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TH E SILVER QU ESTIO N .
To annul the use of either of the metals as money is to abridge the quantity
of the circulating medium, and is liable to all the objections which arise from a
comparison of the benefits of a full with the evils of a scanty circulation.—
Alexander Hamilton.

SPEECH
OF

HON. T. Q SKINNER,
-.
O F

N O R T H

C A R O L I3S T A ,

IN THE

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,




JUNE

6, 1 8 9 0 .

W A S H IN G T O N .
1890.




SPEECH
OF

HON.

T.

G.

SKINNEK.

The House having under consideration the bill (H. R. 5381) authorizing the
issue o f Treasury notes on deposits of silver bullion— .

Mr. SKINNER:
To annul the use o f either o f the metals as money is to abridge the quantity
o f the circulating medium and is liable to all the objections which arise irom a
comparison o f the benefits o f a full, with the evils o f a scanty circulation.—
Alexander Hamilton.

Mr. S p e a k e r : When the Forty-second Congress, by act of March 12,
1873, suspended the coinage of the silver dollar, and thereby in effect
demonetized silver, and reduced the United States to a monometallic
gold standard of values, it committed a serious blunder, if blunder is
the correct word to use— crime would, perhaps, be the better term.
And from the effect of that crime the people who work have suffered
grievously. When I say ‘ ‘ people who w ork1’ I mean all who have not
accumulated, by descent or fortunate speculation, a sufficiency of
worldly gear to enable them to live on its interest.
But the blunder or crime committed by that Congress is but a small
peccadillo in comparison with the enormous §in that this Congress will
be guilty of if it deprives silver of its money function. That Congress
was trying an experiment, the consequences of which had not been
demonstrated to them as it has been to us. by the light of after events.
They had only foresight to guide their aim; we have the benefit of
hindsight, too. Besides, it is said tb'at a large majority of the Repre­
sentatives and Senators who composed that Congress did not know the
contents of th^bill when they voted for it, and that among that class were
many of the then leaders, including Mr. Blaine; and that even the
President signed the act in ignorance of its provisions; which, if so,
makes them guilty of criminal negligence only. But if we. alter an
experience of seventeen yearjs, with the consequences of that tentative
criminal or negligent legislation before our eyes, perpetuate it, we sin
in the light o f knowledge, for which there is no excuse and should be
no forgiveness.
Let .us review for a moment some of the evil consequences of that
legislation. All classes except the capitalist, whose fortune was there­
by largely increased, felt the evil effects of this act of 1873; but the
class that felt it soonest and most severely was the agricultural. The
farmer of the South (I shall leave the Western farmer and the North­
ern farmer to be talked about by others who know their condition




4
better than I do)—the Southern farmer had just come out o f a devas­
tating war, in which he had been stripped of every ki^id o f property
except his land. He believed that if he could ggt money to enable
him to properly cultivate his lands he could soon recuperate his fallen
fortunes, and he mortgaged his farn} to get that money. His farm was
considered valuable, and it was, because farm products brought fair
prices in the markets.
Wheat was worth in 1873 from $1.50 to $2.25 per bushel; cotton, from
13 cents to 21 cents per pound, and corn, from 60 to 80 cents ]ier bushel,
and other agricultural products good prices. Upon the basis of these
prices the farm was mortgaged and the farmer got the money and went
to work putting his farm in order and planting his crops. He agreed
to pay almost any sort of interest or usury that the money-lender had
the conscience to charge. He saw his broad acres bearing bountiful
harvests o f cotton at 20 cents, corn at 80 cents, and wheat at $2.25,
and he expected to pay off his mortgage when it fell due with the prod­
uce at these prices. But he reckoned without his host. He did not
know that the money power had charge of the National Legislature
and was concocting a scheme by which his mortgage debt would be in­
creased and his ability to pay lessened to such an extent that he would
never be able to disenthrall himself from it. The scheme of the plu­
tocrat succeeded.
The act demonetizing silver became law; the mortgage fell due, and
the farmer carried his cotton and corn and wheat to market to get
money to pay the debt and found that the net proceeds o f sale would
hardly pay the cost of production. Wheat was only worth 85 to 95
cents, corn 40 to 60 cents, and cotton 8} to 9} cents. He paid his in­
terest, got an extension on the principal of his debt, and went back to
his farm, to be thereafter the bond-slave of the money-lender; and
from then until now, when seasons were propitious and crops good, he
has managed to pay his interest and keep the w olf from his door. But
when seasons were unfavorable and crops poor, he has been obliged to
let his interest lap or give up his land for the debt.
When he made the mortgage, one-half bushel of wheat, 5 pounds of
cotton^ or 1J bushels of corn would pay a dollar on the debt. When
it matured, if he wanted to pay a dollar he had to sell 1^ bushels of
wheat, 2 J bushels of corn, or 12 pounds of cotton. Such was the effect
of the demonetization of silver; the suspension of its free and unlimited
coinage. The volume of currency ceased thereby to be governed by
the natural output of the mines, and greedy man was given the power
of regulating or fluctuating it for his own purposes. What an immense
power this is? How prone is human nature to use and abuse power?
I belive it is generally admitted that an increase of the volume of
currency proportionally increases trade and enhances the market value
o f product and commodities, and a decrease of that volume depresses
trade and decreases values. At least the majority of the committee
who reported this bill sets that out in their report.
“ No people,” they say, “ can prosper without a liberal supply of
money, and that nation prospers most which has the largest circula­
tion of the best. ’ ’
They make no argument to sustain this, but set it out as an ascer­
tained fact or self-evident truth, and they are correct in that. See
how beautifully, for themselves and against the producers, the money
power, after they had put us on a single,standard and fully established
SKI




