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ted, laws infracted, authority defied, we now behold
it standing incarnate upon the floor of the Senate,
to demand a surrender of the affairs of the R e p u b lic into its o w n exclusive custody- Yes: and if this
demand be not complied with; if the people will
not agree to p a y an eternal tribute to the banks; if
they will not a b a n d o n the G o v e r n m e n t ot themselves, and submit to the rule of these monopolies,
with what are they threatened? T h e y a r e threatened with a punishment, " compared to which all
the calamities of a war with the most potent nation,
of the globe, would be a blessing." Such are the
forebodings, such the language, of the Senator from

In tlie Senate of the United States, February 20, 1833.
—-The Independent T r e a s u r y bill, and the substitute fer it submitted by M r . R I V E S , being under consideration,
M r . A L L E N rose and said :
This Government it but forty-nine years old. It
is, M r , President, your junior, and thai: of m a n y
members of this b o d y ; but, short a s has been
its duration, it has already experienced the most
extraordinary political phenomenon which has
ever occurred in h u m a n affairs. I n M a y last, the
nation was at peace with all mankind. T h e seve- K e n t u c k y , [ M r . C L A Y . ]
ral departments of the Government, all the organs
T h a t the freemen of this land, acting through
of it* various power*, were performing their usual the G o v e r n m e n t of their choice, should refuse to
a n d appropriate functions. T h e public revenues deliver their present, and to mortgate their future,
had swollen into a surplus beyond the public ne- revenues to a league OL" private corporations—to
cessities, of forty millions of dollars. T h e people corporations which h a v e already betrayed them,
were contented, prosperous, and happy. W e were which have conspired together, seized the public
threatened neither with invasion from without nor treasure, an<3 still stand out in barefaced rebellion
insurrection within. All confided in the public se- against public law; that such should be the honest
curity; all quietly reposed upon that confidence. obstinacy of the nation i.i resisting these d e m a n d s ,
A n d yet, in one night—in one moment, as it were j U a conduct " u n a c c o u n t a b l e , m o n s t r o u s , c r i m i n a l , "
— t h e Government w a s suddenly struck down, and ! in the judgment of the Senator from Massachusetts,
the whole frame of society convulsed and disjointed [ M r . W E B S T E R . ]
by the shock! T h e laws were rent asunder, the;
T h i s G o v e r n m e n t shall be compelled to receive,
revenues seized, the Government left without a i
through all coming time, nothing for its revenues
dollar, and the labor a n d property of the whole i
people without a medium or standard t*f value, j but the due-bills of banks—of b a n k s which have
T h e n , and then for the first time, was it discovered refused, in a d v a n c e , to pay those bills. It shall dethat there existed in our midst a power independent liver the bills, when leceived, back to the very
alike of the Government a n d of the people, re- s a m e hanks, as a fund for their private traffic. I t
shall levy, for the use of these corporations, a n
sponsible to neither, and triumphant over bothM a n y a time, sir, in the history of o u r race, everlasung tribute up»n the country, a n d thus r e h a v e civil institutions been hewn down by the duce the people to th* mercenary dominion of
sword; many a time ha\ r e they been effaced from banks and hankers. These things must be done
the earth in the desolating sweep of h u m a n pas- in cpiet, and under color of law; or, if not so done
sions; many a time have they worn out by the fric- the Senator from Virginia, [ M r . R I V E S , ] foresee,
tion of their own parts, or decayed and wasted their future fulfill mem through a breach in the
a w a y with age; but never, until M a y last, was a Constitution, a n d in the form of a N a t i o n a l B a n k .
Such are the demands, such the forebodings
G o v e r n m e n t arrested in its action, and brought to
such fhe substitute—a measure, the first principle
a solemn stand, by a power wielded not by a foreign enemy, n o r by the G o v e r n m e n t itself, nor yet and inevitable tendency of which is essentially
by the people over whom it extended. And now, revolutionary. It is nothing less than a demand
sir, what do we behold? W e see this power, con- of the public revenue, now and for ever, made hy
centrated, embodied, organized, animated by a spi- the banks a s a political right ; and that demand is
rit of rapine and conquest; and having advanced to expressly predicated up;>n the assumption, that the
the Capitol over obligations broken, rights Y I P U * £ojjj§JjjtutiQn is theoretically a n d practically incompetent to effect the ends of Government.

substitute assumes, and its mover declare?, thai | sor and plunderer of the world, but that sanguinary
the present otiicers, though chosen by the people, agent of conquest and crime has now lost most of
are, and that ail other citizens who hereafter may its terrors, and physical force yielded to the ascen•
be chosen by their conntrymen to a d 1 s i n i s t o r t i: !:*».cy of in: ra! po'• er. Human liberty, neverthe1
Government, necessarily must Iv. t o ignorant or less, <r;!l lif-ds an antagonist; and it remains for
too corrupt to take care ol' the public revenue. ini< „ei.era:i.'!i aiv.i lor this country to determine
W e are, therefore, \\ quired to ^> 1-yond the. Con- whether organized Iran. , can be made to take the
stitution for agents not selected t<y, nor responsible I place of the sword in the oppression and plunder of
to,the people/ And why is this to be done? W h y mankind.
Our political institutions were framed with refeshould not* the people be trusted to appoint therr
own agents to take care of their own injury? For, rence to ihis momentou.* question, and the matures!
after all, this is the real, the only question. The wisdom wa>' exertc: to guard them against the inquestion is, who shall exercise the elective power trusion :»f a n enemy more dreadful than the sword,
of this Government? Shall the people, or shall because more subtle in its action, and more intense
The banks, appoint tne men to be charged with our in its grasp. The framers of the Constitution
public affairs ? Shall those who hold the public knew that poiitieal power wan neither more nor
money be responsible to the public? Tu this ques- less than the control of one man over another^
tion, the substitute answers, that the banks ?hall, ?h:.t, ami-1st the necessities of human life, control
that the people shall not, exercise this power- It over the labor, the property, and the subsistence of
says to the people, " the banks are mire virtuous, man, was control over the man himself. T h e y
more intelligent than you ; they will appoint officers knew, too, that the natural disparity in the capacito take care of your money more worthy of y<>ur ties, energies, and dispositions of meu, unaided by
confidence than any selected by yourselves. *You political discrimination**, was insufficient to destroy
raise the revenue by your taxes, but yow have no that equality of condition so essential to the safety
right to regulate its custody; you must trust i>[ each, and to the common happiness of all.
to the honor of bank?, in which, though they have
Upon these high elementary principles the Cononce betrayed you, you must again confide ; and stitution was b£M:d. Throughout the whole frame
turn 3 our suspicions upon your own officers, who, of our system, embracing both the Stale and F e though elected by yourselves, and thu3 far faithful deral Governments, the people are viewed as an
to their trust, may yet deceive you." Such, sir, is aggregate of individuals equal to each other, not
the language which this substitute speaks to the as an association of classes and orders. Property
people ; such is the charge against their integrity, is treated as an object of acquisition equally by all,
their virtue and intelligence ^such the attack thus not as a subject of monopoly or exclusive appropriation by any. Rights, only, are recognised: priviopenly made upon the sovereignty of the people
upon the representative principle, the onlv prin- leges, discarded. The contrivances which in other
ciple which can, for a single hour, sustain this! countries had been devised to classify the commuGovern meat.
I nity, and graduate the scale of dependent orders,
Thus, sir, we have the grounds of this contest i were rejected as incompatible with civil liberty.
distinctly marked out. Let" no man mistake hi» Titles of nobility, all the machinery of entails,
position—let none waste his energies upon a delu-j perpetuities, and primogeniture, being thus rejectsive issue—let none be beguiled by the deceitful ed, cur ancestors put the Government in motion,
outside this controversy has assumed—let none believing, as they sincerely did, that man, and the
suppose ii a mere question of currency and finance. proceeds of his toil, were forever secured against
Ko: it is a struggle, not between two systems of cur* piikige and oppression.
rency, but between two fo:ms of Government.
Such, in ihe begginning, were our i n s t i t u t i o n s Privilege, paper, and oppression, stand arrayed on such then was the condition of our country. But,
the one side, against liberty,labor, and property, on sir, a power antagonist to these principles was soon
the other. The revolutionary struggle for separa- transplanted from the British monarchy into our
tion from the throne of Great Britain," was not more system—a power which has silently incorporated
essentially a strife for independence and freedom, itself with our social economy, inverted the natuthan is thi*s to dissolve the connection which ren- ral action of the Government, and now threatens
ders the Government basely subject, and the people its total subversion.
basely tributary, to the banks. In this contest, (I
By common consent, the whole civilized world
speak it with a sigh for the weakness of our nature,) hnd set apart a particular species of property a s
the contending elements are but too fatally mate-hub the iv-preventative standard of value for all other
Each power acts with the concentrated" energy of property.
Such were precious metals, gold and
organization. One, the organized Government oi silver, which, after receiving a fixed form and the
the people, prompted to defence by the love of btamp of public authority, had, by way of emiliberty, the other, an organized league of monopo- nence, been denominated money. W h e n the Const!lies, nred in the assault by the hope of conquest «ntion was adopted, commerce had supplied our peoand the prospect of plunder. Though apparently I pie with an amount of this money equal to their necestemporary, the struggle will be long and arduous; sities; and, in addition to this, they had enjoined it
and, whatsoever may be the result, that result will j as a dutv upon their own Government, to adapt
blast or confirm the happiness of the present, and these metals to the public use, by regulating their
the hopes of many a succeeding, generation.
form and value.
This was done, and for a time
Sir, the events of the last century have wrought all was well. But, from England, the banking s y s an amazing revolution in the social condition of tem was transplanted upon our shores. B y its
man. T h e sword had ever been the great oppres- [agency, individuals were enabled to withdraw


