Page images
PDF
EPUB

ESTIMATED CROPS OF THE UNITED STATES FOR 1848.

Hemp.

FROM THE REPORT OF THE HON. EDMUND BURKE, THE UNITED STATE COMMISSIONER OF PA

TENTS-SUBMITTED TO CONGRESS JANUARY, 1849.
States
Barley. Buckwheat. Corn.

Cotton. Hay. and Territortes. Bush.

Bush.
Bush.

Los.

Tons. Tons. Maine... 290,000 80,000 3,000,000

1,200,000 New Hampshire 132,000 175,000 2,600,000

680,000 Massachusetts... 175,000 145,000 3,800,000

750,000 Rhode Island... 55,000 5,000 900,000

90,000 Connecticut.. 30,000 500,000 3,400,000

650,000 Vermont ... 60,000 350,000 2,500,000

1,400,000 New York..... 4,300,000 3,860,000 17,500,000

4,200,000 New Jersey. 12,000 1,000,000 9,000,000

470,000 Pennsylvania .. 155,000 3,800,000 21,000,000

2,000,000 Delaware. 4,500 16,000 3,850,000

25,000 Maryland. 3,000 120,000 8,800,000

130,000 Virginia...

94,000 270,000 38,000,000 2,800,000 430,000 North Carolina . 4,200 20,000 26,000,000 45,000,000 140,000 South Carolina . 4,800

13,500,000 105,000,000 35,000 Georgia . 12,600

27,000,000 220,000,000 28,000 Alabama..

7,800

28,000,000 165,000,000 21,000 Mississippi.... 2,250

17,000,000 245,000,000 1,000 Louisiana..

10,600,000 190,000,000 30,000 Tennessee

6,800 34,000 76,600,000 36,000,000 50,000 800 Kentucky

20,000 18,000 65,000,000 2,200,000 140,000 11,000 Ohio.... 300,000 1,500,000 70,000,000

1,600,000 500 Indiana.. 42,000 110,000 45,000,000

500,000 480 Illinois. 120,000 130,000 40,000,000

450,000 550 Missouri... 15,000 30,000 28,000,000

100,000 7,000 Arkansas.

1,100

8,000,000 25,000,000 1,500 Michigan 300,000 310,000 10,000,000

400,000 Florida.

1,250,000 18,000,000 1,500 Wisconsin.. 35,000 40,000 1,500,000

150,000 Iowa 40,000 25,000 3,500,000

60,000 Texas...

1,800,000 12,000,000 D. of Columbia.

50,000

2,000 Oregon.......

1,000,000

[ocr errors]

Total, 1848.. 6,222,050 12,538,000 588,150,000 1,066,000,000 15,735,000 20,380
Total, 1847.. 5,649,950 11,673,500 539,350,000 1,041,500,000 13,819,900 27,750
States
Oats, Potatoes. Rice.

Rye. Tobacco.

Wheat. and Territories.

Bush.
Bush.
Lbs.
Bush.
Lbs.

Bush, Maine ... 2,000,000 9,000,000

200,000

900,000 N. Hampshire 2,500,000 5,000,000

500,000

620,000 Massachus'ts. 2,300,000 4,800,000

750,000 150,000 260,000 Rhode Island. 220,000 800,000

55,000

4,600 Connecticut.. 2,000,000 3,500,000

1,500,000 825,000 130,000 Vermont..... 3,500,000 8,000,000

370,000

680,000 New York ... 28,000,000 27,000,000

4,000,000 36,000 15,500,000 New Jersey 5,800,000 2,100,000

3,300,000

1,200,000 Pennsylvania 20,000,000 8,200,000

13,500,000 610,000 15,200,000 Delaware 700,000 200,000

65,000

450,000 Maryland 2,200,000 1,000,000

1,200,000 23,000,000 5,150,000 Virginia..... 11,000,000 3,500,000 3,500 1,800,000 45,000,000 12,250,000 N. Carolina.. 4,000,000 3,200,000 3,600,000 300,000 13,000,000 2,450,000 S. Carolina... 1,250,000 4,200,000 90,000,000 60,000 33,000 1,400,000 Georgia.. 1,500,000 2,000,000 18,000,000 80,000 220,000 2,100,000 Alabama 2,000,000 2,500,000 350,000 85,000 360,000 1,300,000 Mississippi . 1,500,000 2,600,000 1,200,000 30,000 215,000 650,000 Louisiana .

