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abominations, to which nothing but that excitement and that rage could ever have reconciled them, remained to poison the joys of their triumph. No doubt, then, the framers of the Constitution abhorred irredeemable paper, and in that sense, were emphatically hard money men. But in no other or stricter sense were they so, and Daniel Webster never said they were.

Why, Sir, do gentlemen forget that our fathers themselves framed a bank charter, before they framed the Constitution? And not only so, but it is rather a curious coincidence, in this relation, that the same pen, or, certainly, the same hand, which gave the last shaping strokes and finishing touches to the Constitution, had a few years previously been employed in making the first plan and original outline of this bank! “ That instrument (the Constitution) was written by the fingers which write this letter," said Gouverneur Morris in a letter to Timothy Pickering

“ The first bank in this country was planned by your humble servant," wrote the same gentleman to Mr. Moss Kent. I refer, I need not say, to the Bank of North America. It was incorporated in 1781 by the Congress of the Confederation. On the application of its President and Directors, the Assembly of Pennsylvania gave it a supplementary charter, in 1782. In 1785, a proposition was brought into that Assembly, precisely parallel to that which has recently agitated the Convention of the same State, to abolish this charter. Upon this occasion, Mr. Morris came to its defence, and wrote an address to the Assembly, going over the whole ground both of contract and of convenience, of justice and of policy. Upon the latter division of the subject he dwelt at great length, examining all the objections which had been raised against the Institution in question. And what were those objections ? The same, the same precisely in substance, and many of them almost the same in phraseology, which have been resounding and echoing over the country for the last six years. Let me prove this by stating them. These objections, said Mr. Morris, are:

First, that it enables men to trade to their utter ruin by giving them the temporary use of money and credit.

“ Secondly, that the punctuality required at the banks throws honest men into the hands of usurers.

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Thirdly, that the great dividend on bank stock induces moneyed men to buy stock rather than lend on interest.

“ Fourthly, that rich foreigners will, for the same reason, become stockholders, so as that all the property will finally vest in them.

“ Fifthly, that the payments of dividends to foreigners will be a constant drain of specie from the country.

Sixthly, that the bank facilitates the exportation of coin. “ Seventhly, that it injures the circulation of bills of credit.

“ Eighthly, that the wealth and influence of the bank may become dangerous to the government.

“ Ninthly, that the directors can obtain unfair advantages in trade for themselves and their friends.

" And tenthly, that it is destructive of that equality which ought to take place in a free country.”

These, Sir, are the objections to a national bank which were agitating the public mind less than two years before the Convention assembled by which the Constitution of the United States was framed, - and these are the objections against which, one, at least, of the principal framers of that Constitution was foremost in defending such a bank. I might go on to show that others of them were associated with him, either directly or indirectly, in its defence. But I have said enough to prove that, though the framers of the Constitution were hard money men and abhorred irredeemable paper, they were by no means ignorant of the nature or insensible to the advantages of banking institutions, or of convertible paper, but that at the very moment when they entered into the Convention of '87, they must all have been fresh in the remembrance, and some of them in the experience also, of a controversy, in which all the benefits and all the dangers of such institutions and of their issues had been considered and discussed, and in which the former had been decided altogether to preponderate over the latter.

But the gentleman next reminds us that a proposition was made in this very Convention, to give Congress the power to charter a bank, and was rejected. The fact is not precisely so, Sir. Or at any rate there is no evidence of any such proposition on the records of the Convention. As far as any document abominations, to which nothing but that excitement and that rage could ever have reconciled them, remained to poison the joys of their triumph. No doubt, then, the framers of the Constitution abhorred irredeemable paper, and in that sense, were emphatically hard money men. But in no other or stricter sense were they so, and Daniel Webster never said they were.

