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W I L L I A M H. S E W A R D ,






T h e question was upon the joint resolutions from the Assembly, which were
a s follows :—
I N A S S E M B L Y , January 10, 1S34. $
Resolved, (if the Senate concur,) T h a t the removal of the public deposites
from the B a n k of the United States, is a measure of the administration of which
w e highly approve.
Resolved, (if the Senate concur,) T h a t the Senators from this State be directed, and the Representatives from this state be requested, to oppose any attempt to restore the deposites to the B a n k of the United States.
Resolved, (if the Senate concur,) That w e approve of the communication
made by the President of the United States to his Cabinet on the eighteenth of
September last, and of the reasons given by the Secretary of the Treasury relative to the removal of the deposites.
Resolved, (if the Assembly concur,) That the conduct of the B a n k , in attempting, at a time of general prosperity, to produce pecuniary distress and
alarm, and in exercising its power with a view to extort a renewal of its chart e r from the fears of the people, affords of itself full justification for the withdrawal of the confidence of the government.
Resolved, (if the Senate concur,) T h a t the charter of the Bank of the United
States ought not to be renewed*
(if the Senate concur,) T h a t the Secretary of State be requested
to forward to each Senator and Representative a copy of these resolutions.
M R . S E W A R D addressed the Senate as follows :
I t needs no soothsayer's aid, M r . President, to foresee that these Resolutions
will pass ; that they will pass with a majority so great, that I may appear presumptuous in h a v i n g raised my feeble voice against them. Nevertheless, there
is in this Legislature, as, according to the genius of our government, there always should be, a minority ; and that minority, although small in number, r e presents, on this occasion, little less than one-half of the people of this State,
T h e universal language of that part of the press which speaks their sentiments*
and the inquiries and fears every where heard, indicate that the measures which
this Legislature are called upon to approve, are regarded by that portion of the
People of this S t a t e , with fearful apprehensions, and a painful conviction that

in the adoption of those measures the Constitution has been violated. I p r a y
the Senate to remember, that although here these Resolutions have so many s u p porters, willing to adopt them without debate, neither boldness of assumption,
nor superiority of numbers, is always the test of truth ; and that the rivets of
despotism will have entered the heart of the country, when such apprehensions
and convictions shall cease to call forth, in the public councils, a voice in t h e i r
behalf. l a those apprehensions and convictions I participate, and thus p a r t i c i pating, should deem myself recreant to my trust, were I to suffer these R e s o l u tions to pass in silence. For the minority here, and for all that minority in t h e
State, then, I speak, I wish they had an abler—a more eloquent, but I a m
sure they could not have a more firm or sincere advocate.
I oppose these Resolutions, because they have no place among the legitimate
and constitutional duties of the Legislature.
Many and vague are the theories concerning the constitutional boundary b e tween the powers and duties of the General and the State Governments, b u t
there are some principles on that subject in which all acquiesce* One of t h e s e
is that the Government of the United States has sovereign and exclusive p o w e r
to levy taxes, direct and indirect, for the necessary support and action of t h a t
government, and to preserve and apply the revenues derived from such taxes*
In the exercise of this power, the General Government possesses all the requisite
prerogatives of sovereignty. It neither asks the aid of State legislatures, nor is
responsible to State judiciaries, nor does it employ any State agents. It r e c o g nizes the citizen taxed not as the citizen of a State, but as a citizen of the U n i t e d
States. T h e questions presented by these Resolutions, concern the collection and
preservation of the revenues of the United States thus acquired- The important question is, whether those revenues shall be deposited for safe keeping
in a bank of the United States, or in banks of the States. Suppose Congress
should pass a law directing that the revenues of this State should be deposited
in the Bank of the United States ? Would not this be a direct usurpation ? a grossr
and palpable violation of the Constitution of the United States ? Suppose, on
the other hand, that the Legislature of this State should pass a law directing
that the revenues of the United States collected within this State, should be d e posited in the banks of this State ? This confessedly would b« nullification.
the one case supposed, the welkin would ring with the war-cry of State rights ;
in the other a ** Proclamation" and a u Force Bill" would assert the sovereignty
of the United StatesBut I am answered, here is no law of the State—these are only resolutions !
T h e distinction does not affect the principle. In the cases supposed, it would b e
not the impotent assumption of p o w e r ^ b u t the mischievous departure from t h e
constitutional sphere of action, which would, in the one, arouse the State to assert

its reserved rights, and in the other, call forth the conservative action of the
General Government. If resolutions are utterly inoperative, it is idle to pass
them ; if they have any efficacy they ought to be passed only in those cases
where laws could be enacted.
T r y the question by another hypothesis. Suppose Congress were to pass,
not a law, but a resolution, instructing, advising, or requesting that the r e v e nues of this State, should be deposited in the Bank of the United States ?
Would it not be justly regarded as the incipient step to usurpation ? as a dangerous attempt to overawe or control the action of the State r N o w the case is
reversed; the State Legislature passes resolutions concerning the revenues of
the United States. But how is the principle changed ? It remains the same.
T h e passage of these Resolutions, therefore, must be a palpable departure from
our legitimate and constitutional duties*
T h e entire Government of this country, consisting of the General Governm e n t and State Governments, is complex ; perfect, we believe, as human wisd o m could make it, or possessing within itself the powers by amendment to
m a k e it so. In my judgment every departure, whether by the General G o v ernment or a State Government, from its proper orbit, so as to encroach
Mpon that of the other, is dangerous, and tends inevitably to the destruction of
t h e whole system* Resolutions of this character are unnecessary for the proper
action of the Government.
Why need w e instruct Congress ? Congress is
n o t a distant, a transatlantic, a parent, or an imperial government- T h i s State
i s not a province, or a dependency of the General Government. N o r is the
Government of the United States a confederacy, as it once was, and as some
sonthern politicians dream. It is, like the Government of this State, a republic.
I n it, so far as concerns the present argument, this Legislature is nothing. T h e
P e o p l e of this State are not subjects of Congress requiring our protection.
T h e y are two of the twelve millions of constituents represented there as fully
a s they are here. T h e Representatives in Congress are not our Representat i v e s ; they are the Representatives of the Proplc of this State : they are as
recently from their constituents as \vc are, ami know their will as well.
are not the Representatives of the aggregate of the P e o p l e , as your Resolutions
assume* Each is the Representative of a limited number of the People, in a
defined district, and their views necessarily dilVer, as do those of their respective
constituents. Beware, then, how you attempt to seduce, or to overawe them into
an act of disobedience to the will of their constituents ! When you so approach
them, you find them in the sphere of their duty and responsibility, but you have
departed from your own.
These Resolutions are unnecessary. The puhject to which they relate is already under discussion in both Mouses of Congress. A majority of those whom

you propose to instruct will vAc -* y:;i Jesire without instruction
& minority
will not vote so, although requested, an ! the numbers of both are d e t e r m i n e d *
Does any Senator ask how I k:v?w th: sr r.timer.ts of the Representatives o f t h i s
State in C o n g r e s s :
I will answer. -\r. : if r-ny member startle at my a n s w e r
it will bo, not because th^ i?.f;.-rm-.;l-:i i* i v w , but because it is proclaimed h e r e .
T h e majority of the He; r^cntatives will v-r-te ^5 I have predicted, b e c a u s e of
convictions produced by thr same rny>:^v\:\\< intuition which has so s u d d e n l y
enlightened this Legislature.
If they hive ever }.?-•: doubt*? on this matter, t h e y
have all been cispell^d by the same a^onrv, which is sufficiently efficacious to
carry these Resolutions as triumphantly in thi« S-:-rr.t-\ os it carried them t h r o u g h
the House of A s s e m b l y : where, rdthouch the Re<o f utnns relate to a subject
foreign to the a Hairs of the State, they w e n p « v d bv a vote of 1 1 8 t o 9 in
the first w e e k of the session, without ar^um^rT, -r : without even the c e r e m o n y
of printing the documents which the R> - .- -.•••* ; - ; rove. 13e satisfied, t h e n ,
that the minds of the mnh.rlty of our R - ve* in Congress will b e as effectually illuminated as your <^vn, xivA i\
.u:;:.:- 1 wills will yield to the b e hest of the same power v b^ch .b:cree« y ur v, :i. The minority w i l l v o t e
as I have stated, because they will r x ^ . L . e c.:.i discuss the question, and arrive at their conclusion, with th - rd 1 etuy of truth and reason. Their w i l l s
cannot be subdued by that mysterious powe; U. which 1 have alluded.
I say
not too much for them when I assert, they wili ^ urn your insidious request, a s
much as they would defy your arbitrary i n d u c t i o n s .
Sir, I will not say that tin sc Re? dutL-ns h v e such a purpose, but I will and
may say that resolutions of this nature ;-.r. vfton. if not always, the machinery
of demagogues, who seek by the use »{ them t^ rtee-mplish objects which t h e y
could not accomplish by the c o n s t i t u t i n g and proper action of legislative bodies.
l a sueh cases the affectation of a d o i r c to instruct is a veil too^thin to conceal
the object of the measure. It i s iu thi, l^ht such resolutions are regarded
abroad by those States whose interests are adverse t> the interests of those w h o
adopt them. They excite suspicion, j e ^ u s y , and prejudice : and hence other
States will endeai or to counteract their enbet by adverse resolutions. Such is their
natural and inevitable tenJeney. :>* it regard* our sister States. And what can
you expect in Congress as Mo Vestimate effects of sueh resolutions, even though
sincere and for laudable purposes, but blind, vindictive controversy, scarcely
veiled by the forms and proprieties of debate : Every State has the same c o n stitutional right, and may as properly exercise the power of instruction*
Suppose all to exercise it, where would be the freedom, and what the value of debate ? Suppose a part only to exercise it, what would be the security of those
who neglect to avail themselves of it, against partial and corrupt legislation ?
And for measures in Congress carried by the force of such machinery, vrhat


can you expect from those Slates against whose interests and principles
they militate, but combinations, resistance, nullification and secession ? It was
it was by passionate, violent resolutions of this kind, that, during the late war,
the Eastern States were brought into a position of disobedience to the General
Grovernment; and tho^e who are curious enough to examine, will find that the
S t a t e s of Georgia and South Carolina, commenced by Resolutions not unlike
these, that career of disorganization which so lately seemed to threaten the immediate dissolution of the Union.
B u t I will not appeal to the attachment of this House to the Union.
fashion of the day has changed here within the last year, and State pride is now
the passion to be called into action ! W e would have what is called our propel
influence in the National Government.
W e would acquire the power in the
administration of the Government, to which our oreater strength and numbers,
and our loug deference to other States, entitle us. It we win either, Sir, it must
b e by patriotism, not force; by generous bearing, nut stlfish assumptionC o u l d w e win both by inglorious means, w e should obtain but " a fruitless
T h e power thus acquired would be

A barren a*coptre in our eripo.
•* Thence to he wrenched with an uiiliiical hand,
No sun of ours succeeding:.*'
In many of the other States, those measures ol violent opposition to the
U n i t e d States Bank, which are so strenuously urged here, are regarded, (I will
not say here whethei justly or not/- as having the ulterior object to wrest the
advantages which that institution g i v e s , from the State of Pennsylvania.
Remember that the acquisition thus made, will always be regarded by her as the
evidence of her own shame, and of our cupidity and treachery.
But in this, if
such be the real motive, this State cannot succeed.
T h e extraordinary and v i o lent action of the removal of these deposits is already producing a reaction
against us. W h a t else has so suddenly changed the sympathies of the Southern
S t a t e s , so recently our political allies, and lost to the views of this State a majority in the one House of Congress, and leduced the majoiity in the other to
one merely nominal ?
T h e fourth Resolution is, " that the Hank ol the United States ought not to bft
Whatever may be the propriety of acting upon the others, I can discover no necessity foi passing* tliis resolution.
T w o years ago, a similar resolution was adopted hv this Kegislaiuie : hut that was accompanied by a preamble stating that the Bank had applied to Congress for a renewal of its charter
T h e preamble, though an insutlicient reason for the conclusion that the charter
ought not to be renewed, was a colorable pretext for considering the subject.


