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The Loan Bill.
H. OF R.
prises upon our territory. I would prefer that foreign enemy to persevere in a course of hostile the territory of our enemy should be the theatre of policy, and may have the effect of driving the military deeds, rather than our own.
majority into a crooked, wavering, and feeble I have not entered into any nice financial cal- course of policy. But whilst I admit the danculations, or made any deep 'researches into the gers and evils to be apprehended on the one side, principles of political economy, in order to be I will not be forgelful that there are dangers on able to determine whether the people of this the other. Fearless, then, of the frowns of any country will be able to loan to the Government party, I declare to you that I believe, that whenthe money contemplated; but I believe, judging ever the liberties of this nation are destroyed, it from past occurrences, that it may be obtained: I will be done by a majority. Party spirit seems believe it to be necessary, and I cannot bring my to me to be growing a pace in this country; and mind to vote against this bill upon any specula- the arts of obtaining and perpetuating party power tions of this kind. If we pass the bill, and the are fast developing themselves; to what consemoney cannot be obtained, the fault will not be quences they will lead, I cannot say with certainty. in us; we will have discharged ourselves of re- But really, sir, I cannot but indulge in fears that sponsibility. But, sir, I will take the liberty of I will live to see the day when everything of remarking, that if the present state of things con- rational liberty will be annihilated by some matinue long, this Government will not be able to jorily; when all the honors and emoluments of borrow money to meet the exigencies of the times; the nation will be disposed of, at the whim and or will be compelled to give a most exorbitant caprice of three, four, or five of the leaders of the rate of interest. This nation is now prohibited majority: and all these things will be managed from selling anything and permitted to buy much. with the forms and in the name of liberty, under The purchases of foreign articles, it does seem to the warmest professions of attachment to the me, must be paid for in specie; this will produce public weal. I cannot fix upon any precise time a drain of our specie; as specie becomes scarce, for the happening of this event; bui I believe I its comparative value will rise; men who have can give you many of the signs; and when all capital of this sort will of course either lay it out the signs are seen by men of discernment, they in the purchase of property advantageously; or, will verily know that the event has come to pass. upon loans, will exact a much higher rate of When this event happens, there will be dispersed interest.
through this nation a host of hireling editors of Sir, much has been said in relation to the newspapers, busily engaged in puffing their emrighis of majorities and minorities; and with re- ployers, and moulding and fashioning public spect to what each may rightfully do. I do not sentiment by deception to suit their views. When mean, sir, to enter into any tedious discussion this event happens, this country will swarm with upon these subjects; but I feel somewhat inter- little demagogues, whose appropriate business ested in stating what I believe to be my duty as will be to sound the praise of their leaders, and one of the legislators of this nation. I believe it misguide public sentiment; playing, at the same to be my duty to endeavor to understand the time, the part of sycophants to their leaders, and true bearing of the questions proposed here; as the deceivers of the people; looking for their rewell in relation to the Constitution which bounds ward, and willing to be sent here and wire worked our powers, as to its political consequences, as a by the great political jugglers in the way which measure of expediency, not disregarding any facts may best suit their purposes. In those days, every which may stand connected with it; and, after sentiment deemed important by the leaders will having obtained as correct a view of the subject be made a test, an article of political orthodoxy, as my mental powers will permit, to give a vote and all who will not assent will be considered as · that will accord with the judgment of my mind. heretics: it will not be enough that a man is atWhen I have taken this course, I will have my tached to the Constitution of his country, and owo approbation; I will be supported by con- that he has acquired a character for integrity and sciousness of rectitude. Really, sir, I cannot good sense-he must praise his leaders his senyield that it is incumbent on me to pace through timents must be in perfect accordance upon all this hall and inquire of every member what will points. Then will be heard denunciations against be his vote, in order to determine on what side all who have not precisely pursued the course the majority will fall, with the view to determine marked out; made for the purpose of whipping in what way I shall vote. I may be put down in the timid and crushing the firm. When this for not pursuing this course; I am prepared to crisis arrives, this hall, which ought through all meet such event. I will endeavor-it is my time be the great watch-tower of liberty – from duty-to submit to all Constitutional acts of the which the language of the patriot might be heard majority; but I am not bound to declare they are in the voice of warning; and from which the wise or expedient.
