cents â€” the lowest amount in vault was on (he 14th ultimo, when it
amounted to ninety five thousand four hundred fifty five dollars and
oinety five cents.
\. . â€¢ ' - .
AnsTcer to the i4//i interrogatory.
Since the general resumption of specie payments in 1S37, tbis
branch has in no case failed to redeem its notes in specie. Nor has
our board resolved on a suspension. As however I have no conceal-
ment to make, I would siy, that if an ng-nt of a foreign hank that
had suspended specie payments, had within the last three months pre-
sented a large amount of our notes for redemption â€” it is \ery doubt-
ful whether I should have considered myself justihable in paying him
jn any thing better than Ihe notes of the bank by which he was sent.
Answer to the \5th interrogatory, .. â€¢ "*
We have, ''â– .â– - â– -:. " â– "' "' ^ 'â€¢ "â€¢ 'â€¢ â– ""- , '
â– 'â– -â– '''-'â€¢â€¢,'-â€¢ A nszoer to ihe IGth interrogatory. .:;.!'â– !:> i:
We have both received and paid out the notes below fives of other
banks. The amount hus however been trifling. Such notes form a [
part of our permanent circulation, and it is difficult, if not impossible ':
to get along without, in some instances, taking them. We have how-
ever always endeavored to discourage their cir'^ulation. The amount j
taken and paid out by us dui'ing the last year, it is now impossible to 1
ascertain. ,. - ...
^ AnsTJoer to the Yllji interrogatory.
This branch advanced to the Fund Commissioners for the State, to
aid in the payment of interest due the 1st instant, twenty -five thou-
sand dollars. Our authority to do so, we derived from the charter
and the State Board.
â– â– '"â– â– 'â– â€¢'.â€¢' â– Answer to the ISih interrogatory. ' ".li' -
The liabilities of the directors referred to at the time of their appoint-
ment were, as drawers, seventeen thousand two hundred fifty nine,
as endorsers, forty six thousand two hundred and twenty three. Their
liabilities, however, as endorsers are now much less than they were at
the time of their appointment.
Answer to the \^th interrogatory^ *
I do not know that any communication or proposition has been
made by any ofticeror director of this branch, to any member of the
present Legislature upon the subject referred to in the interrogatory.
In conclusion, the undersigned would observe that the foregoing
answers were prepared by himself and the teller of the branch in
great haste, and that they may be in many instances inaccurate. They
are made, however, in good faith and arc believed to be correct,
, . H. M-oULLOCH, Cash'r.
Questions put to Mr. M CuUoch.
Question I. How many borrowers at youi' b;vnk over Â§10,000?
Anszver. There are none over that sain â€” I think with one excep-
Question 2. What premium do you charge Tor bills on New \ork?
.^nszDcr. We are not selling to any extent, I did however late ly re-
mit the amount of some small collections to New York on sight checks,
at 5 per cent., and on check'^ payable 15th of April, at 3 per cent.
Question 3. How many of ) our debtors owe the bank over live and
under ten thousand dollars.
Answer. There are none indebted to the amount of five thousand
dollars, except stockholders, according to the bestot my recollection
whose liabiiiiies are given.
Ques'ion 4. What arc the parly poliiics of your St.itc Directors?
. Anszuer. Two democrats and one wliig.
Question 5. What proportion of all your discounts on notes is on
acconi;nodation paper subject to renewal,
Anszoer. The greater part.
Qi^siion (j. What kind ofpropcrty of your borrowers do you rely
upoa foi'the security of jour loiins? real or personal?
Ansicer. Mostly real property.
QucUioa 7. How much could the capit d of your branch be increas-
ed with salety, and advantage (o tlie public.
Answer. I do not think it could be increased any, with advantage
to the community.
Question 8th. What is the principal circulation of other bank paper,
in your neighborhood.
Anszoer. Ohio and Indiana.
Question 9th. Has the credit extended by your bank, been of ad-
vantage to your community?
, Answer. I think it has been beneficial,
'^' Question \0. Do you not thinic that the specie circular effected a
salutary restraint upon the operations of your bank?
Answer. I do not think that the effect was particularly beneficial to
our bank, but 1 think it had, in some instances, a salutary effect upon
Question 11. Did your directors discount a note at any time for Mr.
Chase of Logansport, with a knowledge that he wished the money
to shave upon?