B u t that reason does not exist now.
N o such question is before Congress.If it can be required of us to legislate for t h e advice of Congress, 1 trust it i s
enough to legislate upon subjects on which they are called to act. This r e s o l u tion, then, is confessedly unnecessary for any legitimate purpose. It is unjust
to the B a n k of the United S t a t e s , and therefore it is derogatory to the d i g n i t y
and character of the S t a t e .
If it be not designed to influence Congress, it m u s t
be required for effect at home or abroad.
It cannot be for effect abroad.
voice of the S t a t e on this subject has been spoken and repeated ; this reiteration can only serve to cause both our sincerity and tirmness to be questioned.
A n d for w h a t effect at home ? I can conceive of none but that the resolution
m a y serve as a shibboleth to members on entering the Legislature. T w o y e a r s
since, I advocated here the necessity, in regard to the proper action of the G e neral G o v e j n m e n t , and the commercial interests of the countrv, of a B a n k o f
the U n i t e d S t a t e s .
On that subject my opinions have undergone no c h a n g e ,
and as the question was then elaborately discussed, I trust I may expect from
a n y m e m b e r of the Legislature who on t h a t occasion stood by my side, but has
n o w fallen off, the reasons which have wrought the change in his opinions.
A n unscrupulous press denounces all as interested who refuse to join i n the
crusade against the B a n k of the U n i t e d S t a t e s . I t may therefore be prudent
for one so humble as myself to guard against misrepresentation. I have n e v e r
had any connection with the United States B a n k , or any of its branches.
m e it has bestowed none of its favors. T h e M a m m o t h , as it is called, is o n e
of those incorporeal existencies, which, like one of several heads, (said to reside
not distant from this- place,; can be felt, though not seen. I am as far from the
influence of the former, as all who hear me will admit I am from that of the l a t ter. M y associations have been with those whose interests are connected-with
S t a t e banks. Politically I have been opposed, as well to the exclusive friends, as
to the exclusive opponents of the United States Bank.
\ deem a National bank
In its present form I would not vote for a renewal of the charter
of the existing Bank. W i t h modifications limiting the power to establish branches,
and subjecting the capital to the same taxes imposed by States upon local b a n k s ,
I would vote for the renewal of this Bank, rather than create a new institution
with the same powers, lor tne men.- purpose of <riatifvii)g those desirous for a
new distribution oi stock.
With views I shall vote against the fourth R e s o lution, not because I r»m in favor A r e n e w s , a -i-^ present charter, but because I
have no other mode to avnid '••rm.-nutt:1.^ mvseii against the continuance of any
bank with a proper charter.
On the occasion to which I t.av»- interred, when I expressed my v i e w s a t
large upon this intere^tinu suhiecr. and in this place, I stood by the side of a a

honest, fearless, and mighty man in debate.* What small aid I could, I added
to that great effort, in which he advocated the constitutionality, and demonstrated
the necessity of a Bank of the United States. In that same effort, with that keen
vision which in him seemed almost prophetic, he warned the people of this State of
the calamities which would follow the abolition of an institution, the basis of which
w a s laid by the father of our country. His tongue is mute now, his head is low
in the earth, and the heart which sent forth that earnest appeal, Ho longer
beats even with wishes fur his country's good. Standing in the place he then
occupied, fcartied back by the relation of the subject to that occasion, and oppressed by the reflection that I have assumed the responsibility then so nobly
shared and so greatly discharged by him, I would not unnecessarily venture
upon a discussion of this all-important question- The day is coming which vfill
g i v e fearful confirmation of the alarms w e then sounded here. T h e springs of
our country's adversity are already sending up their waters beneath our feet;
t h e s e streams will increase in number and volume, and will mingle and swell
into a tide which human wisdom cannot stay from sweeping over the land.
T h e e , loud and senseless declamation, then, the reckless instigation of popular
prejudice and passion will no longer avail. Then, in that fearful day of sufferi n g for P a s t delusion, a n d o f retribution for past abuses of a confiding people, the
thousand warnings which have been uttered in vain, may peradventure be reUntil then, so far as I am concerned in the councils of the State,
fre postponed the argument.
T h e first resolution is in these words ;
That the removal of the deposites from the Bank of the United
States, is a measure of the administration of which we highly approve/'
When I regard this resolution as one which is designed to have effect abroad,
and to remain upon our journals as a part of the record of these interesting proceedings, it seems to me very unhappily expressed. The necessity of being
explicit in our instructions to Congress, is quite as obvious as the necessity of
the instructions themselves. A journal which, as if by magnetic sympathy, assumes to settle this important question before it is considered here, and to pronounce the judgment of this Senate before the Resolutions are debated, has
called them **//«? voice of New-Yor L"
Let, then, that voice be as intelligible
and unequivocal as it will be trumpet-tongued. Both Houses of Congress are
engaged in the discussion of this important subject. On one side are employed
all the power and eloquence of argument derived from truth/ prudence, justice
and national faith > oxx the other is boasted that more simple and effective ma-






* The Hon* William H> Maynard-



chinery which dispenses with the exercise of the reasoning powers, and relieve*
members from the responsibility of motives, as well as debate. I can imagine
something of the scene in the Senate. The Senator from Kentucky concludes
a philippic against the President's daring usurpation, imbued with all the impassioned eloquence of Fox. The Senator from New-Jersey in a speech which
combines both the argument and invective of Burke, strips the atrocious measure
of the pretext* of ** the public convenience,** and ** the promotion of the public
interests*" The Senator from South Carolina, not altogether lost to his country,
defends the violated Constitution with an argument so full of truth, of patriotism, and overwhelming eloquence, as almost to redeem him from the censure of
unpardonable errors. T h e administration *' which yoa approve" is left to rely
alone upon the intemperate and senseless efforts of the gladiator from Missouri.
What wonder that the numerous auditory of citizens exibit their sympathy in
the triumph of truth, reason and justice. Sir, the world no where else exhibits
so glorious a scene. It is like that of a Roman Senate on the eve of being subjected, but not yet ready to own a dictator. Mark, I pray you, the countenance of him who recently assumed the chair- The ** wreathing smiles of triumph" so recently boasted, have given place to a gloom upon his brow expressive of despondency, The solemn silence which precedes the final vote is broken by the annunciation of a messenger from New-York, The " empire
state" sends, as she has done before, a 4C missive bearing healing on its wings/*
to her drooping " favorite son." Mark the proud flash of his eye while l w
breaks the seal- « Resolved, That the removal of the deposites from the B a n *
of the United States is a measure of the administration—of which we highly approve." "Please read the resolution again/' says the critical Senator from*
South Carolina, " I do not understand whether the Legislature of New-York
mean to approve of the removal of the deposites by the administration, or of th*
administration itself." « Non-committal again, Mr. President," exclaims tb*
ardent Senator from Kentucky. « Long habit of speaking en double entendre,"
says the sarcastic Senator from Massachusetts, "has rendered the Legislature
of New-York unable to speak without equivocation." The chagrined " favorite
sou" turns to our worthy Senators from this State, and angrily asks, " Have w e
left no body at home to do our work better than this ?" But the trio are relieved
by a happy thought from the Senator from Missouri. ** W h y it's clear it** ot&y
going the whole ; the Legislature of New- York approve of the removal of tho
deposits by the administration beca$tse it is an act of the a dministration of whieh
they approve.'* Sir, I would spare our State pride such a mortification, bufck
is BO business of mine to mend these matters.
But I cannot plead ignorance*

I have learned from aa organ to which I

li&ve before referred, how this resolution is to be understood here; and shall
therefore discuss it as intending to approve of the removal of the deposites.
I shall vote against the Resolution, because, in my judgment, the removal
o f the deposites was an act illegal and unconstitutional* By whom, Sir, was
this act committed ? I answer and aver, that it was the act of the President of
the United States. I admit, that in the communication of Mr. Taney, as Secretary of the Treasury, he says the act was done by himself, and that the President, in his annual Message, informs Congress that " the Secretary had deem*
ed it expedient to direct the removal of the deposites, and he had concurred in
the measure." Against these authorities, from so respectable a source, I regret
to be compelled to use the authority of the President himself. But the document from which I shall read is one you are prepared to adopt, and although i%
<clash with that of the Secretary, which you are also prepared to adopt, it must
fce good evidence, I leave those who adopt both to reconcile their incongruity*
What, then, are the facts? On the 18th day of September, 1833, the deposites were in the Bank of the United States, William J, Duane was Secret a r y of the Treasury, and Roger B. Taney was Attorney-General- On that
<lay the President read in his Cabinet, and the next day gave to the world the
.document from which I read as follows :
* From all these considerations, the President thinks that the State banks
.ought Immediately to be employed in the collection and disbursement of the
public revenue, and the funds now in the Bank of the United States drawn out
with all convenient despatch.v
** The President again repeats, that he begs his Cabinet to consider the proposed measure as his own, in the support of which he shall require no one to
cnake a sacrifice of opinion or principle* Its responsibility has been assumed,
after the most mature deliberation and reflection, as necessary to preserve the
niorals of the people, the freedom of the press, and the purity of the elective
franchise, without which all will unite in saying, that the blood and treasure ex*
-pended by our forefathers in the establishment of our happy system of government, will have been vain and fruitless. Under these convictions, he feels that
^a measure so important to the American people,cannot be commenced too soon;
and he therefore names the first day of October next, as a period proper for the
change of the deposites, or sooner, provided the necessary arrangements with
the State banks can be made."
Mr. Duane refused to make the order required by the President for the removal of the deposites, and was removed because he did so refuse. Mr- Taney t
who had avowed himself ready to make the order* was instantly appointed Sec*
retary of the Treasury, and did make the order.
After this review of the transaction, who will say that the deposites were not
removed by the President of the United States, and that Mr* Taney was more
than the mere instrument used to effect the removal ? And yet both the Secre

tary and President gravely inform Congress that he, Mr Taney, tfie Secretary^
*( had deemed it expedient to direct the removal of the deposites, and the P r e s i dent had concurred in the measured'
As well might the commissioners a p pointed by William I V . , in his name, to open or prorogue parliament, say t h e y
opened, they prorogued parliament, and it was not the king their master*
You who are admirers of Andrew Jackson, to whom do yeu asciibe the glory
of the act ? Y o u will answer, it was the President. You who lament his
misrule, upon whom do you bestow the censure ! Y o u will answer, the P r e sident.
And now let me ask, is it the same Andrew Jackson, who, on the 18th S e p tember, 1 8 3 3 , read this document in his Cabinet, declaring the act of removing
the depositee his o w n , and on the first Tuesday of December sent this document
to Congress, declaring that it was the act of the Secretarv, Sir, in the o n e , it
was the soldier, the hero, who spoke ; in the other it was the politician.
And now, having established that the measure was the proper act of the P r e sident, let us next inquire, what right had the President to remove the deposites ? T h e y are the funds, the tieasures of the Government They were in
the Bank of the United States by virtue of the following l a w : —
** T h e deposites of money of the United States in places in which tlje said
Bank and branches thereof may be established, shall be made in said Bank or
branches thereof, unless the Secretary of the Treasury shall at any time otherwise order and direct, in which case the Secretary of the Treasury shall immediately lay before Congress, if in session, and if not, immediately after the commencement of the next session, the reason of such order or direction,"
Is the President the Secretary of the Treasury ? N o : but it is claimed by
the President that he has the absolute control of the Treasury department
me this assertion see/r^s so bold, so reckless, so fearful in its consequences, that I
mast he indulged with an opportunity to examine it. It rests upon the unsupported assumption that the Treasury is an executive department. But the act
of Congress, by which it was established, repudiates the assumption. All the
other departoejpt? are, in the respective acts by which they are established, declared to be executive departments. That of the Treasury is, on the other
hand, caljed a department*
But I g o farther, and maintain that from t h e
the very nature of the Constitution it cannot be an executive department. It»
duties are, to collect, preserve and disburse the revenues- Those revenues are>
exclusive of t h e Executive, under the management, care and keeping of the
Kepresentatives of the People, the Legislature. From the impracticability
of Congress managing, guarding and disbursing those monies, it results that
there must be a delegation of a portion of .those duties: that delegation might
be made to a committee of their o w n body, or to an agent responsible to them,

