Page images


ing them up at 30 or 40 per cent discount, and makes a capital but dishonest speculation out of his own failure. These things have happened, and may happen again, and in these remarks we are not describing any individual in particular, but a class of bankrupts.

The effect of such failures is doubly disastrous--bad by the wide-spread and special loss which they occasion, and still worse by the evil of their example. The cry goes abroad—if millionaires are to be exempted from facing financial pressures, how can poorer men be expected to do so! If the rich are privileged to sneak under the corer of bankruptcy, and postpone their payments for years, by what principle of moral. ity or equal justice can it be incumbent upon ordinary debtors to make sacrifices of property to meet their contracts ? As one consequence of such examples, a merchant informed us that the business men of a neighboring town had talked seriously about " suspending" in a body till a “more convenient season," thinking, shrewdly enough, that there would not be much harm or disgrace about such a step, after what bad bappened elsewhere. It is to be hoped, however, that the Salem platform in bankruptcy will not be extensively followed in honest communities.

ROTHSCHILD, THE BANKER, IN TROUBLE. The Paris correspondence of the Courier des Etats Unis contains the following anecdote of Baron Rothschild :

The splendid New Year's fetes which were to have been celebrated at the Hotel Rothschild have been put aside, on account of a family sorrow, a very young child, a grandson of Baron Rothschild, having recently died. The Baron was so much affected by this affliction, that for some time he gave up the care of his affairs, and neglected his vast enterprises.

A few days since a friend came to offer him his condolence; the Baron recalled, with a melancholy tenderness, the winning ways of the poor little child. “They brought him in to me every morning,” said he ; "here is my cabinet, and I think I see him now, on my table, overturning all my papers.”

At this period an agent from the exchange came in. It was the hour when he came to take the orders of the prince of finance, and render him an account of the movement in the funds, and the aspect affairs had taken on the Bourse since the day above. Interrupted in the overflowings of his memories and regrets, M. de Rothschild fell into a melancholy revery, while the agent launched bravely into the subject of his habitual visit, and continued, with the most minute detail, his expose of the state of financial matters, without being disconcerted by the silence of his auditor, which he attributed to continued and deep calculation.

After having finished his report on the state of all the stocks negotiated on 'Change the agent added:

" A new advance in the public funds is expected—do you believe in it, M. le Baron ?"

M. de Rothschild, aroused from his revery, raised his head, and replied, with an accent full of sadness and gravity :

" I, sir? I believe only in God.”

HOARDING OF GOLD. The immense additions made to our circulating medium, since the discovery of California, says the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, can scarcely be realized, except by those who refer to statistics on the subject. Nevertheless it is evident, even to the most cursory observer, that the amount of gold in circulation is far greater than it was twenty, or even ten years ago. We can distinctly remember when an American gold coin was something of a curiosity. However, less gold is in circulation than there should be considering the large quantity sent out from the mint. The practice of hoarding gold, in part, explains this. All through the rural districts, gold is hoarded to a very great extent; and even in cities, though to a less degree. Thousands of persons who would never think of hoarding a bank note, hoard gold, for the latter can never lose its value, which the former may. A few dollars laid by here, and a few dollars there, produce, in the aggregate, a large sum. It is impossible to tell to what extent this hoarding is carried un, but there is good reason to believe it prevails to a very great extent; and, in consequence, quite considerable suins are being thus annually withdrawn from circulation. It is not only the merchants of England, that drain our gold currency--it is the provident of our own country, who gave and hoard it.







heretofore drawn Amount on but not yet paid, Amount

deposit. though payable. subj. to draft. Treasury of United States, Washington... $130,103 12 $40,161 96 $89,951 16 Assistant Treasurer, Boston, Mass... 1,000,226 71 28,082 75 972,143 96 Assistant Treasurer, New York, N. Y..... 2,564,673 58 238,954 67 2,325,718 91 Assistant Treasurer, Philadelphia, Pa..... 1,223,915 46 8,073 31 1,215,842 16 Assistant Treasurer, "Charleston, S. C...... 325,630 70 17,070 79 308,559 91 Assistant Treasurer, New Orleans, La. 1,253,004 95 1,149,224 55 103,780 40 Assistant Treasurer, St. Louis, Mo...... 338,894 85 32,520 96 306,373 89 Depositary at Buffalo, New York....

