By William Gouge (1835)
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Extra info for A Short History of Paper Money and Banking
Form; but this need not prevent their discovering the necessity for reformation. One of these gentlemen, Mr. John White, the Cashier of the United States Branch Bank at Baltimore, makes the following candid and correct statement, in a letter to the late Secretary of the Treasury, under date ofFebruary 15th, 1830: " Looking back to the peace, a short period, fresh in the Inemory of every man, the wretched state of the currency for the two succeeding years, cannot be overlooked; the disaster~ of 1819, which seriously affected the circumstances, property, and industry of every district in the United States, will long be recollected.
They all agreed upon the necessity of the convertibility of paper into gold, in order to establish 8. sound currency. The science of currency (for it deserved the name of a science) was every day acquiring additional light; in fact, it was now in a state of experiment. It appeared to him that those who supported the Bullion Report were led to rely too exclusively on this check, not merely to correct the evil when it does take place, but to operate as a preventive, by which to guard against the extension of it beyond a certain point.
The principles of Smith were generally received till the year 1797. The Bank of England then suspended specie payments, and permission was given to it and to the country bankers, to issue notes of as Iowa denomination as one pound. The country Banks were required to make payment in notes of the Bank of England: while the Bank of England itself was placed under no restraint whatever but the discretion of its directors. This state of things necessarily drew the attention of political economists to the subject; and, as Bank of England paper did not, for some years, undergo any sensible PREFACE.