Answer. Suice the bank went into operation there, there has been,
I think, loaned to Mr. Chnsc of Logansport, in all Â§2,000, and that in
my opinion the directors did not know for what purpose the money
Question 12. What effect would be produced upon your bank by
the circulation of a million or m,ore of Trcasurv notes?
AnsTver. I think it would not materially injure the circulation oÂ£
Question 13. Did your branch advance ,$50,000, or any other sum,
for the purpose of assisting the South Bend branch to get into opera-
Answer. Our branch made no advance for the purpose of assisting
said branch at South Bend to go into operation, according to the best
of my recollection.
. H. M'CULLOCH.
A. B. Fontaine, Cjvshier of the branch at Terre Haute appeared be-
fore the committee, and made the following answers to the general
Mr. Fontain, examined.
Q^nestion. 1. How many persons are indebted to your bank over
Answer. One only, is indebted precisely ^10,000.
Question 2. How many are indebted over $5,000 and undei?
|10,000. , ,
Answer. Not over ten persons.
Question 3. What notes of other States do you receive and pay out..
Answer. Those of the State bank of Illinois, of Shawnectown, of
Kentucky, of Cincinnati, and of the solvent banks of the Eastern Ci-
ties and all other eastern notes that are at par in the Eastern Cities.
Question 4. What notes are principally in circulation in yor re-
gion? â€¢ _, , ,,|v
Answer. Those of Indiana and Illinois.
Question 5. Have your purchared any bills of exchange on New-
Orleans since the suspension of last fall, and to what amount?
Anszvcr. All the bills that we have purchased on New Orleans,
have been done since our last report to the Legislature, and amount
to about $-30,000.
Question 6. At what time and rate.
Answer. Various, from 60 days to 6 months. The rates for all bills
maturing in March at '2 per cent, discount, andahalf for each month-
Questianl. What proportion of your discounts are accommodation
Answer. In the spring and summer our loans are nearly all made to
be paid by instalments. In the fall little or no accommadation paper
Question 8. Do you rely for security of payment from your borr
rowers chiefly on real or personal property?
Answer. Chiefly on real property.
Question 9- To what extent do you suppose the cipital of your
bank might be increased with safety and to the advantage of the com-..
jaunity ? , ' ,
Answer. To the amount of $'200,000.
Question 10. Do you discount fictitious bills of Exchanged
.Answer. Never, knowingly.
Question 11. What are the politics of your State directors?
Answer. All are whigs.
A. B. FONTAIN.
Sworn to and subscribed)
January 15, 1S40Â» ^
Ordered^ That the committee adjourn until the day after to-mor-
row evening at 6 o'clock.
At a meeting of the standing committee of the House of Represen-
tatives on the State Bank, January 17th, 1840. â€” Present, Messrs.
Bowles, Fisher, Stewart, and Robinson.
Mr. Donihue, cashier of the Bedford branch, examined.
Question 1st. Has your branch been engaged in the purchase of
Answer. It iias.
Question 2d. To what amount?
Answer. The amount on hand usually oi purchased notes is from 15
Question 3d. At what time did you commence the practice of pur-
Answer. Ever since within a year of its organization.
Question 4th. At v/hat rate have you been in the habit of purchas-
Anszver. No particular rate- â€” not less than six percent, generally â€”
nine or ten per cent, may be the average rate, 1 suppose.
Questioii 5th. Have you not purchased some good notes at 30 per
Ansxccr. We have an exchange committee, who regulate this mat-
ter. It depends upon circumstances how long the purchased note has
to run. I think it probable, however, that notes havejjecn purchased
at that rate. We are governed to some extent in their purchase by
their resemblance to bills of exchange, and have frequently purchased
them upon that principle. It is seldom tliat promissory notes are made
payable at bank, or at a countuig house, and therein differ from bills-.
Questioji 6th. In the purciiase of promissory notes, has your bank
realized more interest than is allowed by the charter?
Answer. 1 think not.
Question 7th. Has your profit in the purchase of bills, or notes, ex-
ceeded six per cent., or in any case amounted to 30 per cent.?
Answer. I think it may have gone over 30 per cent, per annum in
^ome cases, and in other cases perhaps more.
Question 8th. Do you consider yourselves authorized by your char-
ter to purchase promissory notes at any rate of discount^^
Answer. We do.