rays of political truth might be shed abroad by There has been much said on the subject of open, fair, and manly discussion, will on favorite parties in a Republic; we have been eloquently occasions be silent as death: by the use of the admonished against the evil effects of party spirit previous question, and upon the ready plea of the in a ruinority. Sir, my opinion is, that the ex- pecessity of despatching business, discussion will ertions of a minority may be productive of evil be silenced; and this hall present to the eye a consequences, when steadily pursued as an em- college of silent recorders. Then will the rights bodied party; such exertions may encourage a l of all who have independence of mind to disap.
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FEBRUARY, 1814. prove of the course of a party, however much it All estimates of the character of those which may merit it, coosist of obedience to their will. the gentleman has furnished, must, in their na
Whatever others may think, my judgment and ture, be uncertain, because their great basis rests feelings conspire and embolden me to say, that principally on conjecture. Were I asked to a majority may err. It was corrupt majorities, set a price on the soil of my country, which would if my memory serves me correctly, that, by their compensate its present possessors for the abanintrigues with Philip of Macedon, paved the way donment of it, and oblige them to seek existence for his subjugation of the Grecian Republics. in other climes, I would indignantly say, Not the The triumvirate of Cæsar, Pompey, and Crassus, accumulated wealth of the world could for a mowielded a majority of the Roman Senate. Crom- ment tempt us to part with the land of our fawell had his majority in the English Parliament thersour inestimable inheritance. In this point -yes, sir, he had his entire Parliament. Robes- of view, the estimate of the capital of the country pierre had his majority in the French National at $2,567,480,000 is far below its intrinsic value. Convention. Even Nero observed the forms of If, on the contrary, the idea is intended to be conthe Roman Republic, and bad his majority in the veyed that this sum constitutes a disposable capSenate of Rome.
ital, or a fund from which is derived a profit in Mr. PEARSON addressed the Chair as follows: any considerable degree equal to the ordinary in
Mr. Chairman: The extent and variety of this terest of money, such a supposition is too illusory discussion may, perhaps, tend to impair the real to require refutation. Without examining the importance and intrinsic solemnity of the subject several items which are assumed as constituting immediately presented to our consideration. It this general aggregate of our wealth, I will conis, however, so intimately connected with the tent myself with examining one only; and should characteristic policy and avowed objects of the it appear to have been overrated nearly one hundAdministration, as io render their separation al-red fold, the elaborate superstructure of the hon. most impracticable, and may well justify, if not orable chairman must necessarily be shaken, and positively demand, some inquiry into that policy the whole fabric left for its support on little more and those objects. By the bill on your table, to-than vague conjecture and visionary speculation. gether with the issue of paper called Treasury The item I allude to is $800,000,000, the estimatnotes, for five millions of dollars, it is proposed to ed value of our wild unappropriated lands. What obtain thirty millions of dollars on the credit of those lands may be worth some centuries to come the Government, to be applied exclusively to the I pretend not to say ; but it is a well known fact, military and naval service of the current year; that the average proceeds from the sale of them the whole receipts from taxes, and other sources for the last six or eight years has not exceeded of reven'ue, not amounting to more than the pay- $600,000 ; and as this seenis to be the era for conment of interest on former loaps, the stipulated quest, and further extension of our territorial limreimbursement of part of the old debt, and ex iis, I doubt whether we can, for many years to penses of the civil list. The first question which come, calculate on increased sales of unappropripresents itself is this: Can the Administration ated lands. Taking, then, $600,000 as the annual borrow, on terms which they ought to accept, the value of this fund, it is evident a disposable capimmense sum now proposed? į profess not, sir, ital of ten millions would yield an equal income. any peculiar skill in finance, and but a limited The conclusion is irresistible, that this estiknowledge of the fiscal concerns of this country. mated capital of $800,000,000, employed in the I will, therefore, pot hazard a positive opinion as manner in which it is, and probably as it ought
to the practicability of obtaining the proposed to be, is only equal to ten millions of specie, or · loan, though I have no hesitation in believing other active capital. Thus, for all practical finan
that it will not be obtained with the facility im- cial purposes, the estimated value of those lands agined by some gentlemen, and that the practical is eighty fold beyond their real disposable value. resources of the country, in its present situation, Sir, we might as well boast of the value of the have been greatly overrated.
