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The scheme is fraught with injust- debt of Illinois, for instance, to relieve ice as well as danger. The rights of the people from the load of private property lie at the foundation of civil debts, which they, in common with society. Every man has an incontest- the people of all the States, have inible claim to the fruits of his own la- curred? The debt is not due to citibors, and to the patrimony that has zens of the State, and little of it even devolved upon him. To deprive him to Americans. How few men are there, of it, without his consent, is 10 set in this country, whose circumstances right at defiance. Now the public lands will be made a whit better by its are the property of all the States. To payment. If the citizen is not to be appropriate them to any object, except relieved, if his industry is to continue that common object for which they in shackles, how much will he gain by were given, is an outrage upon justice, this magnificent issue of $200,000,000 except it be done with the consent of of government stock? every State that has an interest in Lastly, if the plan of Mr. Johnson them. If every representative, from were as possible as it is impracticable, every State in the Union, save one, if it were as just as it is unjust, there were to vote for an appropriation to would be yet a reason against it quite any but a common object, to relieve a sufficient to condemn it, and that is, that common want, it could not be done it is wholly unnecessary. The States justly without the vote of that other are not so much in debt but that any State also. She has a properly in the one of them can pay all that it owes. public lands, of which she cannot be Severe taxation and great sacrifices deprived but by her own consent. may be necessary ; but are these too
But were it never so just, it would heavy a penalty for extravagance? Is not answer the end proposed. The not the honor of the State, the plighted projectors of this new way to pay old faith of the people, worth so much? debts, doubtless imagine that they have Every one of the indebted States has found a remedy for all the embarrass- great resources. Look at their immense ments under which the people suffer. tracts of fertile lands, or their exhaustIs not this a mistake? What real and less mines; their rail-ways, their capermanent relief would it afford them ? nals; look at the yearly products of It is not the States that suffer ;-it is their farms, their abundant harvests, the people. The States are mere im- their innumerable herds of cattle; look personalities. The pecuniary difficul- at the long trains of emigrants coming ties which beset us on every side, are yearly to settle in their borders, making the difficulties of the inhabitants. It rich everything around them, and then is the people who are in debt, and it is say if these States ought to shrink from they who constitute the State. Give the exertions necessary to pay the inthe people ability, and the States will terest, and to provide a sinking fund for need no assistance. On the other hand, the principal, of their debts. Compare assist the States as much as you please, the taxation which they would have unless you relieve the people of their ever to lay upon themselves with that debts, the evil remains. Now if this which the Englishman, the Frenchman scheme has in view the relief of the is obliged to submit to. Cannot the people from the mass of debts which American exert himself as much, to grinds them as between the upper and answer for his own contracts, and to the nether millstone, then we can only repay money spent upon the public say, that it proposes the most inade- works of his own State, as either of the quate means to obtain an end which others, to repay money that has been any government ever proposed. If it wasted in wars or 'lavished upon has this not in view, then are its pro- thrones? For the honor of the Amerijectors blind leaders of the blind. can name, for the sake of freedom itself,
How is the payment of the public let us not be found to answer, No.
MONTHLY FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL ARTICLE.
This is the season of the year of all discovery of its effects in an institution others when commercial and financial which ranked highest in public estiaffairs are exceedingly dull. The mation, seems to have shut out the usual avenues of communication with last ray of confidence. the interior are closed, and the mails The return of the Secretary of the become irregular as well from the Treasury presents a gloomy picture of influence of the weather as from mis- the government finances. The operamanagement. Hence, the movements tion of the prohibitive tariff bears with of merchandise and produce are limited, a heavy hand on commerce, on the and the operations of exchange proba- government finances, and, as a consebly amount to not more than one-third quence, upon the national credit. The of those in the busy seasons of the receipts for the year 1842 are stated at year. The demand for money is less, $34,502,593; of which, was borrowed, and were full confidence entertained $14,651,157. The expenses were, in stocks as investments, the large $35,308,694; of which, was paid on accumulations of money now apparent account of debt, $9,471,744, leaving in the leading cities, would undoubt an actual excess of expenses edly seek that channel of employment. revenue equal to $5,179,413. This, But the downward tendency of the for a year during four months of which paper system for the last few years the high tariff was in operation. From has developed such utier rottenness in the last of June to ihe first of Sepeverything connected with corporate tember, there was no tariff in operaassociations, that few men are now tion. The duties levied at that time bold enough to repose confidence in were at a rate of 25 per cent., and paid them. During the past month, defal- un ler protest. Some suits of this nacations to an extent estimated at ture have been decided before the $250,000 have been discovered in the United States Court in favor of the accounts of the Secretary of the New government. The Secretary states York Life Insurance and Trust Co. ihat the receipts will exceed the expenThis institution, with a capital of ditures for the eighteen monihs ending $1,000,000, has hitherto stood the June, 1944, $1,635,871. He, howhighest in public favor. At the time ever, gives no data for his estimate, and of the explosion, the stock was quoted no redemption of Treasury Notes or at 125 a 140, and is now held at 40 a debis is included in these estimates. 75, without sales, so greatly has confi- He states the existing debt outstanddence been shaken. The delinquency ing at $20,210,226. The Secretary, of the officer of the company has, like in remarking upon the falling off in all others that have taken place, the revenue, states that he cannot grown out of, and is the inevitable ascribe it to the influence of the high result of the gambling disposition tariff as yet, because the duties have engendered in the public mind by the not been in operation long enough. It Hluctuations incident upon the paper is remarkable, however, in the face system ; but a few years since, owing of this assertion, and the fact that to this cause, the whole country was $18,000,000 were derived from the mad with speculation. The assets of customs this year, that under the supthe late National Bank show that no position of the continuance of the tariff grade of society escaped the mania. which he recommends, he estimates How could it then be supposed that the customs of the next eighteen any individual, placed in the very months $23,500,000 only, or focus of speculation with immense $15,600,000 per annum, including a sums of money at his uncontrolled dis new duly proposed on tea and coffee, posal, should avoid engaging in that being $2,500,000 less than this year. which pervaded all ranks of society? The imports of foreign goods have It is less the crime of an individual, than been $99,357,329, against $127,946,177 the inherent vice of a system. The the previous year, showing a decrease
of $28,588,818, of which, $20,000,000 politicians who depend upon a borrowtook place in the last quarter. The ing machine to hoist them into power. exporis of domestic goods were The sense of the people on these sub$92,559,088; aud of foreign merchan- jects is, however, becoming daily more dise, $11,558,881 ; total, $104,117,969. apparent, and the most sagacious of In this great decline in imports will be the Whig politicians have abandoned recognized the cause of the low price the idea of a National Bank. In Sepof foreign bills, on which the planters tember, 1840, Daniel Webster, Esq. and farmers are subjected to a loss of made a great speech in Wall street in 4 to 5 per cent., there being no adequate favor of a National Bank. In Septemdemand from importers.
