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The Madisonian. [volume] (Washington City [i.e. Washington, D.C.]) 1837-1845, November 03, 1837, Image 1

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THE MADISONIAN.
.THOMAS ALLEN.
KDITOI 1MB r??HI"TOI.
Tut M*m?ONU!? i* published Tri weekly duping the
silting* of Congress, ?|*d Semi-weekly during the ??
cms, ?! 05 per annum. For til months, |3.
No subscription will bo taken for a term abort of el*
mouth* ; 11or unltta* paid for tn adrance.
rales or AivsmaiNO.
Twelve linee, or leaa, three iuaertiona, - ? 1 00
Each additional insertion, - -
linger advertiseineiita at proportionate nitea.
A liberal diacoiuit made to tbose who advertise by
the year.
VZT Subacribera may remit by mail, in bdla of aoJvent
bank*, poUage paid, at our riak; provided it ahall ap
Car by a poatinaater'a certificate, thai audi remittance
a been duly mailed.
A liberal diacount will be made to companies of fiet
or more trMMinittins their aubaenptiona together.
Poatmaatera, and othera authorized, acting aa our
agents, will be entitled to receive a copy of the paper
grali* for every five subscriber* or, at that rale per cent,
on subscriptions generally ; the term* being fulfilled.
Letters d comrminiealione intended for the esta
blishment ? U not be received unless the pottage u
paid.
PllOSPECTt'S.
The MiDiao.vuw will be devoted to the support of
the principles and doctrine* of the democratic party, aa
delineated by Mr. Madirou, and will aim to conatimniale
that political reform in the theory and practice of the
national government, which has been reoeatodly indi
cated by the general suffersge, as aaaential to the peace
and prosperity of the country, and to the perfection and
perpetuity of it* free inatilutiona. At thia time a singu
lar hlale of affair* is presented. The commercial in
terest* of the country are overwhelmed with eo?bevr???
ment; its monetary concerns *re unusually disordered ;
every ramification of society m invaded by distresa, and
the social edifice seema threatened with disorganisation;
every ear is filled with predictions of evil and the mur
muring* of despondency; the general government ia
boldly?assailed by a large and resectable portion of the
people, a* ilia direct cause of liieir difficulties j o|?en
resistance to the laws is publicly encouraged, and a
spirit of insubordination is fostered, as a necessary
defence to the pretended usurpations of the party in
power; some, from whom better things were hoped, are
making the " confuaion worso confounded," by a head
long pursuit of extreme notions and indefinite phantoms,
totally incompatible with a wholesome state of the
country. In the midst of all these difficulties and em
barrassments, it 1* feared that many of the leas firm of
the friends of tho administration and supporters of
democratic principle* are wavering in their confidence,
and beginning, without just cause, to view with diatrust
those men to whom they have been long attached, and
whose elevation they have laboured to promote from
honest and patriotic motive*. Exulting in the anticipa
tion of dismay and confusion amongst the supporters of
the adininiatration as tho consequence of these things,
the opposition are consoling themselves with tho idea
that Mr. Van liurcn'a friends, as a national parly, are
verging to dissolution ; and they allow no opportunity to
nass unimproved to give eclat to their Own doctrines.
They are, indeed, maturing plan* for their own future
government of the country, with seeming confidence of
certain success.
This confidence is increased by the fact, that visionary
theories, and an unwise adherence to the plan for an
exclusive metallic currency have unfortunately carried
some beyond the actual and true policy of the govern
ment ; and, by impairing public confidence in the credit
system, which ought to be preserved and regulated, but
not destroyed, have tended to increase the difficulties
under which the country is now labouring. All these
seem to indicate the necessity of a new organ at tho
seat of government, to be established upon sound prin
ciples, and to represent faithfully, and not to dictate, the
real policy of the administration, and the true sentiments,
measures, and interests, of tho great body of its sup
porters. The necessity also appears of the adoption of
more conservative principles than the conduct of those
seems to indicate who seek to remedy abuse* by de
stroying the institutions with which they are found con
nected. Indeed some measure of contribution is deemed
essential to the enhancement of our own self-respect at
home, and to the promotion of the honor and credit of
the nation abroad.
To meet these indications this undertaking has been
instituted, and it is hoped that it will produce the effect
of inspiring the timid with couragc, the despondiqg with
hope, and the whole country with confidence in tho
administration of its government. In this view, this
journal will not seek to lead, or to follow any faction, or
to advocate the views of any particular detachment of
men. It will aspire to accord a just measure of sup
port to each of the co-ordinate branches of the govern
ment, in the lawful exercise of their constitutional
prerogatives. It will address itself to the understandings
of men, rather than appeal to any unworthy prejudices
or evil passions. It will rely invariably upon the prin
ciple, that the strength and security of American insti
tutions depend upon the intelligence and virtue of the
people.
The Madisonia'X will not, in any event, be made the
instrument of arraying the north and the south, the east
and the west, iu hoslilo attitudes towards each other,
upon any subject of either general or local interest. It
will reflect only that spirit and those principles of mutual
concession, compromise, and reciprocal good-will, which
so eminently characterized the inception, formation, and
subsequent adoption, by the several States, of tho con
stitution of the U nited States. Moreover, iu the same
hallowed spirit that has, at all periods since tho adoption
of that sacred instrument, characterized its dkkknck
by the people, our press will hasten to its support at
every emergency that shall arise, from whatever quarter,
and under whatever guise of philanthropy, policy, or
principle, the antagonist power may appear.
