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And whereas, it is declared by the twenty-third section of the act, entitled "An act for registering and clearing vessels, regulating the coasting trade, and for other purposes," "That if any vessel of the burthen of twenty tons or upwards, not having a certificate of registry or enrolment, and a license, shall be found trading between different districts, or be employed in the bank or whale fisheries, every such ship or vessel shall be subject to the same tonnage and fees as foreign ships or vessels," which, from the impracticability in some cases of obtaining licenses in due season, and from misapprehension in others, has operated to the prejudice of individuals; and it being proper that relief should be granted in cases where the strict operation of new laws may have occasioned hardship and inconvenience.
Sec. 4. Be it therefore further enacted, That in all cases in which the said foreign duty shall have been heretofore paid on ships or vessels of the United States, whether registered at the time of payment or afterwards, restitution thereof shall be made, and that no such foreign duty shall hereafter be demanded on the said ships or vessels.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the act, entitled “An act imposing duties on tonnage," shall, after the said first day of September next, be repealed, and shall thenceforth cease to operate, except as to the collection of the duties which shall have accrued prior to the said repeal, for which purpose the said act shall continue in force.
30. An Act to incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States1
February 25, 1791
Be it enacted, &c., That a Bank of the United States shall be established; the capital stock whereof shall not exceed ten millions of dollars, divided into twenty-five thousand shares, each share being four hundred dollars; and that subscriptions towards constituting the said stock, shall, on the first Monday of April next, be opened at the city of Philadelphia, under the superintendence of such persons, not less than three, as shall be appointed for that purpose by the President of the United States, who is hereby empowered to appoint the said persons accordingly; which subscriptions shall continue open until the whole of the said stock shall have been subscribed.
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any person, co-partnership, or body politic, to subscribe for such or so many shares as he, she, or they shall think fit, not exceeding one thousand, except as shall be hereafter directed relatively to the United States; and that the sums respectively subscribed, except on behalf of the United States, shall be payable one-fourth in gold and silver, and three-fourths in that part of the public debt, which, according to the loan proposed in the fourth and fifteenth sections of the act, entitled "An act making provision for the debt of the United States," shall bear an accruing interest, at the time of payment of six per centum per annum, and shall also be payable in four equal parts, in the aforesaid ratio of specie to debt, at the distance of six calendar months from each other; the first whereof shall be paid at time of subscription.
1 Annals of Congress, 1 Cong., 3 Sess., Appendix, pp. 2375-2381.
Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That all those who shall become subscribers to the said bank, their successors and assigns shall be, and are hereby, created and made a corporation and body politic, by the name and style of "The President, Directors, and Company of the Bank of the United States;" and so shall continue until the fourth of March, one thousand eight hundred and eleven: and by that name shall be, and are hereby, made able and capable in law, to have, purchase, receive, possess, enjoy, and retain to them and their successors, lands, rents, tenements, hereditaments, goods, chattels, and effects of what kind, nature, or quality soever, to an amount not exceeding in the whole fifteen millions of dollars, including the amount of the capital stock aforesaid; and the same to sell, grant, demise, alien, or dispose of; to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered, defend and be defended, in courts of record, or any other place whatsoever; and also, to make, have, and use a common seal, and the same to break, alter, and renew at their pleasure; and also to ordain, establish, and put in execution, such by-laws, ordinances, and regulations as shall seem necessary and convenient for the government of the said corporation, not being contrary to law, or to the constitution thereof, (for which purpose general meetings of the stockholders shall and may be called by the directors, and in the manner herinafter specified,) and generally to do and execute all and singular acts, matters, and things which to them it shall or may appertain to do; subject, nevertheless, to the rules, regulations, restrictions, limitations, and provisions hereinafter prescribed and declared.
Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That for the well ordering of the affairs of the said corporation there shall be twenty-five directors; of whom there shall be an election on the first Monday of January in each year, by the stockholders or proprietors of the capital stock of the said corporation, and by plurality of the votes actually given; and those who shall be duly chosen at any election, shall be capable of serving as directors, by virtue of such choice, until the end or expiration of the Monday of January next ensuing the time of such election, and no longer.
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That if the said corporation shall advance or lend any sum for the use or on account of the Government of the United States, to an amount exceeding one hundred thousand dollars, or of any particular State to an amount exceeding fifty thousand dollars, or of any foreign Prince or State, (unless previously authorized thereto by a law of the United States) all and every person and persons, by and with whose order, agreement, consent, approbation, or connivance, such unlawful advance or loan shall have been made, upon conviction thereof, shall forfeit and pay, for every such offence, treble the value or amount of the sum or sums which shall have been so unlawfully advanced or lent; one fifth thereof to the use of the informer, and the residue thereof to the use of the United States, to be disposed of by law and not otherwise.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That the bills or notes of the said corporation, originally made payable, or which shall have become payable on demand, in gold and silver coin, shall be receivable in all payments to the United States.
Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States, at any time or times, within eighteen months after the first day of April next, to cause a subscription to be made to the stock of the said corporation, as part of the aforesaid capital stock of ten millions of dollars, on behalf of the United States, to an amount not exceeding two millions of dollars, to be paid out of the moneys which shall be borrowed by virtue of either of the acts, the one entitled “An act making provision for the debt of the United States;" and the other entitled "An Act making provision for the reduction of the public debt;" borrowing of the bank an equal sum, to be applied to the purposes for which the said moneys shall have been procured, reimbursable in ten years by equal annual instalments; or at any time sooner, or in any greater proportions that the Government may think fit.
Sec. 12. 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.
31. An Act establishing a Mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States1
April 2, 1792
Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That there shall be from time to time struck and coined, at the said Mint, coins of gold, silver, and copper, of the, following denominations, values, and descriptions, viz: Eagles, each to be of the value of ten dollars or units, and to contain two hundred and forty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of pure, or two hundred and seventy grains of standard gold; Half Eagles, each to be of the value of five dollars, and to contain one hundred and twenty-three grains and six eighths of a grain of pure, or one hundred and thirty-five grains of standard gold; Quarter Eagles, each to be of the value of two dollars and a half dollar, and to contain sixtyone grains and seven eighths of a grain of pure, or sixty-seven grains and four eighths of a grain of standard gold; Dollars or Units, each to be of the value of a Spanish milled dollar, as the same is now current, and to contain three hundred and seventyone grains and four sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or four hundred and sixteen grains of standard silver; Half Dollars, each to be of half the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain one hundred and eighty-five grains and ten sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or two hundred and eight grains of standard silver; Quarter Dollars, each to be of one fourth the value of the dollar or unit, and to contain ninety-two grains and thirteen sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or one hundred and four grains of standard silver; Dimes, each to be of the value of one tenth of the dollar or unit, and to contain thirty-seven grains and two sixteenth parts of a grain of pure, or forty-one grains and three fifth parts of a grain of standard silver; Half Dimes, each to
1 Annals of Congress, 2 Cong., 1 Sess., Appendix, pp. 1351-1356.