Slike strani

Dec. 26, 1836.]

Heirs of Colonel Philip Johnston.


only whig newspaper of the day, that circulated in New ion commanded by Colonel Johnston was enlisted under Jersey, blotted with the tears of his widowed wife and a resolution of Congress, placed under its control, re. fatherless daughters, has been treasured up by their af ceived into its service, commanded by its officers, and fection, and is annexed to their petition. With your per. entitled to all the benefits and advantages, immediate mission, Mr. President, I will read it:

and prospective, which resulted from that situation. So "We hear that, in the late action on Long Island, Col. it was considered by the Convention of New Jersey, in onel Philip Johnston, of New Jersey, behaved with re. the several ordinances which they passed to raise the markable intrepidity and fortiiude. By the well-direct men required to reinforce the army at New York. ed fire from his battalion, the enemy was several times In the last ordinance passed by the Convention of New repulsed, and lanes were made through them, until he Jersey, on the 11th August, 1776, to carry into effect the received a ball in his breast, which put an end to the resolutions of Congress to which I have referred, the prelife of as brave an officer as ever commanded a baitalion. amble recites: “ The Convention, viewing with serious General Sullivan, who was close to him when lie fell, concern the present alarming situation of this and her says that no man could behave with more firmness dur sister States--that on a prudent use of the present means ring the whole action. As he sacrificed his life in de depend their lives, their liberty, and happiness, think it fence of the invaded rights of his country, his memory their indispensable duty to put their militia on such a must be dear to every American who is not insensible to footing that the whole force may be most advantageous. the sufferings of his injured country, and as long as the ly exerted.” For that purpose, the whole militia were same uncorrupted spirit of liberty which led him to the classed in two divisions, and one half were immediately field shall continue to actuate the sons of freemen in detached to join the Aying camp at New York. America."

Alter the appropriate details, that ordinance concludes Mr. President, the tree of American liberly was nour. in a strain of patriotic eloquence unknown to the rolls of ished by the blood of such heroes.

statutes, and which I cannot deny myself the pleasure of But, Mr. President, when the husband and the father, recalling to the recollection of our country. It breathes at the call of his country, steps from the circle of domes the pure spirit of “ 'Sevenly six.' tic endearmenis, a patriot and a hero, it is the safety and " And whereas the principles of equity and humanily protection of his wife and children that nerves his arm require that a proper compensation and provision should and animates his exertions in the hour of battle; and if of made for the families of all such as may be killed or he falls, his last prayer is for his country, and his last wounded in the service, the Convention pledge the failh earthly consolation is, ibat his death commits them to its of this State that an adequate provision for the purpose gratitude and protection. This obligation, which springs aforesaid shall be made. from the grave of heroism, is sanctioned by the purest " In this interesting situation, viewing, on the one and noblest feelings of our nature, and the highest dic- hand, an active, inveterate, and implacable enemy; in. tates of policy, and creates a debt which descends upon creasing fast in strength, receiving large reinforcements, all who inherit the blessings thus acquireil. If, sir, the and industriously preparing to strike some decisive blow; claim of the petitioners bad no other foundation than on the other, a considerable part of llie inhabitants suthis, it would, in my bumble judgment, be irresistible. pinely slumbering on the brink of ruin, moved with af. But it does not rest on this alone; it is supported by the fecting apprehension, the Convention think it incumbent plighted, and, I am sorry to say, the unredeemed, faith upon them to warn their constituents of their impending of their country. To say nothing, sir, at present, of the danger. On you, our friends and brethren, it depends pledge fairly to be implied from the addresses of Gener. this day to determine whether your wives, your children, al Washington calling the mililia to arms, and animating and millions of your descendants yet unborn, shall wear them to ba!tle, that the country would provide for their the galling, ignominious yoke of slavery, or nobly inherit wives and children, this pledge was distinctly made to the generous, the inesiimable blessings of freedom. Colonel Johnston and his companions in arms.

