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SPEECH

OF

SAMUEL, x^DOWELL IOORE,




O N I HE.

DEPOSITS QUESTION;

M,i,ivji!ihD

IN T H E H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

J A ^ t J r R y i £ , 1S34*

WASHINGTON;
*RINTKI>

RV HAS -Kfc» A N D S K . A 1 0 K ,

Vr S.




SPEECH

Mr. P O L K , on t h e 17th D e c e m b e r , having moved that
the Report of t h e Secretary of the Treasury be referred
to the Committee of W a y s and Means—
Mr, M C D U F F I E moved t o amend t h e motion, by adding:
" W i t h instructions to report a joint resolution, pro* viding that the public revenue hereafter collected shall
* be deposited in the Bank of the United States, in com* pliance with the public faith, p l e d g e d by the charter of
« the said B a n k . "
And on t h e 14th January, after Mr. CATKHREI/ENG had
concluded his remarks:
,
Mr. JONES, of Georgia, offered t h e following amendment to the instructions m o v e d by Mr. M C D U F F I E :
'* With instructions to inquire into the e x p e d i e n c y of
* depositing the revenue, hereafter collected, in all the
4
State Hanks, in t h e different States w h e r e the same is
* collected, in proportion to their respective capital paid
* in, and to prescribe the terms on which the same shall
* be deposited*, and to report by bill or otherwise.*'
On the day following, (Jan. 1 5 ) —
Mr. MOOIIE rose and said : If I had consulted my inclinations alone, I should not have felt any anxiety to obtain
t h e floor, nor have troubled the House with any remarks
upon t h e subject before it. T h e r e are, h o w e v e r , some
circumstances which, in my estimation, render an open
and unreserved expression of my sentiments, upon the
question under discussion, in some d e g r e e an act of j u s t i c e to myself, and of duty to those w h o m I have the
honor to represent in this Hall. If, sir, I belonged to
either of t h e two great political parties into w h i c h the
Representatives of t h e P e o p l e in Congress are supposed
t o b e divided, (viz : the friends and opponents of the Administration,') it might not be difficult for those w h o may
f e e l an interest in knowing the motives of my actions, to
infer them from the k n o w n principles of the party to
which I b e l o n g e d . And I might well spare you the inc o n v e n i e n c e of listening t o the remarks I am about to
m a k e . But, sir, standing here, as I do, untrammelled
by party connexions, and with no other views to prom o t e , than such as may advance t h e interest of my country, my motives can only be k n o w n from my own declarations and actions. I came not here as the organ of a
particular party, but as the representative of t h e whole
p e o p l e of t h e District by w h o m I was elected, / g a v e no
p l e d g e to any party, to sustain *• all the measures of the
administration" indiscriminately,whether right or wrong;
on the contrary, sir, I happen to b e one of those " s o u t h ern politicians," who, it is said, boast of their f t freedom
from t h e shackles of party ;'* one, sir, w h o would have
disdained to have secured a seat in this Hall by giving a
p l e d g e inconsistent with that i n d e p e n d e n c e which every
representative of a free p e o p l e o u g h t to feel, and inconsistent with m y duty to my immediate constituents. It
it true* sir, that I do consider myself as p l e d g e d to sustain \W* Administration, in all t h e measures it may prop o s e , wbveh, upon deliberate examination, my j u d g m e n t
shall approve ^ but, upon t h e other hand, I stand equally
p l e d g e d to oppose,and to condemn,every measure, winch




may b e c o m e t h e subject of our deliberations, from whatever quarter it may have emanated, which I shall believe
to b e wrong- Ooverned by these views, I can never
consent to act with any party, e x c e p t so far ns its measures may be calculated to promote the prosperity and
happiness of the nation. And, in giving the vote which
I shall g i v e , upon the question now before us, and upon
every other which shall arise, so long as I have the honor to hold a seat here, I shall act not upon the r^spon^
sibility of a party, but upon my own individual responsibility to those whose Representative I am.
Before I proceed to the examination of the subject immediately under discussion, I must b e permitted to say
something in explanation, or rather in vindication, of a
vote which I g a v e , upon a question taken in this House,
a short time since; which is rendered necessary by some
remarks which fell from the gentleman from T e n n e s s e e ,
[Mr. P O L K , ] w h o addressed t h e House some days past*
I voted against the motion to reconsider the vote by
which the Heport of the Secretary of the Treasury had
b e e n committed to a Committee of the Whole House; and
for the following reasons: I believed that w e could then
determine some highly important questions arising out of
the Report of the Secretary, without waiting for any
other e v i d e n c e than that which was furnished by the face
of the Report itself; such, for e x a m p l e , as that which has
arisen as to the propriety of the conduct of t h e Secretary in removing the deposites from the United States
Bank, and that which we are now to determine, as to the
necessity of restoring t h e m . That opinion is y e t unchanged. I voted against the motion to reconsider,too,sir,
because I thought the debate ought then to take place*
I wished it to take place, because I was desirous of obtaining such information as would enable m e to act understandingly upon other important questions, which it
was probable I might be called upon to decide, in relation to the conduct of t h e Secretary of the Treasury and
of the United States Bank. A n d , sir, I have not b e e n
disappointed in this just expectation, as I have already received much valuable information from g e n t l e m e n w h o
have addressed the House upon both sides of the question now the subject of our deliberations. I wished the
discussion to take place, too, sir, because I wished t h e
debate to g o forth to the nation, believing that it would
afford to the p e o p l e the information necessary t o enable
them to determine correctly t h e important questions in
which t h e y are all so d e e p l y interested, in relation
to a National Bank.
I believed then, as I d o now,
notwithstanding what has been said by the gentleman
from T e n n e s s e e , [Mr. P O L K , ] that although some g e n t l e men might b e too much under the influence of party
feeling and prejudice, still there was no member of this
House w h o would undertake to make any statement w h i c h
he did not believe to be (rue. I thought that statements
made by honorable men, w h o m t h e p e o p l e had thought
worthy of seats in this House, would furnish to the P e o p l e much better evidence on which to arrive at just conclusions, iban any thing they could possibly derive from

4
the polluted source of the public press. It is known by | man, tn whose welfare I ft It an i n t c r ^ t , to be tried for
every one, that the press is now almost universally re- his life by a jury who declared they believed htm g u i l t j 0 !
garded by the P e o p l e as so corrupt, that its statements and that they would not b e l i e \ e any thing which migtrt
are l o o k e d upon rather as indications of the wishe&pf be said in his favor, as to depend upon any investigation.
their conductors or secret owners, than as evidence*"^! which might be made into the conduct of the Bank, b y
the facta which they pretend to relate. It hi known, too, a Committee, the Chairman of which would g i v e s u c h a,
that less reliance is placed upon newspaper publications, pledge as that given by the gentleman from T e n n e s s e e *
concerning the United States Bank, than in any other, T h e gentleman irom Tennessee has manifested e x t r e m e
because many of the leading presses are supposed to be anxiety about getting a report from the Committee o f
under the influence either of the United States Bank, or Ways and Means, upon the conduct of the Secretary o f
of the State Banks, which are interested in overthrowing the Treasury in removing the deposites, as s o m e t h i n g •
that Corporation.
whiclrWas^to settle the whole controversy b e t w e e n t h e
I was not disposed to stifle inquiry, as is supposed by Bank and the Government. Of however much importthe gentleman from T e n n e s s e e , (Mr. POLK) who says, ance that report may be considered, 1 presume w e h a v e
*»But, so soon as it was understood to be the intention of now the full benefit of it. i-Yr, 1 imagine, it is already
* the friends of the Bank to discuss the subject at once, before us. It is true, it did not reach us exactly in t h e
* in Committee of the W h o l e , the effect of which must regular * nd ordinary way, but the only difference is, t h a t
'necessarily have been to stifle all inquiry by an investi- it was spoken by the Chairman of the Committee, instead
* gating committee of this House, both into the truth of of being read by the Clerk. Any gentleman w h o h a s
*the facts stated by the Secretary of the Treasury, and read the s p e e c h of the gentleman from T e n n e s s e e , m u s t
fc
also into the truth of the charges made by the Govcrn- have perceived, that the materials are such as b e l o n g
* ment Directors,** &c. I did not then believe, nor, sir, more properly to a report than to a s p e e c h . W e h a v e
do I now believe, (with all due deference to the e x p e - then, sir, substantially, all the mighty advantages of t h e
rience of the gentleman from T e n n e s s e e , ) that the effect report, so anxiously sought for, from the Committee o f
of going" into Committee of the W h o l e , upon the Report Ways and Means; and we have not suffered much i n c o n of the Secretary of the Treasury, would be to stifle all in- venience from its being delayed.
1 must now ask the attention of the House to the folr
quiry by an investigating Committee. On the contrary,
I affirm, that it would not have had any such effect.
It lowing passage from the Report of the Committee o f
would have b e e n perfectly within the competency of this Ways and Means, as spoken by the gentleman from T e n House, to have gone into Committee of the W h o l e , and, nessee. In speaking of the resolution offered by the getr^
after having a general and full discussion of the Report, tleman from South Carolina,
(Mr. M ' D U F F I * , ) he s a y s :
to have decided any number of questions It thought pro'* I consider this a flight, on the part of the Bank a n d
per, and then to have referred
the subject to a Select ' its friends, from the light of truth. T h e difference b e Committee, to make any further inquiry which might have • t w e e n u s is this: the Secretary of the Treasury, a u d
been d e e m e d necessary. Or the gentleman might have * those who sustain him here, shrink from no scrutiny,
offered a resolution at any time, calling for a full investi- * however severe; but, on the contrary, invite it; t h e y tngation of all the facts relating to the Bank of the United * vite it with £ perfect confidence that every fact stated
States; and I would cheerfully have voted for it. So far * by him will be sustained by proofs incontestable. W h a t
from wishing to stifle inquiry, I shall not be satisfied un- • w e want, is a thorough sifting investigation by, this
less a rigid investigation is made, by a Committee of this * House.
House, into the conduct, not only of the Officers of the
** T h e friends of the Bank say no; oh, no; w e cannot
Bank, but of the Officers of this Government. I desire * have a Committee to investigate and report the facts;.We
an impartial investigation, however, not such an one as 1 choose to force this discussion on now, when each g e q that which the gentleman from T e n n e s s e e seems to have « tleman may, by bold assertion, assume such facts as m a y
contemplated. I do not wish for a one-sided examination; ' suit his taste, or answer his purpose best. I am not a t
the whole object of which would be to condemn the J ' liberty to attribute a motive for this extraordinary p r o Bank Officers, and to sustain the officers of the Govern- j * ceeding. 1 do not do so; but it is easy to c o n c e i v e , that
.ment.
t wish this investigation to be made, by gentle- * it may be d e e m e d important to send out s p e e c h e s to t h e
men, who have not put it out of their power to act impar- « country, charging the Secretary with misrepresentation
tially, and not by the Committee of Ways and Means, 8 and falsehood', in order to break the force ot t h e S e e *
the Chairman of which, led away by prejudice or party ' retary*5 letter upon the public m i n d . "
feeling, has p l e d g e d himself to the nation, to sustain the
I do not know what light it i?> that the gentle n u n s u p Secretary in all that he has done. Let me call the atten- poses the friends of the Bank are so much afraid of, u n rion of t h e House to this extraordinary declaration made less it be the light which was to be poured in upon u s ,
by the gentleman from Tennessee. H e said *' lie would from the head of the Committee of Ways and Means, up>*
* pledge himself to the nation, to sustain, from the records on which the gentleman's imagination appears com>taj£* of the Bank and the Treasury, every word contained in ly to rest, with a sort of pious devotion. T h e g e n t l e m a n ,
• t h e Report of the Secretary of the Treasury.* 1 N o w , it uill be perceived, not only p l e d g e s himself to sustain
sir, I ask what sort of an investigation w e could e x p e c t all that the Secretary has said, and identifies himself with
from a Committee, the Chairman of which, could so far him, but he tells us, that those who support the Secret*-;
forget himself, as to pledge himself to the nation, to sus- ry invite an investigation, " with u perfect confidence*
tain every word contained in the Report of the Secretary, * that every fact stated by him, will be sustained by prpof*
-and that too, before he had made the investigation, which * incontestable-" A y , air, and is it true, that there ia ft
be urged upon t h e Mouse as indispensable. Before I party in this House, professing to seek for investigation^
heard the s p e e c h of the gentleman from T e n n e s s e e , I who are, at the same time, determined to sustain the S e c would as soon have trusted him to make the proposed re(ary in every thing? It would appear to me that t h e
investigation, as any other gentleman in this House. But object of making" an investigation ought, in all cases, t o
the gentleman has put/it out of his power to act imparti- be, to arrive at truth, not to sustain one of the p a r t i e s
ally between the parties, by p l e d g i n g himself to sustain and to condemn the other. It is a little remarkable, too*
one of them
I would not give a Tarthing for an investi- that this " perfect confidence," in being able to sus**i*t
gation, made by a gentleman who p l e d g e s himself, before the Secretary, should be avowed before any exam'nation
he begins it, to rfusiaiu one of the parties and to condemn of facts could have been made, and by those who proy
*be other. 1 would just as soon think of permitting a i *ess to be anxious for investigation.




5
But, sir, the most remarkable expression in the pas- * ernment Directors, in their management of that institusage I have read, from the s p e e c h of the gentleman from * tion.
<*And whether any officer or agent of this Government
Tennessee, is that, in which h e imputes to the friends of
*
the Bank, the dishonorable purpose of a t t e m p t i n g to 4 has been guilty of any improper act towards the Unite d States Bank, w h i c h has b e e n , or might have been,
force upon the House a premature discussion, for the
purpose of misleading the P e o p l e by "bold assertion??," « productive of injury to the said Bank; to this Governand by "assuming
such facts,"
as might ** suit their * ment as a stockholder in said Bank; or to the P e o p l e of
tastes, or answer their purposes b e s t , " Is it truet sir, * the United States g e n e r a l l y .
" And that the said Committee b e e m p o w e r e d to send
that a large proportion of the Representatives of the
American P e o p l e are so base, so dishonest, so unprinci- * for persons and papers, and to e x a m i n e witnesses on
pled, as to wish to d e c e i v e the nation by making false ' oath, and report t h e result of their investigation to this
statements * This, sir, is the plain import of the pas- < H o u s e . "
If, sir, we can have an investigation of this kind, the
sage f have quoted. It is not for me to say what were
the motives of others ; but for myself, I will say, that object of which will b e , to scrutinize t h e c o n d u c t both
the imputation, so far as t am concerned, is as illiberal, of the Bank officers, and of the officers of this Governas it is unjust and unfounded. It is true, sir, the g e n - ment, and not an investigation intended merely for the
tleman told us, he was *l not at' liberty to attribute a purpose of criminating the Bank Directors, w e may h o p e
motive for this extraordinary conduct,'* and that he to arrive at the truth. Such an investigation is d u e to
••doe* not do so.'* But he tells us, in language too un-1 the Directors of the Bank, and to the officers of this Goequivocal to be misunderstood, that, if he was at liberty vernment, and is d e m a n d e d by the P e o p l e . Will the
to impute a motive for our conduct, it would he, that we majority permit it to take place f It is d u e to the Bank
intended to d e c e i v e the P e o p l e , by statements which Directors, if their acts have b e e n misrepresented, that w e
were untrue. T, sir, '* am not at liberty to attribute mo- should say so ; if they are guilty, it is right the P e o p l e
tives" to others. I might with as much propriety as the should k n o w it. It is due to the officers of this Governgentleman, say, I do not do so, But ** it is e a s y " for ment, that their acts relative to the removal of the d e p o me " t o c o n c e i v e " (to use the gentleman's own lan- sites from the United States Bank should b e fairly reguage,) that t h e reason why the gentleman was so anx-l presented to the nation. I k n o w nothing of any improious to prevent a debate upon the subject before us J per conduct of any of the officers of this Government towas, that he wished the report of the Secretary of the i wards the United States Bank; but it is notorious, that ruTreasury to g o forth to the public, and that that report mors have g o n e abroad through the country calculated
should be followed and sustained-by another report, to injure the character of the officers of this Government,
from the Committee of Ways and Means, to b e prepared both at h o m e and abroad, unless they be ascertained to
by those who invited an investigation, ** with a perfect be false. It is k n o w n that some of the officers or a g e n t s
confidence that every fact seated by h i m " ( t h e Secre- of this Government have been charged with entering into
tary1) would ** be sustained by pronfs i n c o n t e s t a b l e ; " contracts and speculations, the w h o l e profits of which
and that all light might be e x c l u d e d from the P e o p l e were to be created by the removal of the public deposites,
until they had made up an opinion against the Bank, or the destruction of the credit of the U. States Bank. It
and their prejudices excited against it to the uttermost. has further been rumored, that the run made upon the
T h e gentleman, sir, v^as not willing to trust the P e o p l e ] Branch of the United States Bank at Savannah, with a
of this country so far as even to let thiiTi hear the voice j view of destroying the credit of the B a r k , and throwing
of their Kepresenlatives on this floor, until public opi the whole circulating medium of the country into such a
nion was made up against the Bank, and that opinion for state of confusion as would enable the stock-jobbers and
tified by a strong appeal to their prejudices. T h e g e n - brokers to pray upon the necessities of the P e o p l e , was
tleman seems to act upon the principle I have heard as- made with the connivance of some of the officers or
If these things are not true,
cribed to the priests of a religious sect, who are said to ; agents of this Government.
hold, that- the p e o p l e are unworthy to examine the Scrip let these officers b e acquitted, and, if possible, the d e tures'for themselves; and are to receive all k n o w l e d g e of served odium fall upon t h e heads of those w h o invented
the Deity, through the priesthood. Or he has taken the the false charges : if, on the other hand, there be any
hint given him by the gentleman from South Carolina, foundation in truth lor these rumors, let the fact b e
(Mr. MCUUFFTK,) and, like the Kinderhook j u d g e s he is known to the world. I have d e e m e d this explanation, as
willing to allow the P e o p l e to think just aa they to the motives which g o v e r n e d me in voting against the
please, provided they think with the Court. But, sir, motion to reconsider the vote by which the Report of
it is in vutn for the gentleman to attempt to k e e p the na- t h e Secretary of the Treasury, on the subject of the detion in the dark ; the P e o p l e have said, let there be posites, was committed to a Committee of the Whtole, aa
light, and they will have it. Not, sir, the light which necessary, because the imputations made against those
h e i» willing to g i v e them, which is intended to show all w h o voted as I did on that occasion, contained in the exthe faults of the Bank, and t o j e a v e the improper conduct tracts I have read from the s p e e c h of the gentleman from
of the officers of this Government, if they have been T e n n e s s e e , have g o n e forth to the world, and, w h e t h e r
guilty of any, concealed. I should not have been dis- so intended or not, are calculated to produce an unjust
p o s e d to doubt the disposition of the honorable member, and unfounded impression upon the public mind.
to act with perfect impartiality towards the United States
I shall now undertake a brief examination of some of
Bank, but for what he has told us himself. In order to the principles ;^nd reasons set forth by the Secretary o f
satisfy the honorable g e n t l e m a n from T e n n e s s e e , that I the Treasury in his Report to this H o u s e , T h i s s u b j e c t
do not wish to avoid, but earnestly desire, a full and im- has b e e n already so ably discussed by g e n t l e m e n older
partial investigation into all the circumstances attending and far better informed upon it than I am, that I would
the removal of the deposites from the United States not trouble you with any remarks upon it, but for t h e
Bank, I will read to him a proposition, in the h o p e that desire I feel of having my motives, for the course I insuch an one may be submitted to this H o u s e , and with tend to pursue upon the question now p e n d i n g in this
the assurance, that I will cheerfully vote for it, viz.— House, k n o w n to those to w h o m I hold myself responsi'* That a Committee b e appointed to inquire whether ble for all my acts here. In the c o u r s e of my remarks
* t h e President and Directors of the United States Bank upon this suhject t it is not my intention to say one word
* have been guilty of any of the improper acts imputed to in the slightest d e g r e e disrespectful towards any officer
* t h e m , by t h e Secretary of t h e Treasury, or the G o v of the Government, or any other person. My object will




6
b e to lay d o w n what t believe to b e sound principles, same act makes it the duty of the Treasurer (not of t h e
and to endeavor to sustain them by argument. At the Secretary of the Treasury) ** to receive and k e e p t b #
same time, I shall express my opinions with that unre- m o n e y " of the nation. T h e r e is no other act whic%
s e r v e d freedom with which I conceive it b e c o m e s the re- gives the Secretary of the Treasury the p o w e r w h i c h
presentative of freemen to speak their sentiments, in re- he has exercised, of taking the jmoney out of t h e
lation to the conduct of those who have been entrusted United States Bank and lending it to the State B a n k s .
w i t h the management of the public concerns.
T h e act, then, is not only unauthorized, but it is in v i o T h e question as to the propriety of the President's act, lation of the Constitution and laws of the land. T h e o n in removing his late Secretary from office, seems to me ly plausible ground which has been resorted to, for t h *
t o have been improperly brought into this discussion, to purpose of justifying the acts of the Secretary, is that
w h i c h I humbly apprehend it d o e s not b e l o n g ; and it is which is furnished by the e x a m p l e s of Mr. Crawford a n d
n o t necessary that 1 should express any opinion upon it. other Secretaries of t h e Treasury, arid the a c q u i e s c e n c e
B u t as 1 feel no disposition to avoid the expression of an of the Government in times past; and I readily admit,
opinion, on a question which has been so much debated, that, if the fact of other Secretaries having exercised t h e
I may be permitted to remark, that, although 1 am con- p o w e r in question, is to be considered as settling" t h e
v i n c e d that the position that t h e President may, at question, there appears no further ground for dispute.
his pleasure, dismiss E x e c u t i v e officers, without violating Indeed, from the quotations made by the gentleman'from
the Constitution, is but too well established by long set- T e n n e s s e e , (Mr. P O L K , ) from the correspondence o f Mr*
tied practice ; that, yet, 1 cannot approve of the act in \ Crawford, I should suppose that it would be difficult t o
question, if that act was induced, solely, from a deter- J c o n c e i v e of any exercise of power which might not b e
mination on the part of the President to cause the public I sanctioned upon the principles on which Mr. Crawford
d e p o s i t e s to be removed. I do not approve of the dis- ! appears to have acted. And, sir, I freely adnvt, that if
mission on that ground, because I am of opinion that the the gentleman from T e n n e s s e e had quoted fcom the cordeposHes ought not to have b e e n removed, and because respondence of former Secretaries, merelv for the purI do not regard the duties of the Secretary, in relation to pose of defending the present Secretary of the Treasury
t h e deposites, as constituting any part of his duties as an from the imputation of having assumed and e x e c u t e d a
Executive officer* If the dismission took place, h o w e v e r , p o w e r never claimed by any of his predecessors in office*
in consequence of the offensive language used by the lie would have been eminently successful. T h e r e is o n e
Secretary in his correspondence with the President, I am circumstance, h o w e v e r , which creates a m a r k e d and
wnly surprised that the President permitted him to re- most important distinction b e t w e e n the cases, in which
main in office as long as he did; and, in that point of j the power of removal was exercised by former Secreta*
view, 1 imagine it will be a much more difficult task t o ! ries, and that in which it has been e x e r t e d by t h e pre^
account for his ever having been appointed, th:in to jus- . sent incumbent of the office. It is this: In all former
tify his dismission.
! case?, the removals were made with t h e consent of t h e
In his letter to Congress, the Secretary of the Treasu- Hank of the United States and the approbation of t h e
ry recites the following clause from the act of 1816, as Government; in this case, it was done against the consent
the authority under which he removed the public depu- \ of the Hank- In transactions b e t w e e n individuals, c o n Sl
*es :
sent of parties takes away error, and the same rule s e e m s
** And be it further enacted, That the deposites of the applicable to t h e parties concerned in the disposition o f
money of the United Stales, in places in which.the said the deposites, viz: to the Bank and the G o v e r n m e n t .
• B a n k and Branches thereof may be established, shall be But even if the cases cited had been exactly parallel t o
^ made in said Bank or Branches thereof, unless the S e - ' the one w e are discussing, the authority would by n o
| crctary of the Treasury shall at any time otherwise means be sufficient to justify the act, though it may s e e m
'order and direct; in which case, the Secretary of the to palliate or e x c u s e it. W e have the authority of t h e
^ Treasury shall immediately lay before Congress, if in President himself for refusing to consider p r e c e d e n t as
^session, and if not, immediately after the commencement conclusive in favor of the exercise of authority, furnish^of the next session, the reasons of such order or direc- ed us in his famous veto against the renewal of the charl
iYn"-ni
- i t
ter of the present Hank of the United States. S o far
it win be perceived, that this clause relates exclusive- ; from the exercise of the power in question being just'iBcd
Jy to deposites to be made, and g i v e s no^ power to take j by the precedents quoted, they only serve as another
J
money out of the Treasury of the United States, ( w h i c h , f example • show how universal y the *disposition is, in all
* to
'
for the lime was the vault of the United States B u n k o men in office, to exercise powers not granted to t h e m ,
and place it elsewhere. It is certainly known that the and to prove how necessary it is that the Kepresentativea
Secretary has caused money to be taken out of the of t h c P e o p l e should watch, with ceaseless v i g i l a n c e ,
United States Bank, which was there anterior to his or- agamst dangerous assumptions of authority by the offider of October last, and to be transferred to some of the cers of Government.
I proceed, in the next place, to examine some of t h e
State Banks; the fact is admitted by the Treasurer in his
correspondence with the Cashier of the Bank at Phila- principles laid down in the report of the Secretary of t h e
delphia, and the power to do so is claimed in the report Treasury, as the foundation of the authority he lias eacerbefore me. From w h e n c e does the Secretary derive hie' cised in'rela'ton to the removal of the public deposites,
authority for this? T h e clause, I have read, d o e s not Upon the second page of his printed report I find the folg i v e it to him, inasmuch as its operation was evidently, lowing language:
from its language, intended to be prospective, and not i
• ' T h e Treasury Department being entrusted with t h e
retrospective. Is it from that clause of the Constitution ' administration of the finances of the country, it wat alw h i c h says c* no money shall b e drawn from the Treasury
ways the duty of the Secretary, In the absence gf a n y
but in c o n s e q u e n c e of appropriations made by law?". legislative provision on the subject, to take ca^e that
T h i s clause does not authorize, but forbids, the act of< the public money was deposited in safe k e e p i n g in t h e
hands of faithful agents, and in convenient places, reat h e Secretary, inasmuch as there had been no approprially to be applied according to the wants of the Governtion made by law of the money in the Treasury* to the
ment. T h e law incorporating the Bank has reserved,to
purposes to which it was applied. T h e act of 1789 gives
him, in its full extent, the power he before possessed.
to t h e Secretary of the Treasury the power to ** grant all
It dries not confer on him a new power, hut reserve* t o
Warrants for money to be issued from the Treasury in
;
pursuance of appropriations to be n ude by l a w . " T h e him h s former authority, without any new limitation*
r




7
* The obligation to assign the reasons for his direction to mit to it. T h e whole history of that nation shows that it
* deposit© the money of the United States elsewhere, would not submit to such an unauthorized exercise of
* cannot be considered as a restriction of the power, be- power, as that o f our Secretary of the Treasury in re* cause the right of the Secretary to designate the places moving the public deposites, I hope,sir, that Congress will
* of deposite was always necessarily subject to the control not submit to it ; that the p e o p l e of the United States
will not suffer us to d o so. I had supposed that there was
* of Congress."
Sir, I thank the Secretary for admitting that Congress no principle better understood, or better settled in this
ever had any authority over the public revenueH e country, than this; that the general departments of Government, the E x e c u t i v e , Legislative, and Judicial, shall
proceeds:
«* And as t h e Secretary of tlje Treasury presides over remain separate and distinct, so that neither exercise the
* one of the E x e c u t i v e Departments of the Government, powers properly belonging to the other. I had supposed,
* and his p o w e r over this subject forms a part o f the E x - too, that every transfer o f p o w e r from one department of
* ecutive duties of his office, the manner in which it is the Government to another, amounted to an alteration of
« exercised must be subject to the supervision of the offi- the Constitution; and that the Constitution could not be
* cer to whom the Constitution has confided the whole E x altered, e x c e p t in the mode prescribed by the Constitu« eculrve power, and has required to take care that the tion itself. If I am right in t h e s e positions, then it is clear
that a transfer of the p o w e r over the public deposites,
* laws be faithfully executed.**
Having admitted that Congress had possessed p o w e r (which the Secretary of the Treasury admits properly
over the money in the Treasury, he n e x t undertakes to belonged to Congress,) to the Kxecutive branch of the
divest it of that power, ay referring- (o the charter of the Government, is a palpable violation of the Constitution
of the United States. It may possibly be said* that the
Bank of the United States. This is his language:
4i
The faith of the United States is, however, pledgee!, Secretary of the Treasury d o e s not derive his excluaccording to the terms of the section above quoted, sive authority over the deposites from any direct transfer
that the public money shall be deposited in this Bank, of p o w e r to the Kxecutive branch of the Government ;
• unless the Secretary of the Treasury shall otherwise but that he gets it from the contract entered into beorder and direct.* And as thisagreement has been en* t w e e n the Government and the Bank of t h e UnitedStates.
tered into by Congress in behalf of the United States, But I apprehend, that if Congress could not give away its
the place of deposite could not be changed by a legis- power directly to the E x e c u t i v e , it cannot d o it indirectlative act, without disregarding a p l e d g e which the L e - ly ; and it will be as difficult to find the authority to make
gislature has given; and the money of the United States such a contract as to transfer t h e p o w e r without a
must, therefore, continue to be deposited in the Bank contract*
until the last hour of its existence, unless it shall be
If, sir, I am right hi the principles I have laid down,
otherwise ordered by the authority mentioned in the surely the power claimed for the Kxecutive over the d e charter. T h e power over the p k e e of deposite fdr the posites, by the Secretavy of the Treasury, and by me,
public money would seem properly to helong to the for the Congress of the United States, is worth contendlegislative department of the Government,- and it is dif- ing for. It is, sir, nothing less than the p o w e r of controlficult to imagine why the authority to withdraw it from ling the w h o l e revenue of the country, for which we are
this Bank was confided exclusively to the E x e c u t i v e . contending. N e e d I describe t h e importance of that
B u t the terms of the charter appear to be too plain to power? Every gentleman here must k n o w , that the preadmit of question. And, although Congress should be servation of the control over the public revenue in the
satisfied that the public money was not safe in the care hands of the immediate Representatives of the p e o p l e , is
of the Bank, or should be convinced that the interests a principle on which the very existence of this and every
of the p e o p l e of the United States imperiously demand- other free Government depends. A s well is it k n o w n ,
e d the removal, yet the passage of a law directing it to sir, that, to place that control in the hands of the E x e c u b e done, would be a breach of the agreement into tive, is the aim and the fundamental principle of despowhich they have entered.**
tism every where. N o country can ever be enslaved, so
Here, sir, w e find the Secretary again admitting, that long as the control over its revenue remains in the hands
*« the power over the place of deposite for the public of the p e o p l e , through their immediate Representatives ;
money, would seem properly to belong to the Legislative and no country can long remain free, where the p e o p l e
department of the Government.'* But at the same time have£iveM up that p o w e r , or suffered it to be taken from
lie undertakes to prove, that Congress has divested itself them, and pl-iced in other hands. All history bears me
of this important power, and confided it to the hands of out in this assertion. L o o k for a moment at the history
t h e Executive. And now, sir, a must important consti- of England, with which the members of this House are
tutional question forces itself upon our attention, ai to all conversant. It presents a lesson well worthy of our
t h e right of one department of Government to trans- study. All the concessions ever made by the Crown in
fer the powers vested in it by the p e o p l e , through the favor of Liberty, have been made for the purpose of getConstitution, to another d e p a r t m e n t , ^ which the puuotc ting money. If I am not mistaken in my recollection, the
designed to forbid the exercise of any such authority/ It common p e o p l e of England were first invited to send
is, sir, a question neither new or peculiar to this govern- members to Parliament, by the Karl of Leicester, in the
ment or country. For, although, according to the theory reign of Henry III , with no other view than that of obof the British Constitution, a* laid down by J u d g e Black* taining money. E v e n Elizabeth, the greatest and most
btone, the Parliament is possessed of supreme-and unli- ah.wilute sovereign England ever had, w h o exercised almited authority over the Constitution, w c cannot believe most uncontrolled authority over t h e lives of the people,
that a transfer of nit the powers of government to the was afraid to ask for money, lest she should b e compelKin^t would be sanctioned by that natmii. And in Va:- led to g i v e up power, in order to obtain it. T h e civil
tel'a celebrated work upon the L.tws oi Nation?, I find the war, which e n d e d in the overthrow of the monarchy, and
following expression; *f By the fundamental Laws of | in bringing the head of Clr«rles I* to the block, grew en*
* England, the two Houses of Purhament, in concert wi'h tirely out of a dispute about the public revenue. And
* the King, exercise the Legislative p o w e r : but if the ] the c o n s e q u e n c e s which had like to have ensued from
* two Houses should resolve to suppress themselves, and | an unwary act of Parliament, at the time of the restora* to invest t'te King with the fult and absolute govern- j tion, in granting to the Crown a revenue for life, teache/
* ment, certainly the nation would not »nfter it *' Yes, us how dangerous it is to permit the control of the piiMK
si*-, it U ubseiu'c !y certain, ihal the uatj<>n would not s u h . j revenue to g o out of the hands of the immediate r e p ' ^




8
sentatives of the people, even for a limited time. All t h e were certain powers confided to the Secretary o f tj
arbitrary acts of Charles IL and of James II., all the cru- Treasury orer the deposites. Congress is not afway% J
elties of Kirke and Jeffries, are consequences, not very session, and, when it is, it is impossible that it can act
remote, of the indiscreet grant of power to the Crown, that celerity which exigencies might require1—-it Wi^
bver the public revenue. And Liberty itself was in im- therefore necessary to appoint an agent to act for W h P
minent danger of becoming extinct forever, in the whole such emergencies : who was never e x p e c t e d to e x e r c i s * '
British Empire, from that single cause. And, sir, the his power except in cases which would not admit of delay*
best barrier against the power of the Crown, and the and, even then, under a strict responsibility t o Congreaa,
principal safeguard of British Liberty, established by the and to Congress alone. T h e Secretary is therefore mit-*
Revolution of 1688, is the reservation of the power over taken in supposing that his power over the d e p o s i t e s i s *
the revenue, In the hands of Parliament. Their liberties part of the Executive duties of his office. Congress ne*
might have been rendered still more secure, by further ver intended any tiling of the kind. He is in truth fco*
restrictions upon the power of the Crown over the pub- the mere agent of Congress, or the trustee of Congnesa
lic revenue. Is it less important to us to preserve in our and the Bank. And 1 understand, sir, that, among indiown hands the power over the public revenue, placed viduals, it is well understood, that the parties to a eon* :
there, by the people of the United States >
tract may not not only alter it or abolish it at pleasure, What, sir, is to be the consequence, if w e acquiesce in but they have an unlimited control over the acts of t h e i r
the doctrines contended for by the Secretary of the Trea- trustee. W e have, however r a novel case before us, o n e
sury? What is there, if his views are c o r n e r , to prevent in whveh a trustee not only disregards the exprease£
a y o u n g and ambitious President of the United State?, wishes of the parties, and acts in avowed opposition t o who may wi*h to place a Crown upon his head, and to the wish of one of the parties, and refuses to waft to a s transmit it to his posterity, from trampling our liberties certain the wishes of the o t h e r ; but actually d e n i e s t h e
tinder his feet, and accomplishing his designs > May he power to control him to be in either or both of the par*
not divert every dollar of the revenue from its legitimate tics. He takes away the deposites from the Bank, and
object, and place it in his own pneket, or spend it in now denies our right to interfere in the matter.
hiring foreign mercenaries to sustain him upon his throne,
But, Mr. Speaker, the most extraordinary position takif the E x e c u t i v e has, in fad, the power of removing the en by the Secretary in his report, is this—that Congrea*
deposites, and placing them where it pleases ? How shall baring made a contract with the Bank, by which the d e it be prevented? Shall I be told that money can only be posites were to remain in the Bank until the expiration- (
drawn o*it of the Treasury in pursuance of appropriations of its charter, they cannot pass a law for removing the d e made by law, and upon the warrant of th«* Treasurer njul positee, without breaking their pledge given to the Bank,
the Secretary of the Treasury ? Ic would be idle to tell and a br. ach of faith, but that he, the agent -of the G o m e s o , when it is admitted that the President could at vernment, may remove the deposites at pleasure, without
any moment turn out those officers, and put in others there being any breach nf faith committed. N o w , sir, I
more submissive t o his will, should they presume to re- have always understood it to be a sound principle, t h a t
fuse fogran* warrants tojjraw money out ol the Treasury what a man does by his agent he does by himself; antl
for any purpose whatsoever, for which he might design to that any act w h e h wouldJamount to a fraud, if done b y
use it. Shall I be told that Congress would interfere to himself, in person, is equally a fraud if done through t h e
prevent it, when the "power of Congress to interfere, or instrumentality "of an spent. T h e same principle applies
to pass any act for removing the deposites, even if it tn governments in their intercourse with each other, and
** should be satisfied that the public money was not safe in their transactions with individuals and corporation*.
* in the care of the Bank, or that the interest of the peo- Another very extraordinary position taken by the S e c r e 4
p/e of the United States imperiously demanded i/, s * is tary nearly akin to the preceding one is, that the Govern*?
denied by the Secretary of the Treasury in the passage ment has, by its compact, deprived itself of the power t o
from his report which I hav^just read ?
remove the deposites from the United States Bank, with-*
L e t it not be strpposed, Mr* Speaker, that I intend to out a violation nf a pledge given, although every Departimpute to the present Chief Magistrate of this nation, ment of the Government should be unanimous in passing
any such designs against the liberties of his country. T h e a law for that purpose, for the best possible reasons : and
case I have supposed cannot apply to him ; nor do I be- y e t one of these Departments may remove them for n o
lieve h e entertains any.such views. If, sir, f thought he reason at all, without any breach of a p l e d g e given* or
had, I hope I should not b e so deficient in moral courage the least impropriety. In other words, the entire Goas not to say so. But, sir, the general confidence repos- vernment, consisting of the House of Representalivea,
ed by the P e o p l e in the purity of the P r e s i d e n t s inten- the Senate, and the President, can in no case cause t h e
tions, make it the more important, that w e should guard deposites tu be removed ; but the President himself may
against the establishment of a precedent which may here- do it at pleasure, without any injustice to the Bank. It
after be appealed to by men actuated by more danger- would, according to this mode of reasoning-, be a fraud
in the President to sanction a law for removing the d e ous motives.
I contend, in the next place, that Congress not only posites, but it would be perfectly fair for him to d o it
had not the right to transfer the power claimed for the without law.
Executive over the deposites, and that they did not do so,
T h e pledge given to the Bank is, that the depositee
but that they never designed to do so. VVhv did Con- shall remain in its vaults until the charter expires, and it
gresa require the Secretary to report his reasons for is obligatory on the whole Government. This p l e d g e
changing the place of deposites to themselves, and not was undoubtedly required by the Bank for its own bene*
t o t h ? President f Wat it merely for the purpose of as- fit, snd greater security. But if the Secretary of t b e ,
certaining how handsome a letter he could write } or was Treasury is right in hN opinions, then this pledge d o e s
^ b e c a u s e they intended to hold him responsible to them- not increase, but greatly diminishes the security of t h e
selves, and to correct his acts if they were erroneous ? Bank* Without the pledge, (Congress having, as is ad* .
Again sir, why was any power given to the Secretary of milted by the Secretary, a controlling power over t h e de*
S « J ^ L C a S t , r y u ° V e r t h e d e P ° s i t e s ? It was, sir, for the posites) when the deposites were once placed in the B a n k
^ ? o ^ a t ° n l h a t w e a r e s e n t n e r e * w h i c h «* not because by order of C o n g r e s s they could only be removed b y a
i i m ^ C ? P e c a r m o t manage their own concerns, or are less law passed by the concurrence of both Houses, a n d i | K
^ K 2 f . " V ° <L° * Q t h a n w c a r e * b u t because it is not proved by the President ,- but the p l e d g e being demand*
«*tntent for them to do •». And, tor similar reasons ! ed *nd given, f lie security of the B*r>k is reduced to one-




9
third of what it was, and the President alone may remove unconstitutional, but that t h e Bank, thereby created, is a
the deposites of his own accord. If any man had pre* *' powerful m o n e y e d monopoly, dangerous to the liberties
dieted that such a construction w o u l d have b e e n put t>f t h e p e o p l e , and to the purity of our political instituopdn the charter, at the time it was created, it would tions ;" and assigning that as a reason for the course h e
have been regarded as absurd ; and, if the Bank had has pursued towards the B a n k . W h o , sir, gave the Seknown that such was to be the interpretation of the cretary of the Treasury a right to j u d g e w h e t h e r a law
pledge, it would have b e e n rejected with disdain. T h e passed by Congress was constitutional or not ? and to
idea of a p l e d g e binding upon the three branches of the d e c i d e w h e t h e r the Bank was a dangerous institution *
Government collectively, but voidable at pleasure by one D o e s any gentleman here believe that ii ever e n t e r e d the
of them, is in itself too monstrous an absurdity to deserve imagination of any man in Congress, at the time the act
the least respect. D o e s any man believe that the Bank chartering the Bank was passed, that the Secretary ot
would ever have consented to give a bonus of $ 1 , 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 the Treasury was to undertake to violate a solemn p l e d g e
to the United States, for the privilege of retaining the given by the whole nation, because h e entertained a dif*
deposites in her vaults, if it had b e e n understood, that ferent opinion from Congress as to the constitutionality
the continuance ©f that privilege was to depend upon of the law, and the character of the institution created by
the mere caprice or whim of the Secretary of the Trea- it ? And, sir, what is it that the Secretary, in undersury, or the Executive? W h o would ever have subscribed taking to c o n d e m n the act of 1816, in such unqualified
to a Bank which had agreed ta g i v e o n e million and a term?, so modestly asks us to believe > W h y , sir, aimhalf of dollars for such a prtcarious advantage ? N o ply either that that Congress was composed of such a
man in his senses would have done so, sir.
set of arrant fools that they could not perceive that this
If the construction put upon the Bank charter by the act, chartering the Bank, was either unconstitutional or
Secretary of the Treasury be just—if his power to remove dangerous to the liberties of the p e o p l e , (both of which
the deposites was not d e p e n d e n t in any d e g r e e upon are so perfectly clear to his superior understanding ;> or
their being safe in the United States Bank—and he might that, perceiving it, they were knaves enough to pass t h e
at any time, as he asserts, remove the deposites, if in his act, notwithstanding those objections to it. Objections,
opinion the public c o n v e n i e n c e or interest would in any too, which were probably strongly urged against the pasdegree be promoted by it, without any breach of faith or sage of the act at the time the charter was granted.
moral impropriety ; then it would appear to have been
I have said, sir, that the Secretary of the Treasury
his duty, to have removed the d e p o s i t e s the moment had undertaken virtually to repeal an act ot Congress,
the bonus of a million and a half of dollars was paid up, and to legislate for the nation. In the latter part of this
and to have struck another bargain for a like sum with report, "he says : ** In forming my judgment on this part
some of the State Banks, ahd to have continued the same * of the case, I have not regarded the 'short time t h e
traffic as long as it proved profitable, inasmuch as it * charter has y e t to run. But my conduct has been g o v would undoubtedly have been convenient to have as much * erned b ^ considerations which arise altogether out of
money as passible to apply to the payment of the pub- * the course pursued by the Bank, and which would have
lic debt. Such conduct, to be sure, b e t w e e n man and f equally influenced the decision of this department in
man, would be regarded with abhorrence, as downright 9 relation to the deposites, if the Sank were now in the
swindling - huf, according to the casuistry of the Secre- * first years of its existence, and u p o n this view of t h e
•
tary of the Treasury, there would be nothing improper * subject the following proposition appear to be fully
in such a course, if pursued by the Government towards * mainsained. , * Here we are told by the Secretary o f
the Bank. I had always supposed that what the plain the Treasury, 4hat he* would, for the reasons which h e
dictates of common honesty required of men, in their in- mentions, have removed the deposites from the United
- tercourse with each oilier, was not less obligatory on States Bank, e v e n though it had been in the first year of
Governments and public bodies. And that what would its existence. And, in another part of his report, h e
be criminal in an individual, could not be justified in a claims the right of removing the deposites, whenever in
nation.
his opinion ** the change would promote the public inter*
I shall now call the attention of the House to some pas- ests or convenience.** And he tells us that ** the general
sages in this report, and to some facts which go to interest and convenience of the people must r e g u l a t e his
prove that the Secretary of the Treasury has actually conduct.'*
From all this, the inference is not only fair,
undertaken to revise and to repeal acts passed by the but irresistible, that, if the present Secretary of the TreaCongress of the United States, and to legislate for the sury had been in office at the time the act chartering the
nation. H e lays down two proposition*, near the c o m - Bank passed, he would have immediately undertaken to
mencement of his report, one of which is in these words: inquire Into the constitutionality af the act, and its e x p e ** That the p o w e r reserved to the Secretary of the diency, and, if he had differed in opinion in any of t h e s e
* Treasury does not d e p e n d for its exercise merely on the particulars, he would instantly have ordered the d e p o * safety of the public money \n t h e hands of the Bank, j sites to be removed, in defiance of the wishes of the
* nor upon the fidelity with which it has conducted it- Nation and of the Government ! In order to determine
' self ; but lie has the right to remove the deposites, and whether or not the act of the Secretary of the Treasury,
* it is his duty to remove them whenever the public in- in removing the deposites from the Bank of the United
* terest or c o n v e n i e n c e will be promoted by the change.** States, and placing t h e m in the State Banks for the reaAnd a little further on, he says, •• Neither could I act sons assigned by him; and entering into compacts with
* upon the assumption that the public interest required the State Banks, amounts to an assumption of legislative
* the re-charter of the Bank ; because I am firmly per- powers;, let ua consider for a moment* what were t h e
* suaded that the Jaw which created this corporation, in subjects which most probably e n g a g e d the attention o f
* many of its provisions, is not warranted by the Oonstitu- Congress at the time t h e y passed the net chartering t h e
T h e first question no doubt
* tion ; and that the existence of such a powerful money. Bank of the United States,
* ed monopoly is dangerous to the liberties of the p e o p l e , which they considered, was, whether or not thev had the
constitutional power to create a Bank; they next inquired
* and to the purity of our political institutions.**
H e r e w e rind t h e Secretary of the Treasury under- whether or not it would facilitate the collection of the pub*
t a k i n g to decide, that a law passed by both brandies lie r e v e n u e — w h e t h e r it would promote the prosperity of
of Congress, sanctioned by the President of the United the commercial interest of the country—and whether or
States, and d e c i d e d to be constitutional by the highest not J he State Banks would answer any or all of these purJudicial tribunals in the country,is not only in his opinion poses. If, at the expiration of the charter of the present




10
Bank of the United States, Congress shall again under- not, every State Bank will, to a great extent, be brought
take to legislate upon the subject, 4t will unquestionably under the influence of this Government, or of one of it» >
again deliber at ^ m a t u r e l y upon all the questions con- officers; and their influence, united with that of the offiea^
cerning the constitutionality and expediency of establish- holders, and the patronage of the Government, will fa*
ing a new Bank; of re chartering the present Bank,—or sufficient to control all future elections in the country*,
of entering into arrangements in regard to the keeping Heretofore it was entirely practicable to unite the infltt*
of the deposites with the State Banks, And if they shall ence of all or a part of the State Banks against that o |
ultimately determine to enter into precisely such an ar- the United States Bank : and the Bank influence in t h e
rangement with the State Banks as that which the Se- Union, might be so equally balanced &s to amount to no**
1
cretary of the Treasury has now made with them, that thing . But, under the arrangement now entered into
will undoubtedly be as much an act of legislation as any with the State Banks, t h e whole power of all the Banks
other act whatsoever it can d o . And if the Secretary of can be directed by a single Individual.
the Treasury has undertaken, as he certainly has done,
I shall now advert to some other parts of the report o f
in this report, to go into a labored investigation of ques- the Secretary of the Treasury, from which it will be r e a tions relating to "the constitutionality and expediency of dily perceived, that this report must be regarded rather
establishing a Bank of the United States, and all the as the argument of ingenious counsel, determined to j u s other questions which belong properly and exclusive- tify what has been done, than as a plain unsophisticated
ly to the Legislative department to determine ; and if he statement of the reasons for which the deposites were re*
has (as I affirm to be the fact,) entered into arrangements moved, such as the law contemplates. By the way o f with the State Banks, not authorized by the Constitution, enlisting the prejudices of a great political party in sup*
or any law of the land ; in what respect, I ask, has he port of what he has done, he says:
fallen short of undertaking to legist Ue for the nation ?
** T h e manifestations of public opinion, instead of beAdmitting, for the sake of the argument, that the Se- * ing favorable to a renewal, have been decidedly to the
cretary had done right in removing the deposites from * contrary. And I have always regarded the result of the
the United States Bank, I should b e glad to learn where * last election of President of the United States as a deh e got the authority to place the money in the State * claration of a majority of the People, that the charter
Banks, or to enter "mto the arrangements he has made * ought not to be renewed, [t is not necessary to state
with them- T h e r e is not one word i« the act chartering • here what is now a matter of history. T h e question of
t h e Bank of the United States, which can be tortured « the renewal of the charter was introduced into the elecinto a sanction for that act. I call, then, upon those who * tion by the corporation itself. Its voluntary application
approve of what the Secretary has done to tell us, from * to Congress for the renewal of its charter four years bewhence he derived his authority for it. T h e Secretary * fore it expired, and upon the eve of the election lor
himself attempts to justify this part of his conduct, by * President, was understood on all sides a$ bringing for*
saying, that, having determined to remove the deposites * ward that question for incidental decision at the then
from the United States Bank, it was an act of necessity * approaching election. It was accordingly argued on
to place them in the State Banks, and that the power to * both sides before the tribunal of the People, and their
do so resulted of course from the p o w e r to remove. T h e * verdict pronounced against the Bank by the election of
fact, however, we know to be otherwise. We know that * the candidate who was known to have been always in*
we have a Treasurer of the United States, whose duty* * flexibly opposed to it.*1
it is made, by the law, to receive and k e e p the money of
1 cannot perceive, sir, the least propriety in the Secrethe Government ; who is chosen on account of his pro- tary's introducing topics of this kind into his report, nor
bity and high character, and who gives, moreover, secu- do I know by whom he was constituted the j u d g e of the
rity, in a very large amount, for the faithful performance motives which governed the People in making choice o f
of his duty. We have a large number of Collectors* of the fa Chief Magistrate; but I am certain he could not have
Ilevenue also—gentlemen, it is to be presumed, of good come to a more erroneous conclusion than he has done*
standing, as honest men, all of whom give security in large Every gentleman here knows that Gen. Jackson would
amounts for the faithful performance of their duties, in col- have been elected, whether he was for or against the
lecting and taking care of the revenue. All the revenue Bank. T h e only hope entertained by his opponents of
which was likely to accrue in the months* of Oct. and Nov. preventing his re-election, was dependent on his vetoing
Wight safely have been left in the hands of the Treasurer the Bank charter. All admitted that if he approved the
and Collectors, or of the Treasurer alone, and, perhaps, charter, he would be elected by a great majority. H e
Would not exceed in amount the sum for which the would have been elected if he had sanctioned forty Banks,
.Treasurer and Collectors, collectively, have given secu- by even a larger vote than he received- T h e recharterrity jn their official bonds. T h e money would probably ing of the Bank was not the only question upon which
Have been much safer in the hands of these officers, than the Presidential election t u r n e d ; on the contrary, It \m
in some of the State Hanks in which it has been placed* J probable that more than one half of those who* voted for
It is perfectly clear, from this slight investigation of the ! the present Chief Magistrate, were, at that time, in favor
subject, that the Secretary had nut even the tyrants pleu, ! of rechartering the Bank.
the plea of necessity, for putting this money in the State
There
inconsistencies into
Banks, and making the arrangements he bus done with |j Secretaryare some gross his extreme anxiety which the
has fallen, in
to convict
them.
i the Bank of improper conduct, which can- scarcely have
In reference to the great danger which the Secretary ! escaped the observation of any gentleman who has e x of the Treasury seems to apprehend, of the U. S. Hank amined this report. In the first place, the Secretary
exercising an improper influence iu election^ I shall only '\ complains heavily of the Bank for increasing its discounts.
remark, that, however well founded that apprehension And what, sir, let me ask, would occur to you, as t h e
may be, the danger from the State Banks, united as they j proper mode to remedy the evil of too large discount* f
will be by the arrangement made with them by the Secre- i Would nut the obvious cure fop the disease be, t o j e d u c e
tary of the Treasury, and under the influence of the head j its discounts, by calling in a part of its debts ? T o every
of the Treasury Department, will be ten times more ! man of plum common sense, this would appear to be the
dangerous than the United States Hank could evei be- ' only remedy. And yet the Secretary, in the very next
As the currency of the notes of all the State Banks, and breath, complains that the EUnk is reducing its discount**
their value, must be greatly affected by the circumstance i lie insis;s that the tiank ought, forthwith, to b^gin t o
of their being receivable in payment of the revenue or i wind u p its affairs, and tu collect its d u e s ; t h a t t h e d e b t




11
~ due to it is so great, that, unless it is gradually withdrawn, IT h e y would, it was well k n o w n , assemble here from eve*
it will produce great commercial distress in the country ; ry part of the Union, with a perfect k n o w l e d g e of t h e
and declares that the time for winding up its affairs, and situation of the State B a n k s in every part of the country,
collecting the debts due to the Bank, is now too short, and of the wishes of their constituents? and, after g o i n g
and that, if it had b e e n in his power, h e would have into a full examination of the conduct of the U n i t e d State*
compelled it to^commence winding up and collecting Bank, they could have made every regulation necessary
Us debts at an earlier day: and y e t , sir, in t h e very teeth to the safe k e e p i n g of the public r e v e n u e , and have
of all this, and in the very same paragraph, he charges guarded against all the distressing c o n s e q u e n c e s which
the Bank with collecting its debts too rapidly, with a view have and must inevitably continue to result from t h e hasto create distress in the country, and thereby compel ty, unnecessary, and illegal act of t h e Secretary of the
Congress to re-charter the B a n k ! ! ! T h e proof exhibited Treasury. W h a t these c o n s e q u e n c e s are, and will b e ,
by the Secretary, by which he attempts to convict the it is unnecessary for me to undertake to depict.
If, sir,
Bank of curtailing its discounts, with a view to insure a one-tenth part of what w e hear about the commercial disre-charter, are not lesa extraordinary, than the charge it- tress of the country, the decline in the price of breadself: he gives a detailed statement of the amount col- stuffs, tobacco, and all the other products of t h e soil, b e
lected by the Bank, in a given period, as proof of the true, it is e n o u g h to m a k e us deplore and c o n d e m n the
charge, and yet it is susceptible of the clearest demon- precipitate act of removing the deposites. But, sir, these
stration, that if the Bank had continued to draw iit its calamities have only c o m m e n c e d . I hear that t h e State
discounts at the same ratio, until the time when its char- of Ohio is about to charter a new Bank, with a nominal
ter will expire, it would stdi have a considerable debt capital of four or five millions of dollars; that Indiana is
outstanding. This was demonstrated, a few days ago, by about to create a bank with ten or e l e v e n branches in difthe gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. B i » s K r t ) in so ferent parts of that State; and I perceive that North Carplain and forcible a manner, as to furnish a complete re- olina- has already chartered three n e w banks with large
futation of all the Secretary has said upon that point.
capitals, and is about to charter others ; and w e hear
Again: the Secretary lays it down that t h e Bank is a every day of new applications for bank charters through*
mere "fiscal a g e n t " of the Government, and says that out the Union. Already, s i r / t h e r e is five dollars in pa** In the duties which the law requires it to perform, it is per money in circulation, for one dollar in s p e c i e to re* liable to all the responsibilities which attach to the char- d e e m it. T h e specie will b e diminished, or withdrawn
•acter of agent in ordinary cases of principal and agent from circulation, and the paper money will soon b e dou• a m o n g individuals; and it is, therefore, the duly of the bled ift amount; and w e are hastening fast into the situa* officer of the Government, to whom the p o w e r has been tion w e were in the year 1815, and shall b e overwhelm'entrusted, to withdraw from its possession the public e d with the ruinous c o n s e q u e n c e s of a depreciated paper
* funds whenever its conduct towards its principal has currency.
*been such as would induce a prudent man in private life
But, sir, attempts have been made, and are n o w being
«to dismiss his agent from his employment. J > l i e then made, by some of the presses under the influence of the
g o e s into a labored argument to prove that the Bank had State Banks, to reconcile the p e o p l e to the evils they are
been guilty of such gro^s misconduct as would have in- enduring, by telling them that the prevailing pressure
d u c e d any " prudent man in private life to dismiss his arises from the collection of the debts due to the Bank of
agent from his} e m p l o y m e n t , " and, consequently, that it the United States ; and that the evil would b e still greawas his duty instantly to have removed the deposites from ter, if deferred two years longer. This pretence, though
the vaults of the Bank. What did the Secretary do under plausible, is entirely erroneous, and intended to d e c e i v e
these circumstances? Did he immediately draw the mo- the p e o p l e . It is not the simple fact of having to pay
ney* out of the United States Bank and place it else- up what is due to the Bank, which creates the distress ;
w h e r e , as he has demonstrated it was his duty to have it is the circumstance of having to do so u n e x p e c t e d l y .
done, in conformity to his own principles and arguments M If the Secretary had not interfered with the Bank, but
j^o, sir, he permitted a great part of the public money to had permitted it to g o on regularly in winding up its buremain where it was, and would not have removed it siness, all its debtors would have g o n e on to make prow h e n h e did, e x c e p t for the subsequent conduct of the vision to pay what they o w e d ; they could have g o n e on
Bank, and his disposition to serve the State Banks by to collect the debts due to t h e m from the country merlending them the public m o n e y .
T h e Secretary lias, chants, and the country merchants from the people,their
then, placed himself in this unenviable predicament— customers ; instead of b e i n g c o m p e l l e d to draw in as
this very awkward dilemma; either his principles are not] they will now be, all that is due to them, and to leave
correct, and his argument is unsound, or he has know-: the products of the soil to rot in the warehouses for want
ingly n e g l e c t e d to discharge his duty by removing the of purchasers T h e r e would also, it must be perceived,
deposites when he was bound to do so, according to his be two whole years allowed for the wisdom of Congress
o w n showing.
and of the whole p e o p l e , to provide against consequenI do not d e e m it necessary or proper for me, at this c e s now suddenly, u n e x p e c t e d l y , and unnecessarily
time, to g o into an investigation of the other charges t x- brought upon us by the rash act of the Secretary of the
liibited against the Bank by the Secretary of the Trea Treasury. If no other remedy could b e s u g g e s t e d , it
sury and the Government Directors. T h o s e charges will must be obvious to even the most common understanding,
b e a very proper subject of inquiry hereafter by a com- that it would have been perfectly easy to guard against
mittee, w h e n w e come to inquire about the propriety of] ^11 the evils we must now sutler, either by rechartering
rechartering the Bank, if, indeed, that question shall*!.*? the present Hank, under proper restrictions, or by charbrought before us. But the questions we are now to de-j tering a new one. And every gentleman here must adtermine are, simply, whether the deposites ought to have mit, however odious the Bank m ty be to him, that t h e s e
b e e n removed, and whether they ought to be restored;| are grave and important questions, which the p e o p l e
and there is one fact admitted by the Secretary himself, I alone h i v e the right to determine, through their Reprew h i c h , in my opinion, is conclusive or both these ques-l sentatives in Congress.
tions, namely: the f.*ct that the deposites were perfectly
Kqually erroneous is the idea advanced by the gentlesafe in the B i n k of the Unite J Slates. Knowing this fact, man Irom New York, (Mr. C A M U H E I K N O , ) that the effect
the whole question, as to the present and future disposi- of restoring the deposites to the United Slates B u i k will
tion of the deposites, should have been left to tfie deter-1 be,to compel Cor%ress to re-charter that institution. T h i
initiation of the representatives of the people in C o n g r e s s ! n-verse of that proposition i* true. L*ut back th^ d e p o -




12
*ltes sir and t h e country will remain, tranquil, and you
will e a i n a m p l e time, either to charter a new Bank, on
proper principles, or to make such other arrangements, as
wisdom shaH suggest, for dispensing with a United States
Bank altogether. Bat, sir, refuse to put back the depo-,
sites, and you force upon the people a currency, consisting of depreciated notes of insolvent State Banks; they
will b e involved in distress, and driven to madness, and
they will grasp at the most obvious and certain remedy
for the evils, which they will determine no longer to endure; in other words, they will demand a re-charter of the
United States Bank! I am aware, sir, of the strong objections of the present Chief Magistrate of the nation, to
re-chartering the Bank of the United States: but, I tell
you, that if the evils I forbode, from the refusal to put
back the deposites shall c o m e to pass, e v e n he will, if he
is the man I take him to b e , consent to re-charter it, in order to relieve the distresses of the country. Far be it
from me, sir, for one moment to believe, that a President
s o distinguished for his patriotism and devotion to his
country, would look upon her distresses as unmoved as
Nero was by the flames of Rome. N o , sir, he will yield
his own convictions to the united fl^oice of the nation, and
you will find the same arm, which was raised to repel her
invaders at N e w Orleans, will b e again stretched forth to
relieve her from distress, even though the only means of
affording that relief be, to sign a bill to re-charter the
Bank, to which he is at present so <ruch opposed.
I have endeavored to discuss the subject before us,
Mr. Speaker, not upon party grounds, but with a sole
view to what I consider the interest of my country.
And
I shall be compelled, for the reasons 1 have stated, to
vote for the resolution of the gentleman from South Carolina, for restoring the deposites, and against the substitute
proposed by the gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. JOXBS )
I am.aware, Mr. Speaker, that certain newspaper Editors, assuming the office of dictators, have declared that
all who vote for the restoration of the deposites, will b<r
considered by the p e o p l e as enemies to the President,
and friends of the Bank
I deny, sir, the power of these
gentry, to decide what the people shall or wilt do* It
w u not be correct to infer that I am a friend to the exist
**£*»nk of the United States, from the vote I shall give
m favor of restoring the deposites. For, sir, although I
eueve that Congress has full power to charter a Bank—
although I believe a Bank is very useful, if not ind is pen
sable in carrying on the fiscal operations of the Government— although I doubt if the establishment of Banks b>
the State Governments is not in violation of the Constitu
tion of the United States—yet I cannot, with propriety, b e
called a friend of the existing Bank of the United States.
I came here, sir, strongly inclined to think it might be
our best policy to charter a new Bank of the United States,
instead of re-chartering the old one, and nothing has yet
occurred to change that impression. I am, moreover, although convinced that the deposites ought to be rf stored,
for the reasons I have already assigned, far from being
satisfied with all the conduct of the Bank. I allude more
particularly, sir, to the large loans it lias made to the
editors of newspapers, upon what I regard as insufficient
security. And, sir, ridiculous as is the prt tence set up
by the Government Directors, of their occupying higher
ground than the other directors, as being, in some sort,
representatives of the people, I cannot consent to overlook the charges which they h a v e made against the other
directors; unless, indeed, the charge made against these
Government Directors, that they were endeavoring to
destroy the Bank, and acting as spies upon their brethren,
( w h i c h is, in some d e g r e e , countenanced by their own
admissions,) shall be sustained by evidence.
Not less erroneous, sir, would be the inference that
my v o t e for restoring the deposites springs from enmity
spnni
t o t h e President. On the contrary, I came here, sir,




with the expectation and intention of supporting 1 the administration, in many, if not all of its l e a d i n g measured
T still e x p e c t to do so. But I never can consent tc* Wjfi
an act of injustice, in order to support any Admini*tl*>0
tion which can be formed. I will never consent to d e grade the body t o which I belong," by a tame submission
to the will of any set of m e n on earth, in opposition to
the soundest dictates of my own j u d g m e n t , and
goo*l
of the Nation. I have, sir, with-'some surprise, heard i t
suggested, that, as the Administration and the Bank
were now e n g a g e d in a contest, in which one or the
other must fall, it was the duty of the friends of the A d ministration to sustain it, in its course towards the Bank,
although they should believe that the removal of the tie*
posites was inexpedient and unjust towards the Bank*
T o such a proposition 1 can never assent. T h e demrnrrttsr
of justice are inexorable: how often have w e been t©Jd*
" let justice be done, though the Heavens should faH?**
An ', sir, would it not be better that twenty Administrations should fall, than that w e should degrade the charw
acter of the Nation in the e y e s of the whole world, hf
sanctioning one act of a c k n o w l e d g e d injustice. W e **e
told, from high authority, that w e " c a n n o t serve G o £
and mammon," and, in my estimation, it is impossible for
those who, though friendly to the Administration, b e l i e v e
that the deposites have been improperly taken away
from the Bank of the United States, conscientiously to
vote against their restoration merely to please a party
to which they belong. T h e r e is no alternative for a g e n tleman so situated but o n e , he must either stick t o h ^
party and g o against his country, or adhere to his c o w *
try, and abandon his party. In truth, Mr. Speaker, t h e
members of this House ought never to act as the p*r~
tizans or as the enemies of any Administration, but to
act as the friends of the country, and as the Represent**
t i w s o f the P e o p l e , with a single e y e to their prosperity
and happiness.
But, sir, it is a total mistake to suppose that, if the deposites are restored, the Administration must be broken
downj the p e o p l e of this country, sir, have good s e n s e
enough to distinguish b e t w e e n acts which are right and
such as are wrong, even in those men in w h o m they repose the highest confidence; and, sir, they have magna.
nimity enough not to condemn their agents for one improper s t e p . Every gentleman present has, probably,
h3d some personal e x p e r i e n c e of the truth of these remurks. It is idle, therefore, to suppose, that the present
Administration is to lose its influence from the mere circumstance of restoring the deposites. In truth, the moat
effectual way to injure the Administration will he, as f
think has been demonstrated, to refuse to put them back*
U the real ground of apprehension is, however, that a restoration of the deposites may have the effect of defeating
some ulterior object, of influencing and controlling future
elections among the p e o p l e , by means of the combined
influence of the office-holders and of the State Banks, I
admit it may, and hope it will, have the effect. B a t it
c*nnot b r e a k d o w n the present Administration. It is a
great mistake in the Members of this House, to act on the
erroneous principle, that the Administration is infallible;
that, sir, is an attribute which does not belong to humanity. W e ought, sir, never to look at the source from
which a measure springs, but to decide it upon the gre»t
principles of unalterable justice, and of duty to our c o n stituents.
T h e suggestion has been made, Mr. SPEAKER, not in
this House to be sore, but elsewhere, that the attempt to
restore the D e p o s i t e s , is merely the effect of a combination b e t w e e n what is called the National Republican
party and the Nulliners. And, sir, although the imputation is known to be false by those who m a k e it, yet a» ft
was designed to produce an erroneous impression u p o »
the public mind, and may have the effect, unless, contr*-

13
dieted, I take leave to say, that, although I admired the I twelve years, and which is in no way distinguishable
courage with which the party called the Nul lifters stood 1 from Nullification t e x c e p t by the name and the want of
u p . in what 1 regarded as a very bad cause, against fearful I firmness, in its advocates* to carry it out to its legitimate
odds, and although I feel a very high personal regard for results. As* to the revolution effected by the President,
several gentlemen in this House, with whom I have be- } in reference to this system of State Right?, X have much
come acquainted since I caine here, and who are said to more reason to thank him than the gentleman from N e w
belong to that party; yet my sentiments in regard to the | York. It is most true, sir, that, about twelve months ago, ,
powers of the General and State Governments are so di- the President did effect a great and glonous revolution
rectly at war with theirs, that 1, for one, can never form j in reference to the doctrines maintained by the modern
any political combination with them. But, sir, I do not j State Rights party, by issuing his proclamation; by which
conceive that I must support a measure which 1 conscien- the whole system, it is to be hoped, was prostrated in
tiously believe to b e wrong, merely because other g e n - the dust, never to rise again. ^ 1 thank the President for
tlemen condemn it, with whom I happen to differ upon that revolution, sir, most heartily and sincerely, from the
anothet and still more important question. I am bound, bottom of my heart.
sir, to do what is right, without waiting to inquire who
T h e gemleman from N e w York was also pleased to
will g o with m e in doing so; and 1 confess that 1 am not pay a high compliment to Virginia, upon her consistent
surprised that the Nullifiers should condemn the act of the course, for which I return him my hearty acknowledgSecretary of the Treasury; but rather amazed that it ments. T h e gentleman went a little too far, perhaps,
should be approved by any portion of the members of this j when he said she was always right, for I think she has not
always been exactly consistent even on the svibject of
House.
.
1 shall say, sir, but very tew words, in reference to some Slate Rights. Rut, sir, I do verily believe she always inremarks which fell from the gentleman from N e w York, tends to do right, and is, in fact, at least as often right as
(Mr, CAMBiuiUSG) on yesterday, before 1 have done.— any other State in this Union. And I am glad to hear
That gentleman eulogized the present Chief Magistrate that she is right upon tins question of removing the deof the Union for a great revolution which he had effect* posites, which she heartily condemns. It is always grae d in favor of what he called State Rights, N o w , sir, I tifying to me to hear any tiling said in favor of the Old
d o not profess to belong to the State Rights party, accord- Dominion, not only, sir, because it is my own country,
ing to the modern acceptation of the term. It is true, but from more elevated considerations, l h a v e always felt
sir, I claim many rights for the States, and I trust I will be proud of my State; 1 feel mor£ so now than ever; from
disposed to go as far in maintaining their rights, as any the proofs she has recently exhibited, that she still conother gentleman present ^ I e v e n considered myself as a tinues to be governed by those noble principles of justice
very g o o d State Rights man, until within the last few and honor, which cause her to condemn an act of injusyears. But, sir, 1 do not approve of t h e State Rights tice, although done for the purpose of destroying an institution to which she has always been opposed.
doctrine alluded to by the gentleman from N e w York,
which has been in v o g u e , I believe, for about ten or I