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13, 1834,




rROflC Ttitt







Th« Special Older now came up, T h e ques- ly untenable- and yet, as broad as his assumption being- on Mr. CLAT'S resolutions in regard tion B are, there is an important part of tho
transaction which ho does not attempt to vinto the removal of the Public Deposites—
Mr.CALHOUN" then roee. and said, that the dicate, and to which he has not even alluded* [
statement of this case might be given in a very shall, said Mr. GALHODIT, now proceed without
few words. The 16th section of the act incorpora- further remark to make good these assertions.
T h e Secretary, at the commencement of his
ting the bank, provides that wherever there is a
bank or branch of the U, States Bank, the pub- argument, assumes the position thit, in the ablie moneys should be deposited therein, unless sence of all legal provision, he, as the head of
otherwise ordered by the Secretary of the Trea- the financial department, had the right, in virtue
sury, and that, in that case, he should report to of his office, to designate the agent and place
Congress, if in session, immediately; and if not, for the safe keeping of the publi« deposites. H e
at the commencement of the next session. T h e then contends that the 16th section does not r e Secretary, acting under the provision of this sec- strict his power, which stands, he says, on
tion, has ordered the deposites to b e withheld the same ground that it had before the passing o f
from the bank, and has reported his reasons, in the act incorporating the bank. It is unnecessary
conformity with the provisions of the section. to inquire into the correctness of the position a s T h e Senate is now called upon to consider sumed by the Secretary; but, if it were, it would
his reasons, in order to determine whether ! not he difficult to show that when an agent, with
the Secretary is justified or not. I have exam- general powers, assumes, in the execution of his
ined them with care and deliberation without the agency, a power not delegated, the assumption
slightest bias, as far as I am conscious, per- rests on the necessity of the c*se; and that ivo
sonal or political. I have but a slight acquain- power in such case, can be lawfully exercised*
tance with the Secretary, and that little is not which was not necessary to effect the obunfavorable to him* I stand wholly disconnected ject intended- N o r would it be difficult to show
with the two great parties now contending for that, in this case, the power assumed by the S e ascendancy. M y political connexions are with that cretary would belong, not to him, but to the Treasmall and denounced party which has voluntarily surer, who, under the act organizing the Treawholly retired from the party strifes of the day, sury Department, is expressly charged with the
with a view of saving, if possible, the liberty safe keeping of the public funds, for which he is
and the Constitution of the country, in this great responsible under bond , in heavy penalties But,
crisis of our affairs.
as strongly and directly as these considerations
Having maturely considered, with these im- bear on the question of the power of the Secrepartial feelings, the reasons of the Secretary, I tary, I do not think it necessary to pursue
am constrained to say, that he has entirely failed them, for the plain reason that the Secretary ha8
to make out his justification. A t the very com entirely mistaken the case. It is not a case, as ho
mencement he has placed his right to remove the | supposes, where there is no legal provision in redeposites on an assumption resting on a miscon- lationtothe safe keeping of the public funds, but
ception of the case. In the progress of his argu- one of precisely the opposite character. T h e
ment he has entirely abandoned the first, and as- I16th section expressly provides that the depositee
mimed a new and greatly enlarged ground, shall be made in the bank and its branches, and
utterly inconsistent with the first, and equal- jof oourne it in perfectly clear that all powers


S P E E C H OF MR. C A L H O U N .

which the Secretary has derived from the gene- shall report his reasons. It is.obvious, under t h i a
ral and inherent powers of his office, in the ab- view of the subject, that the Secretary has n o
sence of such provision, are wholly inapplicable to right to act in relation to the deposites but with a,
this «/asc. Nor is it less clear, that if the section j view to thoir increased security. That he has n o
had terminated with the provision directing the right to order them to be withheld from the Wink
deposites to be made in the bai k, the Secretary! long as tho funds are in safety, and the bank, hum
would have had no more control over thei faithfully performed the duties imposed in r e l a subject, than myself, or any other Senator; and itj tion to them; and not even then, unless the d e p o foHowH, of course, that he must derive his power. sites can he placed in safer and more faithful
not from any general reasons connected with the hands. That such was the opinion j>f the E x e c u nature of his office, hut from some express pro- tive, in the first instance, we have demonstrative
vision contained in the section, or some other part proof, in the message of the President to Congreea
of the act. It has not been attempted to he shown* at the close of the last session, which placed t h ©
that there is any such provision in any other subject of the removal of the deposites exclusive*
section or part of the act.
T h e only control, ly on the question of their safety; and that s u c k
then, which the Secretary can rightfully claim was also the opinion of the H. of R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s
over the deposites, is contained in the provision j then, we have equally conclusive proof, from t h o
which directs that the deposites shall he made in; vote of that body, that the public funds in t h o
the bank, unless otherwise ordered bv the Secrc-ibank were safe, which was understood, at t h a t
tary of the Treasury; which bring's toe uLole time, on]a!l sides, by friends and foes, as deciding*
question, in reference to the depositee, to the the question of the removal of the deposites*
extent of the power which Congress intended to
T h e extent of the power intended to be c o n *
confer upon the Secretary, in these few words— ferred being established, the question n o w a r i s e s ,
'•unless otherwise ordered."
has the Secretary transcended its limit?
In ascertaining the intention of Congress, can scarcely be necessary to argue this point*
I lay it down as a rule, which I suppose will It is not even pretended that the public d a *
not be controverted, that all political powers un- posites were in danger, or that the Bank h a d
der our free institutions are trust powers, and not not faithfully performed all the duties imposed
rights, liberties or immunities, belonging* per- on it in relation to them; nor that the S e c r e sonally to tho officer- I also lay it down as a tary had placed the money in a safer or i n
rule, not less incontrovertible, that trust powers more faithful hands. S o far otherwise, there ! •
are necessarily l.mited (unlra* there he some ex not a man who hears me, who will not admit t h a t
proan provision to the contrary,) to the subject mai- the public moneys are now less safe than t h e v
ler and object of the trust. This brings us to the were in tho Bank of the United States. A n d I
question— what is the subject and object of the will venture to assert, that not a capitalist c a i i
trust, in this case. The whole suction relates to bo found who would not ask a considerably higher
deposites—to the safi: and faithful keeping of the per centagc to insure them in their present*
public funds. With this view they are direct* d than in the place of deposite designated by lawto be made in the hank. W i t h the same view, If these views are correct, and I hold them to b e
and in order to iiusreass the security, power was j unquestionable, the question is decided.
conferred on the Secretary to withhold t h e depo Secretary has no right to withhold the deposites
site**; and, with the «aim' view, he is directed to from the Bank. There has been, and can b e ,
report his reason*, for the removal, to Congress. but one argument advanced in favour of his right*
AH have one common object—the security of the which has even tho appearance of being tenable*
public funds. To this point the whole section that the power to withhold is given in general
converges. T h e language of Colitres*, fairly un terms, and without qualification, "unlessthe SeCderstood, is—we Have selected the hank bccausel reiary otherwise direct^1 Those who resort t o
TWC confide in it as a safo and faithful agrnt to this argument, must assume the position—that
ikeep the tublic money; but to prevent the abuse the letter ought to prevail over the clear and m a o f so important a trust, we invest the Secretary nifest intention of the act. T h e y must regard
with power to remove the depositcs^with a view the power of the Scrctary, not as a trust power,
to lheir increased security. And lest the Secre- limited by the subject and the object of the trust,
tary, on his part* should abuse «o important a but a» a chartered right, to be used according to
trust—and in o i d w *tili further to increase thatj his discretion and pleasure. There is a radical
security,, incase of removal, that he defect in our mode of construing political p o w -

S P E E C H OF MR* C A L H O U N .


