wl ich have been made to secure to the President
nnd Irs agents the custody ahd control of the pub
lie monies, through the medium of the sub-treas-ury
scheme, but also by the new and alarming
doctrine, which was broached in his annual mes
sage at the commencement of the late session of
Congress in December, laJS, that, in the man
agement of the public revenue, he should be left
'at liberty' to employ Banks or not, without legal
regulation and at his mfre discretion, as deposi.
taries and fiscal agents of the government, thus
subjecting all monied institutions of the country
to his influence and control. In the steady pur
suit of the same great aim, they have seen a sys
tern of party discipline, introduced and organized
under the auspices of the present Chief Mngis.
trale, the fundamental cai on of which is that
every member of the party which brought him
into power, must surrender his individual opinions
and convictions on public measures, however pro
foundly entertained, to iho dictum ol the fresi.
d?ct.iA ' '.v-(n',n'-ii8 shell recom-
me 'f.- jmler pain of excommunication and polit-
calvlcath for disobedience. By these means,
combined with the powerful persuasives of his
official patronage, the President is virtually in.
vesied with si'prtme power. The debasing priri.
ciple has bean openly avowed, as well as practi.
cally enforced, that the first duty of the public
funttionary is to the President who appoints, and
not ihe country wlvch employs him ; and that so
!onj as he renders good political service to his
chiu.r, no infidelity to his public trust, not even
the gro.-sest peculation, shall be suffered to de
privu him of his office. While unfaithful agents
and pu'ilic defaulters have thus earned impunity
and revai , others who have been distinguished
by the honest, able, and exemplary discharge of
tiieii official duties, have been arbitrarily removed
f.om oili.e, for no other reason than that they
could no- conform the private and involuntarily
operations of their minds to the standard of Ex
ecutivo faith, or that they believed it unbecoming
n. e proprieties of their situation, as public offi.
pits, to take a part in those electioneering exer.
lions wh'xh have come to bo considered the sur
est passport to favor and security. And to cap
ill-; :li.i ax of these bold pretensions of Execu
tive power, we have seen a report solemnly put
forth and triumphantly carried through, by the
President's friends in the Senate, proclaiming
in '.he face of day, and in contempt of the most
revered oracles of Anglo-American liberty, the
da. m heresy that it is both the right and the duty
of Executive office-holders to intermeddle with
the freedom of elections, thus sacrificing the vital
principle of popular sovereignty itself at the
sh,--i,e ol this new idol of Presidential su
niemaey. While in these measures and proceedings, we
havr seen the President and his friends pursuing
with unvarying aim, as the primary object, it
would seem, ol their efforts, the dangerous ag
grandizement of his power, in his plans of na
tion: I policy we hove been constantly met with
suggestions and recommendations aiming at the
siitiw-rsion of csiabli-hed Institutions, and utterly
destructive of the repose and settled order ol
business in the affairs of the country, and appeal-
ing ti in.: jealousies and worst passions of society
in th:.r sjpport. Hie special ouect to winch his
schemes of innovation have been mainly directed,
is unfortunately the most delicate of all the in
iciests of society and that which requires to be
touched with the wisest and most cautious hand
the system of its currency, forming the eo union
measure by which the lubor and property of every
individual in the commuuiiv is estimated or ex-
ehangid. Instead of pursuing a salutary and prao-
ncai nrorm ot existing anuses, whatever they may
be, (un object in which all good men and patii.
ots would heartily unite with him,) he has brought
iorv.ara crude and anti social theories, and h as
propatraced them with all the influence of his high
office, which go to tha entire destruction of that
system of credit, which is coeval with the settlo-
mem o! our country, is so peculiarly adapted to iis
Liicuinsiancea, and to which, whatever iiregulari
ties may have sometime attended it, (as, indeed,
'at 2o0'J, in the ordinances of naturo or the in
stitution, of man, is notlidble to occasional abuse)
every candid itn l well informed mind must admit
that tha unparalled development of Ameiicari
pnjjpprny ana civilizationlias been mainly owing.
