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system triumphed in the councils of the nation. We saw its disastrous political bearings—foresaw its surpluses and the extravagances to which it would lead. We rallied on the election of the late President to arrest it through the influence of the Executive Department of the Government. In this we failed. We then fell back on the rights and sovereignty of the States, and by the action of a small but gallant State, and through the potency of its interposition, we brought the system to the ground, sustained, as it was, by the opposition and the administration, and by the whole
power and patronage of the Government. The pernicious overflow of the treasury, of which it was the parent, could not be arrested at once. The surplus was seized on by the Executive, and, by its control over the banks, became the fruitful source of Executive influence and encroachment. Without hesitation, we joined our old opponents on the tariff question, but under our own flag and without merging in their ranks, and made a gallant and successful war against the encroachments of the Executive.
That terminated, we part with our late allies in peace, and move forward-lag or onward who may—to secure the fruits of our long but successful struggle, under the old republican flag of 1798, which, though tattered and torn, has never yet been lowered, and, with the blessing of God, never shall be with my consent.
On the Motion of Mr. King of Georgia, to postpone
the Bill, “imposing additional duties, as depositories in certain cases, on public officers,” made in the Senate, September 23d, 1837.
MR. Calhoun rose and said : He greatly regretted that the Senator from Georgia (Mr King) had thought proper to make a motion to postpone this bill. Its effect, if successful, would be highly injurious to the country generally, and especially to the South. It was conceded that there was a vast amount of capital locked up, waiting the decision of Congress on this highly important subject ;-not less, probably, than from sixty to one hundred millions—which would flow into the business channels of the country as soon as the decision was made. This, he would remind the Senator, was the commencement of the business season for the great staples of the South. The cotton and rice would soon be prepared for market, and the tobacco would follow them. The entire machine of commerce, by which these great products were to be exchanged with the world, is deranged—he might say, broken, and would not be reconstructed, until it is ascertained what was to be done here. If the question is postponed till the regular session, there will be no final action till the spring ; during all of which time, comprehending the almost entire business season, things would remain in their present uncertain and deranged condition. The consequence would be, a very heavy loss to the planting interests of the South,-not to mention other portions,-a loss, he would say, of many millions to the planters alone, — which would be a vast detriment to that great interest, embarrassed, as it now is, by heavy debts. After full reflection,
he did not think the loss, on the coming crop of cotton alone, from delay of action here, would be less than one or two cents a pound,-more than a million and a half on the whole crop.
But there was another reason, to his mind still more powerful, against the postponement. We are on the eve of a great revolution in regard to the currency. The first step in this revolution is, the separation of the Government and the banks ; which, he sincerely believed, dhe good of both required. This, once effected, and each left to move in its own proper sphere, unembarrassed by the other, the change in the credit system, which he held to be inevitable, would, in all probability, be gradual, and without shock or injury to any of the great interests of the community. But, if the question of separation be left open,-if it is to run into the politics of the country, and be made an engine to act on the Presidential Election, there is no answering for the consequences. A direct issue will be made; and, when passions were roused, there would ensue a conflict between the Government and the banks which may become violent and convulsive, and shake our system to the centre. For these reasons, he deemed it highly desirable on all sides, that the motion to postpone should not succeed.
The Senator made a remark which had a personal bearing, which he (Mr. C.) could not pass unnoticed. He expressed great abhorrence at the declaration that he (Mr. C.) would not (if there were not other and powerful reasons against it), agree to employ Mr. Biddle's Bank as our fiscal agent,-because it would give that institution a triumph over the Government--and go far to make it the Government itself.
There was, said Mr. C., no disputing about taste. We were so dissimilarly constituted, that what was sweet to one was sometimes bitter to another. But he was inclined to think that, in this case, the difference did not result so much
from any organic dissimilarity between him and the Senator, as from the different aspect in which they regard the controversy between General Jackson and the Bank. The Senator regards it, as is manifest from the whole tenor of his remarks, as a mere personal affair between General Jackson and the President of the Bank; or, at best, between the Executive branch of the Government and the Bank; in which, let either side prevail, would be but the triumph of one individual over anotheror, of the Bank over the Executive, or the reverse. Thus regarding it, he was not at all astonished that the Senator should indulge himself in the strong expressions he did ; but he must say, that he was not a little astonished, that the Senator, knowing him and his past course, as he did, could for a moment suppose that he (Mr. C.) regarded it under that aspect. When did he ever utter a sentiment, or do an act, which could, by possibility, give countenance to the imputation that he considered General Jackson, or the whole House—or the Executive Department, as the Government ? He would suppose that he was the last man to whom such a sentiment could be attributed. In making the declaration referred to, he viewed the subject far more comprehensively. He regarded the controversy under all its circumstances, and looked to results as testing the relative strength of the Government and the banks. He saw the most popular and powerful President that ever filled the chair of State—with boundless patronage—and sustained by a well-formed and compact majority in the Union and both Houses of Congress (of which majority the Senator was one), waging war against the Bank, and striving, with all his influence and energy, to put it down. Whether right or wrong (wrong he had believed, and still believed him to be), he was bącked by the entire power of the Government, and a great majority of the people.
Now, Sir, said Mr. C., I ask if, after all this, the Bank should prove to be so indispensable to the Government as
to force itself on it—notwithstanding all these powerful opposing obstacles-greater than can ever again be arrayed against any similar institution—would not the fact prove, that the Bank has become stronger than both Government and people ? And would it not go far—as he himself confessed to make the Bank the Government ? It was under this aspect that he obviously regarded the struggle ; and he must say, that, if the Senator, looking on it in the same light, did not regard it with similar sentiments, he could neither envy him his feelings nor his patriotism.
On the Amendment proposed by Mr. Clay to the Re
solution of the Committee on Finance, made in the Senate, September 26th, 1837.
[Mr. Wright, from the Committee on Finance, called up the report relative to the petitions for the establishment of a National Bank, which was :
"Resolved, That the prayer of the respective petitions ought not to be granted.” Mr. Clay, after some remarks, moved to strike out all after the word " Resolved," and insert, " that it will be expedient to establish a Bank of the United States, whenever it shall be manifest that a clear majority of the people of the United States desire such an institution."
Mr. Webster, after assigning his reasons, moved to postpone the question until Monday next; which, after some remarks from Mr. Preston, in opposition to the report of the Committee, was negatived by a vote of 30 to 15.
Mr. Tallmadge then moved to amend the amendment, by inserting after the word “Resolved" the following: “ that in the opinion of the Senate, a clear majority of the people of the United States are oppos