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An inequality so vast as that which presents itself in the claims of the several states is not among the least forcible of the arguments which oppose the plan. While Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Is land, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and North Carolina have, it is believed, no debt, and have, therefore nothing to ask on the ground of relief, some of their sister states hold their engagements in no dread because they believe they can control them; and others are so deeply involved that the whole allotment would leave them in a condition of insolvency, It is hoped that, either with or without the assistance of the government, the insolvency will prove to be a temporary evil, that the states now suffering may rely with certainty upon self-sustaining efforts for gradual but entire and honorable relief.
rassment, and to be able, in the day of need, to offer The pledge that is proposed of national faith and would be followed by renewed gratuities. If they to lenders of money the virgin pledge of an un- responsibility would not according to the allotment should, an easy calculation will demonstrate that shackled faith. It would ill become them to forget of the memorialists, be large enough to cover the even the great resources which are relied on may be this wise and virtuous ambition, and to charge them- debts of all the states. If the fact were otherwise, exhausted, and sooner or later the tide of governselves with liabilities that would increase the load and it should be sufficient to cancel every liability of ment bounty must cease to flow. Should these inorof taxation in time of peace, and diminish or defeat every state, is it certain that the effect would be dinate desires be confined to a few states, or even be the ability to raise adequate loans at a period when greater than to relieve them from temporary embar- narrowed to one alone, although the pressure upon alone, according to a true administration of our go- rassment? As the constitution now stands, the fede- the national treasury may be less, the injustice and vernment, they ought to be required-on the arrival ral government holds no control over the power or unreasonableness of the call would be more. A sinof inevitable war. the inclination of the states to create or increase gle imprudent member of the great republican famiThe proposed issue of stock is to pass from the their obligations. It is scarcely to be expected that ly might desire to become a perpetual dependant national into state treasuries, and thence abroad to such control would readily be conferred. Volunta- upon the easy forbearance or untiring liberality of meet the purposes of its creation. It may not, per- ry stipulations to abstain from new engagements the whole. A time for resistance would come, and haps, directly affect the prosperity of the general could as little be expected. It would be to impose the effort might be more difficult from the fact and government, that, in performing these offices, it must trammels that might be fatal to their prosperity. Sti- the frequency of its postponement. It cannot matelose a portion of its standard value; yet it will bear pulations so injurious, if they should be imposed, rially affect an argument derived from a supposed upon it the stamp of the character as well as the re-might not be regarded as binding upon succeeding state of things, that, at this moment, when the first sponsibility of the nation, and it will be far from legislatures, (a possible and extreme case is sug- step is to be taken, and the dangerous example is to creditable to it that a depreciation should take place. gested;) and the temptation to abrogate them might be set, more members than one of the confederacy From its origin it must be made, in one sense, an ob- be too strong to be resisted. Many, perhaps all of stand in need of assistance, or that assistance is now, ject of traffic. First, it must be negotiated in settle the states, have paused, from necessity or from re- in effect, for the first time to be applied. ment of state debts. Then it must be sold by the luctant assent to the dictates of prudence, midway creditors who have thus received it, of whom the in their career, or even in what may prove to be but great mass are foreigners. Both operations par- the threshold of internal improvements. Where take, in some degree, of a commercial character. great works have been accomplished and are now in The stock is not intended, it is presumed, to bear a successful operation, they may serve as a motive full ordinary rate of interest. It must find its value and an earnest for future exertions. No limit can from a combined estimate of its standing in the mar- be fixed to the progress of improvement. Each step ket, and the length of time it has to run. At what in the long and difficult path is but an advance torates it may be received by foreign or domestic cre- wards the discovery of how much remains yet to be ditors, must depend in part upon the comparison accomplished. It was probably, to all appearance, which they are disposed to make between it and the a well-founded hope that led to the past expenditure state securities, for which it is to be a substitute. of millions. Will the hope be less bright which, enThose state securities themselves are of unequal va-couraged by the accomplishment of so much as has lue; all of them are uncertain; fluctuating, and arbi- been done already, tempts to the future expenditrary. If the creditors should be as little willing to ture of other millions by the seeming certainty of receive government stock, passing through the state accomplishing more? Lessons of experience are treasuries, and at a reduced interest, as they have taught in vain if they do not inspire practical wis- If debts of twice the amount were due from indibeen to receive it fresh from the source of authority dom. If prudence and forbearance are not to fol- viduals, instead of commonwealths it could scarcely and bearing the highest rate of interest, and of an low from the severe penalties of extravagance, how be expected that any obligation, moral or political, extent so limited that a serious doubt could not be ever unreflecting, the sovereign states may hereafter would attach to the general government. Yet many entertained of its redemption, they might be con- vie with each other in the boldness and the extent of of the arguments now used would apply with equal tent to remain in possession of the discredited state their implications. An inexhaustible source of rea- force. The same people would be interested, the loans. If they should receive it at rates proportion- dy and rich supply in the power and policy of the same liability to discredit and disgrace would be ened to the interest which it is intended to bear, it nation, always at hand, and never delayed or denied countered, and the same or greater inconveniences might so far discharge the debts of the states; but to the seeker, would leave scarcely an excuse to the might be experienced by the country. Too great a the object would be accomplished at a grievous sa- state governments who should omit freely to avail concession is required to the supposed ignorance crifice. These state securities can now be purchas- themselves of it. abroad of the true character of our institutions and ed in the market at large discounts. Yet the governTwo hundred millions are proposed as the fund frame of government. Who is there, whether citiment would find itself, at the latest, at the end of a for general relief. The amount is fearfully large, if zen or foreigner, that has contracted with the states, few years, and immediately if the stock is to be re-measured by any other standard than the mighty en- either by original subscription to a state loan or by ceivable for government dues, redeeming its loans at gagements which have been adverted to of Euro-subsequent purchase, and yet failed to know that he their par value, and thus, in effect, paying at last pean sovereignties. No doubt can be entertained of was not dealing with the general government? There full prices for state stock, although it might have the ability of the government to discharge it. Yet is an essential difference between the states and the been procured at from 40 to 70 per cent. deprecia- the moment is unpropitious for its assumption, when tion. The effect of forcing a comparison and ex- the effort is strenuous and universal to reduce the change between the two different securities will ra- necessary cost of the government of the people. ther tend to depress the value of the better than ele-Wise statesmen are said to have formed the judgvate the standard of the worse. In that event, ano- ment that its ordinary expenses can and ought to be ther blow is struck at the credit of the government. brought down to $17,000.000; others, of no less exAfter the arrangement shall have been fully made by perience, of different political sentiments, desire to the federal treasury with the indebted states, and by see them limited to $22,000.000. Unless the conthe indebted states with their creditors, the newly templated pledge of the public lands should furnish created stocks have important purposes to fill. Ac- a large supply both for principal and interest, the cording to the memorialists, their chief end is sub-proportion of aggregate disbursements which the sequently to be accomplished. They are to be re- new loan would require might cause the most sangutained or purchased as investments, or used as cur- ine to hesitate even while they recollect with pride rency or the basis of currency. What shall ascer- the discharge of scarcely less considerable debts on tain their price in either relation? If they enter the more than one occasion in the national history. Let market at a depreciation, (and such must be their it be recollected that the payment is certain, while condition, bearing, as they must, a lower rate of in- the receipts are problematical. Interest must be terest than other loans which will do well to retain provided with prompt and unerring punctuality. The their par value), they will be employed in payment day of reckoning for the capital must surely come of duties and other liabilities to the government. For in its allotted time. Whether the lands shall be this object they will be purchased at reduced prices. sold to meet the calls must depend upon a combina and will be paid at their full nominal value. By tion of remote and obscure contingencies. this arrangement the treasury may receive less than! Is it certain that even the large amount of $200,-ternal improvements, which would have intersected half its proper revenues. As currency, or the basis | 000,000 will suffice for present emergencies? Some the country from one extremity to the other. If, of currency, the fluctuations to which they are liable of the states owe nothing, and if they receive the from such or any other deliberate and well intended must deprive them of essential utility. A circulat- fund allotted to them, do not receive it for the pay- but disastrous system, evils had been brought upon ing medium must be as immutable as the precious ment of debts. What may be their disposition as to the country, the American people would have had metals which it professes to represent. It should a fund now proposed to be inevitably pledged for a cause to lament the miscalculations of their rulers. be free from the influences of political change. It particular purpose has not appeared. They may en- But they would have been spared the bitterness and should be able to withstand the shock of public dis-tertain different and irreconcilable desires in rela- poignancy of sorrow that must be experienced if they aster, and to preserve its even tenor unaffected by tion to it. Others owe so little, in comparison with should now become the willing victims of an errothe excitement of great public prosperity. This their resources, that, with or without the assistance neous and self-destroying policy. can scarcely be the case with government securities. of the general government, they can meet their en- An event of early occurrence in the history of the They are, for the most part, readily affected by the gagements. But there are some that, with their government has been relied on as a precedent for the latest political intelligence. They rise and fall al- quota of government stock applied, might be left arrangement now contemplated. Soon after the most with the arrival of the daily mails. They with more than half the amount of their heavy en- adoption of the constitution, the secretary of the serve as a barometer by which the state of the poli-gagements still unsatisfied. It would indeed lighten treasury communicated to congress his conviction tical atmosphere is ascertained. If suitable and at- the load of Maryland and Pennsylvania to reduce that an assumption of the debts of the particular tractive as an investment, these stocks would be that of the one by $6,800,000, and that of the other states by the union, and a like provision for them as gradually absorbed by capitalists. If possessed of by $18,800,000; but it would leave a larger sum for for those of the union, would be a measure of sound these qualities in an eminent degree, they would each to pay than they would respectively command policy and substantial justice. An act of congress speedily be withdrawn from the opportunities of cir- by a long course of judicious economy and strenuous was accordingly adopted on the 4th Aug. 1790, which culation, which, without those qualities, they could and well-directed exertions, unless the hand of the authorised the loan of $21.500,000 for that object.— never reach. Sooner or later, they would thus de- government were again unclosed. If necessity, or Certificates of state debt were receivable from subfeat or elude one of the principal objects for which convenience, or want of thrift, should lead to renew-scribers in payment for the loan. But the act prothey were designed. ed debts, it is scarcely to be expected that they │vided that no certificate should be received which,
union in all their respective fiscal concerns, and a disregard of this known and acknowledged difference can arise at the best only from the triumph of error and the defeat of truth.
If this burden of debt, which oppressive and disheartening wherever it is borne, is now divided among many commonwealths, had chanced to fall at this or a somewhat earlier moment upon the national treasury, it is not easy to conceive how the whole country could have escaped from calamities more widely spread and distressing than those which it is now called upon to endure. At a time when duties, during the later periods of what is called the compromise act, were low, or when importations as at this moment are snail and other sources of produc tive revenue are greatly reduced, the discredit now only reflected upon the government would have shone directly upon it, with far more disastrous influence. Such might have been the effect of causes similar to those which have existed among the states. Great schemes were once contemplated, which embraced, perhaps as an initiate enterprise, a long line of in
Another incident in the course of legislation has been sometimes referred to as a precedent for the proposed arrangement. An act of congress, approved June 23, 1836, directs that the money which should be in the treasury of the United States on the 1st day of January, 1837, reserving five millions of dollars, should be deposited with the several states that should authorise the receipt of the same. But it provides that the states shall give the usual and legal obligations, and pledge their faith for the safe keeping and repayment thereof, that their faith shall moveover be pledged to pay the monies and every part of them, from time to time, whenever they should be required, for the purpose of defraying any wants of the public treasury beyond the amount of the five millions of dollars. It went further still, and provided also that if any states should decline to receive its proportion of the surplus moneys on the terms proposed, they should be deposited with the other states agreeing to accept them on deposite. Now, the inducements and the ingredients were not only different in that arrangement, but in some respects the reverse of those contemplated in the plan proposed. Then the leading object was to escape the evils of redundancy; now the object is to supply the wants of deficiency and inanition. Nominally, at least, the former arrangement was a mere deposite, susceptible of being at any moment withdrawn; both in appearance and reality, the present plan is a final and irrevocable gift. The one endeavored to escape from the dangers and inconvenience of a load of wealth; the other seeks to place upon the government a mass the most disheartening and intolerable, consisting of long continued poverty and doubtful escape from embarrassment and debt.
from the tenor thereof, or from any public record, I tation can be exposed to little danger from obscuri-¡tude-greater many times than the wants or necessiact, or document, should appear or could be ascerty. The memorials which have been quoted do not ties of the trading public have been supposed to retained to have been issued for any purpose other than suggest any other agent of currency than the certifi-quire-far grater, certainly, than the calculations of compensations and expenditures for services or sup- cates of government stock. They deny the possibi- those who have suggested the supply of exchequer plies towards the prosecution of the late war, and the lity of a sufficient currency by coin; they insist that bills in any shape would justify. If in daily use, they defence of the U. States, or some part thereof, during a sound currency cannot exist without a proper basis; must, in order to be useful, carry with them the certhe same. they believe that that basis may be found in the due tainty, if required, of daily redemption. The life of The arrangement properly considered, appears to appropriation of a small portion of the national do- treasury notes consists in their being receivable at have partaken rather of the character of a payment main; and they ask for the present anticipation of all times in payment of government dues. A close to the states of debts due to them from the union "one-tenth part of this vast property," by the crea- and constant connexion must be preserved between than an original and gratuitous assumption of the tion and immediate distribution of two hundred mil-the circulation and the treasury, or it loses its chief mere debts of the states. It recognised a virtual ob- lions of national stock. value in the reliance of those who are to receive it. ligation, as assumed by the very formation of the An observer, in looking around among the scatter- Is there not danger that this large emission might union, to discharge the claims upon indebted states, ed fragments of overthrown prosperity, would find it at a moment of emergency sink to a depreciated value, which became, while they were in that condition, difficult to persuade himself that nothing was requir- and, after being for a time practically irredeemable, component parts of the union. It was the substitu-ed to restore them to shape and place but the depo- become a standing proof of the insolvency of the tretion of one combined sovereignty for a number of site among them of a medium of circulation. Cur-asury from which it came? In this fatal result, it separate sovereignties. It adopted a well known rency, or rather the instrument which is used in cur- would share the fate of all government currency that principle, which, upon a change of government, rency when business requires, would not pay the state has yet been issued by other sovereignties. While leaves all public liabilities unaffected by the change. debts, unless, besides its creation, it were distributed an exemption might be hoped for our own, the moral It acknowledged and provided for the debts of the among them. Even when distributed and disposed liability to so great a disaster should prevent those confederation, and of the different states which had of according to its destination, it would merely shift who have the control of it from turning a deaf ear to composed the confederation, at the same time. Yet the debts from one place of liability to another, with the voice of experience. even this arrangement was made the subject of so-out discharging them. But, relieving the states by It is not necessary to seek for examples in relemn protest by the house of delegates of Virginia, this additional measure of distribution, without which volutionary France or newborn America; yet the fate who resolved that so much of the act of congress as the creation of it is nothing, will not relieve the peo- of government issues of currency may be read in the assumes the payment of the state debts was repug-ple, in whose behalf no distribution is or can be con- volumes of it which remain outstanding to the prenant to the constitution of the U. States, although the templated .It would not restore the broken fortunes sent day. The circumstances, however, were pecufund was afterwards received. which have become the victims of speculation or mis- liar, and the cases are not precisely alike. Some of placed confidence. It would not by its mere exis- the United States furnish better illustrations, in the tence reconstruct the wrecks of prostrate and bank- recent date of the occurrences, and the identificarupt corporations, or replenish the coffers of capitalists tion of them with the circumstances under which the who have invested in their stocks; or fill again the contemplated arrangements are to be made. In one stores of the trader, who having sold on credit, holds state the legislature caused a large amount of curnothing but protested bills and notes in the place of rency to be issued, and made it receivable in taxes his valuable commodities; or inspire anew individual and public debts. It soon fell to half of its nominal confidence, which has been forfeited by the loss of value; and at that or a lower rate it has been the property and character together. Those are the de- medium, not of regular circulation, but of fruitless ficiences which prevail, and these the consummations payments to the treasury. In another state, paper to be desired. It is over the sad reality of the one money was issued by authority of the legislature, which and the absence of the other that the country mourns. was limited in amount to the aggregate of taxes then As long as such a condition of things continues, due, made receivable in payment to the treasury, subcurrency might be poured in streams into markets ject to be cancelled in part as it should so be paid, acwhere it would find or create nothing else but cur- companied, as was supposed, by pledges of redemprency; and it would prove as unavailing as if it had tion, and bearing interest at the rate of six per cent. been deposited in a desert, or among men unaccus. With all these guards and advantages, it ceased altomed to the necessities and the aptitudes of business. most immediately to be used as currency, and beCurrency "solely"-currency, which alone is sup-came an article of traffic at greatly reduced prices. posed to be required in order that honest debts may In a third state, efforts were made to increase the curbe paid, that idleness may be turned to noble industry, rency by authorizing certain banks to issue relief that broken private faith may be healed, and perishing public credit redeeemed or saved-if it be provided without the appliances with which it is accustomed to operate, trade and confidence, and property and good faith, would have little effect. It would leave the country where it found it, save only that it might be one degree further enfeebled and exhausted by the, additional and abortive struggle to which it would be exposed. Currency, thus provided and thus unattended, might raise the nominal prices of articles of subsistence, which are now depressed below the standards of experience, and are almost on a level with the reduced ability of the consumers of them. It could not, however, set itself in motion to pay It has been already contended that currency of any A large amount of surplus revenue had accumu- debts or resusciate and give activity to trade, until it description, whether consisting of the precious metals lated in the treasury which it was dangerous to hold should come fairly within the grasp of those whose or of paper possessing no intrinsic but entire repreand difficult to dispose of. The measure required no necessities have occasioned the one, and still contin- sentative value, must be of little use where there is imposition of debt, exposed the government to no ue to forbid their encountering the risks or becom- neither business nor the ability to carry it on. It may possibility of discredit, threatened it with no liability ing competitors for the hopes and advantages of the be added here, that the available and safe extent of to embarrassment. It held out an opportunity for other. A proper currency is of inestimable value. circulating medium will be regulated every where, the exercise of a liberal spirit without seeming to This committee will not intimate a doubt of its vital not by the will or power to place it in mere visible straiten the energies of the munificent donors, and importance to trade and commerce. But that its existence on the spot, but by the proper necessities it indulged the feeling without compromising the in- self-sustaining energy is sufficient to supply every and calls of trade. It were to invert the order of terests of the holders of a fund of which they were want, and that it will alone relieve from every diffi- things, which are governed by sufficiently well definin the opinion of many, doubtfully the proprietors. It culty, cannot be conceded. ed and ascertained laws, to anticipate the wants of assumed the shape of, and reconsiled itself to some If the existence of currency were the specific that commerce by a premature supply of that which is who were not entirely convinced of its strict regularity it is described to be, the committee will not disguise merely its instrument. Currency is the agent, not by persuading them that it was, in reality, a mere their reluctance to see it consist of mere issues from the principal. It seconds, with powerful and indisdeposite, to be withdrawn, if circumstances should the national government, resting alone upon govern- pensable force, the exertions of trade. It cannot change so as to make the restoration of it desira- ment responsibility, and borne entirely upon the credit usurp a jurisdiction or attempt the exercise of an inble. of the nation. In the ordinary course of the exercise fluence which do not belong to it, without injury to The memorialists impute all the prominent evils of its fiscal functions, if the the treasury emit certi- the commerce which it is intended to promote and to and sufferings of the times to a single cause. In the ficates or acknowledgments in any shape of pecuniary the country which it professes to benefit. It follows provision of a supposed remedy for that one disorder, liability, and these proofs of right in the holder pass that the extent of artificial or representative currenthey express (no doubt with entire sincerity) their from hand to hand, and thus perform to any extent cy must be carefully adapted to a given state of buconfidence in the efficiency of its sovereign power. the offices of a circulating medium, the effect is pu-siness. How can it wisely be made to disregard the They declare it to be their firm belief that honest rely adventitious and incidental. Treasury notes state of business, by being forced at hazard into stagdebts cannot be paid; noble industry is turned idle; are acknowlengments of debt and promises to dis- nant markets, which afford no standard for measur private faith is broken up; and public credit is per- charge it. Certificates of stock are evidence of a loan ing the due supply, and which seem to call for the ishing-solely for want of a proper currency." Thus from the holder, and assurances of its reimbursement. smallest practicable quantity? Expansion would nethe evil and the remedy are brought within a narrow Seldom does either of them pass from hand to hand ver be an evil, if it were restricted to the reasonable compass. The want of currency is the malady.- in the ordinary course of business. Never are they wants of trade. It becomes one the moment it goes An immense issue of government stock is the infalli-issued except when necessity, founded on the absence beyond those reasonable wants and inflates them into ble instrument of cure. This position, whether ten- or failure of ordinary revenue, requires. If these or speculation. It will not now be doubted that the preable or otherwise, is unequivocally taken. It is pre- any other tokens of government liability should be vailing error of the times which preceded the present cise in language and clear in sentiment. In refe-issued for mere circulation, or if, being already al- long season of depression was redundant paper. It rence to a subject of great difficulty and some ob-lowed for lawful and limited purposes, they should was an over issue of currency. If two hundred milscurity, it neither professes nor practices the smallest be made to answer the every-day ends of currency, lions are intended, as it should seem, to be scattered degree of mystery. An appeal so direct and candid it is feared that they may expose to risk the credit of abroad at once, for a double purpose, it may relieve may at least be directly met, and its support or refu- the nation. The issue proposed is of great magni- the suffering states, but it cannot benefit a complain
notes, which combined the credit of the commonwealth with that of the corporations that issued them, and were redeemable in state stocks. As a currency, they are unknown. Purchased at a discount, they are used in payments to the state. It is believed that they are sometimes paid out again to salaried officers and others, who are willing to receive them with a certainty of loss rather than wait for the uncertain coming of a more propitious moment, when they may hope for payment in something more substantial and satisfactory than depreciated notes and certificates, which were intended to be the relieving currency of the government.
States." If this should be the established poinciple of the government, it would be directly stimulating each state into a wild career of reckless speculation, which would inevitably end in their separate existence, or in a consolidated despotism, where even their boundaries would be forgotten, amid the universal despair that would follow the overthrow of constitutional liberty.
ing people; for it far exceeds, in a prudent course of sents an aspect more threatening with disaster than There is a clause in the constitution which declabusiness, the exigencies of the country. that which immediately preceded it. The past was res that "congress shall have power to lay and collect Many of the difficulties which are apprehended an era of inflation, the present is one of collapse. taxes, duties, imposts and excises, and provide for from the insecurity of the loan proposed are intended Now moneyed corporations are every where crip- the common defence and general welfare of the U. by its advocates to be met and conquered by a pledge pled. In proportion to their former activity and States." (Sec. 5.) This power was not given to of the public lands and an increase of duties on for-seeming power, is their present benumbed and pay the debts of the several states of this union, but eign merchandise. Admitting, for the sake of argu- feeble state. Scarcely a capitalist has escaped with- to pay the debts of the "United States." These words ment, that the lands will produce in current years a out severe loss from mere investments, and many are define the confederacy of states as a whole, and as fund at all adequate to the object, a large portion of ruined from no other cause. Confidence is denied contradistinguished from the separate and independent the country would reluctantly behold them devoted even in ordinary transactions of business. The most states. To assume that this power was given to auto this one object beyond the reach of recall in any daring wantonness of speculation is put at rest. Do-thorize the governmet to pay the debts of the sepaemergency. Another portion would contest the ap-mestic goods have accumulated until they are a drug. rate states, contracted solely for their benefit and for propriation of them, under any circunstances, to The national exchequer is made to feel this general their local purposes, is to allow the different states to mere state purposes. It is not, perhaps, necessary stagnation. Even the last expedient of the thriftless contract debts, and through the federal government, here to settle questions which have long agitated and borrowing itself has partially failed. Under to bind others to pay them; which would make this divided the people and their representatives. The these circumstances, if currency could be infused government subservient to local interests and to state present product of the lands is small. General pros-with the natural effect of its redundant supply, it authority, and absorb "the general welfare of the U. perity must first prevail before it can be materially might bring back for a season a swollen and exaggeaugmented. The first is certain; the last is full of rated condition of business, that could not be more contingency. Should the reliance fail, the nation lasting than it was in times past. Then corporamay lament, but it cannot correct the error. A com- tions abounded and recieved too easy confidence; camunication from the secretary of the treasury, of the pitalists received rates of interest from investments 18th of the present month, shows that the sum actu- in them that they deemed as secure in the future as ally received from lands sold in the last quarter of they were brilliant in present return; 'mutual deal1842, so far as shown by returns reings were not only marked by unhesitating mutual ceived, is in gross trust, but they grew into speculation which almost And the estimated amount from sales at entirely usurped the place of sober business. The those offices from which returns for lesson of calamity is now learned by heart. It is December, 1842, have not been receivless exciting, but perhaps not less wholesome, than ed, taking the receipts of December, the wild intoxication of half a dozen years ago. If 1841, as the bases of the estimate, is the disposition to profit by it be as sincere as the moment is opportune, the country may find its way Making, together, the sum in gross through the dark hour of distress, and assume a healthier tone than any it possessed amidst the danOr for a whole year, at the same rate, the gers and the excesses of artificial health. Its condigross sum of tion, although critical, is not desperate, its energies are unimpaired; its resources undiminished. When all the surplus productions of a fertile soil shall find a profitable market, prosperity will gradually but surely return. A fairly reciprocal arrangement with the populous nations of Europe, which should open their ports to all the staple commodities of the U. States, would encourage industry and hasten the return of better times.
110.426 35 364,935 32
The proceeds of the sales of the public lands for the last six years (not extending to that of 1836, which was of extraordinary inflation) will be seen from the following table:
1842 to Sept.
An annual average is thus furnished of $3,708,762 163. It will be perceived that the sales of the two last years have been far below the average. It will be perceived, also, that the sales have greatly fallen off during the last two years It is not known whether the same efforts have been made recently as heretofore to press the sales.
Whatever may be the rates of interest proposed for the new loan, the obligations to meet it cannot be supplied by the proceeds of the lands without a great increase in the demand for them. At three per cent., six millions will be required; and if the full rate of six per cent. be allowed, (which is not to be expected), twelve millions must be received annually.
The terms "general welfare," in the constitution, were designed as a mere declaration of extreme caution; and the true intent and meaning of those who used them was, that they should be a limitation to the apparently absolute and uncontrolled power given in the same clause--"to lay and collect taxes," "to pay the debts," &c. It was intended that this power should not be used wantonly or unjustly; but that congress should strictly consult that "general welfare of the United States," and carry out the same only by confining its full exercise to objects specially enumerated in that instrument; and which are thereby declared to be natioual. These powers were not intended to be applied to local interests, or to state debts; but to those great national objects which were specifically declared by grants of power to be within the jurisdiction of the general government.
It is not denied that this government is one Whatever may be the merits of the plan of the ed to define these powers. By merely assuming that of limited powers, and that the constitution is intendmemorialists, doubts ought no longer to exist of its it is national, you cannot effect objects not enumeratultimate fate. If it be wise, salutary, and practica- ed, or not essentially recessary to those that are.ble; if the right be perfect and the obligation clear, The convention has precisely defined those objects or let it be carried cheerfully into effect. If the re- powers that are national, and congress cannot legally verse be true, how disastrous may be the conse- undertake to declare what shall also be national for quences of its open and unsettled state! Expectations are in that view kept in restless anxiety which other purposes not defined in the constitution. can never be gratified. Reliance is invited which To do so, is to do nothing more nor less than to must prove not only delusive but disastrous. What claim that congress shall set up its own discretion as state, in the full hope of relief from the general go-to the objects of "general welfare," instead of vernment, can summon its own energies to its res- confining its action to the specific enumerated powers cue? If it could, the temptation to delay and further of the constitution itself. If the "general welfare" liability are too powerful to be encouraged. The be the only limitation on the discretion of congress, nation suffers while the question is undecided. If, indeed, the vast load of foreign debt can and ought to be discharged, and the sacred duty is not performed, if that ability be not only obvious but of easy exercise, the absence or the delay of efficient action is justly matter of reproach and increasing obloquy. Let the question be decided at once and forever, for ourselves and for the world. The committee recommend the following resolution:
why then any enumeration of powers at all? All power was at once given, and the judgment of congress was thereby declared to be the constitution of the confederacy. What right have we to set aside the judgment of the convention? They chose, by enumerating the powers, to show what were intended to be national objects; and the very enumeration excludes the idea of legislation upon subjects not enumerated.
The minority consider the proposition to pledge the faith of this government for the redemption of $200,000,000 of public stock to relieve the states, or pay their debts, as involving the whole taxing power of this government.
It is a proposition to tax posterity, not for the existence and independence of the confederacy, but for purposes unknown to the constitution, and at war with those principles of liberty which secure to a free people the practical right to tax themselves alone, and to be protected from the lawless profligacy of those who may have assumed to bind them in all future time.
The same recent report of the secretary of the treasury shows that the cash duties accruing at the several ports from which returns have been receiv- Resolved, That it is not expedient to grant the ed, amount, during the last quarter, to $3,116,370 73. prayer of the memorialists, and that the committee The additional amount of $1,436,565 24, received be discharged from the further consideration of the on bonds formerly given, cannot properly be regard-subject. ed in the estimate of actual revenue from imports, as it is only the result of previous importations. The estimate would not be just that, after a change from The minority of the committee of ways and means, low to high duties on many articles, should be found-assenting to most of the reasons and to the conclued merely on these returns. But, making every al- sions presented in the report of the majority against lowance for temporary causes in diminished impor- the prayer of the memorialists, asking the federal govtations, and the whole amount of public revenue ernment to issue $200,000,000 of public stock in aid from customs, even should a considerable increase of of the debts of the states, would also urge, in addiduties be provided by law, would be required for the tion, (without pretending to go into anything like a In all civilized countries, the line which limits the existing wants of the government. The annual re- full development of their reasons,) that they deem power of government as to taxation, is the line that ceipts at the custom-houses, agreeably to the above the exercise of such a power, on the part of the ge- defines enlightened liberty. There are some of the standard, would be $12,455,481 92. These mini-neral government, unauthorized by the constitution. states that owe nothing, and many but little, and to mnm receipts are not offered as a standard of future The minority have always been induced to believe compel them to become jointly liable, by the action revenue; they prove, however, that no immediate op- that the federal constitution was a compact to which of the federal goverhment, for the debts of others the portunity is afforded for devoting even a portion of the states acceded, and became parties; and that the states, would be an act of such gross injustice to them, the customs to the exclusive payment of interest on powers of the government accrued from that compact, that it would create feelings hostile to the permanena new and voluntary public debt. There are, be- and were defined in it. Before congress is authoriz-cy of the union. The strength of our union consists sides many difficulties in the way of increasing the ed to act upon any subject-matter, it must first be such in the government acting with wise forbearance upon rates of imposts. A tariff law is always passed un-subject, over which power is specifically granted in subjects of doubtful import-in doing exact justice to der circumstances of embarrassment and difficulty: conflicting interests are to be reconciled, and opposing judgments are to be convinced, before it can force its passage. It encounters so much delay and doubt at all times, that assistance from such a quarter can scarcely be hoped for by the friends of the present scheme.
It is not easy to determine whether the present condition of the country, deplorable as it is, pre
that instrument, or clearly to be inferred as absolutely
To assume such a debt, and to create such a stock,
to all the parties-in imposing equal burdens-and mildly shedding around, equal blessings upon all. By such a course, it will generate feelings of devoted attachment in a loyal and free people, who will be ever ready to defend it from aggressions from abroad, or from treason at home.
The strength of the government does not consist in arbitrary or great power, but in the attachinent of an intelligent people to those great principles which
make them free and equal. If the government asFEBRUARY 10. Oregon territory-Instructions of the cause of science; and were they now to turn off sumes a doubtful power, the exercise of which cre- states. Mr. Linn presented resolutions from the this man, best qualified for this particular branch of ates palpable injustice to whole communities, its ope- general assembly of Missouri, stating that the title science, when he was just about to perfect a system ration will alienate the feelings of those who suffer, to the land claimed by the United States is just, and that would benefit and perhaps enlighten all mankind? and loosen the bonds that keep the confederacy to- cannot be abandoned without a disgraceful sacrifice He trusted not. gether. of national honor. That the full, absolute, and per- Mr. Tappan was of opinion that government should The creation of such a government debt would fect title is vested in the United States, and that the not encourage such speculations, and held that the only end in taxing the productive industry of the claim of any other power to it should be resisted. theory of Professor Espy had been controverted by country for the benefit of stockholders and specula- That it is the duty of government to protect to the men of science. tors. Those who deal in government funds, and live fullest extent those citizens who had migrated to Mr. McRoberts asked the yeas and nays on the adopby the fluctuations of paper, might amass fortunes; Oregon. That congress be requested to use such ex-tion of the amendment, which was ordered; and the but the great laboring class would be beyond the ertions as will secure speedy and uncontrollable pos- vote stood as follows: reach of its benefits, whilst they would be made final-session of the portion claimed by the United States. ly to feel its burdens, in the future taxation of the The resolutions were read and ordered to be printed. government to meet the vast obligations thus incurr- Mr. McRoberts presented the following preamble ed. It is wild and visionary to suppose that the cre- and resolution of the assembly of Illinois: ation of such stock would add anything to the nationWhereas the title of the government of the United al wealth. It would only tend to make the industri-States to the territory of Oregon is indisputable, and ous and solvent liable for the debts of the abandoned the government of Great Britain is only entitled to and profligate. The first immediate effect would be the joint occupation thereof by permission of the to swell expansion and stimulate a bloated paper cur- United States until notice shall be given for its terrency, which would be felt in foreign exchanges set-mination; and whereas Great Britain has taken exting against us and a consequent demand for gold and clusive possession of the choice parts of said terrisilver to adjust balances. It would place our local tory in direct violation of treaty, and with an utter currency above the level of the currency of the world, disregard of the rights of the U. States; and whereand create a drain for our specie to equalise it. This, as the safety of the title of the United States to said of course, would inevitably end in explosion, like the territory is greatly endangered by the concessions Mississippi bubble, or the French assignats. With-made in the late treaty relative to the boundary of out intending to go into a full argument, but merely Maine, by her rights to said territory not then being to suggest the general grounds of opposition, the mi-persisted in and made a part of said treaty, and will nority look upon the whole scheme as unconstitution-be more endangered by longer delay: and whereas al, wild, and visionary, and full of fraud and the the honorable Lewis F. Linn has lately introduced grossest injustice. into the United States senate a bill providing for the settlement and protection of said territory: there
The undersigned, therefore, propose that the resolution of the committee be amended, by adding thereto the following words:
Resolved, &c. That our senators he instructed and Resolved, further, That, to adopt the recommenda- our representatives requested to use their best efforts tions of the said memorials, would be unconstitution-in support of said bill, &c. al, and dangerous to the harmony of the union.
F. W. PICKENS,
TWENTY SEVENTH CONGRESS OF THE
FEBRUARY 9. A resolution was adopted on motion of Mr. Woodbridge referring to the joint committee on the library, a letter from the collector of New York concerning a case of printed documents forwarded to the senate of the United States by the chamber of peers of France, and that the said committee be authorised to deposite the said books, when they shall arrive, in the library of congress.
Jackson's fine. On motion of Mr. Linn; Resolved, That the secretary of war be requested to send to the senate a copy of General Jackson's letter to the war department, dated Nashville, September 5, 1815, with a copy of the paper transmitted by General Jackson and signed by certain officers justifying the declaration of martial law and his o her acts having for their object the defence and safety of
Relief of the states. Mr. Buchanan of Pennsylvania, presented a memorial from citizens of Pennsylvania in favor of the issue of two hundred millions of government stock.
The army appropriation bill for the fiscal half year ending June 30, 1843, and for the fiscal year ending 30th June, 1844, on motion of Mr. Evans was taken up.
YEAS-Messrs. Archer. Barrow, Bates, Bayard, Berrien, Buchanan, Choate, Clayton, Conrad, Crafts, CritMiller, Porter, Rives, Simmons, Sprague, Sturgeon, tenden, Dayton, Evans, Graham, Kerr, Linn, Mangum, Tallmadge, Walker, White, Woodbridge, Woodbury28. NAYS-Messrs. Allen, Benton, Fulton. McRoberts, McDuffie, Sevier, Smith, of Connecticut, Smith, of Indiana. Tappan, Wilcox, Williams, Wright, Young-13. So the amendment was adopted. Mr. Merrick, chairman of the committee for the District of Columbia, moved to amend the bill so as to include the District of Columbia, to read thus:"And that each congressional and territorial district, and the District of Columbia, shall be entitled to have one cadet at said academy."
Mr. Berrien then moved to amend the bill by inserting the following:
Provided, That nothing in this section shall prevent the appointment of an additional number of cadets, not exceeding ten, to be appointed at large without being confined to a selection by congression. al districts.
The motion, after a brief debate, was adopted; and all the amendments were concurred in, and ordered to be engrossed and the bill read a third
The senate then went into executive session; and, after some considerable time spent therein, the doors were opened.
And the amendments to the army appropriation was read a third time and finally passed. bill having been reported correctly engrossed, the bill
On motion, the senate adjourned till 13th.
FEBRUARY 13. Steamboat laws. Mr. Barrow presented a memorial from Cincinnati, signed by 2000 citizens, asking congress to amend the steamboat law requiring iron steering rods to be used.
The amendments proposed by the committee on finance were then read; they consisted, in effect-1st. For arrearage for completing the barracks and quarters at fort Severn, $9.029 58. 2d. To make the North Carolina Resolutions. Mr. Graham presented appropriation for the medical and hospital depart- Carolina upon the subject of the compromise act, the several resolutions adopted by the legislature of North ment $39,000, and include the survey from Albemarle Sound to the Atlantic. 3d. Appropriating $2,000 bankrupt law, the veto power, and the relationship for continuing the meteorological observations at the existing between the senator and the legislature. military posts, under the direction of the surgeon the joint resolutions of the legislature of Pennsyl Pennsylvania Resolutions. Mr. Sturgeon presented general. 4th. For the continuation of the improvements on the Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, and Arkan-vania, instructing their senators to vote for the paysas rivers, for the half calendar year $50,000, and for ment of the fine imposed on general Jackson. the fiscal year $100,000.
The question was then taken on all the amendments, save that which relates to the appropriation for the meteorological observations, and they were adopted.
Profr. Espy. Mr. Benton preferred that the amendThe resolution calling for the correspondence of Gene- ment for meteorological expenses should be passed ral Cass, submitted by Mr. Benton, on the suggestion over until the report of the surgeon general of the of Mr. Archer chairman of the committee on foreign army in relation to the subject should have been exrelations that the call was already embraced in a pre-amined. Mr. Evans remarked that the head of the vious resolution introduced on a prior occasion, was notwithstanding the report of the surgeon general. war department had recommended the appropriation withdrawn by Mr. Benton.
German coin. Mr. Buchanan presented a memorial from Philadelphia asking congress to pass a law establishing the value of the German coin in like manner as the value of the coin of France and England have been valued.
Government stock. Mr. Buchanan presented, from 700 citizens, who state that Pennsylvania has been western Pennsylvania, a memorial signed by 600 or embarrassed by her internal improvements, and asking for the issue of government stock for the relief of duced by the committee on roads and canals, for the Mr. Merrick moved to take up the resolution introsurrender of the stock of the government in the canal to the cities of Alexandria, Georgetown and Washington.
Mr. Benton offered a resolution, which lies over for one day, requesting the president of the United States to communicate to the senate a copy of his instructions to Daniel Webster, esq. upon the occasion of the negotiations with Lord Ashburton in regard to the late treaty.
Mr. Linn defended the appropriation, and alluded to Mr. McDuffie's resolutions were on the suggestion the research and capacities of Professor Espy and of Mr. Evans deferred being considered until Monday the importance of the subject and fatality at fort Gibson as evidences of the importance of meteoroAgents in Kentucky and Missouri for the purchase of logical observations. Mr. Walker thought that the Objections were made, but the senate agreed to conwater rolled hemp. The joint resolution in relation knowledge of Professor Espy on this particular de- sider it by a vote of 23 to 22. Mr. Merrick moved a to said agents was on motion of Mr. Crittenden taken partment could not be surpassed by that of the sur-large number of amendments to the resolutions, which geon general, and alluded to the extensive corres- he said would place the subject upon the precise footMr. McDuffie opposed the resolution. Mr. More- pondence he had opened in respect to it with the ing desired by all parties. The amendments proposhead advocated it. Mr. King opposed it. The de- scientific in all parts of the country and the import- ed were all concurred in, and the bill was then rebate was continued by Mr. Crittenden, Bayard, Wood-ance of the subject. Mr. Benton insisted on first ported to the senate with an order for engrossment. bury, Bagby, Buchanan, Benton, &c. when Mr. Bagby having the report of the surgeon general. Mr. Calmoved an amendment restricting the price so as not houn thought Mr. Espy will in after times be looked to be greater than it would command in the northern upon as one of the greatest of scientific men of this markets, which was adopted, and the resolution was age, yet its looking like the establishment of a new then ordered to a third reading by the following bureau formed an insurmountable objection to it in his mind. Mr. C. said he would like the amendYEAS-Messrs. Archer, Barrow, Bates, Bayard, Ben-ment to pass, though he could not vote for it himself, ton, Berrien, Buchanan, Clayton, Crafts, Crittenden, and alluded to the great fund of meteorologic facts Dayton, Evans, Huntington, Linn, McRoberts, Man-evolved during his administration of the war departgum, Miller, Morehead. Phelps, Porter, Simmons. Smith, ment by the observations of the officers of the army. importance of the principles involved in the resolu Mr. McDuffie rose and addressed the senate on the of Indiana. Sprague, Tallmadge, White, Woodbridge, Mr. Buchanan expressed his high opinion of Mr. tions until after 4 o'clook, p. m. He said he had inNAYS-Messrs. Allen. Bagby, Calhoun, Fulton, Espy and made allusion to the proceedings of the troduced them for the consideration of the senate, Henderson, King. McDuffie, Rives, Sevier, Smith, of national institute of France in respect to his disco- from a profound sense of his duty as a senator, and Conn. Sturgeon, Tappan, Walker, Wilcox, Williams, veries and observations. In August, 1842, an appro- without consultation with any human being. SenaWoodbury, Wright-17. priation had been made to continue the meteorologi- tors need not fear there was any oblique purpose in cal observations, under the direction of the surgeon them; they had no other view than such as was cleargeneral, and Professor Espy was employed as a sub-ly indicated on their face. He intimated that it might ordinate under him, and rendered eminent services to be the policy of some partics to let evils remain with
The resolution was then read a third time and passed. The senate adjourned to the 10th.
The resolutions submitted by Mr. McDuffie on the 19th were then taken up, when
FEBRUARY 14. The president presented a com- fail to call forth their utmost resources for the final munication from the treasury department, in compli- redemption of their engagements, preferring every ance with a resolution of 28th December last, call- sacrifice to dishonor, and proud to illustrate that jeaing for the amount of accruing duties during the lous spirit of independence which belongs to free third and fourth quarters of the past year, and the republican states, by a stern and strenuous reliance value of imports and exports of the last quarter. on their own faculties for deliverance from their preThe following resolution submitted yesterday by sent temporary embarrassments. Mr. Benton (Mr. Archer simply protesting against its utility) was adopted: Resolved, that the president be requested to communicate to the senate, a copy of the commission, or letter of instructions, which may have been given to Daniel Webster, esq. secretary of state, to treat with Lord Ashburton, late special minister from Great Britain to the United States.
The resolutions of Mr. McDuffie were then taken up. Mr. Evans then addressed the senate for some hours in support of his substitute—when,
Mr. Merrick of Md. believing the subject would lead to an endless debate and unwise and unprofitable discussion to the prejudice of all the important matter that must be considered between this time and the 4th March next, gave notice that he would tomorrow, move to lay the whole subject on the table.
Mr. Allen hoped the subject would not be laid on the table, but that the senate would come to a direct vote, setting at rest forever their views on the doctrine of assumption of state debts.
Mr. Buchanan saw much force in the remarks of the senator from Maryland, and referred to Mr. Calhoun's resolutions relating to the Creole and Mr. Clay's abstract resolutions previous to his late resignation, as consuming weeks of debate and leading to no useful result. He feared such would be the case here, unless the matter be disposed of by being laid upon the table. He should insist that the committee of finance should report on the subject of assumption. The various memorials referred to that com. mittee opened the subject to their consideration.
those who were responsible for them, by way of rendering them more odious to the country; but that was not his policy; and he considered it the duty of every individual, however powerless he might deem himself, to use every fair and honorable effort to redeem the country from its present embarrassment. What a spectacle did this country present! In a time of profound peace, and endowed with every blessing that God could give us, we find the whole land in one universal wide-spread distress. Were they, then, to stand still while the country was thus bleeding at every pore, indulging in mutual criminations and recriminations, exclaiming, like the bloody Macbeth, "Thou can'st not say I did it? No; it was rather the duty of every man earnestly to put his shoulder to The resolution relating to the conditional transfer the wheel, and do all that in him lay to apply the of the stock of the United States in the Chesapeake remedy. He observed, en passant, that he considered and Ohio Canal to the state of Maryland and the disboth the great leading parties of the country some-trict cities, was read a third time, and passed. what responsible for the evils that now exist. President Jackson had certainly committed a very great error in removing the deposites of the public money, with injunctions almost amounting to a law, to furnish those accommodations which the United States bank had been in the habit of doing. Under that system every one was aware of what took place. -All that had been predicted by the most sagacious actually occurred, and the currency of the country was expanded to a degree that had no parallel in the tide of time. Such was the wild delirium in every possible species of speculation, that penniless adventurers entered into it to the tune of hundreds of thousands on the paper furnished them by the banks; Resolved, That the distrust and obloquy cast upon Mr. Calhoun would suggest that it be postponed till and, as was the inevitable consequence, a general sus- the federal government, by reason of the failure of to-morrow, as the senate was now thin. He concurpension followed. The administration then in pow-certain states to make prompt payment of their debts, red in the views taken by the senators from Ohio, er showed the rare but consummate wisdom of retra- is an unjust and unfounded imputation upon its cred- (Mr. Allen,) and Virginia, (Mr. Rives,) that the sencing their steps and acknowledging their error. It it and good faith: that, while this government de-ate was bound to give its opinion on the subject. It was determined then to disconnect the government plores the misguided policy of those states which was due to the states and to themselves, that all amentirely from the banks, and a sub-treasury was es- have embarrassed themselves, it disclaims all liabili-biguity on the the right of the general government to tablished. Thus far for their responsibility. What ty, legally or morally, for such delinquency, while course had been adopted by the other party? Some in vindication of its own unblemished faith and honof the leading statesmen, who, like himself, had con- or it appeals with confidence to its past history. demned the policy of general Jackson in regard to the United States bank, had clamored for the reestablishment of a National bank, while others again were fixing on the state bank system as a kind of half-way house. Thus both had been responsible, and it was alike the duty of both and of every man to apply the remedy.
