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The People's press, and anti-masonic Democrat. [volume] (Middlebury, Vt.) 1836-1838, September 12, 1837, Image 1

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A1) AiTTOIAS'0iTIC" DSHOCRAT.
.1. P. WHEELER, Pdblisher.
PRINCIPLES
PREFEKj
, TO STOILS.
EPHRAIM MAXHAM, Editor.
VOETJME II.
MIDDLEBURY, SEPTSfBER 12, 1837;
NUMBEB, 18.
TERMS.
To mail and village subscribers, 2,00 per on-
nutn, li paidawithin tlie year &!&0 payable at
ter the close of the volume.
A liberal deduction madc to Companies.
No paper discontinued till all arrearages are
paid, unless at the option of the publisher.
tCg Advertisements conspicuously inserted
on reasonable terms ; and continued till forbid,
unless accompanied by direclions.
THE PEOPLE'S PRESS.
Middlebury Fhidav, Septembek 8, 1837.
ESSAOE
From the President of the Uniled Slalcs to the two
Houses of Congress, al the commencement of the
'firsl tessian of the 25M Congress.
FslwJw-citizexs of Tnn Senate,
And IIouse of IIepi:esentatives:
Tho act of tlio 23d of June 1830, regulating
the dcpositcs of the public money, and direct
ing thc emplovment of state, district and tcrri-
torial banks for that purpose, madc it .the duty
of the Sccrctary of thc Troasury to discontin-
uc the u&e of such ol-them as sliould at any
time rcfuse to rcdeem thcir notes in specic, and
to substitutc o;licr banks, provided a sufiicient
n'.imbcr could bc obtained !o rcceive the public
dcpositcs iipon thc tcrms and conditions thcrein
prcscnbed. 1 !:e gencral anu almostsimultan
n I . t
cous suspcnsion 01 specic paymcnts uy uie
banks in May last, rcaJcred the performanco
of tlns dutj- lraperativc, :n rcspect to those,
which had bcen selected undcr the act, and
made it at the same timc impracticable to em
ploy tlie rcquisite numbcr of others, upon the
prcscribed conditions. Thc spccific rcgula
tions ostablishcd by Congrcss for thc deposite
and safo kceping of the public monies, havinc
thus unexpectedly bccomo inopcrative, I fclt it
to bc my duty to afibrd you an carly opportuni
ly for the cxercise of yoursupcrvisory powers
ovcr the subjcct.
I was also led to apprehend that thc suspen
sion of specic paymcnts, increasing the embar
rassments beforc cxisting in thc pccuniary af
fairs of the country, would so far diminish the
pu'olic revenue, that tlu accruing rcceipts into
t!in treasnry, would not, with thc rescrved fivc
millions, bc sufiicient to defray the unavoidable
cxpcnscs of tho governmtnt, unttl thc usual pc
riod for the mceting of Congress; whilst the au
tiiority to call upon the states for a portion of
t!:o sums deposited with them, wastoo restrict-i
td to cnable the department to realize a sufii-
.!., -.,
hcnsions havc bccn justificd by subscqucnt re
sults, which rcndcr it certain that this deficicn
cv will occur, if additional mcans bc not provid
ed by Congrcss.
Thc diliicultics c.tpericnccd by the mercan
uh. minrost. in meetin!i thcir enagements, in-
duced them to apply to me, prcvious to the ac
tnnl siisncnsion ofsnccie paymcnts, forindulg-
ence upon thcir bonds for duties ; and ail the
,-..i;,.f nuthorlzed bv law whs promptly and
chccrfully grantcd. Thc dcpendenco of tho
trcaury upon the avails of these bonds, to en
,.uh it tn makc thc denosites with the states rc
.,;.! bv law. led mc in the outset to limit this
tho first of Septcmbcr, but it has
f.":ncc bcn extended tothe first of Octobcr, that
rht hn submittcd to your furthcr
n.if.!inns were also cxDCcled to ariso in thc
reccss, in rcspect to thc Octobcr instalmcnt of
-i- ,irtnncitoa. rontiirnirr thc lniernosiiion u
UIUJU ujiuoiiwu, - '1 o
thcr act nassed about the
timc and intcndcd to insuro a faithful
rnnliniirn. with thc oblisation of the Unitcd
SintRs. to satisfv all demands upon them in spc
cic or its cquivalent, prohibited thc oflor of any
bank note not cnnvcrtiblc on thc spot into gold
orsilvcr, at the will of the holder; and thc abili
tv of thc covernmcnt, with millions on depos
itc, to mectits cngagcments in the mannerthus
rcquircd by law, was rcndered doubtful by the
cvcnt rcterrcu to.
