« ZurückWeiter »
635-To Peter Franklin
On the Price of Corn, and Management of the Poor
Shock in touching the Torpedo or the Gymnotus of Surinam is Electrical or Not
TABLE OF ABBREVIATIONS
A. P. S American Philosophical
B. M British Museum.
B. N Bibliotheque Nationale.
D. S. W Department of State, Washington.
H Harvard University.
L. C Library of Congress.
L. L Lenox Library.
Lans Lansdowne House.
M.H.S Massachusetts Historical Society.
P. C Private Collection.
P. H. S Pennsylvania Historical £ itiety.
P. R. O Public Record Office.
P. R. O. A. W. I Public Record Office: America and
West Indies. P. A. E. E. U Paris Departement des Affaires
Etrangeres, — Etats-Unis.
U. of P University of Pennsylvania.
Y Yale University.
F Benjamin Franklin.
V Benjamin Vaughan.
W. T. F W. T. Franklin.
Franklin's Mss. exist in several forms. He made a roug" every letter that he wrote; he then made a clean copy to send a often retained a letter-press copy. To indicate the state of ment, the following abbreviations are used: d. = draft, trans. = * I. p. = letter-press copy.
425- REMARKS AND FACTS CONCERNING AMERICAN PAPER MONEY1
REMARKS ON THE REPORT PUBLISHED IN OUR LAST CHRONICLE. BY B. F., ESQ.
In the Report of the Board of Trade, dated February 9, 1764, the following Reasons are given for restraining the Emission of Paper Bills of Credit in America, as a legal Tender.
1. That it carries the Gold and Silver out of the Province, and so ruins the Country, as Experience has shewn in every Colony, where it has been practised in any great Degree.
2. That the Merchants trading to America have suffered and lost by it.
3. That the Restriction has had a beneficial Effect in New England.
4. That every Medium of Trade should have an intrinsic Value, which Paper Money has not. Gold and Silver are th'-'- ire the fittest for this Medium, as they are an EquivaJ;n A ^hich Paper never can be.
if, jar.'-'That Debtors, in the Assemblies, make Paper Money
.viih fraudulent Views.
6. That in the Middle Colonies, where the Credit of the
-tper Money has been best supported, the Bills have never
st to the nominal value in circulation, but have constantlyreciated to a certain Degree whenever the Quantity hasn increased.
1 Printed in Goddard's Pennsylvania Chronicle, June I, 1767.
VOL. V — B I
To consider these Reasons in their Order; the first is, That Paper Money carries the Gold and Silver out of the Province, and so ruins the Country, as Experience has shewn in every Colony where it has been practised in any great Degree. This seems to be a mere speculative Opinion, not founded on Fact in any of the Colonies. The Truth is, that the Balance of their Trade with Britain being generally against them, the Gold and Silver is drawn out to pay that Balance; and then the Necessity of some Medium of Trade has induced the making of Paper Money, which could not be carried away. Thus, if carrying out all the Gold and Silver ruins a Country, every Colony was ruined before it made Paper Money. But, far from being ruined by it, the Colonies, that have made Use of Paper Money, have been and are all in a thriving Condition. Their Debt indeed to Britain has increased, because their Numbers, and of course their Trade, has increased; for all Trade having always a Proportion of Debt outstanding, which is paid in its Turn, while fresh Debt is contracted, that Proportion of Debt naturally increases as the Trade increases; but the Improvement and Increase of Estates in the Colonies has been in a greater Proportion than their Debt.
New England, particularly, in 1696, about the Time they began the Use of Paper Money, had in all its four Provinces, but 130 Churches or Congregations, in 1760 they were 530; The Number of Farms and Buildings is increased in Proportion to the Number of People and the Goods exported to them from England in 1750, before the Restraint took Place, were near five Times as much as before they had Paper Money. Pennsylvania, before they made any Paper Money, was totally stript of its Gold and Silver, though they had from Time to Time, like the neighbouring Colonies, agreed to take Gold and Silver Coins at higher and higher nominal Values, in hopes of drawing Money into, and retaining it for the internal Uses of the Province. During that weak Practice, Silver got up by Degrees to 8s. gd. an Ounce, and English Crowns were called 6, 7, and 85. Pieces long before Paper Money was made. But this Practice of increasing the Denomination was found not to answer the End. The Balance of Trade carried out the Gold and Silver as fast as it was brought in, the Merchants raising the Price of their Goods in proportion to the increased Denomination of the Money. The Difficulties for Want of Cash were accordingly very great, the chief Part of the Trade being carried on by the extremely inconvenient Method of Barter; when, in 1723, Paper Money was first made there, which gave new Life to Business, promoted greatly the Settlement of new Lands, by lending small Sums to Beginners on easy Interest, to be repaid by Installments, whereby the Province has so greatly increased in Inhabitants, that the Export from hence thither is now more than tenFold what it then was; and by their Trade with foreign Colonies they have been able to obtain great Quantities of Gold and Silver to remit hither, in Return for the Manufactures of this Country. New York and New Jersey have also increased and improved greatly, during the same Period, with the Use of Paper Money; so that it does not appear to be of the ruinous Nature ascribed to it. And if the Inhabitants of those Countries are glad to have the Use of Paper among themselves, that they may thereby be enabled to spare, for Remittances hither the Gold and Silver they obtain by their Commerce with Foreigners, one would expect no Objection against