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Tuesday, A u g u s t 23, 1893.



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The House having tinder consideration the bill (H. R. 1) to repeal a part of
an act, approved July 14,1890, entitled "An act directiug the purchase of
silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes"—
Mr. COOPER of Texas said:
Mr. SPEAKER: In the opening prayer of the Reverend Chaplain-elect of this House he said: " That this body had assembled
in extraordinary session, had devolved upon them extraordinary
duties, and had assumed extraordinary responsibilities."
The Chief Magistrate in his message advised us t h a t " an extraordinary business situation, involving the welfare and prosperity of all our people, had constrained him to call us together."
For days, upon the floor of this House, I lrave listened to extraordinary men, logically and illogically, but always learnedly
and eloquently, discuss the situation and offer a solution for the
vexed problem that has presented itself for our consideration.
The conditions that confront us are, indeed, alarming, and demand the wisdom, sagacity, and patriotism of this body. We
find business stagnatzd, finances congested, values declined, confidence gone, and bankruptcy, ruin, and distress fast following
each other; and an epidemic of doubt and distrust pervading
^every section, every vocation and business pursuit in this country.
There can be no effect without a preceding cause. The philosphy of present conditions must be inquired into, and the cause
must be ascertained, if possible; and, when made known, it is the
unconditional duty of this body to immediately remove the cause,
if it is within the province or power of national legislation so to
do. If the disease with which the country is to-day afflicted is
beyond the reach of legislative remedies, then there is no balm,
save in the virtue, integrity, industry, and patriotism of our citizens, and in these remedies I have much confidence. [Applause.]
The remedy prescribed by the pending bill I do net believe
can effect the result hoped for by its friends unless it acted upon
the principle of the medical practitioner who prescribed medicine that would throw his patient into fits, a remedy for which
he had a certain cure. [Laughter.] This remedy, I fear, will
throw this nation into such convulsions that it wiil linger long
upon a bed of sickness, if dissolution does not eventually occur.
The importance of the question can not be overrated. In its
ramification its tendrils touch every interest of industry in this
•country, and seductively tempts and plays with every avaricious


and selfish, passion that, as individuals, we possess. It is a
question upon which patriots may divide, and I approach its
discussion and the mention of objections to the pending bill
with trepidation and some doubt. I confess that my education
and experience have not been in that line that should prepare me
to speak authoritatively or prophetically upon questions of
finance, and I concede that a partiality for bimetallism, superinduced by association, as well as the logic of truth, may cause
me to unwittingly resolve every doubt in favor of the free coinage of gold and silver.
Reading the Constitution according to its print and letter, and
construing it according to the teachings of the masters of the
political school to which I belong, I find no express command
that gold or silver should be coined, or that the coinage of either
or both is inhibited; but I do find that our Constitution recognizes both metals of equal dignity and equal standard, and that,
following and in obedience to or conformity with the Constitution,
both metals went to our mints free until 1873; and I further find
that if we are to put a construction by implication or intendment upon that instrument, and infer what its framers contemplated, we could fairly say, and prove it by the almost contemporaneous actions of the builders of the instrument, that they intended no discrimination between gold and silver in the coinage
of currency for this country.
I am warranted in this conclusion because the Constitution expressly says that " no State shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts," and expressly reserves the
right to " coin money and regulate the value thereof." Following these declarations expressed in the Constitution in 1792,
but a short while after its promulgation and adoption, Congress
passed an act establishing a mint and regulating the coin of the
United States, and this act provides for the free coinage of both
gold and silver, and so continued the free coinage laws upon our
statutes until 1873, when silver was outlawed and debased.
To place a different construction upon the language and meaning of the Constitution would imply and argue the possibility of
a conflict of power and authority between the States and the
United States. By the Constitution the States may make silver
a legal tender in payment of debts, and if Congress destroys the
money-bearing capacity of silver, and inhibits its use in a debtpaying capacity, it follows as a consequence that the provision
of the Constitution would be meaningless and of no effect.
Therefore, am I not borne out in the assumption that gold and
silver is the money of the Constitution, and was so intended by
the builders of that sacred instrument? In my legislati ve action,
at its shrine I first bow; by its commands and injunctions I expect to be directed. I revere the memory of those enlightened
men who constructed it, and believe that inspiration controlled
the pen that wrote it, and it shall be the cloud by day and star
by night that shall direct my vote and voice in this assembly.
Next, most persuasive in affecting my action on pending legislation is the combined wisdom of the party to which I belong,
expressed in their political pronunciamentos and party platforms.
The pending question is one which should rise above partisan