Why, Sir, do gentlemen forget that our fathers themselves framed a bank charter, before they framed the Constitution? And not only so, but it is rather a curious coincidence, in this relation, that the same pen, or, certainly, the same hand, which gave the last shaping strokes and finishing touches to the Constitution, had a few years previously been employed in making the first plan and original outline of this bank! " That instrument (the Constitution) was written by the fingers which write this letter," said Gouverneur Morris in a letter to Timothy Pickering. “ The first bank in this country was planned by your humble servant," wrote the same gentleman to Mr. Moss Kent. I refer, I need not say, to the Bank of North America. It was incorporated in 1781 by the Congress of the Confederation. On the application of its President and Directors, the Assembly of Pennsylvania gave it a supplementary charter, in 1782. In 1785, a proposition was brought into that Assembly, precisely parallel to that which has recently agitated the Convention of the same State, to abolish this charter. Upon this occasion, Mr. Morris came to its defence, and wrote an address to the Assembly, going over the whole ground both of contract and of convenience, of justice and of policy. Upon the latter division of the subject he dwelt at great length, examining all the objections which had been raised against the Institution in question. And what were those objections ? The same, the same precisely in substance, and many of them almost the same in phraseology, which have been resounding and echoing over the country for the last six years. Let me prove this by stating them.

These objections, said Mr. Morris, are:

“ First, that it enables men to trade to their utter ruin by giving them the temporary use of money and credit.

“ Secondly, that the punctuality required at the banks throws honest men into the hands of usurers.

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“ Thirdly, that the great dividend on bank stock induces moneyed men to buy stock rather than lend on interest.

Fourthly, that rich foreigners will, for the same reason, become stockholders, so as that all the property will finally vest in them.

Fifthly, that the payments of dividends to foreigners will be a constant drain of specie from the country.

“Sixthly, that the bank facilitates the exportation of coin. “ Seventhly, that it injures the circulation of bills of credit.

Eighthly, that the wealth and influence of the bank may become dangerous to the government.

Ninthly, that the directors can obtain unfair advantages in trade for themselves and their friends.

" And tenthly, that it is destructive of that equality which ought to take place in a free country.”

These, Sir, are the objections to a national bank which were agitating the public mind less than two years before the Convention assembled by which the Constitution of the United States was framed, - and these are the objections against which, one, at least, of the principal framers of that Constitution was foremost in defending such a bank. I might go on to show that others of them were associated with him, either directly or indirectly, in its defence. But I have said enough to prove that, though the framers of the Constitution were hard money men and abhorred irredeemable paper, they were by no means ignorant of the nature or insensible to the advantages of banking institutions, or of convertible paper, but that at the very moment when they entered into the Convention of '87, they must all have been fresh in the remembrance, and some of them in the experience also, of a controversy, in which all the benefits and all the dangers of such institutions and of their issues had been considered and discussed, and in which the former had been decided altogether to preponderate over the latter.

But the gentleman next reminds us that a proposition was made in this very Convention, to give Congress the power to charter a bank, and was rejected. The fact is not precisely so, Sir. Or at any rate there is no evidence of any such proposition on the records of the Convention. As far as any document

exists, the proposition which was made and rejected, related only to incorporating canal companies. The evidence that the motion was amended so as to include banks, and finally all other corporations, is entirely traditionary. And the grounds on which the proposition, whatever it was, was rejected, have been widely differed about by those having equal opportunities to know them. Some have affirmed that it was rejected from an unwillingness to confer such a power at all, and others that it was because the power being implied as to all affairs over which a sovereign authority had been granted, it was unnecessary to specify it in any case more particularly. It is plain, Mr. Chairman, that no reliable inference can be drawn from a fact so loosely authenticated, and no inference, especially, so contradictory to the whole tenor of other well-attested and notorious facts which certainly occurred almost immediately afterwards. Has the gentleman from Gloucester never read that in both branches of the first Congress under the new Constitution, and during the first session of that first Congress, I believe, - one amendment among many that were offered to the Constitution, to be subsequently ratified by the people, was this, —" That Congress erect no company

of merchants with exclusive advantages of commerce” — and that this proposition, too, was rejected? Is not this well-authenticated fact, Sir, a pretty satisfactory set-off to the more doubtful one on which the gentleman has relied? Certainly, it seems so to me.

But what did this same first Congress do, at a subsequent session? They incorporated a National Bank. Hamilton drew the plan. Was not he a framer of the Constitution ? Washington signed the charter. Was not he a framer of the Constitution ?

It has been suggested that Washington's assent to this act was slowly and hesitatingly given, and that a veto-message was actually prepared for him. This veto-message, again, Sir, rests on mere hearsay evidence. But even were it extant among his papers, as it certainly would have been had he attached to it the slightest value or importance, what would it prove, so long as it was not signed, but what we all knew before — the untiring activity and exceeding confidence of his anti-bank advisers ?

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