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“ From this it will appear, that the purchases of The means, moreover, by which these objects have bills of exchange amount to more than forty-four been attained, the restraint on the over issues of millions, the drafts issued by the bank and the other institutions—the extensive operations in dobranches on each other exceed forty-two millions; mestic and foreign exchange-the bringing of the and the transfers on account of the government institution into immediate contact and sympathy were upwards of twelve millions. If to these be with the real business of all parts of the country, are added the amount of bills not purchased in the first in themselves direct and positive benefits to the instance by the bank, but collected through its community. They form too the natural occupa'agency, the aggregate will represent an actual tion of a Bank of the United States, which, divestmovement in the business of the union, much ex ed of all local influences and interests, finds its ceeding one hundred millions of dollars. This has appropriate sphere in facilitating the commerce of been conducted at a very moderate expense, and the states with each other and with foreign nations. with a facility which has caused so large a dis Accordingly, it may be assumed with safety, that placement of funds, to be almost imperceptible in there has never been in the history of this country, apy of the interests of the community. More ex any period when its moneyed concerns were more perience and a greater mass of operations may en steady and equal—its interior trade transacted able the bank to reduce still further, even these with more economy and convenience, and the ne. slight charges; but should it be able only to retain cessary fluctuations incident to its foreign comthem at their present rates, it will have accom merce less sensibly felt, than during the last eight plished all that is necessary or perhaps desirable. years. This term is sufficiently long and various
“ 3d. The influence of these measures on the coun to test the efficacy of the system. It embraced a try has been in every stage of them eminently salu period, when, in addition to its habitual causes of tary. The substitution of a sound currency for a fluctuation the moneyed system was disturbed by depreciated and irresponsible circulation, which the reimbursement of many millions of the public was hastening to involve in confusion, all public debt, a great portion of which was to be remitted and private interests, is of itself an advantage, to Europe, and more especially it included the year which can scarcely be over-estimated, conferring, 1825, one of the most critical in our own history, as it does, stability on property, and security on all and probably the most disastrous to the banking the rewards of industry; while the interior com system of England. merce of the whole union is relieved from the op " 4th. Having explained the effects of this system pressions of a multifarious and fluctuating paper on the currency, the exchanges, the state banks, money, requiring at each step some new sacrifice and the community, it remains to show that these which, however disguised, fell ultimately as purposes have been accomplished without any sacharge on the productive industry of the country. crifice to the interests of the stockholders, but that
the bank itself has shared in the benefits it commu
DISTRIBUTION. nicates. This will be perceived by contrasting the Funded debt,
3,497,681 06 present state of the institution, with its condition
Loans: at the triennial meeting of 1822. Its situation at
Personal security, 41,585,298 70 these respective periods was as follows:
19,700 00 Domestic bills,
14,409,479 72 State of the Bank, August 20, 1822.
121,214 60 Bank stock,
779,458 07 Capital paid in, $34,992,139 63 Mortgages,
140,956 63 The circulation,
Bills chargeable to Deposits.-Public, 5,559,792 96
contingent fund 3,452,976 16 Private, 3, 216,699 78
60,509,083 88 6,776,492 74 Real estate,
2,49 1,892 99 Due to sundry offices and banks,
Due from sundry offices and banks, 621,523 08 and to individuals in Europe, 1,964,898 36 Expenses, &c.
259,383 50 Unclaimed dividends, 129,741 28 Banking-houses,
1,160,455 54 Contingent fund to meet losses, 3,743,899 00 Notes of state banks,
2,080,442 33 Discount, exchange, and interest,
11,545, 116 51 since July,
388,237 01 Profit and loss, 51,897 07
$53,504,196 99 “The analysis of these statements will present the
following differences in the situation of the bank at
these respective periods: DISTRIBUTION
"1st. In regard to the comparative activity of its
business: Funded debt,
In August 1822, of the whole amount
13,020,469 27 Loans, viz.
of loans amounting to
$32,218,876 68 Personal security, 22,072,405 46
There was suspended
10,426,306 56 Funded debt,
67,928 13 Domestic bills, 2,713,760 30
Leaving as active,
21,792,570 12 Debt of Smith & B. 1,357,457 23
In August 1831, of the same class Foreign bills,
of loans amounting to 24,599 76
56,793,986 49 Bank stock,
There was suspended 5,974,725 80
3,633,750 84 Mortgages,
53,160,235 65 Due by banks, &c.
