xt7zgm81kp8h https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7zgm81kp8h/data/mets.xml Clay, Henry, 1777-1852. 1843  books b92-87-27382592v2 English Greeley & McElrath, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Campaign literature. Whig Party (U.S.)Swain, James B. (James Barrett), 1820-1895. Life and speeches of Henry Clay (vol. 2) text Life and speeches of Henry Clay (vol. 2) 1843 2002 true xt7zgm81kp8h section xt7zgm81kp8h 

   z,,-  Ra,   ,/7 1/77! an'f 1/1/727

Twm  77 7/ V77 -7,"/ 17 2  I 14T







I I.

        NEW YORb,:





       ENTERED according to an act of Congress, in the year 1842, by
                          JAMES B. SWAIN,
In the Clerk's Office of the U. S. Court for the Southern District of New-York.



                             OF VOLUME HI.

In Defence of the American System .........................................        9
On a National Bank ............................. 68
On the Bank Charter.............................                     82
On the Veto of the Bank ..............................89
On the Public Lands.............................                    104
On Introducing the Compromise Bill.............................      139
In support of the Compromise Act.............................        157
On the Removal of the Deposites.............................        177
On the State of the Country ..............................231
On the State of the Country ..............................235
On Our Treatment of the Cherokees.............................      249
On Surrendering the Cumberland Road.............................    266
On Appointments and Removals.............................           269
On the Land Distribution..    ..................................................287
On the Expunging Resolutions.............................           295
On the Sub-Treasury.............................                    313
On the Sub-Treasury ........................................................ 344
Outline of a National Bank ..............................390
On Abolition Petitions..............................  ,       .      395
On the Presidential Election,.............................            420
On the Pre-Emption Bill.............................                443
On the Bank Veto.............................                       492
On a True Public Policy.......................    .    .    .   .... 518
On Retiring from the Senate .552
On Returning to Kentucky.                                           560
In Reply to Mr. Mendenhall .591

This page in the original text is blank.





C L A Y.


                            6TH, 1832.

  [Mr. CLAY, having retired from Congress soon after the establishment of the
American System, by the passage of the Tariff of 1824, did not return to it till 1831-2,
when the opponents of this system had covertly acquired the ascendancy, and were
bent on its destruction. An act reducing the duties on many of the protected articles,
was devised and passed. The bill being under consideration in the Senate, Mr
CLAY addressed that body as follows:]

  IN one sentiment, Mr. President, expressed by the honorable gen-
tleman from South Carolina, (General Hayne,) though perhaps not
in the sense intended by him, I entirely concur. I agree with him,
that the decision on the system of policy embraced in this debate, in-
volves the future destiny of this growing country. One way I verily
believe, it would lead to deep and general distress, general bankrupt-
cy and national ruin, without benefit to any part of the Union: the
other, the existing prosperity will be preserved and augmented, and
the nation will continue rapidly to advance in wealth, power, and
greatness, without prejudice to any section of the confederacy.



  Thus viewing the question, I stand here as the humble but zealous
advocate, not of the interests of one State, or seven States only, but
of the whole Union. And never before have I felt, more intensely,
the overpowering weight of that share of responsibility which belongs
to me in these deliberations. Never before have I had more occasion
than I now have to lament my want of those intellectual powers, the
possession of which might enable me to unfold to this Senate, and to
illustrate to this people great truths, intimately connected with the
lasting welfare of my country. I should, indeed, sink overwhelmed
and subdued beneath the appalling magnitude of the task which lies
before mew if I did not feel myself sustained and fortified by a thorough
consciousness of the justness of the cause which I have espoused, and
by a persuasion I hope not presumptuous, that it has the approba-
tion of that Providence who has so often smiled upon these United

  Eight years ago, it was my painful duty to present to the other
House of Congress, an unexaggerated picture of the general distress
pervading the whole land. We must all yet remember some of its
frightful features. We all know that the people were then oppress-
ed and borne down by an enormous load of debt; that the value of
property was at the lowest point of depression; that ruinous sales and
sacrifices were every where made of real estate; that stop laws, and
relief laws, and paper money were adopted to save the people from
impending destruction; that a deficit in the public revenue existed,
which compelled government to seize upon, and divert from its legiti-
mate object the appropriations to the sinking fund, to redeem the na-
tional debt; and that our commerce and navigation were threatened
with a complete paralysis. In short, sir, if I were to select any termn
of seven years since the adoption of the present constitution which
exhibited a scene of the most wide-spread dismay and desolation, it
would be exactly that term of seven years which immediately prece-
ded the establishment of the tariff of 1824.