Mr. Dayton said that he desired to move an amendment to the amendment offered by Mr. Evans, which was to strike out the third resolution and submit the following in its place. He would merely observe that he had no disposition to embark in the general discussion, and would feel gratified if the senate would indulge him for a few moments to-morrow, as the hour was now late and the body already somewhat exhausted. The following amendment was then read:
Mr. Rives said he intended to have offered an amendment himself, which was to strike out the three last resolutions, and insert in their stead what he would read in his place, as follows:
Mr. Walker asked that the vote should be taken on each of the several resolutions by yeas and nays, without further debate.
assume the states' debts should be removed, and he hoped there would be a full attendance of the senate.
Mr. Evans [in reply to a query from Mr. Simmons] stated that he offered his resolutions merely as appendages to those of the gentleman from S. Carolina, not as substitutes.
Mr. McDuffie would like to have addressed a few remarks in reply to the senator from Maine, but in the spirit of business, would waive further discussion, and on motion, the senate adjourned.
FEBRUARY 15. The president presented a joint resolution from the territorial assembly of Iowa, asking that the government will purchase all the lands of the Indians lying within the territory.
Resolved, That another of the prominent causes which tend to prolong and increase the financial embarrassments of the country, and to retard the ultiMr. McD. glanced at the resolutions which Mr. mate restoration of public and private credit, is the EVANS had proposed to introdnce as a substitute for uncertainty and suspense thrown over the policy of those he had the honor to submit; but he regarded this government in regard to the debts of the states, them as a mere surface measure, and not at all cal- by the agitation of projects for the virtual assump culated to reach the seat of the disease, the remote tion of those debts by the authorities of the union.- Also, the credentials of the hon. W. H. Hayward, cause of which had been an alarming and most un- That while this uncertainty is permitted to exist, its senator elect from the state of North Carolina for natural expansion of the paper currency. This cur- mischievous effect is to foster delusive hopes of re-six years from and after the 4th March next; and Mr. rency had been greatly reduced, but had not yet lief from a quarter whence it can never legitimately Tallmadge the credentials of the hon. Silas Wright, reached its extreme point. After we had gone proceed, and to divert the attention of the indebted senator elect from the state of New York for six through all the evils brought upon us by a vitious states from that timely and energetic application of years from and after the 4th March next. system of banking, what did gentlemen propose to their own resources to the fulfilment of their engage- Mr. Linn, presented a memorial from citizens of do? To adopt a system by way of cure, when time ments, which they would otherwise make, and which Missouri, in relation to a settlement of the Oregon. and forbearance could alone effect it. Neither a is the sole, natural, and proper reliance for the li- They propose that congress should make a road from bank of the United States nor exchequer board could quidation of their respective liabilities. And it is a point on the Platte river through the pass of the reach the disease. Like a sick patient, they were therefore urgently demanded by the interests of the Rocky mountains. Also, resolutions of the legisla continually calling for remedies, and, as was usual parties immediately concerned, as well as by those ture of Missouri, in relation to the improvement of the in such cases, mistaking both the complaint and re- of the country at large, that congress should now ex-great swamps in the southeastern portion of Missouri. medy. The only remedy was a sound and uniform plicitly and unequivocally declare the views it encurrency-the currency of the constitution. It had tertains of the appropriate and constitutional sphere been said by the friends of the banking system that of its powers and duties in relation to this subject. they did not desire expansion so much as to restore Resolved, That, in the fundamental division and alconfidence. That was the catchword. Confidence in lotment of political power established by the constiwhat? In banks that make promises only to violate tution between the government of the union and them? Confidence in a system that must always those of the several states, there is no power or aueventuate in like results? God forbid that such con- thority given to the former to provide for the payfidence should ever be restored! It would be like ment of the debts incurred by the latter in virtue of the confidence that Eve had in the serpent-mis- their undoubted competence, and within their sepaplaced confidence, that led to ruin. Would the parate and exclusive jurisdiction; that any attempt by per issues of banks add any thing to the wealth of the general government thus to assume and impose the country? Suppose seventy millions were added to-morrow to the currency, you would only add so much paper but no wealth. The true remedy was to undo the mischief already done.
Mr. McD. went on to give his reasons at length for the adoption of the whole series of the resolutions, dwelling with peculiar earnestness on that relating to the tariff; contending that a mortal blow had been inflicted on the commerce of the country, a branch that had always sustained the government, kept afloat the navy, and maintained the army; that the only way to restore that expiring branch would be by knocking off the shackles that had been put on it. Do this, (said Mr. McD.) and I pledge my reputation that we shall have an abundant revenue for all the economical wants of the government. A tariff of 20 per cent. in the general, and not exceeding 25 in any case, would give us ample resources. He dwelt wih peculiar emphasis on the injuries which the cotton planter was subjected to by the present tariff, which he pronounced so monstrous nd so unjust, that the only wonder was how the igh-spirited sons of the south could bear it.
upon the people of the union the debts of individual
Canal around the falls of the Ohio. Mr. Benton presented a memorial signed by forty-eight masters of steamboats on the western waters, praying the construction of a canal round the falls of the Ohio on the Indiana side. The memorialists state that their business will not allow them to pay the enormous toll exacted by the canal on the other side, and affirm that there are obstructions which unfitted it for general use.
Mr. Walker, thought the canal on the Kentucky side was not adapted to the commerce of the west, nor suited for the admission of modern boats. There were projecting rocks which sometimes materially injured some of the boats of the largest size. He thought, however, that nothing could be done to improve the canal until it was seen that government was determined to do something. He would go for granting land to the state of Indiana to make the canal on her side, provided she undertook to make it free or of moderate toll.
Mr. Smith, of Indiana, did not feel satisfied to let the memorial be referred without a single word. He concurred fully with the petitioners in the necessity of the contemplated improvement of the navigation of the Ohio river at the falls; and he felt assured that the opinion he had long entertained, and which he had repeatedly urged upon the senate, would be ultimately found to be correct, that a canal on the Indiana side of the falls must be constructed of sufResolved, That a just sentiment of respect for the ficient capacity to pass boats of the largest class with character of sovereign states, incurring pecuniary the ascending and descending commerce of that great obligations by a deliberate act of the public will and western thoroughfare. He said the tolls on the Louis a solemn pledge of the public faith through their ville and Fortland canal had run up to their maxiconstitutional and appropriate organs, forbids the ap- mum of eighteen per cent. on the stock, which was prehension that any of the states of this union will most onerous on the commerce of the river-while