A History of American Currency
Author's PrefaceIn the autumn of 1873 I published in the "Financier," four or five short sketches of those portions of history which are most instructive in regard to doctrines of currency. The plan was to leave the historical facts to tell their own story without comment. It succeeded so far that many persons who do not believe that financial laws vary with the period, the climate, or the continent, read them with interest, and drew the inferences of which it seemed to be important that we should all be convinced. I was asked to re-publish the sketches in permanent form. In acceding to this request, however, I desired to present these chapters of history more completely, and I determined also to incorporate with this project another plan which I had formed, viz., to edit the Bullion Report. Two of the articles referred to treated of the paper money in the American colonies, and the crisis of 1819. These have been expanded here into an outline sketch of the history of American currency. I regard the history of American finance and politics as a most important department which lies as yet almost untouched. The materials ever are all in the rough, and it would require very long time and extensive research to do any justice to the subject. I hope, at some future time, to treat it as it deserves, and I should not now have published anything in regard to it, if I had not felt that it had, at this juncture, great practical importance, and that even a sketch might be more useful perhaps than an elaborate treatise. It follows from this account of the origin and motive of the present work, that it does not aim at any particular unity, but consists of three distinct historical sketches, united only by their tendency to establish two or three fundamental doctrines in regard to currency.Yale College, March 1874
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advances amount appears balance of trade bank notes Bank of England Bank of Ireland bank paper bank-notes bankers began bills Bullion Report capital cash payments cause cent charter circulating medium circumstances coinage colony commercial Committee commodities Congress continued contraction convertible country banks crisis debt demand deposits depreciation Directors discount doctrine dollar effect excess exchange expense exports fall favorable fixed fluctuations foreign gold bullion gold coin Hamburgh high price imports increased legal tender limit loans London market price Massachusetts measure ment merchants millions nation operation opinion ounce paper currency paper issues paper money Parliament passed period pound sterling precious metals premium present price of gold produce quantity question reduced rency Restriction resume resumption Rhode Island seigniorage silver small notes Spanish dollars specie circular speculation sterling suspension of cash tariff taxes tion Treasury notes United States Bank York banks