Sensiblc that adcquatc provisions for thcse
unexpcctcd exigencies could only bc madc by
Concrcss; couvinccd that'some of them would
bc indispensably necessary to the public ser-
vicc bcfore tho regular pcriod ot your meeting;
nnd desirous aiso io cuame you io cxcrcise, aii
the earliest momcnt, your full constitutional
powers for the relief of the country, 1 could not
nrnnrlntv avoid subiectinrr vou to thc in -
convcnicncc at as carly a day as the state of,
the popular representation would permit. I
am sure that I havc done but justice to your j
feelinssin bcli'jving that this lnconvenience
will be cheerfully cncountered, in the hope of
rcndering your meeting conducive to the good
ofthe country.
Duriu the carly stagcs of the revulsion thro'
which we have just passed, much acrimonious
discussion arose, and great diversitv of opinion
existed, as to its real cause. This was not
surpnsin0, ; me operiiuuus m ntuu un. m
versified,and the infiucnces which affect them
so numerous, and oftcn so subtle, that even im
partial and well informed pcrsons are seldom
lound to agree in rcspect to them. To inhe
rent difficulties we also added other tendencies
which were by no means favorable to the dis
covery of the truth. It was hardly to be cx
pected that those who disapproved tho policy
ofthe government in relation to the currency,
would, in the excited state of public feeling
produccd by the occasion, fail to attributo to
that policy any cxtcnsive embarrassment in the
monetaryaffairs ofthe country. The matter
thus became connected with the passions and
conflicts of party; opinions were more or less
affected bypolitical considerations, and diuer
ences were prolonged which "migh1 otherwise
have been determined by an appeal to facts, by
the exercise of reason, or by mutual conces-
o .
sion. It is, howevcr, a cheerful rcflection, that
circumstances of this nature cannot prevent a
community so mtelhgcnt as ours from ulti
mately arriving atfcorrcct conclusions: encour-
agea Dy the nrm beliet ot this truth, 1 proceed
to state my views, so far as may be necessary
to a clear understandmg ot the remedies 1 fecl
it my duty to proposc, and of thc rcasons by
which I have been induced to recommend
them.
The history of trade in the Unitcd States for
thd lastthree or four years, afFords the most
convincing cvidence that our present condition
is cnteny to De aitnoutea to over-action m all
the departments of businpss; an over-action de
riving, perhaps, its first impulse from antece
deat causes, but stimulated to its destructivo.
conseauences bv ernpstjfvn Jsnfc rr Tmntr m.
per, and cther facilitiesfoiho acquisition 'and"
cniargemcnt ot credit. At the commencement
of thc year 1834, thebankingcapitalofthe U.
States, including that of the national bank'then
cxisting, amounted to about two hundrcd mill
ions of dollars: tho bank notes then in circula-
tion to about ninety-five millions; and thc loans
and discounts of thc banks to threo hundred
anu iwenty lour millions. Uctween that time
and the fiist of January, 1S30, bcing the last
pcriod to which accuratc accounts have been
rcccived, our banking capital has incrcased to
more ihan two hunured and hfty-cno millions ;
our paper circulation to more than one hun
dred and forty millions, and the loans and dis
counts to more than four hundred and fifty-scv-en
millions. To ihis vast incrcase arc to be
added the many millions of credit, acquired by
nieans of forcign loans, contracted by the
states and state institutions, and abovc all. bv
the lavish accommodations extended by for
cign dealers to our merchants.