The Pri.i dent's theories and recommendations,
if they niNiu liny thing, go to tho entire desiruc
lion of this long established system, now indisso
lubly connected with all the interests of socioty,
and to the establishment, in its stead, of an e
clusirs hsrrj mony currency, or something prse-
LICK TIMES.
tically tantamount to it, operating a sudden and
total revolution in the value of lubor, property
and contracts, and involving the farmer, the me
chanic, the tradesman, the merchant, and in short
every class of men, (with tho exception of credi
tors and public officers enjoying fixed salaries from
the government) in one common ruin. As an
essential part of this policy, the President has
proclaimed a crusade against Institutions, deriving
their existence from, and responsible to the Stiles
alone, and in his new-born zeal has so far furgot
his former opinions, as to recommend to Congress
the enaction of a special bankrupt law, applying
to these institutions exclusively, and intended to
put an end to their existence by nn an act of the
Federal authority a measure which but a few
years before, he had denounced in the strongest
terms, as an "odious and unconstitutional invasion
of the rights of tho States." (See his Speech in
the Senate of the United States, on a proposition
of Mr, Branch, of North Carolina, on the 6lh of
February, lyjT, 3d. vol. Register Con. Dep.,
p. 286.)
Upon all tiles'? suhjocts, the Conservatives have
TUTlTered, nnd stilldiffer with the President, as well
as upon his Sub-treasury scheme. These dffer-
ences have been manifested by them on various
occasions, and in a variety of forms speeches,
votes, and discussions of popular assemblies. In
regard to myself, I have omitted no proper occa.
sion, in both written and oral addresses to my
lellow-citizens, to proclaim them ; and yet have
seen with infinite surprise, that some persons re.
cflntly, to cover their own change of position,
have alleged that it had been heretofore under
stood that I differed with the administration on
but a single question, that of the Sub-treasury !
This allegation, too is made in the face of the no
torious fact that I have been denounced by the
administration press from one extremity of the
country to the other, for daring in the conscien
tious discharge of my public duty, to oppose and
expose divers other acts and measures of the Pie
sident and his party his illicit and dangerous
renewal of the connection with the Bank of the
United States, his alarming and anti. republican
doctrine broached in his message to Congress at
the commencement of last session of Conreis
with regard to the discretionary employment of
oanks in ireneral, as hscal agents ol the Goacrn
mcnt, at his sole will and pleasure, without any
rule or limitation of law, and finally, the daring
attack made by his friends in the protentious doc
trines of Mr. Wall's report, on the" vital princi
ple of representative Government the freedom of
elections. Un thi3 last occasion, I characterized !
ihe general policy of the administration by what 1
seemed to me to be its leading features, nnd do
dared my conviction that on all the great ques.
tions of respect for the rights of the States, lim.
'nation of Executive patronage economy in the
public expense the independence of the legisla
tive department acquiessence in tho decisions of
the majority and a sacred regard to the sight of
election (the memorable land marks of republi.
canism laid down by Mr. Jefferson) it had wide
ly departed from every principle held and ac
knowledged by true republicans. It is, moreover,
well known, that at the last session of Congress,
I opposed, to the best of my ability, another fa.
vorite measure of the administration, commonly
called the Graduation Bill, for virtually givinsr
away to certain favored Slates, that "common
fund" of the public lands, derived in great part
from the munificence of Virginia, and in the ben.
efit of which she expressly reserved her equal
right to participate. How idle then, tho sugges
tion recently invented, that either myself, or the
Conservatives in general, wlieso opinions and
destiny it is alike my pride to share, have diff
ered from the administration on but a single ques
tion .
Let us now inquire whether tho President has
changed his policy or practice on any of these
highly important questions, on which we liavo dif
fered will; him. Some of his noisy partizans
have claimed lor him ereat credit for the lavish
professions of economy he makes in his late nies
sage to Congress. But what has been the prac
tice, which we are much more interested in know,
ing than the empty precepts of his administration ?