On the

The alternative is before you. Can you hesitate in your 3:1 of June, 1776, Congress resolved that 13,800 militia choice? Can you doubt which to prefer? Say, will you should be employed to reinforce the army at New York, / be slaves? Will you tvil, and labor, and glean together and that New Jersey be requested to furnish 3,300 of their a little property, merely that it may be at the disposal of militia to complete that nuniber, to be engaged until the a relentless and rapacious conqueror? Will you, of 1st of December, unless sooner discharged by order of choice, become bewers of wood and drawers of water? Congress. This was to form the flying camp destined for Impossible. You cannot be so amazingly degenerate as the defence of New York. On the 5:of June, 1776, to lick the hand i hat is raised to shed your blood. NaCongress resolved ibat the flying camp be placed under ture and nature's God have made you free. Liberty is the command of such continental general officer as the the birthright of Americans-ihe gift of Heaven; and the commander-in-chief should direct. That the militia, when instant it is forced from you, you take leave of every in service, be regularly paid and victualled, in the same thing valuable on earth: your bappiness or misery, virtu. manner as the continental iroops. General Mercer was ous independence or disgraceful servitude, lang trem. appointed to the command of the flying camp, thus furm- bling in the balarice. Happily, we know that we can ed, on the 20th July, 1776. The Convention of New anticipate your virtuous choice. Jersey was requested by Congress to raise for the flying " With confident satisfaction we are assured that not camp, under General Mercer, livree battalions of militia, a moment will delay your important decision; that you in addition to the five formerly desired by Congress, and cannot feel hesitation whether you will camely and desend the same with all possible despatch to the flying generately bend your necks to the irretrievable wretch. camp; and that they should be officered, paid, and pro edness of slavery, or, by your instant and animated exer. vided, as directed by the former resolutions for forming tions, enjoy the fair inheritance of heaven-born freedom, the flying camp:

and transmit it unimpaired to posterity.' Thus, sir, it is plain that the detachment of New Jersey It was under this animated and eloquent appeal to his militia required to form the flying camp for the defence patrio'ism, and solemn pledge that a proper compen. of New York, was called out by the Continental Congress, sation and provision should be made for his family, that and for the general defence of the country; and was Colonel Johnston marched to the field of his death and placed in the service of the United States, under the command of continental officers, and on the same footing That pledge, sir, was never redeemed by the State of in all respects as continental troops. In fact, the baltal- | New Jersey; and that pledge devolved upon the United



The Expunging Resolution-- Numission of Michigan, &c.

(Dec. 27, 1836.

States, and was solemnly assumed by them when they

THE EXPUNGING RESOLUTION. assumed the revolutionary debt and obligations of the several States. It rests upon the equity and humanity

Mr. BENTOX laid on the table a resolution to ex. of those who are now enjoying the fair inheritance of punge from the journal of the Senate the resolution of freedom which Colonel Johnston died to obtuin. In ad. Machi, 1834, censuring the conduct of the President dition to all this, the claim of the petitioners is also sus.

for removing the deposites from the Bank of the United tained by the equiry, if not the express letter, of various Stales, &r.; which was ordered to be prinied. [The resresolutions of Congress. I refer particularly to those of olution is in the same words with the one on the same the 15th May and 26th September, 1778; the 24th subject introduced by Mr. Benton at the last session.] August, 1780, and the 26th' May, 1781. It is likewise

After transacting some other business, sanctioned by several laws of Congress, making compen.

The Senale went into executive business; and when sation for revolutionary services in analogous Cases, which

The doors were opened, I forbear to detain you by enumerating.

The Senate adjourned. Strong as the claim of the petitioners is upon its own merils, there is another consideralion whichi, sir, I feel

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27. bound to press on your attention. It appears that one

AD WISSION OF MICHIGAN. of ihe petitioners is the wife of Joseph Scudder, Esq. His youth was devoted to the service of his country, in

A message was received from the President of the one of the bureaus established by the Revolution. Ile is

United States, through A. Jackson, jr., his privale secthe surviving son of Colonel Nathaniel Scudder, one of retary, on the subject of the adinission of Michigan into thai illustrious hand of revolutionary patriots and heroes

thie Union, with documents, siating that Michigan, by who devoted himself to the service of his country, both convention, had, at a late day, complied with the regu. in the cabinet and in the field, and was alike distinguishi- lation of the conditional act of admission. ed for his wigilom as a salesman, and bravery as a sol

Mr GRUNDY moved that the message and documents dier. Among the first in his native State to espouse the

be printed, and referred to the Commillee on the Judicause of American independence, he was, from its decla. ciary. ration until his death, honored with a seat either in the

M. BENTON remarked this, as the President had councils of bis native State, or in Congress. Bit be given his opinion that Michigan bad cumplied with the did not avail himself of the exemption which his civil requisite lerins of admission, and as he had said that he employments conferred to relieve bim from mililary should have issued bis proclamation accordingly, had duty.

