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The Madisonian. [volume] (Washington City [i.e. Washington, D.C.]) 1837-1845, August 23, 1837, Image 2

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have been disproved.
Tj? explanation* in the Stole convention* all turned
?n tU mom fundamental principle, and on lbs principle,
tljat Dm terina ueceuary and proper, nit no sddilionsl
powers to thoM enumerated. (Hero be red sundry
passages, frotn tbe debates of lbs PouoiylvioiA, Virgi
nia, and North Carolina coDvenUooi, showing the
ground on which the constitution had been ?indicated
by Ha principal ad v oca tea again* t a dsngerous latitude
of ito powers, charged on il by iu opponent* ) He did
not undertake to vouch for the accuracy or authenticity
of the publication which he quoted He thought U
probable that the aenumeiite delivered nugbt, in many
jMtaooM, have been mistaken, or imperfectly noted ,
but the completion of the whole, with what he himself,
and many other* inuat recollect, fully justified the use he
had made of them.
The explanatory declarations and amendments ac
companying the ratification* of the several a tales, formed
a striking evidence, wearing the *ame completion. He
those who might doubtj to the several acts of
The explanatory amendments, proposed by Congress
themselves, *1 Icaat, would be good authority with them;
all these annuncialiona of power proceeded on a rule
of construction excluding the latitude now contended
far. The?e explanations were the more to be respect
ed, as they had not only been proposed by Congress,
but ratified by nearly three-fourths of the States. He
read several of the articles proposed, remarking particu
larly on the 11th and 12th; the former, aa guarding
?gainst a latitude of interpretation?the latter aa ex
cluding every aource of power not within the constitu
tion itself.
With all this evidence of the sense in which the con
stitution wss understood and adopted, will it not be said,
if the bill should pass, that its sdoptiou wss brought
about by one set of arguments, snd that it is now admin
istered under the influence of auother act 1 And thia
reproach will have the keener sting, because it is appli
cable to ao many individaals concerned in both the
adoption and administration.
In fine, if (he power were in the conatitution, the im
mediate exercise of it cannot be esaential; if not there,
the exerciae of it involvea the guilt of uaurpation, and
establishes a precedent of interpretation, levelling all the
barrier* which limit the powers of the General Govern
ment and protect those of the Slste governments. If
the point be doubtful only, respect for our*clve*, who
ought to shun the sppesrance of precipitancy and ambi
tion ; respect for our auccessors, who ought not lightly
to be deprived of the opportunity of exercising the rights
of legislation ; respect for our constituents, who hsve
hsd no opportunity of making known their sentiments,
and who are thcmaelvea to be bound down to the
measure for so long a period ' all these considerations
require that the irrevocable decision should at luaal be
auspended until another aession.
It appeared on the whole, he concludtd. that the pow
er exercised by the bill was condemned by the silence
of the constitution ; was condemned by tho rule of in
terpretation, arising out of the coustitution ; wss con
demned by its tendency to destroy the main character
latic of the conatitution ; waa condemned by the exposi
tions of the friends of the constitution, whilst depending
liefore the public ; wss condemned by the apparent in
tentions of the parties, which ratified the constitution ;
was coudemncd by the explanatory amendments pro
hy Congress themselves to the constitution ; and
* he hopea it would receive ita final condemnstioa by the
vote of this House.
From the Globe.
To the Editor of the Globe :
I perceive, from your paper of the 5th inst.,
which I have just seen, that you have done
Mr. Rives of Virginia, the honor to devote a
paragraph to the exposition of his opinions, on
the subject of the currency; and in support
of those opinions, have introduced an extract
from his speech on the removal of the depo
sites, in January, 1834. I am not uware
that the public is particularly interested' in
learning the opinions of Mr. Hives on this or
any other question ; but as you have made
them the subject of a special notice, it is due
both to the public and Mr. Rives, that thev
should be correctly represented. So far as
the object of the reference may be, to use
your own language, to "exhibit'the identity
of the views of Mr. Rives with the views of
the late and present president," on the same
subject, I believe there is little hazard in say
ing that Mr. Rives has concurred generally
and heartily in all the views as to a reform of
the currency, which have been expressed bv
the late president in his message to Congress,
and by the present chief magistrate In the
only document in which ho is known to have
treated the subject?his letter to Mr. Sherrod
Williams. In the speech of Mr. Rives, du
ring the last winter, made specially and pro
fessedly on the subject of the currency, and
? P which his views on that interesting ques
tion are fully and precisely developed, he
quotes with marked approbation, an instruct
ive paragraph from a message of the late pre
sident, as expressing with clearness and
force, his own opinions respecting the ne
cessary reform of the currency ; and a com
parison of that speech, and every thing else
he has ever said on the subject of the cur
rency, with the able and often quoted letter to
Mr. Sherrod Williams, will show a like ge
neral concurrence in the views heretefore
expressed by the present chief magistrate,
on the great and now absorbing topic.
But the object of your reference seems to
be rather to apply the supposed opinions of Mr.
Rives in 1834, to questions that have since
arisen, and which are likely to form the chief
subjects of deliberation during the approach
ing session of Congress. If an inference may
be draw n from the italics and capitals by which
you have illuminated certain portions of the
extract you have quoted from Mr. Rives's
speech on that occasion, as well as from the
comments with which you have accompanied
them, the purpose would seem to be to show
that that gentleman must now be in favor of
exacting specie exclusively in payment of the
public dues, and ol discarding entirely the
fiscal agency of the State Ranks. This con
struction is in direct contradiction with the
opinions fully expressed by Mr. Rives during
the last winter on the currency and revenue
bill, and is equally opposed, in my htintl.le
judgment, to the language and obvious import
of the extract you have quoted front his speeciV
oti the removal of the deposited in 1834. It
will bo seen from that extract, that Mr. Rives
was then, as he is now, deeply impressed with
the importance of a reform in the currency,
and ol correcting the evils of a paper system.
He proceeded to develope specifically and in
detail, the means and steps by which this re
form was, in his opinion, to be gradually con
summated. I quote his words from the ex
tract you have given, but the significant and
important portion of which, in reference to the
question under consideration, you have passed
over very lightly.
" Whatever influence (lie said) such atf in
stitution (the Hank of the United States) may
be supposed lo exert in preserving the sound
ness of the currency, that object would be
much more effectually promoted by a return,
as far as practicable, to a metallic circulation.
The first step towards that return, is to let the
Bank of the United States go down. Its
notos being ^withdrawyt, the convenience of
travelling alone would immediately create a
demand for gold coins, as a substitute, and en
force the necessity of correcting that under
valuation of them at the mint which is said to
have contributed to their disappearance. In
concurrence with this, lot measures be ta
1 ^n, to discourage and suppress the.circulation
<nk notes under a certain,denomination,
twenty dollars,) of which the effect
'o produce another accession to the
ulating medium. The ordinary
channels of emulation being thus ouptdied
with gold and silver, the fovernmeut would be
prepared, without hardship to the public debt
or, to require payment of its duesin spscic,"
This passage developes fully and unequivo
cally the views, then and since, entertained
by Mr. Hives on the subject of the currency
and the collection of the revenue, and forms,
indeed, the chart by which his public course
has been steadily directed. He never con
templated an exclusive metallic circulation,
though he believed a return to such a circula
tion, " as far as practicable," to be a desirable
aud.salutary reform, indicating at the same
time the suppression of bank notes under twen
ty dollars, as marking the limit of that practi
cable return. The suppression of bank notes
under twenty dollars accomplished, he believ
ed the " ordinary channels of circulation would
be filled with gold and silver," and "the go
vernment would (then) be prepared, without
hardship to the public debtor, to require pay
ment of ita dues in specie," Ale. It cannot
fail to be remarked that the suppression of
bank notes under twenty dollars, and the con
sequent supply of the " ordinary channels of
circulation with gold and silver," are here
mentioned as cvndUiuits precedent to justily
the government in requiring payment of iis
dues in specie from the people. This princi
ple has been constantly present to the mind of
Mr. Rives, and hns governed all his actions on
the subject, llis object has been to give hard
money u> the people in their ordinary daily
transactions, to make it " the practical curren
cy of common life," before the government
should be authorized to demand it froin the peo
ple. The only means by which this object
can be effected, as experience and reason
equally demonstrate, is the previous suppres
sion of bank notes of the lower denominations;
and he accordingly brought forward, during
the last winter, a measure, having that sup
pression in view, which was sanctioned by
the votes of more than two-thirds of both
houses of Congress. That measure was the
direct corrollary from the principles he had
avowed in 1834, and in sustaining it, he re
curred to and enforced those principles. In
the remarks made by him on the 22d of De
cember last, on the Introduction of the propo
sition referred to, he used the following lan
guage : " Shall that medium, (the medium of
payment,) in public receipts and disburse
ments, be specie exclusively ? Even if this
should be the ultima.te policy af the govern
ment, the country is, in my opinion, not yet
ripe for its adoption. Specie must first diffuse
itself more generally through the ordinary bu
siness of society; the common channels of
circulation must be better filled with the me
tallic currency?before the government can,
with justice to the public debtor, sternly de
mand payment of its dues in -gold and silver
exclusively. The only effectual means by
which a large circulation of gold and silver
in the general trade and business of the com
munity can be obtained, >is the suppression of
bank notes of the smaller denominations.
