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Mr. WEBSTER spoke briefly in favor of this make the selection. Mr. B. was unwilling the motion, in order that the compulsory clause might committee should be goaded into premature action. be modified before the final vole upon it.
A communication from the Executive, he had rea. Mr. GRUNDY and Mr. CLAY of Kentucky, son 10 believe, would be made to the committee, spoke in favor of first taking the question on the He entertained a deep conviction that there had admission of the principle of compulsion at all into been greal and inexcusable delay in the Executive the bill; and after some further remarks, Mr. action. The course which the Executive had now CLAY of Kentucky moved to strike out the 18th tardily taken, at the close of the session, even supsection, being the compulsory clause.
posing it ai all necessary to a just decision, might Mr. WRIGHT intimating a wish to make some have been taken, and ought to have been taken, remarks on the subject before the vote was taken, six months ago--yes, long before the present sesThe Senate adjourned.
sion commenced, when the report of the second
Board of Surgeons reached the President. But he HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, would not draw the subject from where the responTUESDAY, June 2, 1840..
sibility properly lay. The West would hold the Messrs. BELL and DAVIES of Pennsylvania President ultimately to a strict account. made some remarks in reference to amending the Mr. STEENROD said he must ask the indul. journal; and the latter made a motion to change gence of the House to enable him to make a few the phraseology of a part of the record; which was remarks in reply to the gentleman from Pennsylvadisagreed to by the House.
nia, (Mr. Biddle,) on this subject. It was true, he Mr. THOMPSON of South Carolina rose for said, that another board of commissioners had the purpose of asking the general consent of the been ordered by the proper authority to ascertain House to submit a motion, that the House would wbich of these two points, Pittsburg or Wheeling, thea resolve itself into Committee of the Whole was the proper and appropriate place for the Ma. on the state of the Union, to take up the bill for rine Hospital. And it is irue that the appropriaraising sixteen hundred troops for the protection of tion must be suspended for these improvements, Florida. He was satisfied that the discussion on until the furiher action and return of this board. the bill would not take up more than this day. But with whai propriety or justice could the hono
Mr. GRAVES hoped the House would not con: rable gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. BIDDLE) seni to the motion; and after some suggestions, charge this consequent delay on the President?
Mr. THOMPSON said be would not press the How, said he, could any censure or improper im. motion until after the expiration of the morning putation be justly cast on the President? The law hour.
of 1837 imposed on the President the selecting of The SPEAKER announced that the first busi- the respective sites for the hospitals ordered to be ness in order during the morning hour was the mo- established on the Western waters by the law. In tion of the gentleman from New Jersey, [Mr. pursuance of this law, they authorized a board to RANDOLPH,] lo recommit to the Committee on Com- be appointed by the President, which board selected merce the bill reported from the commitiee by the and contracted for the site at Wheeling: so far :he gentleman from Maryland, (Mr. Hillen,] io re- President was not unmiadful of his daty, nor was peal the law regulating pilots.
he tardy in discharging it. But what was the course Mr. CURTIS, who was entitled to the floor, of the gentleman from Pennsylvania, (Mr. Biddle] assumed that the motion to recommit opened for or those whom he so ably represents. This decision discussion the whole merits of the question. He of the board was then challenged, the Presideni was desired to discuss the question in that way; and as remonstrated with, and his au hority invited to inhe believed that it would be debated during the terpose, and to give the constituents of the honoramorning hour for two days, and as many of the ble gentlemen another hearing, that their claims standing committees were anxious to report, he might again be presented for consideration. They would suggest that the furiher consideration of the petitioned that another beard might be appointed. subject be laid over till to-morrow morning, for the This was granted. For this delay-for this conpurpose of receiving reports of committees; to cession to meet the request of the genileman, or which soggestion the House yielded.
petition of his constituents, of course he will not Mr. GRAVES inquired of the chairman of the complain, or censure the President. It musi then Committee on Commerce [Mr. CURTIS) when a bill be the cause of the recent delay. The o her would be reported (in pursuance of the recom-board of commissioners, appointed on the remonmendations made by the President and Secretary strance of the gentleman, (Mr. Biddle) or his of War) making appropriations to pay for sites se- constiluents, selecied and recommended Pittsburg lecied by the board appointed for that purpose, for as the proper and appropriate place. Mr. S. said the buiding of Marine Hospitals in the West. that it was then rendered his duty to interpose and
Mr. CURTIS entered into some explanations in petition the President, and present lo bis consideraregard to the condition of this question before the tion such reasons as, in justice to those he reprecominjitee, and irom which it appeared that the de- sented, might induce bim to appoint another board, lay in the act on of the committee arose from the whose decision should be final on the subject. If, conticting claims of Wheeling and Pittsburg, and then, there has been unusual delay in concluding the conflicting reports in relation thereto. [The this matter, ibe blame must rest on others, but ceract of 1837 au horized the purchase of seven sites; lainly not on the Presiden!. six of them were accordingly selected; and the The SPEAKER called the committees for redifficulty is, as to the seventh, whether Wheeling
ports; when or Pillsburg shall be fixed upon.]
Mr. CURTIS, from the Commitise on Com. Mr. GRAVES urged the propriety of reporting merce, reported back to the House, with an amenda bill as to the six selected sites, leaving the dis. ment, Senate bill entitled an act to refund to Noah puled one to be acted on hereafter.
Miller and others a part of the proceeds of the sale Mr. MORGAN of New York spoke of the in- of the British sloop Mary and cargo, which were justice done to one of his consituents, who had captured by them, and libelied by them for the made a contract with the Government for the sale benefit of the United States; which bill and amend. oi land in Pilisbnrg for the site of one of these ment were ordered to be printed. hospitals, but who was kept out of his money.
Mr. CURTIS, from the same committee, reMr. BIDDLE rose; but
ported a bill making appropriations for the erection The SPEAKER remarked that there was no of a custom-house in the city of Richmond, in the question before the House, and discussion was ir. Siale of Virginia; which wax read twice, and, regular.
