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which hi s divided the mart eminent statesmen of the
day and has undergone the rigid kcruliny ot such minds as Marshall and Suiry, and Win and Scr gggQi Hiui Qiiuiy uilitmwbolittVdddornM il?' dchcb? ihe bar, and the Sciwie of our cuuntiy, and whose naiue> give lustre lo the age. My <>ec shill be to present io ihe C^nut my owu reflections with & reter eutv to-ueh derisiou>, lieaiie-, and s4atu.es a? the Court may couvenieuily consult, should it be inclined to pursue ihe investigation. I shall pass by the diseuasiun of the rights which disco.tfi_v or c >uquesi coulerred ujkju ihe uulijus ol Europe over the aborigine* of this continent, barely remarking thai ail the powers ol the British crown over the savage tribss inhabiting thia country, passed, by the revolution, 10 the United Suue> ol America, and uot to the individual States. All sub^niteot rights have b tn acquired by treaty stipulations or coul'erred by the constitution upon Cougresa. The consiitutioii of the United S.uies declares that laws 111.do in pursuance of it, and treaties made or to be made, are the supreme law of the laud, any thing in any State cousiiiution or law to the contrary uotwithstnnding. The Indian tribes inhabiting this continent have been alu y- recognized as indejiendeiit communi ties, capable of making treaties and ot sustaining the relations of pence ar.d war. " The United Slates, says Chancellor Kent, '* have never dealt with these people within our national limits as extinguished sovereignty i. They have constantly treated with them as independent nations governed by their own usages, and possessing governments competent to make uiid mnmtain treaties. They hove considered tnem as public enemies in war, and allied friends in peace. (Godell vs Jackson, 20 vol. Hep. 711) 1 he Supremo C >urt of the Uni.ed Sates declared (?> Pe ters' R ;*>rt, 551) that, "by the ninth article of the treaty of Hopewell, a surrender of self-government was never intended by the Cherokee.*,nd so to hold would b' a perversion of the necessary meaniug ol the Indians. In the same ca.se the l onrt used the following language. " Is it credible that they should have considered themselves as surrendering to ihe United States the right to dictate their future ces sions, and the tenns on which they should b? made, or to eomtiel their submission to the violence of licen tious and disorderly intruders 1" All the treaties with the Cherokces from 1785 up ^o this time recognise them as a nation capable of living under their own laws. The principal provi sions in tiio.i? treaties have been thus summed up: '? Perpsm il peace,.grant of land by the nation, ex press dealgn aion of boundaries to give up offenders taking reluge among thetn. Thnt retaliation shall cease?!he exclusion of the whi'es from the lands re:ain?d by the IndLni. Acknowledgement of the pro;ec;ion of the Uni:cd States, and of no other sovereign whatever. That Congress shall have the vile und exclusive right of reg ilating trade with them, and managing all their *fTairs, as that body shall think proper (treaty of 1785.) A solemn gua ranty to the Cherokces of all their lands not ceeded. That it shall be against the law for white men to set tle on such lands, and such intruders to be punished as the Indians think proper." Judge Peck's opinion, 8 vol. Rep. " In the treaty of Hopewell the Clicro kees arc treated as a nation, and throughout that in strument their distinctive character as a separate po litical community is kept up and clearly acknow ledged. The treaty ol Holstein, in lffll, recog nises them a* a nation, and guaranties the Cherokees all their lands not thereby ceded. All subsequent treaties recognise and acknowledge the operative force o! these treaties." Judge Green's opinion, 8 vol. Rep. 3-M. Is it necessary Cor language to be stronger?? Where can you 'tiud rights more clearly detined or more solemnly guarantied I Lands are ceded, bauudaries are expressly designated, a guaranty lor those retained, ami assurance of protection from the intrusions of the whites. Are then these treaties, and have they the operative force of such an instru ment as known lo the constitution I It has never been doubled. They have been approved by the President, ratified by the Senate, published to the world as such, and recognised in the highest judicial tribunals as the supreme law of the land. Was the United States competent to enter into stipulations of this kind, and is it able to perform theml Or did this magnanimous Government de signedly bind itself to terms which it could not en force, with a handful of rude, unlettered savages, while il compelled performance on their part, and when they demanded a fulfilment of the conditions, coldly to inform them we cannot comply, you must rely upon the justice of the States, and the tender mercies of the bordering white men Was it ever contemplated by the Indians when they received ihe solemn assurance of the United States of protection from all intrusion of the whiles, that they were to become subject lo a body ol laws imposed on them by the States, the language of which they did not even understand, and so entirely dis similar to all their habits end customs I In the lan guage of the Supreme Court of the United Slates "it is incredible." It would be a perversion of language to suppose so, and a fraud upon the Indians to give it that operation. Or did this Government in the formation of these treaties condescend to "palter in a double sense to keep the word of promise to the ear aiid break it to the hope V' 1 trust that such pu nic faith will never stain our national character. In Worcester rs. the State of Georgia, 6 P eter's Reports, 581, the Supreme Court of the United States held that " the Cherokees are a distinct community, occupying its own territory, with boundaries accu rately described, in which the laws of North Caro lina could have no force, and which the citizens of North Carolina had no right to enter, but with the assent of the Cherokees themselves." This perhaps is the last case involving