THE ANTI-BANK DEMOCRAT
By an Association of Democrats of Dutchess County.
Published every MonthPrice 6 cents per Number.
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.
We have seen somewhere a legend by Old Gervase of Tilbury, in which he describes the sufferings of an unfortunate wight, who, owing to some thoughtless imprecation, had become the property of certain devils who used him as a wheel-barrow. Whether the American People, by their political imprudences and thoughtless display of that generous confidence which was demanded at their hands by General Harrison, have placed themselves in a somewhat similar predicament, remains to be seen,but we call upon them to beware, lest, like the rash scholar of Cornelius Agrippa, they evoke a fiend whom their utmost efforts cannot lay againlet them reflect that to pass a law is comparatively easybut to repeal ! here lies the difficulty.
We have thought it our duty to call the attention of the people of this county to the gross, palpably gross injustice which our servants, our representatives, the chosen exponents of our principles, would inflict upon us, their deceived, cajoled, outwitted mastersto show them that there is one Press in this county, which unbought, uninfluenced, fearless, and independent, dares (think of that Mr. Killey,) to tell the truth, however obnoxious it may be to certain individuals whose countenance (for our sins doubtless,) is vouchsafed unto us. That the Eagle and Journal, avowed Whig presses, should advocate a Tariff, and exert themselves in establishing a Home league was to be expected ; for when were their sympathies exerted but in favour of a privileged class,but that the Telegraph, a press established and fostered by the democratick party, should now side with those who have been always decidedly and consistently opposed to us, convinces us of a truth we have long suspected ; our friend has fallen upon evil daysand conservatism, which has long been preying insidiously and covertly upon his very vitals, has at length asserted her dominion over him, and seized upon him almost unresisted.
We do here boldly pronounce the whole doctrine of Protection, as intended to be carried out by a Tariff, a FALLACY : like the towering iceberg floating upon a summer seewhen viewed from afar, it appears to our senses and commands our admiration by its grandeur and glittering beautybut when approached and examined, the splendour which enveloped it disappearsits malformation and incongruity disgust usthe admiration which before filled us gives way to disappointment, and if it excites our wonder at all, it is only that so stupendous and imposing a mass should be apparently so uncalled for, and useless ; so unsteady, and dangerous.
In discussing the Tariff in the present article, we shall confine our remarks entirely to general principles, as our space forbids our entering too minutely into calculations and comparisons ; but if our positions should be assailed, we here announce our readiness and willingness to do battle in defence of them, against all comersthis field the stagethe people the judges and umpires.
The doctrine of a Tariff for revenue, and incidently for protection, is at the present day so manifestly a humbug, (the Telegraph to the contrary notwithstanding,) that its general advocacy can only be explained, on the supposition that the publick has decided without due consideration.
We shall endeavour in this paper to expose its absurdity, and if possible, to convince our compatriots of their errorsthe effects of which will be lasting or evanescent, in proportion as they listen to, or reject the voice of reason.
The tariff is merely, in other words an impost or duty levied upon all goods imported from foreign countries, which duty is collected at the Custom Houses, and applied to the support of the General Government. This is a tariff for Revenue, and it is obvious that for the purpose of producing a revenue, the duty should be graduated with the utmost nicety, so as to give a healthy stimulus to the import of goods, and at the same time produce an adequate income to the government.
It is also evident, that to obtain an income or revenue from imports, the goods must come here to be taxed ; but if the goods come here, and pay a duty here, they must as a matter of course, be sold hereand if so, then certainly the tariff can afford no afford no protection to domestick manufacturesfor the increase of duty does not cause any increase in the consumption of goods, but has a contrary tendencyand this being the case, the manufacturer has not his market enlarged one particle, nor can he obtain better prices for his goodsfor in this and all similar cases, the supply will always exceed the demand. It is therefore clear that a tariff, which will admit the importation of foreign goods, is not what the manufacturers want. Let us inquire what it is they do want. A Tariff to afford protection must be sufficiently high to curtail, if not altogether prevent, the importation of foreign manufactures ; but if the are no importations, if the goods are not and cannot be sent here, it is obvious no duty can be imposed on or collected from themand consequently the government can receive no revenue, the Collectors offices would become sinecures, the publick warehouses deserts.
The Tariff, in short, so far as publick utility is concerned, would be entirely inoperative. It cannot be denied, if our position is correctly taken, that a tariff for revenue, and at the same time for protection, is a paradoxfrom such a tariff the government could receive no benefitfrom such a tariff the people could receive no benefit, unless they considered the necessity of paying $5.50 for what before cost them $5, in the light of a benefitfrom such a tariff none but the manufacturers, those children of the Horse leech whom all past experience exhibited (as we shall presently show,) as constantly and unremittingly crying for more, can receive any benefit. Why should manufacturers alone be benefited, and not that only, but at the expense of all the other classes of the community ; why should not the farmers and labourers of this country be protected against the competition and importation of foreign farmers and labourers ; why should not lawyers, doctors, and ministers apply for a tariff to prevent the immigration of foreign Professors to compete and interfere with them in this country ; why should not a prohibiting duty be passed upon all foreign vermin, so as to prevent their introduction into this country in our pocket ships. Why are not such acts passed ?because they are absurd, says an American system man. No more absurd, my dear Sir, than your favourite scheme for the protection of manufacturers. Why do you not pass a law forbidding the East wind which comes from foreign parts beyond our jurisdiction, to enter upon our land, and interfere with the West wind, which is an American production ? Sir, cries the Tariffite, all aghast, I am astonished at you,would you give laws to nature ? Not at all, Sir, we are NATURES ADVOCATES. It is you and your blind besotted clique which would give laws to nature ; ignorant of all political economy, obtuse to all feeling except those of self-interest, you would, by your weak, puny efforts, trammel that mighty element of Free Trade which in its very character is as regular, and at time as illimitable, as Natures self. The laws and regulation of Demand and Supply are as far above your comprehension as the origin and nature of the East wind. You would soar in the heavens, regardless of the clay which keeps you grovelling here below.
There is no truth, possessing so many claims to our consideration, which is less generally received, that that a tariff upon imports, is in effect a tariff upon EXPORTS; but this can be made manifest in a few words. It is a fact well understood, that in the various ramifications of trade, the precious metals, as an agent, bear but a small proportion to other and more convenient articles of exchange. In making up the aggregate of wealth of the whole world, gold and silver forms such a very small portion, that it would prove altogether inadequate to carry on any considerable traffick, or satisfy the necessary mercantile demands of the various nations of the earth. Trade is in reality, when stripped of all adjuncts, a mere system of barter ; as for instancea Planter at the South has a crop of Cotton to dispose of ; he ships his Cotton to Liverpool ; after a certain time has elapsed, he draws Bills against the proceeds of his consignment ; (technically called Cotton Bills) these Bills he sells at the current rate of exchange to some factor or merchant at the South ; this merchant travels north to New York to purchase goods ; he sells these Bills to some Broker, and pays for his goods with the proceeds ; the Broker again sells the Bills to some Importer, and the Importer remits them to England to the Manufacturer in payment for goods already received or ordered, and the Manufacturer applies the proceeds of these Bills to the purchase of Cottonit may be of the very crops against which the Bills were drawn.
