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ACT TO FUND THE NATIONAL DE BT. The following bill to authorize a thirty year five per cent loan was introduced into the Scnate on Wednesday by Mr Sherman and referred to the Finance Committee : An Act to reduce the rate of interest on the National Debt, and for funding the same. Be it enacted by the Senate and

House of Representatives of the United States in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized, if he shall deem it expedient for the pur ose of funding the National Debt and reducing the rate of interest thereon, to issue registered or coupon bonds of the United States in such form and of such den min: tions as he may prescribe, payable, principal and interest, in coin, and bearing interest at the rate of noc exceeding five per cent per annum, payable semi-annually, such bonds to be made payable in not over thirty years from date, to be issued to an amount sufficient to cover all outstanding or existing obligations of the United States, and to be disposed of in such manner and on such terms, not less than par, as the Secretary of the Treasury may deem most conducive to the inte. rests of the Government. Provided, That the expense of preparing, issuing, and disposing of such bonds shall not exceed two per cent of the amount disposed of; and provided, also, that the said bonds and the proceeds thereof shall be executive y used in paying up or retiring the obligations or indebtedness of the United States other than United Siates notes.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the bonds issued under this act shall be known as the *consolidated debt of the United States," and the same shall be exempt from taxation in any form by or under State, municipal or local authority, and in consideration of the reduction of the rate of interest effected hy the negotiation of said bonds, the same and the interest thereon and the income therefrom shall be exempt from the payment of all taxes or duties to the United States.

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, that the amount of interest saved by substitution of five per cent bonds for other Government securities shall be applied to the payment of the principal of the national debt; and that for the purpose of insuring the payment thereof, and in lieu of the sinking fund contemplated by the act of February 25, 1862, the sum of at least $30,000,000, including the saving of interest aforesaid out of any moneys in the Trensnry not otherwise appropriated, shall be annually applied to the reduction or extinguishment of said debt, in such manner as may be determined by the secretary of the Treasury, or as Congress muy here. after direct.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That, for the purpose of enabling the Secretary of the Treasury to prepare for the funding or payment of the outstanding Treasury notes beåring interest at the rate of seven and three-tenths per cent per annum, holders of such notes are hereby required to advise the Secretary of the Treasury, in such marner as he my prescribe, at least six months before the maturity of such notes, whether they elect that such notes sball be paid at maturity or shall be converted into bonds of the United States, commonly designated as "Five-twenty Bonds," and the right on the part of such holders of converting -uch Treasury notes into bonds shall be deemed and taken to be waived as to each and every

note in relation to which notice shall be given as above prescribed, and the same shall be paid at maturity in lawful money of the United States.

LOST GEORG A NOTES. The following is an act just passed by the Legislature of Georgia, prescribiug a method of re-producing lost notes and bonds : An Act amendatory of the law relating to the establishment of lost papers :

Sec. 1. The General Assembly do enact, That from and after the passage of this act the owner or legal representative of any bond, bill, note, draft, check, or other evidence of indebtedness which has been lost or destroyed, may establish a copy thereof by given personal notice at least ten days previous to the day appointed, which notice shall contain a copy of the paper to be established, which notice shall be served on the party against whom said indebtedness is sought to be established, and by making oath before some officer authorized to administer an oath, that he is the owner of such paper, and that the same has been lost or destroyed. A copy thus established, with said affidavi aitached, may be used in any court of this State in lieu of the lost original.

SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That if any party who is liable for the payment of said lost paper, in whole or in part, or whose interests are affected by the establishment of said paper, shall make oath that the said paper never existed, or ihat the sas e bas been paid off or discharged, the party seeking to establish the same in the summary manner herein provided, shall be remitted to the remedies heretofore provided by law.

Approved March 7, 1866.

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Poetry, Lyrical, Narratire, and Satyrical of the Civil War. Selected and Edited

by RICHARD Grant White. New York: The AMERICAN News COMPANY, 1866.

A bandsomely bound little volume of poems and ballads bearing the title given above, we notice with pleasure as a valuable addition to the literature of the day, being a complete history, of its kind, of the great civil war, and one of the comparatively few books which is destined to outlive the generation in which it is published. To attempt a criticism of the literary merits of the pumerous pieces of which it is composed, written by fifty different authors, and many of them anonymous, would be impossible. But with the object and character of the book we are much pleased.

The design of the editor, as stated at length in his preface, was to give from the mass of poems elicited by the war all that appeared worthy of preservation on any account. In making the selection, he adds, “ poetical merit bas not been the oply consideration. Verses which celebrated at all worthily, or with spirit aby important event in the war—which expressed truthfully any mood of popular feels ing, or which embodied any type of character, whether enduring, or the transitory creation of the circumstances of the day — bave been deemed peculiarly fit for this collection."

