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apparently, was being used by them. At any rate the occupants were by him placed before the schools. In the Congressional debates and in the newspapers of Tennessee the matter was thrashed out, while Polk's letters show the disgust of the Tennessee representatives and Judge White (then senator), and their combination to report Crockett to the home constituency.26

The result was that Crockett went over to the other side and strenuously opposed the measures of Jackson's administration. In the grand rally of the Jackson party in 1835 he was opposed by one of the stalwarts, Adam Huntsman, and his defeat by this onelegged rival is the traditional reason for his departure for Texas, where he won a greater fame by his tragic death at the Alamo. In his case the personal and political factors lent an added importance to what seemed to be a local quarrel, for the secession of Crockett to the opposition was the first open break in the solid. phalanx of Jacksonism in Tennessee.

Crockett's defection rendered nugatory for many years the attempt to get the West Tennessee lands for the schools. The attempt is interesting, however, both because of the circumstances behind it in Tennessee, and as a part of a common movement for education which led many states to ask for grants of land. The broadening of the question in Tennessee to a national basis is revealed in a resolution which was introduced in the Tennessee assembly of 1829, but was not adopted until 1831. This resolution urged that all the vacant lands of the United States might be sold at graduated prices, and the receipts constitute a fund for education to be divided among the states and territories as might be equal and just.28

Thus in the history of the public lands of Tennessee there were two opposing tendencies: one looked to the revenue of the state from the sale of its lands, and the appropriation of this revenue to state banking capital, internal improvements, educational institutions of higher or lower grade, or other state enterprises; on the other hand, the interest of the poorer settlers and the desire to increase rapidly the population of the state appeared in the liberality towards the occupant and in the suggestion of free grants of land. The plan of selling at graduated prices exhibited a combination of the two principles: it was claimed that more land would

2 Letters of Polk, Judge White and others, in Polk MSS., Library of Congress. After many further applications by Tennessee the lands were finally given to the state by Congress, by the Acts of 1841, ch. 7, and 1846, ch. 92. 5 U. S. Statutes, p. 412, and 9, p. 66.

28 Acts of Tennessee, 1831, resolution no. 15.

be sold to individuals, and there would be no less revenue.

On the

stage of national politics the same ideas, the same opposition, the same suggestion of compromise, appeared in larger form,29 with an additional matter for contention in the proposal that the proceeds of the sales of the public domain be distributed to the states. It was in the Jackson period that the land policy of the country became of fresh importance, and Jackson's own opinions were clearly stated in his annual message of December 4, 1832, and in his veto message of one year later.

In the debate over Foot's resolution-which to the West was by no means "apparently harmless "-Felix Grundy, one of the senators from Tennessee, declared that he was willing to adopt a policy of graduating the price of the public lands, and, with regard to actual settlers, to go as far as any man in or out of the Senate. It was "good policy to convert Eastern tenants into Western freeholders". He would not limit this to those already in occupation, but give all citizens who would settle on the surveyed lands a quarter section at fifty cents an acre, provided they would remain on the lands two years and raise two crops on it. What his colleague, Colonel Crockett, of the other House, called "refuse land", he would-after all the good land had been sold-relinquish to the states.30 In this the connection between the state and the national questions is obvious, as is also the tendency towards cheaper landprices and away from the idea of revenue. The logical outcome of this tendency, so much urged by Benton, and so long delayed by bitter strife, was the Homestead legislation of later years.


In the rush towards the extension of banking which followed the War of 1812, many new banks were established in Tennessee, and the capital and the branches of the old ones were increased. The old banks were two in number, the Nashville Bank and the Bank of the State of Tennessee at Knoxville. The latter was most creditably managed under the presidency of Hugh Lawson White, but after White entered the Senate of the United States the business of the numerous branches (including one at Nashville) was closed, and that of the parent bank was relatively not important. Nashville was the centre of financial as well as political power. When the flush times after the war were followed by the panic

29 Turner, Rise of the New West, pp. 141-143, 286.

Congressional Debates, April 2, 1830, vol. VI., part 1., p. 212.

of 1819, the newly established banks in Tennessee broke, and the Nashville Bank and the branch of the Knoxville Bank located at Nashville suspended specie payments. Like other Western states, Tennessee was becoming rapidly settled and was speculating largely in lands, and in the reaction suffered severely. As elsewhere it was claimed that the pressure came from the outside rather than from conditions within the state, and the responsibility was laid at the door of the Second Bank of the United States. Upon the merits of this latter institution, when it first began operations and when it was proposed to establish a branch in Nashville, opinion was strongly divided. Felix Grundy with other citizens of Nashville was very solicitous for a branch; but the opposition was too strong, and the legislature levied a tax of $50,000 on banking institutions not chartered by the state. Even after this law had been passed, the promoters of the branch scheme did not give up hope, but the bank preferred to test the constitutionality of such laws in other states, and Tennessee was left to wait ten years for a branch.

