« AnteriorContinuar »
From the hour when the gentleman (Mr. BELL,) about five miles south of Nashville, at a dinner occasion, admitted that he was in favor of Mr. Clay, the people of Tennessee began to take the alarm. Many of them, like my honorable colleague from the Bedford district, began to suspect that they had been betrayed; betrayed by men, too, in whose political and personal fidelity they would have intrusted their lives. My colleague (Mr. WATTERSON) first came into public life when he was scarcely eligible to its honors, and when the excitement in our State in favor of Judge White was at its highest pitch. Young, ardent, and confiding, he never permitted himself to distrust the assurances given by the friends of Judge White, that he and Mr. Van Buren were of the same political party; and that all that was stable in principle, or honorable and consistent in character, must be lost, before either could join the opposition. Under these assurances he united himself to the White party, and it was not until he saw the flag of Mr. Clay “floating aloft in the breeze," and borne lustily by those very men on whose assurances he had relied, that he abandoned that party, and returned to his position in the Jackson ranks. Under the explanation which he has just given, the rebuke of my colleague (Mr. GENTRY) fell harmless at his feet.
The same explanation belongs to hundreds and thousands of others in Tennessee, who, like him, refused to leave the Jackson party, and to go over to the arms of the opposition; an opposition then headed by John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay; I say then, not now. These great leaders of the opposition no longer bear about them the insignia of command. They have fallen back as mere subalterns in the ranks of Federalism, giving up the command to what they know to be feebler, but hope may prove more available hands. This, I believe, is conformable to what was at one period the Roman practice; not to select their ablest generals to command their armies, but rather to choose those who had proved themselves most fortunate. But, sir, it is not my purpose to complain of this strange selection of a commander-in-chief for the opposition; but to inform my honorable colleague that it was the
It was this inat
so many or nis irienas in the last election. 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 competitors, 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 consecolleague 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 sugit 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 O. 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 Worthington-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 silencethat 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;