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inent features in the act presented, which, in his opinion, make it incompatible with the constitution and sound policy. A general discussion will now take place, eliciting new light, and settling important principles; and a new Congress, elected in the midst of such discussion, and furnishing an equal representation of the people according to the last census, will bear to the Capitol the verdict of public opinion, and, I doubt not, bring this important question to a satisfactory result.
Under such circumstances, the bank comes forward and asks a renewal of its charter for a term of fifteen years, upon conditions which not only operate as a gratuity to the stockholders of many millions of dollars, but will sanction any abuses and legalize any encroachments.
Suspicions are entertained, and charges are made, of gross abuse and violation of its charter. An investigation unwillingly conceded, and so restricted in time as necessarily to make it incomplete and unsatisfactory, discloses enough to excite suspicion and alarm. In the practices of the principal bank partially unveiled, in the absence of important witnesses, and in numerous charges confidently made, and as yet wholly uninvestigated, there was enough to induce a majority of the Committee of Investigation, a committee which was selected from the most able and honorable members of the House of Representatives to recommend a suspension of further action upon the bill, and a prosecution of the inquiry. As the charter had yet four years to run, and as a renewal now was not necessary to the successful prosecution of its business, it was to have been expected that the bank itself, conscious of its purity, and proud of its character, would have withdrawn its application for the present, and demanded the severest scrutiny into all its transactions. In their declining to do so, there seems to be an additional reason why
the functionaries of the Government should proceed with less haste, and more caution, in the renewal of their monopoly.
The bank is professedly established as an agent of the Executive branches of the Government, and its constitutionality is maintained on that ground. Neither upon the propriety of present action, nor upon the provisions of this act, was the Executive consulted. It has had no opportunity to say that it neither needs nor wants an agent clothed with such powers, and favored by such exemptions. There is nothing in its legitimate functions which make it necessary or proper.
Whatever interest or influence, whether public or private, has given birth to this act, it cannot be found either in the wishes or necessities of the Executive Department, by which present action is deemed premature, and the powers conferred upon its agent not only unnecessary, but dangerous to the Government and country. ...
I have now done my duty to my country. If sustained by my fellow - citizens, I shall be grateful and happy; if not, I shall find, in the motives which impel me, ample grounds for contentment and peace. In the difficulties which surround us, and the dangers which threaten our institutions, there is cause for neither dismay nor alarm. For relief and aeliverance let us firmly rely on that kind Providence which, I am sure, watches with peculiar care over the destinies of our Republic, and on the intelligence and wisdom of our countrymen. Through His abundant goodness, and their patriotic devotion, our liberty and Union will be preserved.
ACT FOR ENFORCING THE TARIFF, 1833
In the Nullification controversy in 1832–33 a bill was reported by the Committee of Ways and Means of the House to reduce the tariff; another, by the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate, to enforce the collection of revenue.
A compromise tariff bill was introduced in the Senate. The Act to enforce the collection of revenue, which became popularly known as the “Force Bill,” was passed in the Senate on February 20th, and in the House on March 1, 1833. The text of the Act is in “United States Statutes at Large,” Vol. IV., pp. 632–635. (See page 97.)
An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That whenever, by reason of unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages of persons, it shall become impracticable, in the judgment of the President, to execute the revenue laws, and collect the duties on imports in the ordinary way, in any collection district, it shall and may be lawful for the President to direct that the custom-house for such district be established and kept in any secure place within some port or harbour of such district, either upon land or on board any vessel; and, in that case, it shall be the duty of the collector to reside at such place, and there to detain all vessels and cargoes arriving within the said district until the duties imposed
on said cargoes, by law, be paid in cash, deducting interest according to existing laws; and in such cases it shall be unlawful to take the vessel or cargo from the custody of the proper officer of the customs, unless by process from some Court of the United States; and in case of any attempt otherwise to take such vessel or cargo by any force, or combination, or assemblage of persons too great to be overcome by the officers of the customs, it shall and may be lawful for the President of the United States, or such person or persons as he shall have empowered for that purpose, to employ such part of the land or naval forces, or militia of the United States, as may be deemed necessary for the purpose of preventing the removal of such vessel or cargo, and protecting the officers of the customs in retaining the custody thereof.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the jurisdiction of the circuit courts of the United States shall extend to all cases, in law or equity, arising under the revenue laws of the United States, for which other provisions are not already made by law; and if any person shall receive any injury to his person or property for or on account of any act by him done, under any law of the United States, for the protection of the revenue or the collection of duties on imports, he shall be entitled to maintain suit for damage therefor in the circuit court of the United States in the district wherein the party doing the injury may reside, or shall be found. And all property taken or detained by any officer or other person under authority of any revenue law of the United States, shall be irrepleviable, and shall be deemed to be in the custody of the law, and subject only to the orders and decrees of the courts of the United States having jurisdiction thereof. And if any person shall dispossess or rescue, or attempt to dispossess or rescue any property so taken or detained as aforesaid, or shall aid or assist therein, such person shall be deemed guilty
of a misdemeanour, and shall be liable to such punishment as is provided by the twenty-second section of the act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States, approved the thirtieth day of April, Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred and ninety, for the wilful obstruction or resistance of officers in the service of process.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That in any case where suit or prosecution shall be commenced in a court of any state, against any officer of the United States, or other person, for or on account of any act done under the revenue laws of the United States, or under colour thereof, or for or on account of any right, authority, or title, set up or claimed by such officer, or other person under any such law of the United States, it shall be lawful for the defendant in such suit or prosecution, at any time before trial, upon a petition to the circuit court of the United States, in and for the district in which the defendant shall have been served with process, setting forth the nature of said suit or prosecution, and verifying the said petition by affidavit, together with a certificate signed by an attorney or counsellor at law of some court of record of the state in which such suit shall have been commenced, or of the United States, setting forth that, as counsel for the petitioner, he has examined the proceedings against him, and has carefully inquired into all the matters set forth in the petition, and that he believes the same to be true; which petition, affidavit and certificate, shall be presented to the said circuit court, if in session, and if not, to the clerk thereof, at his office, and shall be filed in said office, and the cause shall thereupon be entered on the docket of said court, and shall be thereafter proceeded in as a cause originally commenced in that court; and it shall be the duty of the clerk of said court, if the suit were commenced in the court below by summons, to issue a writ of certiorari to the state court, requiring said court to