politics and section 1 bias, and be considered only from an American patriotic st mdpoint. It is a policy, not necessarily a political principle, that is involved; and I am willing, to surrender my
partisan bias, save only that, all things being equal, the wisdom
of the party with which I am aligned shall turn the scales in
favor of my political bias.
Since this question has played a part in the history, policy, and
political agitation of this country, the Democratic party has
champanioned and advocated the free coinage of silver. Our
recent national Democratic platform demands, in letter and
spirit, " the coinage of both gold and silver, without discriminating against either metal." The Democratic platform of the
State from which I hail demands the free and unlimited coinage
of gold and silver on the ratio of 16 to 1.
In my canvass before the people of my district for nomination
and election, I stood squarely and unequivocally upon these platforms, and gave to the people no uncertain expression as to my
position on the free coinage of gold and siver; and, relying upon
these platforms and my declarations from the hustings, the people chose me as their servant, and I would be faithless and recreant to duty as an honest servant if I failed or refused to obey
the behests of my party and my sovereign—the people.
It is now claimed by some of the Democrats on this floor that
the free-silver plank in the national platform is ambiguous and
is a conditional and not an absolute free-coinage plank. Tn
my canvass I interpreted it differently, and proclaimed it certainly as a free-coinage demand; and if it is susceptible of a construction now placed upon it by my Democratic friends who differ
with me, I could not yield obedience to their construction, because my State has made no equivocal declaration touching this
matter, and where there is a conflict of opinion or authority my
duty is a plain, as well as a pleasant one, to stand by the wishes
and commands of my own State and my own people.
I know that the platform deminds that both metals be of
' equal intrinsic and exchangeable value," to be adjusted through
international agreement or legislative safeguards. The construction that I place upon the platform makes the repeal of the
Sherman law and the free coinage of gold and silver handmaids
compatible and capable of ripening into consistent laws. The
construction placed upon it by Democratic adversaries makes the
platform antagonistic, incompatible, and incapable of ripening
into consistent laws. They know this, and acting under the 1 w
of the survival of the fittest, and believing the repeal of the
Sherman law is the fittest, they are giving succor to that at the
expense of free coinage of silver, and, I believe, the
interest of the people.
But, Mr. Speaker, eliminating all constitutional and partis in
objections to the proposition, let us consider it from a just, equitable. and humanitarian standpoint, and test its value and soundness in the crucible of common sense, reason, and experience,
and weigh it in the balance of justice. We know that money is
a measure of value, a medium of exchange, and it is the equivalent
of the thing for which it is given. It performs the further important office of being the representative of the basis of all credit,
and credit is but the postponement of the delivery of things ex76