ers, of which this and many other instances afford ground, that he had a right to make such dispo•Inking examples ; but 1 will give the Secretari- sition of them as the puhlic interest, or the cones choice; cither the intention or the baler muflt venience of the people might require. I have said
prevail; he may select either, but cannot toe per that the transition of the Secretary was asobscure
mitted to take one or the other as may suit his! as it was rapid; hut obscure as it is, h e has said
purpose. If he chooses the former, he has tran- enough to enable us to perceive the process by
scended his powers, a s I have clearly demon- which he has reached so extraordinary a position;
strated. If he selects the latter, he is equally and we may safely affirm, that his arguments aro
condemned, as he has clearly exercised power not lees extraordinary than the conclusion at
not comprehended in the letter of his authority. which he arrives.
His first proposition, which,
He has not cosiined himself simply to withhold- however, he has not ventured to lay d o w n ex*
ing the public m o n e y s from the Bank of the U. pressly, is. that Congress has an unlimited conStates, but he has ordered them to be deposited trol over the depositee, and that it may disposo
in other B a n k s , though there is not a word in of them in whatever manner it may please, in
the flection to justify it. I do not intend to argue order to promote the general welfare untl convethe question, whether he had a right to order the nience o f the people. H e next asserts that Con*
funds, withheld from the United States Bank to gress has parted with this power, under the sixbe placed in the State B a n k s which he lias select- teenth section, which directs the fjeposiies to be
ed; but I ask, how has he acquired that right? made in the Bank o f the United States, and then
It rests wholly on construction—on the supposed concludes with affirming that it has invested the ,
intention of the legislature, which, when it gives Secretary o f the Treasury with it, for reasons
* power intends to g i v e ail the means necessary which he professes to be unable to understand.
to render it available* But, as clear as this prin
It cannot he necessary, before so enlightened
ciple of construction is, it is not more clear than a body* that I should undertake to refute an art which would limit the rijjht of the Secretary gument so utterly untrue in premises and conto the .question of the safe and faithful keeping elusion—to show that Congress never possessed
of the public funds ; and I cannot admit that the the power which the Secretary claims for it—•
Secretary shall be permitted to resort to the letter that it is a power, from its very nature, incapable
or to construction, as may best be calculated to of s;ich enlargement, being limited solely to the
enlarge his power, when the right construction safe keeping of the public funds—that if it «*is dented to those who would limit Ids power hy itfted, it would be susceptible of the most dangerthe clear and obvious intention of Congress.
out* abuses—that Congress might make the wildI might here, said Mr. C A L H O U N , rest the ques- est and most dangerous association the depository
tion of the power of the Secretary over the de- of the public funds—might place then? m the
positee, without adding* another word, I have hands of the fanatics and the madmen ot the
placed it on grounds from which no ingenuity, North, who are w a g i n g war against the d o m e s ,
however great, or subtlety, however refined, can tie i n a n i t i o n s of the South, under the plea o f
rcm©vo it; but such is the magnitude of the case,' p r e W l i i g the general welfare- But admitting
ftml such my desire to give the reasons of the that Congress possessed the power which the
Secretary the fullest consideration, that I shall Secretary attribute* to it, by what p r o e m of reafollow him through the remainder of his reasons. soning can he show that it has parted with thia
T h a t the Secretary w a s conscious that the unlimited power, mmply hy directing the publiu
first position which he assumed, and which I moneys te bo deposited in the Bank of the United
have considered, was untenable, w e have States? or, if it has purted with the power, by
ample proof in the precipitancy with which what extraordinary process has it been transfer*
ho retreated frem it.
H e bad scarcely Jaid red to the Secrctury of the Treasury, by those
it d o w n , when, without illustration or argu- few and simple words, ** unless he shall otherment, he paased with a rapid transition, and I w i s e direct?" l a support of this extraordini?
m u s t s a y a transition as obscure as rapid, to an- argument, the Secretary has offered not a single
other p o r t i o n wholly inconsistent with the first; illustration, nor a'single remark bearing the sein- .
and in assuming'which he expressly repudiates blancc of reason, but one, which I shall n o w prothe i d e a that the safe and faithful keeping of the ceed to notice.
public funds had any necessary connexion with
l i e asserts, and asserts truly, that the bank
bin r*'* , o V a I o f the d e p o s i t e s ; his power to doi charter is a contract b e t w e e n the G o v e r n m e n t , o r
Which h* P l a C M o n **»« broad and unlimited 1 rather the p e o p l e of the U. S, and the bank,and



then c *sumes that it c o n s t i t u t e s h i m a c o m m o n | faithfully o b s e r v e it. H o w h a s the Secretary p « r axrcnt or trustee, t o superintend the execution oi j formed t h e s e s o l e m n d u t i e s , w h i c h , a c c o r d i n g t o
t h e stipulations c o n t a i n e d in that portion o f the his representation, have^been imposed u p o n h i m *
c o n t r a c t c o m p r e h e n d e d in the sixteenth section. H a s he p r o t e c t e d the bank against the a g g r e s s i o n
L e t u s n o w , taking- t h e s e a s s u m p t i o n s to be true, of the government* or the g o v e r n m e n t a g a i n s t t h e
a s c e r t a i n w k a t t h o s e stipulations are, the super- unfaithful c o n d u c t o f the bank in relation t o t h e
i n t e n d e n c e o f the e x e c u t i o n o f w h i c h , as he af- d e p o s i t e s ? Or has h e , forgetting h i s sacred o b f m i f i , are jointly confided by t h e parties to the l i g a t i o n s , d i s r e g a r d e d the interests o f b o t h — o n
S e c r e t a r y , T h e G o v e r n m e n t stipulated* o n its o n e side* d i v e s t i n g t h e bank o f the d e p o s i t e s , a r t d
part, that the public m o n e y s h o u l d b e deposited on the other, d e f e a t i n g the g o v e r n m e n t in t h e i n *
Sn the B a n k o f t h e U . S . — a g r e a t and valuable tonded s e c u r i t y o f the public funds, by seizing 1 o n
privilege, o n which the successful operation of the them a s t h e p r o p e r t y o f the E x e c u t i v e , to t>e
i n s t i t u t i o n mainly d e p e n d s - T h e B a n k , on its d i s p o s e d at p l e a s u r e , to favorite a n d p a r t i z & n
part, stipulated that t h e funds should be safely b a n k s .
k e p t — that the duties i m p o s e d in relation to them
B u t I shall r e l i e v e t h e Secretary from this a w k s h o u l d be faithfully d i s c h a r g e d , and that for this, ward a n d 'disreputable position in w h i c h h i *
w i t h other privileges, it would pay to lhe Govorn- o w n a r g u m e n t s h a v e placed him- H e is n o t t h e
n e n t the s u m o f o n e million fiv^ hundred thou- mutual t r u s t e e , a s h e has r e p r e s e n t e d , o f the g o v *
s a n d dollar*, T h e s e are the stipulations, the ex- e m i n e n t a n d t h e b a n k ; but s i m p l y t h e a g e n t o f
ecution of which, a c c o r d i n g to t h e Secretary'* a s - the former, v e s t e d under the contract, with p o w e r
s u m p t i o n , ho has been appointed a s joint a g e n t or to withhold t h e d e p o s i t e s w i t h a v i e w , a s h a s b e e n
trustee, to superintend, and from winch he w o u l d stated, to their additional s e c u r i t y — t o their e * f e
a s s u m e the extraordinary p o w e r w h i c h he claims
k e e p i n g : a n d if h e had but for a m o m e n t r e f l e c t o v e r the deposites to d i s p o s e of them in s u c h
ed on t h e fact, that he w a s directed to report h i s
m a n n e r as he may think the public interest or the
reasons t o C o n g r e s s o n l y , a n d not also t o , t h e
c o n v e n i e n c e of the people m a y require.
bank, for w i t h h o l d i n g the d e p o s i t e s , lie c o u l d
1B it n o t obvious that the w h o l e e x t e n t of power scarcely h a v e failed to p e r c e i v e that h e w a s s i m conferred upon him, a d m i t t i n g his a s s u m p t i o n to ply t h e a g e n t of o n e o f the p a r t i e s , a n d n o t , aj*
b e true, is to withhold the deposites in c a s e that h e s u p p o s e s , a j o i n t a g e n t of both*
t h e bank should violate its stipulations in relation
T h e Secretary h a v i n g e s t a b l i s h e d , a s h e s u p *
t o them on one side, and on the other to p r e v e n t
p o s e s , his right to d i s p o s e o f the d e p o s i t e s , a s , in
d i e G o / c r n m e n t from w i t h h o l d i n g the depositee,
his opinion the g e n e r a l i n t e r e s t a n d c o n v e n i e n c e
e o iotiif a s the b a n k faithfully performed its part
of t h e people m i g h t require, proceeds to c l a i m a n d
o f the contract. T h i s it* the full e x t e n t o f his
exorcise p o w e r w i t h a b o l d n e s s c o m m e n s q r a t *
pow,cr. A c c o r d i n g to his o w n s h o w i n g , n o t a
with t h e e x t r a v a g a n c e of t h e right w h i c h h e h a s
particle m o r e c a n be added* But there i s another
fUpect in w h i c h the position in w h i c h the Secre- j a « t t n ? e d ; *** c o m m e n c e s w i t h a c l a i m t o d e t e r
tary h a s p l a c e d h i m s e l f m a y be v i e w e d . It offers mine in his official character, that the B a n k o f t h *
United S t a t e s id u n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l — a m o n o p o l y —
for consideration not only a question of the extent
baneful to the welfare of the community*
o f his power, but a q u e s t i o n a s to the nature and
determined this point, he c o m e s to the c o n c l u s i o n
e x t e n t o f duty w h i c h h a s b e e n i m p o s e d upon him.
that the charter of the bank o u g h t not to b e reIf the position be s u c h a s he h a s described, there
n e w e d , and then a s s u m e s that it will not b e re*
h a s b e e n confided to him a trust o f the m o s t sacred
tie w e d . H a v i n g reached this point h e then d e t e r
character, a c c o m p a n i e d by d u t i e s o f the most
mines that it is his d u t y to remove t h e d e p o s i t e e
s o l e m n obligationH e s t a n d s by t h e m u t u a
N o o n e can object that Mr. T a n e y , a s a citn&eo*
confidence of t h e parties, v e s t e d w i t h the high in his individual character, s h o u l d e n t e r t a i n s *
j u d i c i a l p o w e r to determine on the infraction o< opinion as to t h e unconstitutionality o f the b a n k ;
o b s e r v a n c e o f a contract in w h i c h g o v e r n m e n t hut that be, a c t i n g in h i s official c h a r a c t e r , and
S4)0* a large a n d r e s p e c t a b l e portion o f the citi performing official acts under t h e charter o f th*
&ene are d e e p l y interestod; a n d , in the execution >ank, s h o u l d u n d e r t a k e to determine that t h e in*
r>f tins h i g h p o w e r , h e i« b o u n d , by honor and -titution w a s unconstitutional, a n d that tho*** w W
c o n s c i e n c e , s o to a c t a s to protect each o f the parranted t h e charter, and b e s t o w e d upon h i m l>i*
ties in the full e n j o y m e n t of their respective por- >ower to act under it, had violated the const)tir
tion o f benefit in t h e contract, wo l o n g a s t h e j tion, is a n a s s u m p t i o n o f p o w e r o f a nature which

