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23d Cong. 1st Sess.]
Mr. Duane's Address to the People of the United States.
Permit me respectfully to say, that I am not aware that Lest words should be forgotten, I wrote and delivered my willingness or unwillingness to afford you an oppor. to Major Donelson this reply: tunity to select a successor could have had any influence “A.J. Donelson, Esq.: or bearing upon any question before the cabinet; but I “ DEAR SIR : The world is so censorious, that I am am willing to meet that consideration, as well as those obliged, upon reflection, to express to you my hope that stated to you this day in our interview.
you will not regard me as approving of any publication In sliort, sir, as I stated to you in that interview, my it would seem to be but delicate to defer such an act until course is justificatory towards you: I desire no unkind I shall either concur or decline; however, all that I desire feeling, I have no unkind purpose: however ardent or to have understood is, that I do not approve of tbe course unksual my language may be, it is at least sincere. you mentioned. Were I the President, I would consult,
Allow me, then, very respectfully to state, as declared at least reasonably, the feelings of a man who has alreaat our interview, that, under the most serious convictions dy anxiety enough. As to the newspapers, they will of my duty, I refuse to aid, assist, or in any way partici- know what has been done, without an official commuoi ! pate, in the proposed change of the public depository; cation. ihal I reļuse io relinquish a post conferred upon me by
“ Very respectfully, yours, the law; and that, without in the most remote degree
" W. J. DUANE. meaning any sort of disrespect to you, I protest against “ September 19, 1833.” any interference, on your part, with powers and duties 4. In the Globe of Friday, September 20, you caused which, I believe, were designedly withheld from the it to be announced to the world that the die was cast; President, and committed to the Secretary of the Treasu- thus altogether disregarding the rights of the Secretary ry, the fiscal agent of the law.
of the Treasury, and my own feelings and farne; and reWith fervent wishes that your measures may conduce fusing besides to wait even until the next day to receive to the advantage of your country, and to the honor of
my decision. yourselt,
Allow me, therefore, very respectfully, but confidently, I am, with the ulmost consideration,
to say, that I was thus discharged from any sort of obli. Your obedient servani,
gation or respect for or on account of the past. W. J. DUANE.
You gave me no opportunity to let you know whether
I would or would not afford you an opportunity to choose No. 5.
a successor; in short, the Secretary of the Treasury was, The Secretary of the Treasury to the President of the as far as an Executive act would do it, nullified; and I United States.
hold it, therefore, that after such a course, I may stand TREASURY DEPARTMENT, September 21, 1833. before my country acquitted of any disregard even of SIA: Allow me, with great respect, to present to you delicacy: another view, in addition to those stated in my letter of Trusting, sir, that you will be so good as lo permit this this date.
to enter into your consideration, with ry former note of If I understand your wish, as it is to be collected from this date, and that we may close, without discredit to your nose of this date, which I have just now again pe. either, the pending matter, rused, it is to hold me, on principles of delicacy, at least, I am, with the utmost consideration, our obedient serv't, to my assurance of July 22d, that unless I agreed with
W. J. DUANE. your decision, afier inquiry and discussion, I would promp!ly afford you an opportunity to obtain a successor
No, 6. according in your views.
The Secretary of the Treasury to the President of the I pray you dispassionately to consider whether you did
United States. not absolve me, even upon principles of delicacy, from TREASURY DEPARTMENT, September 21, 1833. all obligation upon this view of the matter.
Sir: As you had not, in any written communications, 1. On Wednesday, September 18, 1 signified in cabinet given a direction as to the deposites, hut on the contrary, my desire to take and examine your exposition: you gave bad left the action to the Secrelary of the Treasury as a it to nie, saying, in reply to my inquiry as to your direc. matter of option, I deemed it my duty, when I had the tion, that I was to consider myself directed to act on your honor to receive from you your exposition of the 18th in. responsibility.
stant, lo ask you whether I was to consider myself di2. On Thursday morning, September 19, you applied rected to remove the deposites, and you replied that I to me to know if I had come to a decision, and I returned was directed on your responsibility. by your messenger, who brought your note, this reply: I was preparing to lay before you an exposition of our "To the President of the United States:
relative position and views, from the first moment of my “Sin: Upon a matter that deeply concerns not only authoritatively announced in the Globe, a proceeding
entry into your administration, when your decision was myself, but all who are dear to me, I bave deemed it upsanctioned by me, that rendered all further discussion righ', as I have not a friend here to advise with, to ask needless, and any attempt of the kind derogatury tu the counsel of my father at this crisis. I wrote to him last night, and am sure that nothing but sickness will
myself. prevent his presence to-morrow night; on the next day, present circumstances, which I delivered to you yester.
A communication, justificatory of my course under I trust that I shall be able to make a communication to day, baving been returned, or account of alleged objecyou. " With the utrnost respect,
tionable maller therein, the presence of which, if disre. * Your obedient servant,
spectful, I regret, it now becomes my duly, in reply 10
your letter returning that communication, respectfully to
"WM. J. DUANE. “Stplember 19, 1833."
announce my unwillingness to carry your direction as to
the deposites into effect; and, in making known that de. 3. On the same day, (Thursday, 19th September,) your cision, without meaning any sort of disrespect, to priPrivate Secretary, Major Donelson, called on me to say, tect myself, by protesting against all that bas been done, that you proposed to publish in the Globe of next day, or is doing, to divest the Secretary of the Treasury of your decision: I replied that I thought you ought not, the power to exercise, independently, of the President, that I was not a party to it, and, as a matter of delicacy the discretion committed io liim by law urer the de to myself, could not approve of it.
I have already, sir, on more than one occasion, and re. I sincerely hope and beg, sir, that you will consider cently, without contradiction, before the Cabinet, stated that I owe it to myself, my family, and my friends, not to ibat I did not know, until after my induction into office, leave my course, at this most trying moment of my life, that you had determined that the deposites should be open to doubt or conjecture; that my conduct has already removed without any further action of Congress; if I bad sharpened the dagger of malice, as may be seen in some known that such was your decision, and that I should be of the public prints; that you, who have been assailed in required to act, I would not have accepted office. But, so many tender parts, and in whose defence I have devoas soon as I understood, when in office, what your inten- ted many a painful day, ought to make allowance for me tion was, I sought for all information calculated to enable in my present position; that were I to resign, I could meet me to act uprightly in the embarrassing position in which no calumniator without breach of duty; that I ask such or. I was unexpectedly placed.
der or direction from you, in relation to my office, as may You were so good as to transmit to me, to that end, protect me and my children from reproach, and save you from Boston, not only the opinions of the members of the and myself from all present or future pain; that I desire cabinet, but your own views in detail, upon the deposite to separate in peace and kindness; that I will strive to forquestion; but, instead of intimating to me that my dig. get all unpleasantness, or cause of it; and that I devoutly inclination to carry those views into effect would be ful wish that your measures may end in happiness to your lowed by a call for my retirement, you emphatically as country, and honor to yourself. sured me, in your letter of the 26th June, that you
With the utmost consideration, not intend to interfere with the independent exercise of
Your obedient servant, the discretion committed to me by law over the subject.
W. J. DUANE. Fully confiding in the encouragement thus held out, I entered into an exposition of my objections to the pro.
No. 7. posed measure. Discussion ended in an understanding The President of the United States to the Secretary of that we should remain uncommitted until after an inquiry
the Treasury. which your agent was to make should be completed, and
September 23, 1833. until the discussion of the cabinet. But pending the Sin: Since I returned your first letter of September preparation for this inquiry, I received your letter of July 21st, and since the receipt of your second letter of the 22d, conveying what I understood to be an intimation that same day, wbich I sent back to you at your own reques', I must retire, unless I would then say that I would remove I have received your third and fourth letters of the same the deposites, after the inquiry and discussion, in case you date. The two last, as well as the first, contain stateshould then decide to have them removed.
ments that are inaccurate; and, as I have already indiI would have at o:ce considered this letter as an order cated in my last note to you that a correspondence of to retire, and would have obeyed it, if I had not thought this description is inadmissible, your two lasi letters are it my duty to hold the post intrusted to me as long as I here with returned. could do so with benefit to the country, and without dis But, from all your recent communicalions, as well as credit to myself; instead, therefore, of retiring voluntari: your recent conduct, your feelings and sentiments appear ly or otherwise, I subjected my feelings to restraint, and to be of such a character that, after your letter of July stated, as you quote in your letter of this day, that, if I last, in which you say, should your views not accord with could not, after inquiry and discussion, as the responsible mine “I will from respect to you and for myself, afford agent of the law, carry into effect the decision that might you an opportunity to select a successor whose views may be made, I would afford you an opportunity to select a accord with your own on the important matter in contem, successor, &c.
plation," and your determination now to disregard the Under these circumstances, the inquiry was entered pledge you then gave, I feel my self constrained to notify upon: it ended in showing, as I had predicted, that the you that your furi her services as Secretary of the Treas. plan submitted to me on the 26th June was impractica- ury are no longer required. ble, and in a report without any defined substitute, ac I am, respectfully, your obedient servant, cording to my comprehension of it.
ANDREW JACKSON. After a consideration of the subject in the cabinet, you gave directions, as stated at the commencement of this EXECUTIVE PROCEEDINGS OF THE SENATE letter, and I wrote to you that I would make a communi- On the nomination and renomination of certain Directors cation to you on Saturday, 21st instant, and I accordingly
of the Bank of the United States. did so, as hereinbefore stated. Unto the present time, therefore, I have been strug.
TUESDAY, December 17, 1833. gling, under painful circumstances, not to retain a post that I never sought, and the loss of which I shall not re- dent of the United States, by Mr. Dunelson, his Secre.
The following message was received from the Presi. gret on my own account, but to maintain it for the coun. try, under a serious sense of duty to'i', and to avert a
Wasuington, December 17, 1833, measure that I hones!ly feared might affect yourself.
To the Senale: Without entertaining or desiring to manifest towards you, sir, the slightest disrespect, but solemnly impressed
I nominale James A. Bayard, of Delaware, to be a diwiti a consideration of my responsibility to ihe country, rector in the Bank of the Unised States, on the part of and my duty to myself, I now definitely declare that i the Government, for the year 1834, in the place of Saul will not, in any way, aid or assist to cause the public mo
Alley. ney to be deposited in any other institution, bank, or place,
And I nominale Peter Wager, Henry D. Gilpin, and than that provided by the 16th section of the act char. John T: Sullivan, of Philadelphia, and Hugh McElderry, tering the United States Bank, until Congress shall direct of Baltimore, to the same offices for the year 1834. or authorize such change to be made, unless goud cause
ANDREW JACKSON. shall arise, such as in my judgment does not now exise. The message was read. I am further constrained, owing to occurrences and cir
Ordered, That it be referred to the Committee on Fi. cumstances that in part bave come to my knowledge, or have taken place of late, to leave it to you, sir, to deter
Tursday, January 19, 1834. mine whether I am or am not any longer to remain a Mr. Webster, from the Committee on Finance, to whom member of your administration.
was referred the message nominating James A. Bayard,
and others, as directors of the Bank of the United States, The yeas and nays being desired by one-filth of the reported.
Those who voted in the affirmative, are,
Messrs. Benton, Brown, Forsyth, Grundy, Hill, Kane, 17th December, nominating James A. Bayard, and others, King of Alabama, Linn, McKean, Moore, Morris, Robin as directors of the Bank of the United States.
son, Shepley, Tallmadge, Tipton, White, Wilkins, and On the question, “ Will the Senate advise and consent
Wright. to the appointment of James A. Bayard?"
Those who yoted in the negative, are, It was determined in the affirmative.
Messrs. Bell, Bibb, Black, Calboun, Chambers, Clay, The remaining nominations being under consideration, Clayton, Ewing, Frelinghuysen, Hendricks, Kent, Knight, On molion by Mr. Clay, the Senate adjourned.
Mangum, Naudain, Poindexter, Porter, Prentiss, Preston,
Robbins, Silsbee, Smith, Sprague, Swist, Tomlioson, WEDNESDAY, January 22, 1834.
Tyler, Waggaman, Webster. The Senate resumed the consideration of the message So the resolution was rejected. nominating James A. Bayard, and others, as directors of On the question, “ Will the Senate advise and consent the Bank of the United States; and, after debale, to the appointment of Peter Wager?" The Senate adjourned.
It was determined in the negative, yeas 20, nays 25. Moxday, February 10, 1834.
On motion by Mr. Forsyth, The Senate resumed the consideration of the message
The yeas and nays being desired by one-fifth of the
Senators present, nominaling James A. Bayard, and others, as directors of
Those who voted in the affirmative, are, the Bank of the United States. Mr. Kane submitted the following motion:
Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Forsyth, Grundy, HenResolved, That the nominations of H. D. Gilpin, John Moore, Morris, Robinson, Shepley, Tallmadge, Tipton,
dricks, Hill, Kane, King of Alabama, Linn, McKean, T. Sullivan, Peter Wager, and Hugh McElderry, be re. While, Wilkins, Wright. committed to the Committee on Finance, with instruc.
Those who voted in the negative, are, tions to inquire into their several qualifications and fitness for the stations to which they have been nominated; also Ewing, Frelinghuysen, Kent, Knight, Mangum, Naudain,
Messrs. Bell, Bibb, Calhoun, Chambers, Clay, Clayton, into the truth of all charges preferred by them against Poindexter, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Sılsbee, the board of directors of the Bank of the United States, Smith, Sprague, Swift, Tomlinson, Tyler, Waggaman, and into the conduct of each of the said nominees during
Webster. the time he may have acted as director of the said bank; and that the said ominees have notice of the times and to the appointment of Henry D. Gilpin?"
On the question, “ Will the Senate advise and consent places of meetings of said committee, and have leave to
It was determined in the negative, yeas 20, nays 24. allend the same. On mution by Mr. Forsyth,
The yeas and nays being desired by one filth of the
Those who voted in the affirmative, are,
Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Forsyth, Grundy, HenMessrs. Benton, Brown, Forsyth, Grundy, Hendricks, Moore, Morris, Robinson, Shepley, Tallmadge, Tipton,
dricks, Hill, Kane, King of Alabama, Linn, McKean, Hill, Kane, King of Alabama, Linn, McKean, Moore, White, wilkins, Wright. Morris, Rives, Robinson, Shepley, Tallmadge, Tipton,
Those who voted in the negative, are,
Messrs. Bell, Bibb, Calhoun, Chambers, Clay, Ewing, Messrs. Bell , Bibb, Black, Calhoun, Chambers, Clay, dexter, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Silsbee,
Frelinghuysen, Kent, Knight, Mangum, Naudain, Puin. Clayton, Ewing, Frelinghuysen, Kent, King of Georgia, Smith, Sprague, Swift, l'omlinson, Tyler, Waggaman, Knight, Mangum, Naudain, Poindexter, Porter, Prentiss, Webster. Preston, Robbins, Silsbee, Smith, Southard, Sprague, Swift, Tomlinson, Tyler, Waggaman, Webster.
On the question, “ Will the Senate advise and consent So the resolution was disagreed to.
to the appointment of John T. Sullivan?" The question recurring on advising and consenting to
It was determined in the negative, yeas 18, naye 27. the nominations,
The yeas and nays being desired by one-fifth of the
Those who voted in the affirmative, are,
Messrs. Benton, Brown, Forsyth, Grundy, Hendricks, The Senate resumed the consideration of the message Hill, Kane, King of Alabams, Linn, McKean, Morris, nominating James A. Bayard, and others, as directors of Robinson, Shepley, Tallmadge, Tipton, White, Wilkins, the Bank of the United States.
Those who voted in the negative, are,
Messrs. Bell, Bibb, Black, Calhoun, Chambers, Clay, Thursday, February 27, 1834.
Clayton, Ewing, Frelingbuysen, Kent, Knight, Mangum, On motion by Mr. Webster,
Moore, Naudain, Poindexter, Porter, Prentiss, Preston, The Senate resumed the consideration of the message Robbins, Silsbee, Smith, Sprague, Swift, Tomlinson, nominating James A. Bayard, and others.
Tyler, Waggaman, Webster. Mr. Morris submitted the following resolution:
On the question, “ Will the Sena'e advise and consent Resolved, That the nominations of H. D. Gilpin, Peter to the appointment of Hugh McElderry!" Wager, John T. Sullivan, and Hugh McElderry, be again
It was determined in the negative, yeas 20, nay: 25. referred to the Committee on Finance, with instructions The yeas and nays being desired by one-fifth of the
Senators present, to inquire whether any objections whatever exist either against their characters or qualifications to act as direct.
Those who voted in the affirmative, are, ors of the Bank of the United States.
Messrs. Benton, Black, Brown, Forsyth, Grundy, Hen. On the question to agree thereto,
dricks, Hill, Kane, King of Alabama, Linn, McKean, It was determined in the negative, yeas 18, nays 27.
Moore, Morris, Robinson, Shepley, Tollimadge, Tipton, On motion by Mr. Morris,
White, Wilkins, Wright.
Those who voted in the negative, are,
bank in the manner stated in the two reports, and have Messrs. Bell, Bibb, Calhoun, Chambers, Clay, Clayton, not denied that the charges there made against the cor. Ewing, Frelinghuysen, Kent, Knight, Mangum, Naudain, poration are substantially true. Poindexter, Porier, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, Silsbee, It must be taken, therefore, as admitted that the state. Smith, Sprague, Swift, Tomlinson, Tyler, Waggaman, ments of the public directors, in the reports abovemenWebster.
tioned, are correct: and they disclose the most alarming So it was
abuses on the part of the corporation, and the most stren. Resolved, that the Senate do not advise and consent to vous exertions on their part to put an end to them. the appointment of Peter Wager, Henry D. Gilpin, John They prove that enormous sums were secretly lavished in T. Sullivan, and Hugh McElderry, as directors of the a manner, and for purposes that cannot be justified; and Bank of the United States.
that the whole of the immense capital of the bank has TUESDAY, March 11, 1834.
been virtually placed at the disposal of a single individuThe following message was received from the Presi- al, to be used, if he thinks proper, to corrupt the press, dent of the United States, by Mr. Donelson, his Secre- and to control the proceedings of the Government by ex. tary:
ercising an undue influence over elections. WASHINGTON, March 11, 1834.
The reports were made in obedience to my official din To the Senate:
rections; and I here with transmit copies of my letter call.
ing for information of the proceedings of the bank. I nominate Henry D. Gilpin, Peter Wager, and John Were they bound to disregard the call? Was it their T. Sullivan, of Philadelphia, and Hugh McElderry, of duty to remain silent while abuses of the most injurious Baltimore, to be directors in the Bank of the United and dangerous character were daily practised? Were States for the year 1834.
they bound to conceal from the constituted authorities a I disclaim all pretension of right on the part of the course of measures destructive to the best interests of the President officially to inquire into, or call in question, the country, and intended, gradually and secretly, to subvert reasons of the Senate for rejecting any nomination what the foundations of our Government, and to transter its
As the President is not responsible to them for powers from the hands of the people to a great moneyed the reasons which induce him to make a nomination, so corporation? Was it their duty to sit in silence at the they are not responsible to him for the reasons which in- board, and witness all these abuses without an attempt to duce them to reject it. In these respects, each is inde correct them; or, in case of failure there, not to appeal pendent of the other, and both responsible to their re. to higher authority? The eighth fundamentul rule authorspective constituents. Nevertheless, the attitude in which izes any one of the directors, whether elected or up certain vital interests of the country are placed by the pointed, who may have been absent when an excess of rejection of the gentlemen now renominated require of debt was created, or who may have dissented from the me, frankly, to communicate my views of the conse act, to exonerate himself from personal responsibility by quences wbich must necessarily follow this act of the giving notice of the fact to the President of the United Senate, if it be not reconsidered.
States; thus recognising the propriety of communicating The characters and standing of these gentlemen are to that officer the proceedings of the board in such cases, well known 10 the community, and eminently qualified But, independently of any argument to be derived from them for the offices to which I propose to appoint them the principle recognised in the rule referred to, I cannot Their confirmation by the Senate at its last session to the doubt for a moment that it is the right and the duty of same offices is proof that such was the opinion of them every director at the board to attempt to correct all illeentertained by the Senate at that time; and unless some gal proceedings, and in case of failure, to disclose themi, thing has occurred since to change it, this act may now and ihat every one of them, whether elected by the stockbe referred to as evidence that their talents and pursuits holders or appointed by the Government, who had knowl. justified their seleciion.
edge of the facts, and concealed them, would be justly The refusal, however, to confirm their nominations to amenable to the severest censure. the same offices, shows that there is something in the But, in the case of the public directors, it was their conduct of these gentlemen during the last year which, peculiar and official duty to make the disclosures; and the in the opinion of ihe Senate, disqualifies them; and as no call upon them for information could not have been disa charge has been made against them as men or citizens, regarded without a flagrant breach of their trust. The nothing which impeaches the fair private character they directors appointed by the United States cannot be repossessed when the Senate gave them their sanction at its garded in the light of the ordinary directors of a bank jast session, and as it moreover appears from the journal appointed by the stockholders, and charged with the care of the Senate recently transmitted for my inspection, that of their pecuniary interests in the corporation. · They it was deemed unnecessary to inquire into their qualifica- bave higher and more important duties. They are pube tions or character, it is to be inferred that the change in lic officers. They are placed at the board not merely to the opinion of the Senate has arisen from the official con represent the stock held by the United States, but to obduct of these gentlemen. The only circumstances in serve the conduct of the corporation, and to watch over their official conduct which have been deemed of suffi. the public interests. It was foreseen that this great mocient importance to attract public attention are the two neyed monopoly might be so managed as to endanger the reports made by them to the Executive department of interests of the country; and it was therefore deemed the Government, the one bearing date the 22d day of necessary, as a measure of precaution, to place at the April, and the other the 19th day of August last; both of board walchsul sentinels, who should observe its conduct, which reports were communicated to the Senate by the and stand ready to report to the proper officers of the Secretary of the Treasury with his reasons for removing Goverument every act of the board which might affect the deposites.
injuriously the interests of the people. The Truth of the facts staled in these reports, is not, I The whole frame of the charter, as well as the manner presume, questioned by any one. The high character of their appointment, proves this to be their rrue characand standing of the citizens by whom they were made ter. The United States are not represented at the board prevent any doubt upon the subject. Indeed the state. by these directors merely on account of the stock held by ments have not been denied by the president of the bank, the Government. The right of the United States to apand the other directors. On the contrary, they have in point directors, and the number appointed, do not depend sisted that they were authorized 10 use the money of the upon the amount of the stock; for, if every share should
be sold, and the United States cease to be a stockholder ions, without the means of enforcement. Yet they must altogether, yet, under the charter, the right to appoint be wholly inoperative and useless unless there be some five directors would still remain. In such a case, what means by which the official conduct of the public direct. would be the character of the directors? They would ors, and the abuses of power on the part of the corporarepresent no stock, and be chosen by no stockholder. lion, may be brought to the knowledge of the Executive Yet they would have a right to sit at the board, to vote on department of the Government. all questions submitted to it, and to be made acquainted Will it be said that the power is given to the Secretary with all the proceedings of the corporation. They would of the Treasury to examine himself, or by his authorized not, in such a case, be ordinary directors chosen by the agent, into the conduct and condition of the bank! The stockholders in proportion to their stock. But they answer is obvious. It could not have been expected or would be public officers appointed to guard the public intended that he would make an examination unless in. interest; and their duties must conforın to their office. formation was first given to him which excited bis suspiThey are not the duties of an ordinary director chosen cions; and, if he did make such a general examination by a stockholder, but they are the peculiar duties of a without previous information of misconduct, it is most public officer who is bound on all occasions to protect, probable that, in the complex concerns and accounts of a io the utmost of his lawful means, the public interests; bank, it would result in nothing, whatever abuses might and where his own authority is not sufficient to prevent have been practised. injury, to inform those to whom the law has confided the It is indeed the duty of every director to give informanecessary power. Such then is the character, and such tion of such misconduct on the part of the board. But are the duties of the directors appointed by the United the power to issue a scire facias and to remove the depos. States, whether the public be stockholders or not. They ites, presupposes that the directors elected by the stockare officers of the United States, and not the mere repreholders might abuse their power; and it cannot be presentatives of a stockholder.
sumed that Congress intended to rely on these same The mode of their appointment, and their tenure of directors to give information of their own misconduct. office, confirm the position. They are appointed like The Government is not accustomed to rely on the offend. other officers of the Government, and by the same au. ing party to disclose his offence. It was intended tbat the thority. They do not hold their offices irrevocably a power to issue a scire facias and remove the deposites year after their appointment: on the contrary, by the ex. should be real and effective. The necessary means of inpress terms of the law, they are liable to be removed formation were, therefore, provided in the charter, and from office at any time by the President, when, in his five officers of the Government, appointed in the usual judgment, the public interest shall require it. In every manner, responsible to the public and not the stockhold. aspect, therefore, in which the subject can be considered, ers, were placed as sentinels at the board, and are bound it is evident that the five directors appointed by the by the nature and character of their office to resist, and, United States are to be regarded as public officers, who if unsuccessful, to report to the proper authority, every are placed there in order to observe the conduct of the infraction of the charter and every abuse of power, in corporation, and to prevent abuses which might other order that due measures should be taken to punish or wise be committed.
correct it; and, in like manner, it is their duty to give, Such being the character of the directors appointed on when called upon, any explanation of their own official behalf of the United States, it is obviously their duty to conduct touching the management of the institution. resist, and, in case of failure, to report to the President, It was, perhaps, scarcely necessary to present to the or to the Secretary of the Treasury, any proceedings of Senate these views of the powers of the Executive, and the board by which the public interest may be injuriously of the duties of the five directors appointed by the Uni. affected. The President may order a scire facias against ted States. But the bank is believed to be now striving the bank for a violation of its charter, and the Secretary to obtain for itself the Government of the country, and of the Treasury is empowered to direct the money of the is seeking, by new and strained constructions, to wrest United States to be deposited elsewhere, when, in his from the hands of the constituted authorities the salutary judgment, the public interest requires it to be done. control reserved by the charter. And as misrepresentaThe directors of this bank, like all others, are accustom- tion is one of its most usual weapons of attacś, I have ed to sit with closed doors, and do not report their pro- deemed it my duty to put before the Senate, in a manner ceedings to any department of the Government. The not to be misunderstood, the principles on which I have mon hly return which the charler requires to be made to acted. the Treasury Department, gives nothing more than a Entertaining, as I do, a solemn conviction of the trath general statement of its pecuniary condition, and, of that, of these principles, I must adhere to them, and act upon but an imperfect one. For, although it shows the amount them, with constancy and firmness. loaned at the bank and its different branches, it does not Aware, as I now am, of the dangerous machinations of show the condition of its debtors, nor the circumstances the bank, it is more than ever my duty to be vigilant in under which the loans were made. It does not show guarding the rights of the people from the impending whether they were, in truth, accommodations granted in danger. And I should feel that I ought to forfeil the the regular and ordinary course of business upon fair confidence with which my countrymen bave honored me, banking principles, or from other motives. Under the if I did not require regular and full reports of every thing name of loans, advances may be made to persons notori- in the proceedings of the bank calculated to affect inju ously insolvent for the most corrupt and improper pur- riously the public interests, from the public directors; and poses, and a course of proceeding may be adopted in is the directors should fail to give the information called violation of its charter, while, upon the face of its month. for, it would be my imperious duty to exercise the pow. ly statement, every thing would appear to be fair and er conferred on me by the law of removing them from
office, and of appointing others who would discharge How, then, is the Executive branch of the Government their duties with more fidelity to the public. I can never to become acquainted with the official conduct of the suffer any one to hold office under me who would conpublic directors, or the abuses practised by the corpora- nive at corruption, or who should fail to give the alarm tion for its private ends, and in violation of its duty to the when he saw the enemies of liberty endeavoring to sap public?. The power of displacing the public directors, the foundations of our free institutions, and to subject and that of issuing a scire facias, and of removing the de- the free people of the United States to the dominion of posites, were not intended to be idle and nugatory provis- ' a great moneyed corporation.