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W E D N E S D A Y , M A R C H 23, 1892.




S P E E C H




The House having under consideration the bill (H. R. 4426) for the free coinage of silver and gold for the issue of coin notes, and for other purposes-

Mr. B R O S I U S said:
Mr. SPEAKER.^ T h e gentleman from New Y o r k who opened
the discussion this evening said he spoke as a merchant. If
there is any character in which a man can speak superior to
that it-is as a patriot. In that character I desire to submit
some remarks upon this subject. In doing so I beg to express
how profoundly impressed I have been with the spectacle presented in the situation of the House upon the measure before us.
There is no more politics in this measure than there is in any
other question of r i g h t moral conduct or common honesty. Y e t
we have heard a great many acrimonious remarks, and crimination and recrimination from one side of the House to the other;
and all this I| regretted. I am glad that the division of the
H O U S G upon this question does not follow the lines of political
cleavage. I am glad to take my Democratic friend by the hand
and touch palms with him in support of this great controversy.
I think we can-afford, on both sides of this House, to emulate
the generous sentiment expressed by P h i l i p of France, in the
Crusades, when the armies of the Christian nations were rescui n g the tomb of the Saviour from the Turks. He said to Richard
of England, " L e t the only rivalry between the lilies of France
and the lions of England be which shall carry them furthest into
the ranks of the infidels." I hope I emulate that spirit in this
body when I say I am glad to take any Democrat by the hand
and say to him, " L e t the only rivalry between Democrat and Republican and Alliance men on this question be which of us will
carry the banner of honest money deepest into the ranks of the
infidels." [Applause on the Republican side.]
I have been impressed with another feature of this controversy. I find that the combatants on either side have arrived
at that complete and final assurance which all good Presbyterians
think necessary and are entirely certain that the truth lies on
their side. I know of but one situation that rivals it, and that
is the situation of Plantagenet and Somerset in Henry V I , when
the former said:
The truth on ihy side is so naked that any purblind eye could find it out.

A n d the latter responded:
And on my side it is so clear, so shining, and so evident that it would glimmer through a blind man's eye.


T o this degree of certitude have we all arrived on this question. My conviction is invincible and uncompromising. I find it
impossible either to contemplate with patience or to debate with
composure this measure.

T h e startling proposition which affects the people of this
country to-day with just alarm is to authorize the Government
of the United States to coin, at the option of the holder, 70 cents'
worth of bullion, to stamp it with the Government stamp, to
embellish it with the legend, " I n God we trust," clothe it with a
legal-tender power, and make every citizen of the United States
take that 70-cent dollar in payment of 100 cents' worth of debt.
This is the first time in the history of the world that such a
proposition has been submitted to any legislative body for enactment into law.
I took occasion in a former debate to say, and I repeat i t now,
because it is the outcry of a mind inexpressibly shocked by a
proposition which seems to me to involve an appalling lapse in
public morals, that if, in business circles, any man should seriously argue that it was just and r i g h t for this Government to pay
one class of its citizens for one commodity a bonus of 50 per cent
above the market price, while it pays all other citizens for all
other commodities only the market price, he would make such
an exposure of his intelligence and his morals, or both, that he
could scarcely hope long to escape being catalogued in the defective class.
Y e t , on the floor of this House, the greatest legislative body in
the world, this romantic proposition is advocated by statesmen.
This is the effect. W e find a metal of so little value that the
commercial ratio with gold is 1 to 22, and we propose by legislation to obliterate so much of that difference in value as will enable us to coin that metal and equalize it with gold at a coin
ratio of 1 to 16.
Mr. O W E N S . W i l l the gentleman allow me to ask him a question?
Mr. B R O S I U S . T h e gentleman will excuse me. On a fast
schedule I can not stop at way stations. [Laughter and applause.]
Mr. O W E N S . I wanted to know whether you were talking
about tin or silver.
Mr. B R O S I U S . B y legislation you are going to obliterate the
difference to such an extent that you can equalize the values at
a ratio of 1 to 16. T h a t is adding to a commodity 50 per cent
of its value by putting the stamp of the Government upon it and
clothing it with the prerogatives of the standard money of the
commercial world.
Gentlemen, this rivals the feats imputed by fairy tale to the
touch of Midas and the lamp of Aladdin!

