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RECEIPTS, EXPENDITURES, AND EXTENT OF MAIL TRANSPORTATION IN THE UNITED STATES.

STATEMENT OF THE NUMBER OF POST-OFFICES, THE LENGTH OF MAIL ROUTES, AND EXTENT OF MAIL TRANSPORTATION IN THE UNITED STATES, AND OF THE

AMOUNT OF RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES OF THE POST-OFFICE DEPARTMENT, UNDER APPROPRIATE HEADS, IN EACH YEAR, FROM 1840 to 1851, INCLUSIVE.

EXPENDITURES.
Newspapers

Compensa-
and All other Total Paid for tion to All other
pamphlets. receipts. receipts. transportation, postmasters. expenses.

Total of expenditures.

13,468 155,739 3,889,053 32,481,723 $4,003,776 $535,229 $4,516 $4,543,521 $3,213,042 $1,029,447 $475,745 $4,718,235 1841

13,778 156,026 3,946,450 31,050,075 3,812,738 666,245 28,742 4,407,726 3,034,813 1,021,379 443,334 4,499,527 1842.

13,733 149,732 4,424,262 30,411,729 3,953,315 572,225 2503,966 5,029,506 4,192,196 1,041,535 441,020 5,674,751 1843.

13,814 142,295 5,692,402 29,560,403 3,738,307 543,277 14,640 4,296,225 2,982,512 995,009 397,231 4,374,753 1844.

14,103 144,687 5,747,355 29,662,269 3,676,161 549,743 11,382 4,237,287 2,912,946 988,230 395,335 4,296,512 1845.

14,183 143,940 6,484,592 29,149,877 3,660,231 608,765 i170,845 4,439,841 2,898,630 1,033,112 388,989 4,320,731 1846.

14,601 149,679 7,781,828 29,616,670 a2,881,697 1652,142 2845,249 4,089,089 2,597,454 1,042.079 444,798 4,084,332 1847

15,146 153,818 8,084,922 30,802,977 63,198,957 9643,160 k171,329 4,013,447 2,476,455 1,060,228 434,591 3,971,275 1848

16,159 163,208 8,713,200 32,299,379 3,340,304 767,334 53,438 4,161,077 2,545,232 1,254,345 627,272 4,326,850 1849.

16,747 167,703 8,945,153 33,598,916 c3,882,762 819,016 3,397 4,705,176 2,577,407 1,320,921 580,720 4,479,049 1850.

18,417 178,672 10,634,574 35,906,849 d4,575,663 919,485 4,835 8,499,984 2,965,786 1,549,376 697,790 5,212,953 1851.

19,796 192,026 13,855,209 38,849,069 e6,369,242 1,035,130 6,230 6,410,604 3,638,063 1,781,886 958,651 16,278,401 We have omitted, in the above table, cents, for the sake of convenience; the discrepancy is, however, trifling.

a Including $210.205 28 received for letter postages of the Government.
b Including $163,505 48 received for letter postages of the Government.
c Including $35,611 22 of British postages.
d Including 8147,063 82 of British postages.
e Including 858,626 44 of British postages.
Including $22,089 81 received for newspaper and pamphlet post: ges of the

Government.
& Including $20,942 59 received for newspaper and pamphlet postages of the

Government.

h Including $4€2,657 drawn from the Treasury under the act approved 9th Septem

ber, 1841.
i Including $150.000 drawn from the Treasury under the 21st section of the act of

3d March, 1845. j Including $600,000 drawn from the Treasury under the 21st section of the act of

30 March, 1845. k Including $125,000 drawn from the Treasury under the 2d section of the act of the

No. of postofhces.

Length of post roads.

MILES OF ANNUAL

TRANSPORTATION.
Raili cad Other modes
and

of con-
steamboat, veyance.

RECEIPTS.

Letter
postage.

Years.

1840.

19th June, 1816. 1 Including $233,235 40 paid for British postages,

[graphic]

DEBT OF THE UNITED STATES. The subjoined statements of the debt and finances of the United States, is derived from the report of the Secretary of the Treasury :

The public registered debt on the 30th November, 1850, was $64,228,238 37; since which period the following reductions have been made, namely :On account of the debt of the cities of the District of Columbia, assumed by the act of 20th May, 1836..

$60,000 00 On account of the old funded and unfunded debt..

2,869 19 On account of the loan of 1843.....

230,300 00 On account of the loan of 1847..

1,070,450 00 On account of Mexican indemnity stock

303,573 92 On account of treasury notes paid in specie....