Now it must be lost sight of, that through all these various transactions, the Cotton which was sent to Europe by the Planter, was the foundation for all the superstructure of business which was done by means of the Bills of exchangethe Bills were in fact the Cotton in a more portable and convenient formand if the Cotton had been sent immediately to the manufacturer, he would have given in exchange for it goods, as readily as for the Bills drawn against it. This is the natural course of trade. But some wiseacre procures a high tariff to be passed, to protect as he says, home industry ; he imposes a 30 per cent. duty, which in most cases would amount to prohibition. What is the result. We export, say in round numbers $100,000,000 per annumand our imports, in a natural state of trade, would average an equal amount ; but we cannot import under a prohibitory tariffand if we cannot import, we cannot EXPORT; for as we before remarked, trade is founded upon a system of exchange or barter. Europe will say to usWe are willing to take your goods, and would be glad to have them, but you must take our goods in returnthough the necessity for our taking your goods is urgent, we cannot give you gold and silver for them ; you have shut out our manufactures completely from your markets, and you must now reap the penalty of your own folly, and consume your surplus products among yourselves. Would not this be the natural consequence ? Would not the tariff then which imposes a duty of thirty per cent on imports, although in fact they would be thereby prohibited, and prevented from coming here, in effect impose a prohibitory export duty upon all our surplus produceand if so, (our position we think is impregnable) what would be the effect of throwing a surplus of such magnitude upon a home market, already glutted to repletion ? clearly RUIN, unavoidable, inevitable ruin to all producers.
We have shown thus far the incompatibility of a tariff for revenue, with a tariff for protection ; we have also shown the danger of a tariff for protection. We will now go still farther, and admitting that if it were possible (which it is not,) to prepare a tariff which would ensure a revenue, while at the same time it protected manufactureswe will prove that it would utterly fail in securing a stable, lasting protectionand that the elements of its destruction would be carried in its own system.
For the purpose of explaining this, as reasoning from experience is always better than reasoning from hypothesis, we shall refer to the tariff of 1816. This tariff was popular at the time of its passage ; the people were ignorant of the evils they were entailing upon themselves. Seduced by the specious tale of protecting American industry, they threw themselves boldly upon a wide and unknown Ocean, where, tossed by conflicting winds for a period of 20 years, their fortunes have been wrecked, and they themselves, just cast ashore, weary, battered, and impoverished, are greeted by ascent of their pristine seducers, who now attempt to cajole them with the same worn out tale they found so successful in 1816.
The tariff went into effect in 1816a complete revolution immediately occurred in social and commercial circles. The Minister deserted the pulpit, the Lawyer the bar, the Doctor his patients, the Merchant closed his counting-house, the Farmer sold his farm. All were bound for the promised landEl Dorado. Manufactories sprang up simultaneously in every corner of the land. The song of birds, the dash of the waterfall, were silenced by the clank of the spinning jennies, and the ceaseless whirr of the shuttle. To be a manufacturer, was to be a little god. But these speculators speedily found out, that although credit was a fine thing while it lasted, it would not last forever, without some respite, or change of form. Banks therefore were chartered, so that they might be furnished with promises to pay, when the ability itself was wanting. Bank bills were issued, which in very many cases, were neither the substance of things hoped for, nor the evidence of things not seen. As the currency became expanded, as it of course would, by the unceasing issue of Bank paper, more manufacturers, induced by the facilities for getting loans, started in business. The ball still rolling on, and gathering momentum as it progressed, more Banks became necessaryand so it went on, the causes acting and reacting upon each other, until at length the currency became so very redundantthe price of goods (owing to the cheapness of money,) became so very much inflated, that the tariff itself became inadequate as a protection, and the foreign manufacturers were enabled to send their goods here, pay the duties upon them, and undersell us at our very doors. Ruin stared the manufacturers in the faceand if they failed, what would become of the Banks, and through them, of the people ? Here was a grave consideration. Honesty and right pointed clearly to the proper course ; but interest, as usual, conquered, and in 1820 the manufacturers asked for and obtained an augmentation of the Tariff. The result might have been foreseen, as like causes always produce like effects. The scenes of the preceding four years were re-enacted, and in 1824 a similar demand was made and favourably answered. Again, in 1828 the manufacturers had the assurance to demand a Tariff which would have been in effect prohibitory, but here their efforts failed, and instead of obtaining any increase, the tariff under the Compromise act went into process of gradual reduction. But its consequences are still upon usunder that high tariff the currency being very much expanded, the value of every thing highly inflated, importation excessively stimulated, the surplus revenue accrued, and this instead of being expended upon fortifications and publick works, was divided, contrary to the advice of the wise and patriotick Jackson, among the States, stimulating them to commence publick works, which otherwise would never have been projectedand which could not be completed without issuing State stocks and obligations to the amount of $200,000,000, many of which have been repudiated, and others will never be paid, through sheer inability on the part of the borrowers. We thus find that the National Government was disgraced, State credit dishonoured, a Bankrupt bill rendered necessary, and almost general wreck ensuing from the folly of incipient legislators, and the restless, aspiring, unprincipled ambition of that Lucifer of the WestHenry Clay of Kentucky.
There is one very remarkable fact, which the protectionists are very particular to keep carefully out of sight, viz.: for eight years, between 1832 and 1840, under a light tariff, the exports of American Manufactures exceeded the export for the 8 years preceding 1832, under a heavy tariff, in the proportion of 4 to 1. This certainly does not look as if they required protection. On the contrary, it shows their ability successfully to compete with foreign manufacturers, (and that too in foreign countries, after paying all freights, duties, and commissions,) to the prejudice and ruin of those very men, from whose enterprise and cheap manufactures, they profess to anticipate such impending evil to the domestick industry of the country.
[To be Continued.]
The next Issue.
From present appearances the next Precedential election will turn upon the tariff question. Mr. Clay, the great champion of the protective system, is already in the field;his friends throughout the country are forming themselves into political clubs, under the imposing title of Home leagues; and all the arts and influences of the special legislation advocates will soon be brought to bear in his favour. On the other hand, the genuine Democratick Press are taking ground against Mr. Clays system, and in favour of impartial legislation. Upon this ground the battle must be fought. And when we consider the mighty powers which can be brought into the field by the monopoliststhe zeal and perseverance, and unscrupulousness with which they always contend in favour of the wealthy against the labouring classes ; when we consider that the contest is to decide whether the wealth of the country shall pay the taxes to support the government, or whether it shall be wrung from the sweat of the brow of the poor. We can easily perceive that the fight must be fierce, and the result may be doubtful. We say the result may be doubtfulbut that doubt can and will soon be removed, if the Democratick Press discharges its duty.