The compiler commences with the assertion that “it is generally true that great events do not inspire great poems," and fortifies bis proposition by refer ences to bistory. An additional confirmation of the same might be found in the signal failure of all our poets to produce a poem, within a given length of time, which should have such merit as to become a “pational anthem." The failure, perhaps, might have been anticipated- the plan being similar to that proposed for the entertainment of a dinner party, to which the host invited a distinguished guest, and informed him iu presence of his company, that the party had been given to listen to his well-known wit, and requested him to “ please begin."

But the poems produced by the war, though none of them “great poems," are of inestimable value as historical pieces, and as expressions of the feelings of the people on both sides in the late contest. In fact they contain the story of the whole conflict. The feelings of the Northern people on the passage of the first recession ordinance—a feeling chiefly of sadnessand deep regret-appears in the poem of Oliver Wendell Holmes—" Sister Caroline.” The perfect torrent of er. citensent at the North in April, 1861, when the United States flag was fired on at Fort Sumter, our troops were attacked in Baltimore, and the very capital of the country threatened, is pictured in these verses. So also “the sickening anguish of despair,” felt by the soldier when he sees his lines broken up and retreating, hears the shout of a victorious enemy pressing them back, and first appreciates that the great battle bas ended in a defeat, a rout, and feels as if the destruction of the army, the capital, the Government itself bad come, and be would call on the mountains to fall upon him, is also forcibly given on these pages ; the dislike to Great Britain for her truly despicable hostility toward as is the day of a calamity; the camp song sung by a million of men on the march and by the camp fire; the story of particular battles and exploits ; the great triumph of the people when finally the end of the war seemed to appear, and last of all the overwhelming grief of the whole Northern people after the murder of their President and leader, all find a place in this volume.

The chief poems and ballads of the Southerders are also included in the colle. tion, so that the book is not a representative of one side only in the contest.

To every one who was interested on either side in the great rebellion, the • Poetry of the Civil War” has much that will stir up his feelings, and recall most vividly the scenes and emotions of that four years of strife in which the most powerful passions of a nation were exercised in alternate distress and fear, in hope and exultation. CHERRY AND VIOLET ; A Tale of the Great Plague. By the author of "

Mary Powell.” New York: M. W DODD, 506 Broadway, 1866. Every one who remembers the charming little book called “ The Maiden and Married Life of Mary Powell,” will gladly welcome its worthy successor in “ Cherry and Violet." Taking well-known historical facts or personages as a nucleus, the author weaves about them a pleasant pet of fiction, so datural, fresh and quaint, that it might well be taken for a narrative of by-gone times. The present story runs through the period of the Protectorate and the Restoration as far as the time of the Great Plague, and the Great Fire which so soon succeeded that visitation. It is difficult to quote from a book whose interest is 80 evenly diffused, but perhaps the following extract gives as good an idea of the author's manner as any other. The conversation is between the learned Milster Blower, who has been driven from bis London parish by the plague, and his faithful friend, Mistress Cherry. Cherry hos been telling him how his poor parishioners have missed him :

" It's a very nice point,” says he musingly," where we ought to lie by. I believe, had I not left town when I did, I might have been dead dow—and yet, perhaps I was like a soldier deserting his post.”

I said, “ No, sir ; you were liker to a soldier carried off the battle-field to the hospital.” “ Thank you, Cherry,” says he, taking my hand and drawing it under his

“ And what else ?” says he ; " come, let me hear all.” “Well, sir,” said I, " there's not much more to tell." "Something, though, I can see !” said he. “ Come, out with it, Cherry !"

"Sir," said I, " it's of no use for us to trouble and vex ourselves about what wicked people will say of us in mere wantonness.”

“Sometimes, though, we may bear the truth from an enemy," says he. * And what do wicked, wanton people say of me?".

“Why, sir,--some very evil-minded, malapert person bath written on your church door— A pulpit to let !""

" The rascal !" said he hastily, and coloring very red. Why, now, did I not keep on, sabbaths and week days, till the plague-swellings were actually in my throat, though my congregation often consisted of only two or three old women ?” So I said “ Yes, sir-only there's no use in being provoked.”

"Nope, done,” says be, much perturbed. “ God forgive me for it !--I can bardly have patience with them."

I said, “ Dear sir, you must have nothing but patience with them.”

" You are right, you are right," says he, coloring, but stilllmuch moved. “Il] or well, I must go back to them forthwith. ... the fact is, there is a matter I would gladly have settled here, a little at my leisure. But duty before all ! So I'll go back, Cherry, to mine."

I smiled a little as I said, “ Somebody has been doing duty for you the last week or ten days, sir.”

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" Who?" cried he.
I said, “ An Independent Minister."

