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BIMETALLISM-FREE COINAGE OF GOLD AND SILVER.
LET THE SAME ACT WHICH REPEALS THE SHERMAN
LAW PROVIDE FOR BOTH.

SPEECH
OF

HON. JAMES H. BERRY,
OF

ARKANSAS,

IN THE

S E N A T E OF T H E U N I T E D

STATES,

"Wednesday, A u g u s t 16, 1893.




W A S H I N G T O N .

1893.




S P E E C H
OF

HON. J A M E S

H. B E R R Y .

PARITY OP GOLD AND SILVER.

Mr. BERRY. Mr. President, I desire to submit some remarks
upon the joint resolution introduced by the Senator from Missouri [Mr. VEST] in regard to bimetallism. I ask that it he
read.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The joint resolution will be
read by title.
The SECRETARY. A joint resolution (S. R. 4) to maintain the
parity of gold and silver.
Mr. BERRY. Mr. President, I think there has never been a
time in the history of this Government, except possibly that immediately preceding the war, when the action of the Congress
of the United States was awaited Vith the s me interest as that
of the present Congress. There has never been a time when so
many people of the United States centered their hopes upon the
action of a legislative body. This interest is not confined to the
cities, the great centers of trade, to the great business world, as
it is called, but it extends to almost every workshop and every
farmhouse throughout the Republic. It is not alone the banker,
the railroad president, the owner of Government bonds, the
dealer in stocks, and the merchants who are looking to Congress;
but the mechanic and the tiller of the soil have an interest, if
not so great in dollars and cents, equally import .nt to them.
The evil effects of long years of Republican misrule are upon
us, and the people look to this Congress for relief, when for the
first time for more than a quarter of a century the Government
is Democratic in all of its branches. It would not only be cruel,
but it would be a great crime to disappoint these * hopes if it is
possible to avoid it, and it therefore devolves upon us to meet
the great questions presented for our consi ieration without passion, and if possible without prejudice; without self-seeking, and
with an earnest hope of reaching some conclusion which will give
relief to the country.
It is not a time to seek to gratify individual ambition or to
seek to gain party advantage; but if a fair and candid consideration of the causes which have produced this unfortunate condition will show that it is attributable to the wrongful action of
one of the great political parties of the country, then that party
should bear the responsibility, and no party and no individual
should shrink from such investigation, or attempt to evade it
If it has been through the unwise l~~isl tion of any party or
the unwise leadership of any individual! that this distress has
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been brought upon the country, then it is not safe to trust than
party or that leader to relieve us of our difficulties.
The condition of to-day has long since been predicted. It has
been asserted again and again upon thefloorof this Senate and
in the House of Representatives that if the policies of the Republican party were continued sooner or later evil would come.
Business depression so universal and widespread as that which
exists at present does not come as the sudden effect of one single
act, but it comes from a certain defined policy.
A long series of legislative acts, all tending in one direction,
all having the effect to foster and promote the interests of certain classes of our citizens engaged in certain pursuits, which
have naturally and necessarily had the effect to depress and destroy other interests of other classes engaged in different pursuits, andfinallythe wrong and injustice so long perpetrated
against the interests of the people of the Southern and Western
sections of the Union have reacted, and the people of the East,
as well as those of the South and West, are reaping the consequences of bad legislation intended to promote the special interests of one section.
The legislation of the General Government since the war has
been such as to collect and concentrate the capital and the wealth
of the country into one section only, and the time came when
that capital and that wealth absolutely dominated the Republican party, and in every contest here between those who controlled
that capital and the people at large that party was found upon
the side of capital. It was this "conviction, gradually forced upon
the minds of the people, that had more to do with the Democratic
victories of 1890 and 1892 than any other cause.
The injustice of tax laws which were gradually sapping the
foundations of prosperity and depleting the resources of one section and building up immense fortunes in the hands of a few individuals, the constant attempts to contract the currency in the
interest of creditors and those who owned the capital, and the
reckless expenditure of the public moneys most conspicuously
shown in the appropriation of nearly $200,000,000 annually for
pensions, all tended to show that the Republican party was no
longer the friend of the laboring classes, and the people swept
them from power; but it was too late to escape the evil consequences of their wrongful acts.
That power so long held by the Republican party has come to
the Democratic party, and it seems to me the best way to keep
that power and to retain the confidence of the people is not to
follow in the footsteps of our Republican predecessors, who have
Already been discredited, but to keep our pledges to the people,
and look to the interests of the great body of our fellow-citizens,
whose interests have been so long neglected, and not to seek to
promote the special int3rests of those who were so long the beneficiaries of class legislation.
This extraordinary session was called by the President to pass
laws relating to our currency. I believe it to be to the interest
of the American people that whatever laws are passed should be
permanent in their character, and not merely a temporary expedient. The simple repeal of the Sherman law will not settle
permanently the iaws of our currency. Permanent settlement
can be had now as well as at some future time, and I am there*
fore in favor of including in the same act which repeals the
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Sherman law other provisions which will determine definitely
our policy.
The Sherman law treats silver as a simple commodity and not
as money. I therefore voted against it and am in favor of its
repeal. To'repeal it and put nothing in its place is to put us at
once upon a gold basis. I am opposed to a single gold standard.
I therefore favor a bill which repeals the Sherman act and at
the same time provides for the coinage of both gold and silver
in such way as will cause the two to circulate upon terms of
equality, as we promised to do in the Democratic platform at
Chicago.
I think it is almost universally agreed that the present law,
the law of 1890, known as the Sherman act, is thoroughly bad.
There are few if any Senators who will stand on this floor and
defend that law. The author of it, the man whose name it bears,
the Senator from Ohio himself, has said that it ought to be repealed. We all agree that it is a law which should never have
been passed, and L am peculiarly gratified at the fact that not
a single Democratic vote was cast for it, either in the Senate or
the House of Representatives. In an evil hour for the country
the free silver Republic ins parted company with their Democratic friends on this side of the Chamber, and consented to this
law and the repeal of the Bland act.
While we are all agreed that the Sherman act should be repealed, we are not agreed as to what should take its place. The
simple repeal, without other legislation, in my opinion places us
at once upon a gold basis, gives us the single gold standard, prevents the future coinage of any silver, and, in fact, at once and
forever practically destroys silver as a money, and will eventually place it upon a footing with lead, iron,tin, and other metals,
as a simple commodity. This is the issue, and it can not be disguised. There is no issue upon the repeal of the Sherman act.
All agree that it should not remain upon the statute books. But
the real issue is, shall we hereafter have the single gold standard,
or shall we have a double standard, of both gold and silver, as was
clearly contemplated by the Constitution of the United States?
Mr. President, I for one believe in the double standard, and I
am not willing to cast my vote for the single gold standard of
money; and in this belief I am in full accord with all that the
Democratic party has ever taught. From its first existence to
the present day the Democratic party has uniformly and without
a shadow of turning, insisted upon the use of both gold and silver
as money, and has always been a party in favor of bimetallism;
and no declaration can be found by any of its conventions, or of
the actions of its members in Congress, which would in any way
show that it was a gold or single standard party. I can not think
that it is possible that this great party has totally changed its
views within the short period of twelve months, upon a question
of such vast importance, and which has been so thoroughly discussed and debated for so many years.
When the representatives of that p irty met in Chicago in July,
1892, they declared their position upon this question in the following words:
DEMOCRATIC PLIANK.

