« 上一頁繼續 »
From the state. From the county. Paid for schoolhouses. Number of scholars. 1836, $47,617 54 $80,000 00 $23,433 07 11,177 00 1837, 89,536 51 56,000 00 110,864 25 17,000 00 1838, 39,578 00 96,000 00 74,790 35 18,794 00 1839, 39,578 00 162,271 00 23,454 17 21,968 00 1840,
49,283 00 150,000 00 36,078 81 23,192 00 1841,
49,283 00 165,000 00 46,785 44 27,500 00 The whole number of children in the city and county of Philadelphia, according to the census of 1840, over five and under fifteen years of age, is
53,963 Number educated in the public schools in 1841,
27,500 Number not educated in 1841, in the public schools,
26,463 The number taught in private schools in the city and county of Philadelphia, is not known.
Secondary Schools and Colleges. The following sums have been paid at the state treasury to colleges, academies, and female seminaries. The number of scholars annually taught in them is annexed :
In 1838, amount paid, $7,990 00 Number of scholars, 4,479
5,711 It appears that 41,743 of the children in the accepting districts were not, during the year 1841, educated in the common schools of those districts. There were educated during the year, in the academies and female seminaries, 4,154 scholars. These principally reside in accepting districts. The number taught in private schools in these districts is not ascertained.
Hence it follows, that according to these estimates there were about 37,000 children, in 1841, in the accepting districts, who were not instructed either in the common schools, academies, or female seminaries.
From the progress already made in the business of education, as will hereafter appear, and the capacity of the system to the wants of the people, there is every reason to believe that in the course of a few years, every child in the accepting districts, which is the proper subject of com. mon-school instruction, will be taught in the public schools. This belief is strengthened by the fact that the number of scholars taught in 1841 was 29,561 greater than it was in 1830.
It would be interesting and instructive to trace the financial history of Pennsylvania from the adoption of the constitution of 1790, down to the present day, but, interwoven as the subject is with banking operations, with the politics of each successive epoch, and even with private speculations, it would be impossible to do justice to it within the restricted limits of this outline. A few prominent facts and dates will be stated, “without note or comment."
“The first bank established in the state, and indeed in the United States, was the Bank of North America, which was chartered by congress on the 31st day of December, 1781, with a capital not to exceed ten millions of dollars, and without any limits being assigned as to its duration. This charter was confirmed by the state of Pennsylvania, on the 1st day of April, 1782.
On the 25th day of February, 1791, the first bank of the United States was chartered by con. gress, with a capital of ten millions of dollars, and located at Philadelphia. Its charter expired without renewal on the 4th day of March, 1811.
On the 30th day of March, 1793, the Bank of Pennsylvania was incorporated for twenty years. The charter was renewed on the 14th of February, 1810, for twenty years longer, with an in. crease of capital which is now $2,500,000. This bank was authorized to have branches, of which it established four, viz., at Lancaster, Reading, Easton, and Pittsburg, the last of which has been discontinued.
On the 5th of March, 1804, the Philadelphia Bank was chartered, after having been some time in operation without a charter, to continue until 1st May, 1814, with a capital not to exceed two millions of dollars, of which 1,800,000 were raised. The charter was renewed from time to time. It was authorized, by an act of 3d March, 1809, to institute branches, of which it established four, viz., at Wilkesbarre, Washington, Columbia, and Harrisburg, the two last of which have been withdrawn.
On the 16th March, 1809, the Farmers' and Mechanics' Bank was incorporated, with a capital of $1,250,000, to continue until the 1st May, 1824.”
After the demise of the old Bank of the United States, in 1811, numer. ous state banks sprung up to supply the vacuum. During the war of 1812, the export of specie being checked, a considerable expansion took
place in their currency, which was followed, in August and September, 1814, by a suspension of specie payments by all the banks south of New England. This increased the expansion, and “ money became plenty" — such as it was.
“The notes of the city banks became depreciated 20 per cent., and those of the country banks from 25 to 50, and specie so entirely disappeared from circulation, that even the fractional parts of a dollar were substituted by small notes and tickets, issued by banks, corporations, and indi. viduals. Each city, town, and county, had its own local currency, bearing no equivalency with, or a fixed proportion to any other; the consequence of which was, that a new and extensive class of brokers sprang into existence. Counterfeiters also added to the mass of paper in circulation.
Congress chartered the second Bank of the United States, with a capital of thirty-five millions of dollars, on the 10th day of April, 1816, with corporate powers which expired on the 3d of March, 1836.
No sooner was this measure adopted, than the numerous city banks, alarmed for their safety, resolved upon a retrograde movement, and with the reduction of their loans, commenced a reac. tion, which was accompanied by great mercantile distress. The result of this procedure, however, was a gradual amelioration of the currency, insomuch that by the month of July of that year, the depreciation of the notes of the banks in Philadelphia was brought to 7 or 8 per cent., and by the month of December to considerably less.
