View PDF

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

£^*^*revNtxon

'i-'^

tJ^e^ieftdrtt^o^Y^&^^-t. ex<ic.H-\\vjr«^

^'^^^
\

PROCEEDINGB
OF A

CONVENTION
OF

Delegates from the ditizens of

m'Mm'^mAmA^
Opposed to Executive Usurpation and Abuse,

WHICH ASSEMBLED AT HARRISBURG,
May

27, 1834.

HARRISBURG
PHIXTED BT HENRT
1834.

K,

:

8TR0W0-

t %%^
v\^

PROCEEDINGS.
of Delegates from the Citizens of
Pennsylvania, opposed to Executive usurpation and
abuse, assembled in the court-house in Harrisburg,
on Tuesday, May 27, 1834.
The convention was temporarily organised by calling Henry Frick of Northumberland, to the chair,
and appointing Neville B. Craig of Allegheny and
George Harrison of Bucks, Secretaries.
The following Delegates appeared and answered

The Convention

to their

names:
Adams.

Jacob CassaU,

James Wilson, James McSheriy,
James Renshaw.

Thadeus

Stevens, R. G. Harper,

Alleghetiy.

Thomas Bakewell, Joseph PaUerson, George
Williams,

Neville B. Craig,

Darsie, Thos.

Samuel Church.

Bedford.

George Denig, James M. Russell, Alexander King, John
A. M'Co), Daniel Washabaugh.
BerJcs,

Peter Addams, John Beitenman, John Kauchcr, John Heiner

=

Beaver.
William B. Clark.
Smith Cunningham,

Bradford.

James

P. Bull, Isaac

Myer.
BucJcs.

Joseph Hough, James Worth, Joshua Barker, Wm. Green,
Samuel Carey, Mathias Morris, George Harrison, Anthony Tayor, James Kelly, C. N. Taylor.
Butler.

Robert Cunningham, Alfred Gilmore.
Chester.

C

William Darlington, John D. Steele,
A. Buckley, Charles
Brooke, John H. Bradley, Joseph Whitakgr, JMordecai Lee,

Samuel Irwin, M. Stanley, Benjamin

Griffith.

Columbia.
Cicorge A. Frick, L. G. Bancroft, Joseph Paxtoii, Williara G,
Hurley.
Centre 4' Clearfield.
John Foster, Wilharn Houston, James Irwin. John Blanchard,
Jas. Potter, S.

M'Cormick.

Craivford.
John B. Wallace, Henry C. Bosler, John Dick.

Cumhcrland.

John Reed, Samuel M'Keehan, G. W. VVoodburn, Gabriel
James H. Devor.

Hcistcr, Jacob Ritncr,

Dauphin.
Henry K. Strong, David Krause, John Cameron, George Fisher, Henry ShuLart, Martin Kendig, VVm. H. Doll, Benjamin
Jordan, Richard T. Leech, Joseph Moody James Simonlon, J.
Porter.

Dclaicarc.

Thomas Smith, Wm. Eyre,

jr.

Erie.

Thomas H,

Sill,

George A.

Elliot,

John Vincent.

Fraiiklin.

Thos. G. M'Culloh, Thos. Chambers, John F. Denny, Andrew
Thomson, Frederick Boyer, John M'Farland.
Huntingdon.
John Stewart, J. M. Bell, J. Geo. Miles, D. McMurlrie,
John Williamson, Henry L. M'Connell.

Jr.

Juniata.
Ale.x. Patterson,

James Mathers.
Indiana.

James Taylor.
Lancaster.

George Louis Mayer, Wm. Wright, Samuel Grosh, Joseph
Konigmacher, James Porter, John F. Long, James Hopkins, Samuel O. Jacobs, Edward Parker, Jacob Kirk, Gabriel Davis, Jacob
Huber, Thomas G. Henderson, Benj. Mellinger.
Luzerne.

Sharp D. Lewis, Charles Dorrancc,
ning O. Chahoon,

Hezekiah Parsons,

Au-

Lycoming, Potter Sf MKean.
A. Davidson, John J*. Schuyler, Wm. Wilson, Rob. C. Hall
Lehigh.

Matthew

Sellridgc, S. Balliot.

Mercer.
S. C. Tail,

Robert M'Cormick.

iMifflln.

Richard Miles,

Wm.

Palton,

Wm. Cummins, John J. M'Coy.

l\[o7itgovicri/.

Richard B. Jones, Thomas M. Jolly, John Freedley, George
Richards, George VV. R,oberls, Joseph Ilunsicker,

Northampton, Pike

Wayne.
James W. Chapman, John

4"

George Weber, Peier S. JMichler,
jr. Evan Rees, J. Jenkins Ross.

Jordon,

Northumberland.

Henry Frick, John B. Boyd, Andrew M'Reynolds, John Vincent, James Pollock, William A. Lloyd.
Fhiladelphia City.
John Sergeant, Joseph R. Ingersoll, John M. Scott, John S.
Riddle, Joseph M'llvaine, Josiah Randall, J. Price Wetherill,
James Crissy, Frederick Fraley, Elihu Chauncey, Charles W.
Churchman, Edward Olmsted, Alexander Ferguson, J. Scholetield, James Hutchinson, Nathan Sargent, W. M. Meredith.
Philadelphia County.
Bernard M'Creedy, William Wagner, Nath'l C. Foster, Geo.
P. Little, William Fitler, Thomas Rotch, William Wister, George
K. Budd, David Woelpper, Bela Badger, Andrew Young, John
Lentz, Henry C, Corbit, John Britton, Alexunder Quinton, Michael Day, J. Simon Cohen, Richard Coe.

Perry.
John Rice, A. C. Harding, R. R. Guthrie, P. Ritner.
Schuylkill,

Christopher Loeser, Geo. N. Eckert, Michael Graeff,

Andrew

Russell.

Susquehanna.

Henry Drinker, William Jessup.
Union.

Cameron, Ner Middleswarlh, George
Harris, Robert P. Maclay.
Weirick, William L.