If, in this responsible undertaking, it shall be our
good fortune to succeed to any degree in promoting the
harmony and prosperity of the country, or in conciliating
jealousies, and allaying the asperities of party warfare,
by demeaning ourself amicably towards all; by indulg
ing personal animosities towards none; by conducting
ourself iu the belief that it is perfectly practicable to
differ with others in matters of principle and of expe
lcncy, without a mixture of personal unkindness or loss
reciprocal respect; and by " asking nothing that is
not clearly right, and submitting to nothing that is
wrong," then, and not otherwise, will the full measure
its intention be accomplished, and our primary rule
for its guidance be sufficiently observed and satisfied.
This enterprise has not been undertaken without the
approbation, advisement, and pledged support of many
of the leading and soundest minds in the ranks of the
democractic republican party, in the extreme north and
in the extreme south, in tho east and ill the west. An
association of both political experience and talent of the
highest order will render it competent to carry forward
the principles by which it will be guided, and make it
useful as a political organ, and interesting as a journal
of no\ Arrangements also have been ;nade to fix the
establishment upon a substantial and permanent basis.
'I lie subscriber, therefore, relies upon the public for so
much of their confidence and encouragement only as the
fidelity of his press to their great national interests shall
prove itself entitled to receive.
THOMAS ALLEN.
"Washington City, D. C. July, 1837.
EXCHANGE HOTEL.
THE SUBSCRIBERS, having leased the Exchange
Hotel, (late Tages'*,) and having .filled it up in first
rate style, will lie prepared to receive visiters on MON
DAY the 9th inst. The location of the hous.', being with
in a few minutes walk of the depot of the Baltimore and
Ohio, Washington and Baltimore, and Philadelphia Rail
roads, as well as the Slcarn'mat to Philadelphia, Norfolk,
and Charleston, S. C., makes it a desirable place to all
travellers going to either section of the country. This
HOTEL attached to the Exchange Buildings in this city,
has been erected and furnished at a great cost by the pro
prietors, and is designed to lie a first rate hotel. It 1*
the intention of the subscribers to make it for comfort, re
spectability, &c. tie., equal to any house in the United
Stiiles. Tbe undersigned flatter themselves that they
need only promise to all who may patronise the establish
ment, that their best effort* shall be exerted to please, and
at charges which they hope will meet their appro1.a
iona,
JEWETT & DE BUTTS.
Baltimoie, Oct. 7, 1937. 4w!2l
II
OUSE FURNISH IN O GOODS.?We have for
salc
?j0 pieces ingrain carpeting, which we will sell low
50 d<? Brussels.
*1? 5-4, fM, 10-4, and 12-4 Linen Sheetings.
100 do 7-4, 8-4 Barnsly Diaper*.
H;4, 10-4 and 20-4 fine Table Cloths.
Napkins to match.
1 bale Russia Diaper.
1 bale wide Crash.
Also, 50 Marseilles Quilts.
Sf p 0?3tw2w BRADLEY &CATLETT.
THE MADISON! AN.
VOL.1. WASHINGTON CITY, FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1837. NO. 29.
^OK BALE, Oil BARTER, far property
??? ? in the city of New York, or lands in Illi
aatKlL ,IOI,' ^ v*)uable property iu the
? 84? villu'e of :
W? IE? The rauid growth of Oswego, iu un
surpassed *dvsnt*ij?? and great prosper!*, are loo writ
and too generally known to require a particular descrip
tion
By A ?ery MUM description of the property is deem
ed unnecessary as it is presumed that purchasers living
at a distance will como and s?e, before they conclude a
aargain. Suffice it lo My, that it is among the very best
bu the plait,
U_r INone mil lamls ur tnr. flr?t quality, with a perfectly
ciear title, and free of uieuotUr ace, will be taken in ex
tb
1LS letters pom paid, addressed to lite subscrilwr, at
Oswego, will meet with prompt attention. An ample de
scription of the property offered in exchange is requested.
I* East Osweoo.?The Ragle Tavern and 3tore ad
joining, on First street, with a d.. riling house ami stables
on Second street, being original village lot uo. 50, 66 feet
i?n First street, running cunt 2U0 feet to Second street.
The south half, or original village lot no. 44, being 33
feet on First street, runningeast '400feet to Second street,
with the buildings erected thereon.
The north-east corner of First and Seneca (late Tau
rus) streets, being 00 feet on First, and 100 feet on Sene
ca streets, with the buildings erected thereon?comprising
pari of original village lots nos. 41 and 42.
Three lots, each with a dwelling, fronting Se?ond street;
the lots are 22 feet wide by 100 deep, being part of original
village lot no. 41.
Lot, with dwelling house, [original village lot no. 26,]
being GG feet on First street, running west atiout 250 feet,
across the canal into the river, so that it has four front*.
In Wbst Oswkoo.?Lot corner of Fifth and Seneca
(late Taurus) streets, opposite the public square, being on
Seneca street 143, and on Fifth street 198 feet, with dwell
ing, coach house, stabling, and garden. The Utter is well
stocked with the best and rarest fruit, ornamental shrub
bery, flowers, 6cc.
A lot adjoining the above, being 78 feet on Fourth stmt
by 68 feet in depth.
Si* lots on First street, each 22 feet in1
front, running co.it 100 feet to Water
street, with the buildings thereon.
The Wharf and Ware houses on Wa
ter street, opposite the foregoing, being
132 feet on Water street, and running
east about 110 feet to the river. (This
w harf has the deepest water in the inner
harbor.] . ,
Lot corner of Senecn and Second streets, being 21 feet
on Scoeca, and 66 feet on Sccond streets. Five Lots ad
joining the foregoing to the east, each being 23 feet on
Seneca street, by 66 feet in depth. The above being part
of the original village lot no. 36.
The north half of block no. 63, being 2(H)'feet on Utica
[late Libra] street, by 198 feet on Third and Fourth
streets.
Ott Van Bitrkn Tkict.?Lot no. 1, Montcalm street,
cieing 200 feet deep, and running north along Montcalm
street several hundred feet into the Lake.