from the public use the whole metallic medium, 1 laws carry responsibility alone: with every act of
and to retain it as a monopoly in their own hands. power that may, in any degree, affect the public
T h e means, as well as the privilege, of accom- interests, subject the conduct of the most subordiplishing this object, were conferred as gratuities nate officer to the general scrutiny, and inflict penal
by arbitrary legislation.
Under theae legislative justice upon every delinquent.
Sir, the privileges thus conferred upon these
acts, called charters, they a ^ n m c d the n a m e of
banks, proceeded to issue- !he r r private credit in ; combinations of m?n called banks—the privilege
the form of doe bills, which heins? thus made by! of monopolizing the whole traffic in the precious
law nominally to money, went forth to liii metals—of withdrawins! those metals fiom the use
the void left in t h j community by the withdrawal of the public— of U«uing their due bills as the sole
currency of the country—bills which are but the
of the precious metals.
Such was the fatal entrance of the paper or counterfeit of the ni'Uicy they purport to represent-—
banking system upon our soil. It came as a tax- bills which, for the most part, constitute a species
gatherer from that country to which our fathers of credit founded, not like that of individuals, upon
h a d relused to pay taxes.
It came immediately actual property, but upon an arbitrary credit, creafter our Revohiu: >nary war, and its advent \vas ated by acts of arbitrary legislation, and forced
the beginning of a counter revolution.
It came upon the people as the representative of things that
fraught with monopoly, privilege, and perpetuity— do not exist—the privilege of monopolizing the
principles in direct hostility to those upon which faculty of loaning' money—of loaning-their credit
as money—of compelling every citizen to exchange
this Government st a nd>
Ant! thus, sir, whilst the Constitution requires his for their credit, with a premium for the e x Congress to coin metallic money tor the u>e i>[ the foliative—of increasing and diminishing their loans
country, and to regulate its value, the banks are at pleasure, without notice to the community.
authorized to annul the ciction of the Government, These mighty privileges concentrate a mass of
by withdrawing that money from the people, and power, such as never existed in a n y other country,
substituting in its stead a paper medium, whose ! and never can be concentrated in a n y other form
value it Is impossible to regulate.
Every citizen than that of the paper system. Such a system
has a constitutional right to demand gold and sil- must forever act with a tenfold force upon the peover in payment of his debts, because the Govern- ple of a free Government, because such a Government is bound to coin these metals for the debtor; ment is, in its social structure, necessarily loo
yet the banks have made it impracticable for the feeble, and exerts too little control over the citizen
creditor to exact, or for the debtor to pay, a n y t h i n g and his property, to protect him against a power
but paper.
T h e Constitution seeks to secure the holding in its own hands the value of his labor, and
people against taxation, except with their own con- the measure of his subsistence; for, after all, m a n
sent, for the use of Government, and in proportion must, in the nature of thing*, ultimately yield to
to their representative influence; but the paper sys- (hat power which bears most directly and steadily
tem levies an enormous t i x upon them against upon him. T h e necessities of life leave h i m no
their will, in unequal proportions, and for the ex- means of resisting a power thai determines, at
clusive benefit of the banks. Ail perpetuities are pleasure, the quantity of his daily bread.
forbidden, yet moneyed corporations h a v e arisen
A nd now, I ask, what monarch, what Government,
a m o n g us, with power to renew arid perpetuate in any age or count, y, ever possessed a pr.vcr over
themselves by the threat of public ruin a* the pe- the labor, the property, the subsidence of the peonalty of their discontinuance. Privileged monopo- ple, over their domestic comforts, their social h a p lies, tending to enrich the few t > the oppression of piness, so arbitrary, so irresponsible, so omnipothe m a n y , by destroying the ro-*-ojuil distribution tent, ns thai which the banks of this free country
of 1 abor an I iis pn »cee*Is, we re cw re; u (Sy exclu ded now hold over thN free people? But are we free,
from our political system; but, notwithstanding this, can we feel that we are freemen, whilst there
companies have be*n chartered with authority to exists in our midst a despotism of chartered c o m p a monopolize t h u species of property called metallic nies, chan^imr our social condition from d a y ts> day,
money—the oniy property which the G o v e r n m e n t at its own pleasure, for its own b°nefir?
is required to prepare for the u-e of th* people—
Sir, one of the essential d e m o n ' s of freedom is
properly with which they cannot dispense, nra\ with the security for the future which we h a v e in the
the monopoly of which these corporations are ena- pros tit. Y o u r paper ^ s t e m deranges the whole
bled to control all oilier properly, and to* labor of community by a single act. It throws out a hiinthe whole people. Ami thus, though the Ooh.-siiiu- ! red miilion-s of loans to-day; it withdraws them totion secures to the citizen his property inviolate, .-o morrow; nn.I a revolution in properly is accomthat its quantity cannot be diminished but for the plished. T h e honest citizen retires at night with
public use, and upon the payment of an equiva- ihe accumulated proceeds of his toil around him;
lent, the banks are permitted to diminish, at will, ho rises at morn in bankruptcy and despair. T h e
the value of every m a n ' s lands and goods, by vary- bank* hnvc reduced the circle of their favors, and
ing the a m o u n t of their discounts.
his property has been sacrificed tip on the scale of
"These things, deeply and vitally aifrctins the depreciation caused by the curtailment. T h e third
well-be in'j, the very sub>isteuc?, ot^ wvry man in day comes, and he i* once more stimulated into
the Republic, the banks are permitted to transact, life and hope !*y the returning tide of bank facilinot in the wholesome presence of the people, not ties the fourth day he is replunged into beggary by
in the light of day, but in darkness and in secret, bank contractions. T i m s , by these alternations,
between the walls of .subterraneous caverns. A n d the cheerful prospect of improving his condition by
this is allowed in a country whose constitution and I regular labor is blasted £oi ever. H e is left to beat

