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SAD QX't THE ki
Maririi... I a Power of tbe" .eRiBlattirs to Repeal nit lmw " '"' JJanks. .,: t ... r Speaker: i rise ior tne purpose ! (rinff a amy i wyo iu uiv cuu- lltS -10 lUlllIU IMtollgw lliuuu tu IIIGIU . T 7fi9 in nspnuui lur uuiue -uy mv utmost exertions to obtain the ?"v , ., . Aiu.,k i.:h ! nnt entirely meet with my appro In on account of the indulgence nded to tne Dunning lusiuuwuus ui State, in allowing them twelve ths to commence resumption on an I nidations yet, being tne one (cd upon by the advocates of repeal, -orliillv cive it my support. I urged the people of my county the great L 4th dav of July, 1839, asserted wwer of the legislature to repeal V charters, pledging myself at the V t me to carry out mv views ir l lid be scleeted as their represents ftrr one ot the most exciting can po known m the history ol political rare. I was chosen as the organ to F ' . r- . t I i t laea their views betore this uoay. i ild be recreant to the trust reposed ic, disregard ful of the rights of the iIp, and unworthy to represent a free independent constituency, if I should either through fear, or to prevent jelf from receiving the odious appel fns'of Iladicalist, Loco Foco, Disor der, &c. (which have been profusely icd upon us in this debate,) refuse to my warm support to this bill. A d has arrived in the history of our b when something must be done on subject of banking corporations; s firm rules, fixed and lasting princi- I established for the government of ; corporate grants by the legislature, us say to the banks of this State is far shalt thou go, and no farther ;" i them,"by' the passage of this bill, ion which they will not forget; teach i that, although as a nation; a pco a state, we are "magnanimous and niseratc, yet, when our wrongs are mulated when our -most sacred s are invidedand the State re d to the very verge of ruin and de by their mismanagement we are l, willing and able, to protect our s, and in a constitutional manner ! We have been told, Mr. Speaker, we arc powerless, and have no con ver the banks. Shall the legisla tor a sovereign State be told (by the apt banking institutions which have f feasting their cormorant appetites the pocketa of the people aad ted the fairest prospects of Missis P that they have no control orer ? Whenever, free, sovereign, and jdrous Mississippi shall come to this, Fords of one S ' most talented mien glitters to the name of Jlissis be blotted out from the flag of our ry out leave vie sinm oauna am (have the power to restrain the ps of the banking corporations of State: let us exercise it, but at the time let us do it in a prudent and ous manner. Let it never be said . that, carried away by the fury of lb bv the clamor of a crowd we tost sight of the constitution of our try. Once violate the constitution ir country, and you open aflood , through which the storms of popu lommotion will break and . sweep r in theirfury the most sacred rights e people. For the purpose of effect lank reformation, there is no neces- for violating the constitution of the try. The people of Mississippi onstituents do not demand this; te history of the world; their planta- deserted; their fields laid waste.- jnce; they have not, in the frenzy )eir feelings, taken the law into their f hands, and deprived those of life controlled these corrupt institu . The people of this State have a jed regard for the laws and constitu tor the country: they have placed i wrongs, their grievances, before legislature of the State, and demand something be done, and that speedi o avert the impending catastrophe. I bill, if passed, will have that effect, ihe name then of your country, of people, whose dearest rights have p violated in the name of your own e, bleeding at every pore in the ie of your families, reduced (by bank ndling) to beggary and want in the e of liberty itself, (about to take Us !it from among us,) I invoke you to wis Dill. ; low, for the purpose "of arriving at ae conclusion on this subject, we pur- ;e to examine the leading features of fbill. This bill proposes to deprive i banks of this State of their charters ey fail to redeem their issues in gold silver, under, certain restrictions rein mentionea. The question may be properly asked, has the legisla- of the State the power to repeal ft. charters? During our vassalage to )nt Britain, we had no rights or pov Cnot derived either, from the British wn or by acts of parliament; but the lerican revolution destroyed all con- - ' i-i.ggaanaappw ves, n "WHERE LIBEHTf DWELLS THERE IS MT COUNTRY." EDITOR & PROPRIETOR. WILLIAM E. SMITH, VOI II. KOSCIUSKO; MISS., SATIUDAV, FEBRUAUY CS, 1840. WO. 91. nection of a political nature between us. At the time Great Britain acknowledged our independence, w, the States, had. all the prerogatives and powers of separate, ire and independent sovereignties. The