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of our fort, during which time I perfectly well remember that General Putnam was in the said intrenchment (breastwork] very frequently during the engagement, giving orders as commander in chief; and I perfectly recollect, that he was in the fort * when the reinforcement of the British came up. While we were waiting for the British to come up the Hill, orders were given to us not to fire till we could see the whites of their eyes; and this order, I was then told, came from General Putnam; but I did not hear it from him. I knew General Putnam's person perfectly well at that time, having frequently seen him before.'
Ezra Runnels, Middleborough, deposes before Wilkes Wood, Esquire.
I belonged to Captain Gridley's artillery company. Went on to the Hill with the company, and two small pieces, the evening before the battle; and was at and near the redoubt during the battle, until our party retreated. I well remember of seeing General Putnam at the breast work during the battle. Before that time, residing in Groton, Connecticut, was personally acquainted with him. I repeatedly saw him during the action walking upon the breastwork and animating the men to exert themselves. Captain Gridley, having received some cartridges, which were too large for our pieces, said that nothing could be done with them, and left his post, and our company was scattered. General Putnam came to one of the pieces, near which I stood, and furiously inquired where our officers were. On being told our cartridges were too big, and that the pieces could not be loaded, he swore, and said they could be loaded, taking a cartridge, he broke it open, and loaded the pieces with a ladle, which was discharged; and assisted us in loading two or three times in that manner.'
Philip Johnson deposes that he was at the rail fence. While there, just before the action began, he saw General Putnam on horseback very near him, and distinctly heard him say, “ Men, you know you are all marksmen, you can take a squirrel from the tallest tree. Don't fire till you see the whites of their eyes." Immediately after the first retreat of the British, General Putnam rode up and said, “ Men, you have done well, but next time you will do better; aim at the officers." The British entered the redoubt without much firing, and the retreat commenced. Just as Mr Johnson left his place at the rail fence, about half a gun shot from the redoubt, General Putnam rode up, his horse covered with foam, and said something, he does not distinctly know what, and rode off. " The balls were flying as thick as peas." '
*' This was a little before the battle; during the battle the distinguished hero and patriot, Colonel Prescott, had the entire and urcontrolled command in the redoubt.'
• William Dickson says, before we took up our march for Bunker Hill, and before we reached Prospect Hill, I am sure I heard the musketry fire. Battle began a great while before we reached Bunker Hill. The musket balls flew very thick where Putnam was, nearly or quite on top of Bunker Hill. He did not seem to mind it. The balls pierced a cartridge box, a hat, and breech of a gun. Putnam had his sword in his hand, and hallooed to us to drive up.'
Such are a few only of the testimonies published by Mr Swett. Many facts were obtained from the survivors of the battle, who were present at the celebration in June, 1825. Mr Swett encourages us to expect from him a detailed account of the battle, which the mass of materials now in existence would enable him to draw up with great minuteness and accuracy. We hope he will prosecute this design.
12.- Remarks on the Banks and Currency of the New England
States; in which an Attempt is made to show the Public Bene-
40. Boston. The object of this pamphlet appears to be, to defend the course lately pursued by several of the banks in Boston, of receiving at par, in all payments to them, the bills of the country banks, and returning them to the banks by which they are issued, for redemption This course of measures having produced a material change in the circulating medium of the New England states; and having been a subject of general complaint on the part of persons interested in the country banks, it became a question deserving of candid consideration, whether the change in any way promotes the public interest, and whether it interferes with the rights of any of the parties affected by it.
The remarks begin with a statement of some general principles respecting currency, tending to illustrate and enforce the position, that the first requisite of a good paper currency is its ready convertibility with gold and silver, whenever these are preferred by the holder; and to show that the holder of the bills of any bank must have a perfect right, founded on the very condition which gives currency to the bills, to return them to the bank, and demand gold and silver, whenever it may suit his convenience,
It is stated that there are in the New England states, a hundred and fortyseven banks, having an aggregate capital of nearly
thirty millions of dollars, and having bills in circulation to an amount exceeding ten millions. The bills of all these banks have generally been current as money in all parts of the New England states, particularly in Boston, the centre of a great portion of the business of these states. There was, however, until the adoption of the measure above referred to, one important exception to the general currency of these bills. None of those issued by the banks situated out of Boston, were received at par in any payments made to the banks in Boston. It would appear at first blush, that this refusal would be injurious to the country banks, and that to give them full credit, on an equal footing with the bills of the town banks, would be regarded as a benefit. The fact was the reverse. As they were freely received in most payments except to the banks, they were easily put into circulation, and when the holder had occasion to pay money to a Boston bank, or to procure specie, instead of sending the bills to the issuing banks in the country for specie, he usually exchanged them at a small discount, with some one in Boston, who would give him Boston money. The exchanging of Boston money for country money, and vice versá, became a regular business, and it is estimated by the author of this pamphlet, that the exchanges each way amounted to nearly a hundred thousand dollars a day; the discount on country money being generally one per cent.
