Image above: The U.S.S. Constitution captures the British war ship Guerrier, War of 1812. Courtesy Wikipedia Commons. Right: Battle of New Orleans, E. Percy Moran, 1910. Image courtesy Library of Congress.
U.S. Timeline - The 1810s
The War of 1812
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1816 - Detail
April 10, 1816 - Second Bank of the United States is chartered, five years after the expiration of the 1st Bank of the United States.
It had been five years and another war with Great Britain, the War of 1812, since the United States had a central bank. The First Bank of the United States closed in 1911, serving for twenty years. The war had injured the United States economy and the nation was in debit. The thought of another central bank gained steam, with John Jacob Astor, David Parish, Stephen Girard, Jacob Barker, Alexander Dallas, and John C. Calhoun leading a group of one hundred and fifty businessmen who lobbied Congress for action. But President James Madison, who had been against the establisment of the first bank, was not immediately on board, then backed it, withdrsw his support, but eventually agreed that the Second Bank was needed to provide for a stable currency and control of inflation.
The bank was capitalized with $35 million, subscribed by investors, and had the same term as the First Bank, twenty years. There would be twenty-five branches, eventually, instead of eight and the Federal Government, which owned 20%, would be its largest stockholder. The main branch would be in Philadephia, just like the first bank. Its building remains within Independence National Historic Park. That branch opened for business on January 7, 1817.
Other Branches of the Second Bank
The bank maintained the following branches at the start of the Second Bank's term, adding eight additional branches during the twenty year charter.
Augusta, Georgia (1817, closed 1817), Baltimore; Boston; Charleston, South Carolina; Chillicothe, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio;
Fayetteville, North Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky;
Louisville, Kentucky; Middletown, Connecticut; New Orleans, Louisiana; New York City; Norfolk, Virginia; Portsmouth, New Hampshire; Providence, Rhode Island; Richmond, Virginia; Savannah, Georgia; Washington, D.C.; Mobile, Alabama (1826);
Nashville, Tennessee (1827); Portland, Maine (1828); Buffalo, New York (1829); St. Louis, Missouri (1829); Burlington, Vermont (1830); Utica, New York (1830); and Natchez, Mississippi (1830).
The End of the Second Bank
The twenty year term of the Second Bank of the United States came to a close with determination by President Andrew Jackson to end it. It had been his mantra during the election campaign of 1828, was defunded by the President at the end of its charter, and caused a controversy between the executive and the Senate, which censured Jackson for his action in 1834.
Full Text, Statute by Congress Establishing the Second Bank of the United States
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in congress assembled, That a bank of the United States of America shall be established, with a capital of thirty five millions of dollars, divided into three hundred and fifty thousand shares, of one hundred dollars each share. Seventy thousand shares, amounting to the sum of seven millions of dollars, part of the capital of the said bank, shall be subscribed and paid for by the United States, in the manner hereinafter specified ; and two hundred and eighty thousand shares, amounting to the sum of twenty-eight millions of dollars, shall be subscribed and paid for by individuals, companies, or corporations, in the manner hereinafter specified.
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That subscriptions for the sum of
twenty-eight millions of dollars, towards constituting the capital of the said bank, shall be opened on the first Monday in July next, at the following places : that is to say, at Portland, in the District of Maine ; at Portsmouth, in the state of New Hampshire ; at Boston, in the state of Massachusetts ; at Providence, in the state of Rhode Island ; at Middletown, in the state of Connecticut ; at Burlington, in the state of Vermont; at New York, in the state of New York ; at New Brunswick, in
the state of New Jersey ; at Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania ; at Wilmington, in the state of Delaware ; at Baltimore, in the state of Maryland; at Richmond, in the state of Virginia ; at Lexington, in the state of Kentucky ; at Cincinnati, in the state of Ohio ; at Raleigh, in the state of North Carolina ; at Nashville, in the state of Tennessee ; at Charleston, in the state of South Carolina ; at Augusta, in the state of Georgia ; at New Orleans, in the state of Louisiana ; and at Washington, in the district of Columbia. And the said subscriptions shall be opened under the superintendence of five commissioners at Philadelphia, and of three commissioners at each of the other places aforesaid, to be appointed by the President of the United States, who is hereby authorized to make such appointments, and shall continue open every day, from the time of opening the same, between the hours of ten o'clock in the forenoon and four o'clock in the afternoon, for the term of twenty days, exclusive of 'Sundays, when the same shall be closed, and immediately thereafter the commissioners, or any two of them, at the respective places aforesaid, shall cause two transcripts or copies of such subscriptions to be made, one of which they shall send to the Secretary of the Treasury, one they shall retain, and the original