air we breathe, or of our political institutions, as The honorable Chairman of the Committee of to talk of a fund which cannot be brought into Ways and Means, (Mr. Eppes,) in a manner per-action, or in any way converted to meet the pehaps required to insure success to his measures, cuniary exigencies of the Government.
The exbibited a very flattering prospect of the aggre- comparison, I think, for the purposes of the argugate value of our country-the annual profits of ment, a fair one. This liule book (the Constituindustry-and the probable amount of necessary tion) is worth to my country more ihan would be and unnecessary circulating medium. I object the wealth of Europe-at ihe same time it can not to the effort of that gentleman, to convince us be purchased in any book shop for the cost of of the ability of the country, and the interest of printing and paper. The sum which could be the money bolders to lend, when his object is to raised from the exclusive sale of it, would bear borrow. In private life, when a proposition is no imaginable proportion to its intrinsic valuemade, or a favor asked, the appeal is made to our so also must be the result of all calculations, for ability or our interest. If our charity is applied financial purposes, on those wild lands, and a vast to, the excellence of that cardinal virtue is not proportion of undisposable capital in this and only portrayed by the successful mendicant, but every other country, his claim becomes irresistible the moment he per. The gentleman (Mr. Eppes) has also favored suades us that virtue is eminently our own. us with an estimate of the annual income arising
The Loan Bill.
H. of R.
from his assumed capital. To this the same gen- exports of manufactures, I believe, cannot be caleral objections will apply; the premiums being culated at more than half a million of dollars. assumed, the conclusions are necessarily incon- | The exports from those sources did not, the last clusive. The result of this estimale gives to us year, exceed about three hundred thousand dolan annual income of $255,849,600. The first re- lars. From this course of reasoning I am warmark which occurs to me is the very extraordi- ranted in concluding that, for Government use, pary circumstance of the gentleman having omit- or financial purposes, this immense sum of $172,ted' to discriminate between the net and gross 000,000 dwindles down to about half a million of income, arising from any given object; we are, dollars, and that more cannot be made out of it, therefore, totally at a loss to know whether to unless we are doomed to go naked. consider this result as comprehending the net or The honorable chairman, having fixed the capgross income arising from the capital of the coun- ital and productive income of the country, protry. I presume, however, it is a mixture of both, ceeds to ascertain, by a process I profess not to and therefore affords a latitude for conjecture, too understand, the amount both of necessary and unbroad to arrive at the truth. It cannot be net necessary circulating medium. The necessary income, because the amount exceeds twelve per circulating medium he estimates at about $47,cent. on the given capital; a result which ihe 000,000, and the surplus at $53,000,000, making most sanguine cannot admir. It cannot be gross in the whole one hundred millions of dollars, of income, because it is well known the annual pro- which he conceives fifty-three millions may be duce from agriculture exceeds $19,640,600-as is loaded to the Government. Permit me here to sufficiently proved by the official reports of annual remark, that this calculation appears to me to be domestic exports--which in better times amount at war with all those correct principles which ed to nearly fifty millions of dollars, and would govern the transactions of moneyed capitalists. now exceed that amount were it not for the war It would be perfect folly for them to put into cirand that deadly incubus, the Embargo, which culation more medium than is necessary for the presses to death the resources and activity of the demands of commerce, and the ordinary gradual country. The sum allowed for commercial in- improvement of the country; if they attempted come may remain as a rule for other times; at it ihe surplus would return upon them, or the present we have no commerce, and consequently rate of interest would be reduced in proportion to no income from that source.
