"Stock to consist of specie only" and 18th century "liberal" banking

At several branches of the Bank of New York in Manhattan, the following is displayed on the wall above and behind the tellers (like a mural, it’s part of the décor). It’s clearly an advertisement published in a newspaper of the day, and apparently speaks to the historical origins of the bank:

“It appearing to be the disposition of the Gentlemen in this City, to establish a BANK on liberal principles, the stock to consist of specie only; they are therefore hereby invited to meet To-Morrow Evening at Six o’Clock, at the Merchant’s Coffee House, where a plan will be submitted to their consideration.” -New York Packet, February 23, 1784

  1. I know what a stock is. What does it mean that the stock “…consist(s) of specie only…”?
  2. In 1784, what exactly was meant by “liberal principles”, specifically relating to banking and this example?
  3. Where was the Merchant’s Coffee House?

“Specie” is gold or silver. The circular is saying that the bank’s banknotes can be redeemed for gold or silver that the bank has on hand in its vaults.

There’s some discussion of the topic in this Andrew Jackson biography.

The first bank in the US(as we think of banks these days) was The Bank of North America which opened its doors in the Spring of 1781 in Philadelphia.

I’m not sure what kind of “liberal principles” could have been formulated by 1784 as relates to banking in general.

The Merchant’s Coffee House was located at the SE corner of Wall & Water Streets. Contrary to the implication of their names, colonial-era coffee houses served liquor.

Oops. My mistake (and yours too). It’s not “Merchant’s,” it’s “Merchants’.” (We here at the SDMB do not adhere to liberal principles when it comes to spelling business titles!)

Liberal meant something far different (thankfully) in 1784 than it does today. They probably meant something along the lines of “sensible” though. Specie was the term for Gold and Silver, which is constitutionally mandated in the US technically.