The informalion arrived during the recess of gress, At an early period of the revolutionary nar, Colonel be (Mr. B.) regarded the proposed reference as a mere Scudeer was honored with the communal of a regiment matter of form, and would prefer that a joint resolution of militia of his native county, then peculiarly exposed of admission should forth with be passed by both Houses. to the invasion of the enemy. 111 tlie hour of danger lie

Mr. GRUNDY said he would still prefer the course was always to be found at its bead, bravely detending which he had suggesteil, and on this account: that the his native soil. But it was not his Fale there to fall in { first convention had not assented to the terms of admis. all “the priile, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war.” sion, but another convention had decided to accede to He was killed on the 16th October, 1781, near Black the proposition made by the Congress of the United Point, in the county of Monmouth, while bravely leading ings in accordance with the act of admission! The de:

Staics. The great inquiry now was, are the proceed. such of his fellow soldiers as could be collecled on a sudden alarm, to repel a predalory excursion of the cision of which question depends on information which enemy. The honors of war were the only public tribule ought to be ascertained before the actual adinission, paid to his memory; and to this day his children have though the President has said that, in his opinion, all neither asked nor received any thing from the bounty of

was riglit, and, if the information bad come during the their country as a compensation for their irretrievable recess, he would have acted accordingly. Mr. Gi had loss.

no design to produce any delay, by a reference to a comThus, sir, by a happy coincidence, this petition pro

miltee. lle should not willidraw his motion, and he sents before you the daughter of the first militia colonel hoped the Senator would withilraw luis opposition. of New Jersey, and the son of the last who fell in

Mr. BENTON said that, as the committee might achieving our glorious independence. Never did death draw up a joint resolution for admission today, he should confer greater honor upon children. Il it cannot disarm not oppose the reference. poverty of its miseries, it ennobles it.

The message was referred accordingly. The children of Colonel Juhoston, now ager, infirm,

THE TREASURY CIRCULAR. and, it gives me pain to add, poor, are compelled to ask of their country ihe redemption of that pledge, solemnly The Senate now proceeded to the special order, die made to their father, to relieve them from the severe further consideration of the joint resolution introduced pressure of misfortunes which have resulted from neither by Mr. Ewiso, of Ohio, on this subject, the question crime nor vice. Their father died on the first batlle being on the amendment or substitute offered by Mr. field where the star-spangled hanner was unfurled in Rives to that resolution; which substitute proposes to defence of American independence; that glorious prize refuse to receive for the public dues the bills of such for which he fought and diedl, which animated bis ex banks as issued, after certain specified periods, bills un. ertions and nerved his arm when that banner waved fi:fully der certain specified denominations; the substitute also over the field of his death and his country's misfortunes, leaving in the power of the deposite banks lo refuse has been obtained by his country. The star-spangled such funds as they may think proper. banner now waves in triumpli ' over the land of the free Mr. HUBBARD, who was entitled to the floor, rose and the home of the brave,” the pride and protection and addressed the Chair as follows: of a great, prosperous, and happy nalion.

Mr. President: Although it was on my motion that The petitioners now submit their case to the equity, the Senate adjourned on Thursday last, yet, in moving the humanity, and plighted faith of their country. for the adjournment, it was not then my intention to

Mr. W. concluded by moving that the petition be address the Senate this morning upon the subject now read, and referred to the Committee on Revolutionary under consideration. But as I shall have no better opClaims; which motion was agreed to.

portunity to express my own views with reference to

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Dec. 27, 1836.)

