The E-Sylum:  Volume 6, Number 53, December 16, 2003, Article 10


  David Gladfelter writes: "You'll get lotsa answers to the quiz,
  from John and Nancy Wilson among others.  Biddle was
  president of the ill-fated Second Bank of the United States.
  Its numismatic output is catalogued in vol. 4 of Haxby; also
  see Hessler, An Illustrated History of U. S. Loans. John and
  Nancy had a specialized collection of the bank's notes."

  Chris Fuccione writes:  "He was the president of the Second
  Bank of the United States until Andrew Jackson vetoed
  rechartering it.  Biddle resigned in protest.  I believe that was
  the start of the downfall of our economy in 1837.  There are
  many references to the Second Bank on Hard Times Tokens."

  Nolan Mims writes: "I enjoyed the article on Roger Wendlick
  and his collection of Lewis and Clark memorabilia, especially
  the reference to Nicholas Biddle and his two volumes written
  from Lewis and Clark's notes. Biddle, later President of the
  Bank of the United States, was a brilliant financier who, I
  believe, graduated from Princeton as class valedictorian at the
  ripe old age of fifteen.  His feuds with Andrew Jackson became
  legendary.  Biddle's influence was felt as far South as Mobile,
  Alabama through the establishment of a branch bank there,
  much against the wishes of many Alabama politicians, including
  then Governor  Murphy. Your QUICK QUIZ question as to
  the bank's connection to numismatics has several possible
  answers.  One, of course, is the highly collectible notes issued
  by the bank and its branches. Another is the famous $1000
  note bearing serial number 8894 which has collectors to this
  day believing they have a rare note worth a fortune. Also,
  many hard times tokens and scrip refer to the Bank of the
  United States and the controversy surrounding it.

  The E-Sylum is a great way to start a Monday morning.
  Keep up the good work!"

  Jess W. Gaylor sends the following, found in
  Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

  "In the legislature Biddle quickly became prominent.  He
  originated a bill favoring popular education, a quarter of a
  century in advance of the times.  The bill was defeated, but
  came up again in different forms until, in 1836, the Pennsylvania
  common-school system was inaugurated as a direct result of
  his efforts.  He was more successful in advocating the re-charter
  of the Bank of the United States, which was his first step toward
  a financial career.  The War of 1812 intervened. Moving to the
  state senate, the United States bank was re-chartered in 1819
  and President Monroe appointed him a government director.
  Upon the resignation of bank president Langdon Cheves, Biddle
  ascended to president. During his connection with it he was
  appointed by Monroe, under authority from Congress, to
  prepare a "Commercial Digest" of the laws and trade regulations
  of the world, for many years regarded as an authority.

  The "bank war," inaugurated by President Andrew Jackson in
  1829, undermined the credit of the institution, and after the bill
  for its re-charter was vetoed in 1832, Biddle's efforts to save
  the bank failed. The withdrawal of the government deposits by
  Jackson's order in 1833 precipitated financial disasters that
  involved the whole country. Biddle's friends assert that his
  non-partisanship provoked Jackson's hostility, a claim denied
  by Jackson's admirers. The literature of the "bank war" is
  voluminous, including a series of letters by Mr. Biddle,
  vindicating his own course. In 1839 he resigned the bank
  presidency, and in 1841 the bank failed."

  Paul Horner added a fact I wasn't aware of: "He was the
  president of the 2nd Bank of the United States, and that bank
  received the 1836 Gobrecht dollars."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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