The Journal of Banking
by William M. Gouge,
Banking in New England.
A New England gentleman once remarked to us that the History of Banking could have been written nowhere else than in Philadelphia. No other city, certainly, could have afforded such facilities for writing it; for here the system began, and some important facts connected with its commencement lived only in the memories of the aged till we committed them to paper. Other facts were recorded in pamphlets, of which but few copies are extant, and these, perhaps, to be found no where but in the public libraries of Philadelphia.
Our friends, the venerable and lately departed John Vaughn, the Librarian of the American Philosophical Society, George Campbell and John J. Smith, Librarians of the Philadelphia Library Company, and Wm. McIlhenny, Librarian of the Athenæum, afforded us every facility in making our researches. But in their extensive and valuable collections, which amounted then to upwards of 50,000, and now exceed 70,000 volumes, we searched, but searched in vain, for details of the early history of banking in New England.
To the politeness of Mr. Nathan Appleton, of Boston, we are indebted for a pamphlet published by him anonymously some years since, which enables us in part to supply this deficiency.
We commence our extracts with a paragraph which Mr. Appleton has embodied in one of his subsequent publications; and which has already been inserted in this Journal. But the reader will be pleased to see it again, in connection with facts which strikingly illustrate the importance of keeping bank notes at par in the centre of the commercial district in which they are intended to to be current.
"The place where a bank note is payable is of the utmost importance, in order to secure its general currency at par. That place must be the commercial centre of the district through which it is to circulate. The constant demand for remittances to this central point, will give to bank notes payable there, a constant equality with, or preference over specie, through all the district of country drawing their supplies from that centre. Thus a bank note, payable in Boston, will have a natural circulation through all that part of New England trading to Boston, or drawing its supplies from thence; but the moment the line is passed into the district, drawing its supplies from New York, bank notes payable in that city can alone supply a pure circulation, and so of the other great cities. The depreciated paper currencies which have, at different times, inundated so many parts of the United States, have generally been owing to a departure from correct principles in this particular; to the forcing into circulation the bills of banks situated in places more or less remote from the commercial centres, toward which all circulation tends.
"A hasty sketch of the course of banking in Massachusetts, will fully illustrate this truth, as respects ourselves, and ought to furnish us a lesson of some use for the future.
"The Massachusetts Bank was established in Boston in 1784, being the second bank established in the United States; the Union Bank in Boston, in 1792; banks in Salem and Newburyport, soon after; and by the year 1803, no fewer than twelve country banks had been established in Massachusetts, extending from the Kennebec east, to Northampton in the interior. Numerous banks were also incorporated about this time in the adjoining States.
"While the only bank notes in circulation were payable in Boston, they were preferred to specie both in town and country; but from the moment the notes issued by the banks of places at even small distances made their appearance, the question arose, whether they should be received at the Boston banks; the practice was fluctuating, sometimes at par, sometimes at a small discount. The country banks considered it a great hardship, that the Boston banks should send home their bills and demand specie for them, instead of putting them in circulation again. Public opinion took the side of the country banks; and the Boston banks, very unadvisedly, gave up receiving the bills of out of town banks altogether. The consequence was, that the bills of country banks obtained the entire circulation even within the town or Boston. The Boston banks had given them credit and currency, their solvency was not doubted, and for all common purposes they became equally current with the bills of the Boston banks, which were only necessary for the purpose of making payments at those banks. A double currency was thus introduced, the one called 'foreign money,' or 'current money,' --the other 'Boston money;' the difference being, for several years, about one per cent. It was deemed a sort of heresy to call this difference a discount on country bills; it was a premium on Boston money --a scarce commodity, only wanted for particular purposes; precisely as the difference in England, between Bank of England notes and guineas, at the period of the greatest depreciation, was held to be a premium on gold.
"This state of things introduced a new branch of business and a new set of men, that of money brokers, whose business it was to exchange these currencies, one for the other, reserving to themselves a commission of about ¼ of one per cent.; or, in the language of the day, giving a premium of ¾ per cent. for Boston money, and selling it at a premium of one per cent. While the quantity of foreign money continued moderate, it was thus kept afloat by the demand for circulation; as persons wanting money to send into the country, or for other purposes, where foreign money would be received, would buy and employ this cheaper currency, rather than use the more valuable bills of the Boston banks. But the business of issuing these notes being a profitable one, the supply, ere long, exceeded the demand; and, as the channels of circulation overflowed, the brokers began to send the bills home for payment.
