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VI. A number of stockholders, not less than sixty, who, together shall be proprietors of two hundred shares or upwards, shall have power at any time to call a general meeting of the stockholders, for purposes relative to the institution, giving at least ten weeks notice, in two public gazettes of the place where the bank is kept, and specifying, in such notice, the object or objects of such meeting.
VII. Every cashier or treasurer, before he enters upon the duties of his office, shall be required to give bond, with two or more sureties, to the satisfaction of the directors, in a sum not less than fifty thousand dollars, with condition for his good behavior.
VIII. The lands, tenements and hereditaments which it shall be lawful for the said corporation to hold, shall be only such as shall be requisite for its immediate accommodation in relation to the convenient transacting of its business, and such as shall have been bona fide mortgaged to it by way of security, or conveyed to it in satisfaction of debts previously contracted in the course of its dealings, or purchased at sales upon judgments which shall have been obtained for such debts.
IX. The total amount of the debts, which the said corporation shall at any time owe, whether by bond, bill, note, or other contract, shall not exceed the sum of ten millions of dollars, over and above the monies then actually deposited in the bank for safe keeping, unless the contracting of any greater debt shall have been previously authorized by a law of the united states. In case of excess, the directors, under whose administration it shall happen, shall be liable for the same, in their natural and private capacities; and an action of debt, may in such case, be brought against them, or any of them, their or any of their heirs, executors or administrators, in any court of record of the united states, orof either of them, by any creditor or creditors of the said corporation, and may be prosecuted to judgment and execution; any condition, covenant, or agreement to the contrary notwithstanding. But this shall not be construed to exempt the said corporation, or the lands, tenements, goods or chattels of the same, from being also liable for and chargeable with the said excess. Such of the said directors, who may have been absent when the said excess was contracted or created, or who may have dissented from the resolution or act whereby the same was so contracted or created, may respectively exonerate themselves from being so liable, by forthwith giving notice of the fact, and of their absence or dissent, to the president of the united states, and to the stockholders, at a general meeting which they shall have power to call for that purpose.
X. The said corporation may sell any part of the public debt whereof its stock shall be composed, but shall not be at liberty to purchase any public debt whatsoever; nor shall directly or indirectly deal or trade in any thing, except bills of exchange, gold or silver bullion, or in the sale of goods really and truly pledged for money lent and not redeemed in due time; or of goods which shall be the produce of its lands. Neither shall the said corporation take more than at the rate of six per centum per annum, for or upon its loans or discounts.
XI. No loan* shall be made by the said corporation, for the use or on
For the loans made at different times fee Debt 25, (note.)
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 by a law of the united states. [See postea 8.]
XII. The stock of the said corporation shall be assignable and transferrable, according to such rules as shall be instituted in that behalf, by the laws and ordinances of the same.
XIII. The bills cbligatory and of credit, under the seal of the said corporation, which shall be made to any person or persons, shall be assignable by endorsement thereupon, under the hand or hands of such person or persons, and of his, her, or their assignce or assignees, and so as absolutely to transfer and vest the property thereof in each and every assignee or assignees successively, and to enable such assignee or assignees to bring and maintain an action thereupon in his, her, or their own name or names. And bills or notes, which may be issued by order of the said corporation, signed by the president, and countersigned by the principal cashier or treasurer thereof, promising the payment of money to any person or persons, his, her, or their order, or to beare, though not under the seal of the said corporation, shall be binding and obligatory upon the same, in the like manner, and with the like force and effect, as upon any private person or persons, if issued by him or them, in his, her, or their private or natural capacity or capacities; and shall be assignable and negotiable, in like manner, as if they were so issued by such private person or persons-that is to say, those which shall be payable to any person or persons, his, her or their order, shall be assignable by endorsement, in like manner, and with the like effect, as foreign bills of exchange now are; and those which are payable to bearer, shall be negotiable and assignable by deEvery only.
XIV. Half yearly dividends shall be made of so much of the profits of the bank, as shall appear to the directors advisable; and once in every three years, the directors shall lay before the stockholders, at a general meeting, for their information, an exact and particular statement of the debts, which shall have remained unpaid after the expiration of the original credit, for a period of treble the term of that credit; and of the surplus of profit, if any, after deducting losses and dividends. If there shall be a failure in the payment of any part of any sum, subscribed by any person, co-partnership, or body politic, the party failing shall lose the benefit of any dividend, which may have accrued, prior to the time for making such payment, and during the delay of the same.
XV. It shall be lawful for the directors aforesaid, to establish offices wheresoever they shall think fit, within the united states, for the purposes of discount and deposit only, and upon the same terms, and in the same manner, as shall be practised at the bank; and to commit the management of the said offices, and the making of the said discounts, to such persons, under such agreements, and subject to such regulations as they shall deem proper; not being contrary to law, or to the constitution of the bank.
XVI. The officer at the head of the treasury department of the united states, shall be furnished, from time to time, as often as he may
require, not exceeding once a week, with statements of the amount of the capital stock of the said corporation, and of the debts due to the same; of the monies deposited therein; of the notes in circulation, and of the cash in hand; and shall have a right to inspect such general accounts in the books of the bank, as shall relate to the said statements Provided, That this shall not be construed to imply a right of inspecting the account of any private individual or individuals with the
7. SECT. VIII. If the said corporation, or any person or persons for or to the use of the same, shall deal or trade in buying or selling any goods, wares, merchandise, or commodities whatsoever, contrary to the provisions of this act, all and every person and persons, by whom any order or direction for so dealing or trading shall have been given, and all and every person and persons who shall have been concerned as parties or agents therein, shall forfeit and lose treble the value of the goods, wares, merchandises, and commodities, in which such dealing and trade shall have been; one half thereof to the use of the informer, and the other half thereof to the use of the united states, to be recovered with costs of suit.
8. SECT. IX. 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. [See antea 6, art. xi.]
9. SECT. X. 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.
10. SECT. XI. 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 monies 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 monies 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.
* See Debt i and seq. 22 and seq.
11. SECT. XII. 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.
ACT of June 27, 1798. (Vol. IV. p. 152.)
12. If any person shall falsely make, alter, forge or counterfeit, or cause or procure to be falsely made, altered, forged or counterfeited, or willingly aid or assist in falsely making, altering, forging or counterfeiting any bill or note issued by order of the president, directors and company of the bank of the united states, and signed by the president, and countersigned by the cashier thereof, or any order or check on the said cashier or corporation, for the payment of money, with intention to defraud the said corporation, or any other body politic or person, or shall utter or publish, as true, any false, altered, forged or counterfeited bill or note issued by order of the president, directors and company of the bank of the united states, and signed by the president, and countersigned by the cashier thereof, or any order or check on the said cashier or corporation, for the payment of money, with intention to defraud the said corporation, or any other body politic or person, knowing the same to be falsely altered, forged or counterfeited, every such person shall be deemed and adjudged guilty of felony,and being thereof convicted, according to the due course of law, shall be sentenced to be imprisoned and kept at hard labor for a period not less than three years, nor more than ten years, or shall be imprisoned not exceeding ten years, and fined not exceeding five thousand dollars: Provided, That nothing hercin contained shall be construed to deprive the courts of the individual states of a jurisdiction under the laws of the several states over the offences declared punishable by this act.
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