According to his own statement, tho public ex
penditure during the year 1S3T, the first of his
presidency, amounted to "the sum of thirty-three
millions of dollars;" during the year lS'iS, he
says this amount '-vas somewhat reduced;" and
for the year 1S39, he thinks that the public ex
penditure "will not in all probability have ex
ceeded twenty-six millions of dollars !" But
this sum of twenty-six millions of dollars happens
to be just the double of the public expenditure
under the administration of John Q. Adams, which
most of us thought was so cnumerous and unjus
tifiable as to merit the displeasure and rebuke of
the people. What, however, me we to think of
the President's promise of "continued reduction"
of the public expense, when we find on the very
same page of his message, the most earnest re
commendation by Jjim to the favorable consider
ation of Congress, V a plan of the Secretary of
War for reaming a militia army of two hundred
thousand men, one.lmlf to bo in "active service,"
the oilier half to forma "reserve;" the term of
service to be eight yeais; tho troops to bo armed,
equipped and paid by tho United Stuto, accor
ding to a rate of compensation to be fixed by law,"
but in other respects to be under the ''regulation''
of the War Department? The anual cost of
sjeh a force, according to any conception lean
form of the Secretary 's plan, under the outlines
he has given of it, could not fail 10 add many
millions to tho public burthens. I now speak
only of the question of expense ; but in other as
pects, this most extraordinary project, empliatieal.
ly endorsed as it is by the President, for, in his
message 10 Congress, he says, "I csnnot lecom-
mend it loo strongly to your consideration," de
serves the most serious refl.-ciioii of every friend
of the public liberty.
Is not militia force, a the Secretary chooses
to call it, or the one half of it, at least, which is
to be "in active service" "recruited for eight
years" '-stationed" wherever the Secretary of
War shall direct "armed and paid" by the U.
States to all intents and purposes, a standing
army, and denominated a militia force, only to a
void the instinctivo jealousies which th name of
a standing army calls up in the mind of every
freeman. Can such a force be called militia in the
sense of the Virginia Bill of rights, which do.
dares that, "a well regulated militia, composed
of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the
proper, natural, and sale defence of a free State,"
or in the sense of tho Constitution of tho United
States which authoiizes Congress "to provide for
calling forth the militia to execute the laws oftlu
Union, suppress insurrections and ropcl invasions.'
Is there at this moment, insurrection, invasion,
resistance lo the laws of the Union, which would
justify calling forth the militia into 'actual service,'
or il there were, would it justify embodying them
as 'recruits,' for eight years term of service? No
such constitutional exigency exists or is alleged;
and I can view the Secretary's plan in no other
light than as a proposition lor raising a large
standing army, without encountering the well,
founded republican jealousies which its name ex.
cites; or otherwise, as a most ingenious device for
extending tho influence of the Federal Executive,
by selling apait from the mass of tho people, two
hundred thousand voting, not fighting men, rn
ceiving pay from the United States as militia "i.i
actual service," and looking up to the President
as "their Commander in Chief," as the Constitu
tion, in that case, provides and directs. I know
of but one precedent for so profound a contri
vance; anil that was in the days of the "English
Commonwealth," so called, when that wily states
man Oliver Cromwell, divided the kingdom into
I'twdve milirary jurisdictions," just as the Secre
tary now proposes to divide the United btates in
to "eight military districts," and under cover of
organizing the militia, caused them to be "enlist
ed or recruited, under proper officers, and "regu
lar pay to be destributed among them;" which
the historian says, the Lord Protector found to be
a most effectual "resource" for repressing his po
litical enemies, but which all reasonable men con
sidered as ''throwing aside the mask of liberty,"
and "parcelling out the people into so many sub.
divisons of slavery." I have no disposirion to
question the originality of the Seeretary, by in
sinuating that he may have derived the hint of his
plan from so celebrated an authority.
But to return to the interesting question of the
financial condition and prospects of the country,
we have just had a most impressive admonition
of the precarious and uucertain character of Ex
ecutive professions and assurances on this subject.
You doubtless recollect that in his message at the
commencement of the session of Coneress, the
President exhibited a highly flattering picture of
the condition ol the 1 reasury, and of the very
successful manner in which its operations had
been conducted. He told the Representatives of
the peopie, "there is every reason to believe, if
Congress shall keen the annrooriations within the
estimates furnished by the Executive, that the out
s.anding Treasnry notes will bo redeemed, and
the public expenses be defrayed" by the existin?
and current means of the Treasury, "without im.
posing upon the people any additional burthen,
either of loans or increased taxes;" and then pro-
ceeded to descant on the "great evils of a puuli c
debt in time of peace." This message was do-
livered on the twenty.rourth of December, 1839.
