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The Madisonian. [volume] (Washington City [i.e. Washington, D.C.]) 1837-1845, October 07, 1837, Image 2

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for ihe Government, tor the people, for u* all; bui
now, by your own act, you depreciate it, ami after
making 11 (he worse currency, you leave ii to the
people, and take the gold and silver to yourselves!
Tue result is, that you give to tl*e servants ol the
country, a kind ol money worth more, than tue peo
ple's currency. You isolate tUe Government, so mat
it become* lu luuger a part ol^ the people. You re
verse lUe relatiou wuich has always cx?*ed between
i he in. Tue Government becomes the master, bud
the people become the servants. By this means the
salary of every otficer is raised several per cent, ac
cording specie is more valuible than paper; anil
this diifcrence, too, created by your own act! Dir.
it is a distinction wUich will not be tolerated: ana
those who undertake to make it, will find in the end,
that they have presumed too far on the want ol in
telligence, and on the subierviency of the people of
this country.
But, the project does not stop here. It does not
merely give to the people a depreciated currency,
but, by and bv, they will be deprived of any curren
cy which will be adequate to carry on the business
of the great and diversified interests of this commu
nity. Under this system, the specie ol the country
will be drawn from circulation, and froin the vaults
of the banks, where it is the bisis ol circulation
and of confidence, and deposited iu these Hub-1i ea
sury vaults, till the country is left without a sulli
cient circulating medium lo transact its ordinary
business. The farmer, the merchant, the manufac
turer, and the mechanic, will be unable lo command
the means lo pursue their ordinary avocations. No
matter what their property may be. They may bo
rich in houses and faints, in goods and merchandise,
in manufactures and machinery,in materials, in tools,
and implements of trade, nay, they may possess the
best of bonds and mortgages, and every species ol
stock which lias heretofore been deemed equivalent
to money, and still they will be unable to carry on
their ordinary business for want ol a circulating
medium by which to transact it. Credit is the poor
roan's capital, as well as the auxiliary of the rich.
Deprive him of this, and his habits of industry, his
character for probity, his good name and reputation
avail biin nothing. He has no means by which he
can rise above the ordinary occupation ol a day la
borer. With a growing family, and the increased
expense of living, he is doomed to abject poverty,
without the slightest hope of ever gajning that
standing and that condition in society which a " well
regulated credit system" always holds out to the en
terprising, the honest, ihe industrious portion ol the
Sir, this Sub-Treasury scheme strikes at the very
root of our prosperity. It not only separates the
Government of the people from the people them
selves, but, in its practical operation ii|H>n the credit
and currency of the country, it reduces the price ol
labor?it depresses every species of property, lb?
farmer who has given &5,0U0 for his farm, and paid
$4,()00, will have it sold from under him to pav the
$1,000 which remains due on it. The day laborer
will be compelled lo receive shillings where he for
merly received dollars. Such will be the practical
effect of this scheme if carried out to its legitimate
consequences. Why then adopt it, when it must re
sult in disasters which no imagination can paint 1
It will carry home to the business and bosoms of the
community " a spectacle of horror which cannot be
overdrawn." Let no one be deluded with the vain
hope of better times under such a system. '1 he
scenes of trial through which the country has pass
ed, are mere holydays compared with what will fol
low its adoption. The great distress has hitherto
been confined to our commercial cities and manu
facturing towns. Those scenes will be renewed.
That hope which has hitherto sustained them will
become extinct. That little confidence which re
mained will be taken from them. By the action of
the Government the banks will be compelled in self
defence to call on their debtors. They will be un
able to give farther indulgence. Business must, of
necessity, be brought to a stand, and one universal
bankruptcy ensue. The distress which has hereto
fore prevailed in the large towns will extend lo the
country. The farmer will find no market for his
wool, his grain, and other products, or il he does, it
will be at a price which will not ]>ay the civst and la
bor of production. The merchant will be compel
led lo suspend business, the manufacturer toclosehia
establishment, the mechanic to dismiss his hands,
and the laborer to go without employment. I warn
the country, and the farming interest in particular,
against these Utopian schemes, which will sap the
very foundations of their prosperity and of their
hopes. By this scheme the confidence of the Go
vernment is not only withdrawn from our banking
institutions which furnish a currency for the people,
but by receiving nothing but gold and silver in the
payment of public dues, the very basis of the curren
cy which remains is withdrawn also. Thus the peo
ple are left to return, comparatively, to a stale of bar
ter, whilst their servants are enjoying a currency
vastly increased in value by the very depreciation
and deprivation of the other. It is a scheme to make
the rich richer and' the poor poorer.
But, sir, why this warfare against the banking in
stitution* of tne country 7 For disguise it as you
may, it is no more nor less lhan a war upon the
whole banking system. Gentlemen may not be
willing to avow this; they may not intend it. I feel
?well assured that the President does not so intend if.
But, I will venture lo say, that if a scheme was de
vised for the express purpose of subverting the en
tire banking system of the country, it could not be
more skillfully planned than the one which is now
under consideration. It meets the cordial approba
tion of those who have all along been in favor of
abolishing all banks?and for ihe very reason that
it is so well calculated lo accomplish that object. I
shall endeavor, at the proper time, aild before I con
clude my remarks, to show how this is to effected.
Sir, I am aware of the prejudices which honestly
exist with a portion of the community against any
thing like "associated wealth." I arn aware how
easily those prejudices may be wrought on by dema
gogues and designing politicians. But, those who
are sent here to legislate for the great interests of
the country, should be extremely careful how they
minister to such prejudices. Whilst it is admitted
that the banking system has its ovih, its superior
benefits nevertheless recommend it to the candid
consideration of every statesman and patriot. It
should be his object to correct the evils and retain
the benefits. " Preserve and regulate, but not de
stroy," should be his motto. It has existed and been
recognized from the earliest foundation of the go
vernment down to the present time. It has been
identified with the interests of the government.?