We must not attempt to blink the question. We must meet it fairly and honestly, and immediately. If we adopt the miserable, half-and-half policy of such papers as the Poughkeepsie Telegraph, and attempt to dodge the subject, be declaring that it is not a party question, we shall meet with inevitable and deserved defeat and disgrace.Our only true course is to come out distinctly and fearlessly, and discuss the subject fully and candidly. The advocates of the protective system can never withstand the array of facts and arguments which can be brought against themnor can the people be induced to lend themselves to Mr. Clays schemes of aggrandizing the few at the expense of the many, when they come to understand the legitimate effects of a high Tariff. We have nothing to lose, but very thing to gain by the discussion.
Let us not then be deluded by the cry that it is not a party question. It is emphatically THE PARTY QUESTION. The very question upon which the next President will be elected.
We are aware that some who have professed to be Democrats, are high Tariff men. We, however, deny that they are Democrats in truth. They are such men as Judge Bockeewho are among us but of us. In his capacity of Senator he introduced into the Senate resolutions in favour of Mr. Clays systemand he has, from some of the Democratick papers of his district, received the rebuke which he merited. We can afford to loose him and all of that kidneyand we shall gain by the loss. Let them go. They are joined to their idols--let them alone. These same high Tariff men are also full-blooded bank men;such, for instance, as Grant, Titus, Mabbett, &c, &c. Let them go and support Mr. Clay. They will do the Democratick party much less injury then than they will if they continue with us in name. The simple truth is, that we must get rid of such conservative trash, before our party can ever become sound or strong. The sooner they go the better. For every one that leaves us, we shall obtain ten better men in his place. The People are honest, and will do what is right and just if they have a fair chancebut such men deceive, delude and disgust them.
Away with all middle coursesall dodging the questionall non-committalism. We have had too much of it already. Let us adopt the old maxim, which is as applicable to politicks as any thing elseHonesty is the only true Policy.
[From the Coos County Democrat.]
An American Aristocracy.
It must be obvious, even to a partial observer, that our corporations, unless they shall be limited in their numbers and restricted in their privileges, will ere long take the same position in this country, which is now occupied by the titled and pensioned nobility of Europe.
Our forefathers wisely abolished the principle of primogeniture, under which by the laws of England, the bulk of the fathers estate descended to his eldest son. Family pride and aristocratical prejudice naturally desired its preservation. Ancient custom had consecrated it, and its destruction was denounced by many as a new fledged and destructive innovation. But the friends of republican liberty, knew that its abolition would tend to that equal distribution of property, without which, republican liberty could not long exist. They knew that if it continued in existence, a few favoured families would soon monopolize the whole landed estates of this country, and reduce the people from the condition of untrammelled freemen to that of servile tenantsIt was destroyed.
In the process of time, associations of individuals, patterning after our continental government, were chartered as banks, with the permanent privilege of issuing paper money. They have increased and multiplied till their name is legion. Their promises to pay have to a great extent superseded all other currency. Our coin is stamped in the mints of our government, it is true, but our moneythat upon which the value of our property and our labour dependsthat with which we buy and sell, and conduct all our business operations, is furnished us by private corporations. It is in their gifts to make money plenty or scarceto raise the value of property when they wish to sell, and reduce it to the lowest point in the scale of depression, when they wish to buy. Such is now the giant power of our banking corporations alone !
In addition to this array of privileged associations, we have corporations for the purpose of carrying on every mechanical business under heaven. Every large village is thronged, every important water privilege is surrounded with the stately buildings of corporations. Enjoying an exemption from that extended liability, which often renders the operations of private enterprise so hazardous, and possessing an amount of associated wealth and influence, which enables them to prostrate every attempt at private competition at pleasure, they have to a great extent monopolized the mechanical business of the country. Our most skilful artisans have often found it impossible to maintain themselves against the influences thus brought to bear upon them, and become at once the hirelings and tributaries of that associated capital which has broken them down.
Next comes the rail-road system. Nobody doubts the utility of the new mode of travelling by steam. Nobody doubts that it is better to travel twenty miles in an hour than it is to spend the same time in travelling one. But yet we believe this rail-road fever is the most dangerous corporation fever we have had in the country. Every point of our country must be reached by the rail-roads iron tracks, every village must hear the hourly whistle of the steam engine, every farmer must listen to the clattering of its wheels on its daily passage. Though we live but a two day or three days journey from the market, our farms, we are now told, will become entirely valueless, if we cannot transport our pork and butter by steam ! Our stage proprietors and teamsters are to be thrown out of employment. Our farmers are no longer to jog along independently and in their own quiet and economical way to market. Corporations already furnish us the money in our pockets and the clothes on our backs. If the railroad fever holds on they are to monopolize the whole business of transportation. Corporations can do these thing so much cheaper than individuals, that our sage politicians have concluded to let them manage the whole business of the country, and take the people into their employment as operatives !
If they thus continually multiplying, and the least attempt to restrict their privileges is to be denounced as a crimeif the suggestion of a rail-road from Concord to Canada line is to be deemed a full justification for stripping any man of his property for their benefit;if rail-roads, more rail-roads, is to become the popular cry, and drown every suggestion of justice and reason, we may be assured that a new fledged aristocracy is fastening its fetters upon usa soulless, sordid and grasping moneyed aristocracy, as remorseless in its avarice as the savage Jew, claiming the pound of flesh nearest his debtors heart, because it was so stipulated in the bond.
When business is monopolized by the FEW, and the many are dependent upon them for bread, let the form of our government be what it may, it will be an ARISTOCRACY in fact. Wealth will career like a steam engine through our land. The small remnant of our independent middle classes, seduced by its corruption, will become mere brakemen and engineers to aid its passage while the poor are crushed beneath its wheels.
[From the Seneca Falls Democrat.]
War Against Specie !
Paper money, says the Globe, is the idol of the Whigs ; banks are their temples ; bankers their tutelary deities ; and never was worship more devout, intense, and persevering, than that which these fanatical followers lavish upon their objects of adoration. If any proof of the above was wanting, the conduct of the Whigs in Congress would furnish it. Not content with taxing the whole country to sustain a brood of rotten banks,not content with lauding rag-pictures, and decrying coin,the whig leaders have thrown off all disguise, and have at length declared an open war against the constitutional currencya war, not for the ascendency of paper, but for the total extermination of specie. The people of the United States are henceforth to be compelled to support paper money, because the government have resolved to banish all specie.
To bring about this favourite project of federal leaders, the Clay Whigs in Congress have introduced two bills. The first is, to abolish the United States mints in Georgia, North Carolina, and at New Orleans, and thereby prevent the working of the American gold and silver mines, and the coining of specie at home. The other is, to prohibit entirely the circulation in this country of the gold of Germany, Portugal, Holland, Belgium and Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and the other South American States, and to prevent the further importation of the gold coin of England and France. Nearly the same prohibition is extended to silver. Of all the countries of Europe, the silver of France alone is to be admitted to circulation ; and only the silver of three of all the countries of North and South America. All the laws passed during the Administration of Gen. Jackson, to ensure a more general circulation of specie, and to give a specie basis to the paper currency of the country, are to be repealed.
The question now arises, will the people submit to have the only Constitutional currency destroyed. If not, let them speak out in every place, and arrest the action of a misguided and corrupt congress ; or if that is impossible, at least let them bring such an influence to bear, as will deter a well meaning, but we think, an undecided Executive, from approving the monstrous proposition. It is now generally admitted that a specie currency is the best,that its introduction is practicable ; and it has been clearly demonstrated that there may be enough brought into immediate active circulation to supply all the necessary demands of healthy business ; that there is now more specie in the country than there is paper money in circulation, and that the amount is capable of an unlimited healthy expansion. Let these measures of federalism succeed, and a WORTHLESS IRREDEEMABLE PAPER CURRENCY is fastened upon the land for ages,generations will pass away before the country will be again ready to try the experiment of a specie currency, for the ordinary circulating medium. Shall these measures succeed ? What would not be preferable ? LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK OUT !!!
The two bills of which we have spoken, are now pending in the United States Senate.A proper expression of publick opinion may arrest their further progress. Let it be made.
New fashions make new words, and give to old words new meanings. Our dictionaries will convey no correct idea to posterity of the meaning attached in our age to the following words. I propose the new definitions annexed to them :
Financiering.The art of obtaining money from us without returning a fair equivalent. The less the equivalent the greater the financier.
Kiteing.Obtaining, by conspiracy, money entrusted to the care of bankers, for the purpose of speculation, and without returning for it any equivalent whatever.
Speculation.A lawful game of hazard, in which lands, stocks, and staple productions are used instead of card. They who play the game out re losers. The winners are those who watch a favourable stage in the game, when they fill their pockets from the pool, and withdraw. This variety of financiering is technically called realizing.
A Bank.An association of financiers, who, without having any means, contrive to get into their hands all the money of the country, by persuading the people that out of a small sum they can at once create a large one. This miracle they affect to perform as thus :
They make a dazzling preliminary display with a small portion of the real money thus procuredthey give the people a large amount of printed promises to pay, by sums far exceeding in amount the real money received. The Banks pay the publick no interest on these debts. This farce the ignorant are made to believe makes money plenty, and gives a great stimulus to trade. By the bankers it is considered a splendid financial operation.
The chief profits of the association, however, depend upon their success in the last move of the game, which is called suspension.
Paper Money.A device for sending out of the country all its real money, to be exchanged for finery. This is done by banks, who, affecting to afford better security for its safe keeping, give printed promises to pay it back to the owners when called for. These promissory notes are called paper money. The bank secretly sells the whole of the real money, and instead of paying interest on its notes, as other people do, it actually continues to make the people, who are its creditors, pay it themselves to the bankers. It is a curious fact that the common people believe that this process makes money plenty, and a cheap currency.
Discounting.An exchange of promissory notes, in which a bank is one party, so contrived that the other party pays the interest on both notes ; or, what is substantially the same, pays interest on his own note, while none is received by him or his assigns on that which he takes in exchange.
Shaving.Discounting where interest is charged above the legal ratethe charge increasing with the inability of the drawer to pay.
Suspension.The refusal of a bank to return to the people their money, borrowed from them without interest. This is . . . . . . .
[From the Globe.]
DEBT, TARIFF, BANK, are the great measures of the whigs. They are the supreme objects of whig policy. Of these three measures, one (debt) is well advanced, we having now an authorized national debt of twenty-six millions of dollars for twenty years ; the second one (tariff) is under way, and the bill reported by Mr. Websters friend, Saltonstall, is intended to revive the tariffs of 24 and 28, and go far beyond them in several new and strange features ; the third (bank) has slept for some time, but is about waking up. According to all the signs, we are yet to have a struggle for a bank, and that as an Administration measure. How far the president himself is in the new scheme, we know not ; but there are those about him who are for it, and who are acting in such a way as to implicate him. The Richmond Enquirer, in speaking of the letter to Rhode Island, said the President was not safe with two of his present counsellors about him ; and, truly, every day gives proof of the truth of the remark.
Twaddle.To talk of regulating Banks. So long as they exist, they will regulate every thing around them.[Mississippi Free Trader.]
There is truth, and too much truth in the above remark. They not only seem to bid defiance to Legislative authority, but actually claim and often exercise the right of controlling and regulating the affairs of the people. Since their first establishment the labouring part of the community have been so borne down and grievously oppressed by these institutions, that Bank pets and favourites may be pampered in opulence and licentiousness. And yet, strange to tell, we often hear men who profess friendship to the labourer, crying out for banks ! more Banks !! If ever our people are to become corruptedif ever the yoke of tyranny is to be fastened upon their rightsif ever our happy form of Government is to be subverted, all will be effected by the influence of these execrable corporations. Of late it seem that cabal, robbery and crimes are tolerated and even fostered among them.New powers are claimed, and the sphere of their unhallowed influence is expanding with each succeeding year. let the people look well to these matters, and if they yet have the mastery, let them arrest the onward and inordinate progress of bank power and Bank aggressions.
The Mohawk Courier, a sterling democratick paper, in speaking of the loss of important measures during the last session of our Legislature, through the blighting influence of Conservatism, holds the following forcible and appropriate language :
It is heart-sickening to reflect, that these great and salutary measures of reformwhich are demanded by growing intelligence and true Democracyhave been lost to the community through the treachery of a few individuals acting with the Republican phalanx. These men were elected as members of the Equal Rights party, but they are renegades from its principles. They should now renounce the name of Democrat, and shake hands with the whigs, and join forces with them to put down the agrarians and levellers who are so absurd as to oppose all special privileges, and to demand that all practices and ceremonies inconsistent with Jeffersonian Democracy shall be expurgated from our ritual. For our own part, we court defeat in the company of true and fair men, rather than victory with such allies.
A list of votes given on the Peoples Resolutions has been already published, as have also the names of absentees. A list of votes given and withheld on some of the other important measures which have been lost, will be given hereafter. We shall thus be enabled to bring to the bar of enlightened private judgement some of the dark pages of the legislative history of 1842.
The Banking System.
When we find our own views so well expressed, and the cause of truth so ably vindicated, as in the following remarks by our friend, John Ferguson, Esq., at the recent democratick meeting in Clermont county, we shall dispense with the trouble of writing ourselves :
Mr. Ferguson commenced by stating that he had learned the meeting was called in consequence of the appearance of certain resolutions adopted by some persons in Adams county. He then read and reviewed the resolutions, exposing the humbuggery of their undefined Well regulated Banking System, as a phantom of bankers and visionary politicians, for more than a century and a halfas a thing always proposed, but never realized. He briefly referred to the explosion of every system of paper money, from John Law, down to Nick Biddle, and the Bank of West Union, under the shadow of which these men started this new scheme. He then showed the utter fallacy of the idea of a man in Clermont county converting notes into specie at his will, on any Bank in Ohio. That at est he must go to the Bank, be it in Cincinnati or Cleveland, and there, within banking hours, ask the paying tellers if he will convert the note into specie, showing that it is the bankers will, and not the note holders that converts it into specie.