the excess of paper set afloat. The present high Without examining all the items of this ac- rate of interest contradicts the idea of the existcount of the honorable chairman, I cannot avoid ence of such a superabundance of circulating menoticing the last, though not least, article on the dium. The actual specie in the United States list. It is the product of other occupations, in- does not exceed twenty-five millions of dollars; cluding manufactures, as stated in the last Čen- this is generally held by the banks, and their pasus, amounting to $172,000,000. This, I presume, per literally constitutes the circulating medium, must be intended as the gross product, and indeed and not a dollar can be obtained from the banks it is so gross as not to be susceptible of applica- at less interest than about seven and a quarter tion by the Government, to any purposes of per cent., consequently, whatever may be the finance. I admit, with great satisfaction, the in-nominal amount of bank capital, they cannot trinsic value of our domestic manufactures; our keep in circulation more than the amount necespeople, of almost every description, particularly sary for the objects which I have stated, which of the laborious class, are clothed with the fabrics the gentleman admits to be forty-seven millions made, for the most part, in their own families. of dollars. I am inclined, therefore, to think the This is as it ought to be, and is far preferable to actual circulating medium, in times of ordinary those hotbed manufacturing establishments which prosperity, does not exceed fifty millions of dolspring up in times of national depression, and lars. This paper medium, resting on a specie can only flourish on the ruins of agriculture and capital of not more than twenty millions, will commerce, particularly in the Southern and Mid- not, with safety, admit issues to a greater amount. dle States, where our dispersed population, our Already has the Government borrowed within fertile fields, and extensive seacoast, all point to the last two years near forty millions of dollars, the plough and the ship as the instruments of most of which has been obtained from the banks, their wealth and prosperity-as the means most and from individuals who make the banks the inconducive to national good and individual virtue. struments of enabling them to comply with their
I would seriously ask gentlemen, what revenue engagements. The fair and honest ability of the they could expect to derive from a tax on the do- banks to lend does not exist to a much greater mestic manufactures of the Southern, Middle, or extent, unless the stock of the Government is even Western States? Were this attempted, it considered a safe fund on which they may issue might not literally take the bread out of the mouth their own paper to any amount. of the laborer, but it would strip him of the gar- If this be the case, it is evident the whole sysments he wore; it would bear most heavy on the tem is a tottering fabric of credit; the Governpoorer class of citizens, and in proportion to the ment relying on the credit of the banks, and the number of women and children in a family, in banks resting on the credit of the Government. that proportion would such a tax operate on them. If this confidence does exist, and is likely to conIn the States which I have mentioned we have no inue, I would ask, why not issue Government surplus manufactures; and from all the States the paper at once, and save the enormous interest now
H. of R.
The Loan Bill.
paid to the banks, and run the chances of depre- spective spheres of bank notes will be circumciation, instead of depreciating it ourselves by scribed, in proportion to the greater number of giving a premium for other paper, which may banks by which they have been issued ; because depreciate equally soon ? I mean not to advocate it is the policy and interest of banks, in order to a project of ihis sort, my object is only to show save their coin, not to receive in payment or give that the present system is bottomed on credit circulation to notes of distant banks. If such notes alone, and therefore may fail.