"The state of the currency became the subject of general complaint, the brokers were denounced, as the authors of the mischief, as the cause of scarcity of money, and the country banks made no scruple of throwing every obstacle in the way of their operations. It is a well known principle, that where a currency is tolerated, composed of materials depreciated in different degrees, the inferior, or most depreciated currency, will eventually expel, not only the pure, but also the less depreciated parts of the currency, and this equally whether it consists of paper or metal; the mass of the community being wholly insensible to the process of depreciation going on, in conformity with this principle, the nearest banks were naturally called on first, and it was soon discovered that a bank could be made profitable, in proportion to its distance from Boston, and the difficulty of access to it. The establishment of distant banks became a matter of speculation, the favorite locations being the remote parts of Maine and New Hampshire.
"In order to equalize and extend the circulation or foreign bank notes, an institution was incorporated in 1804, called the Boston Exchange Office, with a capital consisting wholly of such notes, in which currency it received deposits, collected notes, and made discounts. The experiment, however, was not very successful; the brokers continued to send home the bills of the nearer banks, until they disappeared, and the discount on foreign money continued to increase, as the bills of the more distant banks predominated.
"In the mean time, an individual* perceiving how convenient an engine the Exchange Office might be made, for the purpose of circulating the notes of particular banks, undertook one of the most extraordinary speculations ever attempted in any country --no less than the control and monopoly of the circulating medium of New England. He bought up, at a great premium, nearly the whole stock of the Exchange Office, of several distant banks, as the Berkshire and Penobecot, and of several in Rhode Island, amongst others the celebrated Farmers' Exchange. In several of them he, apparently, obtained the entire control of their issues. The funds so obtained, were invested in the purchase of real estate, and the erection thereon of the enormous pile, since destroyed by fire, known by the name of the Boston Exchange Coffee House.* The individual here alluded to is Andrew Dexter. He, was the great man of the Farmers' Exchange Bank.
"Had the money, thus placed within his control, been employed judiciously, it is difficult to say what might have been the result. But under the enormous investment, in property wholly inconvertible, he became pressed for means, and was forced to push his bank notes into circulation on any terms. In this state of things the discount on country bank notes rapidly increased --and the obstacles to making payment were multiplied in equal degree. Many ingenious methods of counting money were invented in order to create delay; and the custom was introduced of giving drafts on an agent in Boston, at 10, 20 and 30 days, which were extended, by degrees, to 60 and even 90; and in consequence of the drafts being, in some cases, dishonored, the parties were permitted to retain the bills, as security, when they required it. The discount on foreign money increased to 4 and even 5 per cent.
"By this time the merchants and dealers, engaged in country trade, on whom the burthen of this depreciated currency fell most severely, thought it time to interfere. In the autumn of 1808, they raised a fund for the purpose of sending home the bills received in the way of business, for payment, with the determination of enforcing it, by bringing numerous suite in case of refusal. This soon brought the currency to a crisis. The Farmers' Exchange Bank suddenly failed, under most alarming circumstances; the shock upon the public was tremendous. The Berkshire Bank soon followed. The discovery that banks could fail, affected the credit of all, and in the course of the year 1809, the greater part of the country banks in Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire, having any considerable amount of bills in circulation, stopped payment. Some of them recovered, but a great number proved irredeemably insolvent. It would probably be a moderate estimate, to put the losses by the bank failures of that period at a million of dollars.
"No change of system followed, with the exception that a law of the State, taking effect in 1810, imposed a penalty of two per cent. a month on every bank refusing, or delaying payment of their bills when demanded, which has had the effect of securing punctual payment, except in cases of acknowledged bankruptcy.
