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well realized this magnificent image, let him set it to work to make avalanches, which can be done on these "heights of power" by merely rolling snowballs about among the eternal snows with which Byron informs us that the "monarch of mountains" has been crowned as with a diadem. Let him then make it tilt them over the verge of the awful height, and roll them down one after another, crashing, dashing, smashing, and finally splashing in the "pure lake" aforesaid, which we hope he has still borne in mind. Let him then fancy "Liberty" rising out of the bosom of the waters,

"As Venus, when she rose, Effulgent, on her pearly car, and smiled,

Fresh from the deep, and conscious of her form,”

not quite killed, but only stunned, by this pitiless pelting of avalanches; and though unable to speak the indignant grief with which her bosom is laboring, or to cry out either help or murder, yet looking unutterable things to the House of Representatives; when lo! she is interrupted by the entrance of "the Man of the Globe," who reads a solemn tirade from his columns about her wasted and misspent time, and has the additional cruelty to raise a clamor to prevent her being heard at all. Let the reader plume the wings of his imagination, and lash himself up to a fine phrenzy, by the contemplation of such stupendous imagery as this, and then he may venture to follow at a humble and admiring distance in the wake of Mr. Menefee's career of eloquence. We cannot doubt that he will then be quite prepared to yield up all his common sense to the witching fascination of such overpowering rhetoric, to abandon the Administration, with all its Democracy, State-Rights, Divorce of Bank and State, &c. &c., in despair and disgust, to its merited fate, and conclude with the same eloquent young gentleman, that—

"It might as well at once, with arms crossed, and hearts resigned, come up to that bar, where the American people would pass upon its deeds, and award their due recompense. That People would embody the iniquities of ten long years, and, placing them on the head of the victims, would stretch the sacrificial knife, and calling on Heaven, would make one great expiatory offering to the God of Laberty!"

The monster, from this passage, must certainly be allowed the merit of grea meekness and condescension to submit thus quietly to a fate so horrid. This com bination of judicial and sacrificial cruelty-with such examplary piety, that like Giacomo in Fra Diavolo, it must say its prayers before it plunges its knife into the throat of its willing victim-is certainly a new feature in the character of the "American People." We are afraid the examples of the Canadian executive have been too contagious. "The God of Liberty," however, after being frightened into a change of sex by the concussion of the avalanches, certainly deserved the atonement of such a sacrifice.

After this combination of horrors, a change of imagery will be grateful, and the reader accordingly will be much refreshed by accompanying Mr. Prentiss of Mississippi, from the dizzy Alpine heights of Mr. Menefee to the great depths of Mill Pond or York Bay. We again reeur to the newspaper report:

"Mr. Prentiss said he was as well pleased as the gentleman who had just taken his sea at witnessing the sensation in certain parts of this House at every fresh haul of truth from the great deep of this Administraton's secrets. The great oyster-bed had not been dis turbed for years, now, and he did not doubt that another grab would bring above water larger and fatter oysters than any which had yet been opened! Yes, there were other fine fish below, which had not yet been hooked up or speared. He was for trying all ways to get at them; lines, nets, spears, harpoons; any means and all means he was for trying, so that by some means the fish might be made to appear above water."

We opine that it would be essential to the success of this experiment that the ocean do not chance to be at the moment in the state of "boiling like a pot,” under the keels and paddles of our American steamboats.

Which of these varieties of eloquence the reader will prefer, must be left to individual taste. We cannot presume to be the arbiters of such a rivalry of rhetoric,

but content ourselves with thus awarding to both our magnanimous tribute of admiration, without any invidious discrimination of preference, presenting each, with equal honors, to our readers in both hemispheres, and to posterity, as choicest models of the highest order of the Whig eloquence of the present day in the House of Representatives