In August 1822, of the loans of 32,218,876 68 Real estate,
There were on bank stock, 587,102 38
5,974,725 80 Bonus, premium, &c.
1,180,880 00 Banking houses,
In August 1831, out of the loans of 56,793,936 49 Notes of state banks,
There were on bank stock, 664,642 56
779,458 07 Specie,
In regard to the exchanges:
The amount of domestic bills pur-
40,571,556 35 State of the Bank, August 1, 1831. Capital paid in,
“ 2d. In regard to its resources and investments,
there will be seen, The circulation,
22,399,447 52 Deposits.-Public,
“ 1st. That the bonus and premium on the loan of 7,252,249 42 Private, 9,115,836 47
1821, amounting then to $1,180,880 00 has been
16,368,085 89 Due to individuals in Europe,
" 2d. That there is an increase of the contingent
168,372 72 fund to repair losses, of Unclaimed dividends,
$1,869, 274 15 251,766 03 Contingent fund to meet losses,
Making that fund exceed by $309,000, the loss it is 5,613, 173 15
to cover. Discount, exchange and interest (in
“ 3d. Anincrease of the surplus fund, cluding foreign exchange),
614,685 07 Profit and loss, 1,750,048 51
$1,698, 102 93 “ 4th. An increase of the capital, of
7,860 37 " 5th. An increase of the circulation, $82,165,578 89 of
666th. An increase of the deposits, of 9,59 1,493 15 VOL. XVIII, -Part II.
66 7th. An increase of the investments as follows:
THE POST OFFICE. Loans,
$28,290,207 20 Real estate,
On the 1st of July 1831, there were in the United In banking houses,
325,533 39 States, 8686 post-offices: and the post-roads were In state bank and other debts, 3,052, 579 34 in extent about 116,000 miles. In specie,
8,198,682 29 The annual transportation of the mail was, as
stated by the postmaster-general: $41,77 1,792 83
In stages and steam-boats, 10,728,348 And a decrease of the funded debt, of 9,522,788 21
On horseback and in sulkies, 4,740,344 Making the actual increase 832,249,004 62
Making the whole annual trans
15,468,692 miles. "The 3d and last consideration is the comparative portation equal to productiveness of the operations of the bank at
From the 1st of July 1830 to the 1st of July 1831, these periods:
the increase of the transportation of the mail was,
In stages, equal to
On horseback and in sulkies, 134,252 The nett profits of the year ending
Making an increase within the July 1831, were, 2,935,021 19 year equal to
Such is the present state of the post-office estab. Making an increase of
1,465,576 28 lishment of the United States, and at this rate is it
annually extending its operations. Between all the “ This state of things is calculated to justify the most important places in the country there are expectation, that a continuance of the same pros. daily mails, which perform their journeys at the perity will at length indemnify the stockholders for rate of six to ten miles an hour. To the second ihe privations of profit to which they have been so and third rate towns, not lying in the main routes, long subjected. İlitherto their compensation has mails go twice or thrice a week: and there are few been comparatively inadequate. Owing to the villages of any size which are not visited by the large expenses incident to the establishment of the mail at least once a week. bank, and to the great losses growing out of its The advantages of this system are felt by every early misfortunes, the whole amount of dividend, man who can read and write: but we cannot profrom January 1817 to July 1831,' a period of four- perly appreciate them, without considering the teen years and a half, has been only $72.85, or a
origin of the post-office establishment in other small fraction beyond five per cent a year, on the countries, and its progress in our own. Nothing original subscriptions of one hundred dollars. The
more clearly than the letter-mail marks the difdividend during the last three years and a half, has ference in the character of ancient and modern amounted to seven per cent a ycar; and it would times. require a continuance of the same dividend for Philip de Comines dates the establishment of eleven years and a half more to make the annual regular posts in 1462, and ascribes their origin to dividend, from the establishment of the bank, equal Louis XI. of France. Other authors contend that to six per cent a year.
they were in use in the reign of Charlemagne, and " If, however, the stockholders have been less afterwards discontinued. Be this as it may, the benefitted by their investment than was anticipated, posts established by Louis XI. were only for the use they may derive consolation for their diminished of the court: for the author of the life of the Duke profits, in the general prosperity of the country at d’Espernon says, that the packet or letter office large, to which the operations of the bank have was not set up in France in the year 1619. contributed.
