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Principles for the Public Eye, and Practice conforming to Principles.
We hold these doctrines to be essential in the Democratic Creed
1. Uncompromising hostility to a National Bank.
2. Opposition to the re-charter of any State Bank, and to the granting of any new Bank charter.
3. Opposition to the State granting money or loaning its credit to corporations for the purpose of Internal Improvements.
4. Opposition to the exercise of political power by the banks, and to all candidates for public office which are put in nomination by or to promote the interest of the Banks.
5. Opposition to special, partial and unequal Legislation.
We are in favor
1. Of an entire Separation between Bank and State.
2. Of general laws which shall leave Banking open to all who choose to engage in it.
3. Of not carrying on any work of Internal Improvement which cannot be prosecuted without increasing the debt of the State.
4. Of the People managing their own political affairs without the influence or agency of Bankers.
5. Of general laws, equally calculated to protect the persons and property of all, without giving one citizen any advantage over another.
The Corporate Banking System
We have all, probably, heard of that eccentric individual who was in the habit of settling his indebtedness to Paul by stealing the required amount from Peter; or in the words of the adage, By robbing Peter to pay Paul.
The name and station of this celebrated financier are unfortunately hidden from us by the mists of antiquity; and that resplendent genius which should be enshrined in marble and elevated as the chief ornament of the Bank Parlors, recalling to the recollection of their officers those financial principles (from which, however, they very seldom err) which have been embodied into proverbs and handed down for their edification and guide; smiling down from its pedestal, approbation and encouragement upon their emulative exertionsexertions which bid fair not only to rival, but to surpass those of their illustrious exemplar, is almost forgotten. But we hazard nothing in asserting, that the day is approaching, and is now not far distant, when whole States, (which now lost in admiration of the offspring have forgotten the ancestor) will contend for the honor of having afforded him a birth-place, as the seven cities of ancient Greece contended for the birth-place of Homer.
After mature deliberation, we have arrived at the conclusion, that this ancient Biddle was the inventor and founder of corporate Banking System. Although his peculiar financial principles have been so glazed over and improved upon, so enveloped in mystery, and consequently so much more venerated, that at first sight the enquirer might perhaps be puzzled to perceive the original germ from which the mighty tree has arisen; yet a little patient investigation will convince him that the analogy is, to say the least of it, very striking, and that the proportion of the Peters in this world, when compared with the Pauls, is not only much greater than he supposed, but is constantly and inevitably increasing.
We are told that chartered and private banks are established for the benefit of the people, and that an exclusive charter is the necessary means by and through which this intended benefit is to be carried into effect. Let us examine this point, and first, let us enquire in what way a charter for the purpose of banking is obtained. A petition is circulated setting forth a desire on the part of certain individuals to have their means of doing business, &c. enlarged; that such and such an amount of business in now done; that it could be increased to such and such an extent, provided that the prayer of the petitioners should be granted, &c. &c, going on to relate a most pitiful story, from which a person not in the secret, would be induced to believe that they were a most pitiable set of poverty-stricken wretches; and that the said town or village was running a downhill course of ruin which could only be stayed by the establishment of the proposed institution; although if he should visit the place, he would probably be astonished at the total absence of penury, and the high state of prosperity exhibited, in lieu of the ruin and desolation he had (from the perusal of the petition) prepared himself to behold. (Vide the petition of the North River Bank now in circulation, in which it is conclusively proved, that New York will be materially, if not entirely ruined, should their prayer be neglected.) This petition, elaborately and particularly drawn up, is next sent to the Legislature to be acted upon, attended by a body guard of disinterested lobby members, well furnished with funds for champagne suppers and turtle dinners, for the accommodation of those legislators who may happen to be short of funds about that time; of course, however, only as loans; we have never heard, however, that any of them were re-paid, owing probably to the peculiar Phrenological developments of the individuals: of course, however, that could be no fault of the lenders. Thus the charter of one bank in the city of New York,obtained many years ago, is stated to have cost ONE MILLION OF DOLLARS; while another in the same city, shortly to expire, paid SIXTY THOUSAND, solely, as they state, for the privilege of benefitting the people. What benevolent individuals !!! truly the human mind is unable to express those vast, those overwhelming feelings of gratitude which are struggling for utterance. They not only are willing and desirous to benefit us, but so truly philanthropic are they, that they ask and obtain the exclusive privilege of assisting us, and carrying their benevolence still farther give awaywe beg their pardon, lend 1,000,000 dollars to those who will aid them in obtaining the right to do so ! Truly the millennium is at hand. What though every while we hear of bank defalcations; of bank presidents and cashiers traveling for pleasure to Texas, should we therefore find fault with them, if we believe they have spent so much money to obtain the exclusive right of benefitting us. We surely should not object if they should think fit to benefit themselvesto do so would be the height of ingratitude.
Is it to be supposed that this money expended in these ways to obtain charters, comes out of pockets of the applicants ? Why, if we look back we find that in the majority of cases, the prominent men, the managers, the wire pullers, are worthless, broken down speculators, who want the charter for their own private use and emolument, who are living upon the interest of what they intend to make; out of whose pockets then does it come ? We answer, out of the packets of the People. Out of the business of the merchant; out of the earnings of the farmer; wrung from the sweat of the day laboreraye, every pound of meat, every loaf of bread, purchased to satisfy the hunger of his famishing little ones; and every article of clothing purchased to cover the nakedness of himself and family, pays its quota towards the amount; its consequences are unseen, ARE THEY UNFELT ?
