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message, Governor Carroll had thoroughly analyzed its shortcomings and had strongly urged that its affairs be wound up at once.57 The assembly proceeded to a searching examination, and soon found that there were evidences of mismanagement, not only at the agencies, but at the principal bank. The cashier, finding himself under suspicion, made off with the books of the bank, and refused to give them up, declaring he would rather suffer imprisonment than reveal the names of those whom, he maintained, he had permitted to overdraw, but who were perfectly good. In order to get the books, the committee had suspended prosecution. A subcommittee had examined these books, but as some accounts had not been posted or balanced for eighteen months or two years, an investigation would be impossible at this session.58
This disastrous failure of the State Bank came at a most inopportune time politically. The Lynchburg l'irginian did not miss the chance to allege that Parrish, the defaulting cashier, was the agent of the Nashville “white-washing " committee and was suffering in silence to protect those whom he had helped with the bank's funds. Jackson had come to the rescue, sending $125.000 from Washington, which he had saved out of his first year's salary. The Nashville Republican retorted with scorn that both Jackson and Adams men were among those who had overdrawn, that Parrish's attorney was an Adams man, that the cashier's favors had been personal, not political, and that not even Jackson could save $125,000 out of a $25,000 salary:59
There was indeed a good deal of mystery about the matter ; but more important than the alleged scandal was the fact that the bank was wound up. Thereby, save for the relatively small competition of Yeatman, Woods and Company, an open field was left to the branch bank. This pursued its generous policy some time longer,co in spite of remonstrance from the principal bank. Later the attempt was made to contract, and this, as always, quickly raised enemies. Meanwhile there were projects for a new state bank.
The interesting continuation of this subject through the next decade of political strife must be deferred to another occasion. In this paper---to summarize—it has been shown, first, that the ad
57 Carroll's message, Senate Journal, October 5.
Report of Committee, ibid., 1830, January 14.
59 Nashville Republican, April 23, 1830, citing the Lynchburg l'irginian of March 25.
The two papers wrangled over the matter for some weeks. 69 See Polk's minority report of March 2, 1833, House Reports, no. 121, 22 Cong., 2 sess.
ministration of the public lands within the state was a matter of vital interest to Tennessee, both as to the methods of sale and still more with reference to the conflicting interests of the schools and the occupants; and secondly, that these local issues established for Tennessee a distinct point of view in the discussion of the national questions of the same sort, involving the fundamental opposition of the idea of revenue and the idea of speedy settlement. With regard to banking, it has been demonstrated that Tennessee was again typical of the West, undergoing painful experiments with state banks, speculation and stay-laws. Secondly, though originally predisposed to hostility against the Bank of the United States, Tennessee, or rather the dominant western portion of the state, was yet quite willing to accept the benefits of a branch of the great bank, so long as times were good and credit was easy, and only gradually listened to and joined in the attack on that institution, which was begun in the year of Jackson's inauguration. Finally, all the evidence from Tennessee sources seems to give support to the belief of recent writers that the “ Bank War” was of Jackson's own making, the outcome of an old and deep-rooted aversion to corporate money-power and inflated credit, rather than the result of any particular circumstances of party strife immediately connected with his election to the presidency.
ST. GEORGE LEAKIN SIOUSSAT.
Letters of Sir George Simpson, 18.11-1843. The documents printed herewith were copied from papers preserved in the Public Record Office at London. All except the first are from the pen of Sir George Simpson; that one, a letter from Sir John Pelly to Lord Aberdeen, is included because it makes an admirable introduction for the Simpson letters, besides possessing a distinct historical value of its own.
These papers stand at the beginning of an extended series of Hudson's Bay Company documents which, during the years 1842 to 1846, found their way into the archives of the British government. The Oregon boundary controversy was in its final stages, negotiations between Great Britain and the United States on that subject being practically continuous from the date of Lord Ashburton's mission in the spring of 1842 to June, 1846, when the treaty defining the northern boundary of Oregon was concluded. The Foreign Office was therefore obliged to keep itself posted relative to conditions in the disputed territory, and since the Hudson's Bay Company represented the only important British interest there, and maintained a regular communication between London and the Columbia River, the reports and letters of their agents stationed in Oregon and of other agents who, like Simpson, paid official visits to the country, would naturally assume in the eyes of the government a unique importance. Accordingly, Governor Pelly, of the Hudson's Bay Company, usually forwarded such matter ·to the Foreign Office. Pelly seems to have done this voluntarily, perhaps in con
" sequence of a general understanding with Lord Aberdeen. Once only, so far as the records show, did the government specifically ask him for information; that was in February, 1845, when the exigencies of diplomacy rendered it necessary for them to obtain without delay the latest advices as to the comparative strength of the British and American settlements in the Oregon country.
1 On July 18, 1846, the Hudson's Bay Company enclosed to the Foreign Office a list of the documents forwarded since the date of Pelly's letter printed herewith. The list, which is incomplete, includes the descriptions of fourteen documents, some of them of considerable length. Copies of these were brought away by the writer, with the permission of the Foreign Office, and they are now preserved, with other documents bearing on the Oregon question found in the British Archives, in the library of the University of Oregon.
