Page images
PDF
EPUB

equivalent of specie. They urged that such an issue would at once have the effect of allaying the panic, and that without it most of the mercantile firms must fail.

The Chancellor, a man of no experience, replied :—“No gentlemen ; the merebants and private bankers must take care of themselves."

“Very well, my lord,” replied Mr. Lloyd ; "we shall take care of ourselves. Be so good as to examine that memorandum. You will there perceive that our balances in the Bank of England exceed the balance to the credit of the banking department by several hundred thousand pounds. We shall draw them out bright and early to-morrow morning, and before night the bank will fail. My lord, I have the honor to wish you a very good morning.”

Lord John Russell happened to be in the room, and he begged the deputation to wait a few moments, while be withheld to consult with the Chancellor. Mr. Lloyd waited. In five minutes the Chancellor stepped forward, with a grim smile, and said :

“ Gentlemen, the order in council will issue to-morrow morning, and the bank will be authorized to make the extra issue you demand.”

The deputation left; the promise of the Chancellor was kept; the order in council appeared, and the panic was allayed directly. Strange to say, it was not necessary to issue one of the notes authorized. Confidence was restored, and business went on as usual.

Precisely similar deputations waited on our city banks, and held precisely similar language. They, like the Chancellor, told the merchants to take care of themselves ; but there was no Lord John Russell to advise the directors. Had there been such an adviser at hand, and had his counsels been heard, what a difference it might have made to the country!

ELEVENTE HOUR PEOPLE. We don't suppose the brief homily which follows from an anonymous pen will change the Ethiopian's skin or the leopard's spots, but that will not deter us from presenting to the church commercial the moral ethics and the prudential maxims which go to make up and form the character of the good and the true merchant :There is a class of people who are always late. They are inevitably late to the cars, and they invariably bave to jump for it, if they are going upon a steamboat jaunt. Everything with these people is put off until the last moment, and then, if the plank is removed, they stand a capital chance of dumping overboard, in attempting to leap upon the deck after the paddle-wheels have commenced revolving. If the boat started an hour later, it would be all the same to them, for they would just as inevitably be behind time, and come up or down a little too late to take things cool or comfortable. These late people have to stir their stumps or be left behind, when they have steamboats or railroad cars to deal with ; but they are the bare of the existence of punctual persons with whom they have had dealings, and who have no recourse in the way of tapping a big bell or blowing upon a steam-whistle, to hurry up the delinquent eleventh hour men. One procrastinating man will derange the best-laid plans of hundreds, by failing to come up to time, and he wastes hours for others in his disregard for muu ves.

SYMPATHY AND FIDELITY IN THE PANIC. In the first volume of our “ LIVES OF AMERICAN MERCHANTS,” just published by DERBY & JACKSON, we gave a biographical notice of the life of the late Jonas Chickering, the founder of one of the largest piano-forte establishments in the country. Mr. Chickering was an ingenious mechanic, and a most successful merchant. His claim to a place in “mercantile biography" has been questioned by some, but when it is considered that he imported whole cargoes of materials for the manufacture, and exported his pianos to almost every part of the world, the claim we set up is clear and unquestionable. Webster, in the quarto edition of his dictionary, defines “ a merchant to be a man who traffics or carries on trade with foreign countries, or who imports and exports goods, and sells them by wholesale ;" and again,“ in popular usage, any one who deals in the purchase and sale of goods." Dr. Samuel Johnson, in his preface to Rolt's Dictionary of Trade and Commerce, published in 1757, says :-" There is no man who is not in some degree a merchant, who has not something to buy or something sell,” &c. Bat our object at this time is simply to place on record in the pages of the Mer. chants' Magazine, a praiseworthy and noble instance of fidelity and sympathy during the panic of September and October, 1857, which occurred at the extensive piano-forte manufactory of Mr. Chickering's sons, Boston, the particulars of which are thus related in Dwight's Journal :

. We cannot resist the temptation to quote one of the pleasing incidents in these dark times, which has already found extensive circulation, and been read with a thrill of new confidence in human nature. Messrs. Chickering & Sons, the extensive piano-forte makers, employ about three hundred mechanics, and maoy laborers, and have a large pay-roll to meet, of course, each week. Saturday before last, in consequence of the non-arrival of remittances here from all parts of the country, and with business paper maturing, which required all their available funds, this perfectly solvent firm were unable to pay off their hands. The workmen met, and without a dissenting voice passed resolutions expressive of sympathy and confidence in their employers, and of their ability and willingneas to wait till better times, and even tendering them a loan of six or eight thousand dollars out of their own earnings. That was poble, and speaks volumes in praise of the relation that has existed between employers and employed, a re lation alike honorable to both parties.”

TAE FARMER AND THE MERHANT.

