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belonging to Mr. T. P. Thompson's collection of Americana and kindly lent by him to the Society for publication.
Boismare was, in 1825, a bookseller in New Orleans, located at 137 Chartres Street, and later 135 Royal, where he had also a circulating library. . At the close of Miss King's paper there were some pleasant reminiscences indulged in by the members interested in Bibliographical studies. . Judge Renshaw, with a few appropriate introductory remarks, submitted the following resolution, which, after some discussion, was adopted and the matter referred to the Executive Committee:
“Resolved, That the Executive Committee of this Society is hereby requested to take under consideration the subject of the founding of New Orleans, and to report in writing as early as practicable.” • The question of purchasing photographs of the dispatches of the Spanish Governors of Louisiana, 1766-1791, now compiled by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, was also referred to the Executive Committee.
Mr. Hart's motion on the change in day of the monthly meetings, which had been laid over for several meetings, was acted on, with the result that it was decided that the day be changed from the third Wednesday to the third Tuesday of the month.
There being no further business the Society adjourned.
MEETING OF APRIL, 1917. The regular monthly meeting of the Louisiana Historical Society was held at the Cabildo on Tuesday evening April 18th.
There was a very small attendance, owing to a strike on the car lines. Most of the officers were present.
After the reading of the minutes, Mr. S. A. Trufant being introduced by the President, read what proved to be one of the most interesting papers ever presented before the Society, “A Review of Banking in New Orleans, 1830-1840.” Although dealing with technical details of financiering, it gave a most pleasant summary of the political history of a period when banks played no inconsiderable part in the election of presidential candidates, notably in that of General Jackson over Henry Clay.
The paper suggested some pertinent questions asked by Mr. W. O. Hart, which Mr. Trufant answered.
Mr. Hart then recalled, à propos of Jackson that John Quincy Adams, then Secretary of State, had proposed his then formidable rival for an appointment in Mexico, which, as is well known, Jackson declined.
Mr. John Dymond, in his usual interesting manner, related incidents and episodes of his early life in New Orleans, to which he came in 1866.
Mr. Trufant was given a vote of thanks.
Mr. Hart exhibited an interesting relic of the early days of banking in Louisiana, the reproduction of a note or bond given in 1837 for a sum of money borrowed from the old Bank of Louisiana (printed in the Hibernia Rabbit for December, 1916), which lead to further reminiscences of the Hibernia Bank by Mr. Dymond and others.
Mrs. Bruns, President of the Louisiana Branch of Colonial Dames, asked the Louisiana Historical Society's assistance in getting Congress to pass favorably a resolution to make a National Park on the site of Chalmette.
Mr. James Wilkinson also spoke in favor of the measure, and praised the noble avenue of oaks growing at Chalmette, as themselves worthy of national recognition and preservation. Other members also spoke in support of Mrs. Bruns' petition; and a motion endorsing it was passed unanimously.
The Society then adjourned.
REVIEW OF BANKING IN NEW ORLEANS, 1830-1840.
· By S. A. TRUFANT.
Vincent Nolte, in his very interesting memoirs, entitled “Fifty Years in Both Hemispheres,'' tells us that in 1821 New Orleans did not possess one single paved street. In 1822 the City Council, recognizing the necessity for some improvements, decided to pave Rue Royale, at a cost of $300,000, and the Council arranged through Mr. Nolte for a loan to be repaid in ten years from the banking house of Barings, London. Mr. Nolte says this was the forerunner of many similar loans. The commerce of New Orleans, which was destined to so mighty a future, was obliged to contend with greatest difficulties because of the miserable condition of the streets, the highways and the dykes of the river, which gave them a thousand hindrances in the way of trade's advancement.
The subject assigned me for this very informal address is “A Review of Banking in New Orleans, 1830-1840,” but to better appreciate the wonderful expansion of the monetary system of the period, I have called your attention to the rather crude conditions as they are authoritatively reported to have existed at the beginning of the previous decade.
Judge Porter, in his article of New Orleans written in this period, says
“By whatever route the traveler approaches New Orleans, whether by the river, the sea or the lake, the feature which first attracts his attention is the levee, where one may meet with the products and the people of every country in any way connected with commerce.”
