MVB Senate speech on imprisonment for debt bill, 17 January 1823
Mr. Van Buren delivered an argument of than an hour's length, in support of the object the bill. He laid down the principle that imprisonment for debt, as practised in this country, is inoperative as a remedy, unnecessarily rigorous, unjust, and ought to be abolished, in regard to debtors involving no fraud or breach of trust to the public of an individual, and this principle he defended with much earnestness. He reviewed the different amendments offered, pointing out the defects of those offered by the other gentlemen, and sustaining the expediency of adopting the principles and provisions embraced in his own substitute. When he had concluded, the bill was laid on the table, on the motion of Mr Van Dyke.
Other portions of this speech were printed in the Globe (Washington D.C.), 16 June 1840.