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April 1.




During the month which has elapsed since the date of our last, some degree of improvement has taken place in the prospect of commercia! affairs. This has principally grown out of the nature of the news received from abroad. A great and im portant change had taken place in the tariff of Great Britain, by which the duties on most articles of American produce have been greatly diminished. This was received as an earnest of a greatly improved future trade between the two countries, and went far to revive expectations of returning activity in commerce; and being accompanied by indications that the political differences between the two countries were in a fair train of amicable settlement, a greatly improved feeling was produced in the markets, which might also in some degree have been ascribed to the opening of the canals in New York, releasing large quantities of produce, and carrying back a fair amount of merchandise the spring purchases of the country dealers. These facts failed, however, to create any material rise in the prices of produce or goods generally; the demand for the former being scarcely more than sufficient to maintain rates in the face of receipts. The business doing is very healthy on a cash basis, but has been far from large.

Money with the banks has been plentiful, and they have with difficulty found the proper description of paper to employ their funds. Remittances from the country have, however, been procured with difficulty, and a vast number of debts have been compromised on the part of those merchants depending upon realizing their outstand. ing accounts. The exports of produce from the South have decreased, diminishing the supply of foreign bills, which has been very moderate, and the rates have conse. quently advanced. The transactions for the packet of the 16th were not large, in consequence of the great firmness of holders, and the indisposition of purchasers to meet the demands of drawers; and the rates closed firm at the following figures :Nov. 15. March 1.

May 1.

May 16. London....... 10 a 101.

.54 a 71....6 a 71..... a

87.... 7-10 France.... 5 20 a 5 21 .....5 274 a 5 281....5 374 a-.5 35 a 5 37...5 30 a 5 32

...5 36 Amsterdam 40% a

35., a 394.. 384 a 394 a

40 Hamburg.. 36 a 394

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346 a 35

35 Bremen.... 784 a 78) 76 a

75% a 76.. 75% a 751.. 76 a These are rates for 60 day bills, the interest for which period, added to the price, gives the true rate of exchange, which is about par on London. The disposition of exchange to rise has induced caution among moneyed men to some extent.

Several bank failures have taken place in different parts of the Union, two of them being free banks, and one Safety Fund of the State of New York. This is a natural and necessary consequence of the revulsion of business, and must continue until the redundant capital is purged from the banking business of the Union. In order to show the force of the storm which has overtaken the credit system, we have, with patient research, compiled a table of the capital of all the banks that failed through. out the year 1841, with the outstanding circulation and specie held by each at the time of failure. Although we denominate them all as failed, yet in some cases they have voluntarily wound up without dishonoring their liabilities. This has been the case with the United States Bank in New York, the New York Banking Company, the Bank of Attica, and one or two others. These banks have all stopped since the 1st of January, 1841, and in nearly every instance the capital has been entirely lost :CAPITAL, CIRCULATION, AND SPECIE OP BANKS THAT HAVE FAILED IN THE UNITED STATES

IN 1841.
New York Safety Fund.


Specie. Wayne County Bank.....


$4,011 Bank of Buffalo...


16,138 Commercial Bank do,.....


40,286 City Bank


28,340 Commercial Bank, Oswego...


New York...

55.46: Clinton County Bank...


11.210 Lafayette Bank.. 500,000.

32, 17 Lewis County Bank...

... 94,634. Watervliet Bank.....





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... 7,887

... 3,580


........ 85,097.


New York Free Banks.


Bank of Western N. York, Rochester....180,000................ 83,158.

..11,575 Binghampton Bank....


9,253 Phenix Bank, Buffalo...


3,230 Bank of America, Buffalo....

.......... 87,480.

2,410 Erie County Bank...


19,527 Cattaraugus County Bank..

........ 59,200.

7,140 Bank of Coinmerce, Buffalo.... ..100,000..


.18,769 Bank of Lodi.....

....... 40,612.

1,315 Mechanics' Bank, Buffalo............... 100.000.

............... 94,396.

