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£^*^*revNtxon 'i-'^ tJ^e^ieftdrtt^o^Y^&^^-t. ex<ic.H-\\vjr«^ ^'^^^ \ PROCEEDINGB OF A CONVENTION OF Delegates from the ditizens of m'Mm'^mAmA^ Opposed to Executive Usurpation and Abuse, WHICH ASSEMBLED AT HARRISBURG, May 27, 1834. HARRISBURG PHIXTED BT HENRT 1834. K, : 8TR0W0- t %%^ v\^ PROCEEDINGS. of Delegates from the Citizens of Pennsylvania, opposed to Executive usurpation and abuse, assembled in the court-house in Harrisburg, on Tuesday, May 27, 1834. The convention was temporarily organised by calling Henry Frick of Northumberland, to the chair, and appointing Neville B. Craig of Allegheny and George Harrison of Bucks, Secretaries. The following Delegates appeared and answered The Convention to their names: Adams. Jacob CassaU, James Wilson, James McSheriy, James Renshaw. Thadeus Stevens, R. G. Harper, Alleghetiy. Thomas Bakewell, Joseph PaUerson, George Williams, Neville B. Craig, Darsie, Thos. Samuel Church. Bedford. George Denig, James M. Russell, Alexander King, John A. M'Co), Daniel Washabaugh. BerJcs, Peter Addams, John Beitenman, John Kauchcr, John Heiner = Beaver. William B. Clark. Smith Cunningham, Bradford. James P. Bull, Isaac Myer. BucJcs. Joseph Hough, James Worth, Joshua Barker, Wm. Green, Samuel Carey, Mathias Morris, George Harrison, Anthony Tayor, James Kelly, C. N. Taylor. Butler. Robert Cunningham, Alfred Gilmore. Chester. C William Darlington, John D. Steele, A. Buckley, Charles Brooke, John H. Bradley, Joseph Whitakgr, JMordecai Lee, Samuel Irwin, M. Stanley, Benjamin Griffith. Columbia. Cicorge A. Frick, L. G. Bancroft, Joseph Paxtoii, Williara G, Hurley. Centre 4' Clearfield. John Foster, Wilharn Houston, James Irwin. John Blanchard, Jas. Potter, S. M'Cormick. Craivford. John B. Wallace, Henry C. Bosler, John Dick. Cumhcrland. John Reed, Samuel M'Keehan, G. W. VVoodburn, Gabriel James H. Devor. Hcistcr, Jacob Ritncr, Dauphin. Henry K. Strong, David Krause, John Cameron, George Fisher, Henry ShuLart, Martin Kendig, VVm. H. Doll, Benjamin Jordan, Richard T. Leech, Joseph Moody James Simonlon, J. Porter. Dclaicarc. Thomas Smith, Wm. Eyre, jr. Erie. Thomas H, Sill, George A. Elliot, John Vincent. Fraiiklin. Thos. G. M'Culloh, Thos. Chambers, John F. Denny, Andrew Thomson, Frederick Boyer, John M'Farland. Huntingdon. John Stewart, J. M. Bell, J. Geo. Miles, D. McMurlrie, John Williamson, Henry L. M'Connell. Jr. Juniata. Ale.x. Patterson, James Mathers. Indiana. James Taylor. Lancaster. George Louis Mayer, Wm. Wright, Samuel Grosh, Joseph Konigmacher, James Porter, John F. Long, James Hopkins, Samuel O. Jacobs, Edward Parker, Jacob Kirk, Gabriel Davis, Jacob Huber, Thomas G. Henderson, Benj. Mellinger. Luzerne. Sharp D. Lewis, Charles Dorrancc, ning O. Chahoon, Hezekiah Parsons, Au- Lycoming, Potter Sf MKean. A. Davidson, John J*. Schuyler, Wm. Wilson, Rob. C. Hall Lehigh. Matthew Sellridgc, S. Balliot. Mercer. S. C. Tail, Robert M'Cormick. iMifflln. Richard Miles, Wm. Palton, Wm. Cummins, John J. M'Coy. l\[o7itgovicri/. Richard B. Jones, Thomas M. Jolly, John Freedley, George Richards, George VV. R,oberls, Joseph Ilunsicker, Northampton, Pike Wayne. James W. Chapman, John 4" George Weber, Peier S. JMichler, jr. Evan Rees, J. Jenkins Ross. Jordon, Northumberland. Henry Frick, John B. Boyd, Andrew M'Reynolds, John Vincent, James Pollock, William A. Lloyd. Fhiladelphia City. John Sergeant, Joseph R. Ingersoll, John M. Scott, John S. Riddle, Joseph M'llvaine, Josiah Randall, J. Price Wetherill, James Crissy, Frederick Fraley, Elihu Chauncey, Charles W. Churchman, Edward Olmsted, Alexander Ferguson, J. Scholetield, James Hutchinson, Nathan Sargent, W. M. Meredith. Philadelphia County. Bernard M'Creedy, William Wagner, Nath'l C. Foster, Geo. P. Little, William Fitler, Thomas Rotch, William Wister, George K. Budd, David Woelpper, Bela Badger, Andrew Young, John Lentz, Henry C, Corbit, John Britton, Alexunder Quinton, Michael Day, J. Simon Cohen, Richard Coe. Perry. John Rice, A. C. Harding, R. R. Guthrie, P. Ritner. Schuylkill, Christopher Loeser, Geo. N. Eckert, Michael Graeff, Andrew Russell. Susquehanna. Henry Drinker, William Jessup. Union. Cameron, Ner Middleswarlh, George Harris, Robert P. Maclay. Weirick, William L. Simon ShafTer, William Venango 6f Warren, William Raymond, Andrew Bowman. Washington. Joseph Lawrence, John H. Ewing. York. Calvin Mason, AdamGlosbrenner, Frederick Eichelberger, MTlvainc, Philip Smyser, Charles Bishop, Robert Nebinger, Diven, A. J. Glossbrenner. The following committee was then chosen to noii.inate the officers Wm. Wm. of the Convention. Nathaniel C. Forster, Jos. ^Jcllvaine, John S. Riddle, David , 6 Geo. Louis Mayer, Thomas Woelj)i)er, Smitli, John D. Sled, Uichard 13. Jones, Josejih Hough, P. S. Michler, Christopher Leoser, Peter Addams, Geo. Fisher, Calvin Mason, Jacob Cassat, Samuel McKeehaii, James Potter, Ilezekiah Parsons, Asher Davidson, Henry Drinker, Geo. Dcnig, James Taylor, John H. Ewing, Joseph Patterson, Robert Cunningham, Wra .B. Clark, Geo. A. Elliott. Adjourned to 3. o'clock, P. M. Tuesday, The Convention met at three o'clock May 27, 1834. according to adjournment. Mr. Fisher, from the committee for that purpose, reported following officers, which were unanimously elected. the President^ JOSEPH LAWRENCE of Washington county. Vice Presidents^ Neu MiDDLESAVAKTii of Union; HexNry Feick, Northumberland John Vincent, Erie James M'Siierry, Adams Geokge fLvRKisoN, Bucks Fred'k Eichelberger, York Neville B. Chaig, Allegheny ; ; ; ; ; Samuel M'Keehan, Cumberland J. M. Russell, Bedford Samuel Grosii, Lancaster Peter Addams, Berks David Woelpper, Philadelphia. ; ; ; ; Secretaries. John WilUamson of Huntingdon; Par id Krause, Dauphin ; Thomas M. Montgomery William Jessup, Susquehanna Jolly, ; ; Edward ISainucl Olmsted, Philadelphia C. Tail, Mercer. ; On motion of Mr. Morris of Bucks, the following resolution wat agreed to ; lieaolved, That tlie liules of the House of Reprcseritalives of government of this Convention. aJoi)ted for tlie tliis State be On motion of Mr, Reed of Cumberland, il was Resolved, That a committepof seven persons be appoinfeJ to prepare an AdT he chair appointed the following' Comdrees to the People of Pennsylvania. viz: John Reed, Joseph Mcllvainc, Henry I,. M'Connell, T. G. M'Cuimittee, John K. Ewing and Mathias Morris. committee of eight be appointed to prepare resolutions exReaolved, That a 1 he chair pressive of the sense of this Convention in relation to public afiairs. Thomas H. loh, Sill, appointed the following, viz John Sergeant, Thadeus Stevens, James P. Bull, M'llvaine, James Taylor, George Weber, and John F. James Hopkins, : Wm. Denny. Resolved, That a committee of seven be appointed to prepare a Memorial to Congress for redress of grievances. The chair appointed the following viz: Joseph Patterson, William Darlington, Joseph R. Ingersoll, John B. Wallace, James Wilson, A. C. Harding, and Alexander King. Mr. J. Sergeant submilted the following resolution : United States to reResolved,^ That the refusal of the ceive Committees of our fellow citizens, who respectfully waited upon him from various quarters, to'offer to him information upon the effect of his measures, and to request that his policy might be changed, so as to relieve the counPresident of the try from the severe distress he had brought upon it, was as contrary to true wisdom, as it was to the regard that is due to the rights of the citizens, and equally betrays a weak mind and a despotic temper, already surrendered to the dominion of flatterers, and unable to bear the plain language of Republican simplicity and it truth.' The resolution was ably advocated by Mr. Sergeant, after which was on motion of Mr. Reed of Cumberland, referred to the com- mittee of Resolutions. Adjourned to meet at 9 o'clock to-morrow. May 28. A. M. Mr. Ingersoll, from the commilee for that purpose, reported a memorial to Congress which was read, and on motion was ordered to be printed and a copy furnished to each member. The names of members were then called, after which the Con^ Convention met at 9 a'clock vention adjourned. 3 o'clock P. M. Convention met and on motion adjourned to meet at 10 o'clock, A. M. to-morrow. May 29. Convention met at 10 o'clock A. M. Mr. Sergeant from the committee on resolutions reported the following: it is the duty and the right of the citizens freely,' to express upon the conduct of those entrusted with power, and in times of distress and suffering and danger, brought on by the acts of any department of the government, it is their right and their duty, by all constitutional means, to endeavor to correct the abuses that exist, and to prevent the mischiefs that are threatened ; and for that purpose to unite their efforts, so that when the day of appealing to the ballot box shall come, the appeal may not be made in vain. Resolved, That their opinions, ' 8 Resolved, Tliat the numbers, zoal and harmony of the members ol' this Conand the patriotic Pi)irit which has peivaded its dehberations and its acts, have afforded us the most sincere satisfaction ; and together with the fact, that so many of those who compose it, were but recen'.ly of the party which supports the Executive, furnish the most convincing evidence that a change has taken place in Pennsylvania that the love of country and attachment to the Constitution has prevailed over party attachment and devotion to a man; and that at the next elections, this patriotic State will be found on the side of the Constitution and the laws, associated with her sisters, Virginia and New York, and with them contributing to the success of the great cause of constitutional freedom. Resolved, That in the next elections for Congress and the Legislature, it be deemed an indispensable qualification of candidates, that they arc heartily opposed to Executive usurpation, truly attached to the representative system as established by the Constitution, and ready to support the rightful authority of both Houses of Congress, against the encroachments, menaces and assaults of the Executive. Resolved, That it be earnestly recommended to our fellow citizens, throughout the commonwealth, along with zeal and energy in the great and good cause, to cultivate a spirit of conciliation and mutual respect; and that it be further earnestly recommended to them, to distinguish with their high approbation and confidence, every member of Congress or of the Legislature, by whatever name he may have been chosen, who in his station has faithfully resisted Executive usurpation and abuse, and firmly maintained the rights of the peopled Resolved, That it be also earnestly recommended to our fellow citizens in their respective districts and counties, to adopt all such measures as may be calculated to ensure success establish committees of correspondence, and to to maintain a communication with each other, for mutual encouragement, information and support, throughout the Stated Resolved, That in removing from office William J. Duane, Esq. late Secretary of the Treasury, because in the exercise of a power committed to him by law, he would not violate his judgment and his conscience, and thereby conform his conduct to the will of the President; in appointing another to succeed him, for no other reason but because he would conform to his will ; and in assuming the responsibihty of doing himself, what was entrusted by law to the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury alone, the President was guilty of an usurpation and abuse of power, and a violation of the Constitution and the laws. Resolved, That in taking these steps a few weeks before the meeting of a new Congress, recently elected by the people, ard clothed with the authority of the people, so that he might thereby be enabled to interpose his veto power, and frustrate the intentions of the representatives of the people, unless two thirds of both houses should concur he was guilty of a violent encroachment upon the rights of the people, as they were intended to be secured by the Constitution. Resolved, That in assigning as a reason for this encroachment, that a majority in Congress might be, and probably would be, bribed or corrupted, he was guilty of an unwarrantable assault upon the character of the representatives of the people, an unjust and fatal disparagement of the representative system, and a destructive outrage upon the whole scheme of our government ; amounting in fact, to an assertion, that there was no virtue but in the government of a single man, or what is properly denominated an absolute despotism. Resolved, That by these means, he has unlawfully seized upon, and still holds in his own custody and power, the whole treasure of the U. States, having thus removed it from the place where it was deposited by law, and w'iere it was declared by Congress, and known i'y the people, to be secure, and where, too, it was subject to the power of the leprescntativcsof the people, into places of his own selection, of whose sufficiency there is no evidence, and where it is as much beyond the proper control of Congress as the treasury of tho General Post Office, vention, ; — — anJ may, t'orauglit we know, be equally nli^5manaQ;e(1, wasted, or liestoweii, for corrupt purposes, upon favorites and partisans. Resolved, That the refusal of tlie Secretary of tlie Treasury to restore the public monies to the place of their lawful depositc, after one House of Congress has declared the reasons for removal to be insufficient, is contrary to the plain spirit and meaning of an Act of Congress, is a manifest disregard of law, aiul justly awakens a suspicion that the public monies have been squandered or lost, and therefore cannot be restored a suspicion strongly supported by the notorious fact, that secret and contingent drafts were drawn by the Secretary of the Treasury, to the amount of millions, not for any service of the Government, but for the service of selected Banks (in one of which he was himself a. stockholder) and to supply their wants, and which suspicion cannot and ought not to slumber, until the people's money is again publicly counted down in the sight of Congress and the people, at the place where they declared it to be secure. Resolved, That in withholding from the Senate for now almost six months of tlieir session, the nomination of the Secretary of the Treasury, who was the infitrnment of his unlawful will, so that the Senate might have no opportunity of acting upon his appointment, the President has been guilty of a gross disregard of the constitutional rights of that body, a violation of the true meaning of the Constitution, and a dangerous indulgence of an arbitrary spirit wLLch respects neither law nor right, and has no deference whatever for theco-ordiaatc branche"of the Government. Resolved, That in these acts of the Executive Government of the United States, which have disordered the currency, destroyed confidence, and produced universal and increasing distrust and distress, are to be found the plain and adequate cause of that unhappy change, by which a nation prosperous, and happy, and blessed by a gracious Providence with the means of continued prosperity happiness, has been plunged into embarrassment and suffering, for no discernablc reason, but because such is the will of a single man, who ought to be their servant, but acts as if he v^'as their master. Resolved, That the acts of usurpation and abuse, already noticed, bad as they are in themselves, are far transcended by the alarming and unconstitutional doctrines deliberately put forth by the President in the paper styled a Protest, in which there is a declared assumption of Executive power, in direct opposition to the theory of our Government, and the literal provisions of the Constitution. Resolved, That ours is a Government of the people, and that all public officers are mere organs of the people, responsible to them, and to the laws which they enact, and not to the President, who is himself an agent, and not a ruler. Resolved, That the claim of the President, which denies to Congress the power to place the people's money in the hands of officers whose appointment would not devolve upon him, is adverse to the 2d section of the 2d article of the Constitution, which provides that Congressman vest the appointmentof certain Officers in other hands than the President's. Resolved, That the 8th section of the 1st article of the Constitution renders all the officers and departments of the Government subordinate to the people by their representatives in Congress, thereby denying the povvjer claimed by the President in his Protest, which would render him superior to all the Departments of the Government, and to the people themselves. Resolved, That if these assumptions, thus boldly put forth by the President, under the influence of evil passions, and evil counsellors, should be unhappily sanctioned by the people, an entire and radical revolution will have been affected in the form of our government, the whole of if a powers being thereby deposited in the hands of the President alone. Resolved, That such a sanction of the poweris claimed by the President will lead directly to the destruction of our liberties and the establishment of a despo- — & tism. B 10 Resolved, That we cannot sufficiently express our gratitude to the majority the Senate of the United States for the patriotic energy and unsurpassed talents with which they have maintained the cause of the Constitution, and withstood the assaults upon their Constitutional rights and privileges, and especially for the noble firmness with which they exposed the usurpation and abuse of power committed by the Executive in seizing upon the public purse hurled back the disrespectful and unconstitutional attack upon their character and privileges in the unprecedented paper called a protest, without suffering it to remain to defile their proceedings; rejected the Executive commentary upon that unwarranted paper, without attempting to solve the perplexing question, whether it was an explanation, or whether it was a retraction, which has so much puzzled the supporters of Executive pretensions; and for the dignified rebuke conveyed in their answer to the insulting message which accompanied the re-nomination of the so styled Government Directors of the Bank of the United States, as well as for the second and more decided rejection of the nominaation thus attempted to be forced upon them, in contemptuous violation of their in ; clearest rights. Resolved, That our gratitude is also due to the majority in the Senate of the United States, for giving a ready ear and the most prompt attention to the memorials of our fellow citizens, and to those entrusted with their conveyance and care, listening to their complaints, discussing their reasons, and doing what they could to redress the grievances complained of, & this too, when the doors of the Executive mansion were peremptorily closed against the delegates of the memomorialists, and those delegates sternly refused admission to the presence of the President, to lay before him the representations of the people suffering under his rash, ill advised and unconstitutional interference with the currency, and, if possible, by means of correct information, te turn him from the destructive policy he was pursuing. Resolved, That one of the principal means employed to accumulate power in the hands of the Executive, whereby he has been emboldened 'thus to seize upon the public purse, tamper with the currency, to introduce disorder and distress mto all the operations of business, to msult and menace the Senate, and to attempt to assume to himself all the powers of government,is to be found in the possession of the appointing power, so exercised that the whole body of officers,high and low, throughout the U. States, should be made to feel their depenc'ence upon him, and upon him alone, and all who sought for office, to look to him alone, and that both should be instructed, that their tenure and their hopes were to be maintained only by active subserviency to his will, as paramount to every other consideration, even that of duty, and the public welfare, and thus a body be estaWished, entirely devoted to his purposes, whatever they might be. Resolved, That the only corrective of this abuse of the appointing power of the President, is to be found in the full use of the Constitutional control of the Senate over appointments, and that in our opinion, under the extraordinary circumstances in which we are placed, this control ought to be exerted and apphed to the whole extent of its Constitutional limits and particularly to every case where an appointment is made of a member of Congress, which may be suspected to be, or even have the appearance of being,the reward of conforming his representative conduct to the will of the Executive rather than to the will and interests of his constituents, or may have the effect of rescuing him from accountability to his constituents; and that in such exertion of their Constitutional control, by some signal example to chech a growing and alarming abuse, dangerous to our liberties, and destructive of the principle of Representative Government, the Senate wnll he supported and upheld by the people, and be acting according to ; the true spirrtof the Constitution. Resolved,^\\&i the Senate it is now the refuge of Constitutional freedom, where must be preserved and protected extending to it their own until the people shall have the opportunity of protection by the ballot box, (as the recent elections in 11 Virginia and New York and the demonstrations in Pennsylvania, assure us that they will do,) and while we view with admiration the constancy and ability which have so strikingly distinguished the conduct of the majority of that body, we earnestly conjure them to continue to watch and to resist the efforts of unjust power, in every shape it may assume, and to advise and approve of nothing which may have a tendency to advance its schemes or consolidate its strength. ^ Resolved, That we appreciate, with heartfelt gratitude, the patriotic firmness of the minority in the House of Representatives of the United States, and the distinguished ability with which, under every discouragement, they have exerted all their powers to maintain the Constitution and the true policy of the country; they have been voted down by determined majorities, and sometimes cut otf from discussion by the previous question, but the light they shed upon the great topics of debate, has spread through the Union, and is now rapidly making its way to the minds of their countrymen, whence it will return to the Representative Chamber, and finally triumph over the blindness of party attachment. Resolved, That with the expression of our gratitude to the patriotic minority in the House of Representatives, we would encourage them to persevere, assured, that whatever may be the strength of the majority in the House, the great majority of the nation is already with them, and tJiat is a majority that will make itself heard. Resolved, That instead of retrenchment, economy and reform, there has been an extravagant and unaccountable increase of expenditure, until the sum expended by the government has amounted to no less a sum than twenty-two millions of dollars within the last year, independently of what was applied to the payment of the pubhc debt— at the same time offices have been multiplied to increase the number of Executive favorites, and the money of the people has been lavishly bestowed in salaries and rewards and extra allowances. Resolved^ That the refusal of the President to receive committees of our fellow citizens, who respectfully waited upon him from various parts of the United States, to offer to him information upon the effect of his measures, and to request that his policy might be changed, so as to relieve the Country from the severe distress he had brought upon it, was as contrary to true wisdom, as it was to the regard that is due to the rights of the citizens, and equally betrays a weak mind and a despotic temper, already surrendered to the dominion of flatterers, and unable to bear the plain language of repubUcan simplicity and truth. Which resolutions, except the third, were unanimously adoptThe third resolution was adopted, Mr. Bull of Bradford, ed. Mr. Drinker of Susquehanna, and Mr. Frick of Northumberland, alone voting against its passage, giving as their reason that they it inexpedient, but slating also that they had no objection deemed to the principles it contains. Mr. Reed from the committee address to the People of Pennsylvania, reported the following, which was read by Mr. J. M'llvaine, and unanimously adopted. to prepare an ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF PENNSYLVANIA. A CONVENTION of delegates from the several counties of Pennsylvania, representing those of their fellow-citizens who disapprove the recent measures of the National Executive, and who attribute to those measures the excitement, alarm and pe"'iniaiv distress, now pervading the country, have assembled and 12 dolibcraleu upon the inlciesling questions submitted to tlieir conFrom the commencement of" their session to Us close, the idea has been constantly present to their minds, that the occasion and the objects wliich called them together, areof unspeakable iin[)ortaiice to the freedom and happiness of their common They believe, that at no former crisis, since the Whigs country. of the Revolution uttered their defiance of arbitrary power, and staked life and fortune and sacred honor upon the issue, has the call been so peremptory upon all those who love their country, whatever may be the modihcaiion of their republican creed, or whatever their party name, to rise up in defence of the first principles of the government, and, by united force and hearty co-opesideratioii. ration, to restore the constitution acy over the rulers of the land. and the law to their just suprem- sentiments with each other, the more intense and deep-seated has this feeling become. Under its guidance we have adopted a series of resolutions, to which we respectfully invite the candid attention of the citizens of Pennsyl* To its paramount invania, and of the whole American people. The more we have compared fluence we attribute the uninterrupted harmony which has marked the proceedings of a Convention, belonging to no party in the politics of the state, but composed of individuals from almost every party, who, without yielding their own distinctive opinions, are yet prompt at the call of common danger, and ready to contend at the ballot box, side by side, for the injured principles of the consti'.ution, and for their common rights as citizens of a free republic. *' To extend this feeling more widely through the state, and to produce a corresponding harmony of action upon the great now is the sole object of this brief successful, the struggle for power beIf our efforts be Address. tween the people on the one hand, and their elected servant on and a lesson will be taught, ihe other, can no longer be doubtful so useful to the cause of rational freedom, as to entitle this generation to the gratitude of all succeeding ages. Have the Convention overrated the importance of the present national questions at issue, : crisis? Is it not true that our community is at — this moment ex- that the permacited and alarmed beyond all former example nency of the Union, and the stability of republican institutions, have become subjects of fear and reasonable doubt, and that for such doubts and fears, abundant cause is furnished by the ruinous Let the people judge for themcareer of the national executive ? selves, by reference to facts, with which all are familiar, and which no one will deny. Let them examine the doctrines asserted by the President in reference to his own powers, and say whether he docs not claim the whole sovereignty of the nation and disregard all the checks which the constitution has provided Let them observe among the fearful against arbitrary authority. ofneng of the times, how these doctrines arc propagated by every 13 means which an extended influence over the public press, and an unlimited command of the public treasure, have placed within his reach how principles inconsistent with all rational liberty are openly proclaimed by his blinded and corrupt adherents, in the name of freedom, and under the guise of democracy. Lci tliem mark how the power of the national government has been brought to bear upon the independence of the state sovereignties and — ; referring to their own commonwealth cent and impressive, account and for an example, at once rethe vacillations of its executive for under the attractive influence existing at Washington. Let tliem study the history and investigate the accounts of the general post-office, and they cannot fail to perceive that the good of the people and the latvof the land have been contemptuously set aside by this administration that a department created for general covenience, has become a mere engine of party operations, its revenues squandered among hungry partisans, arid its value as a vehicle of sound information utterly destroyed. Let them number, if they can, the armies of office holders and office seekers who swarm through the country, and whose only rule of action and opinion is the command of their chief and let them observe, how the number and compensation of officers has been increased, and these officers arrayed like a standing army, at ail our elections, with the approbation of him who, while the oath of office was yet warm upon his lips, declared, that to reduce the expenses of government, and prevent the interference of public officers with the freedom of elections, should be cordial objects of his administration. Let them remember that a large portion of the house of representatives, mfluenced by the fear of punishi ment or the hope of reward, and surrendering their freedom of thought and action, have tamely passed under the yoke of the executive and that, but for the patriotic stand which the Senate has made in the citadel of the constitution, this famed republic, the beacon light by which all other nations have steered in pursuit of freedom, would now be a monarchy in every thing but name. That the pretensions of President Jackson, if admitted by the Senate and the People, as they have already been by tlie House of Representatives, would render this government a monarchy and not a republic, is evident from the paper which he presented to the Senate as an exposition of the authority claimed by the President. In that singular document, he adopts as a basis the powers exercised by the king of Great Britain, when the royal prerogative was most widely extended and, so far from recognizing the principle of our constitution, that all powers not granted by that instrument are to be regarded as withholden, he claims every attribute of sovereignty not expressly prohibited by the letter of the constitution. Let this claim be admitted, and it will be useless for Congress to enact laws, or for the judiciary to deThe president will understand cide upon their coublruciion. its legislature, — ; ; ; 14 them as his plans lie pleases : he will set them aside — and, when some excuse if they interfere with for the disregard of his official required by an insulted people, those immaculate advisers, the throne, will find it in his zeal for the maintenance of public morality, by precept at least, if not by example. The monarchial feelings of Gen. Jackson will be found to govLike the weak kings, ern his practice in its most minute details. of whom history furnishes too many examples, we find him surrounded by a few interested favorites, who, by flattering his vanity, and stimulating his passions, maintain exclusive possession of the Thro' the barriers thus created, the language of truth royal ear. cannot pass, nor can his constitutional advisers expect to enter, unless upon condition of entire subserviency. Nay, the very delegates of the people of the United States, instructed to bear to the president a statement of their grievances, have either been refused admission into the palace of thei<" Cscsar, or, when admitted, have been denied the opportunity of making known their views. Surely the facts to which we have thus briefly adverted, and which our limits forbid us to present in detail, would afford a sufficient and satisfactory explanation of all the alarm which exists in Instead of being surprised at the universal agitation the country. mind, while tyranny and corruption thus walk naked of the public in the light of day, we should wonder rather at the patience and And yet their causes of forbearance of the American people. complaint go far beyond a mere mal-admiaistration of the general government. For the first time in the history of this country, the power of the executive ha3 been so exerted as to interfere with The the business and ruin the prospects of private individuals. currency has been deranged, produce depreciated, labor deprived of its wonted employment, commerce and manufactures paralyzed and this not by the regular legislation of the representatives of the people, but by the act of one man, who, in his rage for conNot satquest, has set himself above the people and the law. isfied with warfare upon co ordinate departments of the government, he has commenced hostilities against the credit and currency of the country, by the sudden and unwarranted removal of the To this outpublic deposits from the Bank of the United States. rage upon rights secured by lavv--to the spirit in which it originated and the manner of its execution, and more especially to the total insecurity in which it has left the public treasure, and the schemes for flooding the country with worthless paper which sprung up simultaneously with the removal of the deposits, are to be