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credit on his honesty and fearlessness ; and history will record it as the most important act of his administration, whether it be considered in connexion with the theory or practice of the government. Nor should we overlook the necessary relation which it bears to the great object of extinguishing the public debt—an object which has been kept steadily in view by Gen'l Jackson from the first moment of his accession to office. "If the policy of the opposition in appropriating large sums of money annually to works of internal improvement had not been effectually resisted in the manner referred to, the removal of this public burden might have been indefinitely postponed. But the decision in question, by arresting extravagant expenditures on such works, together with the prudent husbandry of the public resources under the present administration, has placed at the disposal of the government the means of discharging, before the termination of another year, all its pecuniary obligations, of relieving the people from a large portion of the taxes, which they indirectly pay in procuring the comforts and necessaries of life, and of closing up one of the most fertile sources of local discontent. We shall thus present to the world the novel and animating spectacle of a great people, without a burden of public debt, in a career of unexampled prosperity, enjoying, under the protection of benign and equal laws, all the blessings which are contemplated in the institution of human government.
3. The Indian Question. The objections to the course of General Jackson in relation to this question are all founded on his refusal to interfere with the exercise of a jurisdiction claimed by the State of Georgia over certain tribes of Indians within her territorial limits. He has not been called on to act in any other manner; nor is it pretended that the duty of acting in any other manner has yet devolved on him. He has avowed an opinion in favor of the right of Georgia to the jurisdiction which she claims : and in this opinion he has been virtually sustained by both houses of Congress, through an adoption of the measures recommended by him with a view to relieve the tribes from the authority which they have called in question, and to provide for their removal to a region where they may enjoy forever, under the protection and guaranty of the United States, the separate sovereignty which they claim to exercise within the limits of a sovereign State. This question is to be discussed and determined, not according to any abstract theory, but on the practical principles which have grown out of the necessities of their condition. We are well aware of the industrious efforts which have been made to give a false bias to the judgment of the people by artful appeals to their sympathies, by misrepresentations of the intellectual condition of the Indian tribes, and of their qualifications for self-government: we are aware, too, that while the opposition have seized on it as a political question, attempts have been made to connect the sanctions of religion with the cause-attempts, assisted by the misguided zeal of others, who by openly opposing themselves to the execution of the laws of the State, within the limits of which they had fixed their abode, and by submitting to the penalty annexed to the offence, have doubtless, by a natural misconception, regarded the example presented in their punishment as hallowed by a species of martyrdom for conscience sake. But all these efforts have been without effect. It was obvious to reflect, whether sympathy is due to those who may remove all cause for sympathy by a peaceful submission to the laws of the State, within which they have chosen their abode; whether the spirit and precepts of christianity, which enjoin a submission to the municipal authorities, did not in this case enjoin a choice between such a submission or a removal ; whether any purpose of philanthropy can be answered by laboring to strengthen resolutions which threaten, if persisted in, to involve contending communities in bloodshed and desolation ; whether the duties of citizenship are not violated by encouraging the Indian tribes to reject the proffered mediation of the general government and refuse to remove, when such results are within the range of probability ? These inquiries have been answered by the people, as all questions are answered by them, according to the dictates of reason, good sense and an enlightened humanity: and it is manifest that the persons alluded to stand, in the eyes of the nation, as martyrs to a political, and not a religious faith.
While there is every reason to believe that the Indians themselves, abandoning Cheir bad advisers, will peaceably remove beyond our limits, and carry with them a repugnance to the influences of civilization, which, if not unconquerable, may with better prospects of success command the labors of the true friends of philanthropy in their new abode: we deeply regret that the efforts, to which we have before adverted, to frustrate the benevolent designs of the general government, should have received, even by indirection, the slightest countenance from the late decision of the Supreme Court. The evil does not lie so much in the apprehension of any practical result to grow out of the principle involved in it as from the doubt into which the accuracy of the determinations of the highest judical tribunal in the United States is in danger of being drawn by a decision which, it is believed, will not satisfy the judgment of those who shall narrowly investigate all the grounds on which it rests. Independently of the controversy in respect to the right of Georgia to extend her laws over the Cherokees, the case presented a prior and most important question, never before decided, viz: whether the Supreme Court of the United States possesses appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases commenced and decided in the State courts ? The judicial act of 1789, under which it has been exercised, does not confer any such jurisdiction in terms; and yet it can hardly be doubted that if the fra. mers of that law had intended to invest the Supreme Court with an authority so transcendant, they would have said so in explicit language. This will be rendered the more probable when we consider that two of the States, (New-York and Rhode-Island,) had then recently declared in their solemn ratifications of the Constitution, that “ the judicial power of the United States, in cases in which a State may be a party, does not extend to criminal prosecutions ;” and that some of the most distinguished advocates of the Constitution united in this construction. Under these circumstances it is much to be regretted that the learned and venerable Chief Justice should have omitted to discuss this great question, especially as the cause had only been argued on one side.