We are told that these men are associated together for the purpose of benefitting the people. But say they, we cannot do it without we have a Charteran exclusive privilegeand why not ? does the charter add any thing to their character ? does it increase their property ? does it enlarge their sphere of action ? does it enhance their credit ? not one jot. We find benevolent individuals every day giving all they have to benefit their fellow creatures, and who would give more if they possessed it; yet they do not apply for a charterwhich they most assuredly would do if it would increase their means for doing good. We frequently hear of individuals who leaving large fortunes to fund schools; yet they do not require a charter or an exclusive privilege, that all shall be taught at their schools; and why ? because they know that in the first place, their benevolent intentions can be better carried into effect, and more good done without one; and in the second place, the idea would be too absurd to be entertained for one moment by the legislature; and in the third place, it would cost too much money, which would be diverted from the people into the pockets of legislators. In short, we find that no one who really intends to benefit the people, applies for a charter; and the inference to be drawn from it is, that a charter for Banking, or any other purpose, does not benefit the people. The next question is, who then does it benefit ? We answer, THOSE INTERESTED IN THE BANKand in what way ? We have seen above that it possesses no positive virtue; that is to say, it does not increase their capital or credit. But it possesses a great and inestimable virtue in their eyes, inasmuch as it throws them an impermeable mantle of immunityit makes a distinction between them as public men, and as private menit protects all their property not actually invested in the Bankand beneath its sacred shield they as private citizens can laugh securely at the threats, and deride the sufferings of their outwitted and trusting creditors, who were to be so much benefitted by their coveted charter.
Now, why is it considered vitally necessary that a banka mere manufactory of paper promisesshould have a charter ? It is not considered requisite in other branches of business; the merchant builds his ships and fits them out for sea; he does not consider it necessary to have a charter to protect him in his business. He does not apply for an exclusive privilege that he may trade at this port or at that port, and that his rival in business may be debarred from going there. Not at all. He depends upon honesty and integrity; he knows that if he can do business on more favorable terms than his neighbor, that business will come to seek him. He is satisfied with his own methodical ways of doing business, and so far from desiring any fictitious adjuncts or legislative interference, his only wish is to be let alone. He knows that a charter, so far from being any advantage to him, would strike at the very foundation of his credit as an honest man. That those men who had given him credit, would decline his business custom; that the very fact of his having applied for a charter to protect his private property, would brand him with a stigma which could never be obliterated. But it may be said that there is a difference between Banking and other business. There is, and a very material difference; the merchant, the mechanic, and the farmer, all give something in exchange for your money. They give you something in exchange for something; the banks on the contrary, give you nothing in exchange for something; you give them a dollar and they give you in return a piece of paper, highly ornamented, enriched with the signature of a President and Cashierhighly valuable no doubtas autographs, worth perhaps, at a liberal estimate, paper, ink and printing, one cent. We would advise those who are carious in the collection of Autographs, to buy up some of the Broken Banks notes, as they can find plenty of them in the market at about the same price as potatoes50 cents a bushel. But say the advocates of chartered Banks, there is a form of business protected by law, namely, Special Partnership, granted. But a special partnership, or in other words, a special capital, differs very much from a special charter, and in fact exerts an entire opposite influence. Two men enter into a copartnership for a term of years and under certain agreements. A is a general or active partner; B puts into the business a certain sum of money, say 50,000 dollars, and files an affidavit to that effect in the County Clerks office. He is also obliged to publish it six weeks in the daily papers; here then is an open and well-known public fact; every one knows that A has an active capital of 50,000 dollars, as well as if they had seen it counted out. And so jealous and particular is the law upon the subject, that in a late case in New York, the creditors of a firm which had failed, recovered from the special partner on the ground that he had not paid into the concern the money specified, but merely his check; and he could not prove (although the check was paid on presentation) that he had funds in the Bank to his credit equal to the amount of the check, and consequently his private reserved property was liable for the debts. But what does the public know respecting a Bank ? How often has it happened that some twenty or thirty speculators have leagued togethergiven their promissory notes for the Stock of a bank; elected themselves officers; issued bank notes to each other to the amount of stock respectively held; paid their promissory notes when due with these circulating notes, and again re-issued these circulating notes for the benefit of the people; (not their own benefit of course.) Here then we have a bank without one particle of capital; possessing, however, a credit sufficient to flood the country with notes, which however circulate more readily at a distance than at homea credit wholly fictitious, sustained merely by the name of BANK and special privileges.
But it is not merely the manner in which Banks obtain their charters, and the false value attached to them by the public that is most injurious to the community; but it is the use made of their power when obtained. It is in the means which they possess of expanding and contracting the currency; of encouraging speculation to-day, and frowning upon and checking it to-morrow; of inducing men to contact debt when money is cheap, and forcing them to pay them when it is dear. This power is obtained by combination and concentration, a power omnipotent not only in monetary affairs, but also in our political government.Some years ago the mechanics and workingmen in some of our large cities formed societies or combinations, to keep up the price of wages, and to protect themselves from the unjust exactions of their employers. They were prosecuted at law and punished, and on appeal to the higher courts, the decision was affirmed by Judge Savage. These men were punished for combining to support existence, and improve their social interests. The Banks combine to serve their own pecuniary interests, or to elevate this or that party to power. Is there any punishment awarded to them ? Oh no ! they have a CHARTER so to do.
