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IDENTITY OF INDORSERS. In a former number of the Merchants' Magazine, we published a few remarks on this subject. Those remarks have elicited from a correspondent of the Evening Bulletin the subjoined statement of facts, which are of great importance to Banks and Bankers :
A person traveling from one part of the country to another, provides himself with funds in the shape of drafts drawn to bis order, on banks and brokers. He cannot take gold, because it is inconvenient on account of its weight to carry it about bis person, and it is dangerous to put it in his trunk. It is unsafe to carry bank-notes, because of the exposure to pick-pockets, to say nothing of the discount on such funds at different points. So, for his own convenience and security, he obtains drafts. These he knows cannot be cashed without his indorsement. If his pocket-book is stolen, be can obtain duplicate drafts, and the only inconvenience is loss of time.
He presents his draft at the counter of the bank where they are made payable, and is politely informed that he is not known to be the person represented in the draft, and that it will be necessary for him to identify himself He will probably reply, by assuring the teller that he is the proper person, and that there can be no mistake about it. The teller replies that it is very probably so, but there must be some evidence shown before the draft can be paid. "If the stranger is an unreasonable man, his face will be flushed with mortification and anger, and he will inquire haughtily for the cashier. When shown into his room the same scene is gone over, only that by this time the stranger, by the delay, begins to think that he is suspected of being a swindler or forger. The cashier lays aside his pen and very patiently endeavors to show him the necessity for this caution. After some time thus spent, the stranger is convinced of one thing at least; namely, that unless he carries some evidences of his identity about him, such as his attested signature or other proof, he must find a reference; and he goes away mortified to comply with what he thinks, in his case at least, is unnecessary precaution.
Some time ago a person went to the post-office, in our city, and inquired for a letter, One answering to his description was delivered to him, which he opened. It contained a draft drawn in favor of the party to whom the letter was addressed. He wrote that name upon it and presented it at the bank, on which it was drawn for payment. Being a stranger to the teller, payment was refused, unless the party could identify himself. He then took from his pocket the letter which contained the draft, and exhibited that as proof, that he was the person represented. This seemed conclusive evidence to the teller, and the money was paid.
The real owner, not receiving his remittances, wrote to his correspondents that he had received no letter from them as he expected. They replied and gave a description of the draft. On inquiry at the bank, it was found that the indorsement was a forgery; and the bank was, of course, obliged to pay the amount to the true owner.
Only a few weeks ago, the cashier of a bank in the city of New York was thus imposed upon. A person who was lodging at one of the hotels, requested the proprietor to go with him to the bank and introduce him, that he might get a certificate of deposit cashed, which was made payable to his order. The polite landlord did so, and the money was paid. When the certificate was forwarded for payment to the bank which issued it, answer was returned that the indorsement was forged. The bank which cashed it must of course lose the amount.
Is it to be wondered at, that banks and brokers are cautious in dealing with stran. gers! Let travelers and strangers, in visiting places where they have no acquaintance, get such evidence of their identity as can easily be secured by their hand-writing properly attested.
THE SMALL NOTE CURRENCY.
New York has provided, and after the experience of fourteen years under the General Banking system, perfected, as near as may be, a reliable small note currency for the people. New England had preceded us, under what is known as the Suffolk system. The first is secured by stock collaterals and made redeemable at Albany or in this city, at the uniform rate of not exceeding one-quarter of one per cent. The last, without collaterals, is made redeemable at par at the Suffolk Bank in Boston. The New York plan, for ultimate security, is the best. The other, owing to popular opinion throughout New England, which rejects all small notes not provided for at the Saffolk Bank, is substantially as convertible. The New York plan is quite as profitable, if not more so, to the honest banker as the other, for while collateral security is required, the security is taken in interest-paying stocks, and a charge equal to fifteen daya interest allowed on redemption at Albany and New York.
The Metropolitan Bank of New York has made both systems uniform in trade. The New York small notes, whether redeemed at Albany or New York City, are deposited at one-quarter of one per cent off. The New England notes, redeemable in Boston, at fifteen certs off each hundred dollars. Under this management, every way unobjectionable to the banker, who aims only at a fair interest on his business, there Fould seem to be nothing wanting to a safe and convertible system of small notes. Yet attempts have not been withheld to defeat this purpose, and, if possible, supersede our own State currency, simply because a few of the makers of it, keeping no offices of general banking business in the interior, are not content with the shave to which they have been reduced by legal regulation. First, resort was had to the Banking Law of New Jersey, but the recent Legislature of that State, sensible of the abuse, ordered par redemption at points contiguous to New York and Philadelphia. Next, a bank in Michigan, based, for the sake of plausibility, on government securities, was used to the extent of some four hundred thousand dollars, and its notes shaved at three-fold the usual rate, by their own makers, in Wall-street. The Metropolitan Bank has corrected this dodge, and, after a fierce contest of a single week, in Michigan, bas brought the bankers to terms. Another project is now started. A “National Bank” at Washington, owned in part or altogether in New York, is to be used for circulating small notes of inferior value to our own currency. This is announced as based on State stocks deposited at Washington, with whom, or by whom, does not ap. pear, nor ought the question to weigh with the public, unless the notes are made as geod in New York as New York small notes.
The chief objection to all these schemes is, that they aim to defeat our own salutary currency laws, and for this should be discountenanced by the public. They are the entering wedge to a general system of irredeemable “ shin-plasters.” The purpose is, to issue the notes at par to the money-borrower, and redeem them at the largest shave practicable, from the public who receive them in ordinary trade. The makers presume largely on the indifference of the latter to a fractional discount, in good times, and a yet larger loss by redemption when money grows scarce. The scheme is a vicious one. It aims to abrogate our own laws, and to supplant our own currency. It is without apology in this state, where the banker is allowed interest on his collaterals at Albany, and receives interest on his issues paid out on paper discounted.
Should the “National” issue be driven to its nominalkome--which we trust will be the case through the Metropolitan or some other agency—it is quite possible the Free Banking Laws of the remoter States in the West will be resorted to. Indeed, a “State Stock Bank” at Cairo, Illinois, is already announced, and if under the sem. blance of " security” and the promise of 1 or 2 per cent redemption here, the notes can be forced into New York circulation, the sebeme may soon be tried.-- Times.
DEMAND FOR MONEY. We are requested by the editors of the Dubuque Herald to call the attention of our capitalists to the facts contained in the following paragraph from the editorial col. umns of that Journal
"Capitalists abroad will be better able to appreciate the state of our money market from a few facts we will present, than from any speculative disquisition we could write on the subject. By a reference to our advertising column it will be perceived that the only banking houses in the place, offer from 6 to 10 per centum for money placed with them on deposit. This speaks more than could a large treatise, and we trust it is sufficiently significant in its importance to induce capítalists from abroad to bring hither some of their surplus wealth for investment."
FINANCES OF CONNECTICUT. The message of Governor Seymour, of Connecticut, states, that the financial affairs of the State are in a most prosperous condition. Its ordinary expenses for the fiscal Fear ending on the 31st of March, were $109,847 63, which with $26,832 paid to the School Fund, and $646 76 unpaid taxes, inade a total of $137,326 18. The receipts for the year, including the balance of $26,266 22 on hand, were $176,466 21, leaving a remainder of $39,105 03 beyond the expenditures. $8,000 of this has been appro priated to the payment of the indebtedness to the School Fund, which is now discharged in full, and the State commenced its present fiscal year entirely free from debt, and with $31,000 in its Treasury. Under these circumstances, the Governor recommends that the State tax be reduced from one to three-fourths of one per cent. The Governor reiterates his recomendation in favor of the adoption of the system of free banking in Connecticut.
ADULTERATION OF COINS IN PARIS. The Paris correspondent of the National Intelligencer says, that remarkable ingenuity has been shown in Paris recently in the adulteration of money; and if the coins thus put in circulation were only used in the purchase of the corresponding coffee, there would not be much cause of complaint. The worthies engaged in this branch of forgeries are not so much counterfeiters of money as money alterers, or, to use the words literally, money changers. The modus operandi is as follows:- They take a genuine
five-franc piece, and go to work as if they were about to manufacture a veritable snuff box out of it. The process is obvious. One side of the coin is carefully, removed by the use of a very thin fine saw; as much of the interior as possible is then cut out; the space left vacant is filled with a composition having the same weight, and nearly the same sound or ring as silver; then the side is carefully soldered on again, and the coin has of course the same outward appearance as before. Most of of the pieces thus altered bear the effigy either of Louis XVIII., Charles X., or Louis Philippe. The fraud was first detected at the Bank of France. The deterioration of the coins thus altered is about seven-tenths.