1,800,000 5,000,000 2,500 Tennessee... 10,500,000 3,000,000 12,000 400,000 36,500,000 9,000,000 Kentucky ... 16,000,000 2,200,000 25,000 2,800,000 68,000,000 1,500,000

[blocks in formation]

Total, 1848 185,500,000 114,475,000 199,199,500 32,952,500 218,909,000 126,364,600 Total, 1847 167,867,000 100,965,000 103,040,540 20,272,700 220,164,000 114,245,500

JOURNAL OF BANKING, CURRENCY, AND FINANCE,

BANK BOOK-KEEPING.* We have to acknowledge the receipt, from the respected author, of a beautifully printed pamphlet of sixty pages octavo. It forms the twelfth section of a “Practical Treatise on Banking,” which is now passing through the press. It is a succinct and well-digested view of the system of book-keeping which prevails in the principal banking houses of Great Britain.

The terms “Bank” and “ Banking” are employed in somewhat different senses in Europe and America, and the system of book-keeping required in the one case is materially different from that employed in the other. Banks, in America, are exclusively incorporated institutions, which have the power of issuing “ bills" or circulating notes, and whose business operations are chiefly confined to loaning money on personal securities, and to exchanges, both foreign and domestic. Few banks out of the large commercial cities, however, have much to do with foreign exchange.

In Europe, on the contrary, the bankers or banking houses are generally private firms, or individuals doing business on their personal responsibility, and without the power of issuing bills for circulation. There is nothing in the United States that answers precisely to the banking houses of England. We have our brokers; but they are in two classes, known as stock and money brokers. If the two were united, with a discount department for the systematic loaning of money on personal securities, they would nearly resemble some of the banking houses of Europe.

The system of business and of book-keeping in our banks is much more simple and easy than that of the European bankers. In England, “ cash” or “money” includes nothing but gold and silver coin, or bullion. Circulating notes are not money, not even those of the Bank of England, and they are never treated as such; consequently, a separate account is kept for such notes. Not only each kind, but each individual note is separately specified and described, both in the receiving and the paying books. The receiving clerk, or teller, for example, in receiving a deposit, is obliged, in every case, to specify all the different notes of which that deposit may be composed, not by their names and denominations only, but by their numbers, dates, &c., and then to enter the same, with the same specification, into the pass-book of the depositor. Whereas, in

• A System of Banking Book-keeping. By J. W. GILBART, F.R. S. London: 1849.

our banks, nothing is received on deposit but cash, the notes of accredited banks, or, in other words, “current notes,” being accounted as cash. The receiving teller, therefore, has only to count notes, checks, and coin together, and pass the whole, in one amount, as cash to the credit of the depositor.

In like manner, the paying clerk, in England, keeps a detailed register of all the notes he pays out, with a circumstantial description of numbers, dates, &c., while the same officer, in America, has nothing but “cash” to pay out, and no “checks " to receive but those drawn on his own bank.

By these remarks, it will be seen that the work before us has little relevancy to the banking business of this country. We think, however, it could hardly fail to be useful, if carefully studied, to the private banker, or broker of our large cities, and to many of our merchants, whose extensive commercial connections with the old world render it highly desirable that they and their clerks should be familiar with the details of the modes of business, as conducted by their foreign correspondents. To us, the system looks complicated and onerous, from the number of books employed; but, as it is the result of the experience and practice of ages, and the work of men the most eminent in the world's history for their financial ability and the vast extent of their operations, we have no doubt that it is the most rigidly simple, and labor-saving system that can possibly be made consistent with security and dispatch. It could not have fallen into better hands, to elucidate and explain. The style of Mr. Gilbart is eminently lucid, concise, and exact. In the fewest, and the choicest words, he describes the various transactions, and the mode of recording them, and explains the various “ checks,” by which errors are prevented or detected, and by which one department, or one clerk, is made a monitor and corrector of another, and each of all the rest. In this system of checks and mutual supervision lies the main security, not only of the banker and the customer, but of the clerks; and, if well adjusted and faithfully applied, the security is as complete as human ingenuity can make it.

