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vo1- L PICKENS COURT HOUSE, S. C., SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 1850. NO 41
> ttt-t 1 ? . ^ ?
| KEOWEB COURIER,
ratNTED ANn published weekly by
W. H. TRIMMIER.
J. W. NORMS, Jn., )
E. M. KEITH, j Kd,tor8terhs.
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remarks of mr. b. f perry, j
OF O ilu.R >J V Il.LR.
In the House of Representati vis, Dec. j
13, 18 i9?The House htv'm under con- [
isderalion the hill for wituliivt *f>?
- *"v I
Bank, and the reports of the invc&tioatipg
Mr. B. F. Perry having the floor, nddrossed
the House ns follows:
Mn. Speaker:?I desire to make a few
remarks on the bill before the //ouse. In
doing so, permit me to premise that I am
no enemy to banks. I have been their
f;iend nnd advocate on this floor when
they were assailed on all sides, and had
few friends and fewer advocates.
I believe, Mr. Speaker, that banks are
essential to the prosperity of every commercial
and enlightened people. They
facililnte exchanges, save the precious
rjrtetals, and stimulate industry and enterprise:
But they should he left to privato
incorporations and industrial enterprise,
as all the great industrial pursuits
of life are.
A government, sir, is incapable of car*
lying on wisely and profitably banking
operation*. There is a secrecy and confidence
in a bank which cannot be ha<' in
a legislative assembly. The operations
of a bank should be confidential and secret.
The officers are sworn to secrecy.
Whon n gentleman goes into a bank for ;
accommodations, he expects tint all of
his business tninsnntinns n i l hn li!.?
liis household arrangements?sacred \
from the public gaze.
I am sure it must have been very pairful
to every member of thu House on
yesterd ?y, to -it and listen to tbe private
report of tbe bmk, exposing to the public
the individual i idubtcdne?s of tbe
/'resident and Director*, and Officers of
the bank. Hut, sir, a stern seise of pub
lie duty required tbis exposure before a
sebvtion of tbe Hoard of Direct >rs could
be made for tbe ensuinor year.
The operations of a bank arc foreign
to the nature and objects of a government.
A political government is formed
for tbe protection of life, liberty, and
I>n/|jvn?y. uui u) uiiiHu muiiey lonis cmzcns,
or to relievo their pecuniary embarrassments
by lending th? m i .oney. As
well might the State of South Carolina
think of engaging in merchandise, planting,
or manufacturing, as to bo engnged
in bunking. With the same propriety it
might be urged on 'he State, that the interests
of her citizens required that foreign
goods Bhould hcimpoited cheaply,
nnd sold bv tho government for the accommodation
of the people.
In a vephblic there must bo n strict
accountability in the management nnd
disbursement of oil public funds. The
people must know how their money is
spent, nnd what has hecome of it. This
destroy, as I have already stated, all
banking operations. So strict is thisac- j
countabiliiy, that every session we t-rc
squabbling over the smallest appropriations.
In our &tate constitutions guards
and checks are thrown around this power
of impropriating the public funds. No
money can be drawn from the treasury
except by a bill read three times, on
three sepa ate days, in both //buses of the
But, sir, whils', the representativcs-oF
the people, who aro responsible to the
people for their conduct in every pai ti
ctilar, nrc thus restrained front 4iiaking
appropriation*, the President and Directors
of the bank have the power of making
any approprlaton* Ctrtwsy may see
proper, on ten fnirtute$* consultation.
Tncy hnve appropriated, of public funds
upwards of one hundred thouwnd dollars
for the extension of railroads in Georgia.
They appropriated some sixty or
seventy thousand dollars of public moneys
to build up a watenng place in Spartanburg
distriot. They appropriated
I thirty thousand dollars to sustain a hotel
/ in Charleston.
These, sir, are munificent loans, made
out of the publio funds, and in violation
I of tho .Suite constitution already referrec
to. They are Appropriations which ncv
! or could have been obtained trom tin
j Legislature, nnd by them the Start has
. lost or will lose a very largo amount,
i The Legislature of South Carolina
I have t ie control of about three hundred
i thousand dollars. This is the sum total
of all the moneys put under the care and
management of the chosen rcpresenlatives
of the pcoph', amounting to one bun
dred and sixty eight in number. T e
President of the bank and twelve Directors
have under their control and management
five or six millions of public
funds, wi ich they lend out as they please,
nnd appropriate as to them seems best.
