1840 · Boston
Williams is a strong proponent of a new national bank and a harsh critic of existing local banks, which have failed to provide a sound and uniform currency. He rejects a metallic currency as simply "not practicable," and analyzes at length the weaknesses of local state-chartered banks: repeated charter violations, suspensions, failures; state banks' heterogeneous note issues, which are not uniform in value or appearance. He explains his plan for a national bank, chartered for forty years, with checks and balances designed to avoid abuses and cronyism. Its initial capital of $50 million [$10 million of which would be subscribed by the government] would be enhanced by $10 million of stock sales annually, with preference given to shareholders of the existing state-charted banks.
The author makes reference (p. 49) to recent Whig victories, suggesting that this pamphlet was written late in 1840. Williams must have been gratified when Henry Clay and the Whigs voted for a national bank, but crushed when President Tyler vetoed the measure.
AI 40-7056 . Sabin 104231. (Inventory #: 29920)