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 266

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Page 266

Speech | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 266
tendency of the whole system, in all its modifications.
I have great fears that all will be found hostile to
liberty, and the advance of civilization fatally hostile
to liberty in our country, where the system exists in
its worst and most dangerous form." His proposition
failed, however, and the Bank fell headlong into ruin,
dragging thousands of victims after it, and spreading
deep gloom over the whole country. It 'is but just,
however, to say, that this disastrous catastrophe, which
did not occur until some years later, was due more to
its own violent and reckless efforts to extend its in-
fluence and operations, to maintain its existence, and to
revenge its defeat, than to the measures of the Gov-
ernment, unfair as they had been.
Early in 1837, shortly after Mr. Van Buren's eleva-
tion to the Presidency, the financial crisis which Mr.
Calhoun had long predicted, came. In the crash, the
Banks suspended payments almost everywhere, and
among them, the deposit Banks. By a joint resolution,
introduced by Mr. Calhoun in 1816, the notes of sus-
pended Banks could not be received into the Treasury,
and by a clause in the recent Deposit Act, such Banks
could not be used as fiscal agents. Thus, suddenly,
and in a most unexpected manner, the divorce between
the Government and Banks was fully effected ; and be-
lieving that no injury could now result from keeping
them separate forever, Mr. Calhoun cordially and
powerfully supported Mr. Van Buren's recommenda-
tion, at the extra session of 1837, to reorganize the
Treasury Department on the Sub-Treasury plan. To
the Bill introduced, Mr. Calhoun moved an amend-
ment, that specie only should be received in public
dues, and made this the sine qua non of his support.