a n d subject to their supervision. Congress could not delegate, and therefore are
n o t to be presumed to have delegated that power to the E x e c u t i v e . Such a
l a w would be unconstitutional and void. T h e act of Congress did delegate to
t h e Secretary a discretion properly their own, to remove these deposites. T h a t
discretion Congress intended he should exercise, when the deposites should b e
r e m o v e d by him. It was his discretion, then, that should have been exercised,
n o t the discretion of the President. Y e t for the conscientious exercise of that
discretion he was removed by the President, and the deposites were withdrawn
f r o m the Bank, contrary to the judgment he gave after exercising that discretion** If it be true, then, that the President has assumed and exercised: that disc r e t i o n which Congress reposed in the Secretary, and could not constitutionally
c o n f e r on the President, it irresistibly follows that the President has usurped the
discretion and duties of the Secretary. And it is precisely because it was such
a n usurpation, that the Secretary and President equivocate concerning their res p e c t i v e action on the subject, when they come before Congress N&w it ia
n o t the President who removed the deposites, nor was it done upon his respons i b i l i t y * but it was the Secretary, M r . T a n e y , and upon his responsibility.
^cannot be that such an evasion can avail. H e that as a legislator will say, that
•JVlr. T a n e y , and not the President, removed these deposites, could, as a judge,
at a W
*U ^ a a executed by a living testator, although one devisee sups a y th
p o r t e d bis lifeless corse while another guided the hand which wrote the testament.
A n d how, Sir, let me next inquire, is this usurpation excused or justified ?
S o l e l y by the conceded power of the President to remove and appoint the S e c r e t a r y of the Treasury, and his general duty to see that the laws are faithfully
e x e c u t e d . Grant this a sufficient justification, and what follows ? T h e Presid e n t has unlimited command over the T r e a s u r y . Upon the Secretary of the
T r e a s u r y , and, therefore, according to the principle assumed, upon the Presid e n t it is devolved to collect, preserve and disburse the entire revenues. T h e
S e c r e t a r y at W a r , it is conceded on all hands, is an executive officer, and
equally subordinate. It requires but little imagination to suppose what might
h a v e been done, (and if the position assumed by the President be true, lawfully
d o n e , ) at another Cabinet council. " R a l l y the a r m y , " the President might say
t o the Secretaiy ^>f W a r , " that I may put myself at their h e a d . " T h e Secre. t a r y refuses. ci Colonel Benton, my gallant friend, will you issue the order?'*
**Aye, I wyj do any thing c to serve under such a c h i e f *' 4t Sir, you are Secr e t a r y of War-'' T h e army is rallied. " A n order for ten millions, on my r e sponsibility, not your oath,' 5 (says the President to the Secretary of the T r e a s u r y * ) T h e conscientious Secretary refuses* " M r . T a n e y , you are Secretary
o f t h e T r e a s u r y , " replies the President, and the order is instantly given* Such
a r e the powers of the President of the United States, as assumed in these docu

ments- And now, when Congress shall have conceded the power claimed, ^mU
gentlemen tell me where on the face of this earth is despotism to he found* if
it be not here, Louis Philippe owed his elevation to the throne of F r a n c e to
his declaration to the citizens of Paris through General Lafayette, that h e be*
heved the Constitution of the United States the best that had ever been c o n ceived- Sir, if this is that Constitution, it is more despotic than the prerogatives
for which Louis X V I . suffered on the guillotine.
The usurpation of the Secretary's powers is not the most alarming feature in
this unprecedented transaction. It is the defiance uttered by the President of
t h e United States of the supervisory power of Congress* Y e s , Sir, in this
very document under the President's own hand, w e are told that the power of
the Secretary over these deposites is unqualified, and as the Secretary is i n all
things responsible to the Executive, it follows that the power of the President
over them is also unqualified. Hence he says, in relation to his having sub*
mitted the subject to the Congress at the last session,—
** B u t it was not his purpose, as the language of his message will shew, to
ask the representatives of the people to assume a responsibility which did not
belong to them, and relieve the Executive branch of the Government from the
duty which the law had imposed upon it. tt is due to the President, that his
object in that proceeding should be distinctly understood, and that he should acquit himself of all suspicion of seeking to escape from the performance of his
own duties, or of desiring to interpose another body between himself and the
people in order to avoid a measure which he is called upon to meet- But although, as an act of justice to himself, he disclaims any design of soliciting the
opinion of the House of Representatives in relation to his own duties, in order to
shelter himself from responsibility under the sanction of their counsel, yet he is
at all times ready to listen to the suggestions of the representatives of the people, whether given voluntarily or upon solicitation, and to consider thetja with
the profound respect to which all will admit they are justly entitled.' 1
It is true the President, with the meekness of Caesar, when he thrice refused
the crown upon the Lupercal, regrets and is surprised to find his duties *>
But he does not shrink from the responsibility devolved upon him.
Sir, have w e lost sight of our Constitution? Or, in truth, have w e none?
Over these deposites, the revenues of the nation, Congress have sole and sovereign control. One year ago, so thought this administration, " which you approve-" Witness the communication of Mr. McLane to Congress, informing
them that he had instituted an inquiry into the safety of the deposites, and r e commending the subject to their consideration. That investigation was had,
both in Congress and by the agent, and upon due consideration and debate, the
H o u s e of representatives instructed the Secretary not to remove the deposites.
Thus baffled in procuring from the Legislature the desired order for the r e m o v a l
the President caused them to be removed upon his own responsibility and says

t h a t although he submitted the matter to Congress it was not to ask their act i o n , but to procure that v e r y advice which he defies.
S o insulting a defiance, so bold an assumption of Legislative power, might
possibly be excused by motives or stern necessity* Sir, what are the motives
a l l e g e d , and what was the necessity for this precipitant and violent departure
f r o m the constitutional limits of the Executive prerogative ? W a s it to save
t h e public money in danger of being wasted ? N o ; that is not alleged.
t o s a v e the country from " t h e commercial distress which must e n s u e / ' if the
deposites should be suffered to remain where by law they w e r e required to be
deposited until the expiration of the charter of the B a n k , " and to save the
P e o p l e from the corruption of the B a n k . " T h e s e exigencies existed with
e q u a l force when the House of Representatives resolved, six months before,
t h a t t h e deposites ought to remain in the Bank. Congress was to meet within
s i x t y days after the time appointed for the removal, and if they had strangely
o v e r l o o k e d these exigencies, there would then have been ample time to apply
t b e r e m e d y . There was then no extreme necessity for the interposition of the
H e acted only because of the superior fitness of his powers o v e r
t h o s e of the Legislature to prevent commercial distress, and to preserve the
p u b l i c morals. Sir, were I to concede that this violent assumption of powers
u p o n t h e ground of duty to preserve the public morals, could be approved by
t h i s n a t i o n ; and then to compare it with the previous deliberate and unanim o u s voice of the People in regard to that duty, I should be forced to justify
D a n i e l O'Connell in his charge of hypocrisy against the whole American people*
I t i s scarcely four years since Congress decided that they, as the National Leg i s l a t u r e , had no power to pass any law with the purpose of affecting or pres e r v i n g public morals* T h e decision was a just one, and was sustained by alm o s t the entire People ; the plaudits are still ringing in our ears, with which,
from e v e r y quarter of this land, that decision was hailed. And now, Sir, we
a r e told that this same Congress, and this same People, recognize the President
o f the United States as invested with the identical power, and charged with t h e
i d e n t i c a l duty of the preservation of public morals, then declared to be beyond
t h e limits of the powers and duties of even the Legislature of the nation- It i»
this power, and this duty, which w e are called to concede. L e t me say to*
this Senate, that it is to the State Legislatures, this duty and power belong.
T h e y belong to us, and w e can never surrender them to Congress, or the
President, without a surrender of one of; the most important of the reserved
rights of the States.
A n d now I pray Senators to consider- what it is they are called upon to do >
I t i s to instruct, not our representatives^ but the representatives of the people
of this State, to ratify and confirm thir/ usurpation, and surrender to one m a n ,


not only the treasures of this nation, but their own powers and duties v^th our
own. Oh ! if you will send these instructions, send one more with them. T e l l
them to forswear the memory of their fathers, their country and their God.
will then have left them no more of evil to commit, no more shame to incur*
And who are we, Sir, to give these instructions ? Ourselves the representative*
of that same betrayed people. Sir, I have confessed I have no hope that any
thing I might say would change a single vote in this house. Yet when my
fears are all excited by a view of the ruinous and lasting consequences of thi»
usurpation, and when I reflect on the precipitancy which marks this act, I could
kneel before this Senate and implore them, could conjure them by our common
hopes, our common interests, and our common recollections, to pause before the
reckless measure be accomplished.
The third Resolution is in these words :
"Tlesolvedy (if the Senate concur,) That we approve of the communication
made by the President of the United States to his Cabinet on the eighteenth of
September last, and of the reasons given by the Secretary of the Treasury relative to the removal of the deposites."
Sir, to what limit of legislative self-abandonment is it proposed to us to go ?
.Last year, in a debate upon the proceedings of the Convention in South Carolina, another Senator* and myself protested against adopting, in gross, an argumentative report, although made by a committee of this house. We had the
success then, (unusual success for that Senator and myself on such occasions,)
to prevail upon the Senate to limit their approval to the general views and
conclusions of a contradictory and unmearing report. And what have w e now
before us ? We are called upon to adopt and approve an official document, not
of this house, nor pertaining to this State, merely because it bears the President's name : although when solemnly cajled upon by the Senate of the United
States he has refused to acknowledge it ; a document, for the authenticity of
which we have only the imprint of a partisan newspaper ; a document contradicted too by the other paper with which it is associated in the resolution, and by
the annual message of the President to Congress. Sir, we do not pass a bill
for a turnpike road, though it be introduced by a member of the house, until it
is twice read, referred to a committee, reporteJ upon by them, submitted to a
committee of the whole house, and again solemnly read. And yet this document has never been, and in this hoase never will be, once read ; it has been
referred to no committee, and we aiw indebted, we are told, to courtesy to the
minority, for its being printed one day before we are required to discuss it.
Sir, you will search in vain through veur voluminous journals for a precedent

- The Hon. Albert H. Tracy.

f o r such legislation as this. And if you go back to the history of that country
f r o m which w e derive our forms of legislative proceeding, you will look in vain
f o r a parallel, until you reach the history of that pliant parliament which sue*
c e s s i v e l y tendered its approval and ratification of the successive marriages and
d i v o r c e s of H e n r y V I I I . Sir, there is no name in this nation which could
e x a c t so humiliating a sacrifice of legislative dignity as this, but the name of
A n d r e w Jackson. And now, " in the name of all the gods at once/* who is this
A n d r e w Jackson, that w e ** must bend our knees if he but look on u s " — n a y ,
t h a t w e must thus propitiate the condescension of a look—that 4i when he bids"
u s , a y e , unbidden, we must " mark himy and write his speeches in our books V*
Is h e greater than the father of our country ? And y e t in all the enthusiasm of
n a t i o n a l gratitude for independence bestowed upon us, was never so humiliating
a t r i b u t e offered to W A S H I N G T O N .
H e , Sir, would have spurned the legislature
o f a free State that would have laid such a resolution at his feet
B u t if w e must transcend the constitutional limits prescribed for our action,
a n d l set aside, in favor of this document, all forms and rules of legislation, then
l e t u s come at once to the merits of the resolution.
A s regards the expediency of the removal of the deposites, I assume that
i t is t h e duty of the Government of the United States, as it is tho duty of the
G o v e r n m e n t of this State, to depcJsit the common fund and treasure of the
p e o p l e in the most safe place, I will not say, and cannot say, that in reference
t o t h e present state of the currency, and the actual condition of the country, any
o f t h e depositing State banks are unsafe. But I will say, and prove, that they
a r e , and must be, less safe depositories than the United States Ban?k. Sir, w h a t
a r e the notorious facts on this subject ? You know, the President k n e w , the
c o u n t r y and the world know, that the Bank of the United States was safe.
A f t e r a long and unprecedented persecution of four years, tho effect, if not the
o b j e c t of which, was necessarily to oppress and embarrass the institution, and
t h u s endanger its stability, you have had two full, searching investigations ; the
o n e b y the Treasury department, the other by a committee of the House of
R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , and both those investigations resulted in declaring its perfect
s o l v e n c y and security. Sir, it is even conceded, though indirectly and reluct a n t l y , in these documents. T h u s , Sir, w e know the condition, the entire solv e n c y , and the perfect security of the Bank of the United States, as a deposit o r y for the public money. And what do we know of the condition, solvency,
a n d security of the thirty and more State banks selected by the President ?
T h e plainest man without the bar of this house shall answer. W i l l he take
t h e bills of the depositing bank at N e w - O r l e a n s , or even at N e w - H a v e n t in
e x c h a n g e for United States Bank notes ? N o . W h y will he not ? H e knows
t h e latter bank is s o l v e n t ; he does not know the security, n a y , he does n o t


know the names of the former institutions. T h e merchant shall Answer me,
Will ho take the notes of the one in payment without exchange as be will t h e
other? N o . And w h y will he not? Because, that exchange is the p r e m i um for the greater risk that the one will not redeem its bills as promptly as t h e
ofher. T h e capitalist shall answer me- Will he invest his money as readily
and at as high a premium in the stock of the one, as in that of the other ? N o ,
Sir, And w h y not ? Because the premium, besides the length of time and
probable amount of profits, includes the comparative risk of the solvency of t h e
two institutions. Sir, the House of Assembly shall answer me* N o t one
member of that House would receive the bills of a State depositing institution!
(the safety fund banks always excepted,) in payment for the arduous public service of passing these Resolutions without debate* You have, for the safety of
these local banks, only the certificate of the agent of the Treasury department.
And what know w e of the manner, the extent, and the impartiality of those in*
vestigations ? Nothing.
From the organization of these institutions, it results that the solvency and
security of the United States Bank can always be more readily and certainly
ascertained than those of the State banks. It is one institution, under the c o n trol and management of one direction. T h e local banks are separate institutions, remote from and having no connection with each other, nor subject to a n y
general supervision. T h e security of banks must necessarily depend much upon
the provisions contained in, and may be from time to time affected by legislative alteration of their charters. T h e charter of the Bank of the United States
is always before Congress, and the institution can be affected by no legislation
but theirs. T h e charters of the State banks are not before them, and they are
subject to the legislation of the respective States. T h e Bank of the United
States is the agent of the Government, with powers and organization adapted
to the duties of that agency, and responsible directly and always to that G o v ernment.
T h e State baaks were never designed for such an agency, having
neither the necessary capital nor the capacities for those duties, and are irresponsible to the Government,
Sir, experience confirms what reason and argument teach on this subject. The Bank of the United States has never lost,
since the foundation of the Government, one dollar of the public funds j the annual report of the Secretary of the Treasury exhibits a fearful aggregate of
monies lost by notes of insolvent State banks. Y o u have already in your cities
newspapers of that interesting description which are wholly devoted to giving
information of the progressive condition, solvency and insolvency of the State
banks—information now so necessary to the Treasury department* although
the study of it would constitute the miser's pandemonium.
B u t , grant that the President had reason to know the perfect security <rf the

l o c a l banks, how is their future condition to be ascertained ? T h e Government
h a s no power to make the inquiry. T h e right to make such inquiry is secured
t>y contracts, of doubtful validity, with the State banks. Those contracts may
l>o annulled by the stockholders, or by the State legislatures.
b y the Government into the condition of State banks, will justly be regarded
w i t h jealousy as conducive, if not designed to conduce, to consolidation, and the
security of deposites will be regarded as a mere pretext for an unwarranted inr o a d upon the reserved rights of the States. Sir, w e , in this State, cannot d e * i y t that State banks are insecure, for our whole safety fund system proceeds
u p o n the ground that they are unsafeBut I am answered, that you will have security for your deposites. A y e , if
y o u can obtaia it, you will have security when your deposits exceed one-half of
t h e capital of the bank : but that security is to be upon the capital, and where
i s t h a t capital ? Is it paid in, or is it in hypothecated stock notes ? Such securit y t h e Government may obtain from doubtful or insolvent banks, whose capital
- w a s never actually paid in, but it will not be given by solvent banks, because
s t o c k h o l d e r s will not prefer the claims of Government to their own and those of
p r i v a t e depositors.
A n d grant the deposites might continue safe where they now are ; w e are
t o l d - i n these very documents which we are to approve, that the right to design a t e is consequent upon the right to remove, that both are executive, and for
tooth the Executive is not responsible to Congress. T h e same power that has
these deposites can remove them at pleasure, and Congress is no long e r entitled even to reasons for the removal.
A g a i n , Sir, I disapprove of the removal of the deposites, and of course of
t h e s e Resolutions, because the act of removal was a violation of the solemu
faith of the Government.
It is admitted I believe by all, as the true construct i o n of the charter, that the bonus of one and a half millions paid by the Bank,
a n d its obligation to regulate the currency, were the conditions imposed upon
i t , in consideration of the stipulation that t h e Bank should have the deposites.
T h e s e deposites, it was stipulated, should not be removed but by the act of the
S e c r e t a r y , or of Congress, and for good cause. I say that Congress had the
p o w e r to remove, although that power is not expressly reserved in the charter,
b e c a u s e it is a power of which they could not deprive themselves ; and I add
for-good cause ; because such would be the legal construction of the reservation
e v e n of an unqualified power to remove, and because, the Secretary is r e q u i r e d <by the charter to give his reasons for removal. And now, it appears
t h a t these deposites have been removed, not by Congress, nor by the Secretary
o f the Treasury in the exercise of his discretion, but by the high-handed act—

without cause and without l a w — o f the President, while the Bank is a d m i t t e d
to h a v e performed its obligations.
I k n o w not w h a t favor m y next objection may find in this house* I t i s , t h a t
t h e measure has caused a w a s t e of public monies. W h i l e these deposites r e mained in the B a n k of the U n i t e d S t a t e s , although the B a n k paid directly no
interest to G o v e r n m e n t , the deposites w e r e loaned to individuals in the s a m e
manner as t h e capital stock and individual deposites. T h e interest upon t h e s e
deposites w a s a part of the profits of the B a n k , and the Government r e c e i v e d
its share of these profits in the proportion of its capital ; that is, 7 to 3 5 , or o n e fifth of the whole.
M u c h is indirectly alleged in these documents, and is now loudly proclaimed
e l s e w h e r e , of the m i s m a n a g e m e n t of the funds of the B a n k , and the consequent
reduction of its profits, and of course of the G o v e r n m e n t share of its profits.
Sir, I submit t h a t in t h e one item I have mentioned, the loss of interest o n t h e
deposites, the P r e s i d e n t has wasted more than the aorcrre^nte of all the G o v e r n tnent losses b y the mismanagement of the Bank since its foundation. A n d y e t
this is n o t the worst aspect of the subject.
By the removal of the deposites, the
President has reduced the value of the stock of the B a n k , one-fifth of which is
owned by t h e G o v e r n m e n t .
It is not my purpose to be exact in these i t e m s ,
it is enough to show t h e facts ; but grant the stock of the B a n k thus reduced in
value t e n per c e n t , and you h a v e upon t h e $ 7 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 of Government stocky
7 0 0 , 0 0 0 dollars loss ; an item which I commend b y w a y of set off against t h e
4 8 , 0 0 0 dollars expended for publishing documents and information designed
to counteract efforts made to prostrate the B a n k .
B u t , Sir, these are m e r e financial considerations, affecting only the redundant
resources of the country, and they sink to insignificance compared with those
evils, the measure of r e m o v i n g the deposites has inflicted, and is yet to inflict,
u p o n t h e currency. Sir, it is settled, whether wisely or unwisely, that the circulating medium of the country must be a paper currency* T h e condition of
that currency concerns e v e r y man's weal in the land. W h e n it is unsound, it p r o duces those hard times which w e have often imagined, but are n o w experiencing.
W h e n it is sound it produces those good times, the enjoyment of which m a k e s
us forgetful of the cause which produced t h e m . T h a t currency, when healthful,
raises the value of your bank s t o c k ; it adds to t h e value, not only of the a n n u a l
products of y o u r farms, but of the fiirms themselves. U p o n its condition it m a y
d e p e n d w h e t h e r your m e r c h a n d i z e , judiciously prosecuted, shall be profitable or
unprofitable, and w h e t h e r y o u r manufacturing or mechanical operations shall
yield a r e w a r d for y o u r industry ; w h e t h e r you be able to collect or p a y y o u r
d e b t s . T h a t currency has, until r e c e n t l y , b e e n a long time sound and uniform,
and the world has n e v e r witnessed a s c e n e of g r e a t e r prosperity than has b e e n

exhibited in this country. T h a t currency has, at one period of our history,
b e e n diseased, and then brought on a train of evils for which legislative wisdom
in vain tried the efficacy of relief laws ; a state of suffering from which there
w a s no escape but the return by the road of penance to a national bank, to produce a healthful and uniform state of the currency. So, Sir, it will be now,
with the only difference, that the aggravation of our distress will be proportioned to our recent unprecedented prosperity. T h a t currency, Sir, obeys no administration ; the laws of its action are absolute and certain. It has none of
the subserviency of secretaries, of political congresses, or of partizan legislatures.
I t owes no allegiance to him whom men call K i n g Caucus ; it is governed by
n o usages or customs of ° the party."
It defies the thunders of government
newspapers, those ministerial vaticans whose anathemas infer political deathI t despises "tiie voice of New-York^*
and is reckless even of the "voice of the
This mysterious and arrogant power can be subjected by one agent,
if he be strong, wise, prudent, faithful and persevering. T h a t agent is he who,
with the requisite amount of funds and credit at his command, in all the differ e n t parts of this extended country, and with specie always in his vaults, will
diligently watch the motions of the currency, and with untiring industry, faithfully, and at all times, either free of charge, or at nominal expense, transfer
funds redundant in one part of the Union, to supply deficiencies elsewhere.
accomplish this purpose, the agent must have, not the favor of the E x e c u t i v e ,
nor y e t the ear of the Ministry, before or benind the throne, nor will even
popular acclamation answer his need ; he must have the confidence of men ot
capital and enterprise in this and in foreign countries. His bonds or notes must
be esteemed as secure as his vaults. Such an agent, we have bad ; it was
the Bank of the United States, T h e funds it had were its capital and the deposites of the Government. Its bond brought specie at its need from every part
of the globe, and its notes in every section of this country were more valued
t h a n the precious metals. Sir, that agent you have dismissed ; you have substituted thirty or forty of feebler and distracted power in its place. T h e s e act
without concert, without responsibility, and without credit. T h e evil was al
most instantaneously felt j you denied it at first, then confessed it, then promise d it would abate, and still it goes on increasing, and will go on increasing,
until your industry is paralysed, and your commerce arrested in all your market
t o w n s on the seaboard- T h e reproof of your error now reaches you from e v e r y
commercial city in the land. You know it will come louder and bolder, and
e r e you have closed your duties here, it will visit the homes of your constituents* Y e s , you will return to them to witness; the depreciation of farms and
merchandize, and the general gloom which mutual distrust nnd individual apprehension can so effectually produce. Your banks having extended their dis

counts to their utmost limits, will close their vaults, and the application for r e newals and additional loans will be answered b y the visits of the sheriff to t h e
houses of the debtors. T h e usurer will be abroad in the country, as he is n o w
in your cities. You have disturbed and deranged that subtle currency, and i t s
vibrations will shake and unsettle all business transactions. You know i t ; y o u
anticipate the complaints and the rebuke of your constituents ; and you seek
to deceive yourselves, and self-convinced, honestly deceive them by laying t h e
evil at the door of the U n i t e d States Bank, which during all this pressure, h a s
b e e n , with all the power you have left it, discounting freely to relieve the P e o ple. D e c e i v e them and yourselves you may for a while, but in the extreme of
suffering they will arouse to the conviction that these evils* come from the reckless sacrifice of their prospects, hopes and enjoyments in a political warfare, in
which they had nothing to gain, and the calamities of which were sure to fall
upon themselves. T H E N you will have to give better reasons for your votes
on these resolutions, than were given in the H o u s e of Assembly, or than h a v e
been yet given in this house.
H a v i n g now, M r . President, stated generally the grounds of my opposition
Jto the passage of these several resolutions, it remains, of the plan I had marked
out for myself in this debate, to consider briefly the reasons assigned by t h e
P r e s i d e n t and Secretary for the removal, I have necessarily anticipated some
of them, but will carefully avoid repetition.
T h e Secretary says, that he having, by the charter, (which he correctly pronounces a contract between the Government and the B a n k , ) the unqualified
right to remove the deposites, the order of removal made b y him can in n o
* v e n t be regarded as a violation of the contract
This is the language of the
special pleader of the E x e c u t i v e . N o w the order of the removal was to b e
g i v e n on the exercise of discretion, and whose discretion ? T h e discretion of
the Secretary of the T r e a s u r y . Y o t this argument goes the length that an
order made b y any locum tenens of the Treasury department cannot be a violalation of the charterSir, I would propound to t h e learned late Attorney-General, whether, if a
strong man had seized and imprisoned the Secretary of the Treasury, and thus
b y duress extorted an order, that order would be valid, and no violation of t h e
charter. I am but a stripling in the law, I h a v e never sat at the feet of t h e
Doctors, but I may appeal to Senators whom I address, and who are judges of
,a court of dernier resort, whether duress would not avoid an order thus obtained.
H e r e is no duress, but there is an eviction and substitution b y the President
<of the U n i t e d S t a t e s , of the agent in whom the discretion was reposed, and for
t h e purpose of obtaining the order- W h a t j u d g e would not say that it is a

stronger case than that of the supposed duress ? It appears, then, that whether
th* .order foj the removal of the deposites was a violation of the charter, depends

u p o n the question, whether the President had the right to usurp the discretion
o f t h e Secretary of the Treasury : a question upon which I deem it unnecessary
t o add to the observations before made.
W e arp informed by the President and Secretary, that the removal of the
d e p o s i t e s was directed because it was required ** by the public convenience, and
w o u l d promote the public interest." And what is assigned as the inconvenience
t o b e remedied ? It is alleged that the deposites would have been unsafe, had
t h e y been suffered to remain in the B a n k of the United States- G r a n t me pat i e n c e if I cannot suppress my astonishment at this assertion. A bank with
3 5 * 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 of capital actually paid in, and still remaining there unwasted, proh i b i t e d from loaning a dollar of that capital or of the deposites, a less safe place
for deposites than the same bank when engaged in promiscuous and widely ext e n d e d loans, to the amount of double its capital ! Is there a merchant in my
h e a r i n g , let him come and learn wisdom from this document ! When you have
a m a s s e d millions by the hazards of trade, and your capital and all the funds your
c r e d i t can command are afloat upon the seas, beware how you withdraw that
c a p i t a l and call in your debts ! T h e career of prosperity is safe if you continue
y o u r hazards, but bankruptcy and ruin stare you in the face when prudence dict a t e s to cease acquisition, and invest your capital and gains !
I t is assigned by the President and Secretary, as a justification for rem o v i n g the deposites, that the expiration of the charter was so near at hand, it
^ r a d necessary to provide, in anticipation, a circulating medium to supply the
p l a c e of that formed by the notes of the Bank of the United States, and the
n o t e s of the depositing banks are to be that medium. T h e Secretary, in
a r g u i n g that the paper of the State banks may be made to supply the place of
t h a t of the B a n k of the United States, assumes that it is only the deposites, and
t h e agreement of the Government to receive the notes of the Bank of the United
S t a t e s , that gives those notes their currency. But it requires something more
t h a n all this. It requires the same amount of capital, and the same degree of
public confidence, and then that currency cannot be obtained, because of the
limited organization of the State banks. Sir, the Secretary might have learn*
e d from the State banks—he did learn, that they could not supply this currency*
X h e y cannot supply it unless each will receive the notes of the other depositing
b a n k s . And the banks, knowing their inability to redeem the bills, have r e fused to do so. W h a t have they agreed to do ? To redeem^ if
thenotet of other depositing hanks in their vicinity.
This, Sir, is the wretched
machinery substituted for that of the United States B a n k , which has, without
a n y failure, performed this important duty of exchange.
N o w let us see how these exchanges are made by the United States Bank:,
a n d how they will be made by the local banks, supposing them to perform to

the letter their contract made with the S e c r e t a r y .
A merchant at N e w - O r leans has occasion to pay $ 5 0 0 0 in N e w - Y o r k .
H e obtains for that a m o u n t of
Louisiana bank notes, at par, $ 5 0 O 0 of notes of the B a n k of the United S t a t e s .
T h e s e will be received at Boston at par, because the branch in that c i t y will
receive them a t par or a t a mere nominal discount.
O r the merchant may b u y ,
for a nominal discount, a draft of the U n i t e d States Branch Bank at N e w - O r leans, upon the branch at Boston.
L e t us now see the operation as performed by the S t a t e banks. T h e m e r chant first receives his $ 5 0 0 0 in notes of the depositing bank at New-Orleans.
T h e s e notes will not b e received by any b a n k in Boston. l i e sends t h e m to
Mobile, which is in the vicinity,
I suppose, (according to the construction of
the contract,) of N e w - O r l e a n s . T h e notes are there exchanged for n o t e s of
the depositing b a n k at that place, w h i c h in their turn are sent to Savannah, the
limits of the vicinity of Mobile. T h e r e another exchange is made for the
notes of the depositing b a n k in the vicinity, which is Charleston. T h u s the
notes are exchanged at Norfolk, then at W a s h i n g t o n , then at Baltimore, then
a t Philadelphia, N e w - Y o r k , Providence, and at last reach Boston, w h e r e the
$ 5 0 0 0 in the notes of the Providence bank are received at par, because that
b a n k is in the vicinily of Boston.
All this would be v e r y w e l l , but it happens that the merchant's remittance
to Boston cannot b e delayed ; while this delay occurs, his money must b e paid
with the speed of post. T h i s renders it necessary that he exchange his notes
with the b r o k e r for funds at Boston, and the broker will make these frequent
exchanges at his leisure. T h e broker must h a v e a commission for the use of
his money in the first place, while these tardy exchanges are being made ; n e x t
he must have pay for the risk that the money may be lost in transitu from one
to another of these numerous vicinities. N e x t t h e unconscientious broker will
h a v e doubts, although the President and Secretary have n o n e , whether some
one of these depositing banks will not refuse to make the exchange. N e x t he
will h a v e apprehensions that some of these banks may fail while the money is
in his hands. H e must therefore add an item of one or two per cent for each
exchange, to secure his compensation, and insure him against these risks* T h i s
commission will thu3 be swelled to about ten per cent, and so the merchant at
N e w - O r l e a n s finds that to pay $ 5 0 0 0 in Boston he must h a v e $ 5 5 0 0 at N e w Orleans. F o r the additional $ 5 0 0 he h a s , indeed, the consolation of h a v i n g
sustained the administration '« which y o u a p p r o v e . ' '
But the evil does not stop here. T h e merchant will not receive of his
debtors in p a y m e n t , at par, the notes of the depositing bank of N e w - O r l e a n s .
H i s creditors refuse to pay the exhorbitant premium, and t h e y throng the doors
of the b a n k demanding specie, which is a lawful t e n d e r . T h e b a n k , according

t o the most favorable condition of our own, the safest State banks, has about
o n e dollar in specie to pay every twenty dollars thus presented ; it refuses pay*
m e n t , and then the other banks in the vicinity, all subject to equal pressure,
s u s p e n d specie payments, and then comes the season of universal distrust and
d i s t r e s s . Sir, this is the Condition in which w e were during the interval when
w e had no United States Bank. Is it not a gloomy commentary upon all the
g l o r y of this administration 44 which you approve, n that it is to this fearful estate
w e must come at last ?
B u t the President does not make out his case without assuming that the B a n k
c a n n o t be rechartered, or a n e w one created. What is this, Sir, but assuming
t h a t ' t h e legislation of this country, the will of the People, is all to depend upon
t h e will of one man—and that will expressed before hand, concludes all action of
t h e People, or their representatives ? Sir, w e have in these documents a n e w
t h e o r y of legislation. Our fathers who framed the Constitution thought—so you
a n d I , and all the People thought, that the will of the People was to be ascert a i n e d from the votes of their representatives* T h e President, w e all k n e w ,
h a d a qualified veto upon this will ; but the will of the People could not be said
t o b e pronounced but by counting the votes of their representatives.
i t i s the republican doctrine that the President of the United States, without
w a i t i n g for the action of Congress, shall pronounce the will of the People, and
w h a t e v e r w ex cathedra, thus announced, is to be acquiesced in without discussion.
F o r m e r l y the veto followed the decision of Congress.
So it was in the first
administration of the President, and it was then often and capriciously enough
e x e r c i s e d . Now the veto precedes the act of Congress. T h e n it was commun i c a t e d to Congress by message* N o w , it is, before Congress assemble, communicated to the People through the Executive newspaper.
W h a t is this but
s a y i n g , no matter what may be the exigencies of the country, no matter what
t h e will of the People, or the decision of Congress, I, Andrew Jackson, decide
t h a t there shall be no Bank of the United States,
Sic volo, sicjubeo.
t h e s e assumptions the President is compelled to make, in order to justify his
-usurpation of the powers of the Secretary, and his disrespect for Congress.
C o n g r e s s , it is conceded, have the responsibility of providing against the evils
o f an apprehended inability of the Bank to pay the deposites, and of a deprec i a t e d currency. But, alas, the President and Secretary have discoveied there
w a s not time to wait for the action of Congress, The danger pressed too
c l o s e l y on. And how much time was to elapse before Congress could take the
subject into consideration ? Sixty days ! Sixty days, the Secretary tells us,
of the two and a half years remaining, before the expiration of the charter.
C o n g r e s s six months before, had the same subject under consideration, and nof;



only they, but the Secretary and the President, all overlooked the fact t h a t this?
charter was so near its close. B u t now, time pressed so rapidly, that the P r e sident could not wait for Congress to re-assemble. Oh ! how considerate of the
value of time had the President and his Attorney-General become within that
short six months ! One would think they had been studying Young's N i g h t
Thoughts during the interval, rather than the charter of the Bank, or the
powers of the Executive- Unfortunatelj- for this excuse of the pressure of time,
the Bank had for all the purposes of preserving the deposites and keeping up a
circulation, more than four years to exist.
And now, Sir, let us look at this act in all its magnitude, in order to set a
proper value upon this apology of the want of time. The President has thrust
out of office the agent appointed by Congress, because, in his discretion, he
conscientiously refused to remove the deposites. H e has put into his place a
roan who avows that he acts, not as the agent of Congress, but of the President. H e has withdrawn the revenues from the Bank, and placed them in depositories unknown to the law- He has disturbed the currency, and thus prematurely brought distress and suffering upon the nation, in the moment of its
highest prosperity ; and all because the President could not wait sixty days out
of four years for the action of Congress.
Sir, it may be true, as has been said here, that this Legislature will approve
of these after-thought reasons of the President and his de bene esse Secretary ;
for, for aught I know, this Legislature may, as the act of approval would indicate, repose more confidence in one man, than in some two hundred and fifty
representatives of the People. Such opinions are not new, but they have been
always less popular on this side of the Atlantic than the other, and are less popular there than heretofore. I must be excused from becoming a convert to this
monarchical creed, until Congress adopt and approve these documents. W h e n
that shall be done, I will agree with the majority of this house, that legislative
bodies are an undue hindrance upon Executive action. I will go further, then,
Sir, and agree that then Congress will have little less to expect, however much
better they have merited than that, on the first attempt to reassume their constitutional prerogative, the President will enter their halls, like Cromwell, and
command them to begone about their business, for the Lord hath no further
need of their services*"
T h e President, by his Secretary, enforces his reasons for the removal of the
deposits, by adding that the Bank, notwithstanding its fate was determined b y
the re-election of the President, took no measures to prepare for its approaching
obsequies, but continued to loan money, and even increase its loans ; so that it
would, if it had not been arrested by the removal of the deposites, have been able
to wring the renewal of its charter from the fears and sufferings of the People.

T h e amount of this increase of loans is stated at two and a half millions in eight
m o n t h s , and this happened at the season when merchants most wanted loans, as
u s u a l , in anticipation of the receipt of their payments. I say, Sir* two and a half
m i l l i o n s , but this is only on the authority of the Secretary, which is somewhat
p r o b l e m a t i c a l , as in a similar statement made by the President in the Cabinet
d o c u m e n t , there is a misstatement of 1 1 millions of 2 8 millions alleged to have
b e e n increased loans previous to the late session of Congress. N e v e r , Sir, w a s
s o unfortunatea monster as this monster B a n k , except Caliban, in Shakspeare's
F o r the very next accusation which this Prospero of a Secretary makes
a g a i n s t it is, that as soon as the removal of the deposites was determined by the
P r e s i d e n t , the B a n k commenced to contract these loans, and thus prepare, as it
w a s required to do, for its dissolution* So far as concerns the present debate,
i t i s a sufficient answer, that this latter offence was not committed until after the
j u d g m e n t of the President against the Bank was pronounced ; it is pleaded by
t h e learned Secretary puis darrein continuance? but not until after the verdict.
T h e remaining reason for the extraordinary assumption of power is, that the
1 3 a n k has endeavored to acquire political power- N o w I humbly submit that
t h i s a r g u m e n t is altogether indefensible- And first, because, assuming the pos i t i o n to be true, the effort of the B a n k had been unsuccessful, the struggle w a s
a l r e a d y past, and the B a n k monster, as it is called, was in its agony- If this
k e t r u e , the removal of the deposites was a vindictive measure, which the P r e s i d e n t had no right to inflict. It was the duty of Congress to punish, if punishment
w e r e deserved- 2dly. If the President apprehended that the effort was to be
r e n e w e d , it was nevertheless his duty to submit the subject for the consideration
o f C o n g r e s s , because it belonged exclusively to their province, and there was
n o exigency requiring the President's sudden interposition ; no election was to
i n t e r v e n e before the meeting of Congress- 3 d l ) \ T h a t in any view of the case,
t h e President and his Secretary had nothing to do with this charge. T h e offence
i s n o t of a financial character, but an abuse of the charter, requiring either judicial
o r legislative investigation and remedy. In either case the B a n k was entitled
t o m a k e its defence, and to be heard before it was condemned. But the P r e s i d e n t of the United States has assumed, together with jurisdiction of the case,
t h e fact that the B a n k was guilty. So far as these manifold offences were disc o v e r e d before the close of the late session of Congress, they had been examined
b y t h e House of Representatives, and-pronounced untrue, or too trivial to justify
legislative action. So far as they had been discovered since the adjournment of
C o n g r e s s , they should have been submitted to the same examination.
c h a r t e r confers upon the President no power but that of issuing a scire facias y
a d u t y purely executive ; but the President has seized to himself the office of
t h e judiciary. And what reason is given for not issuing the scire facias ? W e are

told in these documents, that the time was too short for the action of the c o u r t s
of law. Sir, in all our history there is not to b e found so unblushing a p r e t e x t
for the arrogation of power. Suppose there w a s not time for the action of the
courts, what then ? Is the President to assume the jurisdiction in all cases w h e r e
he thinks the '* l a w ' s d e l a y " cannot be endured ? If so, he has an arbitrary
power, which may speedily dispense with all courts of justice whatever.
B u t , Sir, t h e r e are considerations appertaining to this subject, and arising
from the peculiar opinions of those whom I address, which ought not to b e forgotten here. T h e President has pronounced j u d g m e n t against the Bank, and
this Legislature has constituted itself a court to review that judgment. L e t us
then proceed in the investigation of the matter, with the aid of those forms of
judicial proceeding so conducive to the attainment of correctness, certainty and
justice. W h o is the defendant?
T h e B a n k of the United States. I will, Sir,
at the hazard of being denounced as a " feed advocate 1 ' of the Bank, pro hac
vice, offer myself as counsel, and notwithstanding what I have before said a s to
the impropriety of these resolutions, because they do not come within the scope
of your duties, will nevertheless waive all plea to the jurisdiction of the courtT h e defendant is a Bank, the offence charged is, that this Bank has sought
to obtain powerSir, on such a charge the President can have no hope here.
M y client, the B a n k , is sure to escape. W h y , Sir, it is the adjudicated l a w of
this court that banks ought to possess political power. Y o u r statute books,
from y s a r to y e a r , down to this day, are full of recorded adjudications, that
banks are the safest and most proper depositories of political power. We h a v e ,
in this S t a t e , a system admirably contrived and adapted to increase the number
and combine the energies of these purifying, political agents. W e take c a r e ,
when a bank is to be incorporated, that the commissioners named to distribute the
stock shall be men who will so distribute it as to secure a political organization
of the institution. N a y , so far from discouraging these a g e n t s , we demand no
bonus, but g i v e a bonus often per cent upon the capital stock of every bank, as
a compensation for political services. F r o m such a court as this, then, 1 k n o w
that my client, the Bank of the United States can have nothing to apprehend;
i applaud, if ; y o u r honors will permit, your wisdom in having thus settled t h e
jlaw. I know your impartiality and consistency, aud I crave your honors* pardon for h a v i n g dwelt so long on the other charges against my unfortunate client.
H a d I but pressed this point first, I k n o w you would have acquitted the accused
at once*
B u t to examine briefly these charges against the Bank- T h e first is, t h a t
preparatory to its application for a renewal of its charter, at the last session of
C o n g r e s s , the B a n k increased its loans t w e n t y - e i g h t millions of dollars, to induce
public favor.
Unfortunately it appears there is a mistake of eleven millions


i n t h i s aggregate. T h e amount of increase was seventeen millions only ; and it
a p p e a r s from the report of the directors of the B a n k , that the reason for making
t h i s increase of discounts, was an increase of available funds, to the amount of
e l e v e n millions*
A n o t h e r specification in this charge against the B a n k is,w the expenditure of
m o n i e s in the publication of documents, speeches and reports in vindication of
i t s e l f against the relentless war waged upon it.
Sir, w e all recollect the
v i r u l e n c e , the recklessness of the attack. W e know that it was made by the
E x e c u t i v e of the United States, aided by all the power and influence of the
G o v e r n m e n t , that it was continued four years, and that it was waged from every
q u a r t e r of the Union, We recollect, too, that it was a cardinal point to produce
t h e g e n e r a l belief o( the nation, that the Bank was ruinously mismanaged. A n d
w e k n o w that this effect would have been produced, and that the Bank, when
s u c h an opinion became general, must have sunk to bankruptcy,
Shall w e be
t o l d * Sir, that it was the business of the Bank to be silent, because the attack
w a s made by and in the name of the President of the United States? It was
t h e d u t y of the directors to publish to the world its defence ; that defence must
n e c e s s a r i l y be as extensive as the attack. T h e glaring aggregates of expense
for t h e s e publications only show, if doubt remained on that subject, how powerful,
h o w extensive was the attack the Bank was required to meet. N o r is the case
a l t e r e d by the fact that the President was a candidate for re-election.
e v i l to result to the institution was certainly not less aggravated, and conseq u e n t l y the responsibility of resisting it no less. I shall not stop here to count
t h e n u m b e r of Gallatin's irrefragable essay on banking, and of the National I n t e l l i g e n c e r , and of M r . Webster's and M r . McDufiie's speeches, which w e r e
p u b l i s h e d and circulated by the B a n k .
I know full well the number in the r e g i o n of country in which I reside, fell as far short of the cloud of Vetoes and
B e n t o n ' s speeches, and extra Globes, as these latter did of the former in sound
p r a c t i c a l knowledge, forcible argument and ingenuous patriotism. Sir, it is cert a i n l y an anomaly in this G o v e r n m e n t , where wre boast the freedom and indep e n d e n c e of the P r e s s , and " the safety with which error of opinion may be tol e r a t e d w h e r e reason is left free to combat i t , " that it should be made a cause of
c o m p l a i n t against the Bank of the United States, that it defended itself by
m e a n s of the press against the attack made with a design to destroy it* But,
S i r , w h o is he that thus interposes between the People and the Press ! I rej m e m b e r well* and the Senate will pardon me if 1 call their recollection to a per i o d so r e m o t e , that during the canvass which preceded the first election of the
p r e s e n t President, the great complaint against his predecessor was, that he had
u s e d the patronage of the Government to operate upon the elections. I r e m e m b e r , too, that when the President took the chair, (C reform" in this particular

w a s one of the most prominent parts of that thorough reform which he s a w so
*< conspicuously inscribed on the list of Executive d u t i e s . " Can it be t h a t it is
the same individual who assigns, as a justification for his violent usurpation of
t h e powers of Congress, that the B a n k had employed the Press to inform t h e
People upon a question which he boasts was submitted to them at his re-election!
Sir, I have differed from the majority of this S e n a t e and this Legislature, as
to the propriety of making banks the depositories of political power, and for that
reason I rejoice that the Bank of the U n i t e ^ States hail the moral firmness to
resist the efforts made to subject it to political control. F u r t h e r than t h i s , a n d
-defending itself when assailed by the administration, it has never gone.
it gone farther, I should rejoice that its political influence had been exer~
-cised against E x e c u t i v e power and influence. As counteracting agents, t h e y
m a y , in some degree neutralize each other ; but united, the power and influence of both would be fearful indeed. T h a t union you are now co-operating t o
produce. You will dismiss the Bank of the United S t a t e s , which is i n d e p e n dent, and you will expose the deposites at public auction, to be taken by those
S t a t e institutions which will bid most of political support to the E x e c u t i v e .
W h e n this is accomplished, there will be real cause for the alarm now affected.
Sir, I believe that the days of the Bank are numbered. It is for the welfare
of the country, and not on account of that institution that I regret it. T h a t institution has sustained the Government, and enabled it to pay its immense debt J
it has given us a sound currency and brought foreign capital tributary to our use ;
thus enabling us to increase our own, and develope our resources a hundred fold.
Its benefits are seen every where over this widely extended country. T h a t i n s titution is now to be made a sacrifice, T would fain hope the last sacrifice, to p a r t y
spirit- T h e experiment is to be made, whether this sacrifice is wise and e x p e dient. If I see cause to despair in the condition of depression and distress to
which this nation is to be reduced, I still can look upon it without the entire
sinking of the heart, for I here and elsewhere have discharged the duty d e volved upon m e , as a freeman, and the representative of freemen. T h e r e still
remains the painful hope, that in the midst of suffering the nation will rouse from
i t s delusion. In the depth of distress will come the teachings of prudence, and
the purification of patriotism. T h e n will come the mighty energies which will
w o r k out the redemption of our country ; for she is yet too young, too vigorous,
t o sink into a dishonored g r a v e . T h e n will come, too, the hour of m u t u a l
congratulations that all had awaked from their error, before it was too late, and
then looking back with humility and gratitude upon the abyss from which w e
shall h a v e escaped, w e shall return again to the counsels of our fathers, and be
content for the future to be guided by their precepts, and imitate their example*

O f Mr. Seward to the Speeches of Mr. Dodge and
Mr* Maison, in the Senate, January 22,, 18&4.

M B .


T h e gentleman from the Second District, (Mr* M A I S O N , ) must excuse me
w h e n , for the purpose of recovering my own self-possession, and enabling the
S e n a t e to collect theirs, I seek to escape from the volcanic eruption which
b u r s t upon us in the peroration of his speech, by turning to the more equab l e , mild and temperate discourse of my honorable friend from the Fourth,
(M K- D O D G E . ) T h e latter gentleman has reviewed our long and agreeab l e acquaintance as members of this body, and frankly expressed his opini o n of the manner to which I have discharged my duties here. H e has been
p l e a s e d to add, that while he has seen much in my conduct to admire and res p e c t , there have been two incidents which, in all the frankness of an honest
n a t u r e , he says he has been compelled to disapprove. Sir, I am gratified that
m y honorable friend from the 4th has done so. Such comparison of opinions
c o n c e r n i n g each other, conducted in the frankness of mutual and friendly explan a t i o n , cannot but be of mutual benefit The occasion is seasonable, as the time
approaches when our long and agreeable intercourse here must close. In the
s a m e spirit of frankness and friendship, I meet the gentleman, and on my part
freely acknowledge, that I have no recollection of any incident in his conduct
w h i c h I have the least disposition to censure.
H a v i n g thus acquitted him altogether, I must endeavor to remove the cause
of complaint he has so frankly assigned against nve, for I am sincerely grieved
t o learn that even on two occasions my honorable friend ha$ not approved my
course here.
T h e first of these offences is, that two years ago, in a debate similar to this*
I defended the principles of Antimasonry in this house. N o w , Sir, with all my
solicitude to secure the unreserved esteem of my honorable friend, the act of which
he complains is precisely that one for which, of all others, I cannot admit his censure
to be j u s t
Sir, my honorable friend will recollect that I was then, as I am now,
a n Antimason. I was sent here by Antimasons. 1 am not, as the gentleman

well knows, the man to piDi'e?s principles in one place I am afraid or ashamed
to avow in another. I am not the man, when sent here because I am k n o w n
as entertaining political principles approved by my constituents to abandon those
principles for uny which shall be more popular in this place. Under such circumstances, when "the blessed spirit" of Antimasoury was traduced in this S e nate, I could not sit by in silence. Nor should I now; and however I should
regret the loss of my friend's favorable opinion, I should commit the same offence, were an attack upon those principles made by my honorable friend, or
any other member of this house, whose assault should have sufficient of dignity
and self-respect to justify me in replying to himBut it was less the act of defending Antimasonry, than the manner of the act,,
that my honorable friend condemned. He says, that on the occasion alluded toj
I profanely declared I wished to leave Antimasonry as a legacy to my children*
And this profanity shocked the pure and pious feelings of my honorable friend*.
Sir, were the report which he gives of my speech on that occasion correct, B
know not that I should have any desire to change it. Secret societies,, composed of members bound together by unlawful oaths, and extended over the
whole land, are opposed to the genius of our government, subversive of the?
laws and inconsistent with private rights and the public welfare. Having a s sumed and still intending to maintain the responsibility of opposing such institutions during the period of my action as a citizen, both morally and politically, aslong as moral or political action is necessary and shall promise to avail, I
should feel that I ought to inculcate upon those the gentleman has referred-to*
among other lessons, the same duty, if occasion shall remain, when they come
upon the stage of public action. I would not swear them, as Hannibal did hisson, but I would leave my injunction upon them to contribute all that might lie
in their power to eradicate so great an evil from the land. But what on that
oocMoon I did say, was in speaking of the names enrolled in the cause of Antimasonry, that there were among them those which had acquired a fame for talents, purity and public service, which any member of this Senate might be
proud to leave to his children ; for myself, I wished to leave to mine no better
legacy. And is it not so ? Are there not such names ?
Sir, with this explanation, which would have been unnecessary, had the g e n tleman consulted his own memory rather than a certain organ of doubtful veracity, which has furnished too many of the facts relied upon in his speech, roy honorable friend will.l trust, no longer have occasion to complain of my profanity*
Bat the gentleman inquires whether I am not satisfied that this legaey has
lapsed. I can console myself that if it be so, it has probably gone into the same
oblivion with his ancient Federalism and Freemasonry. But while I recall those
pleasing recollections to his mind, and thank him for the solicitude which prompted

* « well as the delicacy of manner which distinguished his inquiry in behalf of those
s o near to me ; (and certainly nothing less than so much solicitude and delicacy
c o u l d have warranted the gentleman in thus bringing them before this Senate
o n this occasion-) I am bound to answer to his inquiry, that the legacy of a
g o o d name and reputation is that which I shall most faithfully endeavor to pres e r v e for them. And more, I am at the same time, and by the impulse of the
s a m e spirit of kindness, compelled to call his attention to a similar case, more
nearly interesting to himself, and possibly more pertinent to the present debate.
A distinguished member of this body, since elevated to a seat in the Senate of the
U n i t e d States, (Mr- Tallmadge,) appears to have devolved upon my honorable
friend from the 4th, the arduous duty of defending the administration in this S e nate* But if with this responsible duty my honorable friend has inherited not h i n g but an old and worn out apostrophe to the picture which, as he eloquent*
] y says, ** suspercedes the President's chair/' together with a witticism of doubtful
m e r i t in the first place, and since worn threadbare in the newspapers ; I fear
t h a t the distinguished Senator's legacy both of eloquence and wit has altogether
lapsed, although, from motives of equal respect for the memory of the testator
* n d for the legatee, I will not undertake to say whether it is a lapse for want
o f whereof to descend, or of competency to inherit.
T h e other offence by which 1 have so unhappily grieved my honorable friend
f r o m the 4th was, as he says, that in my opening speech on the present argum e n t , I pharisaically claimed for myself and my associates, all the political purity to tk' s house and this Legislature* Sir, the word ** pharisaically" has two
meanings, though somewhat near alike, still differing so essentially as to require
By pharisaically w e are sometimes to understand hypocritically.
a distinction.
I ^ o w I know my friend so well understands and appreciates the rules of this
house, which forbid imputation of improper motives, and I have so many strong
assurances of his esteem and admiration for me, that it would be ungenerous to
b e l i e v e he intends in that sense to apply the term pharisaicallyM y honors*
b l e friend then intends to be understood that I and my associates act in refere n c e to this matter like that sect of ancient lawgivers, from whose name the
word is derived. !Now I submit that it is not we to whom this character can be
applied* W E offer no creed to this house, or to this Legislature- It is not we
w h o are arrogating in this matter the exclusive merit of democracy, It is the
gentleman and his friends who are enlarging their phylacteries by these resolutions, and setting forth to the world that they are " better than other men" who
refuse to wear them- But, Sir, I am bound in the same spirit of candor which
governs my honorable friend, while 1 deny that I made any such claim, to adroit that I did speak of a mysterious intuition which enlightened the under*
standings of this Legislature, so that they were ready to adopt and approve of


the documents af the P r e s i d e n t and Secretary without even having them o n t h e i r
tables. W e had not been favored, when I made that observation, with t h e S e nator's speech, and w e r e I to admit that that effort was sufficient to produce this
general conviction, he will pardon me if I say it still seems mysterious t h a t i t
should have produced that effeet before it was delivered.
But my honorable friend is distressed by the apprehension that I have a c q u i r e d
the principles expressed by me in this debate not among " the green m o u n t a i n s
and valleys of m y native country,*' nor y e t among the beautiful plains and l a k e s
of my adopted residence, but among certain '* aristocntticctl
ossocictftcms tir
Sir, my principles relating to this subject are, I confess, h o w e v e r
derived, diametrically opposed to those proclaimed here by the gentleman from*
the 4th. It is my principle that it is the business of the Legislature to confine
themselves within the sphere of duties prescribed by the Constitution- It is At*
that the Legislature may safely transcend that sphere to assume the duties an<*
responsibilities of Congress- It is r?iy principle that it is the duty of the L e g i s lature to resist usurpation of legislative powers by the Executive, It is his
that it is safer to trust to E x e c u t i v e discretion than to legislative wisdom. I t is
mine that the governing and sole motive in all legislation oucrht to be the s e c u rity of the G o v e r n m e n t and the good of the People. It is his that the powers of
G o v e r n m e n t ought to be so wielded as to subserve the ambition of him w h o
happens to be the favorite of the predominant partv of the dav* Sir t h e s e
principles w e r e not acquired, although they may have been confirmed b y m y
observations or associations in foreign countries. If m y honorable friend had
taken occasion to inform himself of my progress from more authentic source*
than the questionable organ before alluded to, he would have found that d u r i n g
a recent and rapid journey abroad, undertaken from motives which need not
here be mentioned, however much they may have been misunderstood, I k e p t
as far aloof from courts and the great who dispense favor abroad, as I do from
t h e administration and those who dispense power and political preferment at
home, / k i s s e d no queen's hand, / b o w e d to no court favorites there, m o r e
than I have fashioned my principles to the standard established here. If I h a v e
learned a n y t h i n g by foreign travel, it has been from the universal subjection,,
suffering and despair which I witnessed in Ireland, to sympathize with the a g i tators of that country, and know the fate which awaits a People who s u r r e n d e r
their legislature, the only safeguard against executive oppression. By the g e n e ral acquiescence in the exclusive privilege* and immunities of the great, w h i c h
I witnessed in E n g l a n d , to learn the importance of resisting e v e r y measure c a l culated to increase the overwhelming power and influence of those who a r e
charged with the duties of g o v e r n m e n t . F r o m the Prussian and Austrian a r ffiies which I mat in w h a t w e r e called the free cities and states of G e r m a n y , t h e

lolly and madness of those nations which, under the pretext of public convenience
a n d public interest, yield into the same hand the purse and the sword. In the
boldness, intelligence and patriotism of the Republicans of Switzerland the value
o f that democracy which spends itself not in lauding the servants of the P e o p l e ,
b u t in watching their conduct with a jealous and wakeful eye. And in the
shades of La Grange the value of a consistent and enduring devotion to the
principles of Republicanism, not only when the People hail the champion of
t h o s e principles as their deliverer, but when they desert him in his solitude to
g a z e upon and be satisfied with the insignia of their deliverance, while the popular constitution is undermined, and the popular Executive usurps the same
despotic power over the press which sent his predecessor into banishment, and
his ministers to prison. Sir, although then, I have been exposed to the s e d u c t i v e influence of foreign manners and opinions, while my honorable friend
<was more safely relaxing himself amid the democratic associations of M o n t g o m e r y county, he may rest assured that I have returned to love my country
b e t t e r , and to know better the value of her institutions. And as far as the responsibility rests on me, to take care that the welfare of my countrymen be not
^sacrificed in the conflict of contending parties, and that the Constitution be
transmitted unimpaired to posterity. But enough, Sir, upon a topic which n o t h i n g but allusions, ungenerous and unfounded could justify me in introducing
bereSir, my honorable friend gravely accuses me of having urged him and his
political associates here, to worship " t h e devil, or one of his imps/* H e will
c e r t a i n l y pardon me if, simply to remove his horror of my supposed profanity, I
c o r r e c t him in this. I, Sir, have not commended any divinity to the worship
o f the gentleman or his associates ; and, above all, I have not evinced so fiendl i k e a disposition as to commend to him that being he has named. I , Sir, have
n o t mentioned the name of that being, or alluded to him. It is not my habit to
n a m e him here, or e l s e w h e r e : and I assure my honorable fnend t that so far
from urging any farther advance in heresy, I would conjure him and his
friends to turn from the idolatry of men in power and to seek no longer in their
smiles but in their own consciences the approval of a homage to principles.
Sir, I have much occasion to be grateful to my honorable friend for his speech.
I thank him for informing me of the mental hallucination of the Hon. H e n r y
C l a y . Although that distinguished citizen never was and never can be the individual whom I would wish to advance to the E x e c u t i v e chair of this nation—
although I had thought him too be a man too imprudent in his defiance of w r o n g ,
t o o rash and precipitate in his measures to be entrusted with the reins of g o v e r n m e n t — I still had admired and respected him as a statesman of rare accomplishments, a scholar of much research, and an eloquent and powerful orator,

Sir, I stand corrected by the gentleman from the 4 t b , and while I find, i n the
case of the unhappy Senator from Kentucky, additional evidence that t h e human mind rises to a loftier elevation of thought and imagination when r e a s o n is
relaxing its control, I only wonder that my honorable friend from the 4 t h has
not found, among the powers of the President " t o provide for the general c o n venience and take care that the laws be faithfully e x e c u t e d , " one which w o u l d
justify him in removing so dangerous a lunatic from the Senate.
Sir, I am oppressed b y m y obligations to the Senator, and next for assuring
me that the V i c e President of the United States will have no difficulty in under*
standing that one of these resolutions, which to me seemed so ambiguous that I
thought it might not be understood at Washington* T h i s assurance relieves me
of a load of anxiety—although one more malicious might infer from the answer of my honorable friend, and the fact that no proposition is made to amend
the resolution, that if the V i c e President can only understand it, the more namcommittal it appear to the rest of the world the better.
Sir, I am again compelled to thank my honorable friend for the answer he
has g i v e n to my question, who is Andrew Jackson.
Although my question w a s
limited by the inquiry immediately following it, whether this house considered
Andrew Jackson a greater man than George Washington, to whom no l e g i s l a tive tribute like that now proposed w a s e v e r offered : And although the q u e s tion, for all m y purposes, was sufficiently answered by the gentleman's reluctant
admission, that the hero of N e w - O r l e a n s is not greater than the father of his
country: he. has conferred additional obligations upon me by giving me interesting details in the history of General Jackson, of which I acknowledge that
until now I have been shamefully ignorant. T h e gentleman has told us that
this hero was once a boy ; a y e , Sir, and that he had a brother, and a mother*
Rare individual ! Singularly distinguished mortal! I suppose that we are to^infer that he had a father too, although that fact is not given in the biography.
A y e , and that brother and that mother died. W a y w a r d fate ! Cruel death to
inflict so severe a blow ! And that father too, as the President is now advanced to
near the age of s e v e n t y , he also must have g o n e the w a y of all flesh. H o w
affecting to our sensibility ! H o w grievous to our sympathy ! Who can refuse,
after these details, the tribute of an approval of this document read before the
Cabinet ?
M y honorable friend has g i v e n us a glowing account of the effect of the P r e sident's name abroad. L e t the American minister, says he, but state distinctly
what he asks, and foreign Princes and powers, trembling before the v e r y name
of A n d r e w Jackson, concede the right demanded at once- Sir, I wish t h e n ,
that M r . V a n Buren had b e e n as as explicit in telling the Court of S t . James
what w e wanted in relation to the W e s t India trade, as he was in informing them

a b o u t our local politics, for we have obtained a ruinous commerce by that treaty.
I w i s h Mr. Harris, our charge at P a r i s , had been somewhat more explicit in telli n g the French Government that w e wanted payment according fo our treaty,
for Louis Phillippe's government seem little disposed to advance the argent—i
B u t , Sir, what miserable self-abasement is this ! Your nation is respected abroad,
b u t it is respected neither more nor less for the name of Andrew Jackson.
k n o w and care very little who is the Executive- Y o u r stars and stripes m a k e
y o u respected ; your army and navy have won respect and consideration.—
Y o u r steady onward career of National prosperity and power, and your improvem e n t s in the science of Government and the amelioration of laws, have made
y o u respected, and with all these General Jackson has had as little to do, except
i n the battle of N e w Orleans, as he has had in paying off the National debt.
A n d Sir, as for the other particulars in the history of G e n , Jackson, with which
w e have been favored by the Gentleman, I can answer, that Sylla, the Dictator,
w a s also a soldier, who had fought for his country, so was Caesar, so was Crom^rell, so was Bonaparte, so was Yturbide, and so were all the Heroes who have
c o n v e r t e d the power and popularity won by military exploits, to the means of
subverting the constitution of the country for which they fought
Thus far I have only answered that part of the Gentleman's speech which
s e e m e d to be more particularly designed to apply to myself, than to the merits
o f the subject before the Senate- Upon the latter subject I shall be able to be
v e r y brief, as it presents much less which demands a reply.
T o my argument that this is not a proper subject for the legislative action
of the States, he replies by precedent. M y argument was one as to the right
and expediency of such action. H e answers by the precedent of a resolution in the Colonial Legislature of 1775, to be submitted to Parliament.—
T h i s precedent is unfortunately too early. H e then gives us the resolutions of
N e w J e r s e y , Virginia and South Carolina, simultaneously with these w e are now
considering. These are equally unfortunately too late. Sir, 1 admitted these
precedents, and argued from their consequences the evil of the practice* T h a t
argument has not been met.
T o my argument that it is unnecessary, unjust and derogatory, to pass the
resolution against the renewal of the Charter of the United States bank, because the subject is not now before Congress, he answers that application mayb e made at the next session of Congress for the renewal. T o this, it is a suffic i e n t reply to say, leave it then to the next Legislature to instruct Congress,
T h e residue of the argument of the Gentleman from the 4th, consisted of a
mere reiteration of the charges preferred in the documents you are called on to
approve, all of which I had examined and had argued, were the subjects of L e gislative or judicial investigation, and that the President had assumed these high

powers, without law or authority.

This is the great question, and the G e n t l e - , ,

man has not attempted to meet it.
M y reply to the Senator from the 2d District ( M r . Maison) will, for r e a s o n *
which will appear sufficient, be much more brief than that to my honorable
friend from the 4th- 1 was aware, Sir, of the responsibility I assumed w h e n I
commerced this debate. I knew that t was to stand alone. I knew that s o m e
would think I was to be most effectually answered by personal allusions.
would have been much more agreeable to me to be silent, or to speak to the
favor of the majority of this house, and my auditory. But my opinions d o not
coincide with those of the majority, and my duty was to speak. While I h a v e
b y this reflection been admonished not intentionally to violate the respect I o w e
to the S e n a t e , I had determined that no provocation, nor example, should induce
me to depart from the dignity and decorum of debate. Adherence to this rulef
will render but a brief reply to the Gentleman from the 2d District necessary.
T h e Gentleman commenced by calling the argument I submitted on these r e s o lutions, a ' h a r r a n g u c , ' and to remove all doubt about the propel cognomen of
•his own effort dignified it with the name of speech. A y e , and blushingly called
it a 'Maiden
Speech.** Chaste this maiden undoubtedly w a s , as all who s a w
iier here can testify ; but y e t she was so boh), so free in her manner, that o n e
would swear she had offered her caresses to more than two thirds of all the * D e m o c r a c y ' of Dutchess and the Second District, before the late electionSir*
.the freedom of this maiden's manners, is the only excuse 1 shall offer, if m y r e ply seem to woo her too rudely. I thank the Gentleman from the Second, at
least for his frankness ; he has spoken plainly, and I shall reply in the same spirit. W e shrill after it is all over know each other better.
T h e Gentleman has told the S e n a t e , that my * harrangue* contained more of
imagination than fact or argument, fn the like frankness I am compelled to
s a y , that while I have not been able to ffnd fact and argument in his speech, I
have not discovered that the want of them is particularly redeemed by the m a terial so redundant in my own
T h e Gentleman from the 2d, commenced b y
stating that I had offered certain propositions which he could not comprehend,
and which he classically called " one legged syllogisms.*1* Of these anomalous s y l logisms I think he had collected sir, although I cannot state accurately, for I lost
m y notes at the moment when the sudden illness of the Gentleman o c c u r r e d . —
B y way of illustrating the fairness o[ the process, by which the Gentleman e x tracted these syllogisms from my argument, I will recal one. I contended
against the propriety of spreading upon our record the document read by the
President in his Cabinet, and adopting it in gross—a document which had not
been officially acknowledged by the President, and of the authenticity of which
w e possess no evidence but the imprint of a newspaper. I contended that sack

^ a n act was without precedent, I assumed, that the President was r no greater
o r better than the father of his country, to whom in all the ardor of national
<rratitude, no so humiliating a tribute was e v e r paid by any Legislature.
t h i s argument the Gentleman selects one sentence and perverts it so as t o - m a k e
m e say ' G e n e r a l Jackson is not so great a man as General Washington w a s , '
a n d adds for me the conclusion, * Therefore the deposites ought to be r e m o v e d . '
B y the same process, the other five of these syllogisms, as the Gentleman calls
t h e m , were extracted. I of course shall not take the trouble to repeat them.
T h e s e syllogisms the Gentleman tells us he could not comprehend. Sir, I am
g l a d he has said so, for I can pardon the infirmity of mind which cannot comp r e h e n d my arguments, though nothing but legislative courtesy which the G e n t l e m a n seems lightly to value, could excuse the frailty of memory which so untrul y misrepresents them. Sir, this ingenious process of forming absurd syllogisms
o u t of an opponent's observations, is much in favor with the Gentleman from the
2 d ; but it is a dangerous one, because it is possessed by a great many commonm e n , who might be disposed to retaliate with it. F o r instance, although I have
n e v e r been accustomed to it, I will try. T h e Gentleman said that his a n s w e r
to my effort was his maiden speech, < Therefore the deposites ought to be rem o v e d ' — a perfectly logical conclusion according to his mode of reasoning, alt h o u g h a better one would be that the speech should have been a modest one.
T h e Gentleman told us he could not comprehend my syllogisms > * Therefore the
d e p o s i t e s ought to be removed 1 —a sound deduction according to his system of
logic, although a safer one would be, that he ought not to have attempted to ans w e r what was above his comprehension- T h e Gentleman said General
son breakfasted on acorns, dined on a corns, and supped on acorns y Therefore
t h e deposites ought to be r e m o v e d . ' A wise result, according to his process of
d e d u c t i o n , though one more conclusive would be, that acorns are food for men as
w e l l as brutes.
R u t there are other parts of this blushing performance, to which I cannot rep l y in the samo successful manner, by imitation. 1 can no more introduce here,
b y w a y of giving piquancy to my remarks, than I can appreciate the dignity oi
such expressions, as " the play is not worth the candle," "the straight
a n d "youlie Sir," "He wanted tosee his daddy" &c. Equally should J be at fault,
i n attempting to answer, as 1 am unable to appreciate, the delicacy of the G e n t l e m a n ' s introduction of his recitation from Burns, although a homely adage concerning w h a t one always thinks of, will account, without supposing any peculiar
fertility of imagination, for his illustrations of one legged syllogisms^ and vermin
of many limbn* I should fail to cope in illustration with a Gentleman, to whom
-the whole science of natural history offers its stores. F r o m syllogisms with one
leg, and loaihsome vermin xcith many, he rises through all the orders of animal

existence, to dogs and mortied mammoth monsters.
The jest book, although
closed to me, affords to him treasures equally rare and redundant, and furnishes
him at pleasure, all sorts of illustration by all sorts of characters, from c British
Clonelsy and * vagrant Frenchmen* down to * abandoned knaves* and 4 sots in
the gutter.*
Sir, in all this felicitous command over illustrations, the Gentleman
has exhibited an * exclusive perfectibility' which I shall not attempt to dispute
with him. Wheresover I may have acquired such * aristocratic* feelings, he will
pardon me, if I prefer to leave him alone among these, his favored and chosen
Nor can I but admire, while I cannot aspire, to rival him in the sublimity of
his picture of ** bands of brothers, hosts of democrats, and armies of Demagogues, all mingling together in the happiest confusion, while the murky cloud
of Anti-Masonry is seen receding in the distance. That murky cloud however
I will merely say, has not receded until its lightnings have penetrated the darkness of the mysterious institution over which it lowered, and shaken its pillars
to its base. But in this hurried view of the Gentleman's speech I cannot but
acknowledge the force and pertinency of one of his illustrations, although I hBve
been disposed to question its dignity. It is that of the subservient Frenchman^
who rebuked the * tirade' (I think that was the word, for I mean to quote the
Gentleman fairly, as I held him to quote correctly from me) of the American citizen against Napoleon- If I understood the application, I am the * railing Atnerican,' the Gentleman from the 2d, is the * vagrant Frenchman,' and Andrew
Jackson, 4 the emperor, his master.' And Sir, haa ii come to this, that an A m e rican citizen, an American Senator, will stand here in his place, and acknowledge
any man to be his master ! After such an acknowledgement, Sir, it matters
little with me what arguments such a Senator may offerI have thus noticed those parts of the Gentleman's speech, which I appeal to
the house, were the most effective. H e will, of course, pardon me for being
very brief upon those minor points, which seemed to have a remote- allusion to
the subject of the present debate. In reply to my argument against the right
and propriety of passing resolutions on the subject of the Deposites, he has conclusively proved we have the physical power. A point I have not denied.
my argument against such resolutions, from their evil consequences which I presented, he has answered, that usages, which produce no evil consequences, ripen
into a law, and with his peculiar felicity in the construction of syllogisms* has assumed that the usage of passing such resolutions has produced no evil consequences, and added the conclusion that this usage has ripened into a law.
has given me for a precedent, the resolutions of the first Congress against the
usurpation by the British Parliament of the power to levy taxes; and this pre-

cedent is ushered in by the gentleman with a flourish which would cause one to
think he was, like General Jackson, and even at an earlier age than thirteen
y e a r s , a soldier of the Revolution. H e has mistated my argument that General
Jackson claimed a power over the deposites, irresponsible to Congress, as the
proper guardians of the public treasury, and answered that he is amenable to
impeachment—thereby admitting that the control of the public monies belongs
pjoperly to the President, subject to the last remedy of impeachment: a remedy
o f little value if the President has supreme control over the public treasury. I
a m charged by the gentleman with having called the venerable President an
usurper and tyrant. Sir, I have used no such epithets- I argued that the
removal of the deposites by the President on his own responsibility, and in
violation of the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury, was an act of usurpation. How successful I was in sustaining this position it is not now necess a r y for me to inquire ; but I will say, miserable indeed is the tone of American
spirit when it can cavil with an argument so bold as this, in this place, and on
such an occasion- I pity, though 1 may not despise the patriotism which to
m e e t such an argument can bring before an American Senate a labored and
adulatory bioo-raphy of him against whom the offence of usurpation is charged,
e v e n though that bioo-raphy be redundant of incidents so affecting as the loss of
his mother^ his brothery or his fatherj and his having learned to digest acorns.
Sir, the gentleman has called the President a sainted patriot. In England
t h e poet laureate who performs there the duty which the gentleman from th&
52 d seems to have assumed here, waits for the death of the monarch before he»
bestows upon him the honor of canonization. T h e Catholic church too, prudently enters none in its calendar until they have completed their pilgrimage*
through the temptations of this evil world. I submit, Sir, that in a republican
government the reasons for a similar prudence are quite as strong as under
a monarchical government, and in the Catholic church. E v e n the E m p e ror Bonaparte, made by the gentleman from the 2d the prototype of General
Jackson, never received that honor at the hands of the humbled and subjected
P o p e , although that head of the church did gratify him by dragging from obli->
vion the memory of a remote and doubtful ancestor, to confer upon it the < glory'*
o f canonization*
The victory at New-Orleans, we arc told by the gentleman from the 2d, defies the annals of the world. I am content, so far as this fact bears upon the
question of the restoration of the deposites, to take it upon the authority of the
gallant gentleman, who is himself a military man, and whose studies in the science of war must have been as profound as in the jest book, and in natural


T o m y argument thai it w a s an act of usurpation t o pervert the constitutional
power of removal to the unconstitutional
purpose of obtaining control over t h e
T r e a s u r y , the gentleman h?s gravely a n s w e r e d , and satisfactorily proved, t h a t
the President has the constitutional power to r e m o v e the Secretary of the T r e a sury, which i had expressly conceded.
T o m y argument that the power claimed b y the President of absolute c o n trol over the Secretary of the T r e a s u r y , was inconsistent with the Constitution,
because it placed the purse and the sword in the same h a n d — t h e gentleman
has recklessly answered by the declaration that the purse and t h e sword o u g h t
to b e in the same hand.
•' W h a t / 3 exclaims h e , with military ardor, " i s t h e
sword without the p u r s e ! "
S i r , I h a v e done. R e a s o n and argument can ejo no farther with a man wh£
proclaims democracy with the fury of a Jacobin, and finds that democracy in tr
union in the same hand of the purse and the s w o r d — t h e v e r y definition