View original document

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

THE

L E T T E R S OF L O W N D E S ,




ADDRESSED TO THE

HON. J O H N C. CALHOUN.

AUDI E T ALTERAM PARTEM.

N E W-Y O R K:
D. A P P L E T O N & CO., 2 0 0 B R O A D W A Y ,
PHILADELPHIA •

GEO. S. APPLETON, 148 CIIESNUT-ST.
MDCCCXLIII




arcor^mz
to A-t .. f C o : . ^ r ^ ? . i:. the y e a r If 13. by
D. A P P I . K T O N «2t CO.,
in the Clerk's Office of the District Cr.tr: >:( u •:• So-.:L-:r:i District of N e w - Y o r k .
ENTERED

J o h n T. T i c v

.Vrint^r

PREFACE.
T H E following Nos>, written in 1 8 4 1 , during the pendency
o f the Bank question in Congress, at its extra session of that year,
would not now be given to the public, but that a life of Mr* Calhoun has
recently appeared, which, though written with consummate ability
and admirable ingenuity, nevertheless does not fully portray the public course of that distinguished gentleman. In that biography it is
represented, that " of all men now living, perhaps, he has contributed most to illustrate and establish the Republican creed ;" that he has
" l o n g since believed Protection to be unconstitutional, unjust, and
unwise ;" that he was " averse, in the abstract, to the whole banking
s y s t e m ; 0 that he has " nowhere expressly affirmed the existence of
a power in the Federal Government over Internal Improvements;"
and that " all those acts for which he has been reproached, as departures from the State Rights creed, were substitutes for much worse
measures, which, but for him, his party would have adopted/'
And it is a singular fact, that in the published collection of his
speeches, referred to in his biography, neither his speech on the Bank
of 181G, nor on the Tariff' of that era, nor on the Internal Improvement question, is contained. T h e following pages supply the deficiency, and combat the positions taken by the biographer.
With
what success, and in which mirror Mr. Calhoun is most truly reflected, let the intelligent reader decide.







LETTERS 0 E

LOWNDES.

T O T H E H O N . J O H N C. C A L H O U N .
No. L
Y o u are looked to as the great champion of opposition to the reestablishment of a National Bank ; and besides the active efforts of
your great mind, shortly to be called forth on this subject, the influe n c e of your name is daily exerting itself to the same effect.
Witness the unmanly and unmerited denunciation of your gallant Colleague in the Senate, because he will not blindly follow in the lead
o f your eccentric and inconsistent self!
Your opinions are accordingly become a matter of no small interest to the Country, I propose, therefore, briefly to review your past
course in relation to a National Bank, in order that it may be seen
with what consistency you occupy your present attitude of inveterate
hostility to such an institution.
Perhaps, too, ere I finish my purpose, I may extend these remin i s c e n c e s to other subjects than the Bank, particularly, to a contrast
o f your public conduct during the mad era of Jackson violence and
misrule, with what it has been since the Extra Session of 1837.
A
moral is to be read in that contrast, which might be instructive and
beneficial to the country ; but, for the present, I have to do only with
your past opinions and acts on the subject of the^Bank.
On the 10th o f January, 1 8 1 4 , (2d Session 13th Congress,) Mr.
Eppes, from the Committee o f W a y s and Means, made a report adverse to the petition of certain citizens of N e w York for the establishment of a National Bank, the substance o f w h i c h report was,
that " Congress had n o power to create corporations within the territorial limits of the States, without the consent of the States."
O n the 4th of February, 1 8 1 4 , you made a motion in the H o u s e
o f Representatives that the " Committee of the W h o l e be discharged
from the consideration of the Report o f the Committee o f W a y s and




6
Means on the N e w York memorial, and that the same be recommitted to the Committee of W a y s and Means, with the view of making
a further motion on the subject."
Your motion prevailed, and you then said, that '* as the Committee of W a y s and Means had decided against that Report, on the ground
of the ttnconstitutionality
of establishing such a Bank as was asked
for in the petition, you wished to instruct the Committee to inquire
into the expediency of establishing a National Bank, within the District of Columbia, the power to do which, it could not be doubted,
c a m e within the constitutional power of Congress."
Y o u then submitted the following motion : " Resolved, that the
Committee of W a y s and Means be instructed to inquire into the expediency of establishing a National Bank, to be located in the District of Columbia"—which resolution was adopted, and a bill brought
in accordingly.
T h i s was your first move on the subject o f a National Bank,
wherefrom it abundantly appears, that you maintained the right of
Congress (undoubted, you said it was) to establish a Bank in the
District of Columbia.
T h i s was surely broad ground in favour of the power of C o n gress over a National B a n k — t o o broad, I should think, to be o c c u pied by one who claims to have been the consistent, never-varying,
friend of State rights, and unyielding advocate of strict construction. It is undoubtedly the most latitudinarian and dangerous of all
doctrines yet advanced, that Congress may, by virtue of its e x c l u sive jurisdiction in the ten miles square, do any thing beyond the
substantive grants in the Constitution, and the means necessary and
proper to their just execution. On such a principle of interpretation, the power of Congress in the District would be unlimited and
s u p r e m e ; and the result, carried out, would be, that whenever Congress might wish to do an act which would be unconstitutional in
the States, it might make it constitutional by doing it in the District !
1 revolt at such a principle of construction, and the doctrine o f every strict constructionist is, that exclusive legislation over the ten
miles square, means nothing more than that Congress shall be the l e g i s lature for the District, in contradistinction to ^provincial or
territorial
legislature, and that the power of Congress over it is limited, as i n
all other cases, by the enumerated grants of the Constitution. Indeed, it has been expressly adjudicated by the highest judicial tribunals of the land (see case of Cohen v. State of Virginia, 6 Wheat.,




7
p p . 2 6 4 ) , that "as the legislature of the Union, and in no other chai*acter, Congress exercises exclusive legislation over the District of
Columbia."
T h e only proper basis (in my humble view) of a National B a n k ,
i s its necessity to the collection, safe keeping, and disbursement of
t h e public revenue. I f s u c h an institution be " n e c e s s a r y and prop e r " to the accomplishment of these indispensable and undoubted
e n d s of the Federal Government, it is constitutional—constitutional
anywhere and everywhere within the broad limits of the U n i o n — a s
constitutional in the District as in the States, or in the States as in
t h e D i s t r i c t — a n d so, if it be not " n e c e s s a r y and proper*' for the coll e c t i o n , safe keeping, and disbursement of the national revenues, it
is unconstitutional anywhere and everywhere—as well in the D i s trict of Columbia as in the States. A n d this plain, common sense,
* as well as State right, view of the subject, (if I may have so m u c h
presumption,) I respectfully c o m m e n d to your consideration.
S u c h is your earliest expressed opinion on the constitutionality
o f a National Bank. T h e point I would raise for inquiry, is, with
w h a t justice you now so warmly denounce a Bank as unconstitutional, after having assumed the broad ground you did, at the 2 d
session of the 13th C o n g r e s s ? Y o u have not recanted this opinion,
s o far as I know, and if it remains unchanged, I should humbly calc u l a t e on your support of the fiscal plan of the Secretary of the T r e a sury, or at least, I shall not expect to hear you d e n o u n c i n g that plan
as violative o f the Constitution.
T h e next proposition for a Bank of the United States was contained in a resolution offered by Mr. Grundy, of T e n n e s s e e , on t h e
2 d o f April, 1 8 1 4 , o f which the following is a copy :
" Resolved, T h a t a committee be appointed to inquire into the exp e d i e n c y o f a National Bank ; and that they have leave to report by
bill or otherwise."
A motion for the indefinite postponement of this resolution, was
m a d e by Mr. N e w t o n , of Virginia, the vote on which motion was, for
the postponement 7 1 , against it 8 0 . A m o n g the nays, I find the
n a m e of John C. C a l h o u n ; and you subsequently voted for Mr.
Grundy's proposition itself. H e r e again you are committed in favour
o f a National Bank.
T h e third proposition for a United States Bank, was made at the
3 d Session of the 13th Congress, and c a m e up for discussion o n the
2 8 t h October, 1 8 1 4 , on the following resolution : " that it is expedi-




.#

8

e n t t o establish a N a t i o n a l B a n k , with b r a n c h e s in the several S t a t e s , "
T h e vote on this R e s o l u t i o n w a s , ayes 9 3 , nays 5 4 , yourself in favour
o f the R e s o l u t i o n .
T h i s is your third committal in favour o f a bank
— n o t of o n e " within the District of Columbia, 7 ' but " with
branches
in the several
States."
I n p u r s u a n c e of the resolution just m e n t i o n e d , a bill to " i n c o r p o rate the subscribers to the B a n k o f the U n i t e d S t a t e s , " w a s reported
o n the 7 t h o f N o v e m b e r , 1 8 1 4 , w h i c h w a s warmly d i s c u s s e d until
t h e d i s c u s s i o n w a s arrested by a proposition of yours, involving fund a m e n t a l c h a n g e s in the original bill, w h i c h you said, o u g h t to " arrest t h e attention o f the C o m m i t t e e , ' ' and w h i c h , with elaborate
z e a l , y o u did press upon its consideration and adoption. Y o u r v i e w s
o n the project you then submitted, I propose, with s o m e m i n u t e n e s s ,
t o considerI n the first place, y o u proposed 5 0 millions as the capital o f t h e
Bank.
A n d on a subsequent motion of Mr. L o w n d e s to r e d u c e t h e
capital from 5 0 to 3 5 millions, you voted in the n e g a t i v e . T h e n , it
s e e m s , you saw n o danger in the c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f a great m o n e y
p o w e r , t h o u g h , n o w , the very idea of a m o n e y e d corporation w i t h a
capital of e v e n twenty or thirty m i l l i o n s , is e n o u g h to fill your i m a g i nation with g l o o m y associations of destroyed liberties and a r u i n e d
Constitution.
S e c o n d l y , you do not appear to have indulged any c o n s t i t u t i o n a l
scruple whatever as to the m a m m o t h s c h e m e you presented.
Assuredly, s i n c e you said not a word as to its constitutionality, I a m
entitled to raise the presumption that y o u felt n o difficulty o n t h a t
head.
W o u l d y o u propose, and zealously m a i n t a i n , a m e a s u r e
fraught with constitutional objection ? Surely, surely, o n e s o s e n s i tive t o infractions of the C o n s t i t u t i o n — b o a s t i n g always to have b e e n
a strict c o n s t r u c t i o n i s t — c o u l d never have waived a c o n s t i t u t i o n a l
question where one c o u l d possibly arise !
But while y o u did not intimate, with any p r e c i s i o n , t h e c o n s t i t u tional basis of your plan, yet do your reasons for its support a b u n dantly appear. " T h e operation of this c o m b i n e d plan ( y o u s a i d )
w o u l d be t o afford, 1, R e l i e f from the immediate pressure o n t h e
T r e a s u r y ; 2 , A permanent elevation of the public c r e d i t : and 3 ,
A p e r m a n e n t and safe circulating m e d i u m of general credit."
And
o n a s u b s e q u e n t occasion ( X o v . 1?*, 1 S 1 4 ) you distinctly s a i d :
" O n e great object of this bank is to afford the m e a n s o f r e l i e v i n g
the nation from the difficulties under w h i c h it n o w l a b o u r s . " T h e s e




9
are the grounds upon which you recommended and sustained the
establishment of a bank in 1 8 1 4 . Latitudinarian e n o u g h they are,
in all c o n s c i e n c e , such as, if urged at this day, would bring a smile
t o the face of the S i m o n Pure disciple of the State R i g h t s school.
If the " p e r m a n e n t elevation of the public credit," and the
*' relief of the nation from the difficulties under which it labours,"
be the substantive
grounds on which you placed the constitutionality
o f your s c h e m e — t h e original sources from which you derived i t —
then I must say that you were all a " general welfare" politician
e v e n , could have asked you to be. I shall be assailed, I doubt not,
for daring to dispute the orthodoxy of the great patron o f State
R i g h t s , but my optics are not sharp e n o u g h , I trow, ever yet to have
discovered in the constitution any such substantive grants as
" permanent elevation of the public credit," or " r e l i e f o f the nation from the difficulties under which it labours ;" and I trust I am
not enough of a JYational in politics ever to have derived, by implication, powers so overshadowing and sweeping.
If the effects which you charged to the operation of your plan
were collateral effects m e r e l y — t h e inseparable incidental results o f
its practical working, and not the foundation
on w h i c h your structure was built—then you must have either considered the constitutionality as undoubted, or you must have waived the constitutional
question. T h e n you are in a dilemma. If you considered the constitutionality of your s c h e m e unquestionable, and so argued it, with
what propriety can you now, without avowing a c h a n g e of opinion,
impeach the constitutionality of a bank ? A n d if you waived the
constitutional point, you made naked expediency paramount to the
Constitution—the doctrine at w h i c h yourself and your followers
n o w , and very justly, revolt.
I f you had avowed a change of opinion on the subject—if, with
the magnanimity o f H e n r y Clay, you had frankly a c k n o w l e d g e d
error and recanted i t — t h e n your defence would be satisfactory, and
n o generous spirit could indulge a censorious feeling : but you claim
to remain u n c h a n g e d — t o have been always consistent on the Bank
question* H e n c e , I have the right to marvel, and I do marvel m u c h ,
at the position which you n o w occupy before the country, o f violent,
uncompromising, and I might almost add, fanatical opposition to the
re-establishment of a National Bank.
I f your opinions do, in fact, remain unchanged, and you still
think tliat the " relief o f the nation from the difficulties under




10
w h i c h it labours," is a proper plea for the establishment o f a B a n k ,
it is in your power to perform a most acceptable service to t h e
country, by using your influence for its re-establishment: for G o d
k n o w s , the nation is labouring under difficulties of no trifling magnitude, and certainly, if it were proper to have a bank in 1 8 1 4 to relieve the nation's difficulties, it is not less so now.
I shall continue the narrative in another N o . ; for the present,
requesting the reader to bear in mind at what point it now breaks off.
LOWNDES.

T O T H E H O N . J O H N C. C A L H O U N
N o . II.
I resume the subject with which my first N o . c l o s e d — y o u r v i e w s
on the projet you submitted, by way of amendment, to a Bank bill
reported at the 3d session of the 13th Congress, in the year 1 8 1 4 .
O n e of the provisions of that projet, as it came from your hands,
was, that the " notes of the Bank, when in operation, should be received exclusively in the payments of all taxes, duties, and debts to
the United States."
It is true, on a subsequent occasion, you moved and voted to
strike out this feature of your plan, but for no reason affecting your
opinion of its merits. By the engrafting of many inconsistent amendments, it had become improper to retain it. T h e reason you assigned was, that " as the United States were now, by the amendments which
had taken place, divested of all control over the operations of the
Bank, it would be proper, in self-defence, for the Government to
retain in its hands the power to make the notes of the Bank receivable or not, to protect it against misconduct or attempt at control by
the Bank." But, be it marked, you still left the Government the
option to receive the notes of the Bank or n o t : in other words, you
admitted the principle of the receivability of Bank notes in payment
of Government dues.
I am thus particular on this point, because, in your zeal o f opposition to a National Bank, you have recently taken novel and startl i n g ground, and put forth fiscal doctrines fraught with the most
pernicious c o n s e q u e n c e s , if once received and adopted by the country.




11
In your speech on the sub-treasury question, in 1833, you made
this most extraordinary declaration : " I take a still higher ground ;
I strike at the root of the mischief I deny the right of this Government to treat Bank notes as money in its fiscal transactions. On
this great question I have never before committed myself, though not
generally disposed to abstain from forming or expressing opinions."
Y o u , sir, never committed before on this great question ! Y o u ,
who, all your public life—from 1 8 1 4 to 1S3G—have been proposing
and sanctioning the treatment of Bank notes, by the Government, as
money ! Strange, passing strange it is, that the pride of consistency
should so influence and mislead a great mind ! Far better were it,
at all times, to own and give up error ; but it is little less than madness to cling, with reckless pertinacity, to the merit of consistency,
when there is evidence overwhelming for the refutation of the claim.
W h a t is your proposition made the 7th of November, 1 8 1 4 , but
a committal in favour of the right of Government to receive and treat
Bank notes as money ? Let one hundred plain, unsophisticated men,
read your remarks, as made at the time, and all shall agree in considering you as having conceded the point. Pride of opinion may
wrestle as it will, metaphysical subtlety refine and confuse as it may,
but there stands your recorded proposition, with your recorded opinions—too plain to be misconceived, too palpable to be frittered away
by any, even the most ingenious and best-contrived sophistry.
A
doubt does not appear ever to have crossed your mind. You treated
the proposition as undoubted.
Your earnest zeal to carry out your
views, is entirely inconsistent with the idea that any constitutional
obstacle was in your mind's eye. But to bring the matter to an issue
— d i d you, or did you not, believe that Government had the power
to receive and treat Bank notes as money ? If you did, how c o m e
you now to " deny the right of this Government to treat Bank notes
as money in its fiscal transactions" ? If you did not, what apology
have you for having proposed that which the Constitution forbade?
Strange State rights that, which puts aside the Constitution at pleasure, t o make room for Expediency ! I thought this was the doctrine
against which good State Rights men most rebelled.
But if a doubt could attach to your views on this point, it would
be solved, most satisfactorily, by reference to your subsequent course
on the Bank question.
On the 7th of January, 1S15, after the failure of several previous
propositions for a National Bank, a bill finally passed the H o u s e of




12
Representatives by the decided vote of 1*20 to 3 7 . T h i s is the bill
w h i c h was vetoed by Mr. Madison, Jan. 30th, 1S15. N o w , this bill
unconditionally recognised the right o f the Government to receive
Bank notes in payments to itself, the 12th section being in these
words :
" Be it further
enacted, that the bills or the notes of the said
Corporation, originally made payable or which shall have b e c o m e
payable, on demand, shall be receivable in all payments to the United
States, until otherwise directed by act of C o n g r e s s . '
F o r the bill containing this provision, you voted : thereby a s e c ond time affirming the principle, that the Government may treat Bank
notes as money in its fiscal transactions.
B a t again. Y o u were the great patron—the zealous, enthusiastic
patron—as I shall show in the s e q u e l — o f the Bank bill o f 1 8 1 6 —
the master spirit that brought it forth, and that nursed, watched, defended, and triumphantly urged it on to consummation. T o u s e
your own emphatic language in your speech of 1 6 3 4 , on Mr. W e b ster's proposition to prolong the charter of the late bank : ifc I might
say with truth that the Bank o w e s its existence to me as m u c h as t o
any other individual in the country ; and I might even add, that had
it not have been for my exertions, it would never hare been chartered."
N o evasion or explanation, I take it, can set aside this your admitted advocacy of the Bank charter of 1SKJ. N o w this charter,
too, contains a provision for the receivability of Bank notes in payments to the U. S., the 14lh section thereof being, verbatim et litcror
tint, the same as the 12th section of the bill of the Tth of Jan. 1 8 1 5 ,
already quoted.
Y o u voted for this charter of 1 S 1 0 ; and that vote is another e x plicit recognition o f the right of Government to treat Bank notes as
money. Y e t you proclaimed on the floor of the Senate that y o u
were, till then, uncommitted on this great question, and now y o u
" deny the right of this government to treat Bank notes as m o n e y
in its fiscal transactions.''
N o r is this all. At the session of 1 8 1 5 - 1 6 , you introduced a
bill for the collection of the revenue, which provided, that not only
the notes of the Bank of the U. S. ? but the notes of a// specie payingbanks, should be taken in payments to the United States.
Your
bill failed; but, restless under the failure of what seems to have been
with you a sort o f chosen policy, you took another c h a n c e to a c c o m plish your favourite object.
Accordingly, when Mr. W e b s t e r , ( w h o




13
seems to have been much more guarded on the subject of paper money
than yourself) offered a proposition to exclude from the treasury
all notes, except those of the United States Bank (then just establishe d ) , you moved to amend the proposition of Mr. W. so as to extend
its provisions to the notes of all Hanks which should, at the time
specified therein, pay their notes in specie on dema7id"
T h e s e circumstances were brought to your recellection by Mr.
Webster in his speech of 2 2 d March, 183S, and you contradicted
not, as, indeed, you could not, the record being against you.
N o r is this your last committal to the principle of the receivability of bank paper as money at the Treasury. T h e pet bank measure
o f 1836 was nothing more nor less than a wholesale application of
the principle of treating Bank notes as money, and if I mistake not,
this system had your approbation.
T h u s , it appears, that from 1814 to 1836, you have, in your char*
acter as a public man, been the unvarying advocate of the power of
the Federal Government to receive and treat Bank notes as money.
A s strongly and unequivocally as words and acts can make you so,
you stand committed in favour of that fiscal policy which has prevailed from Washington's day to this hour ; which has received the
sanction of the Father of his country; of Jefferson, Madison and
Monroe : under which the Government has worked well, and the
country has prospered ; and under whioh it will prosper again, unless, in some evil hour, the deleterious doctrines which you have
lately promulged on the subject, shall be pressed upon the adoption
o f the people.
It is too late in the day for you now to ask for the adoption of
your radical notions on this subject. Your own public course o f
near thirty years' duration, stands up as authority against them. N o r
will it answer that you plead the exigency of the case. Y o u have
been too often committed the same way, to justify any other than
the inference that you believed you were right in your position. Besides, you claim to have always belonged to the State R i g h t s party,
that party whose governing maxim is, and always has been, that the
Constitution is the paramount law, never to he postponed to any exigency, however trying and extreme, and least of all, to the ever
changing and hazardous considerations of expediency.
Y o u profess not to have changed an opinion on the subjectT h e n , if you think now that Government has no right to receive
and treat Bank notes as money, you thought so from 1 8 1 4 to 1836.




14
A n d if you thought from 1S14 to 1 ? 3 6 , that the G o v e r n m e n t c o u l d
not rightfully r e c e i v e anv thing but gold and silver in public d u e s ,
h o w can you e x c u s e yourself for having laboured for more than 2 5
years to m a k e it the policy of the Government to receive and t r e a t
Bank notes as money ?
I would not revive these r e m i n i s c e n c e s , leaving you to i n d u l g e
what c o m p l a c e n t reflections you may, but your position before t h e
nation is a c o m m a n d i n g o n e , and mav involve its weal or its w o .
Y o u are regarded as the intellectual Colossus o f the c o u n t r y , w h o s e
opinions on all subjects carry authority with them : and to m a n y , t o a
w h o l e party nearly, your opinion is law, disregard of it, denunciation*
T h e poor nullifier e v e n , w h o stumbles over the s t u m b l i n g - b l o c k s
yourself have placed in his w a y — t h o u g h h e can point to his s c a r s
received in battling for State R i g h t s — i s d e n o u n c e d as a** blue l i g h t
federalist," and unceremoniously ruled out of the party. L o o k at
the case of Mr. Preston. N o just or g e n e r o u s mind can c o n t e m p l a t e
his fate without emotion. H e who for long years has s u s t a i n e d , w i t h
R o m a n firmness, the c a u s e of the Constitution and the public l i b e r t y ;
the high-soul cd patriot, w h o m n o consideration of interest, t>r h o p e ,
or fear, could seduce from the path of duty and honour ; he, w h o ,
from first t o last, denounced a corrupt and usurping dynasty, a n d
w h o , in his manly pride, still scorns the polluting association w h i c h
h a s dishonoured others ; he. who has done as valiant fight for S t a t e
R i g h t s as ever did J o h n C. Calhoun himself; who bared his breast
t o the storm w h e n its fury was highest : he, whose e l o q u e n c e , in t h e
hour o f deepest trial, thundered C>r the rights of S o u t h C a r o l i n a —
H E — i s b e c o m e a c h o s e n subject of misrepresentation, c a l u m n y , and
abuse, and is already marked out for sacrifice, merely b e c a u s e he will
not fall down and worship an idol, and blindly pursue the ignis fatutas
of an erratic and restless genius.
Believing your n e w opinions on the fiscal policy of the g o v e r n m e n t
to be of pernicious t e n d e n c y , particularly as being antngoaistical t o
the establishment of a National B a n k , which I regard as indispensable
as well to the fiscal c o n c e r n s as to the prosperity of the c o u n t r y , I
have exhibited your whole course on this interesting subject, l e a v i n g
each o n e to judge for himself, after the review, how m u c h authority
your opinions in this matter are entitled to exert. Let the bane a n d
the antidote g o forth together,
I resume n o w , the subject o f your c o n n e x i o n with the b a n k
bill of 1 8 1 4 , to w h i c h , I have already said, you offered important




15
amendments. After a protracted discussion, the vote was taken on
the 28th of November, 1814, and was lost, ayes 4 9 , nays 104. Y o u
voted for the bill : and this adds one more to the list of your committals in favour of a bank of the United States.
I shall continue the narrative in my next.
LOWNDES.

T O T H E HON. JOHN C

CALHOUN.