"For some years after the explosion of 1809, the amount of bills of distant banks in circulation was moderate; and in 1814, the New England Bank adopted the measure of receiving the bills of all the banks in New England, at a discount varying according to distance, but in no case exceeding one percent.; and on condition of a sufficient permanent deposit being kept good, they were returned to the banks issuing them, at the same rate of discount; the bills of banks not keeping such deposit, were sent home for payment. This arrangement was the source of considerable profit to the New England Bank, which induced other banks to become competitors for the deposits of the country banks, and for a few years the discount was fluctuating from ¾ to ¼ per cent. In 1824, the present system was adopted, by which the bills of all the banks in New England are received in Boston at par. The system is this: certain banks in Boston have contributed a sum agreed on, to a common fund; and, in consideration of the use of that fund, one of them, the Suffolk, undertakes to receive all New England bills from the associated banks as cash, and collect them from the country banks. The mode of doing it is as follows: the country banks are invited to keep a fund in deposit at the 8uffolk Bank, for the redemption of their bills, and by doing so, it becomes a very simple operation to both parties. If they decline, the bills are sent home for payment, in which case nothing is received but specie. The trouble and inconvenience attending this mode of payment, soon induces the country bank to yield to its true interest, and keep up the deposit; since, thereby, it can keep in circulation a larger amount of bills than it would otherwise be safe to attempt.
"Under this system, all New England bank notes are virtually redeemable in specie, at par, at the counters of the associated banks in Boston, and this equally, whether the banks issuing the notes agree to it or not. It was, in fact, the subject of great complaint with many country banks, that their bills should thus be raised in value to an equality with specie against their own consent. But the public being benefitted by the change, they have been obliged to submit in silence."
These principles of action ought to be adopted throughout the country. All the banks of West Jersey, of Delaware, and of that part of Pennsylvania that trades with Philadelphia, ought, for example, to keep their notes at par in this city. The banks of another portion of Pennsylvania ought to keep their notes at par in Baltimore; and the banks of West Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and part of Ohio, should keep their notes at par at Pittsburg. In the Middle, Southern, and Western States, we suffer inconveniences from our paper currencies which are unknown in other parts of the world. Whether the banks of Old England and New England contract or expand, and whether they suspend or sustain specie payments, the currency they issue has a uniformity of market value. Brokers' shops, for exchanging one kind of paper money for another, are almost unknown in those regions. But in the Middle, Southern, and Western States we have currencies of nearly as many varieties of value as places of issue: and the sum paid annually in discounts on bank notes, would almost cover the expenses of the Florida war. This is an evil which ought to be put an end to, not by "Act of Assembly," but by the force of public opinion, if not by the spontaneous action of the banks.
The Bank of Killarney.From "The Clubs of London."
"To speak of the banking system in Ireland during the late war, and, indeed, at the present day," said an Irish gentlemen, one evening, at Brooke's, "is as bad as talking of a fire to a man who has been burned out, and lost all his property in the flames. To such an extent was this species of robbery carried, at one time, that provincial or country notes were issued for sums so low as three pence; whilst those for six shillings were actually accounted high."
Another gentleman having, expressed amazement at this state of things, the first speaker gave the following instance of the truth of his assertion:
"In the town of Killarney," said he, "was one of these banks, the proprietor of which was a kind of saddler, whose whole stock in that trade was not worth forty shillings; but which forty shillings, if even as much, was the entire amount of his capital in the banking concern.
"I once accompanied a large party of English ladies and gentlemen to that enchanting spot; where, having amused ourselves for a few days, we were on the point of returning to Dublin, when one of the party recollected that he had in his possession a handful of the saddler's paper. Accordingly we all set out, by way of sport, to have them exchanged, our principal object being to see and converse with the proprietor of such a bank.
"Having entered the shop, which barely sufficed to admit the whole company, we found the banking saddler hard at work making a saddle. One of the gentlemen thus addressed him:--
" 'Good morning to you, sir; I presume you are the gentleman of the house.'
" 'At your service, ladies and gentlemen,' returned the saddler.
" 'It is here, I understand, the bank is kept ?' continued my friend.
" 'You are just right, sir,' replied the mechanic; 'this is the Killarney Bank, for want of a better.'
"My friend then said:-- 'We are on the eve of quitting your town; and as we have some few of your notes, which will be of no manner of use to us elsewhere, I'll thank you for cash for them.'
"The banker replied, 'Cash ? plase your honor, what is that? is it any thing in the leather line ? I have a beautiful saddle here as ever was put across a horse; good and cheap upon my say so. How much of my notes have you, sir, if you plase ?'
"This question required some time for an answer, calculation being necessary; at length my friend counted them out as follows:L. s. d.