Lots no. 2 and 3, Montcalm street, each 66 by 200 ft.
12 " 13 " "
13, 11, and 15,being 315 ft. on Bronson st.
210 on Van Duren St.
300 on Eighth st.
North 3-4tlis of lot no. 25, corner of Van lluren
" aA Eighth streets, being 200 feet on Van Duren, and 148
t eet on Eighth streets.
Lot 82, south-west corner of Cayuga and Eighth streets,
66 by 198 feet.
Lots 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, on Cayuga st. 66 by 1D8 ft.
88, s. e. comer of Cayuga and Ontario streets, 198
. by 104 feet.
89, s. w. corner of do, 198 by 195 ft.
70, on Seneca St., 66 by 198 feet.
59, s. w. corner of Seneca and 8th at*., 66 by 108 ft.
50, n.e. corner of Ontario and Schuyler streets, 198
by 101 feet.
59. on Seneca street, 66 by 199 feet.
75, s. e. corner of Seneca and Ontario streets, 198
by 104 feet.
76, s. w. corner of do. 198 by 130 ft.
64, n. e. corner of do. 198 by 104 ft.
46, 47, 48, 49, on Schuyler St., 66 by 198 ft.
The incumbrances on the whole of this property do not
exceed sixteen thousand dollnrs, which may either re
main, or if desired, can be cleared off.
J. C. BURCKLE.
Oswego, N. Y., Aug. 22, 1837. 2m6
ID" Compris
ing the original
'village lots no.
3 and 4.
PLUMBER'S BUSINESS?The subscriber, from
Baltimore, takes this method of informing the citizens
of Washington and vicinity, that he w ill remain n few days,
and make arranaemcnts for undertaking any of the follow
ing kinds of work in his line of business, viz. The erect
ing of Water Closets,.Force or Lift Pumps, Baths, hot or.
cold, fitted in a superior manner, the conveying of water
from springs to dwellings, and through the different apart
ments, draining quarries, or any kind of lead work. Ho
can be seen at Mr. Woodward's.
DAVID BAIN.
N B.?He has w ith him a few Beer and Cider Pumps,
to be seen as above.
CLEMENT WOODWARD,
Bcrwecn 10th aud 11th sts., Penn. Avenue.
Oct. 18-23
CHINA, GLASS AND QUEEN'S WARE.
MOSES POTTEH,
46 South Charles St., Baltimore,
HAS just received and is now opening, five hundred
nml forty package* of the above description of goods,
adapted for the Southern and Western markets?Con
stantly on hand, English, Iron Stone, and Granite China,
suitable for extensive hotels and steamboats?all of which
will lie sold on as favorable terms as can be bought in any
city in the Union.
Oct. 10. tf22
SAMUEL HEINECKE informs his friends and the
public, that ho has taken a room four doors north ol
Doctor Gunton's apothecary store, on ninth street, where
he will carry on his business. He feels confident, from
his long experience in cutting all kinds of garments, that
general satisfaction will be given to such as may favor
him with their custom. aep 23 3taw3w
WILL BE PUBLISHED on Monday next, No 1 of
the UNITED STATES MAGAZINE AND DE
MOCRATIC REVIEW, with a full length engraving in
copper of Col. Benton addressing the Senate?after a fine
sketch by Fendcrich.
table op contents.
1. Introduction. The Democratic Principle?
The importance of its assertion, and ap
plication to our political system and lite*
rature. 1
2. The Battle-Field. By Win. Cullen Bryant. 15
3. Nathaniel Macon. - 17
4. Autumn. By Mrs. E. L. Follen. - - 27
5. The Constitution Oak. 28
6. The Toll-Gatherer's Day, a Sketch of Tran
sitory Life. By the Author of "Twice
Told Tales." 31
7. The Worth of Woman. From the German
of .Schiller. ..... 35
8. Mexican Antiquities of Palenque and Mit
lan, in the Provinces of Chiapa and
Oazaea. ...... 37
9. Palestine, An Ode. By J. G. Whittier. 47
10. Miriam, a Dramatic Poein. ... 49
11. Storin Stanzas. .... - 67
12. Glances at Congress, by a Reporter, No. 1.
?The Extra Session?the American Union
?the Hall of the House?the Sneaker?
Henry A. Wise?Eli Moore?Caleb Cush
ing?John Quincy Adams?C. C. Cambrc
leng?Ogden Hoffman.
13. Enigma. By A. H. Everett, Esq., Boston,
Massachusetts.
14. Political Portraits, with the pen and pencil.
No. 1. Thomas Hart Benton. [With
nn engravine.] .... 82
15. Epitaph. From the Greek Anthology. IK)
16. European Views of American Democracy.
IV Tooqucnlle. .... 90
17. The River. - -
18. The Moral of the Crisis. ....
19. Retrospective view of European Politics.
(Introductory Article lo the Historical Register of European
Event*.)
The system pursued at the Congress of Vienna?Its in
flitenco on France?England 111 1915 and 1935.?
FRANCE. Gain in Democratic Liberty sinre the Re
volution?Ijouis Phillipe?Boerne on Liberty. GER
M *N Y. Policy and effect of abolishing the Empire.
PRUSSIA. Ilspnliey and influence?The tariff union
and currency?Philosophy of the Germans?School
system?Military organization?Municipal government.
AUSTRIA. Its internal condition and political posi
tion?llumrarinn diet?and Baron Wesseleny. MI
NOR STATES IN GERMANY. The Press?The
Polish Revolution. SPAIN AND PORTUGAL?
HOLLAND AND BELGIUM. DENMARK AND
SWEDEN. SWITZERLAND. ITALY. Austri
an influence?Fortifications of Brisen. RUSSIA.
Probabilities of collision with Eneland?Consequence
of thu ascendency of the Democratic principle in Eng
land?Conclusion.
