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 59

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Page 59

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 59
Bank during the current fiscal year, the 5 per cent.
stock was issued to the amount of two hundred thou-
sand dollars ($200,000), though afterwards reduced
to one hundred and forty-one thousand, six hundred
and sixty-two dollars and fifty cents ($141,662 50).
And again, at the Session of 1839, the Legislature
transferred to the Sinking Fund, to aid in the liquida-
tion of the public debt, six hundred thousand dollars
($600,000) of the Surplus Revenue, which had been
pledged to the payment of the subscription of the
State to the Rail Road Company, and issued for that
purpose the same amount of 6 per cent. stock. The
operation in both these instances was precisely the
same as if these stocks had been created to pay the
public debt, the appropriate funds in the Bank being
withheld on that account. Thus, in the whole, was
seventeen hundred thousand dollars borrowed to pay
the one million of internal improvement bonds ; and
that at a period when the Sinking Fund and Surplus
Revenue--funds specially applicable to such a pur-
pose exceeded not only the debt paid, but even the
enormous sum borrowed, and would have covered both
the instalments of the debt and the subscription to
the Rail Road Company and Bank, had they been so
applied. If the history of the past is to furnish any
criterion by which to judge of the future, I fear that
whenever an instalment of the public debt becomes
due, some scheme will be devised to induce the Legis-
lature to issue new stock to redeem it ; and if at every
payment the whole, and seventy per cent. more than
is paid, is borrowed, it requires no gift of prophecy to
foresee that this process of redemption will overwhelm
the State in debt. I fear, too, that it may be con-