These institutions, in some shape or other, have
been employed by the government during that whole
period. It is through their agency and instrumen
tality that these much abused and despised mer
chants have been enabled to pay into your coffers
the vast amount of revenue which has sustained you
in peace and in war. Yes, these very merchants
who have been represented as men not to be relied
ou in limes of peril?whose patriotism is in their
ledger, and whose field of glory is their counting
room?men who are the most forward in the pursuit
of gain when all is peace and quiet, but who shrink
from responsibility when dnngcr presses. Sir, I
have for a long tune looked with horror upon the
ruthless warfare that has been carried on against
the mercantile interest. 1 have seen with alarm Ihe
attempts which have b -en made to set tip other por
tions of the community against them. I have heard
them branded as swindlers for collecting their ho-^
nest dues at home, and as traitors for paying their
honest debts abroad. Sir, the interests of all classes
in this country are reciprocal. Neither the farmer,
the manufacturer, the mechanic, nor ihe merchant
can get on advantageously the one without the other.
But, it is to the merchant more especially, that Ihe
government must look for the immediate menus of
support. It is ihe merchant that stands between the
government and Ihe consumer. It is Ihe merchant
that shoulders Ihe responsibility and pays into the
Treasury Ihe enormous amount of revenue which
keeps-Jhe whole machinery of government in mo
tion. It is Ihe merchant Hint maintains the credit
of ihe country abroad, by the scrupulous fidelity
with which he endeavors to meet all his engage
ments. In short, the character of nn American
merchant is a passport through any country in ihe
world. And still tnis class of citizens that com
mand universal respect abroad, cannot bo relied on
in limes of peril at home! Sir, in what period of
our history have Ihe merchants been obnoxious i >
this change ! None were more patriotic during ilie
revolutionary war?none contributed their means
more largely or more freely. And who, let ine ask,
occupied a prouder position during the late war 1
When the credit of the government was at its low
est ebb, who furnished ill" means to carry on the
war 1 The merchants. When the governm"ht want
ed money and could not command it on its mvn're
sponsibifity, who stepped in to it* assistance and
provided a credit on which it could b* raised 1
The merchants. Yes, sir, when your troops were
famishing for want of supplies, and disheartened
for want of pay, when you could not rai>-c a dollar
on your own credit, it was the merchants, through
these much traduced and vilified brinks, thai took
vour depreciated pi|?er which had no currency wiili
the people, and gave their own in exchange in which
the country had confidence. Sir, I ain tired of these
incessant efforts to excite one portion of the commu
nity against Ihe oilier. There is no class to whose
patriotism you may not appeal when the country re
?uire?s their services. The agricultural interest,
rom the very nature of their employment, w ill al
ways stand pre-eminent. But, It is to the merchants,
mure than any other class, that you are to Look lor the
ready means to aul you in time of war. Sir, they
have always responded to your cull. They were
nerer found wan'ing in the most perilous periods of
your history. Whatever of glory, or of honor, or
of prosperity this nation enjoys, it is imle^ (I(j jn no
small degree lo the patriotism of the '"erch.Mils.
They have contributed their full share towards es
tablishing your uatioual character at home and
abroad. Tney will continue to sustain it, until
their brokcu and subdued spirits shall think it no
longer worth preserving. '
Sir, the great desideratum in this as well as in j
every new country Is c*mu. to carry on its busi- j
new. This cannot be found to the extent that it is I
desired. In our own country we have all the sub- j
stauiiai elements of prosperity,?with an ex'ent of '
territory surpassing the proudest kingdoms of Eu i
rope, with every variety of noil and climate; with j
popular ins:i:u;ions, anil a free Government, and
combining ull the advantages which make up the
sum of a people's happiness and a nation's greatness;
we lack but the capital necessary to bring all these
elements into life and b ing. Tins can only be i>b
taiued by well regulated b inks and by fiaper credit?
credit is the only substitute for capital in a new
country. Old countries, where capital has been ac
cumulating for ages, may more easily dispense with
it; bat a new one, like our own. cannot do without j
it. Look to western New York for its magic influ
ence. S.-e it in a few years converted from a wil
derness to fruitful fields. Look to the western States,
now exhibiting the proud evidences of rapid and
progressive improvement, where but a few years
siuce there was no trace of civilization. By its
means the whole country is more than half a century
in advance of what it would have been without it.
This system of credit has heretofore b *en appreciat
ed by our own people, and I trust it will continue to
b:' appreciated by them, notwithstanding the efforts
th.it ure making to undervalue it, and eventually to
prostrate it. It has been, perhaps, still more appre
ciated abroad than by us. It has become the aumi
ration of all Europe. For a time the infant strides of
our young and growing republic astonished the world.
The old Governments of Europe saw us springing
at one bound. frotn childho ?1 to the manhood of our
existence. They saw that credit was the nurture of
our inlant growth, as well as the sup|>ort of 111 iturer
years. To this cause, some of the ablest writers of ,
Great Britain attribute our unparalleled improve- !
raent in all that renders a people prosperous, and a
nation powerful. 1 cannot forbear, on this occasion,
to quote the language Of one of them:
u Every body knows that the S:atcsofthe Union
embrace a territory, liuxsl of it of the highest ferti
lity, equal to the 'surface of all Europe, including
Russia, on this side of the Ural mountains, about
eighteen times the whole area of France, and thirty
times that of thi Iiritish Islands. In this immense J
territory there is a population of about twelve mil- j
lions ol men, almost all active, industrious, and ener
getic, doubling every thirty years, and capable, if
sustained at the same rate of increase, of producing,
in two centuries, two hundred millions of human
beings, in comfort alid happiness. What then is
wanting to sustain the fortunes of a state in stteh
unparalleled circumstances of abundance 1 Nothing j
but capital. This, however, is indispensable; nn3 ?
it is obviously impossible, even with the most indus
trious, saving, and active population in the world
that the existing w ealth can bt' proportioned either j
to the boundless extent of waste land capable of cul- i
tivation, or the constantly increasing wants of a
growing and indefatigable people. It is in such a
state that the utility of banks and paper credit
most strongly felt, and that a paper circulation
based on sound principles, becomes an indispensable
element in the progress of social improvement.