OF BONDS ISSUED BY RAILROAD CORPORATIONS IN MAINE. The following “ act in relation to bonds issued by railroad corporations,” was ap. proved by the Governor of Maine, January 30th, 1852, and is now in force.
AN ACT IN RELATION TO BONDS ISSUED BY RAILROAD CORPORATIONS. Section 1. Every railroad corporation within this state, shall have power to issue its bonds for the purpose of building or furnishing its road, or paying any debts contracted in the building and equipment of the same; bearing interest not exceeding six per cent per annum ; and secured in such manner as they may deem expedient.
Sect. 2. Bonds issued under the provisions of this act, shall not be for sums less than one hundred dollars; and all bonds issued by any company under this act, shall be binding on said company and collectable in law, notwithstanding such bouds are negotiated and sold by such corporation at less than the par value thereof.
Sect. 3. This shall take effect on and after its approval by the governor.
RICH MEN IN MASSACHUSETTS. It is estimated that there are in Massachusetts 1,496 persons worth $50,000 and upwards. Of this number, 26 persons are worth a million or more, 45 a half million. Of the whole list, 705, or nearly half, began life poor or nearly so. Two hundred and eighty-two received their wealth by marriage. Of the whole list, 90 are farmers, 53 manufacturers of cotton, woolen, &c., 463 are merchants, 76 lawyers, 31 physicians, 12 clergymen, 46 brokers and speculators, 11 publishers, 4 editors, 50 shoemakers and shoe dealers, 10 tailors and clothes dealers, 15 carpenters, 9 masons, 23 butchers and provision dealers, 14 distillers. Those put down as benevolent are 375. Old bachlors 68.
THE MERCHANT THAT KEPT TWO BANK ACCOUNTS. The Wall Street Journal gives the following dialogue between two merchants in Wall-street:
A.-Where do you keep your account? B.-I keep two; one in the Bank of New York, and the other in the Metropolitan Bank. A.-Why do you keep two! B.Why, I bave been in the habit of getting all the discounts I required from the good old New York, and I always keep a small balance in the Metropolitan, in order to get rid of my uncurrent money. Comment is unnecessary.
FOREIGN COMMERCE OF PORTS IN THE UNITED STATES COMPARED. The following statement, showing the amounts of revenue from customs, collected at forty-three of the principal ports of the United States, from the 1st of July, 1851, to the 31st of March, 1852, and the comparison with that of the corresponding period of the preceding year, is interesting, as exhibiting the comparative foreigu Commerce of the principal ports of entry in the United States. It will be observed that there is a decrease in the ports of New York and Boston, and a slight increase in those of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New Orleans. The greatest proportionate increase is in San Francisco. The inland ports generally exhibit a very large increase. 1850–51. 1851-52.
1850–51. 1851-52. New York....... $24,375,012 $32,121,112 Sandusky.
$19,913 $33,680 Boston..... 4,924,400 4,711,112 Eastport
18,305 14,163 Philadelphia..
2,830,899 2,890,043 Gloucester, Mass. 17,244 14,085 New Orleans.....
1,777,682 1,806,471 New Bedford.... 15,832 16,763 Baltimore.. 776,380 800,772 Providence...
30,849 22,423 Charleston, S.C.. 501,387 455,263 Bristol.....
17,209 11,991 San Francisco... 596,931 1,779,945 New London .. 15,604 7,781 St. Louis... 142,406 197,990 Rochester...
11,284 9,377 Portland. 142,169 180,321 Lewiston.
11,595 18,215 Savannab 159,602 113,632 Ogdensburg
12,320 16,878 Salem... 117,976 89,429 Detroit.
23,545 23,921 Mobile.
62,398 90,729 Nashville ....... 10,085 55,844 Alburg, Vt..