T h i s is sought to be justified by pretenses as varied in their
character as Joseph's coat in its colors—as shown by the majority report.
First. T h a t there was a conspiracy here and in the Old World,
lanned and successfully carried out, to dethrone silver and conne the debt-paying medium of the nations concerned to gold,



thus breaking the par of centuries, causing gold to rise in value,
increasing the value of credits, and enriching creditors at the
expense of debtors, and depressing the value of labor.
Second. T h e demonetizing of silver was a great blunder, and
its restoration will be a corresponding blessing in that it will restore justice to the people, equalize their burdens by a species of
restitution to the debtor of what is supposed to have been wrongly
taken from him by the demonetization of silver.
Third. It would increase the volume of our money, stimulate
business, relieve depression, and be a seven-hued bow of promise
to the people's hope.
A careful and minute examination of all these allegations with
a view to their refutation would require much more time than
this discussion affords and I must content myself with touching
the subject at such points as will without elaboration bring into
most distinct view not only the errors contained in them but
the truth of the case as well.

I t seems t o m e that no important purpose in the discussion can
be subserved by considering whether or not the [so-called demonetization of silver was accomplished by a conspiracy between the
Old World and the New. W h e t h e r the commercial nations
abandoned silver independently or conjointly could in no wise
increase or diminish the effect of that fact upon the world. *
If it had any materiality the conspiracy is readily disproved by
all contemporaneous history. W h e t h e r it was wise or unwise as
an act of legislation it was fairly considered, debated in the Congress, discussed in the public press, and passed into law as any
other act of legislation, without concealment, in the l i g h t of day
and under the eye of the whole country, and not until years after,
when silver declined in price and the mine owners and silver
kings rallied round the standard of the white metal, to hold up
the price was the shameful invention of a conspiracy of the nations conjured as a shibboleth to inflame the prejudices and
awaken the enthusiasm of the adherents of the great silver combine to restore the metal to its ancient prestige and multiply their

Nor can there be any logical significance in the statement
that the par of centuries was broken, though there is an effective rhythm in the words. A great many things of the centuries have been broken in recent times, to the great benefit of
the people who now live. M i g h t y revolutions have accompanied
the years of man's sojourn on this earth, and if there is a more
fragile excuse for the existence of anything in our time than its
antiquity, I am not acquainted with it. Many things have been
used in the last 4,000 years to facilitate exchange.
Homer says the armor of Glaucus cost a hundred oxen. It has
been a long process of evolution in the mechanism of exchange
from the cattle, the shells, the hides, and manifold commodities
which have from time to time been used as money down to the gold
and silver and nickel and copper and paper of our time. Y e t a t
every step of this progress which accompanied civilization in its

upward march, conservative men would bemoan the loss of what
was passing away and would admonish the progressive legislators
of the day that they were " breaking the par of the centuries."
I can not see why the displacement of silver by gold is not as
much an event in the order of progress, as strictly evolutionary as
the displacement of all the other unsuitable articles which have
been used as money from the days of barter down to the present
time when the conditions of our development are such that 95
per cent of the business exchanges are effected without money
of any kind. Nor can I understand how its retirement to an inferior rank as a money metal, under the circumstances, could
produce the disasters depicted by the free-coinage advocates.