Simon

ShafTer, William

Venango

6f

Warren,

William Raymond, Andrew Bowman.

Washington.
Joseph Lawrence, John H. Ewing.
York.
Calvin Mason, AdamGlosbrenner, Frederick Eichelberger,
MTlvainc, Philip Smyser, Charles Bishop, Robert Nebinger,
Diven, A. J. Glossbrenner.

The

following committee was then chosen

to noii.inate the officers

Wm.
Wm.
of the

Convention.

Nathaniel C. Forster, Jos. ^Jcllvaine, John S. Riddle,

David

,

6
Geo. Louis Mayer, Thomas

Woelj)i)er,

Smitli,

John D. Sled,

Uichard 13. Jones, Josejih Hough, P. S. Michler, Christopher
Leoser, Peter Addams, Geo. Fisher, Calvin Mason, Jacob Cassat, Samuel McKeehaii, James Potter, Ilezekiah Parsons, Asher
Davidson, Henry Drinker, Geo. Dcnig, James Taylor, John H.
Ewing, Joseph Patterson, Robert Cunningham, Wra .B. Clark,

Geo. A.

Elliott.

Adjourned

to 3. o'clock, P.

M.
Tuesday,

The Convention met

at three o'clock

May

27, 1834.

according to adjournment.

Mr. Fisher, from the committee for that purpose, reported
following officers, which were unanimously elected.

the

President^

JOSEPH LAWRENCE

of Washington county.

Vice Presidents^

Neu MiDDLESAVAKTii

of Union;
HexNry Feick, Northumberland
John Vincent, Erie
James M'Siierry, Adams
Geokge fLvRKisoN, Bucks
Fred'k Eichelberger, York
Neville B. Chaig, Allegheny

;

;

;

;

;

Samuel M'Keehan, Cumberland
J. M. Russell, Bedford
Samuel Grosii, Lancaster
Peter Addams, Berks
David Woelpper, Philadelphia.

;

;

;

;

Secretaries.
John WilUamson of Huntingdon;
Par id Krause, Dauphin
;

Thomas M.

Montgomery
William Jessup, Susquehanna
Jolly,

;

;

Edward
ISainucl

Olmsted, Philadelphia
C. Tail, Mercer.

;

On motion of Mr. Morris of Bucks, the following resolution wat
agreed to
;

lieaolved,

That tlie liules of the House of Reprcseritalives of
government of this Convention.

aJoi)ted for tlie

tliis

State

be

On

motion of Mr,

Reed of Cumberland,

il

was

Resolved, That a committepof seven persons be appoinfeJ to prepare an AdT he chair appointed the following' Comdrees to the People of Pennsylvania.
viz: John Reed, Joseph Mcllvainc, Henry I,. M'Connell, T. G. M'Cuimittee,

John K. Ewing and Mathias Morris.
committee of eight be appointed to prepare resolutions exReaolved, That a
1 he chair
pressive of the sense of this Convention in relation to public afiairs.

Thomas H.

loh,

Sill,

appointed the following, viz John Sergeant, Thadeus Stevens, James P. Bull,
M'llvaine, James Taylor, George Weber, and John F.
James Hopkins,
:

Wm.

Denny.
Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed to prepare a Memorial to
Congress for redress of grievances. The chair appointed the following viz:
Joseph Patterson, William Darlington, Joseph R. Ingersoll, John B. Wallace,
James Wilson, A. C. Harding, and Alexander King.

Mr.

J.

Sergeant submilted the following resolution

:

United States to reResolved,^ That the refusal of the
ceive Committees of our fellow citizens, who respectfully waited upon him
from various quarters, to'offer to him information upon the effect of his measures, and to request that his policy might be changed, so as to relieve the counPresident of the

try from the severe distress he had brought upon it, was as contrary to true wisdom, as it was to the regard that is due to the rights of the citizens, and equally betrays a weak mind and a despotic temper, already surrendered to the dominion of flatterers, and unable to bear the plain language of Republican simplicity

and

it

truth.'

The resolution was ably advocated by Mr. Sergeant, after which
was on motion of Mr. Reed of Cumberland, referred to the com-

mittee of Resolutions.

Adjourned

to

meet

at 9 o'clock

to-morrow.

May

28.

A. M.
Mr. Ingersoll, from the commilee for that purpose, reported a
memorial to Congress which was read, and on motion was ordered
to be printed and a copy furnished to each member.
The names of members were then called, after which the Con^
Convention met

at 9 a'clock

vention adjourned.
3 o'clock P. M. Convention met and on motion adjourned to
meet at 10 o'clock, A. M. to-morrow.

May

29.

Convention met at 10 o'clock A. M.
Mr. Sergeant from the committee on resolutions reported the
following:
it is the duty and the right of the citizens freely,' to express
upon the conduct of those entrusted with power, and in times of
distress and suffering and danger, brought on by the acts of any department of
the government, it is their right and their duty, by all constitutional means, to
endeavor to correct the abuses that exist, and to prevent the mischiefs that are
threatened ; and for that purpose to unite their efforts, so that when the day of
appealing to the ballot box shall come, the appeal may not be made in vain.

Resolved, That

their opinions,

'

