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The Madisonian. [volume] (Washington City [i.e. Washington, D.C.]) 1837-1845, October 27, 1837, Image 2

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government! What shall be said of such
apologists, when we recollect that the very
eviU of which they complain were produced
by their own short sighted policy. The
banks wero invited to increase their discounts
upon ttie basis of these depositos, as a right,
privilege, or compensation for their agency.
To prove this, I have only to advert to the
language of Mr. Secretary Taney, who was
the instrument of removing the deposites from
the United States Uank, in his letter of Sep
tcmber yt), 1833, udJresscd to the (iirurd
Hank of Philadelphia.
" '/V tkpoiilei of the public money will enable you
to xprouo in<uea?ku rACiuriEa lo commerce and ex
tend vot'fi acc<imm<)U4Tionh to inmviucals. And as
the duties which are |>ayuble lo the government arise
from I he business and enterprise of the merchants
engaged in foreign trad.;, u is but reasonable that
they shotiId bs preferred in the additional accommo
It was Gen. Jackson's policy also to force
specie into the couutry from abroad, against
the laws of nature and of trade. The con
sequence was an increase of paper circula
tion to the amount of three hundred millions
of dollars, upon the basis of thirty millions of
specie claimed to have been imported through
his iuflueuco. \V hat proof is wanting to
show more conclusively thun this, tha? the
government directly and rapidly fostered tho
very evils of whicK they now complain. In
the midst of tho enlarged dealings conse
quent upon this state of things, the Treasury
Circular, requiring specie, in payment for pub
lic lands, was issued, in tho face of three suc
cessive and overwhelming expressions of the
Congress of the United .States against it.?
That circular taking specie out of its natural
and useful channels, against the wants and
wishes of tho people, in my opinion, directly
produt ed the calamities under which the
country is laboring, and accelerated and ag
gravated tho universal confusion in the cur
rency of tho country. Independent of the in
justice of the measure, in making a disctimi
nation in regard to the public debtors, its ope
ration was prejudicial us well to the commer
cial interests of tho east as those of tho set
tlers of the west. It lias directly retarded the
settlement of our lands, both by its embar
rassing and burdensome operation upon the
poor emigrant, taxing him ten per cent, more
for tho public lauds by reason of the uppre
ci ition ot specie, than the actual government
price, ami linally resulting in the establish
ment ol large companies who are monopo
lizing tho choicest lands of our state, and hold
ing them at such prices as will compel the
emigrant in most cases to seek a location be
yond our territory. 1 consider this measure
as the germ of the scheme, now proposed, to
concentrate the whole public purse in the
h imis of tho Executive. From all the indi
cations which 1 have seen, 1 am now im
pressed with the painful conviction that tho
whole design of these experiments upon tho
currency has beon from the beginning to es
tablish eventually a Treasury Hank. Tho
issue of Treasury notes is an entering wedgo
(or tliis purpose. The government repudiates
the banking system of the states for the pur
pose of taking tho business into its own
hands 1 And while it becomes the national
banker, it appropriates to its own uso tho
'? b.-tter currency," and palms oil' the baser
one upon the people. The government con
demns the banks for refusing to pay specie on
demand lor their notes, while they, unable as
they are, according to the statement of the
Chairman of the Committee of Ways and
Means, to pay a draft of 850 dollars in specie,
pr.ipose to issue ten millions of their own
I per, and as if they were afraid lest they
should do something for the general benefit,
they refused to issue tho notes of a less de
nomination than 8100, because they did not
wish them to circulate amongst the people !
Congress, however, reduced the lowest do
nymiaation to $50. lu the midst of all this,
all who are in any wise connected with banks
are denounced as rag barons, aristocrats, pi
rates and robbers, and the people arc ap
pealed to, to put down and destroy the actual
currency ol the country. Newspapers claim
ing to be " distinguished by the confidence of
tho administration,' whoso whole business
seems to be to deprave tho public taste, to
vilify and abuse tho virtuous, to trample down
every thing opposed to the Executive will,
to destroy the credit and prostrate the com
merce of our country, that delight to glut
over the misfortunes of their countrymen, go
verned by no political principle "or moral
honesty, tire kept in confidence to herald tho
crusade of the government against the most
cherished interests of the people. A war
upon tlie local , banks uj>on which the credit
system of the country now reposes, is deter
mined upon, and it is not to cease until they
fall as did the United States Bank before tho
Executive mandate. In May last the Globe
characterized the calamity in which the banks
were involved (the stoppoge of specie pay
ments) as " a barefaced attempt to defraud
the laboring classes ;",in June, as "a flu
grnnt breach of faith, a monstrous fraud in
July, as 44 u system of deliberate plunder."
Again it proclaimed that the batiks could not
be dispensed with, and in October, it exults
at tlie idea that, the 44 dynasty of banks, great
and small, approaches its end."
I he tendency, and I fear the design of the
scheme now pressed upon Congress, is to
overthrow and destroy tho whole credit and
banking system ol tho country, and to increase
to in alarming extent, the Executive patron
age. I fear it will be used by those in office
as a most successful instrument in perpetu
ating and co.vsoudatino their power.
