every one of us shall be overrun by the enemy.
(Applause.) On that you may count.
The Government, while it desires to carry on the war, establish your independence, and maintain the government, at the same time wishes to do it in such a way as not to cripple industry; and while our men are in the field fighting the battles of their country, their brethren at home are discharging an equal duty, so that no serious detriment to public property will be sustained; and we have the element to do this that no other people in the world have.
Now, then, if four millions of bales of cotton are made, upon an average price they will bring two hundred millions of dollars.
If the cotton planter will but lend, not give — lend to the Government
the proceeds of but one-half, that will be one hundred million of dollars, double what the Government
wants, or did want when we adjourned — quite enough to keep two hundred thousand men in the field — the balance you can use as you please.
I now will read to you, just at this part of my address, the proposition upon which I shall make some comments, for I wish every gentleman to understand it. It is not asking a donation; the Government
simply wishes to control the proceeds of your cotton.
The Government proposes to give you a bond bearing eight per cent. interest, paying the interest semi-annually.
It is not a gift or donation, but simply your surplus cotton, as much as you can spare.
This is the proposition:
We the subscribers agree to contribute to the defence of the Confederate States that portion of our crop set down to our respective names; the same to be placed in warehouse or in the hand of our factors and sold on or before the----next.
Fix the day of sale as soon as you please; the first of January, the first of February, or the first of March, if you please; though I am aware the Government
wishes you to sell it as soon as convenient; but let each planter consult his interest, andy in the mean while consult the market.
But to proceed:
And our net proceeds of sale we direct to be paid over to the Treasurer of the Confederate States for bonds for the same amount bearing eight per cent. interest.
There is the whole of it. The cotton planter directs his cotton to be sent into the hands of his factor or his commission merchant.
He only tells the Government
in the subscription the portion he can lend.
He directs it to be sold, and the proceeds to be invested in Confederate Bonds.
I understand that a committee will be appointed before this meeting adjourns, to canvass this county.
Every planter, therefore, of Richmond County
will be waited upon and afforded an opportunity to subscribe.
I wish, therefore, to say to that committee, and everybody, subscribe.
I prefer your putting down first, your name, second, the number of bales, and I prefer you putting down the proportion of your crop.
I want especially, the number of bales, but would like also to know the proportion it bears to your crop.
Let everybody, therefore, put down a portion of their crop, if it be two bales, or fifty bales, or one hundred bales, or five hundred bales.
Inquiries have been made of me, and I take this opportunity to answer them: “Whether these bonds will circulate as money — will they pay debts?”
On this point I wish no mistake.
They are not intended as currency; they are unfitted to answer the purpose of circulation.
The bonds are larger than this paper.
(A letter sheet.) The obligation is on the upper part of it, and the whole of the lower part is divided into forty squares or checks.
In each one of these checks the interest is counted for each six months for 20 years. The checks are called coupons, and all the party holding them has to do is every six months to clip off the lower coupon, send it to the Treasury and get his interest.
The bond is not suitable to carry in your pocket-book and use. It would wear out. It is intended to represent a fixed capital or permanent investment — just so much as you can spare from your cotton crop.
That is all. Instead of putting your surplus in lands, negroes, houses, furniture, useless extravagance, or luxuries, just put it in Confederate Bonds.
But while I said it was not intended to circulate or to pay debts, I have not the least doubt that anybody who will sell his crop entire for bonds, will find no difficulty in getting the money for them, for they draw interest, and are better than money; and any man holding a note, will give it up and take a bond, for a note draws but seven per cent., and this draws eight.
I have no doubt that all minors and trust property will soon be invested in it. The entire amount of private funds in the State of Georgia
, on private loans, I suppose is ten or twenty millions of dollars at seven per cent. All that amount will immediately find its way into these bonds, and hence a planter who sells his entire crop, and needs money, can get it from the money-lenders on these bonds.
I have been frequently asked if these bonds were good.
Well, I want to be equally frank upon that point.
If we succeed, if we establish our independence, if we are not overridden, if we are not subjugated, I feel no hesitancy in telling you it is the best Government stock in the world that I know of. It is eight per cent. interest; and if we succeed in a short time, in a few years, if not more than one hundred millions or two hundred millions are issued, I have but little doubt they will command a considerable premium.
The old United States
stock (six per cent. bonds) five years ago commanded fifteen and sixteen per cent., and went as high as twenty per cent. Take the Central Railroad.
The stock of that company commands fifteen per cent. premium now. These bonds pay eight per cent. semi-annually; therefore, if there is a short war, these bonds very soon will command fifteen or twenty per cent. But candor also compels me to state that if