changed. If the value of money declines or incraases, all contracts for future delivery are changed, and this change affectsthe debtor and creditor corresponding with the value and volume of the money of the country.
A contraction of the currency of the country injuriously affects the debtor class, and an expansion of the money of the
country injuriously affects the creditor class. To adopt the
single gold standard will contract the currency (the purchasing
an i debt-paying medium of exchange) from 20 to 50 per cent,
and. this being done, it follows as the natural sequence that the
debtor will have his burden increased from 20 to <60 per cent and
the creditor will receive from the debtor from 20 to 50 per cent
more than was stipulated in the contract creating the debt.
To dopt the bimetallic free-coinage standard the creditor can
not be so injuriously affected, because by so doing the volume of
money can not be so violently expanded. The bowels of the earth
and the hillsides can not yield the bullion for coinage as rapidly
as it can be destroyed and struck down by legislative action afterhiaving been coined.
But, for argument's sake, suppose the demonetization of silver
or the free coinage of silver should equally affect the debtor and
creditor, as the one or the other may be done, then the result of
such action, unavoidable, however, would result for the benefit
of a class, and, to that extent, would be class legislation; and, if
class legislation is the only result that will be attained from any
legislation on this subject, then what class of our fellow-citizens
shall be the beneficiary of our action? Men become creditors
always for the hops of profit or benefit. They become debtors
sometimes for the hope of profit; but the rule is, they become
debtors from necessity or through untoward and adventitious
While it has been asserted upon the floor of this House that
the poor and middle class are the creditor class in this country
and that they will be the sufferers by the free coinage of silver,
my experience and observation do not bear out this assertion.
In the section from which I hail nineteen-twentieths of the poor
are debtors, and there is not one out of a hundred that has deposits in savings banks; and I believe this condition of affairs
will be found to exist in all the Southern States.
A large proportion of my constituents are agriculturists, and
among that class of citizens are rarely found political or social
agitators. The anarchist and communist find no encouragement
there. The confusion and corruption of mercenary and selfish
political agitation does not exist among them. Their bosom at.
all times is the lodgment of virtue and patriotism. Their
allegiance to their country; their cheerful support of their government; their patient and uncomplaining endurance of its burdens, and their heroic defense of its institutions, is a record that
may be read in all history. They have been taught, and they
have heretofore believed, that this is a "government for the
As a class, they are the largest element of our population, and
are the producers of more surplus products than any other calling,
and are the most numerous debtors of any other class of pur citizens, and especially are they so in the South at this season of the

year; and whenever and wherever I have talked with them on
this subject I have found nine out of ten in favor of free coinage.
They will not have the currency of this country contracted if
they can prevent it. Their cribs are now bursting with corn;
soon their sheds will be filled with bales of cotton. The willing
hands of industry have filled this land with plenty, yet distress
is everywhere. Would you add to misery another pain? Will
you not stay the hand that gives the hurt?
The total outstanding indebtedness of the United States on
the 1st day of December, 1890, was $1,549,296,120, a per capita indebtedness of $24.70. The total indebtedness of the States and
Territories in 1890, as shown by the Census reports, was $1,135,210,442, a per capita indebtedness of $18.13. I have no means of
ascertaining the indebtedness of individuals and private corporations in this country; but I think I can safely assume that, in
the aggregate, it will equal, if not exceed, the indebtedness of
the States and Territories, and I will place it at $1,135,210,442.
Add to this the mortgage debt of this country, which amounts
to over $2,500,000,000 (and remember this mortgage debt is principally upon the homes and farms of this country), and you may
realize and appreciate the burdens that are upon the shoulders
of the people of this country.
To recapitulate:
Debt of United States Government in 1890
Debt of States and Territories in 1890
Mortgage debt of United States
Individuals and corporations (estimated)
Per capita, about $100.


As hereinbefore stated (and I think it will be conceded), the
demonetization of silver would increase the value of gold not less
than 20 per cent, and, possibly, as much as 50 per cent. I will,
therefore, make an estimate upon the basis that the value of
gold will be increased 25 per cent, and I think this low estimate
will be accepted as conservative. An increase of 25 per cent on
the indebtedness that I have heretofore stated will increase that
indebtedness the sum of $l,57t>,929,251; that is to say, that at the
value of gold and silver now in relation to commodities, it will
take in value $1,579,929,251 more of commodities to pay said indebtedness than it can now be paid with.
Upon whom will this increased burden most heavily f all? Upon
the money lenders? No. Upon the bankers? No. Upon those
who are so circumstanced that they need not work upon a rainy
day? No. It will fall upon the brawn and sinew of this country,
the yeomanry of our land. The debt owing by the United States
must be paid by the citizens, and how? By a system of unjust
taxation. By a tax that is neither equitable nor uniform, a tax
that is vicious in its methods and its exactions levied upon the
consumers of this country.
The wealth of this country is protected by the valor and patriotism of all the citizens; buj^it yields no tribute to the United
States to liquidate the debt incurred for its care and protection.

