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tional powers, and the laws made to execute them, over the State authorities and State laws.

It is, however, objected that the act of Congress incorporating the Bank withdraws property from taxation by the State, which would be otherwise liable to State taxation. The answer is, that it is immaterial if it does thus withdraw certain property from State taxation, if Congress had authority to establish the Bank; since the power of Congress is supreme. But in fact, it withdraws nothing from the mass of taxable property in Maryland, which that State could tax. The whole capital of the Bank belonging to private stockholders is drawn from every State in the Union, and the stock belonging to the United States previously constituted a part of the public treasure. Neither the stock belonging to citizens of other States, nor the privileged treasure of the United States mixed up with this private property, were previously liable to taxation in Maryland; and as to the stock belonging to its own citizens, it still continues liable to State taxation, as a portion of their individual property, in common with all the other private property in the State. The establishment of the Bank, so far from withdrawing any thing from taxation by the States, brings something into Maryland which the State may tax. The charter creates the capital stock, which is the thing taxed: and as to its dividends, so far as they belong to citizens of Maryland, they will fall within the grasp of taxation in due season when separated from the institution. But this tax has no reference to any thing but the institution.

But what if it does withdraw property from State taxation? The materials of which the ships of war belonging to the United States are constructed were previously liable to State taxation. But the instant they are converted into public property for the public defence, they cease to be subject to State taxation. So money paid to the government of the United States in duties and taxes is withdrawn from State taxation. Here the treasure of the United States and that of individuals, citizens of Maryland and of other States, are undistinguishably confounded in the capital stock of this great national institution, which, it has been before shown, could be made useful as an instrument of finance in no other mode than by thus blending together the property of

the government and of private merchants. This partnership is, therefore, one of necessity on the part of the United States. Either this tax operates upon the franchise of the Bank, or upon its property. If upon the former, then it comes directly in conflict with the exercise of a great sovereign authority of Congress; if upon the latter, then it is a tax upon the property of the United States; since the law does not, and cannot, in imposing a stamp tax, distinguish between their property and that of individuals.

But it is said that Congress possesses and has exercised the unlimited authority of taxing the State Banks; and therefore, the States ought to have a correspondent right to tax the Bank of the United States. The answer to this objection is, that in taxing the State Banks, the States in Congress assembled, exercise their power of taxation. Congress exercises the power of the People. The whole acts on the whole. But the State tax is a part acting on the whole. Even if the two cases were precisely the same, the consequence would be rather to exempt the State Banks from federal taxation, than to subject the national Bank to taxation by a particular State. But the State Banks are not machines essential to execute the powers of the State sovereignties, and, therefore, such a consequence cannot follow. The people of the Union, and the sovereignties of the several States, have no control over the taxing power of a particular State. But they have a control over the taxing power of the United States, in the responsibility of the members of the House of Representatives to the people of the State which sends them, and of the Senators to the legislature by whom they are chosen. But there is no correspondent responsibility of the local legislature of Maryland, for example, to the people of the other States of the Union. The people of the other States are not represented in the legislature of Maryland, and can have no control, directly or indirectly, over its proceedings. The legislature of Maryland is responsible only to the people of that State. The national government can withdraw nothing from the taxing power of the States, which is not for the purpose of national benefit and the common welfare, and within its defined powers. But the local interests of the particular States are in perpetual conflict with the interests of the Union; which shows the danger of adding increased power to the

partial views and local prejudices of the States. If the tax imposed by this law be not a tax on the property of the United States, it is not a tax on any property; and it must, consequently, be a tax on the faculty or franchise. It is then a tax on the legisIt imlative faculty of the Union, on the charter of the Bank. poses a stamp duty upon the notes of the Bank, and thus stops the very source of its circulation and life. It is as much a direct interference with the legislative faculty of Congress, as would be a tax on patents, or copy-rights, or custom-house papers, or judicial proceedings.

No. VII.


