The Salmon P. Chase Papers - Vol. 3

By John Niven; James P. McClure et al. | Go to book overview

Mr Cooke came here two or three days before his visit to New York, and on my invitation. My object was to confer with him, as one of the best and most experienced of the Loan Agents, as to the most expedient mode of hastening subscriptions for 5-20 Bonds.2 The military disasters which happened at that time made a conference upon that point useless. Conversation then turned upon the best modes of procuring gold for the payment of interest. Mr Cooke presented views not unlike those which you had already presented, by letter. It occurred to me that it would be best to obtain the largest of the gold needed from the Associated Banks; and he undertook to ascertain what the Banks in Philadelphia would do. I did anticipate that he would extend his inquiries to New York.

My reason for preferring to receive the greater proportion of gold from the Banks was, that more satisfactory arrangements might perhaps, be made with them for repayment, than with individuals at large. It was never my purpose to confine the receipts upon deposits exclusively to those institutions. Mr Cooke must have mistaken my views in that respect.

I owe you an apology for not replying at once to your letter upon this subject. I had been considering the general subject of obtaining gold, and it had occurred to me that it might perhaps, be well to receive duties partly in gold, partly in customs notes, and partly in legal tender notes, the proportions being so equalized as to impose no greater burden upon the merchants than the requirement to pay in coin or customs notes -- practically the latter.3 And I had it in my thoughts to write you for your opinion as to the comparative benefits of the two plans; inclining myself, upon the whole, to prefer yours. The succession of events here and cares prevented me from writing as I designed. I will thank you now to consider this whole subject, and give me your views. How would it do to issue four per cent Certificates of Deposit for coin, payable six months after date, and after thirty day notice? The time thus obtained would be ample, I think, to enable the Treasury to meet all subsequent demands for coin, without difficulty. Mr. Cooke's views in respects to receiving customs Notes on deposit, were his own; but they did not strike me as being so objectionable as they seem to you, although upon the whole, I did not feel inclined to adopt them. Might they not, however, work well enough in practice, in connection with such a plan of mixed payments of duties as I have suggested.

Please inform me, in your next, how you construe the existing law relating to temporary deposits.4 Do you compute the ten days' notice after the expiration of the original thirty days of deposit, or from any earlier period, as the depositor may elect? My intention, in writing the

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