6,158 United States Bank, Buffalo.............100,000.


9,037 Union Bank, Buffalo...


46.160. Merchants' Exchange Bank, Buffalo.....285.000..


..19,953 Staten Island Bank...


1.695 Alleghany County Bank...


4,680 St. Lawrence County Bank...


James Bank.


Bank of Olean....

Washingtou Bank..
.......... 14,025,

2,520 Clinton Bank, New York...............100,000.

22,662. Farmers' Bank, Orleans... .......299,180,

..14,100 Farmers' & Mechanics' Bank, Rochester. 100,000.


7,191 Bank of the United States in New York..200.000, .........140,000..

263,774 Bank of Amsterdam.....

.......... 30,500.,

2,916 New York Banking Company...........352,745.. ..........104,800,

.. 16,364 Bank of Altica...



3,000 United States Bank of Pennsylvania..35,003.000..


.2,171,722 Girard Bank....:


115,696 Schuylkill Bank...


Bank' of Philadelphia..
....... 2,100,000.


242,707 Bank of Penn Township............. 460,440.


65,674 Mechanics' Bank.


44,811 Moyamensing Bank.

168, 90,

48,760 Manufacturers' and Mechanics' Bank.. 401,300..


20,298 Towanda Bank...


5,000 Planters' Bank, Georgia...


100.050 Central Railroad,


65,820 Merchants' Bank, New Orleans...... 1,000,000,


334,799 Improvement Bank,


17,013 Exchange


104,251 Atchafalaya


72,274 Orleans


111,966 Ohio Banks..


498,220 State Bank, Illinois.

3,446,125. .......... 3,105,615............. 529.610 Real Estate Bank, Arkansas......... 2,030,000..


403,030 Bank of Bennington, Vermont....... 87,730.


3,260 $67,036,265... ..$23,577,752..

.$5,696,084 This gives the astonishing sum of nearly $70,000,000 of bank capital that has ceased to exist within the year, withdrawing from circulation in round numbers $24,000,000, and throwing into the channels of business $5,600,000 of specie. The circulation of all the banks in the Union on the 1st of January, 1841, including the free banks of New York and the United States Bank of Philadelphia, amounted to $121,465,198, and the specie $35,034,516. The circulation of the banks still in operation has been reduced about 10 per cent., and the specie remains nearly the same. This will give the following as the state of the paper currency of the Union at this moment:-


Specie. Circulation, Jan. 1841....

.$121,465,198..... .$35,034,516 of banks since failed.........23,439,998 “ “ in operation, 10 per ct. reduction.. 9,802,520... 33,242,518..... 5,686,523 Total capital now existing..

$ 292,706,427. $88,222,680.. .$ 29,347,993 Jan. 1841...


.35,036,516 1840..



..33,105,155 1839..


..45,133,673 1638.


.J16,138,910. .........35,184,112 1837


..37,915,360 1836.


..140.301,038. ........40,019,594 1835.


..103,692,695............43,937,625 1834 .200,005,966....

96,839,570.. This table presents the fact that the circulation is less now than at any period since 1833, and the bank capital is nearly the same as in 1837. As circulation forms the chief medium of profit to banks, it is evident that, with so reduced a circulation, even the amount of capital now employed in banking must be far from profitable ;hence the great depreciation in the value of bank stocks in the market. If we suppose that all the banks in operation in 1836 paid dividends averaging 6 per cent., the amount was $15,000,000. The probability is that the gross dividends for the past

Vol. X., No. XLVIII.-77

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year have not exceeded $5,000,000. This loss of capital and the falling off of divi. dends have dried up one source of the accumulation of funds in the hands of those capitalists from whom the demand for public securities is mostly derired, and there. fore have had an influence upon their prices. The depreciation on the bank capital still in operation will average 30 per cent., equal to a loss of $87,600,000. In State stocks, the depreciation at the present market prices is $100,400,000. In company stocks of various descriptions it is $75,300,000, and in real estate it may be estimated at $300,000,000. These sums brought together make an immense item, as follows:Loss of bank capital by failure...