As establishments for the use of government, “It is, indeed, the main design of presenting these posts are of a far more ancient date than the time details, to show the practicability of continuing of either Louis XI. or of Charlemagne. Herodotus these advantages without a sacrifice of the personal ascribes their origin to Cyrus. Augustus introiriterests of the stockholders. The experiment, for duced them among the Romans; and they are mensuch it undoubtedly was, of sustaining a large and tioned in the code of Theodosius. But they were sound and uniform currency, and of reducing the employed only to forward the public dispatches, or exchanges of the country to the most economical to convey political intelligence. limits, has been fairly and fully made upon systema It is surprising that they were not sooner used tic principles. It has now for many years suc for the purposes of commerce and of private comceeded, and it may be presumed that the same munication. It is, at most, but about 200 years efforts will continue to produce similar results. since the public posts were made to afford any But in any event, the Board of Directors have the great facilities to individuals. In Camden's Ansatisfaction of knowing that their exertions have nals, we read that Mr. Thomas Randolph, who was thus far rendered the bank not unproductive of often employed by Queen Elizabeth in affairs rebenefit to the country; and that if any unforeseen lating to Scotland, was, in 1581, in the office of causes should hereafter prevent or diminish the chief postmaster of England: but in what manner beneficial operations of the institution, it shall not the office was instituted does not clearly appear. fail from any want of zealous devotion to the great Charles I. certainly regarded it as a source of interests which they have been appointed to admin- emolument: for in the nineteenth volume of the ister."
Fædera, there is a grant to William Frizell, and
others, of the office of postmaster for foreign parts is stated by Dr. Douglass, the deputy was perin reversion: and in 1631 the king stricily pro- mitted to reside in any part of the continent. The hibited private persons from engaging in the busi. office was filled at one time by a gentleman of ness of forwarding letters to foreign countries, or South Carolina; and, at another, by a gentleman of receiving them from abroad for distribution in Virginia. England.
In Dec. 1717, Jonathan Dickinson writes to his In 1635, the king issued a proclamation declaring correspondent, “ we have a settled post from that " whereas to this time there has been no cer- Virginia and Maryland unto us, and goes through tain intercourse between the kingdoms of England all our northern colonies, whereby advice from and Scotland, he now commands his postmaster of Boston unto Williamsburgh is completed in four England for foreign parts, to settle a running post weeks, from March to December, and in double or two to run night and day, between Edinburgh that time in the other months of the year.” and London, to go thither and come back again in Dr. Douglass, writing in 1747, says, " that from six days: and to take with them all such letters as Portsmouth to Philadelphia there is a regular postshall be directed to any post-towns in or near the age. From thence to Williamsburgh, in Virginia, road.” By the same proclamation, posts were is uncertain, because the post does not proceed till esiablished to Westchester, Holyhead, and thence letters are lodged sufficient to pay the charges of to Ireland: and also to Plymouth and Exeter. the post-rider. From Williamsburgh, in Virginia,
In the following year, Charles the first of England to Charleston, S. C., the post is still more unand Louis the thirteenth of France, both issued certain." proclamations forbidding private persons from en In 1753, the post-office establishment of North gaging in the business of letter carrying: but the America was confided to Dr. Franklin and another, operations of the public posts must, notwithstand with liberty to make out of it 600l. a year, “ if ing, have been very limited, for in 1653, the whole they could.” Then began the delivery of letters establishment in England, Scotland, and Ireland, by the penny-post, and also the practice of adverwas farmed :0 John Manly, Esq. for ten thousand tising letters remaining in the office. pounds yearly. At that time, members of par Till that time, the northern mail went from liament had not the privilege of franking letters. Philadelphia and returned once a week in summer,
In 1656, Cromwell and his parliament estab- and once a fortnight in winter, just as it had done lished the post-office by law: the acts of this parlia- twenty-five years before. But in 1754, the mail to ment being deemed illegal by the royalists, an New York began to run thrice a week in summer, other act to the same effect was passed in 1660–61, and once a week in winter. In the next year after the restoration. In 1663, the revenues of Franklin gave notice, that the mail to New the post office, amounting to 21,5001. were settled England, which used to start but once a fortnight on the Duke of York. In 1685, the obsequious in winter, should start once a week all the year parliament of James II. passed an act to make the round, " whereby answers might be obtained to revenue of the post-office the king of England's letters between Philadelphia and Boston in three private estate for ever. In 1711, the former laws weeks, which used to require six weeks.” for establishing post-offices in Great Britain were It was several years before Dr. Franklin and his repealed, and one postmaster-general was appointed co-partner got the 600l. per annum, which they for the kingdom. By the same act, general letter were permitted to make for themselves, " if they offices were established at Edinburgh, Dublin, could." Their expenditures for the improvement New York, and in the West Indies.