Is not the distinction obvious ? truly well do some exclaim at the presumption of the lower orders. Is it not insufferable that men who labor for their daily bread, whose drink is of the sweat of their brow, should presume even to dream of obtaining a merited compensation for their toil, or of ameliorating their social condition ? Dare they even imagine that they, the workies, have an immortal soul to be saved, and that some education and preparation in this world is requisite to ensure that desirable end ? What right have they to covet for their children improved manners, and knowledge, and well formed moral habits to fit them for their great contest with the world ? In short, what right have they to think at all upon any subject ? Clearly none according to Judge Savage, under penalty of fine and imprisonment. The working men cannot combine to raise the price of their own service; but the Banks may and do combine to raise the prices of all the Absolute Necessaries of Life. The working men must not ask for an increase of wages to pay their increased house rent; but the Banks may and do apply the first stimulus, and continue the action, which causes rents to advance. The working men cannot afford the advantages of sound education to their offspring, because the Banks by their combination have inflated the currency to such an extent, have so increased the prices of provisions, that their constant, unceasing, life-sapping toil, can barely furnish that offspring with food. Aye, so it is, in this land of boasted freedom, this land of liberty and equality, we not only have laws bearing unequally upon our populationbut we have Privileged Orders, Rag Barons, Scrip Nobility ! Aye, in this land whose constitution explicitly forbids any title or order of nobility, we have patents of nobility investing persons with power over the happiness and property of the people, such as was never dreamed of by European nobles, even in the darkest period of the feudal system.
We have seen lately a statement that there are but four slaves within this state,four slaves ? what constitutes slavery ? Is it the visible, palpable iron chain ? Is it the overseer with his goad ? Is it the obligation to work for the benefit of others ? Is it being neither physically nor morally a free agent ? These constitute slavery beyond a doubt, the slavery of the body, and there may be but four such slaves within our state.
But how many are there who have the iron eating into their souls ?whose life-blood must be coined into money ?who feel constantly the goad of their relentless persuerwho wear their eye-sight and destroy the foundations of life, accumulating wealth for their ownerswho dare not votespeak, or think in opposition to the mandates of their overseers ?Is this picture over-charged ? will you say that there is no such class among us ? Are you not conscious that there is such a class ? and only one class, and that class alas ! COMPREHENDS US ALL, yes fellow-citizens, we are all slaves, slaves to the money power, slaves to an order of nobilityslaves to soulless, irresponsible, tyrannical corporationsdo you doubt it ? look only upon one fact out of manyThe Banks in this State have reduced the circulation in one year from SIXTEEN MILLIONS of dollars to EIGHT MILLIONS of dollarsa difference in their favor and against us of 50 per cent. Every man who contracted a debt last year of one hundred dollarsmust pay it this year when a dollar would buy twice as much, as it would when the debt was contractedhe must therefore take two hundred dollars worth of property to pay that debt of one hundredis this man a free agent ? is his property his own ? can he control it, clearly notif he is not a free agent, if he cannot control his property, if his earnings go to swell the wealth of others to his own prejudiceif he is impelled to pursue this course in spite of himself, unprotected, in fact abandoned by the lawwhat is he, let us ask you in all truth,what is he but a slave ? But are these instances rare ? is the position above described an isolated oneare we not all, living actual, suffering witnesses of its truth, are we not in fact, (throwing aside all subterfuge) are we not in, true, sober, melancholy fact, SLAVES ? slaves whose Patent of Manumission will never be signedwhile a chartered privileged corporation continues in existencetheir charters will expire within 12 or 15 yearslet them never be renewed, let our execrations descend upon the heads of all those willing slaveswho would perpetuate or even continue the reign of our taskmasters.
The Old Regencyand the New.
In 1837 the Democratic party in this state met with a signal and unexpected overthrow. The immediate cause was supposed to be the disordered state of our financial affairs and the recommendation of the sub treasury. But the real cause lay deeper than these. The true secret of the matter is that the party had become corrupt : yes, grossly, notoriously, infamously corrupt. A few unprincipled politicians had for many years made a pack horse of the party, and rode it for their own benefit. The party had thus become jaded and worn out. The honest portion of the community had become disgusted with the abominations perpetrated by the old Bank Regency,that invisible but all powerful body which, although centered at Albany, extended its ramifications throughout the State. Every county had a branch, and almost every town possessed a member. Whenever a movement was to be made, the galvanic battery at Albany was applied to the head, and instantly every nerve throughout the State were brought into action by its unseen potency.
The Major General issued his mandate from head quarters; the colonels in their respective counties forthwith transmitted the orders to the captains in each town; and they in turn with equal promptness apprised the lieutenants, sergeants, corporals, &c.
Every thing was reduced to a perfect system. No masonic association could ever boast of greater secrecy and fidelity, and abject submission. Even Napoleon in his brightest days of martial glory, might have envied the discipline of the regency.
This discipline was kept up, too, like that of the Corsican hero, by rewards and punishments. The inferior officers in the counties had the exclusive right guaranteed to them of holding and enjoying all the offices of the county. The colonel of the county regiment was entitled to be Surrogate; the lieutenant colonel, major, &c. were entitled to be Congressmen, District Attorneys, &c.; the captains had the prescriptive right to be Common Plea Judges, Assemblymen and Supervisors. These were the rewards of unflinching fidelity and zeal in the performance of every duty enjoined upon them.
Not less certain and severe were the punishments. If a subaltern faltered in his obedience, if he disclosed the secrets, if he murmured at any demands, he was instantly drummed out of the regiment, and branded with the mark of Cain. That man could never hope for honor or office again.
But the storm of 1837 came and swept away the corruptions engendered by years of power and patronage. The wrongs and oppressions which were inflicted upon the party, at length reached that point beyond which there is no endurance, and the insulted and outraged people arose in their majesty and might and hurled from power their selfish and avaricious tyrants. In an instant the old regency was scattered in darkness and trampled in dust, and well for the Democracy would it have been if they had always remained there.
