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SPEECH
OF

MR. L E E T O F P E N N S Y L V A N I A ,

ON

THE INDEPENDENT TREASURY BILL;




S B M - V JER»D

IN COMMITTEE OF:TZ2.'WHOLB.

f

*»

*> 4

T

,*

_»

INT THE HOUSE OP RftpRBdLIiTATiV2o, JUIIE 9j *l$4fc

WASHINGTON;
PRIKTKJD A T T H I miOMH

1840,

OFFICB.




SPEECH.

in ihe House of Representatives^ June 2, 1840—In
Committee of the Whole on *he state of ihe
"Onion, (Mr, BANKS of Virginia in the chair,) on
the b 11 *'to provide f<»r the collection, safekeepi n g , Tansfer, and disbursement of tne public revenue."
M r - L E E T , who was entitled to the floor, rose,
a n d said:
M r . CHAIRMAN: The question immediately before
the cr*mmi te^, if I und**^tand i-, i<* the motion of
the honorable member from Massachusetts, [Mr.
C U S H I N G ] — w h o s e place, b> his courtesy, I now occ u p y — t o strike out (he enacting clause of this bill
H a v i n g submitted this motion, it was entirely proper that the debate shou d ha ye been led off, a* it
-was, by that g^mleman; because, by the very ac«
o f making such a mofi-m, he undenook to prove
that 'h* bill ought not to pass. The mot on to
strike out the enacting clause is equiva'en* to a motion that the bill do not pass; and an affirma'ive
v o t e on tha' proposition is in effect .he >ame thing
a s a negative vote on the question, "Shall the bill
pass7" T h e true question before the committee,
then, and l<* which we must respond, is the quest i o n , "Shall this b 11 pas*?1' NOJT, without arrog a t i n g to myself any thing of the spirit of prophec y — ( o r I am neither a prophet nor the son of a
prophet—1 will hazard theofin^on that the bill will
p a s s ; and I will, at the same time, express the hon e s t conviction that forces itself upon my mind,
that it ought to pass,
I desire, with the permission of the committee,
to state, a* briefly as poss ble, some of the reasons
w h i c h infldefece me in th* voTe I intend to give on
this measure; and I desire that, through the com*
mittee, those reasons should go to my constituents
and the country. This is a plain, simple, constitutional measure; and, bv the stability which it professes to impait to the currency of the country,
i t will, in my humble estimation, p o m o ' e
the real interests of the people, whilst it accords
with the true spirit of our Republican institutions.
It is the part of wisdom for those who are in
p o w e r to adapt their measures, ±o far as it may
he possible, to the peculiar c rcum>tances of the
country; and if this is not the very best measure
-which can be brought forward, I beg to inquire
w h a t the other and better measure is mat h:is been
proposed? H a s any other been suggested? Where



is the measure of the Opposition* Echo answers*
wheie? W e have heard it said that the body politic*
like a suffering patient* is s:ck; but what remedy
has been aupgestf-d? W e have heard the present
distinguished incumbent of the Presidential c h a i r
reproached for not advising a better remedy; w e
have heard him denounced, on varioas occasion?,
in eloquent and glowing language, since this m a t *
tsr has attracted public attention.
T h e people*
have been depicted as being in a suffering condition, as laboring under a dtbilitaUDgdisea.se, which*
would prostrate and destroy them, unless ihe propermedicines were prescribed and administered. Mjr
honorable friend from Massachusetts, [Mr- G U S H ING, ] in th* course of his able and statesmanlike*i:e<?ch, referred delicately to a gentleman who is?
now ihe favorite Presidential c a n d i d a l of the Oppos tion party; and by virtue of his high office, a s
o»;e of the representatives of the nobtliiy of the
country—I mean the people—conferred upon h i s
candidate the degree of doctor. H e did not, to be
sure, inform us whether he was doctor of laws, oir
of medicine, or of theology, but I presume the
honorable member meant that he was doctor o f
poLtics and fiscal affairs. And in further speakingof the evils under which he claimed the
country was laboring, and of the suffering1
of an intelligent people, the honorable geu>
tleman said he did not believe the
disease would be cured until Doctor Harrison came
in. N o w , Mr. Chairman, Doctor Harrison, w e
are told, is a patriotic, a benevolent, and a humaneman; and if he possesses all the other excellent
qual t es which have been attributed to him—if h e
be a doc or so deeply skilled in the poli ical and
fiscal affaiis of this nation, why does he not
prescribe a remedy for alt these evils, that
we might embrace it? Allowing as much patriotism to the friends of this bill as we aJlow to him*
if he would suggest a better measure than i s
here propped; if he would prescribe a remedy
which would cure this desperate disease under
wnich the body politic is said to be suffering,
win the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. G U S H *
ING] say that the people wou'd not avail themselves of it? Surely, S T , they would*
I ask*
again, then, where is the n m e d y of the Opposition,
that is better than rhk? S>i*H we look to this DrT
Harrison? Shall we look to the Senate g f

4
the United States? Or shall we rather lorkj dent is mistaken? N o , sir. H e had an unpleasant
to
the House *f
Representatives, in th* duty to perform—a duty which required probably as
person of n>y honorabe tn«nd turn K e r - much tt;oral firmness and political integrity a s could
tuohy, [Mr- FOPK ] who hs*s suggested a plan, have been demanded frcm even the highest public
not in any distin* tive foim, but who has given us functionary—ihe duty c f telling the people, in those
the outline of a p'an, which, ii carried out and per* txcited times when the public mind from N t i t h to
fected, uou'd probably be that which Or H a n i - douth and from East to W e s t was agitated by the
son would f re.ent to us. T h e honoraMe gentle- events which had but recently transpired—the plain
m a n has pr<pn>eri a Bank of the United States. and bonesi truth as he believed it to be- Believing
that this Independent Treasury plan w a s the
But more of that hereafter.
This National Independent Treasury bill wa«* best which ecu d be suggested, he came forward
first brought tefore Congress in September, 1337 and met the crisis in tbe firm and dignified manner
T h e message of the President of the United Slates, which became him as a gentleman—which we all
transmitted to boih Houses of Congress in thai admit him to be—nnd as the Chief Magistrate of
year, recommended a separation of B nk and State, one of the greatest and most glorious Republics o n
or, t*3 it has betn familiarly called, a divorce ul ear«h. But, sir, the plan encoun ered great oppo*
S a n k and State. W h 4 were the circumstances siiion; and my honorable friend from Massachuunder which thai recommendation w*s made? i> setts [Mr. C L U I N G ] in the course of his remarks,
w a s made after every other plan which ingenuity to a lew only of which I shall advert, because his
could devise for the purpose oi taking care of iht- argument has been ably responded to by the gen*
)ubhc moneys, and having them at all nmrs readv I • ieman from Maine, [Mr. L O W E L L , ] and the g e n bf publ c use, had, to all appearance* at least, sig-1 tleman from N e w Hampshire [Mr* A T H E R T O N ]
natly faded. T h e United Slates Bank had b e m • observed, speaking of this bill, that it is the distried; the State bank deposite system bad been tinctive, and the only distinctive measure of the
tried; and this measure was first biought forward Administration. 1 agree with him, that it is a disWhen the c o u n t y found itself in the peculiar con- tinctive measure, but it is not the only one, I
dition, brought about, in my humble opinion, nm apprthend that there are other measures, not so
by the action of the Government, as honorable and unmediatelv interesting just now, which may be
learned gentlemen of the Opposition party wou d coriMoterea as aiauncnve. Itie paternity oi tms,
h a v e the peop e believe, but by ihe action of these however, will not be disputed by the Administra-^
"banks, the,-e State corporal on*, wbicb were too tion, or any of its friends; and I think when it
cloeelv allied to, and connecttd with, the affairs t-t rpens into maturity, as i trust it soon will, that
this Government, Congress was convened under neiiher the Administration nor the country will
extraordinary circumstances. T h e ciisis was an have cause to be ashamed of it*
iolere**ting one, and full of consequence t > thf*
<
But gentlemen say that the bill is defective; that
country. Tbfe whole nation had been convulsed, it is imperfect. It may be so; no doubt it ts; but
and business of *il kinds dintur ed and deranged. what el>e could be expected? W o u l d any man
by the sadden and universal susprnsinn of specie >eriuusiy expect that a measure thus important,
payments by the banks; but the President nobly thus complex in its operations and details, would
and manfuHy looked danger in the lace, and dis -pring from the brain of Congress perfect at once.
charged his duly in a m i d , yet firm and decided —like Miner va, the goddess of war, wisdom, and
Manner.
the arts, is said to have come from the brain of J a A t that time gnd under such circumstances, what piter, perfect in f rra and symmetry. N o . I have
Other measure but ibis, let me ask, could the Pre heard ihe same objection made in Pennsylvania,
surfent have recommended? The. charter of the I against one of the most glorious and benevolent
United States Bank had expired bv its own hmita *>sti ms, that was ever adopted by man. I m e a n
lion, and had be*-nt nn two previous occasions, re- the system of common schools—and those w h o
pudiated by the people; and the nrxt report to were unfriendly to it, who opposed it, said that it
wlvch the country bt took iue»f, the State bank de- was imperfect.
T h e objection, however, did not
p u t e system had failed. 1 ask again, then, what avail; the system now is in full and successful ope*
e t e could the Prts dent have d>m? In his mes- ration, I can look around me here, and see some
sage of that date, atter setting forth, in a very Hear ot my colleagues, who co-operated with m e to
and lucid manner, the causes whi^h, in hi* view, bring that system into existence, and who k n o w
had ted to the unf* i tun .te and disturbed condition I that, under its benign influences, the boys and
of ihe affairs of the courrry then existing, the Pre- J girls of the Key-tone State are now receiving the
sident, in the paragraph next to the last in the mcs- 1 benefits and blessings of early education*
I say,
Mge^sayp:
I then, that these general objections of imperfection
J
**It is under 5U"h circumstances a h gh gratifica- Iconstitute no argument; and that, even it auch im>
tion to know, by lonsr experience, that we act tor a I perfections exist, they can readily be removed. N o
- P*°ptei l ° whom the truth, however unpromising, I measure, ever offered by any Administration since
can always be spoken with safety, for the trial of j the days of Washington, has encountered so m u c h ,
whose patriotism no emergency is too severe, and land such bitter opposition, as this. I say no m e a w h o are sure never to desert a public functionary, I sure, since the days of our own Washington-—a
I name which I pronounce with reverence—a n a m e
honestly U boring fir the public eood "
N o w {continued Mr. L ) in thai septiment, con I which I delight to mention on all occasions, w h e a l
ta ; ntfi?, as it d**e% so just a compliment to the in- I can do vo, because there is associated with it an en*
telligence and thv discernment of the American I *busift3m,a true greatness and brilliancy, which c a u s e
peop e, will any man pretend to say that the Prtar- I the bosom of every m a n who is an American citi-