States of the Union agreed to form a general government, for self-protection and other purposes; and to effect this object, met in general convention, and formed the constitution of the United States; thereby surrendering to the ge neral government a portion of their so vereignty, but reserving to themselves the whole mass of undelegated, power. It follows, therefore, that a State is still sovereign, except so far as abridged by the constitution of the Union. From which we draw the following conclu sions: That the general government ex ercises no power not expressly delegat ed; but the States exercise any power not forbidden in the constitution. This State then is sovereign for all other pur- f oses not mentioned in said instrument, f sovereign, the legislature can exercise all the power of the British parliament, except so far as abridged by the consti tution of the Mate orxi the Union. The parliament of Great Britain has the right or power, all will admit, at pleasure, to revoke or dissolve bank charters, or any other corporations. It - follows, then. that the legislature of a State can exer cise the same power," unless forbidden. iow the "opponents of this bill do not contend that the legislature is forbidden the exercise of the repealing power by the State constitution; but they say that the legislature is prevented from exer cising this power under article 1st, sec tion I0th,of the constitution of theUni- ted States, viz: "That no State shall pass a law impairing the obligation ot contracts." Now, for- the purpose of showing that the provisions of this bill do violate the constitution of the United States, it is first necessary to show that bank charters are contracts. What is a contract? According to Sir William Blackstone, (page 442!, book 2.) " A con tract is an agreement for a sufficient consideration, to do or not to do a parti cular thing," from whigh definition there arises three points: 1st, "the agree ment;" 2d, " the consideration;" 3d, the thing " to be done or omitted." An agreement is a mutual bargain, and re quires two parties to contract having ability to contract. Are both parties able to contract? No State under the constitution of the -United States has the power to emit bills of credit. If not, she has no right to authorize another to emit them. The agent cannot exercise powers not lawful for the principal to exercise, i ne question nere property occurs, are bank notes bills of credit? A promise to pay, on demand, or in fu ture, is a bill of credit. ; Bank notes are promises to pay, therefore bank notes are bills ot credit. A oiaie nas no power to issue or authoiise others to emit bills of credit, therefore the State is not of capacity to contract. ' : r 2dly. There'must be a consideration. Now it is a well known fact, that the bank charters of this State were grant ed .without any bonus or consideration being given in lieu thereof. " A consi deration of, some sort is so absolutely necessary to the forming of a contract, that a nudum pactum or agreement to do or pay any thing on one side without compensation on the other is totally void in law." (Blackstone.) It follows then, that on the ground of consideration, bank charter is -no contract. 3dly. The thing to be done or omitted. The banks were to givo the people a sound currency, and to redeem their is sues in gold and silver: this we all know has not been complied with; in short, that the banks have failed to come up to the terms of their charters. It seems then that bank charters have not the first principle of a contract: lst,beo.ause of the inability of one of the parties to contract: 2d, because no consideration has been paid; and lastly, they have not answered the purposes of their creation. A bank charter is nothing more than a political privilege, and no person will contend tnat a legislature has the right to confer such a privilege for a longer period than the time for which they are elected, f " Legislatures are chosen not only for the purpose of giving the peo ple, in their elective characters, the pow er of showing their approbation of those who have acted right by re-electing them, and of rejecting those who have acted wrong, but also for the purpose of correcting wrong (where any wrong has been done) of a former legislature; but the very intention,essence and principle of annual election would be destroyed, if any one legislature, during its autho rity, had the power to place any of fts acts beyond the reach ot subsequent le gislaturesyet this is always attempted to be done in those acts of legislation called bank charters." Ingersoll.) The only difference (say the oppo nents of this bill) of sentiment is rela tive to the power of repeal. The ene mies of this bill say that bank charters can only be revoked by judicial investi gation; the advocates of this bill contend that the legislature can also exercise that