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discovery that Tennessee was to be transferred to that opposition, whoever might be its commander-in-chief, that sacrificed so many of his friends in the last election. It was this that made them drop one by one by his side, reducing to a bare majority of one, that proud and faithful band of friends that used to surround him on this floor. The gentleman portrayed these losses in most touching and eloquent lamentation, but seemed wholly at a loss how to account for them.
Mr. Speaker, I have not done with the associations of my colleague yet, nor with his charge against the Democracy of Tennessee, for having excommunicated him on account of these associations. It is the theme of reiterated complaint that, during the last summer, he was denounced throughout the State as a Federalist, and that he was doomed to see his friends falling in all directions around him under the same charge. While I do not become his accuser in this particular, I am sorry to say that I have witnessed nothing in his associations, during the present session, at all calculated to relieve him from such a charge. What were those associations in the election of Speaker? I saw him of Massachusetts (Mr. ADAMS,) I saw another (Mr. SALTONSTALL,) whose connexion with the Hartford convention is now notorious; and yet another (Mr. REED,) an avowed Federalist, I believe, during the war and ever since; all supporting the gentleman for that important office. So also, I believe, did every other Federalist on this floor. They all came flocking to his standard. These were ugly associations for Republican Tennessee to witness. Mark, sir, I do not say that all who voted for him were Federalists; far from it; but I do mean to say that as far as I have learned the politics of gentlemen here, every Federalist on this floor voted for him. There never was such a party in this or perhaps any other country like the Federal party. Though often subdued and conquered, it never disbands. In the darkest hour of its peril, existing in secret and mysterious organization, it will suddenly reappear, and, uniting itself to one of two nearly balanced oompetitors, decide the victory in his favor, claiming the future control of his actions as the reward of its services. Insatiate in its demands for power, when rendered odious by its usurpations, it often assumes some sacred form or some conse
crated name, and by the very impudence of the assumption, again recommends itself to public favor. I feel sorry that my colleague should have been ever charged with having united himself with any such party; but I must regard it as ominous that, at the moment of his withdrawal from the Democratic ranks, he should have found so many of that party ready to receive him with open arms, and to help him onward to one of the highest offices of the Republic. I trust that I make this allusion to my colleague's having been run as the Whig candidate for Speaker, and to his having been supported by the Federal portion of that party, without personal indelicacy; I advert to it only as a part of the history of parties in this House. The office of Speaker is worthy the ambition of any man, and I do not call in question his qualifications to discharge its duties. But I will not dwell further on this point; I come to another that has opened a gulf between him and the Democracy of Tennessee, deep and wide as ever separated Dives from Lazarus. I mean the gentleman's course in relation to Abolition petitions. Sir, not only have the people of Tennessee, but of the South generally, looked upon that course with infinite pain and mortification. It was a course new and unexpected to them; a course not sanctioned by any thing in his former conduct, and only to be accounted for by his anxiety to place himself in a proper attitude or condition to support the Harrisburg nomination. I do not make the point now that the nominee of that convention is an Abolitionist, but it is notorious and undeniable that his nomination over Mr. Clay was effected by abolition influence. The exulting and fanatic shout was instantly raised that another President shall never come from a slaveholding State.” I allude to this nomination in order that I may account for the unexpected position now taken by my honorable colleague in favor of receiving, referring, and reporting on these petitions.
( After Mr. Brown had gone into an examination of the former course of Mr. BELL on this subject (not here inserted,) he was called to order by Mr. COOPER and Mr. Banks. The Speaker decided that Mr. Brown was giving the debate too wide a range to be relevant to the bill under discussion.)
Mr. Brown said he would conform with pleasure to the sug
gestion of the Speaker, and conclude what he had to say by desiring the House not to give this bill the go-by, but now that it had been fully discussed and examined, to pronounce a solemn and deliberate judgment either for or against it.
The vote was then taken,
YEAS–Messrs. Judson Allen, Hugh J. Anderson, Atherton, Banks, Beatty, Beirne, Blackwell, Briggs, Aaron V. Brown, Albert G. Brown, Burke, William 0. Butler, John Campbell, Carr, Carroll, Casey, Chapman, Clifford, Coles, Conner, Mark A. Cooper, William R. Cooper, Craig, Cushing, Dana, John Davis, John W. Davis, Doan, Doig, Dromgoole, Duncan, Earl, Eastman, Ely, Fine, Floyd, James Garland, Gerry, Goggin, Hammond, Hand, John Hastings, Hawkins, Hillen, Holleman, Hook, Hopkins, Howard, Thomas B. Jackson, Jameson, Cave Johnson, Nathaniel Jones, Keim, Kemble, Kille, Leadbetter, Leonard, Lewis, Lucas, McClellan, McKay, Mallory, Marchand, Medill, Miller, Montanya, Montgomery, Samuel W. Morris, Newhard, Parrish, Parmenter, Parris, Paynter, Petrikin, Pope, Prentiss, Ramsey, Reynolds, Rives, Robinson, Edward Rogers, Ryall, Samuels, Shaw, Shepard, John Smith, Thomas Smith, Starkweather, Steenrod, Strong, Stuart, Sumter, Swearingen, Taylor, Francis Thomas, Jacob Thompson, Turney, Underwood, Vroom, David D. Wagener, Warren, Watterson, Weller, Wick, Jared W. Williams, Henry Williams, Joseph L. Williams, and Worthing. ton-108.
NAYS—Messrs. Andrews, Barnard, Bell, Bond, Brockway, Anson Brown, Calhoun, William B. Campbell, Chinn, James Cooper, Cranston, Davies, Garret Davis, Deberry, Dellet, Edwards, Evans, Everett, Fillmore, Gentry, Giddings, Patrick G. Goode, Hiland Hall, Hawes, Henry, Hoffman, Hiram P. Hunt, Kempshall, Lincoln, Morgan, Calvary Morris, Osborne, Palen, Randall, Randolph, Rariden, Ridgway, Russell, Saltonstall, Sergeant, Simonton, Slade, Truman Smith, Stanly, Taliaferro, Toland, Triplett, Peter J. Wagner, John White, Thomas W. Williams, Lewis Williams, Christopher H. Williams, and Wise-53.
SPEECH, On the bill to charter the “ Fiscal Bank of the United States."
Delivered in the House of Representatives, August 4, 1841.
Mr. CHAIRMAN: I engage in the discussion of this bill with the most profound and unaffected reluctance; a reluctance greatly increased by that inexorable argument, which no refutation can silence—that discussion is useless; the people having decreed, in the recent election, that a national bank shall be established. No man bows with a more cheerful submission than I do to the clear and decided mandates of the popular will on all subjects of constitutional legislation. But, on the present occasion, I must be allowed most respectfully to question the fact that the people of this country ever have pronounced such a decree in favor of a bank. When or where was such a decree pronounced? On what record of party proceedings is it to be found? Can you find it in the proceedings of the Harrisburg convention, where, of all other places, it should have been found? No, sir, it is not there. Not one word was said by that assembly, showing that either of its nominees was in favor of a United States Bank. Will you search for it in Virginia, every page of whose history will furnish some illustrious name to chide you for the foul insinuation that she had been faithless to the principles of her Jeffersons, her Taylors, her Roanes, and her Pendletons ? No, sir; do not go to Virginia, the land of my birth and the home of my youth, for what the most errant of all her sons (Mr. Rives) has never ventured to assert.
Can you find this decree in favor of a bank in North Carolina, whose vote for the late President was so overwhelming as to astonish even those who gave it? No, sir; for one of aer own citizens, now rewarded for his real or supposed influence in bringing about this result, by a seat in the Cabinet, standing in the presence of hundreds and thousands of the people of that State, pronounced the charge that General Harrison was in favor of a national bank to be false—utterly false. In Georgia, so great was the variety of opinions as to what were the sentiments of General Harrison on the subject, that it would be the very height of disingenuousness to attribute his vote in that State to any known preference in favor of such an institution. In Alabama, the great whig convention of that State, in a very able appeal to their constituents, not only averred the fact, but collated the proofs, to show General Harrison's opposition to a national bank on every ground whatsoever. That the bank question was more or less involved in that election everywhere, I do not mean here to deny ; but that it was blended with others, of local and exciting influences, is equally manifest. Who in this hall would be bold enough to aver that in the Keystone or the Empire State the election turned exclusively on the question of bank or no bank? It is notorious that the other questions mingled in the canvass, and that anti-masonry and abolition contributed in no small degree in producing the results in those States. So it was in Ohio and Indiana, where the bank question may be regarded as the least distinctive and controlling one in the canvass.
Yet, sir, in the face of these well known facts, we have been silenced by the previous question-restricted to a single hour in debate—all the ancient forms and rules of those who have preceded us have been broken down; and this measure, with others, literally forced upon us, in rapid succession and indecent haste; all under the plea that discussion is useless—that the season for debate and argument has gone by; and all that remains is but to register the solemn decrees of the people in favor of such an institution !
Mr. Chairman, there is one thing which that inexorable majority, by which all these things have been said and done, has never yet pretended to deny. It is well known that the Ameri