O.lico of the U. S. Magazine and Democratic, Review
corner of 10th and E streets, Washington. 3t?23
[N. Y. Eve. Pout and Com. Adv.]!
?PBKCH Of MM. WKBITKHi
or Mi?sACin;anT?,
In Senate, September 38, 1837?The Senate having
resumed (he consideration of the bill " impi?uiR
additional dulie*, as depositories in certain case*,
on public officers," with the amendment ottered
thereto by Mr. Calhoun?
Mr. WEBSTER addressed the Senate as follows;
M*. Prmidknt: I am opposed to the doctrines of
the message, to the bill, and to the amendment of the
member from South Carolina, (Mr. Calhoun.) Is
all these 1 see nothiug for the relief of the country;
but I do see, as I think, a question involved, the im
portance of which transcends all the interests of the
present occasion.
It is my purpose to state that question; to present
it as well to the country as to the Senate; to show
the length and breadth of it, as a question of practi
cal politics, and in its bearing on the powers of the
Government; to exhibit its importance, and to ex
press my own opinions in regard to it.
A short recital of events and occurrences' will
show how this question has arisen.
The Government of the United States completed
the forty-eighth year of its existence under the pre
sent Constitution on the 3d day of March last. During
this whole period, it has felt itself bound to take pro
per care 01 the currency of the country ; and no
administration has admitted this obligation more
clearly or more frequently than the last. For Urn
fulfilment of this acknowledged duty, as well as to
accomplish other useful purposes, a National Bank
has beeu maintained for ibrty out of these forty-eight1
years. Two institutions oif this kind hare been
created by law: one commencing in 1791, and limi
ted to twenty years, and expiring, therefore, in 1811; I
the other commencing in 1816, wi'h a like term of
duration, and ending, therefore, in 183ti. Both of
these institutions, each in its time, accomplished
their purposes, so far as currency was concerned, to
the general satisfaction of the country. But before
the last bank expired, it had the misfortune to be
come obnoxious to the late administration. I need
not at present sneak of the causcs of this hostility.?
My purpose only requires a statement of that fact,
1 as an important one in the chain of occurrences.
The late President's dissatisfaction of the brink
was intimated in his first annual message, that is to
say in 1820. But the bank stood very well with the
country, the President's known and growing hosti
lity notwithstanding; and in 183*2, four years before
its charter was to expire, both Houses of Congress
passed a bill for its coutinuance; there being in its
favor a large majority of the Senate, and a larger
majority otthc House of Representatives. The bill,
' however, was negatived bv the President. In 1833,
by an order of the President, the public moneys
were removed from the custody of the bank, and
were deposited with certain selected State banks.?
This removal was accompanied with the most confi
dent declarations and assurances, put forth in
every form, by the President and Secretary of the
Treasury, that these State banks would not only
prove safe depositories of the_ public money, but that
they would also furnish the country with as good
a currency as it ever had enjoyed, and probably a
belter ; and would accomplish ail that could be wish
ed in regard to domestic exchanges. The substitu
tion of State banks for a National institution, for the
discharge of these duties, was that operation, which
has becomc known, and is likely to be long remem
bered, as the " experiment."
For some years all was said to go on extremely
well, although it seemed plain enough to a great
part of the community that the system was radi
cally vicious; that its operations were all incon
venient, clumsy, and wholly inadequate to the pro
posed ends; and that, sooner or later, there must
DC an explosion. The administration, however,
adhered to its experiment. The more it was com
plained of, the louder it was praised. Its commen
dation was one of the standing topics of all official
communications; and in his last'"message, in De
cember, 183f>, the late President was more than
usually emphatic upon the great success of his at
tempts to improve the currency, and the happy re
sults of the experiment upon the important business
of exchange. But a reverse was at hand. The
ripening glories of the experiment were soon to meet
a dread ul blighting. In the early part of May last,
these banks all stopped payment. This event ot
course, produced jjreat distress in the country, and it
produced also similar embarrassment to the adminis
tration. r ,
The present administration was then only two
months old; but it had already become formally
pledged to maintain the policy of that which had
gone before it. The President'had avowed his pur
pose of treading in the footsteps of his predecessor.
Here, then, was difficulty. Here was a political
knot, to be either untied or cut. The experiment
had failed ; and failed, as it was thought, so utterly
and hopelessly, that it could not be tried again.
What, then, was to be done 1 Committed against
a Bank of the United States in the strongest manner,
and the sub>titute, from which so much was expect
cd, having disappointed all hopes, what was the ad
ministration to do 1 Two distinct classes of duties
had been performed in times past bv the Bank of the
United States; one more immediately to the Govern
ment, the other to the community. The first was
the safe-keeping and the transfer, when required, of
the public monevs; the other the supplying of a
sound and convenient paper currency, of equal cre
dit all over the country, and every where equivalent
to specie, and the giving the most important facili
ties to the operations of exchange. These objects
were highly important, and their most perfect ac
complishment by the experiment had been promised
from the first. The State banks, it was declared,
could perform all these duties, and should perform
them. But the " experiment" came to a dishonored
end in the early part of May. The deposite banks,
w ith the others, stopped payment. They could not
render back the deposites; and, so far from being
able to furnish a general currency, or to assist ex
changes, (purposes, indeed, which they never had
fulfilled with anv success,) their paper became im
mediately depreciated, even in its local circulation.
What course, then, was the administration now to
adopt 1 Why, sir, it is plain that it had but one al
ternative. It must either return to the former prac
tice of the Government, take the currency into its
own hands, and maintain it, as well as provide for
the safe-keeping pf the public money by some insti
tution of its own; or else, adopting some new mode
of merely keeping the public money, it must aban
don all further care over currency and exchange.
