The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

By John Niven; James P. McClure et al. | Go to book overview
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Corinth, some twenty miles distant, enabled a Confederate army under P. G. T. Beauregard to escape unharmed. DAB, 8:151; McPherson, Ordeal by Fire, 231-32.
3. Andrew Hull Foote commanded U.S. naval forces on the upper Mississippi. DAB, 6:499-500.
4. The Confederates had evacuated Manassas on March 11 without interference from Federal troops. Long, Civil War Day by Day, 183.
5. Laura S. Humphreys Cooke.
6. Henry D. Cooke was president of the Washington and Georgetown Railroad Company, a local street car company incorporated in 1862. Keim, Keim's Illustrated Hand-Book, ix-x; Wash. Dir. ( 1863), 302.

TO THADDEUS STEVENS

Letterbook copy in clerk's hand. Letters Sent to Committees of Congress (D Series), General Records, Department of the Treasury (Record Group 56), National Archives (micro 21:0704).

Treasury Department July 14 1862

Sir:

The depreciation of the currency, resulting in great measure, from the unrestricted issues of non specie-paying banks and unauthorized associations and persons, causes the rapid disappearance from circulation of small coins.1

To supply the want of these coins, tokens and checks for sums less than one dollar are being issued by hotels, business houses, and dealers generally; and the most serious inconveniences and evils are apprehended, unless these issues can be checked, and the small coins of the Government kept in circulation, or a substitute provided. --

These objects may be accomplished by the extension of the principle of the Act of Febry 21. 18532,to the United States Notes.--By that Act, the weight of the small coins was reduced, so as to make their actual less, than their nominal value, in comparison with gold.--If during the existing troubles, the weight should be still farther reduced, so as to establish a similar relation between these coins and the United States Notes, it is highly probable, if not quite certain, that the coins will be retained in circulation.--Of course, any enactment with this object should be accompanied by a prohibition of the circulation of tokens and certificates for fractional parts of a dollar, and should be limited in duration to the existing insurrection. --

Should Congress see fit to adopt this expedient, a return to the existing basis, on the termination of the insurrection will be practicable and easy. --

The same object may be accomplished, and perhaps with less incidental evil consequence, by a similar prohibition, accompanied by a provision for the receipt of postage and other stamps in payment of the fractional parts of a dollar. --

-228-

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