The balance of the indebtedness is paid by the skill, industry,
and sweat of the face of the people of this country; and, my
Democratic friends, I again invite you to listen to the voice of
your party, and I conjure you to heed its commands. I find in
our national platform the following:

We call the attention of thoughtful Americans to the fact that after thirty
years of restrictive taxes against the importation of foreign wealth in exchange for our agricultural surplus, the homes and farms of the country
have become burdened with a real estate mortgage debt of over $2,500,000,000,
exclusive of all other forms of indebtedness; that in one of the chief agricultural States of the West there appears a real estate mortgage debt averaging $165 per capita of the total population; and that similar conditions and
tendencies are shown to exist in other agricultural exporting States. We
denounce a policy which fosters no industry so much as it does that of the

If you contract the currency of this country you abridge the
means and opportunity to satisfy this indebtedness, and you indeed foster the sheriffs industry.
My friends from New England and the Eastern States, this
indebtedness is largely due to you. My people are remotely, if
not immediately, your debtors. You built our railroads, opened
our highways, constructed our factories, and started the wheels
of mechanical and manufacturing industries in the South. When
the briers cumbered our grounds, and our fields were waste
places, and lone chimneys stood like monuments to mark the
places^ where once were happy homes, you came with your money
and lent it to us.
With this money we rebuilded and removed the briers that
cumbered the waste places, felled the virgin forests, and opened
new fields of production. This money is still due you. We have
only paid the interest and renewed our note. Will you vote to
increase the principal and compound the interest upon us? Will
you produce bankruptcy and ruin, and kill the goose that has
been laying the golden egg? If so, your support of a measure
that will contract the currency of this country will tend to doit.
Aside from the immediate injury that will result from the
contraction of the currency by the demonetization of silver, an
injury equally as hurtful, but one step remote, will ensue.
When silver is stricken down to a commodity there will not remain sufficient coin to meet the demands of commerce and the
business of the world. The population of the world to-day is
estimated at 1,218,000,000 people, and the amount of gold is estimated at $3,632,600,000, about $2.99 per capita; and this estimate
of the quantity of gold in the world, we have no assurance approximates accuracy, and the probability and better opinion is
that it is overestimated.
If this gold is equally distributed throughout the world, will
it be sufficient to do the business of the world on, or will it furnish a sufficient basis upon which the business of the world can
be carried by exchange or otherwise? Strike from the population of the world the people of the countries that have no commercial relations with the balance of the world, and have no
productive industries and follow no productive pursuits, and
you have remaining a population of about 800,000,000 people.
Distribute the gold of the world among these people, and it will
be inadequate to supply the demands of commerce and trade.

Our population is increasing at the rate of about 2 per cent
annually, and our gold production that has been minted into
money for the past twenty years has annually increased about l i
per cent. Basing our opinion on the belief that the same ratio
of increase will continue in the future, we find that our gold diggings are not keeping pace with our increase in population, and
there not being sufficient gold in the world for the needs of commerce and business, and gold relatively decreasing as compared
with our increase in population, consequently the value of gold
must increase and commodities must correspondingly decrease.
And, as commodities in general are but the result of labor, then the
toiling masses can not be remunerated for their energy, industry, and skill, and as the hands move forward on the dial of time,
such a monetary system will undoubtedly make servants of the
children of freemen, unless revolution should turn back the
hand that now points to such a destiny. [Applause.]
Mr. Speaker, it is urged upon this floor that by the laws of
evolution the destiny of silver is fixed, and that neither man nor
human agencies can prevent its being discarded as a money
metal by the enlightened nations of this globe. If, in this country,
such a change must come, will not some economic scientist,
some political seer, some monetary evolutionist, devise some
means by which the hurt to the debtor may be averted? I believe I would be willing to experiment with the single gold
standard if the bimetallic system would be continued and the
volume of monejr permitted to increase pari passu with the increase in population, until all existing contracts had been performed and discharged, and let all new contracts for future payments be based upon the single gold standard.
One of the chief virtues that the gold monometallists claim
for their system is, that it will give a fixed and stable standard
of value. In all contracts for future payment, justice is only attained when the purchasing power of the money paid the creditor by the debtor is of the same value as at the making of the
contract. Will the single gold standard produce such a condition or cause such a result? I deny it. Gold is only money in
the country in which it is coined or by law adopted. Elsewhere
it is a commodity.
There is no universal money, and there can be no more invari*
able standard 01 value in gold than in both gold and silver; and,
possibly, the variance will be as great in the one as in the other,
for the consequences are dependent upon future conditions and
circumstances. Gold possesses no attributes that make it sacred and invariable in value. When it is plentiful, it is cheap;
when it is scarce, it is high. It is controlled by the same laws
that govern other commodities, aj^d varies and changes in value
according to the forces that operate upon it.
This proposition is borne out by the experience of our own
country within the last half century. When the gold mines of
California were discovered and opened up, gold became plentiful,
and more gold could be purchased with our products and commodities than could have been done before that, when gold was
scarce. It is probable, and I think nearer the truth, that the
standard becomes more uniform and stable under the bimetallic
than the monometallic system.

Prof, Xiaughlin, a strong gold monometallist and an author on
this question of distinguished, ability, said " that the intimate
connection of the two metals causes reflex changes upon44 each
other;" though he further says, in the same connection, that
the action of silver upon gold is not the same as the action of
gold upon silver." But his concession that the two metals cause
reflex changes upon each other argues that a more certain and
uniform standard of value can be obtained by the bimetallic than
monometallic system.
There is much force in the argument that the two metals act
as a balance wheel one for the other. They are handmaids,
fixed by nature for joint and separate medium of exchange, and,
when both are not actually on duty, one stands guard as a reserve, while the other fights the battles, and so they alternate
in action as prejudice, bias, or circumstances may determine,
and, by so doing, they preserve their joint and separate strength
and unity.
It is asserted by those who favor the single gold standard that
the object and effect of the free coinage of silver is, and will be,
to enable the debtor to scale his debt, and to cheat and defraud
his creditor, and that it is dishonest legislation. Can it not,
with equal force, propriety, and truth, be asserted that to strike
down silver as money and contract the currency of this country is a desire and effort on the part of the creditors to enhance
the value of their debts and assets, and, by law, wring from the
debtor payment of alarger sum than is dueby the contract? Can
you find excuse for such action? Maybe you can.
Nearly two thousand years ago that Christman said: " To him
that hath shall be given, and to him that hath not shall be taken
away even that which he hath." Strike down silver and you
fulfill this inspired statement.
Mr. Spe ker, the weight and force of the argument of the gold
monometallist is: 1 That the free coinage of silver will drive
gold out of this country; (2) that the United States can not force
the other countries of the world to adopt bimetallism. If perchance free coinage of silver would drive gold out of circulation,
where would it drive it? It would drive it into the vaults of the
banks of this country, where it would act as a reserve fund and
basis upon which the business of this country is done, and by doing this the basis of our credit would be expanded with stability.
For three-quarters of a century we had bimetallism, and
periodically the metals slightly alternated in purchasing value;
but whenever this occurred and there was a displacement of the
metals there was not a contraction of the currency. The one
would temporarily serve and perform one function of money,
while the other would perform another equally as important
function, and the two metals are peculiarly suited to perform
functions joint, separate, and variant.
Small transactions constitute the great bulk of the dealings,
trade, and transactions of mankind, and silver is specially suited
for this purpose; and these small transactions, when aggregated,
compose more volume than all the banks, and demands the actual
tangible use of more money than all the banks. It is the poor
man's money, and the poor are largely in the majority in this

