previous next

Doc. 125.-Southern Bank Convention.

Richmond, July 24, 1861.
Pursuant to adjournment, delegates from the Banks within the Confederate States of America, [408] called by virtue of certain resolutions of the Legislature of the State of Tennessee, convened here this day.

The President having called the Convention to order, requested the gentlemen representing their several Banks to register their names, whereupon the following delegates presented themselves:

Alabama.--Central Bank of Alabama, Wm. Knox, Charles T. Pollard.

Florida.--None.

Georgia.--Planters' Bank of the State of Georgia, R. R. Cuyler; Central Railroad and Banking Company of Georgia, R. R. Cuyler; Bank of Commerce, G. B. Lamar; Bank of Columbus, G. B. Lamar; Mechanics' Bank of Augusta, Thomas S. Metcalf; Bank of Augusta,---------.

Louisiana.--Crescent City Bank, W. C. Tompkins, J. O. Nixon.

North Carolina.--Bank of the State of North Carolina, G. W. Mordecai; Bank of Cape Fear, W. A. Wright; Farmers' Bank of North Carolina, W. A. Caldwell; Bank of Yanceyville, Thomas D. Johnston; Bank of Clarendon, John D. Williams; Commercial Bank of Wilmington, O. G. Parsley; Bank of Washington, James E. Hoyt; Miners' and Planters' Bank, A. T. Davidson.

South Carolina.--Bank of the State of South Carolina, C. M. Furman; Bank of South Carolina, C. V. Chamberlain; State Bank, Wm. C. Bee, Geo. B. Reid, Robert Mure, and Geo. M. Coffin; Union Bank of South Carolina, W. B. Smith; Planters and Mechanics' Bank, J. J. McCarter, C. H. Stevens, and C. T. Mitchell; Bank of Charleston, J. K. Sass and George A. Trenholm; Southwestern Railroad Bank, Jas. Rose, J. G. Holmes; Farmers' and Exchange Bank, John S. Davies; People's Bank, D. L. McKay and James S. Gibbes; Merchants' Bank of South Carolina, at Cheraw, Allen Macfarlan; Bank of Georgetown, J. G. Henning; Bank of Chester, George S. Cameron.

Tennessee.--Bank of Tennessee, G. C. Torbett; Branch Bank of Tennessee, Memphis, Jos. Lenow; Branch Bank of Tennessee, Knoxville, J. G. M. Ramsey.

Virginia.--Farmers' Bank of Virginia, W. H. McFarland; Bank of Virginia, James Caskie, Alfred T. Harris, and John L. Bacon; Exchange Bank, L. W. Glazebrook and W. P. Strother; Bank of the Commonwealth, L. Nunnally, J. B. Norton, and James Alfred Jones; Merchants' Bank of Virginia, C. R. Slaughter; Danville Bank, W. T. Sutherlin; Bank of Richmond, Alexander Warwick; Traders' Bank of Richmond, Hector Davis, E. Denton, and Andrew Johnson.

On motion of R. R. Cuyler, Esq., the Secretary read the resolutions adopted by the Convention at Atlanta, Georgia, June 3, 1861, as follows:

Resolved, That this Convention do recommend to all the Banks in the Southern Confederacy to receive in payment of all dues to them the Treasury notes of the Government, to be issued under the Act of Congress of May 16, 1861, and also to receive the same on deposit, and pay them out again to customers.

Resolved, That, until the said Treasury notes can be prepared and issued, it be recommended to all the Banks that they do agree to advance to the Government, in current notes, such sums severally as may be agreed upon between them and the Secretary of the Treasury. The said advance to be made on the deposit with the Banks of Treasury notes of large denomination or 8 per cent. stock or bonds.

Resolved, That all the Banks in the Southern Confederacy are earnestly urged to take immediate action on the foregoing resolutions, as a measure of the greatest importance to the Government and the people, and communicate the same without delay to the Secretary of the Treasury at Richmond.

Resolved, That it be recommended to all the Railroad Companies in the Southern Confederacy to receive the Treasury notes in payment of fares and freight.

Resolved, That the Legislatures of the several States be recommended to make it lawful for their tax collectors and other officers to receive the Treasury notes in payment of taxes and all other public dues.

Resolved, That all the States, cities, and corporations having coupons payable in the city of New York, or elsewhere in the enemy's country, be requested, during the continuance of the war, to appoint some place of payment within the Confederate States, and to give their creditors notice of the same.

Resolved, That the Committee recommend that when this Convention adjourns, it adjourn to meet again on the 24th day of July, at Richmond, Va., and that all the Banks not represented in the Convention be requested to send Delegates to the adjourned meeting at Richmond.

The President informed the meeting that the Secretary of the Treasury authorized him to state that he had received letters from the various Banks represented in the last meeting of the Convention, agreeing to conform to the above resolutions.

On motion of James G. Holmes, Esq.,

Resolved, That when this Convention adjourns, it adjourn to meet to-morrow, at 10 o'clock A. M.

On motion of George A. Trenholm, Esq., the following resolutions were adopted:

Resolved, unanimously, That this meeting, representing a large proportion of the banking capital of the Confederate States, avail themselves of this occasion to express their hearty approval of the policy of the Government, in prosecuting with the utmost vigor the war of our independence.

Resolved, unanimously, That it is the duty of the banks, capitalists, and property-holders [409] generally, to give the Government all the support in money and other means demanded by the war.

Resolved, unanimously, That it is the opinion of this meeting that the capital resources of the country are abundantly adequate to supply all the demands created by the war, and that this Convention will cheerfully contribute its aid to render those resources available to the people and the Government.

Resolved, That a committee of one from each State be appointed to receive and report upon any measures that may be proposed for the adoption of this meeting.

The President appointed the following committee in accordance with the above resolution:

George A. Trenholm, of South Carolina.

Thomas S. Metcalf, of Georgia.

G. W. Mordecai, of North Carolina.

C. T. Pollard, of Alabama.

G. C. Torbett, of Tennessee.

W. H. McFarland, of Virginia.

W. C. Tompkins, of Louisiana.



Second day.

Richmond, July 25, 1861.
The President having called the Convention to order, additional delegates presented themselves from South Carolina, Alabama, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia.

The Hon. C. G. Memminger, having been invited to take a seat in the Convention and participate in its deliberations, appeared and thanked it for the liberal manner in which the banks had responded to the call of the Government.

The following resolutions were referred to the Committee on Debate:

By Mr. G. W. Mordecai--

Resolved, That the several Banks represented in this Convention will receive in payment or on deposit, and pay out during the continuance of the present troubles, the notes of all the Banks in the Confederate States of America, as may be designated by the following Banks in the several States: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, and Tennessee.

Resolved, That the Standing Committee be instructed to inquire whether it is expedient to adopt any, and what, measures to provide for the engraving and printing of bank notes and the manufacture of bank paper within the limits of the Southern Confederacy.

By Mr. G. A. Trenholm--

Resolved, That the planters of cotton and other produce responding with great spirit and liberality to the calls of the Government, and subscribing largely in produce to the proposed loan for the defence of the Confederate States, it is hereby recommended to all the Banks throughout the country to make to planters who have thus subscribed a portion of their cotton and other produce in aid of the Government, such moderate advances on the remainder of their crops as their necessities may require, to be refunded when the produce shall be sold.

By Mr. James Caskie--

Resolved, That the several Banks of the Confederate States will receive and pay out the notes of each other, and also the Treasury notes that may be issued by the Confederate States for circulation, of all denominations, from five to one hundred dollars; all balances between them, when required, to be settled in Treasury notes.

Resolved, That each Bank agreeing to and entering into this arrangement, be required to limit the circulation of its own notes, so that the amount shall not exceed its actual capital.

By Mr. J. Whiting--

Resolved, That, in accordance with the request of the Secretary of the Treasury, the committee take into consideration, and report to this Convention, the character of post notes which they deem it advisable for the Government to issue, and the amount which may be safely put into circulation; and to inquire, further, as to the propriety of controlling, by advances on produce, the cotton crop, and other produce not perishable, in case the blockade shall not be raised, and to submit a plan for the same in its principal bearings, that the sense of this Convention may be known to the Government.

By Mr. W. T. Sutherlin--

Resolved, That, in the opinion of this Convention, the most effective and ready resources of the Confederate States, in its present emergency, consist in the issue of Treasury notes, a large proportion of which, in the opinion of this Convention, should bear interest at the rate of not less than five per cent. per annum.

Resolved, That any interference on the part of this Convention with the present regulations of receiving and paying out the paper circulation of the Confederate States, other than the agreement to receive and pay out the Treasury notes of the Confederacy, would be, at this time, unwise and inexpedient.

On motion, the President appointed seven additional members to the Standing Committee on Business.

On motion, the Convention adjourned to meet to-morrow, at 10 A. M.



Third day.

Richmond, July 26, 1861.
The Convention reassembled this day. The minutes of yesterday were read and confirmed.

Pursuant to notice, Mr. Torbett, of Tennessee, offered the following preamble and resolutions, which he desired should lay on the table for future discussion:

Whereas, It is, in the opinion of this Convention, the duty, and we hope the desire, of all the Banks in the Confederate States to give their concentrated credit to the use of the Government; and believing that this can be most effectually done by all agreeing to receive [410] the Government Treasury notes on deposit and in payment of debts due the Banks, and pay out the same to their customers; and this Convention, representing nearly all the banking interests of the States, with the exception of our sister State Louisiana, have determined upon and adopted the aforesaid policy; and, whereas, it is understood that the Banks of Louisiana are willing to cooperate with those of her sister States in aid of the Government, but it is understood that there is a constitutional barrier in the way of their immediate cooperation, this Convention, believing that it is so vitally important to have a complete concentration of the credit of all the Banks as to fully justify the assembling of a State Convention, if need be, to remove the barrier. Be it, therefore,

Resolved, That the Banks of Louisiana are hereby urgently requested to take the earliest opportunity, by their combined influence, to procure the removal of the prohibition alluded to.

Resolved, That his Excellency the Governor of Louisiana is hereby respectfully requested to take such action in the premises as will most promptly effect the desired object.

Resolved, That the Secretary is hereby directed to forward to the Executive, and each of the Banks of Louisiana, a copy of the proceedings of this Convention.

Mr. George A. Trenholm, from the Committee on Business, made the following report:

The Standing Committee of the Bank Convention instruct me to report that they have had the subjects committed to them under consideration, and have made some progress, and ask leave to sit again. They now recommend the adoption of the following resolution by the Convention:

Resolved, That it is recommended to all the Banks in the Confederate States to make arrangements with the Banks in Richmond, Va., and in other important cities, to receive their notes in payment and on deposit; and to the end that soldiers may not be subjected to any discount on their money, the Banks making such arrangements be requested to give public notice of the same.

On motion, the above resolution was adopted.

Mr. G. A. Trenholm, from the same Committee, submitted the following additional report:

The Committee beg leave to report, that they have had under consideration the resolution offered by Mr. Whiting, and they recommend that the action of the Convention, or so much of the same as relates to advances on cotton by the Government, and on other produce, or the purchase of the same, be postponed until an adjourned meeting of the Convention. And they have also considered the resolution offered by Mr. Trenholm, recommending advances be made to planters by the Banks, and they recommend an adoption of the same.

They ask leave to sit again, having not disposed of other matters committed to them.

After some debate, in which Messrs. Coffin, Bee, McFarland, and Trenholm participated, the recommendation of the Committee as to the disposition of the Whiting resolution was adopted.

Mr. Trenholm's resolution was adopted, and is as follows:

Resolved, That the planters of cotton and other produce having responded with great spirit and liberality to the calls of the Government, and subscribed largely in produce to the proposed loan for the defence of the Confederate States, it is hereby recommended to all the Banks throughout the country, to make to planters who have thus subscribed a portion of their cotton or other produce in aid of the Government, such moderate advance on the remainder of their crops as their necessities may require.

Referred to Committee on Business.

On motion of Mr. J. G. Holmes, his plan for arranging the Confederate loans, also a plan for equalizing the value of certain portions of Bank notes of such Banks as have subscribed, or may subscribe, to the Confederate loan, was referred to the Committee on Business without being read.

On motion of Mr. G. A. Trenholm, Mr. James G. Holmes was added to the Committee on Business.

The President read the following communication from Messrs. Tompkins and Nixon, of Louisiana:--

Richmond, Va., July 26, 1861.
Gentlemen: The undersigned, representing the Crescent City Bank, of New Orleans, in your Convention, feel a delicacy in acting in the Convention, as they have received information that no other Bank in Louisiana will be represented. They therefore ask leave to withdraw their names from the list of delegates. With our best wishes for the success of the Convention in the objects for which it has assembled, we are,

Very respectfully, &c.,


On motion of Mr. J. G. Holmes, the Convention took a recess until 5 P. M.



Evening session.

The following important report, from the Standing Committee of the Bank Convention, was unanimously adopted at the afternoon session of that body:

The Standing Committee of the Convention of Banks, beg leave to report on the following matters submitted to their consideration:

On so much of Mr. Whiting's resolution as relates to a further issue of Treasury notes by the Government, they are of opinion that at least one hundred millions of dollars, in addition [411] to the notes already authorized by law, may be safely issued and put in circulation by the Government. They are persuaded that all the citizens of the Confederacy will readily accept them in payment in their mutual transactions; and the Banks, with equal unanimity, will adopt them as the curency of the country. As the resolutions upon this subject adopted by the Convention held at Atlanta, Georgia, applied necessarily only to the notes then authorized by law to be issued, they recommend the adoption of the following resolution on this subject:

Resolved, That the Banks here represented agree that they will receive in payment and on deposit, and pay out again, the Treasury notes that may be issued by the Government; and they recommend to all such Banks in the Confederate States as may not be represented in this Convention, to adopt the same resolution, and communicate their concurrence to the Secretary of the Treasury.

The object of the Government being to adapt these notes to perform the functions of currency, the Committee are of opinion that the notes should bear the same date and carry the same rate of interest. It will be impossible for the tellers of the Banks, and other persons engaged in handling money, to use these bills as currency if they varied in date and in the rate of interest. If, on the contrary, they all bore the same date and the same rate of interest, they could be conveniently counted, and the sum ascertained as in the case of Bank notes; for it would be as easy to compute the interest on a hundred bills as one. No loss would accrue to the Government, because in paying out the bills the disbursing officer would be careful to charge the rescinder with the interest as well as with the principal of the notes. The interest should be two per cent. on every one hundred dollars, or at the rate of 7 3-10ths per annum. That the notes should be redeemable in three years, at the option of the Government, and be receivable in all public dues, except the export duty on cotton, and be fundable at the will of the holder in 8 per cent. stock or bonds. Notes of the denominations of $5, $10, $20, in the opinion of the Committee, ought not to bear any interest. These would more appropriately perform the functions of a currency, and they are of opinion that the larger notes, such as $20 and $100, would be largely taken up by a class of our citizens who are not in the practice of making such investments. These notes would pass into their hands in the course of business, and they would very soon discover the advantage as well as the merit of thus contributing their aid in support of the Government of their choice and affections. The Committee gave also a respectful consideration to the plan submitted by Mr. Holmes, for the adjustment and final extinguishment of the public debt; but, without in any way impeaching its acknowledged merit, they decided not to express any opinion as to the expediency of its adoption by the Government, for whose purpose its adoption could be best determined, in their opinion, by the Secretary of the Treasury. All of which is respectfully submitted.

G. A. Trenholm, Chairman. Richmond, July 25, 1861.

--Charleston Courier, July 29.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: