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The Madisonian. [volume] (Washington City [i.e. Washington, D.C.]) 1837-1845, October 10, 1837, Image 1

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COMMUNICATIONS.
" run TIM *Al*?ONHW.
a uTATB BASIt?*
SAT.OJ.it ???????* *
MlKVl.AN" fW*
A division of opto*. h?i?i ???> ?"?"I
,h. (n.uds of Hi. .J.""""""""
,o tho remedy ""!>?
f0, the monetary diwrder which per?.dc. the
country i ."<1 the oppo.iti.rn h.?l"H
ed a determination to dispute any measure ol
relief, save only an oligarchical institution on
the principles of the late Ua.,k of the United
States, it becomes the patriotic statesman to
discuss the subject dispassionately, wuh the
vi3w to sustain the practicability of co.is.ruct
iu, u system which may suffice to remove
existing embarrassments, aud avoid the re
currencc of similar evils.
Impressed with the magnitude of the mat
ter a bumble individual will approach it with
deference, and attempt to analyse an alterna
te proposal submitted by a citizen of Ma
ryland, and printed as Document No 6, of
each branch of the National Leg.slature,
which contemplates the creation and distri
bution of an adequate and ample circulating
mtdium in connection with the custody, trans
mission and disbursement of the revenue in
obedience to the following lumata.
1 That the system of this Republic em
braces not onlv the constitution and laws of
the Union, but'the institutions of the compo
nent States, and that the people are paramount
'?2. That the sure keeping of the public
treasures imparts a beneficial privilege.
3. That the credit of its circulation is a
national capital of great value.
4 That the benefits of each and every
other prerogative, whether positive or inci
dental, properly belong to the people and that
they cannot be ceded to a part, without dero
gating from tho rights of the whole.
The submitter also assumes that money is
the blood of a nation?the spring of its indus
try the generator of its enterprise?and that
- Us regulation having been exclusively vested
in Congress" the exercise ol the necessary
power, "/o the end that its functions may be
equally executed for the general goad, is im
peratively required in the present crisis.
The proposition is certainly founded on
principles substantial in their nature and en
tirely consistent with the genius of the go
vernment, as it proposes to diffuse the bene
fits of a valuable attribute of sovereignty to the
whole people, and not for the benefit ol a la
vored few. or privileged order.
The writer is aware, that apprehensions
have been entertained and expressed publicly
that, the States could not surmount the oppo
sition of private banking corporations?and
th*t an attempt to carry into effect a general
system would, consequently, be defeated
but is not tho occurrence ol such an appre
hension of itself enough to invite the encoun
ter, in order that it be ascertained whether
the sovereignty exists in the creator, or in tho
creature corporators ?
It appears bv the plan, that the assent ot
any five of the' States will suffice to com
mence the system?and it scarcely could be
doubtful that a large number, (already provid
ed with adapted institutions,) would promptly
accede ; and that the action of less favorab e
regulations, necessarily pre-existing, would
conduce to the successive accession ot others,
until the entire union would embrace the equi
table and efficient measure in contemp anon.
The prevailing principles of policy and in o
rest are sufficient to warrant the conclusion ,
as the boon presented in the liberal distribu
tion of the "NATIONAL CURRENCY,
and the benefit of the collection and disburse
ment of the public moneys, operating as in
ducements on the one hand, whilst the justifia
ble withholding of that boon, and those tar//',
as well as the enfeebling drains of abstrac tion
bv drafts to the public creditors or those con
tinuing under tho control of private corpora
tions, in preference to redeeming the available
means of the conforming States, acting adverse
ly on the other hand, would simultaneously
accelerate the establishment of a financial
confederation in harmonious accord with our
political system, and the just rights of all in
terests and classes of our wide spread popu
lation.
The proposition in brief, is intended to
establish the monetary system, and to regu
late the currency of the United States accord
ing to the following basis and principles, to
wit:
I Five commissioners, to be appointed by the
President and Senate, to act, in conjunction With
other commissioners to b; appointed by ^Stales,
in a board, to sit at the seal ot the General Govern
mTThe board to devise an.l prepare a national
currency, in convenient denominations, from twentj
to one thousand dollars, to be apportioned among the
Slates in the ratio of their electoral voles, not ex
ceeding one hundred thousand dollars for every
Senator and Representative in Congress.
3 Each of the States assenting to the system to
receive its contingent of the currency upon the pay
ment of one tier centum on the amount required,
and contracting to nay in like manner annually
thereafter, and providing not less than one-fourth til
that amount in the tegal coin of the United States as
ii basis of its operations. .
4 Each of the assenting States to appoint one
commissioner to the board, and one in a?it??n ?or
evurv ten of its electoral votes; deducting the num
ber which mav have been appointed trom such State
bv the President and Senate.
