January 27 1816: Jefferson’s Bank-mania!

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With respect to the bank-mania, I foresaw it in 1791. and then opposed the establishment of the Bank of the US. which I knew was only an inoculation. I have marked the progress of the disease and seen that it was incurable, and to end in death. there will be a vast crush of private fortunes as on the death of the old Continental paper, as of the Assignats of France, the Misipi paper of Law, the South-sea paper of England Etc the most pitiable of it’s victims now as before1 will be the helpless widow & orphan. prudent men will mitigate it’s effects by caution. they will protect themselves as they do their fences when the woods are afire, by firing against it. what is most blameable is the cruelty of your process, roasting us before a slow fire like the martyrs in the days of persecution. instead of your 15. banks, be merciful, and give us the coup de grace, make it a thousand. however I am perfectly content with the 15. and to meet all hazards and trials with my fellow citizens. if we keep together we shall be safe, and when error is so apparent as to become visible to the majority, they will correct it, and what we suffer during the error must be carried to account with the losses by tempests, earthquakes Etc.”

— Thomas Jefferson writes to Thomas W. Maury, January 27 1816. He really hates banks!

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