JACKSON, Andrew. Autograph letter signed ("Andrew Jackson") with autograph FREE FRANK ("Andrew Jackson") to Colonel Maunsel White, the Hermitage, 27 January 1838. 3 full pages, folio (12¼ x 7½ in.), seal hole affects several letters of text, otherwise in very fine condition.
JACKSON BEMOANS SPECULATION AND THE ABUSES OF BANKS, BUT PROMISES "GOOD WILL GROW OUT OF THE EVILS THAT HAVE SWEPT OVER OUR COUNTRY"
A year after leaving the White House, Jackson, writing to a cotton broker on business affairs, offers optimistic assessments of the new banking and monetary policies and paints a rosy picture of the nation's specie-based economy. As the nation struggled under the impact of the Panic of 1837, Whig politicians increasingly charged that Jackson's anti-Bank policies were the cause of the panic. In fact, Jackson's destruction of the Second Bank of the United States had left the government with no means to regulate the state banks. Excessive dispersal of paper money and over-speculation had also contributed to the collapse.
Writing to his cotton broker in New Orleans, Jackson assesses the dilemmas created by unfair business practises: "I am happy to find you put a just construction upon my views as to the merchant's deal. When a loss of men or politicians are spoken of, it is always the majority, and the minority are the exception. For instance when Banks violate their charters by over issues, it can only be the majority of directors that are censurable who rule the board, not the minority whose voice are against it." He assures White, however, that the banking changes his Administration had instituted would ultimately bear fruit: "But good will grow out of the evils that have swept over our country. Banks will be brought to conduct their business within proper Banking priciples. The Government being separated from all Banks will be a godsend to the Banks, as well as the people. The great evil to both are, any connection with either, and the most experienced, and talented directors of our Banks, here, are in favor of the perpetual divorce of all Banks and the Government." Decrying the paper currency which had led to rampant speculation, Jackson is confident that a stable, coin-based system would be established: "This will give stability to the Banks, and the influx of specie by the revenue which is daily recurring and daily disbursing will give a sufficient metalic connection for the wants of labour, and the stability and security of the Banks, whilst they are left free to supply the wants of commerce founded upon the just principles of conduct, whilst it will prevent over issues to wild speculations--the bane of all countries."
Despite his faith that the banking system would be reformed, Jackson is concerned about his current shipment of cotton: "all the crops in this neighborhood will go to your House and risque the markets at New Orleans..." As to payment, he explains, "the Tennessee money is in bad repute. Therefore when the cotton is sold we will expect to receive Louisiana money, or that of Eastern funds, either the Metropolis Bank of Washington City, or Banks in good credit in Baltimore, Philadelphia or New York. If an exchange for one thousand dollars of Tennessee notes can be affected on the sale of the cotton at the proper discount we can use that sum here in payment of debts...."