It is generally known to the votaries of this noble game in this country-if no higher name will be permitted by those unacquainted with its merits, and judging it only by its apparent results-that a public Match by correspondence has for some time been in progress between the rival Chess clubs of New York and Washington, the commercial and political capitals of the Union. As we have been several times requested to make its progress known to those of our readers interested in the subject, it may find a not inappropriate place on this page. The match was commmenced in January, 1838-the challenge proceeding from New York. Two games are played simultaneously, each party having the first move in one game. The stake is a small amount, to be appropriated to the purchase of some suitable trophy of victory. The time allowed for each move is one week. One of the games was at one period interrupted for a few moves, by a claim by the New York club to a default, presumed to have been incurred by the other party by a failure to move within the allotted term. The claim was disputed, and is still in suspense, the game having been resumed and continned as a "( back game," in case of the claim being eventually sustained. Of the merits of the respective play, and the probable issue of the match, every reader may judge for himself:

Arcades ambo,
Et cantare pares, et respondere parati.


(Begun by the New York Club.)


1. King's Pawn 2 sq.
2. K B to QB 4th.

3. Q BP one.
4. K Kt. to K B 3d.
5. Q P one.
6. Q to K 2d.

7. K B to Q Kt. 3d.
8. Q B to K Kt. 5th.
9. QB to KR 4th.
10. P retakes B.
11. Q Kt. to Q 2d.
12. B to K Kt. 3d.
13. K B P retakes Kt.
14. K Kt. to KR 4th.
15. QRP (doub.) one.
16. Q to K B 3d.
17. K R to K B.
18. KBP (doub.) one.
19. K RP one.

20. K Kt. P one.
21. K to Q.
22. K to QB 2d.
23. Q Kt. to Q Kt. 3d.
24. Q Kt. to QB 5th.
25. Q Kt. P one.


The same.

The same.

Q to K 2d.

Q P one.

K Kt. to K B 3d.

Q B to K 3d.
Q Kt. to Q 2d.
KR P one.

B takes B.

Q to K 3d.
K Kt. to KR 4th.
Kt. takes B.
QRP one.
K Kt. P one.
B to Q R 2d
QBP one.
Castles with K R.
Q P one.
Q to K 2d.
QR to Q.
Kt. to Q Kt. 3d.
Q R to Q 2d.
KR to Q.
QR to Q 3d.
QP takes K P.

[blocks in formation]


[In a former Article (Dem. Rev. Vol. 1, No. 2. Art. 1.) the subject was discussed at some length, of the enormous extension which had taken place, within the preceding twenty-five or thirty years, of the authority and action of the federal judiciary, in its assumed paramount supremacy over the sovereign legislation of States. The subject was then, however, but sketched out in general terms, a promise being given to develope it more thoroughly on another occasion. The individual authorship of that Paper was generally understood at the time, especially among the profession particularly interested in its subject. In fact, to the eye of every reader acquainted with the author, the screen of the anonymous afforded no concealment to the name distinctly written upon the Article itself, from beginning to end. Of the impression made by it upon the public mind, it is not for us to speak. The further developement of the subject, with which it was to be succeeded, was drawn forth so fully in a speech shortly afterwards made by the same gentleman in the recent Pennsylvania Convention for amending the Constitution of that State, that we have thought it best to publish it in the manner here adopted. For although there may appear, in the course of it, some portions less immediately pertinent to the subject, than would be strictly appropriate to a Review Article, the whole will be found at the same time so combined and fused together that discrimination would be difficult, if not impossible; while we regard it as so valuable, for research, learning, argument, and illustration, directed and animated by a pervading influence of sound Democratic doctrine, that we cannot consent that our readers, interested in the views of the former Article referred to, should lose the benefit of this its appropriate sequel,--the speech never having been reported or published in any other form.

We desire not to be misunderstood-exemption from misrepresentation would be too much to expect-with respect to the objects in view in its publication in the present mode, and to the various ideas and expressions that may be contained in an Article appearing thus under the responsibility of an individual name, and of course without editorial revision It is not aimed as an attack upon any institution or institutions, in one State of the Confederacy or in another. We disclaim in advance all imputations of any intention to assail any incorporation or any system of incorporations; any desire to invoke the repeal of any existing charter, whether of city, bank, college, canal, road, bridge, or of any character whatVOL. V. NO. XIII.—JANUARY, 1839