We denounce the Republican legislation, known as the Sherman act of
1890, as a cowardly makeshift, fraught with possibilities of danger in the
future which should make all its supporters, as well as its author, anxious
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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 tooth gold and silver,
•without discriminating against 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 m the markets and in
the payment of debts, and we demand that all paper currency shall be kept
at par with and redeemable in such coin. We insiBt 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.

Now, in the face of this resolution, are we willing to-day to
declare that this solemn declaration was a fraud and a mere pretense to catch votes? < Does any Senator here to-day believe that
when the convention met, if we had declared that when we repealed the Sherman act we would substitute nothing in its place,
and that gold alone should be the standard and the only money
to be coined, we could have elected a Democratic President, a
majority of the House of Representatives, and a majority of this
Senate? And if we could not, does any Senator believe that it
is just and fair to juggle with the. people in this way?
Will the people trust our promises again? Will not all the resolutions hereafter adopted in the conventions be regarded as farces,
as promises to catch votes but not to be performed, if we, after
deliberately declaring in favor of the double standard, come here
and oy the very first act of the Democratic Congress declare
for the single gold standard? I do not know what views others
may take of this, but it seems to me that it would be a violation
of faith for which there could be no excuse, and that the party
thus disregardingtheir solemn promise would, to a large extent,
lose the confidence of the American people. We not only promised it upon the platform, but upon every rostrum throughout
the United States.
Democratic Senators and Democratic Members and Democratic speakers declared that such was the fixed policy of the
party, and they pointed to the platform made in Chicago as evidence of it; to the votes cast here and in the other House of Congress in favor of it; to the speeches of our great leaders, and to
the letter of acceptance of our standard bearer, the candidate for
President of the United States.
We pledged ourselves to the repeal of the Sherman act, and in
the same clause and same section of the platform we pledged ourselves to bimetallism; and the pledge there made to repeal the
Sherman law is not more binding than the pledge for the double
standard, to give both gold and silver equal rights and chances
under the law. And all that we ask to-day is that you who are
members of the same party as we keep the promises in their letter and their spirit. We are ready to vote for the repeal of the
act, but the same law that accomplishes this repeal should also
carry out the other promises. The one promise is not more
binding than the other. To repeal the Sherman law and put
nothing in its place is to keep only a part of the pledge, aad to
make it impossible that the other part can ever be redeemed.
We who believe that the adoption of the single gold standard
would be ruinous to the best interests of the country ; we who as
members of the Democratic party contributed our part toward
the great victory of 18«2, ask you as members of the same organization to carry out, not a part of the platform on the question of the currency, but to give full force and effect to all that
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7

we jointly promised. It is not a compliance with it to sav that
we will repeal the Sherman law now and at some time in the remote future, when we can get other nitions to agree to it, that
we will then votefor a double standard.
This, Mr. President, as I see, without meaning to be offensive
to any man, would be an effort to avoid responsibility, and those
who attsmpt it underrate the intelligence' of the American
people. We all know that under the present condition of affairs,
unless the same act which repeals the Sherman law provides for
the coinage of silver on some terms, silver as a money is doomed
forever, and gold alone will be the money of the United States.
This, Mr. President, is a great issue with which we are confronted. We fully realize the tremendous power of those who
are arrayed against us. We know that for a long series of years
the owners of Government bonds, the owners of State, county,
and municipal bonds and individual bonds, those who have fixed
incomes, those who own the principal wealth of the country, have
fought for this end—that is, to destroy silver and make gold the
one standard of value. They have denied it in the past; they
boldly avow it to-day. They have pursued this course with an
energy and perseverance worthy of a better cause; and no sentiment of compassion, no sympathy for those whose fortunes
would bo ruined or for those whose productions would be so
largely decreased in value has ever restrained them or caused
them to halt or hesitate in the pursuit of a purpose which they
believe will largely increase the wealth they already have.
They were temporarily successful in 1873, when they stopped the
coinage of silver.
But when the people came to 'fully understand the situation,
they became aroused, and in 1878, but for the skillful management
of the enemies of silver in the Senate of the United States, the
law which had existed for so many years prior to 1873 would
have been restored to the statute book. But as it was, it resulted in the passage of what is known as the Bland-Allison bill,
a compromise measure which partially, but not fully, restored
silver to its original position.
Again in 1890, when the majority of the people demanded the free
coinage of silver, its enemies succeeded in thwarting the public
will in the passage of the Sherman law, and now, when its evil
effects are seen, the very men who are responsible for it take
advantage of the disaster entailed by their own act, and, with an
assurance that I have never seen equaled, come forward and ask
that they shall be granted all that they demand, because of the
evil effects of their own law, and which was so strongly opposed
by every Democrat on this floor.
Mr. President, I think it may be well to refer to the RECORD
N to show some of the acts of Congress which have been passed
since the close of the war in regard to our currency. These
records have been recited before, but they can not be recited too
often, and perhaps at this time, when the people are studying
and looking to this subject as they never looked befor.9, their
repetition may arouse the people to a sense of their danger, and
thereby induce them to hold up the hands of all who are here,
determined, come what may, to resist at all costs this attempt
to destroy the money of our fathers and to force upon us a measure that will still further impoverish the great agricultural
States of this Union.




8
In 1869 the outstanding- principal of the Government debt was
more than $2,600,000,000. The principal of this debt was clearly
payable in legal-tender notes. The bonds issued stated that it
was only the interest that was payable in coin while the principal of the bonds was payable in legal-tender notes, commonly
called " greenbacks." This no one could deny. The holders of
these bonds had purchased them with greenbacks when greenbacks were worth 50 cents on the dollar as compared with gold
and silver.
Then the holders of these bonds came to Congress and asked
that they be paid in coin, legal-tender notes then being worth
66 cents on the dollar, giving as their reason why an act so unjust on its very .face should be passed by Congress, that such an
act would tend to preserve the public credit. And Congress,
then controlled in both branches by the Republican party, yielded
to this exorbitant and unreasonable demand, and over the protest of every Democrat in the Senate acceded to this proposition, and on the 14th of July, 1870, passed a law refunding the
debt and making the new bonds payable in coin, and these bonds
were exempt from taxation of all kinds.
The following will show the character of the new bond:
Extract from face of United States 4 per cent, bond:
" This bond is issued in accordance with the provisions of an act of Congress
entitled 'An act to authorize the refunding of the national debt,' approved
July 14,1870, amended by an act approved January 20,1871, and is redeemable
at the pleasure of the United State3 after the 1st day of July, A. D. 19J7, in coin
of the standard value of the United States on said July 14, 1870, with interest
in such coin from the day of the date hereof at the rate of 4 per cent per annum, payable quarterly on the 1st day of October, January. April, and July
in each year. The principal and interest are exempt from the payment of all
taxes or duties of the United States, as well as from taxation in any form by
or under State, municipal, or local authority."

It will be seen by this that they were not payable in gold, but
in coin, either gold or silver of the present weight and fineness,
at the option of the Government of the United St ites. It would
seem that this ought to have been sufficient to have satisfied the
avarice of the ordinary mm. They had secured the passage of
a law giving them a coin bond worth a hundred cents on the dollar in lieu of a bond payable in legal-tender notes worth 66 cents
on the dollar, and which they had purchased with legal-tender
notes worth 50 cents on the dollar.
But they were not content, and they conceived the idea that if
they could destroy silver, stop its coinage, and destroy one-half
of the money of the United States, they would thereby reduce
by one-half the money in which the bonds were payable, and
necessxrily the remaining money would appreciate in value to
such an extent that its purchasing power would be 1 trgely increased and the value of their oonds greatly enhanced. It mattered nothing to them that the result would be to force down
the price of all farm products. It mattered not to them that
every debtor would be compelled to double his labor in order to
meet his obligations.
Disregardingall these considerations, they secured the passage
of the act of 1873 stopping the coinage of silver. Whether it
was done secretly, as has been charged, or openly, the evil effects
were the same, a general distress following its passage.
When tbe people came to understand the situation and fully
realize the wrong and injustice practiced upon them, unorganized as they were, they rallied in such force"as to elect a Demo22




9
cratie House of Representatives, which in 1878 passed a hill restoring- the law and providing for the free and unlimited coinage
of silver.
But when the bill came to the Senate, under the skillful leadership of the Senator from Iowa [Mr. ALLISON] they succeeded
in amending the House bill, and finally the Bland-Allison bill
became a law over the veto of President Hayes. It provided
for the coinage of not less than two millions of silver dollars per
month. The holders of the bonds submitted, and even consented, for the time being, to the passage of this modified act,
because they knew it was the only way to defeat the restoration
of the law that stood until 1873. But they were not content, and
in 1885 they made an effort to repeal the Bland act, but failed.
In 1890 the friends of the people, the friands of free coinage,
made a strong effort to restore silver to the position it occupied
before the passage of the act of 1873, but tJiey were again defeated by the passage of what was c Uled a compromise measure,
the Sherman bill, but for which no Democrat cast his vote.
This was not the law of the friends of free silver, and while
some of the free-silver Republicans cast their vote for it, yet it
was peculiarly and especially the product of the enemies of free
silver. This law is so thoroughly bad that the President has
been compelled to call us together to repeal it.
But the same act that takes it from the statute book should also
provide for the free coinage of both gold and silver in such a
way that will c iuse them both to circulate upon terms of equality.
Those who are trying to establish a single gold standard take
advantage of the odious character of the Sherman law and try
to make it appear that the* issue is upon its repeal. But this is
not the issue. The issue is, shall we have here tfter a single or
a double standard? W e say the law was bad when it was passed.
W e say that it is bad now. We said it ought not to piss; and
we say it ought to be repealed. You now agree with us that you
were wrong when you passed it, and you agree with us that it
ought to be repealed; but you say in lieu of it you want a single
gold standard.
We say we want a double standard, both gold and silver, as
was provided by the Constitution of the country. Try to disguise it as you may, it is an issue b3tween creditors on one side
and debtors on the other; between owners of stocks and bonds on
the one hand, and the producers of the country on the other; between those who desire a limited and contracted currency and
those who believe in sufficient money to do the business of the
cohntry. It is an issue between those whose interest it is to
have cheap farm products, and those whose interest it .jg. to secure the largest price for wheat, and corn, and cotton, and other
products of the agricultural States.
All outstanding contracts, all obligations of the Government and
of individuals, unless it is specifically provided otherwise, are payable in either gold or silver, at the option of the debtor, and it is
false to say that it is either dishonest or a repudiation to pay
them as the contract provides. It is decidedly dishonest to strike
down and stop the coinage of one of these metals, and theraby force
the debtor to pay gold only, when he has the right by the terms
of his contract to pay in either gold or silver.
It is absolutely certain that, if you make gold the onlv money,
the value of the obligations of all bonds, of all evidences of in22




10
debtedness, will be largely increased; and it is equally certain
to my mind that all farm products will be still further depreciated in value. How any man residing in an agricultural
State, unless he be a banker or a bondholder, can favor a single
gold standard is to me utterly incomprehensible.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Arkansas
will suspend. The hour of 2 o'clock having arrived, it is the duty
of the Chair to lay before the Senate the unfinished business.
The SECRETARY. A resolution providing that Lee Mantle be
admitted to a seat in the Senate from the State of Montana.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. On this resolution the Senator
from Florida [Mr. PASCO] is entitled to the floor.
Mr. PASCO. * I ask that the pending resolution be temporarily laid aside until the Senator from Arkansas has concluded his
speech.
Mr. CHANDLER. It is understood that that will be done by
unanimous consent.
Mr. PASCO. I ask unanimous consent.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Chair hears no objection,
and the Senator from Arkansas will proceed.
Mr. BERRY* When our population was far less than it is at
present, when the business of the country and the exchange of
products was far less than it is now, it required all the gold and
all the silver that could be procured from the mines of the earth
to do the business of the people, and no one ever complained'that
we had too much of either of the precious metals.
It is admitted that the population and the business of the country have increased more rapidly than the production of either
gold or silver; yet you say it required then both gold and silver,
while gold alone is sufficient now, notwithstanding the increased
population and the increased business. It required both then,
and is it possible one alone is sufficient now? But we are told
that 95 per cent of the business of the country is done on paper—
bank checks. If this be true, this paper, these bank checks,
are based upon erold and silver.
Take away the gold and ^ilver, tind the paper—the bank
checks—is worthless. It is only good because it is based upon
and is redeemable in gold or silver. ^ If this is not true, if the
bank checks and paper are sufficient in themselves, if they are
money, then you admit the theory of ourfiat-monevfriends and
both gold and silver are useless as money, because paper is far
more convenient than either of them.
So, Mr. President, you can argue the question as you will, you
can cover the pages of the RECORD with statistics showing* the
amount and value of gold and silver at different periods in the
history of the world, you can give many theories as to why
different nations have adopted the one standard or the other, or
both, but after all it comes back to this: that the people residing
in the Eastern States who have, under the operation of unjust
tax laws, accumulated vast fortunes, who have been enabled to
collect into the hands of comparative few individuals the great
bulk of the wealth of the country, and who have invested this
money in Government bonds, in State, county, railroad, and municipal bonds, who have loaned this money to the farmers of the
West and the planters of the South at ruinous rates of interest,
are anxious to double their wealth and the value of their securities and holdings.
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Mr. MCPHERSON. Would it interrupt the Senator from
Arkansas if I should ask him a question?
Mr. BERRY. Not at all.
Mr. MCPHERSON. I have heard it often stated in this
Chamber, and I have heard it repeated to-day by the distinguished Senator from Arkansas with emphasis^ that the purpose
os this proposed legislation, to wit, the repeal of the Sherman
law (as I suppose that is the measure to which he refers), is to do
away with the silver money of this country, putting us entirely
upon a gold basis with a gold currency. Will the honorable
Senator tell me where he has ever heard a declaration, either in
this Chamber or out of it, in which there was any disposition
shown on the part of those who think as I think to do away
with one dollar of the silver circulation to-day in this country,
amounting to some $650,000,000? The object is to maintain it;
and speaking for myself
Mr. BERRY. I yielded for a question; not for a speech.
Mr. MCPHERSON. Very well. I wish to know, then, where
the Senator has ever heard the utterance, either in this Chamber or elsewhere, of any such disposition as he avows?
Mr. BERRY. I assert, in answer to the Senator from New
Jersey, as I have already said, th at there are men who will vote
for unconditional repeal who do not believe in the single gold
standard, but I 3aid that such ^vould be the effect of the act that
it would stop the coinage of silver; that it would discredit it;
that it would have the effect throughout the civilized world to
show that one of the greatest nations no longer wants to recognize silver as one of the metals.
I tell the Senator he can find it in Republican papers of the
East, many of them, and if I am not mistaken he will find it in
speeches in the RECORD, not made in the Senate, where the
speakers announced that they were in favor of selling the silver
bullion as a commodity and eventually disposing of eyen the silver dollars now in circulation. I say to the Senator that of
course the simple repeal would leave the silver money now in
circulation as part of the money, but I have asserted that eventually the effect of such an act would be to put us on a direct gold
standard, and I repeat it to-dajr.
As I was saying when I was interrupted, in speaking of those
who said it was to increase the value of their securities, they
come to the Congress of the United States and say, while it is
true that we agreed to accept either gold or silver in payment
of our debts, at the option of the debtor, yet we ask you to stop
the coinage of silver, to use the power intrusted to you for the
benefit of all, to force our debtors to pay in gold alone. They
ask this when they well know that all gold will necessarily become more valuable.
The Senator from New Jersey himself can not deny that if wo
stop the coinage altogether of one of these metals the other
metal will necessarily appreciate in value and purchase more
of the products of this country than it would if we coined both
gold and silver.
They ask it when they know it will be far more difficult for
their debtors to meet their obligations, when they know it will
largely decrease the price and thereby largely increase the
amount of all farm products required to meet these obligations
in this more valuable metal. And the only reason they give for
22




12
asking it is, that foreign nations demand it; and that by reason
of unwise laws heretofore passed at their bidding, confidence has
been destroyed and the people no longer trust the banks, and
they ask at with the more assurance because they have never
made a demand of a Republican Congress that ,has not been acceded to, and they hope a Democratic Congress will be equally
accommodating.
Mr. President, the monstrous injustice of this scheme is such
that it seems to me that it would only require to be stated in order that it might be defeated. But in every paper, in all resolutions passed by boards of exchange, boards of trade, and by
bankers' conventions, we are told that it would be dishonest to
pay these debts in a depreciated silver dollar. In thefirstplace,
the silver dollar is not depreciated. It is as good to-day as a gold
dollar and passes everywhere for its full value.
But suppose it were depreciated, how can it be dishonest to
pay according to the terms of the contract? The contract says
that the debtor may pay in either gold or silver, at his option,
and I assert that there can be no dishonesty in forcing the
creditors to stsnd by the contracts. If one of our citizens agrees
to pay his neighbor so many bushels of wheat or corn at a stated
period, and at the option of the debtor to pay in either wheat
or corn as he might choose, if, when the time comes, wheat is
high ai\d corn is low, does any man call it dishonest to pay in
the cheaper product?
It can not be because that was the agreement, and the creditor
took the psk when he made the contract. And so, when these
creditors of the Government, and of individuals, agreed to accept either gold or silver at the option of the debtor, they took
the risk and they can not complain that they are not paid as the
contract provided they should be.~ If they had the option does
any man doubt that they would demand the most valuable metal,
and could anyone call them dishonest for so doing?
It is the creditors, the holders of these securities, who are seeking to repudiate their obligations and ask the Congress of the
United States to aid them in forcing those who are already overburdened to pay more than they promised to pay. Hence it is,
Mr. President, that all the publications, all the resolutions, all
the letters with which our mails have beenfloodedfor the last
few months, asking for the gold standard only, come from those
who hold these obligations, come from those who qwn the capital of the country, and not one from a farmers* organization or a
laborers' union.
Men instinctively know where their interests are, and the
profound solicitude of those who demand a single gold standard
for the benefit of the laborer and the producer, who they say
would be most benefited, deceives no one. The same cry was
raised in 1869, when they secured the coin bond in lieu of the
greenback bond; the same cry has been urged from year to year
in support of tariff laws, which have constantly robbed the
laborer and the farmer; the same cry was put forth in support
of the act of 1873, and the history of the world shows that whenever capital has sought legislative aid in its unjust schemes; and
whenever it has attempted to rob the laborer of the just rewards
of his toil it has been done under cover of well-laid schemes of
professed solicitude for the laborer—the producer.
But, Mr. President, these are not the onlj objects sought by
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those who advocate the single gold standard. Behind thes^, already avowed hy some and will soon be openly advocated by
others, stands the scheme to force the Government to issue additional bonds, and, of course, with such bonds comes the chance
of large speculations.
We all remember a few months ago what a pressure was brought
to bear upon the Secretary of the Treasury to issue additional
bonds. If such bonds could be secured the national banks might
be indefinitely continued. And those who were pressing the
Secretary to issue these bonds were so eager for gain that they
well nigh produced a panic throughout the country, regardless
of the injury and suffering which would come thereby.
If the gold standard be established as the only money of the
country, who can assure us that the next move will not be to retire our greenback -circulation and thereby give the national
banks absolute control of Our paper circulation? By a combined
effort of the banks of the country, they can collect together and
demand a redemption of a sufficient amount of legal-tender notes
in gold to force the Secretary of the Treasury to sell bonds and
procure the gold. He will have no choice in the matter and they
will be absolute masters of the situation.
The only restraint they have upon them now is the power of
the Secretary to pay silver at the option of the Government, and
if the Secretary of the Treasury had exercised that power a few
months ago in the payment of Treasury certificates issued for
the purchase of silver bullion, as so many of his friends throughout the West and Soujih hoped he would do, Ifirmlybelieve that
the attempt to repudiate the promises of the Chicago platform ar d
force us to a gold standard would have been speedily abandoned.
Repeal this law, Mr. President, and put nothing in its place,
las you say you desire to do, and thereby place us upon a single
gold standard, and what will be the result? We all know that
there is not sufficient gold in the world to do the business of the
entire world. Mr. Roth well, special agent of the Eleventh
United States Census, on gold and silver, says, in a recent publication, that the Director of the United States Mint estimates that
the business of the world is carried on with $3,632,605,000 in gold
and $4,000,000,000 in silver, and that 67 per cent of the population do their business on a silver standard and the rest of the
world use both gold and silver.
Let the conviction once become general that silver has to be
destroyed, and the action of this Government in adopting a gold
standard would largely increase that belief, and what would be
the consequences? There would at once commence a general
scramble for gold. Each nation would seek to increase its gold
reserve, and in their eagerness to obtain it its value would increase enormously, and it would force a universal reduction of
wages, and no man can calculate or estimate the suffering and
distress that would result from this universal derangement of
business and decrease of values. Farm products would fall lower
and still lower in price, and it would be impossible to meet the
existing obligations in a money so largely increased in value, and
universal bankruptcy would follow. And can any man who loves
his country and sympathizes with his people look without fear
and apprehension upon any bill which promises to be the means
of destroying one-half of the money of the world and to still
further lower the price of the products upon which our people




14
are dependent to meet their obligations and to retain their
homes?
But we are told that while the double standard is right, yet we
can not adopt it, for the reason that European nations will never
consent to it, that we are not strong enough within ourselves to
regulate and direct the character of currency necessary to do the
business of the people; that the principal European nations have
the gold standard, and therefore we must also have the gold
standard.* Our forefathers did not so think.
Mr. President, I have no doubt that sway back in the days of
1776 many men were found who argued that while a republican
form of government was best, yet most European governments
had kings for rulers, and we therefore must have a'king also.
'If such argument had prevailed our Republic would not have
existed. If Europe is to dictate ourfinancialpolicy, then the
declaration of Mr. Jefferson, that these were free and independent States, is not a true declaration. If we are to wait for
Europe to act, if we can do nothing without her consent, then
we are not an independent people, but the slaves and dependents
of a foreign power. It seems to me we ought to adopt a policy
for ourselves and provide that which we think best for our own
people, without regard to foreign governments.
We have been told often recently by the Republican press, and
doubtless will be told again by Republican Senators, that we
should follow in the footsteps of England. They point to England
as a guide in this matter, and say that England, by the adoption
of the single gold standard, has brought universal prosperity
upon her people; yet these same Senators have stood upon this
floor within a few years and pictured the inhabitants of England
as being in the most deplorable and distressed condition of any
people upon the globe, and attributed the poverty of the people'
of England to her policy of free trade.
'When they desire to increase the wealth of the East at the expense of the South and West by unjust tax laws, then they point
to the people of England as being in such a helpless and depressed
condition as to excite the sympathy of all mankind; but when
they seek to rob the South and West by a contraction of the currency, then they point to England as a model of prosperity and
a country whose example we ought to follow.
Mr. President, it is the prosperity of the people of the fortyfour States of the Union in which I feel the most interest, and it is
the distress of the people of the South and West that excites my
greatest sympathy. It is for the American people that we are
here to make the laws, and I believe this Republic is strong
enough to define its own policy and make its own laws without
submitting to the dictation of any other power or government.
I have not gone, Mr. President, into statistics at any length
to show the use in the different nations of gold and silver, to
show the rate of increase as to population, the increase of the
business of the American States, .nor have I producedfiguresto
show that this increase of population and this increase of business has been far greater than the increase in the production of
gold and silver; but this fact is admitted and will not be denied
by anyone. Nor have I thought it necessary to show the various
prices of cotton, of wheat, of almost every other farm product,
getting lower and lower year by year, and dating their fall with
the date of unfriendly legislation to silver, attributable, as I be2
2




15
lieve, in a large measure, to the high tariff and contracted currency.
My reasons for not collecting these figures are that my experience here has taught me that men can juggle with statistics and
figures to prove almost any proposition they may desire, and that
there is no surer \yay of confusing and misleading than a long
array offigures,often untrue and incorrect. But there are certain great facts that all*the world knows and no man ought to
dispute; and it is upon these facts'that I rest my cause. One of
these is, that to destroy one-half of the money in the country will
enhance the value of and increase the purchasing power of the
remaining half.
Another fact is, to force men to pay their debts in gold alone
when that gold has been by unfriendly legislation to silver
largely increased in value, when they have agreed to pay in either
gold or silver, is legalized robbery. Mr. Beck said in a speech
delivered in this body in 1885, and I have never heard it denied,
that—
There is not an outstanding obligation of the United States or of any State,
municipality, corporation, or individual, which can not be legally and acceptably discharged by payment of the present standard silver dollar.

Another fact is, that the contraction of the currency, a reduction in the circulating medium, will reduce the price of every
farm product throughout the agricultural States.
Another fact is, that if it required both gold and silver to do
the business of the country while we had a limited population,
and much less business than now, then there is not sufficient
gold alone to do that business when both the business and population have increased vastly.
It is upon these propositions that I stand, and if they be true,
then the adoption of the single gold standard would be a crime and
would result in the most disastrous consequences to the people.
I regret, Mr. President, to differ with some of my Democratic
friends upon this question. I believe in the Democratic party, and
have followed it with the same faith and devotion that our blind
chaplain has followed his God; arid whatever may be its acts, as
a party, it will receive ray loyal support, and I will rally under
its banner as long as itfloats,as I believe it is founded upon the
true principles of free government; and in taking the position
I do here to-day, and in voting to substitute in the place of the
Sherman law a bill which will provide for the coinag9 of both
gold and silver I know that I am in the exact line with the Democratic platform passed at Chicago in 1892, and upon which we
elected the President and both Houses of Congress.
I believe that the President of the United States is a man of
the highest, and most patriotic purpose; a man of great ability,
thoroughly honest, and absolutely fearless in the expression of
his opinions. He has often declared in favor of bimetallism.
He stated it in his letter of acceptance, when he was nominated
at Chicago, and was elected on that promise; and I am confident,
notwithstanding his failure to discuss bimetallism in his message. that he will approve any bill which both repeals the Sherman law and provides for the circulation of both gold and silver,
on such terms as will give them equal value.
Give us a chance to try our plan. You have tried yours, first
in 1873 and again in 1890—by passing in 1873 a law which demonetized silver, and by passing the Sherman law in 1890. Both
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16
have proven disastrous failures. You have by these and other
laws in the interest of wealth and capital well-nigh ruined the
country. Let us try our plan. It is not a new or unheard-of plan.
It was in force in this Republic for more than three-quarters of
a century. It worked well then, and prosperity prevailed; why
can not it work for the interest and welfare of the people to-day?
Give us both gold and silver free coinage; give both an equal
chance before the mints. If they will hot circulate upon terms
of equality at the present ratio of 16 to 1, then we can change
the ratio.
,
I am not wedded to any particular ratio, but I believe at the
present ratio every{dollar coined would be as good as a gold dollar. I ask that we do as we promised the people when they gave
us power, that we will give each of these metals an equal chance
at some ratio, and I believe in good faith that we should keep
these promises. It is not fair to obtain the votes of the people
by definite and specific promises and then violate the promise.
As I before stated, I regret that the Democratic party can not
presenta united front upon this question, and I regret that some
of my Democratic associates have different views from my own,
but my first duty is to the people of my State, whose commission
I hold and whose agent I am; and, believing as I do that their
interests will be promoted by the adoption of a double standard,
I shall so vote.
The low price of cotton, so long continued, has forced many of
the people of the South to borrow money and to mortgage their
farms for its payment. To compel them to meet these obligations in gold alone, and pass a law that would further depreciate
the value of their cotton, which is their sole dependence, is
equivalent to an act of confiscation, of their homes. It will ba
in the changed condition of affairs an impossibility for them to
meet their obligations, and the representative from the South
who votes for the gold standard assumes the responsibility, as I
believe, of forcing the sale of the homestead of many of his constituents—of forcing from the place of his birth the man whose
ancestors had occupied it for a hundred years—of forcing him to
part with his home, with all its traditions and associations so dear
to his heart, and see it pass into the hands of a stranger from
another land.
This, Mr. President, I can not do, let the consequences be what
they may. The saddest thing to me since the war has been to
witness the hopeless struggle of the planter of the South, contending often againstfloodsand the various causes which bring
destruction to his crops, but above all weighed down and handicapped by unjust laws, which force the price of his cotton lower
and lower, and even below the cost of production, yet manfully
contending for the traditions of his fathers, fighting against
overwhelming odds and against fate, as it were, to retain the
home of his ancestors.
If I should desert him now and violate a promise so often given,
and should cast a vote that I believe would add to his burden and
make his contest more difficult, as I earnestly believe a vot3 for
the single gold standard would do, I would feel that I had done
a deed almost as dishonorable as though I had deserted the flag
under which I had enlisted when the tide of battle pressed hardest against it22




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