New York Times, “The Financial Panic,” September 14, 1857

    Source citation
    “The Financial Panic,” New York Times, September 14, 1857, p. 4: 3-4.
    Newspaper: Publication
    New York Times
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    The Financial Panic
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    Newspaper: Column
    Date Certainty
    Patrick Sheahan, Dickinson College
    Transcription date
    The following text is presented here in complete form, as it originally appeared in print.  Spelling and other typographical errors have been preserved as in the original.

    The Financial Panic.

    Our report in another column of the condition of money affairs, at the close of the third week of the existing pressure, is not, in all respects, a satisfactory one, and yet, in the substantial evidences of increasing strength to the market, there is much to encourage the belief that the embarrassment must, or ought soon, to pass away. Our own money reporter, in connection with a neighboring journal, took account of the stock of specie in bank on Saturday last, by calling upon each bank personally, and found, in the aggregate, thirteen millions of dollars, as against nine millions the week the Ohio Trust failed, and put all Wall-street into commotion. This recovery of four millions dollars in a single fortnight ought surely to stay the disastrous course of curtailment which has been going on in the line of Bank discounts. At all events, the fact that four millions of dollars in hard cash have been drawn from the country to the City – two millions of it through the Sub-Treasury, for work and labor done for the Government – in so brief a time, and on an emergency of such sudden and wholly unexpected occurrence, speaks volumes for the financial strength of our happy and prosperous (in spite of this temporary panic) land. The movement has been accomplished without producing serious embarrassment in other quarters. The cities of Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New-Orleans have all promptly and largely remitted, and they have had no Bank suspensions or failures. It is believed that Specie will continue to flow to this City, as well from the interior, as from California. At the same time the export demand has not only been checked, but we are fast approaching the season of the year when our great agricultural products will render such demand unnecessary. The crops are not only superabundant, but our main export staple, Cotton, promises to bear the highest average price, through the early part of the shipping season, at all events, known for very many years past. The remnant of the old crop now being marketed in Liverpool, has attained the almost unprecedented figure of ninepiece sterling, or eighteen cents federal money, for middling descriptions. Grain is also wanted in the same market, and orders are now here for Wheat and Indian Corn, at limits which could be easily met, if the ordinary money facilities for shipping the Grain were not virtually denied by the surrounding embarrassments.

    Under all these circumstances, the question naturally occurs to the ordinary reader, What is the further trouble in the market for money, and in the restoration of the better time, so loudly demanded by every public as well as private consideration? The banks have all the specie they need, and more in near prospect from California. Why cramp their dealers any longer, forcing the strong men among the merchants to sacrifice their best means to keep themselves from growing weak, or being suspected, and driving to despair and failure the jobbers of moderate wealth, who have little else than their country collections and a fair name at bank to carry them through their Fall payments?

    We hope, in a few days at most, to record a change which shall answer these inquiries satisfactorily. We are told that on Saturday, outside of Bank, there was an unaccountable feeling of discouragement pervading the business circles, while the Banks vaults are being rapidly replenished, and the professions of Bank liberality are all that can be reasonably asked. This sort of gloom must soon be dispelled, and we are quite sure that the money-lenders have now the ability, through a rational concert of action and a determination among themselves, to think better of mercantile credit, railway credit, and money values of every commendable class, to lend liberally, where lending will bring relief. It is not the particular province of the press to advise these gentlemen how they are to manage their own affairs; but the liberty of suggesting where they can be of service – and why, with all the material prosperity that surrounds and pervades the business of the country, they should be liberal, and, above all, trustful – must be pardoned in the existing state of untoward (and in good party uncalled for) embarrassment.

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