Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> An Oration on the Life, Character, and Services of John Caldwell Calhoun, Delivered on the 21st November 1850, in Charleston, S.C., at the Request of the City Council >> Page 241

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 241

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 241
Republican Party. This Mr. Calhoun opposed and
defeated; though in a modified form, it would finally
have passed the House, but for the casting vote of Mr.
Cheves. It was, however, on account of the extraor-
dinary character of the proposed Bank, that Mr. Cal-
houn resisted it, and not apparently from any doubt.
of the policy or constitutionality of a Bank chartered
by Congress. In fact, he had himself previously pro-
posed a Bank to be established in the District of Co-
lumbia, with the express view of getting rid of cer-
tain constitutional scruples felt by others; and he was
the responsible author of the Bank of 1816, whose
powerful efforts to prolong its own existence, so fiercely
agitated the whole Union twenty years later, and elided
in consequences so disastrous not only to its own stock-
holders, but to the country. From Mr. Calhoun's sub-
sequent declarations, it is certain that, in his maturer
years, he regarded the whole Banking system, as at
present organized, as a stupendous evil ; and he emphat-
ically declared, that its power, " if not diminished,
must terminate in its own destruction, or an entire revo-
lution in our social and political system." And that
of all Banks, he regarded a mere Government Bank as
the most dangerous, may be safely inferred from the
fact, that neither the ties of party, nor the entreaties
of the administration, nor the exigencies of the most
critical period of the war, could prevent him from
vigorously opposing such an Institution, though not
then hostile to an United States Bank. Ile advocated
the Bank of 1816, as indispensably necessary for the
restoration of the currency, and, to the last, he believed
that no other expedient could have effected that great
object. He avoided the constitutional question, by