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 60

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Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 60
sidered as certain that the bank will never, unless
forced to do it, part with a dollar of its capital, or of
the funds used as capital, to pay any portion of the prin-
cipal of the debt. To diminish its funds would be to
curtail its power and influence ; and though history
does record some rare instances of men�excep-
tions to the general rule�who have voluntarily re-
signed power, I do not remember a single one of a
corporation of any kind having done it.
Being fully assured that the bank can never pay
the public debt by the profits arising from its opera-
tions, and being equally convinced that it never will,
voluntarily, pay any part of it out of its capital, I sug-
gest to you the propriety of requiring it, under penalty
of forfeiting its charter, to purchase annually, and at
some period in each year to cancel, in the presence of
the Comptroller General, State Bonds to the amount
of five hundred thousand dollars, besides paying the
interest on the balance. By such an arrangement the
whole debt would be paid in seven, instead of twenty-
six years.
It may be doubted by some, whether the bank will
be able to withdraw so large a sum from her debtors
annually, without producing great distress in the State.
It might be answered, that according to its own report,
the bank collected and paid out, during the single fiscal
year of 1840, upwards of twelve hundred thousand
dollars ; and the pressure on the money market at that
time was incomparably heavier than it now is, or is
likely soon to be. There could not, in fact, be a more
favorable juncture than the present, to commence the
operation I suggest. Money is abundant among capi-
talists, interest extremely low, and safe investments