Question 9th. Has your branch uniformlv acted upon that constfuc-^
tion of the charter?
Ansiopr. Yes. ' â– â– â– ,. '
Question lOth. In purchasing promissory notes upon solvent and
punctual men, do you discriminate, and upon what rule?
Jinstver. \Vc (!o, upon the amount of the note, the lime it has to run,
and the prospect of receiving punctual payments, and the conve-
nience and location of the payor, whether in or out of the county, at a
less or greater distance from the bank'.
Question Ilth. Do you ever purchase notes on men that you do not
Answer. Wc have sometimes done it in cases of necessity.
Question i'Jth. While engaged in purchasing notes, do you ever re-
fuse to discount?
Ansivcr. When wf^ buy notes, we discount generally. When we do
not purchase, we generally do not discount â€” circumstances may lessen
the ability of the bank to discount, and sometimes we hnd that wc
have a greater ahih':y to discount than was expected. This depends
upon the operations of the exchange committee, which are not at alt
times known to the board of directors, it meeting but once a week,
and the committee acting any day during the rece.-s.
Quesfiuti I3th. "What is the highe:t amount of notes ever purchased
by your bank, of any one person?
Aiiszorr. I suppose from 35 to ,Â§40,000. y
(Question. At what rates have those notes been purchased?
Answer. I suppose at a rate of about 15 per cent. This rate relates
to notes purchased of the person above alluded to.
Qiirstion. W hat is your circulation ?
Answer. Aboul |;21"-2.(]00. Wc loaned to the Madison branch
,'5'2').()()0 a: six and a half. Do not discount on it.
QHrstion. How many borrowers have you on notes discounted, on
bills of exchange, or noLcs bought over $'10,000?
Answer. About two persons, cr firms.
Question. How many borrowers have you over 5000, and less than
Answer. I believe but two.
Question. What proportion of your discounted notes are accommo-
Answer. All our negotiable notes discounted are for accommodation.
Question. Do you always receive at par the same kind of paper that
you pay out at par? j ,. ;.
Qn^sti.rjn. What do you rely upon chiefly as security for debts due
your bank, real or personal property?
Ansrv,er. Personal property, exclusive of real propcry.
Qv^siion. How much do you suppose your capital could be en-
larged, with safety to the bank and advantage to the community?
Anszoer. To the extent of S'^00,000, including its present capital.
D. RÂ» DUNIHUE-
Sworn to and subscribed)
this 7th Jac. laiO. I
Mr. Rathbone of the Vincennes branch, made a report in favor of*
"that branch, as follows:
Question. How many borrowers have you to the amount of $10,-
000, and over.
Answer. One firm owes on notes about Â§11,000, another firm in
bills not yet matured, over 10,OU0 â€” do not recollect that there are any
others who owe to that amount.
Question. How many over $5000 and under 10,000?
Anszver. Cannot say with any certainty, but the number is very lim-
ited â€” probably not over six who owe to the amount of 5000 dollars,
exclusive ofthosc mentioned in the reply to the preceding question.
Question. What proportion of your notes discounted are what arc
â– culled accommodation notes?
Answer. Say two-thirds â€” prcbablj' more.
Question. Do you rely chiefly on the personal or real estate of your
debtors, as security for their solvency?
Anszoer. On both; but more on their real estate, particularly in
cases of discounts on accommodation paper.
Question. How much might your banking capital be increased with
Safety and advantage to the community?
Answer. Double the amount of our business might have been done
on safe paper, for the last three years, judging from the calls made for
money, and the character of paper offered for accommodation.
Questio7i. What is the political character of your State directors?
Answer. One Van Buren man, one a whig, and as to the third, can-
not say definitively what are his politics, but think he may be a Har-
rison man â€” don't know, exactly.
GEO. W. RATHBONE.
The following answers, on behalf of the Terre Haute branch, to
the general interrogatories of the committee, were laid before the com-
mittee by the chairman, to wit:
Answers by A. B. Fontaine, cashier of the branch at Terre Haute,
to certain interrogatories propounded by the standing committee on
the State Bank of Indiana, appointed on the part of the House of
Representatives of said State, Dec. 16, 1839:
Answer to 1st Interrogatory. â€” About four hundred and seventy.
Answer to 2d Interrogatory. â€” The directors in this branch were
indebted individually, and including the whole amount of indebted-
Dess of their firms, .$24,005 34.
