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The Madisonian. (Washington City [i.e. Washington, D.C.]) 1837-1845, September 12, 1837, Image 1

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IP IT 01 ABB riOPltlTOB.
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Wasiiinotom City, D. C. July, 1837.
Correspondence of the Boston Courier.
JVew York, Aug. 28. 1837.
There has never been known at the Park Theatre a
more fashionable and crowded audience than assembled,
on Friday evening, to witness the new tragedy, written
by Mr. Willis for this lady. Much was hoped?but
more was feared,?for Miss Clifton who had a new
character to conceive, and one, too, which it was sup
|K)scd, from the author's want of practice in theatrical
composition, might be more poetical than dramatic. It
was thought that her talent leaned the other way; and
it was doubted, by many of her friends, even whether
ahc had not better have employed a melo-drainatic au
hor than a poet. So much for anlmpiition.
The tragedy was, of course, uuknown to the audience,
except through the slight extracts in the papers, nnd on
the rising of the curtain, expectation was eager and the
house as silent as at the catastrophe of the most thrillum
drama Miss Clifton appeared in the third scene, and
the kind hopes of the audience were expressed in thun- j
ders of apblause. She represents an impassioned girl, j
just returning from her father, who has announced her i
approaching marriage with the man she has loved for
years, anil in the transitions of a single soliloquy the
whole audience evidently underwent a delighted change
of opinion It was a boantiful, impassioned, innocent
girl, pouring out, in the sccrccy of her own chamber,
the time of joy with which her heart was overflowing,
and in the natural cadences of her voice, the musical
sweetness and evident penetration into the full melody
of the verse, and the quiet, subdued, ami chaste acting
of this difficult scene, Misa Clifton convinced every
judgment that she had come to her new task with aivuu
trammelled mind, with no memory of any other piece,
aml|totallv without the mannerism or exaggeration which i
had been dreaded I
In the second act she ia a bride?but discovers that
her husband considers it a match of policy merely, and
loves ber not. Hew then comiiirncea the struggle in
h?r aoal. Not violently?not in a tempest?but with a
glimmering of hope that he may atill be made to love
her, and it determination to win hia love at *11 price, and
by 'forwarding hia maater-paeaion, clo*y. Here waa a
second step in the cooeofKion of this chinclir which
required a shrewd discrimination, and a common mind
waa likely to overatop iia limit The audience again
were disappointed. She *??e atill the character the au
thor drew?full of love, but M full of determination to
b? loved, and when tho scene closed, breatbleee and all
awake aa the attention of the audience had boon kept,
it was felt that many degrees of power and action were
yet to be developed, *ud that she understood and had
studied the author herself. In the five tranaiUon* of the
following difficult soliloquy, she (bowed a. variety of
atyle and a poww of s|?prehenaion, which moat atainp
her inevitably aa an actress of no common order.
?j He does not love me!
I never d n-amed of this! To be his bride
Was all the heaven 1 loek'd for! Not to love me
When I have been ten ye firs affianced to him'?
W hen I have lived fbr hun ; shut up my heart,
With everv pulse and hope, for hia use only?
Worahipp'd?oh God! iduUtroualy loved bim .
Why has he sought to marry me ? Why still
Renew tho broken pledge my father made him
Why, for ten years, with war and policy,
Strive for my poor alliance f
lie must love me,
Or 1 shall break my heart t I never had
One other hope in life ! I never link'd
Ohm thought, but to this chain ! I have no hlood
No breath?no being-?separate from Sforza .
Nothing has any other name! The sun
Shined like hi* smile?the lightning was hia glory? ,
The night bis sleep, and the hushd moon watch <1 o er
him; , .
Stars writ his name?his breath hung on the flow ers
Music had no voice but to say I him,
\ And life no future but his love for me '?
I Whom does he love ? Marancio a wife ? He prats d
Only her courage ! Queen Giovanna's beauty T
'Tis dust these many years ! There is no sign
He loves another, and report said ever
(lis glory was his mistress. Can he love f
Shame on the doubt! Twa? written in the ring.
'? He who loves most loves houor best"'?aud oloraa
Is made too like a god to lack a heart.