I will not undertake to characterize, as I wish not Congress, as expressly provided for in the Con*
lobe personal.
stitution, or by proclamation, setting forth the
But he is not content with the power simply interpretations which he places upon a law it
to determine on the unconstitutionality of the has become his official duty to execute. Going
bank. H e goes far beyond—he claims to beyond,is one amongst the alarming signs of the
be the organ of the voice of the people. In times which portend the overthrow of the Con*
this high character he pronounces that the ques- stitution and the approach of despptic power*
The Secretary, having determined that the
tion of the renewal of the bank charter
^*as put in issue at the last Presidential elec- Bank was unconstitutional, and that the people
tion, and that the people had determined had pronounced against the recharter.concludes
that it should not be renewed- I do not, said that Congress had nothing to do with the subMr. CAIBOVN, intend to enter into the argument ject- With a provident foresight, he perceives
vhether,in point of fact,the renewal of the char- the difficulty and embarrasment into which the
ter was put at issue at the last election* That currency of the country would be thrown on
point was ably and fully discussed by the honor* the termination oBthe Bank charter; to prevent
able Senators from Kentucky, (Mr. C L A T , ) and which, he proceeds deliberately, with a paren»tw Jersey, (Mr- SOUTHARD,) who conclusive- tal care, to supply a new currency, * 'equal to, or
fy proved that no such question was involved in better,** than that which Congress had supplied*
the issue^ and,if it were, the issue comprehended With this view, he determines on an immediate
H many others that it was impossible to conjee- removal of the deposites; he puts them in certain l
tttre on which the election turned, I look to State institutions, intending to organize them
higher objections. I would inquire by what au- after the fashion of the empire state, into a great
thority the Secretary of the Treasury consti- safety-fund system,bnt which, unfortunately, un*
tutes himself the organ of the people o f the doubtedly for the projectors, if not for the counUnited States. H e has the reputation of being try, the limited power of the State Banks did not
an able lawyer, and can he be ignorant that so permit him to effect. But a substitute was found
long as the Constitution of the United States by associating them in certain articles of agreeexists, the only organs of the people of these ment, and appointing an inspector general of all
States, as far as the action of the General Go- this league of banks! and all this without law
vernment is concerned, are the several depart- or appropriation! Is it not amazing, that it nements,legialative, executive, and judicial; which, ver occurred to the Secretary, that the subject
acting within the respective limits assigned by of currency belonged exclusively to Congress,
the Constitution, have a right to pronounce au- and that to assume to regulate it was a pla»»
thoritatively, the voice of the people. A claim usurpation of the powers of that department of
on the part of the Executive to interpret, as the the government?
Secretary has done, the voice of the people, Havingthus assumed the power officially to dethrough any other channel, is to shake the foun- termine on the constitutionality of the Bank * havdation of our system. Has the Sec'tary forgotten ing erected himself into an organ of the people**
that the last step to absolute power is this very voice, and settled the question of the regulation •
assumption which he has claimed for that de- of the currency, he next proceeds to assume
partment? I am thus brought, said Mr. C M to the judicial powers over the Bank. He declares
allude to the extraordinary manifesto read by
that the Bank has transcended its powers, and
the President to the Cabinet, and which is so
has therefore forfeited its charter, for wluch he
intimately connected with the point immeinflicts on the institution the severe and e x e m diately under consideration. That document,
plary punishment of withholding the depositee;
t h o u g h apparently addressed to the Cabinet,
and all this in the face of an express provision.
WW clearly and manifestly intended as an app e a l to the people of the United States, and investing the court with power touching the ino p e n s * new and direct organ oF communi fraction of the charter, directing in what manner
cation between the President and them un- the trial should be commenced and conducted*
k n o w n to the Constitution and the laws. There and securing expressly to the bank the sacred
a r e but t w o channels known to either, through right of trial by jury in finding the facts. All
xvfaioh the President can communicate with this passed for nothing in the eyes of the S e e n ,
b e people—by messages to the two Houses ofj retary, who was too deeply engrossed in providing for the common welfare to regard cither


S P E E C H OF MR. C A L H O U N .

Congress the Court, or the Constitution. T h e hourly meddling in politics, and that he is
Secretary next proceeds to supervise the of the principal political managers of the A d m i n *
general operations of the bank, pronouncing istration? Can he be ignorant that the w h o l e
-with authority that, at one time, it has discount- power of the Government has been pervert©•»'
e d too freely, and at another, too sparingly j jnto a great political machine, with a view o f
-without reflecting* that all the control which corrupting and controlling the country? Can h o
the government can rightfully exercise over the be ignorant that the avowed and open policy o f
operations of the institution, is through the five the Government is to reward political friend*,
directors who represent the Gove; nment in this and punish political enemies? and that, a c t i n g
respect. Directors!
Mr. CitHovN exclaim- on this principle, it has driven from office h u n e d , did I say, (alluding to the present.) N o , dreds of honest and competent officers for o p i n *
spies is their proper designation*
ion's sake only, aud filled their places with d e v o I cannot, said Mr- C , proceed with the re- ted partisans? Can he be ignorant that the reiki
marks which I intended, on the remainder of offence of the Bank, is not that it has intermedthe Secretary's reasons* I have not patience to dled in politics, but because it would not interdwell on assumptions of power so bold, so law" meddle on the side of power? There is n o t h i n g
less, and so unconstitutional; they deserve not more dignified than reproof from the lips of i n n o *
the name of argument, and I cannot waste tim e cence, or punishment from the hands of justice;,
m treating them as such. There a-e, however, but change the picture—let the guilty reprove,
t w o which I cannot pass over, not because they and the criminal punish, and what more odiou»»
arc more extraordinary or audacious than the more hateful, can be presented to the iniagi*
others,but for another quality,which 1 choose not nation?
to designate.
T h e Secretary next tells us, in the same spirit,,
T h e Secretary alleges that the bank has in- that the bank had been wasteful of the p u b l i c
terfered with the politics of the country. If this *funtls. That it has spent some thirty, forty, o r
ke true, it certainly is a most heinous offence fifty thousand dollars—I d o not remember the:
T h e bank is a great public trust, possessing, for exact amount—(trifles have no weight in t h e
the purpose of discharging the trust, great power determination of so great a question) in c i r c u and influence, which it could not pervert from lating essays and speeches in defence o f the*
the object intended to that of influencing the institution, of which sum, one-fifth part—politics of the country, without being guilty of some seven thousand dollars —belonged to t h e
a great political crime. In making these re- Government. Well, sir, if the bank has realljr
marks, I do not intend to give any counte- watted this amount of the public money, it ia *
nance to the truth of the charge alleged by grave charge. It has not a right to waste *
the Secretary, nor to deny to the officers of] single cent; but I must say, in defence of t h e
he bank the right which belongs to them, bank, that, assailed as it waa by the E x in common with every citizen, freely to form ecutive, it would have b e e n unfaithful to ita
political principles, and act on them t in their trust, both to the stockholders and to the pub*
private capacity, without permitting them to lie, had it not resorted to every proper means*
influence their official conduct.
But it is in its power to defend its conduct, and, among*
strange it did not occur to tho Secretary, othera,the free circulation of able and judicious
while he was accusing and punishing the publications.
bank an the charge of interfering in the
But admit that the bank has b e e n guilty o f
politics of the country, that the Government wasting the public funds,to the full extent charge
also was a great trust, vested with p o w - ed by the Secretary, I would ask if he* t h e
ers still more extensive, and influence im head *f the financial department of the Ck^
measurably greater than that of the bank, given vernment, is not under as high and solemn o b to enable it to discharge the object for wliich it ligation to take care of the monied interest
w a s created; and that it has no more right to per- of the pub he as the bank itself? I w o u l d
vert its power and influence into the moans of con- ask him to answer me a few simple q u e s trollin*7 t n c po'Jt' cs of the country, than the bank tions; H o w has be performed this duty in relaitself- Can it be unknown to him that the Fourth tion to the interest which the public h«lds in t h e
Auditor of the Treasury—(an officer in his own bank? Has he b«an less wasteful than he has
aepartment,) the man who has made so promi- charged the ba*»k t* have been ? Has he not •
cent a fiffu'° » **"* transaction, was daily and wasted thousands where the bank, e v e n ' ac*

S P E E C H OP Ml*. C A L H O U N ,
cording to his own statement, hats hundreds * slightest importance cither to the Bank or myHas be not, by withdrawing- the' deposites self.
But while I shall not condescend to notice the
A*K1 placing" them in the State Banics, where
the public receives not a cent of interest, charges of the Secretary against the Bank, begreatly affected the dividends of the Bank yond the extent which 1 have stated, a sense of
of the United States,in which the Government, duty to the institution, and regard to the part
** a stockholder, is a loser to the amount of which I took in its creation, compels me to noticeone*fifth o f the <lirninution ?—a sum which I two allegations against it which have fallen
will venture to predict will many fold exceed from another quarter. It is said that the Bank
the entire amount which the bank has expended had no agency, or at least efficient agency, in the
in its defence. But this is a small, a very small restoration of specie payment in 1B17, and that
proportion of the public loss, in consequence it had failed to furnish the country with a uniform
of the course which the Executive has pursued and souisd currency, as had been promised at its
in relation to the bank, and which has reduced creation. Both of these allegations I pronounce
the value of the shares, from 130 to 108—(a to be without just foundation. T o enter into a
Senator near me says much more.
It may minute examination of them, would carry me too
He, I am not particular in such things.)—and on far from the subject, and I must content myself
which the public sustains a corresponding* loss with saying, that having been on the political
OR its share of the stock, amounting to seven stage without interruption, from that day to thia
millions of dollars—a sum more than two hun- —having been an attentive observer of the quesdred fold greater than the waste which he has tion of the currency throughout the whole period
charged upon the bank. Other administra- — that the Bank has been an indispensable agent
tions may e x c e e d this in talents, patriotism,and in the restoration of specie payments; that, withhonestv, but certainly in audaclty,in effrontery; out it, the restoration could not have been effected short of the utter prostration of all the monied
k stands without a parallel!
institutions of the country, and an entire depreThe Secretary has brought forward many and ciation of Bunk paper; and that it hus not only
grievous charges-against the Bank. I will not restored specie payment, but has given a currency
condescend to notice them—it is the conduct of far more uniform, between the extremes of the
the Secretary, and not that of the Bank, which country, than was anticipated or even dreamed of
is immediately under examination, and he has no j u t the time of its creation. I will say for myself
right to drag the conduct of the Bank into the | that I did not believe, at that time, that the exissue, beyond its operations in regard to the de-j change between the Atlantic and the W e s t
positcs. T o that extent I am prepared to ex- | would be brought lower than two and a'half per
amine his allegations against it; but beyond cent.—the estimated expense then, including inthat he has no right—no, not the least—-to ar- surance and loss of time, of transporting specie
raign the conduct of the Bank ; and 1, for one, between the two points. H o w much it was below
will not, by noticing his charges beyond that the anticipated point, I need not state; the whole
point, sanction his authority to call its conduct in commercial world knows that it was not a fourth
question. But let the point in issue be deter- part at tho time of the removal of the deposites.
mined, and I, as far as my voice extends, 'will
But to return from this digression. Though I
give to those who desire it the means of the will not notice the charges of the Secretary for tho
freest and most unlimited inquiry into its conduct, reasons already stated, I will take the liberty of
I am no partixan of the Bank—I am connected propounding to those who support them on
with it in no way, by monied or political ties. I this floor, a few plain questions. If there be
migbt tray, with truth, that the Bank owes as in banking institutions an inherent tendency so
much to me as to any othor individual in the strong to abuse and corruption as they contend-—
country; and I might even ad J that, had it not if, in consequence of this tendency, the bank of
been for my efforts, it would not have been char- the United States be guilty *f the enormemw
tered- Standing in this relation to the institu- charges and corruptions ullogod, notwithstandtion, a high sense of delicacy—a regard to inde- ing its responsibility to the Government and our
pendence and character, has restrained me from control over it, what is to be expected from irresa n y connexion with the institution whatever, ex- ponsible league banks, as ca-ied by the Senator
c^pt *ome trifling accommodations, in the way from Kentucky, (Mr CLAY,) over which we can
o f ordinary business, which were not of the have no legal control? If our power of renewing




