The Journal of Banking
by William M. Gouge,


Vol. I., No. 21,
Philadelphia,
Wednesday, April 13, 1842.



Bank Returns.

It is a fact well worthy of notice that though every change in the volume of our currency, changes the valuation of every man's property, no effort was officially made to ascertain the extent of these changes till after the present banking system had been for nearly forty years in operation.

Blodget did, indeed, in his Economica, published in the year 1806, give statements of what he conceived to be the amount of bank notes in circulation, in different years, from 1784 to 1804: but they can be regarded in no other light than as the guesses of a private individual, having superior means of information.

For the first official estimates, we are indebted to Mr. Crawford.  In a report which he, as Secretary of the Treasury, made to Congress in 1820, he introduced statements of what he believed to be the amount of notes in circulation in 1813, 1815, and 1819;  but the returns he obtained from the banks were so far from complete, that there may have been errors in his estimates of the amount of many millions.

Mr. Gallatin, in his "Considerations on the Currency and Banking System of the United States," published in 1831, offered estimates of the amount of notes in circulation, and of some other particulars in the condition of the banks in 1811, 1815, 1816, 1820, and 1830.  His estimates are more worthy of reliance than any that preceded them.  Yet his data were so defective, that he may, as well as Mr. Crawford, have erred in the amount of millions.

Thus matters remained till July, 1832, when, on motion of Mr. Wilde, of Georgia, a resolution was adopted, to cause a statement of the condition of the banks in 1833-34, to be "compiled under the direction of the Clerk of the House of Representatives," from materials collected by Mr. Wilde.  By another resolution, adopted at the same time, the Secretary of the Treasury was directed to lay before the House a similar statement "at the next and each successive session of Congress."

Since that time, reports have annually been sent from the Treasury Department to Congress on the condition of the banks, with the exception of the present year, in which, we believe, no report has, as yet, been made.  Some of these compilations necessarily contain much lumber, because the resolution of Congress is so worded as to leave little or no discretion to him whose duty it is to prepare them.  But they also contain much matter that is highly valuable.

It fell to our lot to prepare these reports from 1836 to 1841.  Feeling a great interest in the subject, we took every pains in our power, to make them as complete as possible: and by laboring for years in succession on the general tables, correcting the errors and supplying deficiencies in the returns of one year by those received in the next, we were enabled to give them with a fulness and an accuracy which had never before been attained in the banking statistics of this country.

On the preceding pages will be found a statement of the condition of the banks in the different States, according to the returns from them, dated nearest to Jan. 1st, 1840, and copied from one of the tables we prepared while in the Treasury Department.  There are no estimates, it is to be observed, in this table.  The statements were carefully compiled from returns made by the banks;  and the table is believed to embrace all the banks that were in operation on the 1st of January, 1840, except two small banks in Delaware, one in Iowa, one in Tennessee, and two branches of the State Bank of Alabama.

The table given in the Treasury report for 1841, is much more defective.  Mr. Ewing, who was not as duly impressed as was his predecessor, Mr. Woodbury, with the importance of having full and accurate statements of the condition of the banks, dismissed us from office before we had time to complete it.  We have labored much since to supply its deficiencies, but have been but imperfectly successful.  The statement for 1841, as we now give it to our readers, embraces returns from one hundred banks and eleven branches which were not included in the Treasury report.  But it is still defective, insomuch as it embraces no returns from the "Free Banks" of New York, from two banks in Delaware, one in Georgia, two banks and four branches in Tennessee, five banks and seven branches in Kentucky, three in Ohio, one bank and seven branches in Illinois, one in Iowa, and such of the banks of Mississippi (how many we know not) as remained in operation at the commencement of last year.

As the table now stands, it will enable the reader to judge of the banking fluctuations in each State from which complete returns were received for 1840 and 1841.  The population being given according to the last census, those who are fond of statistics can employ some leisure hours in comparing the extent of banking operations in each State with the number of its inhabitants.