Three notes for 3d. each, ...... 0 0 9
Two do. for 4d. each, ..... 0 0 8
Two do, for 6 1-2d. each, ..... 0 1 1
Three do. for 8 1-2d. each, three-fourth of a thirteen, ...... 0 2 1½
Two do. for 9d. each, ..... 0 1 6
One do. for 1s. 1d. or one thirteen, ..... 0 1 1
One do. for 1s. 6d., ..... 0 1 6
One do. for 3s. 3d. or three thirteens, ..... 0 3 3
One do. for three and nine pence half penny, or three thirteen and a half, ..... 0 3 9¼
" 'There, sir,' said he, 'are no less than sixteen of your promises to pay, for the amazingly large sum of fifteen shillings and nine pence, sterling money.'
" 'By the powers, it's yer honor may say that thing; for, if sterling manes true to the back bone, it's the Killarney notes will keep out for the year round, without no changing at all at all.'
" 'No doubt, no doubt,' said our spokesman; 'but we are upon the eve of departure, and shall require change on our journey.'
" 'Ye will require the same thing, sure enough; but I vow to my God, I've no more silver money in the place, nor these four tinpinnies, and a few harpors, as isn't worth yer lordship's notice.'
" 'Good Heaven, sir,' returned the gentleman, 'how is it possible that you carry on the banking business on so slender a capital ?'
" 'O', by the hokey ! aisy enough, my dear,' replied the banker; 'the craturs are delighted to have my beautiful notes; for there is very little other money stirring in these parts, and they buy their potatis and butter milk with them; and so the notes pass on from one to the other very comfortably.'
" 'But you are continually liable to have them sent in upon you for their value,' observed one of the company.
" 'That's true enough yer worship! whenever any of the farmers wants a horse collar, or a saddle, or other harness, they brings me a handful of the paper, and it's myself niver refused to give them a good article in exchange.'
" ' Do you mean to say, then,' continued the gentlemen, 'that your notes are never required to be cashed ?'
" 'Cashed!' echoed the banker, 'it is changed ye mane ?'
" 'Certainly,' replied the querist.
" 'It's that same is a great expense to me ! The craturs bring me back the notes when they get ould and ragged; and it's myself niver yet refused to change them for beautiful new ones, fresh from Dublin city; and I puts my name to them to make them go the faster.'
"Here the whole party, finding it impossible to restrain their mirth, set up a loud shout of laughter: upon which the banker thus continued--
" 'Upon my say so, I'm right glad to find so worshipful a company enjoy their merriment; but it's myself knows well the power o' money it costs to get them engraved so beautiful, and to get them printed on such nice thick paper, aye, five hundred at a time.'
" 'Don't you mean to say, then,' said the first gentleman, 'that the holders of your notes never demand the lawful money of the country in exchange for them ?'
" 'Sure, yer lordship, isn't the notes themselves lawful money enough, any how ? But it's silver ye mane!'
" 'Certainly,' returned the querist.
" 'Oh, by the powers !' replied the banker, 'the people hereabouts wouldn't insult me by axing the question; if they did, may be the bank would stop payment, and then there would be no money at all at all. No, they would be sorry to do any such thing; they give the notes to one another, when they're tired of keeping them, or when they want to buy any thing. I get more boddher, axing yer honor's pardon, in changing the notes for the gentry as comes to see the Lakes, than from all the rest o' my paper put together. The big divil fly away with the Lakes of Killarney, say I.'
" 'Then I presume, sir,' said the gentleman, holding out the notes, 'we have no occasion to waste more time in endeavoring to obtain payment for this parcel of paper of yours.'
" 'I should be sorry, most noble sir,' returned the banker, 'to waste any more of your lordship's time, or of those sweet beautiful ladies and gentlemen, but I have an illigant bridle here, as is'nt to be matched in Yoorup, Aishy, Afrikey, or Merica. Its lowest price is 15s. 6 1-2d --we'll say 15s. 6d, to yer lordship. If ye'll be plased to accept of it, there will be two pence half-penny, or a three penny note coming to yer lordship, and that wiill close the business at once.'
"'Really, sir,' aid the gentleman, laughing, 'I have no occasion for the bridle: it would only be an incumbrance to me.'
"'May I have the boldness, then, to ask when yer lordship will lave town ?' inquired the banker.
"'Our carriages are at the door of the Inn,' rejoined the gentleman, 'and we only wait for the adjustment of this affair with your bank.'
