Slike strani

March 3, 1837.)

Distribution Question.


C's constituents, it was possible he might find that he the Treasury order; and yet tbe Senate was to be deterhad himself incurred the same disaster which he had so red from a measure which was legal and legitimate, and earnestly deprecated in the case of Mr. C's colleague. which would remedy the evil. This went to show that, For his own part, he had not seen a single man in bis after all, the majority of the Senale were in favor of own quarter of the country who at all disapproved of banks and banking. He remembered well when the Kentucky's taking her share in the distribution of the President, in commencing his attack on the United States surplus. Yet he had never understood that the people Bank, held out to the nation the golden prospect of a of that part of the Union were distinguished by an inor- specie circulation. It was the cheap purchase of anticidinate regard for money. He did not think that in that pated glory. It rang from Maine to Georgia, and the respect they went very far beyond the people of the bank was destroyed. The nation had all been in the North and of the East. He feared, lest some great most triumphant anticipation of those halcyon days change had passed upon the character of the gentleman's which were to follow; but when the time was actually constituents, that he would find on his return home that come, and the friends of the administration were asked they had again relapsed into at least a due estimate of for what they had promised, behold, what a multitude the value of money. He could not but apprehend that of objections were at once interposed. One was afraid the honorable Senator would find it somewhat hard to that the money would corrupt the people; another that persuade them that it was better that millions of the pub. its possession would create interminable discord; another lic revenue should remain in the Treasury than in their dreaded the danger of the example, and predicted that pockets. The honorable Senator, however, did not, he it would weaken the Government, and make it a mere presumed, need any of his admonition; be doubted not collector for the States. Thus, after all the promises, that he would be sufficiently careful of his own popu- and after the first great step had been taken, gentlemen jarity.

were likely to fall back into the old position, to keep Some of the States, to be sure, bad shown themselves fast bold of the money bags; and when the people re. very coy in taking their share; but whatever might have monstrated, to reply by assuring them that they were been their scruples, and the throes of their conscience, incapable of managing their money; that it would only he believed that as yet not one bad refused; and, what corrupt them; and that their wisest course would be to was more, they would take the same again and again, leave it in the pure and incorruptible hands of those who whenever it might be deemed necessary to disencumber now had the management of it. the Treasury.

Mr. EWING, of Ohio, was desirous of submitting a few The Senator from New York (Mr. Wrigur] had said remarks, which he considered due to the occasion. He that it was the policy of the coming administration to was not one who was in favor of collecting revenue for have no surplus. A very proper policy, indeed; and the the sake of again distributing it, and the gentlemen who present amendment would give to the nation ample se placed the matter on that footing lost their argument on curity that such a policy should be observed. Give them him. He had no such disposition now, nor had he been this security, and then the majority would never be found so disposed when the deposite bill of last session was creating a surplus with a view to retain and manage it. passed. It was not the proposition of this amendment. There were several ways to prevent a surplus: one was, The proposition went on the supposition that there not to raise more money than was wanted; another meth- would be a surplus. If no surplus should arise, the od, equally certain, was to make the expenditure come clause would have no effect; it would be altogether nuup to the amount of the receipts. Now, the amendment gatory; but if there was a surplus, it would place the proposed would tend to preserve the economy of ibis money in safe keeping, and at the same time avoid all Government. If virtue, as has a thousand times been the mischief of retaining it in the deposite banks. Wbile observed, was the foundation of republican Government, Mr. E. was unwilling, on the one hand, to create a surplus then a lavisl, expenditure of public money, by corrupting with the view to distribution, he would not, on the other, the virtue of the nation, must have a direct tendency to

