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really intended for different objects. The first should be regarded, most probably, as intended for corporations for cutting canals or other improvements, where several States were interested, and other similar purposes. The second, as intended expressly for conferring banking powers ; that being the almost universal mode of creating banks in those days as well as now.
If the second proposition did not look exclusively to banks, it certainly included them, as did also the first proposition.
On Wednesday, September 12th, the Committee of Revision report a revised draught of the Constitution, from the various, irregular, and detached decisions which had been made, in which they do not propose to confer on Congress the right of creating corporations in either of the ways proposed in the above series.
On the 13th (the next day after the report) it was moved and seconded “ That the House proceed to the comparing of the report from the Committee of Revision, with the articles which had been agreed to by the House, and to them referred for arrangement ;” and the same was read by paragraphs, compared, and in some places, corrected and amended. This was to be carefully done, in order to see if they had arranged it correctly, according to the decisions of the House. The report does not embrace corporations, in either of the forms mentioned; hence, it is fair to conclude they had been rejected by the House, and therefore rejected by the comInittee in their compilation. On the 14th of September, whilst this process was going on, they reached the eighth section of the first article. No one complained that anything had been omitted by the Committee of Revision; that they had left out improperly “the right to create corporations,” in either of the forms above mentioned. But a new proposition, to grant letters of incorporation for canals, &c., was presented, and voted down by the convention : Yeas, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Georgia—3; Nays, the other eight States. This was either a new proposition to procure the power, or it is a summary mode of identifying the old ones which were rejected by the above vote.
Mr. B., in his comparison of the relative expensiveness of the Independent Treasury and the Fiscal Bank, has placed the annual expenses of the former entirely too nigh. One-half of the amount stated would have been much nearer the mark.
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 of. fered 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 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 Belisario." 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
ten 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 comhe 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