One of these courses became inevitable. The ad
ministration had no choice. The State banks could
be tried no more, with the opinion which the admi
nistration now entertained of them; and how else
could any thing be done to maintain the currcn
cv 1 In'no way but by the establishment of a Nation
al institution.
There was no escape from the dilemma. One
course was, to go back to that which the party had
so much condemned ; the other, to give up the whole
dutv, and leave the currency to its fate. Between
these two, the administration found itself absolutely
obliged to decide; and it has decided, and decided
bjldly. It was decided to surrender the duty, and
abandon the constitution. That decision is before
us, in the message, and in the measures now under
consideration. The choice has been made; and that
choice, in my opinion, raises a question of the ut
most importance to the people of this country, b >th
for the present and all future time. That question
is, whether Congress has, or ought to hart, any duly to
perform in relation to the currency of the country,
beyond the mere regulation of the gold and silver coin, j
Mr President, the honorable member from South
Carolina remarked, the other day, with great frank
ness and good humor, that, in the political classifica
tion of the times, he desired to be considered as
nothing but nn honest nullifier. That, he said, was
his charactcr. I believe, sir, the country will readily I
concede that character to the honorable gentleman.
For one, certainly, I am willing to say, that I believe
him to be a very honest and a very sincere nullifier,
using the term in the same sense in which he nscd it
himself, and in which he meant to apply it to him
self. And I am very much afraid, sir, that (what
ever he may think ot it himself) It has been under
the influence of those sentiments which belongto his
character as a nullifier, that he has so readily and so
zealously embraced the doctrines of the President's
message. In my opinion, t'-e message, the bill before
us nnd the honorable member's amendment, form,
together a system, a code of practical politics, the
direct tendency of which is to nullify and expunge,
or perhaps, more correctly speaking, by a united and
mixed process of nullification and expunging, to
abolish a highly Important and usefkil power of the
Government. 'It strikes down the principle upon
which the Government has been administered, in
regard to the subject of the currency, through its
whole history ; and it seeks to obliterate, or to draw
black lin?s around that part of the constitution on
which this principle of administration has rested.
Th<> ?ystem proposed, in my opinion, is not only
ami-commercial, but auti-consliluUuual also, and
anti-union, in a high degree.
You will say,*ir, thai this is a strong way of stating
an opinion. It isso. I mean to stale the opinion in the
strongest manner. 1 do not wish, indeed, at every
turn, to soy, of measures which 1 oppose, (hat they
either violate or surrender (lie constitution. But
when, in all soberness and candor, I do so think, in
all sob?me*s and candor I must so speak; and whe
ther the opinion which I have now expressed bo true,
let the sequel decide.
Now, sir Congress has been called together in 11 !
moment of great difficulty. The characteristic of j
the crisis is commercial distress. We are not sul-)
fering from war, or pestilence, or famine; and it is ,
alleged by the President and Secretary, that there is
no want of revenue. Our means, it is averred, are
abundant. And yet the Government is in distress,
and the country is in distress; and Congress is as
sembled, by a call of the President, to provide relief.
The immediate aiid direc: cause of all is, derange
ment of the currency and the exchanges ; commer
cial crcdit is gone, and property no longer answers
the common ends and purposes of property. Go
vernment cannot use its own meaus,and individuals
are alike unable to command their own resources.
The operations both of Government and people are
obstructed; and they are obstructed, because the
money of the country, the great instrument of com
merce and exchange, has become disordered and
useless. The Government has funds; that is to say,
it has credits in the b3nks, but it cannot turn these
credits into cash; and individual citizens are as Kid
off as Government. The Government is a gKat
creditor and a great debtor. It collects and it dis
burses large sums. In the loss, therefore, of a proper
medium of payment and receipt, Government is a
suflerer. But the people are sufferers from the same
causes; and inasmuch as the whole amount of pay
ments and receipts by the people, in their individual
transactions, is many times greater thnn the amount
of payments and receipts by Government, the aggre
gate of evil suffered by the people is also many times
greater than that suffered by Government. Indi
viduals have means as ample, in proportion to their
wants, as Government; but they share with Govern
ment the common calamity arising from the over
throw of the currency. The honorable member from
Mississippi, (Mr. Walker,) has stated, or has quoted
the statement from others, that while the payments
and receipts of Government are twenty millions a
year, the payments aud receipts oi individuals are
two or three hundred millions. lie has, I think,
underrated the amount of individual payments and
receipts. But even if he has not, the statement shows
how little a part of the whole evil falls on Govern
ment. The great mass of suffering is on the people.
Now, sir, when we look at the message, the bill,
and the proposed amendment, their single, exclusive
and undivided object is found to be, relief to Ike Go
vernment. Not one single provision is adopted or
recommended, with direct reference to the relief of
the peopl-j. They all speak of revenue, of finance,
of duties and customs, of taxes and collections; and
the evils which the people suffer, by the derangement
of the currency and the exchanges, and the breaking
up of commercial credit, instead ol' being put forth i
ns prominent and leading objects of regard, aredis- j
missed with a slight intimation, here and there, that, |
in providing for the superior and paramount interest
of Government, some incidental or collateral benefits
may, perhaps, accruc to the community. But is
Government, I ask, to care for nothing but itself! Is
self-preservation the great end of Government 1 Has
it no trust powers 1 Does it owe no duties, but to j
itsell'1 If it keeps itself in being, does it fulfil all I
the objects of its creation 1 I think not. I think Go
vernment exists, not for its own ends, but for the pub- '
lie utility. It is an agency, established to promote the
common good, by common counsels; its chief duties ?
are to the people; and it seems to me strange and
preposterous, in a moment of great and general dis
tress, that Government should confine all delibera
tions to the single object of its own revennes, its own
convenience, its own undistuibed administration.
