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 64

image of pageExplore Inside

Page 64

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 64
it now an original question, few voices I apprehend
would be found in favor of a bank of the State.
Having run a career of thirty years, might it not be
wise to apply at this time an active and searching test
to its success and soundness ? ' I have not the slightest
reason to doubt its present soundness. But too much
depends upon the fact, to admit of much longer delay
in ascertaining it beyond all question. Nor is it a
matter for less grave consideration, whether the State
is to borrow money forever, in order to loan it out at
the same, or nearly the same rates of interest, subject
to all the expenses, fluctuations and disasters of bank-
ing a business which of all others has proved the most
uncertain and ruinous to States and individuals.
The strongest objection that I see to the plan I
have s uggested for the speedy payment of the public
debt, is the doubt whether the State stock can be
purchased at such amounts at par. Within the next
seven years, however, nine hundred and sixty thousand
dollars ($960,000) of debt will be redeemable, at par.
Of the stock now held by the bank, there was, on the
30th of September, certainly sixty-four thousand dol-
lars ($64,000), perhaps more, not redeemable within
that time, but already obtained at par. A million
more, redeemable in 1860, is held in Europe, and is
there quoted below par ; though it is matter of pride
for us to know that it stands higher than the stock of
any other State, save one. In the present condition of
American credit abroad, this stock might probably be
purchased at par. Could so much be obtained, four-
sevenths of the debt would be extinguished, and time
and circumstances might place the balance within reach.
On most of these stocks the State obtained a premium,