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From all these considerations the president thinks that the state banks ought immediately to be employed in the collection and disbursement of the public revenue, and the funds now in the bank of the United States drawn out with all convenient despatch. . .

come. . . .



In conclusion the president must be permitted to remark that he looks upon the pending question as of higher consideration than the mere transfer of a sum of money from one bank to another. Its decision may affect the character of our government for ages to Viewing it as a question of transcendant importance, both in the principles and consequences it involves, the president could not, in justice to the responsibility which he owes to the country, refrain from pressing upon the secretary of the treasury, his view of the considerations which impel to immediate action. Upon him has been devolved by the constitution and the suffrages of the American people, the duty of superintending the operation of the executive departments of the government, and seeing that the laws are faithfully executed. In the performance of this high trust, it is his undoubted right to express to those whom the laws and his own choice have made his associates in the administration of the government, his opinion of their duties under circumstances as they arise. It is this right which he now exercises. Far be it from him to expect or require, that any member of the cabinet should at his request, order or dictation, do any act which he believes unlawful, or in his conscience condemns. From them and from his fellow citizens in general, he desires only that aid and support, which their reason approves and their conscience sanctions.

In the remarks he has made on this all important question, he trusts the secretary of the treasury will see only the frank and respectful declarations of the opinions which the president has formed on a measure of great national interest, deeply affecting the character and usefulness of his administration; and not a spirit of dictation, which the president would be as careful to avoid, as ready to resist. Happy will he be, if the facts now disclosed produce uniformity of opinion and unity of action among the members of the administration.

The president again repeats that he begs his cabinet to con

sider the proposed measure as his own, in the support of which he shall require no one of them to make a sacrifice of opinion or principle. Its responsibility has been assumed, after the most mature deliberation and reflection, as necessary to preserve the morals of the people, the freedom of the press and the purity of the elective franchise, without which all will unite in saying that the blood and treasure expended by our forefathers in the establishment of our happy system of government will have been vain and fruitless. Under these convictions, he feels that a measure so important to the American people cannot be commenced too soon; and he therefore names the first day of October next, as a period proper for the change of the deposites, or sooner, provided the necessary arrangements with the state banks can be made.

No. 89. Taney's Instructions to the Collector at Philadelphia

September 26, 1833


September 26, 1833.

SIR: Believing that the public interest requires that the Bank of the United States should cease to be the depository of the money of the United States, I have determined to use the State banks as places of deposites; and have selected for that purpose, in the city of Philadelphia, the Girard Bank.

You will, therefore, present the enclosed draft of a contract to that bank; and, upon the execution of the contract, you will forward it to this department. You will ask the aid of the District Attorney of the United States, who will see that the contract is executed in due form under the corporate seal. The contract being executed, you will then deposite all of the public money which may come to your hands after the thirtieth day of this present month of September, in the bank above mentioned, until the further order of this department. You will also deposite in the said bank, for collection, all the bonds which may hereafter be taken for the payment of duties.

You will also call on the Bank of the United States at Philadel

phia, and receive from it all bonds hereafter given to the United States, which are payable on or after the first day of October next, and deposite them for collection in the aforesaid State bank. I send you, herewith, an order on the Bank of the United States for that purpose.

When the contract shall have been executed by the State bank, you will forward the enclosed letters to the collectors, at Bridgetown, Burlington, Great Egg harbor, and Little Egg harbor, who have heretofore deposited the money received by them in the Bank of the United States.

You will continue to deposite as usual, in the Bank of the United States, until the thirtieth of this present month of September, inclusive.

You will keep a copy of the contract executed by the bank, and, from time to time, advise this department of any thing you may deem material to the public interest, connected with the change of the deposites.

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SIR: The Girard Bank has been selected by this department as the depository of the public money collected in Philadelphia and its vicinity; and the collector at Philadelphia will hand you the form of a contract proposed to be executed, with a copy of his instructions from this department.

In selecting your institution as one of the fiscal agents of the Government, I not only rely on its solidity and established character, as affording a sufficient guaranty for the safety of the public money intrusted to its keeping; but I confide also in its disposi

tion to adopt the most liberal course, which circumstances will admit, towards other moneyed institutions generally, and particularly to those in the city of Philadelphia.

The deposites of public money will enable you to afford increased facilities to commerce, and to extend your accomodation to individuals; and as the duties which are payable to the Government arise from the business and enterprise of the merchants engaged in foreign trade, it is but reasonable that they should be preferred in the additional accommodation which the public deposites will enable your institution to give, whenever it can be done without injustice to the claims of other classes of the community. I am, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,

R. B. TANEY, Secretary of Treasury.



No. 91. Taney to the Bank of the United


September 26, 1833

September 26, 1833.

SIR: You will deliver to the collector at Philadelphia all bonds to the United States, payable on or after the first of October next, which may be in your possession on the receipt of this order.. I am, very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


Secretary of the Treasury.

NICHOLAS BIddle, Esq.,

President of the Bank of the United States, Philadelphia.

No. 92.

Contract between the Girard Bank

and the United States

September 28, 1833

Ist. The said bank agrees to receive, and enter to the credit of the Treasurer of the United States, all sums of money offered to be deposited on account of the United States, whether offered in gold or silver coin, in notes of the Bank of the United States or branches, in notes of any bank which are convertible into coin in its immediate vicinity, or in notes of any bank which it is, for the time being, in the habit of receiving.

2. If the deposite in said bank shall exceed one-half of its capital stock actually paid in, it is agreed that collateral security, satisfactory to the Secretary of the Treasury, shall be given for its safe keeping and faithful disbursement: Provided, that, if the said Secretary shall at any time deem it necessary, the bank agrees to give collateral security when the deposite shall not equal one-half the capital.

3. The said bank agrees to make weekly returns of its entire condition to the Secretary of the Treasury, and to the Treasurer of the United States of the state of his account, and to submit its books and transactions to a critical examination by the Secretary, or any agent duly authorized by him, whenever he shall require it.

This examination may extend to all the books and accounts, to the cash on hand, and to all the acts and concerns of the bank, except the current accounts of individuals; or as far as is admissible without a violation of the bank charter.

4. The said bank agrees to pay, out of the deposite on hand, all warrants or drafts which may be drawn upon it by the Treasurer of the United States, and to transfer any portion of that deposite to any other bank or banks employed by the Government within the United States, whenever the Secretary of the Treasury may require it, without charge to the Government for transportation or difference of exchange, commission, or any thing else whatever; but the Secretary of the Treasury shall give a reasonable notice of the time when such transfer will be required.

5. The said bank agrees to render to the Government, when

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