But
Neseia mens hnrninuin fati sortisque futuru;,
Et servare moiium, renin sublatu sccunilis
On the 4th day of February following, in less
than six weeks after these flattering assurances,
and before any appropriation had been made by
Congress, except for their own pay, another ines
sage is sent, comrnunicatinz an apprehended "de
ficiency" in the revenue, and urgently calling on
congress to "make early provision ol certain and
adequate" additional "means to guard the public
credit, and to meet promptly and faithfully any de
ficiencies in the revenue, from whatever cause they
m;y arise or, in other woids, by another issue
of Treasvry notes, or a loan in some other form,
to incur "that very creation of a public debt,"
with ihe denunciation of which he had embellish
ed his discourse at the opening of the session of
Congress.
Lei us look a little farther into the President's
late annual message to Congress, to see if it fur
nishes to the Conservatives any ground to expect
i change either of policy or doctrine on any of the
questiuiis on w.'iicii they have differed with him.
Does lie renounce any of thoe dangerous and anti
republieaa claims- of exei-t'.it power, which we
have seen have been heretofore advanced by him
and his friend-! So far from it, he has, in the
uminout declaration ha make- in his mess-Hire
" thai Me eja:u!ive farm a component part of the
legislative power," put forth a new und by fur the
boldest ami most unconstitutional pretensions, in
behalf of executive power, that ever was avowed or,
countenanced by any statesman in this country
Where can the President find any thing to give
color to so dangerous a dogma! The very first
line of the constitution of the U. States decisively
repudiatei it by expressly declaring that "all legis
lative pou'irs herein granted shall be vested ill
the Congress of the I tiled States, which shall con
sist of a Senate and Hous: of Representatives."
Will the President endeavour to find some sanc
tion to this bold pretension in that provision of
tho Constitution which directs that when "a bill
has passed the two lltuses of Congress, it shall be
presented tJ the President for his signature, and if
lie refuses to sign it, he may return it with his ob
jections to the House in which it originated:
But tins very same provision expressly declares
that though ha has refused to sign it, yet the Eill
"shall heroms a bur," u i:hot his signal we, if two
thirds of both Houses over-rule his objections.
The sarae provision also declares that, if "a Bill
be not returned by the President within ten days,
after it shall have been presented to him, the same
shaltbe a law in like manner as if he had signed it."
This very provision of the Constitution, then,
showing that a Bill may "become a law," without
the concurrence of the President, gives not the
slighest support to the sweeping claim now brought
forward by linn, that the "executive forms a com
ponent part of the Legislative power;" while that
claim, as already remarked, is most emphatically
repudiated and condemned by the firs' line of the
Constitution, which delcares that "all legislative
powers herein granted" are vested in the two
Hot'ses of Congress.
If this extraordinary declaration of the President
were a mere barren theory, revolting as it is to the
understanding, it might be permitted to pass with
out the expression of any other sentiment than that
of "special wonder" that a statesman who had
passed through a succession of public trusts to
the very highest known to the Constitution, should
so strangely have mistaken both the text and the
spirit of the "great charter" by which he holds his
alike, and which iu limiting and defining tho pow
ers and duties of public functionaries, intended to
give the highest practical security to the public lio-
ertifs. B it it is empty speculation, on tho part of
the 1 resident. It shows the overweening anxiety
with which he is intent un the assertion of exeat
live prerogative, and tho enlargement of his own
powers, and how prone he is to confound the abuses
of executive influence over the Legislative depart
ment in ihe practical administration of tho govern
ment, (which he hims.-lf by his system of party
discipline, has so largely con' ribiited to introduce,)
with the sacred text of the Constitution itself. This
new Executive reading of the ntitulii"i was,
doubtless, intended, and has been so interpreted by
the President's own party, to claim a vid latitude
in the use and application of the veto power ; for,
if the " Exoeutive bj a fmponent part of the Leg
islative power," he would be iiulified in withhold
ing hi approval of any act of legislation on the
anne principles which would ju-tify the non-eon
currence of any other "component part" of the Leg
islatureof tho Semite or House of Representa
tives, Kir example, in Jt-pectirely deciding on
Bills sent from one HoO?rto tha other. And a a
mere difference of opinion as to the expediency of
the measure proposed, has ever been held to justify
one House in rejecting a Bill passed by the other,
so a like difference of opinion, under this new read-
'the institution has been pr-'m-ic-l, and is now
tool of a political fiction, who womd be w, 1-
H to E.'icii Hoc me wenuiu 01 "- -
ice their pnriiwin purpi.scs.
