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PASSAGES FROM A POLITICIAN'S NOTE-BOOK.
THE NEXT PRESIDENCY.
Are we to have everything our own sympathies of our population into an way the next time,-io walk leisurely East, a Centre, a South, and a West, over the course without crack of whip is no less distinct and real than the or prick of spur,-as so many of our corresponding demarcations to be sanguine friends, under the elation of traced in blue, yellow, and red, on a the late Democratic reactions, seem to school map. In each of these natuexpect? They are vastly mistaken rally arises its political chief,—the who lay so flattering an unction 10 strongest and greatest of its public their souls.
men, about whom, as their centre, There is no doubt, indeed, that we those of a secondary grade as naturally shall reap an overwhelming triumph group or cluster,--the representative in the election of '44, unless we forfeit of his section and fullest embodiment by not deserving it. We have it in of its spirit and character. We speak our power to secure it with ease, – particularly of the Democratic party, with equal ease we may throw it which is the proper and permanent away, if such is our preference. On governing party of the country; the the part of some of our friends it opposition to it, under various forms would seem to be almost a matter of and phases, being only a negative force, indifference which.
acting irregularly and incoherently, The present position of the Demo- and without any such solid or steady cratic Party is an extremely critical cohesion as to admit the slow developone. During the last Presidential con- ment of such a principle of organizatest we saw, on the side of our oppo- tion as that referred to. It is needless nents, the singular spectacle of a great to point to the existing practical illusparty diametrically diverse in iheir traiion of the double truth of which principles, yet united on their men; we speak, namely, the absence of this we seem now in some danger of our sectional division of political geography selves exhibiting the reversed attitude, and political leadership on the part of of antagonism of men with harmony of the Whigs, and its distinct and strongly principles,—for the partial diversity of marked existence on our own. Out of opinion on the Tariff question, existing this state of things grows now, and in certain portions of the country, is will probably continue to grow, the not sufficient seriously to affect this most serious danger to the stability of general truth. The different sections the Democratic ascendency. We must of the Union have their respective beware of allowing this sectionality to statesmen who are the objects of their run into disunion,—this emulation into peculiar attachment, pride, and hope, antagonism,—this natural preference and whose claims they are ill disposed for our own into unjust prejudice to see subordinated or postponed to against the equal rights of others. those of any other of the same or Our eyes open to the danger, we must similar general rank in the scale of be the more cautious to shun it. The political prominence. The working of unity of the Party must be the common our system of institutions has by this central aim of all, to which all must time developed this tendency, the germ come prepared to sacrifice, and sacriof which was early manifest, to a fice with cheerful good-will, alike our degree which must make it, now and preferences and our prejudices. It is henceforth, one of the most important too late now to apply to this evil the of the elements in our politics. The remedy which must soon be sought in tendency is to a certain sectionality, to a change of the constitutional tenure which as a fact we cannot shut our of the Presidency—too late for applicaeyes, but which, properly allowed for tion to the coming election. We must and managed, is not incompatible with deal with the case as it now stands, perfectly harmonious unity. The dis- in that spirit of concession and har. tribution of the different interests and mony, which,
