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I received last evening your favor of the 6th inst. The course of the Gov. being I presume settled as according to the newspapers, it now remains only to do what we can to diminish the sufferings of the country, and for this I shall certainly work as hard as if I had caused them.
You ask whether some plan could not be devised by which the issues of the banks & the exchanges could be regulated as formerly, by a connection with some large state Bank. I have no doubt of it. I have no doubt that at this moment the simplest & easiest form of relief would be to make the pres ent Bank of the U.S. the depositors of the public revenue. It would be only necessary
1st . To let the Treasury & the Bank agree that the Bank should take charge of the public revenue collect and dis tribute it relieve the Treasury from all trouble about it.
2d . To let the Treasury without disturbing or formally repealing the specie circular 1 direct the receivers to take the notes of the Bank of the U.S.
3d . The Bank would then appoint its own agents or affiliate with it other State Banks being of course responsible for them all & the whole system of the public revenue as it was in 1830 which, now we may speak of it historically, was an admirable one would be all restored.
The Western State Banks have mostly officers of the late Bank the whole country asks nothing better than its notes which are now every where at a premium, and both at home & abroad the Bank has a reputation which it can put at the \ service of the Government.
I sincerely believe that in a week's time such an arrangement would restore confidence & credit.
The very prospect of it would stop many of the evils which are impending.
And why should it not be? If the thing promises well, why should we be deterred from attempting it? Why should Mr Van Buren & Mr Forsyth & Mr Dickerson & Mr Woodbury & yourself not agree to any project which promises relief, even tho the name of the Bank be connected with it. I am sure you are all above the indulgence of any feeling on that score and for myself, I am perfectly willing to forget all the quarrels with the last administration, which neither party would desire to have perpetuated.
Politically the effect would undoubtedly be good. Pennsylvania would be pleased, and the whole country would regard it as a proof of returning peace.
It would require a little time to mount again the machinery, but it could be done without much delay, & in the mean time the very knowledge that it was intended, would be infinitely soothing in the present initated condition of things.
Now, my dear sir, there is a project for you. If you can bring it to bear, you will have done great good to the country a work in which you will always find a ready cooperation.
- Nicholas Biddle
- The correspondence of Nicholas Biddle Dealing With National Affairs 1807