Imagens da página

expansion is now going on rapidly in all parts of the country. In the state of New-York the banking movement is strong. Under the existing law but little restriction is imposed upon any of the functions of bankers, except in relation to that portion of their business which refers to the issue of paper promises as money. The present system of banking is very nearly the reverse of what it was originally. It is now a means of borrowing by the banker and not his lending. That is, a person borrows capital in the shape of commodities and labor, issuing his promises to circulate as money. To do this under the New-York law, he is required to deposite with the comptroller of the state, New-York stocks as security for the engraved notes he receives of the comptroller, and which he is required to keep convertible into specie. The law originally allowed stocks of other states and bonds and mortgages to be deposited as security, but losses having occurred, New-York stocks and United States sixes were alone taken. In the last eighteen months some twelve banks have been started, and the progress of deposits indicates the enhancement of their circulation. They are as follows:

[blocks in formation]











1846, Nov...... 1847, May.

Stocks of
Other States.











New-York Stocks.. ..3,805,462.



.1,809,293. ..1,810,780.

This gives an increase of securities of over 30 per cent. circulation of the state of New-York is manifest in the following table:










3,695,603. ..3,547,352..



Tot. Circulation.





20,152.219. 22,268,522. .23,809,553.

6,235,397..... .6,808,345.



[ocr errors]

..7,270,344 .7,835,850


The progress of the


5,1 7,063 .9,311,495 .6,602,708 7,000 529

.5,429'622 5,350'827




.8,048,384 ..11,312,171

In 1843, a law was passed requiring the comptroller to have possession of all the plates of the incorporated banks, and to issue and countersign to each bank such notes as it might want, not exceeding the limit of the old law, viz: not to exceed twice their capital. For these notes no security is required; neither does the law contemplate a renewal of their charters, on the expiration of which they must come under the general law and give security for their notes. The general law was passed April, 1838, and the issues were based on mortgages and stocks of all states. These latter were obtained on credit, and the mortgages-remains of the old real estate speculation, could be turned into money more readily by making them the basis of issue than any other way. Hence the large circulation of 1840. A large number of the banks soon failed, and circulating credits ran down to a lower point in 1843, since when the movement has been upwards, as seen in the table. In Boston a new bank, with a capital of $500,000, has gone into operation, and numerous applications for charters for banks in the states of Connecticut and Pennsylvania were rejected by the legislature at the last session. In Michigan there is a movement for a general law, similar to that in New-York, by which eastern capital may be employed in giving a direction to Michigan business. In Ohio, in 1845, a law was passed to which we called attention in our article for June, 1845, and pointed out the dangerous excess into which it was likely to run. The state of Ohio suffered in former years much by excess in banking, and it was

the only state which did not apply some check to future bank expansions. The leading features of Ohio Banks have been as follows:




No. Banks.

Circulation. Deposits,

Jan. 1835.....24.....$5,819,692..

,125,914 6,503,360

"" 1836......31.... 8,369,744.....17,079,714......2 924,906......9,675,644...
May 1837......32.....11,311,613. .19,505,662.. .2,311,614.. .7,697,261.
June 1838......33.....10,299,165.....15,880,908.
April 1839......33.....10,153,806.. .16,520,360..
Jan. 1841......26.... .8.103,243......9,878,328.






.3,584,341. 778.348. .2,234,420...... 602,377

46 1844...... 8......2,567,176.. .2,845,315.. Feb. 1846......31......3,848,919......7,791,789......1,374,593. May 1847......39......5,078,229.....10,936,661......2,026,551......7,281,029......3,356,837


-Old Banks.-▬▬
Loans. Circulation.

Merch'dise ship'd Bank

on Canals. Loans. 1835....27,925,555 lbs..$9,751,273.....


This shows a remarkable revulsion and present expansion. The circulation is now rapidly approximating the point at which the former explosion took place. The present institutions are of three characters, viz.: the old chartered banks, the Independent having the circulation secured by deposits of New-York stocks-and the State Branches," which are actually under no restrictions. It is these latter that are rapidly putting out their issues. The loans and circulation of the three classes have progressed as follows:









February, 1846..


......4,639,219....2,463,760......968.896....499,100....2,423,779....1,822,435 November, "" ......4,046,198....2,433,791......991,530....612,465....3,254,146....2,655, 46 May, 1847......4.936,175....2,849,385....1,187,713....707.664....4,812,772....3,678,981


[blocks in formation]

The great expansion takes place in those institutions that are the least responsible; and great danger of a revulsion now threatens. As long as the sales of produce are large at high prices and purchases of goods small, exchanges will rule generally in favor of the west. Under this state of things the expansive impulse has taken place; but a change is now at hand. Immense quantities of produce pressing forward will find falling markets, while continued purchasing of goods will turn exchanges against the west, and test the stability of the new brood of banks. As an indication of the course of business with the west generally, we construct the following table of the business on the Ohio canals, showing the quantity of merchandise shipped on the canals at Cleveland, Portsmouth and Cincinnati, the leading products received at those points, via canal, and the gross tolls of the public works around, with the average bank loans in each year:


Lard. Wh't & Fl'r. Tolls.



1842....18,045,776.....6,937,980.....224,660. 121,236.. 4,937,138.

1845....21.088.659.....4,310,213.....966,656..... 74,537....6,960,066....2,884,249....483.746


1844....20,841,774.....2,845,315.....978,794.....162,623....9.919,229....4,305, 15....519,515


As bank influence declined the purchase of goods decreased, and the exports of produce increased. The effect of the large bank facilities of the years 1838-9 induced those large imports that turned exchanges against Ohio and broke all the banks. Since then she has prospered by selling her produce well and purchasing lightly. Bank influence has now again began to exert itself, and the purchases of goods by Ohio will be 50 per cent. larger for 1847 than in any year since 1839.

Should the English crops, after all, turn out such as to require large imports, at high prices, exchanges may be continued another year in favor of the west in spite of the bank movement. But the prospect now is, that the crops abroad will be at least fair, and, as a consequence produced here, will rule low. Down to the 4th of July the accounts were very unsettled in relation to the crop of potatoes. It still looked well, but the minister's announcement in Parliament, that it was in a "perishing state," caused a very heavy feeling in funds, and much general anxiety.



WE see among the items of late European news, that a reprint of the Moniteur is about to be issued in Paris, as it daily appeared during the eventful period of the French Revolution, and that it is to be the counterpart of the paper of that day, even to the advertisements. This re-publication will convey to the reader the great events of the revolutionary era more vividly than any history that has yet been given to the world. Histories of this period have been written, either as seen through the mists of recollection by an actor or witness of the scene, or through the refracting medium of imagination, by those who have gathered their materials at second hand. The Moniteur not only faithfully mirrors the events of each day, for those any mere chronicle will record; but it embodies that subtile and varying essence which we call the spirit of the age, and which is to the lifeless chronicle as the human soul is to its material organ, the body. It is, then, in contemporaneous literature that we are to find the exponent, or the spirit of an age. In the ephemeral literature of any period, we find the popular spirit of the age-in the profounder works of great original minds, the spirit of those few who are ever the pioneers in the realm of thought, and in advance of the times in which they live. Thus the periodical literature of our own day is the mirror which most truly reflects the features of our time; and we propose hereafter occasionally to collect some of these widely diffused rays, and concentrate them in the pages of the Democratic Review.

Among the periodicals recently established, we notice as most conspicuous the two whose titles we have placed above. The third, the Living Age, is the burning glass which collects scattered rays from all others.

The establishment of the People's Journal and Howitt's Journal, two periodicals similar in all respects, and advocating the same principles, has grown out of an unfortunate misunderstanding or quarrel between John Saunders, the editor of the former, and William and Mary Howitt, which has called forth appeals to the public from both parties. As in all such cases opinions differ as to who is right and who wrong, and as it is a matter in which the public partake very little interest, the safest conclusion is to divide the wrong between them. Mary Howitt was always associated in our minds with birds and flowers, and every thing and thought that was sweet and gentle, until she gave to the world the preface to her translation of Miss Bremer's Diary, in the publication of which work she had been forestalled by some enterprising Jonathan, who thought with an assurance characteristic of his nation, that he had as good a right as any one else, to translate the charming Swedish authoress. But Mrs. Howitt thought otherwise; and so Jonathan became the unfortunate victim of disenchanting us, by transforming, for a moment, the fairy into the fury. It was no doubt an aggravating case to find one's efforts thus anticipated; but such great occasions of provocation ought to call out some corresponding greatness to meet them-dignity, to say the least, in a woman and a poetess. So we repeat again, there may have been faults on both sides in the case referred to, since one of the parties has given evidence of being not altogether above certain weaknesses of temper incident to our fallen state. These two periodicals, quite similar in all respects, advocate the same principles and have the same objects in view-the advancement and welfare of the people; and among the contributors are many names associated with liberal principies and popular literature. As to the views they take respectively on the subject of slavery, there could of course be no question-and we see by late numbers, than an AntiSlavery League has been recently formed, and that a national remonstrance against American slavery is about to be put forth. We have here the singular spectacle of a nation, whose population, in the midst of luxury and plenty, are dying by hundreds of starvation-and their unburied bodies lying in the face of

heaven, to be devoured by rats, or gathered uncoffined to enrich the already productive soil, issuing a remonstrance on the subject of negro slavery, to a people three thousand miles distant, whose merchant and national ships are at that very moment in her ports, freighted with food for her famishing people! It is doubtless with national as it is with individual morality, where people, in their regard for the principles and welfare of others, often totally neglect and lose sight of their


We notice in one of these Journals, that Prince Louis Bonaparte has published a small work on the extinction of pauperism, which is said to be full of matter worthy of careful consideration. Mazzini, the Italian exile, whose personal rights were so notoriously violated by the English government a few years since, in the opening of his private correspondence, contributes an article on Democracy in Europe, in which he strenuously opposes the growing idea of communism, which he says, after Saint Simonianism, which destroyed individuality in aiming at social happiness, and after Fourierism, which, aiming at the happiness of the individual, suppresses the parent idea of society, there remained but one step in the path of materialism-to deny both the one and the other, and to organize society after the manner of bees and beavers, upon a fixed, immutable model, and upon the foundation of absolute equality, so that power should only exercise itself in repeating a series of identical acts, and for the individual there should remain nothing but to maintain the productive activity of the soil. Communism has extended over France, Germany, Switzerland and Poland; but the idea is embraced mostly by the unenlightened laboring classes, whom the influence of the men of thought does not reach, and it thus distracts the ranks of the great democratic party in Europe, by cutting off so many men of action from those of thought. Mazzini says of communism, that it borrows from St. Simonianism its inevitable violation of individual liberty, and from Fourierism its law of satisfaction of the inclinations, and that it exceeds both in its absolute contempt for the past, for all historical tradition, and for all manifestation of the previous life of humanity. According to this system, this is the only plan for practical organization, and there is no further idea of progress. Humanity must date its commencement from that day in which it takes effect. The chiefs have constructed its dwelling, traced its functions, and prepared the cells in which each of its members must fix and encrust himself forever. This régime annihilates the idea of country, nationality and family-there will be only females bringing forth little ones, the community will take charge of the rest. Man, in this petrified state of society, is reduced to a mere producing machine, and individuality is completely obliterated. It is the life of the convent unsanctified by its religious faith-the serfdom of the middle ages without hope of emancipation. Society is only the manifestation of the moral and intellectual condition of humanity at a given time. Elevate these conditions, and man will have no difficulty in providing himself with a fitting dwelling-place, and that, too, without destroying either family, country or property. The communists forget that these things which they would abolish are only instruments, and that they do not necessarily produce evil more than good, only according to the manner in which they are organised, and their suppression, if that were possible, would produce a conventional stereotyped society, devoid of sentiment, imagination and aspiration, leaving only room for the satisfaction of the lower wants of man.

The tendency among us of a growing class of minds to social reorganization in principles, somewhat in accordance with those of the communists, is viewed by many as both dangerous and alarming, but we think without reason. The great instincts of humanity are too deeply fixed to be uprooted by any theory, however plausible, unless in individual cases, and they will always remain the exceptions. These agitations or convulsions on the surface of society, are the storms on the ocean, fearful or teriffic it may be, while the great depths remain unmoved, forever the same.

The magazines of which we have been speaking are illustrated with wood-cuts of great excellence: one, a copy of a German fresco painting of the Erl King, is admirable of its kind. The terrified father is represented as riding at great speed, and grasping the boy in his arms; but the Erl King, in his flowing garments, his streaming beard and hair, overtakes them, and his outstretched arms have already clasped the fascinated boy, whose gaze is fixed on the wavy, willowy figures of the Erl King's daughters, who float in the twilight air before him, and beckon him to

their mysterious home. The whole aspect of the supernatural figures is so magnetically attractive, that it gives one an immediate desire to mount their viewless courser, the air, and follow them to elf-land. Wood-engraving is a branch of art that has recently attained great perfection,-and for power of expression, it equals, and, in many cases, surpasses steel. The circulation of such cuts as are found in the English papers and illustrated magazines-and the French illustrated works also cannot fail to improve and polish the public taste to a degree that it has never before reached. In this art, however, it must be confessed, that we are far behind France and England. Among our copper-plate engravers there are many who rank deservedly high in comparison with foreign artists in the same line; for engraving is an art as much as painting, and not merely a mechanical process. Indeed, it bears the same relation to painting that acting owes to the poetry of the drama that it represents; and the true artist in both cases puts into his work some degree of creative and original power. In the growing taste for the fine arts, and the better appreciation of them in this country, we hope to see this branch receive its due proportion of regard. The effect of the constant study and contemplation of the beautiful on the character of nations as well as individuals, is not sufficiently considered by statesmen and legislators. This is a utilitarian age, and this is peculiarly a utilitarian country ;-but admitting this, we think we can demonstrate, that utility united to beauty would accomplish its legitimate ends, and more effectually than it can do without it. One great source of national prosperity arises from manufactures of various kinds-and in the fabrication of a vast number of them beauty is an essential element; and if our own manufactures are found deficient in this element, those of other nations will be imported to supply the necessity that they should minister to. Thus, we are dependant on France and England for many articles in which the public taste demands more elegance of form, design or execution, than our artisans can supply. This should be remedied here by the same means that have been employed by England—that is, the establishment of national schools for the improvement and perfection of industrial art, to be placed under the guidance of the best artists of the country. The English government schools of design contain at present more than 2,100 pupils of both sexes; and since their establishment the improvement in English manufactures has been apparWedgwood, feeling the importance of a more refined taste in the forms of earthenware, availed himself of the genius of Flaxman, and brought this manufacture to perfection; and since that time England has become a large exporter of this ware, when, previously, she had been dependent on foreign markets for her own supply. The Spitalfields weavers employed Stothard, one of the first artists of England, to furnish their designs, and Flaxman furnished many models to be executed in silver. Our countrymen are quick to adopt suggestions-and being less trammeled by custom and prejudice, innovations of all kinds are more easily introduced among us than in older countries. We hope, then, to see them follow the example of England and France, in furnishing artisans the means of carrying our manufactures to a degree of perfection, that shall not only enable us to supply our own necessities, but also those of other countries. With every variety of climate and soil, and a combination of all the natural advantages of every other countrywith a people young, free in thought and full of daring enterprise, America seems destined by Providence to be the theatre where newer and higher aspects of humanity will be developed, than have yet been witnessed in the worn-out monarchies of the old world. Westward the star of empire has taken its way, and it is now in the ascendant. Let its course be upward, and its motto excelsior:


We leave this subject after a word on the subject of beauty. The desire for the beautiful is one of the primitive instincts of man, and displays itself equally in the infancy of the race and of the individual, developing and requiring higher aliment as they advance, both the one and the other, towards their maturity; and since no utilitarian legislation can eradicate it, its best course is to cultivate and direct it. A late number of Littell's Living Age contains an article from the North British Review on the use of ether, and its application in the case of surgical operations, in which the claims of the rival discoverers are set forth, though not satisfatorily settled. At first, it appears, the merit of the discovery was awarded to Dr. Jackson, a physician of Boston, and Mr. Morton, a chemist, and communicated by the former to the French Academy of Sciences. Soon after, Mr. Wells, a dentist of

« AnteriorContinuar »