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When to this expense, unavoidable under the existing regulations, are added the loss of time to the depositor, and the risk which, under the most favorable circumstances, is attached to the frequent transfer of large sums, sometimes amounting to $1,000,000 at one time, for so great a distance, the injury sustained by the public in this one year is estimated at $100,000, the full amount of the appropriation named in the bill under consideration, and enough to put the present assay office in complete order for coining all the gold and silver that will probably be offered for that purpose by owners or depositors at New York for several years to come.
The reasons for selecting London, Paris, and Vienna as the best locations for coinage in their respective countries, sufficiently indicate that it is impossible, either in justice to New York or to the interests of the United States themselves, longer to withhold from that city accommodations already established in places where they are less needed and cannot be maintained with equal benefit to the nation. New York is not only the commercial metropolis of this coun. try, but, by its maritime and inland connexions, is particularly the local point of commerce in the precious metals. The extent of its foreign trade, in comparison with that of all other ports in the United States, is shown by the official commercial statistics for the year ended, June 30, 1860:
The total foreign trade of New York, compared with that of the whole of the United States for the year 1859–60, (the last of which we have official accounts,) was more than 48 per cent., while that of the State of New York was 54 per cent., or much more than one-half of the whole foreign trade of the country.
The probability of a continued increase in the trade of New York. and with it in the arrivals of bullion and foreign coin, is founded upon the experience of the last forty years, the results of which are shown in the following synopsis:
Imports and exports of the State of New York.
1821 to 1830...
$363, 379, 563
757, 571, 840
$215, 833, 356
385, 322, 935
$579, 212, 919 1,033, 509, 590 1, 142, 894, 775 3,028, 468, 833
Whatever views may have been entertained prior to the acquisition of California as to the propriety of establishing a coinage department at the assay office, New York, the immense increase of the imports of gold to that city since that time is sufficient to remove all previous objections.
The tendency of the great movement of bullion towards New York from the most remote parts of the Union, is exhibited in the following summary of receipts at that port from California for the seven years elapsed since the assay office was established, in comparison with the total shipments from that State.
California shipments Total shipments from to New York.
1854.... 1855.. 1856. 1857... 1858. 1859. 1860.
$46, 289, 000
$51, 328, 000 43, 080, 000 48, 887, 000 48, 592, 000 47, 548, 000 47, 640,000 42, 325, 000
The following statement exhibits in contrast the amount of gold and silver bullion and foreign coin received from foreign countries at the several collection districts of the United States for the year ended June 30, 1859, in comparison with the amount received at New York from foreign countries and California :
Total imports of foreign coin and
7, 434, 789 00
Received at New York, as above stated.
at least ....
Total received at New York in fiscal year 1859.....
In the fiscal year 1859-'60 the imports of gold and silver into the United States from foreign countries were $993, 130—those into New York from foreign countries and California, adding the same amount as in the previous year for passengers, were $44,651,825, or more than forty-four times as much as from all foreign countries into the United States.
New York being the centre of domestic and foreign exchanges nearly all articles of merchandise are accumulated there, and bills are drawn against them from all parts of the country. No other article of ordinary commerce can be so cheaply carried as the precious metals. Hence they, more than any other representatives of value, seek the centre of commercial attraction. There is no part of the Union where, with temporary exceptions, a draft on New York will not command a premium.
The beneficial results arising from the establishment of an assay office at New York are proved by its having furnished to the public, during the seven years of its existence, fine bars to the value of $121,000,000, and received deposits amounting to more than $180,000,000. From its beginning, in October, 1854, to December 31, 1861, it sent to Philadelphia for coinage $113,972, 111. The annual average of gold alone thus forwarded has been $14, 229, 658. In comparison with this the coinage at the branch mints at Dahlonega and Charlotte is merely nominal. In 1860, the gold coinage at Dahlonega was only $69,085, and at Charlotte, $133,697. The whole amount of coinage of every kind at these two branch mints since their commencement in 1838 to 1861, is only $11,039,034, little more than two-thirds of the average amount sent from the assay office in New York for coinage, each year of its existence.
Great expense is incurred at New Orleans for a coinage having only an annual average of little more than $3,000,000, while at New York the assay office has furnished fine bars annually averaging $17,000,000, and forwarded elsewhere for coinage, yearly, $15,301,346, about five times the average of New Orleans. There is no reason why such privileges as are conferred by the accompanying bill should be denied to New York, where they are needed at least five times as much as in New Orleans, where they are granted. The cost of coinage to the people will be diminished in proportion as a larger amount of it is executed at one place.
During the seven years ended June 30, 1861, nearly twelve times as large an amount of gold of domestic production was received at the assay office in New York as at the mint in Philadelphia ; and in the six years ended June 30, 1860, more than ninety-eight times as