they shall transmit, within seven days from the closing of the subscriptions as aforesaid, to the commissioners at Philadelphia aforesaid . And on the receipt of the said original subscriptions, or of either of the said copies thereof, if the original be lost, mislaid, or detained, the commissioners at Philadelphia aforesaid, or a majority of them, shall immediately thereafter convene, and proceed to take an account of the said subscriptions . And if more than the amount of twenty-eight millions of dollars shall have been subscribed, then the said last mentioned commissioners shall deduct the amount of such excess from the largest subscriptions, in such manner as that no subscription shall be reduced in amount, while any one remains larger : Provided, That if the subscriptions taken at either of the places aforesaid shall not exceed three thousand shares, there shall be no reduction of such subscriptions, nor shall, in any case, the subscriptions taken at either of the places aforesaid be reduced below that amount. And in case the aggregate amount of the said subscriptions shall exceed twenty-eight millions of dollars, the said last mentioned commissioners, after haying apportioned the same as aforesaid, shall cause lists of the said apportioned subscriptions, to be made out, including in each list the
apportioned subscription for the place where the original subscription
was made, one of which lists they shall transmit to the commissioners
or one of them, under whose superintendence such subscriptions were
originally made, that the subscribers may thereby ascertain the number
of shares to them respectively apportioned as aforesaid . And in case
the aggregate amount of the said subscriptions made during the period
aforesaid, at all the places aforesaid, shall not amount to twenty-eight
millions of dollars, the subscriptions to complete the said sum shall be
and remain open at Philadelphia aforesaid, under the superintendence of
the commissioners appointed for that place ; and the subscriptions may
be then made by any individual, company, or corporation, for any number
of shares, not exceeding, in the whole, the amount required to complete
the said sum of twenty-eight millions of dollars.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawfill for any
individual, company, corporation, or state, when the subscriptions shall
be opened as herein before directed, to subscribe for any number of
shares of the capital of the said bank, not exceeding three thousand
shares, and the sums so subscribed shall be payable, and paid, in the
manner following ; that is to say, seven millions of dollars thereof in
gold or silver coin of the United States, or in gold coin of Spain, or the dominions of Spain, at the rate of one hundred cents for every twentyeight grains and sixty hundredths of a grain of the actual weight thereof, or in other foreign gold or silver coin at the several rates prescribed by the first section of an act regulating the currency of foreign coins in the United States, passed tenth day of April, one thousand eight hundred and six, and twenty-one millions of dollars thereof in like gold or silver coin, or in the funded debt of the United States contracted at the time of the subscriptions respectively . And the payments made in the funded debt of the United States, shall be paid and received at the following rates : that is to say, the funded debt bearing an interest of six per centum per annum, at the nominal or par value thereof ; the funded debt bearing an interest of three per centum per annum, at the rate of sixty-five dollars for every sum of one hundred dollars of the nominal amount thereof ; and the funded debt bearing an interest of seven per centum per annum, at the rate of one hundred and six dollars and fifty one cents, for every sum of one hundred dollars of the nominal amoumt thereof ; together with the amount of the interest accrued on the said several denominations of funded debt, to be computed and allowed to the time of subscribing the same to the capital of the said bank as aforesaid. And the payments of the said subscriptions shall be made and completed by the subscribers, respectively, at the times and in the manner following ; that is to say, at the time of subscribing there, shall be paid five dollars on each share, in gold or silver coin as aforesaid, and twenty-five dollars more in coin as aforesaid, or in funded debt as aforesaid; at the expiration of six calendar months after the time of subscribing, there shall be paid the further sum of ten dollars on each share, in gold or silver coin as aforesaid, and twenty-five dollars more in coin as aforesaid, or in funded debt as aforesaid ; at the expiration of twelve calendar months from the time of subscribing, there shall be paid the further sum of ten dollars on each share, in gold or silver coin as aforesaid,
and twenty-five dollars more, in coin as aforesaid, or in funded debt
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That at the time of subscribing
to the capital of the said bank as aforesaid, each and every subscriber
shall deliver to the commissioners, at the place of subscribing, as well
the amount of their subscriptions respectively in coin as aforesaid, as
the certificates of funded debt, for the funded debt proportions'of their respective subscriptions, together with a power of attorney, authorizing the said commissioners, or a majority of them, to transfer the said stock in due form of law - to " the president, directors, and company, of the bank of the United States," as, soon as the said bank shall be organized. Provided always, That if, in consequence of the apportionment of the shares in the capital of the said bank among the subscribers, in the case, and in the manner, herein before provided, any subscriber shall have delivered to the commissioners, at the time of subscribing, a greater amount of gold or silver coin and funded debt thann shall be .necessary to complete the payments for the share or shares to such subscribers, apportioned as aforesaid, the commissioners shall only retain so much of the said gold or silver coin, and funded debt, as shall be necessary to complete such payments, and shall, forthwith, return the surplus thereof, on application for the same, to the subscribers lawfully entitled thereto . And the commissioners,
respectively, shall deposit the gold and silver coin, and certificates of public debt by them respectively received as aforesaid from the subscribers to the capital of the said bank, in some place of secure
and safe keeping, so that the same may and shall be specifically delivered and transferred, as the same were by them respectively received, to the president, directors, and company, of the bank of the United States, or to their order, as soon as shall be required after the organization of the said bank . And the said commissioners appointed to superintend the subscriptions to the capital of the said bank as aforesaid, shall receive a reasonable compensation for their services respectively, and shall be allowed all reasonable charges and expenses incurred in the execution of their trust, to be paid by the president, directors, and company, of the bank, out of the funds thereof
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the United States to pay and redeem the funded debt subscribed to the capital of the said bank at the rates aforesaid, in such sums, and at such times, as shall be deemed expedient, any thing in any act or acts of Congress to the contrary thereof notwithstanding. And it shall also be lawful for the president, directors, and company, of the said bank, to sell and transfer for gold and silver coin, or bullion, the funded debt subscribed to the capital of the said bank as aforesaid : Provided always, That they shall not sell more thereof than the sum of two millions of dollars in any one year ; nor sell any part thereof at any time within the United States, without previously giving notice of their intention to the Secretary of the Treasury, and offering the same to the United States for the period of fifteen days; at least, at the current price, not exceeding the rates aforesaid.
SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That at the opening of subscription to the capital stock of the said bank, the Secretary of the Treasury shall subscribe, or cause to be subscribed, on behalf of the United States, said number of seventy thousand shares, amounting to seven millions of dollars as aforesaid, to be paid in gold or silver coin, or in stock of the United States, bearing interest at the rate of five per centum per annum ; and if payment thereof, or of any part thereof, be made in public stock, bearing interest as aforesaid, the said interest shall be payable quarterly, to commence from the time of making such payment on account of the said subscription, and the principal of the said stock shall be redeemable in any sums, and at any periods, which the government shall deem fit. And the Secretary of the Treasury shall cause the certificates of such public stock to be prepared, and made in the usual form, and shall pay and deliver the same to the president, directors, and company, of the said bank on the first day of January, one thousand eight hundred ana seventeen, which said stock it shall be lawful for the said president, directors, and company, to sell and transfer for gold and silver coin or bullion at their discretion : Provided, They shall not sell more than two millions of dollars thereof in any one year.
SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That the subscribers to the said
bank of the United States of America, their successors and assigns, shall be, and are hereby, created a corporation and body politic, by the name and style of "The president, directors, and company, of the bank of the United States," and shall so continue until the third day of March, year one thousand eight hundred and thirty-six, and by that name shall
be, and are hereby, made able and capable, in law, to have, purchase,
receive, possess, enjoy, and retain, to them and their successors, lands, rents, tenements, hereditaments, goods, chattels and effects, of whatsoever kind, nature, and quality, to an amount not exceeding, in the whole, fifty-five millions of dollars, including the amount of the capital stock aforesaid ; and the same to sell, grant, demise, alien or dispose of ; to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered, defend and be defended, in all state courts having competent jurisdiction, and in any circuit court of the United States : and also to make, have, and use, a common seal, and the same to break, alter, and renew, at their pleasure: and also to ordain, establish, and put in execution, such by-laws, and ordinances, and regulations, as they shall deem necessary and convenient for the government of the said corporation, not being contrary to the Constitution thereof, or to the laws of the United States ; and generally to do and execute all and singular the acts, matters, and things, which to them it shall or may appertain to do ; subject, nevertheless, to the rules, regulations, restrictions, limitations, and provisions, hereinafter prescribed and declared.