Meanwhile, stirred by the disasters of 1819, Felix Grundy effected a combination with the warm-hearted governor, Joseph McMinn, and in 1820 the legislature was called in special session. to add some further measure of "relief" to the "stay" laws which had been passed the year before. This originally appeared in the form of a "Loan-Office ", but before the legislature had finished its work, it had substituted the second "Bank of the State of Tennessee". In some accounts of this institution, the impression is given that it was copied after the similar state bank of Kentucky. The reverse is true: this Tennessee bank preceded both that in Kentucky and that in Missouri. Its charter was distinctly a sectional measure, carried through by the western votes against the intense oppositon of East Tennessee; even in the west there was a strong element against the bank. Into the debate over the matter burst Andrew Jackson, who for some time had not taken any active part in the politics of the state, but who now used every effort to kill the bank fathered by Grundy-a situation amusingly in contrast with the relations of the two in later days. Answering a letter from Lewis in which that cautious politician had remonstrated against the general's heat, and had remarked that he saw no difference between the land-office and the bank, so far as constitutionality was concerned, Jackson wrote:

You know my opinion as to the Banks, that is, that the constitution of our State, as well as the constitution of the United States prohibited the Establishment of Banks in any state, and that such a thing as loan

offices by a state for the purpose of creating a fund out of the property of the State for the payment of individual debts certainly is a power not granted by any provisions of the state constitution, and is unheard of, and prohibited by the principles of general Justice to the people: if even the constitution would permit it."


Continuing, he says that matters might be so arranged as to enable the Banks to lend more relief than this wicked law will do to the distressed-for in my opinion it will relieve none-the notes must depreciate, its credit will sink, and the farmers will not receive it-it will destroy our credit abroad. No merchant will be credited abroad and every cent of current money in the state will be shut up, this law destroying all confidence at home between man and man." He hopes to prevent the passage of the loan-office bill but be that as it may, it will as long as I live meet my opposition."


The special purpose of the new state bank, as outlined in its charter, was to relieve the distresses of the community and to improve the revenue of the state. The method for reaching these desirable ends was, in brief, to lend to poor debtors, on mortgages, small sums of money in bills based on revenue to be derived from land-sales in the Hiwassee District. The state's ordinary revenue was also pledged, and the bank was made the depositary of the state. The bank started in the midst of a general suspension of specie payments; and the bills were made payable not only for all taxes due to the state and to the counties, but also for all interest payments to the colleges and academies from those who owed them money for lands. Agents were appointed in the several counties to loan out the bills to those who wished them. Provision was made for an issue of state stock to the amount of $250,000; but none was issued. Stay of execution for debt for the period of two years was permitted unless these bills were accepted by the creditor; a provision which was nullified by a decision of the supreme court of the state in 1821.33

Such, in outline, were the main features of this bank. It began operations with the return of good crops and general prosperity, and, under the management of conscientious directors and the jealous surveillance of Governor Carroll, for some time pursued a conservative course. With this bank, the Nashville Bank and the branch of the Bank of Tennessee (of Knoxville), Nashville and


$1 Ford MSS., Lenox Library, New York. This letter is printed in Bulletin of the New York Public Library, IV. 189–190.

32 Act of 1820, chs, 7, 8, July 25, 1820.

33 Townsend vs. Townsend, 1821, Peck's Reports, p. 1. The case really

referred to the stay-law of 1819.

West Tennessee were at least sufficiently provided with banking facilities. Yet in five years there was apparently room for another bank, this time a private institution conducted by Messrs. Yeatman, Woods and Company. As the summer of 1826 approached, the banks, spurred on by Governor Carroll and the legislature, made ready to resume. On September 1, 1826, all the banks did resume;34 but trouble was ahead, and very soon banking matters were again brought into the forefront of state politics. In less than three months, the evils of the enormous amount of notes formerly issued resulted in a run on the Nashville Bank which withdrew $260,000 of its funds; and it was obliged once more to suspend.35 After several years its affairs were adjusted. Meanwhile it transacted no further business.

This catastrophe, in 1826, was followed however by a new development, or rather the reappearance of an old one, to which we must now turn. Whether post hoc in this case really means propter hoc is not certain; but just after the suspension of the Nashville Bank, a bill was begun in the legislature (then in called session) to repeal the Act of 1817 which had effected the exclusion of the Bank of the United States.

In Professor Catterall's History of the Second Bank of the United States there are cited two letters from McIlvaine, cashier of the bank at Philadelphia, to Nicholas Biddle, which state that Colonel William Robinson of Pittsburgh, who was in Nashville while the debate over the repeal of the law of 1817 was in progress, positively declared that General Jackson had done everything in his power to prevent the repeal of the law, and that the repeal was carried in one of the houses by one vote.36 The journals of the legislature then sitting recount at least one visit by General Jackson, for on November 12 the House adjourned "to gratify the wishes of the favorite of Tennessee ". In the Lower House, the bill to repeal the Act of 1817 passed its second reading by a vote of 24 to 12.38 No special exhibition of sectionalism appeared in this, except that the middle and western sections of the state with their larger vote were in favor of repeal while East Tennessee was evenly divided. Nor were any party lines evident, as Jackson men voted on both sides. On the third reading there does not even seem to have been a division.39 In the senate, however, the case was different. Here the

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Nashville Banner and Whig, September 2, 1826.

35 Ibid., November 18, 1826.

36 Catterall, The Second Bank of the United States, p. 183, note.

37 House Journal, 1826, p. 132.

38 Ibid., pp. 172-173.

39 lbid., p. 227.

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