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. 26, 1844 >> Page 84

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Page 84

Documents | The Reprint Company; John F. Trow & Co. | 1866, 1978
Transcription 84
previously felt upon that subject. Objecting to the
collection and payment of three and a half millions,
with a capital of more than four millions, at regular
intervals during seven years, he says that, " so large a
creditor going at once into the courts, would alarm all
other banks and individual creditors, compel them in
a measure to suspend the usual accommodations, draw
in their circulation, contract their business, and also
sue in every case where they are distrustful of their
debts. Their customers, thus checked and pressed,
would in turn sue those indebted to them, and an
universal state of alarm would pervade the country.
The dockets of the courts would be crowded with
cases, and the Sheriffs would transfer vast amounts of
property at incalculable sacrifices ; the value of all
other property would be greatly depreciated, and
slaves would be run off, or many of them bought up
by the people of other States, and would be transferred
to improve their condition, leaving heavy taxation to
this State, and less property to bear it. Lands
abandoned and houses deserted by a ruined and bank-
rupted people, would everywhere remain the monu-
ments of an erroneous and precipitate legislation."
If such disastrous consequence would arise from a
liquidation not complete, and protracted through a
period of seven years, how much depends on the
perfect management of the Bank, and to what calami-
ties would we be subjected by its failure —a fate from
which it has no chartered immunity, and which,
involved as it is in the vortex of trade, may overtake
it suddenly, when the people least expect, and are
worst prepared for a catastrophe so terrible. Is it
wise for us to slumber on such a volcano ? Does not