« IndietroContinua »
posed rate of paying the principal would legal-tender acts were war-measures, and while absorb less than 5 per cent. of our annual the repeal of those provisions which made the productions the first year, and barely recommended, the Secretary is of the opinion
United States notes lawful money is not now one tenth of one per cent, in the thirty- that they ought not to remain in force one day second or final year. While these facts longer than sball be necessary to enable the show that the payment of the principal people to prepare for a return to the constitushould be deemed not only practicable tional currency, but easy, they also raise the question
The reasons which are sometimes urged in whether it is true economy to take from faror of United States notes as a permanent the taxpayers capital which, in their
currency are, the saving of interest and their hands, is earning 25 per cent., in order perfect safety and uniform value. to cancel a debt which we can carry for
The objection to such a policy is, that the pa six per cent. Mr. McCulloch, however, per circulation of the country should be flexible, with the financial conservatism natural
increasing and decreasing according to the
requirements of legitimate business, wbile, if to his character, stands as much opposed furnished by the Government, it would be quite to all schemes for perpetuating as to likely to be governed by the necessities of the tbose for repudiating the debt. He no Treasury or the interests of parties, rather than more regards a national debt as a na
the demands of commerce and trade. Besides,
a permanent Gorernment currency would be tional blessing, than a private debt as
greatly in the way of publio economy, and an individual boon. It must ultimately would give to the party in possession of the be paid. But until it can be paid, let it Government a power which it might be under be made as useful as possible. Our bank- strong temptations to use for other purposes ing system must be founded on debts or
than the public good-keeping the question of bonds of some kind as security for its
the currency constantly before the people as a
political question, than which few things would bank-note circulation. The security of
be more injurious to business. the national bonds has been found so But the great and insuperable objection, as perfect, that the notes of the few na- already stated, to the direct issue of notes by tional banks which failed, have borne a
the Government, as a policy, is the fact, that
the Government of the United States is one of premium instead of being at a discount, limited and defined powers, and that the and the note of a national bank in Ore
authority to issue notes as money is neither gon passes without discount in Maine.
expressly given to Congress by the ConstituMr. McCulloch's agency in founding the tion, nor fairly to be inferred, except as a national banking system has been sec
measure of necessity in a great pational exi
gency. No consideration of a mere pecuniary ond only to that of Mr. Chase. All his
character should induce an exercise by ConReports contain sound and elaborate
gress of powers not clearly contemplated by defences of the system, as the only the instrument upon which our political fabric source from whence we can derive a was establisbed. currency that shall expand and contract As soon as we shall have returned to with the wants of the community, and specie payments, Mr. McCulloch believes shall be of uniform value throughout the national system should be made one the country.
of free banking; but he would regard no In his Report of December, 1965, he additional deposit of securities as effectthus states his views of the legal-tender ual to prevent inflation if banks were notes :
authorized to issue unlimited quantities
of depreciated paper. He has been perThe right of Congress, at all times, to borrow
sistent in advocating a rigid maintemoney and to issue obligations for loans in such
nance of the public faith against the form as may be convenient, is unquestionable ; but their authority to issue obligations for a
proposed schemes of paying the Fivecirculating medium as money, and to make Twenty bonds in greenbacks, and has these obligations a legal tender, can only be opposed the efforts to subject the bonds found in the unwritten law which sanctions
to local taxation, as calculated to prewhatever the representatives of the people,
vent a general distribution of them whose duty it is to maintain the Government ayainst its enemies, may consider in a great among the States and counties in which emergency necessary to be done. The present taxes have so little equality, and to cause a larger export of bonds to for- of the country, relative to debt, tasaeign countries, thereby increasing the tion, and currency, in many respects annual drain of gold to foreign credit- matured, and the machinery of governors. It is seriously to be feared that the ment adjusted to its new conditions and natural tendencies of this, as of other running smoothly. Instead of being countries, would be to repudiate its called on to raise vast sums by loans in debt, if it should adopt such legislation excess of the annual revenue, upon a as would cause but few of its own peo- credit which must sink lower with each ple to own its bonds. The honor of a new burden, he will be engaged in nation is always endangered when it is reducing the debt by steps which, horrseparated from the interests of its peo- ever unskilfully performed, can only ple. As a financial statesman, Mr. Mc- advance the national credit. Eleven Culloch is an impressible and open list- hundred millions of short debts fell due ener to the advocates of conflicting poli- during McCulloch's administration, the cies, but cautious and conservative in the funding of which into long bonds has formation of his own views. His reports constantly increased the gold-bearing often recognize the premises on which portion of the debt, and so kept gold adverse theories are based, while com- up, and the national credit depressed. ing to modified or opposite conclusions. His successor will find these short debts He is non-partisan in finance, as in poli- all funded, and demanding no further tics. Often facts on which persons with attention within twenty