5
the national banking system, manipulated the currency, with this
axiom in mind.
When the farmer gets his produce ready for market, the currency is
contracted, prices fall, trade is depressed; and the farmer, unable to
hold, sells to the speculator, and as soon as the speculator gets posses­
sion the currency is inflated, the market gets brisk, prices increase,
and the speculator r,eaps the reward which ought to belong to the farmer.
Now arid then a farmer catches a high market, but that is an exception,
which only proves the rule.
This was the necessary and intended outcome of this legislation.
The money power, the bondholders, the men with fixed incomes, with,
the sole purpose of increasing their hoards of wealth and incomes, man­
aged to have the legislation that they wanted enacted, utterly regard­
less of the effect it would have upon the workers and producers of the
country. There was no sort of excuse for it. not even a pretense of one.
On the day that the law was passed the market value of silver in the
United States was above par and had been for thirty years. *
The silver bullion in a standard silver dollar was worth more in gold
than the gold bullion in a gold dollar. Deprived by this unjust law of
its money use, silver began to depreciate in gold value, and the iact of
its depression has been used as the fnain argument against its remoneti­
zation by that class in whose interest its coinage was stopped. That it
has ndt depreciated more is wonderful. Deprived at one blow of its
chief use, reduced from th^ dignity of money to the subordinate posi­
tion ofa commodity, purchasable, one would have thought that it would
have gone down to almost nothing. Give any other commodity the
same kind of treatment and note the consequences.
Take away from wheat the privilege of being made into flour; say
that stock shall not eat oats, and see how their value will tumble. Yet
the money use of silver is to that metal and its other uses, about as its
flour use is to wheat, or its stock-feed use is to oats. Select any com­
modity, take from it one-half its use, and it will depreciate in value
more than silver has, though it has beed deprived of much more than
one-half its uses by demonetization. For five years its money func­
tion lopped from it, and since, then, by the Bland act, purchased in the
markets by Secretaries of the Treasury under administrations inimical
to its money use, and who did their utmost to cripple it, bear it in the
market aud depreciate it more, it is wonderful indeed how its bullion
value has kept up so well. Why has it not depreciated more ?
Notwithstanding its demonetization by this country and England
and the Latin Union, the people of this Government have never real­
ized that it! was in fact demonetized. It has always been money to
them, and they believe that it will always remain money. Their idea
of money has always been associated with silver, and though one Con­
gress said it should no longer be a standard of values, and each suc­
ceeding Congress has failed to restore it to its proper and constitutional
position as a eo-standard of values with gold, yet they have an abiding
faith that it will yet be remonetized lully^ that this metal, the first
that we have any record of being used as money, a medium of ex­
change “ current among merchants” with which Abraham purchased
the cave of Macphela and with which Christ paid his taxes when on
earth exemplifying his subjection to human laws, will continue to be
money as long as the world needs a standard of values and a currency.
When the average American sees the $, the impression of a silver
SK
I




