« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
26TH CONG....1st Sess.
Assumption of State Debts-Mr. Calhoun.
the duties were not raised, as far as the con turning ebb of adversity. The sketch of the the report itself that year and the latter part of sumption of the country would warrant, and the latter is not unsuited to the present time; good the preceding was a period of severe contraction. balance, after paying what was due abroad, in seasons, and productive years, and every element, If a return could be had of 1829, 1830, and the gold and silver. The first effect, then, must have apparently, of plenty and prosperity, and yet early part of 1831, I venture nothing in asserting been to turn foreign exchange in our favor; a deep and wide-spread distress; ihough, at that that we should find the comparison, compared most important consequence connected with the time, there had been no removal of deposits, with 1828, the year of the tariff, far greater in proincrease of gold and silver in relation to the cur nor had the Sub-Treasury been heard of, to which portion. rency. The next must have been to turn the do- gentlemen are now disposed to attribute all the That there is no mistake in attributing this mestic exchanges still more strongly against the calamities which afllict the country.
great expansion to the tariff, inight be further staple States, and in favor of the manufacturing, The author of the report could give no satisfac- shown, if additional proof were necessary, after To understand this portion of the operation, I tory answer to his question, whence all this such conclusive cvidence, from the fact that it is must again repeat that the object of the tariff was sudden and unlooked for calamity; but he has impossible to assign any other adequate cause. to cut off the consumption of the foreign articles, furnished us with the means of tracing it clearly As far as can be seen, there was no other cause in order that they should be supplied by our own
to the tariff of 1828. It went into operation on in operation, political or commercial, that could manufactures. The necessary consequence of
the 1st of September of that year, and the next have produced the results. It was a period of this must have been to diminish the demand year ielt the swelling, but delusive tide of an profound peace, and the exports and imports of abroad, and to increase it in the manufacturing expanding currency; the exchange turned in our the country steady to an unusual degree. States, and thereby to turn the influx of gold and favor; gold and silver, following the impulse, Should doubt, however, still remain in the silver to that point, in order to purchase the sup flowed in; banks began to enlarge their discounts | mind of any one after all this accumulation of plies there, which we have been in the habit of and circulation. It continued to swell with a evidence, I will next call the attention of the obtaining from abroad. These causes combined || stronger and stronger current, through all the Senate to a fact which must be conclusive with must have had the effect of adding greatly to the subsequent year, and the first part of the next, all disposed to receive the truth. By turning to capacity of the banks in that quarter to extend nearly three years, according to the usual period, the table showing the extent of bank circulation their discounts and accommodations, and with it when it began to ebb; and then followed the in 1830 and 1832, in the four States already rethe circulation of their notes. With a growing
scene, so feelingly described by the ferred to, it will be seen that the expansion was supply of specie, and the exchange favorable | author, and which to him appeared so unexpected greater or less, just as the States, respectively, in every direction, as must have been the casc, and unaccountable. It was at this point, had were more or less manufacturing. It will not be there is no limit to the business of banks, not the movements in the South arrested the doubted that Rhode Island is the most manufacnor are they slow to perceive or to act on such further progress of the system, that there would turing of the four, and we accordingly find there favorable circumstances. Nor must we overlook
have been another clamor for additional duties. the greatest expansion; and that for the simple another powerful cause in operation, the fiscal The distress, as usual, would have been attrib reason, that there the causes assigned must have action of the Government, through the operation uted to over-importation, and that to the want of been in the state of the greatest activity. Her of which the vast sums collected under such high adequate protection, and in 1832, (the usual bank circulation doubled in the short space of duties, was transferred to the same quarter, to be period of four years having intervened,) another two years, as appears by the table. Massachuapplied in discharge of the public debt, and dis- protective tariff
' would have been inflicted, to be setis is the next; and we find hers is the next bursed on the innumerable objects of expendi- followed by the same train of consequences, and highest, being sixty-five per cent. New York is ture there.
with equal disappointment to its authors. still less so, and hers is but forty per cent.; and Under the operation of such powerful causes,
Now, sir, to show that the flowing in of the Pennsylvania, the least of the four, had, excludthere could not but be a vast and sudden expan- || precious metals, in consequence of the tariff of ing the Bank of the United States, increased only sion of the currency where they were in such 1828, is not a mere assumption, I have extracted twenty per cent. If the statement had extended great activity, and with that expansion a corre
from the public documents for the years 1829 further south, and taken in the staple Slates, I sponding increase of prices and the cost of pro
and 1830, the imports and exports of gold and venture little in making the assertion that, induction. Nor could this state of things cease till silver, which I hold in my hand. The import instead of expansion, their bank circulation would, the increased cost of production become equal to 1829 was $7,403,612, and the export $4,311,134, for the same period, have been found in the oppothe duty imposed for protection. At that point, | making an excess of imports over exports of site state, for the reverse reason. It will be seen and not before, must specie cease to flow in, and | $3,092,478; and for 18:30, $8,155,964' against the Bank of the United States had expanded the exchange to be favorable; but when reached, | $1,241,622, making an excess of imports of sixty-seven per cent. This great increase, comthe tide must turn, importations of the protected $6,914,342; making, in the two years, an excess pared to the local banks of Pennsylvania, may articles would recommence, specie flow out, and of imports of $10,006,810. By turning to the re probably be attributed partly to loans negotiated exchanges become adverse. This must be so port already cited, it will be seen that the esti- || further east, and not improbably because her obvious, that it would only darken to attempt to
mated amount of specie in the country on the first accommodations were somewhat enlarged, from make it more clear. With the turn of the tide of January, 1830, was but $25,000,000, of which causes connected with her efforts, at the time, to the banks must contract, and pecuniary embar
were $5,000,000 in circulation, and $20,000,000 | obtain a renewal of her charter. rassment and distress follow. Such, under the
in the vaults of the banks; so that the addition to I trust that I have now established to the entire operation of the causes assigned, must be the re
the specie in the two years wus forty per cent. satisfaction of the Senate the truth of the great sult, for reasons which appear to me irresistible. on the whole amount.