Treasury Circular.


the deposite bill of the last session, which seems to be If the order, then, has been issued by the Secretary of involved in this discussion, and as I have been, in con the Treasury in pursuance of law, the mode proposed nexion with my colleague, most grossly misrepresented to get rid of it is objectionable, and, in my view, unwar. in relation to our vote upon that bill, and as the princi: rantable. If not issued in pursuance of law, the adopples of that bill have been most strangely misunder. tion of the resolution would seem to me equally objec. stood-certainly most falsely and perversely stated in tionable and unwarrantable. In such a case, the officer the public journals-I will avail myself of the opportu- should be, and ought to be, held amenable for such an nity now presented, briefly to express the considerations assumption of power. It therefore occurs to me, that which induced me to give my support to that measure. the object the Senator from Ohio bas in view cannot be Before, however, I proceed to notice that bill, I sball attained in the way proposed; and if the last resolution advert to the resolutions of the Senator from Ohiom of the Senator from Ohio should be adopted, it seems to shall endeavor to explain their object, and, in my appre. me that the direct effect would be to prohibit receivers hension, the impracticability of accomplishing the object from accepting the paper of local banks, under any cir. intended, in the way and manner proposed. The resolu.cumstances, in payment of the public dues. It proposes, tions offered by the Senator from Ohio are as follows: in terms, to take the power from the Secretary of the

" Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives Treasury to designate ihe kind of money receivable; and, of the United States of America in Congress assembled, should it be adopted, if any effect shall be produced That the Treasury order of the eleventh day of July, whatever, it will be to exclude from the offices of our anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, receivers all local bank paper. They would be bound designating the funds which should be receivable in to take nothing but gold and silver, unless the joint payment for public lands, be, and the same is hereby, resolution of April, 1816, is imperative and obligatory; rescinded.

and if that be so, the Executive had no authority to re. Resolved, also, That it shall not be lawful for the strain the legal operation of that resolution; for, if bindSecretary of the Treasury to delegate to any person, or ing, it gives to the debtor rights which cannot be in. to any corporation, the power of directing what funds fringed or taken away by executive power. If the order shall be receivable for customs, or for the public lands; of July 11, 1836, was unauthorized, the resolution to nor shall he make any discrimination in the funds so re rescind it would be unnecessary. Its adoption could ceivable, between different individuals, or between the not prevent the immediate promulgation of a similar or. different branches of the public revenue."

der, in case the Executive, charged with the execution The first resolution seeks to repeal the Treasury or. of the laws, should consider it to be his duty to do so. der," the specie circular," as it is called—of the 11th To accomplish the object the Senator from Ohio has in of July, 1836. The second is intended to prohibit the view, we must go beyond the order itself; we must go Secretary of the Treasury, hy his authorized agents, to the law on which that order was based, and in the from directing what funds shall be received for customs, execution of which it is presumed that the order in or for the public lands, and prohibiting him from making question was issued. To render the order of no effect, any discrimination in the funds so receivable between we must amend the law! different individuals, or between the different branches I propose, Mr. President, first to examine the ques. of the public revenue. The main purpose of the reso. lion, whether the Executive had a legal authority to lution is to rescind the order of the Executive, bearing issue the order of the 11th of July, 1836; and, if he had cate on the 11th of July, 1836, directed to "receivers of the power, whether it was a matter of policy for him to public money and to the deposite banks."

exercise it at the time and under the circumstances he Can this be accomplished? Is this matter within our did. power? It seems to me that if these resolutions should Had the President, through the Secretary of the pass both Houses of Congress, the object which the Treasury, the power to issue the order of the 11th of Senator from Ohio has in view would not thereby be July last? effected. If the order of the 11th of July, 1836, was On this point I can entertain no doubt. It seems to issued by authority of law, the resolution of the Senator my mind to be clear and free from difficulty; and so far from Ohio should seek to repeal the law upon which from its being a wanton assumption of power, so far the order is based, and which gave auibority for from its being illegal, it is a power in strict accordance issuing the order. If the order of the Secretary of the with the requisitions of existing laws, and which the Treasury has not been issued in pursuance of law, the President, charged with their execution, was bound to order itself is of no effect; and any resolution which we issue if he considered the public interest demanded it. could pass, rescinding such an order, would be alike The public lands were the property of our common ineffectual.

country: they had been obtained by ihe sacrifices and serIf the Secretary had the legal power to send forth the vices, the blood and the treasure, of the whole republic, oder, it is beyond the legislative control of Congress. during the war of the Revolution; and they were early If the Secretary, or the President, through the Secre i pledged for the payment of the public debt, necessarily tary, had the right to promulgate the circular, he may incurred in the establishment of our national independe be answerable for the manner in which he exercises that right; but the act cannot itself be repealed by any legis. An act of Congress which has reference to the sale of lation of Congress.