Size. S. And be it further enacted, That for the management of the
affairs of the said corporation, there shall be twenty-five directors, five of whom, being stockholders, shall be annually appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, not more than three of whom shall be residents of any one state; and twenty of whom shall be annually elected at the banking house in the city of Philadelphia, on the first Monday of January, in each year, by the qualified stockholders of the capital of the said bank, other than the United States, and by a plurality of votes then and there actually given, according to the scale of voting hereinafter prescribed : Provided alr ways, That no person, being a director in the bank of the United States, or anv of its branches, shall be a director of any other bank ; and should any such director act as a director in any other bank, it shall forthwith vacate his appointment in the direction of the bank of the United States And the directors, so duly appointed and elected, shall be capable of serving, by virtue of such appointment and choice, from the first Monday in the month of January of each year, until the end and expiration of the first Monday in . the month of January of the year next ensuing the time of each annual election to be held by the stockholders as aforesaid. And the board of directors, annually, at the first meeting after their election in each and every year, shall proceed to elect one of the directors to be president of the corporation, who shall hold the said office during the same period for which the directors are appointed and elected as aforesaid : Provided also, That the first appointment and election of the directors and president of the said bank shall be at the time and for the period hereinafter declared : And provided also, That in case it should at any time happen that an appointment or election of directors, or an election of the president of the -aid bank, should nut be so made as to take effect on any day when, in pursuance of this act, they ought to take effect, the said corporation shall not, for that cause, be deemed to be dissolved
; but it shall be lawful at any other time to make such appointments,
and to hold such elections, (as the case may be,) and the manner
of holding the elections shall be regulated by the by-laws and ordinances of the said corporation : and . until such appointments or elections be made, the directors and president of the said bank, for the time being, shall continue in office : And provided also, That in case of the death, resignation, or removal of the president of the said corporation, the directors shall proceed to elect another president from the directors as aforesaid : and in case of the death, resignation, or absence, from the United States, or removal of a director from office, the vacancy shall be supplied by the President of the United States, or by the stockholders, as . the case may be. But the President of the United States alone shall have power to remove any of the directors appointed by him as aforesaid.
SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That as soon as the sum of eight millions four hundred thousand dollars in gold and silver coin, and in
the public debt, shall have been actually received on account of the subscriptions to the capital of the said bank (exclusively of the subscription aforesaid, on the part of the United States) notice thereof shall be given by the persons under whose superintendence the subscriptions shall have been made at the city of Philadelphia, in at least two newspapers printed in each of the places, (if so many be printed in such places respectively,) where subscriptions shall have been made, and the said persons shall, at the same time, and in like manner, notify a time and place within the said city of Philadelphia, at the distance of at least thirty days from the time of such notification, for proceeding to the election of twenty directors as aforesaid, and it shall be lawful for such election to be then and there made . And the President of the United States is hereby authorized, during the present session of Congress, to nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint, five directors of the said bank, though not stockholders, any thing in the provisions of this act to the contrary notwithstanding ; and the persons who shall be elected and appointed as aforesaid, shall be the first directors of the said
bank, and shall proceed to elect one of the directors to be President
of the said bank ; and the directors and president of the said bank
so appointed and elected as aforesaid, shall be capable of serving in their respective office, by virtue thereof, until the end and expiration of the first Monday of the month of January next ensuing the said appointments and elections; and they shall then and thenceforth commence, and continue the operations of the said bank, at the city of Philadelphia.
SEc. 10. And be it, further enacted, That the directors, for the time being shall have power appoint such officers, clerks, and servants, underthem as shall be necessary for executing the business of the said corporation, and to allow them such compensation for their services, respectively, as shall be reasonable ; and shall be capable of exercising such other powers and authorities for the well governing and 'ordering of the officers of the said corporation, as shall be prescribed, fixed, and determined, by the laws, regulations, and ordinances, of the same.
SEC. 11. And be it further enacted, That the following rules, restrictions, limitations, and provisions, shall form and be fundamental articles of the constitution of the said corporation, to wit
1 . The number of votes to which the stockholders shall be entitled,
in voting for directors, shall be according to the number of shares he,
she, or they, respectively, shall hold, in the proportions following, that is to say ; for one share and not more than two shares, one vote ; for every two shares above two, and not exceeding ten, one vote ; for every four shares above ten, and not exceeding thirty, one vote ; for every six shares above thirty, and not exceeding sixty, one vote ; for every eight shares above sixty, and not exceeding one hundred, one vote ; and for every ten shares above one hundred, one vote ; but no person, co-partnership, or body politic, shall be entitled to a greater number than thirty votes ; and after the fifst election, no share or shares shall confer a right of voting, which shall not have been holden three calendar months previous to the day of election . And stockholders actually resident within the United States, and none other, may vote in elections by proxy.