' r? The principal institution of each of the States
to have the custodv, and provide for the transmission
and disbursement of the public moneys and for ex
changes between the States, under such conditions
and regulations as ihe Congress may prescribe.
C. The national currency to be made receivable
in all payments to the United States, at each and
every of the institutions, and at all their branches
or departments, without regard to its place ot cmt>
?ion or redemption. .....
7. The board to have and exercise a visitoriat
and supervisory control over the institutions of the
Stales in all their ramifications; each to be visited
and ins|>ected, by deputation, oncc in every six
months at the least. ? , ?
8 The assenting States to bu severally and dis
tinctly responsible for their contingents of the
currency, and for their respective institutions
9 The commissioners to receive an adequate
compensation for their services, and fair allowances
for itinerant charges; to appoint and pay their
secretary, and other necessary officers and servants;
to take security for their good conduct and the due
discharge of their proper duties.
lft The serretary to receive the per centagc, to he
paid bv the States; to make all needful disburse
ments, under the direction of the board; and to
account to Congress tor any tulancc which may re
main. - , . .
II The proceedings of the b >ard to br> open to
the inspection of Congress, or lo any committee
thereof; and the right to modify or repeal the act to
b' reserved, subject to the fulfilment of existing
engagements.
14. The bJird to consider all subjects connected
with the currency, in relation to the interests of
agriculture, manufactures, and commerce, charged
up.>n it, and report thereon to Congress from time to
. time.
ILLUSTRATION.
States
Proportion of]
national
currency
Coin.
Maine -
New Hampshire -
Massachusetts
Rhode Island
Connecticut
Vermont
New York -
New Jersey ?
Pennsylvania
Delaware -
Maryland -
Virginia
North Carolina -
South Carolina -
Georgia
Kentucky -
Tennessee -
Ohio -
Louisiana -
Indiana
Mississippi -
Illinois - -
Alabama - -
Missouri
Michigan -
Arkansas -
91,000,000
700,000
1,400,000
400,000
800,000
700,000
4,4)0,000
800,000
3,000,000
300,000
1,000,000
2,300,000
1,500,000
1,100,000
1,100,000
1,500,000
1,500,000
2,100,000
500,000
900,000
400,000
900,000
700,000
400,000
300,000
300,000
9250,000
175,000
350,000
100,(MM)
900.000
175,000
1,050,000
200,000
750,(MM)
75,000
250,000
575,000
375,000
375,000
275,000
375,(MM)
375,000
5-25,(MM)
125,000
225,(MM)
100,000
12r?,(MM)
175,(MM)
1(M),(MM)
75,000
75,000
29,400,000
7,350,000
To further elucidnte the matter, the writer |
will submit some brief remarks, in numerical
order, with reference to the several points of |
the proposition :
1. The commissioners, as contemplated,
would constitute a financitil congress of in-1
finite value; emanating chiefly from the
States, they could not be wielded by any de- j
partment of the Government to advance the
views of any party. From such an influence
they would, indeed, be free, by the tenure of |
their office, the nature of their operations,
their guarded powers, and prescribed duties,
as provided in the organic laws to be present
ed hereafter.
2. It is to bo understood that the national
currency is not intended for the common pur
poses of money, but as an auxiliary to the
specie basis, and mainly to supply tne facili
ties of commerce, and interchanges in large
transactions, in aid of Ihe issues of the pub
lic institutions of the several States. And,
although the limit for the entire Union is
apparently too much contracted, the amount
authorized to be issued is greater than the
greatest circulation of the late Bank of the
United States ; and if it should be found in
sufficient, the demand might be supplied by a
further emission of the currency for general
circulation.
3. The required payment of one per centum
by- the States is intended only to cover
charges ; as the currency, being merely a
measure of value, could not justly be made a
subject of federal revenue. With equal
justice might the States be taxed for scales
and weights, or quarts and gallons, or other
measures of length or capacity. And even
that per centage might be reduced, by one
half, after the first year. The requisition of |
one-fourth in coin is esteemed sufficient; but,
being the minimum, if found insufficient, the
States would, necessarily, increase it to sus
tain their respective institutions.
4. The smallest State would be entitled to
a representative, and the largest to five, sub
ject to the restrictions of the law. And, al
though the hoard might appear too numerous,
that objection would disappear when it should
be considered that a large portion of its mem
bers would be employed in visiting and in
specting the institutions, whilst others would
be engaged in considering the subjects refer
red to them by either branch of Congress,
besides their regular or ordinary duties.
5. The custody of the federal treasures
could pot certainly be more safely placed than
under the guarantees of the States in their ap
propriate institutions. And the benefits to
ariso from the deposites could not be more
justly disposed of than by such distribution to
the whole people. The transmissions and
disbursements could be surely effected, under
the direction of the board of currency, by the
public institutions of the States, as well as by
private corporations or individual officers.