the public lands was passed May 18, 1796, and makes If the Secretary had not the authority, the power, the no parlicular designation as to the kind of money re. right to issue the order, then the order itself is perfectly ceivable. It fixes the minimum price at two dollars per nugalory.

acre, and directs that, "upon payment of a moiety of the The Executive is an independent branch of the Gov. purchase-money, the purchaser shall have a year's ernment. The Senate can have no more power over credit for the residue." the rightful acts of that branch of the Government, than The act of March, 1797, declares " that the evidences it has over an order of the House of Representatives, or of ihe public debt of the United States shall be receivaan order of the Judiciary.

ble in payment of any of the lands which may be here. One branch of the Government, exercising its powers alter sold in conformity to the act" of 1796. and its duties within the constitution and the law, can. The fifth section of the act of May 10, 1800, provides, not have its acts rescinded and set at nought by the ac " That no lands shall be sold by virtue of this aci, at tion of any other branch of the Government,

either public or private sale, for less tban two dollars Vol. XIII.-9



Treasury Circular.

[Dec. 27, 1836.

per acre, and payment may be made for the same by all to this matter, as it has been urged in argument that the
purchasers, either in specie, or in evidences of the pub message of the President, and ibe consequent action of
lic debt of the United States," at certain rates, which Congress thereon, liad reference to a different malter.
are prescribed in the act. And thus the law stood until That act declares:
1820, when the credit system was abolished. From a "That the 14th section of the act entitled 'An act to
view of these several acts, it results that, under the act incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United
of 1796, there was no particular designation of the kind States, approved April 10, 1816,' shall be, and the same
of currency receivable for the public lands; but the pay: is hereby, repealed."
ments were to be made “in money,” that is, the legal This was but an answer to the message; it had no
currency of the couniry. Under the act of 1797, evi. sort of reference to the resolution of 1816, nor had the
dences of the public debt were made receivable for the message any such reference.
public lands; and under the act of 1800, specie or evi. On the 11th of July, 1836, there was nothing then in
ilences of the public debt were required in payment. the way of this circular, but the joint resolution of the
Such was the law, and such was the practice under the 30th of April, 1816. I propose to refer to the history
law, will reference to the public lands, until the act of of our own legislation, as affording 11s some light upon
April, 1830, except was provided, by the particular this interesting subject of the currency. It will be found
provisions of the act of 1812, that Treasury notes were That as early as the 31st of July, 1789, Congress passed
made receivable for all public lands sold by the authori an act " (o regulate the collec ion of duties," and clie
ty of the United States.

30th section of that act requires:
The fourth section of the act of the 24th of April, 1820, "That the duties and fees to be collected by virtue of
making further provision for the sale of the public lands, this act shall be received in gold and silver coin only;"
seems to my mind to settle the question as to the legali. and goes on to establish the rales at which foreign gold
ty of the specie circular conclusively. It declares, “That and silver should be taken and received. 'This act was
no lands shall be sold, at any public sales thereby autho repealed by the act of August 4, 1790; but it will be
rized, for a less price than one dollar and twenty-five found that, by the 56th section of the act of Congress
cents an acre, nor on any other terms than that of cash passed in August, 1790, a provision precisely similar is

introduced, which was contained in the act of 1789. The requisition is, that the sales of the public lands The mint was established on the 12th of April, 1792; Bhall not be made on any other terms than that of " cash and by the 16:11 section of that act of Congress it is propayment." There cannot be two opinions, here or else. vided "hat all the gold and silver coins which shall bave where, as to the import of the terms “cash payment.” | been struck at and issued from the said mini, shall be It means payments in the constitutional or in the legal a lawful lender in all payments whatsoever; those of full currency of the country, in gold or silver, or in the paper weight according to ile respective values hereinbesore currency which had been previously established by law. declared, and those of less than full weight al values pro. By acts of Congress, Treasury notes were at one time re portionate to their respective weighits.” ceivable for the public lands, and bills of the Bank of the Thus it appears that by the acts of Congress, not only United States were made receivable by the provisions foreign gold and silver coins at certain rates were made of the charter itself. But at the date of the specie cir. receivable, but also the gold and silver coins struck at cular no such legislative provisions were in force. There our mint were also made a law fullender. was, then, no legal obligation at the date of that order to The first United States Bank was chartered on the receive any thing for the public lanıls, or for the cus. 21st of February, 1791; and it will be seen, by a refertoms, but gold or silver, unless that obligation is imposed ence to the 1011 section of that act of Congress, “that by the joint resolution of the 30th of April, 1816. the bills or notes of the said corporation originally made

