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SPEECH, On Remitting the fine on General Jackson-Delivered in the

House of Representatives, in Committee of the Whole, January 8, 1844.

Mr. Pratt, of New York, introduced the following Resolution :

Whereas the Legislatures of eighteen States of this Union, containing, at the last census, about fifteen millions out of the seventeen millions of the inhabitants of the United States, have instructed their Senators and requested their Representatives to refund the fine imposed on General Andrew Jackson by Judge Hall: And whereas strong expressions of public opinion have been made in favor of the same measure, in the remaining States of the Union : Therefore,

Resolved, That at four o'clock, this day, all debate in Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, on House bill No. 1, to refund the fine imposed on General Jackson shall cease, and the committee shall proceed to vote upon such amendments as may be pending, or as may be offered to said bill, and then report the same to the House, with such amendments as have been agreed to by the Committee.

Which said resolution was adopted ; and thereupon the House resolved itself into a Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, and proceeded with the consideration of said bill.

Mr. AARON V. BROWN obtaining the floor, said: That it had not been his intention to say one word in favor of the passage of this bill. So far as he was concerned, he had intended to let its fate depend on the known wishes of the American People, and the express instructions of seventeen or eighteen of the sovereign States of this Union; but chiefly on the resolutions of the Legislature of Louisiana, declaring, that if this fine was not refunded by Congress at the present session, the Legislature of that State would feel bound to refund it themselves-a noble resolution, reflecting everlasting honor on those who adopted it. But this bill had been opposed by arguments so extraordinary, that he now felt it to be his duty, as one of the Representatives of Tennessee, to make reply to them.

The gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. Grider] had asserted, that if this bill were passed, General Jackson would never touch a dollar of the money. Is the gentleman sure of that? Why not, then, vote for this bill, and let it stand out as a bright and shining example of a nation's gratitude and justice? It would be cheap enough, I am sure, said Mr. B. to meet that gentleman's views of national economy. In one point of view, that gentleman was right. General Jackson would never receive this money as a mendicant at your door. He will never touch it if he must come here, according to the allusion once made on this floor by the gentleman from Massachusetts, [Mr. Adams] like the old Roman General, begging from door to door, holding out his wooden trencher, and crying “ Date obolum Belis- . ario." No, no. It is the amendment offered by his enemies that would bring the greatest General of our age, as Belisarius was of his, to this degrading attitude. This bill but returns to General Jackson his own money, extorted from him by a cruel and unjust Judge, for a noble and praiseworthy action. In this light General Jackson will receive it. He will receive it with pride and gratification. He will look upon it as the last act of his countrymen, paying homage to justice, and bearing testimony, for posterity, to the purity and patriotism of his motives.

The same gentleman (Mr. GRIDER] contended that the glory of New Orleans would by tarnished by the passage of this bill; that it was a common glory, in which he and his constituents participated, and therefore he was opposed to passing the bill. Surely that gentleman, nor his constituents, would wish to take the glory, and keep the money too! Ought he not rather to have concluded, that if the infamy of fining General Jackson one thousand dollars for achieving so much glory, should be considered by posterity as a common infamy, he and his constituents, if they refuse to refund, might be considered as participating in it? He was pleased further to remind us that we had assembled here for the purpose of general legislation, such

as our constituents and the country now stood in need of. Why, said he, should we bring up this antiquated and almost forgotten subject—the fine of General Jackson, imposed almost thirty years ago? Surely the gentleman and his party do not mean to plead the statute of limitation? To plead it in the face of fourteen millions of the people of this country, who have commanded this thing to be done? to plead it, too, against a great act of national justice and honor like this? Never, never, if you are really in earnest in claiming any share in the glory of that great man's achievements.

