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peace should be restored; alleging that in the usual course of commerce, and of the credit given, there was always a debt existing equal to the trade of eighteen months: that the trade amounting to five millions sterling per annum, the debt must be seven millions and a half; that this sum paid to the British merchants, would operate to prevent that distress, intended to be brought upon Britain, by our stoppage of commerce with her: for the merchants receiving this money, and no orders with it for farther supplies, would either lay it out in the public funds; or in employing manufacturers, to accumulate goods, for a future hungry market in America, upon an expected accommodation; by which means the funds would be kept up, and the manufacturers prevented from murmuring. But against this it was alleged, that injuries from ministers should not be revenged on merchants; that the credit was in consequence of private contracts, made in confidence of good faith; that those ought to be held sacred, and faithfully complied with; for that whatever public utility might be supposed to arise from a breach of private faith, it was unjust; and would in the end be found unwise; honesty being, in truth, the best policy. On this principle, the proposition was rejected; and though the English prosecuted the war with unexampled barbarity, burning our defenceless towns in the midst of winter, and arming savages against us; the debt was punctually paid; and the merchants of London have testified to the parliament, and will testify to all the world, that from their experience in dealing with us, they had, before the war, no apprehension of our unfairness; and that since the war, they have been convinced that their good opinion of us was well founded.— England, on the contrary, an old, corrupt, extravagant, and profligate nation, sees herself deep in debt, which she is in no condition to pay; and yet is madly and dishonestly running deeper, without any possibility of discharging her debt, but by a public bankruptcy.
It appears, therefore, from the general industry, frugality, ability, prudence, and virtue of America, that she is a much safer debtor than Britain; to say nothing of the satisfaction generous minds must have in reflecting, that by loans to America, they are opposing tyranny, and aiding the cause of liberty, which is the cause of all mankind.
A CATECHISM RELATIVE TO THE ENGLISH
Question 1. Supposing this debt to be only 195 millions of pounds sterling at present,* although it is much more, and that was all to be counted in shillings, that a man could count at the rate of 100 shillings per minute, for 12 hours each day, till he has counted the whole, how long would he take in doing it?
* At present (1777) it is said to be at least 230 millions.
Answer. One hundred forty-eight years, one hundred nine days, and twenty-two hours.
Q. 2. The whole of this sum being 3,900 millions of shillings, and the coinage standard beingsixty-two in the troy pound, what is the whole weight of this sum?
A. Sixty-one millions, seven hundred fiftytwo thousand, four hundred and seventy-six troy pounds.
Q. 3. How many ships would carry this weight, suppose 100 tons each?
A. Three hundred and fourteen ships.
Q. 4. How many carts would carry this weight, suppose a ton in each?
A. Thirty-one thousand, four hundred and fiftytwo carts.
Q. 5. The breadth of a shilling being one inch, if all these shillings were laid in a straight line, close to one another's edges, how long would that line be that would contain them?
A. Sixty-one thousand, five hundred fifty-two miles; which is 9,572 miles more than twice round the whole circumference of the earth.
Q. 6. Suppose the interest of this debt to be three and a half per cent, per annum, what does the whole annual interest amount to?A. Six millions, seven hundred and seventy thousand pounds.
Q. 7. How doth government raise this interest annually?
A. By taxing those who lent the principal, and others.
Q. 8. When will government be able to pay the principal?
A. When there is more money in England's treasury than there is in all Europe. /
Q. 9. And when will that be?
OF THE PAPER MONEY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
Much conversation having arisen lately on the subject of this money, and few persons being well acquainted with the nature of it, you may possibly oblige many of your readers, by the following account of it.
When Great Britain commenced the present war upon the colonies, they had neither arms nor ammunition, nor money to purchase them or to pay soldiers. The new government had not immediately the consistence necessary for collecting heavy taxes; nor would taxes that could be raised within the year during peace, have been sufficient for a year's expense in time of war: they therefore printed a quantity of paper bills, each expressing to be of the value of a certain number of Spanish dollars, from one to thirty: with these they paid, clothed, and fed their troops, fitted out ships, and supported the war during five years against one of the most powerful nations of Europe.
The paper thus issued, passed current in all the internal commerce of the United States at par with silver during the first year; supplying the place of the gold and silver formerly current, but which was sent out of the country to purchase arms, &c. or to defray expenses of the army in Canada: but the great number of troops necessary to be kept on foot to defend a coast of near 500 leagues in length, from an enemy who being masters at sea could land troops where they pleased, occasioned such a demand for money, and such frequent additional emissions of new bills, that the quantity became much greater than was wanted for the purposes of commerce; and the commerce being diminished by the war, the surplus quantity of cash was by that means also proportionally augmented.
It has been long and often observed, that when the current money of a country is augmented beyond the occasions for money, as a medium of commerce, its value as money diminishes. Its interest is reduced, and the principal sinks, if some means are not found to take off the surplus quantity. Silver may be carried out of the country that produces it, into other countries, and thereby prevent too great a fall of its value in that country. But when by this means it grows more plentiful in