And so, I breathe again ! To make him love me
Is all my life, now ! to pnr through his nature.
And find his heart out. Thai', wrapt in glory !
Ill feed his glory, then ! He praised Giovanna
That she was royal and magnificent?
Ay?that's well thought on, too ! How should an eye
Dazzled with war and warlike pomp like Sforza a
Find pleasure in simplicity like mine .
| (Looks at her dress.) ,
I'm a duke's daughter, and I'll wear the look on t.
Unlock my jewels and my costly rot.es.
And while I keep his show struck eye upon me,
Watch for a golden opportunity
To build up his renown!
. , And so farewell
The gentle world I've livep in! Farewell all
My visions of a world for two hearts oiily?
Storsa's and mine ! If I outlive this change,
So brief and yet so violent within me.
I'll come back in my dreams, oh, childish world I
If not?a broken heart blots out remembrance.
(Exit into, htr bridal chamber, which it teen beyond on open
ing the door.)
In tho third act ahe appears magnificently attired at a
Court festival, full of her ambition to attract the " ahow
struck eye" of Sforza. In the following paaaage Miss
Clitfton will long bo remembored :
Now aince the aerpent
Misled our mother, never was falk truth
So subtly turned to error. If the rose
Were born a lily, and, by force of heart.
And eagerness for light, grew tall and fair,
"Twere a true type of the first fiery soul
That makea a low name honorable. They
Who take it by inheritance alone?
Adding no brightness to it?are like stars
Seen in the ocean, that were never there,
But for the bright originals in heaven '.
Sarp. (Sneeringly.) Rest to the gallant soul of the first
Bi. Amen! but tripple glory to the second.
I havo a brief tale for thine ear ambassador!
Sarp. I listen, lady ! .... i ? ? i
U,- r Mnrk the moral, sir!
An eagle once from the Euganean hills ..... .
Soared bravely to the sky. [Jo Stoma.] (Wiltplease
my lord ..... ,
List to my story T) In his giddy track
Scarce marked by them who guzo upon the lirat,
Followed a new-fledged eaglet fast and well.
Upward they sped, and all eyes on their flight
Gazed with admiring awe, when, suddeuly,
The parent biyd, struck by a thunderbolt,
Dropped lifeless through the air. The eaglet paused
And hung upon his wings ; and as his sire
Flashed in the far down wave, men looked to see him
Flee to his nest affrighted!
Sf. (With great interest.) Did he so?
Bi. My noble lord?he had a monarch's heart!
He wheeled a moment in mid air, and shook
Proudly hit royal wings, ami then right on,
With crest uplifted and unwavering Right,
Sped to the sun's eye, straight and gloriously.
Page. Lady?is that true T
jjl Ay?men call those eagles
Sforza tho First and Second !
It will be said, that with the magnificent beauty of the
actress, this showy passage could scarce fail of ail ef
fect but there was more in it than her beauty. It was
delivered with pride, with a majesty, with a discrimina
tion of emphasis, which will never get out of tho cars
of those who have heard it. She rose, by another noble
step, in the appreciation of the character, and when, im
mediately after her father's death is announced the thrill
with which the audicnc-e rcceivcd her first overpowering
" Sforza '11 be Duke !"
surpassed any thing in our memory. The struggle be
tween her muster-passion, and her wish to hear the par
ticulars of his death, was in the first order of acting, and
the applause was commensurate.
In the fourth act, she is informed that, at the very
pitch of her success in ministering to Sforza s glory, an
obstacle exists in the person of her beloved page?who
is her undoubted brother, and heir to the Dqkedom. At
this crisis she overhears n.plot to murder Sforza, and the
blood v thought occurs to her to contrive that the page
shall sleep in her husband's place in the garden, and be
murdered for him. The cffect with which, after over
hearing the plot, she gives the following powerful transi
tion, was worthy of Mrs. Siddcna.
"Oh unretributive and silent heavens,
Heard you these men? Thank God that 1 can save htm .