Answer to 3d Interrogatory. â€” The other stockholders were liable
as drawers or payors ,$26,678, and as endorsers .$'36,550.
Answer to 4th Interrogatory. â€” The whole amount of discounts to
residents of Terre Haute was .Â§77,727; and to residents of Vigo
county, out of Terre Haute, $21,390.
Answer to 5th Interrogator}-. â€” I do not know and have no means
Answer to 6th Interrogatory. â€”
24 persons own stock of $500 and under.
â€¢ 16 " " over $500 and under $-1,000.
' 23 Â« " " 1,000 " 5.000.
2 Â« 'â€¢ " 5,000 " 10,000.
1 " " " 10,000.
Answer to 7th Interrogatory. â€” Thirty two, as follows:
Answer to 8th Interrogatory. â€” The liabilities of the directors at
the time of our report in 1838, individually and in the names of their
firms, was as endorsers $17,388, and as drawers or payors $18,727,
as near as I can ascertain.
Answer to 9th Interrogator}'. â€” Our suspended debt was $35,452 35
on which two of our stockholders were responsible, the one as a draw-
er of a bill of exchange of $5,000, which was and is amply secured
on mortgage of real estate; the other as endorser on a note of $390.
This latter owns stock to more than the amount of the debt, which is
his only liability to the branch, and is not permitted to transfer the
stock or draw his dividends.
Answer to 10th Interrogatory. â€” One hundred and twenty-five
Answer to 11th Interrogatory. â€” None.
Answer to 12th Interrogatory. â€” About ten thousand dollars.
Answer to 13th Interrogatory. â€” On 30th May, 1836, our specie was
lower than it ever was, or has since been, say $41,811 21; and on
Gth October, 1838, it was higher than ever before or since, say
Answer to 14th Interrogatory. â€” Yes, we suspended in May 1837,
after ascertaining that the banks generally had suspended, and
again on receiving the same intelligence on 16th October 1839, our
board of directors caused an order to be recorded, again suspending
specie payments. Immediately, however, (say within two or three
days,) they learned the suspension was not general; they then instruct*
ed me to pay all demands in specie, unless made by foreign brokers
or banks, which policy has since been pursued by the branch. The
only demand which was refused (to the best of my knowledge or be-
lief,) was within a day or day or two after the order declaring the
branch suspended had been made, and before vÂ»^e had learned that
the suspension was not general.
Answer to 15th Interrogatory. â€” Yes, we have been in tlie habit of
receiving and paying out the notes of a number of solvent banks out
of the State.
Answer to 16th Interrogatory. â€” Wc have never received or paid
out notes of any banks of a less denomination than five dollars, nor in.
any way given countenance to their circulation.
Answer to l7th Interrogatory. â€” We loaned to the fund commis-
sioners thirty thousand dollars, on application from them, the Govern-
or, the Secretary of iState and the Treasurer of State, saying that the
credit and standing of the State would be ruined, unless an advance
was made by the branches, to enable the fund commissioners to pay
the interest on the State bonds in New York, as the revenue would
not be received in time. This loan was merely in anticipation of the
revenue then coming in, and is in addition to ao^i'anccs heretofore made
Answer to ISth Interrogatory.â€” The liabilities of the branch di-
rectors appointed by the State, were as follows, at the time of their
: appointment, say:
, No. 1, as navor .'s250 â€” as endorser ^720
No. 2, ^ 'â€¢" 3,000â€” as endorser 1,85-f
No. 3, " 2,250â€” as endorser 1,330
Answer to 19th Interrogatory. â€” I do not.
I would remark, that where tlxj responsibilities of directors and
stockholders are given, the answer includes their liabilities individual-
ly, and the whole liability of their firms, where they have any; and
' further, that in giving such answers, I have for convenience assumed
the date of our report to the legislature.
A.,B. FONTAINE, Cashier.
At a meeting of the House of Representatives Standing Committee
on the State Bank, held pursuant to adjournment, Jan. 19, 1840:
Present, Mr. Bowles, chairman; Messrs. Fisher, Stewart and Rob-
The chairman laid before the committee the following petition, re-
ferred to the committee, by order of tiie House of Representatives,
signed by B. J. Harrison and others.
