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(Jan. 12, 1837.
and regulated by a known law, at the mere mercy and ensuing year, as well as the past, which had been used good pleasure of the banks or the Secretary. But if he as a pretext for the Treasury order. That state of will insert in his amendment a clause making the place things, he urged, depended entirely on an accumulation of payment the test of the notes, we shall then bave of the surplus in the deposite banks, where it would not some rule which all can understand. All parties con remair. for nothing, but would be employed, as it had cerned will know whether the notes offered are at par been, in speculating on the public lands. To the Comat the place where payment is made. But, otherwise, mittee on Finance he also looked for a reduction of duno one can know but the Secretary, or the banks may ties, if that should be adopted as a preventive. The put down to-morrow the notes which, under their aus. whole subject properly belonged to that committee, to pices, he has received to-day.
which Mr. c. would move to refer it, if the motion of I fear, Mr. President, I have forfeited the good opin- | Mr. Niles should fail. ion I endeavored lo conciliate when I began; but I have Mr. BLACK opposed the reference. Much time had now done. All we desire is, that something efficacious already been consumed in debating all the questions imshall be done; that the session shall not be suffered to mediately involved, and all having any relation to it. It pass without the Treasury Order being rescinded, either was time for action. He was prepared to vote. He expressly or by implication; and I will now conclude by had no hesitation in saying that he considered the Treasexpressing my hope that, in every portion of the Senate, ury order illegal and highly impolitic. It was a question there will be found a disposition to extend equal and im- in which his constituenis were deeply interested, labor. partial justice to all parts of the country, without any ing, as they were, under the embarrassments arising from degrading discriminations between one part and another, this executive law or order. It had been intimated by or one class of citizens and another.
the Senator from Connecticut (Mr. Niles) that this Mr. RUGGLES rose only to correct an error into measure was to be delayed by the commitlee, to see the which the honorable Senator from Kentucky had fallen, result of other measures. Deeming, therefore, prompt no doubt inadvertently. He bad mentioned the circum- action necessary to relieve the people of the State he in stance of Maine's having imposed restrictions upon the part represented, and considering this motion for refer. circulation of small notes, and remarked that, if he had ence one of delay, he asked the privilege of recording not been misinformed, she immediately after sent to his vote against it, and asked the yeas and nays. He Massachusetts to obtain a supply of small notes, to put in was for action.
Mr. leave to assure the Senator that he had been greatly mis- tor from Mississippi. All the propositions before the informed. He had been led into a great mistake in this Senate were simple, and easily understood. He hoped matter. Maine had, it is true, passed a law prohibiting the subject would not be referred at all. the circulation of small bills, but it is not true that she Mr. TIPTON also opposed any reference. Half the had sought a supply of them afterwards from Massachu: session was now nearly gone, and the subject had been selts or elsewhere. The political friends of the Senator well debated. He deemed it very important to his confrom Kentucky in Maine very warmly opposed the stituents and the community that all doubt on this submeasure in the Legislature, and it may be that they car: ject should be removed as soon as possible. ried their opposition beyond the passage of the law, and Mr. WEBSTER briefly urged that, if a reference sent to their friends in Massachusetts for a supply of should be made at all, it ought to be made to the Com. those small bills to which they were so much attacheil. mittee on Finance. But he repeated that it was a mistake that such a course The question was then taken on Mr. Niles's motion, could be justly chargeable to the Government of the and decided as follows: State.
YEAS— Messrs. Benton, Brown, Buchanan, Dana, Ex. Mr. CLAY explained. He did not mean to be uning of Illinois, Fulton, Grundy, Hubbard, King of Aladerstood as charging the Government of Maine, nor any bama, King of Georgia, Linn, Niles, Page, Rives, Robine political party there, with baving sent out of the State son, Ruggles, Strange, Tallmadge, Walker, Wall, White, for small notes. It might have been the act of individ. Wright-22. vals. He only mentioned the circumstance, as showing NAY8--Messrs. Bayard, Black, Calhoun, Clay, Crit. that the law could not be executed, &c.
tenden, Davis, Hendricks, Kent, Knight, Moore, Nicho. Mr. RUGGLES replied that he had no objection to las, Prentiss, Pres!on, Robbins, Sevier, Swift, Tipton, make to the remark, if the Senator would confine it 10 Tomlinson, Webster--19. his own political friends. But he did object to the im So the whole subject of the Treasury order of July, putation of such inconsistency upon the Government of 1836, was referred to the Committee on Public Lands. the State, or upon the friends of the administration, who After a short executive session, the Senate adjourned. participated in the action of the Government on that subject. Mr. NILES moved to refer the whole subject to the
THURSDAY, JANUARY 12. Committee on Public Lands, and, in connexion with
THE SURPLUS REVENUE. some desultory remarks, urged the great and growing im After disposing of the usual morning business, portance of the subject, as demanding such a reference. Mr. CALHOUN moved to postpone the previous or
Mr. CALHOUN briefly characterized the Treasury | der, for the purpose of taking up the bill to renew in order as unconstitutional, without law, without prece- part the deposite bill of the last session. dent, without any authority whatever. Its temporary Mr. GRUNDY observed that the special order of the character, under which refuge had recently been taken, day was the bill to regulate the sales of the public lands, was nowhere to be seen; on the contrary, it still con. and it seemed to him that that bill bad better be dispo. tinued in force, when the Executive himself ought to sed of first; for if it were passed in any shape there have repealed it, if it had been lemporary. If it should would be a great reduction of the public revenue, and be now referred, he could see no reason for referring it no occasion for dividing a surplus. It seemed to him to the Committee on Public Lands. It partook wholly proper to take up and dispose of this bill, or indeed of of a financial character, and its proper reference was, any other which looked to a reduction of the revenue, therefore, to the Committee on Finance. Mr. C. said he and they could then see whether there would be a sur. depended on the action of that committee whether there plus in ihe way contemplated by the Senator from South should be a recurrence of that state of things in the Carolina.
Jan. 12, 1837.)
Mr. CALHOUN expressed his acquiescence in the that there would be no want of opposition to the bill, course proposed by the Senator from Tennessee. He notwithstanding the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Ewing) said that he should be much governed in the course he might be absent. should pursue, not only by what was done in regard to There were many gentlemen in that body and the the honorable Senator's bill, but also the action of the House of Representatives, who were desirous that this Committee on Finance. He (Mr. C.) was anxious to subject should be disposed of as speedily as possible; see what they intended to do in the way of a reduction. and if the bill should be postponed to this day week, it He wished to know from the chairman of that commit. could not, for want of time, be passed at thie present sestee, whether they proposed making a report on that sub. sion. He felt the deepest conviction that the subject ject; and if so, at what time. the desired to make the should be acted upon without delay, and therefore he action on his own bill subordinate to that on the land bill, felt it his duty to oppose the motion of the gentleman and to the report of the Committee on Finance.
from Kentucky. With regard to the melancholy event Mr. WRIGHT replied, that ever since the reference which had called away the Senator from Ohio, he would of this subject to the Committee on Finance, it had not, state that he had seen a paragraph in the National Intel. at any time, escaped their attention. The committee ligencer of yesterday, stating that that member of the were proceeding with it as rapidly as they could obtain Senator's family who was said to be dangerously ill bad information to govern their action; but it was impossible entirely recovered; and he (Mr. W.) considered that am. for them to say at what time they would be able io come ple lime bad elapsed since the gentleman left the city to a conclusion, or for him 10 say when they would make for his return to it. Mr. W. concluded by expressing a report. This very day they had had the subject un. his hope that the motion of the Senator from Kentucky der consideration, and had obtained some information would not prevail. with regard to it. He could assure the Senate that eve. Mr. CALHOUN regretted to hear that the chairman ry member of the committee was exceedingly anxious to of the committee intended to go on with the bill. He had make a speedy report.
not the slightest idea that it would be taken up so soon, Mr. CALHOUN observed that he would be willing and had not, therefore, given any examination to the that the subject should be postponed to this day week. subject of it; he had not even had time to read the bill He wished for all the information possible, and greatly itself. He deemed it to be one of the most important preferred a reduction of the revenue to depositing the subjects that could engage the attention of Congress, not surplus with the States. All gentlemen should have only as regarded the revenue, but as it regarded the fu. a fair opportunity of examining the subject. He must ture policy of the country; and he hoped the Senate say that, when he looked at the state of things here, he would not go on with it until every member had had an felt but very little faith that a reduction would be made opportunity of obtaining all the information necessary to a this session, as the time had now so far advanced that full understanding of the subject. He himself wished there would scarcely be an opportunity of acting on the time for an examination, the better to enable him to unsubject. He bad made a call upon the Secretary of the derstand the arguments that might be used either for or Treasury some days since, by resolution, requesting him against the measure, and therefore proposed that the to furnish some valuable information which we wished to subject be postponed till Monday next. be in possession of before the committee reported; but Mr. BUCHANAN said: For one, I should be very unthat information had not yet been received by the Sen. willing to pursue any course which would prevent the ate; he trusted it would be at an early day.
Senator from Ohio from speaking on this subject; and The consideration of the bill was pos! poned, by gene. so far as my vote is concerned, if he returns in any reason. ral consent, to this day week.
able time, I shall bear him. But this is a very important
subject indeed. I feel the importance of it as much as THE PUBLIC LANDS.
the gentleman from South Carolina. And it is for that The bill to limit the sales of the public lands, except very reason I wish to hear the views of the chairman of to actual settlers, and in limited quantities, having been the Committee on Public Lands. announced as the order of the day-
Let the honorable chairman proceed to.day, and give Mr. CLAY expressed the hope that a bill of this im his views; and, so far as respects my individual yote, I portance would not be taken up at this time. The bill will agree to postpone the consideration of the bill till proposed an entire change in the whole land system of Monday morning, and take such a course in regard to it the country, and it so happened that, by the organization as may be satisfactory to all parties. of the Committee on Public Lands, the only member op Mr. BENTON wished to say to the Senate that there posed to the bill was absent. He did not think that was now one half of a short session gone, and that it the Senate ought to take up a bill of such importance in would be impossible for them, if they wished the busithe absence of a member of the Land Committee who
ness to progress, to go on as they had heretofore done; possessed so much valuable information, and was so inti- that is, to take up a subject, hear a speech on it, and mately acquainted with the subject. He believed that adjourn at 3 o'clock, and so go on from day to day. He the Senale would derive great aid in their deliberations was fully aware of this at the commencement of the ses. on the subject from the experience of that gentleman; sion, and therefore, in his first speech, he refused to ad. and as other subjects of importance demanded the at. journ, and preferred rather to omit some things that he tention of the Senate, he hoped some one of them would wished to say than to consume two days with one speech. be taken up, and the bill for the present postponed. The rule which he had thus laid down for himself he Mr. C. alluded to the illness of the lady of the Sena- wished to see applied to all, and when a subject is taken tor from Ohio, as the cause of that gentleman's absence, up, he wished to go on with it like business men. and stated that, from information lately received by him, He would be willing to come early in the morning, and he had reason to believe that he would be in bis seat in sit late in the evening'; but he could not give his consent the course of a few days,
to the delay of business by taking up a subject, hearing Mr. WALKER hoped the motion would not prevail. one speech on it, and then laying it over. He would About half of the session had now passed away, and con remind these gentlemen, who were the friends of the ad. sequently there was no time to lose.
This bill was one
ministration, that they not only had the numerical which would be debated, and opposed at every point; strength, but the organization of the committees in their and, judging from the sentiments to which the honorable favor, and therefore that it was incumbent on them to Senator (Mr. Clar) bad given utterance, he presumed I see that the business was carried on without delay. Last
(Jar. 12, 1837.
session, though they had the numerical strength in their was necessary,
if they wished the business to be well favor, yet the organization of the committees was against done. If the chairman of the committee wished to go them; and when the question was asked, why the busi. on to-day, let him (said Mr. K.) go on, and then, by a ness of the Senate did not go on, they could readily an postponement, give a reasonable time to other genile. swer, that this organization of the committees deprived men who wished to be heard on the subject. This inthem of the control of the business. But now, when dulgence, though a member of the majority, he would the friends of the administration had every advantage in never hesitate to give. their favor, when the question should be asked, why the Mr. CLAY said, that although he should prefer that business of the Senate did not go on, the public might the Senator from Ohio had been present to hear the ex. draw what inference it pleased.
position of the Senator from Mississippi, (Mr. WALKER,] Mr. CALHOUN remarked, that as one of the opposi- yet, after the manly and independent sentiments he (Mr. tion, and being desirous of as little delay as possible, C.) had heard expressed by the Senator from Pennsylstill he would iell gentlemen on the other side that he vania and the Senator from Alabama, he would not heswould afford them every opportunity of discussing the litate to withdraw his motion. Under all the circumstansubject. But whilst he said this, he claimed from the ces, if the Senator did not see the propriety of a postmajority that they shouid hear gentlemen of the oppo. ponement till Monday, perhaps he would go on with bis sition patiently, and give a reasonable time for discussion. remarks. He would not have asked the delay of one day, had it Mr. WALKER, after some remarks, then submitted not been absolutely necessary; and he was not disposed an amendment from the Committee on Public Lands, to allow so important a subject as the present to be hur which was ordered to be printed with the bill; and the ried through the Senate without bestowing on it all the further consideration of the subject was postponed till attention it deserved.
to-morrow. Mr. BENTON said that he would sit there early and late; and no gentleman should be deprived by his vote
EXPUNGING RESOLUTION. of proceeding in the transaction of the public business. The Senate proceeded to the consideration of the spe. He wished gentlemen to go on, keep moving.
cial order, the expunging resolution of Mr Berton: Mr. BUCHANAN observed that he was a member of the party friendly to the present administration, and thai Resolution to expunge from the journal the resolution of be felt the responsibility of his situation just as much as
the Senate of March 28, 1834, in relation to President the honorable Senator from Miss«uri did; and, so far as
Jackson and the removal of the deposites. regarded himself, he, for one, need not be reminded of Whereas on the 26th day of December, in the year bis duty. He was responsible for it. In regard to this 1833, the following resolve was moved in the Senate: bill to regulate the sales of the public lands, he consider “ Resolved, Thai by dismissing the late Secretary of ed it a most important measure. He did not know how the Treasury, because he would not, contrary to his own he should vote on it. He knew the evils of speculating sense of duly, remove the money of the United States in in the public lands, and wished much to put them down, I deposite with the Bank of the United States and its but he wished to put them down with care. There were branches, in conformity with the President's opinion, and interests of his constituents involved; farmers who go by appointing his successor to effect such removal, which to the West to purchase lands to make a provision for has been done, the President has assumed the exercise their children, (and be considered this description of of a power over the Treasury of the United States not persons the most desirable settlers on the public lands;) granted him by the constitution and laws, and dangerous and those interests he should take care to see attended tr, to the liberties of the people;" 80 far as his vote was concerned.
Which proposed resolve was altered and changed by He wished to hear the member from Mississippi, be the mover thereof, on the 28th day of March, in the cause he knew that he should derive much valuable in- year 1834, so as to read as follows: formation from him; and then he, for one of the friends “ Resolved, That, in taking upon himself the responsi. of the administration, should take the responsibility of bility of removing the deposite of the public money from voting for such a reasonable postponement as would al. the Bank of the United States, the President of the Uni. low other gentlemen an opportunity of giving their views. ted States has assumed the exercise of a power over the He had no objection to a postponement till Monday Treasury of the United States not granted to him by the next.
constitution and laws, and dangerous to the liberties of Mr. KING, of Alabama, expressed the hope that the the people;" postponement might not be quite so long as the gentle. Which resolve, so changed and modified by the mover man from Kentucky (Mr.Clay) wished. He was willing thereof, on the same day and year last mentioned, was to give a reasonable time, in order that gentlemen might further altered, so as to read in these words: be prepared to express their opinions on this very im. “Resolved, that the President, in the late executive portant subject. This was confessedly known on all proceedings in relation to the revenue, has assumed up. hands to be a most important bill-one that required to on himself authority and power not conferred by the be examined with care, and amended in a way that would constitution and laws, but in derogation of both;" give every interest in the country its fair proportion of In which last-mentioned form the said resolve, on the the public domain, as far as practicable. Now, he was same day and year last mentioned, was adopted by the one of the Committee on the Public Lands, and he had Senate, and became the act and judgment of that body, concurred in reporting this bill, but it had some defects, and, as such, now remains upon the journal thereof: and it was brought forward with the hope that, by a full And whereas the said resolve was not warranted by discussion in the Senate, sufficient light would be thrown the constitution, and was irregularly and illegally adopt. on the subject to render it as perfect as the nature of it ed by the Senate, in violation of the rights of defence would permit. He was disposed to give the Senator which belong to every citizen, and in subversion of the from Ohio, (Mr. Ewing,) who was known to be in oppo- fundamental principles of law and justice; because Pressition to the bill, and to all other gentlemen who were ident Jackson was thereby adjudged and pronounced to anxious to speak on it, a full opportunity of being heard; be guilty of an impeachable offence, and a stigma placed and he, for one, as a friend of the administration, thought upon him as a violator of his oath of office, and of the that in all matters of legislation there should be a suffi- laws and constitution which he was sworn to preserve, cient and a perfect understanding of the subject. This protect, and defend, without going through the forms of
Jar. 12, 1837.)