N o . III.
In my last, after having considered your late radical and revolutionary notions touching the fiscal policy of the government,
and contrasted them with your former opinions on the subject, I
brought down the history of your connexion with the bank question,
t o the 28th Nov., 1814, when the bill you had supported with so
much zeal, was lost by the decisive vote of 104 to 4J). A s I have
before stated, you voted for this bill. T o use your own language,
as spoken a few days before the vote was taken, you "were so extremely anxious that the bank should be established"
that you voted
for a bill actually so exceptionable, that only 49 votes could be rallied
in its favour. " Extremely anxious," you must indeed have been,
for the establishment of a Bank !
From the 28th of Nov., 1814, then, I resume the narrative. A
few days after the defeat of the bill just referred to, to wit, on the
5th of December, 1814, the subject of a National Bank again came
up on a bill reported by a select Committee of the Senate, of which
Mr, King was Chairman,
O n the 9th of Dec. it passed the Senate,
and was sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
On
the 27th of D e c . you voted for the engrossment of this bill, though,
I will do you the justice to say, you voted against it on the 2 d o f
January, 1815, when the final vote was taken, and the bill rejected
by the casting vote of the speaker, (Mr. Chevcs, of South Carolina.)
T h i s is the solitary instance to be found, in the whole history of the
times, indicating on your part, the slightest opposition to a Bank o f
the United States.
A n d I will now show, most conclusively, that you can claim no
benefit from this lonely case, though I can hardly find it in me to




16
begrudge you what little advantage or comfort you can extract from
this meagre source.
In the first place, you took all the c h a n c e s for so framing the bill
as that you might be enabled to vote for it. Accordingly, y o u voted
for the engrossment, hoping to the last, no doubt, that the provisions
to which you had strong repugnance would be stricken out, and t h e
bill so amended as to make it tohrahh\
H e n c e , when (the day
after the bill was ordered to be engrossed,) Mr. Gaston of X , C. moved its recommitment to the Committee of W a y s and M e a n s , for revision and amendment, you voted for the motion.
B u t the bill was not divested of its highly exceptionable features,
and you finally voted against it. For this you deserve no credit.
Many of the most decided bank men in the H o u s e voted against it,
so peculiarly objectionable were its provisions ; and the wonder is,
that a single individual should have been found to cast his vote in its
favour. T h a t it should have received the support it did, could have
been the result only of the very general and very strong impression
then prevailing, that a bank of some sort was absolutely n e c e s s a r y
to rescue the country from the difficulties that surrounded it.
L e t us see what was the character of the bill.
In the onset, it contained a provision, legalizing the suspension o f
specie payments ; 2 , T h e r e was no adequate specie basis to t h e
B a n k , out of the 5 0 millions of capital stock, only 5 millions b e i n g
gold and silver, the remaining 4 5 millions consisting of Government
s t o c k s ; 3 , T h e bank, with its specie basis of only 5 millions, w a s
required to loan the Government 3 0 millions, the government taking
its own leisure to repay ; and 4, T h e bank was prohibited from selling its stock during the war. O n e provision relieved the bank of all
inducement, while another took from it all the means o f fulfilling its
engagements ; and the effect of all the provisions combined, was, t o
make the bank as perfect a machine for the unlimited manufacture
of irredeemable paper money, as the wit of man could have devised.
S u c h was the bill against which you voted—your vote against w h i c h
by n o means indicates any opposition, on principle, to a N a t i o n a l

Bank*
T h a t this vote of yours did not amount to opposition, on
principle,
is unanswerably demonstrated by your subsequent votes.
Immediately after the rejection of the bill by the easting vote o f the speaker,
a motion o f reconsideration was submitted by Mr. Hall, of Georgia,
and for the rceonsiihratian
you voted.
T h e reconsideration prevail-




17
ing, you then voted for the recommitment of the bill; it was recommitted, and returned with many and important amendments; and
finally, on the 7th of Jan., 1815, you voted for it, in its amended
shape, in a triumphant majority of 120 to 37 ! And here I record
another, and an u n r c s e n e d committal of yours, to a National Bank.
May I here digress for a moment to offer a reflection? Observe
t h e unanimity with which the principle of a National Bank was sanctioned at a l o n g past period of our history ! One hundred and twenty
for, to thirty-seven against ! T i m e after time, the Representatives
of the people have settled the question. More than once it has been
solemnly adjudicated by the Judiciary of the nation. Over and
over again, the Kxceulive sanction has been given. T h e approval
it has elicited of the calm, sober judgment of the Father of his country, and the well-considered concurrence of the soundest, best-poised
mind America has produced—I mean, of course, Mr. Madison-—
while the People, not less frequently nor less unequivocally, have
stamped upon the measure the seal of their approbation. And shall
t h e question, under these circumstances of repeated recognition, yet
remain unsettled ?
Aiid will you, sir, use the influence of your great talents to
keep it open, and thus to keep unhinged the fiscal policy of the
Government? Has the truth never shone upon your mighty intellect, that of all questions in the world that, require to be firmly
settled, those relating to the fiscal concerns and currency of the
country, stand pre-eminent \ T h a t a question of currency is one
that reaches the interest of every man, woman, and child in a
nation, and that a vacillating, fluctuating policy in relation to it, is
fatal to the prosperity of all classes, and all interests, individual and
general, private and public ? Ami with all your metaphysical subtlety and power of analysis, has it never occurred to you that the
mind of man has been so constituted by his Creator as to render uniformity of opinion unattainable, even on the least complicated subjects : and that, therefore, the proscription of an immutable and infallible standard of opinion and faith, is repugnant to tn^ moral constitution of our species? Or will you assume the position, that a
question involving the least constitutional scruple, is never to be
compromised in any degree whatever? T h i s seems your position
now. If it be not, why do you not magnanimously take the ground
which Mr. Madison and other good Republicans have taken, and
contribute your aid (essential it would be) to the settlement of this
2




IS
v e x e d q u e s t i o n , and by s e t t l i n g it. g i v e tranquillity to the c o n n t r y , a n d
s o l i d i t y and durability to its b u s i n e s s and prosperity ? I f y o u do o c c u p y t h e g r o u n d that the B a n k q u e s t i o n admits v>f / ^ c o m p r o m i s e , I
c r a v e to k n o w , and tlie c o u n t r y , I dare say. w o u l d bo g l a d t o k n o w ,
h o w w a s it that, over and over a g a i n , y o u z e a l o u s l y \ i n d i c a t e d , a n d
as often v o t e d for, a N a t i o n a l B a n k .'
It will b e r e g a r d e d p r e s u m p t i o n in m e . 1 k n o w , to hold u p a b e a c o n for t h e g u i d e o f a great m i n d like y o u r s — i t s e l f a s h i n i n g U g h *
t o o t h e r s — b u t as I b e l i e v e tlie u n s e t t l i n g of the Bank q u e s t i o n i n i m ical t o t h e best interest* of tlie n a t i o n . 1 will v e n t u r e t h e f r e e d o m t o
refer y o u to an a d m i r a b l e s e n t i m e n t o f another master i n t e l l e c t o f
our c o u n t r y , w h i c h is worthy o f b e i n g written in U t t e r s y>i' g o l d i n
our legislative halls, as a s t a n d i n g a d m o n i t i o n to our l a w - m a k e r s It is t h e s e n t i m e n t o f Mr. D a l l a s , e x p r e s s e d in his report, a s S e c r e tary o f t h e T r e a s u r y , to the C o m m i t t e e o f W a y s ami M e a n s , o n t h e
s u b j e c t o f a B a n k , O c t o b e r 1 7 t h . 1 > ! 4 . and it is t h i s : " In the administration
of human ajfatrs.
thin mn>t b< a jti riod irhttt
discussion shall crane, and tit r it ion shall btco:nr ah»>hit>."
T h i s were the
sentiment of true wisdom.
It is adapted to the c o n s t i t u t i o n o f t h e
w o r l d — f o u n d e d in the n a t u r e o f t h i n g s , and t h e n tore t e s t i n g o n t h e
basis o f eternal truth. I t s practical application w o u l d b a n i s h from
t h e c o u n t r y that spirit o f silly purism w h i c h deals in set a b s t r a c t i o n s
o n l y , a n d , d i s r e g a r d i n g t h e realities of h u m a n life, but trifle* w i t h
t h e b u s i n e s s and h a p p i n e s s o f the h u m a n race.
This excellent maxi m , as well as t h e k i n d r e d s e n t i m e n t o f Mr. M a d i - o U . u ho c o n s i d e r e d
t h e " c o n s t i t u t i o n a l authority o f the L e g i s h m m to e s t a b l i s h an i n c o r p o r a t e d B a n k , a* being p r e c l u d e d hv repeated r e c o g n i t i o n s , " I
t a k e the liberty o f c o m m e n d i n g to your n o t i c e .
A n d not o n l v t o
y o u ; t o every friend o f the c o u n t r y . I c o m m e n d t h e m .
More particularly a n d most respectfully, would I c m i n . - i H i t h e m t o t h e d i s t i n g u i s h e d c i t i z e n w h o n o w holds the d e s t i n i e s o f his c o u n t r y , in r e g a r d t o tins matter, in his h a n d s , and uh«-s.- patriotic m i n d is d o u b t l e s s
at this m o m e n t fdh-d with - deliberation dci p and p u b l i c c a r e " for
t h e d i s p o s i t i o n o f this t r a n s e e n d e m i v important s u b j e c t .
Let him
t h r o w all abstractions to the w i n d s .
Let him c o n t e m p l a t e t h e suffering, bleeding, condition of the country.
Let the i n d e x o f the p o p ular will direct Ids course.
Let him regard h i m s e l f as the t r u s t e d
a g e n t o f a great popular m o v e m e n t , and not the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a
party. L e t him reflect, in the l a n g u a g e of Mr. O a l l a s , that »• u p o n
t h e g e n u i n e p r i n c i p l e s o f a representative g o v e r n m e n t , the o p i n i o n s




19
of the majority, can alone be carried into action." Let him follow
George Washington and James Madison, and the people will approveT h e y cannot, will not condemn. T h e Abstractionist may fret, the
Agitator wail ; but the virtue and intelligence of the land will applaud. In my poor judgment, if the President will manfully take the
ground which Mr. Madison did, and sign a Bank charter, the hearty
benedictions of an overwhelming majority of his countrymen, will be
his reward. T h e disappointment will be in proportion.
One more reflection, let me indulge. It is industriously attempted
to impress the public mind with the belief, that the question of a bank
has always been one that divided the republicans from the federalists,
and that the State R i g h t s party lias always been opposed to the bank,
as unconstitutional. Y o u so maintained in your speech of September
19th, 1837. In that speech you said : " But if all these difficulties
were overcome, there are others, to me, wholly insurmountable.
I
belong to the State R i g h t s party, which, at all times, from the
beginning of the government to this day, has been opposed to such an
institution,
as unconstitutional,
inexpedient and dangerous.
They
have ever dreaded the union of the moneyed and political power, and
the central action of the government to which it so strongly tends ;
and, at all ti?ncs, have strenuously resisted their
junction."
N o w , with all proper deference for your superior acquaintance
with our political history, I must be allowed to say, that this statement
of yours is grossly inaccurate. A n examination of the history of
the Bank will develope this fact, that in each case, the bank was
chartered by the vote of about two-thirds of the republican members
of Congress, while about the same proportion of the federal members
\ y oted against the charter,
I will not g o into particulars, but will instance only a single fact :
W h e n the bill before referred to was lost by the casting vote of the
Speaker, and a reconsideration was moved by Mr. Hall, of Georgia,
there were but 5 1 members opposed to reconsideration, and of the
5 4 , but six belonged to the republican side of the H o u s e .
A n d a circumstance full of significance on this point, may be
here let in.
Your own State—your own dear South Carolina—in Il?1fi, voted
for n national bank, the vote of her representatives being seven for,
to (me against.
A n d in 1 8 2 1 , she solemnly averred the right of
Congress to establish a bank. N o w , sir, as it is well known that
between your opinions and the public sentiment of South Carolina,
there has always been a very intimate connexion, here is strong




20
presumptive proof that you have never, until a particular afterthought
suggested »*, held, that the bank was a •[ucstion that involved state
rights*.
And old Virginia, too, the prolific mother of statesmen and
P r e s i d e n t s — t h e Aery solum not of* of the state-right doctrines
Virginia, the very founder o f the boasted doctrine.* of '*>S, and t h e
ever squeamish stickler for t h e m — w a s not in an unlike predicament
with her sagacious and patriotic sister. In the era x^ ISI.%. ' lit, t h e
votes o f her sternest republican* were cast in favour K>i a bank.
W i l l i a m B. Giles, the giant i\w of federalism in all its shapes and
forms, voted for the bank-bill which had been vetoed by Mr. Madison.
J a m e s Barbour, who, by deeds of prowess on the republican side,
won unfading laurels in the great battle of !»^. was the author and
very pensinan of a bill for the incorporation of a bank.
James
Pleasants—a name synonymous with state r i g h t s — w h o never had a
federal sympathy in all his l i f e — w h o was. in truth, a republican,
not iu theory only, but in the plain, practical beauty KA' honest
reality even J a m e s Pleasants gave his vote for a bank ^f the T i n t e d
S t a t e s ; and so far from giving orlence* to Virginia by this vote, w a s
elected in 1 8 1 9 one of her Senators in Congress. H u g h N e l s o n , A .
T . Mason ( S e n a t o r ) , Magnus T a t e . T l
,:.s G)u Is, n. J. ti. J a c k s o n ,
Ballard S m i t h , A. Jlawe*. J. 1>. Ilungerford. John Kerr, William
M ' C o y , and Henry St. George T u c k e r , now a loading member o f
the Democratic party), all voted for a hank. And it is a fact not a
little curious, that while i,u„iy of the stanchest republicans o f
Virginia gave their votes tor a hrmk. „„r a sh,vl. on, of A, r
federal
members of Congress rot<(/ for it !
N o r is this the end of Virginia** committal to a hank. In 1 S 2 4 ,
she east an overwhelming majority for William II. Crawford, as
President, than whom the l"nion has furnished no stronger and more
uncompromising advocate of a National Bank.
N o r , while you now urge that no State R i g h t s republican c a n
support a Bank, should I withh. Id the fa.-t thai Mr. JetVersen h i m self, in 1M04, signed a bill s u p p l e m e n t a l to the Bank charter o f
1 7 0 1 , allowing the- location of hr mche* i.f the old Tinted S t a t e s
Bank anywhere within the St ;te~ and territ.uie* of the I n u n .
A w n y , then, with the false m u . nthat a St:;te Right* man c a n n o t
consistently vote lor a bank.
<,V.,d State Right-; m e n — a s " g o o d
m e n and true*' as yourself dare b e — h a v e often and o\er given their
support to a bank.
An<| good State R i g h t s n u n may \ e t e for o n e
again, without compromiting their fidelity to their principles and t h e




21
Constitution. I know men myself, whose strongest sympathies are
with the States, who acknowledge their sovereignty, and who, in the
hour of conllict, would unsheath their swords under the banner of
the States, but who honestly think a National Bank "necessary and
proper" to the collection, safety, and disbursement of the public revenues, and therefore support it. S u c h , I am aware, lose caste with
their party, and are excommunicated, as unworthy the society of
those more sanctified and sinless puritans, who, by prescribing an impracticable standard, give up the substance for the shadow ; but
when the *' tug of war" does come, these same excommunic ted
and d o g g e d disciples of the State R i g h t s faith will rally with as
much alacrity, and war with as holy an ardour, under the colours of
the State Rights party, as their more obstreperous and more professing brethren in the faith.
Y o u , sir, by an influence almost magic in your party, have driven
many a believer in the propriety of a bank from the position which
he occupied, of truth and right; but there are some whom you cannot drive or mislead. A n d give me leave to say to those1, who are
haltincr between the convictions of their own c o n s c i e n c e s and their
spell-like devotion to you, that there is fully as much, yea, far more
in your public course to reconcile them to a National Bank, than
there is to prejudice them against it. Let such be true to c o n s c i e n c e
and to duty. T h e man who entertains objections to a National Bank
" wholly insurmountable^
but who, all Ins life, has been sustaining
that to which he had insurmountable scruples, is unfit to be the adviser or leader of any whose aim is truth, and whose guide is conscience.
But to resume the narrative. T h e bill before alluded to and
for which you voted, passed the Senate on the 2ih.h of January,
1 8 1 5 , and on the 30th of the same month was vetoed by President
Madison, not on the ground of constitutional objection, but because
the "proposed bank did not appear to be calculated to answer the
purposes of reviving the public credit, of providing a national medium of circulation, and o f aiding the Treasury by facilitating the
indispensable anticipations of the revenue, and by affording to the
public more durable loans."
T h u s ended another of the abortive attempts to establish a N a tional B u n k ; not rendered abortive, however, by any want of your
aid and co-operation.
Had your wishes and efforts s u c c e e d e d , the
bank had been chartered long before it was. More anon.
LOWNDES.




9t2

T O T H E H O N . J O H N C. C A L H O U N .
N o . IV.
I closed mv last with the veto of the Bank hill hv Mr. Madison.
January 30th, 1S15.
On the 6th of February following Mr. Barbour of Virginia introduced a new bill in the Senate, which parsed that body on the
11th, and was sent to the House of Representatives tor concurrence. On the 17th, a motion for indefinite postponement was
made and prevailed, ayes 75, nays 7:?. You voted in the negative,
and thus added one more to the number of your votes in favour of a
National Bank.
I embrace this occasion to remark, that a most singular uniformity runs through your entire course on this subject : and, perhaps,
not a single member of Congress so iuvariablv sustained in argumerit, and so uniformly voted for, the various plans of a Bank, which,
from time to time, were submitted. You seemed to clinn to a N a tional Bank as the only plank that could keep the country afloat.
Come the subject up when it would, there you stood, crying Bank,
Bank, Bank,—with your brawny shoulder to the wheel—not calling
on Hercules to help, but yourself the Hercules of the task, tugging
with the patriot^ zeal and giant's strength, to prize the nation out o f
the deep mire of its difficulties. And you never tired in the good
work.
N o . Intent on your object, and well convinced of the
proper mran* to effect it, you struggled on to the last, till, by o n e
last, vigorous effort, with the Lever of a National Bank, you did
prize the country from the mire, and put it once more an the smooth
highway of prosperity. Oh ! that you would be Hercules again !
There is work now for your stalwart arm.—The same Lever is at
hand. Be but the John C. Calhoun of 1SI4, ? 15, 16 and >33.
Unite with Henry Clay and your own gallant and gifted colleague in
settling this vexing, perplexing question, and this done, on t h e
country will go, in glorious and unobstructed march, to the consummation of that great task of Reform, which it was the chief aim o f
the W h i g party to accomplish, and without which, our Institutions
are not worth the preservation.
Here let me intrude a word of admonition to the W h i g party in
Congress. Settle this fiscal and currency question, and settle it at
once, ere dissension and division ensue. S o long as it is unsettled.




23
the work of Reformation cannot progress. Practise concession and
conciliation. Let no petty differences divide you. K e e p yet on
common ground. Unite on great principles, leaving minor things
out of view. For the country's sake, be no discord among you.
T h r o w not away the all-glorious victory of Nov. 1840. W e fought
and won the battle of Cannae : let us not copy the example of the
thoughtless Carthagenian, w h o would not improve his victory, and
lost, thereby, all he had won. A work of immense magnitude lies
before the W h i g Party. Corruption is to be sought in its secret
places. T h e standard of public morals is to be raised. T h e Press
is to be purified, the Elective franchise redeemed.
Executive Power
is to be chained. E x e c u t i v e Patronage, the poisonous bane of our
s y s t e m , — t h e " immcclivahite vulnus," I fear it will prove, of our
body p o l i t i c — i s to be reduced. T h e great maxim of Civil Liberty
which disconnects the money and military powers, is to be engraven
on our system* Accountability and respectability in public officers
are to be secured. E c o n o m y , R e t r e n c h m e n t , are to b e c o m e the
policy of government. T h i s vast business is not to be done in a
day, or a year, or in four years. S o it b e c o m e s the W h i g party to
keep on c o m m o n ground until the task shall have b e e n a c c o m plished. Mr. W i s e ' s noble s e n t i m e n t — " the union of the W h i g s
for the sake of the U n i o n , " — b e the watchwords o f the W h i g s , at
least until after the next Presidential election.
T h e man w h o
would now throw a firebrand in the W h i g ranks, is a traitor—a
traitor to every W h i g principle—a traitor to as sacred a cause as
ever brought and bound a party together—a traitor to good morals
— a traitor to his country. A n d he who would play agitator, or indulge one selfish, ambitious aspiration, at this most critical juncture o f
our country's destiny, is a worthless D e m a g o g u e , who should have the
mean word branded on his forehead, that every one may read his infamy, and execrate him on sight. Let the W h i g party in C o n g r e s s ,
therefore, be undivided, or the Spoils party will regain their lost
p o w e r . — " Every thing for the cause, nothing for m e n , " — a s the
** N a p o l e o n of the Press" so often counsels his comrades.
Above
all—settle
the Jiscal and currency policy of the country.
N o t to
settle it, is to leave an embarrassment to the future action of the political party just installed, the c o n s e q u e n c e s of w h i c h no one c a n undertake to foretell.
A n d why, sir, may I not invoke your aid in this great and glorio u s work of Reform, which the W h i g party was put in power to




b

24
achieve? T i m e was when you wore a m o n j the most valiant of
the valiant, in warring against corruption, n-urpaf.ou. and misrule.
F r o m 9:Vi to ':*?, you took a noble stand for the Con-tuution and the
public Liberty. Manfully did you rcsi>t Executive encroachment.
T h e incipient act of assumption, the l l e m o \ d i^ the Deposits, you
rebuked with the spirit of a patriot and fret-man. " I have not the
patience (said you) to dwell upon r,*s!i»iiptifiis ^^ power so bold, s o
lawless, and so unconstitutional." And a^rain : " Other administrations w a y exceed this in talents, patriotism, and honesty, but certainly
in audacity, in effrontery, it stands withi-ut a parallel."
Look at the portrait you drew of your present ;dlio<, in your ever
memorable speech on the Deposit question. in l"v>4 ! It is a finished
and faithful picture, and you must have bt-i-n in the limner's happiest
mood when you took it, though, dotibtlos*, much <^f its fidelity was
owinji to the marked features and t\.ir posture of the >ubjoct that sat
for your pencil.
" T h e Senator from Kentucky (you s\id) re*-*l a striking passage
from one of the most pleasing and instrnetne writers in any language,
(Plutarch,) the description of Cn.-sar forcing himself, sword in hand,
into the treasury of the R o m a n Commonwealth.
W e are at the
same stage of our political revolution, and the analogy between the
two cases is complete, varied only by the character t^f the actors and
the circumstances of the times. That was a ease of an intrepid and
bold warrior, as an open plunderer, s e i y i n j forcibly the treasury o f
the country, which, in that Republic, as well a- ours, was confided
to the custody of the legislative department of the Government. T h e
actors in our case are of a different character—artful, cunning, and
corrupt politicians, and not fearless warriors. T h e v have entered
the treasury, not sword in hand, as public plunderer-, but with the
false keys of sophistry, as pilferers, under the silence of midnight.
T h e motive and object are the same, varied in like manner. b\'character and circumstances
' With money I will jot men, and with
m e n , m o n e y / was the maxim of the Roman plunderer. With money
w e will get partisans, with partisans votes, and with votes money, i s
the maxim of our public pilferers. With men and money, Caesar
struck down R o m a n liberty, at the fatal battle of Philippi, never t o
rise again: from which disastrous hour, all the powers of the R o m a n
Republic were consolidated in the person of Cu-*ar, and perpetuated
in his line. With money and corrupt parti^m*. a ^roat effort is now
making to choke and stiile the voice of American liberty, through all




25
its natural x>rgans : by corrupting the press, by overawing the other
departments, and, finally, l>y setting up a new and polluted organ,
composed of oilice holders and corrupt partisans, under the name
o f a national convention, which, counterfeiting the voice of the people, will, if not resisted, in their name dictate the succession ; when
the deed will be done—the revolution be completed—and all the
powers of our Republic, in like manner, be consolidated in the President, and perpetuated by his dictation/'
With a force and eloquence seldom equalled, you denounced and
exposed the Protest, as asserting ultra-monarchical doctrines.
" It would be a great mistake (you said) to suppose that this
Protest is the termination of his (Gen. Jackson's) hostility against
the Senate. It is but the c o m m e n c e m e n t — i t is the proclamation in
which he makes known his will to the Senate, claims their obedie n c e , and admonishes them of their danger, should they refuse to
repeal their ordinance."
Again : " I am mortified that in this country, boasting of its A n glo-Saxon descent, any one of respectable standing, much less the
President of the I'nited States, should be found to entertain principles leading to such monstrous results : and I can scarcely believe
myself to be breathing the air of our country, and to be within the
walls of the Senate Chamber, when T hear such doctrines vindicated.
It is proof of the wonderful
degeneracy
of the time*—of a total
lots of the true conception of constitutional
lAbrrty.
Hut in the
midst of this dtgenerctcy, I perceive the symptoms of
regeneration.
It is not my wish to touch on the. party
design at ions that have re*
cently obtained.
7, however, cannot but remark that the revival
of
the party names of the Revolution,
after they had so long slumbered,
is not without a Meaning, nor without an indication
of a return to
those principlt s w/iich lie at the foundation
of our .LAhtrty?*
" W h a t is there (you continued) in the meaning of W h i g and
T o r y , and what in the character of the times, which has caused their
sudden revival, as party designations at this time? I take it that the
very essence of Toryism—that that which constitutes a T o r y — i s to
sustain prerogative against privilege—to support the Executive
acruiiist the Liesjislative Department of the Government, and to lean
to the side of power against the side of liberty; while the W h i g is,
in all these particulars, of the very opposite principles. * * I
must say to those who are interested, that these party names should
n o t be revived, that nothing but tluir rt versing their course,
can
possibly prevent their application.
They owe it to
themselves—they




26
owe it to the Chief Magistrate
whom they support,
eis the head
of
their party, that they should halt in the support
of the despotic
and
slavish doctrines which ire hear daily advanced* before the return
of
the reviving spirit of lihirty shall orerwlulm thcmy with those who
arc leading tin m to their ruin**
N o b l e sentiments, these ! " Thought? that breathe and w o r d s
that burn !" O ! si sic semper !
A n d , to do you ample justice, none spurned more scornfully than
y o u , the vile deed o f the Expunge.
Y o u were, indeed, the honoured,
admired associate of Clay, W e b s t e r , Southard. Preston, T y l e r ,
L e i g h , and other oallant W h i g s who stood forth to roll back t h e
s w e e p i n g tide of Executive assumption.
Y o u deplored the fearful
concentration of power in the Federal H e a d , and you bewailed the
corruption and degeneracy of the Government.
Y o u drew a picture
in 1 8 3 5 , in reply to a W h i g Committee of the town of Petersburg,
w h i c h , high-wrought as it was, yet was not overdrawn, and I beg
leave to borrow your pencil for a moment to paint it o n c e more, for
the contemplation of your countrymen.
" I must content myself
(said y o u ) with saying* that there never
was a. period in which our institutions
were in greater
danger,
and
when our country called more imploringly
for rtlitf.
It is impossible for any one who has not been an eye-witness,
to realize the
rapid
corruption
and degeneracy
of the government
within
the last ten
years.
80 callous has the sensibility
of the community
become, that
things are now, not only tolerated, but are scarcity noticed, which, at
any other period, would have prostrated
the administration
of
Washington himself
fa fact, to prove corruption and abuse, but
strengthens the Administration
in the affections of that powerful
and
disciplined corps, which is the main support of those in power, and which
unfortunately
have established so commanding
an influence over public opinion.
Of this melancholy and alarming
truth, we have had
of late many and striking
illustrations.
It is time for the people to
refect.
A state of things so corrupt cannot long exist, and must, if
not reformed, lead to convulsion and revolution "
A g a i n : In N o v e m b e r , 1^35,—then a W h i g , and not the least
noisy of W h i g s , — y o u were invited by a committee of the c i t i z e n s
of Baltimore, " opposed to the P r e s i d e n t s nominating his s u c c e s s o r ,
to attend a festival to be given in honour o f the late triumph in M a ryland, by those opposed to the E x e c u t i v e nominee ;" to w h i c h invitation you responded as follows :
" N o one can look with greater alarm than I do, on the attempt




27
o f the Chief Magistrate to appoint his successor. Should it succeed, open and undisguised as it is, and resting almost exclusively,
as it does, on the avowed subserviency of the nominee to the will of
the President, without those high qualifications and services, on his
part, calculated to commend the regard of the people, or to tit him
for the duties of the high office to which he aspires, it would afford
conclusive proof of the consummation of Executive usurpation over
the other departments of the government, and the constitution and
liberty of the people." And yet, in 1840, when you might have rebuked this arrogant, insolent dictation of the Executive nominor by
opposing the re-election of the Executive nominee, and might, by
this means, have broken the force of this dangerous precedent,
you cast away, at Ambition's bidding, the glowing chivalry of 1835,
and were found under the banner of the dictated successor of a dictator President, doing battle for the sycophant aspirant whose utterance of the vassal sentiment, " it is glory enough to have served
under such a chief," proved him utterly unfit to be intrusted with
the destinies of a proud and free people !
But further : In 183(5, in a speech in the Senate, you took the
following notice of the two great leaders of the Democracy :
" General Jackson would soon be out of power, and the administration that may succeed him could not keep the South divided.
l i e would tell the coming administration to beware. If there be any
who expected the President's nominee (Mr, Van Buren) could successfully play the game which he has, he would be wofully mistaken.
With all his objections to the President, he (Mr. Calhoun) would not
deny him many high qualities; he had courage and firmness; was
bold, warlike, audacious, though not true to his word, or faithful to
his pledges. He had, besides, done the State some service, lie terminated the late war gloriously at N e w Orleans, which had been remembered greatly to his advantage. His nominee (Mr. Van Buren)
had none of these recommendations; he is not of the race of the
lion or the tiger ; he belongs to a lower order—the fox and the weasel ; and it would be in vain to expect that he could command the
respect, or acquire the confidence of those who had so little admiration for the qualities by which he was distinguished. By the dexterous use of patronage, for which he and his party were so distinguished, an individual heie and there, who preferred himself to the
country, might be enlisted ; but the great mass—all that were independent and sound in the South—would be finally opposed to him
and his system."




