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did not think it became him to draw out a plan of a bank, but he thought it easy to ascertain from the general course of his argument what he would approve. In the course of the conversation I observed that I understood the President to have no objection to a Bank located in the District of Columbia, employing agents in the several States, to perform the services required of it by the Government as a fiscal agent, and incidental to those duties to deal in exchange, and do all other acts which the Bank proposed in the Bill which he had rejected might do except the making of local discounts. To this the President did not object. After continuing the conversation a short time, Messrs. Berrien and Sergeant left us, and I after transacting some official business also departed. The President spoke with some feeling and in a very proper manner of the mob that came the preceding night on his porch to insult him.

On Wednesday the 18", which was the usual day for the meeting of the Cabinet, I went to the President's, and Messrs. Berrien and Sergeant were with him. He did not by either word or manner invite me to join them so I retired into an adjoining room where I was soon joined by Messrs. Webster and Bell. We remained some time, and Mr. Webster saying he had business retired and requested the servant to say to the President that he would come at his summons-after some time he was sent for and returned-but the door of the audience room was still closed and we waited more than an hour before it was opened and we were in the meantime joined by Mr. Badger. At length the President made his appearance—said he had been conversing with gentlemen who professed to come informally as a committee of the Whigs of the two Houses to get his views on the subject of the Bank-that he had doubts of the propriety of conferring with them and that he had stated those doubts to them-said that he had his constitutional advisers about him with whom and with whom only he thought he ought to consult and that having conferred with them his opinions could be made known to gentlemen on the part of the two houses so far as it was proper to communicate it. Having so said he began by asking us whether his views in that respect were correct. Mr. Webster replied that they were the same expressed by Mr. Madison on some occasion (what I do not remember) when he was consulted in like manner. His explanation drew from me the remark that the two cases probably differed in this—that appeared to have been a committee of one or both of the Houses proper; this an informal unofficial deputation of political friends who came to consult with the President informally, to ascertain his opinions that they might if consistent with their own views of the public good, conform to them. But even in that case I saw no impropriety, on the contrary much prudence in the President's proposed course. of consulting with his Cabinet before he committed himself, even informally, to any one. Mr. Webster said the case he referred to was in all these particulars similar to the present and that he thought the President's proposition, to confer with them only through his Cabinet, quite right. To this no one objected except Mr. Badger who saw no objection to this unofficial friendly intercourse between the President and members of the two Houses, for the purpose of exchanging views and endeavoring to come to an understanding on subjects of common interest. This being disposed of the President spoke of the Veto and its effects-expressed his surprise that our friends should be so much dissatisfied with it

averred he believed it would be the salvation of the party if the Whigs in Congress would take it in a becoming spirit-spoke of the delay in taking the question upon it in the Senate and expressed anxiety as to the tone and temper which the debate would assume there.

Badger-Mr. President, I am happy to find on inquiry that the best temper in the world prevails generally in the two Houses on this subject. I believe they are perfectly ready to take up Mr. Ewing's bill and pass it without alteration except in some unimportant particulars.

President Talk not to me of Mr. Ewing's Bill-it contains that' odious feature of local discounts which I have repudiated in my message.

Ewing-I have no doubt, sir, that the House, having ascertained your views, will pass a bill in conformity to them provided they can be satisfied that it will answer the purposes of the Treasury and relieve the country.

President-Cannot my Cabinet see that this is brought about. You must stand by me in this emergency. Cannot you see that such a bill passes Congress as I can sign without inconsistency?

Ewing-I think a bill which will meet your views may be introduced into the House of Rep. and pass that body. Of the Senate I am not so certain. If such a bill could pass both bodies speedily and receive your sanction, it would immediately restore harmony here and confidence throughout the nation.

President I care nothing about the Senate-let the Bill pass the House with the understanding that it meets my approbation and the Senate may reject it on their own responsibility if they think best. But what do you understand to be my opinions? State them, so that there may be no misunderstanding.

Ewing-I understand you are of opinion that Congress may charter a Bank in the District of Columbia giving it its location here.

President-A nod of assent.

Ewing-That they may authorize such Bank to establish offices of Discount and Deposit in any of the States with the assent of the States in which they are so established.

President (sharply)-Don't name Discounts to me-they have been the source of the most abominable corruptions-and they are wholly unnecessary to enable the Bank to discharge its duties to the country and the Government.

