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 The Bank of the United States

1794 Act of the Third Congress: First Session

Providing for the Payment of the Second Installment Loan due on a 

Loan made of the Bank of the United States


Approved June 4, 1794


This Act of the Third Congress provided for the U.S. Treasury to remit the proceeds of foreign loans to the Bank of the United States. The broadside was printed in Philadelphia by Francis Childs and John Swaine, the official printers to the United States. Broadsides of this Act (bearing the signature of the Secretary of State) would have been distributed to all thirteen States.  It is signed in type by the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, and the President of the United States.                                                                     

The full text of the Act reads as follows:



1797 Report of the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund Relative to the Sale of a Part of the

Capital Stock of the Bank the United States, Belonging to the United States


Dated January 26, 1797


In 1789, Alexander Hamilton established a sinking fund within the newly created Treasury Department to reduce the debt from the Revolutionary War. Selected sources of revenue were used to finance the sinking fund, including duties on imported goods, proceeds from public lands sales, and dividends from shares in the Bank of the United States. Commissioners were appointed to manage the fund, purchasing Treasury securities to reduce the nation's outstanding debt. The report begins with a short introduction by John Adams, along with remarks from then Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott. 


Rare copy, 1797, Printed by Order of the House of Representatives, F. Childs, Philadelphia

1805 Treasury Department Correspondence 

Letter from Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury, to Thomas Willing, President of the Bank of the United States


Dated September 6, 1805


The (First) Bank of the United States served as the fiscal agent of the United States for its twenty-year charter period.  During part of this time, Albert Gallatin, a Swiss-born politician, served for 14 years as the nation's longest-serving Secretary of the Treasury. Gallatin was responsible for managing the nation through very difficult financial times, from managing the federal debt to paying for the War of 1812. Although he left office in February of 1814, he helped form the (Second) Bank of the United States, and is considered one of America's financial "Founding Fathers."  


Thomas Willing served as the first President of the Bank of the United States.  Willing had extensive political experience, serving as the Mayor of Philadelphia, a politician in Albany, a judge, and bank president.  Although he initially voted against the Declaration of Independence, Willing is remembered as a patriot who served the young nation in a variety of positions throughout his life.  The text of the letter reads as follows:

                  Sir, I have the honor to inform you that I intend to pay on the 30th inst. to the Bank of The United States the balance

                    of the loans obtained from that institution by the United States and amounting to seven hundred thousand dollars.


                                                                                                                                                                   I have the honor to be

                                                                                                                                                            respectfully Sir your obed’t servt.

                                                                                                                                                                         Albert Gallatin

1806 Bank of the United States Check

Four Hundred Dollars


Dated November 24, 1806


This example, numbered 391, represents a typical bank check drafted during the first charter of the bank.

1824 Bank of the U.S. Bill of Exchange

One Hundred Pounds Sterling


Dated November 19, 1824


This bill of exchange was similar to a check; it was a non-interest bearing note representing funds to be remitted at a specified date.  As negotiable instruments, bills of exchange were often traded by merchants and brokers, sometimes at a discount to their face value.  They were issued in multiple copies in case of loss or damage, only one note ultimately to be paid. This example was made out to the firm of Fletcher and Gardiner, renowned silversmiths of Philadelphia whose work was internationally known. This bill was drafted on the account of the famous London merchant bank, Baring Brothers & Co. Baring Brothers were the English banking agents used by the Bank of the United States, the U.S. Government, and many American merchants.  The bill bears the signature of Nicholas Biddle, president of the bank, along with a printer's mark of Murray, Draper, Fairman & Co.


A rare example of a Bill of Exchange from the chartered (Second) Bank of the United States

1826 Bank of the U.S. Bill of Exchange

Sixty-four Pounds, Fourteen Shillings Sterling


Dated December 18, 1826


This example, issued in 1826, represents the Third and Fourth copies of the original bill.  It is drafted against

the account of Baring Brothers & Co. of London, and was payable sixty days from its date of issue.

A rare example of a Bill of Exchange from the chartered (Second) Bank of the United States

1830 Bank of the United States Capital Stock Certificate

Forty Shares, Signed by Nicholas Biddle


Dated November 3, 1830


This example was issued to a James Benson of Worcestershire, England.

A rare example from the chartered (Second) Bank of the United States


1833 Treasury Department Correspondence

Letter from Louis McLane, Secretary of the Treasury, to 

Nicholas Biddle, President of the Bank of the United States


Dated April 10th, 1833


This letter served as a formal request by the Secretary of the Treasury, Louis McLane, for the bank to remit government funds to the Treasurer of the United States, John Campbell.  Secretary McLane would serve in this office for two years before President Jackson replaced him. McLane had conspired with Biddle to renew the charter of the bank, and would ultimately refuse Jackson's orders to remove the government's deposits in his effort to shut down the institution.  Jackson shuffled his Cabinet around, and appointed McLane to serve as his Secretary of State from May 29, 1833 to June 30, 1834. The text of this letter reads as follows:

Copyright The Joe I. Herbstman Memorial Collection of American Finance 


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