CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES:
BEGUN and held at the Capitol, in the City of Washington, in the Territory of Columbia, on Monday, the thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, being the First Session of the Twenty-Seventh Congress, held under the Constitution of the Government of the United States, and in the sixty-fifth year of the Independence of said States.
On which day, being the day fixed by proclamation of the President of the United States, of the seventeenth day of March, eighteen hundred and forty-one, for the meeting of Congress; which said proclamation is in the words following, to wit:
By the President of the United States of America.
Whereas sundry important and weighty matters, principally growing out of the condition of the revenue and finances of the country, appear to me to call for the consideration of Congress at an earlier day than its next annual session, and thus form an extraordinary occasion, such as renders necessary, in my judgment, the convention of the two Houses as soon as may be practicable, I do, therefore, by this my Proclamation, convene the two Houses of Congress, to meet in the Capitol, at the City of Washington, on the last Monday, being the thirty-first day of May next. And I require the respective Senators and Representatives then and there to assemble, in order to receive such information respecting the state of the Union as may be given to them, and to devise and adopt such measures as the good of the country may seem to them, in the exercise of their wisdom, and discretion, to require.
In testimony whereof, I have caused the seal of the United States to be hereunto affixed, and signed the same with my hand.
Done at the city of Washington, this seventeenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the sixty-fifth.
By the President:
William Henry HARRISON.
The ever memorable Extra Session of Congress, 1841.
To be fairly under headway with our cheap publications by the meeting of the extraordinary Congress, we issue the first number of our Extra Globe to-day. In this weekly publication, which will run through the next six months, it is our purpose to record all the intelligence, the political views, the workings of parties, and the public measures which this pregnant period may bring forth.
The Extra Globe will embody the opinions of the Democratic press, of the leading men of the party, as well as the comment of the Editor on the new scenes that are about to open. The Congressional Globe and Appendix will present the official documents and an authentic record of the action had, and speeches made, in Congress.
There never was an epoch of our history, portending matter of greater moment to our country, than that on which we are about to enter. The enemies of Republican rule --of popular power --of equality-- having obtained authority by deception, chicane, corruption, and fraud, will now seek to entrench and fortify against the people's sovereignty, in whose name they, for the moment, are empowered to act.
We have, therefore, in advance of the President's Message, a train of measures marked out in the official organ, every one of which look beyond the present age, and seek to control, by irrevocable legislation, the political destiny not only of all now living, but to give complexion to the Government of their posterity.
The bases of the four great bastions of the new fortress which Federalism is making hasty preparations to erect, (and by surprise in a called session,) are visible in the outline delineated in the National Intelligencer, and now going the rounds of the Federal presses. They are---
A National Debt;
A National Bank;
A Surrender of the National Domain;
And as a necessary concomitant of the whole An Excessive Indirect Tax;
Sustained and pressed upon the people by the influence of the classes interested in the protective policy, and in extravagant Government expenditures.
The Bank Not Dead.
One of the devices of the Federal party to bring the people within the grasp of the great antagonist of popular power in the Government --the corrupting moneyed influence, which is to substitute a charter of privileges, for the Constitution-- has been to allay all fears of the monster, by representing it as utterly extinct. For years past the bank presses have met the opposition made to the Federal leaders on the score of their designs in favor of a National Bank, by exclaiming, "the Bank is dead!" "the Bank is dead!!" One would have supposed, from the universal accord of all the organs and advocates of a National Bank, in announcing this fact, that the race of mammoths, which once devoured the fruits, and destroyed the weaker animals of our continent, was not more surely extinct than that of our national banking corporation. Whenever fears were expressed that there was still a dangerous vitality lurking in the system, the public eye was immediately turned to the gibbeted remains of Mr. Biddle's defunct national institution. Like the cat in the fable, this institution was exhibited hanging by the heels in a helpless condition, until the multitude, who carefully avoided its power while alive, were seduced, (like the mice by the meal tub,) with the cry of hard cider, to come within the reach of the destroyer.
The Bank is now ready to drop from the State hook on which it was hung, and start up, with all its original "odor of nationality" about it, to make prey of every thing on which it can pounce.
Two of the London bankers representing the house of the Barings [Joshua Bates 1788-1864], and another of great capital [John Cryder of Morrison Cryder &co.], which hold a vast amount of the United States Bank stock, and almost all the securities, which it has accumulated in State debts and corporation stocks, have already reached our shores, to give their aid in the regeneration of the National Bank. Since their arrival, we have it announced in the official organ, that the re-establishment of a National Bank as the fiscal agent and regulator of the currency of the nation, is the principal matter that will engross the extra session. Without European credit and capital, it is impossible to give vitality to the body of the old or of the new "Bank.
Webster goes for a United States Bank--- The following facts may serve to enlighten the people why he does: The advocates or a recharter of the United States Bank should bear in mind not only the fact that it bought up men and presses like cattle in the market, but another very important fact that, during the struggle for a renewal of its charter, it made the following loans to members of Congress:
1830, it loaned to 52 Congressmen $192,101
1831, it loaned to 59 Congressmen $322,109
1832, it loaned to 44 Congressmen $478,069
1833, it loaned to 58 Congressmen $364,766
1834, it loaned to 52 Congressmen $238,586
Making the sum of one million six hundred and five thousand and seven hundred and eighty-one dollars, loaned by the late bank of the United States to 265 members of Congress, within the space of five years; being more than six thousand dollars to each member. These facts appear from a report of a committee of the House of Representatives. What would the people of this country say, if an individual should resort to the same corrupt appliances to obtain the passage of a law granting to him important privileges ? Would he not receive the just condemnation of all, and be consigned to everlasting infamy and disgrace ?
Mr. Webster and the Bank of the United States !!!---
Since we announced to the world that "Daniel--the godlike," owed to this institution the sum of $110,000, he has paid --not his debt, but a visit to Philadelphia, and made a compromise with the Bank, through its President, Colonel Drayton, by handing over to it certain patents for lands in the Territory of Iowa! worth perhaps ten thousand dollars ! We have no interest in this Bank, or any other, but we expected better things from Colonel Drayton than an acceptance of this offer, unless, indeed, he found the offering of the Prime Minister so desperate, that he was glad to get even these lands; for we have information to be relied upon, that Daniel occupies a house in Washington city, taken in the name and upon the credit of a Mr. Perkins of Boston ! Citizens of America! are you not disgraced and dishonored by such conduct ? Ought not our statesmen, placed in high stations, to be examples of integrity, virtue and patriotism? --are we so lost to every sense of shame, as not to cry out fie! fie! upon an administration and cabinet, regardless of moral rectitude, and a just performance of our duty to our fellow men ? Are we willing to encourage the spendthrift, the gambler and the roue ?
The Webster Family.---
Daniel Webster takes excellent care of his family relatives. His son, D.F. Webster, is "under Secretary of State." Israel W. Kelley, his brother-in-law, has been appointed Marshal of New Hampshire. Joel Eastman, a relative, has received the office of District Attorney of the same State; and Webster Kelley, a nephew, has received the appointment of Deputy Collector of the port of Belfast in this State. Israel W. Kelley, like his brother-in-law Daniel Webster, is an old anti-war Hartford Convention Federalist. Eastman has been one of the most unscrupulous, brawling electioneered in his State, and took the stump to advocate his own election to Congress; and Webster Kelley is a young aristocrat of the first water. Thus this old Tory family is pensioned by the Government. ---Bangor Democrat.
We annex the notice of the New York Herald's writer of its money articles on tbe last report of the Stockholders' Committee. We shall, at the meeting of Congress, give place to these official documents, that they may fall at once into the hands of every member. These partial disclosures will then become the subject of deep and sifting discussion. In the mean time, the retrospect which it opens in the glance of light which it throws back on Gen. Jackson's time, cannot but attract observation.