country, and the inspired man said the poor will always be with
Can gold ever leave us as long as the balance of trade is in our
favor? What the gold advocates here have been pleased to call
the enlightened nations of the earth, such as England, Germany, Austria, Portugal, and others contiguous to them, single
gold standard people, can not increase their agricultural productions one acre or one bushel. They can not feed their own
people from their own soil. They are fed by us, by India, and
other nations. They live by sending us articles of manufacture
made from our raw material. Their people must eat or die.
We need not dress in " purple and fine linen."
The world's product of gold last year was $130,816,000, and the
world's product of silver was $196,000,000. Our exports of agricultural, manufactured, and other products from this country
for the year ending June 30,1892, was $1,075,814,429, more than
three times as much as all the gold and silver produced in all
the world. For the same year we imported $897,057,000 worth
of merchandise and miscellaneous matter.
The difference between our exports and imports was $216,227,032. So the balance of trade was in our favor, and for that year
it would have taken about two-thirds of all the metal, gold and
silver, produced in the entire world to pay for our surplus products, and there lacked in gold over $86,000,000 being enough to
pay for our surplus products. While in the last, and some other
years, the balance in our favor has been less, there is no cause to
believe or suspect that future ages will change the balance of
trade against us. Our resources are seeming almost inexhaustible. Our vast territory has a soil rich and productive. Buried
beneath its surface and bursting from its hillsides are the greatest variety of the richest minerals. Standing and growing within
our extended confines are vast virgin forests of the finest timber.
On our immense plains vast herds of cattle grow fat without cost,
and within these limits are millions of honest toilers, plowing
the fields, delving in the mines, turning the spindles, and revolving the wheels of all character of industry.
With such resources, such industrious people, and abundant
products, is it possible that by the free coinage of gold and silver|gold will be driven out of this country? Such a suggestion is
fatuitous, illusory, and improbable.
Again, history gives us a precedent upon which we can safely
base a conclusion. France has been cirrying for years seven
hundred to nine hundred million dollars of silver, and her gold
has annually increased, and her money metals, gold and silver,
upon a ratio of 15£ to 1, has been maintained at a parity. Silver did not and could not drive gold out of France, and I do not
believe it will drive it out of this country. 'Next, Mr. Speaker,
can the United States force the other countries of the world to
adopt bimetallism? This is problematical and experimental,
and can not be determined until it is tried; but I assume the
affirmative. The future may be forecast by the events of the
In 1816 England demonetized silver and adopted the single
gold standard. Anterior thereto all the commercial nations of
the world, by law, recognized silver as money. Fifty-seven

years after England had demonetized silver the United States
outlawed the white metal. Following close on this act of the
United States, many of the other nations of the earth actually
or virtually demonetized silver. They either prohibited or suspended its free coinage.
Now, if it took England over fifty-seven years to induce or
force the other commercial nations to adopt or follow her system
of monometallism, and the United States by her action could
drive into line so many other nations in so short a time, it certain^ strongly argues the power of the United States over the
nations of the world; and if she has the power to produce such
results by the policy she has recently adopted, does it not follow
that if she returns to the system of bimetallism, with her growing industries stod wonderful resources and her commercial
prestige, can she not force the other countries to reverse their
policy, and stand side by side with her? [Applause.]
Now, let us follow this argument to its logical conclusion from
the premises laid down by Qie monometallism They say that a
half a century ago no nation of any commercial importance had
adopted the single gold standard, and that England, then the
monarch of all commercial nations, launched out upon this uncertain se i. and by force of her commercial power, coupled with
her ingenuity, brought almost all the commercial nations of the
world to the actual or virtual single gold standard, and that
such nations now being opposed to bimetallism, the United States
can not return to it without an international agreement.
What has been done may be done again; and what one nation
has accomplished another may accomplish, conditions being
similar. If this be true, the United States, standing upon the
commanding height she does, possessed of the forces, active and
reserve, th it she has, and being in the front rank of nations, can
not she do for silver what it is claimed England has done for
gold? Since silver was demonetized in this country, the gold
countries of Europe, with England in the lead, to gratify their
cupidity and greed, have turned their battering-rams upon the
walls of bimetallism in America, and to-day the temper of this
Congress indicates that they will be victorious. But if the fight
is lost this year, the serried ranks and solid phalanx of the American people will be found in line of march later on, and the voice
of the people will order a charge that monometallism can not
If the little sea-girt isle on the eastern shore of the Atlantic
Ocean can accomplish so much, what might not the United
States do if she had the courage to try? Representatives of
America, behold the picture that is presented to us to-day: The
United St .tes again petitioning and supplicating at the throne
of England, begging Europe for conferences and concessions!
Such obsequious and servile conduct is enough to make the cheek
of an American mantle with shame. [Applause.] It is enough
to make the ashes of Henry and Washington and the patriots of
the Revolution ary out from their hollow tombs.
This Government th it placed the Goddess of Liberty upon her
high perch, holding the scales of justice in equal poise; this
Government that smote the rock of the science of government
and let the living waters of equal rights, personal liberty, and