The levee was one continuous landing place or quay four miles in extent, and of an average breadth of 100 feet. A very large part of the Western products were brought to New Orleans in flatboats. The flatboats were long, narrow rafts covered with a raised work of scantling, giving the appearance of narrow cabins built for the purpose of habitation, but designed to protect their cargo from the weather. These boats were valued frequently at $10,000 and $15,000. These flatboats floated with the stream three or four miles per hour, guided by a large oar at the stern and aided with an occasional dip of two huge pieces of timber which were like fins on either side.
The products of the Ohio, Missouri and upper Mississippi were floated to New Orleans for export. The flatboat men of the Mississippi were a distinctive class of dwellers upon the watersstrong, hardy, rough and uncouth pioneer traders, and it was many years before their number was diminished by the advent of the steamboat.
Judge Porter says:
“That part of the quay or levee which is particularly characteristic of New Orleans is THE STEAMBOAT LANDING. Here all is action. The very water is covered with life: huge piles of cotton, bale upon bale, and pork without end, as if the Ohio had emptied its lap at the door of New Orleans. Flour by the thousands of barrels rolled upon the quay. Here is a boat freighted
with lead from Galena, Ill., and then with furs and pelts from the upper Mississippi, three thousand miles to the northwest.
“When I contemplate the vast region of country which is just now opening to cultivation and of which New Orleans is the natural mart, I find it impossible to set limits to the city's future increase.”
Judge Porter, referring to plantation life:
“The traveler from the North as he touches the region of orange and cane of smiling plantations, bounded in the background by dense forests stretching onward to a seemingly illimitable extent toward the south, looks down upon the planter's mansion, the cluster of white cottages hard by, the slaves at their daily task and the mounted overseer.”
All of which confirms the prosperity and the civilization which was claimed for Louisiana in 1830, and which we find confirmed in the prospectus issued by the Citizens' Bank of Louisiana in 1833, which says:
“Louisiana, one of the most interesting of the United States, is increasing in population, in proportion nowhere equalled—and New Orleans, the only seaport of the State, will soon be able to vie with the great commercial cities of the known world."
Andrew Jackson had received the largest electoral vote in 1824. But the contest was carried into the House of Representatives. The Electoral College stood :
Adams received the vote of 13 States.
Crawford received the vote of 4 States. Jackson always harbored the thought that he had been cheated out of the Presidency through the influence of the Bank of the United States. He was, however, elected in 1828. His first message to Congress sounded his opposition to the Bank of the United States as follows:
"The charter of the Bank of the United States expires on March 3, 1836, and its stockholders will most probably apply for a renewal of their privilege. I feel that I cannot in justice to the parties interested too soon present it to the deliberate consideration of the Legislature and the people.
“Both the constitutionality and the expediency of the law creating this bank are well questioned by a large portion of our fellow-citizens, and it must be admitted by all that it has failed in the great end of establishing a uniform and sound currency.
“Under these circumstances, if such an institution is deemed essential to the fiscal operations of the government, I submit to the wisdom of the Legislature whether a national one, founded upon the credit of the government and its revenues might not be devised, which would avoid all constitutional difficulties and at the same time secure all the advantages to the government and country that was expected to result from the present bank.”
The records show that:
January 1, 1830, balance account public debt was only $48,565,406.50, including $7,000,000.00 subscribed to the stock of the Bank of the United States. Jackson persisted in the idea that the bank was leading the money power against him and that he was the was the champion of the masses, and he insisted upon paying off the public debt.
In 1831, Mr. Albert Gallatin, the then Secretary of the Treasury, in his treatise on the currency and banking system of the United States, pronounced the Second Bank of the United States one of the best institutions in the world.
Jackson was re-elected over Henry Clay in 1832, which he construed as an endorsement of his policies :
To pay off the public debt,
Congress, however, passed a bill granting an extension of charter under certain limitations—1832. Jackson immediately vetoed the bill, and in 1833, he began removing the public deposits from the Bank of the United States and appointing State fiscal agents.
The veto message of 1832 is full of venom, and his action in removing the public funds occasioned a vote of censure in the Senate, which, however, was finally expunged.
In 1833, the Commercial Bank, $3,000,000 capital, which bank had been chartered several years before to construct a system of waterworks and did construct at a cost of $708,000 a system of underground pipes made of cypress logs bored out and