attributed the unexampled pressure which all classes feel in By this act of the President, a wound their pecuniary affairs. was given to public confidence, which years will probably be insufIn a country like ours, where capital is small, and ficient to heal. enterprise unlimited, industry must be crippled whenever credit is shaken. The credit of our country, has not only been tshaken, but oath is who surround — 15 almost destroyed by the conduct of the administration; and the consequences are what the most ordinary understanding might easily have foreseen, that a people who one year ago were prosperous in a pre-eminent degree, are now plunged in distress, with tlie nloomy prospect of almost universal insolvency. As this cause concurs, with a probable necessity of windmg up the affairs of the national bank, by which forty millions of dollars must be withdrawn from employment in the business of individuals, il'fully explains the embarrassments of which the people have complained in active all memorials their to can perceive llieir we first If look Congress, and of which no human foresight termination. at the effects of tliis measure upon tlie com- merce, industry and happiness of the country, and llien refer to the reasons by which the president professes to be governed, we shall be struck with surprise at the total insignificance of the one in comparison with the other. And we cannot but wonder at the reckless audacity which could hazard so many interests, and destroy so much property, in order to accomplish so little of public or private good. It is true, he puts in the foreground his extreme tenderi ness for the morals of the people, and mourns over the lUeged corluptions of the bank, as striking at the foundations of civil liberty. But why limit the operation of these feelings to the single example of the Bank of the United States? Why not restrain iiis own im- mediate of his bosom, and the constant asso- officers, the friends ciates of his councils, from influencing elections by bribery and and from the wanton expenditure of public money, in order to secure the succession to a candidate of their own. Why such long sufi'ering with the abuses, and corruption, and total insolvency of the post office department; and why his patronage of men and presses, whose daily practice sets truth and morality equally at defiance ? The answei- is obvious from the facts of the case. His new-born zeal for public morals and civil liberty is a single edged sword, harmless to his friends, and formidable only to those whom he considers his enemies and the probability is that if the Bank of the United States had accepted his offer to become an ally in his war against the constitution and the people, the President would have discovered far stronger reasons for prolonging its existence, than he has been able to give for its condemnation and destruction. In the preparation of this address, many topics have occurred to us, which might profitably be discussed, as calculated to throw light upon the condition of the government, and the prospects of the country: but anxious to be brief, we have contented ourselves wjlh a reference to such prominent facts as may show the danger of our position, and the absolute neces!?ity of some vigorous effort on the part of the people. The question next arises, what shall the People of Pennsylvania do to restore the integrity of the constitution, and regain the lost happiness and repose of the comforce, ; • — 16 Let them dpnounce the ruinous policy of the present administration, by their votes at the next elections tor Congress Let them take their stand, once more, on and the Legislature. justice, liberty and reason; and supported, as they the side of will certainly be, by Virginia and New York, they will present a force which no possible combination among the partisans of the To piepare fur that election oppressor can successfully oppose. and to bring about an effective co-operation cm the part of all who disapprove the acts of Executive usurpation, has been the great Thus far we have succeeded beyond object of this Convention. and we part with the assurance that the our most sanguine hopes, jood work of conciliation here auspiciously begun, must go on and We enproduce a rich harvest of good to our beloved country. tertain no doubt, upon the evidence which surrounds us, that a large majority of the people of Pennsylvania agree with us in opinion upon the great national questions to which we have referred, and we believe that when our adversaries shall find all efforts to divide and distract us unavailing, they will retire from a contest which holds out to them no prospect but defeat. munity ? following proceedings were presented by the chair, which were ordered to be inserted in the minutes of the Convention. The Westmoreland county, opposed to the usurheld at the house of Abraham Horbach in pations of the national Executive, the 22d day of May, A. D. 1834, the borough of Greensburgh, on Thursday, appointed Nichols, Esq. was called to the chair, and Col. James B. Oliver At a meeting of the citizens of James Secretary. On adopted: motion, the following resolution was unanimously Esquiros, of the Resolved That William H. King and James Nichols, 'Oreensburg— Jesse Leppincot and Christopher Painter ot MountBorough of John Snodgrass of New pleasant William 'f. Niccolls of Pleasant Unity, Mendal of Ligonier,be a Committee to represent the Alexandria and Col. Noah at Harnsburg on the 27th views ofthis meeting to the Convention to convene correspondence for llie counCommittee of instant, and that they be a standing ty of Westmoreland. At EST, T. J}. ^ JAMES NICHOLS, OLIVER, The Convention . Chairman. Secretanj. then adjourned, to meet at 3 o'clock. ^i P M - IT The Convention mot o'clock P. at 3 M. Mr. Ingersoll, from Ilie commiltee to prepare a Memorial to Conoressrveported the following, wliicii was unanimously adopted:. MEMORIAL TO CONGRESS. A of Pennsylvania assembled at Uie seat of their Stale government, ask leave respectfully to offer iheir Memorial to the Senate and Houise of Representatives of the United States. In assembling together and adopting the present measure, they are ol)eying the instructions and [uttering the voice of their suffering fellow citizens of every section of this wide spread commonwealth. Out of twenty-six Congressional districts, twenThe fulness of the rely-five are represented in the convention. judged of by the numbers of your memopresentation may be numerous body of the citizens occupations and their homes at a moment when, in consequence of the distress which pervades every part of the State, a departure from either is attended with peculiar They have yielded however inconvenience and embarrassment. to the commands of their friends and neighbours without regret for any personal sacrifices, and they have met together to confer upon the grievances which are endured, and to devise if possible Your honorable bodies are not he means of alleviating them. now to learn the distressed condition of any portion of the country. It is long since we have seen recorded in your journals the receipt of petitions from more than a hundred thousand citizens, all uniting in one mournful but unquestionable story of suspended wages, lost credit, increasing wants and diminished means to supply them— which have left their deep and perhaps indelible impression in every portion of a heretofore prosperous and smi. ling land. These communications springing, as they have done from various quarters, and dictated by no concert or co-operation except that which flows spontaneously from a common state of calamity, your memorialists have now the painful opportunity fully to confirm. They have brought together the disastrous tidings which been collected in each distinct section of the commonv/ealth. have They have opened to each other freely their swelling hearts, and they have sought in vain for one mitigating circumstance in possession or in prospect, for one exaggerated representation or distorted fact in the numerous exhibitions of deep felt suffering which have been made to Congress, and they have found only aggravarialists, who have left their • tion in the conviction that the suffering has been altogether unne- cessary and unmerited. As Pennsylvanians, your memorialists contemplate with anguish the neglect or destruction of unlimited resources, which are now C — 18 worse than thrown away. The cherished policy of the state, consisting of an encouragement of her manufactures, has become im, practicable and delusive for there is no longer a market for the sale of them, or a reasonable probability of being paid for them if they could be sold. The consequence is, that numerous establishments of that description are actually closed, and others remain in partial operation with crippled strength, performing but a fraction of their accustomed labor and struggling even in that feeble and imperfect condition, not in ihe belief that any return of profit can be realized, but clinging to the possibly delusive hope that infatuation itself must one day or other be brought to perceive and to abandon the error of its ways. Your memorialists do not mean to dwell for a moment upon the loss sustained by the proprietors, severe and afflicting as it is unjustly and tyrannically as it has been decreed. They are able in many instances to stand up against the shock beyond the reach of utter ruin, and they are awaiting in such cases with becoming fortitude the return of better times. Pennsylvania happily rests upon resources which the rudest storm cannot in a moment sweep away. But your memorialists anxiously desire to communicate to your honorable bodies some portion of the feeling with which they are animated for a large class of laboring poor, whose daily bread depends upon the constancy of their employments and the certainty of their reward. In the city of Pittsburg and its immediate vicinity, two-thirds of a population of thirty thousand in- — ; The suspension habitants owe their livelihood to manufactures. of the forge and the loom, which has now occurred, debars a large portion of this vast mass of human activity and strength from occupation and consequently from support and many of them must be cast out to starv'e, unless a Providence juster and ; more benignant than their rulers, protects them in their day of need. staples of the commonwealth are without a market. Many of its once flourishing mines are in a great degree abandonIron and cotton ed, and their miners are generally dispersed. are no longer manufactured to the extent of more than iwo-thirds The of their former produce. Lumber, if it sells at all, sells at greatFour out of five of the furnaces of an exly diminished prices. tensive glass house at Kensington, are extinguished, and the fifth is kept in blast chiefly that the numerous apprentices may continue to enjoy the means of instruction and beneficial exercise. If flour retams its price, it is owing to the additional calamity of its scarcity, in consequence of which the supply has been redu' ced in proportion to the demand. Turn where we will, your me* morialists perceive one universal sense of present or impending ruin depressing the energies and darkening the prospects of the citizen. — 19 scarcely necessary at this time, to trace these deeply seatUnder a solemn ed and wide-spread mischiefs to their source. sense however of the responsibility which we owe to our constituents, and to your honorable bodies, we do not hesitate to confirm the imputation which has been so often communicated to Until a series of measures, on the part of the execu. Congress. It is Union, hostile to the best interests of Pennsylvania, tive of the were consummated by the last fatal blow aimed at the Bank of the United Slates, in the removal of the deposits to the custody of other institutions, all was prosperous and marked with plenty. of our commonwealth and, as we believe, of the Your memorialists whole nation, became palsied from that hour. must therefore ascribe the suflerings to which they have adveited to that ill-advised measure consequent as it was upon, or connected with a system of hostility pursued towards the national bank. The measure would probably have been sufficiently disastrous of itself; but when it bore every appearance of being united with a stern and unrelenting disposition to break down the barriers of the constitution, it was fraught with ruin to the brightest hopes of the nation. As other memorialists have been denied access to the executive, we cannot hope for succor from the quarter where we should otherwise most naturally have looked for it to which we have undoubtingly ascribed the sufferings of our constituents. aptherefore make our appeal directly to the Legislature. proach your honorable bodies with the deference and respect that are due from citizens to the representatives of the sovereignty of the American people, but with the firmness and independence of freemen, suffering under the weight of accumulated wrongs conscious of the purity of our motives and the righteousness of We are no less representatives of the people than our cause. without selected indeed at the moment of suffering yourselves and unthe reproach of having in any degree contributed to it We approach you happily without the means of extending relief. under the deepest conviction that it is fully within your power to redress the evils of our common country, and that it is your most We sacred duty to put forth your arm and exercise that power. rest upon the right which is guaranteed to us by the constitution to remonstrate against grievances, where complaint must lawfully be heard to demand relief where alone it may be found. We believe, and so communicate to you, ihat the measure especially complained of was in direct violation of the Constitution. That, that Constitution sives to the Executive no sort of control The energies ; We We ; ; ; ; : 'I'hat in assuming such unauover the treasure of the nation. control, an act has been committed of lawless usurpation, thorised and that the co-ordinate branch of the and high handed tyranny government whose peculiar rights have been invaded, owes it to We believe, the nation and itself, effectually to vindicate them. ; 20 moreover, and we assert with the conlidencc which the consliiacause inspire, that should the Legislature deny the redress we call for, and refuse to rescue the hiceding country from the effect of wounds thus wantonly inflicted, it will participate in the exercise of arbitrary power. Could your memorialists discover for the act complained of, one feeble pretence in reason or in law, they would summon to their assistance the best consolations of patriotism, and patiently abide by the redress which the elective power may afford. But when they are referred to no authority, and are informed of no danger to justify or excuse the act when they are told that their constituents are to be involved in ruin that the constitution of their country is to be invaded that the best hopes of a happy people are to be blasted for the sake of ah experiment and when that experiment has done its office and has proved itself to be altogether disastrous, they cannot, because they feel they ought not to, delay to throw themselves upon Congress for ample and immediate relief. Should it be delayed one single hour, distress will be greatly aggravated. Should Congress rise without specific measures to carry the balm of consolation to the hearts of your desponding countrymen, the extent of the calamity it would be tion and the ; — — : impossible to foretell. The representatives of Pennsylvania are especially called on to listen to the mournful voice of their suffering fellow citizens. They will not surely turn a deaf ear to the cry of supplication, speaking from so many thousand tongues. If they can, let them listen to the voice of warning. Tiiis convention is composed of two hundred and fifty members of whom two hundred and eight have been in attendance. Of the whole number no less than seventy-five have heretofore been friends and supporters of the chief magistrate, whose acts have plunged the nation into deep calamity. They have deemed it due to their love of country to hold fast by the constitution through evil and tlirough good report and when a President, to whom they liave been ardently attached, forgets the tie infinitely stronger than the strongest tic of personal devotion that ought to bind him to his country and her laws, they deem it equally their duty to cast him off forever. Your memorialists are well assured that a single act of Congress, calculated to give renewed confidence in our institutions and to ensure to them respect and obedience hereafter, would at once arrest the progress of distress, and restore happiness to the people. 'I'lie violation of the constitution, like the sudden blast of death, lillcd the whole nution wiih dismay. 'JMie application by Congress of tlic remedy, which is c.oinpletely within their j)0wcr, will dispel with magic influence the shades which now envelop the country. Your meniurialists confidently believe, that the restoratiuii of lli6 deposits to their only j)roper doposilory— or an uneqivocal act dijappruving of iheir removal or an act re — ; — — — 21 chartering the Bank of the United Slates— or any act which shall the Executive from carrying on hostilities of Congress and the peace and welfare of the against the policy country, would afford relief;— the want of which is so sorely felt And they and the possession of which is so anxiously required. respectfully pray that one or all of such acts may be passed. effectually restrain motion of Mr. Randall the following resolutions were adopt- On ed. present Resolved, That a committee be appouited to repair to Washington, to Senate and House of Representatives of the United States. the Memorial to the Senator and Resolved, That the committee be authorised, to present to each U. S. a copy of the proceedings Member of the House of Representatives of the The following committee was accordingly appointed. of this Convention. Committee to cat ry the Memorial to Congress : Christopher Looser, James Wilson, John Britton, John G. Miles, Joseph Paxton, Robert C. Half, Henry Drinker, James M. Russell, Jamea Taylor, John S. Riddle, Charles W. Churchman, George Darsie, Robert Cunningham, John Beitenman, David Kranse, Thomas Williams, JohnB. Wallace, Frederick Eichelbcrger, David M'Murtrie, John Sergeant, John Reed, Josiah Randal!, John P. Wetherill, David VVoelpper, William Darlington, William Eyre, William Wright, Thomas M. Jolly, Samuel Carey, George Weber, Jr. motion of Nathan Sargeant, the following resolution was nanimously adopted: On u- Resolved, That the Hon. John Sergeant be respectfully requested to furcopy of the remarks made Ijy him on Tuesday last, on presenting a resolution condemnatory of the conduct of the President of the United States. nish, for publication, a On motion of Mr. M'Connell: Resolved, That this Convention be styled a Convention of Delegates from the Citizens of Pennsylvania opposed to Executive usurpation and abuse. On motion of Mr. Randall: Resolved, That the proceedings of this Convention be signed by the President, Vice Prei^idents and Secretaries, and the several meinbevo of the Convention; and 22 be published in all the newspapers of Pennsylvania opposed pation and misrule. On to Executive usur- molion of Mr. Randall, Resolved, That the thanks of this Convention be presented to the Hon. Joseph Lawrexce, President, and his associates, Vice Presidents of this Convention, for the dignity and impartiality with which they have presided over this body. Resolved, That the thanks of the Convention be also presented to the Secremanner in which they hive performed the duties of their office. taries, for the The Convention then adjourned sine die. JOSEPH LAWRENCE, President. Vic^ Pesidents. Ner Middleswarth, Hexry Frick, John Vincent, James M' Sherry, George Harrison, Frederick Eichelberger, Neville B. Craig, Samuel M'Keehan, J. M. RrssELL, Samuel Grosh, Peter Addams, David Woelpper, Secretaries. John Williamson, Datiid Krause, Thomas M. Jolly, William Jessup, Edward Olmsted, Samuel C. Tait. j/^ LEJe'lO LIBRARY OF CONGRESS i.!ro;'!iCs>i:\V-i;« (>,'!(!?? i>\'.'li\vT ;iiii^i':i; ^iM'f^- 011 896 162 6 'y>h:, IPII mm