In preparing the general tables for the Treasury reports, our rule was, whenever the banks regularly made returns of the amount of their own stock held by themselves, to deduct the same from their capital.  Stock which is thus bought in, stands, in reality, on the same footing as stock which has never been paid in.  It forms no capital on which a bank can make loans and discounts.  Many of the banks, however, shifted so often their form of keeping accounts, that we could not adhere rigidly to this rule.

The next column, is that of loans and discounts.  This includes bonds and mortgages, as well as foreign and domestic bills of exchange, and common notes of hand.

The column of "Stocks," embraces all the State, City, Improvement, and other stocks, including stock of other banks, returned by these institutions as being part of their possessions.

Under the head of "real estate," are included banking houses, and whatever else a French lawyer would describe as "immoveable property."  Some of the banks own farms, some hotels, and some rail-roads and canals.

The column headed "other investment," includes various items.  The returns from the banks in Rhode Island, for example, class "Stocks and Real Estate" together.  As they do not give the amount of each separately, we had to place the whole amount under the head of "other investments."

The next two columns, "Due by other banks, and Notes of other banks on hand," require, it is to be presumed, no explanation.

The item, "Specie Funds," means pretty much what bank officers choose to make it mean.  Sometimes it means "specie and notes of other banks."  Sometimes it includes "deposits in other banks," and funds of various kinds in the hands of brokers, acting as agents of the banks.  Sometimes it merely designates those memoranda which certain favored gentlemen leave with the teller, when they take cash out of his till, without the knowledge of the directors.

The next column shows the amount of "specie" which the banks of each State professed to hold at the time they made their returns.

The eight columns from "Loans and Discounts" to "Specie," inclusive, give all the resources of the banks, and show how they have invested all their capital and their credit.

The next four columns show the liabilities of the banks.

Under the head of "circulation," we have made it a rule to insert only bank notes payable on demand.  Post notes bearing interest do not, except in particular circumstances, form a part of the currency.

For the like reason, we have, under the head of deposits, given such only as are payable on demand.  Dividends unpaid, are included in this column.

These two columns, and the one immediately following, "Due to other banks," include all the immediate liabilities of the banks.

The column headed "Other liabilities," embraces deposits bearing interest, post notes on time, bonds due by the banks, in short, all the debts due by the banks except those described as "immediate liabilities."

The expense account of the banks, and the profit and lose and contingent fund accounts, we could not introduce into the tables prepared by us, as the page on which the public documents is printed is not broad enough to admit of them.  This we did not regret, for they are, as Mr. Gallatin justly observes, merely balancing accounts.  The great majority of readers will come most readily to a clear understanding of the condition of the banks, when only their real resources and real liabilities are exhibited to their view.

In a future number we propose to give, in a condensed form, a comparative view of the condition of the banks throughout the country, for some five or six years in succession.




---[Something to ponder:—
many of the great advocates of "protective" tariff were also advocates of a privately owned central bank;  the protective tariff mainly helped present and future monopolies, benefit to the workers were incidental.  Henry Clay the leading figure of tariff agitation was also a leading figure of bank agitation --in 1811 Henry Clay delivered the best speech against a central bank, a few years later he changed his mind.  In 1816 Daniel Webster voted against the charter of the second bank of the United States;  in 1824 delivered a long speech in the House in direct opposition to Speaker of the House Henry Clay and the proposed tariff;  later, he, too, changed his mind, and became a leading advocate of bank and tariff.
]

American Manufactures.

Of late years American Manufacturers have had fearful odds to contend with;-- nothing less than all the State Governments, (the few excepted that have not run in debt abroad,) and all the Banks in the country.

They have had the State Governments to contend with, because the proceeds of the greater part of the loans that have been negotiated in Europe have been brought to the United States, in the form of manufactured articles.  British and American manufacturers have not been suffered to enter into fair and free competition in our home market.  The State Governments have interfered in favor of the former, and by mortgaging all the land and all the productive powers of the people, to pay for imported goods, have given the British manufacturer great advantages over the American.

But our manufacturers have had still more fearful enemies in the Banks.  By their excessive issues, these institutions have made the country a good one for foreigners to sell in and a poor one for them to buy in.  They have thus increased importation and diminished exportation.  They have done more than this.  By their "expansions" they have increased prices when the manufacturer was under the necessity of buying, and by their "contractions" they have diminished prices when he was under the necessity of selling.  They have, also, by conferring credit on men who never were justly entitled to credit, induced our manufacturers to trust them to large amounts.  Full nine-tenths of the losses our manufacturers have sustained, through bad debts, are to be attributed to the Banks.

Under such circumstances, we cannot wonder that manufacturing industry is depressed.  Neither can we wonder that manufacturers are crying out for "additional protection."  This is only a repetition of what occurred in the former bank revulsion.

Adequate protection cannot, however, be obtained by means of a tariff, owing to the following reasons.

1st.  A protective tariff, in order to be effective, must be permanent, or must at least endure for a number of years without change.  The corn growers in England have such a tariff, because political power is in their hands.  But political power in this country is not in the hands of the manufacturers;  and if a protective tariff should be established, but a few years would elapse before it would, in all probability, be abolished.

2nd.  Our extensive coast, and our extensive inland frontier, afford such facilities for smuggling, that if the duties on most articles should be raised to what is regarded as the protective point, contraband trade would, to a great extent, take the place of legitimate commerce.  We cannot do what the French do, that is, employ an army of one hundred thousand men to guard the revenue from smugglers.

3rd.  Just in proportion as the duties on imports are raised;  the ability of the banks to expand is increased.  The prices of foreign goods are enhanced accordingly: and the foreign manufacturer enters our market and sells his goods at as much profit as before.  The rise of prices produced by the inflation of the currency, more than covers the addition to the duties.

These three causes must ever prevent our having a tariff that will afford efficient protection, and not a few of the manufacturers in this vicinity are well convinced of this truth.  They have watched closely the operation of former tariffs.  And they have thereby found that though additional duties raised the price of what they had to sell, the inflation of currency which followed raised the price of every thing they had to buy, so that instead of being gainers they were losers by the change.

What then is to be done ?  Manufactures are a very important branch of industry, and we have every natural facility for carrying them on to great advantage.  But efficient protection cannot, as we have seen, be secured for them by means of a tariff.  How then is this desirable object to be attained ?

It can be attained in one way, and in one way only, and that is through a sound currency and sound credit system.  This is the only protection American manufactures want, and the only one that can possibly prove effective.

Here it is proper to observe, that we do not believe that the adoption of a sound currency system would sink the money rate of wages as low as many imagine.  Should it, however, have such an effect, the working man would not be injured thereby, because other things would fall in the same ratio.  When wages are at half a dollar a day and flour at five dollars a barrel, and other things in proportion, the working man is just as well off as when wages are at a dollar a day and flour at ten dollars a barrel.  The man who cannot see this, is not qualified to exercise the rights of an American citizen, and ought at once to migrate to some other country.

But, as already observed, we do not believe that the adoption of a sound currency system would sink the money rate of wages as some imagine.  A day's labor in America would then purchase more gold or silver than it would in most countries of Europe, for the same reason that it now purchases more wheat.  If a day's labor in the United States will produce a bushel of wheat or its equivalent, and if a day's labor in Poland will produce but one-tenth part of a bushel of wheat or its equivalent, it is plain that the money rate of wages will be ten times as high in the United States as in Poland.

The adoption of a sound currency system would benefit American manufactures, not so much by causing a fall of prices, as by giving steadiness to prices.  It has been found by experience in both Europe and America, that banking expansions and contractions, have the most sensible and most direct, if not the most ruinous effects on manufacturing operations.  So easy is production with modern machinery, that a very small rise of prices causes a great increase of fabrics.  But the manufacturer has hardly time to bring them to market, before there is a bank contraction.  Then there is a glut of commodities and a scarcity of money.

The God of Nature has caused the interests of the planter of the south, and of the manufacturer of the north, to harmonize exactly.  He has given to the one peculiar facilities for producing the raw material, and to the other peculiar facilities for converting it into manufactures.  Through our banking system, have these two parties been set at variance.  Let them cease their disputes about the tariff, and turn their arms on the common enemy, paper-money banking.  Without a system of sound currency and sound credit, it is impossible for either planter or manufacturer to enjoy permanent prosperity.


addendum in Issue 22:

American Manufactures.