m,.iwi,i in, inn luin iiniiveV .virranie order.
which lie may not entertain cue Same views thai
they do,
To show how utterly inconsistent this new view
of ths application of the Presidential veto, is with
the old republican doctrines, I need only refer you
to Mr. Jefferson's official opinion presented to tier.
Washington on the constitutionality of the Bank
charter in 1701, in which he suys the veto was in
tended by the Constitution as a shield to proteet
the constitutional rights of Ihe Stales and of iff
co-ordinate departments of the government from thi
.... , - - il, j
invasions oj Ihe Legislature, anu even in su'cli cases,
it ought not to be interposed, unless the question
should appear to tho mind of the President to be a
"clear" one, and frne from all reasonable doubt. If.
however, under the novel theory broached by the
present Chief Magistrate, this high and delicate i
power, from being "the extreme medicine, is to
become the daily food of the Constilutisn," and
rnny be legitimately used to arrest an ordinary ai t
of legislation, upon a mere difference of opinion as
to its c-xpedieney, it is plain, that, it works at onee
a fundamental revolution in our Republican system,
imparting to the Executive power an irresistible
energy, and enabling the President, in practice,
habitually to set at naught the decisions of the
Legislative department ; for, with the great influ
ence his station confers, he can rarely, if ever, fail
to command the support of one third of one or the
other of t he two Houses of Congress, which would
be sufficient to sustain his negative, and thus put it
in his power, by his single fiat, to control all the
rest of both bodies of the Legislature.
In relation to the dangerous schemes of rauicul
innovation heretofore recornmruended and encour
aged by the President on the subject of the cur
rency, and so deeply affecting those daily interests
of life which ' come home to the buj:iess and
bosoms of men," the late message, instead of dis
closing any salutary modification of his former
opinions, reproduces those opinions, in a more
ii 'med, unequivocal and alarming farm than they
have ever, heretofore, b;eii presented. It is evident,
whatever may have been said hv his partizans to
the contrary, that he 3ims at a tatal overthrow and
destruction of tho existing monetary system of the
country, and not merely at a safe and prudent re-
lurin ot the errors and abuses winch may have at
tended it. Afer speaking of certain gross irregu
larities in the course of business lately pursued by
the Pennsylvania Bunk cf the United Slates, and
one or two other Banks, (irregularities for which
the system in general, cannot with justice be held
answerable, for they consisted in an acknowledged
abandonment of the fundamental principles and
designs of ankin, and a deviation, as the Presi
dent himself says, " from the former course of
business in this country, "J he proceeds to exhibit a
highly wrought picture of tiie evils and calamities
which ensued ; and then pronounces his 'deUnda
est C'driVigo,'" against the whole system, in the
sweeping declaration that, "these consequences are
inherent iu the present sysiein thev are not influ
enced by the B-inks bein; larg or small, created by
National or t-'.ate Governments thev are t.'ie re
sults of the irresistible laws of trade and credit.''
He. follows up this declaration with mu '.i more
about the evils of "a credit currency," and the in
juries indicted " by the resistless laws of a credit
currency and credit trade," and tinallv, after earn
estly urging tha policy and duty of the General
Government to collect its dues "nnd pav its debt
in gold and silver, he ssy, very signiri-intly, tint
its example in so doing, would serve as "a rally
ing point by which oir uviu,' co:.niry may be
hrouht hark to that sale and honored standard."
Xow this certainly sounds v.iry much like an exclu
sive hard money currency. It. is true that the
President in another part of his message says, that
" in a country so commercial as ours, banks in
some form, will probably exist," but it is evident
from what he says, in the same connection, that he
means toexcluda banks of circulation, as now ex
isting, and if we have banks at all, they are to be
banks of deposite, confined in their operations to
their specie basis, or something of that sort, which
would virtually operate, to all intents and purposes,
,, vrln-iv hnr.l mnn r,!,,.,,,.