This is that practical reform of the currency
which has been held steadily in view by the
present administration aud its friends," &c.
Again, on the 10th of January, 1837, in
supporting tho same proposition, he said;
" Till, by the suppression of the small notes,
the circulation of the country has become bet
ter filled with the precious metals, 1 do not
think it would consist with a just, wise, and
paternal policy on the part of the government
to exact payment of its dues in specie exclu
sively. It could not be done, without great
hardship to the public debtor, and extensive
distress and embarrassment to the whole com
munity." " Nothing, therefore, can be clear
er than that an attempt, with cur present limit
ed metallic circulation, to collect the public
revenue in specie alone, would be distressing .
to the last degree, and could not abide the test
of that public judgment, without whose ap
probation no system of policy can or ought to
It will be seen from these extracts, in exact
conformity to, and steadily pursuing, the idea
thrown out by Mr. Hives in the debate on thfe
removal of the deposites in 183-1, that he has
uniformly held, that gold and silver must first
become the common currency of the country,
by the previous suppression of bank notes
under twenty dollars, before the government
could be justified in demanding its dues froin
the people in specie. Is this the case now T
A formal answer would be a mockery. 1 will
j only add, and I do it upon no slight knowledge
of Mr. Kives's opinions and public acts, that
i nothing can be shown from iiim in 183 4, or at
any oilier time, countenancing the anomaly of
; two distinct currencies established by law in
j a republican government?the '? better cur
, rency" for the government, and any sort of
; one for the people. As Mr. Hives will soon,
in the discharge of his duty to his constituents
and tho country, have an opportunity of ex
! plaining and defending his opinions for him
self, 1 should not have deemed it proper to
say any thing of them, but that you have
thought fit to make them the subject of a spe
j cial commentary, and that an erroneous one.
; There are other errors of less importance m
? your commentary, which I have not the time,
nor do I deem it necessary, now to notice.
Fromthe CharloUenrille (Va.) Jrffrrsonian Republican.
We invite, the attention of the readers of
the Jeffersonian to the communication of Ca
millus, on our first page, which we have co
pied from the Hichmond Enquirer. That the
idea which (s now entertained by some of the
? officers of the Federal (government and oth
' ers connected therewith, to have no other cir
| culating medium than gold and silver, aud to
i make war upon all banks, was never the opi
I nion of Gen. Jackson or Mr. Van Buren is
j conclusively shown. The author of Camil
i Ins we know to have been at aH times oppos
! ed to the Hank of the I'nited States, but we
I feel sure that tho thought neveV once entered
1 his head that the Government was merely
: using a stratagem in employing the State
I Hanks as its fiscal agents ; to derive for a time
I the benefits which it has admitted they con
I ferred upon the whole nation, and then at a ;
I period like the present, when the people are
J embarrassed, and the country groaning under
| the depression which has been caused by the
i stagnation of trade, to denounce all Hanks,
i and say that it will neither receive their notes
j or employ them in any of the moneyed trans
I actions of the government. If these things
had been avowed at the time when the dis
cussion on the L)e|>osite Hanks took place,
they could never have received the sanction I
of such a man as we know the author of Ca
millus to be.
We confess that we are unable to under
stand the organ of the government ; we have
seen it at one time denouncing all who do not
subscribe to its golden visions, and at another,
asserting that Gov. Campbell of Virginia ex
pressed lh? siutiincMis ul a Utfge poitHiu ol
the democracy of tfce country whet he said :
" Hard money for our common transactions-?
bank notes equivalent 10 specie for the com
merce of the country." If the sentiment of
Gov. C. is the sentiment of the democracy of
Virginia, as vwe believe it to bo, then the
Globe does not act upon that principle in de
siring the government to discredit tho notes
of the State Bauks, and having a currency
exclusively metallic. And the same Journal
manifests like inconsistency in reference to a
treasury bank. It advocates at present the
same system which Gen. Gordon brought for
ward in 1835; then it denounced the scheme
as anti-Kepublican, as one which would not
receive the support of a single Republican.
Have the doctrines of the Republican party
changed since that time ? and are the people
to be made to believe that the orthodoxy of
that day is heterodoxy now ? Far from it,
the landmarks of our fatlu r? are not to be re
moved for wild, visionary, and untried schemes
to be substituted in their place.
If it is the desire of the general govern
ment to act in future upon the principle which
we are led to believe it will from the tenor of
the leading articles in the official paper for
several months past, then may it well he said
that our public sirvanls have become Patri
cians indeed, and their masters THE PEO
PLE, are Pi.f.bf.iaxs. Such is not the ten
dency of tho doctrines of democracy, and
sooner or later will these visionary theorists
find it out. If the government of the United
States require gold and silver for all its dues,
and pays its oliicors in no other, it will bene
lit most certainly those who hold offices un
der the government, because they alone will
be receiving a better currency than the peo
ple require for themselves, and this privileged .
class will have the means of speculating up
on their income, while the people are made
poor because the government discredits their
But to be consistent, let all those who feel
desirous of having an exclusive metallic cur
rency set an example by receiving a salary
equivalent to their services in coin. Their
salaries are now based upon the value of their
services in the mixed currency. If there
were no banks, then those who receive five
thousand dollars salary, should have only one
thousand dollars, and the same proportion for
all others. Will our public officers agree to
this ? No. They an- the keenest and most
sensitivo of men when you touch their inter
ests, and sooner than submit to such a cur
tailment of their salaries they would rather
let the government go to ruin, than to contin
ue in its employ. And yet there would be
nothing unfair in this reduction, because the
people would fare no better, and perhaps not
as well. What then is justice for the people,
should be justice to their public servants.
We believe sincerely, if instead of warring
upon our State Banking Institutions, the en
ergy of the government was directed in aid
ing them to resume specie payments that that
desirable object could be effected ; on the
other hand, if those banks have reason to be
lieve that the U. S. Government will persist
in its hostility towards them, they can never
resume specie payments, because they cannot
withstand the opposition of so powerful an
The true policy of the General Govern
ment is to'act in concert with the States, and
confine itself within its own limits. It is the
creature of the States who have given to it
certain specified powers, when it transcends
ihosc powers and wars upon its creator, it is
liable to sever the link by which they are
bound together. Anarchy and confusion will
then reign, and our once happy country be
made the scene of contention, strife, and civil
war. The people have always had a jealous '
eye upon the encroachments which the Fed-"
eral Government have from time to tinio made
upon powers not conferred, and their jealousy
will not abate while the Government exists.
As the power to charter a National Bank
was never granted to the Federal Government
by the States, it should not now be contended
by those who believe in that doctrine that the
same government has the power to create a
Treasury Bank. If the power is wanting in
the fihit instance, it is in the latter.
The people ask a reform in^jjie banking
institutions of the country, not a total destruc
tion of them. Suppress all notes of the small
er denominations, and their places will be
supplied with coin; the larger notes will an
swer for the credit which is required for the
commerce of the country, and the improve
ments which are necessary at home. We
shall then have a hard money currency and
government for all useful and beneficial pur
poses, or as near to one as we can ever get,
j ?even this must be the work of time. Sud
i den changes are never beneficial?we must
preserve and'not destroy.
From the t'herry Valley liaxcltr.
I In our last week's paper we gave an ex
tract from the Address, of the Republican
j General Committee of Albany, which we now
publish at large, and for which we bespeak a
careful perusal.
i Its doctrines are sound, and we have no
doubt will be responded to by the great body
of the Democratic Party?while its appear
ance is at a time when a fearless avowal of
good old republican principles is much wanted.
This excellent address, following up the
' sound views of the Governor of Virginia, is
calculated to arrest the attention of all reflect
ing men to the absurdity of keeping up a
constant clamour against our moneyed insti
i tutions as the cause of our embarrassments.
We repeat what has been often said in re
spect to Hanks, that the difficulty with them
is the w.int of punctuality among debtors.