Ihe consequences of tlns redundancv of
credit, and of the spirit of reckless speculation
engendered by it, wcrca forcign dcbt contract
ed byour citizens, estimatcd in Marcli last at
more than thirtv millions of dollars : thc cxten-
sion to traders in the interior of our country of
credits tor supplies grcatly beyond ihe wnnts of
tho people; the investment of thirty-nine and a
half millions of dollars in unproductive public
lands, in the years 1835.and 3G, whilst in "thc
preceding year the sales amounted to only four
and a half millions: the crcation of debts to an
almostcountless amount, for real estate in cx
isting or anticipated cities and villagea equally
unproductive, and at prices now seen to have
been greatly disproportionate to their real val
ue; the expenditure of immense sums in im-
provemcnis which in many cases have bcan
oii to othcr pursuits of much of the labor that
hould havc been applied to agriculture, there-
y contributing to the expenditure of large
sums in the importation of grain from Europe
an expenditure which, amounting in 1834 to
about two hundred and htty thousand dollars,
was in the first two quarters of the present year
mcreased to more than two millions ol dollars ;
and finally, without enumerating other mjun-
ous results, the rapia growth among all classes,
and cspccially in our grcat commercial towns,
ofluxunous habits, iounded too olten on mcrc
lv fancied wcalth, and detrimental alikc to the
industry, the resourccs, and the morals of our
pcople.
It was so lmpossiblc that such a state ol
thtngs could long contmue, that the prospcct
of revulsion was present to thc minds of con
sideratc men beforc it actually came. None,
howevcr, had corrcctly anticipated ltsscventy.
A concurrcnce of circumstances madequate of
themselves to producc such wide spread and
calamitous snibarrassmcnts tcndcd so greatly
to aggravate them, that they cannot bc over
looked in considering their history. Among
llicse may be mentioncd, as most important, thc
grcat loss of capital sustained bv our commer
cial cmporium in the firo of Dccember 1835
a lo'ss the efibcts of which were undcrrated at
thc time, because postponed for a season by
thc great facilities of credit then existing ; the
disturbing crTects in our commercial ci:ies, of
thc transfcrs of the public moneys rcquircd by
the deposit law of June, 1836: and tho mcas-
J ures adopted by thc forcign creditors of our
: mercliants to rcducc their debts, and to with-
draw from the United States a large portion of
jcur specie.
nowevcr unwuung anv ot our citizens may
; heretofore have been to assign to these causes
the chief instrumentality in producing the pres
' ent state of thins?s. the devplnnnmnnts snhsr
quently made, and the actual condition of other
commercial countries, must, as it seems to me,
dispel all rcmaining doubts upon the subjcct.
, It has since appearcd that cvils similar to thoso
sutlered by ourselves, have been experienced in
Great Britain, on thc continent, and indced ! also proved unable to prevent an undue expan
throughout the commercial world ; and that in 1 sion of credit, and the evils that flow from it.
other countries, as well as in our own, they Nor can I find. any tcnable ground for the re
have been uniformly preceded by an undue en- j establishment of a national bank, in the de
largement of the boundaries of trade, prompt-1 rangement alleged at present to exist in the
ed, as with us, by unprecedented expansions ol
the systcms ot creuit. A reterence to the u
mount of banking capital, and the issues of pa
per credits put in circulation in Great Britain,
by banks and in other ways, during the years
1834, 5 and G, will show an augmentation of
the paper currency there, as much dispropor
tioned to the real wants of trado as in the U.
States.
With this redundancy of tho paper currency
there was also a spirit ofadventurous specula
tion, einbracing the whole range of human en
terprise. Aid was profuscly given to projected
improvements; large investments were made in
foreign stocks and loans; credits for goods were
granted with unbounded liberality, to mer
chants in foreign countries ; and all tho means
of acquiring and employing credit were put in
active operation, aud extended in their effects
to every department of business, and to every
quarter of the globe. The reaction was pro-
porlioned in its violence to thft sxtraordinary
character of the evcnt which prpceded it. The
commercial community of Great Uritain wcre
subjcctcd to the greatest difficuties, and their
debtors in this country were nct suddenly de
prived of accustorned andexpecJfd credits, but
called upon for payments, whicllh11- thc actual
posture ofthings hcre,,could onlyfl-o madc thro'
a gencral pressure, and at the ir.ci- Tuinous sac
rifices. j
In view of these facts, it wouKusecm impos
sible for sincere inquirersaftertri to resist the
conviction, that thc causes of prf revulsion in
both countries have been substa ficlly the samo.