A comp'ex kind of expression crossed his face; for a moment be looked pained and provoked. and then burst out laughing.

“ God bless the worthy fellow !" cried be ; “ I'll do him a good turn, if I can, the first time he'll let me !"

The author of this delightful little volume is said to be Miss Mapping, and the publisher promises a series of her works,--the next to be “ Mary Powell.” They are issued in exceeding good taste, the paper, print and binding being taultless.

CORRESPONDENCE.

He says:

New YORK, April 23, 1866. To the Editor of Huvts' MERCHANTS' MAGAZINE :

Mr. R. G. Hazard, in your April number, has, from carelessness, not from intention misrepresented some of the views of my letter to the Secretary of the Treasury.

“ to enable the Government to retain the gold, Mr. V. B. proposes that paper be issued at the market price to pay the gold inte, est ;” and he speaks in the next sentence of my proposing to “increase the supply of paper." Nothing can be found in my letter to warrant the inference that I proposed any additional issue of paper.

Agaio Mr. Hazard says: " Mr. V. B. proposes that when the gold is thus accumulated, the Government should offer to redeem the legal tender notes, and hus make gold and paper equivalent.” I did not propose thus to make gold and paper equivalevt. On the contrary I did not propose to redeem any of the notes until they had first become equal in current value to gold, under the influence of a constantly increasing gold fund which the people knew was to be applied exclusively to the payo mint of these notes. I did not fix positively the point of accommodation at which this state of things would occur, but this was to occur first, and then, and pot till then, redemption was to be offered.

Respectfully, Joan D. VAN BUREN.

CONTENTS OF MAY NUMBER.

ART.
PAGE.ART.

PAGR. 1. End of the Insurrection-Some of its 16. Commercial Chronicle and Review, 387 Tendencies.....

329 17. Journal of Banking, Currency and Fi2, The Balance of T ade and Protection.. 331 nance

396 3 A Visit to the Ballion Vaults of the 18. The Transmutation of Metals

399 Bank of England..

337 19. Bu lion in the Bank of England.. 400 4. Food and its Adulterations.. 340 20. Gold in New Zealand.

401 5. Virginia State Debt

342 21. Treaty with Japan-A Proclamation by 6. Debt and Finances of Kentucky.

the President.

402 7. Commerce of the United States.. 347 22. San Francisco-Its Debt, Valuation and 8. Analyses of Railroa Reports, No. 8.... 349 Taxation

403 9. South Carolina Railroad.. 366 23. Bank Notes.

404 10. Mr. McCulloch's Letter on the Distribu- 24. Laws of New York Taxing Auction and tion of National Currency.

368
Brokers' Sales..

401 11. The Austro-Prussian War-Cloud 372 25. Act to Fund the National D bt

405 12. The State Tax on Sales.... 374 26. Lost Georgia Notes..

405 13. Pork Packing in Chicago 876 27. The Book Trade.

405 11. The United States Debt 385 23. Correspondence....

408 15. Application of Hydraulics to Steamships 336

THE

MERCHANTS MAGAZINE

AND

COMMERCIAL REVIEW.

JUNE 18 6 6.

TAXATION OF GOVERNMENT BONDS.*

BY HON. AMASA WALKER.

The question of taxing credits assumes great practical importance when regarded in relation to the National Debt of the United States. We will assume that debt to be three billion dollars ($3,000,000,000); This forms a lien or mortgage upon the national wealth, which the Secretary of the Treasury, in his report, December, 1865, estimates at a little over fourteen billions, for convenience we will call it fifteen billions; In that case the national debt will be equal to one-fifth of the national wealth. On this debt of three billions the interest, at six per cent, will be 180 millions. If we suppose that all other demands on the Treasury amount to 120 millions annually, we have an aggregate of 300 millions as the amount of taxation. The national debt, if included in the national valuation would increase it 20 per cent., or from 15 to 18 billions. This would reduce the rate of taxation by one-sixth or 16 2-3 per cent; that is if only property was taxed, the rate would be 2 per cent., if property and national stocks, the rate would be 1.66.

Should the national debt be exempted from taxation there will be 180 millions of income that will go untaxed, and that, as can be readily seen is a large share of the net income of the whole nation, or what the people save annually after supplying their necessary consumption. The subject therefore is one of surpassing interest to the country. Quite fortunately however, the matter is wholly within the control of Congress, which can as fast as the present bonds and other securities become due, (and they may all be redeemed within seven, and most of them within three years, from 1865,) convert them into bonds not exempted from general taxation.

* From a forthcoming work on Political Economy, by Hon. Amasa Walker, of Massachus. Betts, now in the process of publication by Little, Brown & Co.,

Boston. VOL. LIV.NO. VI.

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