6
dollar is made upon his brain. When you mention the word dollar in
his hearing it is the silver dollar, the bright American silver dollar that
he sees, borne on the wings of our American eagle, and expressing the
national faith in the ever-living God. When he says dollar, he means
the silver dollar. He has no conception of a gold dollar. Possibly to
the jaundiced eye of the gold monometalist the $ has a yellow cast,
but I very much doubt whether even he ever thinks of the gold dollar
except as the multiple of the silver dollar, so firm a hold has this money
of the people upon the minds of the people.
I have been taking it for granted that silver has depreciated since its
demonetization. Is it so? This is a mooted question. It was above
gold in 1873; it is below gold now. The relative value of these two
precious metals has changed, but that does not prove whether the one
ha^ risen or the other has fallen in value. How can we ascertain
whether their relative difference in values has been caused by the de­
preciation of silver or the appreciation of gold? Let us go back to a
period when we had a double standard and look at the price (as fixed
by that-double standard) of the productions of our country, upon which
her material wealth is dependent, and see how and in what direction
they have fluctuated in price since the adoption of the single gold
standard.
Here is a table of statistics compiled from the American Almanac for
1888, which is the latest and fullest publication furnishing such data,
which shows the range of prices from 1873 to 1886, of the leading ar­
ticles produced in the United States which goes to make up the ma­
terial wealth of the nation. I have selected coal, iron, and silver from
the mines, and cotton, wheat, corn, and wool from the farm. The
table shows the highest and lowest average price of each article in the
New York market each year from 1873 to 1886, and the perce$tage of
depreciation of each, according to the gold standard of values:
SKI




SKI

P r ic e o f coal p er
to n .

P rice o f iron p er ton .

P r ice

o f c o tto n p er
pound.

P r ic e o f cprn p e r
b u sh e l.

P rice o f w h e a t p er
b u sh e l.

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u

>©
D a te .

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4
8
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H
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+3
CD
4
>
•5

<
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w

*5

1
*
0
H
i

$5.75
5 .0 5
4.97
4.65
3.5 0
3.62
2 .75
4.02*
4.32*
4 .37*
4.0 2*
4 .4 5
3 .7 7*
3 .3 0

$75.00
55.00
50.00
40.00
44.80
42.50
45.00
50.00
53.75
56.00
47.00
37.00
34.45
34.00

1873......................... $5.00 $6.50
1874......................... 4 .5 5 5.5 5
1875......................... 4 .4 0
5.5 5
1876......................... 3.7 5
5.5 5
1877......................... 3.2 5
3 .7 5
1878......................... 2.7 5
4.5 0
1879......................... 2.1 5
3.2 5
1880......................... 3.5 0 4 .4 5
1881......................... 4 .0 0
4 .6 5
1882......................... 4.4 0
4 .7 5
1883.......................
3 .6 5
4 .4 0
1884......................... 4.4 0
4 .5 0
1885......................... 3 .3 0
4 .2 5
1886......................... 3 .1 5
3 .4 5
P e r c e n ta g e o f
d e c r e a s e .........




42.

•3
*
w
<
D
w
$ 110.00
80.00
62.50
54.00
48.72
45.00
78.50
85.00
65.00
67.50
56.00
44.80
38.00
47.00

56.

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$0.50 $0.77
$(h21
$92.50 $0.17
$0.17
.1 9
.5 3
.8 4
67.50
.1 5
.1 7
.4 9
5 6 .2 i
.76
.1 7
.15
.1 3
.1 3
.1 2
.3 8
47.00
.4 9
.11
.1 2
.41
46.76
.5 8
.11
.1 3
. 10*
.4 5
43.75
.6 0
.0 9
.1 2
61.75
.4 4
.6 4
.1 3 *
.09 *
. 11*
.4 8
67.50
.13 *
. 12*
.6 1
.1 1 „
.4 8
.7 6
59.37
.09^
.1 3
« 11x3
61.60
.5 5
.7 0
.1 3
.I lf
* 12ys
5
52.50
.1 0
.5 5
.7 0
. 11*
. 10*
40.90
. 11*
.4 5
.6 6
. 10*
.m
36.12
.1 0
.4 0
. 11*
m
.5 7
40.50
09&
.4 3
.5 5
0 . 8J*
•09$f

.
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45.

23.