28
I might present many such p i c t u r e s , the p r o d u c t i o n s of your
own graphic pencil. You not only drew well the sombre s c e n e , but
you painted the evil-doers in the dark lineaments which their r a r e
wickedness deserved. Y o u d e n o u n c e d a certain party in the c o u n try as those who were kept together by the " cohesive principle o f
p l u n d e r " — a s * R o g u e s and R o y a l i s t s , " even, while you, in your
*
t u r n , were by them vilified, as the Catiline of the "Whig party, and
us one who " never spoke the truth when a falsehood would serve h i s
p u r p o s e , and who nullified truth without r e m o r s e / '
W e l l , sir, we, the W h i g s of the Union, uniting in a c o m m o n
c a u s e — t h a t cause the cause of our C o u n t r y , and once most dear t o
you—sacrificing on the altar of our Country all minor differences o f
o p i n i o n — t h r o w i n g to the winds in a time of common peril all d o c trinal questions as subordinate to that higher one of public l i b e r t y —
\vc, t h e W h i g s of 1840, like the W h i g s of 17715, rallying u n d e r a
c o m m o n standard, met and overthrew the common enemy, and thrust
t h e " Spoilers," the i4 R o g u e s and R o y a l i s t s / ' from the holy t e m p l e s
of freedom. W e drove the Gauls from the Capitol, and now that
they are out, will you not assist us to k e e p them out ? W i l l you not,
g a t h e r i n g up the glorious r e m i n i s c e n c e s of *:V.J and :V>, freshen y o u r
laurels in the good cause in which you once did heroic fight and
gained a renown which it were a thousand pities to lose ? W i l l y o u ,
can you, unite with a party which is *• kept together only by the
cohesive principle of plunder Vf " W h o s e corrupt policy, you t h o u g h t
a few years since, would force the country to convulsion and revolution ?" O r will you join yourself with the party which has expelled
the Goths from R o m e , and rescued the constitution from the Vandal
grasj) that profaned it ?
Sir, no man understands better than yourself, the true c h a r acter of the W h i g party of this country. You k n o w , from your former connexion with it—from a knowledge of its leading m e n , as
well as from general observation of its course—that a lofty spirit of
liberty has actuated it from the earliest period of its o r g a n i z a t i o n —
that its very formation was the working of the Saxon feeling of A m e r ica, the result of the " spirit of the Revoluth n " come back u p o n
our people—and you k n o w , too, that no *; cohesive principle of p l u n d e r " binds t/iis party together. You know well, and you feci, t h a t
t h e mighty movement of popular vengeance which, with torrent r u s h ,
overwhelmed and swept away a foul and wicked party, was the operation of no mercenary cause, and you are this m o m e n t sensible




29
t h a t the great objects of this party still are, R e f o r m — t h e re form a*
t i o n of those abuses and corruptions which you once so eloquently
d e n o u n c e d — t h e redemption of the government from those alarming
innovations which have been engrafted upon it by a reckless dynasty
-—the bringing back of the Constitution to its first p r i n c i p l e s — t h e
annihilation of the disorganizing doctrines which have sprung from
m o d e r n D e m o c r a c y — t h e revival of public credit and the country's
p r o s p e r i t y — a n d the vindication of the nation's name from the foul
s t a i n which a rowdy Locofoeoism has left upon it.—AVill yon co-ope r a t e with your quondam friends in effecting these noble objects, or
will you permit certain views touching the presidential succession,
to lead you into the r a n k s of new associates, from whom, if your acc o u n t of them be t r u e , you can never hope the consummation of
Reform ?
S t r a n g e , strange indeed, will it he regarded by the country, if, on
a c c o u n t of your cherished notions of state rights, you throw your influence in behalf of the nn^talttd
Democratic party. Have you t h e
m a d n e s s to expect practical state rights from such a source ? W h y ,
h a v e you forgotten what you said of its state rights a few years ago ?
" T h i s administration" (said you in your speech on the Deposit
q u e s t i o n ) , " this administration defend the rights of the States against
t h e e n c r o a c h m e n t s of the General Government ! T h i s administration the g u a r d i a n s and defenders of the rights of the States ! W h a t
shall I call it, audacity or hypocrisy V
So thought and spoke you
t h e n . H a s any redeeming conduct since justified the withdrawal of
y o u r past condemnation of this party I Has not outrage been piled
u p o n o u t r a g e ? After the Proclamation and R e m o v a l id" the Deposits, did not the Protest follow, asserting for the President more than
kingly power ? Did not tin 1 Kxpunge add another to the revolting
d e e d s of this party i W e r e not new claims set up for Kxceutivo p r e rogative u n d e r Mr. Van B u r e n ' s Administration ?
T h a t the Hxetv
utive was a p a r t of the Legislature of the country I T h a t it should
have a strung standing Army of £ 0 0 , 0 0 0 men '? A n d have you forg o t t e n the outrageous proceedings (of your new state right allies) in
t h e N e w Jersey case, which treated with contempt the broad seal of
a sovereign S t a t e , disfranchised her of her representation in Congress,
while they set at nought the fundamental principles of social o r d e r ?
K x p e c t your state right doctrines to be sustained, in p r a c t i c e , hy
•such a party as this : by Proclamati< nists, Protesters, Kxpungcrs, and
t h e w i c k e d perpetrators of the New Jersey outrage ! " S i r — S i r —




30
S i r " — a s Mr. Webster o n c e paid to you. it is monstrous so to r e a s o n .
Y o u hug a delusion ! Y o u pursue a phantom ! S u r e as you put t h i s
party in power again, it will characterize itself by n e w acts o f v i o l e n c e , and it will throw your state rights doctrines to the w i n d s .
S o they have heretofore invariably done, and what either m e n o r
parties have uniformly done, it is reason and philosophy t o e x p e c t
them to d o again.
W h y , sir, to warn you what company you are k e e p i n g , and t o
e x p o s e the hollow insincerity, or (to borrow your o w n words) t h e
•* h y p o c r i s y / 5 o f the state right* professions of your new allies, g i v e
m e leave t o propound you a few interrogatories :—
1. W h y did they not, w h e n , prior to l > 4 0 . they had the a s c e n d e n c y in both b r a n d i e s of C o n g r e s s , disavow the principles o f t h e
Proclamation ?
2 . W h y did not these trusty guardians of state rights strike from
the federal statute-book the Force-bill, so odious to you and all
g e n u i n e state rights men ? T h e y had the p o w e r — w h a t wanted t h e y
but the will I
8. W h y is it, that to this hour, they glorify Andrew J a c k s o n , t h e
very author o f the P r o c l a m a t i o n , and prompter i^f the force-bill?
4 . W h y did not the " great-democratic-republican-state-rights
party,' 5 when it was in power, disclaim the slavish doctrines o f t h e
P r o t e s t — d o c t r i n e s w h i c h , in practice, would make Senators o f t h e
U n i o n craven vassals of the E x e c u t i v e , and that E x e c u t i v e the veriest
o f despots ? W h y , t o o , did it not vindicate the sullied honour o f t h e
nation, by undoing the E x p u n g e ? For what other reason than that
t h e s e n e w associates o f yours were Protesters and Expungers still ?
5. H o w happened it, that under the auspices of a party professing
to be strict constructionists and uncompromising- opponents o f
Internal I m p r o v e m e n t s by the federal government, there was annually
expended, for s u c h improvements, four times as m u c h as under t h e
admitted Internal Improvement administration <A^ J o h n Q u i n c y
A d a m s ? A n d that w h e n the Cumberland road bill was on its p a s s a g e
in the Senate in 1KH>, it received the \ote< of fotfrt<< n
<hmorratic
stafr riffAts Senators,
and was defeated onlv bv the votes o f t h e
" Federal Whigs" ?
" "
0. H o w c a m e it to pass, in that continuous p r o c e e d i n g of unparralleled iniquity and wrong, the N e w Jersey e a s e — w h e n , unheard
and undefended, a sovereign State was swindled out ^t' her representation in C o n g r e s s — w h e n the rights of individuals and a w h o l e '




3i
c o m m o n w e a l t h , like the lawless measures of the French Jacobins in
revolutionary France, were voted away by acclamation m as it was
termed in that bloody era, that is, thrust through without the privilege
of debate—when the broad seal of a sovereign State, that significant
emblem of sovereignty, was trailed in the dust and trodden upon in
impudent defiance—when truth, right, decency, Constitution, and
L a w , were all a mockery made—how came it, I repeat, that on the
o c c a s i o n of this most iniquitous outrage, each and every one of your
democratic, state rights associates was found on the side of federal
power—assisting at the unholy immolation—while the Whigs of the
H o u s e of Representatives—those you deserted for not being state
rights enough—and whom you now stigmatize as Federalists—were
found ranged, to a man, on the side of the injured and insulted State?
A n d lastly, is it not notorious that the party with which you now
profess kindred sentiments and principles, has, for ten long years and
more, stood up for federal supremacy in all its forms and pretensions ?
Answer these queries in the deep sincerity of your heart, and
then, all ambitious aspirations aloof, ask your inner self, if, in
expecting from your Eocofoco allies the honest support and practical
advancement of State rights, you do not chase the most shadowy of
phantoms !
Furthermore, is it policy to place so much stress upon state
rights, and so little on Executive assumption ? Or are you and your
followers consistent, when you so stickle for state rights, yet stand
by with folded arms, and let the Executive absorb within itself all
the powers and functions of government ? In my poor judgment,
you make a capital mistake in your estimate of the comparative
danger of Legislative and Executive usurpation* Executive power
is the worst foe to the rights of the States. It has the means, in an
unbounded patronage, of making its assaults effectual, whether made
upon the rights of the States, or upon the other Departments of the
Government, S e e with what success Mr. Van Duren carried through
Congress measures deliberately condemned by the People !
Indeed, all assumption of power by the Executive, is so much
subtracted from the rights of the States. R e l y upon it, sir, the best
foundation for State R i g h t s lies in the tying down of Executive
power, in the reduction o f Executive patronage, in the modification
o f the power of removal, and in that pure morality which constitutes
alike the basis and the value of all civil systems and political establishments.




32
All of us, i k n o \ . , o n c e thought that the great danger to the t i g h t
o f the States, lay in legislative usurpation. It had never entered t h e
mind of any, that E x e c u t i v e Power would dare what it essayed u n d e r
the rule of A n d r e w Jackson and Martin Van Ruren : and still l e s s
had it occurred to even the most sagacious. that the power of p a t r o n a g e
could he wielded with such effect as, not only to consummate e x e c u tive encroachment, hut to throw around it the panoply of i m p u n i t y ,
and influence legislation. Rut the history of the hist ton years h a s
written it indelibly upon my mind, that it is I n c e n t i v e P o w e r w h i c h
the friend of State Ili^hts has most to dread and guard against: a n d
1 cannot hut wonder that a mind like yours has resisted this palpable
truth, and that YOU should not he- found under the hanner of that
party, which, you know, is the uncompromising, hitter antagonist, o f
every thing having the semhlance e \ e n K'f K \ e c u i i \ o assumption.
I-astly, c o n c e d i n g to State R i g h t s more than ordinary sanctity
and importance, may there not he yet higher issues than this, or antf
system of mere doctrinal faith ? May not the latter he sunk in t h e
far graver questions of public liberty and public morals ? A n d i n
the political contests of the next eight or ten years, ought not t h e s e
latter issues to supersede the former !
Y o u yourself have often pointed out and deplored the fearful
d e c l i n e , under the auspices of M o d e m D e m o c r a c y of the free spirit
of our people, and the frequent and successful invasion, in our s y s t e m ,
of the cardinal principles of free imvernmcm.
A«;ain and thrice
again you declared, that the Press, the chief handmaid of Liberty,
was corrupted and bought up ; that the elective franchise was invaded;
that the patronage of the government was dangerously enlarged and
shamefully prostituted ; Hi at expenditures < f public money were m a d e
on the most profligate scale : that the purse and sword were united ;
that all power was fast consolidating in the E x e c u t i v e : that our
institutions were in danger.
Frequently aud eloquently have you adverted to the rapid m a r c h
of corruption, and bemoaned the alarming decnv e.f public virtue.
T h e degeneracy of the times (almost incredible you represented it t o
be) you ascribed (and rightly) to the demoralizing example o f G o v ernment, set, be it noted, under the reign of ( n o w ) vour d e m o c r a t i c
allies. T h e y it was (you reasoned) who set the fu>t example o f promoting unworthy men to otheial trusts : who permitted such to remain
in office, after the discovery of their unworthiness, because they c o u l d
" aid the Democratic cause'*; who put the defaulter and the h o n e s t




33
m a n on a level ; who substituted political orthodoxy and party fealty
for a pure moral standard. You averred even, that the proof of corruption and abuse but strengthened the administration, and you predicted that, without reformation, convulsion and revolution would
ensue.
A general demoralization you foreshowed, the evil consequences
o f which no one can estimate better than yourself, A mind like
yours, realizes, at a glance, these solemn truths, that the corruption
o f public morals is far worse than famine, pestilence, and the sword ;
that it is an easy thing to sink, but a most difficult one to elevate the
standard of morals ; that, accordingly, he who makes a successful
attack upon the virtue of a nation, does it far more injury than the
conqueror who sacks its cities, and lays waste its fields: and you are
t o o versed a historian not to know that the decay of public virtue
dates the decline of public liberty, and that corruption and free government cannot long co-exist. It is, indeed, the heaviest ill that
Heaven's justice can visit on guilty mortality. A Roman Philosopher has furnished a graphic summary of its all-pernicious effects :
" t"bi non est pudor,
N e e cura juris, sunetitas, pietas, lides,
lnstabilc rrgnum e s t / '

N o w , sir, if the party with which you are at this time acting,
while it had dominion, brought about these most unhappy results,
does not an overruling consideration of public liberty and public
morals, demand that it be unceasingly resisted in its efforts to regain
possession of the Government? Should any fancied advantage to
State rights induce you to aid in the reinstallment of a party, that,
by your own confession, has subsidized the Press, corrupted the elective franchise, applied the vast resources of its patronage to the corruption of the people, and weakened all the bulwarks of American
freedom ?
What assurance have you of its contrition, what proof of its reformation, that you now grant it remission, and hug it to your bosom ?
Had it put on sackcloth and ashes when, in 1837, you ceased to denounce it, and gave in your adhesion to the " fox and weasel" chief?
Perpetrated it no fresh enormity after it received and registered your
oath of fealty? Did it not, to its last expiring agony, preserve the
unbroken consistency of its wicked career? W a s not the midnight
hour of March the 4th, 1841—when it should have been gathering
3




34
its robes around it, to die in decency—desecrated by one last o b l a tion on the altar of the spoils, by an act of the pettiest party m e a n ness which covered its doers with shame, and left a dark page for t h e
national history 1
m
Is its advocacy of the sub-treasury all the earnest you require o f
its regeneration ? D o e s this little propitiation blot out all its iniquities, and fit it to become the standard-bearer o{ State rights ? O r
were you in search of a pretext for deserting the W h i g party, w h e n
you discovered that victory in its ranks would not inure to yourself?
O r , may be, you calculate that under your auspices, the D e m o c racy will be a bitter party than in times of yore, when you so u n m e r cifully abused it. I believe it would be, if you could control it; b u t
think you to be able to direct it ? Has it not been too long " h e l d
together by the cohesive power of public plunder," to be disjoined
by the nobler agencies which you might be prompted to bring i n t o
play ? T h i n k you to break, at bidding, the vampyre clutch w h i c h ,
for a d o z e n years, has been fastened on the vitals of the country t
But suppose you shall not be the chosen candidate of the party,
as I am sure you will not be—suppose some chief less scrupulous
than yourself, as Mr. Van Buren, Mr. Benton, or Col. J o h n s o n ,
should be selected to bear the burthen of State rights D e m o c r a c y ,
where will John C. Calhoun find himself but in the singular a n d
unenviable position of striving for the restoration of a party, w h i c h ,
as himself hath said, has poisoned the fountains of morality, and sapped the foundations of the public liberty ?
Verily, sir, there are other considerations than State rights, and
higher ones too, to be taken in the administration o f the Government at this time ; and higher issues than mere State rights ought,
must, and will, for years to come, govern the contests in this c o u n try for political ascendency.
W h e n the important reforms, for which the W h i g party has s o
long and gallantly struggled, shall have been accomplished and
durably established ; when the thrown-down barriers of the Constitution shall have been put up ; the partition-walls that once divided
the Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary Departments, re-erected ;
when the power of removal shall have been qualified, and the patronage of the government reduced to reasonable limits: when the grand
principle of civil liberty, that to the people's immediate representatives
belongs, exclusively, the custody of the people's money, shall have b e e n
wrested back from Executive Power, and re-engraven on our country's




#

35
institutions ; when the press shall have been released from subsidy,
and made what it was wont to be, the mmistering agent of morality ;
when we shall have given back to the elective franchise the purity of
the early days of the Republic, the " patronage of the government
n o longer in conflict with the freedom of elections" ; when the
expenditures of the government shall have been reduced to the true
economical point ; the moral standard of the country raised ; its
offices, high and low, filled with enlightened and virtuous incumbents ;
above all, when the ruthless Jacobinism, which, under the decked
garb of Democracy, is working a fatal revolution in the politics and
morals of the country, shall have been extirpated forever : when these
precious ends—ends far outweighing in dignity and value the temporary ascendency of this or that abstract system of political faith—
shall have been attained (and time will be required for the consummation), then may each citizen stickle, with what pertinacity and
ardour he lists, for his peculiar creed; but until then, all cant about
the exclusiveness of State Rights will be unmeaning and out of place.
T h e r e is one more reflection, which, at the commencement of
this digression, I had intended to indulge ; but I must make it the
introduction to my next.
LOWNDES.

T O T H E H O N . J O H N C. C A L H O U N .
N o , V.
In addition to the singular uniformity which pervades your course
in favour of a National Bank, anothor remarkable circumstance deserves to be noted. During the protracted and warm discussions of
the numerous projets of a bank submitted up to the 7th of February,
1 8 1 5 (end of the 15th Congress), not one word teas said, or one
doubt or difficulty expressed by you, on the constitutionality
or unconstitutionality
of such an institution.
If you had n o misgivings
on the constitutional point, I must repeat that I do not understand
your present position, unless you will solve the whole difficulty by
honestly avowing a change of opinion, and this, I understand, you
are unwilling to do. Or if you entertained scruples, and nevertheless
persisted, on every occasion, in voting for a bank, you possessed a
suppleness of conscience illy suited to the strait-laced rigidity of the




36
* true blue" state rights disciple. In fine. I <cc not one c i r c u m s t a n c e
*
in your history—no, not one—not the fraction of one—that w o u l d
show you to be opposed to a hank on constitutional grounds, nor d o
I belive you had a doubt on the subject. AH the noise, therefore,
you have made, of late yeais, about the unconstitutionality of a bank*
and about the state rights party being precluded from supporting it, i s
mere afterthought, having relation. I fear, to some future succession
to the Presidency of the United States. T may be mistaken—I h o p e
I am ; but. when I contemplate your erratic career—your strange,
most strange inconsistencies and contradiction*—tor long years s u s taining with unparalleled zeal a Bank of the United States, and t h e n
at the eleventh hour with equal fierceness, denouncing it as " u n c o n stitutional, inexpedient, and dangerous."—now standing up s o m e
noble Hampden or Sydney, with Saxon spirit vindicating the g r e a t
principles of Magna Charta : then •• leaning to the side of Power against
the side of Liberty 4 '—at one moment, characterizing a certain party
as the enemies of the country. *• kept together only by the cohesive
principle of plunder:*' at the next, warring under its dag—one d a y ,
the proud associate of Webster, and Preston, and Clay, the next t h e
boon compeer of Kendall, and Benton, and Duncan—a State R i g h t s
man uniting himself with the Proclamation^ and wool-dyed Federalist
— a loather of the Protest and the Expunge, taking the Protester a n d
Expunger by the hand—yesterday a Whig : a Tory to-day—I s a y ,
when I call up these points of your history. I am constrained, either
to charge upon you a singular obliquity i^ judgment (a solution
for which you will not thank me, and which none will accept a s
satisfactory), or I must connect your abrupt wheel on the bank q u e s tion with the inklings of a certain weakness c^f human nature, w h o s e
nomenclature I will leave it to the gentle reader to determine.
I proceed now to the review of your course on the subject of t h e
bank of 1810—that bank which you said in ':?4. % owed its e x i s t e n c e
*
to you more than to any one else in the count r\\ and would never
have been chartered but for your efforts/'
In his annual Message of Dec. 3th. l - L V Mr. Madison—yea,
Mr. Madison—as good a state rights man as most men of the p r e sent day—brought to the attention of Congress the subject of a u n i form currency, and, as connected therewith, a .National Bank.
On the 0th inst.—the second day of the session—it was resolved,
" that so much of the Presidents message as relates to an uniform
National Currency be referred to a select Committee/' And t h e




37
subject was accordingly referred to the following Committee : Mr.
Calhoun of S. C , Mr. Macon of N. C , Mr. Pleasants of Va., Mr.
Hopkinson of Pa., Mr. Robertson of La., Mr. Tucker of Va., and
Mr. Pickering of Mass.
Y o u were at the head of the Committee, as you should have been.
T h r o u g h two succeeding sessions of Congress, you had been the
never-tiring champion of the Bank ; and that circumstance, doubtless, indicating the obvious propriety of the thing, induced tbe Speaker
o f the H o u s e to place you at the head of this important Committee.
O n the 8th of January, 181(3, you reported a bill " to incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States," which bill
constituted the charter of the late United States Bank ; and on the
2 6 t h of Feb'y, you made your memorable speech in its behalf,
which I propose now critically to examine, showing, as I clearly shall,
that no man, not even Alexander Hamilton or Daniel Webster, has
ever exceeded you, either in tbe zeal and ability with which you
maintained the propriety of a bank, or in the latitudinarian doctrine
which you brought to your aid in its support.
In your exordium, you said that " t h e constitutional question had
been so freely and frequently discussed, that all had made up their
mind on it." Of course, you had made up yours.
T h e n how had
you made it up ? If against the constitutionality, with what face
could you rise up in Congress and make a transcendently able argument in favour of an unconstitutional institution ? I perceive in
such a course neither good state rights nor sound morality. And if
your " mind was made up" in favour of the constitutionality, how
came you into your present attitude of hostility to a bank, denying
even the right of Government to treat bank notes as money ? I have
put you similar interrogatories before, but to an individual, using his
utmost exertions to revolutionize the tried fiscal and monetary policy
o f the country, they cannot be too often propounded.
" T h e question (you continued) whether banks were favourable
to public liberty and prosperity, was one purely speculative.
The
fact of the existence of banks, and their incorporation with the commercial concerns and industry of the nation, proved that inquiry to
come too late"
A wise reflection this ! Practical wisdom it surely
was, to have regard to the existing condition of the country. A wise
statesman will never do less. But why, sir, can you not practise
this same wisdom now? Banks do now exist, to a much greater extent than in 1810, and they are now infinitely more " incorporated




with t h e commercial concern? and industry of the nation" than t h e y
were then. T h e " b u s h i e r and industry of the n a t i o n " are almost
incalculably extended beyond the point they had reached in 1 8 1 6 O u r population has been nearly doubled : our commerce vastly
augmented ; our agriculture advanced ; and a new b r a n c h of i n d u s try (manufactues), then almost unknown, has sprung up in t h e
country to such an extent as to make it one of its leading interestsNow, with this immensely increased business, the b a n k i n g policy h a s
become most intimately, and deeply incorporated, so mixed up w i t h
it, that whatever affects the banks, is sensibly felt by all the great
interests of the country. In this state of things, why can you n o t
t a k e the same sensible, practical, statesmanlike view you did i n
181(>?
Considering that banks do exist, and are deeply i n c o r porated with the business of the country, why can you not now think
that the question as to their utility and continuance " comes too
late," that we are estopped from raising such an inquiry ? I f i t
were " too late' to raise the question then, it would be very m a d n e s s
to raise it now. Allow me, then, to entreat yon. in the name of t h e
country, to return to your sound views of 1^U>. Contemplate t h e
commerce and manufacturers of the country, inseparably blended, a s
they are, with the existence of banks, and coming to the c o n c l u s i o n
that all your modern abstractions on the subject fci come too l a t e / 1
manfally vote for a recharter of the bank, give prosperity to t h e
nation, and then prepare for the benedictions of a benefited a n d
grateful country.
W h y , one of the main arguments you advanced in 1^H> was, that
a National Bank would force a resumption of specie payments, a n d ,
by fixing a discrimination between sound and unsound banks, e s t a b lish a sound and uniform circulating medium, and revive the p r o s perity of the country.
* A National Bank (you said) paying specie itself, would have a
*
tendency to make specie payments general, as well by its influence
as by its example. It would be the interest of the National B a n k t o
produce this state of things, because, otherwise, its operations will
be greatly circumscribed, as it must pay out specie or National B a n k
notes ; for one of the first rules of such a bank would be, to t a k e
the notes of no bank which did not pay in gold and silver. A N a tional Bank of &> millions, with the aid of those banks which are
ready at once to pay specie, would produce a powerful etrect all o v e r
the Union. Further, a National Bank would enable the g o v e r n m e n t




39
t o resort to measures which would make it unprofitable to banks to
continue the violation of their contracts, and advantageous to return
t o the observance of them. T h e leading measures of this character
would be, to strip the banks refusing to pay specie of all the profits
arising from the business of the government—to prohibit deposits
with them, and to refuse to receive their notes in payment of dues to
the g o v e r n m e n t "
T h i s was your argument—an unanswerable one it was—but you
continued :
" T h e restoration of specie payments would remove the embarrassments on the industry of the country, and the stains from its
public and private faith. It remained to sec whet Iter this
House,
W I T H O U T W H O S E AID it was in vain to expect success in this object,
WOULD HAVE T H E FORTITUDE to apply the remedy.
If this was not
the proper remedy, you hoped it would be shown by the proposition
o f a proper substitute, A N D N O T O P P O S E D B Y V A G U E A N D
G E N E R A L D E C L A M A T I O N A G A I N S T BANKS.'1
Y o u then said, that it was in the power of Congress to " eradicate
the disease; but if they did not now exercise the power, they would
b e c o m e the abettors of a state of things which was of vital consequence to public morality." Y o u " called upon the House, as guardians of the public weal, of the health of the body politic, which depended on the public morals, to interpose against a state of things
w h i c h was inconsistent with either ;" and accordingly, you " appealed
t o Congress, as the guardians of the public and private faith, u to
pass your bill for establishing a Bank.
Well, sir, the very same state of things exists now that existed
then, and, of course, the same arguments apply* Specie payments
are suspended : the currency is depreciated ; there are rotten banks
that require to be swept away with the besom of a national institution, while there are sound ones that merit the a^gis of its protection ;
there are " stains on the public and the private faith," which require
some d e m i s i n g operation to wash them away ; there is demoralization
now, as then ; there are " embarrassments on the industry of the
country; 7 ' the disease is the same in 1841 that it was in 181G—its
every feature identical—then, if a JVational Hank was " the proper
remedy77 in JS1(>, why, why is it not " the proper remedy 0 n o w ?
W h y can you not take the same plain, sound view of the subject
n o w ? W h y do you not call on Congress, " as guardians of the public weal and of the public and private faith," to iC apply the re-




40
m e d y " and eradicate the ' • d i s e a s e ? " Do, good sir, but r e c u r t o
your irresistible arguments of I S 10. Press them again upon t h e
consideration of Congress. im Have the fortitude to apply t h e r e *
m e d y / ? and do not—in the n a m e of the suffering c o u n t r y , of " p u b lic and private faith and public morality"—do not *• oppose b y
vaoruc and general declamation against banks/* the establishment o f
a National B a n k , and the application of the only * proper r e m e d y *
*
for the difficulties that beset the nation !
A r e you less enlightened now, that you do not see t h e evil s o
plainly, or less patriotic, that you are less willing to apply the r e medy ? O r are you more ambitious, that you now postpone t h e
plainest suggestions of wisdom, and the most obvious c o n s i d e r a t i o n s
of the public good ? Sir, give me leave to say. that if a N a t i o n a l
B a n k was necessary in IS 10, it cannot be less so now, in a state o f
things strictlv analogous: and I am utterly at a loss to k n o w , how a
generous and enlightened patriotism can zealously enforce a p a r t i c u l a r
measure of public utility at one moment, and at the next lay it a s i d e ,
u n d e r circumstances of even higher necessity. A n d let m e w a r n
you, that when public men act upon considerations of public g o o d
one day, and indulge in idle abstractions the next : when they i n v o k e
others not t o oppose a great public measure with •* vague and g e n e ral declamation," and then do that very thing themselves, they m u s t
expect the uncharitable judgment of the world : they must c a l c u l a t e
on hearing significant allusions to that grave sin which banished t h e
fallen Angels to P a n d e m o n i u m : and if their conduct trill call u p
the fiendish reflection of Milton's apostate A r c h a n g e l ,
u

T o reign were worth nm!>ition, though in II^ll ;
Bettor to rt*ign in II*11 tlian S»T\I- in H o a v ' n " —

the blame is their own, and is the just penalty of their own guilty aspirations. You will hear from me again.
LOWNDES.

