One Town's War Debt

Out of little Frederick, Md. (pop. 15,802) last week came an object lesson in war financing. In the Civil War, the town was threatened with destruction by Confederate General Jubal Early, chose instead to meet his $200,000 ransom demand, borrowed the money from its five banks. The debt could have been repaid by a $25 emergency tax on each of the 8,000 residents in 1864. But last week the contemporary city fathers, struggling to repay the loan out of ordinary revenues, figured they had already spent $331,000 in interest, would not have their Civil War debt finally liquidated until 1951.


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