I cannot say, sir, that I was surprised to see this
general character impressed on the face of the mes- j
sage. I confess it appeared to me, when the banks j
stopped payment, that the administration had come
to a pass in which it was unavoidable that it should
take some such course. But that necessity was im
posed, not by the nature of the crisis, but bv its own
commitment to the line of politics which its prede
cessor had adopted, and which it had pledged itself
to pursue.
It withdraws its care from the currency, because it
has left itself no means of performing its own duties,
connected with that subject. It has voluntarily, and
on calculation, discarded and renounced the policy
which has been approved for half a century, because
it could not return to that policy, without admitting
its own inconsistency,and violating its party pledges.
This is the truth of the whole matter.
Now, sir, my present purpose chicfly is to maintain
two propositions:
1. That is the constitutional duty of this Govern
ment to see that a proper currency, suitable to the
circumstances of the times, and to the wants of trade
and business, as well as to the payment of debts due
to Government, be maintained and preserved ; acur
rency of general credit, and capable of aiding the
operations of exchange, so far as those operations
may bi conducted by means of the circulating medi
um; and that there are duties, therefore, devolving !
on Congress, in relation to currency, b -youd the !
mere regulation of the gold and silver coins.
2. That the message, the bill, and the proposed j
amendment, all, in effect, deny tiny such duty, dis-1
claim all such power, and confine the constitntional 1
obligation of Government to the mere regulation of
the coins, and the care of its own revenues.
I have well weighed, Mr. President, and fully
considered, the first of these propositions, to wit:
that which respects the duty of this Government, in
regard to the currency- I mean to stand bv it. It
expresses, in my judgment, a principle fully sus
tained by the Constitution, and by the usage of the
Government, and which is of the highest practical
importance. With this proposition, or this princi
ple, I am willing to stand connected ; and to share
in the judgment which the community shall ulti
mately pronounce upon it. II the country shall sus
tain it, and be ready, in due time, to carry it into
cli'ect, by such means and instruments as the general
opinion shall think best to adopt. 1 shall co-operate,
cneerfully. in any such undertaking, and shall look
again, with confidence, to prosperity in this branch
of our National concerns. On the other hand, if the
country shall reject this proposition, and act on that
rejection; if it shall decide that Congress has no
power, nor is under any duty, in relation to the cur
rency, beyond the mere regulation of the coins, then
upon that construction of the powers and duties of
Congress, I am willing to acknowledge that I do not
feel myself competent to render any substantial ser
vice to the public councils on these great interests. I
admit at once that if the currency is not to be pre
served by the Government of the United States, 1 j
know not how it is to be guarded against constantly ;
occurring disorders and derangements.
Before entering into the discussion of the grounds
of this proposition, however, allow me, sir, a few
words, by way of preliminary explanation. In the
first place, I wish it to be observed that I am now
contending only for the general principle, and not j
insisting either on the constitutionality or expedi
ency of any particular means, or any particular
agent. I am not saying by what instrument or agent
Congress ought to perform this duty; I only say it is
a duty, which, in some mode and by some means,
Congress is bound to perform. In the next place, j
let it be remembered that I carry the ab^dutc duty ot ,
Government, iu regard to exchange, no farther tl?an j
the operations of exchange may be performed by j
currency. No doubt, sir, a proper institution, es
tablished by Government, miglit, as heretofore, give |
other facilities to exchange of great importance, and
to a very great extent. But I Intend, on this occa
sion, to keep clearly within the Constitution, and to
assign no duty to Congress not plainly enjoined by
the provisions of that instrument, as fairly interpre
ted, and as heretofore undersiood.
The President says, it is not the province of Go
vernment to aid individuals in the transfer of their
funds, otherwise than by the use of the Post Office;
and that it might as justly Ik; called on to provide for
the transportation of their merchandise.
Now, I b?g leave to say, sir, with a" respect and
deference, that funds are transferred from individual
to individual, usually for the direct purpose of the
payment and receipt of drb s; that payment and re
ceipt are duties of currency; that, in mv opinion,
currency is a thing which Government is bound to
provide for and superintend; that the case, therefore,
nas not the slightest resemblance to the transporta
tion of merchandise, because the transportation of
merchandise is carried on by ships and b>at*, by
carts and wagons, and not by the use of currency, or ,
of any thing else over which Government has j
usually exclusive control. The?e things individuals i
can provide for themselves. But the transfer of!