The prominent objection to the removal of the deposites from the Bank of the United States was, that it would immediately begin to wind up --would oppress its debtors --obtain the means from them to push the State banks, and force them to press their debtors --that the great Bank would destroy the lesser ones, and that universal distress would be the consequence. President Jackson, in his Cabinet paper, encountered these objections. He says: "It has been alleged by some as an objection to the removal of the deposites, that the Bank has the power, and in that event, will have the disposition, to destroy the State Banks employed by the Government, and bring distress upon the country." After enlarging on this threat, the President adds: "The President verily believes the Bank has not the power, to produce the calamities its friends threaten. The funds of the Government will not be annihilated by being transferred. They will immediately be issued for the benefit of trade, and if the Bank of the United States curtails its loans, the State Banks, strengthened by the public deposites, will extend theirs. What comes in through one Bank, will go out through others, and the equilibrium will be preserved. Should the Bank, for the mere purpose of producing distress, press its debtors more heavily than some of them can bear, the consequences will recoil upon itself, and in the attempts to embarrass the country, it will only bring loss and ruin upon the holders of its own stock. But if the President believed the Bank possessed all the power which has been attributed to it, his determination would be only rendered the more inflexible. If, indeed, this corporation now holds in its hands the happiness and prosperity of the American people, it is high time to take the alarm. If the despotism be already upon us, and our only safety is in the mercy of the despot, recent developments in relation to his designs and the means he employs, show how necessary it is to shake it off."
It is this passage, and the instructions from the Treasury in conformity to it, which has furnished Federalism with the pretext to say that Gen. Jackson's policy stimulated the State banks to excessive loans, and produced the speculation which has ended in the present embarrassment of the speculating classes. But the extract given, the whole tenor of the Cabinet paper, and the subsequent events, show how grossly false is the imputation. General Jackson only proposed that the deposite banks should extend their discounts pari passu, with the contraction of the United States Bank. Mr. Biddle, through the official Bank Gazette, announced that he would call in the whole amount due his bank by the close of its chartered period, which was at the rate of several millions a month.
Instead of doing this, however, he took the directly opposite course, and increased the loans from about fifty to seventy millions. Gen. Jackson, therefore, immediately changed his policy. Orders were issued to the deposite banks to restrict their loans. Cautions were given them, again and again, through the Globe, of the design of Mr. Biddle to expand the paper bubble to bursting. Gen. Jackson issued his specie circular to restrain speculation in the public lands, and, by insisting on the use of gold and silver in Government receipts and disbursements, put a salutary curb upon the over issues of banks. General Jackson's whole scheme of policy was devised, not to break the banks --not to even embarrass the Bank of the United States, --not to produce an expansion and contraction, and consequent distress, but to preserve equilibrium in the currency and bank loans.
But Mr. Biddle's schemes and those of his coadjutors --Clay, Webster, and other political allies-- were directly the reverse. They wanted expansion and pressure, panic and distress, to compass their political designs, and they made it. And yet, with the audacity of the most hardened culprits, they have imputed the very crimes which they deliberately plotted and executed, to the venerable patriot who did all in his power to arrest their nefarious schemes.
These facts we had occasion to bring before the country, at the time the events, to which we allude, were in progress. But then the clamor of interested partisans kept the truth from entering the minds of many honest Federalists. Now, however, we are happy to find, that some elevated minds of that party are willing to do justice to the venerable tenant of the Hermitage. In a leading article under the editorial bead of the Boston Courier, commenting on tbe late disclosures at Philadelphia, we find the following passage:
"The first and most important question to the public not whether there has been mismanagement in the Bank, for that I understand to be universally admitted, but whether that mismanagement did in fact arise during the existence of the old Bank of the United States, at the time when the Whig party was advocating its recharter, or whether it took its origin since the institution became merely a State bank of Pennsylvania. It is one of the most unfortunate consequences of the present stat of things, that it goes very far towards justifying the violence which President Jackson and his party ran into during this dispute about the recharter. The great mass of the people, who do not feel competent to judge of the details in complicated pecuniary transactions, and who take up with results only, will settle down in the conviction that, whatever might have been the errors of judgment of Jackson, he has proved right at bottom, and certainly honest; and that, on the other hand, the advocates of the Bank have not merely proved wrong in their reliance upon it, but have exposed themselves, by their course, to excite the inevitable suspicion, however unfounded in fact, that they, from personal or party motives, continued to sustain it, notwithstanding, and in spite of a consciousness in their own minds that it was doing wrong.
"Even those of us who will be least inclined to approve of the doctrines or policy of Jackson, must be constrained to admit that, if the recharter had been likely to result in any state of things like that in which the Bank now finds itself, the veto put upon it by him must be regarded as a fortunate and wise measure. One consequence, and a most unfortunate one, of the course of Mr. Biddle, is, therefore, to place President Jackson in the light of a benefactor to the country, in that very particular wherein he was charged by the Whig party with having done it the most injury."
In a subsequent article, the Boston Courier goes on to show what great advantages the placing of Government deposites in other banks, gave the United States Bank to wind up successfully. It declares the opportunity to wind up the affairs of the great Bank was "eminently favorable," because of "the newly acquired privilege of the Government deposites" given to the State institutions.
"If there were bad debts, (continues the Courier's article) in the South and West, then was the time to get a fair dividend collected from them. The effect of pursuing such a policy would have been favorable not only to the stockholders of the United States Bank, but to the people of the whole country; for it would have raised a partial barrier, at least for a time, against the speculating madness which raged all over the country, and would probably have prevented any necessity for a measure which has had a highly disastrous influence over the States --I mean the distribution of the surplus revenue."
The article goes on then to expose how absolutely Mr. Biddle reversed the true policy of the Bank, before he was sure of a continued existence of the Bank in any form, and how he ruined it while it was still a national institution. The following passage is full of explanation of the whole scope of the policy of Mr. Biddle and his associates, although it only opens up that part of it which embraced Pennsylvania, without examining the worst phasis of it, which resulted in so much ruin to the South, and the deplorable consequences which have attended the bank suspensions and explosions every where.
"Before he was at all sure of gaining a charter from the State of Pennsylvania, that is in March, 1835, and the charter was procured from a Legislature that was not elected until October of that year, Mr. Biddle proposed to the directors 'to make loans on the security of the stock of the Bank, or other approved security, and if necessary, at a lower rate than six, but not less than five per cent, per annum.' The measure was adopted, and its execution entrusted to the Exchange Committee, being a committee of three persons, appointed by the president himself. So rapidly did this committee, under the guidance of the president, proceed in the business thus entrusted to them, that in the brief space of one year from the adoption of the plan, the enormous sum of sixteen millions of dollars had been scattered with a lavish hand among the people of the State of Pennsylvania. The effect of this may readily be conceived. It stimulated every body to enterprise, and gave to every project an appearance of solidity which did not properly belong to it. But the immediate motive to so extraordinary a course may be conjectured, when it is connected with the intention which appears to have originated at the same moment, of applying to Pennsylvania for a charter.
"It is, of course, impossible to specify the exact month in which the greater part of this expanding process was carried on. But if we can judge of it by that in which Mr. Cowperthwaite and the rest of the Bank officers dipped their hands most freely into the funds, it was during the month of September, 1835. The choice of Governor, Senate, and Representatives, took place in the month of October; and it will be recollected that, very much to the surprise of the public generally, not only was Joseph Ritner chosen Governor, over the divided forces of the Democratic party, under Muhlenburg and Wolf, but, for the first time in that State, a majority of both branches of the Legislature was secured, of a political complexion favorable to the Bank.
"Looking back as I do upon this train of events, it is impossible for me to resist the conviction that the resolution offered, and carried, in the Bank, on the 6th of March, 1835, a resolution, I must add, of a very extraordinary character, in the low rate at which the money was to be offered and the extent of the means it was to dispose of, was passed with a design to scatter an immense sum over the public and private enterprises of Pennsylvania. This was expected to create a dependence upon the continuance of the Bank in the State, which would so imperatively require the offer of a charter by the Legislature, as effectually to drown all the noise of opposition.
"If such was the scheme, it was fully successful. The appeal to the interest of Pennsylvanians who had already been made debtors beyond a hope of extrication, could not be resisted. But the measure of chartering the bank was yet to be sweetened to the taste of the great body of the people --and this was done by appending to it most extravagant terms of purchase. The title of the bill was a cheat. It was called An act to repeal the State tax on real and personal property, and to continue and extend the improvements of the State by railroads and canals, and to charter a State Bank to be called the United States Bank. The motive in connecting these wholly dissimilar subjects for legislative action, is too obvious to need commenting on. The bank was to relieve the people from the necessity of taxation."
The New York Herald's money article, which we copy below, justly remarks on the failure of the stockholders' committee to explore the true causes of the immense losses which the unfortunate owners of the Bank's capital have sustained. They confine their inquiries to the robbery of the officers, without daring to expose the political policy which staked the whole capital as at the gambler's board; or the political gamesters, who seized the opportunity of playing the part of sink pockets with all the money of the widows and orphan, of confiding foreigners, of personal and political friends, which was put within their grasp. The committee felt, doubtless, that a full eclaircissement would have ended in a panegyric upon Gen. Jackson's policy, and the condemnation of their party and party leaders. Hence their silence on the most important matter committed to their charge.
It was evident enough from the first report that the officers had swindled, mismanaged, and plundered the institution; that the directors and committee had countenanced, winked at, and abetted this misconduct. The result was that $35,000,000 were lost between them --the currency of the country deranged --business prostrated --merchants bankrupted --stockholders ruined --and widows and orphans beggared and thrown upon the cold charity of the world for their daily bread. All this the committee endeavor to charge upon the officers, by showing that $400,000 is not accounted for by them.
They harp upon this string, and strive to conceal the account of the $29,000,000, which they themselves, as directors and committee men of the concern, when a National Bank, squandered among Congressmen, legislators, judges, lawyers, politicians, speculators, and gamblers of all sorts. This list they refuse to make public, alleging that that it would break up personal association and social relations. We doubt it not. What "personal associations," and "social relations" were broken up on the arrest of the pipe-layer Glentworth ? What destruction of "private confidence" at the arrest of the forger Mitchell ? Party interest in these cases claimed that the exposure should not have been made; but the laws claimed their victim in spite of all the struggles of political partisans to smother evidence.
The honor of the country, the good of the public, and the interest of the stockholders, all alike claimed that the exposure should be made in the case of the United States Bank. W.J. Duane, esq. fearlessly and ably demanded the publication of the list, and the majority were with him.
The President, Col. Drayton, and his tail of National Bank advocates, became highly excited at the demand. And how did they meet it ? By attempting to excite the fears of the stockholders of great ultimate loss, and by acknowledging that "if you publish the details of the suspended debt, you will diminish the assets beyond what you have any idea of." Kennedy, who is a National Bank man and opposed to a publication of the list, stated:
"If you publish the list, you could never collect a cent. It was like a protested note. A man should be allowed to nurse his credit. The history of this bank had already shown abundant evidence that large sums had been given to favorites to an enormous amount. It was no use to multiply this disgraceful evidence."
This contains the secret of the attempt at concealment. The list of the suspended paper, with names and dates, will prove incontestably that the rottenness and decay of the Bank originated while it was a National institution. It was then that the money was sunk in bribing Congressmen, influencing elections, feeing lawyers, and purchasing votes. The commencement of this $29,000,000 of suspended paper extends back to 1828, and at each successive Presidential election, it was swelled in amount and deteriorated in character. Immense efforts are making to keep this damning proof from the people until they shall have been wheedled and cajoled into countenancing another Bank of a more extensive capital, and therefore capable of a more stupendous mischief.
The thousand arms of the embryo monster, like the fabled Briareus, are at work in all sections of the country endeavoring to fasten upon the vitals of the people, until, completely within its power, their liberty perishes in its grasp. While one set of men at Philadelphia are endeavoring to smother the evidence of what one National Bank was, another set at Washington, through a venal press, are trying to raise expectation, in the restorative powers of a new one. The National Intelligencer of yesterday, in its article on a National Bank, has the following article:
"The fate of the United Slates Bank has settled the question, for the present at least, as to the competency of any State Bank to become an efficient regulator of the currency, and, as far as that demonstration goes, affords an additional argument in favor of the establishment of a National Bank."
How remarkably this corresponds with the attempts making in Philadelphia to suppress the evidence that the failure actually took place as a National Bank !
The promises held out are that a new Bank will regulate the currency. The people are told that the Bank will do that which, by the Constitution, Congress alone has power to do, and which it easily could do by the creation of a bankrupt law including institutions. This it does not choose to do, but they make the deranged state of affairs a pretext for the creation of a great monopoly, in the hope that that will do it. On this subject, the Intelligencer has the following specimen of wisdom:
"Can the State of Virginia, or can the State of Georgia, by any act of its Legislature, bring up its notes to an equal value with those of New York, or, in other words, raise them to the par of specie ? Certainly not."
If State Legislatures are so impotent in currency matters, what peculiar potency is there in Congressional enactments? or, if the State banks are above State laws, how can a National Bank govern them ? The fact is, that any State can raise its currency to a par with that of New York, by compelling specie payments, or an adherence to the constitutional medium of exchange. It is true the banks have become so powerful that laws adverse to their interests cannot be passed. An amusing instance of this is found in one of Mr. Biddle's letters, where he explains that the true policy of the Bank was, instead of renewing, to have braved the State laws, which it could have done with impunity, because the State, being bankrupt, was in the power of the Bank. Again, at the meeting yesterday, the following incident occurred:
John W. Ashmead thought that, by accepting the 17th section, this Bank would ultimately place its charter at the mercy of the Legislature. Judge Bayard said this could not possibly occur and referred to the opinion of Judge King, seriatim, as delivered in the Court of Common Pleas, and said the same reasoning used there would apply to this Bank in all future cases of a like character.
This shows a cool and firm dependence upon the supremacy of Bank rule. This is as true in all the suspended States as it is in Pennsylvania, and would have been true of the Federal Government, if its connection with the United States Bank had continued to this time; and moreover it will be true of the Federal Government, if the proposed new Bank is ever chartered.
In the situation and character of the debts due the United Slates Bank are the seeds of decay for the new Bank proposed. By whom is that $29,000,000 of debt due ? By the speculators and politicians of the Whig party --those who are clamoring for a National Bank. If the institution is created under the auspices of these men, can it be doubted that the suspended debt of the old Bank will be settled only by its transfer to the new ? In fact, this very hope was held out to the stockholders at the meeting yesterday, when Judge Bayard stated as follows:
"At any rate, we can but wait a little while, and see what will be the action of Congress, in relieving the people, and in distributing the public lands, and so forth; and then, at last, if there is no other course left, we can but then make an assignment, and go into liquidation."
The debts of the present Cabinet members due the Bank, down to the merest political speculator, including the Wall street press, will be paid by the new Bank as a reward for its charter, procured through their means. The most material object now is, as we have stated, to conceal the debtors of the Bank. For this purpose, what a ridiculous farce was played off yesterday --ruined stockholders, broken merchants, broken-hearted widows, and beggared orphans, met to receive the report of a committee appointed to investigate the Bank, and state how much of $35,000,000 of capital was left to them, and what they were to expect to live upon for the future. The committee appeared wrapt up in their impudence and charlatanry, and amid an infinitude of words, all that could be ascertained was, that after great anxiety, labor, and research, they had not been able to discover than an item of $400,000 had been accounted for. Of the $35,000,000 lost money nothing was said, but the disheartened stockholders were consoled by four columns of abuse of Nicholas Biddle.
Give Us the Names.
The Philadelphia North American, a Whig paper, insists that the managers of the United States bank ought to give the names of those persons who have had the benefit of the million of dollars unaccounted for, and for which the vouchers have been destroyed. If members of Congress, or of the State Legislature, had this money, their names ought to be given to the public. Truth, justice, morality, and the purity of our political institutions, demand it. President Tyler, when he examined the bank, ascertained the sums loaned to members of Congress, but he or the Senate, suppressed their names.
Are any of these borrowers in the Cabinet of President Tyler ? Or among the leaders of his party in Congress ? And if so, will the President, who is sworn to support the Constitution, and who has declared that a bank is unconstitutional, allow his Cabinet to violate the Constitution, by creating a new bank and then transfer their old debts to this unconstitutional engine of corruption ? We shall see. In the mean time let the call of the North American be answered by the directors of the present bank:
"United States Bank--- The disposition that has been made of more than a million of the funds of the bank remains unexplained; it is a matter that ought not to sleep in silence. If this money has been honestly disposed of, there is no occasion for secrecy; if dishonestly, let us know who the offenders are and where the responsibility belongs. If great names are implicated, out with them; if obscure ones, then lift them into infamous notoriety. Any thing but that state of utter uncertainty in which the innocent, perhaps, in the suspicions of an outraged community, suffer with the guilty. They who have been betrayed have a right to this explanation, and public virtue demands it."
Not long after the veto of the Bank of the United States, there was an article in the National Intelligencer which urged the policy on the part of the defeated Bank party, to throw themselves into the State Legislatures as the strongest position they could take to thwart the scope of Gen. Jackson's administration. The advice was followed to a great extent; and Mr. Biddle, who probably conceived and certainly aided the design, was the first to practice on it in Pennsylvania; and throwing his whole force upon the Legislature of that State, carried the charter of the Great Bank, and coupled it with the creation of extravagant improvements, and consequent State debts. The same policy was pursued in all the State Legislatures by the prominent Federalists, who sought positions in them. State debts, State corporations, banks, internal improvements, Canals and Railroads, &c. swelled with the rapidity of a springtide in the ocean. The Federalists, who were almost unanimous on these subject from settled party policy, easily, by log-rolling with Democrats locally interested in certain schemes proposed, carried such propositions in legislative bodies, even when they were in the minority. If it became necessary, (as was the case in one well remembered instance,) direct bribery was resorted to with the more venal.
The clear sighted views of one familiar in all that concerns banking operations, which we annex, ought to be well considered by these who are about to legislate a new Bank into existence, under the pretence of making a better currency than gold and silver:
"The general operation of the stock and credit system is coming to be thoroughly understood by the people at large. The miserable chicanery and trickery with which the speculators attempt to manufacture public opinion, has been too much exposed to have any effect for the future. Some time since we stated the fact, that, although a petition in favor of a National Bank had passed the Chamber of Commerce of this city, by a vote of 36 to 18, it was done by management, a majority being in fact opposed to such an institution. A memorial has now been sent to Congress, signed by 37 members of the Chamber of Commerce, and opponents of a National Bank. Nor does this comprise all, a large number are opposed to a Bank, who did not sign the petition.
"There is a very large class of persons, who heretofore have been in favor of a Bank, but in whose minds, recent events in the commercial and financial world, aided by more due consideration, have wrought a great change, and they have become indifferent to the subject. The folly of looking to a Bank for a regulation of exchanges has become sufficiently manifest. The good qualities that were ascribed to such an institution, have, upon closer examination, faded from the view one by one, and its demerits and evil influences become more apparent.
"The currency furnished by the banks is usually looked upon as forming the greater part of the paper credits of the country. This is, however, not the fact. If we look closer into the matter, we shall find that bank credits form but a very insignificant part of the whole system; but that its operations is such as to shake the whole fabric to its centre periodically. All business grows out of the products of the country; the more we produce, the more we have to sell; the greater the surplus above our own consumption, the more there is to export for the purchase of the products of other countries. The agricultural produce, the manufactures, and the imports, form immense amounts of exchangeable values yearly, which are in almost all cases interchanged through the medium of bills of exchange and individual notes.
"In our article of November 19, 1840, we estimated these descriptions of paper as follows:
Foreign bills based on the crops ....... $100,000,000
Internal bills based on the crops ....... $900,000,000
Individual notes based on imports ...... $500,000,000
Individual notes based on manufactures .... $500,000,000
Total of business paper ........ $2,000,000,000
"This large amount of paper forming the real credit system of the country, is made payable at short dates in money. It represents real property, and with a fixed means for measuring the value of that property they would cancel each other, and the property would be distributed to the advantage of all parties. There can be no fixed equivalent for exchangeable values but the constitutional currency, gold and silver, which alone constitutes "the money" in which the business paper is payable.
"By the operations of the banks, however, the payment of the paper has come to be made, not in money, but a representative of money, the value of which may fluctuate immensely during the maturity of the notes. In 1836, the United States Bank reduced its circulation [of fractional reserve creditnotes] 50 per cent, from $23,000,000 to $11,000,000. The banks all over the country did the same, consequently the circulation in which paper was made payable, doubled in value, before that paper matured. This could not have been the case, had the notes been payable only in specie. The panic caused by the movements of banks extended to the whole mass of credits. And the activity of $2,000,000,000 of paper was destroyed because the banks could not sustain $100,000,000 of their paper circulation, while they held $40,000,000 of specie. The whole fabric of credits is thus rendered unstable, because the quicksand of bank paper comes between it and its firm foundation, specie."---[not even 2.5 notes for each coin, which they consider prudent banking, could they keep afloat !!! because these banknotes do not represent money --there is no money in the bank which they could represent, even if they wanted to-- these banknotes are fractional reserve credit notes, based on nothing but the audacity of the bankers.]
reaction to the veto
We have the gratification this morning of presenting our readers with President Tyler's veto message, which was received in Charleston yesterday with the liveliest manifestation of pleasure, making the day a jubilee. It decides the Bank question for four years at least, and we trust forever; and while we hail it gratefully as an act of deliverance to the people from the domination of the conspiracy of avarice and profligate ambition, we congratulate Mr. Tyler upon it as the proudest act of his political life; an act which in bright consistency with the best passages of his past career, august nobly for the future. We thank him for the firmness which has met undaunted an unprecedented storm of party menace, and assure him that the confidence in truth and in the popular intelligence which his armed him against intimidation, will be reciprocated by the support of the people who will rally zealously around the good old ground of the Constitution, on which, after five months of ephemeral Whig ascendancy, the Executive of the Union is again established.
In thus conferring a priceless blessing upon his country, Mr. Tyler has but done justice to himself by showing that however willing the Bank Whigs were to consummate their fraud and imposture by sacrificing his honor, he could not lend himself to the crime: and nothing can express more strongly his opinion of the Clay clique than his declaration that the course which they demanded of him, after the pledges he had given, and the oaths he had sworn, all which were before them when they selected him and elected him as Vice President, would have surrendered "all claim to the respect of honorable men --all confidence on the part of the people --all self-respect --all regard for moral and religious obligations" --a crime which "would justly subject him to the ridicule and scorn of all the country."
Honor to whom honor is due--- John Tyler has done the deed. The monstrous bill of abominations, to establish a new United States Bank, while the corruption of the old is still infecting the land, is no more. On Monday last it received its death blow at the hand of the President. Great honor is due to John Tyler for his firmness. Every appliance was made use of by Webster to warp, and by Clay to drive him from doing his duty. Both Houses of Congress arrayed themselves in hostility to his opinions --his Cabinet unanimously took ground against him --the hireling press of the money-changers throughout the country opened their red throats in full cry upon him. Yet, in defiance of them all, he stood fast --firm in his integrity --consistent as a rock --faithful as truth herself. Faction may denounce --the mercenary may detract-- but that short, decisive veto has saved the honor of the man and the peace of the country.
Honor to John Tyler, for his bold, manly, and consistent course in relation to the United States Bank. True, he has done but his duty, and the mere performance of duty, it may be said, is no theme for praise. But when we reflect that he has performed that duty in the midst of difficulties and embarrassments, opposed by nine-tenths of the leaders of the party which elected him, and as we believe, against the views of every member of his cabinet, harassed by the importunities, the prayers, and the quasi threats of professing friends, his every expression caught at by eaves-droppers, who stole around him, a President infirm of purpose would have yielded his better opinion to such manifold difficulties. We honor him for his consistency, for on this point he has ever been consistent. We honor him for his moral firmness, for never was moral firmness put more truly to the test. We honor him for the plainness and directness with which he has expressed his honest opinions. Never was a President placed in a situation of greater difficulty and embarrassment --so far as the feelings and opinions of his own friends are concerned-- and nobly, most nobly, has he borne himself. We will not stint our praise; nor dole out cold and cautious commendation.
The Bank Veto---
Our readers, we presume, will agree with us, that the veto message, which we had the pleasure of laying before them on Thursday, is a highly important document --interesting in itself, honorable to Mr. Tyler as a man, and not discreditable to the high and responsible office to which, in the providence of God, he has been called. We have read it with much approbation, as confirming some of our former favorable opinions of Mr. Tyler, as a man and a Statesman; and also as being an exhibition of uncompromising principle, conscientious devotion to the Constitution, and stern patriotism, rising superior to the seductions of party and of personal ambition, at the head of a party not peculiarly rich in those virtues, or in the qualities to appreciate them, and which cannot fail to have a salutary moral influence on the whole country.
President Tyler and the Veto---
The money article of the New York Herald has an allusion to the abuses which would attend a Bank having the power to discount drafts or deal in exchanges. The truth of the matter is, a Bank of the United States is wanted principally by the stock-jobbers and speculators, as a means of securing to themselves loans of the public revenues, and of the reserved fund of four millions which Mr. Ewing proposes to keep in the Bank; and by which these traffickers will be enabled to re-enact the gambling scenes of 1836-7. These are the characters who are indignant at the President, and whose countenance stimulates the Bank myrmidons to insult him for an honest discharge of his official duties.
The Herald says:
"The veto of the Bank bill, by President Tyler, has, to all appearances, given universal satisfaction. We throw out of view the speculators and the small cliques of politicians that control and give the tone to party papers, as it were in mockery of public opinions; these persons are mad with rage and disappointment, and go all lengths in denunciation of those by whom they were prevented from carrying out their schemes of personal aggrandizement. Among the masses of the people there is a feeling of relief, as if, by some special interposition, they have been preserved from a great and impending calamity. The surmises, hints, and statements, made in regard to a new Bank bill, that will suit the views of the President, excite no interest, and are treated with contempt. The only reason given by the President, for the veto, is contained in the following two sentences:
"The power of Congress to create a National Bank to operate per se over the Union, has been a question of dispute from the origin of our Government.
"It will suffice for me to say, that my own opinion has been uniformly proclaimed to be against the exercise of any such power by this Government."
"This is reason sufficient. His own convictions were against the constitutionality of the law, and to those convictions he has stood firmly, amidst a storm of abuse, insult, trickery, and evil influences of all kinds. He has stood firm amidst a victorious party of hungry politicians; and, with a nerve almost unequalled in a public officer, he has dared to withhold the spoils from the victors; standing on constitutional ground, he has preserved the integrity of the Government and the best interests of the people. Politicians affect to perceive in the message some signs that a Bank bill, excluding discounts, would be acceptable. There is nothing to lead to this inference. The message ascribes whatever of good that might have come from the old Bank, in its operation upon the currency, to its power of dealing in exchanges; but by no means hints that such a power is constitutional. It is only an insult to suppose John Tyler capable of the paltry trickery which such a course would involve. President Tyler is well aware that the power to deal in exchanges, would have the effect only of causing all local discounts to take the form of bills of exchanges, in the same manner that the banks in 1837, to avoid the usury laws, would discount a note at the legal rate, and compel the applicant to take a bill of exchange fictitiously drawn, and pay a heavy discount on it. The corrupting effects would be the same.
For instance, on the 15th of July last, we published a list of part of the suspended paper of the United States Bank. In that list was James Watson Webb, $3,090, protested July 25, 1839, with an endorser. This was a local discount; but under a Bank authorized to deal in exchanges, a bill would have been drawn upon a friend at Washington, or elsewhere, and then protested other notes of Daniel Webster to the amount of some $20,000, without endorsers. In stead of notes, these would take the form of bills, drawn from Washington, probably on Prime, Ward and King, and protested. The result would be the same. The stern integrity hitherto manifested by John Tyler, leaves no room to suppose that he will countenance this."
The Veto Meeting and Procession.
There has been nothing seen like it in this ancient city, since the affair of Lafayette. No man could number the immense multitude that thronged the Capitol Park last evening, with banners, transparencies, torches, music, &c. to listen to the Veto Message of "Tyler too." The broad terrace and steps which stretch nearly across the Capitol, the wide avenues and spacious grounds about it, were filled, and in the vicinity of the Reader's station, nearly down to the large gate, closely packed with a dense mass, presenting to the eye literally a sea of human faces, while without the Park was collected another formidable body of spectators, occupying all the commanding portions about the palings and in the adjacent buildings. ---[and there was no need for large police presence to control the crowd]
Notwithstanding the countless multitude present, the excitement which had called them together, and which gathered strength as if by contact or sympathy, as congratulations passed round, or as some strong and familiar passage from the veto message came freighted with peculiar emphasis from the stand, order reigned from one extreme to the other of that vast concourse. The veto was read through, from "To the Senate of the United States," to "John Tyler," and well read, by Wm. Seymour, esq. and the enthusiasm with which it was received, the shouts that went up at every nail driven by the President into the coffin of the Bank, told in language not to be mistaken, the depth and strength of the popular feeling on this subject, the deep-rooted hostility which pervades the Democracy every where to the re-establishment of any Bank of the United Slates, no matter what form of compromise or subterfuge it may be made to assume, and the alacrity and good will with which they can and will sustain those who manfully stand by them in the vindication of their cherished principles.
The meeting, which cannot be described otherwise than as a spontaneous movement of the people in their majesty and might, closed after the reading of the veto, by the adoption of the following resolution, which went by acclamation:
"Resolved, That the members of President Tyler's cabinet, who have advised him to approve the Bank bill, and thus to violate the Constitution, and to commit a crime which would justly subject him to the ridicule and scorn of all virtuous men, are unworthy of the public confidence, and ought at once to abdicate their places, that they may be filled by persons more worthy of public trust."
The procession then took up its line of march to the music of several fine bands, and with torches, through the several streets indicated in the programme, displaying at intervals transparencies emblazoning "The Veto," short passages from the veto message, and other appropriate mottoes and emblems.
It was verging towards midnight, when the procession, diminished somewhat in numbers, but with unabated animation and in good order, returned to the Capitol Park, and dispersed with renewed and hearty cheering.
The Bank Federalists, in attempting to cheat the people, have really cheated themselves; they have no right to charge any share of this deception to Mr. Tyler. He stands erect, and immeasurably elevated above the speculators and stock gamblers, who study the Constitution as they do Boyle's Games, to familiarize themselves with the science of trickery, and who consider any person a traitor to them, who is guided in his official action by his oath and his conscience.
Wednesday, August 25, 1841.
The Pennsylvanian published, a few days since, an authentic history of the month's legislation which gave birth to the exploded United States Bank of Pennsylvania. It gives a minute detail of the method taken to force the bill through the Houses in a sort of disguise, and without printing copies to go to the people, lest they might be roused to bring their power to bear on their purchased Representatives, and force them to abandon the design. The manner in which the Bank paid off its creatures, in and out of the Legislature, and carried on its prostitution at Harrisburg, will be seen in the following extract from "the authentic history."
"On the 2d of March, 1836, the Bank went into operation. And now, the harvest having been garnered, nothing remained but to pay the laborers what they had earned with the sweat (not of the brow, but) of the conscience.
"How much Mr. Thaddeus Stevens pocketed, we are not yet able, distinctly, to say; but the matter is in progress. We have a great respect for Mr. Stevens and will not neglect him. He was never known to spare any man who came within his grasp, and cannot expect to be made an exception, if he has done wrong.
"On dit, that he said to a friend who was joked upon the subject, that "he had never received a dollar from the Bank of the United States while he was a member of the Legislature, but that afterwards they made him a present of $20,000 !" But we do not rely upon this as proof, and do not communicate it as such."
Review of the Extra Session.A correspondent furnishes us with a caustic review of the late session. He chooses to consider Mr. Webster --as premier to General Harrison-- responsible for the call of the extraordinary Congress, as well as for the measures to which it gave birth. Mr. Webster, upon the British principle which he would have prevail among us, cannot escape such animadversion while he holds his present position, and, especially when he puts out letters boasting of the session as "fruitful of important acts -- forming a mass of legislation more important than all the proceedings of Congress for many years, concluding with gratuitously saying, "in all of which the President cordially concurred."
You, sir, attested the Proclamation to convene the late extraordinary session of Congress. The other name affixed to it is the shadow of one who is now in the land of shadows; while you linger behind, responsible to the people for the consequences of a measure which had both your approval and co-operation. There is an end of the session, but we are far from the end of its evil influences. We are now able to judge with some correctness what will be its character and fruits. Attend, then. Let you and your party listen to the rebukes of an indignant public. The session was avowedly convened on account of "sundry important and weighty matters, principally growing out of the condition of the revenue and finances." But how hallow was most of this pretence ! Near half the time has been devoted to the waste rather then supply of revenue, and much of the other half to the creation of gigantic, privileged Bank monopoly, few of whose powers --none of whose capital-- and scarcely any of whose operations, would have had the slightest reference whatever to our finances, except to pervert them to usury.
Besides this, it was believed by many, and among them your own chief magistrate, to be unwarranted by the Constitution, and imminently dangerous as well to public liberty as to public virtue. Indeed, sir, the details of the whole session will be found full of either wrongs, follies, or abortions.
Called here at a season of the year unusual and hazardous, the first business should have been the general relief, (professedly to the finances) and that in the promptest manner consistent with due deliberation. Yet, in truth, the first measure of your party was to burden the finances by a large civil pension or gift on account of political party services. The donation to Mrs. Harrison was, also, to a person in affluence rather than indigence; and, instead of being moderate in amount, equalled twenty-five thousand dollars, or, from half to the whole amount of some of the yearly State taxes.
What was the next "important and weighty matter" proposed by you and your friends in view of the pretended dilapidation of the public resources, at a period represented as dark with the prospect of a speedy war ? When the embarrassments of the public Treasury were ridiculously exaggerated by your friend at the head of that department, and stated to require the utmost vigilance to avert national bankruptcy, you proceeded to give away, chiefly for the benefit of British fundholders, millions upon millions of the richest domain which has ever, in the long tide of time, blessed the people of any country on the face of the globe. At the same moment you ordered the borrowing of twelve millions of dollars to meet the current expenses of the government ! Was this the course of a statesman desiring to preserve public credit, or the profligacy of a spendthrift who had squandered his own earnings, and could only hope to support his dissolute career appropriating those of more prudent and industrious men ? This was done in the face of the experience of other governments and the previous practice of our own, never to borrow money without fixing or pledging definite funds for its payment. In no other mode can the finances of any people be preserved upon a secure foundation. During the last war the public lands were expressly pledged for the redemption of the loans which you vituperated with so much zeal, because they were to be expended in the defence of the country against the common enemy. But your administration, which was to create confidence, began its boasted reform of the finances by lavishing the best security which could be tendered to the prudent capitalist, upon speculators who had seduced individual States into the gulf of debt, without regard to the means of payment. Determined that the Treasury of the Union should become involved by the same improvident course, and the public credit reduced to the same level, you wantonly unpaired the means of raising the money which your projected measures required to be borrowed. This rashness and profligacy has already weakened the confidence of real capitalists at a most important crisis. You have since increased the burdens of taxation on the community at large, and especially the poorer classes, to supply, in some degree, your waste. You have made the distributions and burdens unequal; and, by such rank injustice, as well as by the new corrupting and disturbing forces you have brought to bear on our political system, you have sown deep and wide the seeds of alienation between the States, and endangered, it is feared, fatally, the holy bond of their Union.
After all this, sir, you and your adherents then proceeded to seize on the general revenue, and, instead of relieving the Treasury, sequestrated from it, for the first time in our history, nearly half a million of dollars, to aid the operations of the Post-office Department. So far from requiring --as all precedent and sound principle demanded-- that those who are benefited by mails should defray the expense of them, you compelled the people at large to pay, by a tariff on the necessaries of life, not only for the transportation of their own letters, like angel visits, few and far between, but for the daily and voluminous correspondence of the wealthy.
Not content with all these innovations, so wasteful and appalling, your next aid to the finances was, for the first and only time in the half century since our government began to impose as a charge on the general Treasury, the payment of the whole navy pensions of the country.
They had always before been charged upon trust funds, and had no right to any other.
Other and different modes of Whig relief to the Treasury in this emergency are calculated to excite equal astonishment for their want of wisdom, as well as economy and judgment. If they do not all look like the deeds of bold, bad men, feeling power and forgetting right, they at least exhibit a total want of that tact, and ordinary prudence which are indispensable to the good government of a great country. Besides the absence of these, we search in vain, also, for that far-reaching sagacity in measures --that sensitiveness to national honour-- that statesmanlike honesty of purpose in small, as well as in large concerns, which can alone command confidence or insure permanent success.
Thus, in a period of fiscal embarrassment, your party has been busy in voting additional charges for new outfits and higher salaries to foreign minister. In several of these cases no excuse can be pretended, except personal favouritism or to fill removals, made solely for differences in political opinion, under a system of relentless proscription by those elevated to power in March last. Yes, sir, by those, among whom you conspicuously as the rest, were solemnly pledged to proscribe proscription; you, who were the first to falsify every profession, and, before even you were sworn into office, made a removal of a most intelligent and talented clerk, merely for the shameless purpose of filling the vacancy with your own son; you, who have followed up this system of foreign and monarchical despotism so far as to possess scarcely a relative within any of the Levitical degrees of consanguinity who was not provided for in six brief months, by first cutting off the heads of worthy incumbents, who happened to possess a little less faith than yourself in the atrocious principles of the Hartford Convention. The proscription immediately adopted under your auspices, and pushed fartherest in some classes under your immediate supervision, has been so insatiate, as to have spared neither age, want, nor worth; and, not finding victims enough at home, crossed the Atlantic to glut its voracity our diplomatic and consular agents abroad.
Passing by more on this topic for the present, allow me to say, that you and your friends, instead of seeking relief at once to the finances, and then stopping the expenses of the session by an early adjournment, have spent weeks in the most local and thriftless legislation on other matters. You have made it a prominent measure, by renewing suspended bank charters here, to legalize the use of depreciated paper in the capital of the whole Union. You have wasted important time and money in making large donations here to rebuild bridges, and maintain paupers; and whether measures like these are right or wrong in themselves, how shameful is it, in a public view, for the promotion of such narrow objects, to detain members unseasonably and expensively, so many thousand miles from the rocky East --the far West --and the distant valleys of the South ? But turn a moment to matters of a more general character. Rather than effecting retrenchment and relief to the Treasury in these, you have helped, in several such instances, to impose new burdens, neither necessary nor judicious.
Your adherents, or rather you, through them, have voted new millions to fortifications, while much of the old appropriations remained unexpended. You proceed to finish some works that have evidently become worthless, in a national view, and refuse money for others at points most important exposed. You vote many thousands for home squadrons, when, for ten years past, we have seldom been without vessels afloat at home, either on our own coast, or returning or departing, and when the most common complaint has been that naval officers are kept too much at home. You appropriate for ordnance and ordnance stores for the navy, what will, in the end, reach nearly two millions of dollars, though it is admitted that none of them are needed for the current service, or that war is not so near as to require the proceeds of the public lands to be expended in preparation for defence.
You have increased largely all, and nearly doubled some, of the higher ranks of officers in the naval service. This has been done, neither under any express law, nor any exigency which exists, demanding so large an addition. And it must be obvious that, in a period of profound peace, these are but entering wedges to swell our naval expenses, and multiply idlers and drones, so as to render an important arm of the national defence unpopular, if not odious. It will, if not speedily checked, double the annual cost of the navy from what it was ten years ago; and make it greater than the aggregate of all our other establishments, civil, foreign, and military. Do not evade these conclusions under any pretence that such additions have been made to our expenses in preparation for impending wars. For if that be true, why not, then, apply at once the income from the lands to that preparation, instead of giving it away lavishly under such a fearful expectation, and burthening the people at large with new and unnecessary taxation, and with large loans ? One or the other horn of the dilemma is inevitable. Either your pretence is false, or your conduct under it contradictory and ridiculous.
In short, to give away seems to be the essence of your Whig economy. To enlarge the expenses is the Alpha and Omega of your Whig retrenchments. To add many millions to what you denounced as Democratic extravagance, is your Whig reform. To augment the taxes largely, is all your Whig relief. To increase the national debt many millions in profound peace, is your Whig improvement of the finances. To leave the Treasury unregulated by law, in an unlimited discretion of the Executive, is your Whig abhorrence of patronage and the dangerous union of the purse and the sword. To retain all of the Sub-Treasury penalties against defalcations, and enforce most of its details, in substance, after a repeal of its forms and of all regulation over Executive discretion is your boasted Whig reform; it is your Whig judgment entered upon the Whig verdict against that most abominable of all measures, in the view of what were once Whig prejudices and Whig denunciations. But a truce to more of this on the present occasion.
And do you, air, above all others, pretend that any of these prodigal expenses have been authorized with a view of preparation for war with England ? England, to whom you ignobly succumbed in the case of McLeod, offering to surrender, as soon as possible, a supposed offender, without insisting to receive, first, indemnity for the past and security for the future ! You, who instead of taking possession of the disputed territory on "the 4th of July next," according to your valiant threat, seem to have forgotten since fairly seated in power, that any such territory exists !
Where, too, are all the splendid promises held out, of a revival of trade, of higher prices ? Where are all the wonderful discoveries, to be made by opening your new books ? What have you found of evil, except against your own partisans, in all your inquisitorial searches ?
It is true, that among other illustrations of the economy to be practised by the present Administration, you have organized two costly star-chamber commissions. But it has been in vain, except to excite false hopes in your adherents, and provide temporarily for a few famished favourites, that so much time and money have been wantonly spent in trying to detect matters of political accusation against your predecessors. Another illustration has been the appointment of several additional clerks in both the Land office and Post-office, chiefly in consequence of additional business caused by partisan removals from office.
Again, among your new securities to the revenue have been the appointment of notorious bankrupts over some of the collections, and in some of the most responsible stations of marshals. Proscription has been proscribed, and the public interests guarded by removing men of integrity and fortune, to make way in some cases for insolvents, pipe-layers, Abolitionists, and defaulters; and the Senate has been employed for weeks in advising and assenting to such a system of butchery, carried into every region, however remote, and every station, however humble, for no reason whatever, in most cases, which has yet been made public by our tolerant opponents, except a rightful and independent difference of mere political opinion.
If any one had refused to join in the log cabin and hard cider song for "Tip and Tyler too" --it was sufficient to bring his head under the guillotine. Though from this time forth, since the second veto, I admit it is probable that "Tyler too" might find his head rolling from the same guillotine, if the mass of our opponents happened to possess the power to brim him to the block.
When calls have been made for certain particulars as to removals, they have in all cases been delayed --in others evaded; and in some not answered at all. In none have our opponents permitted the reasons to be demanded, though for many years they have been clamorous with arguments that reasons should be assigned, and that removals without reasons, other than mere political ones, were both wicked and unconstitutional. You, sir, have been among the loudest with these clamours, and yet, under your own signature, is a report just made to the House of Representatives, it appears that, in your department, as many have been removed, with three or four exceptions only, during only six months of your reign , under anti-spoils, anti-proscription pledges, as in the whole twelve years of Gen. Jackson's and Mr. Van Buren's administrations. Blush, then, if anything can make such callous hypocrisy feel! blush at your injustice to others, and your own want of respect and consistency both to yourself and to the high minded, honest, and honourable of your own party. But no more on this point.
Some of the great Whig party have prided themselves that relief has been caused by the passage of a Bankrupt law. Yet the finances of the country, for which the extra session was chiefly convened, will be burthened by that hasty, ill-digested measure, and its addition to our judicial expenses. At the same time, the finances of the prudent, the industrious, and the saving, how have they been affected by it ? By rubbing a sponge over all their claims against the fraudulent and extravagant. Misfortune fared well before, in making accommodations with creditors. It will fare no better now. But a more injudicious law never stained any statute-book, than one which holds out exemptions and privileges to idleness, speculation, and waste, while it punishes, by annulling their claims, those who have accumulated property through a course of sound morale, honourable enterprise, and laborious economy.
Last, but I suppose not least, our opponents claim some merit for the session in aiding the finances by a Loan bill, a Tax bill, two Fiscal Bank bills, and a Distribution bill.
What a marvellous relief to the Treasury must be the last measure, giving away, as it does, yearly, three to four millions of dollars ! So of the two Fiscal Banks, one of which created a debt of more than sixteen millions, subject to be increased eight or ten more; and the other, of near thirteen millions, which might be enlarged to eighteen. These were debts, too, enormous as they are, created, not to extinguish any past liabilities, or even meet any future national expenditure, rendered necessary in either peace or war, but to furnish capital for bank speculations and political accommodations, like that of the last Bank of the United States, which has so recently ended its career by utter bankruptcy, and, as Mr. Gallatin says, by becoming a public nuisance.
Yes, sir, those are the two great relief measures so much urged and eulogized --measures which were to burden the people with fifteen to twenty millions of debt, to be thus hazarded, and probably most of it, in the end, squandered and lost irretrievable.
Thanks to a firm and fearless Executive, their dangerous character has been so fully exposed, as to receive his indignant vetoes. All, then, that remains for boast as relief to a suffering Treasury, are the Loan and the Tax bills.
Now it haa been demonstrated by figures and stubborn facts, that not a dollar of new loan would have been needed, had the extra session never been called. It is the expenses of that session --its five to six millions of new appropriations, and the wasteful course of the Treasury Department since March last, in pushing advances and expenditures as well as in neglecting to collect public dues from banks, and to make advertisements and sales of lands --it is these alone which have produced the necessity for the very bill which is boasted of as a relief to the revenue and finances, as existed in March last. The session then was called before any of this necessity was created.
So the Tax bill or increased Tariff would have been equally unnecessary till December next, but for these same causes --all produced and operating since the session itself was called.
Boast, then, no more of the relief in either of these measures which have been rendered plausible only by your own improvidence, at this time, and since March. Claim no credit for supplying revenue by taxes, to supply what you yourselves squander by gifts and distributions; nor can there be much wisdom in procuring loans now at the expense of the future. Increased debts in peace, and increased taxes in peace, the moths and rust which destroy every government that tolerates them, are your only laurels.
You have, to be sure, in hot haste repealed the Sub-Treasury. But your only financial merit in this has been rashly to abolish one good system in successful operation, before you obtained or could put into operation another, though bad, system regulated by law. Say nothing more of the horrible union of the purse and the sword, which has, notwithstanding, been deliberately consummated by you in that inconsiderate repeal. Be silent on the supposed increase of Executive patronage in the past administration, when you have armed this one with unlimited power over the public money, and proposed, by two United States Banks, with large capitals, to render it still more formidable. What rigid disciples you must be of the school of '98! what close followers of Jefferson! what strict constructionists ! Such Whigs look to me as much like Democrats in principle, and as much like the Whigs of 1776, as you and your party did when voting against the supplies in the last war, and against rebuilding the Capitol, burnt by Vandal Englishmen.
The people, sir, are tired of these delusions. Strip off your mask, then; or let us have less of pretension and promise, with a little more of performance. Instead of twenty-eight to thirty millions expenditure, when your friends promised but thirteen or fifteen, let us, at all events, have no more than the eighteen or twenty to which the last administration was rapidly approaching, and which you denounced as extravagant. Suspend the ravages of persecution, at least for a season, for that mere difference of opinion in which you yourselves are, among yourselves, beginning to indulge somewhat freely; otherwise, some of you may have to look carefully to your own heads. Let us have a few good works. As yet, we can hardly see grounds even for faith, except in the two vetoes of an intrepid Executive. The whole session has been a masquerade unmasking. Were it not a subject too serious for merriment, no little amusement could be gathered from the contrast between the leading personages before the election, in their dominoes and cloaks, and counterfeit characters, and their true appearance now, when stripped at this extra session.
Before, they were patriots of the purest water, who scorned the spoils of office, and would proscribe proscription. Now, they appear to have seized on every occasion to plunder power and salary for themselves and families, as well as to have persecuted from the lowest station every political opponent, with a sort of hurricane rush --a wolfish hunger --a death-like struggle which have driven one President already to an untimely grave, and must imbitter the life of another. The leaders of the Whig party came with honeyed accents to emancipate office-holders from fear and danger; when the subjects of no Dionysius or Nero ever lived in greater dread of their bloody tyranny, than most incumbents have, till lately felt for the Whig guillotine.
Before the election, they were graciously and benignantly to bring relief to all classes. But now, some of their first acts are to increase taxes, and that, too, on articles of most universal use.
Before, they were to introduce retrenchment and economy. But now, almost every establishment is increased, salaries raised, officers multiplied, and our aggregate expenditures alarmingly augmented.
Before, Executive patronage and discretion were to be limited. Now, they are enlarged.
Before, the were prodigal in professions as exclusive friends of order and decency. They now raise ferocious yells around the dwelling of their own President, and they burn, hang, or shoot him, in ignominious effigy in almost every village.
Boastful before of their superior courtesy and refinement, their distinguished leader in the Senate now condescends to disgrace himself by denouncing all his opponents as pirates --and their vagabond Bears are patronized by their departments, and they, and some of the most infamous of their pipe-layers, fed from the public Treasury.
They were to protect liberty of speech. But they began in one House with smothering debate --have cut off yeas and nays on important amendments, and concealed from the people the opinions as well as votes of their Representatives on many of the most essential points they were delegated here to act on.
In fine, they were to uphold morals and laws. But they violate the public peace in the very halls of Congress --they disturb our villages and cities with riots and mobs-- sometimes against their own offending brethren-- and they tempt the community in more remote regions, by their bad examples, to rush into various demoralizing outrages, and establish the fierce reign of unbridled Lynch law.
Remember, sir, that these are the fruits of only a six months' Administration of your immaculate party. It is but a three months' session of your uncontrolled majority in both Houses --scarce a hundred days, which have exposed your deceptions, and shaken, if not overturned, your power. Let the people take warning.
If your influence is not already paralyzed, or is not soon to be, allow me to caution you, that all your arts, all your duplicity, all your indomitable selfishness and unscrupulous ambition, are beginning to be developed.
If Providence, in his wrath for some national transgression, connected with such an Administration as you have headed during the last six months, should permit your power to be much longer prolonged, we need another national fast, to try to avert the calamities in store for us.
We most devoutly offer our thanksgiving that the President is relieved from the rest of his bad advisers. But his deliverance will be incomplete, and his future fidelity, as well as success, be in jeopardy, while surrounded by men like yourself. Retire then, at once from a station which you never should have profaned under an administration making any claims to Republicanism. Cling not basely to mere power and pelf. Evince some little respect toward the feelings of a virtuous, outraged, and indignant people, and the catastrophe may yet be averted, which seems to menace public morals and public liberty.
We present to our readers sketches of the Federal Whig Convention held at Harrisburg, Pa., December, 1839, for the purpose of making a President of the United States; also observations, &c., in relation to "heading Captain Tyler"
--A National Bank--British Capital--Biddle's loans, or bribes to the State of Pennsylvania--Members of the Legislature, &c.
May not Clay & Co. have great powers conferred on them at the next Session of Congress to palm on the country a National Bank, &c. It will be remembered that, during the summer and fall of 1839, the modern Whigs were actively engaged in various kinds of manaeuvring to fix on a candidate for President of the United States; there being four Federal Whig gentlemen in the field for this highly important station, viz., Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, General Scott, and General Harrison, each having their presses and friends to support their pretensions and qualifications. It became a difficult matter among themselves to settle which of the above-named gentlemen should be made President. In consequence of this difficulty, it was finally determined to hold a convention, to be composed of delegates chosen out of their "first-rate" ranks, some three or four hundred of whom met at Harrisburg. When this distinguished body became organized and ready for the great contest, although the master wire-workers had given positive orders that there should be no opposition to the nomination of Harry of the West, he being the first choice of the leaders of the wealthy, well-born, stockjobbers, British and American brokers, National Bankmen &c. When this fact was made known to the friends of the other candidates, the Webster and Scott men, they, like obedient servants, bowed to the will of the dictator: but not so the friends of the "Military Chieftain;" they, being principally composed of abolitionists and anti-masons, declared that they would not go for Clay, he being a "slave-holder and mason," and in addition to which they held the balance of power in the States of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana; and that, unless General Harrison received the nomination, the four States just named would be lost. This strange announcement came like a clap of thunder on the devoted heads of the creatures of the dictator; here, as may naturally be supposed, a tremendous storm was raised, to abate which was rather a difficult task; however this was soon accomplished by its being proposed, or intimated, that General Harrison should receive the nomination --on condition of his election, that the dictators, or in other words, Clay and Webster, should have the management and control of the national affairs, &c.; of course that of ordering Congress to pass such bills as they might deem proper, and that he, Harrison, should be bound to sign them, thus making him a mere lever in their hands. These two distinguished gentlemen, we have good reason to believe, compelled General Harrison to call the extra Session of Congress, that they might make a National Bank while flushed with political victory, and before the people would have time to take on a "second sober thought." This is no fiction or exaggeration; the late proceedings in Congress and the dictatorial manner which Henry Clay & Co. recently pursued in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States are sufficient to substantiate what we have said.
Little did Clay, Webster, Ewing, Bell, Sergeant, & Co. expect to be headed by Captain Tyler in preventing them from putting the chains they have so long (twelve years) been forging, round the necks of the American people. It is evident, from the course Messrs. Clay & Co. and their friends have pursued in and out of Congress, they considered that Captain Tyler was harnessed in the same traces manufactured at Harrisburg for General Harrison, and that he was bound to fulfil the "bargain" previously contracted for in the manner above stated.
That this is a correct version of the affair is evident from the fact of their treating him just as the Federal Whig leaders did the Pennsylvania rebellion in 1838, viz., "as though they had not been defeated," notwithstanding there was near ten thousand majority against the then anti-masonic and abolition governor of that State. Yet this precious governor not only called to his aid the military of the State, but had the impudence to call on the general government for aid to retain him and his friends in power, a power they held by usurpation. But the "assailants of freedom" were driven back triumphantly by the defenders of the people's Equal Rights and Liberties. In a similar manner Captain Tyler defeated Clay, Webster, Ewing, & Co., viz., by planting himself on the rock of the Constitution, and defending the same at all hazards, notwithstanding he was headed by Botts & Co.
Although, politically speaking, we are not friendly to Mr. Tyler, yet we, in common with a vast majority of the American people, thank him for carrying out the Democratic principle of Jefferson, Jackson, &c., in relation to the danger and unconstitutionality of a monster National Bank. But while we thus express ourselves in favour of Mr. Tyler, we cannot forego expressing our decided disapprobation of his signing a bill to repeal the Sub-Treasury, and the Bankrupt Bill without including corporations, also the bill to distribute the people's public lands -- for these acts of Mr. Tyler, unless, indeed, his future course be more satisfactory, we feel confident he will not receive the confidence and support of the Democracy.
To our surprise, we find that the modern Whigs, and many of their presses, charge Mr. Tyler with "violating a pledge he gave to carry out the principles of the Harrisburg Convention;" but, on reflection, we ought not to be surprised at anything the leaders of Federal Whiggery will resort to after the numerous tricks they have resorted to, to mislead and deceive the people. But in reference to the pledge Mr. Tyler is said to have made, to his party, surely Messrs. Clay & Co. did not anticipate that General Harrison would so soon have been killed off, or so anxious have been to obtain the reigns of government, that they asked a pledge from Mr. Tyler, that, in case of the death of General Harrison, he would be willing to step into the shoes of the old general and carry out the course chalked out for him; be that as it may, we, in the name and on behalf of the producing and labouring classes, call on the Federal Whig presses, and on that party generally, to name and state the kind of pledge John Tyler gave, either at the Harrisburg Convention or any other place. Until that is done, the community at large must, and will, view the statement of Mr. Tyler having given a pledge as a willful fabrication to deceive the public.
We have often asked Federal Whigs to give or explain their principles, without ever once being able to obtain them in a tangible form or shape; however, we have gathered, and heard from them, sufficient to warrant us in stating, that the following is a pretty correct outline of their prominent principles, viz.: "Take a sponge and wipe off the present Constitution," and establish on its ruins a strong government, after the model of that of England; a Chief Magistrate by birth, or a Constitution so formed that none but the wealthy and well-born can vote for President; for election of minor officers a qualification vote, say a voter to be worth at least five hundred dollars or more, as circumstances might admit;* establish a National Bank, principally by British capital, of fifty millions of dollars, with power to extend the same to ten times that amount, and also powers to establish branches all over the country, with a president, manager, &c., headed by Botts & Co. There is every reason to believe that, renewed and tremendous efforts will be made to carry the National Bank Bill by a two-third vote at the next Session of Congress, (unless, indeed, Captain Tyler has promised "better things;") to accomplish this no doubt every stratagem will be resorted to ---such as offering a bonus, bribes, &c., after the example of Nicholas Biddle & Co., who gave a bonus of $5,000,000 to the State of Pennsylvania for a charter for the collapsed Bank of the United States, besides, probably, several hundred thousand dollars to members of the legislature to push the bill through. [ * For more particulars of a change of the Constitution &c., see Squire Sidney's Monarchical Doctrines, published in our last number, pages 18 and 19; and for a qualification vote of the Federal stamp see Col. Hamilton's plan in our last number, page 32.]
Quere, What would not Clay, Webster, & Co. be authorized to offer as a bonus to Uncle Sam ? Certainly not less than the twelve million loan of the last Session; and in case of Uncle Sam having firmness to resist it, no doubt but that more than this sum can be commanded to give to members of Congress to pass the bill by a two-third vote, and thus "head Captain Tyler." That such an attempt may be made at the next Session of Congress we think more than probable. We found this supposition on the fact of the British capitalists holding near two hundred millions of dollars in American stocks, State bonds, &c., the value of most of which, we are told by persons deeply interested in them, would, by the establishment of a National Bank, together with a sale of the public lands sufficient to pay the interest, immediately be raised 25 per cent., and in six months probably more than 50 per cent. By this simple statement it will be seen at once that there would be no difficulty in commanding, if necessary, more than twenty millions of dollars to aid in bringing forth the monster with which we are threatened. To prevent such a curse falling on our beloved country, we call on all the lovers of equal rights and privileges to rally and use all fair and honourable means to prevent the growth of the dreaded monster.
Quere, What will Clay, Webster, Botts, Sergeant, Ewing, Grainges, & Co. now say of the "Sober second thought of the people?" In supporting Captain Tyler for vetoing this bank, and condemning their other measures, viz., the Bill for the Distribution of the Public lands; the Bankrupt Bill not being uniform, agreeable to the Constitution; the repeal of the-Sub-Treasury Bill, &c., &c.