Wlliam Gilmore Simms
Selections from the Letters and Speeches of the Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina >> Message to the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, Nov. 28, 1843 >> Page 57

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Page 57

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 57
revenue they are all banked on, and, although separate
accounts are kept of them in the bank books, they are
as essentially a part of the bank capital as the com-
paratively small portion which is acknowledged to be
such. They have been loaned out, and to be used to
pay the public debt, must, like other discounts, be
collected from the debtors of the bank. In short,
what are supposed to be equivalents for the State debt,
are securities of no higher value than those in which
all the other funds of the State have been invested by
the bank, nor are they more readily convertible into
money, and the interest on them is now included in the
annual return of the bank.
It is said again, that one million ($1,000,000) of our
internal improvement debt has been redeemed, and
this is taken as proof of the capacity of the bank to
redeem the whole debt. It is true, that one million
has been paid, but it has been made the pretext for
issuing stock to the amount of one million seven hun-
dred and six thousand, one hundred and six dollars,
and ninety-four cents ($1,706,106 94), thus actually
increasing the public debt seven hundred thousand
dollars, instead of diminishing it.
This can be readily made to appear. In a moment
of generous enthusiasm, worthy of the character of
the State and her citizens, a bill was passed at an extra
session in 1838, almost by universal consent, to borrow
two millions of dollars ($2,000,000) for rebuilding the
City of Charleston, after the calamitous fire of that
year. Of this amount, one million and thirty-five
thousand, five hundred and fifty-five dollars and fifty-five
cents ($1,03 5,555 55), was obtained in London, on 5
per cent. bonds. This was loaned to the citizens of