funds is done by credit, and must b? so done; end |
5nSiSd??lTy' "d ,herefore power
,w.I^e nmlur* ?f exch?ge, ?'r, is well understood bv
person* engaged u> commerce; but as it* OIJenIS
are a little out of the sight of other , ^
community, although they have all a demand plr
manent interest m tie rabject, I ,?av be fa?dontlfor
a WQrd or two of general explanation. I f
domestic exchanges only. We mean, then by ex
change, ibis same transfer of funds. Wt. *
making ol payment in a distant place, or the receiv
ing ol payment from a distant place, by some mode
oi pa|it-1 credit*. If done by oraft, order, or bill of
exchange, that is one form; if done by the transmis
sion of b ink notes, through the past office, or other
h.fkiV ,Knolhe.r form ,n each' credit is used ;
in the first, the credit ol the parties whose names are
on the bill or draff; in the laid, the credit of the bank
Every man, sir, who looks over this vast country
uid contemplates the commercial connection of As
TiU? f'reat importance thatthis
e^r ?nHKte ^ Ch?*P and easy T? 'he produ
nUnl^r T i'e C0USTer',u ,ht manufacturer and the
riml! ? !e me;chant.,oa"- 'n all classes, this be
comes a matter of moment. We may see an instance
n the common articles of manufacture produced in
the north, and sent to the south and west for sale and
HatVhoes- furniture, carriages, do
S.? n# ,k 8re' and.var,0U8 other articles, thepro
manufactories, and of those employ
ments which are carried on without the aid of larife
Mti.1? tihH SlitU^! 8 large part uf ,hi* lrade. " well
'?'brics of cotton and wool. Now a state of
exchange, which shall enable the producers to re
ceive payments regularly, and without loss, is indis
pensable to any useful prosecution of this intercourse
Derangement of currency and exchange is ruinous
The notes of local banks will not answer the Zr
pose of remittance; and if bills of exchange cannot
b. had, or can be had only at a high rate, how ispav
E t?^ receiVed' or to ^ received without great
7" ?e^yfelt, even before the
susnension of specie payment by the banks; and it
w ill always be felt, more or less, till there is a cur
rency of general credit' and circulation through the
country But when the banks suspended, it became
overwhelming. All gentlemen having northern ac
quaintance, must know the existence of this evil I
have heard it said that the hitherto prosperous and
sXr'h\mg Ne*'ark has already lost a con
f.v w ,,art of ,ts Population by the breaking up of
its business, in consequence ofthese commercial em
arw* i'2 casei'in which busin?s is not
wholly broken up, if five or six ]>er cent., or more
thJ riL1*? .1?" ange? ilby 8omuch enhances
ine cast to the consumer, or takes away his profit
from the producer. I have mentioned these articles
ol common product of northern labor; but the same
evil exists in all the sales of imported goods; and it
must exist, also, in the south, in the operations con
nected with its great staples. All the south must
nave, and has, constant occasion for remittance by
exchange; and no part of the country is likely to
suffer more severely by its derangement. In snort
there can be no satisfactory state of internal trade'
w hen there is neither cheapness, nor promptness'
nor regularity, nor security, in the domestic ex
changes.
I say, again, sir, that I do not hold Government
bound to provide bills of exchange for purchase and
sale. Nobody thinks of such a thing. If any insti
tution established by Government can do this, as
might be the ease, and has been the case, so much
the better. But the positive obligations of Govern
ment I am content to limit to currency, and so far
as exchange is concerned, to the aid which may be
afforded to exchange by currency. I have been in
formed that, a few years ago, before the charier of
the late bank expired, at those seasons of the year
when southern and western merchants usually visit
the northern cities to make purchases, or make pay
ment for existing liabilities, that bank redeemed its
notes to the amount of filly or even a hundred thou
sand dollars a day. These notes, having been issued
in the West, were brought over the mountains as
funds to be used in the eastern cities. This was ex
change ; and it was exchange through the medium of
currency; it was perfectly safe, and it cost nothing.
I his fart illustrates the importance of a currency of
universal credit to the business of exchange.
Having made these remarks for the purpose of ex
plaining exchange, and showing its connexion with
--ney, 1 proceed to discuss the general proposi
f To he continued.]
SPEECH OF MR. MASON,
OF VIRGINIA,
On the Bill imposing additional duties, as
Depositories in ccrtain cases, o.n Public Of
ficers. Delivered in the House of Represent
atives of the United States, October, 11
1837. ' '
llie bill being under consideration, Mr.
Mason said,
Agreeing, as I most cordially do, in the
several measures which have so lar been pre
sented by the committee of ways and means,
for the consideration of this House ; it is with'
the utmost reluctance, that I am now brought
to differ with those with whom I have hereto
fore acted.
This difference, however, I am pleased to
consider, is at least but one of mere expe
diency, and in itself contains nothing which
should sever those who are united otherwise
m the preservation and support of those great
and leading principles, which actuate political
parties.
Differences of opinion necessarily pertain
to deliberation?it is against the constitution
of our nature, that it should ho otherwise?
intelligence, reason, and sound judgment are
alike hostile to entire unanimity?nor would
our representative government be any thing
more than a mere formal acquiescence in
the will of some ordained superior; if the
doctrine were allowed to hold, that party dis
cipline exacts an unconsidered sanction to
every measure, which brings a recommenda
tion from the Executive chair.
Such is certainly not the spirit of our in
stitutions ; nor should it be the spirit of any
party, that would act safely and wisely, or
even successfully, in the administration of the
government committed to their charge.
Having thus premised, I will proceed at
once to state my objections to the bill under
consideration.
I hoso who have brought it in, address its
claims to our favor, as a measure simply in?
tended to provide for the safe keeping of tho
public money. It is said that the former de
positories, the Slate Banks, having proved
eiiher inadequate to the duties required, or
unfaithful to the trust reposed in them in thi*
branch of the public service, it is necessary
that government now should take care of its
own interests; and that this will be most
effectually done, by a return to what is called
the legal currency of the country ; and by
constituting ccrtain fiscal officers of tho go
vernment the keepers as well as the dis
burses of the public money.
The machinery is certainly very simple,
and if tho only end to be attained, were, in
truth, the safe keeping of the public money,
however I might dissent from the expectations
of those who have planned its operation, 1
could not see in it those insuperable objec
tions, which impel me now to remonstrate
against it.
1 he evils, sir, which we are expected, to
remedy by some adequate law, lie far deeper
in the public mind than any alleged insecurity
of the public money?Evils for which no
remedy is provided by this bill, but which
will, in m judgment, be fastened upon the
community by its passage?I mean the pre
sent degenerate condition of the currency.
What is now the currency of the country T
I ask not what ought to be, hut what actually
now ia the sole currency ??the only medium
having exchangeable value, by which the
business of the country i* carried on ! It
consist* entirely from one end of the con
federacy to the other, of irredeemable bank
paper?every payment that ia made, every
debt that is collected, every transaction of
every kind, whether largo or small, into which
money enters, is carried on and effected by
paper that haj been issued by the State banks,
and which they no longer redeem with gold
or silver. These metals have passed entirely
out of circulation: they form no longer any
portion of the money of the community ; treat
ing money as that only, which, for the time
bring, servea as the symbol of exchange, of
things having merchantable value.
This condition of the currency is the trtto
and great evil of the times ; it affects the pern
pie in their business, precisely and in ike
same maimer, as it affects the government Ml
the conduct of its affairs; and there can he
no remedy, at all adequate to relievo the go*
vernment from its embarrassments, which
shall not, at the same time, and to the earn*
extent, relievfe the people from their*.
In considering this subject as I propose In
do, it is unnecessary to go at large into Ml
examination of the causes which have ope
rated to bring about this state of tlung*- I
do not kuow that 1 am, nor do I at all porfees
to be, equal to this duty. And yet were I to
attempt it, 1 should certainly differ wry wide
ly from those who trace thoee causes an
farther than to a redundant issue <4 honk
paper. That each issue has been to a great el
tent auxiliary to the present embarrsssiiH-nto,
there can be nodoubi it it has been anxilis
ry only ; and I freely admit, that in my very
humble judgment, a well founded ol'j<*< lion to
our banking system lies in this very thing, that
banks of discount, organized as our American
banks arc, yield the facilities of credit to*
readily and amply to the demands of
without a power of discrimination Iwt'et
such as arise from the extension, or a??ide
al vigor of healthful commerce, sud ??? h *a
have their origin in a wild and i ambling ofirtl
of specul-tion. ^
Commerce requires credit. From the day
that men passed in their dealings hey ood the
first simple stages of barter, credit, iu name
form, eutcred into the affairs of tm'r [*
agency soon csine to be understood, and the
winds arc not more srtiv# in emulating tk*
common air, than credit now is, all over the
world, in circulating through every land, tk*
productions of every soil.
Trade and commerce then becoming
with prosperity, have drawn too lavishly '
the credit offered them through the hanks
if you will have it otherwise exoresaei
expansible character of hank credit has
ed too great temptations to commercial i
prise, and we are now suffering undrr the <
sequences of over action, as well on the pert
of those who used this credit, ss of thoes who
gave it.
In this reasoning, I am Isime ou? ny tn*
message of the President?llesaya: "
our present condition is chiefly to h?- iitjlhi
table to over action in all the departments ss
business ; nn over action deri?ing, p? rhaps.?to
first impulses from antecedent causes, to* mt
mulated to its destructive consequence* kf ex
cessive issues of bank paper, and by other m
cilities for tho acquisition and enlargement sf
credit." , .
I have entered into the subject tliu? tar, swwv
that I may invite you to a more enlarged vt*ur
of the difficulties to be met, than are pi
when our inquiry is confined simply to a
sideration of the safest custody tbat ?e
provide for that portion of the people ?
which is to pass into the public coffers
Mv great objections to the measure* pro
posed in this bill are, that they or* *4a*
commensurate with the exigencies in the
times. They do not meet the resl diflrwky
The bill simply ordains thst the UovernmvsS.
after a limited time, will receive nothing bm
gold and silver in payment of public d??es. one
will entrust its keeping to ?? o*n?i"?
alone. Now. if there were s creative |
our law ; il by this simple enactnnnt the I
paper could be driven out ol t ircnliiH'i. I
whence it came, and the precious nrt*l*
stituted in sufficient quantities to nnl w*
wants of society, aa well as the demands ?d
the revenue, the chief ground of my
tion would be st once removed. I e*a|M
see, from the experience we have ksd, of the
evil tendencies of the banks to ex. e?.iv* ?*
sues, (and such, at present, are my de?toe*
impressions,) that whenever the currency to
placed in a condition to hear the tribute. *?*
true policy of government may be found to he
to exact its dues altogether in coin . and to
withhold iu revenue while resting betweeu ito
collection and ita diaburaemenl, from th? use
of the banks, aa a fund to inert*** their
counts. My reasons for this I will give
after, when treating of the proper |
which the Government may ultimately
toward the State Banks.
The bill is to operate upon the currency as
it note is, for we have not only no^ guarantee
that it will be found in an improved onn**M*
at the end of twelve months (the limited ???w I.
but it is suaceptibh? almost of d miiarli Stis*.
tbst one necesasry consequence fram Ike fm
posed law, will be to continue ihe
ita present debaaed condition
The precious metals, all will
banished from ciremlmhon I hey
country, 1 gr?nt you. snd m
ties, perhaps, to answer their
ty of circulating in tbua# cbsi
reach of l?ank paper, lluttky tol
from hand u> hand as a medtom ?< ?*? ***wf?
Their former exchangeable v?lm h-* to*
converted by the r?*r?# sf fed# ???*
have alluded, to a value esrimm**y msmmmtm
?and thus they have fallen be? k. swd assj
tirely merged in the eemmen ???_??*??
mass of tmrthmnJtst. Spe? i?. whet*?t ??
or in bullion,ia now ?#rf*Wie ?
and tlioae who require it h* a*v
go into the market and buy * st
as thev wouhl do any kiwd m .
whatever. How he.* ihm,te (km^si."*
things to continue ' How long mm mm
ketal.b- value attach, wkmh detoma tks smrn
from its most appropriate f?*>< t*m *?
money
Ami by what prvcees can rt he re
stored to circulation '
The answer to the two Cm imparts* to seey
simple. Specie e ill conuewe to ke *rahw>
dise, so long ss there exists any Irsnsi d flnr *
greater than that w hi* h wmrfd invito, mtmrnm
it in circulstion. It was driven em (Med
iation by the demand (or expert* me. sAs* tk?
business of the country had renknsd the ton,
that our exports were insuffcrieet to pay tm
our imports. The balance wsmst he mt, and
the precious metals were called ant of ??n nia-1
tion to snswer this new demand. Iltokf ????

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