Two nations the most commercai in the world,
enjoying but recently the highe-st dcgree of
apparent nrosperity, and mainliia? wiih each
other the closest relatioss. Uy-iddenly, in
time of prcfound peaoe, and '.itfJ'y sreat
national disaster, arrcsted in their can!Cr an(l
plunged into a state of embarrassment l'ln d's
tress. In bolh countries we have wltnessed
the same redundancy of paper money, a'd
cr facilities of credit ; the same spirit osPccu
lition ; the same partial successes ; thSksamo
difficulties and rcverses, and, at !enrth "early
the same overwhelminir catastronhp. The
most material difierence between the ress m
thc two countries has only been, that wlr us
there has also occurred an extRnsivo Anse-
mcnt in the fiscal afTairs of the FfdnrJ and
State Govcrnments, occasioned by the
sion of specie payments by the banks.
1 he history of these causes and efi
Great Bntain and the United States, is
tially the history of the revulsion in
commercial countries.
1 lie present and visible ellects of thBLe cir'
cumstances on the onerations-efrtnn (vcrn-
ment, andon the industry of IhS'peopll P0Hlt
out the obiccts which call for vour imt3diate
attcntion.
They are to regulatc by law the statff kcep
ing, transfer, and disbursemcnt, of thol01115"0
moneys ; to desicnate the funds to bc releiveil
and paid by the Governmcnt ; -io ciiabfc tno
Treasury to meet promptly every demand uSpIJ
it : to prescribe tho terms of indul''enceJ ad
the mode of scttlemcnt to be adop'cd, as ,.vic'l 'n
collecting from individuals therevcnuethM has
accrued, as in withdrawing it from forfccr de
positories, and to devise and adopt such ijurther
measures, within thc constitutionul comp-tency
of Congress, as will be best calculated to)rcvivc
the cnterprise and to promote the prosp"1' f
thc countrv. I
For the deposite, transfer, and disburfe"ent
of the revenue, National ar.rju
havc.l
always, wun temporary jna )ini ycep.:ons,
been heretotore employed ; but, altliough ad
vocates of each system are still to bc found, it
is apparent that the events of the last few
months have greatly augmented thc desire,
long existing among the pcople of the United
States, to scparate the fiscal operations of tho
Governmant from those of individuals or cor
porations. Agam to create a national bank, as a hscal
agent, would be to disregard the popular will,
twicc solcmnly and unequivocally expressed.
On no question ot domesiic pohcy is there
stronger cvidence that thc sentiments of a large
majority are deliberately tixcd, and 1 cannot
concur with thosc who think they sec, in recent
cverits, aproof that these sentiments arc, or a
rcason that they should be, changed.
Evcnts, similar in their ongin and charac
ter, havc heretofore frcquently orcurred, with
out producing any such changrj and the Ies
sons of experience must bc forgatten, if we
supposc that the present overthrow of credit
would have been prevented by the existence of
a national bank. Proneness to excessive is
sues has evcr been the vice of the banking sys
tem : a vice as promincnt in National as in
State institutions. This propensity is as sub
servicnt to thc advancement of private interests
in thc one as in the othcr : and those who di-
rect them both, being principally guided by the
same views, and inlluenced by the same mo-
tives, will be equally ready to stimulate extra-
vagance of enterprise by improvidencc of
credit. How strikingly is this conclusion sus
tained by experience.
The Bank of thc United States, with the
vast powcr conferred on it by Congrcss, did not
or could not prevent former and similar embar
rassmcnts ; nor has the stilLjyi'itpr ctreugth
it has been said to poEsess, under its present
charter, enabled it, in the existing emergency,
to check other institutions, or even to save it-
1 self. In Great Britain, where,h has been seen,
! thc same causes have been atlcnded with the
j same eiTects. a national bank, rossessing pow-
ers far greater than are asked for by the warm-
est advocates of such an institution here, has
i domestic exchanges of the country, or in the
facilities it may be capablc of affording them
Aitnough aavantages ol this sort were antici
pated when the first Bank of the United States
was createdj they were regarded as incidental
accommodation ; not one which the Federal
Government was bound, or coiid' be called up
on, to furnish.