consent to unsettle the business or disturb the tranquilundermine public virtue; and the amendment, by pre-lity of the country for the sake of avoiding one. Не venting the accumulation of an extravagant surplus at was opposed to interfering with the compromise, and he the disposal of the Government, would contribute so far still hoped it would not be interfered with. He would to the preservation of virtue, and thereby to the safety not upset an arrangement of that importance to prevent of our liberties. In every point of view, Mr. C. consid. a surplus of two millions, at the expense of more than ered the distribution policy as good. Gentlemen had fifty 'millions of injury to the country. It would be expressed an apprehension that if the experiment of dis better to throw the money into the Potomac.. Nor was tribution should again be made, the thing would, in a he disposed to give away the public lands, to prevent short time, become habitual, and that all previous meas- the price of them from coming into the Treasury; nor ures would be calculated with a reference to that end. was he willing to give the public domain at less than its He had no such apprehensions. It was proposed to dis- value to a certain exclusive set, rather than let all our tribute only the superfluous and unnecessary revenue; citizens share equally in its advantages, as heretofore. If and what better could be done with this, than to give it a surplus arose, he would rather distribute it than avoid back to the people! He trusted that none of those who its accumulation by measures like these, or by extrava. had supported this policy at the last session would op- / gant appropriations beyond what had ever been known pose it now. The action of the House of Representatives before. if the laws of the country brought a surwent clearly to show that the people approved of the plus into the Treasury, he would not wrest the laws for measure. So forcible had been the pressure of public the sake of preventing it; nor would he absorb the reve. opinion, that it had broken down all party trammels. nue in lavish and wasteful expendilures, rather than dis. Men bad revolted from under party discipline, from a tribute a surplus. If it came into the Treasury in a fair wholesome fear of their constituents. As far as his and legitimale manner, he would dispose of it as it had knowledge extended, the public sentiment of the coun. been disposed of last year. He could not see the least try was all in favor of distribution. There could be no distinction between the two cases. Some genilemen good reason for leaving the surplus in the banks. The had said that they could see no resemblance between Executive had told the Senate that it furnished great the case of last session and the case of this; to hin they means for speculation; and so strong had been his con- appeared not only like each other, but the same. This viction of the evil to be appreliended, that, with a view amendment was in the very words of the distribution to prevent it, he had assumed the responsibility of issuing I bill of last year; it was a perfect fac simile of that bill.


Distribution Question.

(MARCH 3, 1837.

Here was certainly some slight resemblance. It was, Aowed into the Treasury without direct taxation; but indeed, very true that, while the form of the bill was the danger was only the greater on that account. Who the same, ihere might exist a state of things which had ever heard of a Government going backwards in its would make the bill very different in principle. Now, expenditure? What Government had ever been able to let us see what are these alleged points of distinction. retreat? England, it was true, had freed herself from Gentlemen bad said that last year it had been admitted one million and a half, out of about forty millions-an that there would be a surplus. It was very true that he enormous load of taxation-but it had not been without had admitted it, and those who acted with him; but there a mighty effort, a struggle which shook the kingdom. had been gentlemen on the other side who protested How could we ever accomplish a reduction of our nastrongly that there would be no surplus. All the differ- tional expenses, unless we fell on some disposition of the ence, then, in that respect, consisted in this: that more public revenue which should induce gentlemen to think had been admitted at the last session than now. Mr. E. what could be saved to their constituents? heard none now say that there would be no surplus. Mr. DAVIS rose and said he could not permit a His own estimate at the last session had been that there measure of so much consequence to be lost without exwould be one of ten, fifteen, or eighteen millions, if the pressing his dissent from so ill-advised and injurious & appropriations were marked with any thing like moder- policy. The measure proposed was precisely the same ation. But both appropriations and revenue had far ex. which went through both Houses at the last session, ceeded his calculations. But be this as

might, the

with an almost unexampled unanimity. It proposed simsame argument which had been urged last year applied ply to trust the several States with the custody of all the equally well now; if there was no surplus, this law would surplus revenue, if any should exist, beyond five millions. divide nothing. It was a hypothetical law. He would If this fails, the money will go to the deposite banks. It not, indeed, agree to pass a law which would probably is singular, if such distrust is entertained of the States, he nugatory, but that did not apply to the present that their credit is not as good as that of the deposite amendment, because there was every probability that banks! The amendment has been deprecated as introthere would be something, and not a little, to divide. ducing a new and dangerous policy; but let it be dis. They knew that there was 10 come in a large incidental | tinctly understood that it proposes that whatever sur. sum from the Bank of the United States; then there plus there may be beyond five millions shall be placed were the receipts from the customs, and the receipts from with the States, instead of being left in the deposite the public lands; so that when gentlemen came to see banks--that it shall be held by the officers of the States, the actual figures next winter, he rather believed that instead of being under the control of the office holders of they would find not less than twelve millions of dollars, the United States.. This is the measure, and the whole which must either remain in the deposite banks or be measure, which has excited the extraordinary alarm and distributed among the States. As to the proper time for apprehension which we hear from gen:lemen in this passing the bill, gentlemen knew that various deposite chamber. banks complained even last year. The Secretary told Some Senators seem indignant because it is connected Congress that the sudden withdrawal of the money from with the fortification bill. This is pronounced unnatural those institutions would cause a great shock. Why not, and highly objectionable, because the matters have no then, give him time? If they waited until the next ses. affinity. If the two measures could be conveniently sion, much time would necessarily be consumed in legis- separated, and presented each in a bill by itself, I should Jation; and after the bill passed, the banks would need prefer that course; but every one who witnesses the time to conform themselves to the new arrangement, so daily proceedings in the other end of the Capitol knows that it would be past midsummer before a cent could ac- that the order of business and the rules of action there tually be distributed. There was another reason for are such that matters incongruous in themselves are every legislating at this time. It would give the deposite session brought together in the same bill, from necessity. banks timely warning that the public moneys in their The stutute books contain the most plenary proof that hands were not to be loaned oui permanently, for the such a course bas it in nothing unusual. Admitting, purpose of investments. Such a notice would be very therefore, that the connexion is unnatural, there is important.

nothing in it unprecedented or uncommon. No one But it was said that this practice of distribution, if re. here can be ignorant of the fact that this important peated, would become habitual, and that the General measure could not be acted upon at all by the House, Government would starve for want of the requisite ap- unless as an amendment to some bill; and it must thus propriations. Gentlemen who urged this objection must come up, or be left without consideration. bave greatly changed their ground within a few years. But is there any thing so unnatural as is represented The friends of the honorable Senator on his luft (Mr. between the bill and the amendment? The bill is an BUCHANAN) had advocated the doctrine that too much appropriation act, purely so; taking money from the was expended for the General Government. He held Treasury to strengihen the defences of the country. in his hand a report of a speech made by the honorable The amendment provides for taking what remains, after Senator from Missouri, (Mr. BENTON,) which seemed to These and other appropriations are satisfied, and placing have been carefully considered, in which that gentleman it with the States. The great object of each is to dishad endeavored to show that it required not less than pose of the public money--the one in a useful, the other eight millions to put the machinery of Government in in a safe way; and all they differ in is, that the bill gives motion. Allowing for extraordinaries, it might require to what it takes one direction, and the amendment to twelve millions. The gentleman would remember that what it takes another direction. Can it be said that they they had expended thirty-seven millions last year, and do not relate to the same subject? Does not the fortifi. that he had recommended and strongly advocated the cation will relate to the public money? And does not expenditure of not less than sixiy millions, which was the amendment relate to thal, and nothing else! I confive times the amount of his own estimate of the neces. fess I am not able to see much force in the objection, sary expenses of the Government. Did not this go io and am not surprised that the House disregarded it. It show that the darger was not that of starving the Gene. lis, after all that has been made of it, but an unsatisfac. ral Government, but quite on the other side? That the cory apology for giving a preference to the deposite real danger was of making the appropriations so extrav. banks over the treasuries of the States. agant as to absorb the revenue, ici it um up to what it But it is a new act of distribution; and we are warned might! The expense was not felt, because the money of the injustice and unconstitutionality of collecting MARCH 3, 1837.)

Distribution Question.



revenue to distribute among the States. Let me say, far from objecting to it; indeed, the medicine is needed, at once, to all who thus speak of the amendment, that for this branch of the Government wants purifying. they misrepresent it. It makes no provision for the Here lies, whatever else may be urged, the great obcollection or the distribution of revenue. You will not jection to this measure, which is felt by those in, and collect a cent more or less of revenue, whether we who hope to be in, power. adopt or reject it. It involves no question of policy, It is they who feel all this anxious solicitude about the nor has it any connexion with the tariff; and the Sena- avarice of the people, and their danger of corruption. tor from Mississippi is quite mistaken, when he attempts But I cannot resist the belief that they feel much more to prove that it bas. It neither proposes to alter, modi solicitude about retaining power and patronage. No fy, enlarge, diminish, or continue the revenue laws. power works with more effect, or insinuates itself more Turn it which way you will, give to it whatever read. certainly into the feelings, and winds itself about the ing ingenuity is capable of, scrutinize it as closely as hearts of men, than that of money. You have a host of you please, and it provides for the safe keeping of the deposite banks scattered throughout the country, one public money, if any sum over five millions shall be on and all bowed down to the executive will. Connected hand; nothing more. And the only question here is, with them is an army of stockholders, borrowers, and shall the States have the use of it till it is needed, or persons seeking special favors. The Executive is the shall the stockholders of the deposite banks be enriched magnet, the centre of attraction, which holds all these in by loaning it out for their own benefit? This is all the their places, and in obedience. Those who bave dwelt matter we have to deal with; and let us meet it fairly; with horror upon the influence of the Bank of the Unilet us call it by the right name; and, if it is to be so, ted States, and its successor, will be able, by turning let the people understand that the interest of these their eyes from that monster to this, with its multiplied banks is more powerful than their own in this place. heads, to understand the power and patronage which mo

Whose money is this? It belongs to the people; it is ney bestows. It is the fear of losing this influence that their property; and whom do you talk of corrupting and creates this holy horror, and excites this distrust of the seducing from their duty by the fascinating influences States. You are willing to pile up the public money in of money? The people. The people are io be bribed these banks till it overtops their capital, and run the risk and corrupted by possessing their own properly. How of all danger, rather than part with the controlling influwonderfully pure and patriotic the officers of ibis Gov. uence it gives you; and this is the reason why the peoernment! They can trust themselves with the money; ple cannot be trusted with their own property; why the but the people will be corrupted and seduced, if their deposite banks are better entitled to use and enjoy the own property is permitted to approach so near to them earnings of the public money than the people themselves. as the State treasuries!

But they well understand this reasoning; they well comIt is said, sir, that a spirit of avarice and cupidity will prehend that you have a very studious care of their morseize the people, and that members of Congress will als, but a sharper eye upon your own power and interbecome so infected with the mania that they will refuse to make the necessary appropriations; and what most It is said there will be no surplus. Be it so; what astonishes me is, that our experience under the act of harm will come of this law in that case? It only pro1836 is urged to justify this reasoning. In my judg- poses to divide and deposite what may exist; and if none ment, never was any thing more unfounded. Look exist, there will be nothing for the law to act upon, and at the appropriations of the last year, amounting 10 nothing to corrupt the people. It will be a barmless about $50,000,000. When and where has tbis ex- dead letter merely, for it is not permanent, as bas been travagance any parallel? Look at the appropriations of suggested, but provides for the deposite of such as shall this year, the amount of which I have no means of as. be on hand the 1st day of January next. Nothing more. certaining, but scarcely less profuse, as we all know, if the Senate resist this measure because the oflice-hoid. than those of the last year. Nay, more: I appeal to ers are in danger of losing some of their power and every gentleman here to consult his own conscience, and patronage, the responsibility must rest on those who do theo to declare whether he has felt any such sordid in- it. All I ask is, that the issue be fairiy made up for the fluence on his mind, in the votes which he has recorded. public decision. Let the people understand inat they And if he has not, I leave bim to settle the question are considered less worthy of confidence than the office. whether he is more pure than his fellow-citizens, and holders and the pet banks. more capable of resisting temptation.

After some further debate, the question was taken, Sir, I have seen a great and commanding influence ex. and the Senate determined to adhere to its disagree. erting itself, ever since the bill of 1836 was proposed, to ment, by the following vote: defeat it. It worked in vain last year, but its power has YEAS-- Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Cuthbert, increased in this body. It has grown determined to set Ewing of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hubbard, King of the States down as narrow.minded, avaricious, and un. Alabama, King of Georgia, Linn, Lyon, Mouton, Nich- worthy of confidence; ay, not fit to be trusted with their olas, Niles, Norvell, Page, Parker, Rives, Robinson, Rug. own. And there seems to be such a conviction of this gles, Sevier, Strange, Tallmadge, Walker, Wall, unfitness, that the deposite banks are to be placed over Wright-27. them as guardians.

Nays-Messrs. Bayard, Calhoun, Clay, Clayton, Crit. Now, sir, there is but one of these arguments entitled tenden, Davis, Ewing of Ohio, Hendricks, Kent, Knighi, to the slightest consideration; all suggestion as to the McKean, Moore, Morris, Prentiss, Preston, Robbins, avarice and corruption of the people is a calumny--- Southard, Spence, Swift, Tiptor, Tomlinson, Webster, slander; it is an altempt to teach them to disgrace them. White--23. selves. But when we are told that the powers of this Tire Senate, on motion of Mr. BENTON, spent some Government may be diminished by this process, I will time in executive busines3. not say it does not deserve consideration. I have hither. When the doors were reopened, the Senale touk up to seen no proofs of it, and yet I confess I should not re. and acted upon some other minor business; when gret to see the patronage of the Executive diminished- Mr. HOBBARD) submilted a joint resolution, provie cut down to a line of its present ample dimensions. It ding for the appointment of a committee, to join such is plethoric, and I am willing to see it depleted. If, i conimittee as may be appointed on the part of the House therefore, it should produce this effect only to a reason of Representatives, to wait on the President of the Uniable extent, (and I should let blood freely, ) I should be led Siales, and inform liim that ile two Houses, having SENATE.)

Thanks to the President pro tem.---Cherokee Memorial, &c.

(MARCH 4, 1837.

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finished the business before them, were ready to adjourn charge of the duties of the presiding officer of this body, the present session of Congress. This resolution was the necessity of addressing its members has been very agreed to, and sent to the House for concurrence. much lessened, if not superseded, by the opportunity

afforded me of presenting some of my sentiments when THANKS TO THE PRESIDENT pro tem.

I accepted the situation. Mr. KING, of Alabama, the President pro tem., having I cannot, however, permit the present occasion to temporarily left the chair,

pass without again tendering to you my grateful acknowl. Mr. DAVIS submitted the following resolution, which edgments for the honor conferred upon me by your was unanimously adopted:

choice. Resolved, that the thanks of the Senate be tendered There is not, in my opinion, upon this globe, a legis. to the honorable WILLIAM R. KING, President pro temo lative body more respectable and more exalted in char. pore, for his late impartial and dignified services as pre- acter than the Senate of the United States; and there is siding officer.

not, perhaps, a deliberative assembly existing where the CHEROKEE MEMORIAL.

presiding officer has less difficulty in preserving order.

This facility is attributable principally io two causes: the Mr. SOUTHARD moved to take up the memorial intelligence and patriotism of the members who compresented by him some days since, from the Cherokee In

pose the body, and that personal respect and courtesy dians, for the purpose of its being printed.

which have always been extended from one member to Mr. KING, of Georgia, objected to the printing, on the another, in its deliberations. These qualities have a ten. ground of there being no object but to keep up an un.

dency to produce a unity of design, and a mutual confi. necessary excitement.

dence, in the ultimate object of all, wbatever difference Mr. SOUTHARD warmly advocated the motion, and of opinion may exist in relation to the means of gain. asked for the yeas and naye.

ing the common end; and inculcate that sentiment of After some remarks from Messrs. KING of Georgia, equality among the members, which constitutes the es. BUCHANAN, WALKER, and WEBSTER, the ques- sential principle of our free institutions, and which will tion was taken, and the Senate refused to take up the

never cease to animate a body so enlightened as this. memorial.

These reflections have mitigated the intense anxiety of Leave was then granted to the memorialists to with mind, and well-founded apprehensions, arising from a draw it.

consciousness of my own deficiency of qualifications to Mr. HUBBARI), from the joint committee appointed preside over this elevated body. to wait on the President, and inform him that the two

In the exercise of the powers conferred upon me by Houses of Congress, baving finished the business before

the constitution, it shall be my effort to pursue that them, were now ready to adjourn, unless he had some fur.

course of conduct which has recommended me to the ther communication to make, reported that they had per consideration of my fellow-citizens--a faithful discharge formed the duty assigned them, and were answered by of my public duties, to the extent of my abilities, and in a the President that he had no other official communication

manner that shall seem best calculated to give satisfaction to make, but that he had charged him to say that it to all. Contemplating the duties and ceremonies of this was the wish of his heart that each member of Congress day, it might be considered improper in me to consume might enjoy health and prosperity in this world, and

any more of your time by adverting to other subjects, happiness in the next.

however relevant to the new position which I now occuOn motion of Mr. WEBSTER,

py. I shall, therefore, close my remarks by informing The Senate then adjourned sine die.

the Senate that I am now ready to proceed with the busi. ness for which we are assembled.

There were now ascertained to be present every Sen. EXTRA SESSION OF THE SENATE.

ator from every State in the Union, except one, (Mr. Mc“ The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES,

Kinley, of Alabama,) being fifty-one in number. To, Senator for the Stale of

The new members present were"By virtue of the power vested in me by the constitu. From Indiana, Oliver H. SMITA; from Illinois, tion, I hereby convene the Senate of the United States, RICHARD M. Young; from Ohio, WILLIAM ALLEN; from to meet in the Senate chamber on the 4th day of March Maine, REUEL WILLIAMS; from Connecticut, PERBI next, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon, to receive any com- Smith. munication the President of the United States may think The oath prescribed by the constitution was then adit bis duty to make.

ministered by the Vice PRESIDENT to the new Senators, "ANDREW JACKSON. and those Senators re-elected, except Mr. SEVIER, of “ DECEMBER 20, 1836."

Arkansas, the consideration of whose credentials of ap.

pointment by the Governor (as to filling the vacancy SATURDAY, MARCH 4, 1837.

occasioned by the expiration of his own term) was post. In conformity with the above-recited summons from poned to Monday. the President of the United States, the Senate assembled The Senate continued its sittings on Monday, Tuesday, in their chamber, in the city of Washington, at 10 o'clock Wednesday, and Thursday following, and were engaA. M. this day.

ged, principally upon executive business--acting upon The Senate was called to order by Mr. KING, of Ala- The nominations of the President. bama, the late President pro tem.

On Tuesday, Mr. GRUNDY, from the Judiciary ComRICHARD M. Jouybox, of Kentucky, Vice President of | mittee, reported “tbal the Hon. AMBROSE H. Savien is the United States, being present, was conducted to the entitled to his seat as a Senator from Arkansas, under the Secretary's table by Mr. GRUNDY, and the oath to sup- executive appointment of the 17th of January, 1837, port the constitution of the United States having been and that he now have the oath of office accordingly adadministered to bim, Mr. King vacated the chair, and ministered to him.” On Wednesday the report was de. Mr. Jouxson took his seat as President of the Senale bated, and on the question of agreeing to it the yeas and Vice President of the United States.

and nays were as follows: The VICE PRESIDENT, on taking the chair; address. YEAS— Messrs. Allen, Benton, Brown, Bachanan, ed the Senate as flows:

Clayton, Cuthberi, Fulton, Grundy, Hubbard, Linn, Gentlemen of the Senate: In entering upon the dis. Lyon, Nicholas, Niles, Norvell, Pierce, Preston, kives,

Marca, 1837.)

Extra Session of the Senate.


Robinson, Ruggles, Smith of Connecticut, Tipton, Walk. At the close of Thursday's sitting, a committee was er, Wall, White, Wright, Young--26.

appointed, on motion of Mr. WRIGHT, to announce to Nars--Messrs. Bayard, Black, Clay, Crittenden, Da- the President of the United States that the Senate had vis, Kent, King of Alabama, King of Georgia, Knight, got through its business, and was ready to adjourn, if he McKean, Morris, Mouton, Prentiss, Robbins, Smith of bad no further communication to make to them. Mr. Indiana, Southard, Swift, Webster, Williams-19. WRIGHT and Mr. Lyon were appointed a committee ac.

Mr. Savier then appeared and took the oath of office. cordingly.

The VICE PRESIDENT having retired from the chair On Friday morning, at 10 o'clock, the committee reon Tuesday, according to usage, to allow of the choice ported that they had discharged the duty thus confided of a President pro tem. before the adjournment, the to them, and bad received for answer that the President Senate proceeded to ballot for a President pro iem., had no further communication to make them. And then when WILLIAM R. Kixa, of Alabama, was elected. The Senate adjourned sine die.

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