The sun shone on them?on these murderers,
As it now shines mi me ! Would if were (j inl it
They thought to murder 7"
The fifth net is one continued piece of trying and most
difficult acting. The loving page, by his unconscious
tenderness and fondness, drives her from her purpose,
and Sforza, with the melancholy of his prostrated ambi
tion, forces it back upon her soul. There is not, per
haps, in the whole range of the drama, a more difficult
part, changing and reeJianging from reason to madness,
from the sternest resolve to the most touching tender
's,, ti|| her " overtasked heart" breaks with the com
pletion of hor design?the coronation of Sforza.
Miss Clifton in this play is a new creature. With no
one to imitate in her part, she has struck a new vein in
her own genius, and it is golden ore. She is self-pos
sessed, discriminating, mistress of herself and the pas
sions of her audience, and the gradual rise and access of
power and passion, in her conception of the character,
must be to the author one of the richest intellectual treats
he can ever have enjoyed. She is now beyond a ques
tion in the first rank of intellectual players With the
advantage of unequalled and long acknowledged physi
cal superiority, she lias step|>ed into the more spiritual
arena of Macready and Ellen Tree, and equalled them
at their own weapons A great name may be predicted
for her?if the award follow the deserving.
The part of tho Page, a very difficult one, too, was
sweetly played bv Master Mestaycr, of the Boston thea
tre He looks the character exactly, and made a vivid
impression by his melancholy, yet sometimes playful
nciing?representing well the doomed but royal-spinted
hov, who is the victim of the drama. With the excep
tion of this boy and Miss Clifton, uo performer seemed
to have wholly committed his part, and it is no small
triumph to Miss Clifton to have achieved so noble a re
sult, so indifferently sustained. .
The Disrio di Roma of the 13th July, says: " From
the reappearance of the cholera at Naples, on the 13th
April, there have been accounts ol 18,220 cases?
11,283 deaths?which gives an average proportion of
about 360?and odd victims per day, and 16 i?er hour,
from whence it follows that during one thira of the
voar, this pestilence has earned off a victim every four
minutes in that city !
from Ikt Richmond Emqmrtr.
We lay before our reader* tho very im
purtant Measage of the President of the
United Statea. Every one muat admit, that
it ia writteu with great ability?and with a
moral courage, which puts to flight at once
the turners and scoff* of lua enemies. There
ia not a particlc of non-committalism in it. It
puts forth the boldest propositions in tho
plaineat possible language, Its argument* are
vigorous?its style clear, dignified, unimpas
sioned, aud statesman-like. It might serve as
a model for auch compositions. These arc
merits, which, wo should suppose, uo man
who has the slightest pretensions to candour,
is prepared to deny to it. Let us then hear
no moro of die diplomacy, cunning, non-coin
miualism of the little magician.
The Message confines itself to the groat
question of the Currency. It explains the
reasons which compelled the 'President to
call Congrees together?portrays the causes
o? our present embarrassments?ascribes them
mainly to over-dealing and over-banking, ag
gravated as they have been by other causes
?and then explains the objects which call
for the immediate attention of Congres. 1 heae
aro?44 to regulate by law tho safe-keeping,
transfer and disbursement of the public moneys ;
to designate the funds to be received and paid
by the Government; to enable the 1 reasury
to meet promptly every demand upon it; to
prescribe the terms of indulgence, and the
mode of settlement to bo adopted, as well in
collccting from individuals tlte revenue that hus
accrued, as in withdrawing it from former de
positories, and to devise and adopt such fur
ther measures, within tho constitutional com
petency of Congress, as will be best calcu
lated to revive tho enterprise, and to promote
the prosperity of the country ." 1 he President
repeats his " increased conviction" and uncom
promising hostility against a National Hank?
insists upon divorcing the connection between
the Government and the State Banks?and
assigns his reasons for tho opinion at great
length and with great ingenuity. He advo
cates the Sub-treasury system ; points out its
safe-keeping of tho public lunds ; shows that
it id not hko the State Banks, calculated to
stimulate speculation, and derange the cur
rency?and meets the objections that have
been urged against it?After submitting these
views, he " leaves to Congress tho measures
necessary to regulate, in the present emer
gency, the safe-keeping and transler of the
public rfloneys"?and pledges himself to car
ry out the plan which they may devise, con
sistendy with his obligations to tho Constitu
tion- . . i_
He then proceeds to investigate the charac
ter of tho funds, which should " bo received
and disbursed in the transactions of the Go
vernment"?presumes that " the receipts into
the Treasury, of bank notes, not redeemed in
specie on demand, will not be sanctioned
advises that nothing but gold and silver should
be hereafter received?and attempts to de
scribe the advantages of the system, and an
swer the objections to it.
