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and Mr. Adams. It does not pretend to speak or allude to any previous consultation or approbation of the Treaty by General Jackson. On the contrary, it entirely negatives, such an idea. Would Mr. Monroe have gone into all the details appertaining thereto, in order to explain the circumstances which governed his action on the Treaty, if General Jackson had been previously consulted and apprised of all the circumstances, as asserted by Mr. Adams ? Such an idea is preposterous, and he may refer in vain to his diary to sustain him in his present position before the country on this subject. Mr. Monroe's letter was dated long after the Treaty. Spain had failed to ratify it, and the subject was lying over for the future and farther action of the Spanish Cortes. In the mean time, many persons, (Mr. Clay and others,) were insisting on our taking armed possession of Florida and Texas, without farther waiting on the action of Spain. Under these circumstances, Mr. Monroe says to General Jackson, ( among may other things,) that he had been decidedly of opinion that we ought to be content with Florida for the present, and until public opinion in that quarter, (the North,) shall be reconciled to any farther change. Why did Mr. Monroe so express himself to General Jackson, if he had been consulted by Mr. Adams before the adoption of the treaty ? Every thing in connection with this subject, taken together, is entirely against Mr. Adams and his diary. Mr. Monroe also alleged to General Jackson, as another reason, why we ought to be satisfied, of the then raging of the Missouri question, and other difficulties by which he was surrounded, to justify his action and conclusions. Now, General Jackson in reply to such a letter says: “ The view you have taken of the conduct of our Government relative to SOUTH AMERICA, (not Spain,) in my opinion has been both just and proper, and will be approved by nine-tenths of the nation. It is true, it has been attempted to be wielded by certain demagogues to the injury of the Administration, but, like all other base attempts, has recoiled on its author, and I am clearly of opinion, that for the present we ought to be content with the Floridas.” Does this, in the least, sustain Mr. Adams ? Certainly not, because Mr. Monroe was particular in enumerating the difficulties by which he was surrounded to secure General Jackson's approba. tion, which would, if it had been previously secured by Mr. Adams before the treaty was ratified, have been an act of supererogation on the part of Mr. Monroe. The inference to be drawn from this correspondence is, that General Jackson did not know any thing of the particulars of the treaty as stated by Mr. Adams, and that Mr. Monroe's object was to secure his support, by pointing out the difficulties by which he was surrounded, to the treaty which had been negotiated by Mr. Adams and de Onis. Here, then, is the long threatened disclosure that was to settle the issue between General Jackson and Mr. Adams! This, too, is that new work of fiction, (not Horseshoe Robinson,) promised by Mr. John P. Kennedy, in his speech on the Annexation of Texas. If this is all they have to bolster up their tottering reputations and their anti-American feelings, General Jackson need say no more—his friends may rest in ease, and Mr. Adams may continue to gnaw the file of his malignity to the last.
SPEECH, In Committee of the Whole, on the proposition directing the Judi
ciary Committee to report a bill abolishing the Circuit, Chancery, and Supreme Courts.
Before commencing his argument, Mr. Brown introduced the following resolutions, as containing his views of the alterations which it was expedient and proper to make in the present ju. diciary system, which he moved should be adopted in lieu of those heretofore under discussion.
“Resolved, That it is expedient to make the following alterations in the judiciary system of this State, and that the committee on that subject prepare and report a bill accordingly.
1st. That a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court should be elected, who, with the three associate judges thereof, should hold said court at three places only, to wit: at Knoxville, Nashville and Jackson.
2nd. That the Chancery Court should be abolished, and the causes therein should be trausferred to the Circuit Courts of their appropriate counties.
3rd. That the Circuit Judges should hold three terms of their courts annually, with their present jurisdiction, and such other as is hereinafter transferred to them.
4th. That all jury causes should be transferred from the county to the circuit courts, except actions of debt and assumpsit, founded on bonds, bilis, promissory notes and liquidated accounts signed by the party to be charged therewith. Such actions to be commenced as at present, but to be tried by the justices holding the county court, without a jury and without any declaration or other pleadings in writing. Judgment to be rendered the first term with reascnable stay of execution, unless good cause for continuance be shewn by affidavit. Either party dissatisfied and desiring a jury trial, to be entitled to an appeal to the circuit court."
The Clerk having read said resolutions at the table, Mr. Brown proceeded as follows:
MR. CHAIRMAN: You will perceive that the three first propositions which I have just submitted, differ from those heretofore under discussion, only in this, that they do not contemplate a removal of the present judges from office. The system -the plan—the frame-work of the courts, is substantially the same, the removal of the present incumbents constituting the only material difference between the respective propositions. This being the case, I shall proceed to the discussion of the subject, I trust, with the same good temper and courtesy, which have heretofore distinguished this debate. The gentlemen from Smith and from Rutherford, who opened this discussion, have set us an example, in this respect, worthy of our imitation. They met in the tournament, shivered their lances and retired, with a gallantry which would have done honor to the most experienced champions in the proudest days of chivalry. Other gentlemen have followed on both sides, doing great justice to the subject and reflecting on themselves and their constituents the very highest credit. But what are to be the results—the practical effects of all this debating? Is it likely to terminate in a mere war of words—in a mere personal struggle for rhetorical ascendency? I do most sincerely de-, sire that it may: but from the moment of its commencement I have had the most serious forebodings on my mind. Have you not observed what profound attention has been paid to this debate—what deep and breathless anxiety pervades all who have witnessed this discussion? Gentlemen need not imagine that it is a mere compliment to their powers in debate. No, sir, your fellow-citizens have learned that the independence of the judiciary, that main pillar in our political fabric, is about to be pulled down, and they cannot be insensible to the disastrous consequences. Nor will the effects of this discussion be confined within these walls; for we are kindling a spark in this debate, which will hereafter spread, and brighten, and burn, through every county in the State. The gentlemen know they can extinguish it now—that they can extinguish it in a moment, if they choose to do so. If, however, they will not, let them remember how we warned them-how we even implored them not to break up the deep foundations of social order, nor visit on Tennessee the distracting scenes of Kentucky.
Let us examine what necessity there is, granting that they have constitutionally the power—what necessity there is for raising and pressing, with so much zeal, this delicate and perplexing question. The gentleman from White has been pleased to represent, in fervid language, the sufferings of the people for want of the proposed alterations. He, I think it was, that represented the country “as bleeding at every pore.” The gentleman from Davidson, though he did not deal in such bloody metaphor, dipped his pencil in the most gloomy colors, and presented us a picture of justice "old, and blind, and maimed.” Now, sir, I propose to throw away all. metaphor-that being too much the language of poetry and romance--and to institute a plain matter of fact enquiry, whether there exists any adequate necessity for turning all our judges out of office. I begin with those of the Circuit Courts, and of East Ten
I ask of the gentlemen on the other side of the mountain, what fault do they find of Powell. What has he done to justify the legislature of his country in rudely dismissing him from office? On this side we have often heard that he deserved higher advancement in the judiciary, and possessed eminent claims to the political honors of the State.
I will next inquire as to judge Scott. What terrible explosion has taken place in his circuit—what popular rage is dragging him from the bench where he has so long, and, as I thought, so usefully presided?
The next in order is judge Keith. With him. I have never had the pleasure of an acquaintance: but for ten years of public life, I have associated with members of the Legislature and other persons from his judicial circuit, and I know of no public officer, who, from information, occupies a more enviable station in the esteem and confidence and gratitude of his country.
Now, sir, having gotten through with the East Tennessee judges, I demand to know of their representatives on this floor, what well-founded complaints can be exhibited against them? If they tell me none, then I enquire of them how they can reconcile it to reason or justice, to their consciences, to disgrace those judges by wantonly turning them out of office. It will be no sufficient apology to them or to the country to say we intend to remove that disgrace by restoring them to office.