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river, and at Valverde, 7 miles north of in the West Indies; was made lieutenant the fort, a severe battle occurred. Canby in 1827; had command of the brig Etna was about to make a general advance, during the Mexican War; and took part when about 1,000 Texans, horse and foot, in the expedition against Tuspan and armed with carbines, revolvers, and bowie- in the second expedition against Tobasco, knives, suddenly burst from a thick wood He was a commissioner to survey the and attacked two of the National bat- boundary-line of California in 1848–50; teries, commanded respectively by Cap- was promoted captain in 1855; in the tains McRae and Hall. The cavalry were Civil War had command of the Minnesota repulsed, but the infantry pressed for- and was active in the operations in the ward, while the grape-shot were making North Carolina Sound and in the blockfearful lanes in their ranks, and captured ade of Hampton Roads, where he saved the battery of McRae. The brave captain his ship from the Confederate ram, Verridefended his guns with great courage. mac; and was promoted commodore in Seated upon one of them, he fought the 1862. He died in Dedham, Mass., Dec. assailants with a pistol until he was shot 17, 1863. dead. At length the Nationals, panic- Van Buren, ABRAHAM, military officer; stricken by the fierceness of the charge, born in Kinderhook, N. Y., Nov. 27, 1807; broke and fled, and did not stop until son of President Martin Van Buren; they had reached the shelter of Fort graduated at the United States Military Craig. That flight was one of the most Academy in 1827; served on the Western disgraceful scenes of the war. Canby was frontier for two years; aide-de-camp to compelled to see the victory snatched from Gen. Alexander Macomb for seven years; him just as it seemed to be secured. Sib- made captain in the 1st Dragoons in 1836; ley, alarmed by the sudden development of and became private secretary to his father Canby's strength by accessions to his the same year. He re-entered the army at ranks, hurried towards Santa Fé, captured the beginning of the Mexican War as it, but could not hold it, and was soon major and paymaster; was with Gen. afterwards driven over the mountains into Zachary Taylor at Monterey, and with Texas.
General Scott in every engagement from Van Arsdale, John, military officer; Vera Cruz to the capture of the City of born in Goshen, Orange co., N. Y., Jan. Mexico. He was brevetted lieutenant5, 1756; served throughout the Revolu- colonel for bravery at Contreras and tionary War, first as sergeant and then Churubusco in 1847, and served in the as captain. He suffered unusual priva- paymaster's department till 1854, when tion and hardship in the expedition he resigned. He died in New York City, against Quebec; was wounded and taken March 15, 1873. prisoner at the capture of Fort Mont. Van Buren, John, lawyer; born in gomery and Fort Clinton; and subse- Hudson, N. Y., Feb. 18, 1810; son of quently was engaged in the war against President Martin Van Buren; graduated the Indians. He died in New York City, at Yale College in 1828; admitted to the Aug. 14, 1836.
bar in Albany, N. Y., in 1830; attorneyVan Brunt, GERSHOM JAQUES, naval general of New York State in 1845-46; oflicer; born in Monmouth county, N. J., and for the remainder of his life practised Aug. 28, 17:8; entered the navy as mid- law. He was known as “Prince John," sbipman in 1818; served in Com. David from his imposing figure and manners. l'orter's “ Mosquito fleet" against pirates He died at sea, Oct. 13, 1866.
VAN BUREN, MARTIN
Van Buren, MARTIN, eighth President with William P. Van Ness; and was ad. of the United States, from March 4, 1837, mitted to the bar in 1803. Having a taste to March 4, 1841; Democrat; born in for politics, he early engaged in it, beKinderhook, N. Y., Dec. 5, 1782; was edu- ing a member of a nominating convention cated at the village academy; studied law when he was eighteen years of age. In
1808 he was appointed surrogate of Co- ination, Mr. Van Buren declared his full lumbia county, and was sent to the State assent to the anti-sla very principles of Senate in 1812. From 1815 to 1819 he the platform. The convention declared was attorney-general of the State of New that Congress had “no more power to York; and was again Senator in 1816, make a slave than to make a king," and holding both offices at the same time. He that it was the duty of the national gov. began a new organization of the Demo- ernment to relieve itself of “all responcratic party in 1818, and became the lead-, sibility for the existence or continuance of er of a body of politicians known as the slavery wherever the government possessed ALBANY REGENCY (q. v.). It held the constitutional authority to legislate on political control of the State for nearly that subject." General Taylor, candidate twenty years. Mr. Van Buren was elected of the Whigs, was elected. Mr. Van Buren to the United States Senate in 1821, and made a tour in Europe (1853–55). On was also in the convention that revised the outbreak of the Civil War he took dethe State constitution. In the latter body cided ground in favor of the national govhe was favorable to the extension of the ernment. He died in Kinderhook, N. Y., elective franchise, but not of universal July 24, 1862. suffrage. He opposed a proposition to The Treasury and the Panic.-The foldeprire colored people of the elective lowing is the text of President Van Burfranchise, but voted in favor of requiring en's message to the Congress on the grave of them a freehold qualification of $250. financial situation of the country: He was again elected United States Senator in 1827; governor of New York in 1828; entered Jackson's cabinet as Sec
Washington, Sept. 4, 1837. retary of State in March, 1829; but re- Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House signed in 1831, when he was appointed of Representatives,--The act of June 23, minister to England. He arrived there in 1836, regulating the deposits of the pubSeptember, but in December the Senate lic money and directing the employment rejected his nomination, and he returned. of State, District, and Territorial banks
In May, 1832, he was nominated for for that purpose, made it the duty of the Vice-President by the convention that re- Secretary of the Treasury to discontinue nominated Andrew Jackson for the Presi- the use of such of them as should at any dency. He received all the electoral votes time refuse to redeem their notes in specie, that were cast for Jackson excepting Penn- and to substitute other banks, provided a sylvania. In 1836 he was elected Presi- sufficient number could be obtained to redent by 170 votes out of 283, and he was ceive the public deposits upon the terms inaugurated March 4, 1837. The business and conditions therein prescribed. The of the country was in a depressed state general and almost simultaneous suspenduring most of his administration, and sion of specie payments by the banks in his political opponents, unfairly holding May last rendered the performance of this him responsible for the grievance, accom- duty imperative in respect to those which plished his defeat at the next Presidential had been selected under the act, and made election. When his name was proposed at it at the same time impracticable to emthe Democratic nominating convention at ploy the requisite number of others upon Baltimore in 1844 as a candidate for the the prescribed conditions. The specific Presidency, it was rejected, because Mr. regulations established by Congress for Van Buren was opposed to the annexation the deposit and safe-keeping of the public of Texas to the Union. In 1848, when moneys having thus unexpectedly become the Democrats had nominated General Cass inoperative, I felt it to be my duty to to please the slave-holders, the friends of afford you an early opportunity for the Mr. Van Buren, in convention at Utica, exercise of your supervisory powers over adopting as their political creed a phase the subject. of anti-slavery, nominated him as a Free. I was also led to apprehend that the sussoil candidate for the Presidency, with pension of specie payments, increasing the Charles Francis Adams, of Massachusetts, embarrassments before existing in the pefor Vice-President. In accepting the nom- cuniary affairs of the country, would so far diminish the public revenue that the with propriety avoid subjecting you to the accruing receipts into the treasury would inconvenience of assembling at as early not, with the reserved five millions, be a day as the state of the popular represufficient to defray the unavoidable ex- sentation would permit. I am sure that I penses of the government until the usual have done but justice to your feelings in period for the meeting of Congress, while believing that this inconvenience will be the authority to call upon the States for cheerfully encountered in the hope of a portion of the sums deposited with them rendering your meeting conducive to the was too restricted to enable the depart- good of the country. ment to realize a sufficient amount from During the earlier stages of the revulthat source. These apprehensions have sion through which we have just passed been justified by subsequent results, which much acrimonious discussion arose and render it certain that this deficiency will great diversity of opinion existed as to its occur if additional means be not provided real causes. This was not surprising. by Congress.
The operations of credit are so diversiThe difficulties experienced by the mer-fied and the influences which affect them cantile interest in meeting their engage- so numerous, and often so subtle, that ments induced them to apply to me pre- even impartial and well-informed persons viously to the actual suspension of specie are seldom found to agree in respect to payments for indulgence upon their bonds them. To inherent difficulties were also for duties, and all the relief authorized by added other tendencies which were by no law was promptly and cheerfully granted. means favorable to the discovery of truth. The dependence of the treasury upon the It was hardly to be expected that those avails of these bonds to enable it to make who disapproved the policy of the governthe deposits with the States required by ment in relation to the currency would, law led me in the outset to limit this in the excited state of public feeling proindulgence to Sept. 1, but it has since duced by the occasion, fail to attribute to been extended to Oct. 1, that the matter that policy any extensive embarrassment might be submitted to your further direc- in the monetary affairs of the country. tion.
The matter thus became connected with Questions were also expected to arise the passions and conflicts of party; in the recess in respect to the October in- opinions were more or less affected by stalment of those deposits requiring the political considerations, and differences interposition of Congress.
were prolonged which might otherwise A provision of another act, passed about have been determined by an appeal to the same time, and intended to secure a facts, by the exercise of reason, or by mutfaithful compliance with the obligation of val concession. It is, however, a cheerthe United States to satisfy all demands ing reflection that circumstances of this upon them in specie or its equivalent, nature cannot prevent a community so prohibited the offer of any bank-note not intelligent as ours from ultimately arrivconvertible on the spot into gold or silver ing at correct conclusions. Encouraged at the will of the holder; and the ability by the firm belief of this truth, I proceed of the government, with millions on de- to state my views, so far as may be necesposit, to meet its engagements in the man- sary to a clear understanding of the remener thus required by law was rendered dies I feel it my duty to propose and of very doubtful by the event to which I the reasons by which I have been led to have referred.
recommend them. Sensible that adequate provisions for The history of trade in the United States these unexpected exigencies could only be for the last three or four years affords made by Congress; convinced that some the most convincing evidence that our of them would be indispensably necessary present condition is chiefly to be attributed to the public service before the regular to overaction in all the departments of period of your meeting, and desirous also business-an overaction deriving, perhaps, to enable you to exercise at the earliest its first impulses from antecedent causes, moment your full constitutional powers but stimulated to its destructive conse. for the relief of the country, I could not quences by excessive issues of bank-paper