8
Resolved, Tliat the numbers, zoal and harmony of the members ol' this Conand the patriotic Pi)irit which has peivaded its dehberations and its acts,
have afforded us the most sincere satisfaction ; and together with the fact, that
so many of those who compose it, were but recen'.ly of the party which supports the Executive, furnish the most convincing evidence that a change has taken place in Pennsylvania that the love of country and attachment to the
Constitution has prevailed over party attachment and devotion to a man; and
that at the next elections, this patriotic State will be found on the side of the
Constitution and the laws, associated with her sisters, Virginia and New York,
and with them contributing to the success of the great cause of constitutional
freedom.
Resolved, That in the next elections for Congress and the Legislature, it be
deemed an indispensable qualification of candidates, that they arc heartily opposed to Executive usurpation, truly attached to the representative system as established by the Constitution, and ready to support the rightful authority of
both Houses of Congress, against the encroachments, menaces and assaults of
the Executive.
Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to our fellow citizens, throughout the commonwealth, along with zeal and energy in the great and good cause,
to cultivate a spirit of conciliation and mutual respect; and that it be further
earnestly recommended to them, to distinguish with their high approbation and
confidence, every member of Congress or of the Legislature, by whatever
name he may have been chosen, who in his station has faithfully resisted Executive usurpation and abuse, and firmly maintained the rights of the peopled
Resolved, That it be also earnestly recommended to our fellow citizens in
their respective districts and counties, to adopt all such measures as may be calculated to ensure success
establish committees of correspondence, and
to
to maintain a communication with each other, for mutual encouragement, information and support, throughout the Stated
Resolved, That in removing from office William J. Duane, Esq. late Secretary of the Treasury, because in the exercise of a power committed to him by
law, he would not violate his judgment and his conscience, and thereby conform
his conduct to the will of the President; in appointing another to succeed him,
for no other reason but because he would conform to his will ; and in assuming
the responsibihty of doing himself, what was entrusted by law to the discretion
of the Secretary of the Treasury alone, the President was guilty of an usurpation and abuse of power, and a violation of the Constitution and the laws.
Resolved, That in taking these steps a few weeks before the meeting of a
new Congress, recently elected by the people, ard clothed with the authority of
the people, so that he might thereby be enabled to interpose his veto power, and
frustrate the intentions of the representatives of the people, unless two thirds of
both houses should concur he was guilty of a violent encroachment upon the
rights of the people, as they were intended to be secured by the Constitution.
Resolved, That in assigning as a reason for this encroachment, that a majority in Congress might be, and probably would be, bribed or corrupted, he was
guilty of an unwarrantable assault upon the character of the representatives
of the people, an unjust and fatal disparagement of the representative system,
and a destructive outrage upon the whole scheme of our government ; amounting in fact, to an assertion, that there was no virtue but in the government of a
single man, or what is properly denominated an absolute despotism.
Resolved, That by these means, he has unlawfully seized upon, and still holds
in his own custody and power, the whole treasure of the U. States, having thus
removed it from the place where it was deposited by law, and w'iere it was declared
by Congress, and known i'y the people, to be secure, and where, too, it was subject to the power of the leprescntativcsof the people, into places of his own selection, of whose sufficiency there is no evidence, and where it is as much beyond the proper control of Congress as the treasury of tho General Post Office,
vention,

;

—

—

anJ may,

t'orauglit

we know,

be equally nli^5manaQ;e(1, wasted, or liestoweii, for

corrupt purposes, upon favorites and partisans.
Resolved, That the refusal of tlie Secretary of tlie Treasury to restore the
public monies to the place of their lawful depositc, after one House of Congress
has declared the reasons for removal to be insufficient, is contrary to the plain
spirit and meaning of an Act of Congress, is a manifest disregard of law, aiul
justly awakens a suspicion that the public monies have been squandered or lost,
and therefore cannot be restored a suspicion strongly supported by the notorious
fact, that secret and contingent drafts were drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury, to the amount of millions, not for any service of the Government, but for
the service of selected Banks (in one of which he was himself a. stockholder)
and to supply their wants, and which suspicion cannot and ought not to
slumber, until the people's money is again publicly counted down in the sight of
Congress and the people, at the place where they declared it to be secure.
Resolved, That in withholding from the Senate for now almost six months of
tlieir session, the nomination of the Secretary of the Treasury, who was the infitrnment of his unlawful will, so that the Senate might have no opportunity of
acting upon his appointment, the President has been guilty of a gross disregard
of the constitutional rights of that body, a violation of the true meaning of the
Constitution, and a dangerous indulgence of an arbitrary spirit wLLch respects
neither law nor right, and has no deference whatever for theco-ordiaatc branche"of the Government.
Resolved, That in these acts of the Executive Government of the United
States, which have disordered the currency, destroyed confidence, and produced
universal and increasing distrust and distress, are to be found the plain and adequate cause of that unhappy change, by which a nation prosperous, and happy,
and blessed by a gracious Providence with the means of continued prosperity
happiness, has been plunged into embarrassment and suffering, for no discernablc
reason, but because such is the will of a single man, who ought to be their servant, but acts as if he v^'as their master.
Resolved, That the acts of usurpation and abuse, already noticed, bad as
they are in themselves, are far transcended by the alarming and unconstitutional
doctrines deliberately put forth by the President in the paper styled a Protest, in
which there is a declared assumption of Executive power, in direct opposition to
the theory of our Government, and the literal provisions of the Constitution.
Resolved, That ours is a Government of the people, and that all public officers
are mere organs of the people, responsible to them, and to the laws which they
enact, and not to the President, who is himself an agent, and not a ruler.
Resolved, That the claim of the President, which denies to Congress the
power to place the people's money in the hands of officers whose appointment
would not devolve upon him, is adverse to the 2d section of the 2d article of the
Constitution, which provides that Congressman vest the appointmentof certain
Officers in other hands than the President's.
Resolved, That the 8th section of the 1st article of the Constitution renders
all the officers and departments of the Government subordinate to the people by
their representatives in Congress, thereby denying the povvjer claimed by the
President in his Protest, which would render him superior to all the Departments
of the Government, and to the people themselves.
Resolved, That if these assumptions, thus boldly put forth by the President,
under the influence of evil passions, and evil counsellors, should be unhappily
sanctioned by the people, an entire and radical revolution will have been affected
in the form of our government, the whole of if a powers being thereby deposited
in the hands of the President alone.
Resolved, That such a sanction of the poweris claimed by the President will
lead directly to the destruction of our liberties and the establishment of a despo-

—

&

tism.