years than the a less comprehensive grasp of financial payment of the interest. The questions questions base an entire crced or policy, of financial policy which have been serve with him only to modify different agitated in the pending election will be views, or qualify other conclusions. He settled by its result. The policy of so appreciates much with which he does adjusting our tariffs to our internal not agree, and cares more to harmonize taxes as to protect American manufacpractical difficulties than to ride hob- tures having been inaugurated by the bies or be sustained in pet theories. He Republican party in the Morrill tariff of is more able than brilliant, more safe 1861 and 2 and its amendments, which than original, more successful than tal- were passed pursuant to the protective ented. Kis industry in prosecuting clause in the Chicago platform of 1860, business, and promptness in despatch- and having been distinctly adopted and ing it, are remarkable. Appearing at endorsed by the protective section of his office regularly at half-past eight the Democratic platform adopteri in o'clock in the morning, he goes straight New York, may for the present be to work, and never pauses nor tires until regarded as the undisputed policy of every item of business has been disposed the American people without distinction of, or referred to the proper bureau of of party. The fact that the Democratic the department, and every visitor has party in its recent platform made no been scen and his complaint or other assault upon the National Banking Sysbusiness considered. For twenty-five tem, removes that much-vexed question years he has not lost a day from the like from the arena of politics and leaves the vigorous and rigid attention to business. system intact, to be expanded and perIf he has not the imperious and com- fected as the wants of our people require. bative genius of a professional reformer, The questions involved in Reconstruclie is open to all suggestions, and his tion are also settled, and the national entire influence is given to prevent credit will be relieved of their embarabuses.
rassment. This alone should take off a Ilis successor will enter upon the third of the premium on gold which office relieved of those stupendous has prevailed while they were pending. difficulties which beset the administra- The funding of our accruing short debts tions of Chase, Fessenden, and McCul- into bonds due twenty years hence, the loch. He will find the financial policies effect of which is now just beginning to
be felt, will tend strongly towards a may be issued under it to all the banks rise of our bonds and currency, and a is $300,000,000, and this having all decline of gold to par.
Our bonds been issued, no new banks, with the could not rise to par so long as new privilege of circulating notes, can be issues were constantly being thrown on started. So large a proportion of this the market. Now that this has ceased, $300,000,000 has been issued to the their advance toward par must begin. States east of Ohio and north of MaryWhile this advance results from work land, and so little to those South and performed by Mr. McCulloch, its effects, West, as to give the former about $100,viz., a fall of gold and return to specie 000,000 more bank-note circulation than payments, will be manifest during the they had before the war, and the latter term, and will redound to the credit, of nearly as much less. This inequality is his successor. It only remains, to per- felt in a great dearth of currency in the fect our national credit, that our annual South and West relatively to the East. productions shall once more exceed The banking system with its present our expenditures, so that our exports, limitation is bark-bound. It must have exclusive of bullion, may pay for our leave to grow, or die. Great practical imports, and the balance of trade with difficulties surround this question. Many Europe turn again in our favor. This of the measures which have been prowill cause an accumulation of gold in posed in and out of Congress would the vaults of the banks, and the ad- flood the country with an unlimited vance of public and private credit to issue of irredeemable paper currency. par with specie.
The greenbacks must be withdrawn in While the incoming secretary, should order to make room for the bank-notes. the country remain at peace, will find But heretofore the latter have derived flowers thus blooming in his path where their fixed value from the fact that they only thorns beset his predecessors, his were redeemable in the former. When office will still be one requiring great the greenback shall be withdrawn, in practical acquaintance with the details what shall the bank-notes be redeemaof banking and finance. One of the ble? If in cach other, then there is no first measures of the new administra- end to tbeir expansion and depreciation. tion, if it shall not be accomplished If in gold, then our banking system during the remainder of Mr. McCul- cannot be made free till we return to loch's term, must be the retirement of specie payments. Yet it is as unjust the remnant of the greenback currency that men should be prohibited from and the expansion of the National entering into the banking business, or Banking System, so as to make it free, rather that some should be prohibited and its benefits equal throughout the and others permitted, because our nacountry. A bank is a shop for buying tional bonds are not at par in the marand selling money. There are the same kets of the world, as it is that the sale reasons against allowing the privilege of meat or drygoods should be confined of banking to be monopolized by those to the shops already started for that purnow engaged in it, as there are against pose. And it would doubtless tend litconfining the right to sell meat to the tle more to injure our industry, and delay number now selling meat. The latter a return to specie payments, to limit our would make meat dear, and the former drygoods trade to the dealers now in makes money scarce and high, and pre- the business, than to limit our banking to vents the banks from rendering their our present number of banks and bankfull service to business. The present
And whatever is unjust is unnebanking system went into effect when cossary.
This is one of the opening the West was too poor to embrace fully channels of difficulty for the new Secits advantages, and when the rebellion retary, in which it will be indispensable prevented the South from doing so. that he shall go forward, and yet disThe total amount of currency which astrous unless he steers wisely. We are
not yet in a condition where the affairs strongest partisan pressure to bear. In of the Treasury may be allowed to the present declension in importance of drift while the man at the wheel is in- our diplomatic service, our foreign minquiring “what he shall do to be saved.” istries should afford ample asylums for
We might enlarge upon the other disappointed aspirants, and they may difficulties which beset the Treasury wisely and safely be reserved for that Department, but until the reader has purpose. But the country should prosolved the last, it suffices to show the test, with solemn earnestness, against danger of regarding this important office the disposition of politicians to claim as something to be struck off to the leading cabinet offices for mere party highest bidder. Better, like the ancient services without regard to personal exRomans, sell our leading offices at auc- perience or fitness. We believe that at tion, than consign the administration no time would such a protest coincide of our national finances to a mere poli- more fully with the views of the aptician who, without any pretence to pointing power than under the adminisfamiliarity with finance, may bring the tration of General Grant,
rages have been perpetrated which foreshadow Our record closes on the 3d November, be- serious violence on the day of election. So fore the results of the election are received. throughout the South. At Opelousas, in St. The political campaign has absorbed every Laundry Parish, Louisiana, Mr. Bentley, an energy of the people throughout the Union, editor of the St. Laundry Progress, a Repuband has been characterized by unprecedented lican paper, was assaulted and beaten by a earnestness. This presidential election is party of rebels. Some negroes rallied to the first in the Southern States in which fight in his defence and punish the aggressthe two races, the late masters and the late ors; but he restrained them and resorted to slaves, will vote together at the same polls, the courts for redress. Warrants were issued and on terms of political equality. In most against the rebel aggressors; but, before they of the elections in which blacks have hereto- could be served, they assembled en masse, fore voted, the whites have abstained from mobbed the Progress office, seized its editor, voting. The situation has given rise to vastly Mr. Durand, carried him into the woods, murdifferent modes of treating the blacks, all de- dered him, and scoured the town, killing every pending on their relative strength or weak- Republican they met, including about 100 ness. In the lower districts of South Caro
negroes, and wounding fifty more. Only four lina, where the blacks have a preponderance whites were wounded, and none killed. which gives them two thirds of all the voters Shreveport, La., 3 Democrats and 15 Repubof the State, prudent Democrats, like Gore licans were killed in a political quarrel. At ernor Orr, have abandoned all further oppo- Audrain Co., Mo., the Republican inspectors sition to negro suffrage, have invited colored of registration were shot by ex-rebels and citizens to their political meetings, have en- killed, about 50 shots being exchanged, and couraged the formation of colored democratic many wounded on both sides. At Ashpole, clubs, have spoken on the same platforms Robeson Co., N. C., on Sept. 27, a Miss Hill, with colored orators, and have imported John daughter of Roderick Hill, a Republican, was Quincy Adams from Massachusetts to deliver being married to a young man, also a Repuba semi-Republican-Democratic address, to lican, when the house was surrounded by prove how nearly South Carolina Democrats rebels, the bride and bridegroom shot, the approximate in their views to Northern radi. latter being killed instantly. Hon. James cals. In the upper sections of South Caroli- Martin, a Republican member of the legislana, around Abbeville and Newberry, where ture for the Abbeville district, S. C., was as. the colored element is numerically weak, out
sassinated on Oct. 6, near his residence, boy