The President suggests die benefits of a
Bankrupt Law, as imposing a salutary check
on the issues of paper money.-t-Ho submits
to Congress the propriety of a further post
ponement of the Merchants' Bonds, which
have been laid over till the 1st October.- Ho
mentions the deficit which will occur in tho
revenues of the year?as equal to about 10
millions, after reserving 4 millions in the
Treasury ; and recommends, that instead of
making it up by loans or taxation, the last or
Octobcr instalment of the Surplus Revenue
should be withheld from the States. He ob
serves, that " Until tho amount can be col
lected from the (deposite) Banks, Treasury
notes may be temporarily issued, to be gradu
ally redeemed as it is received."
The Message closes with some general re
marks on the limited character qf our Consti
tution?and the necessity of its abstaining
from any interference with the private pur
suits of the Citizen.?It insists that the dis
tresses of tho times, however great they may
be, are limited in their extent, and rapidly re
mediable by the great resources of our coun
try?that the " proceeds of our great staples
will soon furuish the means ol liquidating
debts at home and abroad"?that the 14 period
must soon arrive when all (the State Banks)
that arc solvent will redeem their issues in
gold and silver,"?and concludes his reflec
tions with the appropriate remark, that, "Com
ing directly from tho midst ot them, (the Peo
ple,) and knowing the course of events in
every section of our country, from you may
best be learned as well the extent and nature
of these embarrassments, as the most desira
ble measures of reliel." It is impossible for
us to do justice to the beauty and force of this
portion of the Message.
Such is tho general character of the im
portant Document, which we now lay before
our readers. We have read it with every
respect for the abilities and honesty of its au
thor?with the deepest attachment to tho man,
and with every desire to promote the success
of his administration. W e have rc-cxamincd
the propositions -re-perused his arguments
and sought to disabuse our mind of all its pre
judices and prepossessions. In the same
frank spirit in which lie has addressed bis
countrymen, wo respectfully say, that we still
differ from the course which he has chalked
out. We shall state our opinions freely,
but briefly ; (for wc arc pressed for room.)
Heaven knows, that we " set down naught in
malice!" Mr. Van Buren himself knows us.
better. We consider it peculiarly unfortunate
at this time, that all the friends of the Admin
istration cannot go together. Tho country is
sorely afflicted ; and the leaders of the Oppo
sition arc seeking to make the most of our
distresses, as well as of our divisions The
Whigs will ply every engine to foment discord
in our ranks. They will woo wine of our
friends, though they will not win them. * or,
these are not the times, when a wise Repub
lican, however ambitious of distinction, should
think of his own interests ; much less seek to
promote them by the arms of his enemies.
Most of the Whigs have a deep game to play.
They are animated by their momentary suc
cess in the West. They will probably strike
for all. They may vote against any scheme
("humbug" they will call it,) which the
friends of the Administration will recom
mend?Thov will oppose the State Bank sys
tem?as well as the Sub-treasury system,
under the hope of finally carrying their own
idol, the Bank of the United Slates. They
will prefer to keep every thing in its present
unsettled condition?to u inuke confusion
worso confounded"?to scatter panic and
complaints among the people?and force the in
if possible, to take refuge in the embraces of
the monster. Mr. Biddle is bent upon tri
umph " with an eye that never winks, and a
wing that never tires." His designs are as
daring as his means are insidious. We nee
his little finger in tho late movements of the
banks of Philadelphia. The Convention of
Banks is to be strangled. It does jiot suit his
purposes, at present, to bring back the State
Banks to tho resumption of specie payments.