It is perfectly true, that, in practice, the legal obliga. payable, or which shall have become payable on demand, tion has been relaxed; but it is not believed to have been in gold and silver coin, shall be receivable in all payo done at the risk of the Government. Paper money, be. menis to the United States." And thus, by the express side the bills of the Bank of the United Sirles, had been enactment of Congress, were the bills of the United received; and our collectors were in the habit of receive States Bank made receivable for all debts due to the ing the paper of some Siaie banks, at particular times Government; and by a reference to the 74th section of and places, and under peculiar circumstances, for the the act of the 2d of March, 1799, which repeals the act debts due to the Government; but such collections were of August, 1790, and which regulates the collection of upon the responsibility of the receivers. The relaxation duties on imporis and tonnage," it will be found “that of the rule of law had been for individual accommodation. all duties and fees to be collected shall be payable in the

I have stated that, by the express terms of the charter, money of the United Stales, or in foreign gold and silver the bills of the Bank of the United States were made re. coins" at fixed rales. ceivable for customs and for public lands. But the Bank By the act of Congress of June 30, 1812, it is provi. of the United States, which was made the depository of ded “hat Treasury notes, wherever made payable, shall the money of the United States, would not receive in be everyulere received in payment of all duties and deposite all stare bank paper as cash, although of the taxes laid by the authority of the United States, and of description as stated in ibe resolution of 1816. That all public lands sold by the said authority.” charter expired on the 3d of March last, and the Presi On the 19th of March, 1812, Congress passed an act dent of the United Stales, in his annual message to Con expressly repealing the 10th section of the act incorpogress, December, 1835, remarks, that "It is incumbent rating the subscribers to the first Bank of the Unied on Congress, in guarding the pecuniary interests of the states. country, to discontinue, by such a law as was passed in Between, then, the 19th of March, 1812, and the 10th 1812, the receipt of the bills of the Bank of the United of April, 1816, when the second United Siales Bank was States in payment of the public revenue;" and, in purchartered, American and foreign gold and silver, and suance of this recommendation of the President, Con-Treasury notes only, were receivable for the public gress did, at the last session, repeal, in express terms, Ques; and, as I have before said, it is provided by the the 14th section of the act chartering the Bank of the fourteenth section of the act establishing the late Bank United States. It will be found by that section that the of the United States, “ That the bills or notes of the said bills of that bank were made receivable for the public corporation originally made payable, or which shall have dues. I will read the act of the last session in relation I become payable on demand, shall be receivable in all

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Duc. 27, 1836. )

Treasury Circular.


payments to the United States, unless otherwise directed with reference to this subject, much better expiessed by act of Congress."

than I can the character and extent of the then existing And the section nest fullowing assigns a good reason evil, and the requisite remedy there for. He remarked: why this preference was so decidedly given to the bills " What was ihe present evil? llaving a perficily of the Bank of the United States; for no one can doubt sound national currency, and the Government having no that this fourteenth section gave to the paper of that power in fact to inake any thing else curient ut gold bank a currency and a circulation which it never could and silver, there had grown up in different states a curhave had if that had not have been incorporated in the rency of paper, issued by banks setting out with the promcharter. The 15th section provides "That during the ise to pay gold and silver, which they had been wholly continuance of the act, and whenever required by the unable to redeem; the consequence was, that there was Secretary of the Treasury, the said corporation shall a mass of paper afloat, of perhaps filty millions, which give the necessary facilities for transferring the public sustained no immediate relation to the legal currency of funds from place to place within the United States, and the country--a paper which will not enable any man to for distributing the same in payment of the public cred pay money he owes to his neighbor, or his debts to the itors, without charge."