On ipotion of Mr. BANKS, was referred to the Mr. BIDDLE moved a suspension of the rules, Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, to enable him to say a word on the subject; which and the bill ordered to be printed. being accorded by a vote of two-thirds, he declared Mr. CURTIS also reported from the same comit was not his purpose to enter upon any contest as miltee a bill to establish a port of entry at St. Jo. totha comparative claims of Pitisburg and Wheěl. seph's, in the State of Florida; which was read ing; to do so in the House now, could lead to no iwice, and committed to the Committee of the useful purpose, and would only tend to shift re- Whole on the state of the Union. sponsibility from the proper quarter. The act of Mr. HABERSHAM, from the saine committee, 1837 had rendered it the duty of the President to reported a bill making appropriations for the com.
pletion of the marine hospital at Mobile, and furnishing the same; which was read twice, and refer. red to the Commitiee of the Whole, and made the order of he day for to-morrow.
Mr. CURTIS, from the saine committee, reported a bill for the protection of the commerce on Lake Michigan; which was read twice, and commilled to the Committee of the Whole, and made the order of the day for to-morrow.
Mr. BURKE, from the same committee, reported back to the House without amendment, Senate bill entitled an act for the relief of Jacob Parnell ard others, owners of the Eliza of Brunswick; which was committed to the Committee of the Wbole, and made the order of the day for io-morrow.
Mr. CRARY, from the Committee on the Public Lands, reported back to the House, without amendmeni, Senate bill entitled an act to authorize the State of Tennessee to issue grants and perfec! tiles to certain lands therein described, and to selile the claims to the vacant and unappropriated lands within the same, passed 18th April, 1836.
Mr. C. moved that the bill be read the third time, and be put upon its engrossment.
Mr. MONTGOMERY moved the commitment of the bill to the Committee of the Whole.
Mr. CROCKETT hoped that this bill would not be permitted to be referred to the Committee of the Whole; but that it would be read the third time, as proposed by the gedileman from Michigan, and put upon its passage. The bill had been befüre Con. gress for iwelve years, and had been frequently reported upon favorably. It had received the sanction of the three or four standing committees of the Senate, and three committees of the House of Representatives. He hoped if it was the desire of any gentleman to examine the bill, that they would perikit it lo le on the SPEAKER'S table, and take occasion to examine it there; bui if there was no objection, he wouid be 'giad if the bill would be put upon its passage, and to effect that object, and it in order, he would move the previous question on the motion of the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. CRARY) for the third reading of the bill.
Mr. L. WILLIAMS objected to such a course. It was a very important bill, and hoped that it would be referred to the Committee of the Whole.
Mr. CAVE JOHNSON made some remarks explanatory of the principles of the bill, and urged its immediate passage.
[The motion for the previous question operating on the motion to commit, and soi on its passage of the bill, it was not presud ]
Mr. W. C. JOHNSON urged the propriety of committing the bill. He regarded the bill as the first step towards the surrender of the whole public domain. It was a bill of the utmost importance, and should have full investigation. It was a measure involving a question of revenue, and the righ! of all the States. He believed there was something wrong in the bill, otherwise the friends of it would not wish to press it Ibrough in such a hur ! rieti manner.
Mr. CRARY considered the motion of reference as taniamount to a motion for rejection. It was evident that the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union had very much abused its privi. leges. We bad already spent a month of the session in the discussion of one bill in that committee. It was a place where debate was almost intermina. ble. It took from the majority all their power and gave it into the hands of a few individuals. If this bill went to that committee, it would not be considered this session. We had bills enough there already to occupy our time till August, and we had yel other bills to refer, that should receive consideration. By refarring the bill before us, the whole question of the public lands will come under discussion. We shall have speeches on ihe right of pre-emption, on the subject of graduation and distribution, and all these on a bill that does not involve the principles of either of those great measures.
This bill proposes to do for the State of Tendes. see wbat should bave been done long ago. In that Siate we have had public lands for near Afry years, but we had never surveyed them, had never sold an acre of them, and we never would. Such was their situation that it was no object to survey
them. This bill proposed giving the control of them to the State on ceriaiu conditions, too onerous to the State, it was true, but such as she was willing to accept. He would have willingly given conditions more favorable, bui he had yielded to the wishes of others, in the hopes that the present bill would meet with approval from all sides of the House.
He repudiated the insinuation of the gentleman tban
from Maryland [Mr. Johnson.) did not wish to take any advantage of those
who were opposed to the bill. He only desired . action, and action was the duty of the House. The
new Stales have nothing to gain by voting for this measure. Their interests were to be promoted by keeping the State of Tennessee in her present vassalage, until they were able to effect a cession of the lands of the Government within their own borders. The passage of this bill will soon place Tennessee at the side of the old States. Reject it,
and her interests and feelings must remain vih El the new He should vote for the bill, not from any
moiives of policy which governed his views in regard to the public lands, but because its passage was due to a sovereign State of this Union.
Mr. WHITE of Kentucky spoke of the political organization of the Committee on the Public Lands. I stood four and four when this question was before it; but the bill had received the unanimous sanction of that commitee. The bill was not intended as an inroad on the public domain, as was stated by the gentleman from Maryland,
(Mr. Johnson.) Mr. W. spoke of his scrupulous i regard for the protection of the public domain. He
had always opposed any inroad upon it; and re
ferred to his past course in proof of ihat fact. He iz said that this bill was a measure of protection; a
measure to preserve that domain; and he believed if the character of it was understood by the gentleman from Maryland, [Mr. JOHNSON,) and if he was
to take a statesman-like view of ihe subject, he I would vote for the bill. He adveried to the great I injustice which had been done the State of TennesI see by the course which the National Government.
had practised towards it. Whilst the lands of all the ās other States and Territories had been surveyed by
the United States, and brought into the market, the a State of Tennessee had been patiently waiting for
more than fifty years, either to have the land surveyed and brought into market, o: to relinquish it to her, that she mighi survey it herrelf. But that State had been compelled to witness the cream of the land picked out by the State of North Carolina, to locate her military land warrants-picked out not by quarter sections, but by acres. He thought it a measure of great hardship to Tennessee. The Government had never surveyed the land, and it will never dare risk the expense of a survey; this bill should pass as a matter of right anıl of justice. The lands were worth nothing to the Government, and should be given up to the Stale of Tennessee. The bill did not involve an expenditure of money, and he hoped it would not be connitted.