ber, 1842, he made a great speech in The general condition of the United Boston proclaiming the idea of a States presents now every appearance National Bank to be “obsolete.” of a revival of trade and of commer These are signs that the people at cial prosperity. The aggregate wealth large are opposed to a Bank, not beof the country is immense, the active cause it is called “a Bank,” but becommercial debts are very small, and cause it possesses the power of multithe channels of trade are rapidly fill- plying or contracting the standard of ing with a sound constitutional me- value at pleasure, and of course doudium of circulation, the result of which bling or diminishing every man's debts must be inevitably a rise in the prices and property as measured by labor. of agricultural products to an extent It gives to speculators the means of which will leave a margin of profits to obtaining the wealth of the industrious the producer, and enable him to pur- for their own use and profit, by the chase and pay for the necessaries and payment of 6 or 7 per cent interest, some of the luxuries of life. These which is ultimately paid by those facts are now become so apparent, that whose wealth is obtained without an in the leading commercial circles the equivalent. For instance, a speculautmost confidence is entertained and tor obtains a discount of his note at 6 expressed that the next six months per cent. in promises of the bank; these will witness an important improve- he pays away for the produce of indusment in all branches of business. try. By the operation, he expects to Within the last few weeks several make a profit over and above the inmillions in specie have arrived from terest he pays to the bank, which inabroad in the Atlantic cities, and have terest with his profit enhances the cost been distributed over the country. of the article to the consumer, who This is silently but surely bringing exchanges the produce of his own about the desired result, and business labor for it. If no profit is made, the men confidently look forward to a turn speculator's note is not paid, the bank of tide in their favor, when they will fails, and the holder of the note is reap the reward of their skill and in- cheated. This operation is what the dustry, without being subjected to the people oppose, and not the name of a arbitrary capriciousness of privileged bank; but with singular confidence in corporations, which, at will, may pro- the credulity of the people, those, who duce in the value of property those admit that a bank has become “obsofluctuations which baffle the calcula- lete,” still persevere in attempting to tions of the wisest and most prudent. effect the same object under another The welfare of the industrious, the name. Hence those numerous paper skilful, and the frugal, is however by schemes under the names of fiscal no means identical with that of brokers, agents, exchequer, &c., on which we bankers, and stockjobbers. Accord- have commented in former numbers. ingly, as the specie currency of the The banking system of the United country increases, and its productive States has received a shock from which wealth augments without bringing any it will not speedily recover. The narestoration of that confidence which tional discredit of which itself was the enables needy speculators and design- cause, is now the main obstacle to its ing adventurers to possess themselves recovery: When in 1828–9, the late of the fruits of industry in exchange National Bank commenced that imfor paper promises, the louder are mense inflation, which carried up its the cries of distress from that class, own loans 100 per cent. in the succeedand the more desperate become those ing three years, and stimulated that
VOL. XII.-NO, LVI. 27
banking mania which afterwards grew and discharge the debts contracted for to such an unmanageable height, the their construction. Had the people seeds of the present Staie debis were supposed that taxation would have planted. The redundancy of money been the result, no consent to the loans excited false hopes, and led States and would ever have been given. In the cities, as well as individuals and cor case of Pennsylvania, a lax was levied porations, lo contract immense debts. June 11, 1840, estimated to yield În all the State Legislatures, the emis- $1,000,000; of this very little was saries of banks, and the agents and ac ever realized, because, as stated in a complices of land speculators, were subsequent message of the Governor, urging all sorts of extravagance. After public opinion in many of the counties a knot of speculators had fixed upon a was against the tax, and it could not bank, or a patch of land for an opera- be collected. If the loan had been tion, their next object was to exert an presented to them in the same practi. influence in the State Legislatures, cal way, it never would have been stimulating them to borrow money, sanctioned. In creating the loans, the which should procure the construction Legislatures did not take the ability to of some canal or rail-road, to turn the pay properly into consideration. They patch into a populous city, or give new hoped ihat they would not have io wings to the paper machine, io enable resort lo taxation. On the failure of it to extend its flight, and ultimately those expectations they levied taxes. to fall with greater force. The late In collecting those taxes during the National Bank, tottering under the past year, it has been discovered that weight of its old political misdeeds, ihe aggregate debts are beyond the became the focus for the negotiation of ability of ihe people to pay. They all these State debts. Michigan, Illi- were seduced by ihe ignis fatuus of nois, Indiana, Mississippi and Penn- bank credits, from the pain of economy sylvania, were all stimulated into ex• into the mire of extravagance, and travagance by the emissaries of the they are now overwhelmed in the Bank, and the multiplication of their slough of insolvency, while the treachsecurities in its hands in exchange for erous light which lured them to ruin its own promises, lengthened for some has vanished into thin air. The paper time its existence. Each and all of system in this country created for