The Simpson letter of March 10, 1842, written from Honolulu, differs from all the other Hudson's Bay documents in that it is virtually the report of a government agent after a careful examination of the affairs of the Pacific Coast and islands. Simpson is here writing not for the purpose of giving information to his company about trade conditions, but to inform the government about conditions affecting British interests and prospects in Oregon, in California and in the Sandwich Islands. True, his commission emanated from Lord Palmerston, and his report, quite in keeping with the bold and high-handed diplomacy of that minister, passed into the hands of Lord Aberdeen, a man of very different character. Yet there is abundant evidence to prove that Simpson's recommendations received serious attention. The present writer believes that this letter was one chief cause of the new interest which from that time the government manifested in the settlement of the Oregon question on the one hand, and in the political destiny of California and the Sandwich Islands on the other. As regards the islands, Simpson's visit not only synchronizes with the important political developments connected with the Hawaiian mission to the great powers in 1842–1843, but, according to these documents, Simpson suggested that mission to Tamehameha III. and got himself appointed one of the king's envoys.
I. LETTER OF Sir John H. PELLY TO THE EARL OF ABERDEEN.
Hudson's Bay HOUSE, 23rd January, 1843. My Lord;
I some time ago had the honor of laying before your Lordship a despatch from Sir George Simpson, dated Woahoo' the oth March last, respecting the Columbia River, California and the Sandwich Islands, which your Lordship returned to me on the 27th August.
At an interview which you favored me with when delivering that communication, I apprised your Lordship that Sir G. Simpson, filling the office of Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company's Territories, was then occupied on a survey of inspection of the Company's settlements and on several business arrangements, rendering it necessary for him to cross the continent of America from Canada to the outlet of the Columbia River; to visit California, the Sandwich Islands, the Russian settlements on the North West Coast of America; thence to cross the Northern Pacific to Ochotsk and to return via Siberia and Russia to England:—and that soon after his arrival in this country, I should do
? Sir John Pelly was governor of the Hudson's Bay Company; Lord Aberdeen was secretary of state for the foreign department. The manuscript of the letter is in "Foreign Office, America, 399 ; Domestic, Various, January to March, 1843 ".
myself the honor of communicating to your Lordship any further information I might collect from Sir George's Reports, in reference to the countries he had visited, which I might consider likely to be interesting to your Lordship.
In pursuance of that intention I now hand to your Lordship annexed, extracts from Sir George Simpson's despatch dated Vancouver (Columbia River) 25th November, 1841, wherein he reports on the character of some parts of the North American Continent through which he passed;—on the settlement by British subjects and citizens of the United States, of the country on the Banks of the Columbia River, designated in the United States “the Oregon Territory", the conflicting claims to which of Great Britain and the United States form a leading feature of the last message of the President:-on the visit of the United States Discovery Expedition, under the command of Commodore Wilkes, to the Columbia River; on the navigation and prospects of trade of that part of the country and of the North West Coast from the mouth of the Columbia River up to Lat. 54 degrees, 40', the southern Russian boundary:—and on the trade and establishments of the Russian American Company to the northward of that point.
I further beg to draw your Lordship's attention to the annexed extracts from Sir George's despatch dated Woahoo, ist March 1842, and to his letter dated Lahaina 24th March, wherein he notices several points not mentioned in his letter of the roth March in reference to California, its commerce and capabilities, likewise in reference to the trade of the Sandwich Islands and to communications he had with the King and government of these Islands ;-—and I have likewise to draw your Lordship's attention to extracts from that gentleman's despatches dated Ochotsk 6th July and London 16th November, on the whale fishery of the Northern Pacific, on the trade of the Russian American Company, and narrating the leading features of his travels from New Archangel - - - through Siberia and Russia.
On taking his departure from the Sandwich Islands, Sir George was charged with a letter from Tamahameha III. and Kaukauluohi, the King and Queen Regent of these Islands, addressed to Her Majesty, which I now beg to forward to your Lordship. After writing that letter the Sandwich Islands government came to the determination of sending their principal adviser, or Prime Minister, Mr. William Richards (an American subject who was previously occupied as a missionary at those Islands) in the capacity of envoy to Europe, as noticed in Sir George's letter of 24th March. By a letter of recent date from Mr. Richards, I learn he left the Sandwich Islands in August accompanied by a native chief, Haalilio, for this country, passing by Mexico and the United States, and that he may be expected here from day to day; and as Mr. Richards will in all probability be regulated by the opinion and advice of Mr. Colvile, Sir G. Simpson and myself, as to the mode of conveying to your Lordship the object of his mission, I shall in the meantime be glad if your Lordship would favor me with your irstructions on that head.
Sir George Simpson is now in London and will in the course of a few weeks hence be prepared to take his departure for Canada and the interior of Hudson's Bay, and as he may be possessed of further information than is conveyed in the accompanying extracts, in reference to the countries through which he has been travelling, which might be