Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Congressional Intrigue, 19th Cent. Style

Have we sent persons here to intrigue with members ...?

No, sir, we have had no one here.

Have we stirred up the people into town meetings to aid us by memorials?

No such thing, sir.

Have we called meetings and induced honest mechanics to come here to influence Congress by idle fears, impressed upon them by those who are interested, to tell a tale that shall answer our purposes?

No, sir, we have pursued no such course.

Respectable merchants, I observe, form a part of the bank deputies--for what?

To represent the late fall of the price of flour as a consequence of the danger of the bank charter not being renewed, and thereby to alarm the minds of members.

I am sorry that men of such respectable character did permit themselves to come here on such an errand.

February 11, 1811
Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, from 1789 to 1856
Benton, Thomas Hart
arguing about eliminating the U.S. Bank

Of course, the next week's letter from Pres. Monroe explaining why the United States was justified in the use of military force to occupy the territory of a foreign power in order to protect our "interests" provoked a sense of de ja vu. The land in question is currently the State of Florida.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, if they'd only had lobbyists in 1811!

I don't know if I'm glad that President Monroe defended our interests in what became the state of Florida. Although I have quite a few friends living there now.....(smile)