command success, is, at the same or arrogantly and intolerantly avowing time, in the present state of our Party, their determination to run their candiindispensable to it. Afterward we dates before the people, with or withmust address ourselves to the duty of out the adoption of a Convention-all reforming the defect in the working of such, we say, will prove themselves, our institutions which reveals itself in by such a line of conduct, as false this result, of the conflicting attitude of friends to those whose claims they these great political interests and would thus urge, as to that great party ambitions. It is only to be done by and its great principles, to which are reducing the Presidential term to two due our first and highest loyalty and years, or- (still better)—to one. With- love. out restriction on the right of re But claims ! --who has a right to election, the practice of three or four speak of “ claims” to such an honor as years' incumbency would soon grow the Presidency of this great nation ? into a common law of usage, while at Desert loses instantly all its character the same time elastic and open to of merit, all the ground on which it occasional exception under extraordi- can ask for either gratitude or confinary circumstances. A harmonious dence, the moment it pretends to erect rotation would thus carry the suce itself into a right, and to put forward cession round the main sections of our the word or the idea of its claims. No political geography, embracing in fair man, be he the best and ablest, can do tum all the individuals naturally en more than his simple duty to his countitled to that high aspiration, within try. No man whose motive of action the limits of age-say from fifty to springs from any other source than his about sixty-five or six-within which conviction of truth and his devotion to that class must always be found. duty, is entitled to any degree of either
But for the present, we repeat, we gratitude or applause for any displays must deal with the case as we find it. of power he may have exhibited in the Everything for the Whole and nothing arena of political life, or for any pracfor any of the Parts, must be our motto. tical services he may have there renSelecting, through the agency of a dered on the one side or the other of Convention, the candidate best able to the great lines of party. Their merit unite the Democracy of the Union, consists in their spirit, which is to be toward his election all must bend every judged from every accessible evidence; energy, with the single aim of one final and no more significant proof can be blow of annihilation to the Bank and shown that, not disinterested love Tariff cause, and of adequate rebuke of country, not earnest enthusiasm of to the great political fraud and farce of conviction, has constituted the impel1840. In making this choice, from ling motive of a statesman's career, the range of safe selection open to us, but a mere selfish and successful sagawhere blindfold chance could scarcely city, pursuing the aims of a far-seeing go astray, we know no better rule than and far-reaching ambition, than to witthat that man ought certainly not to ness him-(we say, to witness him, be taken who, directly or through his because a prominent political man leading friends, should exhibit the least cannot disconnect himself from the disposition to throw discord and confu- responsibility of a course of conduct sion into the ranks of his party, at a pursued, unforbidden, by his principal time when all the reverse is so impera- partisans and friends)—than to witness tively needed. All must go into the him putting forward the good deserts Convention with the virtual pledge of and services of his public life as a basis mutual faith and loyalty, all to give a of pretended right to public reward or cordial support to the one in whose compensation. In the dispensation of favor the choice of the majority shall a President's own official patronage, be found to preponderate
. Those whenever a candidate is seen to ground friends of either who urge the claims his application, or with his personal of their peculiar preference in a spirit knowledge and consent to allow it to of arrogant exclusiveness—sowing the be grounded, on the “claims” derived seeds of ill-will and prejudice against from his political services, it ought other rivals, destined to spring up into instantly to be decisive against him and apathy, if not hostility, in the event of his pretensions. Such a Democrat dethe success of either of those others— serves little thanks for the past and
less trust for the future. The same of Federalism and a Federal Bank principle is applicable to candidateship which still haunt us, spectral though before the people for the Presidency embodied in a form of Clay, are for itself.
ever laid at the deepest bottom of the A general Convention-peace and Red Sea, no more, in our day and genegood-will before its selection of the ration, to Democratic candidate, unanimity and « Revisit the glimpses of the moon, zeal after it—and those unquiet ghosts Making night hideous!"
MONTHLY FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL ARTICLE.