The practicability of the operation is proved,
in advance, by the case and safety of our
revenue system, in contrast with the frequent
embarrassments of such corporations.
6. The national currency would be re
ceivable in all the States, as were the notes
of the late Bank of the United States.
7. The mode of exercising a visitorial and
supervisory control over the institutions of I
the States, and their respective branches or [
departments?so eminently calculated to in
spire confidence, and insure a compliance
with the required conditions, uniformity of
proceeding, and the most beneficial action?
is fully and distinctly detailed in the bill.
8. Besides their responsibility for tho cus
tody, transmission, and disbursement of the
public moneys, the States are required to re
spond, in their sovereign characters, for the
currency, and for its redemption, on demand,
in gold or silver, under conventional arrange
ments and sufficient guaranties.
9. The expenses of tho board would be,
in truth, but a small advance for a great bene
fit, and might justly bo regarded in the light
of seed sown for a rich harvest. The com
missioners would properly appoint their ne
cessary officers, and take sufficient security
for their good conduct.
' 10. The secretary would receive the con
tributions, and, after defraying the expenses,
under the direction of the board, would ac
count to Congress for any surplus, which
would be considered in tho subsequent gradu
ations of the necessary per centago.
11. The board, being entirely a public de
partment, would be open to the inspection of |
any committee or officer of Congress, and
subject to any alteration or modification which
experience might suggest.
12. Over and above the regular duties of |
the board, in the character of a financial Con
gress, it would be peculiarly qualified to in
vestigate the great interests of agriculture,
manufactures and commerce in their various
relations, as connected with the main object
of its creation; and to report thereon, from
time to titne, as might be required by either
branch of the National Legislature.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that a
connection of institutions belonging to the
stotes exclusively, or to such as they would he
responsible for, is contemplated ; and it is not
to be supposed that such responsibility would
be assumed without an entire or principal in
THE M ADI SON I AN.
VOL. I. WASHINGTON CITY, TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 1837. NO. 21.
terest in the capital, and an melmml control tn
the management.
It appears that the highly beneficial princi
ple of assuming the sovereign right of bunk
ing, has been adopted and improved in several
of the states, and, with the progressive deve
lopment* of its benefits, the more has it gain
ed upon the public favor ; its most potent en
emy is that which has grown out of an excess
of grants to private corporations for such pur
poses. But if the regulation of the currency
is to be regarded as a public right; if the
good of the whole is to be preferred to thtf
special interests of a favored few; and if there
be enough of intelligence among the people
to understand the proposition, and to appreci
ate its merits, (which cannot be doubted.) we
may well anticipate the eventual establishment
of a national currency, under the agency of a
connected system of institutions belonging sole
ly to Jhe states.
The doctrine of the great father of demo
cracy is peculiarly apposite and interesting at
the present crisis, as it presents a practicable
succedaneum, through the medium of a mea
sure of value, which, by " its solidity, univer
sality of circulation, and receivability in all
public payments, would make its way, and
supplant the paper of private banks or corpo
rations of individuals." These are the views
of Jefferson ; and although the Congress
may not be authorized to establish a paper
currency as an absolute tender in private con
tracts, yet the influence they may exercise in
securing its soundness, through the collections
of the revenue, has been admitted by the
purest patriots and most enlightened states
men of this republic, in various departments
of the Government.
In the early annals of the constitution, the
power was affirmed by Gen. Hamilton, in his
public character, "to designate or appoint the
money or thing in which the taxes are to be
paid," as being "not only a proper, but a ne
cessary exercise of "the power of collecting
themaccordingly, Congress, in the law
concerning the collection of the duties on im
posts and tonnage, have provided " that they
shall be payable in silver or gold. But while
it was an indispensable part of the work to
say in what they should bo paid, the choice
of the specific thing was a mere matter of
discretion. The payment might have been
required in the commodities themselves ; tax
es in kind are not without precedent, even in
the United States ; or they might have been
in the paper money of the several states, or of
the bills of the Banks of North America, N.
York, or Massachusetts, all or each of them ;
or it might have been in bills issued under the
authority ok the United States. No part
of this, it is presumed, can be disputed. The
appointment of the money or thing in which
the taxes are to be paid, is an incident to the
power of collection ; and, among the expedi
ents which may be adopted, is that of bills
issued under the authority of the United
States." These are the views of Hamilton ;
and this contemporaneous commentary has
received the sanction of succeeding sages, in
the practical employment of the Treasury
notes as a medium of exchange and circula
tion.