The independence of the farmer is too apparent to require elaborate illustration, and we have frequently commented upon the pursuit of agriculture to the thousands of young men who crowd our cities, seeking employment in shops, stores, banks, and warehouses, as clerks, salesmen, book-keepers, &c. We say go till the ground, and if you do not make a hundred thousand dollars in a year, you may rest assured that a panic, or revulsion, will not sweep away in a day the crops of your farm, and what is more, your life will be prolonged, and you will be bappier, because a better man. The merchant or mapufacturer may be robbed of the reward of his labor by change in the foreign or domestic market, entirely beyond his control, and may wind up a year in which he has done everything which intelligence and industry could do to insure success, not only without profit, bat with an actual diminution of capital. The strong arm of mechanical industry may be enfeebled or paralyzed by the prostration of those manufacturing or com

mercial interests to whose existence it so essentially contributes, and on whom in turn it so essentially depends. But what has the intelligent and industrious farmer to fear? His capital is invested in the solid ground. He draws on a fund which has never wholly suspended or repudiated ; his success depends on no earthly guaranty, but on the assurance of that great beneficent Being, who has declared that while earth endureth, seed time and harvest shall not cease.

THE DUTCHMAN'S GOLD IN A PANIC. We find the following anecdote floating around in the journals of the day, without credit. It is too good to be lost, and we therefore transfer it to our Magazine :

Everybody will remember the “ money panic" they had at San Francisco some years since-and the story • John Phænix " used to tell of its effects-individually illustrated. Before the fright, a frugal old Dutchman, by dint of hard labor, had accumulated some $500, which he cautiously deposited in one of the banking houses for safe keeping. Rumor soon came to bis ears that they were not very safe—some said that they had a broke.” Next morning. he tremblingly drew his balance and put the shining gold in his pocket. He breathed decidedly freer, but here was a dilemma. What should he do with it? He did pot dare to keep it in bis shanty-and as for carrying it about with him, 'twas too precious heavy. So, after a sleepless night or two-in constant apprehension of burglars—he deposited it in another " banking office.” Another day-the panic increased—there was a run on his bank-he pushed in—drew his goldand felt easier once more. Another anxious day and night for bis modish," and again it was deposited in a safe bank. This time he felt safer than ever before, avd went quietly to his work. But the panic reached that bank, and anxious depositors besieged the doors. Mynheer heard the news, and put post-haste, book in hand, for the scene of action- jammed in with the crowd-drew his gold, new and bright-put it safe in his corduroys—and was bappy once more—but here Was the dilemma again—where to put it. He had gone pretty much the rounds of the banks, and having had such narrow escapes, couldn't trust them any more. He sat down on a curb-stone, und soliloquized thus :—" I put mive monish in von bank, ven he preak; I put him in de oder bank, ven he preak too ; I draw him uot; I can no keep him home :-I put him into dis bauk, paw dis one preak; vat te tuyvil shall I do? I take him home and sow him up in my frow's petiicoat, and if she preakcs I preakes her head !"

CONFIDENCE BETTER THAN GOLD, “Suppose you no ave ze money, den I want him quick; but suppose you avo him, den I no want him at all."

The crowds at the Citizen's, Canal, Robb’s, and other banks in New Orleans, on Wednesday, the 14th of October, 1857, gave, says the Commercial Bulletin, a fine illustration of the Frenchman's philosophy, for when the defiant front maintained by the banks began to show them beyond mistake that they had “ ze money,” and a plenty of it, and shelled it out on demand, the said crowds soon discovered that they “no want him at all.” The Canal, they deserted before eleven o'clock, and left it with cart loads of the shining ore on band. At Robb's scarcely any body beyond the usual number of customers to do their business called. The metal of this institution had been too well tested on the previous day to require any further proof of its pluck and ability. The victory was fought and won on Wednesday, the 14th of October. The same was the case with the Southern Bank. The Citizens' had a big crowd around it till about 3 o'clock, and the paying tellers counted out the gold as fast as they possibly could. Every thing solid as a rock there.

TAR RELIGION OF TRADE. The Belfast “Mercantile Journal” says, that the local papers of Ireland have for some time turned their attention, to the religious opinions, expressed or understood, of their neighbors, and that classified lists have even been published. The Journal in discussing the subject, justly remarks :

“We believe that every sincere man wishes, on this most important point of all, to draw all persons to his own particular views, and so far we agree with those who cousider religion a most serious question---too serious, indeed. to be bandled as it sometimes is. As a public question, we are inclined to think that as long as the constitution of a country considers all citizens equal in the eye of the law, it is not the business of neighbors to pry into the faith of their fellows, still less becoming is it to assume that the church he attends fits or unfits a man for public employments. The maxiın of philosophy, however, applies equally well to matters of this sort, where also " action and reaction are always the same;" and the fault of such discussions, injurious as we believe them to be, and leading to no good result, must be charged on those who first introduced the religious element into civil discussions, whoever those may turn out to be.”