t h e charter o f t h e B a n k of the United S t a t e s — deposttes from o n e place t o another, for the cost**
if our riirht- t o v a c a t e t h e charter by scire facias^ venience of disbursement**; but which, by a S t r a n g *
in c a s e of m i s c o n d u c t — i f the influence which the perversion, is n o w a'ttempted to be s o c o n s t r u e d a s
appointment o f five G o v e r n m e n t Directors g i v e s to confer on the Secretary t h e power to w i t h d r a w
u s ; and, finally, i f - h e p o w e r w h i c h w e have of ap the m o n e y from the deposite, and to loan it t o fiap o i n t i n g c o m m i t t e r to e x a m i n e into its condition, vorite State bank?*—I express m y s e l f too f a v o r a are not sufficient to h o l d the institution in c h e c k ; bly, f should s a y g i v e — ( t h e y p a y no i n t e r e s t ^
if, in spite o f all t h e s e , it h a s , from the innate cor- with a v i e w to sustain their credits, or e n ruption of s u c h institution P, b e e n guilty o f the large their profits—a power, n o t only far b e y o n d
e n o r m o u s a b u s e s a n d crimes charged ag-ainst it, the Secretary, but which C o n g r e s s itself c o u l d
w h a t m a y w e not e x p e c t fr^m the associated not exercise without a flagrant breach of t h e C o n *
banka, the favorites o f t h e T r e a s u r y , over the stitution. B u t , it is said, in a n s w e r t o t h e a a
r e n e w a l of w h o s e charter the G o v e r n m e n t h a s v i e w s , that m o n e y paid in deposite into the b a n k ,
n o power; against w h i c h it can issue no scirefa- a s directed b y l a w , is not in the TreasurycUt&t in who«e direction it h a s n o t a s i n g l e indi- will not stop, said M r . C , to reply t o s u c h a n
vidual and i n t o w h o s e conduct C o n g r e s s can ap- objection. If it be not in the treasury,where i s t h e
point no committee to l o o k ? W i t h t h e s e c h e c k s T r e a s u r y 7 If it be not m o n e y in the T r e a s u r y ,
all withdrawn, w h a t will be the condition of] w h e r e is the m o n e y annually reported t o b e i n
the T r e a s u r y ? W h e r e the eight or nine m i l l i o n *
the public funds.
I, said Mr. C A L H O O V , stated in the outset w h i c h , by the annual report o f the S e c r e t a r y , iao f my remark*, that, as broud as w a s the power said to be n o w in the Treasury? A r e w e to u n d e r w h i c h the S e c r e t a r y h a d assumed in relation stand t h a t n o n e o f this m o n e y is, in truth, i n t h a
T r e a s u r y ?—that it is floating about at large*
to the de posit es, there w a s a portion of the
subject t o be disposed of—to be g i v e n a w a y , a t
transaction o f a h i g h l y important character, to
the will of the E x e c u t i v e , to favorites and p a r t i which he has not a l l u d e d , a n d in relation to
zans ? S o .it would s e e m ; for it appears, b y a
which he ha* n«n even attempted a justification.
correspondence b e t w e e n the T r e a s u r e r a n d t h e
I will n o w proceed to m a k e good thia assertion to
Cashier of the b a n k , derived through the b a n k ,
the letter.
( t h e Secretary not d e e m i n g it worth w h i l e t o
T h e r e is a material difference b e t w e e n with
give the slightest information of the t r a n s a c t i o n ,
holding m o n e y front going 1 into the bstnk, and'
as if a matter of course,) that he has d r a w n o u t
it after it has b e e n p l a c e d there
t w o millions and a quarter o f the public m o n e y ,
T h e former is authorised in the m a n n e r which 1
without appropriation, and distributed it at p l e a h a v e stated, under the sixteenth section, w h i c h di
sure a m o n g his favorites!
rects, a s has been frequently stated, that the
B u t it is a t t e m p t e d to vindicate t h e c o n d u c t
public m o n e y shall he deposited in the bank,
o f the S e c r e t a r y on t h e g r o u n d o f p r e c e d e n t . I
unlets otherwise ordered by the Secretary of t h s
Treasury. But neither that s e c t i o n , nor any por- will not s t o p t o n o t i c e w h e t h e r t h e c a s e s c i t e d
tion of the act incorporating' the bank, nor, in are in point; nor will I avail m y s e l f o f t h e g r e a t
truth, any other act, g i v e s the Secretary any au- and striking advantage that I m i g h t h a v e o n t h e .
thority, of himself, to withdraw public manvy d c - question o f p r e c e d e n t : this c a s e stands a l o n e a n d
posjted in the bank. T h e r e is, I repeat, a m a t e distinct from all others. T h e r e is n o n e similar t o
nal difference between icith holding public m o n e y it in m a g n i t u d e and i m p o r t a n c e . I w a i v e all that*
from depoaitc and withdrawing
it. W h e n paid I place m y s e l f o n h i g h e r g r o u n d s — I stand o n
i n t o the pla«e designated by l a w as the d e p o s i t e t h e i m m o v a b l e p r i n c i p l e that, o n a q u e s t i o n o f
of the public mon«iy, it passes to the credit of the l a w and Constitution,in a d e l i b e r a t i v e a s s e m b l y *
Treasurer, and then is in the Treasury of the t h e r e is n o r o o m — n o p l a c e for p r e c e d e n t s . T o
U n i t e d S t a t e s , wlmrc it is placed under the pro- admit t h e m w o u l d b e t o , m a k e t h e violation
to-day the law and Constitution
tection of the Constitution itsclf,and Horn which,
in the place of the written
by a n e x p r e s s provision of tha Constitution, it and to substitute
sacred will of f/te people and the legUtature,
c a n o n l y be withdrawn by an appropriation made
infraction of tliosc charged with the execution
b y l a w . S o careful were the framcrs of the act
the IUUK S u c h , in m y opinion, is t h e r e l a t i v e
of 1816 to leave n o t h i n g to implication, that express authority it* g i v e n to the Secretary o f the force o f l a w a n d constitution o n o n e s i d e , a s
T r e a s u r y , in the lifteenth section, to transfer the c o m p a r e d w i t h p r e c e d e n t s on t h e otliet* V i e w 