As I am not a very frequent speaker in this Assembly, and have shown a desire, I trust, rather to listen to the wisdom of others than to lay claim to superior knowledge by undertaking to advise, even when advice, by being seasonable in point of time, might have some chance of being profitable, you will, perhaps, bear with me if I venture to trouble you once more on that eternal subject which has lingered here, until all its natural interest is exhausted, and every topic connected with it is literally worn to tatters. I shall, I assure you, Sir, speak with laudable brevity-not merely on account of the feeble state of my health, and from some reverence for the laws of good taste which forbid me to speak otherwise, but also from a sense of justice to those who honour me with their attention. My single purpose, as I suggested yesterday, is to subject to a friendly, yet close examination, some portions of a speech, imposing certainly on account of the distinguished quarter from whence it came-not

very imposing (if I may so say, without departing from that respect which I sincerely feel and intend to manifest for eminent abilities and long experience) for any other reason.

I believe, Mr. President, that I am about as likely to retract an opinion which I have formed, as any member of this Body, who, being a lover of truth, inquires after it with diligence before he imagines that he has found it; but I suspect that we are all of us so constituted as that neither argument nor declamation, levelled against recorded and published decision, can easily discover a practicable avenue through which it may hope to reach either our heads or our hearts. I mention this, lest it may excite surprise, when I take the liberty to add, that the speech of the honourable gentleman from New-York, upon the great subject with which it was principally occupied, has left me as great an infidel as it found me. It is possible, indeed, that if I had had the good fortune to hear that speech at an earlier stage of this debate, when all was fresh and new, although I feel confident that the analysis which it contained of the constitution, illustrated as it was by historical anecdote rather than by reasoning, would have been just as unsatisfactory to me then as it is now, I might not have been altogether unmoved by those warnings of approaching evil which it seemed to intimate, especially when taken in connexion with the observations of the same honourable gentleman on a preceding day, "that delays in disposing of this "subject, in the manner he desires, are dangerous, and that we "stand on slippery ground." I must be permitted, however, (speaking only for myself,) to say, that the hour of dismay is passed. I have heard the tones of the larum bell on all sides, until they have become familiar to my ear, and have lost their power to appal, if, indeed, they ever possessed it. Notwith standing occasional appearances of rather an unfavourable description, I have long since persuaded myself that the Missouri Question, as it is called, might be laid to rest, with innocence and safety, by some conciliatory compromise at least, by which, as is our duty, we might reconcile the extremes of conflicting views and feelings, without any sacrifice of constitutional principle; and in any event, that the Union would easily and triumphantly emerge from those portentous clouds with which this controversy is supposed to have environed it.

I confess to you, nevertheless, that some of the principles announced by the honourable gentleman from New-York,* with an explicitness that reflected the highest credit on his candor, did, when they were first presented, startle me not a little. They were not perhaps entirely new. Perhaps I had seen them before in some shadowy and doubtful shape,

If shape it might be called, that shape had none
Distinguishable jn member, joint, or limb.

But in the honourable gentleman's speech they were shadowy and doubtful no longer. He exhibited them in forms so boldly and accurately defined-with contours so distinctly tracedwith features so pronounced and striking, that I was unconscious for a moment that they might be old acquaintances. I received them as novi hospites within these walls, and gazed upon them with astonishment and alarm. I have recovered, however, thank God, from this paroxysm of terror, although not from that of astonishment. I have sought and found tranquillity and courage in my former consolatory faith. My reliance is that these principles will obtain no general currency; for, if they should, it requires no gloomy imagination to sadden the perspective of the future. My reliance is upon the unsophisticated good sense and noble spirit of the American people. I have what I may be allowed to call a proud and patriotic trust, that they will give countenance to no principles, which, if followed out to their obvious consequences, will not only shake the goodly fabric of the Union to its foundations, but reduce it to a melancholy ruin. The people of this country, if I do not wholly mistake their character, are wise as well as virtuous. They know the value of that federal association which is to them the single pledge and guarantee of power and peace. Their warm and pious affections will cling to it as to their only hope of prosperity and happiness, in defiance of pernicious abstractions, by whomsoever inculcated, or howsoever seductive and alluring in their aspect.)

Sir, it is not an occasion like this, although connected, as contrary to all reasonable expectation it has been, with fearful and disorganizing theories, which would make our estimates, whether

Mr. King.

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