Ewing-I am proposing nothing, but simply endeavoring to recapitulate what I have heretofore understood to be your opinions as to the powers which Congress may constitutionally confer on a Bank. I now understand your opinion to be, that they may not confer the power of local discount even with the assent of the States.

President (An expression of assent).

Ewing And I understand you to be of opinion that Congress may authorize such Bank to establish agencies in the several states with power to receive, disburse or transmit the public monies and to deal in Bills of Exchange without the assent of the States.

The President-Yes if they be foreign bills or bills drawn in one State and payable in another. That is all the power that is necessary for transmitting the public funds and regulating exchanges and the currency.

Webster-I would like such a bill, with power to deal in Exchanges alone, without authority derived from the States, much better than if it

combined the power of Discount with the assent of the States, and the power to deal. in exchanges without such assent. I do not think it necessary to give such Bank the power of local discount, in order to enable [it] to perform all its duties to the country and to the government, unless indeed it be essential to the existence of such institution and then it is liable to the objection of attaching one implied power to another which once admitted might be carried to a dangerous extent. And there is an incongruity in performing any of the necessary functions of the general Government by the separate assent of individual States. If that which the U. S. wishes to do be necessary in the discharge of its constitutional duties, it has already the assent of all the States granted in and by the Constitution; if not necessary-there is no right to do it with such assent. That these particular powers are necessary seems to me very clear, for the purpose of safe keeping and transmitting the public monies, for the restoration of a sound currency, regulation of exchanges and especially of commerce between the States-and I believe it will furnish sufficient inducements to capitalists to take the stock.

The President expressed his acquiescence in the views of Mr. Webster-desired that we would see that the Bill should assume that form, and especially urged us to take care that it was placed in the hands of some one in the House who was his friend. Ewing enquired of him whether Mr. Sergeant would be agreeable to him. He replied in the affirmative-wished us in communicating on the subject not to commit him personally, as having agreed to this project; for he was apprehensive it would be made the subject of comparison to his prejudice -but advised us to say that from the Veto Message and from all that we knew of his opinions we inferred that this would be acceptable. He then spoke of the name, which he wished should be so changed that it would not be called a Bank. To this there were some objections, but his wishes were finally acquiesced in. He and Mr. Webster then conversed about the particular wording of the 16" fundamental article and agreed as to the form of expression which should introduce the grant of power.

He then requested Messrs. Webster and Ewing to attend to getting it before the House and directed them to prepare for him as soon as practicable an exposition in writing of their opinions upon it. Mr. Bell said to Webster and Ewing-" Gentlemen you have no time to lose-if you do not attend to this today another bill less acceptable may be got up and reported." We were about retiring when the President called Mr. Webster back. He remained a few minutes and then joined us. Messrs. Webster and Ewing then consulted as to the means of carrying out the wishes of the President and it was agreed that Mr. Webster should see Messrs. Berrien and Sergeant who represented the two Houses in this matter and possess them of the plan agreed on; and if they desired it Mr. Ewing would call on them afterwards.

In a short time afterwards I received a note from Mr. Webster stating that Messrs. Berrien and Sergeant wished to see me at Mr. Berrien's chamber at 5 o'clock, at which time I waited upon them. They stated to me that they had conversed with the President that morning and had gathered from his conversation, though he declined to speak in explicit terms, that he was disposed to favor a charter which authorized the dealing in Exchanges through agents in the several States without reference to the assent of the States, but that he had re

ferred them to his Cabinet after he should have consulted them. They also informed me that Mr. Webster had suggested the particular frame and referred them to me for my concurrence. After full conversation they agreed to present the project, before our political friends, and if agreed to by them in both branches it was to be introduced into the House. It is proper here to note that the President expressed great sensitiveness lest he should be committed by anything that he or we should say to a project which would not be accepted by Congress and which would be contrasted with that which he had rejected. And once in the course of the conversation he said he was bewildered-he had no time to collect his thoughts; why could not this thing be postponed to the next session?