#din*different light, not in reference to the hension that such is the intention, I will not per*
Jfvorconstitution, hut t o the conduct o f the of- mit myself to assert that such is the fact—that
ficer, I am disposed t o g i v e rather more weight lawless and unconstitutional an object is c o n so
•p precedents, when* t h e question relates to an j templated by the President, till his act shall
oisuie or apology for the officer, in case of compel me t o believe to the contrary. But
infraction. If the infraction be a trivial one, in while I thus severely condemn the conduct o f
* case not calculated t o excite attention, an of- the President in removing the former Secretaficer might fairly e x c u s e himself on the ground ry and appointing* the present, I must say, that
precedent; but in o n e like this, of the ut- in my opinion, it is a case o f t h e abuse and not
most majjnitude, involving the highest interests o f the usurpation o f power. I cannot doubt that
•Ad most important principles, where the at- the President has, under the Constitution^ the
tention of the officer must be aroused to a most right of removal from office; nor can I doubt
cweful examination, h e cannot avail himself of that the p o w e r o f removal, wherever it exists,
the plea of precedent to excuse his conduct,— | does, from necessity, involve the power o f
It ia* ease where false precedents are to b e j general supervision; nor can I doubt that it
corrected a.nd not followed.
An officer ought to
might b e constitutionally exercised in reference
be ashamed in such a case, to attempt to vindi- to the deposites. Reverse the present case—
cate his conduct on a charge of violating law or suppose the late Secretary, instead o f being
constitution b y pleading precedent. T h e prin- against, had b e e n in favor o f the removal, and
ciple in such case is obvious. If the Secretary's that the President, instead of for, had b e e n
right to withdraw public money from the Trea- against it, d e e m i n g the removal not only inex*
sury be clear, he has no need o f precedent to pedient, but, under circumstances, illegal;
vindicate him. If not,he ought not, in a case of! would any man doubt, that under such circumso much magnitude, to have acted.
stances, he had a right to remove his SecretaI have not, said Mr- C A L H O U N , touched a ry, if it were the only means of preventing t h e
question which has had so prominent a part in ] removal of the depositee? Nay, would it not
the debate, w h e t h e r the withholding the depo-j be his iiidi-pensable duty t o have removed him?
sites was the act o f the Secretary or the Presi- j and, had he not, would not he have b e e n unident. Under my view *»f the subject, the ques- j versally and justly held responsible?
tion is not of the slightest importance. It isj I have now (said Mr, C.) offered all the rer equally unauthorized and illegal, whether done! marks 1 intended in reference to t h e deposit©
; by President or Secretary; but, as the question j question; and, on reviewing the whole ground,
has been agitated, and as my views do not en- 1 must say, that the Secretary, in removing the
tirely correspond on this point with those advo* j deposites, has clearly transcended his p o w e r ;
oating the side which I do, I d e e m it d u e to that h e has violated the contract b e t w e e n t h e
frankness to e x p r e s s my sentiments.
Bank and the United States; that, in so doing,
I have no doubt that the President removed h e has d e e p l y injured that large and respectat h e former Sectetary, and placed the present in ble portion of our citizens w ho have b e e n invihis place, expressly with a view to the removal ted, mn the faith o f the Government, to invest
p f the deposites- I am equally clear, under all their property in the institution* while, at t h e
t h e circumstances of the case, that the Presi- same time, he has d e e p l y injured the public, in
d e n t ' s conduct is wholly indefensible- and, j its character o f stockholder; and, finally, that
a m o n g other objections, I fear h e had in v i e w , he has inflicted a d e e p w o u n d o n t h e public
in t h e removal, an object eminently dangerous faith. T o this last, 1 attribute the present em-:
«tnd "unconstitutional—to g i v e an advantage to barrassment in t h e currency, w h i c h has so inju~j
jhi# veta, never intended by t h e Constitution— riously affected all t h e great interests o f the)
si p o w e r intended as a shield, to protect the country. T h e currency o f the country *is the)
E x e c u t i v e against the encroachment of the L e - credit o f the country—credit in every shapeJ
g i s l a t i v e department—to maintain the present public and private; credit, not only in th«tf
*tat* of things against dangerous or hasty inno* j shape of paper, but that o f faith and confix
vatiow, but which, I fear, is, in this c a s e , in* d e n c e b e t w e e n man and man; through the agem (
t e n d e d as a sword, to d e f e n d the usurpation of c y of which, in all its forms* the great andf
t h e E x e c u t i v e . I say 1 fear, for although the mighty e x c h a n g e s o f this commercial country}
c i r c u m s t a n c e o f this case leads to a j u s t appre- i at h o m e and abroad, are effected.
T o inflict J


S P B E C H OF MR. C A L H O U N .

wound anv where, particularly on the public I the rights o f the States! What shall I call it I
faith, is to embarrass all the channels of cur- audacity or hypocrisy? T h e authors of the>
rency and exchange; and it is to this, and not Proclamation the guardians and defenders o
to the withdrawing the few millions of dollars the rights of the States! T h e authors of t K e
from circulation, that I attribute the present War Message against a member of this c o n *
n o n i e d embarrassment. Did I believe to the federacy—the authors of the "bloody bill" t t \ e
contrary—if I thought that any great and per- guardians and defenders of the rights of t l i e
manent distress would of itself result from States! This a struggle for State rights! N o ,
winding up in a regular and legal manner the Sir, State rights are no more- T h e struggle* Is
present or any other Hank of the United States, over for the present- T h e bill of the last s e s I would deem it an evidence of the dangerous] sion which vested in the Government the rig'Kt
power of the institution, and, to that extent, anj of judging of the extent of its powers, finally*
argument against its existence; but, as it is, I and conclusively, and gave it the right of e n regard the present embarrassment not as an ar- forcing its judgments by the sword, destroy*
gument against the Rank, but an argument I ed all distinction between delegated and reser»
against the lawless and wanton exercise of pow- ved rights; concentrated in the Government tl»e
er on the part of the Executive--an embar- entire power et the system, and prostrated tt*e
rassment which is likely t o continue long, if the States as poor and helpless corporations at t U e
deposites be not restored. T h e Hanks which foot of this sovereignty
nave received them, at the expense of the pubNor is it more true that the real question is—*
lic faith, and in violation of law, will never be Bank or no Bank. Taking the deposite q u e s t i o n
permitted to enjoy their spoils in quiet. N o in the broadest sense; suppose, as it is contender!
one who regards the subject in the light in by the friends of the administration, that it i n which 1 do, can ever give his sanction to any volves
the question of the renewal of t h e
law intended to protect or carry through the charter, and consequently the
present illegal arrangement; on the contrary,! of the Bank itself, still the banking s y s xll such must feel bound to wage perpetual war tem would stand, almost untouched and unimlgaiust an usurpation of power so flagrant as paired. Four hundred banks would still remain
that which controls the present depositee of the |scattered over this wide republic, and on t h e
public money. If I standalone, (said M r . C i t - [ruins of the United States Bank, many would
jotrx,) I at least will continue to maintain the •rise to be added to the present list. Uiul^r i h i i
:ontest, so long as I remain in public life.
[aspect of the subject, the only possible que**
As important (said Mr- C) as 1 consider the Itiou that could be presented for consideration
jucstion of the deposites, in all its bearings, would be, whether the banking system wa*
public and private, it is one on the surface—a more safe, more beneficial, or more constitumere pretext to another, and one greatly more tional with or without the U. States Bank ?
important, which lies beneath, and which must
ir, said Mr. C-, this was a question of Bank or no
be taken into consideration, to understand cor- Bank—if it involved the existence of the bankrectly all the circumstances attending this e x - ing system, it w-;uld indeed be a great question
traordinary transaction* It is felt and acknowl- —one of the first magnitude, and, with nvy
e d g e d op all sides, that there in another and a present impression, long entertained and daily
d e e p e r question, which has excited the profound [increasing—I would hesitate—long hesitate, besensation and alarm which pervades the coun- fore I would be found under the banner c f the
I have great doubts, if doubts they
Jf w e are to believe ^vhat w e hear from the [may be called, as to the soundness and tendenadvocates of the administration, we would be i cy of the whole system, in all its modifications*.
lieve at one time that the real question was, I have great fears that it will be found hostile
Bank or no Bank; at another, that the question! to liberty and the advance of civilization—fa*
was between the United States Rank and the tally hostile to liberty in our country, where the
rState Banks; and, finally, that it was a struggle system exists in its worst and most dangerou*
[formOf all institutions affecting the great
pn the part of the administration to guard and I
question of the distribution of wealth—a qnes*
[defend the rights of the States against the en.
broachments of the General Government, T h e tlon least explored and the most important o f
kdminbstration the guardians and defenders of tiny in the whole range of political economy,