650 00 Total

$1,667,843 11 In addition to which, the awards under the 15th article of the treaty with Mexico for which the issue of stock was authorized, amounting to $2,591,213 45, and the instalment under the 12th article of that treaty, amounting to $3,242,400, have been paid in cash.

The public debt on the 20th of November, 1851, was $62,560,395 26, as follows, namely" Old funded and unfunded debt, payable on presentation.....

$116,716 79 Debt of District cities assumed by Congress, $60,000 payable annually 840,000 00 Treasury notes issued prior to 22d July, 1846, payable or fundable on pre-entation.....

135,711 64 Treasury notes issued under act of 22d July, 1846, payable or fundable on presentation. ..

17,550 00 Treasury notes issued under act of 28th January, 1847, payable or fundable on presentation.....

9,500 00 Loan of April 15th, 1842, due 31st December, 1862, payable or fundable on presentation ...

8,198,686 03 Loan of March 3d, 1843, due 1st July, 1853... .

6,237,931 36 Loan of July 22, 1846, due 12th November, 1856.

4,999,149 45 Loan of January 28, 1847, due 1st January, 1868

26,266,150 00 Loan of March 31st, 1848, due 1st July, 1868..

14,740,000 00 Total

$62,560,395 26 The total receipts"from all sources for the last fiscal year amounted to $52,312,979 87, which, with the balance in the treasury on the 1st of July, 1850, of $6,604,544 49, gave, as the total available means for the year ending 30th June last, the sum of $58,917,524 36. Of this amount, $49,017,567 92 were received from customs.

The receipts for the quarter ending 30th September last were $15,561,511 83, of which $14,754,909 34 were from customs ; for the corresponding quarter of the previous year the customs yielded the gross sum of $14,764,043 06. It is presumed that the receipts for the three remaining quarters of the current fiscal year will not exceed those of the corresponding quarters of the last year, and hence the receipts from that source have been estimated at $49,000,000.

The estimated total receipts for the current fiscal year amount to $51,500,000. The total expenditures are estimated at $50,952,902 69. T'otal receipts for the next fiscal year are estimated at $51,800,000.

SAVINGS BANKS IN MASSACHUSETTS.

An official circular, requiring returns from savings institutions in Massachusetts, was issued by Governor Boutwell on the 9th of October, 1850. It had reference to their condition on the last Saturday of May, 1851. These returns, which were duly received, have been arranged and published under the supervision and direction of Mr. Walker, Secretary of the Commonwealth. The following summary is derived from report. It speaks well for the prudence and economy of the industrial classes in the old“ Bay State."

AGGREGATE CONDITION OF SAVINGS BANKS IN MASSACHUSETTS. Number of depositors 86,537 Railroad stock.

$126,137 49 Amount of deposits...... $15,554,088 58 Loans on railroad stock. 306,290 00 Public funds.

1,200,657 29 Invested in real estate 100,853 88 Loans on public funds. 28,200 00 Loans in mortg. of real estate 4,256,437 85 Bank stock..

2,824,576 61 Loans to county or town... 1,875,827 11 Loans on bank stock.... 399,705 00 Loans on Personal security. 4,652,128 48 Depos. in b’ks, bearing int'st 252,868 31 Cash on hand.....

232,186 06 Rate and amount of ordinary dividend, for last year.

A fraction over 4 78-100 {

Amount 643,470 29 Average annual per cent of dividends of last five years.... A fraction over 6 21.100 Annual expenses of the institution......

43,707 36 Eight savings banks were incorporated at the last session of the General Court. The average annual per cent of diviaends for the last five years in the above table is calculated in the returns of 34 banks.

UNITED STATES MINT, We extract from the Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, (dated Dec. 26, 1851,) all that relates to the Mint of the United States. Aside from the information embodied, it contains some valuable suggestions :

The operations of the Mint during the past year have been conducted with efficiency. and with highly satisfactory results. Under the present system the depositors promptly receive the value of their bullion so soon as it is assayed; and though the deposits are made in large masses at short intervals, on the arrival of the California steamers, yet the assays are made and the payments commence usually within forty-eight hours, and the whole generally completed within an average of five or six days after these heavy amounts of bullion-frequently by two and three hundred different depositors ---are received at the Mint; and the whole duty is performed without any charge to the depositors, except a mere fractional per centage for the actual cost of separating the bullion. It is believed that equal facilities are not presented to individuals by the mints of any other nation as are now given by the Mint of the United States.

