The Extra Session

June 27, 1867


Congress is meeting for an extra session.They will address taxation and the policies proposed by Wade and various other senators who have recently visited the South and are proponents of creating business in the South. The capitalists have speculations on what this will mean for their businesses.


The Extra Session. The extra session of Congress is giving great concern to capitalists and stock speculators at the North. For some time past there has been an ominous outcry against taxation. Many means have been suggested to get rid of its heavy weight. Prominent among them is the issue of legal-tenders equal at least to the amount of bank currency afloat. This would enable the Government to redeem some three hundred millions of 7-30's and diminish the annual tax at least $25,000,000; but it would break up all the national banks. Another mode is to tax the national bonds. The clamor for this last is very strong. "The choice," say those who proclaim this measure, "is between repudiation and taxation of the national bonds." Congress, it is feared, will come together with some scheme of finance suggested or almost forced upon them by these demands. The New York Times, which recently considered the meeting of Congress for the purpose of fully explaining its reconstruction laws as most salutary, now very much changes its tone in view of the outgivings we have above alluded to and the destructive policies urged by Wade, Chandler, and others. It now dreads the effect of the meeting of Congress upon the finances and the confidence and prosperity of the country. Alluding to a rumor that Mr. Speaker Colfax will be induced "to announce the committees immediately, so as to be able to go right to work," it exclaims, with evident alarm, 'What work? The removal of doubts and misapprehensions concerning reconstruction?' The Times does not doubt that this subject will receive attention, but it declares positively that 'impeachment and the overthrow of Secretary McCulloch's present financial policy are the great cards to be played.' It indulges its feelings of deprecation as follows: "Every intelligent business man knows what the effect of such a session will be upon trade and finance. Were the former in a thriving condition and the latter endowed with the firmness which springs from wellfounded confidence, the contingencies of ignorant and reckless legislation would excite uneasiness. In existing circumstances, however, more than uneasiness will be created by the policy which in now unblushingly proclaimed. With trade already depressed and many branches of industry paralyzed, the effect of Radical agitation on the currency question - affecting, it will, all values - must be disastrous. And with timidity as the chief characteristic of capital, what but alarm and difficulty can attend the continuance in session of members leagued together to carry out plans which are not one whit more iniquitous than open repudiation?" We are engaged at this moment in a most important matter of registration, white and black, in which we are so absorbed that these questions will hardly excite us. Our interests in United States bonds are not large, and as for the debt we are little more concerned than the North. We leave Congress and the national credit to the northern people, trusting they may make the best of them.
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“The Extra Session,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed November 28, 2022,