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Dec. 19, 1836.)
Treasury notes, or notes of the Bank of the United
the Secretary of the Treasury required others to be reStates as by law provided and declared, or in notes of ceived, they would not be taken in payment, but merely banks which are payable and paid on demand, in the noted as a special deposite at the instance of the Gov. said legal currency of the United States; and that, from ernment. This is the article: and after the 20th day of February next, no such duties, ** Article 24. The offices of discount and deposite taxes, debts, or sums of money, accruing or becoming shall receive in payment of the revenue of the United payable to the United States as aforesaid, ought to be Slates the notes of such State banks as redeemed their collected or received otherwise than in the legal cur. engagements with specie, and provided they are the rency of the United States, or Treasury notes, or notes notes of banks located in the city or place where the of the Bank of the United States, or in notes of banks office receiving them is established. And also the notes which are payable and paid on demand in the said legal of such other banks, as a special deposite on behalf of currency of the United States."
the Government, as the Secretary of the Treasury may This is the law, continued Mr. B., and nothing can be require." plainer than the right of selection which it gives to the Here (said Mr. B.) is selection-a selection by which Secretary of the Treasury. Four different media are a few State banks, in no event exceeding those in twentymentioned in which the revenue may be collected, and five places, for there were never more than twenty-five the Secretary is made the actor, the agent, and the branches, would have their notes received, while the power, by which the collection is to be effected. He is mass of the State banks, amounting to many hundreds, to do it in one, or in another. He may choose several. were entirely cut off. The legality of this selection and or all, or two, or one. All are in the disjunctive. No exclusion has never been questioned; yet there are per. two are joined together, but all are disjoined, and pre sons who deny to President Jackson the right of making sented to him individually and separately. It is clearly the same selection; and who must stand before the pubthe right of the Secretary to order the collections to be lic as denying to the President of the United States the made in either of the four media mentioned. That the power over the execution of the laws which they conresolution is not mandatory in favor of any one of the cede to the President of the Bank of the United States, four, is obvious from the manner in which the notes of Mr. B. said that it might well be supposed that he had the Bank of the United States are mentioned. They now sufficiently repelled this charge of illegality. He were to be received as then provided for by law; for the certainly deemed the charge sufficiently answered; but bank charter had then just passed; and the 14th section he had other arguments yet to lise--arguments belonghad provided for the reception of the notes of this in- ing to that authoritative class to which he had alluded, stitution until Congress, by law, should direct otherwise. and from which the gentlemen making the charge can. The right of the institution to deliver its notes in pay. not be allowed to appeal. It would be recollected, he ment or the revenue, was anterior to this resolution, and said, that, about a dozen years ago, a committee of the always held under that 14th section, never under this House of Representatives had been raised to investigate joint resolution; and when that section was repealed at certain charges against the then Secretary of the Treag. the last session of this Congress, that right was admitted | ury, that hunted-down and persecuted citizen, William to be gone, and has never been claimed since.
H. Crawford. These charges happened to involve the The words of the law are clear; the practice under it bas point now in discussion, not as a charge, but incidentally been uniform and uninterrupted from the date of its pas- and historically; and among the members of that com. sage to the present day. For twenty years, and under mittee there happened to be a gentleman who was the three Presidents, all the Secretaries of the Treasury have ) author of the joini resolution of 1816, who is now a memacted alike. Each has made selections, permitting the ber of this body, (Mr. Websten,) and who has signified notes of some specie-paying banks to be received, and an intention to speak in this debate. That committee forbidding others. Mr. Crawford did it in numerous in made a report, purporting to be the unanimous opinion stances; and fierce and universal as were the attacks upon of the body; and from that report an extract will now be that eminent patriot, during the presidential canvass of read: 1824, no human being ever thought of charging him “At the time of the adoption of this resolution, (joint, with illegality in this respect. Mr. Rush twice made of 1816,) debts accruing to the United States, whether similar selections, during the administration of Mr. Ad on account of the sales of public lands, or at the customams, and no one, either in the same cabinet with him, house, or from any other source of revenue, were in or out of the cabinet against him, ever complained of it. fact received in some parts of the country, but evident. For twenty years the practice has been uniform; and i ly in disregard of the law, in the notes of the State every citizen of the West knows that that practice was banks which did not redeem their paper by cash paythe general, though not universal, exclusion of the West. ments. By this resolution it was obviously made the ern specie-paying bank paper from the Western land duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to correct that offices. This every man in the West knows, and knows departure from law as soon as practicable; and it was, that that general exclusion continued down to the day as is equally obvious, imperative on the Department, that the Bank of the United States ceased to be the de. after the 20th of February, 1817, to allow nothing to be pository of the public moneys. It was that event which received in payment of debts due to the United States, opened the door to the receivability of State bank paper, but the legal money of the United States, Treasury which has since been enjoyed.