It therefore appears that a paper currency
is not inhibited by the constitution; and that
such a currency may be created by the Gene
ral Government, and distributed among the
states, under proper guards and regulations to
insure its credit and convertibility into gold or
silver, and to promote, incalculably, the com
mon welfare, is equally evident; as the pro
ductive principles of a high and valuable pre
rogative would thereby be diffused, by its op
erations, to the whole people, and not confined
to the benefit or profit of a special few. The
plan, indeed, is esteemed sufficient for all the
beneficial purposes in contemplation, without
the evils of a soulless combination of corpo
rators ; it is, in effect, a National Bank of
exchange and deposite, without the privileges
of issuing notes or loaning money as regards
the General Government, in connection with
an equitable and secure system for the receipt
and distribution of the federal revenue?com
mensurate, in fact, with the wealth and credit
of the several states, embracing the entire
property and population of the whole Union.
To each and every of the states it would im
part a rich resource in public income, and dif
fuse the means of propelling industry and en
terprise, and, by accelerating improvements
throughout the country, promote the amelio
ration of every interest and class of society ;
and while such a system would essentially
enlarge the specie basis, and adopt tho local
circulation to the common uses and demands
of ordinary business, the national currency
would supply the facilities of interchanges in
large transactions, on terms convenient and
economical.
In reference to the pending question, tho
great object of desire is a medium of uniform
and equal value throughout the Union ; to ac
complish which, it is proposed that a curren
cy shall be created by the United States upon
the faith and credit of the whol? nation, guar
antied by the states, receivable everywhere
in all public payments, and convertible into
silver or gold on presentation at each and ev
ery of the institutions of the states. If abet
ter medium can be devised, it remains to be
demonstrated.
For the more ample illustration and better
understanding of the matter, some additional
views in relation to tho expediency and jus
tice of tho proposiiion, and in support of the
practical effects anticipated to flow from the
operations of the interesting measures in con
templation, will be submitted.
By the federal compact, the entire revenue
from duties on imports is ceded to the General
Government exclusively ; nnd the states arc \
consequently reduced to the necessity of re- j
sorting to direct taxation, or to incidental j
sources; for defraying the expenses of their
administrations. The receipt of income to
the national Treasury from the mere circulate ;
ing medium, does not appear to have entered
into the consideration of the framers of that
compact; and the benefits derivable from the j
resource in question, may be justly regarded
as a reservation of the whole people, to bo en
joyed in their respective states.
From documentary information, and esti
mates entitled to credit, it may be fairly infer- ,
red that tho amount of contributions extorted
from the people for the use of a public right, ,
and eventually drawn from the land and labor
of the country, has exceeded annually the
average avails of the duties on imports for the
last three fiscal years.
In a critical examination of thw topic, it
would seem that, if auch a course of contri
bution is to be tolerated, the resulting revenue
ought to enure to the common benefit, and not
to enrich a privileged order of corporators ;
and the more especially, as the resources of
the states, with the aid of the national cur
rency and the capital imparted by the public j
deposites, would abundantly sustain the pro
posed system, under judicious regulatious pro
perly administered.
It is not to be presumed, nor even suppos
ed, that the plan presented could be carried ,
immediately into full effect throughout the i
Union, as the existence of charters conferring
vested rights, iniglu operate to impede, or vir- |
tually preclude, its useful action in some of
the states for years to come. But many mem
bers of the confederation are unincumbered
by such grants, an(j ai^ jn might be re
lieved, by their expiration, or otherwise.
The full enjoyment of this prerogative be
iug susceptible of producing avails of vast
extent, would not only enable the several
states to perfect their lines of iutercommuni- '
cation already in progress or in prospect, as
well as to promote improvements in litera- !
ture, and other desirable ameliorations, but
tend incalculably to increase productions in
ever)- interest, and, by augmenting exportable
commodities, to supply and nourish exterior ;
commerce, and essentially enhance the means
of comfort among the people.
With reference to the private corporations
in which the public moneys have been depo
sited, they are not calculated, by the nature of
their organization, nor the course of their ad- !
ministration, to inspire confidence as depoui- I
tories of the national treasures. Neither are i
they to be viewed as the most eligible vehi- j
cles of distribution, nor as the most compe
tent regulators of monetary interchanges in
remote regions, having, as they have, differ
ent interests and variant points of policy. J
Among the many objections to which those
corporations are obnoxious in the public esti
(nation, some are similar to such as existed in !
the late Bank of the United States. And,
although less eminently calculated to attract
rival investments, and to generate foreign in
fluences, or to combine a concentration of
power in the possession of a few, or a single
individual, dangerous to the peace and pros
perity of the country, or to the vital principles j
of the Government, yet, composing, a* they
do, a distinct community, with inordinate
]?ower to act in private, and having privileges
superior to the common mass of our popula
tion?constituting, in fact, an order which con
sumes the fruits of the common labor, without
contributing to its production in due degree? I
they may well be viewed as hostile to the
spirit of a free republic; and the paper of,
such, (emitted by irresponsible corporations, |
acting in conclave, with a sole regard to pri- j
vate benefits,) from apprehensions of its soli
dity arising from the frequency of their fail
ures, or depreciation, could not maintain that
uniform and equal value which would sustain
the issues of a board based upon the wealth
and credit of the whole nation, guarantied by
the states, receivable in all public payments,
and immediately convertible into gold or sil
ver. Phii.o-Fiscus.