T O T H E HON. JOHN t \

CALHOKN

No VI.
I pursue the examination of your argument in favour of t h e b a n k
charter of 1HHJ.
" The only qutstions (said you) were, under what modifications




41
banks were most useful, and whether the United States ought of
ought not to exercise the power to establish a bank." After a survey of the whole question, you came to the deliberate conclusion,
that banks were not to be dispensed with, and then you seized the
position that a National Bank was the best possible modification o f
the banking policy, and maintained, with an ability never before or
s i n c e surpassed, that the government had, and ought to exercise, the
power to establish such an institution. It is in vain to seek, elsewhere, a more unequivocal committal to a Bank of the United States
than is here presented.
" Ought or ought not to exercise the power to establish a bank V'
W h y , contemplate the obvious import of these words! D o they not
imply a total concession of the constitutional question ? In totidem
verbis, you acknowledged the power to establish a bank. But, if you
insist that your words do not bear this construction, you cannot escape the only alternative position, that you considered the constitutional question res adjudicata ; for if you neither recognised the
power of Congress to establish a bank, nor considered the question
res adjudicata,
you were guilty of a wilful, wanton, I might almost
say, malicious assault, upon tiie Constitution of the United States.
But let us see what were your opinions of the expediency of a
bank.
" A s to the question (you said) whether a National Bank would
be favourable to the administration of the finances of the government, it was one on which there was so little doubt, that gentlemen
must excuse you, if you did not enter into it"
Again, in your speech on the Removal of the Deposits, January
13th, 1834, you said :
" But while I shall not condescend to notice the charges of the
Secretary against the bank, beyond the extent which I have stated,
a sense of duty to the Institution, and regard to the part which I
took in its creation, compel me to notice two allegations against it,
which have fallen from another quarter.
" It is said that the Bank had no agency, or at least efficient
agency, in the restoration of specie payments in 1817, and that it
had failed to furnish the country with a sound and uniform currency >
as had been promised at the time of its creation. Both of these allegations, I pronounce to be without just foundation. T o enter into
a minute examination of them, would carry me too far from the subject, and I must content myself with saying, that having been on the




42
political stage without interruption from that day to t h i s — h a v i n g
been an attentive observer of the question ot the currency t h r o u g h out the whole period—that the Bank lias been an indispensable a g e n t
in the restoration of specie payments: that without it, the r e s t o r a tion could not have been effected short o{ the utter prostration o f a l l
the moneyed institutions of the country, and an entire d e p r e c i a t i o n
of Bank paper : and that it has not only restored specie p a y m e n t s , but
has given a currency far more uniform between the extremes of the
country, than was anticipated or even dreamed of at the time of
its
creation.
I will say for myself that I did not belie re. at that
time,
that the exchange between the Atlantic and the W e s t , would b e
brought lower than two and a half per cent., the estimated e x p e n s e
then, including insurance and loss of time, of transporting s p e c i e
between the two points. How much it was below the a n t i c i p a t e d
point, I need not state : the trholc commercial world knows
that
it was not a fourth part at the time of the remoral of the Deposits "
T h e s e , sir, are strong admissions to the expediency of a N a t i o n a l
Bank. A s a fiscal agent, its necessity was so obvious and e s s e n t i a l ,
that you could not bring yourself even to the discussion of the p o i n t *
P r a y , is it not as " favourable to the administration of the
financed
of the Government" now as formerly ? l\;\* anv c h a n g e t a k e n p l a c e
in its capabilities for fiscal opeiation ? You spoke then from e x p e rience—the experience of the t h i n s from 1701 to 1 8 1 1 . N o w , y o u
have superadded to that, the yet stronger experience of the c o u n t r y
from 181G to 18;i<3, during which period, as well as from 1 7 9 1 t o
1811, the finances were administered with the most perfect s m o o t h ness and ease, with the greatest possible despatch, and w i t h o u t a
cent's cost or a cent's loss to the Government, while the b u s i n e s s o f
the country went prosperously on. Besides this positive, you h a v e
before you a negative kind of experience. From 1811 to 1 8 1 6 , a n d
from 183G to the present time—the intervals of intermission o f a
National Bank—a dear lesson was taught the c o u n t r y — o n e t h a t
ought to teach it wisdom in all future time, and that should be c o n stantly held up to the abstractionists *>f the present day.
During*
the whole time of the absence of a Xationai Iiank\ the finances tcetre
in confusion, the irhole currtnry disordered, and the business of the
country paralyzed.
Now, sir, if. in l ^ l t i , you believed a N a t i o n a l
Bank an indispensable fiscal medium, how is it, that, with an i n creased and most instructive experience before you, you now g i v e u p




43
t h e Bank as a fiscal agent? If its financial adaptation was a selfe v i d e n t proposition then, why is it doubtful now?
But at a later date—viz., in 1834—you reiterated your eulogium
o f the Bank. Y o u not only claimed for it the credit of having effected the restoration of specie payments, but that it had reduced
t h e e x c h a n g e between the remote sections of the country to a nominal amount, and had given the country a sounder and more uniform
currency than its most sanguine friends had " even dreamed o f at
t h e time o f its creation." W e l l , sir, why will not a National Bank
restore specie payments now ? W h y will it not again bring down
e x c h a n g e to a nominal amount? W h y will it not once more give us
a sound and uniform currency ? W h y will it not do now what it has
t w i c e done before ? Sir, you spoke strict truth when, in 1 8 1 6 , y o u
declared it a self-evident proposition that a National Bank was a good
fiscal agent.
Then, it had for twenty years safely kept, transferred
and disbursed hundreds of millions of the public money, and through
our widely extended country these important functions had been disc h a r g e d with so much regularity and ease, that one was scarcely
c o n s c i o u s o f the going on of any fiscal operation.
Since 1 8 1 6 ,
another B a n k kept, transferred and disbursed more than 4 0 0 millions of the national revenue, without a moment's unnecessary delay,
without a groat's expense, or the loss of a dollar to the Government.
A n d you as much spoke the truth when you said it had brought
d o w n the e x c h a n g e s of the country to almost nothing. It had, in
truth, revealed a new phenomenon in Exchange—that the cost of
c o m m e r c i a l remittance between remote sections might be reduced
below the risk and cost of the transportation of specie, which, until
t h e e x i s t e n c e of the United States Bank, had constituted the natural
rate of E x c h a n g e . A merchant in Boston could remit to his corresp o n d e n t in N e w Orleans at less cost than he could send the s p e c i e ,
and without any risk w h a t e v e r — n o small consideration in mercantile
transactions, because the expense o f insurance is saved. T h e fact
i s , every merchant in the Union knows, that while the United States
B a n k was in operation exchange was a mere s o n g — a mere n o t h i n g —
hardly worth enumeration, in fixing the price to be demanded o f his
c u s t o m e r s for his goods. W h a t is it n o w , I might stop to ask ? A
heavy item in the list of mercantile expenses, and o f course, a heavy
burden upon the consumer, who, after all, pays every tax, o f whatever kind, that the merchant has incurred before him.
A n d when you emphatically asserted that the Bank had blest the




44
country with a sound and uniform currency, you did it but tbe s i m plest justice. So sound it was, that a bill ^( the United States B a n k
would purchase broadcloths in Loudon or Liverpool, or t e a s i n
China, and there never was a day, after the Bank got well u n d e r
way, that a United States Bank note was not equal to specie a n y where in the Union, no matter at what point it had issued. S o u n i form was it, that not only would a note of the late Bank pass c u r rent all over the Union, but its notes and drafts were actually better
than specie.
A merchant in Norfolk having a payment to m a k e i n
N e w Orleans, had only to go to the branch Bank in the Borough a n d
purchase a draft on the branch at the latter place, and he had w h e r e with to pay his debt in N e w Orleans, something better than the s a m e
amount in gold and silver. T h e draft purchased of the Bank, w o u l d
cost him but one fourth of onr p* r cent., whereas if he had to remit t h e
specie, the cost of transportation and insurance would be s e v e r a l
per cent. : or, if he had to resort to a broker to obtain e x c h a n g e o n
N e w Orleans, he would have to pay, at the l<a.<t, the amount o f t h e
cost of transportation and insurance, for the individual dealer in e x change never charges less for his draft than the natural rate o f e x change, that is, never sells his drafts for a less premium than it w o u l d
cost the remitter to send the specie. T o make the proposition p a l pable, what would a draft on N e w Orleans have cost while the b a n k
was in existence, and what would such a draft cost now when t h e r e
is no bank? In the former case, it would not e x c e e d one q u a r t e r
per cent., in the latter it could not be had for less than five per cent % ,
nor could it be had even for that without much searching and d e l a y ,
and frequently not at all. N o w the difference of exchange in t h e
two cases, is just the difference in the value of United States B a n k
notes and specie- It is most true, then, that a National Bank d i d
furnish a sound and uniform currency—so sound and uniform, i n deed, as to be superior even to the precious metals.
N o w , sir, that the bank did effect these glorious results, I have
your own high authority—your
own most emphatic asseveration,
I
make you the witness to the country for the bank. I produce y o u r
o w n positive and unimpeachable testimony in its behalf. A n d s i n c e
it did, in past times, so inestimable service for the country, why i s i t
n o w — t o use your recent language of condemnation—" u n c o n s t i t u tional, inexpedient and dangerous"?
What " change has c o m e o v e r
the spirit of your dream V
Sir, I hold you to your admissions in favour of the bank. I d e -




45
mand, in t h e n a m e of the country, how it is that you now so bitterly
denounce a measure which you have said gave to the government a
good fiscal agent, to t h e country a sound and uniform currency, to
its commerce a cheap and easy medium, and to all the great interests
of the nation, prosperity ? You must assign a satisfactory reason, or
your present course in relation to the bank must be divested of all
moral force.
A sound and uniform currency, Sir, is, as you know, the greatest of national blessings. I t is indispensable to public prosperity
and to private happiness.
T o borrow your own expressive language from your great speech
of January 30th, 1834 : " T h e currency of the country is the credit
of the country ; credit in every shape and form, public and p r i v a t e ;
credit not only in the shape of paper, but that of confidence between
man and m a n , through the agency of which, in all its forms, the
great and mighty exchanges of this commercial country, at home and
abroad, are effected."
Never more truth and philosophy in so small a compass !
An easy medium of exchange, too, is another national blessing
and individual good, particularly in a commercial, confederated, and
widely extended country like our own. T h e statesman who will sec u r e once more for our beloved country these inestimable benefits,
will merit, as he will doubtless receive, her heartiest benedictions.
Y o u , Sir, who in times gone by, stood forth a public benefactor, and
by carrying through a National Bank, relieved your country from the
evils of confused exchanges and a disordered c u r r e n c y , I invoke
to come once more to the rescue. Give us your aid at this the mom e n t of great national necessity ; and if I invoke your assistance in
vain I turn with hope to a wiser, if not a more patriotic source—to
an enlightened Congress, and to a President, who, I trust, will render his n a m e illustrious in all future time by discarding all petty abstractions, and yielding his approval to that measure of vast national
i m p o r t a n c e , whose utility has been tested by time and experience,
and which t h e popular will so loudly demands.
A n d while I am on the subject of E x c h a n g e s , might I not ask
your re-support of a National B a n k on a sectional g r o u n d ?
I repudiate myself all sectional appeals, cherish not a local partiality or prejudice, because I look not upon any one section, but t h e
w h o l e broad Union, as my country. A n d so should all who love
a n d glory in this precious Union. But you claim to be
peculiarly




46
Southern in your views, hiving more than once, in terms not t h e
most modest and deferential, intimated toother sections of the C o n federacy, that Reform, come when it may, must proceed from t h e
South, and the South only : ami your admirer* exult in the p r e t e n sion which, from day to day, they put forth for you. that you are, t>e-»
yond compare, the ablest and most reliable champion of S o u t h f
her rights and interests. Now. I wonder that the Argus eye o f s o
watchful and faithful a sentinel, hath not yet <con that the S o u t h e r n
section of the United States is far more concerned than any o i l i e r
in the re-establishment <^ a National Hank !
Nearly the whole trade of the South is to the North : and as b e tween the North and the South the balance of the trade is a l w a y s
and largely against the latter : and o{ course, whatever difference o f
exchange there is between the two points, is so much tax: upon t h e
consumers of the South. T h e South, indeed, as every m e r c h a n t
knows, pays the whole cost of exchange, and this cost or tax, o w i n g
to the absence of a United States Bank, and consequent want of u n i formity in the currency and the difficulty of procuring exchange, i s
become a most one rousand grievous one. But re-establish the b a n k ;
give back to the country a currency of uniform value and universal
credit: bringdown exchanges, as heretofore, to one quarter of one percent., and the people of the South are at once relieved of a t a x a t i o n
which annually eats out a lar ? e portion of their substance, and w h i c h
ought to be the less endurable that its imposition is the p r a c t i c a l
working of that ethereal abstractionism which disdains to c o n t e m p l a t e
the world as the Creator ordained it, and persists in legislating for
imaginary, not real existences.
Nor ought a great mind like yours to pass over, or estimate l i g h t ly, the moral effects of a national currencv in strengthening t h e
bonds of the Union. It is a link in that blessed chain which c h o r d s
together this glorious confederacy of State*, and makes each c i t i z e n
realize that relation, iS one, inseparable, and indivisible," from w h i c h
springs most of American prosperity, grandeur, and glory. It m a k e s
\xs feel the vast worth of the Union, by a constant practical e x e m p l i fication of its benefits. It promotes unceasingly thai social and c o m mercial intercourse, which is the linking principle of communities,
and strongest ligament of confederate States. Alas ! how is t h e s a cred influence of this generous agency now chilled and checked b y
the disordered state of the circulating medium!
In fine, a currency possessing undoubted credit in every state o f




47
t h e Union, subject to no discount in commercial exchanges and in
t h e diversified business of the people, must necessarily exert a
powerful agency in creating that sense of common interest in, and
d e p e n d e n c e on, the Government of the Union, which constitutes, after
all, its firmest basis and highest safeguard. W h i l e , on the contrary,
n o t h i n g , so m u c h as a bad currency, makes the Government appear
i n the e y e s o f the people unparental and inefficient, or is more likely to break the charm that binds them to it.
N o t only, then, as a patriot citizen of the Union, but as a citizen
and especial friend of the South, I ask you to g o back to your old
opinions, and strive o n c e more for a National Bank.
I have not concluded.
LOWNDES.

T O T H E H O N . J O H N C. C A L H O U N .
N o . VII.
I left y o u , in my last, earnestly vindicating a National B a n k as"
a n admirable fiscal agent, and warmly e u l o g i z i n g it as an institution
that had blessed the country with a sound and uniform currency and
a most excellent system of E x c h a n g e s .
I proceed to develope the sweeping ground you maintained in
1 8 1 6 , in favour o f the power o f Congress to establish a Bank.
Y o u boldly and unequivocally s e i z e d the position, that Congress
had the power to regulate the currency ; that its control over the subj e c t was absolute ; that it not only had the power, but that it was its
imperious duty, to regulate the currency ; and from this source, you
d e d u c e d the constitutional right of the Government to incorporate a
B a n k o f the United States.
T h e currency of the nation, you declared, was in a depreciated
and wretched condition. " T h a t this state o f the currency (said y o u )
w a s a stain on the public and private credit, and injurious to the
morals of the community, was so clear a position as to require n o
proof/ 1
A g a i n : " The state of our circulating
medium is opposed to the
principles
of the Federal Constitution.
The power is given to Congress by that instrument, in express terms, to regulate the
currency
of the United
States?'




IS
" N o one (you continued) who referred to the Constitution, c o u l d
doubt that the money of the United States was intended to be p l a c e d
entirth/ und<r the control of Vonzre**.
T h e only object t h e f r a m e r s
of the Constitution could have in view in giving to Congress t h e
power to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of f o r e i g n
coin, must have been, to give a steadiness and fixed value to t h e
currency of the United States. T h e state ^( things at the t i m e o f
the adoption of the Constitution, affords an argument in favour o f t h i s
construction. There then e x i t e d a depreciated currency, w h i c h
could only be regulated and made uniform hy giving a power,
for
that purpose, to the G*n*ra1 liovrnnunt.
T h e S t a t e s could not d o
it. Taking, therefore, into vi«w the prohibition against the S t a t e s
issuing bills of credit, flkere is a strong presumption, that this
power
was inttnded TO he *jrrfusiv*fy zfiven to Ci'/i^/vss."
You complained, furthermore, that the States had usurped t h e
functions of Con^rc^< in this particular, and you protested a g a i n s t
the assumption. " There has been (you said) an extraordinary r e *
volution in the currency of the country. By a sort of under c u r rent, the power of Congress to regulate the money of the c o u n t r y
*has <aved in> and upon its ruins have sprung up those institutions
which now exercise the right of making money tor, and i n , t h e
United S t a t e s : for gold and tilvtr an n**t the only money* b u t w h a t *
ever is the medium of purchase and sale, in which Bank paper a l o n e
is now employed, and has therefore bteonu the inonty of the
country.
A change, great and wonderful, has taken place, trhieh divests
you
of your rights, and turns you bark to the condition of the r e v o l u tionary war, in which every State issued bills of credit, which w e r e
made a legal tender, and were of various value/'
You then urged upon Congress to re-as<ert its lost authority, a n d
resume its " eonttitutional eontrof over the currency: and in t e r m s
the most unqualified, insisted on a National Bank as the best a n d
only means of regaining for Congress its jurisdiction over the c u r rency, and rendering it sound and uniform.
And, to give to your argument its finishing force, you dwelt o n
the " inequality of taxation, resulting from the state of the c i r c u l a ting medium, which, notwithstanding the taxe* were laid with s t r i c t
regard tiy the constitutional provision for their equality, made t h e
people in one section of the Union pay perhaps oue-fifth more o f t h e
same tax, than those in another/'
44
The ronttiti'tion
(you concluded) having given Congress
the




49
Power to rcmuly these toils, they arc deeply responsible for their
continuance"
And in your speech on the Removal of the Deposits, you inquired with almost angry emphasis : (i Is it not amazing that it never
occurred to the Secretary, (Mr. Taney) that the subject of currency
belongs exclusively to Congress, and that to assume to regulate it is
a plain usurpation of the powers of that Department of the Government?"
If higher ground than this has ever been taken on the side of a
National Bank, I know not when it was assumed, nor by whom. T h e
most ultra friend of a bank has never asked more for it than is here
conceded. Mr. Hamilton himself went no farther. It is the very
argument so ably urged by Mr. Webster, in 1838, against which you
then so warmly protested, as involving Jatitudinarian and dangerous
doctrine.
You seem to have revolted at the bare idea of a disordered currency. You regarded puch a condition of it as a national degradation—as a " stain upon the public and private Credit/'—and " opposed
to the principles of the Federal Constitution/' And so little doubt did
you entertain of the supreme control of Congress over the currency,
or of its riorht to establish a bank as the means of carina; the disorders of that currency, that you " held Congress deeply responsible, 0
if it did not take back its " constitutional control/* and, to that end,
establish a National Bank.
Yes, Sir, with all your attachment to state rights, you declared
that, in this matter, the States had encroached upon the province of
the National ^Legislature, and " divested it of its rights ;" and you
implored Congress to resist the usurpation, pointing ever and anon
to a federal bank as the most effectual mode of resistance. You
claimed the right in Congress, through a National Bank, to control
the State bauks, in so far as they tended to interfere with the uniformity of the currency. " Restore these Institutions (you said) to
their original use ; cause them to give up their usurped power; cause
them to return to their legitimate office of places of discount and
deposit ; let them be no longer mere paper machines ; cause them
to fulfil their contracts; to respect their broken faith ; resolve that
eueryioherc there shall be an uniform value to the National
Currency,
Your Constitutional control will then prevail."
Do I not, then, fairly state you, when 1 assert that you have
claimed for Congress the unlimited power to regulate the currency.
4




50
a n d , t h a t from the p o w e r to r e g u l a t e t h e c u r r e n c y , you h a v e d e d u c e d
t h e right of C o n g r e - s to i n c o r p o r a t e a N a t i o n a l B a n k ? S i r , it i s s o ,
a n d I t a k e it upon m e t o say. in view of these fact*, t h a t a m o r e lati«*
t u d i n a r i a n position has n e v e r been o c c u p i e d in r e g a r d t o t h e e s t a l > lishnicnt of a N a t i o n a l B a n k .
S h o w m e , if you c a n . w h o has ever p r o c l a i m e d more
federal
o p i n i o n s o n t h i s subject.
Y e t vou a n d vour p;.rtv dai!v d e n o u n c e a N a t i o n a l B a n k a* u n w a r r a n t e d by any c l a u s e in t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n , a n d . w i t h an e f f r o n t e r y
w h i c h is n e v e r a s s u m e d by xw\\ but b r a z e n t r a n - u r e s s o r s . you p e r m i t
n o n e t o k n e e l with your s a i n t e d selves at t h e altar of s t a t e r i g h t s , b u t
t h o s e w h o will not join you in d a m n i n g a N a t i o n a l B a n k as " u n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l , i n e x p e d i e n t , and d a n g e r o u s "
" O h ! Consistency! thou
art a J e w e l ! "
B u t t o p u r s u e t h e n a r r a t i v e of your c o n n e x i o n w i t h t h e b a n k
q u e s t i o n : After t h e c o n c l u s i o n «»f y o u r able a r g u m e n t , Mr- S e r g e a n t , of P e n n . , s u p p o r t e d by M r . P i t k i n . Mr. W a r d , Mr. T u c k e r ,
a n d M r , W e b s t e r , m o v e d to r e d u c e t h e capital of t h e h a n k from 3 5
t o 2 0 millions. Y o u opposed, in a s p e e c h , and voted a g a i n s t , t h e
proposition.
'* T h e i m p o r t a n t functions t o he d i s c h a r g e d by t h e
b a n k (you s a i d ) r e q u i r e a lar-re c a p i t a l / '
O n t h e 2 9 t h of F e b r u a r y , I S l t i . Air. Cady iw.A^ a m o t i o n t o s t r i k e
o u t of t h e bill t h e section a u t h o r i z i n g tin- G..\ e m i n e n t t o s u b s c r i b e
for a p r o p o r t i o n (seven millions) of t h e stock.
Against this p r o p o sition, too, you m a d e a s p e e c h and voted. T h e n , you w o u l d f o r m
a d i r e c t c o n n e x i o n of the G o v e r n m e n t with h a n k s : n o w , t h e i r e n t i r e
d i v o r c e is t h e fixed idea of your i m a g i n a t i o n .
A n d so. w h e n M r . P i t k i n , on the 4th of M a r c h , m o v e d t o s t r i k e
out t h e 10th section which nave the G o v e r n m e n t the right to a p p o i n t
five of t h e D i r e c t o r s of the b a n k , yi.u both spoke and voted a g a i n s t
the m o t i o n . It was a r g u e d by Mr. P i t k i n , Mr. G a s t o n , a n d M r .
I i c k e r i n g , that giving to the g o v e r n m e n t a part in t h e d i r e c t i o n o f
t h e b a n k , would m a k e it an e n g i n e in the h a n d s of G o v e r n m e n t ,
w h i c h m i g h t be wielded for d a n g e r o u s purpe>es.
Vou, taking t h e
o p p o s i t e g r o u n d , maintained, that t h e r e was no d a n g e r in t h u s c o n n e c t i n g t h e G o v e r n m e n t with the b a n k .
W i d e l y ditlcrenfc a r e y o u r
sentiment- now.
O n t h e iiih of M a r c h , Mr. J e w e t t p r o p o s e d to confine t h e a p p o i n t m e n t of t h e b r a n c h d i r e c t o r s to nntiv*' c i t i z e n s of t h e U n i t e d
S t a t e s , so as to e x c l u d e from t h e d i r e c t i o n of t h e h a n k all t h o s e




51
who could by possibility entertain unfriendly feelings for the Government. Y o u strongly reprobated the proposition a s " introducing an odious and unprecedented distinction."
O n the 9th of M arch, Air. Cady offered an amendment to prevent the establishment of more than one branch of the bank in
any one state. You opposed the amendment, thus sanctioning the
right of Congress to locate as many banks as it pleases within the
territorial limits of the States.
O n the 12th of March, you voted against a provision to make
the bank forfeit its charter in the event of its refusal to pay s p e c i e ;
and on the same day you voted against 2 0 per cent, as a penalty
on the bank for failing to pay gold and silver, as inordinate and
unreasonable.
O n the same day, you voted against a proposition to prevent the
Government directors from receiving any loan or accommodation from
the bank ; and on the 13th of March, Mr. McLean, of Kentucky,
moved the following important amendment to the bill :
* Provided, That no branch shall be established in any state, unless such state shall authorize the same by l a w / '
You made a speech against t/iisjtroviso, and voted agarnst
it—an
unequivocal recognition of the right of Congress to create Corporations within the States. What is your present position, and how
can you explain it ? One can scarcely realize the idea that the
John C. Calhoun of 1S41 is the identical John C. Calhoun of 1814,
'15 and '10. It seems rather a bewildering dream than a sober
reality.
I might, from the debate that took place on the bank bill of 1 8 1 0 ,
cite many passages, indicating on your part an extraordinary zeal
for the success of the measure. Suffice it, that cotemporary chroniclers represented your vindication of it as " energetic and vehement."
And so it was from the day, as Chairman of the " Committee on the
national currency," you reported the bill, until the liJth of March,
1810, when it was ordered to its engrossment : for which you voted.
O n the next day, it came up on its passage, and the name of
John C. Calhoun stands recorded in its favour.
It was sent to the Senate for concurrence, passed that body
April 3d, 1810, by a vote of 2:2 to 12, and was returned to the house
with sundry amendments.
Impatient of delay, and burning with
anxiety for the consummation of your favourite measure, you proposed to " take the question on the amendments generally," T h e