principle that has been laid down, that every But, sir, I do not mean to leave so important a
It now remains to be shown what was the
increase of protective duties is necessarily folpoint to the mere force of argument, however clear
effect ofthis great proportional increase of specie, lowed, in the present condition of our country, and certain. I intend to prove by incontestable
and the favorable state of the exchange which it by an expansion of the currency, which must authority of documents, such was, in fact, exactly
indicates, had on the banks in the manufacturing continue io increase till the increased price of the result. I intend to place the principle laid States. The report will furnish the information production, caused by the expansion, shall be down, as I have said, beyond doubt or cavil. not fully, but enough to satify every reasonable | equal to the duty imposed, when a new tariff will
The first authority I shall adduce, is from the It gives the following statement of the be required. Assuming, then, the principle as report of a committee of the other House, made amount of bank notes in circulation in 1830 and | incontrovertible, it follows that the natural tendin February, 1832, by Campbell P. White, the 1832, respectively, in the States of Massachu ency of the protective system is to expand, in chairman, then a member from the city of New setts, Rhode Island, New York, and Pennsyl- seeking to accomplish its object, till it terminates Tork.* The report is evidently drawn with great
vania, including the Bank of the United States, || in explosion. It would be easy to show, from care, and by one familiar with the subject; and
which will show the vast increase in the short what has already been stated, that this tendency has the advantage of being on another subject, space of two years,
must continue till the exports shall be so reduced (the currency,) without any reference to the tariff Here Mr. C. read the following statement: as to be barely sufficient to meet the demands of or protective system, and evider
the country for the articles not included in the knowledge of its operation. Hear, then, what Massachusetts .84,730,000 $7,700,000
65 per cent.
protection; as it must be obvious, so long as they the report says: Rhode Island... 670,000 1,340,000 100
exceed that amount so long must specie continue New York ...... 10,000.000 “ The recent export of specie has swept away the delu Pennsylvania..... 7,300,000 8,760,000
to be imported, and the exchange to be in our sive coloring given to the actual result of production in Bank U. States... 15,300,000 24,600,000
favor, till the protection is broke down by the 18:29, 1830, and the early part of 1831. Real estate appre
expansion of the currency. ciated greatly ; local stocks commanded unheard of prices;
The consummation, therefore, of the system, warehouses and dwellings were improved and embellished, and money was so abundant, that it could readily be ob
must be one of two things: explosion, or the taired to any amount, upon promissory notes.
it will be borne in mind, the prin- || reduction of the exports, so as not to exceed the changed is the general aspect of things within a few months. cipal manufacturing States. In the period of amount of the unprotected articles; but either All our solid possessions and means of industry remain, two years, we find their bank circulation, taken || termination must prove disastrous to the system; and continues to be equally productive, labor is recompensed with its usual reward; the seasons have not been
in the aggregate, expanded from $38,000,000 to the former by a sudden and violent overthrow, unfriendly. Whence, then, this lamentable change in our $56,500,000; making an increase of $16,500,000– and the latter by the impoverishment of cusaffairs? Why this great scarcity of money; depreciation i equal to forty-four per cent. But this falls far short tomers and raising up of rivals, as they ceased to in value of all commodities, and of all property ; great com of the actual incrcase. The year 1829 is not in be customers. mercial distress, and absolute impossibility with many sol
To have a just conception of its vent persons to discharge their just debts ; so speedily and
cluded. It must have been one of great expan- | operation in this particular it will be necessary to grievously succeeded tlie' gratifying and prosperous picture sion, as the import of specie greatly exceeded its | bear in mind that the South and the West are the which was so lately presented ?" exports; which, with the favorable state of the
great consumers of the products of the North and What a confirmation of the deductions of reason, I exchange implied, must have greatly increased East, and that the capacity of the South to conboth in the swelling tide of prosperity, and the the business of the banks and the circulation of sume depends on her great agricultural staples
their notes. The reverse must have been the exclusively, and that their sale and consumption *Docunient 278, House of Representatives.
case in 1832, which is included, as we know by Il depend mainly on the foreign market. What,
40 20 67
26Th Cong....lsr Sess.
Assumption of State Debts-Mr. Calhoun.
then, would be the effect of reducing her exports of the protective system, is the great increase of Government, and a surplus began to accumulate to the point indicated, say to forty or fifty millions the exports of our domesiic manufaetures, as the in the Treasury. The late Bank of the United of dollars? Host certainly to diminish her ca duties yo off, foilowing, in that respect, the same States was then the fiscal agent of the Governpaciiy to consume the products of the North and law that regulates the exports of the great agri- ment, and the depository of its revenue. Its Easi in the same proportion), followed by a cor cultural staples. It is a precious fact, that speaks growing amount, and prospects of great future responding diminuiion of the revenue, and the volumes, and which demands the serious consid increase, began to act on the cupidity of many commerce and navigation of the country. But the eration of the manufacturing portion of the Union of the leading State banks and some of the great evil would not end there, as great as it would be. I well remember the sanguine expectations of the
brokers of New York. Hence their war against It would have an equal or greater effect on the friends of the system, of the great increase of the that institution; and hence, also, the removal of consumption of the West. That great and grow exports of domestic manufac:ures which they be the deposits. The late President I believe to have ing section is the provision portion of the Union. lieved would follow the tariff of 1828. Well, we been really hostile to the Bank on principle; but Her wide and fertile region gives her an unlimited now have the result of experience, under that act, there would have been little or no motive to recapacity to produce grain and stock of every and also under that of a partial approach to free move them, had it not been for their growing imdescription; and these, for the most part, find trade, and the result is exactly the reverse of the portance, and hostility which the desire of postheir market in the staple States. Cut off their | anticipations of the friends and advocates of pro- sessing them had excited. They were removed, exports and their market would be destroyed; tection. So far from increasing, under the tariff and placed in the vaults of certain State banks. and with it, the means of the West, to a great of 1828, the exports of manufactured articles act To this removal and deposit in the State banks, extent, for carrying on trade with the northern ually diminished, while they have rapidly in the members over the way are in the habit of atand eastern States. To the same extent they and creased just as they have gone off.
tributing all the disorders of the currency which the staple States would be compelled to produce But the table of exports shall speak for itself. have since followed. Now I ask, in the first their own supplies, and would thus, from con During the four years, under the tariff of 1824, place, is it not certain, if it had not been for the sumers, be converted into rivals with the other that is from that year to 1829, when the tariff of surplus revenue, the deposits would not have section.