B

10
Resolved, That we cannot sufficiently express our gratitude to the majority
the Senate of the United States for the patriotic energy and unsurpassed
talents with which they have maintained the cause of the Constitution, and
withstood the assaults upon their Constitutional rights and privileges, and especially for the noble firmness with which they exposed the usurpation and abuse
of power committed by the Executive in seizing upon the public purse
hurled
back the disrespectful and unconstitutional attack upon their character and privileges in the unprecedented paper called a protest, without suffering it to remain
to defile their proceedings; rejected the Executive commentary upon that unwarranted paper, without attempting to solve the perplexing question, whether
it was an explanation, or whether it was a retraction, which has so much puzzled the supporters of Executive pretensions; and for the dignified rebuke
conveyed in their answer to the insulting message which accompanied the
re-nomination of the so styled Government Directors of the Bank of the United States, as well as for the second and more decided rejection of the nominaation thus attempted to be forced upon them, in contemptuous violation of their
in

;

clearest rights.

Resolved, That our gratitude is also due to the majority in the Senate of the
United States, for giving a ready ear and the most prompt attention to the memorials of our fellow citizens, and to those entrusted with their conveyance and
care, listening to their complaints, discussing their reasons, and doing what they
could to redress the grievances complained of, & this too, when the doors of the
Executive mansion were peremptorily closed against the delegates of the memomorialists, and those delegates sternly refused admission to the presence of the
President, to lay before him the representations of the people suffering under
his rash, ill advised and unconstitutional interference with the currency, and, if
possible, by means of correct information, te turn him from the destructive policy
he was pursuing.
Resolved, That one of the principal means employed to accumulate power
in the hands of the Executive, whereby he has been emboldened 'thus to seize
upon the public purse, tamper with the currency, to introduce disorder and distress mto all the operations of business, to msult and menace the Senate, and to attempt to assume to himself all the powers of government,is to be found in the possession of the appointing power, so exercised that the whole body of officers,high
and low, throughout the U. States, should be made to feel their depenc'ence upon
him, and upon him alone, and all who sought for office, to look to him alone, and
that both should be instructed, that their tenure and their hopes were to be maintained only by active subserviency to his will, as paramount to every other consideration, even that of duty, and the public welfare, and thus a body be estaWished,
entirely devoted to his purposes, whatever they might be.
Resolved, That the only corrective of this abuse of the appointing power of
the President, is to be found in the full use of the Constitutional control of the
Senate over appointments, and that in our opinion, under the extraordinary circumstances in which we are placed, this control ought to be exerted and apphed
to the whole extent of its Constitutional limits
and particularly to every case
where an appointment is made of a member of Congress, which may be suspected to be, or even have the appearance of being,the reward of conforming his representative conduct to the will of the Executive rather than to the will and interests of his constituents, or may have the effect of rescuing him from accountability to his constituents; and that in such exertion of their Constitutional control,
by some signal example to chech a growing and alarming abuse, dangerous to
our liberties, and destructive of the principle of Representative Government, the
Senate wnll he supported and upheld by the people, and be acting according to
;

the true spirrtof the Constitution.

Resolved,^\\&i the Senate
it

is

now the refuge of Constitutional freedom, where

must be preserved and protected

extending

to

it

their

own

until the people shall have the opportunity of
protection by the ballot box, (as the recent elections in

11
Virginia and New York and the demonstrations in Pennsylvania, assure us that
they will do,) and while we view with admiration the constancy and ability
which have so strikingly distinguished the conduct of the majority of that body,
we earnestly conjure them to continue to watch and to resist the efforts of unjust
power, in every shape it may assume, and to advise and approve of nothing which
may have a tendency to advance its schemes or consolidate its strength. ^
Resolved, That we appreciate, with heartfelt gratitude, the patriotic firmness
of the minority in the House of Representatives of the United States, and the
distinguished ability with which, under every discouragement, they have exerted
all their powers to maintain the Constitution and the true policy of the country;
they have been voted down by determined majorities, and sometimes cut otf from
discussion by the previous question, but the light they shed upon the great topics
of debate, has spread through the Union, and is now rapidly making its way to
the minds of their countrymen, whence it will return to the Representative
Chamber, and finally triumph over the blindness of party attachment.
Resolved, That with the expression of our gratitude to the patriotic minority
in the House of Representatives, we would encourage them to persevere, assured,
that whatever may be the strength of the majority in the House, the great majority of the nation is already with them, and tJiat is a majority that will make
itself heard.

Resolved, That instead of retrenchment, economy and reform, there has been
an extravagant and unaccountable increase of expenditure, until the sum expended by the government has amounted to no less a sum than twenty-two
millions of dollars within the last year, independently of what was applied to
the payment of the pubhc debt— at the same time offices have been multiplied to increase the number of Executive favorites, and the money of the people
has been lavishly bestowed in salaries and rewards and extra allowances.
Resolved^ That the refusal of the President to receive committees of our
fellow citizens, who respectfully waited upon him from various parts of the United States, to offer to him information upon the effect of his measures, and to
request that his policy might be changed, so as to relieve the Country from the
severe distress he had brought upon it, was as contrary to true wisdom, as it was
to the regard that is due to the rights of the citizens, and equally betrays a weak
mind and a despotic temper, already surrendered to the dominion of flatterers,
and unable to bear the plain language of repubUcan simplicity and truth.

Which resolutions, except the third, were unanimously adoptThe third resolution was adopted, Mr. Bull of Bradford,

ed.

Mr. Drinker of Susquehanna, and Mr. Frick of Northumberland,
alone voting against its passage, giving as their reason that they
it inexpedient, but slating also that they had no objection

deemed

to the principles

it

contains.

Mr. Reed from the committee

address to the
People of Pennsylvania, reported the following, which was read
by Mr. J. M'llvaine, and unanimously adopted.
to

prepare an

ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA.
A CONVENTION of delegates from the several counties
of Pennsylvania, representing those of their fellow-citizens who
disapprove the recent measures of the National Executive, and
who attribute to those measures the excitement, alarm and pe"'iniaiv distress, now pervading the country, have assembled and

12
dolibcraleu upon the inlciesling questions submitted to tlieir conFrom the commencement of" their session to Us close,
the idea has been constantly present to their minds, that the occasion and the objects wliich called them together, areof unspeakable iin[)ortaiice to the freedom and happiness of their common
They believe, that at no former crisis, since the Whigs
country.
of the Revolution uttered their defiance of arbitrary power, and
staked life and fortune and sacred honor upon the issue, has the
call been so peremptory upon all those who love their country,
whatever may be the modihcaiion of their republican creed, or
whatever their party name, to rise up in defence of the first principles of the government, and, by united force and hearty co-opesideratioii.

ration, to restore the constitution
acy over the rulers of the land.

and the law to their just suprem-

sentiments with each other, the
more intense and deep-seated has this feeling become. Under its
guidance we have adopted a series of resolutions, to which we
respectfully invite the candid attention of the citizens of Pennsyl* To its paramount invania, and of the whole American people.