notes, notes of the Bank of the United States, or those Mr. B. then approached an argument which he of State banks, the notes of which were payable and deemed authoritive in this case; it was the 24th article of paid on demand in specie. The Bank of the United the rules and regulations of the Bank of the United States States was incorporated in April, 1816, &c. In the for the government of their branches. It was made early part of the year 1817, it is represented by the since the passage of the joint resolution of 1816, and re Secretary, and appears to be true, that an arrangement lated to the collection of the revenue of the United was made with the Bank of the United States, by which States. It made short work with the notes of the specie. | the public funds were to be deposited in the branches of paying banks of the States, excluding the notes of the that institution in all places where such branches existed; whole of them from all branches of the revenue, except and where there were no such branches, that bank was of such banks as might be situated in the same place to designate certain State banks for which it would be wbere the branch bank was situated. The noies of responsible, and in which such public moneys would be these branches alone were to be received in payment; if | deposited; and notes of all banks which the Bank of the
(Dec. 19, 1836.
United States would receive in deposite as cash, and excluded from all the land offices, from the establishment none other, were to be received on sales of public lands. of the Bank of the United States down to October, 1833. It is further represented that, in the execution of this During that long. interval, scarcely any thing was reengagement, difficulties and controversies arose between ceived but specie, or United States Bank noles. Local the United States Bank and the State banks ihus em- bank paper was in a state of general and permanent ex. ployed in receiving the deposites of the public moneys; clusion almost the whole time, and the whole country and ere long the Bank of the United States signified to was quiet and contented. No complaint; no charge of the Department of the Treasury that it could not con. illegality; no cry of oppression; no pretext of ruin on the tinue such arrangement; and that thenceforward it could part of ihe banks; no lamentations and denunciations on receive nothing in deposite, as cash, but the legal cur. the part of politicians. But the instant that President rency of the country, or its own notes. The agreement Jackson has done what the president of the bank did; with the Bank of the United States terminated, for these the moment he has restored ihings to their former foot. reasons, on the 30th June, 1818. About this period, ing, and put back local bank paper to the state of exclualso, the Bank of the United States issued orders pro: sion in which it had rested under the administration of hibiting its Western branches from issuing any of their both his predecessors, that instant the storm of rage and own notes for circulation, even in exchange for, or on grief breaks out. A new impeachment must be got up; deposite of, specie."
“That in a new panic must be excited; the Senate chamber is stitution (the Bank of the United States) is indeed bound again to become the laboratory of alarm; and a new cho. to give the necessary facilities for transferring the pub. rus must become the burden of the song-that the specie lic funds from place to place; but this can only mean
order made the distress, and nothing can relieve the discash funds; and it is bound also to receive money on de tress but the rescision of the order, or the recharter of posite for the United States; but it is not bound to re- the bank! ceive in deposite, as cash, the bills of any bank what Surely we have accumulated proof enough upon this ever but its own, although they may come within the point; surely there is no necessity for any thing to refute provisions of the act of 1816."
