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the silver, always depreciating, we will at last, in the course of time, make the dollar much less in value than it now is, and thus imitate the dishonesty of those European sovereigns, who at various times have defrauded their subjects by the adulteration of the coin, and covered their names with indelible disgrace.
13. The mode proposed of effecting the change would disturb the currency immense ly. The new dollar, though much lighter than the present one, would be a legal tender. The old silver coins, instead of their present premium of 2 or 3 per cent, would be worth 7 per cent more than the new. They would be withdrawn from circulation much more rapidly than now. The mint, already overworked with the coinage of Cal. ifornia gold, could not, for a long time, supply the vacancy in the circulation. The distribution of the new coin into the channels of trade being always a slow process, involving the outlay of capital by the merchant, would require time, trouble, and expense ; small change would thus be scarcer than ever.
14. The banks would stop immediately paying their demands in silver; they would redeem their bills in gold, and use their silver to buy up the new dollars as they would issue from the mint. The old coin being worth 7 per cent more than the new, would not circulate as a currency, and a bank whose specie should be mainly in silver, would make large gains by its sale as bullion.
15. An alteration in the gold coin would produce less disturbance. Most of it is held by the banks, and it could be exchanged more readily by them, because in large quantities. Its place can be supplied temporarily by paper, because, being of larger denominations, this exchange would be less objectionable than the substitution of paper for silver.
16. The nominal loss caused by the recoinage of the gold could be made up by a charge of one-half of 1 per cent at the mint for the coinage of bullion. This charge is proposed by Mr. Hunter to pay the expenses of the mint. It is a proper charge, because the government is under no more obligations to prepare the raw gold of the mines for the market by assaying it and stamping it, than it is to prepare the iron, or the zinc, or the copper, by smelting and purifying it.
17. A charge of one-half of 1 per cent for coinage would, in the course of five or six years, repay all the expense of increasing the weight of the gold pieces now in circulation. The gold in the currency is not over forty or fifty millions. An increase of 21 or 3 per cent in its weight would be fully met in the course of five or six years by per cent on the coinage of fifty millions per year of native gold. No loss would thus fall on the Treasury.
18. This change would involve but little if any loss to the gold digger, because the grains of gold he may have would be fully as valuable in the markets of the world as before, and would buy just as much silk, cotton, coffee and tea, and other articles of consumption, as before.
19. Let Congress, then, direct the mint to issue no more gold eagles of 258 grains, but to increase their weight to 266 grains of the present fineness. Let them charge per cent for the coinage of bullion, and use this fund to increase the weight of the gold eagles that may be received into the Treasury. After the 1st of January, 1855, or sooner, when probably more than one-half of the gold pieces now in the country would either be recoined or exported, let the present coins of 258 grains be no longer a legal tender, except in sums of less than one hundred, and except to the government, allowing, however, government the privilege of paying them out to all persons when the amount to be paid should exceed one hundred dollars. After the 1st of January, 1868, the old pieces no longer to be a tender except to the government, and that by weight and not by count, 258 grains to the ten dollars. The charge of } per cent to continue till abolished by law.
20. The ratio between gold and silver would then be very nearly 15.5 to 1. The pure gold in an eagle would be 239.4 grains. The silver in ten dollars is 3712.6. The ratio is 15.5075, almost identical with the ratio in France and Holland.
21. This change would seem to be preferable to the one proposed by Mr. Hunter, in its justice and good faith to creditors, in its preserving the usual standard of valve invariable; in its making no greater change than the bullion market indicates to be necessary; in its causing less disturbance in the currency; in its imposing less labor on the mint; in its repairing an error we made in 1834, and in its reducing our gold coin to the standard of France and Holland, rather than to the standard of England, where silver is used as a token, and not as a legal currency.
PRICE OF SILVER COINS IN NEW YORK AND LONDON IN 1851.
TABLE SHOWING THE PRICE OF SILVER COINS IN NEW YORK AND LONDON, MONTHLY,
DURING THE YEAR 1851, AND UP TO THIS TIME.
Silver United Spanish &
Five- New bars, Mexican States Mexican franc dol's. stan'd. dollars. half-dollars. quarters. pieces. d. d. 14 a 2 at à dis. 95 a 95} 583 694 41 a 44 37 a 31 1 a 2 prem. 967 a 964 595 61$ 4 a 41 8 a 31 1 a 2 97 a 974 696 616 44 a 43 31 a 3 la 2 97 a 97$ 694 613 4 a 41 34 a 37 1 a 1 97 a 977 598 615 44 a 47 24 a 3
973 & 973 59 61 47 a 41 21 a 24 1 a 1 97 a 971 592 603 31 a 4 2 a 21 la 1 97 a 97} 697 604 31 a 4 2 a 21 la 1 96 a 97 597 603 31 a 4 2 a 27 la 1 96 & 97 59 608 37 a 3 11 a 2 1 a 1 951 a 96 685 603 a 37 11 a 14 1 a 1 951 a 96
584 608 3 a 34 18 a 2 1 a 11 967 a 961 59$ 60% 41 a 41 21 a 24 1 a 24 961 a 97 697 601 37 a 2 a 27 1 a 2 96 a 961 581 604
THE-THREE CENT COINS OF THE UNITED STATES, The Treasurer of the Mint gives notice that he is prepared to exchange three-cent pieces for gold, to all applicants therefore. He will also deliver the same, at the expense of the Mint, to any parties requiring them, at a distance, and who may be conveniently accessible on the line of the expresses. The coins being in parcels of $30, $60, and $150. The applications should be for either of those sums, or multiple thereof; and payment in advance will be required in every case.
CONDITION OF THE BANKS OF PENNSYLVANIA, NOVEMBER, 1851. We are indebted to E. Banks, Esq., Auditor General of Pennsylvania, for an official copy of his report, transmitting returns of the Banks and Savings Institutions of that commonwealth, which show their respective conditions on their first discount days, in the months of February, May, August, and November, 1851. The returns of the Banks are made to the Auditor General, agreeably to law.
From this report we give a condensed summary of the leading features of the various Banks of Pennsylvania, in the month of November, 1851. We have omitted in the two following tables a few of the less important items, but they are embraced in the general summary which we have subjoined :-*
• Cents are omitted for convenience-- it does not, however, vary the adding up materially.--Ed. Mer. Mag.
TABULAR STATEMENT OF THE CONDITION OF THE VARIOUS BANKS OF PENNSYLVANIA, NOVEMBER, 1862.
Resources of the Banks.
Notos and Real estate Bonds, mortgages,
checks of & personal and other
43,565 14,620 23,867
26,852 1,583 7,909
86,481 7,745 8,520
Columbia Bank and Bridge Company.
286,722 26,043 37,442 9,693 12,680
223,575 610,420 230,100 15,185 9,395 5,511
260,901 163,980 56,541 11,232 11,322
77,937 18,837 352,586
18,265 2,646 11,281 280,806
7,524 300 385,814
TABULAR STATEMENT OF THE CONDITION OF THE VARIOUS BANKS OF PENNSYLVANIA, NOVEMBER, 1852.
Liabilities of the Banks.
Bank of Pennsylvania.