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the law was condemned as affording but too much encouragement to fraud, waste, and a rash spirit of adventure. It was therefore not viewed with favour by one half of the nation. Yet with the other half it was still more approved, and it scarcely could be doubted, when it is considered how much stronger was the sentiment in support of it than that opposed to it, and the extensive patronage it afforded to the executive in the appointment of the numerous commissioners who were to execute it, that the administration would have gained far more by the continuance of the law than by its repeal. The President, however, showed the same indifference to patronage, or rather the same disinclination to possess it, at the expense of what he believed to be the public interest, as in the repeal of the internal taxes, and the abolition of the host of revenue officers which thereby ensued. Those who had favoured the policy asserted no such claims to consistency, but readily concurred in depriving the administration of this source of influence. By the only recorded vote taken in the process of repeal, there were ninety-nine votes in favour of the measure to thirteen against it.

The Bank of the United States afforded him another occasion of testing his sincerity in the principles he professed, and his integrity in adapting his practice to his profession. After having noticed with approbation the extension of the same principle of rotation to the branches, which the law had prescribed in the case of the principal bank, he thought the executive ought not to lend its sanction to any other principle. But, adverting to the disposition manifested by the bank to establish a branch in New Orleans, he reiterates his first objections to the institution in the following strong language :

“ This institution is one of the most deadly hostility existing against the principles and form of our constitution.


The nation is, at this time, so strong and united in its sen: timents, that it cannot be shaken at this moment. But suppose a series of untoward events should occur, sufficient to bring into doubt the competency of a republican government to meet a crisis of great danger, or to unhinge the confidence of the people in the public functionaries ; an institution like this, penetrating by its branches every part of the Union, acting by command and in phalanx, may,

in critical moment, upset the government. I deem no government safe, which is under the vassalage of any self-constituted authorities, or any other authority than that of the nation, or its regular functionaries. What an obstruction could not this bank of the United States, with all its branch banks, be in time of war? It might dictate to us the peace we should accept, or withdraw its aids. Ought we then to give further growth to an institution so powerful, so hostile?”

lii, 1 These general considerations are then followed by cogent arguments ad hominem.

“That it is hostile we know, I. From a knowledge of the principles of the persons composing the body of directors in every bank, principal or branch; and those of most of the stockholders. 2. From their opposition to the measures and principles of the government, and to the election of those friendly to them: and 3. From the sentiments of the newspapers they support. Now, while we are strong, it is the greatest duty we owe to the safety of our constitution, to bring this powerful enemy to a perfect subordination under its authorities. The first measure would be to reduce them to an equal footing only with other banks, as to the favours of the government. But in order to be able to meet a general combination of the banks against us, in a critical emergency, could we not make a beginning towards an independent use of our own money, towards holding our own deposits in all the banks where it is received, and letting the treasurer give his draft or note, for payment at any particular place, which, in a well-conducted government, ought to have as much credit as any private draft, or bank note or bill, and would give us the same facilities which we derive from the banks ?”

It seems probable that this hint suggested the plan thrown out by President Jackson, when he first stated his opposition to the last bank of the United States. But the public danger froin such an institution, on which Mr. Jefferson's hostility restod yet more than on its supposed unconstitutionality, appears to have been egregiously overrated by him. The power of so wealthy a corporation, using all its money in loans, and able by its high credit, so to multiply its money, would indeed be formidable, if it were possessed of a monopoly; but as its privileges are shared with other banks, and as those created by the states are everywhere equal, or superior in wealth to the branches of the United States bank, its power of doing mischief is almost neutralized, while that of rendering facilities to commerce remains. It would seem to furnish a conclusive argument against the imagined extent of their power, that it was not sufficient in 1811 to preserve its own existence; and that its successor, with far more ample means and resources, and directed, according to its enemics, with án: unexampled unity and energy of purpose to this single object, has not been a whit more capable of self-preservation.

The President had, during the session, communicated to both Houses a digest of the information which the executive had been able to procure relative to Louisiana, as to its physical and political state. In the geographical account of upper Louisiana, and a supplement to it on the 29th of No. vember, it was therein stated on the authority of traders who had visited it, that one thousand miles up the Missouri, there was a salt mountain, which was said to be eighty miles long anel-forty-five wide, composed of solid rock salt, without any trees or even shrubs on it. As so anomalous a physical fact was at once assumed to be fabulous, such an evidence of Mr. Jefferson's credulity soon became a favourite topic of argument or ridicule with his adversaries; and, for a long time, the salt mountain, dry docks, and mammoths, of the continued existence of which he had, in his notes, hinted the probability, were by-words of reproach in the mouths of the federalists. And though these attacks failed to weaken the affection of the people, or to lessen their confidence in Mr. Jefferson's capacity as a statesman, his letters show that they gave no small annoyance to himself. He writes to Captain Lewis (January 13, 1804)—“I now enclose you a map of the Missouri as far as the Mandans, 1200 or 1500 miles, I presume, above its mouth. It is said to be very accurate, having been done by a Mr. Evans, by order of the Spanish government; but whether he corrected by astronomical observation or not, we are not informed. I hope this will reach you before your final departure. The acquisition of the country through which you are to pass has inspired the public generally with a great deal of interest in your enterprise. The inquiries are perpetual as to your progress. The feds alone still treat it as philosophism, and would rejoice in its failure. Their bitterness increases with the diminution of their numbers and despair of a resurrection. I hope you will take care of yourself, and be the living witness of their malice and folly."

On the 27th of March, 1804, Congress adjourned. One of the subjects which had most engaged their attention, was the amendment to the constitution of the United States, concerning the mode of electing a President. The alteration was vehemently opposed in both Houses by the Opposition, but was finally carried by the requisite vote of twothirds in both Houses. The change was opposed on the ground that it would, by means of party intrigue, favour the


election of a Vice-President, who would be unfit to discharge the office of President; that the election by the House of Representatives might not be expected to be of frequent recurrence, and when it was, if they should choose the who was least fit, it would be a salutary warning to both parties to bestow their votes, in all cases, only on persons properly qualified ; that a change of the constitution was itself an evil, and was likely to prevent the veneration which time, and time alone confers; and that it was better to submit to a partial evil, than risk one yet greater in an untried experiment. These speculative mischiefs were not allowed to prevail against the repetition of the very agitating scene which had lately taken place; and although the alteration was not sufficient to prevent a subsequent election by the House in 1825, yet it must be admitted that its recurrence is much less probable now than formerly; and when it does occur, the election must always devolve on one whom a large portion of the people have preferred as President.

Judge Pickering, who had been impeached at the preceding session for intemperance, was tried at this session, and removed from the bench ; and articles of impeachment were also preferred against Judge Chase, of Maryland, for illegal, oppressive, and arbitrary conduct, in his judicial character.

At this session the law of naturalization was replaced on its original footing, by which a residence of five years only was required, instead of fourteen. This law was particularly acceptable to the Irish, who had constituted, of late years, by far the most numerous class of emigrants, and most of whom, by taking a livelier interest in the political concerns of the country than any other foreigners, are more desirous of the privileges of citizenship.

The claims under the Yazoo purchasers now again furnished materials for controversy and debate, the more animated, as the parties for and against them were nearly

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