"'How unfortunate!' exclaimed the banker, scratching his head; but as neither saddle nor bridle lie in yer lordship's way, if ye could but just delay yer journey until the Cork mail comes in, I expect by the coach a thirty shilling Bank of Irelander, and then we'll settle the business in a jiffey, though upon my deed and deed, and double deed! you have no occasion to be in the least dread or unaisiness about the notes; because d'ye see as how, there is not a banker from this to Dublin, ay, or to Galway, that would not be proud to take Jack Ryan's paper.'
"'That is not so very certain, my good fellow,' returned the gentleman; 'the people on the road know us to be strangers, and they will require payment in the legal coin of the realm.'
"'Pray, sir,' said the banker, eagerly, 'does yer honor mane to take the road to Millstreet ? because, as how, you must go that way any how, there being no other. Oh! then, it is there Mr. Cutter will be glad to see so fine a company at his hotel; and joyful will he be to entertain with the best, both for man and horse, for the notes of the Killarney Bank.'
"It being in vain to think of any exchange of this non-circulating medium, the English gentlemen not attaching the same importance to it as the banker, the party wished him a good morning and took their leave, laughing heartily at the adventure.
"It is an ill wind, however, which blows nobody good; when the party arrived at the Inn door, they found the carriages surrounded by nearly 200 unfortunate mendicants, amongst whom the gentlemen let fly their notes, in order to have a passage cleared, and took their departure whilst the miserable creatures were scrambling for the alms."
[Laugh, if you choose, in reading this story, but while you laugh, recollect that our American banks, even the best of them, conduct their business on the same principles as the Banker of Killarney. They all pay their old notes by giving new ones in exchange for them; and if the people should "insult" the New York and New England banks by demanding gold and silver in payment for but one half the paper they have in circulation, they would all "stop payment."
In one respect the Killarney Bank must be regarded as resting on far more solid principles than most of our American Banks. Though its proprietor could not pay silver, he never, it seems, refused to give a saddle, a bridle, or some thing else possessing intrinsic value, in exchange for his notes. If our American banks were hard pushed, very many of them would be unable in any way to redeem their circulating paper.]
The Girard Bank.
At a special meeting of the stockholders of this bank, held on the 22nd of April, the committee of investigation appointed at a former meeting, made, through their chairman, Mr. Henry Horn, a long and interesting report.
In this report the committee state that, in 1834, or about two years after the bank came into existence, it succeeded in obtaining a large share of the public deposits: and that, in order that this share might be made still larger, the passage of an act of Assembly was procured in 1836, by which the capital of the bank was increased from one million and a half to five million dollars, and its charter extended to twenty years from that time. So delighted were the stockholders with this amendment of their charter, that they gave to Mr. Lewis, the cashier, two hundred shares of the stock of the bank, as "a compliment for his agency in procuring the passage of the act."
"Had the additional capital been paid in by the subscribers in good faith, instead of placing their promissory notes in the bank in lieu of the money, to be renewed indefinitely, in some cases without paying the interest, the increase of capital might have been at least harmless. But such appears to have been the avidity with which the directors sought to get rid of the stock, in order to obtain the largest amount of the public deposits, contingent on the full increase of the capital, that a variety of expedients were resorted to for the sake of obtaining the object in view: large masses of stock were, from time to time, transferred to friends and partisans which were subsequently transferred to the bank. Large loans were made to facilitate the stock operations, while the legitimate business paper of the community seemed to be a matter of but little consideration. The maximum of Government deposits having been obtained, a system of prodigality in loaning them out was commenced, which baffles the conception of sober and reflecting minds, and of which we have but few examples even in the annals of modern banking."
"By the system of modern refinement in finance which they (the managers) adopted, the capital of the bank was made to appear to be five millions of dollars, when in truth the amount actually paid in, never exceeded two-thirds of that sum. The device, however, so far as regarded the Treasury Department, was successful, and the books of the bank afford the most melancholy evidence that the funds of the Government, ranging at times as high as four million dollars, were loaned out in the reckless manner adverted to."
"So effectually were the means of the bank absorbed in large and unavailable loans, that, up to the time when the first incumbent retired from the Presidency, the bank with a discount line in various forms of some six or seven millions, scarcely possessed active business paper to the amount of two hundred thousand dollars."
The upshot of the matter is, that the notes discounted, stocks, and other investments of the Girard Bank amount nominally to $5,664,769: but are worth, according to appraisement, only $756,771.