We cannot notice any material change which are identical with those of the in the aspect of commercial affairs great agricultural interests of the since the date of our last. Agricul- whole country, are perishing, under tural produce has continued to move an aristocratic law passed with the steadily forward, and to sell in fair avowed object of benefiting one class amounts for specie; at prices, however, at the expense of all the rest. The so low as to leave but little surplus effect of this state of affairs upon the after paying expenses, freight, com- value of money is obvious. There missions, &c. This is a preparatory can be no increased demand for mer. step to better business. The country cantile enterprises under these circumis becoming supplied with a sound stances. The promised investments circulation, and when it shall have of capital in manufacturing, were attained a sufficiency, some improve- delusive. No one will invest in that ment will be felt in the movements of business, when the means of the best trade. The commerce of the country customers (the agriculturalisis) for is almost suffocated under the onerous manufactured goods are destroyed by impositions of the late tariff, the arbi- depriving them of their foreign market trary provisions of which tend to for their surplus, which is done by concentrate the importation of those prohibiting the means of payment from descriptions of goods which are at all returning. The comparatively small admissible under the high duties, into capital required for the export of prothe hands of the wealthy few, to duce paid for in specie, absorbs but the utter exclusion and ruin of men little of the funds of capitalists, and of small capital. Under the new limits the call upon the banks for their system, a person with limited means, “facilities.” Hence, money is very having a consignment of foreign goods abundant at low rates of interest, say to sell on commission, is obliged to four to five per cent., with every prosraise in cash the amount of the invoice pect of so continuing for some time to to secure the duties, in order to effect come. This state of the market for his entry. He is thus bound hand and the employment of money naturally foot. He cannot move in the matter, increases the investments in stocks, and the whole is turned over to those and such as are of undoubted character of large means. This is ruinous in improve in price. The following is a the extreme. The whole mercantile table of the prices of stocks in New marine and the commercial interests, York at various dates:
96 a 97
U. States, 54 1844
5 N. Y. City, 7
100 a 100%
a 87 83 a 82 75 a 77 94
a 95 94
a 95 84 a 85 84 a 85 55 a 55+ 55 a 57 59 a 60
96 & 97 97 a 98 97 a 99 98
98 a 99 99 a 100 100 a 1004 984 a 100 100
à 101 100 a 101
100 a 100£ 1031 a 104 91 a 93 89 a 90
a 92 89 a 90 963 a 98 82) a
84 81 a 83 88 a 90 90% a
91 89 a 91 92 a 933 85 a 88 82
a 83 86 a 90 80 a 82 804 a 824 85
a 86 80 a 82 80. a 81 843 a 86 78 a 80 79 a 80 85 a 86 73 a 80 70 a 80 79 a 82 75 а 80
a 72 744 a 75 745 a 76 704 a 71 72
a 72 60 a 65
a 65 774 a 781 a 76
78A 18 17 a 177 18 a 188 21 a 23 20 a 21 20 a 213 20 a 45 30
28 a 30 50 a 60 50 a 60
80 50 a
65 a 75 33 3 37 37 a 40 38 a 394 103 a 106 01
1064 a 108 110 a 1014 1004 a 1003 105
a 106 a
85 a 87 794 a 80
83 814 a 85
68 19 21 45 55
a 18 & 19 a 35
a 50 a
a 32 a
a 72 a
84 a 854
This table embraces a period of was the great fall evinced in the several changes in public opinion in figures under date of February 15th, relation to stocks as an investment1842, as compared with those of AuIn August, 1841, they stood at rates at gust, 1841. At that moment a new which they had been supported under influence was exerted in the State of the delusive promises of the party New York, and a new policy pursued. newly come to power, whose measures The amount
of the State indebtedness were by magic to restore value to was limited to a point marked out, baseless speculation, and to satisfy the beyond which borrowing was not 10 creditors of bankrupt States, corpora- extend. At the same time a tax was tions, and individuals, without re- levied for the express purpose of
pay. course to taxation.
ing the State interest under any possi, In the latter part of August, ble contingency that might arise, and the distribution law was passed. the proceeds of the tax were pledged for Its illusive nature was discovered at the discharge of a new debt authorized the moment of its perfection, and stocks 10 be borrowed at seven per cent. began to fall. They were accelerated This was the first instance of taxation in iheir decline by the discovery that to pay debts, and its beneficial influthe attempts to sustain insolvent States, ence was immediately felt not only on at the expense of a needy federal the stocks of this Siate but all others. Treasury, had destroyed the credit of Under its influence they continued to the General Government, without rise until they reached the figures effecting the object for which that embraced in the third column of prices. error was committed. This fact was At that time the Whig party were · discovered in the inability of the gov- actively electioneering for power under ernment to borrow a few millions of the banner of “repudiation.” That dollars at six per cent. interest. The word indeed was not expressed, but policy of the then prevailing party in the avowed policy was to increase the the New York Legislature, was to debt after the faith of the State had increase the State debt without much been pledged that it should not be regard to the means of discharging it. increased, and to repeal a tax pledged Tois fact, with the condition of the for the payment of money borrowed, Federal Government, and the failure before that money is repaid. The of six States on the 1st of January, avowal of this policy alarmed capiinfluenced all stocks, and the result talists, and, instead of continuing to
rise, prices actually gave way up to attracts so much attention on that side, the moment of the election, when they in relation to the binding of one genstood as recorded in the column under eration for the debts of a former one, that date.
may spread in Europe, and the opThe result of the election, as is well pressed and starving masses may revoknown, was a ruinous defeat of the lutionize and destroy the paper system repudiating party, and consequently a with its incumbent aristocracy, tyranny, complete restoration of confidence in and taxation. The apprehension of the stocks of this State, and, as ex- such an effect of the workings of the pressed in our last Number, producing public mind does more towards inducthe rise evinced in the last column. ing a spirit of compromise than anySome of the other States have been thing else. No doubt England, as a struggling in dishonor. The State of whole, would gladly forgive the debt, Pennsylvania made a vain attempt to if it could be obliterated and forgotten. sell some of its public property with As it is, there is a strong desire to the view of meeting the claims of its conciliate on the part of capitalists, creditors. She has as yet taken no while the press of England is unceasing efficient steps towards retrieving her in its libels on American institutions. dishonor. The Governor of Indiana in The cash principles of the Republic, as his late message, gives no hope that opposed to aristocratic credit, are as any means can be speedily adopted in much to be dreaded, as was the prothat State towards paying its debt. pagandism of Republican France in The State of Ohio has also made an opposition to despotic rule. In this injudicious move, forced upon her by view, some disposition to purchase her former iniquitous intercourse with American stocks, with the purpose
of her insolvent banks, from which she encouraging the issuers into some borrowed large sums of money. From method of amicable arrangement, is the Franklin, Bank and the Bank of apparent. Some few orders for the Chillicothe, she borrowed $1,031,000 low-priced stocks were received by the to be repaid in instalments at a time late steamers. dependent upon the period when the This view of affairs has been in banks should by law be forced to some degree heightened by the proresume specie payments. Of this spective state of the trade between the sum, $200,000 fell due on the first of two countries. England buys of the December, and was discharged by a United States annually $30,000,000 of sale of the six per centstocks of the cotton, and $5,000,000 of tobaccoState at sixty-nine per cent. That articles which she must have, and State, however, expects to complete which under the new tariff can scarcely during the present season the Miami be paid for in aught else but specie, Extension Canal, which will unite with, which cannot be done without sapping and give an outlet to, the Indiana the foundation of her whole paper Canal, and it is hoped will yield system. This operation has practically revenue sufficient to make up the de- commenced, the last few steamers ficiency in the means of the State. having brought near $1,000,000; and
Under all these circumstances, laking large sums are now on the way with into consideration the probable con- every prospect of a continuance of the tinued plenteousness of money, it is demand. As the specie arrives, it fair to conclude, that good stocks will continues to move south and west. retain their present buoyancy, more The largest amounts seek Mobile and particularly as the accounts from the New Orleans. At the latter city other side by late arrivals give indica- several of the banks have returned to tions of a considerable change in feel- specie payments, fulfilling the anticiing on the part of the large capitalists pations to that effect in our last Num. and land owners in regard to American ber; others have gone into liquidation. stocks, produced in some degree by The following are the institutions now the position of the State of New York; in operation in that city, with their and also by the fear that the example capitals and leading features at the and doctrine so freely discussed on latest dates: this side of the Atlantic, and which