Communicated to the Senate, February 22, 1817.
Committee Room of Senate, January 8, 1817.
The Committee on Finance, to whom was referred so much of the message of the President of the United States as relates to a uniform national currency, are desirous to obtain such information in regard to that subject as you may find it convenient to furnish, with your opinion whether further legal provisions be necessary to aid the Treasury in restoring uniformity to the circulating currency in the different sections of the Union, and, if so, the nature of such provisions.
They also wish to be informed of the places in which the balance remaining in the Treasury on the 1st instant is deposited, and the currency of which it consists.
With very great respect, I have the honor to be, sir, your most obedient servant,
GEORGE W. CAMPBELL, Chairman.
Hon. William H. Crawford, Secretary of the Treasury.
Treasury Department, February 20, 1817.
I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 8th ult., requesting information upon that part of the President’s message which relates to the national currency, and whether, in my opinion, further legal measures be necessary to aid the Treasury in restoring uniformity to the circulating currency in the different sections of the Union, and the nature of the provisions proper to effect that object, if any should be necessary.
In reply to these several inquiries, I have the honor to state that the banks of the cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, of the District of Columbia, of the State of Virginia, the bank of Muskingum, and the Miami Exporting Company of Ohio, have notified this Department that they will on this day resume and continue specie payments. The banks of the Southern and Western States have stated their capacity and disposition to discharge their notes in gold or silver as soon as specie payments should be resumed by the banks of the Middle States. The banks in the interior of the latter States have made the same declaration, and several of them have already pledged themselves to resume specie payments on this day. Official notice of the resumption of specie payments by the principal banks in the Middle States has been given to all those banks whose resumption of specie payments was made to depend upon that event, and no doubt is entertained that a majority of the banks in every section of the Union will discharge their notes on demand, in gold or silver, as soon as the notice referred to shall be received. There is, therefore, in the opinion of the Secretary, no necessity for any further legal provision to restore uniformity to the circulating currency in the different sections of the Union. Instructions have been given to the collectors of the public revenue, and to the receivers of the public money arising from the sale of the public lands, to conform to the resolution of the 30th of April, 1816, for the more effectual collection of the public revenue.
I have the honor to enclose, for the information of the committee, a statement of the balances of public money deposited in the several banks employed by the Treasury for that purpose, remaining therein on the 3d instant, distinguishing between the various species of deposite which the disordered state of the currency has introduced into the accounts of the Treasury. This balance has been increased since that date, so as to form an aggregate of cash and special deposite of bank notes of more than $14,000,000. Since the agreement of the principal State banks to pay specie on this day, several of the interior banks, having considerable sums of special deposites, have proposed to transfer it to the cash account, provided it should be permitted to remain in their hands without interest until the 1st of July next. This circumstance induces a belief that no serious difficulty will occur in rendering the special deposites of bank notes available in the operations of the Treasury, at least during the last quarter of the year.
I have the honor to be your most obedient and very humble servant,
WM. H. CRAWFORD.
Hon. Geo. W. Campbell, Chairman of the Committee of Finance.
Unfortunately, document number 507 in Class III of American State Papers does not contain the the mentioned statement of balances of public money deposited in several banks.