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Feb 8 1812: Tompkins Speech


Daniel D. Tompkins  was the  fourth Governor of New York (1807–1817), and the sixth Vice President of the United States (1817–1825). His speech to the New York legislature was given on January 8 ,1812 but published in the Weekly Register on February 8, 1812.
I have included only some excerpts below:
It would be painful to dwell upon every item of aggression and insult which swells the list of our grievances. The precise points of difference are stated, and luminously discussed in the documents which have been submitted to congress by the national executive. These are so universally and well understood, and the merited confidence in the wise and patriotic managers of our national concerns has been so thoroughly confirmed, as to have produced an union of feeling and sentiment in the nation, seldom before witnessed, and it furnishes a source of conscious pride and satisfaction in every American bosom, to be convinced, that whatever may be our local and domestic differences, we shall be a united and formidable people, upon all questions which involve or national existence and privileges, or which affect the vital principles of independence..
It therefore behoves the state of New-York to clothe herself in armour, and to stand prepared for the approaching contest. The security of her valuable and exposed maritime frontier on the south, and the protection of her inhabitants upon the extensive borders of the north and west, challenge our anxious solicitude and united services.
Tompkins also spends a great of the speech dealing with the issue of banks:
....Bank stock is generally owned by the speculating, the wealthy, and the aspiring part of society.  An amount of their personal property, equal to that vested in stock, is withdrawn from other applications and appropriations of it, which would  probably be more beneficial to the agricultural, manufacturing and labouring interests. Hence arises the difficulty experienced by enterprising farmers, manufacturers and mechanics, to raise money at  lawful interest upon the best security; and hence it follows that the necessity of temporary pecuniary relief, frequently drives them into the embraces of unprincipled, avaricious usurers, who fertilize upon the wants and distresses of the needy and unfortunate.
The influence or the wealth amassed and concentrated in bank stock, wielded under the direction of a few persons not accountable or responsible to the community for their conduct, nor restrained by any official oath, may be devoted to a sway over individual passions, sentiments and exertions, alarming in a representative government. A diligent observer will have already perceived one palpble operation of this influence on public sentiment, in the fashionable, erroneous opinion, which prevails, that there is greater sanctity in corporate, than in individual property and rights, and that the one is less amenable than the other to governmental control, and less subservient to any paramount public good.

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