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those subordinate accounts, and account themselves quarterly to the treasury. The credits they claim embrace, therefore, all those to which individuals accountable to them were entitled, and the whole is ultimately adjusted and settled by the auditor and comptroller in the same manner as all other accounts,
“ 3. The advances for all expenses incident to the intercourse with foreign nations, including the diplomatic establishment, the monies expended in relation to the Barbary powers, those applied to the res lief of seamen abroad, those advanced in the prosecution of claims for property captured by the belligerent powers, the salaries of agents, and other officers abroad and at home, appointed under, or in relation to certain articles of treaties with foreign nations, as well as all other expenses incidental to the execution of those treaties, are made on the requisition of the secretary of state, who has that class of expenditures under his controul. The monies thus advanced are paid, partly to the purveyor of supplies and to some other agents, who are accountable to the treasury; but they have till lately been made principally to the secretary of state himself, who disbursed the same, and became personally accountable for the amount. The indi. viduals to whom he advanced the money, used to render their accounts to him; and his account, in some instances, embraced those subordi. nate accounts, but generally exhibited only the disbursements made by him to those individuals, who were thereupon charged with the proper amount and became accountable to the treasury. But, by an arrangement made in the month of June last, the secretary of state no longer receives any money; the sums required for that part of the public service are paid immediately by the treasury, to the agents or other individuals, to whom they were formerly advanced by him ; and these are at once charged and made accountable to the treasury, Those agents are principally, the purveyor of public supplies at Phi, }adelphia, and bankers in England and Holland."
Treasury Report, dated March, 1802.
The table that immediately follows this, shewing the variation of money, is, next to the GENERAL TABLE, not only one of the most important, but cost more time and attention to bring it to its present state than either if not than all in this book, the general table alone ex. cepted ; and yet it cannot þe made complete as it ought to be to answer all the desirable purposes of a common measure, for all estimates of real, instead of mere nominal expenditures; the variations in prices have often been so sudden that an average for any three months must sometimes appear doubtful to those who have not full time for enquiry. It is made up from prices current, and merchants books, and accounts of sales in every state in the union.
PRICES CURRENT in the principal Cities, &c. of the United
205 106 New York, .. 300
95 Philadelphia, . ] 18 250 16 | 80
106 9513 Baltimore, .
80 200 106 95 Charleston, ..
250 | 6 | 100 210 106 :00 14 U.S. averaged, I 1805. | 64 | 41 | 75 | 180 | 100 | 90 | 12
As an appendage to the foregoing table, a short note ON MONEY will be excused, even by those who already know enough of its true character. It commences with an ancient and ingenious descripë tion by Aristotle, from whom, it will be perceived, near all the more modern political writers, all the French economists, Hume, Smith, Stewart, Priestley, &c. have either borrowed or imbibed the same ideas; either of which facts is an encomium on the wisdom of the most enlightened sage of the period in which he lived.
ARISTOTLE'S ETHICS, BOOK V.
The comforts of life require an interchange of different works. The bricklayer, for example, must exchange the production of his labour with the shoemaker; and the bargain will be just when the works exchanged bear a proportion to each other. If the bricklayer has consumed a thousand times as much labour in making a house as the shoemaker in making a pair of shoes, a thousand pair of shoes must be given for one house. The utility from a mutual exchange of different kinds of labour could not long be maintained unless the exertions of one artisan in one way were nearly balanced by those of another artisan in another; a community could not exist composed wholly of husbandmen; it must exist of other classes variously employed; but that their works of different kinds should be fairly exchanged for each other, it is necessary that they should be nearly commensurate, that is, that they should be all capable of being estimated by one common measure. Hence the introduction of money, by which all these works are compared in value with each other, aud their relative excesses or deficiences ascertained with sufficient correctness for all practical purposes. In reality its value depends on the mutual wants of men, for unless their wants were mutual exchanges could not be effected: but money is used merely as a representative of all things wanted, since it serves as a pledge, that whenever those wants occur they may speedily be gratified. Money [nomos) derives it name from law, signifying that its value is not founded in nature, but in convention, and that those who have thought fit to employ it, may set it aside and set up any other measure in its stead.
Money, though it represents or regulates the value of other things, varies in its own, but its variations are less considerable than those of most other substances. Without a common measure the various productions of labour could not be exactly compared, neither by each other nor even by money, but they may by means of the latter be estimated with sufficient correctness for the commercial intercourse which is so essential to the supply of our numerous exigencies.
Valuable as the foregoing original description of the nature and use of money is, it has nevertheless done a great deal of mischief by misconstructions, particularly the assertion, that money is only a measure, and that societies have a right at any time to set un any other in its stead. This we have found in America to be a very dangerous opinion. The leather and iron money of former times, the base money of Louis the 14th, and the paper money of America, have all done incredible mischief in their turn, especially when enforced by arbitrary tender laws, than which no acts of tyranny were ever more unjust, or more ruinous, in their effects on the morals of the people. Nothing short of an UNIVERSAL CONSENT THROUGHOUT THE COMMERCIAL WORLD can ever sufficiently evince the propriety of altering the common measures of commercial exchanges. To illustrate this assertion let us consider the several kinds of noinos, inoneta or money, that have been in use in ancient and modern times.
1. Leather, iron, and paper of the character of the old continental, money of the United States.
2. Base or light coin. 3. National bonds or certificates, bearing interest, regularly paid. 4. Copper, silver and gold. 5. Bank notes.
6 National bonds bearing interest with a right to exchange the property at any moment for prime lands at an undervaluation, and daily rising in value. The last is most esteemed.
All these different measures are or have been held in very different estimation. The 1, 2, 4 and 5, are facile, the 3 and 6, negotiable only.
The FIRST were only used for very short periods, in ancient times of ignorance, except the American paper, and this soon died a natural death, after having done infinite mischief ; but as it was a principal instrument in the war for independence, we mention it with some respect, although in any case but that of extreme necessity, it would be universally reprobated, yet as it did not owe its origin to turpitude, the errors of ignorance are now recapitulated merely to prevent similar mistakes from future occurrence, again to retard the progress of our general weal. The sECOND kind is of but little better character than the first, it is a cheat and therefore to be reprobated. The THIRD, viz. national bonds, bearing interest, has only an inconvenience in transfer and its fluctuations against it in comparison with the FOURTH, which are in universal esteem, in part for their intrinsic value, particularly copper; and if either of the other should ever become sufficiently plenty to admit of general use, as articles of culinary furniture, their purity would make them important acquisitions. This seems not to be improbable with respect to silver, as may be seen by a statement to follow in this note, shewing the com. parative rate of its increase and mutability, particularly since the discovery of America.