They make an investment of one hundred
thousand dollars in bank stock, and
and dispose of it ?;;.iin, without its being
known to the people.
This is not nil, Mr. Spenker. The
bank not only has c ntrol of five or six
millions of public funds, but the unlimited
power of running the State into debt,
and making it necessary that we should
tnx the people in order to pay off the*?
debts. Is not thi*f sir, a power hchind
the throne greater tlinn the throne? Are
not these Directors ond President more
powerful than the Legislature?
Mr. Speaker, the rights of reprosentati
>n and taxation were regarded by our
ancestorsns inseparable. The least infringement
of this union was cause enough
to make their AngloSixon blood course
more freely through their veins. It was
the defence of these great principles of
ireeuom winch made Hampden a rebel
and Sydney a martyr; which revoluiionized
Rngland under Charles the Fir>t,
and separated the American colonies
fiom Cieat Britain in the reign of George
the Third. They are righta inrstimable
to freemen, and formidable to tyrnnts only.
Sooner than impair them in the
slightest degree, let the hank and nil its
treasures he scatteicd to the four winds
It is said that the bnnk owes its 01 igin
to a plain, unsoohisticated memher of
thh house, who saw the distresses of the
country in 1812, ntul wns disposed to
remedy them. This, sir, is precisely the
origin to which I expect to trace the
hank. It wns conceived byn kind hearted
old man, who wns utterly unacquninted
with the power and operations of tho
institution which he was culling into existence.
Tlie planters and farmers
could make no sales of their produce,
money was exceedingly scarce, and all
the necessaries of life, exempt tho^e which
grew or wore manufacture i in our own
State, were, very hijfh. Under this state
of things, produced by the embargo and
war, Mr. Joseph Blnck, of Abbeville,
proposed the es-tnblishmfcnt of a bank,
which was to loud the people money, and
thereby relieve their distresses and pecuniary
embarrassments. Tho farmers and
planters we- 3 to mortgage their lands,
and receive the sum of two thousand dollars
as a loan.
A 8oJjeP?e of relief could not have been
conceived ? j more profound ignorance.
It never -v 1<Mined out; and if it bad
been, it wt u.'d hnve entailed broadcast
the seeds 01 ruin and bankruptcy on
tho-e whom it was intended to bem fit.
It was a kindred measure of those relieflaws,
stop-laws, and frtay-law* which we
usually hear of when ignorance and demngoguism
have the ascendancy in a newly
setllod nlni(> Tlifi iiiiin !?? ??*?*
a short time Mn&S to provide work for
tho^e who were unemployed, by tho
newlv revolutionised government, was
likewise a kindred measure. Ti\e whole
system, of which the*-.- measures are part
and parcel, imposes on tho government
the duty of supporting the people!
| The bank, immediately after its estab|
Ifohment, instead of becoming a loan
office, as was intended by its projectors,
become a commercial institution, and its
profits were ver" considerable. There
were then few banks in the State. Sincti
that time other bnnkjji have sjrung up,
and the profits of tho State Bunk have
greatly diminished. I have very little
jfotibfc that tho cfllculations of the chnirmnn
of tho committee of ways nnd means
as to ?hf pro ts of tho bank, are correct*
and that it hns not, for several ye rs past,
- i i i_ ILa
IIIHUU fjruilis IHJUIIl IU tIIU IIIIUIUM* VII lit
I differ entirely, Mr. Spenker, with the
honorable member from Kiohlnnd, in hi?
able, eloquent, nnd manly defence of tin
bank, as to its constitutionality. 1 hwv<
no doubt, wr, it is in violation of the Rpir
it, if not the letter, of both the .St'iteani
the federal constitutions. 1 have already
shown that the State constitution require*
"11 appropriations and expenditures o
public moneys to be made by bill; and al
he appropriations made bv the b?:nk art
in violation of tlio true spirit nnd menninj
of this clause of tho constitution.
It is well known thnt tho power of th
i i - in? 1 - - '
I federal constitution intended tha: our
- government should be, in the lungungo
of John Randolph,"a hard-money govern
> motif. The people had seen and felt severely
the effects of the old continental i
paper, and wore disposed to guard
against a repetition of paper money on
the part of either the general or State
It was proposed in the feoeral convention
to give Congress the pow-r of incorporating
a bank, and rejected. It was !
then proposed to give Congress the pow- ;
er of granting incorporations, and rejected,
on the cfround that this would ena,
ole Congress to establish a bank.