Tho people aro not yet discontented and
" sick" enough to call for his assistance. He
has plans afoot, which ought to startle every
patriot in the land. If he succeeds in forcing
a recharter from the country, we may well
tremble for her Constitution and'her liberties.
A Money King will indeed rule over us.
In fact, never was there a time when the
Republican party should be more strongly
united?when it was so unfortunate that any
schism should creep into their camp?and
when it was so necessary for them to exercise
discretion as well as moderation. We have
often repeated, that we ought to " bear and
forbear" with each other. In sketching our
objections to the message, therefore, we shall
obscrvo the most liberal disposition. Wo re
gret that it speaks in so thorough and uncom
promising a tone ; but we shall take the liber
ty of suggesting some ground of conciliation
and compromise, on which the friends of the
Administration might probably meet, in the
present Congress.
How is it that the great masses of tho two
parties Beem to be respectively shifting the
grounds, which they occupied in '34 ? Many
of tho Whigs then supported tho Sub-treasury
system, in preference to the State Banks. The
friends of the Administration then violently
assailed it. Now the Whigs have chopped
round, and go against it. Most of the Repub
licans, with the President at their head, are
inclined to support it. It is our misfortune to
adhere to the same principles .which wo then
professed?and for the same reasons. A bet
ter soldier than ourselves, then gave forth the
most serious objections to the scheme :
" The public moneys, from the time of thoir
receipt to the tifho of their disbursement,
amounting, as they often do, to ten or twelve
millions of dollars, must remain in the hands
of individuals appointed by the President, and
removable at his will" They ought (not) to
be kept in their pockets, chests, or vaults, where
they can approach it every day, and use it
without tho checks of warrants drawn, coun
tersigned, registered, and recorded, and pass
ing through many hands, without which not a
dollar can now be touched by any public offi
cer, not even the President himself."
We have no desire to see such an accumu
lation of power in the hands of the Exocu- \
tive?no wish to put the public money direct
ly into the palms of his friends and partisans
?Wo wish to see the power and patronagu
of the Executive increased as little as possi
ble?"thepoworeof tho (Federal) Govern
ment (not) enlarged"?the purse and the
sword not more strongly united, than they are
in the hands of the President?and as few
means of corruption as possiblo trusted in his
possession. Some events have shifted the
balance of the Constitution, and thrown too
much power already into the Executive scale
?thanks especially to the Whig Senators,
who fought so recklessly for the Hank of the
U. States, in the day of panic trampled their
instructions under foot, and brought their own
body into contempt! We have no desire, un
less the public interests imperiously demand
it, to throw greater weight into tho Executive
scale, by bringing the President, into closer
contact with the public purse. We have no
uneasiness about the present incumbent. Mr.
Van Buren declares, that he would much ra
ther withdraw, " to the greatest practicable ex
tent, from all concern in the custody and dis
bursement of the public revenue." We con
scientiously believe him. But wo are framing
a general system, not for him alono, but for his
successors. We might safely trust the public
purse in his hands; but who is to ensure us
against those who are to come after him ?
Some ambitious, and dangerous man may as
cend to the chair, prepared to abuse the pa
tronage of office, and to exert tho means of
But the Message fritters away the extent
of this patronage. It states tho number of
officers as very few ; the amount of monies in
their hands as small; and the additional ex
penses as not exceeding $00,000 a year.?
But these were not considered as slight ob
jections in '34 ; and wo cannot permit our
selves to undervalue them now. The argu
ment has indeed gained strength since that
time. We must allow for every condition of
our finances. Wo have lately seen a surplus
revenue of forty millions thrown into our
Treasury. The President lays great stress
on the mischief it has done in the Stato !
Banks. But the argument cuts both ways.? ;
What mischief would it have done, if tho ;
Sub-Treasury system had been in full opera
tion ! Half the coin in the country (at its
highest estimate of 80 millions) would have
been withdrawn at once from circulation?the
people would have been subjected to great in
convenience in paying the public duties ; and
an immense sum exposed to the pillage of
" parasites and partisans."
VVe shall see what tho Secretary of the
treasury says of the cheapness and working
of the machine ; but we aro puzzled to see
how it will cost but $00,000 more. The
Pension Agencies alone, which are charged !
at the expense of tho banks, would perhaps
cost the whole sum. Those in Virginia alono
cost our State Banks from 4 to 5,000 dollars
a year.
