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S T A T E S ,








Mr. HILL (a Senator from New York) having obtained unanimous consent
to address the Senate on the subject of silver bullion purchases-

Mr. HILL said:
Mr. PRESIDENT : At the outset of the present session of Congress I introduced a bill to repeal unconditionally the silverpurchase and Treasury-note issue clauses of the act of July 14,
1890, named after the eminent senior Senator from Ohio " t h e
Sherman law."
By the passage of that act two and a half years ago I was inexpressibly shocked and alarmed. Immediately, in the next
month but one, four months before my election to a seat in the
Senate, I went to our commercial metropolis, and there publicly
taking issue against the principles and the policy embodied in
that law began the endeavor to arouse a public sentiment which
should demand its repeal.

First in Brooklyn, then in New York, again in my own town
of Elmira, and twice in the capital city of Albany, during the
period since the passage of that enactment, I have persisted to that
end. Instead of silence and apathy there is now, in the State
for which I speak, unanimity. Repeal of the Sherman law is even
prayed for because it blocks the threshold of fiscal reform by
those who denied its priority.
The questions involved in repeal of the Sherman law are such
as take the first rank in all civilized nations. They are of supreme importanca to the city of New York, the State of New
York, and the United States! They are national indeed, but
their conditions and scope are international. Argument thereon
may be terse; it can not be brief; it need not now be partisan.
Because I wish to avoid taxing the Senate's courtesy, and also
to hasten beyond any partisan utterance, I will subjoin to the
stenographer's notes, with t£e permission of the Senate, two or
three appendixes which I prefer not to read, because arguments
still deemed cogent are encumbered with some partisan matter
and some ancient history which I dare not*cancel for fear of
garbling,the record. These will, I trust, be excused by magnanimous opponents.

The personal record is a matter of no importance. But the
subsequent action of the people of the United States of both parties has made the twice repeated approval, by the people of the
State of New York, of a course which I had the honor to advise,
B 52


following their own best precedents, a political record beyond
personal or partisan significance.
For the hard-money Democrats (thus widely and again more
widely indorsed), who have upheld the time-honored financial
principles and directed the policy of their party in the State of
New York for the last two decades, and who direct it now, in
their last two State conventions condemned our present gold
monometallism, condemned our present drift to silver monometallism, and demanded repeal of the Sherman law in the interest and to the end of free bimetallic coinage.
This is now become a record of long renown.
Such gold and silver money, indeed, in stable parity, the only
money named by name in that Constitution which is our supreme
law, or sanctioned by-its great authority and by our continuous
use and practice for eighty years thereunder from 1792 to 1873,
now more than ever is the only money basis at once stable, safe,
and sufficient (with gold certificates and silver certificates) for
our immense expanding superstructure of corporate or private
currencies and circulating credits.
It is not for local, State, or sectional reasons that the city and
State of New York with unanimity now back their Democratio
representatives in asking repeal of the Sherman law.

The stake of New York in the peace and prosperity of the
Federal Union is immense. Her population is one-tenth the population of all the States. Her metropolis is the metropolis of
the whole country. Her valleys are the great highways of the
West to the waters that wash the harbors of the world. Her
port is the chief entrepot of the foreign commerce of the United
States, whither mostly come those commodities of foreign origin
that we consume, which purchase all those commodities of domestic origin that we sell abroad. Our merchants advance the
bulk of taxes, which are there collected on foreign commodities,
and which are finally paid all over the country in a higher price
at the point of consumption.
The enterprise of New York finally distributes throughout
every other State of the Union employment for much intrusted
foreign capital, and from her own accumulated wealth; commercial credits which are no small causing part of our colossal
domestic exchanges; and permanent loans upon the structures,
the railways, the farms, and the factories whereby out of the
capital of the East is ceaselessly begotten the multiplying enterprises and vaster wealth of the greater West.
New York among her sister States is foremost in manufactures
as well as wealth, foremost in resources by them to be borrowed,
and foremost as a market by them to be supplied. She is the
terminus of their roads, the portal of their sea routes, the central ganglion of their interstate commerce and their foreign
trade. How just* then', how stringent, her need of a gold and
silver dollar in stable parity.
But this central financial and commercial function, allotted to
the Empire State by the providence of God and the good will of
a nation, is out of all proportion to the political power assigned
to her. Federal laws even more than State laws rule in this field
B 53

of our special activity. Congress controls our commerce and
our currency. In Congress, New York's 6,500,000 citizens have
just the weight of Nevada's 46,000 citizens when the Senate consents to pass a law or refuses to repeal one. New York's tenth
of the total population of the Union in that case has one fortyfourth its political weight.

Yet the interests of New York are' none the less strictly identical with the interests of the whole sisterhood of States. Her
central and commercial function in their vast industrial unity is
the clear statement and full proof of that identity; and the most
pregnant political acts of the United States have often had, as
in this signal instance, their matrix and their mold in the previous acts of the Empire State.
The first ulterior consequence of the action of the Democrats
of New York and of its decisive popular approval at the polls,
was seen at Minneapolis, where there was no talk of sundering
New York Democrats from their brethren of other States on the
gold and silver question. The Republican national convention
declared fealty to "bimetallism" themselves.
The next ulterior consequence of the action of the hard-money
Democrats of New York was seen at Chicago, in the accordance
with the Albany and the Minneapolis platforms, upon this great
article, of the platform of the national Democratic convention.
After the conventions came the voting on the 8th day, of last
Then indeed was the desire of New York ratified in the decision of the Union that our Federal tariff taxation should be
reformed with an eye single to revenue, and the Sherman law
But I am not speaking, and it will now be manifest that I am
not speaking, as a partisan.
My reference now is not to those two mandates then issued
from the nation's ballot-boxes with the decisive majority weight
of our popular sovereignty; rather do I refer*to that still greater
mandate first proposed in the last two Democratic platforms of
the State of New York and ratified in the popular vote, next
adopted in the platforms of both our great national parties, and
then issued forth from all our ballot-boxes on the same day, with
the moral weight of substantial unanimity—the mandate of free
bimetallic coinage.

Of that momentous decision, not even with State pride, not
even with partisanship, not even with personal elation, would I
It was a large deliverance wliich has neither embittered nor
will embitter the hopes of the West or the prudence of the East.
It was a large deliverance accomplished by the patriotic concord of two political parties whose concord and whose strife weave
the purple of our country's greatness.
Too long had the silver dollar and the gold dollar been abandoned to inequivalence.
Too long had we been pursuing false ineffectual remedies for


that act of 1873 which disabled our silver money for use in foreign payments.
But, when the rotten paper legal tender mill had been again
set grinding, it was high time for partisans who are patriots to
unite for restoring that coinage system maintained from Washington and Jefferson's day to Lincoln and Grant's day, until, intfje
black and midnight darkness of our rag money era, abolished
without public debate, knowledge, or consent.
And when, following upon the colossal continuous silver purchases of the Bland-Allison law, redoubled silver purchases under the Sherman law did not prevent a doubled disparity of silver
and gold, it was high time for all to recognize and remember
that free bimetallic coinage at a right ratio is the sole cause and
means of a stable parity of gold and silver known, to the history
of civilization.

I will hand to the stenographer the New York platforms, but
I will read the gold and silver planks, in full, of the Republican
and Democratic national conventions. The Republican national
convention said:
The American people, from tradition and interest, favor bimetallism, and
the Republican party demands the use of both gold and silver as standard
money, with such restrictions and under such provisions, to be determined
by legislation, as will secure the maintenance of the parity of values of the two
metals, so that the purchasing and debt-paying power of the dollar, whether
of silver, gold, or paper, shall be at all times equal. The interests of the producers of the country, its farmers and its workingmen, demand that every
dollar, paper or coin, issued by the Government shall be as good as any other.
We commend the wise and patriotic steps already taken by our Government to secure an international conference to adopt such measures as will
insure a parity of value between gold and silver for use as money throughout!
the world.

The Democratic national convention said:
We denounce the Republican legislation known as the Sherman act of
1890 as a cowardly make-shift, fraught with possibilities of danger In the future which should make all of its supporters as well as its author, anxious
for its speedy repeal, We hold to the use of both gold and silver as the
standard money of the country, and to the coinage of both gold and silver
without discriminating against either metal or charge for mintage; but the
dollar unit of coinage of both metals must be of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value, or be adjusted through international agreement or by such
safeguards of legislation as shall insure the maintenance of the parity of
the two metals and the equal power of every dollar at all times in the markets and in the payments of debts; and we demand that all paper currency
shall be kept at par with and redeemable In such coin. We insist upon this
policy as especially necessary for the protection of the farmers and laboring
classes, the first and most defenseless victims of unstable money and a
fluctuating currency.

Both political parties by their authorized delegates in the same
words demand—
the use of both gold and silver as standard money.

In identical language both political parties demand—
the maintenace of the parity of'the two metals—

and that, too, by " legislation."
One platform sums up in the pregnant word " bimetallismM
what the other platform correctly describes as—

the coinage of both gold and sliver without discriminating against either

These two resolutions, rather this joint resolution of both our
great political parties, confirmed by 10,000,000 ballots and closing a long debate, is the crowning mercy, in the providence of
God, of our great rnemorial year.
Since the adoption of the last three constitutional amendments
touching slavery, civil rights, and suffrage, no such event, of
moral import, far scope, and teeming consequence, has taken
place in this Republic of the New World as the union of the
Democratic and Republican parties in 1892, both adopting as a
party plank return to the principle and policy of free bimetallic
We shall yet be purged of the worst dregs of the havoc of war.
How and by what means to proceed to execute the people's
will, with all circumspection and with no delay, it is the function
of Congress—it is the function of none other than Congress—to
deliberate and decide.
And Congress is now in session.

It is my duty to the city and State of New York to ask in their
behalf the immediate unconditioned repeal of the Sherman law
as the relief they now pray for, who desire a session of financial
calm in place of the widespread fear of an imminent or approaching monetary panic.
It is my duty to the Democratic party now to confirm, having
so long advised its choice of means to an end, of a route to the
goal of free bimetallic coinage.
It is a higher duty, considering the state of opinion in the
Senate, with respectful deference to my colleagues of both parties, in whose hands are wisdom and decision, here to advance
and substantiate one controlling reason for repeal—that it is a
necessary, safe, and, for to-day, sufficient step toward free bi-*
metallic coinage.

I. In the first place I will try to show the fatal contrariety between silver purchases and a free bimetallic coinage law.
II. Second, to indicate those features of our Treasury finance,
money stock, and business condition, as well as that nature and
function of money, which may explain why repeal of the Sherman law will stop the vast shrinkage of all our currencies and
induce their natural enlargement far beyond any monthly silverpurchase accretions.
III. Third, to show the law of the parity of gold and silver as
maintained for eighty years by free bimetallic coinage, and the
law of those divergences from parity which the absence of free
bimetallic coinage has entailed for the last nineteen years;
IV. Fourth and finally, to indicate precisely why and how mere
repeal of the Sherman law, stopping silver purchases and leaving the now dislocated gold money and silver money of the world
to the lull shock of these divergences from parity, will arrive at
once to the mark aimed at, and may be expected to remove the
only foreign obstacle to the restoration of free bimetallic coinage
and its permanent parity of gold and silver.
This is indeed an excessively long programme; but it follows
the complexity of a subject which has world-wide commercial,
B 52


legal and historical relations. Speech would now be frivolous,
in my opinion, and most unworthy of this high tribunal and
our joint commission, if it did not go to the root of the whole

I can not offer to the Senate on behalf t of the State of New
York every argument for repeal which is thought good enough
for the instruction of her Senators, by the gods, half-gods, and
godkin who assume our morning and evening tutorage.
Offscouring of the earth myself, and a most miserable sinner,
I would not for the World in these Times speak profanely of those
divinities. I merely say that in prescribing repeal they have
not thought fit to be cogent. But the Senate will kindly consider how busy they are.
In their supervision of the literature of all nations and the
sewage of New York; in their care of orthodoxy at Rome and
Russia, and of divine revelation for good and true Presbyterians;
in their guidance of the moral character and political principles
of Prince Bismarck, the other statesmen of Europe, the London
County Council, the Emperor of China, Sultan of Morocco, and
Queen of the Sandwich Islands; in their criticism of our Federal, State, and municipal governments, and Tammany Society,
according to the best of British principles and the purest of personal antipathies; in the selection of candidates for President,
statesmen for the Cabinet, and the missing word for newspaper
lotteries, these superior beings forgot our poor requirements.
In fact, they fob us off with arguments that will not do.
The Senate must excuse this seeming neglect. Such omniscience is often blind in one eye. Perhaps they were busy smoothing our road to heaven with some supplement to the Ten Commandments.
Who knows that they have not been fabricating, to distribute
through the Post against the return of the cholera, a pill that
shall " lock up the bowels of mankind through forty degrees of
I will mention a few arguments for repeal from these superior
beings, which we must reverently dispense with.
Probably they are good enough for Lord Westbury's black
beetles, but they are not good enough for me to indorse over to
the Senate.

They talk of silver as a " pig metal," and of free coinage as a
new kind of cholera.
If fact, silver is the only price-marking, payment-making,
money-metal possessed by three-fourths of all mankind. Its free
coinage has never ceased.
Silver is also that money metal in universal use, either alone
under free coinage, or as subsidiary coin, or as a basis of fiduciary paper in conjunction with gold, or as circulated by deposit
certificates; and its free coinage in conjunction with the"free
coinage of gold in a rated parity was custom and law in Europe
and the United States for three-fourths of the present century,
not to mention centuries past.
That is the "pig-metal" argument for repeal of the Sherman
law. The Senate need not mind that.
B 52


They talk of the cheapness of silver production by new finds
and new processes, as if nobody had ever found a gold nuggetin
five minutes that made him individually rich, and as if the working expenses of exploration always return more than their cost.
The annual increment from all mines to the total silver stock
from all past ages is less than 1 per cent. The output continuing as great, the percentage falls as the mass grows.
They talk as if prices varied with the annual output of silver,
instead of being proportionate to the aggregate mass of silver
and gold. They talk as if the cost of this yearly output controlled the cost or money function of that mass.
That is the' * cheapness of production " argument. An absurdity. The Senate can scratch it out.

They talk of inundation from the silver of other countries,
especially Asia, as if the people there had no payments to make,
or had some other money metal to make payments with, and as
if there could be profit to the inundator before parity, or profit
after parity.
They talk of " tons" of pig metal as if our silver tons, like our
gold tons, had not circulation by means of deposit certificates,
and as if " dimes" and ' * quarters " in the hands of 65,000,000 people, not to mention piasters and rupees and what not in the
hands of 1,480,000,000 people,should not come to " t o n s " in the
They talk of "inflation" by silver, and deny inflation by reddog and wildcat currency. Yet the latter is peculiarly liable to
inflation and its holder to loss, while silver money snares with
gold money under free bimetallic coinage, incapacity to be inflated. It is their supreme merit, and more, their unique merit.
All such draggle-tailed advocacy of repeal of the Sherman
law in this place, I fear, by delaying repeal, would but bring
silver monometallism more and more within the limits of a
reasonable fear.

They decry silver as " dishonest money," but instead of learning the cause of its old parity with gold and the way to restore
it, are dumb while greenback demand debt is issued and reissued as a legal tender; -and are blind to see that they may
cheat or be cheated, unless the legal-tender quality is never
given by law to any other money than the product of free bimetallic coinage—the coin money of the Constitution—because
that then establishes as the great money-measure the aggregate
mass of extant silver and gold, a quantity incapable to be appreciably diminished or increased within the lifetime of any man's
They decry silver as " dishonest" money and call themselves
Reformers who never yet have raised a broom in any club, in
any court, in any party convention, to sweep off into back-yard
dirt and rubbish those records of judicial dishonor which dared
derive out of the granted powers " t o coin money" and " t o
borrow money" the never-granted power to debase money with
floods of public debt.


Lastly I will pitch overboard the "black beetle" argument
which imputes to American silver miners,' their Senators, and
the West at large a graded inferiority proportioned to their
distance from the eastern Olympus in Nassau street.
Any commodity State in the Union, had it been a money-metal
State, would have fought as hard, as relentlessly, for redress of
a monstrous disparagement inflicted upon its product as upon
silver by the act of 1873, disabling it for its immemorial use as a
money remittance abroad and for melting without loss.
I do indeed think the silver-State Senators have made too little use, for their own sakes, of that theory of money which the
world owes to an event without precedent in history, the cessation of free bimetallic coinage, and to the immense discernment
and genius of Cernuschi, who also gave the word "bimetallism "
to our language and every solid argument to our great cause.
For my own part I shall have nothing to say on that subject
which I have not learned from his pamphlets, unless it is error
of my own. But if the money-metal State Senators are open to
some criticism there, how much more we, or some of us, from
the commodity States, who should have better learned our affected interests at the best source.
There is no commodity State in this Union whose pecuniary
interest is not at least as great in the stable parity of gold and
silver as the interest of any money-metal State, though a less
obvious interest.
That is not all. Every commodity State whose export product
competes in Europe with products f ronj. India, such as wheat and
cotton, has a direct pecuniary interest in the stable parity of
gold and silver incomputably greater than the pecuniary interest
of any money-metal State.
The demonstration was communicated by Mr. Cernuschi to Mr.
Secretary Manning, and was well employed by him in his second
report. It has .been discussed by the experts of the royal gold
and silver commission and the experts of Europe, and not one
syllable of that demonstration has yet been shaken.
The interest of New York in the gold and silver question, as
I have shown, is identical with the interest of every other State.
But the real community of interest between the money-metal
States and every other State is likewise undeniable.

There are just two more bad arguments for repeal that I had
nearly forgot to mention; the argument that repeal of the Sherman law will lock us up in gold monometallism and bolt the door
with poor Mr. Knox's fatuous work, the act of 1873.
That is the blind-in-one-eye argument, showing that the
Olvmpians have really been too busy to notice the joint resolution
of Doth parties—the people's mandate of free bimetallic coinage.

My very last discard is the pictorial argument for repeal, which
the Senate will please pardon, for, although it is not good enough
for them, it satisfied an excellent economist whose name I will
keep secret.
With immense illustrations these newspapers picture the silver
B 52

output as Amazon, Orinoco, Mississippi, and Ganges all in one
devastating flood.
Well, this, then, to educate our masters.
Every ounce of silver extant on the earth now, the total accumulation since their progenitors were apes or angels, as, the
case may be, if carried to the Acropolis at Athens and melted
in one block, would not half fill the famous Parthenon.

I shall now try to show the fatal contrariety between Treasury
purchases of silver and a free bimetallic coinage law. If the
proof holds, the Senate has reason enough to stop them finally.
One broad, considerate judgment ought in justice to be spoken
of the first Treasury silver purchases, by any competent critic
of them.
There was sincere hope that the silver might help us out in
fulfilling our two pledges, the pledge to redeem the greenbacks
in specie, and the pledge to pay them in specie.
There was a bold, patriotic purpose in buying and minting silver, even if that purpose overlooked that purchase means price,
that price means commodity, and that treatment of silver as a
commodity was derogation from its intrinsic rank as a money
metal. Gold has no price in the United States, having free
coinage. But silver has price. Silver purchases are a Government consent to prolong its derogation.
But above allf the Treasury silver purchases were anomalous
and without precedent. So was the cessation of free bimetallic
coinage in 1873. No such thing had ever happened before, and
the attempted redress was not more anomalous "than the error.
But that excuse for them fell when their failure was undeniable.
This is true of the Bland-Allison law. Much more is it true of
the wanton legal-tender expansion and the silver-purchase impotence that were made bedfellows in the Sherman law, with
the vain promise of a new-born parity of silver and gold.
Purchases were continued after being proved ineffectual; and
another new-fangled legal tender was added to that promissory
debt currency which the United States Supreme Court, before it
reversed its own decision, rightly adjudged unconstitutional. I
return from this digression in the past to my argument that silver purchases never can promote their professed object.

Gold is not purchased by the Government. It has free coinage
into full legal-tender money for the people who bring it, and no
matter how much. If melted, it has free recoinage into the
same amount of full legal-tender money again, without loss.
Those great populations which now as ever maintain the free
coinage of silver, do not purchase silver, in our fashion, by government. It is coined for the people, whoever brings it and no
matter how much, just as gold-coining nations deal with gold.
If the silver is melted for other uses, it loses nothing of its value,
for it is assured of recoinage into the same amount of full legaltender money again without loss.
Is it not clear then that our silver purchases are the polar opposite of free silver coinage? But they are worse than opposite;

they are effective contraries to free bimetallic coinage whatever their amount and whether minted or not.
If minted, as by the Bland-Allison law, they make a local accumulation of nonexportable money.
If they are not minted, but measure Treasury note issues, as
by the Sherman law, they likewise make an accumulation of nonexportable money. Too great accumulation of such money must
surely extrude gold, which is now our only exportable money.

Silver purchased, even if coined, monetizes no unpurchased
silver, and if not coined monetizes none at all.
Free coinage of silver is not the purchase of an ounce of silver.
Nor is free coinage of gold the purchase of anjrgold. The function of free coinage is to effect the monetization of all, but not
by the purchase of any.
Now, there is about the same aggregate of gold money as of
silver money in existence. The free coinage of silver has never
ceased, and will not cease, so far as human beings can now foresee. The free coinage of gold has never ceased and will not
Nations majr shift and change. This mint may be closed to
gold, as the mints of India once, or that mint may be closed to
silver, as the mint of Germany was.
But what ceased on the earth in 1873 was not free gold coinage, was not free silver coinage.
What ceased in 1873 was free bimetallic coinage, to wit, the
free coinage of silver and the free coinage of gold at the same
mint in a rated parity.
The two free coinages, elsewhere going on separately, lost
their virtual conjunction due to the two free coinages which till
then had gone on actually conjoined in one mint and one law.
Lost thereby was the parity of gold and silver.
A specified weight of gold, having free coinage into one monetary unit, no longer retained its former stable equivalence with
15i times its weight of silver having free coinage elsewhere into
another national monetary unit.
If the monetary unit had been bimetallic, thereafter the parity
of the franc in silver and the franc in gold, the parity of the!
silver dollar and the gold dollar was but a local parity, lost in
the crucible.

Silver purchases have not so ipuch as even a tendency to lay the _
foundations of universal parity between the silver dollar and the,T
gold dollar; for their renewed parity is impossible except,'as
before, concurrently with the parity of all gold and all silver,
which parity not only depends upon the monetization of each by
the offer of free coinage to each, which has always gone on somewhere, but also upon the rated parity of both "by the free coinage of both at a fixed weight ratio, to wit, upon free bimetallic
coinage which ceased in 1873,
What earthly relation has the purchase of silver to its parity
with gold?
What earthly relation has the purchase of gold to its parity
with silver?

The two halves of the money of the world, the gold half and
the silver half, together constitute the great money measure of
mankind—(though now for nineteen years dislocated by the novel
absence of free bimetallic coinage)—the one great bimetallic
money measure standing over against the total inventory of their

So that if all silver were put out of existence and the gold
doubled, the money measure would be the same, the convenience
of it vastly less. Subdivisional, small payments would everywhere require paper certificates. But free coinage of all gold
would constitute the whole of the yellow money metal the perfect money measure for mankind. All might not be brought for
coinage. All could be. All would be taken out of the category
of commodities and raised to the uniform level of the monetization.
Now,what could gold purchases do, gold being the sole money
metal, except transfer ownership?
So if all gold were put out of existence and the silver doubled,
again the money measure would be the same and the convenience
less. But free coinage of all silver would constitute the whole
of that white metal the still perfect money measure of mankind.
All would never be brought for coinage. All could be. Enough
would be brought for all payments to be made, and standard
bullion would be as precious as the same weight of coin, for all
would be taken out of the category of commodities and raised
to the uniform level of monetization.
What now could silver purchases do, silver being the sole
money metal, except transfer ownership.

Instead of $8,000,000,000 of gold with no silver, and instead of
$8,000,000,000 of silver with no gold, mankind has a better, a bimetallic money; in round numbers, say $4,000,000,000 of silver
and ^$4,000,000,000 of gold—a bimetallic money, although for the
moment lacking their ancient legal correlation.
What now is it conceivable that gold purchases or silver purchases can do, by transfer of ownership, more than in the monometallic cases I have imagined, when the money of mankind is
How can purchases of one money metal repair the lack of legal
correlation of the two money metals? Whence could come a
rated parity of both save by competent conjoined free coinage of
both, to wit: free bimetallic coinage?

Excepting a comparatively small amount in the arts and industries, all this gold is in monetary use and has free coinage
somewhere. Likewise all this silver is in monetary use, and has
free coinage somewhere.
Wherever free coinage of either metal exists, the metal of the
coin loses nothing in the crucible. It can be recoined into the
same money with no loss. This is just as true of silver as of
gold, under free coinage regimes. Liquid in the crucible or solid
in the coin, the weight and worth of the money metal remain
JJ 52

But what have silver purchases to do with that effect of free
What have silver purchases to do with that effect of free bimetallic coinage, which, besides establishing equality in crucible or coin for each of the two metals separately, also In all payments, establishes, at a ratioof weight, parity for both?
It is for these reasons that I would respectfully ask the Senators of the silver-producing States to consider whether a just
view of the particular interest of their constituents, whom they
so loyally represent, will not be soonest reached among all who
do not mine silver, by the disassociation of that money-metal
output from every/government relation first, and finally, from
every government relation except that which as with gold should
alone subsist in the United States, namely, free bimetallic coinage.

I pass on now to consider from the domestic side our own especial monetary difficulties entailed by the past and present operation of the Bland-Allison law and Sherman law. They are
serious. I shall not magnify them. I shall analyze them.
Payment is the function of money. Economy in effecting payments is the purpose of all the good private substitutes and
representatives of money.
No part of the circulating medium is used to circulate for the
sake of circulating. It circulates to effect payments, one after
another, then others and others and so on endlessly, wherever
commodities and services are bought and sold. It is the form of
wealth which few keep to enjoy. If kept it is to be ready for
use in payments and meanwhile may lose interest. To all other
satisfactions it is ministerial.
The operation of the Sherman law can be batter understood if
we bear in mind those two normal parts of the circulating medium
with which the business of highly civilized communities is carried on, by payments made. There is the actual money basis of
coin at the bottom and a vast private superstructure of representative or substitute currency and circulating credits, bank
notes, commercial paper, bills of exchange, acceptances, checks,
and these again represented and rerepresented in the record of
bank deposits and clearing-house exchanges.
It is every man's business to take care of his own debts and his
own credits in this private part of the circulating medium, conforming them to the general coin-money measure.
It is no part of the business of government to do more than
provide that solid money basis by free bimetallic coinage, nor to
inject its own debts into the circulating medium, and by their
bulk, irrelevance, and uncertain parity to imperil with alien risks
and irresponsible inequities the certainty of private payments
and the safety of private enterprise.

The most recent computation which I can find of the proportion between that foundation and that superstructure in the
business of the United States, makes the cash but 7.48 per cent

of the circulating medium. An analysis which excluded from
the cash all but gold and silver coin or their representative certificates, would doubtless apportion more than 9t> per cent to that
elastic part of the circulating medium.
Elasticity in the money measure is its worst fault. Elasticity
in the volume of circulating credits safely founded upon the
stable money measure of silver and gold, is as natural as breathing. and indispensable to commercial prosperity.
That vaster yolume varies with the seasons. For instance,
ev^ry fall buyers of our farmers' crops need funds in currency
capable of distribution in small sums among many sellers. Besides this annually recurrent increase, other variations of other
kinds occur, dependent upon states of business, states of the public mind, and circumstances sometimes of foreign, sometimes of
domestic origin.
These can not be predetermined, nor even conjectured. They
can safely be let alone, to rise and fall in perfect freedom, when
the money measure, gold and silver, is neither dislocated by the
absence of free bimetallic coinage nor debased with improper
forms of legal tender.

Our present legal unit of value is 25.8 troy grains'of standard
gold, called dollar. With that money measure, at need, at will,
every item in the huge superstructure, by whomsoever owned,
must conform and be exchangeable. In the private business of
the people of the United States there is, at the present time, no
lack of such conformity. As a whole, and certainly in your commercial metropolis, the business doing is safe and prudent. But
wrongly intermingled with the private business of the country
are the obligations, the payments, and the parities due under
acts of Congress and to be performed and maintained by the
Federal Treasury. These are onerous and difficult, yet upon
their successful continuous execution depends the vastly larger
volume of private business for its safety.
The disbursements of the Federal Tceasury amount annually
to $400,000,000, including $26,000,000
interest upon funded
debt. These disbursements are to be made, of course, in dollars
of conformable parity with the legal gold unit of value, and if
not made in dollars so esteemed by the payee, or (if tested, however suddenly and numerously) so found in every case to be convertible with gold dollars, the consequences to the Treasury
itself and to the business of the country at large would become
The Treasury can only disburse its receipts; but while it can
make no discrimination among the various so-called dollars of
its receipts when itself is the payee, it can not resist discrimination made by those whom it pays, except at the fatal cost of
disparagement to the dollars of every kind except that kind which
it withholds when called for.
The gold certificates and the silver certificates present no difficulty. They are not a legal tender. They are alike and most
meritorious in calling for nothing but the coin deposit which
the Treasury holds safe until so called for.
National-bank notes present no difficulty. They are not a
B 52

legal tender. The^ will conform to the gold unit of value, if the
Treasury performs its obligations.

But the ability of the Treasury to make satisfactory payments
from its very miscellaneous receipts, at the stated intervals upon
its funded debt, and in its daily disbursements apart from those
to its civil, military, and naval servants, and its pensioners, depends upon its ability to maintain the local parity of our local
law, between our legal gold dollar unit of value, and all other
so-called dollars of legal tender. Except these other dollars are
equal to and convertible with the gold unit of value at the unstinted will of the holder, the words " unit of value " lack meaning, or the application of the word "dollar" by Congress elsewhere is not a case of integrity.
However widely questioned, however rudely tested, parity with
the gold dollar and legal unit of value must be maintained by the
Secretary of the Treasury for three other kinds of so-called dollars; and of one, the silver dollar, he is not at liberty to support
the parity by free coinage.
1. Silver purchases minted since March 1,1878, $416,412,835.
2. Silver assignats issued under the Sherman law since July
14,1890, $125,000,000.
3. Demand notes, unpaid since 1863, redeemable in specie since
January 1, 1879, $346,681,016.
All these $888,000,000 are a legal tender of some sort, with perhaps an exception that I need not now discuss.,
The legal tender endowment in no way discharges the obligation to maintain their parity with the gold unit of value.
Had the silver dollars been with gold the outcome of free bimetallic coinage they would not be the instance of imparity for export or nonmonetary use that they are; they would be the vehicle itself of parity.
Such their imparity has therefore varied from 100 cents to 64
The debt dollars can in no way surely escape the risk of imparity, and variable imparity—past variations have ranged between 35 cents and 100 cents.
Widely questioned, rudely tested, how can parity of $888,000,000, all incapable of use in payments to foreign countries, be preserved with the gold dollar unit of value.
Obviously in but one way. By the ability of the Treasury to
verify and vindicate that parity with the gold unit of value by
paying this or that on call, at the creditor's choice, and redeeming where redemption is pledged.
What are the resources of the Federal Treasury?

It has a moderate working balance of ten to twenty million
gold dollars, which last month ran down to near $8,00^,000.
It has the $100,000,000 gold reserve allotted to maintain the
continuous redemption of 346,000,000 greenback dollars, and the
authority to increase the funded debt in order to maintain the
continuity of that particular redemption,
* Not 5 per cent of its customs receipts at New York during the
last ten days of December were in gold or gold certificates. I
B 52

do not suppose the proportion was nearly as much from its internal revenue.
And that is all.
Four years ago the Treasury had in gold $218,000,000. Our
gold basis has since dwindled by a hundred million dollars. During the last two and a half years, under the operation of the
Sherman law, one hundred and twenty-five millions have been
added to our debt-made-money demanding to be kept in parity
with the gold unit of value, and by the operation of the same law,
nigh fifty millions a year is the measure of the increase of that
difficulty, with no increase of our gold resources.

That private part of our circulating medium which I have
called the superstructure from its relation to the coin basis is
the part where contraction first takes place or expansion. It
shrinks when for any cause enterprise slackens. Distrust and
fear operate a shrinkage, confidence and security operate an enlargement, compared with which, whatever silver-purchase laws,
and even free-coinage laws may do to enlarge the circulating
medium is unimportant, arithmetically speaking, for these laws
do but touch the 71 per cent coin basis. Mens hopes and fears
operate upon the 92 per cent thereon dependent for stability
and validity. By restoring confidence and hope in respect to
the money basis, repeal of the Sherman law will create new private currencies daily, to a degree utterly dwarfing its own present monthly, mechanical accretions. , There is no need of finding
any substitute for these minor accretions. The vaster shrinkage will stop.

Revival of the Bland-Allison law would keep up the shrinkage. .
The Sherman law is undermining the power of the Treasury to
continue the discharge, if not of our debts, of our equally honorable parity obligations, is rending asunder into separable fragments our money basis, and is operating an enormous shrinkage
upon the business of the country and its total circulating medium.
One result of the distrust aroused by such increasingly difficult parities, the blight of enterprises, the dread of disaster, and
the consequent shrinkage has been the forcible extrusion and
export of gold. What other part of our currencies is exportable? And there is no way to make people use much more currency than is needed to effect payments. Kept, it loses interest.
Its function is to pay and to pass on, paying again. But the
blight of enterprise prevents hundreds and thousands of occasions for payments from arising which otherwise would employ
and retain larger amounts of currency in fuller circulation.

Distrust operates hot only at home butjabroad. Foreign investors instead of leaving here as usual, with mutual profit, some
good part of their quarterly or annual dividends for reinvestment,
direct their bankers here to remit, and of course much of that
remittance can only be in gold. Sales too of, our best securities
are ordered under the influence of the same distrust and much
of the remitted proceeds goes in gold. Thus ^he export and exB 52


trusion of the only exportable part of our money has both a local
and a general cause. Every intluence of contracting circulations
and every influence of exported gold, acts and reacts, so that
finally the trouble may touch a crisis and tlie Federal Treasury
itself (involved so needlessly) be powerless except to inflame the
cause and postpone the cure.
All this is now proceeding in the presence of a deficit in the
relation of our taxes to expense, an increasing drain from pensions, which the natural growth of taxes can not keep up with,
and the dread of a monetary panic universal.
A premium on gold would enhance every difficulty thus described, and would hurry us forward to silver monometallism,
to which our approach should at once be stopped by repeal of the
Sherman, law, because from an exclusive silver basis we would
have far less power to promote a general return in Europe to
free bimetallic coinage.
Such, as it seems to me. is the nature of our monetary danger
and difficulty regarded chiefly on the domestic side.

I have now, finally, only to consider the history of our eighty
years of perfect parity of gold and silver, accomplished by free
bimetallic coinage, and our last nineteen years of disparity dur, ing the absence of such" coinage, in order to show by the light
of that history why and how the mere repeal of the Sherman
law may be expected to promote* a return to that parity.
Gold is now by law the standard money metal in the United
States. Silver is not. Both political parties say that it shall
be: that both shall be.
The coinage of gold into full legal-tender money is free to
everybody, as it has been since 1792, while the. coinage of silver
into full legal-tender money, which was free to everybody f som
1792 to 1873, has not been free since 1873.
These are dates familiar to the Senate. I sometimes think
these dates and two great facts concurrent with these dates, if
figured on a chart and hungup in the banks, post-offices, railway
stations, and newspaper offices of Europe, would end the gold
and silver question, happily, forever.
During those eighty years from 1792 to 1873 gold and silver, at
a prevalent ratio of their free bimetallic coinage, had everywhere a stable parity. Write it as 100—100. Such a certain,
fixed, greater weight of silver, and such a certain, fixed, and lesser
weight of gold were equivalent to each other in any market.
The corn of either metal lost naught of its value by melting in
the crucible. Competent mints were open equally'to their free,
coinage and recoinage, at the same weight ratio, into the same


Those eighty year^were years of perfect parity between silver
and gold.
On the 6th of September, 1873, free bimetallip coinage ceased.
No matter how or why. The simple fact is enough.
During all the nineteen years from 1873 to 1893, free bimetallic
coinage has nowhere been renewed.
B 52

These nineteen years have been years of monetary chaos
throughout the world.
Our own dollar of gold and dollar of silver, tested by melting
in the crucibles, have exhibited unstable divergence from their
previous parity (100=100) in common with the silver'and the
gold of both hemispheres. Four dates will suffice to show the.
range of these convulsions of disparity.

Starting from the long stable parity of 151 weights of silver
and 1 weight of gold, throughout the century until 1873, we can
measure the subsequent disparity either as a depreciation of silver or as an appreciation of gold. Four dates suffice:
Silver Gold
dollar. dollar.

1890, August 19
1892, December 25




The same facts precisely, as they look where silver had free
coinage but gold not, appear in the next table:
Silver Gold
dollar. dollar.





Add to the record that these nineteen years of violent divergence, variable divergence from parity have no precedent in the
whole history of civilized man.
Slightly different contemporaneous ratios of parity in this nation's mintage and that nation's mintage ?
Yes; and consequent interchanges of the money metals between this nation and that. Thus the United States lost all their
gold before 1834 and all their silver after 1834.
Slowly widening ratio of parity, general in the course of ages?
But convulsions of disparity, universal world-wide convulsions
of disparity in the absence of a fixed ratio of parity prevalent
under the free bimetallic coinage of some powerful nation?
Never before 1873.
Again I say, numberless years of free bimetallic coinage and
the stable parity of silver and gold.
Nineteen years of no free bimetallic coinage, and no parity of
silver and gold—on the contrary, utterly unprecedented and violent disparity.
Such are the recorded facts. Such is history.

The most instructive fact I find in the nineteen-year record of
convulsions is that they have diminished and contracted toward
the previous parity simultaneously with the rising hope df free
B 52

bimetallic coinage to be resumed by the United States and have
widened further and further away from the previous parity concurrently with the fading of the hope of free bimetallic coinage
to be resumed by the United States.
I am merely stating a historical fact. Look at the figures of
the four dates. Observe also that those recorded relations at
four dates, of the melted silver dollar and the melted gold dollar, are exactly the same of all the ^old and silver bullion of the
old world and the new.
In one twelvemonth their disparity contracts toward the previous parity, from 72=100 to 94=100, pari passu with the growing hope. Then, after the date of the Sherman silver purchase
law, as the hope of free bimetallic coinage by the United States
has been fading out of men's minds, further and further away
from parity, wider and wider stretched the divergence from
parity, of the whole gold stock and the whole silver stock of all
nation^, tested by the crucible.
From 94=100 the disparity widened, till now, in this our slough
of despond, it is 64 = 100. The weights of the silver dollar and
the gold dollar meanwhile unchanged, their disparity in the
crucible has come to that.
If the hope and the despair of free bimetallic coinage by the
United States did so much, what would our actual return to free
bimetallic coinage do?

A second and a third instructive fact I find in this record.
There has been no such up-and-down in the general average cost
of the annual money-metal output. The varying disparity is irrelevant to any change in the " cost of production."
I commend that instruction to those political economists who
neglect to comprise in their great science the science of money.


Moreover, there has been, as the Mint Director's reports show,
no decreased supply of silver, or increased supply of gold, corresponding to and explaining the small 6 per cent disparity of
There has been, on the other hand, as the Mint Director's reports show, in the next two years no increased supply of silver
or decreased supply of gold corresponding to and explaining the
huge 36 per cent disparity of 1892.
But the general hope and expectation of free bimetallic coinage to be resumed by the United States, has so arisen and so fallen.
The supply and demand law, which applies to commodities and
to the fluctuations of their prices, is obviously irrelevant to the
money metals and these sudden convulsions, toward parity and
away from parity.

One other instructive fact appears in the record of these last
nineteen years of convulsions due to the dislocation of Silver
money and gold money, which were once as closely linked as if
the one bimetallic money of mankind Were one monometallic
There has been no corresponding increase or decrease of use

of either mone^ metal to explain the law of their varying: divergence from parity during dislocation.
Therefore when Mr. Secretary Foster crossed over to arrange
a monetary conference to discuss "increased use of silver," he
might well have said "better use of gold and silver."
The gold and silver of the world are always all in use somewhere, somehow, and mostly in monetary use, actually effecting
payments daily, or measuring the various representatives and
substitutes by which, economizing money, mankind effect payments.
There is national monetary use of silver; there is international
monetary use of silver.
There is national use of gold and international.
Not increased use of either money metal is our need; but correlated use.

Thatgreat aggregate money measure,so conveniently divisible,
of the wealth of mankind,consists,asIhavesaid,of about $4,000,000,000 worth of silver money plus say $4,000,000,000 worth of
gold money. Neither of the two moieties now dislocated is disused or fails to contribute some support to the current range and
present plane of all commodity prices.
Does the world's gold stock count for nothing in the silver
price of wheat and cotton in Asia? Is the silver price of wheat
and cotton in India out of all relation to the silver price of other
commodities and services there?
Does the world's silver stock count for nothing in the gold
price of wheat in Duluth and of cotton in New Orleans? Are
the prices of wheat and of cotton here irrelevant to the price of
a day laborer's toil in San Francisco or New; York?
The phenomenon is dislocation of two parts of one money
measure; not disuse, actual or possible, o£ either part.

Free silver coinage in many mints has continued -throughout
these nineteen years, and in many other mints free gold coinage. But how should separate free coinages do the work of free
bimetallic coinage for eighty years—the work of parity?
Our own fifteen-year concubinage of purchased silver and freecoinage gold—how should that restore their married &tate, how
should that prevent their divergence from parity attaining its
present maximum?
Local parity of its gold coin with its silver coin, upheld severally throughout each of the once bimetallic states of Europe and
America, including the United States—what could that do to
restore international parity to the outlying metals, or how enable the local parity of national coins anywhere to stand the test
of the crucible?

Everything has been done except the old, the only thing.
Coupling at a fixed ratio, the two free coinages, that of gold and
that of silver, long created their perfect parity; while it continued parity continued; when free bimetallic coinage ceased, parity ceased. The gold half of the world's money was dislocated
from the silver half. When their coupling in a competent free

bimetallic coinage shall be renewed, their stable parity will be
There is no reason in history or science to suppose that anything can establish parity of the two money metals except the
free bimetallic coinage which created and maintained their
There is no reason in history, science, or common sense to call
it an " experiment" or to fear it would fail.
The most perfect and unfluctuating parity of gold and silver
ever known, a parity stable and prevalent within any nation using both metals and between all nations using either or both,
owed origin and efficacy to the free bimetallic coinage law of
one nation and one alone. There was trepidation in the souls of
two or three good men when California and Australia gave up
their new gold to mer^e with the old silver and gold of mankind,
but there was no trepidation in that parity.
Neither national nor international free bimetallic coinage is
an "experiment," for it is history that each has kept stable the
parity of gold and silver throughout the world.

I have said nothing as yet upon our choice between endeavor
toward free bimetallic coinage independently, or with foreign
Obviously the choice is quite indifferent provided that our
free bimetallic coinage independently were successful in making
prevalent everywhere one ratio of parity between all gold and
all silver.
Free bimetallic coinage executed in the mints of one nation
must be effective internationally by the prevalence of its ratio
universally or it has no reason for existence.

IT must be competent free bimetallic coinage, actually making
our silver in the white dollar, everywhere equivalent to the gold
in the yellow dollar and vice versa. It will not do to fail of parity
on either side even in the way we failed when before 1873 our
gold dollar being worth 100 our Bilver dollar was worth 103.
Some fool might be Secretary of the Treasury and not know
that the trouble was a conflict of mint ratios.
I say competent free bimetallic coinage, for it is as sure that
Switzerland could not alone maintain it for all the world as that
France did.

My own personal conviction is clear that with adequate preparation, revised laws, and competent administration and friendly
administration, independent free bimetallic coinage would be
within the power of the United States to establish and maintain;
and for my own part I should far prefer that solution, with no
entangling foreign alliances or agreements, to any international
arrangement whatsoever.
W e do not half realize the overwhelming power of the United
States. To have survived the finance of the last thirty years is
proof of our stupendous resources and our independent power.
Merely to have lived through two and a half years of the Sherman silver-purchase and Treasury-note issue law without an aoB 52

tual smash; just to have escaped without our farmers and planters bleeding to death by the postponement of free bimetallic
coinage is proof enough what adequate preparation, revised
laws, and competent administration might have achieved for us
and for all the world in that behalf.
I regret this delay profoundly, but we can not shut our eyes to
Would that the Columbian anniversary might have been celebrated by that world-wide demonstration of our independent
To those vVho can perceive what Mr. Gladstone has called the
unseen and higher objects of human endeavor, even the vast assemblages and the multifarious collections of the Chicago Fair,
would in comparison have appeared like a children's crowded
garden and baby playhouses filled with toys.
Until recently I cherished a hope of that inspiring exhibition
of our unseen power, and then wrote these words:
Our great Republic halts upon the threshold of hernoble destiny, distrusts
her capacity to compete In her own markets or in foreign markets for
primacy in the commerce of the world, and tightens the fetters of her tariff;
misdoubts her power to reunite the two uncoupled international currencies
of the world in a rated stable parity, and piles up new loads of disparaged
unexpor table'silver. Surely it behooves the foremost nation of the world
to shake off this bondage of fears and put forth her peaceable Invincible

But that hope is at present a vain hope.
The reduction of net gold in the Treasury by a hundred million
dollars during the last four years from $218,000,000 in 1888 to the
bare $100,000,000 gold reserve for the $346,000,000 greenbacks
and a small working Treasury Department balance; the addition
of $125,000,000 to our paper legal-tender debt since July, 1890,
concurrently with the like reduction of our gold basis; the absence of a single dollar in gold to uphold^ if it were widely questioned and rudely tested, the local legal parity of $410,412,835 silver dollars coined since March 1; 1878, with the gold unit of
value established by the law of 1873, constitutes a financial record, improvident, incapable, and beyond all words disgraceful
to any civilized nation—how much more to this mighty people
able to be rich and powerful beyond compare.

Coming at the tail of thirty years of like detestable finance it
excludes the present possibility of the United States alone undertaking independently to establish and maintain a free bimetallic coinage, except at the expense of some increase of gold
bonded debt, which, instead of insuring our future prosperity by
the solid inauguration of free bimetallic coinage, is now threatened as another costly sacrifice to stave off the cumulative perils of the Sherman law. Moreover, to free bimetallic coinage
by international agreement we are now shut up by the action
of both political parties in nominating two candidates, and by
the election of one, who had previously avowed their approval
of free bimetallic coinage, subject to the condition of foreign cooperation.
X consider that the people of the United States are as much
bound by their own ac,t novy to the prior effort for obtaining forB 53

eign cooperation as they are bound by the joint resolution of the
two parties together to press forward to the common goal.

The sole obstacle to foreign cooperation is Great Britain.
Our delegates to three monetary conferences, and our special
commissioner to the three great powers, in 1885, all have
brought back concurrent>testimony that France and Germany
regard the cooperation of Great Britain as sine qua non to their
cooperation in free bimetallic coinage, and that Great Britain
hitherto has seen, and as yet sees, no reason to change her
It is therefore obvious that the occasion £or monetary conferences with European powers is past,1 and that the time for
action suited to influence Great Britain has arrived.

Conferences have sufficiently published the bimetallic theory
which has conquered the assent of the few great monetary experts of all nations, and which is unpopular in Great Britain, because for three or four generations free silver coinage has been
discontinued in London, whereas it is popular and approved, in
the United States from its easy and successful working in pz*actice during three-fourths of the whole period of the life of our
To Englishmen who say that a free bimetallic coinage law can
not fix the rated parity qf silver and gold, we have answered^
For eighty years it did. To Englishmen who say that silver
mines are more prolific now, and so the adopted parity could not
be kept, we have replied: The total bimetallic money measure
is all silver plus all gold, joined in a rated parity; is inappreciably enlarged by the small annual increment from both metals:
is indifferent to the proportion arriving from either output; and
received a greater increment for years from the gold of California and Australia, which was merged in the bimetallic money
mass without disturbance of the parity and with boundless advantage to mankind; so that any possible increase of the silver
output is wholly beneficent, at first to miners but vastly more to
the producers of commodities; is equally sure of merger in the
money mass, and if its present dislocation were ended by the renewal of free bimetallic coinage whereby the greater gold increment was received without disturbance of the parity (because
the gold monometallists of to-day who were silver monometallists
then were prevented from boycotting gold), it would end nineteen
years of commercial depression and monetary disorder and in
like manner renew the prosperity and arouse the enterprise of
the world.
It is therefore not a military invasion and a burning of her
capital that srfould now be prepared for Great Britain by the
United States, by ceasing from conference and taking action to
constrain her cooperation in free bimetallic coinage. On the
contrary it is the invasion of Great Britain and Europe with a
message of peace and good will.
By meank of free bimetallic coinage the United States were
able to confer upon all nations the boundless benefits of the gold
of California. By means of free bimetallic coinage we shall be
B 52

able to confer upon all nations in the same manner the unbounded
benefits of the silver and gold of Color ado,, Nevada, Wyoming,
Idaho, New Mexico, and Arizona.
The time for conference, I say, is past. The time for independent action is come, unless the Senators from the money-metal
States propose not only to abstain, as they must, from independ1
ent free bimetallic coinage, but also to abstain as they need not
from such independent action by the United States as will entail
free bimetallic coinage by international cooperation.

Repeal of the Sherman law is the only action in my opinion
needed, to test and fulfill the endeavor to reach free bimetallic
coinage by the route of interhational agreement;
That is the point upon which all I have said or shall say converges.
W e shall not have endeavored to establish cooperative international free bimetallic coinage until we have stopped all Treasury silver purchases;
W e shall not have put forth one arm of our power until we
have repealed the Sherman law unconditionally.
It is the actual influence and probable effect in Great Britain
of our unconditional repeal of the Sherman silver-purchase law
that I am now to ask the Senate to consider.

From the date of the adoption of the French ratio of free bimetallic coinage, making 15i weights of silver and I weight of
gold, when coined, legal tender for payment of an identical sum,
from that date, 1785, down to the cessation of free bimetallio
coinage in the last mint then open to it, September 6, 1873, the
£old in British sovereigns and 151 times its weight of silver
in Indian rupees were everywhere equally acceptable in payments. Never during that period was there one instant of these
nineteen year long convulsions of disparity between silver, and
gold, not even amid the shock of tumbling thrones and contending empires.
Rippling fluctuations in that bimetallic parity, few and slight,
wherever they occurred, were to be explained as identical with,
or analogous to, the rippling fluctuations in the differing contemporaneous values of identical weights of pure gold on the two
sides of the Atlantic to-day. Free gold coinage does not prevent
these. Free bimetallic coinage had no concern to pre vent those.
They have all been tracked, tabulated, and explained by the
masters of foreign exchange.
The gold in our eagle is one day worth more ip. London than
in New York by some small percentage. It is exported. The
gold in a sdvereign is on one day worth more in New York than
in London, by some small percentage. It is imported. But
there is a fixed limit to these mere ripples of fluctuation. It is
the limit of the cost of transfer, freight, insurance, brokerage.
The variations in the diverse value of the same monometallic
coi^s, though identical in weight and fineness, on the two sides
of the Atlantic, or between any two foreign markets, are always tethered by the cost of transfer hither and thither.
Precisely the same ripples of fluctuation occurred to silver and
B 52

gold during their free bimetallic coinage, and just so were they
tethered, no matter how complicated in the commercial exchanges between monometallic nations or between these and bimetallic nations.
Such is the record in Hamburg, London, and Paris, with every
flutter in quotations fully accounted for.

In 1816 Great Britain stopped the free coinage of silver in London while continuing there the free coinage of gold. But the
value of gold sovereign and silver rupee underwent no new variation. At the cost of transfer, sometimes high, if collection
and transfer were difficult, sometimes low, but always tethered,
silver had often to be got for a foreign remittance by the British merchant. But the free bimetaliic coinage of France maintained the gold of the sovereign and the silver of the rupee in
the same fixed parity as that in which her own franc of gold
and franc of silver were maintained.
The silver in the rupees that were equivalent to the gold in
the sovereign always weighed fifteen and a half times as much.
Fluctuations of exchange were correspondent in the two metals
and were precisely likewise tethered. This long history of the
stable parity of gold and silver due to free bimetallic coinage in
France British merchants asnribed at last to the British constitution, British commerce, the nature of things, relative intrinsic value, cost of production, supply and demand.

Who 11 the real cause, free bimetallic coinage, ceased in 1873,
and thereupon rippling exchange fluctuations were swallowed
up in the violent convulsions of two dislocated, disjoined, monometallisms, the British merchant and banker continued to apply
their misapprehensions of the cause of the old order of things to
the facts in the new order.
Just as now, they imagine Americans want something else from
free bimetallic coinage than equivalence of silver dollar and gold
dollar, equivalence of silver franc and gold franc, equivalence of
10 rupees or so and one gold sovereign; so then they believed the
stable parity of silver in the rupee and gold in the sovereign from
1816 to 1873 (as recorded in the rippling fluctuations of the Indian
exchanges), and which parity was identical with the parity of
the silver franc and the gold franc, to be due to something else
than the sole cause of that parity, the frea bimetallic coinage of
I fear that our silver purchases only confirmed their illusions,
only made them hug tighter their pound sterling fetich.
Insular, they mistook their entire dependence on French coinage legislation for independence of all the world.
Provincial, whilst yet conducting the greatest single part of
the world's commerce, they clung to the concomitant of great
prosperity as if the concomitant had baen its cause.
But perhaps it isnotquite becoming for us to cast reproaches.
I have heard it contended that our protective tariffs which have
been the concomitant of our prosperity, we 'e its cause.
It is enough to say that Englishmen at that time perfectly jus£52

tified the recent description of them by Mr. Gladstone saying
no ?ace stands In greater need of discipline in every form, and among other
forms, that which is administered by criticism vigorously directed to canvassing their character and claims.

Certainly no person of that insular and hidebound race had
the sense to appreciate the great discernment of Mr. Disraeli
when in the very year of the cessation of free bimetallic coinage
he publicly sai<J:
Our gold standard is not the cause but the consequence of our prosperity.
Tt is quite evident that we must nowprepare ourselves for great convulsions
in the money market, not occasioned by speculation or any of the old causes
which have been alleged, but by a new cause with which we are not sufficiently acquainted.

After nearly twenty years of needless suffering it turns out
the world moves a little. Public opinion advances slowly in
Great Britain as here* Increasing numbers of British statesmen, all Ireland, the leaders among the farming class in England, Scotland, and Wales, the manufacturers and merchants of
Lancashire, all who buy or sell between England and India, and
all Indian civil servants, are leavening the lump of English
Out of a revenue collected from the people of India in silver,
the Indian Government has to make very heavy annual payments
in London, fixed in gold, the burden and amount increasing
in an almost geometrical progression therefore with every increase of their disparity.
The Indian exchanges of course follow with exactly equal step
the distending or the diminishing divergences of gold and silver.
When with the rising hope that the United States would independently restore free bimetallic coinage, this divergence of gold
and silver has diminished, then the approach of the rupee and
the sovereign to the rate of their old parity has consoled so many
sufferers, in Great Britain, that they have ceased to clamor for
the permanent and effectual relief that can only be afforded by
the cause of that fixed parity, free bimetallic coinage.
When with the falling hope of its renewal by the United States
the divergence of gold and silver has increased, and the rupee
and the sovereign have parted wider and wider from the rate of
their old parity, then the sufferers have made themselves heard
again, ana have stirred up the mass of their fellow-citizens to
attention and sympathy.

The cause of free bimetallic coinage has made strides in Great
Britain just in proportion as silver has parted farther from its
former mint ratio with gold. The silver incomes have contracted
and the annual gold debt of India to England has been a heavier
burden to the taxpayers of Hindostan, exacting larger sums in
their only money, silver, while silver was diverging farther
from gold. The'evidence is uniform and irresistible that the
limit of tolerable taxation in India, the limit of endurable suffering in Great Britain on the part of those affected by the dislocation of the gold money and the silver money of the British
Empire is already reached.
Repeal of the Sherman law will certainly abandon Great Britain

to the untempered shocks of the two dislocated monometallisma
and their utter lack of legal correlation. In that event the instruction will appear and be plain, which pur silver purchases
have so long concealed, that the rupee sovereign dislocation is
kindred, common, and concurrent with our silver dollar and gold
dollar dislocation, with the dislocation of the silver money and
the gold money of all nations.

I have now only to make clear why repeal of the Sherman
law, why independent action by the United States, abandoning
at last the two dislocated free coinages to the unmitigated shocks
of an utter absence of legal relation, will arrive to the address
of Great Britain with any especial and particular force.
It is certain that the present monetary disorder will not thereby
be increased in Germany, France, or any other European nation,
nor (leaving aside the silver miners) in the United States.
How is Great Britain especially exposed, how is she exposed
as no other nation of the world is exposed, to the consequences
of repeal of the silver-purchase law?

Here is the fact, well known to all the Senate, but upon which
our reflection should now most deeply dwell.
Many mints, as I have said, are now open to tl^e free coinage of
silver. Many mints are now open to the free coinage of gold.
But in no other one kingdom, in no other one State, in no other
one empire, only in the British Empire, do there now coexist
the two separate free coinages—the free coinage of silver as at
Calcutta into full legal-tender money and the free coinage of
gold as at London into full legal-tender money.
Neither there nor elsewhere are the two free coinages coupled
in a free bimetallic coinage. But there and there alone?exists,
in one empire, the free coinage of two metallic monetary units,
the gold sovereign and the silver rupee, actually unrelated and
without legal parity fixed by law.
The lost parity of gold and silver within and between all nations is the universal monetary disorder. It is international
everywhere. In the British Empire, with its two unrelated free
coinages, the disorder is worse; it is intestinal.

Some action by Great Britain, if we repeal the Sherman law,
at once becomes unavoidable.
Other European nations can take their time. Not so Great
If the Sherman silver law is repealed the United States Treasury
will have no new difficulty. It will be relieved of its greatest
danger, the danger of a run on its gold. The silver already
coined will be kept in its merely local and national parity (412.5
troy grains of silver equaling 25.8 troy grains of gold) just as
easily when the white metal is worth no more in the crucible
than 33 cents as now when it is worth but 64 cents. It will not
be melted; it will merely remain, as now, impossible for a foreign remittance. It will remain for a little longer so many metallic assignats.
But that which we can endure and which France and Germany
B 52

can endure Great Britain could not endure, for the reason that
she alone is giving free coinage in one empire to two metallic
monetary units not related by law.
Her condition will at once become intolerable because of the
immediate wider and wider disparity and the convulsive disparity of Indian silver money and British gold money.
Her intolerable condition will also admit of instant relief and
complete relief, but in no way under heaven save by the resumption of free bimetallic coinage.

The choice of Great Britain will be between two courses, one
of instant complete relief, the other of delay and disaster, increasing and remediable finally in just one way. For gold money
will not cease to be the principal money basis of the colossal
superstructure of private currencies in Great Britain; and silver will not cease to be the chief currency of that vast Indian
possession, comprising more than one-seventh of the population
of the globe.

1. Great Britain can invite the United States to consider a
cooperative resumption of free bimetallic coinage.
Stable parity of gold in the sovereign and silver in the rupee,
of the silver franc and the gold franc, of the silver dollar and the
gold dollar, will be the result.
2. Great Britain can stop the free coinage of silver in Calcutta
with recognized peril to her Indian Empire. For such is the
warning ol more than one of her recent viceroys.
Face to face with that unavoidable choice, in my belief Great
Britain will choose promptly and choose wisely.
Until by repeal of the Sherman law we bring Great Britain
face to face with that unavoidable choice choosing can be
I have detained the Senate far too long, but I had no wish to
deal with anything less than the whole theme in its chief bearings; and I hope I have been terse since I could not be brief.
One word more. A t present there, is no other route to free
bimetallic coinage than this international route. Inaction for
long will be very costly to our silver producers and will close
many mines.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. The , hour of 1 o'clock having arrived, it is the duty of the Chair to lay before the Senate the
unfinished business, which will be stated.
The C H I E F C L E R K . A bill ( S . 2068) extending relief to Indian
citizens, and for other purposes.
Mr. MANDERSON. Having charge of the bill that is the
unfinished business, I ask that it be temporarily laid aside so
that the Senator from New York may continue his remarks.
Mr. HILL. I will finish in about five minutes.
Mr. MANDERSON. A t the close of the remarks of the Senator from New York, I shall be very glad to finish the consideration of the unfinished business.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. Is there objection to the request of
the Senator from Nebraska? The Chair hears none, and the
Senator from New York will proceed.


Mr. HILL. But I would rather proclaim aloud than hide the
fact that the silver producers by repeal of the Sherman law must
prepare to endure for a season diminished returns for their output.
That price must be paid, I fear, to explode the false idea of
our own and foreign gold monometallists that our sincere desire
for a great monetary reform is a mere job of American silver
That price must be paid, I fear, to shatter the one foreign obstacle in the one path not now closed toward free bimetallic coinage, namely, the international path.
That price must be paid, I fear, to bring home to British business and ^osoms that there is no escape from her intestinal disorder except by restoring what Prance alone long gave to all
nations—free bimetallic coinage—one money of two metals, one
parity, and international monetary peace.
That price must be paid, I fear, to allay and remove the discontent, the just and grave discontent of our farming and planting fellow-citizens. I have explained its cause. It is the obscure
but causing cause of the Farmers' Alliance and the Populist
Two and a half years ago, when the act was passed by the Senate, it met with the opposition of every vote upon this side of the
Chamber. If the question had been presented the next day
whether the law should be repealed there can be no question
that all Senators upon this side of the Chamber would have voted
for the repeal. I think nothing has taken place from that day
to this to furnish a reason why all of us on this side of the Chamber at least may not vote in favor of a repeal of the act which it
was then thought should not be placed upon the statute book.
Since that time the supreme council of our great Democratic
party has met and one of the first planks in the platform is that
the Democratic party stands pledged to the repeal of the Sherman law. I think the party should live up to its pledge. I
know there will be some revulsion, I know there will be some
discontent, I know that silver-miners'interests will be disturbed;
but, as I said, that price must be paid, I fear, to wreck forever
the efforts of any rapacious gold monometallists who would fain
double the debts of our people by discarding half the money
measure, on the pretense that there is probably too much silver
under ground and that the only quite universal money metal is
just the one to get rid of.
That price must be paid, I fear, since the money metals are
farther diverged from their old parity to-day than ever they
were before the silver Senators consented to put their virgin
metal into unholy alliance with the rag-money tramp, so tarnishing her good name.
If the Senators from the money-metal States at the present
session of Congress, with sacrificing and disinterested thought
for the general welfare of the whole people of the United States,
shall unite to repeal at once the Sherman law, they will compel
persistence by both parties in behalf of free bimetallic coinage
and its perfect parity of the silver and gold dollar, they will
B 52

surely reestablish the people's right, conclude with the people's
favor, and survive in their remembrance.
I submit the matter to be appended to my remarks.
The VICE-PRESIDENT. The matter referred to will be
printed, if there be no objection.
The Democratic party of the State of New York, in convention assembled,
renews the pledge of Its fidelity to the great cause of tariff reform and to the
whole Democratic faith and tradition, as affirmed in our national platforms
from 1876 to 1888, as well as in our State platforms, concurrent with the opening of Governor Tilden's brief and the close of Governor Hill's long, thrice
approved, and alike illustrious service in the chief magistracy of the Empire
First. Gold and silver the only legal tender; no currency inconvertible
with coin.
"Second. Steady steps toward specie payments; no step backwards.
" Third. Honest payment of the public debt in coin; sacred preservation
of the public faith.
"Fourth. Revenue reform, Federal taxation for revenue only; no Government partnership with protected monopolies.
"Fifth. Home rule, to limit and localize most jealously the few powers intrusted to public servants, municipal and Federal; no centralization.
" Sixth. Equal and exact justice to all men; no partial legislation; no partial taxation.
"Seventh. Th6 Presidency is a public trust, not a private perquisite; no
third term.
" Eighth. Economy in the public expense, that labor may be lightly burdened."
" We now, as then, steadfastly adhere to the principles of a sound finance.
" We are against the coinage of any silver dollar which is not of the intrinsic value of every other dollar of the United States.
" W e therefore denounce the new Sherman silver law,under which onetenth of our gold stock has been exported, and all our silver output is
dammed up at home as a false pretense but actual hindrance of return to
free bimetallic coinage, and as tending only to produce a change from one
kind of monometallism to another.
" We therefore unite with the'friends of honest money everywhere in stigmatizing the Sherman progressive silver-basis law as no solution of the gold
and sliver question, and as a fit appendix to the subsidy and bounty swindle,
the McKlnley worse than war tariff, the Blaine reciprocity humbug, the
squandered surplus, the advancing deficit, the defective census and falsified
representation, and the revolutionary procedures of the billion Congress, all
justly condemned by the people's great uprising last November (1890)—a
vetdict which, renewed next year (1892), will empower Democratic statesmen to guide the people's councils and to execute the people's will."
The Democrats of New York recall with proud memory the inflexibly
sound finance of Governor Tilden, who not only administered the State
government with frugality, but who also, with unequalled ability and unflagging resolution, demanded a thorough reform of tariff taxation, and likewise, with a statesman's energy and foresight, assailed the shameless degredation of our greenback currency and led the Democratic party in pushing
on the compulsory Republican advance to a current coin redemption, if not
also to that coin payment of the same, whereto, as well, u the faith of the
United States fe solemnly pledged."
The Democrats of New York refer with grateful pride to the inflexibly
sound finance of Governor Hill, who by efficient economy throughout his
long administrative career has accomplished the practical extinction of our
State debt, has faithrully urged with a powerful and practiced advocacy the
nation's release from the bondage of unequal, unnecessary, and unjust taxation, imposed by the tariff of 1883, and the repeal of the superadded impositions of the two McKlnley laws; and likewise with a statesman's energy
and true foresight of tbe70-cent dollar pushing for birth In the body of the

Sherman sliver law, lias taken up the people's cause, assailed the Republican degradation of the people's silver money, and led the advance of the
Democratic party of New York with unfaltering steps to that solid ground
of high justice and equity upon which they stand to-day, absolutely without
discord or division in this behalf, "demanding'* with him " that every dollar coined in these United States shall be the equal of every other dollar so
coined, and demanding the redress of their present shameless inequality."
The new monetary legislation of Congress, as exemplified in the recent silver act, redoubles the latest, repeats the earliest, and perpetuates the worst
of those errors which for nearly thirty years have made unsound finance a
daily national instruction and honeycombed the Constitution with Republican law. Instead of executing the granted power to coin the people's gold
and silver into money, instead of effecting its circulation by gold and silver
certificates strictly representative of coin, dollar for dollar, this Republican
Congress has now managed, without the excuse of war or the pretense of necessity, to add another new-fangled legal tender to that promissory debt currency which the United States Supreme Court, before it was packed to reverse
its own de6ision, rightly adjudged illegal.
After twelve years'failure by compulsory Treasury silver purchases to promote free bimetallic coinage at home or abroad, the Republican party is
trying to deceive the people by the claim of having settled what it calls "the
silver question." The assumption is as unwarranted as it is deceiving. The
recent legislation of Congress is merely a temporary expedient. It will give
permanent satisfaction nowhere. It puts a heavier strain upon our resources
than free bimetallic coinage without foreign cooperation would do and obstructs our progress towards that end which we all desire to reach—the free
coinage of gold and silver under a proper international ratio.
In order to give internationally to our ratio, 16, it would be necessary to
obtain beforehand the concordant votes of all the states of the European
continent and the simultaneous recoinage of the gold francs, the gold marks,
the gold florins, the gold rubles, while the single vote of Congress in favor
of the general European ratio, 15J, and the recoinage of a single piece,
namely our silver dollar, should be sufficient for realizing everywhere an
identical bimetallic ratio. Congress persists in making sixteen gold dollars
weigh the same as one silver dollar, while 15£ is the monetary ratio between
gold and all the enorm ous stocks of silver coins existing in Prance, in Holland, in Spain, in Austria, in Germany, and in Russia.
Congress thus with blundering incompetence actually prepares either a
future conflict of mint ratios, such as twice already swept the United States
clean of its monetary metals, first of gold and then of silver, or else it casts
away to foreign hands that large profit incident to the recoinage, which,
either here or in Europe, must precede to make possible tree bimetallic
coinage at one ratio on both sides of the Atlantic.
In one act a Republican Congress has thus usurped a more than doubtful
power, which, if lawful, it has worse than unwisely used; has repulsed a
popular demand for restoration of our monetary unit, which tUl 1873 was
bimetallic, with free coinage alike to silver and to gold, and has interposed
new hindrance to a single and fixed weight ratio of, parity for the gold^ind
silver of the world's commerce, which is a rational solution of the silver
question if commerce remains international and universal.
Mr. Chairman, State officers, and friends, these are the times that tinmen's souls. The hour of parting from the comrades of a long and arduous
labor has come.
Never again quite the same group.
New commands summoning one or another of us to a distant field, to a
new service.

Never again the same shoulder to shoulder and touch all around.
A link broken; the group changed.
It Is not times of strife-wither physical, moral, or political—that test
men's fortitude. Most men take to contention like babies to their mother's
milk. Of course, there are some who prefer placid lives. I have heard of
men calling themselves scholars and believing themselves in politics who
hate nothing so much as the boisterous high seas that keep American freedom salt and pure.
But most of us, I am afraid, measure our solid comfort by the contentions
which absorb our active powers; and unless we found ourselves, now and
then, standing dauntless and unwearied, knee-deep in a jungle of the shafts
of calumny (political calumny) and the broken arrows of bowmen who had
missed their mark, I suppose we should have the sensation of discomfort
and complain of cold feet.
No; I can not believe it la times of peril or of strife that try men's souls.
It is parting from the tried and true comrades of a long day that wrenches
the heartstrings.







At Elmira, taking your Saratoga platform for my commission and my
chart, countersigned as it is with the great seal of the Empire State—taking
that platform of yours which so grandly, so wisely insures the firm union
upon the high safe ground,-of all Democrats, East and West, North ana
South—I endeavored to apply its precepts to the present political situation.
I called attention to the fact that the purpose of the leaders of the billion
Congress, in all their revolutionary procedures, had been to lift their revolutionary legislation for many months, and, if possible, for years, beyond
he reach of popular reversal.
I called attention to the fact that the overturn of the billion Congress by an
Immense popular uprising, by the election of 237 Democratic Representatives
out of 332 would not enable one new line to be written by the present Congress in the Federal laws.
But the acts of the bUlion Congress are now a part of the Federal statutes.
There they stand, flagrant—intolerable. The Senate, or the House, or the
Executive, can prevent change. Two of the three being Republican, actual
lawmaking to redress Republican wrongdoing is doubly barred. No repeal,
no change except what perfectly suits the Republican wrongdoer.
The House can compel frugality in current appropriations. Speaker CRISP,
Judge HOLMAN, and all our good Democrats in both Houses will see to that.
But Mills bills, Morrison bills, single bills, general bills, repeal bills, all
alike, are sure to be halted at the Senate threshold and slaughtered in committee.
Because Republicans, though quite as powerless as we, now to pass new
laws, can sit still, do nothing, vet keep, at least till the 4th of March, 1893, all
they got by the acts of the billion Congress—and the chance of saving thereafter their main booty, saving their tariff for protection's sake in place of a
tariff for revenue only, with protection incidental, saving their bounty and
subsidy principle, saving their reciprocity humbug, which is but a scheme to
expand State socialism and substitute the restrictive bargains of diplomats
for the world-wide commerce of freemen.
It is a bad lookout. Time runs on, and they counted on time to root their
policy in business dislike of change, and to give those wrong-doings the air
of rightful precedents.
What are we going to do about it? You and I and every Democrat in
Washington Is asking himself that question. The Fifty-second Congress
has assembled, is at length organized, and in a very few days its policy will
have been fixed, its work begun.
Since any Democratic legislation proposed by the House is sure of defeat
in the Senate or White House, is a wiser course open than that Democrats
shall first send up for defeat what will cost the Republican party final overthrow in the next Congressional and Presidential elections?
Now, let us hold fast to the great facts, and pivot our policy on those.
Here is one fact.
Democratic legislation by this Fifty-second Congress is quite impossible.
Piebald legislation of course is possible; I have no interest in that.
Here is another fact. It is the largest fact with which our great leaders in
Congress have to take account.
The people's verdict last year upon the billion Congress and all its works
becomes utter nullity and empty wind, unless the people of the United
States, unbedeviled, mrfooled, stick to their work, again come together at
the ballot boxes, and again next November thunder forth the same just verdict.
B 52

The purpose of my speech m Elmira was to fix public attention upon the
size of those two facts.
For if their size is generally seen no Democrat will wish to resist their controling importance.
What follows:
Shall the people's verdict on the billion Congress have execution or not?
Shall the Democratic party, by keeping before the people the billion-Congress Issues of 1890, nothing else and nothing less, keep for the people power
to add to their verdict of 1890 its execution in 189a?
How can that best be done?
Call the problem a tactical problem, if you like: but the philosophy of
practical politics in a popular government is to make your issues plain, simple, single, if possible; then keep them clear and unconfused, and let the
sovereign people judge.
Therefore, at Elmira, I suggested this course:
1. Pass no free-coinage bill; pass only needful appropriation bills, enforcing economy.
2. Grapple to undo the worst work of the billion Congress. Demand repeal of tiip Sherman silver law and the two McKinley laws.
No small issues, no untimely Issues, no new Issues, no other issues.
Grapple to undo the work of the billion Congress. Put the country and
its silver laws and its tariff laws back where they stood before our party's
misadventure in 1888 and before the infamous Republican revolution.
Demand this and demand nothing but this, and keep on demanding this,
in Congress, in our State conventions, in our national convention, and
throughout the canvass till sundown next November 8.
Now, gentlemen, wiser men will suggest wiser advice.
But it was thought in the little city of Elmira that this advice of mine was
wise enough.
For in Elmira, as here in Albany, we are nearly all of one mind as to what
will happen throughout New York State next November if such advice had
the good fortune to be approved by the united wisdom of our Democratic
Senators and Representatives in Congress.
Doubtless, they can and will do far better. But that would be good enough.
Naturally anything so novel as that suggestion encounters competition,
question, and criticism.
And to these, with your indulgence, I will give respectful attention.
But it has already, I rejoice to say, received the most important, the most
valuable, and the most significant indorsement which it ever could receive
from any quarter.
No Republican, no Mugwump journal has honestly put my speech before
its readers, while all denouncing it, some with misrepresentations which its
perusal would have prevented and its printing exposed.
D. It is objected against my Elmira argument to pass no free coinage act—
that an act might go through the Senate and the White House providing free
coinage is confined to the American silver output. A New York journal reports that this policy has been agreed upon and will certainly become law.
Before that agreement becomes universal I would beg leave to suggest that
the scheme in its phrasing pretends a compromise, but contains no provision
for any one element of the actual problem. Even/ as a dodge to provide
free coinage labels "good enough till after election," it underrates the sense
of American voters and their contempt for insincerity and cant.
We can take defeat or success on any issue when the time comes to raise
it. We will take no share in humbugging and disguised issues.
If it is possible that any candid students of our monetary difficulties favor
free coinage of the American silver output, then I will observe that like the
gold monometallists, they have yet to learn what mankind's actual money
measure now is.
Skipping the alphabet of monetary science, too many men have been rat'
tling away on the silver question without once opening their eyes to ask what
is the money measure now in use and for uncounted years in use by mankind.
It happens now to be a dislocated, disjointed money measure; but what is
it? What stands over against the total inventory of man's exchangeable
wealth and measures it? What is it, which, with its own homogeneous and
divisible parts, measures the divisible and various parts of that wealth?
It is all the gold of the world plus all the silver of the world. That is the
fact, make what theory you like about it.
Coining is the division of the measuring aggregate.
Weight is the method of the measure.
Monetary units of various nations differ in weight, but equal weights make
equal payments.
B 52 3

Free coinage, as full legal tender, offered to all the metal, Is adoption of
the whole measuring aggregate.
Mint ratio, in bimetallic coinage, is the coupling of the two money metal
aggregates, the 94 per cent of silver, the 6 per cent of gold, in one mass, in
one ag rregate, so that large payments may be portable yet small payments
That one great mass or aggregate is the accumulation of many generations of men. It grows, but slowly.
The annual addition from all mines of both metals is less than 1 per cent
of the mass.
As the mass grows, the Increment percentage lessens yearly.
The total mass of both metals, the aggregate money measure, would not
half All the famous Parthenon at Athens.
Dispersed over the world, it can neither be inflated nor contracted by legislation.
For all nations it is a perfect money measure, or rather until 1873 it was
such, while a competent free coinage of the two metals in the same mint at
afixedratio, established and maintained their union in a bimetallic parity,
and by the prevalence of that ratio In all lands, made one money of ail coinages in the commerce of mankind.
Has mankind lost forever that great money measure because, unwittingly
in 1873, a coupling of the two metals, of the two free coinages in one free
bimetallic coinage ceased?
Certainly not. The great money measure which stands over against the
total Inventory of man's wealth and measures it is dislocated, but it has
not ceased to exist.
Vastly larger populations, vastly larger commerce, are on the silver side
of the dislocation than on the gold side.
I have said before, and I say again, that many mints around the world
now already, as heretofore, provide abundant free coinage for silver.
And many mints around the world, now as before, provide abundant free
coinage for gold.
The trouble is not the total cessation of either of the two free coinages,
the free coinage of silver, the free coinage of gold.
The trouble is the cessation, the absence of their link. No mint since 1873
has provided a free bimetallic coinage.
More or less free coinage of either metal here and there does not touch the
trouble, does not repair the dislocation.
Competent recoupling of the two existing free coinages of the world and
of the two existing monetary stocks is the very heart of the matter. Anything else is irrelevance.
Free coinage extended only to the American silver output is a proposal
parallel to the British blindness which fancies the actual money measure of
the world to be gold.
B ut free coinage offered to all silver, like free coinage offered to all gold, remains an element always hereafter Indispensable to the renewal of their old
historic coupling. Nothing less Is the actual money measure than all of
both metals. Nothing else is at fault but their recent dislocation.
Free coinage offered to less than all the silver of all the world, even though
offered to so Targe a large part of the small percentage of annual increase as
the output of American mines, Is frivolous, as a like limit of the offer of free
coinage to the American gold output would be.
When American silver-miners can cease long enough from their selfish insistence upon the compulsory purchase of their metal as a protected commodity and learn how to assist In restoring its former rank as a money
metal, of which 371.23 troy grains shall everywhere be equivalent to 23.22
troy grains of gold, our gold dollar, nobody will begrudge their receipt of
129 cents for every ounce. Until then they can be thankful If they can sell
to the United States Treasury at 95 cents an ounce.
What instructed man, what clear-headed statesman can believe that free
coinage of the American silver output would make the silver dollar of 371.25
grains as good as the gold dollar of 23.22 grains by the test of the crucible?
For. melt a million silver dollars and take the bullion to the mint. It
would not have free coinage again into as many dollars. It would not be a
verified part of the American output. It would be rejected at the mint. It
could only be sold like foreign bullion at the market rate, and the loss at the
price of the day would be more than a quarter on every silver dollar.
I said at Elmlra, and I say again, that New York will not follow the lead
of Nevada.
Isay again that New York Democrats care nothing for the Republican silver Senators and their protected commodity.
' New York.Uemocrats will never support any Federal money legislation
save that which promotes the nation's return to the best money ever known
B 52

to mankind, namely, " gold and silver the only legal tender," as Tilden's plat
form said in 1874, and these united at afixedratio in free bimetallic coinage;
with paper currency, which is a deposit certificate of either coin.
But New York Democrats to a man, and many an honest Republican besides, will follow Mr. BLAND, the chairman of the House Committee onCoinage, with their respect, their admiration, and their support, if he will now
lift the banner of repeal of the Sherman law, renewing for the present the
Bland law (which bore his name but not his approval) until the Democratic
party, next November, shall be commissioned to undertake some better and
final disposition of the whole subject.
Anybody that likes may say that I am speaking as a tactician, as a partisan,
as a politician now. I should regret to be quite incompetent in either character, if need were. But at this point I will ask anybody who is deaf to words
of mine to look at the red light hung up by Mr. George S. Coeinthe January
Forum. Mr. Coe is the most respected, experienced, and able bank president
in New York. There is no politics in his article. I neither Indorse nor discuss it. But let any man read between its lines who has been led by keeping
Republican company to think the thought that New York can long live
under the Sherman law.
I tell you it is impossible. I tell you New York will hail Mr. BLAND with
gratitude if he will demand the replacing of the Sherman law by the Bland
Let the Democrats of the Fifty-second Congress propose repeal of the
Sherman law and the McKinley laws, and the revival of the laws they superseded, and let the Republicans then concede or refuse repeal; either way the
people's cause surely triumphs.
That Democrats can not pass a repeal is no demerit in the tactics.
The effort for repeal is an adequate, concise, intelligible expression of
Democratic resistence to Republican revolution.
It sums up in one act every Democratic vote, faithful in opposition and
united in repeal.
It affords some true measure of that deliverance we intend, and, by the
favor of G od, will yet bring to pass.
No trivial, no untimely, no dividing issues for the New Year.
Shall the mad work of the billion Congress—the two McKinley laws, the
Sherman silver basis law—stand solid, unscathed, and unrepealed?
Or shall the people's will prevail?
New York responds: Repeal I Repeal!

FELLOW-DEMOCRATS : Your committee, summoning me to this presence,
have apprised me of that unanimous vote which will make known your approval of me to the authorized representatives of the Democracy of the
united States and be recorded in the annals of our national convention.
With what terms shall I acknowledge this official act, my fellow-Democrats, which, instead of pointing to some new, untried career, might amply
reward and crown the labors of the longest life.
From that great cardinal whose "Lead, kindly light" has touched the
hearts of all Christendom let my gratitude humbly borrow this worthier response than I myself could ever frame to the great Democracy wliom you
- My respect for them obliges me to submit myself to their praise as to a
grave and emphatic judgment upon me, which it would be rude to question,
unthankful not to be proud of, and impossible ever to forget."
The reawakening of the Democracy all over our land is the most auspicious
sign of the times.
when the people of France rose against oppression a hundred years ago,
it meant revolution, a change of rulers, and a social earthquake.
When the Democracy of America rise, it means an upheaval at the ballot
box, a change of their servants and political reform.
This is true Democracy. This Government of, by, and for the people.
When you see the farmers arousing and allied, when you see all the federations of labor stirring, when you see ineverv State the great Democratic
party up and afoot, it means that the reign of plutocrats is nearly over and
the bright day of Democracy is approaching dawn.
Thd use of political parties is to promote the expression of the people's
The function of statesmen is to frame and execute the same by just and
equal laws.

The Democratic party has this proud record. It is swift in its responses
to the people's needs. It makes choice of safe and wise statesmen to Us the
statutory landmarks of the people's progress and release their energies to
an ever larger liberty.
Democracy is progress. Liberty is its vital air. Constitutions and laws
are the voluntary, self-imposed safeguards of Democracy.
The Sherman silver law now transforms the Federal coinage power of silver and gold into an instrument for the gradual expulsion of our gold, for
the establishment of an exclusive silver basis, and for the permanent reduction of every American dollar by 30 per cent or more below the level of its
true value during the whole period of our free bimetallic coinage from 1792
to 1873.
Shall such a law stand?
There has been no such legislation for freemen since Cromwell called the
law of England " a tortuous and ungodly jumble."
The demand for repeal of these edicts of the billion Congress has extorted
from Republican leaders their published purpose to refuse repeal.
The admission is of great importance.
It is fresh evidence that I do not press too far the charge of disobedience
to the people's overwhelming mandate.
On top of the old wrong of Treasury purchases of a money metal disparaged and demonetized out of its ancient historic bimetallic parity, behold
this greater wrong—the pouring floods of paper debt made legal tender, concurrent with an actual decrease of its gold redemptive basis.
The Sherman law, worse than the old greenback law, increases monthly
our promissory paper debt payable in gold, but does not at all increase our
gold resources; so that Treasury officials are actually preparing the public
mind for an increase of gold-bonded debt to guard us against coming dishonor and disaster.
I share every solicitude of the New York Chamber of Commerce.
Under Secretary Foster's interpretation of the Sherman assignats as a
gold debt, the very silver bought and buried by the Treasury is a mere measure of the flood of assignats. not a means of their payment, such as every
silver certificate has, in the coined silver of the Bland-Allison law.
The Sherman law can not be omitted from the Democratic party's indictment of the billion Congress.
It was not omitted from the people's verdict in 1890. It will not be omitted
from the people's reiterated verdict in 1892.
Remember, too, the squandered surplus, the advancing deficit.
Remember the nationTs uprising against a thousand million dollars of biennial taxes Into the Treasury vaults, plus the more immeasurable plunder
legalized into private cash boxes.
Upon these very issues made by the wicked work of the billion Congress,
which to-day is unrepealed, which to-day is operating "undivided and
unspent,'' let us seek a renewal of the people's verdict, and so an immediate execution of the people's will.
Let us advance to relentless war against the whole immense revolution in
our money, in the sum and methods of Federal taxation, wrought in reckless Idesperation, with trick, chicane, and fraud, to escape popular reversal
and repeal.
New York wllllead where Democrats will follow; or New York will follow
where Democrats lead.
[Speech of Governor David B, Hill, at Elmira, N. Y. t December 4,1891.]
The Democrats of New York stand fast for sound finance. They demand
that every dollar coined in the United States shall be the equal of every other
dollar so coined.
They demand more. They demand that every silver dollar coined hitherto
or hereafter shall be the equal of the present gold dollar, our present unit of
value, weighing 25& troy grains of standard gold, and not one cent, not one
mill less worth than that gold dollar.
President Harrison, by the profusion of his pledges, admits that the silver
dollar is not now equal to the gold dollar. That is true. Melt the silver
dollar to-day and you make a loss. That has been true since 1873, when free
bimetallic coinage, the free coinage of both metals into the same monetary,
unit in one competent national mint, ceased.
President Harrison proposes no plan for making the silver dollar equal to
the gold dollar; Secretary Blaine proposes none; Secretary Foster none.
No Republican leader, convention, platform, or press ofiers any plan whatever to redress that present inequality.
B 52 3

The Republican party, standing fast for badfinance,upholds and applauds
the Sherman silver law of 1890, which perpetuates that present inequality,
every year adding over fifty millions to our present stock of nigh five hundred millions of unexportable silver.
The Democrats of New York and the whole Union now stand united in
denouncing the Sherman law, and demanding that every silver dollar shall
be, by every test, in the mint, in the melting pot, in the market, here and
throughout the world, equal to the present gold dollar.
Such is now the difference between the Democratic and the Republican
parties on the gold and silver question—the honest money question.
The Republican party remains the 75 cent silver dollar party.
The Democratic party asks to be empowered to make the silver dollar as
sood as the present gold dollar, and keep it so.
The Democrats of New York can not accept the lead of the silver State Senators. Free silver coinage would satisfy them. But free bimetallic coinage
is the one thing needful. Colorado and Nevada may be content to pass over
from our present gold monometallism to the silver monometallism which
Sherman's silver act assuredly entails, but the Democrats of New York in
their platform condemn the shifting from one monometallism to the other
monometallism; we firmly mark the insufficiency of either gold monometallism or silver monometallism; we firmly pronouce for that which is better than the free coinage of either metal singly; we pronounce for the free
coinage of both; we pronounce'for the free coinage of gold coupled with the
free coinage of silver; we denounce the Sherman law as a false pretense
and artful hindrance of a return to free bimetallic coinage.
The action of the Democrats of New York at their Saratoga convention is,
in my humble judgment, the most pregnant, the most momentous, the most
far-reaching action which has been lately taken by any political body.
Then and there, our great Democratic party the country's sole dependance
for deliverance from billion Congresses, from political desperadoes and corruptionists, was rescued from division and disaster. Then and there the
Republican party was doomed to defeat.
Let us read the Federal plank in New York's Democratic platform and
then review the facts with which that platform dealt.
Here it is, all of it:
"The Democratic party of the State of New York in convention assembled
renews the pledges of its fidelity to Democratic faith, and, as regards national issues, reaffirms the doctrine of the national platform of 1884 and 1888,
indorsed by the popular votes in those years, and so overwhelmingly ratified
by the popular verdict in the Congressional elections of 1890.
" W e now, as then, steadfastly adhere to principles of sound finance. W e
are against the coinage of a silver dollar which is not of the intrinsic value
of every other dollar of the United States.
u We therefore denounce the new Sherman silver law, under which onetenth of our gold stock has been exported and all our silver output is
dammed up at home as a false pretense but artful hindrance of return to
free bimetallic coinage, and as tending only to produce a change from one
kind of monome tallism to, anoth er.
" W e therefore unite with the friends of honest money everywhere in
stigmatizing the Sherman progressive silver-basis law as no solution of the
gold and silver question, and as a fit appendix to the subsidy and bounty
swindle, the McKinley worse-than-war tariff, the Blaine reciprocity humbug,
the squandered surplus, the advancing deficit, the defective census, the
falsified representation, and the revolutionary procedures of the billiondollar Congress, all justly condemned by the people's great uprising last November, a verdict which, renewed next year, will empower Democratic
statesmen to guide the people's councils and to execute the people's will."
Now let us review the facts in our political situation with which that platform dealt. Let us go back three years.







Let us now look closely into the facts regarding the free bimetallic coinage
question. It is only facts to which I would just now call your attention.
Their extraordinary force has not been considered by the press of either
party. They are immensely important. Their sequence is important.
I do not think they have received due attention even from those mugB52

wump journals which for two years have been with daily predictions keeping the silver issue out of our politics, and at last, on the eve of our, Saratoga convention, informed their readers that the two party platforms on
that issue would decide this State election in New York, and then, for the
first time in their lives, published the speech of Governor Hill on that subject in Brooklyn September, 1890, just before he was bidden to carry his
conclusions to Washington.
These are the facts which were before our Saratoga convention.
The United States Senate, on the 14th of January, 1891, passed a free bimetallic coinage bill. For that bill every Democratic Senator present voted, if
not paired, in its favor, except one from Delaware.
After fifteen years of debate, all these, our party's chosen men, studious,
upright men, voting upon their honor, their conscience, their intelligence,
voted thus.
I refer you to the World and Tribune Almanacs for proof that the voting
of our Senators, which followed the very general, almost universal, assent
to the principle of free bimetallic coinage, was also in loyal compliance with
fresh instructions from their constituents, and with a popular demand exceeding party bounds.
Preparing for the elections of the present Congress, last fall, a year ago,
Democratic conventions in nearly all the greater States west of New York,
from the headwaters of the Ohio to the Pacific coast, had just voted, without dissent, in favor of the country's return to the free coinage of silver a<3
of gold.
Republican conventions in those States in some cases indorsing that demand, in all cases declined to oppose it. Their dissent, if any, was disguised
or withheld.
I refer, among others, to the great States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oregon, and California, besides
West Virginia, the Carolinas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Texas, not to mention the chief silver-mining States. (World and Tribune Almanacs for 1891.)
In the elections following, as I have already said, a small Republican majority of 15, distended to 24 in the Fifty-first Congress, was converted into
the astounding Democratic majority of 23? out of 332 members in the Fiftysecond or present Congress.
Such was the people's mandate, such the response of the Democratic Senatorial body.
I am aware that last February this action on the part of the Democratic
Senatorial body was questioned by some of o^r fellow-citizens, but I am not
aware how, as between the people of those States and those their servants,
such pledges given and received before election could be neglected after election, either honestly or loyally.
Another set of facts was before our Saratoga convention, and was faced
with courage and skill.
I come now to the point of exposing before you the crafty scheme adopted
last winter by the defeated Republican leaders as their only chance to keep
th© executive branch of the Federal Government in their own hands nest
year, despite such an overwhelming popular rebuke.
Many "western Republicans, both in the Senate and the House, shared the
conviction which is so nearly unanimous among Democrats.
But there they were, down, flat, victims of a great people's wrath in the
Congressional elections of 1890, and plotting escape from its logical completion in the Congressional and Presidential elections of 1892. What to do?
They determined to try and detacb New York Democrats from their fellow
Democrats on a single question, to try and carry New York next year for a
Republican President, on a cry against free-silver coinage, the vote of New
York being indispensabldto Democratic victory.
For this reason they concerted a policy of prevention and delay. For this
reason they smothered the Senate coinage bill in committee, refusing to let
it come to a debate in the House. For this reason their Speaker's partisan
rulings; for this reason boisterous threats of the President's veto.
For this reason they called a halt In their own party ranks, moving steadily toward free bimetallic coinage.
For this reason all their press stopped denouncing the Bland-Allison act,
and began lauding the doubled absorption by the Treasury of the total output of American silver mines.
For this reason they set up the Mint Director to utter his now falsified
prophesies of a progressive rise of silver in consequence of the Sherman silver act. Silver has ever since fallen.
B 52 3

For this reason the Republican leaders persisted in their false treatment
of silver, not as a money metal like gold but as a favored commodity. Treatment which is naturally inviting rival claims from owners of other commoditiesfor Government purchase as a currency basis( a deadly doctrine that
already returns to plague its inventors.
For this reason they got up in Eastern cities; but not in Western, public
meetings to go into fits of fright over the consequences of free coinage, where
every speaker took pains not to forecast the sure silver basis outcome of the
present Sherman law of 1890. Of course they enticed a few unwary Democrats to appear as convulsionists at these scarecrow festivals, otherwise the
fraud would have been too palpable.
For this reason they sent their ex-Secretary of the Treasury, who had denounced the Treasury silver purchases of the Bland-Allison act, the flattered
author of the more than doubled purchases of the Sherman silver law, to go
up and down the Ohio valleys one day denouncing free coinage and predicting woe, the next day promising that his law woifld put up silver and fetch
us all safely to the free-coinage ratio at last.
For this reason the Republican leaders promised the very large body of
free-coinage Republicans, it is believed, that there shall be no Republican
veto of a free-coinage bill after the elections of 1892, and procured their sufferance for delay until then.
For this reason, too, if not also in the selfish hope that Sherman's law will
entail a silver monometallism, the silver State Senators have been placated
and are now dumb.
For this reason were these things done—to divide, if possible, the Democrats of New York from their fellow-Democrats, snatch the Presidency in
1892, and so retaining veto power over the acts of a Congress Democratic
after 1893, prevent repeal of the McKinley acts, prevent revenue reform, prevent currency reform, and keep the Republican teredo ever honey-combing
and rotting the timbers of the Democratic Constitution of these United
The Federal plank of the Saratoga platform was adjusted to that difficult
and dangerous situation.
To begin with, New York Democrats, of course, stand fast for sound
finance, and they say so with the first breath they uttered in Saratoga.
Do not fail to remember that all our financial troubles for the last quarter
of a century down 16 this very hour are the direct consequence of Republican laws, Republican blundering, Republican incompetency, Republican
bad finance. .
Democrats stand fast for sound finance; and our convention in the platform which they built foursquare to all the winds that blow raised their
standard high and unanimously declared, first, that the silver question is
not alone a silver question, but is a gold and silver question, a question of
honest money. They harked back to their platform of 1874, upon which
Samuel J. Tilden was elected governor of the State of New York.
"Gold and silver the only legal tender.
" N o currency inconvertible with coin."
They harked back to the national platform of 1876, upon which Samuel J.
Tilden was elected President of the United States, which demanded specie
payment of the greenback debt, and compelled at least a current specie redemption of that unlawful debt-made-money.
The New York Democrats stand fast for the principles of sound finance, a3'
they stood fast under Seymour against the rascally repudiation of New
York Republicans twenty-odd years ago, as they stood fast under Tilden
against the wretched rag baby greenback politics of Republican misguidance
sixteen years ago.
New York Democrats therefore denounce the Sherman silver act of 1890
as no solution at all of the gold and silver question. It heaps up increasing
impediments to the solution of that question by free bimetallic coinage,
professed by almost all to be the goal to which at last we must attain.
I say 44 almost" all, for I do not wish to deny the numerical existence of a
morning and an evening Mugwump in New York, who profess to be gold
monometallists with nothing but subsidiary fractional silver, but never yet
have had the wit to discover that they are bound to demand the sale of our
four hundred million full legal-tender dollars, or else have never had the
candor to confess it.
New York Democrats, on the contrary, reject the gold monometallism of
these Mugwump cranks and the silver monometallism to which the Sherman
silver act and the silver State Senator's partisan politics are driving us.
The New York Democrats take pains to say that they reject both monometB52

alllsms, the British silver monometallism of India, the British gold monometallism of London, as a finality unworthy of this great Republic of the
Western hemisphere, stretching out her left hand to the commerce of goldcoining Europe and her right .hand to the silver-coining commerce of all Asia
and the isles of the sea.
New York Democrats standing fast for soundfinance,therefore denounced
false pretense, therefore denounced artful hindrance, of a return to free bimetallic coinage, and therefore appealed to the people to renew this year,
and again to renew next year, their verdict, which will empower Democratic
statesmen, not only to guide the people's counsels, but to execute the people's will.
The crafty Republican scheme to frighten New York from her devotion
to sound finance, from her devotion to the hard money of Democratic faith
and tradition, from her fidelity of the great doctrine of Jefferson—" The
monetary unit must stand upon both metals," and to the seventy-odd years'
practice of the United States thereunder; that crafty scheme has failed.
The Democratic party is now a unit for free bimetallic coinage, an<? New
York has refused to be disjoined from the hard-money doctrine professed by
the Democratic senatorial body, and supported by the Democratic party in
all the great States of the West and South.

What is the test of " intrinsic value " in a gold dollar?
This is the test:
That melting it shall make no loss.
Twenty-three and twenty-two hundredths troy grains of pure gold first
coined at the Mint into a dollar, then melted in the crucible, lose not a cent's
worth of value.
What is the test of "intrinsic value " in a silver dollar.
The test is the same:
That melting it shall make no loss.
Three hundred and seventy-one and a quarter troy grains of pure silver,
first coined at the Mint into a dollar, then melted In the crucible, lose by
the change many cents' worth of value.
The silver dollar of Allison, the silver dollar of Sherman, can not now
abide the test of intrinsic value. It can not pass the ordeal of fire.
What is the test of equality between the dollar coined of gold and the dollar coined of silver?
Here, too, the test is the same.
That both alike, after being coined at the Mint and then melted in the crucible, shall equally make no loss.
Why does gold abide every test?
At the United States Mint, the coinage of gold into dollars, 23.22 troy
grains weight of It in each, is free to all the gold of all the. world.
Why did silver from 1792 to 1873 abide every test?
At the United States Mint, the coinage of silver into dollars, 371.25 troy
grains of pure silver in each, was then free to all the silver of all the world.
Free coinage given to gold, while free coinage was withdrawn from silver
in 1873, established the varying inequality of the dollar in silver to the dollar
Free coinage given to both, free bimetallic coinage, will reestablish their
• ancient and unvarying equality, attested by the Mint, the market, and the
Did ever anything but free bimetallic coinage, down to 1873, make our gold
and silver dollars equal by every test? Did ever free bimetallic coinage,
down to 1873, for one hour fail to make the silver dollar equal to the gold
dollar, whether at mint or crucible, or in any market in the wide world?

The Democratic platform of New York marks out my path. It is my commission and my chart. I shall heed its purport and conform to Its directions. For it is countersigned and sealed with the seal of the Empire State.
And I regard It as the highest honor of a long career devoted to the service
of the State, that my fellow-citizens, besides approving by my own election
twice and by the election of my honored successor, the last seven years
executive conduct of its affairs, and besides sending me to the Federal Senate immediately after my public denunciation, in Brooklyn a year ago, of
the Sherman silver law, and my declaration then in favor of free bimetallic
coinage, next should have ratified that choice by reiterating, with a fresh
emphasis, what I had there expounded as the principle and policy of that
greatest of Democrats, Thomas Jefferson, who said: " T h e monetary-unit
must stand upon both metals."
B 52 3

But to maintain a parity implies the existence of a parity. No parity exists between the two. Melt the gold coin and it can be recoined again and
again, a gold dollar, for its private owner, because gold has free coinage,
and 25.8 troy grains are the fixed weight of the gold dollar.
Melt the silver coin and it can not be recoined for its private owner. It
can be sold to the Treasury but for 75 cents or less, because silver has not
free coinage, though 412$ troy grains of silver are indeed the present weight
of the silver dollar. The so-called 14 parity " of the Sherman silver law is a
mendacious parity.
The very text of that law also speaks of " ratio " and of parity whatever the
ratio. There is no free bimetallic coinage, therefore no ratio. The' word
" r a t i o " is a term which implies free coinage of two money metals in one and
the same mint, as north implies south, as right implies left. "Ratio " is a
term correlative to free bimetallic coinage and to the true, fixed, rated,
equivalence or "parity " which only such a coupled coinage confers.
Using the term " r a t i o " or the term "parity " in respect to a free coinage
of silver coupled with a coinage of gold not free, as in India; or in respect
to a free coinage of gold coupled with a coinage of silver not free, as in the
United States, is a misnaming.
There is but a mendacious parity between the silver dollar and the gold
dollar, and the crucible mocks the false pretenses of "equality" by President Harrison and of "parity " by Secretary Foster.
I doubt if all the chambers of commerce, all the boards of trade, all the
banks, and all the newspapers of the United States joined together could
persuade the Fifty-second or any future Congress to stop compulsory treasury silver purchases or coinage in order to rest in British gold monometallism.
This is a monetary theory, accepted once, which has no longer an intellectual standing. It rested upon insular misapprehensions and has been debated into nonexistence among competent thinkers. From the insignificant
circumstance that England stopped the free coinage of silver in 1816, it inferred the nondependence of the Anglo-Indian and other exchanges upon
the steady bimetallic par maintained by the free coinage of the two metals
in France.
For this high mission the Democrats of New York joined hands with the
Democrats of the West and South, willing to follow if they dare lead, ready
to lead if they dare follow, pledged to purge the money of the United States
of its paper legal-tender poison, pledged to make our silver dollars equal to
the present gold dollar by every test, by the test of the market, by the test of
the crucible, by the test of international currency alike for silver and gold
throughout the world.
Apostles of the best money ever known to mankind, gold and silver at a
fixed ratio of free bimetallic coinage, will not be shut out, I venture to think,
from the Democratic church when it assembles next summer and when they
ask its great commission to proclaim that evangel, to spread that good news,
and to undertake that noble work.
I admit with candor that the repeal of the two McKinley acts would only
land us where we were before our great misadventure three years ago.
I admit that the tarifl 6f 1883 offers a large field for revenue reform.
But that is now white,beside this later black—this revolutionary and unconstitutional legislation, which buttresses the Government partnerships of
our privileged classes, and issues the people's taxes in bribes for new defenders of the system.
I admit frankly that no repeal of the two McKinley,acts can override the
President's veto and become law.
My answer is that to pivot our politics on the.issues of 1890 is itself an unmense political achievement which will assure to the Democrats of the Fiftysecond Congress our victory in 1892 and a nation's gratitude.
It abandons outworks indeed, but it summons the sovereign people to recover from Republican revolutionists the citadel of power.
So, too, I admit that the Bland-Allison act of 1878 is indefensible. But it
shows white beside the blackness of the Sherman silver law. It purchases
silver, and Treasury purchases of silver can not be defended. Free bimetallic coinage would purchase neither silver nor gold, but would monetize both
in their old rated true " parity." Yet the repeal of the Sherman silver law
and the revival of the Bland-Allison act would so far promote free bimetalB 52

lie coinage as to slacken our speed toward a silver basi^—toward silver
monometallism, and give time to escape that outcome. Moreover it would
abolish the last new-fangled legal-tender paper, which is both unconstitutional and unnecessary.
Our silver certificates and our gold certificates which are not and never
have been a legal tender, and which, as experience proves, need never be a
legal tender, are a perfect paper currency, or rather will become a perfect
paper currency whenever the intrinsic value of the coined silver dollar, like
the intrinsic value of the coined gold dollar, shall have been fixed In one
ratio by a competent free bimetallic coinage. Such proper paper currency
is no impediment.
But the merit of this demand for repeal like the demand for repeal of the
McKlnley acts is not that it can be carried through the Fifty-second Congress and through the White House, but that it keeps the issues of nest November's elections where the billion Congress fisea them and fell one year
As I would not seek to modify the tariff issue as made by the billion Congress. by the votes of Democrats in both Houses thereon and by the people's
verdict thereon, so I would not wish to modify the silver issue as made by
the billion Congress, by the votes of Democrats and by the people's verdict.
It is evils which are in issue now.
Rightly shall we be tested and judged by our remedies hereafter.
But until the people shall have confirmed last year's verdict next year,
and commissioned a Democratic executive and a Democratic Legislature to
put that verdict in execution, those evils are remediless.
In conclusion, I have a story to tell and a suggestion to offer. It is offered
to any Western or Southern friends who feel less keenly than It is felt in the
great port of our foreign commerce that the gold and silver question is a
world question, not only a Federal or national question. Do not be impatient with our conviction in New York that every step toward free bimetallic coinage must be safe and sure, no step backward, but also no step forward that puts in one hour's jeopardy the peace and prosperity of your commercial capital and so of your country at large, for these are inseparable.
My suggestion Is submitted with most respectful deference, to any Democrats who have firmly asserted by their votes their unflinching loyalty to the
principle of free bimetallic coinage rather than any final judgment upon a
group of laws or a plan of diplomacy best fitted to attain that end, and who
would now repass the Senate's bill of last January in the hope of its escaping or overriding an executive veto. 'And to them I need not say that my
suggestion, now that New York has spoken, is a friendly one.
I admit that last year the mere hope of free bimetallic coinage at the hands
of Congress (not as ignorant persons say enlarged Treasury purchases of
silver) lifted all silver in all markets, in all mints, in all banks, in all treasuries, throughout the civilized world, and not merely in the United States,
from less than $1 per ounce, to more than 81.20 per ounce, 51.29 per ounce
being the point at which with free bimetallic coinage, price would cease
and fixed ratio begin, thus surmounting two-thirds of its present legalized
disparagement in countries formerly bimetallic.
In other and better words, throughout the world, all silver and all gold,
unified by free bimetallic coinage so long, dislocated by its cessation in 1873,
moved toward each other, while men's hopes of its competent renewal lasted,
over two-thirds of the present breath of that dislocation.
I admit that a well-planned, well-guarded, competent, free bimetallic
coinage would instantly compass the whole breadth of that dislocation and
renew and establish a right ratio of the two money metals.
But the menaced veto would probably prevent the recurrence now of that
most extraordinary and instructive phenomenon which I have described
and thus obscure its true significance.
Yet I would not shift the silver Issue from an evil to its remedy. Let us
deal with Mr. Sherman's domestic damming and drowning before we discuss his fears of foreign inundation from Indian bangles and China teapots
after all silver In all nations stands, there as here, at the old historic rated
level with gold, fixed by competent free bimetallic coinage.
And if I am told that the President would let pass that bill because no
j>arty leader would fling away the votes of States which upon other issues
are assuredly Republican, but upon this issue more than doubtful, then I

must rejoin that in my humble opinion the success of free bimetallic coin*
age would then encounter an exposure to its worst hazard.
What is that hazard? My disrespect is profound for the current fears
whipped up in the press and bank parlors for the last year or so. Men can
trade in credits with no theory of money, as they can toast their feet before
a fire with no knowledge of the laws of radiant energy. Their fears are a
measure of the demoralization due to thirty years of wretched Republican
monetary legislation. They are the natural outcome of that bad education
which from Washington has so long accumulated behind demoralizing precepts the tremendous force of government example. Of course, the men
and the journals who imagine the Constitution obsolete,who believe squandering the public money compatible with public prosperity, who think
tariffs are not taxes, nor taxes of which but a fraction gets into the Treasury, who conceive that subsidies and bounties are equitable, who suppose
paper debt can be a fair measure of labor and its wealth, who fancy redemption of that debt is the same or as good as the payment pledged—of
course these blind followers of blind guides have lost their sense of sight
and their ability to reason.
Of course, they scream like frightened horses when those who see clear
and think straight demand return to the abolished money of the Constitution and remind them of our prosperity under revenue tariffs and free bimetallic coinage before the war.
If the monetary peace of the world had not been perfect under many decades of free bimetallic coinage such groundless fears and ignorant objections
might escape contempt and deserve confuting. These prophets of inundation, these dancing dervishes of inflation should go to school and learn the
nation's history from 1792 to 1861. Gold and silver are the only money absolutely incapable of inflation; hence their supreme merit.
It is no such objections, no such hazard, that I have in mind. When Democratic men and measures are promoting the straightforward approximation of gold and silver to their old historic ratio, the silver dollar to the level
of the gold dollar, as I dare to say they can and will, there will be no moment
when business bugaboos can begin to be born.
But I have in mind a different hazard to the great cause of sound finance
and honest money.
Finally, with all due deference, I can not withhold the expression of my
personal conviction that any enactment to promote free bimetallic coinage
requires larger circumspection and a more cautious avoidance of the conflict
of mint ratios than any bill as yet proposed.
Whilst the free bimetallic coinage was in full operation, conflicting mint
ratios could syphon out one of the money metals across a national boundary.
Final identity of ratios among all nations coining both metals could have
no less importance whilst free bimetallic coinage were getting reestablished.
Every circumstance that might jeopard the experiment even by causing
groundless fears, should be carefully removed.
Rather would I heedfully preserve from panic in New York even the
"lambs " of Wall street and the lunatics of Wards Island.
These are a few of the reasons why, as a Democrat—one among many—I
would wish to pivot our canvass for the coming eleven months, both in
Washington ana throughout our land, upon issues made by the billion Congress and by the people's votes one year ago, but needing once again the
people's votes in order to give any practical effect to their verdict against
those giant wrongs.
And New York has cleared the field.