  I have now to perform the more pleasing task of exhibiting an im-
perfect sketch of the existing state of the unparalleled prosperity of
the country. On a general survey, we behold cultivation extended,
the arts flourishing, the face of the country improved, our people
fully and profitably employed, and the public countenance exhibiting
tranquility, contentment and happiness. And if we descend into par-




ticulars, we have the agreeable contemplation of a people out of debt;
land rising slowly in value, but in a secure and salutary degree; a
ready though not extravagant market for all the surplus productions
of our industry; innumerable flocks and herds browsing and gambol-
ing on ten thousand hills and plains, covered with rich and verdant
grasses; our cities expanded, and whole villages springing up, as it
were, by enchantment; our exports and imports increased and in-
creasing; our tonnage, foreign and coastwise, swelling and fully occu-
pied; the rivers of our interior animated by the perpetual thunder
and lightning of countless steam-boats; the currency sound and
abundant; the public debt of two wars nearly redeemed; and, to
crown all, the public treasury overflowing, embarrassing Congress,
not to find subjects of taxation, but to select the objects which shall
be liberated from the impost. If the term of seven years were to be
selected, of the greatest prosperity which this people have enjoyed
since the establishment of their present constitution, it would be ex-
actly that period of seven years which immediately followed the pas-
sage of the tariff of 1824.

   This transformation of the condition of the country from gloom and
distress to brightness and prosperity, has been mainly the work of
American legislation, fostering American industry, instead of allow-
ing it to be controlled by foreign legislation, cherishing foreign indus-
try. The foes of the American System, in 1824, with great boldness
and confidence, predicted, 1st. The ruin of the public revenue, and
the creation of a necessity to resort to direct taxation. The gentle-
man from South Carolina, (General Hayne,) 1 believe, thought that
the tariff of 1824 would operate a reduction of revenue to the WPe
amount of eight millions of dollars. 2d. The destruction of our navi-
gation. 3d. The desolation of commercial cities. And 4th. The
augmentation of the price of objects of consumption, and further de-
cline in that of the articles of our exports. Every prediction which
they made has failed-utterly failed. Instead of the ruin of the pub-
lic revenue, with which they then sought to deter us from the adop-
tion of the American System, we are now threatened with its sub-
version, by the vast amount of the public revenue produced by that
system. Every branch of our navigation has increased. As to the
desolation of our cities, let us take as an example, the condition of
the largest and most commercial of all of them, the great northern
capital. I have, in my hands, tbe assessed value of real estate in the




city of New York, from 1817 to 1831. This value is canvassed
contested, scrutinized and adjudged by the proper sworn authorities.
It is, therefore, entitled to full credence. During the first term, com-
mencing with 1817, and ending in the year of the passage of the
tariff of 1824, the amount of the value of real estate was, the first
year, 57,799,435, and, after various fluctuations in the intermediate
period, it settled down at 52,019,730, exhibiting a decrease, in seven
years, of 5,779,705. During the first year of 1825, after the pas-
sage of the tariff, it rose, and, gradually ascending throughout the
whole of the latter period of seven years, it finally, in 1831, reached
the astonishing height of 95,716,485! Now, if it be said that this
rapid growth of the city of New York was the effect of foreign com-
merce, then it was not correctly predicted, in 1824, that the tariff
would destroy foreign commerce, and desolate our commercial cities.
If, on the contrary, it be the effect of internal trade, then internal
trade cannot be justly chargeable with the evil consequences imputed
to it. The truth is, it is the joint effect of both principles, the do-
mestic industry nourishing the foreign trade, and the foreign com-
merce in turn nourishing the domestic industry.  Nowhere more
than in New York is the combination of both principles so complete-
ly developed. In the progress of my argument, I will consider the
effect upon the price of commodities produced by the American Sys-
tem, and show that the very reverse of the prediction of its foes, in
1824, actually happened.