The Bank of the United States, the subscriptions to which were opened on the first Monday of July, 1816, commenced its operations about the 1st of January, 1817."*
A rigorous commercial pressure ensued, commencing about the year 1818, and continuing for a number of years. During this pressure the legislature was beset with petitions and plans for relief, such as stay laws, valuation laws, projects for loan offices, and similar schemes, which were not adopted. An interval of calm ensued in financial affairs from 1823 to 1828.
With the opening of the coal mines, and the commencement of the great system of internal improvements, about the year 1828–29, a spirit of speculation sprung up among all classes of citizens, unparalleled in the history of the United States. The state found no difficulty in procuring loans, generally from capitalists in Great Britain, for the prosecution of her public works. Incorporated companies and banks followed the example of the state ; and individuals, who were not sufficiently known to procure loans abroad, found no difficulty in getting them at home. The banks expanded; the excitement continued to increase; as mines were discovered and opened, and public works laid out, towns were projected, town lots were multiplied, and passed almost like currency from hand to hand; extensive manufactories were established “to develop the resources of the state;" real estate, agricultural produce, and merchandise rose in price nearly double; the former indeed, in many cases, ten-fold ; in short, all the world was getting rich, and that without labor.
In 1836, the charter of the second Bank of the United States expired, but the United States Bank of Pennsylvania was chartered by the state legislature, with the same capital of $35,000,000, and, purchasing the assets and assuming the liabilities of the old bank, continued the business under the same roof. In 1837, a reaction commenced. All the banks, with very rare exceptions, suspended specie payments throughout the Union. A resumption was attempted in 1839, but was only persevered in by the banks of New England and New York. This new suspension, however, was not generally followed by contraction of the
* See Report to the State Senate, Jan. 29, 1820, "on the present distressed and embarrassed state of the commonwealth”—copied in Hazard's Register, Vol. IV. p. 136.
currency in Pennsylvania until early in 1841, when another attempt was made to resume, but it proved fatal to the United States Bank of Pennsylvania, and the Girard Bank, which were obliged to go into liquidation; while nearly all the banks of this state, and of all the states south and west of it continued their suspension.* To relieve the distressing pressure throughout the state consequent upon the downfall of the great banks, and the general reaction of all private speculations, and also to provide temporary means for meeting the demands upon the state treasury, the banks, still in a state of suspension, were permitted, by a law of 4th May, 1841, to issue small notes, of the denomination of $1, $2, and $3, which were loaned to the state, and were redeemable in state stock whenever $100 were presented in one parcel. The treasury of the state still being embarrassed, the state stocks became depreciated, (being at one time as low as $35 for $100,) and the small notes depending upon it, sympathized in the depreciation, but not to an equal extent. An attempt to coerce the banks to specie payments, in the spring of 1842, was unsuc
* Depreciation of Stocks.-A calculation showing the relative value of the stocks held in Pennsylvania now, and three years ago, would be an interesting document. The wisest and best of our citizens have been deceived. Nay, some of those who railed most, at what they de scribed as the ingenuity and falsehood of others, have also committed egregious errors.
To illustrate the matter, we invite attention to the following table. It will be seen that we have mentioned only a portion of the stocks that have been bought and sold in our market within the last few years. The picture it presents is frightful indeed. It will be seen that out of a capital of little more than sixty-two millions of dollars, there is an aggregate loss of nearly fifty-seven millions !-Bicknell'8 Reporter of 1841.
(To this table have been added, by the compiler, two columns, bringing the quotations down to June, 1843, from which the further aggregate loss may be easily estimated. An improvement will be noticed in the last column.]
35,000,000 100 123 10 39,550,000 2 51
350,000 35 48 30 180,000 20 26
990,000 5 7 250,000 50 60 45
75,000 50 57 250,000 50 75 40 175,000 36 45 500,000 50 75 40 350,000 19 21 5,000,000 50 53 28 2,500,000 2 51 500,000 50 531 30 235,000 37 42 401,30050 55 35 160,520 11 15 250,000/ 50 55 38 85,000 23 35 1,666,000) 50166 46 3,988,000 29 44 2,200,000 100 95 70 550,000 60 a 65 80 1,500,000 50 90 15 1,950,000 5 10 4,400,000 100 100 60 1,760,000 28 100
cessful, the state having made no adequate provision for the redemption of the small notes, (called Relief Notes.) A few city banks resumed; others failed; the country banks generally remained in a state of suspension, and the relief notes, at a discount of from 7 to 10 per cent., formed the only currency throughout the state. During this year the state made only a partial payment, in depreciated funds, of the semiannual interest on her stocks, and her credit, hitherto sustained with difficulty, sunk with that of other delinquent states. The legislative provisions of 1842 and 1843, especially the tax law of July, 1842, may in time replenish the exhausted treasury, and resuscitate the credit of the state. The following statement, compiled from Gov. Porter's message of 4th January, 1843, exhibits the amount of the public funded debt of the state, and the objects for which it has been contracted.
The whole amount of the present funded debt of the state, exclusive of the deposit of the surplus revenue, is $37,937,788 24. This debt is reimbursable as follows: Balance of loan per act of 14th April, 1838,
$15,000 00 In the year 1841,
56,022 60 1844,
62,500 00 1846,
4,194,242 08 1847,
72,335 06 1850,
1,000,000 00 1853,
2,000,000 00 1854,
3,000,000 00 1856,
2,783,161 88 1858,
7,070,661 44 1859,
1,250,000 00 1860,
2,648,680 00 1861,
120,000 00 1862,
2,265,400 00 1863,
200,000 00 1864,
2,515,000 00 1865,
2,756,610 00 1868,
2,524,000 00 1870,
1,957,362 15 At the expiration of certain bank charters,
575,737 50 Interest due 1st Aug. last, for which certificates have been issued, redeemable in Aug. 1843,
$37,937,788 24 This debt has been contracted for the following purposes, viz: For canals and railways,
$30,533,629 15 To pay interest on public debt,
4,410,135 03 For the use of the Treasury,
1,571,689 00 Turnpikes, state roads, &c.,
930,000 00 Union Canal,
200,000 00 Eastern Penitentiary,
120,000 00 Franklin Railroad,
100,000 00 Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal,
50,000 00 Insane Asylum,
$37,937,788 24 The value of our Public Improvements, estimated at cost, is,
$30,533,629 15 The State owns Bank Stock, which cost, at
2,108,700 00 Turnpike and Bridge Stock,
2,836,262 45 Canal and Navigation Stock,
842,778 66 Railroad Stock,
365,276 90 Money due on unpatented lands, estimated at
1,000,000 00 $37,686,647 16
To the funded debt, as stated above,
$37,937,788 Should be added the amount due domestic creditors, (contractors, &c.) a little over 1,000,000 Relief Notes, payable in State Stock,
2,113,650 And the interest on the State debts, payable in Feb. 1843,
874,278 Total debt in Feb. 1843, about
$41,925,716 The public improvements for which the principal amount of the state debt has been incurred, consist of 7931 miles of canals and railways completed, and 1404 miles of canals in progress of construction and nearly completed.
The finished works are the following :
591 The main line of canal and railway from Philadelphia to Pittsburg,
3951 Canal from Beaver, on the Ohio river, to the mouth of the French creek feeder, in the di. rection of Erie,
971 Canal from Franklin, on the Allegheny river, to Conneaut lake, Canal, Susquehanna and North Branch, from Duncan's Island to Lackawanna,
1111 Canal, West Branch, from Northumberland to Farrandsville,
73 Several side cuts and navigable feeders,
7 Total, canals and railways completed,
7931 Canals in progress, and nearly completed : North Branch extension, from Lackawanna to New York line,
90 Erie extension, from the mouth of the French creek Feeder to Erie harbor,
381 Wiconisco Canal, from Duncan's Island to Wiconisco creek,
121 Total canals in progress,
1401 The state has always met the payment of the interest upon the public debt with punctuality, until the semi-annual payment due on the 1st of August, 1842, when, for want of adequate pro. vision for that purpose, certificates of the amount due to each holder of the stock were issued, bearing an interest of six per cent., payable in one year.
On the 2d May, 1837, a convention, of which John Sergeant was elected president, assembled at Harrisburg for the purpose of revising the constitution of the commonwealth. Adjourning in July, the convention met again at Harrisburg in October, and removed in December to Philadelphia, where their labors were closed on the 22d Feb. 1838. The amendments were adopted by the people at the subsequent annual election. In conformity with the more important amendments, the political year commences in January; rotation in office is secured by allowing the governor but two terms of three years each, in any term of nine years; the senatorial term is reduced to three years ; the power of the legislature to grant banking privileges is abridged and regulated; private property cannot be taken for public use without compensation previously secured; the governor's patronage is nearly all taken away, and the election of many officers heretofore appointed by him is vested in the people or their representatives; the governor's nomination of judicial officers must be confirmed in the senate with open doors; all life offices are abolished ; judges of the supreme court are to be commissioned for fifteen years,-presidents of the common pleas, and other law judges, for ten years--and associate judges for five years—if they so long behave themselves well; the right of suffrage is extended to all white freemen twenty-one years old, one year resident in the state, having within two years paid a tax assessed ten days before the election, and having resided ten days immediately preceding in the district; white freemen between the age of 21 and 22, citizens of the United States, having resided a year in
the state and ten days in the district, may vote without paying any tax ; · two successive legislatures, with the approbation of the people at a sub
sequent election, once in five years, may add to the constitution whatever other amendments experience may require.