this charge, and to establish the legality of this Treasury This, Mr. President, continued Mr. B., was in 1824. order. But otlier proof is at hand, and, though unnecesIt was eight years after the joint resolution of 1816 had sary, it shall be used. High as is the authority of the repassed, and two years after the author of the letter to port of the committee of 1824, and close as it is to the Mr. Adams, which has been read, came to the presiden- point, there is yet a higher authority, and still closer to cy of that institution. It is, therefore, the report of the point, yet to be adduced; for it is the authority of the transactions to wbich he was privy and a party. The same author of the resolution, and that before the ques. report speaks historically, in reciting an agreement be. | tion was raised, and while the resolution was on its pastween the Secretary of the Treasury and the directors sage; and in which he not only understood them, as of the Bank of the United States, by which, among shown afterwards in the report of the committee of other things, the selection of the State bank notes re which he was a member, but in which he went farther, ceivable in payment of the public lands was to be left to and expressed his fear that the whole good effect of the the Bank of the United States, and none should be re- resolution might be lost, if the Treasury Department ceived except such as that bank would agree to credit should not execute it precisely as that Department, unag specie; that afterwards the bank receded from that der the splendid and beneficent administration of Presiagreement, and refused to receive any State bank notes dent Jackson, had done! whatever, taking nothing but gold and silver coin, and its own notes; and finally refused to issue its own notes
Extracts from Mr. Webster's speech in the House of Repin the West, even in exchange for specie! and thus left
resentatives, April 26, 1816, on the resolution offered by nothing but specie to be received; and after making
him for the more effectual collection of the revenue in the these recitals, the committee conclude with the expres.
lawful money of the country. sion of their own opinion of the law, that the Bank of the "Mr. W. said he felt it to be his duty to call the at. United States was not bound to receive in deposite, as tention of the House once more to the subject of the cash, the bills of any State bank whatever, although collection of the revenue, and to present the resolutions they come under the provisions of the act of 1816. which he had submitted. He had been the more in
These are the recitals, and this the opinion of that clined to do this, from an apprehension that the rejeccommittee, and certainly they are correct, both in the tion, yesterday, of the bill which had been introduced, narration and in the judgment. What, then, becomes of might be construed into an abandonment, on the part of this charge of illegality in the Woodford speech, and the House, of all hope of remedying the existing evil. this letter to Mr. Adams, thus confuted and invalidated He had had, it was true, some objections against pro. by the conduct of the bank itself? And what becomes ceeding by way of bill, because the case was not one in of the pretended injury of all those Western banks in which the law was deficient, but one in which the exe. having their notes excluded under an order from Presi- cution of the law was deficient. The situation of dent Jackson, when they had been previously excluded the country, (said Mr. W.,) in regard to the collection for nearly twenty years under the orders of the presi- of its revenues, is most deplorable. With a perfectly dent of the Bank of the United States? Why noi com sound legal currency, the national revenues are not colplain before? Why not apply to Congress !o rescind the lected in this currericy, but in paper of various sorts, and order of the bank president, as they now apply for the various degrees of value. It is quite clear that by rescision of the order of the President of the Union? And the glatute all duties and taxes are required to be paid in the politicians and presses which have lavished denunci- the legal money of the United States, or in Treasury ations upon President Jackson, and wept salt tears over notes, agreeably to a recent provision. It is just as clear the wrongs of these banks, and the oppressions of the that the law has been disregarded, and that the notes of people, on account of the specie order, where were the banks of a hundred different descriptions, and almost ihose tears and those denunciations when the president as many different values, have been received, and are of the Bank of the United States gave previously the still received, where the statute requires legal money or same order so many years before, and enforced it up to Treasury notes to be paid. There are some pothe day of the removal of the deposites! The fact is, litical evils which are seen as soon as they are dangerand all the inhabitants of the new States know it, that lo- ous, and which alarm at once as well the people as the cal bank paper, with few and stinted exceptions, was Government. Wars and invasions, therefore, are not
Dec. 19, 1836.]
always the most certain destroyers of national prosperi are not to embark on the ocean of paper money. ty. They come in no questionable shape. They an. I cannot say, indeed, that this resolution will certainly nounce their own approach, and the general safety is produce the desired end. It may fail. Its success, as preserved by the general alarm. Nol so with the evils is obvious, must essentially depend on the course purof a debased coin, a depreciated paper currency, or a sued by the Treasury Department." depressed and falling public credit. Not so with the Having disposed of the charge of illegality, Mr. B. plausible and insidious mischiefs of a paper money sys- took up that of the unconstitutionality of the Treasury tem. These insinuate themselves in the shape of facili- order. He read from the published speech of the Senties, accommodation, and relief. They hold out the ator from Ohio, [Mr. Ewing,] as found in a revised most fallacious bope of an easier payment of debts, and form in the National Intelligencer, the specific allegaa lighter burden of taxation. It is easy for a portion of tion of this alleged unconstitutionality, which ran thus: the people to imagine that Government may properly “ There is a provision in the constitution directly in continue to receive depreciated paper, because they the face of this order. Those who drew up the order have received it, and because it is more convenient to seemed to have been aware of it, and to have avoided obtain it than to obtain other paper or specie. But on employing the same words as are used in the article of these subjects it is that Government ought to exercise its ( the constitution; but it is not, therefore, any the less own peculiar wisdom and caution. It is supposed to pos. in violation of its provisions. The constitution declares sess, on subjects of this nature, somewhat more of fore that the citizens of each of the United States shall ensight than has fallen to the lot of individuals. It is bound joy all the privileges and immunities of the citizens of to forsee the evil before every man feels it, and to take the several states; even the States themselves cannot all necessary measures to guard against it, although they discriminate. But this order gives to the citizens of may be measures attended with some difficulty, and not one State a privilege which the citizens of no other without some temporary inconvenience.
State are allowed to enjoy—that of paying for public The only power which the Government possesses of re. land in the ordinary currency of the country. With straining the issues of the State banks, is to refuse their some this argument will have but little effect, especially notes in the receipts of the Treasury. This power it as it is directed against an executive act; but it is not can exercise now, or at least provide now for exercising therefore the less sound.” it in reasonable time, because the currency of some part Mr. B. said there was an error in the quotation in this of the country is yet sound, and the evil is not yet uni- place, and not only in the quotation, but in the gentle. versal. But I have expressed my belief on more man's head also. The constitution was erroneously than one occasion, and I now repeat the opinion, that it quoted by the gentleman, and that error had pervaded was the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, on the his argument; and, if followed out to its legitimate con. return of peace, to have returned to the legal and proper clusions, would present a picture of the rarest absurdi. mode of collecting the revenue.
ties and impossibilities. "The quotation says, "the citi. hardly be doubted that the influence of the Treasury
zens of each State of the Uniled States shall enjoy all could have effected all this. If not, it could have with the privileges and immunities of the citizens of the sev. drawn the deposites, and the countenance of Gov: eral'States" The cons:itution said, “all the privileges ernment, from institutions which, against all rule and and im nunities of citizens in the several States.” The all propriety, were holding great sums in Government
error of the quotation was in using the definite article stocks, and making enormous profits from the circu. the, and the preposition of; and this error unhinged the lation of their own dishonored paper. That which meaning of the clause, and conducted the argument off was most wanted was the designation of a time for the on a track which would lead into boundless confusion. corresponding operation of banks of different places. The clause, as it stands in the constitution, is general
This could have been made by the bead of the Trea'. and indefinite, clearly meaning that the States were to ury better than by any body, or every body else. treat each other's citizens as members of the same gen
This Government has a right, in all cases, to eral Government, and not as aliens. The quotation, and protect its own revenues, and to guard them against de. the argument upon it, give individuality and particulari. falcation or bad and depreciated paper. It is bound, also, ty to this general right; and, by giving to the citizens to collect the taxes of the people on a uniform system. * * of cach State the rights of the citizens of all the other As to the opinion advanced by some, that the object of the States, abolishes at a blow all State lines, and makes resolution cannot, in any way, be answered that the one consolidated Government of the whole Union. revenues cannot be collected otherwise than they now Thus, by this reading, whatever any citizen can do in are, in the paper of any and every banking association his own State, every citizen of every Stale in the Union which chooses to issue paper, it cannot for a moment be may come there and do also_vote with him; bold offices attempted. * * The thing, therefore, is to be done; with him; exercise licensed trades and professions with at any rate it is to be attempted. That it will be ac- him; contend with him for the honors and emoluments complished by the Treasury Department, without the of the State, without owing it allegiance, or paying it a interference of Congress, I have no belief. If from that tax, or residing within its limits. What scenes this source no reformation came, when reformation was easy, would give rise to! Whal crusading visits, or visitations, it is not now to be expected. Especially after the vote at the successive elections! Whole States wou'd preof yesterday, those whose interest it is to continue the cipitate themselves in masses upon their neighbors! present state of things will arm themselves with the au. Some zealous partisans, by aid of steam cars, and race ihority of Congress. They will justify themselves by horses, and flying chariots, might succeed in voting in the decision of this House. They will say, and say every Stale in the Union! Suppose the gentleman was truly, that this House, having taken up the subject, and right, and this grand secret had been found out before discussed it, has not thought fit so much as to declare the late presidential election, what a moving food of that it is expedient even to relieve the country or its living heads we should liave seen! such as has never revenues from a paper money system. But while been bebeld since Xerxes crossed the Hellespont, or some gentlemen oppose these resolutions, because they Peter the Hermit led his countless host to the Holy fix a time too near, others think they fix a day too dis- Land! But it will not do. The definite article the, and tant. In my own judgment, it is not so material what the preposition of, which figure in the gentleman's quothe time is, as it is to fix a time. The great object is, tation, and rule his argument, are not in the constituie that our legal currency is to be preserved, and that we | tion; and so the citizens of every Siate are not to enjoy
(DEC. 19, 1836.
the rights and immunities of the citzens of every other Thus (said Mr. B.) the discrimination between settlers State. Little Delaware is not to give two millions of and speculators, and between residents and non-resivotes at the next presidential election! Pursuing his dents, is as old as the first plan for the sale of the public error, the gentleman says the States themselves cannot lands; and with these distinctions the legislation of Con. discriminate between the rights of their own citizens gress bas corresponded from that day down to the time and those of other States. But we all know that they when propositions were made for dividing the proceeds an, and that they do discriminate. Every election proves of the lands. Up to that day pre-emptions were granted it; every tenure of office proves it; many trades and to settlers; since that day there has been a strenuous opprofessions prove it; the requiring or dispensing with position to such grants. The new policy is, not to settle bail proves it; the whole distinction between foreign the country with meritorious farmers, but to fill the and domestic attachment is founded upon this discrimina Treasury with paper money for distribution. Formerly tion. Truly, the gentleman must choose between bis settlers were favored; and hence the setiled legislation pride and his patriotis.n--between his speech and bis of the country for above forty years. The statute book country; for his error must be fatal to his argument, or contains nearly fifty laws in favor of pre-emptions. They fatal to the States.
begin in 1792, and continue down to about 1830. Six Another branch of the constitution assigned by the or eight of these laws were applicable to the State of gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Ewing) is the temporary dis. | Ohio, and may easily be found under the head of "pre. crimination between payments from settlers and specu- emptions," in the volume of laws relating to the public Jators. He insists that all should have the privilege of lands. The pre-emption system, thus founded in a dispaying in paper money. Now, the constitution of the tinction resting on the nature of things recognised in United States does not recognise paper for money; it General Hamilton's report, and practised upon for does not recognise the existence of such currency; it is above forty years by Congress, makes two discriminain vain, then, to talk of violations of the constitution on tions—one as to classes of purchasers, the other as to such a point. Again, if it be unconstitutional to dis price. The pre-emptioner was a resident; he paid the criminate between revenue payments, then Congress minimum price, without competition at auction sales. cannot do it; and yet Congress has done it, and that in Now, if these distinctions are unconstitutional, Congress relation to the lands themselves. In March, 1823, an could not make them; if they were unjust or unwise, act was passed to make the foreign gold coins of England, forty years' legislation would not have recognised them. France, Spain, and Portugal receivable in payment of Şir, (said Mr. B.) the Treasury circular, in making this the public lands. This was a discrimination, and an ex discrimination, only conforms to General Hamilton's reception; for an act of 1819 had illegalized the circulation port, to forty years' legislation, and to the common sense of foreign coins. But the discrimination which excites and commun justice of all mankind. It bas the sanction greatest complaint is that between the classes of the pur of reason, law, time, and precedent; 'and the only reason chasers-between the settlers and the speculators. What why it is attacked, is because we live in times when clause of the constitution is to be relied upon to favor nothing that President Jackson can do, or nut do, can these speculators? It is presumed it will be as hard to escape attack. find their names as the name of paper money in that in Mr. B. having now fully answered, and, as he believed, strument. But, in one respect at least, they seem to be entirely refuted, the legal and constitutional objection to in a favorable way; they are gaining new friends, and the Treasury order, would take up the other branch of finding advocates and protectors in those who denounced the general charge, namely, the ruinous and pernicious and stigmatized them six months ago! They are now effect of the order upon the banks, business, prosperity, in the hug of those whose kicks they received a few confidence, and industry of the country. The news of short months ago. But there is a distinction, founded in all this approaching calamity was given out in advance the nature of things, and recognised by laws, between the in the Kentucky speech and the Philadelphia letter, alsettler and the speculator. One is a meritorious class, | ready referred to; and the fact of its positive advent and deserving the favor of all Governments; the other is a actual presence was vouched by the Senator from Ohio pestilential and injurious class, discountenanced every (Mr. Ewing) on the last day that the Senate was in seswhere. The first report ever made under the Federal sion. I do not permit mysell (said Mr. B.) to bandy conGovernment for the sale of our public lands recognised tradictory asseverations and debatable assertions across this distinction. It was made by General Hamilton, Sec. this floor. I choose rather to make an issue, and to test retary of the Treasury, in the year 1790, and is explicit assertion by the application of evidence. In this way I ly to the point. This is an extract from the report: will proceed at present. I will take the letter of the