L e t us have a distinct view of the situation in 1873 when the
demonetization act was passed, and of the way that led up to that
It was Hamilton's idea in 1792 that a double standard would be
better than a single one. His views prevailed, and the act of Congress of that year made '24.75 grains of pure gold and 371.25 grains
of pure silver one dollar. T h e coin ratio was 1 to 15. This did
not correspond with the commercial ratio of the metals, which
was about 1 to 15.17: 1 ounce of gold being equal in value to
15,17 ounces of silver. This was an undervaluation of gold. It
was worth more in bullion than in coin, and hence it was not
coined, and came very little into circulation, but went into the
crucible or abroad. To correct this, in 1834 the ratio was
changed by reducing the gold in a dollar from 24.75 to 23.2grains.
T h i s was an undervaluation of silver. I t was now worth more
in bullion than in coin; hence it was not coined and went largely
out of circulation.
T o correct this, in 1837 the amount of gold in a dollar was increased to 23.22 grains, thus making the ratio about 1 to 16.
Our fathers never conceived the brilliant idea that the free coinage of both metals would maintain equality of value between
them, or they would hardly have bent their energies with such
determination and experimented so long to obtain a coinage ratio
that corresponded with the commercial ratio.

T h e history of our coinage demonstrates how impossible it is
to keep the two metals in circulation side at a ratio which
makes them unequal m value. T h e y never did work as yokefellows under such circumstances. T h e y never would pull together, but like a yoke of cattle unsuited to each other, one
would hang back and the other would pull the load.
In 1853 a partial solution of the difficulty was reached by a law
reducing the weight of the small coins so they would stay with
us as mere token money, and depriving them of their legal-tender
quality for debts exceeding $5. T h i s legislation made gold practically the standard, and silver subsidiary, and so it remained
until 1873.

Now, bearing in mind that the commercial ratio of the metals
in 1792 was 1 to 15.17, and in 1873 1 to 15.63, and that in the entire interval of eighty years, which covered the life of free coin228

age, silver never was as low as 16 to 1 of gold, while now it is
about 23 to 1; and remembering how impossible it was to keep
the two metals circulating together, with the trifling discrepancy
in their commercial value that then existed, if the past is any
guide to the future there would seem to be an irresistible inference that to give the white metal the privilege of the Mint, with
the wide variance in their commercial value now existing, would
produce much more decisive results, and would justify the expectation that gold would leave us and the silver of the world
would find us. If the ratio established by legislation would not
induce the metals to keep each other's company, when the cause
of separation was so slight, how can legislation keep the " twain
one " when the loss of value and character in the white metal
has so deepened the gulf of separation.

Nor can there be any considerable weight in the argument
that the new demand for silver arising from the opening of the
Mint to it would help the price up to a level with gold. The existing demand covers our entire production of silver. How can
the potency of that demand be increased by coining the bullion
instead of storing it in the vaults of the Treasury? It really
can make no difference to price whether the yard of cloth I buy
is made into a garment or put away for future use. But the demand for silver has greatly increased since 1873.
Prom 1792 to 1873 we coined less than 10,000,000 silver dollars,
while in the eighteen years from 1873 to 1891, inclusive, we coined,
including trade dollars, nearly 450,000,000 silver dollars; and for
several years last past we have coined them at the rate of 34,000,000 a year. W i t h this enormous demand in the United States,
helped out by unlimited use in Mexico, South America, India,
and China, silver has steadily fallen in price from 1.004 in 1873
to 70 cents for the amount in a dollar in 1892.
But this scheme to raise the value of silver by the lever of
legislation, involves the lifting up of all the silver of the world,
about $3,900,000,000, from 95 cents, its present price, to 1.29 per
ounce. Such a feat in the athletics of exchange would add a
value of over a billion of dollars to the world's silver stock.
T o the accomplishment of this purpose the difficulties already
mentioned seem insuperable; but there are others, to mention
which seems like piling Ossa uponPelion and Olympus upon that.
In 1871 Germany stopped coining silver, and between 1873 and
1879 sold $140,000,000 of her silver. T h e neighboring countries
became alarmed, and in 1874 the Latin Union closed the mints to
silver in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Italy. For thirteen
years France x the great bimetallic country, has not issued from
h e r mints a single legal tender silver coin.
Now, with the mints of the commercial nations of the world
closed to silver-^with an annually increasing world production
from $82,000,000 commercial value in 1873 to $135,000,000 in 1890,
and in the United States an increased production from $35,750,000
in 1873 to $70,464,000 in 1890—it seems to me that any mind which is
not superior to reason can understand why silver has declined in
price, and why its value can not be restored by the means proposed*
W h e t h e r the act of 1873, called the demonetization act, was wise
or otherwise, need not come under review now; the question is

whether it is wise, after the lapse of nearly twenty years, to disturb
the adjustments which have been gradually formed in our industrial and financial systems with a view to ameliorating present
conditions or to recoup past losses.

T h e advocates or free coinage vehemently assert that the cessation of silver coinage oo it the masses untold millions of dollars
by appreciating gold, making money dear, and lowering the price
of commodities, i t may be true that gold has appreciated in some
degree by the act of 1873, but that it did so to anything like
the extent claimed by some has not been and can not be shown.
T h e only attempt at a demonstration of this proposition has been
by showing that after the passage of the act, some years there
was a progressive shrinkage m the price of farm products amounting, when compared with prices in years prior to 1873. to a large
sum of money in the aggregate.
T h e y undertake to show the value of gold by what it will buy
in the markets of the world, and finding that the average prices
of commodities used in common life have fallen about one-third
in the last twenty years they conclude that gold has appreciated
about 50 per cent. It is not the customary language of the people when commodities fall in price from one cause or another, to
say that money has risen in price. This mode of argument is calculated to introduce dire confusion into the public mind and upset
all prevailing ideas on the functions of money as a measure of
value. The end of all economic movement is to cheapen wealth,
to increase the amount of satisfactions that can be purchased for
a given sum of money or a given amount of service. T h a t the
exertions of mankind in the last twenty years have been in a h i g h
degree successful in this direction can not be disputed, but it is
not the usual way of expressing the fact to say that " money is
rising in value," and this form of expression is only resorted to
when there is a purpose to confuse the public mind. On that
principle commodities, and not money, would be the measure of
value, and what we have hitherto regarded as the " s t a n d a r d "
would be as fickle and unsubstantial as the fabric of a dream.
B u t tolerating this way of putting it for the sake of the argument, how can a monetary change atfect the farmer in the things
that he sells without affecting him similarly in the things that
he buys. If on account of the appreciation of gold he sells his
products at a lower price in terms of money, he also buys the commodities he consumes at correspondingly low prices. One bushel
of the farmer's grain will buy more in commodities to-day than
ever before. It may take more bushels to pay a given amount of
debt, so would it take more pounds of nails or tons of iron or
dozens of knives or machines of any kind. A mortgage is a debt
expressed in terms of money, which of all things we wish to keep
as steady and stable as possible, for it measures the value not
only of all matured but all deferred debts as well, and ought to
be the same to-morrow as to-day; the same Saturday n i g h t as
Monday morning; next year as this, as nearly as may "be.
T h e evils that would flow from the disturbance or destruction
of that permanent and stable quality of our money, or from its
depreciation, would baffle all the calculations of economic author228

ities. It would be as bad as clipping the coins. It was Macaulay's judgment that all the miseries that had been inflicted on
the English nation by bad kings, bad ministers, bad Parliaments,
and bad judges had not equaled the misery caused by bad crowns
and bad shillings.
B u t the burden of showing that the closing of the mints to
silver has appreciated gold is upon those who assert it. T h e only
argument produced before the British Gold and Silver Commission in 1886 in support of that view was that price depends on
the volume of money as compared with commodities, and if the
quantity of money diminishes prices must fall, and that the non
use of silver in the coinage diminished the volume of money.
There is not enough of the salt of soundness in that idea to preserve it one instant. No authority on the money question, from
A d a m Smith to Copperthwait, would be responsible for such a
view, for it leaves out of sight entirely the fact that the power
in exchange of a given volume of money depends largely upon
the extent to which banking facilities are used to economize
money and the amount of credit employed in the transactions of
T h e best Democratic authority I can cite in this connection is
David A . Wells, who says:
That no one commodity can ever be named in respect to which there is conclusive evidence that its price has been affected in recent years by influences
directly or mainly attributable to any scarcity of gold for the purpose of
effecting exchanges.

He further says:
A given amount of gold does not b u y more, but less of domestic service
and of manual and professional labor than formerly; does not buy more of
amusement; not more of hand-woven lace; of cigars, and of flax, which are
mainly the products of hand labor; of cut glass, of gloves, of pictures, orof
precious stones. It buys no more of horses and other domestic animals; of
pepper, of cocoa, the cheap production of which is limited to a few countries;
of malt liquors, eggs, currants, and potatoes.

He also calls attention to the fact that very little change has
come to the price of commodities of countries of low civilization,
that have remained outside of the current of recent progress and
where, for the most part, primitive methods of production prevail. It would seem to be a rational conclusion that if the appreciation of gold affected prices at all it would affect all prices, but
all prices have not been affected, and therefore the implication
seems strong that the fall in some classes of commodities must
be due to other causes.

B u t there is still another consideration which offers its services
in the cause of truth—in her warfare with this error which has
found a lodgment in the minds of free-silver people. There has
been no contraction of currency due to the closing of the mints
to silver; the entire product of the silver mines of the United
States has gone into the volume of our currency. T h e displacement of the coin silver dollar has not displaced a dollar of our
currency. T h e silver that we have already coined the people
will not have, but it lies in the vaults of the Treasury to the
amount of well-nigh $400,000,000, and all that the people cah be
induced to take is about $1 per capita.

Now, why should we lift the floodgates of this deluge of silver
dollars that nobody wants? W h a t earthly motive can there be
for doing so? Plutarch tells us that Lycurgus stopped the coinage of gold and silver, and ordered that they should use iron
for money, so that a small value would have so great w e i g h t that
to move a little of it would require a yoke of oxen. T h e result
was that much wrong and injustice ceased, for no one would
steal or rob when he could not carry away the booty. I indulge
the hope that we can iind a way to correct our morals without
destroying our money.
Now, if the volume of our currency has not been curtailed a
dollar; if we have more money in circulation now per capita than
we ever had—about $23—if we are increasing our volume annually
sixty or seventy millions by utilizing the total product of our
mines for monetary uses, and every dollar of it will buy as much
as a gold dollar, how, I ask in the name of reason and common
sense, can a fall in prices of commodities be attributed to a decline in the price of silver?
A s a matter of fact the depression in the agricultural interest
has not been produced to any considerable extent by causes arising out of monetary changes. England has been on a gold standard for more than half a century, yet no farmers in the world
have suffered more than English farmers. I t is estimated that
since 1880 there has been a decline of a thousand million dollars
in the value of British farming capital from depreciation of land
values and prices of products. The causes of this depression are
not hard to find by any intelligent student of the world's industrial history for the last quarter of a century. Agriculture in
every civilized country has felt the heavy hand of recent economic changes, produced by immutable economic laws, and it
must continue to bear its burdens until new economic adjustments
emerge out of the confusion produced by recent disturbances.

B u t it is insisted that free coinage will increase the volume of
our currency, and thus afford needed relief to the masses of our
people who are supposed to be oppressed for lack of money.
I t seems to me to be a great misconception of the situation
that supposes that the volume of the money should increase annually at any fixed ratio. It is easily conceivable that our present
volume of money would be sufficient for many years to come, and
this without contravening any established principle governing
the relations of money to commodity.
In 1860 the per capita circulation was $10.80; it is now almost
$25* T h a t any considerable increase in the volume from this on
is necessary, is not in the power of man to demonstrate. T h e
utility of a given volume of currency depends upon many considerations, and a variation in any one of them would affect the
whole. These considerations are: First, the state of business;
second, the rapidity of the circulation; third, the extent to which
banks are used to keep the money available, and fourth, the extent to which credit is used. Now, it goes without saying that
population is increasing and business is increasing; but the necessity for more money thus created may be met, either by increased rapidity of circulation of the monev we already havG, or

by increasing our bank facilities, or by increasing the use of
No one will doubt that all these agencies for economizing money
are and will continue to bs in a stats of progressive increase, thus
meeting at least to some extent the necessity for increasing the
volume of the currency to keep pace with business and population. The exact amount of money any country ought to have in
circulation to produce the best results has never been found out
and never will be. Nations have prospered with a very small
per capita circulation, in some Eastern countries it is not more
than $4, and 'others have been bankrupt with a very large per
capita circulation, for example, the Argentine Republic, in which
the per capita circulation is over a hundred dollars.
I t rarely if ever happens that a man who has anything to sell
can not g e t the money for it, and money is as useless as the fifth
wheel of a wagon over and above what is needed to make the exchanges desired to be made. It is a notable fact that the amount
of per capita circulation is no denotement of the amount of business done in a country or the degree of prosperity prevailing.
France has a h i g h e r per capita circulation (nearly $45) than any
other European country, but no one would pretend that France
does more business than England, whose per capita circulation
is only $18. Our per capita circulation in 1.870 was $17.50. A r e
we any better off ? A r e we more prosperous now with about $25
per capita?

T h e trouble with our money, which nobody seems wise enough
to remedy, is the inequality in its distribution. There is a plethora at some places and a dearth at others. It is plenty one day
and hard to get ttie next. The inequality in the distribution is
the result of a law as changeless and relentless as the law of gravitation, and there is no escape from its inexorable operation. If
it is not the guest of any portion of our country, it is because
business does not extend to it a cordial hospitality. It must be
entertained, employed, or it will not stay.
Money, in other words, will seek its level. A law of its nature determines it toward the money centers, where business
woos it and weds it. Men complain that there is more money in
the East than in the West, but how could it be otherwise? There
is more water in the Mississippi R i v e r than on the Kansas farms
where it seems at times more needed; and it would be just as
rational to ask the A l m i g h t y to send a Noachian deluge with the
hope that the water would remain in reservoirs on the farms of
the W e s t instead of running into the rivers, as to ask the Government to deluge the country with money with the expectation
that a larger relative share of it will remain in circulation in the
agricultural areas of the W e s t than will run to tho money centers of the East. W e always wage a losing battle when we fight
w i t h the nature of things.
T h i s natural and necessary inequality in the distribution of

money finds a striking illustration in a comparison of the States
of Alabama and Georgia with Pennsylvania, as follows:



Bank circulation.




No. of


This statement shows that in Alabama there is one bank to
52,000 population. In Georgia one bank to 57,324 poi^ulation,
while in Pennsylvania there is one bank to 14,280 population.
In Alabama the circulation is 81 £ cents per capita; in Georgia it is
63& cents per capita, while in Pennsylvania it is $3.82 per capita.
T h e capital stock of the banks in Pennsylvania is nearly nine
times as much as that of Alabama and Georgia combined."
T h e single county of Lancaster, P a . , which I have the honor
to represent, has an area of 1,000 square miles, and a population
of 150,000. I t has as many national banks lacking three as the
State of Alabama, with capital stock exceeding that of Alabama
a t least a half million, with $5,000,000 deposits, and her farmers have on interest secured by mortgages and judgments, about
$25,000,000. W e have no lack of money, I never knew a man
in Lancaster County who could not get all the money he wanted
if his character and security were good.
A State without money means a State without business and
capital. Seek ye these and currency will be added unto you, for
the national banking law is the same in all tho States, and the desire of men to use money to make money has a uniform effect upon
all men. So I must say in all kindness to my friends in the South
and West, who complain so bitterly of their depression, not applying it in a personal sense, " D e a r Brutus, it is not in bur stars
but in ourselves that we are underlings."

T h e volume of our currency has been increasing for years at a
ratio more than commensurate with our actual need. 44 Money,"
says one of the writers on finance, " i s the fat of the body politic,
whereof too much doth as often hinder its activity as too little
makes it sick." A n y considerable increase in our currency in
excess of what is required to make our exchanges, opens a Pandora's box of evils. I t disturbs adjustments, helps the debtor
temporarily, and harms the creditor; invites to speculation,
stimulates to intoxication, and injures in turn every class of our
T h e law of 1890 secures the use of our entire silver production
for monetary purposes without injury to our money. This ought
to continue until by concert of action between the leading commercial nations silver can be,again coined at a ratio correspondi n g with its commercial value. If this is never realized then we
must continue as we are until we arrive at the next step in tho
progress of the evolution of our monetary system, subordinating
at all times and under all circumstances everything else to the
soundness of our money of ultimate redemption.
Hume said, and i t seems conformable to reason, " that an in228

crease of money helps business only in the interval between the
acquisition of the money and the rise in prices. W h e n the money
becomes distributed that effect ceases/' I have no doubt of the
truth of this, and after this warrant to the debtor to rob his
creditor has had its operation, its supposed utility is exhausted,
and thereafter its benefits turn to ashes—on our lips—and only
injuries continue.

In contemplating the effect of increasing the currency to the
advantage of the debtor and the disadvantage of the creditor, it
is important to know who comprise these two classes of our people. Multitudes are both debtors and creditors and would be
little affected, but the chief debtors are the United States Government and the great railroad and other corporations, whose
bonds and stocks are held by the people. T h e creditors are the
owners of every fixed charge, every debt, every annuity, every
pension, every bond of the Government, every share of stock in
every bank or other corporation in the country.
W h o are these people? Among them are found the crippled
and aged soldiers of the Republic, their widows and orphans;
the widows, who live on dowers in their husbands' estates, and
millions of meritorious citizens, whose subsistence comes from
fixed incomes, and every dollar of every payment periodically
made to these people loses a part of its purchasing power every
time the volume of the currency is increased in excess of the requirements of trade.
In the savings banks of the United States there are of the
earnings of the poor in small deposits something like $1,600,000,000. Every workjngman who is a depositor is a creditor. Of
these deposits, it is said $1,000,000,000 are invested in mortgages. It is easily seen that to depreciate this money 30 or 40
per cent would be to rob millions of our industrious citizens of
their hard-earned savings.
K i n g Charles I, to swell his coffers without the aid of Parliamentary grants, ordered the sheriffs of the counties to demand of
the rich a free g i f t in proportion to the necessities of the Crowh.
This robbery had the merit of limiting its victims to the rich,
but the exactions of the silver kings of America spare neither
age nor sex nor condition.
This measure if enacted into law would be more than a blunder,
it would be a crime that would not go unavenged. [Applause.]
Deluded men, do you not know it is a hiltless sword you hold?


The closer your clutch of the steel.
The deadlier the blow you would deal,
Deeper wound in your hand is made.
And your own blood reddens the blade.

There is another misconception that ought not to live another
hour in this country. T h a t is that financial crises are due to a
dearth of money. These crises are incident to every possible
money system; they are recurrent and self-corrective. A n increased volume of currency would not prevent them, but rather
invite them. A money crisis is produced by financial intoxication, resulting in overtrading and excessive speculation.

T h e stringency alter such a debauch is caused, not by lack of
money—for there is just as much as before—but lack of confidence, which has b^een diminished by the turn in the market
w h i c h follows undue speculation. W h e n money is easy, and
prices for any reason are incling upward, there is a disposition
to buy, to profit by the advance; this helps the upward tendency;
the spirit of speculation is caught by an increasing number and
the tide continues to rise, until the break comes,prices turn, buying stops, holders rush into the market, but the prices are declini n g and people will not buy on a falling market, so a halt occurs
in the exchanges and losses ensue.
These speculations are mostly conducted on credit; when that
matures there is a demand for money to hold the commodities—
to prevent greater losses—but by this time the people have felt
the shock, and are holding on to their money, and hence a stringency. This is about all there is in a financial panic, and as soon
as confidence is restored money is released and the panic is over.

B u t another overwhelming reason appeals, trumpet-tongued,
against this monstrous outrage upon sound money. To make
primary money—I mean real money of ultimate redemption as
distinguished from representative money—out of two metals of
unequal value must result in the displacement of the superior by
the inferior metal, and the ultimate establishment of the silver
standard. T h e Gresham law has not remitted its operation, nor
had it for two thousand years before Gresham was born. Aristophanes, five hundred years before the Christian Era, noticed
the fact, says P e r r y , that bad money drove out good.
It has never failed to do so in our own history, and there is
not the remotest likelihood that it will ever cease to do so. W e
can maintain the value of our subsidiary money, whether silver
or paper, because it is limited in amount, and the people are not
only content to use it, but desire4t. In 1853, in order to keep our
subsidiary silver coins, we were obliged to reduce their weight
so that the silver in them was not worth their face value. It is
tho same way with nickel and copper coins. W e can use a limited number of silver dollars in the same way. T h e faith that
the Government will exchange them at any time for gold dollars
satisfies the people.
B u t if they were coined in unlimited amounts by everybody
who owned bullion, every man would at once be sensible of the
fact that the Government could not redeem them, and at the very
moment that the people realized that fact gold would be at a premium, and shortly would be out of circulation, would be a commodity in which men would speculate, while silver would be the
standard money of the country, and the silver kings would be
happy. W h y should they not be? For I understand in some
mines silver can be mined for about 40 cents an ounce—480
grains—371 of which make a dollar—$1.30 in money for 40 cents*
worth of commodity.
B u t they must seek their solace elsewhere. If they want
wealth let them climb to it on the ladders of toil and trade, on
w h i c h other men rise to fortune and to fame, and not over the
ruins of the honest American dollar.

T h e gentleman from Georgia has just referred—roverently, of
course—to the fact that silver was used in the time of our Saviour;
but I would remind him that silver was too much in vogue in
those days. They made idols of it and worshiped it, as many
people seem to in our day. B u t the Saviour came; Christianity
came. This meant progress in many ways. Then came Paul,
the Apostle of the Gentiles, the son of thunder, who woke the
echoes round Mars Hill, preaching temperance, righteousness,
and judgment to come. Think of it, gentlemen! "Judgmentto
come!" Then he found his way to Ephesus and created no small
stir up that way, and persuaded many people that the silver gods
were not worth worshiping. T h e silverites rose inarms against
the new doctrines. L i k e the silverites of our day, they had a
craft to save. [Laughter.]
But appeals of the silver slirine-makers will not prevail. Demetrius may shout to his craftsmen that " b y this craft we have
our wealth," but he will not be heard in the confusion of voices
demanding honest money. No, the silver idols must not be restored, and the wrathful cry of the silversmiths, " G r e a t is Diana
of the Ephesians/' will be drowned in the people's enthusiastic
acclaim in favor of the true money of the Republic. [Applause.]

A m o n g the inscriptions on the monument which perpetuates
the memory, records the achievements and recites the glories
of England's virgin queen, there was not one that shone with
so fadeless a luster as that which told how she had restored the
money of her kingdom. I tell you, gentlemen, that among the
recitals on the page of American history that shall record the
achievements and transmit to endless generations the imperishable glory of this Republic there will be none that will shine
down the centuries with a more supernal splendor than that
which tells how this nation preserved its honor, maintained its
credit, and kept its money good. [Applause.]