Mr. Gilbart is not only thoroughly versed in the science and art of accounts, but is thoroughly artistic in his views, and his manner of elucidating them. We commend his work to the notice of all whom it may concern.

We cannot leave it, however, without extracting a few passages, which contain valuable hints for clerks, book-keepers, and accountants of all countries alike, and under all systems of business.

“ Although the business of keeping books is extremely easy when once the accounts are properly arranged, yet the adaptation of the principle of double-entry to exten. sive and complicated transactions, so as to receive the full benefit of the system, is a process which requires the most complete knowledge, not only of the practice, but also of the science, of book-keeping."

“ Book-keeping, like all other arts, can only be mastered by industry, perseverance, and attention. The learner must think for himself, and endeavor to understand the why and wherefore of all that he does, instead of resting satisfied with vague notions and words devoid of sense.”

“The study of book-keeping affords an excellent means of intellectual discipline; that is, when its principles are exhibited as well as their application. When the reasoning powers are called in exercise as well as the memory, the student who has carefully attended to the instructions, and who is the master and not the slave of rules, will experience no difficulty in unravelling or adjusting any set of accounts, however complicated or diversified."*

When a young man enters a bank as a clerk, he should be instructed to be careful with regard to his hand writing, or, in his anxiety to write fast, he may forget to write well. if he write a bad hand, he should not be above taking a few lessons from a professor of penmanship, who will teach him to write fast and well at the same time.

• Double Entry Elucidated. By B. F. Foster

But, however badly he may write, he should try to write plain. Plainness is of more consequence than neatness or elegance. He should be very careful in writing the names of the customers of the bank. If he write them illegibly, there will be a loss of time in making them out, or they may be misunderstood, so that money may be posted to the wrong account, and thereby loss arise to the bank. On this account also, when two or more customers have the same surname, he should be very careful to write the Christian names fully and distinctly,

The necessity for writing quickly, and the want of carefulness at first, are the causes why so few bankers' clerks comparatively write a good hand. But they should remember that this is a most important qualification, and a deficiency in this respect may be an insuperable bar to promotion." Without this attainment a clerk cannot be put to write up the customers' books, nor to make out the country accounts, nor to write the letters, nor to fill the office of secretary. “You ought to be careful to write a plain hand. You impose upon your correspondents a very unnecessary and a very unpleasant task if you require them to go over your letters two or three times in order to decypher your writing. A business hand is equally opposed to a very fine hand. A letter written in fine elegant writing, adorned with a variety of flourishes, will give your correspondent no very high opinion of you as a man of business."*

The plan of writing masters who advertise to teach good and expeditious writing in a few lessons is as follows:- The pupil rests his hand upon the paper without touching it with his little finger. All the motion is then made from the wrist. Those who have to write their names many times in succession, such as in signing bank notes or in accepting bills, will find that on this plan they can get through their work in much less time than if they bend their fingers with every stroke of the pen.

The young clerk should also be taught to make his figures clear and plain, so that a 2 cannot be mistaken for a 3, nor a 3 for a 5. He should also take care that the tail of bis 7 or his 9 does not run into the line below, and thus turn a 0 into a 6, and also that the top of his 4 does not reach so high as to turn a 0 in the line above it into a 9. He should be careful, too, in putting his figures under one another, so that the units shall be under the units, the tens under the tens, the hundreds under the hundreds, and the thousands under the thousands. Otherwise, when he adds up the columns together he will be in danger of making a “wrong cast.”

The above passage we take leave to commend to the special regard of some of our bank clerks in New York, whose undecypherable figures, sprawling columns, and worse than Chinese hieroglyphics, would sometimes be vastly amusing if they were not often vastly vexatious.

He must also learn to “ cast” quickly and accurately. The two main qualifications in this operation are accuracy and quickness. To ensure accuracy a clerk will cast everything twice over. The first time he will begin at the bottom of the column, and the second time at the top. If he begin both times at the bottom of the column, the association of figures will be the same; and if he has fallen into an error the first time, he will be apt to fall into the same error the second time. But if he changes the order, the association of the figures will be different, and he will not be likely to fall into the same error. Quickness can be acquired only by practice. But he will accelerate his speed by making his figures plain, and placing them strictly in a line under one an ther. He should also learn to cast without speaking, for the eye and the head will go faster than the lips.

