Texas Sentinel. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 29, Ed. 1, Saturday, July 4, 1840 Page: 1 of 4
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S SENT I
BY CRUGEH fc BONNELL Public Printers. . "Veritas Vincil." TERMS 5 PER ANN. IN ADVANCE.
VOLUME I. AUSTIN SATURDAY MORNING JULY 4 1840. NO. 29.
I ' -- u .
Answer of the Hon. lirancli T. Arclur to the cull made
on htm by aportion of the citiztiis of Colorado' Val-
ley. Gentlemen : rThis response to your respectful
call of date December 25th 1839 has been postponed
until this time for want of room in our public journals
to give it place. Having (through the courtecy of the
editor of the Sentinel) been afforded room to reply the
following answer is most respectfully submitted.
Your call upon me gentleman is not in my priTate
character as otiq of your fellow citizens but in awo
fold public character; 1st as President of the Rail Road
Navigation and Rankin? Conmanv of Texas: and 2d.
o O J I ' t
as a member of the first Congress of 1830 and onynf .
two applicants for the charter of said bank.
1 will here premise that the subject on which you
call for information is one in which the interest the
happiness the character and dignily of this young and
embarrassed republic is directly and essentially invol-
ved ; and connectted therewith the fair fame of many
of your most distinguished fellow citizens is seriously
and deeply implicated.
A due regard to the interest of our common country
combined with a proper respect for the character and
standing of the patriotic individuals composing the first
congress of this nation imperiously demands that this
rail road navigation and banking charter be coolly ex-
amined; and discussed with feelings of moderation
temperance and forbearance indicated by its general
importance as well as the character connected with its
And here permit me to remark that you who have
mnde the call and every other patriot of this land of
enterprise and adventure should as far as practicable
divest yourselves of every feeling of prepossession or
prejudice. When the subject of this bank charter shall
be presented perfectly stripped and naked to your view
in all its deformity and mischevious attributes or in all
its advantages or perfections as may appear from a full
and fair exposure you will have an opportunity of com-
ing to a just conclusion upon the relative advantages or
disadvantages of the institution. With this view.I will
proceed to strip the subject bare and present it perfect-
ly naked as proposed.
Then first we will presume this rail road naviga-
tion and banking charter as an engine of undue pro-
rtions 0$ incalculable strength and cour.dless mcai
power it may he presumed to be of collossial statue
it may indeed be contemplated in all the majesty of its
strength; presenting a full front to the west with one
foot placed upon the western bank of the river Sabine
the other on the eastern bank of the Rio Grande the
right hand grasping the coast of the Pacificthe left hol-
ding in its gripe the coast of the gulf of Mexico: tho
body of course proportioned to the extremities occupy-
ing the whole extent of the vast territory described in-
habited by a population say of five hundred thousand
Now gentlemen this colossus by the motion of one
of his extremities whether superior or inferior; or in
other words whether hand or foot would necessarily
convulse one portion of this vast territory. But sup-
pose for a moment that through any casually or de-
sign this monster this more than mammoth should
determine to come to the right or left about; should in-
'deed make a single wheel in any direction this repub-
lic would be convulsed to the centre its population
scattered to the wild winds of heaven to what point we
know not and in such a result it is much to be feared
'that not a wreck of this colossial monster will be left
behind to show the cause or point the place of our de-
struction. Such gentlemen are the ideal deformities such the
imaginary mischievious attributes of this much cal-
umniated rail road navigation and.banking charter.
It is most true that the timid and ignorant may re-
' gard the above drawing as a faithful and well executed
picture. It is equally true that corrupt malevolent de-
signing aspirents to popular favor practice upon this
timidity and ignorance with the hope of gliding with
the ease and velocity of rail road conveyance into polit-
"ical distinction. For the latter class of complainers
and declaimers against every measure not originating
with themselves I find in my soul an inherent dis-
dain. They are the restless demoniacal political spi-
- rits thro' whom public opinion is often misguided and
public good defeated. They unfortunately for our
country (as well as all others) have their short period
of baneful influence.
Be this however as it may to one conclusion every
rational mind must ultimately comethat the bank char-
tered in 1836(altho" no monopolyor having semblance
of a monopoly) is an engine of great maral power with
capacity to do much ffoodr much mischief; either.de-
pendingon the good or vicions propensity of those who
conduct it. Such be assured is the capacity of all
banking or other privileged institutions indeed of all
human institutions. Government itself is an evil
most true a necessary one out of which much good re-
' nlfe nrtiiih frnrtrl in tlna rtnininn n(" ihm oamoA Ad-
nanr1( much mnrn nn the arlminictrntlSn fhnn tht form
g"-" .. -.. -. ;
so may we regard every other evil incident to human
Enough I trust has been said on the subject of dan-
ger from banking and other privileged institutions.
We will now proceed to examine the advantages that
have accrued and may again accrue from the establish-
ment of such institutions. It is not my purpose to en-
ter into an elaborite or general discussion of the merits
of banking establishments in this or any other country.
The subject has been too fully discussed by the most
talented and best informed political economists of the
last and present century for me to hope to add any
thing in aid of their labors. im
It is sufficient for my purposeand'I truW wilT be"sat-
isfactory to you to know the fact that the experience
of England and of the United States of the north have
combined to establish their utility. England by a judi-
cious system of credit and the establishment of her
bank wits elevated from a minor commercial and mar-
atime nation to the first on the globe.
1 will now gentlemen in the honest sincerity of my
soul call upon you who want information to direct the
eye with a steady gaze to the country from which a
large majority of vou have emigrated (the United
States of the north.) I beg that you will there pause
and contemplate with all your frankness and power of
intellect the history of that country from the year 17S2
to the year 183S aperied of only fifty -six years. Then
ask yourselves earnestly the question by what magic
by what arts of legerdemain could that impoveresh-
ed exhausted indeed bankrupt nation in the short
space of fifty six years raise herself to the proud eleva-
tion of standing if not first at least among the first na-
tions of the earth.
Yes I earnestly and solemnly call on you to exam-
ine and weigh well the history of that countnrfor the
fifty-six years up to 1S3S 'he greater partwhich
time many of you have lived and been eye' witnesses of
her regular seady and rapid march to wealth strength
dignity character and giory. With a due exercisef
understanding you cannot fail to draw useful lessons
from the history of that nation. Bear in mind at the
same time the old and useful adadge that fortunate
and happy is he who profits by the experience of others.
This maxim applies with much more force to nations
than to individuals and 1 most earnestly trust uirt.pray
that it may be strikingly and powerfully exemplified in
the history of this youug republic: for permit rne to as-
sure you that our pathway to wealth strengthJdignity
character and glory may easily be found in the well
beaten highway of our mother country. If we will as
far as practicable follow in their wake she will be to
us a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night to protect
direct and ensure the consummation of our most san-
guine hopes. v
I will now undertake to present to your view a fair
analogy to the two countries (the United States of
the north and the Republic of Texas) with the hope
that you will be impressed with the direct and strong
similitude marked by their early history. It is not my
intention here to give a 'detailed statement of the cau-
ses of complaint the complicated difficulties and ardu-
ous struggles of our mother country in the achieve-
ment of her glorious independence. These things arc
matters of authentic history of which you are as well
informed as myself. Nor will I trouble you with the
brief history of our revolution from its commence-
ment up to this time; what has occurred is familiar to
you all. Though it is necessary to a full understand-
ing of this bank subject to take a view of the United
States of the north immediately after the achievment
of her independence say in 1782 and thispuntry in
1S36 the period at which the rail road nMRtioii and
banking company was chartered by this government. .
We find the United States in 17S2 after the accom-
plishment of all the objects of her brilliant enterprise
in possession of an almost boundless extent of territory
combining fertility of soil withsalubrity ot'cIimateand
variety of products affording all the necessary and a
large majority of the richer products of agriculture;
without the means of paying the debt incurred by the
war of her revolution and of course without the capi-
tal necessisary to develope and bring into play her vast
resources of wealth. Did not the wisdom of that na-
tion suggest the propriety of attracting by every fair
means foreign capital and was not that policy adopt-
ed 1 Had not this policy been adopted the present
fertile and productive fields in the United States would
still have been the haunt of wild beasts'and the home
of savage man : her improved rivers now bearing her
rich products to every market would have bee"n im-
passable. Her canals and rail roads would have been
in the womb of time waiting in all probability the
lapse of another century for delivery. Her commerce
now whitening every sea her navy a strong arm of
defence the pride and' glory of her youthful existence
would have been in infancy in the arms of the nurse
but for the aid of foreign capital.