The federal cons'i tut ion declares that |
no 6'tate shall coin money. What is j
money? It is a medium of exchange. 1
and may be paper, or iron, as it was in
Sparta, or shells, as it is now amongst
the iS'outh Sea Islanders. When the
<State. of South Carolina stamps a (iece
of paper, and *ends it forth as a medium
of exchange, is it not to all intents and
purposes coininff monev. The &tamn i*
on pa per instead of gold and silver, It
is nevertheless money, stamped and coined
by the State, in violation of the federal
| No State is permitted to 'emit hills of
credit.' Is not the establishment of a
bank with the authority to i-jmic two millions
in bills, on the credit of the State,
with only two hundred thousand doljars
in specie to redeem the bills with, to all
intents and purposes 'emitting bills of
credit' by the State? yhe .State is
doinir, by an acrent of her own creation.
that which she could not do directly by
Again, *ir: No &tate can mnlce anything
hut gold and silver a tender in paymen!
of debts. I3ut when n State issues
her bills, gives them the stnmp or coin of
money, and declares that her revenues
shall ho nnifl in tlinni iv? hIio nnt mnLinif
" I ? ""fi
litem a tendei in pnyment of debts?
They arc obliged .o be ?uch in spirit and
It is said that the bink has provided a
safe fiscal agent for the State, and that in
the disbursement of millions of <State
funds, not one ''ollar has been lost. This
may be true. But whilst disburMng the
funds of the State; the bunk has lost
five hundred thousand dollars of its own
funds! These, too, arc the State funds,
//ow much more may be lost before the
charter expires, and after the bank is
wound up, no one can toll.
I am not disposed to attribute this
heavy loss on the part of the bank to the
he-'d of that institution. The greater
part of this loss has been owing to the
f\ fi'l 'Silmn KtinLinnfm* t\f flu* PIi? /*/?
%l." " * ? ? ^ ~
tors. The Diicolors are chosen hy the
Legislature, nnd h ive a ?igb*tolorow
from the bnnk. We must then attiihute
all losses, on their necount, to the Legislature,
wh.? elected them nnd placed
them in the hank. We are to blame, and
not the bunk, for choosing such Directors.
In the election of directors, I nm sure
every member of this house must have
witnessed enough to excite his disgust
nnd indignation. The candidates* present
themselves to the members nnd electioneer
with as much zeal and fierceness as if
they were canvassing before the people
; for the office of <*heiiff or tax collector
0fL _ I _ - t J
j nc inemoersgive piea^ro 10 support 1
t the diffeientoindid ites without any re;
gard to qu difiontions; influenced by mol
lives of kindness or friendship, orpe haps
some other feeling not. so honorable.
Nothing can show the impoliev of n govi
ernment attempting to ?nrry on hanking
, operations more conclusively tlian the
, election of the directors by the Legislature.
It is owing to the wisdom, integrity
and sagacity of (he eminent men who
have been placed at the , head of the
bank, that the countrv has not been over
whelmed by the indebtedness of that in
stitution. This may not continue always.
The management of the bank may fall into
other hai.ds, whi>n we shall experience i
t tin. lo^s sustained in Alabama, Ken- j
tucky, nnd other States, who have at-1
i 'empted to carry on a similar system of
banking. I do not pretend to say that
, no errors have been committed by the
i Pre ident and board of directors. Like
all men, they are liable to make great |
i blunders in their financial arrangements.'
* Some of these errors I have already al.u5
ded to, and shall have occasion to sneak
ofo hers. But I congratulate the House !
- and the country that they have not l>een
I greater thnn they are. No other gov*
' ornment honk h) the United 8tates has
I been managed so well and with so few
f losses to tlie country.
1 It i>* Haiti that the State b*??V has done
p great good ro the people, and assisted in
5 relieving their ombnriU'pments and distresses.
How many and whom has it ro
e lievcd? Who arc its debtors and who
HI iTf ?H?IBI 1 II I IMMWII^M Jll I I I 1
have received its favors? 71 ie inquiry
might perhaps be answered, by saying,
some two or three hundred of the wealj
thiest men uf the State: Are the poor
accommodated? ?ertainly not. Banks
ar? no places for tnem to resort to for
favors. In them they have no credit.
How nre the funds of the bank loaned
out in regard to the different districts?