He then descanted upon the second resolution in mingled levity and sarcasm, showing up a knot of half dozen politicians sitting in a tavern, charging the Democracy with being a faction, and entertaining erroneous sentiments. He next traced the course of some of these men in their publick career, and especially upon the stump, exhibiting them in no enviable light.
In his inquiry as to what pernicious influence had controlled the State Legislature, he briefly referred to the acts compelling a resumption of specie payments, establishing a Board of Bank Commissioners, providing for winding up insolvent banks, imprisoning fraudulent bankers in the Penitentiary, &c., remarking that these were doubtless the restrictions, limitations and penalties complained of, that are to drive honest, prudent men of property from the business of banking, leaving it to rogues and bankrupts. Wondrous thought, that the prudent and honest should flee from the sight of the gallows and penitentiary, and rogues and robbers become more daring !
He contended that it was the legislation alluded to that had alienated these men from Democracy. That legislation had but just taken effectthe banks had resumed on the 4th of March, and they had fulminated this anathema against the Democracy as a hard moneyed faction on the 25th. If this legislation was not the cause, he asked, then why had they adhered to the democracy without a murmur until it took effect ?
It is this legislation which they denounce as pernicious, and it is the Democratick members of that body, (the Ohio Legislature,) which they seek to stigmatise as reckless demagogues.
He then briefly decanted on their effort at separate organization, as a rag money party, still calling the Democracy a faction !!
He next reviewed the whole banking and funding system, as two inseparable companions, exposing the fallacy of the one, and injustice of the other ; showing that States and nations were thus made tributary to those wielding the moneyed powerpresenting the report of the Hon. Levi Woodbury, showing, that from his computation, and from the failures and frauds since its date, the robbery by Banks in the United States, alone by failures, frauds, &c., cannot fall short of FOUR HUNDRED MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, and, that the annual amount of tribute paid by the people of the United States in the way of interest on bank notes and shaves on exchange, amounts to twenty-eight millions two hundred thousand dollars. The first more than all the wars we have ever been involved in from 1776 to the present day, and the latter more than enough to defray all the expenses of the nation. He then exhibited the policy that had depleted the body politick of Ohio,showing the manner in which the banking system had expanded and the State debt increased, until the one, inflated to the furnishing a currency of about nine millions, had exploded, and now furnished three-fourth of one million–whilst the State debt began with a promise it should not exceed four millions, and it had brought prostration and ruin of credit with a debt of about seventeen millions.
The evils of this system were then surveyed, from its head in London, to the retailer of foreign fabricks at every cross-road, showing that the monopoly of this moneyed power, to which, through the banking system the world is tributary, is the curse of the age, and that all new schemes and systems but riveted us the more servile slaves of that power. It is there we borrow money, and pledge the taxes levied on the labouring thousands. It is from that hive of drones that issue our swarms of bankers, sharpers, and brokersand it is to them and the paper money venders we pay our taxes and our millions of interest on the currency we usewhich on the debt of Ohio is more than a million annually, and a tribute to the banks, enabling them to divide as net profit in 1840, $786,539.10.
He then asked how it could be possible, (with disdain constantly pressing upon the people and increasing with every addition to the State debt or to the banking interest,) for us to be prosperous. Then came the evil of over stimulated commercial business, which was also now prostrate, and now collecting every dollar possible, which is to go from the cross-roads through all its channels to the same head.
Having thus shown the veils of the system, he proceeded to show the impracticability of obtaining relief from the same policyfrom more debts and more banks. If banks could relieve, we have enough ; yet with more than twelve millions of chartered capital in Ohio, they have half a million of specie, and three-fourth of a million of circulation. If we re-charter none that expire in 1843, yet we shall have four millions of chartered capital, which, if they can command as many millions of specie, may give us twelve millions of paper, or three millions more than Ohio ever had.Then no new banks or precipitate renewals are demanded.
He next reviewed the raw-head and bloody-bones of demagogues, bankers and brokers, about there not being specie enough for commercial purposes, which the Adams county meeting had dressed up in new clothes.
This he met by exhibiting the following, taken from Jacobs works, sustained by Gallatin, Gouge, and a host of others : That in Europe and America there is,
In coin ........... $1,856,942,800
In plate, jewelry, &c. ....... 2,000,000,000
That the mines of the world produce, annually,
In gold ................ $14,686,965
In silver .............. 18,407,039
That in 1830, France using no notes under 500 francs, had a currency of the precious metals, amounting to 550,000,000
England using notes as low as 5 pounds, had but 300,000,000
The United States, using notes for $1, had, in 1832, but 20,000,000
Which since the passage of the Gold bill, had risen to 90,000,000
Showing, most conclusively, that it is bank notes that banish specie and impoverish a nation.
Going, then, upon the hypothesis, if that the whole banking system were annihilated, he showed that the share of the United States of the precious metals, would be 257 millions. That the share of Ohio would be about 24 to 25 millionswhilst the greatest inflation of the bank bubble has given the United States but 150 millions of paper, and Ohio about 9 millions. Thus, sir, said he, it is seen, that it is paper that brings low wages, black broth, and sheeps pluck, to the labourer, and it is specie that is to bring high wages and roast beef.
Here, sir, is incontestible authority that there is more specie than can possibly be used by the whole commercial world, as money, and that a large share of it will always be used as plate and jewelry.
But, sir, there is no danger that we shall soon realize this specie currency, be it good evil. The danger is that we are to have riveted on us the curse of exclusive paper money. See that all powerful interest, centering in London, and spreading over the whole world, that seeks to make tributary to the paper despots, every interest ; see them acting in phalanx, and by command ; see them besetting, if not bribing, every cabinet, and every legislature ; and follow it to every clique of politicians in a tavern, as at West Union, and we are all constrained to say, that it is paper, not specie, that threatens us with ruin.
A Hard Money Faction.
The Bank hirelings have a great deal of twattle about a hard money faction. To say that any such faction exists is saying what any man of ordinary capacity and observation knows very well to be false.That a large Party of honest, virtuous and enlightened freemenembracing a clear majority of the People of the United Stateshave sworn upon the altar of GOD to emancipate themselves from the accursed thrall of Bank Dominion, is most true. And furthermore, that they will TRIUMPHas did our revolutionary fathers, in a contest involving in no greater degree the principles of libertywe believe is equally true. But as to the factionsthey are all on the side of the paper money advocatesand their number and complexion is varied and multifarious as the spots upon a serpents skin. This spacious world can scarce afford a squad or knot of half a dozen bank advocates who can give harmonious opinions as to what really constitutes a well regulated banking system. The only point upon which they can agree is, that the honest producing classes owe them a livingand that they will have that living by the continuance of that system which enables them to palm upon community three dollars, composed of rags and lamp-back, for one dollar of real money. They are all agreed and resolved that the plundering system shall be perpetuated and fastened upon the necks of the people in some shape ; the rich mans fields, they say, must continue to be fertilized by the sweat of the poor mans brow under some well regulated system. But how framed, how guarded, how restricted, and how regulated, are questions which they are vainly striving to settle among themselvesthe points of difference being grounded upon different degrees of personal cupidity, and the supposed endurance, forbearance, and patience, of a long suffering people.
