Jun 21, 2018 - Sale 2483

Sale 2483 - Lot 196

Price Realized: $ 3,120
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 3,500 - $ 5,000
FORESEEING THE DEMISE OF THE SECOND BANK OF THE UNITED STATES PIERCE, FRANKLIN. Autograph Letter Signed, "Frank Pierce," as Representative, to Colonel John H. Steele, welcoming his advice, hoping not to disappoint, anticipating meeting in the spring, remarking that Clay's [Senate] resolutions cannot pass, promising to send copies of the speeches made in support of the plan of President Jackson and Attorney General Taney, expecting the demise of the Bank of the U.S., noting that important state legislatures support the removal of deposits [from the Bank of the U.S.], observing that the "Old Dominion" [VA] is losing political influence, and sending a recent copy of the Richmond Enquirer [not present]. With Franking Signature on address panel ("Free / F.Pierce / M.C."). 3 pages, 4to, written on a folded sheet, ruled paper; minor loss to few letters of text on third page from seal tears, folds. Washington, 20 January 1834

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". . . In the Senate you know there is a clear majority against the Administration, Nationals & Nullifiers uniting on every question of any magnitude. Still my own opinion is that Clay's resolutions cannot be passed even there. Hostile as they are to the man who possessed the moral courage to resist & check the strides of that grasping monopoly the U.S. Bank, still they will not trust their reputations upon that first resolution--they dare not go the length there proposed. The resolutions will finally be committed to the Committee on Finance and a report will be made with such resolutions as may unite all the opposition. Colo. Benton, Mr. Rives of Va. and Mr. Shepley have made able speeches in vindication of the course of the President & Sec'y Taney. These speeches I will send to you as they appear in pamphlet form. The Monster is determined to die hard--putting on the screws every where for the purpose of frightening Congress into a recharter, by holding up before timid men (I hope the number is small) ruin & general distress, but all will not do--the Bank cannot survive--it cannot find life under a new charter. The debate is still going on in the House and will probably continue on for three weeks to come, but the Members are manifestly weary of long speeches & and those who occupy the floor hereafter upon this question must talk to be read not to be heard. Mr. Sec'y Taney will finally be sustained in the House by a majority of 20 votes at least. You have noticed, that Davis's motion was lost by a very decisive vote. Still it was ascertained that we could not go into the election . . . for ourselves with any prospect of success--a large number of our men were opposed to it and it was consequently thought advisable not to move it at all.
". . . You will have noticed before this reaches you that the Legislatures of Ohio, North Carolina, New Jersey & New York have all declared in favor of the removal of the deposits by large Majorities--and these resolutions are coming before Congress at a favorable moment. Virginia is acting in a singular manner. Such men as Chapman, Johnson & Leigh &c have too much influence there. The 'Old Dominion' is certainly losing her high political character and of consequence her influence. . . ."
By vetoing the bill to recharter the Second Bank in 1832 and by subsequently depleting the Bank by redirecting federal deposits to private banks, President Jackson made the prospect of renewing the charter before its expiration in 1836 more and more unlikely. In March of 1836, the Second Bank became a private corporation, bringing the national bank to an end. The consequent shortage of currency contributed to the Panic of 1837.