91,003 91 223 35 90,780 56 Depositary at Baltimore, Maryland..

131,838 93 5,624 92 126,214 01 Depositary at Richmond, Virginia....

20,314 43 146 00 20,168 43 Depositary at Norfolk, Virginia..

71,636 83 38,549 14 33,087 69 Depositary at Wilmington, North Carolina. 1,044 41 593 39

451 02 Depositary at Savannah, Georgia...

20,985 95 847 58 20,138 37 Depositary at Mobile, Alabama..

27,358 10 18,403 18 8,934 92 Depositary at Nashville, Tennessee

11,766 59 11,031 36 735 23 Depositary at Cincinnati, Ohio....

33,895 76 11,636 16

22,259 60 Depositary at Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

848 19 194 81

653 38 Depositary at Cincinnati, (late)...

3,301 37

3,301 37 Depositary at San Francisco

421,060 48 342,312 31 78,748 17 Depositary at Little Rock, Arkansas..

94,656 46 91,243 67 3,412 79 Depositary at Jeffersonville, Indiana.

49,454 12 12,385 91 37,068 21 Depositary at Chicago, Illinois..

30,430 29 5,373 00 25,057 29 Depositary at Detroit, Michigan

43,357 34 13,542 79 29,814 55 Depositary at Tallahassee, Florida..

16,479 33 4,599 00 11,880 33 Suspense account... ..$2,536 74

2,536 74 Mint of the U.S., Philadelphia, Penn..... 5,684,690 00

5,684,690 00 Branch Mint of U. S., Charlotte, N. C..... 32,000 00

32,000 00 Branch Mint of U.S., Dahlonega, Ga...... 26,850 00

26,850 00 Branch Mint of U.S., New Orleans, La.... 1,100,000 00 416,179 82 683,820 18

Deduct suspense account.

14,749,421 86 2,489,502 12 12,262,456 48

2,536 74

Add difference in transfers

$18,436,529 74

1,176,610 00

Net amount subject to draft.....
Transfers ordered to Treasury of the United States, Washington.
Transfers ordered to Assistant Treasurer, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Transfers ordered to Assistant Treasurer, St. Louis, Missouri.....
Transfers ordered to Depositary at Norfolk, Virginia..
Transfers ordered to Depositary at Savannah, Ga.
Transfers ordered to Depositary at Cincinnati, Ohio.
Transfers ordeeed to Depositary at Pittsburg, Pa...

$12,259,919 74 $200,000 00 825,000 00 100,000 00 170,000 00

1,380 00 2,390 00 1,380 00

Transfers ordered from Assistant Treasurer, New York.....
Transfers ordered from Mint of the United States, Philadel., Pa..

$1,300,150 00 $100,000 00 ANCIENT COINS IN THE UNITED STATES MINT.

23,540 00

$123,540 00

The ancient coins in the Mint, in Philadelphia, are displayed in eight cases, mitered in pairs, and placed erect against the walls in the wide doorways and the middle room. The modern coins are variously arranged; part (including all those of the United States) being in a nearly level case, and part being in upright cases, disposed along the walls of the middle and west rooms. The ores, minerals, and metallic alloys are placed in the west room ; in the eastern are shown the national and other medals, and the fine beams used for the adjustment of weights. The middle room also contains portraits of the directors of the mint, beginning with Rittenhouse, the first director.

A great majority of the coins—almost all of those not over three hundred years old -have been culled from deposits, and consequently have cost us no more than their bullion value.

They are, moreover, the choicest of their kind; and, perhaps, there are few cabinets where so large a proportion of the pieces are in so fine preservation, as well the ancient as the modern.

At the present time the aggregate of specimens is about 650 in gold, 2,100 in silver, 1,200 in bullion, brass, copper, &c; in all, 3,950. Of these the ancient Greek and Roman number 82 in gold, 503 in silver, and 480 in other metals; in all, 1,065.

There are a number of scarce English and Colonial coins, also some very rare ancient Persian coins from the East India Company, and some very curious antiques from Middle Asia.


