From Archibald Gracie1
[New York, March 23, 1804]
I enclose a newspaper in which you will find a Copy of the Bill before the Legislature for restraining unincorporated Institutions from Banking.2
It has occured to me & several Gentlemen with whom I have conversed upon the subject of this bill that it goes much farther than probably the Committee intended it should, and if pass’d into a Law, will prevent Individuals or Partnerships receiving deposits of Goods or money, or discounting at legal Interest or Bank discount, business notes which may be offer’d to them, which will certainly be a restriction unknown in this or any other commercial Country. Will you have the goodness to peruse the bill and favor me with your opinion whether or not it can be so construed.
I am with much respect Dear sir Yours truly
ALS, Columbia University Libraries.
1. Gracie, a native of Scotland, emigrated to Virginia and then moved to New York City, where he was a prominent merchant and banker. He was a director of the New York branch of the Bank of the United States.
For an explanation of the contents of this letter, see “Articles of Association of the Merchants’ Bank,” April 7, 1803; Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to H, February, 1804.
2. “An Act to restrain unincorporated Banking Associations,” March 15, 1804 (New-York Evening Post, March 20, 1804).