We do not hesitate to say, that tho sub
treasuries too are less safe for keeping, nnd
less convenient for transmitting the Public
funds, than sound and properly organized
State Banks. The largo funds of a Bnnk are
pledged for the safety of its deposiles; and
they are better than any security which the
sub-treasurers can give.
Why, then, should wo change the Stato
Bank system of '34 ? and adopt the Sub-Trea
sury scheme, which was then so strongly as
sailed ? The Message holds, because the
Slate Banks have been tried, and failed. But
have they been fairly and fully tried ? In the
first place, have the State Hanks been pro|?er- j
ly organized 1 Have they been limited in the
issue of small notes, an onr Legislature have
just provided, and as Mr. Rives' Currency
Bill ho wisely regulated ? Have the fund*
of the Government been placed in them as a
special Jeposite f This principle would have
essentially contributed to obviate the objec
tions of the message, flowing from the late de
tention of the public funds and realized one of
the great advantages Which it discovers in
keeping them in the hands of the sub-treasu
rers. But in the next place, can the system
be said to be fairly tried in the state of things
which has just transpired? The message
complains, that the suspension of the Banks
occurred in a time of peace and of apparent
prosperity?not as it did before, iu 1814, in a
period of war. This remark is true enough?
but when was the country ever in such a situ
ation in a stale of peace, as it has lately been
and when is it likely again to occur ? So un
precedented a spirit of speculation and over
dealing, in foreign goods, in public lands, in
all the departments of business, both at home
and abroad. The message uscribes tliis mis
chief indeed to the Banks themselves. W hat
then? How was the sub-treasury system to
have correctcd the evil? Would it have ex
tinguished the spirit that seems to have raged
over both continents ? W e do not understand,
that the President means to arrest the whole
banking system?Would it then not lia\e
gone on to rage in spite of the sub-treasury
system ? But the message contends, that the
large public deposites thrown into the State
Institutions have stimulated and enlarged tins
spirit of speculation. Admit the fact are the
State Banks to blame for raising the 40 mil
lions of surplus?or is it an unwise Govern
ment to blame for it? The Republicans of
the South insisted upon cutting down the
tariff, and reducing the revenue. But Con
gress would not take in sail in season, and
when this immense surplus was accumulated,
it was to be disposed of, iu some way or other.
Thrown into the State Banks, and the Secre
tary of the Treasury himself stimulated the
State Banks to discount freely upon it, it has
done much mischief. If it had been thrown
into the sub-treasuries, it would have done
mischief likewise in a different way. But
this large surplus is a phenomena in our nuan
ces. It is not likely ever again to occur. It
has contributed, as the message admits, to
force the State Banks to a suspension ot pay
ments. But the whole history of the last three
years is an anomaly. It furnishes no conclu
sive argument against the State Banks, pro
perly organized by the States, and employed
by the treasury. The strong position of the
message is, that the public deposites will al
ways" prompt the Banks to excessive dis
counts and over-issues. There is great force
in the proposition?it constitutes a strong o b
jection to the State Banks. But can it not be
obviated or weakened ? The message asks,
in another place, " May not Confess regu
late, by law, the duty of those officers, and
subject it to such subversion and publicity,
as to prevent the possibility of any serious
abuses and excessive discounts on the public
deposites, on the part of the Executive. In
like manner, may we not ask, whether pro
visions may not be hereafter made to prevent
the possibility of any such serious abuse on
the part of the Banks? We would prefer,
with the "Rochester Republican," to pay
them for the expense of their agency, rather
than. thev should abuse the opportunity o!