of the mail brought them in debt to the amount of This is the first reference we find in British 900l.: but the doctor states, that under this new acts to post-offices in America: but the estab. system, the post-office of North America afterlishment of posts in our country was nearly coeval wards yielded a greater clear revenue to the crown with the first settlement of at least some of the co than had ever been derived from the post-office of lonies. In July 1683, as we learn from Watson's Ireland. Through a quarrel with the ministry he Annals, William Penn established regular posts was deprived of his office of deputy, at a time when from Philadelphia to the Falls of Delaware, Chester, it would have yielded him a just compensation for Newcastle, and Maryland; and ordered the time his labour. of departure to be carefully published "on the In 1774, we read that “ John Perkins engages to meeting-house door, and other public places.". A ride post to carry the mail once a week to Bals regular act of assembly, for the establishment of a timore, and will take along, or bring back, led post-office at Philadelphia, was first passed in the horses, or any parcels." From this it appears
that, previous to the revolution, only the northern Soon after this, Colonel John Hamilton, the son mail was regular in its arrival and departure. of Governor Andrew Hamilton, devised a post. When a post-rider purposed starting to the south, office scheme for British America. For this scheme notice was given of his intention by advertisement, he obtained a patent, and the profits accruing from some time in advance. the execution of the scheme were to be his own. On the 26th of July 1775, congress established But he afterwards sold his patent to the crown: a line of posts, under the direction of a postmasterand a member of parliament was appointed posto general, from Falmouth in New England to Samaster for North America, with power to appoint vannah in Georgia; and they authorised as many a deputy to reside at New York. By connivance, as cross posts as that officer should think proper. In
1782, all the surplus income of the post-office was were in a wretched condition: they have done much directed to be applied to the establishment of new within a few years to promote the intercourse in post-offices and the support of packets, to render those states. In 1763, seventeen days were occuthe post-office department as extensively useful as pied in going from London to Edinburgh, in the might be. In 1789, authority was given, under stage-coach, the distance about four hundred miles. the new constitution, to appoint a postmaster. In 1816 you might go from the city of New York general and other subordinate officers. The pro- to Buffalo on lake Erie, four hundred and seventygress of the department, from that time to the end five miles, in one hundred hours from the time of of the year 1830, may be seen in the table at the departure, and be comfortably lodged every night: end of this article. From 1790 to 1800, the num. the time actually occupied in travelling was eighty ber of post-offices increased from 75 to 903. In hours. Our mail is row transported with uncom1810, they amounted to 2300: in 1820, to 4500: in mon rapidity through countries which continue to 1830, to 8450.
be inhabited by savages: our vehicles pass with “ The great increase of the number, and the ex more speed to towns, the sites of which twenty-five tent of the post-roads in the United States," said years ago were the theatres of savage barbárity, Dr. Seybert, writing in 1817, o demonstrate the than do the public carriages in some of the most rapid improvement of our country. Besides the civilized and oldest countries in Europe. You convenience which this establishment offers to in. may go from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh, in the dividuals, much of the commercial prosperity of stage, three hundred and ten miles, in five days and nations is owing to the dispatch and safety of a well a half, and be lodged every night on the route. regulated post-office establishment. In this respect, “In 1812, in France, by the stage-coach, six our progress has been equal to that of any of the days were required to go from Paris to Geneva, nations of Europe: convenient roads now interseci three hundred and ninety miles: six days from every portion of the United States. Though we do Paris to Strasburgh, three hundred and sixty-six not possess many routes that are equal to the most miles.' improved in England and France, our roads are The mail now goes from Philadelphia to Pittsmore safe, more expeditious, and better regulated burgh in less than three days, traversing in this than those of any other nation in Europe. Even so passage all the mountain chains of Pennsyllate as 1750, the roads in Great Britain and France vania.