  Whilst we thus behold the entire failure of all that was foretold
against the system, it is a subject of just felicitation to its friends, that
all their anticipations of its benefits have been fulfilled, or are in pro-
gress of fulfillment. The honorable gentleman from South Carolina
has made an allusion to a speech made by me, in 1824, in the other
House, in support of the tariff, and to which, otherwise, I shouid not
have particularly referred.  But I would ask any one, who can
now command the courage to peruse that long production, what
principle there laid down is not true what prediction then made has
been falsified by practical experience 

  It is now proposed to abolish the system, to which we owe so much
of the public prosperity, and it is urged that the arrival of the period
of the redemption of the public debt has been confidently looked to
as presenting a suitable occasion to rid the country of the evils with




which the system is alledged to be fraught. Not an inattentive ob-
server of passing events, I have been aware that, among those who
were most early pressing the payment of the public debt, and, upon that
ground, were opposing appropriations to other great interests, there
were some who cared less about the debt than the accomplishment
of other objects. But the people of the United States have not cou-
pled the payment of their public debt with the destruction of the pro-
tection of their industry, against foreign laws and foreign industry.
They have been accustomed to regard the extinction of the public
debt as relief from a burthen, and not as the infliction of a curse. If
it is to be attended or followed by the subversion of the American
System, and an exposure of our establishments and our productions to
the unguarded consequences of the selfish policy of foreign powers,
the payment of the public debt will be the bitterest of curses. Its
fruit will be like the fruit

             "Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste'
             Brought death into the world, and all our woe,
             With loss of Eden."

  If the system of protection be founded on principles erroneous in
theory, pernicious in practice-above all if it be unconstitutional, as
is alledged, it ought to be forthwith abolished. and not a vestage of
it suffered to remain. But, before we sanction this sweeping de-
nunciation, let us look a little at this system, its magnitude, its rami-
fications, its duration, and the high authorities which have sustained
it. We shall see that its foes will have accomplished comparatively
nothing, after having achieved their present aim of breaking down
our iron-founderies, our woollen, cotton, and hemp manufactories, and
our sugar plantations. The destruction of these would, undoubtedly,
lead to the sacrifice of immense capital, the ruin of many thousands
of our fellow citizens, and incalculable loss to the whole community.
But their prostration would not disfigure, nor produce greater effect
upon the whole system of protection, in all its branches, than the de-
struction of the beautiful domes upon the capitol would occasion to
the magnificent edifice which they surmount. Why, sir, there is
scarcely an interest, scarcely a vocation in society, which is not em-
braced by the beneficence of this system.

  It comprehe rds our coasting tonnage and trade, from which all
foreign tonnage is absolutely excluded.




   It includes all our foreign tonnage, with the inconsiderable excep-
tion made by treaties of reciprocity with a few foreign powers.

  It embraces our fisheries, and all our hardy and enterprising fish-

  It extends to almost every mecbanic art: to tanners, cordwainers,
tailors, cabinet-makers, hatters, tinners, brass-workers, clock-makers,
coach-makers, tallow-chandlers, trace-makers, rope-makers, cork-cut-
ters, tobacconists, whip-makers, paper-makers, umbrella-makers,
glass-blowers, stocking-weavers, butter-makers, saddle and harness-
makers, cutlers, brush-makers, book-binders, dairy-men, milk-farm-
ers, black-smiths, type-founders, musical instrument-makers, basket-
makers, milliners, potters, chocolate-makers, floor-cloth-makers, bon-
net-makers, hair-cloth-makers, copper-smiths, pencil-makers,bellows-
makers, pocket book-makers, card-makers, glue-makers, mustard-
makers, lumber-sawyers, saw-makers, scale-beam-makers, scythe-
makers, wood-saw-makers, and many others. The mechanics enu-
merated, enjoy a measure of protection adapted to their several con-
ditions, varying from twenty to fifty per cent. The extent and im-
portance of some of these artizans. may be estimated by a few par-
ticulars. The tanners, curriers, boot and shoe-makers, and other
workers in hides, skins and leather, produce an ultimate value per
annum of forty millions of dollars; the manufacturers of hats and
caps produce an annual value of fifteen millions; the cabinet-makers
twelve millions; the manufacturers of bonnets and hats for the fe-
male sex, lace, artificial flowers, combs, c. seven millions; and the
manufacturers of glass, five millions.