The Senate of Rhode Island has passed a bill for the abolition of imprisonment for debt, and it only remains for the house to endorse it to become a law. It is somewhat curious that one of the most enlightened commonwealths of the Union has not before adopted this reform. William Beach Lawrence, the Lieutenant-Governor, has made a report on the subject which narrates several cases of great hardship under the old law. Of six persons, confined in a single cell in Providence, five were for debts under five dollars ; and they had been immured from two weeks to four months. A poor cripple was lately arrested in the same city, for a debt of three dollars and twelve cents, just as he was about to go on board an oyster boat, where, by means of his remaining limbs, he hoped to be able to earn a scanty livelihood. The worst use a debtor can be put to is to confine him in jail, unless, indeed, he is fraudulent; and for persons of this description provision is made in all acts abolishing imprisonment for debt. To permit arrests for debt, under ordinary circumstances, is equally useless and cruel. In the States where the abolition has taken place the best results bave followed. If there is a commonwealth left in the Union where imprisonment for debt is allowed, the barbarous law cannot be struck from the statute book too soon.


The Overland Chronicle contains the following interesting account of an emerald mine in Egypt:-“ It appears that the existence of an emerald mine on Mount Zabarah, situate on an isle in the Red Sea, bas long been known. It had been worked by the Pacha of Egypt, but the operations had been stopped in the latter years of the reign of Mehemet Ali. A short time ago an English company obtained permission to carry on the digging, which promised to yield thein immense wealth. Recently their engineer, Mr. R. Allan, discovered, at a great depth, traces of a great gallery, bearing about it evidence of extreme antiquity. Here he found ancient instruments and utensils, and a stone with a bieroglyphic inscription on it in a great measure destroyed. It appears that in his time, Belzoni, to whom the world is so much indebted for its knowledge of the wonders of Egypt, had given it as his opinion that this mine had been worked by the ancient Egyptians, and this discovery establishes the soundness of his remark. The configuration of the gallery, and the nature and shape of the tools found in it, it is said, exbibit great skill in the art of engineering. From the inscription on the stone, so far as it can be read, it is believed that the laboring in the mine of Zabarah had commenced in the reign of the great Sesostris, (living about 1650 before Christ,) whom antiquity describes as combining the character of a conqueror with that of a prince of vast enterprise in the arts of peace.


The chief items of the Free Banking Law recently adopted in Vermont are as follows:

1. Banking Associations to consist of not less than ten persons.

2. The State Treasurer to provide circulating notes to such association to an amount not less than $50,000, nor more than $250,000, upon receiving a transfer of an equal amount of the public stocks of the United States, or the States of Massachusetts, New York, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, Ohio, New Jersey, or Virginia—such stocks to be made equal to six per cent stocks; or upon receiving half the amount in such stocks, and the remaining half in bonds or mortgages on productive real estate in this State, reckoned at not exceeding two-fifths of its value, excluding buildings thereon : which stock or bonds and mortgages are to be held by the treasurer as security for the redemption of the bank notes issued by him to such associations for circulation.

3. As additional security, the directors and stockholders of such associations are to give bonds equal to the amount of notes received for circulation, to make up any deficiency in case the stocks, bond and mortgages before provided, shall be insufficient.

4. The banking associations are required to redeem their bills at par in the city of Boston.

5. The existing banks, upon the assent of the stockholders, or upon paying of such stockholders as dissent, may come in under this law.


The last section of the Act of the last session of the 31st Congress, “ to reduce and modify the Rates of Postage in the United States, and for other purposes,” (see Merchants' Magazine, for April, 1851, vol. xxiv., page 384,) authorizes the coinage at the mint of the United States, and Branches, a piece of the denomination and legal value of three cents, or three hundredths of a dollar, to be composed of three parts silver, and one fourth copper, and to weigh twelve grains and three eighths of a grain. The die for this coin, as we understand, has been purchased, and the coinage will be proceeded with at once at our mint in Philadelphia, but for a defect in the law, which makes no provision for procuring the silver and copper to commence with. In consequence, the coinage will be delayed until the proper steps are taken by the authorities at Washington to remedy the deficiency. The new coin is decidedly neat and tasty, and will be in a measure a convenient substitute for

coppers. In size it is between the gold dollar and the five cent piece, but it is so much thinner than either that a blind man can easily distinguish them apart by the touch. The face of the coin bas a capital C, with three numerals indicating the value of the coin embraced within it. Around the edge are the thirteen stars for the original states. On the reverse is a star having in its center an American shield, and around the edge, * United States of America, 1851."