After a few remarks by Mr. JOHNSON of Maryland, in reply to Mr. White, Mr. CRABB vas understood to say that this bill differed very little from the graduation bill. He was not distinctly heard, but was understood to be opposed to this bill.
Mr. WHITE of Kentucky said the protection of the public domain was a measure near and dear to his heart. This was a measure of protection. The bill had been already discussedi reely at other times, and had cost the Government more than $100,000 by such discussion. He hoped it would
Dot be committed. The morning hour having ex15 Pired,
Mr. JONES of Virginia moved that the House
resolve itself into Committee of the Whole on es the state of the Union.
Mr. W. THOMPSON of South Carolina moved to amend that motion, so that the House go into committee on the bill to raise troops for the protection of Florida.
The CHAIR suggested that if the House went into committee, a majority could take it up.
Joint resolution of the Senate, authorizing the President to receive the presents from the Imaum
of Muscat and the Emperor of Morocco, having been read twice, was,
On motion of Mr. CUSHING, referred to the Comnuitee on Foreign Affuirs.
Other Senate bills were read twice, and a propria'ely refurred.
Mr. THOMPSON moved thai the House resolve iiself into Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union, on the bill to raise troops for the protection of Florida.
The CHAIR suggested that if the gentleman made that specific moiion, it would take twothirils.
Mr. THOMPSON then said he would not make it.
The House then resolved itself into Committee of The Whole, (Mr. Banks in the chair,) and took up the
INDEPENDENT, TREASURY BILL. Mr. LEET, being entitled to the floor, addressed ih: committee at much length in favor of the bill, and in reply to the several objections urgeil against it. He contrasted the benefits which would arise from this measure with the injurious effects of the deposite system, and showed that it was impossible to suggest a more safe, convenient, and cons ilutional mode of keeping the public money. After illustrating and establishing his positions with pu. merous relerences to facts, he proceeded to show the fallacy of the charge that the Government was distinct from the people. He contended that such could never be the case. It was against the very nature of things for the people to be separate from the Government. Their interests were inseparable, and always were and would continue the same. He then drev a glowing picture of the fatal consequences which would result in case of a war, if Government had its funds in the hands of the banks,
The bill, he said, s'ou'd pass, and he ventured 10 as-ert that it would pass. It was a plain, siin. ple, and constitutional measure, an i would impart into the currency health, by intuig into it more gold and silver. If this was not the best measure to meet ihe condition of the country, and if it did not meet the approbation of the Opposition, he challenged them to bring forward their plan. What better plan than this have the Opposition; what measure have they to present to the country? Echo answers, where? We have heard then reproach the President for not relieving the country by a proper measure, ant they will not surgest that better measure, as one antagonistical to this. The Bank of he United States has been tried--The Sate deposite banks have been tried--all have fa led. The Independent Treasury, then, is the only safe, just, and constitutional measure which the President could recommend. Mr. L. then went into an analysis of the bill, and commented on its different provisions, showing that it fully accorded with the position he assumed above. The bill prohibited the loaning or using of the public money. It was the loaning and using of the public moneys that created all the ruin of which the Opposition non complaio.
Mr. L. also adverted to a variety of other matters in connection with this bill, which remarks will be hereafter given in full, as early as convenient.
Mr. BROCKWAY had just entered upon an argumeni in opposition to the bill,
When the usual hour having arrived, the House took a recess until 4 o'clock.
Mr. BROCKWAY denounced the bill as calcn. lated to blight the prosperity of the whole country. He was contideni it would blast and wither the interests of the New England States. It would bring ruia upon the manufaciurer, and reduce the labore ing man to starvation. In fact it was impossible to foresee the exient of the disastrous conseqriences which must result from the adoption of the measure. Mr. B. then examined the bill in detail, and contended, among other matters, that under its operation every deputy postmaster wouid be a Sub-Treasurer, etc. and coniended that the bank deposi'e system was the safest one, etc.
Mr. EASTMAN said: Mr. Chairman, there is
probably nila meinber of this committee, whose views were not fully known upon the bill now under consideration, previous to his election. In many instances the opinions eniertained in regard to le measure, were made the touchsione by which the political faith of gentlemen was testel; and upon those opinions depended their election or rejection by the people. For one, I should have been periectly willing to have given my vote in favor of the bill, without the least discussion from either side of the House; but, inasmuch as it has been, and from present appearances, is to be, very fully discussed, I desire 10 stale some of the reasons which have operated to form my opinion in regard to it.
That the good faith of the Government must be kept in meeting promptly and sali-factorily all pecuniary demands upon it, cannot be questioned by anyone. Our civil officers who are scattered throughout the whole extent of the Union, in all the several Staies, must be paid for their services. Our army and our navy must be honorably and honestly supported; and all who contract with this Governmeni, and do service for it, in whatever capacity, must be compensated. If this be not the case, of what value is our Governmeni? Sir, it would not stand a day. It would virtually be dissolved. It would resolve itself into its original elements and the security of the whole people over their persons and property would at once be lost.
For the convenience both of the Government and its creditors, it must be obvious that the funds wilh which payments are to be made, must be in different sections of the Union. In all our Slates, the judges and cfficers of the United States Courts, the jurymen that attend those courts, and many of The witnesses also, are to be paid by the Govern
For these services, satisfacijon must be made where they are rendered. Portions of our army are accommodated, by being paid at one point, and other portions at another. So also will wur navy. So with our list of pensioners; with our mail contractors; with those employed upon our public works, and with all, indeed, that do business for the Government.
And, sir, not only is it necessary that the Government should meet, with promptitude and certainly, all demands upon it, burit is right that those demands should be paid in a currency that shall be entirely satisfactory to the creditor. It should be done in a currency that is not only not depreciated, but in one that is incapable of being depreciated.
Now, sir, let us examine this bill, and see how far ils provisions are calculated to keep inviolate the public faith, and preserve untarnished the national honor. For, however much gentlemen may differ as to the provisions of the bill, and the effect which it will have, should it become a law, none will deny that one of the very first, if not, indeed, the foremost object of every atministration, should be the honest and prompt fulfilment of all its contracts.
What, then, are the objects of the bill? Simply these. They are for the coilection of the money thai may, from time to time, be due to the Government-for its safekeeping before it shall be paid out after its collection--for its transler from one point to another, where it may be required to pay the public creditors, and for the payment of those creditors as their demands may fall due upon the Government.
To carry out these objects, the bill provides that four officers shall be appointed, to be denominated receivers general, who shall have offices located at Boston, New York, Charleston and St. Louis; the offices at Boston and New York to be kept in the new custom-houses of those ci ies; the office at Charleston to be kept in ihe custom-house of that city, if suitable rooms can be procured-otherwise, a building to be erected; and at St. Louis, a building is to be procured or ereced. In all of įhe offices, sufficient vaults and fire safes are to be used, that the money may be as secure from felons and fire as the wisdom of man can make it. Besides these four gentlemen, iwo others, who are now officers of the Government, (ihe Treasurer of the Mint at Philadelpbia, and the Treasurer of the
their pay at such points as they may be best accommodated.
With regard to the provisions of this bill, a great mistake has pervaded the public mind. To whom this is to be altributed is, perhaps, not for me to say. I cannot forbear remarking, kowever, that in many sections of the country the Opposition press, either from ignorance or from some other cause not so excusable, have endeavored to create the impression that the public funds were to be scaltered in a manner wholly unprecedented, among an almost innumerable number of officers, unsafe and irresponsible. Even every deputy postmaster has been heralded forth as a Sub-Trea
Branch Mint at New Orleans,) are to perform the duties of receivers general at those respective places, in addition to their present duties
Let us now see how these four officers are to be appointed. They are to be nominated by the President and conírmed by the Senale. They are 10 be selected from the whole people of this Union, for their weight of character, their standing in society, their thorough and efficient business habits, and, in a word, for their qualifications for such respoosible stations. Will it be said here, sir, as has been declared by the gentleman from Connecticut, that mere political partisans will be selected, that qualifications will not be taken into the account, but that he who has worked the hardest and pulled the truest, will receive the nomination to the Senate? Sir, let me tell gentlemen that were I the President of these United States, I would recommend no man to an office of this importance, who had not worked hard and pulled true in the Democratic ranks. Yes, sir; pulled true through the whole of his political life, or else should give such evidences of a true conversion to the Democratic faith, as would leave no fears of his backsliding; and, sir, when I say this, I should have no apprehensions that any one who was not bonest, not perfectly upright, not fully qualified for the station, would be recommended by the President. Is it to be supposed that among the hundreds of thousands of Democrats who are scattered throughout the whole extent of this Republic, there cannot be found four, whose honesty, integrity, and capability are sufficiently elevated to make them fit nominees for the station? No one would undertake to entertain a doubt upon the subject. Sir, I have not that borror of party men which some gentlemen profess to have.' I see nothing unbecoming the independence of men for those who entertain the same political principles, to concert as to the best measures to carry out those principles. I see no. thing improper in their comparing views, and agreeing upon the plans of operation. I can discover nothing censurable in adhering to those plans, and supporting those men for public stations, who will sustain those principles; and, sir, I should view it to be a duty which the President owed, not only to himself, but to his political friends, that he should nominate his own support. ers to fill these offices. Besides, sir, what object could a President of these United States have in appointing to such a station a bad and unqualified man? Sir, let a President of this great people be ever so ambitious and corrupt, he would never venture to nominate to the Senate one whom he did not himself fully believe to be both honest and capable; for bis own prudence, his love for his own reputation, if nothing else, would deler him from pursuing such a course. And, sir, when we have in the chair of state a man of wisdum and integrity, as I trust and fully believe we now have, we can have no apprehension that one unsuitable, in any particular, would receive a nomination.
But, s'r, let it be borne in mind that these offi. cers are not to be appointed by the President. They are to be nominated by him, and, before they can be commissioned, have to pass through the ordeal of the Senate, and be confirmed there. In that body, second to none perhaps in the world, the whole character of the nominees, and their fitness for the stations, can be fully and freely discussed. Nor is it believed that any one, who is incompetent or unfit for the place, would receive a confirmation. In maising the selections, then, we have not only the knowledge, experience, and skill of the President, but a full review by the Senale, be. fore a ratification of the nominations.
Let us now examine the guards which this bill throws around the condact and course of these officers, By the seventh section, it is provided, that they "shall respectively give bonds io the United States, in such form, and for such amounts as shall be directed by the Secretary of the Treasury, by and with the advice and consent of the President, wiih sureries to the satisfaction of the Solicitor of the Treasury; -and shall, from time to time, renew, strengthen, and increase their official bonds, as the Secretary of the Treasury, with consent of the President, may direct.” Not only, then, do they have to be confirmed by the Senate, after their selec
tion by the President, but they have to pass through another trial, that of procuring surelies to their large and heavy official bonds, which are required to be signed by men whose responsibility shall be unquestioned. Now, sir, is it to be supposed that they will be able to obtain such satisfactory su reties, unless their honesty and integrity is beyon: all suspicion and reproach? What man of responsibility would sign such bonds, unless he believed his principal to possess a character for bu. siness and uprightness that could not in any way be impugned? No one, sir; no one.
But the security stops not here. The twelfth section of the bill substantially provides, that the Secrelary of tbe Treasury shall have power to cause an examination 10 be made at any time in!o the books, accounts, and all matters and things connected with these officers. And not only has the Secretary of the Treasury this general power, as given by the twelfth section, but the thirteenth section expressly provides, that it shall be the duty of cach naval Officer and surveyor, of each register of a land office, of the director and superintendent of each mint, that they may act as checks upon their several depositories, at the close of each quarter of the year, and as much more frequently as they shall be directed by the Secretary of Treasury to do so, to examine the books, accounts, returns, and money on hand of their several deposi. tories, and to make a full, accurate, and faithful return to the Treasury Department of their condition.