  It extends to all lower Louisiana, the Delta of which might as well
be submerged again in the Gulf of Mexico, from which it has been a
gradual conquest, as now to be deprived of the protecting duty upon
its great staple.

  It effiects the cotton planter himself, and the tobacco planter, both
of whom enjoy protection.

 To say nothing of cotton produced in other foreign countries, the cultivation of
this article, of a very superior quality, is constantly extending in the adjacent Mexi-
can Provinces, and, but for the duty probably a large amount would be introduced
into the United States, down Red river and along the coast of she Gulf of Mexico-




  The total amount of the capital vested in sheep, the land to sustain
them, wool, woollen manufactures, and woollen fabrics, and the sub-
sistence of the various persons directly or indirectly employed in the
growth and manufacture of the article of wool, is estimated at one
hundred and sixty-seven millions of dollars, and the number of per-
sons at one hundred and fifty thousand.

  The value of iron, considered as a raw material, and of its manu-
factures, is estimated at twenty-six millions of dollars per annum.
Cotton goods, exclusive of the capital vested in the manufacture, and
of the cost of the raw material, are believed to amount annually, to
about twenty millions of dollars.

  These estimates have been carefully made, by practical men of un-
doubted character, who have brought together and embodied their
information. Anxious to avoid the charge of exaggeration, they
have sometimes placed their estimates below what was believed to
be the actual amount of these interests. With regard to the quantity
of bar and other iron annually produced, it is derived from the known
works themselves; and I know some in western States which they
have omitted in their calculations.

  Such are some of the items of this vast system of protection, which
it is now proposed to abandon. We might well pause and contem-
plate, if human imagination could conceive the extent of mischief and
ruin from its total overthrow, before we proceed to the work of de-
struction. Its duration is worthy also of serious consideration. Not
to go behind the constitution, its date is coeval with that instrument.
It began on the ever memorable fourth day of July-the fourth day of
July, 1789. The second act which stands recorded in the statute
book, bearing the illustrious signature of George Washington, laid the
corner stone of the whole system. That there might be no mistake
about the matter, it was then solemnly proclaimed to the American
people and to the world, that it was necessary for " the encourage-
ment and protection of manufactures," that duties should be laid. It
is in vain to urge the small amount of the measure of the protection
then extended. The great principle was then established by the fa-
thers of the constitution, with the father of his country at their head.
And it cannot now be questioned, that, if the government had not
then been new and the subject untried, a greater measure of protec-




tion would have been applied, if it had been supposed necessary.
Shortly after, the master minds of Jefferson and Hamilton were
brought to act on this interesting subject. Taking views of it apper-
taining to the departments of foreign affairs and of the treasury, which
they respectively filled, they presented, severally, reports which yet
remain monuments of their profound wisdom and came to the same
conclusion of protection to American industry. Mr. Jefferson argued
that foreign restrictions, foreign prohibitions, and foreign high dnties,
ought to be met at home by American restrictions, American prohi-
bitions, and American high duties. Mr. Hamilton, surveying the
entire ground, and looking at the inherent nature of the subject, treat-
ed it with an ability, which, if ever equalled, has not been surpassed,
and earnestly recommended protection.

  The wars of the French revolution commenced about this period,
and streams of gold poured into the United States through a thousand
channels, opened or enlarged by the successful commerce which our
neutrality enabled us to prosecute. We forgot or overlooked, in the
general prosperity, the necessity of encouraging our domestic manu-
factures. Then came the edicts of Napoleon, and the British orders
in council; and our embargo, non-intercourse, non-importation, and
war, followed in rapid succession. These national measures, amount-
ing to a total suspension, for the period of their duration, of our for-
eign commerce, afforded the most efficacious encouragement to Amer-
ican manufactures; and accordingly they everywhere sprung up.
While these measures of restriction, and this state of war continued,
the manufacturers were stimulated in their enterprise by every assu-
rance of support, by public sentiment, and by legislative resolves. It
was about that period (1808) that South Carolina bore her high tes-
timony to the wisdom of the policy, in an act of her legislature, the
preamble of which, now before me, reads:

" Whereas, the establishment and encourag-ement of domestic manufactures, is
conducive to the interests of a State, by adding new incentives to industry, and as
being the means of disposing to advantage the surplus productions of the aricultu-
rist: and whereas, in the present unexampled state of the world, their establishment
in our country is not only expedient, but politic in rendering us independent of foreign

  The legislature, not being competent to afford the most efficacious
aid, by imposing duties on foreign rival articles, proceeded to incor-
porate a company.




  Peace, under the treaty of Ghent, returned in 1815, but there did
not return with it the golden days which preceded the edicts levelled
at our commerce by Great Britain and France. It found all Europe
tranquilly resuming the arts and the business of civil life. It found
Europe no longer the consumer of our surplus, and the employer of
our navigation, but excluding, or heavily burthening, almost all the
productions of our agriculture, and our rivals in manufactures, in
navigation, and in commerce. It found our country, in short, in a
situation totally different from all the past-new and untried. It be-
came necessary to adapt our laws, and especially our laws of impost,
to the new circumstances in which we found ourselves. Accordingly,
that eminent and lamented citizen, then at the head of the treasury,
(Mr. Dallas,) was required, by a resolution of the House of Repre-
sentatives, under date the twenty-third day of February, 1815, to
prepare and report to the succeeding session of Congrcss, a system of
of revenue conformable with the actual condition of the country. He
had the circle of a whole year to perform the work, consulted mer-
chants, manufacturers, and other practical men, and opened an ex-
tensive correspondence. The report which he made at the session of
1816, was the result of his inquiries and reflections, and embodies the
principles which he thought applicable to the subject. It has been
said, that the tariff of 1816 was a measure of mere revenue, and that
it only reduced the war duties to a peace standard. It is true that
the question then was, how much and in what way should the double
duties of the war be reduced  Now, also, the question is, on what
articles shall the duties be reduced so as to subject the amounts of
the future revenue to the wants of the government  Then it was
deemed an inquiry of the first importance, as it should be now, how,
the reduction should be made, so as to secure proper encouragement
to our domestic industry. That this was a leading object in the ar-
rangement of the tariff of 1816, 1 well remember, and it is demon-
strated by the language of Mr. Dallas. He says in his report:

  " There are few, if any governments, which do not regard the establishment of do-
mestic manufactures as a chief object of public policy. The United States have al-
ways so regarded it.            The demands of the country, while the
acquisitions of supplies from foreign nations was either prohibited or impracticable,
mav have afforded a sufficient inducement for this investment of. capital, and this
application of labor: but the inducement, in its necessary extent, must fail when
the day of competition returns. Upon that change in the condition of the country,
the preservation of the manufactures, which private citizens under favorable auspices
have constituted the property of the nation, becomes a consideration of general poli-
cy, to be resolved by a recollection of past embarrassments; by the certainty of an
increased difficulty of reinstating, upon any emergency, the manufactures which
shall be allowed to perish and pass away," c.




   The measure of protection which he proposed was not adopted, in
regard to some leading articles, and there was great difficulty in as-
certaining what it ought to have been. But the principle was then
distinctly asserted and fully sanctioned.

  The subject of the American system was again brought up in 1820,
by the bill reported by the chairman of the committee of manufac-
tures, now a member of the bench of the Supreme Court of the Uni-
ted States, and the principle was successfully maintained by the rep-
resentatives of the people; but the bill which they passed was de-
feated in the Senate. It was revived in 1824; the whole ground
carefully and deliberately explored, and the bill then introduced, re-
ceiving all the sanctions of the constitution, beerme the law of the
land. An amendment of the system was proposed in 1828, to the
history of which I refer with no agreeable recollections. The bill of
that year, in some of its provisions, was framed on principles directly
adverse to the declared wishes of the friends of the policy of protec-
tion. I have heard, without vouching for the fact, that it was so
framed, upon the advice of a prominent citizen, now abroad, with the
view of ultimately defeating the bill, and with assurances that, being
altogether unacceptable to the friends of the American system, the
bill would be lost. Be that as it may, the most exceptionable fea-
tures of the bill were stamped upon it, against the earnest remon-
strances of the friends of the system, by the votes of southern mem-
bers, upon a principle, I think, as unsound in legislation as it is repre-
hensible in ethics. The bill was passed, notwithstanding  this,
it having been deemed better to take the bad along with the good
which it contained, than reject it altogether. Subsequent legislation
has corrected the error then perpetrated, but still that measure is ve-
hemently denounced by gentlemen who contributed to make it what
it was.