1828 went into operation, the exports of domestic been removed? And in the second, if there would How much wiser for all would be the opposite manufactures gradually declined from $5,729,797, have been a surplus had it not been for the tariff system of low duties, with the market of the in the year 1825, to $5,548,354 in the year 1828. of 1828? world opened to our great agricultural staples? From that time it steadily declined, under the Again: is it not equally clear that it was the The effects would be a vast increase of our ex tariff of 1828, each succeeding year showing a magnitude of the surplus, and not the removal, ports, with a corresponding increase of the capa- falling off compared with the preceding, until of itself, that caused the after derangement and city to consume on the part of the South and 1833, declining, throughout the period, from disorder? If the surplus had been but two or West, making them rich and contented custom $5,412,320 in 1829, to $5,050,633 in 1832, and three millions, the ordinary sum in deposit, it ers, instead of impoverished and discontented showing an aggregate falling off, during the would have been of little importance where it rivals of the other section. It is time that this whole tariff régime of eight years, from 1825 to was kept; whether in the vaults of the Bank of subject should be regarded in its true light. The 1832, of nearly $700,000. At this point, we the United States, or those of the Siates; but inprotective system is neither more nor less than a enter on the relaxation of the system, and there volving, as it did, fifty millions and more, it bewar on the exports. I again repeat, if we cannot has been an onward inove, with but little vibra came a question of ihe highest importance. I import, we cannot long export; and just as we tion, throughout the whole period, until the again ask, to what is this great surplus to be atcut ofi' or burden the imports, to the same extent present time. The last year we have is 1838, | tributed, but to the same cause? Yes, sir, the
in effect, cut off and burden the exports. when the exports exceeded any preceding year. 11 tariff of 1828 caused the surplus, and the surplus This I have long seen, and shall now proceed to They amounted to $8,397,078, being an increase, the removal and all the after disasters in the curprove, by reference to the public documents, that during the six years of the reduction of duties, rency, aggravated, it is true, by being deposited iny assertion is sustained by facts The table of of $3,346,445, against a falling off, in the pre in the State banks; but it may be doubted whether exports shows that during the seven years from ceding eight years of protection, of $700,000 — || the disaster would have been much less, had 1824 to 1831, our domestic exports remained an increase of sixty-five per cent. in six years, they not been removed. Be that, however, as it nearly stationary, notwithstanding the great in and this in the midst of all the embarrassment may, it is not material, as I have shown, that crease of our population during th period. of commerce, and expansion and derangement surplus itself was the motive for the removal. Your statute-book will show, that during the same of the currency, and, let me add, what has been We all remember what occurred after the remoperiod, the protective system was in its greatest so much dreaded by the friends of manufactures, val. The surplus poured into the Treasury by vigor. The first relaxation took place in Decem the mighty increase of the exports of our great || millions, in the form of bank notes. The withber, 1830, under the act of the 20th May, of the agricultural staples, during the same period; a drawal from circulation, and locking up in the same year, which made a great deduction in the clear proof that, under the free-trade system, the vaults of the deposit banks so large an amount, duties on coffee and tea. I shall now turn to one does not interfere with the other. Let no created an immense vacuum, to be replenished the table, and give the exports of domestic arti- friend of manufactures suppose that this interest | by repeating the issues which gave to the banks cles for those years, beginning with 1824. ing result is accidental. It is the operation of the means of unbounded accommodations. SpecHere Mr. C. read the following statement: fixed laws, steady, and immutable in their ulation now commenced on a gigantic scale; In 1824 the domestic exports were $50.649,500 course, as I shall hereafter show.
prices rose rapidly, and one party, to make the 65,941,745
Now, sir, I feel myself, with these facts, war removal acceptable to the people, urged the new 53,055,710
ranted in asserting that if the deranged state of depositories to discouirt freely, while the other 1828
the currency had not interfered, the great manu side produced the same effect, by censuring them 55,700,193 facturing interest would have gone on in a flour for not affording as extensive accommodations
59,462,029 ishing condition during the whole period of the as the Bank of the United States would have If we take the average of the first three and the reduction under the compromise act, proving done, had the revenue been left with it. Madness last three of these years, we shall find the former thereby, to the satisfaction of all, the fallacy of ruled the hour. The whole community was inis a million and a half greater than the latter, the protective system. Any supposed loss, from toxicated with imaginary prospects of realizing showing an actual falling off, instead of an in the reduction of duties, would have been much immense fortunes. With the increased rise of crease, to that extent, in our exports.
more than made up by the increased ability of prices began the gigantic speculations in the public With 1831, the reduction of duties commenced the South and West to consume, and the rapidly domain, the price of which, being fixed by law, on the articles mentioned; and in December, 1833, | growing importance of the foreign market. could not partake of the general rise. To enthe first great reduction took place under the com But I have not yet done with the system. It has | large the room for their operations, I know not promise act. I shall turn to the same table, be additional and heavy sins to answer for. The how many millions (fifty, I would suppose, ginning with 1831, and read a statement of the tariff of 1828 is the source in which has originated | least, of the public revenue) was sunk in purexports for the eight years under the approach to that very derangement of the currency which has chasing Indian lands, at their fee simple price the free-trade system. It is but an approach. I so greatly embarrassed, at this time, the very || nearly, and removing tribe atter tribe to the West, invite especial attention to the rapid rise, after the
interest it was intended to protect, as well as all at enormous cost; thus subjecting millions on great reduction in December, 1833:
other branches of industry. Bold as is the asser millions of the choicest public lands to be scized In 1831 the domestic exports were $61,277,057
tion, I am prepared to establish it to the letter. on by the keen and greedy speculator. The tide 63,137,470
It has already been proved that the great ex now swelled with irresistible force. From the 1833
70,317,698 pansion of the currency in 1829, 1830, and 1831, || banks the deposits passed by discounts into the
was the immediate effort of the tariff of 1828. It | hands of the land speculators; from them into the 106,916,680
remains to be shown that the cause of the still hands of the receivers, and thence to the banks: 95,561,414 greater and longer continued expansion which and again and again repeating the same circle,
96,033,821 has terminated in the overthrow of the banking and at every revolution passing millions of acres How rapid the rise just as the weights are re system, and the deep and almost universal dis of the public domain from the people into the moved! The increase, since the great reduction tress of the country, may be clearly traced back hands of speculators, for worthless rags. Had in 1833, has ncarly doubled the average exports,
to the same source. To do this, we must return this state of things continued much longer, every compared with the average of the seven tariff to the year 1832, and trace the chain of events acre of the public lands, worth possessing, would years preceding 1831, and would have quite to this time. In that year, the public debt was have passed from the Government. At this stage doubled them, had not the expanded and de- || finally discharged. The vast revenue which had the alarm took place. The revenue was attempted ranged condition of the currency, and the conse been poured into the Treasury by the tariff of to be squandered by the wildest extravagance; quent embarrassment of commerce prevented it. 1828, and which had accelerated the paymant of resolutions passed this body, calling on the De
But what will appear still more extraordinary the public debt, could, after its discharge, no longer partments to know how much they could spend; to those who have not reflected on the operation I be absorbed in the ordinary expenditures of the and much resentment was felt because they could
1825 1220 1827
1834 1835 1836 1837 1838
26th Cong....1st Sess.