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$0.63* $1.55
.9 3
.6 7 *
.9 2
.5 7 *
.84
.4 3 *
1 .0 6
.44*
.8 3
.52 *
1.10
.5 4
1.0 3
.5 4 *
1.14
.6 2
.9 5
.62*
.62 *
.7 4
.7 4
.55 *
.8 8
.4 7 *
.8 3
.4 9

0)

A
n
o

B
$2.25
1.3 5
1.37
1.2 7
1.85
1.31
1 .5 6
1.5 9
1 .5 6
1.2 4
1.0 5
1 .05
1 .0 5
.9 5 *

53.

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$1.29 $0.46
$1.90
.43
1.14
1.27
1.24
.4 3
1.14*
.3 4
1.1 5
1.05*
1 .2 0
1.45*
•37*
1 .1 5
.31
1.07
.38 *
1.12
1.&3
.3 5
1.32
1.14
.3 4
1.1 5
1.40
.3 9 *
1.0 9 V 1.11
.3 9 *
.8 9 *
1.11
.35 *
.89 *
1.11
.3 6
1 .0 8
.96 *
.9 8
.3 2
.8 9

27.

30*.

8

The statistics show that, measured by the gold standard, wheat,
corn, cotton, and wool, the great agricultural products, and iron and
coal, the leading productions of the mines, have declined pari passu
with silver; and the same is true of all our productions, with scarce
an exception, showing that if we measure silver by any other measure^
than the gold standard it hks not depreciated. Measured by silver,
all other staple articles ate about the same price that they were in
1873. Measured by wheat we have a similar result, and the same with
cotton, corn, coal, or iron.
Now, it seems to me that there can not be two opinions about the
question, whether gold has appreciated or silver depreciated. Silver
has maintained its position, and gold has risen and all the wealth of
the creditor class has appreciated with it, and all the wealth producers
have kept company with silver1showing that between these two metals
,
silver is the most conservative and the most equitable standard of
values. Take the money function away from gold and give it entirely
to silver and it is most likely that silver will do as gold has done# and
gold will take the position that silver now holds. This is not desired.
All that is asked is that silver be reinstated in its position as one of the
regulators of values, the same that it held prior to 1873, for eighty-five
years in the United States and for centuries in the Old World.
Clothed again with its money functions, it will regain its old strength,
assume its constitutional prerogative, co-equal with gold, carrying with
it and sustaining there the values of every kind of production, consti­
tuting the foundation of all the real wealth of our country, hurting
nobody, except the monometallists who combined to fraudulently de­
prive silver of its money value and thus increase their wealth. These
will see, perhaps, their ill-gotten wealth decrease some, but it will
only decrease in the same proportion and to the same extent that it
increased when they succeeded in consummating their infamous scheme.
This is but simple justice, and a much more lenientjudgment than would
be pronounced upon them if convicted in the courts of adding to their
wealth by theft; and yet this crime that they committed against the
workers and producers of the nation has been much more disastrous in
its consequences than the actual larceny of one-half the entire prop­
erty of the people. By it the happy and prosperous producer and
wage-earner were reduced to the condition of dependent slaves.
What are the objections to our meting out this just punishment to
these criminals ? To allow, say the monometallists, the free and un­
limited coinage of silver, you add to the wealth of the silver miner 30
per cent, upon all his silver-mining property. Well, why not? Not
all at once, but gradually, from 1873 to now, you have taken from the
silver-miner about 30 per cent, of the value of his silver and with it
you have enriched to that extent at least the gold-holder, and now
when you remonetize silver you merely take back the 30 per cent,
from the gold men and^ive it back to its former and rightful owner.
You only place the silver-miner in the same position that you took
him from by the act of 1873. This is also but justice—a rendering
unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.
But more than this, the silver-miner is not the only man to be re­
stored to his rights who will regain the percentage of wealth that the
capitalists stole from him when they smuggled that fraudulent meas­
ure through Congress. The cotton-planter, the corn-farmer, the wheatgrower, the coal-miner, the workers in field and forest, mine and fac­
tory, had part of their values cut off by the act of 1873, which will be
SKI