about in the feverish void between the extremes of j They are followed by an army of at least seventy*
hope and despondency. And, sir, that restless irri- five thousand stockholders, whose rear is covered
tation of the public mind which is hourly putting by a train of dependants indefinitely long. But if
at hazard the repose and the neutrality of the coun- these numbers of men are great, what shall we say
try, is among the natural effects of these sudden when we see still advancing the multitudinous host
and frequent transitions in the circumstances and of borrowers, with their dependants, and all these
to be succeeded by a swarm of impatient expecfortunes of men.
But, Mr, President, the powers and privileges of tants? When the banks suspended payment, their
the banking system, vast and direful a* are now loans and accounts verged close upon the sum of
their effects upon the social circumstances of the Jive hundred millions of dollars. This amount, if
people, are destined, if not arrested, to become still loaned for a single year, in the proportion of one
more so, by bearing down the Government of the thousand dollars to a man, would em brace Jive fcuncountry, and erecting in its stead, a cold, sordid, dred thousand men; if loaned, m the same propormercenary despotism. The progress of the system tion, for six months, it would reach one million of
towards this <?nd has been silent, but steady, "direct men; and if loaned for the usual period of ninety
and rapid. Already I have shown its power over days, then the bank borrowers, in a single year,
property and labor, and, through them, over men, would number two millions of individuals—a numby its connections with our whole domestic econo- ber far transcending the entire voting population of
my. But its more immediate influence upon our the Union. Eut these institutions distribute not their
political institutions remains yet to be seen. This favors so equally as this. If, however, they do not
influence is exerted, first, upon the mass of the bring the influence of their loans to bear directly on
people before they have delegated their power, and all this multitude, they advance far towards effecting
again, upon their agents, after ts-e delegation is that object, indirectly, by applying their money only
to those who, from (heir influence in society, can
Banks derive their being from legislation. They control most of the rest.
And now, I ask, who are the men that compose
are of political origin. They sustain and perpetuate
them elves by re-acting upon the source of their this amazing concourse of bankers, stockholders,
existence, and therefore necessarily become an ele- borrowers, and dependants? Where are they to be
ment of political power. Every new one increases found? Are they among the humble citizens,
the strength, and guarantees ibe pernetuity of those ! doomed, by the necessities of life, to toil in obscnthat preceded it; and all unite, still further, to aug- | ri y? Are\hey to be found in the field or in the
ment their number. Each is a monopoly as against j workshop? No, sir, no; they are to be found in the
the community, the common objecr. of' spoliation, j shade of summer and in the sunshine of winter;
but all stand upon a level with regard to each other f they are to be found amidst this forest of banks that
as co-agents in plunder, and co-equal recipients of \ overshadow the cities, towns, and villages, of ih*
its spoils. Among themselves, ihey are not beines j Republic. There they are; and there, at this very
of a distinct existence, but cohesive pa^ts of a sys- [moment, they may be found, crouching in servile
tem, witli all the functions of a complete and pow- ; submission to these institutions—defending their
erful organization. The Pennsylvania Bank of frauds, the most stupendous that ever were comthe United Stales is the centre of the system, be- ; mitted—defending their open rebellion against pubcause that is the member in which th? greatest pow- ! he law, and reviling the Government of their
er is accumulated, and which stands in the merlon f country, and the friends of that Government, with
where the payments of the continent are made-."" To all the bitterness of mercenary malice. Firm, sir,
this institution, therefore, all the parw of the sys- must r;e the heart of that man, and strong must be
tem are attracted by a gravitation as infaHi!.;e"as his nerve, wha dares to complain of the oppression
that which draws the waters of the West tn die ' ut the banks—who dares to lift the voice of paGulf of Mexico, or holds this Capitol to the earth. i triotic warning to his countrymen. Stern must be
By dispensing its in/hience throughout all the chan- •hiss ml, and indomitable his fortitude, before he
nels of political power, and re-acrincr. steadily upon j presumes to rebuke the power of the banks—a
the legislation of the country, the system ha*, wiih- ! power which has alreadv coiled around the sacred
in less than the half of a cenuirv,strengthened its j forms of the Constitution, which is day by day
grasp, and enlarged its orbit, till it now compre- I increasing the intensity of its pressure, and stran*
hends eight hundred banks, with a capital of three |g ; ing public liberfy in its folds.
hundred millions, a circulation of a hundred and ! I a^k, again, who are these men, and where to
twenty millions, and a mass of loans amounting to j be fuund? True it is, that many of them are citinear five hundred millions of dollars. This frhrhr- zens good and valuable—but true it is, also, that
ful power is concentrated, nominally, in the hands : ihey are, in the genera', men who live by devices,
of about Urn thousand officer* of hanks, but reailv I hv traffic and speculation
They are congregated
in those of a single man, who, as prcsideut of the j in towns an-! cities, where banks dispense their facentral member, controls, by his solitary will, the i vms, and where they cum bine to defend all the in!
whole machinery of thft system.
jusilee of the dispensing power.
T h u s , each one
But in v h a t manner has the system thus re-arq- of ibese delinquent corporations stands securely
ed upon le:;i.-hi.fion, the source of its existence? in the midst of a faithful garrison.
Let an inW h a t human awnvy has a employed thus to en- jured citizen utter a word in complaint of his
large and perpetuate itself, and what is the extent wrongs, and" in a moment he is denounced, his
of that nficnayl
In reply to these questions, ten rharaeter assailed, and his influence impaired or
thousand bank presidents, directors, cashiers, clerks destroyed. Let a public journal prtnt but a n uncouncilors, and attorneys, *tand forth to our view. friend iv line, subscriptions to the paper are iname*

<iiately withdrawn., advertisements discontinued, | confided to them, regardless of the public welfare,
a n d the affrighted printer persecuted into submis- and mindful only of their own interests, have ever
ison or beggary.
T h u s , that loud sentinel, the I combined, and still do combine, to multiply the
Press, intended as it was to sound the alarm on the privileges, to diminish the responsibilities, and to
first approach of danger, is subsidized by favors, I increase the profits of the banks?
or silenced by intimidation.
If it speak at all, it J T h e fundamental laws of the Union, and of the
must speak only in praises to the banks and in States, have sought to guard public men against
treachery to the people.
temptation and impurity, and thus tosecure fidelity
Among this crowd of clamorous dependants are to the people, by express provisions.
In most, if
found a thousand bank attorneys—men^whose pro- not all, of the States, men are ineligible to officescrefessional connections with the community, whose ated by their own agency, as members of the L e habits of public speaking, give them a dispropor- gislature; and the officers of the General Governtionate influence over the public mind.
T h e y , ment, one and all, are disqualified to sit in the leone and all, stand forth, in aid of subsidized presses, I gislative bodies of the States. And yet, in a counto justify whatever enormities these corporations! try so jealous, so vigilent of its freedom, what is
may commit against the people, and to ascribe all the practice universally prevalent, where banks
the crimes of banks to the Government of their are concerned? Do we not see members of the
j Legislature, who are already interested in or deIt is thus that the powerful influences which J pendent upon banks already established, conspiring
contribute to mould and direct the passions and among themselves, as well as with others, to charopinions of towns and cities, are arrayed on the ter new institutions, to incorporate themselves by
side of the banking system; and it is thus, also, | name, and thus to levy money, for their own use,
that towns and cities, through the intercourse of I by their own acts, upon their own constituents?
business and the agency of the press, contribute so
But is this all? Are the corrupting influences of
powerfully to mould and direct the passions and banks to be found only in legislative bodies? N o ;
opinions of the whole c o u n t y
i the Executive departments of the States are equally
Is it, then, wonderful, that a system which has exposed. Bank presidents, directors, stockholders,
prostituted and purchased into its service so much lawyers, and borrowers, may be seen in the persons
of the intellect, which has combined in its sup- of Governors and other officers, throughout all the
port so many of the active elements, of society, gradations of executive and ministerial authority.
should have assumed a despotism, almost absolute,
But if the influence of the banking system be
over the public judgment, and laid the country un- fatal to the honest exercise of legislative and exeder tribute, even with the country's consent?
cutive power, what are we to hope when it falls
And yet, sir, notwithstanding all this, the control upon the inviolable ermine? for there it has
of banks over property, over labor, over the very fallen, and there it has left a stain of impusubsistence of the people, notwithstanding their do- rity broad as the face of the Union.
mination over such a multitude of men, whilst know, full well, the value of a friend at court.
power yet abides in the mns.^, there would still be They know who are to expound their charters; to
hope for public liberty, if that power remained im- j limit, or extend, by mere opinion, their powers and
corrupted when delegated to public agents; for this privileges; to probe or conceal, to punish or conis the point where the attack is most direct and fa- I nive at, their frauds and delinquencies. T h i s they
tal. T h e representative principle is the vitality of understand, and bank officers and dependants are,
the Government; and Tits corruption puts an end to therefore, converted into judges, or judges converted
civil liberty. Are w e, then, exposed to danger in into bank officers and dependants. In either eveni,
this direction? H a s bank influence reached the the result is the same to the people. And thus it
public functionaries? H a s it contaminated power is that the public law of this great and glorious
in their hands; bent them from the line of duty? country, instead of emanating from its freemen, is
And have they rewarded the generous confidence often both made and administered, in their very
of the people with treachery to their dearest inte- presence, by the agency of banks, which are themv rests? I ask these questions; and now, sir, who selves but the creatures of law.
stands ready with a negative answer? Wilt it, can
Sir, it may be assumed as a political axiom,
it, be denied, that the banking system has, from its founded in the nature of our social being, that, in
very beginning, enlarged and perpetuated itself hy a popular Government, every considerable divire-acting constantly upon the legislation of the coun- sion of the community, whether based upon distry? Look throughout the Union, with what assi- tinct interests, abstract principles, or upon the diduity bank presidents, stockholders, lawyers, bor- versity of h u m a n passions, will, if it idni't of a
rowers and dependants, arc pressed upon the pub- separate organization, ultimately become partisan,
lic favor as Candidales for all omVe.s, legislative, in th-? struggles for political power. T h e banking
executive, and judicial. And what, sir, has b^en system is such a division; it is so organized, a n d
the resuli? H o w many of these men, thus control- has openly assumed all the attributes e f a partisan.
ling banks, or controlled by iht--m, thns directly in- But *o comprehensive, so vast, are its powers, that
terc>ted in, or personally dependent upon them— instead of being merely secondary, it has itself behow manv are seen in the Legislature of every come the primary basis of such a party- Instead
State? W h o will say that these men, interested as of being- attracted by other interests, it has drawn
they arc in bank profile against the people who pay those interests u> itself; and thus the politician is
them, do not constitute at least one-third, and often rendered subordinate to the banker, and the public
a half, of every legislative body? W h o will deny welfare an object subordinate to the welfare of the
that these legislators, faithless to the sacred trusts banks. Sir, is the fact doubted? Then look back