Assumption of State Debts—Mr. Calhoun.
mean to com
not spend fast enough. The deposit act was which it would do if it consisted only of specie, | intended by the Constitution, and which is inpassed, and the Treasury circular issued; but, | it would be reduced three times the amount; that dispensable, not only to the full success of our as far as the currency was concerned, in vain. | is, to $70,000,000? Let us now suppose the manufactures, and all other branches of productive The explosion followed, and the banks fell in exchange to turn the other way, from this point industry, but also to the safety of our free insticonvulsions, to be resuscitated for a moment, but of depression, and to be kepi Howing in that tutions. to fall again from a more deadly stroke, under direction till it came to be $10,000,000 in our The next indispensable step to secure to the which they now lie prostrate.
favor, instead of that amount against us. The manufacturers of the foreign market, is low duties I have now presented rapidly the unbroken result would be, under the operation of the same and light burdens on productions; yes, as low and chain of events up to the prolific source of our law, not to increase our circulation to $110,000,000 light as the wants of the Government will permit. disasters, and down to the present time. In ad-only, which would be the case if consisting of The less the burden—the freer and broader the dition to the causes originating directly in the specie, but to $130,000,000; making a difference scope given to the products of our manufactures tariff of 1828, there were several collateral pow between the extreme points of depression and the better for them. Above all, avoid the renewal erful ones, which have contributed to the present elevation of $60,000,000 --more than equal to one of the protective system. It would be fatal, as prostrated condition of the currency and the half of the usual amount of circulation by suppo- | far as the foreign market is concerned. banks, but which would have been comparatively sition, with a corresponding increase of prices Its hostile effects I have already shown from harmless of themselves. Among these was the instead of $20,000,000, equal only to a fifth, and the table of exports; and shall now, by a few important change in the charter of the Bank of with but à proportional effect on prices. A brief remarks, prove that it must be so. Passing England, at the last renewal, about the time our change the other way, from the extreme point of by other reasons, I shall present but one, but that surplus revenue began to accumulate, by which elevation to that of extreme depression, would one decisive. It has been shown that the effect its notes were made a legal tender in all cases, cause the reverse effect. I hold it certain that no of the protective system is to expand the curexcept between the bank and its creditors. The
honest industry, pursued with the view to mod rency in the manufacturing sections, until the inobvious effect of this modification was to diminish erate and steady profile can be safe in the midst creased price of production shall become equal to the demand for specie in that great mart of the of such sudden and violent vicissitudes—vicissi- | the duty imposed for protection, when the imworld, and, in consequence, must have tended tudes as if from summer to winter, and from portation of the protected articles must again take powerfully to keep the exchange with us in an winter to summer, without the intervention of place; that is to say, that its effects are to enable easy condition, while the tide of circulation was fall or spring. Such great and sudden changes foreign manufacturers to meet ours in our own rapidly rising to a dangerous height. But there in the standard of value must be particularly fatal country, under the disadvantage of paying high was another cause which contributed still more with us, with our moderately accumulated capital, | additional duties. How, then, with that result, powerful diatelde amadebyliscarescanta teorporat compared to the offert on the greater accumulae would hit for possible for one manufacturers in tions. To these I add the operation of the United case supposed, I have assumed numbers at ran abroad, where there can be no duty to protect States Bank of Pennsylvania, the direct object of dom, without pretending to accuracy as applied them? There can be no answer. The reason is which, in some of its more prominent transac to our country, simply to illustrate the principle. decisive. tions, was to prevent the exchange from becoming The actual vibration may be greater or less than I do not wish, in what I have said, to be conadverse to us.
that supposed, but in every country where bank | sidered the advocate of low wages. I am in favor By the operation of these causes combined the circulation prevails, it must be greater and greater, of high wages; and agree that the higher the exchanges were kept easy for years, notwith just in proportion to the extent of its prevalence. wages, the stronger the evidence of prosperity; standing the vast expansion which our circulation For this diseased state of your currency, there provided (and that is the important point) had attained from the powerful action of the more is that one certain remedy-to return to the cur they are so naturally, by the effectiveness of irdirect causes to which I have adverted. The
rency of the Constitution. Read that instrument, dustry, and not in consequence of an inflated curstroke was delayed but not averted, and fell but and hear what it says. “Congress shall coin rency, or any artificial regulation. When I say the heavier and more fatally, because delayed. 'money and regulate the value thereof; no State the effectiveness of industry, And where did it fall, when it came, most heavily? "shall emit bills of credit, or make anything but prehend whatever is calculated to make the labor Where the measure which caused it originated gold and silver a legal tender.” Here are posi- of one country, more productive than that of on the heads of its projectors. Behold howerror, tive and negative provisions; a grant of power to others. I take into consideration skill, activity, folly, and vice, in the ways of an inscrutable Congress, and a limitation on the power of the energy, invention, perfection of instruments and Providence, turn back on their authors.