And here, sir, it might be supposed, by those who believe in the common honesty of man, that the bill might stop-that men who are honored with the confidence of the President-who receive not only his approval, but whose characters and qualifications pass through the close review and strict scrutiny of the Senate; who, after being commissioned, are compelled to call upon their friends to stake their all as guarantees for their fidelity, and who are subjected to a general and special supervision of all their acts, might be trusted, without going further. But such is not the case. In addition to all the previous precautions and guards, the 17th section requires that these officers shall keep an accurate entry of each sum received, of the kind of money in which it is received, and of each pay. ment or transfer, and of the kind of currency in which it is made. And, sir, as if "to make as. surance doubly sure," it further provides, " That if any one of the said officers, or of those connected with the Post Office Department, shall convert to his own use, in any way whatever, or shall use, by way of investment in any kind of properly or merchandise, or shall loan, with or without interes', any portion of the public moneys entrusted to him for safekeeping, disbursemeni, transfer, or for any other purpose, every such act shall be deemed and adjudged to be an embezzlement of so much of the said moneys as shall be thus taken, converted, invested, used, or loaned, which is hereby declared to be felony; and any officer or agent of the United States, and all persons advising or participating in such act, being convicted thereof before any court of the United States of competent jurisdiction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than six mon'hs nor than five years, and to a fine equal lo the amount embezzled.”
With these four officers thus appointed, and around whom so many guards and checks are thrown, together with the Treasurers of the Mints at Philadelphia and New Orleans, who are to give similar bonds and be subject to similar scrutiny and penal provisions, are the moneys of the United States to be deposited, instead of the United States and other Banks as heretofore. With them the several collectors and all officers of the Government of every character and description who recive money for the Government and reside in the several districts where these offices are situated, are required to deposite with the receiver general of their respective locations, al least as often as once a week, and as much more frequently as they sball be directed, all moneys which they may collect.
Upon these officers, with the funds in hand, the Secretary of the Treasury can draw his drafts, and every class and grade of the public creditors receive
But, sir, I believe I have shown that this bill creates four now offices, and four only, who are denominated receivers general. I have shown, too, that with these officers, and the two treasurers of the mints at Philadelphia and New Orleans, are to be deposited, forth with, all the moneys of the Go. venment collected in their respective locations. This, with the exception of receipts by deputy postmasters, will embrace almost ihe entire amount of the collections of the Government.
I wish now, sir, to examine the arrangements of the Post Office Department, as they will be under the provisions of this bill, and compare them with the former practice, that we may see how its funds are to be managed, and with how much truth these allegations are made against this Department. There are, I believe, some thirteen thousand depu. ty pestmasters in the United States at the present time. Of these about eleven thousand will pay over immediately, as they now do, on each quarter day, the amount in their hands, to the contractors on the routes where ihe post offices are estaElished-lhe coniractors having an order to that effect. The others, being the larger of fices, ant situated in the neighborhood of the receivers general, are to deposite with them; the moneys to be kept in a separate account from the other money of the Government, and 10 be used by the Postmaster General where they shall be needed. So that; by the operations of ihis bill, the money is to be taken from the hands of the depuly postmasters, immediately upon its collection. If one collar is appropriated by them to their own use, we have seen that, by the provisions of the 17th section, they thereby subject themselves to fine and imprisonment. Now, sir, how has it been under former arrangements? Almost the en'ire amount was deposited in banks, scattered throughout the country, and the balance paid by drafis in favor of contractors. The Me iropolis Bank, situated in this city, collected of the other banks ihe sums deposited with them, and paid many of the contractors here. Under such an arrangement, deputy postmasters, situated in remote places, in many instances retained the funds in iheir hands for weeks. The gentleman from Connecticut states that many of these became default
This I do not deny. But, sir, I contend that the provisions of this bill will be effectual to prevent such delinquencies for the future. The banks, 100, could retain them, enjoying the benefits not only of the deposites, but of paying out their own bills to contractors; the Government, in the mean time, having no a lequate security therefor. With how much truih, then, can it be alleged that depaty postmasters, by the provisions of this bill, are to have any more control over the moneys that pass through their hands than heretofore,' when, in fact, they do not have so much, and are guarded by much more strict provisions of law?
Let us now look, for a moment, to the situation of the public moneys when deposied in the United Siates Bank. During the time of the deposite of the moneys of the Government in that institution, all the revenues of the country, whether collected upon imports of goods, or from the sales of the public lands, or from whatever source, were deposited there. These moneys, amounting to hundreds of millions, duriog the series of years that they were deposited in that institution, were taken by the Bank, and discounted upon to ils customers and of. ficers. It is believed that, in many instances, those collected at New York, which amounted to a great portion of the whole, were shipped to England, to
form there a fuod by which the Bank could deal in exchanges from country to country, In fact, the moneys and whole irtasure of the nation were un. der the entire control of the Bank, and were used by it as suited the pleasure of its officers. It is true that the drafts of the Government in favor of its creditors were paid by the Bank; and it is also true that these dralis were paid in the noles of the Bank.
And now, sir, let me ask, will not the money of this Government be as sale under the provisions of this bill as when deposited in the United States Bank? Will it not be as secure from felons with out or felons within? Will it not be as aell protected by the bolls and bars and vaults in the buildings provided for the receivers general, as in a bank? And may ii no', with the strongest contidence, be asserted, that men appointed as these of. ficers are required to be, and surrourded by checks, by bonds, by penal laws, who have not only the r putation and interests of those who have re. posed confidence in them at stake, but their own personal honer, honesty, and even liberty, involve:), will be as honest and as trustworthy as a corpora ion without soul, and with no objeci in view but the distribution of dividends and the accumulation of a sorp'us? The receiver general has the honor of his Goveroment at siaise the bank the init resis of its sockholders. The receiver general has every inducement that a man can have to be faithful and honest—he bank bas but one only, that of inteTest. The receiver general is a man, with all the feelings of a man, with hopes and fears, and all the sensibilities of a respor.sible being—the bank is a body poliuc and cirporate, a mere machine, with individual responsibility resting upon no one. But, says the gentleman from Connec'icut, Swartwout abscended. True, sir; he deserted the Democratic party, joined the Conservatives, and ran away with the money. Tis to prevent a repetition of similar occurrences that this bill is needed. Had such a law as this bill proposes to enact been in force, that money would never have bcen lost to this people.