the deposites. We ask, too, whether Con
fess may not impose other restrictions upon
the Banks?and whether the Slate Legisla
tures may not organize thein upon better prin
ciples ? The message itself emphatically says :
" The whole matter is now under discussion
before tho proper tribunal?the peoplo of the
States. Never before has the public mind
been so thoroughly awakened to a proper
sense of its importance ; never has the sub
ject, in all its bearings, been submitted to so
searching an inquiry. It would be distrusting
the intelligence and virtue of the people to
doubt the speedy and efficient adoption o
such measures of reform as tho public good
demands. All that can rightfully bo done by
tho Federal Government, to promote the ac
complishment of that important object, will,
without doubt, be performed." We must in
deed bo deaf to the voice of experience, it we
did not profit by her recent lessons. Ine
Bank system imperiously calls for great re
form ; and there is no doubt that it will be ob
One remark more upon this subject The
Message suggests, that when tho revenue *
cut down to the legitimate expenses of the
Government, there would be less occasion lor
the Banks to transmit the public funds ; and
there would be less inonoy for the Sub-agents
of the Treasury to keep and control. I his is
perfectly true-We join the President, heart
and hand, in the reduction both of the ex
penses and the revenue; but the argument
cuts both ways. The less revenue there is,
the less will be tho deposites ill the State
Banks, and the less opportunity of swelling
their discounts and circulation. If a small
revenue, therefore, weakens the objections u>
his system, it equally weakens the objections
to the State Bank Dcpositc system.
We still contend, therefore, that it is better
lo try tho State Bank System. Organize it
better, and limit it, as far as possible?Let us
not suffer the unparalleled events which have
recently transpired to shake entirely our con
fidence in it, as a fiscal agent. Let us not
rashly fly to another Expedient. VV o prefer
that alternative, of course, infinitely to an un
constitutional and mammoth National Hank
At all events, let us deliberately re-consider
the whole scheme?Seek lo strip it of its
objections?and only adopt the Sub-treasury,
Executive Machinery, when the State Hanks
have been fairly and fully tried. Our scheme
now is, as it was three years ago: 1 hey
look to GOLD AND SILVER as a general
currency?to restrictions by the Stales upon
the circulation of small notes-to t he dcpositc
of the public moneys in the State Hanks,
under regulations established by Congress?
and to those Banks to carry on in future the
domestic exchanges of the country for ?
accommodation of the Government and 1 eo
Pl The Message says, that " on the
sion, in the year 1833, the employment of the
State Banks was gnarded rsp^'iaNy in xj
way which experience and caution could sug
aert."?But our experience is now extended.
It suggests new guards and cautions. In 33.
there was not even any precaution ol making
1 special depoau.es.?The Message admits, that
" the selected Bunk* performed with fidelity,
and without any embarrassment to themselves
or to the community, their engagements to the
Government, and the system promised to bo
permanently useful."?What then occasioned
it to fail ??The forty millions of surplus re
venue, and its re-deposites under the act of
June, 1836. Tha first is never likely to
occur to auy thing like the same extent?and
as to the measure of re-depoeiles, is A certain
that it was administered in the wisest and
most successful manner ?
The Message insists upon it, that the fiscal
employment of the Hanks, was " from the
beginning, more a measure of emergency,
thun of sound policy"?and that we have no
longer any such emergencies. But, it is sin
gular enough, that at every great epoch of our
finances, when the National Hank has not
been adopted, the State institutions have been
recognized as the proper agents. The Sub
treasury system has never been sanctioned by
the Republican party. In '91, Mr. Madison
argued against the necessity of a National
Hank, by urging the employmont of the State
Hanks, The same argument was pressed by
Mr. Hurwell in 1811, against its re-charter.
It was again called into requisition in the at
tempts to charter, and then to continue the
second United States Hank. In fact, the Stato
Hanks have been adopted at every crisis?
and not the Sub-agencies?until jn 1834,
when Mr. Gordon and <M>me thirty-three
Whigs voted for it in tho Houso of Repre-*
But, if the Sub-treasury system had every
thing to recommend it, which tho Message
claims for it, we consider that now is not the
time to make the innovation. The President
adopts as an essential part of his proposition,
the exclusive use of spccie in the receipt and
disbursement of the funds. He disclaims the
employment of bank notes for a single day.
Is not the transition too sudden? the revolu
tion too great? Congress must consult the
'circumstances of the country. From twenty
to thirty millions of the coin arc locked up in
the vaults of the banks. The Mcs8aKfi itself
tells us, that our paper circulation was more
than one hundred and forty millions; the
specie afloat was eighty millions?but, though
the paper currency has been since curtailed,
tho facilities of the specie circulation have
been reduced in a much greater proportion.