are received, it is for the purpose of redeeming The present unfortunate situation of the coun their own, or demanding the specie, and therefore try adds much, in my judgment, to the force of cannot be considered an eligible, or indeed a cirthose remarks. If we had a flourishing com- culating medium at all, except to a limited exmerce-if there existed a free, reciprocal inter- tent, often confined to a particular county or State. course belween the several States-if there were in ordinary times this inconvenience may not be a perfect community of interests, and a riveted severely felt; an active commerce and free ex. confidence between the various sections of the change of commodities between the different couptry, and especially between the moneyed States would lessen the evil. But, sir, in times men and the moneyed institutions in all the of commotion and of unusual expenditure, when States, the prospect would be greatly changed. the Government cannot adapt its local expendiIn those events, credit might be relied on to al- tures to its local receipts, when the ordinary roumost any imaginable extent. But, sir, this un-rine of business is broken up, bank paper will not fortunately is not our lot. Blocked up as we are be receivable beyond the neighborhood of its own by the enemy's squadron on our coast; corked up institution, or will be immediately thrown back by our still more unmerciful Embargo and Non- upon it. Those institutions must necessarily beimportation laws, calculated, as it were, to fill up come more limited and more guarded in their the liule chasm of ills which the enemy alone operations, or a failure must be the consequence. could not inflict; the entire coasting trade de- The reliance of the Government on this kind of stroyed, and even the pittance of intercourse from circulating medium must be precarious. Suppose one port to another in the same State prohibited; some of the principal banks were to contract for the planters of the Southern and Middle States, the greater part of the proposed loan, and issue finding no markets for their products at home, are their own paper on the credit of the stock to be driven to the alternative of wagoning it hundreds created; these bills not finding general circulation, of miles in search of a precarious market in the or a shock given to the institutions, either by acNorthern and Eastern States, or permitting it to cident or mismanagement, what would be the sitrot on their hands. Many of those articles which uation of Government ? 'Their finances would are, or have become by habit, necessary for their be deranged, their credit impaired—enriched with comfort, are procured at the most extravagant a debt, but their coffers empty. prices from other sections of the Union. The Without veuturing an express opinion whether balance of trade, if trade it may be called, from the proposed loan can be obtained from the citithese and other causes being so entirely against zens of our country, I will be allowed to express the Southern and Middle States, the whole of a truism—that the power of Government fairly our specie is fast travelling to the North and East; to borrow, must depend on the ability of the people our bank paper is thrown back upon the institu- fairly to lend. This ability may be judged of, by tions from which it was issued, and as the war each genıleman estimating the proportion which expenditures are proportionably inconsiderable his constituents would have to contribute in the in ihe Southern and Middle States, where the Constitutional mode of taxation and representaloans have been principally obtained, the bills of tion. By this mode of calculation, one of the those banks are daily returning, and their vaults counties which I have the honor to represent, drained of their specie, to be locked up in the (Rowan,) would have to contribute aboui ninety Western and Eastern States, never to return but ihousand dollars-her proportion of the present with the return of peace and commerce. The ex-three million direct tax being about pine thousand traordinary and alarming demands which have dollars, consequently her proportion of thirty millately been made from Boston on the banks of lions would be ten times that amount. Although New York, and which I understand are progress- this is a fertile and populous county, its inhabiting to the South, prove these remarks not to be ants are unable to contribute such a sum in this the mere effect of fancy.
or any other year, without a sacrifice of their But, sir, admitting for the argument, that the farms and the ordinary comforts of subsistence. bank capital is as great as has been supposed, and The same remark will apply with equal force to their notes, which constitute the circulating me the other counties constituting the district I repdium, are in amount equal to the demands of resent, and perhaps with equal force to every disGovernment; does it follow that this medium is trici in the State. so regulated as to be safely obtained from the Leaving this view of the subject, which may banks, and effectually applied to the wants of the be considered in a great measure speculative, I Government? If gentlemen suppose the real cir- find other objections to the bill crowding on me culating medium is increased in proportion to the with a force not to be resisted. It is sufficient for number of banks established in every section of me to know that thirty millions of additional debt the country, they are greatly deceived. Bank are about to be saddled on my country for the paper being the representative of specie, the re- military operations of this single year. It is
The Loan Bill.
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enough for me to koow tbat the expenditures of but in no other way could the possession be either the Government, from January, 1812, to January, valuable or secure. Admitting Canada to be 1815, will have exceeded ninety millions of dol- taken, (and that we have the physical force to lars, exclusive of many millions of outstanding take it I do not deny,) I demand of the advocates claims, and that the public debt will, at the close of this war to know what is then to be done. Do of the present year, exceed one hundred and five they mean to plant their standard on the walls of millions of dollars. This brings me again to reflect Quebec, apportion out the lands to the conquerwhat is the proportion which my constituents will ors, and sing a requiem to "free trade and sailors' have to pay, agreeable to the Constitutional mode rights ?" These questions never have been satisof taxation, and unless you restore peace and com- factorily answered. It is time the people should merce no other mode can be adopted. For the know and understand them. My humble opinion sake of brevity I will take one county, (Rowan,) is, if any legitimate object exists for the prosecuas before; her proportion of three millions being tion of this war, that object is not to be obtained nive thousand, (I speak in round numbers,) the by the conquest of Canada; I therefore advise amount of debt at the close of the present year the abandonment of this phantom, at least during being one hundred and five millions, the propor- the pendency of the present negotiation. Hustion of this one county will be three hundred and band the resources of the country-do what you fifteen thousand dollars, the anoual interest of caa for commerce and the navy, and, above all which, at seven per cent., will be twenty-two things, prepare for defence, by affording compethousand and five dollars. This, sir, is more than tent protection to your bleeding frontiers and exthe surplus product of their industry, and more posed seacoast. Do those things which manifest than they are able to pay.
