Commercial Affairs

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“Commercial Affairs,” New York Times, 23 October 1857, p. 8.
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New York Times
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Commercial Affairs
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Don Sailer
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Serious Bank Trouble in Pittsburg.

Pittsburgh, Thursday, Oct. 22.

A bench warrant was issued at the instance of Mr. SCOTT, President of the Merchants’ and Manufacturers’ Bank, against JAMES and HERCULES O’CONNOR, brokers of the firm of O’CONNER, BROS. & CO., charging them with obtaining fraudulently, through the complicity of the book-keeper in the Bank, $185,000, and the case was heard to-day. O’CONNER, in defense, made grave allegations against the Bank, denying his indebtedness, and claiming to be the agent of the Bank for the purpose of drawing specie from other banks on their notes, to replenish its vaults; that large amounts of the notes of distant banks of less denomination than five dollars, and also counterfeit money were drawn by the firm from the Bank on the checks; that their dealings with the Bank since February, have amounted to over $3,000,000, a large portion of which was not on their private account; that the respondents in vain attempted to effect a settlement with the Bank, and placed securities in the hands of a disinterested party to cover any indebtedness.
A further investigation was waived for the present, the Messrs. O’CONNOR having made an assignment for the benefit of their creditors. Notwithstanding the developments, the notes of the Bank are still taken by the other Banks of this city in payment of notes due them, and also by the public, and it is said that its stock will not be depreciated.


Providence, R. I., Thursday, Oct. 22.

The following is the statement of the Banks of this city to Oct. 19:
Circulation $1,978,139
Deposits 2,004,747
Loans 18,505,946
Specie 335,953


Philadelphia, Thursday, Oct. 22.

WORRELL, COATES & CO., importers, and JOHN HOOPER, SON & CO., dry goods, both houses of this city, have suspended. Their liabilities are heavy.


New-Orleans, Wednesday, Oct. 22.

Financial matters look more gloomy here. Many are in favor of a suspension of the Banks, believing it the only way to obtain relief. Nothing definite has yet been decided on by the Banks. Most of them are weak. A sullen feeling prevails throughout the business community.

The Suspension of the New-Orleans Banks

From the New-Orleans Crescent, Oct. 15.

The panic and excitement of yesterday were brought about between those who should have had none other but the most friendly and amicable relations existing. We have it charged that some of the free banks were using the old banks, and allowing coin to be drawn through their collections and discounts, and as a sort of retaliation, some of the old banks compelled the others to foot their balances daily in coin under the threat that any omission would be the signal of discredit. Under these feelings the crisis reached an explosion yesterday, while the public were felicitating that the suspension of the New-York banks would relieve all cause for anxiety; that we, in fact, knew the worst had come, as expected for some days past. But this apparent war among ourselves as not anticipated. We can only hope that it will be speedily terminated.
The Bank of New-Orleans will be opened to-morrow, and transact business as usual. We believe that in the course of fifteen or twenty days, matters will be arranged so that it will continue. The discrediting of its notes, as well as the notes of the other free banks, cannot be regarded as ulterior injury. The press has come so sudden that it strikes every individual with fright. There are no causes for real alarm. The circulation is amply secured, and the porte feuille of the Bank, $2,000,000, is considered as good as any other.
The position of the Bank of New-Orleans on Saturday was as follows:
Liabilities. Assets.
Circulation $700,055 Specie $363,040
Deposits 501,118 Bills receivable 1,951,793
Due distant Banks 83, 862 Exchange 146,394
For security of the circulation, there is lodged in the hands of the Auditor of the State, city and State bonds to the amount of $621,000.

From the New-Orleans Bee, Oct. 15

Yesterday was a day of wild excitement among the billholders of sundry of our Free Banks. The run commenced on the Union, Mechanics and Traders’, and Orleans, and continued without intermission until these institutions suspended specie payments. For the benefit of those who are ignorant of the stringent provisions of the law regulating Free Banks, we will state that no alarm whatever need be felt. Every bank-note is and must be good:
1. They must be paid out of the fund deposited with the State Auditor, and if not paid in full, then
2. Out of all other assets of the Bank, and the billholders have a special lien or privilege on these two funds.
3. If not paid in full from these two sources, then for the remainder the stockholders are liable, in their individual capacity, for the full amount of all unredeemed notes in the ratio of the stock which each one may own.
4. After the protest, the billholder is entitled to 12 cent. anum in lieu of interest, payable out of the general funds of the Bank. See sections 22, 23 and 24 of the Bank act, page 38, Revised Statutes.
No debt can be better secured, and holders will do wrong to part with their notes at a loss. Such a course will only produce a rich harvest for the shavers.
In the senseless panic which occurred yesterday a sharp run was made on the Citizens’ Bank – one of our chartered institutions. It was met bravely and unflinchingly, and the Bank was kept open long after business hours, expressly to accommodate the crowds who were exchanging their fives and tens for specie.
Dispatches were received yesterday from Washington, to the effect that the Treasurer of the Branch Mint here has been authorized to purchase $200,000 in silver bullion, and to pay for it in gold coin. This will strengthen the Citizens’ Bank to the extent of $100,000, and the Louisiana State, Bank of Louisiana, and Canal Bank, each in the same of $50,000. A yet larger amount will be shortly received.


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