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 58

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Page 58

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 58
Charleston for building purposes, and supplied all their
wants. Faith and justice to the people of State re-
quired that the balance of the bonds not sold for the
purpose for which they were issued, and not wanted
for it, should have been destroyed. The bank, how-
ever, obtained the Governor's consent to raise them
to 6 per cent. bonds, to the amount of nine hundred
and sixty-four thousand, four hundred and forty-four
dollars and forty-four cents ($964,444 44), and took pos-
session of them as a loan from the State to itself, and
merely charged itself debtor to the State in that
amount on the books of the bank, though it still con-
tinues to report the whole two millions as the " Fire
Loan." The pretext for this, was to pay the instal-
ments of the debt of eight hundred thousand dollars
(800,000) which fell due in 1840 ; and of two hun-
dred thousand dollars ($200,000) which fell due in
1842. And on that ground the Legislature afterward,
in 1841, sanctioned the conduct of the bank, by laying
on the table a resolution to cancel this remainder of
the Fire Loan Bonds. But this was not all. At the
regular session, in December, 1838, the Legislature
passed an Act confirming the subscription of the Gov-
ernor to the Rail Road Bank and authorizing the
Comptroller General to pay it by drafts upon the
Bank of the State, or by an issue of 5 per cent., in
case the President and Directors of the Bank found it
embarrassing to advance the funds. Although the
Sinking Fund at that time amounted to eight hundred
and twenty-four thousand dollars ($824,000), and the
Surplus Revenue to nine hundred and fifty-one thou-
sand dollars ($951,000), and the large balance of the Fire
Loan Bonds before mentioned was absorbed by the