“ That, in the formation of a plan for the disposition President of the Bank of the United States as being of the vacant lands of the United States, there appear to official in this case, and most authoritative in the distress be two leading objects of consideration: one the facility department of this combined movement against Presiof advantageous sales according to the probable course dent Jackson. He announces, in November, the forthof purchases; the other the accommodation of individuals coming of the national calamily in December; and after now inhabiting the Western country, or who may here. charging part of this ruio and mischief on the mode of after emigrate thither. The former, as an operation of executing what he ostentatiously styles the distribution finance, claims primary attention; the latter is important, law, when there is no such law in the country, he goes as it relates to the satisfaction of the inhabitants of the on to charge the remainder, being len-fold more than the Western country. It is desirable, and does not appear former, upon the Treasury order, wbich excludes paper impracticable, io conciliate both. Purchasers may be money from the land offices. Here is his picture of discontemplated in three classes: moneyed individuals and tress: companies, who will buy to sell again; associations of “The commercial community were thus taken by surpersons, who intend to make settlements themselves; prise. The interior banks making no loans, and consingle persons or families, now resident in the Western verting their Atlantic funds into specie, the debturs in country, or who may emigrate there bereafter. The the interior could make no remittances to the merchants lwo first will be frequently blended, and will always in the Atlantic cities, who are thus thrown for support want considerable tracts; the last will generally purchase
on the banks of those cities at a moment when they are small quantities. Hence a plan for the sale of the West- unable to afford relief, on account of the very abstracern lands, wbile it may have a due regard to the last, tion of their specie to the West. The creditor States sliould be calculated to obtain all the advantages which not only receive no money, but their money is carried may be derived from the two first classes."
Dec. 19, 1836.)
away to the debtor States, who, in turn, cannot use it, the conduct of the banks acting with politicians and either to pay old engagements or to contract new. By with the Bank of the United States. The general prosthis unnatural process the specie of New York and the perity of the country is great; but there are places, other commercial cities is piled up in the Western States; Philadelphia, New York, and some others, where the not circulaied, not used, but beld as a defence against withdrawal of money under the deposite act has occathe Treasury; and while the West cannot use it, the sioned a pressure, and where the policy to create disEast is wffering for the want of it. The result is, that tress, and to throw it upon the Treasury order, is secthe cominercial intercourse between the West and the onded by the ability to accomplish what is desired. Allantic is almost wholly suspended, and the few opera. This is about the true state of the question; and evidence tions wbich are made are burdened with the most ex. will be at band to show it. Mr. B. said it would be re. travagant expense. In November, 1838, the interest of membered that, when this resolution was called up a money has risen to twenty-four per cent.; merchants are few days ago, he had specified his intention to obtain struggling to preserve their credit by ruinous sacrifices; from the Treasury Department the comparative returns and it costs five or six times as much to transmit funds from of many banks, both in the new States, where there the West and Southwest, as it did in November, 1835, were public lands, and in the Atlantic States, where or '34, or '32. Thus, while the exchanges with all the there were none; and, by looking into their condiworld are in our favor, while Europe is alarmed, and the tion before the Treasury order. was issued, and since Bank of England itself uneasy at the quantity of specie that order had gone into full operation, he would be we possess, we are suffering, because, from mere mis. able to see in what manner the banks had been affected management, the whole ballast of the currency is shifted by it. He bad now obtained those returns. They, of from one side of the vessel to the other."