power, and that the peculiar situation and alarming condition of this country demand, imperiously, the exercise of this power. It is important that the banks of this State should be divested of their corporate franchises, and ' I am in favor of the most speedy and effectual course: thht course is by legislative enactment. Several of the States of the Union have, under, similar circumstances, exercised this power, among which are Massachu setts and Kentucky; and in the latter State the constitutionality of the act never was questioned beyond the fire sides of the opponents of the repealing act. ' ' ,. , ;' ;. : The gentleman from Vicksburg has referred to a number of . precedents to prove, that the legislature has not the right or power to repeal the bank char ters. His argument was eloquent and powerful, and did jionor to the cause he advocated. , Although I have not the learning, the ability, or the legal re search of the gentleman, yet 1 can refer to a number of precedents to sustain the Eositions which I have assumed of this ill. I will not weary the House by so doing. I, will take loftier, higher ground - -the dictates of reason and common sense. " Precedents," says a distia guished writer, " are never to be relied upon, except to justify evil." Without going quite so far, I can safely say, that precedents are extremely contradictory, and every lawyer familiar with Ameri can decisions knows this to be true. Johnson's reports will furnish decisions upoV almost every question, and 'on both sides of the same question, and it is somewhat the case with ot,her Ameri can reports. If, however, the opponents of this bill prefer to rely upon prece dent, we have also precedent to sustain us; if on the dictates of reason, and the established rules of logic, we are willing to meet them there. But it does seem to me, Mr. Speaker, that gentle men forget that we live under a repub lican government, when they rely so much upon English precedent and au thority. , There is no other government like ours: itdiiTers .widely, greatly, from the iiritisn governmet. uere corpora tions are not considered a royal prero gative there they are. " .therefore, in discussing this subject, we must rely not uponEnglish, but American decisions. The broad principle of equal rights is acknowledged in no other country than our own glorious nation of stripes and stars. 1 heretore, an argument on tins subject, based upon the constitution of .L. ; ' I- L- i:.-J me country, is mucii more tu ue jeneu upon than sophistical arguments sustain ed by English precedent. email a government like ours, without defects, or if it has defectSj they are like the spots in the sun, almost invisible to the human eye, and not worth the trou ble of detection, be told, that " she is to be governed by the precedents" .esta blished in one of the most despotic go vernments in the civilized world, during the dark ages of superstition and igno rance; that singular; period of unreal life, of tilts and tournaments, of splendid pageantry and sanguinary war, when a lady's ' smile was considered the first ' f ' ' ' .1 . r . rjl Enncipie oi uonor ne song oi a irou adore, immortal fame. No, never will a true American wish to see our govern mont come to this. It never will come to this while the blood of our revolu tionary sires flows in our veins; never! until our own glorious union oe ais solved. . ; V;. . ' It seems that some gentlemen consl der the bank question as holy ground, and the 'banks themselves as sacred. Now, I will admit that there is some reason in the grounds they assume; for, like the holy temple of Jerusalem, their inner rooms are, considered sacred, and none are permitted to enter there ex- cept the high priests ot orhce; no, not even those lawtuuy authorized py me governor hunscit. We are told, Mr. opeaiter, m one breath, by the bank advocates, that the country will be ruined and prostrated by thfl course which this bill proposes to pursue. In another breath they tell us, thev themselves are in favor ot pursuing the most effective measures for putting down the banks, but they ditter with us as to the mode of eflectinsr this object They say we must resort to the judi ciary to put down the banks. In put ting the banks down by the legislature, the same effect will be produced as by resorting to the judiciary. " Ob, con sistency, thou art a Jewell" -. . Gentlemen have used the most glow ing and eloquent language in depicting tk measure, the distress, which will be created by depriving the bankof their charters, but tell us at the same time, the banks nave lorieuea meir uubh No, Mr. Speaker, the passage of this bill will not injure the country, but the re verse. What has brought the distress upon the country which we now feel? Why are thousands of our most valua ble citizens expatriating themselves and seeking other homes? Why so many deserted plantations and vacant