9
restored by the act of 1890. This is justice, too. All the people will
regain what they lost in 1873 and* what they have been deprived of ever
since. Those who profited by that act will only be required to dis­
gorge such profits, and all parties will stand relatively as they stood in
1873, just before President Grant ignorantly (I hope) signed the act by
which silver was demonetized, except that the capitalist has to his
credit seventeen years of unexampled prosperity which we can not de­
prive him of, and the farmer and laborer have to their debit seventeen
years of adversity which we can not return nor fully remunerate them
for. The days that are gone, they come not back..
But if we open our mints to free and unlimited coinage of silver will
there not soon be such a redundancy of coined silver (the baser metal,
they call it), that gold will be driven out of circulation? Will not
the Old World dump its surplus silver upon us and reduce us to silver
monometallism ? Will that not .be jumping out of the irying-pan into
the fire ? These questions are put by the advocates of the present sys­
tem—the gold monometallists. My friend, that kind of talk does not
scare me. If other nations have any spare silver, let them dump it
here. How are they going to dump it? Will they ballast their ships
with it and sail over here and begin to unload it on our seacoast in
such abundance as to crush us ? One would think so to hear one of
these gold-bugs talk, so flippantly the word “ dump ” scintillates from
the convolutions of his massive brain, and slips off his oily tongue—
that brain from which he has evolved so many nice schemes to per­
petuate the power of money; that tongue with which he has so often
beguiled the people into adopting his plans.
If the outside world brings its silver bullion to our mints to be coined
into the American dollar, as soon as it is coined and receives the au­
thority of this Government to assume its function of establishing values
the owner of it will either take it back with him to his own country
or he will begin the dumping process by buying something that we
have for sale, and he will take back with him to his foreign home some
of our productions in exchange for his American money, and thus we
will get the foreign trade that we so much covet, stimulating all sorts of
business, and giving to the wage-earner fair compensation for his work,
and consequent happiness. Let us see how long we could stand this
dumping.
I7suppose those who shudder at the idea of onr becoming the dump­
ing ground for the silver of the Old World are in fear that the theorem
known as the “ Gresham law,” that bad money drives out good money,
will obtain here. That law is a theory that can only be exemplified
by a redundancy of bad money. As long as there is an insufficiency of
currency in any country, the bad and good, money will circulate to­
gether, and so continue to circulate interchangeably until the volume
of currency exceeds the demands of legitimate trade. Put oil and
water in the same vessel and the water will expel the oil, but not until
the vessel is full enough to run over. We must have more currency
than the business of the country can absorb before the Gresham law can
apply. The writers upon political economy qualify the Gresham law
in this way.
Francis A. Walker, in his Political Economy, page 142, paragraph
163, title “ Gresham law, ’ ’ saysr
The theorem known as the Gresham law, namely, that had money always
drives out good money, thus baldly stated, is false. That effect will not be pro­
duced unless^the body of money thus composed of heavy and light coins is it­
self in excess of the needs of the community.
SKI




10

Ricardo clearly expresses this necessary qualification of Gresham’s
theorem, and says that it is a mistaken theory to suppose that guineas
of 5 pennyweights 8 grains can not circulate with guineas of 5 penny­
weights or less, as they might be in such limited quantities that both
the one and the other might actually pass currently for a value equal
to 5 pennyweights 10 grains, and there would be no temptation to with­
draw either from circulation, and he goes on and gives instances to
prove the correctness of that proposition.
Our own experience since 1878, since we have been coining the Bland
dollar, is absolute proof that Walker and Eicardo were correct in so
qualifying the Gresham law.
In the Forty-ninth Congress, when the advocates of gold monomet­
allism attempted to do directly what they are now attempting to do
indirectly in this bill, they menaced us with this law of Gresham, and
told us, if we continued to coin silver under the Bland act, gold would
flee the country; but we did not yield, and we have continued to coin
it, and gold is still here. There is as much of it in circulation now as
there was then. It has not begun to- grow wings yet. Here is a re­
vised estimate of the stock of metallic money in the United States at
the close of each fiscal year ending June 30, 1873, to June 30, 1889:
GO LD .

Year.

Coin.

Fine bars
in subBullion in treasury, Total coin
and
mints.
New
bullion.
York.