course, were limited to the deposite banks; but being " In the absence of good reasons for these measures, scattered over every State in the West, from the lakes and as a pretext for them, it is said that the country has to the Gulf of Mexico, and throughout the Atlantic overtraded, that the banks bave over-issued, and that the States from Maine to Georgia, the result which they purchasers of public lands have been very extravagant. would present could not be otherwise than a fair inI am not struck by the truth or the propriety of these dex to the general condition of the whole country. He complaints."
had looked carefully over these returns, covering as "Now the fact is, that, at this moment, the exchanges they did eight large folio pages, and the result indicated are all in favor of this country; that is, you can buy a bill not only a good condition, but an improved condition; of exchange on a foreign country.cheaper than you can not only an ability to aid the community, but aid actually send specie to that country. Accordingly, mucli specie given. Mr. B. then went over the returns, one by one, has come in-none goes out; this, too, at a moment taking for his points of comparison the months of July when the exchange for the last crop is exhausted, and and November; that is to say, the month before the that of the new crop has not yet come into the market; order went into operation, and the latest month at which and when we are on the point of sending to Europe the the banks had been heard from since. He examined produce of the country, to the amount of eighty or one them under the three heads of 1. Loans; 2. Specie on hundred millions of dollars. How, then, has the coun. hand; and, 3. Circulation; and the general results were, try overtraded? Exchange with all the world is in fa. that the loans in November were larger than in July; the vor of New York."
specie greater in November than in July; the circulation “ The people of the United States, through their rep in many instances not diminished, in some increased; and resentatives, rechartered that institution. But the Exe in most instances the specie on hand and the circulation cutive, discontented with its independence, rejected the brought to a nearer proportion to each other; insomuch act of Congress, and the favorite topic of declamation that banks which had eight, ten, or twelve dollars of was, that the States would make banks, and that these paper out for one dollar of silver in their vaults in July, banks could create a better system of currency and ex. were now brought to the safer proportion of three or changes. The States accordingly made bank,; and then four to one in November. This was proof that the followed idle parades about the loans of these banks, banks were not crippled. It was proof that they were and their large dealings in exchange. And what is the not denying accommodations. The proof was complete, consequence? The Bank of the United States has not as far as it went, and it went all over the Union, that ceased to exist more than seven months, and already these banks were not injured by the Treasury order, the whole currency and exchanges are running into ines- but were benefited by it; it was proof that they were tricable confusion, and the industry of the country is not only able and willing to assist the community, but burdened with extravagant charges on all the commer- actually had assisted them. cial intercourse of the Union."
On the other hand, there might be banks which were “In the mean time, all forbearance and calmness not assisting the community, and which were accomshould be maintained. There is great reason for anx plishing a pecuniary and political object at the same iety-none whatever for alarm; and with mutual confi- time, by shuiting their doors upon borrowers, and throw. dence and courage, the country may yet be able to de- ing them into the hands of money dealers at three per fend itself against the Government. In that struggle my cent. discount per month. This was said to be the case own poor efforts shall not be wanting. I go for the in Philadelphia; that Philadelphia which was the seat of country, whoever rules it. I go for the country, best the new United States Bank, with her capital of thirty. loved when worst governed-and it will afford me far five millions, which one short year ago was to make more gratification to assist in repairing wrongs, than to money so plenty in that State, and to reduce interest 10 triumph over those who inflict them."
5 per cent. per annum. Three per cent. discount, equal Here (said Mr. B ) is a woful picture of distress, to 4 per cent. interest, is now tbe rate of usury which drawn in the same colors in which the same pictures prevails around her! And she can make it 6 or 12 per were drawn in 1833. But is it a true picture! and, if it is cent. per month whenever she pleases. Where banks true, what has caused it? To these questions the an. have monopolized the currency, and become the disswers are plain: first, that the picture is not true, ex pensers of money, they can make interest, or usury, cept in places where the Bank of the United States and what they please. They have only to stop discounts, its affiliated banks have power to make it so; and, sec. and throw the burrowers into the hands of usurers. Preondly, that whatever real distress is felt in some places, texts will never be war.ting. Any thing that happens, is occasioned by the deposite act.of the last session, and or does not happen, will do; the removal of the depos.