57,684 28,422 Pittsburg, Pa... 2,177 12,386 Oswego... 56,259 69,746 Chicago...
4,861 2,168 Boffalo.. 51,240 78,021 Bath
11,214 6,683 Richmond.
55,468 48,901 Wilmington .... 11,270 19,174 New Haven
49,154 57,722 Cape Vincent.... 6,144 15,521 Norfolk... 45,158 34,853 Newburyport
3,061 12,530 Cleveland
51,578 80,052 Georgetown, D.C. 9,935 13,022 Cincinnati..
78,712 87,517 Alexandria, Va.. 5,724 27,686 Louisville
48,897 41,605 Sackett's Harbor. 1,950 12,483 Plattsburg
IMPORTATION OF EGGS INTO GREAT BRITAIN. It appears from the annual returns relating to trade and navigation that in the year ending the 5th of January, 1852, the number of eggs imported was 115,526,236, being an increase on the preceding, when the number was 105,689,060. In the year ending the 5th of January, 1851, the duty was £38,577, and in the year ending the 5th of January, 1852, £42,149.
TIE BANK AND COD FISHERY OF MASSACHUSETTS. Joux Gilley, Esq., Collector of the Marblehead District in Massachusetts, has sent us the tabular statement on the following page, showing the tonnage employed and product of the Bank and Cod Fishery in the District of Marblehead, which includes the ports of Marblehead and Lyon, for the year ending December 31st, 1851. The statement is official, and the most complete that has ever before been published. It will be found, in connection with the series of papers on “The Fisheries of the United States," published in former numbers of the Merchants' Magazine, quite interesting, as well as useful, in illustrating the importance of this important branch of productive industry >
AMOUNT OF THE TONNAGE EMPLOYED AND PRODUCT OF THE BANK AND COD FISHERY DURING THE FISHING SEASON ENDING DECEMBER 31, 1851.
Fish landed & cured.
Master's name. Quin'ls. Price. Amount. Bbls. Galls, Price. Amount. Tong. ft. Men. fish & oil. Bounty. oil & bounty.
Ceres John Quiner....J. T. Dissmore ... 1,420 2 50 3,500 00 19 570 17 00 323 00 88 26 7 3,873 00 353 09 4,226 09
1,412 250 3,530 00 19 570 17 00 323 00 76 60 7 3,853 00 806 53 4,159 53
1,140 2 62 2,986 80 18 540 17 00 306 00 71 51 8 3,292 80 286 15 3,578 95
4,756 00 360 00 5,116 00
T. J. Peach 1,434 2 50 8,585 00 16 480 16 00 256 00 78 50 7 3,841 00 314 11 4,155 11
J. S. Bailey
3,850 86 294 06 4,144 92
J. Glass, jr.
1,270 2 70 3,429 00 14 420 16 00 224 00 80 26 8 3,653 00 321 09 3,974 09
A. H. Missewey
539 287 1,548 37 3 90 17 50 52 50 78 26 9 1,600 87 313 69 1,913 96
1,275 50 230 81 1,556 31
286 44 3,646 14
1,078 262 2,824 36 14 420 16 00 224 00 93 50 7 3,048 36 360 00 3,408 36
1,100 250 2,750 00 11 330 17 60 192 50 104 15 7 2,942 50 360 00 3,302 50
9611 140 1,345 75 14 420 15 00 210 00 54 06 5 1,555 75 216 25 1,772 00
170 140 238 00 4 120 15 00 60 00 11 00 5 298 00 48 59 346 59 Lavancha J. Glass
90 15 00 45 00 10 75 3 255 00 37 76 292 76
579 140 810 60 5 150 15 00 75 00 25 48 6 885 60 89 27 974 87
35,015 88,116 03 409 12, 270 6,774 50 2,310 53 217 94,890 53 9,088 86 103,929 39 At the port of Lynn. .
... 13,104 3 00 39,302 00 15 237 10,678 00 700 82 111 49,975 00 2,512 87 52,487 87 Total amount in the district of Marblehead.. 48,119 127,418 03 27,507 17,447 50 3,011 40 328 144,865 53 11,651 73 166,417 26