.$66,936,245 depreciation...

57,600.000 Loss on State stock

.100.600.000 company

75,300.000 real estate

.300,000,000 Total loss of capital.......

$730,236,216 In many cases these items run one into the other. For instance : the capital of the United States Bank was invested in State and company stocks and real estate, and the depreciation of those annihilated the capital of the bank. (While this operation has been going on, the profits of trade have been very small, and the accumulation of capital from all quarters has not been equal to the loss nominally sustained.) Yet, after all, the real wealth of the country is far greater at this moment than when those paper bubbles were in their prime. They were evidently the means by which the property of the producing classes was drawn into the coffers of the stockholders. As above stated, the dividends upon bank capital in 1836-7 was 15 to $18,000,000. This was ultimately actually paid by the working classes, who at the same time were paying $13,000,000 per annum interest on State loans, making the enormous tax of two dollars per head on every soul in the United States. From the bank tax the mass hare in a great measure been relieved, and to some extent of that to meet State indebted. ness. The loss of paper wealth is therefore a gain to the country at large, but it operates immediately to prevent a demand for public securities, because there is no accumulation of capital in the hands of those who seek these investments. Hence the continued fall of stocks, and the difficulty of oblaining money on the most undoubted securities-even the 7 per cent. loan of the State of New York,

In a former number we stated that many new loans were about to be put upon the market, viz., $3,500,000 of the $11,500,000 six per cent. loaa of the Federal Government authorized at the present session of Congress, $1,000,000 of the $3,500,000 authorized at the late session of the State of New York, and a 7 per cent. city loan. For the U. States stock, after proposals had been advertised the legal time, it was found that no bids had been received except for about $400,000 on Boston account at near par. Of course, no other result could have been expected while the finances of the Government are in such confusion, with a revenue deficient near $10,000,000 per ano., no definite system adopted, and a powerful faction bent upon creating a permanent national debt by giving away the revenues from the public lands and diminishing the customs revenue by protective duties--at the same time that a N. York 7 per cent. stock was offering upon the market. The latter was taken up slowly by small capitalists to the extent of about $600,000, and the remainder was then taken mostly on foreign account by two leading Wall street houses. of the remaining $2,500,000, $1,500,000 it is understood will be taken by the banks, in view of the temporary loan expired in March last. This state of affairs clearly shows how little money is seeking permanent securities for investment, while on the other hand there is every disposi. tion to realize upon the stocks bearing low rates of interest, if it could be done without too great a sacrifice, an event not likely soon to happen-although, from causes hinted at in the fore part of this article, a nominal rise has been effected in some descriptions. In order to show the change which has taken place, we annex quotations up to the departure of the last packet, as follows:

Rate, Redeemable. Aug. 30. Dec. 31. Feb. 15. Aprill. May 1, May 14

.5. ..1814....100 x 100...964 a 97..96 a 97..90 a 95..93 a 97..96 a 97 ......6..... 1844......

..97} a 97}.97 a 99..90 a 97..97 a 97..985 a 103 New York State....6 ......1860....100 a 1001..864 a 871.79 a 80..80 a 85..90 a 93..89 a 91

United States...


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Rate. Redeemable. Aug. 30. Dec. 31. Feb. 15. April 1. May 1.

May 14. N. York State.......5...

9 $a 92 ..76 a 77 .71 a 73..76% a 78..83 a 85..85 a 85 ....5 . 1815.... 93 a 95 ..85 a 86.80 a 57..85 a 90,- a 90..88 a 90 ....5...... 1846.... 93 a 95 ..85 a 86 .80 a 87..85 a 90..- a 90..88. a 90 ....5......1817.... 93 a 95 ..85 a 86.80 a 97..85 a 90. - a 90..88% a 90

.5 .. 1850.. 91 a 92 ..85 a 86 .68 a 71..78 a 79.,.- a 84..82 a 83 ....5 ..1855.... 80 a 87 ..765 a 77 .68 a 72..77 a 775.82 a 83..82 a 83 ....5 ......1858.