Second. Not more than three-fourths of the directors elected by the stockholders, and not more than four-fifths of the directors appointed by the President of the United States, wht, :fall be in office at the time of an annual election, shall be electtn --r-appointed for the next succeeding year ; and no director shall hold his office more than three years out of four in succession : but the director 'who shall be the president at the time of an election may always be re-appointed, or re-elected, as the case may be.
Third. None but a stockholder, resident citizen of the United States,
shall be a director ; nor shall a director be entitled to any emoluments ; but the directors may make such compensation to the president for his
extraordinary attendance at the bank, as shall appear to them reasonable.
Fourth. Not less than seven directors shall constitute a board for the transaction of business, of whom the president shall always be one, except in case of sickness or necessary absence : in which case his place may be supplied by any other director whom he, by writing, under his hand, shall depute for that purpose . And the director so deputed may do and transact all the necessary business, belonging to the office of the president of the said corporation, during the continuance of the sickness or necessary absence of the president.
Fifth. A number of stockholders, not less than sixty, who, together, shall be proprietors of one thousand shares or upwards, shall have power at any time to call a general meeting of the stockholders, for purposes relative to the institution, giving at least ten weeks' notice in two public newspapers of the place where the bank is seated, and specifying in such notice the object or objects of such meeting.
Sixth. Each cashier or treasurer, before he enters upon the duties of his office, shall be required to give bond, with two or more sureties, to the satisfaction of the directors, in a sum not less than fifty thousand dollars; with a condition for his good behaviour, and the faithful performance of his duties to the corporation.
Seventh. The lands, tenements, and hereditaments, which it shall be lawful for the said corporation to hold, shall be only such as shall be requisite for its immediate accommodation in relation to the convenient transacting of its business, and such as shall have been bona fide mortgaged to it by way of security, or conveyed to it in satisfaction of debts previously contracted in the course of its dealings, or purchased at sales, upon judgments which shall have been obtained for such debts.
Eighth. The total amount of debts which the said corporation shall at any time owe, whether by bond, bill, note, or other contract, over and above the debt or debts due for money deposited in the bank, shall not exceed the sum of thirty-five millions of dollars, unless the contracting of any greater debt shall have been previously authorized by law of the United States. In case of excess, the directors under whose administration it shall happen, shall be liable for the same in their natural and private capacities : and an action of debt may in such case be brought against them, or any of them, their or any of their heirs, executors, or administrators, in any court of record of the United States, or either of them, by any creditor or creditors of the said corporation, and may be prosecuted to judgment and execution, any condition, covenant, or agreement to the contrary notwithstanding. But this provision shall not be construed to exempt the said corporation or the lands, tenements, goods, or chattels of the same from being also liable for, and chargeable with, the said excess. Such of the said directors, who may have been absent when the said excess was contracted or created, or who may have dissented from the resolution or act whereby the same was so contracted or created, . may respectively exonerate themselves from being so liable, by forthwith giving notice of the fact, and of their absence or dissent, to the President of the United States, and to the stocklolders, at a general meeting, which they shall have power to call for that purpose.
Ninth. The said corporation shall not, directly or indirectly, deal or trade in any thing except bills of exchange, gold or silver bullion, or in the sale of goods really and truly pledged for money lent and not redeemed in due time, or goods which shall be the proceeds of its lands. It shall not be at liberty to purchase any public debt whatsoever, nor shall it take more than at the rate of six per centum per annum for or upon its loans or discounts.
Tenth. No loan shall be made by the said corporation, for the use or on account of the government of the United States, to an amount exceeding five hundred thousand dollars, or of any particular state, to an amount exceeding fifty thousand dollars, or of any foreign prince or state, unless previously authorized by a law of the United States.
Elevenths. The stock of the said corporation shall be assignable and transferable, according to such rules as shall be instituted in that behalf, by the laws and ordinances of the same.
Twelveth. The bills, obligatory and of credit, under the seal of the said corporation, which shall be made to any person or persons, shall be assignable by endorsement thereupon, under the hand or hands of such person or persons, and his, her, or the- executors or administrators, and his, her or their assignee or assignees, and so as absolutely to transfer and vest the property thereof in each and every assignee or assignees successively, and to enable such assignee or assignees, and his, her or their executors or administrators, to maintain an action thereupon in his, her, or their own name or names : Provided, That said corporation shall not make any bill obligatory, or of credit, or other obligation under its seal for the payment of a sum less than five thousand dollars. And the bills or notes which may be issued by order of the said corporation, signed by the president, and countersigned by the principal cashier or treasurer thereof, promising the payment of money to any person or persons, his, her or their order, or to bearer, although not under the seal of the said corporation, shall be binding and obligatory upon the same, in like manner, and with like force and effect, as upon any private person or persons, if issued by him, her or them, in his, her or their private or natural capacity or capacities, and shall be assignable and negotiable in like manner as if they were so issued by such private person or persons ; that is to say, those which shall be payable to any person or persons, his, her or their order, shall be assignable by endorsement, in like manner, and with the like effect as foreign bills of exchange now are; and those which are payable to bearer shall be assignable and negotiable by delivery only: Provided, That all bills or notes, so to be issued by said corporation, shall be made payable on demand, other than bills or notes for the payment of a sum not less than one hundred dollars each, and payable to the order of some person or persons, which bills or notes it shall be lawful for said corporation to make payable at any time not exceeding sixty days from the date thereof.
Thirteenth. Half yearly dividends shall be made of so much of the profits of the bank as shall appear to the directors advisable; and once in every three years the directors shall lay before the stockholders, at a general meeting, for their information, an exact and particular statement of the debts which shall have remained unpaid after the expiration of
the original credit, for a period of treble the term of that credit, and of the surplus of the profits, if any, after deducting losses and dividends. If there shall be a failure in the payment of any part of any sum subscribed to the capital of the said bank, by any person, co-partnership or body politic, the party failing shall lose the benefit of any dividend which
nay have accrued prior to the time for making such payment, and during the delay of the same.
Fourteenth . The directors of the said corporation shall establish a competent office of discount and deposit in the District of Columbia, whenever any law of the United States shall require such an establishment; also one such office of discount and deposit in any state in which two thousand shares shall have been subscribed or may be held, whenever, upon application of the legislature of such state, Congress may, by
law, require the same: Provided, the directors aforesaid shall not be bound to establish such office before the whole of the capital of the bank shall have been paid up. And it shall be lawful for the directors of the said corporation to establish offices of discount and deposit, wheresoever they shall think fit, within the United States or the territories thereof, and to commit the management of the said offices, and the business thereof, respectively to such persons, and under such regulations as they shall deem proper, not being contrary to law or the constitution of the bank . Or instead of establishing such offices, it shall be lawful for the directors of the said corporation,from time to time, to employ any other bank or banks, to be first approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, at any place or places that they may deem safe and proper, to manage and transact the business proposed as aforesaid, other than for the purposes of discount, to be managed and transacted by such offices, under such agreements, and subject to such regulations, as they shall deem just and proper. Not more than thirteen nor less than seven managers or directors, of every office established as aforesaid, shall be annually appointed by the directors of the bank, to serve one year ; they shall choose a president from their own number ; each of them shall be a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the state, territory or district, wherein such office is established ; and not more than three-fourths of the said managers or directors, in office at the time of an annual appointment, shall be re-appointed for the next succeeding year ; and no director shall hold his office more than three years out of four, in succession ; but the president may be always re-appointed.
Fifteenth. The officer at the head of the Treasury Department of the United States shall be furnished, from time to time, as often as he may require, not exceeding once a week, with statements of the amount of the capital stock of the said corporation and of the debts due to the same; of the moneys deposited therein ; of the notes in circulation, and of the specie of in hand; and shall have a right to inspect such general accounts in the books of the bank as shall relate to the said statement : Provided, That this shall not be construed to imply a right of inspecting the account of any private individual or individuals with the bank.
Sixteenth. No stockholder, unless he be a citizen of the United States, shall vote in the choice of directors.
Seventeenth. No note shall be issued of-less amount than five dollars.
SEC. 12 . And be it further enacted, That if the said corporation, or any person or persons, for or to the use of the same, shall 'deal or trade in buying or selling goods, wares, merchandise, or commodities whatsoever, contrary to the provisions of this act, all and every person and persons by whom any order or direction for- so dealing or trading shall have been given ; and all and every person and persons who shall have been concerned as parties or agents therein, shall forfeit and lose treble the value of the goods, wares, merchandise and commodities in which such dealing and trade shall have been, one half thereof to the use of the informer, and the other half thereof, to the use of -the United States, to be recovered in any action of law with costs of suit.
