From John Chaloner
Philada Novr 26 1783
Doubtless you have seen the advertisement by order of the directors of the Bank calling on the Stockholders to attend the election at the Bank on the Second Monday in January for the appointment of directors for the Insuing year informing them that at the same time several important Matters respecting the institution, will be submitted to their consideration, particularly the propriety of enlarging the Capital Stock, by opening a new Subscription for One thousand additional Shares.1
The plann proposed is to sell the additional Shares at five hundred Dollars each & the new & old Shares jointly to draw dividends on four hundred & fifty Dollars the new Share of coarse sink fifty Dollars to the Original Stock.
I have as yet reced no Letters from our Friends Wadsworth & Carter.2 Mr. Austin3 this day informed me that his Brother in Law Charles Hopkins4 who was sent out by them & now returnd reced a Letter in London from Mr Gibbs of LOrient5 advising of their arival.
I hope soon to have the pleasure of covering you Letters from them. Mrs Chaloner joins me in Compliments to you & your good Lady Mr & Mrs Schuyler & Mr & Mrs Renseller6
I am Dear Sir Your most Obdt hble Servt
LC, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
1. The Bank of North America, approved by Congress in 1781, opened its doors in January, 1782. A private bank under governmental auspices, the Bank of North America had a capitalization of $400,000 subscribed in shares of $400 in gold or silver. It was managed by twelve directors who annually selected from among their number a president. In the election one share equalled one vote. The largest stockholder was Jeremiah Wadsworth. The next largest was John B. Church, whose legal affairs were handled by H.
Late in 1783, the stockholders voted to enlarge the stock by a second issue of 1,000 shares.
2. Wadsworth and Church (John Carter) had sailed for France in July, 1783. During their absence some of their American business affairs were handled by Chaloner.
3. Probably J. L. Austin, a Boston merchant engaged in the French trade.
4. Charles Hopkins was the brother of Theodore Hopkins of Hartford, with whom Jeremiah Wadsworth was associated in business. During the American Revolution Theodore Hopkins had gone abroad as Wadsworth’s business representative. Presumably Charles Hopkins in association with his brother also transacted business for Wadsworth or for Wadsworth and Church.
5. William Gibbs was a Boston merchant who after the Franco-American treaty of 1778 engaged in the French-American trade at L’Orient in France.
6. Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Van Rensselaer. Mrs. Van Rensselaer was H’s sister-in-law.