States, in reference to the currency. Can you means, mechanical and chemical; abundance of It is full time for the North, and more espe doubt that the object was to give to Congress the || capital, natural and acquired; facility of intercially for New England, to pause and ponder. control of the currency? What else is the mean course and exchanges, internal and external, and, If they would hear the voice of one who has ever ing to regulate" the value thereof? Can you in a word, whatever may add to the productivewished them well, I would say that the renewal doubt that the currency was intended to be spe ness of labor. High wages, when attributable to of the protective system would be one of the cie? What else is the meaning " to coin money?" these, is the certain evidence of productiveness, greatest calamities that could befall you. What Can you doubt, on the other hand, that it was and is, on that account, and that only, the eviever incidental good could be derived from it, the intention that the States should not supersede i dence of prosperity. It is easily understood. you have already acquired It would, if renewed, the currency which Congress was authorized to Just as such labor would command, when comprove a pure, unadulterated evil. The very
establish? What else is the meaning of the pro- pared with the less productive, a greater number reverse is your true policy. The great question visions that they shall not issue bills of credit; or of pounds of sugar or tea, a greater quantity of for you to decide is, how to command the make anything but gold and silver a legal tender? || clothing or food, in the same proportion would it foreign market. The home market, of itself, Can we doubt, finally, that the country is not in command more specie, that is higher wages, for is too scanty for your skill, your activity, your the condition that the Constitution intended, as a day's work. But, sir, here is the important energy, your unequaled inventive powers, your far as the currency is concerned? Does Congress, consideration: high wages from such a cause untiring industry, your vastly increased popu in point of fact, regulate the curreney? No. | require no protection-no, not more than the high lation, and accumulated capital. Without the Does it supply a coin circulation? No.' Do the wages of a man against the low wages of a boy, foreign market, your unexampled march to States, in fact, regulate it? Yes. Does it con of man against women, or the skillful and enerwealth and improvement must come to a stand. sist of paper, issued by the authority of the States? | getic against the awkward and feeble. On the How, then, are you to obtain command of the
Yes. Is this paper, in effect, a legal tender? Yes; | contrary, the higher such wages the less the proforeign market?. That is the vital question. it has expelled the currency of the Constitution, tection required. Others may demand protection
The first and indispensable step is a thorough and we are compelled to take it or nothing. Well, I against it--not it against others. reformation of the currency. Without a solid, then, as the currency is in an unconstitutional demand of protection, then, is but a confession stable, and uniform currency, you never can condition, the conclusion is irresistible that the of the want of effectiveness of labor (from some fully succeed. The present currency is incurably Constitution has failed to effect what it intended, cause) on the side that makes it; but, as a general bad. It is impossible to give it solidity or sta as far as the currency is concerned; but whether rule, it will turn out that protection, in most cases, bility. A convertible bank currency, however it has failed by misconstruction, or the want of is a mere fallacy; certainly so when its effects are well regulated, is subject to violent and sudden adequate provisions, is not yet decided. Thus an artificial expansion of the currency. So far changes, which must forever unfit it to be the much, however, is clear: that it is through the are high wages from being the evidence of prosstandard of value. It is by far the most sensitive agency of bank paper that it has failed, and the perity in such cases, or, in fact, wheneve, caused of all to every change, commercial or political, power intended to be conferred on Congress over by high protection, high taxes, or any other arforeign or domestic; as may be readily illustrated the currency has been superseded. But for that, || tificial cause, it is the evidence of the very reverse, by reference to the ordinary action of foreign the power of Congress over the currency would and always indicates something wrong, and a exchanges on such currency. For this purpose, have been this day in full force, and the currency | tendency to derangement and decay. let us assume that our ordinary circulating itself in a constitutional condition. Nor is it less Having arrived at this conclusion, I will now medium, when exchanges are easy, amounts to clear, that the Constitution cannot be restored, | hazard the assertion, that in no country on earth $100,000,000, consisting, as it does, of convertible while the cause which has superseded it remains; || is labor, taking it all in all, more effective than bank paper. Let us suppose that it is all issued and this presents the great question, how can it ours; and especially in the northern and eastern by what are called sound specie-paying banks, be removed? I do not intend to discuss it on this | portions. What people can excel our northern and with a circulation of three dollars of paper for one occasion. I shall only say, that the task is one New England brethren in skill, invention, activdollar in specie, which is regarded as constituting of great delicacy and difficulty, requiring much ity, energy, perseverance, and enterprise? In what safe banking. Next, suppose exchange abroad wisdom and caution, and in the execution of portion of the globe will you find a position more turns against us to the amount of $10,000,000. which, precipitation ought to be carefully avoided; i favorable to a free ingress and egress, and facility Is it not clear, that instead of reducing the circu- but when executed, then, and not till then, shall of intercourse, external, and internal, through lation by that amount, that is, to $90,000,000, we have the solid, stable, and uniform currency li all the broad limits of our wide-spread coun
try-argion surpassed by nove, laking into con to every feeling of self-respect and sense of jus- il prise at the opposition marke 10 the motion of the sideration errent and fertility? Where will you tice as to desire to charge its individual debis on Senator from Missouri. He, as the organ of a find such an abundant supply of natural capital, the common fund of the Union, or to impose them standing commitive of this body, asks that certain the gift of a kind Providence; lands cheap, plenty, on the shoulders of its more prudent associates; papers, which had been referred to them, might and teruile; water power unlimited; and the sup or, let me add, to dishonor itself, and the name be printed for the use of the Senate. When a ply of fuel, and the most useful of metals, iron, of an American, by refusing to pay the foreigner | committee ask for the printing of matter in relaalmost without stint. It is true, in accumulated what it justly owes. Let the indebted States re tion to a subject which they have before them, il capital, the fruits of pastlabor through a long suc member in time that there is but one honest mode is ordered as a matter of course; and it was very cession of ayes, not equal to some other countries, of paying its debts; stop all further increase and unusual, if not unprecedented,'to oppose it. In but even in that far from being deficient, and to impose taxes, to discharge what they owe. There regard to the salt document which was ordered to whatever extent deficient would be more than is not a Staie, even the most indebted, with the be printed at the last session, be considered it as compensated by the absence of all restrictions smallest resources, that has not ample resources one of great value; one which opened up to a and ihe lightness of the burden imposed on labor, to meet its engagements. For one, I pledge my. || large portion of the community much valuable inshould our Government, State and General, wisely self, South Carolina is also in lebt. She has formation, which, before its publication, was beavuil itself of the advantages of our situation. If spent her thousands in wasteful extravagance on yond their reach. The number of that document these views.be correct, there is no country where one of the most visionary schemes that ever en which fell to the share of each Senator was about labor, if left to itself, free from restriction, would tered into the head of a thinking man. I dare
