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ed to their wishes, they would find that distress sggravated by it, instead of being relieved. To yield to their wishes would be death to us, and to them it would do no possible good. The south, we even believe, beside their common interest, common with their country, have a peculiar interest in this policy. Are their immense resources, now dormant, forever to remain dormant? Are they never to be developed? I mean their resources in power, by water and by steam, so abundant as it is, (in New Eugland it is not so abundant,) and in the abundance of the raw material for manufacture within themselves? These can only be developed by this policy. If that be continued, its march will be onward; it will in time fill their high lands with thriving villages, and cover them with a thriving population. Their streams will not be idle; they will carry mills, and feed canals; the rich products of their soil and industry will be water-borne from place to place; and this reprobated policy “will scatter plenty o'er their smiling land.” Capi. tal and enterprise will find their way there; and if they have not there the population fitted for the labor, population will flock there that is fitted. This will give to their slave and field labor a new value, and to them a new source of security. I have done. In pleading the cause of this policy, I have the most intimate convictions that I have been pleading the cause of our country, of our whole country, and of every part of our country, of every man, woman, and child, in our country: not as its importance re. quired. no, by no means, but as my feeble powers permitted. To our natural parents we owe all the pious offices of life, but to another parent, our country, we owe more—we owe life itself, when her good requires its devotion. Were this effort, poor as it is, the effort of my expiring life—expiring by the effort—in that final moment, and last struggle, I should be happy in the feeling and belief that I was expiring in my country's cause.
loans, and occurred as far back as 1822, during the presidency of Mr. Cheves. The Branch Bank at Lexington, had received a large amount of the notes of the Bank of Kentucky, a portion of them as Government deposites. These notes were considerably depreciated. The branch having declined issuing any of its own notes, in obedience to orders of the mother bank, an individual applied for a loan of these depreciated bank notes, alleging that he wanted them to pay a debt, and that they would answer his purpose as well as any other bills. The loan was granted. The Bank of Kentucky was, at the time, regularly paying to the branch, interest on these notes, and finally redeemed all that remained, a few months after the loan in question. It thus appears, that these bills were as good as cash to the bank, and the borrower alleged that they were of equal value to him. It is difficult to conceive any solid ground for considering this a case of usury. It would be as reasonable to say, that it would have been usury, for the Bank of Kentucky itself, to make a loan of its own depreciated notes. The utmost fairness was exhibited by the branch bank, in this transaction; the loan was made with reluctance after repeated applications, and yet the directors of the mother bank, many years afterwards, and since Mr. Biddle has been at the head of the institution, refunded to the borrower of the Kentucky notes, the full amount of the difference between their nominal and their real value, at "he time of the loan, with interest. This has been also done in another similar case; so that, in the only two cases which have been brought to the view of the directors at Philadelphia, for the purpose of having the amount of the depreciation refunded, the application has been granted with a promptness and liberality highly creditable to the institution. The minority of the committee will barely remark, upon these transactions, that being free from all imputation of intentional usury, and ne: wer having been sanctioned by the directors of the mother bank, but, on the contrary, correctod, they cannot furnish the slightest ground for alleging that the charter has been violated. The second ground of imputation, notic: by the majority of the committee, is, “the is: suing of branch orders as circulation.” . . On this point, the minority deem it sufficient to remark, that a branch order is nothing shore nor less than a draft or bill of exchange drawn by a branch upon the mother bank; and that
mitted the following as the views of the mi
nority of the said committee.
The minority of the committee, appointed to examine the books and proceedings of the
the charter expressly authorizes, as one of th: primary operations of the bank, the buying and selling of bills of exchange. If the bank has a right to issue these drafts at all, it cannot, sure"
Bank of the United States, dissenting from the report of the ". beg leave to present the grounds of their dissent, for the considera. tion of the House. The majority of the committee have submitted, without expressing any decided opinion on them, six cases which they allege to have become subjects of imputation against the bank, touching the violation of its charter. The first of these cases relates to usurious
ly, be made a ground of just complaint against it, that they are used as circulation. That.” exclusively the affir of the community. The bank cannot be justly made responsible for th: use which the public may choose to make these drafts. It is the high credit of the bank that gives the character of circulation to thi" paper; and it is the voluntary act of the com" munity receiving it as such. In fact, there is no part of the bank circulation
which has been so beneficial to the public. It has,
. As relates to dealing in current coin, the
vernment stocks, except under the express au-
value of the real estate of the bank has been
by which the price might be 'raised and de- insurance companies, for the safety of the bank pressed at pleasure,' equally forbade the bank|property, and against which it is not pretended to sell the stock for which it had subscribed by that any objection can be fairly raised.
the express authority of the Government. Now
The last ground of imputation, as touching
it is apparent, that the evil of dealing in stocks, the violation of the charter, is building houses by such an institution,can only exist in cases of to rent or sell, and erecting other structures in oying and selling stocks at the pleasure of the laid of that object.
