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Act For A National Bank [April 10, 1816]

 

An Act to incorporate the subscribers to the Bank of the United States. Be it enacted . . ., That a bank of the United States of America shall be established, with a capital of thirty-five millions of dollars,divided into three hundred and fifty thousand shares, of one hundred dollars each share. Seventy thousand shares, amounting to the sum of seven millions of dollars, part of the capital of the said bank, shall be subscribed and paid for by the United States,in the manner hereinafter specified; and two hundred and eighty thousand shares, amounting to the sum of twenty-eight millions of dollars, shall be subscribed and paid for by individuals, companies, or corporations, in the manner hereinafter specified....

SEC. 8.. And be it further enacted That for the management of the affairs of the said corporation, there shall be twenty-five directors, five of whom, being stockholders, shall be annually appointed by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, not more than three of whom shall be residents of any one state; and twenty of whom shall be annually elected at the banking house in the city of Philadelphia, on the first Monday of January, in each year, by the qualified stockholders of the capital of the said bank, other than the United States, and by a plurality of votes then and there actually given, according to the scale of voting hereinafter prescribed: Provided always, That no person, being a director in the bank of the United States, or any of its branches, shall be a director of any other bank.

SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, . . . And the President of the United States is hereby authorized, during the present session of Congress, to nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to appoint, five directors of the said bank, though not stockholders, any thing in the provisions of this act to the contrary notwithstanding . . .

SEC. II. And be it further enacted, That the following rules, restrictions, limitations, and provisions, shall form and be fundamental articles of the constitution of the said corporation, to wit:

Eighth. The total amount of debts which the said corporation shall at any time owe, whether by bond, bill, note, or other contract, over and above the debt or debts due for money deposited in the bank, shall not exceed the sum of thirty five millions of dollars, unless the contracting of any greater debt shall have been previously authorized by law of the United States. .

Ninth. The said corporation shall not, directly or indirectly, deal or trade in any thing except bills of exchange, gold or silver bullion, or in the sale of goods really and truly pledged for money lent and not redeemed in due time, or goods which shall be the proceeds of its lands. It shall not be at liberty to purchase any public debt whatsoever, nor shall it take more than at the rate of six per centum per annum for or upon its loans or discounts.

Tenth. No loan shall be made by the said corporation, for the use or on account of the government of the United States, to an amount exceeding five hundred thousand dollars, or of any particular state, to an amount exceeding fifty thousand dollars, or of any foreign prince or state, unless previously authorized by a law of the United States.

fourteenth. The directors of the said corporation shall establish a competent office of discount and deposit in the District of Columbia, whenever any law of the United States shall require such an establishment; also one such office of discount and deposit in any state in which two thousand shares shall have been subscribed or may be held, whenever, upon application of the legislature of such state, Congress may, by law, require the same: . . . And it shall be lawful for the directors of the said corporation to establish offices of discount and deposit, wheresoever they shall think fit, within the United States or the territories thereof, and to commit the management of the said offices, and the business thereof, respectively to such persons, and under such regulations as they shall deem proper, not being contrary to law or the constitution of the bank. Or instead of establishing such offices, it shall be lawful for the directors of the said corporation, from time to time, to employ any other bank or banks, to be first approved by the Secretary of the Treasury, at any place or places that they may deem safe and proper, to manage and transact the business proposed as aforesaid, other than for the purposes of discount, to be managed and transacted by such offices, under such agreements, and subject to such regulations, as they shall deem just and proper.. . .

Fifteenth The officer at the head of the Treasury Department of the United States shall be furnished, from time to time, as often as he may require, not exceeding once a week, with statements of the amount of the capital stock of the said corporation and of the debts due to the same; of the moneys deposited therein; of the notes in circulation, and of the specie in hand; and shall have a right to inspect such general accounts in the books of the bank as shall relate to the said statement: Provided, That this shall not
be construed to imply a right of inspecting the account of any private individual or individuals with the bank....

SEC. !4. And be it further enacted, That the bills or notes of the said corporation originally made payable, or which shall have become payable on demand, shall be receivable in all payments to the United States, unless otherwise directed by act of Congress.

SECT I5. And be it further enacted, That during the continuance of this act, and whenever required by the Secretary of the Treasury, the said corporation shall give the necessary facilities for transferring the public funds from place to place, within the United States, or the territories thereof, and for distributing the same in payment of the public creditors, without charging commissions or claiming allowance onaccountof differenceof exchange, and shall also do and perform the several and respective duties of the commissioners of loans for the several states, or of any one or more of them, whenever required by law.

SEC. I6. And be it further enacted, That the deposits of the money of the United States, in places in which the said bank and branches thereof may be established, shall be made in said bank or branches thereof, unless the Secretary of the Treasury shall at any time otherwise order and direct; in which case the Secretary of the Treasury shall immediately lay before Congress, if in session, and if not immediately after the commencement of the next session, the reasons of such order or direction.

SEC. I7. And be it further enacted, That the said corporation shall not at any time suspend or refuse payment in gold and silver, of any of its notes, bills or obligations; nor of any moneys received upon deposit in said bank, or in any of its offices of discount and deposit....

SEC. 20. And be it further enacted, That in consideration of the exclusive privileges and benefits conferred by this act, upon the said bank, the president, directors, and company thereof, shall pay to the United States, out of the corporate funds thereof, the sum of one million and five hundred thousand dollars, in three equal payments; that is to say: five hundred thousand dollars at the expiration of two years; five hundred thousand dollars at the expiration of three years; and five hundred thousand dollars at the expiration of four years after the said bank shall be organized, and commence its operations in the manner herein before provided

SEC. 2I. And be is further enacted, That no other bank shall be established by any future law of the United States during the continuance of the corporation hereby created, for which the faith of the United States is hereby pledged . . . [except in the District of Columbia]-