Financial History Issue 121 (Spring 2017) | Page 14

shares of the Bank of the United States. Despite the dangers — a war with Britain would mean additional borrowing by the government with possible adverse effects on stock prices while the failure of the effort to re-charter the Bank could mean significant losses to shareholders — Girard proceeded with the purchases. In 1811, almost 60% of the assets returned to the United States were in the form of govern- ment stock and Bank shares. A second element critical to placing Girard in a leading role regarding the War Loan of 1813 was the demise of the First Bank of the United States. Chartered in 1791 for a 20-year period, the Bank had gro