52
subject was, however, postponed to the next day, April the 5 t h , w h e n
a motion of indefinite postponement was made by Mr. R a n d o l p h ,
against which you voted in a majority of 1*1 to l»7, and o n the 1 0 t h
o f April, it r e c e i v e d the signature of one of the best republicans a n d
wisest statesman A m e r i c a has p r o d u c e d — J A M K S M A D I S O N
the very author of the R e p o r t and R e s o l u t i o n s of ' 9 S , w h o s e d e votion t o the right* o f the States was fully as ardent, to say the l e a s t ,
as that o f any o f the '* N e w Lights" of the present day.
S u c h was your course on the hank charter of IT* 10. Y o u m e t
your o p p o n e n t s at every point.
Many a gallant too y o u e n c o u n t e r e d ,
nor struck your lance till a crlorious victorv had c r o w n e d vour h e r o i c
efforts. W e l l might you declare, that the " bank o w e d more t o
you than to any other individual in the country, and that, but for y o u r
e x e r t i o n s , it never would have been chartered."
T h e history is not quite completed.
In I^:*l. Mr W e b s t e r m a d e
a proposition in the S e n a t e of the U n i t e d States to prolong t h e
charter of the U n i t e d States Rank tor six years.
Y o u proposed a n
antagonist s c h e m e — t h e formation «»f a * new Bank of the U n i t e d
*
S t a t e s , engrafted upon the old.*" to c o n t i n u e f*»r tin fee years i n s t e a d
o f sir. H e r e is your l a n g u a g e :
** After a full survey of the wh««Ie subject. I s e e n o n e , I c a n
conjecture no means of extricating the eotintrv from its present d a n ger and to arrest its further increa>e. hut A R A N K — t h e agency
of
which, unrit r some form and und<r *ome authority.
U
indispensable."
B u t
— " temjwra mutantr/?\ it n»s mutcwur in il?i.</9 T h r e e y e a r s
after declaring a " hank, under some form and under s o m e authority,
I N D I S P E N S A B L E / " you were found, on the floor o f the S e n a t e , e x c l a i m i n g against it as^' unconstitutional, inexpedient and d a n g e r o u s ;*
and at the next .session you struck upon a yet higher k e y , and p r o claimed to an astonished country, that this is a hard m o n e y G o v e r n m e n t , and that the U n i t e d .States lias no rijjht to t o u c h a bank n o t e
in settlement of its dues !
A sudden m o v e m e n t , I should sav : ami ••' sudden m o v e m e n t s o f
t h e affections, whether personal or political, (as the i n t e l l e c t u a l
giant of N e w England < n e e taunted you>, r.rea little out of n a t u r e . "
But I will not stop to twit you further m this t i m e with your i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s in the premises.
I hrsN n to an important inquiry.
S i n c e vou are for laving aside the onlv nolicv that has t h e s a n e tion o f successful experiment, and >ince ^reat original g e n i u s e s l i k e
yourself, should never discard tested systems without having b e t t e r




53
ones ready in their stead, I ask for the substitute you propose in the
place o f a National Bank. W h e r e are we to look for a good currency
for the people in their every day business, or for a medium of c o m mercial exchange, or for a good plan for conducting the fiscal opera*
tions of the Treasury 1
H a v e you joined the band of cruel experimenters, who so l o n g
have made child's sport of the prosperity of the country, and the happiness o f its people ?
I s this reckless experimenting never to cease ?
" W h y (as Mr. Webster most eloquently exclaimed, in his immortal speech on the sub-treasury bill), why are w e — w h y , sir, are
w e alone among the great commercial states—why are we to be
kept on the rack aud torture of these experiments ? W e have
powers, adequate, complete powers.
W e n e e d only to exercise
t h e m ; we need only to perform our constitutional duty, and we shall
spread content, cheerfulness, and joy, over the whole land."
W e l l , Sir, if you will keep the country " on the rack and torture
of e x p e r i m e n t / ' what is your substitute, your better plan?
Is it the hard money system ? Will you have gold and silver as
the only circulating medium ? Will you compel the citizen who
travels from neighbourhood to neighbourhood, and from state to state,
t o w e i g h d o w n his pockets with a cumbrous load of gold and silver ?
W i l l you embarrass the commerce of the country, by requiring the
transportation o f specie for almost every commercial transaction?
A b o v e all, will you, by introducing the hard money standard, reduce
the price o f labour and the value of all the property in the country
two-thirds or three fourtlis in amount: and by that meaus doom t o
hopeless insolvency the whole debtor class o f the U n i o n ?
Sir, the idea is preposterous! A specie currency for a widely
extended and highly commercial country like this, is the craziest
notion that ever struck the brain of visionary, and the people would
not endure it for a moon.
I s it the state bank system you would have us look to for a reformation of the c u r r e n c y ?
Most ridiculous conception ! T o your mind it must be as clear
as the sunbeam, that the want of concert o f action and unity o f
measures among twenty-six bank-making p o w e r s — t h e state legislat u r e s — m u s t forever, and beyond all question, stamp upon the local
institutions inadequacy to the important function of furnishing a
s o u n d and uniform currency. In the absence of the c h e c k i n g opera-




54
tion of a National R i n k , it ha* happened heretofore (and it will h a p p e n again under \\iv same circum>tanc«.-s >, that c o m p e t i t i o n h a s
sprung up—actual rivalry existed amon_r the states, in this b u s i n e s s
of bank-making : and, con<eouentl\\ iiumorous banks h a v e b e e n .
chartered without any regard to the want* of trade or to t h e b u s i ness of the country. Over-action and r e a c t i o n have b e e n tlie n e c e s *
sary c o n s e q u e n c e s , and in their train have fallowed s p e c u l a t i o n , d e ~
preciation, explosion, and ruin. S u c h a >\<tem, u n c h e c k e d b y a
central, controlling inthience. n^ver has furnished, and never c a n g i v e
out a sound and uniform currency.
It is altogether out of the nature of things that the c i r c u l a t i o n o f
the local hanks should possess that general credit w h i c h is the b a s i s
and very e s s e n c e of uniformity.
Variously constituted as the b a n k ing system is in the different states of the I'nion. and ignorant a s
the people in one section must be <^i the constitution and c o n d i t i o n
of the hanking institutions in another, there must ever b e s u c h d i s trust of the local currency as will deprive it of the quality m o s t
wanted in an extensive commercial c o u n t r y — t o wit, universality o f
credit. For example, the merchant in N e w Orleans k n o w s little o r
nothing of the condition of the banks in M a i n e — h a s not that n e i g h bourhood c o g n i z a n c e of them which is necessary to d e t e r m i n e t h e
soundness or unsoundness of their notes ; and, therefore, if a m e r c h a n t
or other debtor, in Maine, has to pay a debt iu N e w - O r l e a n s , h e m u s t
not remit the notes of the Maine banks in payment. T h e N e w - O r l e a n s
creditor will not touch them, 4* I know nothing of your bank n o t e s
( h e will say to his debtor in M a i n e ) , they may be perfectly g o o d i n
your immediate vicinity, where your banks are well k n o w n — I k n o w
nothing of t h e m — a n d if / do} A . B and C\ with whom I deal, d o n o t ,
and they will not take them of me, nor will the N e w - O r l e a n s b a n k s
receive them on deposit, or take them at their counters.
So you
must remit to m e in money which has universal c r e d i t — w h i c h i s
k n o w n by all to be ijood—which is as current in Maine as in L o u i siana, and in Louisiana as in M a i n e : if you cannot send m e s u c h a
-paper currency, you must remit me the s p e c i e at your o w n c o s t / *
A n d so, a person setting out to travel into a d o z e n states o f t h e
U n i o n , dare not start with the notes of his own state b a n k s o n l y .
F o r , the m o m e n t he r e a d i e s the point where the
mighbotirhood
k n o w l e d g e , just referred to, is lo-t in the vortex of d i s t a n c e , his b a n k
notes b e c o m e subject to a discount ; the notes which he first r e c e i v e s
in e x c h a n g e for those of his own vicinage, in their turn are s u b j e c t e d




55
t o the like discount; and so on, until a large portion of the money
with which he started (which, in fact, was perfectly good at the
starting point) is sacrificed to the difference of exchange j in other
words, to the difference between a local and a general currency.
H e n c e it is, that, neither for travelling nor commercial purposes, can
the state banks supply a suitable currency. It is totally impracticable.
Nor is this all. T h e inherent tendency of the state banks to alternate expansion and contraction, when unrestrained by a general
regulator, is too well established by positive result to admit of a moment's skepticism. A s you well know, it has never been tried without miserable, melancholy abortion.
W h y , my dear sir, when the Democratic party, headed by its
great H i g h Priest, Gen. Jackson, having triumphed in its unholy
war upon the United States Bank, was proposing the pet bank or
general Deposit system in lieu of the United States Bank, its utter
impotency was clearly pointed out, and its abortion confidently foretold by the W h i g statesmen of the day, who, with entire unanimity,
remonstrated and protested against the ruinous experiment.
Said Mr. McDuffie (in his celebrated report in 1830 in favour of
rechartering the bank) : " If the Bank of the United States were
destroyed, and the local institutions left without its restraining influe n c e , the currency would almost certainly relapse into a state of
unsoundness.''
" T h e loss of confidence among men (prophesied Mr. John M.
Clayton, of D e l a w a r e ) ; the total derangement of that admirable
system of Exchanges, which is now acknowledged to be better than
exists in any other country on the globe ; over-trading and speculation in every part of the country ; that rapid fluctuation in the standard value o f money, which, like the unseen pestilence, withers all
the efforts of industry, while the sufferer is in utter ignorance of the
cause of his destruction ; bankruptcy and ruin, at the anticipation
o f which the heart sickens, must follow in the long train of evils,
wJiich arc assuredly before us.T'
Mr. Webster united in the warning. " T h e measure of the
Secretary of the Treasury (said he), and the infatuation with which
it is supported, tend directly and strongly to that result (the suspension of specie payments). Under pretence, then, of a design
t o return to a currency which shall be all specie, we are likely t o
have a currency in which there shall be no specie at all. W e are in
danger of being overwhelmed with irredeemable paper representing




56
not g o l d or silver : i v \ sir. representing n o t h i n g hut b r o k e n prornis—
e s , bad faith, bankrupt eorp »rations che ited creditors, and r u i n e d
people."
** If the So rctarv"- plan bo carried into effect (said Mr. H o r a c e
B i n n c y ) , there will be a hundred bai.ks starting up, to t a k e t h e p l a c e
o f the proscribed United State* Hank.
W e would have t h e m s h o o t ing out their paper mis>i!es in a;l directions. T h e y w o u l d c o m e
from the fi>ur quarters of the U n i o n . "
B u t n o o n e , perhaps, lias so vividly sketched the p i c t u r e as M r ,
Clay.
T h e w i s e force a-t o f this eminent, practical s t a t e s m a n , l o o k *
i n g with clear virion down the track of time, portrayed t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s of a d i s c o n t i n u a n c e of the United States B a n k in t h e foll o w i n g prophetic t e r m s :
" T h e r e b e i n g n»> longer anv sent in- 1 at the head o f our b a n k i n g establishments, to warn them by its information and o p e r a t i o n s o f
approaching danger, the local institution*, already m u l t i p l i e d t o a n
alarming extent, and almost daily multiplying in s e a s o n s o f p r o s p e r ity, will make* free and unrestrained emission*.
All the c h a n n e l s o f
circulation will be gorged. Propertv will rise extravagantly h i g h , a n d
constantly looking u p . the temptation to purchase will be irresistibleI n o r d i n a t e speculation will e n s u e , debt- will be freely c o n t r a c t e d , a n d
w h e n the scasr n of adversity c o m e s , as c o m e it must, t h e b a n k s ,
acting without concert iwid without guide, o b e v i n g the law o f s e l f - p r e s ervation, will all at the same time call in their issues, the vast n u m ber will exaggerate the alarm, and general distress, wide spread r u i n ,
and an explosion of the general banking s \ s t f t m **r the e s t a b l i s h ment o f a n e w Bank of the United State*, wi!! be the u l t i m a t e r e sult."
All t h e s e foreshowing* were liternllv fulfilled.
S o it is d e m o n strable by a priori reasoning, and by " a painful nanonal e x p e r i e n c e / *
that the state banks, of t h e m s e l v e s can never supply a p l e n t i f u l ,
s o u n d , and uniform circulating medium : ami h e n c e , w e c a n n o t l o o k
to them for a reform in the currency.
Is it the boasted Sub-treasury you would give us in l i e u o f t h e
proved policy of W a s h i n g t o n and Madison !
S u r e l y , sir, you are ti>o good a republican to persist in a m e a s u r e
w h i c h has been thrice rejected by the people ! H a s not o n e o f t h e
first acts of the present C*w*re>> b e e n , to repeal Mr. V a n B u r e n ' s
Sub-treasury law, and was not the hot haste with w h i c h the r e p e a l
w a s prosecuted o w i n g to the o v e r w h e l m i n g expression of p u b l i c




57
opinion against the measure, and to the loud commands of the people? And can you—will you—you who claim to be the very standard of republican orthodoxy—presume to bring forward again a measure so palpably stamped with the popular reprobation ?
But, if you insist on making this barbarous scheme the policy of
the land, let me tell you, that while it can never answer the purposes
of currency, nor of exchanges, whether individual or national, there
are to it other objections wholly insurmountable.
It is by far the unsafest mode of keeping the public money—
more millions of dollars having been lost by sub-treasurers than cents
by a United States Bank ; it delegates the purse and the sword in the
same hand, making the Executive virtually the Treasurer of the nation ; it will perpetuate insolvency in the land ; it will, as Professor
Dew has conclusively demonstrated, sweep away, ah into, the whole
banking system ; this done, it will degenerate into a great Government bank : and thus the whole banking power of this great country
will be concentrated in the Federal Government, and inure to the
Federal Executive—than which there can be nothing more consolidating and anti-state-rights—no despotism more complete and unalloyed,
I see, then, no way of reforming the currency and furnishing
the Union a good fiscal agent, save through that system which has
been weighed in the balances, and found not wanting—the local
banks, acting in conjunction with a National institution. T o attain
the great desiderata in the circulating medium, to wit, sufficiency
and soundness, the two must co-exist. Without the state banks, we
should not have currency enough for the indispensable uses of the people—a National Bank could not supply the diversified local demand
without giving it a capital too vast for security—while, without the
latter to check the local institutions and emit a circulation of universal credit, there wrould be no soundness or uniformity. Under
this balancing system, we will have what we have had in better days
gone by—that happy medium, that gentle, easy regularity, so necessary in this important matter of the currency, when redundancy and
wild overtrading will be avoided, on the one hand, and reaction and
straining, and suffering, on the other ; in fine, abundance without excess, and soundness without deficiency.
Cease, then, your warfare upon the banks. Give up the absurd
policy of placing them and the Government in antagonist relations.
You war against the prosperity of the country in the tenderest
point, when you annoy the banks.




58
" T h i s perpetual annoyance to the banks (said Mr. W e b s t e r i n
' 3 8 ) , this hoarding up of money which the country d e m a n d s for i t s
own necessary uses, this bringing • f the whole revenues o f t h e G o v ernment to act, not in aid and furtherance, but m direct h i n d e r a n c e
and embarrassment of commerce and biMtnss. is utterly i r r e c o n c i l able with the public interest.
W e shall >ee no return o f f o r m e r
times till it he abandoned—altogether abandoned/*
Reform, I s a y ,
but do not destroy the system. Kvil- it undoubtedly has. ( a n d w h a t
human tiling lias not ?) but h<>w incomparably di> its blessings o u t *
w e i g h its ills!
Besides, the development* of the last ten y e a r s
have done more than all preceding experience put together, t o r e v e a J
the defects of the banking system : and purely it is the worst o f a l l
philosophy, to discard a system whose \ i \ i f \ i u g impulses have g e n ially affected every branch of American industry, just at the t i m e
when experience—the only unerring iraide of sublunary w i s d o m
has developed its weak points, ami put it in our power to m a k e i t
the source of unmixed good to the country.
And now, sir, to test the justness ^C all this reasoning, g i v e m e
leave to catechise you with a few random queries, and to call y o u r
attention to a home fact or two which may shed some light u p o n t h i s
important subject.
T h e r e must be torn* plan for managing the finances : for t h e
collection, keeping, and disbursement of the revenue, are i n d i s p e n sable to the existence of the Government. N o w , if the G o v e r n m e n t
has the constitutional right to collect, keep, and disburse its r e v e n u e s
by means of a sub-treasury, why has it not equally the power t o d o
the same through the medium of a national bank ? If it must e i l e c t
the ends—to wit, collect, keep, and disburse the revenue—it must h a v e
the wrans of accomplishing those ends. N o w , why may it not s e l e c t
a bank as the means, as well as the sub-treasury ? If G o v e r n m e n t
have the right to select the means at all, may it not select the best
means? And again, does not everv constitutional objection that l i e s
against a National Bank, apply with equal force to the s u b - t r e a s u r y ?
Besides, if, as Professor D e w has asserted, the Sub-treasury w i l l
degenerate into a Government bank, will you not have a bank a f t e r
all, and the worst sort of bunk ; and instead o^ accomplishing t h e
result which is the beau ideal of your statesmanship—the d i v o r c e o f
the Government from the banking power—will you not i n s e p a r a b l y
unite them I
S e c o n d l y : frvm 171*1 to 1 M 1 , when the state banks a n d a




59
National Bank existed together, and from the time the late United
States Bank got well under way until 18:315, was not the country
blessed with the best currency ever known on earth—with the happy
medium and regularity before alluded to—abundance without excess
and depreciation, and soundness without deficiency ? And was it
not in the intervals when a National Bank did not exist, that an
inordinate increase of the number of state banks, over-issues, overtrading, reaction, depreciation, contraction, convulsion, and ruin took
place? If you answer these questions in the affirmative, as sure you
must, how can you gainsay the conclusion to which many of the
wisest statesmen in the land long since have come, that the local
banks in co-existence with a National Bank, is the best system of
currency and fiscal agency that can be devised for this country—the
best suited to its peculiar circumstances and condition ?
Thirdly : is it not undeniably true that the Government has lost
many millions by sub-treasurers and state banks when acting as depositories of the public funds, and is it not as true that it never lost the
first cent by a. United States Bank ? If so, is not the latter the safest
depository of the revenue ?
Fourthly : would a note of a South Carolina bank, in the best of
times, have passed at par in St. Louis or Portland, or been equal to
specie at those points ? And would not a note of the United States
Branch Bank at Charleston have been as good in St. Louis or Portland as in Charleston, and, indeed, equivalent to specie in every hole
and corner of the Union ?
Fifthly : suppose in 1830, or any year after the late National
Bank was in successful operation, a debtor of yours had come to pay
you a debt of $1000, with United States Bank notes in one hand,
and specie in the other, which woidd you have taken ? If you
would have taken the notes, as every sensible man would, would it
not have been an admission that the United States Bank notes were
better than gold and silver ; and if a National Bank gave the people
a paper currency better than gold and silver, in Heaven's name, what
more could 3-011 ask ? Why project and experiment lbr a better,
when the best ever possessed 1^ mortals is at hand ?
And now for the few plain facts to which I was to invite your
attention.
So far from Exchanges ever having been equalized during the
periods we have been without a National Bank, it is a fact not to bo
disputed, that the rate of exchange between distant points in the




60
U n i o n has never b e e n , to and fro, the same/* F o r e x a m p l e : B i l l s
at N e w - Y o r k on N e w - O r l e a n s are frequently at a p r e m i u m , while at
N e w - O r l e a n s bills on N e w - Y o r k are at a discount of several per
cent., and vice versa. A n d so of other points. In the absence o f a
National Bank, this lias always been the case. N o state or regulation
of mere trade can m a k e it otherwise. N o w , t o what is this o w i n g
but to the want o f a universal currency ? H o w can it be remedied
but by the re-establishment of a National Bank ? A n d O h ! is not
that a most admirable, beneficent, yea, charming system, which fixes
the s a m e invariable rate of e x c h a n g e , backwards and forwards,
b e t w e e n the remote cities and sections of the U n i o n ; w h i c h not
only establishes the same per cent, from N e w Y o r k to St. L o u i s , and
from St. JJOIIIS to N e w Y o r k , from Cincinnati to Boston, and from
Boston to Cincinnati, but which breaks up the extortion of the
broker, and brings down the cost of e x c h a n g e to the lowest point to
w h i c h it can, in the nature of things, be reduced, to a rate too insignificant t o be n o t e d — I say, is not that a wondrous and a glorious
system which lias accomplished such results? It i s : and, moreover,
it is the only s y s t e m — t h e wisdom of no finite b e i n g c a n devise
another—that can, or ever will, c o n s u m m a t e the like.
A g a i n : as worth a thousand speculative arguments, let me g i v e
y o u (what is n o fiction) a condensed journal of a traveller w h o
recently left Virginia for the W e s t .
H e r e it is :
** Started from Virginia with Virginia m o n e y — r e a c h e d the O h i o
r i v e r — e x c h a n g e d # 2 0 Virginia note for shin-plasters and a &3 note o f
the Bank of W e s t U n i o n — p a i d away the # 3 note for a breakfast—
reached T e n n e s s e e — r e c e i v e d a # 1 0 0 T e n n e s s e e n o t e — w e n t b a c k
to K e n t u c k y — f o r c e d there to e x c h a n g e the T e n n e s s e e note for $ 8 8
o f K e n t u c k y money—started home with the K e n t u c k y m o n e y .
In
Virginia and Maryland compelled, in order to get along, to deposit
* F o r confirmation
n o w (1843) existing :

o f this X'^sitinn, s e e t h e f o l l o w i n g r a t e s o f

Exchanges

N e w . Y o r k on N o w - O r l ^ a n s , 1 p r o m . I S t . T.onis on N e w - Y o r k ,
par,
N e w - O r l e a n s o n N . York, <2± a :* d i s . N e w - Y o r k o n C h i c a g o ,
4 a T dis
>
N e w - Y o r k on S t . L o u i s ,
2 a 24 d i - . | C h i c a g o o n N e w - Y o r k
2J a 11 \>rvm.
N o w this difference of e x c h a n g e r e p r e s e n t s the a m o u n t o f l o s s s u s t a i n e d
b y t h e c o m m u n i t y , and the los* h a p p e n * , lie it o b s e r v e d , w h e n t h e s t a t e b a n k s
are i n good c o n d i t i o n — p a y i n g s p e c i e , a n d , in niodt c a s e s , w i t h n d o l l a r o f
s p e c i e for evevy p a p e r dollar in c i r c u l a t i o n .
Y e t it is s a i d t h a t t h e c u r r e n e y
i s a s g o o d a s c a n be re/piired, a n d that e x c h a n g e s are e q u a l i z e d w i t h o u t t h e
aid of a National Bank !




61
five t i m e s the amount due, and several times detained to be shaved
a t a n enormous per cent.
At Maysvillc, wanted Virginia money—
c o u l d n ' t get it. At Wheeling, exchanged $50 note, Kentucky money,
for n o t e s of the North Western Bank of Virginia—readied Frcdericktown—there neither Virginia nor Kentucky money current—
r>ai«l a $ ^ Wheeling note for breakfast and dinner—received in
c h a n g e two one-dollar notes of some Pennsylvania bank, one dollar
"Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road, and balance in Good Intent shinolasters—one hundred yards from the tavern door, all the notes
refused except the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road—reached Harper's
Ferry
notes of North Western Bank in worse repute there than in
Maryland—deposited $10 in hands of agent—in this way reached
"Winchester—detained there two days in getting shaved—Kentucky
m o n e y «it 12 per cent., and North Western Bank nt 10."
N o w here is a picture of the consequences of the going down of
the United States Bank—of the want of a national currency—which
you and all opponents of a bank may contemplate, and, while you
look at it, be ashamed of your abstractions. Sir, it is a hard fate
that consigns the people of this Union to such loss, embarrassment,
oppression. And it is the strangest of all anomalies—the most ridiculous of all absurdities—that a state of things like this should exist,
and yet this magnificent government want the power to correct it!
A n d lastly% let me furnish you one little fact as illustrative of the
operation of your vaunted sub-treasury, as a fiscal institution.
I find in Document No. 11(3 of the last Congress, that there was
paid to J. De Selborst and William B. Slaughter, for transporting
specie from St* Louis and Milwaukie to the capital of Wiskonsan,
the sum of $2,595, the whole expense of the Territory for the year
1888 being $58,975, Now, if under the sub-treasury scheme of
fiscal agency, it required $2,595 to transmit £58,975, what will it
require to transport, from point to point, all that portion of the
transferable revenue of the United States which cannot be remitted
by means of treasury drafts? If you can find out the latter term of
the proportion (which will be found very large) you can then solve
for yourself the amount of bungling, inconvenience, and cost, which
will come of your favourite financial scheme.
But how would it have been with the Rank of the United States?
Instead of receiving nearly four and a half per cent, for the transmission, it would have placed the $5S,975 at the capital of Wiskonsan,
i n the shortest possible time, and without a cent's cost to the
Government I




62
Which, then, is the better plan, and what substitute, I repeat,
do you propose in place of a National Bank for re-opening the
gushing fountains of prosperity, and healing the wounds which a
miserable quackery has inflicted on the country ?
T o do you justice, and explain my own motives for writing this
history, I shall be compelled to add another number.
LOWNDES,

T O T H E H O N . J O H N C. C A L H O U N .
N o . VIII.
From February the 4th, 1814, when you recognised the power
of Congress to incorporate a Hank in the District of Columbia, to
April the 5th, 1810, when the charter of the late Bank became a
law, I have represented you the zealous advocate of a Bank of the
United States—as having, indeed, sustained, as well by argument as
by your vote, every projet of such an Institution submitted between
those periods. For the entire accuracy of my whole statement, I
challenge contradiction. I quote from the uncontradicted history of
the times, and from the public records of the country. Yet, if error
has been committed, let it be pointed out, and justice shall be done.
I hold it impossible for any candid mind, after having examined
your course on the Bank question, to mystify or misunderstand it.
Let one thousand of disinterested and intelligent men read your
history as connected with the subject, and every one shall note you
down a devoted friend of a National Bank, and as having assumed,
in its favour, as bold and latitudinarian ground, as its boldest and
most latitudinarian advocate dare take.
Nevertheless, you shall be heard in your own defence.
You
seem to have been, for some time past, conscious of the embarrassments of your position ; and, accordingly, on all suitable occasions,
and some unsuitable ones, you have taken care to proffer explanation. What your apologies arc, let us see.
In your speech of September the 19th, 1837, you said : " In
supporting the Bank of 1810, I openly declared, that as a question
flcnovo, I wouhl lie decidedly against the Bank, and would be the
last to give it my support,"—A most remarkable declaration ! One,




63
t H a t for your good name, you should have been most slow to venture,
b e c a u s e it conflicts, at every step, with impartial history, and, therefore, l a y s under suspicion, either your memory or your candour.
S i r , there is not a particle of proof in the history of the Bank
q u e s t i o n of 18JG—not a word or sentiment in all you said—much as
y o u d i d say—which lends the slightest colour to this, your most strange
a s s e r t i o n . But there is abundant and conclusive evidence of the
e x a c t reverse.
H o w do you reconcile this reckless asseveration (supposing it, as
T d o t o imply constitutional difficulty) with the counter declaration
m a d e b y you on the 4th of February, 1814, that Congress had the
<( u n d o u b t e d right to incorporate a Bank in the District of Columbia V1
A g a i n : in your speecli of February the 26th, 1816, you said that
C o n g r e s s , by the Constitution, was clothed, in express terms, with the
n o w e r t o regulate the currency of the United States, and then you
e n f o r c e d the propriety of a National Bank as a legitimate means of
e n a b l i n g Congress properly to exercise the power. How are we to
t n a k e your annunciation of ? 37 and your argument of '16 coincide?
A n d how are you to reconcile it with your position that Congress
h a s t h e " exclusive right to regulate the currency"—or with the dec l a r a t i o n you so confidently made, that a National Bank was the
« proper
<
remedy ?" If it was a proper remedy, must it not have
b e e n necessarily a constitutional one ? If unconstitutional, could
j t k e " p r o p e r ? " Is there no concession here of the constitutional
a u e s t i o n , and consequent contradiction of jour assertion of 7 37 ?
D i d you not, too, in 1810, call upon Congress as "guardians of
t h e p u b l i c weal, and of the public and private faith/' to pass your
B a n k bill? Now, sir, would you—a stickler for Constitutional nicctj e s
entreat Congress to establish an unconstitutional institution ?
A n d did you not, in totidum verbis, say, that Congress had the
r>ower to " remedy the evils the country suffered under"—that a
B a n k was the specific for the disease, and that if they did not adm i n i s t e r it, they should " be held deeply responsible for the continua n c e o f the evil V3 D o these admissions indicate, that, even had the
q u e s t i o n of a Bank been presented etc novo, you would have been
p r e c l u d e d by constitutional scruples from giving it your support ?
A n d finally, how can you harmonize the assertion of ^$7 with
y o u r repeated, often repeated, votes and arguments for a bank—with
y o u r zealous, ardent, untiring exertions in its behalf, continued
t h r o u g h four successive sessions of Congress? Would you labour,
for years, to perpetrate a violation of the Constitution ?




64
But, if you insist upon having been opposed to the Bank on Constitutional grounds, in 181G, be it so. Then you preserve your character for consistency at a dear price. You embrace an alternative,
involving ilagrant wrong, and deep disgrace. You exhibit yourself an habitual violator of the Constitution—as having, through
four entire sessions of Congress, infringed the provisions of that
holy instrument, all the while conscious to yourself of the profanation you were committing. Such is your first apology for your present predicament on the Bank question—a miserable, naked pretext
it is—destitute of common plausibility, and wholly unsatisfactory to
any intelligent or ingenuous mind.
And that nothing may be wanting to make your course extraordinary, you actually continued down to 1834 this business of
trifling with the Constitution. As late as that date, you proposed a
" new Bank to be engrafted on the old, and to continue for twelve
years." In other words, not more than seven years ago, you—on
whose lips the words " Constitution and State Rights" unceasing
ring—you, Sir, now damning a Bank at every breath, and vowing
that you always thought it unconstitutional—did, most verily, propose, a few years since, this self-same, wicked, " unconstitutional,
inexpedient, dangerous" thing ! A pliant conscience, truly !
But your main defence—that which you have so often and earnestly put forth—is, that you found the connexion existing between
the Government and the Banking system, and that, so long as this connexion lasted, " Government were bound to regulate the value o f
Bank notes, and had no alternative but the establishment of a N a tional Bank."
" I found the connexion in existence (you said) and established
before my time, and over which I could have no control. I yielded
to the necessity, in order to correct the disordered state of the currency, which had fallen exclusively under the control of the States/ 1
A dozen obvious answers overthrow this shallow special pleading.
First of all, the Constitution rises superior to every other consideration. T o State Rights men, in particular, it is the supreme and almost only law. You pretend so to hold it now yourself.
What if you did find the connexion existing ? If it was an unconstitutional connexion, it ought to have been dissolved, and you
should have at once set about the work of dissolution.
But, you pretend, the connexion is now dissolved by the operation of events, and you are now free to perpetuate the disconnexion.
Sir, it is not so* You war against mid-day truth. You speak in




65
t h e f a c e of every-day facts. T h e connexion is not dissolved. T h e
v e r y s t a t e of things on which your argument of 1816 was predic a t e d , and from which it derived all its force, exists now in an aggrav a t e d form. T h e currency is infinitely more " under the control of
the States"
Then there were, according to your statement, but
t w o h u n d r e d and sixty banks, making money "for and in the
U n i t e d States." JVow, there are nearly 8 0 0 of these currencym a k i n g machines. Recollect, we have your authority, that gold and
s i l v e r a r e not the only money, but that whatever is the medium of
p u r c h a s e and sale is money. Y o u said, in 1816, that bank notes
h a d b e c o m e the medium of purchase and sale, and t h a t , " therefore,
t h e y h a d become the money of the country/' and having thus become
t h e m o n e y of the country, were subject to the regulation of Congress*
W e l l , sir, bank notes are still the medium of purchase and
s a l e ' t h e y are therefore money, and, being money, Congress may
(according
to your notion) rightfully regulate it by the establishm e n t o f a National Bank. T h e connexion, then, between the governm e n t and banks is not dissolved. Its duty to regulate this paper
c u r r e n c y therefore remains, and it will never be cut looee from the
o b l i g a t i o n , until the banking system shall have been swept away
f r o m its foundations.
S e e the proposition in another form. Your argument of 1816
w a s b a s e d on the fact, that there were some hundreds of banks
c r e a t i n g a " medium of purchase and s a l e / ' (or, in other words,
*€ m a k i n g money for and in the United States,") and on the position,
t h a t t h e notes of these banks, having become money, Congress acq u i r e d the right to regulate them, and give them uniformity of value,
b y t h e establishment of a National Bank. N o w , is it not most palp a b l e , that the argument holds good so long as the State banks issue
c u r r e n c y at all, and that it cannot be divested of its force except by
t h e total annihilation of the State bank system? If, therefore, a
b a n k w a s constitutional in 1816, by reason of the connexion then existing
between bank notes and the financial operations of the government
it is at this moment, on the very same principle, constitutional ;
for t h e connexion yet exists in point of fact, and in a much higher
d e g r e e than in 1816. Your argument, then, is likely to be a standinrr, a perpetual one in favour of a bank ; for you admitted, in your
grTat s p e e c h of '16, that " there was no provision of the Constitut i o n prohibiting the States from creating banks"—and hence, the
d a v i s not likely ever to come, when there will be no banks to exerJ




5

66
cise that money-making function, from which, according to your argument, arises the control of Congress over the currency, and the
consequent right to establish a bank.
Your second excuse, then, for the position you occupy on the
bank question, is alike unfounded with the first. T h e plain truth
is, that you stand on ground totally indefensible. You cannot—it is
utterly impossible—you cannot maintain your character for consistency and ingenuousness too. Refine and shuffle as you may, there
never lived a man in America, and there is not now alive on the
earth's wide surface a being, who has spoken more, voted more,
effected more, for a National Bank, than yourself. Yet, at this moment, there perhaps does not live an individual who is so implacable
a foe to such an institution. All the time, too, you arrogate to yourself unvarying consistency! A l a s ! how true it is, that the "heart
often betrays the head !"
Why, Sir, (let me digress to ask you,) why do you thus obstinately cling to a pretension which is impeached by impartial history,
and upset by facts irrefragable ? Why contend, as for life itself, for
changeless consistency on the bank question ? Admit the claim
you set up to be well founded—does it advance your character as a
Statesman ? Have you never considered that it is denied to finite
wisdom to foretell, with precision, the developments of futurity ?
That IL3 men's opinions must be more or less modified by those developments, they must sometimes change their opinions, or persist in
error, and lag behind the age 1 That it is the peculiar province, as
it is the surest mark of the statesman, to be instructed and guided
without regard to former convictions, by transpiring realities? That
it is his crowning glory, when he detects error in his past conclusions, to own and recant it, and thus throw the weight of his authority in the scale of truth and public good?
How unlike yours, the deportment, on this very point, of the
great statesman of the West ! How differently thought he of honour
and duty !
W h e n Henry Clay was taunted in public debate with his former
advocacy of a National Bank, he raised himself at once above all unmanly effort to quibble away his previous opinions. T h e pride of
consistency, potent as is its influence on human conduct, could not
make him hesitate a moment between consistency, on the one hand,
and truth upon the other. Witness the undissembled and unshrinking avowal of his change of opinion :




67
€€

Y e s , Sirs, it is very true, that I opposed a National Bank in
• X 8 1 1 J the speech you quote is my speech—it contains a frank express i o n o f the opinions I then held on the subject. But five years of
p a i n f u l National experience convinced me I had been wrong—that
a B a n k was necessary to the country, both in relation to its Currenc y a n d its R e v e n u e s ; and the very next occasion that offered, I
a v o w e d the convictions which time and National suffering had prod u c e d ; and to these convictions I have ever since adhered. I am
n o t a s h a m e d of having grown wiser by experience, and on this only,
o f all great National questions, I have changed rny ground. Judge
f r o m t h e arguments and facts I now submit to you, whether I had or
h a d n o t good reason,"
T h e r e , Sir, is an example for you, of noble frankness and lofty
b e a r i n g , which, in these degenerate days, it were refreshing indeed
to c o n t e m p l a t e — o n e , of numerous instances it is, of that manly ingenu o u s n e s s , which elevates him from whom it proceeded far above the
l e v e l o f common statesmen, and which should bring to your cheek
t h e b l u s h o f conscious shame, whenever you recur to your own less
i n g e n u o u s , less statesman-like course !
Y e t there is not wanting a bright spot in your conduct touching the
bank.
A n d God forbid that I should do you the injustice to vail it
f r o m t h e public eye.
W a r m l y as you are now opposed to a bank, you have not (at
l e a s t t o my knowledge), like many others of its opponents, been
g u i l t y o f the unfairness of attempting to prejudice the public mind
o n t h i s subject, by arguments drawn from the explosion of the late
U n i t e d States Bank of Pennsylvania (as, in common parlance, it is
m o s t unfitly termed).
You know that this was a pure state Institut i o n , and that this circumstance of itself destroys all analogy bet w e e n it and a genuine national bank, so that on the failure of the
f o r m e r we can by no means predicate the abortion of the latter.
Y o u have borne in mind, I presume, that it was chiefly the want of
nationality
thatbroughtthe Pennsylvania mammoth to its catastrophe ;
t h a t h a v i n g no power to locate branches in the various commercial
c i t i e s o f the U n i o n , its vast capital was restricted, for employment,
t o t h e narrow area of a single city ; that being thus limited, it could
n o t e m p l o y that capital in the only legitimate business of banking
( t h e supply of mercantile demand), and was consequently forced, in
o r d e r to realize the ordinary profits of bank capital, to embark in
t h o s e ruinous speculations—not the legitimate business of banks




68
— w h i c h , in conjunction with the enormous bonus o f t e n millions
and more exacted by the mistaken cupidity of the S t a t e , l e d to its
downfall. Y o u have doubtless, t o o , kept in view a most important
fact in the history o f the late National B a n k — t h a t , at the t i m e of its
windinor up, the G o v e r n m e n t and all other stockholders that sold off*
their stock, received o n e hundred and sixteen dollars for every hundred dollars amount o f s u c h stock : an unanswerable indication of
its s o l v e n c y and s u c c e s s under a federal charter. A n d for these
reasons, I doubt not, you have not joined in the d e m a g o g u e outcry
aaainst the re-establishment o f a N a t i o n a l B a n k , merely because a
state bank, under c i r c u m s t a n c e s the least favourable, had proved an
abortion. F o r this example of i n g e n u o u s n e s s you deserve credit ; and
if you will g o but one step farther, with the fidelity and energy of byg o n e days, presenting to the people the benefits of a N a t i o n a l Bank,
and u r g i n g them to its adoption, yours will be the m e e d — f a r higher than mere cold r e s p e c t — t h e admiration and the gratitude o f a
well-served and benefited country.
T h u s ends the history of your c o n n e x i o n with the bank, and
here I had e x p e c t e d to close this narrative: but I am constrained to
add another chapter, and sorry am I to add it, b e c a u s e it will record
t h e utter degradation o f o n e of the first m i n d s in A m e r i c a , or on
the earth.
T h e r e is e n o u g h , H e a v e n k n o w s , in your past course to call up
e m o t i o n s o f disgust. T o see you d o i n g valiant fight for the public
liberty, and then joiningithe Vandal horde that were its invaders,—to
behold you Camillas to-day, and Brennus to-morrow; o n e day ready
( a s was o n c e said o f y o u ) " t o face the cannon's mouth, y e a , march
up to the stake and be burned alive to redeem your b l e e d i n g c o u n try from the hands of the spoilers", yet l e a g u e d with those spoilers
the next ; to hear you, at one m o m e n t , s t i g m a t i z i n g a certain party
as the " spoils party, without principles and without policy, held together by nothing but the hopes o f p l u n d e r " — a t another, using
your best exertions to reinstate that party in power ; t o hear y o u
characterizing Martin V a n Buren as o f the " F o x and W e a s e l " order,
broadly intimating that he purloined a letter from your p o s s e s s i o n ,
voting him unfit to represent your country at a foreign Court, and
then to find you at the polls, casting your vote for this s a m e *' F o x
and W e a s e l " creature : these r e m i n i s c e n c e s o f your changeful career, s i c k e n the heart : but the measure of your dishonour w a s n o t
filled, until, a few days ago, you enlisted under the black flag o f the




69
L e v e l l e r s and Destructives;, and owned yourself the Agrarian disciple
o f R o b e r t Owen and Fanny Wright,
A few days since, you declared from your seat in the Senate,
t h a t should Congress charter a Bank, you would go for its Repeal.
R e p e a l , you said, would be the watch-word of yourself and your
€C
democratic, Republican, State Rights" associates! Great
nevv
O o c i ! Is this the same John C. Calhoun, whose sensitive soul, a
f e w short years past, sickened at the corruptions of the day, and rec o i l e d , with holy horror, from the dangerous and revolutionary doct r i n e s avowed by the dominant party then cursing the country ! R e p e a l a vested right, whether there be forfeiture or not! ! Revive the
r a d i c a l doctrines of Dallas and Ingersoll, which sprung a few years
a g o from the rotten hot-bed of party, and which have since received
t h e well-deserved execration of every friend of order throughout the
U n i o n ! Sir, I had thought that your appetite for pulling down the
c h a r a c t e r and credit of the country, was satiated on the anti-assumpt i o n Resolutions of the winter before last—abstract Resolutions
p u r e l y , which, having no practical reference to the public good, could
h a v e no other possible effect than to throw suspicion upon the integr i t y and credit of the States. But no. A restless ambition must
g o a d you on to the embrace of doctrines which attack the great
conservative institution of property itself, and threaten not only the
foundations of the public faith and the public honour, but the very
e x i s t e n c e of society itself. Sir, I have not the time nor the patience
t o dwell on the disgusting theme. Suffice it, that if there' is a
p o w e r in this government to abrogate a charter or annul a vested
r i g h t , there is within it a principle of destructiveness which cannot
t o o soon work out its horrid results, in order that man may seek elsew h e r e than in America, an asylum from anarchy, violence, and robbery. T h e very same principle that, without forfeiture, revokes a
v e s t e d privilege, may rob us of our property and life. T h i s is, intlced, the principle of the " Spoils''—the principle of plunder—in
its worst modification—a Hydra-headed monster, it would prove, of
putrid, stinking corruption—a principle of demoralization that would
spread a moral leprosy over the face of this happy land, and desolate
every bright spot within it. And if ever Jacobin doctrine like that
w h i c h you propose, in a certain event, to enforce, obtain the sanct i o n of the people in this country—if ever the people be so wanting
i n intelligence and virtue, as to allow a designing dernagogueiam to
betray them into the support of princ iplesso immoral and fatal, strik-




70
ing at the very foundation of the social compact—then the question of man's capability for self-government, will have been forever
solved in the negative ; a stronger principle than Democracy will
have been proved neccssury for the protection of man's rights, and
popular government shown to be all a delusion. A n d the man, I do
not scruple to say it, who will lend his influence to the propagation
of doctrines so subversive of morality and social order, so destructive o f national character and credit, is a traitor to his country—a
cold-blooded, black-hearted traitor—whom, living, every virtuous
man should abhor, and whose name, when his career of mischief is
closed, should go down, with those of Arnold and Burr, to infamy
everlasting.
I do not know that I may not here with propriety c o n n e c t your
name (criminally, I mean) with the deplorable condition of public
credit now reflecting so serious reproach upon republican institutions.
T h e r e are, as you know, two great elements of national credit:
ability to pay, and disposition or willingness to pay. F o r , as one
nation cannot, like an individual creditor o f his individual debtor f
have execution of the effects o f its sister nation, save by the disagreeable, tedious, and costly process of war, it must follow, that, to
constitute a sound public credit, there must be a union (undoubted
it must be) of both the elements of national credit—the means of
meeting engagements, and the willingness to do it.
In the United States, there exists the former of these elements in
as high degree as in any country on the globe. W e have, in the
property of our citizens and a vast public domain, an almost inexhaustible fund for redeeming our obligation. W h e n much younger
in years and far more limited in resources—even hi our revolutionary
struggle—we borrowed as many millions as we required for carrying
o n our wars. Our credit was almost without limit. A n d for the
obvious reason, that the capitalists of the world, looking less to the
physical resources than to the morals of the country, had undoubting
confidence in our integrity.
N o t , then, to distrust of our ability to meet our engagements, is
the present degraded condition of American credit to be imputed.
It must be traced to moral causes, and moral causes only.
And those moral causes are: 1. T h e Jacobin doctrines, now in
vogue, which knew no existence in the R e p u b l i c till the reign o f
modern Democracy. 2. That general ruin of the currency o f the




71
o o u n t r y , which has so injuriously affected all its interests, and shaken
t h e foundations of public and private faith.
F r o m the former of these causes—the spread of Jacobin doctrines
the world argues, and very justly, our want of moral readin e s s t o fulfil our undertakings. Distrustful, at best, of popular gove r n m e n t s , the capitalists of the world—the shrewdest and most watchf u l o f all classes—are till the while looking to the condition of morals
a m o n g us. With searching scrutiny they scan our legislation.
T h e y watch with Argus eye, to see whether or not Demagogueism,
t h e besetting vice of popular institutions, has reached the legislative
H a l l , and infused into our legislation a spice of radicalism, immor a l i t y or dishonesty. Thus watchful, they have observed with alarm
t h e practical introduction of Repudiation, and the threatened applic a t i o n , if need be, of that not less dishonest, nor less disorganizing
•orinciple, the abrogation of charters, or repeal of vested rights.
H e n c e it is, that this great Government cannot borrow a dollar, and
t h a t American securities are a bauble in the markets of the world.
H o w can it be otherwise when sovereign states have repudiated
t h e i r honest debts? How else, when such a man as John C. Calhoun—boasted of as one of the master intellects of America—idoli z e d by a whole party, that party professing to be the very Simon
P a r e s of Conservatism and Chivalry—heralded by that party as the
m i g h t i e s t of all living statesmen, and as rivalling the first of those
w h o have gone down the tide of time—a prominent candidate, too,
for t h e first Office in the Republic : I say, how can this people be
trusted or respected when such a man as yourself rises on the floor
o f t h e American Senate and declares, that if the Legislature of the
U n i o n enact a law chartering a bank, and of course, vesting specific
rights, he would go for its repeal, irrespective of judicial intervont i o n t If such a mind as yours take the side of principles so subversive of good order and rational government, so revolutionary and
immoral, what may we not expect of the countless demagogues that
swarm through the land, and of the less gifted and less instructed
masses ?
Sir, there is an awful responsibility resting on you, in this particular. I charge you with giving an impetus, which perhaps no other
m a n in the Union could have given, to that spirit of radicalism which
( a s I have before observed) is working a fatal revolution in the polit i c s arid morals of the country. I charge you with being the advoc a t e of Repudiation. For, between that detestable heresy ami Re*




72
peal (as you patronize the latter) there is n o shade nor shadow o f
difference. T h e y are one and the same abomination—each equally
challenging the abhorrence of every honest mind. In brief, you are,
in this matter, in the same category with the celebrated A . G.
M c N u t t — o n e of your present political colleagues—the Democratic
Governor of a Democratic State, who unhesitatingly and approvingly
proclaimed to the world, that « four-fifths of the people of his State
«
would prefer going to war to paying her bonds."
I have said that Repudiation and Repeal are one and the same
thing. I meant in this, as the major includes the minor. But, in
fact, there lurks hi the latter, if possible, a yet more mischievous
principle than simple Repudiation. In practical operation, the
Doctrine o f Repeal virtually abrogates the Judiciary, and unites in
Congress both legislative and judicial functions.
I lay it down as a position not to be controverted by any lover o f
order, law, or justice, that whenever an act of the legislature vests
certain rights in certain individuals, those rights can never be devested
by the same power that conferred them, without express reservation
to such effect. T h a t high prerogative belongs to the Judiciary, and
to it only. I f the law creating those rights be unconstitutional, or
if there be forfeiture or fraud, that unconstitutionality, forfeiture,
fraud (as the case may b e ) , must be inquired into, and pronounced
on, by the Courts of Justice.
T h e n , in maintaining the abrogation of a chartered right by the
simple process of legislative repeal, you war against one of the
elementary and best understood maxims of Civil l i b e r t y , that the
Legislative, Judiciary, and Executive Departments should be separate
and distinct.
Y e t you have not always reasoned thus. 'When Mr. T a n e y , as
Secretary of the Treasury, justified the removal of the Deposits on
the ground that the " bank was unconstitutional, was a monopoly,
was baneful to the welfare of the community," why, you poured out
upon his devoted head the phials of your hottest wrath.
" N o one can object (you said) that Mr. T a n e y as a citizen, in his
individual character, should entertain an opinion of the unconstitutionality of the bank, but that he, acting in his official character, and
performing official acts under the charter of the bank, should undertake to d e t e n m u e that the bank was unconstitutional, and that those
who granted tho charter and bestowed upon him his power t o act
under it, had violated the Constitution, is an assumption of power of




73
nature which I will not attempt to characterize, as I wish not to
foe
personal"
S t r o n g condemnation, verily ; but none the stronger than was
b e f i t t i n g - For, surely, no bolder or more impudent assumption has
v e r b e e n dared in our history, than this flat exercise of judicial
f u n c t i o n by an Executive officer. Yet, what you regarded in an
E x e c u t i v e functionary so arrant a usurpation that you could not find
m S t o characterize it, you consider a clear right, if not a merit, in
t h e Legislature ! And what makes the thing the more remarkable,
u profess, all the while, to belong to a party " whose name is
o n y r n o u s with resistance to usurpation, come from what quarter
a n d i n what shape it may !"
^ f i t h respect to the other cause of the declension of public
r e d i t and your connexion with it—I mean the general derangement
f t h e currency—I have little to add beyond the general purport of
t h e s e Numbers. Suffice it (to use your own language, quoted once
b e f o r e ) , that " the currency of the country is the credit of the country c r e d i t in every shape, public and private;" and that ten years
atro w e had the best currency on the globe—sound, uniform and
l e n t i f u l . In evil hour, a certain party then in power, commenced
o o n that currency a ruthless war. The Bank of the Uuited States,
t h e happy operation of which we were indebted for this admirable
o n e t a r y system—"not that it intermeddled in politics, but (as you
"d i n your Deposit speech) because it would not interfere on the
- j o f power"—was marked out for destruction : the deposits were
T h e rest is soon told.
v e d j and in 1836, the Bank wound up.
E x a c t l y what had happened under the same state of things before,
h a p p e n e d again. T h e number of State banks was extravagantly
' c r e a s e d , and the latter, released from the wholesome check of a
tionul head, excessively augmented bank issues, and surcharged
the circulation. This excess generated inordinate speculation, and
l t i m a t e reaction; reaction brought curtailment, and curtailment
, m t e r i e v o u s evil—a stinted circulation—under which the country
• n o w so severely suffering, and its solvency is so seriously affected.
T h e restoration of the currency to its former healthful state, is
t h e obvious remedy. But you, who could do so much on this sube c t if y ° u would; you, who were so forward to apply the healing
^ernedy of a National Bank under circumstances identically like the
o r e s e n t ; are now, alas ! alas ! in close league and active concert
with t h e very party, that pulled down the noble structure of currency

a




74
reared by master statesmen ; and who would, had you the power,
bring the country to hard money, and thus aggravate the evil—a deficient currency—under which all the interests of the land are straining, and public and private faith is every day underminingContrary to my expectation and wish, I cannot bring within this
Number some most important facts of your public history too important to be pretermitted—and, therefore, I must crave permission
to address you one more, which shall certainly be the last,
LOWNDES.

T O T H E H O N . J O H N C. C A L H O U N .
No. IX.
I left you, at the conclusion of my last, the fallen apologist of
Jacobin doctrines that war with the first principles of Society, threatening not only its peace, but its very existence.
It is not the least remarkable circumstance in your position as a
politician, that you clamorously pretend to be governed, in all your
movements, by an especial, if not exclusive regard, to State Rights,
I am disposed to question your authority as a State Rights Teacher*
On this, your favourite subject, you have been quite as erratic as on that
of the Bank, as evidence, alike abundant and irresistible, will disclose.
T h e first witness I shall introduce—one whose competency and
credibility you shall freely underwrite (for you dare not impeach)—
who claims to have been, for the last forty years and more, a neversleeping sentinel on the watchtower of State Rights—and who
sounds the tocsin of alarm the first moment State Rights are in
danger—is the Editor of the Richmond Enquirer, It may be unpleasant, just at this time, both to you and the witness, to have him
testify in the premises; but as no exception can be taken to the
witness; on the contrary, as he is so excellent a judge of Federalism and its opposite, he must " come to the book."
T o the stand, then, Mr. Ritchie—what say you? Has John
Caldwell Calhoun belonged to the Federal, or to the State Rights
Party ?