Mr. Chairman, (said Mr. B.,) I now wish to advert to some of the extraordinary arguments of one of my colleagues, [Mr. Peyton,] the honored Representative of the illustrious patriot who is the subject of this debate. What, sir, did he tell us? Why, that he should vote for this bill, but that it was the greatest humbug of the age. And will the gentleman really vote for a humbug? First put down the solemn declaration on the permanent records of the nation, to go down the stream of time to all future generations, that it is all a humbug, and yet that he is willing to vote for it! But how did he make it out a mere humbug? He said many fanciful things about the ivy twining around some sturdy pillar for support; and the misletoe drawing its nutriment from some majestic hickory; and, finally, more than insinuated, that the whole purpose of this bill was to advance the political fortunes of Martin Van Buren. How, then, can he vote for it? How can he vote for any bill brought forward for the purpose of advancing the fortunes “of a mere parasite," whom he despises and abhors? No, my colleague does injustice to the friends of this bill, and to the people of this country. Their purposes are open, direct, and avowed, to do justice to the man who exposed his life and his all in defence of his country, and was then fined one thousand dollars for it. They ask for the passage of this bill the unanimous vote of Congress of all men, and of all parties; and it never would have been, never could have been a party measure, but for one of the parties of this country having met it with such fixed and never-dying opposition. That has made it, and may continue to make it, a party measure; but let not that be charged to the friends of this bill. He complained that the fame of General Jackson was not likely to be best preserved by those who had taken it in keeping. Would he have us to put it in the keeping of the enemies of this bill? Of the gentleman from Georgia, who had proposed to amend it by eulogizing Judge Hall? Of the gentleman from New York, or of Massachusetts, or even my colleague himself, after the speech he has made? God forbid that the good name and fame of General Jackson should be entrusted to such guardians as these. But my colleague says, that as those who set themselves up to be the especial friends of General Jackson on this occasion desire it, he will vote for it, although, in his opinion, it will strike down the noblest monument of his fame. Can it be possible that the gentleman would really do that? Would he remove even the smallest pebble that lies at the base of that noble monument? Let him but convince the gentleman from New York [Mr. BARNARD) and the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. ADAMS] that such will be the effect of passing this bill, and they will instantly turn to its support, and become co-workers with my colleague in striking down that monument which, until now, I had fondly hoped was dear and sacred to every American bosom.

Mr. Chairman, there is something strange and contradictory in the position of both my colleagues, [Messrs. Peyton and Dickinson,] in reference to this bill. They have both made speeches against, and yet declare that they mean finally to vote for it. Their speeches are one way, their votes are to be another. How is this anomaly to be accounted for? Sir, in making their speeches they have consulted their heads, but in casting their votes they have consulted their hearts—all the pulsations of which tell them to give back this ill-gotten money I think, too, it may be accounted for on another principle. In the State of Tennessee, whatever divisions of opinion may exist on the great political questions of the day, there is everywhere and amongst all classes, but one fixed, steady and immovable sentiment of gratitude and devotion to the man“ who has filled the measure of his country's honor.” These gentlemen cannot, will not, I had almost said dare not, however insensible to fear, do violence to this universal sentiment.

Mr. Chairman, I desire now to reply to the extraordinary speech of the gentleman from New York, [Mr. BARNARD.] Extraordinary for its general bad temper. Why so hot and fiery on this occasion, and yet so cold, and even stoical, on all others? I fear the gentleman has grown jealous of the venerble gentleman who sits near him, [Mr. Adams] and is determined hereafter to outrival even him in turbulence and violence. Why, too, was the gentleman so nearly presumptuous, if not arrogant, in the language which he was pleased to employ on this occasion? Addressing himself to the known majority on this floor, some of them of his own party, he proclaimed we should not pass this bill ignorantly, or in our ignorance, or some such courteous language as that. Sir, have seventeen or eighteen States of this Union instructed this bill to be passed in ignorance? Are the people of this country, nine-tenths of whom are in favor of it, are they too, in ignorance? Is that overwhelming majority of this House, which the gentleman himself said he knew could and would pass the bill, were they about to do it in ignorance? I submit it to him whether there is not danger that those who do not know him personally-his great modesty--may be ungenerous enough to consider such language as presumptuous and even arrogant.

But whilst adverting to the gentleman's manner and language, let me give you another specimen of that high courtesy in debate, which distinguishes an American statesman. Addressing himself again to the known majority here, some of them his own party friends, he was pleased to say, “You cannot lick this bill into any shape that will make it acceptable to the other branch of Congress.” How chaste and elegant, and even classical, is such language! “ You cannot lick this bill into any shape!” But I pass from all this, to the matter and substance of that gentleman's speech.

With great earnestness, he demanded to know why this fine was not remitted during the administration of General Jackson or of Mr. Van Buren. Let me answer him by putting to him another question: Would he and his party have voted for it at any time? Would the old Federal party have ever voted for it? Would those who refused to cross a State line, to meet and give battle to the enemy; would those who, at midnight on the high cliffs of the ocean, hung out blue lights to guide the

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