four Democrats, for having mildly and mode- streets. The Democrats demanded the disrately identified himself with the Republican missal of the negroes who had been appointed party. The agent of the Freedmen's Bureau on the police. About 200 of them failed to in the same district reports 18 murders and report for duty on the morning after the riots, other outrages, and resigns because the dis- and were discharged, and whites appointed in trict is too hot" for him.-On Oct. 15 about their places.—On Oct. 3, Adjt. Geo. Wash50 Ku-Klux, of Arkansas, seizing a steam-tug, ington Smith, who had entered the Union arboarded the steamer Hesper from Memphis, mies as a private, served gallantly through the bound for Little Rock, laden with 3,340 mus- war, and settled in Texas in 1865, a young kets consigned to Gov. Clayton for the State man of temperate habits and remarkable per Militia ; firing into the vessel, they drove sonal virtues, and a member of the Constitucaptain and crew ashore, destroyed the armse tional Convention, addressed a Republican and threw them into the river, reserving one meeting at Jefferson, Marion Co., Texas. Immusket each for themselves.-W. S. Walker, mediately after the meeting dispersed he was a Republican speaker of Early Co., Ga., and attacked by six or eight Democrats, and sevCharles Fryer, a colored Republican who ac- eral shots exchanged. Major Curtis, in companied him, were murdered while can- charge of 20 U. S. troops in the town, thought vassing the county for Grant and Colfax.- prudent to place Adjt. Smith in the jail for On Oct. 18, the office of the Rapides Tribune safe keeping. The excitement increased, and (Repub.), of Alexandria, La., was destroyed on the 5th 300 armed Ku-Klux broke open by a mob.- About the same time, the Sheriff the jail and murdered Smith, who died fightof Iberville, Rep., was murdered in his bed, ing bravely. Twenty-seven murders of Reand Judge Valentine Chase and Gen. H. H. publicans were published in rebel papers in Pope, the Sheriff of Franklin, formerly of 22d Marion Co., Texas, in one week, and in the Illinois Regiment, and a justice of the peace same week Judge Hart, a Republican of an in Caddo Parish, La., and the President of a adjoining county, and Wm. S. Kirkman, Buloyal league in Alabama, were murdered.- reau Agent of Northeastern Texas, were On Oct. 16, Hon. B. F. Randolph, a colored killed. Of course, negroes and Unionists were Republican member of the Senate of South fleeing from the region.- Hon. James Hinds, Carolina, was murdered by three white Demo- State Senator of Arkansas, and a Mr. Brookes, crats in front of the Depot at Cokesburg in Republican, were shot and killed on Oct. 22d Abbeville Co. He was a political speaker of by James A. Clark, Sec'y of the Monroe Co. some ability, and was engaged in stumping Democratic Committee.-About the same the District for Grant.-On the 19th, Hon. time Dr. I. M. Johnston, of Mississippi Co., Lee Vance, a member of the State Constitu- was killed, and Senators Wheeler and Barker, tional Convention, was murdered at Newberry of the Arkansas Legislature, were very nearly Court House. Hon. G. W. Dill, a prominent killed by their would-be assassins.—The rebel Republican of South Carolina, was also mur- citizens of Ware county, Ga., being desirous dered—also two freedmen named Tabby of obtaining a saw-mill which a Northern setSimpson and Johnson Gloscoe—also Peter tler had started there, disguised themselves as Cornell, a young man from New York, and a negroes, took the carpet-bagger, gave him 76 freedman who was travelling with him.- lashes with a rawhide, and drove him out of About the 24th and 25th October, a series the county.—In Upshur Co., Texas, on Oct. of riots broke out in St. Bernard Parish, ad- 1st, 11 Ku-Klux, in white gowns and conic joining New Orleans, in which the first par hats, and masked, took an elderly black ties killed were several negroes, one of whom couple out of their bed, tied the man by the was a member of the new Metropolitan Po- ankles, drew him feet foremost after their lice. The negroes gathered, and in retalia- horses on a run for a quarter of a mile to a tion mobbed a bakery kept by the assailants, stream, let him down head foremost into the and burned it, killing the baker and his son. water, then dragged him back to his cabin, The first rebel statement, that women and and lashed him on his bare back until they children were killed, proves to be untrue. had skinned him from his neck to his waist.The excitement extended to New Orleans, The committee of the Louisiana Legislature where Gov. Warmouth resigned the control appointed to investigate violence that of the peace to Gen. Buchanan, and the State, report 204 persons killed, 51 wounded, troops were concentrated. Democratic clubs and 143 assailed.—Col. A. T. Akerman, paraded the streets in force at night, and no a Grant elector and old resident of Georgia, Llacks were permitted to appear in the was refused permission to stop at the Hotel