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Proceedings of the Colored National Labor convention : held in Washington, D.C., on December 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th, 1869.

1869-WASHGINGTON DC-Colored national Labor Convention 15.pdf

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15

In the six New England States, one in every 4.89. In New York, one in 7.22.

But the Savings Bank as an institution—as a great conservator of the well being of the poor, as a perpetual invitation in each city, town, and village to youth and health to put safely by something against the day of old age and sickness—is just beginning to find a footing South of the Potomac. Until the close of the late war there was no civilized labor in the South. The employer was at the same time the owner of the laboring man. What inducement was there for the toiler to put by his money? What money of his own had he to put by?

With the earnest desire to place within reach of the disenthralled race the opportunity and incentive to careful savings and safe keeping of small earnings, at the close of the war, Congress granted a charter to a company called The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, with authority to establish in any one of our States, Savings Banks for the safe-keeping and investment in the stocks, bonds, and Treasury notes of the United States the savings of the people of color. One of the last acts of the lamented President Lincoln was to affix his signature to the charter giving legal existence to this company. This was in March, 1865. Let us now show, in a few words, what has been done by this company in the space of less than five years:

In that comparatively short time, Banks for savings have been established in Augusta, Macon, and Savannah, Georgia; in Beaufort and Charleston, South Carolina; in Jacksonville and Tallahassee, Florida; in Mobile and Huntsville, Alabama; in New Orleans, Louisiana; in Vicksburg, Mississippi; in Chattanooga, Memphis, and Nashville, Tennessee; in Louisville, Kentucky; in St. Louis, Missouri; in Martinsburg, Richmond, and Norfolk, Virginia; in Raleigh, Wilmington, and Newbern, North Carolina; and in Washington, Baltimore, and New York, with a parent or principal office in this city.

Beginning with nothing, of course, in the midst of a people just escaped from the shackles of slavery, at the end of one year from the date of its charter, to wit, on the 1st day of

March, 1866, deposits were . . . . . . $305,167.24.

March, 1867, " " . . . . . . $1,624,853.33.

March, 1868, " " . . . . . . $3,582,378.86.

March, 1869, " " . . . . . . $7,257,798.63.

and to-day the aggregate of all the deposits is over ten millions!

Of course there have been constant and heavy drafts from these aggregations. Depositors, when they have accumulated a few hundred dollars in the Bank, quite naturally desire to buy a piece of land or to enter upon some mercantile or mechanical pursuit. So they draw out money which, but for the Bank, would probably never have been saved, and invest as they see opportunity. A population of small landowners, traders, and mechanics—the very element of a true Democratic civilization—is appearing on the once lordly domains of the planter. The former chattel, thrown upon his own resources, is called, by the necessities of his position; to look out for to-morrow. So he needs his earnings from time to time. The drafts, for the period above specified, were as follows:

Year ending March 1, 1867, . . . . . $1,225,928.16.

" " March 1, 1868, . . . . . . $2,944,079.36.

" " March 1, 1869, . . . . . $6,184,368.71.

At the last date, the net deposit remaining in the Bank, invested in Untied States securities or in cash and office property, was $1,073,429.92. On the 31st of October, the date of the latest published report, this deposit had reached $1,340,133.94. It will probably have reached two millions within the next year.

These savings, as fast as accumulated, are loaned to the United States, i.e., invested in their bonds and stocks, The company has paid up to November 1st, 1869, regularly to its depositors interest at the rate of 5 per cent. in tri-ennial installments, which, on being entered on the depositor's book as a new deposit, gives him really 1 2/3 per cent. each four months, compounded three times per annum.

In connection with the other work of the Bank, it issues monthly,—for gratuitous distribution, to stimulate its patrons to habits of temperance, thrift, and frugality—a newspaper, which is sought for eagerly.

We may add that we find this Bank to be established on the mutual principle. Each depositor is a stockholder to the amount of his deposits. After paying, out of its income, the expenses of the business of the institution, the balance of its profits are distributed to its depositors every four months. The larger the amount of its deposits the greater the advantage to the stockholder, i.e., to the depositor.

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