Printer's No., 194.
40th Congress, 2d Session
H.R. 542.

In the House of Representatives
January 27, 1868.
Read twice, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, and ordered to be printed.


Mr. Cary, on leave introduced the following bill:

A BILL

To establish a uniform currency, provide for the management and liquidation of the national debt, and for other purposes.



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled: That the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, or such officer as may be authorized, be, and he is hereby, authorized and required to issue treasury certificates not bearing interest in denominations of one, two, three, five, ten, twenty, fifty, one hundred, five hundred, and one thousand dollars, which treasury certificates shall be receivable in payment of all debts and demands of every kind due or which may become due to the United States, and of all claims or demands against the United States of every kind whatsoever, (except that portion of the bonded debt created prior to the first, day of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and the interest and principal of the national debt which has been by law expressly made payable in coin,) and shall also be lawful money and a legal tender in the payment of all debts public and private within the United States, and shall be receivable for or convertible into the interest-bearing bonds of the United States, authorized to be issued by this act, when presented at the Treasury Department of the United States in sums of not less than one hundred dollars.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, or such other officer as may be authorized by law, be, and is hereby, required to issue bonds of the United States in denomination, of not loss than one hundred dollars not more than ten thousand dollars, bearing lawful interest, and payable or redeemable in treasury certificates, authorized to be issued and declared lawful money of the United States by this act, when presented to the Treasury Department of the United States at any time after three months from the date thereof: Provided, That bonds shall be dated on the first of January, April, July, and October.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the bonds hereby authorized, and all other interest-bearing obligations of the United States issued after the passage of this act, shall bear interest at the rate of three per centum per annum, payable semi-annually in the treasury certificates or lawful money authorized by this act, until otherwise provided by law: Provided, That Congress may change the rate of interest on the bond, hereby authorized, and on all other interest-bearing obligations of the United States issued after the passage of this act, when, in their judgment, the public interest would be promoted thereby; but no law making any alteralion in the rate of interest on the public debt shall take effect for six months after its passage.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury, or such other officer as may be authorized by law, be, and is hereby, required to pay all the outstanding bonds or other obligations of the United States created since the first of July, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, when the same shall become due and payable, or due and redeemable at the pleasure of the government, in the treasury certificates hereby authorized to be issued, or to give in exchange therefor the interest-bearing bonds authorized to be issued by this act, at the pleasure of the owner of any such bond or other obligation of the United States, except when it has been expressly provided by law that such bond or other obligation shall be paid in coin; and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized and directed front time to time, as the same may be required, to purchase with the treasury certificates, or interest-bearing bonds hereby authorized to be issued, by sealed bids or otherwise, as may be most advantageous to the public interest, the coin necessary to pay the interest and principal of the bonds and other obligations of the United States which have by law been expressly made payable in coin; and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby directed to give notice by publication in two newspapers published in Washington city to the holders of any such outstanding bonds or other obligations of the United States, to present the same at the Treasury Department for such payment or exchange within five months from the date of the publication of such notice, or at the time the same may thereafter become due and payable, or redeemable at the pleasure of the government, and the interest shall cease to accrue on all such bonds and other obligations of the United States not presented for such payment or exchange within the time before mentioned, or from the time any such bond or obligation shall thereafter become due and payable or redeemable at the pleasure of the government.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Treasury, or such other officer as may be authorized by law, be, and he is hereby, directed, to procure, by having the same manufactured to order, or otherwise, the paper and other material necessary for the printing of the treasury certificates and bonds hereby authorized to be issued, and to cause plates and dies to be engraved in the best manner to guard against counterfeiting and fraudulent alteration, and to have printed therefrom and numbered such quantity of said treasury certificates and bonds and of such denominations as may from time to time be required for the transaction of the business of the treasury of the United States; the said treasury certificates and interest-bearing bonds shall have such devices and statements, and shall be in such form, and have signatures written or engraved thereon, as the Secretary of the Treasmy may determine upon, and the expenses necessarily incurred in procuring said treasury certificates and bonds shall be included with and defrayed in the same manner as the ordinary expenditures of the government.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That in order to prevent and punish counterfeiting and fraudulent alterations of the treasury certificates and bonds authorized to be issued by this act all the provisions of the sixth and seventh sections of the act entitled "An act to authorize the issue of the United States notes, and for the redemption or funding thereof, and for funding the floating debt of the United States," approved February the twenty-fifth, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two, as far as applicable, apply to the treasury certificates and the interest-bearing bonds hereby authorized to be issued in like manner as if the said sixth and seventh sections were herein incorporated and hereby adopted as additional sections of this act; and the provisions and penalties of the said sixth and seventh sections shall extend and apply to all persons who shall imitate, counterfeit, make, or sell any paper such as that used, or provided to be used, for the treasury certificates, or bonds to be prepared in the treasury buildings, and to all officials of the treasury department engaged in engraving or preparing the treasury certificates and bonds hereby authorized to be issued, and to all official and unofficial persons in any manner employed under the provisions of this act.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That so much of the act entitled "An act to provide a national currency secured by a pledge of United Status stocks, and to provide for the circulation and redemption thereof," approved February twenty-fifth, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and so much of "An act to provide a national currency secured by a pledge of United States bonds, and to provide for the circulation and redemption thereof," approved June third, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-four, and also so much of all acts amendatory of either of the before mentioned acts as authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury, Comptroller of the Currency, or other officer or agent of the government to deliver circulating notes to any banking association, be, and the same are hereby, revoked and repealed.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury, and he is hereby directed, to notify within thirty days after the passage of this act, by publication or otherwise, all banking associations organized under the acts of which this act is amendatory, to return to the Treasury Department of the United States all circulating notes heretofore delivered to such associations, or any of them, upon pledge of United States stocks or bonds, within six months after the passage of this act; and when any such association shall return its circulating notes in sums of not less than one thousand dollars, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to deliver to such association a just proportion of the amount of the stocks or bonds deposited to secure the redemption of the circulating notes of such banking association: Provided, That in case any such banking association shall neglect or fail to return to the Treasury Department the whole or any part of the circulating notes delivered to such association within six months from the passage of this act then, and in every such case of neglect or failure, interest shall cease to accrue, on all stocks or bonds deposited by any such association to secure the redemption of the circulating notes delivered to such association: Provided also, That in case any such banking association shall neglect or fail to return to the Treasury Department the whole or any part of the circulating notes delivered to such association within two years from the passage of this act, then, and in every such case, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Treasury to declare the stocks or bonds remaining in the possession of the government deposited by such association forfeited to the government, and to redeem the outstanding notes of circulation of any such association in the treasury certificates authorized by this act.

Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That it shall be unlawful for any banking association organized under either of said acts of which this act is amendatory, after six months from the passage of this act, to pay out or put in circulation any circulating medium or currency which is not made a legal tender and declared lawful money of the United States by act of Congress; and in case any such banking association shall violate the provisions of this section, it shall be the duty or the Secretary of the Treasury to declare the stocks or bonds remaining in the possession of the government deposited by such association, forfeited to the United States, and to redeem the outstanding notes of circulation of such association.

Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That after ninety days from the passage of this act it shall not be lawful for the Secretary of the Treasury, or other disbursing officer or agent of the government to pay out the circulating notes of any banking association organized under the acts to which this is amendatory, or the United States legal-tender notes heretofore issued; but shall discharge or pay all the bonded and other indebtedness of the United States, of every kind and nature, incurred or contracted to be paid since the first day of July, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, or which may hereafter be incurred, in the treasury certificates authorized to be issued and declared to be lawful money by this act, or give in exchange for all such indebtedness the interest-bearing bonds authorized to be issued by this act, at the pleasure of the owner or holder of such indebtedness, (except where it has been by law expressly provided that payment shall be made in coin.)

Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Secretary, or such other officer or officers as may be authorized by law, to keep a correct record of all the treasury certificates and interest-bearing bonds, issued under or in pursuance of this act, describing the same by their numbers and denominations; also of all the bonds and other evidences of debt of the United States, and of the United States legal-tender notes redeemed, and the circulating notes of banking associations returned to the Treasury Department, describing the same in like manner, and publish monthly reports showing the amount of treasury certificates and interest-bearing bonds issued, and the amount of bonds and other evidences of debt and United States legal-tender notes redeemed, and of the circulating notes of banking associations returned to the Treasury Department; and shall cancel and destroy all such bonds and other evidences of debt, and United States legal-tender notes so redeemed, and circulating notes of banking associations so withdrawn from circulation, and shall make annual reports thereof to Congress, as now is, or hereafter may be, provided by law: Provided, That the treasury certificates and bonds authorized to be issued by this act shall not be so destroyed, except they shall be mutilated or rendered unfit for use.