It was due to the efforts of Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, that a charter from Congress, in 1791, was granted authorizing a United States Bank for the purpose of regulating the currency, taking public money on deposit and acting as official agent of the government. The capital was $10,000,000, one-fifth of which was held by the Government; the balance by the public at home and abroad. The voting power, however, was so restricted that the foreign holders, who were really in the majority, were unable to exercise control, as they were not allowed to vote by proxy. The Secretary of the Treasury had the right of inspection; its notes were made receivable for public dues, provided they were kept repayable in coin. It was permitted to have branches, which were established in most of the important cities, the main office being in Philadelphia. It was a very successful institution. Its charter was for but twenty years, a question of its constitutionality had been raised, and the subject of its renewal aroused political opposition. The renewal was defeated and the bank liquidated, each $400 share returning to its holder $434. At one time, it had deposits of about $8,500,000 and circulation of about $4,500,000.