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2,068.72 1,113.00 2,753.00 10,570.00
$127,377.45 The committee called attention to the fact that the bank had not complied with its charter, nor with its promises and en gements to the committee in the month of February, and at this time have but $457.30 in specie on hand as the basis of their capital.” The committee did not and could not consider specie "in transit” as worthy of being depended upon.
The committee thought the bank had "violated, misused, and abused the privileges of its charter in several instances”; that the individuals who owned the institution did not have it in their power to place it in a solvent condition, although they believed the directors desired and intended to do so; the state of the currency was such that the object could not be obtained; that there was little confidence in the bank, and from all that had been exhibited, it was the opinion of the committee that the charter of the bank should be annulled and vacated. They offered the following resolution:
Resolved, That the committee on corporations be instructed to bring in a bill to repeal the charter of the Miners' Bank of Du Buque, and so to provide in said bill for the settlement of the accounts of said bank, that the public may suffer as little as possible.
(e) The Memorial to the Legislature.
On the 18th of June, the memorials of Francis Gehon, Peter A. Lorimer, Francis K. O'Ferrall, Robert D. Sherman, and S. D. Dickson was presented to the Legislative Assembly. This stated that on June 14, 1838, that they had personally examined the books, deposits, accounts, and exhibits of the
I Journal of House, 1838, p. 138, et seq.
bank, both in specie and funds of other description, and found the cashier's statement appended to the memorial to be true in every particular. They called attention to the change of ownership of the bank since its organization ; and believed
; that under the directory, as constituted, the bank would be conducted on sound and safe banking principles and in such a way as to result advantageously to the community. They had "every confidence in the honesty and fidelity of the men” who were in the future to control the business management of the bank. They believed that the repeal of the charter or the suspension of its business would result in public injury. They expressed this opinion out of a sense of justice to the bank, the community in which they resided, and in reference to the facts and circumstances as they existed. These opinions were different from the ones they had entertained before the change had taken place in the stockholders and officers of the bank. They asked that the bank might receive the support and confidence of the Legislature. STATE OF THE FUNDS OF THE MINERS' BANK OF DU BUQUE,
JUNE 14, 1838. Banking house and lot...
$ 3,250.11 Real Estate..
950.00 Bills Discounted.
66,988.11 Domestic Bills of Exchange..
11,876.87 Bank of the State of Missouri...
500.00 Farmers' & Mechanics’ Bank of Michigan.
762.19 Bank of Mineral Point....
318.37 Sec'y of Wisconsin Territory.
5,050.00 Contingent Expenses.
2,417.79 Suspense Acct.
4,453.98 Cash Items .
990.51 Notes of other banks..
8,096.00 New York City Funds.....
$126,150.74 The bills discounted in February were $40,809.05 and on June 4th had risen to $69,003.66; in February out of a total of $20,155.00 in bank notes, $19,520.00 were in Jackson County and Manchester Bank bills; on June 4, the amount of bank notes of all kinds on hand were $7,258.00 which are stated to be the notes of Michigan chartered banks, Bank of Wisconsin, and a few of Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky banks,
, showing that the increase in bills discounted had been caused by the putting into circulation of the notes of the insolvent Jackson Co. and Manchester banks. The putting of these notes into circulation was one of the principal objections by the committee to the continuance of the charter of the bank.
Nothing was done in regard to the revocation of the charter, for the Legislative Assembly received the news that the Territory of Iowa had been created by Congress and it adjourned to meet at Belmont in the Territory of Wisconsin.
5. The Newspaper Correspondence.
In connection with this report, it is necessary to consider a letter of E. Lockwood, President of the Miners' Bank, which is an answer to a letter written from Dubuque and published in the Miners' Free Press of the issue of February 2nd, 1838, as it clears up some of the methods of the organization and conducting of the bank's business, that are not shown in the report of the Investigating Committee. The first portion of the letter is taken up with a long statement, that may without Legislative Investigations of 1837-38
1 Iowa News, February 10, 1838. 2 Col. W. S. Hamilton, editor.
the loss of meaning be summed up in these words: “the entire object 'of the writer seems to be to mislead the public with regard to the bank."
The writer, in the Miners' Free Press, had stated that "the first installment was paid to the commissioners, and they supposed it had been deposited in the Bank at Galena, but it has been ascertained that instead of a deposit, it was returned there to pay a loan of the principal stockholders, except about $2,000.” The above statement is especially worthy of notice as it is one which is made use of in the later debates and newspaper articles against the bank. In reply to this Mr. Lockwood answers that this was not the case, at all. “The money, ($19,612.50) was deposited in the Bank at Galena, and a certificate of deposit signed by Wm. C. Bostwick, Cashier, for that amount was given to me. It was made subject to the order of the Miners' wank of Dubuque. Eighty-seven dollars and fifty cents should be added to that amount, which had been paid towards a building lot for the Bank, and the writer in the Miners' Free Press "can explain the reason why the remaining three hundred dollars was not paid over that time.”
Another one of the statements made in the Miners' Free Press and which was also used as another argument, at a later period, by the opponents of the Bank, was that many of the persons holding only a small amount of stock immediately sold out to larger stockholders, receiving for their stock the notes of Michigan Banks (Jackson County and Manchester), the officers telling them that it was the only kind of money they had to pay them with. Lockwood denies that this was true and cites that the writer and his brothers were paid for their stock $886.75 in specie, deducting their debts, the remainder “was paid in paper for which they can purchase mineral at $20 per thousand.” In continuation, he asserts that the other statements of the writer contain as much truth as the one referred to above.
In reference to Col. Hamilton's editorials in the Miners' Free Press, which contain the statements that "the transactions of the institution are as corrupt as possible” and that "its,
conduct has already operated to injure the character of the place,” Lockwood replies by calling attention to the reports of two committees from the Legislative Assembly “raised by the influence and exertion of disappointed individuals," do not justify the statement; and that he would not have paid any attention to the communications in the Miners' Free Press if it had not been for the Colonel's endorsement of them in the editorial columns.
He thinks that the editor of the Gazette and Advertiser" in its call for information was really seeking for the facts in order to publish them, for the information of the community, such facts as would enable them to form a correct opinion as to the solvency of the institution. That he would have answered before, if it had not been that the Committee of Investigation, appointed by the Legislative Assembly, was in the place and he knew that their proceedings would be published.
In closing this letter, Mr. Lockwood states his relations with the Bank from the time of the application for the charter down to the time of the writing, saying in a somewhat climacterial closing, “it is now, and ever has been, my earnest desire to make it a sound and solvent bank, and conscious as I am of having pursued a steady and upright course, with the laudable ambition of rendering this institution not only an honor to Du Buque, but one of the best in this Western Country.”
This warfare was not confined to the newspapers of Wisconsin, but was carried into the columns of the Missouri Reporter. The Iowa News' takes occasion to correct some of its strictures made upon the bank, by calling the attention of the editor to the published report of the committee of investigation and suggests that, in justice to the bank, corrections should be made in its columns.
1 March 10, 1838.