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 63

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Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 63
its present acknowledged, permanent capital, which
amounts to only eleven hundred and fifty-six thousand,
three hundred and forty-eight dollars and forty-eight
cents ($1,156,348 48).
But even if the operation of paying the Public Debt
should absorb the Bank entirely, it would, in my
opinion, constitute no objection to the scheme. The
State would get rid of two evils at once. It is at least
a question whether all banks are not evils. That a
bank operating like ours exclusively on the funds and
credit of the State is, seems to be generally conceded.
The best proof of it is, that almost all other banks so
framed, save ours, have failed producing incalulable
embarrasment and suffering. An equally clear proof
of the opinion of the people of this State, is the unex-
ampled unanimity with which they have, for several
years past, waged an unremitted warfare against the
establishment of a similar, and not more objectionable
institution, by the Federal Government. That our
bank has neither failed nor produced any great political
crisis, is owing to our extreme good fortune, in having
always had at its head men of the highest character
and uncommon ability. Its other officers and directors,
too, have been, almost without exception, gentlemen of
intelligence and strict integrity. The character of the
people of our State is also opposed to extensive specu-
lations, and perhaps nowhere in the world is a default
in a public trust regarded with such universal and utter
abhorrence. All these necessary elements of past
success cannot be expected to co-exist forever. As
men, we may be permitted to indulge the hope that
they may ; as Legislators, you would be forgetful of
history and human nature to calculate upon it. Was