"Banks are the great instrument by which integri
ty and talent supply the want of capital: bv which
prudence and industry, setting out on the basis of
paper credit, attain at length to the solid advantages
of substantial capital. Such a system quadruples at
once the active capital of the country, by producin?
a paper capital biscd on credit, which, as long as
that credit remains unshaken, answers all the pur
poses of encouraging industry just as well as the
metallic treasures of Mexico and Peru. It prevents
a large portion of the national wealth from b ung
absorbed in the unprofitable and unproductive form
of a metallic currency, and provides for the neces
sary circulation at a filth part of its cost. Old states
in which capital is redundant,,and all home em
ployment nearly filled up. may dispense with a pa
per currency, just as the finished scholar may dis
card the rudiments, or the accomplished equestrian
forget th^lessons of the manege; but till that last
stage has arrived, it is the greatest act of national
insanity to destroy or restrain, except within those
limits which the public safety requires, ihe inv;ilu,'i
hie ally of n paper circulation. It has quadrupled
in the last half century the wealth of Scotland and
multiplied ten fold that of America. But for the
powerful impulse given bv the advances of binkers
and the large capital which they put in motion the
industry of the United States instead of having ion"
ago crossed the Alleghany Mountains, and given
birth to four millions of men in the valley of the
Mississippi, would have b en still slowly advancing
along the shores of the Atlantic, and not yet have
pierced the profound solitudes of the Ohio or Mis
" And ii is apparent that such establishments, if
rightly understood, are eminently favorable to the
progress of freedom, and the real interests of the
working classes. Capital?30lid wealth?is ever
essentially aristocratic. It never1 can bs very ge
nerally or w idely diffused, at least in large masses;
and, therefore, bjnks which lend a helping hand to
enterprise and activity in the earlier and more
eventful periods of fheir career, and enable them to
maintain the struggle with older establishments,
having the advantage of long-tried connections and
realized wealth, are eminently favorable to the po
pular classes and the best support to the cause of
liberty.. Without b inks, a commercial state must
ever speedily fall, and ever has fallen, under the do
minion of a few overgrown mcrcanti e establish
ments; industry and activity can never maintain
their ground in the competition from want of capi
tal. The banker with his notes has done as much
for the cause of freedom, as either the printer with
his printing-press, or the schoolmaster with his
To this authority permit me to add that of the
philosophic and liberal democratic French travel
ler, Mu. Chbvai.ikr:
"Credit is the primary element of life in the U
States; thev literally live on it. Without credit
those populous towns which arise on all sides, as ii"
by enchantment?those rich s'ates which fringe the
margin of the Atlantic, which stretch to the west of
lip Alleghany, nnd extend nlojj? the course of the
Ohio and Ihe Mississippi, v.-ould have been still
savage fe*e*ts and bottomless morasses.
*, * The banks have acted ns the lever
which has enabled the Americans to establish
among them selves to their own great profi', the ag
riculture and indnstry-of Europe, and which has
covered iheir territories with cities, canals, rail
roads, manufactories and fertile fields; in a word,
every thing which constitutes civilization. With
out the bifiks the cultivator would have b >en desti
tute of capital for his most necessary advance; he
would have had 110 instruments for the clearing of
his farm ; and if the sy stem has led in innnv cases to
absurd and gambling speculations, it is the'same sys
em which has enabled the farmer to purchase land
for two dollars ihe acre, which he afterwards sold
tor ten or a hundred. The mechanics, who are
now so loud in their condemnation of the b inking
-ysiem, forget, that it is to it that they owe ihe in
dustrial activity whHi has enabled them to earn
from five to eight shillings a-day of wages. They
forget that it is it which has furnished ihern wilh
the means, of which so many have availed them
selves, of rising to opulence and comfort; for, in
America, every enterprising man who. can give
the guarantee of a tolerable character, is sure of ob
taining credit, and thus has the means of making
his fortune."
Such are the views of enlightened foreigners in
regard to the banking institutions of our country. 1
know the system may be abused. No one is more
desirous or more anxious to correct ihose r,buses
than myself. No one would go farther lo throw
around it additional guards and additional restraints.
N > one is more solicitous to enlarge the specie bisis
and thereby render more stable our paper circula
tion. Hut, it is this indiscriminate assault upon ihe
whole bulking system'of the country to which I ob
ject. Ii is this attempt to excite the prejudices and
passions o| the people in regard to ihem lo which I
am oppose,!. I is this spectre of an exclusive me
tallic currency which Mill flits across the vision of
certain gantHnen, against which 1 protest. For dis
guise It ns you may, "u> this complexion we mu*t
come at last." if the schemes which arc now on foot
can b' earned out. But thev cannot be carried out
There is a physical impossibility to their success in
a country like ours. Still I ani unwilling that ihe
country should pass through such an ordeal. I ,iin
unwilling that the present generation shall !>?? killed
r'"' 'he sake of making a doub.fill experimenl
lor th$ benefit of posterity.
Sir, I was surprised to hear the Senator from
.N r"i < irolim, (Mr. Strange',1) condemn our whole
hjnkjru; system as an uiter absurdity, and which he
predicted would be-looked upon, by thoM who come
arter us, with as much a*tonphmeut u we look upon
the South St'ii bubble. In ibisertliKbtcned#k*'. at (hi*
liiU- period of our history, after what we have se*n
of the ertecUt of the credit system upon the country,
with the evidence of our ouu ?ense?, and the lesti
mony of all Europe in favor of it, i confess my
amazement at hearing ?uch sentiment* uttered on
this tiour. 1 have no', language, consistent with tlie
high respect which 1 eutetUiiu for th<u honorable
Senator, (Mr. Strange,) to expre my aMouishment,
and 1, therol'ore, can ouly buy,
" 'Tis Strange, 'iia pacing Strange !"
The tendency of this scheme is to bring the coun
try, virtually, to an exclusive metallic currency.
Whatever gentlemen may say on this subject, this
wild and visionary theory is gaining ground with a
certain portion of our population. It is propagated
by reason of the countenance which it is supposed to
receive from men in high places. Meetings have
been held in New York and elsewhere, at which an
exclusive metallic currency has been resolved on as
the only tt ue policy. All jiaper money of every de
scription has lieeii repudiated, as coutrary to the
genius of our Government and the spirit of our insti
tutions. In the same resolutions, men in elevated
stations have been applauded by some for m tiniain
iug the same doctrines. The proceedings of such
meetings have been responded to in terms of appro
bation, thereby tacitly acquiescing in all the princi
ples set forth in them, and thus giving currency to
them with the people. It is the belief that such prin
ciples are recognized by those to whose approval
they are submitted, that excites the alarm and appre->
(tension which pervades the rational end thinking
portion of the community, It is this, too, which
gives countenance to the idea, that the Sub-Treasury
schcme is intended to bring about an exclusive me
tallic currency. The suggestion of the Secretary of
the Treasury may also go Tar to confirm it He says:
" The people of the whole United States do not, in
a sound slate of business and prices, need over one
hundred and ten millions of an active circulating
medium for all their currency. This would be a
larger proportion of currency to our present popula
tion than the average has been from the adoption of
the Constitution ; and, if an exclusive metallic cur.
rency could be deemed desirable, would require only
about thirty millions more than the specie which is
supposed now to exist in the country.