bank. To raise and depress prices, the bank
The bank is expressly authorized to pur
must have the right, both to buy and to sell all chase real estate, which has been mortgaged to ternately, as may suit its purposes of specula. secure debts previously contracted, and also tion; But it has never pretended to claim, such as may be sold under judgments and ex: much less to exercise, ue right of buying Go-secutions in its own favor. In the exercise of quested by the bank to do so. The whole standing of parties without any examination o
this right, the debtors of the bank are as much interested as the bank itself. For it must be apparent, that if the bank were not permitted to bid at these sales, the property of its debtors would be frequently sacrificed, at a sum greatly below its value. It has been only for the purpose of saving itself from loss, and the property of its debtors from being thus sacrificed, that the bank has ever purchased any real estate, except what has been necessary for its banking houses. There is no description of property which a banking institution is so unwilling to own as real estate. Such an insti tution is entirely unsuited to the management of such property, as much so as a farmer would be to manage the discounts of a bank. Owing to the extensive failures of the persons indebted to the bank, in the western country, prior to 1819, the directors were unavoidably compelled to take a very large quantity of real estate, as the only means of avoiding still greater losses than they have actually sustained. They have disposed of this estate as rapidly as they could, consistently with the interests of the institution. On a por. tion of it they have erected improvements, to prepare it for sale, and by means of which thev will save the stockholders from a great portion of the loss which would have otherwise occurred, and will recover a large amount of the debts which were some years ago set down as desperate. If, for this course of conduct, the directors are rendered obnoxious to censure, then will they be condemned for the very faithfulness of their stewardship. It is too obvious to require, or to justify the use of argument, that the right of the bank to im: prove its real estate, is inseparably connected with the right to purchase—to hold, or to own it. On this subject, the House is referred to the exposition of the President, marked A.— The next subject to which the report of the majority adverts, is the loan to James Watson Wébb and Co. It is proper to remark, in the first place, that the only sums ever loaned to this copartnership, were the sums of twenty, and of fifteen thousand dollars, the former in August and the latter in December, 1831. It is also proper to remark, that the first sum was reduced to $18,000, at the maturity of the note given for it; and that the latter sum was entirely paid oss in March last, by Mr. Webb; and, as he expressly states on oath, without being re
was $25,750, after deducting ten percept. for
their establishment. Upon the whole, it appeared that this was one of the most profitable, as it is certainly the largest commercial newspaper in the Union, with an immense advertising patronage, and a large and rapidly increasing subscription list. With these exhibits, Mr. Webb produced the letter of Mr. Walter Bowne, Mayor of the city of New York, and formerly a director of the Bank of the United States, a man of wealth and high character, enclosing the application for the loan, and stating that “he did so with pleasure, and saw no reason against this ...; treated as a fair business transaction.” Severa of the directors, as well as the president pf the bank, were examined on oath, in relation to this transaction, and as the clearest mode of exhibiting its true character to the House, extracts from these examinations will be given. The following is the testimony of Mr. Biddle, relative to these loans. Ques.—“Did you consider the loans made to James Watson Webb & Co. fair business transactions, such as you could not refuse without subjecting the bank to the imputation of in. dulging political partiality? State fully the views and considerations on which you voted in favor of those loans.” Ans.—“I certainly considered them as fair business transactions, or I should not have com" sented to them. . At the request of the Committee I will explain the reasons of that opinion. “If in making loans every transaction was perfectly safe, and every borrower perfectly good, banking would be an easy office; but as men generally borrow to employ the funds, in some profitable pursuit, subject, of course, to vicissitudes, all that can be expected in making loans is a fair and reason ble caution as to the situation and prospects of the borrower. Tried by these, the only tests, I think the loans in question are unexceptionable. The first was done by a board of directors, consisting, besides the presiding officer, of six gentleme", Mr. Lippincott, Mr. Fisher, Mr. Bohlen, Mr. Neff, Mr. Platt, and Mr. Willing, nephants and men of business, with no partialities towards the applicants, with whom none of them had the least acquaintance. The grounds their judgment may be thus stated. In making
ordinary loans, the board judge by the general
amount of the accommodations ever obtained
their affairs. But in this case the parties be
from the bank, by Messrs. Webb and Noah, 'gan by an exposition of their whole situation. was $35,000; and the whole amount now due This was forwarded by Walter Bowne, Esq.
by them, is $18,000. The grounds and securities upon which these accommodations were granted, will now be stated. Mr. Webb produced to the directors a full statement of the affairs of the 'copartner
the Mayor of the City of New York, where the applicants resided, who, in addition to his being personally known and respected by all the members, had been one of the oldest directors of the Bank of the United States, and for many
ship, setting forth the value of their property, years sat at the board around which the dire:
and the annual income derived from their
aper. From this statement, which was authenticated by the oath of their book-keepers, it appeared that the nett annual income of the paper, from advertisements and subscriptions,
tors were hen assembled. In this letter he says, “I cheerfully forward the papers' and I see no reason against this application, being treated as a fair business transaction.” He does not expressly say it ought to be granted, be
bad debts, and defraying all the expenses of ,
proceeded to consider it.
cause he transmits at the same time some of the of which could be collected on prematerials on which the directors were to form sentation of bills, 10,000 their own judgment, to which others were | Due in 17ew York, more than four added by Mr. Webb. But when an old direc- months subscription, which, with tor of the bank, forwards “cheerfully” an ap-| the unpaid arrears of the last six plicationtohisancient colleagues, which he says months, may be safely estimated at 20,000 thould be treated as “a fair business transac-l'And the property owned by the aption,” it implies certainly no responsibility—bu plicants amounteq, to 8,000 it may be well regarded as a declaration, that were he still a member of the board, he would Making 38,000 anction it. Under these auspices the board|While the whole amount of debt was 28,000 One of the parties had been appointed by |Leaving an excess of 10,000
the President and Senate of the United States,
2300 others at an average of $450, 10,350 375 yearly advertisers at $30, - 8,250 310 days advertising, at 55 per day, 17,050
lowing anett annual income of 25,750
*landing debtsin the country more than 25,000
That they had been deemed worthy of credit in New York, appeared from two facts. 1. That the banks of New York had lent them $15,000, which they had repaid. 2. That the 1espectable mercantile house of J. L. & J. Joseph & Co., a firm well known to the directors, had lent them $20,000, which had been repaid out of the profits of the establishment, as those gentlenen themselves certify in a document accompanying the papers. Finally, they had no accommodation, direct or indirect, out of any bank. The case then stood thus : Here are two persons of skill in their profession engaged in an
establishment of which the capital is 65,000
In conducting such a business, where the re. ceipts are semi-annual, the payments daily and weekly, they naturally require, like other men in business, some credit. They accordingly apply to borrow $20,000. They wish to bor. row it, not to pay previous debts, not to spend it on objects unconnected with their business, but for the purpose of employing it all in a way to increase the profits of the concern itself, by procuring a new press and "enlarging their means of obtaining early commercial informa. tion, and thus make the paper more valuable.
“Now the statements may be presumed to present the most favorable aspect of the case, from the sanguine temper in which men are prone to estimate their own professions and prospects, and yet unless they were wholly tal. lacious, the board saw enough to warrant the loan. It was further justified by the event; for when the note fell due $2000 were paid off at a time when the demand for money induced many other debtors to ask for a renewal of their notes.
“So much for the loan of $20,000.”
The other loan rested on the same principles as the first, with this addition. The parties stated, that owing to the part which they had taken in regard to the Bank, they had been deprived of their usual accommodations in their business. Whatever might be the reason, the fact of an abridgment of these facilities furnish. ed a reason for extending the loan in addition to the belief of its safety—which was, that by so doing, any hazard to the original loan might be prevented; and the best evidence of its securi. ty is, that the parties have since repaid the loan.
In regard to the other loans, which appearin
the drawer of the notes, in purchasing a shar, in a newspaper, was stated at the time. But
that formed no objection to them. He borrow. ed money as thousands borrow money every day, to employ it in his active business. If Mr. Noah himself applied to the bank for a loan to buy a share in a newspaper, and the security was satisfactory, the purpose of the loan would Nine-tenths of the loans made of the bank, probably are made to persons to buy something, or to pay for someMen borrow money to buy a share in a slip-a share in a cargo—a share in a bank—a share in a canal—why not a share in a newspaper? The bank had no diffi. culty about the loan, because it was thought se. dure; nor about the obj-ct, because that was It does not inquire, and does not care, where its money goes —its only anxiety is, that it should come safely back i and whether, in the interval, it is em. ployed by a merchant, or a farmer, or a lawyer; or an editor, is a matter of which it takes no
have made no difference.
thing already bought.
not the concern of the bank.
“In respect to loans generally to editors of newspapers, the bank proceeds, on the principle of knowing no class of citizens, and preEven with this rule, its situatiun in regard to such loans is a little peculiar. From the nature of their occupations, editors engaged in the discussion of matters of national concern, have generally expressed opinions in regard to the bank; and their dealings with the bank render, it difficult to escape censure. when an editor?friendly to the bank applies for a loan, if it is granted it is ascribed to favoritism; if it is refused, the party naturally thinks When an editor opposed to the bank applies for a loan, if it is granted, it is deemed an attempt to influence him, while, if it is refused, it is called a persecution on ac. The bank has 'en. deavored in these matters rather not to deserve In reply to th ot part of the question which relates to politics, I believe that,it in granting the loans in question, there was insensibly blended with the mere business considerations any political feeling, it was probably this: that charged, as the bank habitually is, with hostility to the present administration, it was due to the interest of the stockholders to correct so unfounded an im pression, when a fair opportunity occurred of giving accommodation to those who were considered as the most strenuous and efficient sup: The directors of the bank understand too little of the subject to attempt to adjust the balance of accommodation to political parties, nor have I myself ever had even curiosity sufficient to notice it, until the inquiry of the committee has suggested it. But, undoubtly, as the committee cannot fail to
count of his free opinions.
reproach than to escape it.
porters of that administration.
perceive, by far the greatest amount of loans to