The more we have compared

fluence we attribute the uninterrupted harmony which has marked
the proceedings of a Convention, belonging to no party in the
politics of the state, but composed of individuals from almost
every party, who, without yielding their own distinctive opinions,
are yet prompt at the call of common danger, and ready to contend at the ballot box, side by side, for the injured principles of
the consti'.ution, and for their common rights as citizens of a free
republic. *' To extend this feeling more widely through the state,
and to produce a corresponding harmony of action upon the great

now

is the sole object of this brief
successful, the struggle for power beIf our efforts be
Address.
tween the people on the one hand, and their elected servant on
and a lesson will be taught,
ihe other, can no longer be doubtful
so useful to the cause of rational freedom, as to entitle this generation to the gratitude of all succeeding ages.
Have the Convention overrated the importance of the present

national questions

at

issue,

:

crisis?

Is

it

not true that our community

is

at

—

this

moment ex-

that the permacited and alarmed beyond all former example
nency of the Union, and the stability of republican institutions,
have become subjects of fear and reasonable doubt, and that for
such doubts and fears, abundant cause is furnished by the ruinous

Let the people judge for themcareer of the national executive ?
selves, by reference to facts, with which all are familiar, and
which no one will deny. Let them examine the doctrines asserted by the President in reference to his own powers, and say whether he docs not claim the whole sovereignty of the nation and
disregard all the checks which the constitution has provided
Let them observe among the fearful
against arbitrary authority.
ofneng of the times, how these doctrines arc propagated by every

13
means which an extended influence over

the public press, and an
unlimited command of the public treasure, have placed within his
reach
how principles inconsistent with all rational liberty are
openly proclaimed by his blinded and corrupt adherents, in the
name of freedom, and under the guise of democracy. Lci tliem
mark how the power of the national government has been brought
to bear upon the independence of the state sovereignties
and

—

;

referring to their

own commonwealth

cent and impressive, account

and

for

an example, at once rethe vacillations of its executive
for

under the attractive influence existing at Washington.
Let tliem study the history and investigate the accounts
of the general post-office, and they cannot fail to perceive that
the good of the people and the latvof the land have been contemptuously set aside by this administration that a department
created for general covenience, has become a mere engine of party
operations, its revenues squandered among hungry partisans, arid
its value as a vehicle of sound information utterly destroyed.
Let
them number, if they can, the armies of office holders and office
seekers who swarm through the country, and whose only rule of
action and opinion is the command of their chief and let them
observe, how the number and compensation of officers has been
increased, and these officers arrayed like a standing army, at ail
our elections, with the approbation of him who, while the oath of
office was yet warm upon his lips, declared, that to reduce the expenses of government, and prevent the interference of public officers with the freedom of elections, should be cordial objects of
his administration.
Let them remember that a large portion of
the house of representatives, mfluenced by the fear of punishi
ment or the hope of reward, and surrendering their freedom of
thought and action, have tamely passed under the yoke of the
executive
and that, but for the patriotic stand which the Senate
has made in the citadel of the constitution, this famed republic,
the beacon light by which all other nations have steered in pursuit
of freedom, would now be a monarchy in every thing but name.
That the pretensions of President Jackson, if admitted by the
Senate and the People, as they have already been by tlie House
of Representatives, would render this government a monarchy
and not a republic, is evident from the paper which he presented
to the Senate as an exposition of the authority claimed by the
President.
In that singular document, he adopts as a basis the
powers exercised by the king of Great Britain, when the royal
prerogative was most widely extended
and, so far from recognizing the principle of our constitution, that all powers not granted
by that instrument are to be regarded as withholden, he claims
every attribute of sovereignty not expressly prohibited by the letter of the constitution.
Let this claim be admitted, and it will
be useless for Congress to enact laws, or for the judiciary to deThe president will understand
cide upon their coublruciion.
its

legislature,

—

;

;

;

14
them

as

his plans

lie

pleases

:

he

will set

them aside

— and, when some excuse

if

they interfere with

for the disregard of his official

required by an insulted people, those immaculate advisers,
the throne, will find it in his zeal for the maintenance of public morality, by precept at least, if not by example.
The monarchial feelings of Gen. Jackson will be found to govLike the weak kings,
ern his practice in its most minute details.
of whom history furnishes too many examples, we find him surrounded by a few interested favorites, who, by flattering his vanity,
and stimulating his passions, maintain exclusive possession of the
Thro' the barriers thus created, the language of truth
royal ear.
cannot pass, nor can his constitutional advisers expect to enter, unless upon condition of entire subserviency. Nay, the very delegates
of the people of the United States, instructed to bear to the president a statement of their grievances, have either been refused admission into the palace of thei<" Cscsar, or, when admitted, have
been denied the opportunity of making known their views.
Surely the facts to which we have thus briefly adverted, and
which our limits forbid us to present in detail, would afford a sufficient and satisfactory explanation of all the alarm which exists in
Instead of being surprised at the universal agitation
the country.
mind, while tyranny and corruption thus walk naked
of the public
in the light of day, we should wonder rather at the patience and
And yet their causes of
forbearance of the American people.
complaint go far beyond a mere mal-admiaistration of the general
government. For the first time in the history of this country, the
power of the executive ha3 been so exerted as to interfere with
The
the business and ruin the prospects of private individuals.
currency has been deranged, produce depreciated, labor deprived
of its wonted employment, commerce and manufactures paralyzed
and this not by the regular legislation of the representatives of
the people, but by the act of one man, who, in his rage for conNot satquest, has set himself above the people and the law.
isfied with warfare upon co ordinate departments of the government, he has commenced hostilities against the credit and currency
of the country, by the sudden and unwarranted removal of the
To this outpublic deposits from the Bank of the United States.
rage upon rights secured by lavv--to the spirit in which it originated and the manner of its execution, and more especially to the
total insecurity in which it has left the public treasure, and the
schemes for flooding the country with worthless paper which
sprung up simultaneously with the removal of the deposits, are to
be attributed the unexampled pressure which all classes feel in
By this act of the President, a wound
their pecuniary affairs.
was given to public confidence, which years will probably be insufIn a country like ours, where capital is small, and
ficient to heal.
enterprise unlimited, industry must be crippled whenever credit is
shaken. The credit of our country, has not only been tshaken, but