houses? Why have some of the most flourishing villages in the State been almost depo pulated? -The banks have not yet been deprived of their charters by legislative enactment. Why did they not listen to the cries of the people and relieve their distresses? Why this cold-hearted apa thy if they are the benefactors they have been described to be?. Mr. Speaker, the truth cannot be disguised, the banks themselves have brought the distress upon the country, which we now feel; they are the " plague snots:" thev have by creating an artificial value upon pro perty, encouraged speculation ; they have by their allurements and blandishments, held out inducements to persons out of debt to borrow their notes to buy pro perty at the high rates it has been sell ing at. 1 hat property, has now fallen depreciated in value, and when the bank sues and recovers judgment against the borrowers of their false promises or notes, the judgment sweeps away not only the property thus purchased, but .the poor man's home, his fireside; and she, whom he had sworn not to let the winds of heaven visit too roughly, is left in want, without an v covering except the cano py or the heavens. And with these facts before our eyes, they hold therm selves out as' public benefactors, and look calmly on the distress which they themselves have created, like the mid night incendiary, sitting safely on an eminence and laughing at the Hames which his cursed torch has alighted. Mr. Speaker, we have been told in a loud denunciatory tone, that if we pursued this course, we would not come here again to trample on the rights of the people. I must confess that I have ne ver drank of the Delphic stream; but if 1 had, my prophecies might. perhaps be different from those of the gentleman; I might retort by savingthat those who were here sustaining the banks which had swindled the people out of thous ands of dollars, would be the most likely to be feft at home. JJut-with this I have no concern. If the constituents of these gentlemen are satisfied with their con duct, Ianif that is the tribunal belore which, we, the representatives of the people, are to be arraigned. I am will ing for my acts here to be placed before them, and it 1 have been, an uclaithtul servant, let me be condemned. - But I have the secret consciousness of having discharged my duty as the servant of a people devoted tomeby every tie which can bind man to man. But Jet the gen tleman beware, lest while he is here pro- phecying the fate of other representa tives, and pronouncing against them his anathemas, maranathas, his constituents at home are not pronouncing his mene, mene Hcl. Thou art weighed in the ba lance and found wanting. : Mr. Speaker, I was sorry, very sorry, to hear so much from the opponents of this bill about violating the constitution and breaking down the judiciary. There is no person who has a more sacred re gard for the constitution than I have, or a higher respect for the judiciary. The advocates of the bill do not wish to break , down the constitution of the country. - No, they would enlist as sol diers under its holy banners whenever any enemy should attempt to undermine its foundation, or batter down it's, walls. They" would be the last to make en croachment upon ' that sacred instru ment, sealed with the blood of our fore fathers. They would take their stand upon its proud battlements, and .never surrender it to the enemy but with their lives. V: ;;-.: , .O If the constitution of the country is never assailed until it is done by the ad vocates of this bill it-will last forever and continue to be, as it now is, the su rest guaranty of equal rights. Our own glorious republic under its protection will last forever, and the last parting ravs of the last setting sun of time will form a halo of glory around the breast of the Eagle ol American independence. The advocates of this bill do not wish, as the centteman from De Soto said, to blot out by one fell swoop all the barri ers by which we aro guarded in pjoper ty and life. No, we only wish to add ..... . . . .i . i k.. additional security to tnose uumeis, uy protecting the dearest, the Inost sacred . . . . i f ma rights ot the people irom mvumuu. arenlaced as sentinels upon ' the watch ....... nrk.n.ii.r wa snuff" the alh proaoh of danger in w tainted orrj, it is our'duty to sound the alarm ; The great encroachment of the banks upon the rights of the people and the govern ment is sufficient causa for the sentinels to sound the alarm. Democrats to your .d their corpora..' ftudto. oufh. t. PM'WjXf be takenaway by means oi ine juaroiary. i mo "; people. Recollect that you have the ma jority and whatever is done you will bear the responsibility. The gentleman irom hmos saia " ne saw no necessity of resorting to measures no where to be found in our constitution and deeply de gtading and tarnishing to our honor at a nation." If to protect