Thomas Jefferson Papers
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To Thomas Jefferson from Samuel Smith, 24 December 1800

From Samuel Smith

Baltimore 24. Decr. 1800

Dr. Sir/

In Consequence of the Conversation we had on the subject of Banks I made application (without saying for what cause) to the President & Directers of the Bank of Maryland & they directed their Cashier to make out A Statement from the Book every day in Use.—Indeed I did not want it farther back as It would only have shown a similar Result-I would only Add that I do not believe any Bank has it more in its power to put its Paper into Circulation than the Bank of Maryland-In addition to its Capital & Loan (the loan forming a part of the Capital) the average Deposit for the time inclosed has been about $360,000, the Deposits being nearly equal to the Capital—— By this It appears that on the average Banks have not in Circulation more than two thirds the amount of their Capital.

I have the Honor to be Your Obedt. servt.

S. Smith

RC (MHi); endorsed by TJ as received 25 Dec. and so recorded in SJL. Enclosure: Statement from the books of the Bank of Maryland dated 24 Dec. 1800, giving the total amount of notes in circulation on a weekly basis from 3 July 1799 to 24 Dec. 1800, ranging from a low on 7 Aug. 1799 of $197,460 to a high of $266,674 on 22 Oct. 1800 (MS in DLC; 2 p.; in Robert Wilson’s hand and initialed by him; at head of statement: “The Permanent Capital and the Loan to the Bank of maryland amount to Dls. 380,000”).

Smith was a founding director of the Bank of Maryland, which was incorporated in 1790 with $300,000 in capital to be raised through the sale of shares of $300 each. The bank’s president, Baltimore merchant William Patterson, was Smith’s brother-in-law. Their cashier: Robert Wilson (Laws of Maryland, Made and Passed at a Session of Assembly, Begun and held at the city of Annapolis on Monday the first of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety [Annapolis, 1791], chap. 5; The New Baltimore Directory, and Annual Register; for 1800 and 1801 [Baltimore, 1800], 6; Frank A. Cassell, Merchant Congressman in the Young Republic: Samuel Smith of Maryland, 1752–1839 [Madison, 1971], 42, 72, 166).

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