national independence fill the channels that flowed to all the nations of the earth; this Government that traced power to its
lodgment and found it in the voice of the people, now begging totteriog monarchies to suffer it to adopt a financial policy. American m nhood must be waning and our national independence and
institutions fast decaying.
"Gresham's Liw" has been held up to us to show the consequences that will follow bimetallism. The philosophy of the
law, I predict, will find no application in this country with bimetallism. Money, monetary transactions, and speculative greed
regularly obey no law and follow no rule. It is constantly affected by extraneous causes and changing conditions and forces.
Money follows no fixed orbit. Like the erratic comet, it defies
law and order. The bankers of the United States, if they desired, by concert of action could place silver at a premium in the
face of any law. The eloquent financial economist from New
York [Mr. HENDRIX] said that—
The banks of New York were now holding up thefinancialsystem of this
Government by the neck.
I fear this is too true, and it may be that if the banks would
loose their hands from the neck of our financial system this
Government would breathe easier and this agitation would not
have occurred. If the banks of New York are temporarily holding up the financial system of this Government, suppose the
banks of the world should surrender their patriotism to their
greed, then, indeed, would the future be ciouay with calamitous
Upon the question under discussion we daily have the opinions
and advice of hundreds of successful and distinguished financiers
throughout the United States. Bankers, boards of trade, chambers of commerce, et id genus, are earnestly importuning us to
follow the English policy, and by so doing they say that we can
still the troubled waters, speak peace to the dissatisfied and disturbed, restore confidence to the doubters, heai the financial
afflictions, avert dangers, and restore*prosperity to this country.
This is a desideratum wished for and prayed for by every member of this body and every patriot within the confines of this
I have an exalted respect for these people and their opinions.
I am unwilling to believe that they are prompted by selfish and
mercenary motives. They are a great, useful, and important
factor in the country, and are American patriots and libertyloving people. But they possess no peculiar prescience and are
gifted with no superior sight-seeing into the future, and are not
authorized and accredited prophets.
In the past they have made glaring mistakes, and their prophecies have not been fulfilled. When we were in the throes of a
fratricidal strife, and a financial policy and system were inaugurated to carry on the momentous contention, the financial system then adopted and followed by the Government was condemned and derided by this same class of our citizens, and the
direst prophecies as to its consequences and effect were then
.made. Time developed that they were in error, and were not
good counselors.

Fourteen years after the close of the unfortunate struggle another financial policy was inaugurated by this Government. We
found ourselves with seven hundred millions of paper currency—
promises to pay—that were depreciated in value. By one stroke
of the legislative pen we lifted this vast quantity of paper from
its degraded bed and placed it on a parity with gold and silver,
and did so with a depleted Treasury, or ah apparent insufficient
coin reserve. Like the other policy, we did this in the face of
the adverse opinion of the financiers of the world; in the face
of predictions and prophecies of chambars of commerce, boards
of trade, and bankers' associations. We did it without the advice or aid of England, and we did it without international conferences or agreements.
Mr. Speaker, we are in the midst of a distressing panic. Like
Coleridge's ancient mariner, who found 4 4 water, water everywhere, nor any drop to d r i n k , w e find money, money everywhere, nor any dime c m get. In the South we are hungering
for markets of money to purchase our surplus products, that we
may pay our matured debts or exchange it again for the necessaries and comforts of life. If this money agitation has produced
this panic, our duty to our country is to at once remove the cause.
But I can not admit that the cause, mediately or immediately,
rests solely with this.
I do not believe any man can trace this panic to any single
cause. Money panics of momentous proportions and disastrous
results may arise from the slightest circumstances. Money is
timid and is easily affrighted, and the slightest disturbance
affects its most remote limit. Like the ocean's calm, a pebble
dropped in the center of its surface produces a wave that touches
the farthest shore; so a financial agitation once began may swell
in volume until its force wastes itself upon the immeasurable sea
of time.
It is charged that the position of the bimetallist tends towards
class legislation, and is for the protection of silver, and that we
are undertaking to pass a law for the especial benefit of silver
mines and silver money. The reverse of this statement is more
nearly true. It is gold and gold owners that are asking for protection. Our law would be equal and uniform upon all the people of this country, while your law would strike down a large
part of the people and a large part of the wealth and industries
of this country.
The silver States are an integral part of this Union, and have
rights, and vested rights. A few years ago, the now silver mines
were rock-ribbed hills and barren wastes. Our people went there,
and they underwent privations and hardships to develop that
country. By their self-denials, courage, and energy, millions
have been added to the wealth of this country, and thousands of
our laborers have found renumerative employment. The wealth
they produced percolated all avenues andflowedto all the States.
The corn, wheat, and cotton alike shared the benefits of this development. And now it is undertaken to be said that this energy
shall be wasted, these industries and investments destroyed, and
their prospective growth in wealth shut off. I can not go with
the advocates of such a policy, because it is protective and sec*
tional legislation, and is not just and right.

The gentleman from Ohio [Mr. HARTER] points us to the single
go id st mdard nations as the progressive, enlightened, and prosperous nations of the globe, and relegates the bimetallist to the
pagan and heathen nations of the earth. He may be right; but
the question is, what is progress, prosperity, and enlightenment?
When the scales of paganism and heathenism dropped from the
eyes of England in 1819, and she adopted the single gold standard,
she had 165,000 land owners; now she has 30,000 land owners.
This may be enlightenment, progress, and prosperity for her
people, but I can not so understand it, and I am unwilling to
believe it
You take away from the people their debt-paying money,
abridge their opportunities to lift the mortgages from their
farms and homes, and you do it that they may become civilized,
enlightened, and prosperous. What a travesty upon justice and
what a commentary on enlightened humanity. In 1873 the light
of prosperity went out f roiijL the homes of the agriculturists of
this country. If you would again wreath their brow with the
smiles of prosperity, again restore to them that which was
wrongfully taken from them in 1873. [Applause.]
Mr. Speaker, in conclusion, I say that the Democratic party demands the repeal of the Sherman law and the enactment of a
law establishing the free coinage of gold and silver. The Constitution contemplates the existence of such law; justice demands it; humanity demands it, and the American people
demand it. Gold and silver have been the universal money of
the world as far back as history or tradition carry us. Silver
was the money of Abraham, and Solomon " made gold and silver
plenteous in Jerusalem."
History records no country on the face of this globe to have
pained or perished because they had too much gold or silver, or
too much gold ana silver. Gold will not leave us. Untrammel
our commerce with other nations, break down the barrier raised
by a vicious protective tariff, then our whitened sails will empty
our bursting granaries into the laps of the hungry nations of the
earth, and our fleecy staple will thread the spindles and feed the
looms of the factories of all countries, and be the warp and woof
of the wear of all people, and gold and silver will be our pay.