the dearest, the most sacred rights of the people from bank swindling and , its concomitant evils, is degrading, then I am willing for us to be disgraced if to defend the pur principles of Jefferson and Washington in resisting the encroachments of monied corporations if the defence of the peo ple from bank robbers more to be dread ed than any who ever infested the Alps or Pyrenees is a tarnish on our honor as a nation, let it be tarnished. I for one am willing to risk the consequences. Mississippi has a soil surpassing in fertil ity every other on the face of the globe. Iter natural resources are great. She only needs wise legislation to resuscitate her. Protection from banks and bank swindling is all that is necessary. Do this and she will soon cast off her mour ning garments and deck herself anew prosperity and happiness will again beam upon the land our dilapidated houses will pe rebuilt plantations now in ruins will become the abode of the industrious planter, and flourishing fields of corn and cotton will be seen wliere now desola tion reigns. The beautiful fast sail ing steamers will again proudly plough their way along our majestic streams, carrying off the beautiful cotton staple of our State, and in return bringing to our doors the production of every cli mate on the face of the globe. Let Mis sissippi take the stand which it is ex pected she will take by depriving the banks, by legislative enactment,'of their corporative privileges, and she will as sume the highest, the proudest station among her sister States. The influence of her example will bo felt from one end ot the Union to the other, and teach the monied corporations of this country that there is a tribunal before which they may be arraigned. Let Mississippi, and every : other State in the Union pass resolutions declaring the power of the legislatures to repeal bank charters, and we, as a nation, have nothing to fear; but we will progress with gigantic strides in our high career of honor and distinction, and an impe tus will thus be given to the tide of emi gration which is now rolling rapidly westward, and the period will soon ar rive, when the star-spangled banner will wave in" triumph, from the Atlantic to i.--t--zc- ' : :i i.i:- great in arts, renowned in arms, and ri- ii! r l i 1 ' . a I. . A I vailing, II nut iruusuuuumy, uie xvugua- tan aa-es of France and England. Saint Louis. The salutary effects of an uninterrupted democratic govern ment in restraining the growth of an ex otic, overtrading spirit, is happily seen in the 'present flourishing condition of Saint Louis. "The business community of this city suffers but indirectly the pa ralysing embarrassments occasioned by the state of giddiness into which the os cillations of the banks have thrown the entire credit system and paper circula tion of the Union. The wavy conduct of the democratic legislature has conti nually thwarted the attempts to establish here the corporate machines by which the federalists make money plenty, and which in their hands, serve the double purpose of, bolstering up fictitious busi- raae nrii! oKiAyriiniv ttri.lmi. on Anmufl. lent, the real wealth which the . laborer creates., This has compelled the mer chants of St. Louis to have their opera tions on the resources accumulated by a steady honest business, confined within the certain bounds of safety hence the high character for. solvency; which St.! Louis .has maintained throughout the past three years, and still sustains. At the commencement of the hard times, the branch bank closed its concerns; and immediately on. its heels the Com mercial agency wound up its affairs and retired from the State. These two drew in near $4,000,000 which this commu nity has honorably discharged In the place of these the only substitute has been the Bank of Missouri, whose debt against the community is about $2,000, 000. This steady promptitude in meet ing their liabilities speaks for itself. But few failures have occurred, and in spite of the threats of a few croakers, all show bilities outstanding against tnem. ou not but go aneau, ana assume uer pui tion at the head of the cities of the west. Ti nosition and business she is before them. The increase in her population is unparalleled, and with this grow apace her trade, leal capital, and resources. Tallahassee Star ot Col. Fitzpatnck ar- V FtoaroA. The tfiA nth nit. savs:- rivftd on Tuesday, at St. Marks, from Cuba, with thirty-three blood-hounds, and six Spaniards, their trainers and ; irnr. If these hounds are cut into wmrvirp. wa hiv more confidence in thev speedy close of the Seminole Var than ever before." '"'- . ' ' . The Quincv (Fa.) Sentinel of the lOtn ' ult. states, that Gov. Keed and family arrived at Tallahassee on the 4th, escort ed by a company of U. S. Dragoons. H m received with military honors and cordially welcomed by many ofihf citizens of that place. '