75
A n s w e r : " He was in favour, in 1816, of a monster bank, of a
e r r a n d scheme of a tariff for taxing the agriculturist for the benefit of
t h ^ d o m e s t i c manufacturer, and of a grand system of internal imp r o v e m e n t s by the General Government. H e mistakes the whole
t h e o r y of our Constitution, and advocates the assumption of extens i v e powers by the Federal Government, which were never conferred.
If there be an Ultra in favour of the Federal Powers, John
CJ. C a l h o u n is the man. His acts are proof enough without his
s p e e c h e s . " — ( S e e Richmond Enquirer, Sept. 1823.)
A g a i n , in the Enquirer of March 22d, 1833 :
" W e retort upon the Telegraph the falsehood which it has
c h a r g e d upon us. Its Editor knows, as well as we do, that John C .
C a l h o u n was an advocate of the tariff system in 1816—that he went
o u t o f the war, an ultra stickler for the powers of the Federal Gove r n m e n t — t h a t he supported the Bank—a general system of Internal
I m p r o v e m e n t s — a n d the protective system as the per?nancnt policy of
t h e Government. T h e loyal Telegraph knows, and his political mast e r k n o w s , that in spite of his late equivocating speech, he was the
a d v o c a t e of the bill of 181G—that there is not one word about raisintT revenue in the speech of 1816 ; and that he insisted that manuf a c t u r e s should be established by protection beyond the reach of contingency
; and that he strenuously supported the oppressive and
o d i o u s system of mini mums."
" We know further, and we have no doubt this miserable sj'cop h a n t o f Mr. Calhoun knows the same, that as far down as 182-1, he
w a s i n favor of building up manufactures by the scaffolding of the
F e d e r a l Government. Finding, however, that his ultra doctrines
w e r e becoming odious to the South, and that his ambition could
n e v e r be gratified by this course, he was compelled to yield to the
force o f Southern sentiment—cooled towards his Federal doctrines—
g r a d u a l l y came over to the cause of State Rights ; but like all new
p r o s e l y t e s , hurried into excess, and plunged into the other ertrcihe
o f nullification. A n d now his powerful mind is devoted to the task
o f denying his old opinions, and of supporting his new
ones—never
r i g h t — b u t always on extremes. A politician from 1815 down to
1 8 3 3 , utterly unsafe and not to be trusted/'
A n d in the Enquirer of July the 10th, 1 8 3 3 , your State R i g h t s
orthodoxy is thus indignantly disputed :
€€
H e r e Mr. Calhoun wishes to pass himself oif as an old member
o f t h e Old State Rights Party—Why ? H H s Mr. C. forgotten that




76
he himself was considered AXO CALLED a more ultra Federalist than
Mr. Hamilton himself? Who was it that advocated the RIGHT of
the United States to appropriate to any object of the general welfare ?—It was Mr. Calhoun. Who was it that PRESSED upon us, in
1816, the Bank of the United States ?—Mr. Calhoun. W h o was it
that URUED upon us the great bonus Bill of Internal Improvement ?
—Mr, Calhoun. Who was it that vindicated the political principles
of the Tariff of 1816?—Mr. Calhoun. Who was it that sharply rebuked Mr. Webster a few years ago for insinuating to the " Chair"
of the Senate that he had changed his views on such subjects?—
Mr. Calhoun. Who is it, that STILL is for overleaping the specified
provisions of the Constitution; and still stickles for the implied
power for establishing a Bank over the heads of the States : and a
system of internal improvement, through their sovereign soil ?—Still
Mr. Calhoun. And yet WE are to hail this man as the defender of
our faith; and perhaps the very High Priest of the States' R i g h t
doctrine !"
Such is the testimony of Mr. Ritchie ; and corroborative proofs of
the most conclusive sort—frequently your own deliberate admissions
will show, that the statement of this deponent is not to be impeached.
I have your own authority (already quoted) that the State Rights
party* have always opposed a National Bank as unconstitutional. I f
so, you, who for years steadfastly and enthusiastically supported such
an institution, cannot, so far as that test goes, claim to be regarded
as a State Rights man.
You were one of the earliest friends of a protective Tariff. Y o u
voted for the Tariff bill of 1816, which was a measure of Southern
origin—South Carolina origin, I might say—and a measure, likewise,
for the protection of Southern interests. It contained, most clearly,
the protective principle, and the chief subject of its protection was
Southern Cotton. " T h e contest in 1S16 (said Mr. Webster in his
speech of reply to you in 1838) was, chiefly, between the Cotton
growers at home, and the importers of Cotton fabrics from I n d i a . 0
" I remember well (said Mr, W. who was a member of Congress
in '10) that the main debate was between the importers of India
Cottons, in the North, and the Cotton growers of the South." T h i s
is the unimpeachable testimony of a cotemporary witness, and confirmatory of his statement is the well known fact, that the Tariff of
1810 was vigorously opposed by the Northern States, and as warmly
advocated by the Southern.—Massachusetts voted against i t : South




77
C a r o l i n a for it, you being one of her organs on the occasion.
Yea,
y o u zealously sustained the measure, and, assisted by your colleagues
f r o m S o u t h Carolina, carried it triumphantly through Congress.
S i r , your speech on the Tariff bill of 1S16 is full of protection.
c
* N e i t h e r agriculture, manufactures, nor commerce (you said),
t a k e n separately, are the cause of wealth ; it flows from them comb i n e d , and cannot exist without each."
A g a i n ; " It is admitted by the most strenuous advocates on the
o t h e r side (what other side, I pray, but the anti-protection
side?)
t h a t n o country ought to be dependent on another for its means of
d e f e n c e ; that, at least, our musket and bayonet, our cannon and
b a l l , ought to be domestic manufacture."
T h e n alluding to the necessity of a Tariff to protect our curr e n c y , by arresting the drain of our specie to pay the foreign bal a n c e accumulating against us under a free-trade system, you said :
" W h e n our manufactures are grown to a certain perfection, as
s o o n they will, under the fostering tare of government, we will n o
l o n g e r experience these evils.
The farmer tvilljind a ready market
far his surplus produce, and ichat is almost of equal consequence $ a
certain and cheap supply of all his wants."
A well deserved tribute,
t h i s , to the protective policy, and one that shows you to have
b e e n gifted with the spirit of prophecy. For, most true it is, that
u n d e r the operation of Protection, the farmer has found a large and
i n c r e a s i n g market at home for his surplus which he had not before,
a n d manufactured goods are now obtained by him infinitely cheaper
t h a n h e was accustomed to get them prior to the introduction of the
p r o t e c t i v e system. And if war should come, our own manufacturing
e s t a b l i s h m e n t s , " placed beyond the reach of contingency" by the
s h i e l d i n g interposition of government, would furnish a " certain and
c h e a p supply of all our wants/* and save the people, nationally and
individually, from the privations and hardships to which they were
e x p o s e d in the late war for the want of manufactures at home. But
t o return.
A d v e r t i n g next to the general distress then existing, you continued ;
" T o this distressing state of things there are two remedies, and
o n l y t w o : one iii our power immediately, the other requiring much
t i m e and exertion; but both constituting-, in my opinion, t/ie essential
policy
of this country.
I mean the N A V Y A N D D O M E S T I C
MANUFACTURES,
By the former, we could open the way to our




78
m a r k e t s ; by the latter, we bring them from beyond the ocean, a n d
naturalize them in our own soil."
Combating a popular objection to a Tariff for protecting t h e
manufactures which had sprung up during the war, you said :
" B u t it will no doubt be said, if they are so far established, and if
the situation of the country is favourable to their growth, where is the
necessity of affording them protection ? Jt is to put them beyond
the reach of
contingency."
Another objection to manufactures you met in the following conclusive terms :
" It has been asserted that manufactures are the fruitful cause of
pauperism; and England has been referred to as furnishing conclusive evidence of the fact* F o r my part, I can conceive n o such tendency in them, but the exact contrary, as they furnish new stimuli
to industry, and means of subsistence to the labouring class of the
community.
W e ought not to look to the cotton and woolen establishments of Great Britain for the prodigious n u m b e r of poor with
which her population is disgraced. Causes more efficient exist.
Iter
poor laws and statutes regulating the price of labour, with her heavy
taxes, are the real causes.79
A n d still another objection you overthrow, as with a giant's
might :
" H e (Mr. Calhoun) did not think it a decisive objection to the system (alluding to the dependence of the employed class on the employers), especially when it had incidental political advantages which,
in his opinion, were more than a counterpoise to it. It produced an
interest strictly American, as much so as agriculture.
In this it had
t h e decided advantage of commerce or navigation. A g a i n (said
Mr. C ) , it is calculated to bind together more closely our widely
spread R e p u b l i c . It will greatly increase our mutual d e p e n d e n c e
and intercourse, and will, as a necessary consequence, excite an increased attention to internal improvement—a subject every way intimately connected with the ultimate attainment of national strength
and the perfection of our political institutions. H e (Mr. C.) regarded the fact that it would m a k e the party adhere more closely—that it
would form a new and most powerful cement, as far outweighing any
political objections that might be urged against the s y s t e m / '
A n d on the proposition to repeal the internal taxes, youdeela red
that " a certain encouragement ought to be extended, at least, t o our
woolen and cotton manufactures ;" a most explicit concession of the
principle of protection !




79
J r l e r e is your theory on the subject of protection plainly enough
t f o r t h ; let us see how your principles were carried out in prac.^_
T h e seed was sown in all plenty—let us look for the harvest
tlC"»

f i r s t of all, it may not be amiss to premise that the duties imposed
,
t ^ e Tariff of 1816 (for which you spoke and voted) were in many
s about equal to, and in some instances greater than, those fixed
. * t h e Tariffs of 18:24, 1628, and 1^:52. But to come to particulars.
On the 2d of April, 1810, the Tariff bill was reported, and, if I
i s t a k e not, by your colleague, Mr. Lowndes, as Chairman. That
b i l l o o n t a i n e d a provision that cotton goods should pay a duty of 30
e r c e n t , for the first two years ; of 2 5 per cent, for the next two years,
d 0 f 2 0 per cent* thereafter. On a motion made to reduce the
d u t y at once to 2 0 per cent., you voted in the negative, not consideri n g 3 ° P e r c e n t - protection enough ; and in company with you on this
o c c a s i o n , was Col. Richard M. Johnson, late democratic Vice Presid e n t o f the United States.
A. motion was next made to strike out the 3 0 per cent, altogether,
a n d it was carried ; yourself and Col. Johnson still voting in the
negative.
O n a motion then made to lengthen the time the 2 5 per cent.
d u t y should operate, you voted in the affirmative, taking, it s e e m s ,
all t h e chances for protection.
A motion having been made to reduce the duty on sugar from four
t o t w o cents per pound, it was carried—ayes 8 6 , nays 5(5—you voting
i n t h e negative; and, strange to tell, along with you against the red u c t i o n went other Southern gentlemen, since then warm foes of a
p r o t e c t i v e Tariff, and democrats now—viz., Col. Johnson, Alfred
C u t h b e r t , John Forsyth, and Wilson Lumpkin.
M r . Wilde, of Georgia, moved to reduce the duty on woolen and
c o t t o n goods to 2 0 per cent, j and here again you voted in the negao n the side of protection.
t j v e
A motion being made to put down the duties on coarse woolens to
15J 1-2 per cent., it was lost, yourself, Col. Johnson, Mr. Cuthbert,
M r . Forsyth, and Mr. Lumpkin voting in the negative.
B u t next came on a vital proposition—one involving the breathing
p r i n c i p l e and very essence of Protection—the minimum principle :
a m o t i o n to strike out that section of the bill which provided that
w h e n cotton goods should cost less than twenty-five cents the square
y a r d , they should be taken to have cost that sum, and be charged




80
with duty accordingly. On this motion, you stood up the undisguised and strenuous friend of Protection. You regarded the proposition as a bold assault upon the principle of protection. You considered the principle
in danger, and were roused up to the rescue.
After this manner, you gave vent to your apprehensions:
" T h e debate heretofore has been confined to the degree of protection which ought to be afforded to our cotton and woolen manufactures. T h e present motion proceeds on the assumption that they
ought not to receive any prot* vtion.
Until this question was raised,
he (Mr. Calhoun) had intended to be silent.''9
That is to say, so long as the debate was confined to the " degree
of protection," or, in other words, so long as the principle of protection was conceded—not denied—you were content to be silent. But
when a proposition was made, aimed at the principle itself, you were
irresistibly impelled to buckle on your armour for the defence; and
a strong lance did you shiver with the enemies of Protection. Nor
without the usual trophy of puissant knights. You conquered. T h e
bill was carried—triumphantly carried ; and to no ene's heroism
owed it more than to yours.
One more of your special votes I will mention, which is singular
enough. You voted, in 181G, for a duty on rolled iron of 6 3 0 per
ton, which is $ 2 per ton more than the duty on the same article by
the Tariff of 1828, which you and all the South stigmatized as the
"bill of abominations." So, in 1816, it seems, a protective duty
of $ 3 0 per ton was perfectly constitutional and proper ; but in 1828,
it was an abomination, and now, doubtless, would be resisted, even
unto nullification.
Some of your friends, I am aware, attempt your vindication by
asserting that the Tariff of 1810 was a revenue measure solely.
Such a defence is utterly irreconcilable with your sentiments and
reasoning just quoted. You yourself discussed the subject as one
of protection ; and if it was exclusively a revenue question, your arguments were strangely misplaced, and great must have been the
proclivity of your thoughts to Protection, when, on a naked matter
of revenue, you could not help constantly lugging in Protection.
But it is preposterous to say that the Tariff of 1810 was strictly
a revenue measure. There never was a tariff yet that did not look
to revenue. W e have never had one that was purely protective, or
purely revenue. All we have ever had—those of 1816, 1824, 1828,
and 1832—were compounded of revenue and protection. All, all,




81
t h a t o f 1816 as well as the rest, contained the discriminating
principle*
This is conclusive.
B u t , besides, the history of the thing is directly to the contrary,
f h e melancholy experience of the country during the late war with
G r e a t Britain; our dependence on the very power we were at war
w i t h for the military supplies which were indispensable to all succ e s s f u l warlike operations; the sufferings of our armies for the want
o f w o o l e n and other fabrics absolutely necessary to ordinary comf o r t ; t h e exorbitant prices at which the indispensable articles of cons u m p t i o n came to all consumers, inconsequence of the interruptions
t o o u r commerce, and of the want of domestic manufactures; the
f a o t that, during the restrictions and necessities of war, many manuf a c t u r i n g establishments had risen up, which, limited as they were,
h a d y e t yielded seasonable and substantial relief: these facts and
c o n s i d e r a t i o n s irresistibly operated to give to the Tariff of 1S1G the
t u r n and character of a protective measure. T o have considered
i t u n d e r the circumstances then existing, as altogether a question of
r e v e n u e , would have been madness itself, and would have branded
t h e Congress of that era—one of the most enlightened that ever sat
i n t h e Capitol of the Union—as the merest tinkers in legislation.
T h a t this view is the correct one, I refer you to the opinion of
M r . Ingham, of Pennsylvania, a member of the committee that rep o r t e d the bill, who said :
u
A s respects the revenue question, he (Mr. L) had not expected
t o h a v e seen the discussion assume that direction, because the great
principle
involved in the bill, was not a revenue proposition.
Congress
had already provided all the revenue expected to be necessary.
I t s primary
object was to make such modifications of duties upon
t h e various articles of importation, as would give the necessary and
proper protection
to manufactures.
The He venue is only an incidental
consideration.
S o much for your course on the Tariff, If you were not " up
t o t h e hub," in favour of it, and in its protective form, you had a
m o s t unfortunate way of expressing yourself, and a droll one of
voting.
T h e s e old opinions of yours are not now called up for your reproach. Truth forbid. T o hold opinions which were held by the
fathers of the Constitution—by Washington, Jefferson, Madison,
M o n r o e , Jackson, and every chief magistrate the Union has had,
and by all in the land who deserve the name of Statesmen—can
6




82
never be matter for reproach. T h e reproach lies rather in the unblushing immodesty, the swollen vanity, the disgusting egotism, the
sinful ambition, which treat with indifference authority so illustrious. But I drag them from the hiding-place of antiquity, because
your political friends exult in you as the great champion of free trade,
and insist that you are not to be quoted as authority for Protection.
Besides, the cry of Protection! H i g h Tariff! is already raised against
the W h i g party, and in the van of those who, for party effect, are
ringing this charge in advance (strange as it may s e e m ) , stand yourself—tocsin in hand—bugling out the loudest notes of alarm !
I would have the country know with what consistency, and by
what right, you, who supported with matchless ability and zeal the
Tariff of 1 8 1 6 , now arrogate to yourself the position of Leader in
opposition to a discriminating Tariff. And before dismissing this
branch of my subject, I would remind the honest-minded yeomanry
o f the country, that the Tariff of 18352, the most objectionable of all
the Tariffs, that which brought the Union to the verge o f dissolution,
was enacted in the full blast of D e m o c r a c y — w h e n the Democratic
party had an overwhelming ascendency in the national c o u n c i l s —
when Andrew Jackson, the master spirit of D e m o c r a c y , in all the
pride of power and authority, gave law to the land : and then I would
fain inquire, how dare they (the L o c o - F o c o party) who were the authors, ten years ago, of a Tariff which threatened the Union itself,
now read lectures to their W h i g opponents about a Tariff for Protection, even admitting the latter to be justly liable to the charge,
which is by no means the case ; for none, now-a-days, not the
W h i g s , nor even the manufacturers themselves, desire or dream o f
proposing any Protection of domestic manufactures beyond that
which can be incidentally derived from the exercise of the revenue
power. Downright, substantive Protection, has not an advocate in
the land!
A n d , next, with respect to Internal Improvements by the F e d eral Government—that best test of state rights or anti-state r i g h t s —
were you never its friend ?
Sir, the most impassioned and eloquent speech you ever delivered
in Congress, was in favour of a generous system of Internal I m provement. O n e cannot read that speech, even at this distant day,
without catching a portion of the almost romantic ^spirit and passionate enthusiasm that breathe throughout it. T h e ardent lover o f
the Union, in particular, who contemplates the glorious effects y o u




83
a r g u e d for such a system, in binding these states together by indissol u b l e chords of reciprocal interest and affection, is almost constrained
t o s u r r e n d e r his constitutional scruples, and assent to your patriotic
c o n c l u s i o n s . " Let us bind this republic together (you said)—let
u s c o n q u e r space—by a perfect system of Roads and Canals."
I have you, on this point, so that escape is impossible. I shall
** s p ^ a k from the book," to a most important fact in your history,
h i t h e r t o concealed beneath the rubbish of the bank question and
therefore half-forgotten, which I propose now to bring to light.
O n the 12th of March, 1816, Mr. Hall, of Georgia, "moved to
a d d a new section to the bank bill, the object of which was, to apply
t h e bonus arising to the government from the incorporation of the
b a n k to the Internal Improvement of the country."
" Mr. Calhoun declared his approbation of the object, but feared
t h e adoption of the amendment might drive off some who would
otherwise support the bill. Unfortunately for us, he said, there was
n o t a unanimous feeling in favour of Internal Improvement, some
believing this not the proper time for commencing that work; and such
a provision might deprive the bill of some friends which, at present,
tacts the main object of his solicitude"
A double admission this, evidencing, besides your clear comm i t t a l to Internal Improvements by Congress, the deep earnestness of
your solicitude for a National Bank.
Well, the " proper time" did arrive. T h e bank bill, which in
' 1 6 was the " m a i n object of your solicitude," having passed, the
subject you had next at heart claimed your attention. At the session
o f Congress immediately following the establishment of the bank,
you moved for the appointment of a committee to inquire into the
expediency of forming a permanent internal improvement fund out
of the bonus of the bank, and the dividends arising from the stock
held by the government therein. T h e committee was raised: you
w e r e the Chairman ; a bill was reported; and on the 27th of Feb'y,
1817, passed both houses of Congress.
T h e following was its title : " An act to set apart and pledge, as
a permanent fund for Internal Improvement, the Bonus of the National Bank, and the United States' share of its dividends." T h e
substance of the bill was according.
But there is another material, ominous fact, which deserves to be
noted. The 2d section of the bill, as you reported it from the committee, was in these words :




84
€i

And be it further
enacted, That the money constituting the
said fund shall, from time to time, be applied in constructing such
roads or canals, or in improving the navigation of such water-courses,
or both, as Congress shall by law direct, in the manner most conducive to the general welfare.*'
Mr. Pickering, of Massachusetts (Timothy Tickering it was, of
ultra-federal memory), who could not go the full extent you desired
on the subject, made a motion to add after the word Congress, the
following clause : c< with the assent of such State," so that the territorial limits of the States might not be invaded without their previous consent. Y o u opposed, by a speech, and voted against Mr.
Pickering's amendment : but the bill passed with it.
Here is an absolute recognition of the Power of the Federal
Government over Internal Improvements. You would ask of the States
no favours. Whether they wished it or not, these sovereignties
should have roads and canals constructed for them by the Federal
Government. All that you required was, that the money should be
applied " in the manner most conducive to the G E N E R A L W E L FARE!"
Y e s , sir, it is most true—how can you deny it?—that in those
times, so far ftom having been a States Rights man, you were a N a tional Republican of the general welfare school !
Far different then, too, were your views of interpretation from
what they are now. T h e n , you paid, you were " n o advocate for
refined arguments on the constitution." " That instrument (you declared) was not intended as a thesis for the logician to exercise his
ingenuity upon—it ought to be construed with plain good sense."
T h e n , also, you contended, that the uniform sense of Congress and
the country was a safe and sound rule of interpreting the Constitution. N o w , you adopt a mode of construction verging on impracticability, and impiously intimate that if Congress dare enact a law
not warranted by your transcendental standard, you will g o for R E P E A L , even though the Union be dashed into fragments—a catastrophe most inevitable, and to be justified and desired, if ever any
political party in the country shall be mad enough to annul a chartered right.
T h i s were enough, in all conscience, against you on this head :
but not half has yet been told. Balked, by the veto of Mr. Madison, in your schemes for " conquering space and binding the R e public together by a perfect system of roads and canals," you seem




85
t o h a v e cherished the hope of better fortune under a new administ r a t i o n , then about to come in. That the subject yet engaged your
t h o u g h t s , is apparent from a letter written by you in 1817 (just after
JVJr* Monroe's inauguration), and published in the Richmond Enq u i r e r in 1823, of which the following is an extract:
** T h e great subject of Internal Improvements is again before
Congress.
The constitutional
doubts of the President
(Mr. Monr o e ) I regard a national misfortune*
I hope, however, it will only
retard,
but cannot arrest the system."
Shortly after inditing this telling epistle you became a member
o f M r . Monroe's Cabinet (Secretary of W a r ) , and I must do you
t h e justice to say, that the important department over which you
w e r e called to preside, was administered in all its relations and det a i l s * with transcendent ability. Yours, indeed, was a model adm i n i s t r a t i o n of this branch of the public service.
W h i l e acting in this capacity, you seem not to have abandoned
y o u r early views on the subject. There is, indeed, every reason for
c o n j e c t u r e that it was through your influence that Mr. Monroe (who
i n t h e onset of his administration hfid declared against Internal Imp i o v e m e n t s by the Federal Government as being unconstitutional),
c h a n g e d his opinion, and became an ardent advocate of the policy.
B e t h i s as it may, it is indisputably true, that while you were the
h e a d of the War Department, you chalked out the most magnificent
s y s t e m of roads and canals ever projected in any age or country—a
m a m m o t h scheme, that would have bankrupted the treasury for
c e n t u r i e s , and entailed on the people an insufferable burden of debt
a n d taxation.
T h i s gigantic projet is to be found in your annual Report of
D e c , 3rd, 1824 (American State Papers, Vol. 13. pp. G99). T h e r e ,
after assuming that all such roads and canals as tended to " bind all
t h e parts of the Union together and the whole with the centre," were
of national importance, uud as such, were " duties of the
General
Governmentf"
you proceeded to unfold your plan.
*' T h e first and most important (says the Heport) was conceived
t o b e , the route for a canal extending from the Seat of Government,
by t h e Potomac, to the Ohio river, and thence to L.ake Erie." O f
w h i c h route you said : " Should it prove practicable, its execution
w o u l d be if incalculable advantage to the country. It would bind
together, by the strongest bond of common interest and security, a
very large portion of the U n i o n / '




86
" T h e route w h i c h is deemed next in importance, in a national
point of view, is the o n e extending through the entire tier of the At*
lantic States, including those on the Gulf o f M e x i c o / ' T h i s included canals to c o n n e c t the Delaware and Raritan, Barnstable and
B u z z a r d bays, and Boston harbour with Narragansett bay.
A n d the third route proposed, was a " d u r a b l e road from the
S e a t o f Government to N e w Orleans, through the Atlantic States."
" T h i s system, w h e n completed (the R e p o r t affirms), would
greatly facilitate c o m m e r c e and intercourse among the States, while
it would afford to the Government the means of transmitting information through the mail promptly to every part, and giving effectual
protection to every portion of our widely extended country."
Besides these, there were other improvements suggested, as the
connexion of the Alabama and Savannah rivers with t h e T e n n e s s e e ,
the James with the Kenawha, the Susquehannah with the Alleghan y , L a k e Champlain with the river St. L a w r e n c e , and the St. John's
river, across Florida n e c k , with the Gulf of M e x i c o .
S u c h is the outline o f a scheme o f internal improvements, to the
paternity o f which n o one can lay claim but yourself.
Sir, you
cannot name the man in A m e r i c a w h o is so fully committed on this
subject as yourself.
In this, as in the case of the bank, you were
the fiercest of all champions, and outstripped all competitors.
But there is evidence yet behind which is even more convicting,
and which brings down your advocacy of federal roads and canals,
(as also o f a National Bank and Protective Tariff) to a still later
period.
I might bring up in judgment against you your votes in favour
of the Cumberland road ; but these sink into insignificance by the
side o f the more overwhelming proofs I am n o w to adduce. In an
address spoken to the people of Abbeville District in your o w n
state, on the 2 7 t h o f May, 1 8 2 5 (in which you rendered an account
o f your stewardship), you took to yourself the credit o f having used
your best exertions for joining the various sections of the country by
a judicious system of internal improvements.
H a d the country no concern in your opinions and position, feel*
ings o f compassion would prompt me to suppress this s p e e c h : but it
must c o m e , and here it i s !
" N o t doubting the necessity o f an enlarged system o f measures
for the security o f the country, and the advancement of its true i n terests, nor your disposition to make the necessary sacrifices to sus-




87
t a i n them, I gave my zealous efforts in favour of all such measures;
t h e gradual increase of the Navy ; a moderate military establishment
p r o p e r l y organized and instructed ; a system of fortifications for the
d e f e n c e of the coast; the restoration of a specie currency ; a due
protection
of those manufactures which had taken root during the
periods
of war and restriction ; and, finally, a system of connecting
the various portions of the country by ajudicious system of internal
improvements.
Nor again was I mistaken in your character. You
n o b l y sustained all those measures. Soon after the adopting by
C o n g r e s s of this system of measures which grew out of the experie n c e o f the late war, I was transferred to preside over the Departm e n t of War, by the appointment of our late virtuous and excellent
C h i e f Magistrate. In this new position, my principles of action remained unchanged.
Continuing still with my faith increased instead
o f b e i n g shaken in your virtue and intelligence, I sought no other
p a t h to your favour than the fearless discharge of the duties of my
office. Placed on so firm a foundation, no difficulty nor opposition
c o u l d intimidate me. It became my duty, as a member of the Administration, to aid in sustaining against the boldest assaults those
very measures which, as a member of Congress, I had contributed in
part to establish, and again I had the satisfaction to find, that a relia n c e on your virtue and intelligence was not in vain. I our voice
( S o u t h Carolina's) was so audibly heard on the side of the Administration,
that now, instead of opposition, the struggle seems to be,
who shall evince the greatest zeal in its favour."
Here, sir, if words are with you the signs of ideas, is a reiteration
( a n d no unboastful one) of your support of a National Bank, a prot e c t i v e Tariff, and Internal Improvements by the Federal Government.
Y o u confess not only " zealous efforts in favour of those measures,''
but your active agency, as a member of Congress, in " establishing "
t h e m as the policy of the country. You not only, in your representative
capacity, voted for a National Bank, for protection to the manufact u r e s which had sprung up during the war, and for a liberal system
o f internal improvements for binding the various sections of the
U n i o n together, but, as Secretary of War, you " sustained against the
. boldest assault those very measures which, as a member of Congress,
y o u had contributed in part to establish !" And what is worthy of all
remark—gallant, chivalrous South Carolina, of whose state-rights
purity we hear so much, was, in 1825, according to your own em*
phatic assertion, an enthusiastic supporter of Mr. Monroe's Ad*
ministration—a Bank, Tariff, Internal Improvement Adminis-




88
tratio
Yea, her " v o i c e was so audibly heard in its favour, 3 'that
the struggle seemed to be, who should evince the greatest zeal in its
behalf ! ! ! Yet this same South Carolina it was, that a few years
thereafter bullied the confederacy into her free-trade notions, and
now stands ready to sound the blast of Repeal, (should Congress re*
charter a bank,) and to shake out the folds of the nullification flag the
first moment the law-makers of the Union shall dare to impose a duty
for protection, or to build a road or canal within her limits!
Well would it have been for your fair fame, if this speech of yours
had gone out of print forever! Honest men, frank and ingenuous
minds, lovers of truth and fair dealing, will marvel—do marvel—that
you, who so late as 1825 declared yourself a Bank, Tariff, and Internal
Improvement man, should be found now solemnly averring that you
were always an advocate of free trade—never conceded the principle of
protection—have been ever consistent on the bank question—(ever
denying its constitutionality)—and always belonged to the strict-con*
struction, state-rights party ! And mankind will wonder how so
great a mind could be so bewildered, and wTill judge you the harder
for that very greatness of mind. Not only will your consistency be
denied, but your candour will be impeached, and the sincerity of
your state-rights professions suspected, until, emulating the frankness
of the great Kentuckian, you manfully acknowledge past errors, and
confess subsequent change of opinion.
But to return to the subject of Internal Improvement.
I shall not stop to inquire by what doctrine of implication you arrived at the constitutional power of the Federal Government to construct works of Internal Improvement within the States, but simply
to add a fact which was omitted at the proper place—that your bank
bonus bill was regarded by President Madison so strongly objection*
able as to cause him to exercise the veto power to defeat it. " I am
constrained (said Mr. M., in his veto message), by the insuperable
difficulty I feel in reconciling the bill with the Constitution of the
United States, to return it, with that objecfioji, to the House of R e p representatives in which it originated." So true is it, that you went
a bow-shot beyond the prominent man of the day, in favouring a federal system of Improvement.
W e find you now, as on the bank question, in the opposite
extreme, on the subject of whatever relates to Improvement—aye,
denouncing, as unconstitutional and corrupting, a distribution of the
proceeds of the public lands—-a measure most emphatically of State