a sincere love of peace--a guardian care for your For what, then, it may be naturally inquired, suffering and exposed citizens-in a word, give a is this mass of debt created-those mighty sacri- native, home-bred character to your war, and fices to be made? Is it to prosecute a war of con- should peace not be the result you will not be quest against the British possessions in Canada ? forsaken, at least by me, in the hour of peril. I believe this is the object. If so, without stop- Gentlemen in the majority, still thirsting for ping to calculate the chances of success, which conquest, attempt to treat with ridicule the sug: are gloomy indeed, if we may judge from what gestions from this side of the House, to suspend has passed, I hesitate not to say, it is an unprofit offensive operations. If there is anything ridicuable contest, unworthy our efforts, and will illy lous in the idea of a nation declaring war, mererequite our toils. For my single self I would not ly to invite attack, that they may have the privigive a draft on the fallen Bonaparte for my share lege of repelling it, let it be remembered that we of the spoliations which he has committed on our the minority are innocent; the majority alone commerce, for all the advantages which, in my are answerable for this state of things, if it does judgment, will result from the acquisition of or should exist. This, however, is not a fair Canada.
statement of the question; it is not whether we Gentlemen, however, tell us, their ulterior ob- are to become conquerors by acting on the deject is "free trade and sailors' rights." Are those fensive, but it is whether the resources of the objects to be attained by the conquest of Canada ? country shall be exhausted in projects of ambi. Do you expect to barier the fancied conquered tion and of conquest-whether the whole militaterritories for “free trade and sailors' rights ?" ry force shall be employed against Canada, and Whatever opinions might have originally been your homes and firesides left to take care of entertained on this question, they exist no longer. ihemselves. Sir, our paramount duty is to secure Canada once taken, you cannot get clear of it our homes before we seek adventures abroad. without giving up the Western States at the same Mr. Chairman, I was not a little surprised to time. No, sir, it will be fixed on you, although hear an honorable gentleman from Souih Caro"free trade and sailors' rights” should never be lina (Mr. Calhoun) say, the other day, that heard of more. The little feeling success which competent protection had been afforded to the followed the achievement on Lake Erie last Fall, exposed parts of the country. Sir, the Governbrought forth the real, though till
ment has not afforded competent protection ; the timents of the Western States. Their language melancholy scenes which have lately been witwas unequivocal-Canada must not, shall not be nessed on the Northern frontier, prove, that whilst given up. The present Administration would your armies were recovering from their late disnot, and perhaps could not, resist this Western asters, and securing themselves on the borders of torrent. Canada once taken, even were we dis. Canada, threatening another assault in the Spriog, posed to surrender it, I doubt whether it would the frontier of New York, to the extent of fifty be a valuable article of traffic in our hands; I miles, was laid waste by a handful of the enemy's doubt whether Great Britain would desire the troops, and the innocent inhabitants delivered repossession of so precarious a tenure. Those over to captivity or slaughter. Let the gentleprovinces would forever after be at our command; man inquire of Virginia and North Carolina what ibe inhabitants would be our legants at will, and protection they have had from the General Govsubject to our good pleasure. To retain posses- ernment; let him, on his return home, visit the sion might be attended with vast expense and tomb-stones of many brave and respectable citidanger to our country. Great Britain 'might de- zens of those States, who either fell by the hands sire to recover by force what was lost by force, l of the enemy, or became the untimely victims of