Shall we close our eyes and fortify our minds against
these lessons of experience or shall we derive advan-j
tage from u due application of them to our preasen' I
We live I trust in an age of too high refinement of
too much intelligence to commit blunders so gross. It
would be a reflection on our progenators and a dis-
grace to the age in which we have the good fortune to
Cursory and limited as this sketch of the U. States
may be from 17S2 to the present time it is enough for
our purpose in as much as we haveut a very short
period of our own history to bring in comparison with
that nation remember itSs.o.nly two years from 1836.
to 1S38 my object now is to nf9fco tjie comparison be-
tween tho two countries stiking and clear tfi yevur un-
derstanding. For this purpose we must contemplate the position
and circumstances of this country in 1836. It cannot
be forgotten that the war pf our revolution hadnotbeen
concluded or crowned with lull success.
No gentlemen on the corrtfary we had every rea-
son to anticipate a renewal of hostilities on the part of
our disappointed baffled disgraced chastised though
lamentable to say not conquored enemies. Had we
not every reason to believe that the war on their part
would be prosecuted with a savage ferosity shocking
to humanity and disgiaceful to the Christian era in
which we live cowardly and vindictive as we know
they are by nature stimulated by disappointed ambi-
tion and mortified pride nothing short of a war of ex-
termination withonl regard to age sex or condi-
tion or the me.ms by which the diabolical end
should be accomplished. It will also be recollected
that on the lGth December 1S36 the time at which
the bank was chartered we had not received the n cog-
nition of a single member of the family of nations Oil
the contrary the United States of the north from ' . m
we had descended and to whom we looked with the
most pleasing anticipations was indifferent co!d"irres-
olute and tardy on the subject of our recognition.
She be it remembered our nearest neighbor; con-
nected to 113 by the strong ties of blood color language
habit character and above all religion-Worshipping
the samo God after the samo forms In ihcsom&tcu:-
ples and bowing before the same altar she wonderful
to tell was indifferent to our sufferings regardless of
the justice of orir causa and deaf to our imploring ap-
applicetions. Now lask you gentlemen to what" oth-
er point could we look for sympathy or for succor ?
Not one was open to our view no not one.
For I aver before this nation before the cogregated
world before the God of our fathers whom we all re-
verence and worship that on ourselues and ourselves
alone aided by divine providence depended the issue
of the.deadly struggle in which we were involved.
I will not trouble you further with points of resem-
blance or difference in the circumstances of theUnited
States in 1782 and this country in 1836. Enough is
known 1 have no doubt to satisfy every thinking man
that the condition of the United States in 1782 was
greatly preferable to ours in 1S36.
We will now proceed to examine a little more in de-
tail the condition of this country at the period of grant-
ing the charter in question and on which yon want
information. For this purpose it- will be necessary to
go back with our own history to 1835. In that year a
revolution was effected in the Republic of Mexico of
which we the people of Texas formed an integral
part : that by said revolution our constitutional govern-
ment was totally subverted and a military despotism
erected on its ruins. We the people of Texas resisted
this invasion of our constitutional rights and have so
far been able to sustain a constitutional government.
It will be remembered by all that in 1S35 we were in-
vaded by the combined powers of the former confeder-
ated Mexican states; strenthened by consolidation and
led by Central chieaftans. The shock was 'tremend-
ous: the conflict desperate: the issue doubtful.
The vicissitudes incident to the progress of wir at-
tended the combatants from the commencment of hos-
tilities up to the glorious briliient and never to be
forgotten victory of the 21st of April 1836 ; achieved
by free born white men waring with tyrants and
slaves of every nation color character and religion.
Yes without a General to lead them; without the
spirit and genius of a Washington to excite and di-
rect them animated alone hv the. individual soul of
free born men; they acheived on that memorable day
a victory; the record of which.presents unquestionably
the most brilliant and spirit stirring page in the an-
nals of the world. We can safely defy comparison
andchallange a parallel.
Had the auspicious smiles of heaven been cherished
and cultivated on that glorious occasion had not '.an.
incubus a worse than dead weight; repressed the
noble bearing and gallant ardor of that more than
Spartan band; we should have been in 1836 what
the United States was in 1782: Recognized as an
inderjendant. sovericrn neoole at ueace ifriuV the world.
in such circumstances leasure would have been afford-
ed ns to devise the beet ways and means tor prosecu-1
ting our peaceful pursuits. Such unhappily was not.
Here’s what’s next.
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Bonnell, George W. Texas Sentinel. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 29, Ed. 1, Saturday, July 4, 1840, newspaper, July 4, 1840; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth80045/m1/1/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.