SEC. 13 . And be it further enacted, That if the said corporation shall advance or lend any sum of money for the use or on account of the government of the United States, to an amount exceeding five hundred thousand dollars ; or of any particular state, to an amount exceeding fifty thousand dollars ; or of any foreign prince or state, (unless previously authorized thereto by a law of the United States, all and every person, and persons, by and with whose order, agreement, consent, approbation and connivance, such unlawful advance or loan shall have been made, upon conviction thereof shall forfeit and pay, for every such offence, treble the value or amount of the sum or sums which have been so unlawfully advanced or lent ; one fifth thereof to the use of the informer, and the residue thereof to the use of the United States.
SEC. 14. And be it further enacted, That the bills or notes of the said corporation originally made payable, or which shall have become payable on demand, shall be receivable in all payments to the United States, unless otherwise directed by act of Congress.
SEC. 15. And be it further enacted, That during the continuance of this act, and whenever required by the Secretary of the Treasury, the said corporation shall give the necessary facilities for transferring the public funds from place to place, within ,the United States, or the territories thereof, and for distributing the same in payment of the public creditors, without charging commissions or claiming allowance on account of difference of exchange, and shall also do and perform the several and respective duties of the commissioners of loans for the several states, or of any one or more of them, whenever required by law,
SEC. 16. And he it further enacted, That the deposits of the money of the United States, in places in which the said bank and branches thereof may be established,' shall be made in said bank or branches thereof, unless the Secretary of the Treasury shall at any time otherwise order and direct ; in which case the Secretary of the Treasury shall immediately lay before Oongress, if in session ; and if not, immediately after the commencement of the next session, the reasons of such order or direction.
SEC. 17. And be it further enacted, That the said corporation shall not at any time suspend or refuse payment in gold and silver, of any of its notes, bills or obligations ; nor of any moneys received upon deposit in said bank, or in any of its offices of discount and deposit . And if the said corporation shall at any time refuse or neglect to pay on demand any bill, note or obligation issued by the corporation, according to the contract, promise or undertaking therein expressed ; or shall neglect or refuse to pay on demand any moneys received in said bank, or in any of its offices aforesaid, on deposit, to the person or persons entitled to receive the same, then, and in every such case, the holder of any such note, bill, or obligation, or the person or persons entitled to demand and receive such moneys as aforesaid, shall respectively be entitled to receive and recover interest on the said bills, notes, obligations or moneys, until the same shall be fully paid and satisfied, at the rate of twelve per centum per annum from the time of such demand as aforesaid; Provided, That Congress may at any time hereafter enact laws enforcing and regulating the recovery of the amount of the notes, bills, obligations or other debts, of which payment shall have been refused as aforesaid, with the rate of interest above mentioned, vesting jurisdiction for that purpose in any courts, either of law or equity, of the courts of the United States, or territories thereof, or of the several states, as they may deem expedient.
SEC. 18. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall falsely make, forge or counterfeit, or cause or procure to be falsely made, forged or counterfeited, or willingly aid or assist in falsely making, forging or counterfeiting any bill or note in imitation of or purporting to be a bill or note issued by order of the president, directors and company of the said bank, or any order or check on the said bank or corporation, or any cashier thereof ; or shall falsely alter, or cause or procure to be falsely altered, or willingly aid or assist in falsely altering any bill or note issued by order of the president, directors and company of the said bank, or any order or check on the said bank or corporation, or any cashier thereof; or shall pass, utter or publish, or attempt to pass, utter or publish as true, any false, forged or counterfeited bill or note purporting to be a bill or note issued by order of the president, directors and company of the said bank, or any false, forged or counterfeited order or check upon
the said bank or corporation, or any cashier thereof, knowing the same to be falsely forged or counterfeited ; or shall pass, utter or publish, or attempt to pass, utter or publish as true, any falsely altered bill or note issued by order of the president, directors, and company of the said bank, or any falsely altered order or check on the said bank or corporation, or any cashier thereof, knowing the same to be falsely altered with intention to defraud the said corporation or any other body politic or person; or shall sell, utter or deliver, or cause to be sold, uttered or delivered, any forged or counterfeit note or bill in imitation, or purporting to be a bill or note issued by order of the president and directors of the said bank, knowing the same to be false, forged, or counterfeited ; every such person shall be deemed and adjudged guilty of felony, and being thereof convicted by due course of law, shall be sentenced to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour for not less than three years, nor more than ten years, or shall be imprisoned not exceeding ten years, and fined not exceeding five thousand dollars . Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to deprive the courts of the individual states, of a jurisdiction under the laws of the several states, over any offence declared punishable by this act.