these States were defrauded and are itself, and exerted an aristocratic now insolvent, while their dishonored power similar to that which is found securities to the extent of near in the courts of despotic governments. $14,000,000, are pledged in London, Its unseen but powerful influence opefor the debts of the author of the mis- rating upon State Legislatures, caused chief. The means of paying these the creation of large loans. Its behests debts, which were seemingly apparent were promptly obeyed by pliant poliduring the redundancy of paper ticians bewildered with dreams of inmoney, vanished with the bubble. ternal improvements and paper wealth. The debts now remain, and the dis. They mistook the schemes of speculamayed politicians can discern in the tors and the mandates of stockjobbers low prices and small sales of the far- for the voice of the people, and did noi mer, no trace of those golden visions discover their mistake until pay-day whose fruition was to crown their am- arrived. This is the point which in all bition and fill their pockets. In one old governments produced violent revoor two instances, their application to lutions. The refusal of the people of the people to pay taxes in the discharge many of the States to be taxed now, is of ihe debts, has been met by a similar to the first step towards the threatened repudiation of the liability, French Revolution. At that time the and in many cases, the inability io court was the seat of power. When pay is apparent and acknowledged. it wanted money, it issued edicts for When the debts were contracted by taxes which were sent to the parliapoliticians under the lash and spur of ment for registration, when they be. the speculators, no prospect of ultimate came operative. When Necker retired taxation was held out to the people. in 1781, and was succeeded by the exOn the contrary, the Erie Canal of New travagant M. Calonne, that minister York was pointed to as a proof, that proposed two new taxes, a stamp act, the works would pay for themselves, and a land tax estimated to yield
£5,000,000. These acts the parliament so readily appear, and seems strange refused to register. Then began those to those who consider the great appadifficulties which ended in the sub- rent wealth and population of the version of one of the oldest govern- States, it may be well to examine the ments in Europe, and in a great acces matter a liule, both in regard to the sion to the popular ascendancy. The actual position of affairs here, and extravagance of the court of Louis what other nations have done and produced the necessity for taxes so ex- continue to do. We will here give orbitant that they could not be paid. a table, compiled from official returns What the court of Louis was to made within the year, of the debts of France at that time, has been the bank- the several States, showing the direct ing system to the United States in our debt which they have contracted, and day. The bankers and stockjobbers their indirect debt, which consists in stiinulated debts which the politicians some cases in stock loaned to banks contracted at their behests, in the and companies, enabling them to name of the people, under false pre- raise money on the faith of the State tences. These debts the people are to carry on their enterprises. Of this now unable to pay, and in some cases nature are the New York loans to the refuse to acknowledge. In the case of Erie Rail Road; the Alabama debt, the aristocratic government, the op- which consists of State Stock issued pression was tangible, and was resisted to banks; the Florida, Arkansas, and overthrown by physical means. In and Louisiana debts are of a similar the case of the paper aristocracy the nature. It also embraces the floating resistance is negative, the mere ina- debts. The table also contains the bility to bear the burden destroying the annual interest payable, and the popuoppressor.
lation of each Siaie, as follows: As this matter of inability does not
LIABILITIES AND POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES, JANUARY, 1843.
86,743 501,793 New Hampshire, none.
284,574 Vermont, none.
291,948 Massachusetts, 1,365,539 5,355,000 7,720,539 5 386,026 737,699 Connecticut, none.
309,978 Rhode Island, none.
108,830 New York,
19,502,049 5,235,700 24,737,749 44 a 7 1,341,620 2,428,921 New Jersey,
373,306 Pennsylvania, 37,937,788 2,000,000 39,937,788 5 1,858,454 1,724,033 Delaware, none.
10,000,000 10,011,393 20,041,393 5 9-10 1,182,683 470,019 Virginia,
7,409,166 2,872,520 10,281,686 6 612,900 1,239,797 North Carolina,
1,050,000 1,050,000 6 63,000 753,419 South Carolina, 760,000 4,800,000 5,560,000 6 333,600 594,398 Georgia,
1,557,306 1,674,353 3,23 1,659 64 93,385 691,392 Kentucky, 3,750,500 40,000 3,790,500 6
211,100 779,828 Tennessee,
1,516,916 1,500,000 3,016,916 5 150,945 829,210 Ohio,
15,163,374 3,000,000 19,163,3745 a 6 964,302 1,519,467 Louisiana,
1,164,886 19,204,000 20,368,8865 1,018,444 352,411 Indiana,
12,698,146 2,390,000 15,088,146 5 751,407 685,866 Mississippi,
7,000,000 7,000,000 6 420,000 375,651 Illinois,
13,836,379 5,000,000 18,836,3796 830,182 476,183 Alabama,
B’k.capital, 9,843,536 9,843,5366 590,611 590,756
B’k. circu., 5,817,000 5,817,000 Missouri, 853,816
853,846 6 51,230 383,702 Arkansas,
3,500,000 3,500,000 6 210,000 97,574 Michigan,
5,391,000 220,000 5,611,000 6 377,170 212,267 Florida,
3,900,000 3,900,000 6 234,000 54,477 Wisconsin, 100,000
6,000 30,965 Iowa, none.
43,112 District of Columb., 1,380,000