the banking- institution has, if not the greatest, the vaults of dependant banks, have extended
among the greatest influence, and I fear, most their cupidity to the public lands, particularly
pernicious influence on the mode of distribu- in the south-west, and that to this we must
tion. Were the question really before us, I attribute the recent phenomena in that quarter;
vould not shun the responsibility, as great as it immense and valuable tracts of land sold at
mifht be, of freely and fully offering' my senti- short notice—sales fraudulently postponed to
n^nts on these deeply important points; but, aid the speculators, with which, if I am not
a* it is, 1 must content myself with the few re misinformed, a name not unknown to this body
marks which I have thrown out.
(Gwin) has performed a prominent part. But
What, then, is the real question which now I leave this to my vigilant and able friend from
agitates the country? I answer, it is a struggle Mississippi, (Mr. PoisrnEXTBii,) at the head of
between the Executive and Legislative depart the Committee on Public Lands, who, I doubt
nients of the Government—a struggle, not in not, will see justice done to the public. As to
relation to the existence of the bank, but which, stock-jobbings, this new arrangement will open
Congress or the President, should have the a field which Rothschild himself may envy.
power to create a bank, and the conse- has been found hard work- -very hard, no doubt
quent control over the currency of the — by the jobbers in stock, who have been encountry* This is the real question. Let us gaged in attempts to raise or depress the price
Hot deceive ourselves—this league—this as* of U. S. Bank stock; but no work will be more
sociation of banks—created by the Execu- easy than to raise or depress the price of the
tive ; bound tog-ether by its influence; united stock of the selected banks, at the pleasure of
in common articles of association 4 vivified and the Executive. Nothing more will be required
sustained by receiving the deposites o f the than to give or withhold deposites—to draw, or
public money, and having" their notes converted, abstain from drawing- warrants—-to pamper them
by being- received every where by the Trea- at one time, and starve them at another*—
wury, into the^commen currency of the country, Those who would be in the secret, and who
is, to all intents and purposes, a bank of the would know when to buy and when to sell*
United States—the Executive bank of the U. would have the means of realizing , by dealStates, as distinguished from that of Congress. ing in the stocks, whatever fortune they might
However it might fail to perform satisfactorily please.
S o long- as the question is one between a
the useful functions of the Bank of the U. States,
Bank of the United States incorporated by Conas incorporated by law, it would outstrip i t far outstrip it—in ail its dangerous qualities, in gress and that system of banks which has been
extending1 the power, the influence, and the created by the will o f the Executive, it is aa
corruption of the Government, It was impos- insult to the understanding- to discourse on the
sible to conceive any institution more admirably pernicious tendency and constitutionality of the
calculated to advance these objects. Not only Bank of the United States, T o bring up that
the selected banks, but the whole banking- question fairly and leg-itimately, you muftt gx*
institutions of the country,and with it the entire one step farther—you must divorce the Governmoney power, for the purpose of speculation, ment and the banking- system. You must refuse
peculation, and corruption, would be placed all connexion with Banks* You must neither re*
under the control of the Executive. A system ceive nor pay away banknotes* you must g o back
of menaces and promises will be established — of \to the old system of the strong box, ami of gold
menace to the banks in possession of the depo and silver. If you have a right to receive bank
nites, but which might not be entirely subser notes at all—to treat them as money by receivvient to Executive views ; and of promise of ing them in your dues, or paying them away to
future favors to those who may not as yet enjoy creditors, you have a right to create a bank.
Hs favors. Between the two, the banks would Whatever the Government receives and treats
b e left without influence, honor, or honesty; as money, is money; and, if it be money, t h e *
And a system of speculation and stock-jobbing they have the right, under the Constitution, to
-would commence, unequalled in the annals of regulate it. Nay, they are bound by a high
o u r country*
I fear they have already com- obligation to adopt the most efticiert means, ac*
m e n c e d — I fc-arthe means which have been put cording to the nature of that which they have
i n t o the hands of the minions of power by the recognized as money, to give it the utmost staremoval of the deposites, and 'placing1 them in bility and uniformity of value. And if it b e m


S P E E C H Otf MR. C A L H O U N .

the shape of bank notes, the most efficient still more essential to the preservation of oua*
means o f giving those qualities, is a Bank o f the institutions. Taking this wide review of oitjr
XJ. States, incorporated by Congress. Unless political system, the revolution in the midst o #
you give the highest practical uniformity to the which we are, began, not as supposed by thm
value of bank notes—so long as you receive Senator from Kentucky, shortly before the con»l
them in your dues, and treat them as money, mencement of the present session, but m a n y
you violate that provision of the Constitution years ago, with the commencement of the Wk*
which provides that taxation shall be uniform strictive system, and terminated its first stage;
throughout the United States. There is no with the passage of the force bill of the last s e s other alternative, I repeat, you must divorce sion, which absorbed all the rights and* s o v a *
the Government entirely from the* banking sys reignty of t h e States, and consolidated t h e m
tern, or, if not, you are bound to incorporate a in this Government. Whilst this process w a *
bank as the only safe and efficient means of going on, of absorbing the reserved power* c #
giving stability and uniformity to the currency. the States, on the part o f the General Govern*
And should the deposites not be restored, and ment, another commenced, of concentrating, i a
the present illegal and unconstitutional connex- the Executive, the powers of the other two, t h *
ion between the Executive and the league of Legislative and Judicial Departments of tHfe
banks continue, 1 shall feel it my duty, if no one Government, which constitutes the s e c o n d
else moves, to introduce a measure to prohibit stage of the revolution, in which we have a d Government from receiving or touching bank vanced almost to the termination.
notes in any shape whatever, as the only means
T h e Senator from Kentucky, in c o n n e x i o n
left of giving safety and stability to the curren- with this part of his argument, read a striking:
cy , and saving the country from corruption and passage from one of the most pleasing and Inruin.
structive writers in any language, ( P l u *
Viewing the question in its true light, as a tarch,) the description of Caesar forcing h i m struggle on the part of the Executive to seize self, sword in hand, into the treasury o f t h e
on the power of Congress, and to unite in the Roman Commonwealth. W e are at the s a m e
President the power of the sword and the stage of our political revolution, and the a n a l o purse, the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. C L A T ) gy between the two cases is complete, v a r i e d
said, truly, and let me add, philosophically, that [only by the character of the actors and the cirw e are in the midst of a revolution. Yes,the very cumstances of the times. That was a case o f
existence of free governments rests on the an intrepid and bold warrior, as an open p l u n proper distribution and organization of powers derer, seizing forcibly the treasury of the c o u n *
and to destroy this distribution, and thereby try, which, in that Republic, as well as ours,
concentrate power in any one of the depart- was confided to the custody of the legislative
ments, is to effect a revolution; but, while I department of the Government, T h e actors i n
agree with the Senator, that wc arc in our case are of a different character—artful,
the midst of revolution, I cannot agree with cunning, and corrupt politicians, and not fearhim as to the time at which it commenced, less warriors. T h e y have entered the treasuor the point to which it has progressed. Look- ry, not sword in hand, as public plundering to the distribution of the powers of the Ge- ers, but with the false keys of sophistry, as pil
neral Government—into the Legislative, Exe- ferers, under the silence of midnight.
cutive f and Judicial Departments—and con- motive and object are the same, varied in l i k e
fining his views to the encroachment of the manner, by character and circumstances. "With
Executive upon the Legislative, he dates the money 1 will get men, and with men, money / *
commencement of the revolution but sixty days was the maxim of the Roman plunderer. With
previous to the meeting of the present Con- money w e will g e t partizans, with partizana
gress. I, said Mr. C , take a wider range, and votes, and with votes money, is the maxim o f
date it from an earlier period. Besides the dis- our public pilferers. With men and money, Caetribution among the Departments of the Gene- sar struck down Roman liberty, at the fatal batral Government, there belongs to our system tle of Phtllippi, never to rise again; from which
another, and ft far more important division or disastrous hour, all the powers of the Roman
distribution of power, that between the States Republic were consolidated in the person o f
and the General Government-—the reserved and Cscsar, and perpetuated in his line. With modelegated rights, the maintenance of which is ney and corrupt partizans, a great effort is now

S P E E C H OF MR. C A L H O U N .