It is true, the Secretary does not recommend this,
but, under the present state of things, thinks " some
paper will,proDibly, always be found convenient for
commercial operations." Still it will be perceived,
that if by this scheme, or any other, banks can be
dispensed with, then, in the opinion of the Secret!rv,
we should, with thirty millions more of specie be
able to transact the thousands of millions ol business
of this rapidly increasing and enterprising country.
Those who make such estimates, seem to overlook
the fact, that the notes of banks and s|>ecie together,
form but a small part ol our actual circulation ; for,
in one sense, domestic exchange is a portion of the
circulation, and a very large portion, too?very far
exceeding the aggregate of bank notes and specie.
This kind of circulation is essentially promoted by
buik facilities and batik credits. So that by dis
pensing with banks, although you should have the
hundred and ten millions of specie, you would cur
tail, to a most destructive extent, the domestic ex
change, which, after all, forms the principal circu
But, whether an exclusive metallic currency be
intended or not, this scheme will, if adopted, vir
tually accomplish that object. 1 will take the city
of New York for example. My remarks will aj
ply, in the ratio of business, with equal force t>
every other portion ol the Union. New York col
lects I.bout two-fifths of the whole revenues of tins
government accruing from customs. They have
amounted in some years from fifteen to eighteen
millions of dollars. But, let us assume the year
1H3-1, which the Secretary takes as the criterion for
future years. In that year the receipts at New
York for customs amounted to same twelve mil
lions of dollars. Now, I ask how is it possible for
the merchants of that city to pay that amount in spe
cie 1 In what way can they command it 1 Even if
they could procure it, it would be by withdrawing
it from circulation from other parti, of the country,
or by taking it from the banks where it is the basis
of circulation, as well as the basis of confidence to
depositors. If this amount of specie was to be dis
bursed immediately after its receipt that would, in
a measure, obviate the difficulty so far as New York
is concerned. But, it is not so disbursed. We all
know, as a general rule, that of the appropriations
for the year, there remains sometimes one-half of
the amount iu the shape of " unex|?endcd balances"
at the close of the year. Of course there must re
main a large amount of the money, which is re
ceived into this Sub-Treasury, unexpended. This
amount, therefore, is taken out of circulation or
from the bulks, and does not again go into circula
tion, nor into the b anks. The receipts are much
greater and more rapid than the disbursements. So
that there must remain a large sum on hand which
cannot be disbursed. Let no one then ba delided
with the idea that this is to be a constant rouud of
receipt and disbursement. It is no such thing. I
have examined the statements of the amount Sand
ing to the credit of the government in the de^xsite
bunks in HIJ-t. I find the permanent average ba
lances to be ab >ut five millions of dollajs, when at
the same time there was not half that amount cf spe
cie in the vaults of a'l the banks in the city. Here
then we see five millions of dollars, in the shipe of
permanent average balances, beyond all dislnrse
ments, " salted down" in this Sub-Treasury fault,
of no more use to the government, nor to the" p?ople,
than if it was cast "into the battom of the deep,
where fathom line has never reached the ground."
Sir, it is impossible that this system can ba carried
into effect in the city of New York. The merchants
cannot command the specie; and if they coald, it
would be drawing it frotTi distant parts of the coun
try, and the vaults of the banks, by w hich the whole
course of business would b ' disturbed and detanged
from New York to the remotest points of the Union.
I have said that about five millions of dollars would
remain as a permanent average balance in dqiosite
beyond the disbursements of the government. Of
the amount of twelve millions collected at New
York, according to the ab >ve estimate, ab;?ut seven
million's would be disbursed. But, even this dis
bursement i s not made where the money is collected.
In 1834, in the whole state of New York, only $1,650,
000 was disbursed within its limits. We here have
the astounding fact, that while'the city of New
York pays $ 12,000,000, and 87,000,000 of -that sum
is disbursed, only $1,(150,000 is paid out within the
state. I am not complaining that a larger sum is
not expended there?for those expenditures must be
made where the interests of the country require
them?but, 1 am complaining of the proposer! sys
tem by which you require this enormous amount to
be paid in spccie, when so small a portion of it is
paid out where it is collected. But, it is better that
it be disbursed elsewhere than not disbursed at all.
And we have already seen that j.bjui Jji5,Qllb,000
must remain in permanent deposile, beyond the
amount di.bur.sed, and thus be buried, like the ta
lent of the unprofitable servant, where it is of no
use to the government nor to the people, but of detri
ment to l>j'h. But once adopt this burial system,
and where will you find the resurrcctionary power
that can c*ill back to life the hourly increasing de
posites jn this fiscal charnel-house.
It is said, however, bv gentlemen, that this money
belongs to the Government, and that the people ha\e
no right to the use of it. Is this not an additional
evidence, of the attempt to separate the Government
from the people 1 Is this not the money of the peo
ple 1 IIow does it become the money of the Go
vernment, as contra-distinguished from the people?
The Government or the officers of Government, are
the agents and servants of the people. They are
mere trustees to execute certain powers committed to
them?this money is .collected from the people by
direction of the people themselves, not for the pur
pose of being hoarded up, but to be used for their
b mefit in the disbursements of the Government, and
to promote the great interests of the country. To
hoard, it is contrary to the spirit of our institutions,
and more especially when its custody and control arc
given to executive officers, where it may be used for
sinisier purposes by unworthy incumbents. Such a
; principle has never attained before in this country;
I the surplus revenue collected from the people, beyond
the wants of the Government, has always been
placed in a situation to be used for the benefit of the
people. This has been done by depositing it with
the banks, which have undertaken, in consideration
of it. to perform certain duties to the Government, in
the way of collections, transportations, and disburse
ments, without, charge. This fund thus deposited,
li-yond the regular disbursements of the Govern
ment, became, through the banks, n useful agent in
the regular commercial business of the country. It
is collected from the merchants, end it is perfectly
proper that they should, in this indirect way, have
the use of it in their regular business transactions.?
By this means the whole community feels the bene
fits : for whatever aids the merchants in their opera
tions, must of necessity aid in the regular course of
b isinpss, every other "class in society. The mer
chants are the m^re factors or distributors for the
other classes. They arc the ag*nt?, and any benefits
ex.ended to th'e.n. are for the advantage* of their
principals. Sir, this idea of locking up this money
is a new one. It has not prevailed heretofore?its
Adoption now, however, i no m >re strnnpe thrn the
proposed system which is under di cu -iou. , It
naturally results from li, and tli# cm- cannot bo
earned out without the other, nwkient Jackson
and ail the Iriends of his administration, opposed
the Hub Treasury scheme in 1*34; and in lH3t},
1 resident Jack ton, in hi* Message, expressed his
opinion as to the use ot the public money, in which
all his friends acquiesced. He said,
lo retain it in the Treasury unemployed in any
way, is impracticable. Jt it, br$ides, against Ike
litmus of our fret libJUulutHS lo lock up in r nut It Ike
treasure of Ike tuition, 'l'o take from the people the
right of bearing anus, and put their weapons of de
fence in the hands of a standing ariny, would be
scarcely more dangerous to their liberties than to
|KTini! the Government to accumulate immense
amounts ot treasure beyond the supplies necessary
to its legitimate wants. Such a treasure would
doub less be employed at some time, as it has been
in other countries, when opportunity tempted ambi
Has any thing occurred since 1836, which has
altered the nature of our free institutions, so that it
is now in accordance with their geniiul to lock up the
treasure of the nation, which was so contrary lo it
then 1 Sir, I feel humbled to hear such principles
avowed. I feel mortified lo see soine of iny political
iriends taking a position directly the reverse of the
one we have all along occupied in relation to this
whole subject. If we were not committed on the
record we might more easily change our ground?
or ii it was a mere matter of expediency we might
tack about without such an accumulation of obliquy
and reproach as must now rest. ujhjii us. We have
heretofore treated these questions as mutters of prin
ciple. We put ourselves on the record in soine
shape or other against the very doctrines for which
we are now contending. And from President Jack
son down to the humblest member of the party we
are committed, in the most explicit manner against
the whole scheme and all its consequences, which
we are now called upon to support. No party, I will
venture to say, ever placed itself in so unenviable a
light. How can we exjieel to be sustained bv the
people when our solemnly expressed and established
principles one day are repudiated the next 1 How
can we expect the people to embrace one net of prin
ciples one day, and the reverse of them the next.
Sir, it cannot be. You must appeal to their reason.
You must satisfy their judgment, and adhere to your
principles when once established. The great body
of the people are honest. They ask nothing, they
want nothing but wholesome laws, and a faithful
administration of them. But, they will not be con
tent with such fickleness of purpose as requires
them to maintain opposite doctrines at every altern
ate elect ion.
Sir, I need not describe the effect of this measure
on the whole country. If the brinks in New York
are embarrassed in their operations by it, every
branch ol business must be embarrassed. Those
portions of the country where there is the least cap
ital, but which have substituted credit in its place,
will feci it the most sensibly. To western New
York, and to the western States it will be like a mil
dew. What would have been the situation of those
regions but for the free use of credit 1 What will
be their situation when credit shall be withdrawn
lrom them. Let western .gentlemen look to it.
Those Stales are to come in for the full share of
suffering in the course of this new experiment.
1 he money collected for public lands is to be paid
in specie. But very little of it is disbursed there.
1 here will, therefore, be a constant drain upon the
western States for their specie in the disbursements
oi the Government, thereby deranging all the regu
lar business operations of the country, and keeping j
the public mind in constant agitation and tHarm. II j
the money was disbursed at the places respectively '
in the same proportion as it is received the evil |
would not be so great. It would still be deranging I
the natural tlow of specie by arbitrary regulations, I
and taking it from the banks where it is the basis of
The effect of all this upon the general crcdit of the
country cannot be fully appreciated. Our currency
lias generally been of about the same character ana
value with that of England. We should endeavor
to'keep it of the same value. England is the great
money market, and the great money regulator of the
world. Our institutions assimulate more to this,
than to the other portions of Europe. We are in- j
timately connected with England in our commercial \
relations, and our intercourse with her is more fre
quent and more easy than that between many por
tions of our own country. Her currencj', there
fore, has an important bearing upon ours. The
jrices of property depend much upon this. It would
>e the height of folly for as to adopt any measures
which should curtail or sink our currency below
hers. It would bring on a ruinous depression of I
prices, and effect the interests of every owner of j
property throughout the country. You might as I
well attempt to establish a metallic currency in one i
of the States of this Union, whilst all the. others
maintained a paper circulation, as to do anv thing
which shall materially change ours from what is
the general currency of England. I know, sir, that
appeals are made to the prejudices of the people
against paper-money. But, see what it has done for
hJigland ?It has enabled her to fight the bittles of
the world?for a quarter of a century she relied on
an irredeemable, inconvertible paper currency, and \
successfully resisted the conqueror of Europe, It |
has given her a moral influence which is felt through- I
out all nations. It has secured to her own people '
more practical liberty than is enjoyed in any other j
country except our own. In lime > ^ar the bank- j
ing institutions of England, like our own, are identi
fied with the interests of the country Ours arc
dependent on the people, and so is the Government.
In such a time, we are all embarked in the same
b >!tom, and it is idle to say that (here is anv diversi
ty of interests between the Government, the banks, i
or the people. In the experience of this country
i during the lale war our banks fought our bittles, as
lynch as the Bank of England fought the battles of
Sir, I cannot but look at the effects of this system
U|kjii the city of New York,as ofthe most fatal tenden
cy. It must tend to curtuil the operations of the
banks, and add to the general stagnation of business.
Already are more than filly thousand of her popula
tion out of employment, with kall the horrors of an
approaching winter before them. Unlesssomcthing
is done to revive the business of that city, that num
ber will be doubled, and no one can foresee the eon
sequences of such a, state of things. Nothing is
now wanting but the favorable action of the Go
vernment, to change the whole face of things. But I
the evils to that devoted city do not end there; they j
necessarily extend to the country. If you cripple j
the operation of the banks there, and thereby cramp !
the business of the city, the same effects must be
felt by the banks and business of the country. For
you cannot strike a blow at New York withont its
being felt in a greater or less degree in every State
in the Union. N'ew York is the great commercial
emporium?strike the heart, its pulsations are felt
to the remotest extremities, and whenever it ceases
to beat the whole limbs of this great body politic will
become cold and lifeless.
These effects will be fell by the local banks of the
several stales the stock of many of which belongs
to the slates themselvi j. If gentlemen then have no
regard for individual stockholders they-ought to
look to the interests of their respective states where
the stock of the banks is thus held. This remark
would apply to Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ala
buna, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky,
Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, (Mr. Benton signi
fied dissent.) The Senator from Missouri, said Mr.
T., shakes his head. lie may have a system of
banking there different from allg the rest of the
world, namely, that of issuing only one dollar of pa
per for one of specie in the vaults of the bank. If
this be so, I would not willingly deprive him of the
benefits of his system! But whilst I will not object
to such a Procrustean bed in Missouri, I will not
consent that it shall be transferred lo New York
and that the honorable Senator shall stretch our man
jijxin it and lop him off at b ?th ends in order to lit
hnn to his standard.
?sir, another serious objection to this measure is
that it will postpone perhaps indefinitely the resump
tion of specie payments by the banks. There is no
portion ol the community more anxious for such re
sumption than the bank's themselves. They have !
done every thing in their power to'enable the:n to do
it at the earliest possible day. They have determin
ed that as the stoppage was no fault of theirs, so nei
ther shall i lie omission to resume be charged to their
account. All that is required to enable thein to re- ,
sume by next spring, is the confidence and co-opera
tion of the Government. Our foreign deb is esti
mated by sums at ab >ut twelve millions of dollars at
this time. This will be liquidated by the coming
crop, and then there will be nothing in ihe way of
i.ie icv.imntion by the banks, but the want of confi
<in 1, Part 'he Government and the people.
c co-operation of the Government this
confidence cannot n- anticipated. If you make your
collections in gold and silver, it seems to me impossi
ble t hut they can resume. I have hcre'ofore shown
vour current receipts into the Sub-Treasury in New
'oe in ordinary years about twelve millions
ol dollars, and that about five millions, after all the
di burscments of the Government, will remain as
an averngc balance in deposite. L'*t it b-> remember
ed, too, that at pbout Ihe time proposed for them to
resume there will be due on tnc merchant*' b inds
soine five millions more, and which under this "ex
periment ' is also to be paid in specie! Now, sir, let
me ask, ho'v is it possible under the present *fato of |
things that the ba^k? can resume, when by the Ixst
returns the aggregate amount of specie iu their
vaults i* lew than #l,*)0,ut)0?and iu addition to ihe
accruing revenue, there is to be five million* provid
ed for the merchants' b -mis. If this scheme shall be
adopted they cannot resume. Let it, therefore, h ?
distinctly understood ihat it is the fault of the-Go
vernment and nut theirs if they do not resume by
the time I have indicated. They cannot command
nor retain the confidence of the community, as lung
as the Government not only withholds from them the
legitimaie means which it possesses in the restoration
of confidence, but withdraws from them their specie
which is the very foundation of confidence when
once restored.
But, even if the banks should resume, they will be
comfielled under this system U> stop again. The
drain of specie from them to meet the exactions of
the Government would render it impossible for them
to continue. They must cither suspend all business
or the)' must suspend specie payments. Either event
would be equally disastrous. In either case it would
be death to the whole bisiucss of the country. If
,y should suspend specie payments again after
having resumed, the legislature would by appealed
to to grant uo farther indulgence, btit forthwith to
forfeit their charters, and put their concerns into the
hands of receivers If iflc prejudice* of the com
mumly could b" sufficiently wrought on, such would
be the consequence. At.y one wfio foresaw the ef
fect of such a course last spring, if the legislature
had not interfered, can judge of the disastrous re
sults of such a proceeding now. And that such
would bi? the inevitable result, if this measure of se
parating the Government from the banks and the
people be persisted in, no one can doubt. I will not
say th.it gentlemen w ho advocate this scheme desitrn
to accomplish that ob|ect, but I do say, that if a
scheme was devised for that express purpose, it
could not be more adroitly planned.
If the Hanks do not res-nine?and it is certain they
cannot and will not?it this system is carricd into ef
fect, what will be the consequence 1 It is alarming
to contemplate! 1 he worst passions of ignorant
men, of men waked up to a blind fury by false views
and false representations will b" leilose, and they
would b? call-id upon to d??troy the "little mon
sters" which would he made In appear to their mad
dened zeal as the nuisances of tne community!?
The banks throughout the country, though sound
and solid institutions, will be obliged to fnll under
the violence of the tempest which will be made to
rage against thcin. This will be the inevitable ef
fects of such measures as are now proposed. If it
should so happen that the State Legislatures do not
come to their aid, exhibiting more wisdom towards
them than Congress seems disposed to exhibit, the
results I have pointed out will inevitably happen,
and they will have to wind uptheiraffairs! Again'
let me ask what would be the effects of this unhap
py-result ? The effects are U?o alarming?too dis
tressing to make it creditable that there exists the
man willing to inflict so much suffering upon his
countrymen! The people of the State of New
York, for example, are iridtbcd to the banks more
than 60 millions of dollars?there are abundant
means to pay, but in the hands of receivers all
would be sold, and the property would be sacrificed
the receiver would buy the whole as no one would
have the means to buy. Can it be believed that gen
tlemen wish to see a scene such as this ? My State
(said Mr. T.) is so deeply concerned in the effects
which will flow from this measure of the Govern
ment, that I can see already as plain as the Sun at
noon day, that it would even be better for the coun
try that a tornado or an earthquake should spread
its desolation around, than that we should have this
scheme inflicted upon us!
Why bring forward such a system as this, when
by the testimony of the President himself and of the
Secretary of the Treasury, the State Bank system
worked so well 1 Such a crisis as the present may
never again occur; it is an exception to a general
rule, and who will not acknowledge that a worse
guide for legislation than exceptions to general prin
ciples could not be procured ? Again, what is there
m this new system, better than in the State Bank
system ? What improvement has it met with, since
the day when it was held in the utmost abhorrence;
when it was denounced by the party, and when it
would only command 33 votes ill the other Iloiwe 1
How is it now suddenly discovered to ba so much
better than a system which by the declaration of the
l**st authority answered all our anticipations??
VV hen this very same scheme was brougnt forward
in 1835, we all of us believed that the public money
would net be safe in the custody of officers of the "o
vernmcnt, what reason is there now to change our
minds, and to think that it will be safe there ? But
the President says we can construct a vault as firm
as strong, and as solid, as the vault of a buik. Yes'
certainly, (said Mr. T.,) we have no deficiency of
mechanical means to make such a one, but who are
to b? its guardians'? And though the vault may be
secure, can we be certain thai the irtiardinns will be
as solid and secure, and as well to be trusted as the
vault? What security, sir, can we have for indi
viduals? Whereas, when the money is deposited
in banks all the credit, and capital, and resources of
those b inks are pledged for the safety of the deposites
and are a certain guarantee of its safety! Such is
the security afforded by the Banking systems; but
by the Sub-1 reasury system, we have nothing but
the naked, bare security of individuals! And who
wl,el!' sir' w',al sorl ?' an individual this may be 1
>V hat honest inan will be eager to throw himself into
a situation of such danger, such temptation, and such
immense responsibility ? Who that hasa proper ap
preciation for his family and children would be wtl
? to assume duties of such a dangerous charac
ter ! If the vault were plundered, lie, let him be
ever so innocent, will be immediately pronounced
guilty; thenceforth he is a ruined man, his family
ruined, his name a mark for disgrace, and himseff
an object for the finger of scorn to be pointed at! No
prudent man who has a proper regard for his cha
racter and reputation, would be found ready to ac
cept such an invidious and dangerous post.
But, the President informs us that, on an average
there will not be ab.ive S30,<XX) as the sum to be
placed in the custody of each officer. This is a
most fallacious idea. " It is true, if you take all the
officers and then strike an average, it might b" that
no more than that sum would fall tothe share of each
to take care of, but there must be large amounts con
cent rated at a few particular points, and it is not in
the nature of things possible to spread out the whole
revenue in such equal portions throughout this ex
tensive Union. Or if the average was to be forcibly
maintained by removing the excess above the #30,(XX),
from one officer to other officers in other place*'
who can tell, the disturbing 'effects which would
follow from such transfers ? I ain surprised, there
lore, that any one for one moment could linger upon
this idea, as affording an argument for the safety of
the public money under this system. We are told
again, that we have other pleclges for the safety of
the funds, in the sureties which each officer
\\ill be required to give to the government,
for the funds committed to his care. I look upon the
sureties to be given, as affording no security what
ever. Men will not be found ready to sacrifice their
property, and ab indon it all to the government in
payment for what they have neithereaten nor drank ?
and when they put their property out of the reach of
go\( rntnent, they will only be praised for their care
and prudence, by the people of their neighborhood.
\\ hat security then, is afforded on this ground ? Not
an atom! >
Gentlemen are very anxious, apparently, for this
di vorce, a.s they are pleased to term it. 1 would re
mind them, however, that whilst they are talking
of a divorce, they are getting up an incestuous
union, between members of the same family?a mar
nagc which is unlawful; and which I would say
comes within the Levitical degre-s, and therefore
ought lo be forbidden.
I his union, which is now proposed, is a most un
safe and dangerous one. It reminds me of an anec
dote of a captain of a packet w ith whom I was ac
quainted, who informed me that he always found it
indispensably necessary for the safety of the ship's
stores, to have his cook and his steward of different
families, and if possible of different colors, and if he
could get up a fight between them, it was all the
bitter; for j| they were connected together in aeotn
nion b ind of interest or affection, the stores were
apt lo be wasted. So.hero, I think our stores, the
stores of the Shi;- of S'ate will not be safe, if a union
Jakes place b-t ween the government ; nd the public
I rca.sury, which ought to be separated in different
sets (if hands, and those, too, antagonist hands.
Die officers lo b* employed under this system so
far from being antagonist to the Government, are of
ficers appointed by the Government, entirely depend
ant on it, and who may b- removed by its fi;it at any
moment from their offices. There is positive danger
in the scheme. All the depositee of the public mo
ney, all the Treasury, together with the other Kxecu
live powers, will now be united in the same family,
and in the same hands. I see no security but abso
lute insecurity, absolute danger in the proposed sys
tem. But let us consider the chances of security
which the system offers for the safety of the public
moneys. The Senator from N. C'arolia, tell* us the
public funds will hardly fail to be safe, for ifthcoffi
cer should appropriate them t.> his own use, he may
be hung up by the neck, until, lo use the forcible re
petitions of that gentleman, ha is dead, dead, dead!
>V hat security is there here, sir, when the money is
already gonel Will the dead h >dy answer anv of
the purposes ot security? Or does the gentleman
really imagine that the penal,y of death itself will
pre*en! the mlbMltyoi defalcation 1 Does sal the
experience of^jjjfjcouniries show that the severest
| penalties do no* operate as preventive* of crime of
| Hiiy kind T We have only to look to our own coun
! try for illustratum* of the insufficiency and inveu
j rity of the proposed system. What, for example, is
thought to d<* the b-M system for the collection of the
tolls on the New York canals] Ii is the system 0f
dcjuisit with the banks. The money is rapidly >
; brought into the banks, and the least possible me;ms
! are left in the power of the collectors. The ijreat
mass of the funds collected are therefore always 011
dejKKsit in the b inks, which credit the Government
with the amount. It is owing to this system of re
moving res|HiiiMbilily for such large sains of money
from individuals, and redwing it upon bunks, that
from the very first period of the formation of the
canals down to the present moment the state has not
lost one single dollar of the canal funds, though mil
lions and millions have been collected. If the sys
tem were proposed in the state legislature to take the
pcrs4Hi;il responsibility of the officers employed in
the collection, together with security, such as is pro
posed to be done by the present scheme, it would not
be able to command a single vote! How then can
it be here maintained bv gentlemen that such an ob
jectionable plan, rejected altogether bv prudent and
experienced legislators, is the best plan, and ought
to be adopted? There is a law now on the Statute
Book that certain disbursing officers shall deposit
whatever public funds cotne into their hands, iu the
bink nearest to them until required lobe paid out.
Whence comes the necessity of such a law I why
does the law exist, if penalties and securities make
the money as safe its when deposited in the b inks?
The ti uih of my position is illustrated by the finan
cial history of the Government. In IrtrfO, Mr.Craw
lord, then Secretary of the Treasury, reported that
the amount of revenue from customs, from the com
mencement of the Government to the end of the
year 1819, exceeded $*351,000,000. He also states
that the amount of revenue lost by the insolvency of
those who became bound for the payment of duties,
together with the amount at that time doub:ful, was
not quite equal to forty-five hundredths of one per
cent, upon the aggregate revenue which had accru
ed since the organization of the present Govern
ment! Yes, sir, the whole loss to the Government
upoo merchants' bonds and their sureties in the col
lection of more than $351,000,000, was less than one
half of one per cent.! and this enormous amount
was principally collected through the agency of the
banks. Yet it is these merchants and these banks
that have been so much disparaged in our public
discussions, as well as in the public prints Mr.
Crawford also states in the same report, that the
amount of loss from the collectors of revenue from
imports and tonnage, from the collectors of the in
ternal revenue and direct tax, and receivers of pub
lic moneys, nearly eifiuiIs that which the Govern
ment sustained on the collection of more than $351.
I 000,000 from the merchants! He also estimates thai
the losses, iy the misapplication of thr public mown by
officers of Government employed in disbursing it,
?really exceed those which hare been incurred in thr
collection! Sir, these statements present a most a)>
palling foretaste of what we are to expect" under
this Sub-Treasury scheme. If collectors and re
ceivers, and disbursing officers, have swindled the
Government of such enormous amounts, whilst the
money was merely passing through their hands,
what are wre to expect when they become the perma
nent depositories 1
Ever>' fact goes against the system as proposed by
this bill, and at the same time every fact goes in fa
vor of the system which it is now suddenly proposed
to cast aside! Can it be possible that gentlemen
wish to expose the Treasury as it will be exposed by
this scheme 1 I do not wish to disparage our public
officers or those who may be employed under this
system. But, I look at human nature as it is. 1
look at the temptations to which they are exposed.
The confidence of individuals in their ow n integrity
may be unbounded, and they will never suspect it
till put to the test of such temptations as will be pre
sented under this system. I mean no unnecessary
or improper disparagement when I say, I have no
faith in the safety of the public money if this scheme
goes into operation. There is danger in every stage
of it. And no opportunity will pass unimproved
where the temptation is sufficiently presented. There
is no safety in it.
" You may as well spread out the unsunn'd heaps
Of miser's treasure by an out-law's den,
And tell me it Is safe, as bid me hope
Danger will wink on opportunity."
So far from there being no danger in the plan,
there is no safety in it. But in the other, there is the
absence of danger.
It has been argued that the public money by beiritr
placed in deposite with the banks goes to assist
them, and the gentleman who has advanced this
idea thinks ihnl it ouffht not to he so. But I affirm
on the contrary, that it is right and proper that the
public money should answer so useful a purpose?
should go to promote and assist the objects of the
commerce of the countty. The people are entitled
to this benefit. But if vou take away all the specie
from the vaults of the banks, you take away the e
means; they will not be able to do any thing; and
not only will they lose the advantage of operating
with the amount deposited, but you take away confi
dence from them, and they can do nothing.
It is objected against the system of depositing the
public funds with the banks, that they operate injuri
ously as a means of stimulating to speculation and
overtrading. There is, however, a bill before yon
which will effectually prevent overtrading. I mean
the warehousing system bill, by which merchants
will pay the duties in cash, not on long credits, but
on receiving their goods from the-public ware
houses. The danger of overaction, in reference to
importations, will be by this system removed, as the
merchants will have to pay the duties, not, as under
the existing system, after the goods have been
thrown into market and disposed of, but at the pe
riod of bringing them into the market, so that they
will not import fresh quantities of goods before the
duties are paid on former importations.
Why do gentlemen wish, after the experience of
a' good system, to adopt a new experiment 1 for let
it bs remembered, the Banking deposit system, has
worked well, and the present crisis is truly an ex
ception to a general rule. You might as well say
when a steamboat had burst its boiler, that we ought
in consequence to abandon the use of steam, and in
place of it try the experiment of balloons. The con
sequences would ba we should come down again to
our mother earth with broken bones or with a bro
ken neck. Such indeed will be the result of the
adoption of this scheme.
There is no other mode to enable the banks to re
sume specie payments than the mode proposed by
the Senator trom Va.(Mr. Rives.)
This amendment will create confidence, and when
confidence is revived thev will bs able to resume ?
That time is not l'ar distant if the confidence of Go
vernment was not withdrawn from them, but if the
measure of this bill is carried into effect it will I) '
impossible for them to resume.
With respect to the subject of Executive patron
age, it is not my intention to detain the Senate with
any remarks upon this part of the Scheme. What
the Senator from Virginia has said upon it islorei
l-le and conclusive on this point. Let us however,
bear in mind that we are not now legislating either
for t lie present or for the past, but lor the nit lire.
I apprehend no danger from the present Executive.
In him I hnvcpeifect confidence. I have known
him from early manhoodwalkingwithin the bounds
and limits of the Constitution ; but the day may ar
rive when the chair of the Chief Magistrate may !??
tilled by an individual ready to abuse his trust, and
then our action will have iurnisncd him with the
means and the power.
Mr. President, this is a most important crisis in
the affairs of the country. I wish other gentlemen
could appreciate it as I do. We might then avert
the evils which arc impending over us. Sir, we
are asked to adopt a system, which I fear will prove
most disastrous in its results if carried into execu
tion but which 1 apprehend it will be physieallv
impossible to execute. I will not attempt to dcscrilv
! the consequences of such a state of things I h<>pe
i my anticipations may not bv- realized; but I look
i forward to the consummation of this measure wuh
the most painful forebodings. And I shall be hap
pily disappointed if it does not involve the people
! the country, and its institutions in one great ana
common calamity.
Rcypliun (.'olloTt.?A specimen of cotton from the
Egyptian seed, brought to Georgia last spring by
Col. W. C. Dawson, raised by Major W. P Dear
; mond, of this city, has been handed to us for our
| inspection. The staple is pronounced by competent
| judges to be very fine, ami valuable on account of
1 its length. Should this cotton not degenerate In
b 'coining acclimated, it will be a most valuable
acquisition. Egyptian cotton commands in the
Liverpool market a price midway between Sea Island
and Upland.? Aupustu Courier.
.Mnmmntith Pumpkin.?We saw on Friday, at
the store of Mr Philip Wilcox, a pumpkin raised
in his garden this season which weighs 13- I
| pounds, and measures in circumference t> feet
inches! It is of handsome size and color, anil ot a
liind said to be good for pies. Mr. W, MVS H gr< *
I from the blossom iu ten weeks.?Springfield, Mai-'
i Republican.

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