Government. The banks had issued more money than And the next following section provides "that the de. they could redeem, and the evil was severely felt, &c. posites of the money of the United States, in places in He declined occupying the time of the llouse to prove which the said bank and branches thereof may be estab. that there was a depreciation of the paper in circulation; lished, sliall be made in said bank or branches thereof, the legal standard of value was gold and silver; the relaunless the Secretary shall otherwise direct,” &c. It was tion of paper to it proved its state, and the rate of its declearly intended, by the introduction of the fourteenth preciation. Gold and silver currency, he said, was the section into the charter, to grant an important and ex. law of the land at laome, and the law of the world abroad; clusive privilege to the bank; and it is just as clear to my there could, in the present state of the world, be no mind that the bank was bound to receive in deposite other currency. la consequence of the immense paper "the money of the United States,' and to transfer, with issues having banished specie from circulation, the Govont charge, that money, which constituted the public ernment had been obliged, in direct violation of exfunds, from place to place, as required.

isting stalules, to receive the amount of their taxes in The currency which the bank was bound to receive something which was not recognised by law as the money in deposite, and which constituted the “public funds," of the country, and which was, in fact, greatly depreciawas foreign coin at fixed rates, the coinage of our own ted, &c. This was the evil. mini, and Treasury notes. The bank could not have " These banks not emanating from Congress, what enrefused to have received either of these descriptions of gine was Congress to use for remedying the existing evil? currency, and it never did refuse so to do. Thus mat. Their only legitiinate power, he said, was to interdict ters stood when, in just twenty days after the bank was the paper of such bauks as do not pay specic from being established, comes the resolution of the 30th of April, received at the custoin-house. With a receipt of forty 1816, and it certainly cannot be unimportant to inquire millions a year, he said, if the Government was faithful how this resolution bappened to be offered, and how it to itself and to the interests of the people, they could happened to be adopled. A character is now given to control the evil; and it was their duty to make the effort. it which I never supposed it was entitled to, and hence They should have made it long ago, and they ought now it may be useful to trace its origin, in order to determine to make it. The evil grows every day worse by indulits true character and object.

gence. If Congre-s did not now make a stand, and stop It is now not only matter of public history, but must the current whilst they might, would they, when the curbe within the particular recollection of the members of rent grew stronger, hereafter do il? if this Congress tlic Scoate, thai, during the last war, the banks in New should adjourn without allempting a remedy, he said, it York, and west and south of New York, had stopped would desert its duty." payment, The banks of New England did not, during It became the bounden duty of Congress to interpose, that period, suspend specie payments. But the banks and, by some decisive act, to stop all further receipts of first referred to had issued a noud of paper on individu. this depreciated paper money; to improve the currency al tecurity, and on a pledge of Treasury notes; an amount of the country; to render safe the funds of the nation, # hich, at the time, the banks themselves were wholly and to inspire public confidence in the resources of the unable to redeem. Much of this depreciated uncurrent Governmen'. It was at a time liko this, and under cir. paper had found its way into the public Treasury for cumstances like these, that the resolution of the 30th of customs and for lands. No man can say that the receipt | April, 1816, was presented; and the last clause of that of this money was not an entire departure fiom the re. resolution speaks to the then Secretary of the Treasury, quisitions of existing law. But still its receipt seemed and through him to all the receivers of the public money, to be unavoidable; it was the only money in circulation and more cspecially to the banks themselves, which had in New York and west of New York; and although the flooded the nation with their over-issues of uncurrent acts of Congress expressly required that the customs and depreciated paper, a language which to mortal can should be received only in gold and silver, and Treasury misunderstand. It declares: notes, yes, considering the particular crisis, and the pecu ". That from and after the 20th day of February next, liar circumstances of the country, it was next to an im no duties, taxes, debts, or sums of money, accruing or possibility for the public receivers and collectors to observe becoming payable to the United States, ought to be colexpressly and literally the law; and lence an immense lected or received otherwise than in the legal currency amount of this depreciated paper had accumulated in the of the United States, or Treasury notes, or notes of the public Treasury. The banks themselves were receiving Bank of the United Stales, or in notes of banks which enormous profits upon their issiles; and the funds of the are payable and paid on demand in the said legal curGovernment were in most imminent jeopardy, The Sec. rency of the United States;' most clearly indicating that retary of the Treasury could not, at ihe time, if he would, the resolurion, in this part, was merely advisory. It ex. upon his own n orion, without the order and direction of pressed the sense of Congress in relation to its subject. Congress, have checked this growing evil; he could not maller. Il said to the Secretary, that he should not have changed the course.

thereafter receive any uncurrent paper; and it had the The author of the resolution himself, in a most able whole effect intended. It checked at once the issues of speech which he made in tlic llouse of Representatives, I these banks; it produced, as if by magic, an entire revo

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