86 a 861..764 a 77 .68 a 71..771 a - 62 a 83..52 a 83 ....4......1819.... 75 a 77 ..70° a 75

.76 a 78..67 a 77 City ....5.......fire..... 84 a 854..77 a 79 .72 a 76..77 a 78 .83 a 84..i9 a 80

....5 ......water... 81.) a 85...765 a 1ib.77 a 78..77 a 78 .84 a 85..797 a 80

bonds ...... 6 ........ year.... a 100 ..96 a 97 .96 a 48..98 a 99 .- a 99..89 a 99k Brooklyn City........6 .20 ....... 100 a 105 ..85 a 90 .90 a 92..90 a 95 a-..90 a 97 Pennsylvania........5

60 ..37 a 55 .44 a 49..32 a 33 .- a 48..45 a 46 Ohio. .6 ........1850.

94 a 95 ..73 a 76 .68 a 70..53 a 53. a 72..76 a 78 .6 ......1856. 94 a 95 ..72 a 73 .67 a 68..52 a 63.70 a 71..75% a 77 .6

94 a 95 ..72 a 73 .67 a 68..52 a 53 .70 a 71..754 a 77 .... 1860..... 94 a 95 ..72 a 73 .67 a 68..52 a 53 ..754 a 77 .5 ......850..... 84 a 85 ..60 a 70.

.-a 56..65 a 70 Kentucky..........6

84 a 85 .,70 a 73.67 a 68..67 a 70 .- a 82.77 a 77} ...6 .. bonds 4's..... Alabama, dollar.....5 ...... 1866..... - a ..40 a 50 .50 a 53..50 a

a ..50 a 60 Arkansas,* 59 4 63 ..27 a 45 .35 a 45..-

25 a 30 Indiana,* sterling...5

56 a 57 ..19 a 26 .20 a 21..171 a 174.19 a 191.18} * 19. dollar.....5

55 a 554..19a 191.19 a 20..17€ a 17.20 a 21..19° a 195 Juinois,* sterling ....6 .1860... dollar, b'k l'n, 6 ......1800..... 56 a 56). .19 a 20

20 a 22.

.174 a 18 sterling....... 6 ......18:0..

...14 a 14 dollar.........6 ......1870..... 55 a 55.194 a 191.18 a 19..197 a 20..18 a 183.164 a 16%

Those States marked thus* have failed in their interest. This presents a great rise in the value of stocks, from the lowest point of depression, which was in the middle of February. The improvement is more particularly apparent in the stocks of the State of New York, and has been on an average 15 per cent., with a firin market and still tending upwards. If we look back a little at the events of the past year, we may clearly trace this improvement to the acts of the las: legislature of the State of New York. The list of prices given under date of August 30, are those at which the values had been sustained, under the hopes that Congress at the extra session would do something to relieve the indebted States. The great movement to effect that object was the passage of the land distribution bill, which was done during the latter part of August ; no sooner, however, had that bill become a law, than its utter inefficiency was felt in the market, and stocks began to decline, until they reached the low rates quoted under date of Dec. 31. In that time New York State stocks had falleu 10 to 15 per cent. under the heavy and constant sales of stocks loaned to the Erie Rail Road—at home New York stocks are always the most desirable, and when they sell to such a degree it is no wonder that other stock felt the influence, even to a greater extent. On the 1st of January, six States became delinquent in their interest. This had a prodigious effect abroad, where but little distinction is made between the ability and willingness of the different States to pay. Not only did all demand for American slocks cease, but a great disposition to sell was evinced, and prices fell to the low rates quoted in the middle of February-about that time, however, New York changed her financial policy. It was decided to issue no more State stock than $3,500,000, a sum merely sufficient to discharge the claims upon the State, and, not withstanding the alleged sufficiency of the revenues, a tax of one mill per dollar was levied to raise the additional sum of $600,000, in order that the means of the State to meet all claims upon it might be beyond all cavil. Among all the extravagance, accumulation of debt, repudiation, and dishonor, which had overtaken the several States of the federal Union, this was the first indication of ability and willingness to pay. Its effect upon American credit abroad and at home was iminense. It burst like a ray of sunshine through thick mists of dishonor and repudiation that surrounded and obscured our national credit, and revived the almost extinguished confidence in American honor. Capitalists abroad could not be brought to believe, that any member of a confederacy of which New York was one would deliberately set aside its debts. They reasoned that when the panic supposed to exist here, growing out of the breaking up of the iniquitous banking system, and possibly influenced by war apprehensions, should have passed away, that the people would recover their energy and sense of right, and pay their debts to the last dollar. The example of New York was taken as the harbinger of such a state of things



5.000. 412,000

accordingly the next packet which reached our shores brought orders for investment in many of the stocks, particularly some Western stocks, and those of Ohio and Pennsylvania, which stocks have greatly improved, although their affairs were never ma worse condition than now. The State of Pennsylvania has nothing provided to meet its interest due in August. Its legislature is to meet in June, to make some provision if possible. The Western stocks, under the supposition that at some future period they will resume their dividends, are worth more than they now sell for. For instance, the bonds of Indiana have 28 years to run, and bear 5 per cent interest. If the dividend were to be renewed at the end of 10 years, and payable ever after, the present value of a bond would be $358, or about 36 per cent. The probability is, that at some distant date the payments will be resumed, although repudiation seems to be spreading. The Governor of Michigan has issued a proelatnation repudiating some of the stocks of that State. The rapidly increasing wealth of the country under its release froin the oppressive banking system will soon give the means of redeeming its honor, when it is not to be believed that the will will be wanting.

A great question of national interest, and one that affects the pockets of every in. dividual, is the adjustment of the revenues of the government on a just and equitable principle. In answer to a call from the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Treasury has proposed such alterations of the tariff as he imagines will meet the wants of the Treasury. It is assumed that the expenditures of the government cannot be reduced to less than $33,000,000 per annum for the next three years, including the payment of the debt. The following are the items of expenditure and receipts according to his estimates. Expenditures.


1844. Civil, foreign, naval, &c..... $24,424.358.


.$21,124,358 Permanent appropriation...


932,000 Debt corporate cities...


127,700 Old public debt....


5,000 Thrie and 5 per ct. to the States.


100,000 Interest on loan....


1,003,000 Redemption of loan Jan. 1845....

5,668,916 Redemption of Treasury notes... 7,400,000.

5,300,000.. Total Expenditure....... . $33,822,258..


.32,262,035 Receipts. Customs.......


27,443,335 Lands,

2,000 000

2,000,000 Treasury notes.



150,000 Loan of 1841-'42..

...11,331,023. Miscellaneous.

150,000. Total receipts............ .39,202,090...

.29,593,335..... .. 29,593,335 Expenditures as above.. .........33,822,258..


.32,262,035 Excess of receipts....

.5,380,432.. Deficiency.


2,668,700 The revenues from the lands are retained as indispensably necessary. This is right. The Secretary feels justified in estimating the revenue from customs at $22,000,000, and proposes levying an average duty of 35 per cent. on all articles; and basing his calculation on the imports of 1840, estimates the receipts at $27,400,000. The duty is thus to be raised 75 per cent. higher than would have been the case according to the compromise tariff after June instant, and he supposes the full amount can be obtained, notwithstanding the immense reduction which has taken place in prices abroad, and in the paper currency at home. The probability is, however, that under existing circumstances many of the proposed rates will become prohibitive, and the people will pay enormous indirect taxes into the pockets of manufacturers, while the government remains impoverished and embarrassed. There is no other way, if reasonable revenue duties will not yield sufficient to supply strictly economical ex. penditures, than to levy direct tases. The people will then know what they hare to pay, for what it is paid, and by whom disbursed. The superior expense of collecting direct taxes is not equal to the amount paid by the people indirectly under heavy duties by a large per centage.

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