}




5
•gen to r swell with emotions of pride, which cause [the different officers connected with the Treasury
Kfitt %o rejoice that he is an Am*-ricad citizen, an 1 Depaament. I meotion this a* a remarkable fact^
|fcat **c lives in the enjoyment of all ih"S •hat, notwithstanding the force which may be
Uesain^s which the talent, the wisdom, and the | arached to the argument of my friend from.
beavery of that great and incomparable patriot leit [ Massachusetts in saying that any illustration
d r a^n from foreign monarchies or despotisms—
a s a legacy to this country.
those Governments being dis*im lar to ours—could*,
B u t , Mr. Chairman, notwithstanding all this op.
position; notwithstanding the political press, as if not apply here; I *-ay, notwithstanding lhi>, it is
actuated by one common impulse, from Maine Utill most remarkable that, as regards the single
^O Georgia, from East to West, has joined in isolated fact of keeping the public moneys, the '
anathemas against this bill; notwiih landing that, smews of war, and upon which depend the sue-*
i n some pans of the country, (and I mean no parti- ces-ful and independent operations of every Governc u l a r allusion to gentlemen on this floor,) it has be<-i» [ mem, wh ther free or not; in twenty-two out o f
opposed without examination, and condemned | twenty-seven Governments, the puoiic moneys are
without argument, simply herau>e of the rourc* kep' by public officers, and not bj the agency o f
from whence it emanated, $imply herau«e it was b m k s or of corporations. The second, thiri, and
a V a n Buren measure, and not because of any fourth sretions of the bill are, in my judgment,
demerits of its own; yet when subjected to, the very judicious, because they select, as the places
" s o b e r second thought," when it underwent the of riepasite of the public money, the great
the country.
They
proper scrutiny which ought to be b sw»we I upon commercial points of
-every public measure by an intelligent people like are the points which must, in a greater or
ours, it gained friends; and the result is, that in ie*s degree, affect every other part of the
this, now the people's House, whether the measure eountry in all monetary matters; they are the
be a good one or a bad or.e, ii so happens, 1 believe ooints at or near to which most of the people who
that it has more friends and advocates than oppo- are to receive, in the larg st sums, the public
moneys, reside. This selee ion must, in a great
nents*
But, sir, what is the bill? I wish to be as prac- measure, take away the force of the argument,
tical as possible in ray reoiarks. W h i t is the which is utged in regard to the difficulty of the
measure, and what are its provision*? Let usi.-t transfer of die public money by carrying gold and
quire whether there is any thing about them so silver fiom on« point to the other.
The fifth section of ih* bill provides for the apfrightful and disastrous as some gentlemen wish
pointment ol four receivers genera!, for the term of
the country to believe.
In the first place, it is provided by the first sec- tour years, unles- sooner removed* They are to
tion of the bill, that the public money* shall be be s a*i -ned at N e w Yoik, Boston, Charleston,
kept in sa r e and secure fire-proof vaults and s a f e s South Carolina, and St. Louis. They are to give
i n a building to be erected in this city to be called bon Is with approved security, for the faithful dist h e Treasury of the United S a'ejs; and that the charge of their duties. So are the collectors, &c.
money which goes into the hand* of the Trea**uret an J so, T may say, are all the fiscal agents who may
according to law, can only be tal:en out accor ins be employed under i*iis b II. So that, if gentleto law; this money, when*it goes int > the Trra^ury, men will iosti urea comparison between the secuis to be secured not only by these fire-pro f vaults. rity given for the public money as it is proposed
~Wbich all banks use for purposes of security, bu to be kep* by this bill, and the security of the pubi s to he surrounded by all thos*? checks and gu'udi- iiC money as kept by banks, they will see that
o f a moral nature, so to speak. whi;h the framer> here is required in the former case every security
o f the bill could devise; and if additional checks that is evef given io the Utter. Cashiers of banks.
c a n be suggested,even by the Opposition, no doubt The coshers of banks give bonds for the faithful
executi' n of th*ir duty. The officers employed
they will be embraced.
T h e second, third, and fourth sec ions of the under this bid are required to do the same th'ng.
bill, provide for the keeping of the public money And there is this remarkable difference: cashiers of
at different points, namely, a* Philadelphia, New batiks are accustomed of en to re tain their situations
Orleans, Neiy York, Boston, Charleston, and St • utin? their whole lives, and it seldom happens
Louis.
These Are the six p-ominent commer- 'hat th*ir bond* arc renewed unless some very
In many instances,
cial points of the Union. Now, in connection g-eat change takes place.
with this subject, And before 1 go further into ve know th it they^ con'inue to do lln same duties
detail, allow me to say that it has been ascer- under the same bonds for a'mnst scores of years;
tained, as the report ot the Secretary of the Trea- imi in many instances, where resort is had to suits
sury shows, that i h s me hod of having the public it law, it often tarns out that neither the cashiers
money kept by public agen's—by indi.ilu/ils«ac*- nor the securities are worth anything*, This bill
ina as fiscal agenw of the Government, has no- tqiires that the officers shall be appointed for
thing novel in it, because the .same custom ha- four i ears; and I take »t for granted that the bonds
Obtained, in in*oy other countries, for years pa<»; nn<t be renewed every four years; and, if the old
and, according to the report of the Secretary of the • ecurides are not regarded as sufficient, the PresiTreasury which I have before mentioned, in tw/n ient will require new securities to be given. S o
ty-lWO out of twenty-seven f-treign Governments. *ar, then, a« security .is concerned, this system has
the public moneys are kept in the charge ot the a Ivanttfge over the other* W e have also every
public officers. That is a fact stated by the Pre >th«T means that can be devised to prevent'the
sident in his message, and hat bejn ascertained orcible abstraction of the public money by thieves
JW the President says, to his entire satisfaction, by or robbers, as they are sometimes called, though




6
probably the latter appellation m a y not be tech* nabobs as the stockholders of an American bank,,
whom ihe honorable gendeman from Kentucky.
nically correct.
W e a m told, however, that the banks have their [Mr. Pt P E ] would now exclude; and I here assert
stocks, and that there an additional security is to that all thed fficnlties which we have had in P e n n he f«*und. It i* true the* have their slocks, and sylvania, in re a t i n to oar improvements, a n d
the *tt ckholders, in a suit at taw, tni«ht probably almost e v r y thing else, may be attrihmtd to d i e
b e held liable to ihe amount of their stock, and passage of ihat bil:. It amused a spirit of prodie v e n beyond 'hat. But 11 order to make the mai- «a?i y and speculat on amongst us, and men a l m o s t
ler safe even to his d«gree, the personal liab I ty A cut mad in regard to appropriations. Gentlemen.
o f stockholders hhould be p ovided lor by statute r.<»nki scarcely talk of any thing less than millions^
T h i s is a mailer to which 1 may perhaps rccui A* d ni w we are rear in^ the fruits of such b g u l a hereafter.
t on; we find ihat we h*ve got no pood, but e v i l
I come now, Mr- Chairman, to the sixth section of altogether. I s*y, therefor**, that there is a markedthe bill, which is a v e y important one. Aii'l here diflT. m i c e between the plain and open litle o f
permit me to?ay, thai ihe v^ry • i-i*- of ihis hi 1 inr ihis bill, and ihe secret and ins di» u> title of ihe
nishes a true index of die ptihcipes of the bi: • other. This is addressed to the understandings of
itself. W h a t i» the title? It is "An act to piov de men; they are invited to look at it, to read and e x for the collection, Sifekerp rig, ttansfer, and d s l i m i n e it f«-r 'hemselves, and when they do M>, Ihey
burseinent, « f the public icvenue/" It is ess* n will find that the title indicate* truly what the bill'.
tialiy n n t k e the tide of a r c n a m other bill, which, . tse f realiy W.
i n ih* year 18J'6, was reported to the Legrslauue ( Th:* sixth section repudiates the id<a of l o a n o f Pennsylvania, and was entitled "A hill to le
nx the. pubiic money; it expressly prohibits the:.
pt al ihe State tax, to continue anil extend the mi ic uning or the using of xhxi public money. Thia
provemetits of the State t>y rai-r»»ads and c a n a b IN .i wi*p provision, and one calculated to be emiand for other purpose*." T h e Untftd S ales Bank nently usefu? *o ihc couniry. It wa-* the loaning
of PeMisylvanid, with all iis irmmrse capital « J «»! ihe public money by the banks w h e h in reality
»
thirty-five millions of dollars, held by the identical rreah'd the civil war between General Jackson*s
stockholders ot ihc lab* Bank ol *h« United Sime% ;adin nitration and tht Bank of the United S a ' e s ;
a s char e n d by the Geiicral Goven.ment, s a s con- s t ecause ihe act which tnc »rpora'ed that Bank protinued in its corporate exrs enrc by a bill which . vi»'cd for the deposit? of the public money in its
made its fir>* appearance in the world under toe • vaulr>, and because, as a mattt-r of favor from the
tide I have just tumerl. And this charier wa- j i eop!^, dixit ttjMiin'<on9 and its foreign sicckhf>ldersy
xisbered^ into existence under ihe compiehensivc 1 who had no sympathy with us or our institutions
- w o i o , •ami lor other p u t | o c ^ It is tiue that, | enjoyed ihc exclusive privilege of the pubbc m o alter the bill pasv<i, itsYiiends thr u<?ht it w< uld be ney for years
W h e r the dep s tes were removed,
be** to chriMen ii over agn n, and they ; dd*d •li»ir inter* S'N were affre'ed, and the business of
the word*, / 0 tharer a Sta'c bank to b< vailed the' the e« unity was a l l e'ed, as I idnll not attempt to
Untied Stabs Bunk " N o w ,
far as ihe bili be- | di-ny, hec use the change would necessarily c o m fV«rc trie committee is concerted, the m«»si fa*r,diou> i pel them toTOOb.fy their business, at all events to
gentlemen, in or out of Congress, canm t find IViiih i some ex-em. Th*y had enjoyed the use of the
wiih its title. By reading the dile, gentlemen will 1 ubiic mon-»ys:i long that t»ey seemed to regard,
*re »h*u the bi 1 purport* to b< ; and by readit*g; th^m elves asentft'edto it forever; they seemed
the seciu n s and examining them imp .roady, gen- I t«» consider that neither the Government nor ihe^
tJemrn will bud ih.it theie is a sinci correspon- j p^Oide had a right to say ihat the public money
deuce between the provisions of the tilt and i:>j.should not hereafter tq loaned our, but that i t ,
*
title.
j should be kept in a partirufar way for the uses of
B u i this United States Bank crining into exi.st-! »hr Government, ami that w e would not linger
remark,
ence as it <iid9 under'he remark. ble title " and | tun the iv^-k of beinj? connected with any bank*
for other purpo.^es/1 was carried hrongh the Lc-1 however fairly or I ou »r;ibly its aflVrrs might bo
^Ulatuie—how? By a system whi-h f in Pcnn>ylvH. conducted.
And because the people avowed,
ti ^
m a , we call the log rolling system; ihat is to say, themselves deternrncifi to act upon the prirciple
appropriation wire put into the bill, arid suKscrip | tl«at they had a n?ht to do what ihey p i e c e d with
tion^ to ihc stocks ot railroads, turu| ikes, bridge j iheir own n.oney; ihat they h;ld a n^ht to have it
Cinip^iA-s, and every thins of ihnt k n I, M> m t > in such A rondftion a-; that they m^ht be able to
i
reach every stctuin of the entire Sia'.e of Pennsyl • command it when war, or aay "sudden e;nergeney%
irania; and so as to place members jn the awkward or a «iue repaid to the interests of the counposition—that they rnust either appear »o vol'- try, required it; for this reason, I say, the
against ihe iu.medta'e »local in\rre*U uf their con- Bank of the Uidtrd States loot* c-fT ncc f and
s i'Urtnist or they mi^l go in for the who'e f and em nvi>wcdly envred the political arena, as it w a s
br ce the very ohjeci nahle rniM::ure of a Uiried claime.l upon ihe principle («wd I would
S a e» B-nk, re charterc-d a.s a State ins'i'uttun r , n t ^l> jni«-"iic.ft even to that institution)
And thus the bol pa.-scd. This is a system veri of ^eT-dofericc. I will not stop to nquire whe- .
-similar to the m.e n o ^ in vnvue, t'» u h i i h , I sup- iher the interference of ihat iiiNtituuon with our
pose, it will not be ;n order to ref*r. Thi.^ h»i>- pi-Iitictl nrtUirs wa v , or was not, caused by the
rolliop system addrrssed itself, rot to the under pane pie of self-defence—or whether it originated i n
standings, but to the prejud ces and interests of the f'u>ire and thirst of power, principles which we
men; and thus ihey were compelled to vote for that know are identified with ihe very nature of in&tim~
bill, even though it incorporated foreign lords aud nous of that kind, especially when they are aver*




7
grown and pessessed of large capitals, and more
especially when they are controlled, as that msiitu-

fYarn

an article QJI "Banking
and Currency,"
in the Dublin.
University
Magazine for February,
1840.
The effects of rival banks at issue e n the fluctuation** of
1 i o D » w a s by foreigners, by n c h m e n abroad, not trade, may be thus briefly described When trade is prosper*
OUJ», and priced a r e high, the currency of the country will t e a r
citizens of our own country, and not feeling the
some addition to be made to it without being thereby deprecis a i M interest in o a r institutions that w e o u r s e l v e s ated. Each bank wilt struggle that this addition shall proceed
from its own issues; and for thie purpose will discount m o r e
feel*
more
terms than before.
From
T h e late President of the B a n k of the United p a p e rofupon hanks, liberalwill receive an additional, an ibisn nconduct
the
trade
u atuState*, S i r . Biddle, a gentleman w h o m I h a v e the ral, Ltut a temporary impeius. Manufacturers and merchants
h o n o r to k n o w , and whose talents and learning I will make andjniporl a larger quantity of goods, for which they
credit, at the same time
anticipate
speedy sale
h o l d in m u c h respect, s a y s s e m e where u i h a t the chasers ate amure ready LO upmi bills, as they are confident purgive
that,
c o n s t a n t tendency of banks is to lend too m u c h , when the bills come to maturity, they can easily procure mo1
a n d pat too m a n y notes in circulation; * and the ney to p a y t.'iem from the banks. While this state <jf thingft
banks in particular m a k e
President of the United States s a y s , "that the continues, all is prosperous,n tand the bills which they discount*
lar&e profits from the q u a i u of
proneness to e x c e s s i v e issues has ever been the vice The ciiculation is full to overflowing; but the exchanges gra*
dually turn and b; come adverse; thelstocfcof gold in the bank^
c f the banking s y s t e m . "
cr's hands rapidly diminishes. Every bank ia obliged to conH e r e , then, for once, M r , V a n Buren and Mr. tract us discounts ofu:n very abruptly, and is happy, if by s u c h
B i d d l * agree in opinion. W h e t h e r they ever d.d a rmirsM! n r a n avert the impending ruin. Hut thw conduct,alsave ihe banks, is
followed by
s o before or not, I need not inquire; bat they do though ii may ana general public necessarily* Those woo a para<ysis or iraac,
distress.
expect
a g r e e in this particular; and, ^o Tar as m y fiscal vi- ed wiih coatider.ee to fulfil their engagements by gettine their
s i o n g o e s , 1 cannot see h o w a difference of opinion hills discounted, are dUvippointcd, and are either reduced to ingreat loss, to o r c e a n
c o u l d possibly exist between them on that point, 1 solvency, I'r obliged,a atdutt and overstockedimmediate sale hof
th'-.'ir f/oods, in
m-irket.
T e
s a y that so m a n y words n e v e r expressed more co- I public, scarcely uble, to iuliil t i e t r existing engageg e n t truth ihan is contained in the two pas^a^e,* I I mrnts, ar« mnv:!Jing to* enter m..*on new ones. Most people
j then discover that, "during the excitement, they purchased a
h a v e quoted. Bank^, With all the restrictions and jcryaier quaniiiy of goods than they can either dispose of, o r
limitations usually thrown around them, will ex- I atVord to keep on hand. Money becomes every day more
greater rapidity,
Th«
^vivce, rind
c i t e speculation and overtrading. It is in their .. fl^pref-ion o d^<id^c fall in value wiih mill of currency redundant,
t t r o i l makes that amount,
n a t u r e to do s o . W e all k n o w that when people \ which, i n o r d i n a r y times, would not be more than auflicient to
c o m e forward, either in the Legislatures of the j conduct th»^ y ^changes of the community. T h e demand for
of ihe
; r/old, therefore,
S t a t e s or in Congress, to ask for the charier of a i conducted h:ink:?commue;? for exportation; eomu pressure; ww'Gf
arc unable to withstand the
they
b a n k , they put it on the grounds of public ^ood or * --Li p payment, then a public panic arises, and srold hi demand*
p u b l i c c o n v e n i e n c e , and that charter,* generally arc j ed for he;irdiii^ as well as exportation. To this latter demand
there is no limi:. T h e
for exportation cease*
granted on that professed principle—therefore, nu- j an toon a&- the currency demand fin coldcontracted, for the ex-y>
j
is sufficiently
m e r o u s checks and guards a i e inserted, and nmst I chaii^e::! mi:=.i thou turn; but the demand for gold, for hoarding,
g e n e r a l l y the p o w e r of revocation is retained. 13m j prorstjil.-: wiilf .-in^meuied rapid ty. It is like an epidemic. O a e
runs to
do
s u c h w a s not the fact in relation to the United j nuinsame, and the bank for gold, because he sees hist neighbornot©
j the
thi-j i'*uiaml 'nay continue as Jong as a bank
S t a t e s B a n k of P e n n s y l v a n i a ; tor the majority wrs<* | remains m t h o liamU of the public. It is like the plague, or any
nf
p a s s e d the bill refused to insert such a cinus.-, i o:hi.-r inlertio:-:; di^ea^c, which may cease this luself, although n o
liiinpti powt^r e>n arrest ha protrresfl. In
general calamity
a m o t i o n to that e fleet having been ma^e the po;>reu me overwhjlnitjd; the wealthy alone survive the*
b y my honorable frrend and c o l l e a g u e w h o ^Jiock. After a few months, trade recommences, and is cons-otnc time
s i t s o n my right [Mr. M C C C L L C I m.] Bin I say that, darted lor «\irvivej?; ilie with considerable cautiwi : confidence
..Tradualiy
banks increase their Issue*; u a d e be*
w i t h all the c h t c k s and guards usually thrown comes more lively; and then the former <VRIU* occur in the
p
a r o u n d these institutions, they will vie 3s;d strug- Mitnr order a< before: a ida^ lonjr as rival bunks are peruiittcd
LO .na/.t paj^r ttionty* there will
g l e o n e against the other, and exeite overtrading trado in nearly (he Inilowinp order be a perpetual vicissitude of
:
t(

a n d s p s c n l a i i o n , and they will induce people who
Cauikm,
w o u l d otherwise be content with moderate profits Prosperity, ronfideuce, Liyelinepa, Overtrading Gircat apparent
j- ; uJd<-»|Cori«uiun, Paralysis, Distrust, Panic, Bankto run into e x c e s s e s , which lead finally to dis- roptcic?."
a s t e r a n d ruin. T h e very s a m e principle hns made
M r . IJ> roatintif^tl* In brtng^nj; forward these
m a n y m e n , w h o w e r e once airfuent, now poor opihions, I do not desire to be undersiiHMl as c o n T h e y have been o v e r w h e l m e d by the consequence? tending liiat the banks on«ht n>t to is^ue notes. I
of their own folly, and by the thirst of gain whi-.-h do not in*en«l to s a y that they ou-^ht to exist o n l y
a l w a y s characterizes these soulless institutions. as batiks of deposits; but I think that tht'jr notes
T h e s e b a n k s , it is true, are composed o f men w h o , >honM b s of a larger rl*?nominLiiion than ttiosc
i n their private characters, m a y be honest and Tip- which, up to this time, h a v e been permitted by the
right, yet when they c o m e to be invented with a laws of the country to be issuedcorporate capacity, they s e e m to forget the prin[Mr, MORA AN row* to inquire what the gentlemao
c i p l e s by w h i c h , as individuals, th?y are direc fr -d from PcrmsyK'unis [ M r . L R K T ] thought should be
a n d g o v e r n e d — s o true is the m a x i m o f the old the lowest d e n o m i n a t i o n . ]
c o m m o n l a w , that corporations are ^ouilcs?. T h e y
M r . L*;ET. In reply to the gentleman, I will
h a v e n o sympathies. T h e iirst principle of their sa^r that, at present, I would prevent a n y bank:
nature is universal seEf-intcrest. Th<* more money I from is suing a note under ten dollars; and, when J
they can m a k e , the better financiers they are; and i had the honor o f a *e.it in the Senate or m y o w n
t h e y act upon the principle of taking care of them- ; 3-ai«% I oiiWed a proposition of ih»t kind* B u t ,
s e l v e s , and letting every body else do likewise. j if the g e n t l e m a n from N e w York [Mr. M O R Q A N ]
U p o n this point, I ask the Clerk to read s o m e ob- will do sne the favor to listen to what I h a v e to s a y ,
s e r v a t i o n s which I consider very judicious, and ! he will pea ihat, w h e n e v e r a certain si&te of thirgs.
-which I intend to incorporate into my printed j e - j can be brought about—not by a sudden m o v e m e n t ,

marks.
T h e Clerk then read a s l o u o w s :




j but by a regular, progressive i m p r o v e m e n t in the
i condition of these institutions—I would g o higher

&
than the sum of ten dollars. My idea is this—and the Stages, directly or indirectly. But if y o u repu*
I m a y a s well depait a Utile from the order of my diate ibis principle, if you take this exploded sys*,
argument, ami express my opinions here—I would tern of State deposite banks, what is the c o n s e b a r e these institutions chartered as commercial in- quence? You eee that the:-e banks are dependent
stitutions. I would not allow any great number of en the Legislature?; of the Stales—that they a r e
them to be established, (we have now, I btbeve, ihe creatures i f Stale legislation; and when they
about one thousand banks in the United S t a u s ) I ?et into difficulties, you tee them goina u p and ina*
would have tfum issue no small notes—threes, plonng their Legislatures to be merciful towards
twos, ones, and even notes of a less amoum, as ihfin. The^e banks, be it remembered, b a r e a
th6y DOW do, I would sanction no such thins; but great deal of power, far too much, and too often
I would confine them to commercial operations: and accomplish their purposes; and if you adopt that
in that respect I a m of opinion that tbey would be system, it is maui est that you make this Govern**
eminently useful to the country. If the subject of rnent dependent on the Slates, because the banks
t a n k s and banking were a new flue&tion, now first thi mselves are dependent on the Legislatures o f
propounded—if we were now about to establish a the Siatcs,
.system—I would be in favor of one essentially
In this situation of affairs, you would h a v e ft
different from that which at present prevails—dif- great and splendid Government, with twenty-*ix
ferent even from (he system as it is gleaned from srowing and prosperous Spates, c< nnec'ed with
the
acts
of incorporation thrmtelves, a i d (and bound to support it, to be >ure, when neceswhich w e know are more perfect in the sary) i n n condi ion cf dependence, however, alto**
theory th«n the system itself is in practice. I altogeiher different from thai intended by (he terms
would be in favor of a thorough reform- I would of the Constitution. ?Jeed I refer to the fact, that,
reform all the abuses and excesses into which they iu the year 1814, ihe State hacks suspended? N e e d
run, and which are not authorized by their char- t refer to ihe disastrous and deplorable condition o f
ters. I would reform them by law, by ihe fore* of dungs which followed that suspension?
1 will
public opinion, and in every manner in which the leave it to those who hear and may read m e , to
object could be attained. But I would not destroy take a retrrspective y.ew of lhose gloomy times.
the banks; I would not injure credit, for I believe Need I refer to the year 1^19, when they suspendit must, and always will, exist in such a country ed specie payments? Or, sir, tired 1 advert to the
a s this; but I say ihat, whenever it can be done, year 1837, when a lamilar event look plact? N e e d
the system ought to be reformed; and it can only I refer c-p cially to ihe year 1337, when the hanks
be done by progressive steps. But the credit sys M^pended in Now York, iu Philadelphia,-in Baltitem must be so regulated as to be useful to ihe pen- more, and a!! through the South and West, when
pie, and not to the stockholders of banking institu lh\.) explosions of these corporations cam*5? upon the
lions alone.
people like successive c-aps ot thundei? Need I
If, then, the banks will, as I think I have shown, refer to the partial su pension in the year 1838?
without the aid of the public lr«a*ate, yie with Pennsylvania, and the batiks South and West o f
each other in the struggle for cusomers and busi- her, suspended; and it is a. remarkable thing that
ness, will excite speculation and oveitrnding, and they suspended in Pennsylvania the very day after
for that purpose will expand their ISIUPF, and after- the election. W h y they held out so long, I shall
wards be under ihe necessity of con'racting them, not inquire. N o w , we need not, for the purpose of.
thereby affecting the value of piodnce, and of aii the argument, elaim that these suspensions were
articles of trade; if, I say, such is the case, and if brought about wilfully by these corpoiationrs but
this slate of thing* grows out of the very nature 01 allow, if you please, that the suspensions were,
theae institutions, how much Jess will it be [he case in a gieai measure, the resubs of the laws of trade
if you adopt the principle of this ^ixth section, an^i and commerce, over which ihry c could have tw
refuse to loan the public treasure at alt? It is Urs control. Still, in every aspect, I ay that it is un-.
very principle of refusing to loan the public trea necessary, inexpedient, and improper, in a Governsure, which is to save you and the country from ment like this, to trust iis money, without which it
all this feverish excitement, and speculation for cannot perform its functions, in these institutions,
inonej'a sake, which we see resulting fiorn these liable as they are, from diiierent causes, to be reninstitutions. And in this connec'ior I hare another dered unable to pay. T h e baiter plan is that Jiere
remark to make. This is an independent Govern- .surges ed, to keep the public money always safe,
ment; so intended to be by the framers of ihe Con- anr! ready for us?.
stitution. It has limited powers, and all the powers
There is another very excellent feature in this
which lire not given to it by the Constitution, are hill, to which I will advert for a moment. T h e
.reserved to the people of the Starrs. And al* eleventh section requires the m(>ney Vt be depositthough the word currency is not used in the Con- *d, not in the name of the collectors, as heretofore,
stitution, as a grant, yet the words " g o d and sil hut in the name of the Treasurer, no marter who
ver" are vsed; and they are. made the tender in pay- he may be—A, B, or C. He is an officer known
ment of debts, so that your Government could m-t to the law and the Constitution. You will, then,
pay a debt in any other medium, if your creditors afier this bill shall have passed, not see in yoar
chose to demand it. I pay, then, that the Constitu- sreat city of New York and oiher place*, mil ions
tion, and the u*-;i» athJc m<rr whn framed it, do ( of money held in (he name of an individual, and
signed this Goveinnu'-t, ^ ^ >r *$ f-<* p<*^r . PV' r nh;ch he has control, and upon which he
existed to make it .so by that w^irumcn!, :•- 0- In- ; e-*:i draw a n d ctvvk a?: he pleases; but it vjfl be
dependent, and to carry on lis operation.-; without ; dep^-^ved > the &a*n? of the Treasurer of ?he u n i ikt sJigtuevt dependence anon, sir connecter* -":th




9
A g a i p : E x a m i n e t ions of the books of account? a r e ) he might not be able to pay, or which ought not to
l o ^ i i n M ' i a n d of the moneys on hand; and special be paid* H e may have all the advantages and
agents a r e to be appointed fur that purpose. T h i s facilities of a civil su t, and there U nothing l i t e
cxamteatii n m a y be monthly, or weekly, or odium or reproach attach ng itself to him- In this
daily*
It may be just as often as the Secre- view of the ca&e, this is a very important provision.
t a r y of the T r e a s u r y , acting under the atTvice and iu the bill.
w o n the suggestion of those connected with the
1 come HOW !o the nineteenth section, which of
G o v e r n m e n t m a y require. Is not this a great im all others, is probably the most important, bep r o v e i n e m ? T h e Uniied States Bank of Fennsyl cause, so far as the business of the country, which
vania is r^qaued by law to make monthy return- has been so much talked of, is concerned, this secto the Auditor General of the Stale, T n a t is, to tion it is alleged will likely exercise more influb e sure* a gieat improvement on the old s> stem; ence than any o^her in the bill It will, I think,
b a t , u n d e r this bill, ihs depositaries of the pub- har** a beneficial, not an injurious effect.
l i c m o n e y are obliged to submit their accounts,
T h t s section proposes that the revenue or ina n d e v e n the money itself, to be overlooked a n ! come of the Government shall,- in the course of a
c o u n t e d by these special agents, as often as ihr certain peiiod of rime, be collected in legal cura g e n t s , or the Secretary of the Treasury himself, rency, in gold and silver. It does not propose that
m a y think proper. T h i s , 1 say, is a great improve- the revenue shall be collected at once; but it proment* H o w is the fact with the banks*? There the vides that, after the 30th day of J u n e , 1840, onem o n e y is counted, probably once in three or six fourth pare of the revenue shall be collected in gold
months* A committee appointed by the board re- and silver; that after the 30th day ofJJune, 1841, one
pair t o the cashier's room and count the money, niher fourth shall be so collected; that after the
a n d ««c what amount is there; or, as is more gene- 30 h day of J u n e , 1843, otic other fourth shall be
rally the case, they take the word of the tellers and so collected; and that after the 30th day of J u n e ,
cashier. It may be sail, on the same principle, 1843, the whole of the revenue thail be paid in
that the special asenls will take the word of thes* gold and silver. So that it will be perceived, the
officers. It may Le so; if it is, it will be because receipts of the notes of sound specie paying b a n k s ,
they h a v e especial confidence in the ofHcfrs. But wjli not be done a w a y with entirely, until the last
I t a k e it that, in view of the requM inns of ihis bill, | or J a n e , 1843 N o w , this section has been most
the h e a d of the T r e a s u r y D^partmpnt will A el it strenuously objected to—and, in some parts ot the
i n c u m b e n t upon him to require a careful inspec- I country, it has been represented and discu sod in
tion a n d examination of the money itself, so as to sufdi a way as greatly to confuse mid delude the
see w h e t h e r tbo hard dollars are ther^ or not?
| public mind.
A n o t h e r very good feature of the bill is thst con- j T h e President, in his last annual message, says:
tainedin the 17thsection, by which tt i^ declared ihat j " F r o m the best estimates, wc m a y safely fix the
the u s i n g , investing, or loaning the public money, i amount of specie in the country at eighty-five milshall be deemed a f ELONV, and that any officer or ! lions of dollars, and the ponion of that which
agent, of the United States, and all persons ad- j would be employed at any one time, in the receipts
vising o r participating in such act, belnp: convicied I and disbursements of the Government, if th^ prothereof before any court of the United States, of | posed change weie made at once, would not, it IR
competent jurisdiction, shall be sentenced to im I now, after fuller investigation, believed, exceed
prisonment for a term not 1-ss than six months, j four or five i n d i u m s . "
.nor m o r e than five years, and to a fine equal To the
Now the President trays, that the highest amount
a m o u n t of the money embezzled.
N o w , though i of specie in the country will be $85,000,000. W e l l ,
it m a y appear to convey an imputation of frailty I even upon the suppostion that the system proposed
-upon h u m a n n a ' u r e , that a law of tbi* kind should by this bill wou,d go into operation this very day *
be requited in relation to men who are to be trusted , only four or five millions of this amount would be
*witb duties so hish, yet no honest man can object i required to carry out its purposes. But it is not
'*o if; a n d if a dishonest man should happen to cret ! proposed, a^ I have shown, that the bill shall g o i u t a
a n to office, this is the very law which i* wanted for | full operation at once. It is proposed that only
"Aim, It is a principle, as old as civilization itself, one fourth of the amount of the revenue shall in
l h a t pnnishcuc'it for the violation of law, or I the first instance be collected in gold and silver,
for neglect of duty—for crime, either of com- j and be placed in d e p o s i t s T h e change is to be era-mission or omission—has a great, controlling, i dual; and if injury should be found to result front
Snoral iofluenee. It is certain that, by a pro- | it, Congress, which, with a spirit of patriotism, is a t
vision of this bind, men are more likel} r ;o | all timus -looking to th-* interests of the people, will
4>e prevented from yielding to temptation*
It j amend the bill in any particular in which amend"men of dishonest principles should chance to be . meat may be required. If the change were sudden,
jfclevaied to the^e offices, will they not be deterred and not gradual, gentlemen might prwbablv with
^from indulging their propensities by this provision? much Force and propriety objeci to th<; bill; but,
W h a t is trie fact now* This thing of using the being gradual, the eflect on the currency will be
public money for personal purposes is a mere mild and salutary. It m a y be said that- the busi[preach of tru^t, and subjects a man simply 10 a ness of the country, as it increases, year after year,
civil action, which he can come forward and de- will continue to require more and more specie for
fend; a n d in reference to which he m a y declare the collection cf *he revenue. W i l l not the gold a n d
every thing that any honest m a n might, according silver of the country also augment? Look at MexitQ the rules and practice of courts, do, if suit we e co. Look at the provinces of N e w Spain, with
brought against him for a sum of money which which we arc intimately associated. Look at the




10
yoid and silver coined there every year. Accord- the amounts received by receivers of ftttifr
ing to evidence, they made in thtir rain s silver offices, were $107,000,000; making a tola*
C(nn in every year to the amount of fifty millions, one billion and tif y-ihree millions of dollars
and gi Jd to the amount of fourteen millions of dul- the year 1789 then, it has been ihe practice o£'j
Ian*; being a total of S'xty-fi-nr millions of dollars. Government to trust their public m o n e y * ! * - '
This was some time ago, and no doubt ibey make hands of public agents. Afterwards, to be,more now. Of this gold and silver, laige amounts this mon«y was transferred at one time to thel
are imported here. Is it probable thai we rhail ^anks, and, at another time, to the Bank o f not always have ihe means of being in possession United States, and always, down to the year 1898$
of as much gold and silver as the country requires either to the one or the oiher. But I refer to t h a ^
—and ihat the increase of the precious metals will facts, merely tor the purpose of showing that i n d #
noi go, pari passu, with the amount required for ihe principle of trusting ihe public money to the hand*
business of the country]
of public agents, there is nothing novel* Ia/tbtf
But my friend from Massachusetts, [Mr. CUSH- vear 1837, when a universal suspension of speci*
JNG] in speaking of this m*a<ur*?, and wha* he sup- payments took p ! ace, the State bank* had in the*'
po^ed would be it* effect on the banks, i^ed the | vaults $32,000 O O of the pubuc money; and sndkr
U
strong and emphatic language, that it "wou d an-i was the ci ndition info which their affairs VH&
bank the banks." 1 shou'd Lke to have heard thar j thrown by that sus, ension, that the Government
bonorab e grntleman expiam how it uas, »hat the ! was obliged to pay i s creditors with this bank pa**
use of lour or five millions of dollars of >pei ie,' p*r at a discount of at least ten per eent. the*ebf
n the collection of the public revenue, was lo "un- ; producing a loss to the Stales and to the publicef*bank the banks." There are in ihc country | thtc rs of ^omeihtm: like two and a ha *f millions ttf
about one thousand banks; st me of them are | dollars. I >ay to ihe Sates, because, under tfta<J*»
sound, ^orae unsound. So far as the unsoan:1 or • p u s n c act of I63G, the States received «his monef
rotten banks are concerned—so far as banks. | t r o m the b a n k s / Af.d I wtII recollect t h * t , w b »
'whoiC stockholders would not agree to be liable A-r ihe State of Pennsylvania came to leoeive her pot*'
the debts of the in^ituiion, but who hav** b f n 1 lien of the public plunder, or, as it was commonly
>
willing to speculate upon the country, and make calied, the su?plus there was a contot among the
all the money they could—so far, I $ay, as bank* ; banks who should bav* it on deposite« TfteLegi* of such a desciipiion may be atlected, the t p-ra- '. 'a^ure was entreated to pat tt in one place and fe
tion of this section will be, either to r>s'rain them , another: a?;d the ih^n dep site banks could not haV*
within proper limit-, or to compel th^un to wind up. it removed because it was alleged it would destroy
Bui, to far as the sound bat k» are concerned— ;the business of that portion of the country i»
batiks whose affairs are managed in accordance • which thty were locaed; and that every things
wrth the principles of their chatters—which have would s;o wrosg.
Tne surplus was wiih*
not let out too much paper, and have alwajs kvpt "drawn from th*T banks, in pursuance of ftfr
on hand a fair prof onion of specie, the operation : law, and no doubt it had a great effect upon
of this section must necessau'y be mild and salu- [stock* I will nor, however, enter into aey
iary. Its only operation would be to restrain them | further comparison between this independent'
from the issue of an improper amount of p;iprr. Treasury and the Sate bank system;' but I
Every man knows that the perpetual tendency of ; will inq.iire whether a Uni'cd Slates Bank would1
these insnruiions is to issue too much p p*r. In ; answer the necessary purp <e>1 And h^re I call
my own State t have known a baok chartered with ' ihe afemion of my" friend fiom Kentucky, [Mr*
an amount of capital paid in of, say, one hundred i POPE ] He oflered, on the 9 h of March last, in
thousand dollars, which had near f-ur hundred ! his p!ac* here, a resclui.oji, to which I have bethousand dollars in circulation.
It bred up- fore iue'dentally advened, suggesting: a plaa wWekj
on the mere breaih of credit; ai*d if a woid of [it carried out into lite foim of a b 11, would, 1»
<
doubt, as to ihe soundness of its credit, had b en , doubt, ao.ount to a scheme, an^^on^tical tofeatof
uttered in any respectable quarter, it must ne- | the luocpendent Treasury, and te ihe real favori^
cessarily have fallen. I say, then, tha* this mode is. hijrae rf ih a Opposinon party. Tnis resolution
of collecting the pnbt c revenue, evert afer ^he provides: "That it is nee<-<sary and proper toes^
provisions ot the nineteenth section shall have-on 'iabfi>h a Nan'osa! Bank, wisli a capital of 9*ve*hf
completely into operation, will not a fleet 'he honest nvthons of roliars, lo aid the fiscal operations w
banks in any manner so injurrousiy as to prevent \ the Government.''
them from making fully as much as they oturht to
He sets out with the principle that it is neceastmake.
| ry and proper to e-t-ibij'sh a rsatioual Bank; and he
I m:ght enter into other illustrations to provej then jrnesonto define the purposes for which it
the superior relative advantage* which this
>hai I be e>tab: ished.
pendent Treasury system possesses over th S'aie!
Mr. L. proceeded to read the re?olotioOt aid
Bank depesite sjstem. It appears fr*m a repor' ob^ervtfd that, anions the mo?t prominent bbjecis
of the Secretary of the Treasury, that the fosses of ihi^ $reat National Bank", as i^di ated i* t>e
sustained j) the collection of the revenue Aom h nnra^'-e gentleman^ resolve, is thtM "Itts 16Incus?oms and public lands, in con.-ecj'-cnce o f the form the eyisiirg disorder ia the currency, » d ^
defalcations of public officers and receivers are secure to the nation a ^'able and uniform standaftt
much less in amount than ih* losses sustained bv ot value, by excluding a spurious and ruinous p»*
the banhs. F OFO the year 1789 to ihe year 1837, per cunency from circulation, and to prepare,)*
tbeam u^ts r e c i t e d by collectors ard held under par', the pecuniary means ot war." N o w t &*
their control, ftom duties, were $946,000,000, and what has past experience ^hown in regard tffik*




11
o p a c i t y of such an institution, to accomplish these I It h a s been objected to it, that it will h a v e the
«$gects?
D i d the country find the late B a n k of the tendency to introduce an e x c l u s i v e l y metalic c u r
f l a i l e d S t a t e s to a n s w e r a n y such ends*? H a s the rency, and to destroy the credit o f ihe banks. N o w
w e s e n t U n i t e d Sta'es B a n k of P e n n s y l v a n i a at- for my o w n part, I d o not believe ihat such w i l l be
w i l l e d a n y s u c h purpose^? H a s it secured to the the results, nor do I believe that ihe fiiends o f t h e
n a t i o n a n uniform standard of v a l u e , and prevented j measure desire that such should be the results,
Ike c i r c u l a t i o n o f a miserable and nsetess pape/ [ look upon this as an argument m a d e rather for
currency'? N o , it h a s not. H a s it maintained it- effect than a n y thing else. T o my recollection, I
s e l f i n a. condition to afford the c »untry * the pecu- h a v e never heard it used by any g e n t l e m e n on thiy
niary
means of warT^ Could it h a v e aided the floor, nor do I suppose I >haU; bat still w e know
G o v e r n m e n t , in the e v e n t w e had had war w i t i that this objection has been raised elsewhereIt
E n g l a n d , on a c c o u n t of the M a i n e border q u e s i o n ? certainlv is not the design of those w h o support
M b , M r - C h a i r m a n , no. W e behold that institu- thts bill that s u c h results should follow. In the y e a r
t i o n , w i t h alt its capital,and all its boasted jingle o f 1S33, when the party in Pennsylvania, ( f I m a y
b a r d d o l l a r s in its vaults, a suspended bantr, reius- use the phrase,) met by thtir repre.sennatives in
i n g to r e d e e m iLs promises to pa} r , and even issu convention at Harrisburff, they tonk especial care
l o g p o s t notes.
to disclaim any such notion, a n d they treated with
H e p r o p o s e s that ten millions of ihe capital a becoming feeling of indignation any tff^rt thai
s h a l l b e reserved for the United Sia'f?, that at least might be made to i m p u t e to them the a d v o c a c y of.
o n e - h a l f o f the residue of the capita! shall be al- such a d o c ' r i i e as that of the introduction of a
lotted t o the States, and divided a m o n g them, ac- currency e x c l u s i v e l y metallic. I w me s a y that
c o r d i n g to their representation in Congress; and f the pecuniary business o f your G o v e r n m e n t ; the
t h a t t h e b a l a n c e o f the cap tal shall be" taken by j receij cs and disbursements of the puMic revenue,.
A m e r i c a n corporations and citizens, under ptoper |cri»ist:tire onlv a small portion o t the m. ney rer u l e s a n d restrictions. I a m p'eased, at all events, | c e i v e d and p.-iid out through this country.
Look
t o find that m y friend has excluded foivii>ner.<, aud I at y o u r c o m m e r c e — l o o k at your merchandiset h a t h e confines the stock to A m e r i c a n eiiiy?jKs scattered over the c o u n t r y — l o o k at yuur importB u t l o o k at thiw proposition for a m o m e n t .
It is ing and exporting trade—look at your m a n u f a c c e r t a i n l y the most extraordinary o n e , for a fiscal tures of various s o r s , and y o u will find that the
a g e n t o f the United States, that 1 h a v e yet seen a m o u n t required for ihe operations of the Govern*
I n s a y i n g this, I m e a n no disrespect to my friend merit w J t be a small sum in comparison with the
B a t h e r e is a pioposition for an i m m e u s e hank, million? and tens o f millions p*id out and r e w i t h a capital double the a m o u n t of (hat of the late c e i v e ! in the business operations of the country
TJnited S t a t e s Bank, connecting this Genrrai G o - The convention to w h i c h 1 h a v e referred issued
v e r n m e n t , wh»ch is to be one stockholdrr, wi;h ail i an addre-s, from which I will take the liberty to
t h e S t a t e s , w h i c h are alto to be stockholders; and | lead ;\ few b f i f extracts- I >ays:
t h u s y o u convert the G o v e r n m e n t , *o i\\v as its lis j ( b Th-: ari^*ot:racy a r e w e i l a w m e , i n a t t h o y c n n n o i s i i c c e P R f i t l i y
<jal a g e n c i e s are concerned, into one grand United I c o n t e n d , m a fair Mini hutvuratile w a r f a r e , w i t h a p a r t y w t i i r h i*
l
i
i
evt ui
f a U
S t a t e s B a n k . Sutler this s-cheme w by carried our, | osscmirtlly p o p u h n v u n in pw hy c n m hies ! D\w.m o c a a c d ,l l y p r c t i o m iwih iic h,
1-\)L-UiLd reur-on, iht-v
p l to t
e
r y VpuhntsJ
w h e r e w o u l d be the p o w e r of the people to resist ttunorablii n i e n <k-*pi^^ ;m*l i m p u t e t o i.hrtii p r i n c i p l e s n e v o r
s u c h a v a s t combination?
.Let such a bank, with e n t e n a i n M by (l;o p ; i n y , a m i w h i c h e v e r y U e m u c r a t d i s a v o w s .
An
to hv. lunar
upiui
ihr
pi/frh*:
its s e v e n t y mrliions of capital, and shoriiy, per- "i/rm\Sf.ifUf-s.fotiif i# /•* ttttfuiptnl
lit';!
ihf* *}itt,iltiiiii
uf t/tfi FJf /?r,t rrttic pt:rfy
/V
h a p s , w i t h double that a m o u n t , having i u a e e n c i e - ifestrny ffrr frcOit-zifX?'"},^
/,* destroy
nit the f,a 'dm—uxd
to inx
itoxr ntz rxi'u<ic; ief:^ir
<^u-rpitcj rcum -hr
p*on?c—J^tfCI*
a n d b r a n c h e s located in different parts o f the c o n n
I
S
N
THE
K
C
K
.
m$ •
t r y , a n d its friends mattered aii over t h - earth—1 ' j CN.T K Mf.K KT hrtfi ,y rnt*or4ui*o D\iv M rO n cKp l eC V h i c thl TtT n dK FtoY interfur*;?
J AI
p i i
w
e s
s a y , l e t s u c h a bank ever be established, and men With (he pnlilirt j ' r o s p c r i t y a n t l e ? m - r | j r i a c ul' d i e p e o p l e , thtt
m a y t h e n i n d r e i talk o f the power and influence' iitjlru4ol p v n p o i t y , m- ihi* p u b J i r f a h h . J: in n o t l.he o h j e c t oi'
do
iusi uu
^,
o f corporation^; because *ucb a concen raimn ot , .!*•*!«•!! ot Hi" D i ' i n - i c r a i i c p«n*ty,forto <hi» ^ r m y a n y ci»i'*<1,r . b u o r .tf»
i^iraiJy -r.ful iiune^rjy o^tnotisliRii
e^ricr;d
i
f
m o n e y p o w e r would be truly d m g e r u u s , and ia the | ro^roi a.id p r n t c c t !nMii— N O T T O A i i O R A V A T K TFf E O N K l a p s e o f time utterly irresi>tib!e.
j R O H S JSl U i > E X S O F T f J K I ' M O P U i , ItV S V V H K I M N G
FltOM
fciXKl'fclNCH
T i l - IJANlvlNN
INSTITUTIONS^
T h e g e n t l e m a n proposes, fan her, that after live H I T T O I C F F K r r T H A T S A M i T A U V R K F O U M . N O W
y e a r s , notes thall n;>: be i ^ u e d of a le^s dt nomi I M P K B l O i y s L V P K V A M 1 E I ) HV T H E l N T I i R K ? * T 5 ? \&
WKLL
T
A K S ArS T E r E O P U
l! d i e I>^
n a t i o n than trn dollars; and a'ter ten years, not of I iiiin;ratteOpK n y H K reJ 1h eNdo^Lrnyrr^, Ht h e :i<>Trtrinn^v a n d leveller*,,
u
wt
t
a lees d e n o m i n a t i o n than twenty dvujais. S o far j .13 then- opp*»n^nts u.iVt*cr. io h c l i o v o t l i r m to b e , PcitnsyJvsmiA
a s that provision g o e s , u is well enough. N o w it rtujt I i.Hjt n o w ho'A.- of ih<*. t l o n a " p o p n l a r i n i i . t h e i m m n n a o
w e a l t h , ihe_ ma»ffiitii:enL i n i p r o v e n c a t t f , a m i t h e boundIi"-«e r»this is intended by him as a a aotag m w j e n ] scheme y Oii-ret, w h i c h !sav^ harr, u u r ^ o t i i n t o n m t u r i f y umJei Dt*rno
to the Independent Tf^asury bill, and if we are to e m t i o A d n i m i i M r a i i o n s j'or t h o Uyt i h i r t y y e a r n . l > u r i n ? tKat
time,
pviri'-iplor*
e
tcrtiihifd
h
oc n^
Jook to the former ns the better and w i ^ r , and 1 j);ii-ty.i.hxh ap-diin? w a r e th,?wsear m e^ ntlrtcirincrt aby vtw o f c ld^ m«TI*1r a»Jjp
t i mtl
a
more beneficial m e a s u r e , 1 m«M beg to >ay ihat it J ^;>.m^ p;>it- >- riir.-iiitd. a m i i * c t i n ^ y i * i n i a , U N U K I l T I I R BKi s n o t a m e a s u r e to which I c^uM yield my assent, j NION" I N F I . V K X C R O F T l l f e l P A I N t J I F L E A ^ O t
P
' I,!
e i n
I should consider i*. obuoaiou-* to atl the uhjeetionsl T K I N I ' . * , A i\i n i o nleOli-u<s; iys,t r rhi ^<>/miih> e n n ito n a u c h to m ^n jeu scte y ancJ
ii-npt»!-iiAiir.t:
.
« U o , a«
b
l enthat e v e r existed against the United State* B a n k I d t l e d Mih-3 d U i i n q u i s : v , d iippoUii:io» of *'The Koyst^rtO » r n l c . "
1 s h o u l d consider it as virtually incorporating into | T h s (continued M r , L. ) :s ihe u u e doiiinne t»f
y o n r Constitution a principle thct banks s h o u l d ] the D e m o c r a i i c party, so far a s I h a v e any k n u w g i v e to the G o v e r m e n t its currency.
J cdiQ on the subject.
I w i s h n o w , M r . C h a i r m a n , bricily to notice o n e ] I brg leave also to r e a i an extract from an a d v r t w o objections w h i e h h a v e been urged against j dress issued by a committee of m e m b e r s of the
Yfciffbxlh
* S e n a t e and H o u s e o f Representatives of the Con*-




12
*ress of the United Slates, m J u l y , 1838, which and die basinets o f the people ramify ifcto, i
intimately blended with, each other.
say*?:
1 t e g leave here to advert to a tadSf^
" f t i s alleged that this measure i s part of a s c h e m e to force
on the country a currency purely metallic* T h i s is unfounded. happ ned to pick up y t s e r d a v , written^
A specie currency for the ordinary daily transactions o f life
a n o s u c h a specie basis for paper a s will always ensure u* general ex-President, General Jackson, jrju
convertibility into specie, w h e n required by the holders, h to a letter addressed tn mm by a committee\
w h a t is contended for, and such is the only tendency and reai Ohio Legislature.
I regard the sentiments/*
design of the measure proposed, s o far a s the banks are con
kerned. A purely metallic currency is no part of the Indepen faiued in *h s letter as those of one spealnjijg^ r
H e cannot be ar~'
dent Treasury pJan, as proposed by the Administration, anr *ere f from the dead.
supported by its friends. In fine, with the exception of a rer\ riave any personal interest in these great:
small number, w h o are in favor of depositing the public mone>
*hich now aeitate the country—J mean any if&r
specially in bank*, the question at issue between us, and thos*
w h o favor a d e p o s i t e in the banks, may be stated thus: T M E ^
e>i beyond hat natural to a man whose life and
wish to have the public money deposited in banks% nnt to b- services h i v e been dr voted to bis country—who
kept by them, but to be lent out for private
vises
XV B ar
l a s s e r v t d her in peace and in war—-who ba*
opposed to tending
out the publie money Jor private
uses
and. effectually
to pre cent it, arc in far or ofhating
it key
. wice been called to preside over her councilman*
hy public officers, under h+ary bonda and sevuriti&s not toust wrno, in his old age, has sought that retirement ihost
£tt or suffer it to be used for day private purpose
ttrhatsoeve?
•and to pay it out only in pursuance of appropriations made by **on*en:al to his: feelings and wishes. H e holds
taw, a s prescribed in the Constitution."
>he following language:
M r . L . continued: It will be recol!pc?e;l that
Jhese banks are under the influence of theii
o w n States, and it is not the design of ihis measure to interfere injuriously with,them. But if it
i s to have any effect at all, it is to induce the
banks to discount a n ! issue paper upon the
real basi^ on which they process to is>ue it; that ixo say, gold and silver; and in this connection 1
beg to read a passage from the message of the
President:'»

"It ia parte ulnrly gratifying to me. gentlemen* to be i
oy your Legislature t h i t t h e grotir.ds on w h i c h J rested my Opposition to ihe encroachments of the money power are regan*.d with fav^r by :he people of Ohio. T h e dangers of that power,
I:JW more evident, because they are brought closer to the Denervation and business* concern* «f all classes of ourcitfeapft
i>rm in my judgment the only cloud in our political borisoQ*
In all rv.he"r aspect? ihf influences adverse to the genius o f os?
nsthution$ set-m to hav* vie hied to the demands of the people,
m l such I doubt not, v, ill*be the ea*u with those wielded by the
ii.v-.ey y ;»wcr a^- s-non a> the public voice has another OppeftU'
ji:y o"f ai':ir.c u;n.tn ih?-n. Ail tbat we have to do on tnis •«>
e^:, is ;o persevere a ii r :ie Iiinseu niainmining the doctrines**
the Ooritfiiiipr-twind t\\< »us£r$tions of common sense W<
know rhat ourf-r.h rs who franiedilie Constitution gave to Con-rros* nn p o w p ; it* charter a bank, and w e cannot err. therefore?
;n spying th u ifnui U >ve.rimeut had never departed fromtfc**
rvamplel %t would have had r.oi.e of the evils which nowaffli'-: u? i,i c*.»r.s*\uitace of ^ank »nspc:i«ions t and an irreoeeoiahie v*ap.3r carr#-r.ry. W e k m w t l i i t if the Governmentdep*sireil rj<>neof:he .n"j:i^y 01 ihe peorle with banks, these insdffe
**uo? w o u V h.ivt* • ,i power in cntiauffrr the safety of the put4k
irea^Liic. or to it .lueiic/. improperly, questions o f public poTI-y. W e t n o w th tt k m W d-' r.ot make money, but only eireu
Utt their panor o n i ^ m i ] 5 . whiuh mu?c be e:cAxl or bad accordific loth^ir 4-.iiMcirv tc* r^doen* them with specie; and bene*
rt:aT ther«! * i i in.* i y* cotr.Idonce in them as !on? oa they main
?ai;i the rigiit :o ^uspci.J specif payments at pleasure.

"In a country no com mere ial as oure. bunkc hi i u m e form
will probably always exit*; but thi? serves only to u n d e r ii
the niorw IncuniOent on us ; notuifhatandiug in?, d^courasrc
mentM of eviteth past, o s'rive in our respective stations to rnui
the
g
i?lC i »
«y*P*odqce—•?:oUfce fiom th*m, as rapidlv as
m e o b l i g t t i i m s t i f jmbfic faith, ar.it a careful r»fi3idi;rati<m < i
>
the immediate interests or the c m u n unity will permit, the un
f a n character of monopolies: to check, so tar at? mav br
practicabl by prudent lugUlatimi, thi*e tcrnpLa'ions of "interest, and tho-*.* opportunities for their dan£*r*us indul?enrp.
w h i c h besot them on every side, add to coufiiu-them strict tv
t o the perform nice of their p a a m m m t dntv, that of nidmz th*»
I'peratMnsofcimi-nercti, rather tha:i consul tin* their o w n axousjw* advantage.'*

?

M r . L , continued: Another objection rai^eH f "From suc i ?ruth«. it appears to me to be self-evident, that
lv*-re i* iiftw
Against this bill i s that it contemplates one cur- In*trpendent r^» re.Jtf Tor th-* people but in the adoption o f tl*
Tn-a»ury. rrcommc!ided by the present adariafcrency for the people and another for the Go- t rat to n o f t li e t; e -. ? r al 15 o ver i* mem. By t his plan* the finandal
vernment.
I would not hare referred to this up^ratiof.- of ;hc Troa^urv « .11 L^e aimplifird, and theispeopt^
raftw
objection if it h i d not been introduced into a wi?l have r^c jtirnnce^t enanmtee that themon^y which retiuitefrom them by rajtc'iiMi will be applk-d according to the
U
rncrtt^ nf t*ie C.-.r.jitruiii-tn. If, t;; utkntton to ihis reform In O T
very ahie report ma ie by my colleague [Mr. S E R OJCAKT] in the year 1838, and which w a s sent forth fi -a nr ••'!.! s\i!'.em, t*i..«s:re^ would, at the aame time, p a s s s e e
c^ratbrjArii;*: \av,. S y whi."h the bank? which are now in sxisttogether wiih another repnn on ths same subject enc«. or nviy >*• h-.*realtor charrercd by ihe States, would lj*
==
made in behalf of the majority of the Committee bou:. 1 to ni ikt ::,: i-«^ui'abto d..-$rrthuti<»n of their iffects to tWr
ere ?i:orri v.!i-.;i iht.y r f'j-%- to redeem their notes with specie, it
o f W a y s and M^ans by its tnen chairman [Mr. cannot in.- dn:btt i'that there would be ai\ end to theevUaof •
CjaiziKEUNa.] It may be dullness on my part, depreciated pa t t currency. Thrsc measures being adoptsOr
but I cannot .see wherein the force of ini* objection j bu; lu-U time would be m'ji isnf to enable ihose banking iB8t^
to
lies. On<5 currency far the Government and ano- iI t*i:ion>-. which asr *- m d , the re stan i the public confidence;***
the labor of the country,
arming-, manufacturing! and m*
ther for the people? H o w is this? H n w can you chanic interests, \vi«uli! «oon revive—ihat creditsystem Whichfc
separate the Government from the people? H o w , biis**.! on reai rt;»h^;. ant] which coi»s ha d in hand withtt*
would be
can you separate the currency, which you use lor j lahoraiif* enterprise of nurcttijsenv.mea-Mires."enlarged, not to
j miiiUhcd. by ;ho ^pcratitii of tiitrse
your pnblie business, iij receiving and paying ouihe public revenue^ from the business affairs cf j Mr. L . continued. Mr. Chairman, in the rethe people? Members of Congress receive their • ma^ks tihich I hdve matte on this measure, I ha**
m o n e y in gold and silver. D o iney not pay it out endeavoreti to be as practical as possible.
I <stfr\
to the people of the District every day or week; and ! not see in it any i h n g of the dangerous tendeDCf«
does it not enter tn-o the circulatioa of ihe District? j and the ruino :s antl destructive properties, whiok
T>o we not pay it out in ihe regular course of busi- ^entlem^n of the Opposifton attribute to it; b u t !
ness? I cannot see how this argument is supported; do s~? in i* a propoution and a means by whgcb
" cannot see how gentlemen make out t h u the peo- I this Gorernment Van place itself in a ^eoadiwa
I
p l e are to have one currency, and the Government where it may have its own money in its Ow*
another; because the business of the Government, hands, and b j which, in case c f war oremergtuefi




I

15
it may cease to be dependent upon banking institn1fotu* Congress has power to declare war, to' ap
pfupriate money, and to do many other acts; yet
w e h a r e seen that we are dependeni opon ifae creatures ©f Slate legislation, and upon the cream™ s of
ottr own raiding, tor the very money which we
(bus appropriate, even when needed in linu 01
"ifar- Congress has the honor, the dign ty, ihe
fame, a n d the glory of the country in its hands.




How can they be maintained without money? If
I were now talking to plain men, I should say, ir
•t not better to have y*>ur own money in your own
desk, or even in j o u r own old stacking, that it may
I he within reach when you want it, rather than to
loan it to your neighbor, that tie may speculate ap*
• >n it?

T h k , sir, is the National Independent Treasury
I have done*