waking* t o c h o k e and stifle the voice of Amer- deservedly is, would have been wholly
ican liberty, through all its natural organs; by incompetent, if he haci even thought proper
corrupting1 the press; b y overawing* the other to exert it, to adjust the question.
departments; and, finally, by setting 1 up a new attempt would have prostrated hint, and those
and polluted organ, composed of office hold- who acted with him, and not the system.
ers and corrupt partisans, under the name of a It was the separate actiop o f Jhe State that
national convention, which, counterfeiting1 the gave him the place to stmd upon; created
voice of t h e people, will, if not resisted, in their the necessity for the adjustment, and di»^
name dictate the succession/ when the deed posed the minds of all \x> compromise. Now, I
will be done—the revolution be completed— put the solemn question to all who hear me, if
md all t h e powers of mir Republic, in like the tariff had not then r>een adjusted—if it was
manner, b e consolidated in the President, and now an open question — what hope o f successful
resistance against the usurpations o f the E l .
perpetuated by his dictation.
The Senator from Kentucky, (Mr. C.) antici ecutive, on the part of this or any other
patei with confidence that the small party who| branch of the Government, could be enter*
were denounced at the last session as traitors tained? Let it not be aaid. that this is the reand disunionists, will be found, on this trying sult of accident—of an unforeseen contingency*
occasion, standing in the front rank, and man- It was clearly perceived, and openly stated,
fully resisting 1 the advance of despotic power that no successful resistance could be made to
t, said Mr. CALHOTJIT, heard the anticipation; the corruption and encroachments of the Execwith pleasure, not on account of the compliment utive, while the tarifF question remained o p e n which it implied, but the evidence which it af- while it separated the north from the south, and
fords that the cloud which has been so indus- wasted the energy of the honest and patriotic
triously thrown over the character and motive portions of the community against each other,
of that small, but patriotic party, begins to be the joint effort of which ts indispensably nedissipated. T h e Senator hazarded nothing- in cessary to expel those from authority, who are
the prediction- That party is the determined, converting the entire powers of Government
the fixed, and sworn enemy to usurpation, come into a corrupt electionetnrng machine; and that,
from what quarter and under what form it may j without separate Statt* interposition, the *d*
-whether from the Executive, upon the other justment was impossible. T h e truth of this
departments of this Government, or from this position rests not upon the accidental state of
Government, on the sovereignty and rights of! things, but on a profound principle growing out
the States* T h e resolution and fortitude with of the nature of Government and party strugWhich it maintained its position at the last ses- gles in a free State. History and reflection teach
sion, under so many difficulties and dangers, in us, tha: when great inierests come into conflict
defence o f the States against the encmach- and the passions and the prejudices af men are
ments o f the General Government, furnished roused, such struggles can never be composed
evidence, not to be mistaken, that that party injby the influence of any individuals, however
the present momentous struggle, would be great; and if there be not, somewhere in the
found arrayed in defence of the rights of Con s>stem, some high constitutional power to argress against the encroachments of the Pres- rest their progress, and compel tne parties to
ident. And let me tell the Senator from Ken- adjust the difference, thev g o on till the State
t u c k y , said Mr* C , that, if the present strug- falls by corruption or violence.
I will, said Mr. C.» venture to add to these
g l e against Executive usurpation he successful,
it will be owing to the success, with which we, remarks another, in connexion with the point
W e are not
t h e nullifiers—I am not afraid of the word—- under consideration, not less true
maintained the rights of the States against the! only indebted to the cause which I have stated,
encroachment of the General Government at for our present strength in this body against the
t h e last session.
present usurpation of the Executive, but
A very few words will place this point be- if the adjustment of the taritt had stood alone,
y o n d controveisy. T o the interposition of the as it ought to have done, without the odious bill
g t a t e o f South Carolina, w e are indebted for which accompanied it,—if those who led in t h e
t h e adjustment of the tariff question * without it, compromise had joined the State lii^ht party m
all t h e influence of the Senator from Kentucky, their resistance to that unconstitutional measure,
interest, great as it and thrown the responsibility on its real author*,
< r v e r th» manufacturing


S P E E C H OF MR. C A L H O U N ,

By the magic construction of a few shvtpio
*he administration, their party would have been
so prostrated throughout the entire South, and words—"unless otherwise ordered,"—interudoA
their power, in consequence, so reduced, that to confer on the Secretary of the Treasury a l i m they would not have dared to attempt the present ited power—to give additional security to t h e
measure \ or* if they had, they would have been public deposites, he has, in like manner, perverted , this power, and made it tl\e instrument, h y
broke and defeated.
"Were 1, saifl Mr* C.» to select the caic best! similar sophistry, of drawing the money from t h o
calculated to illustrate the necessity of resisting Treasury, and bestowing it, as I have stated, o n
usurpation at the very commencement, and to favorite and partizan banks. Would to G o d ,
prove how difficult it is to resist it in any 3ub- said Mr. C , would to God I could reverse t h o
sequent stag's, if not met at first, 1 would selee*t this whole of this neiarious operation, and terminate
very case. What, he asked, is the cause of the the controversy by returning the money to t h o
present usurpation of power on the part of the pockets of the honest and industrious citize***,
Executive?--What the motive?--the tempation, by the sweat of whose brows it was m a d e ,
which has induced them to seize on the depo- with whom only it can be rightfully deposited.
sites? What, but the large surplus revenue ? But as this cannot be done, I must content m y *
the eight or ten millions in the public Treasury self by giving a vote to return it to the public
beyond the wants of the Government? And what Treasury, wheTe it was ordered to be deposited
has put so large an amount of money in the by an act of ttoe legislature.
There, is another aspect, said Mr. C , in w h i c h
Treasury, when not needed? I answer, the protective system--that system which graduated this subject may be viewed. We all remember
duties, not in reference to the wants of the Go how early the question of the surplus revenue
vernment,but in reference to the importunities and began to agitate the country. A t a very e a r l y
demands of the manufacturers, and which poured period, a Senator from New Jersey, (Mr. D t c i c millions of dollars into the Treasury beyond the KRSON,}presented his scheme for disposing o f i t
most profuse demands and even the extravagance by distributing it among the States. T h e 6 r o t
of the Government- -taken—unlawfully taken, message of the President recommended a similarfrom the pockets of those who honestly made it- project, which was followed up by a m o v e m e n t
I hold that those who make, are entitled to what on the part of the Legislature of New York, a n d
they make against all the world, except the Go- I believe some of the other States. T h e p u b vernment; and against it, except to tho extent of lic attention was aroused—the scheme s c r u its legitimate and constitutional wants; and that, tinixed,——its gross unconstitutionality and initio*
for the Government to take one cent more is rob tree, and its dangerous tendency,—its t e n d e n c v
bery. In violation of this sacred principle Uon- to absorb the power and existence of the St a tee
gress Jir*t removed the deposites in* the public were clearly perceived and denounced. T h e do*
Treasury, from the pockets of those w * made it, nunriation was too deep to be resisted, and t h o
where they were rightfuiy placed l y - M laws, scheme was abandoned. What have we n o w i n
human and divine. The Executive, in his t. . n, foi lieu of it? What is the present scheme but o
lowing1 the example, has taken them from that distribution of the surplus revenue ? A distribu*
depoaite, and distributed them among favorite tion at the sole will and pleasure of the Executivoand partisan banks. The means used have been a distribution to favorite hanks, and through
the same in both cases. The constitution gives to them, in the shape of discounts and loans, to corCongress the power to lay duties with a view to rupt partisans, as the means of increasing politirevenue. This power, without regarding the cal influence?
object for which it was intended, forgetting that
Wo have, said Mr. C , arrived at a fearful criaio.
it was a great trust power, necessarily limited, Things cannot long remain as they are. It b e by the very nature of such powers, to the subject hoves all who love their country—who have aflboand the object of the trust, was perverted to a use tion for their offspring, or who have any stake io
Confinever intended, that of protecting the industry our institutions, to pause and reflect.
of one portion of tbo country at the expense ol dence is daily withdrawing from the General G o another; and, under this false interpretation, the vernment. Alienation is hourly going on- T h e s e
money was transferred from its natural and just will necessarily create a state of things inimical
dopoaitc, the pockets of those who made it, into to the existence of our institutions, and, if not
speedily arrested, convulsions must follow, and
the public Treasury, as I hare stated. In this then comes dissolution or despotism, when
too, the executive followed the example of C o n - [ a thick cloud will be thrown over the cause of It*
berty and the future prospects of our country