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The Armenians. Sir Alexander Johnstone, in a late meeting of the Asiatic Society, stated some interesting facts in regard to the Armenians. The nation numbers not less than 10 or 12,000,000 in Asia. The literary character of the people is not less remarkable than their close application to trade. Their colleges at Echmiadzin and St. Lazarus possess excellent libraries, and effect a great deal for the promotion of literature among the people in general. At Constantinople, they contemplate erecting an hospital and school, for which they have received the sanction of the sultan, and one of their priests, the Rev. Nerses Lazarien, is now in London to endeavor to secure the cooperation of the liberal in this project. It is hoped that the sum of £30,000, left for the promotion of education among the Armenians, by Mr. Raphael, may be assigned to this object by the court of chancery, in whose hands it now is. Among the Armenians, who are now exerting an extraordinary influence, are M. Albro, the prime minister of the páshá of Egypt; his cousin, who has had a mail coach with complete harness sent out to him, and intends it to travel on the road between Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, and Rosetta ; and Syeed Khan, the agent of the prince royal of Persia, who has taken out English miners, for the purpose of exploring the mines of that country, and had recently freighted a ship, direct from London, to the port of Trebizond, being the first instance of such a voyage.
Dindoostan. The British Dominions in Asia have some peculiar advantages for the purposes of scientific and philosophical research. The surface of the country presents a difference of elevation above the level of the sea, varying from six miles to 26,000 feet. The phenomena of the atinosphere can nowhere be studied with greater facility and accuracy, while the vast range of its natural productions affords ample scope for observation and experiment; and above all, a population of 100,000,000 of persons, presents an equally fertile subject of moral investigation. In the new charter of the East India company, the following ecclesiastical provisions are proposed to be inserted : that the archdeaconries of Bombay and Madras be abolished, and that in lieu of them a suffragan or assistant bishop be appointed for each of those presidencies, on a salary exceeding only by £500 that of the archdeacon, which is £2,000 per annum. To assist the suffragan bishops, it is proposed, that the senior chaplain at Bombay and Madras be respectively made commissaries, with an allowance of £200 or £230 per annum, in addition to their salaries as chaplains. The suffragan bishops, proceeding in that capacity from England to India, are to be allowed £500 for outfit. The allowance for the purpose to the bishop of Calcutta is £1,200. The assistant bishops are to be competent to perform all the duties, within their respective dioceses, which now devolve upon the bishop of Calcutta. An appeal will lie, however, to the metropolitan at Calcutta, from the decisions of his suffragans. In pursuance of this arrangement, archdeacon Robinson of Madras, (a son of the excellent Mr. Robinson of Leicester,) is appointed to the bishopric of Madras. The see of Bombay will probably be supplied from England. The bishop of Calcutta has under his jurisdiction, in addition to the presidency of Calcutta, Van Diemen's Land, New South Wales, Ceylon, the Cape of Good Hope, and the Mauritius.—The committee of the Asiatic Society have taken measures for procuring a list of the principal manuscripts employed in the schools, and “it is hoped that through the medium of the missionaries residing in Jaffna, Ceylon, (the American,) translations of them may be obtained, and their real style and tendency made known.”
Abolition of slavery in Ceylon.-In 1816, 748 slave-holders, proprietors of more than 15,000 slaves, agreed that the children of slaves, born after the 12th of August of that year, should be free. Domestic slavery having been put an end to, the same measures were adopted for the benefit of the allodial (feudal slaves) and of between 24,000 and 25,000 of this class, the greater portion have become free. The relinquishment of the right to demand compulsory labor from the natives on the part of the government, has at length taken place, much to its credit, under the administration of the present governor, Sir R. W. Horton.-Cutch. It seems that infanticide is still practised in this territory. The male Rajput population still predominates over the female, in the proportion of nearly six to one. It is probable that the Rajputs do not restrict themselves solely to destroying the females of a family, considering the small number of male children; a chief rarely having more than one boy.-Native vessels of the coasts of Coromandel, Malabar, and of Ceylon : the catamarans of Ceylon, Malabar, and Coromandel ; canoes of Point de Galle, and the Malabar coast; the jungar of the Malabar coast, for the navigation of rivers; the hamban manché, or snake boat of Cochin ; the bunder manché, or boat used to load ships and carry goods on the Malabar coast; the masula boats, chiefly employed at Madras; the Mangalore, the Calicut, and Ponano manché, different descriptions of coasting boats; patamars, vessels employed in the coasting trade from Ceylon to Bombay ; Arab doros, vessels employed in the trade between the Red sea, the Arabian coast, the Persian gulf, &c., used also for purposes of war and piracy, always manned by Arabs; budgerows, trading vessels, carrying on commercial intercourse between the same limits as the preceding Indian vessels, and manned with Indian seamen, called lascars ; doni, a vessel trading along the coast of Coromandel to Ceylon, and the gulf of Manar; the boatila manché, employed in the gulf of Manar, and southern part of Ceylon.
VIEW OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS.
