Thomas Jefferson Papers
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Thomas Jefferson to John Barnes, 29 January 1814

To John Barnes

Monticello Jan. 29. 14.

Dear Sir

Your letter of Dec. 12. was duly recieved and I now return you that of mr Williams which it covered. I wish you may have been able to procure a bill to go by some of the late flags which offered such safe conveyance.

It is time to ask if there is not great reason to feel alarm for our banking institutions. the notes they had in circulation the last summer were calculated to amount to 200. millions of Dollars. the banks now petitioned for are of 60. millions additional capital of course 180. millions of circulation; so that the ensuing summer we shall have near 400. Millions of paper afloat in a country of 8 millions of people, whose wholesome & competent circulation would be 8. millions of Dollars, or a 50th part of what it is to be. should any alarm1 from this or any other circumstance produce a run on the banks, their bankruptcy is unquestionable, because no body imagines they have 400. Millions or the 50th part of it in their vaults. duty then to our friend Kosciuzko requires that we should save him while we can, by withdrawing his stock from the banks. this too is the fortunate moment, when the government is opening a loan on terms which will yield more profit than the bank stock. tho were the profit less, the superior safety would dictate the change. my opinion therefore is that we should subscribe for him to the government loan, to the whole amount of his bank stock, & sell out in the bank. I suppose that stock is above par, and it is expected the govmt will give 100.D. for every 88. or 90. which will increase his capital. I shall be glad of your opinion on this subject, as soon as possible that a final determination may be taken in time.

ever affectionately yours.

Th: Jefferson

PoC (DLC); at foot of text: “Mr John Barnes”; endorsed by TJ. Enclosure not found.

1TJ here canceled “arise.”

Index Entries

  • Bank of Pennsylvania; stock owned by T. Kosciuszko search
  • banks; distressed situation of search
  • banks; TJ on search
  • Barnes, John; and T. Kosciuszko’s American investments search
  • Barnes, John; letters to search
  • Congress, U.S.; loans contracted by search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Business & Financial Affairs; and T. Kosciuszko’s American investments search
  • Jefferson, Thomas; Opinions on; banks search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; and investment in U.S. government loan search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; Bank of Pennsylvania stock of search
  • Kosciuszko, Tadeusz (Thaddeus) Andrzej Bonawentura; remittances to search
  • War of1812; and economy search
  • Williams, George; and T. Kosciuszko’s American investments search