The realization of the value of these large quantities of bullion by the owners of it without loss, within a few days after it arrives in the United States, is accomplished by means of the heavy bullion fund which can at present be spared without inconvenience from the excess of means in the treasury. It may, however, not always be convenient to keep so large an amount reserved for this purpose from the public funds; and even if it were otherwise, the amount of this fund applied to the purchase and extinguishment of so much of the national debt, would save nearly $400,000 annually, in interest now paid by the treasury. It is believed this saving could be effected, and all the advantages at present enjoyed by the depositors of gold or other bullion still retained, if, instead of paying the Mini certificates in cash, as is now done, Congress would make them receivable for all dues to the Government, under suitable restrictions as to the time and place of their receipt. I can see no reasonable objection to such use of these certificates, as they are the evidences of so much bullion already in the actual possession of the Government, and for which the coin itself would be forthcoming, generally in a few days, and always in a few weeks.

In connection with the subject of the Nint, I deem it my duty to call the attention of Congress to the present standard value of gold and silver, as established by existing laws.

The relation of gold to silver in the legal coinage of the United States, is as 1 to 15.988; in Great Britain, as 1 to 14.288; and in France, as 1 to 15.499. Thus it will

that one ounce in pure gold will, in the United States, be equal to that produced from the coinage of 15.988 ounces of pure silver; in Great Britain, it will be equal to that derived from only 14.288 ounces pure silver; and in France, to 15.499 ounces. So soon, therefore, as the state of our foreign Commerce, as is now the case, requires an exportation of specie, it is obvious that our silver coin must be exported whilst it can be procured, till the demand for exportation is supplied.

be seen,

From the operation of this law of Commerce arises the present scarcity of our silver currency: At this time, though our silver coin commands a premium in exchange for gold, it is, notwithstanding, still found more advantageous for shipment abroad than gold. In consequence of the premium on silver, though the relative legal value between it and the latter is as 1 to 15.988, the real intrinsic market value is only about 1 to 15.675. A debtor, then, who offers silver in payment, must give it at the rate of 15.988 ounces in coin, by which he loses 313-thousandths of an ounce; for with 16.675 ounces he could purchase one ounce of gold, which latter would be a legal tender for the same debt. It is to be borne in mind, however, that though the relative value of coin in Great Britain is as 1 to 14.288, that is not the relative bullion value of the two metals, which is about 1 to 15.716, the silver coin of that country being about ten per cent less in value than silver bullion of the same weight; that is to say, the silver coin of that kingdom will go ten per cent farther in paying debts than an equal weight of pure silver bullion at the standard value. A difference so great in the value of the two species of coin has not, of course, been the result of either miscalculation or mistake, but was brought about by desigo, and with the same views which it is believed will render it necessary for us to adopt a similar plan, in order to retain and maintain a silver currency. The obvious policy of this system was to secure the gold and silver coinage of Great Britain against the fuctuations arising from the relative value of gold and silver bullion there. In Great Britain 14.288 ounces of silver coin are equal in payment to 15.988 ounces in the United States, and 15.499 in France. It is very clear, then, that there is no inducement to export silver coin to either country from Great Britain.

Though the British government manufactures one hundred shillings in coin from bullion intrinsically worth only ninety shillings, it does not permit individuals to bring ninety shillings in bullion to the Mint and receive in exchange one hundred shillings in çoin; but, on the contrary, the community is obliged to pay the par value for all the silver coin it requires. It must give £5 in pure gold or silver for one hundred shillings in coin. Coinage being a monopoly by the government, the latter can impose such terms as it deems necessary and advisable, and the public, within certain limits, will pay the government its own price for the benefit of the mint stamp.

In fixing, therefore, the proper relative value which should be established between our gold and silver coins, it should not be done with regard to the value of our coins in reference to foreign coin. but as to their intrinsic value as bullion in foreign countries.

The relative value of our gold and silver coin is, as already stated, as 1 to 15.988 ; and the bullion value of our silver coin in England is 15.716—being a difference of 272-thousandths, or nearly two per cent. It follows, then, as a matter of course, that on all occasions where the course of our foreign trade requires heavy shipments abroad, our silver coin will be first sought after for that purpose, even at a premium, and consequently will disappear from circulation, as it has already done to a very great extent.