The Attorney General of the State of New York has addressed the following circular to the country banks of that State :

Attorney General's Office, November 25, 1851. To the President, Directors, &c., of the

Section 9 of the Act entitled “ An Act relating to the Redemption of Bank Notes," passed May 4, 1840, prohibits any Bank, Banking Association, or individual Banker, from purchasing, buying in, or taking up, directly or indirectly, their circulating notes, at an amount less than what purports to be due thereon, at any other place, or in any other manner, than is directed in and by this act.

The act authorizes the appointment, in New York or Albany, of a Redemption Agent, who shall redeem the circulating notes of the country banks, at a rate of discount not exceeding one half of one per cent. This appointment must be in writing, and filed in the office of the Controller. A bank may be appointed the redemption agent, but no city bank can redeem the circulation of country banks without such appointment.

Complaints having been made to me, duly verified by affidavit, that a large number of the banks of this State, including the bank under your charge, have entered into an arrangement with the Metropolitan Bank of New York, to "purchase," " buy in," and " take up,” their own bills, at a discount of one-eighth of one per cent, I feel bound to call your attention to the subject, and to suggest that in my opinion this mode of redemption is unauthorized, and is in direct violation of the statute of 1840. My duty requires me, in all cases of violation of law by moneyed corporations, to proceed against the offending institution, by information, to annul the charter.

The METROPOLITAN Bank not having been duly appointed a Redeeming Agent for your Bank, you will see the propriety of either filing a regular appointment of said Bank as your Redeeming Agent, or to discontinue Redemptions at said Bank. If this course is not pursued, I shall be obliged to institute legal proceedings to correct the

Respectfully yours, &c.,

L. S. CHATFIELD, Att'y General.



CATECHISM OF THE BANK LAW OF ILLINOIS. Ilinois has adopted a banking system similar in most of its features to the law reg. ulating the Free Banking Associations, &c., of New York State. A cotemporary in Illinois gives the following catechism, which clearly explains the character of the law, in all its important features :

QUESTION. How is it proposed to furnish and regulate the bills for banking par

ANSWER. The Auditor of the State is required to have them engraved ; and to have them countersigned, numbered and registered in a book, by registers which he shall appoint for that purpose. [See sec. 1.) Q. To whom shall the Auditor issue these notes for banking purposes?

A. To persons or associations who shall transfer to and deposit with him--1st, any portion of United States stock; 2d, or any State stocks, on which full interest is annually paid ; 3d, or the stocks of this State, to be valued at 20 per cent less than the rate at which they have been sold in New York for the six months previous to their being deposited. But the Auditor shall not issue bills on the bonds of any State, if less than six per cent is regularly paid thereon, unless there be deposited two dollars for one, exclusive of interest. No stock to be taken above its par value, or above its market value at the time of deposit. [Sec. 2.]

Q. What check is provided on the honesty of the Auditor, in this matter?

A. The State Treasurer is required to copy and keep descriptive lists of all notes issued by the Auditor. [Sec. 3.)

Q. How are those who thus comply with the law, authorized to get their notes into circulation ?

A. They may loan or “circulate the same as money,” payable "on demand.” (Sec. 4.]

Q. Who keeps the securities deposited by bankers ?

A. The Auditor of the State transfers them to the Treasurer, who is responsible for their safe keeping. He is authorized—1st, to deliver them back to the Auditor to be sold for the benefit of the bank's creditors; or 2d, to be used or disposed of under a decree of Court for the same purpose ; or 3d, to be delivered back to the depositor. (Sec. 5.]

Q. What number of persons, and what amount of stock, are necessary to open a bank!

A. Any number of persons may do it, but their capital stock must not be less than fifty thousand dollars. *[Sec. 6.] 8. What shall constitute such a company a “ body politic and corporate !".

A. They must make a certificate certifying the name of their bank, its location, its amount of capital stock, and the number of its shares—the names and residences of its stockholders, and the number of shares held by each respectively, and the period at which such association shall commence and terminate. This certificate to be acknowl, edged and recorded in the county Recorder's office where located ; and a copy filed with the Secretary of State. It shall then be a body corporate. [Sec. 7.]

Q. What is a chief use of this certificate ?
A. It may be used in evidence in Court against such associations. [Sec. 8.]
Q. What are the powers of the corporations so formed i

« PreviousContinue »