through the last eight years; look over the face of globe; and now, at a goodly old age, he reposes
the country at the present moment*, look through within the peaceful precincts of his beloved H e r both Houses of Congress- look to the measure now mitage, with a heart still pure, a j u d g m e n t unimpending in the Senate. W h a t is, what has been paired, and a character still victorious over malice
during all this time, the controlling influence, the and defamation. T h a t motley rabble of British
very life and soul, of the Opposition? H a s it not mercenaries with arms in their hands, of British
been, is it not now, the influence of banks alone? stipendiaries with charters in their pockets, of poliA n d who are they that devise the measures and tical wranglers and declaimers, who made u p the
direct the energies of that party? Are they not brindle faction of his country's enemies and of his
h a n k e r s , or the agents, attorneys, and dependants persecutors, have served only to m a r k by their fall,
of banks? F o r what is the struggle protracted? Is one by one, the dates and space between the sucit not for the interests of banks? and is not their cessive victories of truth, geniu?, and virtue, over
their antagonist principles* There the old m a n
triumph the great and primary object?
Yes, in all the conflicts of mankind, (he power stands, the private citizen, in the furrowed fields of
which pays the troops will forever conrrol their rural life, his venerable form presenting the very
movements, and appropriate the benefits of victo- incarnation of triumphant patriotism. H i s fame is
r y . F r o m the first day that the late President ad- fixed, and will for ever remain as immutable to the
vised the discontinuance of the B a n k of the United touch of hostility, as are the fixed laws of truth to
You, Senators, who
States, that institution, as the central member of the assaults of falsehood.
the banking system, has struggled to coerce the are his friends, need no longer be concerned on his
American people to deliver ur p their Government account. H i s character is now safe in the public
into the hands of its law3 ers and dependants. affection; and when he shall have pas?ed down the
And even n o w , while I a m speaking, this, with its steep declivity of his remaining days, his grave
eight hundred confederated banks, aRer having will be walled around by the hearts of his grateful
thrown off all the restraints of law, stand forward countrymen, against that vampire spirit that would
still claiming the empire of the country, and de- violate the tomb to glut upon his blood.
manding the public money, in advance, to aid in
And now, sir, having been thus forced into a
establishing that claim. And, sir, in what spirit digres>ion by the injustice done to an absent m a n
are these frightful pretensions of the banks put upon this floor, I return to the matter before us.
forth? "What language have wc heard? W h a t
It has been s a i l that the Bank of the United
passions have we seen displayed upon this floor? States was never so powerful, because it had been
S a v e we not heard the same bitter invective, seen prostrated by President Jackson. But this is a n
fee same infuriated passion, which has ever cha- assumption not sustained by the fact. For although
{iicterizcd this mercenary warfare upon the Go- the President and people were united against it;
WBrnment and the people? In what language, in although it had violated its charter, spurned the
fthat spirit, in what manner, h a v e we heard the authority of Congress, refused to be examined,
jRte President of the United Slates spoken of bv leagued with politicians, subsidized some, ilattered
the Senator from Kentucky, [Mr. CLAY?] W O the ambition of others, and made panic after panic
h a v e heard that illustrious citizen, though retired to subdue the spirit of the nation, yet does it stand ;
to private life, though in no man's way to power, and thc-ugh black with the.-e its notorious offences,
though worn down with age, and standing upon it still claims the Government of the country. Yes,
the very verge of the grave; yet wc have heard sir, it stands, as before, the central power, controlhim denounced in (he councils of his country
ling the paper system ihroughout. W h a t change
that country which he has served, and saved" by nas been mndo in any particular, excepting in the
his serving; yet even here we have heard such a source of its charter? And how has even that
m a n denounced as, though he were the worst of change been effected? W a s it by the agency of
traitors still prosecuting treason. IVapoIeon is de- Congress 1 Nt), but hy that of the people through
clared to have been his object of imitation — and the Executive veto ; for when or w r here did such
why? Did President Jackson usurp the Govern- an instiunion ever want influence to obtain a
merit? Did he slaughter three millions of his coun- rccharter through a legislative body? A nd why,
trymen in attempting the subjugation of the carthl sir, is this the case? Is it not because the^e instiAnd is he now chained, for his crimes, to a deso- tutions re-act, as I have already said, upon their
late reck in the midst of interminable seas? Or if legislative creators? T h e bank was actually renot so, ^why not? W h y is he suffered to go at chartcred, so far as legislative action could effect
large? W h y to live in safety, unguarded bv pow- i t ; but under what circumstances this was accomer, unawed, unofTcndcd by man? 'No, sir. l/is onlv plished, the ever enduring records of Congress wjll
crime is that of having secured the liberties of his .-how. Before, however, i proceed to exhibit these
country, by arousing the noble spirit of his coun- records, in evidence of the private relations subtry men against the sly and insidious attacks of n sisting between the h a n k and many members of
Jmv, stupid, pilfering despotism. If he he cruiltv. die Cnncres> which passed the renewal of its
who is innocent? Are the freemen of this land imt I charter, I will read a precedent tor this -scrutiny
a s criminal as Lie?—thr>y who, without flagging for a into the bank connections of public men.
single moment, stood by him to the last? §
On the 31st of March, J334, (it was the p a n i c
But, sir, who is this man thus charged? W h o I s e ^ i o n , ) this resolution was submitted by the Sew a s he? H e was an orphan boy, poor and friend-j nator from Kentucky, [Mr. C L A Y , ] passed this
less. And yet, by the energy of his character and] body, and was afterwards satisfactorily responded to
the force of his genius, he has made the entire by M r . T a n e y , then Secretary of the T r e a s u r y :
r.ycle of public honors in the first country on the ' " "Resolved, T h a t the Secretary of the T r e a s u r y be

directed to report to the Senate what amount of answers these questions; and, if I mistake not, the
public money is now on deposite in the Union Bank answer will astound this nation. It shows, that in
of Maryland; when and on what account it was the verv first year of the bank contest—the year of
deposited; and also whether any Treasury drafts, 1830—the bank loaned one hundred and ninetycontvngent or other, have been, during the month two thousand one hundred and sixty-one dollars to
of March, 1S34, furnished to the said bank, or at fifty-two members of Congress, that, in 1831, it
any time heretofore to the Bank of Maryland, for loaned three hundred and twenty-two thousand
any, and what purpose. Jtnd that he likewise report one hundred and ninety-nine dollars to fifty-nine
what amount of stock in the capital of the said Union members; that, in 1839, it loaned four hundred
Bank was held by R. B, Taney, Esq, when the said and seventy-eight thousand and sixty-nine dollars
bank was selected as one of the banks to receive, in to forty-four members; that, in 1833, it loaned
deposite, the public 1 money; and ivhat amount of the three hundred and seventy-four thousand seven
stock he now holds. *
hundred and sixty-six dollars to fifty-eight members;
Such was the resolution; such were then that and that, in 1834, it loaned two hundred and thirSenator's suspicions against the purity of the very ty-eight thousand five hundred and eighty-six dolbanks to which he now wishes to commit the reve- lars to fifty-two members.
nue; and such then his determination to probe the
Thus it was, that during the five years of the
bank corruptions of public men.
If, therefore, contest, ending with the panic session of 1334,
these supposed connections of the Secretary with a the Bank of the United States, struggling for a
bank selected by him as a depository of the public renewal of its charter, distributed in loans, one
money, were deemed so perilous to the honest dis- million six hundred and five thousand seven huncharge of his official duties as to demand investiga- dred and eighty-one dollars, to two hundred and
tion, it cannot be improper or unwise to inquire in- sixty-five members of Congress- This enormous
to the private relations which the Bank of the sum, greater than the aggregate salaries of all the
United States contracted with the members of Con- members of both Houses of Congress during the
gress, of whom it was asking a recharter.
But, same period of five years—a sum equal to onesir, should any man feci agrieved by such an ex- fifteenth part of the whole annual revenues and
posure, he must ascribe his misfortune to the Sena- expenditures of the Federal Government—this sum
tor from KentP^'v, who first began this inquisito-, was Hi us bestowed, as accommodations, by the
rial purgatioi
i bank, at a time of pretended pressure, upon the
In 1334, (it w«5 the panic session,) a majority very men of whom it was asking a charter—a charof this body being in favoi of the bank, instructed ter, which, if granted, would enable the bank to
the Committee on Finance, which was also favo- levy millions in tribute, year after year, upon their
rable, "to investigate the affairs and conduct" of I constituents.
Sir, these things may have all been innocent. It
that institution; and that committee made, through
Mr. Tyler of Virginia, a report upon facts fur- may be that the additional half million of dollars
nished by the bank itself. What, then, are the thrown, as facilities, into the two Houses of Confacts thus furnished and thus reported? Here they press by the bank, in 1833—the very time when its
are presented in words and figures, giving day and rechaner was pending and parsed—it ma}^ be that
* year, with ad the distinctness and accuracy of the ihe large amount, still in addition, thrown in whilst
" tabular form. The table suppresses the names, the question of restoring the deposits was pending,
_ but exhibits the number, of the members of Cou- in 1831—it may be, that these great and well-timed
. gress who obtained loans of the bank, and the favors, bestowed by the bank upon men whilst
. amount obtained, from 182G to 1834. Now, sir, sitting in judgment upon its life and its claim to the
let the Senate and the nation bear it in mind, that public revenue—it may be, that these things had no
it was in his message at the opening of the session other effect than to make the recipient members
of 1859-30, that President Jack^ui announced his better patriots:, more devoted to the public interests,
~ Objection to the renewal of the charter. From that less intent upon their own, and more impartial ac-moment, the renewal became the subject of politi- tors in the contest between the people and the bank.
c a l strife; and lei it never be forgotten, that it was These loans may have been harmless, these men
"through Congress the bank was u> pass, or die, uncorrnpted. I know KOt one, by name, who re" Few, if any, of the members were merchants whose ceived These moneys, for their names are suppressed
business required large advances nf money. 13ut in the report of the committee. I speak not, thereif such advances were neeessajy, why were they fore, to criminate or wound the feelings of any one.
not obtained from the six or eiy;ht hundred local Hut, sir, I Know the nature of man; I krtow that
banks, pome of which were standing in the State, coming to Congress changes him not for the better;
the di*trxt, and even av ihe vrry door of almost I know that, gratitude for favors is a principle of
every member? W h y did members pass ail thesse, that nature; I know thnt obligations are thus creaand apply for loans to the only bank upon ted which the human heart is bound to acknowledge,
; life or death they were required to (iectde? But i^ -And the human mind finds it hard to disobey. These
this the fart? Can it be possible that public mm i things I know; and 1 know, too, that public liberty
couhl ask private favors from an institution which, can never be safe whilst public men arc exposed U;
at the same moment, was asking public favors of such temptations. Jr is for these reasons, sir, that
: the in? And will it be believed, that both parties I f stand up this day, not only as an American Sena\ regardless uliky of their obligations to the country tor, but in the still prouder attitude, of an American
j and of the opinions of the world, gratified the de- citizen, to warn my countrymen of a danger which
sires of each other in every particular, and to the t most solemnly believe now threatens the purity
fall limit of ihcir mutual powers? Yes, this table) and safety of their Government.

