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[674] February 25th, called the Currency bill, authorized at the same time the new loan and a further issue of treasury notes.

The amount of the latter was fixed at ninety millions, which, being added to the sixty millions already in circulation, made the sum total of Federal paper one hundred and fifty millions. The law made this paper a legal tender, receivable at par in payment of all debts, whether due to private individuals or to the State. The law, however, made one distinction between the two issues. The sixty millions issued before the 25th of February, the legal value of which was again guaranteed by the supplementary law of March 17th, were alone receivable at gold value in payment of the interest on the debt by the State, and of customhouse duties to the State; hence the name of gold notes given to this kind of paper, whilst the notes issued on the 25th of February were denominated legal tenders. The price of every article of merchandise went up immediately; yet the premium on gold, which is the most infallible indicator of these variations, only rose, under this first pressure of one hundred and fifty millions, to three or four per cent. The condition of the banks was greatly ameliorated by this measure, which enabled them to extend their circulation and to prepare to sustain the government once more.

The loan fixed at five hundred millions was issued in bonds bearing six per cent. interest, redeemable at par at the end of five years or at the end of twenty, at the option of the government, which took the name of five-twenties. They were sold below par, and to the highest bidder; but as it required time to place them, Congress authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to negotiate a temporary loan of twenty-five millions; this loan was in the form of certificates of deposit having at least thirty days to run before falling due, and payable at ten days notice. Their rates of interest varied considerably; it may be said, however, in a general way, that the United States at that period borrowed at the rate of seven and a half per cent. The pressing wants of the treasury obliged Congress on the 17th of March, 1862, to double the amount of this temporary loan, and to quadruple it on the 11th of July. This expedient not having, however, proved sufficient, the houses, March 1st, authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to satisfy the creditors of the government by means of certificates of indebted-

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