The Bill proposed could not be brought into the House until that in the Senate with the President's objections was disposed of. This was done on the 19′′ and Mr. Clay in the discussion made one of his most powerful and happy efforts-extorting expressions of rapturous applause from his most bitter enemies in that body, and thrilling his friends with delight. I was not present and consequently lost this noble intellectual treat, for it is wholly vain for Mr. Clay or any one else to attempt to transfer to paper any just presentment of his lofty and impassioned eloquence. But the President though treated with respect was sorely wounded, particularly by the popular impression. which was anything but favorable to him. There was, it is said, in Mr. Clay's manner, an evident restraint and suppression of strong feeling while he spoke directly of the President, his position, his duty to the country, to those who placed him in power, and of his wide and unaccountable departure from all those duties and his forgetfulness of all those obligations-but when Mr. Rives came out in the defence of the President and brought himself within the lion's bound, he sprang upon him with unrestrained and unmitigated impetuosity and poured forth upon him the whole torrent of his feelings in the most high toned and powerful invective. I had a report of the speech from Mr. Badger, himself an orator, who dwelt upon it with enthusiastic admiration.

I was taken ill on the night of the 19′′ and did not get about until Saturday, the 21st.

Monday, the 23d, I called upon the President to transact some business and after conversing with him a few minutes Mr. Granger entered. The President soon introduced the subject of the Bank and his Veto and spoke with much feeling of the violence with which he was attacked and denounced by the Whigs and declared that he looked upon many of them as his very worst enemies. I told him it was what I had all along feared, if no means could be devised by which the Veto could be avoided-that in truth the excitement was not so general or the expression of disapprobation as strong as I had apprehended and endeavored to show him would take place. Mr. Granger said there was much to be considered on both sides, for, said he, "Sir, in every town and village, at the places where you and Genl. Harrison were insulted and denounced last fall, while the Whigs were supporting and defending you-flags are now hung out by your then enemies with Tyler and 2 Word obscure, but seems to be "duties".

3 Senator William C. Rives of Virginia.

But a

In the original this paragraph follows the fourth paragraph below. clean copy exists, made at some time for Mr. Ewing, in which the order is as herein given.

the Veto inserted on them in large characters-they have their triumphal processions, burn tar barrels, fire cannon and rejoice while the friends who elevated you either retire in silent sorrow or break out in expressions of disappointment or anger." To this the President replied little and we soon parted.

On Saturday the 21st the President, the Secretary of War and myself went to the Arsenal to see some experiments with improved rockets. In the course of conversation there he threw out very strong intimations that he would probably veto the Bill which had lately been introduced if it should come to him.

Monday the 23d I sent him my argument upon the Bill as it then stood-having in the meantime received a printed copy of the Bill. Mr. Webster's had been sent up a short time before. The 25th we had Cabinet Council-the President seemed gloomy and depressed-intimated in strong terms that he would not sign the bill and earnestly requested us to get it postponed said in reply to an expression of doubt. on our part that we had got it up easily, we might postpone it as easily if we chose to do it. He seemed earnest and exigent that this should be done.

On the 26" I conversed with him again in the presence of Granger. He still earnestly solicited postponement, not as he said because of the political but of the personal difficulties which immediate action upon it would involve.

A meeting of the members of the Cabinet was called at Mr. Webster's on the evening of the 27" to take this matter into consideration. When after much consultation and a full interchange of opinions it was agreed to endeavor to postpone, if we found it could be done by the general assent of the Whigs of the two Houses of Congress.

Sept. I. A short time before the Cabinet meeting today I called on Mr. Webster and found him in conversation with Mr. Rives, who suggested that Mr. Clay had given notice in the evening that the Bank Bill would be taken up this morning, and finally disposed of today. To this he had asked the consent of the opposition, who readily agreed to it. Mr. Rives having left us I asked Mr. Webster if he had seen Mr. Evans to induce him to hold a conversation with Mr. Berrien and if possible get him to postpone the bill until after the passage of the revenue bill as I had requested him last evening. He said he had not. I returned to my office and sent my son to Mr. Evans, and then went to the President's to Council.

I met Mr. Badger at the door and we went in together. Bell and Granger were both there-the conversation first turned upon some indifferent matters-pertaining to the War Department. The President then examined and sent to the Senate some nominations from the State Department and told me that he had sent up all mine except the Baltimore Appraisers that they objected to his friend Lester and he was unwilling to give him up. I told him I thought he would not make a good officer but that the names I had sent him were chosen with great care and I thought them unexceptionable. Just before I left him this subject was again adverted to and he said he must do something for Lester he had but few friends and he must take care of them.

Senator George Evans of Maine.

John Lester was nominated by Tyler as appraiser of merchandise for the port of Baltimore, December 14, 1841. The nomination was confirmed by the Senate, March 29, 1842.

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