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which those who are endowed with superior mental faculties ought to be more cautious than to reproach those with their deficiency to whom Providence has been less liberal. The faculties of our mind are the immediate gift of our Creator, for which we are no further responsible than for their proper cultivation, according to our opportunities, and their proper application to control and regulate our actions. Thus thinking, I trust I shall be the last to assume superiority on my part, or reproach any one with inferiority on his ; but those who do not regard the rule when applied to others, cannot expect it to be observed when applied to themselves. The critic must expect to be criticized, and he who points out the faults of others, to have his own pointed out.

I cannot retort on the Senator the charge of being metaphysical. I cannot accuse him of possessing the powers of analysis and generalization, those higher faculties of the mind (called metaphysical by those who do not possess them) which decompose and resolve into their elements the complex masses of ideas that exist in the world of mind, as chemistry does the bodies that surround us in the material world ; and without which those deep and hidden causes which are in constant action, and producing such mighty changes in the condition of society, would operate unseen and undetected. The absence of these higher qualities of mind is conspicuous throughout the whole course of the Senator's public life. To this it may be traced that he prefers the specious to the solid, and the plausible to the true. To the same cause, combined with an ardent temperament, it is owing that we ever find him mounted on some popular and favorite measure, which he whips along, cheered by the shouts of the multitude, and never dismounts till he has ridden it down. Thus, at one time we find him mounted on the protective system, which he rode down ; at another, on internal improvement; and now he is mounted on a bank, which will surely share the same fate, unless those who are immediately

interested shall stop him in his headlong career. It is the fault of his mind to seize on a few prominent and striking advantages, and to pursue them eagerly, without looking to consequences. Thus, in the case of the protective system, he was struck with the advantages of manufactures ; and, believing that high duties was the proper mode of protecting them, he pushed forward the system, without seeing that he was enriching one portion of the country at the expense of the other ; corrupting the one and alienating the other; and, finally, dividing the community into two great hostile interests, which terminated in the overthrow of the system itself. So, now, he looks only to an uniform currency, and a bank as a means of securing it, without once reflecting how far the banking system has progressed, and the difficulties that impede its further progress; that banking and politics are running together, to their mutual destruction ; and that the only possible mode of saving his favorite system is to separate it from the Government.

To the defects of understanding which the Senator attributes to me, I make no reply. It is for others, and not me, to determine what portion of understanding it has pleased the Author of my being to bestow on me. It is, however, fortunate for me, that the standard by which I shall be judged is not the false, prejudiced, and, as I have shown, unfounded opinion which the Senator has expressed, but my acts. They furnish materials, neither few nor scant, to form a just estimate of my mental faculties. I have now been more than twenty-six years continuously in the service of this Government, in various stations, and have taken part in almost all the great questions which have agitated this country during this long and important period. Throughout the whole I have never followed events, but have taken my stand in advance, openly and freely, avowing my opinions on all questions, and leaving it to time and experience to condemn or approve my course. Thus acting, I have often, and on

great questions, separated from those with whom I usually acted ; and if I am really so defective in sound and practical judgment as the Senator represents, the proof, if to be found any where, must be found in such instances, or where I have acted on my sole responsibility. Now, I ask, in which of the many instances of the kind is such proof to be found ? It is not my intention to call to the recollection of the Senate all such ; but that you, Senators, may judge for yourselves, it is due, in justice to myself, that I should suggest a few of the most prominent, which at the time were regarded as the Senator now considers the present; and then, as now, because, where duty is involved, I would not submit to party trammels.

I go back to the commencement of my public life, the war session, as it was usually called, of 1812, when I first took my seat in the other House, a young man without experience to guide me, and I shall select, as the first instance, the navy. At that time, the administration and the party to which I was strongly attached were decidedly opposed to this important arm of service. It was considered anti-republican to support it; but acting with my then distinguished colleague, Mr. Cheves, who led the way, I did not hesitate to give it my hearty support, regardless of party ties. Does this instance sustain the charge of the Senator ?

The next I shall select is, the restrictive system of that day; the Embargo, the Non-Importation and Non-Intercourse Acts. This, too, was a party measure, which had been long and warmly contested, and, of course, the lines of party well drawn. Young and inexperienced as I was, I saw its defects, and resolutely opposed it, almost alone of my party. The second or third speech I made, after I took my seat, was in open denunciation of the system ; and I may refer to the grounds I then assumed, the truth of which has been confirmed by time and experience, with pride and confidence.

This will scarcely be selected by the Senator to make good his charge.

I pass over other instances, and come to Mr. Dallas's bank of 1814-15. That, too, was a party measure. Banking was then comparatively but little understood, and it may seem astonishing, at this time, that such a project should ever have received any countenance or support. It proposed to create a bank of $50,000,000, to consist almost entirely of what was then called the war stocks ; that is, the public debt created in carrying on the then war. It was provided that the bank should not pay specie during the war, and for three years after its termination,--for carrying on which it was to lend the Government the funds. In plain language, the Government was to borrow back its own credit from the bank, and pay to the institution six per cent. for its use. I had scarcely ever before seriously thought of banks or banking, but I clearly saw through the operation, and the danger to the Government and country ; and, regardless of party ties or denunciations, I opposed and defeated it in the manner I explained at the extra session. I then subjected myself to the very charge which the Senator now makes; but time has done me justice, as it will in the present instance.

Passing the intervening instances, I come down to my administration of the War Department, where I acted on my own judgment and responsibility. It is known to all that the department, at the time, was perfectly disorganized, with not much less than $50,000,000 of outstanding and unsettled accounts and the greatest confusion in every branch of service. Though without experience, I prepared, shortly after I went in, the bill for its organization, and on its passage I drew up the body of rules for carrying the act into execution, both of which remain substantially unchanged to this day. After reducing the outstanding accounts to a few millions, and introducing order and accountability in every branch of service, and bringing down the expenditure of the army from four to two and a half millions annually, without subtracting a single comfort from either officer or soldier, I left the department in a condition that might well be compared to the best in any country. If I am deficient in the qualities which the Senator attributes to me, here, in this mass of details and business, it ought to be discovered. Will he look to this to make good his charge ?

From the War Department I was transferred to the chair, which

you now occupy. How I acquitted myself in the discharge of its duties, I leave it to the body to decide, without adding a word. The station, from its leisure, gave me a good opportunity to study the genius of the prominent measure of the day, called then the American System, of which I profited. I soon perceived where its errors lay, and how it would operate. I clearly saw its desolating effects in one section, and corrupting influence in the other; and when I saw that it could not be arrested here, I fell back on my own State, and a blow was given to a system, destined to destroy our institutions if not overthrown, which brought it to the ground. This brings me down to the present time, and where passions and prejudices are yet too strong to make an appeal with any prospect of a fair and in partial verdict. I then transfer this, and all my subsequent acts, including the present, to the tribunal of posterity, with a perfect confidence that nothing will be found, in what I have said or done, to impeach my integrity or understanding.

I have now, Senators, repelled the attacks on me. I have settled the account and cancelled the debt between me and my accuser. I have not sought this controversy, nor have I shunned it when forced on me. I have acted on the defensive, and if it is to continue (which rests with the Senator), I shall throughout continue so to act. I know too well the advantage of my position to surrender it. The Senator commenced the controversy, and it is but right that he

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