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keeping and disbursing the pub- by suddenly presenting for paylic revenue before its dissolution, ment, at one of the distant to avoid any derangement con- branches, a large amount of sequent upon such a change at notes which had been secretly that moment; that the conduct of accumulated. the bank in relation to the three This demand was promptly per cents. and the bill on the met, but connected with the French government, and its inter- withdrawal of the public depoference with politics, deserved sits, it evinced a settled hostility punishment; and under those cir- against the bank, and compelled cumstances, the president assu- the directors to adopt a general med the responsibility himself, of system of retrenchment, with a removing the public deposits view to its own safety. from the United States bank, and Great commercial distress imfixed upon the 1st of October, mediately ensued. At the mo1833, as the day for their removal. ment of taking this step, the bu
The secretary of the treasury siness of the country was unudeliberated upon the question sually active. The capitalist, and thus authoratively pressed upon the merchants and mechanics, him, and on the 21st of Septem- had unlimited confidence in each ber, he announced to the presi- other, and all the monied institudent his determination not to tions of the country had extendcarry his directions into effect. ed their loans to the utmost He also resolved not to resign, bounds of their ability. and as he was the only officer At such a juncture, great and who could give a legal order for rigid retrenchment, attended the removal of the public mo- with want of confidence, was neys, the president was compel- necessarily productive of ruinled, in order to carry his designs ous consequences. Private credit into effect, to remove the secre- was deeply affected, and the butary. This was done on the 23d siness of the country was interof September, and Roger B. rupted to a degree, that could be Taney appointed in his place. attributable only to the panic
The new secretary was known which followed this violent atto entertain similar opinions to tack upon the pecuniary concerns those of the president, both as to of the community. the right and expediency of re- The period embraced in this moving the deposits, and he volume terminated in the height immediately issued the necessary of this distress, and we must deorders for their removal. fer, to a future opportunity, an
Almost simultaneously with account of the mercantile panic this step, an attempt was made of 1833, and of the measures to destroy the credit of the bank, adopted in congress for its relief.
French Treaty.—Payment of Indemnity Refused.—Neglect of
French Government to procure Appropriations.—Relations with G. Britain.- Arrangement as to West India Trade.—Disadvantageous to American Navigation.-Treaties with Russia and Belgium.-Relations with South America.
In the Register for the years francs, with 4 per cent. interest, 1830–31, an account was given in six annual instalments; the of the negotiation between the first to be paid at the expiration American and French govern- of one year from the exchange ments, in relation to the claims of the ratified treaties. These upon the latter for spoliations, instalments were to be paid at and of the conclusion of a treaty Paris, to such person as should adjusting the amount to be paid be authorized by the governby France, as a full indemnityment of the United States to refor those claims. Although the ceive them. sum stipulated to be paid (25,- The treaty was duly ratified 000,000 francs) did not amount by both governments, and on to one half of the original spolia- the 2d of February, 1832, the tions, and no allowance was ratified treaties were exchanged made for the interest accruing at Washington. before the treaty, still it was Immediately after the treaties deemed expedient to accede to were ratified, congress passed the compromise ; and both the the laws neeessary for complygovernment and the people of ing with the stipulations on the the United States congratulated part of the United States; and themselves upon the final settle- the secretary of the treasury, on ment of the only difficulty be. the 7th of July, 1833, drew a bill tween them and their earliest of exchange upon the minister ally.
of state and finance of the French This pleasing anticipation was government, directing the first not destined to be speedily reali- instalment to be paid to the his si
order of the cashier of the U.S. ever, K the second article of the bank; and a full of attor
power government of France ney was given by the president and in a bay the 25,000,000 of of the United States, authorizing
the assignee of the bill to receive of its session, on the 19th of Nothe same, and to give a proper vember, 1832. receipt to the government of Still, having scrupulously perFrance.
formed all the stipulations on the This prompt compliance with part of the United States, there the treaty on the part of the was no reason to forbear deUnited States, was not properly manding a reciprocal performresponded to by the French go- ance by France. vernment.
A bill of exchange was, thereNotwithstanding the treaties fore, drawn for the amount of were ratified, and duly exchan- the first instalment, pursuant to ged in the month of February, the provisions of the treaty, and 1832, no steps were taken by the payment was demanded at Paris king or his ministers to carry it by the holder of the bill, with into effect.
full powers to receive the amount By the constitution of France, in behalf of the United States. the chambers have the control of This bill was not accepted, the public treasury, and although and now for the first time, susthe king was competent to form picions were awakened against a treaty of indemnity, and indeed the integrity of the French gothe only branch of the govern- vernment. ment with which foreign nations The chambers had been in could negotiate, still it was ne- session from the 19th of Novemcessary for him to obtain a grant ber, to the time when the
payfrom the chambers to enable him ment of the first instalment was to execute it.
refused, and no steps were taken This, however, was a difficulty by the ministers, to procure the for the French government and necessary appropriations. the French nation to adjust for Even the documents, which themselves. The United States the Freneh government had had no concern with the form agreed to communicate to the and manner, in which the treaty American government, was to be carried into effect. witheld, under the pretence, that They looked to the performance the originals could not be withof the treaty as a poor, but still drawn from the courts, and when a full indemnity for claims which the American minister consented were irrefragable, and for which to accept copies, it was contendit was universally admitted, that ed that the expense of making satisfaction should be made. It the copies should be borne by was, therefore, with some sur- the United States. prise, that the government at After the presentation of the Washington saw, that the king of bill of exchange, it was deemed France had not asked from the expedient to take some steps for legislature the appropriations re- the purpose of executing the quired for the performance of treaty, or at least, to preserve the treaty, at the commencement the appearance of doing so.
Accordingly, on the 6th of bank, when there had been no April
, 1833, a bill containing pro- appropriation made by the chamvisions for that purpose, was pre- bers to pay the indemnity ; and sented to the chambers, and M. a culpable eagerness to reward Sherman, the minister of finance, political favourites, at the exexplained the grounds upon pense of the public interests, which the treaty was formed. was equally indicated, by send
The passage of the bill was ing Mr. Harris to act as chargé not urged at that session, which at this critical juncture ; but the closed on the 25th of April, tone of earnest and indignant nor at the succeeding session, remonstrance, which was assuwhich commenced the next day, med upon this refusal of France and continued to the 26th of to execute a treaty providing June.
only a partial indemnity for our The subject was, indeed, men- claims, was justified by the contioned in the chambers on the duct of that country, and well 11th of June, and the bill receiv- calculated to force upon her coned, and laid on the table ; but viction, the necessity, as well as nothing was done, notwithstand- propriety of paying some regard ing General Lafayette urged the to national faith. chambers to come to a decision, The chambers did not again and warned the government of meet during the period belonging the danger of leaving a question to this volume, and the future so important to the character and disposition of this question must welfare of France, in that du- be reserved for a subsequent bious posture. Frivolous excu- volume. ses were offered for not then taking up the bill, and another The management of the relasession, terminated without any tions between the United States steps being taken to vindicate the and Great Britain, did not bear honour and integrity of the equally strong testimony in French government.
favour of the sagacity and wisThis neglect, which there was dom of those intrusted with the too much reason to suppose was administration of the American intentional, was warmly resent government. ed by the American executive. The subjects of dispute be
Instructions were given to the tween the two countries were, American minister, to urge upon the colonial trade, the navigation the French government a prompt of the St. Lawrence, and the compliance with the treaty, and northeastern boundary. to inform it, that the United By an arrangement, in which States would demand indemnity congress was persuaded to confor the refusal to accept the bill fide the opening of our ports to for the first instalment.
the discretion of the president, A want of judgment was the intercourse was again restoindeed shown, in selling the bill red, and the country was called of exchange to the United States upon to extol the diplomatic skill which had restored a trade, lost that they could, by countervail(as was alleged) through the ing regulations, compel England neglect of his predecessor. It to supply her islands at a great was, however, speedily discover- sacrifice, in an indirect manner; ed, that the intercourse was not or to place the direct intercourse precisely on the same footing as upon terms where the American before. Instead of being carried and British shipping could fairly on, chiefly in American vessels, compete for the carrying trade. it was found that British vessels This was a point not to be engrossed the most profitable yielded. It was essential to the portion of the business, and as it entire enjoyment of our indepenwas well known that the naviga- dence, that the commerce betion of the United States could tween this country, and all coloalways maintain itself, in any nies, should be placed upon this trade where fair competition footing. The European view of prevailed, a more critical exami- this question was upon different nation took place into the terms principles, and was justified of this compromise.
upon different maxims. The government of the United To neither party was comStates had so long and so steadimercial intercourse necessary, ly adhered, in all its commercial and as all the great maritime arrangements, to the principles powers had colonies, acquiesof reciprocity, that an open cence was readily obtained in abandonment of that principle, the colonial system of modern would not have been tolerated Europe. by the country.
The intercourse was confined The harsh and oppressive po- to a trade between the mother licy of England formed one of country and her colonies, and the chief grievances which led to the former did not seek, nor exthe revolution; and those patri- pect to carry on a trade beotic men, who, after having led iween those colonies and the their countrymen through the rest of the world. If that had war, established a system of been attempted, the jealous spi
a policy for their government, rit of European commerce would looked to a full and fair partici- soon have claimed a right to be pation in the West India trade, consulted in arranging the terms as one of the legitimate results of that intercourse. of independence.
By the severance of the UniThey indeed knew that the ted States from the British mother country had the power empire, a new state of things to prohibit all intercourse with was presented. any, and all parts of the British Trade with the United States empire; but they also knew that was necessary to the very existthe West India islands were es- ence of the West India colonies; sentially dependent upon the and self respect, and national United States for supplies, and dignity forbade the United States