1873 $119,330,019 $15,669,981
1874 137,708,051 9, S71,442
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883
1884
1885
1886
1887
1888

111,507,562
120,368, 683
156,456, 111
205,704,875
240,486,003
308,633,996
389,452,058
450,557,490
486,930,099
501,307,747
521,849,941
548,320,031
569,008,065
595,349,837
614,068,360

6,259,631
6,320,511
7,677,648
7,495,102
5,275,834
40,723,426
86,548,696
53,700,225
55,801,964
44,193,050
66,847,095
42,454,430
85,512,270
110,469,018
65,995,145

53.367.713
3.367.713
3.367.713
2.483.784
2.483.784
2,500,000

Estimate of—

$135,000,000 Director Linderman.
147,370,493 Director E^urchard, less
deductions for employ­
ment in arts and er­
ror.
121, 134.906
Do.
130, 056.907
Do.
167, 501,472
Do.
213, 199,977
Do.
245, 741,837
Do.
351, 841,206
Do.
478, 484,538
Do.
506, 757,715
Do.
542, 732,063
Do.
545, 500,797
Do.
588, 697,036 Director Kimball.
590, 774,461
Do.
654, 520,335
Do.
705, 818,855
Do.
680, 063,505 Director Leech.
E. O. LEECH, Director of the Mint.
M i n t , March 11, 1890.

T reasury D epartm ent, B ureau op th e

Showing $590,774,461 in 1886 and $680,063,505 in 1889, an increase
of $89,289,044 in three years.
The oil will not leave the cup until the cup gets full.
Besides, it is not certain which of these coins, when a redundancy
comes, will take unto itself wings, and be driven out of circulation, if
silver is given an equal show with gold. At the ratio of 16 for 1, for
thirty years before 1873 the silver coin was above par, and it is fair to
presume, that if we restore the few words which were dropped out of
SKI




11
the mint law in the session of 1873-’74, which we can do by adopt­
ing as a substitute for the pending bill, the bill introduced by the gentle­
men from Texas [Mr.’CuLBERS0N],0r the bill presented by the minority,
silver will assume the same relative value that it held before its de­
monetization. But be that as it may, it is absolutely certain that
neither coin will desert us until we get in circulation a redundancy
of coin, or its representative certificate, and, until then, we need h&ve
no fear that this law of Gresham will go into operation.
According to the report of the majority on the pending bill the total
volume of money of all kinds, gold, silver, certificates, greenbacks, and
national-bank notes in this country is $1,426,101,391. But only about
one-half of this is in actual circulation; the other half is represented by
the reserve fund in the Treasury and banks, so that we have only a per
capita circulation of about $10. The annual production of gold is just
about sufficient to supply the demand lor it in the arts and manufact­
ures. The total production of silver bullion from the mines in the
United States during the year 1889, counting 412^ grains of standard
silver to the dollar, deducting a fair allowance to be used in manufact­
ures, say one-quarter, amounted to about $50,000,000.
The national banks retired from circulation last year about $38,000,000, so that if three-fourths of all the silver bullion produced by the
mines in the United States had been coined into dollars and put into
circulation last year, the total volume of currency would have increased
only $12,000,000, or about 20 cents per capita, and at that rate of in­
crease it would take two hundred and twenty-five years to put in cir­
culation enough silver to raise our per capita circulation as high as it
is in France, where the per capita circulation is $55, and her people
prosper.
But, suppose the national banks do not see fit to withdraw any more
of their notes from circulation, and still we had to provide for $50,000,000 increase of our currency, that would not be such a difficult job.
It would take us at that rate fifty-six years to get the same per capita
of currency that France has, and if no silver should be used in the
arts, and we had to take all for money, it would take us forty-five years
to reach the French pro rata. The estimated production of silver in
the whole world is $165,000,000. With all this dumped upon us and put
into circulation it would still take eighteen years to give us a circu­
lating medium equal per capita to that of France, and the estimate is
based upon the idea that we are to stop increasiog in population. But
we expect to continue increasing and multiplying and replenishing the
earth. The United States is but a stripling in growth, compared to
what she expects to be. She has started out to be a giant, and she in­
creases in population every day. Just as we multiply our numbers we
must multiply the production of food, and as we multiply the food
supply we must multiply the circulating medium which is to feed the
business of the increased population.
Here is a table of statistics, prepared by Ivan C. Mitchell, showing
the total production of silver and gold in the world:
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12
Ivan C. Michel’s statistics on the production of gold and silver, for the cal­
endar year ending December 31, 1890.
. u n it e d s t a t e s .

G o ld .

States a n d T e r r ito r ie s .

S ilv e r.

T o f.l.

Alabam a..........
A lask a..............
A rizona...........
California ........
C olorado..........
Dakota.............
G eorgia............
Id ah o.................
M aryland.........
Michigan..........
M ontana..... ..
Nevada.............
New Mexico ....
North Carolina
Oregon..............
South Carolina.
T e x a s...............
Utah..................
W ashington....

$7,248
1,248,450
926,520
12,439,155
4,746,079
3,276, 400
120, 225
3, 254,860
15,200
45,700
4.800,352
3,480,172
583,040
140,795
754,659
40,100
1,580
275,800
145,750

$42
3,840
3,260,200
2,164,540
22,567,485
31,624
585
151,425
865
92,765
22,640, 200
8,252,785
1,422,166
3,200
39,126
400
491,400
7,567,997
189,642

$7,290
1,252,290
4,186,720
14,603,695
27,313,564
3,308,024
120,810
3,40 ,285
16,065
138,465
27,440,552
11,782,957
2,005,206
143,995
793,785
40,500
492,980
7,843,797
335-392

T o ta l.......

36,302,085

10,287

105,182,372

N O R T H , SO U TH , A N D C E N T R A L A M E R IC A .

A r g e n tin e R e p u b l i c ..............
B o l i v i a ........................................
B r a z i l ...........................................
B r itis h C o l u m b i a ...................
C a n a d a ....................................... .
C en tra l A m e r ic a ......................
C h il i ...................... .......................
M e x i c o ............................ ..........
P e r u ............................................
U n it e d States o f C o lo m b ia .
V e n e z u e l a ..................................

$75,850
62,745
744,890
568,000
1, 495, 210
210, 655
2,100,480
1,650,320
185,400
2,909,800
2,380, 600

$520, 455
12,480,600
10, 400
1,050
550,250
384,4f 5
9.465, 300
42, 785,000
3,460, 200
1,500,550

$596,305
12,543,345
755, 290
569,050
2,045,460
595,120
11,565,780
44,435,320
3,645, 600
4,410,350
2,380,600

T o t a l .................................

12,383,900

71,158,270

83,542,220

$2,128,850
2,225,100
1,013,700
296,400
1,410.000
305;000

50,600
6,890

750,000
1,852,740
190,200
55,000

456,335
225,100
336,700
325.000
515,900
305.000
852,650
852,740
240,800
61,890

25,945,125

10,226,990

36,172,115

E U R O PE.

A u stria- H u n g a r y ..
F r a n c e .......................
G e r m a n y .................
G rea t B r ita in ..........
I t a l y ............................
N o r w a y ....................
R u s s i a .......................
S p a i n ..........................
S w e d e n .....................
T u r k e y ......................

Total...........




$1,327,485
1,323,000
28,600
105,900
23,102,650

13
Ivan, C. Michel1 statistics on the production of gold and silver—Continued.
s
A F R IC A , A S IA , A N D A U S T R A L IA .

Countries.

Gold.

Silver.

Total.

A frica...................... ............................
Asia, China.................................................
Asia, India............. ...................................
Asia, Japan................................................
Australia....................................................

$4,657,200
11,580,500
2,100,460
1,008,125
29,152,400

$50,250
1,850,400
985,285
2,000,645
10,272,956

$4,707,450
13,430,900
3,085,745
3,008,770
39,425,356

T otal.... ............................................

48,498,685

15,159,536

69,658,221

R E C A P IT U L A T IO N .

America__
A frica........
Asia...........
Australia....
E&rope......

$48,686,035
4,657,200
14,689,085
29,152,400
25,945,125

$140,038,557
50,25t)
4,836,330
10,272,956
10,226,990

$188,724,592
4,707,450
19,525,415
39,425,356 *
36,172,115

Total,

123,129,845

165,425, <

288,554,928

If the Old World dumps upon us a sufficient supply of silver to keep
pace with her surplus population that she continues to dump upon us,
she will do well. Let the dumping begin. It will be time enough to
cry out when we begin to feel the surfeit. We have a safety valve in
the shape of the $337,0! 0,000 of Treasury notes and $190,000,000 national-bank notes which we can retire whenever the pressure becomes
so great that we can not fetand it. The nationtd-bank note will have
to go in a few years anyway. The reign of the national bank is draw­
ing to a close. The people are beginning to realize that this beautiful
institution and its polished corners, this pet of the National Govern­
ment, to which the nation has been lending its credit without remunera­
tion and paying it a large percentage for the purpose of furnishing a
supply of life-blood to the business of the country, has been used as
an engine of oppression; a machine to cut off the needed blood supply
with; to suppress and coutrol the currency in the interest of capital,
and thus to throttle the business it was designed to promote.
The people are sovereign yet; and when they realize that their serv­
ants are doing wrong they have a certain and sure way of exercising
this sovereignty and righting the wrong. They are fully awake to the
realization of this great wrong done by the Forty-second Congress;
they are demanding that this Congress right that wrong, and they are
organizing to see that that demand is complied with. In every city,
in every town, in every hamlet, at every cross-roa<jis, they meet every
week, farmers and wage-earners, North, South, East, and West, in earnest
consultation over their wrongs and the remedy therefor.
They have seen the money power dethrone silver and establish gold
as the sole arbiter of values, and they have noted its effect upon rich
and poor for seventeen years. They have seen the millionaires in­
creasing in fatness, and the poor accumulating poverty; the farm, the
corner-stone of healthy prosperity, decreasing in value, and all sorts
of business, except money-lending and protected monopolies, tumbling
to rapid ruin. They have reasoned from effect to cause, and have come
to the conclusion that a large part if. not all the ills that oppress them
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14
is chargeable to the demonetization of silver. They look back to the
time when silver and gold were joint and equal sovereigns of finance
and “
vied with each other in supplying life-blood tiothe business of the
land, and they demand that silver be restored to its power.
Does /the bill under consideration, pr the Windom plan, do this ? No.
It does not pretend to admit silver into full or partial partnership with
gold; it does not give to it any money function, but confirms it as a
commodity, and gives the Secretary of the Treasury still further power
to fix its value and oppress and depress it as his judgment may dictate.
It repeals the law requiring the Secretary to buy and coin two millions
a month, and does not require him to coin any, unless he deems it nec­
essary. The present incumbent of that office shows in his last annual
report that he deems it advisable to discontinue the coinage of silver.
He says:
Surely the stock o f these dollars which can perform any useful function as a
circulating medium must soon be reached, and the further coinage and stamp­
ing o f them will become a waste o f public money.

This bill is an experiment and a compromise measure offered by the
money power, and the money power understand that it does not give
the relief to the people which they demand. You who are here with
the honest intention of providing the people with stable currency,
abundant enough to maintain healthy trade, had better beware how
you accept compromises offered by the money power.
I once heard an old man give this advice to a young lawyer who was
about to accept a compromise offered by an old member of the bar:
“ My son, if he makes you a proposition, refuse it. If you make him
one and he accepts it, withdraw it at once. 5’
This is good advice for us to act on when we deal with the money
power; take no compromises Irom them. The proffered compromise
keeps silver in bondage in its depreciated condition; brands it a com­
modity, and tags it the property of gold. It is not what the peoplfe
need or demand at the hands of their Representatives, and they will
not accept it, but will repudiate it and the Congress that offers it.
They will be satisfied with nothing less than the full emancipation of
silver by its free and unlimited coinage. Many of you believe, as I
do, that the demands of the people are founded in a correct appreci­
ation of the condition of the country and its needs; but you feel bound
•b your party caucus. Do not lay the flattering unction to your soul
y
that your constituents will accept that excuse for your dereliction of
duty to them.
This question is above party. Your constituents are being stifled for/
want of pure air to breathe, and you refuse to open the doors and let
in the reviving oxygen because King Caucus decides that they do hot
need it. You know that they do need it, for you have seen them gasp­
ing for breath and eagerly contending for the little that comes through
the key-hole and crevices around the door. But the power which
locked the door on them gets charge of the party caucus, offers to com­
promise by boring a few holes in the side of the house, on condition
that the key-hole may be stopped up and the key thrown a^ay, and
caucus accepts the compromise; and you, who come here with fair prom­
ises on your lips and in the full intention of performing those prom­
ises, yield up your will to caucus. They will not accept th^it as a
valid excuse. You will' have no other.
If Representatives will vote as they believe is right the substitute
for'this bill can be passed and the country relieved from any further
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15
consequences of the blunder or crime committed by the Forty-second
Congress, and the thousands of our population now out of employment
will get work at liberal wages; the theory of overproduction which
our moneyed class have been trying to convince tls is the cause of low
prices will be exploded. The men, women, and children who hunger
now and go ragged and bare-footed will supply themselves withNfood
and clothes from what is now falsely called the overproduction of farm
and factory; and as the new life current courses through channels of
trade our young nation with all her energies renewed will shake off the
fetters with which class legislation has bound her and go forth to fulfil
her destiny, her industries prosperous and her people happy. [Loud
and prolonged applause. ]
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