two hundred, and these he had readily distributed be more effective, and where it would command say this even of her; I, who on this floor stood
among his constituents, and he could have disgreater abundance of every necessary and com up to defend her almost alone against those who tributed many more with advantage. fort, or higher wages, and where, of course, pro threatened her with fire and sword, but who now Mr. DAVIS made some remarks in opposition tection is less needed. Instead of an advantage, are so squeamish about State rights as to be to the printing. As to one portion of them--ihose it must, in fact, prove an impediment. It is high shocked to hear it asserted that a State is capable | relating to the fishing bounties—he would, when time, then, that ihe shackles should be thrown off of extravagant und wasteful expenditures. Yes, the subject properly came before the Senate, show industry, and its burden lightened as far as the I pledge myself that she will pay punctually every that they did not depend on the duty on salt, but just wants of the Government may possibly admit. dollar she owes, should it take the last ceni, with rested on other considerations of great public inWe have arrived at the manhood of our vigor. out inquiring whether it was spent wisely or foolOpen the way-remove all restraints-uke off the ishly.. Should I in this be by possibility mis Mr. BENTON said the object of printing these swaddling cloth that bound the limbs of infancy, taken-should she tarnish her unsullied honor, papers was apparent from a statement of their and let the hardy, intelligent, and enterprising and bring discredit on our common country, by contents; it was to enable the Senate to act with šons of New England march forth fearlessly to refusing to redeem her plighted faith, (which I effect on the great subject of getting rid of the salt meet the world in competition, and she will prove, hold impossible,) deep as is my devotion to her, | monopoly in the West, and reducing the fishing in a few
years, the successful rival of Old Eng and mother as she is to me, I would disown her. bounties and allowances in proportion to the reland. The foreign market once commanded, all
duction of the duty on salt on which they were conflicts between the different sections and indus
REPEAL OF THE SALT TAX.
founded. The sali monopoly of the West was try of the country would cease. It is better for
the offspring of the salt lax, and was an injury of us and you that our cotton should go out in yarn and goods than in the raw state; and when that
several million dollars per annum to the agriDEBATE IN THE SENATE,
culture and rural economy of the West; the fishiis done, the interests of all the parts of this great
Friday, February 14, 1840.
ing bounties and allowances now amounted to Confederacy-North, East, South, and West Mr. BENTON, from the Committee on Fi- | $320,000 per annum, almost the whole of which with every variety of its pursuits, would be har nance, to whom had been referred the following was unduly drawn from the Treasury, and much monized, but not till then.
documents connected with the duties on salt and of it illegally. He was almost the only-perhaps If the course of policy I advocate be wise as ap fishing bounties, reported the same back to the the only-member of Congress who had arrnigned plied to manufactures, how much more strikingly Serate with a motion that they be printed: this abuse, and he begged for a clear stage and so must it be when applied to the other two greut 1. Thirty queries on the salt trade and salt fair play. He wanted his facts printed, and he interests of that section, commerce and navigation: manufacture in the West, addressed to his con would answer for the result. He said the fishing I pass the former, and shall conclude what I in- stituents by Mr. Benton, of Missouri, with their bounties and allowances had taken $7,000,000 tended to say on this point with a few remarks ap answers thereto, showing the monopoly, adul from the Treasury; they had received forty-six plicable to ihe latter. Navigation (I mean that teration, deficient bushel, districted allowance, million bushels of salt free of duty, while the employed in our foreign trade) is essentially our stinted quantity, and extortionale price of sale in western people suffered a cruel monopoly in that outside interest, exposed to the open competition Missouri, and the necessity of the free admission article, which led to extortionate prices, false of all the world. It has met, and met successfully, of foreigii salt.
measure, adulterated quality, stinted quantity, the competition ofthe lowest wages, not only with: 2. A communication from the Democratic State and every conceivable abuse; and all ihis coniout proiection, but with heavy burdens on almost convention in Missouri; from Hon. Mr. Miller, nected with banking. He joined issue with the every article that enters into the outfit, the rigging, of Missouri; from Hon. Mr. Chapman, of lowa; Senator from Massachusetts (Mr. Davis) on and construction of our noble vessels, the vimber from Judge King, of Missouri, showing the mo the salt tax and the fishing bounties, and allowexcepted. If, with such onerous burdens, it has nopoly, adulteration, extortionale price, and other ances, and would show that they were foundell met in successful rivalry the navigation of all other übuses in the salt trade, and the connection of sev upon the salt tax, and ought to fall with it, and countries, what an impulse it would receive if the eral banks with the suid monopoly and abuses. that they were not granted as an encouragement load that bears down its springs were removed ! 3. A general statement of the salt manufacto to a seamen's nursery. and what immense additions that increased im ries in the United States and their products, and Mr. TAPPAN said he had long been satisfied pulse would give, not only to our wealth, but to cost of their salt at their works; with a particu- | with the necessity of a repeal of the duty on salt, the means of national influence and safety, where lar account of the salt-works in New England, and would go as far as any Senator to effect it. only we can be felt, and in the quarter from which in New York, at the Kanawha, and on the Hois His purpose in objecting to the printing of these only external danger is to be apprehended ! lon, in Virginia, and of the import of foreign salt papers was to get some information as to their I have now, Mr. President, concluded what I at New Orleans.
character and value, and he was now satisfied that proposed to say when I rose to address the Sen 4. Statistics of salt, showing its localities, dif- they ought to be printed. No man estimated more
I have limited my remarks to the prominent fusion, abundance, and universality; its various highly the services of the Senator from Missouri, consequences, in a pecuniary and fiscal view, forms, both liquid and solid; jts different quali- | notonly in relation to this subject, but many others which would result, should the scheme of assump ties; its manufacture; its cheapness of first cost; of great importance to the people of this country, tion be adop ied. There are higher and still more its uses in the animal economy, in agriculture, in than he did, and none felt' higher admiration for important consequences, which I have not al different branches of rural economy, and in the the talents and energies which he had devoted lo tempted to trace: I mean the effects, morally and useful arts; its vast consumption; the tendency their accomplishment. politically, as resulting from those which l'hive of monarchical Governments lo tax it oppress Mr. ALLEN said that the salt document for. traced, and presented io the Senate. This, I hope; ively, both in ancient and in modern times; the merly printed by order of the Senate undoubtedly may be done by some other Senator, in the course repugnance of the people to the tax in all ages; its contained, as has been stated, some matter which of the discussion. But I have said enough to show fisial abolition in many countries; compiled from enlarged its size, without a corresponding increase that the scheme which these resolutions are in English, French, and American Encyclopedias, of its value. Yet, it certainly embraced much imtended to condemn ought to be avoided as the and other authentic sources.
portant information before unknown to the counmost fatal poison and the most deadly pestilence. Mr. TAPPAN said that, as the documents ap iry. I do not now remember what number of it It is, in reality but a schieme of plunder. Lel peared to be somewhat voluminous, and as it was was allotted to each Senator, but, on my return blood be lapped, and the appetite will be insatiable. almost impossible for Senators to read all the home, I was astonished to find that it had already
But the Siates are deeply in debt, and it may be maller that was ordered to be printed, he would so generally excited the attention of the people, asked what shall be done? I know that they are like to hear something as to their character and and their desire to oblain it, that those received in debt-deeply in debt. I deplore it. Yes, in value before he gave bis vote for printing. by me were insufficient to supply the demand. I debt, I am not afraid to asseri is, in many in. Mr. CLAY, of Kentucky, said if it was not shall therefore vote for the printing of these pastances, for the most idle projects, got up and more valuable than the bundle of trash printed at pers, being, as they are, of a kindred character. pursued in the most thouglitless manner. Nor the last session on the same subject, he should But, sir, I regret not this opposition to the motion am I ignorant low deep pecuniary embarrass vote against the printing. A more wasteful ex inasmuch as it has drawii from the mover [Mr. ments, whether of Siles or individuals, blunt penditure of public money had never been made Benton] a speech fraught with information, exevery feeling of honest pride, and deaden the sense by any legislative body than was sanctioned by tracted in advance from the papers, and which of justice; but I do crust that there is not å nem the Senate in ordering that document to be printed. || will the better prepare the public mind for the ber of this great and proud Confederacy, so lost Mr. CLAY, of Alabama, expressed his sur papers themselves.
26TH Cong.... 1ST SESS.
Repeal of the Salt Tax—Mr. Clay.
Of two things, sir, no doubt can exist: first, efit of banks, and with them a renewal of char- expressed by the Senator from Kentucky (Mr. that salt is, to the whole body of the nation, an ters, to enable these corporations still longer to Clay.] No, sir; for I was well aware that no absolute necessary of life; and secondly, that its prey upon the people. It was to print such docu man could here lift his finger against the abuses production and sale are monopolized by compa ments as these, for such objects as these, at such practiced by privileged monopolies, however obmies of men, in many sections, if not throughout an expense, that those Senators, at such a time vious those abuses or ruinous their effects upon the Union, who stint the quantity produced in as that, one and all, from day to day, moved, | the people, without incurring the prompt disorder to enhance the price to the people and the spoke, and voted.
pleasure of Senators on the other side of this profit to themselves. This results from a double, Båt now the case is changed. It is proposed Chamber. And why? Is the existence of these indeed, a triangular, monopoly. In the first place, to print papers with a view, not to increase the monopolies disputed? Are the evils resulting to these companies enjoy a monopoly of bank facili powers and profits of monopolists, but to relieve the community denied?. Not at all; neither the ties which enables them to purchase or rent the the people, the farmers, the mechanics, the labor one or the other. Their existence is justified, whole salt-water region-to close as many of the ers, against their rapacity; and to this it is an and the evils excused, on the sole pretense that existing wells as their interest may require, and swered that these grievances, great though they both are beyond our reach and within the exto prohibit the opening of others. Thus the mo be, must nevertheless be borne, because it will clusive jurisdiction of the Stales. Weare, therenopoly of facilities to purchase gives them a mo cost some dollars to remove them. Sir, the truth || fore, forbidden to speak of these things as burdens nopoly of the source whence the article is drawn, || is, and it shall be told, that Congress has become upon the people, although our avowed object in and to these they add a monopoly of its sale, in so habituated to receive and obey the dictates of doing so is to show that these monopolies are the first instance, to the retail merchant, who must banks and monopolies-so little accustomed to fostered by an existing law of this Government pay the price the companies fix, as they alone can hear or to heed the suggestions and grievances of which it is proposed to repeal. If the facts exist, supply his demands. In this manner, an article the farmers, the mechanics, and the laborers of if they are the resulting consequences of our which enters into the daily bread of every man the land—the real people of this country, they law, should not the law be repealed? Should we is taxed to an extent limited only by the rapacious whose toil constitutes its prosperity in peace, not give some reason for the repeal? And, if so, pleasure of heartless combinations. And what, whose valor its defense in war--that whenever | how can the reason be given without speaking of sir, is the character of these monopolies? They | they complain of wrong and injustice, as but selare associations formed to suppress, not to devel
But, sir, op, the natural resources of the country; formed utter indifference, the very evidence of their truth nopolies will never want friends and defenders. to rebuke nature for the abundant bounties she being denied the favor of printed publicity; yet If their abuses cannot be openly justified, they offers to necessitous man. What would be thought let but a bank stalk into their Chamber, and Sen will nevertheless be slyly drawn under the proof the result if companies of men should band ators spring to their feet, and hurry to embrace tection of some general principle broad and territhemselves together, obtain exclusive control over it, as if, with a monopoly of the currency, it en ble enough to afford them impunity and to affright the whole iron region of Pennsylvania and of the joyed likewise a monopoly of all their affections. the timid, who might otherwise be inclined to Union, strike down half the furnaces and forges I look, sir, upon this move of the Senator from expose them. Thus it is in the present instance, now in operation, prevent the erection of others, Missouri as a measure of relief for the real peo The production and sale of one of the common reduce the quantity, monopolize the whole, and ple of this country-the great agricultural and necessaries of life are, throughout the country, increase the price of iron from six to twenty dol working community; and as such I will vote for monopolized by combinations of men, who, aided lars per hundred? Would this state of things be the printing of these papers to any reasonable by an existing law of this Government, are enaendured by the people? And would they justify number.
bled to extori the most unreasonable prices from Congress in keeping up a tariff to exclude this Mr. CLAY, of Kentucky, replied to Mr. Al- || the people. Well, sir, I spoke of this public evil article from abroad and to foster its ruinous mo LEN with much animation. He said he rose to as a reason for repealing the law by which it is mopoly at home? No; and yet so stands the fact mark the Senator from Ohio, who had just taken aggravated; and this it is that the Senator from with regard to salt.
his seat. He rose to mark the disorganizing and Kentucky denounces as an attack upon property; Sir, if there be in our language one word which, || revolutionary tendency of his remarks. Al this as if these companies had the right of property in better than any other, describes the exact idea of about monopoly was but a new form of attacking a public law that rendered it intangible to the despotism, that word is monopoly. Within itself the rights of property. A man may not use his law-making and law-revising power. It is this are contained all the essential elements of oppres property in what form he pleases, even if sanc that he declares an assault upon private rigbis; sion. When, during her reign, the English Queen tioned by the laws of the community in which he and it is for having thus. complained of ihese Elizabeth had granted to her courtiers monopo lives, without being denounced as a monopolist. abuses, and proposed a remedy, that the Senator lies of almost every branch and article of com If this company in the western part of Virginia rose, is he said, to mark me, to mark the princimerce, the just complaints of
her plundered sub are great monopolists, is not the State of New ple I advanced, as tending to the destruction of jects roused the House of Commons to revolt | York, with her extensive salt-works, a still greater property, to a system of leveling and public conagainst the cruel extortions thus practiced upon | monopolist? He had for the last few years pur fusion. And what, sir, is this principle of level. them. Her authority was absolute over Parlia chased salt for his own use which had been man ing? Does it consist in defending the rights of ment, and Parliament was obsequious to her will. ufactured at the New York works, and he had the people and the proceeds of their toil against But to all authority, and to all obedience, neces got a good article at what he considered a fair the insatiate rapacity of these monopolies--mosity prescribes a limit. These monopolies were price. Suppose such charges as were contained | nopolies which have already taken every form and no longer to be borne, and when the minister, in these papers were made against that State, shape; which subsist upon taxes drawn from the being called upon in the House, read over the list would her representatives on this floor sit quietly people against their will; which have ullerly deof the articles monopolized, a member indignantly under them, and permit their publication to the stroyed the political equality of men in a Govexclaimed, “Is not bread among the number?" world? But we are told that the object is to effect ernment designed to render all politically equal, So palpable were these outrages upon the people a repeal of the duty on salt-a repeal of this mis and which, in every part of the land, now lift thai the minister was required and compelled to erable duty of six cenis per bushel! And how themselves above the surrounding multitude, as give the royal pledge that they should be dimin will that prevent the manufacturers from getting, the numberless mounds upon the plains of the ished; and diminished they were.
what every man has a right to get, the highest West rise above the uniform level? If, sir, an Well, sir, how stands the matter with us? A price for his productions? But, sir, the whole honest resistance to this prevailing tendency of Senator presents documents from csizens of his tenor of the gentleman's remarks were in con everything in our age and country toward 'moown and other States containing evidence of this formity with that agrarian spirit, which, I regret | nopoly; toward the concentration of all business, salt monopoly, of the injustice and oppression it to be compelled to say, has of late years been so of all property, and of all power, in the hands of inflicts upon the people. He asks the printing || prevalent, and which is rapidly increasing; that | chartered combinations; toward the extinction of of these papers preparatory to the repeal of the leveling spirit which is at war with the institu- the individual man and the erection of privileged duty on foreign salt, by which these grievances tions of the country; which first attacked the orders, as the sole constituent elements of the poare fostered. And how is he met? The monop United States Bank, then the local banks, and litical system-in a word, toward the establisholy stated in the papers, no Senator denies; the now it is endeavoring to lay violent hands on the ment of an aristocracy founded in fraud and nurinjustice of the burden thus imposed upon the || fishing bounties. But, he would ask, what right | tured by pillage; if, sir, resistance to this tendency people, all must admit; yet this motion, which have you to interfere with the citizens of a sov of things—if a defense of the rights of men, as sinlooks to the remedy of an evil so great, is resisted ereign State, and denounce them as monopolists, cere as it is fearless, against every effort to plunon the plea of expense, so small as it is known who are pursuing their avocations under the pro der and oppress them; if a deep and generous that expense must be. And by whom? With tection of the laws of the State? If this company sympathy with my countrymen in all their sufwhat propriety is this resistance made? It is has transcended its charter and abused the pow- | ferings and in all their joys; if a desire to see all made by Senators who, on former occasions, ers conferred upon it by the Legislature of Vir- || happy, no mortal miserable, and if a firm determthemselves moved and voted the printing of large ginia, send your complaints to Richmond and ination to do the duty of a good citizen to efiect and numerous volumes of documents, and that, they will be investigated, and if there is any truth these ends if these things constitute a leveler, though each document was but the duplicate of in ihem they will be redressed. What right then a leveler am I. the other, and all but little else than the mere have you to arraign the old Commonwealth at Sir, every law of nature is a law of equality. registers of names. They were printed at a cost the bar of this Senate? If the Senator wishes to Upon that basis was this Government formed. fifty-fold greater than this now proposed, and at a complain of monopolies, let him go home to his By ils fundamental law each citizen stands upon time, too, when we were told by the same Sena own State, Go to Columbus with your leveling a political level. From that level he starts, alike tors that bankruptcy and despair, both individual sentiments, and see how they will be tolerated. unaided and unrestrained by Government, to rise and national, were alone to be found in the land. He protested against the doctrines of the speech or to sink in the social scale to whatever point But these, sir, were bank documents, bank peti- of the Senator from Ohio as detestable in their his virtues, his abilities, his industry,his economy, tions, bank memorials, not asking relief for the nature and abominable in their consequences. or the want of these qualities, may fix as the mark people against monopolies, but demanding the Mr.ALLEN. Iam, Mr. President, by no means. of his merit. Protected in all the rights he pospeople's public treasure, the deposits, for the ben- 1 surprised at the inflamed feelings, so inflammably sesses, restricted only by the rights of others, he