But, sir, is this all ? W e r e there no other influ- wretches, prostituted into the service and support of
ences but the facilities of that bank exerted upon a corrupt administration. And now, sir, who are
the members of Congress during the contest? W e r e these officers, and what is tru* amount of those
there no other relations .subsisting- between the salaries with which they are thus corrupted?
members and the bank, but those of borrower and Nine-tenths, at least, of the entire number,
lender? H o w many of its lawyers and stockhold- are farmers residing at cross roads, or rue*
ers occupied seats in this Capitol 1 How many chanics, or inconsiderable merchants, in the
men sat here who were the lawyers, stockholders, little villages, where they are induced to accept of
and borrowers of the numerous iocal banks which the offices solely for the accommodation of the citihad petitioned for the recharter of the Bank of the zens in the neighborhood. For, in most of these
United States, because interested as part of the cases, the whole salary received by the officer falls
same system % H o w many such men were to be short of twenty dollars a year. But in this calcufound in the several legislatures, bending the influ- lation I will leave nothing to conjecture; I will
ence of whole States to bear upon this cardinal ob- speak from the facts and the figures, as found upon
And now, sir, I put the question, if that in- the records of the Post Office Department. W h a t ,
stitution, alone, h id, pending the struggle, such a then, is the result?
number of its attorneys, stockholders, and borrowOn the first day of July, 1837, there were, in all,
ers, in the two Houses of Congress, how many of eleven thousand seven hundred and seventy postsuch agents a i d dependants may this, with its masters; and the aggregate salaries paid to the
league of eight hundred local banks, be supposed whole, during the preceding year, amounted to
now to have under this roof—now, when all these eight hundred and ninety-one thousand three huncorporations are making a united effort to grasp dred an4 forty-three dollars. Thus, the aggregate
the public revenues?
amount divided by the number of officers, will
Sir, I again say, that members standing in such show the average annual salary of each to have
relations to the banks, even at a time like this, may been but seventy-five dollars and seventy-three
still be innocent; they may be uninfluenced by cents. And yet, sir, these humble citizens, who
bank emoluments in deciding the question of re- thus give their services to the public for a compenwarding banks with the profitable il use of the public sation so trivial as this, are denounced in their abmoney. All this is possible; but lead us not into sence, denounced in the councils of their country,
temptation" is, nevertheless, a part of that prayer denounced with bitterness and ferocity, as basely
which is the inheritance of our tace.
prostituted by such salaries as these; and that, too,
If, in the administration of justice, the slightest by members of Congress, who arc themselves reinterest in the result disqualifies men to testify or ceiving, for less than half of their time, an average
sit in judgment; *f the parties litigant are forbidden of fifteen hundred dollars annually of the public
even to speak in private to a juror, what would be money. Yes, this is done*; these denunciations ar.e
thought of that judge or juryman, who, pending a [poured forth by the very members who, not content
trial for life, character, or property, should ask and with the ample amounts drawn by themselves from
obtain, from one of the parties, the private favor of the public Treasury, are daily asking, and daily rean enormous loan? Or if the partner or attorney ceiving, thousands on thousands in loans from
of one of the litigants were found upon the bench, banks, whilst they stand in their places, voting in
or in the array of the jury, would not such offend- return to these corporations the custody and the
ing judge or juryman incur and deserve as well the use of the whole revenues of their country. It is in
public odium as the penalties of public justice? vain, sir, for men who so unjustly, so cruelly revile
And if, sir, such securities are necessary to the others for such cause* a* these, to expect to elude
honest administration of law, are they "not sliU suspicion, whilst exposed themselves to temptations
more so to guard the purity of the law making so much more powerful, JSo: the American people
will judge; they have a right; it is their duty to
Sir, members of legislative bodies should be the judge, between the delinquency cf the accused and
last men in \hi* nation to form private connections, :he criminality of the accuser. They will judge,
or contract obligations, with bank*, because they and correctly, too, who are the most exposed to
are the men of whom these institutions are constant- corruption, who most likely to yield: the postmasly asking public favors. If, however, rbey will do ters, with such salaries as these, living in the pure
so, regardless of the indelicacy of incurring such air of the remote interior, among the people them*
obligations, they have no right to evade detection, selves; or the men who, withdrawn from the people,
or to complain of exposure. For what is the course stand here, amidst the impurities of the Capitol,
which they pursue.towards other citizens less exposed reciprocating public for private favors with the
to corruption, and fully as likely as Themselves to re- banks.
sist it? W h a t do we hear, in both House* of ConAnd here, sir, in parsing from this view of the
gress, from day to day, through every session? Do subject, 1 will only rem irk rh if, if the liberties of
we not hear all officers of Government indiscrimi- the country are ever overthrown, it will be by cornately denounced—denounced as dishonest parti- ruption; and that if corruption even* strikes into our
sans, corrupted by salaries for which their whole syMem, to a fatal degree, it wit! bc**in and end in
time and labor are bestowed in the public service? the legislative department. This apprehension is
More than eleven thousand citizens are employed authorized by history, and arises from the fact, that
as postmasters; and although a large, if not an whilst a legislative body is necessarily so small
equal, proportion, of the number, are known to bt that a majority of its members may have each an
hostile to the party in power, yet we have hoard individual interest m measures adverse to the
them, ene and all, proclaimed to be unprincipled general interests of the community, such a body is

yet so large that the individual responsibility of sels of mild admonition, he would then h a v e
each member is weakened and obscured in ihe evinced an unchanged temper of mind, rendering
crowd. It is between these extremes of great inte- the probability of his future co-operation m o r e
rests and little responsibility, of great temptation than an equivalent for his present opposition.
a n d little danger, that corruption strikes; for detec- however, he could not, in sincerity, do this; if he
tion is ever difficult, arid impunity probable, when has fixed his purpose to depart for ever, in spite of
crime comes in organized masses.
all the associations which formerly bound him to
If, M r . President, the tendency of the b a n k i n g the Democracy of the Union; if such be his dessystem to exert unwholesome influences over le- tiny, then not a syllable remains to be pronounced
gislative bodies, and if the exposure of those bo- by his ancient friends but the melancholy word—
dies to such influences were not already apparent, Farewell !
these facts might be clearly demonstrated by the ex" A wort] that m u s t be, anil hath been;
traordinary changes in the relations of public men
A BuumI w h i c h m a k e s u s iinger; yet, f a r e w e l l . "
since the b a n k contest began* T h e great body of the
T h i s bill, sir, is assailed as a new source of E x people have stood immovably opposed to a N a - ecutive patronage, and the Senator from Virginia
tional Bank, and as invariably favorable to a re- sees in its provisions nothing but the frightful specI admit the general
formation of the whole banking system.
And tre of political corruption.
yet how n u m e r o u s are their public agents, who, tendency of patronage to corrupt; and yet that Seafter their elections to Congress or the State L e - nator might h a v e given at least one example where
gislatures, have shifted their ground upon all these it had been bestowed with no meagre liberality
But where have ihey gone? W h a t without corrupting the fortunate object of E x e c u h a s been the result of these changes?
H o w few tive bounty. But what is patronage, and to what
w h o were friendly, h a v e become unfavorable to extent is it sought to be increased? It is the m e a n s
H o w m a n y who were opposed have be- of acting upon men by rewarding their favor; a*d
come friendly to them?
Upon the known prin- the bill creates but about twenty-five additional ofT h u s it i s ,
ciples of the h u m a n mind, when acting beyond the ficers, with inconsiderable salaries.
sphere of adventitious influences, it might be sup- that this patronage, which cannot extend to thirty
posed that these changes, for and against, would, individuals—a n u m b e r less than the one-hundredth
in some degree, h a v e counteracted each other. part of those who m a y be reached and controlled
H a s such been the fact? N o , sin the betrayed De- by the patronage of the smallest b a n k in the Union;
mocracy of the Union feel, and will never forget, this patronage is denounced as dangerous, by the
that these changes in the course of their public very men who are now seeking, by their a m e n d a t o agents have been almost uniformly against the ry substitute, to arm the Executive with the whole
country, and in favor of the b a n k s .
And why banking system of the country; with an absolute
this strange coincidence? Is it because the conduct power over the whole currency; over the property,
of these institutions has been such as to induce a the labor, and the very subsistence of the entire
belief in their purity and innocence?
If so, why body of the people! C a n men who a t e struggling
has the same conduct tended only to strengthen in to confer powers so omnipotent as these, be sincere
the mind* of the people themselves, the opposite in their apprehensions of dangei from the paltry paconviction? No^ sir, no: there can be but little, tronage created in the bill?
there can be no difficulty, in solving the secret*
But the first ot the two principal features of the
Scarcely a man, of all the deserters from the De- bill incurs the hostility of the Senator from Virgimocratic ranks, leaves behind him a doubt as to nia, as affording insufficient security for the safety
to the place of his destination. W h e n he goes, no of the revenue. W h a t , then, is this feature? It
reward is necessary to his detection.
H e is to be provides that the sworn and responsible officers of
found in the vault of a bank—there is the a t t r a c - Government—they who have always collected the
tion, and to thnt point he gravitates.
public dues—shall, aided by a few others n a m e d
T h e Senator from Virginia, [Mr. R I V E S ] in the in the bill, continue to collect them; shall keep
3?eal of his o position to the bill before us, has been them safely till appropriated by law; shall give
pleased to attribute the present condition of the ample security; shall not use or loan a dollar; all
b a n k s to tc the hostde action of the G o v e r n m e n t " — upon the penalty of their bonds, of imprisonment
to " the T r e a s u r y order. 1 * I regretted to hear such for years, and of eternal degradation as m e n .
a charge from, such a source. T h a t Senator has T h u s all the safeguards that can impose restraint
long been a member of the party to whose agency- on h u m a n agency are provided; and it' these are
he now ascribes these criminal results. W e had a insufficient—if pecuniary and corporeal terrors,
reason to hope, and a right to believe, that his op- with the certainty of personal debasement if all
position to the measure would be that of a friend these afford no guarantee for the rectitude of hudissenting with regret; not ?ueh an opposition as man conduct, then man c a n no longer confide in
might be expected from one eagerly seizing an oc- man, and all popular government must end*
casion to criminate his old associates, or from an W h y , if officers cannot be trusted with the care of
e^nerny venting the rage of veteran hcstility. T h i s the revenue for a week or a month, till d r a w n for
tan°:uage is the more to be regretted, because i the public service, why trust them with its collecwhilst it is render* d donhly painful hy the sincerity tion in the first instance? and why trust other
If agents
of former friendships, it seems to spring from a officers with its final disbursement?
conviction that those friendships may never be re- i appointed by the people, from among the people,
newed- H a d the Senator but gently eluded his to transact the ail'airs of the people, and responsifriends for what he supposed to be the impolicy of ble to the people, are unworthy of the people\s conthe pending measure, had he uttered but the coun-j fidence; and if, also, bank agents, appointed by

b a n k s , interested in b a n k s , and responsible o n l y to upon the people, equal to the interest upon a hunbanks; if such men are alone worthy to be en- dred millions of ideal capital—a capital existing n o
trusted with the public i n c o m e , w h y not g i v e them vvhpre, based upon no'hingbut the incautious creduits collection and disbursement? W h y not deliver lity of the country. And n o w , sir, the banks having
all public property to t h e m — p l a c e them over your e x p a n led their discounts, and w-th them expanded
fleets and a r m i e s — g i v e them, in a word, the govern- the public confidence, until the very e x c e s s of that
ment of yuur country? N o , sir, thrse apprehen- confidence has laid the whole s\ stein in ruins, we"
sions for the safety of the national treasure, in are told, to id to our faces, told in the presence of
possession o f the sworn and responsible officers the^e fact?, that the system caved in under the
of the G o v e r n m e n t , cannot be sincere, without pressure of the Treasury order! T h i s we are told
gentlemen solemnly believe the representative with the braik tables before u s , and whilst these
principle of the Constitution radically impotent, tablesexhibit an expansion of lor.ns and discounts,
without they deem revolution plainly inevitable, after the promulgation, and in despite of the order,
and therefore desire to substitute the banks for the such as the bank* of no other country, nor our
people as the source of political power. For, h o w o w n banks at any former period, ever dared to atc a n m e n , w h o believe the Constitution adequate to tempt.
all the ends of G o v e r n m e n t — h o w c a n they look
N o , sir, the explosion of the banks w a s natural
the country in the face, and declare the revenue
and inevitable. T h e Treasury order neiiher quickmore sale in the hands of banks, expressly authoened nor retarded the catastrophe. Its only effect
ijZcd by law to use it, than in those of officers positively forbidden to touch a dollar, under the penalty of w a s to break the vi dence of the shock, and to cirforfeiture, imprisonment, and dishonor?
F r o m cumscribe the extent of the ruin- T h e connections
w h a t part of the conduct of b a n k s and banker?, is of the banks, instead of being confined within the •
such a conclusion to be drawn ? Is it from the fact circle of commerce and trade, had become so unithat they h a v e already seized millions of your versal and intense with all the parts of society, as
funds, placed for safety in their vaults—that they to compel men to silence their o w n apprehensions,
still retain them, and n o w demand of Government and to express confidence, which the)' did not feel,
its future revenues, as the sole condition upon which in the solvency of the system. T h e supervisory
they will pay their debts either to the Government control of public opinion w a s withdrawn; the s y s or the people?
Is it for these reasons that banks tem, therefore, acknowledged no responsibility to
law, because n o law could be enforced against it.
are again to be trusted ?
It had grown beyond its natural limits, without the
T o this feature of the bill, however, the Senator power of receding; and from the m o m e n t that it
from Massachusetts [ M r . W E B S T E R ] ur-es another parsed the point where public vigilance s a v e w a y
and a very different objection. H e is alarmed at to public credulity, ihe system w a s hurried o n t o its
the strong b o x e s , the bars, and the bolts—the very fall by its own m o m e n t u m .
m e a n s intended to increase the security of the pubW e i l , the banks are pros!rate, the public c o n lic money.
T h e s e cumbrous fixtures of Gothic fidence is withdrawn, and now what remains to be
barbarism offend his taste, affright his fancy, and done? "We are told that this Government, though
shock, most deeply, his nervous sensibility. And without power to control them, without authority to
y e t that Senator c a n contemplate all the parts of interpose in their affairs, must, nevertheless, restore
this dreadful apparatus without terror or emotion, that confidence by law—restore it, first,by receiving
i f it be but found in the vault of a bank. In such their bills as m o n e y , and then returning those bills
a cavern hv? Aecms.composed and at home; there, in for the u^e of the banks. T h u s the Government i s
that subterraneous abode of all honesty and of all asked not only to bestow its o w n confidence u p o n
innocence, his imagination can rove, unappalled, these corporations, by receiving bills as m o n e y
through the chilled darkness and the dense vapor, Known to be worth less than m o n e y , and by d e p o and catch, and hang, and lounge, and repose, upon siting its funds for safety in banks k n o w n to be u n bars, an>i bolts, and locks, and hinges, swinging the safe: but it is likewise asked to compel the people
ponderous door to close the iron" entrance. " H i * to acknowledge the solvency of institutions admitfright in the one case is equalled by nothing but ted to be bankrupt. A n d , sir, this confidence of
his courage in the other; and if, in the one instance, the Government, and o f the country, is demanded
his respiration is difficult, in the other, he "breathes for the ban Irs by the very same m e n who are prodeeper and freer."
claiming to (he people that they should repose n o
Y e s , it w a s the Treasury order, the hostile action confidence in the Government itself, or in their o w n
o f the Qorerntnent, that brought the banks to the virtue and anility to select the officers of G o ground, by impairing the public confidence. S u c h vernment. But what act of Congress, or o f the
is the charge, but what is the fact? Ail are aware Executive, could restore public confidence in these
that, untd within the last few years, no bank ever institutions? N o n e , sir, none: the minds of freedared to discount beyond the aggregate of its capital mrn are not ih^ subjects of legislative coercion;
and d e p o s i t s . W h a t , then, w a s ' l h e case at the their judgments will n^v^r be forced by law u p o n
l i m e of suspension?
T h e Treasury order had falsehood in lhe very presence of opposing truth.
long been issued; and yet, in the face- of that or- You m a y declare the confidence of Congress in
der, and in defiance of its effects, the banks had the solvency ami honesty of all thc^e corporations,
discounted a hundred millions of dollars beyond hut such a declaration will neiiher be true nor
the united total of their capital and d e p o s h e s / b o t h eiPrciive; and, if it couM thin control the p u b l i c
public and private. S u c h , sir, w a s then the public judgment, as is asked and expected, it w o u l d b e a
confidence, a n d such the imbecility of the order, legislative fraud upon the people, and an act o f dethat the b a n k s were able thus to levy a n extra tax liberate treachery to the country.

T h e second and last cardinal feature of the bill I threatened the very existence of monarchy; it was
before us:—what is it, and what does it propose? then that he came forward as a politician and as
Does it propose, as has been assumed in debate, an an author, to repress that spirit, and resist that
immediate collection of all the revenue in metal? power.
T h e same philosophical temper of mind
No: it provides for the receipt, after one year, of1 which rendered him timid as a statesman, amid the
one-sixth part only in specie, and then a propor- convulsive action of masses, ultimately led him in
tionate annual increase of metal for the six succeed- search of some abstract principle upon which to
ing years; alter which, no notes are receivable. rest his opposition to all popular movements. It
This, with the deposite feature, constitutes the was then, and with this view, that in his
whole of the bill called the Sub-Treasury; and it is works on the French Revolution, and in his
for such a bill that the substitute has been submit- celebrated " A p p e a l from the new to the old
ted by the Senator from Virginia, [Mr. R I V E S . ]
W h i g s , " he laid down and enforced the princiAnd now, what are the features and principles of ple, that men, told by the head, are not, in a
political sense, the people of a country; but that
this substitute?
It first assumes that there are two currencies in fixtures, corporationsy orders, and classes, being disthe country, one better than the other; that the peo- nct parts o£ the general mass, and founded upon
ple and the Government are two separate and hos- prerogative, privilege, perpetuity, and property, that
tile bodies; and that the latter seeks to appropriate i these, taken together, constitute "the people," or the
to itself the better currency, and to force the less nation. T h u s , in his creed, the natural man, the
valuable upon the former; and having assumed individual citizen, is annihilated as a constituent
such to be the facts,and such the design of the Go- element of the nation or the people, and the artifivernment, the substitute then proceeds to defeat this c i a l combination substituted in his place—a princidesign, by forcing the inferior currency on both Go- j pie, the exact opposite of that upon which this
vernment and people. W e l l , sir, metallic money (Government, with its freedom, stands.
And yet,
is admitted, the world over, to be the only standard sir, it is upon this principle of M r . Burke that the
of value for labor and property. If, therefore, it , discrimination is here sought to be made between.
be true, that paper is Jess valuable, then that fact i the Government a n d the people. It is hero, in the
is a reason conclusive, not only against its receipt Senate, that the same combinations, orders, banks,
as money by the Government, but also against the and corporations, resting upon the same separate
banking system itself, by which such paper is im- interests, the same privileges and immunities, stand
posed upon the community.
forth claiming to be "the people" of this country,
But how stands the other proposition, so repeat- and asserting a right to its Government. W e c a n
edly urged by the mover and by the friends of the now understand what is meant when gentlemen of
substitute? Is it true that the people and the Go- M r . Burke^s school speak of "the people."
vernment are distinct and hostile bodies? It will may know that corporations, that banks, not indibe admitted, I presume, that the men of America, viduals, are intended; we m a y know that this
acting through their State agencies, created the Go- i ^inciple, for proclaiming which M r . Burke w a s
vernment; it will not be questioned that they elect publicly expelled from the liberal party of England,
its officers, supply its revenues, and prescribe its | now lies at the foundation of a party in America*
policy; nor will it be denied that they, the men, are, | But to" the substitute. W h a t are its features,
in fact, the Government itself. W h a t , then, does , what its principles? T h e y are few, and by no m e a n s
the Senator from Virginia mean by the term people, novel. It prososes no project yet to be tested by
as a body distinct from, and hostile to, the Govern-' experiment, but one which experiment has already
ment? I will seek his meaning in the tendency of shown to be impracticable. It proposes the former
his argument, and in the character of the authority State bank deposite system, in full view of the
he pressed into his service.
ruins of that system. Bank notes are again to be
T h a t Senator, sir, has commended the genius, received, to be received as equivalent to money,
and invoked to his aid the opinions of M r . Burke. though the very discrimination which constitutes
I, too, acknowledge, in many respects, the just au- the essence of the substitute, implies that they are
thority of that transcendant intellect; nor do I with- not so equivalent. T h e public treasure is to be
hold from the memory of the m a n that sacred respect placed, for safety, in b a n k s expressly authorized to
which is due from an American to the memory of render it unsafe, by applying it to their own use, a s
one whose life and actions, though a n Englishman they have done millions still withheld from the
and at home, had a bearing upon the Revolutiona- Government. Such are the favors proposed a s
ry struggle of our fathers, by no means unfriendly bounties to the banks for the resumption of specie
to its success. But still, the writings and sentiments payments—for complying with their obligations—
of Mr- Burke were those of a monarchist. H e had for paying their debts;—for ceasing to resist the law;
been reared amidst, and died devoted to, the monar- such is the reward to be offered by Government to
chical system of Great Britain, and of Europe. If bribe rebellion back into obedience. And now, sir,
his objections to the abuses of that system were I ask, in what will the resumption of specie p a y great, his fears from its overthrow were yet greater; ments, under the provisions of this substitute, beneand it cannot be disguised that, as he declined in the fit the Government, when, by the substitute itself,
vale of years, his mind took refuge in those the Government solemnly contracts with the banks
Very abuses, from the terrors of th^ French not to demand specie, but to receive, exclusively,
It was then that he sought to the very notes it now rejects ? T h e Government
Tsheck those liberal principles to which his earlier now refuses to receive them for no other reason
life had been devoted; it was then, when the insur- than because the banks now refuse to p a y them—
g e n t spirit and rising power of an oppressed people J and yet, the Government is required to receive