Also, the chairman laid before the committee the account of George
W. Rathbon, for claim as a witness's fees.
Also, a printed document, over the signature of " Atticus," on the
subject of currency and national fiscal agent of the United States.
Ehzur, Deming, on behalf of the Lafayette branch, examined and
Question 1st. How long have you been in offico in the Lafayette
.Answer, I vras elected President of that board in June, 1838, an(t
have been State director since last November.
Question 2. What are the number of stockholders in that branch?
Answer. I can't correctly answer; but suppose them to be consider-
ably over one hundred.
Question. What is the amount of your suspended debt?
Answer. For cash paid for internal improvements on the part of the
State $177,119 60. We have also State bonds for Â§-20,000. On the
part of individuals, the suspended debt is pretty large, consisting of a
heavy tile of small names, from 100 to 10,000. My impression is,
that of the personal suspended debt, it is endeavored to be reduced by
present management, so as the same cannot apnear large. I think it
may be safely called |30,000.
Question, \Vhat proportion of suspended debt is due from stock-
Answer. One stockholder owes over ten thousand dollars. His
shares are fifty or fifty-one. Another owes over ten thousand dollars,
and owns twenty-five shares.
Question. What amount of stock has your branch?
Answer, Counting bonds in, it is about tvi'o hundred and iorty thou?
Question. What is your present amount of specie on hand?
Anscoer. Over fifty-eight thousand dollars â€” nearly sixty thousand
Question, What is the highest amount of specie you had, and
Answer. In the fall of 1836, it was about eighty thousand, which i
think is the highest amount we have had.
Question. What amount of paper do you renew without curtail-
Answer. I think, that within the last ninety days it may have been
ten thousand dollars.
Question. Did the State board order or request your branch to make
advances for the public works?
Answer. Not to my knowledge. There was a short vacancy in my.
capacity as an ofiicer of the bank, from about the 20th of June to the
last November election.
Question. How much stock is owned by persons who owe your
bank to the amount of their stock and over?
Answer. I have not the means of answering this question.
Question. What amount of stock has changed hands since Novem-
Answer. About ten thousand dollars, which stock has been paid for
by means of the assumption of liabilities in said branch.
Question. In what proportion are your discounts distributed between
merchants, producers and manufacturers?
Answer. The largest amount is to merchants, who are engaged in
|?uying produce, pork, wheat, &c. We undertook to distribute our
(iiscouiits as equally as might be, to the diilcrent classes of borrowers j
but I cannot give a particular estimate at present.
Question. What proportion does your average daily income bear to
Answer. 1 cannot answer certainly; but know it to be too small.
Our circulation is about three hundred thousand dollars, and our cur-
tailments of about twtnty-tive per cent, every ninety days ought to
keep a full counter. But it does not; it is not paid; and, under exis-
ting circumstances, it cannot be paid. The intended income is one
quarter of the loans. A large majoriiy of our discounts are on ac-
Question. To what extent may your banking capital be increased,
with safety to the bank and to the advantage of the community?
Answer. I do not think it could at present be increased advantage-
ously to, the bank or the public. My reason is, that the present sus-
pended debt should be made active capital, and then, I think, the
capital might be safely increased to four hundred thousand dollars.
Question. What amount of banking capital has your bank, after
deducting the suspended debt of the State, of individuals and State
Answer. I do not think there would be any thing remaining â€” it
would be very small.
Question. Has your branch been in the practice of purchasing pro-
Ansioer. Not recently.
Question. What is the political character of your State directors?
Ansioer. Two whigs and one democrat.
Question. On what kind of property do you rely for the safety of
Answer. Principally on real estate.
Question. IIow many borrowers have you now indebted to you to
the amount often thousand dollars and over?
Answer. Four or five.
Question. How many under ten thousand dollars and over five hun-
Answer. Not more than the same number.
Question. What were the avowed reasons for Mr. White's removal
the first time?
Answer. The use of the funds of the bank for the accommodation of
Samuel Taylor, and not charging his own check for one thousand dol-
lars, in balancing the books. White being secretary of the insurance
company, overdrew. I refer to the proceedings of the bank in the
investigation of that subject. Mr. White's conduct was in violation
of the charter; but he is undoubtedly honest. I would trust him in
Qicestion. Were there any underhanded advantages taken of him
in the last investigation, in the way of atibrding his enemies better
opportunity of preferring charges against him, than was allowed him
in rebuttins: the same?