. Mv purpose now is, not to discuss 'those evtraor-
dinary opinions and recommendations of the Presi
dent, or to point out the ruinous consequences
which so total a revolution in tiie monetary svtei.i
of the country would bring with it to every class
of society, creditors and salaried officers, as'l huie
before remarked, ulone excepted. This has been
done with far more ability than I can pretend to, by
one of the ablest and must distinguished writers Ji
political economy iu our country, (and a Virginian,
to-j, I am proud to say.) who, though removed from
ull connection with party politics, lias been ss
startled by tha dangerous fallacies of tho Presi
dent's Message on subjects to which he lias devoted I
the chief studies of his life, tint he has felt it a I
duty, from which no (food citizen is exempt, to aid j
in exposing them. You will find his views, (with- i
out his name, however, which his retired and un-j
ambitious course of life h-js doubtless caused him
to wish to be withhold from tiie public, but which,
if known, could not fail to draw general attention,) I
m a loner recently aunresscu tJ a representative in
Congress, and published in the Madisuiiian of the
V!ith and IJOih of last month. I commend it to your
attentive peru,ii, and I most ardently wish !h."it il
could bo in the hands of every readinj and reiloct
ing man in the country.
I will nut touch upon the topics which ho has so
ably treated ; but I cannot forbear to notice the ex
traordinary and unprecedented tone of dictation
and denunciation which the President, in the liery
zeal with which he is animated for the propagation
of his favorite schemes, has permitted himself to
assume in his massage towards tne soverei -ii States
of the Union, lie indulges in the most vehement
animadversions on their systems of Stale policy,
lie invokes a ruthless spirit of extermination
again,t their banking institutions, "by u-W'
m ians," he says, the provisions of the Constitution
authorizing Congress to coin money and regulate
iho value thereof," and prohibiting the States to
coin money, emit bills of credit," &.C., have been
prartirally subverted." He calls the upon Slates,
"from whose legislation," he savs, the.-e evils
have sprung," to "apply the remedy," and espe
cially to enforce "an inttv.rible execution of their
laws" against banks which may have suspended
specie payments, or, in other words, rigidly to ex
act a forfeiture of their charters ! After these im
nreeatiuns cn the State Banks, he arraisns the
State Legislatures "plunging their respective
States into embarrassment and debt," telling them
that ' our people will no: long be insensble to the
extent of the burthens mailed upon them," and
holds up the States to the view of the world, for
their extravagance and improvidunce, in auch
manner as cannot fail seriously to prejudice their
credit, w hatever be their resources. So vehein--'-
is his horror ot the credit system, it.
view with instinctive aversion every1ARYY
miy have assisted to create, an-tO
nounce those noble and u.ost usef i1
inents, which have caused Ihe rece
America to " blo-scm as the n
- '
. , -
""S'i. 'b'-V.'lJi.JJJ!!..
but in many initances prnfHIr-st mil roaditnd ca
nals, absorbing the fruits of national industry foe
years to come, and securing trt posterity no ade
quate return I" After this onslaught on the policy
of the States, and their institutions and establish
ments, he suma up the spirits ard enkindles tha
zeal of his followers lor the work of denioii'io be
fore them, by the war cries of monopoly," priv
ileged associations," "partial legislation," and
tolls lllPm lll-'tt -thn MhiiUa lul.ifh tl.nu l.n. .1.-
r - , j w i.'.vij a,c nuii nave else
where caused the eff usions of rivers of blood, and tltt
sacrifice of thousands of the hum-in race," but that
he "hopes they will carry through the reform, which '
has been so well begun," submitting to tcmpornry
sacrifices hmcxer great, to ensure their perinabeut
welfare.
L'pon what .iew conception of the powers' and
duties of a Chief Magistrate of the Union, lb
President has fell himself authorized thus to inter
fere with the domestic concerns of the States, and
to arraign, lecture, and dictate to them in regard to
mutters belonging to their exclusive jurisdiction,
(an interference wnich seems to me to be consolida
tion in its worst form, and if submitted lu in this
instance, would be a precedent justifying an inter
ference with any other, even tho most dulicatu of
ull the domestic institutions of the Jv.atcs,) I know
not. But no reflecting or sober minded man con
fail to perceive, for an instant, the wide spread ruin
which would ensure to the whole country, if this
war upon its industrious pursuits and its estab
lished policy and institutions shall continue to ha
prosecuted in the destructive and fanatical spirit
which the President r-ncourat'es. if he has not in
nnup twinr-put,!,. In .sn.orlu ..a ..inl. "i. -
fused into his followers. " Great as arc the. sacri
lines" which he himself anticipates they bid defi
ance even to his powers of description. Let tnoo
institutions which supply the curr-?r.-y und con
tribute in so large a degree to uphold the ciedit in
states, be annihilated. Let those noblo Male Im
provements, which give value to the uroducn of
Agriculture, and life and animation to iiidus'rv. in
creatinrr and opening a wv to profitable mark:.
be abandoned and siiifered to become " an henn of
stones," let the value of every description of li-b-zr
and property be brought down to the standard of an
exclusive hard monev c jrrencv, and the iiiiatrina.
tion may conceive, but no pen can adequa'.e!v "por
tray the general scno of desolation and dirtress
which will fohoiv. To mv mind, the most anro-
priate type of it is presented in tho ravages of At
tilla, in the fifth century, over the face of tha
fuirest portion of Eurone. It was the boast of tii.it
celebrated chieftain, " thnt te grass ntver crt
upon any spot ulterehi horse had trvd ;" and if thu
destructive doctrines of the President shall be car
ried out, in the spirit of his Message, In too, rrriy
boast of a similar triumph over the nrosperitv, !ih,-.
a., niiukniiiiiiuit ui ills LUU.lirV.
Have we not, already, had some foretaste of tha
disastrous consequences, which the propagation of
this spirit and tlie-e doctrines, is likely to prod ic-.
in the recent proceedings of the Presid-'nt's p ir'.r
in the Legislature of one of the most pow-.vfal
States of the Union I allude to Pennsvhui.ia.
Under the instigation of the President's messige,
we have seen his political friends there bringing in
and triumphantly carrying through one bran-h of
the Legislature, by dint of p,-,'t-j di-:i?!irii, a Bill
for.on:i)ii,' a resumption of specie payment fay tho
Banks within fifteen days, which, it was understood,
would have been promptly passed, und-'r tl.T saii-i
influence, by the other branch, but fir the patriotic
intervention of the Governor, who seeing :he in
evitable distress and ruin which so precipita-e a
measure must bring upon the cnnvnuniiy. and that
it had already inflicted a serious blow un the rriiit.
of the State harself. by rendering it impossiY.e !,
meet tln payment of a large ntnount of ih'- rest w.i
her public debt, on the day ii. full due, ar.d thus ex
posed that great commonwealth to the injurious ef
fects as well as mortification, of a viul";ion of l.a.
o!emn engagements, came forward nobly, in li.i
face of the party denunciations which lie l -res uv a!-.:l
declared would be visited upon him. und i-arnestly
appealed to the Legislature to pau-e, and re-co:;sid-ertha
dangerous measure which was in ppigrs.---li
it in Washington itself, under tU personal -'if.
veillance and direction of the movements of hi.
party by the President, we have seen a still m or;
alarming exhibition of this reckless and un.- u,-i-rutional
spirit of interference vita the d oms-u c.ji.-
ct-rns and credit ot tho States. On
u,-.
member of the .S.-nnte. fresh, not
ir e: i
e n'-'irjlf.
l.-om !
'ail troin tlie cabinet u! the ; re-s:d-.-:it, or whih i.e.
was but a few days ago, a member, we hive seen a
committee raised, upon a feigned isstr of assump
tion, ( which no Stat", or any one on bi-half ipf'a
State had proposed.) to take cotr'iii-.B.-e ti:-J
-t ot 'ate d -
b's, ra.iing un thu
CS 1!)
g in
sion to the bar
ot the S-T.ate, pa-smj
r-n.v
nnd s.,
their pecuniary
engagements and C'jn i.i
Uiariiii . - - i i;iia:s niu ':r"se ; in-i-
intents aid purpose si
:innusi-.-that
wh-
sent ba: .
pared,
litical
I--
expunjjij.
When to these, and the ' tf ...
eniptuos disregard !ir the rign's er.c c r.itv c-i t:.
Mates, hi v.-lin-ii l luve ulreaov roterr-:
we iidd thu
? P.-'-ident'M
s did not hes
1' till' U:-.i-j:,
tftioh. in nr.
hold act of i'trit;-yr:- er, bv hic.i tic
friends ;n the other House of Co'igrs
ititte to ai.y''rw:kii u severe!;;, Si.ite ,
of i,erCiiti.utii'tial right of represen
der to ctfect the election of oar: v So
.ic-r. Cm which
'.tiv.! j odg.!:e:,t
UpUjil! tf 1
' is rontiinec,
-wo insv fur-:;
! object, howeivr. as if by the rotrih
! of Provider.'-), t,,ey were at las, di
disfranciiisomert which to tins d
j and inav ha in ! ...finitely nrolon.-.i.;,-
s.-'ine idea of the ruud-sst-,, as well as
which the Pr-Jsidor.t and :.is rartv hav
appropriate :. : ..uisjlvas t!;e name of
R-iiMhli -anu. I.i n;v !i'nii..'.e iud-f'tie:
IJstice, wi'h
.resumed t ,
s-.in n,ytu
'. the prey;-.;
-very leading
ion i f v. :.;.;
t-aief .Viagis-ra'.e, h-.-d-'p'
oriti'-iule of pk..-:utli.'.it;isn
brought him into uiUcu ; ar
d.'p"--r-l fn.-m
.In .
&r.i lr !:. .::'. 1 ca:,:.-,t
o is truly a iLepublicnn ai,.l
conceive now any one w
a .m; -rvaiive wn, in the i.tni-ms
government is the advocate of a Cm. t
ation of t.'i'j
!.-.'il?H.S ;,.
.o a d-ilru-lire policy, w.io is t.i
tViond .;'
tgats ill opposition to reJe-s: c-ks liaa.v-::.
would maintain L-g''::'::-- i:: I- -.-.-i :.' -..
Exceu'.iie su:rei.vi w.-.o ws'il-.i s.-.-n ti.
I gar.-
government of this great CL.nl'c-il.iracy idmini. i
as a high national trust, ninf nj' as a partv H:
who, in short, l.nes Ub'rli: more than pa'rr ran
support his re-election. Let otl..:-, d-.-ci.ie as li.t
may, I certainly caim-.it.
Let us now s,.,.. v.l. r.ro ll.o pi.'uc p.-lacin'ei ai.d
opiti.uas. the lire zv.i chari.et. r, of lienr-ruf ...ik:-...
'' tje sole opio-mg candidate fjrtrn Presidency,
nnd if they do not present a better gmrantee fur tU
safe republican acioi'.t-traiion of the guvornueni.
It has been the singular tor'.una tf U-neral H.;i..s,i
sin to have l-en u.crc !:.isreproemed and eons,
queiitly nii-uuirstoud, particularly iu his native
Statu, than any uher distinguish citiwn of ot,r
country. The reason of this is, doubtless, t h
found in the nircuaistance that tor the lat ten or
twelve years of his lit!-, he has b-n withdrawn
from the scenes of active political einr-lnyment, uU
thtt, while his name was before the country, in vh.
last Presidential clecti ju, exposing him, of cours,
to much denunciation tnd misrepresent ion iVu u
his puliticul adversaries, the attention uf tl.e u-ivi-sition
party of the South was mainly directed k
distinguished citizen of their own tectum, so thui
there was no party interest fidtat that ti:ne, in i..d
South, in detecting and exposing tho numerous a-u
gross ihisniprt'setatiuiis of which he was msde tha
subject by an unscrupulous press. From this tu;
of things, it has arisen, that in the South gvnera'
ly, and in Virginia particularly, the must v'
ed charges have been widely prop;- js:
to his public principles, an-trf a0.i -' -.--j
without eminent coiv.--,,,' V . -L ; .;
imposing on iiiiuk'-V ,
liir.i!.
I' i AJ--':P .
M'MU.i.
eagf-r to reua
. VI I
BIRCH,
r '.v
1,

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