As a bank increases its business, it becomes of importance to improve its system of book-keeping, and to adopt means of increasing the efficiency of its clerks. A large establishment can generally be conducted with a less proportionate number of hands than a small one. It admits of a more extensive applícation of the principle of a division of labor. In a small bank, one clerk may keep two or three books of various kinds, or perhaps act as both cashier and accountant. But in a large bank, each clerk is in general kept wholly to one employment. The effects of this separation of occu pations is the same in banks as in manufactories; and the description of these effects given by Adam Smith will equally apply to both cases.

"The great increase in the quantity of work which, in consequence of the division of labor, the same number of people are capable of performing, is owing to three different circumstances; first, to the increase of dexterity in every particular workman;

• Lectures on the History and Principles of Ancient Commerce. By. J. W. Gübart VOL. XXI.-NO. I.

8

secondly, to the saving of time which is commonly lost in passing from one species of work to another; and lastly, to the invention of a great number of machines which facilitate and abridge labor, and enable one man to do the work of many."

The increase of dexterity by constant practice is very observable in the practice of “casting up.” A clerk who is much accustomed to this operation will cast up a long column of figures with singular quickness and accuracy. It is also very observable in “calling over.” Besides, owing to the abbreviations, a clerk in calling over will speak so rapidly that an unpractised ear will hardly be able to follow him. Mr. Babbage gives the following instance of great dexterity acquired by practice :

“ Upon an occasion when a large amount of bank notes was required, a clerk in the Bank of England signed his name, consisting of seven letters including the initial of his Christian name, five thousand three hundred times during eleven working hours, and he also arranged the notes he had signed in parcels of fifty, each."*

The loss of time in passing from one operation to another is as obvious in mental processes as in those which are purely mechanical.

“When the human hand or the human head has been for some time occupied in any kind of work, it cannot instantly change its employment with full effect. The muscles of the limbs employed have acquired a flexibility during their exertion, and those to be put into action a stiffness during rest, which renders every change slow and unequal in the commencement. A similar result seems to take place in any change of mental exertion ; the attention bestowed on the new subject is not so perfect at the first commencement as it becomes after some exercise."*

The invention of expedients for facilitating and abridging labor is also as common in a bank as in a manufactory.

Mr. Francis has recorded, in his History of the Bank of England, a variety of improvements introduced into that establishinent by Mr. William Rae Smee, a son of the chief accountant.

He proposed an alteration in the check office, by which he stated that the work which employed three principals and twenty-one clerks would be done more effectually by two principals and seven clerks. In the circulation department, the posting, which formerly took fifty, now employs only eight clerks. And the whole of that department, if now conducted

upon the old system, would probably require nearly eighty additional assistants. In the National Debt Office Mr. Smee introduced such measures that “the directors were enabled so far to consult the accommodation of the public as to enable the transfers in the various offices to be made eight or nine days later than usual, the business which formerly occupied about thirty-two days being accomplished in about twenty-three." /

As our extracts are growing larger than we intended, we must stop short, and refer to the book itself, page 46, for an explanation of “the horizontal system of book-keeping," and page 50, for some of the advantages of that system. A comparison between the system of book-keeping practised by merchants and that practised by bankers, closes the book.

UNCLAIMED BANK DIVIDENDS AND DEPOSITS. The following "Act to amend an act relative to unclaimed bank dividends and de posits, passed May 9th, 1835, and for other purposes," passed the New York Legislature April 11th, 1849, and is now in force :

SECTION 1. Every company or association now or hereafter incorported or organized, or doing business under any general or special law of this State, on or before the first day of September next, and annually thereafter, shall cause to be published for six successive weeks in one public newspaper printed in the county in which such company or association may be located, and in the State paper, a true and accurate statement verified by the oath of the cashier, treasurer, or presiding officer, of all deposits made with said company or association, and of all dividends and interest declared and payable upon any of the stock, bonds, or other evidence of indebtedness of said company or association which, at the date of such statement, shall have remained un

• The Economy of Machinery and Manufactures. + History of the Bank of England: its Times and Traditions. By John Francis. Vol. il., p. 141.

« PreviousContinue »