The district of Chailesion has nboul one
million, nnd the district of Richland has
about five hundred thousand dollars,
honowed from the bank; whilst G.eenville
has only four or five thousand, and
several of thoother districts Mill less.
What inter* 6t should these districts take
or feel in the S;atc carrying on a bank
for the accommodation of Charleston and
Richland? What interest should the
poor feel in the establishment, of n bank
by the State for the accommodation of
ButthemoU oSjection ble feature in
the 'oans which the bnnk makes, is that
uiu oineers anu mroutore ot me oanK
Imve borrowed themselves feme seven or
eight hundicd thousand dollars
of t) emoney in tlie hank, It is
tlien, in a great measure, an institution
for the benefit and accommodation of the
bank officers, their friends and favorites,
and the people of Chni les.on and Columbia*
\VI'll may the advocates of the
bank on this floor say, that it has never
oppressed its debtors. Had it done so,
consjdeiing who those debtors weie, it
would have been not only a heartless
corporation, but a monster, such as Milton
describes Death and Sin tobe.de~
? willing *11*11 U)>|l |||^?? yVil, I'H'I,
The bank chnrter will ?.\pire in 1860,
nnd it becomes ne? e^sary for the Legislature
todecidc whether it is to be continued
or not. The members must now deride
whether an institution, unconstitutional
in if? origin, d ngerous in its tendency
and unprofitable, anti-republican,
nnd ttt war with the fundamental principles
of freedom, is to he continued or
to he wound up. It is said that ihi is a
trreat question, and should he submitted
fo tin* people before any notion is telten
on it. Is it not a question that i he popple
l)i)ve already thought of and determined
for themselves ? lias it not hoen thoroughly
di?'cus?ed in both branches of
this Legislature? Was it not discussed
twelve months since? Have not the
newspapers in the State called public atJontion
to it for the last eighteen months?
T,et everv member vote on this question
in nccoidance with what he believes to be
the wishes of his constituents, and tho
convictions of his own judgment.
But. it i< well understood, Mr. SpeakC-,
why titid appeal is made on tho part of
the bank. Delay is important in manv
pnin s of vi. w. It will give the bank
time to exert it? moneyed influence on the
country and control public opinion. Like
n great general beseiged in a eitv, he asks
for delay, under the pretence of considering
the terms of capitulation, but all the
time is collecting his broken forces, repairing
the breaks, pointing his cannon.
nnd then bids deh'inee to the assiubn.ts.
Does any oho suppose that the l?ink
will n t exert its influence to the utmost,
in sustaining itself >ind maintaining its
o n existence. preservation is said
to he the first law of nature? ltisalnw
well understood hy corporations. The
contest between the hank nnd the opposition
will hen most unequal one. Tt is
like the contest between a great nnd skilful
srcne?nl, with n trained and disciplined
nrrnv, well furnished with supplies, possessing
n militarv ehe?t well filled, nnd
an unarmed, undisciplined nssemhlnge of
/?t 17011Q ivi luMit n littwloi* nn/1 u^itltAiit nf.
fire**, The result of such a contest cannot
After mature reflection, Mr. Spe/iker,
I nm satisfied that if some measures are
taken this session to wind up the hank, it
will not ho done at nil. The opposUiou
to this moneyed ftHi'ution will grow
weak r and wc ?ker every year until a
new charter is granted. Already the
threat ha* gone abroad from the friends
of the hank, that no ptivnto bank shall
he reehartere I unless the State Bank receives
a renew 1 of her charter. There
will bo a comhina ion he'ween the fliends
of all the hanks, and they v-ill force from
the Legislature a renewal of all their charter?.
This prediction I make in the nature
of a prophecy, and beg that it may
I will now, Mr. Speaker, notice nn objection
nvido by the friends >f tfco hank,
to the hill on vour table, nnd the importance
of which they hnvo go greatly mntfnifled.
We nre told, sir, that the honor
nnd faita of .South Carolina are involved
in this quv<*tion, nnd that we cnnr.o; tou :h
the bank or I he fundi* of tho hank without
the consent of the foreign credi'ora of
the <S*tate. Is this true, Mr. Speaker?
| Arc wo reduced to this humiliating con
diiion that we cnnnot change our political
a id domestic institutions without the consent
of the stock-jobbers nnd money*
holders of Europe? Shall it be said, t-ir,
that the sovereign (State of South Corp?
lina must humbly ask tho permission of
Baling & Brothers before her Legislature
can determine whether or not a bank
sh-ill be rechartcred? This, sir, is a state
of dependence nnd servility which I never
expected to hear urged on this floor. For
myself, sir, I scorn it us a foreign inso*
lence, when the proposition is made tr al|
luded to by Baring & Brothers.
it l could ho induced to believe tlmt
tliore was any force or weight In the argument,
as much, sir, as I detent the
wot d "ri/iudiation," 1 would not only
use if, but apply it to the agent and 'lie
: Legislature, who, by their acts had bio't
snali deep and damning disgrace upon
the Slate of .South Carolina. I would,
sir, deny their agency a- d their legislation,
and appeal to the constitution ns a
j shield against their servjlj y sird their ig-.
if a\. .. i z. r ? o? A
iiuiciivt'. ji, mi , me in>iii?r ?.i ii u oi? l
is not like tlmt of her daughters, too puro
and too sacred to bo Ji:cussed, as was
said bv the honorable member from Ricl land,
I hope, sir, it is equal to that of her
sons, who are loo proud and too Rpirited
to brook foreign insolence or interference
in our legislation.
The honor of South ('iirolinn t* nn
! more involved in this quest ion than it is in
I the appropriation bill, which the chair,
mnn of the Committee of Ways nnd
! 3/eanc has just reported for our consid'
atinn. 'I be question is simply this:
' South Carolina bns borrowed monej' of
J/essrs. Baring <fe Zfrolhers, nnd has directed
th?* bank to pay the inteies1, and
declin ed thnt the piofits of the bank, after
discharging other liabilities, should be
pledged fu< the. payment of this foreign
debt. We now propose to pay iheto
foreign creditors their 'demands in full,
and that, if tliey will not receive the
money, to h; it invested to meet their
demands when they become due. This,
is i strange brcnch of faith and honor,
'.flering to pay a debt before it falls due,
and if not received, making an investment
of the money, to have it ready when
will be obliged to be received!
We arc informed by the agent of
these foreign creditors that the bonds of
the State may be purchased at three or
fourcents below par. Surely they will
take par value, and be glad to get it.
We are making nrinngements to pay
them, and whero is the ground for suspicion
of dishonor in the matter? This,
l'11* ?n ? ?i.~ .. ~r il.
nil, ir* fill piV^VIILCUIl tllC |mit U1 l.iTC
bank and her fiiends. They havu t'no
sagacity to perceive the strength of their
appeal, if they can induce South Carolina
to believe in it. They are sons of
South Carolina themselves, and know
how dear her honor is to the humblest
citizen of the State.
This grave question of honor, Mr. Speker,
which has been thrust at us so often
during this debate, came not from Baring
and Brothers in the first instance. It
was suggested by the bank in certain
questions put, several years since, to tho
Hon. George McDuffie. The foreign
creditors were reminded of it, and have
since mnde use of if. to accomplish the
purposes of the hank.
In regard to the mismanagement of the
Nesbitt manufacturing company, I feel
it due to the bank to say, that the mismanagement
com "enced with thi?* I>egislatu
e My honorable friend, the Senator
from Union, submitted to mo the
resolution which he offered to the Senate
some yean* since, p;opo?ing to sell the.
iron works on n credit of ten years, in or
der to secure the debt which the company
owed the bank. I told him it would
be better to let the property be sacrificed
and sell for what it would bring. The
.State would get a largo portion of her
debt if not all. Hut that if the payment
wis postponed ten' years, the w >rks
might diminish in value, the ?lave>- who
were mechanics would \o worn out or
dead, and tlio whole property ?>f little
value. Every one gnu^t now be Mtisfied
that this cotirse wottkJ have been hotter.
But, sir, if the arrangement has b?*n an
unfortunate one, the hl.imo Jicut at, our
door. The scheme origiifted and not
with the bank.
My friend from i'ondleton says that
the bank has saved, by it* profits, th?*
people from taxation. Th? cbaitman of
the committee of wavn and menns has
shown eomiwfvely that the simple int? rest
on the bank rnpital during ih^ paM
year would amrunt to thirty thow?Am:
I Ur>l1.>fc iyiavij flinn ttn> rrnlt r? rifiln rwf I lin
bnnk. Fo xcvenil venrs previous to this
the profits wore *if.ll less*. It mny be,
sir, thnt if this bank continue?, tbe people
will have to bo taxed to went It? Hnbilitie*.
My friend from Union 1* rnthefr in a
grumbling moop, it would seeoo, from bj^