tbera, in future, under an express stipulation! creditors,Government, and people, to temporize with
that they are not to be paid. For if Government and to coax them into compliance with those obligais compelled, by Jaw, to receive notes, good faith, tions? W h y was the extra session of Congress called?
i n the execution of the law, forbids their presenta- W a s it because the Government had no money 3
tion for payment. And thus, instead of inducing N o , but because the banks had the money of the
resumption, this measure proposes, in effect, to le- Government, and refused to pay it. W a s the
galize and perpetuate suspension, so far as Govern- Government thus arrested in its action, and com*
ment is concerned, and to the full extent of its re- pelled to resuscitate itself by a forced loan from
venues. That such will be the effect, does any the people ?—was this the case, because it had n a
man doubt? Then test the question Ly extending revenue, and because there existed no specie in the
the principle.
Suppose the whele community country ? N o , but because the banks had possesshould make the like contract with the banks; sion of its revenues, and because their vaults withshouJd agree that, for an indefinite series of years, held the specie from all their creditors. And yet,
their bills should be received as money, and thus when, where, and by whom were the laws of the
incur the obligation, in good faith, not to present land enforced against them ? W h e n did the Gt)them for redemption. In such a case, would the vernment, in a single instance, obtain judgment
banks keep a silver dollar on hand? W o u l d they and enforce execution ? W h o , of all the citizens,
h a v e use for one? And would not the suspension resorted to that law against ths banks, which the
be universal and eternal—and that, too, under the banks were daily enforcing against them, and
plighted faith of the public? W h a t , sir, is the lan- which they, the people, were daily enforcing against
guage of the substitute? It says to the Government— each other? N o , sir, ROT at all ; but, on the conT a k e the notes of banks; do not present them for trary, this universal rebellion of the banks against
payment; express this your confidence in them; all law has been legalized and extended by the
the people will follow your example; they law-making power. Thus it is, that the Governwill do the same; no specie will then be ment is required to loan to the banks the whole
drawn; the banks can then resume; we shall then revenue of the country ; and, in effect, to double
have a currency mixed of paper and of metal, this loan, by receiving their notes, in the first
and all will go well.
Cut, sir, what resumption? instance, as money. It is to such debtors that the
W h a t are the banks to resume the payment of? Government is required to make such a loan,
W h o is to ask for payment, and "whence is the whilst it refuses to credit an honest citizen, with
metal to come which is to enter into the circula- his homeless family, for one solitary acre of its
tion? "
H o w are these thing to be done, if both public domain.
Government and people are to receive nothing but
T h u s briefly, sir, have I sought to illustrate the
notes, and never to ask their redemption? N o , sir, principles and tendency of this substitute. It is a
the only security for the banks themselves, and for the measure rendered equally ©dious by the circumcommunity against bank excesses and impositions, stances under which it is presented, by the assumpconsists in leaving every one, Government and all, tion on which it rests, and by the consequences
free to receive, to reject, or to present their notes which must inevitably result from its adoption. It
at pleasure for payment.
This being the fact, comes to us in the iorm ©f a demand—a demand
there will always exist a modified confidence in the made as a political right—made by private corposolvency of banks that are solvent, which, whilst rations upon this Government and people, for the
it is sufficient to sustain their circulation, will yet use of the public money, and for a mortgage upon
be so distrustful as to excite in them the apprehension the future revenues of the country. It demands,
of a run upon the appearance of any indiscretion also, that, in addition to this, the Government and
on their part, and thus impose all the safeguards of the peopk* shall give to these corporations a credit
which such institutions admit.
T o absolute and indefinite as to time and amount, and that, toof
unqualified confidence, they are not entitled. H u - without an equivalent, without adequate seen'
man experience forbids such confidence to be be- rity, and without any necessity for so doingv
stowed on any man, or combination of men, whose This demand of objects so important is made
agency is to affect the well being of others.
Go- at a time when these corporations, having
vernment itself, the responsibility of all public ! prostrated the Jaws of ihe country—having seized
functionaries, rests upon a degree of distrust in the the public treasure—having refused to p a y their
public mind, sufficient to excite vigilance, and to notes in the hands of the people—are now standing
detect delinquency.
out in fearless defiance of all pubhc authority. A ad
Again, sir, what is the substitute but a covenant what right have the banks to matte this demand?
with the banks, by which the Government is to H a v e they a better claim to the public money than
give them a credit, indefinite as to time, and limited an equal number of other individuals who are not
in amount only by the total of its income? And incorporated? N o , none whatever. W h a t , the*,
this credit is to be given to the only species of should we think, what should we feel, if, instead of
debters whose responsibility is always uncertain, a league of eight hundred banks, eight hundred citiwhose security is never sufficient, and against zens should band them&elves together in battalion
whom it is impossible, in the nature of things, ever form, should surround this Capitol, and, instead of
to enforce the law* of the country. For is it not agents,attorneys, borrowers, and dependants, should
manifest, from all past and present experience, that send their military commander into this chamber,
theae institutions have become so connected with the to demand, on their behalf, the whole national i&>
whole machinery of society, so interwoven with the come? W o u l d not every Senator then s p n a £ * ^
very teiture of our social economy, as to defy the his feet, fired with the rage of insulted hoftart
enforcement of legal obbgatiena, and to compel their Would he not meet such a demand with ihg^oeft*

est execrations; and would not (he whole body of I a diminution in the expenditure of those taxes
the American people rush to the Capitol to rescue when collected! In such a scene, what would
their treasure from pillage, and their Government J become of legislative purity? what of the rights of
from usurpation? Yes: and what, sir, is the dif-j the people? What or the public liberty? And
ference between the two cases? There is none; no which, of all the banks, would succeed in the concircumstance of discrimination, except the popular test for Congressional favors? Would not the
delusion which transforms the banks from private | Bank of the United States—the controlling centre
corporations into political institutions, and invests of the paper system—she whose friends already
these associations of mere brokers and shavers with throng these halls—she who is already so deeply
all the authority, the attributes, and the dignity, ol skilled in political facilities—would she not stand
organized political departments. It is this delusion, triumphant in our midst? Yes, the same vote
arising from the unrebuked assumptions of the which could pass this substitute, would give her the
banks, and strengthened by the silent acquiescence depositee; and thus that institution would again beof lime, that has enabled these incorporated compa- come a National Bank, with all the powers and
nies thus to change their character in the public immunities she before enjoyed, without any of the
restraints or responsibilities imposed by a CongresBut, sir, I must again press upon the attention of sional charter. And here, sir, I shall express it as
the Senate the startling fact that this demand of the my deliberate opinion, that every man of the Oppopublic money is made by the banks, upon the sition will sustain this substitute, and that, too,
avowed assumption that the Constitution has pro- with a view to the very result I havs anticipated.
viUeu uu sumcieut meau.s ror the execution of its Those who desire the concentration of the money
own powers; that the officers elected under it by the power in a National Baak, will ask for none better
people are not to be trusted; and that the irrespon- than the Bank of the United States will become,
sible agencies of banks, unknown to the Constitu- should this measure be adopted. Nor will that intion* must be brought in to supersede those officers, stitution desire or accept of a national charter, if
to supplant the Constitution itself, and to take it can obtain the public moneys under the less emcharge of a Government which the people are sup- barrassing charter it now enjoys.
posed incompetent to administer. Thus we, the
These, sir, are my opinions. The subject of a
representatives of the States and of the people, are National Bank will stili be urged before th<? people,
insulted to our very faces; for, if the numerous citi- but notserious!ydesired,by the political leaders. They
zens selected to perform the duties of the other de- Jare not the men to pursue visionary forms, to the
partmenis of Government be unworthy of the pub- neglect of substantial realities. Their object is the
lic confidence, how shall we escape the same de- concentration and union of the money with the ponunciation, or assume to be more worthy than litical power of the country, and they see in every
they? But even this outrage, great as it is, might line of the substitute before us the certain accombe endured, if it were confined to us, and to the plishment of that object.
officers of Government alone. Such, however, is
And now, sir, standing in nzy place, and in the
not the fact; for this demand, thus made upon the immediate presence of the American people, I proground that agents selected by the popular voice nounce it as the solemn conviction of my judgment,
are unworthy of confidence, is equally an insult to that this union, should it be effected—the union of
the majesty of the sovereign people themselves. It the banking or paper system with the Governis a declaration to them that they are incompetent ment—will prostrate the liberties of the country;
to elect; and that therefore, the elective franchise, I and that this prostration will continue until that inso prostituted and abused, is to be withdrawn from I born love of freedom, the peculiar inheritance of
them, and conferred upon the banks.
I this nation, shall rise to restore those liberties by
And now, Mr. President, what are the imme- the only means which de;>r>otism cannot withstand.
diate consequences which are to result from the In ?uch a union, in such a compound of the money
adoption of the substitute? The banks of deposite with the political power, it would be utterly
are to be selected by the joint vote of the two immaterial which of the elements predominated—
Houses of Congress. Here, then, the banks and whether that of the Government, or of the
the Government are to be united, not only in the banks. The junction of the two would speedily
exterior administration of the finances, but that result in blending both into one*, and it is
union is to begin in the very source of the law- this consolidation, this aggregation, of powers
making power. The banks are to enter the Capi- so vast in the same men; it is this which would
tol, with their fatal facilities, to canvass against enable those men to override the liberties of the
each other, with the members of Congress, for the country. What, then, *ir, would be our condition,
custody of the national revenue. They are here to if the very men who are now struggling to effect
canvass for these favors with the very men by this consolidation should succeed, and having sue*
whose votes this revenue is to be raised, reduced, ceeded, should, by that very success, place themor diminished; and, consequently, the profits of the selves in possession of these powers thus consolisuccessful banks augmented or lessened. What al dated? Would not the fact of their success, in
scene would this present! Eight hundred mo- this effort, be proof conclusive of the dangerous
neyed corporations, with five hundred millions strength of the banking system, which is now their
of dollars to loan, garrisoned each winter in the sole support? and would not that strength, united
Capitol, among their faithful presidents, law* with the power* of Government, enable these men
yers, stockholders, and borrowers, canvassing1 for to perpetuate their reign, and to spurn, with impua majority of the two Houses—canvassing for nity, the complaints of a betrayed and ruined
ihe depositee, for an increase of taxes, and fori people?

H o w , then, can we adopt a measure fraught
with consequences so momentous, so fata J, as
these? H o w can we sit and hear, with patience,
;i demand thus made of the whole revenues of the
Republic—made, as a political right, by private
corporations—made upon principles tending infallibly to a revolution of the Government?
we sit and hear, unmoved, hear without a becoming spirit of resistance, a proposition so wounding
to every sense of patriotism, so plainly destructive I

of the liberties of the country?
W h e r e , Senators,
are the souls of your sires?
Did you inherit ao*
thing from them but freedom—freedom without
the spirit to defend it? Are you thus destitute, aod
will you betray the only country where abides the
only hope to solace the sufferings of maakixidl
If not, h o w can you, how dare you support
a measure which is to place such a couatry
as this under the vulgar despotism of a moneyed