The Message itself tells us, that in the munth
of May last, tho precious metals " disap
peared from circulation," and that44 with each
succeeding day the metallic currency de
creases." What is the inevitable effect ? It
has ccased to become a currency, and is only
an article of traffic. It bears a premium of 10
or 12 per cent. Whilst so much coin is
locked up in the banks ; whilst ho much is in
the act of exportation; and whilst the State
Banks are in want of it to replenish their
vaults, and prepare for resumption, what
would be the consequence of an immcdiato
requisition of specie for all the public dues?
It would rise in value. The merchant would
be compelled to buy it, in order to pay his
custom-house bonds. He would lay it on, as
he does his duties, in the prico of hk goods
?the consumers, the community at large,
would thus be taxed from 10 to 15 per cent.,
to swell the salaries of the officers of the
Government. There would thus be two spe
cies of currency in the country?the baser
currency for the people, and the better for its
officers. Tho Message is very ingenious in
its attempts to obviate the effects of this 44 un
just discrimination." But tho fact is, 44 tho
measure would be (both) one of restriction,"
and of "favor." It would be a restriction on
tho tax-gatherer, not to take any thing but
specie?but it would be a favor to the sala
ried officer, to receive nothing else but a
better currency than the peoplo receive. It
is in vain for the Message to contend, that
44 the constitution prohibits- tho States from
making anything but gold and silver a tender
in the payment of debtB, and thus secures to
every citizen a right to demand payment in
tho legal currency. To provide by law that
the Government will only receive its dues in
gold and silver, is not to confer on it any
peculiar privilege ; but merely to place it on
an equality with the citizen, by reserving to
it a right secured to him by the constitution."
Tho fact is, that the States have so far multi
plied paper currency, that her citizens cannot
now readily obtain specie?that it does oper
ate as a peculiar privilege for tho officer to
receivo it at all events ; ami that it does de
stroy all "equality with tho citizen."
Will such a discrimination operate now for
the benefit of the Citizen? The Message
contends, that a requisition for the public dues
saves tho coin from exportation?produces a
demand for it, increases the safety of Bank
paper, and improves tho general currency.
But it cannot have the effect of relieving the
people at the present time. It only creates
such a demand for it as to make it dearer to
the people, throws it more out of the general
circulation?and worse than all, it contributes
to throw more discredit upon Bank notes,
widens the difference of value between coin
and paper, makes it more difficult for the
Banks to obtain it?and retards the great ob
ject we ought all to have in view?the return
of the Banks to specie payments. They are
to furnish the people with a large portion of
iheir currency?the Sub-Treasuries will not.
do it. Their resumption is the first great ob
ject we ought all to have in view. It is prin
cipally to relieve our embarrassments?and to
tranquilize a discontented people. The Sub
Treasuries and the specic may benefit the of
ficers of the Government, but cannot give re
lief to the community at large?Have wo not
had some experience of the system since May
last? The Banks have been thrown out of
use, and the specie has been demanded for Go
vernment dues.? And what has been the ef
fect of this hard money experiment ? 1 ho
Postmaster-General may report that this 41 De
partment has been successfully conducted
since May last upon the principle ol dealing
only in the legal currency of tho United
States." But if Mr. Krwhll means by this,
that it has received and paid away only hard
money, we take leave to differ from him. A
committee of Congress has only to summon
various Postmasters before them to show tho
contrary?As to the merchants' Bonds, how
many still continue to lie over, from the dif
ficulty of coirimmanding specie funds? Fewer
goods will be prolmbly imported, but if the
duties are paid in specie, the premium will be
ultimately levied on the people.
We should deein it better, therefore, to post
pone tho treasury innovation for a more aus
picious season. Assist the banks to return ?
to specie payments. Facilitate them, if you
can; and force them if you must. Shall we
have no mercy on the banks in 1837, when
Congress agreed to receive their notes lor
eight months, frtxn April, 1816, to hebroary,

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