ever. Erroneous and pernicious as we deem that whole system of legislation, such a course is neither called for by public opinion, nor would it be either the easiest or the best mode of arresting its future injurious action, and of remedying the present evils that have resulted from it. The only true and wise mode of rectifying these is, according to our views, by destroying-not existing institutions, of what nature soever-but the monopoly feature of their specially privileged character. The simple and direct means of attaining this object is by general free incorporation laws, which would extend and improve such benefits as may now proceed from them, and soon annihilate or neutralize their many and serious evils. The indication of this idea, as the one radical principle of reform needed, in our judgment, by the disorders of the times, will suffice, with every liberal and candid mind, to repel all such imputations as are here explicitly disclaimed, of hostile views towards any existing chartered institutions or "vested rights." The only thing it is our intention or desire to attack is an inveterate common error of opinion, and judicial abuse of power, which have gone far essentially to vitiate the Democratic spirit of our institutions. The remark has been most justly made by M. de Tocqueville, as quoted in the course of the following pages, that the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary over State laws, of an ex post facto character, or involving contracts, attacks more deeply than any other provision of the Constitution, the sovereignty of the States. No disciple of the profoundly wise and simply beautiful doctrines of the State Rights school of politics can, then, look with any other than a jealous eye upon the exercise of such jurisdiction. And when it is found to have been extended, by a long course of vicious constructive adjudication, so immensely beyond all tolerable limits, by bringing in under its paramount control the whole system of State legislation in relation to charters, whether of public or private character, we cannot but feel the deepest interest in contributing to rectify the public opinion, long led so widely astray from all sound principles of government and legislation on this subject. Our general object, therefore, in the following pages-without assuming the responsibility of every minor and incidental idea thrown out--is to show, simply as abstract truths, and without reference to any practical applications of them:—that public charters of incorporation, and especially bank charters, are not contracts, as we hear often maintained, but laws, subject, as all other general laws, to modification or repeal, on general principles of policy alone; and that they are in no sense under the protection, as contracts, of the federal judiciary, against the sovereign will and pleasure of the State legislation which has called them into being.]





In the Convention of Pennsylvania, on Legislative and Judicial control over Charters of Incorporation.

In what was said, the 15th of December, respecting political economy, I mentioned what I now repeat, that the former view was but preliminary to this greater question of the right to repeal bank charters by enactment of law, without judicial agency. This restoration of public supremacy is the great desideratum. Settle this in general consent, and with a coin basis, banks will be useful and States sovereign. Without it banks are government, and the very worst government.

I disclaim all power of this Convention to act directly on banks. It can reach them only through future legislation. And I desire to introduce my argument by expressly repudiating nearly every assertion and concession of Mr. Dallas's much abused letter. All that he concedes of contract I contend for; all that he asserts of the effect of fraud in legislation, I dispute. I question, at any rate, his doctrine as to the contract obligation of reimbursing a bank bonus; and I need hardly add that I disown every one of his unlucky, though misconstrued and perverted, illustrations.

Furthermore, I acknowledge the supremacy of the Federal Government in whatever may be the appropriate way to control State laws, and the acts of this Convention; and wherever a charter is a contract within the Constitution of the United States, that is the supreme law, to maintain the obligation such contract against all State laws impairing it, whether proceeding from Convention or Legislature.

I repudiate, and strongly deprecate, every violation of property and vested right. I own the inability of a State, by law or otherwise, to resume its grant of private property; and I hold a State bound to protect private property and right. I cannot but dwell a moment on my denial already intimated of what has been conceded by Mr.Dallas, Mr. Forward, Mr. Porter, and Judge Hopkinson, that a law infected by fraud is therefore either void, or voidable by judicial proceeding. The argument in Peck's case appears to me in this particular to be conclusive; and on this point alone is the Supreme Court unanimous in that case. If a majority of both Housesof a Legislature can be proved to have enacted a law from fraudulent motives, perhaps that may be reason enough for its repeal by law, but not for its judicial abrogation. To take the instance of fraud imputed to the Bank of the United States in the alleged corruption of a certain number of one branch of the Legislature, in the persons of two members of this Convention, with other Senators, I cannot perceive

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