16 March 1864: “I believe that the recent legislation upon currency will temporarily inspire confidence in the people…”

Item description: Letter, dated 16 March 1864, from John L. Schon to John Kimberly in Chapel Hill.  The letter concerns Kimberly’s attempts to purchase supplies to be able to teach chemistry classes at the University of North Carolina, as well as family news and Schon’s opinions on the inflation of Confederate currency.

[transcription available below images]

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Item citation: From folder 44 in the John Kimberly Papers #398, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Atlanta, Ga,

March 16. 1864.

Dear Kimberly,

I received in due course of mail your letter of Feby 17th with its enclosure.

Enclosed I hand you your due bill for 860$ canceled  also $3.75.  Postage stamps in exchange for the currency $3.75 you sent me.

I have written twice to Mr. John F. Casey of Penton, Casey & Co. of Augusta, to whom your [cardey?] of nitric acid was consigned – he informs me that he has tried repeatedly to ship it by Rail, but the Road will not yet receive it, and the Express Co. will not take it upon any terms. to prevent the [intiation?] of his policy of insurance he was compelled to store the Carbon in a Drug House. I fear you can-not remove the Carbon from Augus-ta to Chapel Hill, unless you have some one to personally take charge of it.  If you think I can serve you in any way in reference to the removal  of the acid – [ante?] me.

I hope you have not inconvenienced yourself to remit me the $860.00 for I had made such arrangements that I could do without it.

My dear little John has been very ill with diptheria and Annie & I have felt great anx-iety about him – he is now however slowly convalescing  – he other youngster Maney is growing rapidly and bids fair to be a fine boy.  Tell Bettie i will write her in a few days.  Say to Mother that George & Bettie have gone to visit Mrs. Hayden.  James has not yet returned from Petersburg.  William is still in Dalton -he wrote me last week, that he was again comfortably quartered in his cabin.  Frank I heard from yesterday, he is still in Savannah under orders from Col. Walter A. A. Genl.

Nothing new here. You ask my opinion about the currency. I believe that the recent legislation upon currency will temporarily inspire confidence in the people, and for the while induce them to believe from heavy taxation, that the Government can & will pay its debts so long as this impression prevails prices of all articles (save those especially regulated by the law of demand and supply) will for months be reasonable, but will again increase as our circulation expands, for expand it will in effect, if [?] Mr. Menninger’s figures.

Confidentially I expect that 8 per cent, 7 per cent, and 6 per cent bonds will all be reduced to a level with 4 per cent bonds, and then consolidated, giving us a perma-nent material debt, as the English Consols, interest being paid regularly, but the principal never.  Give my love to Mother, Bettie, and the children.

Present my regards to the young ladies.  Let me hear from you soon.  With regards and best wishes

Yours truly

Jno. L. Schon


Prof. Jno Kimberly

Chapel Hill

No. Ca.




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