I he Will proposed virtually nullifies the
office of Treasurer of the United States. He
was made by the act of 1781), tho keeper of
the public money?all the public money was
put under his control, he giving sufficient se
curity for the sale-keeping. JVio money could
be taken from the Treasury unless expressly
authorised by law, and only by warrants
drawn by the Secretary, certified by the
Comptroller, audited, registered, and 'certi
fied. Under this Bill, tho Receivers in our
State would become as important official
characters as tho Treasurer of the United
States, without anv of the checks that operate
upon the latter. They would each have
three distinct characters, namely: receiver,
keeper, and disburser. What number of offi
cers would be necessary to carry the plan
into complete operation it is impossible to
say. lu I-ranee, with a territory not varying
much in dimensions from some of our largest
States, the Sub-treasury system is in complete
operation,-and the number of officers amount
to 100,000!! If the people of this country
are willing to let loose such a swarm of de
vouring locusts to eat out their substance, I
am greatly mistaken. The expense, though
vastly enormous, would be ol no considera
tion, in comparison with such an infinitely j
dangerous enlargement of Executive power. I
It is already the most formidable department
of the Government, and its influence in Con
gress even now overpowers (lie dictates of
conscience and putriotiam. This scheme
would render it perpetual, and tnnnf<>rm it
into a despotism. In the House of Repre
sentatives the much talked of liank influence,
is as nothing compared with tliat of tho Ex
ecutive. Members of Congress, who rante
to the Capitol with a determination of doiug
something for tho relief of the country, and
strongly opposed to the Sub-treasury scheme,
were drawn in by thu operation of party ma
chinery to surrender themselves to Executive
will. 1 was myself more than once entreat
ed to abandon my private convictions and em
brace the Sub-treasury project merely be
cause it had been recommended by the Pre
sident! .Such conduct, and the exercise of
such inlluence 1 regarded as a virtual nullifi
cation of Congress and an unlawful interfer
ence iu the duties and business of an inde
pendent legislator. I have always been
taught to consider Congress as an inde
pendent branch of the Government, and not a
mere Executive council for the purpose of
registering Executive edicts. I shall alwavs
view it in this light I trust, so long as 1 shall
be honored with a seat in that body. The
tendency of tho Sub-treasury scheme, is to
extend tho same influence over the country
at large, and to place the destinies of this na
tion entirely within the Executive control.
In tho exaction of gold und silver in pay
ment of the public dues, my opinion is, that
it will effect the establishment of two cur
rencies ; the better one for the Government,
and I he baser one for the people, taking it for
granted that the country will continue the lo
cal batiks. It will make specie, however, an
article of traffic, and thus tend to discredit the
paper of the people, which the Government
refuses, although convertible, and render the
resumption of specie payments impossible.?
Hut as two currencies of unequal value can
never circulate together, the Government cur
rency must eventually triumph over tho State
currency, and the latter must be abandoned
and the banks surrender their charters, or,
the general confusion and debasement of the
State currency will involve the States in such
vexed legislation that a National Bunk will be
demanded with one unanimous voice. If
then, the scheme should be adopted, our pros
perity is at a stand, as long as the system is
tolerated. The people would become alien
ated Irom the Government, and the Govern
ment would iu effect be "divorced" from their
interests, and married to its own. In barba
rous, hall civilized, and despotic countries aji
exclusively metallic currency may suit the
views and purposes of the people having no
confidence iu each other, and no providence
for the future* But in this free and enlight
ened country such a currency would be ab
surd, impracticable, inconvenient, undesirable
and impossible. There is not gold and sil
ver enough to bo found to answer all the pur
poses of currency, and the quantity is fast
diminishing by the absorption of those arti
cles in manufacturing purposes.
By destroyingthe Banks,.and attempting to
resort to a specie currency, you make the
federal Government the great moneyed power,
and compel it, in consequence of the deficien
cy of the metals to resort to Treasury notes,
thereby making the Government, after all, to
all intents and purposes a bank. With his
hands thus in the pockets of the people " re
gulating their currency," the Executive will be
able to perpetuate his power, and appoint his
It is stated that the President has less con
trol over tho public money in banks, than in
the haijds of his agents, h is highly proper
that it should be so, and it was for that purpose
that congress was wise enough to place the de
posites in the banks by law for that purpose.
I n the hands of executive agents, the public mo
ney, being only secured by individual responsi
bility, would be less sale than in the charge of
corporations. The temptations to fraud and
embezzlement would be infinite. It would be a
false view of human nature, not to suppose
that the individuals thus in possession of large
amounts of mOney not liable to be called for
suddenly, would yield in too many cases, to
the importunities of their friends. The sys
tem would therefore be of a demoralizing ten
dency, and involve many innocent persons in
pecuniary difficulties and many evil disposed
ones in fraud, and the government iu serious
losses. The experience of the country con
clusively justifies this view of the ease.