oath

is

who surround

—

15
almost destroyed by the conduct of the administration; and the consequences are what the most ordinary understanding might easily
have foreseen, that a people who one year ago were prosperous in
a pre-eminent degree, are now plunged in distress, with tlie nloomy
prospect of almost universal insolvency.
As this cause concurs,
with a probable necessity of windmg up the affairs of the national
bank, by which forty millions of dollars must be withdrawn from

employment in the business of individuals, il'fully explains
the embarrassments of which the people have complained in

active
all

memorials

their

to

can perceive

llieir

we

first

If

look

Congress,

and of which no human foresight

termination.
at the

effects of

tliis

measure upon

tlie

com-

merce, industry and happiness of the country, and llien refer to
the reasons by which the president professes to be governed, we
shall be struck with surprise at the total insignificance of the
one in comparison with the other. And we cannot but wonder at
the reckless audacity which could hazard so many interests, and
destroy so much property, in order to accomplish so little of public or
private good. It is true, he puts in the foreground his extreme tenderi
ness for the morals of the people, and mourns over the lUeged corluptions of the bank, as striking at the foundations of civil liberty.
But why limit the operation of these feelings to the single example
of the Bank of the United States? Why not restrain iiis own im-

mediate

of his bosom, and the constant asso-

officers, the friends

ciates of his councils, from influencing elections by bribery

and
and from the wanton expenditure of public money, in order
to secure the succession to a candidate of their own.
Why such
long sufi'ering with the abuses, and corruption, and total insolvency of the post office department; and why his patronage of men
and presses, whose daily practice sets truth and morality equally at
defiance ? The answei- is obvious from the facts of the case. His
new-born zeal for public morals and civil liberty is a single edged
sword, harmless to his friends, and formidable only to those whom
he considers his enemies
and the probability is that if the
Bank of the United States had accepted his offer to become an
ally in his war against the constitution and the people, the President would have discovered far stronger reasons for prolonging
its existence, than he has been able to give for its condemnation
and destruction.
In the preparation of this address, many topics have occurred
to us, which might profitably be discussed, as calculated to throw
light upon the condition of the government, and the prospects of
the country: but anxious to be brief, we have contented ourselves
wjlh a reference to such prominent facts as may show the danger
of our position, and the absolute neces!?ity of some vigorous effort
on the part of the people. The question next arises, what shall
the People of Pennsylvania do to restore the integrity of the
constitution, and regain the lost happiness and repose of the comforce,

;

•

—

16
Let them dpnounce the ruinous policy of the present
administration, by their votes at the next elections tor Congress
Let them take their stand, once more, on
and the Legislature.
justice, liberty and reason; and supported, as they
the side of
will certainly be, by Virginia and New York, they will present a
force which no possible combination among the partisans of the
To piepare fur that election
oppressor can successfully oppose.
and to bring about an effective co-operation cm the part of all who
disapprove the acts of Executive usurpation, has been the great
Thus far we have succeeded beyond
object of this Convention.
and we part with the assurance that the
our most sanguine hopes,
jood work of conciliation here auspiciously begun, must go on and
We enproduce a rich harvest of good to our beloved country.
tertain no doubt, upon the evidence which surrounds us, that a
large majority of the people of Pennsylvania agree with us in
opinion upon the great national questions to which we have referred, and we believe that when our adversaries shall find all efforts
to divide and distract us unavailing, they will retire from a contest
which holds out to them no prospect but defeat.
munity

?

following proceedings were presented by the chair, which
were ordered to be inserted in the minutes of the Convention.

The

Westmoreland county, opposed

to the usurheld at the house of Abraham Horbach in
pations of the national Executive,
the 22d day of May, A. D. 1834,
the borough of Greensburgh, on Thursday,
appointed
Nichols, Esq. was called to the chair, and Col. James B. Oliver

At a meeting of the

citizens of

James

Secretary.

On

adopted:
motion, the following resolution was unanimously

Esquiros, of the
Resolved That William H. King and James Nichols,
'Oreensburg— Jesse Leppincot and Christopher Painter ot MountBorough of
John Snodgrass of New
pleasant William 'f. Niccolls of Pleasant Unity,
Mendal of Ligonier,be a Committee to represent the
Alexandria and Col. Noah
at Harnsburg on the 27th
views ofthis meeting to the Convention to convene
correspondence for llie counCommittee of
instant, and that they be a standing
ty of

Westmoreland.

At EST,

T.

J}.

^
JAMES NICHOLS,

OLIVER,

The Convention

.

Chairman.

Secretanj.

then adjourned, to meet at 3 o'clock.

^i

P

M

-

IT

The Convention mot

o'clock P.

at 3

M.

Mr. Ingersoll, from Ilie commiltee to prepare a Memorial to
Conoressrveported the following, wliicii was unanimously adopted:.

MEMORIAL TO CONGRESS.
A

of Pennsylvania assembled at
Uie seat of their Stale government, ask leave respectfully to offer
iheir Memorial to the Senate and Houise of Representatives of the
United States. In assembling together and adopting the present
measure, they are ol)eying the instructions and [uttering the voice
of their suffering fellow citizens of every section of this wide spread
commonwealth. Out of twenty-six Congressional districts, twenThe fulness of the rely-five are represented in the convention.
judged of by the numbers of your memopresentation may be

numerous body of the

citizens

occupations and their homes at a moment when, in consequence of the distress which pervades every
part of the State, a departure from either is attended with peculiar
They have yielded however
inconvenience and embarrassment.
to the commands of their friends and neighbours without regret
for any personal sacrifices, and they have met together to confer
upon the grievances which are endured, and to devise if possible
Your honorable bodies are not
he means of alleviating them.
now to learn the distressed condition of any portion of the country.
It is long since we have seen recorded in your journals the
receipt of petitions from more than a hundred thousand citizens,
all uniting in one mournful but unquestionable story of suspended wages, lost credit, increasing wants and diminished means to
supply them— which have left their deep and perhaps indelible
impression in every portion of a heretofore prosperous and smi.
ling land.
These communications springing, as they have done
from various quarters, and dictated by no concert or co-operation
except that which flows spontaneously from a common state of calamity, your memorialists have now the painful opportunity fully to
confirm.
They have brought together the disastrous tidings which
been collected in each distinct section of the commonv/ealth.
have
They have opened to each other freely their swelling hearts, and
they have sought in vain for one mitigating circumstance in possession or in prospect, for one exaggerated representation or distorted fact in the numerous exhibitions of deep felt suffering which
have been made to Congress, and they have found only aggravarialists,

who have

left their

•

tion in the conviction that the suffering has

been altogether unne-

cessary and unmerited.
As Pennsylvanians, your memorialists contemplate with anguish
the neglect or destruction of unlimited resources, which are now

C

—

18
worse than thrown away. The cherished policy of the state, consisting of an encouragement of her manufactures, has become im,
practicable and delusive
for there is no longer a market for the
sale of them, or a reasonable probability of being paid for them if
they could be sold.
The consequence is, that numerous establishments of that description are actually closed, and others remain in partial operation with crippled strength, performing but
a fraction of their accustomed labor
and struggling even in that
feeble and imperfect condition, not in ihe belief that any return
of profit can be realized, but clinging to the possibly delusive
hope that infatuation itself must one day or other be brought to
perceive and to abandon the error of its ways.
Your memorialists do not mean to dwell for a moment upon the
loss sustained by the proprietors, severe and afflicting as it is
unjustly and tyrannically as it has been decreed.
They are able
in many instances to stand up against the shock beyond the reach
of utter ruin, and they are awaiting in such cases with becoming
fortitude the return of better times.
Pennsylvania happily rests
upon resources which the rudest storm cannot in a moment sweep
away.
But your memorialists anxiously desire to communicate
to your honorable bodies some portion of the feeling with which
they are animated for a large class of laboring poor, whose daily
bread depends upon the constancy of their employments and the
certainty of their reward.
In the city of Pittsburg and its immediate vicinity, two-thirds of a population of thirty thousand in-

—

;

The suspension
habitants owe their livelihood to manufactures.
of the forge and the loom, which has now occurred, debars a
large portion of this vast mass of human activity and strength
from occupation and consequently from support and many of
them must be cast out to starv'e, unless a Providence juster and
;

more benignant than

their rulers, protects

them

in their day of

need.
staples of the commonwealth are without a market. Many
of its once flourishing mines are in a great degree abandonIron and cotton
ed, and their miners are generally dispersed.
are no longer manufactured to the extent of more than iwo-thirds

The

of their former produce. Lumber, if it sells at all, sells at greatFour out of five of the furnaces of an exly diminished prices.
tensive glass house at Kensington, are extinguished, and the fifth
is kept in blast chiefly that the numerous apprentices may continue to enjoy the means of instruction and beneficial exercise.
If flour retams its price, it is owing to the additional calamity of
its scarcity, in consequence of which the supply has been redu'
ced in proportion to the demand. Turn where we will, your me*
morialists perceive one universal sense of present or impending
ruin depressing the energies and darkening the prospects of the
citizen.

—
19
scarcely necessary at this time, to trace these deeply seatUnder a solemn
ed and wide-spread mischiefs to their source.
sense however of the responsibility which we owe to our constituents, and to your honorable bodies, we do not hesitate to confirm the imputation which has been so often communicated to
Until a series of measures, on the part of the execu.
Congress.
It is

Union, hostile to the best interests of Pennsylvania,

tive of the

were consummated by the last fatal blow aimed at the Bank of
the United Slates, in the removal of the deposits to the custody
of other institutions, all was prosperous and marked with plenty.
of our commonwealth and, as we believe, of the
Your memorialists
whole nation, became palsied from that hour.
must therefore ascribe the suflerings to which they have adveited
to that ill-advised measure consequent as it was upon, or connected
with a system of hostility pursued towards the national bank.
The measure would probably have been sufficiently disastrous of
itself; but when it bore every appearance of being united with
a stern and unrelenting disposition to break down the barriers of
the constitution, it was fraught with ruin to the brightest hopes
of the nation.
As other memorialists have been denied access to the executive,
we cannot hope for succor from the quarter where we should
otherwise most naturally have looked for it to which we have undoubtingly ascribed the sufferings of our constituents.
aptherefore make our appeal directly to the Legislature.
proach your honorable bodies with the deference and respect that
are due from citizens to the representatives of the sovereignty of
the American people, but with the firmness and independence
of freemen, suffering under the weight of accumulated wrongs
conscious of the purity of our motives and the righteousness of
We are no less representatives of the people than
our cause.
without
selected indeed at the moment of suffering
yourselves
and unthe reproach of having in any degree contributed to it
We approach you
happily without the means of extending relief.
under the deepest conviction that it is fully within your power to
redress the evils of our common country, and that it is your most
We
sacred duty to put forth your arm and exercise that power.
rest upon the right which is guaranteed to us by the constitution
to remonstrate against grievances, where complaint must lawfully
be heard
to demand relief where alone it may be found.
We believe, and so communicate to you, ihat the measure especially complained of was in direct violation of the Constitution.
That, that Constitution sives to the Executive no sort of control

The

energies

;

We

We

;

;

;

;

:

'I'hat in assuming such unauover the treasure of the nation.
control, an act has been committed of lawless usurpation,
thorised
and that the co-ordinate branch of the
and high handed tyranny
government whose peculiar rights have been invaded, owes it to
We believe,
the nation and itself, effectually to vindicate them.
;

20
moreover, and we assert with the conlidencc which the consliiacause inspire, that should the Legislature deny the
redress we call for, and refuse to rescue the hiceding country
from the effect of wounds thus wantonly inflicted, it will participate in the exercise of arbitrary power.
Could your memorialists discover for the act complained of, one
feeble pretence in reason or in law, they would summon to their
assistance the best consolations of patriotism, and patiently abide
by the redress which the elective power may afford.
But when
they are referred to no authority, and are informed of no danger
to justify or excuse the act
when they are told that their constituents are to be involved in ruin
that the constitution of their
country is to be invaded
that the best hopes of a happy people
are to be blasted for the sake of ah experiment
and when
that experiment has done its office and has proved itself to be
altogether disastrous, they cannot, because they feel they ought
not to, delay to throw themselves upon Congress for ample and
immediate relief.
Should it be delayed one single hour, distress
will be greatly aggravated.
Should Congress rise without specific measures to carry the balm of consolation to the hearts of your
desponding countrymen, the extent of the calamity it would be
tion and the

;

—

—

:

impossible to foretell.
The representatives of Pennsylvania are especially called on
to listen to the mournful voice of their suffering fellow citizens.
They will not surely turn a deaf ear to the cry of supplication,
speaking from so many thousand tongues.
If they can, let them
listen to the voice of warning.
Tiiis convention is composed of
two hundred and fifty members of whom two hundred and eight
have been in attendance. Of the whole number no less than
seventy-five have heretofore been friends and supporters of the
chief magistrate, whose acts have plunged the nation into deep
calamity.
They have deemed it due to their love of country to
hold fast by the constitution through evil and tlirough good report
and when a President, to whom they liave been ardently
attached, forgets the tie
infinitely stronger than the strongest tic
of personal devotion that ought to bind him to his country and
her laws, they deem it equally their duty to cast him off forever.
Your memorialists are well assured that a single act of Congress, calculated to give renewed confidence in our institutions
and to ensure to them respect and obedience hereafter, would
at once arrest the progress of distress, and restore happiness to
the people.
'I'lie violation of the constitution, like the sudden
blast of death, lillcd the whole nution wiih dismay.
'JMie application by Congress of tlic remedy, which is c.oinpletely within their
j)0wcr, will dispel with magic influence the shades which now envelop the country.
Your meniurialists confidently believe, that
the restoratiuii of lli6 deposits to their only j)roper doposilory— or
an uneqivocal act dijappruving of iheir removal
or an act re

—

;

—

—

—

21
chartering the

Bank of the United Slates— or any

act

which

shall

the Executive from carrying on hostilities
of Congress and the peace and welfare of the
against the policy
country, would afford relief;— the want of which is so sorely felt
And they
and the possession of which is so anxiously required.
respectfully pray that one or all of such acts may be passed.

effectually restrain

motion of Mr. Randall the following resolutions were adopt-

On
ed.

present
Resolved, That a committee be appouited to repair to Washington, to
Senate and House of Representatives of the United States.
the Memorial to the
Senator and
Resolved, That the committee be authorised, to present to each
U. S. a copy of the proceedings
Member of the House of Representatives of the
The following committee was accordingly appointed.
of this Convention.

Committee

to cat ry the

Memorial

to

Congress

:

Christopher Looser,

James Wilson,
John Britton,
John G. Miles,
Joseph Paxton,
Robert C. Half,
Henry Drinker,
James M. Russell,
Jamea Taylor,
John S. Riddle,
Charles W. Churchman,
George Darsie,
Robert Cunningham,

John Beitenman,
David Kranse,

Thomas Williams,
JohnB. Wallace,

Frederick Eichelbcrger,

David M'Murtrie,

John Sergeant,
John Reed,
Josiah Randal!,
John P. Wetherill,
David VVoelpper,
William Darlington,
William Eyre,
William Wright,

Thomas M. Jolly,
Samuel Carey,
George Weber,

Jr.

motion of Nathan Sargeant, the following resolution was
nanimously adopted:

On

u-

Resolved, That the Hon. John Sergeant be respectfully requested to furcopy of the remarks made Ijy him on Tuesday last, on
presenting a resolution condemnatory of the conduct of the President of the
United States.

nish, for publication, a

On

motion of Mr. M'Connell:

Resolved, That this Convention be styled a Convention of Delegates from
the Citizens of Pennsylvania opposed to Executive usurpation and abuse.

On

motion of Mr. Randall:

Resolved, That the proceedings of this Convention be signed by the President,
Vice Prei^idents and Secretaries, and the several meinbevo of the Convention; and

22
be published in all the newspapers of Pennsylvania opposed
pation and misrule.

On

to

Executive usur-

molion of Mr. Randall,

Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention be presented to the Hon. Joseph Lawrexce, President, and his associates, Vice Presidents of this Convention, for the dignity and impartiality with which they have presided over
this body.

Resolved, That the thanks of the Convention be also presented to the Secremanner in which they hive performed the duties of their office.

taries, for the

The Convention

then adjourned sine die.

JOSEPH LAWRENCE,

President.

Vic^ Pesidents.

Ner Middleswarth,
Hexry Frick,
John Vincent,
James M' Sherry,
George Harrison,
Frederick Eichelberger,
Neville B. Craig,
Samuel M'Keehan,
J. M. RrssELL,
Samuel Grosh,
Peter Addams,
David Woelpper,
Secretaries.

John Williamson,
Datiid Krause,

Thomas M.

Jolly,

William Jessup,

Edward Olmsted,
Samuel C.

Tait.

j/^
LEJe'lO

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
i.!ro;'!iCs>i:\V-i;«

(>,'!(!??

i>\'.'li\vT

;iiii^i':i;
^iM'f^-

011 896 162 6

'y>h:,

IPII

mm


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102