From 1837 to 1840, the members of that unholy clan lay perdu. The foxes had sought cover and did not dare to expose themselves before the people. But now, the democratic party having partly thrown off the incubus which oppressed it, and arisen from its downfall with new health and vigor, we behold the canning politicians of the old regency endeavoring to regain their former station, and to pursue their former career of folly and corruption.
The democrats of Dutchess county are well acquainted with the forgoing historical facts. Our object in drawing their attention to them at this time is to warn them of the arts and machinations of these hoary politicians; to throw around them the protecting shield of caution and prudence; to guard them against the many perils which beset them in that quarter, in order that the party may become more pure, more powerful, and more permanent.
It should be deeply impressed upon the mind of every democrat, that to reinstate the old members of the regency, is not only the road to ruin, but ruin itself. Their breath is poisonous to the vitals of democracy; their embrace will strangle the lion in his youthful strength; their counsels will induce folly, discord, and political death. We therefore warn the democrats of Dutchess to beware of those whose touch is pollutionwhose fellowship is certain destruction.
In order that this may be done the more understandingly, we intend to exhibit, from time to time, the political portraits of the prominent members of the old regency in this county, who are endeavoring to re-establish the ancient order of things; who sigh for the days of bank dominion. We shall furnish a brief but a correct sketch of political history of the most notorious characters, from the late Colonel of the county regiment, down to the quondam judge.
That branch of the old regency located in this county was under the immediate command of the former Surrogate and present President of the Farmers and Manufacturers Bank, (of which institution we have a true history in preparation.) He was always famous for his democracy since the days of the Hartford Convention. He is also a man of infinite parts, has a particular regard for number one, and as a skillful manager you can hardly find his equal. We are inclined to think, and certainly to hope that, take him all in all, we ner shall see his like again.
He, it seems, has retired from the open field of politics, and like veteran warrior gallantly reposes on his laurels and his money. That the world however may not entirely lose the aid of his invaluable services, his mantle kindly descended on his former pupil and present companion, the immortal cashier. Whether the latter will be able to perform the various and arduous duties of his post, with as much ease and grace as his illustrious predecessor, remains to be seen. One thing however is certain, the cashier has been duly installed, and is now entitled to all the rights, privileges and honors of lieutenant colonel commandant, and chief wire puller of the Bank Regency in the county of Dutchess.
So let it be. We have no objections. We are willing and desirous that the vassal of the Bank partythat all who seek protection, power or patronage from Bank politicians, should bow down and worship the idol of their affections. But to the free and independent in soul; to the farmers, mechanics and laborers, who live by honest industry; to those who cannot be bribed from their principles by Bank favors, nor driven from them by Bank frownsto the firm, the bold, the lion-hearted democracy of Dutchess we appeal; and warn them to put no faith in the democracy of the President or Cashier.
To the Democracy
This paper was establishednot for the purpose of disorganizing or destroyingbut to preserve, enlighten, purify, strengthen and save the party. We wish to save it from the folly and madness of some of its leadersfrom those who are disposed to prostitute the principles of democracy to subserve their own private, selfish interestsand from those who stand by and witness the degradation of those principles, and either silently assent, or openly endorse and approve the act. This can only be done by calling things by their right names: by declaring the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If democratic doctrines are sound, they can bear the light and truth. If our public officers and leaders of the party are sound, they have no reason to fear a discussion of their political conduct. If any of them are unsound it is high time the party knew it. The safetythe honorthe existence of the party require it. Nothing can be so dangerous to democracy as to cherish in its embrace those who are false to its requirements. We have already been stung by one brood of conservative vipers who were fostered in the lap of the party;let us now beware, lest by an overstrained delicacy and forbearance, we permit another brood to grow up amongst us and gather nourishment and strength from our resources, to sting and wound and destroy us in the day of trial. There is dangerwe knowwe see itwe proclaim it. Not danger from without, but danger from within. It can only be averted by speaking outboldlyfearlesslydecisively. Our public men must be held to a strict accountability.They must understand that they are the servants of the people, and are bound to obey the instructions, and be governed by the will of their constituents.
For these reasons we have been compelled to criticise some of the performances of the Poughkeepsie Telegraph.We enter our solemn protest against the doctrine maintained in that paperthat an editor is bound to approve and applaud every act of every public man belonging to the party, whether that act be right or wrong. We pronounce such doctrines to be anti-democraticdestructive of the party, and dangerous to all republican institutions. We hold it to be the duty of an editor to praise where he can; but to censure where censure is clearly deserved.
What we have said in regard to the editor of the Telegraph has been said in the spirit of kindness to him and to the partyand we indulge the hope that having seen his errors, and having learned that there are those who can and will point them out, he will mend his ways and sin no more.
The Poughkeepsie TelegraphMr. Hookers Organ.
In common with a large portion of our democratic fellow-citizens, we have for some time past observed with regret the course pursued by the Poughkeepsie Telegraph. That paper professes to be the exclusive organ of the party in this county: and, as such, it ought to express their sentiments and advocate their doctrines, not only with ability, but with consistent and fearless independence. This however in not uniformly the case. But on the contrary while it purports to speak the opinions of the mass, it too often sinks into the organ of a miserable clique of Bank politicians; and thus subjects itself to the just reproach of being controlled by a pernicious and anti-Republican influence. There is frequently a lack of firmness in adhering to vital principles:a want of boldness and straight-forwardness in discussing and maintaining them:a disposition to evade new and important questions:an unpardonable propensity to gloss over, and conceal from public view, the unfaithfulness and errors of our representativesand to compromise the rights and interests of the People.
At the last session of our Legislature the three Democratic members from Dutchess all voted in favor of extending the charter of the North River Bankan act of undeniable treachery to the principles of the party. But Mr. Killey never said one word, in his paper, on the subject. Instead of reproving them as their conduct deserved, he passed over the matter in silence.
For the last month the Dutchess County Bank has been besieging the Legislature for further aidto obtain a reduction of its capital so as to avoid taxations and the usual contributions to the Safety Fundand to be placed in a situation to obtain a renewal of its charter: yet Mr. Killey looks quietly on without publishing a syllable by way of warning or remonstrance.
We might multiply examples by the hundred, all tending, as these do, to show, on the part of the Editor of the Telegraph either a deplorable deficiency of moral courage or a similar lack of sound political principles.
These things ought not to be. The rights of the many ought not thus to be sacrificed to promote the intents, or gratify the wishes of the few. This is not the time when the editor of the party should be hesitatingor vacillatingor halting between two opinionsor preserving a silent neutrality in regard to men or measures. The present age requires an editor to be made of sterner stuff. He must be not only thoroughly imbued with the principles of democracy; but, having planted himself upon the broad platform of equal laws and equal rights, he must possess the nerve to apply and carry out these principles whenever an occasion presents itself, irrespective of personal or pecuniary considerations.
We do not wish to be understood to say that the Telegraph is altogether unsoundor wholly inefficient. On the contrary, many of its articles breath of the true spiritand some of the meet with our unqualified approbation. These last however seem to be rather incidental than otherwise. That paper frequently reminds us of the soldier, mentioned by Scott, who possessed a brave soul but a cowardly body. He would set out with the full determination of marching up even to the cannons mouthbut, as soon as he came in sight of the enemy, his cowardly legs would run away with him in spite of all he could do. So with the Telegraph. An article not frequently commences in the right spirit, but during its progress the writer seems to be frightened out of his propriety and pares it down and tapers it off, until like the fabled mermaid, it becomes impossible to tell whether it was originally intended to belong to the human or the finny tribes. Sometimes the leading article is in the true orthodox vein. But in that case the rest of that number is sure to be made up of indirect apologies for the writers supposed temeritya propitiation to the Bank Democratsand an unmanly deprecation of the wrath of the semi-Conservatives.
Of the truth of the above observations we have a striking example in the Telegraph of the 9th of February last. It opens with some very just and appropriate remarks against the re-charter of Banks; but as an offset they are immediately succeeded by a fulsome and uncalled for eulogy upon James Hooker the President of a Bank and a prominent leader of the old Bank regency; and a full endorsement and approval of his appointment to the office of Canal Commissioner.
We must confess that we were astounded, when we first heard of the appointment, and still more so when the party organ came forward with an unqualified approval. We were not prepared for quite so degrading an exhibition of sycophancy and man-worship on the part of our editor. Mr. Killey well knew that Mr. Hooker was no Democrat;knew that his appointment had been made without the knowledge of the party in Dutchess:knew that if that party had benn consulted such a result could not have occurred under any circumstances:and yet he has the unblushing effrontery to tell us that :the nomination of James Hooker, Esq. of this village as one of the Democratic candidates for canal commissioner will be received with pleasure in this section of the Stateand again the people of Dutchess will rejoice that the appointment is bestowed on him.
We have no language at command sufficiently energetic and contemptuous to express our feelings of indignation and shame at such an announcement: and we shall therefore content ourselves with simply proving this eulogy to be utterly falseand repelling the foul slander thus attempted to be fastened upon the Democracy of this section of the State.
We deny that it is received with pleasure; but on the contrary, it is received with almost universal disapprobation; and the honest hearted masses who have toiled and labored to sustain the party, are enquiring whether these are to be the fruits of all their exertions ? Whether they are expected to go on, from year to year, fighting the battles of Democracy to elevate such men to office ? And whether the leaders of the party, suppose that the people are always to endure such treatmentare always to have their wishes disregarded and their feelings insulted ?
We admit, that a few individuals do rejoice. We admit the leaders of the whig party rejoicebecause they know, that two or three more such appointments in Dutchess will give their party the ascendancy. We admit also, that the officers and directors of the bank of which Mr. Hooker is President receive the appointment with pleasure. But, with these exceptions, we really do not believe that one hundred honest democrats can be found in the county who approve of this appointment. Mr. Hooker was himself well aware of this. Hence he studiously concealed the fact of his being a candidate from the people of his own county: he dare not trust that knowledge to those who know him. Had it been discussed here but one week before the appointment, the Legislature would have been flooded with such a tide of remonstrances, as would have set the matter forever at resteven his own town would have gone against him by a large and overwhelming majority. Does Mr. Killey deny this ? does he doubt it ? If soif he thinks that the Democrats of Po-keepsie approve of this nominationlet him test it, by introducing a resolution to that effect at our next political meeting, which will be held in a week or two.We challenge him to do it ! We dare him to the trial ! We will meet him there face to face and discuss the matter before the people, and abide by their decision. If they approve the appointment, we will admit that we were mistakenutterly and entirely mistaken as to the feelings and sentiments of the Democrats of Poughkeepsie. But on the other hand if they disapprove he must make the like admissionand if he declines to make the trial, we call upon him to take back the foul libel he has uttered against the democracyand hereafter to refrain from publishing as the opinions of the democratic party what he knows or believes to be untrue.
Not only has the democracy of Dutchess been insulted by having this appointment conferred upon a man not in their confidencewithout their knowledge or consent and against their willbut the appointment is in itself bad and impolitic.
Mr. Hooker has no experience whatever in the duties of his officenor has his pursuits or mode of life been such as in any way to qualify him for that post. His being the President of a bank so far from being a recommendation, as Mr. Killey seems to suppose, is in our judgement a decided objection. Rumor has already proclaimed that his Bank is hereafter to be a depository of the revenues of the canal.
Mr. Hooker is also a large stockholder in the western railroads which run parallel to the Erie canal, and whose interests are, in a great degree, antagonistic thereto. We do not mean to say that this circumstance will necessarily bias or prejudice him against the canals; but we do mean to say that the appointment of a man to take charge of any branch of business, whose interests are hostile to the business is very much like the wisdom of appointing the next heir at law to be the guardian of an infant with an estate of half a million depending upon his life.
Mr. Hooker has no claims upon the party. For upwards of twenty years he has been in officeand for sixteen years he enjoined the emoluments of the most lucrative office in this county. He has in fact spent his whole lifenot in laboring for the partybut in reaping the rich harvest of its offices. Yes, he has grown rich out of the party; rich, proud, arrogant, and aristocraticand yet, notwithstanding his having made a fortune out of the party, no longer ago than the fall of 1840, Mr. Killey himself, as a member of the central committee, called upon Mr. Hooker and requested him to contribute something out of his abundance, towards paying the heavy expenses of the party for printingand Mr. Hooker refused to pay one cent.
We regret the necessity of descending to these particulars of Mr. Hookers political career. But we feel justified, under the circumstances, in calling Mr. Killey as a witness, to the stand, to swear down the democracy of the man whom in his paper he has been puffing up. We feel that Mr. Killey has frequently trespassed upon the patience, and imposed upon the forbearance, of the party. We feel bound also to tell him what we think, and remind him that although the democracy will endure much, still there is a point beyond which it is not safe to proceed; and that when they have been outraged by such an appointment as the one in question, they will not quietly submit to the additional insult of being falsely told that they rejoice at the event !
Spirit of the Press
That our readers in this section of the country may understand what is going on among our Democratic brethren in the other States, we extract freely from our exchange papers. It will be seen that we are not alone in our warfare against special privileges and Bank Democrats.
From the Democratic Republican.
We are rejoiced to see that the Hon. Jonathan Harvey publicly condemns the course of a few menrash and headstronghave seen fit to pursue at Concord. We hope he will not be denounced as a young man of doubtful political principlesfor should he be, we can pointah ! triumphantly point, to his course in Congress, while standing, solitary and alone, in the whole delegation from New England, in the House of Representatives, in opposition to the federal measures, John Q. Adams was attempting to fasten upon the country.He opposed all those measures, as his votes will show if reference be had to them. That gentleman has ever been a democrat, through evil and through good report, and one of the most unflinching personal friends Gov. Hill ever had.He however, loves Rome more, not Cæsar less ! And painful in the extreme, it no doubt is, for him to disagree with Mr. Hill at this time. When we see such men coming out and making such an appeal to the democracy, as is contained in the circular issued by the State Central Committee, there is no reason to despair of the State. If young men are engaged and active in the good cause, so are old menthe FATHERS OF THE DEMOCRACYmen who are prompted by no selfish or mercenary interestneither owning stock or having any interest in any corporate monopoly. In this respect, he is unlike Mr. Hill, he is head over heels in corporations, and has been for the last twenty years. Thus, at this time, his patriotism is made to bow to his self interest;SORDID PELF seems to be his polar star, instead of principle. We do not wish to disparage Mr. Hill in the least. But we do say, that in our opinion, his deep and intimate connection with banks, manufacturing corporations, and rail roads, for the last twenty years, have had a deleterious effect upon him;and if we may give the least credit to those federal editors who are now cheek by jole with him, his pecuniary concerns are in no very prosperous condition ! If this is so, we regret it, for Heaven knows that that man has labored enough, and been a close economist enough to be in comfortable, aye, independent circumstances. We have heard from such a source as can be relied upon, that in one manufacturing corporation monopoly he was cheated out of twenty thousand dollars, and yet he has not seen enough of corporations ! Perhaps he practices upon the principle to look for what he has lost in the place where he lost it. There are exceptions to that rule, and unless he wishes to send good money after bad money he had better divest himself of all interest in all soulless corporations !That they have nearly proved his ruin in point of property, we have no more doubt than we have, that if he continues identified with them, they will prove his political ruins. We commiserate his condition, and pity his infatuation.
Yes, we have seen such men as Jonathan Harvey, Thomas Chandler, Samuel Hatch, John H. Steele, Nathaniel Rix, Ebenezer Charleton, John W. Weeks, Simeon Warner, James Eastman, and hundreds of others of the fathers of the party, whom we might name, coming to the rescue, there can be no danger to the party.
In conversing recently with several friends in the Legislature of our State, they took the occasion to remark that all we had said in relation to the dodging twisting and turning of the editor of the Enquirer, was perfectly true; that it was entirely owing to his tortuous policy, his double dealing, that the Democracy of this State were placed in the embarrassing position they have occupied for two or three years past; but still it was IMPRUDENT at this time, to say this publicly. To all this we have but one reply to make; we believe that the editor of the Enquirer is bound hand and foot to the Banks: that he is still a Rives and Venable Conservative at heart: that nothing keeps him nominally in the ranks of the Democracy but self-interest; that he would betray the party again to-morrow, as he has betrayed two parties already, did he think that the interests of the Banks would be promoted by a new development of political treason; all this we believeand thus believing we shall speak. We believe the influence exerted by Mr. Thomas Ritchie is prejudicial to the best interests of mankind; that he is hostile to all the great measures of reform, so indispensable to the people in regaining their rights; that the sooner he is shaken off from the shoulders of the party he is dooming to remain in minority, the earlier will that day dawn so long waited for by the friends of political equality. These are our sentiments and they shall be publicly expressed; it is a duty we owe to those whose rights we vindicate and whose cause we have espoused.State Rights Republican.
OWNED BY THE BANKS.
The secret is out at last. We can now explain the why and because of the votes which have been given in our legislature during the present session by men pretending to be democrats. Fifty-five members are indebted to the soulless shaving shops, some of them to a large amount. This accounts for the base treachery we have so often witnessedthis explains the cause of the foul treason we have so deeply deplored. Let the people look to itlet the honest portion of the Republican party withdraw all support from those candidates for the Legislature who owe the Banks a single dollar. No matter how urgent the appeals to stick to the partydont divide the partystand firm to your principles and let the trading, intriguing Bank demagogues be driven to the wall. Better far that a whig should be elected than a Benedict Arnold democrat. Let the whole Judas tribe be annihilated at the coming election. Let us be defeated, if at all, by an open enemy, rather than by a treacherous friend. Withhold your votes from all bank-bondmen, let what will be the consequence.Idem.
We were recently informed that an able communication was offered to the editor of one of the leading democratic papers in Virginia, touching bank frauds, &c. with a master hand; the editor declined publishing it until he could show it to the President of the Bank and obtain his sanction. Upon inquiry the editor was indebted to the swindling factory, some thousand of dollars. How many more such independent Democratic(?) editors we have in Virginia ? Is the unblushing silence of a majority of our papers upon banking abominations, to be attributed to a similar cause ?Id.
From the Bay State Democrat.
THE SPIRIT OF CONSERVATISM.
There are still Tallmadges and Riveses in the democratic party. There always have been, and probably ever will be, men who love office and the honor of office, and their pockets, better than principles; men who will go with that party, or those men, who will pay best, afraid to take a bold stand in favor of truth, in the face of all opposition, all danger, and the worst consequences, and who hold on to a party, and go with it, very much as the cow boys follow an army, for plunderand not like the patriotic soldiers in the front rank, who fight manfully, and court danger in defence of their country.
There are such men at the present time in the democratic party; not a State in the Union but has them; and gradually, as circumstances occur, they show themselves, and go over into the ranks of the enemy. When they take this course, they do little mischief, but when they remain with the party and pretend to be democrats, while they support federal measures, they do much mischiefcreating disunion, and retarding the progress of the principles which the great body of the party desireindependent of private considerationsand for which they labor.
This class of men are the conservatives of the present day. Conservatives of what ? Of their own favorite institutions, banks, and other corporationsof the offices which they hold, or their friends enjoyof the influence which they have in the party; and of their voice in settling all political matters. And this class is made up mostly of old men, and hacknied politicians, who
___________Chime on errors past,
And totter on in blunders to the last.
Conservatism is but an other name for federalism. It has no confidence in the people. It is founded on distrust and fear. It has abundance of love for and confidence in monied institutions, over which the people have no control, and whose powers and special privileges conferred by legislation, enable them to overcome and silence the public voice; it has great regard for established institutions, but it shudders at the thought of correcting abuses, or adopting new systems or new institutions upon more liberal and equal principles. In fine, it is proud, selfish and oppressive; and no more nor less than federalism with a new name.
It was conservatism that defeated the democratic party in the late Presidential election. The democratic party had become corrupted by ambitious and selfish men, who had abandoned democratic principles, and sold themselves, body and soul, to the creatures of federalismbanks and other corporations. These institutions, managed by federalists and some professed democrats, aspired to control the Government. But Jackson said, No ! Van Buren said, No ! and recommended a separation of bank and State. The bank democrats couldnt stand this, and became conservatives, and afterwards real rabid, hard-ciderlog-cabincoon-skin feds. But the federal party, in gaining them, gained only the match, which was to fire their magazine, and blow their party to the four winds of heaven.
But the democratic party contains good and true men, as well as bad and false ones. There are men who are willing to make sacrifices for the cause, and even die for it, if need be. With such men and such principles as the party has for its foundation, it cannot fail to be in the ascendant. Benedict Arnolds may spring up in its ranks, but they alonenot the partywill suffer. Distinguished leaders may prove recreant. Democracy will take care of itselfit wants no leaders. The light which shines from the sun of truth will guide on its supporters, and the inward conviction that they are engaged in a righteous cause, will nerve them on to overcome all difficulties, and triumph over false friends and open enemies. Conservatism is transientDemocracy, eternal.
From the Index.
We regret to see Democrats, who were one so radical, relaxing their efforts, and turning back, like old Mrs. Lot, to gaze upon the burning cities of the plain. Some now think that they have done enoughthat they have fought one battle, and have been whipped, and that that is enough to entitle them to their discharge. We would bid them take a lesson from Henry Clays perseverencehis perseverance mind you only. Thirty years has the ambitious orator of the West toiled for the Presidency, through good and through evil report, but he has fallen short in every instance; and now, with the sword of power, like Macbeths bloody dagger, beckoning him on in the darkness ahead, he battles valiantly for his broken backed spavined skeleton bank, and cries out as he leaves the Senate Chamber, Come on McDuff, and damned is he who first cries out holdenough ! Shall the peoples friends then grow weary and faint, when nothing but the ghost of opposition stalks over the West to muster a feeble band upon the banks of the Ohio ? We trust not. In one year a new Congress will sit in our halls and then fifty more Democrats will tread up to the mark when true reform lifts her unwavering banner, and the love of their country becks them on. There is a brighter day a coming, and already we see the bright streaking of the morning upon the bosom of the night.
