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PROTESTED BILLS.

455 non-payment, are to be ascertained and determined, without reference to the rate of exchange existing between New York and the place on which the bill is drawn. But, if the contents of the bill be expressed in the money of account, or currency of any foreign country, then the amount due, exclusive of the damages, is to be ascertained and determined by the rate of exchange, or the value of such foreign currency, at the time of the demand for payment.

In Pennsylvania the rule, for a century past, was twenty per cent damages, in lieu of re-exchange; but by statute, in 1821, five per cent damages were allowed upon bills, drawn upon any person in any other of the United States, except Louisiana ; if on Louisiana, or any other part of North America, except the north-west coast and Mexico, ten per cent; if on Mexico, the Spanish Main, or the islands on the coasts of Africa, fifteen per cent; and twenty per cent upon protested bills on Europe, and twentyfive per cent upon other foreign bills, in lieu of all charges, except the protest, and the amount of the bill is to be ascertained and determined at the rate of exchange.

In Maryland the rule, by statute, is fifteen per cent damages, and the amount of the bill ascertained at the current rate of exchange, or the rate requisite to purchase a good bill of the same time of payment, upon the same place.

In Virginia and South Carolina, the damages, by statute, are fifteen per cent.

In North Carolina, by statute, in 1828, damages

on protested bills, drawn or endorsed in that state, and payable in any other part of the United States, except Louisiana, are six per cent; payable in any other part of North America, except the West Indian Islands, ten per cent; payable in South America, the African Islands, or Europe, fifteen per cent; and payable elsewhere, twenty per cent.

The damages in Georgia, by statute, in 1827, on bills drawn on a person in another state, and protested for non-payment, are five per cent; and on foreign bills, protested for non-payment, are ten per cent, together with the usual expenses and interest, and the principal to be settled at the current rate of exchange.

The damages on bills drawn in the state of Alabama, on any person resident within the state, are ten per cent; and on any person out of it, and within the United States, are fifteen per cent; and on persons out of the United States, twenty per cent on the sum drawn for, together with incidental charges and interest.

In Louisiana, in 1838, the rate of damages upon the protest for non-acceptance, or non-payment of bills of exchange, drawn on, and payable in foreign countries, was declared by statute to be ten per cent; and in any other state in the United States, five per cent; together with interest on the aggregate amount of principal and damages. On protested bills, drawn and payable within the United States, the damages include all charges, such as premium, and expenses, and interest on those damages, but nothing for the difference of exchange.

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PROTESTED BILLS.

457

In Mississippi, the damages on inland bills, protested for non-payment, are five per cent; if drawn on any person resident out of the United States, ten per cent.

The damages in Tennessee, by statute, in 1830, on protested bills, over and above the principal sum and charges of protest and interest on the principal sum, damages, and charge of protest from the time of notice, are three per cent on the principal sum, if the bill be drawn upon any person in the United States ; and fifteeen per cent, if upon any person in any other place or state in North America, bordering on the Gulf of Mexico, or in the West Indies; and twenty per cent, if upon a person in any other part of the world. These damages are in lieu of interest, and all other charges, except the charges of protest, to the time of notice of the protest, and demand of payment.

In Kentucky, the damages on foreign bills, protested for non-acceptance or non-payment, are ten per cent.

The damages in Indiana and Illinois, on foreign bills, are ten per cent; and on bills drawn on any person out of the state, and within the United States, are five per cent, in addition to the costs and charges.

In Missouri, the damages on bills of exchange, drawn or negotiated within the state, and protested for non-acceptance, or non-payment, against the drawer and indorser, are four per cent on the principal sum, if drawn on any person out of the

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state, but within the United States, ten per cent; if out of the United States, twenty per cent; the same rate of damages as against the acceptor on non-payment.

The inconvenience throughout all parts of the Republic of a want of uniformity in the rule of damages in the laws of the several states, is very great, and has been severely felt. The mischiefs to commerce, and perplexity to merchants, resulting from such discordant and shifting regulations, have been ably, justly, and frequently urged upon the consideration of the legislature; and the right of Congress to regulate, under some uniform practice, the rate and rule of recovery of damages upon protested foreign bills, or bills drawn in one state upon another, under the power in the Constitution to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several States,' and the expediency of the exercise of that right, has been well and conclusively shewn, in the official documents which have been prepared on that subject.

CHAPTER XIII.

Banking system of the United States — Paper money or bank

notes the general circulating medium-Counterfeit money in general circulation-Bank accommodation or discountsAmerican money-brokers, or “ shavers”-American aristocracy, its spurious and offensive character-its jobbing and speculating propensities—“ Shaving” establishments—their frequent and secret connection with Public Banks - Purchase and sale of uncurrent money-The domestic exchanges—their uncertainty and injurious influence upon Commerce-Foreign exchanges of the United States-Suggestions for an improved system-Specie in the United States—United States Mint, and quantity of bullion coined therein-Post Office Department — Post Office and Post Roads— Inefficiency of this Department—Number of Offices in the United States, Postmasters, Agents and Contractors-Report of the Postmastergeneral, July 1, 1843--Extent of mail routes throughout the country-Public discontent, and establishment of private expresses for the transmission of letters-Law of the United States in reference thereto-Postage reduction forced upon the adoption of Government-Concluding observations and remarks thereon.

We have endeavoured in the preceding chapter, to point out the inconvenience that is found to exist throughout the Republic, from the yet unsettled state of the currency and exchanges, without any positive effort being made to amend a system, notoriously defective, and that has so materially contributed to the disarrangement and monetary difficulties of the country.

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