SEO. 20. And be it further enacted, That in consideration of the exclusive privileges and benefits conferred by this act, upon the said bank, the president, directors, and company thereof, shall pay to the United States, out of the corporate funds thereof, the sum of one million and five hundred thousand dollars, in three equal payments; that is to say: five hundred thousand dollars at the expiration of two years; five hundred thousand dollars at the expiration of three years; and five hundred thousand dollars at the expiration of four years after the said bank shall be organized, and commence its operations in the manner herein before provided.

SEC. 21. And be it further enacted, That no other bank shall be established by any future law of the United States during the continuance of the corporation hereby created, for which the faith of the United States is hereby pledged. Provided, Congress may renew existing charters for banks in the District of Columbia, not increasing the capital thereof, and may also establish any other bank or banks in said district, with capitals not exceeding, in the whole, six millions dollars, if they shall deem it expedient. And, notwithstanding the expiration of the term for which the said corporation is created, it shall be lawful to use the corporate name, style, and capacity, for the purpose of suits for the final settlement and liquidation of the affairs and accounts of the corporation, and for the sale and disposition of their estate, real, personal, and mixed: but not for any other purpose, or in any other manner whatsoever, nor for a period exceeding two years after the expiration of the said term of incorporation.

SEC. 22. And be it further enacted, That if the subscriptions and payments to said bank shall not be made and completed so as to enable the same to commence its operations, or if the said bank shall not commence its operations on or before the first Monday in April next, then, and, in that case, Congress may, at any time, within twelve months thereafter, declare, by law, this act null and void.

SEC. 23. And be it further enacted, That it shall, at all times be lawful, for a committee of either house of Congress, appointed for that purpose, to inspect the books, and to examine into the proceedings of the corporation hereby created, and to report whether the provisions of this charter have been, by the same, violated or not; and whenever any committee, as aforesaid, shall find and report, or the President of the United States shall have reason to believe that the charter has been violated, it may be lawful for Congress to direct, or the President to order a scire facias to be sued out of the circuit court of the district of Pennsylvania, in the name of the United States, (which shall be executed upon the president of the corporation for the time being, at least fifteen days

[blocks in formation]


before the commencement of the term of said court,) calling on the said corporation to show cause wherefore the charter hereby granted, shall not be declared forfeited; and it shall be lawful for the said court, upon the return of the said scire facias, to examine into the truth of the alleged violation, and if such violation be made appear, then to pronounce and adjudge that the said charter is forfeited and annulled. Provided, however, Every issue of fact which may be joined between the United States and the corporation aforesaid, shall be tried by a jury. And it shall be lawful for the court aforesaid to require the production of such of the books of the corporation as it may deem necessary for the ascertainment of the controverted facts: and the final judgment of the court aforesaid, shall be examinable in the Supreme Court of the United States, by writ of error, and may be there reversed or affirmed, according to the usages of law.

APPROVED, April 10, 1816.

[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

First Annual Message-Andrew Jackson

Twenty-First Congress, 1st Session

DECEMBER 8, 1829.

[Source: James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Vol. 2, p. 1025]

The charter of the Bank of the United States expires in 1836, and its stockholders will most probably apply for a renewal of their privileges. In order to avoid the evils resulting from precipitancy in a measure involving such important principles and such deep pecuniary interests, I feel that I can not, in justice to the parties interested, too soon present it to the deliberate consideration of the Legislature and the people. Both the constitutionality and the expediency of the law creating this bank are well questioned by a large portion of our fellowcitizens, and it must be admitted by all that it has failed in the great end of establishing a uniform and sound currency.

Under these circumstances, if such an institution is deemed essential to the fiscal operations of the Government, I submit to the wisdom of the Legislature whether a national one, founded upon the credit of the Government and its revenues, might not be devised which would avoid all constitutional difficulties and at the same time secure all the advantages to the Government and country that were expected to result from the present bank.

Report of Senate Committee on Finance, on National Currency

[Sen. Doc. 104, Twenty-First Congress, 1st Session]


MARCH 29, 1830.

Read, and ordered to be printed

Mr. SMITH, of Maryland, made the following


The Committee on Finance, to which was referred a resolution of the 30th December, 1829, directing the Committee to inquire into the expediency of establishing an uniform National Currency for the United States, and to report thereon to the Senate, report:

That nothing short of the imperative order of the Senate could induce the committee to enter on a subject so surrounded with diffi

culty. They undertake it with diffidence and a distrust of their capacty to elucidate a subject that has engaged many nations, and the pens of the ablest writers, without, as yet, coming to any definite conclusion. It still remains to be determined, What is the soundest and most uniform currency? One nation assumes one system, another a different plan. In one nation, a plan is devised, and succeeds for a time by prudent and restrictive emissions. Elated with success, larger and more extensive emissions are risqued; a rapid nominal rise of all property takes place; the people are not aware that such nominal rise is the effect of depreciation; the bubble bursts, and ruin to the unsuspecting, is the consequence. All history shows such a result in several nations, and particularly in that of the United States. The committee, engaged on a variety of subjects, cannot devote so much time on the resolution as the mover must believe would be necessary to develop fully the question before them, to wit: A sound and uniform National Currency. Presuming, from the tenor of the resolution, that the uniform National Currency proposed, must be prepared by the National Government, circulated under its authority, and maintained by its credit, the committee have complied with the instruction of the Senate, by endeavoring to devise some plan, through which the agency of the Government, in such a measure, could be safe, or useful; but, after giving to it all the consideration they could bestow, their reflections have resulted in a belief that any such measure must resolve itself, at last, into a mere system of paper money, issued by the Government. The resort to the issue of a paper money has been often the desperate expedient of the wants of a nation. It has then found its justification only in the necessity which created it: yet such are its inevitable evils, that every prudent Government has, the moment its pressing exigencies permitted, returned to the only safe basis of a circulating medium, the precious metals, and the private credits attached to the use of them. Such were the expedients of the Government of the United States during its two wars; such its immediate abandonment of them at the return of peace. But, in the present condition of the Treasury of the United States, with a revenue far beyond its wants, with a debt almost nominal, and hastening to its entire extinguishment, such a measure is not needed by the interests of the Government, nor is there the slightest indication of its being demanded by the wants of the country. Of such an issue of paper money, the Executive at Washington would be the natural fountain. The agents of the Executive, the natural channels. The individuals, and corporations, and States, who borrowed it, must become debtors to the Government; and the inevitable consequence would be, the creation of a moneyed engine of direct dependence on the officers of Government, at variance with the whole scheme of our institutions. The limit to which this currency should be issued, the persons to whom it would be lent, the securities taken for its repayment, the places where it should be redeemed, involve great complication and great

« ForrigeFortsett »