THE BANK INQUISITION.
We copy the following from the Mississippi Free Trader, and we have no doubt of its truth. The advocates of another U.S. Bank are daily trying to operate on us in the same way. But the friends of the country, both here and elsewhere must ultimately prevail :
Proscription and Persecution.The New Orleans Morning Advertiser, a Tyler paper, complains that the banks and cliques of that city have used every effort to break down his paper, and to induce his subscribers to withdraw their subscriptions, in consequence of his advocating the immediate resumption of specie payments. He states that one of the Directors of the Merchants Bank personally threatened to array against him all the power of that institution and its friends, if he dared utter one word against their contemplated issue of a new batch of shinplasters; and other banks have threatened to withdraw all accommodations from those merchants that subscribe for his paper.
If this be so, it evinces an inquisitorial spirit, that should be put down by the action of all parties. Men that venture, at this epoch, to make such threats, would broil the recusant editor an a grid iron, if they had the power. A few years hence, and an outraged people will tear down the very domiciles that tenant such tyrants.Madisonian.
Why do not the Madisonian and the Morning Advertiser do as the Tyler paper of this city, come out boldly for banks, an unconstitutional currency, and a further prolongation of suspensions, and our word for it, the banks will put money in their purses, instead of persecuting them ! As we prefer PERSECUTION to APOSTASYINDEPENDENCE to SLAVERY, we intend to fight on, but others can hide in a hay stack, or under pack saddles if they prefer to escape the hot shot of bankers !Ohio Statesman.
From the Vicksburg Sentinel
BANK CHARTERTHE BOND QUESTION.
What is to become of the present insolvent banks in the country ?Are their charters to be permitted to exist, that they may hereafter spring up and overshadow the land, after their present popularity shall have abated ? It is evident that the interests of the country require that these corporations should be gotten rid of. I was pleased to hear a distinguished democrat of the House of Representatives remark the other evening that he intended to introduce a bill to repeal these charters. It is to be hoped that he will do so immediately, and that every democrat will sustain it. There is but one practical method to destroy them, and that is by a direct repeal. It is all idle to talk about the courts. There is nobody to attend to the business, or pay the expenses of vacating these charters by a long and expensive series of law suits. They ought to be repealed forthwith. If the legislature leaves these corrupt corporations in their present situation, they may spring up in a few years and play the same game over again, that they have been playing for the last ten years. The present members of the legislature were to root up this foul and monstrous evil, and yet they are being left just in the condition in which they may be sprung into existence by a few designing men.
The present legislature was elected as the opponent of paper money in all its shapes. The people want no more paper money banks in this State. They expect that the present incorporated banks will be repealed. But here is our smart anti-Bond legislature, leaving these broken down corporations to spring up hereafter, and fill the country with shin plasters. It is well known that many members came here to reform this evil, and yet they are permitting the session to glide away without taking any active steps to bring the charters of these corrupt and rotten institutions to an end.Let a bill be introduced immediately to repeal at once every bank charter in the State. Do the democrats intend to surrender the right of repealing bank charters ? If they do, they must surrender the question upon which the very existence of democracy depends in the United States. So long as charters are beyond the reach of the people, there is no power in the hands of the democracy. The country will become a privileged order on one hand, and a nation of dependants on the other.
There is another question, and a most important one, which deeply involves the feelings and interests of the people. I mean the Bond question. Was not the legislature elected to act on this question ?Why is it not met ? Are gentlemen afraid of the question ? Will they shrink from responsibility ? I ask again, why is not this question met ? Remember your constituents, gentlemen. The first question that will be propounded to you when you return home will be, what have you done with the Bond question ?
From the Ohio Statesman.
The house engrossed a bill yesterday, and passed it this morning, that does honor the spirit of the age in which we live. It was, to repeal the absurd law, that requires two years study to be admitted to the practice of law, just as though time and not qualifications, should be the test.
The following is the petition of M.A. Goodfellow, presented to the House by Mr. Wolcatt. It is a question of no little importance, in a government possessing equality of rights, why one person with a capital of a hundred thousand dollars, should receive chartered privileges converting it into three hundred thousand while the same privileges should be withheld from another because he had only one hundred dollars. Mr. Wolcott, in his remarks on presenting the petition, correctly said, this would be granting favors to the rich, and withholding them from the poor. Nothing shows more plainly than this, the injustice of the whole system of corporate grants :
To the Honorable General Assembly of the State of Ohio : Your petitioner would respectfully represent, that it has been customary for former Legislatures of this State to grant acts of incorporation to companies authorizing them to issue notes or bills, to circulate as money, only bound in their corporate capacity for the redemption of such notes or bills: hence so many bank failures.
Your petitioner would further represent, that he believes in the doctrine of equal rights and privileges, viz: each and every individual ought to be bound by law, equally and alike for all his liabilities, no matter whether they accrue in private transactions, or under cover of a bank charter.
Your petitioner, therefore, respectfully asks your honorable body to grant him a charter to bank, as follows : 1st To be called the Farmers and Mechanics Bank of Wooster. 2d capital stock not to exceed six hundred dollars; to commence operations as soon as three hundred dollars in specie are paid in. 3. The stockholders to be individually liable for all paper issued. 4th. Shall not issue more than three dollars in paper for two in specie on hand, under a penalty of forfeiture, &c.; the charter repealable by any future legislature of this State; to be located at Wooster, Wayne county, Ohio; and your petitioner will ever, &c.
Wooster, February 12, 1842.