an impeachment, and without allowing to him the bene. the aforesaid proceeding of the Senate was rejected and fits of a trial, or the means of defence:
repulsed by that body, and was voted to be a breach of And whereas the said resolve, in all its various shapes its privileges, and was not permitted to be entered on its and forms, was unfounded and erroneous in point of fact, journal or printed among its docunients; while all memo. and therefore unjust and unrighteous, as well as irregu- rials, petitions, resolves, and remonstrances against the lar and unauthorized by the constitution; because the President, however violent or unfounded, and calculated said President Jackson, neilber in the act of dismissing to inflame the people against him, were duly and honor. Mr. Duane, nor in the appointment of Mr. Taney, as ably received, encomiastically commented upon in specified in the first form of the resolve; nor in taking speeches, read at the table, ordered to be printed with upon himself the responsibility of removing the deposites, the long list of names attached, referred to the Finance as specified in the second form of the same resolve; nor Committee for consideration, filed away among the pub. in any act which was then, or can now, be specified un lic archives, and now constitute a part of the public doc. der the vague and ambiguous terms of the general deuments of the Senate, to be handed down to the latest nunciation contained in the third and last form of the re posterity: solve, did do or commit any act in violation or in deroga. And whereas the said resolve was introduced, deba. tion of the laws and constitution, or dangerous to the ted, and adopted, at a time and under circumstances liberties of the people:
which had the effect of co-operating with the Bank of And whereas the said resolve, as adopted, was uncer. the United States in the parricidal attempt which that tain and ambiguous, containing nothing but a loose and institution was then making to produce a panic and floating charge for derogating from the laws and consti- pressure in the country; to destroy the confidence of the tution, and assuming ungranted power and authority in people in President Jackson; to paralyze his administra. the late executive proceedings in relation to the public tion; to govern the elections; to bankrupt the State revenue; without specifying what part of the executive banks; ruin their currency; fill the whole Union with ter. proceedings, or what part of the public revenue, was in. ror and distress; and thereby to extort from the suffer. tended to be referred to; or what parts of the laws and ings and the alarms of the people the restoration of the constitution were supposed to have been infringed; or in deposites and the renewal of its charter: wbat part of the Union, or at what period of his adminis. And whereas the said resolve is of evil example and tration, these late proceedings were supposed to have dangerous precedent, and should never have been re. taken place; thereby putting each Senator at liberty to ceived, debated, or adopted, by the Senate, or admitted vote in favor of the resolve upon a separate and secret to entry upon its journal: Wherefore, reason of his own, and leaving the ground of the Senate's Resolved, that the said resolve be expunged from the judgment to be guessed at by the public, and to be dif- journal; and, for that purpose, that the Secretary of the ferently and diversely interpreted by individual Sena. Senate, at such time as the Senate may appoint, shall tors, according to the private and particular understand- / bring the manuscript journal of the session 1833–'34 into ing of each, contrary to all the ends of justice, and to the Senate, and, in the presence of the Senale, draw all the forms of legal or judicial proceeding; to the great black lines round the said resolve, and write across the prejudice of the accused, who could not know against face thereof, in strong letters, the following words: wbat to defend himself; and to the loss of senatorial re. “ Expunged' by order of the Senate, this day of sponsibility, by shielding Senators from public accoun'. -, in the year of our Lord 1837.” ability for making up a judgment upon grounds wbich The resolution and preamble baving been read, Mr. the public cannot know, and which, if known, might
BENTON rose and said: Mr. President, it is now near prove to be insufficient in law, or unfounded in fact: three years since the resolve was adopted by the Senale,
And whereas the specification contained in the first which it is my present motion to expunge from the and second forms of the resolve having been objected to journal. At the moment that this resolve was adopted, in debate, and shown to be insufficient to sustain the i gave notice of my intention to move to expunge it; charges they were adduced to support, and it being well and then expressed my confident belief that the motion believed that no majority could be obtained to voie for would eventually prevail. That expression of confidence the said specifications, and the same having been actual. was not an ebullition of vanity, or a presumptuous calcu. ly withdrawn by the mover in the face of the whole Sen. lation, intended to accelerate the event it affected to ate, in consequence of such objection and belief, and foretell. It was not a vain boast, or an idle assumption, before any vote taken thereupon; the said specifications but was the result of a deep conviction of the injustice could not afterwards be admitted by any rule of parlia- done President Jackson, and a thorough reliance upon mentary practice, or by any principle of legal implica. | the justice of the American people. I felt that the tion, secret intendment, or mental reservation, to remain President had been wronged; and my heart told me that and continue a part of the written and public resolve this wrong would be redressed. The event proves that from which they were thus withdrawn; and, if they could I was not mistaken. The question of expunging this be so admitted, they would not be sufficient to sustain resolution has been carried to the people, and iheir de. the charges therein contained:
cision has been had upon it. They decide in favor of And whereas the Senate being the constitutional tri. the expurgation; and Their decision has been both made bunal for the trial of the President, when charged by and manifested, and communicated to us in a great vari. the House of Represenlatives with offences against the ety of ways. A great number of States have expressly Jaws and the constitution, the adoption of the said re instructed their Senators to vole for this expurgation. solve, before any impeachment preferred by the House, A very great majority of the States have elecred Sena. was a breach of the privileges of the House, not war. tors and Representatives to Congress, upon the express ranted by the constitution; a subversion of justice; a ground of favoring this expurgation. The Bank of the prejudication of a question which might legally come be. United States, which took the initiative in the accusafore the Senate; and a disqualification of that body to tion against the President, and furnished the material perform its constitutional duty with fairness and impar. and worked the machinery which was used against him, tiality, if the President should thereafter be regularly and which was then so puwerful on this floor, bas be. impeached by the House of Representatives for the same come more and more odious to the public mind, and offence:
musters now but a slender phalanx of friends in the two And whereas the temperate, respectful, and argu-Houses of Congress. The late presidential election fur. mentative defence and protest of the President against ' nishes additional evidence of public sentiment. The
[Jan. 12, 1837.
candidate who was the friend of President Jackson, the also in conformity to the principles upon which the prosupporter of his administration, and the avowed advocate ceeding against President Jackson was conducted, when for the expurgation, has received a large majority of the the sentence against bin was adopted. Then, every suffrages of the whole Union, and that after an express thing was done with especial reference to the will of the declaration of his sentiments on this precise point. The people. Their impulsion was assumed to be the sole evidence of the public will, exhibited in all these forms, motive to action, and to them the ultimate verdict was is too manifest to be mistaken, too explicit to require il. expressly referred. The whole machinery of alarm and lustration, and too imperative to be disregarded. Omit. pressure, every engine of political and moneyed pow. ling details and specific enumeration of proofs, I refer to er, was put in molion, and worked for many months, lo our own files for the instructions to expunge in the excite the people against the President, and to stir up complexion of the two Houses for the temper of the meetings, memorials, petitions, travelling commillees, people-to the denationalized condition of the Bank of and distress deputations, against bim; and each symplom the United States for the fate of the imperious accuser- of popular disconient was hailed as an evidence of puh. and to the issue of the presidential election for the an lic will, and quoted here as proof that the people demanded swer of the Union. All these are pregnant proofs of the the condemnation of the President. Not only legislative public will; and the last pre-eminently so–because both assemblies, and memorials from large assemblies, were ihe question of the expurgation and the form of the pro- ) then produced here as evidence of public opinion, but cess were directly put in issue upon it. A representative the petitions of boys under age, the remonstrances of a of the people from the State of Kentucky formally in few signers, ar:d the results of the most inconsiderable terrogated a prominent candidate for the presidency on elections, were ostentatiously paraded and magnified as these points, and required from him a public answer, for the evidence of the sovereign will of our constituents. the information of ile public mind. The answer was Thus, sir, the public voice was every thing, while that given, and published, and read by all the volers before voice, partially obtained through political and pecuniary ibe election; and I deem it right to refer to that answer machinations, was adverse to the President. Then, the in this place, not only as evidence of the points put in popular will was the shrine at which all worshipped. issue, but also for the purpose of doing more ample juis. Now, when that will is regularly, soberly, repeatedly, tice to President Jackson, by incorporating into the legis. and almost universally, expressed through ihe ballot-boxlalive history of this case the high and honorable testi- es, at the various elections, and turns out to be in favor mony in his favor of the eminent citizen who has just of the President, certainly no one can disregard it, nor been exalted to the lofty honors of the American presi- otherwise look at it than as the solemn verdict of the de y:
competent and ultimate tribunal, upon an issue fairly “Your last question seeks to know my opinion as to made up, fully argued, and duly submitted for decision. the constitutional power of the Senate or House of Rep. As such verdict, I receive it. As the deliberate verdict resentatives to expunge or obliterate from the journals of the sovereign people, I bow to it. I am content. I the proceedings of a previous session.
do not mean to reopen the case, nor to recommence the “You will, I am sure, be satisfied, upon further consid. argument. I leave that work to others, if any others eration, that there are but few questions of a political choose to perform it. For myself, I am content; and, character less connected with the duties of the office of dispensing with further argument, 1 shall call for judg. President of the United States, or that might not with ment, and ask to have execution done upon that unbap. equal propriety be put by an elector to a candidate for my journal, which the verdict of millions of freemen that station, than this. With the journals of neither finds guilty of bearing on its face an untrue, illegal, and House of Congress can he properly have any thing to do. unconstitutional sentence of condemnation against the But as your question has doubtless been induced by the approved President of the republic. pendency of Colonel Benton's resolutions to expunge But, while declining to reopen the argument of this from the journals of the Senate certain other resolutions question, and refusing to tread over again the ground louching the official conduct of President Jackson, I pre- already iraversed, there is another and a different task fer to say that I regard the passage of Colonel Benton's to perform; one which the approaching termination of preamble and resolutions to be an act of justice to a President Jackson's administration makes peculiarly faithful and greatly injured public servant, not only con. proper at this time, and which it is my privilege, and stilutional in itself, but imperiously demanded by a perhaps my duty, to execute, as being the suitable con. proper respect for the well-known will of the people." Clusion to the arduous contest in which we have been so
I do not propose, s'r, to draw violent, unwarranted, long engaged: 1 a!lude to the general tenor of his ador strained inferences. I do not assume to say that the ministration, and to its effect, for good or for evil, upon question of this expurgation was a leading or a control the condition of his country. This is the proper time ling point in the issue of this election. I do not assume for such a view to be taken. The political existence of to say, or insinuate, that every individual, and every this great man now draws to a close. In liltle more than voter, delivered his suffrage with reference to this ques. forly days he ceases to be a public character.... In a few tion. Doubtless there were many exceptions. Still
, brief weeks he ceases to be an object of political hope the triumphant election of the candidate who had ex. 10 any, and should cease to be an object of political hate, pressed himself in the terms just quoted, and who was, or envy, to all. Wbaterer of motive the servile and besides, the personal and political friend of President time-serving might have found in his exalted station for Jackson, and the avowed approver of his administration, raising the altar of adulation, and burning the incense of must be admitted to a place among the prools in this praise before him, that motive can no longer exist. The case, and ranked among the high concurring evidences dispenser of the patronage of an empire-the chief of of the public sentimeni in favor of the motion which I this great confederacy of States—is soon to be a private make.
individual, stripped of all power to reward or to punislı. Assuming, then, ibat we bave ascertained the will of llis own thoughes, as he has shown us in the concluding the people on this great question, the inquiry presents paragraph of that message which is to be the last of its itself, how far the expression of that will ought to be kind that we shall ever receive from him, are directed conclusive of our action here. I hold that it ought to be to that beloved retirement from which he was drawn by binding and obligatory upon us; and ibat, not only upon the voice of millions of freemen, and to which he now the principles of representative governmeni, which re. looks for that interval of repose which age and infirmi. quire obedience to the knowo will of the people, but I lics require. Uuder these circumstances, he ceases to