The Bank Troubles in Philadelphia

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    “The Bank Troubles in Philadelphia,” New York Times, 10 November 1857, p. 2.
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    The Bank Troubles in Philadelphia
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    Wes McCoy
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    The Bank Troubles in Philadelphia

    The Philadelphia Ledger, of yesterday, commenting upon the proceedings of the Directors of the Bank of Pennsylvania in suing for an attachment against the property of Thomas Allibone, late President of the Bank, says:

    “Not the least singular feature of this case- and it is one that proves how utterly valueless as a protection against fraud and impropriety are modern directors- is, that a majority of the directors that make the affidavit charging the late President with fraud and running away , only twenty days before passed a resolution on the occasion of resignation, expressing ‘their feelings of deep regret’ at parting with him, and sympathizing with him that his health required his absence from the country, wishing him a long life of happiness and usefulness. By this official endorsement by parties, who were in a position to know, and who should have known whether such an endorsement of their officer was merited, several of the daily newspapers were induced to believe that the administration of the affairs of the Bank, though the institution was in a failing condition, was probably from the taint of fraud. We now, however, have their oaths against their words, that there is fraud, and that their late President is unworthy of the kind of regard expressed for him. We are not disposed to believe that the Directors, at the time of Mr. Allibone’s resignation, were cognizant of the frauds now sworn to, but as they should have known, they stand scarcely less culpable to the plundered creditors of the Bank and to the public, than if willfully asserting what they know to be true. If they knew nothing against Mr. A. at the time of his resignation they should have said nothing, resting content with quietly filling away the document that officially disconnected him from the institution. They were not called on to say anything, and, certainly not to state and proclaim an untruth. The public will feel much disposed to hold the directors to the just responsibility that attaches to their office, and in denouncing Allibone will not withhold their censures from his advisers in the administration of the affairs of the bank, and in his endorsers, at the end of his labors. This illustration of the blind ignorance on the part of the bank directors, though not the first one, we hope will not be lost sight of by that fraternity. We had a similar illustration on the occasion of the failure of the Schuylkill Bank some twenty years ago. Only three days before the explosion of that delectable concern, a Committee of three very intelligent and respectable members of the Board of Directors certified to the truthfulness of a statement that showed the Bank in a sound and healthful condition.

    The Press says:

    “The precipe accompanying the affidavit of the Directors of the Bank directed the issue of an attachment against all the estate of Thomas Allibone, real and personal, and also directed the Sheriff to attach all the moneys and effects of the defendants in the hands or possession of Wm. C. Morgan & Co.; of Robert J. Ross and- Kelly, copartners as R.J. Ross & Co.; and of Francis M. Drexel and Joseph W. Drexel, copartners as Drexel & Co., and to summon them as garnishes. St. Geo. T. Campbell is Attorney for the Bank. The effect of this domestic attachment will be to place all the property of Thomas Allibone in the hands of trustees for distribution among all his creditors.”

    The Harrisburg Union says that the Philadelphia Bank has filed a complaint against the Pennsylvania Bank, under the provisions of the Relief bill, as an insolvent institution. The effect will no doubt be to put the Bank out of existence, as its insolvency will probably be made apparent should the State authorities institute the required examination. This, however, may be avoided by a general assignment.

    Mt. Wainwright, late President of the Commercial Bank, was arrested on Saturday, charged on the oath of R.H. Beatty, with perjury. Mr. W. was held in $1,000 bail. Mr. W. was up on a similar charge some time ago, before another Alderman, but as the decision of the magistrate on that occasion was unsatisfactory, this suit is instituted.
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