The accommodation is now, ndeed. aftnr ihr
lapse of not many years, domafded from it as
among its first duties ; and an omission to aid
and regulate commercial cxchange, is treated
asa ground of loud and serious complaint.
Such results only serve to cxemplify tho con
stant desire, among some of our citizens, to
enlarge the powers ofthe Government, and ex
tend its control to subjects with which it should
not ihterfere. They can ne ver justify the crea
tionofan institution to nromote such nKWto
On the contrary, they justly excite amonir the
community a more diligent inquiry into the
character of thosc operations of trade towards
which it is dcsired to extend suclpeculiar fa
vors. Thc various transactions which bear the
name of domestic exchangcs, difler cssentially
in thcir nafure, operation, and utility. One
class of them consists of bills ofcxchangc, drawn
for the purpose of transfcrring actual capital
from one part of ihe country to another, or to
anticipate tho proceeds of property actually
transmitted. Bills of this description are high
ly useful in the movements of trade, and well
dcscrve all the encouragcment v:hich can right
fully be givcn to them. Another class is madc
up. of bills of exchangc, not drawn to transfer
actual capital, nor on the credit of property
transmitted, but to crcatc fictitious capital,
partaking at oncto of the ohnrncterof notes.dis-J
countcd in bank, ana of bank notes m circula
tion, and swelling tho mass of paper credits to
a vast extent in the most objectionable manner.
These bills have formed, for the last few years,
a large proportion of what are termed the do
mestic cxchanges of the country, scrving as the
means of usurious profit, and constituting the
most unsafe and prccarious paper in circula
tion. This spccies of trafiic, instead of being
upheld, ought to be discountenanced by the
Government and the pcople.
In transfcrring its funds from place to placc,
the Government is on the same footing with Ihe
private citizen, and may rcsort to the same lc
gal means. It may do so through the medium
of bills drawn by itsclf, or purchascd from oth.
crs ; and in thcse operations it may, in a man
ner undoubtcdly constitutional and legitimate,
facilitate and assist cxchanges of individuals,
found on real transactions of trade. Thc ex
tent to which this may bc done, and the best
means of efiecting it, are entitled to the fullest
consideration. This has been bestowed by the
Sccrctary of the Treasury, and his vicws vill
bc submitted to you in his rcport.
But it was not dcsigned by the Constitution
that tho Government sliould assumc the man
agcment of domestic or foreign exchangc. It
is indccd authorizcd to regulatc by law the
commerce behveen the States, and to providc a
gencral standard of value, or medium of ex
changc, in gold and silvcr ; but it is not its
provinco to aid induiduals in thc transfer of
their funds, othcrwise than through the facilities
afForded;by the Post OfiiceDepartment. As
justly might it be called on to providc for the
transportation of thcir merchandise. Thcse
are operations of trade. They ought be con-
ductcd by thosQ,who are interested in them, in
thsne manner that tho incidental difGculties
bt othcr pursuits ata oiicouiUcrea by other clas
ses ot citizens. ouch aid has not been deemed
necessary in other countries.
Throughout Europe, the domestic as well as
the foreign exchangcs are carricd on by private
houses, often, if not gcncrally, without the as
sistance of banks. Yct they extend throughout
distinct sovereignties, and far exceed in amount
the real exchangcs ofthe United States. There
is no reason why our own may not bc conduct
cd in the same manner, with equal cheapnejs
and safety. Ccrtainly this might be accom-
plished, if it were favored by those most deeply
interested ; and few can doubt that their own
intcrest. as well as the genefiil welfarc of the
countrv, would bc promoteWy leavinc such a
subjcct in the hands of tnose to whom it pro
pcrly belongd. A system founded on private
interest, enterprise, and "competition, without
the aid of legislative grants or regulations by
law, would rapidly prosper ; it would be free
from the influcnce of political agitation, and
extend the same cxemption to trade itsclf ; and
it would put an cnd to those complaints of neg
lect, partiulity, injustice, and oppression, which
arc the unavoidable results ot mterlercnce by
the Goiernment, in the proper concerns of in
dividuals. All former attempts on thc part of
the Government to carry its legislation in this
rcspect, further than was dcsigned by the Con
stitution, have in the cnd provcd injurious, and
have served only to convincc the great body of
the people, more and more, of the certain dan
gers of blending private interests with thc
operations of public business ; and there is no
reason to suppose that a repctiiion of them now
would be more succcssful.
It cannot be conccaled that there cxists, in
our community, opinions ana leelmgs, on this
subject in direct opposition to each other. A
large portion of them combining great intelii
gencc, activity, and influcnce, arc no doubt
sincere in their belief that tho operations of
trade ought to be assisted by such a connection;
they rcgard a national bank as necessary for
this purpose, and they are disinchned to every
mcasure that docs not tend, sooner or later, to
the cstablish.nent of such an institution. On
the other hand, a majority ofthe people are be-
hevcd to bc lrreconcilably opposed to that
measure ; they consider such a concentration
of powcr dangerous to their libenies ; and
many of them regard it as a violation-of the
Constitution. This collision of opinion has,
doubtless, caused much of the embarrassment
to which the commircial transactions of the
country have lately been cxposed. Banking
has bccornc a political topic of the highcst m
terest, and trade has suffercd in the conflictof
parties. A specdy tcrmination of this state of
thmgs howevcr desirablc, is scarcely to bc ex-
pected
We havc seea fiir nearly half a century, that
those who advOcate a national bank, by whatever
! n?tiv? they may be.infiuencedconsttut?1a Por"
tion of our community too numerous to allow us
to hope for an early abandonmeni of their favorite
plan. On the othcr hand, they must indeed form
an erroneous estimate of the intelligenee and tem
per of the Americsn people. who supposc that
they have continued on slight and ineficient
grounds, their perstvering opposition to such an
institution : or that thev can be induced bv pe-
cuniary pressure. or by any other combination of
circumsiances, io surrcnaer pnncipies mey nuvu
so long and so lntlexibly maintameu
My own views of the subject are unchanged.
They have been repeatedly audjunreservedly an
nounced. to my fellow-citizens, who with full
knowledge cf t;.cm, conferred upon me the two
highest offices of tlie government. On the last of
these occasions, I felt it due to the people to
anprise them disiinctly that in the event of my
euction. I would not be able to co-bperaie in the
re-establishment of a national ba'nk. To these
sentiments I have now-only to add the expression
of an increased conviction, that the re-establishment
of a national bank, iu any form, whiht it
would not accomplish the beneficial purpose
promised- by its advocates, would impair the
rightful supremacy of the popular will ; injure
the character and diminish the influence of our
politicals'ystem ; and bring once more into ex
istence a concemrated monied power, hostile to
the spirit, andlhreatening thc permanency of our
republican iastitutions..
Lcvl banks haye been cmplcjed for the de
posit and distribution ofthe rerenue, ai all times
paitially, and cn ihree dhTereDt occasions exclu
sively ; first anterior to the establishment ofthe
first b.mk ofthe United States; and secondly, in
thc interval between the termination of that iiisti
tuticn and tlie charter of its successor; and thirdly
dunng the limitcd period which has now so ab
ruptly closed. The connexion tlius repeatedly
attempted, proved unsatisfactory on each succes
sive occasion, notwithstanding tlie various meas
which were adopted to facilitate or insure its suc
cess. On the last occasion, in the year 1S33, the
employment of the State banks was guarded es
pecially in every way which experience and
cjution could sugest. Personal sccurity was
required for the safe kecping and prompt payment
ofthe moneys to bc received, and full returns of
their condition were from time to time, to bemade
by the dcpositories. In the fiist stages the
measure was eminently successful, notwith
standing the violent npposition of the bank of
thc United States, and the unceasing efforts made
to overthrow it.