FUR THE MADISONUN.
TREASURY NOTES.
No. VII.
Tie noble principle on which you have ,
acted in admitting my fifth letter to your
columns, cannot fail with a free people to re
doundlo your advantage. A free press is the
strongest fortress of a free government. Let
the motto between us be, " Amicitia et Ve
ritas"?Friendship and truth.
I have assailed the Treasury notes in two
aspects, to wit: As bring intended to pass in
payment of debts, and thus form a circulating
medium ; and as being intended to raise
money on, by being loaned for gold ami silver.
I would offer an idea or two moro on each
point.
I. If the Treasury notes are to be used as ?
so much money 44 in paying the debts of the
United States," and to pass from debtor to j
creditor in the extinguishment of debts, it is j
evident they must be possessed of the essen
tial attributes, and are designed to answer the
pur|K)ses of bank paper, forming a circulating
medium. To create them, with this view and
in this sense, is clearly to violate the consti
tution, unless the granted power '4 to coin
money," means or w as intended to confer a
power to make paper money. That it was not i
so intended is evident in the facts that the i
framers of the constitution used the words by |
which they expressed their ideas, in tho or- !
dinary sense ; and that the sense in which
the word 44 coin" is ordinarily used, is 44 to
stamp a metal and convert it into money ; to
mint." Then, to make paper promises to pay,
intended to pass in payment of debts, is a sub
stantive act, separate and distinct from the
granted power to coin money. The power
44 to coin money," is the only delegated power j
on the subject of making money; and all
44 the powers not delegated to tho United I
States by tho Constitution, nor prohibited by
it to the States, are reserved to tho States re
spectively, or to the people." It follows that
the making of paper to pass in paying debts,
as money, is to do that which the power is
not expressly granted to do. For the Con
gress to do that which the power is not ex
pressly granted to it to do, can only bo justified
on the ground that the exercised power in this
case, of making such paper promises to pay, !
is a power necessary for carrying into execu
tion some expressly granted power. Before
it can be successfully maintained that an is
sue of Treasury notes made to pass in pay
ment of debts, is necessary to carry into effect
any one of the expressly granted powers, the
powers which are granted and uncontested,
44 to lay and collect taxes, to borrow money
on the credit of the United States," and 44 to
coin money," must first be tried; for, surely,
no power can be fairly claimed to be proper- j
ly incidental, until the particularly enumera- )
ted powers have been put in requisition of a j
full action, and have been found to be insuf- ,
ficient. Neither the power of laying and col
lecting taxes, nor that of borrowing money, has
been tried in this emergency ; and yet the
power of making paper promises to pay, intend
ed to pas* in payment of debts, is claimed to
be fairly incidental, and 44 necessary" to the
successful conducting of the finances !!
(Tho still contested exercises of this power
to make paper money, and the untoward mul
tiplication of the appellatives of paper money,
ha?e already done mischief enough, 1 would
resist its exercise in this, at best, questionable
sha|M>, more strenuously than that ol any other
doubttul power. Let the country lake warn
ing from the words of the great head of the
ancient family of Federalists?from words
recently cited by Mr. Benton, undismayed by
them, in a speech ill favor of the issue of
Treasury notes !!! From these words of
Gen. Hamilton, to wit: "The stamping of
paper, (by Government,) is an operation so
much easier than the laying of taxes, or of
borrowing money, that a Government in the
habit of paper emissions, would rarely fail, in
any emergency, to indulge itself too lar in the
employment of that resource, to avoid as much
as possible, one less auspicious to present
popularity." From these words of wisdom,
let the country take warning.)
2. But it is contended that the proposed
issue of Treasury notes is nothing ntore than
a borrowing of money ; or, in the language ol
the advocates of the measure, " the notes art
to be loaned for money, to wit: for gold and
silver." Iti this aspect of the issue of Trea
sury notes, it being taken to be true, that they
arc not to form a circulating medium by pass
ing in payment of debts; 1 would ask, why
does not the general Government boldlv and
openly take the attitude of a borrower, direct
ing the Secretary of the Treasury to negoti
ate a loan, and having effected it, to execute
writings obligatory for the return of it to those
who having the ability and willingness, shall
lend it ? This uould be borrowing, well un
derstood.