Bat, sir, let us go a little more into par. ticulars, and see the situation of the funds of the Government, wbile in the hands of the United States Bank. I will not discuss the exclusive privileges which the Bank enjoyed, and ihe immense dividends which it made during the continuation of its charier. It is sufficient for my purpose to ex. a bine into the scurity of the public moneys while under its control.
The capital of that institution, it will be recollected, was thirty-five millions; seven millions belonged to ihe United States,ar.d the remaining tweniyeight milli insto the stockholders,$, 105,500 of which was publicly owned by foreigners. It had twenig. five directors, five of whom were appointed by the President of the United States, and the remainder were chosen by the stockholders. It will be very easy to conceive that this Bank could be entirely controiled by a foreign Government; for noiwithstanding the charter provides that
no per son pot a citizen of the United States shall be a director, and that no foreign stockholder should have a vote in the choice of directors, yet how easy would it be for the foreign stockholders to transfer their stock for the time being to citizens of the United States, and have directors chosen to uit themselves? And, sir, in case of a war with a foreign power, where would the funds of our own Government be? What control could five Government directors have over twenty others? Who can answer that the Baok would not suspend specie payment«, and the nation al once become bankrup? Who can tell what would become, not only of the Government deposi es, but of the Government stock, even? Is it said that no ciuizens of this country coud be found who would lead themselves to such device:? Sir, I should hope there could not be; but when we reAlect upon some of scenes that occurred during the last war of this country with England, when we remember that the Legislature of one of the States of ibis Union could so far forgei itself, and the duties it owed to this Government, as to pass a resolution, that it was unbecoming a moral and religious people to rejoice at our victories, as was done by
the Federal Legislature of Massachusetts in June, 1813, it is not too much to believe that, in times of high excitement, men might be found who would lend themselves to almosi any or every thing, to accomplish their ends.
Bui, sir, let us proceed a little further. In December, 1834, a committee of the Senate of the United States, previously appointed to investigale the affairs and conduct of the Bank, made a report. To some of the facts contained in that report, I desire to call the attention of gentlemen; and I desire that they will bear in mind that this report, and the facts therein stated, are based upon an actual examination of the books and papers of the Bank.
It will be reco!lcte! that during the session of Congress which commerced in December, 1831, and continued till the 16:n of July, 1832, the Bana applied to Congress for a new charter. It will be recollected, also, that Congress yielded to the application, and passed a bill rechartering the Bank during that session, and ihal General Jackson vetoed it. It will also be remembered, that in the summer and fall of 1832, the elections for members of the next Congress were held, and also that the Presidential election took place in the autumn of the suine rear. Now, sir, what was the course of the Bank during that campaign? Why, sir, in the last six mooihs of that year, it expended sixteen thousand four bundred and ninety-nige dollars and ninety-four cents, for (as the committee called it)“ extraordinary printing.” And what was this extraordinary printing? Sir, let me read some of the details to gentlemen:
"Jesper Harding, for printing review of the veto, and expenses incident thereto, and 200 handbills ord-red by Col. J
$821 78 Edward Omsead, bank documents $ 624 11
4,000 Ewing's speech, Webster's speech, and other documents, relating to the Bank $328 88 Edward Olmstead, printing review
$413 25 Wm. Fry, priniing iwo editions of questions and
$304 84 22,300 copies of Webster's speech on the veto message
$892 00 40,000 copies of Webster's speech on the velo message
$816 00" "John Metcalfe of Kentucky, for printing 1,400 extra copies of Protector, convaining sundry bank document, and articles in favor of Bank, and analysis of velo message
$295 00” “D. N. Hewlings, fir printing Webster's speech
250 00" “R. Coneynbam, for printing Mr. Webster's
$200 00" "Thomas Ciarke, for printing Webster's speech, and other articles on veto message, and distributing them
$1,512 75 Sergeant Hall, printing Webster's speech, and other articles in Schuylkill County Advocate,
$100 00" “Nathan Hale, printing 40,000 cap.es of Webster's speech at Worcester Convention, 12,500 copies Webster's speech on Bank veto, and stitching, boxes, freight by packet and stages, packing, and sending away
$2,422 65" "R. Bannan, for printing extracts of Webster's speech, and other articles in English and German, on !he veto message, and distribuiion
$200 00 Conrad Zenuer, for publishing in German extracts of Webster's speech, and other publications, and distributing them
$566 40" Sir, I could proceed, but I will not delain the committee in enumerating the remaining items. Those who have a curiosity and are not already familiar with ihe transactions, can look them over at their leisure. They can examine not only the several ilens and see to whom ihe amounts were paid, but they can notice the prices also. They will find that in one case twenty-one cents were paid for each single copy of a newspaper.
Again, sir, how was it in 1834? In this year also a new Congress was to be elected. The charter of the Bank was to expire in March, 1836, and unless this Congress could be chosen favorable to the institution, unless the people could be sufficiently enlightened to elect Bank men, the die was cast and the charter must expire. This was indeed a desperate effort, and how anscrupulously the
means of the Bank were used, let the facts stated in this report answer. In six months of that year, during the long session of Congress, the Bank spent twenty-four thousand two hundred and fiftytwo dollars and fifty-one cents. And what was it for? Sir, it was for speeches and documents favorable to the Bank and Bank party. The account is a long one or I would read it all. It was for the speeches of Mr. Webster, Mr. Clay, Mr. Adams, M. Southard, Mr. Binney, and other distinguished gentlemen of the Oppositiori party. Sevenly five thousand copies of Mr. Webster's speeches were taken at one time, besides many thousands at other times; fifty thousand of Mr. Adams's at one iime; twenty-five thousand of Mr. Clay's at another, and fifty thousand of Mr. Bioney's at another. And, sir, during these six months, the Bank took, of these speeches and docameniz, if I have added them correct'y, no less than 649,500. Sir, how many voters were there in the whole Union at lhat time? If we suppose the whole population to be thirteen millions, and one in every five of that number to be a voter, we shall have iwo millions, six hundred thousand voters--and, sir, about one speech to every four voters of the whole United Stales. Will gentlemen uoderiake to justify such a course? Will they say that it is all a "fair business transaction?" and that the Bank,in purchasing political speeches sufficient 10 supply every family in the Republic, is confiuing itself within its proper sphere?
In looking over this account for "extraordinary printing” for these six monihs in 1834, when nearly twenty-five thousand dollars are expended in so short a time, for 649,500 Bank speeches, it will perhaps be a matter of no little surprise to come, to find that nothing, no, sir, not even a farihing, is charged for disiributing them. In the six months of 1832, above alluded 10, several items of charge, amounting to some hundreds of dollars, are 10 be found for distribution; and the question very naturally arises, why, in the six months of 1832, these cbarges should be made, while in 1834, not a dollar should be expended for that purpose? Sir, I will undertake to solve the matter. The reason which I shall give, may be erroneous one, but, nevertheless, it is that which bas suggested itself to me. During the six months alluded to in 1832, Congress was not in session. It was the latier half of the year; but in the six months of 1834, when these 649,500 speeches were bought by the Bank, Congress was in session, ani many, if not all, of these very speeches were then made. Sir, were they scattered abroad throughout the country, under the franks of gentlemen then members of Congress? Was the Bank of the United States then furnishing funds to purchase the speeches of its political friends, and were those friends distsibuting those speeches by virtue of the franking privilege which they enjoyed? Were the Bank and the Opposition acting in concert-scheming together, planning together? Were they bound by the saine lies, united by the same interests, and engaged in the same league against Gen. Jackson and ihe Administration party? Sir, I will not undertake to answer the questions; I will leave it for These who have a more familiar and intimate acquaintance with that institution and its management than I have.
But, sir, this is not all. I have before stated that the United States (wned one-fifth of the capital stock of this Bank; of course one-fifth of all the expenditures of the institution were borne by the Government; and, consequently, of ihe $24,252 51 expended for "extraordinary printing,” in six months only of 1834, one-fifth, or $4,850 50, was the money of the people of these Siales. By this "extraordinary” management of the Bank, not only do we find it entering the arena of politics, and waging war against the Administration, but actually compelling the Government, by the control which it had over its means, to contribute, in the short space of six monihs, the sum of $4,850 50 to purchase the speeches of political partisans, with which to carry on operations against the Government itself-yes, sir, compelled to furnish the very weapons with wbich it was to receive the stabs of its enemies.
Sir, gentlemen may wish to know the aggregate
amount which was expended in this extraordinary inanner. I will give it to them as staled in this report. It was $94,708 25; one-fifth of which, let it not be forgotten, was the money of this Government.
I wish to call attention to another fact stated in this repo.t. Under the head of "Loans made by Bank of United States and officers 10 members of Congress," I find ihat, during he session of Congress in 1834, when so many of these speeches were made and purchased, members of Congress were indebled to ihe Bank in the sum of $238.536. On going back to 1831, I find that this indebedness amounted 10 $322,199; and, in 1832, to the very moderate sum of $478,069. Upon his, sir, I will make no comment; I will let the facts speak for themselves. I will simply observe, as before staled, that it was in the session of 1831–32, that the anplication was made by the Bank for a new charier, and that a bill for that purpore actually passed both branches of Congress during that session, and would have been fastened upon this people, beyond all hope of redemption, had not Andrew Jackson vetoed that bill.
One thing more and I am done with this report. We have, during the past few years, heard much said about the manner in which the Bank his tampered with the public press, and of the favors and accommodations extended to editors of newspapers in various sections. I do not propose to go over these in detail, as set forth in this report. I will allude to one case only-I mean the National Intelligencer, published in this city. At the time this report was made in 1834, this es'ablishment was indebied to the Bank in the sum of $57,107; and sir, if I am not misintormcd, the records of this city now show a deed from that establishment to the Bank, of type, press, and all. So that even now, the head of the Opposition press, which is doing battle most manfully under the Harrison and Tyler flag, is owned by the Bank.
What the private management and conduct of the Bank have been since il passed beyond the reach of inspection by the people, of course can. not he known.
I do not undertake to say that it is now more active, more desperate, more unscrupulous in surniebing funds in inis, its death struggle, than ever; that if success attends its efforts, a recharter is the reward, and it is again triumphant; that if a failure ensues, it may as well go dowo with a loud crash as with a small one. I do not undertake to say, that so wrapped up in the fate of that ins'i'ution are the interests of some of the leading Opposition politicians of the country, that they are virtually pledged for a recharier. I charge not that its foreign stockholders, recollecting the palmy days of immense dividends, are now pouring in their money, to influence our elections and break down the Democracy of our country. I do not undertake to say that British influence and British money are now actively employed to crush the administration of this Government, that the Federal party may be brought into power, and the Sale debts held abroad be forced upon, and assumed by the General Government. But, Sir, should I make these assej tious and charges, I am by no means certain that I should not be fully justified by the facts.
Sir, I was not a little amused to hear the genileman from Massachusetts (Mr. CoShing) allode to the last suspension of the bank3 in 1839. I had supposed that that gentleman was possessed of a httle too much shrewdness to invoke such facts to sustain him in his argument. Sir, does not every one know-is it not, in fact, a matter of historythat the United Siates Bank, and its speculations, brought about that suspension? And does not the gentleman know that it
the banks of the city of New York--ay, sir, the Democratic city of New York, that prevented the suspension North and East? Does he not récol. lect with what subserviency the gallant little State of Rhode Island, with more banks than she has towns, whipped in to the track of the Great Regulator?” And does he not know that the banks of his own proud State were ready, willing, and eren anxious, to follow in the same train, had they dared to in opposition to the Democratic city of
New York? Yes, sir, had they dared to; for, had they suspended, they well knew that the trade of the Norih world have left the city of Boston and gone to New York.
But, sir, I will pursue these remarks no further; and I wila k now, where are the moneys of the people sales!? To whom should they rather be en trusted? To faithful officers of their own choosing, surrounded by all the guards and chects that are wont to insure honesty and fileliig in public servants, or to an irresponsible and pariy Bank-a Bank that has sought, and, perhaps I might add, is now setking, not only to control the business and enterprise of the country, but lo govern its whole civil power?
But, sir, the expense, it is said, is a strong objec. tion to the passage of this bill. Have gentlemen, who urge this as an objection, carefully examined the various sections of the bill? If so, sir, I should hardly think they would come lo such a conclu. sion. The offices at Boston and New York, it will be recollected, are to be kept in the custom-houses of those cities, buildings belonging 10 the Government. The only expense, then, at those two cities, for accommodations to transact the business, will be the procuring of safes, and the preparing of vaults. So it will be, sir, at the mints in Phia. delphia and New Orleans. So also wil it he at Charleston, at the custom-bouze, if ríoms in it can be found and obtained. At St. Louis an office will probably have to be erected; and, perhaps, also al Charlesion; and for the purchase of sites, and the erecting of offices at these two places, the bill apppropriates ten thousand dollars. Under the provisions of this bill it cannot take but a very moderale sum to procure the safes and prepare the office in the manner designated. Sir, it may do very well in electioneering speeches against this bill, 10 talk about splendid palaces, and the hun. dreds of thousands that will have to be expended to prepare these offices; but sermit me to say, that if gentlemen are disposed to electioneer in this way, They must be carelul that their constituents never see or read this bill. They must be careful, ako, not to tell them how much the United States banking house in Philadelphia cost. They must never name the $413,081 19, that were expended for that edifice. They must be careful, also, to keep out of view the large sums that it cost to erect the numerous branch banks that were scattered through. out the Union. They must say nothing of the $116,777 02 ihat the Boston branch cost; nothing of the $110,657 34 that the Baltimore branch col; nothing of the $87,000 00 that were paid for the New York branch; nothing of the hundreds of thousands that were paid for the remaining branches, but most especially n ting of the $1.221,942 19 that the whole cosi. And, sir, they inust be still more careful not to inform them that the Unied States was charged with one-fifth of the cost of erecling all these edifices. And so, sir, with regard to the salaries that are to be paid to the receivers general. Gen:lemen urge that there is s much money expended. It is not believed that they will comp'ain that their salaries are high for the services rendered-at least that com. plaint has not yet been made-hut Thai so much is yearly expended. And here let me sugget to them again, to say nothing of the ameunt pand to the large number of officers, the presidents, the cashiers, the tellers, the book keepers, the discount clerks, and other clerks, and messengers of the United Stales Bank, and its numerous branches. Don't tell them,gentlemen,that these twenty-eight in. siitutions, each of them bat a set of all these officers; by no means inform them that one-fifth of all the salaria: of this large horile of officers was paid by the Government of the United States; and least of all, sir, let gentleinen never intimale that the peo. ple paid one-fifih of all the incidental expenses of The Bank, and one-fifth of all is “extraordinary printing."
Will genilemen say that the Government owns its share of these edifices? Very true, sir; and so will the offices of the receivers general be owned by the Government. There is this slight difference, however, that while the banking houses cost $1,221,942 19, the offices of the receivers general may cost from ten to twenty thousand.
But, sir, the great objection after all, which is urged against this bill, and that which it is asseried and predicted by the gentleman from Connecticut, is to ruin the country, is to be found, I suppose, in the provision of the 19th section. And what are those provisions? Subsiantially these; that after the 30ih of June instant, one fourth of the revenges of the Government shall be paid in gold and silver; after the 30th of June, 1841, one half; after the 30th of June, 1842, Threefourths, and after the 30th of Jane, 1843, the whole shall be paid in that currency. This, sir, is the obroxious section. It is this operation, if we are to believe the gentleman, that is to prostrale all credit; ruin all business; bankrupt the merchant; throw out of employment the mechanic; stop the wheels of the manufactory; beggar our planters and farmers, and drive to ihe poorhouse our laborers. Sir, is it possible that the gentleman can he serious and sincere in his predictions?
Let us look a little at this mighty section that is to be so withering in its influences. For the current year, it is believed that the revenues of the Government will amount, in round numbers, to about twenty millions, One&urth of this, or five millions, is to be collected in specie.
This is to be done at the various receiving officer, in different sections of the country, at New York, Boston, Philadelphia, &c. The specie in the couniry is supposed to amount 10 about eighty-five millions; so that five out of eighty-five millions are to pass through the receiving offices the present year. I say pass through, sir, for it must be berne in mind that it is not to be collected and hoarde l up for private or public speculation-it is not to be lent out to friends, or discoupled upon to special favorites, but to be paid out to the creditors of the Government. The increase is to be gradual for the succeeding years; and if more specie is needed in the ccuntry, depend upon it, sir, you cannot keep it out. We have every thing to purchase it with; and it will as assuredly flow in upon us as that our cotton, wheat, and tobacco shall continue to grow. And yet, if we are to believe the predictions of genilemen, this operation is to paralyze all the springs of industry, and spread universal prostration and distress throughout the land. Sir, have the muscles of, man become stiffened, that he cannot work? Has the sun ceased 10 pour forth its rays upon our land? Have the streams that water the earth become dried up, and has the rain ceased to fali? Are the labors of the busbaodman pot bless. ed with a reward? Are not the wants of mankind constantly increasing with an increasing popula. tion? Do we not require dwellings to live in and clothes to wear, as formerly? And is every thing to be stopped, prostrated, ruined, and annihilated, because out of eight-five millions of specie in the country, five are to pass through the hands of Governmeni officers the coming year?
Sir, let gentlemen talk about reduction of prices and the wages of labor as much as they choose. I can tell them that the farmers and the laboring men of the country understand that thing perfectly well. They have heard it before now. They know that it is a bait with which he Federal party have sught to entrap them again and again. There is always a time when that party is exceedingly anxious about the welfare of the laboring classes, and they well remember when that time is-it is just before the elections. Sir, the labor. ing classes are not to be gulled by any such shallow device-they know full well that the Democratic pariy, made up, lo a very large extent, of them. selves, has always striven to promote their interests and protect their rights by every possible means. And they know too, sir, that the only time that the Federal party can descend 10 notice them, is when they wish to use them.
Sir, I grant that in the large cities, where the greater part of our revenues are collected, the previsions of this section will have a restraining influence upon banking operations. And, for one, I trust they will. If the operations of this bill shall check that mania for speculation and monepoly-ibal thirst for sudden afluence, without cor. responding effori--I shall rejoice in its effects.
Sir, who is it ihat, in past years, has scoured our wheal.growing country, purchased the immense