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[701] 1, 1861, into government bonds, and, on the other hand, to secure the payment of these bonds by sufficient taxation. As will be seen presently, this conversion of paper money into bonds was imposed upon the public by a regular certificate of bankruptcy; but the law which caused the treasury notes that had not been exchanged before a certain date to lose successively first onethird, and then two-thirds, of their value, belongs to the year 1864.

Before Congress would have been able to devise new taxes, it became necessary to resort once more to loans and the issue of treasury notes. On the 20th of February, 1863, the government was authorized to negotiate one hundred millions in government bonds at eight per cent. and a similar amount at seven per cent. The placing of this new issue of two hundred millions of bonds being too slow to meet the requirements of the treasury, Congress on the 23d of March voted another issue of treasury notes, the legal amount of which we do not remember, although, in fact, it must have been unlimited; for eight months later, January 1, 1864, it was as high as $391,829,702.50, and three months later still it was $511,182,566.50, of nominal value, this amount actually comprising only the notes put in circulation in virtue of the law of March 23, 1863. So that, from the date of this law, the premium on gold was four hundred per cent., and in the month of September of the same year nine hundred per cent., which was equivalent to absolute worthlessness. On the 19th of December, 1862, Congress voted a tax called agricultural, which in reality was an income tax of the most frightful character, showing how great was already the distress of the treasury. This new law provided that on the 1st of January, 1863, an estimate should be made of all the productions of the soil during the year that had just elapsed—grain, vegetables, sugar, tobacco, cotton, turpentine, colts, calves, lambs, all direct or indirect agricultural products, and generally the income of each person during the same period of time, Confederate funds alone excepted. The State appropriated to itself one-fifth of all these products and revenues. This tax, which seems to have been inspired by a recollection of the tithe and the enumerations of the Bible, had scarcely gone into operation when it was pronounced to be insufficient, and

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