Unsted States. The bank of the United States was chartered in 1816, with a capital of $35,000,000. For this charter, the government received a bonus of $1,500,000 from the stockholders. The direction of the institution was left to the stockholders, except that the government received the right of appointment and removal at pleasure of five directors out of the twenty-five, and also the right to demand a statement of the concerns of the institution by committees of either branch of Congress. The charter expires on the 3d of March, 18:36. The bank is prohibited from purchasing any part of the public debt, taking interest over six per cent, or loading to the govo ernment over $500,000, or to any State, over $50,000. It is also obliged to give the government the necessary facilities for transferring the public funds from place to place, within the United States, without charging commissions, or claiming any allowance on account of the difference of exchange, and to transact all the business of commissioners of loans whenever required so to do. The institution is essentially commercial in its character, being directly auxiliary to the government, and subject to its control only as a financial engine. Its most beneficial influence has been felt in the restoration of the currency to a sound state ; for at the time of its going into operation, many of the state banks had an immense amount of unredeemable
paper in circulation. As soon as the United States bank went into operation, with its various branches in the commercial cities, it became necessary for all the other banks within the circle of its influence, to resume specie payments, or discontinue their operations. The consequence of the influence of this institution, was a complete restoration of the currency to specie or its equivalent. The dividends have varied from five to six per cent. The amount of stock held by foreigners in January, 1832, was 84,055 shares; equal to $8,405,500. The domestic stockholders of the bank were 3,602 in number. The annount of bills discounted by the bank on personal securities, was $48,758,570 54 ; on funded debt, $18,850 00; on bank stock, $731,157 53 ; domestic bills of exchange, $16,691,129 34. The amount of specie on hand was $7,038,828 12.
On the 10th of July, 1832, an act extending the charter of the bank having passed both houses of congress—the senate, by a vote VOL. I.
of 28 to 20, and the house by a vote of 105 to 83, was returned by the president, with his objections to signing it; and less than two thirds voting for its passage, the act was rejected. The president contended that the bank was unconstitutional in some of its features ; that it may pass into the hands of foreigners; that it is a nonopoly of the rich ; that it has more capital than is necessary ; that suspicion of corruption attaches to its proceedings, &c. These various objections were met, and shown to be without foundation, by Mr. Webster and other members of congress. Previously to the vote in congress, a special committee had been appointed by the house, to proceed to Philadelphia, and examine the concerns of the bank. The majority made a report unfavorable to rechartering. The minority also offered a report, drawn up at great length by Mr. J. Q. Adams, in opposition to the report of the majority. In the winter of 1832–3, an agent was commissioned by government to report respecting the safety of continuing the United States' deposites in the bank. The report fully certified to the safety of the deposites. Subsequently, a committee of the house was directed to consider and report on the same subject. The conclusion of their report is as follows: “The available and secure resources of the bank, amounted on the first of January, 1833, to $80,865,000, whilst all the claims against it for bills, debts, and deposites, including those of the governinent, and for the redemption of the public debt were but $37,800,000, leaving above $43,000,000 as a guarantee to the nation against all losses. These general statements derive strong confirmation from the fact that the specie actually within the vaults of the bank of the United States, is within one tenth of the amount held by all the other banks in the Union, while its circulation of paper is but one fourth of the aggregate of theirs. In other words, the bank of the United States has above nine millions of specie, with a circulation of notes to the amount of seventeen millions and a half; while the aggregate of all the other banks, with specie in their vaults but a little above ten millions, have a circulation of bank paper of sixty-eight millions." The report was accepted, ten thousand extra copies ordered to be printed, and the following resolution passed by a large majority. “That the government deposites may, in the opinion of the house, be safely continued in the bank of the United States."
In the month of September last, the president came to the determination to remove the deposites, notwithstanding the vote of the house of representatives, and the decided opposition of the secretaries of war, navy, and the treasury. This is the more extraordinary, as the matter is intrusted by law in the hands of the secretary of the treasury, who is made immediately answerable to congress on this subject, and who, in extreme cases, may remove or change the deposites of the public money. It seems to be nothing more nor less than an act of direct usurpation on the part of the president. We do not say this in a partizan spirit. We have no connection with any political party. There are some things about the president and his administration, which have met our unqualified approbation ; but we think that in this case, he has transcended his powers. He, of all men in the country, ought to manifest a prompt and unhesitating obedience to those laws and that constitution, which he has sworn to support. The grounds alleged in the paper which he read to his cabinet, in justification of his course, namely, the political influence which the bank is said to have exerted against his administration, &c. are, if true, altogether unworthy of a man in his high office, to bring forward. In consequence, the secretary of the treasury, Mr. Duane, has been removed, and Mr. R. B. Taney, attorney general, has been appointed in his place.
The elections for state officers, and for members of congress, have just taken place in several of the States. There has not been by any means so much excitement and appeal to angry passion, and bitter personality, as characterized the elections of the last year. There have still, however, been many things which a true lover of his country must deplore. Some of the political papers in Maine, during the late election (we do not take Maine because she is worse than some other States) were charged with the most outrageous personalities. The effervescence of passion was in inverse proportion to the amount of sense and argument. One man was deified, and his opponent was represented to be as destitute of principle as a demon incarnate. We hoped that the visit of the president would allay the heats of party. It seems, however, to have occasioned only a temporary calm. South Carolina has elected an entire delegation of nullifiers to congress, with the exception of General Blair. A part of the delegations of North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and Alabama, are also of the same political complexion. We are glad to see that the Hon. John Sergeant, of Philadelphia, is in nomination for congress. The exertions of this gentleman on the Missouri question, several years since, entitle him to the gratitude of the country.
The American Board of Missions has lately held its annual meeting in Philadelphia. We hardly need say that the anniversary was one of great interest. This society has the advantage of all others in several respects. By the mode of its organization, it has a large number of distinguished and select men as corporate members, who constitute a kind of patres conscripti, venerable for age and wisdom. Again, from the nature of the enterprise, every year brings forward