View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

F E E E C O I N A G E OF S I L V E R A S
TO AGRICULTURE,

RELATED

ETC.

SPEECH
OF

HON. JAMES H. KYLE,
OF

SOUTH

DAKOTA,

as THE

SENATE OP THE UNITED STATES,




MAY

3, 1 8 9 2 .

"WASHING-TON.

1892.




S P E E C H
OE

HON.

JAMES
OF S O U T H

H.

KYLE,

DAKOTA,

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES,

Tuesday, May Sj 1892.

The Senate having under consideration a message from the President in
reference to an agreement between this and foreign countries on the subject of bimetallism-

Mr. K Y L E said:
Mr. PRESIDENT: The people Have an account to settle with
the advocates of a gold' basis, and they will not rest until their
rights are restored. They have been robbed of their silver
currency, through no fault of their own, or of the majority
of their representatives in Congress, but through the subtle
cunning of the money power. This is the class who have never
lost an opportunity to profit by the misfortunes of war. Not
patriotic enough to defend their country at the front, they were
content to "stay by the stuff" and mature plans by which to control our finances. They well knew that war meant debt; that
debt meant bonds, and that through the manipulation of such
securities there has always been a rich harvest for the broker
and bondholder. The reconstruction days of the South were not
half so important to them as the reconstruction of the finances.
In funding and refunding the debt of the United States there are
many mysterious proceedings which may never be satisfactorily
explained.
But our so-called financiers were then fixing the policy which
has proved ruinous during the past quarter of a century. Instead of paying off our war debt, as popular wisdom would have
dictated, a policy chiefly beneficial to the bondholder seems to
have been adopted. A t the beginning of the war our national
debt was but $64,769,703. In 1866 the debt was $2,773,236,173.
In other words, the war had cost us something over two and a
half billions of dollars. Let us see how this was manipulated in
the interest of the bondholder. The late Senator Beck, on January 12.1874, in a speech on this floor, revealed some very startling facts as to the sale of our 5 and 6 per cent bonds. These
were purchaseable with greenbacks, which were very much depreciated. I have collated a table showing the total profit to
433
3




the bondholder in principal and interest from 1862 down to 1874,
the time at which the speech was delivered:
Year.
5-20s sold:
1862
1863
1864
1865
1868
1867
1868
6 per cents sold.

Bonds sold. Gold value. toProfit
holder.
$60,982,450
160,987,550
381,292,250
279,746,150
124,914,400
421,469,550
425.443,800
195,139,550

Interest
received. Total profit.

$44,030,640 $16,951,801 $11,187,188
101,890,854 59,096,696 35,468,017
139,697,636 191,594,613 114,956,768
208,213,090 71,532,060 38,627,307
88,591,773 36,332,627 17,434,556
303,805,503 118,254,047 48,671,494
312,626,326 112,617,497 40,542,288
123,957,410 72,182,140 26,115,724

$28,139,989
94,555,713
306,551,381
110,159,367
53,757,183
167,915,741
153,159,765
98,298,854
1,012,537,203

Total profit-

This shows a total profit to the bondholder in the purchase
of United States securities of over one thousand millions of dollars. I will digress for a moment to give the following facts
about the war debt, taken from the Statistical Abstract of 1890:
We owed in 1866
We have paid on the principal
We have paid as interest
We have paid as premium on bonds
Total amount paid

$2, 783,000,000
1,080,000,000
2,462,000,000
36,000,000

.

3,578,000,000

Add to this the profit to bondholders of $1,012,537,203, and we
have a total of $4,590,537,203. We have paid nearly five thouand millions toward the debt, and still $1,545,996,591.61 remain
to be paid. It will take more of wheat or cotton to extinguish
the debt, than would have been required at the close of the war.
Had thefciebt been contracted to be paid in wheat it would have
taken ip. 1866
bushels.. 1,007,000,000
We have paid on the principal
We have paid as interest
We have paid as premium on bonds

do
do
do—

1,188,000,000
2,225,000,000
50,400,000

Total amount paid
We yet owe..

do...,
do-..

3,463,400,000
2,156,250,000

Total
—Deducting amount due in 1866

do
5,619,650,000
-do-— 1,007,000,000

Amount consumed by interest and payment on principal- -do —
4,612,650,000
Had debt been contracted to be paid in cotton it would have
taken in 1867
- - — -pounds.. 7,092,000,000
We have paid on the principal
As interest
As premiums on bonds

d o — 10,800,000,000
. . d o - - . 24,620,000,000
do—
360,000,000

Total paid
We yet owe

d o — 35,780,000,000
d o - - . 16,930,000,000

Total
Deduct amount due in 1867

d o — 52,710.000,000
d o — 7,092,000,000

Amount consumed by interest and payment on principal, . d o — 45,618,000,000

This drain, Mr. President, has been from the pockets of the
taxpayers of the country, while bonds have gone untaxed. And,
according to our present policy, it will yet require several thou433




5
sand millions to liquidate our indebtedness. But the bondholders were but just beginning* their systematic plundering
when they made the purchase of these securities. A war is a
bonanza to security holders, and $eldom in history have they
failed to take advantage of it. English capitalists saw the opportunity at the close of the Napoleonic wars and demonetized
silver in 1816. Germany followed in 1872, at the close of the
Franco-Prussian war, and France in 1874. The purpose of our
brokers, coached by English financiers, seems to have been to
secure the final payment of the war bonds in gold coin; at any
rate it has so turned out. The first official act, March 18,1869,
of President Grant, was to sign a bill making the bonds payable
in coin of the country. There were many vigorous opponents
of this measure, among them Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania,
Morton of Indiana, and- the present Senator from Ohio, who
used these words in a speech in this Chamber, February, 27,1867:
Equity and justice are amply satisfied if we redeem these bonds at the end
of five years in the same kind of money of the same intrinsic value it had at
the time they were issued. Gentlemen may reason about this matter over
and Over again and they cannot come to any other conclusion, at least that
has been my conclusion after the most careful consideration. Senators are
sometimes in the habit, in order to defeat the argument of an antagonist, of
saying that this was repudiation. Why, sir, every citizen of the United States
has conformed his business to the legal-tender clause. He has collected and
paid his debts accordingly.

But the bondholder was not only not satisfied with legal-tender
payment, but wanted the coin payment limited to gold. By the
demonetization of silver, gold alone remained the lawful coin and
his long-cherished hopes were realized.
Before a French monetary commission in 1869, Count Walowski
said:

The sum total of the precious metals'is reckoned at 50 millards, one-half
gold and one-half silver. If by a stroke of the pen they suppress one of these
metals in the monetary service they double the demand for the other metal,
to the ruin of all debtors.

It seems to have been a concerted plan of European and American financiers to increase the value of their holdings. It is as if
the holder of the world's supply of cloth had clandestinely forced
upon the people a shorter yardstick in order to double the number of yards in his possession. Englandhad already taken this step;
but Germany, Italy, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and
the United States were using silver. When by demonetization
of silver this vast population came to a gold basis, the demand
for gold was more than doubled, while the supply had fallen off
very perceptibly. Mr. Moreton Frewen, an able English writer
on economic subjects, in an address at Easton Lodge, October 4,
1889, says:

The national debts of Europe had all been contracted in silver and could
have been properly liquidated in silver. Suddenly, and without a word of
warning, every contract in Europe was violated by the closure of every mint
to silver. Still, it is only when we pass on to the deed done at Washington
that the silver question emerges as the biggest and the best-planned financial
coup of the century. The whole affair was a vast " j o b , " and I believe that
any grand jury would find a true bill on the evidence that comes to us from
America.

There is perhaps no legislation of the United States Congress
which has been criticised during twenty-five years so bitterly as
the act of 1873. The farmer, the laborer, the merchant, everybody discusses it. Politicians are wondering at the sudden up433




6

rising which has occurred among the people, by which a new
party as wide as the nation has been formed; and why both old
parties are in the toils. • Let me say, Mr. President, that these
are the people who have waited a score of years for remedial legislation, and who are now taking the reins into their own hands.
They have been deceived by pretentious platforms and Sibyline
declarations until patience is exhausted. They want to know in
whose interests the currency is being manipulated, as it is clearly
seen that at every move in financial policy the eye of the Administration has turned toward New York and Europe.
There is no doubt in my mind that the inception of the demonetization of silver occurred in the monetary councils of Europe and was transmitted to friends (for they are all friends) on
this side of the water. English agents doubtless came to the
United States as lobbyists before the committees of Congress.
From the report of Mr. Hooper, chairman of the committee in
charge of this bill, I quote the following:
Mr. Ernest Seyd, of London, a distinguished writer and bullionist, who is
now here, has given great attention to the subject of mint and coinage.
After having examined the first draft of this bill he made various sensible
suggestions, which the committee adopted and embodied in the bill.

Mr. MORGAN. That was the act of 1873.
Mr. KYLE. The act of 1873. Little did the toiling millions
at work on the farm and in the shop dream that plans were being devised by the financiers of the East to rob them of the currency bequeathed to them by the founders of the Republic. The
act of 1873, Mr. President, was conceived and brought forth in
darkness. The originators of it well knew that it would never
pass if brought into the arena of open discussion. It went through
by stealth. Little attention was called to it; and the majority
of this body were in ignorance as to the scope of the act. The
title bore no suggestion of such a change. The very wordingof
it is such as to divert attention from it: " A n act revising and
amending the laws relating to the mints, assay office, and coinage laws of the United States."
No suggestion at all of demonetizing the silver dollar. Section 15 reads:
That the silver coin of the United States shall be a trade dollar, a half dollar or 50-cent piece, a quarter dollar or 25-cent piece, a dime or 10-cent piece;
and the weight of the trade dollar shall be 420 grains Troy; the weight of the
half dollar shall be 12 grammes and one-half gramme. * * * And said
coins shall be a legal tender at their nominal value, for any amount not exceeding $5 in any one payment.
SEC. 17. That no other coins, either of gold, silver, or minor coinage, shall
hereafter be issued from the mint, other than those of the denominations,
standards, and weights herein set forth.

Had the bill stated in words of clear meaning that the standard dollar is hereby demonetized, it never would have passed
and become a law. The section was either not read, or being
read was not comprehended. The Senator from Ohio [Mr.
SHERMAN] on calling up this bill used these words:

I rise for the purpose of moving that the Senate proceed to the consideration of the mint bill. I will state that this bill will not probably consume
any more time than the time consumed in reading it. It is a matter of vital
interest to the Government, and I am informed by officers of the Government that it should pass promptly. The amendments reported by the Committee on Finance present the points of difference between the two Houses,
and they can go to a committee of conference without having a controversy
here in the Senate about them.
433




7
It is difficult to find members of either House at that time who
knew that silver was to be demonetized. I doubt if a score in
either House knew the full scope of the bill.
Gen. Garfield, in a speech made at Spring-field, Ohio, during
the fall of 1877, said:
Perhaps I ought to be ashamed to say so, but it is the truth to say that, I
at the time being the chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, and
having my hands overfull during all that time with work, 1 never read the
bill. I took it upon the faith of a prominent Democrat and a prominent Republican, and I do not know that I voted at all. There was no cull of the
yeas and nays, and nobody opposed that bill that X know of. It was put
through as dozens of bills are, as my friend and I know, in Congress, on the
faith of the report of the chairman of the committee; and therefore I tell
you, because it is the truth, that I have no knowledge about it.—Congressional
Record, volume 7, part 1, Forty-fifth Congress, second session, page 989.

On February 15, 1878, the following colloquy between Senator
Blaine and Senator VOORHEES took place:
Mr. VOORHEES. I want to ask my friend from Maine, whom I am glad to
designate in that way, whether I may call him as one more witness to the
fact that it was not generally known whether silver was demonetized. Did
he know, as Sneaker of the House, presiding at the time, that the silver dollar was demonetized in the bill to which he alludes?
Mr. BLAINE. I did not know anything that was in the bill at all. As I have
before said little was known or cared on the subject. [Laughter.] And now
I should liko to exchange questions with the Senator from Indiana, who was
then on the floor and whose business it was, far more than mine, to know,
because by the designation of the House I was to put questions and the Senator from Indiana, then on the floor of the House witji his power as a debater,
was to unfold them to the House. Did he know?
Mr. VOORHEES. I very frankly say that I did not.—Ibid, page 1063.

Mr. HOLMAN, in a speech delivered in the House of Representatives July 13,1876, said:
I have before me the record of the proceedings of this House on the passage
of that measure, a record which no man can read without being convinced
that the measure and the method of its passage through this House was a
"colossal swindle." I assert that the measure never had the sanction of this
House, and it does not possess the moral force of law.

Senator Beck, in a speech made in the Senate, January 10,1878,
said:
It (the bill demonetizing silver) never was understood by either House of
Congress. I say that with a full knowledge of the facts. No newspaper reporter—and they are the most vigilant men I ever saw in obtaining information—discovered that it had been done.—Congressional Record, volume 7, part
1, Forty-fifth Congress, second session, page 260.

When President Grant, on January 14, 1875, signed the resumption act, he sent a message to Congress urging the establishment of mints at Chicago, St. Louis, and Omaha, to coin silver for purposes of resumption, not knowing that he had signed
an act demonetizing the silver dollar. Much less were the people informed, through the press or otherwise, that the silver
dollar was to be demonetized.
Mr. President, the people generally give notice when a law is obnoxious, or when they wish a bad law repealed. In what papers
had this law of eighty years' standing been discussed? How many
county newspapers had declared against the old-fashioned dollar? How many journals had published interviews from leading
men upon the subject? How many county. State, or national
conventions had passed resolutions declaring that it was unsafe
longer to maintain a silver standard? These are the ways in
which the people express themselves; and it seems tome that so
•as




8
important a measure as changing a standard which had been
in use from the beginning of the Republic should have been discussed around the fireside of every intelligent citizen of the
Union. But no, Mr. President, it was known to an interested fe w
only in England and the money centers of the United States.
And now that the disastrous effects of the change are felt all over
the nation, party fealty is such that it will be a Herculean task
to secure a return to free coinage of silver, which it is safe to
say three-fourths of our population desire.
Free coinage, Mr. President, is nothing new or unheard of.
One might suppose from* the bitter discussions on the platform
and by the press that it was some untried, dangerous policy.
The people seemingly forget that we had no other policy*until
a few years ago. Ever since the founding of our Government
till 1873, a period of eighty-three years, the United States Mint
would take any man's silver and turn it into dollars at Government expense; and every jnece of money of 37li grains of fine
silver was a measuring unit for the commodities of commerce.
Our fathers adopted the Spanish milled dollar as their monetary unit,which continued to act as such during the unparalleled
growth of our nation up to 1873. The amount of fine silver has
not varied. The amount of pure gold in the gold dollar was
changed by the acts of 1834 and 1837. But the silver dollar remained stationary.
It was always substantially at a par with gold, and in 1873 commanded a premium of 3 cents. It was the poor man's money, entering into all the small transactions of commercial life. Gold
was the money of the rich, who looked upon the poor man's dollar with jealous eye, because he could not corner or control it.
No one found fault with bimetallism except the money kings,
and it was at their instance that the change to a gold basis was
broached. Millionaires were of slow growth in those days, and
it was impossible to bridle the patience of those who had once
scented the possibility of rich gains from a rise in gold bullion.
What cared they as to any inconvenience or disaster which might
arise to the mass of the people by the change from a bimetallic
to a gold basis? The wrecking policy of contraction had been
entered upon already, and the additional decrease of two or three
hundred millions in the money volume and the payment of obligations according to a gold standard would add no great additional burden.
The subject of finance has been so intimately associated for the
past twenty years with the condition of agriculture, Mr. President, that the discussion of the one involves the discussion of
the other. The dark picture of our farming interest is a logical
sequence to the act of demonetization, and also furnishes ample
reason for a return to free coinage and a bimetallic standard.
In 1868, Count Wolowski, of France, in discussing "the conditions which might arise from the demonetization of silver, made
the following prediction:
One of the principal difficulties in this period of general depression will be
that the people will look for its causes in all possible directions. The advocates of the gold standard will offer all possible fantastic and groundless
excuses and reasons of a secondary nature only, and the real cause, the demonetization of silver, will be overlooked until the perspicuity of the phenomena and dire necessity shall force thinking men to pointit out. Through433




9
out the world a decline in prices will follow, injurious alike to owners of
real property and the laboring classes, and advantageous only, and unjustly
so, to the holders of State bonds and similar securities.

W e are now living in the day foretold by Count Wolowski,
and it is my purpose to-day to picture the condition of agriculture as related to the manipulation of the currency. I hold in
my hand, Mr. President, a little map called the " Jones chart, 1 '
which notes the variations in the prices of wheat, cotton, and
silver from 1871 to 1892. The coincidence is most remarkable.
I have prepared from this map a table which will show clearly
the association between these products. When silver has approached par the price of these commodities has correspondingly
risen, and vice versa.
Table giving coincidences between prices of silver, wheat, and cotton from 1871 to
1892.
Year.
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879..
1880
1881
1882
1883
1884
1885
1886
1887
1888
1889
1890
1891

Silver,
per
ounce.
$1.32
1.29
1.27
1.24
1.14
1.19
1.12
. Ml*
1.14
1.13
1.12
1.11
1.104
1.05
.98*
1.00
• 94J
.95
1.09
1.01*

Wheat,
per
bushel.

Cotton,
per
pound.

$1.29*
1.17
1.05
1.07
1.05
1.39
.95
1.07
1.09
1.19
1.15
1.02
.83
.83
.77
.81
.90
,92£
.92
1.01

$0.21
.17*

Remarks.

-15|
.12 Stringency in money market.
.11} Corner in wheat.
.11
Money panic.
.113 Bland act and short wheat crops.
.12*
.12* Short wheat crops in this country.
.111 Wheat cornered.
.10?
.10j
.10*
.09|
• 10ft
• 10ft
.m
. 114 Act of July 14.1890.
.08|

It is incredible that such coincidences should occur for so long
a term of years without some foundation in fact, and, though it
may be difficult to explain local fluctuations, the general coincidence is explainable through the manipulation of the money market in relation to silver. It has become an axiom of commerce
that the market price of American cotton and wheat varies with
the market price of silver bullion in the European markets, and
the European price of imported wheat varies directly as the
silver-bullion market. It only remained therefore for us to examine a chart of market reports for twenty years to confirm the
impressions already formed from the operations of commercial
laws.
Free coinage of silver, Mr. President, affects directly, not indirectly, the products of the American farmer. A gold standard
puts us at a disadvantage in the European market for wheat and
cotton, while free coinage will materially relieve us of the sharp
competition of Russia and the silver-using districts of Asia.
Russia uses silver when she can get it. In India the rupee is the
coin of commerce, and that country alone consumes annually fifty
433




10
millions ol silver, forty millions coming from the United States.
Russia exports to England 100,000,000 bushels of wheat. India
exports to European markets 50,000,000 bushels of wheat and
about 1,000,000 bales of cotton. In the year 1890-'91 the United
States exported to Europe 3,750,443 bales of cotton and 55,131,948
bushels of wheat.
The price of Asiatic bills of exchange therefore cuts an important figure in the transaction in the European market. With
American free coinage of silver and the consequent depreciation
of silver bullion from $1.29 to 90 cents per ounce the Bank of England and the English grain merchant will convert our silver into
rupees for the Indian trade. At the present time England buys
32 cents' worth of our bullion and converts it into a rupee worth
48 cents, and which purchases from the Hindoo 48 cents' worth
of wheat.
England's policy, Mr. President, is self-protection. Self first,
with a disposition to crowd to the wall every nation which competes with her in commerce. Her policy is retaliatory towards
the United States. At the same time she wrests every penny
possible from her colonial and tributary subjects. Though she
swells her millions by coining cheap bullion into rupees and
purchases therewith the Indian wheat and cotton, yet the Indian
farmer is none the richer. On the other hand,when the Hindoo
is forced to pay his $75,000,000 tribute to England in the way^ of
rents and interest on bonds and stoqks he must buy gold with
his silver rated at European bullion value. England may be
able to dictate such disastrous bargains with a tributary nation,
but why she should be able to make us a tool to accomplish her
ends I can not see. She says to us, "Demonetize your silver in
order that I may be able to purchase cheap bullion, and by this
give the Asia tic nations the European wheat and cotton markets."
Now, Mr. President, England objects to free coinage of silver
in America because she knows as well as we that silver would
at once go to par, and that means to her 48 cents in the rupee,
instead of 32 cents. The price of wheat in the European market being $1, for instance, it would seem at first thought that
the odds were all in favor of the American exporter, seeing that
the Indian exporter must pay twice the freight and present a
poorer quality of wheat. But as India wants the silver, and the
Indian shipper can take the gold dollar and make a second trade
in cheap silver bullion before returning to India, it is plain to
be seen that he has an advantage over the American shipper.
And whereas the Indian shipper may have paid under the present arrangement 3 rupees (or $1.44) for wheat, come to England
and sold it for 100 cents in gold, and with the gold bought enough
silver bullion to make 4 rupees (or $1.92), thereby clearing one
rupee on each bushel, he must with Asiatic exchange at par pay
the Indian producer less for his products, in which event the
field will be left clear for the American exporter.
Now, here is the syllogism as applied to the exportation of our
agricultural products:
1. Our prices for cotton and wheat are regulated largely by
the European market.
2. East India and the United States are competitors for that
market.
433




11
Considering1

3.
quality of grain and price of freight, other
things being equal, the market is ours.
4. If Asiatic bills of exchange, however, fall below par, the
East Indian has the advantage of us.
5. Demonetization of silver in the United States has furnished
cheap silver bullion and hence lowered Asiatic exchange.
6. Free coinage of silver would bring it to a par with gold,
and also raise Asiatic exchange to par.
7. Therefore, free coinage of silver restores to our farmers the
European market, with no unjust competition from Asiatic silver nations.
The objections raised to the free coinage of silver, Mr, President, seem puerile, and only such as the creditor class of citizens have always raised. The threatened deluge of foreign silver has frightened many an advocate of the white metal. But
the European ratio between the two metals being 15£ to 1, and
in India 15 to 1, while in the United States it is 16 to 1—in other
words, an ounce of silver in America being worth only $1.29,
while in Europe $1.33, and in India $1.37—it is hardly probable
that the current would turn this way. But suppose for a moment that the junk-dealer of France would come across with his
shipload of old silver, expecting that every 70 cents' worth of it
could be turned at the mint into a dollar. He can get for his
bullion either silver coin or paper. He can get no gold unless
we choose to give it to him, and he is left to one of two alternatives, either to take his silver back or invest it in American industries, in which case he becomes a promoter of our welfare.
But such statements of the press are all bugaboo, and affect only
the ignorant and the timid.
If Europe had twice the silver she has there could be no such
danger; but she has not the silver and can not get it, except from
silver-producing America. Before many generations have gone
by there will not be gold enough to supply the arts, and resort
must be had to silver. There is not, Mr. President, gold enough
in the world to meet the demands of commerce, which has been
growing during the present century out of all proportion to the
metal basis at present adopted by England, Germany, France,
and the United States.
The United Kingdom has one hundred and seven millions of
silver, or $2.81 per capita; France has seven hundred millions of
silver, or $17 per capita; Germany has about two hundred and
twenty millions of silver, or $4.44 per capita. This is all in use
as subsidiary coin. India, China, and other Asiatic nations are
the grave of silver. They receive all they can get, but do not
give up a dollar. Russia, Austria, and Italy have dispensed with
silver. And when we have gone over the world there is not an
ounce which can be spared for the purpose of flooding the United
States with a debased coin. It is needed by this and all nations
to broaden the metallic base of the mountain of paper current
in our business transactions.
It was predicted by financiers during the discussion fourteen
years ago that gold would leave the country. I believe statistics
show that gold came into the country. It was a scare with no
basis in reason, nor has there yet been a valid reason advanced
433




12
why gold should have left. If so, it has evidently proven fallacious. According to the testimony of gold men we are now coining about all the silver offered or that we can use, and yet we
are not troubled about gold fleeing the country. It stands to reason that gold will not leave us without cause, and never under
any circumstances unless the American gets the best end of the
bargain. It may go to Europe, because, on account of the extraordinary prices of American products, it is more profitable to
purchase abroad than at home. In case of a possible famine in
the United States, silver as well as gold must go to purchase
needed supplies. But with a balance of trade in our favor constantly increasing, and possessing the vast quantity of products
which Europe is compelled to buy, we need not fear but that every
ship which goes laden with American products will return with
European gold.
The net excess of gold bullion exports over imports for 1891'
was $66,706,984, a large portion of which was paid as interest on
English mining, land, and railroad securities. But .this, according to the views of gold men, is a contribution to American development, and is bound to occur under the present law as well
as under free coinage. So that the sum total of complaint and
argument against free coinage of silver is not that silver will
flood us, or that gold will leave us, but the " inconvenience
which might arise to a class of security-holders who have built
large hopes upon an appreciated gold market. But has there
not been time since the silver discussion began to adjust business for the change? How much warning was given when farm
property was to be depreciated in value by the demonetization
of silver? The argument used by gold men in 1873, that time
would adjust the u inconveniences " for the debtor, can now be
turned with very good propriety, seeing that bondholders are
well able to endure the slight depreciation in gold securities.
The present condition of agriculture, Mr. President, is closely
connected with an ample and flexible volume of currency. It is
not claimed that free coinage of silver will largely increase the
volume of currency. But with our rapidly increasing population
we shall need $500,000,000 during the next ten years in order to
insure us an additional $10 per capita. It is claimed, however,
that free coinage of silver, by bringing the metal to a par with
gold, will unlock the currency now hoarded for purposes of speculation and promote free circulation. But we are asked to consult
New York as to whether the country needs a larger or more
flexible volume.
They scorn the people's complaints as long as the supply is
ample enough for their needs. It matters not that the people
from the Allegheny Mountains, west through the fertile valleys
of Illinois. Mississippi, and Missouri, rise up regardless of party
lines and demand more money. They are guilty of not asking
permission of the sages of finance who are supposed to keep their
fingers on the public pulse and to know within a 10-cent piece
how much is for their good. I should rather remark, who keep
their finger on the Treasury purse strings and carefully watch
how much a suffering people will endure. The great mass of
our population, industrious, frugal, hone3t; the farmer, the me433




13
chanic, the laborer, the merchant, the wealth-producers of the
nation, ask for a greater volume of money.
But modern lexicons are apparently not comprehensive enough
to supply modern journalists with material by which to characterize these common people, who even modestly assert their
right to think upon finance. The people are a common herd
apparently, whose duty it is to perform the daily labor by which
the nation grows without a murmer of dissent or a question as
to whether their representatives adopt a wise policy or not. It
is the pride of our free government that the people rule; but it
seems to-day, Mr. President, to be a question in Congress as to
who are the people, whether New York or the Mississippi Valley; whether New England or the vast South; whether a few
corporations or the masses. To whom is our ear turned when
bills are considered touching the disbursement of the taxes which
the people pay into the Treasury? To the interest of a few privileged classes or to the vast multitude of the poor? Whether it
be gambling in futures, or free coinage of silver, or any popular
demand, gilt-edged petitions from boards of trade, chambers of
commerce all over the country are poured in upon us.
But for every one of these come the crumpled petitions representing a thousand farmers, written with the soiled, stiffened
hand wearied with his daily task. Whose interests should be
consulted? To whom should we listen? To the agriculturist
not more, I would say, than to other classes; but the demand is
for justice and fair play. The people demand a volume of currency sufficient to transact the business of the country, and that
it shall increase in volume proportionately with the increase of
business and the increase of population.
But we are met by the banker who tells us at one time that
there is an abundance of money and at another that the volume
of currency has but little to do with business prosperity. Even
the Secretary of the Treasury has sent out a tarefully prepared
report to show that we have a larger circulation than at any
previous period for thirty years; that the per capita circulation
is now $24. It is not my purpose to go into the discussion of this
matter at length. It may be time enough for that when secretaries and politicians agree. Secretary Windom's report for 1889
as to the volume of money in circulation placed side by side with
that of Secretary Poster, for the years from 1878 to 1889, show
the following differences:
Year.

Windom.
$805, 793,808

1878
1879

862, 579,754
1,022, 033,685

1880.

1,147, 892,435
1,188, 52,363
1,236, 650,032
1,261, 569,924
1,286,630,871
1,264, 889,561
1,353, 485,690
1,384, 340,280
1,405. 018,000

1881

1882.

1883
1884.
1885.
1886.

1887.
1888.

433




Foster.
$729,132,
818,631,
973,382,
1,114,238,
1,174,290,
1,203,305,
1,243,925,
1,292,568,
1,252,700,
1,317,539,
1,372,180,
1,280,361,

Difference.
661,173
947,961
6f 0,457
654,316
411,944
344,066
643,955
937,544
149,036
946,447
159 410
656,351

14
Again, Mr. Foster's statement as to the volume of currency in
circulation on July 1,1890, was $1,429,251,270. Six months afterwards, when there should have been more money, in response
to a resolution of the Senate, Mr. Nettleton, Assistant Secretary,
gave the volume as $1,037,912,728, a difference of $391,338,542.
In making the estimates from 1865 to the present time, very
few officials have taken account of the heavy reserves held in
banks, nor the large amount of currency hoarded* lost, mutilated, or destroyed, which according to good authorities very
materially decreases the amount of per capita for any given year.
From the Philosophy of Price, I pressnt a statement of the
volume of currencv with such deductions made.
Year.

Population. Circulation.

1854.
1855.
1856.
1857.
1858.
1859.
1860.

090,
891,

1863.
1864.
1865.
1866.
1867.
1868.
1869.
1870.
1871
1872.
1873.
1874.
1875.
1876.
1877.
1878.
1879.
1880.
1881.
1882.
1883.
1884.
1885.
1886.
1887.
1888.
1890.

500,

7G
0,
890,
766,
610,

443,
443,

1861.
1862.

000,
000,
000,

819,
269,
016,
779,
558,
750,
978,
42, 245,
43, 550,
H 896,
46, 284,
47,714,
48, 955,
50, 155,
61, 660,
53, 210,
54, 806,
56, 550,
58, 144,
59, 888,
81, 685,
63, 535,
65, 000,
65,000,

$-144, 689,000

426, 952,000
,

435, 748.000
454,, 799,000

,208,000
,306,000
482,,102,006

497.,358,453
544,,786,208
1,043,,010,415
968,,059,995
1,639,,127,386
1,863,,409,216
1,350,,949,218
794,,756,112
730, 705,638
691,,028,377
670,,344,147
661, 641,363
652,,896,762
632,,032,773
630,,427,609
620,,316,970
586,,328,074
549,, 540,087
534,, 42-4,248
528, 524,267
610, 632,433
657,,404,084
648,,205,895
591, 476,978
533, 405.001
470, 574,361
'423,,452,221
398,,719,212
306,,999,982

Per
capita.
$17.04
15.81

15.68
15.79

13.27
15.28
15.33
15.73
22.69
42.58
38.72
70.77
52.01
37.51
21.47
19.3-4

18.70
16.89
16.14
15.45
14.51
14.04
13.40
12.28
11.23
10.65
10.23

11.48
11.97
11.48
10.17
8.90
7.63
6.67
6.10
4.72

This is in the main verified by a table published in the Chicago
Inter-Ocean in 1878:
Year.
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869

*

433




Currency.

Population.

$1,651,282,373 34,819,581
1,803,702,726 35,527,148
1,330,414,677 36,269,502
817,199,773 37,016,940
750,025,989 37,779,805
740,039,179 38,588,300

Per
capita.
847.42
50.76
36.68
22.05
19.80
19.20

15
Population and volume of currency—Continued.
Year.
1871
1873
1873.
1874
1875
1876
1877

-

Currency.

-

Population.

$731,244,714 39,750,073
736,340.912 40,978,607
733,291,749 42,245,110
779,931,589 43,550,736
778,176,250 44,896,705
735,358,832 46,284,344
696,443,394 47,714,829

Per
capita.
$18.47
17.00
17.48
17.89
17.35
15.89
14.40

The 7.30 three-year notes, whose circulation as currency is most scouted,
were outstanding on the 1st of September, 1865, to the amount of 1830,000,000,
every dollar of which was legal tender for its face value under the terms of
the law " t o the same extent as United States notes."

From a speech made in this Hall by the late Senator Plumb, in
June, 1890,1 quote the following:
Let us see, therefore, how much money is available for actual Use among
the people. From the total of $1,560,000,000, arrived at as above, must be first
deducted an average of $260,000,000, which the Treasury always keeps on hand,
and about which something has heretofore been said in the debate on this
bill. That leaves as the maximum which by any possibility can be used
$1,300,000,000.
There ought, in fairness, to be deducted from this $150,000,000, error in estimate of gold in the country, which would reduce the money outside the
Treasury to $1,150,000,000. From this is to be subtracted the $700,000,000 kept
as a reserve (in the banks), as before computed, leaving a balance of but
$550,000,000 which is available for delivery or other use inthe transactions of
the business of all the people, or a trifle over $8 per capita. But the force of
my argument is not materially weakened by conceding the gold coin to be as
estimated by the Treasury Department, which would leave in actual circulation $700,000,000. In order to make up this amount all doubt must be resolved in favor of the Treasury and against thepeople, both the doubt as to
the lost and destroyed notes and that as tq the gold supply. If I was deciding this case upon what I consider the best evidence, I would be bound to say
that I believed the money in actual circulation did not much, if at all, exceed
$500,000,000.
Upon this narrow foundation has been built the enormous structure of
credit of which I have spoken. It is the greatest of the kind that was ever
built, because it was built by the best people that ever built anything. Over
520,000,000,000 of debts, the enormous and widely extended business of 65,000,000 of people, all rest upon and must be served by a volume of currency which
must seem to the most veteran financier as absolutely and dangerously
small.

These opinions are corroborated by the statements of other
men prominent as students of finance. There is plainly an inadequate volume of currency and business is depressed. Being
the tool or medium by; which transactions are made, business
can not be carried on without an adequate supply any more than
freight can be moved in a given time without an adequate supply of cars. Our heavy crops of the Northwest are dependent
for removal upon the volume of money. If there be a scarcity,
stagnation ensues and prices fall.
But in addition to an increased volume of currency there niust
be provided some means to make it flexible enough to meet what
might be called the emergencies of commerce. It so happens
that a large bulk of the labor product of the South and West is
turned on the market in a very few months, thus doubling or
trebling the volume of wealth and business, while the volume of
currency remains the same. The money volumo during the summer is all used in the lines of trade, so that when the emergency
433




16

of moving- large crops of grain is sprung upon us business men
are cramped. Interest goes up and prices of agricultural products go down.
Secretary Windom, in his speech of January 31, 1891, before
the New York Board of Trade, so well stated this that I quote:
The ideal financial system would he one that should furnish just enough
absolutely sound currency to meet the legitimate wants of trade and no
moi*e, and that should have enough elasticity of volume (flexibility) to adjust itself to the various necessities of these people. Could such a circulating medium (flexible) be secured, the gravest commercial disasters which
threaten our future might be avoided. These disasters have always come
when unusual activity in business has caused an abnormal demand for
money, as in autumn, for the moving of our immense crops. There will always
be great danger at those times under any cast-iron system of currency, such
as we now have.
Had it not been for the peculiar condition which enabled the United
States to disburse over $75,000,000 in about two and one-half months last
autumn. I am firmly convinced that the stringency in August and September would have resulted in a widespread financial ruin.

Flexibility of volume, therefore, is all-important to every interest of our country outside of the money centers; and some
method must be devised by which the currency can at stated
times be materially increased, and then diminished again after
agricultural products are moved. Farmers are not so set upon
the subtreasury plan but that they are willing to give it up if we
provide something better that will answer the same ends. By
the present system all legitimate business pursuits are at the
mercy of the kings of finance, who are always satisfied with a
nonelastic and inadequate volume of money.
The monejr power of the United States, Mr. President, are not
the first to discover the rich harvest in store through contraction
of the currency. Sir Archibald Allison, the historian, in reviewing past history sees between the lines the operations of the financier, and says:
The two great events in the history of mankind have been brought about
by a successive contraction and expansion of the circulating medium of society. The fall of the Roman Empire, so long ascribed in ignorance to slavery,
to heathenism, and to moral corruption, was, in reality, brought about by a
decline in the silver and gold mines of Spain and Greece. And as if Providence intended to reveal in the clearest manner possible the influence of this
mighty agent in human affairs, the restoration of mankind from the ruin this
cause had produced was owing to the directly opposite set of agencies being
put in operation. Columbus led the way in the career of renovation; when he
spread his sails to cross the Atlantic he bore mankind and its fortunes in his
bark. The annual supply of the precious metals—of money—for the use of
the globe was trebled; before a century had passed the price of every species
of produce was quadrupled. The weight of debt ana taxation insensibly
wore offraiderthe influence of that prodigious increase; in the renovation
of industry society was changed, the weight of feudalism cast off, and the
rights of man established.

Substantiating this view, I quote from the scholarly report of
the United States Monetary Commission of 1877:
Primarily, then, prices must have been entirely controlled by the volume
of money unaffected by credit. There can never occur a universal fall in
prices and a general withdrawal of credits without a preceding decrease in
the volume of money. As the volume of money shrinks, prices fall. When
money is decreasing in volume, prices have no bottom, except a receding
one, and they are inexorably ruled by the volume of money. In the whole
history of the world every great and general fall in prices has been preceded
by a decrease in the volume of money. At the Christian era the metallic
money of the Roman Empire amounted to $1,800,000,000. At the end of the
fifteenth century it had shrunk to $300,000,000. During this period a most
extraordinary and baleful change took place in the condition of the world.
433




17
Population dwindled and commerce, arts, wealth, and freedom all disappeared. The people were reduced toy poverty and misery to the most degraded condition of serfdom and misery.
The disintegration of society was almost complete. The conditions of life
were so hard that indivdual selfishness was the only instinct consistent with
self-preservation. All public spirit, all generous emotions, all noble aspirations of man shriveled and disappeared as the volume of money shrunk and
prices fell. That the Dark Ages were caused by decreasing money and falling prices and that the recovery therefrom and the comparative prosperity
which followed the discovery of America were due to the increasing supply
of the precious metals and rising prices will not seem surprising or unreasonable when the noble functions of money are considered. Money is the great
instrument of association, the very fiber of social organism, the vitalizing
force of industry,and as essential to its existence as oxygen is to animal life.
Without money civilization could not have had a beginning; with a diminishing supply it must languish, and, unless relieved, finally perish.
T h e history of finance during our brief life as a nation f u l l y
confirms t h e economic position taken by these e m i n e n t students.
Since Jefferson and Jackson sounded the first note of warning
against b a n k i n g corporations, we h a v e seen t h e fruits of deleg a t i n g t h e control of t h e volume of the currency to selfish individuals.
T h e effect of contracting the currency since t h e war is a picture of darkness and desolation. I will not trace t h e course of
the j u g g e r n a u t car in its twenty-five years of destructive p r o g ress; the wrecked h o m e s , the b r o k e n hearts, and business stagnation are within t h e m e m o r y of all present. H e r e is a picture
of the business failures and devastation w r o u g h t during a quarter of a century:
Year.

Number.

Liabilities.

1864
1865
1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872.
1873....
1874.
1875
1876..
1877........
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882..
188 3
1884
1885
188 6
1887
188 8

495
520
632
2,780
2,608
2,799
3,551
2,915
4,069
5.183
5,830
7,740
9,092
8,872
10,478
5,658
4,735
5,582
6,738
9.184
10,968
11,211
12,292
12,042
13,348

$8,579,000
17,625,000
47,333,000
96,666,000
63,694,000
75,054,000
88,242,000
85,252,000
121,036,000
228,499,000
155.239,000
201,000,000
191,117,000
190,669,000
234,483,132
98,149,053
65,752,000
81,155,932
102,000,000
172,874,172
226,343,427
267,340,264
229,288,238
335,121,888
247,659,956

Total

149,061

3,633,102,082

T h e a b o v e table will n o t a g r e e w i t h B r a d s t r e e t , because h e
. does not include failures for less than $10,000. I h a v e included
all in t h e table g i v e n , and h a v e added a per cent for failures c o m promised or settled. T h i s constitutes the sequel to t h e financial
433—2




18
policy of this Government for the past twenty-five years. Do
we not want a change?
I present another picture of depreciation in agricultural products as the result of contraction:
Calendar year.

1867.
1868,
1869.
1870.
1871.
1872
1873.
1874.
1875.
1876.
1877.
1878.
1879.
1880.
1881.

1882.
1883.
1884.
1885.
1886.
1887.

Total produc- Total area Total value of
tion.
of crops.
crops.
Bushels.
1,329,729,400
1,450,789,000
1,491,612,100
1,629,027,600
1,528,776,100
1,654,331,600
1,538,892,891
1,454,180,200
2,032,235,300
1,963,422,100
2,178,934,646
2,302,254,950
2,437,482,300
2,718,133,501
2,066,029,570
2,699,394,496
2,629,319,038
2,992,880,000
3,015,439,000
2,842,579,000
2,660,457,000

Acres.
65,636,444
66,715,926
69,457,762
69,251,016
65,061,951
68,280,197
74,112,137
80,051,289
86,863,178
93,920,519
93,150,286
100,956,260
102,260,950
120,926,286
123,3S8,070
126,568,529
ISO, 633,556
136,292,766
135,876,080
141,859,656
141,821,315

$1,284,037,300
1,110,500,583
1,101,884,188
997,423,018
911,845,441
874,594,459
919,217,273
1,015,530,570
1,030,277,099
935,008,844
1,035,571,078
913,975,920
1,234,127,719
1,361,497,704
1,470,957,200
1,469,693,393
1,280,765,937
1,184,311,530
1,143,146,759
1,162,161,910
1,204,289,370

Especial attention is called to the above table of recapitulation.
It shows that in 1867, 65,636,000 acres in cultivation produced
1,329,729,000 bushels of all kinds of grain, which sold for $1,284,000,000; while in 1887, twenty years subsequent, 141,821,000 acres
produced 2,660,457,000 bushels, which sold for only $1,204,289,000.
That is, the product for 1867, from less than one-half as many
acres and half the amount, brought the farmer $79,711,000 more*
It is impossible to charge this wholesale destruction of values to
overproduction. It was a want of ability to purchase, caused by
a shrinking volume of currency, and nothing else. In 1867 we
had $52 per capita of population in 1887 we had less than $7.
The opinion of these statesmen and economists is, that if a currency of $2,000,000,000 (for 30,000,000 of people) be reduced to less
than"$l,000,000,000 for a population of 60,000,000, so that we have
but one-quarter as much money as formerly, disaster is bound to
overtake all lines of business except that of the money lender.
The hundreds of thousands of debt assumed by farmers before
contraction had to be paid under the specie programme. Thousands of brave men sank under the load of mortgage in despair.
From a leading journal I note the following:
At the close of the war of the rebellion we had $2,000,000,000 of debt-paying
medium, and but few debts. Under the contraction policy, inaugurated in
1866, about $1,300,000,000 was destroyed. So debts created on a basis of $2,000,000,000 had to be paid when the volume was reduced to $700,000,000. This was
a wholesale robbery of labor, and it was brought about strictly according to
law. What shall we think of such lawmakers?

In a speech delivered in this Chamber March 17, 1874, Gen.
Logan referred to contraction as follows:
I will give the following tables, showing the amount of currency in circulation in the year 1865 and 1866:
423




19
National-bank notes
Legal-tender and other notes.
State-bank notes
Seven-thirty notes

National-bank notes
State-bank note's
Liegal-tender and other notes,
Seven-thirties

1865.

I860.

8171,321,603
698,918,800
58,000,000
830,000,000
1,758,240,703

$28^

®1ft

608,870,825
830,000,000

1,728,872,668
Since which time contraction has gone on until the whole amount of currency of every kind now outstanding is only 1742,000,000.

At the same time he quoted the following from the Chicago
Inter-Ocean with approval:
Slavery is only another name for greed. The black man was not held in
bondage for the mere pleasure of ownership, but that the white man might
subsist in idleness off his labor. On the strength of this supreme greed of a
few thousand owners of black men all the millions of the white men of the
South were wrought up to a fury of passion, pressing them forward to the
sacrifice of their lives and fortunes on the altar of a false cause. What is the
situation to-day? The same battle is being waged in a different field, with
different weapons. In the national Senate Chamber a bitter contest is in
progress by the representatives of the moneyed aristocracy on the one hand
and by the representatives of the masses of the people on the other. The
proposition on the part of the capitalists is to grasp and firmly hold the largest possible percentage of the profits of all the labor of the country. They
want high rates of interest whereby they may tax traffic, and low rates of
wages whereby they may tax labor.
By contracting the currency they secure both of these objects, for they
force traffic to supplicate the banks for loans and drive labor to beggary;
and as the necessities of merchants render more pressing their importunities
for loans the rate of interest is advanced to cover the increased risk, and a3
the demand for labor declines the price also declines. On the other hand,
the proposition of the people, those who live by labor and traffic, is to extend
the volume of currency, thereby cheapening money, and so stimulating manufacturing and other industries into such activity as will insure employment
to the laboring classes at remunerative rates of wages. No contest was ever
more clearly defined. At no time in the history of our country, not even in
the history of the rebellion, has it been more evident that the interests ol
the many clash with those of the few.

The condition thus described has not materially improved.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. The Senator will please address the
Chair.
Mr. MORGAN. Mr. President, the Senator from South Dakota is compelled, in order to engage the attention of the few
Senators who are disposed to listen to him, even to turn his back
upon the Chair. There are persons in the gallery who desire to
hear this very able argument, if Senators on the floor will permit
them to do it, but they seem disposed not to do it.
Now, Mr. President, I insist upon silence, because hereafter,
when the country comes to answer this able argument that is now
being made, there will be very profound silence in this Chamber
and many of the seats that are vacant now will be vacant then by
the direction of the people after they have made answer to this
argument.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. The Senate will be in order.
Mr. KYLE. I beg pardon for turning my back to the Chair,
but when, in the heat of my argument, I found my audience behind me, I turned my back instinctively upon the Chair.
For twenty years the course of prosperity has been towards the
433




20
home of wealth, while 48 per cent of our population, the agricultural class, have been striving against hope to relieve themselves from an oppression the cause of which was to them mysterious. To our credit be it said that.we are still an agricultural
nation. May the day be far distant when this class shall cease
to be an intelligent, independent, moral, directing force in our
political affairs. Shall we refuse to know why these people are
oppressed? Shall we blind our eyes to the fact that only about
$17,000,000,000 of the $63,000,000,000 of our wealth is taxed, and
that the farmer pays taxes on the largest share of it? Evidently some of the remaining 52 per cent of our population manage to escape paying taxes on all their property.
The oppressed and overtaxed farmers call to us for help. Our
mortgage history is a tale of woe and suffering. The Goths and
Vandals swooping down upon ancient Rome were not more ruthless or destructive than are the organized moneyed forces of
this country. Despite the rosy tinge given to American farming by the Senator from Oregon [Mr. DOLFH] in a late speech,
the Mississippi and Missouri Valleys, the garden spot of agriculture, have been under the load of mortgage for twenty years,
and the future looks dark. Complete data upon this subject can
not yet be furnished by the Census Department, but the following from the National Economist has been substantiated by many
writers:
After a careful examination of all obtainable statistics bearing upon farm
mortgages, we have selected the tables of the Michigan bureau of labor as
a basis for calculations. We make that choice, first, because the system of
collecting was fair and intelligent; second, because the estimates were made
from actual figures; third, Michigan farmers are in a situation, so far as
commercial relations and natural resources are concerned, to be as independent and as free from debt as any of her sister States. If after a fair investigation wefinda large per cent of farms mortgaged in Michigan, we maylook for an equal, if not greater, per cent in all the remaining agricultural
States.
We wish to present the true condition as nearly as possible. After full
consideration we give the following:
11 Northwestern States and Territories
12,043,300,000
13 Southern States
648,600,000
11 Pacific States and Territories
118,000,000
New England and Atlantic States
273,672,000
Total mortgage indebtedness

3,083, 572,000

To explain these burdensome debts as an evidence of prosperity is to display gross ignorance of the situation. It is customary
I know to speak of a growing West and the need of capital for
development; but that does not explain the omnipresent mortgage in the older States. The cause is often attributed to the
extravagance of the modern farmer. That he wishes to ride in
a carriage when his fathers were content with the wagon. Who,
I ask, has a better right to a carriage than the farmer? The
prosperity of a country is largely indicated by the percentage of
farmers who own their own homes and who enjoy something of
the comforts and pleasures of life. In our country, however,
thirty years have brought us far towards the condition of the
European farmer. Here is an interesting table as showing our
drift from a nation of home-owners to a nation of tenants:
433




2
1
Farm tenancy in 1880 and 1890.
Families Families
hiring
hiring
farms,
farms,
1890.
1880.

States and counties.

Percent. Per cent.
35,69
19.23
30.16
13.67
33.18
13.08
29.66
15.38
32.73
10.75
39.73
17.66
37.69
10.22
36.86
9.53
15.83
23.55
30.65
12.44

KANSAS.

Chase
Clay
Dickinson
Geary
McPherson
Marion
Morris
Ottawa
Riley
Saline

-

-

-

Ten counties

33.25

13.13

37.79
32.19
41.33
36.46
38.34
39.28
39.52
31.44
37.68
40.68

18.40
17.50
30.48
21.80
23.92
28.27
33.51
16.85
30.49
29.89

37.10

24.96

(68.38 percent above farms are encumbered.)
OHIO.

Adams
Brown
Butler..
Clermont
Clinton
Greene
Hamilton
Highland
Preble
Warren

-

-

-

-

-

;

Ten counties
VIRGINIA.

Page
Rockingham
Shenandoah
Frederick
Loudoun
Five counties

-

' 12
15
14
27
33

_

.

20.20

Eight counties
Barnstable
Bristol
Dukes
Franklin
Hampden
Hampshire
Nantucket
Norfolk
Plymouth
Worcester......
Ten counties
433




MASSACHUSETTS.

-

-

21
19
22
14
18
14
21
16

24

-

15.20

25
27
27
20
23
21
27
22

NEW YORK.

Columbia
Dutchess
Orange
Fulton
Oneida
Steuben
Cortland
Genesee

12
11
6
19
28

18.12

7
19
10
10
16
12
25
20
10
13

5
9
11
7
8
6
2
7
4
8

14.20

6.70

22
Farm tenancy in lsso and
States and counties.

Kent
Bristol
Newport
Washington

RHODE ISLAND.

Four counties
Androscoggin
Cumberland
Franklin
Kennebec
Oxford
Sagadahoc
Six counties

Continued.
Families Families
hiring
hiring
farms,
farms,
1890.
1880.
Per cent. Per cent.
19
24
26
14
23
24
20
21
23.25

MAINE.

-

19.50

7
8
7
8
7
7

3
3
o
o
3
2

7.33

2.50

We might as well meet and face the facts as they are. The
voice of the people means something. The agriculturists may
he ignorant of many things, hut they know when there is an unjust discrimination against them.
The situation to-day, Mr. President, is anomalous. We occupy the favored spot on earth in wealth of resources. Everything that is needed for the supply of man is ours. We are just
in our infancy, and in that formative period of development when
labor should be most richly rewarded. We have grown from a
handful of people to sixty-three millions. Our wealth of eight
thousand millions in 1850, and thirty thousand millions in 1870,
has now reached the almost incomprehensible figure of sixtythree thousand millions. And yet we look upon the sad picture
of a depressed industry, with two million laborei's tramping as
beggars, while women and children in rags are perishing for the
necessities of life. There are reasons for these things. The
poor are not all victims of ignorance, shiftlessness, and vice.
They are rather victims of an economic condition.
>
It is an economic law that the prosperity of a nation consists
not so much in the accumulation of wealth as in the proper distribution of it. Our gain of eighteen thousand millions in a decade
makes us the envy of the world. But where has it gone? There
seem to have been millions flowing by a steady stream into She
pockets of the favored few, while the masses are left with a bare
existence. The farmer is denying himself and yet runs in debt
How is it with the day laborer? According to the labor reports of
Massachusetts the average yearly wages for the employe for 18S6,
averaging forty lines of industry, was$395.89. For 1887,$398.14,
or about $1.02 per day.
In a speech delivered in Congress May 16> 1888, Hon. Benja433




23
min Butterworth made the following- statements in regard to
the income of farms in sorno of the States:
States.

Ohio*.

Per
year.
$394.00
155.00
379.00
476.00
149.00
375.00

Georgia
Mississippi
Illinois — Alabama..
Wisconsin.

Per
day.
$1.08
.42
.74
1.30
.41
1.02

The average infcome of the farmers of the United States is less
than
a day counting three hundred and sixty-five days in a
year. Mr. Butterworth also stated the average income of mechanics and laborers in different cities:
Cities.
Cincinnati
Lowell, Mass—
Chicago
St. Louis
phladelphia
Lawrence, Mass
Richmoud, Va—.
Augusta, Ga
Louisville, K y . .

Per
year.
8258.00
234.00
430.00
424.00
340.75
331,75
214.00
267.00
334.00

Per
day.
S . 93
O
.80
1.20
.95
.90
.60
.73
'.90

This is not a very good showing for the remuneration of productive labor.
How far removed from starving is this? I well know the answer
with reference to this, as applied to the modern farmer and day
laborer, that never in the history of this or any other country has
this class been so well paid. Barring certain skilled workmen,
wages are low enough now. But it must be remembered that
more money is used by the laborer than ever before. Time was
when the farmer produced his wearing apparel and every article
of food. That day has passed. The mechanic once kept his garden and other helps of a domestic kind. That day is past. He
now pays cash for every article consumed by the family. It is
safe to say that the demands upon the laborer are double what
they were in the early days, and therefore the conclusion that
his condition is not materially improved.
But how has the millionaire flourished? In 1860 there were
but very few millionaires in our country. Now there are over
thirty-two thousand. The matter is commented on by the Christian Union, of New York, as follows:
Mr. Vanderbilt's aggregate wealth is estimated at $201,000,000, and there are
fourteen States which separately return less property, real and personal, than
this one fortune. He owns one two-hundred-and-eighteenth par t of the wealth
of the nation. The great estates of Rome, in the time of the Caesars, and of
France, in the time of the Bourbons, rivaled those of the United States of
to-day; but both nations were on their way to a frenzy of revolution, not in
spite of their wealth, but, in some true sense, because of it.—Christian Union,
1384.
433




24
In the November Forum, 1889, Thomas G. Shearman gives the
following startling table showing the concentration of wealth in
the hands of the few.
Families.
70
90
180—
135
•360
1,755
6,000-^,000
11,000

14,000

Concentration of wealth in the hands of the few.
Worth..
$2,625,000,000
1,025,000,000
- 1,440,000,000
968,000,000
1,656,000,000
4,036,000,000
7,500,000,000
4,550,000,000
4,125,000,000

16,500
50,00075,000
200,000
1,000,000
2,000,000
9,620,000

:

„

13,002,090
Now let us put them into four great classes:
Families.
182,0901,-200,000
2,500,000
9,120,000^
13,002,090-

-

3,220,000,000

2,722,000,000
5,000,000,000
4,500,000,000
4,000,000,000
3,500,000,000
4,000,000,000
7,215,000,000

62,082,000,000
Worth.
$43,367,000,000
7,500,000,000
5,200,000,000
6,015,000,000
62,082,000,000

How the immortal Webster would stare at such figures!
He once spoke of this threatening evil in this manner:

The freest government can not long endure where the tendency of the law
is to create a rapid accumulation of property in the hands of the few, and to
render the masses of the people poor and dependent.

Further comment is unnecessary to show the violation of just
economic laws as applied to individuals. But the injustice is
equally noticeable when applied to States. It is manifestly unjust that the population of one State should be compelled to
"make bricks without straw " in order that the product of their
labor should be used to build up the wealth of another State,
even though the steady drain of wealth should be in accordance
with law. 1 have taken the pains to figure out from the late census reports some facts upon this point, showing how the manufacturing States have been favored.
During the past decade fifteen States, comprising the great
agricultural belt south of us and as far west as Texas, with a
population of 22,000,000, produced in round numbers but $1,496,000,000 of wealth.
Nine of the richest States of the Mississippi Valley, with a
-population of 19,000.000, were able to produce in ten years only Tourteen hundred and eighty-three millions of wealth, while the
six New England States, with but four and a half millions of
people, produced nine hundred and six millions of wealth. Massachusetts alone, with two millions of people, produced five hundred and sixty-nine millions of wealth in ten years, while Indiana, with the same population, produced but fifty-five millions.
This goes to show that either New England is a rustler or elsg




25
the hard-earned dollars of the agricultural States have contributed to her wealth.
One more example taken from S. S. King's compilation from
the census report of 1890: Ten Southern States, taken with five
of the best States of the Mississippi Valley, show the following
facts:
Square miles of area — Population in 1880
Assessed valuation

776,480
19,996,827
$3,995,169,502

Square miles of area
Population
Assessed valuation

49,170
5,082,871
$2,651,940,006

Now compare these figures with the single State of New York:

Now, here are the deductions:
The fifteen States here have sixteen times the territory and better soil; they have four times the'population with which to produce
Wealth; they have one and a half times the capital in assessed
valuation; and yet the fifteen States gained in wealth during
ten years only"$1,117,188,213, while New York alone gained
$1,123,385,932, or six millions more than the fifteen States.
I present also the report of the Comptroller of the. Currency
upon the distribution of loanable funds, together with some
comments by Mr. N. A. Dunning, in the National Economist. On
page 234 of this report is the following tabis:

Table showing, by States and Territories, the-population of each on June 1,1391,
and the aggregate capital of national and State banks, loan and trust companies, and savings and private banks in the United States on June SO,1891, and the
average of these per capita of population.
All banks.
States and Territories.

Maine
New Hampshire
Vermont
Massachusetts
Rhode Island
Connecticut
New York
New Jersey
Pennsylvania
Delaware
Maryland
District of Columbia
Virginia
West Virginia
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia
Florida
Alabama
Mississippi
Louisiana
Texas
Arkansas
Kentucky
Tennessee
Ohio
Indiana
-Illinois.Michigan.—..
433




Population
June 1,1801.

663,000
379,000
333,000
2,299,000
352,000
764,000

6,110,000

1,484,000
5,382,000
170,000
1.048,000
236,000
1,670,000
773,000
1,638,000
1,165,000
1,867,000
405,000
1.538,000
1,309,000
1,137,000
2,304,000
1,161,000
1,870,000
1,773,000
3,720,000
2.213,000
3,899,000
2,139,000

Capital, etc.
$81,253,068
96,225,832
40,981,914
742,651,224
127,126,389
199.953,331
1,663,604,173
119,766,779
546,267,053
14,886,050
101,096,200
20,146,171
42,131,055
14,113,894
10,602,746
14,556,233
22,682,049
8,485,786
14,900,568
11,754,338
a% 138,019
65,070,737
7,607,971
86,078,682
42,603,237
220,297,991
71,753.885
271,513,188
124,332,290

Average
per
capita.
8122.55
253.89
123. (IT
323.02
361.15
261.72
272.27
80.70
101.50
87.56
96.46
85.37
25.23
18.26
6.47
12.49
12.14
20.95
9.69
8.98
30.90
28.24
6.55
46.03
24.03
59.22
32.42
69.61
58.12

26

Population, aggregate capital of national and State banks,

Continued.

All banks.
States and Territories.

Population
June 1,1891. Capital, etc.

Average
per
capita.

Wisconsin
Iowa.
Minnesota
Missouri
Kansas
Nebraska
Colorado
Nevada
California
Oregon
Arizona
North Dakota
South D a k o t a . Idaho
Montana
New Mexico
Indian Territory
Oklahoma
Utah
Washington
Wyoming

1,728,000
1,935,000
1,360,000
2,734,000
1,448,000
1,148,000
410,000
44,009
1,244,000
333,000
61,000
193,000
311,000
93,000
145,000
' 157,000
181,300
115,000
214,000
375,000
66,000

591,828,490
111,981,211
102,482,170
164,047,645
53,896,588
69,333,020
40,480,478
1,176,791
271,189,235
17,878,204
1,272,356
8,985,308
11,669,101
2,588,258
20,277,490
4,415,963
232,954
480,347
15,358,062
27,859,317
5,373,750

$53.14
57.87
75.35
60.00
37.22
60.39,
92.00
26.75
218.00
53.69
20.86
46.56
31.22
27.83
139.85
28.12
1.56
4.18
71.77
74.29
81.42

Total.——

64,156,300

5,810,438,191

91.03

A glance at the tables submitted will show that the Eastern States are enjoying the benefits of a per capita of loanable funds ranging from $80.70 in
New Jersey to $361.72 in Rhode Island, while the Southern States have only
$6.56 in Arkansas to $30.90 in Louisiana. This inequality • ecomes more
marked as the statistics of loans and currency are considered, which will be
brought out further on. To such an extent has this inequitable condition of
congestion in the East and depletion in the South and West obtained as to
attract the attention of many who have heretofore doubted its existence, and
may lead to a thorough awakening of public interest in the matter.
It will be noticed that out of the gross amount of loanable funds aggregating $5,840,438,191, the eleven Eastern States control $3,737,812,013, or nearly 04
per cent, while the eleven Southern States have only $197,011,996, or a little
over 3 per cent, and the remaining twenty-seven States and Territories have
$1,905,584,182, or about 33 per cent.
The eleven Eastern States, with an area of 117,062,640 acres of land, hold
$3,737,812,191 in loanable funds, while the eleven Southern States, with 479,995,758 acres, has but $197,041,996. Reduced to an average gives the eleven
Eastern States $31.93 and the eleven Southern States less than 4 cents per
acre. These figures will be met with the statement that the East needs more
money than the:South, which under present conditions, is no doubt true,
and because it is, furnishes one of the best reasons for a change.
That the financial system as now practiced tends to itensify this situation
to the detriment of other sections is apparent to all who will give it even a
partial examination. To eliminate the necessity for the West and South
going to the East for money to carry on or encourage production, is one of
the greatest questions before the American people.

•These instances can be multiplied ad libitum, A depressed
agriculture has rapidly driven the population from the rural districts to the cities. According to Census Bulletin 52, in 1880 but
22.57 per cent of the population lived in cities of 8,000 and more.
In 1890 this had increased to 29.12 per cent, a gain of 6.55 per
cent. Whereas the increase the previous decade had been but
1.64 per cent. The question is, Can these vast agricultural regions
of the South and West afford the constant drain both of population and money tribute to the great commercial and manuf actur433




27
ing centers? By what law is this draining process carried on?
It is enough to say that it is carried on In violation of the most
fundamental laws of economics as applied to a well-governed and
prosperous nation. It is a one-sided game. It is all contribution and no return except in this, that when we have once impoverished ourselves, the wealth once centralized, is loaned back to
us at exorbitant rates of interest, a rate which in all our Western
States no farming interests can afford, I care not how prosperous.
This, Mr. President, is not the cry of a small class of disgruntled, selfish farmers and laboring men. It is the voice of the
best class of the Republic. None more loyal, without a trace of
the spirit of envy or vengeance. Here is their declaration of
grievances as set forth in the preamble of the -platform of the
greatest labor convention of the age, at St. Louis on the 22d of
February:
THE PEOPLE'S PARTY PLATFORM.

This, the first great labor conference of the "United States and of the world,
representing all divisions of urban and rural organized industry assembled
In national congress, invoking upon its action the blessing and protection
of Almighty God, puts forth to and for the producers of the nation this
declaration of union and independence.
The conditions which surround us best justify our cooperation. "We meet
in the midst of a nation brought to the verge of moral, political, and m a terial ruin. Corruption dominates the ballot box, the Legislatures, the
Congress, and touches even the ermine of the bench. The people are demoralized. Many of the States have been compelled to isolate the voters at
the polling places in order to prevent universal intimidation or bribery.
The newspapers are subsidized or muzzled; public opinion silenced; business prostrated; our homes covered with mortgages: labor impoverished
and the land concentrating into the hands of capitalists. The urban workmen are denied the right of organization for self-protection, imported pauperized labor beats down their wages; a hireling standing army unrecognized by our laws, is established to shoot them down and they are rapidly
degenerating to European conditions. The fruits of the toil of millions are
boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes unprecedented in the history of
the world, while their possessors despise the Hepublic and endanger liberty.
Prom the same prolific womb of governmental injustice we breed the two
great classes, paupers and millionaires.
The national power to create the money is appropriated to enrich the
bondholders. Silver, which has been accepted as coin since the dawn of history, has been demonetized to add to the purchasing power of gold by decreasing the value of all forms of property, as well as human labor, and the
supply of currency is purposely abridged to fatten usurers, bankrupt enterprises, and enslave industry. A vast conspiracy against mankind has been
organized on two continents and is taking possession of the world. If not met
ana overthrown at once it forebodes terrible social convulsions, the destruction of civilization,-or the establishment of an absolute despotism.
In this crisis of human affairs the intelligent working peoples' producers
of the United States have come together here in the interests of peace,order,
and society, to aid in prosperity and justice.
PLATFORM ADOPTED AT ST. LOTTTS FEBRUARY S3, 1S9L

Finance.
First. W e demand a national currency safe, sound, and flexible, issued by
the General Government only, a full legal tender for all debts, public and
private; and that without the use of banking corporations a just, equitable,
and efficient means of distributiondirect to the people at a tax not to exceed
2 per cent be provided, as set forth in the subtreasury plan of the Farmers'
Alliance, or some better system; also, by payments in discharge of its obligations for public improvements.
a. W e demand free and unlimited coinage of silver.
b. W e demand that the amount of the circulating medium be speedily increased to not less than S 5 per capita.
SG
c. W e demand a graduated income tax.
d. W e believe that the money of the country should be kept as much as
possible in the hands of the people; and hence we demand all national and
433




28
State revenue shall be limited to the necessary expenses of the Government
economically and honestly administered.
e. W e demand that postal savings banks be established by the Government
for the safe deposit of the earnings of the people and to facilitate exchange.
Land.
Second. The land, including all the natural resources of wealth, is the
heritage of all the people and should not be monopolized for speculative
urposes, and alien ownership of land should be prohibited. A l l land now

Eeld by railroads and other corporations in excess of their actual needs, and

all lands now owned by aliens, should be reclaimed by the Government and
held for actual settlers only. Transportation.
Third. Transportation being a means of exchange and a public necessity,
the Government should own and operate the railroad^ in the interest of the
people.
a. The telegraph and telephone, like the post-office system, being a necessity for transmission of news should be owned and operated by the Government in the interest of the people.

W e are confronted with earnest appeals of statesmen and party
leaders to refrain from independent political action. We are
pointed to history to witness the folly of such a course; that it
means political suicide to those who embark, with no possible
hope of successful reform. But at the same moment when the
money question, dear to the people's hearts, is brought to the
consideration of Congress, its enemies in one party stigmatize it
as a maniacal craze. While its supposed friends in the other,
upon the ground of expediency, quietly lays it to rest. W e are
told plainly by the action of the House within the last month,
that we can expect no relief from Congress, and that both parties will nominate as chief executive a man who is unfriendly to
silver. W e can get, they say, no relief from a third party.
Now, between the two, may I ask where the people are to come
in?
With all due respect to the sagely advice of such leaders, let
me say that the people are not placed in such a dilemma; and that
if relief be not granted, such a combination will be formed as
will relegate one or the other of the old parties to the position
of third m the race.
These people do not determine upon independent action unless
compelled to do so. There is no glory in meeting the malicious
and revengeful attacks of the partisan press consequent upon
such action. And there is not a citizen of the great South and
West to-day who would not unite in the chorus of gratitude,
were he informed that relief from his burdens had been granted
by either of the existing parties. There is no desire for class legislation so-called, but only for
justice and fair play. Can it be that the people's representatives,
separated long fyears from their constituents, have forgotten
their needs ? The people are long-suffering. They are not unreasonable. Let us not turn a deaf ear to their petitions, but by
just and humane laws usher in a day of prosperity for the laboring man that shall make this Republic conspicious among the
nations of the world.
433




O


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102