89
R i g h t s and State interests—a measure by far the most beneficent
whi*^* 1 could come of the legislation of Congress, save the reformation
a n d settlement of the currency—a measure promising more of
immediate
practical relief than any other that the wisdom of Cong r e s s can possibly devise—a measure that will operate as a charm
i n relieving the necessities of the States, and, to the extent of that
r e l i e f , taking away the pretext for direct taxation : against this most
b e n i g n a n t policy, your hand is raised—but is it true, that you never
f a v o u r e d the principle of distribution ? Sir, I heard JMr. Tazewell,
w h o seems to know your history well, declare, that you were the very
a u t h o r of the distribution principle—that it was not original with Mr.
C l a y — t h a t you were the Father, Mr. Clay the Foster-father, of the
t h i n g . Who is entitled to the paternity, I may not inquire—" Non
n o s t r u m tantas componere lites"—but one may well suspect, that so
s p l e n d i d a conception—so magnificent an idea—particularly, one so
f r a u g h t with State Rights and State interests—had its origin in the
c a p a c i o u s brain of John C. Calhoun, and none other. Yet now you so
r e p u d i a t e your own offspring, that you offer it up a willing sacrifice
t o the remorseless cupidity of the new States—or, more properly
p e r h a p s , you immolate it a victim on the altar of your own unchast e n e d ambition.
N o r is this the only evidence against you on this point. In a
s p e e c h made by you as late as March, 1837, while you were yet a
IVhig—yes, at a public dinner given you by the Whigs of Charleston,
after giving a rapid sketch of " that series of corrupt measures by
w h i c h the Government of the United States had arrived at its present
h e i g h t of disorder and iniquity''—for, to that late day, you could not
forego a slap at the "plunder" party, the " Rogues and Royalists"—
y o u enforced the " necessity of distributing the surplus among the
S t a t e s , to whom it belonged." You pointed out the " motives of the
dominant party in opposing distribution," and showed that " in spite
o f their momentary and miserable triumph, the measure would prevail
interest, patriotism, and every good principle (you said) would
u n i t e to carry it into effect." And after giving a vivid picture of the
disorders then existing, you expressed a " strong confidence in the
triumph of good over evil—the reform of the government, and the
restoration of the Constitution-"
" I see my way (you continued) through the present confusion.
T h e distribution measure will prevail. The public lands will be.
given tip to the States. T h e Administration must yield to these me acures, or fall before them.3*




90
S o spoke you in 1837, just before you took that last dread leap
of yours ; yet, on the 17th day of August, Anno Domini, 1841, you
declared from your seat in the Senate that you " did not see how
such a measure as the Distribution bill could have entered the mind
of man !"
Such are your claims to be considered the great head and leader
of the State Rights party. Sir, when, in the name of State Rights,
you ask of the country admiration of your course and the adoption of
your revolutionary and dangerous opinions, you ask too much, by
far. T h e pretext is too unsubstantial; there has been too much
veering from extreme to extreme : too much in your public career
to justify the suspicion, that your falling back upon State Rights is
the after-wit of ambition's suggesting. T h e country is not to be any
longer deluded by idle cant^about State Rights and the Constitution.
It is become, alas! (but the people are detecting the imposture) the
Hypocrite's and the Demagogue's resort,
" Much alarm and delusion (said Mr. Pope, when discussing the
bill to renew the charter of 1791), much alarm and delusion have been
artfully spread through the country, about a violation of the Constitution, and a consequent destruction of our republican institutions.
I fear the people (said he) are unfortunately led to believe, that
the security of their liberties depends too much upon paper barriers,
and too little upon their own virtue and intelligence. It appears to
me, that the Constitution is occasionally made a mere stalking-horse,
to serve the purposes of unprincipled demagogues and pretended
lovers of the people, to get into power, to the exclusion of honest
men."
There is a melancholy truth, at this time, in these reflections.
I leave it to the country to make the application*
In the course of these Nos. I have not unfrequently imputed to
you the sin of ambition : ambition, I meant, not in the virtuous
s e n s e ~ n o t that noble impulse, the characteristic of all lofty minds,
that bids man aspire at the discovery of truth and the vindication of
right, for truth and right's sake, without any the slightest regard to
personal advantage—not the ambition of Padaratus, the noble
Spartan, who, when not elected of the three hundred to govern the
city, in ecstasy thanked the gods " that there were three hundred
better men in Sparta than he"—nor that of Aristides, the no less
noble Athenian, who voluntarily resigned the command of the Grecian
army to Miltiades, because Miltiades was the more skilful general,
and therefore more likely to vanquish the enemies of Greece—not




91
t h a t w h i c h " noble ends by noble means obtains ;" but an ambition
o f a lower order, a meaner sort—that which takes the Protean garb
o f interest—which shuffles, twists, turns, evades, conceals, concedes,
d e n i e s , quibbles, refines, mystifies, according to the bearing of selfa f i r g r a n d i z e m e n t — w h i c h shapes views of public affairs and questions
o f S t a t e with reference rather to self than to the public weal : this
is t h e species of ambition I meant; but in making the accusation, I
h a v e done you no injustice. It is no naked, unsupported charge.
Y o n distinctly said, in your Fort Hill letter of 3d November, *37,
t h a t the reason you and your followers deserted the Whig party in
tHat year, was, that if you continued your attacks upon the party in
p o w e r and demolished it, (which you said you could easily do,) " the
v i c t o r y would inure, not to you> but the Whigs. 1 * A most disgusti n g * degrading admission! One that robs the name of John C.
C a l h o u n of all its power to charm ! You could, by continuing with
t h e W h i g s , "demolish" this corrupt party—this "plunder" party, as
y o u had called it—those " R o g u e s and Royalists;" but yon would
no—you would not demolish it, because the " victory would
not
n o t inure to you ; in other words, because you foresaw, that if the
ITVhigs succeeded, a worthier than yourself—the noble Clay—the
s t a t e s m a n , whose rank is with Pitt, and Canning, and Washington,
a n d Madison—the hem of whose garment you are not worthy to
t o u c h — w o u l d be the selected Whig candidate for the Presidency I
T h e r e lies the secret motive, the veiled jealousy, that put you in opp o s i t i o n to the Achilleses and Agamemnons of the Whig party, and
w h i c h , if it do not exactly stamp upon you the impress of the raili n g , restless Thersytes, certainly fixes upon you one of the most sin*
^ u l a r and most unamiable apostacies of modern times.
J)e gustibus non disputandum^ we are told. Yet I cannot but
w o n d e r at, while I commiserate, the ill taste that could lead such a
p e r s o n a g e as yourself—even for inuring victory—to break fellows h i p with such a party as the Whigs to take up with the Modern
D e m o c r a c y . I denominate it the Modern Democracy, because it is
n o t the Democracy of Washington, and Jefferson, and Madison—
that unaffectedly and honestly regarded the interests of the people.
Sir, the civil annals of mankind nowhere tell of a more chivalr o u s party than the Whigs of these United States. Not Old Engl a n d , in the day her Saxon spirit ran highest, nor New England, in
t h e ** times that tried men's souls," boasted a nobler mass of patriot
freemen.




92
T h e high compliment which often and vauntingly you have paid
to the State Rights Party, that " it is opposed to usurpation, come
from what quarter and in what shape it may," belongs, with far
more justice, to the great Whig Party of this Union.
It has exercised no legislative power, nor advocated any, that
has not challenged the repeated sanction of the Fathers of the Constitution. If it has favoured a National Bank, and a Tariff yielding, incidentally, moderate protection to American industry,—so did
George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison,
and Elbridge Gerry, and so have you.
In regard to Executive Assumption, its whole history, as yourself know—for you were our coadjutor once—is but a series of gallant efforts to arrest the march of arbitrary power, and restore the
balance of the Constitution.
Show me one instance in which (to quote you once more) it has
" sustained prerogative against privilege, or supported the Executive
against the Legislative department, or leaned to the side of Power
against the side of Liberty :" tell me, I say, of ane offence herein,
and I throw, eo instantly the mantle of oblivion over that marvellous
tergiversation of yours—"observed of all observers''—under which
your good name is so seriously suffering in the estimation of the
wise and trood.
And in warring against the corruptions of the government, and
resisting the anarchy-tending doctrines which have come in vogue of
late years in our midst, it has exhibited itself, most clearly, the Con*
servative Party of the country. Without intermission, it has braved
that restless spirit of innovation which is up-heaving the whole fabric
of American Institutions, divesting the government of all efficiency
and stability, turning it back to the imbecility of the Old Confederation, unsettling the foundations of public prosperity and national
grandeur, and sporting with the fortunes and happiness of the people.
Find me one Whig who has not " cried aloud" against corruption,
and " spared not," or whose voice has not been heard on the side
oflaiv and order; produce me a single member of this great and
glorious association who has ever intimated approval of the execrable
doctrine of Repudiation or Repeal ; and with one, at least, the
charm of Whig chivalry is broken, and companionship with it for
ever abjured.
Exactly the reverse of all this, it grieves me to say, is the party
in which you now rejoice.




93
Sir> it is, as in by-gone times you intimated it to be, the Power
p a r t y o f the country—the Prerogative Party—the Anti-Saxon Party,
j f I m a y so speak ; or if I should borrow your definition of the
«* e s s e n c e of Toryism," I might speak from a still less compliment a r y nomenclature. T h e bloodiest violations of our holy Constitute* t i o n
the most lawless acts of tyranny, violence, and wrong that
s p o t o u r civil history, have been the doings of this party.
I t is said to be the Democracy of the country : and you endorse
t l i c h u m b u g ! Alas ! for such Democracy. Democracy it is, with
a vengeance !
I t tramples the Constitution under foot; concentrates all power
i n t h e Executive, uniting the purse and the sword; it laughs to
s c o r n the popular will, persisting obstinately in measures, time after
t i m e repudiated by the people; it annuls representative responsibil i t y , b y advancing to more lucrative stations unfaithful public serv a n t s , thrown off by the constituent body for infidelity to delegated
t r u s t ; it retains defaulters in office, known and acknowledged to be
s u c h ; permits the open plunder of the public treasury; administers
t o t h e corruption of the Press, the Elective Franchise, and the publ i c morals ; pulls down systems consecrated by time, and approved
b y experience ; ruins the currency ; prostrates the whole business
o f t h e country ; would reduce the wealth and comforts of all classes
b y adopting the hard money system; blots the escutcheon of the
n a t i o n ; breaks its faith ; shatters public credit; and then proffers to
t h o s e w h o are the unhappy victims of all this mischief, the poor and ins u l t i n g consolation that its perpetrator s are the Democracy of the land!
I need not draw the portrait at full length for one who has so often
a n d s o graphically taken it down himself. But there is a marked pec u l i a r i t y in the features of this party which cannot well have escaped
y o u r observation. Its much boasted democracy is not the democracy
o f order and right reason—not that rational democracy which aims
a n d tends,
" B y wholesome laws to embark the sovereign power,
T o deepen by restraint, and by prevention
Of lawless will, to guide the flood
In its majestic channel/*

N o : it is a democracy of untamed licentiousness, and wild agraria n i s m — t h e Jack Cade democracy—anti-social in its tendencies—leve l l i n g in its practical results—prophetic of disgrace and ultimate
abortion to popular institutions.
S i r , has your acute and observing mind never detected the strong




94
analogy between this new-fangled democracy and that of the French
Revolution ? D o you never indulge the reminiscence, that all the
enormities of that appalling drama were perpetrated in the name o f democracy ? that the guillotine was fed for democracy's sake? that Robespierre, I>anton, and Marat, claimed to be democrats, friends of the
people, lovers of liberty, while they denounced those w h o stood in
the way of their atrocities, as aristocrats and royalists? From this
startling analogy, can you strike out no moral for the people ? no
ground for warning to your countrymen ? Alight not so sagacious a
patriot as yourself, holding up the fearful parallel, exclaim to a deluded c o u n t r y — I n cedis per ignes sttppositos cinere doloso ?
Y o u , sir, must know, do know—ambition, with all its mystifying
influences, cannot veil the truth from such a mind as yours—you
must know that the reign of Jacksonism has planted in this country
the seeds of a blasting Jacobinism, and you as well know that its
evil tendencies have been in a regular course of development, and
can only be pushed to consummation, under the auspices of your democratic friends.
T h a t this is n o gratuitous ascription, let m e refer you to two most
remarkable points in the history of this party. T h e y are deserving
of the especial note of all wrho hope for social, quiet and good government in the future, and which, had you not fallen from your high
estate to become the great champion of disorganization, might be
profitably commended to your consideration.
First, it has professed every good principle, and in good f a i t h ^ r a o
tised none. D o you not know this reproach to be just ? N a y , have
you not often taunted it thus ?
L e t us look to the facts. Professing to hold in high veneration the
doctrine of instruction, there are at this moment a d o z e n United
States Senators of the democratic order, holding on to their seats,
against the popular will in their respective States, unequivocally expressed at the polls in November, 1840.
Coming into power pledged to Reform, it multiplied abuses in
every department of administration, and to the extent of flagitiousness itself
More especially was correction promised of " those abuses w h i c h
had brought the patronage of the government in conflict with the
freedom of elections," and l o ! " to the victors belong the spoils,"
at once floated on its flag-folds ; the patronage of the executive sta^
tion was daily bartered for partisan service ; and a system of rewards
on the one hand, and punishments on the other, was resorted to as




95
t h e s u r e s t means of procuring support for the Democratic cause.
S o m e , indeed, who had robbed the Treasury and acknowledged
t h e l a r c e n y , were not molested of their offices, lest, by dismissipn,
i n f l u e n c e might be lost to the Democracy. I n fine, the government
h a d b e c o m e a vast electioneering machine, as I call you to witness.
** C a n he be ignorant (said you of Mr, T a n e y , then Secretary of the
T r e a s u r y ) , can he be ignorant that the whole power of the governm e n t has been perverted into a great political machine, with a view
o f c o r r u p t i n g and controlling the country ? Can he be ignorant that the
a v o w e d and open policy of the government is to reward political friends,
a n d p u n i s h political enemies ? And that, acting on this principle, it
h a s driven from office hundreds of honest and competent officers for
o p i n i ° n ' s sake only, and filled their places with devoted partisans?"
M r . Adams being hurled from the presidency for increasing exp e n d i t u r e s to 13 millions, Retrenchment, Economy, were the Dem o c r a t i c Watch-words ; when, behold ! in a few years, the number of
f e d e r a l officers was more than doubled—the clerks in the W a r Departm e n t , for example, were increased from 20 to 50—the officers in the
N e w - Y o r k Custom-House from 175 to 497, their salaries from 119,000
t o 5 5 6 , 0 0 0 dollars—in most of the other departments in about the same
r a t i o — a n d appropriations ran up from 13 to 37 millions per annum !
L o o k at this tabular illustration of Democratic economy.
T h e ordinary expenses of the first year of Mr. Adams's
administration, amounted to
.
.
. $6,538 000
O f M r . Van Buren's first year, to
.
.
.
13,098,000
I n c r e a s e under Democratic R e t r e n c h m e n t
.
. 6,500,000 !
T h e extraordinary expenditures in the first year of
Mr. Adams, were .
.
.
.
.
.
5,153,000
O f M r . Van Buren's first year
.
24,166,000
Increase
19,013,000 ! !
T h e aggregate ordinary expenses of Mr. Adams's
first three years, amounted to •
.
.
. 20,723,000
M r . V a n Buren's first three, to
.
.
.
• 40,261,000!!!
T h e aggregate extraordinary expenditures of Mr.
A d a m ' s first three years, to
16,381,000
M r - V a n Buren's first three, to
.
73,583,600
N e a r l y five times as much in the latter as in the former.
T o t a l aggregate in Mr. Adams's first three years,
36,704,000
O f M r . Van Buren's first three,
.
.
.
.
111,000,090
I n c r e a s e of expenditures in Mr. Van Buren's three years over
M r . A d a m s ' s three, Seventy-four millions and a q u a r t e r ! ! ! !




96
Holding that Executive patronage " was increased, was increasing, and ought to be diminished,'* it has augmented that patronage
in a thousand forms, and enlarged Executive influence to an extent
incompatible with Republican government, and little short of practical monarchy.
JYow, the sworn enemy of Distribution, in 183G it enacted a law
distributing among the states 37 millions of dollars, and three-fourths
of this large amount were accordingly so distributed, Democratic
states not refusing their share.
Claiming all at once to be the Anti-tariff, Free Trade party, many
of their prominent men, among them Mr* Van Buren, the leader
under whom they lately rallied, voted for the Tariff of 1828, the
Bill of Abominations—the Tariff of 1832 was passed in the full tide
of Democratic experiment—and in 1639 (I have the authority of
Mr. W i s e ) , the Democratic party in the Senate of the United States
actually smuggled through that body a bill creating a new Tariff,
and reviving the duties on nearly one hundred articles (that were
duty free under the compromise act), from 15 to 5 0 per cent.
Setting up the pretension that it is the Anti-internal Improvement
party, it expended more in one year for internal improvement than
Mr, Adams did in four. Cast your eye at the following table :
ADAMS S

1825
1826

.
.

.

.
.

$334,»>3
488,740

FOUR

YEARS.

1827
1828

.
.

.
.

.
.

Total

$275,268
375,906
91,474,367

JACKSON'S E I G H T Y E A R S .

1829
1830
1831
1832

•
.
.
.

.
.
.

.
.
.
.

$1,088,000
962,408
808,913
824,655

1833
1834
1835
1836

.
•

.
.

Total
VAX

1837

•

.

,

BUREN'S T H R E E

$1,493,310

1838
1839

.
.

$1,216,344
894,606
831,257
958,341
$7,584,524

YEARS,

.

$1,191,808
1,000,491

Total
$3,685,609
From which you may calculate the following average of annual expenditures for internal improvements ; Mr. Adams's, $ 3 6 8 , 0 0 0 ; Gen.
Jackson's, 8 9 3 6 , 0 0 0 , and Mr. Van Buren's, $ 1 , 2 2 8 , 0 0 0 !
T h e pretended hard money party, that was to banish bank rags,




97
a n d s e t gold and silver to flowing up the Mississippi and the count r y over, it chartered, between 1830 and 1837, two hundred and
t w e n t y - f i v e paper-making establishments—and instead of the golden
a g e , w h e n the " yellow mint-drops were to have been seen glittering
t h r o u g h the interstices of the long silken purses of the farmers," the
r e i g n o f shin-plasters is upon us, and the precious metals driven
f r o m t h e channels of circulation.
'With strongest professions of regard for state rights, it huzzaed
t h e Proclamation and the Force bill—still stand by their author—prop o s e d a federal bankrupt law, to include the banking institutions* of
t h e states—a huge standing army scheme, which was to have divested
t h e s t a t e s of the right to train their own militia—a right guaranteed
b y t h e constitution, and designed as a barrier against military desp o t i s m — a n d lastly, to crown its impiety, it perpetrated the atrocious
o u t r a g e on New Jersey.
I t s whole history, in fine, is but a series of professions which its
a c t s belie. Its practice has ever been to " keep the word of promise
t o t h e ear, and break it to the h o p e / ' W e can make no calculation
o f g o o d from such a party.
" T h e y t h a t trust its p l i g h t e d faith,
L e a n on a r e e d t h a t soon m a y part,
A n d s e n d its s h i v e r s to t h e h e a r t / '

Secondly, there has been no revolutionary opinion advanced, or
d i s o r g a n i z i n g measure consummated in this country, no outrage
u p o n the laws of the land, no invasion of the first principles of soe i a l organization, that has not emanated from what is termed (by
m i s n o m e r ) the Democratic party. T h e removal of the deposits,
m a d e in the very teeth of the law, and so indignantly reprobated by
y o u ; the anarchical movements a few years ago in the Senate of Maryl a n d ; the Harrisburg m o b ; the late refusal of the Tennessee Senate
t o choose a United States Senator ; the extraordinary postponement
for twenty-five days, of the organization of the House of Representatives ; the kindred New Jersey enormity ; repudiation of State debts j
abrogation of charters; and, worse than all, that most radical and
startling of all propositions—to change the tenure of the judicial
office, and thus take from Liberty and Virtue their strongest bulw a r k and last reliance ; all these disorganizing proceedings and demoralizing tenets, are the undoubted offspring of Democratic paternity. And I venture the prediction—I do so in no offensive spirit,
7




98
believing, as I do, the bulk of all parties to be upright in motive,
but considering, at the same time, that with the motives of political
parties or public men we have nothing to do, that their acts and the
consequences of those acts, are alone to be considered in their refer*
ence to the public weal—I say, I make the prophecy, in no design to
offend, and in full view of the uniform course of this party, that,
come insurrection when it will, defiance of the obligations of civil
society, and disobedience to the laws of Congress when they may—
be the independence of the Judiciary sooner or later struck down—
that heaviest blow under which Civil Liberty will be " crushed to
earth,' 7 never in this hemisphere to rise again—come these luckless
things when they may, they will be found to spring from the same
origin—started, cherished, propagated, enforced by Locofocoism—
unsustained, resisted, dissuaded, hooted, abhorred by every Whig in
the land.
And yet to join such a party as this you deserted the Whigs !
You give up—mistaken ambition !—you give up the companionship
of Xallmadge, and Crittenden, and Archer, and Leigh, and Preston,
and Morehead, and Mangum, and Clayton, and Sergeant, and
Berrien, and Clay—names historical already—the beamy light of
whose example casts a cheerful gleam athwart the thick gloom
which has so long overhung our moral horizon—you give up the
companionship of spirits like these, to compeer with the Kendalls,
and Aliens, and Duncans, and Buchanans, and Ingersolls, and Walls,
and Hills, and Williamses, and Huhbards—men, who, though hot
Democrats now, in less democratic times would have " opened their
veins to let out the democratic blood/* or who would have been lt tories
in the revolution,"—who have made public boast of their federalism,
burned James Madison in effigy, and officiated even in Hartford
Convention proceedings !
All men, doubtless, may change their associates when they list :
but when characters so prominent as yourself venture to doff old
acquaintances to comrade with strangers, they will be held, by an
enlightened public opinion, responsible tor the exchange ; and if no
better apology can be pleaded than tfc inuring victory" to one's self,
or to the little party of which that self is the undisputed head and
master-spirit, and triumph to which will be * inuring victory" to that
*
head, he will be fortunate indeed, and will be most charitably judged,
if he escape with no worse imputation than unsound judgment and
defective taste.
And after all, how is * victory to inure" to you, by a con<




99
j u n c t i o n with the Locofoco party ? Lay you " this flattering
u n c t i o n to your soul ?" Do you expect to be taken into real favour
t>y y o u r late adversaries, the " spoils party, without policy or princip l e s , held together only by the hope of plunder ?" Sir, they despise
y o u in their hearts. There are too many of their own men, " good
and t r u e , " whom a thousand times they prefer to yourself. There
a r e B e n t o n , and Buchanan, and Wright, and Johnson, and others of
t h e ** true grit"—identified with their party in all its history—with
i t s e x c e s s e s — w i t h its adversity and its prosperity—whose claims will
n e v e r be pretermitted for yours. It would be injustice, sir, palpable
i n j u s t i c e , to postpone the truly faithful—those who followed the party
t h r o u g h " evil and good report"—who went the Removal of the
I > e p o s i t e s , Proclamation, Force bill, Protest, Expunging and all—I
s a y , it would be gross injustice to set aside such as these for you,
w h o , o n all these points, denounced them most, and warred hardest
a g a i n s t them ; and were I a Democrat to-day, I should protest, to
t h e l a s t , against such a postponement, as both inconsistent and unjust.
B u t , if you meant that victory would inure to your state rights
p r i n c i p l e s by the re-elevation of the Jackson and Van Buren party,
y o u r mistake is yet more awful. A s I have before said, you reason
a g a i n s t all philosophy. From a party that has never practised state
r i g h t s , you cannot rationally expect practical state rights for the
future.
From those who have sanctioned the concentration of all
p o w e r in the federal Executive ; who have halted at no excess, howe v e r wanton ; who vindicated the monarchical doctrines of the
P r o t e s t ; who were the very authors of the Force bill ; who stooped
t o t h e execrable deed of expunging the country's Records ; who
w i t h o u t necessity originated the anti-assumption Resolutions ; who
p u t under their polluting tread the broad seal of a Sovereign State—
I r e p e a t it again and again—that to expect practical state rights
f r o m such a party as this, were madness to the last degree ; and if
e v e r it be restored to power, you will find your State Right doctrines
i n t h e same keeping as the helpless lamb turned over to the protection
o f t h e hungered wolf.
If, sir, you are in truth devoted to the Constitution and State
R i g h t s , excuse me for suggesting to you how you can best make that
d e v o t i o n available. Dedicate your great talents to the cause of
R e f o r m . Bring up your celebrated Report of 1835 on the subject
o f Executive patronage. Be that the basis of your future acts.
L i m i t Kxecutive Power. By curtailing its patronage, take from it the
m e a n s of Corruption. Modify the power of Removal. But, above




100
all, strive for that amendment of the Constitution which shall limit the
Presidential service to one term. Until this principle be engrafted
in some way on our system, it were vain to hope for a patriotic or
virtuous administration of the Federal Government. Without this
vital .change, I, for one, despair of our institutions. I solemnly
believe that, without it, our country will become one loathsome mads
of corruption : and as for good government—as for an administration
of public affairs guided by the public good alone, and not by individual ambition, it is idle to think of it. T o have a chief magistrate
who will never look to himself, but consider, in his every act, the
Country's weal, you must divest him of all selfish motives and considerations touching the presidential succession.
Yea, if, in Gen. Harrison's virtuous and illustrious life, there
be one spot greener, brighter than another, it is, that before his
God, his country, and the world, he solemnly vowed that he would
not permit his name to be used for a second term- For this patriotic
effort to set a most salutary precedent, he will receive the applause
of the wise and good for generations long, long to c o m e ; and if the
Whig party be true to themselves, they will war, to the last, for the
one-term principle—that principle, for which they so gallantly struggled in the late presidential contest, and without which ours must
ever be a corrupt and ill-administered government.
And now, in conclusion, for the motives that have prompted me
to this brief review of your political career,
I consider your opinions on the currency as mistaken and pernicious—such as, if adopted, would unsettle the tried policy of the
government, and send the country back to the age of " black broth
and iron money."
I am satisfied that your best influence will be exerted to reinstate
the late defeated party in power, which I regard the greatest calamity
that could befall the country.
And finally, I believe—most solemnly do I believe—that the tendency of your public course is to a dissolution of this blessed Union.
With these impressions, I have reviewed your career as a public
man, that the country may judge from that review what moral weight
your opinions are entitled to carry with them. Once a warm admirer of yours, and sincerely lamenting I can no longer be so, I have
aimed " nothing to extenuate, nor set down aught in malice." I
have quoted " from the book ;" and I believe this history is written
with strict accuracy and impartiality. If not, let me be corrected.
LOWNDES.