There seems to be but one immediate and direct remedy for this evil; and that is the one which has already been adopted in Great Britain, of changing the relative value between gold and silver coin by reducing the intrinsic value of the latter. The opinion of the officers of the Mint (in which judicious persons, whose opinions are entitled to great weight, concur) is, that this change could be advantageously made, by making our dollar weigh 384 grains, and the smaller coins in proportion; so that 800 ounces of such coin should be worth by tale exactly $1,000. The director of the Mint, in a communication on the subject, says: “If such a scale of weights were adopted, the relation of silver in such pieces to gold would be as 14.884 to 1, and if the present true relation or bullion value is about 15.675 to 1, the new proposed silver coin would be over-valued by law about five per cent—a very small advance, and far less than in British silver, or in the worn Spanish coin which now monopolizes our circulation." : In the adjustment of this subject, it will be necessary to consider the depreciation in the value of gold which may have taken place already, or shall hereafter occur, in consequence of the immense additional supplies which have been, and will, no doubt, continue to be, thrown into circulation from California, Australia, and other countries. This consideration might justify a much greater present over-valuation of silver coin, as the future depreciation of gold will probably soun overcome the limit of the present proposed advance.

If this plan is adopted by Congress, it of course will involve the necessity of making silver coin a legal tender only for debts of small amount-say not exceeding ten dollars, which is about the same limit (forty shillings) which has been established in Great Britain.

a

The subject of a change in the coinage of the country is one of very great importance, and involves consequences which require the most serious consideration and deliberate action. That the present relative value of our gold and silver coin requires some change there can be little doubt; and I have therefore deemed it my duty to bring the subject to the notice of Congress.

The great increase in the amount of bullion which now comes to the United States for coinaye, compared with former times, seems to require the establishment of branches to the mint at those points where the largest amount of bullion and foreign coin is received. Any transportation of those articles beyond the places where they are produced, or received from abroad, is attended with delay, risk, and expense, which should be avoided, if possible, without too great expense to the government.

The State of California is now producing gold dust certainly equal in amount to seventy-five millions of dollars, and probably equal to one hundred millions of dollars

year. The information in possession of this department warrants the opinion that this product will not be diminished in amount for many years to come.

The distance from San Francisco, by way of the Isthmus of Panama and New York, to the Mint at Philadelphia is about 6,250 miles. The precious metals there found have, therefore, to be transported that distance and back, at great risk and expense, before the owner can receive its equivalent in the legal coin of the United States. Such a burdensome tax upon the interests of California should be removed by the establishment of a branch mint at the most eligible point in that State.

Nearly all the importations of specie and bullion concentrate at the port of New York; two-thirds of all the customs duties collected in the country are there paid in specie. Sound policy demands that at that great commercial and financial center a branch mint should be established, which should be the custodian of the large amount of public moneys there collected, and which will enable foreign coin and bullion to be converted most speedily into our own currency, without the risk, delay, and expense, of transportation to any other point.

It is believed that the establishment of such an institution at that point would not charge much additional annual expense upon the Treasury. The treasurer thereof would supersede the office of assistant treasurer. The branch mints at Dahlonega, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina, may be converted into assay offices, whereby several superfluous officers might be dispensed with. The deposits of bullion at those establishments have been regularly declining, without any decrease in the annual expenses. The transportation from thence of bars and ingots, the values of which would be attested by government assayers, would be easily effected at little risk or expense.

For these and other reasons, heretofore expressed by my predecessors, I earnestly recommend the immediate establishment of branch mints at New York and San Francisco, and the discontinuance of those in North Carolina and Georgia as mints for coinage, retaining them as assay offices, under such regulations, as to the number of offices, &c., as Congress may deem proper.

The expenses of the mint and branches have of course grently increased since the accession of California, and will be still further augmented in case Congress should determine to establish the two additional branches at San Francisco and New York. I would, therefore, suggest for the consideration of Congress the propriety of authorizing a small seigniorage on the bullion deposited by corporations or individuals for the purpose of covering the actual expenses of coinage, instead of allowing the latter to remain as an exclusive charge upon the Treasury. This, it is believed, is the universal usage at all other national mints, and the charge would be but a mere fractional per centage, amounting only to a very few cents per ounce.

This department is now required by law to submit annually to Congress the mint assays of certain foreign coins; and it is recommended that this requirement be ex: tended so as to embrace annual assays of the coins of those foreign countries with which the United States have any considerable commercial intercourse, and that an appropriation not exceeding one thousand dollars be made to defray the annual expense of procuring such foreign coin as can only be obtained from abroad.

Invoices of merchandise imported from foreign countries, and subject to ad valorem duties, are required by our existing revenue laws to be made out in the currency of the country whence the shipment is made, and the value which such currency shall have in computations at our custom-bouses has from time to time, in respect to several foreign countries, been prescribed by specific laws.

The President of the United States is authorized by the sixty first section of the act of 1799 to establish fit and proper regulations for estimating duties on imported

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