Sherman, Roger (1721-1793) Autograph Letter Signed, 18 August 1778 [and] Return Autograph Letter Signed by Benjamin Trumbull (1735-1820
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Sherman, Roger (1721-1793) Autograph Letter Signed, 18 August 1778 [and] Return Autograph Letter Signed by Benjamin Trumbull (1735-1820) 5 October 1778. Single leaf with self-envelope inscribed on both sides, original seal intact, torn when originally opened, old folds, some breaks along those folds, in a double-glazed frame. To Benjamin Trumbull, concerning the state of currency in the economy in 1778, [together with] Trumbull's reply to Sherman on the verso and address panel of self-envelope, 14 3/4 x 9 in.
Sherman writes, "The affair of our currency is to be considered in Congress today-what will be done to restore and support its credit is uncertain. We can't lessen the quantity much while the Army is kept up. I trust the fullest assurance ought & will be given for redeeming it in due time and for exchanging Gold & Silver for what shall be outstanding at the period fixed for its redemption as the expressed value, the whole that has been emitted is a little more than 60,000,000 dollars. I think a period of about 14 or 15 years should be fixed for sinking the whole. That taxes for about 6 million dollars per annum for four years, five million dollars for 5 years and four million dollars per annum for the residue of the period should be immediately laid to be collected as a sinking fund, with liberty for each state to raise more than their annual quota & be allowed 6 percent for the time they may anticipate the payment.
That each of the other states that have not called in their Bills do it immediately & refrain from further emissions & tax themselves for current expences. Besides liberty may be given for the people to bring in as many of the Bills as they please into the loan offices, with assurance that the whole that is brought in shall be burnt. That all unnecessary expences be retrench'd, and the best economy introduced. That the future expence of the war be defrayed as far as may be by taxes, & the residue by Emissions--- and if the war ceases this year, which I think not improbable, our Finances may soon be put on a good footing. Provision ought to be made in the meantime by each state to prevent injustice to creditors & salary men. You will excuse this rough draft as I have not time to copy it. I am about to set out this morning to the camp to assist in the new arrangement of the army & intend to come to New Haven before I return here-where I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you."
Trumbull replies, "I find no considerable objections in my own mind against the general Plan suggested by your Honor for supporting the Credit of the Currency. I think it ought to be redeemed at its express value, and that there is no other way of keeping public Faith, of doing justice, or of acting upon Sound Policy. If it should not be supported and redeemed at the expressed value of it, I cannot see how the Public Faith can be maintained or how any future emission can obtain credit. As to the doing justice to creditors and salary men, I cannot see how it can be done by any Acts of the Legislature. If debts and salaries should be made good at the rate of four, five, and six for one, by state acts, and the currency ceased to be a tendery in Law, it appears to me, that it would at once become old tenor, and could not be supported and would never be redeemed, which it shocks me even to think of. I believe there are few outstanding debts at present in the hands of the Friends of the Country; debtors have taken the Advantages of the Times and paid them up. Tories who would not receive the Currency and have done all in their power to ruin both that and their Country, are almost the only creditors among us. Acts in favor of them I conceive would neither be just nor politic. As to Salary men their case is different I well know, but as for my own Part, I had much rather have no salary, than that the currency should run out."
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