Although we are not aware, that anything like classified lists of the religious opinions of traders in the United States have ever been made, we fear that too mach of the spirit indicated by our cotemporary exists in some of our cities. We have in times past heard young men advised to attend the church of some particular sect, as it would promote their pecuniary condition in life. The best maxim for merchants, as for all men, is the golden rule of the Gospel.

COMMERCIAL VALI'E OF BONES. The laws of trade harmonize with laws of nature, that is, turn everything into profitable use :-- There is a bone boiling establishment opposite Yonkers, on the Hudson River, which, says the Scientific American, pays for bones in New York city alope, an average of $100 a day. The forelegs and hoofs are generally bought by manufacturers of glue, and when they are done with, they are sold 10 the bone dealers at two cents a pound. The hoofs of horned cattle are disposed of at the rate of $40 a ton, and are afterwards made into horn buttons and Prussian blue. Horse hoofs and sheep-hoofs and horns are sold for $15 a top. On the arrival of the bones at the factory, the thigh and jaw bones are sawed so as to admit of the removal of the marrow. They are then thrown into a vast cauldron, and boiled until all the marrow and fatty substances attached to them are thoroughly extracted. The fat is then skimmed off and placed in coolers, and the bones are deposited in heaps for assortment. The thigh-bones are placed in one heap for the tarners ; the jaws and other bones suitable for buttons are placed in a second pile ; the boue suitable for “ bone-black” come No. 3; and the remainder are ground up for phosphates and manures.

" Bone-black,” for sugar refiners, is worth from 24 to 34 cents a pound. There are eleven large sugar refineries in this city. Stuarts' alone pays about $10,000 a year for “ bone black.”

PURSUIT OF SPECIE UNDER DIFFICULTIES. The Lafayette (Indiana,) Courier gives an anecdote of a Mr. Davis, a Cin cinnati broker, who favored the banks of Lafayette, during the panic. The brolex had with him about $2,500 in bills on the old State Bank, and some $4,500 on

the Bank of the State. He stepped into the Bank of the State, and his eye brightened at the prospect of the yellow boys ranged in tempting piles before him, every dollar worth ten per cent premium. He presented his notes, and the cashier recognizing him as one of the Cincinnati sharks, took up a bag of silver, reserved specially for such chaps, and commenced redeeming one bill at a time. The broker expostulated. He wanted gold-offered to make a slight discount, but no, the cashier told him that the notes were worth one hundred cents to the dollar, and he proposed to redeem them in Uncle Sam's currency at that figure. He refused to take the silver, and depositing the red backs in an old carpet sack that looked as though it could a tale upfold of many a “run," the discomfited broker wended his way to the old State Bank. He presented his packages marked $2,500, and demanded the specie. The cashier promptly set out a couple of bags filled with dimes and balf-dimes. Mr. Broker turned upon his heel in disgust, and took the first train for Logansport, to make a run on the branch there.

PICTURE OF A CAINESE MARKET. ROBERT Fortune, in his “ Residence among the Chinese; Inland, on the Coast, and at Sea," thus describes a Chinese market :

Near the center of the city (Tse-Kee) and in one of the principal streets, I found a most excellent market. For fully half a mile this street was literally crowded with articles of food. Fish, pork, fowls, ducks, vegetables of many kinds, and the fruits of the season, lined its sides. Mushrooms were abundant and excellent, as I afterwards proved by having some cooked. Frogs seemed much in demand. They are brought to market in tubs and baskets, and the vendor employs himself in skinning them as he sits making sales. He is extremely expert at this part of his business. He takes up the frog in his left hand, and with a knife which he holds in his right, chops off the fore part of its head. The skin is then drawn back over the body and down to the feet, which are chopped off and thrown away. The poor frog, still alive. but headless, skipless, and without feet, is then thrown into another tub, and the operation is repeated on the rest in the same way. Every now and then the artist lays down his kvise, and takes up his scales to weigh these animals for his customers and make bis sales. Everytbing in this civilized country, whether it be gold or silver, geese or frogs, is sold by weight. Raw tea-leaves—that is, just as they had been plucked from the bushes, and unmanufactured—were also exposed for sale in this market. They were sold at from three farthings to five farthings a pound; and as it takes about four pounds of raw leaves to make one pound of tea, it follows that the price paid was at the rate of threepence to fivepence a pound, but to this must be added the ex. pense of manipulation. In this manner the inhabitants of large towns in China, who have no tea-farms of their own, can buy the raw leaves in the market, and manufacture the beverage for themselves and in their own way.

MERCHANTS AND SHOPKEEPERS OF TAUNTON AT PLAY IN THE PANIC. The dull times, and the extreme paucity of trade, brought out, according to the Taunton (Mass.) Gazette, of the 24th of September, 1857, “the merchants and shopkeepers, with their clerks, to the number of more than one hundred, assembled for a game of foot ball. The match was very exciting, and was played by the north side of Main-street against the south side. The result of the game was the defeat of the south-siders in three out of the four matches played. The match was very spirited, and was witnessed by a large crowd of interested spectators.”

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »