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The scheme is fraught with injustice as well as danger. The rights of property lie at the foundation of civil society. Every man has an incontestible claim to the fruits of his own labors, and to the patrimony that has devolved upon him. To deprive him of it, without his consent, is to set right at defiance. Now the public lands are the property of all the States. appropriate them to any object, except To that common object for which they were given, is an outrage upon justice, except it be done with the consent of every State that has an interest in them. If every representative, from every State in the Union, save one, were to vote for an appropriation to any but a common object, to relieve a common want, it could not be done justly without the vote of that other State also. She has a property in the public lands, of which she cannot be deprived but by her own consent.

But were it never so just, it would not answer the end proposed. The projectors of this new way to pay old debts, doubtless imagine that they have found a remedy for all the embarrassments under which the people suffer. Is not this a mistake? What real and permanent relief would it afford them? It is not the States that suffer;-it is the people. The States are mere impersonalities. The pecuniary difficulties which beset us on every side, are the difficulties of the inhabitants. It is the people who are in debt, and it is they who constitute the State. Give the people ability, and the States will need no assistance. On the other hand, assist the States as much as you please, unless you relieve the people of their debts, the evil remains. scheme has in view the relief of the Now if this people from the mass of debts which grinds them as between the upper and the nether millstone, then we can only say, that it proposes the most inadequate means to obtain an end which any government ever proposed. If it has this not in view, then are its projectors blind leaders of the blind.

How is the payment of the public

debt of Illinois, for instance, to relieve the people from the load of private debts, which they, in common with the people of all the States, have incurred? The debt is not due to citizens of the State, and little of it even to Americans. How few men are there, will be made a whit better by its in this country, whose circumstances relieved, if his industry is to continue payment. If the citizen is not to be in shackles, how much will he gain by this magnificent issue of $200,000,000 of government stock?

Lastly, if the plan of Mr. Johnson if it were as just as it is unjust, there were as possible as it is impracticable, would be yet a reason against it quite sufficient to condemn it, and that is, that it is wholly unnecessary. The States are not so much in debt but that any one of them can pay all that it owes. Severe taxation and great sacrifices heavy a penalty for extravagance? Is may be necessary; but are these too not the honor of the State, the plighted faith of the people, worth so much? Every one of the indebted States has great resources. Look at their immense tracts of fertile lands, or their exhaustless mines; their rail-ways, their canals; look at the yearly products of their farms, their abundant harvests, their innumerable herds of cattle; look at the long trains of emigrants coming yearly to settle in their borders, making rich everything around them, and then say if these States ought to shrink from the exertions necessary to pay the interest, and to provide a sinking fund for the principal, of their debts. the taxation which they would have Compare ever to lay upon themselves with that is obliged to submit to. which the Englishman, the Frenchman American exert himself as much, to Cannot the answer for his own contracts, and to repay money spent upon the public works of his own State, as either of the others, to repay money that has been wasted in thrones? For the honor of the Ameriwars or lavished upon let us not be found to answer, No. can name, for the sake of freedom itself,


THIS is the season of the year of all others when commercial and financial affairs are exceedingly dull. The usual avenues of communication with the interior are closed, and the mails become irregular as well from the influence of the weather as from mismanagement. Hence, the movements of merchandise and produce are limited, and the operations of exchange probably amount to not more than one-third of those in the busy seasons of the year. The demand for money is less, and were full confidence entertained in stocks as investments, the large accumulations of money now apparent in the leading cities, would undoubt edly seek that channel of employment. But the downward tendency of the paper system for the last few years has developed such utter rottenness in everything connected with corporate associations, that few men are now bold enough to repose confidence in them. During the past month, defalcations to an extent estimated at $250,000 have been discovered in the accounts of the Secretary of the New York Life Insurance and Trust Co. This institution, with a capital of $1,000,000, has hitherto stood the highest in public favor. At the time of the explosion, the stock was quoted at 125 a 140, and is now held at 40 a 75, without sales, so greatly has confidence been shaken. The delinquency of the officer of the company has, like all others that have taken place, grown out of, and is the inevitable result of the gambling disposition engendered in the public mind by the fluctuations incident upon the paper system; but a few years since, owing to this cause, the whole country was mad with speculation. The assets of the late National Bank show that no grade of society escaped the mania. How could it then be supposed that any individual, placed in the very focus of speculation with immense sums of money at his uncontrolled disposal, should avoid engaging in that which pervaded all ranks of society? It is less the crime of an individual, than the inherent vice of a system. The