The existence of such a jurisdiction in the Supreme Court is the very ground work of the whole proceeding; and it is the more to be regretted therefore, that its existence was assumed by him, but, not established. We will not dwell upon the numerous, we had almost said fatal, objections to the exercise of such a jurisdiction, its relation to the reserved rights of the States and the people, and its connection with the doctrines of unlimited construction, against which the Republican party in the United States have been so long and so steadfastly arrayed. It was, at all events, due to the country and to the tribunal by which the decision was pronounced that the question should have been fully discussed by the presiding judge. And we can not forbear to remark that a decision, resting upon grounds which may perhaps be shown to be untenable, we might add, which has by a powerful cotemporaneous exposition been shown to be untenable on the points discussed, will not carry with it that strong conviction, which should always accompany the determinations of a tribunal of so high authority. We have alluded to this decision, not for the purpose of arraigning the motives of the judges, but because, from the manner in which the decision was urged upon the court by partizan journals; from the positions occupied by the two eminent counsel who procured it, one a candidate for the presidency and the other for the vice-presidency of the United States; and above all from the unwearied efforts made by our political opponents through the names and reputation of the judges to assail the President and his advisers; the whole matter has become so intimately connected with the political discussions of the day that it could not, on the present occasion, well be overlooked. Independently of these considerations we can not but regard the decision itself as a new instance of the assumption, by a department of the general government, under circumstances well calculated to excite distrust and apprehension, of a doubtful power; a power, too, of the greatest magnitude and delicacy; and we have felt it our duty thus briefly to invite to it the attention of our constituents.
To the people of the State of New-York this question derives additional impore tance from the fact that the decision of the Supreme Court has the effect of annulling all the agreements or treaties, made under the authority of the State with the Indian tribes formerly within our limits, for the extinguishment of their title to
the lands, which, by virtue of those agreements, became public property, and a large portion of which has, by transfer, become the property of individuals. If the principle of the decision were capable of being carried into execution, its effect therefore, would be to revive, within our territorial limits, six sovereign nations, totally independent of the authority of the State, and to restore to the rude hands of its former possesors a vast region of country, long since reclaimed from barbarism, and now teeming with wealth, intelligence and the richest fruits of civilized life.
4. The Bank of the United States. The recent disclosures of the committee appointed to investigate the affairs of this institution, vindicate the wisdom of the President in calling to it the attention of Congress at an early period of his administration. Whatever doubt may have existed in the minds of some with regard to the maintenance of an institution resting upon a constructive, and not an express grant of power; or whatever convictions may have prevailed in the minds of others with regard to the right of the general government to create such an establishment, and its connexion with the financial transactions of the country, it is obvious that the question of a renewal of its charter is now to be decided on other grounds. It stands before the public, notwithstanding the ingenious manner in which the facts are presented by the minority of the committee of investigation, convicted of practices which, if they do not work a legal, deserve to be treated as an equitable, forfeiture of its charter. The charge of favoritism stands confessed by circumstances which, it is believed, are not susceptible of a satisfactory explanation : the charge of employing its means to purchase opinions in its favor, by circumstances which as yet are unexplained : and these are sufficient to raise up against the institution the presumption of other malpractices through the agency of its numerous and widely scattered branches, which calls for a more thorough and extensive inquiry into its transactions—and especially into the management of those branches, which have been established during the last three years for the avowed purpose of giving a favorable direction to public opinion. Waiving all inquiry into the utility of such an institution, and the right of the general government to create it, it is worthy of serious consideration whether sufficient cause is not to be found, independently of constitutional objections, for refusing to recharter it; whether all its secrets can be disclosed without a final settlement of its concerns; and whether the preservation of good morals and the reputation of the country itself do not demand that examples so fruitful of evil should be stamped with the strongest marks of the public disapprobation. Neither ought it to be overlooked that the existing institution has been made subservient not merely to political uses—but to the purposes of opposition to the present administration; that its vast resources are in the hands and at the disposal of political opponents ; and that its re-charter would be setting up a rival power against the vernment—a power of so fearful a magnitude as to afford just cause of apprehension with regard to the preservation of the republican principles, on which the government is founded. It is unnecessary to call the attention of the people of this State to the subject : they have already twice pronounced judgment upon it, through the medium of their representatives. But it deserves to be earnestly pressed upon the attention of the country at large. The people are, from the constitution of our government, the safest depositaries of the public honor and purity; and we trust that the appeal will not be addressed to them in vain. From the President, as the earliest monitor with regard to the dangers to be apprehended from the institution, they may be assured of every co-operation not incompatible with the lawful exercise of his constitutional powers.