If they could pay as thoy have agreed to
do, the Banks would at once redccpi all their
Bills, pay all sums due, to Depositors, and
have st>me thirty or forty millions of dollars
. of spare funds.
Why this clamor against the Banks? and
what is to be gained by it?
It is in effect a clainor against bank debt
ors, and if vigorous measures are pursued
against the banks, the debtors must be suf
Wc believe the time has come when the
great body of the people (the business men in
particular) will see it for the interest of oil to
put an end to paltry prejudices, and to unite
in a i-ist and liberal policy towards the bank
as a means of restoring confidence and pro
ducing a better state of feeling among tho
As to the Loco Focos proper, or that class
of politicians who choose to turn demagogues
with a view of courting this faction, we care
but little for them.
No true Republican will desire to witness
em'>arrassmcn?s among our citizens for the
purpu** of I oak; ring prejudicca ur injuring
our moneyed inatitutions, and the ?oouer we
fro rid of such patriots the better.
The republican doctrine in to preserve with
good faith the institutions that have grown op
under the stale laws, and that are intimately
connected with the business of our citizens in
ail their various ramifications.
We avow ourselves for a medium courae.
We support the banks in all their chartered
rights, and we desire to see them strengthen
ed and placed on a substantial specie basis,
but we repudiate the idea as utterly absurd,
irrational, and rediculous, that in a commer
cial country like ours, its business can be
transacted upon an entire sj?ecie currency.
We therefore make no concessions to this
radical spirit that prevails to some extent in
the city of New York, which wag against all
our Institutions and against property gent-ral
ly ; or to that class of politicians who, to con
ciliate this spirit, would reprobate the suspen
sion law, and prefer leaving the banks and
their debtors to their fate.
Another topic in which we fully concur, is
u decided approval of the distribution bill, by
which Congress directed a large portion of
the surplus funds to he withdrawn from the
banks and deposited with the States for safe
keeping, and which are now distributing iu
the several States by loans, and otherwise
among the people.
We arc not to be understood as desiring to
, see a large surplus revenue collected ; but
i having accumulated, we never could appre
I ciftte the objections to its distribution.
The bill was signed by the President with
out objection, and we believe met with the
approbation of Mr. Van Duren.
Mr. Tatlmadge of the United States Senate
voted for it, and supported it by a speech that
has been conceded on all hands to have been
powerful and well timed, and as reflecting
much credit upon himself and the State of
New York.
Wo are aware thai attempts have been
I made by a few of our puhlic papers professing
an attachment to republicanism, to disparage
Mr. Tallmadge on account of his vote.
The attacks made upon him are the ebulli
tions of little minds, instigated by jealousies
and'petty prejudices, and iu the end will re
coil ii(?on the heads of those (and their abet
ors) who have made tliein.
We believe his vote has the approval of
seven-eiglnhs of the republicans throughout
the Union, as it had the votes of a great and
preponderating majority of the republican
members of the Senate and House of Repre
sentatives of the United States.
We have not time or space to go to a
greater extent into the several topics em
braced in this address, or even to allude to h11
of thein ; our readers will examine for them
selves, and we have no doubt will be instruct
ed and gratified with its perusal.
WEDNESDAY, A U G U ST 23, 1 8 37.
" In the regulation* which Congress may prescribe,
respecting, the custoily of the PUBLIC MONEY, it is
DKSIEAKI.B THAT Aft I.ITTI.K discretion as may be.
deemed consistent with their safe keeping, should be
givkn to Executive Agents."?General Jackson's
Message, Dec. 1835
" Who will probably be fourul lkrs r khponsi bI.e.
Mr. Woodbury's Report, Dtc., 1834.
V* Hanks cannot he dispensed with,
An effort is making to identify the views
and policy of the President, w ith those of a
party ycleped " Loco-focos," who have " tra
velled out of the record," beyond t}ie long
recognized creed of Republicans, in the ad
vocacy of extreme and ultra doctrines. The
effort will prove as unsuccessful as the impu
tation upon the President is groundless and
unjust, lie will neither countenance such
| doctrines, nor the denunciations of particular
classes of citizens which are the offspring of
its spirit. He has been too long prominent
in the ranks of orthodox Republicanism ; has
given too many evidences of his devotion to
the principles of Jefferson and Madison ; his
feelings are too ardently attached to the proud
monuments of his own great State, combined
with gratitude for the kindness she always
j extended to him, " her favorite son ;" there
I are too many recorded evidences of his up
lifted voice in behalf of. the best interests of
his country, to warrant the imputation, that at
this moment, when he is invested with the
entire functions of the Chief Magistracy of
the United States, lie can prove delinquent to
the promises of his early life, the pledges of
his riper years, an 1 the obligations that rest
upon him iu his efforts to meet fully the ex
pectations that elevated him to the lofty posi
tion of the Presidency.
No. We do not credit this libel upon his
character. When he shall he required to act,
we are convinced he will display his position
far above the reach of any such suspicion.
We believe him to be the friend of conserva
tive principles as applied to the existing insti
tutions of our country ; that now, as ever, ho
prefers to stand rathur-upon the rock occupi
ed by the pure and lofty spirits of olden time,
than to hazard a footing upon the quicksands
of modern zealots. We feel assured that he
glories in the higher range of moral eminence,
and disdains the grovelling workings of igno
ble passion; that he regards his future fame
with no less anxiety than lie sought to estab
lish his earlier reputation ; that he prefers his
name shall go to posterity, distinguished bj
the calm lustre that encircles the memory of
Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, rather than
the lurid glare of ephemeral notoriety with
which the spirits of " Loco-focoism" would
fain invest it.
If we are not monstrously deceived in the
character of the President, he has none of
that daring that belongs to visionary ami des
perate* minds?none of the Quixotism that
war? with pluutioms and ?puut> with vi?io<u
?none of thai wild spirit of adventure that
alitnulated Siuintea to pMetrate the poles of
the earth?none of the fully of Anacharsia
Clootz, who undertook to revolutionise the
Ou the contrary, his character unite* with
the happiest temper, extraordinary prudence,
unrivalled knowledge of human nature, and
the roundest practical good sense. Governed
by a high sense of honor, and regulating his
conduct by elevated principles, the good old
republicans of the country may rest assured
that the President indulges not the thought of
forsaking the plain, well tried and approved
principles of the ancient platform. At least,
it is our firm belief, that he will not rashly
launch himself aud the country into a state of
" new aud untried being," either for the pur
pose of gratifying schemers, or to try any
new theories or experiments, vitally involving
all that is dear to us as a United People. The
whole tenor of his life, and our own know
ledge of his character, confirm these convic
tions. In this faith we shall confidently rest
until the duy of trial shall decide.
The source whence the first proposition on
this subject came, (the Richmond Enquirer,) is
of itself tho highest authority, independent
of the forcible arguments with which it was
presented to the public. The Editor of the
Richmond Enquirer is certainly one of the
earliest and ablest supporters of the principles
which governed the last administration, and
which the present one is " pledged to pre?erve
and carry out; he is at least " an elder, if not
a better soldierthan the Globe ; and though
the latter is opposed to the project of a con
vention, we doubt very inuch whether it be
" by authority."
Hut we need not waste our time in trying
to convince friends or foes, of the propriety,
nay urgent necessity, of a Convention of
Hanks, as a preliminary step to the resumption
of specie payments. Hut if any argument were
necessary, it would be quite sufficient simply
U? state the fact,*that the two parties, or cliques,
who are hostile to tho Hanks, and opposed to
a Convention, are the advocates of Sub-Trea
suries, and a United States Bank; and
though they are opposed to each other, they
will unite against the State Banks.
To the Banks themselves we have but a
pastiing remark to make : The eyes of the
whole country are fixed upon you. You are
arraigned at the bar of Public Opinion, charged
with high crimes and misdemeanors; and
you are called upon to plead to the charge.
We advise you to ask no postponement of
your trial, but to join issue at once, and put
yourselves upon the country.
Tho next consideration will be, where,
and when this important trial is to take place,
and who shall make the first movement ?
We think the place, should be either New
York or Philadelphia. That the time should
be, at least, as early as the first Of Oc
tober, if not the middle of September; and
that the first movement should be made at the
North in the Old " Cradle, of Liberty Vir
ginia first made the call ; let Massachusetts
first respond to it. The North should be the
first to respond to the South.
Since writing the above we have received
a Circular from the Banks of New York,
which has been sent to the principal Banks
of the United States, with the view of calling
their attention to this important subject. The
resolution adopted by a meeting of the officers
of the Banks of New York, authorized a Com
1 mittee U> be appointed to correspond with the
Hanks in the several Slates, " in order to as
^ certain at what time and place a Convention
of the principal Hanks should be held, for the
purpose of agreeing on the time when specie
payments should be resumed and on tho.
i measures necessary to effect tho purpose."
The Committee very truly represent the ne
cessity of paying off the foreign debt and re
ducing the rate of exchange before any aitcmpt
is made to resume specie payments. Tho
I Circ ular is written in a very proper spirit, and
states that the Banks of New York mu-t re
| sume, between tho first of January and the
j middle of March next. They suggest the lat
ter end of October as the proper time, and
New York city as the most eligible place for
the proposed Convention. We assent to this
proposition, and shall support it, if generally
agreed upon. We arc happy to perceive that
the sentiments of tho Committee, concur with
our own, in other respects. The following is
a copy of their
New York, August 18, 1837.
Sir?At a general meeting of the officers
' of the Banks of the City of New York, held
, on the 15th of this month, tho following reso
| lution was unanimously adopted?viz.
Resolved?" That a committee be appoint
! ed to correspond with such Hanks in the seve
ral States as may think proper, in order to
ascertain at what time and place a convention
of the principal Banks should be held, for tho
purpose of agreeing on the time when specie
payments should be resumed, and on the mea
sures necessary to effect that purpose."
Having been appointed a Committee in
conformity with that resolution, we beg leave
to call your attention U) the important subject
to which it refers..
The suspension of specie payments were
forced upon tlic Hanks, immediately by a
panic and by causes not under their control,
remotely by the unfortunate coincidence of
extraordinary events anil incidents, the ulti
mate result of which was anticipated neither
by Government, nor by auv part of the commu
Hut it is nevertheless undeniable, that, by
accepting their charters, the Banks had con
tracted the obligation of redeeming their issues
at all times.and under any circumstances what
ever ; that they have not been able to perform
that engagement; and that a depreciated paper,
different in value in different places, and sub
ject to daily fluctuations in tho same place,
has thus been substituted for the currency,
equivalent to gold and silver, which, mid uo
other, they were authorised, and had the ex
clusive right to issue. . .
Such ?late of things cannot and ought not
to be tolerated any longer than absolute neces
sity requires it. We are very certain that
you unite with us in the opinion that it ia the
paramount, and most sacred duty of the banks
to exert every effort, to adopt every measure
within the^r power, which may promote and
accelerate the desired result; and that they
must be prepared to resume specie payments
within the shortest possible notice, whenever
a favorable alteration shall occur in the rate
of foreign exchanges.
We are quite aware of the difficulties which
must be surmounted, and of the impropriety
of any premature attempt. No banking sys
tem could indeed be tolerated, which was not
able to withstand the ordinary and unavoida
ble fluctuations of exchange. But the dif
ference is great between continuing and re
suming specie payments; and we do not be
lieve, that the Hanks in the United States can,
without running the imminent danger of an
other speedy and fatal catastrophe, resume
such payments, before the foreign debt shall
have been so far lessened or adjusted, as to
reduce the rate of exchanges to true specie
par, and the risk of au immediate exportation
of the precious metals shall have thus been
The appearances in that respect Jin'- v^
come more flattering; and it is not 4Hl,
that the expected change may taW u
shortly after the next crop of our principals
ticle of exports shall begin to operate. Vci
we are sensible that we must not rely on con
jectures ; and that the Banks cannot designate
the time when they may resume, before* the
ability to sustain specie payments shall have
been ascertained by the actual reduction in the
rate of the exchange.
But even when the apprehension of a fo
reign drain of spccie shall have ceased, the
great object in view cannot be effected with
out a concert of the Banks in the several sec
tions of the Union. Those of this city had
the misfortune to be, with few exceptions, the
first that were compelled to declare their ina
bility to sustain for the time specie payments.
It appears that it became absolutely necessary
for the othpr Banks to pursue the same course;
and it would be likewise impracticable for
those of any particular section to resume with
out a general explanation of at least the prin
cipal Banks of the greater part of the country.
A mutual and free communication of their re
spective situation, prospects and opinions
seems to be a necessary preliminary step, to
be followed by a convention at such lime and
place as may be agreed upon.
As relates to the Banks of this city, we are
of opinion that, provided the co-operati<m of
the other Banks is obtained, they may and
ought to, we should perhaps say, that they
must resume specie payments before next
spring, or to be more precise, between the
first of January and the middle of March,
Both the time and place of meeting m con
vention, must of course be determined in con
formity with the general wishes of the Banks.
In order to bring the subject in a definite
shape before you, we merely suggest the lat
ter end of October as the proper time, and
this city as the most eligible place for the pro
posed Convention.
A sufficient time will have then elapsed, to
enable us to judge of the measures which
Congress may adopt in reference to the sub
ject. W hatever may be its action on the
currency, the duty of resuming remains the
same and must ta performed by the Banks.
If any thiug indeed, can produce an effect fa
vorable to their views, it will be the know
ledge of their being sincerely and earnestly
engaged in effecting that purpose. An early
indication of the determination of the Banks
will have a beneficial influence by making
them all aware of the necessity of adopting
the requisite preliminary measures; and the
information is also due to all the varied in
terests of the country.
We address this letter -to no other Bank in
your city or state, than those herein designa
ted ; and we pray you to collect and ascertain
the opinions of the others, and to communi
cate the general result as early as practicable.
? Fron the New York Times
There appear* to be * settled determination ia certain
quarter*, from whence better thing* might have been
expected, to throw discredit on the character of the
citizen* and institutions of this city and slate. And
even conductors of the public press, who profea* a zea
lous attachment to President Van Buren, are found in
the ranks of those who*e constant vollies of vituperation
are directed against New York mcrchanta, New York
politicians, and institutions. Although not professing
lo be especially in the confidence of the Preaident, we
know that these assaults are made without his approba
tion, for his attachment to the permanent interests of
his native state ha* ever been prominently exhibited ;
nor can be view with any satisfaction the efforta of any
press or coterie to hold up the citizens of the empiro
state or commercial etn|>orinm as justly objects of po
litical denunciation. Indeed it would be as absurd a*
unjust to attribute either the origin or continuance of
these assaulta to "the favorite son of New York,"
whose political elevation was the result of the deep
rooted attachment of her citizens, through a long politi
cal career, and whose fame i* identified with the enter
prise, liberality and public spirit of her whole imputa
To what then can we attribute these continued st
teinpta to prove that our merchants sre steeped in de
prsvity ;?that our moneyed institution* are conducted
bv individual* whose treachery and dishonesty are equal
ly flagrant and conspicuous ;?whose millers are grind
nig the face of the poor, by monopolyzmg all the Hour
hi the Union; and the whole business community are
leagued together to defraud the nation.
(a it not enough that ? mighty commercial revulsion
hss swept over the land, prostrating in ita career, so
msny, whose hard esrned competency waa gathered
through ? long life of toil and industry ! Is it not
enough thst we sre compelled to snstain the weight oc
casioned by defalrationa throughout every section of
the Union ' Is it not enough that our ships lie idle
at our wharves ; that, through the action of numerous
causes, over which our business men had no control,
fostered and aided by the clamors of radicals anil de
structives, the stable and prudently conducted moneyed
institution* were com|>elled to suspend for a scsson.
Are sll these unforeseen calamities not sufficient without
our l>eing subjected to unmerited denunciations 1 For
ourselves we have hesitated to notice these unwarranta
ble attacks on our city and stale, until ;they hsvc be
come a subject of public comment in every polilicsl and
social circle. And if the authors were aware how deep
a feeling of indignation thev are arousing in the bosom
of a large majority of all political parties by their unjusti
fiable course, thev would perhsps think it prudent to
retrace their steps if they hereafter expect any favora at
the hands of New Yorkers.
But whatever may be the policy that these assailant*
hereafter choose to adopt, w e ahall not hesitate to repel
them with indignation ; for however culpable, may have
hecn* the course of a few whig politicians, it is but jus
tice to the l>ody of our business population of all clashes
to declare, that more high minded, honorable;and public
spirited individuals are not to be found. 'Nor can it
nccessarv for anv rcspcetable journals to slander the
moral character of political opponenta, or endeavor to
convert a public calamity into an engine of deairuction
lo the interest* of all.
Heirif New Yorker* by birth,* and proud of our noble
atate, our flag i* nailed to her msst, nor shall we ceas*
to oppoae the efforta of all who, instead of directing their
anaihcmaa againat tlie foes of the Democratic party, in
discriminately denounce all classes of our citizena, ia*

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