this question which has been before the Supreme Court ol the United States, ?the only tribunal recognised in the Constitution for the decision of such questions. The opinion was pronounced by that pure hearted man and emi nentjurist, Chief Justice Marshall, whose expositions of the Constitution will be revered while that instru ment itself endures. The time and the circum stances give to this decision unusual solemnity and importance. The Court will remember that the Union was agitated from one extreme to the other and threatened no less than an overthrow of the Con stitution. At such a time how calm would ha ve been the deliberations ol Marshall?how earnest his con victions. - ' The Constitution of the Uniied States also pre scribes that Congress shall have the power of regu lating commerce with foreign nations, among the several states, and with the Indian tribes. It has been decided that personal intercourse was commerce in the sense of the Constitution. The laws of Ala. are therefore void, as being repugnant to the provisions of the Act of Congress of March 30, 180J, commonly called the Intercourse Act. And it would seem that the Congress of the U. States was of the opinion that the Act of 1803 was still in force as late as the year 1834, at which time an act was passed re7ulating trade and intercourse with the Indian tribes wesl of the Mississippi, and in which the Aet of 180-2 was declared not repealed, as to the tribes east. (See the Act of 1H34, Act of 1802.) Upon what argument then rests the rights of the States to extend their laws ov< r these people. We are told that the Indian tribes are within Ihe charteted limits of the Stales, and that the States are sovereign ivithin those limits, and cannot be rcstraine.l But are they not parties to the forma tion of these treaties ) Where were the Senators of these States at the time of their ratification 1 Does their solemn protest stand upon Ihe records of the Senate against this usurpation of the general Go vernment 1 They were present and themselves parties to the act. Hut Ihe State of Alabama became a member of the Union with this tribe of Indians then in her borders, with most ol these treaties existing in full force, pledging the protection of the United States, guaran teeing to thein the undislutbed possession of their country and the enjoyment of their u?;iges and cus toms; prohibiting the intrusion of the whites upon their soil, and laws enacted io carry out these pro visions. and penalties prescribed for their infraction. By accepting membership with these conditions be fore her, she became a party to the acts, and cannot disavow them. Under the repeated nnd solemn guaranties of the United Suites to the Cherokees. for the occupation of their lands not ceded, would Ihe Government have permitted the State of Alabama to have called upon the military force of the State, and expelled these people from her borders, by the use of the bayonet 1 The question need not be answered. It cannot be doubted by any one familiar with the condition of the country, that they citn be as effectually expelled, though not quite so promptly, by means of legislation, as by the point of the bayonet. They have not the privilege of an oath before the judicial tribunals, no voice in the legislative hall. Is it not equally a breach of faith to permit that to be accomplished by indirect means which would be prohibited il attempted di rectly and forcibly. The testimony on yoitr records, establishes the fact, that if all controversies, of which they have assumed cognisance, were submitted to the adjudi cation of the civil tribunals of that country, it would be impossible to execute the Cherokee treaty justly and faithfully. There must be some other less in terested power to interpose between them, and the white people residing among thetn, who iiora their superior cunning and knowledge ol the laws, tmd the fact that the Lndian is not allowed hi.s oath. muM of necessity be alwiyi *uccftj>ftl in defrauding *nd im pressing (hern. With these vi.^sof ray duty. Mr Pawident, with my instructions Mure me, holding in my h-nd the late Cherokee treaty, which solemnly guaranties to the Cherokee* the possession of their property ?nd the free u*e and occupation of the same until the time fixed for their removal to the West. What should huve b-en my course 1 If I had antid other wise than I did, i should have considered myself r? crcuut tu this sacred trust reposed in ine. An Indian pi escnts himself before me, and in the language of nature details his complaint. Fie says, I have been dispossessed by the white man of the house which I built and the fields which I have cultivated fur years, iny property has b?en taken from me, and my I family turned ou' to the shelter of the forest. Your government is pledged to protect me, you have the treaty before you, and you were sent to enforce it. 1 ask justice at your hand*. I say to him, go to the civil trib.inals of the States, they will redrew your wrongs. What would be his answer? wliat would be your answer?or that of any other man in the cominuuityl?It would be the voice of nature, universal as the human family. He would say, you insult me with such protection, it is a miserable mockery. Is this your justice 1 This your faith so often, so solemnly pledged to us. In the language of scripture he uiit'ht exclaim, I have asked you for bread, and you have given me a stone. My crime has been, not in using the language here supposed, but in listening to his complaints and re dressing his wrongs. I have endeavored to do him justice without enquiring into the particular provi sion of this or that H ate law. I have not perplexed myself with the sub'.le arguments of politicians abmt tha indivisibility of'sovercignty, ot such like cobwebs of the brain, but the path of justice b-ing clear, 1 b'U obeyed the still small voice of con science, which frequently, in the advance of reason ing, overleaps those birriers wi:h which ?ub'ili;y and ingenuity sometimes successfully oppose its pro gress. The course of justice and humanity are but the dictates of an enlarged and liberal policy. By such a course the Indians were taught that some remains of justice, some touches of feeling, yet existed in the bjs.mis of white tuen, for their uuforlunate and pe culiar situations. 