The article we gave in our last number on this subject, induced a gentleman to bring to us a copy of a report made by a committee of the Legislature of Pennsylvania in 1837, some passages in which afford abundant evidence that so long as our paper money system continues, no tariff can afford efficient protection to American manufactures.

The committee of the Legislature, it is proper to observe, were appointed to inquire into the effects which the employment of children in factories has on their physical, intellectual, and moral condition;  and the effects which the paper money system has on this branch of industry, were incidentally brought out in the course of the examination.

We subjoin a part of the testimony of Mr. Hagner, a gentleman who was a warm advocate of the high tariff doctrines, till his attention was called to the currency question.  His opportunity for observations have been ample.  His father was engaged in one branch of the cotton manufacture as early as the year 1805, and he himself was at one time a manufacturer of woollens.  It will be seen from his testimony that while our banking system makes manufacturing a losing business to nearly all who are engaged in it, it produces additional evils by frequently setting the employers and the employed at variance.

Manayunk, May, 1837.
Testimony of Charles V. Hagner.

I have resided in this place (Manayunk) about seventeen years: have seen and closely observed its rise and progress.  The first manufactory was erected in the years 1819 and 1820, by the late Captain John Towers.  I built my establishment in the fall of 1820;  in the beginning of that year, this was comparatively a wilderness.  Since then it has grown to the extent you now see it. * * * There are seventeen mills here, of various kinds, including the one not yet started.

I have been in the habit, for years past, of freely associating with, and hearing the views and ideas of the employers and employed in these establishments;  have been a close observer of the frequent difficulties existing between them;  have seen and observed the causes and effects of the "strikes" and "turn outs" that have so frequently occurred in this village in the last fifteen years.  Sometimes I have considered the employers in the wrong;  at others, the employed;  and firmly believe, that both are the victims of a power over which they have no control, and which, with but few exceptions, and those generally with the workmen, they do not seem to understand;  but which, I fully believe, so long as it exists, will produce the same effects --continual disturbances and difficulties between them: combinations of employers on the one side -- trades' unions on the other.

The power, or the cause I allude to, is the frequent expansions and contractions of the currency.  I do not pretend to point out a remedy, or to lay blame any where: I only speak of what I have seen and know to be its practical effects on the business and population of this place;  and presume it is the same in all other manufacturing districts, where the anomaly is so often witnessed, of large stocks of goods, prices high --and the reverse, small stocks and prices low.

The welfare and prosperity of manufactories, and all engaged in them, seem to me, more than anything else, to require a stable and settled currency;  without it they will never get along for any length of time with peace and quietness;  so fully am I aware of this, and of the difficulties of managing them, that I have often said, and now solemnly repeat, that if the largest cotton establishment in this village were offered to me as a gift, on the sole condition that I should carry it on for twenty years, I would not, under present circumstances, accept it;  experience has abundantly proved that high tariffs, under the present monetary system, are of little, if any benefit to them.  I have seen them sickly and profitless with the highest tariff;  and healthy and profitable under the lowest reductions.  The best tariff, and in fact the only way in which our manufacturers can hope to prosper for any length of time, must be through some wholesome legislation on the subject of currency;  without this, experience will prove, that they will be continually subject to difficulties and perplexities, and in the end, unable to compete with the foreign manufacturer, especially on the continent of Europe, where they have been for some time past increasing and extending their establishments, and introducing all the modern improvements in machinery from this country and England;  and I shall be much mistaken, if we do not find, before twenty years passes round, competitors infinitely more difficult to contend with than the English --cheap living, and as a consequence, cheap labor, will, in the end, be found the best and only tariff.

As an exemplification of some of these views, suppose the manufacturer to be doing a fair and prosperous business --his hands contented and satisfied;  experience proves, that this state of things will last but a short time.  An expansion of the currency takes place;  goods rise; provisions, and all the necessaries of life rise;  the workmen soon begin to feel the effect;  their situation is daily growing worse;  they find they cannot procure near so many comforts and necessaries for their weekly wages as they did before;  and although trade seems prosperous every where, they are the sufferers;  at last it arrives at that point at which they can stand it no longer;  then comes a "strike" for higher wages;  the mills all in confusion;  the whole village in a state of turmoil;  to the great injury of good order, morals, and the interests of all concerned;  the employer, (although I have known frequent exceptions,) generally resists;  the difficulty lasts some two or three weeks;  he finally gives way;  a compromise is made;  the whole tariff of wages is altered, and the hands return to their work.

A further expansion of the currency takes place, and the same things are repeated.  Next comes a contraction of the currency, and now the employer is the sufferer;  goods, and the necessaries of life fall;  he cannot afford to make his goods at the prices;  he loses, sometimes to a very considerable extent, and at last finds it absolutely necessary to reduce the wages of his hands;  he notifies them to that effect;  a "turn-out" of the hands, to resist the reduction ensues;  a repetition of the difficulties, turmoil and confusion;  this time the hands give way, and come into the measures of the employer.  A further contraction of the currency takes place, and this is also repeated, &c. &c.

This is a plain, unvarnished tale, and a fair and honest epitome of the history of the manufactures of this place, in connexion with this subject, from its commencement to the present day.  These continual difficulties between the employer and employed, destroy all good feeling and affection between them;  the employer, generally speaking, cares little for them or their welfare;  and they have little regard for him or his interests;  he contracts with them to do a certain amount of work;  they do it to the letter of the agreement --not one jot more.  On pay day, he pays them to the last cent, and here ends all communication between them.  Instead of the good feeling that ought to exist, the attention on the part of employer to the welfare and happiness of his people, and their attention and regard to his interests, the very reverse is too often the case, and I have known many instances where the bitterest animosity existed.

There are always to be found in the factories many worthy, remarkably intelligent and well-informed workmen, as the committee have no doubt discovered.  Men, from whom statesmen and philosophers could learn useful and practical lessons on these subjects;  they generally understand the exciting causes of the difficulties they often labor under, much better than their employers;  and in numerous instances, are possessed of far more good sense and intelligence;  but, unfortunately, they are in humble life, and have no power to correct the evils they see and feel.  These men are not generally known, understood or appreciated.  If some of them had been consulted, and their views listened to, on the various subjects connected with manufactures, the tariff, their own interests, &c., instead of the fanciful, theoretical manufacturer's, whose whole knowledge of the subject was derived from deceptious statistical tables, pamphlets, and statements collected from persons having other views and interests than the ostensible one of protecting the manufacturer, much valuable information could have been procured.  They could have told, long since, that the "tariff" --the mere discussion of which, had nearly thrown the whole country into confusion-- so far as it concerned their interests, was all a farce;  and that the only manufactories protected or benefited by it, are the manufactories of bank notes.

To the testimony of Mr. Hagner we will add our own.  Some near relations of ours were among the first in Pennsylvania to manufacture woollen goods with modern machinery.  We watched their operations closely, from the time we were old enough to watch them.  They were ruined by fluctuations in the currency.  At the time they were broken up, we extended our inquiries to other establishments, and we could hear of but one person in the State engaged in the woollen manufacture that had not lost by the business.  That one confined himself to the fabrication of coarse goods, and appeared to have had a very profitable contract with the United States Government.




Pennsylvania.

Our legislature has adjourned to meet again in June.

By a very decided vote, it resolved to suspend all work on the public rail roads and canals, except such only as may be necessary to keep them in repair.  This, however, is matter not of choice, but of necessity.

No act was passed to levy additional taxes: but this is of little practical importance.  In the present state of the currency and the present state of public feeling, it would be impossible to raise by taxation a revenue sufficient to sustain the credit of the State.

The domestic creditors of the State, that is to say, the contractors on the rail roads and canals, find themselves under the necessity of taking their pay in six per cent. stocks, now about 60 per cent. below par, or else deferring their claims to a more convenient opportunity.

We are glad that the Legislature has adjourned, and regret that it has an excuse for meeting again in June.  In times of trouble, special legislation generally increases the evils the people are compelled to suffer.


Philadelphia.

The general cry here is "that times are worse than they ever were before."  To us, however, they do not appear to be as bad as they were in the revulsion or 1818-19.  The torpor in business is not so general now as it was then, and but comparatively few sacrifices have as yet been made of real estate.

Yet the times are bad enough.  In a conversation we had with one of our most intelligent mechanics on one day last week, he told us his own belief was that not more than one-half of the working men have regular employment, and that one-half of those who are employed are paid in such a way as to make their real wages much less than their nominal.  Instead of being paid in money, they are paid in "orders" on stores;  and as a necessary consequence are frequently compelled to sell these orders at a discount, or else buy articles they do not want.  This method of paying wages was thought in England to bear so hard on the operative, that the British Parliament many years ago passed an act for the express purpose of suppressing "the tommy stores," as they were called.  We are far from advising an adoption of this policy here.  It is better for the workingmen to take their pay in orders than to be without employment.  Yet those who live on wages can never be considered as well off, except when they are paid in money, and thus enabled to buy just what they want, and at the store where they think they can get it cheapest.

A merchant told us not long since, that he regarded the condition of his own class as far more pitiable than that of the working men.  If a merchant, he observed, in times like these, loses his capital, it will be very difficult for him ever to recover it.  But the working man's capital is in his faculties.  He may suffer severely for a time, yet it may be hoped his sufferings will be but temporary.  There is some force in this observation. --Yet it must be recollected that the destruction of the various kinds of mercantile and other capital that has taken place among us, has greatly diminished the fund out of which the wages of labor are to be paid.  Each class has the best means of judging of its own embarrassments.  The interests of all the honest and industrious classes of society are so intertwined that one cannot suffer without the others suffering also.

A part of the present distress, especially among persons doing business to a moderate extent, is to be attributed to the breaking of six of our banks;  and more particularly the Penn Township, the Manufacturers & Mechanics, the Mechanics, and the Moyamensing.  As these were banks of relatively small capital, they did not disdain to trade with small people.  Many of the storekeepers and mechanics had, in consequence, their deposits in them.  The notes of these banks are now at 28 to 40 per cent. discount: and this measures the extent in which the ability of many master mechanics to pay wages, has been diminished.

All this loss we believe might have been avoided if a different method of producing a resumption of specie payments had been adopted.  Gradually winding up banks is one thing: suddenly breaking them up is another.


Northampton Bank.

In our last, we included the Northampton Bank of Allentown, Pennsylvania, in the list of the broken.  Its notes were then at about 40 per cent. discount, in Philadelphia, and they are now at a discount of 80 per cent., yet the friends of the Northampton Bank maintain that "it is a sounder institution" than most of the banks of this city.

"Its notes," says a gentleman residing in the vicinity of Allentown, "pass in every direction except towards the city of Philadelphia.  There have been changed at my office, in the course of four days, upwards of eighty thousand dollars for real estate sold, and out of said sum about fifty thousand dollars were in Northampton money.  No man makes any objection to it except our storekeepers, who say they cannot pass it in your city."

This letter is a curious illustration of the state of things prevailing at present in Pennsylvania.  Every county has its own currency.  Allentown is only fifty miles distant from Philadelphia, yet paper which is regarded as a sound circulating medium in Lehigh county, or "Northampton, money," as it is called by the letter writer, is at a discount of thirty or forty per cent. in Philadelphia.

Whatever discredit a bank may be in abroad, it cannot be regarded as broken, so long as its issues regulate prices and are freely received in payment in its own neighborhood.  We therefore take the name of the Northampton Bank out of the list of broken institutions.


Bank of the United States.

The trustees of this bank have been cited to show cause why they should not give security for the faithful discharge of their trust.  This citation has been issued at the instance of Mr. Schwab of New-York, a gentleman who is said to be the holder of 40,000 shares, for most of which he paid more than forty dollars a share.  Mr. S., who is of European birth, states that he was induced to make this purchase through the representations of the condition of the bank which were set forth by Mr. Bayard of the U.S. Senate, and other members of an examining committee of stockholders.

The assets of the bank in New-York have been disposed of in a way that gives great dissatisfaction.  The sale was held by the sheriff in a small room.  Some five or six persons only were present, and bundles of bills receivable, of the nominal amount of fifty, sixty, and seventy thousand dollars, were knocked off for a few hundreds, "equal perhaps to one cent in the dollar."  We do not wonder at Mr. Schwab's citing the trustees to give security for the faithful performance of their trust. P.S.-- The Court has refused his request.


"The Lumber Business."

Mr. George Handy, one of the leading merchants of this city, and a former Director of the Bank of the United States, was summoned to Harrisburg on the 28th of March to testify to the House, whether any corrupt means had in 1840 been employed by the Banks or their agents, directly or indirectly, for the purpose of influencing the Legislature, or any other department of Government.

Mr. Handy at first refused to testify, and was in consequence kept in custody in one of the rooms of the Capitol.  On the 2d of April, however, he became sufficiently communicative, and, after answering a few questions put to him by the committee of investigation, he introduced a number of letters, the reading of which employed three hours, and developed many curious particulars.-- In these letters, which were received by Mr. Handy in Philadelphia from certain persons who appear to have acted as bank agents at Harrisburg, reference is made to the "going away" of certain "joist," and the purchase of "fresh lots of lumber."  Frequent remarks are made in them about "the high price of lumber," and frequent calls are made on Mr Handy for "documents" and "arguments."  A whole piece of plank cost, it appears, $120,000;  a small piece of a foot or so, not more than $10,000.

On the 4th of April Mr. Handy gave further testimony;  and then Governor Porter interfered in such a way as has given rise to much speculation.  On that day he sent a message to the Legislature informing them that he had directed "criminal proceedings to be instituted against George Handy and those implicated with him."  As Mr. Handy had turned State's evidence under an explicit pledge that he should not be prosecuted, this movement of the Governor, in this stage of the proceedings, is thought a very strange one indeed.

By order of the Attorney General, Mr. Handy has since been arrested, and so also has Mr. Daniel M. Broadhead, one of the "lumber merchants" with whom he was in correspondence.  Each is held to bail in the sum of five thousand dollars for a hearing on the 28th of April, to answer a charge of conspiring with others to induce corrupt Legislation.


Bank Failures.

The old bank of Columbus (Georgia) suspended payments on the 1st of April, and the Enquirer says it will never resume again.

Our brokers here reject the notes of the New Hope and Delaware Bridge Company.  It has always been a ricketty concern: but, perhaps.  "New Hope money" may be as good in some parts of Bucks County, as "Northampton money" is in Lehigh.


Bank Defaults.

The New Orleans Gas Light and Banking Company offer a reward of 1000 dollars for the apprehension of James B. Marks, late cashier of the branch of that institution at Napoleonville.  He is said to be a defaulter;  but to what amount is not stated.

Mr. Edward Brennan, the late cashier of the Exchange Bank at New Orleans, is said to have gone off in company with Mr. Edward Yorke, its late President.


Acknowledgments.

Our thanks are due to gentlemen at St. Louis, Missouri;  Toledo, Ohio;  Detroit, Michigan;  and other places, for additions to our list of subscribers.

To the Hon. Messrs. Benton, Buchanan and Woodbury, of the U.S. Senate, C.F. Brown, of the U.S. House of Representatives, and H.L. Ellsworth, of the Patent Office, we are indebted for public documents and other papers.

In one of our former numbers, we, through an error of the press, expressed our acknowledgments to the Secretary of State of Michigan.  To prevent mistake on this subject, it is proper to state that we are indebted for all our subscribers in Michigan, and for part of those in North Ohio, to our old friend Samuel Yorke At Lee Esq., the Secretary of the Senate of Michigan.  Mr. At Lee has forwarded to us more subscriptions than any other gentleman, excepting one in South Carolina, one in Mississippi, and one in Louisiana.