The selected banks performed with fidelitv.
and without any embarrassment to themselves'or
to the community, their ecgagements to the Gov
ernment, and the system promised to be perma
nehtlv useful. But when it became necessary,
under the act of June 1S36, to withdraw from
them thc public money, for the purpose of placing
it in additional instituiionSj or of transferrmg it
to the states mey iounu u .in many cases, incon
venient to comnlv with the demands ofthe treas
ury, and numerous and prcssingapplications were
made forindulgenceor relief. As theinstalments
under the deposite law became payable, their own
embarrassments, and the necessity under which
thev lav of curtailin? their discounts and callinrr
in their debts, idcreased the general distress, and
contributed with othcr causes, to hasten the revul-
in which, at length, they, in common with the
the othcr banks, were fatally involved.
Under these circumstances, it bccomes our sol
emn duty tQ inquire whether there are not, in
any connection nerwern- xnc governmenij aaa:
baaks ofissue, cvils of great roagnitude, inherent
ia its very nature. And against which, no prc
cautions can efiectually guard.
Unforescen in the organization of the gpvern
ment, and forced on the treasury by early hccesi
tie3, the practiccof employing banks, was in truth
from the beginning, more a measure ofemergency
than of sound policy. When we started into ex
istence as a nation, in addition to the burdens of
fic new government, we assumed all the large
but honorable load of debt wliich was tlie price of
our hberty ; but we hesitatcd to weigh down the
infant industry of ihe country by resorting to
adequate taxation for the necessary ievenue. The
facilities of banks, in return for the privileges they
acquired, were pro'mptfy cflered, and perhaps too
readily received, by an cmbarrassed treasurjr.
During the long continuance of the national
debt, and the intervening difficulties of a forcign
w.ir. the connection was continued from motives
ofcotiveniencc ; hut these catues have long since
nassed away. We have J30 cmergeaiS.
make banks necessary to oid the wants of the
Treasury ; we have no load ol national debt to
providefor,and we haveon actual deposite a large
surplus. No public interest, therefore, rcquires
the renewal ofthe connection that circumstances
have dissolved. The complete organizhtion of
our Government, the abundance of our resource3
ihe general harmony between the difierent states
and with foreign powers, all cnable us now to
select the system most consistent with the con
stitution,and most conducive to the public welfare.
Should wethen,conneci tne treasury ioraiourm
time with the loc.il ba' ks, it can be only unuer a
conviction that past failures have arisen from
accidcntal, and not inhcrcnl defects.
A danjrer, difiieult if not impossible, to be
avoided in such an arrangement, is madc sirik-
mgly evident m tne very event by which it has
now been defeated. A sudden act ofthe banks
intrusted with the funds of the people, depnves
the treasuiy without fault or agency of the
goveinuient, of the ability lo pay it creditors
in the currency they have by law a light to de
mand. This circumstance, no fluctuation of
commerce could have produced, if the public rev
enue had been collected in the legal currency,
md kept in that form by the ofhcers of the treas
urv. The citizen whose money was in bank
receives it back since thesuspension.atasacrifice
in its amount ; whilst he who kepMt in the legal
currrency and in his own possession, pursues,
without loss, thc current of liis business. The
government placed in the situation ofthe former,
is iavolved in embarrassments it could not have
suflered had it pursued the coursc of the latter.
These embarassments are, moreover, augmented
by those salutary and just laws which forbid it to-
use a depre.ciated currency, anu, oy so aoing, iaK0
from the Government the ability which individ
uals have of accommodating their transactions to
such a catastrophe.
A system wl irh can, ir. a time of prniuund
peace, when there is a large revenue laiilhy, thus
suddenly prevent tl e applicatiun and ihe use of
tlie money of the people in the ina'nnecand for the
objects ihey have directed. caniipt be. wise; bui
who can think withoui p'ainfnl rrflection, that
under it. the bame unfoieseen evetits might .havp,
befallen U3 n tlie midst of a war, and takcn from
us, at the mom'ent when jimsl wanted, the use, qf,
ihose very means which wcre ireasured j up ,tp
proxote the national welfare nniTguanl unr na
tional rights? To such embarr?ssmenU k. to sucli
danger will ihis government be always exposed
whilst it takes ihe moneys raised for and necessary
to the public service, out of the hands of its own
ofRcers and converts tliem into a mcre right of
action against corporation3 entrusted wiih thc
possession of them. Nor can such resuhs be
efTectually guarded against insuch a suMfin. with
out iuves'ting thc cxeculire witli a c nlrol over
f
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