discovery of its effects in au institution which ranked highest in public estimation, seems to have shut out the last ray of confidence.

The return of the Secretary of the Treasury presents a gloomy picture of the government finances. The operation of the prohibitive tariff bears with a heavy hand on commerce, on the government finances, and, as a conse quence, upon the national credit. The receipts for the year 1842 are stated at $34,502,593; of which, was borrowed, $14,651,157. The expenses were, $35,308,694; of which, was paid on account of debt, $9,471,744, leaving an actual excess of expenses over revenue equal to $5,179,413. This, for a year during four months of which the high tariff was in operation. From the last of June to the first of September, there was no tariff in operation. The duties levied at that time were at a rate of 25 per cent., and paid un ler protest. Some suits of this nature have been decided before the United States Court in favor of the government. The Secretary states that the receipts will exceed the expenditures for the eighteen months ending June, 1844, $1,635,871. He, however, gives no data for his estimate, and no redemption of Treasury Notes or debts is included in these estimates. He states the existing debt outstanding at $20,210,226. The Secretary, in remarking upon the falling off in the revenue, states that he cannot ascribe it to the influence of the high tariff as yet, because the duties have not been in operation long enough. It is remarkable, however, in the face of this assertion, and the fact that $18,000,000 were derived from the customs this year, that under the sup position of the continuance of the tariff which he recommends, he estimates the customs of the next eighteen months at $23,500,000 only, or $15,600,000 per annum, including a new duty proposed on tea and coffee, being $2,500,000 less than this year. The imports of foreign goods have been $99,357,329, against $127,946,177 the previous year, showing a decrease

of $28,588,848, of which, $20,000,000 took place in the last quarter. The exports of domestic goods were $92,559,088; and of foreign merchandise, $11,558,881; total, $104,117,969. In this great decline in imports will be recognized the cause of the low price of foreign bills, on which the planters and farmers are subjected to a loss of 4 to 5 per cent., there being no adequate demand from importers.

The general condition of the United States presents now every appearance of a revival of trade and of commercial prosperity. The aggregate wealth of the country is immense, the active commercial debts are very small, and the channels of trade are rapidly filling with a sound constitutional medium of circulation, the result of which must be inevitably a rise in the prices of agricultural products to an extent which will leave a margin of profits to the producer, and enable him to purchase and pay for the necessaries and some of the luxuries of life. These facts are now become so apparent, that in the leading commercial circles the utmost confidence is entertained and expressed that the next six months will witness an important improve ment in all branches of business. Within the last few weeks several millions in specie have arrived from abroad in the Atlantic cities, and have been distributed over the country. This is silently but surely bringing about the desired result, and business men confidently look forward to a turn of tide in their favor, when they will reap the reward of their skill and industry, without being subjected to the arbitrary capriciousness of privileged corporations, which, at will, may produce in the value of property those fluctuations which baffle the calculations of the wisest and most prudent. The welfare of the industrious, the skilful, and the frugal, is however by no means identical with that of brokers, bankers, and stockjobbers. Accord ingly, as the specie currency of the country increases, and its productive wealth augments without bringing any restoration of that confidence which enables needy speculators and designing adventurers to possess themselves of the fruits of industry in exchange for paper promises, the louder are the cries of distress from that class, and the more desperate become those




politicians who depend upon a borrowing machine to hoist them into power. The sense of the people on these subjects is, however, becoming daily more apparent, and the most sagacious of the Whig politicians have abandoned the idea of a National Bank. In September, 1840, Daniel Webster, Esq. made a great speech in Wall street in favor of a National Bank. In September, 1842, he made a great speech in Boston proclaiming the idea of a National Bank to be "obsolete."

These are signs that the people at large are opposed to a Bank, not because it is called "a Bank," but because it possesses the power of multiplying or contracting the standard of value at pleasure, and of course doubling or diminishing every man's debts and property as measured by labor. It gives to speculators the means of obtaining the wealth of the industrious for their own use and profit, by the payment of 6 or 7 per cent. interest, which is ultimately paid by those whose wealth is obtained without an equivalent. For instance, a speculator obtains a discount of his note at 6 per cent. in promises of the bank; these he pays away for the produce of industry. By the operation, he expects to make a profit over and above the interest he pays to the bank, which interest with his profit enhances the cost of the article to the consumer, who exchanges the produce of his own labor for it. If no profit is made, the speculator's note is not paid, the bank fails, and the holder of the note is cheated. This operation is what the people oppose, and not the name of a bank; but with singular confidence in the credulity of the people, those, who admit that a bank has become "obsolete," still persevere in attempting to effect the same object under another name. Hence those numerous paper schemes under the names of fiscal agents, exchequer, &c., on which we have commented in former numbers.

The banking system of the United States has received a shock from which it will not speedily recover. The national discredit of which itself was the cause, is now the main obstacle to its recovery. When in 1828-9, the late National Bank commenced that immense inflation, which carried up its own loans 100 per cent. in the succeeding three years, and stimulated that

banking mania which afterwards grew to such an unmanageable height, the seeds of the present State debts were planted. The redundancy of money excited false hopes, and led States and cities, as well as individuals and corporations, to contract immense debts. În all the State Legislatures, the emissaries of banks, and the agents and accomplices of land speculators, were urging all sorts of extravagance. After a knot of speculators had fixed upon a bank, or a patch of land for an operation, their next object was to exert an influence in the State Legislatures, stimulating them to borrow money, which should procure the construction of some canal or rail-road, to turn the patch into a populous city, or give new wings to the paper machine, to enable it to extend its flight, and ultimately to fall with greater force. The late National Bank, tottering under the weight of its old political misdeeds, became the focus for the negotiation of all these State debts. Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi and Pennsylvania, were all stimulated into extravagance by the emissaries of the Bank, and the multiplication of their securities in its hands in exchange for its own promises, lengthened for some time its existence. Each and all of these States were defrauded and are now insolvent, while their dishonored securities to the extent of near $14,000,000, are pledged in London, for the debts of the author of the mischief. The means of paying these debts, which were seemingly apparent during the redundancy of paper money, vanished with the bubble. The debts now remain, and the dismayed politicians can discern in the low prices and small sales of the farmer, no trace of those golden visions whose fruition was to crown their ambition and fill their pockets. In one or two instances, their application to the people to pay taxes in the discharge of the debts, has been met by a threatened repudiation of the liability, and in many cases, the inability to pay is apparent and acknowledged. When the debts were contracted by politicians under the lash and spur of the speculators, no prospect of ultimate taxation was held out to the people. On the contrary, the Erie Canal of New York was pointed to as a proof, that the works would pay for themselves,

and discharge the debts contracted for their construction. Had the people supposed that taxation would have been the result, no consent to the loans would ever have been given. In the case of Pennsylvania, a tax was levied June 11, 1840, estimated to yield $1,000,000; of this very little was ever realized, because, as stated in a subsequent message of the Governor, public opinion in many of the counties was against the tax, and it could not be collected. If the loan had been presented to them in the same practical way, it never would have been sanctioned. In creating the loans, the Legislatures did not take the ability to pay properly into consideration. They hoped that they would not have to resort to taxation. On the failure of those expectations they levied taxes. In collecting those taxes during the past year, it has been discovered that the aggregate debts are beyond the ability of the people to pay. They were seduced by the ignis fatuus of bank credits, from the path of economy into the mire of extravagance, and they are now overwhelmed in the slough of insolvency, while the treacherous light which lured them to ruin has vanished into thin air. The paper system in this country created for itself, and exerted an aristocratic power similar to that which is found in the courts of despotic governments. Its unseen but powerful influence operating upon State Legislatures, caused the creation of large loans. Its behests were promptly obeyed by pliant politicians bewildered with dreams of internal improvements and paper wealth. They mistook the schemes of speculators and the mandates of stockjobbers for the voice of the people, and did not discover their mistake until pay-day arrived. This is the point which in all old governments produced violent revo lutions. The refusal of the people of many of the States to be taxed now, is similar to the first step towards the French Revolution. At that time the court was the seat of power. When it wanted money, it issued edicts for taxes which were sent to the parliament for registration, when they became operative. When Necker retired in 1781, and was succeeded by the extravagant M. Calonne, that minister proposed two new taxes, a stamp act, and a land tax estimated to yield

£5,000,000. These acts the parliament refused to register. Then began those difficulties which ended in the subversion of one of the oldest govern ments in Europe, and in a great accession to the popular ascendancy. The extravagance of the court of Louis produced the necessity for taxes so exorbitant that they could not be paid. What the court of Louis was to France at that time, has been the banking system to the United States in our day. The bankers and stockjobbers stimulated debts which the politicians contracted at their behests, in the name of the people, under false pretences. These debts the people are now unable to pay, and in some cases refuse to acknowledge. In the case of the aristocratic government, the oppression was tangible, and was resisted and overthrown by physical means. In the case of the paper aristocracy the resistance is negative, the mere inability to bear the burden destroying the oppressor.

As this matter of inability does not


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Direct debt.

so readily appear, and seems strange to those who consider the great apparent wealth and population of the States, it may be well to examine the matter a little, both in regard to the actual position of affairs here, and what other nations have done and continue to do. We will here give a table, compiled from official returns made within the year, of the debts of the several States, showing the direct debt which they have contracted, and their indirect debt, which consists in some cases in stock loaned to banks and companies, enabling them to raise money on the faith of the State to carry on their enterprises. Of this nature are the New York loans to the Erie Rail Road; the Alabama debt, which consists of State Stock issued to banks; the Florida, Arkansas, and Louisiana debts are of a similar nature. It also embraces the floating debts. The table also contains the annual interest payable, and the population of each State, as follows:

Float'g debts)
and loans of


Total liabilities.




1,365,539 5,355,000 7,720,539 5

501,793 284,574







19,502,049 5,235,700 24,737,749 4 a 7 1,341,620 2,428,921


1,858,454 1,724,033


of in- Annual


none. 1,050,000 760,000 4,800,000 1,557,306 1,674,353| 3,750,500 40,000 1,516,916 1,500,000

1,811,715 5


37,937,788 2,000,000 39,937,788,5



none. 3,500,000 5,391,000 220,000

none. 3,900,000


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10,000,000 10,011,393 20,041,393 5 9-10 1,182,683

7,409,166 2,872,520 10,281,686,6

1,050,000 6 5,560,000 6

3,231,659 61
3,790,500 6
3,016,916 5

16,163,374 3,000,000 19,163,374 5 a 6

1,164,886, 19,204,000 20,368,886 5

12,698,146 2,390,000 15,088,146 5
7,000,000 7,000,000 6


13,836,379 5,000,000 18,836,379 6

B'k. capital,

B'k. circu., 5,817,000

9,843,536 6



interest. Population.


3,500,000 6

5,611,000 6

3,900,000 6

100,000 6

1,380,000 6








964,302 1,519,467


352,411 685,866








78,085 470,019




















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