We have thus reviewed, as cursorily as possible, some of the principal grounds of objection to General Jackson's re-election by his political opponents : minor objections have been necessarily omitted, but in these, as in those which have been examined, nothing will be found incorsistent with the purest patriotism, and the most zealous devotion to the public service.
From the earliest period of his administration, General Jackson has found himself embarrassed and thwarted in his labors for the public good, by the same violent opposition which was arrayed against his election. This spirit has not been con
fined to the publication of calumnies and misrepresentations, with a view to impair his standing in the confidence of the people. It has exhibited itself on the floor of Congress, by stirring up opposition to measures of public utility, by attempts to restrict the authority of the executive, and to frustrate the exercise of powers, which the constitution has committed to his hands. The recent refusal of the Senate to grant an appropriation for an outfit for a minister to France on the contemplated return of Mr. Rives, is a striking illustration of the factious spirit, which has animated the opponents of the administration. The President is charged by the constitution with the management of our negotiations and intercourse with foreign powers : and there is no instance in the history of the country in which Congress has refused to grant an appropriation for the continuance of an existing representation abroad, unless the question of discontinuing it had been raised and passed upon by a previous vote. In this case there was no pretext for refusing to grant the appropriation required. Our representation at the court of France is the most ancient in our diplomatic history : the question of discontinuing it was not raised or contemplated ; and it might have been deemed an act of disrespect to that court, to substitute a representative of the second grade for one of the first. So obvious was the impropriety of the course pursued by the opposition in the Senate, that one of the members of that party in the House of Representatives moved, when the bill came up for consideration, to increase the contingent fund to the amount required, thus proposing to do by indirection what his political associates in the Senate had directly refused to do. It deserves to be recorded to their lasting honor, that the more immediate representatives of the people refused to concur in the vote of the Senate ; and the reputation of the country was fortunately spared the reproach which would have been inseparable from a second example of a collision between the President and the highest branch of the legislative department, on a question deeply affecting the exercise of his constitutional powers.
The rejection of Mr. Van Buren as minister to Great Britain, is a still more striking illustration of the hostility with which the President has been pursued through all vicissitudes, in all his measures, and in every scene of his public and private life. It is not too much to say that the people of the United States have refused to give credit to the principal authors of that measure, for the sincerity of the motives by which they professed to have been actuated. The period of the publication of Mr. Van Buren's letter of instructions, and that of the act of rejection were too wide apart to account for the tranquillity of temper, which those individuals enjoyed in the interim, and the sudden movements of patriotic sensibility with which they were visited, when they came to act upon the question of confirming his nomination. Intelligent men had a difficulty in comprehending how sentiments presented to the senate in 1831 should call out no expression of dissapprobation, when the same sentiments presented to that body in 1832, led to the most irrepressible transports of indignation. They had equal difficulty in comprehending why breasts which responded to no appeals for succor or sympathy, when their country's honor and safety were threatened by external violence, were suddenly expanded with the loftiest inspirations of patriotism, when judgment was to be pronounced upon a political rival. But we will not dwell upon the character of this transaction.
The reply of the President to the address of the republican members of the New-York legislature, is a triumphant vindication of the letter of instructions, upon which the rejection of Mr. Van Buren was placed, a lucid exposition of its import, of the policy which guided our negotiations with Great Britain in relation to the West India trade, and of the mutual benefits to be expected from the friendly arrangement concluded between the two countries. The injury of the individual, who was the temporary victim of an unnatural combination, may be promptly and fully redressed ; and for the country's wrong, the remedy is fortunately neither more remote nor difficult of application. The eyes of all nations are turned on us; no public act of ours escapes their observation, however grossly its policy, or the impulses which led to it, may be misapprehended. If it were known that the rejection of Mr. Van Buren was the result of a temporary ascendency of a combination, composed partly of individuals elected by the people to sustain the President, but who had
treacherously turned against him the power with which they had been armed for his support, the act would bear no interpretation unfriendly to the durability of our political institutions. But such an interpretation would be irresistible, if the act were to be seen without a full view of the attending circumstances and the corrective; if it were merely known that Mr. Van Buren, while engaged at a foreign court in the management of an important negotiation, was unceremoniously withdrawn through a dissention between the President and the Senate. While the existence of such a dissention would be likely to receive constructions unfavorable to the stability of the government, from those who are ignorănt of its character, the knowledge that the President might, at any future time, be defeated under like circumstances in the conduct of a negotiation, would detract from the respect in which his authority is held abroad, and thereby impair his ability to accomplish great public objects.
We have ever considered it due to the country, therefore, that the injury which it has sustained, should be redressed—to the President, that the strongest evidence should be given by the people of their approbation of his motives, and the sentiments expressed by him, in the negotiation for the recovery of the West India trade—to the individual chosen by the opposition to bear the principal burden of their odium, that his official character should be vindicated, and the outrage offered to his feelings disarmed of its effects :—and we considered it due to all, that the reparation should be so marked and public, that it might not only prove a solemn lesson to unchastened ambition, but that it might be known and understood throughout the world. In the strong manifestations of feeling which have been given throughout the Union, we have the highest ground of assurance that these objects will all be effectually accomplished, whenever the question shall be submitted to the judgment of the people. Through the nomination of Mr. Van Buren as Vice-President, it will be directly presented to them, and we have no fear for the result.
That the motives referred to operated upon the minds of others as well as ourselves, we do not doubt. They would not otherwise have responded to the general sentiment of the country on this subject. But we have no hesitation in saying that the convention would not have selected Mr. Van Buren, however powerfully impelled by the considerations to which we have just adverted, if he had not been considered without any reference to them, entirely worthy of the support of the people of the United States. In the whole range of candidates presented to the convention, including many citizens of the most distinguished talents and the purest patriotism, no one was found more eminently deserving of the public confidence. From the first moment of his entrance into public life, Mr. Van Buren has been an efficient and fearless advocate of the rights of the people. His early efforts were opposed by difficulties as formidable as his success was honorable to his talents, and to the public opinion by which he was sustained. The prosperity of his whole life, indeed, is literally the fruit of his own unassisted exertions: his preparation for the theatre of action on which he fearlessly entered, was aided neither by wealth nor patronage. With no other supports than his own talents and the confidence of the people, whose cause he espoused, he commenced his career opposed by some of the most powerful political men in his native State. He was triumphantly sustained, and the moderation with which he has borne his success, the impartial justice which he has observed towards all, have otten conciliated the good feeling, and won for him the confidence of those who have been his zealous opponents. If there is any one trait, by which the character of Mr. Van Buren is more strongly marked than any other, it is the magnanimity with which he has always retributed the injustice and violence of his adversaries. We might point to at least two individuals in the Senate of the United States, who, in his rejection, have assailed the arm, which, in seasons of trial for them, was generously stretched forth for their defence and support. In the several offices of State Senator, Attorney-General, member of the convention for remodelling the constitution of the State of New-York, United States' Senator and Governor, he has discharged all the duties which devolved on him, with an ability, and met all the responsibilities of these various trusts with a promptitude and fearlessness, which have won for him in an eminent degree the approbation and confidence of the people of his na