Such is banking when carried on by irresponsible boards of directors, and having paper money for its foundation.
The Housatonic Rail Road Bank, at Bridgport, Connecticut, stopped payment, very unexpectedly, on the 17th of April. This is the second time this bank has stopped payment within a year.
The Bank of Hawkinsville, Georgia, has been forced into liquidation by a writ of scire facias. The New Hope Delaware Bridge Company has finally stopped payment. The Legislature of New Jersey will now, it is to be hoped, take from this company the power to manufacture paper money. An injunction has been served on the New York Banking Company, and a receiver appointed.
The cashier of the Pascoag (R.I.) Bank, one day, not long since, left the banking house to go to dinner, leaving on the table a number of papers, notes, &c., with bills of some other banks, to the amount of about 3000 dollars. While he was absent they took fire and were destroyed. The cashier, whose state of mind subsequent to this event, was such as to give much anxiety to his friends, has since mysteriously disappeared.
Benjamin Bently, late cashier of the German Bank of Wooster (Ohio) after having been arrested by the Sheriff for secreting the assets of the bank, was suffered to go at large again, on giving bail in the sum of 1000 dollars.
"Governor Roman," says the New Orleans Picayune, "has issued his proclamation offering a reward of five hundred dollars for the apprehension of 'one Edward Yorke,' accused of embezzling seventy thousand dollars, the funds of the Exchange Bank. Alas! but fortune is a capricious jade ! A few short weeks since, and this same 'one Edward Yorke' was one of the principal men who controlled the finances of the State, and guided the councils of the city. He is now advertised as a fugitive from justice; though whatever have been his delinquencies, they must have been perpetrated previous to, and not since, the time we speak of."
Mr. John Warren, A director of the Bank of Columbus, Georgia, states that it was the misconduct of the cashier, Mr. A.B. Davis, that caused the bank lately to stop payment. He took from it, without the knowledge or consent of the Board of Directors, the sum of about 200,000 dollars, and invested it in cotton. This amount has since been reduced to about $80,000, with which sum he is charged as "agent of the bank." Then, again, he took from the bank, without the consent of the Board, the sum of 76,000 dollars. His total indebtedness to the bank is about 140,000 dollars, "exclusive of his cotton speculation as agent aforesaid."
Mr. Blanchard, a teller in one of the Boston banks, who had been accused of illegally abstracting money therefrom, has been acquitted of the charge.
The aggregate circulation of all the banks in the State of New York, on the first of January last, was $15,032,638, being about three millions and a half, or 19 per cent. less than at the commencement of 1840.
Recent returns from several banks in the interior, exhibit a decrease of 25 to 50 per cent., since the beginning of the present year: and it is believed that the gross circulation of the banks is now reduced to about eleven millions.
Such is "convertible paper." Always varying in amount, and changing its value with every change in its volume.
Seventeen of the banks of this State, (believed to be all that are now actively engaged in business, except the Commercial Bank of Cincinnati,) had on the 4th of March an aggregate circulation of $888.257. The same banks had in January a circulation of $1,214,449. The reduction, in the short period of two months, is equal to about 25 per cent. The banks of Cincinnati issue but few notes or their own, and trade principally on the irredeemable paper of Kentucky and Indiana, thus completely frustrating the intentions of the Legislature. In the northern parts of the State, however, the act for the resumption of specie payments is said to have proved effective.
The United States Bank.
The Judges have not yet decided whether Messrs. Biddle, Cowperthwaite, and Andrews, shall be brought to trial for the offences with which they are charged. And, for various reasons, which we may mention hereafter, the general expectation here is, that there will be no trial. This we shall regret, as a judicial investigation of the case would probably throw considerable light on the philosophy of banking.
"The Lumber Business."
Judge Barton of the Court of General Sessions, has refused to discharge Mr. Handy. The counsel of this gentleman produced a certificate, signed by the members of the Legislative committee, stating that he had fully complied with the conditions of the resolution by which he had been induced to turn State's evidence: but this did not satisfy the Judge.
Governor Porter's interference in this business, was a most unfortunate movement. As all the Judges of the Court of General Sessions were appointed by him to office, and as the Attorney General is believed to be very closely connected with him, no investigations of the case that may be made before this tribunal, will be likely to satisfy the public mind.