1 trust that it softened in some degree, the asperity of their feelings, and caused them to look with some confidence to the future.? Suppose a ditl'erent course had been pursued, and every species of oppression ond cruelly prac tised towards them, and they could find no teilress. Might they not justly say, we can but die? let us first b; revenged! Do we seek in vain in the pages of history for such resolutions prompted bv despair! But, Mr. President, I ain happy thai no charges which should dishonor me as a man, or disgrace me as an o:Rcer, have appeared against me. That I mav have committed errors of judgment, I cannot doubt, but the case before (he court 1 cannot think is one. And although the consequences of this case were tragical indeed,surely I am not responsi ble for the violence of human passions which caused such a result. No one can regret it more than I do. Mr. President, I return the court my thanks for their courtesy and unwearied attention during the investigation. JOHN E. WOOL, Brig. Qeiural,\U. S. Army. OEJIERAL ORDBK8, MO. A3. HEAD QUARTERS OF THE AR\1Y,? Adjutant Genkbal's Orricc, V Washington, Oct. 2, 1837. ) I ...The Court of Enquiry, instituted by direction of the President of the United States, whereof Brevet Ma jor General W infield Scott is President, and which convened on the 4th September, 1837, at Knoxville, Tenn., pursuant to " General Order No. 49," to exa mine into the transactions of Brevet Brigadier General Wool, and others under his command, in reference to his and their conduct in the Cherokee country, so called, as set forth in a letter from his Excellency the Governor of Alabama, dated July 3, 1837, addressed to the Se cretary of War, and in the joint resolutions of the Se nate and House of Representatives of that State, has reported the following " OPINION." " The Court, after fully weighing and considering tho whole of the testimony submitted in the case, are of opinion, that not one of the imputations on the con duct of General Wool, contained in the preamble to the joint resolutions of the Legislature of Alutimnu, or t.'ie letter of his Excellcncy, Governor Clay, to the War Department, which enclosed the said resolutions, is founded in justice or in fact. It wtlf be seen that on the application of the Judge Advocate to the Executive of Alabama, for document* and the names of witnesses to support the accusation a gamut General Wool, tho late Governor (the Honorable C. C. Clay) replies: ' The only official information I ever received in refer ence to the conduct of General Wool, will be found in the Executive Archives. I am not informed of the names of the witnesses to prove the chsrges egainst General Wool ; but presume the officers who served under him, in that part of tho Cherekee Nation lying in Alabama, would be competent to prove tho orders, which were the subject of complaint.' And the scting Governor (his Exccllency, H. McVsy,) says : ? Having caused an examination to be made, nothing can be found on file iri tins Department which will enable me to fur nish the information desired, nor sm I able to comply with your' request from other sources.' Pursuing, however, the suggestions of the Honorable Mr. Clsy, that ' the officers who served under biin (General Wool) in that part of the Cherokee Natiou lying in Alabama, would bo competent to prove the order* which were the subject of complaint,' the Judge Advocate, princi pally at the instance of General Wool, summoned many witnesses, and the latter has also freely submitted to the Court every paper in his power which, as it would seem, belongs to the matter under investigation. " I" roin this mass of evidence, parole and documen tary. it appears that, in his conduct towards Alabama, so far from ' disturbing tho poace of the community,' and 'trampling on the rights' of the jvoplr, Get .era 1 Wool's acts were so strikingly marked by caution, tem per, and mildness, as to receive the almost universal approbation of the very jieoplc whom he is charged with having outraged. "Another, and the principal accusation eont#hied in the letter of Governor Clay to the War Department, (evidently founded on the preamble of the said joint re solution,) is, that General Wool had usurped the powert of Ihe civil tribunal* of Alabama: and the said pream ble sets forth that ' a company of volunteers in the ser vice of the United States, under the command of (Bri gadier) General Wool, have been stationed in the coun try lately owned by the Cherokee tribe of Indiana in tliis State, for the pretended purpose of keeping |>eace between the said tribe of Indiana and tlie citizens of the State, and have taken upon themselves the autho rity to adjudicate upon the claims of our cilizeni to their right to the fiossession of improvements; and in the enforcements of these adjudications have brought about a most ruinous and fatal conflict between our most worthy citizens, the consequences of which hsve already resulted in the taking ot each other's lives." The case here referred to has been most fully developed in the evidence, from which it appears, that the Indian I children of one John Gunter. deceased, through the she rifT(Kiddle) of Jackson county, administrator ex officio, under the orphan s court, claimed the possession of cer tain improvement!, of which Nathaniel Steel, a white man, was in the actual oecuj?anev : .that on the applica tion to that effect to General Wool, by the sheriff ad ministrator, General Wool decided the case, with the previous approbation of the said Steel, giving the right k of |K>sscssion to a certain part of the improvements to the Administrator, with which decision Stool expressed himself to be satisfied: that captain Morrow, who com manded a volunteer company three or four miles off, received instructions from General Wool to put tho administrator in possession of thst part of the improve ments adjudged to him : that Steel quietly, ami without the application of military force, consented to give up ?the possession, and began accordingly to evacuate the premises ; u(>on which Captain Morrow, and the small detachment that was with hun, withdrew to his camp, distant as aforesaid and that the conflict which after wards occurred, was neither in the presence, nor at the moment, within the knowledge of any officer or soldier in the service of the United States. " It is further in proof, and indeed fully admitted by General V\ ool, that lie decided many other claims, pre ferred by Indians, to improvements wrongfully possess ed by citizens of the States ; and it would appear that in all these case* his decisions were acquiesced in, not only without conflict, but without, complaint. The question now occurs : By what authority did General Wool take upon himself to give decisions on the clasa of cases just recited, and in doing so, did ho, us is so lemnly charged from a h'gh quarter, usurp the powers of the civil tribunals of Alabama \ The I Oth article of the treaty - between the United States and the Chero kecs, ratified May 23. 1836, allows those Il.dians to re main in the country therein ceded to the United States up to May 2.1, 1838, and the United States stipulate to protect and defend thcin (the said Indians) in their possessions ami property, and the free use and occupa tion of the same.' This treaty is repeatedly referred to in the instructions from time to time addressed to Gene r*l Wool, by the War Department, and once emphati cally by President Jackson himself, in a letter to the same commanding officer, and m each case, as a rule of conduct for the latter. In this letter from the then President, and slao 18 that (a?m lb* War Office. Octo ber IU-1086, Gent >si Wo^i ia directed to consult I he Alb ari^e of (lie wid UiJijv which tonfeia even abigh er power on ihe romnianaing otticor than the 16th, aa applicable lo the Cherokee* whilst vet residing within the geo^rsptucsl limita of North Carolina, Georgia, Ten* ueaMM) and Alaliania, and conatx|ueiilly llial lie. Gen. Wool, w?* by the Iflth Article, fully invested with the luferior power of rtjxtsscssing an Indian claimant of im provements wronjtfijllv withheld by a white intruder not recognized by the Cherokee* a* one of their people. A tram, the inatruiii. nl agreed ii|?on by the Umiod Sutra and tlie Cherokee Nation, and ratified by the Stnkle of the United Slate*. May 23, 1836, bring called, upon it* face, a Irmly. and repeatedly referred to aa auch l>y the I'reaidrnt and Secretary of War, General Wool naturally considered it aa auch an instrument aa m spoken of iu ihe 2d clauae, article 6th, of ihe Constuuiion of the United States : that la, aa the supreme law of the laud ; and consequently believed himself, under it and his uistruc lioua, to poaaesa the right, aa well aa the power, to do juaticr, in the Cherokee country, to Indian complainant* without uaurping the power of ibe civil tribunals of Ala bama, or that of the tribunals of the other particular States mentioned. Wnliout, however, imeotiig tlua view of the subject any farther, which might l.t? impro per in a military tribunal, thia court ia of opinion that General Wool, in the acta recited and complained of, cannot be juailv charged with having usurped powera belonging to the courla of Alabama. "In the letter of hia Excellency Governor Clay, to the Secretary of War, dated July 3, 1837, before the Court, there is an incidental mention of another letter from the sinne to the same, complaining of other acta of General Wool, perhaps of the same, or a similar charac ter to those already noticed: but this letter not having been submitted to this court by the proper authority, and its contents unknown, except by conjecture, no tea tunonv haabeen taken, and no opinion ia here given on Ha aob|ecl. "The attention of the Court, in its order of appoint ment, has also been directed to ' other* under lus (Ge | neral Wool's) command in reference to' the inaticra I complained of; but the name of no other officer ia given | in that order, or mentioned by the I*gialature or Execu tive of Alabama, in the paper*, from them, submitted to (he court. It has, however, been incidentally dia clossd by the evidence, that Captain Morrow, command ing a company of Tennessee Voluiilreta, i" the tetnpo rary service of the United Slates, was the individual charged with lite execution of General Wool * decision relative to the improvements of John Guuter, .deceased, which were in tho possesion of Nathaniel Steel. Iu re ference to thia excellent officer, (Captain Morrow) it i* sufficient to say that he acted in strict conformity with the orders of his superior, and in auch manner a* lo de mand and receive the emphatic approbation of all the parties claiming those improvement*?aa may be seen in their resjtective letters to him, annexed to the pro ceedings of this Court." II. The Psksioknt or thk United State* ap prove* the proceeding* hi the foregoing case. ^ III. Tho Court of Enquiry of which Brevet Major General Scott is President, is hereby dissolved. By order of Ai.kxasuek Macomb, Major General Comma wit n#-in- Chief. 11. JONES. Adget. General. SPEECH OF MR. GARLAND, or Virginia, In the House of Representatives of the U. S. Sept. 25, 1837?in opposition to the foil reported by the Committee of Ways ami Means, entitled, " A bill imposing additional duties as depositories in certuin cases on public officers, and for other purposes : (Continued.) From the connection which existed between the Government and the State Hanks, growing out of their adoption as fiscal agents, and the general impression which it produced, that tho Government was disposed to cherish and sustain them, the slightest manifestation of the want of confidence on the part of the Go vernmcnt, was calculated to produce the most disastrous effects upon ihcir credit, and crip ple their operations. It was calculated to im pair general confidence, and produce a rush for specie, so sudden and violent, that but few banking institutions could be prepared to with stand it. This want of confidence was clearly manifested in the Treasury Circular of July, 1836, lit which danger was distinctly announced to the country. 1 his measure of itself, how ever, could not have exerted any very delete rious influence, upon the credit of the bunks ; but, operating in conjunction with other causes, was calculated seriously to impair public confidence, and to produce serious embarrass ments in the monetary system of the country. I he 1 reasury circular, which required spe cie for the payment of the public lands, pro duced an uuusual and unnecessary drain of specie from tho Atlantic to the Western tanks, and of course, it was incumbent on the Eastern banks, to use the usual precaution of contraction to meet the demand, whatever it might be. Independent of this direct opera tion, emigrants, who were numerous from the Eastern to tho Western States, sought that kind of currency which was receivable at the Land Offices. Hence, specio being only re ceivable there, they demanded specie for their notes, which being principally Eastern, the Eastern banks were bound to pay. These <1 rafts for specie were calculated to produce a corresponding curtailment Of the circulation and loans ol the banks, which were among the professed objects of the order. The gold and silver thus drawn from the Eastern, was deposited in tho Western banks, and there kept entirely unemployed, to the great detri ment of trade, awaiting the, drafts of the Go vernment. In addition to the operation of the specie circular, and about the time of its ut most severity, the pressure of a heavy foreign debt created an additional heavy demand for specie, which was principally to be drawn from the vaults of the banks. The effect of this demand for specie to pay the foreign debt, necessarily produced a contraction of loans and circulation, corresponding with the extent of the demand. We all remember the gloomy period of 1819, when distress and ruin pervaded the whole community, ami filled it with dismay, and as it is fair to judge of the present by the past, I have selected the four j ears preceding 1819, and the present pre ceding four years, with a view to contrast the state of trade then, with its present state; in order, in part, to account for the present re vulsion and derangement of commerce, and the effects now, as then, produced. In the years 1815, 1816, 1817 and 1818, the state of foreign trade was as follows : exports. IS 15 $52,567,753 181(5 81,020,452 1817 88,671 ,!W? 1818 93,981,133 $310,430,907 $481,14-1,271 310,430,907 Exccss of importations over exports 8170,713,305. V\ Itich, after proper allowance for tonnage and other expenses, left a heavy balnnce. The effect was, that n bank circulation in 1816 of $110,000,000, was reduced in 1819, to $45,000,000; wc all recollect duriug this year, the immense deduction which property, prodtico and labor underwent. The foreign trade for 1833, 1834, 1835 and 1830, is as follows : EXPORT*. 1833 $90,1I0.43H 1834 KM.336,973 , 1835 118,955,239 KW 128,(503,040 $442,005,090 IMPORTS. $113,011,274 ,117,103.000 9!),250,000 121,750,000 IMPORTS. $108,1IH,3I1 196,521,332 151,030,368 189,980,035 $575,000,0445 142,095,601) The cxcess of importation*, $133,551,350 NLeaVtft a larf? foreign^^B *fd *hh?u?h the Wance a?w is t37.?00#00 less than in I 1Hl0.y?tit wUBcieu% lllf" ,w reili"e"r * heavy reduction in bank loan? and circulation, necessary to meet it?because exchanges, be in" matenaHy reduced, it cwtld b* ???< ?? *<>? thing hut specie. The heavy importation* of specie from England, ih/ouKh the luatrumen talily of acci5|>ianceii ol American dralls, alarmed the Hunk of England for its own safe tv ; and to counteract thia drain, it refused to discount fur any merchant who accepted American bills, thus making it necessary to demand more specie for the payment ol the foreign debt, than would otherwise have been required. This policy was more rigidly pur sued than perhaps it otherwise would have been, had it not been supposed (rom the de clarations of a great portion of the American press, that it was a part of the policy of our Government to prevent the exjiortatiou of spe cie entirely, and coniinue, as far as possible, the drain from Europe. Combined with these causes, was ihe execution of the Deposito Act of June, 1836. It having been ascertained from the rapid | increase of the revenue from the sales of the public lands, and the duties on foreign impor tations, that there would be a large surplus in the Treasury on the 1st of January, 1837, it was determined to withdraw it from tbe con trol of the Federal Government, (to which its possession offered so many strong and dange rous temptation*,) and Iroin the custody of the deposite banks, to prevent its b.ing made the foundation of dangerous and excessive , issues of bank paper ; and to place it in the j custody of the State Governments, thus to re- | main to be employed for the local benefit of | the people, (from where it had been unconsti tutionally and improperly drawn.) until needed for the legitimate purposes of the Govern ment, a disposition, in my humble opinion, both wise and salutary, both as regards the j currency and the purity of the Government. For the' purposes of giving the banks timely 1 notice, and to enable them to rueet the de i mauds of this law without detriment to them selves or the public, the operation of the act was not to commence until the 1st day ol January after its passage, a period of six months, and then to be met in four equal quar terly instalments. This was ample time to prevent any serious derangement of the af fairs of the banks, or the commerce of the country. In a short time after the passage of this act,'and long before it was ascertained what would be the amount to be distributed, and of course the first instalment, the Se- | cretary of the Treasury issued his orders to the deposite banks, directing them, by a fixed period, to transfer to specified points, about $13,000,000, (as well as I recollect,) instead of giving drafts to the Stairs for their several quotas on the most convenient banks, to pay the amount on the day il was due; which might have been met, according to the usual mode of commercial exchange, between creditor ami debtor banks, and merchants ; and by which they would have been performing but the usual commercial functions; whereas, by the opera' tton of the orders oj the Treasury Department, the amount to be transferred, was abstracted from commercial employment, from the time of the transfer till the payment; and created a demand, in some instances, for specie, which might have been avoided. Thus was inflict ed upon commerce an injury from the injudi cious execution of the law, which is dexter iously ascribed to tho provisions of the law it self! This operation was particularly severe upon the New York Banks, which held in the neighborhood of $20,000,000 of the public deposites. The deposite act in itsell did not necessarily decrease, or tend to decrease, the active capital of the country ; it was taken from banks to be again put into banks. While it reduced the active means of some, it in creased that of others. In many instances the credit was only passed from the Federal to the State Governments. There was no thing in it to embarrass the trade and commerce of the country. Tho effect was produced by its unwise execution, coming in aid of other causes of an embarrassing character. In this opinion I am sustained by the most able and skilful financiers ol the country. At about the time of the suspension of spe cie payments, there were in the banks, (ii nw estimate be correct,) about J155,000,000 of private deposites. These private deposites were generally made in bank notes ; yet the depositors had the right to demand specie for them. When the operation of these causes were perceived, and the diminution of confi dence on tho part of the Government mani fest, the private depositors, in place of their deposited notes, began to demand specie. Brokers als>? began to demand specie for all the notes which they held, or could purchase, and this was no small amount. The banks in tho city of New York, where the storm first began to rage and to produce most serious effects, although-ultimately res ponsible for all their obligations, could not meet this sudden rush upon their vaults with out ruin to themselves and the people; they therefore suspended specie payments. This suspension, the causes of which were not | understood by the country, produced alarm throughout the whole community; and a gene ral suspension of specie payments was the re sult. By this suspension I do not doubt that the banks have not only saved themselves but the country from utter ruin and destruction. I confidently believe that the withdrawal of the confidence of the Government, so strength ened the operation of all the causes to which 1 have adverted, that it compelled the hanks to a course, which with the fostering care and continued confidence of the Government, could and would have been avoided : for the banks have no interest, whatever, to embar rass their own operations by an act so destruc tive of that credit which is so necessary to the successful extension of their business?for sound unsuspected credit is - the Very soul of their operation*, and the foundation of their profits. The truth of this argument is fully sustain ed by recurrence to the history of the Bank of England, as well as our own banking insti tutions. On many occasions the Bank of England has been sorely pressed, yet it retained the confidence, ami was aided by the (rowrnmrnt, and was enabled thereby to Burmount its embarrassment, and reco ver from its difficulties. In 1793 particu larly, its operations were so embarrassed, and the rush (or specio so great, that it was compelled to suspend specie payments ; and continued the suspension, without in termission, from that time till 1829, many of the causes which produced the suspen sion, continuing to exist during the whole time. In this state of embarrassment, its course was justified by the British (lovern tnent, whose confidence, and that of the mer cantile community continued, and its suspen sion was legalized, until finally, by a pru dtntiai course of mefwuqp, adopted to its true Cffuditunfc it triumphed ffer all difficulties ; md, in 1829, returned specie payment*, which it still continues. The confidence of the Government and merchants enabled the bank thus to sustain itself; to maintain its solvency and its credit; and to per lor in, with succchm, iia commercial uui fiscal duties. In 1815, the Slate Bank*, from the opera* lion of muny cause*, suspended specie pay ments, yet the confidence of the Government was not withdrawn. Mr. Dallas and Mr. Crawford, both able and patriotic men, an Secretaries of the Treasury, having sustained their credit hy all the means in their |>ower. Mr. Crawford, particularly, made large depo siies of public money in many of them ; und thereby enabled them to indulge the people, maintain their own credit, redeem their debt to the public, und finally, in 1817, to resume specie payment 1 believe if the same benevo lent and patriotic policy had been pursued to wards the State Hunks, at the present period, the: existing suspension would not have continu ed to this time, if it hud taken place at all. Mr. Dallas nor Mr. Crawford, however, iiad not contrived the iilea of a total separation beticecn the Government and the bariki/ig in stitutions of the country as fiscal ogents; und, therefore, felt some inducement to sustain and preserve them; but a different feeling seems lo prevail with the present Secretary of the I reasury, who can only expect to succeed in his views by the embarrassments and difficul ties of the banks. \V hile 1 do not ascribe to liiin any design to produce the embarrassment which has overtaken the banks, and, with them the commerce of the country, yet I am well satisfied, that he hat* withheld from them that confidence, which might justly have been extended; and which would, before this, have redeemed them from their embarrassing diffi culties, and have afforded salutary relief to the people, and the commerce of the country. The charge made by the President, and those who now favor a total separation be tween the fiscal operations of the Govern ment and the banks, " that they have been guilty of an exres?ive issue and circulation of their paper," is true?lamentably true. Yet 1 ennnot perceive in all the facts and circum stances, connected with the charge, that they have been actuated by any improper or impure motives. These institutions are con ducted by men who are liable to be misled by the same impulses which betray the most prudent and the most cautious of mankind into occasional error. A spirit of speculation had extensively spr?ed itself throughout the country; acted and re-acted from the people to the banks, and from the banks to the peo ple, until all, absorbed by brilliant prospects of immeasurable wealth, were led beyond the bounds of prudence and discretion ; and ruin, to many, has been the penalty. These im pulses have occasionally produced like effects through all periods, and resulted in like ca tastrophes, whether their currency was exclu sively metallic or not. All these evils carry with them, however, sure antidotes. The current of money always has its level; and whenever it exceeds that level, the redundancy runs off and leaves the curreut at its proper level. In its reduction, serious and distressing injury is often inflict ed ; yet the return is gradual and sure. Hut a question arises, whether the banks are entirely in fault in this matter? Is not the Government itself much in fault ? And shall the banks be compelled to take the whole responsibility for an error in which the Go vernment has largely participated ? At the time the public deposites were removed from the Bank of the United States, the then Se cretary of the Treasury, acting under the impression, that the charter of the Bank of the United States was not to be renewed, and that its extensive circulation and discounts were to be called in, in order that no shock lo the business of the country might be sustain ed, urged upon the State Banks, in the fol lowing note, the duty which would devolve upon them lo supply the vacuum which would be created by this withdrawal, growing out of their fiscal connection with the Government. I his the banks attempted to do, and gradually increased their accommodations and enlarged their circulation. He says, Treasury Department, September 2fi, 1833. Sir : The Girard Bank has been selected by this Department as ihe depository of the public money collected in Philadelphia arid its vicinity, and the collector at Philadelphia, will hand to you the form of a contract proposed to be executed, with a copy of his Instructions from this Department. In selecting your institution as one of the fiscal agents ol the Government, I not only rely on its solidity and established character, as affording a sufficient guarantee for the safety of the public money intrusted to its keeping, but I confide, also in its disposition to adopt the most liberal course which circumstances will admit towards our money ed institutions generally, and particularly to those in the city of Philadelphia. The deposites of the public money will enable you to afford increased facilities to commerce, and to extend your accommodation to individuals. And asthe duties which arc payable to the Government arises from the business and enterprise of the mer chants engaged in foreign trade, it is but reasonable that they should be preferred, in the additional accommodation which the public deposites will enable your institution to give, whenever it can be done without injustice to the claims ol oiher classes of the community. I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant R. B. TANKY, _ . Secretary of the 'rVeasun/. To the Prmidsnt of the Girard Bank. Phil* ae.Lpkia. This recommendation was repeated by the late President in his succeeding annual Mes sage. By the deposite act of June, 1836, for proportions of the public monev bevond a specific amount, the Deposite Hanks were required lo pay interest, which made it a prin ciple of self-defence, that they should extend their loans ami increase their"circulation ; be cause it was not to be expected that they would lock up. nnd keep uncmploi/ed, the public money, on which they were bound to pay in terest1 'I hesc two causes combined, certainly produced an excess in the bank discounts and circulation of tho country. This excess has been increased by another cause, which Mr. Taney nor Congress did not, or could not, have anticipated. The vacuum which was anticipated by the refusal to renew the charter of the Bank of the United States, was never produced; for, contrary to all expectation, the capital and stockholders of that bank were subsequently incorporated by the State of Pennsylvania, which continued in circulation its notes, and prevented any material diminu tion in its discounts. 1 appeal, then, to the good sense of this House to say, whether the excessive issues complained of, have not been produced by causes, calculated in their very nature lo mis lead, and produce the excess complained of, without the slightest imputation of fraud or corruption against the banks ? Mr. (. hairmnn, the connection which now exists between tho finances of the Govern ment and the Deposite Banks, was produced by the solicitations of the Government itseir I he Government f..und itself en?a?ed in j 8' v<;r? *'?d dubious coofiict with the Bank ,a meilT " had de,*?nine<] merthrow. To do this, it was necessary ho InH h 1 ll" ?lK'r:,,,OI",? lh,lt ?be commerce tenaUv"'?h*\ .'he tWUHlry "ol b,! ma terially shocked, and the sensibilities of the | people excited. To effect this, u sought .? , aid, and procured the operation, of the late j Deposite Banks, without whose aid and co !h rrni0,L' T 1? he*iUllon >>> believing. tl /'i v ^ ^T' S,al^ would have triumphed. Yen, Sir, 1 believe that a would have successfully resisted even Andrew Jack son, with all his popularity, his acknowledged firmness and courage. The Stat, Banks came to the uidif the Government, and the Guvrrn nwnt triumphed. For this they incurred the undying hostility of il,? Bunk of the United States, which still pursues thein. Thev in curred the denunciations and prophecies of evils of the Opposition, who opened upon them all their batteries. This they with stood ; hut in the hour of victory, which thev so signally contributed to achieve, in the very first hour of their difficulties and peril*, the very J'rtutds whom they rescued from del. at, have taken possession of the batteries of t|?! enemy, and now pour thick vo/hes upon their devoted heads! Is this generous' ls u magnanimous ? Is it liberal T 1 leave you, sir, to give the answer. 1 leave you to deter mine whether, for cause* which makes the act not only excusable, but justifiable. These j institutions are to be utterly annihilated for their late suspension of specie payments, I when they have, upon trying occasions, al' forded seasonable relief to the country, and are entirely solvent. That the State Banks are susceptible of such regulations as will secure to the country a sound currency, I do not doubt; for this is clearly proved by experience; and that the revenue of this Government may be so em ployed as to be a most potent engine in the accomplishment of such a desirable object, by the force with which either their hopes or their fears may be addressed, cannot be re;t sonably doubted. In 1816, when specie pay ments were suspended, and the evils of a redundant and deranged currency afflicted ihe country much more severely than now, Mr. Webster, in a speech delivered in this House on 30th April, 1816. expressed himself thus: " That if these banks, (meaning the State Banks,) what engine, he asked, was Congress to use for remedying the existing evil ? Their only ligitimate power, he said, was to inter dict the paper of such banks as do not pay specie from being received at the custoiii house. With a receipt of forty millions a year, he said, if the Government were faithful to itself and the interests of the people, they could control the evil, and it was their duty to make the effort. They should have made u long ago, and they ought now to make it; the evil grows worse by indulgence. If Congress did not now make a stand, and stop the cur rent whilst they might, would they when the current grew stronger and stronger, hereafter do it? if this Congress should adjourn with out attempting a remedy, he said, it would desert its duty." If then, how much more potently could Congress now operate with the enlarged re venues of the Government ? Yet Mr. Webster did not hold over ihe heads of the bjinks the terrors of a final and eternal separation. Mr. Biddle, the President of the Bank of the United States, in his triennial report to the stockholders, in 183J, says: " And they (the Bank of the United States and branches,) received freely the notes of solvent Slate Banks, with whom periodical and convenient, but certain, settlements of accounts were made." " By receiving freely the notes of the State Banks, within convenient reach of the bank and its branches, and by frequent sctth ?nun Is with them, these institutions are kept in the habitual presence of an accountability, which naturally induces them so to apportion their issues u> their means as to secure the sound ness of the currency." I do not doubt the soundness of an opinion, so thoroughly demonstrated by the practice which fell under the observation of him who expressed it ; and I do not doubt that the Go vernment in the employment of its revenues, and the observance of the same rules, may, through the instrumentality of the state insti tutions, preserve a sound currency, with much more success than the United States Bank did. . Frequent periodical, and certain settle ments are the efficient instruments by which excessive issues may.be avoided, and sound currency preserved. Mr. Chairman, if existing laws, which pro hibit the continuance of any deposite bank as a fiscal agent of the Government, and the re fusal of their notes in payment of the public revenue, had not sufficient terror to prevent the suspension of specie payment, how nun h more efficacious do you suppose the adoption of this measure as the permanent law of the land, will be in rosteruag specie payments? so much to be desired, and so necessary to lb? prosperity and tranquility of the country ? Sir, it will not only not hasten, but greatly prolong that important event. During the suspension of 1816, Mr. Dallas, then Secre tary of the Treasury, in his annual report to Congress of the 3d of December, 1816, ex pressing his opinion upon this identical sub ject, and the propriety of exercising the pow er of such restriction, said : " The successive attempts made by this department to relieve the administration of the finances from its embarrassments, have been ineffectual. There was no magic in a mere Treasury instruction to the collectors of the revenue, which could by its virtue, charm gold and silver into cir culation. Tiie people, individually, did NOT POSSESS A METALLIC MEDIUM, and Could not be expected to procure it throughout the country, as well as in cities, by any exertion I unaided by the banks. And the banks too i timid or too interested, declined every over ture to a co-operation for reinstating tho law j ful currency. In this state of thingn, the ! Treasury, nay the Legislature, remained pass ive. The power of coercing the banks was limited to the rejection of their notes in the payments of dues and taxes, and to the exclu sion of their agency in the custody ami dis tribution of the revenue; hut the exercise of i that power could not generate a coin ct r j Ruscv, although it would certainly act op pressively upon the people, and put at ha zard every sum of money which was due to the Government. Until, therefore, a substi i tute was proposed for the paper of the Bank, it would have been a measure of impolitic and useless severity towards the cominuni i ty to insist, that all contributions to the ex penses of the Government, should bo paid in ! a medium which, it i9 repeated, the commu nity did not possess and could not pro I CURE."