  Thus, sir, has this great system of protection been gradually built,
stone upon stone, and step by step, from the fourth of July, 1789,
down to the present period. In every stage of its progress it has re-
ceived the deliberate sanction of Congress. A vast majority of the
people of the United States has approved and continue to approve it.
Every chief magistrate of the United States, from Washington to the
present, in some form or other, has given to it the authority of his
name; and however the opinions of the existing President are inter-




preted South of Mason's and Dixon's line, on the north they are at
least understood to favor the establishment of a judicious tariff.

  The question, therefore, which we are now called upon to deter-
mine, is not whether we shall establish a new and doubtful system of
policy, just proposed, and for the first time presented to our consider-
ation, but whether we shall break down and destroy a long establish-
ed system, patiently and carefully built up and sanctioned, during a
series of years, again and again, by the nation and its highest and
most revered authorities. And are we not bound deliberately to con-
sider whether we can proceed to this work of destruction without a
violation of the public faith  The people of the United States have
justly supposed that the policy of protecting their industry against
foreign legislation and foreign industry was fully settled, not by a
single act, but by repeated and deliberate acts of government, per-
formed at distant and frequent intervals. In full confidence that the
policy was firmly and unchangeably fixed, thousands upon thousands
have invested their capital, purchased a vast amount of real and other
estate, made permanent establishments, and accommodated their in-
dustry. Can we expose to utter and irretrievable ruin this countless
multitude, without justly incurring the reproach of violating the na-
tional faith 

  I shall not discuss the constitutional question. Without meaning
any disrespect to those who raise it, if it be debateable, it has been
sufficiently debated. The gentleman from South Carolina suffered it
to fall unnoticed from his budget ; and it was not until after he had
closed his speech and resumed his seat, that it occurred to him that
he had forgotten it, when he again addressed the Senate, and, by a
sort of protestation against any conclusion from his silence, put for-
ward the objection. The recent free trade convention at Philadelphia,
it is well known, were divided on the question; and although the
topic is noticed in their address to the public, they do not avow their
own belief that the American system is unconstitutional, but repre
sent that such is the opinion of respectable portions of the American
people. Another address to the people of the United States, from a
high source, during the past year, treating this subject, does not as-
sert the opinion of the distinguished author, but states that of others
to be that it is unconstitutional. From which I infer that he did not
himself believe it unconstitutional.




  [Here the Vice-President interposed and remarked that, if the Senator from Kfen.-
tucky alluded to him, he must say that his opinion was, that the measure was un-

   When, sir, I contended with you, side by side, and with perhaps
less zeal than you exhibited, in 1816, I did not understand you then
to consider the policy forbidden by the constitution.

  [The Vice-President again interposed, and said that the constitutional question
was not debated at that time, and that he had never expressed an opinion contrary
to that now intimated.]

  I give way with pleasure to these explanations, which I hope will
always be made when I say any thing bearing on the individual
opinions of the Chair.   I know the delicacy of the position, and
sympathise with the imcumbent, whoever he may be. It is true,
the question was not debated in 1816; and why not  Because it
was not debatable; it was then believed not fairly to arise. It never
has been made as a distinct, substantial and leading point of objec-
tion. It never was made until the discussion of the tariff of 1824,
when it was rather hinted at as against the spirit of the constitution,
than formally announced as being contrary to the provisions of that
instrument. What was not dreamt of before, or in 1816, and scarce
ly thought of in 1824, is now made, by excited imaginations, to as-
sume the imposing form of a serious constitutional barrier.

  Such are the origin, duration, extent and sanctions of the policy
which we are now called upon to subvert. Its beneficial effects, al-
though they may vary in degree, have been felt in all parts of the
Union. To none, I verily believe, has it been prejudicial.  In the
North, every where, testimonials are borne to the high prosperity
which it has diffused. There, all branches of industry are animated
and flourishing. Commerce, foreign and domestic, active; cities and
towns springing up, enlarging and beautifying; navigation fully and
profitably employed, and the whole face of the country smiling with
improvement, cheerfulness and abundance. The gentleman front
South Carolina has supposed that we, in the West derive no advan-
tages from this system. He is mistaken. Let him visit us, and he
will find, from