But the honest People of this country have been pillaged of about enough. They have concluded that FOUR HUNDRED MILLIONS of their hard-earnings, is about all that can reasonably be asked of them for the support of a race of idle, purse-proud nabobs, whose ill-gotten wealth protects them from all regulations of law. The peoplethe great HARD MONEY PARTYvery well know that human wisdom has been exhausted in all its efforts to contrive an honest well regulated system of banking. They know that the creation of Banksthe authorization, by the States, of bills of creditis in direct conflict with the letter of our Constitution, and the theory of our government,that unless the wounds of the Constitution are healed, and the repetition of new infractions arrested, the rich legacy left us by our Republican fathers, will soon be squandered ! Understanding all this, and a great deal more, is it astonishing that a large portion of the People have declared for the Constitutional Currency ? But how very modest in these rag money changers to dub the free, unbought PEOPLE a faction !
The New-York Sun, in concluding an article upon two recent reports of the Judiciary committee of the U.S. Senate, the one against restoring to gen. Jackson the money taken from him by the unjust decision of Judge Hall, and the other in favour of allowing a claim made by the heirs of Gen. Hull for his services on the north-western frontier, makes the following judicious and patriotick remarks :
This is offering a premium for treason in the one case, and in the other a penalty for fidelity and patriotism. While the hero who saved the lives of innocence, virtue, and helpless age from the hands of a brutal soldierywho saved a city and a stateis treated with ingratitude and persecuting malignity ; the coward, the bribed traitor, receives a pecuniary reward, and the countenance of the Congress committee for criminality of the most nefarious character.
Such things smell ranker of treason than the traitor itself. By such examples our country is not only disgraced, but deeply endangered. Men will not risk their lives in her defence, if bravery is held at so low and dangerous a rate. The stimulus to bravery and daring is sapped to the foundation, while the base and treacherous are encouraged. May the day be far distant before such superlative absurdity becomes the principles of action in this republick.
Facts for the People.
FACT NO I.
Take the period of sixteen years from 1824 to 1841, (both inclusive) the first eight of which were years of high tariffs, and the last eight of which were years of (comparatively) free trade.
During the first eight years, our total exports were $469,198,564, being at the rate of an annual average of about $58,000,000.
During the last eight years, out total exports were $768,352,365, being at the rate of an annual average of $96,000,000.
The annual average of increase is $38,000,000, being vastly greater than the increase of our population during the same time.
The great and ruling law of trade is, that imports and exports in any considerable period of time, must balance each other in value ; and if importation is destroyed or checked by high duties, exportation suffers in the same ration, and with it, all those branches of industry, connected with the production of articles of export.
FACT NO. II.
Take the period of twenty years from 1821 to 1840, (both inclusive) and compare the first twelve with the last eight, so far as our trade with the British empire (including all its dependencies) is concerned.
From 1821 to 1832, (both inclusive) our total exports to the British dominions were $383,146,913, and out total imports from the British dominions were $459,626,422; showing an excess of imports of about $42,000,000.
From 1833 to 1840, (both inclusive) our total exports to the same dominions were $473,223,871, and our total imports from the same dominions were $459,809,395, showing an excess of exports of about $13,000,000.
Thus, then, with respect to our trade with that nation, with which we trade the most, the free trade years show a balance of trade in our favour, and the high tariff years a balance of trade against us.
Undoubtedly importations are greater under free trade, and so also are exportations. The balance is always preserved, and high duties only direct industry from one channel to other and less profitable channels.
FACT NO. III.
From 1821 to 1832, (both inclusive) being the same tariff period, our total export of specie were $84,488,414, and our total imports were $81,358,094; showing a loss of specie of about $3,000,000.
From 1833 to 1841, (both inclusive) our total exports of specie were $50,106,505, and our total imports were $99,143,416; showing a gain of specie of about $49,000,000.
What then becomes of the dogmas, that free trade drains a country of its specie, and that high duties enable a country to retain its specie. The authentick statistick of our commerce for the last twenty years demonstrate its falsity, beyond all possibility of mistake.[Age.]
The duties imposed in this country upon imported manufactures, vary from 140 per cent ad valorem to 39 per cent. This enormous imposition is concealed under the minimum system. Thus on white cottons the duty levied is 30 per cent; and whatever the cost of the goods may actually have been, if less than 20 cents per yard, it is assumed to have cost 20 cents, and the duty levied accordingly. On printed cottons the minimum cost is 30 cents per yard. There is also an article of cotton imported, and used extensively for clothing among working people, called moleskins, cords, fustians, &c. being coloured cotton goods, manufactured by napping or raising, cutting or shearing. These by the new tariff will be prohibitedthe minimum is fixed at 50 cents the square yard, and under the old tariff it was 35 cents.
The tax upon cheap cottons, on those which enter into the consumption of the poorer classes, ranges as high as 100 per cent ; and on those coarse cotton cloths, which form the clothing of working men on account of their durability, range from 43 to 140 per cent !! On whom is this enormous tax imposed ? Upon the rich ? Do gentlemen of wealth wear moleskin pantaloons, or low priced cotton shirts ? Not so ; none of these articles on which such enormous burdens are imposed, are worn by them ; on the contrary, what do they consume ? the linen cambricks, the silk stockings, gloves, and goods which have heretofore been imported free ! and on which a simple duty of 30 per cent in now proposed. The dear people do not understand that these impositions are to extend the home market for their produce. For instance, the richer the manufacturers become through the medium of these high taxes paid to them by the working men of their own country, the more means will these manufacturers have to send their families on the tour of Europe, and luxuriate in Paris and London. Thus it is with the landed interest of England ; the means wrung from the starving populace by protective duties, are dissipated in Italy and the continent, by the families of the oppressors.
The duty on prints, being nine cents per square yard, amounted in 1833 to a duty of 41 per cent, and owing to the fall in the price of goods, amounted to 69 per cent ! in 1840. On the white goods, the duty was 56 per cent on the average cost, and in 1840 it was near 69 per cent !! Under these circumstances, it is not to be wondered at that such an immense falling off in the imports is manifest. The people of this country derive no benefit from the reduced price in England, because the minimum system operating like a sliding scale increases the per centage of duty in the same proportion that the price falls abroad.
Money Article N.Y. Herald.
One of the most plausible arguments of our opponents, in favour of a protective tariff, is found in the restrictive policy of Great Britain, towards foreigners. There is a great deal in the geographical position and in the institutions of England which would naturally render her policy the converse of ours ; but in this matter of protection, she seems to have learned, and to afford to us, an impressive lesson ; and as far as her enormous national debt will permit, she evinces an anxious desire, in this respect, to retrace her steps. In a late speech on the subject of her commercial restrictions, Sir Robert Peel, the present prime minister of England, made use of the following strong language :
I have now fulfilled the purpose for which I rose ; and I have stated, I hope, to the satisfaction of the House, the general scope of the measure which has been brought forward by her Majesty's Government ; and I have taken some of those points which have appeared to me to be the most prominent, and adverted to them, I hope, not at unnecessary length. [Hear, hear, hear.] I knew that many gentlemen who are strong advocates for free trade may consider that I have not gone far enough. I believe that, on the general principle of free trade, there is now no great difference of opinion [cheers,] and that all agree in the general rule that we should purchase in the cheapest market and sell in the dearest. [Loud cheers from the opposition benches.]
He excused himself for not carrying out the general principle to the fullest extent, and at once, by remarking that
It is impossible, in dealing in general with such immense and extensive interests, to proceed always by a strict application to the general principle ; for in such it is of the utmost importance to proceed with caution. [Hear, hear.] I believe that the true friend to general principle will argue that it is not expedient or proper to propose such a change as would produce as much individual injury as to cause general complaint, and excite a strong sympathy. [Hear, hear.]
After alluding to the wants of Government, as creating another obstruction to giving full effect to the free-trade principle, he adds :
In the face of all these difficulties, we have come forward with a proposal, greatly reducing the restriction and imposts on foreign articles. [Hear, hear.] I deeply regret to say that other enlightened communities have not acted on this principle. [Hear, hear, hear.] We have reserved many articles from immediate reduction, in the hope that, ere long, we may attain that which is just and right ; namely, increased facilities for our exports in return. [Hear, hear.] At the same time, I am bound to say THAT IT IS FOR THE INTEREST OF THIS COUNTRY TO BUY CHEAP, [hear,] WHETHER OTHER COUNTRIES WILL BUY CHEAP FROM US OR NOT. [Hear, hear, hear.]
Jefferson about Borrowing.
Mr. Jeffersons Rule in regard to Borrowing.In 1813, when the government of the United States was under the necessity of borrowing large sums of money, and when its credit was seriously impaired, Mr. Jefferson, in a letter to Mr. Eppes, Chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, recommended the following rule as a guide for all governments which were disposed to cherish their credit. If this salutary rule had controlled the legislation of those States which have borrowed money to develop their resources, a sound and healthy state of things would have been preserved, and the country not have been discredited and dishonoured by the bankruptcy of sovereign States. Mr. Jefferson says :
It is a wise rule and should be fundamental in a government disposed to cherish its credit, and at the same time to restrain the use of it within the limits of its faculties, never to borrow a dollar without laying a tax in the same instant for paying the interest annually, and the principal within a given term; and to consider that tax as pledged to the creditors on the public faith. On such a pledge as this, sacredly observed, a government may always command, on a reasonable interest, all the lendable money of their citizens, while the necessity of an equivalent tax is a salutary warning to them and their constituents against oppressions, bankruptcy, and its inevitable consequence, revolution.
From the New York Union.
Tyler and the Bank.
Washington, Sept. 17, 1842.
There are one or two facts connected with the Bank and the last presidential election, which may not be uninteresting to your readers ; and I trust the Commercial which has so vivid a remembrance of the statements in my former letter, may recollect something of what I shall put in this communication before I have finished.
During the time which elapsed between the nomination at Harrisburgh and the election, and while congress was in session; it was considered necessary by some, that the views of Mr. Tyler upon a national bank should be obtained. For this purpose, the Hon. Henry A. Wise was selected to address Mr. Tyler on this subject, and received an answer immediately, in which the then candidate for the vice-presidency said distinctly that his views were unchanged on the subject of a national bank ; and that, were he president, he could never sign a charter for such an institution, whilst the constitution remained in its present form. This he plainly, unequivocally stated, that it might be submitted to the whigs of Congress, and through them to the nation.
This letter was shown by Mr. Wise to Mr. Biddle of Pittsburgh, and others, leading whig members of Congress at that time ; and it was left for them to say whether the letter should be published or not. They decided that Mr. Tylers letter should not go before the publick.
The reason for this is obvious. They had determined to run their candidate upon one simple negative principle ; and that was, opposition to the sub-treasury, without saying a word for or against a national bank. Many of the leaders had declared that a bank was a mill-stone that would drown any party foolish enough to adopt it as a measure ; and hence the non-committal course.
It now became necessary to ascertain the views of Mr. Clay on the same subject ; and his declarations were as clear and positive as were Mr. Tylers. Mr. Clay declared himself unchanged in his late views of a bank. He thought the country required such an institution ; that it was entirely constitutional ; but that, under present circumstances, he was willing to say little or nothing about it now, and would wait an expression of the people on the subject at some future time.
Now, this too, was suppressed, and the battle of 1840 was fought simply under the banner of opposition to the sub-treasury, without the question of a bank being before the publick, except so far as it was charged on the whigs by the democrats, and by the former repelled, as forming no part of the whig political creed.
The first move at the extra-session of 1841, was to kick over all former professions, and grasp at the bank, as the ne plus ultra of universal good, without waiting an expression from the people on that subject. The result is known ; and the thunders of the democracy at the fall election of 1841, show most clearly where they supposed they were during the contest of the previous year.
I would now ask, who is to blame in all this trickery ? Mr. Tyler had said, long before the election, where he stood and the letter containing his opinions had been suppressed by the whigs. Let them answer as they may, Mr. Tyler stood then where he stands now, and where he always has stood, on the broad ground of Jeffersonian democracy. Mr. Wise was desirous of publishing Mr. Tylers letter, and was prevented from so doing by the leading whigs of Congress.
Under the impressions naturally conveyed by the above position of facts, Mr. Wise was as much deceived as thousands of the masses ; and hence his letter eulogizing Mr. Clay, about which so much has been said. Mr. Wise expected Congress to wait an expression of publick opinion, and not rush headlong down a precipice blindfolded. He expected Mr. Clay to be with him in this ; and little did he imagine that the first act of treachery was to be against the views previously held out to the people. No publick expression was waited. The deed was done ; but there stood one in the door to prevent the people being sacrificed to a monopolizing aristocracy.
Mr. Wise has been accused of keeping the conscience of the king, because he asserted that he did not believe that John Tyler would sanction a bank. The assertion would have applied equally well to Mr. Clay, who knew before the election that Mr. Tyler, if President, would never sanction a national bank while the constitution remained unaltered.
[From the Washington Globe.]
BRIBERIES AND VILLANIES OF THE BANK OF THE UNITED STATES.
An important investigation has just taken place in the Legislature of Pennsylvania, in which some of the briberies and villanies of that idol of Federal adorationthe late Biddle Bank of the United Stateshave been partly brought to light. The immediate object of the investigationconducted by three Whigs and two Democratswas to ascertain whether any bribes had been taken by members of the Legislature in the session of 1839 and 1840, to postpone for a year the period of resuming specie payments in the State of Pennsylvania. A bill had just passed one branch, to require resumption in February, 1840. That bill, after a great deal of disagreement between the two houses, was finally defeated and resumption was postponed until January, 1841. A great deal of suspicion was excited at the time, and the testimony now taken by the committee proves that the bank employed three of her directors, and these employed three subaltern agents, to effect their object by bribery. But the exact application of the money cannot precisely be ascertained, from the flight of some of the agents, and the refusal of some of the directors to testify. Enough is proved, however, to establish the guilt of the bank, and that she actually advanced the money for the purpose of bribery, and to get the resumption postponed until January, 1841; that the resumption was postponed accordingly ; and that the money advanced by the bank for the purpose of bribing members, was actually put into the hands of the subaltern agents for that purpose, whether they applied it or not. A great many letters of these agents are produced, in which the whole transaction is made to wear the appearance of a lumber speculation ! The sum of $131,175 is proved to have been advanced by the bank for this villanous purpose, under the pretext of sending a committee to Harrisburg to protect the interests of the bank. The following extract from the committees report establishes this point :
The committee commenced their labours on the 14th of February, 1842. They have sat almost constantly during the session of the Legislature, and have examined seventy-three witnessesThey resorted first, as was natural, to the officers of the Bank of the United States. The permanent expense account of that institution was produced, and the vouchers of its several items exhibited. These vouchers are receipts of the officers for various sums of money, but do not at all explain the objects to which the money had been applied. There was produced, however, as authority for the expenditure of a portion of them, a resolution of the board of directors, of March 4, 1840, in the following words :Resolved, That a special committee of three directors be appointed, with authority to proceed to Harrisburg, and generally to adopt such measures as they may find necessary to protect the interests of the Bank.
Whereupon the president appointed Messrs. Price, handy, and Lewis, to compose said committee. The entry of expenditures on the permanent expense account, made under the direction of this committee, is as follows :
1840, March 31.Special committee, 24th March, 1840, $15,700
Voucher of R. Price, George Handy, and Law. Lewis.
Special committee, 31st March, 1840, 500
Special committee, 23d April, 1840, 22,700
Special committee, 20th April, 1840, 59,300
Special committee, 23d April, 1840, 1,000
There also appeared to have been allowed on the vouchers of this committee, but charged to another account in the bank :Voucher of George Handy, dated June 16, 1840, ......... 28,800
Voucher of R. Price, L. Lewis, and G. Handy, October 17, 1840, .... 3,175
How these $131,000 were applied, was the great point of inquiry ; and on that point, Mr. Director Handy testified :
He stated that the whole amount of the money expended by the committee had not passed through his hands ; but first every dollar of what he did receive, of which he could not state the amount exactly, was paid by him to Daniel M. Brodhead, and George W. South, for George Readthe sum of $120,000 to Brodhead, in pursuance of an arrangement or understanding with him, that he was to receive that sum in case such a law was passed as the bank desired. That he had also requested Joseph Solms to go to Harrisburg to assist in the accomplishment of the object, and at a subsequent period, Samuel R. Wood and John C. Boyd. As confirmatory of this statement, and also as containing all the information he possessed as to the application made by Brodhead of the money, and of the means employed to procure the law which was passed, he submitted a number of letters received at the time. He stated also, that he had never asked or received more particular information as to the disposition made of the money, though he did not pretend to deny that he knew or believed, at the time it was advanced, that it was for corrupt purposes.
So far for Mr. Director Handy. The other two directors admit the advance of money, and its delivery to the three subalterns ; but testify they know not what these subalterns did with it ! And on the books of the bank the account against them stands closed without accounting, or being required to account, for the application of the money ! a circumstance that puts the seal on the guilt of the bank, and proves that she did not wish the application of the money to be shown. It was sufficient for her that the interest of the bank had been protected by defeating the bill for resumption in February, 1840, and postponing it to January, 1841.
While this game, the committee fell upon another trail, to wit, the bribery transactions of the bank in 1836, to procure a State charter after the expiration of the National charter. Bribes to the amount of $79,000 are already detected ; and other to the amount of $400,000 are well made out on this occasion, besides the stock operations, which were so much talked of at the time, and by which some members became so suddenly rich. The following is the report of the committee in relation to the charter bribes :
In regard to the re-charter of the Bank of the United States, some evidence, however, was incidentally brought before the committee, from which it would seem scarcely to be doubted that the same means were attempted, if not actually employed, at the time, as during the session of 1840. The permanent expense account of that bank, before referred to, shows the following entries :1836
May 5, receipt of N. Biddle, President, ............ $20,575.00
May 7, receipt of N. Biddle, President, ............ 5,000.00
May 16, Voucher for incidental expenses at Harrisburg, .... 1,311.00
May 23, Receipt of N. Biddle, ...................... 8,697.50
May 23, John B Wallace, for professional services, .... 10,000.00
May 23, J. MIlvain, do. .............................. 10,000.00
May 27, N. Biddle, .................................... 10,000.00
June 13, N. Biddle, ................................... 5,000.00
June 24, M. Wilson & Co., Harrisburg, for expenses .... 3,468.50
June 28, N. Biddle, ................................... 5,000.00
How many more of the items of the same account entered as of a subsequent date, refer back to the transaction in question, the committee cannot determine. They call attention, however, to the evidence of Jonathan Patterson, one of the tellers of the bank, who proves the use of the sum of $400,000 by the officers, at or about the very period of the re-charterthe withdrawal of which from the bank was attempted to be concealed by a false entry on the books. Both of the agents who appear to have been employed on this occasion are now deceased ; and to have proceeded further in such an investigation, without having time to prosecute it to its full extent, did not seem to be proper under the circumstances.
Here are $479,000 of ascertained bribes, advanced by the Biddle Bank to obtain the State charter, in 1836. How much, judging from these data, must have been expanded in the previous years, in endeavouring to obtain a national charter, from Congress ? Probably the attempts to obtain a renewed charter, and to recover the removed deposits, must have cost the bank five millions of dollars. Half that sum was known to be lent to members of Congress ; an immense amount lent to editors ; immense amount to other influential agents ; and an army of agents, committee men, and panick-makers, kept on pay at Washington during the veto session of 1831-32, and the panick session of 1833-34all this, exclusive of the expenses and bribes at elections. Five millions would probably be within bounds, to be set down for the bribery expenditures of this infamous institution, to obtain a renewed charter from Congressby help of which, she would have made good all her losses, out of the plunder of the people and the Government.
Our present object, however, is to fasten publick attention on the prominent point established by the committee of the Pennsylvania Legislaturethat of three directors of the Bank of the ........