This discount operated as a premium to keep the bills of country banks in circulation, in preference to Boston money, which was reserved almost exclusively for payments to the banks, and was consequently returned to the issuing banks almost as soon as paid out. The consequence was, that Boston banks, which, from the magnitude of their capital, and their extent of business, might be supposed to be in the best credit, and to have the greatest facilities for putting their bills into circulation, had in fact the smallest proportion of circulation ; and the most remote banks, though of small capital, even if their credit was a little doubtful, had the largest circulation. This fact is proved by a variety of statements, drawn from the official returns of the banks. For example, in June, 1809, the three only banks then in Boston, with a capital of $3,800,000, had a circulation of only $646,221, while at the same time, five other banks in the state, situated more than a hundred miles from Boston, with a capital of $700,000, had a circulation of $797,863. In January, 1819, the seven banks in Boston, with a capital of nearly seven millions, had a less circulation, than the seven most distant banks in the state, with a capital of less than a million of dollars. A similar inequality of circulation in favor of the distant banks is shown to have existed in New Hampshire and Maine, those in the large trading towns
having a very small, and those in the interior or remote towns, a very large circulation. The writer argues that this advantage, of so disproportionate an increase of trading capital, derived from circulation, was not one which of right belonged to them, or which necessarily resulted from their local situation ; but that it resulted from the mistaken policy of the conductors of the Boston banks, in not receiving all such descriptions of money, as the citizens in general received in all transactions not connected with the banks. He argues, also, that it is the duty of the banks in town, resulting from the offices which they undertake to perform for the public, to receive in payments, in ordinary cases, such bank notes as are in general currency among the community whom they serve, provided this can be done without any material sacrifice on their part.
This duty, within the last year, several of the banks of this town undertook to perform, and from their concert in this measure, they have been denominated the allied banks. They receive at par in all payments, and on deposite from their customers, the bills of all the banks in New England, in good credit, and transfer them daily at par to one of their number, which, in consideration of a specific sum loaned from each of the associates without interest, returns them to the several issuing banks for redemption, except in cases where provision is made for their redemption here. A large proportion of the bills thus taken, are in fact redeemed here, by the agents of the country banks, or by remittances made by them for the purpose ; and to facilitate this mode of redeeming them, these remittances are permitted to be made in any description of country bills, as well as in Boston bills or specie. The effect of this arrangement on the general circulation, is described to be, to give to each bank the benefit of the principal circulation of its own neighborhood, and to direct the bills of all, on their way homeward, whenever they fall within the natural sphere of the circulation of any other bank.' Under this arrangement, more than seventeen millions of dollars, in bills of the country banks, have already been received by the allied banks.
The amount received within the four or five last months, has been more than two millions of dollars a month. The author computes, that the amount exchanged monthly, at the period when country bills formed the general circulation, and the common rate of discount was one per cent, was from two to three millions a month, so that a tax of about three hundred thousand dollars annually was paid in Boston, in premiums for the exchange of money taken at par. This tax, and the inconvenience of being obliged to keep two kinds of money, is now avoided ; the general currency is improved by the circulation of a larger proportion of VOL. XXII.-NO. 51.
bills issued by banks of large capital and extensive business; and the advantages, which the several banks derive from the circulation of their bills, are more equally distributed. The distant banks still have the advantage of a much larger circulation in proportion to their amount of capital, than those which are situated in and near the large towns, but the statements in the pamphlet, founded on the official returns at different dates, show very conclusively, that the inequality is greatly lessened. The amount of bills in circulation issued by banks in Boston, is about double that exhibited by the returns four years ago, while the circulation of the distant banks is diminished by a quarter, although the aggregate of their capital has been increased in a proportion equal to that of the banks in Boston.
NOTICE. We owe an apology to the public, and to the author, for delaying so long to notice, in a proper manner, Mr Dane's Abridgment and Digest of American Law. The publication of this work has been completed, in eight iarge octavo volumes, constituting an imposing monument of the author's talents, great legal knowledge, and extraordinary perseverance; and containing a mass of materials selected and arranged in such a manner, as to render the work exceedingly important to the Profession in every part of this country. It has been the labor of forty years, with all the advantages, which a public and professional man could possess. Mr Dane was in the Old Congress, and has been a careful observer of the progress of our legal institutions, from the very beginning of the Union. An article is now in preparation, in which this learned author's work will be examined at large, and which may be expected in our next number.