The American States’ Debt Crisis of the 1840s

“Meanwhile the foreign bankers were endeavoring to safeguard as best they could the interests of their clients. Before Mississippi repudiated a memorial was drafted by the Rothschilds. A copy was presented to Lord Palmerston, the British foreign secretary, requesting that it be presented through the medium of His Majesty’s minister at Washington. Lord Palmerston curtly refused to do, this on the ground that ‘British subjects who buy foreign securities do so at their own risk and must abide the consequences’.” — Reginald C. McGrane (1933), “Some Aspects of American State Debts in the Forties”, American Historical Review 38:4 (July 1933), p. 682