Many melancholy cases have occurred among
state officers, ftrmy officers, and postmasters
thus employed. I he system is already mea
surably in operation in the General Post Of
fice, each deputy postmaster being now a
keeper of the public money, and it furnishes
us it would seem, satisfactorily, the most con
demnatory illustrations of the scheme. The
report of the Postmaster General, presented
at the close of the last winter's session of
congress, shows that out of about 10,000
postmasters, 18H2 are defaulters to the go
vernment. This fact ought to condemn at
once the extension of such a scheme without
any further controversy.
Another objection to the scheme is, its in
creasing the expense, difficulties and liability
to loss in transportation. Bills of exchange,
checks, drafts, etc., open to endorsement and
with other guards, are safe and convenient
media of transmission. Nothing can be more
inconvenient and awkward than carting specie
back and forth from one place of deposite to
another to liquidate balances and for safe keep
ing. We have had exhibitions of this ridicu
lous farce in our own state under the operation
of the specie circular, when, after all, the go
vernment received nothing but bank credits.
\\ hat would be the effect, iu brief, of the
Sub-treasury, hard-money policy upon the
State ol Illinois, ller bank paper would be
depreciated, and perhaps destroyed, and spe
cie would disappear! ller grand system of
internal improvement must be defeated and
stopped, and her rich and unoccupied lands
might remain unsettled; her foreign com
merce interdicted, and her revenues cut off,
and the business of her people, paralvzcd.
Suppose there are 70 millions of specie iu
the country; 10 or 50 millions has been the
amount of the public revenue. Two-thirds of
it therefore would be absorbed by the govern
ment, and the; residue would be hoarded, every
dollar thus disappearing except in tho revenue '
transactions. Twenty-four millions is re- j
quired to delrav the expenses ol the govern- j
inent; the residue of the 10 or 50, would be j
" salted down in Treasury vaults, without j
interest or use, until congress disposed of it
by law. I he entries lor lands in Illinois arc
estimated at two millions of dollars, and our
imports farexceed our exports. Where are the
people to procure specie to supply ihe con
sent drain of the land Offices, and the demand
of the eastern markets? Are there anv
federal disbursements niade in Illinois? None
whatever. Specie would seek the south and
the east, and the greatest amounts would be
concentrated iu the largest iiupoiting town*.
New York, for example, where the greatest
amount of the revenue >a paid, would be the
grand iwiutof centralization. 1 he specie will
concentrate of course at those markets where
there is the greatest demand for it.
This brings me to another objection to this
scheme. It will levy a tax ol 10 to 15 per
cent, upon the people, and is inconvenient to
the public debtors. They are required to pay
their dues in specie. This can bo do'ie only
by purchasing the specie by paying the pre
mium. These duties are for the most part lor
importations, which are consumed by the peo
ple The premium therefore ultimately comes
out of the people. But destroy the banks, as
is designed, and how can the specie be pur
chased ! what other representative of value
would be used, to answer the purpose ol the
exchange ! According to the present plan,
specie could only be purchased with property
and property with specie. 'I his would be in
sober truth "surrendering our advanced civi
lization, and returning to a state ol barbarism
Hut the scheme is too preposterous, to sup
pose that a sensible people will ever miction,
or even countenance it.
The bill was laid on the table of the House
of Representatives, by the decisive vote of
120 to 107, where I trust, in Cod, it may
forever sleep, " unhonored and unsung." My
self and colleagues voted in the affirmative,
in the solemn conviction that it was best sub
serving the interests of my constituents, ami
I trust? the event will show, with their appro
bation. The measure was hurried to a vote,
I think, with indecent haste, and lor the rea
son, that its advocates feared the voice ol t le
people. Whatever maybe that voice, in re
gard to my constituents, I only wish that it
may be fuilv and unequivocally expressed, in
order as well that I may be instructed, as that
the country should know your sentiments and
1 came here with the desire and intention
of supporting the Administration. Nothing
but a sense of duty to your best interests lias
dictated the course 1 have pursued. I voted
for Mr. Allen for Printer to the House. In
this 1 was actuated by no personal feelings,
one side or the other. The editor of the
Madisonian is a democrat ?? dyed in trie
wool." His family has been distinguished til
the ranksaf republicanism, and in the service
of the country, in ihc hour of peril, l ie was
a supporter ol Gen. Jackson, and
much time, I understand, to promote the elec
tion of Mr. Van Buren. lie will not be found
wanting in sensibility to the wants, wishes,
and interests of a republican people. Hie
field is within the ancient landmarks, m wluct
the Administration would have been success
ful. Now that it has diverted from the well
trodden paths, I tremble for the result. 1 he
promulgation of these new fangled and star
ling doctrines to which 1 have adverted,
fear, is striking apathy into the hearts ol re
publicans, and the signs of the times are indi
cative of the truth I express. Our only hope
is in unity of action. The great principles ol
the republican party are.always the same,
however much we may diller in matters o
expediency. A toleration of such differences
of opinion is a p .rt of the republican creed,
and should be sacredly adhered to in the pre
sent crisis. Heartburnings and jealousies, .1
indulged, will alienate our friends from eaci
other, and our political opponents will not fa.l
to profit by our divisions.
1 have thus shown to you, my fellow citi
zens, what has been the practice of tins
Government, in the last forty years, and stated
also, as plainly as possible, the terms ol a new
proposition to chango that policy. I have
stated my objections to the new scheme, and
shown that it would enlarge Executive pat
ronage ; that it tended to destroy all banking
institutions; that it would establish one cur
rency for the Government, and another lor
the people, and debase the latter; that it
would increase the liability of loss to the
Government; that it would corrupt the office
holders ; that it would increase the difficulty
and expense of the transportation of the public
funds; that it would drive specie out ol cir
culation, and levy a heavy tax upon, and put
to great inconvenience, the public debtors,
that it would retard the advancement and set
tlement of our state; that it would nullify the
office of treasurer of the United States ; unite
the purse with the sword, in the hands of the
Executive, and eventuate in the establishment
of a Treasury Hank.
Entertaining these views, I can never jus
tify myself in voting for such a scheme. 1
present them to your serious consideration
and reflection, in all candor and sincerity and
seek only the conclusions of your own minds,
anil your instructions in accordance taere
Washington, October, 1837.
from the Richmond Enquirer.
Of the Sub-Treasury System in restoring a ipccic
circulation !
The Secretary of the Treasury directed at the com
mencement of the present session of Congresl, that
both branches of the National Legislature srhould he
paid in gold or whir, and the coin has been transported
from various parts ol the Union lor this purpose. \\ hat
has been the effect uj>oii the circulating medjim ill
Washington, of paying in specie this portion of tie Go
vernment officers ! Has it tended in any degreeto re
store a specie circulation even in the small city of ?> aH"
ingtou ! You may go in the market there?go into the
stores?go into the taverns?go any where, where busi
ness is going on, and you will not see a silver dollar.
Shinplasters of all sorts and sums, and smalMioles, are
ihe only circulating medium. And why ! I he answer
is obvious to every man of common sense : Because
spec ie is at a premium, and of course it is hoarded by
every body, and made a subject of traffic and specula
tion It is made the better currency by the Government
itself, in making it alone receivable in payment of th?
imblie dues, and of course it will disappear from the
general circulation, and the inferior currency will take
its place. ... . r
The gold and silver that is paid to the members ol
Congress is sold to the brokers, and they send it im
mediately olT to the North. What relief has it been to
the people of Washington, to pay the officers of Govern
ment there in specie ! None. W hat remedy, then,
will it bo to the people of the United Slates, to adopt at
this time this Nub-Treasury system, which requires the
collection of all the public "dues in specie, and the pay
ment of all the public creditors in specie ! VV Hen can
the Hanks resume specie payments, under the operation
of suck a system 1 And how, tell me, can this com
munity ever tie relieved from a disordered currtnrv, be
fore the bnnka resume specie paym-ntt ? Confidence
is to be restored ill these banks, by rendering their paper
less ra'uablc than specie ! And the community is to be
relieved from a disordered currency, bv dishonoring and
depreciating bank paper, the only circulating medium at
I his time in the country ! And in truth, the only mt.ney
which the great mass of the iconic have in their pockets
or to their credit in banks !! This Sub-Treasury sys
tem, in substa-ice, has been in operation since the sus
pense! of specie payments by the banks. And whit
has been Us effect! It has cut up by the roots our
foreign commerce, and emptied the National I rea.oiry .
Here we are in a state of bankruptcy, produced by this
war upon hank paper, whilst the whole COmnunity arfl
satisfied with paying and receiving their debts in bank
paper, the only circulating medium ol the country.
Would it not be better for the Government to have it*
Treasury full of tank note*, than to hate nothing 1
Would any reMXiable public creditor cowplatu, or have
a right to Mmplain, it be wa> paid in nou? of banks in
guml credit1 It U the dijfacnrs that ? made among
the public creditor*, tbat produce* ike complaint. If all
were paid in bank note*, we *hooM hear of no disaalis
A a long aa commerce flourishes, we ahall have an
overflowing Treasury. It la the duties paid on foreign
importation* ilipt till the National Tressury. In the sin
gle city of New York, ?oinetiinea lifieen million* have
b??u collected. By dtthvytng foreign commerce, )04
tan luteft thit turn, and in no other way, ao long a* the
prevent dutiea remain. How can fifteen million* of dol
lar* be collected in New York tntpecie! You must
deatroy the commerce of the country, in order to enable
the Government to collect the rtvenut in tpccie. la
there any eacape from thia concluaion! If the foreign
gooda are brought into the country, the dunes mutt be
paid. By preventing importatioiia, or in other word*,
destroying commerce, you can leaaen the amount of du
tiea. If it ia not lessened, 16,000,000 inuat be col
lected in New York. Where can the apecie be ob
tained to pay theae dutiea ? A FaIMSS.
Fate fax county, Va. Oct. 8, 1837.
Oil the adoption of the resolution in tho Hotiae of
Representatives, October 5, " That il it inexpedient to
chatter a National Bank," the vole atood us followa:
YEAS?Messrs. Anderson, Andrews, At her ton,
Bcatly, Beirne, Bieknell, Birdsall, Uoou. Doulden, Brod
head, Bronson, Uruyn, Buchanan, Uynuin, Cambreleng,
'1'. J. Carter, Casey, Clianev, Chapman, Cilley, Clai
borne, Clark, Cleveland, Clowney, Colea, Connor,
Craig, Crarv, Cushman, Dawson, Davee, DeGraff,
Dromgoole, Duncan, Ld*arda, Klmore, Fairfield, Far
ringtou, laaac Fletcher, Foster, Fry, Gallup, Gbolaon,
Glascock, Grantland, Grant, Gray, Griliin, Haley,
Hammond, Hamcr, Harrison, Hawkins, llavnes, Holsey,
lloll, Hopkins, Howard, llublev. Win. H. Hunter,
Robert M.T. Hunter, Iiighaui, 'riiomas B Jackson,
Jaliez Jackson, Joseph Johnson, Nathaniel Jonea, John
W. Jones, Kilgore, Kllugensiiiilh, I^egsre, Leadbetter,
Lewis, Logan, Arphsxed Loomis, Lyon, Mallory,
James M. Mason, Martin, McKay, A. McClellan, II.
McClellan, McC'lure, McKnn, Miller, Montgomery,
Moore, Morgan, Matthias Morn*, .Samuel. W. Morns,
Muhlenlterg, Noble, Ogle, Owens, Palmer, Parker,
I'arinenter, Patton, Pay titer, Pennybaeker, Pelriken,
Phelps, Pickens, Plumer, Potter, Prait, Prentiss, Krilly,
Illicit, Hives, Robertson, Shelter, Shields, Shcplor,
Smith, Snvder, Spencer, Stewart, Taliaferro, Taylor,
Thoinaa, Thomson, Titus, Toucey, Towns, Turuey,
Vail, Vanderveer, Wagener, Webster, Weeks, Thomas
T. Whittlesev, Jured W. Williams, Wotthington,
NAYS?Messrs. Adams, Heman Allen, John W.
Allen, Ayckrigg, Bell, Middle, Borden, William D.
Calhoun, John Calhoun, W. B. Campbell, Chamliers,
Cheatham, Child*. Corwin, Ctanstou, Crockett, Cur
tis, Cusliiltg, Darlington, levies, Deberry, Dennis,
Dunn, Everett, Ewing, Richard Fletcher, Filtnore, Rice
Garland, Goodc, James Graham, W. Graham, Graves,
Grennell, Hall, Halstead, Harlan, Harper, Hawes,
Henry. Herod, Jenifer, Henry Johnson, William Cost
Johnson, La?ler, Lincoln, Andrew W. Loomis, Mar
vin, Samson Mason, Maury, May, Maxwell. McKennan,
Menifee, Mercer, Milligan. Calvary Morris, Naylor, Pat
terson, Pearce, Peck, Phillips, Pope, Potts, Rariden,
Randolph, Reed, Rencher, Ridgway, ltuinsay, Russell,
Sergeant, Augustine II.. Shepperd, Charles Shepard,
Sibley, Slade, Southgate, Stanley, Stratton, Tillmiiliast,
Tolaud, Underwood, Albert S. While, John White,
Klislia Whittlesey, Lewis Williams, Shcrrod Williams,
Joseph L. Williams, Christopher H. Williams, Wise,
No. IX.
The purpose which forms tl e substratum of the
Sub-Treasury scheme, is the total exclusion of State
bank paper, in collecting the national revenues,
from whatever source accruing, though it be
convertible into coin, and issued by State banks
of unquestionable solidity. That this purpose
shall be condemned by the people it needs only
to be examined and understood. Let it be conceded,
that the notes of State binks denying spccie for
them to the holder, ought to be rejected in collecting
the revenues, raid we come at once, and fairly to
the proposed permanent establishment of the New
Scheme. Did the advocates of the scheme proceed
on the assumption that the banks will never resume
specie payments, the purpose of always rejecting
their notes, would be a wise one?their coursc of
legislation would be impregnable in the assumption.
But the truth is they do not proceed on that assump
tion. It is then unnecessary to show, as by a refe-'
rence to the recent and continuing conduct of the
binks, it might easily be shown, that they are pre
paring and may be expected soon to resume specie
j>ayinents. Then the question is, when the banks
shall have resumed specie payments, will it be wise
or proper to reject their notes in the collecting of the
national revenue 1
No one can deny that this is the real question.
The scheme does not merely propose the rejection
of State bank notes in collecting the revenues, as a
temporary measure. It looks beyond the present ex
traordinary state of things; it contemplates the re
jection of State bank notes, and the exaction of specie
in all collections of the revenue, after the banks
shall have resumed payments of specie for their
notes on demand, and without loss or delay on the
part of the holder. Such is the scheme called
"<he divorce of Bank and State"?not a temporary
measure to b^ superseded by a stable resumption of
specie payments, but intended to be the prominent
policy, ordered by express and positive provisions of
law. I am at a loss how more clearly to expose its
want of wisdom, or more'forcibly to demonstrate a
total want of any necessity for this measure of
But let us trace the practical operations of this
measure, enforced in the receipts of postage on
letters or newspapers. A citizen of Richmond
applies at the Post Office of that city.?He is
told by the Post Master there are therein five letters
for him, the postage on which is one dollar and
twenty-five cents, He offers a five d >llar note, not
having any silver change in his pocket. The note
is issued by a specie paying bank in the city.?The
Postmaster is required by law to decline receiving
and changing it. The citizen is put to the trouble
ol going to the b ink to get the change. This he
does, however, and pays the postage in silver. Thus
it is a mere question settled by the practical opera
tions of the measure of" divorce" in this connection,
whether the paid federal officer or the citizen of the
State shall take the trouble to exchange the note f>r
coin; when too,'it mi^ht be no trouble, at the mo
ment to the Postmaster, having the change by him?
or if otherwise, the citiz-n would voluntarily get
the change at bank or elsewhere, as might bo most
" But," say the advocates of the measure, " a
larger amount will frequently be accumulated, than,
in pursuance of appropriations bv law, is to b * dis
bursed in the State in which it is collected. Though
subsisting, they say, in the notes of specie paying
binks, which are current in the State in which
issued, the overplus will not answer the uses of the
Government in meeting the demands upon it else
where, because these same notes convertible into
coin at home, are not current in distant parts. Then
the plain answer is, whenever the overplus be used
where wanted, by means of transfer drafts on some
specie paying banks, let the overplus be exchanged
on demand, for coin where it was collected, and the
coin itself b; transmitted to the placc at which it
is wanted; for if the revenue bs collected exclusive
ly in coin, the supply will likewise frequently ex
ceed the demands for di>burseinents where collected,
and the overplus must in like manner b- physical
ly transmitted, or transferred by drafts drawn by the
Secretary of the Treasury, on the personal fiscal
agents in the distant parts in which it is wanted, to
supply the deficiency (there) to make the disburse
ments pursuant to appropriations by law. Thus,
under ei:her system of collecting, safe-keeping
and di^bjrsing the revenue, there must bi an actual
transmission of ruin, or else paper credits must
in some shape b? n?ed. " But," they "under
' our system, .if transfer drafts be u%rd, they w ill
be drawn on a Treasury ;gent who has the
specie fund in his strong box to pay it with."
And so, the answer is, it will be a draft drawn on a
specie paying bank having so muck of the revenue
ou depusite with it. " But," say they, " the bauk
drawn on miy stop paying sjiecie." And so may
the agent become a defaulter. In either event the
sum suspended or lost b -ing large enough to require
it, the government must resort to taxation, or to a
loan, or to an issue of treasury notes, to supply the
debciency. In the case of the banks being the
fiscal agents, the Government can exact specie in its
collections during the suspension. To this the
people will submit and b>* quiescent? but they will
never submit to the exaction of coin, while they are
uUe to olfer the notes ol' specie paying banks. To
regain this ability, the people rely on their Bute
legislation in chief. Their general government
for a season may stand aloof, and refuse to lend a
helping hand, and even throw obstacles in the way !
The influence of enlightened public opinion may
fail to bring the people's federal agents to aid in
enabling them to regain that ability?it may be so.
Though their censorial power wielded by the public
and free press may fail, the people will yet have
resources left in their uiuirr or inhtiilction, and
| certain control in their night or election.
Neither of these systems of fiscal agency, the
State bank depo^ite system, nor the Sub-treasury
j scheme, is or can be made perfect. Each of them,
| or any the wit of man can contrive, is and will be
, liable to occasional disturbances. Which of them
; is the more economical, safe and convenient, I shall
not further tax my poor ingenuity to tell. To at
tempt to add to the b'jauty and strength of the power
ful arguments and manifold facts urged by Rives,
the splendid enthusiasm of Tallmadue, the impres
sive recitals and cogent conclusions of Oakland, and
the brilliant wit and elegant Solidity of Lkoahe,
would be to attempt to gild refined gold. That the
General Government shall effectually help State
legislation in its well-directed efforts to secure uni
formity to the value of the paper part of the curren
cy of the country, it is only necessary that, by pre
scribing the conditions on w hich the State banks
may b'j the place of depositc of the national revenue,
it exert its legitimate authority to limit the issues of
paper money by suppressing all notes of a less
amount than ten, dollars. That State legislation
shall, enable the General Government to give effect
ually that indispensable aid. it is only necessary
that it reduce the number of State banks to a very
small, if not the smallest number in each State; so
that the action of the General Government, intended
and tending-to limit the issues of jKiper money,
though confined to depositc banks, may yet reaeh
and operate on all the banks of the country * This
necessary uniformity of value to the paper part of
the currency can result alone frum grncml confidence,
the great principle of vitality to commerce. Con
fidence can alone be secured by, and invariably
will, whenever it should, be attendant ont fami
liarity with the important features of pa|>er money.
This familiarity must be made attainable, and with
out the necessity of constant and daily study to at
tain it.
* Sec Mr. Dayard's Speech, in the Senate October
2, 1837.
f See my No. VIII.
The communication of " A Republican"
has been unavoidably delayed, by the pro
ceedings of Congress and the unusual press
of other matter. We now insert it?and al
though the subject has been disposed of for
the present at least, the illustrations of the
writer may nevertheless be useful in refer
ence to the future.
I have been for years an ardent and firm supporter of
Mr. Van Burcn. I would not now impugn his integri
ty or capacity ; but believing the President's proposed
system fatally injurious to tho liberties and happiness of
my country, it receives my decided disapprobation.
The Message of the President and the reports of the
Secretary of the Treasury and Postmaster General ap
probated by it involve questions of great moment. The
President proposes to place all public money in the
hands of officers of his appointment. This is the new
Sub-treasury schcme. And to make sure that at once
the pockets or the iron chests of these officers shall have
funds he proposes that nine millions three hundred and
sixty-seven thousand two hundred and fourteen dollars
directed by law to be deposited with the States, be di
vested and put into the hands of Executive agents, be
ings of Executive will.
The venerable Ritchie of the Richmond Enquirer has
reviewed the Message on this point with such ability
as leaves nothing more to be said against the corrupting
Sub-treasury system, and certainly nothing more in its
favor. With the independent and lofty bearing, for
| which the gifted sons of Virginia have been distinguish
ed from the days of Patrick Henry, Ritchie attacks and
utterly overthrows the Presidential plan for adding the
power of money to t|io preponderating weight of the
Executive office. On this point we have nothing to
add. If the voice of Nestor is not heard, ours will not
But there are some new precedents proposed that
ought to awaken attention. The Postmaster General
leads the way in attacking the institutions of Republi
can America, and denounces her State banks as "hun
dreds of embarrassed, faithless, or bankrupt corpora
tions." Then follows the Secretary of the Treasury
proposing and lauding the financial systems of England
and France, lie based his Sub-treasury system on the
precedents of these royalities. It was, he said, "in suc
cessful practice in some of the most enlightened and
opulent governments of Europe." Here for the first
time the corrupt, prodigal and place-making system of
financial expenditure i'n Europe is officially recommend
ed to the American people. Before the Revolution our
fathers struggled year after year against the royal go
vernors who claimed for themselves and their agents
the control of the colonial funds. The governors then
said, as the royal governors of the Cauadas now say,
that the public service is interrupted because the Execu
tive control over the people's money is impeded. How
strange, that the European system of finance, and espe
cially that of France, should be gravely recommended to
one republic ! The entire expenses of France for the year
1330 were about 186 millions of dollars. For 1835
the minister of finance estimated the expenses at about
two hundred and live millions. Sccrct service money
for the police was one of tho items, and amounted
to about two hundred and forty-six thousand dol
lars. About fifteen millions of dollars annually go to
Louis Phillip's officers for collecting the revenue and
taxes of France. If the residue of the financial system
ofgFrance is conducted with tho same prodigality, the
officers of the King must be well satisfied with the
King's sub-treasury system. It may also account for
the fact that the French charter of 1830, which was
based on the republican principle that all the French
were equal, has been trampled under th? royal feet of
the citizen King. This French precedent is indeed
Arc these the royal models which the Secretary, with
the President's approbation, present, to the quick-sighted
freemen of America? Louis Phillip's immense pa
tronage and control of public money has enabled hiin to
destroy the freedom of the press and to trample the char
ter under foot. Let mv countrymen beware of this
dangerous example, and never trust any President with
the corrupting j>o .? cr of the purse.
A lUPl Bt.lt AN.
ran. the madmonuw.
No. III.
With regard to the constitutionality of the princi
ples proposed in Doc. No. 6, of both Houses 0f
Congress, heretofore referred to, " the doctrine of
the great father of democracy is peculiarly ap|x?itc
and iuterenting at the present crisis, as it presets a
practicable tuccedaneum, through the medium of a
measure of value, which, by iu wlnitty, universality
of circulation, and reccii ability in all public pay
ments, would make iu way, and supplant the paper
of private banks, or corporations of individuals.'1
These are the views of JEFFERSON ; and he fur
ther says, in substance, that, although the Congress
may no! b_* authorized to establish a paper currency
as an absolute tender in private contracts, yet the
influence they may exercise in securing iu sound
ness through the collections of the revenue has been
admitted by the purest patriot*, and most enlightened
statesmen of the republic, ill various departments of
the Government.
In the early annals of the Constitution the power
was affirmed by General HAMILTON, in hit public
character, " to designate, or appoint, the money, or
thing, in whii h the taxes are to be paid," as being
" not only a proper, but a necessary exercise of the
power of collecting them; accordingly, Congress, in
the law concerning the collection of the duties on
imposts and tonnage, have provided thai they shall
be payable in silver or gold. But while it was an
indispensable part of the work to say in what they
should be paid, the choice of the specific thing was a
mere matter of discretion. The payment might have
b?en required in the commodities themselves; taxes
in kind are not without precedent, even in the United
l States; or they might have b;?en in the paper money
| of the several States, or of the bills of the Bank of
North America, New York, or Massachusetts, all or
cash of them ; or they might have been in bills issurd
under tie authority of the United Slates. No purl of
this, it is presumed, can be disputed. The appoiut
! rnunt of the money, or thing, in which the taxes are
j to bj paid, is an incident to the power of collection ;
I and among the expedients which may be adopted, is
j that of bills issurd under the authority of thr I mud
Stales." These are the views of HAMILTON, and
; this contemporaneous commentary has received the
sanction of succeeeding sages, in the practical em
ployment of Treasury notes, as a medium of cx
1 change and circulation.
It therefore appears that "a paper currency is not
; inhibited by the Constitution," and that "such a
I currency may b- created by the General Govern
I ment, and distributed among the States, under proper
guards and regulations to insure its credit and con
vertibility into, gold and silver, and to promote,
incalculably, the common welfare, is equally evi
dent." As the productive principle of a high and
valuable prerogative would thereby b; diffused, by
its operations to the whole, and not confined to the
i benefit oi a special few, or privileged order. The
plan, indeed, is esteemed sufficient for all I he beurfi
{ rial purposes in contemplation, without the evils of
i a soulless combination of corporations. It is, in effect,
DEPOS1TE, without the privileges of issuing notes,
or loaning money as regards the General Govern
ment, in connection with an equitable and secure
system for the receipt and distribution of the federal
revenue?commensurate, in fact, with the wealth
and credit of the several States, embracing the pro
perty and population of the whole Union. To eaeli
and every one of the Slates it would impart a rich
resource in public income, and diffuse the means of
propelling industry and enterprise: and, by accele
rating improvements throughout the country, pro
mote the amelioration of every interest and class of
society. And while such a system would essentially
enlarge the specie basis, and adapt the local circula
tion to the uses and demands of ordinary business,
the national currency would supply the facilities of
interchanges, in large transactions, on terms conve
nient and economical.
In reference to the pending question, the great
object of desire is a MEDIUM OF UNIFORM
UNION?to accomplish which it is proposed thai a
OR GOLD, on presentation at each and every of
the institutions of the Stales. If a better medium
can be devised, it remains to be demonstrated.
And, with regard to the power of creating instiin
tions of the character proposed, it appears that ' the
highly beneficial principle of assuming the sovereign
right of banking has been long since adopted, im
proved, and exercised in several of the States," of
the Souih and West particularly, and with the pro
gressive developments of its benefits and productive
ness, (in one State it having entirely avoided the
necessity of taxation,) the more has it gained upon
the public favor?its most potent enemy is that which
has grown out of an excess of grants to private cor
porations for such purposes. But, says the memoir
in question, "if the regulation of the currency is to
be regarded as a public bight;, if the good of the
whole is to be preferred to the interests of a favored
few i and, if there be enough of intelligence among
the people to understand the proposition," as set forth
in the Maryland Plan of Currency and Depositories,
and to appreciate its merits and advantages, (which
cannot be doubed,) "we may well anticipate the
eventual establishment of a national currency, under
thr agency of a CONNECTED SYSTEM OF IN
The notices of patriotic editors are again invoked.
New York, October 'JO, 1837.
My Dear Sir:?The representatives of the banks
in this city have received replies from the officers of
bulks in Thirteen States, approving of ihe proposed
convention to take measures to resume specie pay
ments?those of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Mis
sissippi, desired delay until alter the late session of
Congress, and the institutions of the remaining
States have not replied to the circular of the Com
At a recent meeting of the officers of our city
banks, it was resolved to call the proposed conven
tion on the 25ih November next at this place, when
such measures will bj adopted as shall seem most
advisable to hasten the resumption of payments in
Although the Banks of Philadelphia and Balti
more declined participating in the proposed mea
sures to call a convention, vet the reason assigned,
viz : that the action of Congress al its special session
might render il inexpedient, can be no longer urged,
and it is presumed that they will co-operate with the
majority of hinks throughout the Union, in endea
voring to restore the currency of the country to its
former elevated position. The Innking institutions
in this State are daily strengthening and foriifyitis:
themselves preparatory to the resumption, and if the
foreign exchanges are reduced to the par of specie?
as I have no doubt ihcy will be in a few months?
.and Congress should not enact any laws, tending to
discredit their issues, I am satisfied Ihat they will
generally resume in less than six months from this
To give you some idea of the substantial re
sources of the commercial emporium it is only ne
cessary to state, that the payments to the Stale and
ih'- United S at^s b.* the banks in this city duringthe
j last nine months is over twelve millions of dollars;
I and that the contraction of the circulation and pay

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