SEC. 19. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall make, or engrave, or cause, or procure to be made or engraved, or shall have in his custody or possession, any metallic plate, engraved after the similitude of the plates from which any notes or bills, issued by the said corporation, for the bank, shall have been printed, with intent to use such plate, or to cause, or suffer the same to be used in forging or counterfeiting any of the notes or bills issued by the said corporation ; or shall have in his custody or possession, any blank note or notes, bill or bills, engraved and printed after the similitude of any notes or bills issued by said corporation, with intent to use such blanks, or cause, or suffer the same to be used in forging or counterfeiting any of the notes or bills issued by the said corporation; or shall have in his custody or possession, any paper adapted to the making of bank notes or bills, and similar to the paper upon which any notes or bills of the said corporation shall have been issued, with intent to use such paper, or cause, or suffer the same to be used inforging or counterfeiting any of the notes or bills issued by the said corporation, every such person, being thereof convicted, by due course of law, shall be sentenced to be imprisoned, and kept to hard labour ; for a term not exceeding five years, or shall be imprisoned for a term not exceeding five years, and fined in a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars.
SEC. 20. And be it further enacted, That in consideration of the exclusive privileges and benefits conferred by this act, upon the said bank, the president, directors, and company thereof, shall pay to the United States, out of the corporate funds thereof, the sum of one million and five hundred thousand dollars, in three equal payments ; that is to say five hundred thousand'dollars at the expiration of two years ; five hundred thousand dollars at the expiration of three years ; and five hundred thousand dollars at the expiration of four years after the said bank shall be organized, and commence its operations in the manner herein before provided.
SEC. 21 . And be it further enacted, That no other bank shall be established by any future law of the United States during the continuance of the corporation hereby created, for which the faith of the United States is hereby pledged. Provided, Congress may renew existing charters for banks in the District of Columbia, not increasing the capital thereof, and may also establish any other bank or banks in said district, vith capitals not exceeding, in the whole, six millions of dollars, if they shall deem it expedient . And, notwithstanding the expiration of the term for which the said corporation is created, it shall be lawful to use the corporate name, style, and capacity, for the purpose of suits for the final settlement and liquidation of the affairs and accounts of the corporation, and for the sale and disposition of their estate, real, personal, and mixed: but not for any other purpose, or in any other manner whatsoever, nor for a period exceeding two years after the expiration of said term of incorporation.
SEC. 22. And be it further enacted, That if the subscriptions and payments to said bank shall not be made and completed so as to enable the same to commence its operations, or if the said bank shall not commence its operations on or before the first Monday in April next, then; and, in that case, Congress may, at any time, within twelve months thereafter, declare, by law, this act will and void.
SEC. 23. And be it further enacted That it shall, at all times, be lawful, for a committee of either house of Congress, appointed for that purpose, to inspect the books, and to examine into the proceedings of the corporation hereby created, and to report whether the provisions of this charter have been, by the same, violated or not; and whenever any committee, as aforesaid, shall find and report, or the President of the United States shall have reason to believe that the charter has been violated, it may be lawful for Congress to direct, or the President to order a scire facias to be sued out of the circuit court of the district of Pennsylvania, in the name of the United States, (which shall be executed upon the president of the corporation for the time being, at least fifteen days before the commencement of the term of said court,) calling on the said corporation to show cause wherefore the charter hereby granted, shall not be declared forfeited ; and it shall be lawful for the said court, upon the return of the said scire facias, to examine into the truth of the alleged violation, and if such violation be made appear, then to pronounce and adjudge that the said charter is forfeited and annulled. Provided, however, Every issue of fact which may be joined between the United States and the corporation aforesaid, shall be tried by a jury.And it shall be lawful for the court aforesaid to require the production of such of the books of the corporation as it may deem necessary for the ascertainment of the controverted facts : and the final judgment of the court aforesaid, shall be examinable in the Supreme Court of the United States, by writ of error, and may be there reversed or affirmed, according to the usages of law.
APPROVED, April 10, 1816 .
Image above: Engraving of a drawing of the Second Bank of the United States in Philadelphia, 1931, Drawn by C. Burton, Engraving by Fenner, Sears & Co. Courtesy Library of Congress. Image below: Photo of the Second Bank of the United States, Date Unknown, Historic American Buildings Survey. Courtesy Library of Congress. Source Info: Federal Reserve History; Library of Congress; Wikipedia Commons.