Further : Taking it to be true that these
notes arc to be loaned for gold and silver,
and not to be used " as currency, in the
payment of debts, what will be the effect of
the emission of them, on the anticipated re
sumption of specie payments by the suspend-,
ed State Banks ? It is clear to my mind, that
to raise gold and silver on these notes, at best,
" a disguised mode of borrowing," will be to
abstract so much from the ordinary channels
of trade, from which the banks have the best
chance of drawing it to augment their specie
fund with, preparatory to a safe resumption
of specie payments ; and to appropriate it to
the uses of the Government, from which,
if it be allowed at all to visit and replenish
the vaults of the banks, it will only be allowed
to do so, in this the hour of their greatest
need, in the tantalizing shape of a special de
posite.
If I am wrong in this, I ask for light. I
would do nothing to retard a stable resump
tion of specie payments. So far from it, as
far as the unbroken reins of the constitution
would let me go, 1 would go to any length to
aid in hastening its advent.
Pubuus.
DEFENCE OF GENERAL JOHN E. WOOL,
Against the accusations of his Excctlency C . C. CVcy,
Governor of Alabama. as enquired into by the Court
of Enquiry, of ichich Major General Scott was Pre
sident.
Ma. President:
It was very far from my expectation when I took
leave of my command on tke 1st of July last, in obe
dience to instructions from the War Department, that
I should so soon again be compelled to revisit this
country, particularly under the circumstances in
which I now appear before you. i frankly confess
that when I took my departure I was flattered with
the pleasing reflection that I carried with me the ap
probation and kind wishes of all, the Tennesseeans,
the Georgians, the North Carolinians, and the Ala
bamians. It appears, however, that I was mistaken,
and the pleasing illusion which 1 had so fondly che
rished, was soon aud rudely to be dispelled, r or, on
my arrival at Washington, 1 learned trom the Secre
tary of War that I had been charged by the Execu
tive of Alabama with usurping the powers ot the
civil tribunals of the state, disturbing the peace of
the community, and trampling upon the rights ol its
citizens; and that a Court had been instituted to en
qnire into the circumstances, and report the tacts to
the War Department. My surprise was great, lor
of all that could be alleged against me during the
period I commanded in the Cherokee nation, the
charges preferred against me were the most loreign
to mv feelings and intentions, and which every mea
sure'adopted with reference to the Cherokee*iand
the white inhabitants, will clearly prove. I did no
go to that country, Mr. President, to tarnish what
little reputation f may have previously acquired, by
acts of oppression or cruelly, nor by vmjaunt the
laws of my country. My object was a laithful exe
cution of the treaty with ihe Cherokees, to protect
all in their rights, as guarantied by it; the white
men and the red?the weak as well as the strong.
These were the cardinal rules lor my conduct which
I steadily kept in view, and which I never lost sight
of for a single moment, from the time 1 entered the
country until I left it.
But it is not my intention, Mr. President, to detain
this Court, or weary its patience, by attestations ot
my fnnocence, or a labored defence of my conduct,
whilst commanding in the Cherokee nation. ! he
President of the United States having refused mv
request for a general enquiry into my conduct, and
the present enuuiry being limited to a com
plaint. I will at once proceed, in ns brief a
as circumstances will permit, to present
the subject to the consideration of the Cmirt. The
facts by which this Court is to be guided in the for
mation of its opinion, are now upon its records I
await the result of its deliberations, and the judg
ment of the American people, when
ings shall be made public, with undoubting confi
deMv instructions, Mr. President, of the 20th June
1830, in which a copy ol the late treaty with the
Cherokees wsu enclosed, are before you marked (1.)
With what energy, zeal, and promptitude 1 dis
charged the important duties thus assigned me, he
Court will be able to judge from, the tacts and the
documents before it. As directed, I repaired to
\thens in Tennessee, with as much despatch as
practicable, and afW organizing a brigade of volun
teers, arming and equipping such a force as I con
sidered the nature of the scrvice required, and es
tablishing depots of provisions in suitable places for
b >th the troops and the poorer class ot ^"okecs,
distributing the troops in such positions as would af- ^
ford the greatest facilities for operating and c??fi
ling the Cherokees in caseof hostilities, I established
my head quarters on the '27th of July, a little more
than a month after I left Washington, near the month
of Valley river, N. C., in the midst of the most ob
stinate and warlike of the Cherokees and the most
devotedly attached to their country. I wa? not slow
in discovering that the command 1 had assumed was
one of delicacy in its natnre, and extremely trouble
some in the execution. 1 found the Indians laboring
under a state of excitement, produced by the means
adopted to force upon them the late '^aly, which
thev most explicitly disavowed, declaring that thi j
had made no such treaty with the Inited Suites, and
that the paper which purported to be one was mailc
bv a few unauthorized individual?, without the sanc
tion of the nation, assisted by corrupt agents of the
Government." This state of feeling was heightened
by the daily encroachments, of the whites, w ho were
flocking into the nation and driving thein from their
homes This excitement was still greater in Geor
gia and Alabama, where the Indians ?e not onl>
dispossessed of their houses and fields, but, m erm.e
quenee. also, of the conduct of the troops of tlww*
state,, who. in pursuit of Creek Indians who had
fled for refuge among the CheroW.es from the war
lhat was raging in their own country, not tin I
lv captured the Cherokees and conveyH h^n ' u
Creek emigrating camn for nV?.
entrance into the C herokee cou > , ^uses
To allay this excitement, o corr^thwc abtres,
and to induce the Cherokew to acquiesce and submit
to the condition* imposed by the tv?ty, the best ener
gies of which [ u as muster, weret.*.. in requisition.
The testiinouy before the Court will show that I de
voted myself unceasingly to accomplish the object*
of my mission to the Cherokee country, toexecute
the treaty honorably to the Government and justly to
the Indians. 1 have the satisfaction of believing that
the measures adopted would have produced the de
sired effect. The Cherokees were beginning to re
lax in their opposition, and were making prepara
tions for removal to the West.
1 have thus endeavored, Mr. President, briefly to
lay before you the state of the Cherokee nation in
August and September, 1836. If, at that time, 1 had
b '<*n sustained in my course by the Government <>t the
United States, and the Commissioners had been pre
sent to enter upon the discharge of their duties at
the same time, 1 have no doubt, and I think I will be
sustained in the declaration by the more intelligent
part of the nation, that, at least, Ave thousand of the
Cherokees would have removed to their new homes
during the la-st fall and winter. This would have in
duced the removal of the residue of the nation with
out trouble or difficulty.
As an indication of the course pursued by me dur
ing my command in the Cherokee country, and as
showing the means by which 1 acquired the confi
dence of the Indiana and the uoprubation of the
while citizens of the nation and the neighboring
country, 1 would call the attention u! the Court to
my communications to Brigadier General Dunlap of
the 4th and 12th of August, 1836. In that of the 4th
of August, the following directions will be iound:
" You will proceed without delay, to New Echota,
and such other parts of the Cherokee nation, within
the limits of Georgia, as may be necessary to give
protection both to the Cherokees and the white inha
bitants residing in that section of the country. You
will allow no encroachment on either side. Bulk
rill be protected in. their person* and. property. You
will prevent as lar as practicable all collisions be
tween your troops and the Indians. You will also
prevent nny interference on the part of the Georgia
troops with the Cherokees. ? ? ?
At all events, you will prevent any improper ex
ercise of military control over the Indian*, or the
white inhabitants. The whole subject is left u> your
sound discretion, taking care to do nolhiug that will
bring you in conflict with the authorities of Georgia.
The sovereignty of the State and its laws must be
respected. You will recollect, in your proceedings,
that the State and the citizens are still laboring under
a state of excitement, caused by the cruelties of a
savage warfare. Therefore great prudence and dis
cretion should be exercised In all your intercourse
with the nation, and particularly in all measures
which might have a bearing upon the rights and in
terests of the State and people of Georgia.
Again, on the 12th of August, the Court will find
I transmitted to General Dunlap the following in
structions. " Cap'.uin Vernon, stationed at New
Echota, informs me that John Ridge has complained
to him that some white man is about to take forcible
possession of his ferry on Coosa river. You will,
without delay, inquire into the case, and il you
should find the complaint to be iust, you will until
further orders, protect Ridge in his rights and pro
perty. This order will apply to all cases of a similar
character in the Cherokee country. * * . *
In your proceedings v<ni trill be porcmed by y?mr in
structions of the itk instant." Ridge's ferry was in
Alabama. , . ..
By examination of the testimony of Cantain Mor
row, Colonel Bvrd, Captain Shaw, and Major Lyon,
the Court will discover that I gave similar instruc
tions to every officer ordered on command, and par
ticularly to Captain Morrow, stationed ncarGunter s
landing, Alabama, and yet I have been charged by
his Excellency, C. C. Clay, now Senator Clay, (in
violation of the laws of Alabama,) of assuming the
power of adjudicating and determining the right oi
possession or ownership of land and improvements
thereon, and of dispossessing one claim, and sup
planting him with another by military force. Under
one of these decisions, a conflict took place ini the
county of Marshall, as the Governor states, "which
resulted in the death of two individuals, certainly,
besides the most serious injury to others, some of
whom it is feared, may yet die of their wounds.
The letter of h* Excellency is so far correct in
this that 1 did, on the occasion alluded to, and at
other times, dispossess white men of Indian improve
ments, which they had unjustly taken and "sup
planted them," not with another white man, as it
might be inferred, but with an Indian claiming the
benefits and protection of the late Cherokee treaty ;
and lor this 1 believe that I was fully warranted by
the letter and spirit of the treaty, and that justice de
manded the exercise of such a power. On this point
I shall have occasion to speak more fully hereafter.
The facts of this case are simply these. The heirs
of John Gunter, Scnr., deceased through their ad
ministrator of the estate, Mr. Riddle, applied to me
to restore them to the possession of a certain im
provement which they claimcd, as Cherokees, under
the treaty of 1835,then in the possession of Nathaniel
Steele. Having satisfied myself by a thorough in
vestigation, that it was an Indian improvement and
that it rightfully belonged to the heirs of John Gun
ter Senr., deceased, and that Steele had no claim
whatever to it, I considered it my imperative duty,
having the treaty before me, which I could view in
no other light than part of mv instructions, to trans
mit the instructions before the Court, of the od of
June, marked G, to Captain Morrow. You have it
in testimony before the Court, that these instructions
were obeyed, and the administrator put In possession.
I would, however, call the attention of the Court to
the concluding paragraph of these instructions, as
clearly indicating my desire in nowise to interfere
with that which properly belonged to the civil tribu
nals of the country. .
It will be remembered by the Court, that Mr. Rid
dle was an officer acting under the*laws which I am
charged with having outraged and trampled upon.
That he slates in his testimony, most explicitly, that
he appli'd to me for relief, because he believed
he had no adequate remedy under the laws of Ala
bama. 1 also refer to the very clear testimony of
Captain Morrow on this point. I wish it also to be
understood, that the Government of the United Stales
was distinctly informed, and approved of the course,
for which I have received the denunciations of the
Governor of Alabima. For this purpose 1 would
refer the Court to mv letter ol the 13th August 1M6,
to the honorable L*wis Cass, marked ^ enclosing
instructions to General Dunlap, of the 4th and 12th
of Austist, and the answer to that letter, dated the
1st ol September, marked ?i?also to my letter of the
27th of August, marked 7; and the answer ol the
Acting Secietarv of War, of the 13th of September
marked 8 ; to the letter of the President ol the United
Stales, oi the 7th of September, marked 10, the fol
lowing extract of which is very explicit: ' Should
you find any evil disposed white man in the nation,
exciting the Indians not to comply with the treaty,
you will forthwith order him or them out of the na
tion, and if they refuse to go. the facts being tho
roughly established, you will Uike the steps necessary
to put them out. Such characters must be considered
in the light of intruders, prohibited by the treaty
from living within the limits of the nation. Again,
in mv instructions of the I2ih of October, marked
13 it will be perceived I was authorized not only to
have dispossessed Steele, but to have turned him out
of the countrv. For it is there laid down, that if
anv of our citizens enter the Indian country, and
incite opposition to the execution of the treaty you
will ascertain whether there is any law of the State
which can be brought to bear upon them, and under
which they can be removed. If they
reached in this way, it is the opinion^ of the Presi
dent, that they may be removed under the 6th article
of the treaty, in which the United States guarantee
that the Cherokees shall be protected ap,?stIT,nffrj
ruption and intrusion from citizens of the United
States, who may attempt to settle in the country with
out their consent."
Thus it will be seen, Mr. President, that my course
was not only approved when I informed ithe ^ ar
Department of my intention to protect the Chero
kee in their property from the lawlessness of intru
ders but thcPresident of the United States whola
my superior officer, and whom I am bound 'o^bey.
directs me in the most positive manner to turajiny
while man out of the nation w ho should incite op
omition to the treaty. And the important principle
rE recoraiS ih? tl? U?iicd;,???? h*?>5
S^SSJT.S Ae chTkT sh.ii w -?~?a
from all interruption and intrusion of "'e ?
S has the alZnty to
lion, unless hey are there oy.f | ^ ^ ^ ^ |Q
rokees ? ej ? . |h na,j?n as intruders, 1 had also
turn them out o ^ "? useful power to di?p<?
Yn "r""""vi*
u^ntlv and unjustly obtruded themselves.
Mr President, before I close this brief defence,
_ an intimation to that effect from one for whose
Eon I have the greatest respect. I will, as con
ofsely as I can, bring to view the of
brought to my mind the conviction that the <
iVima, extending l*er jur.^n^ over h^ jn.
dians and their country, ?re t?Sd I a p
the statutes of the Union, and therefore void, t ap
P,;rh ,h?
with muchi em . ? an(1 j n)ai,e ?o pretensions to
ly a judicial i I am well aware of the
'S'-ES.
?"*> sensitiveness of the States upon <hi? point,
which Tt (toe time, threatened to
shall be able to convince the Court upur 4

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